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Andrew Bacevich on The New American Militarism

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  “As many frustrated Americans who have joined the Tea Party realize, we cannot stand against big government at home while supporting it abroad. We cannot talk about fiscal responsibility while spending trillions on occupying and bullying the rest of the world. We cannot talk about the budget deficit and spiraling domestic spending without looking at the costs of maintaining an American empire of more than 700 military bases in more than 120 foreign countries. We cannot pat ourselves on the back for cutting a few thousand dollars from a nature preserve or an inner-city swimming pool at home while turning a blind eye to a Pentagon budget that nearly equals those of the rest of the world combined.”

Ron Paul


Introduction

New American militarism is connected with the desire to establish global neoliberal empire ruled by the USA (the dream of total world dominance). It became official policy  since the collapse of the USSR  and involves "heliocentric" view on foreign policy, when the USA is the center of the world order and other states just rotate around it on various orbits. The US population is by-and-large-completely brainwashed into this vision.

Opposition to the US militarism is almost non-existent due contemporary US popular culture infused with the language of militarism and American exceptionalism. As Bacevich  noted:

In any Clancy novel, the international order is a dangerous and threatening place, awash with heavily armed and implacably determined enemies who threaten the United States. That Americans have managed to avoid Armageddon is attributable to a single fact: the men and women of America’s uniformed military and its intelligence services have thus far managed to avert those threats. The typical Clancy novel is an unabashed tribute to the skill, honor, extraordinary technological aptitude and sheer decency of the nation’s defenders. To read Red Storm Rising is to enter a world of ‘virtuous men and perfect weapons’, as one reviewer noted. ‘All the Americans are paragons of courage, endurance and devotion to service and country. Their officers are uniformly competent and occasionally inspired. Men of all ranks are faithful husbands and devoted fathers.’ Indeed, in the contract that he signed for the filming of Red October, Clancy stipulated that nothing in the film show the navy in a bad light.

The "New American militarism" or as it called "Neocon mentality" is not that different from the early Soviets militarism (of  Trotskyite variety), eager to spread the blessings of Scientific Socialism toward other countries on the tips of bayonets.  Here the role of scientific socialism is played by neoliberal ideology. With the slogan "Transnational elite unite" and Davos style Congresses of the new   "Neoliberal International" of comprador elites. While converting other countries into neoliberal model using color revolution of direct military invasion or combination of both) are disguised as spread of "democracy".

In this new Crusade for world hegemony the key ideas of Trotsky Permanent Revolution remains intact -- a crusade for establishing new social system on all counties on the Earth. This is just Great Neoliberal Crusade, instead of Communist Crusade.  This new justification for Crusades has the same problems as two previous. But it does not matter as the key role of democracy here is the same as in quote "the goal justifies the means" 

Professor Andrew Bacevich wrote several short books on the subject. he avoids the term neoliberalism and did not try to explain new American militarism in terms of the quest for neoliberal empire expansion. But he is a very good observer and the books contain many insights into US elite thinking and blunders. Among them we can note two:

While all three books are excellent and raise important issues,  they overlap. Probably the most original and the most important on them is Washington Rules, were Bacevich attempts to explain "Permanent War for Permanent Peace" that the USA practice since the end of WWII. All three books have the same weaknesses: Bacevich does not see connection between Neoliberalism demand for economic expansion and "New American Militarism" and regime of permanent wars that the USA pursue since WWII.

He provide sharp critique of neocons, but never ask the question: which political forces brought those pathetic second or third rate thinkers to the forefront of formulation of the US foreign policy and maintain them for more then a decade after Iraq debacle.

He also mistakenly believe that American people (who were completely estranged from any influence on nation's policies) bear some guilt for the policy which was formulated to benefit the first hundred of the largest US corporations. In other words he does not understand that the USA is yet another occupied country.

Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War; War as a natural state of the USA since 1945

[Neocons] advocate permanent war for permanent peace

Professor Basevich

The foreign policy of the USA since 1945, but especially, after the dissolution of the USSR was and is "open militarism". Recently  John Quiggin  tried to define militarism is came to the following definition (crookedtimber.org):

100 years after the Battle of the Somme, it's hard to see that much has been learned from the catastrophe of the Great War and the decades of slaughter that followed it. Rather than get bogged down (yet again) in specifics that invariably decline into arguments about who know more of the historical detail, I'm going to try a different approach, looking at the militarist ideology that gave us the War, and trying to articulate an anti-militarist alternative. Wikipedia offers a definition of militarism which, with the deletion of a single weasel word, seems to be entirely satisfactory and also seems to describe the dominant view of the political class, and much of the population in nearly every country in the world.

Militarism is the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively[^1] to defend or promote national interests

This new epidemic of the US militarism started after the dissolution of the USSR was called by Professor Bacevich (who is former colonel of the US army)  it New American Militarism.

Bacevich's book  Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War  describe the "sacred trinity" of global US-led neoliberal empire:

Professor Bacevich had shown that the main driver of the US militarism is neocons domination of the US foreign policy, and, especially, neocons domination in State Department regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats are in power. They profess that the US that is uniquely qualified to take on the worldwide foes of peace and democracy, forgetting, revising, or ignoring the painful lessons of World War II, Vietnam, and Iraq. And that establishing and maintaining the neoliberal empire is worth the price we pay as it will take the USA into the period of unprecedented peace.

Bacevich scored a direct hit on the foundations of the American national security state with this scathing critique, and demolishes the unspoken assumptions that he believes have led the United States into a senseless, wasteful, and counter-productive "perpetual war for perpetual peace".

Bacevich scores a direct hit on the foundations of the American national security state with this scathing critique, and demolishes the unspoken assumptions that he believes have led the United States into a senseless, wasteful, and counter-productive posture of nearly perpetual war. These assumptions take the form of the "credo" -- which holds that the United States has the unique responsibility to intervene wherever it wants, for whatever purpose it wants, by whatever means it wants -- and the supporting "trinity" of requirements for the U.S. to maintain a global military presence, to configure its military forces for global power projection, and to counter threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism.

Lessons that President Obama is clearly never able to learn. In this sense his book Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War is an excellent peace of research with sections that some may find very troubling as it suggest that the USA elite is suicidal and is ready to sacrifice the county for achieving its delusional goal of world domination.

Here is the summary from Bacevich - Washington Rules (2010) - Synopsis by Mark K. Jensen

UFPPC (www.ufppc.org) Digging Deeper CXXXVII: September 27, 2010, 7:00 p.m. 

Andrew J. Bacevich, Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War (New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, August 2010).

Thesis

The Washington consensus on national security policy that constitutes convention wisdom in American foreign policy began with the Cold War and survived, remarkably, the Vietnam War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, no longer serves American interests, but the failure of the Obama administration to alter it shows that change can only come from the American people.

Introduction: Slow Learner

The author's faith in orthodoxy began to crumble when visiting the BrandenburgGate in Berlin in the winter of 1990-1991(1-4). In October 1990 a visit to Jenarevealed the backwardness of EastGermany (4-6). During his years in the Army, Bacevich had kept down doubts; after the end of the Cold War he retired, and his loss of status freed him to educate himself (6-10).

"George W.Bush's decision to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 pushed me fully into opposition" (10). "This book aims to take stock of conventional wisdom" (11). The past 60 years of American history shows continuity: a symbiotic "credo" (formulated by Henry Luce in 1941 as the "American Century") and a "sacred trinity" ("the minimum essentials of international peace and order require the United States to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of  global interventionism") together define "the rules to which Washington adheres" (11-15).

In this book, "Washington" refers to the upper echelons of the three branches of government, the main agencies of the national security state, select think tanks and interest groups, "big banks and other financial institutions, defense contractors and major corporations, television networks and elite publications like the New York Times, even quasi-academic entities like the Council on Foreign Relations and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government" (15).

This book aspires to

(1) trace the history of the Washington rules;

(2) show who wins, who loses, and who pays under them;

(3) explain how itis perpetuated;

(4) show that the rules have lost what utility they might once have had;

and (5) re-legitimate "disreputable (or 'radical') views to our national security debates" (16).

The American Century is ending, and it "has become essential" to devise an "alternative to the reining national security paradigm" (16-18).

Ch. 1: The Advent of Semiwar.

As president, Barack Obama's efforts to change the U.S.'s exercise of power "have seldom risen above the cosmetic"(20). He made clear he subscribes to the "catechism of American statecraft," viz. that 1) the world must be organized, 2)only the U.S. can do it, 3) this includes dictating principles, and 4) not to accept this is to be a rogue or a recalcitrant (20-21).

It follows that the U.S. need not conform to the norms it sets for others and that it should maintain a worldwide network of bases (22-23).

Imagine if China acted in a comparable manner (23-25). The extraordinary American military posture in the world (25-27). To call this into question puts one beyond the pale(27). James Forrestal called this a permanent condition of semiwar, requiring high levels of military spending(27-28).

American citizens are not supposed to concern themselves with it (29-30). As to how this came about, the "standard story line" presents as the result of the decisions of a "succession of presidential administrations," though this conceals as much as it reveals (30-32).

Eisenhower's 1961 Farewell Address on the "military-industrial complex" was a rare exception (32-34). More important than presidents were Allen Dulles [1893-1969] and Curtis Lemay [1906-1990] (34-36).

Bacevich attributes the vision for an American-dominated post-World War II world with the CIA playing an active role to the patrician Dulles (36-43). The development of the U.S. military into a force capable of dominating the world, especially in the area of strategic weapons, he attributes to the hard-bitten Curtis LeMay, organizer of the StrategicAir Command (SAC) (43-52). Dulles and LeMay shared devotion to country, ruthlessness, a certain recklessness (52-55). They exploited American anxieties and insecurities in yin (Dulles's CIA) yang(LeMay's SAC) fashion, leaving the mainstay of American military power, the U.S. Army, in a relatively weak position(55-58).

Ch. 2: Illusions of Flexibility and Control

Kennedy kept Dulles and LeMay to signal continuity, but there was a behind-the-scenes struggle led by Gen. Maxwell Taylor to reassert the role of the U.S. Army by expanding and modernizing conventional forces that was "simultaneously masked by, and captured in, the phrase flexible response " (60; 59-63).

This agenda purported to aim at "resisting aggression" but really created new options for limited aggressive warfare by the U.S. (63-66).

McNamara engaged in a struggle with LeMay to control U.S. policy on nuclear weapons, but he embraced the need for redundancy based on a land-sea-air attack "triad" and LeMay et al. "got most of what they wanted" (66-72).

In the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy instituted the morally and legally "indefensible" Operation Mongoose," in effect, a program of state-sponsored terrorism" against Cuba (80; 72-82 [but Bacevich is silent on its wilder elements, like Operation Northwoods]).

U.S. recklessness caused the Cuban Missile Crisis, and to his credit Kennedy acknowledged this (albeit privately) and "suspended the tradition" in defusing the crisis (82-87).

Bacevich rejects as a romantic delusion the view that in the aftermath of this crisis Kennedy turned against the military-industrial complex and the incipient Vietnam war and shows no interest in Kennedy's assassination itself (87-92).

He sees a parallel between escalation in Vietnam and post-9/11 aggression as "fought to sustain the Washington consensus" (107; 92-107).

Ch. 3: The Credo Restored.

William Fulbright's The Arrogance of Power (1966) urged a rethinking of the Washington rules (109-15). A radicalized David Shoup, a Medal of Honor winner and former commandant of the MarineCorps, argued in "The New American Militarism" (Atlantic, April 1969) that the U.S. had become "a militaristic and aggressive nation" (120; 115-21). The 1960s Zeitgeist shift made LeMay "an embarrassment, mocked and vilified rather than venerated," which showed that the Washington rules had incurred serious damage in Vietnam; the Army was in dire shape (122; 121-27).

Yet astonishingly, in the subsequent decade the "sacred trinity" (cf. 11-15) was "fully restored" (127). As in post-1918 Germany, élites looked for scapegoats and worked to reverse "the war's apparent verdict" (128). The Council on Foreign Relations 1976 volume entitled The Vietnam Legacy: The War, American Society, and the Future of American Foreign Policy is an expression of élite consensus that the Vietnam war was insignificant, an anomaly (129-34).

By 1980, Democrats and Republicans were again on the same page (134-36).Reagan's election "sealed the triumph of Vietnam revisionism" (136; 136-38). And the end of the Cold War posed no challenge to the Washington rules, as Madeleine Albright's pretentious arrogance exemplifies (138-45).

Ch. 4: Reconstituting the Trinity

The period from 1980 to 2000 saw "notretrenchment but reconfiguration" (147). The new mission was not American defense but facilitation of a new world order (148-50). After 9/11 this pretense was dropped and "[a]ctivism became the watchword" (150, emphasis in original;150-52). Resorting to war became "notably more frequent and less controversial" in 1980-2000, finding "its ultimate expression in the Bush Doctrine of preventive war" (152-53). Americans "passively assented" (154).

Behind the scenes, the shape this took was struggled over by the officer corps and civilian semi-warriors pushing RMA(Revolution in Military Affairs) (154-64).Initially, U.S. élites held that victory in Iraq demonstrated that speed could be substituted for mass in military campaigns (165-75). But the experience of the occupation revealed this to be a fantasy (175-81).

Ch. 5: Counterfeit COIN.

Counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine, replacing "shock and awe" as "the Long War" replaced the "global war on terror," is the latest doctrinal effort to preserve the Washington rules (182-86). The so-called "surge" implicitly marked a quest for conditions allowing the U.S. to leave Iraq without admitting defeat (186-91).Gen. David Petraeus emerged as an advocate (and as salesman, through FM3-24, the manual he revised and which Bacevich insists is in its emphasis on narrative replete with postmodernism) of counterinsurgency doctrine as "a substitute [for warfare] suited to the exercise of great power politics in the twilight of modernity" (197; 191-97). Implicitly, the manual argues that "war as such . . . no longer worked" (198; 198-202). Petraeus took credit for progress in Iraq that he did not achieve (202-04).

The general with a Princeton Ph.D. was lionized with a view to normalizing war and lowering expectations, a view now embraced by the Obama administration(205-11). Proponents of global counterinsurgency (GCOIN) emerged, like John Nagl and Gen. Benet Sacolick (211-13). Obama embraced the GCOIN version of the Long War with Gen.Stanley McChrystal to carry it out in Afghanistan, forfeiting the opportunity to reassess American policy (213-21).

Ch. 6: Cultivating Our Own Garden.

Time-honored no-nonsense American pragmatism has turned into an absurdity-swallowing herd mentality (222-23). The problem set the U.S. faces has radically changed from the time of the early Cold War, but the "sacred trinity" (cf. 11-15) that proposes to address them remains essentially the same (224-25).Eisenhower would have been appalled(225-26). The size of the Pentagon budget, the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and the extent of overseas military presence cannot be justified(226-27).

These persist because of the interests they serve, not the mission the fulfill, and are likely to do so for sometime (228-30). Bacevich invokes George Kennan, William Fulbright, and Martin Luther King Jr. in urging that the U.S. needs a new approach, to model freedom rather than impose it (231-37). First and foremost, America should save not the world but itself (237).

Bacevich proposes a new trinity:

  1. the purpose of the military is to defend the U.S. and its vital interests;
  2. soldiers' primary duty stations are on American soil;
  3. force should be used only as a last resort and in self-defense, in accord with the Just War tradition (238-41).

The American public must shoulder its complicity in what has happened, fostered by an all-volunteer force and debt-financed budgets (241-47). It is tragic that Barack Obama, elected to institute change, has lacked the courage to alter the Washington rules, instead "choosing to conform" (247-49). "If change is to come, it must come from the people"(249). The need for education "has become especially acute" (249; 249-50).

Except from Macmillan

Introduction: Slow Learner Worldly ambition inhibits true learning. Ask me. I know. A young man in a hurry is nearly uneducable: He knows what he wants and where he's headed; when it comes to looking back or entertaining heretical thoughts, he has neither the time nor the inclination. All that counts is that he is going somewhere. Only as ambition wanes does education become a possibility.

My own education did not commence until I had reached middle age. I can fix its start date with precision: For me, education began in Berlin, on a winter's evening, at the Brandenburg Gate, not long after the Berlin Wall had fallen. As an officer in the U.S. Army I had spent considerable time in Germany. Until that moment, however, my family and I had never had occasion to visit this most famous of German cities, still littered with artifacts of a deeply repellent history. At the end of a long day of exploration, we found ourselves in what had, until just months before, been the communist East. It was late and we were hungry, but I insisted on walking the length of the Unter den Linden, from the River Spree to the gate itself. A cold rain was falling and the pavement glistened. The buildings lining the avenue, dating from the era of Prussian kings, were dark, dirty, and pitted. Few people were about. It was hardly a night for sightseeing. For as long as I could remember, the Brandenburg Gate had been the preeminent symbol of the age and Berlin the epicenter of contemporary history. 

Yet by the time I made it to the once and future German capital, history was already moving on. The Cold War had abruptly ended. A divided city and a divided nation had re united. For Americans who had known Berlin only from a distance, the city existed primarily as a metaphor. Pick a date— 1933, 1942, 1945, 1948, 1961, 1989—and Berlin becomes an instructive symbol of power, depravity, tragedy, defiance, endurance, or vindication. For those inclined to view the past as a chronicle of parables, the modern history of Berlin offered an abundance of material. The greatest of those parables emerged from the events of 1933 to 1945, an epic tale of evil ascendant, belatedly confronted, then heroically overthrown.

A second narrative, woven from events during the intense period immediately following World War II, saw hopes for peace dashed, yielding bitter antagonism but also great resolve. The ensuing stand-off—the "long twilight struggle," in John Kennedy's memorable phrase— formed the centerpiece of the third parable, its central theme stubborn courage in the face of looming peril. Finally came the exhilarating events of 1989, with freedom ultimately prevailing, not only in Berlin, but throughout Eastern Europe.

.... ... ...

Although commonly depicted as the most advanced and successful component of the Soviet Empire, East Germany more closely resembled part of the undeveloped world.

... ... ...

Briquettes of soft coal used for home heating made the air all but unbreathable and coated everything with soot. In the German cities we knew, pastels predominated—houses and apartment blocks painted pale green, muted salmon, and soft yellow. Here everything was brown and gray

... ... ...

Bit by bit, my worldview started to crumble. That worldview had derived from this conviction: that American power manifested a commitment to global leadership, and that both together expressed and affirmed the nation's enduring devotion to its founding ideals. That American power, policies, and purpose were bound together in a neat, internally consistent package, each element drawing strength from and reinforcing the others, was something I took as a given. That, during my adult life, a penchant for interventionism had become a signature of U.S. policy did not—to me, at least—in any way contradict America's aspirations for peace. Instead, a willingness to expend lives and treasure in distant places testified to the seriousness of those aspirations. That, during this same period, the United States had amassed an arsenal of over thirty-one thousand nuclear weapons, some small number of them assigned to units in which I had served, was not at odds with our belief in the inalienable right to life and liberty; rather, threats to life and liberty had compelled the United States to acquire such an arsenal and maintain it in readiness for instant use.2 I was not so naíve as to believe that the American record had been without flaws. Yet I assured myself that any errors or misjudgments had been committed in good faith. Furthermore, circumstances permitted little real choice. In Southeast Asia as in Western Europe, in the Persian Gulf as in the Western Hemisphere, the United States had simply done what needed doing. Viable alternatives did not exist. To consent to any dilution of American power would be to forfeit global leadership, thereby putting at risk safety, prosperity, and freedom, not only our own but also that of our friends and allies.

The choices seemed clear enough. On one side was the status quo: the commitments, customs, and habits that defined American globalism, implemented by the national security apparatus within which I functioned as a small cog. On the other side was the prospect of appeasement, isolationism, and catastrophe. The only responsible course was the one to which every president since Harry Truman had adhered. For me, the Cold War had played a crucial role in sustaining that worldview.

Given my age, upbringing, and professional background, it could hardly have been otherwise. Although the great rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union had contained moments of considerable anxiety — I remember my father, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, stocking our basement with water and canned goods — it served primarily to clarify, not to frighten.

The Cold War provided a framework that organized and made sense of contemporary history. It offered a lineup and a scorecard. That there existed bad Germans and good Germans, their Germans and our Germans, totalitarian Germans and Germans who, like Americans, passionately loved freedom was, for example, a proposition I accepted as dogma. Seeing the Cold War as a struggle between good and evil answered many questions, consigned others to the periphery, and rendered still others irrelevant.

Back in the 1960s, during the Vietnam War, more than a few members of my generation had rejected the conception of the Cold War as a Manichean struggle. Here too, I was admittedly a slow learner. Yet having kept the faith long after others had lost theirs, the doubts that eventually assailed me were all the more disorienting. Granted, occasional suspicions had appeared long before Jena and Berlin

My own Vietnam experience had generated its share, which I had done my best to suppress. I was, after all, a serving soldier. Except in the narrowest of terms, the military profession, in those days at least, did not look kindly on nonconformity. Climbing the ladder of career success required curbing maverick tendencies. To get ahead, you needed to be a team player. Later, when studying the history of U.S. foreign relations in graduate school, I was pelted with challenges to orthodoxy, which I vigorously deflected. When it came to education, graduate school proved a complete waste of time — a period of intense study devoted to the further accumulation of facts, while I exerted myself to ensuring that they remained inert.

Now, however, my personal circumstances were changing. Shortly after the passing of the Cold War, my military career ended. Education thereby became not only a possibility, but also a necessity. In measured doses, mortification cleanses the soul. It's the perfect antidote for excessive self-regard. After twenty-three years spent inside the U.S. Army seemingly going somewhere, I now found myself on the outside going nowhere in particular. In the self-contained and cloistered universe of regimental life, I had briefly risen to the status of minor spear carrier. The instant I took off my uniform, that status vanished. I soon came to a proper appreciation of my own insignificance, a salutary lesson that I ought to have absorbed many years earlier. As I set out on what eventually became a crablike journey toward a new calling as a teacher and writer—a pilgrimage of sorts—ambition in the commonly accepted meaning of the term ebbed. This did not happen all at once. Yet gradually, trying to grab one of life's shiny brass rings ceased being a major preoccupation.

Wealth, power, and celebrity became not aspirations but subjects for critical analysis.

History—especially the familiar narrative of the Cold War—no longer offered answers; instead, it posed perplexing riddles. Easily the most nagging was this one: How could I have so profoundly misjudged the reality of what lay on the far side of the Iron Curtain? Had I been insufficiently attentive? Or was it possible that I had been snookered all along? Contemplating such questions, while simultaneously witnessing the unfolding of the "long 1990s"— the period bookended by two wars with Iraq when American vainglory reached impressive new heights—prompted the realization that I had grossly misinterpreted the threat posed by America's adversaries. Yet that was the lesser half of the problem. Far worse than misperceiving "them" was the fact that I had misperceived "us." What I thought I knew best I actually understood least. Here, the need for education appeared especially acute.

George W. Bush's decision to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 pushed me fully into opposition. Claims that once seemed elementary—above all, claims relating to the essentially benign purposes of American power— now appeared preposterous. The contradictions that found an ostensibly peace-loving nation committing itself to a doctrine of preventive war became too great to ignore. The folly and hubris of the policy makers who heedlessly thrust the nation into an ill-defined and open-ended "global war on terror" without the foggiest notion of what victory would look like, how it would be won, and what it might cost approached standards hitherto achieved only by slightly mad German warlords. During the era of containment, the United States had at least maintained the pretense of a principled strategy; now, the last vestiges of principle gave way to fantasy and opportunism. With that, the worldview to which I had adhered as a young adult and carried into middle age dissolved completely. *

What should stand in the place of such discarded convictions? Simply inverting the conventional wisdom, substituting a new Manichean paradigm for the old discredited version—the United States taking the place of the Soviet Union as the source of the world's evil—would not suffice. Yet arriving at even an approximation of truth would entail subjecting conventional wisdom, both present and past, to sustained and searching scrutiny. Cautiously at first but with growing confidence, this I vowed to do. Doing so meant shedding habits of conformity acquired over decades. All of my adult life I had been a company man, only dimly aware of the extent to which institutional loyalties induce myopia. Asserting independence required first recognizing the extent to which I had been socialized to accept certain things as unimpeachable. Here then were the preliminary steps essential to making education accessible. Over a period of years, a considerable store of debris had piled up. Now, it all had to go. Belatedly, I learned that more often than not what passes for conventional wisdom is simply wrong. Adopting fashionable attitudes to demonstrate one's trustworthiness—the world of politics is flush with such people hoping thereby to qualify for inclusion in some inner circle—is akin to engaging in prostitution in exchange for promissory notes. It's not only demeaning but downright foolhardy. This book aims to take stock of conventional wisdom in its most influential and enduring form, namely the package of assumptions, habits, and precepts that have defined the tradition of statecraft to which the United States has adhered since the end of World War II— the era of global dominance now drawing to a close. This postwar tradition combines two components, each one so deeply embedded in the American collective consciousness as to have all but disappeared from view.

The first component specifies norms according to which the international order ought to work and charges the United States with responsibility for enforcing those norms. Call this the American credo. In the simplest terms, the credo summons the United States—and the United States alone—to lead, save, liberate, and ultimately transform the world. In a celebrated manifesto issued at the dawn of what he termed "The American Century," Henry R. Luce made the case for this spacious conception of global leadership. Writing in Life magazine in early 1941, the influential publisher exhorted his fellow citizens to "accept wholeheartedly our duty to exert upon the world the full impact of our influence for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit." Luce thereby captured what remains even today the credo's essence.3 Luce's concept of an American Century, an age of unquestioned American global primacy, resonated, especially in Washington. His evocative phrase found a permanent place in the lexicon of national politics. (Recall that the neoconservatives who, in the 1990s, lobbied for more militant U.S. policies named their enterprise the Project for a New American Century.) So, too, did Luce's expansive claim of prerogatives to be exercised by the United States.

Even today, whenever public figures allude to America's responsibility to lead, they signal their fidelity to this creed. Along with respectful allusions to God and "the troops," adherence to Luce's credo has become a de facto prerequisite for high office. Question its claims and your prospects of being heard in the hubbub of national politics become nil. Note, however, that the duty Luce ascribed to Americans has two components. It is not only up to Americans, he wrote, to choose the purposes for which they would bring their influence to bear, but to choose the means as well. Here we confront the second component of the postwar tradition of American statecraft. With regard to means, that tradition has emphasized activism over example, hard power over soft, and coercion (often styled "negotiating from a position of strength") over suasion. Above all, the exercise of global leadership as prescribed by the credo obliges the United States to maintain military capabilities staggeringly in excess of those required for self-defense. Prior to World War II, Americans by and large viewed military power and institutions with skepticism, if not outright hostility. In the wake of World War II, that changed. An affinity for military might emerged as central to the American identity. By the midpoint of the twentieth century, "the Pentagon" had ceased to be merely a gigantic five-sided building.

Like "Wall Street" at the end of the nineteenth century, it had become Leviathan, its actions veiled in secrecy, its reach extending around the world. Yet while the concentration of power in Wall Street had once evoked deep fear and suspicion, Americans by and large saw the concentration of power in the Pentagon as benign. Most found it reassuring. A people who had long seen standing armies as a threat to liberty now came to believe that the preservation of liberty required them to lavish resources on the armed forces. During the Cold War, Americans worried ceaselessly about falling behind the Russians, even though the Pentagon consistently maintained a position of overall primacy. Once the Soviet threat disappeared, mere primacy no longer sufficed. With barely a whisper of national debate, unambiguous and perpetual global military supremacy emerged as an essential predicate to global leadership. Every great military power has its distinctive signature. For Napoleonic France, it was the levée en masse— the people in arms animated by the ideals of the Revolution. For Great Britain in the heyday of empire, it was command of the seas, sustained by a dominant fleet and a network of far-flung outposts from Gibraltar and the Cape of Good Hope to Singapore and Hong Kong. Germany from the 1860s to the 1940s (and Israel from 1948 to 1973) took another approach, relying on a potent blend of tactical flexibility and operational audacity to achieve battlefield superiority.

The abiding signature of American military power since World War II has been of a different order altogether. The United States has not specialized in any particular type of war. It has not adhered to a fixed tactical style. No single service or weapon has enjoyed consistent favor. At times, the armed forces have relied on citizen-soldiers to fill their ranks; at other times, long-service professionals. Yet an examination of the past sixty years of U.S. military policy and practice does reveal important elements of continuity. Call them the sacred trinity: an abiding conviction that the minimum essentials of international peace and order require the United States to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism. Together, credo and trinity—the one defining purpose, the other practice—constitute the essence of the way that Washington has attempted to govern and police the American Century. The relationship between the two is symbiotic. The trinity lends plausibility to the credo's vast claims. For its part, the credo justifies the trinity's vast requirements and exertions.

Together they provide the basis for an enduring consensus that imparts a consistency to U.S. policy regardless of which political party may hold the upper hand or who may be occupying the White House. From the era of Harry Truman to the age of Barack Obama, that consensus has remained intact. It defines the rules to which Washington adheres; it determines the precepts by which Washington rules. As used here, Washington is less a geographic expression than a set of interlocking institutions headed by people who, whether acting officially or unofficially, are able to put a thumb on the helm of state. Washington, in this sense, includes the upper echelons of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government. It encompasses the principal components of the national security state— the departments of Defense, State, and, more recently, Homeland Security, along with various agencies comprising the intelligence and federal law enforcement communities. Its ranks extend to select think tanks and interest groups. Lawyers, lobbyists, fixers, former officials, and retired military officers who still enjoy access are members in good standing. Yet Washington also reaches beyond the Beltway to include big banks and other financial institutions, defense contractors and major corporations, television networks and elite publications like the New York Times, even quasi-academic entities like the Council on Foreign Relations and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

With rare exceptions, acceptance of the Washington rules forms a prerequisite for entry into this world. My purpose in writing this book is fivefold: first, to trace the origins and evolution of the Washington rules—both the credo that inspires consensus and the trinity in which it finds expression; second, to subject the resulting consensus to critical inspection, showing who wins and who loses and also who foots the bill; third, to explain how the Washington rules are perpetuated, with certain views privileged while others are declared disreputable; fourth, to demonstrate that the rules themselves have lost whatever utility they may once have possessed, with their implications increasingly pernicious and their costs increasingly unaffordable; and finally, to argue for readmitting disreputable (or "radical") views to our national security debate, in effect legitimating alternatives to the status quo. In effect, my aim is to invite readers to share in the process of education on which I embarked two decades ago in Berlin. The Washington rules were forged at a moment when American influence and power were approaching their acme. That moment has now passed. The United States has drawn down the stores of authority and goodwill it had acquired by 1945. Words uttered in Washington command less respect than once was the case. Americans can ill afford to indulge any longer in dreams of saving the world, much less remaking it in our own image. The curtain is now falling on the American Century. Similarly, the United States no longer possesses sufficient wherewithal to sustain a national security strategy that relies on global military presence and global power projection to underwrite a policy of global interventionism. Touted as essential to peace, adherence to that strategy has propelled the United States into a condition approximating perpetual war, as the military misadventures of the past decade have demonstrated.

To anyone with eyes to see, the shortcomings inherent in the Washington rules have become plainly evident. Although those most deeply invested in perpetuating its conventions will insist otherwise, the tradition to which Washington remains devoted has begun to unravel. Attempting to prolong its existence might serve Washington's interests, but it will not serve the interests of the American people.

Devising an alternative to the reigning national security paradigm will pose a daunting challenge—especially if Americans look to "Washington" for fresh thinking. Yet doing so has become essential. In one sense, the national security policies to which Washington so insistently adheres express what has long been the preferred American approach to engaging the world beyond our borders. That approach plays to America's presumed strong suit—since World War II, and especially since the end of the Cold War, thought to be military power. In another sense, this reliance on military might creates excuses for the United States to avoid serious engagement: Confidence in American arms has made it unnecessary to attend to what others might think or to consider how their aspirations might differ from our own.

In this way, the Washington rules reinforce American provincialism—a national trait for which the United States continues to pay dearly. The persistence of these rules has also provided an excuse to avoid serious self-engagement. From this perspective, confidence that the credo and the trinity will oblige others to accommodate themselves to America's needs or desires — whether for cheap oil, cheap credit, or cheap consumer goods—has allowed Washington to postpone or ignore problems demanding attention here at home.

Fixing Iraq or Afghanistan ends up taking precedence over fixing Cleveland and Detroit. Purporting to support the troops in their crusade to free the world obviates any obligation to assess the implications of how Americans themselves choose to exercise freedom. When Americans demonstrate a willingness to engage seriously with others, combined with the courage to engage seriously with themselves, then real education just might begin.

In their article ‘The American Century’ Has Plunged the World Into Crisis. What Happens Now?" Conn Hallinan and Leon Wofsy outlined important reasons  of the inevitability of the dominance of chicken hawks and jingoistic foreign policy in the USA political establishment:

June 22, 2015 | fpif.org

U.S. foreign policy is dangerous, undemocratic, and deeply out of sync with real global challenges. Is continuous war inevitable, or can we change course?

There’s something fundamentally wrong with U.S. foreign policy.

Despite glimmers of hope — a tentative nuclear agreement with Iran, for one, and a long-overdue thaw with Cuba — we’re locked into seemingly irresolvable conflicts in most regions of the world. They range from tensions with nuclear-armed powers like Russia and China to actual combat operations in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa.

Why? Has a state of perpetual warfare and conflict become inescapable? Or are we in a self-replicating cycle that reflects an inability — or unwillingness — to see the world as it actually is?

The United States is undergoing a historic transition in our relationship to the rest of the world, but this is neither acknowledged nor reflected in U.S. foreign policy. We still act as if our enormous military power, imperial alliances, and self-perceived moral superiority empower us to set the terms of “world order.”

While this illusion goes back to the end of World War II, it was the end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union that signaled the beginning of a self-proclaimed “American Century.” The idea that the United States had “won” the Cold War and now — as the world’s lone superpower — had the right or responsibility to order the world’s affairs led to a series of military adventures. It started with President Bill Clinton’s intervention in the Yugoslav civil war, continued on with George W. Bush’s disastrous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and can still be seen in the Obama administration’s own misadventures in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and beyond.

In each case, Washington chose war as the answer to enormously complex issues, ignoring the profound consequences for both foreign and domestic policy. Yet the world is very different from the assumptions that drive this impulsive interventionism.

It’s this disconnect that defines the current crisis.

Acknowledging New Realities

So what is it about the world that requires a change in our outlook? A few observations come to mind.

First, our preoccupation with conflicts in the Middle East — and to a significant extent, our tensions with Russia in Eastern Europe and with China in East Asia — distract us from the most compelling crises that threaten the future of humanity. Climate change and environmental perils have to be dealt with now and demand an unprecedented level of international collective action. That also holds for the resurgent danger of nuclear war.

Second, superpower military interventionism and far-flung acts of war have only intensified conflict, terror, and human suffering. There’s no short-term solution — especially by force — to the deep-seated problems that cause chaos, violence, and misery through much of the world.

Third, while any hope of curbing violence and mitigating the most urgent problems depends on international cooperation, old and disastrous intrigues over spheres of influence dominate the behavior of the major powers. Our own relentless pursuit of military advantage on every continent, including through alliances and proxies like NATO, divides the world into “friend” and “foe” according to our perceived interests. That inevitably inflames aggressive imperial rivalries and overrides common interests in the 21st century.

Fourth, while the United States remains a great economic power, economic and political influence is shifting and giving rise to national and regional centers no longer controlled by U.S.-dominated global financial structures. Away from Washington, London, and Berlin, alternative centers of economic power are taking hold in Beijing, New Delhi, Cape Town, and Brasilia. Independent formations and alliances are springing up: organizations like the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa); the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (representing 2.8 billion people); the Union of South American Nations; the Latin American trade bloc, Mercosur; and others.

Beyond the problems our delusions of grandeur have caused in the wider world, there are enormous domestic consequences of prolonged war and interventionism. We shell out over $1 trillion a year in military-related expenses even as our social safety net frays and our infrastructure crumbles. Democracy itself has become virtually dysfunctional.

Short Memories and Persistent Delusions

But instead of letting these changing circumstances and our repeated military failures give us pause, our government continues to act as if the United States has the power to dominate and dictate to the rest of the world.

The responsibility of those who set us on this course fades into background. Indeed, in light of the ongoing meltdown in the Middle East, leading presidential candidates are tapping neoconservatives like John Bolton and Paul Wolfowitz — who still think the answer to any foreign policy quandary is military power — for advice. Our leaders seem to forget that following this lot’s advice was exactly what caused the meltdown in the first place. War still excites them, risks and consequences be damned.

While the Obama administration has sought, with limited success, to end the major wars it inherited, our government makes wide use of killer drones in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, and has put troops back into Iraq to confront the religious fanaticism and brutality of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) — itself a direct consequence of the last U.S. invasion of Iraq. Reluctant to find common ground in the fight against ISIS with designated “foes” like Iran and Syria, Washington clings to allies like Saudi Arabia, whose leaders are fueling the crisis of religious fanaticism and internecine barbarity. Elsewhere, the U.S. also continues to give massive support to the Israeli government, despite its expanding occupation of the West Bank and its horrific recurring assaults on Gaza.

A “war first” policy in places like Iran and Syria is being strongly pushed by neoconservatives like former Vice President Dick Cheney and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain. Though it’s attempted to distance itself from the neocons, the Obama administration adds to tensions with planned military realignments like the “Asia pivot” aimed at building up U.S. military forces in Asia to confront China. It’s also taken a more aggressive position than even other NATO partners in fostering a new cold war with Russia.

We seem to have missed the point: There is no such thing as an “American Century.” International order cannot be enforced by a superpower alone. But never mind centuries — if we don’t learn to take our common interests more seriously than those that divide nations and breed the chronic danger of war, there may well be no tomorrows.

Unexceptionalism

There’s a powerful ideological delusion that any movement seeking to change U.S. foreign policy must confront: that U.S. culture is superior to anything else on the planet. Generally going by the name of “American exceptionalism,” it’s the deeply held belief that American politics (and medicine, technology, education, and so on) are better than those in other countries. Implicit in the belief is an evangelical urge to impose American ways of doing things on the rest of the world.

Americans, for instance, believe they have the best education system in the world, when in fact they’ve dropped from 1st place to 14th place in the number of college graduates. We’ve made students of higher education the most indebted section of our population, while falling to 17th place in international education ratings. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation, the average American pays more than twice as much for his or her education than those in the rest of the world.

Health care is an equally compelling example. In the World Health Organization’s ranking of health care systems in 2000, the United States was ranked 37th. In a more recent Institute of Medicine report in 2013, the U.S. was ranked the lowest among 17 developed nations studied.

The old anti-war slogan, “It will be a good day when schools get all the money they need and the Navy has to hold a bake sale to buy an aircraft carrier” is as appropriate today as it was in the 1960s. We prioritize corporate subsidies, tax cuts for the wealthy, and massive military budgets over education. The result is that Americans are no longer among the most educated in the world.

But challenging the “exceptionalism” myth courts the danger of being labeled “unpatriotic” and “un-American,” two powerful ideological sanctions that can effectively silence critical or questioning voices.

The fact that Americans consider their culture or ideology “superior” is hardly unique. But no other country in the world has the same level of economic and military power to enforce its worldview on others.

The United States did not simply support Kosovo’s independence, for example. It bombed Serbia into de facto acceptance. When the U.S. decided to remove the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Gaddafi from power, it just did so. No other country is capable of projecting that kind of force in regions thousands of miles from its borders.

The U.S. currently accounts for anywhere from 45 to 50 percent of the world’s military spending. It has hundreds of overseas bases, ranging from huge sprawling affairs like Camp Bond Steel in Kosovo and unsinkable aircraft carriers around the islands of Okinawa, Wake, Diego Garcia, and Guam to tiny bases called “lily pads” of pre-positioned military supplies. The late political scientist Chalmers Johnson estimated that the U.S. has some 800 bases worldwide, about the same as the British Empire had at its height in 1895.

The United States has long relied on a military arrow in its diplomatic quiver, and Americans have been at war almost continuously since the end of World War II. Some of these wars were major undertakings: Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq (twice), Libya. Some were quick “smash and grabs” like Panama and Grenada. Others are “shadow wars” waged by Special Forces, armed drones, and local proxies. If one defines the term “war” as the application of organized violence, the U.S. has engaged in close to 80 wars since 1945.

The Home Front

The coin of empire comes dear, as the old expression goes.

According Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, the final butcher bill for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars — including the long-term health problems of veterans — will cost U.S. taxpayers around $6 trillion. One can add to that the over $1 trillion the U.S. spends each year on defense-related items. The “official” defense budget of some half a trillion dollars doesn’t include such items as nuclear weapons, veterans’ benefits or retirement, the CIA and Homeland Security, nor the billions a year in interest we’ll be paying on the debt from the Afghan-Iraq wars. By 2013 the U.S. had already paid out $316 billion in interest.

The domestic collateral damage from that set of priorities is numbing.

We spend more on our “official” military budget than we do on Medicare, Medicaid, Health and Human Services, Education, and Housing and Urban Development combined. Since 9/11, we’ve spent $70 million an hour on “security” compared to $62 million an hour on all domestic programs.

As military expenditures dwarf funding for deteriorating social programs, they drive economic inequality. The poor and working millions are left further and further behind. Meanwhile the chronic problems highlighted at Ferguson, and reflected nationwide, are a horrific reminder of how deeply racism — the unequal economic and social divide and systemic abuse of black and Latino youth — continues to plague our homeland.

The state of ceaseless war has deeply damaged our democracy, bringing our surveillance and security state to levels that many dictators would envy. The Senate torture report, most of it still classified, shatters the trust we are asked to place in the secret, unaccountable apparatus that runs the most extensive Big Brother spy system ever devised.

Bombs and Business

President Calvin Coolidge was said to have remarked that “the business of America is business.” Unsurprisingly, U.S. corporate interests play a major role in American foreign policy.

Out of the top 10 international arms producers, eight are American. The arms industry spends millions lobbying Congress and state legislatures, and it defends its turf with an efficiency and vigor that its products don’t always emulate on the battlefield. The F-35 fighter-bomber, for example — the most expensive weapons system in U.S. history — will cost $1.5 trillion and doesn’t work. It’s over budget, dangerous to fly, and riddled with defects. And yet few lawmakers dare challenge the powerful corporations who have shoved this lemon down our throats.

Corporate interests are woven into the fabric of long-term U.S. strategic interests and goals. Both combine to try to control energy supplies, command strategic choke points through which oil and gas supplies transit, and ensure access to markets.

Many of these goals can be achieved with standard diplomacy or economic pressure, but the U.S. always reserves the right to use military force. The 1979 “Carter Doctrine” — a document that mirrors the 1823 Monroe Doctrine about American interests in Latin America — put that strategy in blunt terms vis-à-vis the Middle East:

 “An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”

It’s no less true in East Asia. The U.S. will certainly engage in peaceful economic competition with China. But if push comes to shove, the Third, Fifth, and Seventh fleets will back up the interests of Washington and its allies — Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Australia.

Trying to change the course of American foreign policy is not only essential for reducing international tensions. It’s critically important to shift the enormous wealth we expend in war and weapons toward alleviating growing inequality and social crises at home.

As long as competition for markets and accumulation of capital characterize modern society, nations will vie for spheres of influence, and antagonistic interests will be a fundamental feature of international relations. Chauvinist reaction to incursions real or imagined — and the impulse to respond by military means — is characteristic to some degree of every significant nation-state. Yet the more that some governments, including our own, become subordinate to oligarchic control, the greater is the peril.

Finding the Common Interest

These, however, are not the only factors that will shape the future.

There is nothing inevitable that rules out a significant change of direction, even if the demise or transformation of a capitalistic system of greed and exploitation is not at hand. The potential for change, especially in U.S. foreign policy, resides in how social movements here and abroad respond to the undeniable reality of: 1) the chronic failure, massive costs, and danger inherent in “American Century” exceptionalism; and 2) the urgency of international efforts to respond to climate change.

There is, as well, the necessity to respond to health and natural disasters aggravated by poverty, to rising messianic violence, and above all, to prevent a descent into war. This includes not only the danger of a clash between the major nuclear powers, but between regional powers. A nuclear exchange between Pakistan and India, for example, would affect the whole world.

Without underestimating the self-interest of forces that thrive on gambling with the future of humanity, historic experience and current reality elevate a powerful common interest in peace and survival. The need to change course is not something that can be recognized on only one side of an ideological divide. Nor does that recognition depend on national, ethnic, or religious identity. Rather, it demands acknowledging the enormous cost of plunging ahead as everything falls apart around us.

After the latest U.S. midterm elections, the political outlook is certainly bleak. But experience shows that elections, important as they are, are not necessarily indicators of when and how significant change can come about in matters of policy. On issues of civil rights and social equality, advances have occurred because a dedicated and persistent minority movement helped change public opinion in a way the political establishment could not defy.

The Vietnam War, for example, came to an end, despite the stubbornness of Democratic and Republican administrations, when a stalemate on the battlefield and growing international and domestic opposition could no longer be denied. Significant changes can come about even as the basic character of society is retained. Massive resistance and rejection of colonialism caused the British Empire and other colonial powers to adjust to a new reality after World War II. McCarthyism was eventually defeated in the United States. President Nixon was forced to resign. The use of landmines and cluster bombs has been greatly restricted because of the opposition of a small band of activists whose initial efforts were labeled “quixotic.”

There are diverse and growing political currents in our country that see the folly and danger of the course we’re on. Many Republicans, Democrats, independents, and libertarians — and much of the public — are beginning to say “enough” to war and military intervention all over the globe, and the folly of basing foreign policy on dividing countries into “friend or foe.”

This is not to be Pollyannaish about anti-war sentiment, or how quickly people can be stampeded into supporting the use of force. In early 2014, some 57 percent of Americans agreed that “over-reliance on military force creates more hatred leading to increased terrorism.” Only 37 percent believed military force was the way to go. But once the hysteria around the Islamic State began, those numbers shifted to pretty much an even split: 47 percent supported the use of military force, 46 percent opposed it.

It will always be necessary in each new crisis to counter those who mislead and browbeat the public into acceptance of another military intervention. But in spite of the current hysterics about ISIS, disillusionment in war as an answer is probably greater now among Americans and worldwide than it has ever been. That sentiment may prove strong enough to produce a shift away from perpetual war, a shift toward some modesty and common-sense realism in U.S. foreign policy.

Making Space for the Unexpected

Given that there is a need for a new approach, how can American foreign policy be changed?

Foremost, there is the need for a real debate on the thrust of a U.S. foreign policy that chooses negotiation, diplomacy, and international cooperation over the use of force.

However, as we approach another presidential election, there is as yet no strong voice among the candidates to challenge U.S. foreign policy. Fear and questionable political calculation keep even most progressive politicians from daring to dissent as the crisis of foreign policy lurches further into perpetual militarism and war. That silence of political acquiescence has to be broken.

Nor is it a matter of concern only on the left. There are many Americans — right, left, or neither — who sense the futility of the course we’re on. These voices have to be represented or the election process will be even more of a sham than we’ve recently experienced.

One can’t predict just what initiatives may take hold, but the recent U.S.-China climate agreement suggests that necessity can override significant obstacles. That accord is an important step forward, although a limited bilateral pact cannot substitute for an essential international climate treaty. There is a glimmer of hope also in the U.S.-Russian joint action that removed chemical weapons from Syria, and in negotiations with Iran, which continue despite fierce opposition from U.S. hawks and the Israeli government. More recently, there is Obama’s bold move — long overdue — to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. Despite shifts in political fortunes, the unexpected can happen if there is a need and strong enough pressure to create an opportunity.

We do not claim to have ready-made solutions to the worsening crisis in international relations. We are certain that there is much we’ve missed or underestimated. But if readers agree that U.S. foreign policy has a national and global impact, and that it is not carried out in the interests of the majority of the world’s people, including our own, then we ask you to join this conversation.

If we are to expand the ability of the people to influence foreign policy, we need to defend democracy, and encourage dissent and alternative ideas. The threats to the world and to ourselves are so great that finding common ground trumps any particular interest. We also know that we won’t all agree with each other, and we believe that is as it should be. There are multiple paths to the future. No coalition around changing foreign policy will be successful if it tells people to conform to any one pattern of political action.

So how does the call for changing course translate to something politically viable, and how do we consider the problem of power?

The power to make significant changes in policy ranges from the persistence of peace activists to the potential influence of the general public. In some circumstances, it becomes possible — as well as necessary — to make significant changes in the power structure itself.

Greece comes to mind. Greek left organizations came together to form Syriza, the political party that was successfully elected to power on a platform of ending austerity. Spain’s anti-austerity Podemos Party — now the number-two party in the country — came out of massive demonstrations in 2011 and was organized from the grassroots up. We do not argue one approach over the over, but the experiences in both countries demonstrate that there are multiple paths to generating change.

Certainly progressives and leftists grapple with the problems of power. But progress on issues, particularly in matters like war and peace and climate change, shouldn’t be conceived of as dependent on first achieving general solutions to the problems of society, however desirable.

... ... ...

Conn Hallinan is a journalist and a columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus. His writings appear online at Dispatches From the Edge. Leon Wofsy is a retired biology professor and long-time political activist. His comments on current affairs appear online at Leon’s OpEd.

Another useful review is from  Gerard De Groot -- Andrew Bacevich's Washington Rules and John Dower's Cultures of War  Here are some highlights:

"...These rules have pushed the United States to a state of perpetual war. With enemies supposedly everywhere, the pursuit of security has become open-ended. "
"...One is reminded of John Winthrop, who, in 1630, told the future residents of Massachusetts Bay Colony: "We shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us." Over subsequent decades, Winthrop's sermon became the American mission, fired by self-righteousness and fueled by self-confidence. From that mission emerged the idea of Manifest Destiny -- American ideals should spread across the continent and around the globe. Along the way, Americans lost sight of what Winthrop actually meant. His words were both inspiration and warning: Aspire to greatness, but remain honorable. Power lies in virtue. Winthrop envisaged a shining beacon, worthy of emulation. He saw no need to come down from the hill and ram ideals down the throats of the recalcitrant. "
"...Back in 1963, the Kennedy administration was faced with a steadily disintegrating situation in Vietnam. At a turbulent cabinet meeting, Attorney General Robert Kennedy asked: If the situation is so dire, why not withdraw? Arthur Schlesinger, present at the meeting, noted how "the question hovered for a moment, then died away." It was "a hopelessly alien thought in a field of unexplored assumptions and entrenched convictions." The Washington rules kept the United States on a steady course toward disaster. "
"...Barack Obama once promised that change was coming, but then quickly adhered to the old rules by escalating an unwinnable and certainly unaffordable war in Afghanistan. Failures, as Steffens hoped, have been illuminating, but after each flash of light, darkness has prevailed. "
September 12, 2010 | washingtonpost.com

WASHINGTON RULES: America's Path to Permanent War

This Story

By Andrew J. Bacevich

Metropolitan. 286 pp. $25

CULTURES OF WAR

Pearl Harbor/Hiroshima/9-11/Iraq

By John W. Dower

Norton. 596 pp. $29.95

"We need some great failures," the muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens wrote in his autobiography. "Especially we ever-successful Americans -- conscious, intelligent, illuminating failures." What Steffens meant was that a people confident in righteousness need occasionally to be reminded of their fallibility. The past 50 years have produced failures aplenty -- the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam and Iraq among them. Unfortunately, as Andrew Bacevich and John Dower demonstrate, the light of failure has not penetrated the darkness of delusion. As a result, wars provide a repeating rhythm of folly.

"Washington Rules" and "Cultures of War" are two excellent books made better by the coincidence of their publication. In complementary fashion, they provide a convincing critique of America's conduct of war since 1941. Steffens would have liked these books, specifically for the way they use past failures to explain the provenance of our current predicament.

Read "Cultures of War" first. It's not an easy book, but it is consistently perceptive. Dower examines Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, Sept. 11 and the second Iraq War, drawing disconcerting linkages. Pearl Harbor and Iraq, he feels, demonstrate how otherwise intelligent leaders are drawn toward strategic imbecility. Both attacks were brilliantly executed in the short term, but neither paid sufficient attention to the long-term problem of winning a war. More controversially, Dower pairs Hiroshima with Sept. 11, both acts of terror born of moral certitude. Osama bin Laden and Harry Truman justified wanton killing with essentially the same Manichean rhetoric. Motives, context and scale might have been different; methods were not. For both leaders, the ability to separate good from evil made killing easy.

In 1941, Americans drew comfort from the stereotype of the irrational Oriental. They assumed that the Japanese would be easily defeated because they were illogical -- as their attack upon Pearl Harbor proved. That attack was indeed illogical (given the impossibility of defeating the United States in a protracted war), but it was not peculiarly Japanese. As Dower reveals, the wishful thinking, delusion and herd behavior within the court of Emperor Hirohito was a symptom of war, not ethnicity. The same deficiencies, in 2003, convinced those in the Oval Office that invading Iraq was a good idea.

Since the culture of war encourages patterned behavior, folly proliferates. This is the essence of the Washington rules that Bacevich elucidates. The rules dictate that protection of the American way of life necessitates a global military presence and a willingness to intervene anywhere. Power and violence are cleansed by virtue: Because America is "good," her actions are always benign. These rules have pushed the United States to a state of perpetual war. With enemies supposedly everywhere, the pursuit of security has become open-ended.

The alternative, according to Bacevich, is not isolationism or appeasement, two politically loaded words frequently used to pummel those who object to Washington's behavior. He advocates, instead, a more level-headed assessment of danger, advice all the more cogent since it comes from a former soldier. Iraq and Afghanistan did not threaten America; in fact, those countries and the world have become more dangerous because of heavy-handed American intervention. Nor does North Korea pose a threat. Nor did Vietnam.

One is reminded of John Winthrop, who, in 1630, told the future residents of Massachusetts Bay Colony: "We shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us." Over subsequent decades, Winthrop's sermon became the American mission, fired by self-righteousness and fueled by self-confidence. From that mission emerged the idea of Manifest Destiny -- American ideals should spread across the continent and around the globe. Along the way, Americans lost sight of what Winthrop actually meant. His words were both inspiration and warning: Aspire to greatness, but remain honorable. Power lies in virtue. Winthrop envisaged a shining beacon, worthy of emulation. He saw no need to come down from the hill and ram ideals down the throats of the recalcitrant.

The power of virtue is Bacevich's most profound message. Instead of trying to fix Afghanistan's Helmand Province, he insists, Americans should fix Detroit and Cleveland. Instead of attempting to export notions of freedom and democracy to nations that lack experience of either, America should demonstrate, by her actions, that she is still a free, democratic and humane nation. Her real strength lies in her liberal tradition, not in her ability to kill.

Back in 1963, the Kennedy administration was faced with a steadily disintegrating situation in Vietnam. At a turbulent cabinet meeting, Attorney General Robert Kennedy asked: If the situation is so dire, why not withdraw? Arthur Schlesinger, present at the meeting, noted how "the question hovered for a moment, then died away." It was "a hopelessly alien thought in a field of unexplored assumptions and entrenched convictions." The Washington rules kept the United States on a steady course toward disaster.

Those unexplored assumptions and entrenched convictions have now pushed the United States into a new quagmire. Despite that predicament, both Dower and Bacevich try to end positively. "If change is to come, it must come from the people," argues Bacevich. Dower agrees. But these feeble attempts at optimism are the least convincing parts of two otherwise brilliant books. Barack Obama once promised that change was coming, but then quickly adhered to the old rules by escalating an unwinnable and certainly unaffordable war in Afghanistan. Failures, as Steffens hoped, have been illuminating, but after each flash of light, darkness has prevailed.

Gerard De Groot is a professor of history at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and author of "The Bomb: A Life."

 Andrew Feldman review (Review Washington Rules - FPIF)

Army-officer-turned professor Andrew Bacevich makes the realist case against American expansionism.

By Andrew Feldman, August 26, 2010.

Print

For his first 40 years, Andrew Bacevich lived the conventional life of an army officer. In the military world where success depended on conformity, he followed the rules and “took comfort in orthodoxy…[finding] assurance in conventional wisdom.” Comfort, that is, until he had a chance to peer behind the Iron Curtain, and was shocked to find East Germany more third-world shambles than first-rate threat.

That experience, combined with the introspection that followed his subsequent retirement from the army, led Bacevich to reevaluate the relationship between truth and power. After having taken his superiors at their word for decades, he slowly came to understand “that authentic truth is never simple and that any version of truth handed down from on high…is inherently suspect. The exercise of power necessarily involves manipulation and is antithetical to candor.”

Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War is Bacevich’s fourth book on the subject of American exercise of power. This time, he takes up the question of the political calculations that have produced the basic tenets of American foreign policy since the beginning of the Cold War, examining how and why they came to exist and to survive all challenges to their supremacy.

Bacevich describes two components that define U.S. foreign policy.

These rules, Bacevich argues, are no longer vital to the existence of the United States, and have led to actions that threaten to break the army and bankrupt the treasury. Rather, they are kept in place by individuals who derive personal benefit from their continuance. Bacevich does not hesitate to blame a Washington class that “clings to its credo and trinity not out of necessity, but out of parochial self-interest laced with inertia.”

This is a theme that runs throughout the book: that those who make the rules also benefit from them, and thus their demands should always be regarded skeptically.

While abstaining from questioning the patriotism of past leaders, Bacevich is not reluctant to point out how many policies that were later widely embraced were originally trumpeted by ambitious men who had as much to gain personally by their acceptance as did the country:

The story of foreign policy, then, is not so much different than any government bureaucracy through which vast sums of money flow, and is driven as much by officials jockeying for status than by genuine concern for policy outcomes. Whether in disputes between the Army and the Air Force or the Pentagon and the White House, and whether over money or over purpose, different sectors of the national security establishment propose and promote new doctrines that necessitate increasing their budgets and enhancing their importance.

But Bacevich is not content to only blame leaders. In contrast to George Washington’s ideal of the citizen who would consider it his duty to actively serve his country, Bacevich finds today’s Americans “greedy and gullible,” pursuing personal gain in the stead of collective benefit. Any solution, he argues, must come from an awakened people who demand change from the people they put in office.

As for what that change should look like, Bacevich proposes a new credo and trinity. As a new mission statement, he offers: “America’s purpose is to be America, striving to fulfill the aspirations expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as reinterpreted with the passage of time and in light of hard-earned experience.”

As a new trinity, he suggests that “the purpose of the U.S, military is not to combat evil or remake the world but to defend the United States and its most vital interests…the primary duty station of the American soldier is in America…consistent with the Just War tradition, the United States should employ force only as a last resort and only in self defense.”

Bacevich writes in the short, clipped style with which he also speaks, presumably a legacy of his West Point education and decades in the military. His style allows for easy comprehension and neat packaging of his ideas, and readers will not get bogged down in flowery language.

Parts of Bacevich’s thinking require further scrutiny and remind readers of his self-identification as a conservative (lowercase “c”). Economically, he is no fan of stimulus spending, and socially he places blame on individual failings and personal flaws, choosing not to mention an unequal economic system that leaves tens of millions of Americans with barely the resources to take care of their families, much less have time to be informed and active citizens.

In fact, the emphasis throughout the book is on the fact that expansionism, at this particular moment, is not wrong but impossible. Bacevich is, after all, a realist when it comes to international relations theory, and though he happens to agree with liberal anti-imperials on many issues, it is often for different reasons.

However, debates over theory can wait for when the republic is in less immediate peril. This is the second work Bacevich has published under the auspices of the American Empire Project, a book series documenting America’s imperial adventures and their disastrous consequences. The contribution of conservative authors to this task is vital. They remind us that opposition to imperialism is hardly just a liberal cause, and in fact for much of American history was actually a rallying point for conservatives across the country.

Washington Rules is valuable for putting in print what those inside the military establishment don’t dare admit: that, even aside from moral concerns, U.S. international strategy is neither successful nor sustainable and maintained more by lies than by actual results. Bacevich can truly be said to be a realist in that he understand that leaders, when faced with the choice of admitting failure or lying, will almost always choose the latter.

Andrew Feldman is an intern with Foreign Policy In Focus.

 

The Limits of Power The End of American Exceptionalism

Here is one Amazon reader review of he first book (Amazon.com David R. Cook Dave Cook's review of The Limits of Power The End of American E...)

Cliche or not, this is a "Must Read" book

By David R. Cook on August 15, 2008

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

This is the bluntest, toughest, most scathing critique of American imperialism as it has become totally unmoored after the demise of the Soviet Communist empire and taken to a new level by the Bush administration. Even the brevity of this book - 182 pages - gives it a particular wallop since every page "concentrates the mind".

In the event a reader knows of the prophetic work of the American theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr, you will further appreciate this book. Bacevich is a Niebuhr scholar and this book essentially channels Niebuhr's prophetic warnings from his 1952 book, "The Irony of American History". The latter has just been reissued by University of Chicago Press thanks to Andrew Bacevich who also contributed an introduction.

In essence, American idealism as particularly reflected in Bush's illusory goal to "rid the world of evil" and to bring freedom and democracy to the Middle East or wherever people are being tyrannized, is doomed to failure by the tides of history. Niebuhr warned against this and Bacevich updates the history from the Cold War to the present. Now our problems have reached crisis proportions and Bacevich focuses on the three essential elements of the crisis: American profligacy; the political debasing of government; and the crisis in the military.

What renders Bacevich's critique particularly stinging, aside from the historical context he gives it (Bush has simply taken an enduring American exceptionalism to a new level), is that he lays these problems on the doorstep of American citizens. It is we who have elected the governments that have driven us toward near collapse. It is we who have participated willingly in the consumption frenzy in which both individual citizens and the government live beyond their means. Credit card debt is undermining both government and citizenry.

This pathway is unsustainable and this book serves up a direct and meaningful warning to this effect. Niebuhrian "realism" sees through the illusions that fuel our own individual behavior and that of our government. There are limits to American power and limits to our own individual living standards and, of course, there are limits to what the globe can sustain as is becoming evident from climate changes.

American exceptionalism is coming to an end and it will be painful for both individual citizens and our democracy and government to get beyond it. But we have no choice. Things will get worse before they get better. Bacevich suggests some of the basic ways that we need to go to reverse the path to folly. He holds out no illusions that one political party or the other, one presidential candidate or the other, has the will or the leadership qualities to change directions. It is up to American citizens to demand different policies as well as to govern our own appetites.

While this is a sobering book, it is not warning of doomsday. Our worst problems are essentially of our own making and we can begin to unmake them. But we first have to come to terms with our own exceptionalism. We cannot manage history and there are no real global problems that can be solved by military means, or certainly not by military means alone.

Without Exception
By Edwin C. Pauzer VINE VOICE on September 24, 2008

This is one of those books you might find yourself sitting down to read chapter and verse over and over again, only because the writing is so intelligent and so profound. "The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism," by Andrew Bacevich, is one of those works that will enthrall the reader with its insight and analysis.

According to the author, the US has reached its limit to project its power in the world. His rationale for this conclusion are three central crises we now face: economic and cultural, political, and military, all of which are our own making.

The first crisis is one of profligacy. Americans want more, whether it is wealth, credit, markets, or oil, without consideration for cost or how these things are acquired. There is complete apathy in what policies are being produced as long as they provide plenty.

The political crisis was born of our mobilization in World War II to meet the threat of tyranny, and from the Cold War to meet the challenge of the Soviet Union. Both gave rise to unprecedented presidential power, an ineffectual Congress, and a disastrous foreign policy. Bacevich contends that our legislature no longer serves their constituents or the common good "but themselves through gerrymandering, doling out prodigious amounts of political pork, seeing to the protection of certain vested interests" with the paramount concern of being re-elected. Our presidents have been willing accomplices in keeping the American dream or greed alive by using our military as part of a coercive diplomatic tool to feed and fuel the first crisis.

Bacevich traces the end of the republic to the start of both wars, which gave rise to the "ideology of national security." The mission of the new Department of Defense is not defense, but to project power globally where we will view any nation as a threat that tries to match us in military might. At the same time, the largest intelligence agencies in the world are created to afford us more security, but after seventy years are unable to defend our cities and buildings in the US while it worries about intrigues worldwide. Competition and rivalry lead to a lack of cooperation, intelligence, and security when it was needed most.

The third crisis is our military which has been employed to satisfy the neuroses of the first and second crises. The author puts much of the blame squarely at the feet of inept military leadership, which he believes has confused strategy with operations. Content with the resilience of the American fighting man or woman, he is scathing in his critique of their leadership finding them "guilty of flagrant professional malpractice, if not outright fraud." He illustrates how improvised explosive devices that cost no more than a pizza have checked a military that is designed for speed and maneuver--that was considered invincible.

Andrew Bacevich contends that nothing will change as long as Americans are told to go to Disney World instead of making sacrifices, as long as the same one half percent of our population continue to populate the military that the president sees as his personal army, as long as an apathetic public and an ineffectual Congress continue to make periodic, grand gestures of curbing presidential power, the United States will have reached the limits of its power and exceptionalism.

This book profoundly moved me, and I was impressed by the insight that Professor Bacevich could bring in such few pages. Passages of this book should be plastered in the halls and offices of Congress, as well as the West Wing.

This book really stands out as a jewel in a sea of mediocre publications by radio and TV personalities who think they know what they are talking about when it comes to economics or geopolitics. The difference is that Andrew Bacevich does

--without exception.

Also Recommended:

The New American Militarism

There are several very insightful reviews of Bacevich latest book The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (2005) on Amazon. I strongly recommend to read them.

Bacevich argues that the new militarism came about because of a convergence of several social forces (and as such has significant social base):

For your convenience some of  them which I judge to be the most insightful are reproduced below:

Andrew J. Bacevich's The New American Militarism: How Americans Are seduced By War, Oxford University Press, New York, 2005, ISBN 0-19-517338-4, is the most coherent analysis of how America has come to its present situation in the world that I have ever read. Bacevich, Professor of International Relations and Director of the Center for International Relations at Boston University, is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and holds a Ph.D. in history from Princeton. And he is retired military officer. This background makes him almost uniquely qualified to comment on the subject.

Bacevich admits to an outlook of moderate conservatism. But in ascribing fault for our plight to virtually every administration since W.W. II, he is even handed and clear eyed. Since he served in the military, he understands the natural bureaucratic instincts of the best of the officer corps and is not blinded by the almost messianic status that they have achieved in the recent past.

His broad brush includes the classic period, the American Revolution - especially the impact of George Washington, but he moves quickly to the influence of Woodrow Wilson and his direct descendants of our time, the Neoconservatives. The narrative accelerates and becomes relevant for us in the depths of the despair of Vietnam. At that juncture, neocon intellectuals awakened to the horror that without a new day for our military and foreign policy, the future of America would be at stake. At almost the same time, Evangelical Christians abandoned their traditional role in society and came to views not dissimilar to the neocons. America had to get back on track to both power and goodness. The results of Vietnam on American culture, society, and - especially - values were abhorrent to both these groups.

The perfect man to idealize and mythologize America's road back was Ronald Reagan. Again, Bacevich does not shrink from seeing through the surreal qualities brought to the Oval Office by Reagan to the realities beneath them. The Great Communicator transformed the Vietnam experience into an abandonment of American ideals and reacquainted America with those who fought that horrible war. Pop culture of the period, including motion pictures such as Top Gun and best selling novels by many, including Tom Clancy completely rehabilitated the image of the military.

The author describes how Evangelical leaders came to find common cause with the neocons and provided the political muscle for Reagan and his successors of both parties to discover that the projection of military might become a reason for being for America as the last century closed.

One of his major points is that the all volunteer force that resulted from the Vietnam experience has been divorced from American life and that sending this force of ghosts into battle has little impact on our collective psyche. This, too, fit in with the intellectual throw weight of the neocons and the political power of the Evangelicals.

Separate from but related to the neocons, Bacevich describes the loss of strategic input by the military in favor of a new priesthood of intellectual elites from institutions such as the RAND Corporation, The University of Chicago and many others. It was these high priests who saw the potential that technology provided for changing the nature of war itself and how American power might be projected with `smart weapons' that could be the equivalent of the nuclear force that could never be used.

So it was that when the war we are now embroiled in across the globe - which has its antecedents back more than twenty years - all of these forces weighed heavily on the military leaders to start using the force we'd bought them. The famed question by Secretary of State Madeline Albright to General Colin Powell: "What's the point of having this superb military that you're always talking about if we can't use it?" had to have an answer and the skirmishes and wars since tended to provide it.

Bacevich clearly links our present predicaments both at home and abroad to the ever greater need for natural resources, especially oil from the Persian Gulf. He demolishes all of the reasons for our bellicosity based on ideals and links it directly to our insatiable appetite for oil and economic expansion. Naturally, like thousands of writers before him, he points out the need for a national energy policy based on more effective use of resources and alternative means of production.

It is in his prescriptions that the book tends to drift. The Congress must do its constitutionally mandated jobs or be thrown out by the people. Some of his ideas on military education are creative and might well close the gap between the officer corps and civilians that he points to as a great problem.

But it is the clearly written analysis that makes this book shine. It should be a must read for those who wonder how we got to Iraq and where we might be heading as a society. The nation is in grave danger, and this is a book that that shows how we got to this juncture. Where we go from here is up to us. If we continue as we are, our options may narrow and be provided by others.

READ THIS BOOK

===This review is from: The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (Hardcover)

In his book The New American Militarism (2005), Andrew Bacevich desacralizes our idolatrous infatuation with military might, but in a way that avoids the partisan cant of both the left and the right that belies so much discourse today. Bacevich's personal experiences and professional expertise lend his book an air of authenticity that I found compelling. A veteran of Vietnam and subsequently a career officer, a graduate of West Point and later Princeton where he earned a PhD in history, director of Boston University's Center for International Relations, he describes himself as a cultural conservative who views mainstream liberalism with skepticism, but who also is a person whose "disenchantment with what passes for mainstream conservatism, embodied in the present Bush administration and its groupies, is just about absolute." Finally, he identifies himself as a "conservative Catholic." Idolizing militarism, Bacevich insists, is far more complex, broader and deeper than scape-goating either political party, accusing people of malicious intent or dishonorable motives, demonizing ideological fanatics as conspirators, or replacing a given administration. Not merely the state or the government, but society at large, is enthralled with all things military.

Our military idolatry, Bacevich believes, is now so comprehensive and beguiling that it "pervades our national consciousness and perverts our national policies." We have normalized war, romanticized military life that formally was deemed degrading and inhuman, measured our national greatness in terms of military superiority, and harbor naive, unlimited expectations about how waging war, long considered a tragic last resort that signaled failure, can further our national self-interests. Utilizing a "military metaphysic" to justify our misguided ambitions to recreate the world in our own image, with ideals that we imagine are universal, has taken about thirty years to emerge in its present form. It is this marriage between utopians ends and military means that Bacevich wants to annul.

How have we come to idolize military might with such uncritical devotion? He likens it to pollution: "the perhaps unintended, but foreseeable by-product of prior choices and decisions made without taking fully into account the full range of costs likely to be incurred" (p. 206). In successive chapters he analyzes six elements of this toxic condition that combined in an incremental and cumulative fashion.

  1. After the humiliation of Vietnam, an "unmitigated disaster" in his view, the military set about to rehabilitate and reinvent itself, both in image and substance. With the All Volunteer Force, we moved from a military comprised of citizen-soldiers that were broadly representative of all society to a professional warrior caste that by design isolated itself from broader society and that by default employed a disproportionate percentage of enlistees from the lowest socio-economic class. War-making was thus done for us, by a few of us, not by all of us.
  2. Second, the rise of the neo-conservative movement embraced American Exceptionalism as our national end and superior coercive force as the means to franchise it around the world.
  3. Myth-making about warfare sentimentalized, sanitized and fictionalized war. The film Top Gun is only one example of "a glittering new image of warfare."
  4. Fourth, without the wholehearted complicity of conservative evangelicalism, militarism would have been "inconceivable," a tragic irony when you consider that the most "Christian" nation on earth did far less to question this trend than many ostensibly "secular" nations.
  5. Fifth, during the years of nuclear proliferation and the fears of mutually assured destruction, a "priesthood" of elite defense analysts pushed for what became known as the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). RMA pushed the idea of "limited" and more humane war using game theory models and technological advances with euphemisms like "clean" and "smart" bombs. But here too our "exuberance created expectations that became increasingly uncoupled from reality," as the current Iraq debacle demonstrates.
  6. Finally, despite knowing full well that dependence upon Arab oil made us vulnerable to the geo-political maelstroms of that region, we have continued to treat the Persian Gulf as a cheap gas station. How to insure our Arab oil supply, protect Saudi Arabia, and serve as Israel's most important protector has always constituted a squaring of the circle. Sordid and expedient self interest, our "pursuit of happiness ever more expansively defined," was only later joined by more lofty rhetoric about exporting universal ideals like democracy and free markets, or, rather, the latter have only been a (misguided) means to secure the former.

Bacevich opens and closes with quotes from our Founding Fathers. In 1795, James Madison warned that "of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other." Similarly, late in his life George Washington warned the country of "those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hotile to republican liberty."

K. Johnson:

 Relevant and Objective, January 3, 2007

Author Andrew Bacevich has superb credentials on military, diplomatic, and historical issues. A Vietnam Veteran, 25+ year career in the Army and now professor of International Relations, Bacevich is one of the few that has the experience *and* knowledge to dissect what has been occurring in American socio-political culture and society for the last several decades. Bacevich notes the current focus on the military to solve the world's problems and to promote America's interests is not the sole work of a President and Congress, but the combination of culture, mentality, political, and now primarily economic, interests. This book has tons of footnoting, which allows you to delve further into these issues on your own.

The author astutely reinforces the fact that the Militarist Mentality won't change, regardless of which political party is in control of the Executive and Houses of Congress in the United States. Here only some examples out of many:

Entry of the U.S. military into the Middle East:

THE CARTER DOCTRINE:

The Carter Doctrine was prescribed at the State of the Union Address in 1980. Another civilian prescription utilizing the military as medicine to alleviate and even cure, political symptoms. This Doctrine began a new era of U.S. involvement in the Middle East, specifically using the American military to enforce its economic interests and lifestyle dependence on oil. The Carter Doctrine was a major shift in American foreign policy in the Middle East. It specifically stated that use of the military can and will be used to enforce U.S. economic interests.

At his State of the Union Address, Carter stated:

"Any attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be declared as an assault on the vital interest of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force" (p. 181).

Worth noting is that the Carter Doctrine was declared during the Cold War, when there was a adversary to check U.S interests. Today, that rival is gone.

Some argue the so-called 'War on Terror' is merely a historical continuation of American foreign policy interests in using its military to promote its geo-political and economic interests.

WAR AS SPECTATOR SPORT:

War has been, and now is presented as a spectacle. No different than a spectator sport. Live reports, video display, and laymen presentations of new technology, usually via video, to the civilian public at press conferences.

One example of many are current U.S. newspaper reports: they don't use the term "wounded" when reporting about American soldiers in Iraq. They use the euphemistic term, "injured." "17 Iraqis 'wounded' and 3 American soldiers 'injured.'" Similar to a football game. Slogans such as "Shock and Awe, Support the Troops," and deck of cards identifying the most wanted Baath party members. "Freedom is not Free." Many American military personel (and civilians) have internalized this propaganda.

Using Hollywood To Enhance "Honor" and perpetuate myths:

Bacevich carefully details the planned and choreographed footage of George W. Bush dressed as a fighter pilot on the USS Abraham Lincoln. This was intentionally and specifically lifted from the movie "Top Gun." Immediately after this planned footage, an action figure doll was created and sold for $39.99. It was called the "Elite Force Aviator: George W. Bush: U.S. President and Naval Aviator" (p. 31).

Well-dressed, handsome, and beautiful anchors report about the war in such series as "The Week in War." More simulation of the spectator sport of war in our pop culture. One segment in the "Week in War program" is called "The Fallen," where the photo of a soldier, his name, age, and hometown are presented, and the date of his death. Then the cameramen go to his family's home. Often a family picture of the "fallen soldier" is shown. Then, an interview with the somber, and at times tearful family in their living room, sitting on their couch: "He was a good kid. He always wanted to help people."

The "Fallen" is related to a concept that the Germans began about 300 years ago. This concept is called the "Cult of the Fallen Soldier." When a soldier is killed in war he is elevated to a higher status because of his death. He is placed on a pedestal, because somehow, and in some enigmatic way, he "sacrificed" for a noble cause that is often abstract or confusing to the public. To further simplify the confusion and sullenness resulting from the soldier's death, religion is often injected into the deceased soldiers elevation on a pedestal. You can see this Cult of the Fallen Soldier in Arlington, Virgina today, and in many military cemeteries around the world.

GLORIFICATION OF THE MILITARY THROUGH MOVIES:

Bacevich notes moves and their role. "Top Gun" had a tremendous impact in many ways. Pop culture, and Navy recruiting sky-rocketing. As for the flurry of "Vietnam war movies," again the noble concepts of "courage, honor, fear, triumph" are latently and explicitly reinforced to the public of all ages and socio-economic levels.

It took me a chapter or two to get used to Bacevich's writing style, but I grew to like it.

Chapters: 1) Wilsonians Under Arms 2) The Military Professions at Bay 3) Left, Right, Center 4) California Dreaming 5) Onward 6) War Club 7) Blood for Oil 8) Common Defense

"Support" for the military is often incorrectly linked with one's "patriotism." This faulty thinking is perpetuated by the electronic and print media in often subtle forms but extremely effective forms, and at times very explicit and in aggressive manners. The government intentionally steers the publics' focus to the 'Military aspects of war' to avoid attention to the more realistic and vital 'political aspects.' The latter being at the real heart of the motivation, manner, and outcome of most *political* conflicts.

Bacevich notes journalists: journalist Thomas Friedman complained that a Super Bowl half-time show did not honor the "troops." He then drove to the Command Center to visit and speak with the "troops." Soon after, he carried on with his own self-centered interests, like everyone else.

The military in and of itself is not dangerous nor pernicious. The military doesn't formulate foreign policy. The military just implements it, carrying out the orders and instructions of elitist civilians who have never served in the armed forces. It's not the military nor the men and women serving in it, we must be wary of. It's the civilians masters with vested interests in the governmental and corporate world who must be held accountable.

General Creighton Abrams wanted to diminish the influence of civilian control over the military after Vietnam. Civilians and politicians were making military decisions. It seems the situation is similar in 2007. Chairman of the JCS Peter Pace sounds political. History will be the judge.

This is a very insightful book for those interested in recent history as well as the current situation the United States is in. The troops should be supported for what they do. Because unfortunately they are the ones that pay the price for elitist decisions made by upper-class civilians from the Ivy League cliques that run the U.S. politically and economically.

Highly recommended and relevant to our contemporary times and our future.

Andrew Bacevich did excellent research and writing in this book. I'll think we'll be hearing a lot more of him. Hopefully He'll get more access to the public. If - the mainstream media allows it.

Robert S. Frey
An Informed, Insightful, and Highly Readable Account of American Foreign Policy Today, December 23, 2006

Andrew J. Bacevich's "The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War," should be read and considered carefully by every member of the national political leadership in the United States as well as by adult Americans in general. Bacevich brings impeccable credentials to his work in this book--professor of history and international relations at Boston University, West Point graduate, and veteran of the Vietnam conflict. His writing is engaging, insightful, and historically well anchored. Importantly, this work is highly accessible and eminently readable. The level of documentation is very valuable as well. Finally, the book is not about fault-finding and finger-pointing toward any one national figure or group.

What I found most beneficial was that the book presented well-argued alternative historical "meta-narratives" that are much more closely aligned with post-World War II historical events and processes than the ones currently accepted as "conventional wisdom." A case in point is the periodization of World War IV beginning with President Carter's pronouncements regarding the Persian Gulf area in 1980 rather than with the terrorist attacks on America on 9/11. "The New American Militarism" carefully and credibly brings together the many seemingly disparate actions, decisions, and events of the past 60+ years (e.g., the atomic bombing of Japan, Vietnam, oil shortages of the 1970s and 80s, the end of the Cold War, the First Gulf War, etc.) and illustrates important patterns and trends that help to explain why United States' foreign policy is what it is today. Dr. Bacevich's book helps us understand and appreciate that the global projection of American military power today has deep roots in the national decisions and behaviors of the second half of the twentieth century.

Robert S. Frey, M.A., MBA, MSM
Adjunct Professor, History
Brenau University

Dr. Lee D. Carlson

Interesting, insightful, and motivating, October 21, 2006

Why is it that some people, including this reviewer, are reluctant to criticize the writings or verbalizations of those Americans that have been or are currently in the military? This is particularly true for those officers and soldiers who have served in combat. To be critical of someone is who has faced such horror would be a sacrilege. Their opinions on subjects, especially those related to war and the military, are given much higher weight than those that have never been in the military. What is the origin of this extreme bias and does it not thwart attempts to get at the truth in matters of war and politics? If a war is illegal or immoral, are not the soldiers who participate in it themselves war criminals, deserving the severest condemnation?

The author of this book sheds light on these questions and gives many more interesting opinions on what he has called the 'new American militarism.' If one examines carefully American history, it is fair to say that Americans have been reluctant to go to war, preferring instead to settle conflicts via negotiation and trade agreements. Americans have been led to the horrors of war kicking and screaming, and breath a sigh of relief when they are over. Historically, Americans have applied extreme skepticism to those politicians, like Woodrow Wilson, who wanted to participate in World War I to make the world "safe for democracy." So if Americans are "seduced by war", as the author contends they have been in recent decades, an explanation must be found. It is tempting to say that they have been merely "brainwashed", and contemporary neuroscience lends some credence to this claim, but one must still be open to alternative explanations, and let the evidence determine the proper interpretation. Once the causes have been identified, it becomes necessary to find methodologies and strategies to counter these causes, lest we find ourselves in another unnecessary and brutal conflict, initiated by some who do not directly participate in it, and have no intention ever to do so.

This book is not a scientific study, but instead is a collection of opinions, mostly supported by anecdotal evidence, to support the author's thesis. On the surface his opinions do seem plausible, but one must still apply to his writings the same level of skepticism applied to other studies of the same kind. It does seem reasonable to believe for example that current attitudes about war are governed by the American failure in Vietnam, Carter's supposed ineptitude in dealing with the resulting loss in "self-esteem" of the American populace, and Reagan's exploitation or correction of this loss. But more evidence is needed to set such a conclusion in stone.

The author though is intellectually honest enough to admit that he has not obtained the "definitive version of the truth" on the new American militarism within the pages of his book. His words are more "suggestive than conclusive" he writes, and he welcomes criticism and alternative interpretations. Vietnam, oil and energy considerations, 9-11, and the media all have a role to play in the current American attitudes about war he argues. Further analysis though is needed, and cognizance must be made that all readers, including this reviewer, are embedded in the same culture as the author, and subjected to the same ideological, historical, and media pressures. We must be extremely cautious in our acceptance of what we find in print and indeed in all information outlets. And we must learn that soldiers, active duty or otherwise, are not infallible and must be subjected to the same criticism as any other citizen. This is again, very difficult to do, and this difficulty is perhaps the best evidence for the author's thesis.

R. Albin:

 Exceptional Polemic; 4.5 Stars, October 19, 2006

This concise and well written book is the best kind of polemic; clear, well argued, and designed to provoke debate. Bacevich is definitely interested in persuading readers of the truth of his views but his calm and invective free prose, insistence on careful documentation, and logical presentation indicate that his primary concern is promote a high level of discussion of this important issue. Bacevich argues well that a form of militarism based on an exaggerated sense of both American mission and American power, specifically military power, has infected public life. He views this militarism as both leading to unecessary and dangerous adventures abroad, epitomized by the Iraq fiasco, and corrupting the quality of domestic debate and policy making. Beyond documenting the existence of this phenomenon, Bacevich is concerned with explicating how this form of militarism, which he views as contrary to American traditions, came to be so popular.

Bacevich argues well that the new militarism came about because of a convergence of actions by a number of different actors including our professional military, neoconservative intellectuals and publicists, evangelical Christians, resurgent Republican party activists, and so-called defense intellectuals. For a variety of reasons, these sometimes overlapping groups converged on ideas of the primacy of American military power and the need to use it aggressively abroad. Bacevich devotes a series of chapters to examining each of these actors, discussing their motivations and actions, often exposing shabby and inconsistent thinking. Some of these, like the role of neoconservative intellectuals and the Religous Right, are fairly well known.

Others, like the behavior of professional military over the last generation, will be novel to many readers. Bacevich's chapters have underlying themes. One is the persisent occurrence of ironic events as the actions of many of these groups produced events counter to their goals. The post-Vietnam professional military attempted to produce a large, vigorous military poised to fight conventional, WWII-like, combats. This force was intended to be difficult for politicians to use. But as these often highly competent professionals succeeded to restoring the quality of the American military, the temptation to use it became stronger and stronger, and control escaped the professionals back into the hands of politicians as varied as Bush II and Clinton. Another theme is that politicians seized on use military force as an alternative to more difficult and politically unpalatable alternatives. Jimmy Carter is described correctly as initiating the American preoccupation with control of the Persian Gulf oil supplies, which has generated a great deal of conflict over the past generation. Bacevich presents Carter as having to act this way because his efforts to persuade Americans to pursue sacrifice and a rational energy policy were political losers. Ronald Reagan is presented as the epitome of this unfortunate trend.

Bacevich is generally convincing though, perhaps because this is a short book, there are some issues which are presented onesidely. For example, its true that Carter began the military preoccupation with the Persian Gulf. But, its true as well that his administration established the Dept. of Energy, began a significant program of energy related research, moved towards fuel standards for vehicles and began the regulatory policies that would successfully improve energy efficiency for many household items. No subsequent administration had done more to lessen dependence on foreign oil.

Bacevich also omits an important point. As he points out, the different actors that sponsored the new militarism tended to converge in the Republican Party. But, as has been pointed out by a number of analysts, the Republican Party is a highly disparate and relatively unstable coalition. The existence of some form of powerful enemy, perceived or real, is necessary to maintain Republican solidarity. The new militarism is an important component of maintaining the internal integrity of the Republican party and at unconciously appreciated as such by many important Republicans.

An interesting aspect of this book is that Bacevich, a West point grad, former career Army officer, and self-described cultural conservative, has reproduced many of the criticisms put forward by Leftist critics.

Bacevich concludes with a series of interesting recommendations that are generally rational but bound to be controversial and probably politically impossible. Again, this is an effort to change the nature of the discussion about these issues.

Adam Bahner
How Permanent Military Deployment Became Congruent With World Peace, June 29, 2006

In The New American Militarism, Andrew J. Bacevich contends that American culture and policy since the end of the Cold War has merged a militaristic ethos with a utopian global imaginary. He notes that American militarism is a "bipartisan project" with "deep roots" that even garner support on the political margins, with some leftist activists seeing a humanitarian mission for U.S. global military hegemony. He traces these roots to the worldview of Woodrow Wilson, who envisioned a globe "remade in America's image and therefore permanently at peace." Yet Wilson's view was moderated by a public and policy perception of war as an ugly, costly, brutal, traumatic and unpredictable last resort. This is corroborated by the massive military demobilizations that followed U.S. involvement in both world wars. Bacevich also points to works of popular culture, from Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet On The Western Front to Oliver Stone's Platoon, that reflect on the inhumanity of war from World War I through Vietnam.

Bacevich sees a massive deviation from these historical trends after the end of the Cold War. While conceding that a permanent military mobilization was expected during the Cold War (from roughly NSC-68 to the fall of the Berlin Wall)--no significant demobilization followed. Forces slated for deactivation were quickly mobilized for Operation Desert Storm. No successful popular culture critiques of that war's brutality would emerge. The author sees the end of the cold war and Desert Storm as framing a period of "new American militarism" that breaks from historical precedent in several regards. He claims that since the 1988 presidential campaign, the character of the presidency has emphasized military more than civilian leadership. This contradicts previous presidents of military stature (e.g. Grant, Eisenhower) who obsessively positioned themselves as civilians. Post-Cold War military budgets have been dramatically larger despite no global adversary. The public has uncritically accepted a permanent military stance. The perception of war as ghastly and treacherous has been replaced with war as a clinical and technologically managed spectacle. The link between the covenant of citizenship and military service has been replaced by a specialized force of volunteers. The numbers of veterans serving in congress has steadily decreased since World War II. Bacevich correlates this with the shunning of military service by elites as the military has increasingly drawn from areas of the population that are poor and brown. Because of this, force is "outsourced" and in turn the stature of soldiers has dramatically increased through an infrastructure of praise by the majority who are not involved in military operations. Senior military officers have tremendous clout in politics, policy, and spending.

To understand this new militarism, Bacevich notes that it is point-for-point an inversion of Vietnam's military milieu. There, politicians up through the president framed themselves as civilians, officers felt out of touch with bureaucratic decisions, and war was perceived as carnal and bumbling. The book traces cultural responses to Vietnam that reformed the American relationship to militarism. As military leaders like Creighton Abrams sought to mandate broad political investment for military action by creating interdependence with reserves and to limit the criteria for deployment with the Weinberger doctrine, politicians like Ronald Reagan rehabilitated an American demoralization that peaked with Carter's failed Operation Eagle Claw by invoking popular culture mythologies like Rambo.

Bacevich is unabashedly religious. He ultimately couches America's outsourced and technocratic militarism as a departure from natural Gods in the pursuit of a scientistic idol that more perfectly regulates human affairs. He openly sees in this scientism the same flaw and outcome as Communism or Fascism. He suggests that affirmation of military service across economic privilege would raise the stakes of military engagements and help to contradict the cultural illusions that form the basis of American militarism. (That war is technical, distant, clinical, predictable, outsourced, humane, and everything contrary to what writers like Remarque tell us.) He meticulously synthesizes a new paradigm that relates the difficult subjects of military policy and popular sanction. In this regard, The New American Militarism is an exciting contribution to historical scholarship.

M. Ward:

The New American Militarism - A Bipolar Look at Todays State of Affairs, February 4, 2006

Andrew J. Bacevichs', The New American Militarism, gives the reader an important glimpse of his background when he wrote that, as a Vietnam veteran, the experience baffled him and he wrote this book in an effort to "sift through the wreckage left by the war." After the Vietnam War, the author stayed in the military because he believed being an American soldier was a "true and honorable" calling. Bacevich states he is a devoted Catholic and a conservative who became disillusioned with mainstream conservatism. He also states that he believes the current political system is corrupt and functions in ways inconsistent with genuine democracy.
Bacevich states that he tried to write this book using facts in an unbiased way. However, he cautions the reader that his experiences have shaped his views and that his views are part of this book. This is a way to tell the reader that although he tried to remain unbiased, his background and biases find voice in this book. I believe the authors warning are valid; he draws heavily upon his background and biases to support his thesis.

The book is about American militarism, which Bacevich describes as the "misleading and dangerous conceptions of war, soldiers, and military institutions" that have become part of the American conscience and have `perverted' US national security policy. According to Bacevich, American militarism has subordinated the search for the common good to the permanent value of military effectiveness that will bankrupt the US economically and morally. Bacevich supports this thesis by discussing issues that have contributed to this state of affairs.
Bacevich believes the current state of American militarism has roots dating back to the Wilson administration. Wilson's vision was to remake the world in America's image. God Himself willed the universal embrace of liberal democracies and Wilson saw the US as a `divine agent' to make the world a safe and democratic place. Today, with no serious threat to keep our military forces in check, we are now, more than ever, free to spread liberal democracy using military force, if necessary.
Considering the military, Bacevich makes the point that the militarism of America is also due, in part, to the officer corps of the US military trying to rehabilitate the image and profession of the soldier after the Vietnam War. Officers attempted to do this by reversing the roles of the soldiers and the politicians that was problematic during the Vietnam War. They tried to establish the primacy of the military over the civilians in decisions as to how to use the military. The Weinberger and Powell doctrines were the manifestation of this idea by spelling out conditions for the use of the US military in combat.

Neo-conservatives further enhanced the trend of militarism. They see US power as an instrument for good and the time was right to use the military to achieve the final triumph of Wilson's idea of spreading American liberal democracy around the globe.

Religion also played a role. According to Bacevich, evangelical Protestants see the US as a Christian nation singled out by God and Americans are His chosen people. These evangelicals believed the Vietnam War was not only a military crisis, but also a cultural and moral crisis threatening our status. Evangelicals looked to the military to play a pivotal role in saving the US from internal collapse due to the higher expression of morals and values found in the military. The military would become the role model to reverse the trend of godlessness and social decay.

Another set of actors that contributed to American militarism were the defense intellectuals whose main contribution was to bring the military back under civilian control. According to Bacevich, they laid the groundwork of our current policy of `preventative war' and reinforced American militarism.
Finally, Bacevich accuses politicians of deceiving the American public as to the true nature of American militarism by wrapping militarism in the comfortable trappings of nationalism. By using labels such as the Global War on Terrorism, politicians are using a political sleight-of-hand trick to hide our true militaristic nature in patriotic terms. Bacevich concludes his book with a list of recommendations to mitigate the current trend of American militarism.

Bacevich seems to create a mosaic of conspiracy perpetrated by sinister actors aimed at deceiving an unsuspecting public as to the true nature of American militarism. Until the last chapter where Bacevich tells the reader that there is no conspiracy, it is very easy to believe there might be one lurking in the shadows. I was shocked when I reached Bacevich's recommendations. The contrast between his recommendations and the rest of the book is astounding. I was expecting highly provocative recommendations that would match the tone of the rest of the book. However, his recommendations were solid and well thought out...delivered in the calm manner one would expect from a political scientist. Nevertheless, in the end, Bacevich's message leading up to his recommendations were hard to swallow. I believe he wrote this book not to enlighten but to be provocative in order to sell books and build his status in academic circles. If Bacevich's aim was to build a convincing argument on a serious subject, he needed to be less provocative and more clinical.

David Friedman:
What is militarism? What is it, particularly as applied to today's America? West Point educated Andrew Bacevich opens his book with a concise statement: "Today as never before in their history Amercans are enthralled with military power. The global military supremacy that the United States presently enjoys . . . has become central to our national identity." This is the basic premise of The New American Militarism. Anyone who does not accept the accuracy of this statement, or is unconcerned about its implications should probably not read this book--it will only annoy them. For those, however, who are concerned about how militarism is increasingly seeping into our core values and sense of national destiny, or who are disturbed by the current glaring disconnect between what our soldiers endure "over there", and the lack of any sacrifice or inconvenience for the rest of us "over here", this book is a must-read.

Refreshingly, Bacevich approaches the new American militarism as neither a Democrat nor Republican, from neither the left nor the right. No doubt, those with a stake in defending the policy of the present Administration no matter how foolish, or in castigating it as the main source of our current militarism, will see "bias" in this book. The truth though is that Bacevich makes a genuine effort to approach his subject in a spirit of open and disinterested inquiry. He has earned the right to say, near the end of his book, that "this account has not sought to assign or impute blame." As a result, he is not stymied by the possibility of embarrassing one political side or the other by his arguments or conclusions. This leads to a nuanced and highly independent and original treatment of the subject.

In chronicling the rise of American militarism, Bacevich rightly starts with Wilson's vision of American exceptionalism: an America leading the world beyond the slaughterhouse of European battlefields to an international order of peaceful democratic states. But where President Wilson wanted to create such a world for the express purpose of rendering war obsolete, Bacevich notes that today's "Wilsonians" want to export American democracy through the use of force. He follows this overview with an insider's thumbnail history of American military thinking from Vietnam to the first Gulf war. He explains how the military in effect re-invented itself after Vietnam so as to make it far more difficult "to send the Army off to fight while leaving the country behind." Today's highly professionalized and elite force is largely the result of this thinking. In turn this professional military presented to the country and its civilian leaders a re-invented model of war: war waged with surgical precision and offering "the prospect of decision rather than pointing ineluctably toward stalemate and quagmire." Gulf War I was the triumphant culmination of this model. The unintended and ironic consequence, of course, was that war and the aggressive projection of American military power throughout the world came to be viewed by some in our nation's leadership as an increasingly attractive policy option.

The body of the book analyzes how the legitimate attempt to recover from the national trauma of Vietnam led ultimately to a militarism increasingly reflected in crucial aspects of American life. In religion he traces how a "crusade" theory of warfare has supplanted the more mainstream "just war" theory. In popular culture he discusses the rise of a genre of pop fiction and movies reflecting a glamorized and uncritical idealization of war (he examines "An Officer and A Gentleman", "Rambo: First Blood Part II", and "Top Gun" as examples). In politics he identifies the neo-conservative movement as bringing into the mainstream ideas that "a decade earlier might have seemed reckless or preposterous"; for example the idea that the United States is "the most revolutionary force on earth" with an "inescapable mission" to spread democracy -- by the sword if necessary. Bacevich calls these ideas "inverted Trotskyism", and notes that the neo-conservative movement shares with Mao the assumption that revolution springs "from the barrel of a gun".

Bacevich concludes his book with a pithy ten-point critique offered as a starting point for "a change in consciousness, seeing war and America's relationship to war in a fundamentally different way." Among his points are greater fidelity to the letter and the spirit of the Constituional provisions regarding war and the military, and increased strategic self-sufficiency for America. Perhaps the most important points of his critique are those about ending or at least reducing the current disconnect between er how we might reduce

Patrick Connor

Careful observers will note the abolute claims that lie under the surface of these criticisms. If you criticize anything about the United States, you're automatically anti-Bush. If you question the wisdom of viewing the military as a first-option in handling international problems, you're even worse: a liberal anti-Bush peacenick. History supposedly demonstrates that diplomacy never works with any "tyrant" (whatever that is), while war allegedly always work. It's just one stark claim after another, with never any gray area in the middle.

If you read the book, this "you're either with us or with the terrorists, either dream war or hate President Bush" mentality should remind you of something. It very closely resembles the description Bacevich gives of neoconservatism, which he says engenders a worldview that is constantly in crisis mode. Things are always so dire for neocons, Bacevich explains, that only two feasible options present themselves at any given time: doing what the neocons want (usually deploying military force in pursuit of some lofty but unrealistic goal), or suffering irreversible and potentially fatal setbacks to our national cause.

Is it really surprising that the reviews of this book from a neocon mindset are also the reviews giving one star to a book that sytematically critiques and upends neoconservatism?

In actuality, as many have pointed out already, Bacevich is "anti-Bush" only insomuch as he is anti-neoconservative. Bacevich openly states that he throws his full weight behind traditionally conservative issues, like small government and lower taxes. Indeed, he is a devoutly religious social conservative who himself severed twenty years in the Army officer corps. This is why his exposee on America's new militarism has so much credibility.

Since he was in the military, he knows that sometimes the military is necessary to handle situations that develop in the world. However he also understands that the military is often grossly unfit to handle certain situations. This is the main theme of his book. At its core, the story is about how, in response to Vietnam, military leaders worked frightfully hard to rebuild the military and to limit the freedom of starry-eyed civilians to use the armed forces inappropriately.

Their most important objective was to ensure that no more Wilsonian misadventures (like Vietnam) would happen. The officer corps did this by carving out a space of authority for the top brass, from which they could have unprecedented input in policy decisions, and be able to guide strategy and tactics once the military deployed into action. After ascending to a position of greater prominence, they implemented the "Weinberger Doctrine," followed by the "Powell Doctrine," both specifically tailored to avoid Vietnam-style quagmires. The Gulf War, claims Bacevich, saw the fruition of fifteen years of hard work to accomplish these reforms. And they worked beautifully.

However, the end of the last decade saw the Neo-conservatives challenge the status quo. And with the election of W. Bush, they were finally in a position where their ideas could again have a disproportionate influence on foreign policy. What we now have in Iraq is another military quagmire, where the solution must be political, but where military occupation renders political solutions impossible.

This story is about how the military profession emerged from the post-Vietnam wilderness, dazzled the world during the first Gulf War, then once again lost its independent ability to craft related policies with the arrival of Rummie and the neocons.

It's a fascinating story, and Bacevich relates it skillfully.

Andrew S. Rogers:

 Baedecker on the road to perdition, December 5, 2005

I was sorry to see Andrew J. Bacevich dismiss Chalmers Johnson's 2004 The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project) quite as quickly as he did (on page 3 of the introduction, in fact), because I think these two books, taken together, provide probably the best -- and certainly the most historically-informed -- look at the rise and consequences of American empire. I endorse "The New American Militarism" as heartily as I did "The Sorrows of Empire."

Bacevich's capsule summary of Johnson's work notwithstanding, both these books take the long view of America's international military presence and are quick to grasp one key point. As Bacevich notes on page 205, "American militarism is not the invention of a cabal nursing fantasies of global empire and manipulating an unsuspecting people frightened by the events of 9/11. Further, it is counterproductive to think in these terms -- to assign culpability to a particular president or administration and to imagine that throwing the bums out will put things right."

In several insightful chapters, Bacevich traces the rise of militarism over the course of several administrations and many decades. A former Army officer himself, the author is particularly insightful in charting the efforts of the military's officer corps to recover from the stigma of Vietnam and reshape the *ethos* of the armed services as an elite intentionally separate from, and morally superior to, the society it exists to defend. But the officers are only one of the strands Bacevich weaves together. He also looks at the influence of the "defense intellectuals;" the importance of evangelical Christians and how their view of Biblical prophecy shapes their understanding of politics; the rise of (yes) the neo-conservatives; and even the role of Hollywood in changing America's understandings of the "lessons of Vietnam" and the re-glamorization of the military in films like "Top Gun."

The author is a sharp-eyed analyst, but also an engaging writer, and he gives the reader a lot to think about. I was intrigued, for example, by his discussion of how "supporting the troops" has become the *sine qua non* of modern politics and how doing so has replaced actual military service as an indicator of one's love of country. More fundamentally, his identification and analysis of "World War III" (already over) and "World War IV" (currently underway, and declared [surprisingly] by Jimmy Carter) struck me as a remarkably useful lens for interpreting current events.

In tying his threads together, Bacevich is not afraid to make arguments and draw conclusions that may make the reader uncomfortable. As the passage I quoted above makes clear, for example, someone looking for a straightforward declaration that "It's all Bush's fault!" will have to go someplace else. As a further implication of the above passage, Bacevich argues that the "defense intellectuals," the evangelicals, and even the neocons were and are doing what they believe are most likely to promote peace, freedom, and the security of the American people. "To the extent that we may find fault with the results of their efforts, that fault is more appropriately attributable to human fallibility than to malicious intent" (p. 207). Additionally, Bacevich is unashamed of his military service, holds up several military leaders as heroes, has some choice words for the self-delusions of leftist "peace activists," and even argues that federal education loans should be made conditional on military service.

This doesn't mean the president and his fellow conservatives get off much easier, though. Bacevich is roundly critical of Bush and his administration, including Colin Powell; dismisses the Iraq invasion ("this preposterous enterprise" [p. 202]); and in a move that will probably get him crossed off the Thayer Award nominations list, suggests officer candidates be required to graduate from civilian universities instead of West Point (his alma mater) or Annapolis -- intellectually-isolated institutions that reinforce the officer caste's separation from civil society.

So this book isn't one that will blindly reinforce anyone's prejudices. In part for that reason -- but mostly for its trenchant analysis, readable prose, and broad historical view -- I'm happy to list "The New American Militarism" as one of the best and most important books I've read in some time. Perhaps even since "The Sorrows of Empire."

Izaak VanGaalen:
 Militarism and Public Opinion, August 12, 2005

According to many of the custodians of public opinion, Andrew Bacevich has earned his right to a fair hearing. Not only is he a graduate of West Point, a Vietnam veteran, and a conservative Catholic, he is a professor of international relations and a contributor to "The Weekly Standard" and "The National Review." Obviously, if he were a left-leaning anti-war Democrat and a contributor to, say, "The Nation," he wouldn't be taken seriously as a critic of American militarism - he would be merely another "blame-America-first" defeatist.

Bacevich sees militarism manifesting itself in some disquieting ways. Traditionally America has always gauged the size of its military with the magnitude of impending threats. After the Civil War, World War I and II, the military was downsized as threats receded. Not so after the fall of the Soviet Union. The military budget has continued to grow and the expenditures are greater - by some measures - than all other countries combined. American military forces are now scaling the globe and the American public seems quiet comfortable with it. And everyone else is growing uneasy.

The mindset of the current officer corps is dominant control in all areas "whether sea, undersea, land, air, space or cyberspace." In other words, supremacy in all theaters. Self-restraint has given way to the normalization of using military force as a foreign policy tool. From 1989 (Operation Just Cause) to 2002 (Operation Iraqi Freedom) there have been nine major military operations and a number of smaller ones. The end of the Cold War has given the US a preponderance of military strength (the proverbial unipolar moment) that has enamoured successive administrations with the idea of using military force to solve international problems. In earlier times, war was always an option of the last resort, now it is a preventative measure.

War, according to Bacevich, has taken on a new aesthetic. During World War I and II, and also Vietnam and Korea the battlefield was a slaughterhouse of barbarism and brutality. Now, with the advent of the new Wilsonianism in Washington, wars are seen as moments of national unity to carry out a positive agenda, almost as if it were international social work.

The modern soldier is no longer looked upon as a deadbeat or a grunt, but rather as a skilled professional who is undertaking socially beneficial work. In fact, in a poll taken in 2003, military personnel consider themselves as being of higher moral standards than the nation they serve.

In the political classes, the Republicans have traditionallly been staunchly pro-military, but now even Democrats have thrown off their ant-military inclinations. When Kerry was running for president he did not question Bush's security policies, he was actually arguing that Bush had not gone far enough. Kerry wanted to invest more in military hardware and training. Even liberal Michael Ignatieff argues that US military intervention should be used to lessen the plight of the oppressed and that we should be assisting them in establishing more representative government.

But superpowers are not altruistic; they are only altruistic to the extent that it serves their self-interest. That's probably why Ignatieff will not get much of a hearing and Bacevich will. This book should give us pause as to why the range of opinion in the America on the use of military force is so narrow. If there is one voice that stands a chance of being heeded, it is from this conservative ex-soldier. \

Douglas Doepke:

The US may have been an expansionist and aggressive power as history shows. But unlike European peers, the American public never really took to the seductions of militarism. That is, until now. This is an important and occasionally brilliant book that tells a forty-year tale of creeping over-reliance on the military. And a heck-of an important story it is. I like the way Bacevich refuses to blame the Bush administration, even though they're the ones who've hit the accelerator. Actually the trend has been in motion for some time, especially since 1980 and Reagan's revival of military glory, contrived though it was.

Each chapter deals with an aspect of this growing militariism movement. How intellectual guru Norman Podhoretz and other elites got the big engine together, how twenty million evangelical passengers abandoned tradition and got on board, and how a crew of enthusiastic neo-cons charted a destination -- nothing less than world democracy guaranteed by American military might. All in all, the ride passes for a brilliant post-cold war move. Who's going to argue with freeing up the Will of the People, except for maybe a few hundred million Sharia fanatics. Yet, it appears none of the distinguished crew sees any contradiction between dubious means and noble end, nor do they seem particularly concerned with what anybody else thinks. (Sort of like the old Soviets, eager to spread the blessings of Scientific Socialism.) However, as Bacevich pounts out, there's a practical problem here the crew is very alert to. Policing the world means building up the institutions of the military and providing a covering mystique to keep John Q. Public supportive, especially with tax dollars and blood supply. In short, the mission requires sanitizing the cops on the beat and all that goes into keeping them there. It also means overcoming a long American tradition of minding-one's-own-business and letting the virtues of democratic self-governance speak for themselves. But then, that was an older, less "responsible" America.

Bacevich's remedies harken back to those older, quieter traditions -- citizen soldiers, a real Department of Defense, a revived Department of State, and a much more modest role in international affairs.With this book, Bacevich proves to be one of the few genuine conservatives around, (a breed disappearing even faster than the ranks of genuine liberals). Much as I like the book, especially the thoughtful Preface, I wish the author had dealt more with the economic aspects of build-up and conquest. But then that might require a whole other volume, as globalization and the number of billion-dollar servicing industries expands daily. At day's end, however, someone needs to inform a CNN- enthralled public that the military express lacks one essential feature. With all its hypnotizing bells and whistles, history shows the momentum has no brakes. Lessons from the past indicate that, despite the many seductions, aggressive empires make for some very unexpected and fast-moving train wrecks. Somebody needs to raise the alarm. Thanks Mr. Bacevich for doing your part.

Still his critique of neocons is a class of its own has value in itself as it comes from professional military officer. Professor Bacevich argues  that the US new militarism which emerged after the dissolution of the USSR is the result of a convergence of actions by a number of different groups including our professional military, neoconservative intellectuals and publicists, evangelical Christians, resurgent Republican party activists, and so-called defense intellectuals (see New American Militarism).

Andrew Bacevich has a wonderful essay, in the form of an open letter to Paul Wolfowitz, in the current Harper's. You have to subscribe to read it -- but, hey, you should be subscribing to any publication whose work you value. This essay isolates the particular role Wolfowitz had in the cast of characters that led us to war. As a reminder, they included:

But Paul Wolfowitz was in a category of his own because he was the one who provided the highest-concept rationale for the war. As James Galbraith of the University of Texas has put it, "Wolfowitz is the real-life version of Halberstam's caricature of McNamara" [in The Best and the Brightest].

Bacevich's version of this assessment is to lay out as respectfully as possible the strategic duty that Wolfowitz thought the U.S. would fulfill by invading Iraq. Back before the war began, I did a much more limited version of this assessment as an Atlantic article. As Bacevich puts it now, Wolfowitz was extending precepts from his one-time mentor, Albert Wohlstetter, toward a model of how the United States could maximize stability for itself and others.

As with the best argumentative essays, Bacevich takes on Wolfowitz in a strong rather than an oversimplified version of his world-view. You have to read the whole thing to get the effect, but here is a brief sample (within fair-use limits):

With the passing of the Cold War, global hegemony seemed America's for the taking. What others saw as an option you, Paul, saw as something much more: an obligation that the nation needed to seize, for its own good as well as for the world's....

Although none of the hijackers were Iraqi, within days of 9/11 you were promoting military action against Iraq. Critics have chalked this up to your supposed obsession with Saddam. The criticism is misplaced. The scale of your ambitions was vastly greater.

In an instant, you grasped that the attacks provided a fresh opportunity to implement Wohlstetter's Precepts, and Iraq offered a made-to-order venue....In Iraq the United States would demonstrate the efficacy of preventive war.... The urgency of invading Iraq stemmed from the need to validate that doctrine before the window of opportunity closed.

Bacevich explains much more about the Wohlstetter / Wolfowitz grand view. And then he poses the challenge that he says Wolfowitz should now meet:
One of the questions emerging from the Iraq debacle must be this one: Why did liberation at gunpoint yield results that differed so radically from what the war's advocates had expected? Or, to sharpen the point, How did preventive war undertaken by ostensibly the strongest military in history produce a cataclysm?
 

Not one of your colleagues from the Bush Administration possesses the necessary combination of honesty, courage, and wit to answer these questions. If you don't believe me, please sample the tediously self-exculpatory memoirs penned by (or on behalf of) Bush himself, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Tenet, Bremer, Feith, and a small squad of eminently forgettable generals...

What would Albert [Wohlstetter] do? I never met the man (he died in 1997), but my guess is that he wouldn't flinch from taking on these questions, even if the answers threatened to contradict his own long-held beliefs. Neither should you, Paul. To be sure, whatever you might choose to say, you'll be vilified, as Robert McNamara was vilified when he broke his long silence and admitted that he'd been "wrong, terribly wrong" about Vietnam. But help us learn the lessons of Iraq so that we might extract from it something of value in return for all the sacrifices made there. Forgive me for saying so, but you owe it to your country.
 

Anyone who knows Andrew Bacevich's story will understand the edge behind his final sentence. But you don't have to know that to respect the challenge he lays down. I hope Paul Wolfowitz will at some point rise to it.

For another very valuable assessment of who was right and wrong, when, please see John Judis's piece in The New Republic.


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[Jul 03, 2021] The Godfather of Critical Race Theory

So even in 1971 corporate American understood usefulness of critical race theory and "black bolshevism" for their needs. Otherwise Bell would never get a tenure in Harvard -- the bastion of neoliberalism and corporatism.
As the theory is a typical pseudoscience in the best style of Academician Lysenko, it is natural that " Far more Americans have learned about critical race theory from its opponents than from the theorists themselves."
The idea that "struggle for racial equality is worthwhile even though it will never succeed." remiinds me Eduard Bernstein's "movement toward goal is everything; goal is nothing" see Eduard Bernstein's Revisionist Critique of Marxist Theory and Practice Bernstein was a member of the German Social Democratic party which was a particularly strong and important member of the Second International conference. Bernstein's thoughts are encapsulated in his book, Evolutionary Socialism, published in 1899.
Notable quotes:
"... ...Far more Americans have learned about critical race theory from its opponents than from the theorists themselves. ..."
"... The political scientist Adolph Reed, Jr., whose work focuses on race and inequality, wrote about a conference he attended at Harvard Law School in 1991, where "I heard the late, esteemed legal theorist, Derrick Bell, declare on a panel that blacks had made no progress since 1865. I was startled not least because Bell's own life, as well as the fact that Harvard's black law students' organization put on the conference, so emphatically belied his claim." Mr. Reed dismissed the idea as "more a jeremiad than an analysis." ..."
"... Like the French existentialist Albert Camus, who saw Sisyphus's eternal effort to roll a boulder uphill as a symbol of human endurance in an absurd world, Bell demands "recognition of the futility of action" while insisting "that action must be taken." ..."
"... To the journalist and historian James Traub, who profiled Bell for the New Republic magazine in 1993, this amounted to a recipe for paralysis: "If you convince whites that their racism is ineradicable, what are they supposed to do? And what are blacks to do with their hard-won victim status?" ..."
Jul 03, 2021 | www.wsj.com

... ... ...

In their book "Critical Race Theory: An Introduction," Mr. Delgado and Jean Stefancic list several of its core premises, including the view that "racism is ordinary, not aberrational," and that it "serves important purposes, both psychic and material, for the dominant group," that is, for white people. In recent years, these ideas have entered the mainstream thanks to the advocacy of the Black Lives Matter movement, which was catalyzed by several high-profile cases of police violence against Black people, as well as the New York Times's 1619 Project and bestselling books like Robin DiAngelo's "White Fragility" and Ibram X. Kendi's "How to Be an Antiracist." Critical race theory also informs instruction at some schools and other institutions.

...Far more Americans have learned about critical race theory from its opponents than from the theorists themselves. That may be inevitable, since their writing was mostly aimed at other scholars. But at least one major work is more accessible: "Faces at the Bottom of the Well," the 1992 book by Derrick Bell, who is often described as the founder or godfather of critical race theory.

Bell died in 2011, but the response to his work foreshadows today's controversies. In "Faces," he blends the genres of fiction and essay to communicate his powerfully pessimistic sense of "the permanence of racism" -- the book's subtitle. Bell's thought has been an important influence on some of today's most influential writers on race, such as Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michelle Alexander.

Derrick Bell was born in Pittsburgh in 1930, and after serving in the Air Force he went to work as an attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Eisenhower Justice Department. He left the job in 1959 after being told that he had to resign his membership in the NAACP to avoid compromising his objectivity. That experience reflects a major theme in Bell's work: Can traditional legal standards of objectivity and neutrality lead to justice for Black Americans, or does fighting racism require a more politically engaged, results-oriented approach to the law?

In 1971, Bell became the first Black professor to receive tenure at Harvard Law School. As he writes in "Faces," "When I agreed to become Harvard's first black faculty member I did so on the express commitment that I was to be the first, but not the last, black hired. I was to be the pioneer, the trailblazer." But the school was slow to hire more Black faculty, leading Bell to leave in protest in 1990. He ended up spending the last part of his career at NYU Law School.

... ... ...

The political scientist Adolph Reed, Jr., whose work focuses on race and inequality, wrote about a conference he attended at Harvard Law School in 1991, where "I heard the late, esteemed legal theorist, Derrick Bell, declare on a panel that blacks had made no progress since 1865. I was startled not least because Bell's own life, as well as the fact that Harvard's black law students' organization put on the conference, so emphatically belied his claim." Mr. Reed dismissed the idea as "more a jeremiad than an analysis."

In the conclusion to "Faces," Bell argues that the struggle for racial equality is worthwhile even though it will never succeed. Like the French existentialist Albert Camus, who saw Sisyphus's eternal effort to roll a boulder uphill as a symbol of human endurance in an absurd world, Bell demands "recognition of the futility of action" while insisting "that action must be taken."

To the journalist and historian James Traub, who profiled Bell for the New Republic magazine in 1993, this amounted to a recipe for paralysis: "If you convince whites that their racism is ineradicable, what are they supposed to do? And what are blacks to do with their hard-won victim status?"

... ... ...

These experiences inform "Faces at the Bottom of the Well," which is made up of nine fables, some with a science-fiction twist. In one story, a new continent emerges in the Atlantic Ocean, with an atmosphere that only African-Americans can breathe. In another, the U.S. institutes a system where whites can pay for permission to discriminate against Blacks -- a kind of cap-and-trade scheme for bigotry.

[Jun 24, 2021] One Nation Under Greed- The Profit Incentives Driving The American Police State - ZeroHedge

Jun 24, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

One Nation Under Greed: The Profit Incentives Driving The American Police State BY TYLER DURDEN THURSDAY, JUN 24, 2021 - 12:00 AM

Authored by John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

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

- Frédéric Bastiat, French economist

If there is an absolute maxim by which the American government seems to operate, it is that the taxpayer always gets ripped off.

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Not only are Americans forced to " spend more on state, municipal, and federal taxes than the annual financial burdens of food, clothing, and housing combined ," but we're also being played as easy marks by hustlers bearing the imprimatur of the government.

With every new tax, fine, fee and law adopted by our so-called representatives, the yoke around the neck of the average American seems to tighten just a little bit more.

Everywhere you go, everything you do, and every which way you look, we're getting swindled, cheated, conned, robbed, raided, pickpocketed, mugged, deceived, defrauded, double-crossed and fleeced by governmental and corporate shareholders of the American police state out to make a profit at taxpayer expense.

The overt and costly signs of the despotism exercised by the increasingly authoritarian regime that passes itself off as the United States government are all around us: warrantless surveillance of Americans' private phone and email conversations by the FBI, NSA, etc.; SWAT team raids of Americans' homes; shootings of unarmed citizens by police; harsh punishments meted out to schoolchildren in the name of zero tolerance; drones taking to the skies domestically; endless wars; out-of-control spending; militarized police; roadside strip searches; privatized prisons with a profit incentive for jailing Americans; fusion centers that collect and disseminate data on Americans' private transactions; and militarized agencies with stockpiles of ammunition, to name some of the most appalling.

Meanwhile, the three branches of government (Executive, Legislative and Judicial) and the agencies under their command -- Defense, Commerce, Education, Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury, etc. -- have switched their allegiance to the Corporate State with its unassailable pursuit of profit at all costs and by any means possible.

By the time you factor in the financial blowback from the COVID-19 pandemic with its politicized mandates, lockdowns, and payouts, it becomes quickly apparent that we are now ruled by a government consumed with squeezing every last penny out of the population and seemingly unconcerned if essential freedoms are trampled in the process.

As with most things, if you want to know the real motives behind any government program, follow the money trail.

When you dig down far enough, you quickly find that those who profit from Americans being surveilled, fined, scanned, searched, probed, tasered, arrested and imprisoned are none other than the police who arrest them, the courts which try them, the prisons which incarcerate them, and the corporations, which manufacture the weapons, equipment and prisons used by the American police state.

Examples of this legalized, profits-over-people, government-sanctioned extortion abound.

On the roads : Not satisfied with merely padding their budgets by issuing speeding tickets, police departments have turned to asset forfeiture and red light camera schemes as a means of growing their profits. Despite revelations of corruption, collusion and fraud, these money-making scams have been being inflicted on unsuspecting drivers by revenue-hungry municipalities. Now legislators are hoping to get in on the profit sharing by imposing a vehicle miles-traveled tax , which would charge drivers for each mile behind the wheel.

In the prisons : States now have quotas to meet for how many Americans go to jail. Increasing numbers of states have contracted to keep their prisons at 90% to 100% capacity . This profit-driven form of mass punishment has, in turn, given rise to a $70 billion private prison industry that relies on the complicity of state governments to keep the money flowing and their privately run prisons full , " regardless of whether crime was rising or falling ." As Mother Jones reports, "private prison companies have supported and helped write laws that drive up prison populations . Their livelihoods depend on towns, cities, and states sending more people to prison and keeping them there." Private prisons are also doling out harsher punishments for infractions by inmates in order to keep them locked up longer in order to "boost profits" at taxpayer expense . All the while, prisoners are being forced to provide cheap labor for private corporations . No wonder the United States has the largest prison population in the world .

In the schools: The security industrial complex with its tracking, spying, and identification devices has set its sights on the schools as " a vast, rich market " -- a $20 billion market, no less -- just waiting to be conquered. In fact, the public schools have become a microcosm of the total surveillance state which currently dominates America, adopting a host of surveillance technologies, including video cameras, finger and palm scanners, iris scanners, as well as RFID and GPS tracking devices, to keep constant watch over their student bodies. Likewise, the military industrial complex with its military weapons, metal detectors, and weapons of compliance such as tasers has succeeded in transforming the schools -- at great taxpayer expense and personal profit -- into quasi-prisons. Rounding things out are school truancy laws , which come disguised as well-meaning attempts to resolve attendance issues in the schools but in truth are nothing less than stealth maneuvers aimed at enriching school districts and court systems alike through excessive fines and jail sentences for "unauthorized" absences. Curiously, none of these efforts seem to have succeeded in making the schools any safer.

In the endless wars abroad : Fueled by the profit-driven military industrial complex, the government's endless wars are wreaking havoc on our communities, our budget and our police forces. Having been co-opted by greedy defense contractors, corrupt politicians and incompetent government officials, America's expanding military empire is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $32 million per hour . Future wars and military exercises waged around the globe are expected to push the total bill upwards of $12 trillion by 2053 . Talk about fiscally irresponsible: the U.S. government is spending money it doesn't have on a military empire it can't afford. War spending is bankrupting America.

In the form of militarized police : The Department of Homeland Security routinely hands out six-figure grants to enable local municipalities to purchase military-style vehicles, as well as a veritable war chest of weaponry, ranging from tactical vests, bomb-disarming robots, assault weapons and combat uniforms. This rise in military equipment purchases funded by the DHS has, according to analysts Andrew Becker and G.W. Schulz, " paralleled an apparent increase in local SWAT teams ." The end result? An explosive growth in the use of SWAT teams for otherwise routine police matters, an increased tendency on the part of police to shoot first and ask questions later, and an overall mindset within police forces that they are at war -- and the citizenry are the enemy combatants. Over 80,000 SWAT team raids are conducted on American homes and businesses each year. Moreover, government-funded military-style training drills continue to take place in cities across the country.

In profit-driven schemes such as asset forfeiture : Under the guise of fighting the war on drugs, government agents (usually the police) have been given broad leeway to seize billions of dollars' worth of private property (money, cars, TVs, etc.) they "suspect" may be connected to criminal activity. Then -- and here's the kicker -- whether or not any crime is actually proven to have taken place, the government keeps the citizen's property, often divvying it up with the local police who did the initial seizure. The police are actually being trained in seminars on how to seize the "goodies" that are on police departments' wish lists. According to the New York Times, seized monies have been used by police to "pay for sports tickets, office parties, a home security system and a $90,000 sports car."

Among government contractors: We have been saddled with a government that is outsourcing much of its work to high-paid contractors at great expense to the taxpayer and with no competition, little transparency and dubious savings. According to the Washington Post , "By some estimates, there are twice as many people doing government work under contract than there are government workers ." These open-ended contracts, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, "now account for anywhere between one quarter and one half of all federal service contracting." Moreover, any attempt to reform the system is " bitterly opposed by federal employee unions , who take it as their mission to prevent good employees from being rewarded and bad employees from being fired."

By the security industrial complex : We're being spied on by a domestic army of government snitches, spies and techno-warriors. In the so-called name of "precrime," this government of Peeping Toms is watching everything we do, reading everything we write, listening to everything we say, and monitoring everything we spend. Beware of what you say, what you read, what you write, where you go, and with whom you communicate, because it is all being recorded, stored, and catalogued, and will be used against you eventually, at a time and place of the government's choosing. This far-reaching surveillance, carried out with the complicity of the Corporate State, has paved the way for an omnipresent, militarized fourth branch of government -- the Surveillance State -- that came into being without any electoral mandate or constitutional referendum. That doesn't even touch on the government's bold forays into biometric surveillance as a means of identifying and tracking the American people from birth to death.

By a government addicted to power: It's a given that you can always count on the government to take advantage of a crisis, legitimate or manufactured. Emboldened by the citizenry's inattention and willingness to tolerate its abuses, the government has weaponized one national crisis after another in order to expand its powers. The war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on illegal immigration, asset forfeiture schemes, road safety schemes, school safety schemes, eminent domain: all of these programs started out as legitimate responses to pressing concerns and have since become weapons of compliance and control in the police state's hands. Now that the government has gotten a taste for flexing its police state powers by way of a bevy of COVID-19 lockdowns, mandates, restrictions, contact tracing programs, heightened surveillance, censorship, overcriminalization, etc., "we the people" may well find ourselves burdened with a Nanny State inclined to use its draconian pandemic powers to protect us from ourselves.

These injustices, petty tyrannies and overt acts of hostility are being carried out in the name of the national good -- against the interests of individuals, society and ultimately our freedoms -- by an elite class of government officials working in partnership with megacorporations that are largely insulated from the ill effects of their actions.

This perverse mixture of government authoritarianism and corporate profits has increased the reach of the state into our private lives while also adding a profit motive into the mix. And, as always, it's we the people, we the taxpayers, we the gullible voters who keep getting taken for a ride by politicians eager to promise us the world on a plate.

This is a far cry from how a representative government is supposed to operate.

Indeed, it has been a long time since we could claim to be the masters of our own lives. Rather, we are now the subjects of a militarized, corporate empire in which the vast majority of the citizenry work their hands to the bone for the benefit of a privileged few

Adding injury to the ongoing insult of having our tax dollars misused and our so-called representatives bought and paid for by the moneyed elite, the government then turns around and uses the money we earn with our blood, sweat and tears to target, imprison and entrap us, in the form of militarized police, surveillance cameras, private prisons, license plate readers, drones, and cell phone tracking technology.

All of those nefarious deeds by government officials that you hear about every day: those are your tax dollars at work.

It's your money that allows for government agents to spy on your emails, your phone calls, your text messages, and your movements. It's your money that allows out-of-control police officers to burst into innocent people's homes, or probe and strip search motorists on the side of the road. And it's your money that leads to Americans across the country being prosecuted for innocuous activities such as growing vegetable gardens in their front yards or daring to speak their truth to their elected officials.

Just remember the next time you see a news story that makes your blood boil, whether it's a police officer arresting someone for filming them in public, or a child being kicked out of school for attending a virtual class while playing with a toy gun, remember that it is your tax dollars that are paying for these injustices.

There was a time in our history when our forebears said "enough is enough" and stopped paying their taxes to what they considered an illegitimate government. They stood their ground and refused to support a system that was slowly choking out any attempts at self-governance, and which refused to be held accountable for its crimes against the people.

Their resistance sowed the seeds for the revolution that would follow.

Unfortunately, in the 200-plus years since we established our own government, we've let bankers, turncoats and number-crunching bureaucrats muddy the waters and pilfer the accounts to such an extent that we're back where we started.

Once again, we've got a despotic regime with an imperial ruler doing as they please.

Once again, we've got a judicial system insisting we have no rights under a government which demands that the people march in lockstep with its dictates.

And once again, we've got to decide whether we'll keep marching or break stride and make a turn toward freedom.

But what if we didn't just pull out our pocketbooks and pony up to the federal government's outrageous demands for more money?

What if we didn't just dutifully line up to drop our hard-earned dollars into the collection bucket, no questions asked about how it will be spent?

What if, instead of quietly sending in our checks, hoping vainly for some meager return, we did a little calculating of our own and started deducting from our taxes those programs that we refuse to support?

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People , if the government and its emissaries can just take from you what they want, when they want, and then use it however they want, you can't claim to be anything more than a serf in a land they think of as theirs.

This is not freedom, America.

[Jun 21, 2021] All War is for economic reasons

Jun 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

VetinLA , Jun 21 2021 19:25 utc | 6

Red Rider @ 2 said; "All War is for economic reasons."

Always has been, always will be. No matter the reasons given to the peons.

Max , Jun 21 2021 20:11 utc | 13

What is the fastest way to create lots of DEBT (money)? Wars, civil war, technological waves, credit bubbles (speculative, housing,...), infrastructures...

What is the real purpose of war? To capture & control more areas for EXPLOITATION? War is the fastest way to create lots of debt for all parties.

"the real value of a conflict, the true value, is in the debt it creates. You control the debt, you control everything."

Money Power = Land x Lives x Loans

Putting Afghanistan in further debt, enables it to be exploited... What are its revenue sources? Who pays for its security and infrastructure? Will NATO leave by September?

Who wants to make us all, whether we be nations or individuals, slaves to debt?

[Jun 21, 2021] The War On Afghanistan Is Lost But The U.S. Still Tries To Keep A Foot In Its Door

Jun 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Jun 21 2021 20:17 utc | 17

Those Uyghur jihadists stuck in Idlib province in Syria and in refugee camps in Turkey are bound to get a warm welcome from the Taliban when Ankara finally ships them off to Kabul as part of this proposed "security force" to protect the airport so the CIA can continue to ship out its heroin.

Don Bacon , Jun 21 2021 20:28 utc | 20

The US MSM is ablaze with "Taliban against Afghan forces" headlines, conveniently forgetting that the Taliban are Afghan forces too, in fact they preceded the current "Afghan forces" in government until the US intervention.
So why do their guys always beat our guys? Because their guys fight for their country and our guys fight for us.
Max , Jun 21 2021 20:33 utc | 21
@ ToivoS, why did the U$A withdraw from Vietnam? There was conscription in the U$A, thereby the rich were at risk. Also, the U$A was being constrained by money creation due to the gold standard. Both of these issues have been addressed.

Name a nation that the U$A has WITHDRAWN its military after occupying it, other than Vietnam. Aren't we still in Germany, Japan, South Korea, ...?

It ain't over 'til it's over.

How much DEBT has the Afghanistan conflict created so far? In trillions? Who got that money?

Don Bacon , Jun 21 2021 20:34 utc | 22
@ CJC #10
re: . . . Turkey to retain control of airport after NATO withdraws
It's more than NATO.
The US-Taliban agreement:
The United States is committed to withdraw from Afghanistan all military forces of the United States, its allies, and Coalition partners, including all non-diplomatic civilian personnel, private security contractors, trainers, advisors, and supporting services personnel within fourteen (14) months following announcement of this agreement. . . here
Don Bacon , Jun 21 2021 20:39 utc | 24

@ Max
re: . . . why did the U$A withdraw from Vietnam?
The US had no choice because the conscription-based US Army was broken, with troops refusing to obey orders and fragging their superiors etc. . .So Washington pulled out the troops and ended the draft.

Don Bacon , Jun 21 2021 20:49 utc | 25

The US "experts" who are crying about a possible, or inevitable, return to Talban government haven't read the agreement.
The US-Taliban Agreement of Feb 29, 2020 called for all foreign forces to leave Afghanistan by May 2021, and recognized that the outcome would be a return to a Taliban government. For example one agreement condition, II-5:: "The Taliban will not provide visas, passports, travel permits, or other legal documents to those who pose a threat to the security of the United States and its allies to enter Afghanistan." . . here

Don Bacon , Jun 21 2021 22:23 utc | 35

re: Why is the US in Afghanistan?
Decades ago Washington had its own "Silk Road" strategy, to move into the -Stans in Central Asia after the uSSR breakup. There was a large interest in Kazakhstan up north, as well as the other -Stands including Afghanistan. It was of course a road to nowhere but as we know the creeps in Washington ain't too bright. There were no seaports to accommodate this road, for one thing. There were some other considerations, like an energy pipeline, but it was all just going nowhere until 9-11 came along, giving the US to do what it does worst, employ its military.

Don Bacon , Jun 21 2021 22:33 utc | 36

@ Abe 32
re: This simplistic "views" are as inaccurate as insulting.
You need to get out more.
. . .from Fragging: Why U.S. Soldiers Assaulted Their Officers in Vietnam

During its long withdrawal from South Vietnam, the U.S. military experienced a serious crisis in morale. Chronic indiscipline, illegal drug use, and racial militancy all contributed to trouble within the ranks. But most chilling of all was the advent of a new phenomenon: large numbers of young enlisted men turning their weapons on their superiors. The practice was known as "fragging," a reference to the fragmentation hand grenades often used in these assaults. . . here
Canadian Cents , Jun 21 2021 23:03 utc | 40

Glad to hear that Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan is not letting the US use Pakistan as a base for its continued machinations, in spite of heavy US pressure, and that Pakistan as a whole was saying #AbsolutelyNot. Kudos Pakistan.

According to M. K. Bhadrakumar:

"Washington is now considering the hiring of Pentagon contractors (mercenaries) to secure Kabul airport. But that will be a hugely controversial step with grave consequences, as apparent from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's brusque rejection of the very idea of American military presence on Pakistani soil in relation to the Afghan situation."

MKB also places all this into the context of "the US' grand project to create rings of instability in [Russia and China's] adjacent regions -- Ukraine, Belarus, Moldavia, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Afghanistan."

https://www.indianpunchline.com/fizz-is-gone-from-biden-putin-summit/

Biswapriya Purkayast , Jun 21 2021 23:27 utc | 41

*Mi 9 or Mi 17 helicopters. There is no Mi 19.

You forget the ISIS group that magically appeared in Afghanistan a few years ago. The same group that immediately attacked the Taliban, forcing the Taliban to dedicate its best forces to countering the threat instead of fighting the puppet child sex slaver Quisling warlord regime. What's more likely than continuing the occupation in the name of "fighting ISIS"? Just like Iraq was reinvaded and reoccupied in the name of "fighting ISIS" and continues to be occupied to this day?

[Jun 12, 2021] BioSecurity Fascist State

Jun 09, 2021 | www.unz.com

GMC , says: June 9, 2021 at 7:19 am GMT • 18.5 hours ago

@beavertales

My good friend in Canada says that it seems to be a "BioSecurity Fascist State" forming also. And it's not against Cuba , it's against the populace of Canada. Worse than anything in the US. < >

[Jun 12, 2021] Google Should Be Treated as Utility, Ohio Argues in New Lawsuit

Jun 08, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Google's critics have said for years that it should be treated like a public utility. On Tuesday, Ohio's attorney general filed a lawsuit asking a judge to rule that the search company is one.

The case adds to the legal woes confronting the Alphabet Inc. GOOG 0.68% subsidiary, which also faces antitrust lawsuits from the Justice Department and a separate consortium of states led by Colorado and Texas. The company is contending with cases in countries around the world where its dominance as a search provider has sparked a push by regulators to corral its power.

Amid the array of court challenges, Ohio said that it is the first state in the country to bring a lawsuit seeking a court declaration that Google is a common carrier subject under state law to government regulation. The lawsuit, which doesn't seek monetary damages, says that Google has a duty to provide the same rights for advertisements and product placement for competitors as it provides for its own services.

"When you own the railroad or the electric company or the cellphone tower, you have to treat everyone the same and give everybody access," said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, a Republican.

A Google spokesman said that the remedies sought in the Ohio lawsuit would worsen the company's search results and impair businesses' ability to connect directly with customers. "Ohioans simply don't want the government to run Google like a gas or electric company," a spokesman said. "This lawsuit has no basis in fact or law and we'll defend ourselves against it in court."

[Jun 06, 2021] US Troops Die for World Domination, Not Freedom Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... CaitlinJohnstone.com ..."
"... Please Support Our Spring Fund Drive! ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... War is a Racket ..."
"... Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix ..."
"... Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone ..."
"... Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ..."
"... This article was re-published with permission. ..."
"... The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of ..."
Jun 06, 2021 | consortiumnews.com

US Troops Die for World Domination, Not Freedom May 31, 2021 Save

On Memorial Day, Caitlin Johnstone says it's important to block the propaganda that helps feed a steady supply of teenagers into the imperial war machine.

Airman placing U.S. flags at military graves, May 27. (Arlington National Cemetery, Flickr)

By Caitlin Johnstone
CaitlinJohnstone.com

V ice President Kamala Harris spent the weekend under fire from Republicans, which of course means that Kamala Harris spent the weekend being criticized for the most silly, vapid reason you could possibly criticize Kamala Harris for.

Apparently the likely future president tweeted "Enjoy the long weekend," a reference to the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, instead of gushing about fallen troops and sacrifice.

That's it, that's the whole entire story. That silly, irrelevant offense by one of the sleaziest people in the single most corrupt and murderous government on earth is the whole entire basis for histrionic headlines from conservative media outlets like this :

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1398784636193488897&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2021%2F05%2F31%2Fus-troops-die-for-world-domination-not-freedom%2F&sessionId=8c4db816a251b9ec8a405c5ae95098e3aa132642&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Harris, the born politician, was quick to course correct.

"Throughout our history our service men and women have risked everything to defend our freedoms and our country," the veep tweeted . "As we prepare to honor them on Memorial Day, we remember their service and their sacrifice."

https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?visual=true&url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F1059031867&show_artwork=true&maxwidth=860&maxheight=1000&dnt=1&utm_campaign=wtshare&utm_medium=widget&utm_content=https%25253A%25252F%25252Fsoundcloud.com%25252Fgoing_rogue%25252Fus-troops-die-for-world-domination-not-freedom&utm_source=caitlinjohnstone.com

Listen to this article.

Which is of course complete bullshit. It has been generations since any member of the U.S. military could be said to have served or sacrificed defending America or its freedoms, and that has been the case throughout almost the entirety of its history. If you are reading this it is statistically unlikely that you are of an age where any U.S. military personnel died for any other reason than corporate profit and global domination, and if you are it's almost certain you weren't old enough to have had mature thoughts about it at the time.

Please Support Our Spring Fund Drive!

Whenever you criticize the U.S. war machine online within earshot of anyone who's sufficiently propagandized, you will invariably be lectured about the second World War and how we'd all be speaking German or Japanese without the brave men who died for our freedom. This makes my point for me: the fact that apologists for U.S. imperialism always need to reach all the way back through history to the cusp of living memory to find even one single example of the American military being used for purposes that weren't evil proves that it most certainly is evil.

But this is one of the main reasons there are so very many movies and history documentaries made about World War II: it's an opportunity to portray U.S. servicemen bravely fighting and dying for a noble cause without having to bend the truth beyond recognition. The other major reason is that focusing on the second World War allows members of the U.S. empire to escape into a time when the Big Bad Guy on the world stage was someone else.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1399109694334046211&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2021%2F05%2F31%2Fus-troops-die-for-world-domination-not-freedom%2F&sessionId=8c4db816a251b9ec8a405c5ae95098e3aa132642&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

From the end of World War II to the fall of the U.S.S.R., the U.S. military was used to smash the spread of communism and secure geostrategic interests toward the ultimate end of engineering the collapse of the Soviet Union. After this was accomplished in 1991, U.S. foreign policy officially shifted to preserving a unipolar world order by preventing the rise of any other superpower which could rival its might.

A 1992 article by The New York Times titled " U.S. Strategy Plan Calls For Insuring No Rivals Develop ," reporting on a leaked document which describes a policy known as the Wolfowitz Doctrine after then-Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz, reads as follows:

"In a broad new policy statement that is in its final drafting stage, the Defense Department asserts that America's political and military mission in the post-cold-war era will be to insure that no rival superpower is allowed to emerge in Western Europe, Asia or the territory of the former Soviet Union.

A 46-page document that has been circulating at the highest levels of the Pentagon for weeks, and which Defense Secretary Dick Cheney expects to release later this month, states that part of the American mission will be 'convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests.'

The classified document makes the case for a world dominated by one superpower whose position can be perpetuated by constructive behavior and sufficient military might to deter any nation or group of nations from challenging American primacy."

This is all U.S. troops have been fighting and dying for since the Berlin Wall came down. Not "freedom", not "democracy" and certainly not the American people. Just continual uncontested domination of this planet at all cost: domination of its resources, its trade routes, its seas, its air, and its humans, no matter how many lives need to risked and snuffed out in order to achieve it. The U.S. has killed millions and displaced tens of millions just since the turn of this century in the reckless pursuit of that goal.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/26O-2SVcrw0?enablejsapi=1&autoplay=0&cc_load_policy=0&iv_load_policy=1&loop=0&modestbranding=1&fs=1&playsinline=0&controls=1&color=red&rel=0&autohide=2&theme=dark&

And, as Smedley Butler spelled out 86 years ago in his still-relevant book War is a Racket , U.S. military personnel have been dying for profit.

Nothing gets the gears of industry turning like war, and nothing better creates chaotic Wild West environments of shock and confusion during which more wealth and power can be grabbed. War profiteers pour immense resources into lobbying , think tanks and campaign donations to manipulate and bribe policy makers into making decisions which promote war and military expansionism, with astounding success . This is all entirely legal.

It's important to spread awareness that this is all U.S. troops have been dying for, because the fairy tale that they fight for freedom and for their countrymen is a major propaganda narrative used in military recruitment. While poverty plays a significant role in driving up enlistments as predatory recruiters target poor and middle class youth promising them a future in the nation with the worst income inequality in the industrialized world, the fact that the aggressively propagandized glorification of military "service" makes it a more esteemed career path than working at a restaurant or a grocery store means people are more likely to enlist.

Without all that propaganda deceiving people into believing that military work is something virtuous, military service would be the most shameful job anyone could possibly have; other stigmatized jobs like sex work would be regarded as far more noble. You'd be less reluctant to tell your extended family over Christmas that you're a janitor at a seedy massage parlor than that you've enlisted in the U.S. military, because instead of congratulating and praising you, your Uncle Murray would look at you and say, "So you're gonna be killing kids for crude oil?"

And that's exactly how it should be. Continuing to uphold the lie that U.S. troops fight and die for a good cause is helping to ensure a steady supply of teenagers to feed into the gears of the imperial war machine. Stop feeding into the lie that the war machine is worth killing and being killed for. Not out of disrespect for the dead, but out of reverence for the living.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Her work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook , following her antics on Twitter , checking out her podcast on either Youtube , soundcloud , Apple podcasts or Spotify , following her on Steemit , throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of her sweet merchandise , buying her books Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix , Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers .

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News .



Em , June 1, 2021 at 09:52

Instead of annually memorializing those dead youth, who were, in one way or the other, coerced to go off to foreign lands to kill or be killed, by other youth, in the name of a piece of dead symbolic cloth, wouldn't it be a better idea to honor them, while alive in the prime of living (the world over) by affording them the means to learn, leading by example, to discover for themselves – how to think critically as to what the real options are, collectively as well as individually, for survival and thriving.

CNfan , June 1, 2021 at 04:06

"Global domination" for the benefit of a predatory financial oligarchy.

Peter Loeb , June 1, 2021 at 09:11

Read William Hartung's "Prophets of War " to understand the dynamics.

Peter in Boston

Thom Williams , May 31, 2021 at 20:12

Re: CorsortiumNews, Joe Lauria, Caitlin Johnstone, Realist, & Rael Nidess, M.D.

Thank you all for speaking your truth in this dystopian human universe so apparently lacking human reason and understanding. As is so wisely introduced and recognized herein, the murderous depravity of the "Wolfwitz Doctrine" being and remaining the public policy formulation of our national governance, both foreign and domestic, is a fact that every U.S. citizen should consider and understand on this Memorial Day.
As Usual,
EA

Realist , May 31, 2021 at 17:27

Well stated, perfectly logical again on this subject as always, Caitlin. You out the warmongers for their game to fleece the public and rape the world all so a handful of already fat, lazyass but enormously wealthy and influential people can acquire, without the slightest bit of shame, yet more, more and more of everything there is to be had. You and General Butler.

Will this message get through, this time? Maybe the billionth time is the charm, eh? Can the scales suddenly fall from the eyes of the 330 million Americans who will then demand an immediate end to the madness? On the merits, it's the only conclusion that might realise any actual justice for our country and the rest of the world upon whose throat it keeps a knee firmly planted.

Sorry, nothing of the sort shall ever happen, not as long as the entire mercenary mass media obeys its corporate ownership and speaks nothing but false narratives every minute of every day. Not as long as the educational system is really nothing more than a propaganda indoctrination experience for every child born in the glorious USA! Not as long as every politician occupying any given office is just a bought and paid for tool of the Matrix with great talents for convincing the masses that 2 + 2 = 3, or 5, or whatever is convenient at the time to benefit the ledgers of their plutocrat masters.

What better illustrates the reality of my last assertion than the occupancy of the White House by Sleepy/Creepy Joe Biden who, through age alone, has been reduced to nothing more than a sack of unresponsive meat firmly trussed up with ropes and pulleys that his handlers pull this way or that to create an animatronic effect apparently perfectly convincing to the majority of the American public? Or so they say, based upon some putative election results.

Truly, thanks for the effort, Caitlin. I do appreciate that some have a grasp on the truth. I look forward to its recapitulation by yourself and many others to no effect on every Memorial Day in the USA. It would be unrealistic of me to say otherwise.

Rael Nidess, M.D. , May 31, 2021 at 12:54

Kudos for being one of a very few to mention the central driving ethic behind U.S. foreign policy since the demise of the USSR: The Wolfowitz Doctrine. As central today as it was when first published.

[Jun 06, 2021] The Cover-Up Continues- The Truth About Bill Gates, Microsoft, and Jeffrey Epstein by Whitney Webb

Notable quotes:
"... Vanity Fair ..."
"... After Epstein's 2019 arrest, it emerged that Epstein had "directed" Bill Gates to donate $2 million to the MIT lab in 2014. Epstein also allegedly secured a $5 million donation from Leon Black for the lab. Ito was forced to resign his post as the lab's director shortly after Epstein's 2019 arrest. ..."
"... Epstein appears to have become involved with Brockman as early as 1995, when he helped to finance and rescue a struggling book project that was managed by Brockman. ..."
"... According to former Israeli intelligence operative Ari Ben-Menashe, Bill Clinton had been the main focus of Epstein's sexual blackmail operation in the 1990s, a claim supported by Epstein victim testimony and Epstein's intimate involvement with individuals who were close to the former president at the time. ..."
"... Despite tensions arising from the Clinton administration's pursuit of Microsoft's monopoly in the late 1990s, the Gates and Clinton relationship had thawed by April 2000, when Gates attended the White House " Conference on the New Economy ." Attendees besides Gates included close Epstein associate Lynn Forester (now Lady de Rothschild) and then secretary of the treasury Larry Summers, who has also come under fire for his Epstein ties. ..."
"... Huffington Post ..."
"... Huffington Post ..."
"... Black was deeply tied to Epstein, even having Epstein manage his personal "philanthropic" foundation for several years, even after Epstein's first arrest. ..."
"... Indeed, 2013 was also the year that the Gates mansion systems engineer, Rick Allen Jones, began to be investigated by Seattle police for his child porn and child rape collection, which contained over six thousand images and videos. Despite the gravity of his crime, when Jones was arrested at the Gates mansion a year later, he was not jailed after his arrest but was merely ordered "to stay away from children," according to local media reports. From Melinda's perspective, this scandal, combined with Bill Gates's growing association with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein may have posed a threat to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's reputation, well before Epstein's 2019 arrest. ..."
"... Evening Standard ..."
"... The likely reason for the continued cover-up of the true extent of Epstein's ties to Gates has much more to do with Gates's company Microsoft than with Bill Gates himself. While it is now permissible to report on ties that discredit Gates's personal reputation, the information that could tie his relationship with Epstein and the Maxwells to Microsoft has been omitted. ..."
"... If, as the Evening Standard ..."
"... This is hardly an isolated incident, as similar efforts have been made to cover up (or memory hole) the ties of Epstein and the Maxwells to other prominent Silicon Valley empires, such as those led by Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk . One key reason for this is that the Epstein network's blackmail operation involved not only sexual blackmail but electronic forms of blackmail ..."
"... That Isabel and Christine Maxwell were able to forge close business ties with Microsoft after having been part of the front company that played a central role in PROMIS-related espionage and after explicitly managing their subsequent companies with the admitted intention to "rebuild" their spy father's work and legacy, strongly points to the probability of at least some Microsoft products having been compromised in some fashion, likely through alliances with Maxwell-run tech companies. The lack of mainstream media concern over the documented ties of the Epstein network to other top Microsoft executives of the past, such as Nathan Myhrvold, Linda Stone, and Steven Sinofsky, makes it clear that, while it may be open season on the relationship between Bill Gates and Epstein, such is not the case for Microsoft and Epstein. ..."
"... The ties of Epstein and the Maxwells to Silicon Valley, not just to Microsoft, are part of a broader attempt to cover up the strong intelligence component in the origin of Silicon Valley's most powerful companies. Much effort has been invested in creating a public perception that these companies are strictly private entities despite their deep, long-standing ties to the intelligence agencies and militaries of the United States and Israel . The true breadth of the Epstein scandal will never be covered by mainstream media because so many news outlets are owned by these same Silicon Valley oligarchs or depend on Silicon Valley for online reader engagement. ..."
"... Perhaps the biggest reason why the military/intelligence origins and links to the current Silicon Valley oligarchy will never be honestly examined, however, is that those very entities are now working with breakneck speed to usher in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which would make artificial intelligence, automation, mass electronic surveillance, and transhumanism central to human society. One of the architects of this "revolution," Klaus Schwab, said earlier this year that rebuilding and maintaining trust with the public was critical to that project. However, were the true nature of Silicon Valley, including its significant ties to serial child rapist and sex trafficker Jeffery Epstein and his network, to emerge, the public's trust would be significantly eroded, thus threatening what the global oligarchy views as a project critical to its survival ..."
"... What a menace these philanthropic organizations are to the ordinary and lowly. These billionaire creeps never stop plotting and figuring out even more ways to stomp on people and push their creepy agendas, which remain forever hidden. ..."
Jun 06, 2021 | www.unz.com

It further appears that Bill Gates, then head of Microsoft, made a personal investment in CommTouch at the behest of Isabel Maxwell. In an October 2000 article published in the Guardian , Isabel "jokes about persuading Bill Gates to make a personal investment" in CommTouch sometime during this period.

The Guardian article then oddly notes, regarding Isabel Maxwell and Bill Gates:

"In a faux southern belle accent, [Isabel] purrs: 'He's got to spend $375m a year to keep his tax-free status, why not allow me to help him.' She explodes with laughter."

Given that individuals as wealthy as Gates cannot have "tax-free status" and that this article was published soon after the creation of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Isabel's statements suggest that it was the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, which manages the foundation's endowment assets, that made this sizable investment in CommTouch.

Furthermore, it is worth highlighting the odd way in which Isabel describes her dealings with Gates ("purring," speaking in a fake Southern accent), describing her interactions with him in a way not found in any of her numerous other interviews on a wide variety of topics. This odd behavior may be related to Isabel's previous interactions with Gates and/or the mysterious relationship between Gates and Epstein during this time.

Isabel Maxwell as CommTouch President

After 2000, CommTouch's business and clout expanded rapidly, with Isabel Maxwell subsequently crediting investments from Microsoft, led by Gates, and Paul Allen for the company's good fortune and the success of its effort to enter the US market. Maxwell, as quoted in the 2002 book Fastalliances , states that Microsoft viewed CommTouch as a key "distribution network," adding that "Microsoft's investment in us put us on the map. It gave us instant credibility, validated our technology and service in the marketplace." By this time, Microsoft's ties to CommTouch had deepened with new partnerships, including CommTouch's hosting of Microsoft Exchange .

Though Isabel Maxwell was able to secure lucrative investments and alliances for CommTouch and saw its products integrated into key software and hardware components produced and sold by Microsoft and other tech giants, she was unable to improve the company's dire financial situation, with CommTouch netting a loss of $4.4 million in 1998 and similar losses well into the 2000s, with net losses totalling $24 million in 2000 (just one year after the sizable investments from Microsoft, Paul Allen and Gates). The losses continued even after Isabel formally left the company and became president emeritus in 2001. By 2006, the company was over $170 million in debt. Isabel Maxwell left her position at CommTouch in 2001 but for years retained a sizable amount of CommTouch stock valued at the time at around $9.5 million . Today, Isabel Maxwell is, among other things, a " technology pioneer " of the World Economic Forum.

Epstein, Edge, and Nathan Myhrvold

Another indication of a relationship between Epstein and Gates prior to 2001 is Epstein's cozy ties with Nathan Myhrvold, who joined Microsoft in the 1980s and became the company's first chief technology officer in 1996. At the time, Myhrvold was one of Gates's closest advisers, if not the closest, and cowrote Gates's 1996 book, The Road Ahead , which sought to explain how emerging technologies would impact life in the years and decades to come.

In December of the same year that he became Microsoft's CTO, Myhrvold traveled on Epstein's plane from Kentucky to New Jersey, and then again in January 1997 from New Jersey to Florida. Other passengers accompanying Myhrvold on these flights included Alan Dershowitz and "GM," presumably Ghislaine Maxwell. It is worth keeping in mind that this is the same period when Gates had a documented relationship with Ghislaine's sister Isabel.

In addition, in the 1990s, Myhrvold traveled with Epstein in Russia alongside Esther Dyson , a digital technology consultant who has been called "the most influential woman in all the computer world." She currently has close ties to Google as well as the DNA testing company 23andme and is a member of and agenda contributor to the World Economic Forum. Dyson later stated that the meeting with Epstein had been planned by Myhrvold. The meeting appears to have taken place in 1998, based on information posted on Dyson's social media accounts. One photo features Dyson and Epstein, with a time stamp indicating April 28, 1998, posing with Pavel Oleynikov, who appears to have been an employee of the Russian Federal Nuclear Center. In that photo, they are standing in front of the house of the late Andrei Sakharov, the Soviet nuclear scientist and dissident, who is alleged to have had ties to US intelligence. Sakharov and his wife, Yelena Bonner, were supporters of Zionist causes .

The photos were taken in Sarov, where the Russian Federal Nuclear Center is based. That same day, another photo was taken that shows Epstein inside a classroom full of teens, apparently also in Sarov, given the time stamp.

Another Dyson image , one without a visible time stamp but with a caption stating the photo was taken "at Microsoft Russia in Moscow" in April 1998, shows Nathan Myhrvold. Dyson's caption further states, "This was the beginning of a three-week trip during which Nathan and a variety of hangers-on (including a bodyguard) explored the state of post-Soviet science." Epstein appears to be one of the "hangers-on," given the photographs, dates, and the described purpose of the trip.

Myhrvold and Epstein apparently had more in common than an interest in Russian scientific advances. When Myhrvold left Microsoft to cofound Intellectual Ventures, Vanity Fair reported that he had received Epstein at the firm's office with "young girls" in tow who appeared to be "Russian models." A source close to Myhrvold and cited by Vanity Fair claimed that Myhrvold spoke openly about borrowing Epstein's jet and staying at his homes in Florida and New York. Vanity Fair also noted that Myhrvold has been accused of having sex with minors provided by Epstein by none other than Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, who stands accused of the same crime and who had previously flown with Myhrvold on Epstein's private plane.

In addition, a former colleague of Myhrvold's at Microsoft later developed her own ties to Epstein. Linda Stone , who joined Microsoft in 1993 and worked directly under Myhrvold, eventually became a Microsoft vice president. She introduced Epstein to Joi Ito of the MIT Media Lab after Epstein's first arrest. "He has a tainted past, but Linda assures me that he's awesome," Ito later said in an email to three MIT staffers. In Epstein's famous little black book, there are several phone numbers for Stone, and her emergency contact is listed as Kelly Bovino, a former model and alleged Epstein coconspirator. After Epstein's 2019 arrest, it emerged that Epstein had "directed" Bill Gates to donate $2 million to the MIT lab in 2014. Epstein also allegedly secured a $5 million donation from Leon Black for the lab. Ito was forced to resign his post as the lab's director shortly after Epstein's 2019 arrest.

Nathan Myhrvold , Linda Stone , Joi Ito, Esther Dyson , and Bill Gates were all members of the Edge Foundation community (edge.org website), alongside several other Silicon Valley icons. Edge, which is described as an exclusive organization of intellectuals " redefining who and what we are ," was created by John Brockman, a self-described "cultural impresario" and noted literary agent. Brockman is best known for his deep ties to the art world in the late 1960s, though lesser known are his various "management consulting" gigs for the Pentagon and White House during that same period. Edge, which the Guardian once called "the world's smartest website," is an exclusive online symposium affiliated with what Brockman calls "the Third Culture." Epstein appears to have become involved with Brockman as early as 1995, when he helped to finance and rescue a struggling book project that was managed by Brockman.

Edge, however, is more than just a website. For decades, it was also instrumental in bringing together tech executives, scientists who were often Brockman's clients, and Wall Street financiers through its Millionaires' Dinner, first held in 1985. In 1999, this event rebranded as the Billionaires' Dinner, and Epstein became intimately involved in these affairs and the Edge Foundation itself. Epstein was photographed attending several of the dinners as was Sarah Kellen, Ghislaine Maxwell's chief "assistant" and coconspirator in the Epstein/Maxwell-run sex trafficking and blackmail scheme.

Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft and Jeffrey Epstein at the 2000 Edge Billionaires' Dinner Source: https://www.edge.org/igd/1200

From 2001 to 2017, Epstein funded $638,000 out of a total of $857,000 raised by Edge. During this period, there were several years when Epstein was Edge's only donor. Epstein stopped giving in 2015, which was incidentally the same year that Edge decided to discontinue its annual Billionaires' Dinner tradition. In addition, the only award Edge has ever given out, the $100,000 Edge of Computation prize, was awarded in 2005 to Quantum computing pioneer David Deutsch -- it was funded entirely by Epstein. A year before he began donating heavily to Edge, Epstein had created the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation to "fund and support cutting edge science around the world."

Since the Epstein scandal, regular attendees of the Billionaires' Dinner, sometimes called the Edge annual dinner, have referred to the event as an "influence operation." If one follows the money, it appears it was an influence operation largely benefitting one man, Jeffrey Epstein, and his network. The evidence points toward Myhrvold and Gates as being very much a part of that network, even before Epstein's involvement in Edge increased significantly.

A Tale of Two Bills

It is worth exploring the ties between the "philanthropic" endeavors of Bill Gates and Bill Clinton in the early 2000s, particularly given Epstein's and Ghislaine Maxwell's ties to the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative during that period. According to former Israeli intelligence operative Ari Ben-Menashe, Bill Clinton had been the main focus of Epstein's sexual blackmail operation in the 1990s, a claim supported by Epstein victim testimony and Epstein's intimate involvement with individuals who were close to the former president at the time.

Bill Gates at the White House Conference on the New Economy in 2000, Source: LA Times

Despite tensions arising from the Clinton administration's pursuit of Microsoft's monopoly in the late 1990s, the Gates and Clinton relationship had thawed by April 2000, when Gates attended the White House " Conference on the New Economy ." Attendees besides Gates included close Epstein associate Lynn Forester (now Lady de Rothschild) and then secretary of the treasury Larry Summers, who has also come under fire for his Epstein ties. Another attendee was White House chief of staff Thomas "Mack" McLarty, whose special assistant Mark Middleton met with Epstein at least three times at the Clinton White House. Middleton was fired after press reports surfaced detailing his ties to illegal donations linked to foreign governments that had been made to Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign. Another participant in the conference was Janet Yellen, Biden's current Secretary of the Treasury.

Gates spoke at a conference panel entitled "Closing the Global Divide: Health, Education and Technology." He discussed how the mapping of the human genome would result in a new era of technological breakthroughs and discussed the need to offer internet access to everyone to close the digital divide and allow the "new" internet-based economy to take shape. At the time, Gates was backing a company , along with American Telecom billionaire Craig McCaw, that hoped to establish a global internet service provider monopoly through a network of low-orbit satellites. That company, Teledesic, shut down between 2002 and 2003 and is credited as being the inspiration for Elon Musk's Starlink.

Bill Clinton and Bill Gates entered the world of philanthropy around the same time, with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launching in 2000 and the Clinton Foundation, in 2001. Not only that but Wired described the two foundations as being "at the forefront of a new era in philanthropy, in which decisions -- often referred to as investments -- are made with the strategic precision demanded of business and government, then painstakingly tracked to gauge their success."

Other media outlets, however, such as the Huffington Post , challenged that these foundations engaged in "philanthropy" and asserted that calling them such was causing "the rapid deconstruction of the accepted term." The Huffington Post further noted that the Clinton Global Initiative (part of the Clinton Foundation), the Gates Foundation, and a few similar organizations "all point in the direction of blurring the boundaries between philanthropy, business and non-profits." It noted that this model for "philanthropy" has been promoted by the World Economic Forum and the Milken Institute. It is also worth noting that several of Epstein's own "philanthropic" vehicles were also created just as this new era in philanthropy was beginning.

The Milken Institute was founded by Michael Milken , the notorious Wall Street "junk bond king," who was indicted on 98 counts of racketeering and securities fraud in 1989. He served little prison time and was ultimately pardoned by Donald Trump. Milken committed his crimes while working alongside Leon Black and Ron Perelman at Drexel Burnham Lambert before its scandalous collapse. Black was deeply tied to Epstein, even having Epstein manage his personal "philanthropic" foundation for several years, even after Epstein's first arrest. Perelman was a major Clinton donor whose 1995 fundraiser for the then president was attended by Epstein and whose companies offered jobs to Webster Hubbell and Monica Lewinsky after their respective scandals in the Clinton administration. Like Gates, Milken has transformed his reputation for ruthlessness in the corporate world into one of a "prominent philanthropist." Much of his "philanthropy" benefits the Israeli military and illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine.

Years after creating their foundations, Gates and Clinton discussed how they have "long bonded over their shared mission" of normalizing this new model of philanthropy. Gates spoke to Wired in 2013 about "their forays into developing regions" and "cites the close partnerships between their organizations." In that interview, Gates revealed that he had met Clinton before he had become president, stating, "I knew him before he was president, I knew him when he was president, and I know him now that he's not president."

Also in that interview, Clinton stated that after he left the White House he sought to focus on two specific things. The first is the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), which he stated exists "thanks largely to funding from the Gates Foundation," and the second is the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), "where I try to build a global network of people to do their own thing."

The Clinton Health Access Initiative first received an $11 million donation from the Gates Foundation in 2009. Over the last twelve years, the Gates Foundation has donated more than $497 million to CHAI. CHAI was initially founded in 2002 with the mission of tackling HIV/AIDS globally through "strong government relationships" and addressing "market inefficiencies." The Gates Foundation's significant donations, however, began not long after CHAI's expansion into malaria diagnostics and treatments. Notably, in 2011, Tachi Yamada, the former president of the Gates Foundation's Global Health program, joined CHAI's board alongside Chelsea Clinton.

Bill Gates and Bill Clinton at the annual Clinton Global Initiative in 2010

Regarding the CGI, Epstein's defense lawyers argued in court in 2007 that Epstein had been "part of the original group that conceived of the Clinton Global Initiative," which was first launched in 2005. Epstein's lawyers described the CGI as a project "bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges." The Gates Foundation gave the CGI a total of $2.5 million between 2012 and 2013 in addition to its massive donations to the CHAI and an additional $35 million to the Clinton Foundation itself. In addition to the Gates Foundation donations, Gates's Microsoft has been intimately involved in other "philanthropic" projects backed by Clinton.

In addition to these ties, Hillary Clinton established a partnership between the Clinton Foundation and the Gates Foundation in 2014 as part of the Clintons' No Ceilings initiative. That partnership sought to "gather and analyze data about the status of women and girls' participation around the world" and involved the two foundations working "with leading technology partners to collect these data and compile them." Months before the partnership was announced, Gates and Epstein met for dinner and discussed the Gates Foundation and philanthropy, according to the New York Times . During Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful run for president in 2016, both Bill and Melinda Gates were on her short list as potential options for vice president.

In addition, Epstein attempted to become involved in the Gates Foundation directly, as seen by his efforts to convince the Gates Foundation to partner with JP Morgan on a multibillion-dollar "global health charitable fund" that would have resulted in hefty fees paid out to Epstein, who was very involved with JP Morgan at the time. Though that fund never materialized, Epstein and Gates did discuss Epstein becoming involved in Gates's philanthropic efforts. Some of these contacts were not reported by the mainstream press until after the Bill and Melinda Gates divorce announcement. Yet, as mentioned, it was known that Epstein had "directed" Gates to donate to at least one organization -- $2 million in 2014 to the MIT Media Lab.

Recent revelations about Gates and Epstein meetings that took place between 2013 and 2014 have further underscored the importance Epstein apparently held in the world of billionaire "philanthropy," with Gates reportedly claiming that Epstein was his "ticket" to winning a Nobel Prize. Norwegian media, however, reported in October 2020 that Gates and Epstein had met the Nobel Committee chair, which failed to make a splash in international media at the time. It is worth asking if Epstein managed to arrange such meetings with other individuals who also coveted Nobel Prizes and if any such individuals later received those prizes. If Epstein had such connections, it is unlikely that he would use them only once in the case of Bill Gates, given the vastness of his network, particularly in the tech and science worlds.

The year 2013 is also when Bill and Melinda Gates together met with Epstein at his New York residence, after which Melinda allegedly began asking her soon-to-be ex-husband to distance himself from Epstein. While the stated reason for this, in the wake of the Gateses' divorce announcement, was that Melinda was put off by Epstein's past and his persona, it could potentially be related to other concerns about Melinda's reputation and that of the foundation that shares her name.

Indeed, 2013 was also the year that the Gates mansion systems engineer, Rick Allen Jones, began to be investigated by Seattle police for his child porn and child rape collection, which contained over six thousand images and videos. Despite the gravity of his crime, when Jones was arrested at the Gates mansion a year later, he was not jailed after his arrest but was merely ordered "to stay away from children," according to local media reports. From Melinda's perspective, this scandal, combined with Bill Gates's growing association with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein may have posed a threat to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's reputation, well before Epstein's 2019 arrest.

2013 was also the year that the Maxwells become involved in the Clinton Foundation. That year, Ghislaine Maxwell's TerraMar Project, which officially supported UN Sustainable Development Goals as they relate the world's oceans, made a $1.25 million commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of an effort to form a Sustainable Oceans Alliance. TerraMar shut down shortly after Epstein's 2019 arrest.

Isabel Maxwell and Al Seckel at the World Economic Forum's 2011 Annual Meeting

Notably, Ghislaine's TerraMar Project was in many ways the successor to Isabel Maxwell's failed Blue World Alliance, which was also ostensibly focused on the world's oceans. Blue World Alliance was set up by Isabel and her now deceased husband Al Seckel, who had hosted a "scientific conference" on Epstein's island. The Blue World Alliance also went under the name Globalsolver Foundation, and Xavier Malina, Christine Maxwell's son, was listed as Globalsolver's liaison to the Clinton Foundation. He was previously an intern at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Malina later work ed in the Obama administration at the Office of White House Personnel. He now works for Google. It is also worth noting that during this same period, Isabel Maxwell's son, Alexander Djerassi , was chief of staff at the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs in the Hillary Clinton–run State Department.

Gates Science and Epstein Science

While the Gates Foundation and the Clinton Foundation intermingled, and the latter had ties to Epstein and Maxwell, it also appears that Epstein had significant influence over two of the most prominent science advisers to Bill Gates over the last fifteen years -- Melanie Walker and Boris Nikolic.

A screenshot from a 2019 presentation Melanie Walker gave for Rockefeller Foundation, where she is a fellow. Source: YouTube

Melanie Walker , now a celebrated neurosurgeon, met Jeffrey Epstein in 1992 soon after she graduated from college, when he offered her a Victoria's Secret modelling job. Such offers were often made by Epstein and his accomplices when recruiting women into his operation and it is unclear if Walker ever actually worked as a model for the Leslie Wexner-owned company. She then stayed at a New York apartment building associated with Epstein's trafficking operations during visits to New York, but it is unclear how long she stayed there or at other Epstein-owned properties. After she graduated from medical school in 1998, she became Epstein's science adviser for at least a year. By 1999, she had grown so close to Prince Andrew that she attended a Windsor Castle birthday celebration hosted by the Queen along with Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. During this period, Melanie appears on Epstein's flight logs under her birth name , Melanie Starnes , though it looks like "Starves" on the flight logs.

The close relationship between Prince Andrew and Melanie Walker came under scrutiny after Epstein's former housekeeper at the Zorro Ranch property, Deidre Stratton, stated in an interview that Prince Andrew had been "given" a "beautiful young neurosurgeon" while he stayed at Epstein's New Mexico property. Given that only one neurosurgeon was both close to Prince Andrew and a part of Epstein's entourage at the time, it seems highly likely that this woman "gifted" to Andrew was Melanie Walker. According to Stratton, Andrew "kept company" with this woman for three days. The arrangement was set up by Epstein, who was not at the property at the time. The exact timing of the stay is uncertain, but it likely took place between 1999 and 2001.

Stratton said the following about the stay:

"At the time, Jeffrey had this, she supposedly was a neurosurgeon, quite young, beautiful, young and brilliant, and she stayed in the home with him At one point we had all these different teas and you could pick the teas that you wanted and she asked me to find one that would make Andrew more horny.

I'm guessing she understood her job was to entertain him because I guess, the fear, I don't know; the fear would be that Andrew would say, "No I didn't really find her that attractive." . . . He would tell Jeffrey that and then she would be on the ropes.

I'm guessing that, another theory is, that Jeffrey probably had her on retainer and she knew what her job would be, should be, to make these people happy. . . . Sex was all they thought about. I mean, I know for sure that Jeffrey would ideally like three massages a day."

Sometime later, Walker moved to Seattle and began living with then Microsoft executive Steven Sinofsky, who now serves as a board partner at the venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz. Andreesen Horowitz notably backs Carbyne911, the Israel intelligence-linked precrime start-up funded by Epstein and his close associate, former prime minister of Israel Ehud Barak, as well as another Israeli intelligence-linked tech company led by Barak, called Toka . Toka recently won contracts with the governments of Moldova, Nigeria, and Ghana through the World Bank, where Melanie Walker is currently a director and a former special adviser to its president. It is unclear when, how and under what circumstances Walker met Sinofsky.

After moving to Seattle to be with Sinofsky and after a brief stint as a "practitioner in the developing world" in China with the World Health Organization, Walker was hired as a senior program officer by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2006. Given that the main feature of Walker's resume at the time was having been a science adviser to another wealthy "philanthropist," Jeffrey Epstein, her hire by the Gates Foundation for this critical role further underscores how Bill Gates, at the very least, not only knew who Epstein was but knew enough about his scientific interests and investments to want to hire Walker. Walker went on to become deputy director for Global Development as well as a deputy director of Special Initiatives at the foundation. According to the Rockefeller Foundation , where she is a fellow, Walker later advised Gates on issues pertaining to neurotechnology and brain science for Gates's secretive company bgC3 , which Gates originally registered as a think tank under the name Carillon Holdings. According to federal filings, bgC3's focus areas were "scientific and technological services," "industrial analysis and research," and "design and development of computer hardware and software."

During her time at the Gates Foundation, Walker introduced Boris Nikolic, Gates's science adviser, to Epstein. Today, Melanie Walker is the cochair of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Neurotechnology and Brain Science, having previously been named a WEF Young Global Leader. She also advises the World Health Organization, which is closely linked to Bill Gates's "philanthropy."

At the WEF, Walker wrote an article in 2016 entitled " Healthcare in 2030: Goodbye Hospital, Hello Home-spital ," in which she discusses how wearable devices, brain-machine interfaces, and injectable/swallowable robotic "medicines" will be the norm by 2030. Years before COVID-19 and the Great Reset–inspired efforts to change health care in just this way, Walker wrote that while the dystopian scenario she was painting "sounds crazy . . . most of these technologies are either almost ready for prime time, or in development." Of course, a lot of those technologies took shape thanks to the patronage of her former bosses, Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Gates.

In the case of Boris Nikolic, after being introduced to Epstein through Walker, he attended a 2011 meeting with Gates and Epstein where he was photographed alongside James Staley, then a senior JP Morgan executive, and Larry Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury and a close Epstein associate. Nikolic was chief adviser for science and technology to Bill Gates at the time, advising both the Gates Foundation and bgC3. According to the mainstream narrative, this is supposed to be the first time that Gates and Epstein had ever met. In addition, this may have been when Epstein pitched the joint Gates Foundation–JP Morgan "global health charitable fund."

The 2011 meeting at Jeffrey Epstein's Manhattan mansion attended by James E. Staley, Larry Summers, Jeffery Epstein, Bill Gates and Boris Nikolic

In 2014, Nikolic " waxed enthusiastic " about Epstein's supposed penchant for financial advice ahead of a public offering for a gene-editing company that Nikolic had a $42 million stake in . Notably, both Nikolic and Epstein were clients of the same group of bankers at JP Morgan, with Bloomberg later reporting that Epstein regularly helped those bankers attract wealthy new clients.

In 2016, Nikolic cofounded Biomatics capital, which invests in health-related companies at "the convergence of genomics and digital data" that are "enabling the development of superior therapeutics, diagnostics and delivery models." Nikolic founded Biomatics with Julie Sunderland, formerly the director of the Gates Foundation's Strategic Investment Fund.

At least three of the companies backed by Biomatics -- Qihan Biotech , eGenesis , and Editas -- were cofounded by George Church, a Harvard geneticist with deep ties to Epstein and also closely associated with the Edge Foundation. Biomatics investment in Qihan Biotech is no longer listed on the Biomatics website. Church's Qihan Biotech seeks to produce human tissues and organs inside pigs for transplantation into humans, while eGenesis seeks to genetically modify pig organs for use in humans. Editas produces CRISPR gene-editing "medicines" and is also backed by the Gates Foundation as well as Google Ventures.

Church has been accused of promoting eugenics as well as unethical human experimentation . Epstein's significant interest in eugenics was made public after his death, and Bill Gates, as well as his father William H. Gates II, have also been linked to eugenics movements and ideas.

After Epstein's death in 2019, it was revealed that Nikolic had been named the "successor executor" of Epstein's estate, further suggesting close ties to Epstein despite Nikolic's claims to the contrary. After details of Epstein's will were made public, Nikolic did not sign a form indicating his willingness to be executor and did not ultimately serve in that role.

The Epstein Cover-Up Continues

Despite the relatively abrupt shift in the mainstream media regarding what is acceptable to discuss regarding the Jeffrey Epstein–Bill Gates relationship, many of these same media outlets refuse to acknowledge much of the information contained in this investigative report. This is particularly true in the case of the Evening Standard article and Bill Gates's odd relationship with Ghislaine Maxwell's sister Isabel and CommTouch, the company Isabel previously led.

The likely reason for the continued cover-up of the true extent of Epstein's ties to Gates has much more to do with Gates's company Microsoft than with Bill Gates himself. While it is now permissible to report on ties that discredit Gates's personal reputation, the information that could tie his relationship with Epstein and the Maxwells to Microsoft has been omitted.

If, as the Evening Standard reported, Epstein did make millions out of his business ties with Gates prior to 2001 and if Gates's ties to Isabel Maxwell and the Israeli espionage–linked company CommTouch were to become public knowledge, the result could easily be a scandal on a par with the PROMIS software affair. Such a disclosure could be very damaging for Microsoft and its partner the World Economic Forum , as Microsoft has become a key player in the WEF's Fourth Industrial Revolution initiatives that range from digital identity and vaccine passports to efforts to replace human workers with artificial intelligence.

There are clearly powerful actors with a vested interest in keeping the Epstein-Gates narrative squarely focused on 2011 and later -- not necessarily to protect Gates but more likely to protect the company itself and other top Microsoft executives who appear to have been compromised by Epstein and others in the same intelligence-linked network.

This is hardly an isolated incident, as similar efforts have been made to cover up (or memory hole) the ties of Epstein and the Maxwells to other prominent Silicon Valley empires, such as those led by Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk . One key reason for this is that the Epstein network's blackmail operation involved not only sexual blackmail but electronic forms of blackmail , something used to great effect by Robert Maxwell on behalf of Israeli intelligence as part of the PROMIS operation. Given its nature, electronic forms of blackmail through illegal surveillance or backdoored software can be used to compromise those in power with something to hide, but who were uninclined to engage in the exploitation of minors, such as those abused by Epstein.

That Isabel and Christine Maxwell were able to forge close business ties with Microsoft after having been part of the front company that played a central role in PROMIS-related espionage and after explicitly managing their subsequent companies with the admitted intention to "rebuild" their spy father's work and legacy, strongly points to the probability of at least some Microsoft products having been compromised in some fashion, likely through alliances with Maxwell-run tech companies. The lack of mainstream media concern over the documented ties of the Epstein network to other top Microsoft executives of the past, such as Nathan Myhrvold, Linda Stone, and Steven Sinofsky, makes it clear that, while it may be open season on the relationship between Bill Gates and Epstein, such is not the case for Microsoft and Epstein.

The ties of Epstein and the Maxwells to Silicon Valley, not just to Microsoft, are part of a broader attempt to cover up the strong intelligence component in the origin of Silicon Valley's most powerful companies. Much effort has been invested in creating a public perception that these companies are strictly private entities despite their deep, long-standing ties to the intelligence agencies and militaries of the United States and Israel . The true breadth of the Epstein scandal will never be covered by mainstream media because so many news outlets are owned by these same Silicon Valley oligarchs or depend on Silicon Valley for online reader engagement.

Perhaps the biggest reason why the military/intelligence origins and links to the current Silicon Valley oligarchy will never be honestly examined, however, is that those very entities are now working with breakneck speed to usher in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which would make artificial intelligence, automation, mass electronic surveillance, and transhumanism central to human society. One of the architects of this "revolution," Klaus Schwab, said earlier this year that rebuilding and maintaining trust with the public was critical to that project. However, were the true nature of Silicon Valley, including its significant ties to serial child rapist and sex trafficker Jeffery Epstein and his network, to emerge, the public's trust would be significantly eroded, thus threatening what the global oligarchy views as a project critical to its survival .

kapoore , says: June 6, 2021 at 2:48 am GMT • 1.3 hours ago

I'm always impressed with the vigorous detail and documentation in your articles. What a menace these philanthropic organizations are to the ordinary and lowly. These billionaire creeps never stop plotting and figuring out even more ways to stomp on people and push their creepy agendas, which remain forever hidden.

[May 28, 2021] Nuances of the right to vote and Liz Cheney

Both Liz Cheney and Mitt The Bitch Romney are examples of the filthy neocons...
Notable quotes:
"... [in case of Cheney] The war monger doesn't fall far from the tree. ..."
"... Amazing how the liberal news outlets are now supporting a Cheney. But they know more war equals more rating ..."
May 09, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Mike Rotsch 10 minutes ago

. . . which has caused some GOP leaders to fear alienating female Republican voters, particularly educated suburbanites who will be key votes in the 2022 elections.

When I first met my wife, she told me women shouldn't have the right to vote. It was instant love.

A Girl In Flyover Country 59 minutes ago

[in case of Cheney] The war monger doesn't fall far from the tree.

Rise21 42 minutes ago remove link

Amazing how the liberal news outlets are now supporting a Cheney. But they know more war equals more rating

yochananmichael 51 seconds ago

its time for the republicans to rid itself of chicken hawk warmongers like Cheney.

He father disbanded there Iraqi Army which was supposed to provide security, causing an insurgency and 5000 dead American boys and countless maimed.

vic and blood PREMIUM 4 minutes ago

Cheney's benefactors have erected massive billboards all over the state, 'thanking her for defending the Constitution.'

She has an incredible war chest, and sadly, money and advertising decides a lot of elections.

[May 24, 2021] French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned on Sunday of the risk of "long-lasting apartheid" in Israel

May 24, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Մասիս , May 24 2021 6:59 utc | 124

The Roots of Coincidence

France is was denying any discomfort with Zionism for 52 years. but since yesterday effect of Plate tectonics are perceptible.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned on Sunday of the risk of "long-lasting apartheid" in Israel. The veteran politician [and high rank French official for 40 years with solid connection to French weapons trade] made the remarks in an interview with LCI TV NewsChannel, RTL radio and Le Figaro newspaper [ three major MSM]

https://www.lefigaro.fr/politique/jean-yves-le-drian-met-en-garde-israel-contre-un-risque-d-apartheid-envers-ses-populations-arabes-20210523


from Guardian.ng


French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned on Sunday of the risk of "long-lasting apartheid" in Israel in the event the Palestinians fail to obtain their own state.
Le Drian is one of the first senior French officials to use the term "apartheid" in reference to Israel , which has angrily denied any policy of racial discrimination.
The veteran politician made the remarks in an interview with RTL radio and Le Figaro newspaper in reference to the clashes between Jews and Arabs that erupted in several Israeli cities during the latest conflict.
The violence, which revealed simmering anger among Israeli Arabs over the crackdown on Palestinians in Jerusalem, shattered years of peaceful coexistence within Israel.
"It's the first time and it clearly shows that if in the future we had a solution other than the two-state solution, we would have the ingredients of long-lasting apartheid," Le Drian said, using the word for the white supremacist oppression of blacks in South Africa from 1948 to 1991.
Le Drian said the "risk of apartheid is high" if Israel continued to act "according to a single-state logic" but also if it maintained the status quo.
"Even the status quo produces that," he said.
He added that the 11-day conflict between Hamas and Israel had shown the need to revive the moribund Middle East peace process.
https://guardian.ng/news/france-sees-risk-of-apartheid-in-israel-paris-france/
"We have take one step at a time," he said, expressing satisfaction that US President Joe Biden had reiterated support for creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Israel's latest offensive against Hamas killed 248 people in the Gaza Strip, including 66 children, and wounded over 1,900, the Hamas-run health ministry said.
Meanwhile, rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups into Israel killed 12 and wounded around 357 others, Israeli police said.

Long-lasting apartheid usually ends badly

--//--

@ James & al.
Please, enjoy a little more Roots of Coincidence


Grieved , May 24 2021 7:05 utc | 125

@120 m - "Iron Dome system according to Israeli sources..."

The point is not the numbers taken from the sales brochure of the system. The point is, what does the penetration of the fantasy shield do to the Israeli psyche?

Israel initiated the ceasefire, without conditions. After 11 days, it could take no more.

Israel has failed to protect itself from the indigenous population that it was oppressing. Palestine has won a victory that changes the game and changes the world.

The entire regional Resistance now knows that Palestine alone can hold the enemy in check. And all the Palestinians everywhere are completely united with only the Resistance as their leader.

Over at the Saker just now, a speech from Hezbollah acknowledges proudly that Palestine itself is now the leading edge of the struggle to remove Israel from the Middle East, and that Hezbollah yearns for the day when it joins side by side with the Palestinians to drive the oppressor from the land.

Palestine as it says could keep up this barrage against Israel for six months - just Palestine alone. And the damage from such a thing would not be measured in how few or how many individual persons were killed by those rockets. The damage would be measured by the scream of madness and defeat from the Zionist oppressor, thrown down by the indigenous populace and cast out of the land in abject fear.

Paul , May 24 2021 8:02 utc | 126
As barflies can see, There may be an undefined 'ceasefire' but the 100 year old ethnic cleansing project in the rest of Palestine continues:

Israel's Daily Toll on Palestinian Life, Limb, Liberty and Land

(Compiled by Leslie Bravery, Palestine Human Rights Campaign, Auckland, New Zealand)
18 May 2021 {Main source of statistics: Palestinian Monitoring Group (PMG): http://www.nad.ps/ NB:The period covered by this newsletter is taken from the PMG's 24-hour sitrep ending 8am the day after the above date.}
We shall always do our best to verify the accuracy of all items in these IOP newsletters/reports wherever possible [e.g. we often suspect that names of people and places that we see in the PMG sitreps could be typos; also frequently the translation into English seems rather odd ~ but as we do not speak Arabic, we have no alternative but to copy and paste these names from the PMG sitreps!] – please forgive us for any errors or omissions – Leslie and Marian.
206 projectiles
launched from Gaza

82 air strikes (157)

Very many
Israeli attacks

158 Israeli
ceasefire violations

21 raids including
home invasions

11 killed – 261 injured

Economic sabotage

43 taken prisoner

Night peace disruption
and/or home invasions
in 6 towns and villages
Home invasions: 09:20, Nazlet al-Sheikh Zaid - 09:20, al-Arqa - 04:00, Anabta - 03:30, Madama - 03:30, Tel.
Peace disruption raids: 14:40, Beitunya - 16:05, Um Safa village - 03:20, Bir Zeit - dawn, Bil'in - 17:40, Tura village - 18:55, Ya'bad - 19:45, Zububa - 06:30, Tubas - 18:05, Quffin - 04:00, Tulkarem - 20:00, Aqraba - 13:45, al-Azza UN refugee camp - 13:45, Aida UN refugee camp - 18:10, al-Khadr - 18:10, Janata - 20:15, Tuqu - 03:00, al-Ubeidiya - dawn, Husan - dawn, al-Ubeidiya.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Gaza enclave: From 07:00 until 07:00 the following day 206 projectiles were launched towards the Green Line from Northern Gaza, Gaza City, Central Gaza and Khan Yunis.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Gaza enclave: From 07:00 until 07:00 the following day, 206 projectiles were launched towards the Green Line from Northern Gaza, Gaza City, Central Gaza and Khan Yunis.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Northern Gaza – 53 projectiles launched towards the Green Line.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Gaza – 81 projectiles launched towards the Green Line.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Central Gaza – 17 projectiles launched towards the Green Line.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Khan Yunis – 38 projectiles launched towards the Green Line.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Khan Yunis – 17 projectiles launched towards the Green Line.
Ceasefire violations – air strikes: Gaza enclave – from 07:00 until 07:00 the following day, Israeli warplanes carried out 82 air strikes, launching 157 missiles onto Gaza. There were 7 killed, 50 injured, 35 homes destroyed and much damage caused.
Ceasefire violations – air strikes: Northern Gaza – Israeli warplanes launched 21 air strikes – 35 missiles: 16 injured and 10 homes destroyed.
Ceasefire violations – air strikes: Gaza – Israeli warplanes launched 17 air strikes – 27 missiles: 6 killed (including a child), 15 injured (including women and children) and 7 homes destroyed.
Ceasefire violations – air strikes: Central Gaza – Israeli warplanes launched 14 air strikes – 20 missiles: 11injured and 6 homes destroyed.
Ceasefire violations – air strikes: Khan Yunis – Israeli warplanes launched 13 air strikes – 46 missiles: 1 killed, 14 injured and 10 homes destroyed.
Ceasefire violations – air strikes: Rafah – Israeli warplanes launched 17 air strikes – 29 missiles. 3 injured and 2 homes destroyed.
Ceasefire violations – Israeli attacks: Gaza enclave: From 07:00 until 07:00 the following day, the Israeli Army and Navy pounded Central Gaza, Khan Yunis and Rafah.
Israeli Army attacks – 18 wounded: Jerusalem – Israeli Occupation forces opened fire, with live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters on protesters in Shuafat, al-Zaim, al-Jib, Beit Ijza, Qalandiya, near the villages of Qatanna and al-Issawiya, as well as in Abu Dis, al-Eizariya and at the entrances to Hizma, al-Sawahrah al-Sharqiya, Anata, the al-Ram road junction, Bab al-Amoud area and al-Wad Street in Jerusalem Old City. 18 protesters were wounded.
Israeli Army attack: Jerusalem – 18:00, Israeli Occupation forces opened fire on Palestinian motor vehicles in the Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood.
Israeli Army attacks – 3 killed – 72 wounded: Ramallah – Israeli forces in or near al-Bireh, Sinjil, Aboud, Ni'lin, al-Mughayer, Deir Jarir, Kafr Malik, Nabi Salih, Ein Qiniya, Ras Karkar, Kharbatha Bani Harith, Beit Sira, al-Jalazoun refugee camp, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, killing 3 people, Muhammad Mahmoud Hamid (24), Adham Fayez Al-Kashef (20) and Islam Wael Fahmy Barnat, and wounding 72. There were many tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks – 4 wounded: Jenin – Israeli troops, manning the Jalamah and Dotan checkpoints and at the southern entrance to Silat al-Dahr, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 4 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks – 7 wounded: Tulkarem – Israeli forces, manning the Einav checkpoint and troops in Tulkarem, Quffin, Zit and at the entrance to Beit Lid, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 7 and causing several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks – 8 wounded: Qalqiliya – Israeli Occupation forces, at the entrances to Azun, Hajjah, and Kafr Qaddum as well as near Jayus, Hablat and at the Eyal crossing, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 8 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks – 33 wounded: Nablus – Israeli Army positions, near the Huwara checkpoint, the intersection of Osirin and Sarra villages and near the entrances to Qusra, Beta, Jama'in, Naqoura, Deir Sharaf, Burin, Madama, Asirah al-Qibliya, Yutma, al-Labban al-Sharqiya, Odla, al-Sawiyah and the village of Tal, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 33 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks: Salfit – Israeli troops, near the entrances to Deir Istiya, Qarawat Bani Hassan, al-Zawiya and the northern entrance to Salfit, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters. There were several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks – 18 wounded: Bethlehem – Israeli forces, present at Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque, the Aida refugee camp, northern entrance to Tuqu', western entrance to Beit Fajar, Um Rakba area of al-Khadr and entrance to Husan, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 18 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks – 1 killed: Hebron – morning, Israeli Occupation forces, positioned in the Old City, opened fire on and killed a resident: Islam Fayyad Zahida (32).
Israeli Army attacks – 30 wounded: Hebron – the Israeli Army, positioned in the Bab al-Zawiya area of Hebron and in the Old City, as well as near the entrances to Beit Ummar, Bani Naim, Tarqumiya, Khurasa village, the al-Aroub refugee camp and on Halhul Bridge, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 30 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Economic sabotage: Gaza -- the Israeli Navy continues to enforce an arbitrary fishing limit.
Home invasion: Jenin – 09:20, Israeli Occupation forces raided the villages of Nazlet al-Sheikh Zaid and al-Arqa, and invaded a house.
Home invasion – boy (aged 15) abducted : Tulkarem – 04:00, Israeli troops raided Anabta and abducted 15-year-old Muhammad Salam Wajih Rasheed.
Home invasions: Nablus – 03:30, Israeli forces raided Madama and Tel villages and invaded a number of homes.
Israeli police and settlers' mosque violation: 23:00, Israeli Occupation police invaded the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, filming the Mosque and its facilities.
Israeli Army – 7 wounded – rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Tubas – Israeli Occupation forces, manning the Tayasir checkpoint and in the village of Atouf, fired rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 7 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army – 5 wounded – rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Jericho – Israeli forces, at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho, as well as outside the Aqbat Jaber refugee camp, fired rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 5 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Occupation settler violence: Jerusalem – 18:00, Israeli settlers stoned a family home, on the outskirts of the village of Beit Ijza.
Occupation road casualties: Bethlehem – 16:40, an Israeli settler drove his motor vehicle over and hospitalised a 19-year-old Abdullah Saqr Saad, near Khalet Iskarya.
Raid: Ramallah – 14:40, Israeli Occupation forces raided and patrolled Beitunya.
Raid: Ramallah – 16:05, Israeli forces raided and patrolled Um Safa village.
Raid – 1 taken prisoner: Ramallah – 03:20, Israeli troops raided Bir Zeit, taking prisoner one person.
Raid – 1 taken prisoner: Ramallah – dawn, the Israeli Army raided Bil'in village, taking prisoner one person.
Raid: Jenin – 17:40, Israeli troops raided and patrolled Tura village.
Raid: Jenin – 18:55, Israeli soldiers raided and patrolled Ya'bad.
Raid: Jenin – 19:45, Israeli Occupation forces raided and patrolled Zububa village.
Raid: Tubas – 06:30, Israeli forces raided and patrolled Tubas.
Raid: Tulkarem – 18:05, the Israeli Army raided and patrolled Quffin.
Raid: Tulkarem – 04:0 Israeli troops raided Tulkarem.
Raid: Nablus – 20:00, Israeli soldiers raided and patrolled Aqraba.
Raid – UN refugee camps: Bethlehem – 13:45, Israeli Occupation forces raided and patrolled the al-Azza and Aida UN refugee camps in Bethlehem.
Raid: Bethlehem – 18:10, Israeli forces raided and patrolled al-Khadr and Janata.
Raid – 2 abductions: Bethlehem – 20:15, Israeli troops raided Tuqu and abducted two 16-year-old youths: Muhammad Khaled Nasrallah and Sind Talal Al-Amor.
Raid: Bethlehem – 03:00, Israeli soldiers raided and patrolled al-Ubeidiya.
Raid – 2 taken prisoner: Bethlehem – dawn, the Israeli Army raided Husan village, taking prisoner two people.
Raid – 2 taken prisoner: Bethlehem – dawn, Israeli Occupation forces raided al-Ubeidiya, taking prisoner twopeople.
Restrictions of movement (14): 11:30, entrance to Turmusaya- 11:20, tightened procedures at Huwara - 12:00, tightened procedures at Kifl Haris - 12:50, entrance to al-Zawiya - 11:25-12:30, al-Nashash road junction - 14:10, entrance to al-Walaja village - midnight, entrance to Marah Mualla - 09:15, entrance to the Fahs area, south of Hebron - 18:45, entrance to Sa'ir - Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing closed - al-Mantar-Karni crossing closed - al-Shujaiyeh crossing (Nahal Oz) closed - Sufa crossing closed - al-Awda Port closed.
[NB: Times indicated in Bold Type contribute to the sleep deprivation suffered by Palestinian children]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If any of our subscribers should like to reproduce complete, in full and unedited, these In Occupied Palestine daily newsletters that would be very welcome!
If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please let us know and if you have friends or family who would like to receive them ask them to contact us at sumud1@outlook.com
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Մասիս , May 24 2021 11:11 utc | 137

@ Paul, "100 year old ethnic cleansing project in the rest of Palestine continues", but
Tectonic plates still moving, collapse of an edifice of complacency

David Horovitz is the founding editor of The Times of Israel. He previously edited The Jerusalem Post (2004-2011) and The Jerusalem Report (1998-2004).
Published a shaking OP ED

Losing the war: The rising cost of Israel's lapsed support for 2-state solution

Must read

"It doesn't matter that Hamas is a repressive, misogynistic, homophobic, Islamist terrorist organization that fires thousands of rockets indiscriminately at innocent civilians all over the State of Israel...
[...]
It doesn't matter...
[...]
Again, it doesn't matter, because we are no longer avowedly seeking, even in principle, a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- the currently and foreseeably insoluble Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And since we no longer avowedly aspire to be part of the solution, we are increasingly perceived as part of the problem, as rejectionists.
[...]
Israel still has plenty of friends, and plenty of support, including crucially in the US. Three EU foreign ministers chose to make a solidarity visit to bombed Israeli homes at the height of the conflict. But the ground is shifting dangerously.
Many of us, this writer emphatically included, regard a two-state solution as essential if we are not to lose either our Jewish majority, or our democracy, or both, forever entangled among millions of hostile Palestinians. Many of us, this writer emphatically included, cannot currently see a safe route to such an accommodation.

For the last time, it doesn't matter. So long as Israel does not place itself firmly and distinctly on the side of those seeking a viable framework for long-term peace and security for ourselves and for the Palestinians, we will be regarded as blocking that framework. And even when facing an enemy so patently cynical, amoral and intransigent as Hamas, militarily strong Israel will be held responsible for the loss of life on both sides of the conflict.
We may keep on winning the battles, though they will get harder if fighting spreads to and deepens on other fronts. But we will be gradually losing the war.

[May 16, 2021] The Politics of Cultural Despair- A Study in the Rise of the Germanic Ideology (California Library Reprint Series)- Stern, Fr

May 16, 2021 | www.amazon.com

4.0 out of 5 stars The roots of National Socialism in cultural criticism Reviewed in the United States on November 30, 2019 Verified Purchase Written originally in 1961 as part of venerable scholar Fritz Stern's doctoral thesis The Politics of Cultural Despair is a classic study of the cultural criticism and irrational ideologies of three 19th and early 20th century German writers that helped pave the way for the rise of the Third Reich and the triumph of national socialism. The book traces the lives and works of the obscure German writers and scholars Lagarde, Langbehn, and Moeller to illuminate how ideas conducive to national socialism, including antisemitism, extreme German nationalism (volk movement), anti-liberalism, anti-intellectualism, the desire for an authoritarian Caesar or "Fuhrer", and the primacy of "the will", became pervasive in 19th and early 20th century Germany.

All three authors relentlessly attacked liberal democracy, the enlightenment tradition, and the modern industrial society that had separated the German people from their "spiritual" and "pure" connection with the Germany's ancestral forests and countryside. They were, as Stern puts it, "Conservatives with nothing left to conserve". They viewed Germany's unification and the advancement of liberal democracy and modernity as a disastrous development that divided Germany's people and drained them of their spiritual essence. Their criticism also took on extreme antisemitism that egregiously blamed the Jewish people and portrayed them as conspiratorial outsiders who promoted capitalism and diluted Germany's ethnic purity. They also felt that traditional sources of authority, such as religion and the Bismarck nation state, were entirely inadequate and stale in the age of Nietzsche. Seeing Germany in crisis, and with no traditional political or cultural forces to turn to, all three authors became their own prophets of change. They expounded vague and irrational theories that found salvation in nationalists myths and desired a return to a illusory past where the German people lived in unified harmony and prosperity in their ancestral lands. The authors took on the delusional path from cultural critics to Nihilistic prophets. Starting from somewhat credible attacks on Germany's political and cultural shortcomings and transforming them into irrational and delusional political programs with little grasp on reality and dangerous support for authoritarian policies. Tragically, their works enjoyed a consistent level of support among Germany's population and influenced many philosophers and political theorists, such as Alfred Rosenberg, that would formulate the National Socialist ideology. While none of the three were Nazis, all of them clearly proliferated ideas central to the National Socialist program and advocated for a dangerous and authoritarian cultural regeneration.

Stern's work is classic in the sense that it represents the mid 20th century political and historical scholarly work that focuses on the impact of political ideologies and political ideas. While this focus on "ideas" is far less emphasized today in modern political science scholarship, the book reminds us that the rise of National Socialism and Fascism was far more than a reaction to Germany's disastrous defeat in World War I and the impact of the Versailles Treaty. Instead, the ideas of national socialism were deeply embedded in German society and represented a dangerous undercurrent acting against the forces of democratic liberalism, industrialization, and the enlightenment. In advocating a "politics of cultural despair" all three turned towards delusional, dangerous, and authoritarian solutions that could have only supported a political program as appalling and devastating as national socialism. As Stern reminds us, "the politics of cultural despair" can come from any region of the political spectrum where the most unwavering cultural critics can become "nihilistic" prophets who desire not just cultural change, but cultural and political regeneration based on a mythic and nonexistent past or promise a millenarian utopia . A statement that applies not only to Germany's lost 19th and 20th century conservatives, but to idealistic leftist terrorist groups in the 60s and 70s, and Islamic and right wing terrorist groups today. In summary, Stern reminds us not only that Fascism and National Socialism had deep roots in 19th and 20th century Germany, but also of the dangers of irrational and delusional political programs that depart from reality.

However, like any good skeptic, one has to wonder how important the cultural and political critiques and ideas of Stern's three authors really were. Modern political science has mostly moved beyond the focus on political ideas found in Stern's work and without concrete quantitative data, it is close to impossible to determine the impact of their work. The book also suffers from a narrow focus that makes it less approachable for the casual reader. Unlike other introductory works on Fascism and National Socialism, Stern writes for an expert audience that is expected to be well versed in 19th and 20th century German political, philosophical, and intellectual history. Readers less versed in these subjects may find the book less enjoyable and insightful. Although this work has probably been superseded by more modern works, it remains a classic in the field of intellectual and political history and represents classic political and cultural history at its best. I also recommend George Mosse's 1964 work "The Crisis of the German Ideology" that covers very similar ground, as well as Zeev Sternhell's "The Birth of Fascist Ideology" on the intellectual origins of Italian Fascism. >

DTC#

A presage of the rise of German National Socialism. Similarities to modern Islamic Radicalism.

4.0 out of 5 stars A presage of the rise of German National Socialism. Similarities to modern Islamic Radicalism. Reviewed in the United States on August 5, 2006 Verified Purchase Stern's book gives us valuable insight into currents of German thinking from the 19th century up to the rise of National Socialism in the 20s and 30s. Stern's books focuses on the writings of Paul de Lagarde, Julius Langbehn, and Moeller van den Bruck.

Paul de Lagarde was a biblical scholar and a master of oriental languages like Aramaic and Persian. He was also a rabid Jew hater who openly called for extermination. He loathed classical Western liberalism, science, and capitalism. For him, these were all spiritless abstractions. For Lagarde, Western liberalism, capitalism, science, and the Jews where the monstrous embodiment of all he hated. He had a romantic notion of a mythical Germanic past, and he believed the Jews and the modern society of the West were conspiring to pollute and corrupt this pure German spirit. He advocated a Great Leader, a "purge the Jew" program, and a divinely inspired expansionist foreign policy to rekindle an authentic and noble Germanic way of life.

Lagarde despised bourgeois 19th century German Christianity, and he called for a "new" German religion that would purge all the Jewish elements of Christianity and become the unifying spiritual basis and justification for the new German state. This new religion would fuse the squabbling German factions and sects into a unified people and nation with one single will .... embodied in the form a "Great Leader."

Lagarde rejected the premise of general education, and instead, he proposed a totally new education system based on social status and intellectual promise. This new, state-run authoritarian education system would mold the leaders of the new German nation.

Julius Langbehn wrote a book that extolled the Dutch artist Rembrandt as an authentic "German man". If this sounds confusing, well ... it is ..., but recall that many years later the Nazis attempted to use Rembrandt as a cultural symbol to force a Dutch-German alliance after they occupied Holland during the war.

Like Lagarde, Langbehn hated the modern liberal society because of its mechanization, realism, bourgeois lifestyle, and commercialism. Like Hitler, Langbehn was an "artist"; he was anti-scientific, anti-Western, and anti-rational. He postulated a "cult of the young" (think Hitler Youth) and a "Hidden Emperor" (think Führer) who would emerge to unite the German people. Again like Lagarde, Langbehn hated the U.S.A because it was the embodiment of all he despised. He warned that Jews were destroying the German "Volk" by "worming" their way into German life. For Langbehn, modernity itself was the ultimate cause of German decay, and the Jews were to blame for bringing this modernity to German society. For Langbehn, the Jews were "democratically inclined; they have an affinity for the mob," and like Lagarde, Langbehn called for extermination of the Jews.

I won't go on about Moeller van den Bruck, because it is similar to Lagarde and Langbehn. One important footnote: The Nazi's got the term "The Third Reich" from one of Moeller's books.

In summary, we find a set of three German intellectual romantics who were alienated by modernism and who abhorred all that was new. They suffered from "cultural despair." For these three, the "Jews" were the immediate agents of corrupting change, and it was America that was the colossal embodiment of all they detested. For them, a pure and authentic German way of life was lost due to the conspiracy and confluence of these horrible forces of modernism. All of the ills and fractiousness and faithlessness of German society were attributable to Jews and liberal modernism (as exemplified by America).

These three sought to annihilate the bourgeois modern society they found themselves in and they sought to replace it with a utopian dream. Their utopia was a unified and harmonious German people -- purged of Jews -- who would be orderly, hierarchical, and authentic. This unified German nation would be led by a strong emperor who would perfectly embody the unified will of the people. They sought a "New German religion", free of Jewish influence, that would provide a unifying framework for this new society. They proposed state-controlled education and propaganda, leadership by a small elite, annexation and conquest of middle Europe, and they called for the extermination of Jews.

In short - these three "culturally despairing" egg heads predicted much of the horror of the Nazis. All three were widely read in German society at various points in time leading up to the rise of National Socialism.

We know that Hitler emphatically read Lagarde. For more on this, see "Hitler's Forgotten Library" in the May 2003 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, by Timothy W. Ryback. On p.295, Stern shows how Lagarde, Langbehn, and van den Bruck influenced other key Nazi ideologists like Alfred Rosenberg.

The book contains extensive footnotes and end notes, a large bibliography, and a good index. I have one gripe with the book. There are several book titles, quotes, and passages that are in German without English translation. I could not work them out with my meager German. I wish translations were provided. I also wish pictures or portraits of Lagarde, Langbehn, and van den Bruck were provided.

Finally, I'd like to add that many of the themes we see having emerged from Lagarde, Langbehn, and van den Bruck are similar to what is found the more recent work of the influential Islamic radical Sayyid Qutb. I strongly recommend the Paul Berman book "Terror and Liberalism" for a very readable and enlightening treatment of Qutb.

[May 12, 2021] It is the corporations that work in the background that seem to be the real seat of power

May 12, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stonebird , May 12 2021 20:56 utc | 47

psychohistorian | May 12 2021 19:44 utc | 31

I'm not sure that it is global private finance that is the key. Although I used to.

Either we consider the Oligarchs (Bezos Zuckerberg) as the newest form of low life, or the Banking cartels and billionares are even lower.

BUT - There is a third class of Global financiers. That is "Corporations" (as a class). Corporations are immortal, and like a hydra, with many heads, have more arms than an "image of a covid-virus" ( Octopussii are simply too limited, although they are a good example of multi-brained resourceful animals ). They are also "persons" in front of the law, with all the protections and privilges that offers. On other occasions they are simply above the law (Twit-Facebook and free speech). The people running them are only occasionally reprimanded, but the "corporation" itself is never touched. *1*

They pay, sometimes, a bit of taxes, have different laws and have lobbies working in their favour. Can corrupt Politicians with the offer of directorships or whatever. They can even be "foundations" and pay no tax at all. They deal across many different National laws, obey what they will, and are extra terrritorial in scope. They can have a nominal "center", while decisions are made elsewhere. They are in fact a new type of alien supra-being .
Of course, the "leaders" of Corporations are rich, but they can be replaced by others at the wishes of "shareholders". Untouchable and unknown.

Very useful for storing wealth and speculating at the same time.

In spite of Musk and others taking all the limelight, it is the corporations that work in the background that seem to be the real seat of power.
---
*1* One of the last real actions taken against Corporate power was the breaking up of Rockefellers Standard Oil .

*****

*2* In the case of the "breakup" of either the US or the EU - would the corporations be touched (eliminated), or hailed as saving civilisation?

[May 09, 2021] Wokism and black and white mentality of new cultural revolution

Highly recommended!
This one-to-one replay of Red Guards - Wikipedia but with quite different sponsors ;-) "Hóng Wèibīng was a mass student-led paramilitary social movement mobilized and guided by Chairman Mao Zedong in 1966 through 1967, during the first phase of the Chinese Cultural Revolution
Notable quotes:
"... there is an on-going effort to create fads/movements in which the public becomes caught-up and distracts the from reality. ..."
"... The more binary and controversial the better. Red/Blue. I used to be a big fan of sports but have the opinion it is a pointless waste of time and my life is better for that realization. ..."
"... Characteristics of the Woke: They always attack, especially with insults, like "paranoia nonsense". They never address the actual point made, instead they reinterpret the point to make it appear pure evil. Which allows them to attribute the worst possible motivations on the person they are attacking. Naturally they invent things the other person hadn't even mentioned, like climate change. ..."
"... Again the whole woke 'identity' culture that cancels dissent and promotes 'minorities' in positions of power is simply woke fascism. Just as military recruitment is about turning violent video games real for young men, so too is CIA recruitment about inviting the 'woke' for murder and mayhem in the name 'freedom' without which the woke could not wake. ..."
May 09, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

jared , May 5 2021 16:50 utc | 49

I think that there is an on-going effort to create fads/movements in which the public becomes caught-up and distracts the from reality.

The more binary and controversial the better. Red/Blue. I used to be a big fan of sports but have the opinion it is a pointless waste of time and my life is better for that realization.

Additionally/tangentially, I feel there is a habit in the English language in particular to create new words to describe things these words are not well define and generate a lot of discussion and heat about things that nobody knows what they are actually talking about and end up arguing the meaning of the words.

People who don't know the new words must try to catch up or be left out of the discussion. I don't direct this at your discussion. I just wonder how we might see things if we were constrained to a limited vocabulary - as I am as a programmer of sorts.

EoinW , May 5 2021 16:57 utc | 52

NonPartisanRinsed | May 5 2021 16:03 utc | 30

Characteristics of the Woke: They always attack, especially with insults, like "paranoia nonsense". They never address the actual point made, instead they reinterpret the point to make it appear pure evil. Which allows them to attribute the worst possible motivations on the person they are attacking. Naturally they invent things the other person hadn't even mentioned, like climate change.

gottlieb , May 5 2021 17:06 utc | 54

Again the whole woke 'identity' culture that cancels dissent and promotes 'minorities' in positions of power is simply woke fascism. Just as military recruitment is about turning violent video games real for young men, so too is CIA recruitment about inviting the 'woke' for murder and mayhem in the name 'freedom' without which the woke could not wake.

psychohistorian , May 5 2021 17:17 utc | 55

I will believe that any of this is worth a shit when Snowden wades in with his opinion...until then its just another distraction

The CIA is why we can't have "wokeism" about the right issue like global private/public finance.....where is Occupy 2.0?

The current wokeism is like the pet rocks of old days.....would want folks to focus that woke on the inherited class structure of the private property West, would we?

[May 03, 2021] FISA And The Still Too Secret Police

With PRISM in place FICA court is redundant...
Notable quotes:
"... All an FBI supervisor has to do to get a FISA warrant on you is have one agent get a crooked snitch in a foreign country to send you a weird text message, and then have another bright eyed and bushy tailed agent who doesn't know the crook is a snitch write up a search warrant application affidavit and submit it to the FISA court. ..."
"... Nothing says "Unconstitutional (illegal) Deep State" like FISA. Hitler's Gestapo would be proud! ..."
"... Lisa and Peter removed any credibility the FBI had with the public. If they solved real crime they would go after the massive fraud and stolen ID criminals. Of course that takes real work and someone wanting get off their lazy rear end ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Bovard,

The FBI continues to lawlessly use counterintelligence powers against American citizens...

The Deep State Referee just admitted that the FBI continues to commit uncounted violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA).

If you sought to report a crime to the FBI, an FBI agent may have illegally surveilled your email. Even if you merely volunteered for the FBI "Citizens Academy" program, the FBI may have illegally tracked all your online activity.

But the latest FBI offenses, like almost all prior FBI violations, are not a real problem, according to James Boasberg, presiding judge of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. That court, among other purposes, is supposed to safeguard Americans' constitutional right to privacy under FISA. FISA was originally enacted to create a narrow niche for foreign intelligence investigations that could be conducted without a warrant from a regular federal court. But as time passed, FISA morphed into an uncontrolled yet officially sanctioned privacy-trampling monster. FISA judges unleash the nuclear bomb of searches, authorizing the FBI "to conduct, simultaneous telephone, microphone, cell phone, e-mail and computer surveillance of the U.S. person target's home, workplace and vehicles," as well as "physical searches of the target's residence, office, vehicles, computer, safe deposit box and U.S. mails."

In 2008, after the George W. Bush administration's pervasive illegal warrantless wiretaps were exposed, Congress responded by enacting FISA amendments that formally entitled the National Security Agency to vacuum up mass amounts of emails and other communication, a swath of which is provided to the FBI. In 2018, the FISA court slammed the FBI for abusing that database with warrantless searches that violated Americans' rights. In lieu of obeying FISA, the FBI created a new Office of Internal Audit. Deja vu! Back in 2007, FBI agents were caught massively violating the Patriot Act by using National Security Letters to conduct thousands of illegal searches on Americans' personal data. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) declared that an Inspector General report on the abusive searches "confirms the American people's worst fears about the Patriot Act." FBI chief Robert Mueller responded by creating a new Office of Integrity and Compliance as "another important step toward ensuring we fulfill our mission with an unswerving commitment to the rule of law." Be still my beating heart!

The FBI's promise to repent after the 2018 report sufficed for the FISA court to permit the FBI to continue plowing through the personal data it received from NSA. Monday's disclosure "a delayed release of a report by the court last November "revealed that the FBI has conducted warrantless searches of the data trove for "domestic terrorism," "public corruption and bribery," "health care fraud," and other targets "including people who notified the FBI of crimes and even repairmen entering FBI offices. As Spencer Ackerman wrote in the Daily Beast , "The FBI continues to perform warrantless searches through the NSA's most sensitive databases for routine criminal investigations." That type of search "potentially jeopardizes an accused person's ability to have a fair trial since warrantlessly acquired information is supposed to be inadmissible. The FBI claimed to the court that none of the warrantlessly queried material "˜was used in a criminal or civil proceeding,' but such usage at trial has happened before," Ackerman noted. Some illicit FBI searches involve vast dragnets. As the New York Times reported , an FBI agent in 2019 conducted a database search "using the identifiers of about 16,000 people, even though only seven of them had connections to an investigation."

In the report released Monday, Judge Boasberg lamented "apparent widespread violations" of the legal restrictions for FBI searches. Regardless, Boasberg kept the illicit search party going: "The Court is willing to again conclude that the . . . [FBI's] procedures meet statutory and Fourth Amendment requirements." "Willing to again conclude" sounds better than "close enough for constitutional."

At this point, Americans know only the abuses that the FBI chose to disclose to FISA judges. We have no idea how many other perhaps worse abuses may have occurred. For a hundred years, the FBI has buttressed its power by keeping a lid on its crimes. Unfortunately, the FISA Court has become nothing but Deep State window dressing "a facade giving the illusion that government is under the law. Consider Boasberg's recent ruling in the most brazen FISA abuse yet exposed. In December 2019, the Justice Department Inspector General reported that the FBI made "fundamental errors " and persistently deceived the FISA court to authorize surveilling a 2016 Trump presidential campaign official. The I.G. report said the FBI "drew almost entirely" from the Steele dossier to prove a "well-developed conspiracy" between Russians and the Trump campaign even though it was "unable to corroborate any of the specific substantive allegations against Carter Page" in that dossier, which was later debunked.

A former FBI assistant general counsel, Kevin Clinesmith, admitted to falsifying key evidence to secure the FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. As a Wall Street Journal editorial noted , Clinesmith "changed an email confirming Mr. Page had been a CIA source to one that said the exact opposite, explicitly adding the words "˜not a source' before he forwarded it." A federal prosecutor declared that the "resulting harm is immeasurable" from Clinesmith's action. But at the sentencing hearing, Boasberg gushed with sympathy, noting that Clinesmith "went from being an obscure government lawyer to standing in the eye of a media hurricane"¦ Mr. Clinesmith has lost his job in government service"what has given his life much of its meaning." Scorning the federal prosecutor's recommendation for jail time, Boasberg gave Clinesmith a wrist slap"400 hours of community service and 12 months of probation.

The FBI FISA frauds profoundly disrupted American politics for years and the din of belatedly debunked accusations of Trump colluding with Russia swayed plenty of votes in the 2018 midterms and the 2020 presidential election. But for the chief FISA judge, nothing matters except the plight of an FBI employee who lost his job after gross misconduct. This is the stark baseline Americans should remember when politicians, political appointees, and judges promise to protect them from future FBI abuses. The FISA court has been craven, almost beyond ridicule, perennially. Perhaps Boasberg was simply codifying a prerogative the FISA court previously awarded upon FBI officials. In 2005, after a deluge of false FBI claims in FISA warrants, FISA Presiding Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly proposed requiring FBI agents to swear to the accuracy of the information they presented. That never happened because it could have "slowed such investigations drastically," the Washington Post reported . So, FBI agents continue to lie with impunity to the judges.

The FISA court has gone from pretending that FBI violations don't occur to pretending that violations don't matter. Practically the only remaining task is for the FISA court to cease pretending Americans have any constitutional right to privacy . But if a sweeping new domestic terrorism law is passed, perhaps even that formal acknowledgement will be unnecessary. Beginning in 2006, the court rubber-stamped FBI requests that bizarrely claimed that the telephone records of all Americans were "relevant" to a terrorism investigation under the Patriot Act, thereby enabling NSA data seizures later denounced by a federal judge as "almost Orwellian." FISA could become a peril to far more Americans if Congress formally creates a new domestic terrorism offense and a new category for expanding FISA searches.

The backlash from Democrats after the January 6 clash at the Capitol showcased the demand for federal crackdowns on extremists who doubted Biden's election, disparaged federal prerogatives, or otherwise earned congressional ire. If a domestic terrorism law is passed, the FBI will feel as little constrained by the details of the statute as it does about FISA's technicalities. Will FBI agents conducting warrantless searches rely on the same harebrained standard the NSA used to target Americans: "someone searching the web for suspicious stuff"? Unfortunately, unless an FBI whistleblower with the same courage as former NSA analyst Edward Snowden steps forward, we may never know the extent of FBI abuses


ebworthen 39 minutes ago

"You want to harass a political opponent? Sure, we can do that...

JaxPavan 42 minutes ago

All an FBI supervisor has to do to get a FISA warrant on you is have one agent get a crooked snitch in a foreign country to send you a weird text message, and then have another bright eyed and bushy tailed agent who doesn't know the crook is a snitch write up a search warrant application affidavit and submit it to the FISA court.

Joe Bribem 32 minutes ago

It's almost like we did this to Trump. But it'll never come to light. Oops it did. Not that anything will happen to us because we own the corrupt DOJ and FBI.

Obama's own personal private army.

You_Cant_Quit_Me 7 minutes ago

A lot of tips come in from overseas. For example, the US spies on citizens of another country and then sends that country tips, in exchange that country does the same by spying on US citizens and sending the FBI tips. Then it starts, "we are just following up on a tip"

wee-weed up 36 minutes ago (Edited)

Nothing says "Unconstitutional (illegal) Deep State" like FISA. Hitler's Gestapo would be proud!

You_Cant_Quit_Me 37 minutes ago

Lisa and Peter removed any credibility the FBI had with the public. If they solved real crime they would go after the massive fraud and stolen ID criminals. Of course that takes real work and someone wanting get off their lazy rear end

takeaction 58 minutes ago (Edited)

If you own a smart phone...everything you do is recorded...and logged. "They" have been listening to you for a long time if they want to.

If you own any smart device...they can listen and watch. They are monitoring what I am typing and this site. There really is no way to hide.

[May 03, 2021] Why George W. Bush Was a Horrible President

Notable quotes:
"... By Lambert Strether of Corrente. ..."
"... Don't deny W his agency. As I followed the horrors, from Vietnam to Iraq to Syria to Central America and elsewhere, the full list that was visible anyway, of the W regime, it sure seemed clear to me that W played the bumbling yuk very well. ..."
"... the dumb cluck thing was mostly an act. he was deliberately talking that way not only to paint himself as stupid, but also because those in power assume we must be spoken to as children (they've studied president speeches since JFK have decreased from high school level to 6th grade in complexity, word usage etc). ..."
"... In our kayfabe duoparty system, it also gave the "opposing" side the "W is a Chimp" talking point to harp on (dress rehearsal for the same stuff against tRUMP). ..."
"... Abu Ghraib was not an anomaly, Con Son Island served the same purpose during the Vietnam War. When I was young I was proud to be an American Citizen, we had the Bill of Rights, the Military was controlled by Civilians and their oath was to defend the Constitution from "All Enemies Foreign and Domestic.". I have been horrified, ashamed and deeply saddened by what has happened in the US over the last half Century or so. ..."
"... I view the 2008 election as the major failing-to-turn-back-when-we-had-the-chance point. Obama could have undone Bush's worst policies, but instead he cemented them into place forever. ..."
"... Our elites are both stupid and evil, but Bush is more stupid and Obama is more evil ..."
"... you are 40 years off the mark-It was Reagan who's brand of avuncular fascism, celebrating stupidity as a virtue who paved the way. ..."
"... albrt: I agree with your take. Obama campaigned as an anti-war candidate (at least wrt Iraq). He then proceeded to "˜surge' into Afghanistan and added Libya, Syria, and Yemen, to the regime change mix. Never a thought given to prosecuting the war criminals: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Tenet, Feith, Wolfowitz, Powell, et al; much less even consider a truth and reconciliation commission. ..."
"... Obama was equally complicit in this never ending horror show and, I am hopeful, history will hold him equally accountable. ..."
"... Is it not written that Margaret Thatcher's true legacy was Tony Blair? If that is true, then the true legacy of Dubya is Obama. ..."
"... As far as harm that George W. Bush did and launched (illegal/immoral wars, domestic surveillance, tax cuts for the wealthy"¦.) Bush should take the award. ..."
"... When Obama deliberately and with malice aforethought turned all the admitted (and in fact proudly self-avowed) war-criminals and criminals-against humanity loose, free and clear under "look forward not back", he routinised and permanentized the up-to-that-very-minute irregular and extra-constitutional novel methods of governance and practice which the Cheney-Bush Administration had pioneered. Obama deliberately made torture, aggressive war, etc. "legal" when America does it and "permanent" as long as America is strong enough to keep doing it. ..."
"... The Greatest Disappointment in History. No-one else comes close, in terms of the sheer numbers of people globally who he let down. The Bait and Switch King, The Great Betrayer. After the nightmare of Bush we got him and his "˜eloquence', pulling the wool over the dazzled sheeple's eyes while he entrenched the 1% and the neocon MI complex, his paymasters, and sponsors for his entry into the overclass. ..."
"... Lambert, you forgot this one" Biden presents Liberty Medal to George and Laura Bush Instead of a war crimes trial at the Hague, Biden gave him a (family bloging) medal! ..."
"... A Clean Break: A New Strategy For Securing the Realm ..."
"... It's really sickening to see George W being "rehabilitated" and made to look like some kind of a senior statesman, when he should be hauled off to the Hague to spend the rest of his life in prison for war crimes. For me, his election in 2000 was mostly the beginning of the end of the rule of law in this country. As a result, the U.S. has Guantanamo, the Patriot Act, in addition to all the other events mentioned, and don't forget he tried to privatize Social Security. ..."
"... and welfare "reform", the crime bill. Talk of privatizing SSI made commonplace acceptable. Repeal of Glass Steagall. They were going to do to healthcare what oBLAM succeeded at, 20 years before him but got sidelined by Lewinsky's blue dress stains. Clintoon is a criminal and so is his spouse, and he did his share of damage everywhere. people who think otherwise might be looking back with nostalgia on a simpler (pre 9.11) time. ..."
"... Jeff Wells wrote some interesting essays in the Bush years, though many of his connections were a bit too far out, even for me. He had some striking collateral evidence for his concept of High Weirdness in high places "" sex abuse, torture and magick figuring prominently, juxtaposed with political skulduggery, and financial crimes and misdemeanours. The Gannon/Guckert affair, the Franklin ring and Gary Caradori were the sort of thing that laced his quite penetrating analyses of events. Facts were jumping off points for speculations, but given our lack of facts his imaginings were a nourishment of sorts, though often very troubling indeed. ..."
"... People have been brain washed by the glossed over history of the US they are taught. It gives people a false belief of our past. The phrase American Exceptionalism comes to mind. It is a myth. The real history is out there but you have to search it out. From it's beginning continuing to today our government is responsible for bad behavior. ..."
"... We Americans have this thing called exceptionalism which among other things creates the idea that our government is more virtuous than others. ..."
"... We are not at Hitler/Stalin/Mao standards ""yet"" but who's to say that could never happen here? One of the bafflements of the 20th century was how a civilized people descended into the dark barbarism of Nazi Germany. ..."
"... Noam Chomsky observed some thirty years ago that if the Nuremberg standards were applied to all the post-war American Presidents, then all of them would hang. ..."
"... We have such a dismal record. Little George was the most audacious of all our criminal presidents, but he has plenty of company. My question is now, looking back, why was the USA incapable of organizing a peaceful world after WW2? I start there. 1945. ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on April 25, 2021 by Lambert Strether

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Recently, the political class has been working hard to rehabilitate George W. Bush into an elder statesman, no doubt to continue the liberal Democrat conversion of suburban Republicans, with headlines like " George Bush reborn as the nation's grandfather " (the London Sunday Times, but you know it will migrate over here), " George W Bush is back "" but not all appreciate his new progressive image " (Guardian), " Bush calls on Congress to tone down "˜harsh rhetoric' about immigration " (CNN), and "George W Bush reveals who he voted for in 2020 election "" and it wasn't Biden or Trump " (the Independent. Bush wrote in Condaleeza Rice, who Exxon once named a tanker for). I could go on. But I won't. These stories from major outlets seem to be erasing early coverage like " The 7 worst moments of George W. Bush's presidency " (WaPo, 2013), " The blood on George W Bush's hands will never dry. Don't glorify this man " (The Guardian, 2017), " Reminder: George W. Bush Is Still Very, Very Bad " (Vice, 2018), " Seth Meyers: Don't Let Trump Make You Forget How Awful George W. Bush Was " (Vanity Fair, 2020), and " We Shouldn't Have to Remind People George W. Bush Was a Terrible President : (Jacobin, 2020). That's unfortunate, because George W. Bush (hereafter "Bush"; the "W" distinguishes him from his spook Yankee patrician Dad, oil bidnessman George H.W. Bush). As with so much else that is fetid in the miasmic air of our current liberal Democrat dispensation, Bush's rehabilitation begins with the Obamas, in this case Michelle Obama, in this iconic photo:

(The backstory: " Michelle Obama Reveals What Really Happened During Her Sweet Exchange With George W. Bush ," and "Michelle Obama: George W. Bush is "˜my partner in crime'[1] and "˜I love him to death' ").

Bush became President in the year 2000. That was "" let me break out my calculator "" 2021 "" 2000 = 21 years ago. It occurs to me that our younger readers, born in 2000, or even 1990, may not know how genuinely horrid Bush was, as President.

I was blogging even back then, and I remember how horrid Bush was; certainly worse than Trump, at least for Trump's first three years in office, until the Covid pandemic. To convey the full horror of the Bush years would not a series of posts, but a book. The entire experience was wretched and shameful.

Of the many horrors of the Bush years, I will pick three. (I am omitting many, many others, including Hurricane Katrina , the Plame Affair , Medicare Part D, the Cheney Energy Task Force , that time Dick Cheney shot an old man in the face , Bush's missing Texas Air National Guard records , Bush gaslighting the 2004 Republican National Convention with terror alerts, and on and on and on. And I didn't even get to 9/11, " You've covered your ass ," WMDs, and the AUMF. Sorry. It's exhausting.) I'm afraid my recounting of these incidents will be sketchy: I lived and blogged in them, and the memories of the horror well up in such volume and detail that I lose control of the material. Not only that, there was an actual, functioning blogosphere at that time, which did great work, but unfortunately most of that work has succumbed to link rot. And my memory of events two decades ago is not as strong as it could be.

The White House Iraq Group

Here I will rely on excerpts from Colonel Sam Gardiner's (PDF) "Truth from These Podia: Summary of a Study of Strategic Influence, Perception Management, Strategic Information Warfare and Strategic Psychological Operations in Gulf II" (2003), whose introduction has been saved from link rot by the National Security Archive and a full version by the University of Leeds . I would bet, long forgotten even by many of those who blogged through those times. ("Gulf II" is what we refer to as the "War in Iraq.") Quoting from the full version:

You will see in my analysis and comments that I do not accept the notion that the first casualty of war is truth. I think we have to have a higher standard. In the most basic sense, Washington and London did not trust the peoples of their democracies to come to right decisions. Truth became a casualty. When truth is a casualty, democracy receives collateral damage.

Seems familiar. (Gardiner's report can be read as a brilliant media critique; it's really worth sitting down with a cup of coffee and reading it all.)[2] More:

My research suggests there were over 50 stories manufactured or at least engineered that distorted the picture of Gulf II for the American and British people . I'll cover most in this report. At the end, I will also describe some stories that seem as if they were part of the strategic influence campaign although the evidence is only circumstantial.

What becomes important is not each story taken individually. If that were the case, it would probably seem only more of the same. If you were to look at them one at a time, you could conclude, "Okay we sort of knew that was happening." It is the pattern that becomes important. It's the summary of everything. To use a phrase often heard during the war, it's the mosaic. Recognizing I said I wouldn't exaggerate, it would not be an exaggeration to say the people of the United States and UK can find out more about the contents of a can of soup they buy than the contents of the can of worms they bought with the 2003 war in the Gulf.

The White House was, naturally, at the center of the operation:

One way to view how the US Government was organized to do the strategic communications effort before, during and after the war is to use the chart that was used by the Assistant Deputy Director for Information Operations. The center is the White House Office of Global Communications, the organization originally created by Karen Hughes as the Coalition Information Office. The White House is at the center of the strategic communications process"¦.

Handy chart:

And:

Inside the White House there was an Iraq Group that did policy direction and then the Office of Global Communications itself.

Membership of the White House Iraq Group:

So, in 2020 Bush's write-in vote for President was Condi Rice, the [x] Black [x] woman who helped run a domestic disinformation campaign for him in 2003, to sell the Iraq War to the American people. Isn't that"¦. sweet?

Of course, I was very naive at that point. I had come up as a Democrat, and my first real political engagement was the Clinton impeachment. Back in 2003, I was amazed to discover that there was a White House operation that was planting fake stories in the press "" and that I had been playing whackamole on them. At a higher level, I was disturbed that "Washington and London did not trust the peoples of their democracies to come to right decisions." Now it all seems perfectly normal, which is sad.

Torture at Abu Ghraib

There are a lot of images of our torture prison in Iraq, Abu Ghraib. This one ( via ) is not the most famous , but to me it is the most shocking:

What kind of country sets dogs on a naked prisoner? Well, my kind of country, apparently. (Later, I remember discussing politics with somebody who came from a country that might be considered less governed by the rule of law than my own, and they said: "Abu Ghraib. You have nothing to say." And they were right.)

For those who came in late, here's a snapshot (the detail of the story is in fact overwhelming, and I also have pity for the poor shlubs the brass tossed into that hellhole[3].) From the Los Angeles Times, " Few have faced consequences for abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq " (2015):

[A] 44-year-old Al Jazeera reporter named Salah Ejaili, said in a phone interview from Qatar that he was arrested in 2003 while covering an explosion in the Iraqi province of Diyala. He was held at Abu Ghraib for 48 days after six days in another facility, he said.

"Most of the pictures that came out in 2004, I saw that firsthand "" the human pyramid where men were stacked up naked on top of each other, people pulled around on leashes," he said in the interview, with one of his attorneys translating. "I used to hear loud screams during the torture sessions."

Ejaili says he was beaten, left naked and exposed to the elements for long periods, and left in solitary confinement, among other acts.

"When people look at others who are naked, they feel like they're animals in a zoo, in addition to being termed as criminals and as terrorists," he said. "That had a very strong psychological impact."

The plaintiffs also say they suffered electric shocks; deprivation of food, water and oxygen; sexual abuse; threats from dogs; beatings; and sensory deprivation.

Taha Yaseen Arraq Rashid, a laborer, says he was sexually abused by a woman while he was cuffed and shackled, and also that he was forced to watch a female prisoner's rape.

Ejaili said that his face was often covered during interrogations, making it difficult for him to identify those involved, but that he was able to notice that many of the interrogators who entered the facility wore civilian clothing.

His attorneys, citing military investigations into abuses at Abu Ghraib and other evidence, say the contractors took control of the prison and issued orders to uniformed military.

"Abu Ghraib was pretty chaotic," said Baher Azmy, legal director for the Center for Constitutional Rights, which brought suits against CACI and L-3 Services. "They were involved in a conspiracy with the military police to abuse our clients.""¦. Eleven U.S. soldiers were convicted in military trials of crimes related to the humiliation and abuse of the prisoners.

(So Abu Ghraib is a privatization story, too. Oddly, whoever signed the contract never ended up in court.) All this seemed pretty shocking then. But now we know that the Chicago Police Department ran a torture site at Homan Square while Rahm Emanuel, Obama's Chief of Staff, was Mayor , so perhaps this is all perfectly normal too.

Warrantless Surveillance and the Destruction of the Fourth Amendment

Here is the wording of the Fourth Amendment :

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers , and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

If our legal system had the slightest shred of integrity, it would be obvious to the Courts, as it is to a six-old-child, that what we laughingly call our "personal" computers and cellphones contain "paper," not in the tediously literal sense of a physical material made from wood fibre, but in the sense of content . Bits and bytes are 20th Century paper, stored on silicon and hard disk platters. Of course a warrant should be needed to read what's on my phone, ffs.

That Fourth Amendment common sense did not prevail is IMNSHO due in large part to Bush's program of warrantless surveillance, put in place as part of the Global War on Terror. Here again, the complexity is overwhelming and took several years to unravel. I'm afraid I have to quote Wikipedia on this one :

A week after the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF), which inaugurated the "War on Terror". It later featured heavily in arguments over the NSA program.

Soon after the 9/11 attacks President Bush established the President's Surveillance Program. As part of the program, the Terrorist Surveillance Program was established pursuant to an executive order that authorized the NSA to surveil certain telephone calls without obtaining a warrant (see 50 U.S.C. § 1802 50 U.S.C. § 1809). The complete details of the executive order are not public, but according to administration statements, the authorization covers communication originating overseas from or to a person suspected of having links to terrorist organizations or their affiliates even when the other party to the call is within the US.

In October 2001, Congress passed the Patriot Act, which granted the administration broad powers to fight terrorism. The Bush administration used these powers to bypass the FISC and directed the NSA to spy directly on al-Qaeda via a new NSA electronic surveillance program. Reports at the time indicate that an "apparently accidental" "glitch" resulted in the interception of communications that were between two U.S. parties. This act was challenged by multiple groups, including Congress, as unconstitutional.

The precise scope of the program remains secret, but the NSA was provided total, unsupervised access to all fiber-optic communications between the nation's largest telecommunication companies' major interconnected locations, encompassing phone conversations, email, Internet activity, text messages and corporate private network traffic .

Of course, all this is perfectly normal today. So much for the Fourth Amendment, good job. (You will note that the telcos had to be in on it; amusingly, the CEO of Qwest, the only telco that refused to participate, was charged and convicted of insider trading, good job again.) The legal aspects of all this are insanely complex, but as you see from my introduction, they should be simple.

Conclusion

Here's a video of the Iraqi (now in Parliament) who threw shoes at Bush (who got off lightly, all things considered):

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OM3Z_Kskl_U

We should all be throwing shoes at Bush, seriously if not literally. We should not be accepting candy from him. We should not be treating him as an elder statesman. Or a "partner in crime." We should not be admiring his paintings. Bush ran a bad, bad, bad administration and we are living with the consequences of his badness today. Bush is a bad man. We are ruled by bad people. Tomorrow, Obama!

NOTES

[1] Indeed.

[2] For example, I vividly remember playing whack-a-mole as a blogger with the following WMD stories: Drones, weapons labs, WMD cluster bombs, Scuds, nuclear materials from Niger, aluminum tubes, and dirty bombs. They one and all fell apart on close inspection. And they were only a small part of the operation, as Gardiner shows in detail.

[3] My personal speculation is that Dick Cheney had a direct feed from the Abu Ghraib torture chambers to the White House, and watched the proceedings live. Some of the soldiers burned images of torture onto CDs as trophies, and the prison also had a server, whose connectivity was very conveniently not revealed by the judge in a lawsuit I dimly remember being brought in Germany. So it goes.


flora , April 25, 2021 at 6:46 pm

Does anyone believe that W, son of H. W. Bush, H. W. son of Senator Prescott Bush, would have been been pres without that familial lineage and its important govt connections? The pity is W wasn't smart enough to grasp world politics and the US's importance as an accepted fulcrum in same beyond his momentary wants. imo. Brent Scowcroft and others warned him off his vain pursuits. The word "squander" come to mind, though I wish it did not.

flora , April 25, 2021 at 7:43 pm

See for example Kevin Phillips' book American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush . ( Kevin Phillips is a great modernist American historian, imo, who saw the rise of Nixon before anyone else.)

Teejay , April 27, 2021 at 10:16 am

" saw the rise of Nixon"? Phillips worked on the '68 campaign.

JTMcPhee , April 25, 2021 at 8:12 pm

Don't deny W his agency. As I followed the horrors, from Vietnam to Iraq to Syria to Central America and elsewhere, the full list that was visible anyway, of the W regime, it sure seemed clear to me that W played the bumbling yuk very well.

He did what he set out to do, no doubt with careful guidance from that sh!t of a father (magically turned into a laid-in-state "statesman") and mother-of-string-of-pearls, and of course Cheney and the rest of the corpo-gov policy gang.

The Consent Manufacturers are whitewashing an evil man and his slicker but equally evil successor and his glamorous spouse.

Helluva job, Georgie! Full marks for kicking the world a long way down a dark road.

anon y'mouse , April 26, 2021 at 12:24 pm

the dumb cluck thing was mostly an act. he was deliberately talking that way not only to paint himself as stupid, but also because those in power assume we must be spoken to as children (they've studied president speeches since JFK have decreased from high school level to 6th grade in complexity, word usage etc).

see Pelosi's daughter's film of his campaign trail. He's no Angel Merkel, but sly enough for politics in this country and most third world corruptocracies.

In our kayfabe duoparty system, it also gave the "opposing" side the "W is a Chimp" talking point to harp on (dress rehearsal for the same stuff against tRUMP).

Tom Stone , April 25, 2021 at 6:49 pm

Abu Ghraib was not an anomaly, Con Son Island served the same purpose during the Vietnam War. When I was young I was proud to be an American Citizen, we had the Bill of Rights, the Military was controlled by Civilians and their oath was to defend the Constitution from "All Enemies Foreign and Domestic.". I have been horrified, ashamed and deeply saddened by what has happened in the US over the last half Century or so.
And it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

ambrit , April 25, 2021 at 7:00 pm

You actually "˜blogged' back when we had to use punch cards to program our PCs? How oh how did you clamber on up out of "the Well" so many times a week? I am somewhat convinced that the Hollerith Cards Protocol was the origin of the Twitter 140 character limit.

I also "lived through" the "˜Reign of "W""˜ and see it as a Time of Prophecy. Most of the things we are now staring down the barrel of were effectuated then.

I may be foilly, (may be? who am I kidding,) but I view the 2000 election as a major turning point of American history.

albrt , April 25, 2021 at 7:20 pm

I view the 2008 election as the major failing-to-turn-back-when-we-had-the-chance point. Obama could have undone Bush's worst policies, but instead he cemented them into place forever.

Our elites are both stupid and evil, but Bush is more stupid and Obama is more evil.

drumlin woodchuckles , April 26, 2021 at 12:08 am

So was the 1963 " election at Dealey Plaza". Very pivotal.

Susan the other , April 26, 2021 at 1:56 pm

I go with JFK's assassination too. But little George is a close second.

Paul Whalen , April 26, 2021 at 6:42 am

you are 40 years off the mark-It was Reagan who's brand of avuncular fascism, celebrating stupidity as a virtue who paved the way.

Jason , April 26, 2021 at 6:59 am

All the pomp and circumstance surrounding the personage of the President serves to conceal the people behind the scenes who vetted and groomed said president, and actively advise him while in office. It's in this way that a Jimmy Carter may be viewed as a gentle soul so far as presidents go, but he was actually vetted by Brzezinski on behalf of the CFR goons. Once in office he was then advised by Brzezinski and Volcker, among other assorted lunatics. And he gladly took their advice the entire time. That's how he came to be president in the first place. And so it goes.

Ashburn , April 26, 2021 at 4:29 pm

albrt: I agree with your take. Obama campaigned as an anti-war candidate (at least wrt Iraq). He then proceeded to "˜surge' into Afghanistan and added Libya, Syria, and Yemen, to the regime change mix. Never a thought given to prosecuting the war criminals: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Tenet, Feith, Wolfowitz, Powell, et al; much less even consider a truth and reconciliation commission.

Obama was equally complicit in this never ending horror show and, I am hopeful, history will hold him equally accountable.

km , April 25, 2021 at 7:19 pm

Is it not written that Margaret Thatcher's true legacy was Tony Blair? If that is true, then the true legacy of Dubya is Obama.

Tom Doak , April 25, 2021 at 7:43 pm

That gives W too much credit. Obama continued the legacy of Cheney.

John Wright , April 25, 2021 at 9:58 pm

Could you explain your view that Obama and Trump are "worse than that" (Bush-Cheney).?

As far as harm that George W. Bush did and launched (illegal/immoral wars, domestic surveillance, tax cuts for the wealthy"¦.) Bush should take the award.

Obama did push for military action in Libya, but at least held back from Syria.

The administrations after Bush "kicked the can down the road" but he initiated the events they simply continued. And Trump did attempt to pull troops back from Bush initiated wars. How is Trump worse than Bush? What are your metrics?

drumlin woodchuckles , April 25, 2021 at 10:04 pm

I am just a commenter here, but I would say that . . .

When Obama deliberately and with malice aforethought turned all the admitted (and in fact proudly self-avowed) war-criminals and criminals-against humanity loose, free and clear under "look forward not back", he routinised and permanentized the up-to-that-very-minute irregular and extra-constitutional novel methods of governance and practice which the Cheney-Bush Administration had pioneered. Obama deliberately made torture, aggressive war, etc. "legal" when America does it and "permanent" as long as America is strong enough to keep doing it.

He did some other things like that which I don't have time to mention right now. Maybe others will beat me to it.

Most of all, by slickly conning or permitting to self-con numbers of people about "hope and change" to come from an Obama Administration, he destroyed all hope of hope. He destroyed hope itself. Hope is not a "thing" any more in this country, thanks to Obama.

He may also have destroyed black politicians' dreams of becoming America's " Second Black President" for several decades to come. Been there, done that. Never Again. But since I am not Black, that is not my problem. That is something Black America can thank Obama for, if they decide to wake up to the fact of that reality.

Of course , if the Evil Countess Draculamala becomes President after Biden, then I guess I will be proven wrong about that particular observation.

tegnost , April 25, 2021 at 10:47 pm

Bush was the set up guy, Obama was the closer

norm de plume , April 26, 2021 at 6:51 am

The Greatest Disappointment in History. No-one else comes close, in terms of the sheer numbers of people globally who he let down. The Bait and Switch King, The Great Betrayer. After the nightmare of Bush we got him and his "˜eloquence', pulling the wool over the dazzled sheeple's eyes while he entrenched the 1% and the neocon MI complex, his paymasters, and sponsors for his entry into the overclass.

Last, does any single person with the possible exception of Hillary Clinton, bear so much responsibility for the election of Trump?

quackery , April 26, 2021 at 7:57 am

When Obama campaigned for president he claimed he wanted to get rid of nuclear weapons. Instead, he upgraded the nuclear arsenal.

Mr Grumpy , April 26, 2021 at 10:28 am

It is ironic that the far right views Obama as the antichrist but they benefited from all of his policies.

Cat Burglar , April 26, 2021 at 11:19 am

Remember that Obama voted in favor of FISAA, the bill that immunized Bush and his flunkies from prosecution for their felony FISA violations, as a senator, not long before the presidential election. It was impossible to make myself vote for him after that.

Hotei , April 25, 2021 at 11:53 pm

Excellent documentation of that lineage here: http://www.obamatheconservative.com/

Norm Norton , April 26, 2021 at 11:14 am

"Is it not written that Margaret Thatcher's true legacy was Tony Blair?" If that is true, then the true legacy of Dubya is Obama."

And for Obama, Trump!

upstater , April 25, 2021 at 7:42 pm

Lambert, you forgot this one" Biden presents Liberty Medal to George and Laura Bush Instead of a war crimes trial at the Hague, Biden gave him a (family bloging) medal!

Jason , April 25, 2021 at 7:51 pm

Thanks Lambert. I'd add that the intelligence being sent to the "White House Iraq Group" was being manufactured by the Office of Special Plans (OSP) which was set up and run by Douglas Feith and Paul Wolfowitz. Following Feith's history and connections alone is a fruitful endeavor for those so inclined.

Among other things, Feith co-authored, along with Richard Perle and David Wurmser, the A Clean Break: A New Strategy For Securing the Realm paper prepared for the prime minister of a certain foreign country. This is back in 1996. Around the same time the PNAC boys were formed by Kagan and Kristol and started selling the same policy prescriptions vis a vis Iraq to the pols and public here.

Feith was also fired from the NSC back in the early 80's for passing classified information to some little country. Fast forward to his OSP days and, lo and behold, his employee Larry Franklin is convicted of the same thing, along with Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman of AIPAC.

That's just a taste of the malfeasance.

John , April 25, 2021 at 8:26 pm

I guess sometimes people need to be reminded that water is wet. The Buddhists say that ignorance is the root poison. True dat. Especially in Amrika.

JTMcPhee , April 25, 2021 at 8:56 pm

This stuff has gone on forever. What amount of ventilation is needed to blow this kind of dung out of the Augean stables of geopolitics? Not much chance of that anyway, given all the incentives and and interests"

Is it luck that Putin and Xi might be a little less monstrous?

Elizabeth , April 25, 2021 at 10:20 pm

It's really sickening to see George W being "rehabilitated" and made to look like some kind of a senior statesman, when he should be hauled off to the Hague to spend the rest of his life in prison for war crimes. For me, his election in 2000 was mostly the beginning of the end of the rule of law in this country. As a result, the U.S. has Guantanamo, the Patriot Act, in addition to all the other events mentioned, and don't forget he tried to privatize Social Security.

His eight years as president, for me, was a horror show. What really bothers me is that he got away with all of it "" and now he's hailed as an eminence gris. I can't help but think that his rehabilitation is to remind us all of how bad Orange Man was "" Obama was just as bad because he cemented everything W did "" and more.

Thanks for the horrible memories.

Joe Hill , April 25, 2021 at 11:02 pm

I understand you disagree with the policies of Mr Bush, but war crimes?

Please describe what charges would be brought against him if you were to prosecute at a war crimes tribunal.

Yves Smith , April 26, 2021 at 3:23 am

That is an assignment, which is a violation of our written site Policies. This applies to reader comments when you could easily find the answer in less than 30 seconds on Google rather than being a jerk and challenging a reader (or even worse, me derivatively) on bogus grounds.

https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/28000/amr510972011en.pdf

Robert Gray , April 26, 2021 at 1:57 am

> For me, [W's] election in 2000 was mostly the beginning of the end of the rule of law in this country.

At this moment I'm writing it is still early days for this thread: there are only 24 comments. In these comments are named many bad people. However, one name that does not (yet) appear is "˜Clinton'. W was a monster as president (and likely remains a monster as a human being) but surely Billy Jeff needn't yield to him in his contempt for the rule of law.

Yves Smith , April 26, 2021 at 2:29 am

I loathe Bill Clinton but nothing he did approaches the Iraq War in the level of damage to the US and many foreign countries"¦.starting with Iraq.

Robert Gray , April 26, 2021 at 3:52 am

Quite right, of course. My comment was specifically in regard to his disdain for and abuse of the rule, and rôle, of law in the American polity, e.g., his perjury > disbarment. Sort of like the famous photograph of Nelson Rockefeller who, while serving as VP, was captured giving the finger to a group of protestors; Clinton also oozed that kind of hubristic impunity.

Alex Cox , April 26, 2021 at 12:01 pm

Regarding Clinton, the damage he caused to his own country and the world was substantial. The destruction of Yugoslavia caused considerable mayhem "" in addition to bombing and breaking apart a sovereign nation, it enabled "liberals" to feel good about war again, and paved the way for the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc.

And the damage done by NAFTA was enormous "" in terms of leading to deaths of despair in both the US and Mexico I suspect NAFTA has a higher domestic "body count" than any of the subsequent forever wars.

anon y'mouse , April 26, 2021 at 12:33 pm

and welfare "reform", the crime bill. Talk of privatizing SSI made commonplace acceptable. Repeal of Glass Steagall. They were going to do to healthcare what oBLAM succeeded at, 20 years before him but got sidelined by Lewinsky's blue dress stains. Clintoon is a criminal and so is his spouse, and he did his share of damage everywhere. people who think otherwise might be looking back with nostalgia on a simpler (pre 9.11) time.

little known covered up crime from his ARK days is the selling of HIV tainted blood (taken from prisoners) to Canada, among other things.

yet another who had credible rape allegations. which damages our image at home and abroad.

tegnost , April 25, 2021 at 10:36 pm

Total Information Awareness https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/homefront/preemption/tia.html

Adm. John Poindexter"¦ https://www.nytimes.com/1990/04/08/us/poindexter-is-found-guilty-of-all-5-criminal-charges-for-iran-contra-cover-up.html
yep, that one"¦

drumlin woodchuckles , April 26, 2021 at 12:14 am

I read that for the very briefest time, somebody or other was selling Total Information Awareness memorabilia with the Total Information Awareness symbol on it. I wish I had thought to buy a Total Information Awareness mug.

I imagine knockoffs and parodies exist, but I am not sure the real thing is findable any more.

Darius , April 25, 2021 at 10:43 pm

After Dennis Rader, the Wichita serial killer, murdered someone, the cops always found his semen on the floor next to the mutilated victim. He got sexual pleasure out of gruesome murder. This is how I always pictured Cheney's attitude toward torture. Well. I tried not to actually picture it.

Kevin Carhart , April 26, 2021 at 12:06 am

Bush also whipped votes for Kavanaugh, during the cuddly years.

https://theweek.com/speedreads/798796/george-w-bush-reportedly-working-phones-kavanaugh

Colonel Smithers , April 26, 2021 at 4:26 am

Thank you, KC.

Kavanaugh accompanied Bush fils on his state visit to the UK. Even then, Kavanaugh was being touted as a future Supreme Court judge.

The Rev Kev , April 26, 2021 at 3:48 am

Talk about your target rich environment. Where do you even start? Where do you begin? A serial business failure, draft dodger, military deserter, drunk driver "" and all that was before he became President. A man so incurious about the world "" just like Trump "" that he never even owned a passport until he actually became President and who never knew that Islam (prior to the Iraq invasion) , for example, was just not one religion but was divided into Sunni and Shia in the same way Christianity is divided into "" mostly "" Protestant and Catholics. But to me he was always the "Frat Boy President". His family always protected him from his many flaws and he never had to grow up like his father had to in WW2. Even as President he never grew into the job, again, just like Trump.

Lambert gives a few good reminders but there were many others and these are just the top of my head. He cared little for the US Constitution and called it nothing more than a goddamn scrap of paper. He officially made the US a torture nation, not only by pretending that US laws did not apply in Guantanamo bay but also aboard US Navy ships for which laws definitely did apply. As part of a movement to make America an oil-fueled hegemony for the 21st century, he invaded Iraq with the firm intention on invading Iran next so that Washington would have a firm grip on the fuel pump of the world. As he said "" "America is addicted to oil." He dropped the ball on 9/11 through over-obsessing on Iraq and in the immediate aftermath sent jets around the country "" when all jets were grounded "" to fly Saudi royalty back to Saudi Arabia before the FBI could interrogate them about all their knowledge of the attack. All this to hide his very deep connections with the Saudis.

I could go on for several more paragraphs but what would be the point? For the neocons he was a great fronts-man to be followed by a even greater one. I sometimes think that if Biden was a "˜real' Republican, then he would have been a great vice-president for Bush. And now the establishment and their trained seals in the media are trying to make him out as "America's Favourite Uncle" or something so that when he dies, he will have the same sort of funeral as John McCain did. And I predict that tens of thousands of veterans around the country will then raise their glasses to him "" and then pour the contents on the ground.

Colonel Smithers , April 26, 2021 at 4:22 am

Thank you, Lambert.

W's rehab continues in the UK MSM, not just the Independent. The worst offenders are probably the Grauniad and Channel 4, both Blairite.

The rehab mirrored the rise of Trump. His lack of interest in war upset these preachy imperialists.

Using Michelle Obama to facilitate the rehab brought id pol into the equation and made it easier. It was remarkable how often the above photo is used in the neo liberal and neo con media.

The Rev Kev , April 26, 2021 at 5:43 am

Thank you, Colonel. That foto is remarkable and I suspect that the origins for the idea for it may lay on the other side of the pond as it seemed so familiar-

https://www.scmp.com/magazines/style/celebrity/article/3110070/netflixs-crown-shows-how-princess-diana-chose-her-own

drumlin woodchuckles , April 26, 2021 at 5:36 am

There is a blog called Rigorous Intuition 2.0. Many of its blogposts are about the Bush period and Bush related subjects and events. ( Many others are not). The sections on 9/11, Iraq, and Katrina probably have the highest percent of Bush-related blogposts, in case one is interested.

norm de plume , April 26, 2021 at 7:26 am

Jeff Wells wrote some interesting essays in the Bush years, though many of his connections were a bit too far out, even for me. He had some striking collateral evidence for his concept of High Weirdness in high places "" sex abuse, torture and magick figuring prominently, juxtaposed with political skulduggery, and financial crimes and misdemeanours. The Gannon/Guckert affair, the Franklin ring and Gary Caradori were the sort of thing that laced his quite penetrating analyses of events. Facts were jumping off points for speculations, but given our lack of facts his imaginings were a nourishment of sorts, though often very troubling indeed.

Tony massey , April 26, 2021 at 1:58 pm

Who needs to make shit up during those years?
The facts"¦the shit he actually did, was glossed over or simply forgotten.
If shit was made up about his sorry ass i didn't bother checking, Sir.
I just assumed it was true.
Bushies destroyed the country. If there's a country in 100 years they'll be paying for those years.
And then came obama and big Mike

jackiebass63 , April 26, 2021 at 6:14 am

People have been brain washed by the glossed over history of the US they are taught. It gives people a false belief of our past. The phrase American Exceptionalism comes to mind. It is a myth. The real history is out there but you have to search it out. From it's beginning continuing to today our government is responsible for bad behavior.

Some scholars like Noam Chomsky write about our real history. Unfortunately most people don't read this material. They are content with our glossed over shining star version of US history that unfortunately continues to be taught in our educational system , starting in elementary school continuing through a 4 year college education. Our system of government is so corrupted , I don't believe it can be fixed.

Jason , April 26, 2021 at 7:17 am

Arguing over degrees of presidential evil. Perfect.

farmboy , April 26, 2021 at 8:03 am

Nixon was rehabbed so he could open China, Kissinger got to keep his mantle. W portrayed by Josh Brolin pretty good take. Nice to see dunking on GW, but the cycle of rehabilitation is due. The question is can he do some good or is there too much mud on his boots. Can't see W as a new Jimmy Carter. Glossing over history begins the moment it's made. Makes me miss LBJ

Carlos Stoll , April 26, 2021 at 9:23 am

Between 1998 and 2000, under the rule of Saddam Hussein, about 1000 prisoners from Abu Ghraib prison were executed and buried in mass graves. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_prison How many Abu Ghraib prisoners did the US army execute?

The Rev Kev , April 26, 2021 at 9:48 am

Tell me again how many Iraqis were killed by the US Army because they were doing their own version of "Red Dawn"? And that tens if not hundreds of thousands of Iraqis would still be alive if Saddam was simply left in place. Here is a video to watch while you have a little think about it-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfvFpT-iypw (17:46 mins)

Phil in KC , April 27, 2021 at 8:02 am

We Americans have this thing called exceptionalism which among other things creates the idea that our government is more virtuous than others. It's a useful idea in that it calls us to be different and better than the average nation, and certainly different and better than a cruel dictatorship. But it's also a dangerous idea because too many of us actually believe it to be true. Our atrocities are different in kind, but the scale is the same.

We are not at Hitler/Stalin/Mao standards ""yet"" but who's to say that could never happen here? One of the bafflements of the 20th century was how a civilized people descended into the dark barbarism of Nazi Germany.

Deschain , April 26, 2021 at 10:55 am

"(I am omitting many, many others, including Hurricane Katrina, the Plame Affair, Medicare Part D, the Cheney Energy Task Force, that time Dick Cheney shot an old man in the face, Bush's missing Texas Air National Guard records, Bush gaslighting the 2004 Republican National Convention with terror alerts, and on and on and on. An I didn't even get to 9/11, "You've covered your ass," WMDs, and the AUMF. Sorry. It's exhausting.)"

You left out the housing bubble and the GFC!

Mr Grumpy , April 26, 2021 at 10:58 am

Agree with all the criticism of Bush, Cheney, Obama. On a lighter note, my father-in-law is a high tech oil prospector in W Texas, much of it in Midland, overlapping in time with W. Both members of the Petroleum Club (been there once, very stuffy) and worked out at the same gym. Naturally, my wife asked if he had ever seen W naked. Her dad wouldn't answer, but did turn beet red. We take this as confirmation.

Phil in KC , April 26, 2021 at 12:24 pm

Noam Chomsky observed some thirty years ago that if the Nuremberg standards were applied to all the post-war American Presidents, then all of them would hang. Chomsky could not have imagined the future sequence of presidents from that point forward, but certainly they did not break the chain of criminality. My point is that Bush is not unique in the type of crimes, just the enormity of them. But I also believe he set new standards (lower) for shamelessness. Remember his smirk?

But also remember Obama joking about killing people.

John Wright , April 26, 2021 at 3:25 pm

Remember the comedy skit in which GWB "looked" for Iraq WMD's in the Oval office as part of the White House Correspondent's dinner?

Anyone with any sense of decency would have refused to do this skit, but Bush apparently followed his handlers' advice to get some laughs. That the USA was led by someone of such limited talent for 8 years speaks volumes. Years ago, a New York Times reader wrote that Hillary Clinton is a "well-connected mediocrity".

That comment may be true for ALL of the recent political candidates, from both parties, for a great many years.

LBJ was definitely not mediocre (civil rights/war on poverty), and would be viewed far more favorably, maybe as great, if he had pulled out of Vietnam rather than escalating. Carter in his post presidency has much to recommend. Post presidency Bush is painting his portraits rather than having any retrospective regrets for the harm he did.

Susan the other , April 26, 2021 at 2:27 pm

We have such a dismal record. Little George was the most audacious of all our criminal presidents, but he has plenty of company. My question is now, looking back, why was the USA incapable of organizing a peaceful world after WW2? I start there. 1945. How did our ideology become so inept? And everything I have read about our failures over the years is contrasted with what might have been. We have operated under a system that could not function without extraction. There was always a sell-by date on the cover; one that we tried to ignore. There's no doubt in my mind that it has finally failed completely. Ignominiously. But we have also learned and come to admit certain realities. The most important one is that there can be no more war; civilization cannot survive a modern war. So, ironically, our advanced warfare might well bring a peaceful world without world war. And our advances in science (mostly militarily inspired) will help us now survive.

Sue inSoCal , April 26, 2021 at 4:56 pm

Lambert, thank you for this piece. I won't repeat what others have opined. I've had a real problem with Michelle Obama being the rehabilitation cheerleader leader for Dubya. Imho, we lost all of our rights under the odious Patriot Act, which was pre-written. Russ Feingold was the lone Senate holdout. And I recall Byrd's ire and rant at the tome they had no time to read, but he caved. It went downhill from there. The links below, (apologies, I don't know how to fashion a hot link..) are about Bush's crimes and Amnesty International's exhaustive investigation of them.

I don't have the citation anymore, and I've knocked myself out trying to find it. But there exists a UN human rights commission memo suggesting (?) Obama to do a number of things: hold Bushco accountable for war crimes etc, as well as address what is termed as "systematic racism" in incarceration (and more). I had printed it out a number of years ago and can't find it.)
I'm not buying that Bush fils is any elder statesman. He and his cronies used torture, extreme rendition, hired mercenaries and completely destabilized the Middle East. We still don't have our rights back, and I'm betting the Patriot Act will never go away. (Nor will data mining under the guise of "targeted advertising" and sold to..the military.) The NYT's link is how Obama elected to rug sweep and just move ahead! I look forward to Lambert's take on the Obama administration..

https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/28000/amr510972011en.pdf

https://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/12/us/politics/12inquire.html

techpioneer , April 26, 2021 at 4:56 pm

Finally, someone has the courage to point out the obvious. An excellent article, well researched and nicely nuanced.

I'm disappointed with the remedy proposed, however. Throwing shoes is not enough; it's merely symbolic. The potential crimes committed here, including lying us into war, the extent of torture committed, and practices that violate international military norms and intelligence require a transparent and impartial investigation. One possible venue is the International Criminal Courts in the Hague.

I've been told many times that sunlight can be an effective deterrent against disease.

[May 03, 2021] US/NATO Troops Patrolling Opium Poppy Fields in Afghanistan

May 03, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Apr 28 2021 22:44 utc | 29

Hoarsewhisperer #10

Ditto. I am sure the CIA will be grinding the generals as we speak. Even the letter in Politico could well be one of their strategies. I posted a piece in the open thread yesterday from The HILL that was pure propaganda.

USA is not alone in losing guerrilla warfare.

Watch for Biden announcing a 'shake up' of the military command in the next few weeks/months.

The US military 2021 retreat from Kabul will result in a slaughter in the USA.

I see the Pentagon pulling the plug on the opium income for the CIA. Now THAT is the real war. So the CIA now has to pay its mercenary army to defend the harvest and extraction. That added cost to the CIA will not be taken lightly.

arby , Apr 28 2021 22:53 utc | 31

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 28 2021 22:44 utc | 29

"So the CIA now has to pay its mercenary army to defend the harvest and extraction."

Seems to me it is the taxpayer that is paying for defending the fields.

US/NATO Troops Patrolling Opium Poppy Fields in Afghanistan

[May 03, 2021] A Lifetime -at War- -

Notable quotes:
"... By Tom Engelhardt. Originally published at TomDispatch ..."
"... New York Times ..."
"... I supported the rule of law and human rights, not to mention the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. ..."
"... In these years, one key to so much of this is the fact that, as the Vietnam War began winding down in 1973, the draft was ended and war itself became a “voluntary†activity for Americans. In other words, it became ever easier not only to not protest American war-making, but to pay no attention to it or to the changing military that went with it. And that military was indeed altering and growing in remarkable ways. ..."
"... “The dislike of government spending, whether on public investment or consumption, is overcome by concentrating government expenditure on armaments†..."
"... “The dislike of government spending, whether on public investment or consumption, is overcome by concentrating government expenditure on armaments†..."
"... “Large-scale armaments are inseparable from the expansion of the armed forces and the preparation of plans for a war of conquest. They also induce competitive rearmament of other countries.†..."
May 03, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

A Lifetime “at War†Posted on April 30, 2021 by Yves Smith

Yves here. Englehardt describes how US war-making has been a continuing exercise starting with World War II. It’s important to recognize that before that, US military budgets were modest both in national and global terms. But with manufacturing less specialized, the US was able to turn a considerable amount of its productive capacity to armaments in fairly short order.

A second point is as someone who was in Manhattan on 9/11, I did not experience the attacks as war. I saw them as very impressive terrorism. However, I was appalled at how quickly individuals in positions of authority pushed sentiment in that direction. The attack was on a Tuesday (I had a blood draw and voted before I even realized Something Bad had happened). I was appalled to see the saber-rattling in Bush’s speech at the National Cathedral on Friday. On Sunday, I decided to go to the Unitarian Church around the corner. I was shocked to hear more martial-speak. And because the church was packed, I had to sit in the front on the floor, which meant I couldn’t duck out.

By Tom Engelhardt. Originally published at TomDispatch

Here’s the strange thing in an ever-stranger world: I was born in July 1944 in the midst of a devastating world war. That war ended in August 1945 with the atomic obliteration of two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, by the most devastating bombs in history up to that moment, given the sweet code names “Little Boy†and “Fat Man.â€

I was the littlest of boys at the time. More than three-quarters of a century has passed since, on September 2, 1945, Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and General Yoshijiro Umezu signed the Instrument of Surrender on the battleship U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay, officially ending World War II. That was V-J (for Victory over Japan) Day, but in a sense for me, my whole generation, and this country, war never really ended.

The United States has been at war, or at least in armed conflicts of various sorts, often in distant lands, for more or less my entire life. Yes, for some of those years, that war was “cold†(which often meant that such carnage, regularly sponsored by the CIA, happened largely off-screen and out of sight), but war as a way of life never really ended, not to this very moment.

In fact, as the decades went by, it would become the “infrastructure†in which Americans increasingly invested their tax dollars via aircraft carriers , trillion-dollar jet fighters, drones armed with Hellfire missiles, and the creation and maintenance of hundreds of military garrisons around the globe, rather than roads, bridges, or rail lines (no less the high-speed version of the same) here at home. During those same years, the Pentagon budget would grab an ever-larger percentage of federal discretionary spending and the full-scale annual investment in what has come to be known as the national security state would rise to a staggering $1.2 trillion or more.

In a sense, future V-J Days became inconceivable. There were no longer moments, even as wars ended, when some version of peace might descend and America’s vast military contingents could, as at the end of World War II, be significantly demobilized. The closest equivalent was undoubtedly the moment when the Soviet Union imploded in 1991, the Cold War officially ended, and the Washington establishment declared itself globally triumphant. But of course, the promised “peace dividend†would never be paid out as the first Gulf War with Iraq occurred that very year and the serious downsizing of the U.S. military (and the CIA) never happened.

Never-Ending War

Consider it typical that, when President Biden recently announced the official ending of the nearly 20-year-old American conflict in Afghanistan with the withdrawal of the last U.S. troops from that country by 9/11/21, it would functionally be paired with the news that the Pentagon budget was about to rise yet again from its record heights in the Trump years. “Only in America,†as retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and historian William Astore wrote recently, “do wars end and war budgets go up.â€

Buy the Book

Of course, even the ending of that never-ending Afghan War may prove exaggerated. In fact, let’s consider Afghanistan apart from the rest of this country’s war-making history for a moment. After all, if I had told you in 1978 that, of the 42 years to follow, the U.S. would be involved in war in a single country for 30 of them and asked you to identify it, I can guarantee that Afghanistan wouldn’t have been your pick. And yet so it’s been. From 1979 to 1989, there was the CIA-backed Islamist extremist war against the Soviet army there (to the tune of billions and billions of dollars). And yet the obvious lesson the Russians learned from that adventure, as their military limped home in defeat and the Soviet Union imploded not long after â€" that Afghanistan is indeed the “graveyard of empires†â€" clearly had no impact in Washington.

Or how do you explain the 19-plus years of warfare there that followed the 9/11 attacks, themselves committed by a small Islamist outfit, al-Qaeda, born as an American ally in that first Afghan War? Only recently, the invaluable Costs of War Project estimated that America’s second Afghan War has cost this country almost $2.3 trillion (not including the price of lifetime care for its vets) and has left at least 241,000 people dead, including 2,442 American service members. In 1978, after the disaster of the Vietnam War, had I assured you that such a never-ending failure of a conflict was in our future, you would undoubtedly have laughed in my face.

And yet, three decades later, the U.S. military high command still seems not faintly to have grasped the lesson that we “taught†the Russians and then experienced ourselves. As a result, according to recent reports, they have uniformly opposed President Biden’s decision to withdraw all American troops from that country by the 20th anniversary of 9/11. In fact, it’s not even clear that, by September 11, 2021, if the president’s proposal goes according to plan, that war will have truly ended. After all, the same military commanders and intelligence chiefs seem intent on organizing long-distance versions of that conflict or, as the New York Times put it , are determined to “fight from afar†there. They are evidently even considering establishing new bases in neighboring lands to do so.

America’s “forever wars†â€" once known as the Global War on Terror and, when the administration of George W. Bush launched it, proudly aimed at 60 countries â€" do seem to be slowly winding down. Unfortunately, other kinds of potential wars, especially new cold wars with China and Russia (involving new kinds of high-tech weaponry) only seem to be gearing up.

War in Our Time

In these years, one key to so much of this is the fact that, as the Vietnam War began winding down in 1973, the draft was ended and war itself became a “voluntary†activity for Americans. In other words, it became ever easier not only to not protest American war-making, but to pay no attention to it or to the changing military that went with it. And that military was indeed altering and growing in remarkable ways.

In the years that followed, for instance, the elite Green Berets of the Vietnam era would be incorporated into an ever more expansive set of Special Operations forces, up to 70,000 of them (larger, that is, than the armed forces of many countries). Those special operators would functionally become a second, more secretive American military embedded inside the larger force and largely freed from citizen oversight of any sort. In 2020, as Nick Turse reported, they would be stationed in a staggering 154 countries around the planet, often involved in semi-secret conflicts “in the shadows†that Americans would pay remarkably little attention to.

Since the Vietnam War, which roiled the politics of this nation and was protested in the streets of this country by an antiwar movement that came to include significant numbers of active-duty soldiers and veterans, war has played a remarkably recessive role in American life. Yes, there have been the endless thank-yous offered by citizens and corporations to “the troops.†But that’s where the attentiveness stops, while both political parties, year after endless year, remain remarkably supportive of a growing Pentagon budget and the industrial (that is, weapons-making) part of the military-industrial complex. War, American-style, may be forever, but â€" despite, for instance, the militarization of this country’s police and the way in which those wars came home to the Capitol last January 6th â€" it remains a remarkably distant reality for most Americans.

One explanation: though the U.S. has, as I’ve said, been functionally at war since 1941, there were just two times when this country felt war directly â€" on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and on September 11, 2001, when 19 mostly Saudi hijackers in commercial jets struck New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

And yet, in another sense, war has been and remains us. Let’s just consider some of that war-making for a moment. If you’re of a certain age, you can certainly call to mind the big wars: Korea (1950-1953), Vietnam (1954-1975) â€" and don’t forget the brutal bloodlettings in neighboring Laos and Cambodia as well â€" that first Gulf War of 1991, and the disastrous second one, the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Then, of course, there was that Global War on Terror that began soon after September 11, 2001, with the invasion of Afghanistan, only to spread to much of the rest of the Greater Middle East, and to significant parts of Africa. In March, for instance, the first 12 American special-ops trainers arrived in embattled Mozambique, just one more small extension of an already widespread American anti-Islamist terror role ( now failing ) across much of that continent.

And then, of course, there were the smaller conflicts (though not necessarily so to the people in the countries involved) that we’ve now generally forgotten about, the ones that I had to search my fading brain to recall. I mean, who today thinks much about President John F. Kennedy’s April 1961 CIA disaster at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba; or President Lyndon Johnson’s sending of 22,000 U.S. troops to the Dominican Republic in 1965 to “restore orderâ€; or President Ronald Reagan’s version of “aggressive self-defense†by U.S. Marines sent to Lebanon who, in October 1983, were attacked in their barracks by a suicide bomber, killing 241 of them; or the anti-Cuban invasion of the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada that same month in which 19 Americans were killed and 116 wounded?

And then, define and categorize them as you will, there were the CIA’s endless militarized attempts (sometimes with the help of the U.S. military) to intervene in the affairs of other countries, ranging from taking the nationalist side against Mao Zedong’s communist forces in China from 1945 to 1949 to stoking a small ongoing conflict in Tibet in the 1950s and early 1960s, and overthrowing the governments of Guatemala and Iran, among other places. There were an estimated 72 such interventions from 1947 to 1989, many warlike in nature. There were, for instance, the proxy conflicts in Central America, first in Nicaragua against the Sandinistas and then in El Salvador, bloody events even if few U.S. soldiers or CIA agents died in them. No, these were hardly “wars,†as traditionally defined, not all of them, though they did sometimes involve military coups and the like, but they were generally carnage-producing in the countries they were in. And that only begins to suggest the range of this country’s militarized interventions in the post-1945 era, as journalist William Blum’s “ A Brief History of Interventions †makes all too clear.

Whenever you look for the equivalent of a warless American moment, some reality trips you up. For instance, perhaps you had in mind the brief period between when the Red Army limped home in defeat from Afghanistan in 1989 and the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991, that moment when Washington politicians, initially shocked that the Cold War had ended so unexpectedly, declared themselves triumphant on Planet Earth. That brief period might almost have passed for “peace,†American-style, if the U.S. military under President George H. W. Bush hadn’t, in fact, invaded Panama (“Operation Just Causeâ€) as 1989 ended to get rid of its autocratic leader Manuel Noriega (a former CIA asset, by the way). Up to 3,000 Panamanians (including many civilians) died along with 23 American troops in that episode.

And then, of course, in January 1991 the First Gulf War began . It would result in perhaps 8,000 to 10,000 Iraqi deaths and “only†a few hundred deaths among the U.S.-led coalition of forces. Air strikes against Iraq would follow in the years to come. And let’s not forget that even Europe wasn’t exempt since, in 1999, during the presidency of Bill Clinton, the U.S. Air Force launched a destructive 10-week bombing campaign against the Serbs in the former Yugoslavia.

And all of this remains a distinctly incomplete list, especially in this century when something like 2 00,000 U.S. troops have regularly been stationed abroad and U.S. Special Operations forces have deployed to staggering numbers of countries, while American drones regularly attacked “terrorists†in nation after nation and American presidents quite literally became assassins-in-chief . To this day, what scholar and former CIA consultant Chalmers Johnson called an American “empire of bases†â€" a historically unprecedented 800 or more of them â€" across much of the planet remains untouched and, at any moment, there could be more to come from the country whose military budget at least equals those of the next 10 (yes, that’s 10!) countries combined, including China and Russia.

A Timeline of Carnage

The last three-quarters of this somewhat truncated post-World War II American Century have, in effect, been a timeline of carnage, though few in this country would notice or acknowledge that. After all, since 1945, Americans have only once been “at war†at home, when almost 3,000 civilians died in an attack meant to provoke â€" well, something like the war on terror that also become a war of terror and a spreader of terror movements in our world.

As journalist William Arkin recently argued , the U.S. has created a permanent war state meant to facilitate “endless war.†As he writes, at this very moment, our nation “is killing or bombing in perhaps 10 different countries,†possibly more, and there’s nothing remarkably out of the ordinary about that in our recent past.

The question that Americans seldom even think to ask is this: What if the U.S. were to begin to dismantle its empire of bases, repurpose so many of those militarized taxpayer dollars to our domestic needs, abandon this country’s focus on permanent war, and forsake the Pentagon as our holy church? What if, even briefly, the wars, conflicts, plots, killings, drone assassinations, all of it stopped?

What would our world actually be like if you simply declared peace and came home?


Hemanth Kumar , April 30, 2021 at 8:11 am

Here in Asia, many people think the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan was an act of flaying the dying horse, since Japan was staring at defeat even without the bombs. It was a totally callous act of the USA to drop the bombs just to “test their efficacyâ€.

Why then the bombs could not have dropped on Germany that was still waging war at that time? Asians smirk and say one) the “collateral†damage of radiation etc., to neighbours like France who were Allies and two) they were (and are) ‘whites’; unlike Japan and its neighbours.

NotTimothyGeithner , April 30, 2021 at 9:40 am

The war in Europe was over when the bomb was first tested.

The Rev Kev , April 30, 2021 at 9:43 am

I think that you have the dates mixed up. The war against Germany in Europe ended on May 7th and the testing of the first atom bomb was not until 16th July when the first bomb went off at Alamogordo in New Mexico. The following month the two remaining atom bombs that the US had were dropped on Japan. In short, the bombs arrived too late to use in Europe.

JBird4049 , April 30, 2021 at 3:57 pm

The bomb was built with Berlin being the first target, but because the war ended a year sooner than what everyone thought it would and making the very first bombs took longer than planned, it was used on Japan. It was probably used as a demonstration for the Soviets, but considering that sixty-six other large Japanese cities had already been completely destroyed by “conventional†firebombing, and in Tokyo’s case, with greater casualties than either nuclear bombing, the Bomb wasn’t really needed. The descriptions and the personal accounts of the destruction of Tokyo (or Dresden and Hamburg) are (if that is even possible) worse than of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Honestly, just what new and excitingly horrific ways of killing people the atom bomb used was not clearly understood. They generally thought of it as a bigger kaboom in a smaller package. And honestly, being pre-cremated during an entire night with your family and neighbors in the local bomb-shelter or dying after a few days, weeks, or even a month from radiation poisoning, is not really a difference is it?

WobblyTelomeres , April 30, 2021 at 6:28 pm

“More bang for the buck†is the phrase I heard years ago at Los Alamos.

John Wright , April 30, 2021 at 11:56 am

Another view has the dropping of the atomic bombs was a message, not to Japan, but to the Soviet Union.

From https://www.nytimes.com/1995/07/30/books/did-we-need-to-drop-it.html

“FOR 20 years after Harry Truman ordered the atomic bomb dropped on Japan in August 1945, most American scholars and citizens subscribed to the original, official version of the story: the President had acted to avert a horrendous invasion of Japan that could have cost 200,000 to 500,000 American lives. Then a young political economist named Gar Alperovitz published a book of ferocious revisionism, “Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam†(1965). While acknowledging the paucity of evidence available at the time, he argued that dropping the atomic bomb “was not needed to end the war or to save lives†but was Truman’s means of sending a chastening message to the Soviet Union.â€

Timh , April 30, 2021 at 1:32 pm

If we accept that at face value, then certainly the second bombing was unecessary. The threat would have been enough. But the US had a second bomb design to test…

BCD , April 30, 2021 at 4:13 pm

Few things working here. The US needed Japan to surrender quickly before Stalin invaded (which they asked him to do) so he couldn’t get his forces onto the island where the Allies couldn’t stop him. Most Japanese feared Stalin and preferred surrendering to the US but the Japanese government was trying to use talks with the USSR to get better terms than unconditional surrender (little did they know Stalin was licking his chops for more territory under his iron curtain).

The first bomb design (little man) was significantly less ambitious, it was so certain to function they never tested it because a study had proven there was almost no chance it would fail.

Fat boy was the scientific leap in technology needing to be demonstrated. Building little man was mostly a matter of enriching Uranium vs Fat boy Plutonium enrichment harder and detonation mechanism more complicated. However the end result was a bomb that could produce significantly higher yields with smaller amounts of fissionable material where both the size of the bomb could be significantly reduced and the yield of the device could be significantly scaled up at the same time.

Fat boy demonstrated the USA could someday be putting nukes on V2 rockets recently smuggled out of Germany. Even more important Fat boy is a precursor to the mechanism that initiates the H bomb fusion devices that Edward Teller would soon be Dr Strangloving.

Even after Trinity Fat boy still had very high odds of failure. They feared looking like fools if it failed and the USSR ended up with the Plutoniumt. As a result the US Air Force dropped little man first because it was certain to work. After the 1st bomb dropped, the Soviets declared war and began their invasion of Japan which forced Truman’s hand to drop Fat boy too. Even after Fat Boy, war mongers in Japan still refused to surrender where Emperor Hirohito finally overruled them and although there was a military coupe attempted, it failed.

Thus ended the most bloody conflict in the history of human kind.

Harold , April 30, 2021 at 7:52 pm

I’m not saying it isn’t true, but is there any actual evidence that the bombs were dropped as “a message to the Soviet Union†and not to speed the end of the war?

Also, who exactly wanted to send this “message� The US generals were against it, I understand.

Jason , April 30, 2021 at 9:23 pm

An apologia on bomb design, manufacture, and real-world application!

These ones weren’t even atomic:

https://i0.wp.com/wrongkindofgreen.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/libya-before-and-after-1.jpg

And look what they can do. Yay bombs.

Tom Pfotzer , April 30, 2021 at 9:25 am

“What would our world actually be like if you simply declared peace and came home?â€

a. All those families whose livelihood is based on waging war would have to find a new job. These people will fight tooth and nail to avoid change

b. The resource grabs by the rich people behind the Oz-like curtain would fail. Their fate would be that of the English aristocrats who have to rent out their castles in order to maintain a roof over their head. These people will fight tooth and nail to avoid change

c. The general public would have a fire-hose of newly-available resources to direct toward activities which benefit all the rest of the families outside A and B above

d. Fear-based leverage by the few over the many would be diminished. Attention would be re-directed toward valid problems we all face

=====

There’s an interesting question which I see posed from time to time, and often ask myself. It runs thus:

“Who decides who our “enemies†are, and why they are “enemies�

This is a fundamental question which I believe very few of us can currently answer accurately. Yet this question carries a $1.2T per year consequence. That’s a lot of money to allocate toward something we know nothing about.

One time I asked an acquaintance â€" who spent a career at CIA â€" that question. His reply was “Why, Congress decides who our enemies are, and why. Congress then tells the CIA what to doâ€.

I wasn’t sure if he truly believed that. It’s quite possible he did, of course, and I’m sure many of the people in group A above surely do think they’re doing honorable and patriotic work.

Group B above â€" the people who are actually moving the chess pieces of “the Great Game†â€" they are pretty clear on who defines our “enemies†and why they are “enemiesâ€. And they wisely don’t stand in front of podiums and explain their actions. These people aren’t visible, or explained, or known because it’s better for them not to be.

The way to combat manipulation by these predators is to:

a. Know them by their actions. Predators predate.
b. Don’t participate. In order for them to predate, they need minions. Don’t be a minion. Instead…
c. Be the giver, the creator and the constructor of things that are of no use to predators

NotTimothyGeithner , April 30, 2021 at 10:06 am

It’s not the soldiers but the contractors who live in dumpy overpriced holes like Northern Virginia.

As to your acquaintance, my godfather was in the CIA in the 60’s and a bit into the 70’s, and he might not say Congress as much as the President’s Chief of Staff as threat they choose what the President sees. You have to remember it’s primarily an organization of boring paper pushers looking to get promoted which requires political patronage. Imagine getting the Canada desk. You’ll be at a dead end unless you paint it as a grave threat. Then there is information overload and just the sheer size of the US. They would file reports, he mentioned an incident in Africa in the wake of decolonization when y godfather was stationed there that maybe warranted the President’s attention, but to get information to the President’s CoS took so long, it was in the President’s daily newspaper before the report could be handled. By then, why care, given the size of the US? Who can get to the Chief of Staff? Congress, so everyone else lobbies them. The CIA director is an appendage of the CoS.

When the President wants something, everyone jumps, but when the President doesn’t care, everyone is jockeying get for patronage.

HH , April 30, 2021 at 10:35 am

The war machine is sustained by plutocrats and their sociopathic flunkies in the national security state. How this works is clearly depicted in “The Devil’s Chessboard,†by David Talbot, a deeply depressing chronicle of how Allen Dulles and his brother John Foster Dulles did the dirty work of US corporations worldwide. The arrogance, impunity, and irresponsibility of these men established the framework of our secret government, which remains intact to this day.

It would be pleasant to believe that this evil persists because of public ignorance, but like the good Germans of the Nazi era, Americans accept that deception, torture, and murder are routinely practiced on our behalf to maintain our high standard of living and to keep us “safe.†The reverence for the operatives of the US national security state is evident throughout our popular culture, and that is a damning judgment on the American people.

Tom Pfotzer , April 30, 2021 at 11:17 am

Yes. Succinctly stated, and quite correct.

Of course the core problems are stationed at the place hardest to get to: right between our ears. This complicity disease runs deep and wide.

While I often succumb to that same despondency you mentioned, occasionally I interrupt the doom tape to notice that there’s a lot of people who are paddling hard toward a new ethos…like the posters here @ NC, for ex.

So today I’m going to indulge in a little happiness. Plant a tree. Do something good, something durable, something hopeful.

Something that offers no real hope of rent extraction potential.

:)

JBird4049 , April 30, 2021 at 8:53 pm

It was nice being accused of supporting the terrorists because I supported the rule of law and human rights, not to mention the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

WTF do some people think that the Founders wanted an extremely small army, a large organized militia, and passed the Bill of Rights? It was a reaction to what the British Army did to them (using much of the same tactics as the current “justice†system does today.) The ignorance and lack of thinking is really annoying.

Much of what the British military did was not good. Even now some of it would not be allowed in a court of law, but I do not recall them being nearly as violent, brutal, or deadly in their tactics while enforcing the King’s Law as the current regime or the local police are. That the milder British tactics caused a civil war with in a decade, and that the people then had less to fear from an occupying army as we do from “our†police is disturbing to think on.

But wars always come home, don’t they? Faux toughness on the supposed baddies here with claims of treason and insurrections on protests and riots now that often would hardly be in the news fifty years ago, so great was the protests and riots happening then. The cry to use the same tactics that did not work overseas to be used here at home. “To keep us safe.â€

Swamp Yankee , May 1, 2021 at 2:06 am

There’s truth to this, but once the war was really on, British and Tory/Loyalist brutality had decisive effects on public opinion, putting lots of people into the Whig/Patriot camp. Tom Paine makes great efforts to publicize British sexual assaults, looting, and general thugishness as they chase the Continental Army across New Jersey in 1776; the cruelty of backcountry British cavalry officers and Tory rangers in the Carolinas was legendary as the war reaches its latter phases.

And there was brutality on the other side, too, especially for Loyalist elites who faced a kind of “social death.†It was a war, after all, as well as a social revolution. It wasn’t France in 1789 or Russia in 1917, but it was rough, especially given the small population size.

FluffytheObeseCat , April 30, 2021 at 11:36 am

Except as Engelhardt just pointed out, the national security state does not “maintain our high standard of livingâ€. It’s an immense net drain on our standard of living. The only Americans made well-to-do or wealthy by it are those who are directly involved in supplying contract goods and services to the system.

FriarTuck , April 30, 2021 at 3:41 pm

I don’t know if Americans “accept†it as opposed to taking a dim view of being able to affect change.

The levers the average person has to change the behavior of the state is infinitesimal. Add to that the scope of action and Overton window mediated by the hypernormalized press ecosystem just means those in power get to act without restraint.

Hell, Obama literally said “We tortured some folks†and the media and government barely shrugged. To my knowledge, no one went to jail, no one was brought up in the Hague, and some of the same ghouls that perpetrated such crimes got cushy commenter jobs in the media.

Right now, localities can’t even keep their police from regularly killing citizens.

What does the average person do in the face of such things?

Jason , April 30, 2021 at 5:07 pm

Hell, Obama literally said “We tortured some folks†and the media and government barely shrugged. To my knowledge, no one went to jail, no one was brought up in the Hague, and some of the same ghouls that perpetrated such crimes got cushy commenter jobs in the media.

No one went to jail. Certainly no one went before the Hague. No bankers went to jail either. Even during the nutty Reagan administration, people went to jail for financial shenanigans. Some got long sentences. Hell, the Iran-Contra stuff was at least covered and people were indicted, even if they all got pardoned. Not anymore. These shenanigans are the norm and happen right out in the open. I’d imagine some of it’s been given legal cover. It seems like it’s become the expected behavior within these circles. To act otherwise â€" to attempt to be honest, in other words â€" is seen as weak and is mocked as fiercely as a weaker child on the playground might be.

It’s just a continuing regression. And as you note, it’s an excellent career builder:

“Looking for a job in mainstream media? Research has shown that reducing your sense of ethics and morality actually helps you get ahead.â€

John Wright , May 1, 2021 at 1:53 pm

I like to quote a radio advertisement that a local Northern California bail bondsman ran on one local radio station years ago.

“Friends don’t let friends do timeâ€.

LowellHighlander , April 30, 2021 at 10:59 am

Doubtless, Ms. Smith and Ms. Engelhardt have provided a key public service here. And I speak as a veteran, decorated for service in the War Over Oil (a.k.a. the “Persian Gulf Warâ€).

Between the vast economic inequality currently raging in our country, the social stratification enabled by access to colleges and universities accepted as “eliteâ€, the trashing of Constitutional protections (e.g. the 4th Amendment, now thoroughly eviscerated owing to the “PATRIOT ACTâ€), and the rampaging rule by “intelligence agencies†over foreign policy, I see no reason why any father should tell his children that this is a country worth fighting and dying for. [Think: China] Of course, the Empire â€" just as Rome did in its dying days â€" will be able to find enough desperately poor who will take the king’s shilling and don the uniform.

If anyone wishes to prove me wrong, let them work for a substantive “peace dividend†for a 2-3 years. Then we can sit down and talk; I’ll buy the ale.

tegnost , April 30, 2021 at 11:38 am

I think Englehart is a “Mr.†but I don’t want to get myself in trouble with the gender neutralization crowd

LowellHighlander , April 30, 2021 at 12:41 pm

oops; my apologies to all.

Rod , April 30, 2021 at 12:25 pm

And here is a nice companion reading alluding to Media collusion by a CNN colluder:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/29/opinions/lies-told-to-sustain-us-and-uk-mission-in-afghanistan-walsh/index.html

from the above article:

In these years, one key to so much of this is the fact that, as the Vietnam War began winding down in 1973, the draft was ended and war itself became a “voluntary†activity for Americans. In other words, it became ever easier not only to not protest American war-making, but to pay no attention to it or to the changing military that went with it. And that military was indeed altering and growing in remarkable ways.

Because, imo,

Since the Vietnam War, which roiled the politics of this nation and was protested in the streets of this country by an antiwar movement that came to include significant numbers of active-duty soldiers and veterans, war has played a remarkably recessive role in American life.

Despite having already ‘pledged’ at my Uncles Invitation, with the Draft’s End, I had great hope my future would see the great Peace Dividand rather than 9 more Opportunity Conflicts.
Little did that then 21 year old see the brilliance in that Pentagon Strategy.
I Now firmly support a No Exemption Draft for all post HS.
Military Service being only one, and a restricted one, of many counter-balancing options available for Public Service for that cohort.

Frank Little , April 30, 2021 at 12:42 pm

This article reminded me of one of the best Congressional Research Service reports that I’ve read: Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2020 . Despite being just a list of dates and locations with a brief description, it comes in at around 50 pages, which I think is a testament to how important foreign military engagement has been to the growth of the US even before 1945. Between these foreign wars and the genocidal war against the indigenous people of the continent I think it’s fair to say this country has been at war since its founding.

juno mas , April 30, 2021 at 6:16 pm

Correct. Even the so called Louisiana Purchase was not really a purchase of land, but a faux “option†to engage in land treaties with the native Americans;.the US chose Indian Wars and relocation treaties that have been violated repeatedly. (This territory is now known as the Red States.)

The rest of the land extending to the west coast was acquired through conquest with the new nation of Mexico. I guess the only real honest acquisition would be Seward’s Icebox.

JBird4049 , April 30, 2021 at 8:30 pm

>>I guess the only real honest acquisition would be Seward’s Icebox.

Alaska has only been inhabited for a few tens of thousands of years. I would think that the natives should have some say about who “owns†the land even though the Russian Empire did say that they did. The reasons sometimes included the use of guns. As for stealing Mexico’s territory, again that was, and in some areas still is, inhabited by natives who somehow became under the “governance†of New Spain or the country of Mexico despite not being asked about it and often still a majority part of the population in many areas when Mexico lost control.

Often, Europeans or Americans would show up somewhere, plant a flag, and say that they claimed or owned the very inhabited land, sometimes with farms and even entire cities. Rather arrogant, I would say.

Harold , April 30, 2021 at 8:49 pm

“Whatever happens, we have got
The Maxim gun, and they have not.â€

juno mas , April 30, 2021 at 9:44 pm

I agree. Seward’s Icebox was not empty at time of sale. My understanding is that Seward thought it was. So faraway, so cold; no one would be living there, right?

As I’ve commented here many times, it was small pox not small bullets that allowed the Old World to take the New. There were estimates of 20 million native Americans living on the land now known as Mexico and the US. 90% were felled by Old World disease before Custer lost his scalp to the northern Plains Indians. In a fair fight the Indians would be enforcing the treaties.

It is amazing how the US continues to engage in war and still lose: Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq. . .Ukraine?

kgw , April 30, 2021 at 5:58 pm

I remember the words of Patrick Henry in his speech on the floor of the Virginia legislature debating the passing of the new constitution…

In particular, his views on the standing army : “What does a farmer in Virginia have to fear from a farmer in France?â€

Democracy Working , April 30, 2021 at 10:29 pm

For nearly a decade now every time I’ve read about the war in Afghanistan I’ve thought about Tim Kreider’s mordant 2011 cartoon We Could’ve Had The Moon, Instead We Get Afghanistan . Ten years later, that $432 billion has ballooned to $2.3 trillion (and more) and every word he wrote still stands. :-(

The author has retired from cartooning and now focuses on essay writing.

Sound of the Suburbs , May 1, 2021 at 4:37 am

We are going to have to halt the production lines.
The warehouses are full of bombs already, there is no more room.

Biden to the rescue; he’s started dropping bombs already.
When you have a large defence industry, you need war.
The only purpose is to use up the output from the defence industry.

This is what they realised in the 1940s, but we forgot.
http://delong.typepad.com/kalecki43.pdf

“The dislike of government spending, whether on public investment or
consumption, is overcome by concentrating government expenditure on
armamentsâ€

Sound of the Suburbs , May 1, 2021 at 4:47 am

Ran out of edit time.
Should be two quotes.

“The dislike of government spending, whether on public investment or consumption, is overcome by concentrating government expenditure on armamentsâ€

“Large-scale armaments are inseparable from the expansion of the armed forces and the preparation of plans for a war of conquest. They also induce competitive rearmament of other countries.â€

These were the lessons they learnt from the 1930s.

Susan the other , May 1, 2021 at 12:18 pm

So now, here we are. And how do we create a peaceful world? Refit the US military for a sustainable world. It will prove to be very useful. We and other advanced nations still have the advantage for prosperity but we should not abuse it. The whole idea back in 1945 was for the world to prosper. So I’ll just suggest my usual hack: Get rid of the profit motive. It’s pure mercantilism. And totally self defeating in a world seeking sustainability for everyone.

Philip Ebersole , May 1, 2021 at 1:35 pm

The Manhattan Project was an enormously expensive enterprise with two components â€" the development of a uranium bomb (Oak Ridge) and a plutonium bomb (Hanford, WA).

If no bomb had been used, the project would have been considered a waste of time, and there would have been a congressional investigation. If only one bomb had been used, half the cost would have been considered a waste.

I’m not saying these were the only reasons for dropping the bombs. The event was, as they say, “overdetermined.â€

[May 03, 2021] Biden is privatising the war in Afghanistan. 18,000 private contractors will stay behind to maintain a landing area for U.S. aircraft should the need arise.

May 03, 2021 | www.unz.com

Katrinka , says: April 30, 2021 at 11:36 am GMT • 15.8 hours ago

@KenH

Biden is privatising the war in Afghanistan. 18,000 private contractors will stay behind to maintain a landing area for U.S. aircraft should the need arise. According to war monger Lynn Cheney the "troops will never leave". The U.S. National Guard has been fighting undeclared wars all over the ME for twenty years and legislation is being proposed at the state level to end the abuse. I personally know one man who has done three tours in Iraq as a National Guardsman.

I totally agree with your comments concerning the U.S. government here at home. It is Bolshevism 2.0.

[May 03, 2021] U.S. Four Star Generals Ask DNI To Stop Lying

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Dear Director of National Intelligence, ..."
"... we, the the 4-star Generals leading U.S. regional commands all over the world, are increasingly concerned with about the lack of evidence for claims you make about our opponents. ..."
"... We, as true believers, do not doubt whatever judgment you make about the harmful activities of Russia, Iran and China. However - our allies and partners do not yet subscribe to the bliss of ignorance. They keep asking us for facts that support those judgments ..."
"... Unfortunately, we have none that we could provide. ..."
"... You say that Russia thought to manipulate Trump allies and to smear Biden , that Russia and Iran aimed to sway the 2020 election through covert campaigns and that China runs covert operations to influence members of Congress . ..."
"... Media reports have appeared in which 'intelligence sources' claim that Russia, China and Iran are all paying bounties to the Taliban for killing U.S. soldiers. Fortunately no soldier got hurt by those rumors. ..."
"... Our allies and partners read those and other reports and ask us for evidence. They want to know how exactly Russia, Iran and China are doing these things. ..."
"... They, of course, hope to learn from our experience to protect their own countries. ..."
"... Currently we are not able to provide them with such information. Your people keep telling our that all of it is SECRET. ..."
"... We therefore ask you to declassify the facts that support your judgments. * ..."
"... PS: * Either that or shut the fuck up. ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

These folks have had it with the constant stream of baseless propaganda U.S. intelligence is spilling over the world:

Dear Director of National Intelligence,

we, the the 4-star Generals leading U.S. regional commands all over the world, are increasingly concerned with about the lack of evidence for claims you make about our opponents.

We, as true believers, do not doubt whatever judgment you make about the harmful activities of Russia, Iran and China. However - our allies and partners do not yet subscribe to the bliss of ignorance. They keep asking us for facts that support those judgments

Unfortunately, we have none that we could provide.

You say that Russia thought to manipulate Trump allies and to smear Biden , that Russia and Iran aimed to sway the 2020 election through covert campaigns and that China runs covert operations to influence members of Congress .

Media reports have appeared in which 'intelligence sources' claim that Russia, China and Iran are all paying bounties to the Taliban for killing U.S. soldiers. Fortunately no soldier got hurt by those rumors.

Our allies and partners read those and other reports and ask us for evidence. They want to know how exactly Russia, Iran and China are doing these things.

They, of course, hope to learn from our experience to protect their own countries.

Currently we are not able to provide them with such information. Your people keep telling our that all of it is SECRET.

We therefore ask you to declassify the facts that support your judgments. *

Sincerely

The Generals

----
PS: * Either that or shut the fuck up.

The above may well have been a draft for the letter behind this report :

America’s top spies say they are looking for ways to declassify and release more intelligence about adversaries’ bad behavior, after a group of four-star military commanders sent a rare and urgent plea asking for help in the information war against Russia and China.

The internal memo from nine regional military commanders last year, which was reviewed by POLITICO and not made public, implored spy agencies to provide more evidence to combat "pernicious conduct."

Only by "waging the truth in the public domain against America’s 21st century challengers†can Washington shore up support from American allies, they said. But efforts to compete in the battle of ideas, they added, are hamstrung by overly stringent secrecy practices.

“We request this help to better enable the US, and by extension its allies and partners, to win without fighting, to fight now in so-called gray zones, and to supply ammunition in the ongoing war of narratives," the commanders who oversee U.S. military forces in Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America, as well as special operations troops, wrote to then-acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire last January.

“Unfortunately, we continue to miss opportunities to clarify truth, counter distortions, puncture false narratives, and influence events in time to make a difference," they added.

The generals must have been seriously miffed to write such a letter. There have been a number of published intelligence judgments where the NSA had expressed low confidence in conclusions made mainly by the CIA. The NSA is part of the military.

Between two bureaucracies such an accusing letter or internal memo is the equivalent of a declaration of war. It is doubtful that the intelligence folks would win that fight.

That gives some hope that the Office of the DNI and the agencies below it will now lessen their production of nonsensical claims.

Posted by b on April 28, 2021 at 15:49 UTC | Permalink


Josh , Apr 28 2021 16:02 utc | 1

Right on man.
Thank You.
Kartoschka , Apr 28 2021 16:04 utc | 2
I hope you're right.
It could go the other way.
They will produce more "evidence"
psychohistorian , Apr 28 2021 16:12 utc | 3
Thanks for that b....is it rubber meets the road time?

I just read that the US is getting all its ambassadorial folk out of Afghanistan....maybe somebody is believing May 1 is a firmer deadline than the Biden 9/11 myth.

The shit show is about to crash, IMO, but if it is in slow motion, this crazy could go on for a while....what geo-political straw will break the camel's back?

Caliman , Apr 28 2021 16:25 utc | 4
Lewis Black, a pretty good US comedian, used to have a bit in the mid-2000's where he would ask the W administration flacks why they didn't just make up evidence about the Iraq WMDs after they "found out" that there were no weapons in the country. Black would tell them just make it up; we're used to it. Just give us an excuse to believe in the BS for God's sake; we'll do it!

I feel it's the same with our satrap nations around the world. At this time, is there anyone who does not understand that US foreign policy is conducted for and by MICIMATT (look it up)? So the generals have got nothing to worry about: keep pounding out that BS; there's a willing, able, and ready corps of salesmen and women in the media who will make enough of the public believe it for "democracy's" purposes.

Serg , Apr 28 2021 16:29 utc | 5
General Mackenzie who testified before the US House Armed Services Committee said Iran’s widespread use of drones means that the US is operating without complete air superiority for the first time since the Korean War.

Iran has time and again stated that its military capabilities are merely defensive and are designed to deter foreign threats.

https://politnew.com/politics/4796-gen-kenneth-mckenzie-iran-possesses-one-of-most-capable-militaries-in-the-middle-east.html

librul , Apr 28 2021 16:30 utc | 6
General Flynn had been head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (military).
The CIA was out to get him. It took a while but they eventually hamstrung him good.
gottlieb , Apr 28 2021 16:36 utc | 7
"Dear Generals, who haven't won a war in 75 years, so much for the DIA huh? We'd love to share our intelligence with you, our evidence showing the overwhelming and egregious misdeeds of our hateful, spiteful disgusting enemies, whose questioning of our Word should be met with charges of treason, but to give you evidence on top of our own unquestionable and 100% correct threat estimations, would compromise our Intelligence Gathering Methods which are of the strictest security and would threaten the ongoing ability of this Agency to gather and disseminate the unquestionable facts that without fear of contradiction we know is the truth. In short, dear Generals - work on winning a war, any war, and don't meddle in places that befuddle your ability to follow orders. Hooah! The CIA."
librul , Apr 28 2021 16:51 utc | 8
This fight has been ongoing for years.
Bottom line: The CIA wants to control the messages and narrative.

Article from 2013, great lead photo. Robert Mueller, James Clapper, John Brennan
and General Flynn all seated near each other.

https://www.defenseone.com/policy/2013/07/intel-wars-dia-cia-and-flynns-battle-consolidate-spying/66716/
Headline and subtext:

Intel Wars: DIA, CIA and Flynn’s Battle to Consolidate Spying
The Defense Department wants in on the spying game. But will the CIA block their efforts?


The CIA essentially absorbed the Pentagon’s only military-wide spying agency seven years ago [2006]
when the Defense HUMINT Service was dismantled -- and now, the Pentagon wants it back.

The CIA is quietly pushing the Armed Services committees along, hoping that Flynn’s DCS will be remembered by history as a failed power grab.

Canadian Cents , Apr 28 2021 17:10 utc | 11

The CIA/FBI/17+ known/unknown agencies are clearly a security apparatus that's gone out of control when even the USA's "nine regional [four-star general] military commanders" are out of the loop and pleading to be better informed. Worryingly, though, they ask for "ammunition in the ongoing war of narratives," which they apparently are ready to go right along with.

Western news media, of course, has become but a compliant weaponized appendage of that security apparatus, and democracy, which depends on informed voters, is nowhere in control of any of this.

Down this slippery slope, lies fascism.

rgl , Apr 28 2021 17:31 utc | 13

I do not see how this is possible. Every major event, from Vietnam, to JFK, to 9-11, and a myriad of others, had US lies baked into the cake. If the US ceased to lie, it would cease to function as America functions today. It would be incapable of empire.

The US establishment, from the President on down, is based on lies. They cannot survive on truth.

No. Nothing is going to change in this regard.

librul , Apr 28 2021 17:48 utc | 15

b ended his post with: " lessen their production of nonsensical claims."

"Nonsensical" misses the mark. They are *agenda-driven* claims.
I don't believe the Generals care one whit whether the spineless jellyfish pols
in other countries see through our lies. The Generals want the Pentagon to
have more participation in shaping the agenda and it's attendant narrative.

m , Apr 28 2021 18:13 utc | 17

The military used to be that part pf the US government apparatus ("deep state") that emphasized the value and importance of allies the most.

IMHO what is happening here is that the generals sense the imcreasing cracks in the US-centered alliance system. They attribute it to the work of the intelligence community, which is certainly a contributing factor, but thr real cause is the relative decline in US power and general unreliability due to political instability. The USA is less and less attractive as a partner. When the generals ask another country for a favour as they had been used to for decades they increasingly often get just questions and excuses in return.

Erelis , Apr 28 2021 20:31 utc | 26

Is this a sign of a struggle between the CIA and Pentagon as to who is the boss of foreign and war policy? Anybody remember when CIA supported jihadists were fighting Pentagon supported groups (were they jihadists?) in Syria. Seems like the Pentagon is the one deciding on relations with the Syrian Kurds, and not the CIA. Flynn was actively helping the Damascus with info about the CIA backed jihadists.

I would rather have the Pentagon win as they are not all that hot-to-trot for actual wars. The CIA should just go back to running US media, law makers, corporation and ruining civil liberties.

K_C_ , Apr 28 2021 22:26 utc | 28

Isn't it safe to assume that *anything* the CIA says publicly, either through direct channels or their co-opted corporate media, is false? Cue the Mike Pimpeo quote: "We lied, we cheated, we stole..." and of course the entire history of that useless agency, lol.

[May 03, 2021] Economic policy after the pandemic " Crooked Timber

May 03, 2021 | crookedtimber.org

Economic policy after the pandemic

by JOHN QUIGGIN on APRIL 30, 2021

I’m racing to get a draft manuscript of The Economic Consequences of the Pandemic , not helped by the fact that Biden keeps doing pretty much what I think he should do. More of the fold. Comments greatly appreciated, as always.

Like Keynes’ Londoner in the aftermath of the Great War, we are emerging from the pandemic into a world where the certitudes of the past have crumbled into dust. Balanced budgets, free trade, credit ratings, financial markets, above all free markets; these ideas have ceased to command any belief.

The failure of these ideas evident since the GFC and, in many respects, since the beginning of the 21st century. It have sunk in gradually as the neoliberal political class formed in the 1980s and 1990s has passed from the scene, replaced by younger people whose experience of financialised capitalism is almost entirely negative.

But it is only with the shock of the pandemic that the thinking of the past has completely lost its grip on the great majority. The absence of any serious resistance to Biden’s stimulus and infrastructure package reflects the fact that hardly anyone seriously believes the old verities of balanced budgets and free markets

Yet the fundamental realities of economic life remain unchanged. We can collectively consume or invest what we produce, nothing more and nothing less. And our productive capacity is constrained by resources and technology, as it always has been. One way or another we need to decide what goods and services will be produced and who will get to consume them.

What has changed is that the economic system we have used to allocate resources and investments for the last forty years is no longer fit for purpose. Financial markets are not repositories of wisdom and market discipline; rather they are, in Keynes words, gambling houses where ‘enterprise becomes the bubble on a whirlpool of speculation.’ And as Keynes said ‘When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done.’.

Unsurprisingly, the casino economy has delivered huge gains for a small number of winners, and losses for everyone else, certainly when compared to the broadly shared gains of the mid 20th century. But contrary to the claims of trickle-down advocates, these massive rewards have not generated increases in productivity. Profits are obtained, not by making a better product at lower cost, but by securing and holding a monopoly position.

How should we respond? The answer must be a combination of past, present and future. First, we need to look at the institutions of the 20th century Golden Age, and ask which can be revived and refurbished to address our current problems. Second, we must consider what elements of the neoliberal era are worth saving. Finally we must consider our future options in a world unlike anything that has come before.

The first step must be to look back at the institutions of the postwar Golden Age. Not all of these will turn out to be useful in our current situation, and some were inappropriate even at the time they operated. Nevertheless, taken all in all, the mixed economy of the mid-20th century worked much better than the system of financialised capitalism that prevailed in the era of neoliberalism.

Most of the policy program announced by the Biden Administration can be understood as a return to Golden Age policies wound back or abandoned in the neoliberal era. Examples include explicit support for unions, investment in physical infrastructure, partial repeal of the 2017 tax cuts, and free community college.

Unions, progressive taxes, expanding education â€" the case for all of these is as strong or stronger as it was in the aftermath of the Great Wars. Similarly, the need for public investment in physical infrastructure, after years of neglect, is evident. Biden’s measures so far are steps in the right direction, but much more remains to be done.

The innovations of the neoliberal era have mostly been negative. But there have been some positive developments. The movement towards racial and gender equality, which began in the 1960s continued, if slowly and with occasional reversals, through the neoliberal area. And some more specifically neoliberal policy innovations such as the earned income credit and emissions taxes have been value. Similarly, while most financial innovations have been harmful, there have been exceptions such as the rise of venture capital.

Looking to the future, the shift from an industrial to an information economy requires fundamentally new approaches to economics. We are still at the beginning of understanding what is needed here; but it is already obvious that the combination of financialized capitalism and Big Tech is not working out well as a solution.

GM and Google

The archetypal product of the 20th century industrial economy was the motor car, the archetypal technology was the production line and the archetypal firm was General Motors. Each car that rolled off GM’s production line embodied a set of physical and labour inputs; steel for the body, parts supplied by a network of subcontractors, the work of a large body of skilled and semi-skilled workers. Dealers and finance providers distributed the cars to buyers, who then owned and uses the products. Our thinking about how an economy works still reflects this model.

A 20th century firm like General Motors can easily be understood in terms of the economic categories of mainstream classical and neoclassical economists, beginning with Adam Smith. The whole apparatus of national accounting, reflected in concepts like GDP, was developed to deal with such firms.

But consider a firm like Google. Google doesn’t produce a physical good1; it doesn’t even generate the information that is at the core of its business. Rather, it indexes the information generated by others, with or without their permission, then allows users to search those indexes, with advertising attached.

Google doesn’t fit at all comfortably into the categories of traditional economics. Its output can’t be measured in quantitative terms, nor is there any obvious price attached to it. This hasn’t stopped Google making massive profits, or attaining a stratospheric market valuation. On the other hand, it is far from obvious that this is the best way of making the information resources of the Internet available to everyone.

1 Except for a relatively modest business producing tablet computers that run Google’s Chrome operating system.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }


Tim Worstall 04.30.21 at 12:39 pm ( 1 )

This is true:

“Its output can’t be measured in quantitative terms, nor is there any obvious price attached to it.â€

This connects with this:

“The whole apparatus of national accounting, reflected in concepts like GDP,â€

At which point we’ve a certain problem using measures like GDP to discuss the success and or failure of neoliberalism or even financialised capitalism. Because we’re already insisting that the archetypal firms of the neoliberal era aren’t well measured by GDP.

So insistences that growth was faster back in that Golden Age and so on become a little more difficult. So too insistences that living standards rose faster and all that.

We also end up with difficulties over something like this:

“Unsurprisingly, the casino economy has delivered huge gains for a small number of winners, and losses for everyone else, certainly when compared to the broadly shared gains of the mid 20th century. But contrary to the claims of trickle-down advocates, these massive rewards have not generated increases in productivity. Profits are obtained, not by making a better product at lower cost, but by securing and holding a monopoly position.â€

OK, Facebook, monopoly and all that. But increases in productivity? WhatsApp. You can talk to 1 billion people for free. OK, people might not say very much but still. There’s nothing of this in GDP â€" there’s no fee nor even advertising. Last time I asked Facebook about this they said “couple of hundred engineers†work on this. So, we’ve the costs of a couple of hundred engineers â€" $100 million including stock awards and office space? â€" in the national accounts. We’ve no corresponding output. This is a reduction in productivity.

But we’ve 1 billion people getting telecoms for free and this is a reduction in productivity?

Precisely because you’re saying that GDP doesn;t measure all this new economy stuff well it becomes very difficult to insist that this new economy stuff hasn;t worked well if the measure is going to be GDP…..

John Quiggin 05.01.21 at 12:35 am ( 2 )

That’s a problem with posting extracts. I’m well aware of these points and will deal with them. No time to respond in detail now, as I need to submit ASAP.

J-D 05.01.21 at 11:15 pm (no link)

Its output can’t be measured in quantitative terms, nor is there any obvious price attached to it.

So from this point of view Google’s product is already priced in the price of the stuff that is sold after being advertised through Google (directly or indirectly).

The people who pay money to Google are the advertisers. What they are paying Google for is advertising space. So Google’s product is advertising space. They create advertising space and sell it. Advertising space generally has a price. It is the price paid by advertisers to whomever it is that provides the advertisers with the advertising space. That’s not something new. It works for Google the same way it works, for example, for commercial free-to-air television and radio broadcasters. Their viewers and listeners are not the people who pay them for their product (just as Google users are not the people who pay Google); the advertisers are the people who pay them, and they pay them for the use of the advertising space which they have produced.

likbez 05.02.21 at 3:45 am (no link)

@J-D 05.01.21 at 11:15 pm (5)

So Google’s product is advertising space.

No only. Google was/is an integral part of PRISM. So mass surveillance is probably another major product and like Facebook it has several “facesâ€. With one is being a government sponsored surveillance company with Gmail and Android as the major franchises.

Any site that have Google advertisement can be considered as monitored by Google as Google essentially replicates Web logs via its advertising inserts. In this sense Google is an essential part of NSA.

They now try to diversify and get some foothold in the cloud but that’s also fit surveillance company profile.

All is all the old question “Is Google evil?†is an interesting one. IMHO it needs to be split into several companies.

>

[May 03, 2021] FISA And The Still Too Secret Police

With PRISM in place FICA court is redundant...
Notable quotes:
"... All an FBI supervisor has to do to get a FISA warrant on you is have one agent get a crooked snitch in a foreign country to send you a weird text message, and then have another bright eyed and bushy tailed agent who doesn't know the crook is a snitch write up a search warrant application affidavit and submit it to the FISA court. ..."
"... Nothing says "Unconstitutional (illegal) Deep State" like FISA. Hitler's Gestapo would be proud! ..."
"... Lisa and Peter removed any credibility the FBI had with the public. If they solved real crime they would go after the massive fraud and stolen ID criminals. Of course that takes real work and someone wanting get off their lazy rear end ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Bovard,

The FBI continues to lawlessly use counterintelligence powers against American citizens...

The Deep State Referee just admitted that the FBI continues to commit uncounted violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA).

If you sought to report a crime to the FBI, an FBI agent may have illegally surveilled your email. Even if you merely volunteered for the FBI "Citizens Academy" program, the FBI may have illegally tracked all your online activity.

But the latest FBI offenses, like almost all prior FBI violations, are not a real problem, according to James Boasberg, presiding judge of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. That court, among other purposes, is supposed to safeguard Americans' constitutional right to privacy under FISA. FISA was originally enacted to create a narrow niche for foreign intelligence investigations that could be conducted without a warrant from a regular federal court. But as time passed, FISA morphed into an uncontrolled yet officially sanctioned privacy-trampling monster. FISA judges unleash the nuclear bomb of searches, authorizing the FBI "to conduct, simultaneous telephone, microphone, cell phone, e-mail and computer surveillance of the U.S. person target's home, workplace and vehicles," as well as "physical searches of the target's residence, office, vehicles, computer, safe deposit box and U.S. mails."

In 2008, after the George W. Bush administration's pervasive illegal warrantless wiretaps were exposed, Congress responded by enacting FISA amendments that formally entitled the National Security Agency to vacuum up mass amounts of emails and other communication, a swath of which is provided to the FBI. In 2018, the FISA court slammed the FBI for abusing that database with warrantless searches that violated Americans' rights. In lieu of obeying FISA, the FBI created a new Office of Internal Audit. Deja vu! Back in 2007, FBI agents were caught massively violating the Patriot Act by using National Security Letters to conduct thousands of illegal searches on Americans' personal data. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) declared that an Inspector General report on the abusive searches "confirms the American people's worst fears about the Patriot Act." FBI chief Robert Mueller responded by creating a new Office of Integrity and Compliance as "another important step toward ensuring we fulfill our mission with an unswerving commitment to the rule of law." Be still my beating heart!

The FBI's promise to repent after the 2018 report sufficed for the FISA court to permit the FBI to continue plowing through the personal data it received from NSA. Monday's disclosure "a delayed release of a report by the court last November "revealed that the FBI has conducted warrantless searches of the data trove for "domestic terrorism," "public corruption and bribery," "health care fraud," and other targets "including people who notified the FBI of crimes and even repairmen entering FBI offices. As Spencer Ackerman wrote in the Daily Beast , "The FBI continues to perform warrantless searches through the NSA's most sensitive databases for routine criminal investigations." That type of search "potentially jeopardizes an accused person's ability to have a fair trial since warrantlessly acquired information is supposed to be inadmissible. The FBI claimed to the court that none of the warrantlessly queried material "˜was used in a criminal or civil proceeding,' but such usage at trial has happened before," Ackerman noted. Some illicit FBI searches involve vast dragnets. As the New York Times reported , an FBI agent in 2019 conducted a database search "using the identifiers of about 16,000 people, even though only seven of them had connections to an investigation."

In the report released Monday, Judge Boasberg lamented "apparent widespread violations" of the legal restrictions for FBI searches. Regardless, Boasberg kept the illicit search party going: "The Court is willing to again conclude that the . . . [FBI's] procedures meet statutory and Fourth Amendment requirements." "Willing to again conclude" sounds better than "close enough for constitutional."

At this point, Americans know only the abuses that the FBI chose to disclose to FISA judges. We have no idea how many other perhaps worse abuses may have occurred. For a hundred years, the FBI has buttressed its power by keeping a lid on its crimes. Unfortunately, the FISA Court has become nothing but Deep State window dressing "a facade giving the illusion that government is under the law. Consider Boasberg's recent ruling in the most brazen FISA abuse yet exposed. In December 2019, the Justice Department Inspector General reported that the FBI made "fundamental errors " and persistently deceived the FISA court to authorize surveilling a 2016 Trump presidential campaign official. The I.G. report said the FBI "drew almost entirely" from the Steele dossier to prove a "well-developed conspiracy" between Russians and the Trump campaign even though it was "unable to corroborate any of the specific substantive allegations against Carter Page" in that dossier, which was later debunked.

A former FBI assistant general counsel, Kevin Clinesmith, admitted to falsifying key evidence to secure the FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. As a Wall Street Journal editorial noted , Clinesmith "changed an email confirming Mr. Page had been a CIA source to one that said the exact opposite, explicitly adding the words "˜not a source' before he forwarded it." A federal prosecutor declared that the "resulting harm is immeasurable" from Clinesmith's action. But at the sentencing hearing, Boasberg gushed with sympathy, noting that Clinesmith "went from being an obscure government lawyer to standing in the eye of a media hurricane"¦ Mr. Clinesmith has lost his job in government service"what has given his life much of its meaning." Scorning the federal prosecutor's recommendation for jail time, Boasberg gave Clinesmith a wrist slap"400 hours of community service and 12 months of probation.

The FBI FISA frauds profoundly disrupted American politics for years and the din of belatedly debunked accusations of Trump colluding with Russia swayed plenty of votes in the 2018 midterms and the 2020 presidential election. But for the chief FISA judge, nothing matters except the plight of an FBI employee who lost his job after gross misconduct. This is the stark baseline Americans should remember when politicians, political appointees, and judges promise to protect them from future FBI abuses. The FISA court has been craven, almost beyond ridicule, perennially. Perhaps Boasberg was simply codifying a prerogative the FISA court previously awarded upon FBI officials. In 2005, after a deluge of false FBI claims in FISA warrants, FISA Presiding Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly proposed requiring FBI agents to swear to the accuracy of the information they presented. That never happened because it could have "slowed such investigations drastically," the Washington Post reported . So, FBI agents continue to lie with impunity to the judges.

The FISA court has gone from pretending that FBI violations don't occur to pretending that violations don't matter. Practically the only remaining task is for the FISA court to cease pretending Americans have any constitutional right to privacy . But if a sweeping new domestic terrorism law is passed, perhaps even that formal acknowledgement will be unnecessary. Beginning in 2006, the court rubber-stamped FBI requests that bizarrely claimed that the telephone records of all Americans were "relevant" to a terrorism investigation under the Patriot Act, thereby enabling NSA data seizures later denounced by a federal judge as "almost Orwellian." FISA could become a peril to far more Americans if Congress formally creates a new domestic terrorism offense and a new category for expanding FISA searches.

The backlash from Democrats after the January 6 clash at the Capitol showcased the demand for federal crackdowns on extremists who doubted Biden's election, disparaged federal prerogatives, or otherwise earned congressional ire. If a domestic terrorism law is passed, the FBI will feel as little constrained by the details of the statute as it does about FISA's technicalities. Will FBI agents conducting warrantless searches rely on the same harebrained standard the NSA used to target Americans: "someone searching the web for suspicious stuff"? Unfortunately, unless an FBI whistleblower with the same courage as former NSA analyst Edward Snowden steps forward, we may never know the extent of FBI abuses


ebworthen 39 minutes ago

"You want to harass a political opponent? Sure, we can do that...

JaxPavan 42 minutes ago

All an FBI supervisor has to do to get a FISA warrant on you is have one agent get a crooked snitch in a foreign country to send you a weird text message, and then have another bright eyed and bushy tailed agent who doesn't know the crook is a snitch write up a search warrant application affidavit and submit it to the FISA court.

Joe Bribem 32 minutes ago

It's almost like we did this to Trump. But it'll never come to light. Oops it did. Not that anything will happen to us because we own the corrupt DOJ and FBI.

Obama's own personal private army.

You_Cant_Quit_Me 7 minutes ago

A lot of tips come in from overseas. For example, the US spies on citizens of another country and then sends that country tips, in exchange that country does the same by spying on US citizens and sending the FBI tips. Then it starts, "we are just following up on a tip"

wee-weed up 36 minutes ago (Edited)

Nothing says "Unconstitutional (illegal) Deep State" like FISA. Hitler's Gestapo would be proud!

You_Cant_Quit_Me 37 minutes ago

Lisa and Peter removed any credibility the FBI had with the public. If they solved real crime they would go after the massive fraud and stolen ID criminals. Of course that takes real work and someone wanting get off their lazy rear end

takeaction 58 minutes ago (Edited)

If you own a smart phone...everything you do is recorded...and logged. "They" have been listening to you for a long time if they want to.

If you own any smart device...they can listen and watch. They are monitoring what I am typing and this site. There really is no way to hide.

[Apr 24, 2021] The State-Corporate Convergence In Our State Of Emergency - ZeroHedge

Apr 24, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

The enrollment of corporations in the scheme to vaccinate the population and to require such vaccinations for social participation should not be considered in terms of the prerogatives of private organizations but as part of the incursions of the state into private industry. What we are witnessing, and should be resisting, is a merger into a corporate-government complex, wherein government can bypass the legislative branch and enforce unpopular mandates by colluding with corporations and other organizations to make "policy."

Perhaps the most egregious element of this corporate-state stranglehold on the population is the participation of Big Digital and the mainstream media. Big Digital conglomerates eliminate media outlets and voices that challenge the official covid narrative, including information about lockdowns, masking, and vaccinations, although the official narrative has not only changed willy-nilly but also has been proven factually wrong, as well as socially devastating. Big Digital and the media serve both the state and Big Pharma by eliminating oppositional views regarding the lockdowns, masks, and vaccines, and by pushing fear-inducing propaganda about the virus and its ever-proliferating variants.

As I have written in Google Archipelago , Big Digital must be considered an agent of a leftist authoritarian state -- as a " governmentality " or state apparatus functioning on behalf and as part of the state itself. "Governmentality" is a term that should become well known in the coming days and weeks. I adopted the term from Michel Foucault and have emended it to refer to corporations and other nonstate actors who actively undertake state functions. These actors will be doing this in droves with vaccine passports, which will vastly augment state power under a state-corporate alliance.

Similarly, other major corporations perform state-sanctioned roles by echoing and enforcing state-approved ideologies, policies, and politics: indoctrinating employees, issuing woke advertisements, policing the opinions of workers, firing dissidents, and soon demanding vaccine passports from employees and customers.

The overall tendency, then, is toward corporate-state monopolization over all aspects of life, with increasing control by approved principals over information and opinion, economic production, and the political sphere. As the consolidation accelerates, the broad global state will require the elimination of noncompliant, disaffected, and "untrustworthy" economic and political actors. In the United States, with the elimination of political opposition, the tendency is toward uniparty rule, and with it, the merging of the party and state into a singular organ.
play_arrow


PGR88 2 hours ago (Edited)

The only way the fascist deep state ends is with a currency collapse. That could be effected immediately - arrest the members of the Federal Reserve. Without a printed, fiat dollar, and the illusion that $30 Trillion in debt will repaid - the leftist, DC deep state collapses immediately.

BDB 13 hours ago remove link

The US govt is a corporation.

We as a central banking nation have an economic and political monopoly that is trying really hard to maintain fascist control.All the big multinationals are owned by the banksters too.

Psyop covID19 and man's co2 emissions causes climate change are both lies pushing a political agenda

https://notpublicaddress.wordpress.com/2020/08/08/how-to-create-your-own-novel-virususing-computer-software/

trailer park boys 12 hours ago

" Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." Benito Mussolini

HonorSeeker 11 hours ago (Edited)

Under Fascism, the government wrote the rules. Under our corporatist system, it's the corporations. At least that's what I would say the difference is.

DesertEagle 9 hours ago

We're under the boot heel of billionaire oligarchs and big corporations that are their handmaidens. They are toxic and will never take their boot off of our neck unless they are forced to.

[Apr 19, 2021] What Does Google Do With My Data

Apr 19, 2021 | www.avast.com

More than most companies today, Google understands that information is power. But how much does Google know about you? Here, we'll unpack Google's privacy policy, so that you know what data gets tracked, how Google uses your data, and how to manage your online privacy. How_Google_uses_your_data-Hero

If you use a Google service or product (and you probably do), it's important to educate yourself about how Google uses your data so you can make smart, informed decisions that keep you in control of your privacy. Every step you take, every purchase you make -- Google could be watching you.

This article contains:

Is Google really spying on me?

The simple answer is yes: Google collects data about how you use its devices, apps, and services. This ranges from your browsing behavior, Gmail and YouTube activity, location history, Google searches, online purchases, and more. Basically, anything that's connected to Google is likely used to collect data on your activity and preferences.

Many people have questions about Google collecting data and how it gathers information. In particular, people worry about voice-activated products like Google Home and Google Assistant being used to listen to more than just requests to buy toilet paper or play music in the living room.

Nearly every company you interact with online uses web tracking technology to mine data about your online habits and preferences to personalize your experiences and the content you see.

While the security risks of smart home devices are real, Google using your home assistant to record your private conversations isn't one of them. You might feel like you're being spied on, but the reality is that Google sees only the information you have voluntarily entered or allowed them to access .

It's tempting to cast Google as a villain in this scenario, but Google data collection isn't unique. Nearly every company you interact with online uses web tracking technology to mine data about your online habits and preferences to personalize your experiences and the content you see. Still, it might surprise you how much data Google actually tracks and the less obvious ways it keeps tabs on you.

Why does Google want my data?

You might be thinking, "Fine, Google knows a lot about me. But what does Google do with my data?" According to Google, they use all this data to deliver better services, make improvements, and customize your experience . In other words, all this information helps Google make its services more useful for you.

With data about your behavior and preferences, Google can deliver better, more personalized services. Google uses data about your behavior and preferences to deliver better or more personalized services.

Of course, there's a very thin line between useful and creepy -- and sometimes businesses make the mistake of taking it too far by hoovering up excessive amounts of data. For many companies, more data collection means more profit. Here are a few ways in which Google data collection can impact your digital lifestyle.

Targeted advertising

With all the data Google gathers about you -- across all of its platforms, services, products, and devices -- it can build a detailed advertising profile, including your gender, age range, job industry, and interests. This helps them use targeted advertising to serve you Google ads that align with your personal tastes.

Let's say you search for a place to rent skis. Afterward, you start seeing ads for related products like ski jackets on other websites you visit around the web -- these are targeted ads . If you want to see what Google thinks it knows about you, you can go to your Google account settings , click on Data & personalization in the left navigation panel, and view your advertising profile.

Location tracking

Where you go, Google goes. Whether you're looking for the quickest way to get to a meeting, searching for a nearby cafe, or trying to find the closest bus stop, Google uses your location to offer personalized suggestions that are more relevant to your situation. For instance, maybe you'd like to see a movie after work. If you search Google for listings, you might see the showtimes for movies playing at theaters close to your office.

Improving usability

The more data, the better the quality of the service. Google uses all the data it collects to improve usability -- and your information alone can't do all the work. Google also analyzes billions of other people's data across different apps to make its services more useful for everyone.

For example, when you use Google Maps (or Waze -- yes, it's also part of the Google family), your location is anonymously sent back to Google and combined with data from people around you to create a picture of current traffic patterns. Have you ever been rerouted around an accident or a traffic jam while driving? You can thank your data and all the data from the people driving around you.

Tweaking algorithms

Google's search algorithms -- the rules that determine the results you see and the order they're listed in -- are continually changing. In 2019, the company reported more than 3,500 improvements to Google search -- that's an average of nearly 10 every day.

Google uses data about what people search for, what results are relevant, and the quality of the content and sources to determine the results you see. And their engineers adjust and refine Google's search algorithms to make searching on Google more useful , such as generating useful featured content snippets from relevant third-party websites to provide quick answers to questions right at the top of the search results page.

Trendspotting and analysis

Your search results also power Google Trends , a Google website that tracks and analyzes the top search queries across services like Google Search, YouTube, and more. You can see the most popular search terms from multiple countries and languages, helping you discover the latest trends, topics, and stories across different regions and over different time periods.

To be clear, no one outside of Google (and maybe even no one inside) truly knows how this data is processed and used. But they don't hide what they collect and how they do it. Google's privacy policy is written clearly and easy to understand.

... ... ...

[Apr 12, 2021] Google's Secret 'Project Bernanke' Revealed in Texas Antitrust Case

Apr 12, 2021 | www.wsj.com

By Jeff Horwitz and Keach Hagey Updated April 11, 2021 11:41 am ET

Listen to this article 6 minutes 00:00 / 05:50 1x

Google for years operated a secret program that used data from past bids in the company's digital advertising exchange to allegedly give its own ad-buying system an advantage over competitors, according to court documents filed in a Texas antitrust lawsuit.

The program, known as "Project Bernanke," wasn't disclosed to publishers who sold ads through Google's ad-buying systems. It generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the company annually, the documents show. In its lawsuit, Texas alleges that the project gave Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., GOOG 0.90% an unfair competitive advantage over rivals.

Google's Ad Machine
Online ads are typically sold in auctions that happen in an instant, when a user's webpage is loading. Google dominates at virtually every step of the process. In an antitrust lawsuit, Texas alleges that Google's secret "Project Bernanke" allowed the company to use knowledge it gained running its ad exchange to unfairly compete against rivals. Here's how the digital advertising machine works:

THE SELL SIDE: PUBLISHERS

AD SPACE

FOR SALE

When a user visits a large online publisher's website or app, the publisher uses an ad server to sell ad space on its pages.

The publisher also gives the exchange information about the reader -- their age, income, browsing history and interests, for example.

In this example, the publisher uses Google's DoubleClick for Publishers, the leading ad-serving tool.

The tool puts the publisher's ad space up for sale on exchanges , marketplaces where transactions happen in real-time between sellers ( publishers ) and buyers ( advertisers ).

REAL-TIME

AUCTION HOUSES

Google has the largest such marketplace, the DoubleClick Ad Exchange, or AdX.

THE BUY SIDE: ADVERTISERS

An advertiser, representing its clients' products, uses sophisticated buying tools to purchase ads.

In this example, an advertiser uses Google's buying tool, DV360, the industry leader.

The advertiser can specify the types of audiences it wants to target -- such as location, gender or age of user -- and the price of their offer.

To get its ad in front of the user, the advertiser places bids in the auction marketplace -- the highest bidder wins.

Once a match is made on the exchange, an ad pops up on users' screens.

The documents filed this week were part of Google's initial response to the Texas-led antitrust lawsuit , which was filed in December and accused the search company of running a digital-ad monopoly that harmed both ad-industry competitors and publishers. This week's filing, viewed by The Wall Street Journal, wasn't properly redacted when uploaded to the court's public docket. A federal judge let Google refile it under seal.

Some of the unredacted contents of the document were earlier disclosed by MLex, an antitrust-focused news outlet.

The document sheds further light on the state's case against Google, along with the search company's defense.

Much of the lawsuit involves the interplay of Google's roles as both the operator of a major ad exchange -- which Google likens to the New York Stock Exchange in marketing documents -- and a representative of buyers and sellers on the exchange. Google also acts as an ad buyer in its own right, selling ads on its own properties such as search and YouTube through these same systems.

Texas alleges that Google used its access to data from publishers' ad servers -- where more than 90% of large publishers use Google to sell their digital ad space -- to guide advertisers toward the price they would have to bid to secure an ad placement.

Google's use of bidding information, Texas alleges, amounted to insider trading in digital-ad markets. Because Google had exclusive information about what other ad buyers were willing to pay, the state says, it could unfairly compete against rival ad-buying tools and pay publishers less on its winning bids for ad inventory .

The unredacted documents show that Texas claims Project Bernanke is a critical part of that effort.

TECH FRENEMIES

How tech giants are both cooperating while competing in hardware, software and technology services

Google acknowledged the existence of Project Bernanke in its response and said in the filing that "the details of Project Bernanke's operations are not disclosed to publishers."

Google denied in the documents that there was anything inappropriate about using the exclusive information it possessed to inform bids, calling it "comparable to data maintained by other buying tools."

Peter Schottenfels, a Google spokesman, said the complaint "misrepresents many aspects of our ad tech business. We look forward to making our case in court." He referred the Journal to an analysis conducted by a U.K. regulator that concluded that Google didn't appear to have had an advantage.

The Texas attorney general's office didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Google's outsize role in the digital-ad market is both controversial and at times murky.

In some instances, "we're on both the buy side and the sell side," Google Chief Economist Hal Varian said at a 2019 antitrust conference held by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Asked how the company managed those roles, Mr. Varian said the topic was "too detailed for the audience, and me."

[Apr 07, 2021] This use of "crony this" and "crony that" needs to stop. It is fascism. Not communism, not socialism...

Apr 07, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Foe Jaws 8 hours ago

The globalists are behaving just like the Bolsheviks of old. It is down right scary to see this happen in America. We lost the major cities 40 or 50 years ago and now the entire country (except that 1 percent stealing all the money) is on the verge of going 3rd world banana republic.

drjd 6 hours ago

If this was truly "communism", would 1% be stealing all the money? Why don't we just call it what it really is: "globalist crony capitalism."

YuriTheClown 2 hours ago

The internationalists are behaving just like the Bolsheviks of old.

You must not know your history. High powered US bankers prop up the big Bolshevik names in New York until it was time to loose them on Russia. Then they financed the whole operation.

And who is financing the Bolsheviks in the USA now???

artless 1 hour ago remove link

The word you are looking for is fascism. This use of "crony this" and "crony that" along with ANY use of the word capitalism-because their is nothing capitalist about any of this- needs to stop. It is fascism. Not communism, not socialism...

words matter.

[Mar 30, 2021] Even before the targets in Yemen had been "legally" designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization Obama used cluster bombs to shred dozens of women and children in a failed attempt to hit members of "al Qaida in Yemen (AQY)".

Mar 30, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Mar 30 2021 13:04 utc | 1

Even before the targets in Yemen had been "legally" designated as
a Foreign Terrorist Organization Obama used cluster bombs to shred
dozens of women and children in a failed attempt to hit members of
"al Qaida in Yemen (AQY)".
.
The war crime immediately became a dirty Obama secret, covered up
with the help of the MSM, in particular ABC.
.
An enthusiastic White House had leaked to their contacts at ABC that
Obama had escalated the War on Terror, taking it to another country,
Yemen. This was December 17, 2009 only days after Obama had returned
from his ceremony in Oslo where he proudly accepted the Nobel Peace
Prize.
.
ABC was thrilled with their scoop and in manly voices announced
the escalation in the War on Terror.
.
The very next day ABC went silent forever about it, joining the cover up
of a war crime.
.
Hillary Clinton, by the way, committed her own act of cover up.
Covering her butt by backdating a memo.
.
The designation of a organization as a FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organization)
is not official nor legal until it is published in the Federal Register.
An oversight? Obama attacked Yemen before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
had done the paperwork to make the killing legal?
.
The designation was not published until a month later, January 19, 2010.
Hillary Clinton back dated the memo she published in the Register with the date of
December 14, 2009, to somewhat cover her butt.
.
Obama's acceptance speech in Oslo for the Nobel Peace Prize was December 10th.
.
Yemen leaders agreed to participate in Obama's coverup saying it was their
own Yemen forces that had accidentally shredded dozens of women and children.
.
Obama was grateful to the Yemen leaders. The Yemen leaders were not
honored in Oslo. But, ironically, Obama ended his speech honoring women
and children, days before he ordered their slaughter.
.
Obama in Oslo, December 10, 2009:
.
"Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty
still takes the time to teach her child, scrapes together what
few coins she has to send that child to school -- because she
believes that a cruel world still has a place for that child's
dreams.
.
Let us live by their example. We can acknowledge that oppression will
always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the
intractability of deprivation, and still strive for dignity. Clear-eyed,
we can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace.
We can do that -- for that is the story of human progress; that's the
.
hope
.
of all the world; and at this moment of challenge,
that must be our work here on Earth.
.
Thank you very much.
(Applause.)
.
One week later Obama shredded dozens of women and children in Yemen
and covered it up.
.
Here is ABC's Brian Ross using his most masculine voice to boast about Obama's attack:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHcg3TNSRPs
.
Wikileaks cable corroborates evidence of US airstrikes in Yemen (Amnesty Intl)
https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-releases/2010/12/wikileaks-cable-corroborates-evidence-us-airstrikes-yemen/
.
Actual cable at Wikileaks:
https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/10SANAA4_a.html
.
More at ABC [12/18/2009]:
https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236
https://web.archive.org/web/20190624203826/https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236 ">https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236">https://web.archive.org/web/20190624203826/https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236
https://web.archive.org/web/20190725171012/https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cr ">https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cr">https://web.archive.org/web/20190725171012/https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cr

Norwegian , Mar 30 2021 15:09 utc | 10

@librul | Mar 30 2021 13:04 utc | 1

You can thank Thorbjørn Jagland for the Obama Nobel Price. He and Stoltenberg were buddies in the same party.

[Mar 26, 2021] All wars are bankers wars

Mar 24, 2021 | www.unz.com

Mefobills , says: March 24, 2021 at 2:02 pm GMT

History doesn't repeat, but it sure as hell rhymes.

The Revolutionary and Civil war was fought against finance capital; where said capital emanated mostly from London. By 1912 the U.S. was no longer Industrial Capitalist, but had been usurped by Finance Capitalism, and of course the (((usual suspects))) were pulling strings in the background.

WW2 was the now finance capitalist allies against the industrial capitalist axis powers.

The run up to WW2 had the axis "industrial capitalist" powers exit the London based finance capitalist "sterling" system. Churchill even admitted to the reason why the allies attacked.

http://www.renegadetribune.com/winston-churchill-germanys-unforgivable-crime/

Germany's most unforgivable crime before the Second World War was her attempt to extricate her economic power from the world's trading system and to create her own exchange mechanism which would deny (((world finance))) its opportunity to profit.

Finance capital exported jobs from the U.S. and the West toward China; this in order to take wage arbitrage. China then rope-a-dopes the dummies from the west, and uses its state credit and industrial capitalist system to acquire intellectual know-how, and climb the industrial curve.

Finance capitalist are slowly being cut-out of taking wage arbitrage from China and realize that their "assets" over there, can be taken by the Chinese state at any time. Now they want war to secure their asset position, and to buy more of China at a war time fire sale price.

Finance capital runs the same playbook over and over. The bad guys won in WW1 and 2. The (((international))) finance class works behind the scenes to take sordid gain on humanity, including mass death.

If your government is festooned with ne0-con Jews, then that should be strong signal that your country is not sovereign, but instead is operated by stealth with finance capital and its oligarchs.

This time around is different, China and Russia will exit the dollar system, and the western finance capitalist class can do nothing but make idle threats. Some will argue that the West will resort to nukes.

Maybe? I'm assuming that our (((friends))) are not completely insane, as they would lose their capital and asset position. Their greed will stop them from destroying themselves, and us.

Rev. Spooner , says: March 24, 2021 at 3:42 pm GMT • 10.8 hours ago

"If your government is festooned with ne0-con Jews, then that should be strong signal that your country is not sovereign, but instead is operated by stealth with finance capital and its oligarchs. "
You are a wise man Mefobills

Rurik , says: March 24, 2021 at 4:42 pm GMT • 9.8 hours ago
@Mefobills

If your government is festooned with ne0-con Jews, then that should be strong signal that your country is not sovereign, but instead is operated by stealth with finance capital and its oligarchs.

"When the law no longer protects you from the corrupt, but protects the corrupt from you – you know your nation is doomed."

And she would know.

[Mar 26, 2021] The net result of neocon policies of Biden administration

Money spend on military adventures of the neoliberal empire are money stolen from common people
Mar 26, 2021 | www.unz.com

Jeff Davis , says: March 24, 2021 at 5:11 pm GMT • 9.3 hours ago

@ko

Actually, it is the ***American people*** who are fucked. The little people that is. Fucked on behalf of Israel/Neocons, the MIC, the Neolibs, and the other "owners" of the country.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/rsL6mKxtOlQ?feature=oembed

The good news is that when the above have thoroughly looted the country, and the rest of the world sheds the by then worthless US dollar, and the City on the Hill becomes the Toothless Slum on the Hill,

[Mar 26, 2021] Stavridis "oversaw operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria."

Mar 26, 2021 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: March 24, 2021 at 8:07 pm GMT • 2.0 days ago

@Anonymous that a strong American military and national security posture is the best guarantor of peace and the survival of our values and civilization.

Stavridis has been at the forefront of the mass slaughter known as the implementation of the Oded Yinon Plan for Eretz Israel:

From 2002 to 2004, Stavridis commanded Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, conducting combat operations in the Persian Gulf in support of both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Stavridis "oversaw operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria." In short, this prominent racketeer is dripping with the blood of hundreds of thousands of the victims.

[Mar 06, 2021] This proposition requires the occupied bartering away their land and amending their borders, always for the benefit of the illegal occupier. These 'negotiations' are expressly forbidden by the Geneva Conventions. Every functioning government in the world knows this.

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Paul , Mar 4 2021 21:57 utc | 37

Thanks b for the research and journalism.

One of the favourite tropes of the transparent cabal who have seized power in the US and other captive nations is that the solution to the Palestine/Israel problem is "the path to peace is through direct negotiations.'

This proposition requires the occupied bartering away their land and amending their borders, always for the benefit of the illegal occupier. These 'negotiations' are expressly forbidden by the Geneva Conventions. Every functioning government in the world knows this.

The alien invaders are under an obligation to simply get out. Every 'agreement' is null and void.

The New Zealand government and the NZ superannuation fund has recently decided to divest their investments in Israeli banks citing international law, the Geneva Conventions and reputation damage as key factors.

Read the decision making document here:

https://www.nzsuperfund.nz/assets/documents/responsible-investment/R-GNZS-IC-Paper-Exclusion-of-Israeli-Banks-January-2021.pdf

Expect a MSM wall of silence on this one.

It is sheer hypocrisy for the usual suspects to talk about human rights, rules based international law, democracy and our values, while advocating the opposite policies in the middle east.

Is it possible they actually believe their own propaganda and their own lies through Bernays like repartition?

[Mar 06, 2021] pfizer not the USA, wants military bases

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

snake , Mar 4 2021 21:42 utc | 32

pfizer not the USA, wants military bases
very interesting.. extension of the office of the president to a private corporation

This does not comport with Article II(Section 2) of the USA constitution.. which says
"The President shall be the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the usa, and of the Militia of the serveral states, when into the actual service of the USA,

but no where do I find a private corporation may exercise the power of the Office of the President ...? What did I mis?

[Mar 06, 2021] Andy Ngo's UNMASKED- Antifa -- Not -Anarcho-Communism-, But Anarcho-Tyranny by James Kirkpatrick

The important fact that emerges is that Antifa is state sponsored group (or at least some government agencies sponsored group) not unlike NSDAP was in Germany.
Feb 27, 2021 | www.unz.com

Andy Ngo's new book Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy is as important to understanding where we are today as Ann Coulter's Adios America! was before Donald Trump election. Ngo shows that far from being just an "idea," as President Joe Biden would have us believe , Antifa comprises highly organized groups of dedicated activists with an extreme political agenda and a commitment to violence. But Ngo also shows, perhaps less consciously, that Antifa operates with de-facto backing from the Ruling Class, including Main Stream Media journalists, the principal enforcers of the current order. Ngo suggests Antifa are a revolutionary threat to the power structure and could overthrow it. But the truth is much worse -- Antifa are simply the System's militant wing.

What makes Unmasked so remarkable is that Ngo doesn't limit himself to anecdotal reporting, nor does he retreat to abstract theorizing. Instead, like a great historian, he seamlessly integrates his experiences and other primary sources with political theory. He shows, often literally with chapter and verse, what motivates Antifa, how they are organized, how they are trained, and how this is turned into concrete action:

Where there is no single capital A 'Antifa' organization with one leader, there are indeed localized cells and groups with formalized structures and memberships. Though officially leaderless, these are organizations by every definition.

The [ Rose City Antifa ] curriculum is modeled on a university course. Yet it includes training on how to use guns and do reconnaissance against enemies.

Ngo also helpfully reports on the history the Antifa brand, especially its origins in the Red Front Fighters' League of the pre-Hitler German Communist Party. He's especially astute to note that "the German Communist Party [KPD] and its various offshoots viewed social democrats and liberals as 'social fascists' no different from Nazis." Needless to say, KPD leader Ernst Thälman 's strategy of fighting the more moderate Social Democrats ahead of the Nazis was glossed over by Communist propaganda after World War II. East German hagiographies of Thälman, like Sohn Seiner Klasse and Führer Sonne Klasse ("Son of His Class," "Leader of His Class") portray him as fighting the Nazis above all else.

Ngo also describes "anti-fascism's" parallels with the East German regime. After all, the Berlin Wall was formally called the "Anti Fascist Protection Rampart." The East German secret police, the so-called Stasi, resemble nothing so much as today's journalists (and FBI) complaining that they can't tattle on people listening to Clubhouse [ From Clubhouse to Twitter Spaces, social media grapples with live audio moderation , by Elizabeth Culliford, Reuters, February 25, 2021].

When Ngo describes the Communist takeovers of East Germany and Vietnam, the latter of which his family fled, he's warning Americans that we face a Communist coup . Historically, "anti-fascism" was created by, and has always been a front for, Communist or Communist-adjacent groups.

(I don't dispute Ngo's characterization of the movement as "anarchist-communist." It sounds clumsy, but anarcho-communism is a venerable Leftist tradition that goes back to Marx's great rival Mikhail Bakunin. I was surprised, though, that Ngo didn't mention that the three-arrow "Iron Front" symbol widely used by Antifa today actually came from the German Social Democratic Party (SPD.) The SPD opposed the Communists just as much as they did monarchists and the National Socialists.

Ngo has been physically attacked by Antifa -- causing him a brain injury -- and says the conservative meme that Antifa are all physically weak isn't true: they are violent and dangerous .

He's right, but when looking at what Antifa prioritize today, it does seem preoccupied with boutique progressive causes like transgenderism and policing speech. While physical attacks are common, doxing and complaining to capitalist employers are what Antifa do best of all.

Indeed, it's hard to imagine East Germany or the USSR tolerating the cultural degeneracy championed by today's Antifa. The Soviet Bloc was positively social-conservative compared to 2021 post-America.

Ngo's reporting on the specific individuals, curriculum, tactics, and operational plans of Antifa are a testament to his skill as a researcher (not mention his guts.) However, one thing jumps out of the book repeatedly. Despite all their emphasis on "OpSec" and paranoia about law enforcement, Antifa aren't actually especially secret. Like illegal aliens who lecture us on television about their lives " in the shadows ," it's not a huge mystery who is in Antifa. We know what groups exist, where they operate and what they are doing. They openly operate on Twitter, Facebook etc.

In contrast to the Proud Boys or bewildered Boomers who wandered into the Capitol last month, Antifa can operate openly because it has the tacit approval of law enforcement and Main Stream Media outlets . Thus Ngo describes in shocking detail Antifa groups' training workshops, including combat training. Right-wing activity even at this level would be shut down by the government instantly.

It's an obvious point but bears repeating -- how radical are your opinions when you have police, the military, corporate America, and the media all supporting you? Antifa violence exists because it is permitted, arguably encouraged, to exist. Despite President Trump's blustering promises, these Antifa groups were never labeled "terrorists" nor, inexplicably, was systematic federal law enforcement action ever taken against them.

During the CHAZ insurrection , Antifa was allowed to more or less claim sovereignty in a major American city for a period of weeks. If nationalists had tried that, it would have ended in drone strikes. The glee with which progressives hailed the execution of Ashli Barrett tells us what they're willing to do. The "Capitol Insurrection" would have been heralded as another Bastille Day had it come from the other side .

Antifa is faux rebellion. None of these people have ever faced real opposition in their lives. And when groups like the Proud Boys did emerge to challenge them -- and actually started winning, for example at the Battle of Berkeley -- the state intervened to save Antifa. See FBI Arrests White "Serial Rioters" -- And Ignores Antifa , Proud Boys Persecution: Four Years For Fighting Back , and Ann Coulter On Jake Gardner: Innocent Until Proven Trump Supporter .

Ngo points out repeatedly that Antifa conduct themselves to present a certain media image. Yet this is a two-way relationship. While Antifa are eager to make sure only their narrative gets out, Regime journalists willingly collaborate. It's a mistake to even speak of journalists or Antifa as being separate categories of people.

After all, we know that journalists change their coverage to help Antifa present their narrative. Consider New York Times hackette Taylor Lorenz, who recently started an online controversy by accusing someone of using a slur on the Clubhouse application [ New York Times' Taylor Lorenz blasted for false claim tech entrepreneur used 'r-slur' on social media app , by Joseph Wulfsohn, Foxnews, February 8, 2021].

But back in 2017, Lorenz reported from Charlottesville Unite The Right rally that she had been punched by Antifa and also that police at the time thought James Fields was simply "scared. "

Perhaps she was told such tweets would be career-ending or maybe she figured that out on her own. She deleted them and joined the winning team.

The rest is history. Lorenz has made a career doxing random people, notably Pamela Geller's daughters.

This also explains why Regime "journalists" -- make that Journofa -- seem to hate Ngo so much. Ngo provides many examples of independent journalists like himself recording and livestreaming footage that provide "the up-close, raw, and uncensored look into Antifa's extremism." Such raw footage strips Regime Media reporters of the ability to craft the Narrative.

Ngo writes that Antifa "have made it a priority to keep out journalists like myself, even releasing manuals on how to obstruct to the work of unapproved press." However, the critical point is what he says next:

"[T]hey've [Antifa] made key allies in the media to counter negative coverage, amplify their propaganda messaging, and discredit their shared opponents. The American public has been inundated with n onstop propaganda that obfuscates and lies about Antifa , simultaneously presenting them as anti-fascists righting racism, and a figment of the right's imagination ." [Emphases added]

Thus Ngo accuses corporate journalists, quite rightly, of knowingly spreading propaganda or being "actually members of the militant Antifa movement."

Ngo's guide on how to "identify Antifa press" is important. If you see a reporter freely videoing protests without being attacked, "that is a good sign the journalist produces Antifa-approved content."

But I must take issue with Ngo's conclusion that the "movement is made of organized networks of anarchist-communists who have the goal, training, and determination to overthrow the US government." Is that what Antifa actually fights for in the real world?

For example, CHAZ didn't end with a heroic last stand. It ended after bored city workers scattered some riffraff without much effort. It existed as long as Left-wing city politicians defended it against then-President Donald Trump. It vanished the moment that city authorities decided to regain control.

Insofar as Antifa have a real impact, it's not in organizing rent strikes or fighting banks. Instead, they are most effective when calling up oligarchs to get working-class people fired. Is such a group really a threat to the US government or something of a partner?

Last week, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security held a hearing on domestic terrorism. Andy Ngo was one of the witnesses [ Republican witness hits media coverage of Antifa and far-left violence at domestic terrorism hearing , by Zachary Halachak, Washington Examiner, February 24, 2021]. However, the main focus of the hearing was "white supremacy and right-wing extremism," at least according to Rep. Val Demings [ Domestic Terror Still Thorny Issue for Lawmakers After Capitol Attack , by Brandi Buchman, Courthouse News Service, February 24, 2021]. The World Socialist Web Site sneered that Ngo "served as a sounding board for all the lies and libels against hundreds of thousands of youth and workers of all races and ethnicities who marched peacefully in response to last May's police murder of George Floyd" [ Republicans use hearing on domestic terrorism to defend Trump and promote far-right forces , by Jacob Crosse, WSWS, February 24, 2021].

Ngo himself tweeted that Democrats "rebuffed" him.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1364808781327122433&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.unz.com%2Farticle%2Fandy-ngos-unmasked-antifa-not-anarcho-communism-but-anarcho-tyranny%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=e1ffbdb%3A1614796141937&width=500px

The Democrats showed no interest in his testimony seriously nor did the Main Stream Media. It simply vanished into the ether of non-news like the massive increase in homicides around the country. [ WATCH: Andy Ngo testifies to Congress on the rise of domestic terrorism in America , The Post Millennial, February 24, 2021]

As Ngo himself points out early in his book, the United States government is tremendously powerful. Anarcho-communists hardly seem a credible threat to its legitimacy. Rather than wanting to crush them, at least some Democrats favor what Antifa are doing -- and certainly want to downplay it.

Thus the presumptive next Attorney General, Merrick Garland, blithely dismissed an attack on a federal courthouse because it happened at night. If anything, the new administration seems determined to put the power of the state behind these "anarcho-communists."

And rather than trying to create a Workers' Paradise, what Antifa actually do is make the world safe for Woke Capital .

While Antifa violence is real, the danger to ordinary people is not so much that some rampaging mob will come into their house at four in the morning. The danger is that Antifa will see a Politically Incorrect tweet and render a person unemployable, with an assist from "journalist" allies.

Ngo's book is essential reading. However, he may not fully understand the threat. The problem isn't that Antifa is trying to overthrow the state. The problem is that the state and Antifa are working together against ordinary Americans.

What we're living under is something far worse than Antifa's imagined " anarcho-communism ." It's what the late Sam Francis presciently called anarcho-tyranny , with the worst features of lawlessness and autocracy combined.

This is why our situation is not as bad as Ngo suggests. It's far, far worse.

James Kirkpatrick [ Email him |Tweet him @VDAREJamesK ] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc. His latest book is Conservatism Inc.: The Battle for the American Right . Read VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow 's Preface here .

[Mar 05, 2021] Brave buys a search engine, promises no tracking, no profiling and may even offer a paid-for, no-ad version The Register

Mar 05, 2021 | www.theregister.com

Brave buys a search engine, promises no tracking, no profiling – and may even offer a paid-for, no-ad version Pitches pro-privacy platform with customizable results filter dubbed Goggles Thomas Claburn in San Francisco Wed 3 Mar 2021 // 14:00 UTC SHARE


Brave, maker of the identically named privacy-focused web browser, has acquired its own search engine to offer as an alternative to Google Search and competing search engines that exist but aren't all that visible in Google's shadow.

On Wednesday, the company plans to announce that it's taking over Tailcat, a search engine developed by Cliqz, another privacy-focused browser biz that aspired to compete with Google and shut down last year . The deal, terms undisclosed, makes Cliqz owner Hubert Burda Media a Brave shareholder.

Brave intends to make Tailcat the foundation of its own search service, Brave Search . The company hopes that its more than 25 million monthly active Brave customers will, after an initial period of testing and courtship, choose to make Brave Search their default search engine and will use it alongside other parts of its privacy-oriented portfolio, which also includes Brave Ads, news reader Brave Today, Brave Firewall+VPN, and video conferencing system Brave Together.

Brave Search, the company insists, will respect people's privacy by not tracking or profiling those using the service. And it may even offer a way to end the debate about search engine bias by turning search result output over to a community-run filtering system called Goggles.

The service will, eventually, be available as a paid option – for those who want to pay for search results without ads – though its more common incarnation is likely to be ad-supported, in conjunction with Brave Ads. The latter offers participants the option to receive 70 per cent of the payment made by the advertiser in a cryptocurrency called BAT (Brave Attention Token).

Eich lays out his vision

In an interview with The Register , Brendan Eich, CEO of Brave, argued that the demand for privacy is real and cannot be ignored. "I think the genie doesn't go back in the bottle," he said. "Consciousness doesn't revert."

People used to hear about credit card breaches at large retailers like Target, Eich said, and think that privacy is hopeless but not something that necessarily affects them directly. But then it became more personal as technologies like ad retargeting did things like spoiling surprise gifts by showing the ad for the purchased item again to the intended recipient.

I think privacy is here to stay and now the question is how people do it and market it effectively

Eich sees the dominance of US tech companies contributing to the interest in privacy and making it a matter of concern for regulators around the world.

"It's not political in the broken US sense – which is kind of a Punch and Judy show – it's more like there are people of various commitments on all sides of politics who are aware not only of privacy being violated over time by the big tech players but of the big tech players being abusive monopolies," he said.

Pointing to how many companies now make privacy claims, Eich said, "I think privacy is here to stay and now the question is how people do it and market it effectively. If you don't market it, you can lose to somebody who just puts privacy perfume on a pig and tells you it smells great and tastes delicious."

Eich's pitch is not that Brave Search aims to take on Google Search directly. He acknowledges that there's no way to match Google's vast index and ability to return relevant results for obscure (long tail) search terms. Rather, he sees an opportunity to improve specific types of search queries, referred to as vertical markets.

"Part of what we're trying to do here is innovate in the area where there's now monopoly," he said in reference to Google Search, which has a market share of something like 92 per cent ."...The innovation through verticals is possible because it avoids having to take on Google's supreme competence, which is the rare or unique queries the long tail."

p2p Brave bets on the decentralized web with IPFS browser support for a more peer-to-peer approach READ MORE

"What we're trying to do is different, it's not based on crawling the web," Eich explained. "...Trying to crawl the whole web, it's not going to work. What Cliqz worked on..that's an anonymous query log aggregator, and a partial click log aggregator, to see when you don't convert on the search ad you leave the results page and you find the better results through some number of clicks."

Gathering that sort of query and click data requires consent, said Eich, and Brave isn't going to force Brave users to participate. But Cliqz started working on this and has a data set they called "the Human Web," and that's now the basis of Brave Search.

"The queries and the clicks matter but they are unlinkable," he said. "There has to be a property called record unlinkability. There's no IP address that gets dropped at the edge. Timing channels are blinded by adding some delays. And there's no way to say this query was from the same user as that query."

Brave Search's index there will be informed the activities of participating Brave users, in terms of the URLs they search for or click on, and adjacent web resources that don't require extensive crawling.

There's a theoretical risk users could poison the index through repeated visits to irrelevant or harmful web pages, knowing their activities would inform the index, but Eich suggests Brave is big and savvy enough to avoid being trolled in this way.

Brave also envisions users taking a more active role in their search results through a filtering mechanism.

"It allows different groups to run their own sort of Turing incomplete filter rules, sort of like ad blocking rules in the search service and not in the browser, to have a community moderated view of the global index," he explained. "It's called 'Goggles.'"

Eich observed with a chuckle that it isn't related to Google Goggles, an image recognition app that Google maintained from 2009 through 2018 until the arrival of Google Lens.

Shared search

The Brave Search team has written a paper [ PDF ] explaining its use of the term, titled "GOGGLES: Democracy dies in darkness, and so does the Web." The browser upstart aims to replace the tyranny of Google's inscrutable, authoritative index with a multiverse of indices defined by anyone with the inclination to do so.

Brave's vision of search is based on "an open and collaborative system by which a community, or a single user, can create sets of rules and filters, called Goggles, to define the space which a search engine can pull results from," the paper explains.

"Instead of a single ranking algorithm, we could have as many as needed, overcoming the biases that a single actor (the search engine) embeds into the results."

Goggles has its own Domain Specific Language (DSL) for writing search result filters. Brave hopes that Goggles will be adopted not only internally but among others search engines, too.

Brave Search users will be able to, for better or worse, see the world through filters they agree with or filters they detest. The point is it will be up to them rather than a large ad company located in Silicon Valley.

The Brave Search team acknowledges that not all filters will show results that are agreeable to everyone. "There will be Goggles created by creationists, anti-vaccination supporters or flat-earthers," the paper says. "However, the biases will be explicit, and therefore, the choice is a conscious one."

The paper contends that censorship will be unnecessary since illegal content should be caught by the host search engine and removed from the search index so no Goggle can see it in the first place.

"Brave is bringing back the idea of a user-first thick client, or a muscular client," said Eich, differentiating his browser from just being "a blind servant of ad tech that runs all the JavaScript Google throws at it." ®

[Mar 03, 2021] The Tycoon Plot by Israel Shamir

Mar 03, 2021 | www.unz.com

A classic villain of 1970s and 80s was the evil tycoon. James Bond took on some of them. Meet Hugo Drax of the Moonraker , or Karl Stromberg of The Spy Who Loved Me ; these guys were willing to destroy mankind to replace it with a better version. Stromberg planned to trigger a global nuclear war and survive it underwater. Drax intended to poison mankind with his deadly gas and repopulate the world with his new chosen ones. Another one was de Wynter, the super-villain of The Avengers, played by Sean Connery. He controlled the world weather, and could kill us all off by hurricanes and tsunamis.

Before the tycoons, when the Cold war raged, a villain was a KGB agent or a Chinese operative. As détente calmed relations between the blocks, the agents went out of fashion; later, the fantastic villains of Marvel came into a vogue. The evil tycoons were uncomfortably close to the real thing; and they moved from the cinematic world into our reality.

The world we live in is the world formed by evil tycoons. They are the modern Demiurges, the evil creators of the Gnostics, an early sect that confronted the Church. Like the Demiurges, they are practically omnipotent; stronger than the State. The government needs lot of permissions and authorisations to spend a penny. If a penny had been misspent, the dark word 'corruption' will sound. 'Corruption' is a silly concept; by applying it, the oligarchs eliminated state competition, for they can pay whatever they want to whomever they wish. The State must observe intricate arcane rules, while the tycoons have no such limits. As a result, they shape our minds and lives, making the State a poor legitimate king among powerful and wealthy barons.

The Corona crisis is a result of their activity. Now, a group of WHO scientists completed its four weeks inspection tour of Wuhan trying to find out how the virus found its way to humans; some of them think (as President Trump did) the virus escaped the Wuhan Lab. Matt Ridley of The Daily Telegraph concluded his piece analysing their findings: "A growing number of top experts [he provides the list] say that a lab leak remains a plausible scientific hypothesis to be investigated". It is rather unlikely, said the WHO , but other explanations (pangolins etc) also border on the improbable . The Chinese are understandably upset. Hua Chunying, the spokeswoman for the Foreign Affairs ministry (the Chinese counterpart for the State Department's Ned Price) rejected the idea saying, "The United States should open the biological lab at Fort Detrick, and invite WHO experts to conduct origin-tracing in the United States". The Guardian report said she promoted "a conspiracy theory that it came from a US army lab"; while Ms Hua accused the US of spreading "conspiracy theories and lies" tracing the source to Wuhan. Whatever we say is a fact-based result of diligent research; whatever you say is a conspiracy theory – both the US and China representatives subscribe to this mantra.

Our own Ron Unz made an excellent analysis of these accusations and counter-accusations in his April 2020 piece . He noted that the virus attack in Wuhan took place at the worst possible time and place for the Chinese; therefore, an incidental release (or intentional release by the Chinese) is extremely unlikely. Ron Unz suggested that it was an American biowarfare attack upon China. Didn't American people suffer from the disease? Yes, the US government is "grotesquely and manifestly incompetent " and they were likely to expect "a massive coronavirus outbreak in China would never spread back to America".

Perhaps, but a better explanation is that some evil tycoon(s) played the part of Karl Stromberg who intended to nuke both Moscow and New York causing war and world-wide devastation, as in the James Bond movie. It could be somebody like Bill Gates, who is a major investor in Wuhan Lab. A fact-checking site with its weasel language admitted that the Lab "has received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but Bill Gates can hardly be called a "partner" in the laboratory." Sure, not a partner. Just an investor, and that is more important than a partner. And he is not the only one; other multi-billionaires also are involved in bioresearch, in vaccine manufacturing, in Big Pharma. "Glaxo, BlackRock, and Bill Gates are all partners, but not owners of Pfizer", says another fact-checker . "In 2015, Anthony Fauci did issue a USD 3.7 million grant to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, but not to "create the coronavirus" – the fact-checking site adds. Well, you could not possibly expect Fauci to word the grant in such a straightforward way, could you?

Perhaps it is too formidable a job even for an evil tycoon like Gates. A plot of several evil tycoons is more likely. Together, they could try to change the world and mankind to suit them.

The evil tycoons could poison China on their New Year holiday and take this uppity state down a ring or two. They could import the virus into the US to undermine and remove Trump whom they hated. (He was certain to win the elections but for Corona.) They could poison Europe to weaken it and make it more docile and obedient to their demands – and to buy their assets on the cheap. Corona and lockdown did not harm them for they are normally withdrawn from the bustle of the common man's life.

The billionaires control the media; that much we know, and the part media has played in the Corona crisis was enormous. The media coverage of the crisis has a huge hidden cost. Try to publish information you consider important on the front page of a newspaper. It will cost you a lot. Still, all newspapers belonging to the Billionaires' Media block beginning with the New York Times and ending with Haaretz gave at least a third of its front page to Corona news each day. The sheer cost of this advertising runs into billions. Will we ever know who paid for it?

Steven Soderbergh's (2011) film Contagion predicted many features of the Covid-19, notably the origin of the virus. In the film, the disease originates from bats in China and is spread through markets where contaminated pork meat is sold. How could Soderbergh (or his script writer Scott Z. Burns) possibly know eight years before the event that the contagion should originate in the Chinese bats? Who told him? Wouldn't you expect he knew something? Burns was instructed by WHO experts, the CNN site explains. Isn't it interesting that the same Bill Gates is a major donor of WHO? Is it entirely impossible that already in 2011 Gates' people began to leak some details of the future virus through their own WHO to Hollywood?

The tycoons could force a weak state to follow their instructions. Scientists do obey orders: otherwise, no grants, no positions. In April 2020, the German scientists were ordered , "to instill the fear of Corona". And they did it, as we learned this week, producing numbers of dead on demand.

It seems that tycoons gained most from the Corona Crisis. Their assets grew by trillions, while the assets of the middle classes decreased by the same amount. More importantly, all states suffered from the crisis; they took loans and credit, they were responsible for their citizens' health, while billionaires just had fun and enjoyed it. For this reason, I tend to dismiss the case against states, be it the US or China, while (some) billionaires appear the only possible villains.

These billionaires are able to influence people much better that the state. Consider Pierre Omidyar. Besides being the owner of eBay, he is the force behind hundreds of NGOs. His organisations form the 'progressive' agenda and train the foot soldiers of the Green Deal. Roslyn Fuller of Spiked-online checked the plethora of NGOs he employs.

She says his NGOs and charities are "engaged in 'social engineering' – that is, using their resources to artificially change the structure of society to how they think it should be. If successful this would amount to an extreme circumvention of democracy, utilising money not just to win elections, but to substitute paid or subsidised content for actual support, and thereby flip an entire political culture on to a different track by amplifying some voices and drowning out others."

He is just one of the Masters of Discourse, next to the infamous George Soros. Facebook, Google, Twitter and Amazon are even more powerful. The billionaires have immense clout and they decide what we can and can't say and write. Just last week Amazon banned my Cabbala of Power , a book that was sold by them for some ten years. The estimable The Unz Review is banned on Facebook and shadow-banned on Google. Twitter switched-off President Trump, showing who is the real boss of the United States. Probably almost all movements described as 'leftists' nowadays are engineered by the tycoons like Omidyar or Soros. True left had been left for dead on the battlefield of ideas.

The tycoons are directly involved in the Corona Crisis, because its results are good for them. And it means they have us where they want to have us, and they won't let us out. We are cancelled until we regain the government and cancel them.

SAGE, as British Corona management team rather presumptuously named itself (it included the ridiculous figure of Neil Ferguson, he of the millions of predicted deaths), already declared that lockdowns will be a part of British life for years to come, vaccine or no vaccine. The Guardian , the Voice of the Oligarchs, gently pooh-poohed them, for it is not good to declare what must happen right away. Let people have some hope, so they run to vaccinate themselves, and then only afterwards can we reveal that, sorry, it does not help, you still have to don a mask and observe social distance and, yes, suffer lockdowns. "It's much easier to follow the rules if we think of them as temporary."

The plotters' plans aren't secret; they were described by Klaus Schwab in his book The Great Reset . Schwab is not a great thinker, being merely a weak scientist with just a few publications, and not a good or even decent writer. He had to collaborate with a journalist Thierry Malleret to produce the book. He is just a voice for the tycoons. But the question is, will he/they get what they want?

[Mar 01, 2021] Withdrawing troops from Afghanistan may not be what Talibal wants

Nov 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
jinn , Nov 12 2020 23:34 utc | 81

The Afghans (including the Taliban) do not want the US to leave their country. The flow of US$ into the country (including the flow of heroin$) is what the Afghans have lived on for many decades. Its not like the Afghans don't have control of their own country. They have complete control of all the parts of the country that they want to control. They are perfectly happy to allow Americans to control small parts of the country as long as the $$$ keep flowing into the whole country.

The US power elite may have figured out that just like every other power that has ever tried to occupy Afghanistan that it is a black hole that sucks the life out of the power trying to conq


Haassaan , Nov 13 2020 0:16 utc | 86

@76 Tom
Interesting! Been too busy for reviewing the new military appointees until I read your post. It looks like this is a last ditch attempt by Trump to get troops out of Afghanistan and Syria...

Tom , Nov 13 2020 0:20 utc | 87

"withdrawing troops from Afghanistan may well be exactly what TPTB want."

Posted by: jinn | Nov 12 2020 23:34 utc | 81

Well, they have had, what 19 years years to do that and now that President Trump makes another push for it, all hell breaks loose from the forever war team, you know that team of Democrats and RINO's who are now vying for a spot on Biden's team of psychopaths for war. The we came, we saw and aren't leaving team.

Haassaan , Nov 13 2020 0:32 utc | 89

@81 Jinn

"withdrawing troops from Afghanistan may well be exactly what TPTB want."

Anything is possible, but given the pushback that is taking place (quietly of course, lest the masses get awoken) that is seriously doubtful.

Afghanistan can be likened to one of the central squares on a chessboard...control of central squares is vital as it reduces the mobility of your opponent and lays ground for offensive action.

China has a border with Afghanistan, as does Iran...were Afghanistan to free itself from USA occupation, it would make a great conduit for the BRI.

That is without getting into Afghanistan's role in opium trade and the related black budget, nor its wealth in rare minerals. One might say for the Hegemon to remain the Hegemon it needs to control Afghanistan.

The problem for the hegemon is Afghanistan is expensive to hold on to...and this is without Russia, Iran or China putting any effort in to chase US troops out via arming and training proxies...that could be done quickly, and I am guessing the groundwork is already in place.

jinn , Nov 13 2020 0:46 utc | 91

Well, they have had, what 19 years years to do that
_________________________________________

Well sure but you need to remember the story of why we were there in the first place.
They can't just dump all the BS that they have been feeding us for nineteen years and say "never mind" like Roseanne Roseannadanna.

As for the warmongers who support attacking Libya, Iraq, Syria, etc that was done to send a message to any country that does not want to knuckle under to the $$$ hegemony and thinks about trying to escape it.
That messaging does not apply to the Afghan war. That war sends the exact opposite message.

[Feb 25, 2021] The question of terminology

Feb 25, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

steven t johnson , Feb 24 2021 18:11 utc | 16

There is no such thing as "liberal-fascist." "Liberal" has never meant any sort of quasi-anarchist commitment to untrammeled individual rights. It has always meant the freedom of the press. The thing is, the real meaning of freedom of the press for the liberal is the freedom of the owners of the press to do what they want. The fact that customarily a free-for-the-owners'-press happen to produce the right kind of news suitable for owners and the advertisers is seen as the benefit of a free press. As for "fascist," no concept of fascism that doesn't include legal and illegal restrictions on freedom and government propaganda mobilizing the citizens to sacrifice for recovery from defeat/further conquest is not a serious concept of fascism at all. Both liberalism and fascism revere property but will compromise for necessity, liberalism for a certain degree of class peace, fascism for war, but if anybody is determined to indoctrinate the masses it is fascism. The implicit notion here that people daring to think or worse, live, differently than tradition may inspire rage in mad dog reactionaries. But this is at bottom the same rage that led Catholics and Protestants to murder each other or for witches to be killed by the thousands (yes, they were,) or for monarchists to kill republicans or for one ethnic/religious/national group to murder another. Modern society is not a genuine offense, no matter how bigoted you are. The keyboard has a hyphen but hitting it between "liberal" and "fascist" is just more crypto-fascist BS. It doesn't matter how many times you type it, it's not a thing.

Mao Cheng Ji , Feb 24 2021 18:14 utc | 17

@Saraj 9, "Very difficult, see https..."

It seems to me, they make it sound more difficult than it really is.

Think of thepiratebay. It gets banned, blocked, raided, sued - from 2006 at least - and yet it lives. It changes from .org to .whatever, it finds registrars and infrastructure somehow.

And you don't really need google/apple store all that much: a browser will suffice.

And search? paypal, bank - what is this all about? I'm sure thepiratebay works with advertisers somehow (definitely with VPN companies), and somehow it gets paid. And that's all there is to it. Imo.

Mao Cheng Ji , Feb 24 2021 18:23 utc | 18
Dear steven, when fascists call themselves 'liberal', it makes sense (to me) to identify them as 'liberal-fascist'.

And that's all there is to it.

You are free to classify and identify them any way you like. May I suggest, as an alternative, 'woke-fascist'?

S , Feb 25 2021 1:39 utc | 58

The term liberal-fascist refers to people who consider themselves liberals, but in reality are not; in fact, these people resemble fascists more and more with each passing day. A more precise term would be "liberal"-fascist (with the quotes). It's not so much about SJW witchhunts as about absolute faith in everything the state says and hysterical demands to censor any dissenting opinion.

S , Feb 25 2021 2:13 utc | 62

I guess, one can use fake liberal proto-fascist to avoid the wrath of nitpickers.

Piotr Berman , Feb 25 2021 3:14 utc | 64

...In short, anywhere it deems convenient, liberals support fascists, cannibals and other charming characters. As it goes for a while, liberals acquire fascistic values and try them in their home countries. Show trials and corporate censorship for now.

ak74 , Feb 25 2021 4:32 utc | 65

Do not undermine faith in the NATO alliance and its stability.

Do not amplify narratives that are aligned with the Russian government.

Do not undermine faith in the NATO alliance and its stability.

Everyone got that now?

Alan MacLeod actually tweeted about this:

"This is not a joke. Twitter has deleted dozens of account for the crime of 'undermining faith in the NATO alliance.'"

https://twitter.com/AlanRMacLeod/status/1364548110521876480

Undermining faith in the North American Terrorist Organization (NATO) is a Thought Crime of the highest order!

The punishment for this crime is being forced to watch a conga line of Anglo-American media mouthpieces blather about whatever is their Moral Outrage of the Month--Clockwork Orange style.

Welcome to the United States of Oceania.

MFB , Feb 25 2021 7:26 utc | 74

..I suspect that the term "liberal-fascist" derives partly from the term Islamofascist, meaning a Muslim who does not bow to Washington six times a day, and partly from the term "social-fascist", a Stalinist term for a socialist who did not bow to Moscow six times a day.

MFB , Feb 25 2021 7:26 utc | 74

Apropos neoliberalism.

The liberalism which is referred to here is the economic liberalism which was adopted in the United Kingdom in the 1840s after the "reform" of the Corn Laws, which permitted free trade in grain and therefore brought down both the price of wheat and the small farming community in the UK, as it was intended to do. Later these liberal policies (largely modelled on the "comparative advantage" economic theory, which had already been refuted by the time it was developed by David Ricardo) were used to justify the Irish genocide of 1847-9.

This policy was eventually abandoned later in the nineteenth century, except for places like India, of course. It was restored in the West in the 1970s, under the name of "free trade", and therefore is called neoliberalism, or new liberalism in the economic sense.

The term is not a compliment.

I suspect that the term "liberal-fascist" derives partly from the term Islamofascist, meaning a Muslim who does not bow to Washington six times a day, and partly from the term "social-fascist", a Stalinist term for a socialist who did not bow to Moscow six times a day.

Dogon Priest , Feb 25 2021 13:15 utc | 91

Some animals are more equal than others

[Feb 21, 2021] https://apnews.com/article/7f6ed0b1bda047339f22789a10f64ac4

Feb 21, 2021 | apnews.com

Andrea Iravani

[Feb 10, 2021] Neoliberalism is similar to a deracinated nazism, a comfortableness with exterminatory exploitation so long as it's exercised though debt contracts, that has persisted to this day in Western finance, where debt is absolute but lives are fungible.

Notable quotes:
"... Slobodan's "The Globalists" is a great look at Von Mises and Hayek peddling NeoLiberalism to the last hereditary aristocracy standing in Europe in the interwar years. ..."
"... To my mind, this set up a deracinated pseudo-nazism ..."
Feb 10, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

PlutoniumKun , February 6, 2021 at 11:25 am

The thing is, the UK has long been captured by neoliberalism (arguably, they invented it). The UK was the Trojan horse for the worst forms of neoliberalism in the EU. Which is why I thought it was ideal for neoliberals wherever they were based for the UK to be in the EU. I think one problem is that the UK somehow regressed from neoliberalism to a dream of some form of old style 19th Century liberalism.

Patrick , February 6, 2021 at 2:46 pm

My reading attributes the term (aside from an obscure French usage) and the ideology to Friedman and Austrian ex-pats Hayek and von MIses. When I think UK in the context of neoliberalsim, naturally I think Thatcher. So yes, at least since Thatcher neoliberalism has been the prevailing wind in the UK for which – imho – Brexit is both a symptom and a solidifier.

jsn , February 6, 2021 at 5:03 pm

Slobodan's "The Globalists" is a great look at Von Mises and Hayek peddling NeoLiberalism to to the last hereditary aristocracy standing in Europe in the interwar years.

The Charlatan and Saint of NeoLiberalism didn't really get traction until the US set up the BIS to help the Germans keep the debt cycle of dependence from the Versailles treaty liquid, with German payments through France and the UK back to the US.

To my mind, this set up a deracinated pseudo-nazism, a comfortableness with exterminatory exploitation so long as it's exercised though debt contracts, that has persisted to this day in Western finance, where debt is absolute but lives are fungible.

Michaelmas , February 6, 2021 at 10:42 pm

Slobodan's "The Globalists" is a great look at Von Mises and Hayek peddling NeoLiberalism to the last hereditary aristocracy standing in Europe in the interwar years.

It's Slobodian, Quinn.

To my mind, this set up a deracinated pseudo-nazism

So you're on to something.

Hayek is the Grandfather of neoliberalism and the primary influence on Hayek's thought was the Vienna of his youth: the go-go years after Franz Josef surrendered to the Hungarians, created the dual monarchy, and there was the great cultural efflorescence of Vienna that preceded the Austro-Hungarian empire's collapse.

Two ideologies emerged after WWI from Austria in reaction to the traumatic experience of that collapse -- ideologies formulated by Austrians that then deeply damaged the rest of the world.

Neoliberalism was one, of course. The other? Well, someone once asked Ernst Hanfstaengl aka Putzi, Hitler's confidant, what caused Hitler's antiSemitism.

Hanfstaengl replied: 'Anyone who did not know Vienna before 1914 cannot understand.' Hanfstaengl then explained that before WWI Vienna was full of beautiful people, the soldiers in their uniforms, the Hapsburg Empire's citizens in their local traditional clothes etc and 'then these strange people came from the East all dressed in black and speaking a strange kind of German'. These were the Orthodox Jews who came from Silesia, a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Kaiser Franz Josef had done much to emancipate and help the Jews, so many crossed over to Vienna to start a new life.

Now, to further put Hitler and Nazism's policies in their historical context, it's necessary to understand the situation in Germany prior to their appearance.

In 1871, Bismarck had nationalized healthcare, making it available to all Germans, then provided old-age pensions as public social security. Child labor was abolished and public schools were provided for all children. The Kaiser implemented worker protection laws in 1890. After WW I, the Social Democrats' influence had remained strong. Germany had an active union membership. An official "Decree on Collective Agreements, Worker and Employees Committees and the Settlement of Labor disputes" enabled collective bargaining, legal enforcement of labor contracts as well as social security for disabled veterans, widows, and dependents. In 1918, unemployment benefits were given to all German workers.

In the 1932 elections, the Nazi Party didn't have an outright majority. According to the Nuremberg Trial transcripts, on January 4, 1933, German bankers and industrialists had a secret backroom deal with then-Chancellor Von Papen to make Hitler the Chancellor of Germany in a coalition.

https://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/NT_war-criminals_Vol-VIII.pdf

According to banker Kurt Baron von Schröder:

"In February 1933, as Chancellor, Hitler met with the leading German industrialists at the home of Hermann Goring. There were representatives from IG Farben, AG Siemens, BMW, coal mining magnates, Theissen Corp, AG Krupp, and others bankers, investors, and other Germans belonging to the top 1%. In this meeting, Hitler said, "Private enterprise cannot be maintained in the age of democracy.'"

In 1934 the Nazis outlined their plan to revitalize the German economy with the reprivatization of significant industries: railways, public works project, construction, steel, and banking. Hitler guaranteed profits for the private sector; many American industrialists and bankers flocked to Germany to invest.

The Nazis had a thorough plan for deregulation. The Nazi's chief economist stated," The first thing German business needs is peace and quiet. It must have a feeling of absolute legal security and must know that work and its return are guaranteed." Likewise, businesses weren't to be hampered by too much "regulation." On May 2, 1933, Hitler sent his Brown Shirts to all union headquarters. Union leaders were beaten, and sent to prison or concentration camps. The Nazi party expropriated union funds -- money workers paid for union membership -- for itself.

On January 20, 1934, the Nazis passed the Law Regulating National Labor, abrogating the power of the government to set minimum wages and working conditions. Employers lowered wages and benefits. Workers were banned from striking or engaging in other collective bargaining rights, and worked longer hours for lower wages. Their conditions so deteriorated that when the head of the AFL visited Nazi Germany in 1938, he compared an average worker's life to that of a slave. .

The Nazis also privatized medicine. One of Hitler's economists was the head of a private insurance company. These private for-profit health insurance companies immediately started to profit from Anti-Semitism. In 1934, they eliminated reimbursements for Jewish physicians, which allowed them to profit further.

And so on.

Philip K. Dick once wrote a novel whose particular ontological riff was that the Roman empire never really ended and in the 20th century people lived in an imposed illusion under the same elite, or their heirs, that had headed the Roman empire.

That sort of science-fictional novel could be written based on our own reality, riffing on the theme: The Nazis won.

[Feb 10, 2021] The (New Normal) War on Domestic Terror by C.J. Hopkins

Feb 10, 2021 | www.unz.com

C.J. HOPKINS FEBRUARY 8, 2021 1,500 WORDS 139 COMMENTS REPLY Tweet Reddit Share Share Email Print More RSS

If you enjoyed the Global War on Terror, you're going to love the new War on Domestic Terror! It's just like the original Global War on Terror, except that this time the "Terrorists" are all "Domestic Violent Extremists" ("DVEs"), "Homegrown Violent Extremists" ("HVEs"), "Violent Conspiracy-Theorist Extremists" ("VCTEs"), "Violent Reality Denialist Extremists" (VRDEs"), "Insurrectionary Micro-Aggressionist Extremists" ("IMAEs"), "People Who Make Liberals Feel Uncomfortable" ("PWMLFUs"), and anyone else the Department of Homeland Security wants to label an "extremist" and slap a ridiculous acronym on.

According to a " National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin " issued by the DHS on January 27, these DCEs, HVEs, VCTEs, VRDEs, IMAEs, and PWMLFUs are "ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority" and other "perceived grievances fueled by false narratives." They are believed to be "motivated by a range of issues, including anger over Covid-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, police use of force," and other dangerous "false narratives" (e.g., the existence of the "deep state," "herd immunity," "biological sex," "God," and so on).

"Inspired by foreign terrorist groups" and "emboldened by the breach of the US Capitol Building," this diabolical network of "domestic terrorists" is "plotting attacks against government facilities," "threatening violence against critical infrastructure" and actively "citing misinformation and conspiracy theories about Covid-19." For all we know, they might be huddled in the "Wolf's Lair" at Mar-a-Lago right now, plotting a devastating terrorist attack with those WMDs we never found in Iraq, or generating population-adjusted death-rate charts going back 20 years , or posting pictures of " extremist frogs " on the Internet.

The Department of Homeland Security is "concerned," as are its counterparts throughout the global capitalist empire. The (New Normal) War on Domestic Terror isn't just a war on American "domestic terror." The "domestic terror" threat is international. France has just passed a " Global Security Law " banning citizens from filming the police beating the living snot out of people (among other "anti-terrorist" provisions). In Germany, the government is preparing to install an anti-terror moat around the Reichstag . In the Netherlands, the police are cracking down on the VCTEs, VRDEs, and other " angry citizens who hate the system ," who have been protesting over nightly curfews. Suddenly, everywhere you look (or at least if you are looking in the corporate media), " global extremism networks are growing ." It's time for Globocap to take the gloves off again, root the "terrorists" out of their hidey holes, and roll out a new official narrative.

Actually, there's not much new about it. When you strip away all the silly new acronyms, the (New Normal) War on Domestic Terror is basically just a combination of the "War on Terror" narrative and the "New Normal" narrative, i.e., a militarization of the so-called "New Normal" and a pathologization of the "War on Terror." Why would GloboCap want to do that, you ask?

I think you know, but I'll go ahead and tell you.

See, the problem with the original "Global War on Terror" was that it wasn't actually all that global. It was basically just a war on Islamic "terrorism" (i.e., resistance to global capitalism and its post-ideological ideology), which was fine as long as GloboCap was just destabilizing and restructuring the Greater Middle East. It was put on hold in 2016 , so that GloboCap could focus on defeating "populism" (i.e., resistance to global capitalism and its post-ideological ideology), make an example of Donald Trump, and demonize everyone who voted for him (or just refused to take part in their free and fair elections ), which they have just finished doing, in spectacular fashion. So, now it's back to "War on Terror" business, except with a whole new cast of "terrorists," or, technically, an expanded cast of "terrorists." (I rattled off a list in my previous column .)

In short, GloboCap has simply expanded, recontextualized, and pathologized the "War on Terror" (i.e., the war on resistance to global capitalism and its post-ideological ideology). This was always inevitable, of course. A globally-hegemonic system (e.g., global capitalism) has no external enemies, as there is no territory "outside" the system. Its only enemies are within the system, and thus, by definition, are insurgents, also known as "terrorists" and "extremists." These terms are utterly meaningless, obviously. They are purely strategic, deployed against anyone who deviates from GloboCap's official ideology which, in case you were wondering, is called "normality" (or, in our case, currently, "New Normality").

In earlier times, these "terrorists" and "extremists" were known as "heretics," "apostates," and "blasphemers." Today, they are also known as "deniers," e.g., "science deniers," "Covid deniers," and recently, more disturbingly, "reality deniers." This is an essential part of the pathologization of the "War on Terror" narrative. The new breed of "terrorists" do not just hate us for our freedom they hate us because they hate "reality." They are no longer our political or ideological opponents they are suffering from a psychiatric disorder. They no longer need to be argued with or listened to they need to be "treated," "reeducated," and "deprogrammed," until they accept "Reality." If you think I'm exaggerating the totalitarian nature of the "New Normal/War on Terror" narrative, read this op-ed in The New York Times exploring the concept of a "Reality Czar" to deal with our "Reality Crisis."

And this is just the beginning, of course. The consensus (at least in GloboCap circles) is, the (New Normal) War on Domestic Terror will probably continue for the next 10 to 20 years , which should provide the global capitalist ruling classes with more than enough time to carry out the " Great Reset ," destroy what's left of human society, and condition the public to get used to living like cringing, neo-feudal peasants who have to ask permission to leave their houses. We're still in the initial " shock and awe " phase (which they will have to scale back a bit eventually), but just look at how much they've already accomplished.

The economic damage is literally incalculable millions have been plunged into desperate poverty, countless independent businesses crushed, whole industries crippled, developing countries rendered economically dependent (i.e., compliant) for the foreseeable future, as billionaires amassed over $1 trillion in wealth and supranational corporate behemoths consolidated their dominance across the planet.

And that's just the economic damage. The attack on society has been even more dramatic. GloboCap, in the space of a year, has transformed the majority of the global masses into an enormous, paranoid totalitarian cult that is no longer capable of even rudimentary reasoning. (I'm not going to go on about it here at this point, you either recognize it or you're in it.) They're actually lining up in parking lots, the double-masked members of this Covidian cult, to be injected with an experimental "vaccine" that they believe will save the human species from a virus that causes mild to moderate symptoms in roughly 95% of those "infected," and that over 99% of the "infected" survive .

So, it is no big surprise that these same mindless cultists are gung-ho for the (New Normal) War on Domestic Terror, and the upcoming globally-televised show trial of Donald Trump for "inciting insurrection," and the ongoing corporate censorship of the Internet, and can't wait to be issued their " Freedom Passports ," which will allow them to take part in "New Normal" life -- double-masked and socially-distanced, naturally -- while having their every movement and transaction, and every word they write on Facebook, or in an email, or say to someone on their smartphones, or in the vicinity of their 5G toasters, recorded by GloboCap's Intelligence Services and their corporate partners, subsidiaries, and assigns. These people have nothing at all to worry about, as they would never dream of disobeying orders, and could not produce an original thought, much less one displeasing to GloboCap, if you held a fake apocalyptic plague to their heads.

As for the rest of us "extremists," "domestic terrorists," "heretics," and "reality deniers," (i.e., anyone criticizing global capitalism, or challenging its official narratives, and its increasingly totalitarian ideology, regardless of our specific DHS acronyms), I wish I had something hopeful to tell you, but, the truth is, things aren't looking so good. I guess I'll see you in a quarantine camp , or in the psych ward, or an offshore detention facility or, I don't know, maybe I'll see you in the streets.

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing and Broadway Play Publishing, Inc. His dystopian novel, Zone 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. Volumes I and II of his Consent Factory Essays are published by Consent Factory Publishing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amalgamated Content, Inc. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .

[Feb 10, 2021] Before the war the brothers arranged IP shares between the soon to be contending German and Anglo-sphere industries, during the war they tried to arrange a separate peace with post Hitler Germany, after Roosevelt's death and particularly in their con job on Truman, they made the CIA the collective tool of the transatlantic financial elite, David Rockefeller explicitly included.

Feb 10, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

jsn , February 6, 2021 at 12:31 pm

Reading Blacks biography of Roosevelt, Hudson's work, Talbot's "The Devil's Chessboard" and Douglas's "JFK and the Unspeakable" one discerns a clear line between the UK interwar Foreign Office, military intelligence and rentier class and the Dulles brother's post war ascent to the pinnacles of back room power.

Before the war the brothers arranged IP shares between the soon to be contending German and Anglo-sphere industries, during the war they tried to arrange a separate peace with post Hitler Germany, after Roosevelt's death and particularly in their con job on Truman, they made the CIA the collective tool of the transatlantic financial elite, David Rockefeller explicitly included.

These books all rely extensively on previously lightly touched primary sources.

[Feb 05, 2021] Former CIA Counterterror Chief Suggests Going To War Against -Domestic Insurgents

Feb 04, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,

The former head of the CIA Counterterrorism Center has suggested that counterinsurgency tactics used by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan should be applied to 'domestic extremists' inside the US.

NPR reports that Robert Grenier, who directed the CIA's Counterterrorism program from 2004 to 2006, declared "We may be witnessing the dawn of a sustained wave of violent insurgency within our own country, perpetrated by our own countrymen."

In an op-ed for The New York Times last week, Grenier suggested that "extremists who seek a social apocalypse are capable of producing endemic political violence of a sort not seen in this country since Reconstruction."

Grenier, also a former CIA station chief in Pakistan and Afghanistan, grouped together "the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters, the Oath Keepers, 'Christian' national chauvinists, white supremacists and QAnon fantasists" and claimed they are all "committed to violent extremism."

Grenier labeled dissenters an "insurgency" and called for them to be "defeated" like an enemy army.

In further comments to NPR, Grenier stated that "as in any insurgency situation, you have committed insurgents who are typically a relatively small proportion of the affected population. But what enables them to carry forward their program is a large number of people from whom they can draw tacit support."

Grenier also stated that insurgents may emerge from groups who "believe that the election was stolen," or those "who don't trust NPR or The New York Times ."

"The most violent elements that we are concerned about right now see former President Trump as a broadly popular and charismatic symbol," the CIA spook added, before comparing Trump to Saddam Hussein.

"You know, just as I saw in the Middle East that the air went out of violent demonstrations when [Iraqi leader] Saddam Hussein was defeated and seen to be defeated, I think the same situation applies here," he proclaimed.

Grenier suggested that Trump should be convicted at the upcoming impeachment trial as a 'national security imperative' because "So long as he is there and leading the resistance, if you will, which he shows every sign of intending to do, he is going to be an inspiration to very violent people."

Grenier then compared Americans to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, noting that in Afghanistan "the thrust of our campaign there was, yes, to hunt down al-Qaida, but primarily to remove the supportive environment in which they were able to live and to flourish. And that meant fighting the Taliban."

"I think that is the heart of what we need to deal with here," he added.

Listen:

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/963343896/963361404

Linking to Grenier's comments, journalist Glenn Greenwald quipped that wedding guests throughout America should watch out for drone missiles:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1356976927068798978&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fcia-counterterror-chief-suggests-going-war-against-domestic-insurgents&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

The call to treat Americans as terrorist insurgents comes on the heels of a Department of Homeland Security warning that those dissatisfied with the election result may rise up and commit acts of terrorism in the coming weeks.

"Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence," stated the bulletin issued last week through the DHS National Terrorist Advisory System -- or NTAS.

The bulletin added that 'extremists' may be "motivated by a range of issues, including anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and police use of force."

[Feb 02, 2021] John le Carr - Wikipedia

Feb 02, 2021 | en.wikipedia.org

Politics [ edit ]

Le Carré feuded with Salman Rushdie over The Satanic Verses , stating that "nobody has a God-given right to insult a great religion and be published with impunity". [35]

In January 2003, two months prior to the invasion, The Times published le Carré's essay "The United States Has Gone Mad" criticising the buildup to the Iraq War and President George W. Bush 's response to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks , calling it "worse than McCarthyism , worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War " and "beyond anything Osama bin Laden could have hoped for in his nastiest dreams". [36] [37] Le Carré participated in the London protests against the Iraq War . He said the war resulted from the "politicisation of intelligence to fit the political intentions" of governments and "How Bush and his junta succeeded in deflecting America's anger from bin Laden to Saddam Hussein is one of the great public relations conjuring tricks of history". [38] [39]

He was critical of Tony Blair 's role in taking Britain into the Iraq War, saying "I can't understand that Blair has an afterlife at all. It seems to me that any politician who takes his country to war under false pretences has committed the ultimate sin. I think that a war in which we refuse to accept the body count of those that we kill is also a war of which we should be ashamed". [38]

Le Carré was critical of Western governments' policies towards Iran. He believed Iran's actions are a response to being "encircled by nuclear powers" and by the way in which "we ousted Mosaddeq through the CIA and the Secret Service here across the way and installed the Shah and trained his ghastly secret police force in all the black arts, the SAVAK ". [38]

In 2017, le Carré expressed concerns over the future of liberal democracy , saying "I think of all things that were happening across Europe in the 1930s, in Spain, in Japan, obviously in Germany. To me, these are absolutely comparable signs of the rise of fascism and it's contagious, it's infectious. Fascism is up and running in Poland and Hungary. There's an encouragement about". [40] He later wrote that the end of the Cold War had left the West without a coherent ideology, in contrast to the "notion of individual freedom , of inclusiveness, of tolerance – all of that we called anti-communism " prevailing during that time. [41]

... ... ...

Le Carré was an outspoken advocate of European integration and sharply criticised Brexit . [45] Le Carré criticised Conservative politicians such as Boris Johnson (whom he referred to as a "mob orator"), Dominic Cummings , and Nigel Farage in interviews, claiming that their "task is to fire up the people with nostalgia [and] with anger". He further opined in interviews that "What really scares me about nostalgia is that it's become a political weapon. Politicians are creating a nostalgia for an England that never existed, and selling it, really, as something we could return to", noting that with "the demise of the working class we saw also the demise of an established social order, based on the stability of ancient class structures". [44] [46] On the other hand, he said that in the Labour Party "they have this Leninist element and they have this huge appetite to level society."

[Feb 02, 2021] Facebook and the Surveillance Society- The Other Coup - The New York Times

Notable quotes:
"... By 2013, the CIA's chief technology officer outlined the agency's mission "to collect everything and hang on to it forever," acknowledging the internet companies, including Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Fitbit and telecom companies, for making it possible. ..."
"... The revolutionary roots of surveillance capitalism are planted in this unwritten political doctrine of surveillance exceptionalism, bypassing democratic oversight, and essentially granting the new internet companies a license to steal human experience and render it as proprietary data. ..."
"... What's been reinvented is no less than the idea of people as property. ..."
"... As an internet executive who has been in the game from the very beginning (1995 and onward), I am still dumbfounded that the overwhelming majority of Google search users have no idea that when they search for a product or a store, for example, the results are not democratically revealed. Using fashion as an example, Google's business model has stores and brands bid on keyword search terms, like "fine lingerie," or "red pumps," or "blue silk robe," to name a few of the billions of search terms. ..."
"... surveillance economies of scale and AI insights of prediction that allow a herd animal, us, to be more profitably managed and the profit more efficiently extracted. ..."
"... Alexa, dim the lights! ... like the hundreds of millions of other herd animals living the same delusion. if we were paid for our data use, we would just become aware of its use. this is a defect in a system designed to make you feel unique and special. that's the kink: at bottom, you like being surveilled and controlled. ..."
Jan 29, 2021 | www.nytimes.com

We can have democracy, or we can have a surveillance society, but we cannot have both.

By Shoshana Zuboff

Dr. Zuboff, a professor emeritus at Harvard Business School, is the author of "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism."

Two decades ago, the American government left democracy's front door open to California's fledgling internet companies, a cozy fire lit in welcome. In the years that followed, a surveillance society flourished in those rooms, a social vision born in the distinct but reciprocal needs of public intelligence agencies and private internet companies, both spellbound by a dream of total information awareness. Twenty years later, the fire has jumped the screen, and on Jan. 6, it threatened to burn down democracy's house.

I have spent exactly 42 years studying the rise of the digital as an economic force driving our transformation into an information civilization. Over the last two decades, I've observed the consequences of this surprising political-economic fraternity as those young companies morphed into surveillance empires powered by global architectures of behavioral monitoring, analysis, targeting and prediction that I have called surveillance capitalism. On the strength of their surveillance capabilities and for the sake of their surveillance profits, the new empires engineered a fundamentally anti-democratic epistemic coup marked by unprecedented concentrations of knowledge about us and the unaccountable power that accrues to such knowledge.

In an information civilization, societies are defined by questions of knowledge -- how it is distributed, the authority that governs its distribution and the power that protects that authority. Who knows? Who decides who knows? Who decides who decides who knows? Surveillance capitalists now hold the answers to each question, though we never elected them to govern. This is the essence of the epistemic coup. They claim the authority to decide who knows by asserting ownership rights over our personal information and defend that authority with the power to control critical information systems and infrastructures.

... ... ...

The second stage is marked by a sharp rise in epistemic inequality , defined as the difference between what I can know and what can be known about me...

The Surveillance Exception

The public tragedy of Sept. 11 dramatically shifted the focus in Washington from debates over federal privacy legislation to a mania for total information awareness, turning Silicon Valley's innovative surveillance practices into objects of intense interest. As Jack Balkin, a professor at Yale Law School, observed , the intelligence community would have to "rely on private enterprise to collect and generate information for it," in order to reach beyond constitutional, legal, or regulatory constraints, controversies that are central today.

By 2013, the CIA's chief technology officer outlined the agency's mission "to collect everything and hang on to it forever," acknowledging the internet companies, including Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Fitbit and telecom companies, for making it possible.

The revolutionary roots of surveillance capitalism are planted in this unwritten political doctrine of surveillance exceptionalism, bypassing democratic oversight, and essentially granting the new internet companies a license to steal human experience and render it as proprietary data.

Young entrepreneurs without any democratic mandate landed a windfall of infinite information and unaccountable power. Google's founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, exercised absolute control over the production, organization and presentation of the world's information. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has had absolute control over what would become a primary means of global communication and news consumption, along with all the information concealed in its networks. The group's membership grew, and a swelling population of global users proceeded unaware of what just happened.

The license to steal came with a price, binding the executives to the continued patronage of elected officials and regulators as well as the sustained ignorance, or at least learned resignation, of users. The doctrine was, after all, a political doctrine, and its defense would require a future of political maneuvering, appeasement, engagement and investment.

Google led the way with what would become one of the world's richest lobbying machines. In 2018 nearly half the Senate received contributions from Facebook, Google and Amazon, and the companies continue to set spending records .

Most significant, surveillance exceptionalism has meant that the United States and many other liberal democracies chose surveillance over democracy as the guiding principle of social order. With this forfeit, democratic governments crippled their ability to sustain the trust of their people, intensifying the rationale for surveillance.

The Economics and Politics of Epistemic Chaos

To understand the economics of epistemic chaos, it's important to know that surveillance capitalism's operations have no formal interest in facts. All data is welcomed as equivalent, though not all of it is equal. Extraction operations proceed with the discipline of the Cyclops, voraciously consuming everything it can see and radically indifferent to meaning, facts and truth.

ADVERTISEMENT Continue reading the main story

In a leaked memo , a Facebook executive, Andrew Bosworth, describes this willful disregard for truth and meaning:

"We connect people. That can be good if they make it positive. Maybe someone finds love. That can be bad if they make it negative. Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack. The ugly truth is anything that allows us to connect more people more often is *de facto* good."

In other words, asking a surveillance extractor to reject content is like asking a coal-mining operation to discard containers of coal because it's too dirty. This is why content moderation is a last resort, a public-relations operation in the spirit of ExxonMobil's social responsibility messaging. In Facebook's case, data triage is undertaken either to minimize the risk of user withdrawal or to avoid political sanctions. Both aim to increase rather than diminish data flows. The extraction imperative combined with radical indifference to produce systems that ceaselessly escalate the scale of engagement but don't care what engages you.

I'm homing in now on Facebook not because it's the only perpetrator of epistemic chaos but because it's the largest social media company and its consequences reach farthest.

The economics of surveillance capitalism begot the extractive Cyclops, turning Facebook into an advertising juggernaut and a killing field for truth. Then an amoral Mr. Trump became president, demanding the right to lie at scale. Destructive economics merged with political appeasement, and everything became infinitely worse.

Key to this story is that the politics of appeasement required little more than a refusal to mitigate, modify or eliminate the ugly truth of surveillance economics. Surveillance capitalism's economic imperatives turned Facebook into a societal tinderbox. Mr. Zuckerberg merely had to stand down and commit himself to the bystander role.

Internal research presented in 2016 and 2017 demonstrated causal links between Facebook's algorithmic targeting mechanisms and epistemic chaos. One researcher concluded that the algorithms were responsible for the viral spread of divisive content that helped fuel the growth of German extremist groups. Recommendation tools accounted for 64 percent of "extremist group joins," she found -- dynamics not unique to Germany .

The Cambridge Analytica scandal in March 2018 riveted the world's attention on Facebook in a new way, offering a window for bold change. The public began to grasp that Facebook's political advertising business is a way to rent the company's suite of capabilities to microtarget users, manipulate them and sow epistemic chaos, pivoting the whole machine just a few degrees from commercial to political objectives.

Image
Credit... Pool photo by Graeme Jennings/EPA, via Shutterstock

The company launched some modest initiatives, promising more transparency, a more robust system of third-party fact checkers and a policy to limit "coordinated inauthentic behavior," but through it all, Mr. Zuckerberg conceded the field to Mr. Trump's demands for unfettered access to the global information bloodstream.

Mr. Zuckerberg rejected internal proposals for operational changes that would reduce epistemic chaos. A political whitelist identified over 100,000 officials and candidates whose accounts were exempted from fact-checking, despite internal research showing that users tend to believe false information shared by politicians. In September 2019 the company said that political advertising would not be subject to fact-checking.

To placate his critics in 2018, Mr. Zuckerberg commissioned a civil rights audit led by Laura Murphy, a former director of the ACLU's Washington legislative office. The report published in 2020 is a cri de coeur expressed in a river of words that bear witness to dashed hopes -- "disheartened," "frustrated," "angry," "dismayed," "fearful," "heartbreaking."

The report is consistent with a nearly complete rupture of the American public's faith in Big Tech. When asked how Facebook would adjust to a political shift toward a possible Biden administration, a company spokesman, Nick Clegg, responded, "We'll adapt to the environment in which we're operating." And so it did. On Jan. 7, the day after it became clear that Democrats would control the Senate, Facebook announced that it would indefinitely block Mr. Trump's account.

We are meant to believe that the destructive effects of epistemic chaos are the inevitable cost of cherished rights to freedom of speech. No. Just as catastrophic levels of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere are the consequence of burning fossil fuels, epistemic chaos is a consequence of surveillance capitalism's bedrock commercial operations, aggravated by political obligations and set into motion by a 20-year-old dream of total information that slid into nightmare. Then a plague came to America, turning the antisocial media conflagration into a wildfire.

... ... ...

The Washington Post reported in late March that with nearly 50 percent of the content on Facebook's news feed related to Covid-19, a very small number of "influential users" were driving the reading habits and feeds of a vast number of users. A study released in April by the Reuters Institute confirmed that high-level politicians, celebrities and other prominent public figures produced 20 percent of the misinformation in their sample, but attracted 69 percent of social media engagements in their sample.

... ... ...

In 1966, Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann wrote a short book of seminal importance, "The Social Construction of Reality." Its central observation is that the "everyday life" we experience as "reality" is actively and perpetually constructed by us. This ongoing miracle of social order rests on "common sense knowledge," which is "the knowledge we share with others in the normal self-evident routines of everyday life."

Think about traffic: There are not enough police officers in the world to ensure that every car stops at every red light, yet not every intersection triggers a negotiation or a fight. That's because in orderly societies we all know that red lights have the authority to make us stop and green lights are authorized to let us go. This common sense means that we each act on what we all know, while trusting that others will too. We're not just obeying laws; we are creating order together. Our reward is to live in a world where we mostly get where we are going and home again safely because we can trust one another's common sense. No society is viable without it.

"All societies are constructions in the face of chaos," write Berger and Luckmann. Because norms are summaries of our common sense, norm violation is the essence of terrorism -- terrifying because it repudiates the most taken-for-granted social certainties. "Norm violation creates an attentive audience beyond the target of terror," write Alex P. Schmid and Albert J. Jongman in "Political Terrorism," a widely cited text on the subject. Everyone experiences the shock, disorientation, and fear. The legitimacy and continuity of our institutions are essential because they buffer us from chaos by formalizing our common sense.

... ... ...

For many who hold freedom of speech as a sacred right, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes's 1919 dissenting opinion in Abrams v. United States is a touchstone. "The ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas," he wrote. "The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market." The corrupt information that dominates the private square does not rise to the top of a free and fair competition of ideas. It wins in a rigged game. No democracy can survive this game.

Our susceptibility to the destruction of common sense reflects a young information civilization that has not yet found its footing in democracy. Unless we interrupt surveillance economics and revoke the license to steal that legitimates its antisocial operations, the other coup will continue to strengthen and produce fresh crises. What must be done now?

... ... ...

Shoshana Zuboff is a professor emeritus at Harvard Business School and the author of "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism."

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We'd like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here's our email: letters@nytimes.com .

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram .


Caledonia Massachusetts Jan. 30 Times Pick

Jaron Lanier has made the same arguments in a more accessible style. "You Are Not A Gadget" and "Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts" are highly recommended!
AW AUS Jan. 30 Times Pick
Professor Zuboff is being polite and cautious. What's been reinvented is no less than the idea of people as property. Your data is owned. Behavior is traded like a commodity. There is limited personal protection. Imagine you live completely off the grid. One day you come into town to get coffee with an old friend. You don't bring any electronic device because you don't own any. You pay in cash. You are 'not' surveilled. Your friend is surveilled. She has a phone and lives typically. The bill has two coffees. A data point is created about you. Scale up to trillions data points and this reflective data gathering spreads like COVID. This isn't benign information either such as your preferred coffee order. The difference between data 'person favours this political party' and metadata 'person looked at a website for this many seconds, liked these posts, walks at this pace or was at such and such location' is merely a mathematical function of utility. With enough data one can be translated to the other and monetized. When placed into a market outcomes like 'engagement' are really euphemisms for inputs that you may consider private like your sexual and reproductive history, your love and spiritual beliefs or who you voted for. Like Climate Change there's no individual 'opt out'. Unlike Climate Change, there are relatively near term solutions.
Surfrank Los Angeles Jan. 30 Times Pick
Had a nice dinner with my daughter and nephew. We used Siri to get to the restaurant. My iphone was on the table while we talked. What came up in conversation was carpet cleaning; something I don't recall e-mailing or texting about. (My place then had hardwood floors) Next day; boom, e-mails and ads from carpet cleaning places all over my e-mail, phone, texts. So does the internet just snag the info you voluntarily give to them? Or connect to companies when you mention something in an a-mail or text? It's worse. Siri actually listens to you while you're chatting over dinner. Try what I've described. Pick a topic you haven't communicated about recently.
Byron Chapin Chattanooga Jan. 30 Times Pick
I've got to confess that I gave up on this about page three. It strikes me as paranoid; 2+2=6, maybe seven. These titians of the internet need to get way better before they are as dangerous as portrayed. It causes me to think of 'how close we are to driverless cars' - no we aren't.
markd michigan Jan. 30 Times Pick
If you don't care about privacy (which many don't) then the digital world is an Eden. People voluntarily post intimate details of their lives willingly. You have to really work at it to have any privacy today. It can be done though. The US needs to take a harder stance towards internet privacy like the EU. Any service that operates in the US needs an opt out clause in their user agreements towards sharing any of their personal information. Most people would just click on the "I Agree to Share" but the people who care about their privacy will opt out.
HB nyc Jan. 30 Times Pick
As an internet executive who has been in the game from the very beginning (1995 and onward), I am still dumbfounded that the overwhelming majority of Google search users have no idea that when they search for a product or a store, for example, the results are not democratically revealed. Using fashion as an example, Google's business model has stores and brands bid on keyword search terms, like "fine lingerie," or "red pumps," or "blue silk robe," to name a few of the billions of search terms.

The stores or brands that bid highest most often appear at the top of the list. As well, above those results sit paid ads, though again, most users do not know those ads are actually ads, as they consider them to be legitimate results.

Over the years, I've read many a user survey on Google search, and still--as savvy as we believe we have become in the online space--most users believe the results at the top of the list must be the best results out there. Talk about a rigged system. Sadly and frighteningly, most of us do not know, or probably even care, that it is.

drollere sebastopol Jan. 30 Times Pick
i've been an admirer of dr. zuboff's take on technology for many years. but it's useful to reverse this analysis and consider it from the corporate side: surveillance economies of scale and AI insights of prediction that allow a herd animal, us, to be more profitably managed and the profit more efficiently extracted.

it's important to see that surveillance fundamentally benefits command and control capabilities: china uses it to command obedience; corporations use it to control profit extraction, and to guide your car GPS. we do not mind that we are being commanded and controlled because this brings us home delivery, voice control systems, GPS navigation, targeted ads, on demand media, vast connectivity and personal media bubbles. these make us feel unique and almost godlike ... Alexa, dim the lights! ... like the hundreds of millions of other herd animals living the same delusion. if we were paid for our data use, we would just become aware of its use. this is a defect in a system designed to make you feel unique and special. that's the kink: at bottom, you like being surveilled and controlled.

you like the commercial and recreational benefits this brings. you don't care who uses what, provided you get all the consumer satisfaction and none of the dark web blowback. i'm not optimistic about "unprecedented solutions." there is no imminent stampede of the herd to get out of the corral. we like it in here.

Rob Philadelphia Jan. 29 Times Pick
My life has gotten better since I deleted Facebook a few years ago. I get fewer updates from high school acquaintances, but my real friendships have continued just the same, and my professional life has improved (since I have one fewer distraction). My anxiety level is also lower. Of course the news over the past year has been a major source of anxiety, but it would have been worse if I'd spent 2020 doom-scrolling on Facebook. I think a lot of people's lives would be better if a lot of people got off social media...for these reasons as well as the important issues this essay addresses.
PlanetSilence Salt Lake City Jan. 29 Times Pick
I'm 100% behind the "surveillance society" as long as corporations and lawmakers are surveilled. But when an Assange or a Snowden proves that the NSA and CIA are criminal enterprises...the dishonest politicians hide behind the Espionage Act to quash the facts.
Until Next Week Park Avenue Jan. 29 Times Pick
Right from the beginning I knew this Internet and social media revolution was dubious Right from the start, I tried never to use my real name on SM or in email addresses...But they figured it out...It's been creepy from day one... Let's regain our old-fashioned anonymity!

[Feb 02, 2021] Would You Be Considered A Domestic Terrorist Under This New Bill by Robert Wheeler

Notable quotes:
"... "It's so dangerous as you guys have been talking about, this is an issue that all Democrats, Republicans, independents, Libertarians should be extremely concerned about, especially because we don't have to guess about where this goes or how this ends," Gabbard said. ..."
"... She continued: "When you have people like former CIA Director John Brennan openly talking about how he's spoken with or heard from appointees and nominees in the Biden administration who are already starting to look across our country for these types of movements similar to the insurgencies they've seen overseas, that in his words, he says make up this unholy alliance of religious extremists, racists, bigots, he lists a few others and at the end, even libertarians." ..."
"... "What characteristics are we looking for as we are building this profile of a potential extremist, what are we talking about? Religious extremists, are we talking about Christians, evangelical Christians, what is a religious extremist? Is it somebody who is pro-life? Where do you take this" ..."
"... "You start looking at obviously, have to be a white person, obviously likely male, libertarians, anyone who loves freedom, liberty, maybe has an American flag outside their house, or people who, you know, attended a Trump rally, " Gabbard said. ..."
Jan 29, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Robert Wheeler via The Organic Prepper blog,

After 9/11, the entire country collectively lost its mind in the throes of fear. During that time, all civil and Constitutional rights were shredded and replaced with the pages of The USA PATRIOT Act .

Almost 20 years later, the U.S. has again lost its collective mind, this time in fear of a "virus" and it's "super mutations" and a "riot" at the capitol. A lot of people called this and to the surprise of very few, much like after 9/11, Americans are watching what remains of their civil liberties be replaced with a new bill.

The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021

The DTPA is essentially the criminalization of speech, expression, and thought . It takes cancel culture a step further and all but outlaws unpopular opinions . This act will empower intelligence, law enforcement, and even military wings of the American ruling class to crack down on individuals adhering to certain belief systems and ideologies.

According to MI Congressman Fred Upton:

"The attack on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month was the latest example of domestic terrorism, but the threat of domestic terrorism remains very real. We cannot turn a blind eye to it," Upton said. "The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act will equip our law enforcement leaders with the tools needed to help keep our homes, families, and communities across the country safe.

Congressman Upton's website gives the following information on DTPA:

The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021 would strengthen the federal government's efforts to prevent, report on, respond to, and investigate acts of domestic terrorism by authorizing offices dedicated to combating this threat; requiring these offices to regularly assess this threat; and providing training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement in addressing it.

DTPA would authorize three offices, one each within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to monitor, investigate, and prosecute cases of domestic terrorism. The bill also requires these offices to provide Congress with joint, biannual reports assessing the state of domestic terrorism threats, with a specific focus on white supremacists. Based on the data collected, DTPA requires these offices to focus their resources on the most significant threats.

DTPA also codifies the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, which would coordinate with United States Attorneys and other public safety officials to promote information sharing and ensure an effective, responsive, and organized joint effort to combat domestic terrorism. The legislation requires DOJ, FBI, and DHS to provide training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies in understanding, detecting, deterring, and investigating acts of domestic terrorism and white supremacy. Finally, DTPA directs DHS, DOJ, FBI, and the Department of Defense to establish an interagency task force to combat white supremacist infiltration of the uniformed services and federal law enforcement.

Those who read the bill aren't so gung ho to shred the Constitution

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has some serious reservations. In a recent interview on Fox News Primetime, Gabbard stated that the bill effectively criminalizes half of the country. (Emphasis ours)

"It's so dangerous as you guys have been talking about, this is an issue that all Democrats, Republicans, independents, Libertarians should be extremely concerned about, especially because we don't have to guess about where this goes or how this ends," Gabbard said.

She continued: "When you have people like former CIA Director John Brennan openly talking about how he's spoken with or heard from appointees and nominees in the Biden administration who are already starting to look across our country for these types of movements similar to the insurgencies they've seen overseas, that in his words, he says make up this unholy alliance of religious extremists, racists, bigots, he lists a few others and at the end, even libertarians."

Gabbard, stating her concern about how the government will define what qualities they are searching for in potential threats to the country, went on to ask:

"What characteristics are we looking for as we are building this profile of a potential extremist, what are we talking about? Religious extremists, are we talking about Christians, evangelical Christians, what is a religious extremist? Is it somebody who is pro-life? Where do you take this"

Tulsi said the bill would create a dangerous undermining of our civil liberties and freedoms in our Constitution. She also stated the DPTA essentially targets nearly half of the United States.

"You start looking at obviously, have to be a white person, obviously likely male, libertarians, anyone who loves freedom, liberty, maybe has an American flag outside their house, or people who, you know, attended a Trump rally, " Gabbard said.

Tulsi Gabbard is not the only one to criticize the legislation

Even the ACLU , one of the weakest organizations on civil liberties in the United States, has spoken out. While the ACLU was only concerned with how the bill would affect minorities or "brown people," the organization stated that the legislation, while set forth under the guise of countering white supremacy, would eventually be used against non-white people.

The ACLU's statement is true.

As with similar bills submitted under the guise of "protecting" Americans against outside threats, this bill will inevitably expand further. The stated goals of the DPTA are far-reaching and frightening enough. It would amount to an official declaration of the end to Free Speech.

Soon there will be no rights left for Americans

In the last twenty years, Americans have lost their 4th Amendment rights, and now they are losing their 1st. All that remains is the 2nd Amendment , and both the ruling class and increasing numbers of the American people know it.

Dark days are ahead.

[Jan 29, 2021] The phenomenon of Donald Trump the villain President has been used as an excuse to destroy free speech and shoe horn in authoritarian policies\

Due to the immense power of propaganda, normal people who should identify politically as the "left" are actually supporting these dangerous policies and the erosions of liberty are accelerating in direct proportion to the level of resistance, such as r/Wallstreetbets and the immediate crackdown across several platforms to stop them.
Jan 29, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Rutherford82 , Jan 28 2021 18:40 utc | 5

I've seen an extraordinary erosion of rights and liberties over the past few years. It really started with the cover up after the Trump election, which sought to steer the narrative of public opinion away from the failure of the Clintons and the Democratic machine with obvious fantastic lies about Russia.

For a myriad of reasons probably understood best by likes of Freud, Jüng, and others, everyone on the left (who are supposed to be the smart and rational ones in society) bought these lies and repeated them.

Once this was allowed to happen, once Maddow was allowed to lead the vanguard of libel with no recourse, the snowball began to roll and now we are seeing the enforcement of that thought-policing, which is as unconstitutional as the libel itself, especially considering it is being perpetrated ubiquitously among media owners.

The phenomenon of Donald Trump the villain President has been used as an excuse to destroy free speech and shoe horn in authoritarian policies. Due to the immense power of propaganda, normal people who should identify politically as the "left" are actually supporting these dangerous policies and the erosions of liberty are accelerating in direct proportion to the level of resistance, such as r/Wallstreetbets and the immediate crackdown across several platforms to stop them.

This Wall St. favoritism is obvious, but will likely end without bankers taking much damage besides some short term outrage. They still control all the levers of currency and trade no matter the President.

The real dangers of the day are the clamping down on speech. Starting with imprisoning Julian Assange and then migrating to various corners of the Internet. I'll be very interested to see how things shake out with the stock market, but I imagine it will go back to the firm grip of those who control the money supply, which it was for a very long time.

In the meantime, shutting down the Reddit forums and Discord servers is a very serious danger and I hope we can shine a light on it.

[Jan 28, 2021] Diana Johnstones "Fools Crusade" goes into the destabilization efforts made by various EU and Nato entities to precipitate the break up. It's where the Clintons beta tested the nation breaking tools Bush/Cheney began deploying around the world.

Jan 28, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Eustache de Saint Pierre , January 27, 2021 at 7:18 am

It's part & parcel here especially from DUP types who sometimes appear to be living in a fantasy world – Shinners not so much but I imagine that SF dissidents have similar extreme positions & all of this comes from some intelligent & professional people not just the malleable mobs. Meanwhile there is a turf war for the gangster versions of both UVF & UDA hitting the streets in Belfast.

I recall a few years back reading an account from a British Army general who was familiar with both Northern Ireland & the former Yugoslavia before they blew up, who in both instances was shocked by how people who had for the most part lived happily side by side within a relatively short space of time became sworn enemies. All of that had a religious background with the latter including ethnicity, but to him both sides in both cases spiraled down through negative reactions into extremes, becoming in the end each others sworn enemies.

Politics & Class have I believe caused the same fractures & after all the successful & presumably intelligent PMC also have their deplorable others that are largely a construction based on generalisations & stereotypes, while sadly peace & reconciliation efforts as far as I can tell always appear to arrive as an epilogue to a very bad book.

vlade , January 27, 2021 at 8:33 am

Yugoslavia definitely didn't live happily side by side. Its tensions were hidden under Tito, but existed before (cf WW2 Croats vs Serbs, as most visible example), and blew up after, to a great extent because they were so supressed before w/o any reasonable outlet. It might have given a semblance of "happines", but it wasn't really there.

Can't comment on NI.

Wukchumni , January 27, 2021 at 9:11 am

I was only in Yugoslavia once for about a week in 1982, and you could see what a mess it was in the making. I'm used to Europeans drinking, but Belgrade made em' look like teetotalers. Add in age old tensions and kaboom!

One of the biggest hyperinflationary episodes came out of their civil war, only to be eclipsed in the numbers game by Zimbabwe after the turn of the century.

The Rev Kev , January 27, 2021 at 9:46 am

I was going through Yugoslavia by train in 1981 and the one thing that struck me looking out the windows was flags. You had Yugoslavian flags everywhere you looked to the point that it was almost a fetish. It was only years later that I wondered if the point of those flags was to encourage the different groups to think of themselves as Yugoslavians first and foremost.

Robert Gray , January 27, 2021 at 12:26 pm

> flags everywhere you looked to the point that it was almost a fetish.

Erm that sounds just like the US of A.

a different chris , January 27, 2021 at 9:21 am

> to a great extent because they were so supressed before w/o any reasonable outlet.

But this seems to excuse the fighting? If everybody was "suppressed" then why did they kick sideways, rather than up? As I think I said once before, my friend from Serbia would say "I'd be on "my" side of the street and "they" would be shooting at me, and then I'd cross the street and "my" people would be shooting at me".

He, like so many nowadays, came to the US not because this was some beacon of hope but because where he lived, a place he loved for many reasons, was that messed up.

Reading Wikipedia I come across this tiresome sentence: "The Croat quest for independence led to large Serb communities within Croatia rebelling and trying to secede from the Croat republic. Serbs in Croatia would not accept a status of a national minority in a sovereign Croatia, since they would be demoted from the status of a constituent nation of the entirety of Yugoslavia."

Croats? Serbs? Like they are fundamentally different species? It's as bad as the Reconstruction South, but per my example above people didn't even have different colored skin, heck they were physically indistinguishable. They just wanted something they themselves couldn't even describe without foaming at the mouth.

To be considered above somebody else by birth was what it really was.

Oh, and another head-banging quote: "the "Croatian Spring" protest in the 1970s was backed by large numbers of Croats who claimed that Yugoslavia remained a Serb hegemony and demanded that Serbia's powers be reduced .Tito, whose home republic was Croatia,"

An iron-fisted dictator runs the country, he is from Croatia, yet the country is considered by Croatians to be "Serb hegemony". Ok whatever, hey it does make more sense than following a normal-height dark-haired dark-eyed man because he says that tall blond-haired blue eyed people are superior. And that was a short-by-American-standards drive away

We can give the globe a spin and find the same idiocy in Asia, where "they all look alike" to western eyes but oh boy they slaughter each other just as regularly as we do.

Ok I'm done ranting. What a plague on the planet this species is.

vlade , January 27, 2021 at 9:51 am

Kicking sideways (or downwards) is always easier than kicking upwards, especially if people were doing it for years.

Otherwise, you're just accentuating my point – and I agree with you. It was incredible watching people in pub who were getting on very well until one of them asked where the other was from, and that has changed the whole atmosphere.

Wukchumni , January 27, 2021 at 9:59 am

My cousin from Prague came to America in the late 90's to live on a genuine ranch for a spell and go on a long roadtrip in search of

So he gets pulled over for speeding in a red state and gives the officer his Czech drivers license, and he told me the officer went into a harangue over all the ethnic cleansing that was going on in his country, and how sorry he was about it, and let him off.

Cousin was torn between telling the copper, nah that's a few countries over, but went for the victim card instead.

vlade , January 27, 2021 at 11:23 am

Hah, do you know the Western press brain-melt induced by having Slovakia and Slovenia (which, moreover have very similar flags..) in the same World Cup (soccer) 2022 qualification group?

ex-PFC Chuck , January 27, 2021 at 11:26 am

Croats? Serbs? Like they are fundamentally different species?

Not different species, but different religions; Roman and Orthodox Catholicism, respectively. Think German-speaking Europe during the Thirty Years War.

km , January 27, 2021 at 1:33 pm

The irony of course is that, in 1992, Croats for the most part didn't go to mass, Serbs did go to Liturgy, and Bosniak Muslims thought beer went well with their pork chops.

Think of it not as a religious war, but a re-hash of WWII.

jsn , January 27, 2021 at 4:19 pm

Diana Johnstones "Fools Crusade" goes into the destabilization efforts made by various EU and Nato entities to precipitate the break up. It's where the Clintons beta tested the nation breaking tools Bush/Cheney began deploying around the world.

Karl Von Hapsburg and the Pope were both involved in prying the Catholic portions loose from the Yugoslav federation and bringing them back into the Mont Pelerin orbit of the former Habsburg empire.

The Orthodox regions have been left to the Russians with black markets to everyone's benefit and the Bosnians given the standard settler/colonial treatment of designated "races."

Eustache de Saint Pierre , January 27, 2021 at 12:29 pm

Vlade – perhaps I should not have used the word happily but basically neighbours were not killing each other as was also mainly the case in NI, although there were tensions gradually building up in tandem with the Civil Rights movement based on the MLK. model.

I don't know what the tipping point was in the Balkans, but in NI it was the treatment received by the marchers & the likes of the Bogside at the hands of the B specials & RUC in Derry which gradually spread elsewhere in mass battles between mobs from both sides & the above armed cops. All of this capped off in 72 by the Provos most successful recruiting campaign courtesy of the Parachute regiment on Bloody Sunday, while about that time around 10,000 Catholic refugees crossed into the Republic.

PlutoniumKun , January 27, 2021 at 12:02 pm

If the General thought that people in NI lived happily side by side before the Troubles, then he was sorely misinformed. Tensions were always very strong, although not just religious ones. In Dublin growing up I had neighbours who were Belfast protestants but had been driving out of Belfast because their grandfather was involved in a shipyard trade union and that was sufficient for him to have been labeled as a communist and Taig lover.

Eustache de Saint Pierre , January 27, 2021 at 12:43 pm

Yes happily was the wrong word but in the North outside of the cities there was mixing & occasionally mixed marriages.

You are very correct in relation to the troubles in the shipyards, which I read a few books about in prep for a statue. Funny thing is that during my 2 stints at the Titanic studios for GoT I was informed by the top man that many of the tradesmen were ex paramilitaries from both sides who managed to work well together for a decade, but in separate teams. That was also tjhe case during the yearly Wraps where they all took full advantage of the free bars but besides a few scuffles, there was never any real trouble.

A lot of the work would have been carried out in the original paint hall.

vlade , January 27, 2021 at 2:56 pm

Oooh.. Reminds me of E.T. Setton's Two Savages and the difference between "Emmy Grants" and "Passengers"..

Eustache de Saint Pierre , January 27, 2021 at 7:58 pm

You have lost me there Vlade ( If you were indeed commenting on my post ) as I don't know the book, but you have reminded me of one very violent incident on location in Spain between 2 Catholics in a bar. It was due to one of them being a member of another group of savages that plagued Belfast as the other 2 wound down.

They were called the Hoodies who were part of the huge crime wave that hit Belfast as a consequence of the Troubles. It was cleaned up in Catholic areas over about 7 years under the command of Bobby Storey.

[Jan 27, 2021] Germany becomes a sort of alibi for the USA actions -- no matter how bad things are here, we're not that bad. We're not as bad as the Germans

Jan 27, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

james , Jan 27 2021 0:15 utc | 85

quote from an article i am reading on alex ross interview...Alex Ross is the music critic of The New Yorker, among other things.. its a bit of a controversial comment which i why i am sharing it..

"America -- people have said this in so many ways -- is in need of the kind of self-examination that has become widespread in Germany. For all of its problems, the culture of working through the past is very strong in Germany. Susan Neiman recently wrote a brilliant book, Learning from the Germans, drawing a line between the German examination of the Nazi past and the Holocaust and America's, to put it mildly, very incomplete reckoning with racism, slavery, the Native American genocide, and everything else. As I say in the book, Germany becomes a sort of alibi for us -- no matter how bad things are here, we're not that bad. We're not as bad as the Germans. That undertow exists whenever German history and German culture are discussed in America. Consider the incredible profusion of books on the Nazi period that you see in bookstores -- there's always an element of wanting to go back this period when America seemed to be purely on the side of good and the Germans were absolute evil. It makes us feel better about ourselves. And so we have these Nazi characters in movies over and over -- good down-to-earth Americans out there battling evil Germans who are playing Wagner on their Victrolas, which is literally something that happens in one of the Captain America movies. It's a comforting myth, one that needs to be shaken up a bit."

Interview with Alex Ross

[Jan 25, 2021] It's all totalitarianism.

Jan 25, 2021 | www.unz.com

anti_republocrat , says: January 25, 2021 at 7:51 pm GMT • 7.0 hours ago

@anon

Globalists tell the people they are for mankind and Mother Earth, against corporate exploitation. Once in control after a year of planpanic and the Great Reset, globalists will operate for the benefit of those in control of the world's largest corporations.

In all three "different" systems, the people begin to wake up too late. The only way for those who have seized control to stay in control is to suppress the "have nots." This leads inevitably to totalitarian control and tyranny.

Thus, communism, fascism and globalism differ only in rhetoric. In all things that matter they are identical. It's all totalitarianism.

[Jan 25, 2021] A hallmark of totalitarian societies is that there's no escape from politics and the dominant state ideology by Neil Clark

Jan 24, 2021 | www.rt.com

A hallmark of totalitarian societies is that there's no escape from politics and the dominant state ideology. Recent events demonstrate that we've now sadly reached that point in Britain, the US and other Western countries.

...In the choice between the personal and the political, between listening to the politician, or romancing (even if only in his imagination), the poet chooses the personal. He is right to do so. Totalitarian societies come about when people do the opposite. They put politics before the personal. They betray old friendships for 'the cause', or put 'following the party line' before family and loved ones.

...Things that used to be apolitical have become completely politicised. There is no 'ring-fencing' any more. I have to say, even as someone who makes my living as a political commentator, I'm absolutely sick of the way politics has infected every aspect of our lives

...While the US presidential inauguration was being televised, and viewers were no doubt being told repeatedly what a 'great day for democracy' it was, I was doing a jigsaw puzzle. Believe me, it was far more rewarding.

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66

sarcastictruth 17 hours ago 24 Jan, 2021 06:38 AM

Political correctness is the means by which the powers that be/the elite/the globalists control the masses. Why do people demonstrate political correctness? To show what a "good person" they and how they are aware of "social issues". That's why people strive to be politically correct. Its the reason we are in the lockdown situation, people accept the lockdown because you are deemed politically incorrect (a bad person) if you don't. People mistake that politically correctness is about fighting racism, whilst racism against black people is condemned, racism against white people is actively encourage. This shows political correctness has nothing to do with fighting racism, fighting gender inequality, or about being a good person. It has everything to do with fostering division amongst people and controlling the opinion of the masses.
Cl K-berg 13 hours ago 24 Jan, 2021 10:33 AM
100%. Here's a great extract for essay quotation: ''We should turn off television programmes masquerading as 'drama' or 'comedy' that are really political sermons dolled up in entertainment's clothing and provide no enjoyment whatsoever.'' Wow! how totally spot on.

[Jan 25, 2021] Reporter critical of Antifa flees US amid threats as 'POLITICAL REFUGEE,' decades after his parents arrived as asylum seekers

Jan 25, 2021 | www.rt.com

Journalist Andy Ngo, whose parents fled to the US from Vietnam in 1978, has become a political refugee himself, fleeing to London, saying he received death threats from Antifa over his coverage of the movement.

"For a number of months now, there's just been increasing threats of violence against me, promises by Antifa extremists to kill me," the Portland native said Saturday night in a Sky News interview. Local law enforcement authorities did nothing about the alleged threats, even when Ngo provided names of the suspects, he said.

"It's pained me a lot, temporarily having to leave the country and home that settled my parents who came there as political refugees," Ngo added.

Ngo came to increased prominence after he was attacked by a mob of Antifa protesters in 2019. There have been no arrests in connection with that attack – in which Ngo was beaten, robbed and hospitalized with a brain injury – even though it was caught on camera from various angles and the journalist's lawyer provided names of suspects to police.

//www.youtube.com/embed/KlCTpywgEQk

Some Antifa members have condemned Ngo for "enabling fascism" and exposing them to danger by reporting their names and posting their arrest photos. He was vilified by Rolling Stone magazine, which branded him as a "right-wing troll" and said he tries to "demonize" Antifa.

Hatred towards Ngo apparently escalated even further with the upcoming publication of his book, 'Unmasked', which chronicles Antifa's history of violence and its "radical plan to destroy democracy."

The protests, which some observers called "modern-day book burning," may have had an unintended consequence by bringing more attention to 'Unmasked'. The book, which is scheduled for release on February 2, is already the No. 1 seller in several political categories on Amazon.com. At one point earlier this month, it was the overall top seller by the online behemoth.

READ MORE 'Modern-day book burners': Portland bookstore forced to evacuate after protesters demand it pulls book critical of Antifa 'Modern-day book burners': Portland bookstore forced to evacuate after protesters demand it pulls book critical of Antifa

Ngo said the same Democrat politicians who have condemned and magnified the January 6 US Capitol riot were silent "at best" when Antifa and Black Lives Matter plagued Portland with 120 days of riots, including violent attacks on a federal courthouse, last year. He said some even promoted crowdfunding efforts to get rioters out of jail, while others described federal law enforcement officers as "Trump's Gestapo and secret police."

Rioting in Portland was so bad on President Joe Biden's Inauguration Day that 15 Antifa activists were arrested, nearly half of whom had been busted and released for similar crimes last year, Ngo said. "This is a nightmare version of Groundhog Day," he added.

Reminded that Biden had called Antifa "an idea, not an organization" during last year's presidential campaign, Ngo pointed out that documents leaked to him show Antifa's organizational setup, including processes for recruiting, radicalizing and vetting new members.

"Very sad," author Julia Smith said of Ngo's fleeing to London. "This is not the America his parents sought."

[Jan 24, 2021] The Deep State's Stealthy, Subversive, Silent Coup to Ensure Nothing Changes - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Re

Notable quotes:
"... "You have such a fervent, passionate, evangelical faith in this country why in the name of God don't you have any faith in the system of government you're so hell-bent to protect? You want to defend the United States of America, then defend it with the tools it supplies you with -- its Constitution. You ask for a mandate, General, from a ballot box. You don't steal it after midnight, when the country has its back turned." -- Seven Days in May (1964) ..."
"... That January 6 attempt by so-called insurrectionists to overturn the election results was not the real coup, however. Those who answered President Trump's call to march on the Capitol were merely the fall guys, manipulated into creating the perfect crisis for the Deep State -- a.k.a. the Police State a.k.a. the Military Industrial Complex a.k.a. the Techno-Corporate State a.k.a. the Surveillance State -- to swoop in and take control. ..."
"... It took no time at all for the switch to be thrown and the nation's capital to be placed under a military lockdown, online speech forums restricted, and individuals with subversive or controversial viewpoints ferreted out, investigated, shamed and/or shunned . ..."
"... Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America ..."
"... Seven Days in May ..."
"... Seven Days in May ..."
"... domestic right-wing extremism ..."
"... Battlefield America: The War on the American People ..."
"... This article was originally published on The Rutherford Institute . ..."
Jan 24, 2021 | www.globalresearch.ca

"You have such a fervent, passionate, evangelical faith in this country why in the name of God don't you have any faith in the system of government you're so hell-bent to protect? You want to defend the United States of America, then defend it with the tools it supplies you with -- its Constitution. You ask for a mandate, General, from a ballot box. You don't steal it after midnight, when the country has its back turned." -- Seven Days in May (1964)

No doubt about it: the coup d'etat was successful.

That January 6 attempt by so-called insurrectionists to overturn the election results was not the real coup, however. Those who answered President Trump's call to march on the Capitol were merely the fall guys, manipulated into creating the perfect crisis for the Deep State -- a.k.a. the Police State a.k.a. the Military Industrial Complex a.k.a. the Techno-Corporate State a.k.a. the Surveillance State -- to swoop in and take control.

It took no time at all for the switch to be thrown and the nation's capital to be placed under a military lockdown, online speech forums restricted, and individuals with subversive or controversial viewpoints ferreted out, investigated, shamed and/or shunned .

This new order didn't emerge into being this week, or this month, or even this year, however.

Indeed, the real coup happened when our government "of the people, by the people, for the people" was overthrown by a profit-driven, militaristic, techno-corporate state that is in cahoots with a government "of the rich, by the elite, for the corporations."

We've been mired in this swamp for decades now.

Every successive president starting with Franklin D. Roosevelt has been bought lock, stock and barrel and made to dance to the Deep State's tune.

Enter Donald Trump, the candidate who swore to drain the swamp in Washington DC. Instead of putting an end to the corruption, however, Trump paved the way for lobbyists, corporations, the military industrial complex, and the Deep State to feast on the carcass of the dying American republic.

Joe Biden will be no different: his job is to keep the Deep State in power.

Step away from the cult of personality politics and you'll find that beneath the power suits, they're all alike.

Follow the money. It always points the way.

As Bertram Gross noted in Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America , " evil now wears a friendlier face than ever before in American history ."

Writing in 1980, Gross predicted a future in which he saw:

a new despotism creeping slowly across America. Faceless oligarchs sit at command posts of a corporate-government complex that has been slowly evolving over many decades. In efforts to enlarge their own powers and privileges, they are willing to have others suffer the intended or unintended consequences of their institutional or personal greed. For Americans, these consequences include chronic inflation, recurring recession, open and hidden unemployment, the poisoning of air, water, soil and bodies, and, more important, the subversion of our constitution. More broadly, consequences include widespread intervention in international politics through economic manipulation, covert action, or military invasion

This stealthy, creeping, silent coup that Gross prophesied is the same danger that writer Rod Serling envisioned in the 1964 political thriller Seven Days in May , a clear warning to beware of martial law packaged as a well-meaning and overriding concern for the nation's security.

Incredibly enough, almost 60 years later, we find ourselves hostages to a government run more by military doctrine and corporate greed than by the rule of law established in the Constitution. Indeed, proving once again that fact and fiction are not dissimilar, today's current events could well have been lifted straight out of Seven Days in May , which takes viewers into eerily familiar terrain.

American Apocalypse: The Government's Plot to Destabilize the Nation Is Working

The premise is straightforward.

With the Cold War at its height, an unpopular U.S. President signs a momentous nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union. Believing that the treaty constitutes an unacceptable threat to the security of the United States and certain that he knows what is best for the nation, General James Mattoon Scott (played by Burt Lancaster), the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and presidential hopeful, plans a military takeover of the national government. When Gen. Scott's aide, Col. Casey (Kirk Douglas), discovers the planned military coup, he goes to the President with the information. The race for command of the U.S. government begins, with the clock ticking off the hours until the military plotters plan to overthrow the President.

Needless to say, while on the big screen, the military coup is foiled and the republic is saved in a matter of hours, in the real world, the plot thickens and spreads out over the past half century.

We've been losing our freedoms so incrementally for so long -- sold to us in the name of national security and global peace, maintained by way of martial law disguised as law and order, and enforced by a standing army of militarized police and a political elite determined to maintain their powers at all costs -- that it's hard to pinpoint exactly when it all started going downhill, but we've been on that fast-moving, downward trajectory for some time now.

The question is no longer whether the U.S. government will be preyed upon and taken over by the military industrial complex. That's a done deal, but martial law disguised as national security is only one small part of the greater deception we've been fooled into believing is for our own good.

How do you get a nation to docilely accept a police state? How do you persuade a populace to accept metal detectors and pat downs in their schools, bag searches in their train stations, tanks and military weaponry used by their small town police forces, surveillance cameras in their traffic lights, police strip searches on their public roads, unwarranted blood draws at drunk driving checkpoints, whole body scanners in their airports, and government agents monitoring their communications?

Try to ram such a state of affairs down the throats of the populace, and you might find yourself with a rebellion on your hands. Instead, you bombard them with constant color-coded alerts, terrorize them with shootings and bomb threats in malls, schools, and sports arenas, desensitize them with a steady diet of police violence, and sell the whole package to them as being for their best interests.

This present military occupation of the nation's capital by 25,000 troops as part of the so-called "peaceful" transfer of power from one administration to the next is telling.

This is not the language of a free people. This is the language of force.

Still, you can't say we weren't warned.

Back in 2008, an Army War College report revealed that "widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security." The 44-page report went on to warn that potential causes for such civil unrest could include another terrorist attack, "unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order , purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters."

In 2009, reports by the Department of Homeland Security surfaced that labelled right-wing and left-wing activists and military veterans as extremists (a.k.a. terrorists) and called on the government to subject such targeted individuals to full-fledged pre-crime surveillance. Almost a decade later, after spending billions to fight terrorism, the DHS concluded that the greater threat is not ISIS but domestic right-wing extremism .

Meanwhile, the police have been transformed into extensions of the military while the nation itself has been transformed into a battlefield. This is what a state of undeclared martial law looks like, when you can be arrested, tasered, shot, brutalized and in some cases killed merely for not complying with a government agent's order or not complying fast enough. This hasn't just been happening in crime-ridden inner cities. It's been happening all across the country.

And then you've got the government, which has been steadily amassing an arsenal of military weapons for use domestically and equipping and training their "troops" for war. Even government agencies with largely administrative functions such as the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Smithsonian have been acquiring body armor, riot helmets and shields, cannon launchers and police firearms and ammunition. In fact, there are now at least 120,000 armed federal agents carrying such weapons who possess the power to arrest.

Rounding out this profit-driven campaign to turn American citizens into enemy combatants (and America into a battlefield) is a technology sector that has been colluding with the government to create a Big Brother that is all-knowing, all-seeing and inescapable . It's not just the drones, fusion centers , license plate readers, stingray devices and the NSA that you have to worry about. You're also being tracked by the black boxes in your cars , your cell phone, smart devices in your home, grocery loyalty cards, social media accounts, credit cards, streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, and e-book reader accounts.

So you see, January 6 and its aftermath provided the government and its corporate technocrats the perfect excuse to show off all of the powers they've been amassing so assiduously over the years.

Mind you, by "government," I'm not referring to the highly partisan, two-party bureaucracy of the Republicans and Democrats.

I'm referring to "government" with a capital "G," the entrenched Deep State that is unaffected by elections, unaltered by populist movements, and has set itself beyond the reach of the law.

I'm referring to the corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country and calling the shots in Washington DC, no matter who sits in the White House.

This is the hidden face of a government that has no respect for the freedom of its citizenry.

Brace yourself.

There is something being concocted in the dens of power, far beyond the public eye, and it doesn't bode well for the future of this country.

Anytime you have an entire nation so mesmerized by the antics of the political ruling class that they are oblivious to all else, you'd better beware.

Anytime you have a government that operates in the shadows, speaks in a language of force, and rules by fiat, you'd better beware.

And anytime you have a government so far removed from its people as to ensure that they are never seen, heard or heeded by those elected to represent them, you'd better beware.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People , we are at our most vulnerable right now.

All of those dastardly seeds we have allowed the government to sow under the guise of national security are bearing demon fruit.

The gravest threat facing us as a nation is not extremism but despotism, exercised by a ruling class whose only allegiance is to power and money.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

This article was originally published on The Rutherford Institute .

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute . His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People is available at www.amazon.com . Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org . He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

[Jan 24, 2021] Big Tech and the Democratic Party Are Leading America to a Fascist Future by Robert Bridge

Jan 15, 2021 | www.strategic-culture.org

It should be shocking to Republicans and Democrats alike that the Commander-in-Chief of the United States is banished from all of the main social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook and YouTube – denying him the ability to communicate with his 75 million constituents, or one half of the electorate. This is real and unprecedented violence being committed against the body politic and far more worrisome than any breach of federal property, as loathsome as such an act may be.

The Capitol building is, after all, ultimately a mere symbol of our freedoms and liberties, whereas the rights laid down in the U.S. Constitution –the First Amendment not least of all – are fragile and coming under sustained assault every single day. Why does the left refuse to show the same concern for an aging piece of parchment, arguably the greatest political document ever written, as it does for a piece of architecture? The answer to that riddle is becoming increasingly obvious.

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Big Tech began its slide towards marked fascist tendencies thanks to one of the greatest hoaxes ever foisted upon the American public, known as Russiagate. One after another, Silicon Valley overlords were called before Congressional committees to explain "how and why Russian operatives were given free rein to tamper with 2016 U.S. election," in favor of the populist Donald Trump, no less.

After this made for television 'dressing down', the Big Tech executives at Google, Facebook, Twitter and others got busy reconfiguring their software algorithms in such a way that thousands of internet creators suddenly lost not only a lifetime of hard work and their sustenance, but their voice as well. This is the moment that Big Tech and the Democrats began to really march in lockstep. A new dark age of 'McCarthyism' had settled upon the nation, which gave the left unlimited powers for blocking user accounts they deemed "suspicious," which meant anyone on the right. Now, getting 'shadow banned,' demonetized and outright banned from these platforms has become the new dystopian reality for those with a conservative message to convey. And the fact that the story of 'Russian collusion' was finally exposed as a dirty little lie did nothing to loosen the corporate screws.

Incidentally, as a very large footnote to this story, Big Tech and Big Business have not dished out the same amount of medieval-style punishment to other violators of the public peace. The most obvious example comes courtesy of Black Lives Matter, the Soros-funded social-justice movement that has wreaked havoc across a broad swath of the heartland following the death of George Floyd during an arrest by a white police officer.

Both BLM and Trump supporters believe they have a very large grudge to bear. The former believes they are being unfairly targeted by police due to the color of their skin, while the latter believes they are not getting fair treatment by the mainstream media due to 'Trump Derangement Syndrome', and possibly also due in part to their skin color. But at this point the similarities between BLM and Trump voters come to a screeching halt.

Taking it as gospel that America suffers from 'systemic racism' (it doesn't, although that is not to say that pockets of racism against all colors and creeds doesn't exist), dozens of corporations jumped on the woke bandwagon to express their support for Black Lives Matter at the very same time the latter's members were looting and burning neighborhoods across the nation. Strangely, violence has never shocked the progressive left, so long as the violence supported its agenda.

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Here are just some of the ways the corporate world responded to charges that America was a racist cauldron ready to blow, as reported by The Washington Post: "Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, knelt alongside employees during his visit to a Chase branch. Bank of America pledged $1 billion to fight racial inequality in America. Tech companies have invested big dollars in Black Lives Matter, the Center for Policing Equity, Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights Camp and other entities engaged in racial justice efforts " And the list goes on and on.

Of course, private corporations are free to express their solidarity with whatever group they wish. The problem, however, is that these monopolistic monstrosities have an overwhelming tendency to pledge allegiance to liberal, progressive values, as opposed to maybe steering clear of politics altogether. Nowhere was Corporate America's political agenda more obvious than in the aftermath of the siege of the Capitol building on January 6, which led to the death of five people.

Corporate America missed a very good opportunity to keep quiet and remain neutral with regards to an issue of incredible partisan significance. Instead, it unleashed a salvo of attacks on Trump supporters, even denying them access to basic services.

Aside from the most obvious and alarming 'disappearing act,' that of POTUS being removed from the major social media platforms, were countless lesser names caught up in the 'purge.'

One such person is conservative commentator and former baseball star Curt Schilling, who says that AIG terminated his insurance policy over his "social media profile," which was sympathetic to Donald Trump, according to Summit News. "We will be just fine, but wanted to let Americans know that @AIGinsurance canceled our insurance due to my "Social Media profile," tweeted Schilling.

"The agent told us it was a decision made by and with their PR department in conjunction with management," he added.

While all forms of 'cancel culture' (which seems to be part of a move to build American society along the lines of the Chinese 'social credit system,' which rewards those who toe the party line, and punishes those who fall out of favor) are egregious and counterintuitive to American values, perhaps the most astonishing was the cancellation of Republican Senator Josh Hawley's book deal with Simon and Shuster.

"We did not come to this decision lightly," Simon & Schuster said in a statement over Twitter. "As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints: At the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat."

The so-called "threat" was a photograph of Hawley raising a fist to the crowd that had assembled outside of the Capitol building before it had breached the security perimeter. It seems that corporations may now serve as judge, jury and executioner when it comes to how Americans behave in public. Is it a crime that Hawley acknowledged a crowd of supporters who were at the time behind the gates of the Capitol building? Apparently it is.

By the way, the name of the Hawley's book? 'The Tyranny of Big Tech'. How's that for irony?

In conclusion, it would be a huge mistake for the Democrats to believe that they are safe from the same sort of corporate and government behavior that has now dramatically silenced the conservative voice across the nation. The United States has entered dangerous unchartered waters, and by all indications it would appear that the American people have inherited a 'soft' form of fascism.

Although there may not be troops and tanks on the streets and a dictator inciting crowds from his bully pulpit, the end result has been pretty much the same: the brutal elimination of one half of the American population from all of the due protections provided by the U.S. Constitution due to an unholy alliance between corporate and government power, which is the very definition of fascism. Democrats, you may very well be next, so enjoy your victory while you still can.

[Jan 22, 2021] Fascism is opposed to usury and the power of the international banking cartel. Whether Italy, Spain, or Portugal, the bankers were squeezed. The US "fascism" is a product of the banks, not an opponent.

Jan 22, 2021 | www.unz.com

Curmudgeon , says: January 21, 2021 at 10:35 pm GMT • 3.5 hours ago

@Cthulu Smith

Fascism is opposed to usury and the power of the international banking cartel. Whether Italy, Spain, or Portugal, the bankers were squeezed. The US "fascism" is a product of the banks, not an opponent.

[Jan 22, 2021] The Coming New Order

Highly recommended!
Jan 22, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,

For many years, a handful of people have postulated that those who control industry, finance and governments are essentially the same people – a cabal of sorts that have, over generations, solidified their relationships in order to gain greater wealth and power, whilst systematically making things ever more difficult for the free market to exist.

But why should this be? Surely, corporate leaders are more ardently capitalist than anyone else?

Well, on the surface, that might appear to make sense, but once a significant position of power has been achieved, those who have achieved it recognize that, since they've already reached the top, the primary concern changes. From then on, the primary concern becomes the assurance that no others are able to climb so high as they have.

At that point, they realise that their foremost effort needs to be a push toward corporatism – the merger of power between government and business. This is a natural marriage. The political world is a parasitic one. It relies on a continual flow of funding. The world of big business is a study in exclusivity – the ability to make it impossible for pretenders to the throne to arise. So, big business provides the cash; government provides protective legislation that ensures preference for those at the top.

In most cases, this second half of the equation does not mean a monopoly for just one corporation, but a monopoly for a cabal – an elite group of corporations.

This corporatist relationship has deep roots in the US, going back over one hundred years. To this day, those elite families who took control of oil, steel, banking, motor vehicles and other industries a century ago, soon created a takeover of higher learning (universities), health (Big Pharma) and "Defense" (the military-industrial complex).

Through legislation, the US was then transformed to ensure that all these interests would be catered to, creating generations of both control and profit.

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Of course, "profit" should not be an evil word, but under crony capitalism, it becomes an abomination – a distortion of the free market and the death of laissez faire economics.

Certainly, this sort of collectivism is not what Karl Marx had in mind when he daydreamed about a workers' paradise in which business leaders retained all the risk and responsibility of creating and building businesses, whilst the workers had the final word as to how the revenue would be distributed to the workers themselves.

Mister Marx failed in being objective enough to understand that if the business creator took all the risk and responsibility but gave up the ability to decide what happened to the revenue, he'd never bother to open a business. Even a shoeshine boy would reject such a notion and elect to go on the dole, rather than work.

Mister Marx sought more to bring down those who were successful than to raise up those who were not, yet he unwittingly created a new idea – corporate collectivism – in which the very people he sought to debase used the appeal of collectivist rhetoric to diminish both the freedoms and wealth of the average worker.

On the surface, this might appear to be a hard sell – to get the hoi polloi into the net – but in fact, it's quite easy and has perennially been effective.

Hitler's New Order was such a construct – the promise to return Germany to greatness and the German people to prosperity through increasingly draconian laws, warfare and an economic revolving door between government and industry.

Of course, a major influx of capital was required – billions of dollars – and this was eagerly provided by US industry and banks. Heads of New York banks not only funded Nazi industry; families such as the Fords, Rockefellers, Morgans, etc., sat on the boards of German corporations.

The Nazi effort failed, as they underestimated the Russian will to fight to the death. (Eighty percent of all German Army deaths were due to the Russian campaign.)

But those in New York were able to regroup and be first in the queue for the restructuring of German industry after the war and, ultimately, profited handsomely.

But most significantly, the idea of corporatist collectivism did not die. Even before the war, the same group of families and corporations had drawn up the plan for Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal.

Mister Roosevelt was a dyed-in-the-wool Wall Street man and a director of New York banks. In the 1930s and early 1940s, he created, as president, a revolving door that favoured large corporations, whilst the average American was consciously kept at the subsistence level through government entitlements.

The scam worked. Shortsighted Americans not only were grateful; they deified him for it.

Likewise, John Kennedy's New Frontier sought to revitalize the concept, as did Lyndon Johnson's Great Society: Give the little people entitlements that keep them little. Tax smaller businesses and create a flow of tax dollars to the elite industries, who, in turn, provide monetary favours to the political class.

The Green New Deal is merely the latest corporate collectivist scheme on the list.

Corporate collectivism can be defined as a system in which the few who hold the legal monopolies of finance and industry gain an overriding control over all others, and in so doing, systematically extract wealth from them.

Today, this system has become so refined that, although the average American has a flat screen TV and an expensive smartphone, he cannot raise $400 to cover an emergency that occurs in his life. He is, for all practical purposes, continually bankrupt, but still functioning in a zombie-like existence of continual dependency.

This, on the surface, may not seem all that dangerous, but those who cannot buy their way out of a small emergency are easily controlled. Just create an emergency such as an uber-virus and that fact will be illuminated quickly.

In order to maximise compliance in a population, maximise their dependence.

As stated above, this effort has been in play for generations. But it is now reaching a crescendo. It's now up to speed in most of the former Free World and those who hold the strings are ready for a major step forward in corporate collectivism.

In the coming year, we shall see dramatic changes appearing at a dizzying rate. Capital controls , migration controls, internal movement controls, tax increases, confiscation of assets and the removal of "inalienable" rights will all be coming into effect – so quickly that before the populace can even grasp the latest restrictions, new ones will be heaped on.

As this unfolds, we shall witness the erosion of the nation-state. Controls will come from global authorities, such as the UN, the IMF and the WEF. Organisations that have no formal authority over nations will increasingly be calling the shots and people will wonder how this is possible. Elected officials will increasingly become mere bagmen, doing the bidding of an unelected ruling class.

The changes that take place will be not unlike a blanket that is thrown over humanity.

The question then will be whether to, a) give in to this force, b) to fight it and most likely fall victim to it, or c) seek a means to fall outside the perimeter of the blanket.

* * *

Unfortunately most people have no idea what really happens when a government goes out of control, let alone how to prepare The coming economic and political crisis is going to be much worse, much longer, and very different than what we've seen in the past. That's exactly why New York Times best-selling author Doug Casey and his team just released an urgent video. Click here to watch it now .

[Jan 19, 2021] Viral #TrumpsNewArmy Video Is Liberals At Their Craziest And Scariest by Caitlin Johnstone

Caitlin Johnstone is wrong. It not about the danger of neofascism or "white supremasism" (BTW can Zionism be classified as a brand of White Supremacism and suppressed ?) per se. And not even about the new incarnation of the National Security State, which is definitely coming. Even in the current form the National Security State is able to crush any some movement in no time as there is not way one can organize such a movement without getting into crosshairs of FBI and other agencies.
This is actually about the level of fear of neoliberal elite and financial oligarchy instilled by Dec 6 events, which due to the collapse of neoliberal ideology in 2008 got into " The king is naked " situation in 2021. Neoliberal elite lost the legitimacy (aka "mandate from Heavens" in Chinese terminology) much like Soviet nomenklatura before the dissolution of the USSR. Neoliberal was unable to raise the standard of living of the population. Instead it provided the redistribution of wealth up ("accumulation by dispossession") and the decline of the standard of living for the majority of population (aka "deplorables"). That created the crisis of legitimacy and Dec 6 events should probably be viewed mainly under this angle. It looks like the majority of the crowd were from lower middle class (small business owners and such)
Jan 19, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

A new viral video calling on liberals to form "an army of citizen detectives" to gather information on Trump supporters and report their activities to the authorities has racked up thousands of shares and millions of views in just a few hours.

The hashtag #TrumpsNewArmy is trending on Twitter as of this writing due to the release of a horrifying video with that title from successful author and virulent Russiagater Don Winslow. As of this writing it has some 20 thousand shares and 2.6 million views, and the comments and quote-retweets are predominantly supportive.

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"On or before January 20th, Donald Trump will no longer be the Commander-in-Chief: he will lose control of the Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, Special Forces and America's nuclear arsenal," Winslow's voice begins ominously. "On January 20th Donald Trump will become Commander-in-Chief of a different army: this army."

Viewers are then shown footage from Trump rallies while being told that they are looking at "radical extreme conservatives, also known as domestic terrorists".

"They are hidden among us, disguised behind regular jobs," Winslow warns.

"They are your children's teachers. They work at supermarkets, malls, doctor's offices, and many are police officers and soldiers."

Winslow talks about white supremacists and the Capitol riot, warning that Trump will continue escalating violence and fomenting a civil war in America.

"We have to fight back," Winslow declares.

"In this new war, the battlefield has changes. Computers can be more valuable than guns. And this is what we need now more than ever: an army of citizen detectives. I'm proposing we form a citizen army. Our weapons will be computers and cellphones. We, who are monitoring extremists on the internet and reporting our findings to authorities. Remember, before the Navy Seals killed Osama Bin Laden, he had to be found. He was found by a CIA analyst working on a computer thousands of miles away. It's up to you."

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The viral video is being loudly amplified by popular #Resistance accounts like Majid M Padellan (better known as Brooklyn Dad Defiant) with frighteningly paranoid and HUAC-like rhetoric.

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"#TrumpsNewArmy is VILE," one of Padellan's Twitter shares of the video reads. "And we KNOW who they are. They are our teachers. They are our neighbors. They are our police officers. They are EVERYWHERE. EXPOSE THEIR TREASON."

"Donald trump is on his way out," reads another .

"Good riddance. But his 'army' is still here, hiding amongst us. They are traitors. They are evil. And they MUST be rooted OUT."

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America," reads yet another . "But SOME people they pledged their allegiance ONLY to trump. These are dangerous traitors."

"After 9/11, we were told: If you see something, say something," reads still another .

"We have TERRORISTS in our midst. Some of us KNOW these people. It is our patriotic DUTY to expose them."

So if you were hoping that maybe liberals would chill out and get a little less crazy with Trump out of the White House, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

This is as insane and scary as I have ever seen these people get, and I was in the thick of peak Russiagate hysteria. An aggressively manufactured push to get an army of citizens spying on each other calls to mind the Stasi informants of East Germany , the patriotism-fueled digital "digging" of the QAnon psyop, and the NatSec LARPing of Louise Mensch Twitter, all rolled into one great big ball of crazy.

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This comes out as we are being bombarded with mass media punditry from literal CIA veterans like Sue Gordon and Elissa Slotkin forcefully hammering home the message that domestic terror is the new frontier for combating violent extremism, meaning of course that new Patriot Act-like solutions will be needed . Winslow himself spent six years traveling and doing research for a novel about a former CIA operative , and if some government agency didn't recruit him during that period they clearly should have.

This will get frightening if it keeps up. Just as a relatively low-profile lefty blogger I routinely get liberals online falsely claiming I'm a Russian agent and saying they'll report me to the FBI, and that's without an aggressive campaign urging them to join a powerful digital army. The fact that Winslow stays very vague about what he means by "Trump's new army" and constantly conflates rank-and-file Trump supporters with white supremacist terrorists means people are effectively being pointed at all Trump supporters, especially when normal Trump rallies are what he points to in the video. If this takes off it can very quickly lead to a volunteer army of power-worshipping snitches against literally anyone who is critical of US foreign policy or the Democratic Party, whether they actually support Trump or not.

In fact just following the trending hashtag I'm noticing Twitter users saying this means targeting all Trump supporters, so clearly that is the message that's being absorbed.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-3&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1351490505394196481&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fjohnstone-viral-trumpsnewarmy-video-liberals-their-craziest-and-scariest&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

"Trumpers are pushing back so hard against this video because so many of them live in the dark, cloaked behind normal jobs and seemingly normal lives," Winslow tweeted in promotion of his project.

Well maybe that's because they are half the voting public, Don?

Winslow mixes in these generic comments about "Trumpers" with comments about "white supremacists" , about whom he tweets "1. We expose them. 2. We identify them. 3. We notify law enforcement. 4. We notify their employers."

Their employers.

This is just liberals being pushed toward targeting anyone who isn't ideologically aligned with them for destruction. I really, really hope it doesn't take off, because it is profoundly ugly. Please don't let the manipulators trick you into ripping each other to pieces, America. They're only pointing you at each other so you don't look at them.

* * *

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Fudomyo 2 hours ago

Hopefully things will settle down after the inauguration. There are a lot of normal people in the US who just want to get on with fixing their lives after all the economic damage done by the lock downs. This extreme political crap is getting really exhausting for everyone in the center. The number of people who are centrists well exceed the the polar extremes. Unfortunately the extremists get the lion's share of news coverage, so it makes it appear the country is filled with lunatics. If Biden is smart he won't alienate the center or he will lose a lot of support going into the mid-terms. A quiet period where people can actually start rebuilding their lives and the economy is desperately needed. I remain cautiously hopeful that once the political circus dies down, that could actually happen.

cankles' server 35 minutes ago

As Greenwald said, it's easy for the neocons to switch because the D's are now the party of "militarism, imperialism, and corporatism."

[Jan 19, 2021] The massive military buildup can be viewed as another step towards neofascism

Jan 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Zanon , Jan 19 2021 20:26 utc | 21

The U.S. seems to have gone completely crazy these day.

Two full divisions worth of soldiers are closing off Washington DC to 'protect' a mostly virtual inauguration from a non-existing threat.

26,000 National Guard members to secure Washington for inauguration

The FBI is investigating the loyalty of those troops as if it were really in doubt.

FBI vetting troops stationed in Washington ahead of Inauguration Day

On the massive military buildup = another drift towards fascism under the democrats, they have the media, military, police on top of congress, house and president. GOP will be so weak coming years, and they have themselves to blame for being so passive past years, in fact any dissent will not be heard coming years with Biden.

[Jan 19, 2021] Exceptionalist Conceit

Jan 19, 2021 | www.counterpunch.org

Exceptionalist Conceit

The first such hurdle was the longstanding American- exceptionalist conceit that, in the ironic title of Sinclair Lewis's dystopian 1935 novel, "It Can't Happen Here." The "it" in Lewis's title was authoritarian fascism, falsely deemed impossible in the United States during and since Lewis' time because of the supposedly strong hold here of democratic and constitutional principles and institutions. Such authoritarianism has long been falsely portrayed as beyond the pale of possibility in a nation whose media and political authorities regularly and absurdly call the "world's greatest democracy."

Apathy/Demobilization/"Inverted Totalitarianism"

A third barrier was a critical ingredient of what the late left political scientist Sheldon Wolin considered to be America's distinctive authoritarian "inverted totalitarianism" – the atomized demobilization of the populace. While what Wolin called the "classical totalitarian regimes" of fascist German and Soviet Russia aimed at the constant political mobilization of the populace, "inverted totalitarianism aims for the mass of the populace to be in a persistent state of political apathy. The only type of political activity expected or desired from the citizenry is voting. Low electoral turnouts are favorably received as an indication that the bulk of the populace has given up hope that the government will ever significantly help them." The second most common response to pleas to join popular movements against Trumpism-fascism (after "I'll vote/I voted against him") in my experience was a shrugging indifference to and/or disgust with any and all politics often combined with a sense that American political life is too ugly, boring, and/or impenetrable to merit attention.

No Real Left

Eighth, the continuing and longtime absence of any sophisticated, powerful, and relevant, many-sided Left of significance in late Neoliberal America is a significant part of the tragic equation. No such movement would have met the rise of Trump and Trumpism-fascism with four years of avoidance, denial, passivity, and diversion. There are many factors in play behind this pathetic portside weakness but two that have struck this writer and activist as particularly relevant alongside excessive localism and excessive identitarianism in the last four years are (i) the crippling holds of sectarianism (an almost pathological refusal to reach across tribal-ideological and organizational lines to form a united anti-fascist front) and (ii) single-issue silo politics whereby group A cares about the climate, group B cares about reproductive rights, group C cares about a higher minimum wages, group D cares about teachers' working conditions and so on.

Paul Street's new book is The Hollow Resistance: Obama, Trump, and Politics of Appeasement .

[Jan 19, 2021] Larry Johnson- The CIA Has Become the KGB

Jan 19, 2021 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Larry Johnson: The CIA Has Become the KGB

My title may appear to be over the top, but hear me out. There was a time when the CIA, despite deep flaws and sloppy tradecraft, could be counted on to tell the President, regardless of political party, the truth. No longer. It is corrupt to the very top and now should be viewed as an enemy of the Republic.

The latest revelations from the Intelligence Community's Analytic Ombudsman described in a memo from DNI John Ratcliffe is beyond shocking. Rather than tell the truth about Chinese interference in the 2020 Presidential election, the CIA opted to quash intelligence that would have proven Donald Trump's claim that the Chinese not only interfered in the 2020 election, but played a hand in throwing the election to Joe Biden.

Here are the salient points of the DNI's memo:

The IC's Analytic Ombudsman issued a report . . . that includes concerning revelations about the politicization of China election influence reporting and of undue pressure being brought to bear on analysts who offered an alternative view based on the intelligence. . . .

Analytic Standard B requires the IC to maintain "independence of political considerations." This is particularly important during times when the country is, as the Ombudsman wrote, "in a hyper partisan state." However, the Ombudsman found that:

"China analysts were hesitant to assess Chinese actions as undue influence or interference. These analysts appeared reluctant to have their analysis on China brought forward because they tend to disagree with the administration's policies, saying in effect, I don't want our intelligence used to support those policies. This behavior would constitute a violation of Analytic Standard B: Independence of Political Considerations (IRTPA Section 1019).". . . .

"There were strong efforts to suppress analysis of alternatives (AOA) in the August [National intelligence Council Assessment on foreign election influence], and associated IC products, which is a violation ofTradecraft Standard 4 and IRTPA Section 1017.

National Intelligence Council (NIC) officials reported that Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials rejected NIC coordination comments and tried to downplay alternative analyses in their own production during the drafting of the NICA." . . . .

Additionally, the Ombudsman found that CIA Management took actions "pressuring [analysts] to withdraw their support" from the alternative viewpoint on China "in an attempt to suppress it. This was seen by National Intelligence Officers (NIO) as politicization,"

"There were strong efforts to suppress analysis of alternatives (AOA) in the August [National intelligence Council Assessment on foreign election influence], and associated IC products, which is a violation ofTradecraft Standard 4 and IRTPA Section 1017.

National Intelligence Council (NIC) officials reported that Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials rejected NIC coordination comments and tried to downplay alternative analyses in their own production during the drafting of the NICA."

Let me make this very simple--the CIA cooked the books because they did not want to produce the evidence that proved what the President has been saying since the election was true.

This is not a mistake. This is treason of the highest order.

[Jan 17, 2021] Big Tech and the Democratic Party Are Leading America to a Fascist Future by Robert Bridge

Notable quotes:
"... Although there may not be tanks on the streets and a dictator inciting crowds from his bully pulpit, the end result has been pretty much the same. ..."
"... it is important to put aside the notion that fascism is a purely right-wing phenomenon, complete with a chauvinistic demagogue haranguing a frenzied crowd. The new dictator on the block is not some fanatical Fuhrer, but rather Silicon Valley, the fountainhead of technological advancement and the formidable fortress of liberal ideology. In other words, fascism is an ideology that moves fluidly along the political spectrum, although some say the ideology grew out of European progressivism. ..."
"... Liberal Fascism ..."
"... Many years earlier, the late political theorist Hannah Arendt described the Nazi Party (which stands for, lest we forget, the 'National SOCIALIST German Workers' Party') as nothing more than "the breakdown of all German and European traditions, the good as well as the bad basing itself on the intoxication of destruction as an actual experience." That sounds like a pretty accurate description of the cancel culture mentality that has now gripped the 'progressive' left with an almost demonic possession. ..."
"... We are living Orwell's 1984. Free-speech no longer exists in America. It died with big tech and what's left is only there for a chosen few. ..."
"... Big Tech began its slide towards marked fascist tendencies thanks to one of the greatest hoaxes ever foisted upon the American public, known as Russiagate. One after another, Silicon Valley overlords were called before Congressional committees to explain "how and why Russian operatives were given free rein to tamper with 2016 U.S. election," in favor of the populist Donald Trump, no less. ..."
"... Strangely, violence has never shocked the progressive left, so long as the violence supported its agenda. ..."
"... While all forms of 'cancel culture' (which seems to be part of a move to build American society along the lines of the Chinese 'social credit system,' which rewards those who toe the party line, and punishes those who fall out of favor) are egregious and counterintuitive to American values, perhaps the most astonishing was the cancellation of Republican Senator Josh Hawley's book deal with Simon and Shuster. ..."
"... In conclusion, it would be a huge mistake for the Democrats to believe that they are safe from the same sort of corporate and government behavior that has now dramatically silenced the conservative voice across the nation. The United States has entered dangerous unchartered waters, and by all indications it would appear that the American people have inherited a 'soft' form of fascism. ..."
Jan 15, 2021 | www.strategic-culture.org

© Photo: REUTERS

Although there may not be tanks on the streets and a dictator inciting crowds from his bully pulpit, the end result has been pretty much the same.

Most Americans can probably still remember a time when U.S. companies were in business with one goal in mind – providing a product or service for profit. It was a noble idea, the bedrock of capitalism, in which everyone stood to gain in the process.

Today, the monopolistic powers now enjoyed by a handful of mighty corporations, which are no longer shy about declaring their political bent, have tempted them to wade into the deep end of the political pool with deleterious effects on democracy. Indeed, corporate power wedded to government is nothing less than fascism.

In presenting such a case, it is important to put aside the notion that fascism is a purely right-wing phenomenon, complete with a chauvinistic demagogue haranguing a frenzied crowd. The new dictator on the block is not some fanatical Fuhrer, but rather Silicon Valley, the fountainhead of technological advancement and the formidable fortress of liberal ideology. In other words, fascism is an ideology that moves fluidly along the political spectrum, although some say the ideology grew out of European progressivism.

Jonah Goldberg argued in his 2008 book, Liberal Fascism , that even before World War II "fascism was widely viewed as a progressive social movement with many liberal and left-wing adherents in Europe and the United States." Many years earlier, the late political theorist Hannah Arendt described the Nazi Party (which stands for, lest we forget, the 'National SOCIALIST German Workers' Party') as nothing more than "the breakdown of all German and European traditions, the good as well as the bad basing itself on the intoxication of destruction as an actual experience." That sounds like a pretty accurate description of the cancel culture mentality that has now gripped the 'progressive' left with an almost demonic possession.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=Strateg_Culture&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1347721302136729603&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.strategic-culture.org%2Fnews%2F2021%2F01%2F15%2Fbig-tech-and-democratic-party-leading-america-to-fascist-future%2F&siteScreenName=Strateg_Culture&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

It should be shocking to Republicans and Democrats alike that the Commander-in-Chief of the United States is banished from all of the main social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook and YouTube – denying him the ability to communicate with his 75 million constituents, or one half of the electorate. This is real and unprecedented violence being committed against the body politic and far more worrisome than any breach of federal property, as loathsome as such an act may be.

The Capitol building is, after all, ultimately a mere symbol of our freedoms and liberties, whereas the rights laid down in the U.S. Constitution – the First Amendment not least of all – are fragile and coming under sustained assault every single day. Why does the left refuse to show the same concern for an aging piece of parchment, arguably the greatest political document ever written, as it does for a piece of architecture? The answer to that riddle is becoming increasingly obvious.

We are living Orwell's 1984. Free-speech no longer exists in America. It died with big tech and what's left is only there for a chosen few.

This is absolute insanity! https://t.co/s2z8ymFsLX

-- Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 9, 2021

Big Tech began its slide towards marked fascist tendencies thanks to one of the greatest hoaxes ever foisted upon the American public, known as Russiagate. One after another, Silicon Valley overlords were called before Congressional committees to explain "how and why Russian operatives were given free rein to tamper with 2016 U.S. election," in favor of the populist Donald Trump, no less.

After this made for television 'dressing down', the Big Tech executives at Google, Facebook, Twitter and others got busy reconfiguring their software algorithms in such a way that thousands of internet creators suddenly lost not only a lifetime of hard work and their sustenance, but their voice as well. This is the moment that Big Tech and the Democrats began to really march in lockstep. A new dark age of 'McCarthyism' had settled upon the nation, which gave the left unlimited powers for blocking user accounts they deemed "suspicious," which meant anyone on the right. Now, getting 'shadow banned,' demonetized and outright banned from these platforms has become the new dystopian reality for those with a conservative message to convey. And the fact that the story of 'Russian collusion' was finally exposed as a dirty little lie did nothing to loosen the corporate screws.

Incidentally, as a very large footnote to this story, Big Tech and Big Business have not dished out the same amount of medieval-style punishment to other violators of the public peace. The most obvious example comes courtesy of Black Lives Matter, the Soros-funded social-justice movement that has wreaked havoc across a broad swath of the heartland following the death of George Floyd during an arrest by a white police officer.

Both BLM and Trump supporters believe they have a very large grudge to bear. The former believes they are being unfairly targeted by police due to the color of their skin, while the latter believes they are not getting fair treatment by the mainstream media due to 'Trump Derangement Syndrome', and possibly also due in part to their skin color. But at this point the similarities between BLM and Trump voters come to a screeching halt.

Taking it as gospel that America suffers from 'systemic racism' (it doesn't, although that is not to say that pockets of racism against all colors and creeds doesn't exist), dozens of corporations jumped on the woke bandwagon to express their support for Black Lives Matter at the very same time the latter's members were looting and burning neighborhoods across the nation. Strangely, violence has never shocked the progressive left, so long as the violence supported its agenda.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=Strateg_Culture&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1349419030352949249&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.strategic-culture.org%2Fnews%2F2021%2F01%2F15%2Fbig-tech-and-democratic-party-leading-america-to-fascist-future%2F&siteScreenName=Strateg_Culture&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Here are just some of the ways the corporate world responded to charges that America was a racist cauldron ready to blow, as reported by The Washington Post: "Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, knelt alongside employees during his visit to a Chase branch. Bank of America pledged $1 billion to fight racial inequality in America. Tech companies have invested big dollars in Black Lives Matter, the Center for Policing Equity, Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights Camp and other entities engaged in racial justice efforts " And the list goes on and on.

Of course, private corporations are free to express their solidarity with whatever group they wish. The problem, however, is that these monopolistic monstrosities have an overwhelming tendency to pledge allegiance to liberal, progressive values, as opposed to maybe steering clear of politics altogether. Nowhere was Corporate America's political agenda more obvious than in the aftermath of the siege of the Capitol building on January 6, which led to the death of five people.

Corporate America missed a very good opportunity to keep quiet and remain neutral with regards to an issue of incredible partisan significance. Instead, it unleashed a salvo of attacks on Trump supporters, even denying them access to basic services.

Aside from the most obvious and alarming 'disappearing act,' that of POTUS being removed from the major social media platforms, were countless lesser names caught up in the 'purge.'

One such person is conservative commentator and former baseball star Curt Schilling, who says that AIG terminated his insurance policy over his "social media profile," which was sympathetic to Donald Trump, according to Summit News.

"We will be just fine, but wanted to let Americans know that @AIGinsurance canceled our insurance due to my "Social Media profile," tweeted Schilling.

"The agent told us it was a decision made by and with their PR department in conjunction with management," he added.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=Strateg_Culture&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-3&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1349209399877922819&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.strategic-culture.org%2Fnews%2F2021%2F01%2F15%2Fbig-tech-and-democratic-party-leading-america-to-fascist-future%2F&siteScreenName=Strateg_Culture&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

While all forms of 'cancel culture' (which seems to be part of a move to build American society along the lines of the Chinese 'social credit system,' which rewards those who toe the party line, and punishes those who fall out of favor) are egregious and counterintuitive to American values, perhaps the most astonishing was the cancellation of Republican Senator Josh Hawley's book deal with Simon and Shuster.

"We did not come to this decision lightly," Simon & Schuster said in a statement over Twitter. "As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints: At the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat."

The so-called "threat" was a photograph of Hawley raising a fist to the crowd that had assembled outside of the Capitol building before it had breached the security perimeter. It seems that corporations may now serve as judge, jury and executioner when it comes to how Americans behave in public. Is it a crime that Hawley acknowledged a crowd of supporters who were at the time behind the gates of the Capitol building? Apparently it is.

By the way, the name of the Hawley's book? 'The Tyranny of Big Tech'. How's that for irony?

In conclusion, it would be a huge mistake for the Democrats to believe that they are safe from the same sort of corporate and government behavior that has now dramatically silenced the conservative voice across the nation. The United States has entered dangerous unchartered waters, and by all indications it would appear that the American people have inherited a 'soft' form of fascism.

Although there may not be troops and tanks on the streets and a dictator inciting crowds from his bully pulpit, the end result has been pretty much the same: the brutal elimination of one half of the American population from all of the due protections provided by the U.S. Constitution due to an unholy alliance between corporate and government power, which is the very definition of fascism. Democrats, you may very well be next, so enjoy your victory while you still can.

[Jan 17, 2021] A note about "reactionary Republicans"

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Since you like Hitler analogies so much, dear Steven, why don't you contemplate the 'reactionary' aspect of those Germans who resisted, in the 1930s, the 'progress' of the National-Socialist movement. ..."
"... 'Reactionary' simply means 'opposing the change', and the changes instituted by global finance, aided by their faithful servants, your liberal comrades, -- those changes should be opposed by all decent citizens. ..."
Jan 17, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao Cheng Ji , Jan 17 2021 19:03 utc | 23

@steven t johnson: "reactionary Republicans"

Since you like Hitler analogies so much, dear Steven, why don't you contemplate the 'reactionary' aspect of those Germans who resisted, in the 1930s, the 'progress' of the National-Socialist movement.

'Reactionary' simply means 'opposing the change', and the changes instituted by global finance, aided by their faithful servants, your liberal comrades, -- those changes should be opposed by all decent citizens.

And they are opposed by all decent citizens, and especially by the American working class, which is why your liberal comrades have to resort to fascist methods: goebbelsian propaganda, censorship, blacklisting, police repression.

[Jan 17, 2021] Fascist Blindness - IRRUSSIANALITY

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In the case of this Ukrainian nazi – of course they knew. They just hoped no one would notice. The reason she was given this appointment was because she is who she is. Ukraine is to be the anti-Russian state with an indoctrinated population – people like this young woman are part of that policy. ..."
Jan 17, 2021 | irrussianality.wordpress.com

peter moritz JANUARY 11, 2021 AT 3:53 PM

"Yale historian Timothy Snyder" In light of his opinions the appellation "historian" to this person can only be considered satire.

"The term 'fascist' is far too easily abused."

It is today used – like the term anti-semite, white supremacist, racist – to smear and or discredit anybody from the left or right one disagrees with or tries to disempower.

Jonathan Cook lays out how this works with regards to the left:

https://braveneweurope.com/jonathan-cook-how-the-left-is-being-manipulated-into-colluding-in-its-own-character-assassination

I have no problem arguing conservatives, if they actually clearly define what they mean by this term and find some points I agree with someone like Peter Hitchens:

"His view is that conservatism should embody a Burkean sense of public duty, conscience and the rule of law, which he sees as the best guarantee of liberty. Furthermore, this view holds a general hostility to hasty reforms and adventurism .

Hitchens takes a critical stance on many wars. He was opposed to the Kosovo and 2003 Iraq War, on the grounds that neither was in the interests of either Britain or the United States,[66] and opposes the war in Afghanistan.[67] He believes that the UK should never have joined in World War I, and is very critical of the view that World War II was "The Good War".

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

Mikhail JANUARY 11, 2021 AT 3:56 PM

Synchronization. Just beforehand, Rachel Maddow propped Snyder's book on fascism.

Dmitry Babich made an excellent point about how the Biden crowd cheered the storming of the Ukrainian parliament which include some folks who qualify as fascists. In comparison, last week's DC protesting MAGA group didn't appear to be so fascist. I saw an Israeli flag among these protestors as well as some African-Americans.

A related great shot at establishment politico Ian Bremmer:

Mark Sleboda @MarkSleboda1 · Jan 10 "Calling for an insurrection to overthrow the legitimate outcome of a free and fair election is crime against the nation." - Unless the nation in question is #Ukraine in 2014 or some other state & govt not aligned with US hegemony. Then calling for an insurrection is kosher.

Quote Tweet ian bremmer @ianbremmer · Jan 10

Calling for an insurrection to overthrow the legitimate outcome of a free and fair election is crime against the nation. Yes, Trump only has another week in office. But he should still be impeached and convicted.

John Thuloe JANUARY 11, 2021 AT 6:45 PM

There are plenty of poseurs, blow-hards about. To be dangerous, there must be a leadership, an apparatus, discipline, and a substantial rank and file. And most importantly, all motivated by a creed, common beliefs that weld all into a force. Nothing like that exists.

But the good news is that behind the shrill loud-mouths of the Woke censorship bullies, fake news media, liberals, Democrats, burned out 'progressives – the On Duty paid for apparatchiks. Behind them is – nothing. No Party, no organizers, no apparatus at all. No store fronts for meetings, no stand by printers, no trained marshals. No seething masses burning with righteous fury ready to hit the streets. Nothing.

Sure, people are mad. But when you're mad at everything then that power is dissipated. And when you're not united by being For something then you don't amount to a hill of beans. The liberals are afraid that when their 'lockdown pandemic racket' runs out of gas, the public will turn on them with a vengeance. And they can expect no organized part of population to defend them. For a while, folks will be united on venting their fury at those that ride high now. Wait till the wheel turns. Grigory Matyunin JANUARY 11, 2021 AT 9:51 PM

It's like the misuse of the term 'conspiracy theorist' by people like Snyder, Harding and Applebaum. Anyone who merely points to the impropriety of Nuland/McCain's actions on the Maidan is pre-emptively dismissed by them as a conspiracy theorist. Yet the notion that Russia controls Trump through a pee tape, bewitched the Brits into voting for Brexit and was the sole force behind the Catalan independence movement is now axiomatic for worshippers of received wisdom. Guest JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 12:51 AM

In the case of this Ukrainian nazi – of course they knew. They just hoped no one would notice. The reason she was given this appointment was because she is who she is. Ukraine is to be the anti-Russian state with an indoctrinated population – people like this young woman are part of that policy.

Look around the world! We have seen that the west has no problem funding and supporting all sorts of disgusting groups and individuals if it meets their objectives.

yalensis JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 7:19 AM

Nice job, Professor! It's always good to see somebody point out these hacks egregious double standards.

I want people to start scientifically as possible defining their terms for political ideologies. Like, there is actually a legitimate use for the word "fascist". From what I understand, fascism is an actual political ideology and movement and should not be used simply as a derogatory. From what I understand, fascism does not necessarily include a racialist component, although it usually does (being based on nationalism).

Mussolini was a fascist. Hitler was a fascist too. (Nazism being a subset of the broader movement fascism?) Franco was a fascist. That Ukrainian lady you mentioned is an ideological fascist, more specifically a fucking Nazi.

Donald Trump -- is NOT a fascist. He is just a right-wing conservative, Murican-style!

peter moritz JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 10:07 AM

I have for years tried to find a concise definition of "Fascism", but only found a lot of disagreement.

Fascism is by some defined as a corporatism where the state and the industrial and financial capitalist elite have come to a complete nexus where the state protects within a framework of "ultra" nationalism those elites who in return follow and as well directly influence the policies. By this definition the USA could be called not a fascist state, but one with fascists tendencies as the nexus has been established to a great extend.

Some conservatives and libertarians find intellectual solace in pointing out that especially in Germany fascism developed as a "national socialism". A version that opposed the internationalism of the Marxist version espoused the German Communist party, and propagated an economic based antisemitism.
They are not wrong there, as socialism is not just the socialism or communism as defined by Marx, but as Marx himself pointed out in his critiques there are various kind of socialisms. ( https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/11/prin-com.htm )

What they however ignore is Hitlers move under the guise of "socialism" to establish close ties with the German financial and Industrial leadership and the attempt of a "true" National Socialism came to an end with the Strasser Brothers breaking away and one being murdered in the Night of the Long Knives when Hitler destroyed any leftwing faction within the NSDAP.

Others like Paxton define define Fascism as a developmental process. This article here lays out some of the differences in interpreting the term: https://newrepublic.com/article/154042/failure-define-fascism-today

PaulR JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 10:20 AM

Fascism is not the only ideology which lacks clear definition. Try looking at the literature on liberalism – it's a mess (with good reason – many modern day 'liberals' are entirely at odds with classical liberals, neoliberals, etc, but they're all called liberal). The best recent scholarship can come up with is the idea that liberalism is a 'family of resemblances' or even that it's just whatever people who call themselves liberal happen to say it is at any given time and place. Conservatism is similarly poorly defined.

Lyttenburgh JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 9:18 PM

"I have for years tried to find a concise definition of "Fascism", but only found a lot of disagreement."

There's still definition provided by G. Dimitrov:

"Fascism is an open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic, most imperialist elements of the finance capital

Fascism is not a supra-class power and not the power of the petty bourgeoisie or the lumpen proletariat over finance capital. Fascism*is* the rule of finance capital itself .

This is the organization of terrorist reprisals against the working class and the revolutionary part of the peasantry and intelligentsia. Fascism in foreign policy is chauvinism in its crudest form, cultivating zoological hatred of other peoples."

Defenders of Google, Twitter, Amazon et al saying "they CAN do that – they are PrIVaTe CoMpaNIeS!" – ha-ha!

Grigory Matyunin JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 3:01 PM

Absolutely, Paul. Comparing the neoconservative and paleoconservative traditions, for instance, reveals extraordinary divergences in conservative intellectual thought. Your recent book presents plenty of such contradictions.

Yet the lack of definitional clarity does not mean that any particular term can be thrown around as a polemical device or a catch-all form of abuse. Fascist ideologies differ between themselves, but they do have a relatively ubiquitous common denominator in being mass movements set upon utopian mass transformation relying upon extreme violence, as per the scholarship of Roger Griffin.

It's like right-of-centre political commentators who misuse the term 'Marxist' to describe modern identity politics, notwithstanding how clearly inappropriate that label is when analyzing a movement which has little commitment to class struggle.

Equally, while we may lack a one-size-fits-all definition of any given ideology, we can usually say with some confidence what it is not. In other words, while the fascism of OUN-B may differ remarkably from the fascism of Mussolini, it is sufficiently clear that these movements lack any ideological likeness with modern Russia.

yalensis JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 3:28 PM

From what I understand, one common denominator of genuine fascist movements is a cult of a national leader (Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Bandera). However, I am not sure that this factor is REQUIRED in order to be fascist. I imagine it is theoretically possible to have a fascist nation run by a committee or collegial leadership.

And the "Leader" factor is also not definitive in and of itself, because the Stalin period in the Soviet Union was also defined by a cult of a leader; and yet the Soviet Union was definitely not fascist, it was socialist.

In this case, I would say, two different systems (capitalistic fascism and Soviet-style socialism) showed, what evolutionary biologists call "convergent" traits.

For example, in the natural world, fishes and whales both have fins and live in the water; yet these two types of animals are not related to each other genetically (except going way back). This is "convergent" evolution.

Which leads me to another thought: Perhaps ideological movements can be classified by their historical genetics rather than a static "structuralist" definition. The difference between a Darwinian vs a Linnaeus approach? I think this method is also used to categorize religions, so might be appropriate also for political ideologies.

Just musing here, but I think it's important

Lyttenburgh JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 8:57 PM

"Outside of a particular time period (1920s to 1940s), I don't think that the term 'fascism' has a lot of meaning. "

What about:
– Spain under Franko.
– Greece under "black colonels"
– Genuine, NATO approved fascist parties working diligently and openly in the "Western democracies" throughout the period?

Lyttenburgh JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 10:57 PM

Also:

Remember VICE's breathless coverage of the "Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity" that propelled certain Ostrovsky to the upper echelons of the journalism and punditry? From their linked article:

"She also addressed a photo that was circulated of her online, showing her as one of a group of four women holding a flag emblazoned with a swastika while giving a Nazi salute. She claimed the image was an ironic Halloween photo, mocking the Kremlin narrative that Ukrainian nationalists were neo-Nazis."

Mikhail JANUARY 12, 2021 AT 11:50 PM

Later with Ostrovsky.

No surprise to see PC Bulgarian Ivan Kravtsev involved with that establishment org accepting her. At the Brit based openDemocracy venue, Kravtsev felt compelled to write an article on why China (in his opinion) is freer than Russia. Tom de Waal is a Kravstev fan.

Mikhail JANUARY 13, 2021 AT 12:02 AM

Related:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1348676388052729861&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Firrussianality.wordpress.com%2F2021%2F01%2F11%2Ffascist-blindness%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=474px

There're better academics posting at this threads. By academic, I'm referring to those who intellectually and knowledge wise aren't inferior to the aforementioned folks getting the accolades.

yalensis JANUARY 13, 2021 AT 7:13 AM

If she says it was just a Halloween costume, that means she is disowning or denying having Nazi views? That seems cowardly to me. I personally have more respect for Nazis who just come out and admit, "Yeah, I'm a Nazi." Of course, in that case, they would have to be willing to sacrifice the money and income from "respectable" bourgeois institutions.

james JANUARY 13, 2021 AT 12:18 AM

Yale historian Timothy Snyder – more like Yale historian – propagandist Timothy Snyder.. i figured this out on my own without having to be an academic to know this, but thank you paul for this article and confirming my viewpoint

David JANUARY 16, 2021 AT 12:18 AM

Snyder is such a fraud. His book Bloodlands is utter drivel filled with complete falsities – none of which substantiated with sources. "Yale historian" is clearly a meaningless title. But of course he gets called on for propaganda hit pieces like this or that ridiculous Agents of Chaos series on HBO.

[Jan 15, 2021] It turned out that a whole class of ships, on which America had pinned great hopes a couple of decades ago, turned out to be utterly incapable of combat

Jan 15, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao , Jan 15 2021 4:38 utc | 67

A major scandal is unfolding in the US naval community. It turned out that a whole class of ships, on which America had pinned great hopes a couple of decades ago, turned out to be utterly incapable of combat. What exactly are the problems with these ships? Why did they only show up now? What does the massive corruption in the United States have to do with what is happening?

Political events in the United States have overshadowed everything that happens in this country. Including one event related to the Navy, which would indeed have exploded.

We are talking about a whole type of warships, both already delivered to the US Navy, and those still under construction – the so-called Littoral combat ship (LCS) of the Freedom type. And it's not that they're useless. And not at the prohibitive cost. And not even that the gearboxes of the ship's main power plant (GEM) do not withstand the maximum stroke, and with the speed of 47 knots, which was the ridge of this project, he will never be able to walk – they also resigned themselves to this.

But at the end of 2020, it turned out that they generally cannot move faster than a dry cargo ship for more or less a long time. That is, it is not just scrapping metal; it is also almost stationary scrap metal.

https://bulgarianmilitary.com/2021/01/13/american-warships-of-one-class-turn-into-a-metal-scrub/

[Jan 13, 2021] What to do with big tech octopus

Jan 13, 2021 | www.unz.com

John Regan , says: January 12, 2021 at 2:22 pm GMT • 13.9 hours ago

@anarchyst hen made public utilities available for all (obviously without compensation to the owners). No more of the sad "private company" excuse, and no more billions into the pockets of criminals who hate us.

Also, make Dorsey, Zuckerberg, Pichai et al. serve serious jail time for election tampering if nothing else. Both to send out a clear warning to others, and for the simple decency to see justice served.

Of course this will not happen short of a French Revolution-style regime shift. But since (sadly) the same is equally true even for your extremely generous and modest proposal, I see no harm in dreaming a little bigger.

[Jan 13, 2021] The mob never wins. It is always led by the nose by well organised agents provocateur. See Epoch time video:

Jan 13, 2021 | www.unz.com

Faihtful , says: January 12, 2021 at 5:28 am GMT • 22.8 hours ago

The mob never wins. It is always led by the nose by well organised agents provocateur. See Epoch time video:


https://www.bitchute.com/embed/FrE27FTf11Q/

[Jan 11, 2021] It is inconceivable that any political party can survive in the US without the backing of the 'deep state' and first of all FBI and CIA.

Jan 11, 2021 | thesaker.is

John Hagan on January 11, 2021 , · at 5:49 am EST/EDT

Hi Ah,
That the US deep state has been terrorising parts of the world for many years my reaction before the election was to hope that Biden would win as I believed that would be the quickest destruction of the terrorist deep state rather than with Trump where I believed it would survive some time longer. It is inconceivable that any political party can survive in the US without the backing of the 'deep state'.

Of course this makes the nuclear option more likely yet democrats are more attached to their lives than many others since the profit motive looms larger.

Secondly the US owes the pension and social security systems so much money they do not have unless they print, print and more print and hope someone will buy their bonds (over 100 trillion for the next 'x' years). That is not going to happen. That is why both political parties will not endorse medicare for all or any further social security programmes. Those with money insurance industries et al will run away to Australia that has more gold than it knows what to do with the Chinese are now trying to buy Aussie gold mines. Wonder why?

https://youtu.be/_uxJ8JYnwAQ

To sum up the US population will experience some of the same terrorism tacticts the deep state exported to the rest of the world while the same population will wonder why it is happening to them just like some of the middle east countries wondered the same for the last 20 years. That the deep state and the army offer pensions and heathcare will not matter if the funds are not there.
What are the options for the citizens that always believed in capitalism and Jesus and were the single moral compass for the rest of humanity? After living in a Buddist country for many years I am not so certain.

[Jan 11, 2021] Is America's Future a Civil War, by Paul Craig Roberts -

Notable quotes:
"... The military would support whomever pays their salary and their pensions, i.e. the Establishment. However, as Iraq and Afghanistan has shown, the U.S. military, while possessing remarkable firepower when taken on directly and openly, is quite vulnerable. The U.S. military is essentially mercenaries. Mercenaries work for pay. Mercenaries are not willing to die for a cause. You can't spend money if you're dead. ..."
Jan 11, 2021 | www.unz.com

As a person who grew up in the glorious aftermath of World War II, it never occurred to me that in my later years I would be pondering whether the United States would end in civil war or a police state. In the aftermath of the stolen presidential election, it seems a 50-50 toss up.

There is abundant evidence of a police state. One feature of a police state is controlled explanations and the suppression of dissent. We certainly have that in abundance.

Experts are not permitted forums in which to challenge the official position on Covid.

Teachers are suspended for giving offense by using gender pronouns.

Recording stars are dropped by their recording studios for attending the Trump rally. Parents ratted on by their own children are fired from their jobs for attending the Trump rally. https://www.rt.com/usa/512048-capitol-riot-employees-fired/ Antifa is free to riot, loot, intimidate and hassle, but Trump supporters are insurrectionists.

White people are racists who use hateful words and concepts, but those who demonize whites are righting wrongs.

Suppression of dissent and controlling behavior are police state characteristics. It might be less clear to some why dictating permissible use of language is police state control. Think about it this way. If your use of pronouns can be controlled, so can your use of all other words. As concepts involve words, they also can be controlled. In this way inconvenient thoughts and expressions along with accurate descriptions find their way into the Memory Hole.

With the First Amendment gone, or restricted to the demonization of targeted persons, such as "the Trump Deplorables," "white supremacists," "Southern racists," the Second Amendment can't have much life left. As guns are associated with red states, that is, with Trump supporters, outlawing guns is a way to criminalize the red half of the American population that the Establishment considers "deplorable." Those who stand on their Constitutional right will be imprisoned and become cheap prison labor for America's global corporations.

Could all this lead to a civil war or are Americans too beat down to effectively resist? That we won't know until it is put to the test.

Are there clear frontlines? Identity Politics has divided the people across the entire country. The red states are only majority red. It is tempting to see the frontiers as the red center against the blue Northeast and West coasts, but that is misleading. Georgia is a red state with a red governor and legislature, but there were enough Democrats in power locally to steal the presidential and US senate elections.

Another problem for reds is that large cities -- the distribution centers -- such as Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles -- are in blue hands as are ports and international airports. Effectively, this cuts reds off from outside resources.

What would the US military do? Clearly, the Joint Chiefs and the military/security complex are establishment and not anti-establishment Trumpers. With the soldiers themselves now a racial and gender mix, the soldiers would be as divided as the country. Those not with the Establishment would lack upper level support.

Where are the youth and younger adults? They are in both camps depending on their education. Many of the whites who went to university have been brainwashed against themselves, and regard white Americans as "systemic racists" or "white supremacists" and feel guilt. Those who did not go to university for the most part have experienced to their disadvantage the favoritism given to people of color and have resentment.

What about weapons? How can the reds lose when guns are a household item and blues would never dirty themselves by owning one? The answer is that unlike the War of Northern Aggression in the 1860s, today the weapons in the hands of the military are devastating compared to those in the hands of the public. Unlike in the past, it is impossible for a citizens' militia to stand against the weapons and body armor that the military has. So, unless the military splits, the reds are outgunned. Never believe that the Establishment would not release chemical and biological agents against red forces. Or for that matter nuclear weapons.

What about communications? We know for an absolute fact that the tech monopolies are aligned with the Establishment against the people. So much so that President Trump, in the process of being set-up for prosecution, has been cut off from communicating with his supporters both in social media and email.

The American Establishment is doing to President Trump exactly what it did to Ukrainian President Yanukovych in Washington's orchestrated "Maidan Revolution," called "the Revolution of Dignity" by the liars at Wikipedia, and precisely what it did to Chavez, Maduro, and would like to do to Putin.

Suppose an American civil war occurs. How is it likely to play out? Before investigating this, first consider how the Establishment could prevent it by bringing the red states to its defense. The Trump supporters are the only patriots in the American population. They tend to wear the flag on their sleeve. In contrast, blue state denizens define patriotism as acknowledging America's evils and taking retribution on those white racists/imperialists who committed the evils. In blue states, riots against the "racist system" result in defunding the police. If the Antifa and Black Lives Matter militias were sicced on the Biden regime, red state patriots might see "their country" under attack. It is possible that the "Proud Boys" would come to Biden's defense, not because they believe in Biden but because America is under attack and he is "our president." Alternatively, an Antifa attack on the Biden regime could be portrayed as an unpatriotic attack on America and be used to discourage red state opposition to the police state, just as "Insurrection" has resulted in many Trump supporters declaring their opposition to violence. In other words, it is entirely possible that the patriotism of the "Trump Deplorables" would split the red state opposition and lead to defeat.

Assuming that the Establishment is too arrogant and sure of itself or too stupid to think of this ploy, how would a civil war play out? The Establishment would do everything possible to discredit the case of the "rebels." The true rebels, of course, would be the Establishment which has overthrown the Constitutional order, but no media would make that point. Controlling the media, the Establishment, knowing of the patriotism of its opponents, would portray the "rebels" as foreign agents seeking to overthrow American Democracy.

The "foreign threat" always captures the patriot's attention. We see it right now with Trump supporters falling for the disinformation that Switzerland and Italy are behind the stolen election. Previously, it was Dominion servers in Germany and Serbia that did the deed.

On whose head will the Establishment place the blame for "the War Against America"? There are three candidates: Iran, China, and Russia. Which will the Establishment choose?

To give Iran credit conveys too much power to a relatively small country over America. To blame Iran for our civil war would be belittling.

To blame China won't work, because Trump blamed China for economically undermining America and Trump supporters are generally anti-China. So accusing the red opposition with being China agents would not work.

The blame will be placed on Russia.

This is the easy one. Russia has been the black hat ever since Churchill's Iron Curtain speech in 1946. Americans are accustomed to this enemy. The Cold War reigned from the end of World War II until the Soviet Collapse in 1991. Many, including retired American generals, maintain that the Soviet collapse was faked to put us off guard for conquest.

When the Establishment decided to frame President Trump, the Establishment chose Russia as Trump's co-conspirator against American Democracy. Russiagate, orchestrated by the CIA and FBI, ensured for three years that Trump was accused in the Western media of being in cahoots with Russia. Despite the lack of any evidence, a large percentage of the American and world population was convinced that Trump was put into office by Putin somehow manipulating the vote.

The brainwashing was so successful that three years of Trump sanctions against Russia could not shake the Western peoples back into factual reality.

With Russia as the historic and orchestrated enemy, whatever happens in the United States that can be blamed elsewhere will be blamed on Russia. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, and former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes have already associated "Trump's insurrection" with Russia. https://www.rt.com/russia/512071-capitol-violence-consequences-fear/

Suppose that an American civil war becomes intense. Suppose that the Establishment's propaganda against Russia becomes the reigning belief as propaganda almost always becomes, how can the Establishment not finish the insurrection threat by attacking the country responsible? The Establishment would be trapped in its own propaganda. Emotions would run away. Russia would hear threats that would have to be taken seriously.

You can bet that Biden's neocon government will be egging this on. American exceptionalism. American hegemony. Russia's fifth column, the Atlanticist Integrationists, who wish absorption into the degenerate and failing Western World, will echo the charges against Russia. This would make the situation a serious international incident with Russia as the threatened villain.

What would the Kremlin do? Would Russia's leaders accept yet another humiliation and false accusation? Or will the anger of the Russian people forever accused and never stood up for by their own government force the Kremlin into awareness that Russia could be attacked at any moment.

Even if the Kremlin is reluctant to acknowledge the threat of war, what if another of the numerous false warnings of incoming ICBMs is received. Unlike the past, is it believed this time?

The stolen election in America, the emerging American Police State, more vicious and better armed than any in the past, could result in American chaos that could be a dire threat to the Russian Federation.

What Trump and his supporters, and perhaps the Kremlin, do not understand is that real evidence no longer counts . The Establishment makes up the evidence that it needs for its agendas. Consider how easy it was for the Capitol Police to remove barriers and allow some Antifa mixed in with Trump supporters into the Capitol. This was all that was required to create a "Trump led insurrection" that terminated the presentation of evidence of electoral fraud and turned the massive rally of support for Trump into a liability. Trump now leaves the presidency as an "insurrectionist" and is set up for continued harassment and prosecution.

As I previously wrote, the stolen election and its acceptance abroad signifies the failure of Western democracy. The collapse of the Western world and its values will affect the entire world.


Joe Stalin , says: January 10, 2021 at 5:16 pm GMT • 23.4 hours ago

How long did it take for the mighty USA military to restore electric utilities in the face of insurgency in Iraq?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/gg-Zd193j60?feature=oembed

No member of the State wants to be picked off one by one, be it military, cops, leadership or functionaries.

What has been overlooked in the debate over the combat potential of violent extremists is the diffusion of something much more rudimentary and potentially more lethal: basic infantry skills. These include coordinated small-team tactical maneuvers supported by elementary marksmanship. The diffusion of such tactics seems to be underway, and it may generate serious concerns for U.S. security policy in the future if ignored.

https://warontherocks.com/2018/02/shock-of-the-mundane-the-dangerous-diffusion-of-basic-infantry-tactics/

Imagine if fuel pipe lines to urban areas were hit, railroad tracks hit, water processing facilities hit; the vision of an easy victory over Red America would quickly come home to the city dwellers.

Harry Huntington , says: January 10, 2021 at 6:02 pm GMT • 22.6 hours ago
@Joe Stalin /p>

Elections in the US are not about picking winners. They are about making voters complicit in governance by their having voted. The most recent election failed to make the Red voters "complict" because there was no transparency and everyone believes there was fraud. No election with mail in voting in the US will every work because everyone will assume fraud.

In a nation as large as the US with as much concentrated city living, logistics are a nightmare. The next time the lights go out, you may wonder. When your grocery chain runs out of meat, you may wonder. When sewers in your city keep breaking, you may wonder. Thus truly scares me.

Vidi , says: January 10, 2021 at 6:13 pm GMT • 22.4 hours ago

today the weapons in the hands of the military are devastating compared to those in the hands of the public

True enough. However, the weapons and the ammunition don't magically appear; they need to be manufactured somewhere, and those places (and/or their suppliers) can be destroyed.

TG , says: January 10, 2021 at 6:19 pm GMT • 22.3 hours ago

I must disagree. There will be no "civil war" in the United States. The establishment controls the levers of power and all communications and all organized structures. There may be a bunch of disaffected citizens, but they will remain a disorganized mob. Any apparent emergent rival for power will be ruthlessly suppressed, deplatformed, villified, or co-opted. The working class has been effectively divided and will waste its energy fighting itself over crumbs ('diversity').

Disorganized mobs do not fight civil wars.

No, the fate of the United States will be the sort of chaotic autocracy we see in places like Mexico and Brazil. Verging on being a failed state, the rich will nonetheless live lives of great luxury secure in their walled estates. Meanwhile the average person will be crushed into poverty, criminal gangs will flourish, and there will be a tension between the central police and local gangs, but gangs are rarely organized enough to truly challenge centralized states, and life will muddle on. There will be little social cohesion and no real trust of central authorities, but that only matters if you want a strong and unified society. The rich will do fine.

On the other hand, the overall national power will decline, and other powers like China (which for all its flaws has not declared war on the working class, nor does it routinely excuse or celebrate incompetence in leadership) will rise and take its place both on the world stage and as the cutting edge of science and culture.

Wyatt , says: January 10, 2021 at 6:48 pm GMT • 21.8 hours ago
@Vidi

And the people making them don't tend to want those weapons used against their friends and neighbors.

Notsofast , says: January 10, 2021 at 8:03 pm GMT • 20.6 hours ago

to me the biggest outcome of this faux coup/insurrection is the splintering of the republican party. with this schism the trump "populists" have been cleanly pared off of the party and thrown overboard and the remaining party will meekly do the bidding of the neocon deep state that now totally controls both of these sock puppet parties. we will now see both parties calling for a unification of our "indispensable nation". more than likely some false flag will provide the necessary impetus to bury the hatchet and focus us all on our new/old enemy. the only hope i see is an outside chance that so many republicans have been redpilled that the party becomes the new whigs and fades into obscurity, leaving room for new parties to rise from the ash. the dems are ripe for a schism themselves with