F Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy

Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)

Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy

While I believe in usefulness of capital markets, it is clear that they are double edge sword and that banks "in a long run" tend to behave like sociopathic individuals. Mr. Capone may have something to say about danger of banks :-).That means that  growth of financial sector represents a direct threat to the stability of the society. Positive feedback loops creates one financial crisis after another with the increasing magnitude leading up to a collapse of financial system like happened in 1927 and 2008.

News Casino Capitalism Recommended Links  Stability is destabilizing: The idea of Minsky moment Corruption of Regulators Quiet coup
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Principal-agent problem Numbers racket Criminal negligence in financial regulation Corruption of FED Invisible Hand Hypothesis
The “Too Big To Fail” Problem In Goldman Sachs we trust Citi - The bank that couldn’t shoot straight JPMorgan AIG collapse Lehman
Free Markets Newspeak as Opium for regulators Derivatives Lobby Corrupts Congress Lobbying and the Financial Crisis Control Fraud
(crisis of corporate governance)
Stock Market with buybacks as a Ponzi scheme Derivatives
Small government smoke screen Financial Bonuses as Money Laundering Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Corporatism   Financial obesity
Webliography of heterodox economists HFT Aleynikov vs. Goldman Sachs Casino Capitalism Dictionary Financial Humor Etc
  "Minsky's financial instability hypothesis depends critically on what amounts to a sociological insight. People change their minds about taking risks. They don't make a one-time rational judgment about debt use and stock market exposure and stick to it. Instead, they change their minds over time. And history is quite clear about how they change their minds. The longer the good times endure, the more people begin to see wisdom in risky strategies."

The Cost of Capitalism: Understanding Market Mayhem and Stabilizing our Economic Future, by Robert Barbera

The flaw with Capitalism is that it creates its own positive feedback loop, snowballing to the point where the accumulation of wealth and power hurts people — eventually even those at the top of the food chain. ”

Uncle Billy Cunctator
In comment to Economic Donkeys

 
  Banks are a clear case of market failure and their employees at the senior level have basically become the biggest bank robbers of all time. As for basing pay on current revenues and not profits over extended periods of time, then that is a clear case of market failure --  
  The banksters have been able to sell the “talent” myth to justify their outsized pay because they are the only ones able to deliver the type of GDP growth the U.S. economy needs in the short term, even if that kills the U.S. economy in the long term. You’ll be gone, I’ll be gone.  
  Unfortunately, many countries go broke pursuing war, if not financially, then morally (are the two different? – this post suggests otherwise).

I occurs to me that the U.S. is also in that flock; interventions justified by grand cause built on fallacy, the alpha and omega of failure. Is the financial apparatchik (or Nomenklatura, a term I like which, as many from the Soviet era, succinctly describes aspects of our situation today) fated also to the trash heap, despite the best efforts of the Man of the hour, Ben Bernanke?

 

Introduction

Financialization is a Damocles sword hanging over the neoliberal society

While I believe in usefulness of capital markets, it is clear that they are double edge sword and that banks "in a long run" tend to behave like sociopathic individuals. Mr. Capone may have something to say about danger of banks :-).That means that growth of financial sector represents a direct threat to the stability of the society (Keynesianism and the Great Recession )

Without adult supervision, as it were, a financial sector that was already inherently unstable went wild. When the subprime assets were found to be toxic since they were based on mortgages on which borrowers had defaulted, highly indebted or leveraged banks that had bought these now valueless securities had little equity to repay their creditors or depositors who now came after them. This quickly led to their bankruptcy, as in the case of Lehman Brothers, or to their being bailed out by government, as was the case with most of the biggest banks. The finance sector froze up, resulting in a recession—a big one—in the real economy.

Neoliberal revolution, or, as Simon Johnson called it after "quite coup" (Atlantic), brought political power to the financial oligarchy deposed after the New Deal. Deregulation naturally followed, with especially big role played by corrupt Clinton administration.  Positive feedback loops creates one financial crisis after another with the increasing magnitude. "Saving and loans" crisis followed by dot-com crisis of  2000, which in turn followed by the collapse of financial system in 2008, which looks somewhat similar to what happened in 1927.  No prominent financial honcho, who was instrumental in creating "subprime crisis" was jailed.  Most remained filthy rich.

Unless the society puts severe limits on their actions like was done during New Deal,  financial firms successfully subvert the regulation mechanisms and take the society hostage.  But periodic purges with relocation of the most active promoters of "freedom for banks" (aka free market fundamentalism) under the smoke screen of "free market" promotion does not solve the problem of positive feedback loops that banks create by mere existence. That's difficult to do while neoliberal ideology and related neoclassical economy dominates the society thinking (via brainwashing), with universities playing especially negative role -- most of economics departments are captured by neoliberals who censor any heretics. So year after year brainwashing students enter the society without understanding real dangers that neoliberalism brought for them.  Including lack of meaningful employment opportunities.

Of course, most of high level officers of leading finance institutions which caused the crisis of 2008-2009 as a psychological type are as close to  gangsters as one can get. But there is something in their actions that does not depend on individual traits (although many of them definitely can be classified as psychopaths), and is more related to their social position.  This situation is somewhat similar to Bolsheviks coup d'état of 1917 which resulted in capturing Russia by this ideological sect.  And in this sense quite coupe of 1980 is also irreversible in the same sense as Bolsheviks revolution was irreversible:  the "occupation" of the country by a fanatical sect lasts until the population rejects the ideology with its (now apparent) utopian claims.

Bolshevism which lasted 75 years, spend in such zombie state the last two decades (if we assume 1991 as the year of death of Bolshevism, its ideology was dead much earlier -- the grave flaws in it were visible from late 60th, if not after the WWII).  But only  when their ideology was destroyed both by inability to raise the standard of living of the population and by the growing neoliberal ideology as an alternative (and a new, more powerful then Marxism high-demand cult) Bolsheviks started to lose the grip on their power in the country. As a result Bolsheviks lost the power only in 1991, or more correctly switched camps and privatized the country. If not inaptness of their last General Secretary, they probably could last more. In any case after the ideology collapsed, the USSR disintegrated (or more correctly turn by national elites, each of which wanted their peace of the pie).

The sad truth is that the mere growth of financial sector creates additional positive feedback loops and increases structural instability within both the financial sector itself and the society at large. Dynamic systems with strong positive feedback loops not compensated by negative feedback loops are unstable. As a result banks and other financial institution periodically generate a deep, devastating crisis. This is the meaning of famous Hyman Minsky phrase "stability is destabilizing".

In other words, financial apparatchiks (or Financial Nomenklatura, a term from the Soviet era, which succinctly describes aspects of our situation today) drive the country off the cliff because they do not have any countervailing forces, by the strength of their political influence and unsaturable greed. Although the following analogy in weaker then analogy with dynamic systems with positive feedback loops, outsized financial sector can be viewed in  biological terms as cancer.

Cancer, known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a broad group of diseases involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invading nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the body through the lymphatic system or bloodstream. Not all tumors are cancerous; benign tumors do not invade neighboring tissues and do not spread throughout the body. There are over 200 different known cancers that affect humans.[1]

Like certain types of cancer they depend of weakening "tumor suppressor genes"  (via "Quiet coup" mechanism of acquiring dominant political power) which allow then to engage in uncontrolled growth, destroying healthy cells (and first of all local manufacturing).   

The other suspicion is the unchecked financialization always goes too far and the last N percent of financial activity absorbs much more resources (especially intellectual resources) and creates more potential instability than its additional efficiency-benefits (often zero or negative) can justify. It is hard to imagine that a Hedge Fund Operator of the Year does anything that is even remotely socially useful to justify his enormous (and lightly taxed) compensation. It is pure wealth redistribution up based on political domination of financial oligarchy.  Significant vulnerabilities  within the shadow banking system and derivatives are plain vanilla socially destructive. Yet they persist due to inevitable political power grab by financial oligarchy  (Quiet coup).

Again, I would like to stress that this problem of the oversized financial sector which produces one devastating crisis after another   is closely related to the problem of a positive feedback loops. And the society in which banks are given free hand inevitably degrades into "socialism for banks"  or "casino capitalism" -- a type of neoliberalism with huge inequality and huge criminality of top banking officers.  

Whether we can do without private banks is unclear, but there is sound evidence that unlike growth of manufacturing, private financial sector growth is dangerous for the society health and perverts society goals.  Like cult groups the financial world does a terrific job of "shunning" the principled individuals and suppressing dissent (by capturing and cultivating neoliberal stooges in all major university departments and press),  so self-destructing tendencies after they arise can't be stopped within the framework of neoliberalism. In a way financial firm is like sociopath inevitable produces its  trail of victims (and sociopaths might be useful in battles exactly due to the qualities such as ability to remain cool in dangerous situation, that make them dangerous in the normal course of events).

This tendency of society with unregulated or lightly regulated financial sector toward self-destruction was first formulated as "Minsky instability hypothesis" -- and outstanding intellectual achievement of American economic Hyman Minsky (September 23, 1919 – October 24, 1996). Who BTW was pretty much underappreciated (if not suppressed) during his lifetime because his views were different from  orthodox (and false) neoclassic economic theory which dominates US universities, Like flat Earth theory was enforce by Catholic church before, it is fiercely enforced by an army of well paid neoliberal economics, those Jesuits of modern era. Who prosecute heretics who question flat Earth theory even more efficiently then their medieval counterparts; the only difference is that they do not burn the literally, only figuratively ;-)

Minsky financial instability hypothesis

Former Washington University in St. Louis economics professor Hyman P. Minsky had predicted the Great Recession decades before it happened.  Hyman Minsky was a real student of the Great Depression, while Bernanke who widely is viewed as a scholar who studied the Great Depression, in reality was a charlatan, who just tried to explain the Great Depression from the positions of neo-classical economy. That's a big difference.

Minsky instability hypothesis ("stability is destabilizing" under capitalism) that emerged from his analysis of the Great Depression was based on intellectual heritage of three great thinkers in economics (my presentation is partially based on an outstanding lecture by Steve Keen Lecture 6 on Minsky, Financial Instability, the Great Depression & the Global Financial Crisis). We can talk about three source of influence, there authors writing of which touched the same subject from similar positions and were the base of Hyman Minsky great advance in understanding of mechanics of development of financial crisis under capitalism and the critical role of financial system in it (neoclassical economics ignores the existence of financial system in its analysis): 

  1. Karl Marx influence
  2. Irving Fisher influence
  3. Joseph Schumpeter influence

Karl Marx influence

Minsky didn't follow the conventional version of Marxism  . And it was dangerous for him to do so due to McCarthysm. Even mentioning of Marx might lead to strakism fromthe academy those years.  McCarthy and his followers in academy did not understand the difference between Marx great analysis of capitalism and his utopian vision of the future. Impliedly this witch hunt helped to establish hegemony of neoclassical economy in economic departments in the USA.

While Minsky did not cited Marx in his writings and did use Marx's Labor Theory of Value his thinking was definitely influenced by Marx’s critique of  finance. We now know that he read and admired the Capital. And that not accidental due to the fact that his parents were Mensheviks -- a suppressed after Bolshevik revolution more moderate wing of Russian Social Democratic Party that rejected the idea of launching the socialist revolution in Russia --  in their opinion Russia needed first to became a capitalist country and get rid of remnants of feudalism. They escaped from Soviet Russia when Mensheviks started to be prosecuted by Bolsheviks.

And probably the main influence on Minsky was not Marx's discussion  of finance in Volume I of Capital with a "commodity" model of money, but critical remarks scattered in   Volumes II & III (which were not edited by Marx by compiled posthumously by Engels), where he was really critical of big banks as well as Marx's earlier works (Grundrisse, Theories of Surplus Value) where Marx was scathing about finance:

"A high rate of interest can also indicate, as it did in 1857, that the country is undermined by the roving cavaliers of credit who can afford to pay a high interest because they pay it out of other people's pocket* (whereby, however, they help to determine the rate of interest  for all) and meanwhile they live in grand style on anticipated profits. 

Irving Fisher influence

The second source on which Minsky based his insights was Irving Fisher. Irving Fisher’s reputation destroyed by wrong predictions on stock market prices. In aftermath, developed theory to explain the crash and published it in his book  "The Debt Deflation Theory of Great Depressions". His main points are:

According to Fisher two key disequilibrium forces that push economic into the next economic crisis are debt and subsequent deflation

Joseph Schumpeter influence

Joseph Schumpeter was Joseph Schumpeter has more positive view of capitalism than the other two. He authored the theory of creative destruction as a path by which capitalism achieves higher and higher productivity. He capitalism as necessarily unstable, but for him this was a positive feature -- instability of capitalism the source of its creativity. His view of capitalism was highly dynamic and somewhat resembles the view of Marx (who also thought that capitalism destroys all previous order and create a new one):

Unlike Marx, who thought that the periodic crisis of overproduction  is the source of instability (as well as  gradual absolute impoverishment of workers), Minsky assumed that the key source of that instability of capitalist system is connected with the cycles of business borrowing and fractional bank lending, when "good times" lead to excessive borrowing leading to high leverage and overproduction and thus to eventual debt crisis (The Alternative To Neoliberalism ):

Minsky on capitalism:

The idea of Minsky moment is related to the fact that the fractional reserve banking periodically causes credit collapse when the leveraged credit expansion goes into reverse. And mainstream economists do not want to talk about the fact that increasing confidence breeds increased leverage. So financial stability breeds instability and subsequent financial crisis. All actions to guarantee a market rise, ultimately guarantee it's destruction because greed will always take advantage of a "sure thing" and push it beyond reasonable boundaries.  In other words, marker players are no rational and assume that it would be foolish not to maximize leverage in a market which is going up. So the fractional reserve banking mechanisms ultimately and ironically lead to over lending and guarantee the subsequent crisis and the market's destruction. Stability breed instability.

That means that fractional reserve banking based economic system with private players (aka capitalism) is inherently unstable. And first of all because  fractional reserve banking is debt based. In order to have growth it must create debt. Eventually the pyramid of debt crushes and crisis hit. When the credit expansion fuels asset price bubbles, the dangers for the financial sector and the real economy are substantial because this way the credit boom bubble is inflated which eventually burst. The damage done to the economy by the bursting of credit boom bubbles is significant and long lasting.

Blissex said...

«When credit growth fuels asset price bubbles, the dangers for the financial sector and the real economy are much more substantial.»

So M Minsky 50 years ago and M Pettis 15 years ago (in his "The volatility machine") had it right? Who could have imagined! :-)

«In the past decades, central banks typically have taken a hands-off approach to asset price bubbles and credit booms.»

If only! They have been feeding credit-based asset price bubbles by at the same time weakening regulations to push up allowed capital-leverage ratios, and boosting the quantity of credit as high as possible, but specifically most for leveraged speculation on assets, by allowing vast-overvaluations on those assets.

Central banks have worked hard in most Anglo-American countries to redistribute income and wealth from "inflationary" worker incomes to "non-inflationary" rentier incomes via hyper-subsidizing with endless cheap credit the excesses of financial speculation in driving up asset prices.

Not very hands-off at all.

Steve Keen is probably the most well know researcher who tried to creates model of capitalist economy based on Minsky work (  http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/manifesto/ )

John Kay in his January 5 2010 FT column very aptly explained the systemic instability of financial sector hypothesis: 

The credit crunch of 2007-08 was the third phase of a larger and longer financial crisis. The first phase was the emerging market defaults of the 1990s. The second was the new economy boom and bust at the turn of the century. The third was the collapse of markets for structured debt products, which had grown so rapidly in the five years up to 2007.

The manifestation of the problem in each phase was different – first emerging markets, then stock markets, then debt. But the mechanics were essentially the same. Financial institutions identified a genuine economic change – the assimilation of some poor countries into the global economy, the opportunities offered to business by new information technology, and the development of opportunities to manage risk and maturity mismatch more effectively through markets. Competition to sell products led to wild exaggeration of the pace and scope of these trends. The resulting herd enthusiasm led to mispricing – particularly in asset markets, which yielded large, and largely illusory, profits, of which a substantial fraction was paid to employees.

Eventually, at the end of each phase, reality impinged. The activities that once seemed so profitable – funding the financial systems of emerging economies, promoting start-up internet businesses, trading in structured debt products – turned out, in fact, to have been a source of losses. Lenders had to make write-offs, most of the new economy stocks proved valueless and many structured products became unmarketable. Governments, and particularly the US government, reacted on each occasion by pumping money into the financial system in the hope of staving off wider collapse, with some degree of success. At the end of each phase, regulators and financial institutions declared that lessons had been learnt. While measures were implemented which, if they had been introduced five years earlier, might have prevented the most recent crisis from taking the particular form it did, these responses addressed the particular problem that had just occurred, rather than the underlying generic problems of skewed incentives and dysfunctional institutional structures.

The public support of markets provided on each occasion the fuel needed to stoke the next crisis. Each boom and bust is larger than the last. Since the alleviating action is also larger, the pattern is one of cycles of increasing amplitude.

I do not know what the epicenter of the next crisis will be, except that it is unlikely to involve structured debt products. I do know that unless human nature changes or there is fundamental change in the structure of the financial services industry – equally improbable – there will be another manifestation once again based on naive extrapolation and collective magical thinking. The recent crisis taxed to the full – the word tax is used deliberately – the resources of world governments and their citizens. Even if there is will to respond to the next crisis, the capacity to do so may not be there.

The citizens of that most placid of countries, Iceland, now backed by their president, have found a characteristically polite and restrained way of disputing an obligation to stump up large sums of cash to pay for the arrogance and greed of other people. They are right. We should listen to them before the same message is conveyed in much more violent form, in another place and at another time. But it seems unlikely that we will.

We made a mistake in the closing decades of the 20th century. We removed restrictions that had imposed functional separation on financial institutions. This led to businesses riddled with conflicts of interest and culture, controlled by warring groups of their own senior employees. The scale of resources such businesses commanded enabled them to wield influence to create a – for them – virtuous circle of growing economic and political power. That mistake will not be easily remedied, and that is why I view the new decade with great apprehension. In the name of free markets, we created a monster that threatens to destroy the very free markets we extol.

While Hyman Minsky was the first clearly formulate the financial instability hypothesis, Keynes also understood this dynamic pretty well. He postulated that a world with a large financial sector and an excessive emphasis on the production of investment products creates instability both in terms of output and prices. In other words it automatically tends to generate credit and asset bubbles.  The key driver is the fact that financial professionals generally risk other people’s money and due to this fact have asymmetrical incentives:

This asymmetry is not a new observation of this systemic problem. Andrew Jackson noted it in much more polemic way long ago:

“Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the grace of the Eternal God, will rout you out.”

This asymmetrical incentives ensure that the financial system is structurally biased toward taking on more risk than what should be taken. In other words it naturally tend to slide to the casino model, the with omnipresent reckless gambling as the primary and the most profitable mode of operation while an opportunities last.  The only way to counter this is to throw sand into the wheels of financial mechanism:  enforce strict regulations, limit money supplies and periodically jail too enthusiastic bankers. The latter is as important or even more important as the other two because bankers tend to abuse "limited liability" status like no other sector.

Asset inflation over the past 10 years and the subsequent catastrophe incurred is a way classic behavior of dynamic system with strong positive feedback loop.  Such behavior does not depends of personalities of bankers or policymakers, but is an immanent property of this class of dynamic systems. And the main driving force here was deregulation. So its important that new regulation has safety feature which make removal of it more complicated and requiring bigger majority like is the case with constitutional issues.

Another fact was the fact that due to perverted incentives, accounting in the banks was fraudulent from the very beginning and it was fraudulent on purpose.  Essentially accounting in banks automatically become as bad as law enforcement permits. This is a classic case of control fraud and from prevention standpoint is make sense to establish huge penalties for auditors, which might hurt healthy institutions but help to ensure that the most fraudulent institution lose these bank charter before affecting the whole system.  With the anti-regulatory zeal of Bush II administration the level of auditing became too superficial, almost non-existent. I remember perverted dances with Sarbanes–Oxley when it was clear from the very beginning that the real goal is not to strengthen accounting but to earn fees and to create as much profitable red tape as possible, in perfect Soviet bureaucracy style.

Deregulation also increases systemic risk by influencing the real goals of financial organizations. At some point of deregulation process the goal of higher remuneration for the top brass becomes self-sustainable trend  and replaces all other goals of the financial organization. This is the essence of  Martin Taylor’s, the former chief executive of Barclays,  article FT.com - Innumerate bankers were ripe for a reckoning in the Financial Times (Dec 15, 2009), which is worth reading in its entirety:

City people have always been paid well relative to others, but megabonuses are quite new. From my own experience, in the mid-1990s no more than four or five employees of Barclays’ then investment bank were paid more than £1m, and no one got near £2m. Around the turn of the millennium across the market things began to take off, and accelerated rapidly – after a pause in 2001-03 – so that exceptionally high remuneration, not just individually, but in total, was paid out between 2004 and 2007.

Observers of financial services saw unbelievable prosperity and apparently immense value added. Yet two years later the whole industry was bankrupt. A simple reason underlies this: any industry that pays out in cash colossal accounting profits that are largely imaginary will go bust quickly. Not only has the industry – and by extension societies that depend on it – been spending money that is no longer there, it has been giving away money that it only imagined it had in the first place. Worse, it seems to want to do it all again.

What were the sources of this imaginary wealth?

In the last two of these the bank was not receiving any income, merely “booking revenues”. How could they pay this non-existent wealth out in cash to their employees? Because they had no measure of cash flow to tell them they were idiots, and because everyone else was doing it. Paying out 50 per cent of revenues to staff had become the rule, even when the “revenues” did not actually consist of money.

In the next phase instability is amplified by the way governments and central banks respond to crises caused by credit bubble: the state has powerful means to end a recession, but the policies it uses give rise to the next phase of instability, the next bubble…. When money is virtually free – or, at least, at 0.5 per cent – traders feel stupid if they don’t leverage up to the hilt. Thus previous bubble and crash become a dress rehearsal for the next.

Resulting self-sustaining "boom-bust" cycle is very close how electronic systems with positive feedback loop behave and   cannot be explained by neo-classical macroeconomic models. Like with electronic devices the financial institution in this mode are unable to provide the services that are needed.

As Minsky noted long ago (sited from Stephen Mihm  Why capitalism fails Boston Globe):

Modern finance, he argued, was far from the stabilizing force that mainstream economics portrayed: rather, it was a system that created the illusion of stability while simultaneously creating the conditions for an inevitable and dramatic collapse.

...our whole financial system contains the seeds of its own destruction. “Instability,” he wrote, “is an inherent and inescapable flaw of capitalism.”

Minsky’s vision might have been dark, but he was not a fatalist; he believed it was possible to craft policies that could blunt the collateral damage caused by financial crises. But with a growing number of economists eager to declare the recession over, and the crisis itself apparently behind us, these policies may prove as discomforting as the theories that prompted them in the first place. Indeed, as economists re-embrace Minsky’s prophetic insights, it is far from clear that they’re ready to reckon with the full implications of what he saw.

And he understood the roots of the current credit bubble much better that neoclassical economists like Bernanke: 
As people forget that failure is a possibility, a “euphoric economy” eventually develops, fueled by the rise of far riskier borrowers - what [Minsky] called speculative borrowers, those whose income would cover interest payments but not the principal; and those he called “Ponzi borrowers,” those whose income could cover neither, and could only pay their bills by borrowing still further.

As these latter categories grew, the overall economy would shift from a conservative but profitable environment to a much more freewheeling system dominated by players whose survival depended not on sound business plans, but on borrowed money and freely available credit.

Minsky’s financial instability hypothesis suggests that when optimism is high and ample funds are available for investment, investors tend to migrate from the safe hedge end of the Minsky spectrum to the risky speculative and Ponzi end. Indeed, in the current crisis, investors tried to raise returns by increasing leverage and switching to financing via short-term—sometimes overnight— borrowing (Too late to learn?):

In the church of Friedman, inflation was the ol' devil tempting the good folk; the 1980s seemed to prove that, let loose, it would cause untold havoc on the populace. But, as Barbera notes:

The last five major global cyclical events were the early 1990s recession - largely occasioned by the US Savings & Loan crisis, the collapse of Japan Inc after the stock market crash of 1990, the Asian crisis of the mid-1990s, the fabulous technology boom/bust cycle at the turn of the millennium, and the unprecedented rise and then collapse for US residential real estate in 2007-2008. All five episodes delivered recessions, either global or regional. In no case was there a significant prior acceleration of wages and general prices. In each case, an investment boom and an associated asset market ran to improbable heights and then collapsed. From 1945 to 1985, there was no recession caused by the instability of investment prompted by financial speculation - and since 1985 there has been no recession that has not been caused by these factors.
Thus, meet the devil in Minsky's paradise - "an investment boom and an associated asset market [that] ran to improbable heights and then collapsed".

According the Barbera, "Minsky's financial instability hypothesis depends critically on what amounts to a sociological insight. People change their minds about taking risks. They don't make a one-time rational judgment about debt use and stock market exposure and stick to it. Instead, they change their minds over time. And history is quite clear about how they change their minds. The longer the good times endure, the more people begin to see wisdom in risky strategies."

Current economy state can be called following Paul McCulley a "stable disequilibrium" very similar to a state  a sand pile.  All this pile of  stocks, debt instruments, derivatives, credit default swaps and God know corresponds to a  pile of sand that is on the verse of losing stability. Each financial player works hard to maximize their own personal outcome but the "invisible hand" effect in adding sand to the pile that is increasing systemic instability. According to Minsky, the longer such situation continues the more likely and violent an "avalanche".

The late Hunt Taylor wrote, in 2006:

"Let us start with what we know. First, these markets look nothing like anything I've ever encountered before. Their stunning complexity, the staggering number of tradable instruments and their interconnectedness, the light-speed at which information moves, the degree to which the movement of one instrument triggers nonlinear reactions along chains of related derivatives, and the requisite level of mathematics necessary to price them speak to the reality that we are now sailing in uncharted waters.

"... I've had 30-plus years of learning experiences in markets, all of which tell me that technology and telecommunications will not do away with human greed and ignorance. I think we will drive the car faster and faster until something bad happens. And I think it will come, like a comet, from that part of the night sky where we least expect it."

This is a gold age for bankers as Simon Johnson wrote in New Republic (The Next Financial Crisis ):

Banking was once a dangerous profession. In Britain, for instance, bankers faced “unlimited liability”--that is, if you ran a bank, and the bank couldn’t repay depositors or other creditors, those people had the right to confiscate all your personal assets and income until you repaid. It wasn’t until the second half of the nineteenth century that Britain established limited liability for bank owners. From that point on, British bankers no longer assumed much financial risk themselves.

In the United States, there was great experimentation with banking during the 1800s, but those involved in the enterprise typically made a substantial commitment of their own capital. For example, there was a well-established tradition of “double liability,” in which stockholders were responsible for twice the original value of their shares in a bank. This encouraged stockholders to carefully monitor bank executives and employees. And, in turn, it placed a lot of pressure on those who managed banks. If they fared poorly, they typically faced personal and professional ruin. The idea that a bank executive would retain wealth and social status in the event of a self-induced calamity would have struck everyone--including bank executives themselves--as ludicrous.

Enter, in the early part of the twentieth century, the Federal Reserve. The Fed was founded in 1913, but discussion about whether to create a central bank had swirled for years. “No one can carefully study the experience of the other great commercial nations,” argued Republican Senator Nelson Aldrich in an influential 1909 speech, “without being convinced that disastrous results of recurring financial crises have been successfully prevented by a proper organization of capital and by the adoption of wise methods of banking and of currency”--in other words, a central bank. In November 1910, Aldrich and a small group of top financiers met on an isolated island off the coast of Georgia. There, they hammered out a draft plan to create a strong central bank that would be owned by banks themselves.

What these bankers essentially wanted was a bailout mechanism for the aftermath of speculative crashes -- something more durable than J.P. Morgan, who saved the day in the Panic of 1907 but couldn’t be counted on to live forever. While they sought informal government backing and substantial government financial support for their new venture, the bankers also wanted it to remain free of government interference, oversight, or control.

Another destabilizing fact is so called myth of invisible hand which is closely related to the myth about market self-regulation. The misunderstood argument of Adam Smith [1776], the founder of modern economics, that free markets led to efficient outcomes, “as if by an invisible hand” has played a central role in these debates: it suggested that we could, by and large, rely on markets without government intervention. About "invisible hand" deification, see The Invisible Hand, Trumped by Darwin - NYTimes.com.

The concept of Minsky moment

The moment in the financial system when the quantity of debt turns into quality and produces yet another financial crisis is called Minsky moment. In other words the “Minsky moment” is the time when an unsustainable financial boom turns into uncontrollable collapse of financial markets (aka financial crash). The existence of Minsky moments is one of the most important counterargument against financial market self-regulation.  It also expose free market fundamentalists such as "former Maestro" Greenspan as charlatans. Greenspan actually implicitly admitted that he is and that it was he, who was the "machinist"  who helped to bring the USA economic train off the rails in 2008 via deregulation  and dismantling the New Deal installed safeguards. 

Here how it is explained by Stephen Mihm in Boston Globe in 2009 in the after math of 2008 financial crisis:

“Minsky” was shorthand for Hyman Minsky, an American macroeconomist who died over a decade ago.  He predicted almost exactly the kind of meltdown that recently hammered the global economy. He believed in capitalism, but also believed it had almost a genetic weakness. Modern finance, he argued, was far from the stabilizing force that mainstream economics portrayed: rather, it was a system that created the illusion of stability while simultaneously creating the conditions for an inevitable and dramatic collapse.

In other words, the one person who foresaw the crisis also believed that our whole financial system contains the seeds of its own destruction. “Instability,” he wrote, “is an inherent and inescapable flaw of capitalism.”

Minsky believed it was possible to craft policies that could blunt the collateral damage caused by financial crises. As economists re-embrace Minsky’s prophetic insights, it is far from clear that they’re ready to reckon with the full implications of what he saw.

Minsky theory was not well received due to powerful orthodoxy, born in the years after World War II, known as the neoclassical synthesis. The older belief in a self-regulating, self-stabilizing free market had selectively absorbed a few insights from John Maynard Keynes, the great economist of the 1930s who wrote extensively of the ways that capitalism might fail to maintain full employment. Most economists still believed that free-market capitalism was a fundamentally stable basis for an economy, though thanks to Keynes, some now acknowledged that government might under certain circumstances play a role in keeping the economy - and employment - on an even keel.

Economists like Paul Samuelson became the public face of the new establishment; he and others at a handful of top universities became deeply influential in Washington. In theory, Minsky could have been an academic star in this new establishment: Like Samuelson, he earned his doctorate in economics at Harvard University, where he studied with legendary Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter, as well as future Nobel laureate Wassily Leontief.

But Minsky was cut from different cloth than many of the other big names. The descendent of immigrants from Minsk, in modern-day Belarus, Minsky was a red-diaper baby, the son of Menshevik socialists. While most economists spent the 1950s and 1960s toiling over mathematical models, Minsky pursued research on poverty, hardly the hottest subfield of economics. With long, wild, white hair, Minsky was closer to the counterculture than to mainstream economics. He was, recalls the economist L. Randall Wray, a former student, a “character.”

So while his colleagues from graduate school went on to win Nobel prizes and rise to the top of academia, Minsky languished. He drifted from Brown to Berkeley and eventually to Washington University. Indeed, many economists weren’t even aware of his work. One assessment of Minsky published in 1997 simply noted that his “work has not had a major influence in the macroeconomic discussions of the last thirty years.”

Yet he was busy. In addition to poverty, Minsky began to delve into the field of finance, which despite its seeming importance had no place in the theories formulated by Samuelson and others. He also began to ask a simple, if disturbing question: “Can ‘it’ happen again?” - where “it” was, like Harry Potter’s nemesis Voldemort, the thing that could not be named: the Great Depression.

In his writings, Minsky looked to his intellectual hero, Keynes, arguably the greatest economist of the 20th century. But where most economists drew a single, simplistic lesson from Keynes - that government could step in and micromanage the economy, smooth out the business cycle, and keep things on an even keel - Minsky had no interest in what he and a handful of other dissident economists came to call “bastard Keynesianism.”

Instead, Minsky drew his own, far darker, lessons from Keynes’s landmark writings, which dealt not only with the problem of unemployment, but with money and banking. Although Keynes had never stated this explicitly, Minsky argued that Keynes’s collective work amounted to a powerful argument that capitalism was by its very nature unstable and prone to collapse. Far from trending toward some magical state of equilibrium, capitalism would inevitably do the opposite. It would lurch over a cliff.

This insight bore the stamp of his advisor Joseph Schumpeter, the noted Austrian economist now famous for documenting capitalism’s ceaseless process of “creative destruction.” But Minsky spent more time thinking about destruction than creation. In doing so, he formulated an intriguing theory: not only was capitalism prone to collapse, he argued, it was precisely its periods of economic stability that would set the stage for monumental crises.

Minsky called his idea the “Financial Instability Hypothesis.” In the wake of a depression, he noted, financial institutions are extraordinarily conservative, as are businesses. With the borrowers and the lenders who fuel the economy all steering clear of high-risk deals, things go smoothly: loans are almost always paid on time, businesses generally succeed, and everyone does well. That success, however, inevitably encourages borrowers and lenders to take on more risk in the reasonable hope of making more money. As Minsky observed, “Success breeds a disregard of the possibility of failure.”

As people forget that failure is a possibility, a “euphoric economy” eventually develops, fueled by the rise of far riskier borrowers - what he called speculative borrowers, those whose income would cover interest payments but not the principal; and those he called “Ponzi borrowers,” those whose income could cover neither, and could only pay their bills by borrowing still further. As these latter categories grew, the overall economy would shift from a conservative but profitable environment to a much more freewheeling system dominated by players whose survival depended not on sound business plans, but on borrowed money and freely available credit.

Once that kind of economy had developed, any panic could wreck the market. The failure of a single firm, for example, or the revelation of a staggering fraud could trigger fear and a sudden, economy-wide attempt to shed debt. This watershed moment - what was later dubbed the “Minsky moment” - would create an environment deeply inhospitable to all borrowers. The speculators and Ponzi borrowers would collapse first, as they lost access to the credit they needed to survive. Even the more stable players might find themselves unable to pay their debt without selling off assets; their forced sales would send asset prices spiraling downward, and inevitably, the entire rickety financial edifice would start to collapse. Businesses would falter, and the crisis would spill over to the “real” economy that depended on the now-collapsing financial system.

From the 1960s onward, Minsky elaborated on this hypothesis. At the time he believed that this shift was already underway: postwar stability, financial innovation, and the receding memory of the Great Depression were gradually setting the stage for a crisis of epic proportions. Most of what he had to say fell on deaf ears. The 1960s were an era of solid growth, and although the economic stagnation of the 1970s was a blow to mainstream neo-Keynesian economics, it did not send policymakers scurrying to Minsky. Instead, a new free market fundamentalism took root: government was the problem, not the solution.

Moreover, the new dogma coincided with a remarkable era of stability. The period from the late 1980s onward has been dubbed the “Great Moderation,” a time of shallow recessions and great resilience among most major industrial economies. Things had never been more stable. The likelihood that “it” could happen again now seemed laughable.

Yet throughout this period, the financial system - not the economy, but finance as an industry - was growing by leaps and bounds. Minsky spent the last years of his life, in the early 1990s, warning of the dangers of securitization and other forms of financial innovation, but few economists listened. Nor did they pay attention to consumers’ and companies’ growing dependence on debt, and the growing use of leverage within the financial system.

By the end of the 20th century, the financial system that Minsky had warned about had materialized, complete with speculative borrowers, Ponzi borrowers, and precious few of the conservative borrowers who were the bedrock of a truly stable economy. Over decades, we really had forgotten the meaning of risk. When storied financial firms started to fall, sending shockwaves through the “real” economy, his predictions started to look a lot like a road map.

“This wasn’t a Minsky moment,” explains Randall Wray. “It was a Minsky half-century.”

Minsky is now all the rage. A year ago, an influential Financial Times columnist confided to readers that rereading Minsky’s 1986 “masterpiece” - “Stabilizing an Unstable Economy” - “helped clear my mind on this crisis.” Others joined the chorus. Earlier this year, two economic heavyweights - Paul Krugman and Brad DeLong - both tipped their hats to him in public forums. Indeed, the Nobel Prize-winning Krugman titled one of the Robbins lectures at the London School of Economics “The Night They Re-read Minsky.”

Today most economists, it’s safe to say, are probably reading Minsky for the first time, trying to fit his unconventional insights into the theoretical scaffolding of their profession. If Minsky were alive today, he would no doubt applaud this belated acknowledgment, even if it has come at a terrible cost. As he once wryly observed, “There is nothing wrong with macroeconomics that another depression [won’t] cure.”

But does Minsky’s work offer us any practical help? If capitalism is inherently self-destructive and unstable - never mind that it produces inequality and unemployment, as Keynes had observed - now what?

After spending his life warning of the perils of the complacency that comes with stability - and having it fall on deaf ears - Minsky was understandably pessimistic about the ability to short-circuit the tragic cycle of boom and bust. But he did believe that much could be done to ameliorate the damage.

To prevent the Minsky moment from becoming a national calamity, part of his solution (which was shared with other economists) was to have the Federal Reserve - what he liked to call the “Big Bank” - step into the breach and act as a lender of last resort to firms under siege. By throwing lines of liquidity to foundering firms, the Federal Reserve could break the cycle and stabilize the financial system. It failed to do so during the Great Depression, when it stood by and let a banking crisis spiral out of control. This time, under the leadership of Ben Bernanke - like Minsky, a scholar of the Depression - it took a very different approach, becoming a lender of last resort to everything from hedge funds to investment banks to money market funds.

Minsky’s other solution, however, was considerably more radical and less palatable politically. The preferred mainstream tactic for pulling the economy out of a crisis was - and is - based on the Keynesian notion of “priming the pump” by sending money that will employ lots of high-skilled, unionized labor - by building a new high-speed train line, for example.

Minsky, however, argued for a “bubble-up” approach, sending money to the poor and unskilled first. The government - or what he liked to call “Big Government” - should become the “employer of last resort,” he said, offering a job to anyone who wanted one at a set minimum wage. It would be paid to workers who would supply child care, clean streets, and provide services that would give taxpayers a visible return on their dollars. In being available to everyone, it would be even more ambitious than the New Deal, sharply reducing the welfare rolls by guaranteeing a job for anyone who was able to work. Such a program would not only help the poor and unskilled, he believed, but would put a floor beneath everyone else’s wages too, preventing salaries of more skilled workers from falling too precipitously, and sending benefits up the socioeconomic ladder.

While economists may be acknowledging some of Minsky’s points on financial instability, it’s safe to say that even liberal policymakers are still a long way from thinking about such an expanded role for the American government. If nothing else, an expensive full-employment program would veer far too close to socialism for the comfort of politicians. For his part, Wray thinks that the critics are apt to misunderstand Minsky. “He saw these ideas as perfectly consistent with capitalism,” says Wray. “They would make capitalism better.”

But not perfect. Indeed, if there’s anything to be drawn from Minsky’s collected work, it’s that perfection, like stability and equilibrium, are mirages. Minsky did not share his profession’s quaint belief that everything could be reduced to a tidy model, or a pat theory. His was a kind of existential economics: capitalism, like life itself, is difficult, even tragic. “There is no simple answer to the problems of our capitalism,” wrote Minsky. “There is no solution that can be transformed into a catchy phrase and carried on banners.”

It’s a sentiment that may limit the extent to which Minsky becomes part of any new orthodoxy. But that’s probably how he would have preferred it, believes liberal economist James Galbraith. “I think he would resist being domesticated,” says Galbraith. “He spent his career in professional isolation.”

Stephen Mihm is a history professor at the University of Georgia and author of “A Nation of Counterfeiters” (Harvard, 2007). © Copyright 2009 Globe Newspaper Company.

 

Some important albeit random (and overlapping) points about instability of financial system

The first thing to understand is that attempt to weaken positive feedback looks via regulation, approach that can be called  “regulation as a Swiss knife” does not work without law enforcement and criminal liability for bankers, as there is an obvious problem of corruption of regulators. In this sense the mechanism of purges might be the only one that realistically can work.

In other words it’s unclear who and how can prevents the capture of regulators as financial sector by definition has means to undermine any such efforts. One way this influence work is via lobbing for appointment of pro-financial sector people in key positions. If such "finance-sector-selected" Fed chairman does not like part of Fed mandate related to regulation it can simply ignore it as long as he is sure that he will be reappointed. That happened with Greenspan.  After such process started it became irreversible and only after a significant, dramatic shock to the system any meaningful changes can be instituted and as soon as the lessons are forgotten work on undermining them resumes.

In essence, the Fed is a political organization and Fed Chairman is as close to a real vice-president of the USA as one can get.  As such Fed Chairman serves the elite which rules that country, whether you call them financial oligarchy or some other name. Actually Fed Chairman is the most powerful unelected official in the USA. If you compare this position to the role of the Chairman of the Politburo  in the USSR you’ll might find some interesting similarities.

In other words it is impossible to prevent appointment of another Greenspan by another Reagan without changes in political power balance.  And the transition to banana republic that follows such appointment is irreversible even if the next administration water boards former Fed Chairman to help him to write his memoirs.  That means that you need to far-reaching reform of political system to be able to regulate financial industry and you need to understand that the measures adopted need vigilant protection as soon as the current crisis is a distant history.

Additional reading

Several other source of financial instability were pointed out by others:

There are some outstanding lectures and presentation on YouTube on this topic. Among them:

See an expended list at Webliography of heterodox economists

Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
[In casino capitalism] financial institutions make a living screwing over their customers so their biggest concern is how to avoid losing lawsuits when they get sued

Why Wall Street Ignores Real Risk
And Why History Will Repeat Itself

[Apr 19, 2018] Imran Awan's Father Transferred USB Drive To Ex-Head Of Pakistani Intel Agency Zero Hedge

Apr 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The father of Imran Awan - a longtime IT aide from Pakistan who made "unauthorized access" to the House computer network - reportedly transferred a USB drive to the former head of a Pakistani intelligence agency , alleges the father's ex-business partner, Rashid Minhas.

Imran Awan and wife Hina Alvi

Minhas told the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) - which traveled to Pakistan to interview those involved - that Haji Ashraf Awan, Imran Awan's father, had been giving information to Rehman Malik - former head of Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and current senator. Malik was appointed to Interior Minister in early 2008, only to step down in 2013 after he lost a Supreme Court hearing over holding dual UK citizenship.

Minhas told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Imran Awan's father, Haji Ashraf Awan, was giving data to Pakistani official Rehman Malik, and that Imran bragged he had the power to " change the U.S. president. "

Asked for how he knew this, he said that on one occasion in 2008 when a "USB [was] given to Rehman Malik by Imran's father, my brother Abdul Razzaq was with his father ." - DCNF

"After Imran's father deliver (sic) USB to Rehman Malik, four Pakistani [government intelligence] agents were with his father 24-hour on duty to protect him," he said - however Minhas did not say what was on the USB.

[insert: Foreign_Secretary_in_Pakistan_(4727720266).jpg ]

British Foreign Secretary William Hague (left), Rehman Malik

The House watchdog, Inspector General Michael Ptasienski, charged in September 30, 2016 that data was being siphoned off of the House Network by the Awans as recently as two months before the US presidential election.

The Awan family had virtually unlimited access to Democratic House members' computers, including classified information.

Nearly Imran's entire immediate family was on the House payroll working as IT aides to one-fifth of House Democrats , and he began working for the House in 2004. The inspector general, Michael Ptasienski, testified this month that " system administrators hold the 'keys to the kingdom' meaning they can create accounts, grant access, view, download, update, or delete almost any electronic information within an office. Because of this high-level access, a rogue system administrator could inflict considerable damage ." - DCNF

https://www.youtube.com/embed/x6I2ikJIzjU

According to Minhas - "Imran Awan said to me directly these words: ' See how I control White House on my fingertip ' He say he can fire the prime minister or change the U.S. president," Minhas said. " Why the claiming big stuff, I [didn't] understand 'till now ."

" I was Imran father's partner in Pakistan, " Minhas said, in two land deals in Pakistan so big that they are often referred to as "towns." In 2009, both men were accused of fraud , and Haji was arrested but then released after Imran flew to Pakistan , "allegedly exerting pressure on the local police through the ministry as well as the department concerned," according to local news. Minhas and multiple alleged victims in Pakistan also told TheDCNF Imran exerted political influence in Pakistan to extricate his father from the case . - DCNF

Minhas is currently sitting in US federal prison for fraud, and the Daily Caller says they can not confirm whether Minhas' claims about the USB is true. That said, Minhas says that neither the DOJ nor the FBI ever interviewed him about the Awans , which is odd considering that he's available and connected to Imran Awan.

He is also one of many people with past relationships with the Awans who have said they believe they are aggressive opportunists who will do anything for money . And parts of Minhas's story correlate with observations elsewhere. Haji's wife, Samina Gilani -- Imran's stepmother -- said in court documents that Imran used his IT skills to wiretap her as a means of exerting pressure on her.

Haji would frequently boast that Imran's position gave him political leverage, numerous Pakistani residents told TheDCNF. " My son own White House in D.C. ," he would say, according to Minhas. " I am kingmaker ."

Senator Malik has denied any relationship with the parties reportedly involved, saying "I am hearing their names for the first time. I am in public and people always do name-dropping."

Imran Awan's attorney Chris Gowen says Minhas's claims are "completely and totally false."

The Awans were banned from the congressional network on Feb 2, 2017 by House Seargant-At-Arms, Paul Irving - after the IG report concluded that the Awans had been making "unauthorized access" to House servers. The Awans were logging in using Congressional members' personal usernames , as well as breaching servers for members they did not work for. After several members fired them, the Awans continued to access their data , says the IG.

The behavior mirrored a "classic method for insiders to exfiltrate data from an organization," and "steps are being taken [by the Awans] to conceal their activity," reads the report.

Shortly before the 2016 election, the House Democratic Caucus server was breached by Awan - who authorities believe secretly moved all the data of over 12 House members' offices onto the caucus server.

The server may have been " used for nefarious purposes and elevated the risk that individuals could be reading and/or removing information, " an IG presentation said. The Awans logged into it 27 times a day, far more than any other computer they administered .

Imran's most forceful advocate and longtime employer is Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who led the DNC until she resigned following a hack that exposed committee emails. Wikileaks published those emails, and they show that DNC staff summoned Imran when they needed her password . - DCNF

Shortly after the IG report came out, the House Democratic Caucus server - which the Awans were funneling data onto, was physically stolen according to three government officials. During the same period of time, the Awans were shedding assets at a rapid pace.

In January 2017 they took out a loan intended for home improvement, falsely claimed a medical emergency in order to cash out their House retirement account, and wired $300,000 overseas , according to an FBI affidavit. - DCNF

The FBI arrested Imran Awan at Dulles Airport in July 2017 while trying to flee to Pakistan with a wiped cell phone and a resume that listed a Queens, NY address. Imran and his wife, Hina Alvi, were indicted last August on charges of bank fraud - which prosecutors contend was hastened after the Awans had likely learned that authorities were closing in on them for various other activities .

That said, neither Imran nor Hina have been charged over the unauthorized access concluded by the House's own Inspector General, after reviewing server logs. Three other suspects, Jamal and Abid Awan, and Rao Abbas, have faced no charges whatsoever.

[Apr 18, 2018] Criminal Referral Issued For Comey, Clinton, Lynch And McCabe; Rosenstein Recusal Demanded

Apr 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Eleven GOP members of Congress led by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) have written a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Attorney John Huber, and FBI Director Christopher Wray - asking them to investigate former FBI Director James Comey, Hillary Clinton and others - including FBI lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page , for a laundry list of potential crimes surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Recall that Sessions paired special prosecutor John Huber with DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz - falling short of a second Special Counsel, but empowering Horowitz to fully investigate allegations of FBI FISA abuse with subpoena power and other methods he was formerly unable to utilize.

The GOP letter's primary focus appears to be James Comey, while the charges for all include obstruction, perjury, corruption, unauthorized removal of classified documents, contributions and donations by foreign nationals and other allegations.

The letter also demands that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "be recused from any examination of FISA abuse ," and recommends that " neither U.S. Attorney John Huber nor a special counsel (if appointed) should report to Rosenstein. "

The letter refers the following individuals for the following conduct:

James Comey - obstruction , perjury , corruption , stealing public property or records , gathering transmitting or losing defense information , unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents, false statements .

Hillary Clinton - contributions and donations by foreign nationals

Loretta Lynch - obstruction, corruption

Andrew McCabe - false statements, perjury, obstruction

Peter Strzok and Lisa Page - obstruction, corruption,

"Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI personnel connected to the compilation of documents on alleged links between Russia and then-presidential candidate Donald Trump known as the "Steele dossier."

The criminal referrals for the group allegedly responsible for FISA abuse include: obstruction, deprivation of rights under color of law, corruption.

Read the full letter below...

[Apr 16, 2018] Self-Centered, Self-Serving Jackass : FBI Insiders Furious After Comey Interview

Notable quotes:
"... Prior to becoming the DNC's most wanted, Comey and his team notoriously let Hillary Clinton off the hook for her private server and mishandling of classified information - having begun drafting Clinton's exoneration before even interviewing her, something which appears to have been "forgotten" in his book. ..."
"... You left out the fact that he was instrumental in the formation of the Clinton Foundation. ..."
Apr 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Current and former FBI agents are furious after former Director James Comey gave his first interview since President Trump fired him last year to ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Sunday night, reports the Daily Beast - which was privy to a play-by-play flurry of text messages and other communications detailing their reactions.

Seven current or former FBI agents and officials spoke throughout and immediately after the broadcast. There was a lot of anger, frustration, and even more emojis -- featuring the thumbs-down, frowny face, middle finger, and a whole lot of green vomit faces .

One former FBI official sent a bourbon emoji as it began; another sent the beers cheers-ing emoji. The responses became increasingly angry and despondent as the hourlong interview played out. - Daily Beast

" Hoover is spinning in his grave ," said a former FBI official. " Making money from total failure ," in reference to Comey plugging his book, A Higher Loyalty .

Jana Winter of The Beast adds that when a promo aired between segments advertising Comey's upcoming appearance with The View , the official "grew angrier." " Good lord, what a self-serving self-centered jackass ," the official said. " True to form he thinks he's the smartest guy around ."

... ... ...

Comey was fired by President Trump on May 9, 2017, after which he leaked memos he claims document conversations with Trump to the New York Times, kicking off the special counsel investigation headed by Robert Mueller - whose team started out looking at Russian influence in the 2016 election, and is now investigating the President's alleged decade-old extramarital affairs with at least two women. Truly looking out for national security there Bob...

... ... ...

Prior to becoming the DNC's most wanted, Comey and his team notoriously let Hillary Clinton off the hook for her private server and mishandling of classified information - having begun drafting Clinton's exoneration before even interviewing her, something which appears to have been "forgotten" in his book.

Oldguy05 -> nmewn Mon, 04/16/2018 - 20:54 Permalink

Cumey is nothing but a small man in a big car.

hxc -> Oldguy05 Mon, 04/16/2018 - 21:57 Permalink

I would rather have RP if he had the charisma/gusto and also tactical genius of DT. However, I worry that Ron, as a guy that delivered babies and educated people on nonagression, as opposed to running a something-billion dollar cutthroat RE empire, might be more at risk of A) being unable to overcome political roadblocks and destabilization, and B) something bad happening to him.

Fish Gone Bad -> FireBrander Mon, 04/16/2018 - 19:43 Permalink

I once saw this on a T-shirt: Those who think they are the smartest person in the room, really piss off those of us who are.

Comey is a narcissistic traitor .

NoDebt -> Bitchface-KILLAH Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:00 Permalink

Comey was always the most enigmatic figure to me in this sad, troubling series of events involving the FBI.

THE GOOD NEWS: Everyone hates him now. The Rs hate him, the Ds hate him. Who's Christmas party did he get invited to last year? I'm guessing the invitations were few. His own ego has turned him into plutonium. And he deserves even worse than that.

Bitchface-KILLAH -> NoDebt Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:03 Permalink

Every agency has a Jim Comey in it... you know the guy. Their CV just has an implied "team skills and natural ability to get a deep brown nose" at the very top of it.

JimmyJones -> Bitchface-KILLAH Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:55 Permalink

He really is a traitor

FireBrander -> Bitchface-KILLAH Mon, 04/16/2018 - 19:41 Permalink

Comey reminds me of all the "executives" I've known that married the owners daughter prior to getting hired.

nmewn -> NoDebt Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:19 Permalink

So, to review.

Comey was the FBI Director when warrants were issued to spy on Trump and his associates. Warrants gained in part or in whole by, false evidence (the Steele dossier) presented to a FISA court judge(s), gathered by, a foreign national former spy (Steele) who was in contact with his old Kremlin pals, who (Steele) was then paid by the DNC, Fusion GPS via Perkins Coie to give Hillary Rodham Clinton (affectionately known here as The Bitch of Benghazi) some distance from the fake "evidence".

Now besides Comey knowing the source of "the dossier" one of his deputies (McCabe) was at the same time "colluding" with a couple FBI agents (Strzok & Page) in a "counter-intel operation" (on the taxpayers dime) to gather dirt on candidate Trump. McCabe's wife (we might recall) got a sizable "donation" from Terry McAuliffe (another Klinton sleezebag) for her political run in Virginia.

And we haven't even touched on Comey's theft of government documents or his turning over those documents to his friend so the friend could turn them over to the Alinsky NYT's for the purposes of...getting his mentor Grand Inquisitor Mueller a gig as "special prosecutor" (as he admitted to under oath).

He should be arrested and sent to Gitmo.

???ö? -> nmewn Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:27 Permalink

Mueller's investigation is tainted with fruit of the poisonous tree and the entirety of seized evidence will be unceremoniously thrown out by a 5-4 US Supreme Court.

The First Rule -> nmewn Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:51 Permalink

There is only one thing keeping Comey out of Prison: Jeff Sessions. If we someday get a real AG, who is willing to man up and appoint a second special prosecutor, Comey is finished. But for the moment, Mr. Magoo is saving his ass.

Ajax-1 -> The First Rule Mon, 04/16/2018 - 20:32 Permalink

Don't hold your breath. The clock on the statute of limitations is ticking away. I wish someone could provide me with an honest rational as to why Trump hasn't fired Jeff Sessions.

Hulk -> nmewn Mon, 04/16/2018 - 19:04 Permalink

He is one stupid ass. ALways stuns me to hear him speak...

Boxed Merlot -> nmewn Mon, 04/16/2018 - 20:02 Permalink

...Comey was the FBI Director when...

And if he wasn't aware of every fact as stated, the whole enchilada is even more bogus than you have represented.

Shut it down.

jmo.

Dilluminati -> nmewn Mon, 04/16/2018 - 20:03 Permalink

https://translate.google.com/m/translate?client=ob&hl=en&ie=UTF8&sl=en&

GreatUncle -> nmewn Mon, 04/16/2018 - 20:08 Permalink

But ... but .. but this is the new normal.

We all need to take a leaf out of Comeys behavior ... that's the way to play this game.

Honesty and integrity no longer needed ... time for everybody to lie to the government.

Duc888 -> nmewn Mon, 04/16/2018 - 20:17 Permalink

You left out the fact that he was instrumental in the formation of the Clinton Foundation.

NumberNone -> nmewn Mon, 04/16/2018 - 20:25 Permalink

Problem is that a sizable portion of the US population view Comey's actions in the 'if you could go back in time and kill baby Hitler...' perspective. Yes it's illegal, yes it's unconstitutional...but was trying to save the 'World' so it's justified.

I think you framed it similar...this is the same as injecting bleach into our veins in the hope in clears up a pimple on our nose.

[Apr 16, 2018] Russia Reveals Who Staged Syria Gas Attack, As US Claims Moscow May Have Tampered With Site

Apr 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The Russian envoy to the chemical weapons watchdog group, OPCW, said that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) funded by the UK and US carried out the April 7 chemical attack in the Damascus, Syria suburb of Douma.

Russia's permanent representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Alexander Shulgin, said Russia has irrefutable evidence that there was no chemical weapons incident in Douma .

"Therefore, we have not just a "high degree of confidence ," as our Western partners claim, but we have incontrovertible evidence that there was no incident on April 7 in Douma and that all this was a planned provocation by the British intelligence services, probably, with the participation of their senior allies from Washington with the aim of misleading the international community and justifying aggression against Syria," he stated. - Sputnik

Shulgin added that the US, UK and France are not interested in conducting an objective investigation of the attack site. " They put the blame on the Syrian authorities in advance, without even waiting for the OPCW mission to begin to establish the possible facts of the use of chemical weapons in Syria ," he said.

The nine-member OPCW mission people has yet to deploy to the city of Douma according to the organization's Chief, citing pending security issues.

"The Team has not yet deployed to Douma. The Syrian and the Russian officials who participated in the preparatory meetings in Damascus have informed the FFM Team that there were still pending security issues to be worked out before any deployment could take place . In the meantime the Team was offered by the Syrian authorities that they could interview 22 witnesses who could be brought to Damascus ," OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu said as quoted by the organization.

The Russian Envoy says that the controversial " White Helmets " were one of the anti-Assad "pseudo-humanitarian NGOs" which staged the event. As Disobedient Media and others have reported, the White Helmets are funded in large part by the United States.

"The Syrian Civil Defense Force (aka the White Helmets) is funded in part by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) . Included here are two links showing contracts awarded by USAID to Chemonics International Inc. (DBA Chemonics). The first award was in the sum of $111.2 million and has a Period of Performance (POP) from January 2013 to June 2017. It states that the purpose of the award will be to use the funds for managing a " quick-response mechanism supporting activities that pursue a peaceful transition to a democratic and stable Syria ." The second was in the sum of $57.4 million and has a POP from August 2015 to August 2020. This award was designated to be used in the " Syria Regional Program II " which is a part of the Support Which Implements Fast Transitions IV (SWIFT IV) program." Via Disobedient Media

https://www.youtube.com/embed/8aAaReVn2I4

me title=

me title=

me title=

me title=

me title=

me title=

me title=

me title=

Moscow says they have confirmed that " these structures [NGOs] on a fee-based basis cooperate with the governments of the United States, the UK and some other countries ."

Russian experts who conducted the verification of reports on the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian city of the Douma, found participants of video filming, presented as evidence of the supposedly occurring chemotherapy, according to the Russian Envoy to OPCW . - Sputnik

"Everything has been developing according to the script that was prepared in Washington. There is no doubt that Americans are playing the 'first violin' in all of this . The United States, the United Kingdom, France and some other countries after the "fake" addition from the White Helmets and their ilk in Douma, immediately pounced upon the Syrian authorities with accusations," Shulgin said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has alerted the OPCW that Russia "may have tampered" with the chemical attack site in Douma ...

me title=

"It is our understanding the Russians may have visited the attack site," U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Ward said at a meeting of the OPCW in The Hague on Monday.

" It is our concern that they may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission to conduct an effective investigation ," he said. His comments at the closed-door meeting were obtained by Reuters .

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shot back in a BBC interview, saying " I can guarantee that Russia has not tampered with the site ."

Earlier, Britain's delegation to the OPCW accused Russia and the Syrian government of preventing the international watchdog's inspectors from reaching Douma.

The inspectors aim to collect samples, interview witnesses and document evidence to determine whether banned toxic munitions were used, although they are not permitted to assign blame for the attack. - Reuters

"Unfettered access is essential," the British delegation said in a statement. "Russia and Syria must cooperate."

Moscow says the OPCW delay is due to the Western air strikes. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the British accusation that Russia was to blame for holding up the inspections was "groundless".

"We called for an objective investigation. This was at the very beginning after this information [of the attack] appeared. Therefore allegations of this towards Russia are groundless ," Peskov said.

***

On Friday we reported that Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow has "irrefutable evidence" that the attack - which allegedly killed over 40 people, was staged with the help of a foreign secret service.

" We have irrefutable evidence that this was another staged event, and that the secret services of a certain state that is now at the forefront of a Russophobic campaign was involved in this staged event ," he said during a press conference according to AFP.

According to defense ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, the Kremlin has evidence that Britain was behind the attack.

Quoted by Reuters , he said: " We have... evidence that proves Britain was directly involved in organising this provocation ."

As RT further adds , the Russian Defense Ministry presented what it says is " proof that the reported chemical weapons attack in Syria was staged." It also accused the British government of pressuring the perpetrators to speed up the "provocation." During a briefing on Friday, the ministry showed interviews with two people, who, it said, are medical professionals working in the only hospital operating in Douma, a town near the Syrian capital, Damascus.

During a briefing on Friday, the ministry showed interviews with two people, who, it said, are medical professionals working in the only hospital operating in Douma, a town near the Syrian capital, Damascus.

During a briefing on Friday, the ministry showed interviews with two people, who, it said, are medical professionals working in the only hospital operating in Douma, a town near the Syrian capital, Damascus.

In the interviews released to the media, the two men reported how footage was shot of people dousing each other with water and treating children, which was claimed to show the aftermath of the April 7 chemical weapons attack. The patients shown in the video suffered from smoke poisoning and the water was poured on them by their relatives after a false claim that chemical weapons were used, the ministry said.

"Please, notice. These people do not hide their names. These are not some faceless claims on the social media by anonymous activists. They took part in taking that footage," said Konashenkov.

"The Russian Defense Ministry also has evidence that Britain had a direct involvement in arranging this provocation in Eastern Ghouta," the general added, referring to the neighborhood of which Douma is part. " We know for certain that between April 3 and April 6 the so-called White Helmets were seriously pressured from London to speed up the provocation that they were preparing ."

According to Konashenkov, the group, which was a primary source of photos and footage of the purported chemical attack, was informed of a large-scale artillery attack on Damascus planned by the Islamist group Army of Islam, which controlled Douma at the time. The White Helmets were ordered to arrange the provocation after retaliatory strikes by the Syrian government forces, which the shelling was certain to lead to, he said.

The UK rejected the accusations, with British UN Ambassador Karen Pierce calling them "grotesque," "a blatant lie" and "the worst piece of fake news we've yet seen from the Russian propaganda machine."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/LKE6YKw5Y40

So when will Moscow release their evidence for the whole world to see? Or is it maybe waiting for the US to first release its own proof that Assad launched the attack?

If so, we'll be waiting for a long time.

[Apr 16, 2018] Fucking amateur hour. The site supposedly hit by 70 missiles still standing

Apr 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Joiningupthedots Mon, 04/16/2018 - 14:50 Permalink

The blast area of just ONE cruise missile is 150ft/2 = 7000m/2

How many hit this target allegedly? You can even see the matrix caused by the layering of the photo shopping software when you zoom right in (its not present on the first photo) Fucking amateur hour LMAO

tangent Mon, 04/16/2018 - 16:15 Permalink

There really is not even a conspiracy theorist out there who would suggest it was a Syrian government operation any way. Only batshit crazy raving lunatics have suggested it was the Syrian government. This is clearly the stupidest thing Trump has done. It makes the USA look like a bunch of circus freak losers. Very sad and shockingly insane. This is the stupidest piece of propaganda in modern history. The USA looks very, very bad. It looks like, from any reasonable perspective, that they are actively aiding terrorists on purpose. Wow. Interesting cosmetics. Interesting optics.

Its almost as if the USA government hates itself and actually wants a nuclear war where everyone dies. I think the only thing that should be considered is whether the nutty freaks in charge are actually humans. Humans are a great disappointment, so likely, yes, human beings really can be that mentally deficient. Trump really is such a level of mental retard that he hates himself and wants to be nuked, so he bombs Syria knowing full well they have nothing to do with it. He hates his career now and wants out.

[Apr 16, 2018] There is no magic way to make this stuff go away. Incineration doesn't solve the problems of the metal containers. All of this stuff would be making its way into their environment, causing illness and death in the coming years. It takes decades to properly neutralize this stuff. Lighting it up with Tomahawks definitely isn't the best way, and without a doubt some of it would be immediately released into the surrounding area. However small or not so small that amount is:

Apr 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Canadian Dirtlump -> Pearson365 Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:40 Permalink

So the barrels of chlorine that we've seen multiple times that the West / Saudis have provided to the "rebels" are stored inertly?

How is that?

The calling card of this false flag is the simple fact that such a crude munition was used.

Gimme a break Walter White jr.

gatorengineer -> Canadian Dirtlump Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:52 Permalink

chlorine gas is no big deal. Sarin is destroyed by fire.... There is a reason everyone stores these away from People. Not saying Orange is right, by any means in fact the opposite, but this story is a bit of a reach.

Decoherence -> gatorengineer Mon, 04/16/2018 - 13:33 Permalink

Not necessarily. There is no magic way to make this stuff go away. Incineration doesn't solve the problems of the metal containers. All of this stuff would be making its way into their environment, causing illness and death in the coming years. It takes decades to properly neutralize this stuff. Lighting it up with Tomahawks definitely isn't the best way, and without a doubt some of it would be immediately released into the surrounding area. However small or not so small that amount is:

https://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-09/fyi-chemical-weapons-

RAT005 -> Decoherence Mon, 04/16/2018 - 14:51 Permalink

I used to manage a small apartment complex swimming pool. Dry Chlorine was mixed into a 40gal concentrated tank and a small squirt was pumped into the filter circulation all day long. A newbee once lifted the top off the tank to have a look inside. Lucky I was there (telling him, don't do thattttttt) I about had to carry him out of the room. There would be reports all over that area if a few hundred gallons or more of Chlorine had been blasted into the air.

[Apr 16, 2018] Do Brits try top prevent OPCW team getign to the site?

Apr 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Dangerclose Mon, 04/16/2018 - 13:09 Permalink

I emailed the OPCW yesterday. I asked for the location of the Douma inspection team at precisely the time the research center was attacked. I heard that they were at the airport and only hours away from the site. I thought this would give credence to the theory that the site was attacked just so it would interfere with a proper inspection. They declined to release any info for the protection of their workers and the integrity of their work. I guess we will have to wait for the report.

[Apr 16, 2018] Paul Craig Roberts Has One Awkward Question For Washington Warmongers

Apr 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

US officials and the presstitutes tell us that the illegal US missile attack on Syria destroyed chemical weapons sites where chlorine and sarin are stored/manufactured.

This satellite image, taken Monday morning, shows the Barzah Research and Development Center in Damascus after it was struck by coalition forces.

If this were true, would not a lethal cloud have been released that would have taken the lives of far more people than claimed in the alleged Syrian chemical attack on Douma?

Would not the US missile attack be identical to a chemical weapons attack and thus place the US and its vassals in the same category as Washington is attempting to place Assad and Putin?

What about it, you chemical weapons experts?

Do chemical weapons only release their elements when they explode from intended use but not when they explode from being militarily attacked?

There is no evidence in Syria of chemical residue from the chemical weapons facilities allegedly destroyed by US missiles.

No dead victims.

No reports of hospitals treating Syrian casualties of the American chemical attack.

How can this be if such sites were actually hit?

When I was a Wall Street Journal editor newspapers had competent journalists to whom such a question would occur. But no more. Stephen Lendman takes the New York Times to task for its unprofessionalism . The NY Times is no longer a news source. It is a propaganda megaphone.


BennyBoy -> QueenDratpmurt Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:51 Permalink

The OPCW said there was no chlorine and sarin there.

Remember when....March 31, 2005 - The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction reports that the intelligence community was "dead wrong" in its assessments of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities before the US invasion.

EuroPox -> BennyBoy Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:54 Permalink

That is the site that the Pentagon says was hit with 76 missiles!

19 JASSMs and 57 Tomahawks!

Does anybody believe them?

SafelyGraze -> EuroPox Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:59 Permalink

the lendman article suggests that missiles deliberately targeted and destroyed non-chem-weapons sites that were being used to develop anti-cancer drugs.

that information is completely mistaken because otherwise the official reports would be incorrect.

hugs,
nyt subscribers

JRobby -> SafelyGraze Mon, 04/16/2018 - 13:03 Permalink

Good argument just because it sure DOESN'T look like a large scale chemical manufacturing site........

But it is destroyed.

D503 -> JRobby Mon, 04/16/2018 - 13:19 Permalink

And on the left here you'll see our chemistry lab cleverly disguised as an office building. We have no need for any of the essential components such as reasonable delivery methods, power supply, storage tanks, pipes, etc. We're cutting edge, unlike all those American plants:

https://www.iscgrp.com/projects/

JimmyRainbow -> Klassenfeind Mon, 04/16/2018 - 13:10 Permalink

ever heard of the ship extra built to burn the nerve gas shit out on sea?

there is one, maybe just one worldwide

and if it were so natural and clean to just burn the shit, why the ship?

hundreds of tons nikki said.

a vial enough to kill a town. something always escapes.

additionally the rubble does not look burnt at all

another nice story: there is a phosgen producing site in germany,

phosgen is a weapon-gas but also used in fabrication of plastic.

the whole reactor is shielded by a few 1000 tons of alcohol because that neutralizes phosgen.

in densly populated germany no risk is taken

[Apr 16, 2018] I suggest that Russia act as marginal producer and refuse to sell oil, gas or raw petroleum products for less than double the price of other suppliers.

Apr 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

honestann Sun, 04/15/2018 - 21:58 Permalink

I suggest that Russia act as "marginal producer" and refuse to sell oil, gas or raw petroleum products for less than double the price of other suppliers.

All of a sudden... thing will change.

After the treatment Russia has gotten for the past year or more, they are more than justified to adopt this policy.

[Apr 16, 2018] In late March, the U.S. State Department warned European corporations that they will likely face penalties if they participate in the construction of Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, on the grounds that the project undermines energy security in Europe

Apr 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

spyware-free -> Pernicious Gol Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:47 Permalink

What's going on?
Read this:
"In late March, the U.S. State Department warned European corporations that they will likely face penalties if they participate in the construction of Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, on the grounds that "the project undermines energy security in Europe"

The Nord Stream 2 project and the denial of pipelines through Syria territory is what's eating at the zio-cons. This is power politics and Russia / China are too much of a threat.

Chupacabra-322 -> spyware-free Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:43 Permalink

@ spy,

March, 14, 2017:

The Russian central bank opened its first overseas office in Beijing on March 14, marking a step forward in forging a Beijing-Moscow alliance to bypass the US dollar in the global monetary system, and to phase-in a gold-backed standard of trade.

Apr 3 2017 - Europe approves Nordstream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany

April 6 2017 - need to attack Syria.

Coincidentally, with a new government a gas pipelin can be run from Qatar to Europe and cut-off Russian gas revenue.

Nord Stream 2 Project Gets Green Light From EU

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201704031052232006-nord-stream-eu-gas-pip ...

*Three Mediterranean EU countries and Israel agreed on Monday to continue pursuing the development of a gas pipeline ... EU countries and Israel ... April 3, 2017 ...*

EU, Israel agree to develop Eastern Mediterranean gas pipeline

https://www.rt.com/business/383410-eu-israel-mediterranean-gas-pipeline/

The Optics of the Inter National Geo Political Crises would suggest that The Criminal Oligarch Cabal Bankster Intelligence Deep State Crime Syndicate are going "All In."

Brace YourSelves.....

spyware-free -> Chupacabra-322 Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:52 Permalink

The petroyuan project is the key. It will smash the petrodollar zio-world. Saddam Hussien thought of doing that in the 80's by consolidating Arab oil into a basket of currencies backed by gold. The problem for him was he was a disposable puppet and not able to defend that project. China and Russia are a different matter. It's driving the zios batty.

Chupacabra-322 -> spyware-free Sun, 04/15/2018 - 18:43 Permalink

And, the Yuan is now in the IMF basket of SDR's. Ultimately, the Petro Dollar will meet its demise & it will be decided by which is the cleanest, dirtiest shirt to put on among the SDR's.

[Apr 16, 2018] I can only imagine what Putin et al are thinking. They know they and Assad were not behind that attack, and they know we know, or should know. What this means is that they will have to come to view our government the same way America used to view the Communists. As dangerous, fanatical lunatics.

Apr 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

RedDwarf Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:03 Permalink

Great, I voted for Trump in the hopes he would not be a warmonger since Hillary certainly was. Looks like I should not have bothered after all.

I can only imagine what Putin et al are thinking. They know they and Assad were not behind that attack, and they know we know, or should know. What this means is that they will have to come to view our government the same way America used to view the Communists. As dangerous, fanatical lunatics.

Once you come to view someone not as a rational actor, but as deranged, the dynamics change, and in very dangerous ways. You cannot appease or come to terms with a lunatic. All reasonable options begin to disappear, leaving behind only the last resorts.

[Apr 16, 2018] Trump voters dissatisfaction now reached boiling level

Apr 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Whoa Dammit -> Adolph.H. Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:35 Permalink

The reason we voted for Trump is because we are tired of this sanctimonious hypocritical horse shit. Instead we get more of what we didn't vote for. All Russia did was kindly not sink any of our war ships when we attacked Syria on an assumption.

crossroaddemon -> Whoa Dammit Sun, 04/15/2018 - 18:19 Permalink

You got exactly what you voted for... because if you were dumb enough to think you could actually get an outsider maverick anywhere near the white house I have to think you are too dumb to figure out how to turn on a computer.

Lore -> JohninMK Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:14 Permalink

Trump's in deep over his head. It was an open question whether he posed any genuine obstacle to the pathocracy, but it seems more clear now that, one way or another, he has been brought more tightly under their control. THAT, much more than any individual false-flags or other deceptions or wrongs, should be cause for the rational world to fear. The psychopaths are still on the march, and Trump is at least paying lip service to their chicanery. The further out on a limb he goes, the more reluctant and then helpless he will be to backtrack as pathology becomes more extreme and events escalate under their own momentum. With markets looking more precarious than ever, how long will it be before the psychopaths commit more and bigger false flags?

Sid Davis -> serotonindumptruck Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:55 Permalink

Cornered animal; that sounds like Trumps modus operandi. Notice that anyone who criticizes him gets lambasted with personal attacks instead of a reasoned response.

We need a President who understands freedom and who is a reasonable person, neither of which traits are possessed by Trump. He didn't win the election on his own qualification but on Hillary's lack of qualification. This speaks to the point, "The lesser of two evils is still evil".

silverer Sun, 04/15/2018 - 21:47 Permalink

Trump sucks. He started out good, but now that's over. I expect things to continue to deteriorate daily.

VW Nerd Sun, 04/15/2018 - 21:48 Permalink

I love the smell of unprovoked missile attacks and sanctions in the morning. Reminds me of........desperation.

[Apr 15, 2018] We know this empire is destined to eat itself up due to greed and hubris. My only concern is how long that will take.

Notable quotes:
"... This is very clear path toward a confrontation with Russia. America is not going to stop . Russia continues to be punished because does not leave Syria and does not bow to America. ..."
Apr 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

serotonindumptruck -> Janet smeller Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:44 Permalink

Russia knows that this diplomatic, economic, and military aggression will never stop. These military strikes and economic sanctions from the West represent the death throes of a dying empire. A dying empire is like a gravely wounded, cornered animal.

This is an extremely dangerous animal, because it is willing to arbitrarily kill anyone and anything before it dies.


serotonindumptruck -> spyware-free Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:00 Permalink

I still believe that the USA and its European allies will be the first to use nuclear weapons.

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping no doubt recognize the grave circumstances, and they are using the utmost restraint to avoid the provision of a military pretext that the West/USA is seeking in their effort to greatly escalate hostilities.

GoinFawr -> serotonindumptruck Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:07 Permalink

" I still believe that the USA ... will be the first to use nuclear weapons . "

Eg. Nagasaki and Hiroshima

dirty fingernails -> serotonindumptruck Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:12 Permalink

The US will only use nukes to secure their dominance. The people in change aren't beholden to any country or continent being filthy rich and/or dual citizens. So the plan is to deny the US an excuse to use nukes while cutting the empire off at the knees.

Otherwise, I agree it'll be a NATO country that nukes first. That's part of the desire to make smaller nukes. "Small" nukes are seen as a way to nuke but not start a global exchange. Fucking insane people gambling with all higher life forms.

Chupacabra-322 -> dirty fingernails Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:38 Permalink

"Small Nuke."

You make it sound like she's just "a little pregnant."

dirty fingernails -> spyware-free Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:01 Permalink

Russia will tolerate it as long as possible. The delay only weakens the US and allies. All have serious issues domestically and even alliances are strained. Don't interrupt when your enemy is making a mistake

serotonindumptruck -> dirty fingernails Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:22 Permalink

That is certainly some excellent Sun Tzu advice.

However, Sun Tzu never calculated criminal insanity into his logical strategems.

When your enemy refuses to concede defeat, and is willing to suicide the entire world in their obstinance, the only winning move is not to play.

Pernicious Gol -> serotonindumptruck Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:48 Permalink

He did talk about that.

dirty fingernails -> serotonindumptruck Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:50 Permalink

True, but look around us. There is no need to nuke cities and military targets in the US. Shut down the electrical grid and the population would lose it in a matter of hours. Within days it would be chaos on so many levels that it would take a long time to recover. We really are our own worst enemies because we are so fractured and polarized of the stupidest shit.

serotonindumptruck -> dirty fingernails Sun, 04/15/2018 - 18:01 Permalink

If limited global depopulation is the ultimate goal, then yes, the USA will suffer the most due to the prevalence of firearms and the general hostility that is clearly evident within its citizenry.

That's obviously not the main objective for the warmongers and neocons in DC.

The ultimate objective is global dominance, and the complete and total subjugation of humanity.

Like I said, criminal insanity is the paradigm that rules the West.

Sid Davis -> serotonindumptruck Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:55 Permalink

Cornered animal; that sounds like Trumps modus operandi. Notice that anyone who criticizes him gets lambasted with personal attacks instead of a reasoned response.

We need a President who understands freedom and who is a reasonable person, neither of which traits are possessed by Trump. He didn't win the election on his own qualification but on Hillary's lack of qualification. This speaks to the point, "The lesser of two evils is still evil".

Cosmicserpent -> Adolph.H. Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:42 Permalink

We won't hit bottom without taking everyone with us. The Republic was lost when JFK was assassinated.

spyware-free -> Adolph.H. Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:43 Permalink

This will work out about as good as Obama "isolating" Russia. Nothing more than a ziocon jerkfest.

khnum -> I woke up Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:51 Permalink

That proposition plus a ban on all US agricultural produce is currently being put up in their parliament

veritas semper -> FBaggins Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:43 Permalink

This is very clear path toward a confrontation with Russia. America is not going to stop . Russia continues to be punished because does not leave Syria and does not bow to America.

This recent American fiasco in Syria is just the opening overture. In May we have the moving of American embassy to Jerusalem and the unilateral withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal. I think we will not reach the end of the year without a big war : America is losing power and needs it.

Jumanji1959 -> FBaggins Sun, 04/15/2018 - 18:26 Permalink

Actually the terrorists were sent by Israel and more specifically, the Mossad, who trained them. Israel wants to expand its territory by committing a GENOCIDE.

keep the basta -> FBaggins Sun, 04/15/2018 - 20:25 Permalink

The chemical weapons organisation in Damascus and elsewhere in Syria found NO chemical weapons at the site the USA UK And FR bombed for that. The only chemical weapons are those found in the tunnels in East Ghouta after Syria bussed the militant occupiers away. The 40 tons of chemicals have manufactuer names, serial numbers and addresses eg Porton Down Salisbury.

Occams_Razor_Trader -> Occams_Razor_Trader Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:38 Permalink

Cui Bono? Trump says he's going to pull out of Syria -- Things never looked better for Assad -- and he gets the bright idea, to turn the world against him by gassing gassing his own people? I'm not buying it. I-F-F (Israeli False Flag)

[Apr 15, 2018] World cup as a political game

Apr 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Danedog Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:13 Permalink

The west wants to destroy the world cup for Russia so that things will heat up before June to the point of war. So much money was invested in the stadiums that Russia expects the visitors to help pay. The US will deny this through false flags and lies. I am so ashamed of this nation that has changed to the point that I do not recognize it from my childhood.

ExPat2018 -> Danedog Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:16 Permalink

Yep. they tried the same shit before Sochi Olympics

The used the LGBT Nazis to demonize Russia.

Come to find out that its NOT illegal to be gay in Russia and there are gay bars and discos there.

its ILLEGAL to push GAY education on children (same law that the UK had for years).

[Apr 15, 2018] Syria: What Just Happened?

Apr 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:30 112 SHARES Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

What happened right after the second direct U.S.-missiles invasion of Syria, which had occurred on the night of April 13th, could turn out to have momentous implications - far bigger than the attacks themselves...

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons headlined on April 14th, in the wake of this U.S.-UK-France invasion of Syria that was allegedly punishing Syria's Government for allegedly having used chemical weapons in its bombing in the town of Douma on April 7th, "OPCW Fact-Finding Mission Continues Deployment to Syria" , and reported that:

The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) team of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will continue its deployment to the Syrian Arab Republic to establish facts around the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma.

The OPCW has been working in close collaboration with the United Nations Department of Safety and Security to assess the situation and ensure the safety of the team.

This means that the effort by the U.S. and its allies on the U.N. Security Council, to squash that investigation , has failed at the OPCW, even though the effort had been successful at blocking U.N. support for that specific investigation .

The OPCW is not part of the U.N., nor of any country; it, instead (as introduced by Wikipedia ):

is an intergovernmental organisation and the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force on 29 April 1997. The OPCW, with its 192 member states, has its seat in The Hague, Netherlands, and oversees the global endeavour for the permanent and verifiable elimination of chemical weapons.

In conformity with the unchallenged international consensus that existed during the 1990s that there was no longer any basis for war between the world's major powers, the Convention sought and achieved a U.N. imprimatur, but this was only in order to increase its respect throughout the world. The OPCW is based not on the U.N. Charter but on that specific treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention, which was formally approved by the U.N.'s General Assembly on 30 November 1992 and was then opened for signatures in Paris on 13 January 1993. According to the Convention's terms, it would enter into effect 180 days after 65 nations signed it, which turned out to be on 29 April 1997.

So, although the treaty itself received U.N. approval, the recent Russian-sponsored resolution at the U.N.'s Security Council to have the U.N. endorse the OPCW's investigation of the 7 April 2018 Douma incident, did not receive U.N. approval. It was instead blocked by the U.S. and its allies . Nonetheless, though without a U.N. endorsement, the OPCW investigation into the incident will move forward, despite the invasion.

This fact is momentous, because a credible international inspection, by the world's top investigatory agency for such matters, will continue to completion, notwithstanding the effort by the U.S. and its allies on the U.N. Security Council, to block it altogether. This decision was reached by the OPCW -- not by the U.N.

Among the 192 signers of the Chemical Weapons Convention are U.S., Russia, and Syria, as well as China, Iran, and Iraq, but not Israel, nor North Korea and a very few other countries. So: all of the major powers have already, in advance, approved whatever the findings by the OPCW turn out to be. Those findings are expected to determine whether a chemical attack happened in Douma on 7 April 2018, and, if so, then perhaps what the specific banned chemical(s) was(were), but not necessarily who was responsible for it if it existed. For example, if the 'rebels' had stored some of their chemical weapons at that building and then Syria's Government bombed that building, the OPCW might not be able to determine who is to blame, even if they do determine that there was a chemical attack and the chemical composition of it. In other words: science cannot necessarily answer all of the questions that might be legal-forensically necessary in order to determine guilt, if a crime did, in fact, occur, there.

If the investigation does find that a banned chemical was used and did cause injuries or fatalities, then there is the possibility that its findings will be consistent with the assertions by the U.S. and its allies who participated in the April 13th invasion. That would not necessarily justify the invasion, but it would prove the possibility that there had been no lying intent on the part of the U.S.-and-allied invaders on April 13th.

However, if the investigation does not find that a banned chemical was used in the Syrian Government's bombing of that building, then incontrovertibly the U.S.-and-allied invasion was a criminal one under international laws, though there may be no international court that possesses the authority to try the case .

So: what is at stake here from the OPCW investigation is not only the international legitimacy of Syria's Government, but the international legitimacy of the Governments that invaded it on April 13th. These are extremely high stakes, even if no court in the world will possess the authority to adjudicate the guilt -- either if the U.S. and its allies lied, or if the Syrian Government lied.

For us historians, this is very important. And, for the general public, the significance goes much farther: to specific Governments, to their alleged news media, and to the question of: What does it even mean to say that a government is a "democracy" or a "dictatorship"? The findings from this investigation will reverberate far and wide, and long (if World War III doesn't prevent any such findings at all).

* * *

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity .

[Apr 15, 2018] We are entering the psyops and propaganda phase of a war. In this phase we are ordered to only say what they want us to, and this goes for both sides. They don't care about the truth, just where and when the shooting will start.

Apr 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

DavidC Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:35 Permalink

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE? THESE IDIOTS?!

DavidC

holdbuysell Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:36 Permalink

These people are delusional and extremely dangerous. There's been zero proof of who actually used the chemical weapons (if there were chemical weapons at all?) and they're making statements about it as if it were a verified and universally recognized fact.

Stolypin -> holdbuysell Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:39 Permalink

We are entering the psyops and propaganda phase of a war. In this phase we are ordered to only say what they want us to, and this goes for both sides. They don't care about the truth, just where and when the shooting will start.

[Apr 15, 2018] Any good reason we shouldn't just start calling the 5(+1)-eyez media environment the Oceania State News Network (OSNN) right now?

Apr 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

r0mulus -> Whoa Dammit Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:41 Permalink

Here we go again- the ever-plotting West trying to create reality on the fly- attempting to make the alleged chemical weapons attack into a fait accompli , painting the tape of reality with the shadow-puppets of the operation mockingbird-controlled, corporate (MIC) media!

Any good reason we shouldn't just start calling the 5(+1)-eyez media environment the Oceania State News Network (OSNN) right now?

[Apr 13, 2018] Yet when you consider the broader context and what the Russian side is now saying, it is just plain idiotic to own the S P 500 at 24X. After all, earnings that have been going nowhere for the past three years (earnings per share have inched-up from $106 in September 2014 to $109 in December 2017), and now could be ambushed by a hot war accident in Syria that would rapidly escalate.

Apr 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Folks, like some alien abductors, the Deep State has taken the Donald hostage, and with ball-and-chain finality. Whatever pre-election predilection he had to challenge the Warfare State has apparently been completely liquidated.

Trump's early AM tweet yesterrday, in fact, embodies the words of a man who had more than a few screws loose when he took the oath, but under the relentless pounding of the Imperial City's investigators, partisans, apparatchiks and lynch-mob media has now gone stark raving mad. To wit:

"....Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and "smart!" You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!

Yes, maybe Wall Street has figured out that the Donald is more bluster than bite. Yet when you consider the broader context and what the Russian side is now saying, it is just plain idiotic to own the S&P 500 at 24X. After all , earnings that have been going nowhere for the past three years (earnings per share have inched-up from $106 in September 2014 to $109 in December 2017), and now could be ambushed by a hot war accident in Syria that would rapidly escalate.

Indeed, did the robo-machines and boys and girls down in the casino not ponder the meaning of this message from the Kremlin? It does not leave much to the imagination:

# Russian ambassador in beirut : "If there is a strike by the Americans on #Syria , then... the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired," Zasypkin told Hezbollah's al-Manar TV, speaking in Arabic.

Sure, the odds are quite high that the clever folks in the Pentagon will figure out how to keep the pending attack reasonably antiseptic. That is, they will bomb a whole bunch of places in Syria where the Russians and Iranians are not (after being warned); and also deploy stand-off submarine platforms to launch cruise missiles and high-flying stealth aircraft to drop smart bombs, thereby keeping American pilots and ships out of harm's way.

Then, after unleashing the Donald's version of "shock and awe" they will claim that Assad has just received the spanking of his life and that the Russians and Iranians have been messaged with malice aforethought.

But our point is not that Douma is Sarajevo, and, besides, this is still April, not August. What should be scaring the daylights out of Wall Street is that we are even at the point where the two tweets quoted above are happening.

For crying out loud, there is a brutal, bloody and barbaric civil war raging in Syria where both sides are bedecked in black hats; both sides have committed unspeakable atrocities; and where it is a documented fact that the rebels possess chemical weapons and have launched false flag gas attacks in the past---even as 1,300 tons of Assad's inventory, which may or may not have been the totality of it, was destroyed according to the certification of the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

In that context, who can tell whether the alleged chlorine gas release last Saturday in Douma originated in a bomb dropped by Assad's air force or came from a rebel stockpile that was hit by a bomb? Or whether it was another deliberate false flag attack staged by the jihadists or perhaps that it never happened at all.

The evidence comes mainly from rebel forces opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. One of these was the Violations Documentation Center, a virulent anti-Russian organization funded by George Soros. Another was the White Helmets, a completely comprised operation financed by the US and UK and which has operated only in rebel held territories--- often check-by-jowl with the al-Nusra Front and other terrorist elements.

Indeed, Washington's fabled spies in the sky and taps on every node of the worldwide web can read your email and spot a rogue camel caravan anywhere in a Sahara sandstorm. But they can not tell whether dead bodies are the victims of bullets, bombs, collapsing buildings or chlorine gas. You need to be on the ground and perform chemical tests for that, and Washington just plain isn't there.

Besides, even if a careful investigation--like the one proposed by Sweden and which the US and UK vetoed at the UN---were actually completed, why is it Washington's prerogative to administer a spanking to the culprit?

For one thing, if you are in the spanking business owing to bad behavior, then just within the region you would also need to administer the rod to al-Sisi in Egypt and Erdogan in Turkey; and also to Washington's on and off wards in Baghdad and to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia for his genocidal attacks on Yemen. While you were at it, why would even Bibi Netanyahu be spared the birch---given his periodic "lawn mowing" exercises on the Gaza strip?

The point is, Assad has never attacked, threatened or even looked cross-eyed at the United States. So you would have thought that administering spankings to international malefactors is the business of Washington's permanent War Party, not the leader of America First.

To be sure, the only evidence we have to date is the gruesome images posted on the internet by the "Douma Revolution", which we don't credit because it is a tool of the good folks of Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam), who were holding 3,200 pro-Assad hostages in cages when the attack happened. But even if Assad is culpable, why is the Donald getting out the birch switch if he doesn't mean to effectuate regime change?

Yes, inconstancy is his middle name. But how in god's name could even the Donald have rearranged the modest amount of gray matter under his great Orange Comb-Over so quickly and completely with regards to Syria?

As a reminder, this is what the Donald said just last week:

"We'll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon," Trump said on Thursday, "Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon, very soon, we're coming out....We're going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be."

The fact is, it's way too late to drag Bashar Assad behind the Moammar Khadafy Memorial Jeep to be ritually sodomized by his enemies. That's because he's already won the civil war (red area in map below).

What's left is not remotely conducive to regime change because the majority Arab population of Syria (regardless of Alawite, Shiite, Sunni, Christian, Druse etc. religious affiliation) would never consent to be ruled by the small minority of Kurds (who control the yellow, largely desert areas). And besides, a Kurdish Syrian state in part or whole would guarantee a Turkish invasion and a blue (Turkish controlled areas surrounding Afrin in the northwest) versus yellow war where Washington would be on both sides.

Indeed, the only thing that a regime change attempt at this late date would accomplish is a resurrection of the remnants of ISIL (small black specs) or an upwelling of chaos from the three or four islets (green areas) that warring gangs of rebels, jihadists, salafists and blood-thirsty warlords now nominally control.

So the map below, in fact, tells you what is really going on. To wit, the neocons and deep staters around Trump--with the Walrus Mouth (Bolton) now literally shouting in his ear----are really about picking a fight with Iran and Russia. These are really Imperial Washington's designated enemies, and the purpose of the impending attack on Syrian military installations is to intimidate them into backing down----even as they issue hostile warnings and rhetorical fulminations (especially the Iranians) against America.

Stated differently, the Orange Comb-Over is being lured not so much into an Assad spanking exercise or regime change maneuver as into a Proxy War with Iran and Russia. The latter is literally manna from heaven for the Warfare State.

Indeed, with the defense budget already cranked up to the absurd level of $720 billion , the Deep State and its military/industrial/surveillance/congressional complex allies would like nothing better than maximum rhetorical belligerence (and occasional provocative acts) from Russia and Iran in order to keep the national security gravy train inflating toward the $1 trillion funding mark.

Needless to say, the contractual droppings from these staggering budget levels will keep the beltway think tanks, NGOs and pro-war lobbying apparatus in clover for years to come, thereby fueling the ugly secret of Imperial Washington.

Namely, since America lost its only real enemy in 1991, Washington has become an unhinged war capital. It is now endangering the entire planet in a doom-loop of expanding military muscle, multiplying foreign interventions and occupations, intensifying blowback from the victims of Washington's aggression and an ever greater chorus of Empire justifying experts, apparatchiks and politicians getting fat on the banks of the Potomac.

[Apr 12, 2018] Bolton And Mattis Feud Over Syria Strike As Assad Evacuates Weapons

Note dramatic change of Zero hedge audience attitude toward Trump. And generally ZeroHedge attracts people who were former Trump base.
Apr 12, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Mattis said that the U.S. aim in Syria is to defeat Islamic State, not "to engage in the civil war itself." But referring to the use of chemical weapons, Mattis said that " some things are simply inexcusable, beyond the pale " and require a response. - Bloomberg

The Wall St. Journal reports that Mattis "brought those concerns directly to the White House on Thursday, where White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the national security team didn't agree on a response."

Exactly two weeks ago Mattis met Bolton - telling the bemoustached bringer-of-death "I heard you're actually the devil incarnate, and I wanted to meet you."

... ... ...

"If these strikes start, it could end very tragically and it's impossible to predict the outcome -- that's the nature of military actions," said Russian Senator Frants Klintsevich in a phone interview, adding that there are "no madmen" among Trump's top military advisors. " These are professionals who aren't populists and know what this could lead to. "

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia issued a stark warning on Thursday that there was a danger the war could escalate beyond Syria because of Russia's military presence.

"We cannot exclude any possibilities [of war between Russia and the U.S.] unfortunately because we saw messages that are coming from Washington," Mr. Nebenzia said. " They were very bellicose. "

In an attempt to settle things diplomatically, Russia asked for an open Security Council emergency meeting on Friday morning, calling for UN Secretary-General António Guterres to brief the council, according to the Wall St. Journal .

Meanwhile, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says they are sending a team of investigators to Syria on Saturday to collect samples from the site of the alleged chemical attack last weekend.


algol_dog -> Gen. Ripper Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:30 Permalink

Will Bolton be sending his grandchildren to the front?

ne-tiger -> algol_dog Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:32 Permalink

Fucking orange clown, that's why the fucktard brought in Bolton.

BaBaBouy -> ne-tiger Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:35 Permalink

Thump Hired Bowlton, End Of Story ...

You don't need to be Einstein to see where this is Going...

directaction -> ne-tiger Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:36 Permalink

That maniac, Trump, has sure surrounded himself with a swarm of sick, twisted, psychotic mass killers.

Walter White -> ne-tiger Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:37 Permalink

orange clown will send his kids to war...yes?

Truther -> ne-tiger Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:37 Permalink

HANG THE MOTHER FUCKERS.. HANG THEM ALL.

dirty fingernails -> ne-tiger Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:38 Permalink

Mad props to Mattis for calling him the devil incarnate to his face even if couched tactfully.

But remember, Bolton is just a scare tactic, he isn't really a demented bloodthirsty demon. He wants to go balls out against a nuclear power over a false flag but it's a bluff. /s

Walter White -> ne-tiger Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:37 Permalink

orange clown will send his kids to war...yes?

Truther -> ne-tiger Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:37 Permalink

HANG THE MOTHER FUCKERS.. HANG THEM ALL.

dirty fingernails -> ne-tiger Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:38 Permalink

Mad props to Mattis for calling him the devil incarnate to his face even if couched tactfully.

But remember, Bolton is just a scare tactic, he isn't really a demented bloodthirsty demon. He wants to go balls out against a nuclear power over a false flag but it's a bluff. /s

VladLenin Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:32 Permalink

Let's see. Who's responsible for toppling (or trying to) one strong man after another in the Middle East and leaving the place in a shit storm? USA! USA! USA!

carlnpa Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:32 Permalink

Trump

Leave Syria alone, your interference will result in the slaughter of the Christians that remain in Syria.

besnook Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:32 Permalink

will someone remind these guys that they haven't won a war in awhile. they are not very good at this war stuff so maybe they should stop.

Steaming_Pile Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:33 Permalink

And the academy award for best makeup artist goes to.....

RationalLuddite Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:35 Permalink

while President Trump told reporters on Thursday "We're looking very, very seriously, very closely at that whole situation, and we'll see what happens, folks, we'll see what happens. It's too bad that the world puts us in a position like that."

The lack of self awareness and the victim mentality in this cry-bully statement is breathtaking. Akin to projectile vomiting on someone them blaming them for smelling disgusting. Extraordinary .

besnook Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:35 Permalink

for once in my life i wish i could watch undoctored video of people throwing parties because the usa army is in town.

khnum Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:36 Permalink

Is there a Praetorian guard they used to handle these situations quite efficiently

Gregor Samsa Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:38 Permalink

"It was very disconcerting when I saw that an attack is planned on Mosul, an attack is planned. ... Why do we have to talk about it? Why? I never saw anything like this. Every time we are going to attack somebody, we explain. We're going to attack, we'll be attacking at three, noon on March 25. I don't know, unless you disagree with me, wouldn't it be better if we were going to go after Mosul to not say anything and do it, as opposed to announcing -- they're announcing all over television they're planning to attack Mosul." -- Donald J. Trump

[Apr 10, 2018] Trump says the US will be pulling out of Syria and a week later White helmets spread diinforation about Assad poisoning civil population in Douma and Trump believe this propaganda calls Assad an animal and blames Putin.

Apr 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

chunga Sun, 04/08/2018 - 12:37 Permalink

The context of the entire Russia mania is ludicrous and the fake news is so ridiculous that war must be close.

A) Congress votes unanimously to sanction Russia for tampering the election by hacking and everybody in DC makes believe they've never heard of the dead staffer.

B) Putin decides to poison some guy right before their election using a special poison only Russia has. Their involvement in the "investiagtion" is forbidden,

C) The maverick outsider says the US will be pulling out of Syria and ~ a week later Assad decides to shoot chemicals at people like no one will ever find out. Trump calls Assad an animal and blames Putin.

There are a few possibilities. Trump could truly be a dotard moron and believe this shit or he's being strong-armed.

It's either that or some sort of wacko plan. Even the most ardent deplorables are having a hard time with this.

Griffin -> chunga Sun, 04/08/2018 - 18:20 Permalink

First reports about Syria chemical attack said at least 150 killed, according to white helmets. Shortly there after the number falls to 70.

https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/8amk7l/150_dead_in_syria_ga

[Apr 10, 2018] The "Russian" Poisoning of the Skirpals In Context

Notable quotes:
"... U.S. government documents declassified in October 2017 admitted that a very high-level 1962 meeting of U.S. government officials – separate from the Joint Chiefs of Staff – also discussed: The possibility of U.S. manufacture or acquisition of Soviet aircraft . There is a possibility that such aircraft could be used in a deception operation designed to confuse enemy planes in the air, to launch a surprise attack against enemy installations or in a provocation operation in which Soviet aircraft would appear to attack U.S. or friendly installations in order to provide an excuse for U.S. intervention. ..."
Apr 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Unless you've been living under a rock, by now you know that the British government falsely claimed that irrefutable evidence proved that the Russian government was behind the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter using a "Novichok" nerve agent.

In response, the UK and US carried out the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats in history.

Now that the wheels have come off this farce, it is interesting to note previous examples of the West falsely blaming Russia for bad acts.

Official German intelligence service documents show that, in 1994, the German intelligence services planted (original German ) plutonium on an airplane coming from Russia, as a way to frame Russia for exporting dangerous radioactive materials which could end up in the hands of terrorists and criminals.

This frame-up job was so successful at whipping up fear that it got German Chancellor Kohl re-elected, and the U.S. used it as an excuse to "help" secure Russia's nuclear facilities, as a way to get access to Russian nuclear secrets.

While everyone "knows" that the Kremlin poisoned Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko with radioactive polonium, a very high-level French counterterrorism official, Paul Barril, alleges that French, US and UK intelligence worked together to kill Litvinenko and to frame Russia: And see this .

U.S. government documents declassified in October 2017 admitted that a very high-level 1962 meeting of U.S. government officials – separate from the Joint Chiefs of Staff – also discussed: The possibility of U.S. manufacture or acquisition of Soviet aircraft . There is a possibility that such aircraft could be used in a deception operation designed to confuse enemy planes in the air, to launch a surprise attack against enemy installations or in a provocation operation in which Soviet aircraft would appear to attack U.S. or friendly installations in order to provide an excuse for U.S. intervention.

Newsweek ran an article headlined (all caps in original Newsweek title):

U.S. GOVERNMENT PLANNED FALSE FLAG ATTACKS TO START WAR WITH SOVIET UNION, JFK DOCUMENTS SHOW

The article notes:

The U.S. government once wanted to plan false flag attacks with Soviet aircraft to justify war with the USSR or its allies, newly declassified documents surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy show.

***

False flag attacks are covert operations that make it look like an attack was carried out by another group than the group that actually carried them out.

Indeed, falsely blaming other countries for terrorism or violence is the oldest way to create a "justification" for war.

Update: Why the Russian Double-Agent Skripal Could Not Have Been Poisoned with "Novichok"

Umh Sun, 04/08/2018 - 08:58 Permalink

The governments have certainly learned how to mess with the thinking gear of people. I spent most of my life working with inanimate objects not spending much time figuring out how people think. Most of the people that I did try to figure out were personally known to me. It was only in the last few years of my career that I paid any real attention to how people are manipulated. I knew people were easily manipulate for years, just think about how the war in Iraq in 2003 was so popular amoung most people.

are we there yet -> DuneCreature Sun, 04/08/2018 - 17:56 Permalink

Hi, I am from the government. I am here to lie to you. I have so many lies on top of other lies that sometimes they are true. Even the government has lost track. I am not sure if even MIC or Israel knows anymore.

[Apr 09, 2018] It remains unclear if US neocons staged Dauma provocation to prevent the US troops withdraval annonced by Trump

Apr 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

HopefulCynical -> Enoughalready Mon, 04/09/2018 - 07:56 Permalink

Someone didn't RTFA: " President Trump recently announced his intention to pull US troops out of Syria - although the neocons that now dominate the Trump national security team have been aghast at such a suggestion, and have managed to convince the president to slow-roll this. It remains unclear if they staged the false flag chemical attack in Syria with the help of Israel, or on their own. "

[Apr 09, 2018] Israel Launched Deadly Airstrike Against Syrian Airbase

Apr 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Despite President Trump adopting his harshest rhetoric yet to condemn Russia and the government of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad for an alleged chemical attack in rebel-held eastern Ghouta, a missile strike carried out overnight on a Syrian airfield was not the US's doing.

Instead, Russia and Syria have accused Israel of carrying out the strike on Syria's T-4 airfield, situated about halfway between Homs (Syria's third-largest city) and Palmyra (famously the site of ancient ruins). RT reports that two Israeli F-15 jets fired eight guided missiles at the airfield from Lebanese airspace. The jets never entered Syria.

Of these, Syrian air defenses intercepted five. The attack left roughly 14 people dead, including Iranians and Syrians, the Associated Press reported.

Russia and the Syrian military blamed Israel for a pre-dawn missile attack Monday on a major air base in central Syria , saying Israeli fighter jets launched the missiles from Lebanon's air space. A war-monitoring group said the airstrikes killed 14 people, including Iranians active in Syria.

Russia's Defense Ministry said two Israeli aircraft targeted the T4 air base in Homs province, firing eight missiles. It said Syria shot down five of them while the other three landed in the western part of the base. Syrian state TV quoted an unnamed military official as saying that Israeli F-15 warplanes fired several missiles at T4. It gave no further details.

Israel's foreign ministry had no comment when asked about the accusations.

Since 2012, Israel has struck inside Syria more than 100 times, mostly targeting suspected weapons' convoys destined for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which has been fighting alongside Syrian government forces.

Most recently, Israel hit the same T4 base in February, after it said an Iranian drone that had violated Israeli airspace took off from the base. The base, which was used as a launching pad for counter offensive attacks against Islamic State militants who were at one point stationed close by, is near the Shayrat air base, which was targeted by U.S. missiles last year in response to a chemical weapons attack.

Monday's missile attack came hours after President Donald Trump warned there would be a "big price to pay" after a suspected poison gas attack Saturday on the last remaining foothold for Syrian rebels in the eastern suburbs of Damascus. At least 40 people were killed in that assault, including families found in their homes and shelters, opposition activists and local rescuers said.

Eight missiles were launched by two Israeli Air Force F-15 jets at the T-4 airfield located about halfway between Homs and the ancient city of Palmyra. Israel previously launched a strike against the base back in February after an Iranian drone ventured into Israeli airspace, provoking an alarmed response.

This isn't Israel's first unprovoked attack on a Syrian military installation: most recently, Israel launched an attack against a government installation near Damascus almost exactly two months ago. Before that, the Israelis launched another unprovoked attack back in September.

Lebanon's Al-Mayadeen reported Monday that Israeli reconnaissance aircraft had been spotted close to the border with Syria during the attack. The missiles crossed Lebanese airspace over Keserwan and Bekaa before heading toward Syria.

France, which we had initially suspected might be behind the attack, along with Israel...
While the US was quick to pin the chemical attack in Ghouta - the last rebel stronghold in what's considered suburban Damascus - on Russia and Assad, the US jumped to a similar conclusion a year ago when Trump authorized a fusillade of tomahawk missiles to strike a Syrian airbase. It was later learned that the US had no proof to suggest that attack was orchestrated by Assad's government.

As for Israel's desire to provoke another regional war, it is understandable in light of growing Iranian influence on its border, while President Trump recently announced his intention to pull US troops out of Syria - although the neocons that now dominate the Trump national security team have been aghast at such a suggestion, and have managed to convince the president to slow-roll this. It remains unclear if they staged the false flag chemical attack in Syria with the help of Israel, or on their own.

Meanwhile, the Guardian says the IDF views the chaos in the West Wing as the latest sign that it must take matters into its own hands, and not wait for explicit US approval. However, with a UN Security Council meeting scheduled for Monday over recent events in Syria, we now wait to see what kind of response Russia and Assad will decide on, and how Moscow will respond to this provocation by Netanyahu, who has been friendly - at least superficially - with Putin in recent months.


topspinslicer -> J. Peasemold G Mon, 04/09/2018 - 07:30 Permalink

The jews will use madeline Albright reasoning of we had to kill the Syrian children to protect the Syrian children

EuroPox -> topspinslicer Mon, 04/09/2018 - 07:36 Permalink

The story is now getting widely confirmed. Looks like it was actually 4 jets not 2:

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/breaking-lebanese-military-confirm

2 for the attack and 2 to provide countermeasure support.

The Russian Defense Ministry has also said that medics in Douma received no patients with signs of chemical poisoning:
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201804091063359321-douma-medics-pati

Slack Jack -> Manthong Mon, 04/09/2018 - 09:52 Permalink

This latest chemical attack in Syria is yet another FALSE FLAG.

Just like all the previous chemical attacks in Syria were FALSE FLAG attacks.

Just like the Skripal "chemical attack" in Britain was a FALSE FLAG attack.

Jim in MN -> nmewn Mon, 04/09/2018 - 09:20 Permalink

OK, let's take a moment to re-set the stage.

The natural regional powers are Iran, Turkey and Egypt. Just look at any population map and/or economic activity indicators.

Israel has only technology and 'influence' to create a temporary, brittle form of power. Saudis have only oil and 'influence', ditto.

Hence, by a short-term accident, Israel and KSA can effectively create death and destruction in the region, killing babies for their own greed and power.

BUT ONLY IF THE US HELPS. The IDF is essentially useless on the ground, ditto the Saudis, and neither can handle Russian intel and air superiority on their own.

So this populist insurrection is indeed a pivotal moment, coming as it does when the global balance is shifting toward Eurasian integration, global peace and prosperity. A 'Chinese Peace' with Russian muscle. The main idea being to not blow up shiny new Chinese ports, roads, etc.

So the tiny, tiny minority of war-mongering, globalist traitors in these very, very few countries (Israel, KSA, and the 'Five Eyes') has essentially NO other cards to play. Use WMDs against civilians, false flags, try to get their own killed to trigger war fever.

The very best part right now is: we're already past the tipping point. No one cares, and almost no one believes them.

Pretty much game over, but a very dangerous end game. I think we should round up all these sociopaths pronto before they murder more babies.

Faeriedust -> Jim in MN Mon, 04/09/2018 - 09:52 Permalink

Take it one step farther. The US public is on to the con. BUT the US economy still depends on the MIC. And the MIC depends on maintaining the constant state of little brush wars around the globe to sell their hardware. Every Israeli or KSA plane, missile, and bomb is stamped "Made in the USA". As China and Russia step in to impose peace in Eurasia and the Saudi oil runs out, the petrodollar ceases to be the world reserve currency. The US has two economic pillars: the MIC and Big Ag. With a failing currency and no customers for war toys, it becomes locked into the position of being a global commodity supplier: pork, wheat, corn, soybeans, peanuts. Historically, agricultural commodity suppliers are third-world nations, forced to accept low prices on highly-competitive products while paying high prices for monopolized industrial goods.

This is the END for global US dominance. One can understand why the PTB are desperate to keep going no matter what the resistance at home or abroad. A major war is likely. Victory is not.

optimator -> valjoux7750 Mon, 04/09/2018 - 09:08 Permalink

And if the Syrian Air Force launched missiles from Jordanian air space against an Israeli Air Base nothing would happen? By the way, the Golan Heights does not belong to Israel so they launched from Syrian territory. Whatever......hopefully no U.S. Ships are in the way.

ChaoKrungThep -> egerman Mon, 04/09/2018 - 08:50 Permalink

Five missiles out of eight shot down - by Syrian (old) defense systems. Not too bad. Russia is not there to stop Israel. It's there to stop Daesh, which it's done. Smart, patient, focused strategy.

strannick -> ChaoKrungThep Mon, 04/09/2018 - 08:56 Permalink

Putins patience is what keeps the peace. Like that Russian sub captain in the cuban missle crisis who wouldnt pull the trigger.

Pardon me thou bleeding piece of earth if i am meek and gentle with these butchers.

God bless and keep Vlad Putin. Pray for him.

[Apr 09, 2018] US Will Respond To Syria Gas Attack Regardless Of Security Council's Decision

Notable quotes:
"... Nikki Haley claims that the US "Will Respond" To Syria Gas Attack Regardless Of Security Council's Decision ..."
"... Last year, the US destroyed more than a dozen aircraft, as well as oil storage facilities and other structures, and killed at least seven people when it fired 59 missiles at Syria's Shayrat Airbase following a chemical weapons attack that the US also pinned on the Syrian government. ..."
"... Both the UK and France have suggested they're considering military action in Syria. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he and his French and US allies agree there should be "no impunity for those that use such barbaric weapons." ..."
"... However, Johnson added that Monday's emergency meeting of the UN Security Council would be "an important next step in determining the international response" and that "a full range of options should be on the table." ..."
Apr 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Nikki Haley claims that the US "Will Respond" To Syria Gas Attack Regardless Of Security Council's Decision

Update (4:15 pm ET): US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Monday that the US would retaliate against the attack in Syria regardless of what the UN Security Council decides.

"History will record this as the moment when the Security Council either discharged its duty or demonstrated its utter and complete failure to protect the people of Syria. Either way, the United States will respond."

She described the victims in graphic terms.

"I could hold up pictures of babies lying dead next to their mothers, in their diapers, all lying together, dead, ashen blue, open eyed and lifeless, white foam bubbling from their mouths and noses."

Haley added that "the world must see justice done" in Syria.

* * *

Before heading into his Monday afternoon cabinet meeting, President Donald Trump condemned a chemical weapons attack in Ghouta, Syria during an impromptu press conference. The president said "even with the world as bad as it is, you just don't see things like that" before saying he'd decide on a response "probably by the end of today."

And while the US was "having trouble getting people in" to the town, Trump added that he would definitively determine which states were involved in the attack - be it Syria, Iran, Russia (or presumably all three).

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CFCy-5c_imc

With Trump and his most trusted advisors still debating the proper response, several anonymous Pentagon officials have told the Washington Examiner that the US is considering several options including a missile barrage similar to the strike carried out on a Syrian air base last year.

The Israeli F-15s launched a lethal strike on a Syrian airbase early Monday, killing 14 people with the US's tacit approval .

The options being considered now are similar to the options that were provided to the president before last year's strike. The US has several ships armed with tomahawk cruise missiles stationed in the region - including the USS Donald Cook, a guided-missile destroyer that just completed a port call in Cyprus and got underway in the eastern Mediterranean. The ship is within range of Syria and could presumably strike at any target the president orders.

Last year, the US destroyed more than a dozen aircraft, as well as oil storage facilities and other structures, and killed at least seven people when it fired 59 missiles at Syria's Shayrat Airbase following a chemical weapons attack that the US also pinned on the Syrian government.

But according to one official who spoke with the Examiner , Trump could be considering a "more robust" strike this time around, considering that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad didn't quite get the message last time.

Both the UK and France have suggested they're considering military action in Syria. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he and his French and US allies agree there should be "no impunity for those that use such barbaric weapons."

However, Johnson added that Monday's emergency meeting of the UN Security Council would be "an important next step in determining the international response" and that "a full range of options should be on the table."

[Apr 09, 2018] Hi, I am from the government. I am here to lie to you

The Brits blinked and did not punish the criminal liar Blair. Since then, the war profiteering based on false flag operations has become a national British pastime.
Notable quotes:
"... The problem for governments using false flag operations like this is many more people are no longer trusting their own governments and quite rightly so. ..."
Apr 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

are we there yet -> DuneCreature Sun, 04/08/2018 - 17:56 Permalink

Hi, I am from the government. I am here to lie to you. I have so many lies on top of other lies that sometimes they are true. Even the government has lost track. I am not sure if even MIC or Israel knows anymore.

GreatUncle Sun, 04/08/2018 - 10:51 Permalink

The problem for governments using false flag operations like this is many more people are no longer trusting their own governments and quite rightly so. Human minds are reinforcing the concept of untrustworthy governments that actually lasts far longer than the elected period of time of those who purport to represent the population we now know to be a deceit.

As example, take Blair ex-UK prime minister who concocted the whole Iraq dodgy dossier in the UK who most people I know now call him a war criminal but nobody will put on trial in the Hague. He has not been PM since 2007 but nobody forgets the criminal acts he instigated and supported and will be remembered for a long time for this. So how do you make Blair appear human again to the population?

You can apply this concept to so many elected criminals in the west ... join it up those that rule us are in fact criminals not ordinary people. The psychos rule over us and to them we are no more than dead meat.

[Apr 09, 2018] The big game is the eradication of Western sponsored terrorists and ending of the Syrian civil war

Apr 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Joiningupthedots Mon, 04/09/2018 - 08:48 Permalink

The big game is the eradication of Western sponsored terrorists and ending of the Syrian civil war.

This is on schedule and nothing can stop it. It will be over soon.

Russia sees EVERYTHING flying over the entire theatre and in due course the SAA will be supplied with the means to destroy the IDF over Lebanon also.

The IDF attacks are nothing more than an irritation and will be dealt with in the fullness of time. 5 from 8 is nothing to brag about at all. In mission planning terms its a disaster really and will lead to failure in a full war.

Only a direct attack on the Russian military will elicit a direct response from Russia. It has been stated publicly enough times.

Any response from Russia in that instance will come from missile launches from Russia (hundreds of them at that) The antagonists know this.

Syria is winning its war and that's all that matters.

God is The Son Mon, 04/09/2018 - 09:53 Permalink

Assad is fighting Sunni Insurgency, their all RADICAL. Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Gulf States are funding them. AL-Qaeda, ISIS, and all the other groups, all SUNNI's. This pocket in SYRIA is filled with Sunni's, their fighting force are all RADICALS.

Look at one of the groups that USA supported a Jihadist Sunni Division, who went to KITCHEN grab a cooking knife and cut off the head of 10 year old KID.

THE USA, FRANCE, UK, are all in BED with Sunni's, Ironically, It's Sunni's that are also committing TERROR attacks in EUROPE. Yet Jew Boss's in USA and EUROPE want make Sunni the Allies and SHIA the enemy.

Look at the CRIMINALITY going on.

[Apr 09, 2018] The US is in Syria illegally and that manes that guerilla attacks of the USA troops in occupied areas might intensify

Apr 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Mike Masr Mon, 04/09/2018 - 07:32 Permalink

US Interference and Regime Change Bullshit

"Secret cables and reports by the U.S., Saudi and Israeli intelligence agencies indicate that the moment Assad rejected the Qatari pipeline, military and intelligence planners quickly arrived at the consensus that fomenting a Sunni uprising in Syria to overthrow the uncooperative Bashar Assad was a feasible path to achieving the shared objective of completing the Qatar/Turkey gas link. In 2009, according to WikiLeaks, soon after Bashar Assad rejected the Qatar pipeline, the CIA began funding opposition groups in Syria."

Regime change is the only reason we or any of our proxies are there. We have NO GOOD REASON being there other than this BS.

Truth Eater Mon, 04/09/2018 - 07:34 Permalink

Dammit Trump! Get control of your staff and get out of Syria leaving the Kurds all the AA stinger missiles they need to take out Turk aircraft. And on the way out, rip the Turk invasion force to shreds, then just say, "oops, sorry."

davatankool Mon, 04/09/2018 - 07:38 Permalink

Massive Propaganda Push Re. Syria Gas Attack

William Dorritt Mon, 04/09/2018 - 08:08 Permalink

Israel wants the US to fight to the last American

one reason Israel remained silent even though it seems clear they had advanced knowledge of the 9-11 attack; and allowed them to proceed. Israelis Agents filming the attacks were arrested and later deported, more than 70 of them.

Fortunately, Bibi was ready to take the microphone minutes after the 9-11 attack and define the enemy for the American public, resulting in the deaths of thousands of American service men and $7 Trillion wasted in the shit hole middle east.

The Anglo Jewish Alliance continues to try to provoke a war between the US and Russia, Iran, and Syria.

Trump is right to get the US out of the shit hole as fast as possible, months not years.

Former CIA Steele claims that the Epstein Compromise Kiddie Sex tapes from the Lolita Express, the palm beach estate and probably six other Epstein properties are in Israel for Control-Blackmail purposes. The next time Bibi calls Trump, Trump should tell Bibi to fuck off. What happened on the 300ft yacht ?????

CFR and AIPAC and all Globalist and Foreign lobbyist organization must be registered as Foreign Agents, and forced to meet at the State Dept, and cut off from contact with the rest of the US govt.

JPMorgan Mon, 04/09/2018 - 08:12 Permalink

Israel is US by proxy.

DingleBarryObummer -> JPMorgan Mon, 04/09/2018 - 08:15 Permalink

+1

Perhaps if you flipped it around, it would be even more accurate.

RagnarRedux -> DingleBarryObummer Mon, 04/09/2018 - 08:34 Permalink

Correct.

Former CIA Intelligence Officer Michael Scheuer: Israel Owns US Congress

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_T1VrzdaKs

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

Former CIA Operations Officer Valerie Plame: American Jews Are Starting Wars

http://www.newsweek.com/americans-jews-are-starting-wars-jewish-former-

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

Former British Foreign Secretary & MP Jack Straw: Jewish Money Prevents Peace

https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4445810,00.html

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

Lostinfortwalton Mon, 04/09/2018 - 10:04 Permalink

"a missile strike carried out overnight on a Syrian airfield was not the US's doing."

The Israelis only used US provided weapons from US provided aircraft.

BGO Mon, 04/09/2018 - 10:19 Permalink

The plan is for Israel to conduct however many cowardly missions it takes until their murderous ways are considered normalized behavior.

Someday in the not so distant future, israel hopes conversations such as "did you hear Israel told an incidious lie then killed a bunch of innocent people?" to which a typical brow beaten dufus responds "yes, but it had to be done," become as common place as banter about the weather.

Lizards. Lizards everywhere.

[Apr 09, 2018] Publication by the USA formula of Novichok was probably a fake as in case it is real it put Israel into tremendous danger

Notable quotes:
"... Basically, Mirzayanov claims that it is relatively easy to make the Novichok nerve agents. So, some enterprising Arabs could buy a few chemists to make a few tons of it and then spray it all over the little Satan. Do you really think that the Jews who run the United States would allow the publication of information that could lead to thousands of deaths in Israel? ..."
"... Remember, Mirzayanov was given residence (and a University position) in the United States after he was kicked out of Russia. There are also a number of "people who should know" that have stated that there is zero solid evidence for the existence of the Novichok nerve agents. For example: Robin Black in Development, Historical Use and Properties of Chemical Warfare Agents (2016): ..."
"... "In recent years, there has been much speculation that a fourth generation of nerve agents, 'Novichoks' (newcomer), was developed in Russia, beginning in the 1970s as part of the 'Foliant' programme, with the aim of finding agents that would compromise defensive countermeasures. Information on these compounds has been sparse in the public domain, mostly originating from a dissident Russian military chemist, Vil Mirzayanov. No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds has been published." ..."
"... "There has never been a 'Novichok' research project conducted in Russia,... But in the West, some countries carried out such research, which they called 'Novichok,' for some reason." ..."
Apr 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Slack Jack -> Slack Jack Mon, 04/09/2018 - 09:54 Permalink

Remember, the evil people, Theresa May, Stoltenberg, Trump and the rest, are damning Russia with obvious lies.

The Novichok nerve agents don't even exist.

HERE IS THE PROOF:

The Novichok nerve agents are supposedly much more toxic than the nerve gases VX or Sarin (and yet the Skripals are still alive!?).

Mirzayanov's book, published in 2008, contains the formulas he alleges can be used to create Novichoks. In 1995, he explained that "the chemical components or precursors" of Novichok are "ordinary organophosphates that can be made at commercial chemical companies that manufacture such products as fertilizers and pesticides."

https://www.amazon.com/State-Secrets-Insiders-Chronicle-Chemical/dp/143

Basically, Mirzayanov claims that it is relatively easy to make the Novichok nerve agents. So, some enterprising Arabs could buy a few chemists to make a few tons of it and then spray it all over the little Satan. Do you really think that the Jews who run the United States would allow the publication of information that could lead to thousands of deaths in Israel?

Do you really think they would protect the publisher of such information by giving him residence in t