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National Security State as Racket on the Danger of Terrorism
Review of Literature

“Plunderers of the world, when nothing remains on the lands to which they have laid waste by wanton thievery, they search out across the seas. The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power as well. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them. Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich. Robbery, rape, and slaughter they falsely call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.”

Tacitus, Agricola
 

News Corporatism Recommended Links Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations Neofascism Nation under attack meme
Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative  Inverted Totalitarism The Deep State Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Reconciling Human Rights With Total Surveillance Operation Gladio - Wikipedia
The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies History of American False Flag Operations False flag operations as an important part of demonization of the enemy strategy Mystery of Building 7 Collapse Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers Manchester attack vs Charlie Hebdo
Total Surveillance Media-Military-Industrial Complex The Grand Chessboard Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Two Party System as Polyarchy Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few
Edward Snowden as Symbol of Resistance to National Security State Facebook as Giant Database about Users Social Sites as intelligence collection tools Systematic Breach of Vienna Convention Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism The Iron Law of Oligarchy
American Exceptionalism New American Militarism Machiavellism   Humor Etc

"The greatest threat is that we shall become like those who seek to destroy us"

the legendary US diplomat George Kennan warned in 1947

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem”


Ronal Reagan about a different crisis

Books have been written about President Eisenhower’s famous farewell warning in 1961 about the “military-industrial complex,” and what he described as its “unwarranted influence.” But an even greater leviathan today, one that the public knows little about, is the “intelligence-industrial complex.”

Michael Hirsh in

How America's Top Tech Companies
Created the Surveillance State )

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.

- James Madison


Introduction

The National Security State is an ideology and practice of the USA elite, closely connected with the idea of the rule of the Media-Military-Industrial Complex, and especially three-letter agencies ("Trumanites" because of our 33rd president's role in founding the CIA, the modern Defense Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Agency).  It is somewhat different from national socialist idea as it is married to neoliberalism and does not included the decisive influence of the state in economic sphere.

Under neoliberalism society has become increasingly militarized, meaning that as most aspects of the social-democratic state (New Deal state) are eliminated, a police state is rising in its place. All problems that in the past were seen as social problems, and hence required social solutions, now acquire police solutions. Heavily militarized police became praetorian guard of 0.1% that is in power.

In economic sphere deregulation (economic liberalism or neoliberalism) produce social conflict, which at some point can not be masked by neoliberal demagogy ("shareholder value", "stakeholder participation" and other neoliberal crap).  As the state now represents interest only of the top 0.1% population, economic and political spheres became merged under authoritarian rule of financial oligarchy, not unlike the USSR under bolshevism with the only difference that "nomenklatura" was more aligned with the interests of the society then financial oligarchy,  Tax laws, inheritance rules, status to trade unions, "revolving door" regulations (which highly correlates with the degree of corruption of the society) became political decisions and  require constant brainwashing of the population and instilling fear using external threat. Terrorism is used for this purpose not unlike permanent war between Oceania and Eurasia in the Orwell's famous  novel 1984,  It is clear that the war with terrorism is quintessential for waging "permanent war for permanent peace".  This link to rampant militarism is close to what we observe in typical neo-fascist movements (Fascism - Wikipedia ):

Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism[1][2] that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe, influenced by national syndicalism. Fascism originated in Italy during World War I and spread to other European countries. Fascism opposes liberalism, Marxism and anarchism and is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.[3][4]

Fascists saw World War I as a revolution that brought massive changes in the nature of war, society, the state, and technology. The advent of total war and total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilian and combatant. A "military citizenship" arose in which all citizens were involved with the military in some manner during the war.[5][6] The war had resulted in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines and providing economic production and logistics to support them, as well as having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.[5][6]

Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete, and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties.[7] Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society.[7] Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature, and views political violence, war, and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation.[8][9][10][11] Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.[12]

Since the end of World War II in 1945, few parties have openly described themselves as fascist, and the term is instead now usually used pejoratively by political opponents. The descriptions neo-fascist or post-fascist are sometimes applied more formally to describe parties of the far right with ideologies similar to, or rooted in, 20th century fascist movements.[13]

In this social system US intelligence apparatus and military establishment are raised to the level above and beyond civilian control and become a somewhat autonomous system, a hidden government of the USA. Deep state as it is now called. Which, as a minimum, assume the role of king maker for the most top positions in the USA government. And, if necessary, can act as a king remover (JFK assassination is a nice example here; CIA fingerprints are all over the place, but nobody from CIA went to jail for this "accomplishment": mission accomplished).

The colossal budget with  juicy cost-plus contracts of affiliated private companies gives those agencies not only tremendous power, but also vested ideological and financial interests. For example, for the moment of its creation, due to Allen Dulles background CIA was aligned with the interests of Wall Street. There no real overseeing of three letter agencies from neither executive branch, not from the Congress, nor from the Supreme Court.

But the reverse is not true. In a way they can serve as a surrogate king.   In other words, instead of the servant of the state intelligence agencies became the master. This phenomenon is not limited to the USA. The same hijacking of executive, parliamentarian and judicial braches of govern happened in other countries. A very interesting example provides the USSR: it was actually betrayal of KGB brass, who switched side and decided to privatize the country, that among other things doomed the USSR.

The key "three letter agencies" (CIA, DOD, NSA, FBI) were established by the National Security Act of 1947, signed in September 18, 1947 by President Harry S. Truman. This year can be considered as the year when National Security State was born and probably should be celebrated accordingly instead of old-fashioned Independence Day.  Very little was preserved from the "old republic" after this transformation of the USA. 

It is prudent to view National Security State as a modern form of corporatism, closely related to concepts of neo-fascism and Inverted Totalitarism. As ellatynemouth noted in the comment to the Guardian article Internet privacy as important as human rights, says UN's Navi Pillay (Dec 26, 2013):

The surveillance state is the ruling class's key hole through which they monitor us and our potential dissent. It's now an integral part of capitalism and can't be removed.

The game has changed. It's now about convincing us as much as possible that they will stop snooping on us. They won't though. It will just become more heavily hidden.

Surveillance state was made possible with the advent of computers, Internet and wireless communication. In some features it is close to neo-fascism and Latin-American far right authoritarian regimes, but there are important difference. Instead of organized violence against opponents it achieved its goals without relentless physical repression/elimination of opponents. It's key feature is mass surveillance, discreditation and blackmailing of opponents (like in German Democratic Republic there are dossier for every member of society and skeletons from the closet can be revealed for any politician or activist)  as well as control and manipulation of media, not mass repression of opponents. Like neofascist regimes of the past (such as Pinochet regime in Chile) and authoritarian "communist" regimes of the past and present, it make organized opposition to the government virtually impossible. Of the 20 characteristic traits of neo-fascist regimes probably around the half are applicable to the national security state.

After 9/11, Bush government's behavior and especially appeals to public clearly resonate with the proto-fascist "... uber alles" ideas. As an amazing example of doublespeak  Bushists managed to integrate American exceptionalism into the framework of globalist neoliberal regime (as the command-and-control center for neoliberal world empire, no less). Bush government inspired post-9/11 paranoia doesn’t come cheaply, though. Costs were staggering: the military ($682 billion), Homeland Security (about $60 billion), and 15 intelligence agencies (official figure of combined budget is perhaps $75 billion; but in reality in many times more then that). The total is probably over a trillion.

Nothing changed under President Obama, which suggests that he is just a figurehead and the  "deep state" is actually in charge. In most area Obama administration was more like Bush II administration , then "change we can believe in".  In this sense this was the most blatant "bait and switch" in the recent  political history of the USA. This is the view of Professor Michel Greenon, who in his book advocated the view that tradition troika of powers in the USA became by and large ceremonial and that real actors, at least in area of national security are not non-elected executives of super-powerful and well financed three-letter agencies. Here is a brief overview taken from review published by Reason (National Security State - Reason.com):

Though Glennon doesn't describe his thesis in terms of public choice theory, it echoes that discipline's insight that institutions are run for the benefit of the people who run the institutions. For the Trumanites, Glennon explains, "benefits take the form of enlarged budgets, personnel, missions; costs take the form of retrenchments in each." Witness the vast archipelago of intelligence facilities-nearly three Pentagons' worth of office space-that have been erected in greater Washington, D.C., since 9/11.

The national security state is becoming an autonomous, self-perpetuating entity, Glennon warns. It sets the table for elected officials' choices and increasingly dictates terms to them. The permanent bureaucracy basks in the "glow" of Madisonian institutions, drawing legitimacy from the illusion that elected officials are in charge. But while the buck may stop with the president, the real power resides with the Trumanites.

This explanation is strongest in the realm of state surveillance, which serves as Glennon's central case study. Recall the embarrassing revelation, in the summer of 2013, that the NSA was tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone. What did the president know, and when did he know it? If you believe top administration officials, Obama was almost as surprised as Merkel. Glennon quotes Secretary of State John Kerry to the effect that the Merkel wiretap, like a lot of NSA programs, occurred "on autopilot."

On one hand, that's what you'd expect them to say. On the other hand, the claim is entirely plausible, and it is consistent with the earlier history of NSA abuses uncovered by the Church Committee in the 1970s. Under Project SHAMROCK, for example, the NSA collected the content of virtually all cable traffic entering or leaving the United States for three decades-150,000 messages a month at its height. It was, the committee's final report concluded, "probably the largest governmental interception program affecting Americans ever undertaken." And yet it's not clear that any president ordered, approved, or was even aware of SHAMROCK. When the program's existence was exposed in the mid-'70s, Louis Tordella, longtime deputy director of the NSA, admitted that he didn't know whether any president or attorney general had ever been briefed on it.

The picture grows somewhat more complicated when we look at the modern practice of presidential war making. From the Truman administration onward, the president has accumulated enormous unchecked authority, despite James Madison's conviction that, since the executive department was "most distinguished by its propensity to war," it is "the practice of all states, in proportion as they are free, to disarm this propensity of its influence."

When it comes to picking the wars we wage, it's not clear that the Trumanites are fully in charge. Take four major war-powers decisions during the Obama administration: the Afghan surge, the escalation of drone attacks, the Libya intervention, and the current war against ISIS. I put the Trumanite win-loss record at roughly .500 here. The military and national security bureaucracy fought hard for the surge and the drone escalation, and got them. They generally opposed the Libyan action, and some prominent Trumanites-such as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs -appear to have been reluctant to endorse our latest war in the Middle East.

In the case of this most recent war, domestic politics seems a better explanation: The president yielded to the near-irresistible demand that he "do something" about the beheading of Americans and the implosion of the Iraqi state. Bombing ISIS is something, so we're doing it.

The Obama experience suggests we get the wars the Trumanites want -- and also some they don't. But this is hardly fatal to Glennon's thesis. He stresses that "a good theory of institutional behavior can predict, at best, only tendency over time"; his "predicts only that national security policy will change little from one administration to the next." So far, that theory is holding up rather well.

Even so, I've always been partial to one version of the "government politics" explanation. A few years ago, I wrote a book arguing that "Americans' unconfined conception of presidential responsibility is the source of much of our political woe and some of the gravest threats to our liberties." If the political reality is such that the president will be held personally accountable for any domestic terror attack, don't be surprised when he seeks powers nearly as vast as the expectations put upon him.

Glennon acknowledges it's not either-or; "explanations overlap," he writes. Dumb wars and security-state overreach are the result of political choices and the bureaucratic imperative. Policy continuity is depressingly overdetermined.

Real-time histories of key national security decisions in the Obama years tend to underscore this point. In Kill or Capture, reporter Daniel Klaidman describes the enormous political pressure the Obama administration was under after the failed "underwear bomber" attack on December 25, 2009. "For the White House," Klaidman writes, "the psychic toll of Christmas Day was profound. Obama realized that if a failed terror attempt could suck up so much political oxygen, a successful attack would absolutely devastate his presidency. And much as he liked to talk about returning to first principles, Obama also had a powerful instinct for self-correction-as well as self-preservation."

The psychic aftershock of Christmas 2009 helped shape a lot of what followed: from body scanners at airports to ramped-up drone strikes to the lethal targeting of an American citizen.

But to Glennon's point, the administration was under pressure from the Trumanites well before that. In the 2012 book, The Obamians: The Struggle Inside the White House to Redefine American Power, James Mann describes a concerted effort by then-CIA director Michael Hayden and other senior intelligence officials to preserve business as usual by scaring the hell out of the incoming Obama team. Their private name for this scheme was the "Aw, Shit! Campaign."

The scare tactics worked. Klaidman reports that both Harold Koh, legal advisor at the State Department, and Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon's general counsel, used the same metaphor to describe the military pressure for more targeted killings: a runaway train. It was like "a massive freight train hurling down the tracks" Koh said. "You would have to throw yourself on the tracks to try to stop it," said Johnson.

All this helps shed light on Obama's strange and disorienting May 2013 "drone speech" at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., in which the president seemed to be speaking not as commander in chief, but as his own loyal opposition.

In the speech, Obama said things like "Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions, our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don't need to fight, or continue to grant Presidents unbound powers." And: "The very precision of drone strikes can also lead a president and his team to view [them] as a cure-all for terrorism." I remember thinking: "A president"? Which one? Anyone in particular? Who's in charge here, anyway?

National Security and Double Government suggests that the answer to that last question isn't quite so obvious, that the "most powerful man in the world" isn't nearly as powerful as he might appear.

It remains the case that Obama had the formal authority to say no to mass surveillance and perpetual war. But saying no would require resisting enormous bureaucratic and political pressure. And anybody willing to do what it takes to become president is unlikely to transform himself into a self-denying Cincinnatus once in office. Political survivors don't jump in front of trains.

While US government spent around $3.67 trillion in 2013, the revenue was just $2.77 trillion. Of that amount over one trillion went to three-letter agencies and DOD. Now you understand to whom real power belongs.  Moreover the government has to borrow about $900 billion in order to maintain national security state programs intact. And there are 5 million (yes million) people in the USA with security clearance and around 3 million with top security clearance. In other words "Welcome to the USSR." or even Third Reich (actually republican senators opposed Truman initiative due to fear that he replicated institution of the Third Reich in the USA and only support of powerful Democrats allowed the president to push the act through the Congress.

But even if it was close to the Third Reich in political effects and its essence, this type of political structure is different, because it does not rely on mass mobilization. Instead it relied on the power of "deep state" and mass surveillance as well as passivity of most electorate. 

As Paxton describes it (Tracking Fascism) fascism as just hypertrophied and misguided nationalism, a specific flavor of far right nationalism. The central emotions in fascism and nationalism are identical. In other words at the core of fascist emotional mobilization always lies far right nationalism and that is important distinction with national security state and neoliberalism which are globalist and  "imperial" and does not stress particular nationality as long of the person/group serves empire interests:

...Feelings propel fascism more than thought does. We might call them mobilizing passions, since they function in fascist movements to recruit followers and in fascist regimes to "weld" the fascist "tribe" to its leader. The following mobilizing passions are present in fascisms, though they may sometimes be articulated only implicitly:
  1. The primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether universal or individual.
  2. The belief that one's group is a victim, a sentiment which justifies any action against the group's enemies, internal as well as external.
  3. Dread of the group's decadence under the corrosive effect of individualistic and cosmopolitan liberalism.
  4. Closer integration of the community within a brotherhood (fascio) whose unity and purity are forged by common conviction, if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary.
  5. An enhanced sense of identity and belonging, in which the grandeur of the group reinforces individual self-esteem.
  6. Authority of natural leaders (always male) throughout society, culminating in a national chieftain who alone is capable of incarnating the group's destiny.
  7. The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group's success in a Darwinian struggle.

Post 9/11  "passions" in the USA were definitely skillfully used by Bush administration to push the nation into the Iraq war and the attacks on dissenters that occurred during it were pretty vicious, really in traditions of Third Reich ("you are either with us, or with our enemies"). 

But public was not really central in this whole issue. Americans were extras at best, patsies at worst,  Essentially all major decisions were made "behind the curtain" by deep state structures and public was just brainwashed into approval of those action. That's an important different between national security state and classical fascist regimes. In classic fascist state the leading fascist party would be central to unleashing such a war.  Here it was bust a bunch of highly placed bureaucrats in Bush II administration (so called neocons, which is an ideological group allied with the military industrial complex, but not an organized party as such).

Here is a more extended treatment of this issue (cited from Rush, Newspeak and Fascism An exegesis IV Tracking Fascism):

1. [Group primacy]: See, again, the Bush Doctrine. An extension of this sentiment is at play among those jingoes who argue that Americans may need to sacrifice some of their civil rights -- say, free speech -- during wartime.
2. [Victim mentality]: This meme is clearly present in all the appeals to the victims of Sept. 11 as justifications for the war. It is present at nearly all levels of the debate: from the White House, from the media, even from the jingoist entertainment industry (see, e.g., the lyric of Darryl Worley's extraordinarily popular country-western hit, "Have You Forgotten?": "Some say this country's just out looking for a fight / Well after 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right.").
3. [Dread of liberal decadence]: This meme has been stock in trade of the talk-radio crowd since at least 1994 -- at one time it focused primarily on the person of Bill Clinton -- and has reached ferocious levels during the runup to the war and after it, during which antiwar leftists have regularly and remorselessly been accused of treason.
4. [Group integration] and 5. [Group identity as personal validation] are, of course, among the primary purposes of the campaign to demonize liberals -- to simultaneously build a cohesive brotherhood of like-minded "conservatives" who might not agree on the details but are united in their loathing of all things liberal. It plays out in such localized manifestations as the KVI Radio 570th On-Air Cavalry, which has made a habit of deliberately invading antiwar protests with the express purpose of disrupting them and breaking them up. Sometimes, as they did recently in Bellingham, this is done with caravans of big trucks blaring their horns; and they are also accompanied by threatening rhetoric and acts of physical intimidation. They haven't yet bonded in violence -- someone did phone in a threat to sniper-shoot protesters -- but they are rapidly headed in that direction.
6. [Authority of leaders]: This needs hardly any further explanation, except to note that George W. Bush is actually surprisingly uncharismatic for someone who inspires as much rabid loyalty as he does. But then, that is part of the purpose of Bush's PR campaign stressing that he receives "divine guidance" -- it assures in his supporters' mind the notion that he is carrying out God's destiny for the nation, and for the conservative movement in particular.
7. [An aesthetic of violence]: One again needs only turn to the voluminous jingoes of Fox News or the jubilant warbloggers to find abundant examples of celebrations of the virtues -- many of them evidently aesthetic -- of the evidently just-completed war.

I would like to stress that similar processes occurred in different states after WWII as well (Latin America military dictatorships are one example). And with new force and on the new level after the dissolution of the USSR in Russia.  Of course the USSR was a National Security Surveillance State even before WWII, being one of the "pioneers" of this form of state along with Italy and Germany. But it was a rather "primitive" form of national security state  in a sense that it did not rely on computers, collecting "envelope" of all Internet communication, emails headers and other "meta-data" as well as systematic interception of SMS-based communications as well interception of wireless communication and financial operations via computerized banking (especially credit card transactions)  for surveillance.

Rule of Trumanites as the essence of the US National security state -- Boston Globe review of Michael Glennon book

Mickey Edwards, who served in Congress from 1977 to 1993, and is the author of “The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans.” published a very penetrating review of the book in  The Boston Globe. In which he stated:

It has long been the province of conspiracy theorists to claim that the real power of government is not wielded by the obvious practitioners of statecraft — presidents, members of Congress, the judiciary — but by secret or semi-secret entities, real wizards whose hidden machinations send us to war, sell us out to enemies, siphon public treasure into private hands. Depending on your talk show or paranoia of choice, these are the bankers, oil barons, one-worlders, war profiteers, Bilderbergers, Masons, Catholics, Jews, or Trilateralists. Our formal institutions, in this scenario, are stage sets, Potemkin villages; our officials are puppets; we are an unsuspecting audience.

Michael Glennon, a respected academic (Tufts’s FLETCHER SCHOOL) and author of a book brought to us by an equally respected publisher (Oxford University Press), is hardly the sort to indulge in such fantasies. And that makes the picture he paints in “National Security and Double Government” all the more arresting. Considering Barack Obama’s harsh pre-election criticisms of his predecessor’s surveillance policies, for example, Glennon notes that many of those same policies — and more of the same kind — were continued after Obama took office. “Why,” he asks, “does national security policy remain constant even when one President is replaced by another, who as a candidate repeatedly, forcefully, and eloquently promised fundamental changes in that policy?”

The answer Glennon places before us is not reassuring: “a bifurcated system — a structure of double government — in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of US national security policy.” The result, he writes, is a system of dual institutions that have evolved “toward greater centralization, less accountability, and emergent autocracy.”

If this were a movie, it would soon become clear that some evil force, bent on consolidating power and undermining democratic governance, has surreptitiously tunneled into the under-structure of the nation. Not so. In fact, Glennon observes, this hyper-secret and difficult-to-control network arose in part as an attempt to head off just such an outcome. In the aftermath of World War II, with the Soviet Union a serious threat from abroad and a growing domestic concern about weakened civilian control over the military (in 1949, the Hoover Commission had warned that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had become “virtually a law unto themselves”), President Truman set out to create a separate national security structure.

By 2011, according to The Washington Post, there were 46 separate federal departments and agencies and 2,000 private companies engaged in classified national security operations with millions of employees and spending of roughly a trillion dollars a year. As Glennon points out, presidents get to name fewer than 250 political appointees among the Defense Department’s nearly 700,000 civilian employees, with hundreds more drawn from a national security bureaucracy that comprise “America’s Trumanite network” — in effect, on matters of national security, a second government.

Glennon’s book is not a breezy read: It’s thick with fact and not unappreciative of conundrum (“The government is seen increasingly by elements of the public as hiding what they ought to know, criminalizing what they ought to be able to do, and spying upon what ought to be private. The people are seen increasingly by the government as unable to comprehend the gravity of security threats.”). Nor is he glib with proposed solutions: to adequately respond to the threats posed by a below-the-radar second government will require “a general public possessed of civic virtue,” which prompts Glennon to cite retired Supreme Court justice David Souter’s bemoaning of a “pervasive civic ignorance.” Not all of the problem can be laid at Truman’s feet. And if we ourselves are part of the zeitgeist that allows invisible governments to flourish, repair will be difficult. As Glennon puts it, “the term Orwellian will have little meaning to a people who have never known anything different, who have scant knowledge of history, civics, or public affairs, and who in any event have never heard of George Orwell.”

This is no secret conspiracy nor a plot to deprive Americans of their civil liberties. It is the unintended consequence of a thoughtful attempt to head off the very threats that those attempts have inadvertently created. But if Glennon’s book is enlightening it is also scary. And it’s not fiction.

Why National Security State needs provocations -- pseudo terrorist attacks (false flag attacks)

There are multiple reasons such as to instill fear, and to demonstrate competence (Big Brother’s Liberal Friends — Crooked Timber)

Dr. Hilarius, 10.27.14 at 11:44 pm
An excellent analysis and summation.

Any defense of the national security state requires the proponent to show, at a minimum, that the present apparatus is competent at its task. Having lived through Vietnam, the Gulf Wars, Iraq and Afghanistan (not to mention many smaller governmental adventures) I see no evidence of competence. Instead, it’s repetitive failures of analysis and imagination no matter how much raw intelligence is gathered.

Nor is there any evidence that existing oversight mechanisms function as intended. Recent revelations about the CIA spying on the Senate should be enough to dispel the idea that leakers have no role to play.

Kinsley is particularly loathsome. His position is little more than “your betters know best” and that the state’s critics are guttersnipes needing to be kicked to the curb. Kinsley doesn’t need a coherent position, his goal is to be a spokesman for the better sorts, nothing more...

Tremendous push (or acceleration of pre-existing tendencies) toward National Security State occurred after 9/11 under the banner of fighting terrorism. At the point technological capabilities of mass surveillance using computers and the ability to have a dossier for everybody were in place, while mass deployment of PC, credit cards and cell phones provides constant stream of information to those dossiers, not that different from "gum shoes" reports. On November, 2001 the phone records of most Americans begin flowing to the N.S.A. After 9/11, President Bush authorizes the N.S.A. to collect phone and Internet content and metadata without a warrant. Within weeks, under the so-called President’s Surveillance Program (P.S.P.), the major telephone companies voluntarily hand over the data. The N.S.A. creates a twenty-four-hour “Metadata Analysis Center” (MAC) to search the phone records. In October 26, 2001: The Patriot Act is passed. Section 215 allows the government to seize “any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.”

At this point the process started with adoption of Truman doctrine came to a logical end: national surveillance state became a reality. Formally Truman Doctrine was created "to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." but in reality their function was more questionable and after 9/11 (some people date this event as early as 1963 -- JFK assassination) those activities created what is called "The State Within a State" similar to the USSR KGB role (see The State Within a State by Yevgenia Albats and Catherine A. Fitzpatrick). Here is one review of the book:

A Customer

passionate albeit muddled, August 24, 1999

I have problems with the author's obvious hatred of the Russian Revolution and Stalin and the way she claims there is an unbroken chain of horror going all the way back to 1917. Obviously things are better today -- hence her book! She says 66.7 million people died under "Chekist" rule since the Russian Revolution -- and then cites the Guiness Book of Records as her source!? No one could ever prove such a figure, I think its one of things that's repeated 'til it becomes fact.

I also find the author's lack of knowledge about our own CIA kind of disheartening. This fine organization has spread as much death and terror in the Third World (Indonesia, Guatemala,Chile, Argentina, Brazil etc. etc. ) as the KGB ever did anywhere, yet she seems to make them out to be benevolent compared to the KGB (which if you read this book are responsible for everything wrong with the world today).

After reading this book I still don't understand why she thinks the KGB or its incarnations are as bad today as they were at the height of the Terror in 1937. Its not really explained in the book. I still am not convinced that the KGB was the NKVD, and definitely convinced that either was the SS. Research I have done casually has never come up with hard, convincing figures for a Nazi style genocide in the USSR, and this anecdotal, unconvincing book didn't change my historical views.

See Michael J. Hogan, A Cross of Iron: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945-1954. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998; which "explains the transformative process that ended in the ultimate demise of the New Deal state with its emphasis on social spending and ushered in the militarist National Security State." From Amazon review:

Hogan, a specialist in American diplomatic and national security studies, has written a complex but interesting work on the emergence of the national security state. To create this state, it was necessary to merge the armed forces, the Defense Department, and scientists into a single unit to enhance the military's capabilities. To a large extent, this unification was accomplished in the 1950s. The driving forces were James Forrestal, Dean Acheson, and powerful members of Congress such as Carl Vinson (D-GA), who chaired the Committee on Naval Affairs, along with presidents Truman and Eisenhower.

Hogan presents a compelling case but overemphasizes the importance of Truman and Eisenhower while downplaying the role of Vinson and others in the security state's creation. In fact, both Truman and Eisenhower often seemed opposed to it but succumbed to pressure from Congress and key figures like Acheson. This extremely complex study, which deals with a subject few other books handle, is designed for scholars and informed lay readers interested in the creation of the "military-industrial complex." by Richard P. Hedlund, Ashland Community Coll., KY

Former CIA officer Victor Marchetti in his book "Propaganda and Disinformation: How the CIA Manufactures History" noted:

"As I pointed out in the preface to The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence in 1974, democratic governments fighting totalitarian enemies run the risk of imitating their methods and thereby destroying democracy. By suppressing historical fact, and by manufacturing historical fiction, the CIA, with its obsessive secrecy and its vast resources, has posed a particular threat to the right of Americans to be informed for the present and future by an objective knowledge of the past.

As long as the CIA continues to manipulate history, historians of its activities must be Revisionist if we are to know the truth about the agency's activities, past and present."

Attempts to curtain the surveillance proved to by fruitless.  Church Committee was probably the most important "after JFK assassination" attempt to somewhat tame three latter agencies and especially CIA, but it ended in nothing.

Later NSA overtook CIA in many areas of intelligence gathering activities. Which create internal frictions between two agencies. State Department also "infringed" in CIA role in foreign countries and, for example, in organization of neoliberal color revolutions in oil rich or strategically important countries it is difficult to tell when clandestine actions of State Department ends and clandestine actions of CIA stars and vice versa. 

In is interesting to note that even Senators feel threatened by this total surveillance system. In December 14, 2005 Senators Barack Obama, Chuck Hagel, John Kerry, Richard Durbin, and several colleagues sign a letter warning that Section 215 “would allow the government to obtain library, medical and gun records and other sensitive personal information” that “would allow government fishing expeditions targeting innocent Americans.” They demand that the records requested should “have some connection to a suspected terrorist or spy,” a requirement that would

protect innocent Americans from unnecessary surveillance and ensure that government scrutiny is based on individualized suspicion, a fundamental principle of our legal system.

In March, 2006, the Patriot Act is reauthorized without the changes sought by Obama and others.

In his October 19, 2012 review of the book Saman Mohammadi (The Excavator) wrote:

The case could be made that the creation of the CIA and the National Security State in 1947 was necessary. But after sixty years of human rights abuses, systematic attacks on the constitution, false flag terror events, assassinations of political reformers, and other horrible crimes against humanity, should not the CIA be reformed?

Let's put the question of morality aside. What are the "national security" reasons that legitimize the existence of the CIA? Once you learn that Al-Qaeda is a CIA creation and proxy insurgent army and that 9/11 was a massive false flag operation, you come to the natural conclusion that the CIA does not perform a national security role.

The CIA plays a much dirtier role: engineering the American mind. It is not denied that the shadow CIA has major influence in the mainstream media, especially amongst top newspapers such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Michael S. Rozeff speculates that the New York Times is entirely run by the CIA.

We can't know for certain if that is true because of the lack of historical documentation in the public domain, but there is a mountain of observable evidence that proves the CIA has many of its spooks working for the New York Times. Go here for just one example.

Until the American people demand that the U.S. government commit to radical transparency and the principles enshrined in the U.S. constitution, the shadow CIA and the mainstream media can twist history and manage public perceptions of reality as much as they like.

The shadow CIA's greatest power comes from its command of the American public mind as well as its ability to create a fictional version of history. The false flag September 11 events was the shadow CIA's biggest media operation to date. It was their Mona Lisa. They painted the canvas of reality with the brush of myth, and worked day and night to shape the collective memory of the American people while the horror of the tragic attacks was still fresh in the nation's mind.

Although the shadow CIA doesn't have a total command of the American mind and of history, as proven by the rise of the global 9/11 truth and justice movement, it possesses enough media power to mold world public opinion and dictate government policy for the United States with ease. There is no question that its power is totalitarian in nature and its aims are evil. It does not serve the interests of the American people; that much is clear.

How can there be freedom when CIA officials in television studios, newspaper offices, and publishing companies drive the public conversation and form the national narrative on every issue of significance. The global alternative media is the only global civil society actor that is putting limits on the CIA's power to make up history and suppress the truth about historical events like 9/11 and the occult sacrifice of JFK.

In the past, the shadow CIA was presented with roadblocks in the Congress. But 9/11 fixed that problem. The laws and the politics changed. In "The Big Chill," author Dan Froomkin says the absence of Congressional leadership in the post-9/11 political universe has strengthened executive power. Here is an excerpt his article:

After past periods of executive excess, the Fourth Estate was certainly more robust and arguably more persistent, but it also found natural allies in the other branches of government—particularly Congress. By contrast, over the summer of 2012, the publication of a minimal amount of new information regarding drones, cyberwarfare and targeted killings incited bipartisan agreement on Capitol Hill—not to conduct hearings into what had been revealed, but to demand criminal investigations into the leaking.

That's how Congress has been ever since the terrorist attacks 11 years ago. "We never got our post 9/11 Church Committee," said Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists's Project on Government Secrecy, referring to a special investigative Senate committee that held hearings on widespread intelligence abuses after the Watergate scandal. "What we've got instead is the intelligence oversight committee drafting legislation to penalize leaks."

Since the Congress is not willing to stand up for the rights of the American people, the truth, human rights, and the U.S. Constitution, then the American people and global civil society must stand up. Congress has no real power. According to a recent Rasmussen survey, Congress only has an eight percent approval rating. There are underground, neo-Nazi groups in Europe that are more popular than the Congress.

The mainstream media is no better. It is content with its role as a propaganda arm of the shadow CIA, and that is a tragedy. American newspapers have the power to improve their nation and change the world for the better, but instead they choose to cover up independent investigations of shady events like 9/11 that shed light on how the U.S. government really operates.

Alternative media outlets like Infowars.com, Veterans Today, Lew Rockwell.com, Washington's Blog, The Corbett Report, and countless others are doing the best they can to educate the American people and wake up humanity.

The last thing the shadow CIA wants to see is an informed and awakened America. It is waging a silent war on human consciousness because it is scared of an enlightened world. A world that is awake and aware of its crimes against humanity is its greatest nightmare.

If the shadow CIA has its way, it will continue inventing stories and passing it off as history with total immunity. But the global alternative media is telling the shadow CIA: Enough is enough, stop lying to the American people and the world.

The CIA's reckless disregard of U.S. traditions and laws made former President Harry Truman rethink his decision to create the CIA in the first place. On December 22, 1963, Truman wrote in The Washington Post:

For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas. I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations.

On August 17, 1975 Senator Frank Church stated on NBC's Meet the Press without mentioning the name of the NSA about this agency (Wikipedia):

In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air. Now, that is necessary and important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.

If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.

I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.[11]

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer list of features of National security state

In his book "Brave New World Order" (Orbis Books, 1992, paper), Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer argues that the Bush I war in Iraq (as well as Bush II invasion and occupation of the country) was an action of the military industrial complex usurping the "peace dividend". Iraq was attractive target as it has oil and far enough away to prove a good vehicle for eating up contract cash. He views the rise of the National Security Defense State as a consequence of "the threat of peace" for military industrial complex and identifies seven characteristics of a such a state:

  1. The military is the highest authority. In a National Security State the military not only guarantees the security of the state against all internal and external enemies, it has enough power to determine the overall direction of the society. In a National Security State the military exerts important influence over political, economic, as well as military affairs.
  2. Political democracy and democratic elections are viewed with suspicion, contempt, or in terms of political expediency. National Security States often maintain an appearance of democracy. However, ultimate power rests with the military or within a broader National Security Establishment.
  3. The military and related sectors wield substantial political and economic power. They do so in the context of an ideology which stresses that 'freedom" and "development" are possible only when capital is concentrated in the hands of elites.
  4. Obsession with enemies. There are enemies of the state everywhere. Defending against external and/or internal enemies becomes a leading preoccupation of the state, a distorting factor in the economy, and a major source of national identity and purpose.
  5. The working assumption is that the enemies of the state are cunning and ruthless. Therefore, any means used to destroy or control these enemies is justified.
  6. It restricts public debate and limits popular participation through secrecy or intimidation. Authentic democracy depends on participation of the people. National Security States limit such participation in a number of ways: They sow fear and thereby narrow the range of public debate; they restrict and distort information; and they define policies in secret and implement those policies through covert channels and clandestine activities. The state justifies such actions through rhetorical pleas of "higher purpose" and vague appeals to "national security."
  7. The church is expected to mobilize its financial, ideological, and theological resources in service to the National Security State.
Now we can add one additional feature
  1. Total surveillance

Compare that definition of the National Security State with the definition of Inverted Totalitarism. Most countries now have features of both.

The debate about National Security State reemerged in June 2008 due to revelations make about existence of the Prism program and similar program by British security services. For example, Jacob Augstein used the term "Obama's Soft Totalitarianism" in his article Europe Must Stand Up to American Cyber-Snooping published by SPIEGEL.

Here is an interesting comment of user MelFarrellSr in The Guardian discussion of the article NSA analysts 'willfully violated' surveillance systems, agency admits (August 24, 2013):

Here's the thing about the NSA, the GCHQ, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, et al...

We all have to stop commenting as if the NSA and the GCHQ are in this thing on their own; the reality is that no one was supposed to know one iota about any of these programs; the NSA and the GCHQ began and put in place the structure that would allow all internet service providers, and indeed all corporations using the net, the ability to track and profile each and every user on the planet, whether they be using the net, texting, cell, and landline.

We all now know that Google, Yahoo, and the rest, likely including major retailers, and perhaps not so major retailers, are all getting paid by the United States government, hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money, our money, to profile 24/7 each and every one of us..., they know how we think, our desires, our sexual preferences, our religious persuasion, what we spend, etc.; make no mistake about it, they know it all, and what they don’t currently have, they will very soon…

These agencies and indeed all those who are paid by them, will be engaged over the next few weeks in a unified program of "perception management" meaning that they will together come up with an all-encompassing plan that will include the release of all manner of statements attesting to the enforcement of several different disciplinary actions against whomever for "illegal" breaches of policy...

They may even bring criminal actions against a few poor unfortunate souls who had no idea they would be sacrificed as one part of the "perception management" game.

Has anyone wondered why, to date, no one in power has really come out and suggested that the program must be curtailed to limit its application to terrorism and terrorist types?

Here’s why; I was fortunate recently to have given an education on how networks such as Prism, really work, aside from the rudimentary details given in many publications. They cannot, and will not, stop monitoring even one individuals activity, because to do so will eventually cause loss of the ability to effectively monitor as many as 2.5 Million individuals.

Remember the “Two to Three Hop” scenario, which the idiot in one of the hearings inadvertently spoke of; therein lies the answer. If the average person called 40 unique people, three-hop analysis would allow the government to mine the records of 2.5 million Americans Do the math; Internet usage in the United States as of June 30, 2012 reached a total of over 245,000,000 million…

The following link shows how connected the world is… http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm

We should never forget how the Internet began, and who developed it, the United States Armed Forces; initially it was known as Arpanet, see excerpt and link below…

"The Internet may fairly be regarded as a never-ending worldwide conversation." - Supreme Court Judge statement on considering first amendment rights for Internet users.

"On a cold war kind of day, in swinging 1969, work began on the ARPAnet, grandfather to the Internet. Designed as a computer version of the nuclear bomb shelter, ARPAnet protected the flow of information between military installations by creating a network of geographically separated computers that could exchange information via a newly developed protocol (rule for how computers interact) called NCP (Network Control Protocol).”

http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa091598.htm

There is no government anywhere on the planet that will give up any part of the program…, not without one hell of a fight...

Incidentally, they do hope and believe that everyone will come to the same conclusion; they will keep all of us at bay for however long it takes; they have the money, they have the time, and they economically control all of us...

Pretty good bet they win...

Whether the United States stands within the order of international law or outside it ?

The book American Exceptionalism and Human Rights (edited by Ignatieff) raised an important and probably the most controversial question in world politics: whether the United States stands within the order of international law or outside it.

Following are based on the article by Laurence W. Britt published in Free Inquiry magazine

To a secular humanist, the principles of international law seems logical, right, and crucial. Yet, there is one archetypal political philosophy that is anathema to almost all of these principles. It is fascism. And fascism’s principles are wafting in the air today, surreptitiously masquerading as something else, challenging everything we stand for. The cliché that people and nations learn from history is not only overused, but also overestimated; often we fail to learn from history, or draw the wrong conclusions. Sadly, historical amnesia is the norm.

We are two-and-a-half generations removed from the horrors of Nazi Germany, although constant reminders jog the consciousness. German and Italian fascism form the historical models that define this twisted political worldview. Although they no longer exist, this worldview and the characteristics of these models have been imitated by protofascist regimes at various times in the twentieth century. Both the original German and Italian models and the later protofascist regimes show remarkably similar characteristics. Although many scholars question any direct connection among these regimes, few can dispute their visual similarities.

Beyond the visual, even a cursory study of these fascist and protofascist regimes reveals the absolutely striking convergence of their modus operandi. This, of course, is not a revelation to the informed political observer, but it is sometimes useful in the interests of perspective to restate obvious facts and in so doing shed needed light on current circumstances.

The following regimes can be studies in this respect: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Papadopoulos’s Greece, Pinochet’s Chile, and Suharto’s Indonesia. They constitute a mixed bag of national identities, cultures, developmental levels, and history. But they all followed the fascist or protofascist model in obtaining, expanding, and maintaining power. Further, all these regimes have been overthrown, so a more or less complete picture of their basic characteristics and abuses is possible. Analysis of these seven regimes reveals fourteen common threads that link them in recognizable patterns of national behavior and abuse of power. These basic characteristics are more prevalent and intense in some regimes than in others, but they all share at least some level of similarity.

One can wonder how many of those are applicable to Bush/McCain. What do you think ?
  1. Propaganda of nationalism and Exceptionalism ("shining city on the hill", beckon of democracy, etc). Prominent displays of flags and ubiquitous lapel pins. The fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy. Pride in the military, and demands for unity are way of expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a level of suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia (French fries - Freedom fries).

  2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. Despite "freedom rhetorics" the party views human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious and truth about gulags is out, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

  3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the parties would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, such as Muslims, communists/socialists/liberals, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.” Opponents of these party were inevitably labeled as terrorists stooges and dealt with accordingly.

  4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites identified closely with the military. A disproportionate share of national budget is allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an ultimate expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

  5. Sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, the party covertly views women as second-class citizens. Often are both anti-abortion and homophobic with the cover of religious values. For propaganda reasons those attitudes were masterfully blended into strong support of the fundamentalist religious sects, thus lending the party some legitimacy to cover for its abuses.

  6. A controlled mass media. The mass media could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Control can be indirect and subtle with formal adoption of slogan about "free media". Methods included the control of licensing, access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders and owners of the mass media are part of the power elite. The result is rampant brainwashing, which usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the party's excesses.

  7. Obsession with national security. A national security apparatus is bend to come under direct control of the ruling elite. It is used to bypass laws as a direct instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

  8. Abuse of religion. The party attaches itself to the dominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of religious values. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with those values is swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents are “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the party is tantamount to an attack on religion.

  9. Power of corporations protected. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.

  10. Power of organized labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Being poor was considered akin to a vice.

  11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these party. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities professors come under close scrutiny; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or scientific theories, especially economic, are strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed.

  12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police is often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. Criminal charges sometimes are used against political opponents. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.

  13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.

  14. Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of two candidates representing the same power elite are usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, suppressing responsibilities for legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.

Does any of this ring alarm bells? Of course not. After all, this is America, officially a democracy with the rule of law, a constitution, a free press, honest elections, and a well-informed public constantly being put on guard against evils. Historical comparisons like these are just exercises in verbal gymnastics. Maybe, maybe not.

Edward Snowden quotes about National Security State

The most recent debate about the legitimacy of national security state as exists in the USA was sparked by Edward Snowden revelations. The following are 27 quotes from Edward Snowden about National Security State modus operandi  might send a chill up your spine...


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National Security State Bulletin, 2017 National Security State Bulletin, 2016 National Security State Bulletin, 2015

[Oct 21, 2017] Washington Funds Foreign Think Tanks That Blacklist Opponents of Neocon Foreign Policy by Ron Paul

I admired Ron Paul foright policy views for a along time. and this time he also did not disappointed his reader.
Soviet labeled anybody who dissented from communist propaganda line or did not believe in Communist dogma as "agents of imperialism". Neocons similarly bland and-war activists and people who question this war mongering as peddlers of "Russian propaganda". This is what often happen with victors in wars: they acquired worst features of their defeated enemies. for example to defeat the USSR the USA create powerful network of intelligence agencies. Which promptly went out of civil control in 1963, much like KGB in the USSR and became state within the state. In a way now it in now now unfeasible that the Soviet Union posthumously have won the Cold War, as it is more and more difficult to distinguish Soviet propaganda and the US government propaganda.
So the fact that the US government allocate large sums of money for the propaganda against another neoliberal state -- Russia, which represent regional threat to the US hegemonic ambitions -- tells a lot about neoliberalism as a social system. Hostilities among neoliberal states, much like hostilities between communist states are not only possible, they are the reality.
Notable quotes:
"... So what is the "European Values" think tank? A bunch of kooks? Well perhaps, but they are well-funded kooks. In fact they are funded by American taxpayers to defame other Americans who appear on media outlets that are out of favor with Washington's elites. Among the top donors to the "European Values" think tank is the United States Embassy in Prague. Other top funders include George Soros' "Open Society Foundation," the European Commission, and the European Parliament. They are also funded by other US government funded think tanks such as the Prague-based "League of Human Rights." ..."
"... How ironic that such a Soviet-style attack on political dissent in the United States was launched from Prague, which for decades suffered under the Štátna bezpečnosť -- ..."
"... "I am not here to defend RT," I said on the program tonight. I am here to defend the marketplace of ideas that is critical to a free society. I am here to defend the right of US citizens to dissent from the foreign policy of their government without being attacked by their own government -- or by foreign think tanks funded by their government. ..."
"... This should infuriate us: The US government defines anyone who dissents from its foreign policy of endless wars and a global military empire as peddlers of "Russian propaganda" and then Congress appropriates tens of million dollars to "counter Russian propaganda." ..."
"... That means the US Congress is appropriating tens of millions of our dollars to silence our objection to Washington's trillion dollar global military empire. What a scam! How anti-American! Is that not a declaration of war on the rest of us? Is that not an act of tyranny? ..."
Oct 21, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Dear Friends of the Ron Paul Institute:

I just finished an interview on RT.

Someday soon, perhaps, anyone writing the above sentence will land in some sort of gulag, as once did East Europeans found to have appeared on a foreign broadcast questioning the historical inevitability of the worldwide communist revolution.

In my case, I was asked to comment on a new report (see above pic) from a Czech " think tank " exposing 2,327 American "useful idiots" who dared appear on the Russian government-funded RT television network.

Among the "Kremlin stooges" listed in the report of the "European Values" think tank? Alongside critics of US foreign policy like Ron Paul, the Czech "European Values" think tank listed Sen. Lindsay Graham, Joe Lieberman, Dick Cheney, US Rep. Adam Schiff, former acting CIA director Michael Morrell, former CIA director Michael Hayden, and hundreds more prominent Americans who have been notably hostile to Russia and its government.

I said: "Wow! this conspiracy is even deeper than we thought! Even the virulently anti-Russian neocons and Russia-hating CIA bigwigs are in fact Putin's poodles!"

It's funny but it's not. This is when the neo-McCarthyism lately in fashion across the ideological divide descends into the absurd. This is when the mask slips from the witch trials, when the naked emperor can no longer expect to not be noticed.

So what is the "European Values" think tank? A bunch of kooks? Well perhaps, but they are well-funded kooks. In fact they are funded by American taxpayers to defame other Americans who appear on media outlets that are out of favor with Washington's elites. Among the top donors to the "European Values" think tank is the United States Embassy in Prague. Other top funders include George Soros' "Open Society Foundation," the European Commission, and the European Parliament. They are also funded by other US government funded think tanks such as the Prague-based "League of Human Rights."

Since when did "European values" come to be defined as government-funded lists of political "enemies" who dare question US foreign policy on television networks despised by neocons and Washington interventionists? How ironic that such a Soviet-style attack on political dissent in the United States was launched from Prague, which for decades suffered under the Štátna bezpečnosť -- the communist secret police -- that took exactly the same view of those who deviated from the Soviet party line as does the modern Czech "European Values" think tank.

Anyone questioning our one trillion dollar global military empire is automatically considered to be in the pay of hostile foreign governments. How patriotic is that?

"I am not here to defend RT," I said on the program tonight. I am here to defend the marketplace of ideas that is critical to a free society. I am here to defend the right of US citizens to dissent from the foreign policy of their government without being attacked by their own government -- or by foreign think tanks funded by their government.

This should infuriate us: The US government defines anyone who dissents from its foreign policy of endless wars and a global military empire as peddlers of "Russian propaganda" and then Congress appropriates tens of million dollars to "counter Russian propaganda."

That means the US Congress is appropriating tens of millions of our dollars to silence our objection to Washington's trillion dollar global military empire. What a scam! How anti-American! Is that not a declaration of war on the rest of us? Is that not an act of tyranny?

The noose is tightening around us. Yet we must continue to fight for what we believe in! We must continue to fight for the prosperity that comes from a peaceful foreign policy. Your generous support for the Ron Paul Institute helps us continue to be your voice in the fight for free expression and a peaceful foreign policy.

[Oct 19, 2017] Profile In Treason - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... Read John McCain's Liberty Medal ceremony speech ..."
"... John McCain just delivered a total and complete takedown of Trumpism ..."
"... Senator John McCain: "We Are All Ukrainians ..."
"... The Kurdish War with Iraq ..."
"... Mr. McCain Goes To Washington ..."
"... National Review, ..."
"... The Liberalism That Isn't ..."
"... Married couple sentenced for migrant critical Facebook post ..."
"... [Pick a single Handle and stick to it, or use Anonymous/Anon. Otherwise, your comments may get trashed.] ..."
Oct 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

There is no hatred more complete and no malevolence more fanatical than that held by the American political class for the American people. The commissar's rage against the kulaks, the jihadist 's fury against the infidel , the inquisitor 's wrath against the unbeliever , all of this pales in comparison to the genocidal bloodlust Senators and Congressmen have against their own constituents . And even as they gleefully promote the outsourcing of jobs, the importation of cheap labor , and the ruthless extirpation of property, wealth and liberty, these shameless parasites demand their slaves die to export their filthy System all over the world.

The most contemptible and dangerous of these vermin is Senator John McCain . In a political career marked by near constant betrayal and hypocrisy , there are only two constants to his bloody career. The first is a passion for war, any war, for any reason, which can only be termed pathological. The second is the desire to replace the people of his own state and the voters of his own party.

Like a dying venomous snake , McCain is using his final moments to strike at President Trump and those who supported him.

In remarks gleefully repeated by the sociopathic controlled media, McCain simpered:

To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.

[ Read John McCain's Liberty Medal ceremony speech , Boston Globe, October 17, 2017]

It's worth noting McCain gave his comments while accepting an award from Joe Biden. Much like McCain's "patriotism" consists of deconstructing the Historic American Nation itself, Biden poses as a champion of the "working class" because he rides Amtrak but supports "constant, unrelenting" immigration , outsourcing, anti-white racial preferences and endless, nihilistic wars. McCain and Biden, are, in all essentials, practically identical.

One aches to ask Senator McCain directly what "problem" he thinks will be more effectively "solved" by importing the Third World. National security ? Health care ? Collapsing wages ? Rising inequality ? Crumbling infrastructure ?

McCain's mumblings are practically self-discrediting. But as American journalists exist to serve power and suppress dissent it's unlikely the Senator has been or will ever be asked to defend such ludicrous claims.

McCain draws a distinction between "nationalism" and "patriotism," with the former being defined by the concrete realities of history and heritage and the latter formed by mysterious abstractions.

"We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil," he explained. "We are the custodians of those ideals at home, and their champion abroad."

These ideals, as is customary when they are invoked, are not defined. Yet given McCain's tributes to the "immigrant's dream," the land which "reinvents itself," and the current "international order," his remarks are being hyped as a rebuke of "Trumpism" and celebrated by Leftist journalists who suddenly claim the right to define what is "conservatism" or "Republicanism" [ John McCain just delivered a total and complete takedown of Trumpism , by Chris Cillizza, CNN, October 17, 2017]

McCain's ideals would be unrecognizable , not only to the Founding Fathers, but to practically any other American generation in history. Would the Father of Our Country have countenanced endless interventionism? Would either Jefferson or Hamilton have recognized a moral imperative for self-annihilation? Would any Federalist or anti-Federalist celebrate the replacement of the very people who had just won independence from the British Empire?

McCain's denunciation of "nationalism" is also selective. McCain is quite eager to defend the borders of other nations. "We are all Ukrainians," he declared on one occasion [ Senator John McCain: "We Are All Ukrainians , by Jay Newton-Small, Time, February 28, 2014]. "We are all Georgians" he pronounced on another.

It is only when it comes to America that McCain's "patriotism" becomes abstract and imaginary. Indeed, it seems every people on earth has a right to "blood and soil" which must be safeguarded by American arms, except Americans themselves.

Even as this is written, Kurds and Iraqis are on the brink of war [ The Kurdish War with Iraq , by Thomas Ricks, Foreign Policy, October 17, 2017]. If it erupts, once again, the tribal hatreds and border conflicts of peoples who should be of interest to us only in anthropology textbooks will be cause for the death of American soldiers.

The sacrifice of our military is framed as "leadership." "That leadership has had its costs, but we have become incomparably powerful and wealthy as we did," McCain gloats. And he is right, in speaking of his peers; he and his fellow parasites are indeed incomparably powerful and wealthy.

But such power and wealth does not trickle down to those he ostensibly represents. The wages of working Americans have stagnated for decades , and even skilled workers can barely earn a wage sufficient to support a family.

And "power?" The tyranny of George III that our forefathers rose against would be a glorious boon for ordinary Americans of today, as their lives , families, communities , and property are forfeit to the whims of unelected bureaucrats, publicly funded "activists," or sadistic reporters eager to rouse a mob. McCain's tribute to America's "power" and "wealth" is reminiscent of an Ottoman sultan boasting about shared victories to the janissaries he's kidnapped from Eastern Europe.

The democratic system McCain pledges Americans to defend is a form of government in which elected officials blatantly lie to their constituents and then taunt them at the very moment of betrayal. Consider McCain himself. He campaigned on repealing Obamacare, and then gleefully voted to save it [ Mr. McCain Goes To Washington , by John Fund, National Review, July 30, 2017] He promised to "complete the danged fence" but instead has done his best to make sure Arizona ceases to be an American state in any meaningful sense.

One may disagree with monarchy or some other form of unelected leadership, but it seems vastly preferably to a system where political power is awarded to the most outrageous liar. Such a system should not be tolerated, let alone fought for.

Besides, the liberal international order McCain defends is nothing of the kind. The Western world is not free. [ The Liberalism That Isn't , by Costin Alamariu, Daily Caller, September 7, 2017] East Germany in the 1980s was in some ways more free than contemporary Germany is today: it would not have occurred to Erich Honecker to expose his subjects to mass sexual assault at the hands of Muslim invaders and then arrest anyone who protests. [ Married couple sentenced for migrant critical Facebook post , by Chris Tomlinson, Breitbart, July 8, 2016]

The Occupation Government in Washington has presided over the Death of the West . The world order McCain defends is, quite explicitly, built on the dispossession of the European-Americans who actually created the American polity. If our civilization or country is to survive in any meaningful sense, that order must be destroyed.

And that means replacing the political class, the enemy collaborators, exemplified by the likes of Senator McCain. His warmongering against a nuclear armed Russia is unhinged . His desire to hurt our own nation is so unrelenting and energetic one wonders if he is working under duress or threat of blackmail . I almost hope so. To think he actually believes these ideas is a terrifying possibility.

It is not polite to speak ill of the terminally ill. Yet this cruel, murderous and thoroughly despicable character poses a threat not just to the existence of the American nation, but to the very lives of people all over the world.

I wish the Senator no harm. I only offer a desperate prayer in self-defense that his retirement will be forthcoming and his media megaphone removed.

The political life not just of our country, but of the world, must be rid of this Man of Blood , this sociopathic butcher -- who, shuffling to his grave, seems determined to drag us all down with him.

The Alarmist , October 18, 2017 at 11:02 am GMT

Gee, you didn't even mention his actual collaboration with the actual enemy while a POW in Hanoi.

Speaking of Germany, they held elections in Niedersachsen the other day, and more than a few people were surprised to see a large influx of votes for the AfD (so-called ultra-nationalists) come from immigrants who came to the country legally through the proper channels aside from so-called Asylum or simply walking in.

Another interesting thing from Germany: The native-German Interior Minister suggests that Islamic holidays be added to the legal holiday list, and the biggest critic of that turns out to be the Turkish-descended leader of the Green Party.

RealAmerican , October 18, 2017 at 2:48 pm GMT
Who can forget the humiliation suffered at the hands of this man by the patriotic and courageous Chuck Hagel, when Mr. Hagel was nominated to be Secretary of Defence under Obama. That a compromised and morally corrupt, traitorous individual can inflict such demeaning treatment in the open on the MSM on an outstanding true American, such as Mr. Hagel, speaks volumes about the state of affairs in the USA today. Thank you Mr. Kirkpatrick!
KenH , October 18, 2017 at 10:46 pm GMT
There's no doubt that the vast majority of Republican congressman utterly loathe their white constituents and John McAmnesty is one of the worst if not the worst. They're on board with white race replacement and support the spurious nationalism of Israel as well as the racial chauvinism of every third world racial group within the United States while condemning white nationalism.

John McCain especially champions the spurious nationalism of Israel and even lovingly refers to it as a Jewish state while he insists that it's the U.S.'s destiny to "reinvent" itself as a multiracial flophouse with no racial core and hothouse of anti-white racial hatred.

Personally, I hope the evil SOB dies a miserable death whether of cancer or some other cause. He would richly deserve it.

Dan Hayes , October 19, 2017 at 12:41 am GMT
@RealAmerican

RealAmerican:

I didn't realize or had forgotten about McCain's unsavory interrogation of Hagel. A guttersnipe performance is what one would expect from the good senator. A quick google search once again proved this to be the case!

ThreeCranes , October 19, 2017 at 2:59 am GMT
"We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil," he explained. "We are the custodians of those ideals at home, and their champion abroad."

How can a land be made of ideals? Land is land. It is rock overlaid with soil. While rock cannot sustain life, soil can. Soil is the decomposed bodies of all the living things that have had their abode there. Culture, like soil is the substrate in which the individual is rooted and from which he draws his sustenance.

It is impossible to think about "ideals" without at the same time invoking culture, the sum total of inherited wisdom. Inherited wisdom is the fruit of a tree whose sap is the blood of its forebears. The tree is rooted in soil made up of the figurative decomposed bodies of its forebears. Ideals that are not rooted in blood and soil float in the air; they are abstracted, removed and alien.

In his book "The Rebel", Camus drew a distinction between rebellion and revolution. Observing that revolutions always devoured their own, Camus came to the conclusion that whereas rebellion was a violent "pushing back" which defined a limit beyond which humans may not proceed, revolution, based on pure "ideals" was restrained by no such limit. The consequence of Revolution was a top-down tyranny which gave itself permission to remake humankind according to its' "ideal" blueprint even if that meant reeducation, radical reconditioning and ultimately murdering the poor subjects of the grand social experiment.

Revolutions, born in the realm of "ideals" always end in murder and tyranny. Rebellions are more human affairs. Both the French and Russian revolutions ended in the slaughter of thousands if not millions under the pretext of creating the perfected human race. Rebellions, grounded in a man's personal feeling of having "had it up to here" are an act of defiance that implicitly draws a line in the sand saying "Beyond this line you shall not go." and "This far and no farther". We see the same limit-drawing in the defiance which the Alt Right has shown in standing up to today's ruling demagogues. As long as those rebelling hold themselves in their behavior to the same line or limit they have drawn, then the human race develops its potentialities.

It is no surprise then that McCain, speaking on behalf of an alien, occupying government, would espouse an ideal blueprint that undermines the solidarity of this nation's citizens and which will, if history is any indication, likely result in the slaughter of millions of us.

nsa , October 19, 2017 at 5:16 am GMT
Now taking bets as to how long the senile old coot, Tokyo Rose McCain, can defy the reaper. My guess is 9 months as he is on the best socialized medical plan on the planet .free everything at Walter Reed in Bethesda. Hell, Cheney has been plugging along for years after the elite medicos replaced his diseased ticker with an aquarium pump ..so there is no reason Rose can't make it 9 more months with his mickey mouse brain tumor. Let's see .that would make it July 18 but maybe the gods are in a playful mood so let's predict July 29, the anniversary of the day a Rose afterburner prank set the USS Forrestal on fire, killing 134 sailors.
Van Tolstoy , October 19, 2017 at 5:51 am GMT
[Pick a single Handle and stick to it, or use Anonymous/Anon. Otherwise, your comments may get trashed.]

We have doubled the national debt "fighting terrorism". Yet, corrupt Zio puppets like McCain think the same 3rd world menace that we have spent decades bombing are " cured" of their terrorist ways once they step on American soil? That is a a level of absolute ignorance that shouldn't be tolerated.

Cyrano , October 19, 2017 at 6:46 am GMT
In order to understand what the ruling class in America is all about, we need to examine 2 of their most favorite phrases: 1. US is exceptional 2. We are all equal.

These are 2 mutually exclusive statements that only make sense if we identify whom exactly are they referring to.

It's actually pretty simple. US has 2 classes. 1. Ruling elites 2. Proles

The statement that US are exceptional refers to their ruling elites. They are the ones that are exceptional and irreplaceable. The statement about "all of us" being equal refers clearly to the proles – as seen through the eyes of the ruling elites.

Proles are all equal from the perspective of the ruling elites. Not only are the proles equal among themselves – they are equal to all the proles from all over the world. The proof of this is – of course the uncontrolled immigration from the 3rd world.

The domestic proles are not only equal to the ones from the 3rd world – they are also replaceable by them. In order to make this point as clear as possible – the ruling elites are not only replacing the domestic proles with 3rd world proles – they also intend to equalize the standards of living between these 2 types of proles – and this equalization is not working in favor of the domestic proles.

The declining standards of living for the domestic proles meet with the inclining standards of living for the newly arrived 3rd world proles who are still possible to impress with declining standards of living of the proles in US – considering that the places where they come from are even worse off.

Those 2 magnanimous statements about: 1.US being exceptional and 2. We are all equal need to be replaced with (as spoken through the lying, mendacious and hypocritical mouths of the ruling elites):

1. We are exceptional (ruling elites) 2. YOU are all equal (all proles regardless of place of origin). That should put some clarity into the phony generosity of the ruling elites with which they "embrace" everybody as being "equal".

Realist , October 19, 2017 at 9:11 am GMT
The North Vietnamese coup de grâce to the US was sending McCain home alive.
Realist , October 19, 2017 at 9:15 am GMT
@KenH

"There's no doubt that the vast majority of Republican congressman utterly loathe their white constituents "

The same can be said about Democrat congressmen.

lavoisier , Website October 19, 2017 at 10:12 am GMT
@KenH

He is dying from cancer.

And it will take this terrible disease to rid the nation of this terrible man as the voters of Arizona continued to put the traitor in office over far too many years.

No hope for a republic with voters this stupid.

Jayzerbee , October 19, 2017 at 10:16 am GMT
Both this article and the comments reflect a segment of this country that has gone off the rails. This is trash and nothing more than resentful low life expressing their anger, devoid of any sense of decency.
Greg Bacon , Website October 19, 2017 at 11:05 am GMT
McCain's a phony and anyone who thinks he's some kind of hero is either deluded or part of the problem of this country being used and abused by certain actors to obtain power, wealth and other people's land.

You can bet the house that Johnny Boy would never say "We are all Palestinians" anytime, let alone when Israel is venting its impotence against its neighbors by carpet-bombing Gaza.

To selectively advocate for freedom only for those who've donated huge amounts of money or who your CFR or AIPAC overlords tell you to cheer on is not only craven, but treasonous, as it gets the USA involved in endless war mongering and nation building.

In a way, McCain is the Harvey Weinstein of the USG, only he doesn't rape little girls, but nations yearning to be free of Wall Street and a Zionist infested neoCON government.

Anon , Disclaimer October 19, 2017 at 11:21 am GMT
"To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history."

Must be the brain tumor!

ThreeCranes , October 19, 2017 at 11:28 am GMT
@Jayzerbee

"This is trash and nothing more than resentful low life expressing their anger, devoid of any sense of decency."

You've put the cart before the horse.

We are angry because we are people with a sense of decency who resent the arrogance of a self-anointed, alien, occupying Elite by whose actions our standard of living is being lowered.

fnn , October 19, 2017 at 11:28 am GMT
@Jayzerbee

Do you have anything to say other than verbal pearl-clutching?

jacques sheete , October 19, 2017 at 11:31 am GMT

There is no hatred more complete and no malevolence more fanatical than that held by the American political class for the American people.

That's s a verity beyond question, and I might add, they no doubt feel the same about the people everywhere. Albert J. Beveridge's 1898 "March of the Flag " is a must read since he's quite open about how the ruling plutoligarchs viewed others and it rivals Cecil Rhodes' "Confession of Faith" (1877).

What surprises me is that most 'Merkins seem so clueless about it and must be constantly reminded when, in fact, the concept was well known to those who opposed the imposition of the constitution on the peasant and prol class over 2 centuries ago.

Here are a few excerpts from "The Use of Coercion by the New Goverenment" (1788) that illustrate the fact that early Americans were better informed than the clueless masses of 'Merkin fools of today. Note the date as well as how many points apply to the situation today.

Read the said constitution [I] find that we are to receive but little good, and a great deal of evil.

Aristocracy, or government in the hands of a very few nobles, or RICH MEN, is therein concealed in the most artful wrote plan that ever was formed to entrap a free people. The contrivers of it have so completely entrapped you, and laid their plans so sure and secretly And in order to bring you into their snare, you may daily read new pieces published in the newspapers, in favor of this new government; and should a writer dare to publish any piece against it, he is immediately abused and vilified.

Look round you and observe well the RICH MEN, who are to be your only rulers, lords and masters in future! Are they not all for it? Yes! Ought not this to put you on your guard? Does not riches beget power, and power, oppression and tyranny?

Let me beg of you to reflect a moment on the danger you run. If you choose these men, or others like them, they certainly will do everything in their power to adopt the new government. Should they succeed, your liberty is gone forever; and you will then be nothing better than a strong ass crouching down between two burdens.

-"A FARMER AND PLANTER" had his work printed in The Maryland Journal, and Baltimore Advertiser, April 1, 1788.

http://csac.history.wisc.edu/md_farmerandplanter.pdf

We're now a bunch of weak asses and we're crouching about as low as we can get.

Bahmi , October 19, 2017 at 11:46 am GMT
When McPain talks about the vast merits of this country, surely he must be praising our penchant for wars of imperialism. There is little for other countries to envy, the US has gone to the dogs.

This detritic monster must have a radio device in his brain that tells him to utter such lies with his special brand of contempt.

geokat62 , October 19, 2017 at 11:48 am GMT

One aches to ask Senator McCain directly what "problem" he thinks will be more effectively "solved" by importing the Third World. National security? Health care? Collapsing wages? Rising inequality? Crumbling infrastructure?

None of the above. As Prof. MacDonald has clearly demonstrated, the truth is that The Lobby was behind the push for importing the Thirld World.

Here's the source:

Jewish Involvement in Shaping American Immigration Policy, 1881-1965: A Historical Review

Kevin MacDonald

California State University-Long Beach

This paper discusses Jewish involvement in shaping United States immigration policy. In addition to a periodic interest in fostering the immigration of co-religionists as a result of anti-Semitic movements, Jews have an interest in opposing the establishment of ethnically and culturally homogeneous societies in which they resideas minorities. Jews have been at the forefront in supporting movements aimed at altering the ethnic status quo in the United States in favor of immigration of non-European peoples. These activities have involved leadership in Congress, organizing and funding anti-restrictionist groups composed of Jews and gentiles, and originating intellectual movements opposed to evolutionary and biological perspectives in the social sciences.

An excerpt from p. 300:

A congruent opinion is expressed by prominent Jewish social scientist and political activist Earl Raab' who remarks very positively on the success of revised American immigration policy in altering the ethnic composition of the United States since 1965. Raab notes that the Jewish community has taken a leadership role in changing the Northwestern European bias of American immigration policy (1993a, p. 17), and he has also maintained that one factor inhibiting anti-Semitism in the contemporary United States is that "(a)n increasing ethnic heterogeneity, as a result of immigration, has made it even more difficult for a political party or mass movement of bigotry to develop" (1995, p. 91). Or more colorfully:

The Census Bureau has just reported that about half of the American population will soon be non-white or non-European. And they will all be American citizens. We have tipped beyond the point where a Nazi-Aryan party will be able to prevail in this country. We [i.e., Jews] have been nourishing the American climate of opposition to bigotry for about half a century. That climate has not yet been perfected, but the heterogeneous nature of our population tends to make it irreversible -- and makes our constitutional constraints against bigotry more practical than ever (Raab, 1993b, p. 23).

Indeed, the "primary objective" of Jewish political activity after 1945 "was to prevent the emergence of an anti-Semitic reactionary mass movement in the United States" (Svonkin 1997,1998).

So, as the concluding sentence intimates, The Lobby had pushed for immigration reform for over a hundred years because it wanted to ensure that pogroms would never occur in the New World, like they did in the Old World.

As I've previously stated, what we witnessed in Charlottsville, VA is the last spasms of an organism that has been attacked by the "Diversity Is Our Strength" virus, implanted by The Lobby. But, as I keep reminding people, the tremendous success of The Lobby may be sowing the seeds of its own demise, as it will inevitably succumb to hubristic forces and keep reaching for more and more – e.g., the anti-BDS law that could fine Americans for up to $1M and imprison them for up to 20 yrs if they support BDS. These types of actions will convince more and more Americans that The Lobby is working against their interests and a day of reckoning will come.

To avert this scenario from unfolding, my consistent advice has been for the Jewish community to take notice of these risks and to work to curb the influence of their powerful lobbies. These lobbies must immediately cease and desist from pursuing their nefarious objectives – both domestic (diversity is our strength) and foreign (the phony GWOT that has drained gallons of blood and trillions of dollars to enhance the security of the villa in the jungle) – that are inimical to the interests of the American people.

Don't believe me? Here's what Prof. MacDonald predicts the future holds if things continue on the same path they're currently on:

CONCLUSION

The defeats of 1924 and 1952 did not prevent the ultimate victory of the Jewish interest in combating the cultural, political, and demographic dominance of the European-derived peoples of the United States. What is truly remarkable is the tenacity with which Jewish ethnic interests were pursued for a period of close to 100 years. Also remarkable was the ability to frame the argument of immigration-restrictionists in terms of racial superiority in the period from 1924-1965 rather than in such positive terms as the ethnic interests of the peoples of northern and western Europe in main- taining a status quo as of 1924.

During the period between 1924 and 1965 Jewish interests were largely thwarted, but this did not prevent the ultimate triumph of the Jewish perspective on immigration.

Although the success of the anti-restrictionist effort is an indication that people can be induced to be altruistic toward other groups, I rather doubt such altruism will continue to occur if there are obvious signs that the status and political power of the European-derived group is decreasing while the power of other groups increases as a result of immigration and other social policies. The prediction, both on common sense grounds and on the basis of psychological research on social identity process (e.g., Hogg & Abrams, 1987) , is that as other groups become increasingly powerful and salient in a multicultural society, the European-derived peoples of the United States will become increasingly unified and that contemporary divisive influences among the European-derived peoples of the United States (e.g., issues related to gender and sexual orientation; social class differences; religious differences) will be increasingly perceived as unimportant. Eventually these groups will develop greater cohesion and a sense of common interest in their interactions with the other ethnic groups with profound consequences on the future history of America and the West.

jacques sheete , October 19, 2017 at 11:53 am GMT
This is an excellent article, but this doesn't quite fit.

The sacrifice of our military is framed as "leadership."

The author, since he invoked the founding fathers, really need to check out how the founders felt about standing armies.

Many knew of and spoke against imposing standing armies on the rest of us.

This is typical.:

Standing armies are dangerous to the liberties of a people.

-BRUTUS, Objections to A Standing Army (Part 1), http://www.thisnation.com/library/antifederalist/24.html

Note to authors.: If you intend to have something published, please research the topic first. You tainted a perfectly fine article with your comment on the military. What we have is an abomination, and McCain itself makes, and has made use of, the monstrosity for his own evil ends.

jacques sheete , October 19, 2017 at 12:00 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

Superb comment.

Please consider sharing more!

jacques sheete , October 19, 2017 at 12:09 pm GMT
@Jayzerbee

Both this article and the comments reflect a segment of this country that has gone off the rails.

I got news for ya. The country went off the rails in 1788.

This is trash and nothing more than resentful low life expressing their anger, devoid of any sense of decency.

Actually your comment is trash. Petulant trash to be more precise. People are expressing their anger because of the despicable McCain's total lack of decency.

Please re-read the article. McCain is the indecent trash and he does evoke anger. Hell, rage against that horrid pile of swine scat is justified too, I think.

If he spends eternity simmering in a cauldron of fetid pig body fluids mixed with molten gold, a punishment similar to those mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud, I wouldn't shed any tears. It would be deserved and appropriate.

jacques sheete , October 19, 2017 at 12:14 pm GMT
@Greg Bacon

You can bet the house that Johnny Boy would never say "We are all Palestinians"

Exactly, and ya beat me to it!

jacques sheete , October 19, 2017 at 12:17 pm GMT
@geokat62

Excellent work, Sir!

iffen , October 19, 2017 at 12:28 pm GMT
@geokat62

Oh no!

Not dem Jews again!

Propagandist Hacker , Website October 19, 2017 at 1:05 pm GMT
cancer cells, they're a-multiplyin'
it's electrifyin'
jacques sheete , October 19, 2017 at 1:14 pm GMT
Speaking of McStain and the military, not only did the scumster itself betray its fellows, but it was excreted by a military family.

Let's look a bit more at what "Brutus" had to say about standing armies what it attracts

an army will afford a decent support, and agreeable employment to the young men of many families, who are too indolent to follow occupations that will require care and industry, and too poor to live without doing any business, we can have little reason to doubt but that we shall have a large standing army as soon as this government can find money to pay them, and perhaps sooner.

-BRUTUS, Objections to A Standing Army (Part 1), http://www.thisnation.com/library/antifederalist/24.html

DESERT FOX , October 19, 2017 at 1:22 pm GMT
McCain caused the explosion and fire on the USS FORRESTAL that took the lives of 134 men and wounded 161 as a result of a wet start prank with his jet and a coverup of the incident took place as his father was in command of the navy.

McCain also made over 30 tapes for North Vietnam condemning the U.S. and he gave information on bombing runs that led to American planes being shot down. McCain gave so much info to the North that he was label by them as the SONGBIRD.

McCain has a filthy mouth as is evident in videos of him on you tube cursing out various people and especially when asked about his covering up the fact that POWS were left behind in North Vietnam.

McCain was in on supporting ISIS aka AL CIADA and was pictured with ISIS leaders in Syria and was an important part in supplying ISIS.

McCain is a absolute fraud and a traitor and a liar.

Mulegino1 , October 19, 2017 at 1:28 pm GMT
In short, " the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century" is FUBAR, and yes, our nation is a mix of blood and soil. Mostly the blood of Christians of European descent, and the soil consecrated by the incredible sacrifices of the latter to win it and cultivate it.

The providential role of America was to be a great tellurocratic continental power stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific and to the Gulf of Mexico and to provide a home for those Christian Europeans eager to avoid the petty dynastic quarrels and internecine squabbles of Europe. It was never intended to be a dumping ground for the world's refuse nor an international gendarme.

Unfortunately, the demonic spiritual ancestors of the likes of McCain decided to make the republic an empire and set their sights upon the Caribbean and the Philippines and the rest is history. America's blundering into world affairs has been nothing but disastrous, and has led to the outright destruction of the European homeland's culture, and now a near extinction of its people.

McCain is a warmongering idiot and a major war criminal who will never face human justice but who should prepare himself for Divine justice by spending his last years or months on earth in a monastic cell doing penance.

Michael Kenny , October 19, 2017 at 1:35 pm GMT
This reflects the current fight within the US hegemonist camp: who to destroy first, Putin or the EU. Mr Kirkpatrick's extraordinary fury probably stems from the fact that Mc Cain has exposed that split in the public arena. McCain sees Putin as having become a far greater threat to US hegemony than the EU, so he wants to put destroying the EU on the back burner until the more immediate threat of Putin is removed. Clearly, Mr Kirkpatrick is on the other side of that argument. He wants to stick to the original plan of using Putin to destroy the EU and then turning on Putin. The argument about intervention or non-intervention is indeed "spurious" and "half-baked". The "non-intervention" argument was concocted in haste after Putin had departed from the US hegemonist "script" by annexing Crimea and has never been more than a pretext for letting Putin win in Ukraine, which Mr Kirkpatrick goes out of his way to mention, so that he can get on with the job the US hegemonists have given him of breaking up the EU. Thus, the reason why the "nationalism" preached by the Breitbart/VDare camp sounds spurious and half-baked is precisely because it is. Indeed, Mr Kirkpatrick betrays himself by his comments about Germany. A "non-interventionist" wouldn't care a hoot about what happens in Germany, on way or the other, and a person on the right of the political spectrum certainly wouldn't declare a communist dictatorship to be "more free" than a democracy. People like Mr Kirkpatrick piously preach the rights of white Americans but , we white Europeans, and we are, after all, the "original" whites, are to have our media manipulated and our elections and referenda rigged so as to prevent us exercising the national sovereignty which the same Americans are urging upon us in a way which does not serve the cause of US global hegemony. That may or may not be spurious and half-baked but it certainly can't be called "non-intervention"!
Jake , October 19, 2017 at 1:38 pm GMT
John McCain is evil.
Anon , Disclaimer October 19, 2017 at 1:39 pm GMT
McCain legacy in Ukraine: "Ukraine has a Nazi problem " https://www.rt.com/op-edge/406991-western-media-ukraine-nazi/
"On Saturday night, up to 20,000 far-right radicals honored the 75th anniversary of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) – a paramilitary group led by Stepan Bandera, which actively collaborated with Hitler's Germany. The leaders of the procession included Oleg Tyahnybok, an associate of US Senators John McCain " https://www.rt.com/op-edge/406991-western-media-ukraine-nazi/

What a family! – the panderers to ziocons (USSLiberty tragedy) and the associates of neo-Nazis (Ukrainian tragedy).

anarchyst , October 19, 2017 at 1:46 pm GMT
John McCain was a disaster from day one. He graduated near the bottom of his class at Annapolis, did an aircraft "hot start" as a "stunt" which killed a number of Navy crewmen, personally crashed 3 aircraft, and was never punished for it. You see, McCain's daddy was an admiral who protected "sonny boy" from repercussions for his stupidity.

Captured in North Vietnam, he turned out to be one of the most prolific "stoolies" which caused untold suffering for his fellow POWs. His POW nickname was "songbird". You can be sure that he "tweeted" a lot in order to procure preferential treatment for himself.

Fast forward to the "savings and loan" scandal, in which McCain was a principle player. Of course, his POW "status" got him out of that one. McCain is a Democrat masquerading as a Republican. He should have been put "out to pasture" a long time ago . . .

Both John McCain (R-Tel Aviv) and John Kerry (D-Tel Aviv) should be put out to pasture. . . It is no secret that only HALF of our verified Vietnam War POW's were released to us. The North Vietnamese "held back" HALF of our POWs in anticipation of receiving "war reparations" (which never materialized).

Most people are unaware that both of these cretins cut off the search for POWs in Southeast Asia at a time when there were STILL verified sightings of Americans held in captivity. These sightings took place by satellite imaging ("circle-K") as well as being verified by various "boots on the ground". McCain and Kerry consigned these brave men to their suffering deaths. . . So much for "leaving no one behind". . .

ThreeCranes , October 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm GMT
@Mulegino1

Well stated with Authority .

jacques sheete , October 19, 2017 at 2:02 pm GMT

by spending his last years or months on earth in a monastic cell doing penance.

I have a suggestion; Abu Ghraib. In a radioactive cell with Hillary and Netan-yahoooo.

How about subjecting these pustulent vermin to an occasional dose of napalm and WP when they're feeling uppity, and a refreshing shower of Agent Orange now and then? As a consolation, they can sleep on mattresses stuffed with money.

Yes, "our" military is so lovely

Johnny Smoggins , October 19, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

"The consequence of Revolution was a top-down tyranny which gave itself permission to remake humankind according to its' "ideal" blueprint ."

Too bad you sullied an otherwise well thought out comment by using the awkward, feminist nomenclature "humankind" instead of mankind.

SMK , Website October 19, 2017 at 2:16 pm GMT
@The Alarmist

Yes, the only way to save Germany is by turning it into a Muslim-majority country.

Joe Hide , October 19, 2017 at 2:18 pm GMT
Mr Kirkpatrick,
GOOD, BEST, GREATEST ARTICLE!
John McCain is scum. From the first sentence you wrote, I was in perfect agreement with you. Write more!
Cloppy , October 19, 2017 at 2:42 pm GMT
McCain and Biden are indeed indentical in one key respect.

Both are bought and paid for and always do the bidding of their masters. For McCain, he's a servant of the Merchants of Death. Or to use their more offical but oxymoronic name, the 'defense contractors.' Biden was once known as the Senator from MasterCard, and Obama picked him to signal to Obama's banker backers that they'd have their old friend in the White House alongside Obama.

Thus, neither really represents a personal idealogy. Both simply do whatever the people who own them tell them to do, and then spout a lot of nonsense that sound like personal beliefs. But any of those statement will change or be discarded when their owners decide they want something different. And in between, limited and meaningless statements of what they think their voters want to hear during campaigns.

The Senator from Boeing and the Senator from MasterCard. A perfect pair.

Rurik , October 19, 2017 at 2:45 pm GMT
Thank you Mr. Kirkpatrick for writing this.

the Bloodstain will rightly check out of this world the most hated and despised man in American history

Benedict Arnold or John Wayne Gacy or Jerry Sandusky are all notorious for their evil deeds, but John McCain, by shear weight of the incomprehensible human suffering and horrors he's personally responsible for, will surely go down in history as the most execrable human being to ever defile our nation.

when Gacy breathed his last feculent breath, it was a cause of celebration to all whose lives he touched

and similarly, hundreds of millions.. indeed; billions of people the world over- from Russia to the Middle East to America's heartland- will all quietly celebrate in our hearts, as a united family of humanity, when that evil little man finally goes to meet his reward in hell.

I sort of wonder if that's why they kept Ariel Sharon on life support for so long, so as to cheat us all of the quiet celebration we were all entitled to when that toad finally checked out.

Please Bloodstain, don't linger in that way. Give us all a what we're entitled to! what we long for..

You are/were, hand's down, the most loathsome human being on the planet during your entire murderous and treasonous career, at least try at least in some small way, to make up for it by giving us all, the entire populace of planet Earth, a united cause to celebrate, at least for one glorious moment!

Don Bacon , October 19, 2017 at 3:03 pm GMT
re: The sacrifice of our military is framed as "leadership."
"Fallen" (dead) soldiers are the sacrificial lambs which sanctify the government's leaders. It's the blood of the lamb, or the Aztec sacrifices, whatever one's religion, which make the government's policy holy and right. Religious power correlates wonderfully with government power, and each promotes the other.
Anon , Disclaimer October 19, 2017 at 3:11 pm GMT
@Jayzerbee

You mean this is decent?-
"Nazi Roots of Ukraine's Conflict: Sen. John McCain appearing with Ukrainian rightists of the Svoboda [neo-Nazi] party at a pre-coup rally in Kiev." https://consortiumnews.com/2016/01/28/nazi-roots-of-ukraines-conflict/
"John McCain Went To Ukraine And Stood On Stage With A Man Accused Of Being An Anti-Semitic Neo-Nazi" http://www.businessinsider.com/john-mccain-meets-oleh-tyahnybok-in-ukraine-2013-12

Is it your dedication to zionism or is it your neo-Nazi Ukrainian patriotism that made you an admirer of the "Tokyo Rose?" McCain is a big friend of both Israel and neo-Nazis; no conflict here. See also the Jewish citizen Kolomojsky, famous for his financing the neo-Nazi battalion Azov.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called McCain "A hero. A fighter. A friend." Who needs another recommendation when Bibi approves McCain? https://www.timesofisrael.com/4-times-john-mccain-went-maverick-with-jewish-friends/

SMK , Website October 19, 2017 at 3:13 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

Yes, "non-interventionists" who are race-realists and white advocates, immigration restrictionists who support and want to conserve what is left of West Civilization in North America, Australia, and Europe, a civilization that was created and can only be sustained by Europeans, shouldn't care about the ruination of Germany, France, the UK, Sweden, Belgium, etc. by Muslims, black Africans, and Somalis who are black and Muslim. They shouldn't care about Muslim terrorism, about the sexual assaults of hundreds of women and girls in Cologne and other German cities by Muslim savages and predators and misogynists; about the abduction, enslavement, torture, and gang-rapes of girls as young as 10 and 11 in Rotherham by Muslim immigrants from Pakistan; about Arab and Somali Muslims committing over 95% of rapes in Sweden; about virtually all the nations of Western Europe being transformed into Muslim and black African-majority hell-holes and dystopias.

hyperbola , October 19, 2017 at 3:17 pm GMT
This article skirts around the fact that McCain sold himself out to a racist-supremacist, mideast sect that abuses Americans decades ago. His whole political career has been based on being a lackey of a corrupt foreign mafia that ponied up "funds" to get him re-elected whenever a real American posed a threat to the sect's lackey.

google( John McCain; A Closer Look at Evil (Part 2) )
The political genealogy of Arizona Senator John McCain is firmly rooted in organized crime. Gus Greenbaum, an influential mobster, was close to Meyer Lansky in New York .

google( John McCain; A Closer Look at Evil (Part 4) )
The career of John McCain offers a textbook case confirming how war is waged on the U.S. by way of deception -- with the help of senior lawmakers. Despite the constancy of his treasonous conduct, .

Lets remember that as a lackey of the sect, McCain helped introduce the "campaign reform" that facilitated buying of American elections by the sect with this kind of perversion.
google( How Hillary Clinton Bought the Loyalty of 33 State Democratic Parties counterpunch )

hyperbola , October 19, 2017 at 3:31 pm GMT
@iffen

Seems to be a large majority of them anyway.

The Zionist Attack on Jewish Values

http://www.acjna.org/acjna/articles_detail.aspx?id=520

Although there are also exceptions to the racist-supremacism of the sect.

A Jewish Defector Warns America: Benjamin Freedman speaks

http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/israel/freedman.htm

c matt , October 19, 2017 at 3:35 pm GMT
I don't wish McCain ill, I just wish him out.
wlindsaywheeler , Website October 19, 2017 at 3:43 pm GMT
I'm sorry if I don't agree with the OP author's contention that the FFofA wouldn't recognize McCain's remarks. Half of the FFofA were Masons or fellow travellers of Masonry like Tom Paine. George Washington was a Mason as were all of his generals under him. America is the first Masonic Republic, look at the Seal of the US and the two slogans, "Novus Ordo" and "E pluribus unum" -- very Masonic sentiments, ideas. The only 'dogma' of Masonry is the Brotherhood of Man–the rebuilding of the Tower of Babel. McCain is only espousing true Masonic ideas and values. Masonry calls race those "accidental divisions of mankind". Not all of America is onboard with Masonry, but much of the Elite, especially the Establisment Swamp IS Masonic at its core. Masonry is an American tradition.

Masonry is an evil ideology and McCain is only a practitioner of it.

[Oct 19, 2017] The U.S. Military - Pampered, Safe And Very Scared

Oct 19, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

The U.S. military is a socialist paradise :

Service members and their families live for free on base. People living off base are given a stipend to cover their housing costs. They shop in commissaries and post exchanges where prices for food and basic goods are considerably lower than at civilian stores. Troops and their families count on high-quality education and responsive universal health care. They expect to be safe at home, as bases, on average, have less violence than American cities of comparable size. And residents enjoy a wide range of amenities -- not just restaurants and movie theaters but fishing ponds, camp sites, and golf courses built for their use.

Of course, some bases are better than others. But even the most austere provides a comprehensive network of social welfare provisions and a safety net that does not differentiate between a junior employee and an executive.

For those who stay on, the military provides a generous retirement pay .

"But life in the military is dangerous!"

Not so.

According to a 2012 study by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC) the risk to ones life is lower for soldiers than for civilians:

In the past two decades ( which include two periods of intense combat operations ), the crude overall mortality rate among U.S. service members was 71.5 per 100,000 [person-years] . In 2005, in the general U.S. population, the crude overall mortality rate among 15-44 year olds was 127.5 per 100,000 p-yrs

The huge difference is quite astonishing. The death rate for soldiers would still have been lower than for civilians if the U.S. had started another medium size war:

If the age-specific mortality rates that affected the U.S. general population in 2005 had affected the respective age-groups of active component military members throughout the period of interest for this report, there would have been approximately 13,198 (53%) more deaths among military members overall.

Those working in the U.S. military, even when the U.S. is at war, have a quite pampered life with lots of benefits. They have less risk to their lives than their civilian peers. But when some soldier dies by chance, the announcements speak of "sacrifice". The fishermen, transport and construction workers, who have the highest occupational death rates , don't get solemn obituaries and pompous burials .

There may be occasions where soldiers behave heroic and die for some good cause. But those are rather rare incidents. The reports thereof are at times manipulated for propaganda purposes.

The U.S. military spends more than a billion per year on advertisement. It spends many uncounted millions on hidden information operations. These are not designed to influence an enemy but the people of the United States. In recent years the U.S. military and intelligence services have scripted or actively influenced 1,800 Hollywood and TV productions. Many of the top-rated movie scripts pass through a military censorship office which decides how much 'production assistance' the Department of Defense will provide for the flick.

A rather schizophrenic aspect of its safe life is the military's fear. Despite being cared for and secure, the soldiers seem to be a bunch of scaredy-cats. The military's angst is very ambiguous. It meanders from issue to issue. This at least to various headlines:

Members of the U.S. military live quite well. They are safe. Their propaganda depicts them as heroes. At the same time we are told that they are a bunch of woosies who fear about anything one can think of.

I find that a strange contradiction.

/snark

Posted by b on October 19, 2017 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

Don Bacon | Oct 19, 2017 12:40:38 PM | 1

remember--
"October 13 - 8 Out Of 10 Will Only Read This Headline"
not pampered, but I assume that's a tongue in cheek argument. Live under the rules of a tyrant and call yourself pampered.

Posted by: Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 1:01:21 PM | 2

not pampered, but I assume that's a tongue in cheek argument.
Live under the rules of a tyrant and call yourself pampered.

Posted by: Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 1:01:21 PM | 2 /div

StephenLaudig | Oct 19, 2017 1:15:57 PM | 3
The US military.... losing wars since 1946 [unless you count Panama and/or Grenada]... But in fairness it was tasked with wars that were, by their nature, unwinnable wars. One of the 'grand lessons' of the 20th and 21st centuries is that empires will [almost] always lose wars. The American Empire will lose wars until it runs out of money and then it will quit. All the US needs is a border patrol and a coast guard. All the rest is imperial impedimenta.
la Cariatide | Oct 19, 2017 1:19:49 PM | 4
where do i sign to join american socialist dream?
john | Oct 19, 2017 1:21:01 PM | 5
Their propaganda depicts them as heroes

their suicide rate depicts them as conflicted.

Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 1:23:00 PM | 6
try Venezuela, the United States is of America, it's not America. The "dreamers" all trying to get here.
Ian | Oct 19, 2017 1:23:48 PM | 7
The amenities are good but the pay is low, and health care for veterans is below par.
mischi | Oct 19, 2017 1:26:29 PM | 8
the best soldiers the world has ever seen, like they like to call themselves. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Joe | Oct 19, 2017 1:39:26 PM | 9
Please don't confuse the fears of a lowly enlisted guy, like I used to be, with the published "fears" intended only to extract moar taxpayer dollars....
Burt | Oct 19, 2017 1:43:26 PM | 10
I thought North Korea had a pampered army treated better than the civilian population. Isn't that an Axis of Evil thing?
mena | Oct 19, 2017 1:43:48 PM | 11
Well, and except for the whole Bill of Rights thing. But I guess that's a different conversation.
Of course, the Free Market ideal is to replace as many soldiers with private mercenaries as possible, as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Oct 19, 2017 2:03:05 PM | 12

Of course, the Free Market ideal is to replace as many soldiers with private mercenaries as possible, as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Oct 19, 2017 2:03:05 PM | 12 /div

Piotr Berman | Oct 19, 2017 2:15:40 PM | 13
Honestly, the military exists to respond to "threats", and that entails identifying those threats. The impact of volcano eruptions on jet planes is very real, to give one example, so it is rational to develop options when you cannot use such planes. And so on. I should read "The Airforce 4 biggest fears", just beforehand, I would guess budget cuts are number one. But expenditures imposed by morons in Congress should also be considered. That makes me curious what is number 3 and number 4.
ben | Oct 19, 2017 2:17:18 PM | 14
"Members of the U.S. military live quite well. They are safe. Their propaganda depicts them as heroes."

Not quite as good as depicted b, but, none the less, quite better than the average workers in the U$A today.

IMO, the true heroes in the U$A today are the many workers who struggle daily on minimum wage, to provide for their family's welfare with no job security, and no health care..

james | Oct 19, 2017 2:29:40 PM | 15
b, did you get some kick back for this promotional ad for the us armed forces? i hope so!

@6 stryker. i always get a kick out of when it is referred to as 'america' as if the usa is as big as many in the country think it is! meanwhile us lowly others who inhabit the 'americas' don't get much of a mention...

NemesisCalling | Oct 19, 2017 2:46:06 PM | 16
Even though I have a brother in the Navy who joined because of the shit economy, let me play on the devil's side here, even though I gemerally agree with you.

Ideally, these types of benefits would be welcomed by any country who were legitimately proud of their military. It just so happens that the military we are talking about here is the empire's world police. It really ISN'T the US military any longer, although it takes our cash this way and that for "defense" spending. Although down the list when it comes to defense spending as a per centage of GDP, the US still spends wayyyyyyyy too much. So we are altogether looking at a weird-ass example, b, and although you may be right when it comes to the pussification of our military, I look at it differently for two reasons: 1) as stated above, the US military is unique in their role for the empire; this has created the immense problem of explaining or warranting their existence in faraway lands for almost no discernible reasons. A scattered and bungling approach, meanwhile being stretched way too far, means certain morale and training issues; and 2) it is also a generational thing which ties into the shit economy run by technocratic elites who don't give one iota of a care for the lesser classes which they have massacred through globalization.

So while I think you are in the right to help deconstruct the myth of American military might, I would argue that it is a moot point really and the table is already set for the whole MIC pertaining to US spending to come crashing down once the economy goes tits up. After that, god only knows if militaries will even be useful. In the end, it is difficult for an American like myself to really see the purpose of a military adventure force due to our geographical location. OTOH, a soldier in India looking out from his post over Kashmir might know exactly his worth now and for the future.

Just Sayin' | Oct 19, 2017 2:50:56 PM | 17
The fears of the US Military are the best fears that money can buy.

USA! USA! USA!
Number 1!!!!!!!

notlurking | Oct 19, 2017 2:51:46 PM | 18
I stopped watching most of the war movies dealing with ME conflicts.....a lot of propaganda bullshit.....
Liam | Oct 19, 2017 2:59:43 PM | 19
#MeToo – A Course In Deductive Reasoning: Separating Fact From Fiction Through The Child Exploitation Of 8 Year Old Bana Alabed

https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/10/19/metoo-a-course-in-deductive-reasoning-separating-fact-from-fiction-through-the-child-exploitation-of-8-year-old-bana-alabed/

b | Oct 19, 2017 3:07:51 PM | 20
I now added the /snark tag to the post. Seems necessary ...
S Brennan | Oct 19, 2017 3:09:51 PM | 21
"the crude overall mortality rate among U.S. service members was 71.5 per 100,000 [person-years]. In 2005, in the general U.S. population, the crude overall mortality rate among 15-44 year olds was 127.5 per 100,000 p-yrs"

Roughly two-thirds of all DOD active-duty military personnel were ages 30 or younger in 2015. Only about one-in-ten (9%) were older than 40.*

Compared to**:

15 to 19 years 20,219,890 7.2
20 to 24 years 18,964,001 6.7
25 to 34 years 39,891,724 14.2
35 to 44 years 45,148,527 16.0

So, the disproportionality of the age groups in the cited example would more than account for mortality.

Additionally, massive injuries including dismemberment, permanent brain damage and paralysis are not accounted for. That misrepresentation goes further than the general reader is aware, battlefield casualties that were once fatal are now, though initial response, being treated and the Soldier/Marine returned to society.***

* http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/13/6-facts-about-the-u-s-military-and-its-changing-demographics/

** https://www.infoplease.com/us/comprehensive-census-data-state/demographic-statistics-342

*** http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2004/12/iraq_2004_looks_like_vietnam_1966.html

WorldBLee | Oct 19, 2017 3:17:22 PM | 22
#7 - I agree, the pay for enlisted soldiers is low and VA healthcare doesn't want to treat many chemical issues soldiers get from being around depleted uranium, toxic burn pits, etc. Still, it's a much better life than those bombed by them experience!
Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 3:37:58 PM | 23
@15 James, thanks for the feedback, not too many picking up on that yet.
karlof1 | Oct 19, 2017 3:38:54 PM | 24
The intellectual quality of the Outlaw US Empire's military serfs is reflected in their inability to see that the government they're in service to is the #1 Domestic threat to the Constitution they swore to uphold and protect, with the so-called Deep State tied to it like a shadow.
ken | Oct 19, 2017 3:57:56 PM | 25
A 1st Lieutenant over 3 years makes $4,682 base pay. Thats $30 per hour on average. That is well above most civilian pay. Then many businesses hand them a 10-15% discount.

A Sergeant over 3 5 years makes $2,725 base pay. That's about $17.50 per hour... Not so bad.

Then the get BAS (Meals) $246 for Officers and $347 for enlisted. BAH (Housing) $1291 per month Enlisted. They're hiding the Officers amount.

Then kick in free medical. No Obamacare for them!

And God only know the pension they get after 20 or 30 years. I knew a person receiving a military pension and a Post Office pension. The Post Office is very partial to military and dependents. Almost impossible to work for them full time as a civilian. My wife went to take the 'test' and was told she didn't stand a chance as there were too many military retirees vying for the job.

When I went in the Military in 1967 I made $78 per month. When I got out in 1978 I made $700 per month.

All government workers including military on average make more then civilian counterparts.

What's maddening is when I hear them poor boy everyone. Calling, wanting money for the military or cops.

Debsisdead | Oct 19, 2017 4:24:54 PM | 26
Aha! A hint of how the pampered rapists were left exposed in Niger. According to that bastion of oppression, truth and the amerikan way, Foreign Policy DOT com, the government of Chad is somewhat discomfited by the inclusion of Chad on the most recent iteration of Trump's 'Muslim Ban' list. Hah, Chad is pissed at the latest moronity from Agent Orange eh, at least they have a coupla followers of Islam there, imagine how the population of Venezuela feel since last time anyone looked those Venezuelans who still bought into old wives' tales were prostrating themselves in front of two chunks of wood attached in two dimensional perpendicularity I.E. a cruciform.

Still Chad is pissed and you can hardly blame 'em as for more than 60 years the Chad army has performed vital step & fetchit roles for advancing amerikan and french imperial interests - raping and looting villages from Maghreb to the Sahel, from Nigeria through to Mali whenever it seemed the innate right of amerika to plunder whatever pleases them was being questioned.

From assorted tidbits on offer from the usual corrupt sources, we are told that the band of butchers were visiting a village in Niger to provide a 'pep talk' on anti-terror. when they were attacked by as yet unnamed terrorists; apart from the notion that any group of indigenous persons who attack a gang of armed foreign invaders could ever be called terrorists there is a further irony - the pentagon also asserts that there was no indication of prior 'terrorist activity' in the area where the village was located. If that is correct WTF were amerikan troops going there to provide 'anti-terrorist' information for?

This previously pristine region suddenly filled with alleged 'terrorists' who then proceeded to lay waste to the squad of imperial invaders. Since we know now that this was right after Chad's government, pissed at their inclusion on 'The List' , pulled its mercenary forces out of Niger, it would be fair to surmise that it was they, the Chad gang, who had been keeping the world safe for global exploitation in Niger, but that DC, not wishing to acknowledge the 'muslim ban' had caused such a major screw up, chose to ignore that reality and continued to send it's thugs out to 'disseminate information'.

"This wasn't in the brochure" whined one enabler of empire as he choked out his final words.

Fernando Arauxo | Oct 19, 2017 4:34:32 PM | 27
The USA's armed forces are deadly. We may mock them and while it is true, they don't "win" wars. However the damage they wreak is horrendous, the Armed Forces when unleashed will cause more damage than the mongols. People seem to forget the wars the USA did "win". It's wiped it's ass with the Dominican Republic and Haiti many times. Africa, Asia and Europe suffers under the boot of the G.I.
They don't win, but they don't really "lose" either.
Jagger | Oct 19, 2017 4:43:46 PM | 28
I was trying to figure out the purpose of this article. Since the author didn't list the downsides of serving in the military, I will assume the author has never actually served in the military. My suggestion would be for the author to join as soon as possible to gain access to that great military life and all those fantasic benefits. And since the author believes they are a force of wussies and scaredy-cats, the author should not have any problems getting in. Of course, after the author has spent his third tour humping the boonies in Afghanistan, survived his umpteenth road-side bomb or small arms ambush, should be interesting to see if he turns into a 20 year man so he can fully enjoy the good life.

The article was too one-sided, shallow and exaggerated to be written by anyone but a troll. Waste of time to read it.

Anonymous | Oct 19, 2017 4:57:18 PM | 29
Game over in Syria. After tripartite talks (Syria, Kurds, Russia) at al Qamishli over the Kurdish issue and the US bases in Syria, the Kurds have transferred control of the large Conoco oil facility to Russian ground forces. The Kurds now have no control of oil for financing the so-called 'state'. It looks like they have seen the US casting the Iragi Kurds aside and wondered - 'will the same happen to us?' and gone for the negotiated solution. No wonder Shoigu and Putin have gone on record as saying the Syria issue is nearly over.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/10/syrians-russians-and-kurds-discuss.html

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/breaking-russian-troops-take-control-key-gas-field-kurdish-forces-deir-ezzor/

gepay | Oct 19, 2017 5:01:41 PM | 30
I wonder if you included suicides or disability post service. WWI the military introduced metal helmets and mortality went down but brain injuries increased. My understanding is that brain injuries due to IED are very common. I would imagine the majority of soldiers returning from a war zone come home maimed in body/and or mind.

As the son of a 20+ year Army vet, I know these perks have been there for a long time. They were necessary to attract anybody before WW2. I imagine they have increased with the volunteer military. Mostly the Army is populated with the more competent people from the lower strata of American society. They have a choice of working at a fast food, convenience store, or motel along the interstate - or the Army - oh yeah being a prison guard is also an option as the burgeoning American prison population is housed in low income rural areas.

I imagine there is bloat in the officer corps - most of those golf courses you mentioned are for officers only. These officers are mainly not coming from low income families. The real bloat though, is in the military contractors - Eisenhower's military-industrial complex with an added national security complex. Amazing how the US has gone from being basically isolationist before WW2 to the militaristic society of today. The US military is the bitch enforcer for global elite. The police are being increasingly militarized. Many of them trained by those human rights paragons - the Israelis.

Just Sayin' | Oct 19, 2017 5:17:18 PM | 31
Amazing how the US has gone from being basically isolationist before WW2 to the militaristic society of today.

Posted by: gepay | Oct 19, 2017 5:01:41 PM | 30

LOL Seriously?

This is only a partial list of US military actions in foreign countries. This list only covers the 50 years from 1890 to WW2

---------------


ARGENTINA 1890 Troops Buenos Aires interests protected.
CHILE 1891 Troops Marines clash with nationalist rebels.
HAITI 1891 Troops Black revolt on Navassa defeated.
IDAHO 1892 Troops Army suppresses silver miners' strike.
HAWAII 1893 (-?) Naval, troops Independent kingdom overthrown, annexed.
CHICAGO 1894 Troops Breaking of rail strike, 34 killed.
NICARAGUA 1894 Troops Month-long occupation of Bluefields.
CHINA 1894-95 Naval, troops Marines land in Sino-Japanese War
KOREA 1894-96 Troops Marines kept in Seoul during war.
PANAMA 1895 Troops, naval Marines land in Colombian province.
NICARAGUA 1896 Troops Marines land in port of Corinto.
CHINA 1898-1900 Troops Boxer Rebellion fought by foreign armies.
PHILIPPINES 1898-1910 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, killed 600,000 Filipinos
CUBA 1898-1902 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, still hold Navy base.
PUERTO RICO 1898 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, occupation continues.
GUAM 1898 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, still use as base.
MINNESOTA 1898 (-?) Troops Army battles Chippewa at Leech Lake.
NICARAGUA 1898 Troops Marines land at port of San Juan del Sur.
SAMOA 1899 (-?) Troops Battle over succession to throne.
NICARAGUA 1899 Troops Marines land at port of Bluefields.
IDAHO 1899-1901 Troops Army occupies Coeur d'Alene mining region.
OKLAHOMA 1901 Troops Army battles Creek Indian revolt.
PANAMA 1901-14 Naval, troops Broke off from Colombia 1903, annexed Canal Zone; Opened canal 1914.
HONDURAS 1903 Troops Marines intervene in revolution.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1903-04 Troops U.S. interests protected in Revolution.
KOREA 1904-05 Troops Marines land in Russo-Japanese War.
CUBA 1906-09 Troops Marines land in democratic election.
NICARAGUA 1907 Troops "Dollar Diplomacy" protectorate set up.
HONDURAS 1907 Troops Marines land during war with Nicaragua
PANAMA 1908 Troops Marines intervene in election contest.
NICARAGUA 1910 Troops Marines land in Bluefields and Corinto.
HONDURAS 1911 Troops U.S. interests protected in civil war.
CHINA 1911-41 Naval, troops Continuous occupation with flare-ups.
CUBA 1912 Troops U.S. interests protected in civil war.
PANAMA 1912 Troops Marines land during heated election.
HONDURAS 1912 Troops Marines protect U.S. economic interests.
NICARAGUA 1912-33 Troops, bombing 10-year occupation, fought guerillas
MEXICO 1913 Naval Americans evacuated during revolution.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1914 Naval Fight with rebels over Santo Domingo.
COLORADO 1914 Troops Breaking of miners' strike by Army.
MEXICO 1914-18 Naval, troops Series of interventions against nationalists.
HAITI 1914-34 Troops, bombing 19-year occupation after revolts.
TEXAS 1915 Troops Federal soldiers crush "Plan of San Diego" Mexican-American rebellion
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1916-24 Troops 8-year Marine occupation.
CUBA 1917-33 Troops Military occupation, economic protectorate.
WORLD WAR I 1917-18 Naval, troops Ships sunk, fought Germany for 1 1/2 years.
RUSSIA 1918-22 Naval, troops Five landings to fight Bolsheviks
PANAMA 1918-20 Troops "Police duty" during unrest after elections.
HONDURAS 1919 Troops Marines land during election campaign.
YUGOSLAVIA 1919 Troops/Marines intervene for Italy against Serbs in Dalmatia.
GUATEMALA 1920 Troops 2-week intervention against unionists.
WEST VIRGINIA 1920-21 Troops, bombing Army intervenes against mineworkers.
TURKEY 1922 Troops Fought nationalists in Smyrna.
CHINA 1922-27 Naval, troops Deployment during nationalist revolt.
MEXICO 1923 Bombing
HONDURAS 1924-25 Troops
PANAMA 1925 Troops Marines suppress general strike.
CHINA 1927-34 Troops Marines stationed throughout the country.
EL SALVADOR 1932 Naval Warships send during Marti revolt.

-------------
You know, I hear they have this new-fangled thing call "The Internet" now.
The hipster kids tell me you can actually connect to it and do things like research a statement before you go and say something stupid.
Can't make head nor tail of it myself, but the local hipster voung 'uns swear by it

ToivoS | Oct 19, 2017 5:28:30 PM | 32
In terms of the most dangerous occupations b seemed to have omitted loggers. From life insurance data published about 30 years ago the most dangerous occupations are (number of deaths per 100,000):

commercial fishermen (about 100)
loggers (70-80)
construction workers (20+)
taxi drivers and 24 hour store clerks (~10)
fire fighters (5)
policemen (4)

With policemen the leading cause of occupational fatalities are from traffic accidents. Every time, any where in the US if a cop is shot by a criminal it becomes front page news across the entire country and their funerals are attended by hundreds of uniformed cops to great press fanfare. This is followed by outpouring of press discussion about the horrible dangers our policemen are exposed to.

Edward | Oct 19, 2017 5:41:16 PM | 33
If you look at battlefield injuries, the picture is not so good; in the Iraq occupation, injuries were often debilitating but not fatal. One also has to worry about being poisoned by burn pits or uranium. The military people who are truly pampered, with a royal lifestyle, are the generals.

Another American group that receives special privileges is the police. Have you heard of the law enforcement bill of rights?

This military socialism resembles Israeli socialism. A technique the Israeli state uses to grant benefits to Israeli Jews and deny them to Palestinians is to tie the benefits to military service which is denied to Palestinians. As a result, Israeli Palestinians pay more taxes but receive less benefits then Israeli Jews.

Just Sayin' | Oct 19, 2017 6:21:27 PM | 34
One of the many "Socialist" benefits on offer to members of the USMilitary

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/apr/19/genital-injuries-taliban-ieds

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/13/health/genital-injuries-among-us-troops.html


-------------

This military socialism resembles Israeli socialism. A technique the Israeli state uses to grant benefits to Israeli Jews and deny them to Palestinians is to tie the benefits to military service which is denied to Palestinians. As a result, Israeli Palestinians pay more taxes but receive less benefits then Israeli Jews.

Posted by: Edward | Oct 19, 2017 5:41:16 PM | 33

Nationalist and Socialist?

A bit of a mouthful, maybe someone should come up with a snappy acronym for it. . . .

wonder what they'd call it?

ERing46Z | Oct 19, 2017 6:23:14 PM | 35
"b" You just way out of your way to beat up the military. SO. The reason the "mortality rate" is so much lower is because better than 98% of us are not only armed, but are private fire arms owners at our homes and the criminal world knows that BUT YOU WENT OUT OF YOUR WAY TO IGNORE THAT! YOU "b" just took your credibility off the cliff, complete with a "snark" all the way to the rocks below. Yes, I served on SECARMY Staff in the E Ring at the Pentagon. So, "been there" all the way to the end. Deployments, sand, live fire convoys and all.
blues | Oct 19, 2017 6:26:34 PM | 36
Every dozen or whatever months I get this spam phone call from this big booming American voice asking me if I would be good enough to contribute to a charity for medical care and/or support of the loved ones of police officers slain or injured while on duty. It's pretty much sort of a shake down, since they do have my number.

This pisses me way off!

So I politely explain to them that my cat, Curly, has severe epilepsy and I must spend $2,000 a month for this Vimpat medicine to keep Curly from having dreadful seizures. So of course I have no leftover money for charity.

Screw them!

<== Jagger | Oct 19, 2017 4:43:46 PM | 28
Yup. Don't waste any more time reading this. (You didn't read the fine print on your auto insurance either, did you?)

Boyo | Oct 19, 2017 6:36:56 PM | 37
One day when the dollar fails and is no longer the petro dollar, then the military cuts will happen like the old USSR. This may be sooner than later after how Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Hezbollah and others stuck together in Syria and now Iraq.

This has scared the shit out of the Saudis. The Saudi king ran to Russia to meet with Putin. The petrodollars days are numbered.

Just Sayin' | Oct 19, 2017 6:38:08 PM | 38
Deployments, sand, live fire convoys and all.

Posted by: ERing46Z | Oct 19, 2017 6:23:14 PM | 35

Balls too?

Peter AU 1 | Oct 19, 2017 6:41:45 PM | 39
Good post b.
Looks like the yanks are out in force justifying/finding excuses for the numbers.
james | Oct 19, 2017 7:06:57 PM | 40
all those innocent people, not to mentioned the armed forces people being exposed to depleted uranium, and none of them are a statistic.. thank you barbaric usa..anyone who thinks the usa looks after their vets- i don't think so...
karlof1 | Oct 19, 2017 7:19:56 PM | 41
james @40--

One only need view the film Born on the Fourth of July to learn how vets were treated then and now. My partner's dad has a host of ailments, PTSD amongst them, and ought to be in a VA Nursing Home, but they are almost nonexistent nowadays--they were once called Old Soldiers Homes.

Jackrabbit | Oct 19, 2017 7:48:22 PM | 42
b, your post raises many good questions.

At what point does a military become mercenaries, out for their own good? Who has incentive to make them mercenaries? How can we tell when a military has been compromised? How can society guard against the slippery slope? Etc.

Peter AU 1 | Oct 19, 2017 8:17:07 PM | 43
United States of America = Americans?
In Europe, none of the countries are called Europe and the people collectivly are called Eropeans.
In Asia, no country has the name Asia, but collectivly the people are called Asians.
In Africa, South Africa has Africa in its name, and the people of South Africa a called South africans. Easy to say and people who live in Africa a collectively Africans.
The Americas. Only one country has America in its name, but who the fuck is going to say "United States of Americans" when refering to the arseholes that inhabit the place. Much easier to just say Americans, Canadians, Venezuelans - whatever.
Josh Stern | Oct 19, 2017 8:32:18 PM | 44
How do the life expectancies of adult an adult 'A', 'B', or 'C' compare? Who is most likely to be murdered soonest by Heine gang? Hard to know...most A's are off the map, shut off from any large scale publicity or commerce or media coverage. While the status of 'B' and 'C' is secret. Heine gang shortens the life expectancy of all in a significant way, but I don't know how the current stats would play out.
Edward | Oct 19, 2017 8:53:54 PM | 45
@34 Just Sayin,

That comparison gets made more often these days. In some ways the Israelis are worse then the Nazis.

peter | Oct 19, 2017 9:07:46 PM | 46
I guess if it's a country you like the soldiers are patriotic and morally upright.

If you don't like the country then they're all low-life scum looking for a free ride.

Debsisdead | Oct 19, 2017 10:17:22 PM | 47
The nonsense has started again. I have posted the same epistle twice and both times the missive has disappeared into the black hole, I shan't do it again until I'm certain the original has gone forever -in the meantime no one should be surprised if they both suddenly reappear.
barrisj | Oct 19, 2017 10:53:46 PM | 48
OK. give the reprobate Donald credit (maybe)...he was quoted in saying to the dead soldier's mum: "It's what he signed up for...",blah,blah. But, the Donald called it: Special Forces are nothing but trained assassination teams...they go in, off their target, fly out, end of story. Only this time, the buggers got caught with their shorts down, and...casualties...oh, boo-hoo. All these young bodies that sign up for the US military some time in their enlistment will be posted to "bases" that they didn't even realise existed. And so they get educated, really fast. Then those who go further in their military careers decide to go for the "elite" units: hard-core training, propaganda, "know your enemy",how to murder stealthily, etc. Then, after many "kills", they themselves get capped...it's how the game is played, yo. So, bottom-line - Trump let out the BIG secret: "We" kill, and should expect to be killed in return...who can cavil with that?
J Swift | Oct 19, 2017 11:07:32 PM | 49
@34 Just Sayin,
I'm still chuckling....

@42 Jackrabbit,
This is hugely important. Ditching the draft in the '70's wasn't for any altruistic reason, nor to make the US military "more professional." In draft days, even though most wealthy families could buy their way out of being impacted, a significant cross section of the citizenry could expect to find themselves contributing their pride and joy to some crazy war effort in some far off place. There had better be a damn good reason for it. One of the big lessons the Establishment learned from Vietnam was that even the terminally passive American people could become violently anti-war when it was a life or death situation for them personally. So the move was made to an "all volunteer" force, which would generally draw from a less politically powerful cross section, and there would automatically be less bitching because "those guys wanted to go fight--that's what they signed up for." And as Jackrabbit points out, haven't indeed you at least started down the road to mercenary when your current army must admit they're there for the money, and maybe the promise of adventure, not because they were drafted and just fulfilling their duty as a citizen and eager to get home to the plow?

This is doubly troubling, because now your soldiers are vastly more mercenary than before (and of course will be recruited as true mercenaries upon ETS to meet the growing demand for true mercs), but are fewer and more socially isolated, so they are getting 3, 4, MORE tours in some sand pit where they are basically a walking target and are rightly hated as foreign occupiers, so even the best of them cannot help but become resentful and sociopathic. But at the same time, the Deep State has divorced the military from the citizenry at large, so citizens care less and less how many wars the US is engaged in, how many destroyed young men come home, and not only does protest of wars evaporate, warfare is mythically transformed into something heroic and to be desired, not feared. All empires have gradually been forced to employ more and more mercenaries (or slaves) to maintain their wars, but it never ends well.

[Oct 19, 2017] Privacy is dead Get over it by Paul Croke

Mar 24, 2015 | baltimorepostexaminer.com
In the days before cellular communications were well on their way to being the dominant form of personal electronic communication, the Federal Communications Commission had strict regulatory control governing third party monitoring of telephone conversations. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies were the only branches of government which could legally tap phones, and these only with a court order.

Into the ether

But cellular communications, being radio transmissions, had no such official protection. And the Internet, either carried by cable or through wireless data transmission, is still baffling government regulatory agencies as to whether they have any jurisdiction over Net use or Internet service providers.

So although we got along pretty well with the status quo regarding personal privacy from the government for 200 years or so, the explosive growth of the Internet and the many, many ways we usually unwittingly expose our private affairs to Big Business and the government has raced toward the formation of behemoths of so-called Big Data.

Big Data is a catchall term which includes the collection of personal, business and government information that has brought us to a point beyond the extremely pessimistic dreams of George Orwell.

Exposure of the willing

Millions spill the most intimate details of their lives on Facebook. Their photo posts to Instagram may contain geolocational tags. Hackers have figured out how to use the front facing cameras on laptops to catch their owners' parading by in various states of undress. Illicit credit card readers are inserted into gas station swipers, recording hundreds of card numbers and passwords, then removed, numbers collected, then sold to brokers, or fences, who resell them to the usual suspects. There are even butt swipers, devices that scan back pockets and purses to read your credit card card info.

internet-of-thingsGoogle reads your email and if you mention a brand name for a product or an item you're thinking of buying, the next search you make Google throws up ads for that product or its competitors.

But we're just now on the brink of a yawning chasm. Be prepared to take the leap into the new age of No Privacy, courtesy of the coming ubiquity of the Internet of things. Not only will your remaining privacy be rendered a dead letter, but the very definition of privacy is about to change.

The Internet of things is already here in nascent form, from smart cars to smart refrigerators to smart thermostats to home security monitors which know when you're home and when you're not, what room you're in and what you're doing there.

Death by a thousand cuts

We're no strangers in the past century to technological advances that change our lives. We've also witnessed how the pace of technological change accelerates. And these changes, in their turn, have not only altered our lives, but each has affected them faster and has been more keenly felt by society.

1373563853701.cachedBut previous changes have been mostly incremental, a rapidly moving series of small steps that affect one portion of our lives. These include instant phone calls or texts to anyone on the planet, email, cloud storage of personal or business data, the latter facilitating group work on projects or reports.

But still a measure of personal privacy was maintained, depending a lot on how much you were willing to share using that cunning new app or seductive new Internet-connected device.

But the sheer volume of small personal habits and activities added up over time, allowing government and business to put the pieces together to form quite an accurate, and highly detailed, snapshot of you, your spending habits, your circle of friends, your politics etc.

Your life, exposed

But with the Internet of things, these sketches of you will turn into full-fledged portraits. No longer will one device or app do its one trick to change your life, such as storage in the cloud of personal data, or online banking or Internet shopping. The sheer number of embedded sensors in your house and car, the latter long legally protected as bastions of privacy, will reveal every detail of your private life. The Internet of things will affect not just one facet of your life, such as industry, commerce or politics, it will completely rewrite the definition of personal privacy.

[Oct 19, 2017] McCain As Metaphor

Notable quotes:
"... The Senator from Arizona represents something relatively new on the American scene: the emerging class of colonial administrators, Pentagon contractors, and high-ranking military personnel, and their families, many of them stationed overseas. These people have a material interest in the expansion of our role as global cop, they number in the tens of thousands, and they are strategically placed in the social order, with enough social power to constitute an influential lobby. ..."
"... As the prototype of this mutant species of Homo Americanus , McCain is the perfect enemy of the new nationalism that handed the White House to Donald Trump and sundered the Brits from the EU. It's no surprise he's become the antipode of the Trumpian "America First" foreign policy doctrine – a doctrine that is almost never implemented, but that's another column. His latest philippic perfectly summarizes the spirit and content of the brazen imperialism that is his credo and the credo of his class, We get the whole grand tour of McCainism as a worldview, from the rather odd idea that "America is an idea" and not an actual place to the glories of the "international order." There is much shedding of blood "to make a better world" – a cause we are told has "made our own civilization more just, freer, more accomplished and prosperous than the America that existed when I watched my father go off to war on December 7, 1941." Now here is crackpot Keynesianism with a vengeance: the destruction of World War II was good for the economy! ..."
"... Having "liberated" the world from itself, the United States, as the champion of World Order, is in danger of turning away from its sacred duty to always be shedding lots and lots of blood on behalf of Others. And we know just who McCain is talking about: ..."
Oct 19, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

Some people are living symbols, sheer embodiments of a concept that fits their persona as snugly as their skin: e.g. the Dalai Lama personifies Contemplative Piety, Harvey Weinstein is the incarnation of Brazen Vulgarity, and John McCain's very person exudes the sweaty blustery spirit of Empire. His entire history – born in the Panama Canal zone, son of an admiral, third-generation centurion, the War Party's senatorial spokesman – made it nearly impossible for him to be other than what he is: the country's most outspoken warmonger and dedicated internationalist.

As George Orwell remarked, "After forty, everyone has the face they deserve," and in McCain's case this is doubly true. That Roman head, fit for a coin of high denomination, looks as if it might sprout a crown of laurel leaves at any moment: Grizzled brow, wrinkled with the tension of an inborn belligerence, eyes alight with a perpetual flame of self-righteous anger, McCain is Teddy Roosevelt impersonating Cato the Elder. In the extreme predictability of his warlike effusions, he's become a bit of a cartoon character. Who can forget his enthusiastic rendition of " Bomb bomb bomb Iran! " to the tune of "Barbara Ann"?

The Senator from Arizona represents something relatively new on the American scene: the emerging class of colonial administrators, Pentagon contractors, and high-ranking military personnel, and their families, many of them stationed overseas. These people have a material interest in the expansion of our role as global cop, they number in the tens of thousands, and they are strategically placed in the social order, with enough social power to constitute an influential lobby.

As the prototype of this mutant species of Homo Americanus , McCain is the perfect enemy of the new nationalism that handed the White House to Donald Trump and sundered the Brits from the EU. It's no surprise he's become the antipode of the Trumpian "America First" foreign policy doctrine – a doctrine that is almost never implemented, but that's another column. His latest philippic perfectly summarizes the spirit and content of the brazen imperialism that is his credo and the credo of his class, We get the whole grand tour of McCainism as a worldview, from the rather odd idea that "America is an idea" and not an actual place to the glories of the "international order." There is much shedding of blood "to make a better world" – a cause we are told has "made our own civilization more just, freer, more accomplished and prosperous than the America that existed when I watched my father go off to war on December 7, 1941." Now here is crackpot Keynesianism with a vengeance: the destruction of World War II was good for the economy!

Having "liberated" the world from itself, the United States, as the champion of World Order, is in danger of turning away from its sacred duty to always be shedding lots and lots of blood on behalf of Others. And we know just who McCain is talking about:

"To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history."

The idea that we led and organized the world for the entire postwar era erases the cold war from history, a neat trick given McCain's record. And as for our "ideals" and this "last best hope" business, none of that is worth a single American soldier – nor does it have anything to do with a soldier's proper job, which is protecting this country. Yet what is one to expect from someone who actually believes "we live in a land of ideals, not blood and soil." Blood never comes into it for McCain unless it's being shed in some ill-conceived totally unnecessary war. And as for soil – there is none. There's just "ideals," floating in a void.

While admitting that the Trumpian version of American nationalism is somewhat undercooked – and, perhaps, not all that digestible – one has to wonder: where does a supporter of the Iraq war, who assured us it would be a glorious victory, get off calling anybody or anything half-baked?

McCain doesn't even try making a coherent argument: instead, he simply lies by claiming that, having taken the road to Empire, "we have become incomparably powerful and wealthy as we did." It's utter nonsense, of course: empires are an expensive luxury. We spend more on the military than the top ten powers combined, and the national debt is at historic heights. We're effectively bankrupt thanks to out-of-control military spending and McCain's favored wars of choice.

The idea that we have a "moral obligation" to enforce McCain's beloved "international order" is rooted in the crazed post-millennial pietism that has motivated so much that is mischievous in American history. The old religious impulse that motivated Prohibition and the "anti-vice" campaigns of the nineteenth century has, today, been secularized and internationalized. The old fundamentalists sought to remake the country, their secular successors seek to remake the world . This accounts for the quasi-religious tone of McCain's remarks, this talk of "moral obligation" and "shame" if we fail to take up the burden of Empire, manfully and willfully, because "We will not thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals are absent. We wouldn't deserve to."

In other words: Americans have no right to live their lives in peace, and to leave others in the same condition: they must perpetually be sticking their noses in other peoples' business, sniffing out "injustice" and making sure the trains run on time. McCain hails the crusade to "help make another, better world" – yet the American people don't want another world, they want to live in this world in peace and security, rather than sacrificing themselves to some imaginary "duty" to uplift the world on Uncle Sam's shoulders. That's one reason why Trump is in the White House and McCain is on the outside looking in.

NOTES IN THE MARGIN

You can check out my Twitter feed by going here . But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.

I've written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement , with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey , a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon ( ISI Books , 2008).

You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here .

[Oct 18, 2017] Spy Schools How the CIA, FBI and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America's Universities by Nick Roll

Notable quotes:
"... Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America's Universities ..."
"... The Boston Globe ..."
"... Inside Higher Ed ..."
"... The Wall Street Journal ..."
"... The Price of Admission ..."
"... Inside Higher Ed ..."
"... Inside Higher Ed ..."
"... look back to Stalin, Hitler, Franco, Mao, Mussolini et.al with THIER use of domestic agencies to impose lock-step thinking and to ferret out free-thinkers. ..."
"... It is amazing how many biochemists and microbiologists from the People's Republic of China would e-mail me asking if I had a position in my "lab," touting their bench skills, every time I published a paper on the federal bioterrorism program, medical civic action programs, etc. ..."
"... When I started teaching 48 years ago, the president of my college was James Dovonan, Bill Donovan's (founder of the OSS) brother, portrayed by Tom Hanks in the movie, "Bridge of Spies." ..."
"... Beyond NIH funded grant-based research, Homeland Security, Energy, Defense, and the Intelligence Community agencies have long histories of relationships with American academia. This could be funded research, collaborative research, shared personnel relationships, or all other manner of cooperation. Sometimes it's fairly well known and sometimes it's kept quiet, and sometimes it's even classified. But it is much more extensive and expansive than what Golden describes, and much less "cozy" or suspicious. ..."
"... For years I have said that it is foolish to look to universities for moral guidance, and this story is one more instance. In this case, the moral ground is swampy at best, and the universities do not appear to have spent a lot of time worrying about possible problems as long as the situation works to their advantage financially. ..."
"... Does Golden discuss at all the way in which the CIA and other intelligence services funnel money into academic research without the source of the funding ever being revealed? This was common practice in the 1960s and 1970s, and colleges like MIT were among those involved in this chicanery. ..."
"... Where has IHE been for the past several decades? Read Rosenfeld's book, Subversives..... about the FBI's illegal acts at Berkeley. Or read this, a summary of his book: https://alumni.berkeley.edu... Or read George R. Stewart, The Year of the Oath. ..."
www.chronicle.com
October 3, 2017

The CIA Within Academe 21 Comments

Book documents how foreign and domestic intelligence agencies use -- and perhaps exploit -- higher education and academe for spy operations.
Foreign and domestic intelligence services spar and spy on one another all across the world. But it would be naïve to think it's not happening in the lab or classroom as well.

In his new book, Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America's Universities ( Henry Holt and Company ), investigative journalist Daniel Golden explores the fraught -- and sometimes exploitative -- relationship between higher education and intelligence services, both foreign and domestic. Chapters explore various case studies of the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation using the open and collaborative nature of higher education to their advantage, as well as foreign governments infiltrating the U.S. via education.

"It's pretty widespread, and I'd say it's most prevalent at research universities," Golden, an editor at ProPublica and an alumnus of The Boston Globe 's "Spotlight" team, told Inside Higher Ed . "The foreign intelligence services have the interest and the opportunity to learn cutting-edge, Pentagon-funded or government-funded research."

Golden, who has also covered higher education for The Wall Street Journal , previously wrote about the intersection of wealth and admissions in his 2006 book The Price of Admission .

Each of the case studies in Spy Schools , which goes on sale Oct. 10, is critical. One could read the chapters on the Chinese government's interest in U.S. research universities as hawkish, but then turn to the next chapter on Harvard's relationship with the CIA and read it as critical of the American intelligence establishment as well.

"People of one political persuasion might focus on [the chapters regarding] foreign espionage; people of another political persuasion might focus on domestic espionage," Golden said. "I try to follow where the facts lead."

Perhaps the most prestigious institution Golden examines is Harvard University, probing its cozy relationship with the CIA. (While Harvard has recently come under scrutiny for its relationship with the agency after it withdrew an invitation for Chelsea Manning to be a visiting fellow -- after the agency objected to her appointment -- this book was written before the Manning incident, which occurred in September.) The university, which has had varying degrees of closeness and coldness with the CIA over the years, currently allows the agency to send officers to the midcareer program at the Kennedy School of Government while continuing to act undercover, with the school's knowledge. When the officers apply -- often with fudged credentials that are part of their CIA cover -- the university doesn't know they're CIA agents, but once they're in, Golden writes, Harvard allows them to tell the university that they're undercover. Their fellow students, however -- often high-profile or soon-to-be-high-profile actors in the world of international diplomacy -- are kept in the dark.

"Kenneth Moskow is one of a long line of CIA officers who have enrolled undercover at the Kennedy School, generally with Harvard's knowledge and approval, gaining access to up-and-comers worldwide," Golden writes. "For four decades the CIA and Harvard have concealed this practice, which raises larger questions about academic boundaries, the integrity of class discussions and student interactions, and whether an American university has a responsibility to accommodate U.S. intelligence."

But the CIA isn't the only intelligence group operating at Harvard. Golden notes Russian spies have enrolled at the Kennedy School, although without Harvard's knowledge or cooperation.

When contacted by Inside Higher Ed , Harvard officials didn't deny Golden's telling, but defended the university's practices while emphasizing the agreement between the university and the CIA -- which Golden also writes about -- on not using Harvard to conduct CIA fieldwork.

"Harvard Kennedy School does not knowingly provide false information or 'cover' for any member of our community from an intelligence agency, nor do we allow members of our community to carry out intelligence operations at Harvard Kennedy School," Eric Rosenbach, co-director of the Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, said in a statement.

While Golden said the CIA's involvement on campus raises existential questions about the purpose and integrity of higher education, Harvard maintained that the Kennedy School was living up to its mission.

"Our community consists of people from different spheres of public service. We are proud to train people from the U.S. government and the intelligence community, as well as peace activists and those who favor more open government," Rosenbach said in his statement. "We train students from a wide range of foreign countries and foreign governments, including -- among others -- Israel, U.K., Russia and China. That is consistent with our mission and we are proud to have that reach."

On the other hand, other countries are interested in exploiting U.S. higher education. Golden documents the case of Ruopeng Liu, a graduate student at Duke University who siphoned off U.S.-government-funded research to Chinese researchers. Liu eventually returned to China and has used some of the research for his Chinese-government-funded start-up ventures.

Golden is comprehensive, interviewing Duke researchers who worked with Liu, as well as dispatching a freelance journalist in China to interview Liu (he denied wrongdoing, saying his actions were taken as part of higher education's collaborative norms regarding research projects). Despite questions that arose while Liu was a student, he received his doctorate in 2009 without any formal questions or pushback from the university. A week before Liu defended his dissertation, Golden notes that Duke officials voted to move forward in negotiations with the Chinese government regarding opening a Duke campus in China -- raising questions about whether Duke was cautious about punishing a Chinese student lest there were negative business implications for Duke. ( The building of the campus proved to be a controversial move in its own right. )

The Duke professor Liu worked under told Golden it would be hard to prove Liu acted with intentional malice rather than out of genuine cultural and translational obstacles, or ethical slips made by a novice researcher. Duke officials told Inside Higher Ed that there weren't any connections between Liu and the vote.

"The awarding of Ruopeng Liu's degree had absolutely no connection to the deliberations over the proposal for Duke to participate in the founding of a new university in Kunshan, China," a spokesman said in an email.

These are just two chapters of Golden's book, which also goes on to document the foreign exchange relationship between Marietta College, in Ohio, and the controversial Chinese-intelligence-aligned University of International Relations. Agreements between Marietta and UIR, which is widely regarded a recruiting ground for Chinese intelligence services, include exchanging professors and sending Chinese students to Marietta. Conversely, Golden writes, as American professors teach UIR students who could end up spying on the U.S., American students at Marietta are advised against studying abroad at UIR if they have an interest in working for the government -- studying at UIR carries a risk for students hoping to get certain security clearances. Another highlight is the chapter documenting the CIA's efforts to stage phony international academic conferences, put on to lure Iranian nuclear scientists as attendees and get them out of their country -- and in a position to defect to the U.S. According to Golden's sources, the operations, combined with other efforts, have been successful enough "to hinder Iran's nuclear weapons program."

But Golden's book doesn't just shed light on previously untold stories. It also highlights the existential questions facing higher education, not only when dealing with infiltration from foreign governments, but also those brought on by cozy relationships between the U.S. intelligence and academe.

"One issue is American national security," Golden said. "Universities do a lot of research that's important to our government and our military, and they don't take very strong precautions against it being stolen," he said. "So the domestic espionage side -- I'm kind of a traditionalist and I believe in the ideal of universities as places where the brightest minds of all countries come together to learn, teach each other, study and do research. Espionage from both sides taints that that's kind of disturbing."

After diving deep into the complex web that ties higher education and espionage together, however, Golden remains optimistic about the future.

"It wouldn't be that hard to tighten up the intellectual property rules and have written collaboration agreements and have more courses about intellectual safeguards," he said. "In the 1970s, Harvard adopted guidelines against U.S. intelligence trying to recruit foreign students in an undercover way they didn't become standard practice [across academe, but], I still think those guidelines are pertinent and colleges would do well to take a second look at them."

"In the idealistic dreamer mode, it would be wonderful if the U.N. or some other organization would take a look at this issue, and say, 'Can we declare universities off-limits to espionage?'"

Nicholas Dujmovic , October 3, 2017 8:18 AM

Equating the presence and activities of US intelligence on campuses with that of foreign intelligence is pretty obtuse moral relativism. US academia and US intelligence alike benefit from cooperation, and the American people are the winners overall. By the way, is it really necessary to twice describe this relationship as "cozy"? What does that mean, other to suggest there's something illicit about it?

Grace Alcock -> Nicholas Dujmovic , October 4, 2017 1:30 AM

It'd be nice if American intelligence was paying a bit more attention to what goes on in academic research--as far as I can tell, the country keeps making policies that don't seem particularly well-informed by the research in relevant areas. Can we get them to infiltrate more labs of scientists working on climate change or something?

Maybe stick around, engage in some participant observation and figure that research out? It's not clear they have any acquaintance with the literature on the causes of war. Really, pick a place to start, and pay attention.

alsotps -> Nicholas Dujmovic , October 3, 2017 5:20 PM

If you cannot see how a gov't intelligence agency, prohibited from working in the USA by statute and who is eye-deep in AMERICAN education is wrong, then I am worried. Read history. Look back to the 1970's to start and to the 1950's with FBI and the military agents in classrooms; then read about HUAC.

Now, look back to Stalin, Hitler, Franco, Mao, Mussolini et.al with THIER use of domestic agencies to impose lock-step thinking and to ferret out free-thinkers.

Get it? it is 'illicit!"

Nicholas Dujmovic -> alsotps , October 4, 2017 12:38 PM

Actually, I read quite a bit of history. I also know that US intelligence agencies are not "prohibited from working in the USA." If they have relationships in academia that remind you of Stalin, Hitler, etc., how have US agencies "imposed lock-step thinking and ferreted out free-thinkers?" Hasn't seemed to work, has it? Your concern is overwrought.

Former Community College Prof -> Nicholas Dujmovic , October 3, 2017 12:12 PM

"Cozy" might refer to the mutual gains afforded by allowing the federal government to break many rules (and laws) while conducting their "intelligence operations" in academe. I do not know if I felt Homeland Security should have had permission to bring to this country, under false premises supported by ICE and accrediting agencies, thousands of foreign nationals and employed them at companies like Facebook, Apple, Morgan Stanley and the U.S. Army. While Homeland Security collected 16K tuition from each of them (and the companies that hired these F-1s didn't have to pay FICA) all our nation got was arrests of 20 mid level visa brokers.

https://www.nytimes.com/201...

Personally, I think cozy was quite complimentary as I would have chosen other words. Just imagine if there are additional "undercover students" with false credentials in numbers significant enough to throw off data or stopping universities and colleges from enforcing rules and regulations. If you set up and accredit a "fake university" and keep the proceeds, it strikes me as illicit.

alsotps -> Former Community College Prof , October 3, 2017 5:21 PM

Hey...don't imagine it. Read about Cointelpro and military 'intelligence' agents in classes in the early 1970's....

Trevor Ronson -> Nicholas Dujmovic , October 3, 2017 2:36 PM

And behaving as if the "the presence and activities of US intelligence on campuses" is something to accept without question is also "obtuse moral relativism". We are talking about an arrangement wherein a / the most prestigious institutions of higher learning has an established relationship with the CIA along with some accepted protocol to ongoing participation.

Whether it is right, wrong, or in between is another matter but please don't pretend that it's just business as usual and not worthy of deeper investigation.

alsotps -> Trevor Ronson , October 3, 2017 5:16 PM

Unfortunately for many people, it IS business as usual.

George Avery , October 3, 2017 9:46 AM

It is amazing how many biochemists and microbiologists from the People's Republic of China would e-mail me asking if I had a position in my "lab," touting their bench skills, every time I published a paper on the federal bioterrorism program, medical civic action programs, etc.

Never mind that I primarily do health policy and economics work, and have not been near a lab bench since I returned to school for my doctorate.....anything with a defense or security application drew a flurry of interest in getting involved.

As a result, I tended to be very discerning in who I took on as an advisee, if only to protect my security clearance.

alsotps -> George Avery , October 3, 2017 5:22 PM

PAr for the course for both UG and grad students from China who have not paid a head hunter. ANY school or program offering money to international students was flooded by such inquiries. Get over yourself.

John Lobell , October 3, 2017 6:25 AM

When I started teaching 48 years ago, the president of my college was James Dovonan, Bill Donovan's (founder of the OSS) brother, portrayed by Tom Hanks in the movie, "Bridge of Spies."

We had a program in "Tropical Architecture" which enrolled students form "third world" countries. Rumor was -- --

jloewen , October 3, 2017 10:38 AM

When I got my Ph.D. from Harvard in 1968, the Shah of Iran got an honorary doctorate at the same commencement. The next year, by pure coincidence!, he endowed three chairs of Near Eastern Studies at H.U.

alsotps -> jloewen , October 3, 2017 5:24 PM

Absolutely a coincidence! You don't think honoraria have anything whatsoever to do with the Development Office do you? (Snark)

Kevin Van Elswyk , October 3, 2017 9:31 AM

And we are surpised?

Robert4787 , October 4, 2017 6:28 PM

So glad to see they're on campus. Many young people now occupy the CIA; the old "cowboys" of the Cold War past are gone. U may find this interesting>> http://osintdaily.blogspot....

TinkerTailor1620 , October 3, 2017 5:29 PM

Hundreds of government civil servants attend courses at the Kennedy School every year. That a few of them come from the CIA should be no surprise. It and all the other intelligence agencies are nothing more than departments within the federal government, just like Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, the FDA, Energy, and so on. Nothing sneaky or suspicious about any of it. Why anyone with cover credentials would tell the Kennedy School admin that is beyond me. When I was in cover status, I was in cover status everywhere; to not be was to blow your cover, period, and was extremely dangerous.

Beyond NIH funded grant-based research, Homeland Security, Energy, Defense, and the Intelligence Community agencies have long histories of relationships with American academia. This could be funded research, collaborative research, shared personnel relationships, or all other manner of cooperation. Sometimes it's fairly well known and sometimes it's kept quiet, and sometimes it's even classified. But it is much more extensive and expansive than what Golden describes, and much less "cozy" or suspicious.

Phred , October 3, 2017 1:49 PM

For years I have said that it is foolish to look to universities for moral guidance, and this story is one more instance. In this case, the moral ground is swampy at best, and the universities do not appear to have spent a lot of time worrying about possible problems as long as the situation works to their advantage financially.

alsotps -> Phred , October 3, 2017 5:25 PM

The key, here, is financially. The bean counters and those whose research is funded don't look hard at the source of the funding. Just so it keeps coming.

Jason , October 4, 2017 6:34 PM

Academic treason.

Sanford Gray Thatcher , October 4, 2017 6:13 PM

Does Golden discuss at all the way in which the CIA and other intelligence services funnel money into academic research without the source of the funding ever being revealed? This was common practice in the 1960s and 1970s, and colleges like MIT were among those involved in this chicanery.

Remember also how intelligence agency money was behind the journal Encounter? Lots of propaganda got distributed under the guise of objective social science research.

donald scott , October 3, 2017 6:05 PM

Where has IHE been for the past several decades? Read Rosenfeld's book, Subversives..... about the FBI's illegal acts at Berkeley. Or read this, a summary of his book: https://alumni.berkeley.edu... Or read George R. Stewart, The Year of the Oath.

In the research for my biography of Stewart I found significant information about CIA presence on the UC Berkeley campus, in the mid-twentieth century, which reached in to the highest levels of the administration and led to a network of "professors" recruited by that unAmerican spy agency.

The oaths, the current gender wars and the conviction by accusation of harassment are all later attempts to politicize education and turn fiat lux into fiat nox. IHE should be writing more about that and about the current conviction by sexual accusation, and the effect of such on free thought and free inquiry.

[Oct 17, 2017] The Victory of Perception Management by Robert Parry

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Thus, you have the current hysteria over Russia's supposed "aggression" in Ukraine when the crisis was actually provoked by the West, including by U.S. neocons who helped create today's humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine that they now cynically blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin. ..."
"... But these were largely ad hoc efforts. A more comprehensive "public diplomacy" operation took shape beginning in 1982 when Raymond, a 30-year veteran of CIA clandestine services, was transferred to the NSC. ..."
"... A slight, soft-spoken New Yorker who reminded some of a character from a John le Carré spy novel, Raymond was an intelligence officer who "easily fades into the woodwork," according to one acquaintance. But Raymond would become the sparkplug for this high-powered propaganda network, according to a draft chapter of the Iran-Contra report. ..."
"... But things were about to change. In a Jan. 13, 1983, memo, NSC Advisor Clark foresaw the need for non-governmental money to advance this cause. "We will develop a scenario for obtaining private funding," Clark wrote. (Just five days later, President Reagan personally welcomed media magnate Rupert Murdoch into the Oval Office for a private meeting, according to records on file at the Reagan library.) ..."
"... As administration officials reached out to wealthy supporters, lines against domestic propaganda soon were crossed as the operation took aim not only at foreign audiences but at U.S. public opinion, the press and congressional Democrats who opposed funding the Nicaraguan Contras. ..."
"... At the time, the Contras were earning a gruesome reputation as human rights violators and terrorists. To change this negative perception of the Contras as well as of the U.S.-backed regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala, the Reagan administration created a full-blown, clandestine propaganda network. ..."
"... Lost History ..."
"... My American Journey ..."
"... Secrecy & Privilege ..."
"... Rupert Murdoch's media empire is bigger than ever, but his neocon messaging barely stands out as distinctive, given how the neocons also have gained control of the editorial and foreign-reporting sections of the Washington Post, the New York Times and virtually every other major news outlet. For instance, the demonizing of Russian President Putin is now so total that no honest person could look at those articles and see anything approaching objective or evenhanded journalism. Yet, no one loses a job over this lack of professionalism. ..."
"... America's Stolen Narrative, ..."
"... America's Stolen Narrative ..."
"... Reagan actually has two sides as he was portrayed on SNL, the nice grandfatherly side, and the mafia boss warmonger side. He managed to use the media to display his nice side. ..."
"... Studies estimate that between 100K and 150K Nam vets have committed suicide since the war. There are many reasons why but I suspect a goodly number did so when they couldn't handle the knowledge of how they had been used. I'm careful about who in my "peers" I enlighten. ..."
"... It's painful to watch any western MSM. It's all through our sports and entertainment programming to the point of madness. The wreckage caused by our "leaders" across the earth's face, in our name, IS evil. ..."
"... Studies estimate that between 100K and 150K Nam vets have committed suicide since the war. There are many reasons why but I suspect a goodly number did so when they couldn't handle the knowledge of how they had been used. I'm careful about who in my "peers" I enlighten. ..."
"... Always follow the money. ..."
Dec 28, 2014 | consortiumnews.com

Special Report: In the 1980s, the Reagan administration pioneered "perception management" to get the American people to "kick the Vietnam Syndrome" and accept more U.S. interventionism, but that propaganda structure continues to this day getting the public to buy into endless war, writes Robert Parry.

To understand how the American people find themselves trapped in today's Orwellian dystopia of endless warfare against an ever-shifting collection of "evil" enemies, you have to think back to the Vietnam War and the shock to the ruling elite caused by an unprecedented popular uprising against that war.

While on the surface Official Washington pretended that the mass protests didn't change policy, a panicky reality existed behind the scenes, a recognition that a major investment in domestic propaganda would be needed to ensure that future imperial adventures would have the public's eager support or at least its confused acquiescence.

President Ronald Reagan meeting with media magnate Rupert Murdoch in the Oval Office on Jan. 18, 1983, with Charles Wick, director of the U.S. Information Agency, in the background. (Photo credit: Reagan presidential library)

This commitment to what the insiders called "perception management" began in earnest with the Reagan administration in the 1980s but it would come to be the accepted practice of all subsequent administrations, including the present one of President Barack Obama.

In that sense, propaganda in pursuit of foreign policy goals would trump the democratic ideal of an informed electorate. The point would be not to honestly inform the American people about events around the world but to manage their perceptions by ramping up fear in some cases and defusing outrage in others depending on the U.S. government's needs.

Thus, you have the current hysteria over Russia's supposed "aggression" in Ukraine when the crisis was actually provoked by the West, including by U.S. neocons who helped create today's humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine that they now cynically blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Yet, many of these same U.S. foreign policy operatives outraged over Russia's limited intervention to protect ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine are demanding that President Obama launch an air war against the Syrian military as a "humanitarian" intervention there.

In other words, if the Russians act to shield ethnic Russians on their border who are being bombarded by a coup regime in Kiev that was installed with U.S. support, the Russians are the villains blamed for the thousands of civilian deaths, even though the vast majority of the casualties have been inflicted by the Kiev regime from indiscriminate bombing and from dispatching neo-Nazi militias to do the street fighting.

In Ukraine, the exigent circumstances don't matter, including the violent overthrow of the constitutionally elected president last February. It's all about white hats for the current Kiev regime and black hats for the ethnic Russians and especially for Putin.

But an entirely different set of standards has applied to Syria where a U.S.-backed rebellion, which included violent Sunni jihadists from the start, wore the white hats and the relatively secular Syrian government, which has responded with excessive violence of its own, wears the black hats. But a problem to that neat dichotomy arose when one of the major Sunni rebel forces, the Islamic State, started seizing Iraqi territory and beheading Westerners.

Faced with those grisly scenes, President Obama authorized bombing the Islamic State forces in both Iraq and Syria, but neocons and other U.S. hardliners have been hectoring Obama to go after their preferred target, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, despite the risk that destroying the Syrian military could open the gates of Damascus to the Islamic State or al-Qaeda's Nusra Front.

Lost on the Dark Side

You might think that the American public would begin to rebel against these messy entangling alliances with the 1984 -like demonizing of one new "enemy" after another. Not only have these endless wars drained trillions of dollars from the U.S. taxpayers, they have led to the deaths of thousands of U.S. troops and to the tarnishing of America's image from the attendant evils of war, including a lengthy detour into the "dark side" of torture, assassinations and "collateral" killings of children and other innocents.

But that is where the history of "perception management" comes in, the need to keep the American people compliant and confused. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration was determined to "kick the Vietnam Syndrome," the revulsion that many Americans felt for warfare after all those years in the blood-soaked jungles of Vietnam and all the lies that clumsily justified the war.

So, the challenge for the U.S. government became: how to present the actions of "enemies" always in the darkest light while bathing the behavior of the U.S. "side" in a rosy glow. You also had to stage this propaganda theater in an ostensibly "free country" with a supposedly "independent press."

From documents declassified or leaked over the past several decades, including an unpublished draft chapter of the congressional Iran-Contra investigation, we now know a great deal about how this remarkable project was undertaken and who the key players were.

Perhaps not surprisingly much of the initiative came from the Central Intelligence Agency, which housed the expertise for manipulating target populations through propaganda and disinformation. The only difference this time would be that the American people would be the target population.

For this project, Ronald Reagan's CIA Director William J. Casey sent his top propaganda specialist Walter Raymond Jr. to the National Security Council staff to manage the inter-agency task forces that would brainstorm and coordinate this "public diplomacy" strategy.

Many of the old intelligence operatives, including Casey and Raymond, are now dead, but other influential Washington figures who were deeply involved by these strategies remain, such as neocon stalwart Robert Kagan, whose first major job in Washington was as chief of Reagan's State Department Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America.

Now a fellow at the Brookings Institution and a columnist at the Washington Post, Kagan remains an expert in presenting foreign policy initiatives within the "good guy/bad guy" frames that he learned in the 1980s. He is also the husband of Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who oversaw the overthrow of Ukraine's elected President Viktor Yanukovych last February amid a very effective U.S. propaganda strategy.

During the Reagan years, Kagan worked closely on propaganda schemes with Elliott Abrams, then the Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America. After getting convicted and then pardoned in the Iran-Contra scandal, Abrams reemerged on President George W. Bush's National Security Council handling Middle East issues, including the Iraq War, and later "global democracy strategy." Abrams is now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

These and other neocons were among the most diligent students learning the art of "perception management" from the likes of Raymond and Casey, but those propaganda skills have spread much more widely as "public diplomacy" and "information warfare" have now become an integral part of every U.S. foreign policy initiative.

A Propaganda Bureaucracy

Declassified documents now reveal how extensive Reagan's propaganda project became with inter-agency task forces assigned to develop "themes" that would push American "hot buttons." Scores of documents came out during the Iran-Contra scandal in 1987 and hundreds more are now available at the Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California.

What the documents reveal is that at the start of the Reagan administration, CIA Director Casey faced a daunting challenge in trying to rally public opinion behind aggressive U.S. interventions, especially in Central America. Bitter memories of the Vietnam War were still fresh and many Americans were horrified at the brutality of right-wing regimes in Guatemala and El Salvador, where Salvadoran soldiers raped and murdered four American churchwomen in December 1980.

The new leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua also was not viewed with much alarm. After all, Nicaragua was an impoverished country of only about three million people who had just cast off the brutal dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza.

So, Reagan's initial strategy of bolstering the Salvadoran and Guatemalan armies required defusing the negative publicity about them and somehow rallying the American people into supporting a covert CIA intervention inside Nicaragua via a counterrevolutionary force known as the Contras led by Somoza's ex-National Guard officers.

Reagan's task was made tougher by the fact that the Cold War's anti-communist arguments had so recently been discredited in Vietnam. As deputy assistant secretary to the Air Force, J. Michael Kelly, put it, "the most critical special operations mission we have is to persuade the American people that the communists are out to get us."

At the same time, the White House worked to weed out American reporters who uncovered facts that undercut the desired public images. As part of that effort, the administration attacked New York Times correspondent Raymond Bonner for disclosing the Salvadoran regime's massacre of about 800 men, women and children in the village of El Mozote in northeast El Salvador in December 1981. Accuracy in Media and conservative news organizations, such as The Wall Street Journal's editorial page, joined in pummeling Bonner, who was soon ousted from his job.

But these were largely ad hoc efforts. A more comprehensive "public diplomacy" operation took shape beginning in 1982 when Raymond, a 30-year veteran of CIA clandestine services, was transferred to the NSC.

A slight, soft-spoken New Yorker who reminded some of a character from a John le Carré spy novel, Raymond was an intelligence officer who "easily fades into the woodwork," according to one acquaintance. But Raymond would become the sparkplug for this high-powered propaganda network, according to a draft chapter of the Iran-Contra report.

Though the draft chapter didn't use Raymond's name in its opening pages, apparently because some of the information came from classified depositions, Raymond's name was used later in the chapter and the earlier citations matched Raymond's known role. According to the draft report, the CIA officer who was recruited for the NSC job had served as Director of the Covert Action Staff at the CIA from 1978 to 1982 and was a "specialist in propaganda and disinformation."

"The CIA official [Raymond] discussed the transfer with [CIA Director] Casey and NSC Advisor William Clark that he be assigned to the NSC as [Donald] Gregg's successor [as coordinator of intelligence operations in June 1982] and received approval for his involvement in setting up the public diplomacy program along with his intelligence responsibilities," the chapter said.

"In the early part of 1983, documents obtained by the Select [Iran-Contra] Committees indicate that the Director of the Intelligence Staff of the NSC [Raymond] successfully recommended the establishment of an inter-governmental network to promote and manage a public diplomacy plan designed to create support for Reagan Administration policies at home and abroad."

During his Iran-Contra deposition, Raymond explained the need for this propaganda structure, saying: "We were not configured effectively to deal with the war of ideas."

One reason for this shortcoming was that federal law forbade taxpayers' money from being spent on domestic propaganda or grassroots lobbying to pressure congressional representatives. Of course, every president and his team had vast resources to make their case in public, but by tradition and law, they were restricted to speeches, testimony and one-on-one persuasion of lawmakers.

But things were about to change. In a Jan. 13, 1983, memo, NSC Advisor Clark foresaw the need for non-governmental money to advance this cause. "We will develop a scenario for obtaining private funding," Clark wrote. (Just five days later, President Reagan personally welcomed media magnate Rupert Murdoch into the Oval Office for a private meeting, according to records on file at the Reagan library.)

As administration officials reached out to wealthy supporters, lines against domestic propaganda soon were crossed as the operation took aim not only at foreign audiences but at U.S. public opinion, the press and congressional Democrats who opposed funding the Nicaraguan Contras.

At the time, the Contras were earning a gruesome reputation as human rights violators and terrorists. To change this negative perception of the Contras as well as of the U.S.-backed regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala, the Reagan administration created a full-blown, clandestine propaganda network.

In January 1983, President Reagan took the first formal step to create this unprecedented peacetime propaganda bureaucracy by signing National Security Decision Directive 77, entitled "Management of Public Diplomacy Relative to National Security." Reagan deemed it "necessary to strengthen the organization, planning and coordination of the various aspects of public diplomacy of the United States Government."

Reagan ordered the creation of a special planning group within the National Security Council to direct these "public diplomacy" campaigns. The planning group would be headed by the CIA's Walter Raymond Jr. and one of its principal arms would be a new Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America, housed at the State Department but under the control of the NSC.

CIA Taint

Worried about the legal prohibition barring the CIA from engaging in domestic propaganda, Raymond formally resigned from the CIA in April 1983, so, he said, "there would be no question whatsoever of any contamination of this." But Raymond continued to act toward the U.S. public much like a CIA officer would in directing a propaganda operation in a hostile foreign country.

Raymond fretted, too, about the legality of Casey's ongoing involvement. Raymond confided in one memo that it was important "to get [Casey] out of the loop," but Casey never backed off and Raymond continued to send progress reports to his old boss well into 1986. It was "the kind of thing which [Casey] had a broad catholic interest in," Raymond shrugged during his Iran-Contra deposition. He then offered the excuse that Casey undertook this apparently illegal interference in domestic politics "not so much in his CIA hat, but in his adviser to the president hat."

As a result of Reagan's decision directive, "an elaborate system of inter-agency committees was eventually formed and charged with the task of working closely with private groups and individuals involved in fundraising, lobbying campaigns and propagandistic activities aimed at influencing public opinion and governmental action," the draft Iran-Contra chapter said. "This effort resulted in the creation of the Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Department of State (S/LPD), headed by Otto Reich," a right-wing Cuban exile from Miami.

Though Secretary of State George Shultz wanted the office under his control, President Reagan insisted that Reich "report directly to the NSC," where Raymond oversaw the operations as a special assistant to the President and the NSC's director of international communications, the chapter said.

"Reich relied heavily on Raymond to secure personnel transfers from other government agencies to beef up the limited resources made available to S/LPD by the Department of State," the chapter said. "Personnel made available to the new office included intelligence specialists from the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army. On one occasion, five intelligence experts from the Army's 4th Psychological Operations Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, were assigned to work with Reich's fast-growing operation."

A "public diplomacy strategy paper," dated May 5, 1983, summed up the administration's problem. "As far as our Central American policy is concerned, the press perceives that: the USG [U.S. government] is placing too much emphasis on a military solution, as well as being allied with inept, right-wing governments and groups. The focus on Nicaragua [is] on the alleged U.S.-backed 'covert' war against the Sandinistas. Moreover, the opposition is widely perceived as being led by former Somozistas."

The administration's difficulty with most of these press perceptions was that they were correct. But the strategy paper recommended ways to influence various groups of Americans to "correct" the impressions anyway, removing what another planning document called "perceptional obstacles."

"Themes will obviously have to be tailored to the target audience," the strategy paper said.

Casey's Hand

As the Reagan administration struggled to manage public perceptions, CIA Director Casey kept his personal hand in the effort. On one muggy day in August 1983, Casey convened a meeting of Reagan administration officials and five leading ad executives at the Old Executive Office Building next to the White House to come up with ideas for selling Reagan's Central American policies to the American people.

Earlier that day, a national security aide had warmed the P.R. men to their task with dire predictions that leftist governments would send waves of refugees into the United States and cynically flood America with drugs. The P.R. executives jotted down some thoughts over lunch and then pitched their ideas to the CIA director in the afternoon as he sat hunched behind a desk taking notes.

"Casey was kind of spearheading a recommendation" for better public relations for Reagan's Central America policies, recalled William I. Greener Jr., one of the ad men. Two top proposals arising from the meeting were for a high-powered communications operation inside the White House and private money for an outreach program to build support for U.S. intervention.

The results from the discussions were summed up in an Aug. 9, 1983, memo written by Raymond who described Casey's participation in the meeting to brainstorm how "to sell a 'new product' Central America by generating interest across-the-spectrum."

In the memo to then-U.S. Information Agency director Charles Wick, Raymond also noted that "via Murdock [sic] may be able to draw down added funds" to support pro-Reagan initiatives. Raymond's reference to Rupert Murdoch possibly drawing down "added funds" suggests that the right-wing media mogul had been recruited to be part of the covert propaganda operation. During this period, Wick arranged at least two face-to-face meetings between Murdoch and Reagan.

In line with the clandestine nature of the operation, Raymond also suggested routing the "funding via Freedom House or some other structure that has credibility in the political center." (Freedom House would later emerge as a principal beneficiary of funding from the National Endowment for Democracy, which was also created under the umbrella of Raymond's operation.)

As the Reagan administration pushed the envelope on domestic propaganda, Raymond continued to worry about Casey's involvement. In an Aug. 29, 1983, memo, Raymond recounted a call from Casey pushing his P.R. ideas. Alarmed at a CIA director participating so brazenly in domestic propaganda, Raymond wrote that "I philosophized a bit with Bill Casey (in an effort to get him out of the loop)" but with little success.

Meanwhile, Reich's Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America (S/LPD) proved extremely effective in selecting "hot buttons" that would anger Americans about the Sandinistas. He also browbeat news correspondents who produced stories that conflicted with the administration's "themes." Reich's basic M.O. was to dispatch his propaganda teams to lobby news executives to remove or punish out-of-step reporters with a disturbing degree of success. Reich once bragged that his office "did not give the critics of the policy any quarter in the debate."

Another part of the office's job was to plant "white propaganda" in the news media through op-eds secretly financed by the government. In one memo, Jonathan Miller, a senior public diplomacy official, informed White House aide Patrick Buchanan about success placing an anti-Sandinista piece in The Wall Street Journal's friendly pages. "Officially, this office had no role in its preparation," Miller wrote.

Other times, the administration put out "black propaganda," outright falsehoods. In 1983, one such theme was designed to anger American Jews by portraying the Sandinistas as anti-Semitic because much of Nicaragua's small Jewish community fled after the revolution in 1979.

However, the U.S. embassy in Managua investigated the charges and "found no verifiable ground on which to accuse the GRN [the Sandinista government] of anti-Semitism," according to a July 28, 1983, cable. But the administration kept the cable secret and pushed the "hot button" anyway.

Black Hats/White Hats

Repeatedly, Raymond lectured his subordinates on the chief goal of the operation: "in the specific case of Nica[ragua], concentrate on gluing black hats on the Sandinistas and white hats on UNO [the Contras' United Nicaraguan Opposition]." So Reagan's speechwriters dutifully penned descriptions of Sandinista-ruled Nicaragua as a "totalitarian dungeon" and the Contras as the "moral equivalent of the Founding Fathers."

As one NSC official told me, the campaign was modeled after CIA covert operations abroad where a political goal is more important than the truth. "They were trying to manipulate [U.S.] public opinion using the tools of Walt Raymond's trade craft which he learned from his career in the CIA covert operation shop," the official admitted.

Another administration official gave a similar description to The Miami Herald's Alfonso Chardy. "If you look at it as a whole, the Office of Public Diplomacy was carrying out a huge psychological operation, the kind the military conduct to influence the population in denied or enemy territory," that official explained. [For more details, see Parry's Lost History .]

Another important figure in the pro-Contra propaganda was NSC staffer Oliver North, who spent a great deal of his time on the Nicaraguan public diplomacy operation even though he is better known for arranging secret arms shipments to the Contras and to Iran's radical Islamic government, leading to the Iran-Contra scandal.

The draft Iran-Contra chapter depicted a Byzantine network of contract and private operatives who handled details of the domestic propaganda while concealing the hand of the White House and the CIA. "Richard R. Miller, former head of public affairs at AID, and Francis D. Gomez, former public affairs specialist at the State Department and USIA, were hired by S/LPD through sole-source, no-bid contracts to carry out a variety of activities on behalf of the Reagan administration policies in Central America," the chapter said.

"Supported by the State Department and White House, Miller and Gomez became the outside managers of [North operative] Spitz Channel's fundraising and lobbying activities. They also served as the managers of Central American political figures, defectors, Nicaraguan opposition leaders and Sandinista atrocity victims who were made available to the press, the Congress and private groups, to tell the story of the Contra cause."

Miller and Gomez facilitated transfers of money to Swiss and offshore banks at North's direction, as they "became the key link between the State Department and the Reagan White House with the private groups and individuals engaged in a myriad of endeavors aimed at influencing the Congress, the media and public opinion," the chapter said.

The Iran-Contra draft chapter also cited a March 10, 1985, memo from North describing his assistance to CIA Director Casey in timing disclosures of pro-Contra news "aimed at securing Congressional approval for renewed support to the Nicaraguan Resistance Forces."

The chapter added: "Casey's involvement in the public diplomacy effort apparently continued throughout the period under investigation by the Committees," including a 1985 role in pressuring Congress to renew Contra aid and a 1986 hand in further shielding the Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America from the oversight of Secretary Shultz.

A Raymond-authored memo to Casey in August 1986 described the shift of the S/LPD office where Robert Kagan had replaced Reich to the control of the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, which was headed by Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams, who had tapped Kagan for the public diplomacy job.

Even after the Iran-Contra scandal unraveled in 1986-87 and Casey died of brain cancer on May 6, 1987, the Republicans fought to keep secret the remarkable story of the public diplomacy apparatus. As part of a deal to get three moderate Republican senators to join Democrats in signing the Iran-Contra majority report, Democratic leaders agreed to drop the draft chapter detailing the CIA's domestic propaganda role (although a few references were included in the executive summary). But other Republicans, including Rep. Dick Cheney, still issued a minority report defending broad presidential powers in foreign affairs.

Thus, the American people were spared the chapter's troubling conclusion: that a secret propaganda apparatus had existed, run by "one of the CIA's most senior specialists, sent to the NSC by Bill Casey, to create and coordinate an inter-agency public-diplomacy mechanism [which] did what a covert CIA operation in a foreign country might do. [It] attempted to manipulate the media, the Congress and public opinion to support the Reagan administration's policies."

Kicking the Vietnam Syndrome

The ultimate success of Reagan's propaganda strategy was affirmed during the tenure of his successor, George H.W. Bush, when Bush ordered a 100-hour ground war on Feb. 23, 1991, to oust Iraqi troops from Kuwait, which had been invaded the previous August.

Though Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had long been signaling a readiness to withdraw and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev had negotiated a withdrawal arrangement that even had the blessings of top U.S. commanders in the field President Bush insisted on pressing ahead with the ground attack.

Bush's chief reason was that he and his Defense Secretary Dick Cheney saw the assault against Iraq's already decimated forces as an easy victory, one that would demonstrate America's new military capacity for high-tech warfare and would cap the process begun a decade earlier to erase the Vietnam Syndrome from the minds of average Americans.

Those strategic aspects of Bush's grand plan for a "new world order" began to emerge after the U.S.-led coalition started pummeling Iraq with air strikes in mid-January 1991. The bombings inflicted severe damage on Iraq's military and civilian infrastructure and slaughtered a large number of non-combatants, including the incineration of some 400 women and children in a Baghdad bomb shelter on Feb. 13. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com's " Recalling the Slaughter of Innocents ."]

The air war's damage was so severe that some world leaders looked for a way to end the carnage and arrange Iraq's departure from Kuwait. Even senior U.S. military field commanders, such as Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, looked favorably on proposals for sparing lives.

But Bush was fixated on a ground war. Though secret from the American people at that time, Bush had long determined that a peaceful Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait would not be allowed. Indeed, Bush was privately fearful that the Iraqis might capitulate before the United States could attack.

At the time, conservative columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak were among the few outsiders who described Bush's obsession with exorcising the Vietnam Syndrome. On Feb. 25, 1991, they wrote that the Gorbachev initiative brokering Iraq's surrender of Kuwait "stirred fears" among Bush's advisers that the Vietnam Syndrome might survive the Gulf War.

"There was considerable relief, therefore, when the President made clear he was having nothing to do with the deal that would enable Saddam Hussein to bring his troops out of Kuwait with flags flying," Evans and Novak wrote. "Fear of a peace deal at the Bush White House had less to do with oil, Israel or Iraqi expansionism than with the bitter legacy of a lost war. 'This is the chance to get rid of the Vietnam Syndrome,' one senior aide told us."

In the 1999 book, Shadow , author Bob Woodward confirmed that Bush was adamant about fighting a war, even as the White House pretended it would be satisfied with an unconditional Iraqi withdrawal. "We have to have a war," Bush told his inner circle of Secretary of State James Baker, national security adviser Brent Scowcroft and Gen. Colin Powell, according to Woodward.

"Scowcroft was aware that this understanding could never be stated publicly or be permitted to leak out. An American president who declared the necessity of war would probably be thrown out of office. Americans were peacemakers, not warmongers," Woodward wrote.

The Ground War

However, the "fear of a peace deal" resurfaced in the wake of the U.S.-led bombing campaign. Soviet diplomats met with Iraqi leaders who let it be known that they were prepared to withdraw their troops from Kuwait unconditionally.

Learning of Gorbachev's proposed settlement, Schwarzkopf also saw little reason for U.S. soldiers to die if the Iraqis were prepared to withdraw and leave their heavy weapons behind. There was also the prospect of chemical warfare that the Iraqis might use against advancing American troops. Schwarzkopf saw the possibility of heavy U.S. casualties.

But Gorbachev's plan was running into trouble with President Bush and his political subordinates who wanted a ground war to crown the U.S. victory. Schwarzkopf reached out to Gen. Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to make the case for peace with the President.

On Feb. 21, 1991, the two generals hammered out a cease-fire proposal for presentation to the NSC. The peace deal would give Iraqi forces one week to march out of Kuwait while leaving their armor and heavy equipment behind. Schwarzkopf thought he had Powell's commitment to pitch the plan at the White House.

But Powell found himself caught in the middle. He wanted to please Bush while still representing the concerns of the field commanders. When Powell arrived at the White House late on the evening of Feb. 21, he found Bush angry about the Soviet peace initiative. Still, according to Woodward's Shadow , Powell reiterated that he and Schwarzkopf "would rather see the Iraqis walk out than be driven out."

In My American Journey , Powell expressed sympathy for Bush's predicament. "The President's problem was how to say no to Gorbachev without appearing to throw away a chance for peace," Powell wrote. "I could hear the President's growing distress in his voice. 'I don't want to take this deal,' he said. 'But I don't want to stiff Gorbachev, not after he's come this far with us. We've got to find a way out'."

Powell sought Bush's attention. "I raised a finger," Powell wrote. "The President turned to me. 'Got something, Colin?'," Bush asked. But Powell did not outline Schwarzkopf's one-week cease-fire plan. Instead, Powell offered a different idea intended to make the ground offensive inevitable.

"We don't stiff Gorbachev," Powell explained. "Let's put a deadline on Gorby's proposal. We say, great idea, as long as they're completely on their way out by, say, noon Saturday," Feb. 23, less than two days away.

Powell understood that the two-day deadline would not give the Iraqis enough time to act, especially with their command-and-control systems severely damaged by the air war. The plan was a public-relations strategy to guarantee that the White House got its ground war. "If, as I suspect, they don't move, then the flogging begins," Powell told a gratified president.

The next day, at 10:30 a.m., a Friday, Bush announced his ultimatum. There would be a Saturday noon deadline for the Iraqi withdrawal, as Powell had recommended. Schwarzkopf and his field commanders in Saudi Arabia watched Bush on television and immediately grasped its meaning.

"We all knew by then which it would be," Schwarzkopf wrote. "We were marching toward a Sunday morning attack."

When the Iraqis predictably missed the deadline, American and allied forces launched the ground offensive at 0400 on Feb. 24, Persian Gulf time.

Though Iraqi forces were soon in full retreat, the allies pursued and slaughtered tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers in the 100-hour war. U.S. casualties were light, 147 killed in combat and another 236 killed in accidents or from other causes. "Small losses as military statistics go," wrote Powell, "but a tragedy for each family."

On Feb. 28, the day the war ended, Bush celebrated the victory. "By God, we've kicked the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all," the President exulted, speaking to a group at the White House. [For more details, see Robert Parry's Secrecy & Privilege .]

So as not to put a damper on the post-war happy feelings, the U.S. news media decided not to show many of the grisliest photos, such as charred Iraqi soldiers ghoulishly still seated in their burned-out trucks where they had been incinerated while trying to flee. By that point, U.S. journalists knew it wasn't smart for their careers to present a reality that didn't make the war look good.

Enduring Legacy

Though Reagan's creation of a domestic propaganda bureaucracy began more than three decades ago and Bush's vanquishing of the Vietnam Syndrome was more than two decades ago the legacy of those actions continue to reverberate today in how the perceptions of the American people are now routinely managed. That was true during last decade's Iraq War and this decade's conflicts in Libya, Syria and Ukraine as well as the economic sanctions against Iran and Russia.

Indeed, while the older generation that pioneered these domestic propaganda techniques has passed from the scene, many of their protégés are still around along with some of the same organizations. The National Endowment for Democracy, which was formed in 1983 at the urging of CIA Director Casey and under the supervision of Walter Raymond's NSC operation, is still run by the same neocon, Carl Gershman, and has an even bigger budget, now exceeding $100 million a year.

Gershman and his NED played important behind-the-scenes roles in instigating the Ukraine crisis by financing activists, journalists and other operatives who supported the coup against elected President Yanukovych. The NED-backed Freedom House also beat the propaganda drums. [See Consortiumnews.com's " A Shadow Foreign Policy. "]

Two other Reagan-era veterans, Elliott Abrams and Robert Kagan, have both provided important intellectual support for continuing U.S. interventionism around the world. Earlier this year, Kagan's article for The New Republic, entitled " Superpowers Don't Get to Retire ," touched such a raw nerve with President Obama that he hosted Kagan at a White House lunch and crafted the presidential commencement speech at West Point to deflect some of Kagan's criticism of Obama's hesitancy to use military force.

A New York Times article about Kagan's influence over Obama reported that Kagan's wife, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, apparently had a hand in crafting the attack on her ostensible boss, President Obama.

According to the Times article, the husband-and-wife team share both a common world view and professional ambitions, Nuland editing Kagan's articles and Kagan "not permitted to use any official information he overhears or picks up around the house" a suggestion that Kagan's thinking at least may be informed by foreign policy secrets passed on by his wife.

Though Nuland wouldn't comment specifically on Kagan's attack on President Obama, she indicated that she holds similar views. "But suffice to say," Nuland said, "that nothing goes out of the house that I don't think is worthy of his talents. Let's put it that way."

Misguided Media

In the three decades since Reagan's propaganda machine was launched, the American press corps also has fallen more and more into line with an aggressive U.S. government's foreign policy strategies. Those of us in the mainstream media who resisted the propaganda pressures mostly saw our careers suffer while those who played along moved steadily up the ranks into positions of more money and more status.

Even after the Iraq War debacle when nearly the entire mainstream media went with the pro-invasion flow, there was almost no accountability for that historic journalistic failure. Indeed, the neocon influence at major newspapers, such as the Washington Post and the New York Times, only has solidified since.

Today's coverage of the Syrian civil war or the Ukraine crisis is so firmly in line with the State Department's propaganda "themes" that it would put smiles on the faces of William Casey and Walter Raymond if they were around today to see how seamlessly the "perception management" now works. There's no need any more to send out "public diplomacy" teams to bully editors and news executives. Everyone is already onboard.

Rupert Murdoch's media empire is bigger than ever, but his neocon messaging barely stands out as distinctive, given how the neocons also have gained control of the editorial and foreign-reporting sections of the Washington Post, the New York Times and virtually every other major news outlet. For instance, the demonizing of Russian President Putin is now so total that no honest person could look at those articles and see anything approaching objective or evenhanded journalism. Yet, no one loses a job over this lack of professionalism.

The Reagan administration's dreams of harnessing private foundations and non-governmental organizations have also come true. The Orwellian circle has been completed with many American "anti-war" groups advocating for "humanitarian" wars in Syria and other countries targeted by U.S. propaganda. [See Consortiumnews.com's " Selling 'Peace Groups' on US-Led Wars. "]

Much as Reagan's "public diplomacy" apparatus once sent around "defectors" to lambaste Nicaragua's Sandinistas by citing hyped-up human rights violations now the work is done by NGOs with barely perceptible threads back to the U.S. government. Just as Freedom House had "credibility" in the 1980s because of its earlier reputation as a human rights group, now other groups carrying the "human rights" tag, such as Human Rights Watch, are in the forefront of urging U.S. military interventions based on murky or propagandistic claims. [See Consortiumnews.com's " The Collapsing Syria-Sarin Case. "]

At this advanced stage of America's quiet surrender to "perception management," it is even hard to envision how one could retrace the many steps that would lead back to the concept of a democratic Republic based on an informed electorate. Many on the American Right remain entranced by the old propaganda theme about the "liberal media" and still embrace Reagan as their beloved icon. Meanwhile, many liberals can't break away from their own wistful trust in the New York Times and their empty hope that the media really is "liberal."

To confront the hard truth is not easy. Indeed, in this case, it can cause despair because there are so few voices to trust and they are easily drowned out by floods of disinformation that can come from any angle right, left or center. Yet, for the American democratic Republic to reset its goal toward an informed electorate, there is no option other than to build institutions that are determinedly committed to the truth.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ). You also can order Robert Parry's trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America's Stolen Narrative . For details on this offer, click here .

LIANE CASTEN , December 28, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Terrific analysis. Am working on my own book on Vietnam (under contract.) Would love to use this piece liberally–of course with serious attribution. Do I have your permission?. Liane

W. R. Knight , December 28, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Bear in mind that during WWII, Reagan was nothing more than an itinerant movie actor who played war heros but never participated in the war itself. The movies he played in weren't much more than unabashed propaganda.

It is obscene that we allow the most vociferous warmongers to avoid any personal risk in the wars they promote; and it is depressing to see the public persuaded by the propaganda to sacrifice their money and children for the benefit of the warmongers.

Man on the street , December 29, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Reagan actually has two sides as he was portrayed on SNL, the nice grandfatherly side, and the mafia boss warmonger side. He managed to use the media to display his nice side.

Carroll Price , December 31, 2014 at 11:49 am

It takes both. All really successful presidents have a nice grandfatherly side and a mafia boss side that's displayed to the public as the need arises. Why? Because the American people admire the mafia war monger trait as much, if not more, than the grandfatherly trait. FDR and Reagan were both successful presidents because they had great skill in displaying whichever side fitted occasion, while Jimmy Carter, who was not blessed with a mafia/war monger side was a complete failure.

Joe Tedesky , December 28, 2014 at 2:07 pm

When ever this subject comes up, of how the right wing in American politics controls the narrative, I think of the 'Powell Memo'. In 1971 Lewis Powell wrote a secretive memo descripting how the conservatives must take hold of the American media. Powell would become a Supreme Court justice. If you Google his 'Powell Memo' you will read how Justice Powell laid out a very specific plan on how to do this. Powell wrote this before becoming a sitting Supreme Court Justice. His instructions were so good that many believe this document he wrote, was his stairway to heaven.

I cannot help but reflect on how the Warren Report was a great way for the Dark State to see how well they could pull the wool over America's eyes. Even though many did not buy the official one gunman claim, what else was there to counter this official report. So, it's business as usual, and for the average US citizen there isn't much else left to do.

I value this site. Although, there are way to many Americans not getting the news this site has to offer. Instead our society strolls along catching the sound bites, and listening to agenda driven pundits to become the most ill informed populace in human history.

Everythings Jake , December 28, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Another stellar moment of "integrity" in Colin Powell's long and ignominious career.

JWalters , December 28, 2014 at 5:43 pm

" given how the neocons also have gained control of the editorial and foreign-reporting sections of the Washington Post, the New York Times and virtually every other major news outlet."

And how do the neocons, working from niches out of the limelight, have the power to do all this? In a political system dominated by money, from where comes their money? Who coordinates their game plan? Who has an interest in promoting needless wars?
http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

Mark , December 29, 2014 at 8:35 am

A tour de force outstanding work; essential reading, imo. It draws together in detail the mind-management of aggressive imperial adventures from Vietnam, through Central America and Iraq up to Ukraine and Syria today. Thank you Robert Parry.

Perhaps, as a further signal of the 'same ole same ole', you might even have thrown in somewhere the epithet 'jihadi contras' to describe extremist militias used (recruited, funded, trained, armed and directed) by the US (and allies) in the Syrian nightmare (and Libyan); where the secular and tolerant Assad government is – painfully for perception managers – still supported by the vast majority of Syrians, however topsy-turvy the mainextreme narrative is.

Thomas Seifert , December 29, 2014 at 9:12 am

A question from Germany: We observe a very similar process over here – the mainstream media closest following (and inciting!) the official NATO-propaganda in the case of Ukraine. This happens even stubbornly against the bitter protests from greater parts of their own readers.

But: HOW does this happen? What are precisely the mechanisms to unite the media and the journalists behind a special doctrine? On other themes there is still a pluralism of opinions – but in the case of "national interests"/foreign policy there is a kind of frightening standardization. Why this difference?

And why this against an obvious resistance from large parts of their readers and from experts (e.g. the last three German chancellors – Schmidt, Kohl and Schroeder – have admonished the NATO for better considering the Russian security interests). I don't want to believe in simple conspiracy theories

onno , December 29, 2014 at 9:23 am

Another great article by Consortiumnews proving the manipulation of people by the Western Media. It's amazing and scary to realize that people's minds are influenced by government propaganda. It reminds me of the German occupation during WW II and the lies broadcasted by US financed Radio Free Europe during the Cold War and apparently still happening in Azerbaijan.

This is psychological warfare at its best and used at the hands of the White House and Washington's Congress. What a shame for a so-called democratic nation, when are the American people waking up?

John , December 29, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Excellent piece indeed. The collusion of mass media and officials installed by the same economic powers completes the totalitarian mechanism which has displaced democracy.

Suggest clarifying use of the name Raymond, at first apparently Raymond Bonner also called Bonner, then a (different?) Raymond with the CIA referred to only by surname(?) as Raymond, then a Walter Raymond jr.

Studies estimate that between 100K and 150K Nam vets have committed suicide since the war. There are many reasons why but I suspect a goodly number did so when they couldn't handle the knowledge of how they had been used. I'm careful about who in my "peers" I enlighten.

Paul , December 29, 2014 at 3:39 pm

The positive side of democracy in America is exemplified precisely by journalism such as this. How sad that it is almost completely overshadowed by the cynical imperial 'democracy' that Parry's essay describes.

Your description of how the first Iraq War was pursued despite easily available options to avoid the carnage are hair-raising and infuriating. Almost as infuriating as the internal propaganda efforts of the U.S. government. I hope this essay is widely read.

To me, the positive side of democracy in America is exemplified precisely by journalism such as this. How sad that it is almost completely overshadowed by the cynical imperial 'democracy' that Parry's essay describes.

Barbc , December 29, 2014 at 7:32 pm

This past year I have learned from a number of Vietnam veterans that Reagan is not as well liked as has had been implied.
A most of the dislike is how he did not follow throw with bringing home the POWs left behind in Vietnam.

Steve Pahs , December 29, 2014 at 10:47 pm

Mr. Parry,

I follow your writing and have passed it along at times to the misinformed in my life. I appreciate such as your MH17 work early on when Putin and Russia were immediately blamed.

I am a Nam grunt vet from 66′-67′ who is the not so proud recipient of the Purple Heart. My physical wounds affect me to this day as I approach the age of 68. My mental wounds are not from my combat experience so much as they are from the eventual feeling of being used and betrayed. Adversity does not build character, it reveals it. I'm good with mine. The mental wounds evolved over time as I educated myself about how such an awful thing as that war could happen and engulf me in it at 19.

Three months in a military hospital makes one think about what had just transpired. It was the start of a journey that will continue till my last breath. I've crossed that threshold where most of my family and friends are looking through a keyhole offered up by our "leaders" while I am in the room dealing with the evil. Even those who understand what I present will sometimes tell me that "you are right, but it's too late in my life to accept it". That was said by a former Marine pilot.

It's painful to watch any western MSM. It's all through our sports and entertainment programming to the point of madness. The wreckage caused by our "leaders" across the earth's face, in our name, IS evil. I stopped taking the local paper a couple of years ago after they no longer would print my letters and columns. Twenty years ago it all made me quite angry. It's sadness I feel now for those who refuse to "see". Many vets don't know the source of their anger and the VA gladly numbs them with drugs. Not I.

Studies estimate that between 100K and 150K Nam vets have committed suicide since the war. There are many reasons why but I suspect a goodly number did so when they couldn't handle the knowledge of how they had been used. I'm careful about who in my "peers" I enlighten.

Mark Twain (SLC) said some profound things. One of my favorites is "It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled".
Always follow the money.

Thanks for what you do. It does make a difference.
Steve Pahs

MarkinPNW , December 30, 2014 at 1:43 am

This "Perception Management" is nothing knew. The argument has been made persuasively that the attack on Pearl Harbor actually resulted from a deliberate and successful campaign by FDR to change or "manage" the mass opinions or "Perceptions" of the US electorate from strongly pro-peace and anti-war (what could be called a "Great War syndrome" from the stupid and useless devastation of WW1) to all out pro-war for US involvement in WW2, by provoking the Japanese and refusing all peace negotiations with the Japanese who desperately were trying to avoid war.

In reference to "Orwellian Dystopia", Orwell's novels "Animal Farm" and "1984" were based in large part on Orwell's experience in the Spanish Civil War and WW2, respectively.

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , December 30, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Until the U.S. gets its butt seriously whipped again, as in Vietnam, the ever escalating strategy of tension against all countries who exhibit less than total and unconditional obedience to Washington will continue. Victoria Nuland is nothing more than a modern version of Cecil Rhodes; the ever probing tentacle of a voracious empire. In fact, It's really the same one.

hp , December 30, 2014 at 3:52 pm

The ripened fruit of the pervert Freud's pervert nephew Edward Bernays. (how the usurping usurers roll)

Jacob , December 31, 2014 at 11:51 pm

"In the 1980s, the Reagan administration pioneered 'perception management' to get the American people to 'kick the Vietnam Syndrome' and accept more U.S. interventionism, . . ."

The management of public perception within the U.S. regarding its imperialistic/colonial ambitions goes back much further than the 1980s. The Committee on Public Information, also known as "the Creel Commission," was the likely model Reagan wanted to imitate. The purpose of the CPI was to convince the American public, which was mostly anti-war, to support America's entry into the European war, also known as WWI. The CPI was in official operation from 1917 to 1919 during the Woodrow Wilson administration. But the paradigm for the use of mass propaganda to alter public perceptions is the Congregatio de propaganda fide (The Office for the Propagation of the Faith), a 1622 Vatican invention to undermine the spread of Protestantism by managing public perceptions on religious and spiritual matters.

[Oct 17, 2017] How The Washington Post Deceives Us About The War In Syria

Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
Oct 17, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

How The Washington Post Deceives Us About The War In Syria

by Ahab Jezebel

One of the most prestigious US medias, The Washington Post clearly has no built-in review mechanism for monitoring the quality and veracity of its source material relating to the coverage of war zone news. This is particularly apparent with regard to the reporting of the ongoing war situation in Syria. At present these professional standards have slipped and the paper has placed itself outside the ranks of real journalism and professionalism on which it built its enviable reputation - long before the war in Syria.

Spreading propaganda, and relying only on activists, is not professional . It resembles paid publicity, designed to affect public opinion, and it takes advantage of less informed readers and politicians.

We can open a small window into one of the latest articles on Syria by The Washington Post entitled:" Civilian casualties spiral in Syria as air raids target areas marked for cease-fire ". The article was not written from Syria but from Beirut (Lebanon), although it speaks authoritatively about Syria in great detail – and this from a journalist who has never been to Syria, and certainly not during the six years of the war.

In its second paragraph the newspaper talks of "groups monitoring the conflict": but every single human being on Earth interested in the Syrian war is monitoring the conflict - including my 87 year-old neighbour, Louise (her name). She is able to tell me stories about daily bombing and "Daesh" (The "Islamic State" – ISIS) attacking "every day and maybe coming to Europe," according to her conclusions drawn from monitoring mainstream media. She believes Syria is a country of ghosts and that Assad, Daesh and the US are "working together against evil Russia".

The Washington Post further undermines its own credibility by quoting the " White Helmets ," who apparently report that "80% of ... attacks targeted civilian areas". Not everybody knows how biased the White Helmets are : in fact some of their histrionic performances have been said to rival Shakespeare. Professional journalism by a reputable newspaper should be ill at ease when quoting "a fake professional exhibitionist group." And where, indeed, in Syria were the White Helmets based? In an al-Qaeda controlled city , working very closely with that terrorist group- the very same group responsible for 9/11!

The newspaper doesn't stop at that: it insinuates - according to its title and introduction - that "pro-government forces launched hundreds of bombing raids across areas marked for international protection": yet the same journalist who wrote that article re-tweeted that " there were also 1,278 declared Coalition strikes in Syria last month ".

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So how that is possible to sustain a title (usually not under the control of the individual journalist) and an introduction stating the opposite? Readers absorb and trust the newspaper they are faithfully attached to, trusting that the information is reliable, corroborated and trustworthy. General readers find the truth hard to come by when "professional journalists" distort it.

The article continues, quoting the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Monitoring Group". This group is based in London with many sources on the ground, including activists. It is known to be biased and its orientation is anti-Syrian government. Any information provided by this partial source may be taken into consideration – provided there is serious corroboration and first hand trustworthy information. In fact, no such corroboration is presented: the information seems to be thrown together in an article to support the journalist's idea or "newspaper policy," with the risk of misleading the readers.

But the problem persists: in the next paragraph, Tim al-Siyofi, defined as an activist from the besieged Damascus district of Douma, is quoted - as a way of consolidating the introduction. But why on earth would readers buy a newspaper to read what an activist is saying when the social media are full of them - and free?

But that is not the end of the article (only the beginning!): "Analysts took the violence as a sign that the piecemeal ceasefires struck in the Kazakh capital of Astana have done little to change the core objectives of the Syrian government" - whatever these are, or were (unstated). The "Analysts" are dead wrong, misleading and probably expressing wishful thinking. Astana stopped the war in three huge parts of Syria and allowed the Syrian Army to liberate tens of thousands of kilometers in al-Badiya (semi-desert) and to lift the siege of Deir-Ezzour by concentrating the majority of forces against the "Islamic State" (ISIS) group. The Syrian Army, supported by Russian Air Force, bombed for more than a week and killed dozens of al-Qaeda militants for violating the Astana de-escalation agreement related to the city of Idlib, when the group carried out several attacks on three different fronts. Simply, al-Qaeda wanted the war to carry on: an important detail the journalist perhaps ignored for being far from Syria.

In fact, the same article contradicts itself further down when quoting a former Syrian General based in Istanbul who says: "These de-escalations freeze the problem". So the question is: how it can be - according to the analyst quoted in the article - that Astana has done little, yet the Syrian anti-regime General believes it has frozen the problem? Is The Washington Post asking too much from the reader's brain, or not enough! Is it relying on a lack of critical mind on the part of its readers? Difficult to know with such contradictions.

The article is using once more the same old rhetoric used in the last six years of the war, accusing the Syrian government (and now Russia) of "targeting hospitals" without quoting a source, any source, and omitting the U.S.'s own revelations that Jihadists in Syria and Iraq keep their headquarters in hospitals, if such information is correct.

But worse is to come: "Interviews with civilians in the area". Is it the journalist who is in Beirut who is running these interviews in the northern Al-Qaeda controlled city of Idlib? Of course, of course: it is "Abdulhamid" . It sounds quite exotic.

Further down, the article goes on to deal with the human side of the war: "We just want to eat, to let up the siege, and to live in peace and not get bombed." The atrocities of the war in Syria are not up for discussion. In point of fact the city of Idlib is wide open to Turkey and fully supplied on a daily basis: the transit of goods is/was one of al-Qaeda's main incomes. No one is actually starving these days in Syria: the besieged cities have shown themselves, after liberation, to be packed with food supplies and ammunition.

Generally speaking, the war in Syria has mushroomed all kinds of fake analysts and "journalists", who put bits and pieces together according to their (wishful) thinking, and call it an article. The problem would stop there, except that a very respectful newspaper, careless about the quality of its material and professional standards, allows this "cut and paste" journalism to happen, and endorses it.

But the world is not completely stupid. Dan , the pizza delivery driver, seems much more critical, and aware of the complexity of the war in Syria than The Washington Post with its misleading articles (not the first time neither surprising when ISIS is not indicated as a terrorist group but " local militia ").

Maybe readers are not as naïve as the newspaper apparently believes them to be.

Posted by b on October 16, 2017 at 09:21 AM | Permalink

Clueless Joe | Oct 16, 2017 10:27:38 AM | 1

"But why on earth would readers buy a newspaper to read what an activist is saying when the social media are full of them - and free?"
This is exactly why mainstream media will die, and pretty soon.
People don't need to pay to see what people rant about on Twitter, they can just go there. They don't need to read what social activist say on social media, they can just read them there for free. As long as "journalists" were doing what looked like actual work, reporting stuff readers couldn't get easily in other ways, the job had some meaning. Now that journos are just rehashing propaganda in the most blatant ways and to add insult to injury are mostly dealing with social media circlejerks - or reporting through social media circlejerk what should be important topics -, more and more readers will see very few justification to waste their hard-earned limited money on mainstream paid media.
Bill H | Oct 16, 2017 10:33:23 AM | 2
Yes, they do have editors, but the function of the editor is not what it used to be. Today's editor edits for style, not content. Today's editor makes sure that the piece is written to entertain rather than to inform, and thereby assures that it does neither.
The WP is only good for telling us the current CIA narratives.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Oct 16, 2017 12:00:46 PM | 3

The WP is only good for telling us the current CIA narratives.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Oct 16, 2017 12:00:46 PM | 3 /div

Piotr Berman | Oct 16, 2017 12:37:15 PM | 4
Yes, they do have editors, but the function of the editor is not what it used to be. Today's editor edits for style, not content. Today's editor makes sure that the piece is written to entertain rather than to inform, and thereby assures that it does neither.

Posted by: Bill H | Oct 16, 2017 10:33:23 AM | 2

I guess this false supposition is based on the observation that "reputable newspapers" seem to have superior style, as compared, say, to New York Post, but the content is so-so or mediocre. Yet we discussed on this very website that typically the writers prepare articles (with guidelines from the editors), and editors decide on the headlines and may change the order of presentation etc., and sometimes they use it to suggests stuff very different from the content. In general, the most objective news in NYT (I am less familiar with WP) are in Business Section where the readers who are crucial to "advertising demographics", those who actually may be interested in apartments in NYC, mansions in the vicinity etc., want to find actual news. Gardening section is typically reliable as well, Weather -- spotty record, but understandably so.

Foreign news are a bit of compromise between the need to further patriotic goals of the editors, presenting the world as it should be, where good guys are good and bad guys are bad, and supplying news to the important readers in the extend that they wish to see them. (They get very irate when Israel gets bad image, but they tend to have more sophisticated view of what Israel needs than right wing propaganda.) This explains "articles with split personality", some content directed to satisfy readers who perceive themselves to be sophisticated, and a frame to further the patriotic goals. I say "patriotic" because the owners and editors view themselves as good guys, they do not have to be threatened to do what they do.

Anyway, professional journalists have to strive to keep the advertising demographics on healthy levels, and to further the goals of their native (or adopted country) country as defined by the consensus of their peers and bosses. Amateurs like b or Robert Parry can do what they want (actually, they may need revenue too, but very little of it).


Tennis Fan | Oct 16, 2017 1:27:56 PM | 5
Robert Parry is no amateur. He is a former AP reporter that broke Iran-Contra stories. He has his own website, and has been blacklisted by the establishment outlets because he had the courage to contradict their narratives. Same goes for Seymour Hersh, he used to publish in the New Yorker etc, but has been blacklisted and now publishes in the London Review of Books and other places. Thank god for B, Parry, Hersh and all the other real investigators trying to pierce the establishment's propaganda narratives and get the real stories out.
Piotr Berman | Oct 16, 2017 1:38:14 PM | 6
Robert Parry is an amateur in the good sense of the word, he does what he does because he likes it, and not to satisfy various important demographics and stakeholders. And I do not expect to see "Consortium News Tower/Office Campus".
Piotr Berman | Oct 16, 2017 1:45:05 PM | 7
A message from Robert Parry:

"Thank You, Readers!

Thanks to the generosity of our readers we have reached our $35,000 target for our fall fund drive!"

I am one of those readers. Interestingly, during the drive he wrote that a donor offered 20,000 if the target is achieved.

JSonofa | Oct 16, 2017 1:46:43 PM | 8
Some of us have known for awhile now that Jeff Bezos, owner of WAPO, is doing big business with the CIA, and is therefore beholden to them for said business. It's also well known that the CIA has had its tenticles in the WAPO for generations and can get the stories they want, the spin that they need; whether lies or truth, is of no consequence to government sociopaths.
Krollchem | Oct 16, 2017 2:18:32 PM | 9
Piotr Berman@4

I would take the independent journalism of "b" and Robert Perry (winner of the I.F. Stone medal) over the MSM journalists any day.
http://nieman.harvard.edu/awards/i-f-stone-medal-for-journalistic-independence/

The widespread yellow journalism of the MSM "Fake News" outlets is a product of a poor quality college education, the "Overton Window" of self censorship by journalists along with bias or actual censorship by editors, DoD and Google:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window

http://www.nytimes.com/1991/05/02/world/after-the-war-15-top-journalists-object-to-gulf-war-curbs.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4765786/Google-worker-s-call-stop-positive-discrimination-fury.html

Journalism in America is also biased by funding sources with many of the schools of Journalism being funded by NSA/CIA linked NGOs such as Soros.
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/05/18/soros-spending-48-million-funding-media-organizations.html

A great example of the incompetence of Journalists and their editors can be found at the New York Times (aka the Grey Lady). The combined NYT "brain trust" thought that Aleppo was the capital of ISIS, and when proven wrong claimed that Aleppo was the capital of Syria.
http://thefederalist.com/2016/09/08/new-york-times-tries-factcheck-gary-johnson-steps-rake-instead/

The NYT editors also confused the words what and where when attacking Gary Johnson's comment "What is Aleppo?". They had forgotten the basic rule of journalism which is to report what, when , where, why, and how. What could be more basic?

Basically, "Are the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, et al, lying knowingly? Not exactly. The news media doesn't have to invent the lies, only repeat them. They are mainly the stenographers of governmental agencies that provide the raw material to be quoted, invariably substantiating the validity of the official position. The owners of those news outlets likely believe that narrative, but mainly they want you to believe it."
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/10/16/understanding-the-fake-news-hysteria/

Mina | Oct 16, 2017 2:21:48 PM | 10
Tired of sick propaganda? watch an old Russian movie instead. At least they had style.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeWK5iRp0BE
ruralito | Oct 16, 2017 2:28:01 PM | 11
@5, Parry is wrong when he says Israel runs the US. It's the other way around, even SG Nasrallah has said so. Israel is a yipping terrier to Merka's Bull Mastiff when it comes to wealth and power. Look at a map.

Now don't start accusing me of pro-Zio tendencies. Read my quips: nobody loathes, reviles, detests and abominates the Shetl "State" as much as I do.

ben | Oct 16, 2017 3:13:51 PM | 12
"The article was not written from Syria but from Beirut (Lebanon), although it speaks authoritatively about Syria in great detail – and this from a journalist who has never been to Syria, and certainly not during the six years of the war."

That paragraph alone should send up a "red flag" to anyone reading the article...

nonsense factory | Oct 16, 2017 3:47:25 PM | 13
It's worth looking at the change in Washington Post reporting after the Aug 05, 2013 announcement that Jeff Bezos (Amazon's CEO) was going to buy the paper for $250 million. Amazon had another deal with the CIA for $600 million implemented at the same time:
In early 2013, after weighing bids from Amazon Web Services, IBM and an unnamed third vendor, the CIA awarded a contract to AWS worth up to $600 million over a period of up to 10 years. The deal, handled in secret, was first reported by FCW in March 2013, sending ripples through the tech industry.

The CIA's history in Libya and Syria during the tenure of Hillary Clinton and Leon Pannetta is not something the U.S. government likes to see analyzed in depth - weapons shipped into Libya end up in the hands of everyone, including those opposed to the installation of Clinton's pet, Jibril; other weapons are loaded on ships headed for Turkey and Syria rebel groups (including ISIS).

After Bezo's purchase, the WaPo editorial board drops much of its coverage of the CIA in Syria and Libya, particularly any coverage of CIA gun running out of Benghazi, in favor of regurgitating offical PR lines like this:

The CIA base in Benghazi was collecting intelligence about groups running weapons to Syria but was not itself running guns, the report says.

This is not very credible. For example, UK Telegraph :

. . .a CIA team was working in an annex near the consulate on a project to supply missiles from Libyan armouries to Syrian rebels.

What it really comes down to is that the centers of power in Washington don't want any public understanding of what they got up to in Libya, Syria, and in the Arab Spring in general, nor why. American popular support for their foreign policy games is based entirely on the myth of the U.S. government "promoting humanitarian and democratic agendas" abroad.

For the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, this means no coverage of the struggle to control the region's energy resources, no coverage of petrodollar recycling in alliance with the Saudis and GCC members, no discussion of the agenda behind fomenting 'civil war' in Syria (which is rather like the 'civil war' in Vietnam), which mostly revolves around the Iranian alliance with Syria on oil & gas transit, electricity deals, airport and railroad construction.

That's really the heart of the problem - the Washington Post just won't honestly cover the U.S. government and its corporate partners and its Saudi and Israeli allies and what their shared interests in the region are. If they did, they'd have to admit that it has nothing to do with "humanitarian and democratic" ideals - it's all about the cash flows - and that's not a story you can sell to the American public to whip up popular support for continued military interventions overseas. Simple as that.

Lozion | Oct 16, 2017 4:03:52 PM | 14
@13 Simple as that.
Yeppers..
fastfreddy | Oct 16, 2017 4:10:56 PM | 15
And where, indeed, in Syria were the White Helmets based? In an al-Qaeda controlled city, working very closely with that terrorist group- the very same group responsible for 9/11!

An otherwise keen analysis is tainted by this bit of propaganda. We know that the White Helmets are CeyeA Frauds. We do not know with any certainty by whom or what entity is responsible for 9/11. Occam's razor, cui bono, and other principles and factoids may be applied that point to a far more reasoned, logical hypothesis.

nonsense factory | Oct 16, 2017 4:45:32 PM | 16
@14, Indeed, and that's also why the whole Arab Spring story isn't discussed anymore. If you believe the WaPo, of course we'd be supporting democratic uprisings in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, rather than helping to crush them - and we wouldn't be trying to infiltrate pro-democracy movements in Libya and Syria, promoting civil war (Intended to create new autocratic regimes that answered to Washington). One of the very few honest discussions of that:

https://www.japantimes. . . 2012. . how-the-arab-spring-was-hijacked

The democratic awakening has fallen prey to murky geopolitics that has cleaved the Arab Spring into two parts, with the oil monarchies escaping change but the other republics coming under varying degrees of pressure.

And, for laughs, here's the Wapo Oct 2016 editorial endorsement of Hillary Clinton

Ms. Clinton also understands the importance of U.S. leadership in the world, her campaign-year anti-trade epiphany notwithstanding. Inside the Obama administration, Ms. Clinton was a voice for engagement on behalf of democracy, human rights and stability.

The same Hillary Clinton who sent angry emails to the US Embassy in Bahrain because they had met with some of the pro-democracy protesters outside the embassy - and then in rolled the Saudi tanks.
Jac Cuse | Oct 16, 2017 5:54:49 PM | 17
"In an al-Qaeda controlled city, working very closely with that terrorist group- the very same group responsible for 9/11!"

WTF??? You pretend telling the truth about how the WP deceives us but while at it dare repeating the most ridiculous lie ever? 9/11 was perpetrated by anyone BUT Al Qaeda unless these so-called terrorists named after a CIA database were from a certain zionist apartheid state and cooperating with the US deep state...

karlof1 | Oct 16, 2017 6:01:01 PM | 18
In his article, b asserts that social media is free, as do numerous commentators. Trouble is that notion is false--the hardware costs money, as does the software that runs it; then one must be connected somehow, as through an ISP, and that costs money. So, there's no free info unless one goes to a library--but even that carries an opportunity cost. Sure, I don't "feel" the cost coming out of my wallet, but it gets withdrawn monthly regardless. And in some nations, people are forced to pay a media fee regardless of using it; so, it's entirely possible to pay for info you never get to hear/read/see.

So, please, enough of this Info is free claptrap. Classic economics is very clear that everything has a cost associated with it--an opportunity cost at the very least. Even the contributions made via comments like this have a cost since I chose to type this instead of doing something else. There's an excellent reason for the maxims "Knowledge is Power" and Wisdom is Wealth--it's that their attainment comes at a cost that few are actually willing to pay, which is why propaganda is so effective.

PavewayIV | Oct 16, 2017 6:16:45 PM | 19
In his recent article, The Legacy of Reagan's Civilian 'Psyops' , Parry says:
"...Over the years, I've obtained scores of documents related to the psyops and related programs via "mandatory declassification reviews" of files belonging to Walter Raymond Jr., a senior CIA covert operations specialist who was transferred to Reagan's National Security Council staff in 1982 to rebuild capacities for psyops, propaganda and disinformation..."

Raymond and the NSC's motivation for creating the 'new' US propaganda machine are summed up nicely in a 1983 Army War College paper found in Raymond's NSC files (cited by Parry) and produced by Col. Alfred Paddock, Jr. (it's an interesting read in its own right):

MILIITARY PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS AND US STRATEGY

Paddock pretty much argues for the US to create a national-level committee to coordinate "...a coherent, worldwide psychological operation strategy."

Paddock, in turn, cites Steven Possany's paper "The PSYOP Totality". I have not been able to locate a copy of this paper either online or in print. A search on Possany did lead me to another Consortium News article from May by John V. Walsh, The Existential Risk of Trusting 'Intel' . I found this part intriguing:

... Agenda-Driven Intel

Then there were the "experts" who had their own agenda. A striking example is the "Special Studies Group" set up in the early 1950s in the Air Force Directorate of Intelligence.

Henry Kissinger, former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State.
Johnstone writes: "It was headed by Steve Possony, a Hungarian émigré who professed to be an expert on Communism in general and the Soviet Union in particular. Steve was the first of several Central European émigrés I met in the next few years who passed as experts on Communist Europe. Others were Stausz-Hupé, Kissinger, Brzezinski and many lesser lights such as Leon Gouré and Helmut Sonnenfeldt. In every case I felt that they were thinking, consciously or otherwise, as representatives of a lost cause in their native land, and I always believed that they were used by the military because their 'obsessions' were so useful." (FTFM, p.80)

Of course it is not clear who was using whom here. But we can think of a latter day equivalent in Bush 2 time when neoconservatives like Paul Wolfowitz dominated the Pentagon. As they ginned up the War on Iraq, it was all too clear that their loyalty to Israel came into play. For while the wars in the Middle East and North Africa did little to advance the interests of the U.S., costing it blood, treasure and new enemies like ISIS, those wars left in ruins potential adversaries of Israel in its neighborhood. There can be little doubt that the interests of Israel were served by these American "strategic thinkers."

Johnstone goes on: "The one product of Possony's group that I most distinctly remember was an annual appraisal of the strategic situation. And the reason I remember it, perhaps, is that every year that appraisal forecast a massive Russian land attack on Western Europe the following year. Several of us began to laugh about it after a while, but the forecast was always intoned awesomely and with superficial plausibility. I do not know whether many people who heard the briefings really believed the forecasts. I suspect many doubted it would really be next year, and thought it more likely the year after or even later. But even doubters approved the forecast because, they reasoned, it was better to err in this direction than to minimize the danger. Above all, it was good to say things that emphasized the need for strong defenses." (FTFM, p. 80)
...

So the NYT and WaPo are merely fragments of our current PSYOP Totality. And we really can't blame the CIA or US military for NYT propaganda today. Their efforts are only part of a larger effort orchestrated and directed by national-level PSYOP organizations in the Five-Eyes nations, especially the US. The US public has been conditioned by those PSYOPS for the ForeverWar© against 1) anyone Israel doesn't like, and 2) Russia (because it's just the Soviet Union in disguise). The ForeverWar© against commies lost most of its steam and isn't used much, anymore.

I draw a very short line between that ForeverWar© mentality and old, pissed-off East European cold war era US-immigrant oligarchs (Jewish or not) and/or the more recent crop of parasitic Russian Jewish oligarch immigrants (the ones Putin kicked out). The Five-Eyes intelligence agencies still do their part, but higher-level government organizations manage the PSYOP Totality© today.

Iano | Oct 16, 2017 7:16:56 PM | 20
"The ruling elites, who grasp that the reigning ideology of global corporate capitalism and imperial expansion no longer has moral or intellectual credibility, have mounted a campaign to shut down the platforms given to their critics. The attacks within this campaign include blacklisting, censorship and slandering dissidents as foreign agents for Russia and purveyors of 'fake news'. [......] "

It's the opening text of: 'the-silencing-of-dissent' Sept. 17 2017, by Chris Hedges on truthdig

It has all been said there, nothing is exaggerated. And many people already know.

Important thing is: how can honest and critical news platforms survive this attack and reach the public even more then they do now.

Centainly not by trusting the (search-)index of their articles to the three big Internet search services Google, Yahoo, Bing/msn. (NB: All remaining others are just proxies of those three). They always went for the money, were taken over by the elite, and never deserved our trust.

All honest writers and publishers that check facts, should create a cooperative global index together and give access to that index on each of their websites.

It is technically very easy to do. It has not been done yet, because EInet, Altavista, Yahoo, Google and other corporations exploited this feature, to get very rich and powerful without writing any article themselves. When they openly change their ranking policy to silence dissent, we should no longer consider them as a service to us and to our public.

We did some experimenting: In less then a week we've created a test Index of 40 sites, with the available web-search app YaCY (great product of the German open source software developer community yacy.net), based on apache-SOLR. It's not perfect yet, but good as a demo: alterlook.org (try it out!)
It allows for crawling (as we did) and for importing local indexes (which imho is better) to create the initial global index. Daily rss-feeds can keep it up-to-date.

Conclusion: Publishers and writers should really unite and create an index together, preferable by combining their locale SOLR indexes into a big global one, and put a search-tool for it on their websites. The more different sites join, the more widespread available this search-index will be, and the real news be spread.

karlof1 | Oct 16, 2017 7:17:27 PM | 21
PavewayIV @19--

Your comment immediately brought to mind a scene from the 5th Star Wars film when the Jedi enter a bar following a terrorist and the masses aren't fazed in the least being entirely absorbed by the content displayed on the Mega Screen. And writing that brings to mind all the TVs within airports blaring the latest propaganda, as well as the creeping militaristic advertisement content inundating sports broadcasts of all types that's very noticeably escalated since the advent of Bu$hCo in 2001. I must also mention the various and seemingly very popular Dead series on cable's AMC and how its being used to mold perceptions about reality--and it's not the only one doing so. I occasionally look back on my youth to appraise how popular TV shows were used to shape impressions about important aspects of State--particularly the spooks, but also all entities having coercive power.

And given the PsyOp nature of our world today, how do crypto currencies fit; and does Russia's decision to launch a state-backed Crypto-Rouble change that game any? http://theduran.com/russia-launch-first-state-sanctioned-cryptocurrency-world/

fast freddy | Oct 16, 2017 7:52:30 PM | 22
For while the wars in the Middle East and North Africa did little to advance the interests of the U.S., costing it blood, treasure and new enemies like ISIS, those wars left in ruins potential adversaries of Israel in its neighborhood. There can be little doubt that the interests of Israel were served by these American "strategic thinkers."

ISIS, armed and financed by the west has been used by the west in an effort to topple Assad (to name one example). If ISIS had been left to their own devices, they might still be goat herders. If ISIS is an enemy of the west, one would not expect such a complicated relationship.

flankerbandit | Oct 16, 2017 8:08:47 PM | 23
I don't understand this article...

Since when does anyone think of the WaPo as 'respectable' and part of 'journalism'...?

While reading this I felt like maybe I was in a time warp to 20 years ago, when some people still actually believed the lying media...

Why bother dissecting these so-called 'articles'...?

We all know it's pure bullshit...Paul Craig Roberts long ago stopped doing this...he simply dismisses the entire MSM as 'whores' and 'presstitutes'...

The only thing I find interesting in this particular WaPo story is that it appears to be boo-hooing about the recent wipeout of idlib Nusra terrorists that the Russians recently carried out with such fury...

This tells me someone at Langley is pissed...which probably means some Langley scumbags were in the 'wrong' place at the wrong time when those furious Russian Sukhois [and Kalibrs] tore those Nusra hangouts to shreds...

That's actually great news...

See...the WaPo is still doing a great service to readers...you just have to know how to 'read' it...

Grieved | Oct 16, 2017 9:41:59 PM | 24
@23 flankerbandit

You answered your rhetorical question. Why we bother to dissect these things is to produce new understanding, and to find ways to refine the dross into gold, as you did.

We're still looking at the symptoms because they are still rich in information that leads us to the disease, and thence to the antidotes and the cure.

~~

@19 Paveway IV

Thanks for the illustration of the disease. These are parts of the actual nuts and bolts that put together a cultural psyop totality.

~~

@20 Iano

Wow, interesting site, alterlook.org. Nice experiment. Think about building something on maidsafe.net - a peer-to-peer, decentralized internet. The SAFE network, described by a top geek friend as "about the most NSA-proof platform seen yet."

The SAFE network even rewards its peers with its cryptocurrency SafeCoin for the use of its computing power. The cure is our own information platforms and our own money.

~~

@21 karlof1

I was heading here all along. The Crypto Rouble - hallelujah!

Russia just took the global lead in the sovereign issue of crypto currency. I have no doubt that the world has just been shocked into a very sharp alertness. There will be much analysis and reflection to come, which I look forward to studying.

Speaking off the cuff, at first glance, I have to think that this indicates an entire doctrine regarding the blockchain that Russia has formulated. If I look at its weapons development, and any other process I've observed Russia executing, I have to think there must be a body of thought that has reached certain conclusions regarding crypto currencies and all of the related blockchain undertakings - the work of months and perhaps years of analysis. This is an exciting development, and it came about a year before I expected it.

How does it fit in a discussion about information? Perfect markets are said to comprise perfect information. We know the western markets and their information sources are both equally rigged. Comes now true money from Eurasia, to a wallet near you - can the true information be far behind? What's the distance from the Rouble to the Shanghai Gold Exchange? The world just shrank.

karlof1 | Oct 16, 2017 10:45:11 PM | 25
Grieved @24--

Thanks for your reply! China will be next, IMO, followed by Iran, the wave eventually overtaking the entire swath of nations of Eurasia. The overall plot is fantastical and easily one of the best kept secrets of all time. The Outlaw US Empire's financial house of cards and Ponzi schemes will melt like the Wicked Witch it was portrayed as, although in slow motion, agonizingly convulsing as it chokes on itself.

Debsisdead | Oct 16, 2017 10:52:30 PM | 26
When the greedies cannot bribe bully or blackmail others to ensure, theirs is the dominant point of view, they don't mind something a little more medieval.
Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Malta based journo responsible for chasing down, investigating and publishing the Panama Papers revelations, was blown to smithereens Monday afternoon.
Even more vomit inducing that the assassination itself has been the crocodile tears of Malta PM Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his predecessor Lawrence Gonzi, both of whom had been exposed by Ms Galizia's tireless investigation.

The citizens of Malta understood precisely who & what they had lost thousands of citizens assembled to mourn the journo within hours of the murder.
I notice that Julian Assange has offered $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Ms Galizia's murderer - also that 'The Times of Malta' have torn down the article about the reward very fast and one cannot help but wonder why.

On the other hand it is great to see Mr Assange putting the profit from his enforced bitcoin investments to good use.

Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 16, 2017 11:22:27 PM | 27
@5, Parry is wrong when he says Israel runs the US. It's the other way around, even SG Nasrallah has said so. Israel is a yipping terrier to Merka's Bull Mastiff when it comes to wealth and power. Look at a map.
...
Posted by: ruralito | Oct 16, 2017 2:28:01 PM | 11

I don't agree with your opening statement, but don't lose any sleep over it. A huge amount of Christian Colonial energy has been expended on keeping the waters muddied and the issue "debatable". I'm fond of Walt & Meirsheimer's paper on The Lobby, for which they've recently given themselves a pat on the back for its continuing relevance.
On the other hand, the opinions of Nasrallah should never be lightly dismissed.

There's an interesting brief comment in SST's "Scenarios for the Third Lebanon War" thread, October 10, from Sylvia 1 which, despite her claim of military ignorance, reads like an accurate forecast of the way LebWar III will unfold. More interestingly, none of the resident and visiting pundits etc at SST sought to quibble with her prediction.

Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 16, 2017 11:50:28 PM | 28
Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 16, 2017 10:52:30 PM | 26

Payback news?
Vengeance is Ours sayeth the Masters of the Universe...

Castellio | Oct 17, 2017 12:48:50 AM | 29
Sylvia 1 said:

"Hezbollah has surely improved their rocket technology since 2006 re both accuracy and payload. These rockets are well hidden and hardened against aerial assault. I would think the objective would be 2 fold--close Ben Grunion Airport and all port facilities. Leave the urban areas mostly alone unless Israel decides to carpet bomb Lebanon--then all bets are off. If Hezbollah can do that, the Israeli economy will be brought to it's knees. Given the experience of 2006, I doubt Israel would be begin a ground assault against Hezbollah. Despite all the bravado--the reality is that Israel has lost ground against Hezbollah since 2006. I am saying this as someone with zero military experience. I would be interested in hearing from people who actually know what they are talking about!!!"

One should ask oneself what it would take for US forces to engage directly with Israel's "enemies"... and then ask oneself if such an eventuality is being prepared.

mauisurfer | Oct 17, 2017 1:24:36 AM | 30
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 16, 2017 11:22:27 PM | 27
Who is in charge, USA or Israel? Simple answer: Israel.
How can you tell? USA is giving Israel $3.8 Billion every year, instead of spending it in the USA on education, teachers, healthcare, highways, bridges, etc.
If USA were in charge, Israel would be paying USA.
Israel is not a poor country, it is richer than many USA counties which do not even have medical care.
Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 17, 2017 1:25:18 AM | 31
Posted by: Castellio | Oct 17, 2017 12:48:50 AM | 29

Yep, that's what Sylvia said. This bit, in particular, grabbed my attention...
"These rockets are well hidden and hardened against aerial assault."

That is true. ABC.net.au 4Corners devoted a program to Leb '06 before the smoke and whingeing had died down. Much of the report cited eyewitness visitors from Oz whom the 'war' stranded so they watched it unfold from their lodgings. According to these witnesses, the IAF pounded Hezbollahs bunkers for circa 48 hours to NO EFFECT on Hezb's missile blizzard on the S.L.C. So they bombed the crap out of South Lebanon in angst and frustration. War Nerd had a hearty laugh about Israel's "strategy" (and humiliation) in the aftermath.

LXV | Oct 17, 2017 4:50:22 AM | 32
Thanks b! People better get used to government propaganda, because that's what the future holds in store for us mortals . Beside the "business" relationship between CIA and Bezos revealed higher up the thread (nonsense factory's & PavewayIV's posts), Operation Mockingbird and NDAA's authorization of propaganda for domestic audiences (RIP Michael Hastings) are the ultimate indicators of that.

Case closed!

Mina | Oct 17, 2017 4:54:28 AM | 33
#20 Thx! The ruling elite can even decide what ppl read and what they won't find in unilibrary catalogues. Ever heard of the exlibrisgroup and their alephcatalogue?
x | Oct 17, 2017 6:51:29 AM | 34
Re: nonsense factory | Oct 16, 2017 3:47:25 PM | 13

It would seem the CIA (and other similar 3-letter agencies) are effectively the 'Federal Reserve' equivalent to the information economy: aka as much 'QE' as it takes to bend the amoral arc of the media universe to their deceitful ends. Presstitution is a thriving business model in the 21C it seems.

Scotch Bingeington | Oct 17, 2017 7:14:43 AM | 35
Do any of you knowledegable people here have any idea what this could be about:

"Syrian forces seize communication equipment bound for rebel militias in Daraa"

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/pictures-syrian-forces-seize-communication-equipment-bound-rebel-militias-daraa/

Assuming it's not just satellite dishes for a clearer signal of CNN... ;-)

TG | Oct 17, 2017 8:30:59 AM | 36
A big problem is the consolidation of the media allowed by President Bill Clinton. Basically all the mass media is owned by like six companies (whose CEOs all have lunch together), and they typically have much bigger business interests than news.

Like the Washington Post, now owned by Amazon - which just got likea half billion dollar contract to provide computer services for the CIA. How objective to you think the Post will be anyhow?

I would suggest that the mass media needs to be broken up, and not allowed to be owned by a parent company with other business interests (Amazon, GE, etc.). Let them rise and fall based on their journalism, let them not all be reading from the same centrally approved script, and I think that would help enormously.

Anonymous | Oct 17, 2017 8:47:01 AM | 37
A hint of the extent and depth of the CIA's involvement in this sort of stuff is given in Frances Saunder's 'Who Paid the Piper?'
Christian Chuba | Oct 17, 2017 9:12:54 AM | 38
Speaking of Robert Parry , he wrote an article on Consortium that starts out with an interesting premise but then I get lost ... https://consortiumnews.com/2017/10/13/the-legacy-of-reagans-civilian-psyops/

It's the 1980's, the press doesn't trust the govt, Reagan co-ops NGO's to create an alternative feed to get the govt narrative out to the press that isn't tainted by untrusted govt sources. This makes sense but when did the MSM go from being the 1970's bulldogs who are skeptical of the govt narrative to becoming Stepford Wives who fiercely protect it? This is the part I am missing. It feels like there is more to the story.

Did the CIA take over all of the journalism schools? I am being facetious but quite frankly, it might as well have been.

If anyone has an opinion no this I'd appreciate it.

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38
Parry covers most of how it was done in this article
https://consortiumnews.com/2014/12/28/the-victory-of-perception-management/

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 17, 2017 9:59:01 AM | 39 Verify your Comment Previewing your Comment

[Oct 16, 2017] Who rules this Facebook

Notable quotes:
"... Among the advertisements included hundreds of irrelevant issues (even simple pictures with puppies), while 65% of the messages were uploaded after the US presidential elections, so, apparently, they would not had been able to influence the final result. So, the big news was not the content of the Ads, but the fact that Zuckerberg agreed to cooperate with the US authorities by offering information of Facebook users - a policy immediately followed by Google and Twitter. ..."
"... For many, the informal proclamation was an expression of "subjugation" to the US deep state, and especially to the reborn camp of neoconservatives, who, led by Hillary Clinton, have launched a new witch hunt against Moscow. For others, it was just a compromise move that proved that Zuckerberg can "swim" comfortably into the deep waters of the American political scene. ..."
Oct 16, 2017 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

The decision of the founder of Facebook to work with the US authorities on the hunting of Russian hackers is a turning point in the policy of the largest social medium on the planet. Perhaps it is the moment that officially enters the political arena.
globinfo freexchange
There are two things that have been commonplace for White House occupants for centuries: a long tour in all the American states before the elections and a proclamation to the American people after their election. Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, did both.
In the last year he visits all the American states, taking pictures with farmers, workers, priests and even addicted people in a personal "election campaign" without any opponents. And then, it was time to turn Urbi et Orbi to the two billion "believers" who keep active Facebook accounts.
The reason was that the known social medium allowed the publication of paid Ads by Russian users, supposedly aimed at influencing the outcome of the US elections. Although initially Facebook reported that it had not identified any suspicious action, when the pressures began to rise, Zuckerberg said in his "statement" that he would provide data to a congressional committee for about 3,000 related Ads posted on his pages. Of course, as the researcher and journalist Max Blumenthal explained, this "treasure" turned out to be coal too.
Among the advertisements included hundreds of irrelevant issues (even simple pictures with puppies), while 65% of the messages were uploaded after the US presidential elections, so, apparently, they would not had been able to influence the final result. So, the big news was not the content of the Ads, but the fact that Zuckerberg agreed to cooperate with the US authorities by offering information of Facebook users - a policy immediately followed by Google and Twitter.
For many, the informal proclamation was an expression of "subjugation" to the US deep state, and especially to the reborn camp of neoconservatives, who, led by Hillary Clinton, have launched a new witch hunt against Moscow. For others, it was just a compromise move that proved that Zuckerberg can "swim" comfortably into the deep waters of the American political scene.
In any case, the incident once again brought to light the terrifying power that Facebook has acquired in the already oligopolistic market of social media. "Facebook users could outnumber Christians before the end of the year" CNBC stated a few days ago - a peculiar way indeed to explain that soon one-third of the world's inhabitants will use Zuckerberg's platform at least once a month.
The case of the Russian Ads, however, has triggered an even more interesting debate. Most of those who criticized Zuckerberg's decision accused him of interfering in the operation of the algorithms that determine which news, Ads, and friend's messages will be viewed by each user on his "wall". This view, however, implies that algorithms consist a kind of objective (and mostly apolitical) mechanism.
In a sense, as writer Franklin Foer explained in his new book, "World Without Mind," the myth of the objective algorithm is the contemporary expression of a technocratic concept, first appeared in 18th century Europe by writers such as Henri de Saint-Simon.
Known as the Utopian precursor of "scientific socialism," Saint-Simon envisioned a society in which the interests of the corrupt old regime and the chaos that the power of "mob" might bring to the society, would give their place to a body of technocrats engineers who would regulate the functioning of society exclusively with scientific criteria. Instead of philosophers in politics, or, philosophical politicians, the new vision foresaw positions only for engineers.
The seemingly neutral algorithms of present era, Franklin Foer argues, come to replace the Utopia and the myth of the first technocrats. In fact, as he explains quite thoroughly, each algorithm hides enormous amounts of politics and political economy too, depending on the aspirations of its creators.
Perhaps the next US president will be elected by an algorithm - that of Mark Zuckerberg.
Article by Aris Chatzistefanou, translated from the original source:
http://info-war.gr/pios-kyverna-afto-to-facebook/

[Oct 15, 2017] The Carter Doctrine at 30 by Andrew J. Bacevich

Notable quotes:
"... each of Carter's successors has reinterpreted his eponymous doctrine, broadening its scope and using it to justify ever larger ambitions. The ultimate effect has been to militarize U.S. policy across various quarters of the Islamic world. ..."
"... The Carter Doctrine was intended to secure U.S. interests in a region of ostensibly great strategic importance. Those who have applied the Carter Doctrine have assumed that the presence of U.S. forces and the periodic application of American hard power serve to enhance regional stability. Yet the record of the past 30 years suggests just the opposite: The U. S. military presence and activities have served only to promote greater instability. Our exertions, undertaken at great cost to ourselves and others, are making things not better, but worse. ..."
Oct 15, 2017 | www.worldaffairsjournal.org

April 1, 2010 For most Americans, the 30th anniversary of the Carter Doctrine – promulgated by President Jimmy Carter during his January 1980 State of the Union Address – came and went without notice.

The oversight ranks as an unfortunate one. To an extent that few have fully appreciated, the Carter Doctrine has had a transformative impact on U.S. national security policy. Both massive and lasting, its impact has also been almost entirely pernicious. Put simply, the sequence of events that has landed the United States in the middle of an open-ended war to determine the fate of the Greater Middle East begins here.

The Carter Doctrine stands in relation to the ongoing Long War as the Truman Doctrine stood in relation to the Cold War.

In 1947, President Truman announced that it was "the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." Truman's immediate purpose was to persuade Congress to approve his request for security assistance to Greece and Turkey. Yet under Truman's successors, his doctrine morphed into something more than he probably envisioned or intended. Under the guise of resisting Communist mischief-making, the Truman Doctrine provided a rationale for U. S. intervention, covert and overt, around the world.

Carter's immediate aim in January 1980 was also limited. When he declared that "an attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States," to be "repelled by any means necessary," his primary purpose was to warn the Kremlin against entertaining any thoughts about asserting Soviet dominion over the world's energy heartland. Yet each of Carter's successors has reinterpreted his eponymous doctrine, broadening its scope and using it to justify ever larger ambitions. The ultimate effect has been to militarize U.S. policy across various quarters of the Islamic world.

Prior to January 1980, the Pentagon and the rest of the national security establishment had viewed the Middle East as a backwater. In terms of U. S. strategic priorities, that region of the world lagged well behind Europe and East Asia and probably behind Latin America, as well.

Jimmy Carter's announcement that the Persian Gulf constituted a vital U.S. national security interest changed all that. In short order, the aims implied by the Carter Doctrine expanded. Within a decade, the United States was not content to prevent outside powers from controlling the Gulf. It sought to claim for itself a dominant position in the region. Within two decades, the arena in which the United States sought that dominant role had expanded, eventually encompassing the entire Greater Middle East.

Directly or indirectly, the Carter Doctrine provided the rationale or justification for the following episodes involving the use of force by the United States:

  1. Afghanistan War I (1979-1989), the U.S.-led effort to punish the Soviet Union for occupying that country.
  2. The Beirut Bombing (1983), the name by which Americans choose to remember Ronald Reagan's intervention in Lebanon.
  3. The war against Khaddafi (1981-1988), a series of inconclusive skirmishes with the Libyan dictator, culminating in the destruction of Pan Am Flight 103.
  4. The Tanker War (1984-1988), waged by U. S. naval forces against Iran to maintain the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz.
  5. Iraq War I (1990-1991), the first U. S. armed confrontation with Saddam Hussein, commonly but erroneously thought to have ended with the liberation of Kuwait.
  6. The Somalia Intervention (1992-1993), abruptly terminated by the notorious Mogadishu firefight.
  7. Afghanistan War II (2001-2003), launched in the wake of 9/11, but left in abeyance by the Bush administration's decision to shift the weight of U.S. military efforts elsewhere.
  8. Iraq War II (2003), the resumption of large-scale hostilities against Saddam Hussein, leading to his overthrow, but inducing chaos.
  9. Iraq War III (2004-2010?), a war to pacify Iraq in the face of resistance by indigenous insurgents and Islamic radicals raised up by Iraq War II.
  10. Afghanistan War III (2009 --), the conflict that Bush's successor rediscovered, renewed, and expanded; given the deepening U.S. military involvement in Pakistan, this war might alternatively be called the AfPak War.

The Carter Doctrine was intended to secure U.S. interests in a region of ostensibly great strategic importance. Those who have applied the Carter Doctrine have assumed that the presence of U.S. forces and the periodic application of American hard power serve to enhance regional stability. Yet the record of the past 30 years suggests just the opposite: The U. S. military presence and activities have served only to promote greater instability. Our exertions, undertaken at great cost to ourselves and others, are making things not better, but worse.

[Oct 14, 2017] Install a Complete Mail Server with Postfix and Webmail in Debian 9

Oct 14, 2017 | www.tecmint.com

Install a Complete Mail Server with Postfix and Webmail in Debian 9

by Matei Cezar | Published: October 12, 2017 | Last Updated: October 10, 2017

This tutorial will guide you on how to install and configure a complete mail server with Postfix in Debian 9 release. It will also cover how to configure accounts mailboxes using Dovecot in order to retrieve and compose mails via IMAP protocol. The users will use Rainloop Webmail interface as the mail user agent to handle mail.

Requirements

◾Debian 9 Minimal Installation
◾A static IP address configured for the network interface
◾A local or a public registered domain name.

In this tutorial we'll use a private domain account for mail server setup configured via /etc/hosts file only, without any DNS server involved in handling DNS resolution.

Step 1: Initial Configurations for Postfix Mail Server on Debian

1. In the first step, login to your machine with an account with root privileges or directly with the root user and make sure your Debian system is up to date with the latest security patches and software and packages releases, by issuing the following command.
# apt-get update
# apt-get upgrade

2. On the next step install the following software packages that will be used for system administration, by issuing the following command.
# apt-get install curl net-tools bash-completion wget lsof nano

3. Next, open /etc/host.conf file for editing with your favorite text editor and add the following line at the beginning of the file in order for DNS resolution to read the hosts file first.
order hosts,bind
multi on

4. Next, setup your machine FQDN and add your domain name and your system FQDN to /etc/hosts file. Use your system IP address to resolve the name of the domain and FQDN as illustrated in the below screenshot.

Replace IP address and domain accordingly. Afterwards, reboot the machine in order to apply the hostname properly.
# hostnamectl set-hostname mail.tecmint.com
# echo "192.168.0.102 tecmint.com mail.tecmint.com" >> /etc/hosts
# init 6

Set Hostname in Debian

5. After reboot, verify if the hostname has been correctly configured by issuing the following series of commands. The domain name, the FQDN, the hostname and the IP address of the system should be returned by hostname command.
# hostname
# hostname -s
# hostname -f
# hostname -A
# hostname -i
# cat /etc/hostname

Check Hostname in Debian
Check Hostname in Debian

6. Also, test if the domain correctly replies to local queries by issuing the below commands. Be aware that the domain won't replay to remote queries issued by other systems in your network, because we're not using a DNS server.

However, the domain should reply from other systems if you manually add the domain name to each of their /etc/hosts file. Also, be aware that the DNS resolution for a domain added to /etc/hosts file won't work via host, nslookup or dig commands.
# getent ahosts mail.tecmint.com
# ping tecmint.com
# ping mail.tecmint.com

Query Domain DNS
Query Domain DNS

Step 2: Install Postfix Mail Server on Debian

7. The most important piece of software required for a mail server to function properly is the MTA agent. The MTA is a software built in a server-client architecture, which is responsible for mail transfer between mail servers.

In this guide we'll use Postfix as the mail transfer agent. To install postfix in Debian from official repositories execute the following command.
# apt-get install postfix

8. During the installation process of Postfix you will be asked a series of questions. On the first prompt, select Internet Site option as the general type for Postfix configuration and press [enter] key to continue and then add your domain name to system mail name, as illustrated in the following screenshots.

Postfix Mail Configuration
Postfix Mail Configuration

Configure Postfix Mail Domain
Configure Postfix Mail Domain

Step 3: Configure Postfix Mail Server on Debian

9. Next, backup Postfix main configuration file and configure Postfix for your domain by using the following commands.
# cp /etc/postfix/main.cf{,.backup}
# nano /etc/postfix/main.cf

Now configure Postfix configuration in the main.cf file as shown.
# See /usr/share/postfix/main.cf.dist for a commented, more complete version
smtpd_banner = $myhostname ESMTP
biff = no
# appending .domain is the MUA's job.
append_dot_mydomain = no
readme_directory = no
# See http://www.postfix.org/COMPATIBILITY_README.html -- default to 2 on
# fresh installs.
compatibility_level = 2
# TLS parameters
smtpd_tls_cert_file=/etc/ssl/certs/ssl-cert-snakeoil.pem
smtpd_tls_key_file=/etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-snakeoil.key
smtpd_use_tls=yes
smtpd_tls_session_cache_database = btree:${data_directory}/smtpd_scache
smtp_tls_session_cache_database = btree:${data_directory}/smtp_scache
# See /usr/share/doc/postfix/TLS_README.gz in the postfix-doc package for
# information on enabling SSL in the smtp client.
smtpd_relay_restrictions = permit_mynetworks permit_sasl_authenticated defer_unauth_destination
myhostname = mail.debian.lan
mydomain = debian.lan
alias_maps = hash:/etc/aliases
alias_database = hash:/etc/aliases
#myorigin = /etc/mailname
myorigin = $mydomain
mydestination = $myhostname, $mydomain, localhost.$mydomain, localhost
relayhost =
mynetworks = 127.0.0.0/8, 192.168.1.0/24
mailbox_size_limit = 0
recipient_delimiter = +
inet_interfaces = all
#inet_protocols = all
inet_protocols = ipv4
home_mailbox = Maildir/
# SMTP-Auth settings
smtpd_sasl_type = dovecot
smtpd_sasl_path = private/auth
smtpd_sasl_auth_enable = yes
smtpd_sasl_security_options = noanonymous
smtpd_sasl_local_domain = $myhostname
smtpd_recipient_restrictions = permit_mynetworks,permit_auth_destination,permit_sasl_authenticated,reject

Replace the myhostname, mydomain and mynetworks variables to match your own configurations.

You can run postconf -n command in order to dump Postfix main configuration file and check eventual errors, as shown in the below screenshot.
# postconf -n

Postfix Mail Configuration
Postfix Mail Configuration

10. After all configurations are in place, restart Postfix daemon to apply changes and verify if the service is running by inspecting if Postfix master service is binding on port 25 by running netstat command.
# systemctl restart postfix
# systemctl status postfix
# netstat -tlpn

Start and Verify Postfix
Start and Verify Postfix

Step 3: Test Postfix Mail Server on Debian

11. In order to test if postfix can handle mail transfer, first install mailutils package by running the following command.
# apt-get install mailutils

12. Next, using mail command line utility, send a mail to the root account and check if the mail was successfully transmitted by issuing the below command in order to check mail queue and listing the content of the root's home Maildir directory.
# echo "mail body"| mail -s "test mail" root
# mailq
# mail
# ls Maildir/
# ls Maildir/new/
# cat Maildir/new/[TAB]

Test Postfix by Sending Mail
Test Postfix by Sending Mail

13. You can also verify in what manner the mail was handled by postfix service by inspecting the content of the mail log file by issuing the following command.
# tailf /var/log/mail.log

Step 4: Install and Configure Dovecot IMAP on Debian

14. The mail delivery agent that we'll be using in this guide to deliver e-mail messages to a local recipient's mailboxes is Dovecot IMAP. IMAP is a protocol which runs on 143 and 993 (SSL) ports, which is responsible reading, deleting or moving mails across multiple email clients.

The IMAP protocol also uses synchronization in order to assure that a copy of each message is saved on the server and allows users to create multiple directories on the server and move mails to this directories in order to sort the e-mails.

This is not the case with POP3 protocol. POP3 protocol won't allow users to create multiple directories on the server to sort your mail. You only have the inbox folder to manage mail.

To install Dovecot core server and Dovecot IMAP package on Debian execute the following command.
# apt install dovecot-core dovecot-imapd

15. After Dovecot has been installed in your system, open the below dovecot files for editing and make the following changes. First, open /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf file, search and uncomment the following line:
listen = *, ::

Configure Dovecot Connection
Configure Dovecot Connection

16. Next, open /etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-auth.conf for editing and locate and change the below lines to look like in the below excerpt.
disable_plaintext_auth = no
auth_mechanisms = plain login

17. Open /etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-mail.conf file and add the following line to use Maildir location instead of Mbox format to store emails.
mail_location = maildir:~/Maildir

Configure Postfix Maildir
Configure Postfix Maildir

18. The last file to edit is /etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-master.conf. Here search for Postfix smtp-auth block and make the following change:
# Postfix smtp-auth
unix_listener /var/spool/postfix/private/auth {
mode = 0666
user = postfix
group = postfix
}

Configure Postfix SMTP Auth
Configure Postfix SMTP Auth

19. After you've made all the above changes, restart Dovecot daemon to reflect changes, check its status and verify if Dovecot is binding on port 143, by issuing the below commands.
# systemctl restart dovecot.service
# systemctl status dovecot.service
# netstat -tlpn

Start and Verify Dovecot
Start and Verify Dovecot

20. Test if the mail server is running properly by adding a new user account to the system and use telnet or netcat command to connect to the SMTP server and send a new mail to the new added user, as illustrated in the below excerpts.
# adduser matie
# nc localhost 25
# ehlo localhost
mail from: root
rcpt to: matie
data
subject: test
Mail body
.
quit

Test Postfix SMTP
Test Postfix SMTP

21. Check if the mail has arrived to the new user mailbox by listing the content of user's home directory as shown in the below screenshot.
# ls /home/test_mail/Maildir/new/

Verify User Mail
Verify User Mail

22. Also, you can connect to user's mailbox from command line via IMAP protocol, as shown in the below excerpt. The new mail should be listed in user's Inbox.
# nc localhost 143
x1 LOGIN matie user_password
x2 LIST "" "*"
x3 SELECT Inbox
x4 LOGOUT

Step 5: Install and Configure Webmail in Debian

23. Users will manage their emails via Rainloop Webmail client. Before installing Rainloop mail user agent, first install Apache HTTP server and the following PHP modules required by Rainloop, by issuing the following command.
# apt install apache2 php7.0 libapache2-mod-php7.0 php7.0-curl php7.0-xml

24. After Apache web server has been installed, change directory path to /var/www/html/ directory, remove the index.html file and issue the following command in order to install Rainloop Webmail.
# cd /var/www/html/
# rm index.html
# curl -sL https://repository.rainloop.net/installer.php | php

25. After Rainloop Webmail client has been installed in the system, navigate to your domain IP address and login to Rainloop admin web interface with the following default credentials:
http://192.168.0.102/?admin
User: admin
Password: 12345

Postfix Webmail Login
Postfix Webmail Login

26. Navigate to Domains menu, hit on Add Domain button and add your domain name settings as shown in the below screenshot.

Add Domain in Webmail
Add Domain in Webmail

27. After you've finished adding your domain settings, log out from Ranloop admin interface and point the browser to your IP address in order to log in to webmail client with an e-mail account.

After you've successfully logged in to Rainloop webmail you should see the email sent earlier from command line into your Inbox folder.
http://192.168.0.102
User: matie@tecmint.com
Pass: the matie password

Postfix Webmail User Login
Postfix Webmail User Login

Postfix Webmail User Inbox
Postfix Webmail User Inbox

27. To add a new user issue useradd command with -m flag in order to create the user home directory. But, first make sure you configure the Maildir path variable for every user with the following command.
# echo 'export MAIL=$HOME/Maildir' >> /etc/profile
# useradd -m user3
# passwd user3

28. If you want to redirect all root's email to a specific local mail account from the system, run the below commands. All mails redirected or destined to root account will be forwarded to your mail user as shown in the below image.
# echo "root: test_mail" >> /etc/aliases
# newaliases

That's all! You have successfully installed and configured a mail server at your premises in order for local users to communicate via e-mails. However, this type of mail configuration is not secured in any way and it's advisable to be deployed only for small setups in systems and networks under your full control.

[Oct 14, 2017] The Deep State's Bogus 'Iranian Threat' by David Stockman

Notable quotes:
"... The real answer, however, is both simple and consequential. To wit, the entire prosperity and modus operandi of the Imperial City is based on a panoply of "threats" that are vastly exaggerated or even purely invented; they retain their currency by virtue of endless repetition in the groupthink that passes for analysis. We'd actually put it in the category of cocktail party chatter. ..."
"... The truth is, the US defense budget is hideously oversized for a reason so obvious that it constitutes the ultimate elephant in the room. No matter how you slice it, there just are no real big industrialized, high tech countries in the world which can threaten the American homeland or even have the slightest intention of doing so. ..."
"... That gets us to the bogus Iranian threat. It originated in the early 1990s when the neocon's in the George HW Bush Administration realized that with the cold war's end, the Warfare State was in grave danger of massive demobilization like the US had done after every war until 1945. ..."
"... So among many other invented two-bit threats, the Iranian regime was demonized in order to keep the Imperial City in thrall to its purported national security threat and in support of the vast global armada of military forces, bases and occupations needed to contain it (including the Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf and US bases throughout the region). ..."
"... Likewise, what the Imperial City claims to be state sponsored terror is actually nothing more than Iran's foreign policy – something that every sovereign state on the planet is permitted to have. ..."
"... Thus, as the leader of the minority Shiite schism of the Islamic world, Iran has made political and confessional alliances with various Shiite regimes in the region. These include the one that Washington actually installed in Baghdad; the Alawite/Shiite regime in Syria; the largest political party and representative of 40 percent of the population in Lebanon (Hezbollah); and the Houthi/Shiite of Yemen, who historically occupied the northern parts of the country and are now under savage attack by American weapons supplied to Saudi Arabia. ..."
"... In the case of both Syria and Iraq, their respective governments invited Iranian help, which is also their prerogative as sovereign nations. Ironically, it was the Shiite Crescent alliance of Iran/Assad/Hezbollah that bears much of the credit for defeating ISIS on the ground in Mosul, Aleppo, Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor and elsewhere in the now largely defunct Islamic State. ..."
Oct 14, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

... ... ...

He was right. Russia today is a shadow of what Ronald Reagan called the Evil Empire. Its GDP of $1.3 trillion is smaller than that of the New York metro area ($1.6 trillion) and only 7 percent of total US GDP.

Moreover, unlike the militarized Soviet economy which devoted upwards of 40 percent of output to defense, the current Russian defense budget of $60 billion is just 4.5 percent of its vastly shrunken GDP.

So how in the world did the national security apparatus convince the Donald that we need the $700 billion defense program for FY 2018 – 12X bigger than Russia's – that he just signed into law?

What we mean, of course, is how do you explain that – beyond the fact that the Donald knows virtually nothing about national security policy and history; and, to boot, is surrounded by generals who have spent a lifetime scouring the earth for enemies and threats to repel and reasons for more weapons and bigger forces.

The real answer, however, is both simple and consequential. To wit, the entire prosperity and modus operandi of the Imperial City is based on a panoply of "threats" that are vastly exaggerated or even purely invented; they retain their currency by virtue of endless repetition in the groupthink that passes for analysis. We'd actually put it in the category of cocktail party chatter.

... ... ...

The truth is, the US defense budget is hideously oversized for a reason so obvious that it constitutes the ultimate elephant in the room. No matter how you slice it, there just are no real big industrialized, high tech countries in the world which can threaten the American homeland or even have the slightest intention of doing so.

Indeed, to continue with our historical benchmarks, the American homeland has not been so immune to foreign military threat since WW II. Yet during all those years of true peril, it never spent close too the Donald's $700 billion boondoggle.

For instance, during the height of LBJs Vietnam folly (1968) defense spending in today's dollars was about $400 billion. And even at the top of Reagan's utterly unnecessary military building up (by the 1980s the Soviet Union was collapsing under the weight of its own socialist dystopia), total US defense spending was just $550 billion.

That gets us to the bogus Iranian threat. It originated in the early 1990s when the neocon's in the George HW Bush Administration realized that with the cold war's end, the Warfare State was in grave danger of massive demobilization like the US had done after every war until 1945.

So among many other invented two-bit threats, the Iranian regime was demonized in order to keep the Imperial City in thrall to its purported national security threat and in support of the vast global armada of military forces, bases and occupations needed to contain it (including the Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf and US bases throughout the region).

The truth, however, is that according to the 2008 NIE ( National Intelligence Estimates) of the nation's 17 intelligence agency, the Iranian's never had a serious nuclear weapons program, and the small research effort that they did have was disbanded by orders of the Ayatollah Khamenei in 2003.

Likewise, what the Imperial City claims to be state sponsored terror is actually nothing more than Iran's foreign policy – something that every sovereign state on the planet is permitted to have.

Thus, as the leader of the minority Shiite schism of the Islamic world, Iran has made political and confessional alliances with various Shiite regimes in the region. These include the one that Washington actually installed in Baghdad; the Alawite/Shiite regime in Syria; the largest political party and representative of 40 percent of the population in Lebanon (Hezbollah); and the Houthi/Shiite of Yemen, who historically occupied the northern parts of the country and are now under savage attack by American weapons supplied to Saudi Arabia.

In the case of both Syria and Iraq, their respective governments invited Iranian help, which is also their prerogative as sovereign nations. Ironically, it was the Shiite Crescent alliance of Iran/Assad/Hezbollah that bears much of the credit for defeating ISIS on the ground in Mosul, Aleppo, Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor and elsewhere in the now largely defunct Islamic State.

In tomorrow's installment we will address the details of the Iran nuke agreement and why the Donald is making a horrible mistake in proposing to decertify it. But there should be no doubt about the consequence: It will reinforce the neocon dominance of the Republican party and insure that the nation's $1 trillion Warfare State remains fully entrenched.

Needless to say, that will also insure that the America's gathering fiscal crisis will turn into an outright Fiscal Calamity in the years just ahead.

David Stockman has agreed to send every Antiwar.com reader a free copy of his newest book, Trumped! when you take his special Contra Corner offer. Click here now for the details.

David Stockman was a two-term Congressman from Michigan. He was also the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street. He's the author of three books, The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed , The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America and TRUMPED! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin And How to Bring It Back . He also is founder of David Stockman's Contra Corner and David Stockman's Bubble Finance Trader .

Read more by David Stockman

[Oct 11, 2017] Antifa in Theory and in Practice

Notable quotes:
"... Antifa: the Antifascist Handbook ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... La France Insoumise ..."
"... Le Monde diplomatique ..."
"... La France Insoumise ..."
"... Union Populaire Républicaine ..."
"... The Intifa Handbook ..."
Oct 11, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

Photo by jcrakow | CC BY 2.0

" Fascists are divided into two categories: the fascists and the anti-fascists ."

– Ennio Flaiano, Italian writer and co-author of Federico Fellini's greatest film scripts.

In recent weeks, a totally disoriented left has been widely exhorted to unify around a masked vanguard calling itself Antifa, for anti-fascist. Hooded and dressed in black, Antifa is essentially a variation of the Black Bloc, familiar for introducing violence into peaceful demonstrations in many countries. Imported from Europe, the label Antifa sounds more political. It also serves the purpose of stigmatizing those it attacks as "fascists".

Despite its imported European name, Antifa is basically just another example of America's steady descent into violence.

Historical Pretensions

Antifa first came to prominence from its role in reversing Berkeley's proud "free speech" tradition by preventing right wing personalities from speaking there. But its moment of glory was its clash with rightwingers in Charlottesville on August 12, largely because Trump commented that there were "good people on both sides". With exuberant Schadenfreude, commentators grabbed the opportunity to condemn the despised President for his "moral equivalence", thereby bestowing a moral blessing on Antifa.

Charlottesville served as a successful book launching for Antifa: the Antifascist Handbook , whose author, young academic Mark Bray, is an Antifa in both theory and practice. The book is "really taking off very fast", rejoiced the publisher, Melville House. It instantly won acclaim from leading mainstream media such as the New York Times , The Guardian and NBC, not hitherto known for rushing to review leftwing books, least of all those by revolutionary anarchists.

The Washington Post welcomed Bray as spokesman for "insurgent activist movements" and observed that: "The book's most enlightening contribution is on the history of anti-fascist efforts over the past century, but its most relevant for today is its justification for stifling speech and clobbering white supremacists."

Bray's "enlightening contribution" is to a tell a flattering version of the Antifa story to a generation whose dualistic, Holocaust-centered view of history has largely deprived them of both the factual and the analytical tools to judge multidimensional events such as the growth of fascism. Bray presents today's Antifa as though it were the glorious legitimate heir to every noble cause since abolitionism. But there were no anti-fascists before fascism, and the label "Antifa" by no means applies to all the many adversaries of fascism.

The implicit claim to carry on the tradition of the International Brigades who fought in Spain against Franco is nothing other than a form of innocence by association. Since we must revere the heroes of the Spanish Civil War, some of that esteem is supposed to rub off on their self-designated heirs. Unfortunately, there are no veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade still alive to point to the difference between a vast organized defense against invading fascist armies and skirmishes on the Berkeley campus. As for the Anarchists of Catalonia, the patent on anarchism ran out a long time ago, and anyone is free to market his own generic.

The original Antifascist movement was an effort by the Communist International to cease hostilities with Europe's Socialist Parties in order to build a common front against the triumphant movements led by Mussolini and Hitler.

Since Fascism thrived, and Antifa was never a serious adversary, its apologists thrive on the "nipped in the bud" claim: "if only" Antifascists had beat up the fascist movements early enough, the latter would have been nipped in the bud. Since reason and debate failed to stop the rise of fascism, they argue, we must use street violence – which, by the way, failed even more decisively.

This is totally ahistorical. Fascism exalted violence, and violence was its preferred testing ground. Both Communists and Fascists were fighting in the streets and the atmosphere of violence helped fascism thrive as a bulwark against Bolshevism, gaining the crucial support of leading capitalists and militarists in their countries, which brought them to power.

Since historic fascism no longer exists, Bray's Antifa have broadened their notion of "fascism" to include anything that violates the current Identity Politics canon: from "patriarchy" (a pre-fascist attitude to put it mildly) to "transphobia" (decidedly a post-fascist problem).

The masked militants of Antifa seem to be more inspired by Batman than by Marx or even by Bakunin.

Storm Troopers of the Neoliberal War Party

Since Mark Bray offers European credentials for current U.S. Antifa, it is appropriate to observe what Antifa amounts to in Europe today.

In Europe, the tendency takes two forms. Black Bloc activists regularly invade various leftist demonstrations in order to smash windows and fight the police. These testosterone exhibits are of minor political significance, other than provoking public calls to strengthen police forces. They are widely suspected of being influenced by police infiltration.

As an example, last September 23, several dozen black-clad masked ruffians, tearing down posters and throwing stones, attempted to storm the platform where the flamboyant Jean-Luc Mélenchon was to address the mass meeting of La France Insoumise , today the leading leftist party in France. Their unspoken message seemed to be that nobody is revolutionary enough for them. Occasionally, they do actually spot a random skinhead to beat up. This establishes their credentials as "anti-fascist".

They use these credentials to arrogate to themselves the right to slander others in a sort of informal self-appointed inquisition.

As prime example, in late 2010, a young woman named Ornella Guyet appeared in Paris seeking work as a journalist in various leftist periodicals and blogs. She "tried to infiltrate everywhere", according to the former director of Le Monde diplomatique , Maurice Lemoine, who "always intuitively distrusted her" when he hired her as an intern.

Viktor Dedaj, who manages one of the main leftist sites in France, Le Grand Soir , was among those who tried to help her, only to experience an unpleasant surprise a few months later. Ornella had become a self-appointed inquisitor dedicated to denouncing "conspirationism, confusionism, anti-Semitism and red-brown" on Internet. This took the form of personal attacks on individuals whom she judged to be guilty of those sins. What is significant is that all her targets were opposed to U.S. and NATO aggressive wars in the Middle East.

Indeed, the timing of her crusade coincided with the "regime change" wars that destroyed Libya and tore apart Syria. The attacks singled out leading critics of those wars.

Viktor Dedaj was on her hit list. So was Michel Collon, close to the Belgian Workers Party, author, activist and manager of the bilingual site Investig'action. So was François Ruffin, film-maker, editor of the leftist journal Fakir elected recently to the National Assembly on the list of Mélenchon's party La France Insoumise . And so on. The list is long.

The targeted personalities are diverse, but all have one thing in common: opposition to aggressive wars. What's more, so far as I can tell, just about everyone opposed to those wars is on her list.

The main technique is guilt by association. High on the list of mortal sins is criticism of the European Union, which is associated with "nationalism" which is associated with "fascism" which is associated with "anti-Semitism", hinting at a penchant for genocide. This coincides perfectly with the official policy of the EU and EU governments, but Antifa uses much harsher language.

In mid-June 2011, the anti-EU party Union Populaire Républicaine led by François Asselineau was the object of slanderous insinuations on Antifa internet sites signed by "Marie-Anne Boutoleau" (a pseudonym for Ornella Guyet). Fearing violence, owners cancelled scheduled UPR meeting places in Lyon. UPR did a little investigation, discovering that Ornella Guyet was on the speakers list at a March 2009 Seminar on International Media organized in Paris by the Center for the Study of International Communications and the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. A surprising association for such a zealous crusader against "red-brown".

In case anyone has doubts, "red-brown" is a term used to smear anyone with generally leftist views – that is, "red" – with the fascist color "brown". This smear can be based on having the same opinion as someone on the right, speaking on the same platform with someone on the right, being published alongside someone on the right, being seen at an anti-war demonstration also attended by someone on the right, and so on. This is particularly useful for the War Party, since these days, many conservatives are more opposed to war than leftists who have bought into the "humanitarian war" mantra.

The government doesn't need to repress anti-war gatherings. Antifa does the job.

The Franco-African comedien Dieudonné M'Bala M'Bala, stigmatized for anti-Semitism since 2002 for his tv sketch lampooning an Israeli settler as part of George W. Bush's "Axis of Good", is not only a target, but serves as a guilty association for anyone who defends his right to free speech – such as Belgian professor Jean Bricmont, virtually blacklisted in France for trying to get in a word in favor of free speech during a TV talk show. Dieudonné has been banned from the media, sued and fined countless times, even sentenced to jail in Belgium, but continues to enjoy a full house of enthusiastic supporters at his one-man shows, where the main political message is opposition to war.

Still, accusations of being soft on Dieudonné can have serious effects on individuals in more precarious positions, since the mere hint of "anti-Semitism" can be a career killer in France. Invitations are cancelled, publications refused, messages go unanswered.

In April 2016, Ornella Guyet dropped out of sight, amid strong suspicions about her own peculiar associations.

The moral of this story is simple. Self-appointed radical revolutionaries can be the most useful thought police for the neoliberal war party.

I am not suggesting that all, or most, Antifa are agents of the establishment. But they can be manipulated, infiltrated or impersonated precisely because they are self-anointed and usually more or less disguised.

Silencing Necessary Debate

One who is certainly sincere is Mark Bray, author of The Intifa Handbook . It is clear where Mark Bray is coming from when he writes (p.36-7): " Hitler's 'final solution' murdered six million Jews in gas chambers, with firing squads, through hunger an lack of medical treatment in squalid camps and ghettoes, with beatings, by working them to death, and through suicidal despair. Approximately two out of every three Jews on the continent were killed, including some of my relatives."

This personal history explains why Mark Bray feels passionately about "fascism". This is perfectly understandable in one who is haunted by fear that "it can happen again".

However, even the most justifiable emotional concerns do not necessarily contribute to wise counsel. Violent reactions to fear may seem to be strong and effective when in reality they are morally weak and practically ineffectual.

We are in a period of great political confusion. Labeling every manifestation of "political incorrectness" as fascism impedes clarification of debate over issues that very much need to be defined and clarified.

The scarcity of fascists has been compensated by identifying criticism of immigration as fascism. This identification, in connection with rejection of national borders, derives much of its emotional force above all from the ancestral fear in the Jewish community of being excluded from the nations in which they find themselves.

The issue of immigration has different aspects in different places. It is not the same in European countries as in the United States. There is a basic distinction between immigrants and immigration. Immigrants are people who deserve consideration. Immigration is a policy that needs to be evaluated. It should be possible to discuss the policy without being accused of persecuting the people. After all, trade union leaders have traditionally opposed mass immigration, not out of racism, but because it can be a deliberate capitalist strategy to bring down wages.

In reality, immigration is a complex subject, with many aspects that can lead to reasonable compromise. But to polarize the issue misses the chances for compromise. By making mass immigration the litmus test of whether or not one is fascist, Antifa intimidation impedes reasonable discussion. Without discussion, without readiness to listen to all viewpoints, the issue will simply divide the population into two camps, for and against. And who will win such a confrontation?

A recent survey* shows that mass immigration is increasingly unpopular in all European countries. The complexity of the issue is shown by the fact that in the vast majority of European countries, most people believe they have a duty to welcome refugees, but disapprove of continued mass immigration. The official argument that immigration is a good thing is accepted by only 40%, compared to 60% of all Europeans who believe that "immigration is bad for our country". A left whose principal cause is open borders will become increasingly unpopular.

Childish Violence

The idea that the way to shut someone up is to punch him in the jaw is as American as Hollywood movies. It is also typical of the gang war that prevails in certain parts of Los Angeles. Banding together with others "like us" to fight against gangs of "them" for control of turf is characteristic of young men in uncertain circumstances. The search for a cause can involve endowing such conduct with a political purpose: either fascist or antifascist. For disoriented youth, this is an alternative to joining the U.S. Marines.

American Antifa looks very much like a middle class wedding between Identity Politics and gang warfare. Mark Bray (page 175) quotes his DC Antifa source as implying that the motive of would-be fascists is to side with "the most powerful kid in the block" and will retreat if scared. Our gang is tougher than your gang.

That is also the logic of U.S. imperialism, which habitually declares of its chosen enemies: "All they understand is force." Although Antifa claim to be radical revolutionaries, their mindset is perfectly typical the atmosphere of violence which prevails in militarized America.

In another vein, Antifa follows the trend of current Identity Politics excesses that are squelching free speech in what should be its citadel, academia. Words are considered so dangerous that "safe spaces" must be established to protect people from them. This extreme vulnerability to injury from words is strangely linked to tolerance of real physical violence.

Wild Goose Chase

In the United States, the worst thing about Antifa is the effort to lead the disoriented American left into a wild goose chase, tracking down imaginary "fascists" instead of getting together openly to work out a coherent positive program. The United States has more than its share of weird individuals, of gratuitous aggression, of crazy ideas, and tracking down these marginal characters, whether alone or in groups, is a huge distraction. The truly dangerous people in the United States are safely ensconced in Wall Street, in Washington Think Tanks, in the executive suites of the sprawling military industry, not to mention the editorial offices of some of the mainstream media currently adopting a benevolent attitude toward "anti-fascists" simply because they are useful in focusing on the maverick Trump instead of themselves.

Antifa USA, by defining "resistance to fascism" as resistance to lost causes – the Confederacy, white supremacists and for that matter Donald Trump – is actually distracting from resistance to the ruling neoliberal establishment, which is also opposed to the Confederacy and white supremacists and has already largely managed to capture Trump by its implacable campaign of denigration. That ruling establishment, which in its insatiable foreign wars and introduction of police state methods, has successfully used popular "resistance to Trump" to make him even worse than he already was.

The facile use of the term "fascist" gets in the way of thoughtful identification and definition of the real enemy of humanity today. In the contemporary chaos, the greatest and most dangerous upheavals in the world all stem from the same source, which is hard to name, but which we might give the provisional simplified label of Globalized Imperialism. This amounts to a multifaceted project to reshape the world to satisfy the demands of financial capitalism, the military industrial complex, United States ideological vanity and the megalomania of leaders of lesser "Western" powers, notably Israel. It could be called simply "imperialism", except that it is much vaster and more destructive than the historic imperialism of previous centuries. It is also much more disguised. And since it bears no clear label such as "fascism", it is difficult to denounce in simple terms.

The fixation on preventing a form of tyranny that arose over 80 years ago, under very different circumstances, obstructs recognition of the monstrous tyranny of today. Fighting the previous war leads to defeat.

Donald Trump is an outsider who will not be let inside. The election of Donald Trump is above all a grave symptom of the decadence of the American political system, totally ruled by money, lobbies, the military-industrial complex and corporate media. Their lies are undermining the very basis of democracy. Antifa has gone on the offensive against the one weapon still in the hands of the people: the right to free speech and assembly.

Notes.

* "Où va la démocratie?", une enquête de la Fondation pour l'innovation politique sous la direction de Dominique Reynié, (Plon, Paris, 2017).

[Oct 11, 2017] Spy Spin Fuels Anti-Kaspersky Campaign

Indiscriminate spying is a costly and not very efficient operation. The problem of drinking form a fire hose arise. So a lot of money spend by US, GB and other countries on installation of such software are wasted. If the user of such computers uses steganography this does not even allow to detect the targeted activities.
It in not that elimination of Kaspersky software from the US market (due to current anti-Russia witch hunt) is a big loss. The efficiency of AV program against new threats was always problematic. But this hysteria points to a larger problem: threat from regular hackers to your data, especially financial data and access to financial sites. I would say that the person who does not use two separate computers for browsing and for his financial and other confidential operations and data is reckless indeed. Now anybody with important financial data can afford two laptops. A good used, enterprise class, Dell laptop is around $400.
In Windows each antivirus is simultaneously a backdoor. That's given. So usage by the US government agencies of foreign AV software was an oversight; and the US government is doing the right thing to prohibit such usage. Similarly it would be highly irresponsible for, say Russian government, to use MacAfee software on government computers. Even with large transnational companies there are some tricky problems about which AV software to use. And that was the problem already understood long ago, say in 1996.
For governments any large AV company represents tremendous asset as for surveillance. Also intelligence community probably has close understanding of signature updaters and their vulnerabilities and probably have agents in each of major AV company. And for government AV signature updates are the best way to install malware on your computer. And much simpler then hijacking OS updates.
So it is only natural that AV companies are primary target of intelligence agencies. I remember being very surprised the McAfee was bought by Intel. Now I know why ;-). In the past some mass deployed AV companies software (Symantec) as well as Google software (Google bar) were spyware even without intelligence agencies interference. In a way they were pioneers of mass surveillance.
In no way linux is a panacea. This is another monstrously complex OS with multiple backdoors, especially on application level (Apache is one recent example). But it will be much less attacked by non-government hackers. This is true. Security via obscurity does work. Still if you need security against exfiltration of your data MS DOS and Windows 3.1 are also useful option (any non-networked computer actually would work; you can exchange data via parallel port too. for example Total Commander has such an option ).
Notable quotes:
"... The British spy agency regarded the Kaspersky software in particular as a hindrance to its hacking operations and sought a way to neutralize it. ..."
"... An NSA slide describing "Project CAMBERDADA" lists at least 23 antivirus and security firms that were in that spy agency's sights . They include the Finnish antivirus firm F-Secure, the Slovakian firm Eset, Avast software from the Czech Republic. and Bit-Defender from Romania. Notably missing from the list are the American anti-virus firms Symantec and McAfee as well as the UK-based firm Sophos ..."
"... That the NSA and the British GCHQ did not list U.S. and British made anti-virus products on their "to do" list lets one assume that these packages can already be controlled by them. ..."
"... The Kaspersky anti-virus software, which the NSA employee had installed, identified parts of these tools as malware and uploaded them for analysis to the Kapersky's central detection database. The Kaspersky software behaved exactly as it should . Any other anti-virus software behaves similar if it detects a possibly new virus. ..."
"... The only person in the tale who did something illegal was the NSA employee. The case also demonstrates that the NSA continues to have a massive insider security problem. There is no hint in the story to any evidence for its core claim of "Russian hackers". ..."
"... Meanwhile its a well reported established fact that american virus/antimalware corps have allowed the FBI and other agencies to compromize their software with silent signatures - as with Magic Lantern for example (and imagine how far its gone since then) ..."
"... In the network security world there is this concept of a honeypot where you entice/allow the world to attack/invade your honeypot so you can study the tools they use and insure the trail back to them is useful. ..."
Oct 11, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
... ... ...

U.S. and British spies systematically target all anti-virus products and companies :

The British spy agency regarded the Kaspersky software in particular as a hindrance to its hacking operations and sought a way to neutralize it.
...
An NSA slide describing "Project CAMBERDADA" lists at least 23 antivirus and security firms that were in that spy agency's sights . They include the Finnish antivirus firm F-Secure, the Slovakian firm Eset, Avast software from the Czech Republic. and Bit-Defender from Romania. Notably missing from the list are the American anti-virus firms Symantec and McAfee as well as the UK-based firm Sophos

That the NSA and the British GCHQ did not list U.S. and British made anti-virus products on their "to do" list lets one assume that these packages can already be controlled by them.

In February 2015 Kaspersky announced that it found U.S. and UK government spying and sabotage software infecting computers in various foreign countries. Later that year the CIA and FBI tried to recruit Kaspersky employees but were warned off. In June 2015 Kaspersky Lab detected a breach in its own systems by an Israeli government malware. It published an extensive autopsy of the breach and the malware programs used in it.

That the U.S. government now attempts to damage Kaspersky is likely a sign that Kaspersky products continue to be a hard-target that the NSA and GCHQ find difficult to breach.

To justify the campaign against Kaspersky, which began in May, U.S. officials recently started to provide a series of cover stories. A diligent reading of these stories reveals inconsistencies and a lack of logic. On October 5 the Wall Street Journal reported: Russian Hackers Stole NSA Data on U.S. Cyber Defense :

Hackers working for the Russian government stole details of how the U.S. penetrates foreign computer networks and defends against cyberattacks after a National Security Agency contractor removed the highly classified material and put it on his home computer, according to multiple people with knowledge of the matter.

The hackers appear to have targeted the contractor after identifying the files through the contractor's use of a popular antivirus software made by Russia-based Kaspersky Lab, these people said.

A NSA employee copied code of top-secret NSA spy tools and put it on his private computer. ("It's just that he was trying to complete the mission, and he needed the tools to do it." said 'one person familiar with the case' to WaPo.)

The Kaspersky anti-virus software, which the NSA employee had installed, identified parts of these tools as malware and uploaded them for analysis to the Kapersky's central detection database. The Kaspersky software behaved exactly as it should . Any other anti-virus software behaves similar if it detects a possibly new virus.

The "multiple people with knowledge of the matter" talking to the WSJ seem to allege that this was a "Russian hacker" breach of NSA code. But nothing was hacked. If the story is correct, the Kaspersky tool was legally installed and worked as it should. The only person in the tale who did something illegal was the NSA employee. The case also demonstrates that the NSA continues to have a massive insider security problem. There is no hint in the story to any evidence for its core claim of "Russian hackers".

... ... ...

Further down the WSJ story says :
The incident occurred in 2015 but wasn't discovered until spring of last year , said the people familiar with the matter."

The stolen material included details about how the NSA penetrates foreign computer networks, the computer code it uses for such spying and how it defends networks inside the U.S., these people said.

If the last sentence is true the employee must have had top access to multiple NSA programs.

A new story in the New York Times today builds on the WSJ tale above. It makes the claims therein even more suspicious. The headline - How Israel Caught Russian Hackers Scouring the World for U.S. Secrets :

It was a case of spies watching spies watching spies: Israeli intelligence officers looked on in real time as Russian government hackers searched computers around the world for the code names of American intelligence programs.

What gave the Russian hacking, detected more than two years ago , such global reach was its improvised search tool -- antivirus software made by a Russian company, Kaspersky Lab, ...

The Israeli officials who had hacked into Kaspersky's own network alerted the United States to the broad Russian intrusion, which has not been previously reported, leading to a decision just last month to order Kaspersky software removed from government computers.

The Russian operation, described by multiple people who have been briefed on the matter, is known to have stolen classified documents from a National Security Agency employee who had improperly stored them on his home computer.

The Washington Post version of the story is remarkable different. Unlike the NYT it does not claim any Russian government involvement in Kaspersky systems:

In 2015, Israeli government hackers saw something suspicious in the computers of a Moscow-based cybersecurity firm : hacking tools that could only have come from the National Security Agency.

Israel notified the NSA, where alarmed officials immediately began a hunt for the breach, according to people familiar with the matter, who said an investigation by the agency revealed that the tools were in the possession of the Russian government

Israeli spies had found the hacking material on the network of Kaspersky Lab ...

While the NYT asserts that the Russian government had access to the Kaspersky systems, the Washington Post does not assert that at all.

The NYT claims that the Israelis alerted the NSA of Russian government knowledge of its tools while WaPo says that it was the NSA itself that found this out. That Israel alerts the NSA when it has its hands on a valuable source that reveals NSA tools is not believable. There is no love lost between Israeli and U.S. spy agencies. They spy on each other whenever they can with even deadly consequences .

The NYT story is based on "current and former government officials", not on the usual " U.S. officials". It might well be that Israeli spies are spinning the NYT tale.

We already knew that the Israeli government had in 2015 breached some Kaspersky systems. Kaspersky Lab itself alarmed the public about it and provided an extensive forensic report.

There are several important questions that the above quote stories do not ask:

If the Israelis detected NSA malware in the hand of the Russian government "more than two years ago" (NYT) how come that the NSA hole was only found in 2016 (WSJ)? Did the Israelis use their claimed knowledge for a year without alarming their "allies" at the NSA? Why?

And why would the detection of alleged Russian government intrusion into Kaspersky products lead to a ban of these products only in fall 2017?

If the story were true the NSA should have reacted immediately. All Kaspersky products should have been banned from U.S. government systems as soon as the problem was known. The NSA allowed the Russian government, for more than a year, to sniff through all systems of the more than two dozen American government agencies (including the military) which use the Kaspersky products? That does not make sense.

These recently provided stories stink. There is no evidence provided for the assertions therein. They make the false claim that the NSA employees computer was "hacked". Their timelines make no sense. If not complete fantasies they are likely to be heavily spun to achieve a specific goal: to justify the banning of Kaspersky products from U.S. markets.

I regard these stories as part of "blame Russia" campaign that is used by the military-industrial complex to justify new defense spending. They may also be useful in removing a good security product that the NSA failed to breach from the "western" markets.

Oilman2 | Oct 11, 2017 10:29:02 AM | 10

Computers are dirt cheap these days. My first Mac cost me $3000 and the first clone PC I built cost me $1500. Today, I can buy a super-duper-anti-pooper PC device for $500. Hell folks, that is cheaper than an Iphone...

Use one computer for your critical work that has no internet connection, or use an old PC that has no network card. The OS may be uncool by today's standards, but the dang business software has hardly changed - just gotten more bloated with features.

Have one computer for exposure to wild viruses and all that crap, and another you can rely on. Move files one-way using cheap, new memory sticks.

My old PC runs the last version of Windows NT - and never crashes or locks up. It uses MS Office from that period, and the files are still readable by newer products.

My outward looking computer is either a Mac or a Linux box. I only transfer sensitive files one-way - from isolated to unisolated. Periodically, I toss the hard drive and pop in a new one. My 'sensitive' stuff is miniscule, as I don't work in the military or spook world. It's patent stuff.

And run Kaspersky - it works and the other's don't. Unless you are working on sensitive government crap, do you really even care if Russians can fish a few of your files? Do most people have PLC devices hung off their computers that stuxnet things can access?

If you have Alexa and other IoT crap - get rid of it because they are gadgets that have more downside than upside. Do you TRULY need a talking fridge? A washer you can turn on with your phone? A talking link to Google?

I don't care if the alphabet guys get my files - because they aren't of use to them. Most of the guys working at the alphabet agencies are spending their time on porno anyway or looking for blackmail files and images - which is why they can't seem to ever do anything useful except maybe foul a keyboard irretrievably.

It's hilarious to me that so much effort is put into all this when the old school ways of passing notes and talking are such simple workarounds, IF you are truly wanting privacy and fear for your precious files.

Robert Browning | Oct 11, 2017 10:43:32 AM | 11
Kaspersky uncovered the Stuxnet virus.
sejomoje | Oct 11, 2017 11:59:05 AM | 13
Yep this is payback for revealing who was behind Stuxnet, among other things. Every day, a little more USSA.
LXV | Oct 11, 2017 12:27:49 PM | 14
Isn't it to little to late for a payback, since it's been 5+ years since Kaspersky Labs discovered and revealed who is behind Stuxnet and Flame? Nah, this one smells more of a good ole-fashioned fascist market protectionism where you simply ban "those vile Russians" from a large portion of the market. Of course, all in context of the Empire's ongoing Blame Russia! campaign.
c1ue | Oct 11, 2017 3:12:28 PM | 19
Linux doesn't have many viruses - instead it has all manner of extremely dangerous 0-day bugs that can be exploited, plus a multitude of open source library vulnerabilities and channel attacks.
I was at a presentation by Paul Vixie - one of the 2 people who first proclaimed open source as the best way to product good and secure products 10 years ago. He's Internet Hall of Fame, ICANN Security Board, etc.
He no longer believes that for this reason: 10 years ago, there were 50 million lines of open source code, and you could rely that it was reviewed regularly and reasonably widely.
Today there are 50 billion lines of open source code, and the majority is never reviewed by anybody.
If you really want to go secure: don't use email. Don't use the internet. Just use your computer with no outside connection. Of course, you can't read Moon of Alabama, either - a fantastic way to nail all you paranoid types would be to watering hole attack this site.
As for the story: it is believable that one or more spy agencies hacked into Kaspersky's systems.
What again is not being said is whether Kaspersky was actively participating or abetting this activity.
While banning Kaspersky from US government and military isn't completely nonsensical, the reality is that *all* AV and other type of security products - any ones which auto update include FireEye, Palo Alto, Symantec, Microsoft and so forth all have the same vulnerability: The ability to access all data on a computer is an inherent ability to spy.
c1ue | Oct 11, 2017 3:13:26 PM | 20
And just FYI: Apache - you know, the source of the Struts vulnerability that lead to the Equifax breach, among others? It is Linux.
Thominus | Oct 11, 2017 3:24:35 PM | 21
Meanwhile its a well reported established fact that american virus/antimalware corps have allowed the FBI and other agencies to compromize their software with silent signatures - as with Magic Lantern for example (and imagine how far its gone since then)

With such subservience by the corporations anything is possible with whats been buried in these closed source systems.

I'm pretty sure the US establishment never accuses anyone of something if they aren't already themselves doing the same in the extreme.

Steve | Oct 11, 2017 3:27:13 PM | 22
@19 & 20

What you say may be correct in the most part. However, is it better to run an OS where there is a possibility of someone reviewing the code to improve it or run an OS where the vulnerabilities are intentionally left in the OS at the behest of the three-lettered agencies ? Only one choice gives the possibility of security even if it is remote.

The greater problem is the lack of maturity in so much of the software on Linux.

c1ue | Oct 11, 2017 3:37:19 PM | 23
@Steve #11
I guess you didn't read far enough into Vixie's comment: No one is reviewing the code - there is just too much.
Apache is an enormously widely used Linux platform with presumably an optimal reviewer population - it has millions of installs worldwide and is used from huge corporations to individuals, yet the Struts bug was also enormous (allows someone to remotely run code on any Apache server via a command line in a browser).

From my view as a security professional: I'd rather have a platform where there are thousands to tens of thousands of people actively trying to improve its security as opposed to one where there might be a few hundred.

The reality is that iOS, for example, is far more secure than Android.

iOS is not open source, Android is.

But the relative security has nothing to do with open sourcedness - it has to do with the architects of iOS continuously adding capabilities to make it more secure. iOS was the first widespread OS to use signed firmware updates - which is why jailbreaking an iPhone is so much harder than it used to be.

Despite that, there are still vulns which the 3 letter agencies likely know about and use.

That doesn't change the overall fact that iOS is more secure than Android and will be for the foreseeable future, because Android simply doesn't do all the things iOS can (and does) do.

If your concern is 3 letter agencies, then you need to create your own OS.

If your concern is overall security except for the 3 letter agencies, open source is *not* the way.

And lest you think I'm an Apple fanboi - I am not. I don't use iOS/iPhone/OSX or any of the Apple products for reasons outside of security. It doesn't mean I do not recognize the reality, however.

blues | Oct 11, 2017 4:39:24 PM | 28
Well sure if the NSA or some super-hacker specifically targets your machine, you will get owned (unless you invest in some kind of cyber Fort Knox, and are very lucky as well). These people who rant that Linus is "unsafe" are 100% full of it. In the end NOTHING is "safe". But Linux has astonishing advantages! Pay no heed to those naysayers!

I could write a book about how colossally dreadful Microsoft Windows is.

The BSD systems were clunky as hell so far.

So that leaves Linux. Big Problem: 98% of the Linuxes out there have been coerced into adopting "systemd" (yikes!). This is an allegedly open source (so it might be "audited" for trap doors and such) giant blob of 500,000+ lines of code (!) that has sneakily been infiltrated into 98% of the Linux distributions (distros) by the Red Hat Corporation and their NSA buddies. Obviously no one is ever going to "audit" it!

This Windows-like monster infests all of the Ubuntu and Linux Mint brand distros. The real question becomes "how many teams are you going to trust?"

Presumably the easiest distro to install and use "designed for home computer users" is Devuan based, systemd-free "Refracta Linux":
https://sourceforge.net/projects/refracta/files/isohybrid/
(I suggest ONLY the "refracta8.3_xfce_amd64-20170305_0250.iso" version for modern machines.)

You can "unlock" the upper panel, and move it to the bottom with the mouse.

You have to launch Konqueror five seconds before Firefox or it will crash :(

My very best alternative is the systemd-free "Void Linux":
https://repo.voidlinux.eu/live/current/
(I suggest ONLY the "void-live-x86_64-20171007-xfce.iso" version for most modern machines.)

I think Void Linux is just as nice as Refracta Linux, and they have different available programs (but they can work together) but it requires a bit more Linux chops to install. I needed to get the "live DVD file" GParted, which is a free partition editor DVD that you can burn yourself for free:
http://linux.softpedia.com/get/System/System-Administration/GParted-3725.shtml

Look up "Troubleshooters.Com®" -- Quick and Reliable Void Linux Installation:
http://www.troubleshooters.com/linux/void/quickinst.htm

I had to create a "MS-DOS"-style primary ext4 partition (could be between 80 to 200 GiB) with "boot" flag set, and a 20 GiB "Linux swap partition" with GParted before the install (may have to fiddle with the "BIOS" first). Then insert the Void DVD, open the "command window" and type "void-install". At some point the options look hopeless, but continue, and when it starts to repeat go back and back and continue on to completion. It's a BEAUTIFUL system! Have TWO passwords ready to use before starting (any Linux install) -- they might be of the form: "hermitcabbagetorus

I would get a book(s) about Linux. Maybe "Linux Cookbook" from Alibris. This will all prove to be VERY MUCH WORTH THE THE TROUBLE as time goes on!

psychohistorian | Oct 11, 2017 4:39:53 PM | 29
In the network security world there is this concept of a honeypot where you entice/allow the world to attack/invade your honeypot so you can study the tools they use and insure the trail back to them is useful.

If I were a security vendor I would set up a honeypot that looked like my business as simply one of many best practices. It is a great way to learn what others are doing while honing your skills at staying secure and invisible to potential perps.

If I had to wade into the "which OS is more secure" discussion I would just note that, IMO, in the long run open source is going to win the war world wide for most stuff but there will always be room for proprietary OS's and application software.

[Oct 11, 2017] Elite Hackers Stealing NSA Secrets Is 'Child's Play'

What a great waste of taxpayers dollars. After Stuxnet any government that cares about secrecy does not use open, connected to internet networks for sensitive information. Some switched to typewriters, at least for highly sensitive operations, which is probably overkill. but good, old DOS can still be used to above NSA spook pretty much like typewriter; and communication via parallel port is not that easy to hack; UUCP is also pretty much available for serial port communication ;-)
But the effect on undermining the US software and hardware sales is overwhelming. Why anybody in foreign government would buy the US hardware or software, when it is clear that NSA can put a backdoor into both "before arrival". In this sense the game is over and net beneficiary might be Taiwanese and other East Asia firms as China is suspect too.
To say nothing about the effects of the US consumers and business when those tools are incorporated by criminal hacking groups into commercial malware. And this is a real dnager of NSA activities. Boomerang tends to return. And the security culture in most US companies (including government security contractors) is simply rudimentary or non existent. In no way they can withstand the attack of NSA tools. The sordid take of Hillary shadow IT and "bathroom server" is actually not an exception. Creation of "Shadow IT" is pretty common in fossilized and over-bureaucratized US enterprise It world.
Moreover operations like "Its operations that violate sovereignty of other nations, like digging into China's networks , developing the tools British spies used to break into Belgium's largest telecom, and hacking sections of the Mexican government " are clearly criminal, and are possible only due to the status of the USA as a sole of superpower. But they can result is some shipment of arms to anti-USA factions as a state-to-state retaliation. Moreover "There is no honor among thieves" and sharing of this information should be assumed is always larger then intended.
Like drone strikes they inflame anti-Americanism and has constrained U.S. foreign policy options in ways that civilian and military planners neither imagined nor anticipated.
Oct 11, 2017 | www.msn.com

The NSA's hackers have a problem.

Last week, multiple outlets reported that the NSA's elite Tailored Access Operations unit -- tasked with breaking into foreign networks -- suffered another serious data breach. The theft of computer code and other material by an employee in 2015 allowed the Russian government to more easily detect U.S. cyber operations, according to the Washington Post. It's potentially the fourth large scale incident at the NSA to be revealed in the last five years.

Now, multiple sources with direct knowledge of TAO's security procedures in the recent past tell The Daily Beast just how porous some of the defenses were to keep workers from stealing sensitive information -- either digitally or by simply walking out of the front door with it.

One source described removing data from a TAO facility as "child's play." The Daily Beast granted the sources anonymity to talk candidly about the NSA's security practices.

TAO is not your average band of hackers. Its operations have included digging into China's networks , developing the tools British spies used to break into Belgium's largest telecom, and hacking sections of the Mexican government . While other parts of the NSA may focus on tapping undersea cables or prying data from Silicon Valley giants, TAO is the tip of the NSA's offensive hacking spear, and could have access to much more sensitive information ripped from adversaries' closed networks. The unit deploys and creates sophisticated exploits that rely on vulnerabilities in routers, operating systems, and computer hardware the general population uses -- the sort of tools that could wreak havoc if they fell into the wrong hands.

That doesn't mean those tools are locked down, though. "TAO specifically had a huge amount of latitude to move data between networks," the first source, who worked at the unit after Edward Snowden's mega-leak, said. The former employee said TAO limited the number of USB drives -- which could be used to steal data -- after that 2013 breach, but he still had used several while working at TAO.

"Most operators knew how they could get anything they wanted out of the classified nets and onto the internet if they wanted to, even without the USB drives," the former TAO employee said.

A second source, who also worked at TAO, told The Daily Beast, "most of the security was your co-workers checking to see that you had your badge on you at all times."

The NSA -- and recently TAO in particular -- have suffered a series of catastrophic data breaches. On top of the Snowden incident and this newly-scrutinized 2015 breach, NSA contractor Hal Martin allegedly hoarded a trove of computer code and documents from the NSA and other agencies in the U.S. Intelligence Community. Martin worked with TAO, and he ended up storing the material in his car and residence, according to prosecutors. Like Snowden, Martin was a contractor and not an employee of the NSA, as was Reality Winner, who allegedly leaked a top-secret report about Russian interference in the U.S. election to news site The Intercept.

Then there's the incident now in the news. Israeli operatives broke into the systems of the Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, officials told The Washington Post. On those systems were samples of sophisticated NSA hacking tools; a TAO employee had brought them home and placed them on his home computer. That machine was running Kasperky software, which allegedly sent the NSA tools back to Moscow.

It's not totally clear how the breach overlaps with any others, but in 2016, a group called The Shadow Brokers started publishing full NSA exploit and tool code. Various hackers went on to incorporate a number of the dumped exploits in their own campaigns, including some designed to break into computers and mine digital currency, as well as the WannaCry ransomware, which crippled tens of thousands of computers around the world. (A handful of other, smaller NSA-related disclosures, including a catalogue of TAO hacking gear from 2007 and 2008, as well as intelligence intercepts, were not attributed to the Snowden documents, and the public details around where that information came from are muddy.)

Although not a data breach per se, in 2015 Kaspersky publicly revealed details on the history and tools of the so-called Equation Group, which is widely believed to be part of the NSA. A third source, who worked directly with TAO, said the fallout from that exposure meant the hacking unit entered a "significant shutdown," and "ran on minimum ops for months."

Nevertheless, a report by the Defense Department's inspector general completed in 2016 found that the NSA's "Secure the Net" project -- which aimed to restrict access to its most sensitive data after the Snowden breach -- fell short of its stated aims. The NSA did introduce some improvements, but it didn't effectively reduce the number of user accounts with 'privileged' access, which provide more avenues into sensitive data than normal users, nor fully implement technology to oversee these accounts' activities, the report reads.

Physical security wasn't much better, at least at one TAO operator's facility. He told The Daily Beast that there were "no bag checks or anything" as employees and contractors left work for the day -- meaning, it was easy smuggle things home. Metal detectors were present, including before Snowden, but "nobody cared what came out," the second source added. The third source, who visited TAO facilities, said bag checks were random and weak.

"If you have a thumb drive in your pocket, it's going to get out," they said.

Unsurprisingly, workers need to swipe keycards to access certain rooms. But, "in most cases, it's pretty easy to get into those rooms without swipe access if you just knock and say who you're trying to see," the third source added.

To be clear, The Daily Beast's sources described the state of security up to 2015 -- not today. Things may have improved since then. And, of course, the NSA and TAO do of course have an array of security protections in place. TAO operators are screened and people on campus are already going to have a high level clearance, some of the sources stressed. The part of the NSA network that TAO uses, and which contains the unit's tools, can only be accessed by those with a designated account, according to the source who worked with TAO. Two of the sources believed in the NSA's ability to track down where a file came from after a breach.

Indeed, the system TAO members use to download their hacking tools for operations has become more heavily audited over the years too, although the network did have a known security issue, in which users could make their own account and automatically gain access to additional information, the source who worked with TAO said.

"The NSA operates in one of the most complicated IT environments in the world," an NSA spokesperson told The Daily Beast in a statement. "Over the past several years, we have continued to build on internal security improvements while carrying out the mission to defend the nation and our allies."

"We do not rely on only one initiative. Instead, we have undertaken a comprehensive and layered set of defensive measures to further safeguard operations and advance best practices," the spokesperson added.

The problem of securing this data from the inside is not an easy one to solve. If the NSA was to lock down TAO systems more ferociously, that could hamper TAO's ability to effectively build tools and capabilities in the first place, and two of the sources emphasised that excessive searches would likely create a recruiting problem for the agency. "It's not prison," one of the former TAO employees said.

"The security is all predicated on you having a clearance and being trusted," the source who has worked with TAO said.

"The system is just not setup to protect against someone with a clearance who is determined to go rogue," they added.

[Oct 11, 2017] The Myths of Interventionists by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... There are dangers and threats in the world, but all of the threats from state actors are manageable and deterrable without spending more on the military, and these threats are much less severe than anything the U.S. faced between the 1940s and the end of the Cold War. The U.S. can and should get by safely with a much lower level of military spending, and our government should also adopt a strategy of restraint that keeps us out of unnecessary wars. ..."
"... The Iraq war is just the most obvious example of how the U.S. forcibly intervenes in other parts of the world over the objections of allies, in flagrant disregard for international law, and with no thought for the destabilizing effects that military action will have on the surrounding region. ..."
"... It would be much more accurate to say that the U.S. intervenes often in the affairs of weaker countries because it can, because our leaders leaders want to, and because there is usually no other power willing or able to stop it from happening. Exorbitant military spending far beyond what is needed to provide for our defense makes it possible to take military action on a regular basis, and the constant inflation of foreign threats makes a large part of the public believe that our government's frequent use of force overseas has something to do with self-defense. This frenetic meddling in the affairs of other nations hasn't made and won't make America any safer, it makes far more enemies than it eliminates, and it imposes significant fiscal and human costs on our country and the countries where our government interferes. ..."
"... At least Churchill had a focus. Neocons claim that any country that doesn't yield to our every desire is an existential threat. One article says, 'Iran', another 'China', yet another 'Russia' or 'N. Korea'. ..."
Oct 11, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Dakota Wood makes the usual alarmist case for throwing more money at the military. This passage stood out for how wrong it is:

Churchill repeatedly warned his countrymen of the dangers of complacency, misguided priorities, and weakness of will, of the foolishness to see the world and major competitors as being anything other than what they truly are. While praising the virtues and spirit of moderation that defined the English-speaking peoples of his day, he also urged them to recognize the necessity of having the courage to take timely action when dangers threatened and clearly visible trends in an eroding ability to provide for their common defense were leading toward disaster.

A similar state of affairs afflicts the United States today. To the extent America intervenes in the affairs of others, it is because the United States has been attacked first, an ally is in dire need of assistance, or an enemy threatens broader regional stability [bold mine-DL].

Over ten years ago, Rick Santorum talked incessantly about "the gathering storm" in a very conscious echo of Churchill, and subsequent events have proven his alarmism to have been just as unfounded and ridiculous as it seemed to be at the time. Hawks are often eager to invoke the 1930s to try to scare their audience into accepting more aggressive policies and more military spending than our security actually requires. Some of this may come from believing their own propaganda about the threats that they exaggerate, and some of it may just be a reflex, but as analysis of the contemporary scene it is always wrong. There are dangers and threats in the world, but all of the threats from state actors are manageable and deterrable without spending more on the military, and these threats are much less severe than anything the U.S. faced between the 1940s and the end of the Cold War. The U.S. can and should get by safely with a much lower level of military spending, and our government should also adopt a strategy of restraint that keeps us out of unnecessary wars.

Churchill-quoting alarmists aren't just bad at assessing the scale and nature of foreign threats, but they are usually also oblivious to the shoddy justifications for intervening and the damage that our interventionist policies do. The section quoted above reflects an almost touchingly naive belief that U.S. interventions are always justified and never cause more harm than they prevent. Very few U.S. interventions over the last thirty years fit the description Wood gives. The only time that the U.S. has intervened militarily abroad in response to an attack during this period was in Afghanistan as part of the immediate response to the 9/11 attacks. Every other intervention has been a choice to attack another country or to take sides in an ongoing conflict, and these interventions have usually had nothing to do with coming to the defense of an ally or preventing regional instability. Our interference in the affairs of others is often illegal under both domestic and/or international law (e.g., Kosovo, Libya, Iraq), it is very rarely related to U.S. or allied security, and it tends to cause a great deal of harm to the country and the surrounding region that are supposedly being "helped" by our government's actions.

The Iraq war is just the most obvious example of how the U.S. forcibly intervenes in other parts of the world over the objections of allies, in flagrant disregard for international law, and with no thought for the destabilizing effects that military action will have on the surrounding region. The U.S. didn't invade Panama in 1989 to help an ally or because we were attacked, but simply to topple the government there. Intervention in Haiti in 1994 didn't come in response to an attack or to assist an ally, but because Washington wanted to restore a deposed leader. Bombing Yugoslavia in 1999 was an attack on a country that posed no threat to us or our allies. The Libyan war was a war for regime change and a war of choice. A few allies did urge the U.S. to intervene in Libya, but not because they were in "dire need of assistance." The only thing that Britain and France needed in 2011 was the means to launch an attack on another country whose government posed no threat to them. Meddling in Syria since at least 2012 had nothing to do with defending the U.S. and our allies. Wood's description certainly doesn't apply to our support for the shameful Saudi-led war on Yemen, as the U.S. chose to take part in an attack on another country so that our despotic clients could be "reassured."

It would be much more accurate to say that the U.S. intervenes often in the affairs of weaker countries because it can, because our leaders leaders want to, and because there is usually no other power willing or able to stop it from happening. Exorbitant military spending far beyond what is needed to provide for our defense makes it possible to take military action on a regular basis, and the constant inflation of foreign threats makes a large part of the public believe that our government's frequent use of force overseas has something to do with self-defense. This frenetic meddling in the affairs of other nations hasn't made and won't make America any safer, it makes far more enemies than it eliminates, and it imposes significant fiscal and human costs on our country and the countries where our government interferes.

Posted in foreign policy , politics .

Tagged Syria , Rick Santorum , Yemen , Iraq war , Panama , Libyan war , Saudi Arabia , Haiti , Winston Churchill , Dakota Wood .

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Christian Chuba , says: October 11, 2017 at 4:22 pm

'The gathering storm' I read that and I was dying to know which storm he was referring too.

At least Churchill had a focus. Neocons claim that any country that doesn't yield to our every desire is an existential threat. One article says, 'Iran', another 'China', yet another 'Russia' or 'N. Korea'.

It's surprising how low on the list N. Korea typically ranks as the hawks try to turn attention quickly back to Iran. 'Iran is funding and developing their nuclear program, Iran is going to buy their nuclear weapons'. At least in the case of N. Korea we do have a country that obviously does possess WMD and is developing ICBM's and is likely to sell them in the future (even to our best friends the Saudis).

[Oct 10, 2017] The Israeli algorithm criminalizing Palestinians for online dissent

Notable quotes:
"... "Israeli intelligence has developed a predictive policing system – a computer algorithm – that analyzes social media posts to identify Palestinian "suspects." " ..."
Oct 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

SolontoCroesus > , October 10, 2017 at 4:30 pm GMT

@Talha

How to fix it? I don't know – maybe the internet . . . that is also a big IF – since there is so much on the internet which is just trash and lacks any sort of serious vetting.

The Israeli algorithm criminalizing Palestinians for online dissent
Oct 4 2017

https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/nadim-nashif-marwa-fatafta/israeli-algorithm-criminalizing-palestinians-for-o?utm_source=Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=d2cd3e7ec3-DAILY_NEWSLETTER_MAILCHIMP&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_717bc5d86d-d2cd3e7ec3-407397135

"Israeli intelligence has developed a predictive policing system – a computer algorithm – that analyzes social media posts to identify Palestinian "suspects." "

[Oct 09, 2017] Masquerading Hackers Are Forcing a Rethink of How Attacks Are Traced

Oct 09, 2017 | theintercept.com

The growing propensity of government hackers to reuse code and computers from rival nations is undermining the integrity of hacking investigations and calling into question how online attacks are attributed, according to researchers from Kaspersky Lab.

In a paper set for release today at the Virus Bulletin digital security conference in Madrid , the researchers highlight cases in which they've seen hackers acting on behalf of nation-states stealing tools and hijacking infrastructure previously used by hackers of other nation-states. Investigators need to watch out for signs of this or risk tracing attacks to the wrong perpetrators, the researchers said.

Threat researchers have built an industry on identifying and profiling hacking groups in order to understand their methods, anticipate future moves, and develop methods for battling them. They often attribute attacks by "clustering" malicious files, IP addresses, and servers that get reused across hacking operations, knowing that threat actors use the same code and infrastructure repeatedly to save time and effort. So when researchers see the same encryption algorithms and digital certificates reused in various attacks, for example, they tend to assume the attacks were perpetrated by the same group. But that's not necessarily the case.

... ... ...

Intelligence agencies and military hackers are uniquely positioned to trick researchers through code and tool reuse because of something they do called fourth-party collection. Fourth-party collection can encompass a number of activities, including hacking the machine of a victim that other hackers have already breached and collecting intelligence about the hackers on that machine by stealing their tools. It can also involve hacking the servers the hackers use to launch their assaults. These machines sometimes store the arsenal of malicious tools and even source code that the attackers use for their attacks. Once the other group's tools and source code are stolen, it's easy to go a step further and reuse them.

"Agency A could steal another agency's source code and leverage it as their own. Clustering and attribution in this case begin to fray," wrote Juan Andrés Guerrero-Saade, principal security researcher with Kaspersky, and his colleague, Costin Raiu, who leads Kaspersky's global research and analysis team.

"[O]ur point in the paper was: This is what it would look like [if someone were to do a false-flag operation] and these are the cases where we've seen people trying and failing," said Guerrero-Saade.

The recent WannaCry ransomware outbreak is an obvious example of malware theft and reuse. Last year, a mysterious group known as the Shadow Brokers stole a cache of hacking tools that belonged to the National Security Agency and posted them online months later. One of the tools -- a so-called zero-day exploit, targeting a previously unknown vulnerability -- was repurposed by the hackers behind WannaCry to spread their attack. In this case, it was easy to make a connection between the theft of the NSA code and its reuse with WannaCry, because the original theft was well-publicized. But other cases of theft and reuse won't likely be so obvious, leaving researchers in the dark about who is really conducting an attack.

"[I]f a superpower were to break fully into, let's say, the DarkHotel group tomorrow and steal all of their code and have access to all of their [command-and-control infrastructure], we're not going to find out about that monumental event," Guerrero-Saade told The Intercept, referring to a hacker group that has conducted a series of sophisticated attacks against guests in luxury hotels . "At that point, they're in a position to mimic those operations to a T without anyone knowing."

[Oct 09, 2017] US Missile Defense Not as Effective As We Think by Scott Ritter

Highly recommended!
The main problem with systems like THAAD is that it costly. Maintaining the global neoliberal empire is also costly. this financial overextension and deterioration of domestic economy and the standard of living tend to put limits on the imperial power. And such overextension is much more dangerous that lack of some cutting edge military capabilities. The USA managed to force some kind of military alliance of Russia and China in a sense that attack on one means the attack on both. China also warned the USA against unilateral military strike on North Korea.
As Ivan Eland noted in May 15, 2016, Obama "is opening missile defenses in Europe, quadrupling U.S. military spending there, and deploying more military forces near Russia-all of which will have the effect of continuing to provoke that already insecure country. Also, Obama has failed to withdraw U.S. ground forces from Afghanistan, inserted them into Iraq and Syria to battle the terror group ISIS, and continued his accelerated air wars over Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya." The U.S. Military Needs to Defend the Country, Not Undermine American Security HuffPost
Which means the end of the USA military supremacy as now the USA needs to take into account the possibility of join counterstrike of both China and Russia. . End of cheap oil also means end of multiple expeditionary wars that the USA managed to fight simultaneously (mostly against rag-tag gueella forces like in Afghanistan) as the costs would escalate very quickly.
Notable quotes:
"... the fact remains that, at the time of the Gulf War, the Patriot was a largely untested system which failed to perform as needed. Had Iraq had better missiles, or if they had been tipped with chemical, biological, or nuclear warheads, this failure could have been catastrophic. ..."
"... Like the Patriot missile of 1991, the THAAD has only been tested under carefully scripted peacetime conditions, with launch crews having the advantage of long flight times (easy to track) and medium speed closure rates (easy to kill) involving single missile launches. ..."
"... The THAAD has not been tested under realistic wartime conditions, involving large salvos of missiles possessing high-closure rates of speed. In war, it is the unexpected that trips you up. ..."
"... the North Koreans have demonstrated a high-loft launch profile, which would have the missile closing in on its target at a far steeper angle, and at much higher speeds, than the conventional ballistic trajectories the THAAD has trained against. ..."
"... The need to justify the acquisition of military hardware always interferes with the rigor of testing. Test results are published and must show success or the Military has egg on its wasteful face. Therefore, it is always a mistake to believe what is said about our weapons systems, however many improvements may have been made. ..."
"... There is another issue that those who depend on missile defenses are overlooking. North Korea could easily pre-position multiple nuclear weapons on non-descript boats, that then sail into the major ports of their foes during or after a war and destroy them. Such weapon delivery systems are very hard to detect and stop. So those who advocate attacking North Korea and feel we can stop their weapons with missiles are fooling themselves. This is one of the reasons that non-combat options to stop North Korea are still the best choice. ..."
Oct 09, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Sometime after midnight on the night of January 21, 1991, I was awoken by the sound of an air raid siren. At the time, I was sleeping in an apartment in Eskhan Village, an abandoned suburban housing area outside Riyadh that served as a barracks facility for thousands of American service members deployed to Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Storm. Following protocol, I quickly donned my chemical protective ensemble, inclusive of gas mask; not following protocol, I headed up to the flat roof of the two-story building to see what was happening.

As it turned out, we were under attack. Iraq had launched four of its extended-range SCUD missile derivatives toward Riyadh. The flight paths of two of these missiles were visible to the naked eye, where residual fuel burned from the nozzle of the rocket. As part of a team of SCUD missile analysts assigned to the intelligence section of Central Command headquarters, I was fascinated by this first-hand opportunity to see the SCUD in action. The irony of being on the receiving end of the very missiles I was working to destroy barely registered before I was stunned by the sound of Patriot anti-missile batteries, staged in close proximity to the housing area, firing multiple salvos of interceptors at the incoming SCUDs. Each of the interceptors homed in on their target, their S-shaped trajectories reflecting the in-flight corrections provided by the Patriot's target acquisition radar as it tracked the flight path of the SCUDs. With dramatic effect, the Patriot interceptors exploded along the flight path of the SCUDs, which continued on their ballistic arc before impacting somewhere on the horizon with a bright yellow-green explosion.

This wasn't the first launch of SCUD missiles by Iraq against Saudi Arabia during the war. In the days prior, there had been several missile attacks targeting the sprawling military complex at Dhahran, all of which authorities claimed had been successfully intercepted by Patriot missiles. I had counted more than a dozen Patriot interceptor launches in the vicinity of Eskhan Village on the night of January 21, 1991; more than 35 interceptors in total had been fired in the Riyadh area that night. Reports that crossed my desk the next morning indicated that all four SCUDs targeting Riyadh had been successfully intercepted and destroyed by the Patriots, a finding which puzzled me -- the Patriot intercepts I had witnessed against the two SCUDs I was able to visually track seemed to be exploding behind the SCUDs, and none appeared to stop the SCUDs from detonating on the ground. Later, as part of a team of missile specialists assembled to evaluate the SCUD missile debris from the January 21 attack, I could find no evidence of any shrapnel having impacted the body of the SCUD missile.

After the war, while serving with the United Nations Special Commission charged with disarming Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (inclusive of its SCUD missiles), I read an article in International Security by MIT Professor Theodore Postol titled "Lessons of the Gulf War Patriot Experience." Postol questioned the Patriot's 96 percent success rate claimed by the Army during the Gulf War. Later, while working with Israeli intelligence on the Iraqi SCUD problem, I was able to speak with members of the Israeli Defense Force who were able to confirm Professor Postol's findings: The Patriot missile defense system successfully intercepted less that 10 percent of the SCUDs fired at Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab States during the Gulf War, and only 2 percent of those fired at Israel.

The failure of the Patriot missile defense system to perform during the Gulf War has been largely ignored. The reasons for this are many and varied. There was an extensive and intensive effort undertaken by the Raytheon Company (the manufacturer of the Patriot missile), the Army, and the Department of Defense to challenge Postol's findings, thereby muddying the waters. The fact that Iraq's SCUDs were inaccurate and did not carry WMD likewise skewed public opinion -- a dud warhead landing somewhere in the desert or ocean did not generate the kind of excitement of a chemical warhead landing in a densely populated area. In the quarter of a century that has passed since the Gulf War, the performance of the Patriot has improved, as has missile defense in general. (Witness the success of Israel's "Iron Dome" system.) But the fact remains that, at the time of the Gulf War, the Patriot was a largely untested system which failed to perform as needed. Had Iraq had better missiles, or if they had been tipped with chemical, biological, or nuclear warheads, this failure could have been catastrophic.

My experience with the Patriot missile during the Gulf War has colored my assessment of the deployment of America's new front-line missile defense weapon, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) to South Korea. The THAAD is intended to defend against the threat posed by North Korean short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. Like the Patriot missile of 1991, the THAAD has only been tested under carefully scripted peacetime conditions, with launch crews having the advantage of long flight times (easy to track) and medium speed closure rates (easy to kill) involving single missile launches.

The THAAD has not been tested under realistic wartime conditions, involving large salvos of missiles possessing high-closure rates of speed. In war, it is the unexpected that trips you up. During Desert Storm, the structural failure of Iraq's extended-range SCUDs caused the warhead to separate from the main body of the missile, creating multiple targets the Patriot radar was unable to discriminate against. This, combined with the higher-than-anticipated closure speeds of the longer-range missiles, contributed to the poor performance of the Patriot system.

North Korea has demonstrated the ability to conduct simultaneous launches of up to four ballistic missiles. Given their proximity to South Korea, these weapons would be tracked for a far shorter time with closure speeds greater than the missile targets the THAAD has been tested against to date. Moreover, the North Koreans have demonstrated a high-loft launch profile, which would have the missile closing in on its target at a far steeper angle, and at much higher speeds, than the conventional ballistic trajectories the THAAD has trained against. The THAAD interceptors are tied to the high-tech AN/TPY-2 target acquisition radar, which can cover a 120-degree frontage. North Korea's newly proven submarine-launched ballistic missile capability provides Pyongyang with a capability to maneuver behind the surveillance arc of the THAAD's radar. Such an attack presumes that neither the South Korean or U.S. naval forces would detect and destroy a North Korean submarine attempting such an attack, or that the U.S. Navy's Aegis missile defense system would fail to intercept a launched missile. The point here isn't the likelihood of North Korean success, but the reality that the THAAD is not omnipotent.

Perhaps the greatest threat facing the THAAD, or any defensive system currently deployed in the vicinity of South Korea, is that North Korea could employ a ballistic missile tipped with a nuclear warhead for the purpose of generating a massive electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that would knock out the THAAD's radar and electronics -- along with most, if not all, of South Korea's and America's electrical systems stationed in the region. The likelihood of such a scenario seems slim, given the consequences North Korea would endure in the aftermath of any use of nuclear weapons. However, the fact remains that the one attack the THAAD is specifically deployed to prevent -- that of a nuclear-tipped North Korean missile -- is the one attack that could be its undoing.

Missile defense has always been more theoretical than practical. The Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) systems of the Cold War were never used, and eventually mothballed. The Patriot failed miserably during the Gulf War, only to succeed a decade later during the 2003 invasion of Iraq by using a much-improved interceptor against a far less capable foe. The much-vaunted Israeli "Iron Dome" missile defense system performed well against the homemade rockets of Hamas, but has yet to be tested against the much more capable arsenal possessed by Hezbollah -- or, for that matter, Iran. The THAAD system is a 30-year-old technology untested in combat, under-tested in peacetime, and is our only line of defense against a North Korean ballistic missile threat that has taken the world by surprise in terms of its scope, breadth, and capability.

During the Gulf War, the Patriot's poor performance did not have any strategic consequences -- 28 Americans tragically lost their lives when a SCUD hit their barracks, and a few Israelis died of heart attacks. The absence of a tangible result wasn't from a lack of effort on the part of Iraq -- Israeli's Dimona nuclear reactor was targeted multiple times, and had any missile caused significant Israeli casualties, Israel would have entered the conflict, placing the delicate coalition President George W. Bush had built at risk, and perhaps changing the outcome of the war. There is little reason to believe that North Korea's missiles lack accuracy, that their targeting will lack purpose, or their warheads will be benign. Whether or not THAAD is up to the task of protecting the South Korean peninsula (or, for that matter, Guam, Japan, and Alaska) from any North Korean ballistic missile attack is still yet to be seen. However, if history is any indication, the likelihood is that the THAAD will significantly underperform -- a possible outcome American military and civilian planners should take into consideration when plotting their next moves against Pyongyang.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West's Road to War (Clarity Press, 2017).

David , says: September 11, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Finally, Scott you are one of the few who speaks the shocking truth about US missile defense base on proportional navigation. BUT there is a solution you need to find out about – HIT Technology http://bit.ly/HIT-MissileDefense
Dennis J. Tuchler , says: September 11, 2017 at 5:09 pm
The need to justify the acquisition of military hardware always interferes with the rigor of testing. Test results are published and must show success or the Military has egg on its wasteful face. Therefore, it is always a mistake to believe what is said about our weapons systems, however many improvements may have been made.
James Drouin , says: September 11, 2017 at 6:57 pm
The author's failure to correctly detail the cause of the Patriot's failure, which has been indisputably diagnosed and corrected, brings into serious question any hypothesis he has on THAAD.

In brief, Patriot failed because of a drift in the timing between radar pulses, and the longer the system was online, the greater the drift, thus the greater the miss.

Further, the Israelis, operators of the Patriot system, had in fact, notified the US Army and the Patriot Project office of the flaw, and US military bureaucracy being what it is, the rest is history admit to screwing the pooch, or claim success where none existed.

Bottom line, WITHOUT the timing error, which could be fixed by simply re-booting the system every eight hours, Patriot functions perfectly as a missile killer.

SteveK9 , says: September 11, 2017 at 7:50 pm
Michael, IF N. Korea got rocket engines, the evidence presented in the NY Times suggests it was out-of-work Ukrainians, and N. Korea's oil comes from China.

You have Putin on the brain.

DrivingBy , says: September 12, 2017 at 12:14 am
"Therefore, it is always a mistake to believe what is said about our weapons systems"

The few strategic munitions tests that we know truly worked were those such as Ivy Mike. The people who built that were serious about their work, and there were remarkably few fizzles considering it was then new technology. Unfortunately, there were also a few side effects.

Were the Pentagon staffed by people motivated to defend the USA, we could probably invent a layered missile interceptor system that works pretty well.

Stephen Hubbard , says: September 13, 2017 at 5:53 pm
There is another issue that those who depend on missile defenses are overlooking. North Korea could easily pre-position multiple nuclear weapons on non-descript boats, that then sail into the major ports of their foes during or after a war and destroy them. Such weapon delivery systems are very hard to detect and stop. So those who advocate attacking North Korea and feel we can stop their weapons with missiles are fooling themselves. This is one of the reasons that non-combat options to stop North Korea are still the best choice.

[Oct 09, 2017] Dennis Kucinich We Must Challenge the Two-Party Duopoly Committed to War by Adam Dick

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In the interview, Kucinich discusses his work to expose the misinformation used to argue for US government interventions overseas before and during the Iraq War and, later, concerning the US effort to assist in the overthrow of the Syria government. ..."
"... Kucinich, in the interview, places the Iraq War, with its costs including trillions in US government spending and the death of over a million Iraqis, in the context of "this American imperium, this idea that somehow we have the right to establish ourselves anywhere we want" including with "over 800 bases in 132 countries" and to go around the world "looking for dragons to slay while we ignore our own problems here at home." ..."
"... This is a racket. This is a way for people who make arms to cash in or have government contracts to cash in. ..."
"... Rescuing America from a future "cataclysmic war," Kucinich argues, requires that Americans both "realize that our position in the world was never, ever meant to be a cop on the beat, a global cop," and "challenge this two-party duopoly that's committed to war." ..."
Oct 09, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

In a new interview with host Jesse Ventura at RT, former United States presidential candidate and House of Representatives Member Dennis Kucinich stressed the importance of the American people challenging the "two-party duopoly that's committed to war."

In the interview, Kucinich discusses his work to expose the misinformation used to argue for US government interventions overseas before and during the Iraq War and, later, concerning the US effort to assist in the overthrow of the Syria government.

Regarding the Iraq War, Kucinich, who is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, explains that his research showed that "Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, nothing to do with al-Qaeda's role in 9/11, didn't have any connection to the anthrax attack, didn't have the intention or the capability of attacking the United States, and didn't have the weapons of mass destruction that were being claimed." This information, Kucinich relates, he provided to US Congress members in an October 2, 2002 report showing "there was no cause for war."

Despite Kucinich and other individuals' efforts to stop the march toward war, Congress passed an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against Iraq later in October, and the invasion of Iraq commenced in March of 2003.

Kucinich, in the interview, places the Iraq War, with its costs including trillions in US government spending and the death of over a million Iraqis, in the context of "this American imperium, this idea that somehow we have the right to establish ourselves anywhere we want" including with "over 800 bases in 132 countries" and to go around the world "looking for dragons to slay while we ignore our own problems here at home."

Why are we "wasting the blood of our nation, the treasure of our nation, our young people" on these overseas activities that are "causing catastrophes among families in other countries?" Kucinich asks. He answers as follows:

This is a racket. This is a way for people who make arms to cash in or have government contracts to cash in.
Continuing with his explanation for the support for the Iraq War and other US military intervention abroad, Kucinich says:
The problem today we have in Washington is that both political parties have converged with the military-industrial complex, fulfilling President Eisenhower's nightmare and setting America on a path toward destruction.

Rescuing America from a future "cataclysmic war," Kucinich argues, requires that Americans both "realize that our position in the world was never, ever meant to be a cop on the beat, a global cop," and "challenge this two-party duopoly that's committed to war."

Watch Kucinich's complete interview here:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3n5w1xYmV8A


Copyright © 2017 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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[Oct 09, 2017] Autopilot Wars by Andrew J. Bacevich

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... While serving as defense secretary in the 1960s, Robert McNamara once mused that the "greatest contribution" of the Vietnam War might have been to make it possible for the United States "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." With regard to the conflict once widely referred to as McNamara's War, his claim proved grotesquely premature. Yet a half-century later, his wish has become reality. ..."
"... Why do Americans today show so little interest in the wars waged in their name and at least nominally on their behalf? Why, as our wars drag on and on, doesn't the disparity between effort expended and benefits accrued arouse more than passing curiosity or mild expressions of dismay? Why, in short, don't we give a [ expletive deleted ..."
"... The true costs of Washington's wars go untabulated. ..."
"... On matters related to war, American citizens have opted out. ..."
"... Terrorism gets hyped and hyped and hyped some more. ..."
"... Blather crowds out substance. ..."
"... Besides, we're too busy. ..."
"... Anyway, the next president will save us. ..."
"... Our culturally progressive military has largely immunized itself from criticism. ..."
"... Well, yes, the US has recently killed 100.000′s of Arab civilians because they were Terrorists (?) or to Bring them Democracy (?) or whatever, or something – or who cares anyway. There's more coverage of the transgender toilet access question. ..."
Oct 08, 2017 | www.unz.com

Autopilot Wars Sixteen Years, But Who's Counting?

Consider, if you will, these two indisputable facts. First, the United States is today more or less permanently engaged in hostilities in not one faraway place, but at least seven . Second, the vast majority of the American people could not care less.

Nor can it be said that we don't care because we don't know. True, government authorities withhold certain aspects of ongoing military operations or release only details that they find convenient. Yet information describing what U.S. forces are doing (and where) is readily available, even if buried in recent months by barrages of presidential tweets. Here, for anyone interested, are press releases issued by United States Central Command for just one recent week:

Ever since the United States launched its war on terror, oceans of military press releases have poured forth. And those are just for starters. To provide updates on the U.S. military's various ongoing campaigns, generals, admirals, and high-ranking defense officials regularly testify before congressional committees or brief members of the press. From the field, journalists offer updates that fill in at least some of the details -- on civilian casualties, for example -- that government authorities prefer not to disclose. Contributors to newspaper op-ed pages and "experts" booked by network and cable TV news shows, including passels of retired military officers, provide analysis. Trailing behind come books and documentaries that put things in a broader perspective.

But here's the truth of it. None of it matters.

Like traffic jams or robocalls, war has fallen into the category of things that Americans may not welcome, but have learned to live with. In twenty-first-century America, war is not that big a deal.

While serving as defense secretary in the 1960s, Robert McNamara once mused that the "greatest contribution" of the Vietnam War might have been to make it possible for the United States "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." With regard to the conflict once widely referred to as McNamara's War, his claim proved grotesquely premature. Yet a half-century later, his wish has become reality.

Why do Americans today show so little interest in the wars waged in their name and at least nominally on their behalf? Why, as our wars drag on and on, doesn't the disparity between effort expended and benefits accrued arouse more than passing curiosity or mild expressions of dismay? Why, in short, don't we give a [ expletive deleted ]?

Perhaps just posing such a question propels us instantly into the realm of the unanswerable, like trying to figure out why people idolize Justin Bieber, shoot birds, or watch golf on television.

Without any expectation of actually piercing our collective ennui, let me take a stab at explaining why we don't give a @#$%&! Here are eight distinctive but mutually reinforcing explanations, offered in a sequence that begins with the blindingly obvious and ends with the more speculative.

Americans don't attend all that much to ongoing American wars because:

1. U.S. casualty rates are low . By using proxies and contractors, and relying heavily on airpower, America's war managers have been able to keep a tight lid on the number of U.S. troops being killed and wounded. In all of 2017, for example, a grand total of 11 American soldiers have been lost in Afghanistan -- about equal to the number of shooting deaths in Chicago over the course of a typical week. True, in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries where the U.S. is engaged in hostilities, whether directly or indirectly, plenty of people who are not Americans are being killed and maimed. (The estimated number of Iraqi civilians killed this year alone exceeds 12,000 .) But those casualties have next to no political salience as far as the United States is concerned. As long as they don't impede U.S. military operations, they literally don't count (and generally aren't counted).

2. The true costs of Washington's wars go untabulated. In a famous speech , dating from early in his presidency, Dwight D. Eisenhower said that "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." Dollars spent on weaponry, Ike insisted, translated directly into schools, hospitals, homes, highways, and power plants that would go unbuilt. "This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense," he continued. "[I]t is humanity hanging from a cross of iron." More than six decades later, Americans have long since accommodated themselves to that cross of iron. Many actually see it as a boon, a source of corporate profits, jobs, and, of course, campaign contributions. As such, they avert their eyes from the opportunity costs of our never-ending wars. The dollars expended pursuant to our post-9/11 conflicts will ultimately number in the multi-trillions . Imagine the benefits of investing such sums in upgrading the nation's aging infrastructure . Yet don't count on Congressional leaders, other politicians, or just about anyone else to pursue that connection.

On matters related to war, American citizens have opted out. Others have made the point so frequently that it's the equivalent of hearing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" at Christmastime. Even so, it bears repeating: the American people have defined their obligation to "support the troops" in the narrowest imaginable terms , ensuring above all that such support requires absolutely no sacrifice on their part. Members of Congress abet this civic apathy, while also taking steps to insulate themselves from responsibility. In effect, citizens and their elected representatives in Washington agree: supporting the troops means deferring to the commander in chief, without inquiring about whether what he has the troops doing makes the slightest sense. Yes, we set down our beers long enough to applaud those in uniform and boo those who decline to participate in mandatory rituals of patriotism. What we don't do is demand anything remotely approximating actual accountability.

4. Terrorism gets hyped and hyped and hyped some more. While international terrorism isn't a trivial problem (and wasn't for decades before 9/11), it comes nowhere close to posing an existential threat to the United States. Indeed, other threats, notably the impact of climate change, constitute a far greater danger to the wellbeing of Americans. Worried about the safety of your children or grandchildren? The opioid epidemic constitutes an infinitely greater danger than "Islamic radicalism." Yet having been sold a bill of goods about a "war on terror" that is essential for "keeping America safe," mere citizens are easily persuaded that scattering U.S. troops throughout the Islamic world while dropping bombs on designated evildoers is helping win the former while guaranteeing the latter. To question that proposition becomes tantamount to suggesting that God might not have given Moses two stone tablets after all.

5. Blather crowds out substance. When it comes to foreign policy, American public discourse is -- not to put too fine a point on it -- vacuous, insipid, and mindlessly repetitive. William Safire of the New York Times once characterized American political rhetoric as BOMFOG, with those running for high office relentlessly touting the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God. Ask a politician, Republican or Democrat, to expound on this country's role in the world, and then brace yourself for some variant of WOSFAD, as the speaker insists that it is incumbent upon the World's Only Superpower to spread Freedom and Democracy. Terms like leadership and indispensable are introduced, along with warnings about the dangers of isolationism and appeasement, embellished with ominous references to Munich . Such grandiose posturing makes it unnecessary to probe too deeply into the actual origins and purposes of American wars, past or present, or assess the likelihood of ongoing wars ending in some approximation of actual success. Cheerleading displaces serious thought.

6. Besides, we're too busy. Think of this as a corollary to point five. Even if the present-day American political scene included figures like Senators Robert La Follette or J. William Fulbright , who long ago warned against the dangers of militarizing U.S. policy, Americans may not retain a capacity to attend to such critiques. Responding to the demands of the Information Age is not, it turns out, conducive to deep reflection. We live in an era (so we are told) when frantic multitasking has become a sort of duty and when being overscheduled is almost obligatory. Our attention span shrinks and with it our time horizon. The matters we attend to are those that happened just hours or minutes ago. Yet like the great solar eclipse of 2017 -- hugely significant and instantly forgotten -- those matters will, within another few minutes or hours, be superseded by some other development that briefly captures our attention. As a result, a dwindling number of Americans -- those not compulsively checking Facebook pages and Twitter accounts -- have the time or inclination to ponder questions like: When will the Afghanistan War end? Why has it lasted almost 16 years? Why doesn't the finest fighting force in history actually win? Can't package an answer in 140 characters or a 30-second made-for-TV sound bite? Well, then, slowpoke, don't expect anyone to attend to what you have to say.

7. Anyway, the next president will save us. At regular intervals, Americans indulge in the fantasy that, if we just install the right person in the White House, all will be well. Ambitious politicians are quick to exploit this expectation. Presidential candidates struggle to differentiate themselves from their competitors, but all of them promise in one way or another to wipe the slate clean and Make America Great Again. Ignoring the historical record of promises broken or unfulfilled, and presidents who turn out not to be deities but flawed human beings, Americans -- members of the media above all -- pretend to take all this seriously. Campaigns become longer, more expensive, more circus-like, and ever less substantial. One might think that the election of Donald Trump would prompt a downward revision in the exalted expectations of presidents putting things right. Instead, especially in the anti-Trump camp, getting rid of Trump himself (Collusion! Corruption! Obstruction! Impeachment!) has become the overriding imperative, with little attention given to restoring the balance intended by the framers of the Constitution. The irony of Trump perpetuating wars that he once roundly criticized and then handing the conduct of those wars to generals devoid of ideas for ending them almost entirely escapes notice.

8. Our culturally progressive military has largely immunized itself from criticism. As recently as the 1990s, the U.S. military establishment aligned itself with the retrograde side of the culture wars. Who can forget the gays-in-the-military controversy that rocked Bill Clinton's administration during his first weeks in office, as senior military leaders publicly denounced their commander-in-chief? Those days are long gone. Culturally, the armed forces have moved left. Today, the services go out of their way to project an image of tolerance and a commitment to equality on all matters related to race, gender, and sexuality. So when President Trump announced his opposition to transgendered persons serving in the armed forces, tweeting that the military "cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail," senior officers politely but firmly disagreed and pushed back . Given the ascendency of cultural issues near the top of the U.S. political agenda, the military's embrace of diversity helps to insulate it from criticism and from being called to account for a less than sterling performance in waging wars. Put simply, critics who in an earlier day might have blasted military leaders for their inability to bring wars to a successful conclusion hold their fire. Having women graduate from Ranger School or command Marines in combat more than compensates for not winning.

A collective indifference to war has become an emblem of contemporary America. But don't expect your neighbors down the street or the editors of the New York Times to lose any sleep over that fact. Even to notice it would require them -- and us -- to care.

Andrew J. Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular , is the author, most recently, of America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History .

Dan Hayes > , October 9, 2017 at 2:30 am GMT

You have enumerated ten general reasons why Americans "don't attend" to ongoing wars.

Let me add a further specific one: the draft or lack of same. If there were a draft in place either the powers-that-be would not even dare to contemplate any of our present martial misadventures, or failing that the outraged citizenry would burn down the Congress!

BTW I had never thought about reason #8: the military's embrace of diversity helps to insulate it from criticism. This explains General Casey's inane statement that diversity shouldn't be a casualty of the Fort Hood massacre by a "diverse" officer!

Carlton Meyer > , Website October 9, 2017 at 5:17 am GMT

One reason Trump won is that he promised to pull back the empire, while suggesting the Pentagon already has plenty of money. After the election, he demanded a 10% increase, and threatens North Korea to justify it! This increase alone is bigger than the entire annual military budget of Russia! The public is informed that this is because of cuts during the Obama years, but there were no cuts, only limits to increases.

How did the Democrats react? Most voted for a bigger military budget than the mindless increase proposed by Trump! That news was not reported by our corporate media, as Jimmy Dore explained:

Miro23 > , October 9, 2017 at 6:52 am GMT

A collective indifference to war has become an emblem of contemporary America.

Well, yes, the US has recently killed 100.000′s of Arab civilians because they were Terrorists (?) or to Bring them Democracy (?) or whatever, or something – or who cares anyway. There's more coverage of the transgender toilet access question.

So who are Mr & Mrs Indifferent, the emblems of contemporary America? https://www.yahoo.com/news/29-couples-boudoir-photos-almost-172445904.html ?.tsrc=fauxdal – Thanks to Priss

Backwoods Bob > , October 9, 2017 at 7:37 am GMT

Structurally, you have arms production, military bases, hospitals, and related service industries across nearly all the congressional districts in the country.

So it is an enormous set of vested interests with both voting power and corporate money for campaign treasuries.

Quoting Ike was good, and he mentions the opportunity cost in schools, roads, etc. – but also the organizing political and economic power of the military industrial complex.

The government schools are with some exceptions worthless. No subject, let alone war, is taken on seriously.

The legacy media has been co-opted by the MIC/Financial interests. The state is spying on everyone and everyone knows so. Free speech, free association, free assembly, right to bear arms, confront your accuser, trial by jury, habeas corpus – all gone now.

So the sheep behave. They walk by the dead whistling, and look straight ahead.

Robert Magill > , October 9, 2017 at 9:27 am GMT

While serving as defense secretary in the 1960s, Robert McNamara once mused that the "greatest contribution" of the Vietnam War might have been to make it possible for the United States "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." With regard to the conflict once widely referred to as McNamara's War, his claim proved grotesquely premature. Yet a half-century later, his wish has become reality.

He was dead wrong about this in the 60′s as it soon became obvious to everyone else. But we learned how "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." Cut out the military draft and embed the press into the ranks so they dare not report the actions they witness.

http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

[Oct 08, 2017] Todays Republicans Democrats are just two sides of the same coin. We ought to just call them what they really all are -- Neocons.

Notable quotes:
"... I'd like to see this: President Rand Paul, VP Tulsi Gabbard, chief of staff Ron Paul, and Sec. of Defense Wesley Clark, for starters. ..."
"... "In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." ..."
Oct 08, 2017 | steemit.com

steemihal last month

People need to learn, relearn, and talk to others about this. Let's admit it: today's Republicans & Democrats are just two sides of the same coin. We ought to just call them what they really all are -- "Neocons."

Both sides need to be replaced by truly independent voters giving strength to an administration that is neither R nor D, and that should be the Libertarians. Trump is not one, but he's going to end up making the way for them during his four years.

I'd like to see this: President Rand Paul, VP Tulsi Gabbard, chief of staff Ron Paul, and Sec. of Defense Wesley Clark, for starters.

cve3 2 months ago

It was either Mark Twain or Samuel Clemens who said "In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."

[Oct 07, 2017] Neoliberals seizes power with no intention of relinquishing it. Ever.

This is what inverted totalitarism is about.
Oct 07, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian | Oct 6, 2017 11:07:01 PM | 25

"We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives.

They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal.

We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power."

George Orwell, 1984

[Oct 07, 2017] Us can win against Russi or china but not both of them. And niether Russia or china would allow the other to be destroyed byt he USA. That means end of the US world

Oct 07, 2017 | www.unz.com

Anonymous > , Disclaimer October 5, 2017 at 8:55 pm GMT

@Priss Factor Yeah, right. Perhaps you should reread your history rather than take it simply from pop culture.

Also, Serbia folded quickly once US got involved.

Only after Russia abandoned them, and even so, they still held on for quite some time. This was also when the US forces were more competent.

US held their ground in Korea against millions of Chinese troops.

The "millions" only were perceived so by the Marines during the Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River because the Chinese troops had achieved almost complete envelopment – in reality, it was pretty much equal numbers, and American formations shattered would never recover for the remainder of the war. Although the UN forces did better in the second half, it was battles like that of Bloody Ridge and Heartbreak Ridge – which were named for specifically that reason – which proved that total victory was unattainable due to the casualties that Communist forces could inflict upon the UN.

It was far from a cakewalk.

In strength disposition at this point, the US might be able to win a war against either Russia or China alone. But they would obviously not allow the other to be destroyed, and any attack on one of them would result in both of them retaliating.

Its over for the US in terms of unilateral military solutions.

[Oct 07, 2017] Wars are costly and uncertain events even in case of overwhelming technical superiority that the USA still enjoys (against most non-nuclear countries)

Oct 07, 2017 | www.unz.com

FB, October 5, 2017 at 11:20 pm GMT

@Priss Factor

US won every major battle in Vietnam.

And here's the rest of the story

So that's a kill ratio of what, 50 to 1 for third world air force Vietnam against 'superpower' United States ?

Lopsided much ?

That has to be some kind of record for losing aircraft not seen since WW2

Oh and let's not forget the US fleeing their embassy in Saigon by rooftop helicopter

US held their ground in Korea against millions of Chinese troops.

Oh yes let's see

' The defeat of the U.S. Eighth Army resulted in the longest retreat of any American military unit in history The Chinese offensive continued pressing American forces, which lost Seoul, the South Korean capital. Eighth Army's morale and esprit de corps hit rock bottom, to where it was widely regarded as a broken, defeated rabble '

Also, Serbia folded quickly once US got involved.

Hmm interesting.

' The shootdown of an F-117 stealth aircraft over Kosovo in 1999 served as a wake-up call for the Air Force NATO never fully succeeded in neutralizing the Serb integrated air defense system '

and

'Operation Allied Force was the most intense and sustained military operation to have been conducted in Europe since the end of World War II .'

and

'The air campaign over Kosovo severely affected the readiness rates of the United States Air Force's Air Combat Command during that period many aircraft will have to be replaced earlier than previously planned, as their planned fatigue life was prematurely expended. PGM inventories needed to be re-stocked, the warstock of the AGM-86C Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile dropping to 100 or fewer rounds.[11]

Of the more than 25,000 bombs and missiles expended, nearly 8,500 were PGMs, with the replacement cost estimated at $US1.3 billion.[12] Thus the USAF suffered from virtual attrition of its air force without having scored a large number of kills in theater. Even if the United States' best estimates of Serbian casualties are used, the Serbians left Kosovo with a large part of their armored forces intact '

So the combined might of 19 Nato countries with a population of 900 million vs little Serbia and its 7 million people a NATO air armada of over 1,000 aircraft and still little Serbia stood its ground. As for Afghanistan US still hasn't won anything in 16 years. . As Paul Craig Roberts regularly reminds us, the US hasn't won a real war since the pacific war in ww2. Thanks for the opportunity Mr. Priss hope we can dance again sometime oh and have fun in Disneyland

[Oct 07, 2017] US Intelligence Unit Accused Of Illegally Spying On Americans' Financial Records

Oct 07, 2017 | www.buzzfeed.com

The intelligence division at the Treasury Department has repeatedly and systematically violated domestic surveillance laws by snooping on the private financial records of US citizens and companies, according to government sources.

Over the past year, at least a dozen employees in another branch of the Treasury Department, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, have warned officials and Congress that US citizens' and residents' banking and financial data has been illegally searched and stored. And the breach, some sources said, extended to other intelligence agencies, such as the National Security Agency, whose officers used the Treasury's intelligence division as an illegal back door to gain access to American citizens' financial records. The NSA said that any allegations that it "is operating outside of its authorities and knowingly violating U.S. persons' privacy and civil liberties is categorically false."

In response to detailed questions, the Treasury Department at first issued a one-sentence reply stating that its various branches "operate in a manner consistent with applicable legal authorities." Several hours after this story published, the department issued a more forceful denial : "The BuzzFeed story is flat out wrong. An unsourced suggestion that an office within Treasury is engaged in illegal spying on Americans is unfounded and completely off-base." It added that "OIA and FinCEN share important information and operate within the bounds of statute."

Still, the Treasury Department's Office of the Inspector General said it has launched a review of the issue. Rich Delmar, a lawyer in that office, offered no further comment.

But a senior Treasury official, who is not authorized to speak on the matter so requested anonymity, did not mince words: "This is domestic spying."

Sources said the spying had been going on under President Barack Obama, but the Donald Trump appointees who now control how the department conducts intelligence operations are Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker.

At issue is the collection and dissemination of information from a vast database of mostly US citizens' banking and financial records that banks turn over to the government each day. Banks and other financial institutions are required, under the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970, to report suspicious transactions and cash transactions over $10,000. The database is maintained by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN , a bank regulator charged with combatting money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes. Under the law, it has unfettered powers to peruse and retain the data.

In contrast to FinCEN, Treasury's intelligence division, known as the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, or OIA, is charged with monitoring suspicious financial activity that occurs outside the US. Under a seminal Reagan-era executive order, a line runs through the Treasury Department and all other federal agencies separating law enforcement, which targets domestic crimes, from intelligence agencies, which focus on foreign threats and can surveil US citizens only in limited ways and by following stringent guidelines.

FinCEN officials have accused their counterparts at OIA, an intelligence unit, of violating this separation by illegally collecting and retaining domestic financial information from the banking database. Some sources have also charged that OIA analysts have, in a further legal breach, been calling up financial institutions to make inquiries about individual bank accounts and transactions involving US citizens. Sources said the banks have complied with the requests because they are under the impression they are giving the information to FinCEN, which they are required to do.

One source recalled an instance from 2016 in which OIA personnel, inserting themselves into a domestic money-laundering case, sought information from a Delaware financial institution. In other cases, according to a second source, FinCEN gave OIA reports with the names of US citizens and companies blacked out. OIA obtained those names by calling the banks, then used those names to search the banking database for more information on those American citizens and firms. "This is such an invasion of privacy." -- Treasury Department official

Sources also claimed that OIA has opened a back door to officers from other intelligence agencies throughout the government, including the the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Officials from those agencies have been coming to work at OIA for short periods of time, sometimes for as little as a week, and thereby getting unrestricted access to information on US citizens that they otherwise could not collect without strict oversight.

"This is such an invasion of privacy," said another Treasury Department official, who, lacking authorization to speak on the matter, asked not to be named. This person predicted that banks "would lose their minds" if they knew that their customers' records were being used by government intelligence officers who did not have the legal authority to do so.

The Defense Intelligence Agency did not respond to a request for comment. CIA spokesman Dean Boyd said, "Suggestions that the Agency may be improperly collecting and retaining US persons data through the mechanisms you described are completely inaccurate."

Sources claimed the unauthorized inspection and possession of Americans' financial data have been going on for years but only became controversial in 2016, when officials at FinCEN learned about it and began objecting. Early last year, Treasury's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, which oversees OIA, proposed transferring much of FinCEN's work to OIA.

In a bureaucratic turf war, FinCEN officials objected to the proposal, which would have shifted numerous employees and a portion of FinCEN's budget to OIA. They said the move was illegal without prior approval from Congress.

[Oct 05, 2017] "Die" The Unlimited Radicalism Of Antifa by

Alt-left paramilitaries remind me Bolsheviks armed squads, the underground, militant part of the party.
Notable quotes:
"... Independence Day, ..."
"... Of course, most Establishment conservatives were using the term " Alt " as simply a synonym for "bad." And their typical criticism of the black-clad thugs was that they were "the real fascists ." ..."
"... America: Imagine A World Without Her , ..."
"... CounterCurrents, ..."
"... It argues the entire debate about fascism and "anti-fascism" is essentially backwards: Fascism arose as a reaction to the Communist revolution in Russia and the attempted Communist revolutions in Hungary, Slovakia and parts of Germany: ..."
"... "Without communist revolution and without the vanguard leftist parties that launched those revolutions, there would have been no reason for fascism ever to exit," the anonymous author writes. "Essentially, the communist revolutionaries and their 'direct action' tactics had created their own nemesis capable of defeating them in the streets and willing to compete with them for the loyalty of the workers. ..."
"... Homage To Catalonia ..."
"... Antifa: What Americans Need To Know About The Alt-Left ..."
"... No Pasarán! ..."
"... Antifa: What Americans Need To Know About The Alt-Left ..."
"... Just as every Communist regime has always violently targeted " wreckers " to explain policy failures, so must Antifa target ever increasing number of "fascists" as the impossible (and undesirable) goal of "equality" remains forever over the horizon. ..."
"... In any event, this is not "Weimar America". We are in the process of losing two or three colonial wars (a good thing) but most of the people in the US don't even really notice we are involved in those wars. It's not like Germany losing WWI and then suffering a million starvation deaths from the British blockade. But let's see what happens November 4, shall we? I'm expecting saturation media coverage but not much else. ..."
Oct 03, 2017 | www.unz.com

In the alien invasion movie Independence Day, the beleaguered President of the United States, hoping he can forge some kind of a peace which will at least allow the survival of the human race, pleads, "What is it you want us to do?" The alien 's response is simple. "Die."

The mind of a rational person rebels at the suggestion of such an unlimited, existential conflict. After all, reasonable people should always be able to come to some kind of a compromise, some settlement which will avoid violence and chaos. But there are some people who cannot be reasoned with, whose objectives are so unlimited and irrational that not only compromise, but co-existence with them is impossible.

Americans face such an existential threat in the form of the Leftist vigilante group that calls itself AntiFa. And now American have the first examination of the so-called "anti-fascists" from a patriot perspective in a new book basically orthodox conservative website WND, the book oddly lists no author).

Antifa have been plaguing immigration patriots for many years. But it's only recently that the average American has become aware of their existence. The attacks on Trump supporters during and after the presidential campaign has made Americans aware of what the president eventually termed the " Alt-Left. "

Of course, most Establishment conservatives were using the term " Alt " as simply a synonym for "bad." And their typical criticism of the black-clad thugs was that they were "the real fascists ." The huckster Dinesh D'Souza has built an entire career in presenting this alternate history to the gullible and well-meaning [ America: Imagine A World Without Her , by Gregory Hood, CounterCurrents, July 17, 2017].

Structured as a "Special Report," Antifa rejects this Conservatism Inc. cliché and provides an accurate history of the rise of fascism as well as anti-fascism. It argues the entire debate about fascism and "anti-fascism" is essentially backwards: Fascism arose as a reaction to the Communist revolution in Russia and the attempted Communist revolutions in Hungary, Slovakia and parts of Germany:

"Without communist revolution and without the vanguard leftist parties that launched those revolutions, there would have been no reason for fascism ever to exit," the anonymous author writes. "Essentially, the communist revolutionaries and their 'direct action' tactics had created their own nemesis capable of defeating them in the streets and willing to compete with them for the loyalty of the workers.

... ... ...

"Anti-fascism," as the author details, has been a remarkably consistent slogan of the Totalitarian Left in all its manifestations. From the Berlin Wall (the "Anti Fascist Protection Rampart ") to the British "Anti Nazi League" (a creation of the Socialist Workers Party), this Left (including left-anarchists such as the " autonomists ") always frames itself as the only defense against "fascism." Of course, by "fascists," it means everyone else in the world.

Given current events, it's worth noting most of Orwell's Homage To Catalonia is about the vicious infighting between various Spanish leftist factions, all ostensibly at war with Francisco Franco. And as Antifa: What Americans Need To Know About The Alt-Left points out, Spanish Republican heroine Dolores Ibarruri, who famously utilized the Antifa No Pasarán! slogan during the Battle for Madrid , was a Stalinist who thoroughly approved of the bloody purges against Trotskyists and anarchists because she claimed they were "fascists."

Indeed, Antifa: What Americans Need To Know About The Alt-Left is a critical warning to every American, not just conservatives, that they are all being targeted by Antifa. Just as every Communist regime has always violently targeted " wreckers " to explain policy failures, so must Antifa target ever increasing number of "fascists" as the impossible (and undesirable) goal of "equality" remains forever over the horizon.

... ... ...

Jim Christian > , October 4, 2017 at 12:18 pm GMT

Pretty slick. TPTB turned Occupy Wall Street into an anti-Alt.Right terror group which allows Wall Street to go about their thievery without examination by their former tormentors. Most are Bernie supporters, but Hillary's "people" are sprinkled in, too. Antifa is vile, hooded, violent and protected by police departments all over the country for pretty much anything they want to do and whatever crimes they wish to commit.

All their protest years ago against the thievery Wall Street, the banks, especially the IMF and World Bank commits is over. Protests against the endless wars, over. They are now reassigned the task of terrorizing the campuses, Republican events and gatherings.

Which means, they were only ever a terror group and it doesn't and never did matter the who or the why, only the "when", as directed. Well done, banks and Wall Street. Well done.

Talha > , October 4, 2017 at 3:47 pm GMT

@Jim Christian

Hey Jim,

Very interesting take. That would be an incredibly masterful strategic move if what you say is true. And you are right – the Occupy movement seems to have done a complete about face.

Peace.

Achmed E. Newman > , Website October 4, 2017 at 8:58 pm GMT

First of all, another great article, Mr. Kirkpatrick, with some truth you don't hear very much. I just read Mr. Gleimhart's comment, but I am still surprised that World Net Daily wrote some of this. I used to read a few articles on their site a decade ago or so, and they seemed like a branch office of Conservative, Inc.

Another reason I'm glad to see the word "Communist" in use here, along with those comparisons to the commies of yesteryear is this: It seems like many of the alt-righters, here and elsewhere, are always bringing up points about using the "correct" terms for these antifa people. "No, they are not Communists. They don't even know what Marxism is. No, 'Cultural Marxism" is the wrong term.", etc. Many think calling these people Communists is just out-of-date Cold-War-era stuff, and we are hold-outs from a different era. They never think about the fact that we won the EXTERNAL Cold War, but have been almost completely defeated in the INTERNAL Cold War.

I don't know all the local history of a century ago, but I kind of wonder if most of the Commies of old didn't really give a rat's ass about Karl Marx either. Sure, the useful idiots didn't, but I think even some of the bigger shots did not really care what it was all about in principle. Like the antifa violent clueless morons of today, they just want to gain power and stuff. Hard work, diligence, and morals are just too much effort for them.

The tactics of the antifa very much resemble those of the people the brownshirts formed up to fight in the streets back then, like rhyming history. Those brownshirts were derided for using the same tactics, fighting fire with fire. If you're a Commie, you can't have that. I don't know how it will go down here – America is laid out much differently geographically, economically, and politically, but mainly, we have lots more guns. More here on these new Commies.

Kirt > , October 4, 2017 at 10:10 pm GMT

Sounds like an interesting book and a valid analysis. That said, the Antifa is far from being an existential threat to the country or even especially terrifying unless you happen to be caught in the middle of a bunch of them.

Communist street action and terrorism was far more widespread in the US during the late 1960′s and early '70′s. The apparent desire of many on the right to recruit Vegas shooter Paddock for the Antifa is the strange mirror image of the desire of the Daesh jihadists to recruit him for themselves.

Without Paddock, I don't think the Antifa have taken even one life. Now maybe Paddock will turn out to be Antifa or something pretty close to that but I think we need a bit more evidence than an Asian girlfriend.

In any event, this is not "Weimar America". We are in the process of losing two or three colonial wars (a good thing) but most of the people in the US don't even really notice we are involved in those wars. It's not like Germany losing WWI and then suffering a million starvation deaths from the British blockade. But let's see what happens November 4, shall we? I'm expecting saturation media coverage but not much else.

Logan > , October 5, 2017 at 5:43 am GMT

Pretty much true.

However, I'd like to point out that antifa is a threat to the US in the same sense as Islamism is a threat to western civilization. Both movements do not of themselves begin to have enough power to destroy their enemies. Their only real advantage is that their enemies appear to be determined to commit suicide.

Wally > , October 5, 2017 at 5:45 am GMT

Undercover video shows Democrat "operatives" admitting they incited violence at Trump rallies.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-17/caught-tape-clinton-funded-democrat-operatives-inciting-anarchy-trump-rallies

Logan > , October 5, 2017 at 6:01 am GMT

@Achmed E. Newman First of all, another great article, Mr. Kirkpatrick, with some truth you don't hear very much. I just read Mr. Gleimhart's comment, but I am still surprised that World Net Daily wrote some of this. I used to read a few articles on their site a decade ago or so, and they seemed like a branch office of Conservative, Inc.

Another reason I'm glad to see the word "Communist" in use here, along with those comparisons to the commies of yesteryear is this: It seems like many of the alt-righters, here and elsewhere, are always bringing up points about using the "correct" terms for these antifa people. "No, they are not Communists. They don't even know what Marxism is. No, 'Cultural Marxism" is the wrong term.", etc. Many think calling these people Communists is just out-of-date Cold-War-era stuff, and we are hold-outs from a different era. They never think about the fact that we won the EXTERNAL Cold War, but have been almost completely defeated in the INTERNAL Cold War.

I don't know all the local history of a century ago, but I kind of wonder if most of the Commies of old didn't really give a rat's ass about Karl Marx either. Sure, the useful idiots didn't, but I think even some of the bigger shots did not really care what it was all about in principle. Like the antifa violent clueless morons of today, they just want to gain power and stuff. Hard work, diligence, and morals are just too much effort for them.

The tactics of the antifa very much resemble those of the people the brownshirts formed up to fight in the streets back then, like rhyming history. Those brownshirts were derided for using the same tactics, fighting fire with fire. If you're a Commie, you can't have that. I don't know how it will go down here - America is laid out much differently geographically, economically, and politically, but mainly, we have lots more guns. More here on these new Commies. This is all perhaps an argument over semantics, but I suggest that there is very little indeed that is Marxist about antifa, at least if by "Marxist" you mean "follower of the teachings of Karl Marx."

Marx built a very well-developed ideology. But among its absolutely key points were the unimportance of any divisions between people other than socio-economic ones, the critical importance of "ownership of the means of production," and the dialectic process of society advancing with scienticfic inevitability toward a bright and equal future. Embedded in this was of course an antagonism towards capitalism and western civilization.

Antifa, to the degree it has an identifiable ideology as opposed to simply being oppositionist, has completely thrown overboard the first three points I mentioned, while continuing to follow the last two and no doubt other aspects of the original doctrines of Marx.

Antifa pretty much ignores socio-economic class, being apparently down with the moguls of Google and Facebook because they are also anti-white. The divisions they are trying to exploit are instead racial/ethnic and sexual/gender. Identity politics is about as inherently contradictory to what Marx taught as anything that can be imagined.

Antifa, and the Left in general, isn't interested in owning or running the means of production, that would be far too much like actual work. They'd much rather create dicta as to how the owners/managers of the MOP will operate, leaving them to figure out how to comply, and also tax the bejeebers out of them to pay for their programs.

From what I can see there is nothing at all left in antifa and the left in general of a belief in the dialectic, the absolute core of Marxism as such.

I will cheerfully agree that antifa is descended in a direct line from Marx and Lenin. It just seems that at some point a movement can have diverged so much from what was taught by its founder that it starts to seem silly to call it by the original name. For instance, Christianity was originally a Jewish heresy. But nobody calls Christianity a Jewish sect any longer. It used to be, but it isn't any more.

Or, possibly I'm being over-precise.

Mark Green > , October 5, 2017 at 6:44 am GMT

Kirkpatrick slams another home run. The aggressive, totalitarian nature of Antifa must not be taken lightly. Kirkpatrick makes this abundantly clear. But the sympathetic coverage that this thug-left movement gets from the MSM is an outrage.

Kirkpatrick reminds us also that 'fascism' (which emerged in Italy in the 1920s) was a populist bulwark against the most aggressive and murderous political movement in human history: revolutionary communism. Indeed, without the bloodletting impact of international communism, fascism might never have arisen.

It's also worth noting that the infamous crimes now associated with fascism and Naziism occurred only during the final three years of the most brutal (on all sides) military conflict in world history (WWII).

Communist extremism and communist atrocities however preceded fascism and they have outlived fascism. Far Left extremism remains a growing and permutating movement. Yet it often gets sympathetic news coverage; despite the fact that communism has not only claimed far more lives than fascism, but has commonly erupted even during times of peace. As a 'utopian' ideology, communism has been an unmatched global disaster.

Indeed, in the name of equality, commies murdered tens of millions of civilians in the 20th century alone. Yet unlike the defeated Nazis, only a handful of the commie perpetrators responsible for these crimes have ever been brought to justice. Even their reputations remain, in some cases, largely untarnished.

True to form, today's generation of politically-correct extremists (and their sympathizers) have successfully infiltrated American classrooms, courts, and our 'mainstream' media. These operatives foment discord guilt-free, often using their powerful positions to disparage and humiliate populist 'deplorables'.

Today, Antifa's street warriors are ready and waiting to violently deny the right of Free Speech to their political opponents as they simultaneously unleash premeditated, physical attacks. This is pure, unadulterated totalitarianism.

The rise of Antifa represent a real and growing threat to civil discourse and political liberty.

Seamus Padraig > , October 5, 2017 at 7:42 am GMT

Republican heroine Dolores Ibarruri was a Stalinist who thoroughly approved of the bloody purges against Trotskyists and anarchists because she claimed they were "fascists."

The purging of the (((Trotskyites))) is actually a pretty good reason to respect Stalin.

alexander > , October 5, 2017 at 8:10 am GMT

@Jim Christian Pretty slick. TPTB turned Occupy Wall Street into an anti-Alt.Right terror group which allows Wall Street to go about their thievery without examination by their former tormentors. Most are Bernie supporters, but Hillary's "people" are sprinkled in, too. Antifa is vile, hooded, violent and protected by police departments all over the country for pretty much anything they want to do and whatever crimes they wish to commit. All their protest years ago against the thievery Wall Street, the banks, especially the IMF and World Bank commits is over. Protests against the endless wars, over. They are now reassigned the task of terrorizing the campuses, Republican events and gatherings.

Which means, they were only ever a terror group and it doesn't and never did matter the who or the why, only the "when", as directed.

Well done, banks and Wall Street. Well done. Good points Jim,

It says something to me that the "Antifa" manifesto, or "explique" has no author attached to it.

None.

I wonder who the mega donors are, who are nursing this baby ..don't you ?

There was , on the other hand, enormous legitimacy to the Occupy Movement. as there was enormous legitimacy to the Antiwar Movement.

There was, and is, enormous legitimacy to Bernie Sanders salient comment that too much of our nation's wealth has migrated into the hands of a very few billionaire oligarchs, and our middle class is vanishing.

The vanishing wealth of the middle class has substantially drained its political power and consequently, the right to control its own destiny. Nothing proved this point more then when the oligarchs, displaying their utter contempt for the peoples say, simply "gifted " the DNC nomination to Queen Hillary.

Antifa, at first blush, does not give two sh#ts about any of this, it seems hollow to the core right out of the gate. Which, I imagine, is why Big Media has given it such a warm welcome.

Randal > , October 5, 2017 at 8:24 am GMT

As "Anti-fascism" quite explicitly defines itself as anti-liberal (in the classical sense of liberalism), repudiates the right to free speech and takes upon itself the responsibility to enforce though violence a remarkably narrow definition of what people can and cannot say, it is of course quintessentially totalitarian.

Exactly so. It's the street manifestation of the basic violent intolerance inherent in the modern left, and of the self-righteous arrogance of the crusading antifascist/anti-racist/anti-anti-Semite/anti-homophobe (etc etc.), that is visible everywhere in modern political discourse.

Threats of violence and expressions of wishes for suffering to be imposed on those they disagree with are commonplace from such people, from the "antiracist" academic calling for "white genocide" to the directly menacing abuse and actual physical violence ("it's ok to punch a fascist") directed at those who breach the taboos of the left, and routinely unpunished by any legal process despite the supposed modern politically correct concern to use the law to punish any kind of "offence" or "hatred" directed at special categories of victim.

Greg Bacon > , Website October 5, 2017 at 9:53 am GMT

What's Antifa got planned for us deplorables?

The "Resources" page of the group's website offers a number of publications that promote violence, including a 36-page manual called the "Mini-Manual of the Urban Guerrilla," which advises readers on how to conduct urban warfare, with sections on "sabotage," "kidnapping," "executions," and even "terrorism."

https://conservativepost.com/this-antifa-manual-was-recovered-from-charlottesvill/

Terrorism like what happened in Las Vegas?

AMAZON has a number of these pro-Antifa books, preaching hate and overthrowing the govt using any means necessary. Guess promoting hate and violence is OK with AMAZON, just don't ask any questions about WW II.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_6?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=antifa&sprefix=Antifa%2Cstripbooks%2C226&crid=OJDJN72GWI3I

Jim Christian > , October 5, 2017 at 11:11 am GMT

@alexander

I wonder who the mega donors are, who are nursing this baby ..don't you ?

Man, follow the donor-tree from Soros down through dozens of organizations, NGOs, the Clinton Foundation, the Global Initiative, and offshoots from all of these, to boot. They churn. And, I have to figure there are briefcases full of cash fronting riots and contrived horseshit like Charlottesville. If a stat that says the kill ratio is 18:1 cops:perps, so I'm not sure what #blacklivesmatter is but B/S. Yet, it lives on, with lots of franchisees out there, waiting. I expect marches throughout the season when the cold weather subsides with trouble clear to the election and trust me, the good folks at Antifa and #blm will be there. Well, who feeds them? These aren't brain surgeons, these peeps. Where do they sleep when they're in town? Who has their weapons and masks and transportation lined up when they get there? For added fun, like in Charlottesville and elsewhere, fringes, local Blacks, playing the #blm card, will be niggling at the edges, robbing the Whites trying to get out of a scuffle. Funny: more virtue-signaling Antifa Whites got robbed than Unite-Right Whites. Funnier: These guys, after they robbed them, they pulled off their pants and left them in the alley sans wallet, keys, phone and britches. It's unbelievaboo.

Antifa. #blacklivesmatter. Friends of Soros and Democrat-based NGOs worldwide! And, fun for the whole family! Come on down!

Buba Zanetti > , October 5, 2017 at 12:38 pm GMT

Antifa is one part of myriad of internal contradictions beginning to tear the United States apart...

helena > , October 5, 2017 at 2:20 pm GMT

@Mark Green Yes but how do we tackle it? The British youth have fallen for it and are ostracising other youth who haven't, it's a wholesale cultural collapse achieved by holding festival-style protests, controlling people through reward and punishment, and promising hand outs, which the country cannot afford.

Young people are being brainwashed into accepting a massive loan with an undeclared interest rate.

c matt > , October 5, 2017 at 2:51 pm GMT

@alexander The only reason any politician give's a rat's behind about the middle class is because it is the tax cash cow. I have yet to see any tax reform for the middle class actually lower the taxes on the middle class. Whether GOP or Dem, as soon as they say "middle class tax cut" get ready for the middle class to take it up the a$$.

densa > , October 5, 2017 at 3:57 pm GMT

Great article and comments. The far left organization known as anti-fa meets the definition of domestic terrorism, yet they remain untroubled, as far as we know, by DHS or even many local police. But even more troubling is that without the media's collusion, they would never have become the force they are now.

Consider the NFL kneeling issue. This was to support BLM. When it was seen as disrespecting the flag the NFL's solution was to make it about freedom of speech and stand but link arms to show "solidarity" with BLM. But done once, when will it stop? Do the players plan on continuing to show solidarity throughout the season? What about next year? After you've been bullied into obeying anti-fa, at what point can these sympathizers say it's enough? Thus, the national anthem has been hijacked from being about national unity to being a symbol of our continued submission to political extremists.

They want to destroy us, by that I mean white America, and a shockingly large number of whites are good with that. Meeting their demands only results in new demands. Reparations are a goal, but no doubt by the time we get there that won't be enough either.

[Oct 04, 2017] The American Religion of War by William J. Astore

Notable quotes:
"... We are not a rational society. We are a faith-based society. And our temples and crosses are military bases and weaponry, which we export globally. The U.S. has 800 overseas bases, and America dominates the international trade in arms. Meanwhile, our missionaries are our Special Ops troops, which we send to 130 countries, spreading the American gospel. The gospel of war and the gun. ..."
"... A xenophobic form of patriotism exacerbates a religion of violence. Exclusive rather than inclusive, it sets the boundaries of "us" versus "them." Critics and dissenters are cast out and exiled. ..."
"... Our TV shows reinforce our belief in violence and militarism. ..."
"... America is being consumed by a religion of violence and mayhem. We're trapped in a dark maelstrom of death and destruction. Yet how can we repudiate our god of war when we are so busy feeding him? When we talk of "thoughts and prayers" after each tragedy, do we truly know which god we're calling upon? ..."
Oct 04, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

A few thoughts on violence and military idolatry in America

If you believe the polls, America is a nation of believers. A nation of faith. But is our faith truly in a pacific god of love? Or do we instead worship a god of war? Current and past events suggest that too often Americans place their faith in war and the military. We continue to believe despite the evidence our belief is both wrongheaded and destructive.

We have a cult-like affection for war and the military. It drives what we see – what we perceive. Believing is seeing. The military confesses to believe in "progress" in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, so we invent metrics that show how we're winning (which is exactly what we did fifty years ago in Vietnam).

We are not a rational society. We are a faith-based society. And our temples and crosses are military bases and weaponry, which we export globally. The U.S. has 800 overseas bases, and America dominates the international trade in arms. Meanwhile, our missionaries are our Special Ops troops, which we send to 130 countries, spreading the American gospel. The gospel of war and the gun.

The icons of American militarism are our weapons. Our warplanes, our drones, big bombs (the MOAB), the list goes on. They have become the iconic symbols of an idolatry of destruction.

A xenophobic form of patriotism exacerbates a religion of violence. Exclusive rather than inclusive, it sets the boundaries of "us" versus "them." Critics and dissenters are cast out and exiled.

Meanwhile, in far-off foreign lands, we reject the reality of ruins and rubble. We couch it instead in terms of salvation: "we had to destroy the village to save it." It's another aspect of our evangelical approach to war. It's like being born again. You must tear yourself down before you're born again in the spirit of Christ. We seem to believe cities must be ruined before we can declare victory over the enemy.

Consider 9/11/2001. An inward-looking people may have kept the ruins of 9/11 as a monument to the victims. But not us. That's expensive real estate, and on those ruins we were born again, building Freedom Tower , exactly 1776 feet in height. Thus our fall was reinterpreted as rebirth, our defeat as victory, tragedy as triumph. Even 9/11 itself is now celebrated as a day of patriotism.

Yes, we can reconstruct our own rubble, as we did after 9/11. But will foreign rubble ever be reconstructed? Cities like Mosul ? Well, who cares? They are not of the body. They are not us. They are outcasts. Let them survive in what's left of their blasted buildings and homes.

Our TV shows reinforce our belief in violence and militarism. New ones include " The Brave " on NBC, which begins by focusing on a pretty White female doctor kidnapped by Muslim terrorists and "brave" efforts to rescue her; " Valor " on the CW channel, featuring lots of helicopters and flags and automatic weapons; and the rather obvious " SEAL Team " on CBS, with elite Navy SEALs standing in for the superheroes of the past. If you get tired of watching military heroics on TV, there's always military-themed "shooter" video games. Indeed, the military experience is everywhere, even in Madden football, where in "story mode" you can play against quarterback Dan Marino on an Army base in Iraq. (The field is surrounded by a fortified fence, rocky hills, and a helicopter pad, among other exotic military features.)

America is being consumed by a religion of violence and mayhem. We're trapped in a dark maelstrom of death and destruction. Yet how can we repudiate our god of war when we are so busy feeding him? When we talk of "thoughts and prayers" after each tragedy, do we truly know which god we're calling upon?

William J. Astore is a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF). He taught history for fifteen years at military and civilian schools and blogs at Bracing Views . He can be reached at wastore@pct.edu . Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author's permission.

[Oct 03, 2017] US military vehicles paraded 300 yards from the Russian border by Michael Birnbaum

Th at reckless demonstration of force on the border is the essence of Obama administration approach to Russia. With the foreign policy dominated by people from CIA.
Notable quotes:
"... Americans need to stop and look again at the Cuban Missile Crisis. If he had listened to the generals Washington would have been vaporized and we would have had full scale nuclear war. ..."
"... Oh, and by the way, whoever gave the order to participate in such an "in your face" demonstration 300m from the border of a country that already fears for their security, should be COURT MARTIALED!! THIS WHOLE THING IS GOING TO TURN OUT REALLY BAD FOR BOTH COUNTRIES!!!!!! ..."
"... Mutually assured provocation. ..."
"... The U.S. has been "at war" 93% of the time since 1776. 97% if counting the proxy wars. ..."
"... If the EU and US were interested in any Peace they would not be arming and funding terrorist groups like ISIS / Al-Qaeda but would actually fight them. ..."
Feb 24, 2015 | www.washingtonpost.com

MOSCOW - U.S. military combat vehicles paraded Wednesday through an Estonian city that juts into Russia, a symbolic act that highlighted the stakes for both sides amid the worst tensions between the West and Russia since the Cold War.

The armored personnel carriers and other U.S. Army vehicles that rolled through the streets of Narva, a border city separated by a narrow frontier from Russia, were a dramatic reminder of the new military confrontation in Eastern Europe.

Frazzled2 3/9/2015 8:57 PM EDT

Americans need to stop and look again at the Cuban Missile Crisis. If he had listened to the generals Washington would have been vaporized and we would have had full scale nuclear war.

It was only after they did all they could to try to convince Kennedy to bomb Cuba, and many years had passed, that it was found out that the nuclear missiles were operational.

If the Generals (especially Lemay) had been listened to history would have been a WHOLE LOT different!

Another widely unknown fact was that it was not a case of the Russian simply backing down. We gave up missiles in Turkey in return for the removal of the Russian missiles.

So what does any of this have to do with today? Then we had Kennedy who had the strength to do what was right and the foreign affairs intelligence to override his generals and do what was right. Today we have "The Community Organizer" who has to find the wisdom to do what's right.

Oh, and by the way, whoever gave the order to participate in such an "in your face" demonstration 300m from the border of a country that already fears for their security, should be COURT MARTIALED!! THIS WHOLE THING IS GOING TO TURN OUT REALLY BAD FOR BOTH COUNTRIES!!!!!!

Benjamin Jowett 3/9/2015 11:55 AM EDT
"The United States has sent hundreds of military personnel to joint NATO exercises in the Baltics". Hundreds? We sent "hundreds" of "personnel" (of whom only a small proportion were probably combat soldiers)? And that is supposed to intimidate Putin? ...
Arreb 3/9/2015 10:59 AM EDT [Edited]
What a load of bull crap. Most of the people in the UKraine voted against having anything to do with the West controlled EU because they knew they would be raped and pillaged like that has been done to them since the West overthrew their elected government. This vote of the people against the EU was what sparked the US over throw of the Ukraine.

The US had the new Ukraine leader already selected for the take over two months before we over threw their governement.

Not even two weeks after the over throw the US was already talking about starting to frak for gas there .

This take over is all about controlling Russia and pushing Russia into corner and to try to force Russais into another World War when Russia did nothing wrong but bow to the wishes of the people in Crimea and try to protect their people and assets.
The real criminal here is the US and the EU. ... more See More Like Share

Steve Collins 3/9/2015 9:10 AM EDT
NATO is a defense organization. Why is Russia. "NOT" wanting neighbors to have adequate defenses? An Even bigger question; Why do Russian neighbors feel a need to join a defense organization?
Frazzled2 3/9/2015 9:06 PM EDT
Russia LOST 24 MILLION people the last time the west moved up to their borders. Remember how we felt when we lost 3000 on 9/11? how about the 2500 or so 12/7/1941, for that matter how about when we simply had Russian missiles pointed at us in Cuba??

WE still haven't gotten over the effects of either, so imagine how Russia feels about 24 million DEAD and US combat troops right on their borders. I hope that maybe those FACTS puts a little perspective on this, but I doubt it......

Lets all chant together as we watch American and Russian cities go up in a mushroom cloud, "USA USA USA"

SocialistSecurity 3/2/2015 9:57 AM EST
Mutually assured provocation.
jRahall727 2/28/2015 1:50 PM EST
The U.S. has been "at war" 93% of the time since 1776. 97% if counting the proxy wars.
Oleg Moseev 2/28/2015 2:54 AM EST
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKiFCIS2GJU

if one Russian isn't afraid to stand with a flag on your parade, think that will be if we get up all. we want the peace, but we will be able to protect ourselves

Arreb 3/9/2015 11:06 AM EDT [Edited]
The trouble is the US and EU have never has been intersted in peace but only control of every country. This is why they over throw any world government who refuses to join the EU.

We saw this in Syria, Egypt, Iran, other countries as well in the Ukraine and they are not done yet.

If the EU and US were interested in any Peace they would not be arming and funding terrorist groups like ISIS / Al-Qaeda but would actually fight them.

Sergey Alferov 2/28/2015 2:30 AM EST
US became the evil empire and want to unleash the world's third world war. Nuclear.
Sergey Alferov 2/28/2015 2:27 AM EST
Russia defended Europe from the Mongols, the Turks, from fascism and liberated from Napoleon. Russia allowed without blood disconnect from its territory of Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbadzhana, Moldova, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan. Russia helped to reunite Germany. Russia defended in 2008 from Georgia and genocide on its part of the Orthodox Ossetians. Crimea hundreds of years was Russian territory, Russian and live there.

Crimeans happily separated from the Ukraine. US $ 5 billion overthrew the legitimate government of Ukraine and put him in the leadership of the military junta. Ukrainian fascists beginning of genocide against Russian speaking population in the Donbas and Lugansk, Russian volunteers help self-defense forces of the People's Republic of Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republic. Russian-speaking population is oppressed in Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk and Kharkov. MH-17 downed Ukrainian military fighters, for what would provoke hatred of Russia.

Now NATO is defiantly holds military march near the border with Russia. This unfriendly and can have extremely negative consequences.

jRahall727 2/28/2015 1:52 PM EST
Ask Western-backed mercenary assassins.

[Oct 03, 2017] The Vietnam Nightmare -- Again by

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The US military understands it has long ago lost the Afghan War but cannot bear the humiliation of admitting it was defeated by lightly-armed mountain tribesmen fighting for their independence. ..."
"... Vietnam was not a 'tragedy,' as the PBS series asserts, but the product of imperial geopolitics. The same holds true for today's Mideast wars. To paraphrase a famous slogan from Vietnam, we destroyed Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria to make them safe for 'freedom.' ..."
"... The war became aimless and often surreal. We soldiers all knew our senior officers and political leaders were lying. Many soldiers were at the edge of mutiny, like the French Army in 1917. Back in those ancient days, we had expected our political leaders to be men of rectitude who told us the truth. Thanks to Vietnam, the politicians were exposed as liars and heartless cynics with no honor. ..."
"... This same dark cloud hangs over our political landscape today. We have destroyed large parts of the Mideast, Afghanistan and northern Pakistan without a second thought – yet wonder why peoples from these ravaged nations hate us. Now, North Korea seems next. ..."
"... In spite of all, our imperial impulse till throbs. The nightmare Vietnam War in which over 58,000 American soldiers died for nothing has been largely forgotten. ..."
"... For both Vietnam and Afghanistan, as well as other places, the guiding principle is that they live there and we don't. These are all expeditionary wars for the US. Resistant peoples can't be controlled at a distance ..."
"... So, considering that Viet commies stood for patriotism and national sovereignty, maybe the globalist viewpoint is more favorable to US efforts to turn Vietnam into globo-disneyland. ..."
"... Americans at-large have no power. A small cadre runs things now. Once Americans didn't have a draft to worry over, they vacated the streets and left the dying to the farmers' sons (metaphor for the poor). ..."
"... War after war lost, yet the Generals are still revered, money to the pro-war think tanks is never ending and the revolving door between the Pentagon, White House and defense contractors (and their corporate boards) has never been richer. Doesn't matter the war industry doesn't win wars, the money is just so damned good they can't stop, won't stop. And who is to stop them? These are the folks that kill people, that have a file on each of us. Indeed, it is our only remaining industry, flawed and failed though it may be. It certainly is a rich one. And it IS unstoppable. Completely. Utterly. ..."
"... When the communists gave up and joined the party, our globalist masters realized that they could not only amass further wealth by spreading these things to the former communist bloc and under-exploited non-aligned nations, but they could now squeeze even more profit-margin out of the home territories by wearing down the power of the local workforce at all levels, except, of course, for the very pinnacle, by outsourcing production and even many services to the newly "developing world." ..."
"... Ironically, fighting the communist threat probably kept our leadership more honest than they have been in the new world order since the fall of communism. ..."
"... I know opinions vary on Ken Burns/PBS's "Vietnam" documentary, but what struck me is that we're following the same script in Afghanistan and the Middle East as we were in Vietnam and expecting a different (i.e., more favorable) outcome. The script being "pacification" through providing medicine, foodstuffs, soccer balls and American smiles to the local populations combined with placing massive amounts of ordnance on targets deemed hostile. It didn't win hearts and minds then nor is it now. ..."
"... The monumentally stupid war mismanagement of Pentagon chief Robert McNamara, a know-it-all who knew nothing, ..."
"... We have legions of McNamara's calling the shots today. They are called neoconservatives and liberal interventionists. The big brains of the Ivy league do seem to excel at steering us into icebergs time and again. ..."
"... What don't you understand about Clausewitz's dictum "war is the mere continuation of politics with other means"? War is what you do when you can't achieve your political objectives by other means. The United States' political objective in Vietnam was to prevent the American satrapy in the south being re-united by the nationalists in the north. So, where the f ** k is South Vietnam? The United States might believe it won every battle (slight exaggeration) but it still lost the American war. ..."
"... I bet they didn't cover the mutiny in the ranks which is the main reason the US had to withdraw because of a "broken army." That included fragging, mission refusal, and an overall negative attitude as you suggest. Now we have a volunteer army, a warrior class, which changes that dynamic. ..."
"... Too many of the volunteers are really economic draftees. You can have plenty of discipline problems with volunteers, I've seen it up close and personal, although never reaching the level of mutiny. ..."
Sep 30, 2017 | www.unz.com

The current 17-year old US war in Afghanistan has uncanny resemblances to the Vietnam War. In Kabul and Saigon, the US installed puppet governments that command no loyalty except from minority groups. They were steeped in drugs and corruption, and kept in power by intensive use of American air power. As in Vietnam, the US military and civilian effort in Afghanistan is led by a toxic mixture of deep ignorance and imperial arrogance.

The US military understands it has long ago lost the Afghan War but cannot bear the humiliation of admitting it was defeated by lightly-armed mountain tribesmen fighting for their independence. In Vietnam, Washington could not admit that young Vietnamese guerillas and regulars had bested the US armed forces thanks to their indomitable courage and intelligent tactics. No one outside Vietnam cared about the 2-3 million civilians killed in the conflict

Unfortunately, the PBS program fails to convey this imperial arrogance and the ignorance that impelled Washington into the war – the same foolhardy behavior that sent US forces into Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq and perhaps may do so in a second Korean War. The imperial spirit still burns hot in Washington among those who don't know or understand the outside world. The lessons of all these past conflicts have been forgotten: Washington's collective memory is only three years long.

Vietnam was not a 'tragedy,' as the PBS series asserts, but the product of imperial geopolitics. The same holds true for today's Mideast wars. To paraphrase a famous slogan from Vietnam, we destroyed Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria to make them safe for 'freedom.'

One of the craziest things about the Vietnam War has rarely been acknowledged: even at peak deployment, the 550,000 US soldiers in Vietnam were outnumbered by North Vietnamese fighting units.

That's because the huge US military had only about 50,000 real combat troops in the field. The other half million were support troops performing logistical and administrative functions behind the lines: a vast army of typists, cooks, truck drivers, psychologists, and pizza-makers.

Too much tail to teeth, as the army calls it. For Thanksgiving, everyone got turkey dinner with cranberry sauce, choppered into the remotest outposts. But there were simply not enough riflemen to take on the Viet Cong and tough North Vietnamese Army whose Soviet M1954 130mm howitzer with a 27 km range were far superior to the US Army's outdated WWII artillery.

Poor generalship, mediocre officers, and lack of discipline ensured that the US war effort in Vietnam would become and remain a mess. Stupid, pointless attacks against heavily defended hills inflicted huge casualties on US troops and eroded morale.

The monumentally stupid war mismanagement of Pentagon chief Robert McNamara, a know-it-all who knew nothing, turned the war into a macabre joke. This was the dumbest command decision since Louis XV put his girlfriend Madame de Pompadour in charge of his armies.

We soldiers, both in Vietnam and Stateside, scorned the war and mocked our officers. It didn't help that much of the US force in 'Nam' were often stoned and rebellious.

The January 30, 1968 Tet Offensive put the kibosh on US plans to pursue the war – and even take it into south-west China. Tet was a military victory of sorts for the US (and why not, with thousands of warplanes and B-52 heavy bombers) but a huge political/psychological victory for the Communists in spite of their heavy losses.

I vividly recall standing with a group of GI's reading a typed report on our company barracks advising that the Special Forces camp in the Central Highlands to which many of our company had been assigned for immediate duty had been overrun at Tet, and all its defenders killed. After that, the US Army's motto was 'stay alive, avoid combat, and smoke another reefer.'

The war became aimless and often surreal. We soldiers all knew our senior officers and political leaders were lying. Many soldiers were at the edge of mutiny, like the French Army in 1917. Back in those ancient days, we had expected our political leaders to be men of rectitude who told us the truth. Thanks to Vietnam, the politicians were exposed as liars and heartless cynics with no honor.

This same dark cloud hangs over our political landscape today. We have destroyed large parts of the Mideast, Afghanistan and northern Pakistan without a second thought – yet wonder why peoples from these ravaged nations hate us. Now, North Korea seems next.

Showing defiance to Washington brought B-52 bombers, toxic Agent Orange defoliants and endless storms of napalm and white phosphorus that would burn through one's body until it hit bone.

In spite of all, our imperial impulse till throbs. The nightmare Vietnam War in which over 58,000 American soldiers died for nothing has been largely forgotten. So we can now repeat the same fatal errors again without shame, remorse or understanding.

(Republished from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)

anonymous, Disclaimer September 30, 2017 at 3:36 pm GMT

For both Vietnam and Afghanistan, as well as other places, the guiding principle is that they live there and we don't. These are all expeditionary wars for the US. Resistant peoples can't be controlled at a distance. Of course the morale of US soldiers ends up being bad when they realize there's nothing for them to fight for. No one wants to die to help some politician save face. Insofar as the current much publicized Vietnam documentary goes there doesn't seem to be anything that's new or original. All of it has been known for many years to anyone who would bother to brush up on the subject. The question is whether Americans are capable of learning from the past and the answer seems to be no for the vast majority.

anonymous, Disclaimer September 30, 2017 at 3:36 pm GMT

For both Vietnam and Afghanistan, as well as other places, the guiding principle is that they live there and we don't. These are all expeditionary wars for the US. Resistant peoples can't be controlled at a distance. Of course the morale of US soldiers ends up being bad when they realize there's nothing for them to fight for. No one wants to die to help some politician save face. Insofar as the current much publicized Vietnam documentary goes there doesn't seem to be anything that's new or original. All of it has been known for many years to anyone who would bother to brush up on the subject. The question is whether Americans are capable of learning from the past and the answer seems to be no for the vast majority.

Cranky, September 30, 2017 at 3:37 pm GMT

So whose name gets to be the last American killed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, etc? Dying for a place on the memorial, boys. "The war was being run by a bunch of four-star clowns who were going to end up giving the whole circus away."

Some things don't change- I wonder if Rand has a new copy of the Pentagon Papers regarding post 9/11. And a new Nixon in office .he vowed to get out too -- and yet pushed more into it simply amazing.

nsa, September 30, 2017 at 5:55 pm GMT

@Sam McGowan First, I was heavily involved in Vietnam from 1965 to 1970. Second, I have written extensively about the war and read the books. The fact is that the US didn't "lose" the war, the left-wing presidents that got us into it, JFK and LBJ, has no intention of defeating the communist insurgency, they just wanted "to contain it". Cam Ranh Bay and made a speech in which he commented to the troops present that he wanted them to "nail the coonskin to the wall." Richard Nixon began withdrawing troops immediately after his inauguration and gave Abrams an edict to "reduce American casualties" shortly afterwards. In fact, Vietnam as well as Korea - as well as other wars around the world - were continuations of World War II, which Americans thought ended when the Japanese surrendered. By the way, I am not watching Ken Burn's latest left-wing propaganda piece nor do I intend to. I don't need him to tell me what happened in Southeast Asia, I was there. Save your senile hot air for the other menopausal drunks drooling in the VFW lounge. The conscript US military completely collapsed fragging, rampant drug usage, desertion, abject morale, chain of command disintegration, and the usual commissioned officer cowardice. Any western country stupid enough to pursue a land war in Asia deserves what it gets .inevitable defeat and humiliation.

Priss Factor, Website September 30, 2017 at 7:27 pm GMT

I don't think CucKen Burns is entirely wrong in empathizing with those who got involved. Sure, there were warmongers. Sure, they were profiteers. Sure, there were power-maniacs. Sure, there were paranoids.

But Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon were not particularly sadistic or cruel men. Eisenhower could be aloof and mean. Kennedy could be vain. Johnson was plenty corrupt. Nixon could be nasty. But were not psychos or radicals like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, or Mao.

As for military men, well, whaddya expect? They were trained to think of the world in terms of military power. As for CIA, we are talking of more sinister elements, but let's keep in mind that Soviets had their intelligence organizations and methods of subversion. Let's remember Soviets had infiltrated FDR's government and pulled dirty trick. Even got the Bomb during Truman era.
Also, Soviets could be utterly ruthless in their own empire.

Now, would the US have intervened in Vietnam if the nation was to be united by a non-communist nationalist? Probably not. US didn't intervene in Indonesia when it gained independence under Sukarno. The only reason US got involved was because Ho was a Soviet-leaning communist. And even though Domino theory has been 'debunked', it made sense at the time. Even Soviets believed in it. Mao believed in it. Soviets believed that sign of US weakness could spread the revolution all around. Che Guevara believed in the Domino Theory. Communist victory over Cuba, he thought, would herald spread of communism all over Latin America, and then it would spread into US itself. Che really believed this, which is why he died in Bolivia trying to start an insurgency.

Also, in a way, Domino Theory did come true, at least for awhile. Not so much in Southeast Asia, though Laos and Cambodia also fell to communism. And keep in mind Indonesia almost could have become communist if the Peking-backed coup had succeeded. And keep in mind it took lots of British brutality and ruthlessness to stem the communist movement in Malaysia. Brits built huge hamlets and concentration camps. They took extreme measures.

At any rate, communism did continue to spread after the fall of Vietnam. US power seemed to be declining. And not only communists were emboldened by US defeat in Vietnam. Vietnam became a metaphor for anti-Americanism all over the world. May 68 movement that almost brought down the French government was fired up partly by Vietnam(though it began as some silly stuff about dorms and sex). Vietnam was bigger than Algeria because US was seen as the Great Power. French defeat wasn't all that surprising in Algeria. So, after US left from Vietnam, there was a sense that David could beat American Goliath. Iran regime fell and Islamists came to power. Afghanistan turned communist, and Soviets felt emboldened in rolling in tanks. Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Angola turned communist. Communists won in Nicaragua and almost won in El Salvador. There was a raging Maoist insurgency in Peru. Allende came to power through elections, and he was pro-Soviet and pro-Cuba. He was removed only by US-backed coup that did as much harm as good. It blackened US reputation around the world. So, in a way, the Domino Theory wasn't all wrong. Vietnam did signal a sea-change in world politics at least for awhile.

In the end, communism wasn't defeated by the US. It defeated itself. Soviet economics just couldn't sustain the empire. Its subsidies to Cuba were costly. Its support of Marxist regimes in Africa drained Soviet economy. USSR had to prop up Iron Curtain nations economically. And Vietnamese communism was a disaster. Maoism was hell on earth. Some might say communism failed cuz Capitalist West froze the communists out of world trade. But considering that the communist world encompassed resource-rich Soviet Empire, people-rich China, and lots of nations willing to do business with communist nations -- India and Arab nations had good relations with Soviets -- , the real reason for failure of communism was it was its own worst enemy.

And when we look at the aftermath of communist victory in Indochina -- brutal repression in Vietnam and Laos and psychotic democide in Cambodia -- and when we consider how even communist nations like China and Vietnam switched to market economics, it's clear that US was on the right side of history on many issues.

Also, the conflict was complicated because both sides were aggressors. US was the aggressor in working with the French to divide Vietnam in half, in occupying the southern half, and dropping bombs and using Viet women as whores. But the communists were also aggressors because they tried to impose a form of Stalinism on people in the South, most of whom didn't want communism. After all, many more people fled the north to the south than vice versa. Why? There is something prison-like about communism. The commissars never leave you alone. Also, North Vietnamese leaders, though inspired and patriotic, were utterly ruthless in their own way, willing to sacrifice any number of people for victory just like Japanese militarists were willing to Go All the Way instead of calling it quits to save lives.

Still, in retrospect, Ho Chi Minh was a genuine patriot, a legendary figure much beloved by many Viets. And for that reason, US shouldn't have intervened, and the whole mess could have been avoided.

CucKen Burns makes my skin crawl, but at his best, he can look at both sides of the issue instead of going for b/w version of history with good guys vs bad guys.

That said, maybe his position reflects globalism. As Proglobalists now control the US, the neo-Pax-Americana is about the spread of agendas favored by the likes of CucKen Burns, like homomania, Jewish Power, anti-nationalism, and Afromania. Today's progs want the world to become neo-Americanized.

And in Vietnam, as Linh Dinh reported, there is now homo parades and Afromania and Vietcuckery. So, considering that Viet commies stood for patriotism and national sovereignty, maybe the globalist viewpoint is more favorable to US efforts to turn Vietnam into globo-disneyland.

After all, where was CucKen Burns when Obama and Hillary were destroying Libya, Ukraine, Syria, and etc. Where were he and his ilk when Jews were cooking up New Cold War with Russia with hysteria that would make McCarthy blush?

Anon, Disclaimer October 1, 2017 at 4:37 am GMT

Is the view that JFK wanted out of Vietnam merely a conspiratorial fantasy?. The following articles are easy reads:

Exit Strategy: In 1963, JFK ordered a complete withdrawal from Vietnam
James K. Galbraith, BOSTON REVIEW

JFK's Vietnam Withdrawal Plan Is a Fact, Not Speculation
A response to Rick Perlstein.
By James K. Galbraith, THE NATION

Jim Christian, October 1, 2017 at 6:03 am GMT

@anonymous

"The question is whether Americans are capable of learning from the past and the answer seems to be no for the vast majority."

Americans at-large have no power. A small cadre runs things now. Once Americans didn't have a draft to worry over, they vacated the streets and left the dying to the farmers' sons (metaphor for the poor). That's all it is. The damage done to the economy, the sheer quantities of cash vacuumed up from the rest of the country and showered over the Washington DC region escapes the imagination of us out here in the country with our local issues and problems. These, rooted in the sheer theft of our taxes and handed over to the war-mongers of DC because there simply isn't enough left over after feeding The Beast in Washington. We have aircraft carriers that can't launch aircraft, planes that won't fly, weapons that won't work and wrong strategies followed in war-fighting and procurement, yet still, the theft goes on.

War after war lost, yet the Generals are still revered, money to the pro-war think tanks is never ending and the revolving door between the Pentagon, White House and defense contractors (and their corporate boards) has never been richer. Doesn't matter the war industry doesn't win wars, the money is just so damned good they can't stop, won't stop. And who is to stop them? These are the folks that kill people, that have a file on each of us. Indeed, it is our only remaining industry, flawed and failed though it may be. It certainly is a rich one. And it IS unstoppable. Completely. Utterly.

Jim Christian, October 1, 2017 at 6:22 am GMT

@Sam McGowan Concur all, McGowan, good takes. Yeah, my Pop was into Naval spook communications and messaging, he'd pick up the WashPost off the driveway and see various and sundry in the paper lying and white-washing the effort and just be wild by the time he left for work. He knew the carriers were having no success, he knew the air-war was a mess, he knew the Marines were getting killed all over the country. People that knew the truth from the inside hadda keep their traps shut.

By the time I joined up for a 6 year dose of USN carrier decks in 1976 I got the scoop from a few of our officers, almost all of whom had flown with VA35 over Vietnam in A-6′s. Clusterfuck, they could then acknowledge just those few years later, only the most junior officers hadn't served in the air war over Vietnam. And they had good stories that pointed out the folly throughout.

Now? The military is just a revenue-stream, nothing produced, much destroyed to the enrichment of a few insiders.

2/1Doc RVN 68-89, October 1, 2017 at 12:27 pm GMT

Sir
Recently came across some startling statistics about men who served in Vietnam like you and me. Of the 2.7 million who served only 850,000 are still alive at last census!!!!!! 700,500 died prematurely between 1995 census and 2000 census. No country for old men .

The Alarmist, October 1, 2017 at 4:08 pm GMT

@Priss Factor

"And in Vietnam, as Linh Dinh reported, there is now homo parades and Afromania and Vietcuckery. So, considering that Viet commies stood for patriotism and national sovereignty, maybe the globalist viewpoint is more favorable to US efforts to turn Vietnam into globo-disneyland."

Bingo! The only problem is that the globalists are now using the opportunity to also wear down the populations of the home territories as well. The only reason our national economic imperialism wasn't enough of a raging success (don't get me wrong by any rational measure it was) was that it was kept in check by the opposing communist bloc, and still America managed to conquer the so-called free world with Coca Cola, McDonalds, Hollywood Inc., etc.

When the communists gave up and joined the party, our globalist masters realized that they could not only amass further wealth by spreading these things to the former communist bloc and under-exploited non-aligned nations, but they could now squeeze even more profit-margin out of the home territories by wearing down the power of the local workforce at all levels, except, of course, for the very pinnacle, by outsourcing production and even many services to the newly "developing world."

Ironically, fighting the communist threat probably kept our leadership more honest than they have been in the new world order since the fall of communism.

The Alarmist, October 1, 2017 at 4:25 pm GMT

"No one in Washington seemed to know that China and the Soviet Union had split and become bitter enemies. As ever, our foreign human intelligence was lousy."

They knew of the rift that had grown since 1960 or so, but they didn't believe it until the short border war in 1969. The same way that a number of indicators suggested as early as 1983 that the USSR was imploding, but the menace of the USSR was used to keep justifying a buildup and procurement of new systems until and even beyond its actual implosion a few years later.

Evil, stupid, or merely blind. You decide.

KenH, October 1, 2017 at 11:00 pm GMT

I know opinions vary on Ken Burns/PBS's "Vietnam" documentary, but what struck me is that we're following the same script in Afghanistan and the Middle East as we were in Vietnam and expecting a different (i.e., more favorable) outcome. The script being "pacification" through providing medicine, foodstuffs, soccer balls and American smiles to the local populations combined with placing massive amounts of ordnance on targets deemed hostile. It didn't win hearts and minds then nor is it now.

The generals keep telling us that with just a few more antibiotics, soccer balls and troops victory is around the bend.

Hindsight's always 20/20, but to be fair a military force in Vietnam did seem like the right thing do at least in the early years. Any de-escalation and/or withdrawals would have been perceived by a rabidly anti-communist population as surrendering to communist aggression and political suicide for any president proposing it.

The monumentally stupid war mismanagement of Pentagon chief Robert McNamara, a know-it-all who knew nothing,

We have legions of McNamara's calling the shots today. They are called neoconservatives and liberal interventionists. The big brains of the Ivy league do seem to excel at steering us into icebergs time and again.

As it was former allies Vietnam and China briefly fought each other in 1979 and Vietnam didn't have the desire or the ability to project power much beyond Cambodia and Laos.

DB Cooper, October 2, 2017 at 4:38 am GMT

"We really believed that if the US did not make a stand in Vietnam the Soviets and Chinese would overrun all of South Asia."

India played a big role in shaping this narrative. Just five years ago before 1967 China finally responded to India's creeping land grab after years of trying to warn New Delhi's to stop its 'Forward Policy' by launching a massive anticipatory strike into India. India was defeated militarily but India was able to fool the world that India was a hapless victim against an agressive China when in fact the reverse is true.

Diversity Heretic, October 2, 2017 at 6:14 am GMT

@Jim Christian A bit off topic, but, since I know that you had naval experience, any take on why Navy ships keep colliding with merchantmen? Is it reduced competence because of racial and sexual preferences, or overworked sailors because deployed ships are short-staffed as a result of pregnancies? Or is it just a run of bad luck? I've read some different theories but I've seen you post often enough to know that you'll have an informed opinion.

Blowback, October 2, 2017 at 1:07 pm GMT

@Sam McGowan What don't you understand about Clausewitz's dictum "war is the mere continuation of politics with other means"? War is what you do when you can't achieve your political objectives by other means. The United States' political objective in Vietnam was to prevent the American satrapy in the south being re-united by the nationalists in the north. So, where the f ** k is South Vietnam? The United States might believe it won every battle (slight exaggeration) but it still lost the American war.

Jim Christian, October 2, 2017 at 1:09 pm GMT

@Diversity Heretic The military is off-kilter all over. Navigation? Routine. Ought to be. Not anymore. Procurement? Driven by inertia and the corruption of planners that know a carrier's planes are useless if the ship has to stand off 500-1000 miles because of a cruise missile environment that they KNOW every third-world shitbox has been building for 30 years now, starting with the Norks. From aircraft to ships, a complete clusterfuck.

Personnel? Ya gotta be shitting me, right? Between the sexism, reverse-racism and the cultural kookiness from the top of a terrorized Central Command and throughout the military, right down to the pretty little Blonde Hispanic Black Dwarf tranny just dying to terrorize said command with a complaint, we really haven't much good to say about our staffing. It's not a meritocracy anymore, hasn't been since Reagan. The entire thing is sitting there waiting to be taken down and humiliated.

And still? We sprinkle the trillions onto the DC region, make the war planners rich, we still lionize Generals and Admirals that haven't won shit in 75 years and we cycle them through the think tanks and corporate boards of the defense contractors and make THEM rich too. Then we even put them in charge at the White House, having discarded the notion of Congressional approval for the wars they "fight" in our names. And they start wars. And finally, the notion that we have civilian control of our military is long gone. We are a Junta. There is a coup ongoing, two or more in our past and we're no more than a broke but dangerous and heavily armed danger to the rest of the world run by the thugs of the Pentagon, the think tanks, the defense contractors and the lazy sloth of Congress, who is supposed to keep this shit straight and Constitutional. Doom. Yes, the word doom comes to mind.

Don Bacon, October 2, 2017 at 2:56 pm GMT

@anonymous re: "No one wants to die to help some politician save face."

I don't have a teevee, but I bet they didn't cover the mutiny in the ranks which is the main reason the US had to withdraw because of a "broken army." That included fragging, mission refusal, and an overall negative attitude as you suggest. Now we have a volunteer army, a warrior class, which changes that dynamic.

Jim Christian, October 2, 2017 at 4:08 pm GMT

@Diversity Heretic

Thanks! Always appreciate your candor!

One man's opinion. I do wish someone would show me where I'm wrong, but I spent too many years down in DC doing their tech stuff after I left the Navy (too many women that couldn't, at that point in 82, go to sea) and so they only had more sea duty because the shore billets were all taken in their haste to "integrate" women into the Navy. Even instructor duty for Naval Air Maintenance was hosted by women that had never served a day in carrier air, training the young mice how to do business on a flight deck. They did offer me, for variety, another four year hitch in a WestPac squadron aboard one damned carrier deck or another. Already having done 5, I said no thanks and went back home to Virginia. And so I got familiar with the workings of the spooks, Booze, Allen, Heritage, Cato, Brookings, the Pentagon, NSA, FBI, Quantico, there were hundreds of them, most with two or three names in the chain of title. I did their phones for decades, they're psychos, they're paranoid, everything classified and spooky and ooga-booga. Worthless ants on a big log and they each think they're steering it down the river.

Bunch of fucking Frank Burns's is what they are..Cheers.

Diversity Heretic, October 2, 2017 at 6:18 pm GMT

@Jim Christian Take care of yourself. People like you are a national asset, appreciated by at least some of us.

anonymous, Disclaimer October 2, 2017 at 11:03 pm GMT

There never was a communist threat. Not since at least the 1920s, when Stalin defeated Trotsky. Trotsky wanted world revolution. Stalin, for all his bloodthirsty antics in Russia, realised this was all nonsense. He just wanted Socialism in One Country, developing the country economically. He wasn't really interested in the outside world.

In the 1930s he was willing to cooperate with right wing western governments till they did a deal with Hitler in 1938. He was never interested in invading countries to grab land and resources. Whenever he did so, Poland in 1939, or Eastern Europe post 1945, it was for security reasons. The part of Poland he occupied in 1939 had been taken from Russia by force in 1920. It was inhabited by 1o million White Russians and Ukrainians and no Poles.

Jack Spratt, October 3, 2017 at 4:57 am GMT

Wissing's book "Funding the enemy" details the totally corrupt Afghan government and is a compelling argument why we should pull out at once and needs to be read by anyone with half a brain. I served in Vietnam also, in 1967, and its deja vu all over again.

Capn Mike, October 3, 2017 at 5:20 am GMT

@The Alarmist Having been on – site at the time (North Tonkin Gulf), I can tell you that China gave U.S.N. units free rein over those waters, including Chinese waters. The fix was in. In 1969 onwards. China and Viet Nam were NEVER friends. Did CIA realize this? I don't know.

Vidi, October 3, 2017 at 6:15 am GMT

@DanC

Anyways, expect the US to keep on wasting money in Afghanistan (and Pakistan and Tajikistan) until it gets bankrupted by the next Big War!

Or until all the routes into Afghanistan are blocked. At the moment, the only route still open passes through Pakistan, and that may close at any time.

wayfarer, October 3, 2017 at 6:19 am GMT

Of the 58,220 Americans who were sacrificed by the U.S. Government during the Vietnam War, 270 were Jewish. That's approximately 0.46 percent of the total number of American kids who died, or less than a half of one-percent.

"Statistical Information About Casualties of the Vietnam War"

https://www.archives.gov/research/military/vietnam-war/casualty-statistics.html

" 9/11 Israel Did It! "

https://wikispooks.com/wiki/9-11/Israel_did_it

Hibernian, October 3, 2017 at 10:57 am GMT

@Grandpa Charlie The Japanese trained their naval cadets using a mock Pearl Harbor type exercise annually for a fair number of years prior to WW2. The Russo-Japanese War of 1905 began with a Japanese surprise attack. You have the unmitigated gall to attack Margolis as an establishment mouthpiece when you yourself are whitewashhing the "sainted" FDR. No prudent military planner would absolutely assume that the attack would come in one particular place, whether the Phillipines, Pearl, or elsewhere.

Hibernian, October 3, 2017 at 11:05 am GMT

@Don Bacon Too many of the volunteers are really economic draftees. You can have plenty of discipline problems with volunteers, I've seen it up close and personal, although never reaching the level of mutiny.

Che Guava, October 3, 2017 at 12:13 pm GMT

@Capn Mike That is interesting to me. As is the Margolis artictle, never knew he had been a USA soldier, very interesting article. Thought he was a Canada person.

I have a question for you, Capn Mike.

If the PRC had allowed the USA free rein in Gulf of Tonkin, where were the supply lines to the Nth. Viet military and Viet Cong?

Must it not still have been overland from PRC at that time you say (1969)?

Hu Mi Yu, October 3, 2017 at 12:52 pm GMT

@Cranky

I don't for a moment believe that the 'saintly' President John Kennedy planned to end the war but was assassinated by dark, rightwing forces, as is claimed. This is a charming legend. Richard Nixon, Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson all feared that a withdrawal from Vietnam would lose them the next election. Republicans were still snarling over 'who lost China'.

I didn't like Kennedy either, but go back and reread the newspapers from the early days of the Kennedy administration. The oval office was bugged, and the information leaked in ways to embarrass Kennedy and UN Ambassador Adelai Stevenson. There is only one way that could have happened. Eisenhower installed those bugs before he left. These same bugs brought down Nixon in the Watergate crisis. The swamp wanted war, and they pulled the rug out from under both presidents as soon as they brought peace.

And a new Nixon in office .he vowed to get out too- and yet pushed more into it simply amazing.

He promised to get out and he did get us out. The peace treaty was announced just before the election in 1972. He knew it was his only hope for re-election. The Vietnamese disputed some of the terms, and that resulted in the Christmas bombing that year. The American withdrawal began in January 1973.

Trump promised to get us out of the Middle East. We should give him some rope. Maybe he hangs himself, or just maybe he can pull it off. He will need to be re-elected in three years.

Max Havelaar, October 3, 2017 at 1:41 pm GMT

Nice personal account of Vietnam.

However, the US foreign policy keeps holocausting the 3-rd world and lately the 2 -cond world.

The holocausts keep coming from US foreign policy of "exceptionalism" = "Nazi Übermensch"="the chosen ones" over this planet, many executed by the CIA-Nazi's:
The Syrian holocaust
The Yemen holocaust
The Ukranïan holocaust (Euromaidan) by Poroshenko/Nuland neo-nazi"s.
The Libyan holocaust
The Irak holocaust
The Afghanistan holocaust

The Belgrad holocaust

The Indonesian holocaust (Kissiger e.a.)
The Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia/Thailand holocaust (Kissinger e.a)
The Korean holocaust

During WWII:

The Jewish/Polish/Russian holocaust by Nazi's funded by Wallstreet/London bankers
The German holocaust (Die Rheinweisen lager) by US army Morgenthau plan.

Before WWII:
The Ukranian and Russain holocausts 1921-22, 1932-33 (holodomor) by Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin.

All these, were and are financed by the Wallstreet elite owners, the Billionaires who are mega-fascists, eugenic and satanic in character. Their credo is GREED.

(sources: Antony Sutton, Carrol Quickley, W.F. Engdahl)

jacques sheete, October 3, 2017 at 3:25 pm GMT

Thanks to Vietnam, the politicians were exposed as liars and heartless cynics with no honor.

A couple of the biggest lies were exposed, but the myths still live that the US government is an effective and dependable force for peace and freedom, and that the US military is an institution of dignity worthy of honor.

And people still put their faith (or is it hope) in the heartless cynics ( eunichs, really) with no balls, fewer brains, no soul, and even less honor.

[Oct 02, 2017] High Tech Pork The Pentagon's New Wonder Weapons for World Dominion

Notable quotes:
"... As part of his own contribution to that complex, Eisenhower had overseen the creation of both the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, and a "high-risk, high-gain" research unit called the Advanced Research Projects Agency, or ARPA, that later added the word "Defense" to its name and became DARPA. ..."
"... Even when defeated or fought to a draw, as in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the Pentagon's research matrix has demonstrated a recurring resilience that could turn disaster into further technological advance. ..."
"... The Vietnam War, for example, was a thoroughgoing tactical failure, yet it would also prove a technological triumph for the military-industrial complex. Although most Americans remember only the Army's soul-destroying ground combat in the villages of South Vietnam, the Air Force fought the biggest air war in military history there and, while it too failed dismally and destructively, it turned out to be a crucial testing ground for a revolution in robotic weaponry. ..."
"... At a cost of $800 million a year, Operation Igloo White laced that narrow mountain corridor with 20,000 acoustic, seismic, and thermal sensors that sent signals to four EC-121 communications aircraft circling ceaselessly overhead. ..."
"... However, after more than 100,000 North Vietnamese troops with tanks, trucks, and artillery somehow moved through that sensor field undetected for a massive offensive in 1972, the Air Force had to admit that its $6 billion "electronic battlefield" was an unqualified failure ..."
"... In the pressure cooker of history's largest air war, the Air Force also transformed an old weapon, the "Firebee" target drone , into a new technology that would rise to significance three decades later. By 1972, the Air Force could send an "SC/TV" drone, equipped with a camera in its nose, up to 2,400 miles across communist China or North Vietnam while controlling it via a low-resolution television image. The Air Force also made aviation history by test firing the first missile from one of those drones. ..."
"... To effect this technological transformation, starting in 2009 the Pentagon planned to spend $55 billion annually to develop robotics for a data-dense interface of space, cyberspace, and terrestrial battle space. ..."
"... By 2025, the United States will likely deploy advanced aerospace and cyberwarfare to envelop the planet in a robotic matrix theoretically capable of blinding entire armies or atomizing an individual insurgent. ..."
"... Within a decade, the Pentagon apparently hopes to patrol the entire planet ceaselessly via a triple-canopy aerospace shield that would reach from sky to space and be secured by an armada of drones with lethal missiles and Argus-eyed sensors, monitored through an electronic matrix and controlled by robotic systems. It's even possible to take you on a tour of the super-secret realm where future space wars will be fought, if the Pentagon's dreams become reality, by exploring both DARPA websites and those of its various defense contractors. ..."
Oct 02, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

... ... ...

In 2009, building on advances in digital surveillance under the Bush administration, Obama launched the U.S. Cyber Command. Its headquarters were set up inside the National Security Agency (NSA) at Fort Meade, Maryland, and a cyberwar center staffed by 7,000 Air Force employees was established at Lackland Air Base in Texas. Two years later, the Pentagon moved beyond conventional combat on air, land, or sea to declare cyberspace both an offensive and defensive "operational domain." In August, despite his wide-ranging attempt to purge the government of anything connected to Barack Obama's "legacy," President Trump implemented his predecessor's long-delayed plan to separate that cyber command from the NSA in a bid to "strengthen our cyberspace operations."

And what is all this technology being prepared for? In study after study, the intelligence community , the Pentagon , and related think tanks have been unanimous in identifying the main threat to future U.S. global hegemony as a rival power with an expanding economy, a strengthening military, and global ambitions: China, the home of those denizens of the Gobi Desert who would, in that old Buck Rogers fable, destroy Washington four centuries from now. Given that America's economic preeminence is fading fast, breakthroughs in "information warfare" might indeed prove Washington's best bet for extending its global hegemony further into this century -- but don't count on it, given the history of techno-weaponry in past wars.

Techno-Triumph in Vietnam

Ever since the Pentagon with its 17 miles of corridors was completed in 1943, that massive bureaucratic maze has presided over a creative fusion of science and industry that President Dwight Eisenhower would dub "the military-industrial complex" in his farewell address to the nation in 1961. "We can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense," he told the American people. "We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions" sustained by a "technological revolution" that is "complex and costly." As part of his own contribution to that complex, Eisenhower had overseen the creation of both the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, and a "high-risk, high-gain" research unit called the Advanced Research Projects Agency, or ARPA, that later added the word "Defense" to its name and became DARPA.

For 70 years, this close alliance between the Pentagon and major defense contractors has produced an unbroken succession of "wonder weapons" that at least theoretically gave it a critical edge in all major military domains. Even when defeated or fought to a draw, as in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the Pentagon's research matrix has demonstrated a recurring resilience that could turn disaster into further technological advance.

The Vietnam War, for example, was a thoroughgoing tactical failure, yet it would also prove a technological triumph for the military-industrial complex. Although most Americans remember only the Army's soul-destroying ground combat in the villages of South Vietnam, the Air Force fought the biggest air war in military history there and, while it too failed dismally and destructively, it turned out to be a crucial testing ground for a revolution in robotic weaponry.

To stop truck convoys that the North Vietnamese were sending through southern Laos into South Vietnam, the Pentagon's techno-wizards combined a network of sensors, computers, and aircraft in a coordinated electronic bombing campaign that, from 1968 to 1973, dropped more than a million tons of munitions -- equal to the total tonnage for the whole Korean War -- in that limited area. At a cost of $800 million a year, Operation Igloo White laced that narrow mountain corridor with 20,000 acoustic, seismic, and thermal sensors that sent signals to four EC-121 communications aircraft circling ceaselessly overhead.

At a U.S. air base just across the Mekong River in Thailand, Task Force Alpha deployed two powerful IBM 360/65 mainframe computers, equipped with history's first visual display monitors, to translate all those sensor signals into "an illuminated line of light" and so launch jet fighters over the Ho Chi Minh Trail where computers discharged laser-guided bombs automatically. Bristling with antennae and filled with the latest computers, its massive concrete bunker seemed, at the time, a futuristic marvel to a visiting Pentagon official who spoke rapturously about "being swept up in the beauty and majesty of the Task Force Alpha temple."

However, after more than 100,000 North Vietnamese troops with tanks, trucks, and artillery somehow moved through that sensor field undetected for a massive offensive in 1972, the Air Force had to admit that its $6 billion "electronic battlefield" was an unqualified failure. Yet that same bombing campaign would prove to be the first crude step toward a future electronic battlefield for unmanned robotic warfare.

In the pressure cooker of history's largest air war, the Air Force also transformed an old weapon, the "Firebee" target drone , into a new technology that would rise to significance three decades later. By 1972, the Air Force could send an "SC/TV" drone, equipped with a camera in its nose, up to 2,400 miles across communist China or North Vietnam while controlling it via a low-resolution television image. The Air Force also made aviation history by test firing the first missile from one of those drones.

The air war in Vietnam was also an impetus for the development of the Pentagon's global telecommunications satellite system, another important first. After the Initial Defense Satellite Communications System launched seven orbital satellites in 1966, ground terminals in Vietnam started transmitting high-resolution aerial surveillance photos to Washington -- something NASA called a "revolutionary development." Those images proved so useful that the Pentagon quickly launched an additional 21 satellites and soon had the first system that could communicate from anywhere on the globe. Today, according to an Air Force website, the third phase of that system provides secure command, control, and communications for "the Army's ground mobile forces, the Air Force's airborne terminals, Navy ships at sea, the White House Communications Agency, the State Department, and special users" like the CIA and NSA.

At great cost, the Vietnam War marked a watershed in Washington's global information architecture. Turning defeat into innovation, the Air Force had developed the key components -- satellite communications, remote sensing, computer-triggered bombing, and unmanned aircraft -- that would merge 40 years later into a new system of robotic warfare.

The War on Terror

Facing another set of defeats in Afghanistan and Iraq, the twenty-first-century Pentagon again accelerated the development of new military technologies. After six years of failing counterinsurgency campaigns in both countries, the Pentagon discovered the power of biometric identification and electronic surveillance to help pacify sprawling urban areas. And when President Obama later conducted his troop "surge" in Afghanistan, that country became a frontier for testing and perfecting drone warfare

deployed in the Balkans that very year for photo-reconnaissance. In 2000, it was adapted for real-time surveillance under the CIA's Operation Afghan Eyes. It would be armed with the tank-killing Hellfire missile for the agency's first lethal strike in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in October 2001. Seven years later, the Air Force introduced the larger MQ-9 "Reaper" drone with a flying range of 1,150 miles when fully loaded with Hellfire missiles and GBU-30 bombs, allowing it to strike targets almost anywhere in Europe, Africa, or Asia. To fulfill its expanding mission as Washington's global assassin , the Air Force plans to have 346 Reapers in service by 2021, including 80 for the CIA.

Between 2004 and 2010, total flying time for all unmanned aerial vehicles rose sharply from just 71 hours to 250,000 hours. By 2011, there were already 7,000 drones in a growing U.S. armada of unmanned aircraft. So central had they become to its military power that the Pentagon was planning to spend $40 billion to expand their numbers by 35% over the following decade. To service all this growth, the Air Force was training 350 drone pilots, more than all its bomber and fighter pilots combined.

Miniature or monstrous, hand-held or runway-launched, drones were becoming so commonplace and so critical for so many military missions that they emerged from the war on terror as one of America's wonder weapons for preserving its global power. Yet the striking innovations in drone warfare are, in the long run, likely to be overshadowed by stunning aerospace advances in the stratosphere and exosphere.

The Pentagon's Triple Canopy

As in Vietnam, despite bitter reverses on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, Washington's recent wars have been catalysts for the fusion of aerospace, cyberspace, and artificial intelligence into a new military regime of robotic warfare.

To effect this technological transformation, starting in 2009 the Pentagon planned to spend $55 billion annually to develop robotics for a data-dense interface of space, cyberspace, and terrestrial battle space. Through an annual allocation for new technologies reaching $18 billion in 2016, the Pentagon had, according to the New York Times , "put artificial intelligence at the center of its strategy to maintain the United States' position as the world's dominant military power," exemplified by future drones that will be capable of identifying and eliminating enemy targets without recourse to human overseers. By 2025, the United States will likely deploy advanced aerospace and cyberwarfare to envelop the planet in a robotic matrix theoretically capable of blinding entire armies or atomizing an individual insurgent.

During 15 years of nearly limitless military budgets for the war on terror, DARPA has spent billions of dollars trying to develop new weapons systems worthy of Buck Rogers that usually die on the drawing board or end in spectacular crashes. Through this astronomically costly process of trial and error, Pentagon planners seem to have come to the slow realization that established systems, particularly drones and satellites, could in combination create an effective aerospace architecture.

Within a decade, the Pentagon apparently hopes to patrol the entire planet ceaselessly via a triple-canopy aerospace shield that would reach from sky to space and be secured by an armada of drones with lethal missiles and Argus-eyed sensors, monitored through an electronic matrix and controlled by robotic systems. It's even possible to take you on a tour of the super-secret realm where future space wars will be fought, if the Pentagon's dreams become reality, by exploring both DARPA websites and those of its various defense contractors.

Drones in the Lower Stratosphere

At the bottom tier of this emerging aerospace shield in the lower stratosphere (about 30,000 to 60,000 feet high), the Pentagon is working with defense contractors to develop high-altitude drones that will replace manned aircraft. To supersede the manned U-2 surveillance aircraft, for instance, the Pentagon has been preparing a projected armada of 99 Global Hawk drones at a mind-boggling cost of $223 million each, seven times the price of the current Reaper model. Its extended 116-foot wingspan (bigger than that of a Boeing 737) is geared to operating at 60,000 feet. Each Global Hawk is equipped with high-resolution cameras, advanced electronic sensors, and efficient engines for a continuous 32-hour flight, which means that it can potentially survey up to 40,000 square miles of the planet's surface daily. With its enormous bandwidth needed to bounce a torrent of audio-visual data between satellites and ground stations, however, the Global Hawk, like other long-distance drones in America's armada, may prove vulnerable to a hostile hack attack in some future conflict.

... ... ...

[Oct 02, 2017] Presidential Candidates Push American Supremacy, Not National Defenss and anything they say should be taken with a grain of salt

Notable quotes:
"... we should take anything that Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton has to say with a grain of salt. They will say whatever they think will improve their chances of being elected in the fall. That said, I would not expect either of them, if elected, to bring about any serious rethinking of U.S. national security policy. As I suggested in that Harper's piece, they are different versions of hawks. ..."
"... I think that the meeting between FDR and the Saudi King that you cite is a very important waystation. That committed the United States to securing the monarchy, in return for expectations that we would have privileged access to oil in the Persian Gulf. ..."
"... However, I think the real turning point happens in 1980. Prior to 1980, there certainly was a U.S. policy in the greater Middle East, but it was not a U.S. policy that found expression in any serious military commitment. That changes in 1980, when Jimmy Carter promulgates the Carter doctrine. If you recall, that's a statement that designates the Persian Gulf a vital U.S. national security interest, and explicitly a place that we're now willing to fight for. ..."
"... At our present moment, as you and I are speaking, the concern is about ISIS. Certainly it's a, it's reasonable to view ISIS as a threat. It's also true that ISIS would not exist had not the United States invaded Iraq back in 2003. We shattered Iraq, and out of the chaos of Iraq has emerged this new terrorist entity. ..."
"... The foundation of our expectations of being the indispensable nation lie in the belief that we possess military might such as the world has never seen. And yet what we have found time and again in the greater Middle East is our military might is inadequate to the challenge. And we're not willing to admit that. Foreign policy establishment is not willing to admit that. And frankly, I think the majority of the American people are not willing to admit that. Not willing to admit that we are not history's agent. ..."
Jul 09, 2016 | therealnews.com

BACEVICH: Well, I think that's true. I mean, for the moment, we should take anything that Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton has to say with a grain of salt. They will say whatever they think will improve their chances of being elected in the fall. That said, I would not expect either of them, if elected, to bring about any serious rethinking of U.S. national security policy. As I suggested in that Harper's piece, they are different versions of hawks.

... ... ...

BACEVICH: Well, I think, I think that the meeting between FDR and the Saudi King that you cite is a very important waystation. That committed the United States to securing the monarchy, in return for expectations that we would have privileged access to oil in the Persian Gulf.

However, I think the real turning point happens in 1980. Prior to 1980, there certainly was a U.S. policy in the greater Middle East, but it was not a U.S. policy that found expression in any serious military commitment. That changes in 1980, when Jimmy Carter promulgates the Carter doctrine. If you recall, that's a statement that designates the Persian Gulf a vital U.S. national security interest, and explicitly a place that we're now willing to fight for. So prior to 1980, no major U.S. military involvement in the region. Beginning in 1980, a pattern of armed interventionism in the greater Middle East that continues down to the present day, and at least in my judgment has been unsuccessful, and indeed, counterproductive. So the military narrative really begins in 1980.

JAY: Yeah, it's interesting with a Democratic president, from the Democratic Party, certainly under the sway of Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was more or less the architect, I think, of the Carter doctrine, and leads to the war in Afghanistan. I guess--I hope most people know the basic story there, that the Americans funded jihadists in Afghanistan to suck the Russians in, and then successfully so, into a quagmire. And even though that led to the forming of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden.

And I think you can probably draw a straight line from that Carter doctrine right to 9/11, in terms of--it's a good example, I think, of what you're talking about, how this foreign policy--.

BACEVICH: I don't, I don't know that I'd call it a straight line, but there's a line. I mean, there certainly are a whole bunch of dots that can be connected. And I think that the Afghanistan experience, we're supporting the jihadists, is a good example of the unexpected consequences of U.S. interventionism.

At our present moment, as you and I are speaking, the concern is about ISIS. Certainly it's a, it's reasonable to view ISIS as a threat. It's also true that ISIS would not exist had not the United States invaded Iraq back in 2003. We shattered Iraq, and out of the chaos of Iraq has emerged this new terrorist entity.

So both of these, Afghanistan in the '80s, Iraq beginning in 2003, illustrate the larger point that U.S. military interventionism in this region simply has not produced the positive outcomes that policymakers have, have expected.

... ... ....

BACEVICH: ...The foundation of our expectations of being the indispensable nation lie in the belief that we possess military might such as the world has never seen. And yet what we have found time and again in the greater Middle East is our military might is inadequate to the challenge. And we're not willing to admit that. Foreign policy establishment is not willing to admit that. And frankly, I think the majority of the American people are not willing to admit that. Not willing to admit that we are not history's agent.

[Oct 01, 2017] Goodbye, American neoliberalism. A new era is here by Cornel West

Notable quotes:
"... The Bush and Clinton dynasties were destroyed by the media-saturated lure of the pseudo-populist billionaire with narcissist sensibilities and ugly, fascist proclivities. The monumental election of Trump was a desperate and xenophobic cry of human hearts for a way out from under the devastation of a disintegrating neoliberal order – a nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness. ..."
"... This lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees. In short, the abysmal failure of the Democratic party to speak to the arrested mobility and escalating poverty of working people unleashed a hate-filled populism and protectionism that threaten to tear apart the fragile fiber of what is left of US democracy. And since the most explosive fault lines in present-day America are first and foremost racial, then gender, homophobic, ethnic and religious, we gird ourselves for a frightening future. ..."
"... In this sense, Trump's election was enabled by the neoliberal policies of the Clintons and Obama that overlooked the plight of our most vulnerable citizens. The progressive populism of Bernie Sanders nearly toppled the establishment of the Democratic party but Clinton and Obama came to the rescue to preserve the status quo. And I do believe Sanders would have beat Trump to avert this neofascist outcome! ..."
"... The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang ..."
"... The white house and congress are now dominated by tea party politicians who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand.....read Breitbart news to see how Thatcher and Reagan are idolised. ..."
"... if you think the era of "neo liberalism" is over, you are in deep denial! ..."
"... The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad. ..."
"... Didn't Obama say to Wall Street ''I'm the only one standing between you and the lynch mob? Give me money and I'll make it all go away''. Then came into office and went we won't prosecute the Banks not Bush for a false war because we don't look back. ..."
"... He did not ignore, he actively, willingly, knowingly protected them. At the end of the day Obama is wolf in sheep's clothing. Exactly like HRC he has a public and a private position. He is a gifted speaker who knows how to say all the right, progressive liberal things to get people to go along much better than HRC ever did. ..."
"... Even when he had the Presidency, House and Senate, he never once introduced any progressive liberal policy. He didn't need Republican support to do it, yet he never even tried. ..."
Nov 17, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang. The political triumph of Donald Trump shattered the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties – both wedded to the rule of Big Money and to the reign of meretricious politicians.

The Bush and Clinton dynasties were destroyed by the media-saturated lure of the pseudo-populist billionaire with narcissist sensibilities and ugly, fascist proclivities. The monumental election of Trump was a desperate and xenophobic cry of human hearts for a way out from under the devastation of a disintegrating neoliberal order – a nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness.

White working- and middle-class fellow citizens – out of anger and anguish – rejected the economic neglect of neoliberal policies and the self-righteous arrogance of elites. Yet these same citizens also supported a candidate who appeared to blame their social misery on minorities, and who alienated Mexican immigrants, Muslims, black people, Jews, gay people, women and China in the process.

This lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees. In short, the abysmal failure of the Democratic party to speak to the arrested mobility and escalating poverty of working people unleashed a hate-filled populism and protectionism that threaten to tear apart the fragile fiber of what is left of US democracy. And since the most explosive fault lines in present-day America are first and foremost racial, then gender, homophobic, ethnic and religious, we gird ourselves for a frightening future.

What is to be done? First we must try to tell the truth and a condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak. For 40 years, neoliberals lived in a world of denial and indifference to the suffering of poor and working people and obsessed with the spectacle of success. Second we must bear witness to justice. We must ground our truth-telling in a willingness to suffer and sacrifice as we resist domination. Third we must remember courageous exemplars like Martin Luther King Jr, who provide moral and spiritual inspiration as we build multiracial alliances to combat poverty and xenophobia, Wall Street crimes and war crimes, global warming and police abuse – and to protect precious rights and liberties.

Feminists misunderstood the presidential election from day one Liza Featherstone By banking on the idea that women would support Hillary Clinton just because she was a female candidate, the movement made a terrible mistake Read more

The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad.

Rightwing attacks on Obama – and Trump-inspired racist hatred of him – have made it nearly impossible to hear the progressive critiques of Obama. The president has been reluctant to target black suffering – be it in overcrowded prisons, decrepit schools or declining workplaces. Yet, despite that, we get celebrations of the neoliberal status quo couched in racial symbolism and personal legacy. Meanwhile, poor and working class citizens of all colors have continued to suffer in relative silence.

In this sense, Trump's election was enabled by the neoliberal policies of the Clintons and Obama that overlooked the plight of our most vulnerable citizens. The progressive populism of Bernie Sanders nearly toppled the establishment of the Democratic party but Clinton and Obama came to the rescue to preserve the status quo. And I do believe Sanders would have beat Trump to avert this neofascist outcome!

Click and elect: how fake news helped Donald Trump win a real election Hannah Jane Parkinson The 'alt-right' (aka the far right) ensnared the electorate using false stories on social media. But tech companies seem unwilling to admit there's a problem

In this bleak moment, we must inspire each other driven by a democratic soulcraft of integrity, courage, empathy and a mature sense of history – even as it seems our democracy is slipping away.

We must not turn away from the forgotten people of US foreign policy – such as Palestinians under Israeli occupation, Yemen's civilians killed by US-sponsored Saudi troops or Africans subject to expanding US military presence.

As one whose great family and people survived and thrived through slavery, Jim Crow and lynching, Trump's neofascist rhetoric and predictable authoritarian reign is just another ugly moment that calls forth the best of who we are and what we can do.

For us in these times, to even have hope is too abstract, too detached, too spectatorial. Instead we must be a hope, a participant and a force for good as we face this catastrophe.

theomatica -> MSP1984 17 Nov 2016 6:40

To be replaced by a form of capitalism that is constrained by national interests. An ideology that wishes to uses the forces of capitalism within a market limited only by national boundaries which aims for more self sufficiency only importing goods the nation can not itself source.

farga 17 Nov 2016 6:35

The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang.

Really? The white house and congress are now dominated by tea party politicians who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand.....read Breitbart news to see how Thatcher and Reagan are idolised.

That in recent decades middle ground politicians have strayed from the true faith....and now its time to go back - popular capitalism, small government, low taxes.

if you think the era of "neo liberalism" is over, you are in deep denial!

Social36 -> farga 17 Nov 2016 8:33

Maybe, West should have written that we're now in neoliberal, neofascist era!

ForSparta -> farga 17 Nov 2016 14:24

Well in all fairness, Donald Trump (horse's ass) did say he'd 'pump' money into the middle classes thus abandoning 'trickle down'. His plan/ideology is also to increase corporate tax revenues overall by reducing the level of corporation tax -- the aim being to entice corporations to repatriate wealth currently held overseas. Plus he has proposed an infrastructure spending spree, a fiscal stimulus not a monetary one. When you add in tax cuts the middle classes will feel flushed and it is within that demographic that most businesses and hence jobs are created. I think his short game has every chance of doing what he said it would.

SeeNOevilHearNOevil 17 Nov 2016 6:36

The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad.

Didn't Obama say to Wall Street ''I'm the only one standing between you and the lynch mob? Give me money and I'll make it all go away''. Then came into office and went we won't prosecute the Banks not Bush for a false war because we don't look back.

He did not ignore, he actively, willingly, knowingly protected them. At the end of the day Obama is wolf in sheep's clothing. Exactly like HRC he has a public and a private position. He is a gifted speaker who knows how to say all the right, progressive liberal things to get people to go along much better than HRC ever did.

But that lip service is where his progressive views begin and stop. It's the very reason none of his promises never translated into actions and I will argue that he was the biggest and smoothest scam artist to enter the white house who got even though that wholly opposed centre-right policies, to flip and support them vehemently. Even when he had the Presidency, House and Senate, he never once introduced any progressive liberal policy. He didn't need Republican support to do it, yet he never even tried.

ProbablyOnTopic 17 Nov 2016 6:37

I agree with some of this, but do we really have to throw around hysterical terms like 'fascist' at every opportunity? It's as bad as when people call the left 'cultural Marxists'.

LithophaneFurcifera -> ProbablyOnTopic 17 Nov 2016 7:05

True, it's sloganeering that drowns out any nuance, whoever does it. Whenever a political term is coined, you can be assured that its use and meaning will eventually be extended to the point that it becomes less effective at characterising the very groups that it was coined to characterise.

Keep "fascist" for Mussolini and "cultural Marxist" for Adorno, unless and until others show such strong resemblances that the link can't seriously be denied.

I agree about the importance of recognising the suffering of the poor and building alliances beyond, and not primarily defined by, race though.

l0Ho5LG4wWcFJsKg 17 Nov 2016 6:40
Hang about Trump is the embodiment of neo-liberalism. It's neo-liberalism with republican tea party in control. He's not going to smash the system that served him so well, the years he manipulated and cheated, why would he want to change it.
garrylee -> l0Ho5LG4wWcFJsKg 17 Nov 2016 9:38
West's point is that it's beyond Trump's control. The scales have fallen from peoples eyes. They now see the deceit of neo-liberalism. And once they see through the charlatan Trump and the rest of the fascists, they will, hopefully, come to realize the only antidote to neo-liberalism is a planned economy.

Nash25 17 Nov 2016 6:40

This excellent analysis by professor West places the current political situation in a proper historical context.

However, I fear that neo-liberalism may not be quite "dead" as he argues.

Most of the Democratic party's "establishment" politicians, who conspired to sabotage the populist Sanders's campaign, still dominate the party, and they, in turn, are controlled by the giant corporations who fund their campaigns.

Democrat Chuck Schumer is now the Senate minority leader, and he is the loyal servant of the big Wall Street investment banks.

Sanders and Warren are the only two Democratic leaders who are not neo-liberals, and I fear that they will once again be marginalized.

Rank and file Democrats must organize at the local and state level to remove these corrupt neo-liberals from all party leadership positions. This will take many years, and it will be very difficult.


VenetianBlind 17 Nov 2016 6:42

Not sure Neo-Liberalism has ended. All they have done is get rid of the middle man.

macfeegal 17 Nov 2016 6:46

It would seem that there is a great deal of over simplifying going on; some of the articles represent an hysteric response and the vision of sack cloth and ashes prevails among those who could not see that the wheels were coming off the bus. The use of the term 'liberal' has become another buzz word - there are many different forms of liberalism and creating yet another sound byte does little to illuminate anything.

Making appeals to restore what has been lost reflects badly upon the central political parties, with their 30 year long rightward drift and their legacy of sucking up to corporate lobbyists, systems managers, box tickers and consultants. You can't give away sovereign political power to a bunch of right wing quangos who worship private wealth and its accumulation without suffering the consequences. The article makes no contribution (and neither have many of the others of late) to any kind of alternative to either neo-liberalism or the vacuum that has become a question mark with the dark face of the devil behind it.

We are in uncharted waters. The conventional Left was totally discredited by1982 and all we've had since are various forms of modifications of Thatcher's imported American vision. There has been no opposition to this system for over 40 years - so where do we get the idea that democracy has any real meaning? Yes, we can vote for the Greens, or one of the lesser known minority parties, but of course people don't; they tend to go with what is portrayed as the orthodoxy and they've been badly let down by it.

It would be a real breath of fresh air to see articles which offer some kind of analysis that demonstrates tangible options to deal with the multiple crises we are suffering. Perhaps we might start with a consideration that if our political institutions are prone to being haunted by the ghost of the 1930's, the state itself could be seen as part of the problem rather than any solution. Why is it that every other institution is considered to be past its sell by date and we still believe in a phantom of democracy? Discuss.

VenetianBlind -> macfeegal 17 Nov 2016 7:00

I have spent hours trying to see solutions around Neo-Liberalism and find that governments have basically signed away any control over the economy so nothing they can do. There are no solutions.

Maybe that is the starting point. The solution for workers left behind in Neo-Liberal language is they must move. It demands labor mobility. It is not possible to dictate where jobs are created.

I see too much fiddly around the edges, the best start is to say they cannot fix the problem. If they keep making false promises then things will just get dire as.

[Sep 30, 2017] Yet Another Major Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet by Glenn Greenwald

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... But what it does demonstrate is that an incredibly reckless, anything-goes climate prevails when it comes to claims about Russia. Media outlets will publish literally any official assertion as Truth without the slightest regard for evidentiary standards. ..."
"... Seeing Putin lurking behind and masterminding every western problem is now religious dogma – it explains otherwise-confounding developments, provides certainty to a complex world, and alleviates numerous factions of responsibility – so media outlets and their journalists are lavishly rewarded any time they publish accusatory stories about Russia (especially ones involving the U.S. election), even if they end up being debunked. ..."
"... A highly touted story yesterday from the New York Times – claiming that Russians used Twitter more widely known than before to manipulate U.S. politics – demonstrates this recklessness. The story is based on the claims of a new group formed just two months ago by a union of neocons and Democratic national security officials, led by long-time liars and propagandists such as Bill Kristol, former acting CIA chief Mike Morell, and Bush Homeland Security Secretary Mike Chertoff. I reported on the founding of this group, calling itself the Alliance for Securing Democracy, when it was unveiled (this is not to be confused with the latest new Russia group unveiled last week by Rob Reiner and David Frum and featuring a different former national security state official (former DNI James Clapper) – calling itself InvestigateRussia.org – featuring a video declaring that the U.S. is now "at war with Russia"). ..."
"... The Kristol/Morell/Chertoff group on which the Times based its article has a very simple tactic: they secretly decide which Twitter accounts are "Russia bots," meaning accounts that disseminate an "anti-American message" and are controlled by the Kremlin. They refuse to tell anyone which Twitter accounts they decided are Kremlin-loyal, nor will they identify their methodology for creating their lists or determining what constitutes "anti-Americanism." ..."
"... That's how the Russia narrative is constantly "reported," and it's the reason so many of the biggest stories have embarrassingly collapsed. It's because the Russia story of 2017 – not unlike the Iraq discourse of 2002 – is now driven by religious-like faith rather than rational faculties. ..."
"... No questioning of official claims is allowed. The evidentiary threshold which an assertion must overcome before being accepted is so low as to be non-existent. ..."
"... Regardless of your views on Russia, Trump and the rest, nobody can possibly regard this climate as healthy. ..."
Sep 28, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Last Friday, most major media outlets touted a major story about Russian attempts to hack into U.S. voting systems, based exclusively on claims made by the Department of Homeland Security. "Russians attempted to hack elections systems in 21 states in the run-up to last year's presidential election, officials said Friday," began the USA Today story, similar to how most other outlets presented this extraordinary claim.

This official story was explosive for obvious reasons, and predictably triggered instant decrees – that of course went viral – declaring that the legitimacy of the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election is now in doubt.

Virginia's Democratic Congressman Don Beyer, referring to the 21 targeted states, announced that this shows "Russia tried to hack their election":

MSNBC's Paul Revere for all matters relating to the Kremlin take-over, Rachel Maddow, was indignant that this wasn't told to us earlier and that we still aren't getting all the details. "What we have now figured out," Maddow gravely intoned as she showed the multi-colored maps she made, is that "Homeland Security knew at least by June that 21 states had been targeted by Russian hackers during the election. . .targeting their election infrastructure."

They were one small step away from demanding that the election results be nullified, indulging the sentiment expressed by #Resistance icon Carl Reiner the other day: "Is there anything more exciting that [sic] the possibility of Trump's election being invalidated & Hillary rightfully installed as our President?"

So what was wrong with this story? Just one small thing: it was false. The story began to fall apart yesterday when Associated Press reported that Wisconsin – one of the states included in the original report that, for obvious reasons, caused the most excitement – did not, in fact, have its election systems targeted by Russian hackers:

The spokesman for Homeland Security then tried to walk back that reversal, insisting that there was still evidence that some computer networks had been targeted, but could not say that they had anything to do with elections or voting. And, as AP noted: "Wisconsin's chief elections administrator, Michael Haas, had repeatedly said that Homeland Security assured the state it had not been targeted."

Then the story collapsed completely last night. The Secretary of State for another one of the named states, California, issued a scathing statement repudiating the claimed report:

Sometimes stories end up debunked. There's nothing particularly shocking about that. If this were an isolated incident, one could chalk it up to basic human error that has no broader meaning.

But this is no isolated incident. Quite the contrary: this has happened over and over and over again. Inflammatory claims about Russia get mindlessly hyped by media outlets, almost always based on nothing more than evidence-free claims from government officials, only to collapse under the slightest scrutiny, because they are entirely lacking in evidence.

The examples of such debacles when it comes to claims about Russia are too numerous to comprehensively chronicle. I wrote about this phenomenon many times and listed many of the examples, the last time in June when 3 CNN journalists "resigned" over a completely false story linking Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci to investigations into a Russian investment fund which the network was forced to retract:

Remember that time the Washington Post claimed that Russia had hacked the U.S. electricity grid, causing politicians to denounce Putin for trying to deny heat to Americans in winter, only to have to issue multiple retractions because none of that ever happened? Or the time that the Post had to publish a massive editor's note after its reporters made claims about Russian infiltration of the internet and spreading of "Fake News" based on an anonymous group's McCarthyite blacklist that counted sites like the Drudge Report and various left-wing outlets as Kremlin agents?

Or that time when Slate claimed that Trump had created a secret server with a Russian bank, all based on evidence that every other media outlet which looked at it were too embarrassed to get near? Or the time the Guardian was forced to retract its report by Ben Jacobs – which went viral – that casually asserted that WikiLeaks has a long relationship with the Kremlin? Or the time that Fortune retracted suggestions that RT had hacked into and taken over C-SPAN's network? And then there's the huge market that was created – led by leading Democrats – that blindly ingested every conspiratorial, unhinged claim about Russia churned out by an army of crazed conspiracists such as Louise Mensch and Claude "TrueFactsStated" Taylor?

And now we have the Russia-hacked-the-voting-systems-of-21-states to add to this trash heap. Each time the stories go viral; each time they further shape the narrative; each time those who spread them say little to nothing when it is debunked.

None of this means that every Russia claim is false, nor does it disprove the accusation that Putin ordered the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta's email inboxes (a claim for which, just by the way, still no evidence has been presented by the U.S. government). Perhaps there were some states that were targeted, even though the key claims of this story, that attracted the most attention, have now been repudiated.

But what it does demonstrate is that an incredibly reckless, anything-goes climate prevails when it comes to claims about Russia. Media outlets will publish literally any official assertion as Truth without the slightest regard for evidentiary standards.

Seeing Putin lurking behind and masterminding every western problem is now religious dogma – it explains otherwise-confounding developments, provides certainty to a complex world, and alleviates numerous factions of responsibility – so media outlets and their journalists are lavishly rewarded any time they publish accusatory stories about Russia (especially ones involving the U.S. election), even if they end up being debunked.

A highly touted story yesterday from the New York Times – claiming that Russians used Twitter more widely known than before to manipulate U.S. politics – demonstrates this recklessness. The story is based on the claims of a new group formed just two months ago by a union of neocons and Democratic national security officials, led by long-time liars and propagandists such as Bill Kristol, former acting CIA chief Mike Morell, and Bush Homeland Security Secretary Mike Chertoff. I reported on the founding of this group, calling itself the Alliance for Securing Democracy, when it was unveiled (this is not to be confused with the latest new Russia group unveiled last week by Rob Reiner and David Frum and featuring a different former national security state official (former DNI James Clapper) – calling itself InvestigateRussia.org – featuring a video declaring that the U.S. is now "at war with Russia").

The Kristol/Morell/Chertoff group on which the Times based its article has a very simple tactic: they secretly decide which Twitter accounts are "Russia bots," meaning accounts that disseminate an "anti-American message" and are controlled by the Kremlin. They refuse to tell anyone which Twitter accounts they decided are Kremlin-loyal, nor will they identify their methodology for creating their lists or determining what constitutes "anti-Americanism."

They do it all in secret, and you're just supposed to trust them: Bill Kristol, Mike Chertoff and their national security state friends. And the New York Times is apparently fine with this demand, as evidenced by its uncritical acceptance yesterday of the claims of this group – a group formed by the nation's least trustworthy sources.

But no matter. It's a claim about nefarious Russian control. So it's instantly vested with credibility and authority, published by leading news outlets, and then blindly accepted as fact in most elite circles. From now on, it will simply be Fact – based on the New York Times article – that the Kremlin aggressively and effectively weaponized Twitter to manipulate public opinion and sow divisions during the election, even though the evidence for this new story is the secret, unverifiable assertions of a group filled with the most craven neocons and national security state liars.

That's how the Russia narrative is constantly "reported," and it's the reason so many of the biggest stories have embarrassingly collapsed. It's because the Russia story of 2017 – not unlike the Iraq discourse of 2002 – is now driven by religious-like faith rather than rational faculties.

No questioning of official claims is allowed. The evidentiary threshold which an assertion must overcome before being accepted is so low as to be non-existent. And the penalty for desiring to see evidence for official claims, or questioning the validity and persuasiveness of the evidence that is proffered, are accusations that impugn one's patriotism and loyalty (simply wanting to see evidence for official claims about Russia is proof, in many quarters, that one is a Kremlin agent or at least adores Putin – just as wanting to see evidence in 2002, or questioning the evidence presented for claims about Saddam, was viewed as proof that one harbored sympathy for the Iraqi dictator).

Regardless of your views on Russia, Trump and the rest, nobody can possibly regard this climate as healthy. Just look at how many major, incredibly inflammatory stories, from major media outlets, have collapsed. Is it not clear that there is something very wrong with how we are discussing and reporting on relations between these two nuclear-armed powers?

[Sep 29, 2017] Bernie Sanders To Democrats This Is What a Radical Foreign Policy Looks Like

It is impossible to understand the current wave of the US militarism without understanding neoliberalism and, especially, neoconservatism -- the dominant force in the US foreign policy since Reagan.
Sep 29, 2017 | theintercept.com

... ... ...

Many of my colleagues, Republican colleagues, here in the Senate, for example, disparage the United Nations, he says, sitting across the table from me, in front of a wall of Vermont tourism posters. While clearly the United Nations could be more effective, it is imperative that we strengthen international institutions, because at the end of the day, while it may not be sexy, it may not be glamorous, it may not allow for great soundbites, simply the idea of people coming together and talking and arguing is a lot better than countries going to war.

... ... ...

The senator makes clear that unilateralism, the belief that we can simply overthrow governments that we dont want, that has got to be re-examined. After referencing the Iraq War -- one of the great foreign policy blunders in the history of this country -- the senator touches on another historic blunder which, to his credit, few of his fellow senators would be willing to discuss, let alone critique. In 1953, the United States, with the British, overthrew [Mohammed] Mossadegh, the prime minister of Iran – and this was to benefit British oil interests, he reminds me. The result was the shah came into power, who was a very ruthless man, and the result of that was that we had the Iranian Revolution, which takes us to where we are right now.

...So far this year, Sanders has hired Matt Duss , a respected foreign affairs analyst and former president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP), as his foreign policy adviser, and has given speeches at the liberal Jewish lobbying group, J Street, where he condemned Israels continued occupation of Palestinian territories as being contrary to fundamental American values, and at the centrist Carnegie Endowment of International Peace, where he rebuked Russian President Vladimir Putin for trying to weaken the transatlantic alliance.

Last week, my colleague Glenn Greenwald penned a column in The Intercept headlined, The Clinton Book Tour Is Largely Ignoring the Vital Role of Endless War in the 2016 Election Result. Greenwald argued that Clintons advocacy of multiple wars and other military actions pushed some swing voters into the arms of both Donald Trump and third-party candidates, such as Jill Stein. I ask Sanders whether he agrees with this analysis.

I mean, thats a whole other issue. And I dont know the answer to that. I persist. Surely hed concede that foreign policy was a factor in Clintons defeat? He doesnt budge. I want to talk about my speech, not about Hillary Clinton. So foreign policy plays no role in elections?

... ... ...

The U.S. funding plays a very important role, and I would love to see people in the Middle East sit down with the United States government and figure out how U.S. aid can bring people together, not just result in an arms war in that area. So I think there is extraordinary potential for the United States to help the Palestinian people rebuild Gaza and other areas. At the same time, demand that Israel, in their own interests in a way, work with other countries on environmental issues. He then, finally, answers my question: So the answer is yes.

It is -- by the depressingly low standard of modern U.S. politics -- a remarkable and, dare I say it, radical response from Sanders. Aid to Israel in Congress and the pro-Israel community has been sacrosanct, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency noted earlier this year, and no president has seriously proposed cutting it since Gerald Ford in the mid-1970s.

[Sep 27, 2017] Come You Masters of War by Matthew Harwood

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Middle East was now a U.S. military priority, and the pursuit of direct American domination of the region came from none other than the supposed peacenik, Jimmy Carter. ..."
"... The result was the Carter Doctrine. Delivered to the American people during the 1980 State of Union Address, Carter started Americas War for the Greater Middle East. ..."
"... he declared Americas right to cheap energy. Let our position be absolutely clear, he said. An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force. ..."
"... Analyzing the Carter Doctrine, Bacevich writes that it represented a broad, open-ended commitment, one that expanded further with time -- one that implied the conversion of the Persian Gulf into an informal American protectorate. Defending the region meant policing it. And police it America has done, wrapping its naked self-interest in the seemingly noble cloth of democratization and human rights. ..."
"... They didnt see that the U.S.-armed Afghan mujahideen also believed they were the victors and that they had every intention of resisting Americas version of modernity as much as they had resisted the Soviet Unions. (Americas self-destructive trend of arming its eventual enemies -- either directly or indirectly from Saddam Hussein to ISIS, respectively -- is a recurring theme of Bacevichs narrative.) ..."
"... History cannot be controlled, and it had its revenge on a U.S. military and political elite who somehow believed they could see the future and manage historical forces toward a predestined end that naturally benefitted America. As Reinhold Niebuhr warned, and Bacevich quotes approvingly, The recalcitrant forces in the historical drama have a power and persistence beyond our reckoning. ..."
"... Another piece of connective tissue, according to Bacevich, is the belief that war is not the failure of diplomacy but a necessary ingredient to its success. The U.S. military establishment learned this lesson in Bosnia when U.S.-led NATO bombing brought Serbia to the negotiating table at the Dayton Peace Accords. The proper role of armed force, writes Bacevich, was not to supplant diplomacy but to make it work. Gen. Wesley Clark was more succinct when he called war coercive diplomacy during the Kosovo conflict. U.S. military force was no longer a last resort, particularly when technology was making it easier to unleash violence without endangering U.S. service members lives. ..."
"... The people on the ground, as the D.C. elites just learned in November, have a way of not going along with the best-laid plans made for them in the epicenters of power. ..."
"... Without any unifying aim or idea, according to Bacevich, the Obama administrations principal contribution to Americas War for the Greater Middle East was to expand its fronts. ..."
"... As Bacevich clearly shows over and over again in his narrative, the men and women who make up the defense establishment have a fanatical, almost theological, belief in the transformational power of American violence. ..."
"... Expect Uncle Sams fangs to grow longer, his talons sharper, his violence huge. ..."
"... Bacevich, himself, is not hopeful. In a note to readers that greets them before the prologue, Bacevich is refreshingly terse with his assessment of Americas war for the Greater Middle East: We have not won it. We are not winning it. Simply trying harder is unlikely to produce a different outcome. ..."
Sep 26, 2017 | www.fff.org

Review of America's War for the Greater Middle East by Andrew J. Bacevich (New York: Random House, 2016; 480 pages)

Americas War for the Greater Middle East. Over time, other considerations intruded and complicated the wars conduct, but oil as a prerequisite of freedom was from day one an abiding consideration.

By 1969, oil imports already made up 20 percent of the daily oil consumption in the United States. Four years later, Arab oil exporters suspended oil shipments to the United States to punish America for supporting Israel in the October War. The American economy screeched to a halt, seemingly held hostage by foreigners -- a big no-no for a country accustomed to getting what it wants. Predictably the U.S. response was regional domination to keep the oil flowing to America, especially to the Pentagon and its vast, permanent war machine.

The Middle East was now a U.S. military priority, and the pursuit of direct American domination of the region came from none other than the supposed peacenik, Jimmy Carter. Before him, Richard Nixon was content to have the Middle East managed by proxies after the bloodletting America experienced in Vietnam. His arch-proxy was the despised shah of Iran, whom the United States had installed into power and then armed to the teeth. When his regime collapsed in 1979, felled by Islamic revolutionaries who would eventually capture the American embassy and initiate the Iranian hostage crisis, so too did the Nixon Doctrine. That same year, the Soviet Union rolled into Afghanistan. The world was a mess, and Carter was under extreme pressure to do something about it, lest he lose his bid for a second term. (He suffered a crushing defeat anyway.)

Furies beyond reckoning

The result was the Carter Doctrine. Delivered to the American people during the 1980 State of Union Address, Carter started Americas War for the Greater Middle East. Months earlier, in his infamous malaise speech, Carter asked Americans to simplify their lives and moderate their energy use. Now he declared Americas right to cheap energy. Let our position be absolutely clear, he said. An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.

Analyzing the Carter Doctrine, Bacevich writes that it represented a broad, open-ended commitment, one that expanded further with time -- one that implied the conversion of the Persian Gulf into an informal American protectorate. Defending the region meant policing it. And police it America has done, wrapping its naked self-interest in the seemingly noble cloth of democratization and human rights.

It is illustrative, and alarming, to list Bacevichs selected campaigns and operations in the region since 1980 up to the present, unleashed by Carter and subsequent presidents. Lets go in alphabetical order by country followed by the campaigns and operations:

  1. Afghanistan (Cyclone, 1980–1989; Infinite Reach, 1998; Enduring Freedom, 2001–2015; Freedoms Sentinel, 2015–present);
  2. Bosnia (Deny Flight, 1993–1995; Deliberate Force, 1995; Joint Endeavor, 1995–1996);
  3. East Africa (Enduring Freedom -- Trans Sahara, 2007–present);
  4. Egypt (Bright Star, 1980–2009);
  5. Iraq (Desert Storm, 1991; Southern Watch, 1991–2003; Desert Strike, 1996; Northern Watch, 1997–2003; Desert Fox, 1998; Iraqi Freedom, 2003–2010; New Dawn, 2010–2011; Inherent Resolve, 2014–present);
  6. Iran (Eagle Claw, 1980; Olympic Games, 2007–2010)
  7. Kosovo (Determined Force, 1998; Allied Force, 1999; Joint Guardian, 1999–2005);
  8. Lebanon (Multinational Force, 1982–1984);
  9. Libya (El Dorado Canyon, 1986; Odyssey Dawn, 2011);
  10. North/West Africa (Enduring Freedom -- Trans Sahara, 2007– present);
  11. Pakistan (Neptune Spear, 2011);
  12. Persian Gulf (Earnest Will, 1987–1988; Nimble Archer, 1987; Praying Mantis, 1988);
  13. Saudi Arabia (Desert Shield, 1990; Desert Focus, 1996);
  14. Somalia (Restore Hope, 1992–1993; Gothic Serpent, 1993); Sudan (Infinite Reach, 1998);
  15. Syria (Inherent Resolve, 2014–present);
  16. Turkey (Provide Comfort, 1991);
  17. Yemen (Determined Response, 2000)

While Bacevich deftly takes the reader through the history of all those wars, the most important aspect of his book is his critique of the United Statess permanent military establishment and the power it wields in Washington. According to Bacevich, U.S. military leaders have a tendency to engage in fantastical thinking rife with hubris. Too many believe the United States is a global force for good that has the messianic duty to usher in secular modernity, a force that no one should ever interfere with, either militarily or ideologically.

As Bacevich makes plain again and again, history does not back up that mindset. For instance, after the Soviet Unions crippling defeat in Afghanistan, the Washington elite saw it as an American victory, the inauguration of the end of history and the inevitable march of democratic capitalism. They didnt see that the U.S.-armed Afghan mujahideen also believed they were the victors and that they had every intention of resisting Americas version of modernity as much as they had resisted the Soviet Unions. (Americas self-destructive trend of arming its eventual enemies -- either directly or indirectly from Saddam Hussein to ISIS, respectively -- is a recurring theme of Bacevichs narrative.)

Over and over again after 9/11, America would be taught this lesson, as Islamic extremists, both Sunni and Shia, bloodied the U.S. military across the Greater Middle East, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq. History cannot be controlled, and it had its revenge on a U.S. military and political elite who somehow believed they could see the future and manage historical forces toward a predestined end that naturally benefitted America. As Reinhold Niebuhr warned, and Bacevich quotes approvingly, The recalcitrant forces in the historical drama have a power and persistence beyond our reckoning.

Yet across Americas War for the Greater Middle East, presidents would speak theologically of Americas role in the world, never admitting the United States is not an instrument of the Almighty. George H.W. Bush would speak of a new world order. Bill Clintons Secretary of State Madeleine Albright would declare that America is the indispensable nation. George W. Bushs faith in this delusion led him to declare a global war on terrorism, where American military might would extinguish evil wherever it resided and initiate Condoleeza Rices 'paradigm of progress -- democracy, limited government, market economics, and respect for human (and especially womens) rights across the region. As with all zealots, there was no acknowledgment by the Bush administration, flamboyantly Christian, that evil resided inside them too. Barack Obama seemed to pull back from this arrogance in his 2009 Cairo speech, declaring, No system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other. Yet he continued to articulate his faith that all people desire liberal democracy, even though that simply isnt true.

All in all, American presidents and their military advisors believed they could impose a democratic capitalist peace on the world, undeterred that each intervention created more instability and unleashed new violent forces the United States would eventually engage militarily, such as Saddam Hussein, al-Qaeda, and ISIS. Bacevich explains that this conviction, deeply embedded in the American collective psyche, provides one of the connecting threads making the ongoing War for the Greater Middle East something more than a collection of disparate and geographically scattered skirmishes.

War and diplomacy

Another piece of connective tissue, according to Bacevich, is the belief that war is not the failure of diplomacy but a necessary ingredient to its success. The U.S. military establishment learned this lesson in Bosnia when U.S.-led NATO bombing brought Serbia to the negotiating table at the Dayton Peace Accords. The proper role of armed force, writes Bacevich, was not to supplant diplomacy but to make it work. Gen. Wesley Clark was more succinct when he called war coercive diplomacy during the Kosovo conflict. U.S. military force was no longer a last resort, particularly when technology was making it easier to unleash violence without endangering U.S. service members lives.

This logic would run aground in Iraq after 9/11 during what Bacevich calls the Third Gulf War. In an act of preventive war, the Bush administration shocked and awed Baghdad, believing U.S. military supremacy and its almost divine violence would bring other state sponsors of terrorism to heel after America quickly won the war. Vanquishing Saddam Hussein and destroying his army promised to invest American diplomacy with the power to coerce. Although the Bush administration believed the war ended after three weeks, Bacevich notes, the Third Gulf War was destined to continue for another 450. The people on the ground, as the D.C. elites just learned in November, have a way of not going along with the best-laid plans made for them in the epicenters of power.

There was hope that Barack Obama, a constitutional professor, would correct the Bush administrations failures and start to wind down Americas War for the Greater Middle East. Instead, he expanded it into Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and West Africa through drone warfare and special-operations missions. Without any unifying aim or idea, according to Bacevich, the Obama administrations principal contribution to Americas War for the Greater Middle East was to expand its fronts.

Now this war is in the hands of Donald J. Trump. If there is any upside to a Trump presidency -- and I find it hard to find many -- its the possibility that the intensity of American imperialism in the Middle East will wane. But I find that likelihood remote. Trump has promised to wipe out ISIS, which means continued military action in at least Iraq, Syria, and Libya. He has also called for more military spending, and I find it hard to believe that he or the national-security establishment will increase investment in the military and then show restraint in the use of force overseas.

As Bacevich clearly shows over and over again in his narrative, the men and women who make up the defense establishment have a fanatical, almost theological, belief in the transformational power of American violence. They persist in this belief despite all evidence to the contrary. These are the men and women who will be whispering their advice into the new presidents ear. Expect Uncle Sams fangs to grow longer, his talons sharper, his violence huge.

Bacevich, himself, is not hopeful. In a note to readers that greets them before the prologue, Bacevich is refreshingly terse with his assessment of Americas war for the Greater Middle East: We have not won it. We are not winning it. Simply trying harder is unlikely to produce a different outcome. And to this its not hard to hear Trump retort, Loser! And so the needless violence will continue on and on with no end in sight unless the American population develops a Middle East syndrome to replace the Vietnam syndrome that once made Washington wary of war.

That lack of confidence in the masters of war cant come soon enough.

This article was originally published in the July 2017 edition of Future of Freedom .

[Sep 27, 2017] Philip Giraldi's Remedy for Wars by Israel Shamir

Accept in Jewishness of neocons is counterproductive. They perform their role because this is what MIC which controls and pays them want them to perform. The fact that there are selected for this role is no different then large percent of Jews in academia: they provide to be talented propagandists.
Some commenters definitely mix effects of neoliberalism on the US society with the influence of Jews. That's pathetic.
Notable quotes:
"... [Choose a single Handle and stick with it, or use Anonymous/Anon. Otherwise, your comments will be trashed.] ..."
Sep 27, 2017 | www.unz.com

...The recent example is a piece by Philip Giraldi on the Unz.com, which still produces waves on the web. In his piece he rolled the list of Jews who were keen on Iraq invasion, and who are pushing the US now into an attack on Iran: "David Frum, Max Boot, Bill Kristol and Bret Stephens, Mark Dubowitz, Michael Ledeen And yep, they're all Jewish, plus most of them would self-describe as neo-conservatives."

Giraldi proposed to keep Jews out of the positions of influence on the foreign affairs, in order to keep the US out of wars it does not need. Giraldi wrote: "We don't need a war with Iran because Israel wants one and some rich and powerful American Jews are happy to deliver."

Actually, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz wrote at the time (in April 2003): "The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history. Two of them, journalists William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer, say it's possible."

I also wrote things in the same vein during Iraq invasion, and it is good to see that this thesis did not die but keeps resurging from time to time. One could add that these very persons are pushing for conflict with Russia, demonise Putin and attack Trump, though the Orange Man tries to fulfill their wishes as an eager Santa Claus of diligent Lizzie.

While agreeing with Giraldi on the malady, let us discuss the remedy. Would keeping Jews out of foreign policy making actually help? Did the US keep out of wars before the Rise of Jews in late 1960s? The Jews weren't specially prominent before that time, and certainly weren't overrepresented in the establishment. A Jewish couple, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg has been fried on the electric chair in 1953, and there were few objections. McCarthy terrorized Jews. The word Holocaust had yet to make its first appearance (in 1968). Jews were still kept out of clubs and out of high level politics. Israel had been threatened by the US (in 1956) rather than assisted.

And still, the free-from-Jews US had fought in Korea the terrible three-year long war (1950-1953), and in Vietnam (up to 1974), invaded and caused regime change in Guatemala and Iran, violently interfered in elections in France and Italy, and had fought the fierce Cold War against the USSR. In all these campaigns, the US Jews were actually for peace and against war. The Jews were nowhere in power when the US fought its wars against Spain and Mexico. The non-Jewish US made a coup in Iran, and non-Jewish and not-pro-Israel President Carter tried to invade Iran. Jews weren't involved in the conquest of Panama, in Nicaragua intervention, in Granada operation.

Perhaps the Jews had moved the arena of wars to the Middle East and out of Latin America. Less Jewish-influenced America would rather invade Venezuela than Iraq or Iran. But is it so wonderful?

The idea of correcting or channelling the excessive Jewish influence is a reasonable one, but can this goal be achieved by keeping Kristol and Krauthammer out of media (an excellent thought anyway)?

The Jewish prominence in the US is inbuilt in the US culture and tradition. Karl Marx wrote that "in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression". He said that all Yankees are Jews, behave like Jews, aspire to be Jews and even are circumcised like Jews. So it is natural that real Jews succeed better in being Jews than their Gentile neighbours. Werner Sombart added that Jews were prominent from the very dawn of America and they created American-style capitalism the way that fits them. The Jews are prominent now because America is custom-built for Jews to fit and suit them, he said.

This is what should be corrected, and then the Jewish scribes, these Krauthammers will be out of business of inciting wars. Stop subscribing to Jewish success model, and the Jews won't be able to influence the Senate. Make the US Christian as Christ taught, share labour and wealth, aspire to God instead of Mammon, make the first last and the last first, love thy neighbour and the problem will be solved.

If this is too tall an order, make it a smaller one. Unseating Ledeens and Frums (and I think they deserve tar and feathers all right) will not do the trick unless the rich Jews are un-wealthed. Without excessive Jewish wealth, there will be no excessive Jewish push for wars. And provided that more than half of all US wealth is in few Jewish hands, freeing it will make a colossal effect of improving life of every American, even every person on earth.

And why to stop there? The super-rich non-Jews are as Jewish as any Jew. They share the same aspirations. Strip them of their assets. Why should we worry whether Jeff Bezos is a Jew by blood or faith, or he is not? He behaves like a Jew, and that is enough. Establish a ceiling of wealth, a counterpart of minimal wage. This idea has been mulled: Jeremy Corbyn called for the maximum wage. Taxes can do it easily – in wonderful Sweden of 1950s, top tax rate was 102%. Or this can be achieved in a more festive way of stripping the richest men of their ill-gotten wealth on the main square of Washington, DC on Mardi Gras Sunday. Do not say this is a punishment for their diligence – other way around, this is assistance on their way to spiritual improvement. Too many assets imprison the spirit.

This would be good for Jews and for all concerned: while the average Jewish wealth in the US had been lagging below total average (that is as long as Jews were less wealthy than Gentiles), the Jews acted in the interests of the people. Around 1968-1970 the Jews became more wealthy than all Americans, and that was it: they ceased to strive for the common good.

Jews could be a force for good if their excessive tendency to collect material goods is nipped in the bud. So it was in the USSR: as the Jews could not make money, they went into science and worked for the common good. Even oligarchs could be good managers instead of pain in the neck for the society.

This is not more complicated than booting Max Boot out of writing business. So why to go for a palliative if you can go for the jugular?

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

Anonymous > , Disclaimer September 27, 2017 at 4:27 am GMT

I thought the ascent of Jewish power in America started in 1913?

One year after that, America entered WWI

SimplePseudonymicHandle > , September 27, 2017 at 5:33 am GMT

@Anonymous I thought the ascent of Jewish power in America started in 1913?

One year after that, America entered WWI... The US entered WWI in 1917

Grandpa Charlie > , September 27, 2017 at 5:45 am GMT

Israel Shamir is an entertaining writer and sometimes informative (especially about Russia). But he is prone to hyperbole. For example:

[N]on-Jewish and not-pro-Israel President Carter tried to invade Iran

Perhaps the Jews had moved the arena of wars to the Middle East and out of Latin America. Less Jewish-influenced America would rather invade Venezuela than Iraq or Iran. But is it so wonderful?

– Shamir

The Special Forces operation to extract USA's hostages in Iran fell way short of anything that anyone would call an "invasion." As for Venezuela:

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) fired back at President Trump on Friday, saying Congress "obviously isn't authorizing war in Venezuela" after Trump said he wouldn't rule out using a military option in the country.

"No, Congress obviously isn't authorizing war in Venezuela," Sasse, a member of the Senate Armed Services committee, said in a statement. "Nicolas Maduro is a horrible human being, but Congress doesn't vote to spill Nebraskans' blood based on who the Executive lashes out at today."

– The Hill

This entire article is based on Shanir's exaggerationa: First, as I recall, Giraldi never suggested any form of censorship of news media or commentary; more likely Giraldi would like to see effectively less censorship, especially censorship on behalf of Israel and Zionism. Second, Giraldi, as I recall, never made his suggestions as promising an end to war in general. Third, Giraldi never suggested that removing Jews from positions of influence relating to USA's global security/strategy would keep the USA out of all unnecessary wars, only that it would help in getting the USA out of unnecessary wars in the ME -- wars that do not enhance and indeed detract from our national security.

I feel certain that Giraldi knows as much as anyone about the evil influence of the Military Industrial Congressional Complex -- which obviously includes major gentile players as well as Zionist neocons. For me, the matter is simple: anyone whose loyalty is divided between the USA and Israel should be barred from any position of influence in USA's military or related governmental activities. The same is true for anyone whose loyalty is divided between the USA and the People's Republic of China or Ireland or Russia or the Vatican or wherever.

Edgar > , September 27, 2017 at 5:56 am GMT

It's been a week or so since I read Giraldi's piece, but I recall him saying keep Jews in the US out of policy matters relating to Israel. "Put the Jewish members in charge of Korea Policy. . . " I believe was Giraldi's example. You seem to be punching a straw man with your otherwise pedestrian argument. But thanks for supporting Giraldi's basic thesis!

Now these pitiful William-F-Buckley-tards should put Giraldi's article back up; Shamir confirms that Giraldi is right.

Priss Factor > , Website September 27, 2017 at 6:19 am GMT

While agreeing with Giraldi on the malady, let us discuss the remedy. Would keeping Jews out of foreign policy making actually help? Did the US keep out of wars before the Rise of Jews in late 1960s? The Jews weren't specially prominent before that time, and certainly weren't overrepresented in the establishment.

This is an interesting question, but there is a difference between Then and Now.

In the past, US expansionism was part of the global norm. Imperialism was common and accepted all over the world. Ottomans ruled over a giant empire. Russians kept expanding into Siberia and Central Asia. It also swallowed parts of Central Europe. Manchus took over China and gobbled up more territory as part of Chinese empire. There were native imperialist wars in Africa before white man came. And Mexico was also the product of empire building. Spanish took it from Aztec Imperialists, and the Conquis took more land. And Spanish also took Philippines. Brits and French were creating vast empires. US was created out of empire-building and continued as such.

So, US warmongering in the past was part of the world norm. Everyone did it. Also, empire-building was seen as glorious for the Whole People. So, even though the elites benefited the most, there was a sense of shared glory among all Britons over the British Empire. All Frenchmen were to share the glory of the French Empire. And US expansion into SW territories was great not only for elites but for Anglo settlers who built new lives in those areas. And it was even good for Mexers in the region because Anglos did so much than Mexers had done before when SW territories had belonged to Mexico. It's like Ramon has it pretty good working for gringos. He was like the Guillermo of his day.

Alfred > , September 27, 2017 at 6:34 am GMT

@Anonymous I thought the ascent of Jewish power in America started in 1913?

One year after that, America entered WWI... WWI was planned and executed to plan by a British elite – just like the 2 Boer wars. In all these wars, wealthy Jewish bankers helped get them started – the Cassels and the Rothschilds principally. Many leading British politicians – e.g. Winston Churchill and his father – were deeply in debt to these people. The much touted "Balfour Declaration" was the product of a British prime minister who was in debt to them – as was his uncle Lord Salisbury.

Randolph Churchill died with debts of the order of $8m in today's money to these bankers. It is all well-documented.

Suggested reading:

"The Secret Origins of the First Wold War" by Gerry Docherty and Jim MacGregor

https://amzn.com/1780576307

However, blaming ordinary Jews or American Jews for WWI is as ridiculous as blaming the French for their corrupt Poincaré or the ordinary British for the warmonger Churchill.

Grandpa Charlie > , September 27, 2017 at 6:53 am GMT

@Grandpa Charlie It occurs to me that it's possible that Shamir intended the article as humor, as camp, as a parody of ((anti-Jewish)) commentary here at UR. It's complicated.

Proud_Srbin > , September 27, 2017 at 7:03 am GMT

Mother Nature, no make monoliths. Monolithic nations or states do not exist, have never existed and never will.

Kiza > , September 27, 2017 at 7:05 am GMT

This article is a mix of truths and bull. But the key problem with the article is that it never mentions the main tool of the Zionists – the petrodollar and the main conduit of the Zionist power in US – The Federal Reserve. Luckily, China and Russia are working on dethroning FED by diminishing petrodollar. This will have the world-wide beneficial effect of deglobalisation: removing the ability to print money indefinitely will curb the ambitions of both "the rich Jews and the rich who want to be Jews" to rule the World. Power will become distributed again and the Jews will have to compete with the Chinese for domination.

Diminishing petrodollar is a much healthier solution than the Marxist's solution of removing wealth from the wealthy Jews and wannabe Jews. Once one starts removing wealth from individuals, one does not know where and when to stop.

Tom Welsh > , September 27, 2017 at 7:53 am GMT

@Anonymous It's quite hard to know such things for certain, since a lot of highly-paid professional effort has gone into concealing them from public scrutiny.

For some reason I am reminded of George Carlin's weirdly logical observation, "One can never know for sure what a deserted area looks like".

Art > , September 27, 2017 at 7:56 am GMT

Around 1968-1970 the Jews became more wealthy than all Americans, and that was it: they ceased to strive for the common good.

For the next 30 years through excessive debt the Jew Allen Greenspan, head of the Fed, put a stake in the heart of America's economy – end of story.

Jew dominated corporate America turned its head away from its fiduciary responsibilities to customers, employees, neighbors, investors, and country – they instead turned to raw, naked, personal greed. Junk bonds got the ball rolling.

In America you no longer do business with your neighbors – you must do business with Wall Street – Wall Street gets a slice of all your spending. Guess what – unlike you neighbors – Wall Street doesn't give dam about you – PERIOD.

Companies change ownership with the tough of a keyboard creating great uncertainty for all those invoved. This creates instability.

Ownership must be returned to local people. Then stability will return to culture.

Think Peace -- Art

The Alarmist > , September 27, 2017 at 8:23 am GMT

Remember the old adage for success in the world of WASPs: "Think Yiddish, dress British."

A serious case can be made for replacing the income tax, which has the potential to keep people from becoming wealthy, with a wealth tax, which has the effect of making people pay in proportion to their longer-term success and influence in the system. A millennial might say that this would be a more sustainable way to run things.

Randal > , September 27, 2017 at 8:45 am GMT

This is not more complicated than booting Max Boot out of writing business. So why to go for a palliative if you can go for the jugular?

If you think that imposing a general prohibitive wealth tax or somehow banning being rich is "not more complicated" than simply recognising the problems of dual loyalty and ulterior group motives, both in general and in particular relation to jewish elites, and addressing them in some form, then you would seem rather unrealistic to me.

There has been no convincing argument raised against Giraldi's point – the closest to a response so far seems to be the one you raise here – that jews aren't the only people or groups pushing the US towards war, which is rather irrelevant, and the insistence that not all jewish people do so, which is both obvious and likewise irrelevant.

Regardless, and whether or not one agrees with Giraldi's particular diagnosis of one aspect of the ills of modern US sphere society (I do, broadly), one should support him and it anyway simply because its expression is so obviously being punished by those who seek to suppress it. His prompt dismissal by the contemptible American Conservative illustrates the truth of the point made by those who complain of politically correct censorship being used by identity lobbyists and those who kowtow to them to control dissent.

The latter is a far bigger problem in the societies of the modern US sphere than the particular issue of foreign policy identified by Giraldi.

Jean de Peyrelongue > , Website September 27, 2017 at 9:14 am GMT

I like what is being said:
Before the 1960s the Jews in the US were not occupying the front stage but their influence was far from being negligeable. They were acting like a fifth column and as such, they have been active in triggering and supporting the Bolsheviks revolution, in getting the US to enter WW I and latter on WW II.
It is also obvious that when they were not occupying the front stage, they were courting the people in the US and in all the countries where they were living; to get accepted and their contribution to the societies was important.
Today as they are running the show in the western world, they are acting like slaves drivers and are treating others like they treat the Palestinians.
Having conquered the US and its dominions in Europe, they want to get the rest of the world. They never have enough. It looks like they want to take a revenge against all the others like they have done against the Russian during the revolution. They are no more working for improving the world but for running it and wreaking a revenge for having living the Diaspora .

The only way to stop them driving us to Armageddon is to have them bankrupted; the whole world might be in jeopardy but that is the only way to avoid a nuclear apocalypse.

Paul Harrison > , September 27, 2017 at 9:22 am GMT

[Choose a single Handle and stick with it, or use Anonymous/Anon. Otherwise, your comments will be trashed.]

I have never found Jews particularly cheap or materialistic. Maybe as a Scot I have a warped perspective. Denied the chance at noble titles or churchly favor, money has been their only path to power and distinction. What I do see as a problem is the combination of extreme ability and extreme solidarity. Put that together with their adversarial relationship to the gentile world developed over the centuries and you have a recipe for harmful culture war. Producing sexy movies and violent rap, the war on Christmas, the attempt to limit free speech -- all are forms of aggression or payback for aggression, as I see it. To be sure, not all Jews or even most feel this emotion, but the ones that do work hard to promote it. According to Pew Research, 94% of self-identified Jews identify as pro-choice. The next highest group is mainline Protestants at 59%. Such a great disparity suggests to me that the issue is largely symbolic for them. I suspect you would find similar disparities on gun rights, attitudes to pornography, and religion in the public square. It's rare for Muslims or Hindus to complain about having to hear Christmas carols, but many Jews want to sick the Homeland Security SWAT Team on the school choir if a few syllables of Hark the Herald Angels are overheard. For that reason, I feel more threatened by the billions of Adelson, Bezos, Saban, Soros, and Singer than by Gates or Buffett, even though the latter are also quite liberal.

Wrenchturner > , September 27, 2017 at 9:23 am GMT

@Anonymous This is typical obfuscation. Goyim we didn't have power we just controlled the newspapers.

Serg Derbst > , September 27, 2017 at 9:43 am GMT

Why focus so much on Jewish wealth? The main problem of the American system has a simple name: capitalism. It is wealth and excessively rich people as such, who are the problem, and with a certain amount of wealth, you stop giving a fork about your religious, ethnic, national, or other alliances. All you care about are interests rates. Rich people also have a tendency to turn psychopath and get hooked on power – after all, you need to utilize that money, and you can only buy so many yachts, ferraris and mansions, right?

Scratch capitalism by changing the monetary system from a debt money system to a full or free money system, in which private banking based on loans and credits is called out for what it is: criminal fraud. The debt of the many – including government – is the wealth of a few. You wouldn't have this sick connection between wealth and poverty, if money creation wasn't based on debt, and only allowed to a (computerized and automated) fourth state power called the monetative. Read German thinkers to understand that, start with Karl Marx to understand the social and spiritual errors of capitalism, read Silvio Gesell and, more up-to-date, German economist Bernd Senf and Austrian economist Franz Hörmann to understand the possible alternatives. Educate yourself about The Wörgl Experiment to get an historical example from Austria where Free Money worked wonders before it was scrapped by the bankster elite and their political servants during the Great Depression in the 1930s.

Only free money could guarantee free markets (and you wouldn't even need taxes anymore). In capitalism with debt money, all you ever get is monopolies and corporate cartels.

Add to that a real democracy – no congress, no parliament, no parties, the legislative shall only be the people based on direct democracy. We now have the technological means to realize what has never been realized in human history: free markets, democracy, and something which could be called communism. Don't flinch from reading this last word, the stuff you commonly refer to as communism must be called bolshevism and has had nothing to do with actual communist ideals, which can never be realized in a centralized fashion as in capitalism (centralized wealth) or in bolshevism (centralized state power). But thanks to IT at our disposal, it can now be realized in form of free money and direct democracy.

daniel le mouche > , September 27, 2017 at 9:44 am GMT

'Stop subscribing to Jewish success model, and the Jews won't be able to influence the Senate. Make the US Christian as Christ taught, share labour and wealth, aspire to God instead of Mammon, make the first last and the last first, love thy neighbour and the problem will be solved.'

Would that this were possible. Great ideas in this article, but realistically, could any of it be implemented? It would take great anti-Jewish fervency, which, as you note, Americans don't have as they have always behaved as Jews.

Greg Bacon > , Website September 27, 2017 at 10:04 am GMT

What about the American Jewish bankers–like Schiff–that bankrolled Lenin and his thugs to sneak back into Russia, then proceeded–with his Jewish buddies–to steal the Revolution from Russians that had deposed the Czar?

Lenin's Bolshevik Jew radicals turned that Christian nation into a Commie nightmare, murdering around 60 million Russians in the process and turned a Christian nation that had been on friendly terms with the USA into an implacable foe, eventually leading to a five decades long 'Cold War.'

The USSR Commies tried to export their madness to Europe, specifically Germany, which led to the popularity and rise of Hitler and eventually WW II.
During WWII, FDR had a number of Jewish advisers, like Henry Morgenthau, Jr. whose post-WW II plan for Germany was so punitive, it gave Germans the will to fight harder in the closing days to prevent the plans implementation, thereby dragging out the war.

It was President Truman's support for creating Israel–by stealing it from Palestine–and his recognition of that apartheid nightmare that led to many an ill, including 9/11.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2006/06/03/truman-and-israel/

I like Mr. Shamir's writings, but I think he needs to hit the history books again and refresh his memory.
Just stay away from Wikipedia, which publishes a lop-sided version of the past.

[Sep 25, 2017] Neoliberalism and democracy are incompatible. And they were incompatible from the very beginning, because neoliberalism is a flavor of corporatism, the Trotskyism for the rich

Shedon Volin has much deeper insights...
Notable quotes:
"... What it's called is "freedom," but "freedom" means a subordination to the decisions of concentrated, unaccountable, private power. That's what it means. The institutions of governance -- or other kinds of association that could allow people to participate in decision making -- those are systematically weakened. Margaret Thatcher said it rather nicely in her aphorism about "there is no society, only individuals." ..."
"... Since the Second World War, we have created two means of destruction. Since the neoliberal era, we have dismantled the way of handling them. ..."
"... She was actually, unconsciously no doubt, paraphrasing Marx, who in his condemnation of the repression in France said, "The repression is turning society into a sack of potatoes, just individuals, an amorphous mass can't act together." ..."
"... For Thatcher, it's an ideal!and that's neoliberalism. We destroy or at least undermine the governing mechanisms by which people at least in principle can participate to the extent that society's democratic. So weaken them, undermine unions, other forms of association, leave a sack of potatoes and meanwhile transfer decisions to unaccountable private power all in the rhetoric of freedom. ..."
"... when you impose socioeconomic policies that lead to stagnation or decline for the majority of the population, undermine democracy, remove decision-making out of popular hands, you're going to get anger, discontent, fear take all kinds of forms. And that's the phenomenon that's misleadingly called "populism." ..."
"... I don't know what you think of Pankaj Mishra, but I enjoy his book Age of Anger ..."
"... What was the wondrous economy that was then being praised? It was one in which the wages, the real wages of American workers, were actually lower than they were in 1979 when the neoliberal period began. That's historically unprecedented except for trauma or war or something like that. Here is a long period in which real wages had literally declined, while there was some wealth created but in very few pockets. It was also a period in which new institutions developed, financial institutions. You go back to the '50s and '60s, a so-called Golden Age, banks were connected to the real economy. That was their function. There were also no crashes because there were New Deal regulations. ..."
"... In Europe the way democracy is undermined is very direct1. Decisions are placed in the hands of an unelected troika: the European Commission, which is unelected; the IMF, of course unelected; and the European Central Bank. They make the decisions. So people are very angry, they're losing control of their lives. The economic policies are mostly harming them, and the result is anger, disillusion, and so on. ..."
"... I think the fate of the species depends on it because, remember, it's not just inequality, stagnation. It's terminal disaster. We have constructed a perfect storm. That should be the screaming headlines every day. Since the Second World War, we have created two means of destruction. Since the neoliberal era, we have dismantled the way of handling them. That's our pincers. That's what we face, and if that problem isn't solved, we're done with. ..."
"... It's not the Age of Anger. It's the Age of Resentment against socioeconomic policies which have harmed the majority of the population for a generation and have consciously and in principle undermined democratic participation. ..."
"... Go back to the 1970s. Across the spectrum, elite spectrum, there was deep concern about the activism of the '60s. It's called the "time of troubles." It civilized the country, which is dangerous. What happened is that large parts of the population -- which had been passive, apathetic, obedient -- tried to enter the political arena in one or another way to press their interests and concerns. They're called "special interests." That means minorities, young people, old people, farmers, workers, women. In other words, the population. The population are special interests, and their task is to just watch quietly. And that was explicit. ..."
"... That is the more interesting one [ The Crisis of Democracy ..."
"... But in the '60s they all agreed it became problematic because the special interests started trying to get into the act, and that causes too much pressure and the state can't handle that. ..."
"... Listen to the full conversation with Noam Chomsky on Radio Open Source. ..."
Sep 25, 2017 | www.defenddemocracy.press
Noam Chomsky Neoliberalism Is Destroying Our Democracy Defend Democracy Press

CL: Social democracy

NC: Social democracy, yeah. That's sometimes called "the golden age of modern capitalism." That changed in the '70s with the onset of the neoliberal era that we've been living in since. And if you ask yourself what this era is, its crucial principle is undermining mechanisms of social solidarity and mutual support and popular engagement in determining policy.

It's not called that. What it's called is "freedom," but "freedom" means a subordination to the decisions of concentrated, unaccountable, private power. That's what it means. The institutions of governance -- or other kinds of association that could allow people to participate in decision making -- those are systematically weakened. Margaret Thatcher said it rather nicely in her aphorism about "there is no society, only individuals."

Since the Second World War, we have created two means of destruction. Since the neoliberal era, we have dismantled the way of handling them.

She was actually, unconsciously no doubt, paraphrasing Marx, who in his condemnation of the repression in France said, "The repression is turning society into a sack of potatoes, just individuals, an amorphous mass can't act together." That was a condemnation. For Thatcher, it's an ideal!and that's neoliberalism. We destroy or at least undermine the governing mechanisms by which people at least in principle can participate to the extent that society's democratic. So weaken them, undermine unions, other forms of association, leave a sack of potatoes and meanwhile transfer decisions to unaccountable private power all in the rhetoric of freedom.

Well, what does that do? The one barrier to the threat of destruction is an engaged public, an informed, engaged public acting together to develop means to confront the threat and respond to it. That's been systematically weakened, consciously. I mean, back to the 1970s we've probably talked about this. There was a lot of elite discussion across the spectrum about the danger of too much democracy and the need to have what was called more "moderation" in democracy, for people to become more passive and apathetic and not to disturb things too much, and that's what the neoliberal programs do. So put it all together and what do you have? A perfect storm.

CL: What everybody notices is all the headline things, including Brexit and Donald Trump and Hindu nationalism and nationalism everywhere and Le Pen all kicking in more or less together and suggesting some real world phenomenon.

NC: it's very clear, and it was predictable. You didn't know exactly when, but when you impose socioeconomic policies that lead to stagnation or decline for the majority of the population, undermine democracy, remove decision-making out of popular hands, you're going to get anger, discontent, fear take all kinds of forms. And that's the phenomenon that's misleadingly called "populism."

CL: I don't know what you think of Pankaj Mishra, but I enjoy his book Age of Anger , and he begins with an anonymous letter to a newspaper from somebody who says, "We should admit that we are not only horrified but baffled. Nothing since the triumph of Vandals in Rome and North Africa has seemed so suddenly incomprehensible and difficult to reverse."

NC: Well, that's the fault of the information system, because it's very comprehensible and very obvious and very simple. Take, say the United States, which actually suffered less from these policies than many other countries. Take the year 2007, a crucial year right before the crash.

What was the wondrous economy that was then being praised? It was one in which the wages, the real wages of American workers, were actually lower than they were in 1979 when the neoliberal period began. That's historically unprecedented except for trauma or war or something like that. Here is a long period in which real wages had literally declined, while there was some wealth created but in very few pockets. It was also a period in which new institutions developed, financial institutions. You go back to the '50s and '60s, a so-called Golden Age, banks were connected to the real economy. That was their function. There were also no crashes because there were New Deal regulations.

Starting in the early '70s there was a sharp change. First of all, financial institutions exploded in scale. By 2007 they actually had 40 percent of corporate profits. Furthermore, they weren't connected to the real economy anymore.

In Europe the way democracy is undermined is very direct1. Decisions are placed in the hands of an unelected troika: the European Commission, which is unelected; the IMF, of course unelected; and the European Central Bank. They make the decisions. So people are very angry, they're losing control of their lives. The economic policies are mostly harming them, and the result is anger, disillusion, and so on.

... ... ...

NC: I think the fate of the species depends on it because, remember, it's not just inequality, stagnation. It's terminal disaster. We have constructed a perfect storm. That should be the screaming headlines every day. Since the Second World War, we have created two means of destruction. Since the neoliberal era, we have dismantled the way of handling them. That's our pincers. That's what we face, and if that problem isn't solved, we're done with.

CL: I want to go back Pankaj Mishra and the Age of Anger for a moment!

NC: It's not the Age of Anger. It's the Age of Resentment against socioeconomic policies which have harmed the majority of the population for a generation and have consciously and in principle undermined democratic participation. Why shouldn't there be anger?

CL: Pankaj Mishra calls it -- it's a Nietzschean word -- "ressentiment," meaning this kind of explosive rage. But he says, "It's the defining feature of a world where the modern promise of equality collides with massive disparities of power, education, status and!

NC: Which was designed that way, which was designed that way. Go back to the 1970s. Across the spectrum, elite spectrum, there was deep concern about the activism of the '60s. It's called the "time of troubles." It civilized the country, which is dangerous. What happened is that large parts of the population -- which had been passive, apathetic, obedient -- tried to enter the political arena in one or another way to press their interests and concerns. They're called "special interests." That means minorities, young people, old people, farmers, workers, women. In other words, the population. The population are special interests, and their task is to just watch quietly. And that was explicit.

Two documents came out right in the mid-'70s, which are quite important. They came from opposite ends of the political spectrum, both influential, and both reached the same conclusions. One of them, at the left end, was by the Trilateral Commission -- liberal internationalists, three major industrial countries, basically the Carter administration, that's where they come from. That is the more interesting one [ The Crisis of Democracy , a Trilateral Commission report]. The American rapporteur Samuel Huntington of Harvard, he looked back with nostalgia to the days when, as he put it, Truman was able to run the country with the cooperation of a few Wall Street lawyers and executives. Then everything was fine. Democracy was perfect.

But in the '60s they all agreed it became problematic because the special interests started trying to get into the act, and that causes too much pressure and the state can't handle that.

... ... ...

Listen to the full conversation with Noam Chomsky on Radio Open Source.

[Sep 25, 2017] I am presently reading the book JFK and the Unspeakable by James W.Douglass and it is exactly why Kennedy was assassinated by the very same group that desperately wants to see Trump gone and the rapprochement with Russia squashed

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Although I voted for Trump, only because he was a slightly smaller POS than Hillary, it's hard to have any sympathy for him. ..."
"... The Democrats and the Deep State should have accused Israel of interfering in US elections. That would have been a credible complaint. ..."
"... Felix, Except that Israel and her deep state puppets were interfering on behalf of the democrats. ..."
"... What is happening in the U.S. is the same MO the CIA has developed over the past 64 years to create turmoil within a nation to overthrow a ruler that would not comply with the dictates of Wall Street. ..."
"... I am presently reading the book " JFK and the Unspeakable" by James W.Douglass and it is exactly why Kennedy was assassinated by the very same group that desperately wants to see Trump gone and the rapprochement with Russia squashed. ..."
"... Russia-gate - Just another weapon of mass distraction, brought to you by the liars in charge. ..."
"... David Stockman's excellent analysis makes clear that Trump doesn't know what he's doing and has appointed poor advisors, many of whom have been working against him from the start. Yet, per Stockman, "he doesn't need to be the passive object of a witch hunt." He could have and should have exposed the crimes of his accusers from the beginning, while he still had 100% support from the anti-war Right, which put him in office in the first place. He should have ignored the hysteria emanating from his enemies, and made peace with Vladimir Putin as a first order of business. Millions would have supported him. ..."
"... But, after his provocations in Syria and against Russia, which really resulted because he gave control of military decisions to uber hawk and Russia-phobic Mad Dog Mattis, his support from the anti-war crowd has all but evaporated and is unlikely to return. In other words, although he has been treated extremely unfairly by the corporate media, ultimately he has no one to blame but himself. Trump, with his endless stupid tweeting, has become a sad caricature of himself. ..."
"... When an outsider (like Trump) is elected POTUS and promises to do harm to the Pentagon, against the will of the Deep State -- the battle is on. A coup was planned against him, even before he took the oath of office. And, BTW--against the will of the people ..."
"... The Deep State bureaucracy will never let him have full control. Apparently, Obomber and Killery are running a Shadow White House, with all major decisions coming from the Deep State actors thereof. ..."
"... Killery still has her security clearance, by which she knew where the US Military would strike in Syria before Trump had any idea what was going on ..."
"... The Pentagon has seized power and does not recognize any elected or appointed power of the US government. Trump's 'power' is non-existent. If this 'soft coup' becomes a hard one, I predict all hell breaking loose in America ..."
"... "In a word, the Little Putsch in Kiev is now begetting a Great Big Coup in the Imperial City." Interesting point of view from David Stockman. Whatever happens in Washington, one can be sure there will come another provocation against Russia. ..."
"... Not the first time! "US Power Elite, at war among themselves?" https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/us-powe... ..."
"... Watching from Australia what passes for domestic politics in the US within the media, reminds me of a primitive tribe reacting to a solar eclipse. They run around in hysterical fear gnashing their teeth thinking the great evil spirit has come to steal their corn, carry off their daughters, and destroy their village. ..."
Jun 26, 2017 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

Jenny G · 3 days ago

Although I voted for Trump, only because he was a slightly smaller POS than Hillary, it's hard to have any sympathy for him.

Every time he walks out on a stage clapping his hands, encouraging applause, like a daytime TV game show host, I want to puke.

I honestly don't think Trump really expected to win the presidency. And when he did, he was clueless. His "Mission Accomplished" party at the White House for a bill which would never pass the senate, was pure Dubya Bush. The orange haired POS is an embarrassment to the country.

Felix · 4 days ago
The Democrats and the Deep State should have accused Israel of interfering in US elections. That would have been a credible complaint.
follyofwar · 3 days ago
Felix, Except that Israel and her deep state puppets were interfering on behalf of the democrats.
olde reb · 3 days ago
What is happening in the U.S. is the same MO the CIA has developed over the past 64 years to create turmoil within a nation to overthrow a ruler that would not comply with the dictates of Wall Street.

Detailed in --. http://farmwars.info/?p=15338 . A FACE FOR THE SHADOW GOVERNMENT

The "ultimate goal" (according to internal memos), is to collect on the fraudulent $20 trillion national debt which will result in Wall Street owning the United States. Hello, Greece.

Guysth · 3 days ago
I am presently reading the book " JFK and the Unspeakable" by James W.Douglass and it is exactly why Kennedy was assassinated by the very same group that desperately wants to see Trump gone and the rapprochement with Russia squashed.

Peace is not in their books,war is. John Kennedy had an epiphany and was wanting to make peace with the USSR at the time, after the Cuban crisis, and this could not be allowed to happen .

Same $hit different pile.

doray · 3 days ago
Russia-gate - Just another weapon of mass distraction, brought to you by the liars in charge.
astraeaisabella · 3 days ago
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2011/10/25... This may seem relevant, but considering Trump's visit to SAudi Arabia and then immediately "Israel", you might find it interesting.
follyofwar · 3 days ago

David Stockman's excellent analysis makes clear that Trump doesn't know what he's doing and has appointed poor advisors, many of whom have been working against him from the start. Yet, per Stockman, "he doesn't need to be the passive object of a witch hunt." He could have and should have exposed the crimes of his accusers from the beginning, while he still had 100% support from the anti-war Right, which put him in office in the first place. He should have ignored the hysteria emanating from his enemies, and made peace with Vladimir Putin as a first order of business. Millions would have supported him.

But, after his provocations in Syria and against Russia, which really resulted because he gave control of military decisions to uber hawk and Russia-phobic Mad Dog Mattis, his support from the anti-war crowd has all but evaporated and is unlikely to return. In other words, although he has been treated extremely unfairly by the corporate media, ultimately he has no one to blame but himself. Trump, with his endless stupid tweeting, has become a sad caricature of himself.

RedRubies · 3 days ago
Stockman has only been a Congressman. They are allowed more leeway.

When an outsider (like Trump) is elected POTUS and promises to do harm to the Pentagon, against the will of the Deep State -- the battle is on. A coup was planned against him, even before he took the oath of office. And, BTW--against the will of the people, themselves.

The Deep State bureaucracy will never let him have full control. Apparently, Obomber and Killery are running a Shadow White House, with all major decisions coming from the Deep State actors thereof.

Killery still has her security clearance, by which she knew where the US Military would strike in Syria before Trump had any idea what was going on (http://headlinebits.com/2017-06-21/deep-state-hillary-clinton-staffers-still-have-security-clearances-access-to-sensitive-governmen.AlsHBgBSVVwAV1FWVwdSAwBWAg8HXQYE.html) .

You can't write an article about a 'soft coup' and NOT mention her name in connection with it!

The Pentagon has seized power and does not recognize any elected or appointed power of the US government. Trump's 'power' is non-existent. If this 'soft coup' becomes a hard one, I predict all hell breaking loose in America.

Stephen M. St. John · 3 days ago

"In a word, the Little Putsch in Kiev is now begetting a Great Big Coup in the Imperial City." Interesting point of view from David Stockman. Whatever happens in Washington, one can be sure there will come another provocation against Russia.

This will probably be the Joint Investigation Team's final word on the shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014, not long after the little putsch in Kiev. The Joint Investigation Team relies on the Dutch Safety Board's Final Report on Flight MH17. With this report, the Dutch Safety Board has given the world a classic snow job, which I have pointed out in my critique on it. Please read it on my website at www.show-the-house.com/id119.html and share it with your elected representatives. Maybe a collective effort can head this off .

Schlüter 91p · 3 days ago
Not the first time! "US Power Elite, at war among themselves?" https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/us-powe...
Dick · 3 days ago
Watching from Australia what passes for domestic politics in the US within the media, reminds me of a primitive tribe reacting to a solar eclipse. They run around in hysterical fear gnashing their teeth thinking the great evil spirit has come to steal their corn, carry off their daughters, and destroy their village.

Emotional ignorance and blindness to the rational reality will only lead to more tears.

[Sep 24, 2017] The New Monopolists While innovations in information technology have transformed how people live, work, and connect, the IT industry's growth pattern has contributed to a widening gap between rich and poor.

Notable quotes:
"... But, by enabling the rise of monopoly power, and by facilitating barriers to entry, the growth of IT has also had major negative economic, social, and political side effects, including the proliferation of "fake news." ..."
"... For starters, the very structure of the IT sector allows for the formation of monopoly power. IT has improved the processing, storage, and transmission of data, and IT innovators are the sole owners of major information channels that they actively work to prevent competitors from using. ..."
"... consolidate a dominant market position by issuing ongoing software updates that, by default, serve as barriers that are difficult for competitors to breach. When potential new technologies emerge, bigger firms often acquire their challengers, either to develop the competing technologies on their own, or to suppress them. ..."
"... Once an innovative firm establishes platform dominance, size becomes an advantage. Because the cost of processing and storing information has declined in recent years, a firm with a size advantage has smaller operating costs, and profits rise rapidly as the number of users multiplies (Google and Facebook are good examples). These cost and economies-of-scale advantages are almost impossible for competitors to overcome. ..."
"... In addition, because these firms derive their power from information, their positions are enhanced by their ability to use their customers' private information as a strategic asset. Indeed, many IT platforms are not producers in the traditional sense; they are public utilities that enable coordination and information-sharing among users in diverse fields. In short, IT enables the creation of barriers to market entry, and then encourages leading firms to become further entrenched. With the pace of IT innovation increasing, monopoly power is also rising. ..."
Sep 24, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne -> pgl... , September 23, 2017 at 02:49 PM

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/monopoly-power-wealth-income-inequality-by-mordecai-kurz-1-2017-09

September 22, 2017

The New Monopolists
While innovations in information technology have transformed how people live, work, and connect, the IT industry's growth pattern has contributed to a widening gap between rich and poor. Addressing it will require new taxation schemes and modernization of antitrust legislation.
By MORDECAI KURZ

STANFORD – For more than 30 years in advanced economies, particularly the United States, wealth and income inequality have increased, real (inflation-adjusted) wages have risen slowly, and retirees have faced declining interest rates on savings. This has occurred while corporate profits and stock prices have risen sharply. Now, research I have conducted shows that these changes were primarily caused by the rise in modern information technology (IT).

IT has impacted the economy in myriad ways; the computer, the Internet, and mobile technology have transformed media, online retailing, the pharmaceutical industry, and countless other consumer-related services. IT has improved life enormously.

But, by enabling the rise of monopoly power, and by facilitating barriers to entry, the growth of IT has also had major negative economic, social, and political side effects, including the proliferation of "fake news."

For starters, the very structure of the IT sector allows for the formation of monopoly power. IT has improved the processing, storage, and transmission of data, and IT innovators are the sole owners of major information channels that they actively work to prevent competitors from using.

IT firms could defend their monopoly power through patents or by copyrighting intellectual property. But these routes require making trade secrets public. So, for strategic reasons, many firms forego legal protections, and consolidate a dominant market position by issuing ongoing software updates that, by default, serve as barriers that are difficult for competitors to breach. When potential new technologies emerge, bigger firms often acquire their challengers, either to develop the competing technologies on their own, or to suppress them.

Once an innovative firm establishes platform dominance, size becomes an advantage. Because the cost of processing and storing information has declined in recent years, a firm with a size advantage has smaller operating costs, and profits rise rapidly as the number of users multiplies (Google and Facebook are good examples). These cost and economies-of-scale advantages are almost impossible for competitors to overcome.

In addition, because these firms derive their power from information, their positions are enhanced by their ability to use their customers' private information as a strategic asset. Indeed, many IT platforms are not producers in the traditional sense; they are public utilities that enable coordination and information-sharing among users in diverse fields. In short, IT enables the creation of barriers to market entry, and then encourages leading firms to become further entrenched. With the pace of IT innovation increasing, monopoly power is also rising.

In a recent paper * measuring the economic effects of monopoly power, I approximated normal levels above which profits or stock values are not purely chance events, but rather reflective of monopoly power. With these levels, I measured the monopoly component of total stock values – what I call "monopoly wealth" – and of monopoly profits or rent. I then sought to determine how monopoly wealth and rent have evolved....

* http://web.stanford.edu/~mordecai/OnLinePdf/Formation%20of%20Capital%20and%20Wealth%20Draft%205%20%2007%202017.pdf

[Sep 24, 2017] Trump allies see vindication in reports on Manafort wiretapping

Obama did spied on his political opponents... He really was a well connected to intelligence agencies wolf in sheep's clothing.
Sep 24, 2017 | www.msn.com

For some of President Trump's staunchest allies, reports that former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was under U.S. surveillance are nothing short of vindication of the president's widely-dismissed claims that former President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.

... ... ...

Longtime advisor Roger Stone has gleefully circulated a segment from Tucker Carlson's show on Fox News in which the host says "all those patronizing assurances that nobody is spying on political campaigns were false" and "it looks like Trump's tweet may have been right."

... ... ...

A spokesperson for Manafort, Jason Maloni, has characterized the court orders as an abuse of power by the Obama administration, which he says wanted to spy on a political opponent.

"It's unclear if Paul Manafort was the objective," Maloni told The Journal. "Perhaps the real objective was Donald Trump."

Surveillance experts are skeptical of that suggestion. For one thing, it is illegal for investigators to "reverse target" a U.S. person by spying on a person with whom they know their true target to be in communication.

If the president were in fact the oblique target of government surveillance - either as a candidate or as the president-elect - both Eddington and Shedd say, it would have been so explosive that it would have almost certainly been leaked to the press.

... ... ...

The disclosure of the warrants targeting Manafort have drawn legitimate scrutiny as a violation of Manafort's civil liberties and a possible criminal leak - the mere existence of a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, warrant is classified.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who first raised alarm about the practice of "unmasking" the names of Americans caught up in government surveillance, is currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegedly exposing classified information when he disclosed his findings to reporters.

[Sep 24, 2017] Donald Trump is now embarked on a Pyongyang-style military-first policy in which resources, money, and power are heading for the Pentagon and the U.S. nuclear arsenal, while much of the rest of the government is downsized

See also http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-nuclear-weapons-mini-nukes-targeted-strike-conflict-war-north-korea-russia-a7938486.html
Sep 24, 2017 | www.unz.com

Originally from Empire of Madness - The Unz Review

You think not? When it comes to America's endless wars and conflicts across the Greater Middle East and Africa, you can't imagine a more-of-the-same scenario eight years into the future? If, in 2009, eight years after the war on terror was launched, as President Obama was preparing to send a "surge" of more than 30,000 U.S. troops into Afghanistan (while swearing to end the war in Iraq), I had written such a futuristic account of America's wars in 2017, you might have been no less unconvinced.

Who would have believed then that political Washington and the U.S. military's high command could possibly continue on the same brainless path (or perhaps it would be more accurate to say superhighway) for another eight years? Who would have believed then that, in the fall of 2017, they would be intensifying their air campaigns across the Greater Middle East, still fighting in Iraq (and Syria), supporting a disastrous Saudi war in Yemen, launching the first of yet another set of mini-surges in Afghanistan, and so on? And who would have believed then that, in return for prosecuting unsuccessful wars for 16 years while aiding and abetting in the spread of terror movements across a vast region, three of America's generals would be the most powerful figures in Washington aside from our bizarre president (whose election no one could have predicted eight years ago)? Or here's another mind-bender: Would you really have predicted that, in return for 16 years of unsuccessful war-making, the U.S. military (and the rest of the national security state) would be getting yet more money from the political elite in our nation's capital or would be thought better of than any other American institution by the public?

Now, I'm the first to admit that we humans are pathetic seers. Peering into the future with any kind of accuracy has never been part of our skill set. And so my version of 2025 could be way off base. Given our present world, it might prove to be far too optimistic about our wars.

After all ! just to mention one grim possibility of our moment ! for the first time since 1945, we're on a planet where nuclear weapons might be used by either side in the course of a local war, potentially leaving Asia aflame and possibly the world economy in ruins. And don't even bring up Iran, which I carefully and perhaps too cautiously didn't include in my list of the 15 countries the U.S. was bombing in 2025 (as opposed to the seven at present). And yet, in the same world where they are decrying North Korea's nuclear weapons, the Trump administration and its U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley , seem to be hard at work creating a situation in which the Iranians could once again be developing ones of their own. The president has reportedly been desperate to ditch the nuclear agreement Barack Obama and the leaders of five other major powers signed with Iran in 2015 (though he has yet to actually do so) and he's stocked his administration with a remarkable crew of Iranophobes, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo , Secretary of Defense James Mattis , and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster , all of whom have been itching over the years for some kind of confrontation with Iran. (And given the last decade and a half of American war fighting in the region, how do you think that conflict would be likely to turn out?)

Donald Trump's Washington, as John Feffer has recently pointed out , is now embarked on a Pyongyang-style "military-first" policy in which resources, money, and power are heading for the Pentagon and the U.S. nuclear arsenal , while much of the rest of the government is downsized. Obviously, if that's where your resources are going, then that's where your efforts and energies will go, too. So don't expect less war in the years to come, no matter how inept Washington has proven when it comes to making war work.

... ... ...

Imagine the government of that same country, distracted by its hopeless wars and the terrorist groups they continue to generate... and not lifting a finger to deal with the situation...

Tom Engelhardt is a co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of The United States of Fear as well as a history of the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture. He is a fellow of the Nation Institute and runs TomDispatch.com. His latest book is Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

[Sep 23, 2017] Welcome to 1984 Big Brother Google Now Watching Your Every Political Move

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Our willingness to place eternal faith in an earth-straddling company that oversees the largest collection of information ever assembled was doomed to end in a bitter divorce from the start. After all, each corporation, just like humans, has their own political proclivities, and Google is certainly no exception. But we aren't talking about your average car company here. ..."
"... Schmidt's grandiose vision, where there is just "one answer to every question," sounds like a chapter borrowed from Orwell's dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, where omnipresent Big Brother had an ironclad grip on history, news, information, everything. In such a intensely controlled, nightmarish world, individuals - as well as entire historical events - can be 'disappeared' down the memory hole without a trace. Though we've not quite reached that bad land yet, we're plodding along in that direction. ..."
"... Just before Americans headed to the polls in last year's presidential election, WikiLeaks delivered a well-timed steaming dump, revealing that Eric Schmidt had been working with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as early as April 2014. ..."
"... The implications of the CEO of the world's most powerful company playing favorites in a presidential race are obvious, and make the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s resemble a rigged game of bingo at the local senior citizens center by comparison. Yet the dumbed-down world of American politics, which only seems to get excited when Republicans goof up, continued to turn on its wobbly axis as if nothing untold had occurred. ..."
"... Back to the 2016 campaign. Even CNN at the time was admitting that Google was Donald Trump's "biggest enemy." Indeed, not only was Schmidt apparently moonlighting for the DNC, his leftist company was actively shutting down information on the Republic