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National Security State Bulletin, 2017

National Security State

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[Sep 25, 2017] Russophobia - Symptom Of US Implosion by Finian Cunningham

Implosion or not, it is definitely an attempt to internal problems including the collapse of neoliberal ideology by unleashing a witch hunt in best Senator McCarthy style. One motivation might be suppressing any critique of neoliberalism by equating it to pro-Russian propaganda. This is very much in best USSR traditions, where propaganda was preoccupied with foreign enemies which were constantly trying to undermine the state...
So far it proved to be a very effective tool for marginalizing the dissent. As in 1984: "Oceania was at war with Eurasia; therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia."
Mar 24, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Finian Cunningham, via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

There was a time when Russophobia served as an effective form of population control – used by the American ruling class in particular to command the general US population into patriotic loyalty. Not any longer. Now, Russophobia is a sign of weakness, of desperate implosion among the US ruling class from their own rotten, internal decay.

This propaganda technique worked adequately well during the Cold War decades when the former Soviet Union could be easily demonized as "godless communism" and an "evil empire". Such stereotypes, no matter how false, could be sustained largely because of the monopoly control of Western media by governments and official regulators.

The Soviet Union passed away more than a quarter of a century ago, but Russophobia among the US political class is more virulent than ever.

This week it was evident from Congressional hearings in Washington into alleged Russian interference in US politics that large sections of American government and establishment media are fixated by Russophobia and a belief that Russia is a malign foreign adversary.

However, the power of the Russophobia propaganda technique over the wider population seems to have greatly diminished from its Cold War heyday. This is partly due to more diverse global communications which challenge the previous Western monopoly for controlling narrative and perception. Contemporary Russophobia – demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin or Russian military forces – does not have the same potency for scaring the Western public. Indeed, due to greater diversity in global news media sources, it is fair to say that "official" Western depictions of Russia as an enemy, for example allegedly about to invade Europe or allegedly interfering in electoral politics, are met with a healthy skepticism – if not ridicule by many Western citizens.

What is increasingly apparent here is a gaping chasm between the political class and the wider public on the matter of Russophobia. This is true for Western countries generally, but especially in the US. The political class – the lawmakers in Washington and the mainstream news media – are frenzied by claims that Russia interfered in the US presidential elections and that Russia has some kind of sinister leverage on the presidency of Donald Trump.

But this frenzy of Russophobia is not reflected among the wider public of ordinary American citizens. Rabid accusations that Russia hacked the computers of Trump's Democrat rival Hillary Clinton to spread damaging information about her; that this alleged sabotage of American democracy was an "act of war"; that President Trump is guilty of "treason" by "colluding" with a "Russian influence campaign" – all of these sensational claims seem to be only a preoccupation of the privileged political class . Most ordinary Americans, concerned about making a living in a crumbling society, either don't buy the claims or view them as idle chatter.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov this week dismissed the Congressional hearings into alleged Russian interference in US politics. He aptly said that US lawmakers and the corporate media have become "entangled" in their own fabrications. "They are trying to find evidence for conclusions that they have already made", said Peskov.

Other suitable imagery is that the US political class are tilting at windmills, chasing their own tails, or running from their own shadows. There seems to be a collective delusional mindset.

Unable to accept the reality that the governing structure of the US has lost legitimacy in the eyes of the people, that the people rebelled by electing an outsider in the form of business mogul-turned-politician Donald Trump, that the collapse of American traditional politics is due to the atrophy of its bankrupt capitalist economy over several decades – the ruling class have fabricated their own excuse for demise by blaming it all on Russia.

The American ruling class cannot accept, or come to terms, with the fact of systemic failure in their own political system. The election of Trump is a symptom of this failure and the widespread disillusionment among voters towards the two-party train wreck of Republicans and Democrats. That is why the specter of Russian interference in the US political system had to be conjured up, by necessity, as a way of "explaining" the abject failure and the ensuing popular revolt.

Russophobia was rehabilitated from the Cold War closet by the American political establishment to distract from the glaring internal collapse of American politics.

The corrosive, self-destruction seems to know no bounds. James Comey, the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, told Congress this week that the White House is being probed for illicit contacts with Russia. This dramatic notice served by Comey was greeted with general approval by political opponents of the Trump administration, as well as by news media outlets.

The New York Times said the FBI was in effect holding a "criminal investigation at the doorstep of the White House".

Other news outlets are openly airing discussions on the probability of President Trump being impeached from office.

The toxic political atmosphere of Russophobia in Washington is unprecedented. The Trump administration is being crippled at every turn from conducting normal political business under a toxic cloud of suspicion that it is guilty of treason from colluding with Russia.

President Trump has run afoul with Republicans in Congress over his planned healthcare reforms because many Republicans are taking issue instead over the vaunted Russian probe.

When Trump's Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was reported to be skipping a NATO summit next month but was planning to visit Moscow later in the same month, the itinerary was interpreted as a sign of untoward Russian influence.

What makes the spectacle of political infighting so unprecedented is that there is such little evidence to back up allegations of Trump-Russia collusion. It is preponderantly based on innuendo and anonymous leaks to the media, which are then recycled as "evidence".

Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said earlier this week that he has seen no actual evidence among classified documents indicating any collusion between the Trump campaign team and the Russian government.

Even former senior intelligence officials, James Clapper and Michael Morell who are no friends of Trump, have lately admitted in media interviews that there is no such evidence.

Yet, FBI chief James Comey told Congress that his agency was pursuing a potentially criminal investigation into the Trump administration, while at the same time not confirming or denying the existence of any evidence.

And, as already noted, this declaration of open-ended snooping by Comey on the White House was met with avid approval by political opponents of Trump, both on Capitol Hill and in the corporate media.

Let's just assume for a moment that the whole Trump-Russia collusion story is indeed fake. That it is groundless, a figment of imagination. There are solid reasons to believe that is the case. But let's just assume here that it is fake for the sake of argument.

That then means that the Washington seat of government and the US presidency are tearing themselves apart in a futile civil war.

The real war here is a power struggle within the US in the context of ruling parties no longer having legitimacy to govern.

This is an American implosion. An historic Made-in-America meltdown. And Russophobia is but a symptom of the internal decay at the heart of US politics.

trulz4lulz -> Logan 5 •Mar 24, 2017 9:15 PM

I've been MSM-free for so long now, I forgot who I'm supposed to be hating this week!! I see the effects in sooo many of my friends though, more so on the left, than the right. Which is odd....? Or maybe it isn't, due to their mental retardation. Ohh well...game on.
stizazz -> trulz4lulz •Mar 24, 2017 9:44 PM

Russophobia has been ongoing since W Bush. They just want to keep Trump on the World War 3 track.

http://biblicisminstitute.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/the-truth-about-the-c...

oncemore -> Logan 5 •Mar 25, 2017 5:11 AM

Bolsevism, apart being a russian word, is at home in US, originated in US, was nurtured by US money and was, still is, the main US export (topic: imperial US wars).

hoyeru (not verified) •Mar 24, 2017 9:17 PM

Whether the Soviet Union exists or not has nothing to do with it. USA MUST always have an enemy to divert the sheeple's attention that their so called American dream is really a nightmare.

Besides, USA's empire is failing and Russia is getting stronger. of course USA will be pissed off about it.

daveO -> hoyeru •Mar 24, 2017 9:34 PM

"Oceania was at war with Eurasia; therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia."

I'm glad to have lived to see them almost fail. When I first read this in 1984, by coincidence, there seemed to be no end in sight.

As soon as the USSR failed they replaced it with terrorism(Eastasia)...

MEFOBILLS -> daveO •Mar 25, 2017 3:31 AM

Oceania is always against a land power arising, including Eurasia.

Another wrinkle that is important: Feminized Western Societies. Russia is now a traditional masculine society, while the west has been feminized. (Judaized and Feminized are similar - both operate with deception)

http://www.heretical.com/sgs-2014/fem-war.html

Femine societies lash out, don't forgive, make dubious alliances, and fight underhanded.

The table at the bottom of link above describes the differences in wartime behavior between the two types of societies.

Since Trump is masculine, he naturally will be more instinctively in alignment with Putin and Russia.

nmewn •Mar 24, 2017 9:22 PM

Isn't it interesting that Russian government officials simply say "Veee don't comment on state spying activities" while in American government officials simply pass it directly to their media cronies who are quoted in newspapers and on TeeeVeee?

Anonymously...of course ;-)

DuneCreature •Mar 24, 2017 9:31 PM

Did we declare war on Russia while I was taking a nap?

What is the hell is going on with the raving Russian hacker meltdown horseshit? ... Bill Gates and the NSA camps out on my network every time I turn it on? .. Do I get to declare war and run to the UN for sanctions on Ft Meade?

Will Insane McCain get charged for fraternizing with ISIS Big Bagdaddy?
... ... ...

Cabreado •Mar 24, 2017 9:49 PM

"This is an American implosion. An historic Made-in-America meltdown. And Russophobia is but a symptom of the internal decay at the heart of US politics."

More importantly, it is a decay in the electorate and how it relates to the elected (isn't that the real heart of US politics?)

And so the elected, naturally, have become a corrupt mass of opportunists. This is why they ("We") invented Rule of Law. We just have to give a damn like We mean it.

francis scott f... •Mar 24, 2017 10:14 PM

Russophobia - Symptom Of US Implosion ? may be Symptom of Deep State implosion

dark_matter •Mar 24, 2017 10:36 PM

The Americans are poor haters in international affairs because of their innate feeling of superiority over all foreigners. An American's hatred for a fellow American (for Hoover or Roosevelt) is far more virulent than any antipathy he can work up against foreigners. Should Americans begin to hate foreigners wholeheartedly, it will be an indication that they have lost confidence in their own way of life. ~Eric Hoffer in True Believer

Escapeclaws -> dark_matter •Mar 25, 2017 2:49 AM

That book was written eons ago in "historical time". Now Americans, being ever more stomped upon and ground down are identifying with the victims of totalitarian ideologies, like the Russians under Bolshevism. We have our our own Bolsheviks. Like the Bolsheviks, they will kill millions of their fellow citizens if all goes according to plan (20 Million in Russia under the Bolsheviks). History doesn't rhyme, it repeats. THE NEOCONS--THEY WANT YOU DEAD!

Batman11 •Mar 25, 2017 3:37 AM

Look at US inequality:

http://static5.businessinsider.com/image/557ef766ecad04fe50a257cd-960/screen shot 2015-06-15 at 11.28.56 am.png

A picture paints a thousand words. American philanthropists sponsor right wing think-tanks to make people believe those at the top need more.
Look behind Trump when he talks from one of his residences, not everything is covered in gold leaf. He does need more. The US is being ransacked by its own elite and who are not going to take any responsibility for their own greed, so they are blaming the Russians.

Looking on the bright side. A nation with military bases in almost every nation on Earth is ransacked by its own elite, a source of great amusement for generations to come (outside the US). American exceptionalism – exceptionally stupid.

Batman11 -> Batman11 •Mar 25, 2017 4:03 AM

Add it to the list of things that will last forever: The British Empire, The Thousand Year Reich, American exceptionalism

krage_man •Mar 25, 2017 5:02 AM

Russophobia is just the result of the clash of 2 irreconcilable things. The first one is about USA being the superpower, controlling world affairs. The second one is that Russia's economy, influence, military power and state management by Putin government actually prevent USA from dominating Russia and its affairs.

It is internal conflict in the mind of Deep State figures. The only way is to either prove that the USA status by dominating Russia, or to adjust self vision as the only superpower and accept the changing world. Trump was elected to follow the later, but the deep state/establishment is unable to see anything other that the former as the way forward. So Russophobia is to keep all society following the way of dominance and to prevent Trump adopting more rational way of agreeing on sphere of influence with Russia.

BritBob •Mar 25, 2017 6:15 AM

Can Russia be trusted?

Russia tells Britain give back Gibraltar & Falklands before telling US what to do.
RUSSIA has told Britain it should "clean its conscience" and give back Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands before it criticises them over their involvement in Ukraine.

Moscow's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin made the shocking remarks when responding to his British counterpart Matthew Rycroft at a UN security council meeting in New York. (Daily Express 4 Feb 2017)

Do the Spanish have a claim to the Rock? Gibraltar - Some Relevant International Law: https://www.academia.edu/10575180/Gibraltar_-_Some_Relevant_Internationa...

Perhaps not.

Funny thing to say when Argentina has never legally owned the Falklands. So how can they 'be returned' ?

Falklands- Never Belonged to Argentina:

https://www.academia.edu/31111843/Falklands_Never_Belonged_to_Argentina

brushhog -> BritBob •Mar 25, 2017 7:42 AM

No, of course Russia cannot be "trusted". Their governmen is no better than anyone elses.

Mimir -> BritBob •Mar 25, 2017 9:44 AM

Spain is continuously claiming the return of Gibraltar to Spain. (Was conquered in 1704)

When it comes to Falkland Islands, according to all International maritime agreements and especially United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, it is very difficult to argue that the Falkland Islands is part of the UK. It would be for the International Court of Justice to solve the dispute.

I think Russia has a point.

d edwards -> Last of the Middle Class •Mar 25, 2017 8:12 AM

Seems the only one's with Russophobia are the f ing neomarxist dems who need a scapegoat for their loses over the last eight years under 0dumbo.

brushhog •Mar 25, 2017 7:40 AM

Its very simple, those in charge need an outside enemy to blame and to try to unite the people against. The worse things get, the louder they will cry wolf and the more threatening they will become towards Russia.

The global elitists would rather end the world in a nuclear holocaust then let go of power and admit they're to blame.

Beans •Mar 25, 2017 7:53 AM

The whole Russophobia gimmick in the West is purely a Zionist fiction created to punish the White Christian Russians for daring to assert themselves. Connect the dots between Jewish political/business interests in Ukraine, Russia and the US Congress/Executive branch/Governmental agencies and you quickly see how everything falls into place. Free yourselves, White Christian Americans.

Faeriedust -> Beans •Mar 25, 2017 1:38 PM

Not all Jews are Bankers. Not all Bankers are Jewish. There is, however, a significant overlap.

Beans -> Faeriedust •Mar 25, 2017 4:16 PM

Yeah sure, you're absolutely right. Another way of putting it is by saying; 'Not all Jews were Bolsheviks. Not all Bolsheviks were Jews'... The historically indisputable fact however, is that about 85 to 90% of the members of the first Bolshevik government of 'Soviet' Russia was indeed Jewish ;)

Faeriedust -> StopBeingParanoid •Mar 25, 2017 12:51 PM

Of course they try to influence our elections. Now step back. Ever heard the name Victoria Nuland? Phillip of Makedon? Or perhaps The Great Game? In point of fact, major players in world domination ALWAYS try to influence both rivals and all the bit players who have something they want. And the Russians play hardball, no question about that. But generally, with their OWN dissidents, not other people's. Ask Trotsky's ghost. Politics is a full-contact sport. The only exception is when all the players belong to the same League, and the League bans anyone who breaks the rules. Right now, there IS no league. So yes, Putin plays hard. The CIA does, too.

aloha_snakbar •Mar 25, 2017 9:44 AM

However, the power of the Russophobia propaganda technique over the wider population seems to have greatly diminished from its Cold War heyday.

Im hiding under a desk... I cant hear you...

VW Nerd •Mar 25, 2017 10:46 AM

Commiey is a stooge of the deep state. Someone has some serious dirt on him.

Caleb Abell -> VW Nerd •Mar 25, 2017 11:01 AM

Along those lines, Comey may have derailed Clinton because elements of the deep state wanted her gone, and they were willing to accept Trump on a temporary basis. Now that Clinton is out of the picture, they can work on replacing Trump (one way or the other) with the much more compliant Pence.

CRM114 •Mar 25, 2017 12:31 PM

This article would have an even stronger case if it weren't based on a false premise. The Soviet Union WAS a threat to the West; that wasn't propaganda. Now Russia isn't a threat and it is propaganda.

Thus it is even more obvious that the US/Western elite are hunting for a way to demonize Russia, and we need look no further than Russia/China's efforts to escape the World banking structure for the reason.

Faeriedust -> CRM114 •Mar 25, 2017 12:42 PM

That's really debateable. Remember, the Soviet Union was our ALLY in WWII. Stalin was a batshit thug, and we (not to mention the Russians) were well rid of him. BUT -- immediately after his death the USSR was taken over by a committee of Experienced Old Men who were willing and able to be pragmatic.

Try to remember that when the Bolshevik Revolution started, both the English and the Americans weren't sure whether to support it or oppose it. Then Lenin and Trotsky decided to default on the Russian war debt -- which they had NO way of paying. Suddenly they became the world's greatest evil. Many high-ranking foreign service specialists in Britain even supported Hitler, initially, with the idea that they would turn him loose against the Russians and sit back to watch the fireworks. Of course, that was before Hitler repudiated Germany's WWI war debt. Do you see a pattern yet?

The issue was ALWAYS the wealth, profit, and survival of the banks. ALWAYS.

CRM114 -> Faeriedust •Mar 25, 2017 1:12 PM

I suggest you read some more history. You are making links for which there is only circumstantial evidence, whereas the alternatives have an abundance of evidence. I am vehently against the current role of the bankers, but...

Now, the bankers sought to exploit all of this and make a profit, immoral or otherwise, but they didn't start it,and they couldn't have stopped it.

I am prepared to consider the idea that they now can exert such a high level of influence, and are doing so, but this was not true in the past.

Faeriedust •Mar 25, 2017 12:35 PM

Washington has had a problem with groupthink for a long time, but now it's become obvious to the entire world, not to mention the mythical Average American. Neither Millenials nor Boomers were ever likely to fall for McCarthyism 2.0. Instead, they see the political leadership for what it is -- a senile elite that has entirely lost its grip on reality. This is common in dying empires; in fact it's the fundamental reason why empires collapse.

Yes, running through all your resources, hollowing out your military, and destroying international goodwill aren't exactly the way to Win Friends And Influence People. But they happen, because the 1% at the top of the totem pole become so divorced from what life is like for the other 99%, that they lose the ability to make intelligent or rational decisions.

It's like an oil tanker trying to thread its way through a gap in a reef -- with good steering and a willing crew, it can be done. But if the captain's passed out drunk and the Exec is high on meth, with half the crew already taking off in the lifeboats against orders . . . it takes a miracle to avoid the rocks.

[Jun 30, 2017] What we see at present in Syria is war between USA and collaborators, as Israel, Germany, France and the Netherlands, against Russia, Assad and Iran,

Jun 30, 2017 | www.unz.com

jilles dykstra Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 7:18 am GMT

" about how a military confrontation between Russia and the United States would play out. "

Funny sentence, Syria IS a military confrontation between USA and Russia, as the Spanish Civil War was a military confrontation between Germany and Italy, with tacit USA and GB support, on the one hand, and the USSR on the other. The USA rebellion against GB long ago also was a world war, in the end the list of countries supporting the Yankees became very long.

What we see at present in Syria is war between USA and collaborators, as Israel, Germany, France and the Netherlands, against Russia, Assad and Iran, with Turkey sitting on the fence. Both sides know that all out war will be the end of the world, both sides do not want to give up.

So this may be going on indefinitely, the only solution I see is that Trump creates a normal relationship with Russia, thereafter they can divide the ME between them, as Sykes and Picott already did in 1916. In order to create a normal relationship with Russia Trump first has to win his war with Deep State.

Three CNN journalists were fired, or resigned. If this is the beginning of the end of CNN, I hope so, but am not at all sure.

peterAUS Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 8:20 am GMT

@Avery {The willpower, courage and determination of the Russian solider is stronger than his US counterparts by many orders of magnitude.}

By many orders of magnitude?

Russian warriors are at the minimum 10X better than American warriors?

You don't actually believe that, do you?

Their leaders - both military and civilian - may be incompetent, corrupt, treasonous (e.g. USS Liberty betrayal by their Commander in Chief),etc, etc.....but American professional warriors lack neither willpower, nor courage, nor determination.

One example: the "Black Hawk Down"/Battle of Mogadishu firefight.

Their leaders sent them into a harebrained Globalist mission without proper support, but once all Hell broke loose, Americans fought with great courage and determination. Fought like lions, in fact.

The notion that Russian pros are, quote, 'many orders of magnitude' stronger in warrior quality (...and skills) is truly delusional on Saker's part. Agree, up to a point.
These debates are like those "which is better, AK or M-16 platform' .good for amateurs.

Now, it is a fact that the West, since Iraq, hasn't fought conventional war and even that was against much weaker opponent. COIN only.
Russians have fought decent conventional wars Georgia and Ukraine, against similar opponent.
I'd hazard a guess that, on operational level, Russian Command and Control is better than US.

The problem, for Russians, is quality of support/logistics and on tactical level (from division to including a battalion or, better, battlegroup).

Anyway that's all actually besides the point.

I believe we'll be looking at 'border clashes' from '1984′, done by special forces and contractors. Teams killing each other under the radar.
For a starter.

But, I believe, WHEN push comes to shove Russians will step back and mark another line in sand.
And another.
The Empire will be pushing, carefully, and Russians will be retreating, slowly ..

annamaria Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 1:01 pm GMT

@Sergey Krieger

Imho if US indeed ever decides to strike Russian forces in Syria it would constitute the act of war and war is not limited to no theater of operations. Considering USA huge superiority in this area I do not think Russia would invest heavily over there, but instead would use this to strike where it is more important for Russia security. USA anti missiles installations around Russia borders would have been a good important targets. Around Syria as Sacker mentioned US has a lot of bases which would make fair game for Russian missile capabilities amptly shown in Syrian campaign and which imho are just a tip of the iceberg. Hopefully it won't come to this because no one knows where it may end. "USA anti missiles installations around Russia borders would have been a good important targets."
Particularly because of that: "Putin: Foreign intel services support terrorist groups on Russia's borders" https://www.rt.com/news/394518-putin-foreign-spies-support-terrorism/

If "US indeed ever decides to strike Russian forces in Syria" the first response should be towards Israel. The more clarity in this regard the better. There should be the time of "harvest" for the ziocons.

Rurik Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 1:24 pm GMT

not good

https://www.rt.com/usa/394474-haley-no-place-for-assad/

the zio-deepstate must be showing Trump how easily they JFK'd JFK

I suspect that Trump doesn't want to play along with their 'seven countries' narrative, and would prefer peace and prosperity as his legacy

but he's forced to play a razor's edge game as he slowly and methodically inserts personnel loyal to the US vs. the deepstate, without triggering a "heart attack" or however they'd do it.

If he can survive a year or two, and get his own people in, without causing a full-on hot war with Russia, perhaps he can prevail. But this new development is a very bad sign.

Kilo 4/11 Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 12:47 pm GMT

@Sergey Krieger Imho if US indeed ever decides to strike Russian forces in Syria it would constitute the act of war and war is not limited to no theater of operations. Considering USA huge superiority in this area I do not think Russia would invest heavily over there, but instead would use this to strike where it is more important for Russia security. USA anti missiles installations around Russia borders would have been a good important targets. Around Syria as Sacker mentioned US has a lot of bases which would make fair game for Russian missile capabilities amptly shown in Syrian campaign and which imho are just a tip of the iceberg. Hopefully it won't come to this because no one knows where it may end. Why does Russia get to strike out of theater if the U.S. hits them in Syria? We did not get to strike out of theater when Russia was supplying our enemy in North Viet Nam. Russia has no more right to be in Syria than the U.S. Russia had better think twice and think again before going down that road.

Tom Welsh Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 2:23 pm GMT

@Kilo 4/11 Why does Russia get to strike out of theater if the U.S. hits them in Syria? We did not get to strike out of theater when Russia was supplying our enemy in North Viet Nam. Russia has no more right to be in Syria than the U.S. Russia had better think twice and think again before going down that road. Your comment brilliantly illustrates the problems that the rest of the world has with Americans. Beyond the slightest shadow of a doubt, Russia has every right to be in Syria where the legitimate government has invited its help. The USA has no right at all to set a single foot inside Syria without the Syrian government's permission, which it emphatically does not have.

By attacking Syria – as it has done persistently for the past six years and more, through US forces, NATO forces, Israeli forces, Daesh and dozens of other alphabet terrorist soup organizations – the USA has flagrantly disobeyed the UN Charter, the Nuremberg Principles, the whole body of international law, and – more often than not – the very US Constitution.

That any American doesn't know these things – or, knowing them, sees fit to pretend he doesn't – is an appalling testimonty to American arrogance, ignorance and stupidity.

Tom Welsh Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 2:35 pm GMT

@Priss Factor How is that US and EU get to do this to a nation and still give sermons about peace and human rights to the world?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cbBXk4iW5Q

When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor to neutralize the US navy, it got punished with total destruction.

US and EU totally wrecks a nation that did NOTHING to either, but they go around promoting themselves as defenders of freedom and 'liberal global order'. "When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor to neutralize the US navy, it got punished with total destruction".

When Japan launched a sneak surprise attack on the Russian fleet in Port Arthur in 1904, it succeeded brilliantly. The Russian East fleet was crippled and Russia had to resort to sending its Baltic fleet halfway round the world – where it too was promptly sunk.

Theodore Roosevelt, who was US president at the time, was jubilant. He saw the Japanese – whom he had recently dignified with the title of "honorary Aryans" – as the essential US proxy for the conquest of Asia. And he hated the Russians.

But what of FDR – who was 22 at the time, and such a fanatic about all matters naval that he boasted of having collected thousands of books on the subject? Are we to believe he was oblivious to the highly successful tactic of launching a surprise naval attack before declaring war? Hardly.

Yet 37 years later, we are supposed to believe that, having deliberately driven Japan into a corner with the specific intention of forcing it to declare war, it never occurred to him that the Japanese – facing a far more powerful enemy than Russia in 1904, whose main fleet was hanging out halfway across the Pacific simply asking to be sunk – would use the same trick.

If so, I have a fleet of very old battleships to sell you.

annamaria Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 2:35 pm GMT

@headrick So what if the US does launch this massive air campaign, -- then what? Is the US
army ready to occupy Syria - on the ground.- forever? IN 2006 Hezbollah kicked the
Israeli's out of Lebanon border areas. Imagine the pain inflicted on a US occupation
force who can't handle Afghanistan. And if the Russian air base is hit, they can I believe
sink a US capital ship or two, and announce, any further direct action against Russian forces in Syria will call for a full nuclear strategic response against the US. Then what does the US do? Suck up the loss of carrier or Ageis warship, of face world war III. This whole act would produce a domestic firestorm in the US, and it would not be controllable. Shiite Allies in Bahrain would attack
US assets and Bases there and in Bahrain, and they would not need Russian coaching to do it.
Hezbollah would probably begin to attacks on Israel and Israel knows how that turned out. Just more pain for Team USA. There is no follow up strategy for such a US air action against Syria/Russia/Iran. Just huge pain and an ignominious back down -or upon unchecked escalation, world war III.
Air power, without a plan for follow up ground action, is worse than pointless. It is suicidal. If the US just wants Chaos in the region, and thinks they can find Muslim proxies to do the ground work, well that was the ISIS plan, and soon there will be no ISIS, so how does the US find proxies on the ground to occupy the country? https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/29/the-next-world-war-wont-just-be-over-there/

"The Next World War Won't Just Be "Over There," by BILL WILLERS
" with every hostile American denigration of Russia, every aggressive push against Russia's borders, every move that imperils Russia's place on the world stage, the prospect of massive world war becomes increasingly plausible. And in this world made so small by terrifying, sophisticated weaponry, any powerful adversary of the US would make certain that "over there" was shared, so as to become "over here" from the US point of view, with major east coast cities certain to be prime targets. The Russians understand very well from agonizing experience what modern, catastrophic war on one's homeland is like, while we in the US do not, although we are on a path to find out. It is a path of our own creation."
Sigh.

Rurik Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 3:13 pm GMT

@Kilo 4/11 Why does Russia get to strike out of theater if the U.S. hits them in Syria? We did not get to strike out of theater when Russia was supplying our enemy in North Viet Nam. Russia has no more right to be in Syria than the U.S. Russia had better think twice and think again before going down that road.

when Russia was supplying our enemy in North Viet Nam.

do you realize that the Soviet Union is dead and gone?

and that Russia today is acting like the only adult on the world's stage with any respect for international law, (or what's left of it, since the Z US has been waging illegal wars of aggression all over the planet, destroying nation after nation, all based on lies).

Today Russia is the last great hope of the planet as a bulwark against the rabid dog that is the ZUSA, slaughtering and displacing millions upon millions of people even as its causing the permanent destruction of Europe and N. America for all time.

what kind of future do your American grandchildren have in the ZUSA, as the immigrants pour in and the future is bankrupted to slaughter people and destroy nations that Israel doesn't like?

At least Putin's Russia is trying to protect some kind of future for the Russian people and their progeny, as the ZUSA is like a drooling beast on the world's stage, and doing all it can do destroy Western civilization in the process, and your nation's (and grandchildren's) future with it.

how anyone here at the Unz Review could still look at Russia today and see the Soviet Union!, is beyond me.

annamaria Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 3:51 pm GMT

The dying empire:
"The elephants did not climb up the trees. Warning them off was successful," they say." http://www.moonofalabama.org
And then they exhibit a very special Nikki Haley who was generously"cued" by Israel: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/06/21/israel-vs-united-nations-nikki-haley-doctrine .
Syrian update: http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/06/syrian-update-ttg.html
My sympathies for the competent American patriots shoved away from all positions of influence in the US government by ziocons (abetted by war profiteers of all stripes). http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/06/harper-mattis-walks-back-from-syria-cw-claims.html#comments
See the story of a honorable and superbly competent Col. Lang and the dumb Douglas Feith (the Idiot of a ziocon stock): http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2003/05/12/selective-intelligence

anonymous Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 4:58 pm GMT

I'd hate to see the Trump presidency go down in the smoke of a Syrian/Russian military conflict. Voters did not want the confrontation promised by Clinton and voted for domestic issues such as re-industrialization, population stability and so on. There are just way too many unknowns involved with this potential clash for the US to risk intruding itself any more than it already has. We really don't know how all these weapon systems would work out in an actual war, short and intense or drawn out. Then there's the prospect of Americans getting killed and taken prisoner in a very public way which would drive them to ratchet things up yet higher. Same for the Russians. It's hard to see what the American endgame really is. Perhaps it's just to deny Russia and Iran any allies so perhaps chaos and the destruction of Syria as a state is a goal rather than a result.
Putin is a legalistic moderate. Were Russia to suffer a humiliating defeat directly from the Americans then it's probable he'll be succeeded by a hardliner seeking to even the score. Wars always have unintended consequences so we could end up having Cold War II for the next fifty years. Of course this might be desired since it would tie Europe to the US due to this 'threat'.

annamaria Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 5:02 pm GMT

@Kilo 4/11 No, I don't recognize that the USSR is gone, because the SAME FUCKING TROGLODYTES THAT RAN IT are running Russia today, starting with Putin, the mope that weeps over its demise. As we said in the Marines "Payback is a motherfucker" and you're finding that out aren't you.

"Today Russia is the last great hope of the planet" is one of the most pathetic memes currently hiding in the guise of received wisdom. Tell that to the besieged Ukrainians of occupied Ukraine, who only want to keep their country intact, but due to Russia's total incapability of recognizing Ukrainians as a separate people with a right to self-determination and Russians' desperation to continue seeing themselves as a world power, no matter what other nation has to be crushed, continue getting killed every day by Russians and their proxies. And you talk of respecting international law! Hold your horses, Kilo 4/12. Nobody needs Ukraine but ZUSA, for the supposedly "defensive" purposes. Look at the amazing transformation of the "liberated" Ukraine after the 2014 coup d'etat: The neo-Nazis are openly in the Ukrainian government, Banderites parade Nazi collaborator Bandera in Kiev and L'viv; a proposal for federalization of Ukraine (you know, federalism, similar to the US) has been criminalized by Kiev government; a new prime-minister is certain Mr. Groysman, and the index of Ukrainian corruption is staying stubbornly high.
Considering that the USSR had amassed the neighboring lands (Polish, Rumanian, and Hungarian) to make the modern state of Ukraine, you need to decide whether you want to continue with the Soviet tradition and keep the Soviet territories or you should finally return the annexed territories to the proper owners.
It seems that you still didn't get it – in 2014, Ukraine had become a protectorate of ZUSA. There is no independent Ukraine anymore.
This is what your thuggish government in Kiev has rejected: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalism_in_the_United_States

Che Guava Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 5:02 pm GMT

@David Great article. I would be interested to read some knowledgeable reflections on the US Navy ship running into a Japanese cargo ship a week or so ago. It seems that a lot of things would have to go wrong to make that possible, indicating considerable rot in the US Navy. We haven't even heard of the ship's commander losing his commission. The container ship was going to Japan, not Japanese, Philippines flag, mainly (or all) Philippino crew.

That ship ran imto the US ship, not vice versa.

However, according to Japanese news and the captain of the cargo ship, they sounded the foghorn, tried signals, radio contact. Those giant ships are not at all agile, not designed to be. Turning radii are huge.

From the sounds of the captain's injuries, he was asleep.

The interesting question is, what the fuck were the bridge duty officer(s) and crew doing at the time, that they noticed nothing? Playing video games? Engrossed in Twit or Faescesbook? Little party? Having or seeking sex?

Even if the reports of warnings from the cargo giant are false (which I strongly doubt), if the bridge people were not behaving stupidly at the time, they would have spotted it on radar and with eyes.

I did a quick search, as said earlier, must sleeping soon, I was finding the captain's name, but not the name of whoever was in charge on the bridge. Interesting.

It is such a shame for the seven dead, I am not a fan of US imperialism, but I like many US people. Their deaths were very sad and pointless.

The clear and tragic incompetence on the bridge has some connection with the Saker's article.

Randal Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 5:14 pm GMT

No sale and kiss my ass with the "stupidity" remark. Russia is playing its old imperial grand chessboard game and it matters not that Assad "invited" him. Think Putin was going to stay out of Syria w/o this "invitation"?

If you really believe that Russia would have any significant military involvement in Syria today in the absence of its longstanding alliance with that country and its consequent interest in protecting it from regime change then you are either profoundly stupid or profoundly ignorant. Or both, of course.

the SAME FUCKING TROGLODYTES THAT RAN IT are running Russia today, starting with Putin

Again, you merely highlight your own lack of knowledge and pig-headed refusal to recognise any change in the world from that (presumably) of your youth.

And you talk of respecting international law!

The simple fact is that (as has been pointed out to you by several people) Russia's military presence in Syria is perfectly legal, being at the invitation of Syria's government, while the US has a long track record of contempt for international law, from the attack on Yugoslavia to the invasion of Iraq and on down to its recent murders of Syrian servicemen without even an attempt to pretend to any legal justification.

No sale and kiss my ass with the "stupidity" remark

No "stupidity" remark that I can see in the comment by Rurik to which you claim to be replying, but your subsequent determination to insist that black is in fact white on several points suggest he would have been justified in such a personal criticism.

Sean Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 5:25 pm GMT

Russia has made a bad mistake in appearing to side with Iran in Syria.

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 7:02 pm GMT

@Kilo 4/11 No, I don't recognize that the USSR is gone, because the SAME FUCKING TROGLODYTES THAT RAN IT are running Russia today, starting with Putin, the mope that weeps over its demise. As we said in the Marines "Payback is a motherfucker" and you're finding that out aren't you.

"Today Russia is the last great hope of the planet" is one of the most pathetic memes currently hiding in the guise of received wisdom. Tell that to the besieged Ukrainians of occupied Ukraine, who only want to keep their country intact, but due to Russia's total incapability of recognizing Ukrainians as a separate people with a right to self-determination and Russians' desperation to continue seeing themselves as a world power, no matter what other nation has to be crushed, continue getting killed every day by Russians and their proxies. And you talk of respecting international law!

As we said in the Marines "Payback is a motherfucker" blah blah blah

Looks like you could use a dose of Marine MG Butler's wisdom.

Knock yerself out toughie

" I spent most of my [33 years in the Marine Corps] being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers.

In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for [crony] capitalism."

Major General Butler USMC, War is a Racket, 1935

http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html

Elder Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 7:52 pm GMT

@Kilo 4/11 Why does Russia get to strike out of theater if the U.S. hits them in Syria? We did not get to strike out of theater when Russia was supplying our enemy in North Viet Nam. Russia has no more right to be in Syria than the U.S. Russia had better think twice and think again before going down that road.

Russia has no more right to be in Syria than the U.S.

The Russians are in Syria at the request of the sovereign nation of Syria.
The USA is in Syria as an illegal invading force providing support to Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
I never would have guessed that the rot in the USA would have progressed to the point where the Russians would be 100% in the right, both legally and morally, and the USA would be 100% in the wrong, both legally and morally, but here we are.

Randal Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 9:46 pm GMT

@Erebus It seems to me that if the US delivers either an ultimatum, or a direct attack on Russian assets in Syria, Russia's response will depend primarily on what it believes its allies can and will deliver. The SAA, Hezbollah, and Iraqi PMUs are already doing yeoman's service and probably can't do much more. In any case, the boots-on-the-ground part would come some time after a stand-off weapon exchange.
Can Iran be depended on to commit, knowing they're next if the American gambit succeeds? Hard to tell. They could do a lot of damage to US assets around the Gulf in very short order. Doha and Manama are but a few minutes away as the missile flies, and those missiles could fly from anywhere along a mountainous 2500km coastline. If Iran can be counted on, the Russians can play much harder ball than on their own.

The big question mark is China. Not for any military contribution, obviously, but for the fact that it can cripple the U$ system on which American military power rests, and they can do it almost instantly. There's some pain in it for China, though not nearly as much as is sometimes assumed, but it would make any military "victory" the USM might be dreaming of Pyrrhic. In addition to losing a bunch of hardware and expensive personnel, they'd be staring at an economic catastrophe. With that, they'd also be staring at the "Decline and Fall" moment in the Zempire's timeline.

In its present domestic socio-political state, the US could simply fly apart from the combined shock. From where I sit, that looks all but inevitable.

Be that all as it may, the Kremlin had surely gamed all the possible variations to exhaustion before making their move into Syria. They committed, and since Sept 31, 2015 they've been driving, not reacting to, events. They went in fully committed to success, and they knew what ramifications their success could trigger. They must have had viable contingency Plans A thru Z in place before the ever cautious, meticulous Putin would have been confident enough that he had all bases covered to sign off on it. I'm pretty sure that none of Plans A thru Z included turning tail and running away when the American started barking.

Putin would have been confident enough that he had all bases covered to sign off on it. I'm pretty sure that none of Plans A thru Z included turning tail and running away when the American started barking.

Yes, seems to me this was a calculated gamble for the highest stakes by Putin, and I think he must have known that once he went all in there would be no further option to fold under US presure that wouldn't be disastrous for Russia and for him, personally. I suspect he decided at the time that he would take it all the way if necessary.

But that doesn't mean, of course, that he and the Russians thought they couldn't lose. Just that they thought the situation was serious enough to justify such a move, which inevitably involves a degree of risk and the highest of stakes.

What they did know, and still know, is that the costs to the US of even a "victory" in Syria could be made high enough that the US leadership would almost certainly blink first (rightly, given that the whole regime change attempt in Syria involves no vital US interests and serves the purposes of foreigners, wealthy business cliques and issue obsessives).

And so it has come to pass, so far, fortunately for humanity and for both the US and Russia. Who knows if that would still be the case if Clinton had won the election? Who really knows if it will remain the case under the highly suspect Trump?

Can Iran be depended on to commit, knowing they're next if the American gambit succeeds?

Difficult to predict in such a dramatic situation, but Iran obviously knows that it is next in the firing line after Syria goes down and Hezbollah is targeted (as the plans of the regime changers hope for). However Iran really adds little to Russia's strength overall, though as you point out they can contribute substantially in the region. On the other hand, Iran's involvement would ensure far more enthusiastic cooperation with the US by Israel and Saudi Arabia, who might otherwise balk at a direct attack on Russian forces.

The big question mark is China. Not for any military contribution, obviously, but for the fact that it can cripple the U$ system on which American military power rests, and they can do it almost instantly.

I think the record suggests China would be far too cautious to intervene directly in that way in such a situation, though I'm sure they would give Russia plenty of indirect support.

Randal Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 9:56 pm GMT

@Sean Russia has made a bad mistake in appearing to side with Iran in Syria.

Russia has made a bad mistake in appearing to side with Iran in Syria.

Yes that's right because history demonstrates clearly that appeasement and passive acceptance is the best way to protect yourself against ongoing lawless aggression by a major power. If nothing else, there's always that faint, fading hope that if you are meek enough you might at least be left for last, eh?

If only the Russians had had the patience and strength of mind to continue with the wisdom of the Yeltsin years, in kowtowing to the US declaration of a global US sphere of influence and a universal US right, nay duty, of regime changing interventionism

sad and scared Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 11:49 pm GMT

This sucker (the Syrian conflict) could take all sorts of twists and turns, acquire a life of its own, and do who knows what. Since there seems to be no rational motive at play, at least on the US side, this mess defies rational analysis. What is the US objective in Syria, after all? I doubt anyone can answer that. What benefit will accrue if Assad ends up going? It simply seems to be a psychopathic game of power, more power, and yet more power ("full spectrum dominance" – not a Hitler statement that, but officially stated US policy) Full dominance to what aim? (try raising that on mass media, good luck) To stand tall in a graveyard of humanity as the last human survivor? To add to the already long list of countries and peoples destroyed? To be acknowledged as the toughest and meanest kid on the block? I think all bets are off, this sucker could go any way, any time.

SimplePseudonymicHandle Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 11:55 pm GMT

The Saker

makes a basic mistake, he assumes that the [Americans] will act like idiots and fight the kind of war the [Russia] would want to impose upon them.

And he does so in nearly every article he writes. It would be amusing except for quotes like this.

There are good points to be made. The US will have certain habits that must be deliberately deviated from. The US deploys too much and exposes its fighting style too much.

But the Saker is silly, Capital S, silly, to think that the US would fight Russia the way he imagines it.

Just the same: we must not fight. Russia and the US, must, not fight. It must not happen.

The silliest thing is all the imagining of it. We should steel all our efforts to assure this never, ever happens.

Mongrel Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 12:37 am GMT

IMO, a massive US attack to gain air superiority in Syria is completely unrealistic for the following reasons among others:

1. If an aircraft carrier takes part in the attack, if could be sunk by the Russians with moral justification. Sinking an aircraft carrier would cause the dollar to plummet by revealing the phony nature of American military might.

2. The Russians could lose their entire Syrian forces and the larger military balance would not be affected in the short run, nor would the Russian regime be threatened by internal revolution. If the US lost significant numbers of aircraft, especially F-35's and/or F-22's, it would be a US disaster. There would be no hiding from the US public that we are at war for no discernable purpose. The sleepwalking goyim could very well take their eyes off Kim Kardashian's ass and the Trump circus and wake up. The political effects are utterly unpredictable.

3. Russia and China could announce an international gold standard, effectively removing a major source of US income via dollar creation. With US inflation raging, military cutbacks would ensue, kicking off a downward spiral for the ZUSA empire.

4. War in Syria would precipitate a US financial crisis, because US markets are held aloft with smoke and mirrors. We have runaway federal debt, states about to default, a pension crisis, and a consumer debt crisis. When this thing blows, the 2000 crash will look like a picnic. Unemployment will skyrocket from an already high level, and the deep state will be fighting off multiple Occupy Wall Street-like movements. Sure hope those new surveillance tools work well, 'cause the deep state is gonna need 'em.

Of course, empires often show the brains of a dinosaur. Did the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, Russian and German empires plan to disappear when they entered WWI?

peterAUS Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 12:47 am GMT

@sad and scared This sucker (the Syrian conflict) could take all sorts of twists and turns, acquire a life of its own, and do who knows what. Since there seems to be no rational motive at play, at least on the US side, this mess defies rational analysis. What is the US objective in Syria, after all? I doubt anyone can answer that. What benefit will accrue if Assad ends up going? It simply seems to be a psychopathic game of power, more power, and yet more power ("full spectrum dominance" - not a Hitler statement that, but officially stated US policy) Full dominance to what aim? (try raising that on mass media, good luck) To stand tall in a graveyard of humanity as the last human survivor? To add to the already long list of countries and peoples destroyed? To be acknowledged as the toughest and meanest kid on the block? I think all bets are off, this sucker could go any way, any time.

What is the US objective in Syria, after all? I doubt anyone can answer that.

Maybe .just .CONSTANT low level chaos as it is now.
Just to keep that region unstable and unusable for anyone.
Serves a couple of purposes, one of them is weakening Russia.

What benefit will accrue if Assad ends up going?

The same.
But even with Assad not going, just keeping things as they are now is good for The Empire.
Or, it is better for The Empire than it is for Russia.
Or it is less worse for The Empire than it is for Russia.

utu Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 12:56 am GMT

@Rurik


allows one a glimmer of hope
I'm clinging to it for now

he didn't do much damage to that Syrian airfield he bombed and he warned everyone over there that he was going to do it, and by doing so, he completely shut up the snake-pit, from John McBloodstain to Chucky Schumer to the length and breath of the zio-msm.

I sense he's trying to play them, and it seems at times like he's playing them like a fine fiddle.

Saying 'Assad has to go' will cause tingles and chills up their legs, and cut him some slack with the Republicucks, so perhaps he can get more of his people appointed.

So long as he has a back-door channel to Putin, they can pretend like they're enemies, while mollifying the Fiend and its minions as ISIS is routed and Syria's sovereignty and border integrity becomes more and more a reality on the ground.

At least that's my hope. Of course I could be wrong. So long as he has a back-door channel to Putin

Putin receives former U.S. diplomat Kissinger in Kremlin

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-usa-kissinger-idUSKBN19K2QN

U.S. Retreats From Al-Tanf – Gives Up On Occupying South East Syria

http://www.moonofalabama.org

Mikel Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 1:05 am GMT

Could anyone kindly explain how the Israeli planes manage to avoid the Syrian Pantsirs and S-300s every time they enter Syrian air space and take out some target? (and one presumes that the Syrians must be waiting for the next Israeli incursion 24×7).

Thanks.

KenH Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 2:44 am GMT

Girly man Sean Spicer's pronouncement that the U.S. possesses "intelligence" to the effect that Assad is planning a chemical attack on innocents is just a bogus pretext for war. It's Iraqi weapons of mass destruction all over again.

It's designed to soften Americans up for greater illegal and unilateral military action in Syria. And if my fellow countrymen fall for it yet again just because they're enamored with Trump's hollow promises and circus like rallies then I will have absolutely no sympathy for them when the economy implodes and if somehow the war comes to U.S. soil.

Gee, who gets all the refugees when we bring hell to Syria? Not Saudi Arabia or Israel. Oh no, princess Ivanka will see to it that we get our share just as long as they're nowhere near her, Jared or any other Manhattan millionaire liberal.

Putin should announce the sale of long range nuclear missiles to the People's Republic of N. Korea. Hopefully this would give Nimrata Haley and Trump aneurysms along with the rest of the American likudniks. Then he should follow up and begin supplying the Taliban with surface to air missile batteries, anti-drone technology and advanced weaponry for combat operations.

in the middle Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 1:37 am GMT

@Sean Russia has made a bad mistake in appearing to side with Iran in Syria. NO! The Zios-Anglos made the mistake of siding with the terrorists in Syria.

[Jun 28, 2017] Considering that Russia was gang-raped by Bill Clinton's Oligarch friends .a gang rape that caused a demographic collapse of the Russian population .Russia's subsequent recovery has been miraculous

Jun 28, 2017 | www.unz.com

War for Blair Mountain

June 22, 2017 at 10:44 pm GMT

@Mr. Hack


The only thing that Russia wanted from Ukraine is not to allow themselves to become threat to Russia by joining NATO. Ukraine, having wasted all other options for normal development, couldn't resist taking the offer of cashing in on becoming a threat to Russia. Ukraine tries to justify this based on some past historical grievances from the 1930's.
What total lunacy and hippocracy. Do I really need to remind you that before 2014 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, NATO membership was not a popular option for most Ukrainians. But now, after the deceitful land grab by Russia of Crimea and three years of proxy directed war in Donbas orchestrated in Moscow, most Ukrainians now look favorably towards NATO membership. Latest polls show that 55.9% o Ukrainians now favor NATO integration (I think that pre 2014 it was less than 15%) and 66.4% now favor EU integration. You reap what you sew, Putinista fanboys. Bye, bye 'NovoRossiya'! http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2017/06/17/7147228/ The engine that drove the US into an economic power house was decades of violating free market principles

The engine that drove German economic success was being bailed out by the US right after WW2..

Considering that Russia was gang-raped by Bill Clinton's Oligarch friends .a gang rape that caused a demographic collapse of the Russian population .Russia's subsequent recovery has been miraculous

OOPS These comments were meant for Priss Factor not Mr. Hack

[Jun 28, 2017] Trump Has Been Continuing Obamas Syria-Policy by Eric Zuesse

Jun 27, 2017 | off-guardian.org

U.S. President Donald Trump, who during the election-campaign ferociously condemned Barack Obama's foreign policies, while asserting nothing concrete of his own, has, as the U.S. President, committed himself quite clearly to continuing Obama's publicly stated policy on Syria, which policy was to place, as the first priority, the elimination of ISIS, and as the policy to follow that, the elimination and replacement of Syria's government. I have previously indicated that on June 19th "Russia Announces No-Fly Zone in Syria - War Against U.S. There" , and that the early indications are that Trump has changed his Syria-policy to accommodate Russia's demands there; but, prior to June 19th, Trump was actually following Obama's publicly stated Syria-policy.

As also will be shown here, Obama's publicly stated policy - to destroy ISIS and then to overthrow Syria's President Bashar al-Assad - was actually less extreme than his real policy, which was to overthrow Assad and to use the jihadist forces in Syria (especially Al Qaeda in Syria) to achieve that objective. Trump, at least until 19 June 2017, has been adhering to Obama's publicly stated policy. Russia's warning was for him not to adopt and continue Obama's actual policy (to overthrow Assad).

Here is the part, of the by-now-famous 12 August 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) analysis of the intelligence regarding Iraq and in Syria, that the press (despite its extensive reporting about the document) has not yet reported from the Judicial Watch FOIA disclosures (which had included that document and many others), but which part of it shows even more than the part that has been reported from the document, Obama's having made an informed choice actually to protect Al Qaeda in Syria, so as to bring down and replace the Syrian government - Obama's actual prioritization (contrary to his publicly stated one) of overthrowing Assad, even above defeating the jihadists in Syria; and this was clearly also a warning by the DIA to the Commander-in-Chief, that he can have either an overthrow of Assad, or else a non-jihadist-controlled Syria, but not both, and that any attempt to bring down Assad by means of using the jihadists as a proxy army against him, would ultimately fail:

http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version.pdf

page 69 of 100:

D. AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq], through spokesman of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) Abu Muhammed Al Adnani, declared the Syrian regime as the spearhead of what he is naming Jibha Al Ruwafdh (forefront of the Shiites) because of its (the Syrian regime) declaration of war on the Sunnis. Additionally, he is calling on the Sunnis in Iraq, especially the tribes in the border regions (between Iraq and Syria), to wage war against the Syrian regime, regarding Syria as an infidel regime for its support to the infidel party Hezbollah, and other regimes he considers dissenters like Iran and Iraq.

E. AQI considers the Sunni issue in Iraq to be fatefully connected to the Sunni Arabs and Muslims.

page 70:

A. The [Syrian] regime will survive and have control over Syrian territory.

page 71:

B. Development of the current events into a proxy war: with support from Russia, China, and Iran, the regime is controlling the areas of influence along coastal territories (Tartus and Latakia), and is fiercely defending Homs, which is considered the primary transportation route in Syria. On the other hand, opposition forces are trying to control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor), adjacent to the western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar), in addition to neighboring Turkish borders. Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these [jihadist] efforts

And here is from the part that the press did report:

https://www.facebook.com/ayssar.midani/posts/10152479627582395

Ayssar Midani, May 23, 2015 · Paris, France:

"C: If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime."

The "supporting powers" are: western countries, the Gulf States and Turkey The DIA warns that the creation of such an Salafist principality would have "dire consequences" for Iraq and would possibly lead to the creation of an Islamic State and: create the ideal atmosphere for AQI to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi.
These DIA folks really earned their salary.

The Obama administration, together with other supporter of the Syrian "opposition", knew that AQ was a large part of that "opposition" from the very beginning. The U.S. and others wanted a Salafist [i.e., fundamentalist Sunni] principality in east Syria to cut Syria and Lebanon off from a land route to Iran. It was warned that such a principality would create havoc in Iraq and to the return of AQ in Iraq (today the Islamic State) to Mosul and Ramadi.

I quoted from that part in December 2016 , which was the time when the two Presidents, Obama and Turkey's Erdogan, began their joint effort to relocate ISIS from Mosul Iraq, into Der Zor Syria, in order to culminate their (and the Sauds') joint plan to use ISIS so as to bring down Assad. Then, I headlined, on 30 April 2017, that they had actually completed this task of moving Iraq's ISIS into Syria, "How Obama & Erdogan Moved ISIS from Iraq to Syria, to Weaken Assad" . That's why the Syrian government is now fighting to take Der Zor back from ISIS control.

Other portions of the Judicial Watch FOIA disclosures which received little or no press-coverage (and that little being only on far-right blogs - not mainstream 'news' sites) add still further to the evidence that Obama was using Al Qaeda and its friends, as a proxy army of jihadists to overthrow Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and replace him by a jihadist regime that would be loyal to America's fundamentalist-Sunni 'allies', the Sauds who own Saudi Arabia, and the Thanis who own Qatar. (Of course, now, the Sauds are trying to destroy the Thanis, too.)

These unpublished or little-published portions from the Judical Watch disclosures, also add to the ample published evidence that the Obama regime was transporting (as these documents acknowledged on page 4) "weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya" which "were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria," for use by Obama's 'moderate rebels' (a.k.a.: jihadists) in Syria. Specifically:

page 4:
18 Sep 2012

2. During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amounts of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.

3. The weapons shipped from Libya to Syria during late-August 2012 [i.e., the period immediately prior to this memo] were sniper rifles, RPGs, and 125mm and 155mm howitzers missiles. The numbers for each weapon were estimated to be: 500 sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 total rounds, and approximately 400 howitzers missiles.

It's now clear that Trump (at least until June 19th) has been continuing Obama's stated policy of killing ISIS and then overthrowing Assad. But of course no one can yet know whether or not he would be continuing it in precisely the way that Hillary Clinton made clear that she would do, which is to announce a no-fly zone in Syria and thus grab control over some portion of the sovereign nation of Syria. That way would result, now after 19 June 2017 ( Russia's warning to shoot down U.S. aircraft that attack Syrian government-allied forces ), either in U.S. retreat or else shooting down Russian planes in Syria, and war between U.S. and Russia, ending in nuclear war.

When I presented, in my December 2016 report, what I referred to above as "the part of the 12 August 2012 DIA analysis of the intelligence regarding Iraq and in Syria that the press has not yet reported from the Judicial Watch FOIA disclosures," I didn't mention then that one news-medium did report a part of that section, and it was a rabidly pro-Republican site, Glenn Beck and his "The Blaze," which headlined about this matter, very appropriately, "'It Is Damn Near Criminal': Glenn Beck Says the U.S. Is Using Islamic State as a 'Pawn'," which point, Beck presented rather well in the video accompanying it. Unfortunately, however, closed-minded 'liberals' and 'progressives' paid no attention to this and to the other evils perpetrated by Obama ( such as these ). Regardless of how untrustworthy Beck is, his statements about that particular matter were actually spot-on.

Obama was using ISIS in this way, but after Russia started bombing ISIS in Syria on 30 September 2015, Obama joined in so as not to make obvious to the world that he had been protecting and even arming ISIS until that date, and that prior to Russia's bombing ISIS, the U.S. had actually ignored ISIS.

Now that ISIS in Syria seems to be on its last legs there, only Kurds and Al Qaeda in Syria ( and their backers especially the U.S. and Sauds ) remain as big threats to Syria's sovereignty, and the evidence at least till June 19th, has been that Trump definitely backs the Kurds there, and might also be backing Al Qaeda there as well. If he continues backing the Kurds and Al Qaeda there, after Russia's warning on June 19th (which the neoconservative Washington Post called only "bluffing" and the neoconservative CNBC called "bluster" ), then the U.S. will be at war not only against Russia, but also against Turkey, and also against Iran, and it would be World War III because it would be U.S.-v.-Russia. Turkey is already at war against the Kurds; and, if America is fighting for the Kurds, to break up Syria, then Turkey - a member of the NATO anti-Russia alliance - will paralyze NATO; and the U.S. will then be waging its war without NATO's support.

Trump would need to be very stupid to do such a thing. It would be an intelligence test which, if Trump fails, the world will end, in nuclear winter - with or without support from the rest of NATO. But, nonetheless, some in the American 'elite' and its employees, say that it would merely be a recognition of Russia's "bluffing" and "bluster." One wonders what objective this 'elite' believes to be worthy of taking the risk that they're wrong. What do they actually hope to 'win', fighting on the side of the Sauds (and their Israeli agents), in order to conquer Syria? Why are they so desperate, to do that?

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

Eric Blair says June 27, 2017

Moon of Alabama commented yesterday on the US and its allies defeat (so far) in S.E. Syria. At an MSM ignored DoD press conference the US military admitted as much. From MoA's article:

Q: [ ] [W]hat potential threat do you believe these Iranian backed militias and regime forces continue to pose to your forces and your partner forces in the At Tanf - Abu Kamal area?

COL. DILLON: Well if the Syrian regime - and it looks like they are making a concerted effort to move into ISIS held areas. And if they show that they can do that, that is not a bad sign. We are here to fight ISIS as a coalition, but if others want to fight ISIS and defeat them, then we absolutely have no problem with that. And as they move eastward toward Abu Kamal and to Deir Ezzour, if we - as long as we can de-conflict and make sure that we can focus on what it is we're there to do, without having any kind of strategic mishaps with the regime or with pro-regime forces or with Russians, then that is - we're perfectly happy with that.

In a later part the spokesperson also concedes that the forces in al-Tanf are now very constricted in their movement:

if the regime is - has moved into an area that is towards Abu Kamal, then we are going to be limited to how far out we do patrols [from al-Tanf] with our partner forces.

Somewhat later the point is made again and even clearer – al-Tanf is now useless and the Syrian army is free to do what it does:

COL. DILLON: So what I was saying about that is that, out of the At Tanf area, we have used that to train our partner forces and to continue to - to fight ISIS, you know, if they are in and around that area.

You know, now that the regime has moved in, and they have made some significant, you know, progress, as it looks, towards moving to Abu Kamal and perhaps Deir Ezzour, if they want to fight ISIS in Abu Kamal and they have the capacity to do so, then, you know, that - that would be welcome.

We as a coalition are not in the land-grab business. We're in the killing ISIS business, and that is what we want to do. And if - if the Syrian regime wants to do that, and they are going to, again, put forth a concerted effort and show that they are - are doing just that in Abu Kamal or Deir Ezzour or elsewhere, that means that we don't have to do that in those locations.

So I guess that - what I'm saying is, in the At Tanf area, we will continue to train our partner forces. We will continue to do patrols in and around At Tanf in the Hamad desert. But if our access to Abu Kamal is shut off because the regime is there, that's okay.

Hmm the US military standing down? I haven't looked at the entire transcript yet but this seems almost too good to be true. Of course these press conference proclamations need to be washed down with a generous helping of delicious salt. Even if the statements are sincere, the interventionists, their media "partners" and think tank propagandists will keep on pushing for "regime change" (a coup by any other name ) and the destruction of Syria.

On the bright side US/NATO uncontested domination of the globe was stopped in its tracks by the Russian military in Syria on 30.09.2015 and there is simply no way Washington can bribe, threaten or beat every nation in the world into submission.

bevin says June 26, 2017
This is a culture at the end of its tether: it simply cannot put up with dissent or contradiction, so brittle is it. It is all part of a refusal to face ugly reality, symptomatic of which is the relegation-to Die Welt's Sunday edition- of Seymour Hersh's latest investigation of US state mendacity its irresponsibility in the matter if the recent "Sarin" attack blamed on Assad.
Ray McGovern has a piece at Counterpunch today in which he reveals that "Even the London Review of Books, which published Hersh's earlier debunking of the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin-gas incident, wouldn't go out onto the limb this time despite having paid for his investigation.

"According to Hersh, the LRB did not want to be "vulnerable to criticism for seeming to take the view of the Syrian and Russia governments when it came to the April 4 bombing in Khan Sheikhoun." So much for diversity of thought in today's West."
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/26/hershs-big-scoop-bad-intel-behind-trumps-syria-attack/

captain Swing says June 27, 2017
Very interesting article from Counterpunch. Thanks.
Jerry Alatalo says June 27, 2017
bevin,
The facts Seymour Hersh's article lays out pushes one in the direction that Trump – totally ignoring his intelligence and military experts telling him their was no certainty Assad was responsible – had knowledge the event was a false flag. Trump couldn't be so stupid as to not understand what his experts were telling him. After launching the 50 Tomahawk missiles, he lied through his teeth to the world, saying "we know we have the evidence..", then UN Ambassador Nikki Haley (like Colin Powell, before the illegal Iraq War) blasted Assad falsely, held up pictures at the Security Council of dead children which were quickly plastered on the front pages of newspapers globally,, and literally warned Syria's Bashar al-Jaafari of impending war.

Hersh's article shows Trump, Haley and the U.S. administration, UK/France and other United Nations representatives were lying about "we have the evidence", and owe their citizens and the world an explanation, plus an apology. These psychopath liars are extremely dangerous and must become held to account for their deceptions.

archie1954 says June 26, 2017
If the US were to persist in this dangerous dance with the devil, I could imaging NATO being split by Turkey, refusing to get involved any further and even separately protecting Europe from Russian retaliation by entering into a defense treaty with Russia. The US then would be shouldering the whole foolish confrontation by itself and perhaps having to deal with China and North Korea at the same time. Now that would be an interesting scenario.
Michael Leigh says June 26, 2017
I think the worthy Historian, Eric Zuesse has not considered the possibility that a new midlle East regional grouping, offers the best chance of allowing the USA to gracefully avoid the ultimate failure of its Middle East policy by conceding to the combined alliance, of the major traditional Nations and their forces of the Middle East; being Egypt, Iran and Turkey.

Currently divided by a false religious and secular division, posed by primarily Great Britain and the USA, it was the British who over 100 years ago financed and invented the Sunni Wahhabi division which sunni division represents the most murderous of the current Islamic terrorist outrages financed also by the USA and Saudi Arabia throughout the region and globe.

Similarly, the Anglo-Franco financed and hosting of the Muslim Brotherhood to further frustrate and end Turkey's leadership of the declining Otterman Empire, formally lead by Turkey.

The most important factor against a new alignment of those three aforementioned regional leaders; is the current illegimate counter-alliance of " the lawless Hebrew State of Israel " and the Teflon-guarded deep state, which appears to own and really run the also infamous North America State?

[Jun 28, 2017] Frustrated Democrats hoping to elevate their election fortunes have a resounding message for party leaders: Stop talking so much about Russia.

Notable quotes:
"... Russia and Putin weren't effective issues for Hillary, and they're not effective issues now, yet the Democratic leadership insists on flogging them. The corrupt, sclerotic, and incompetent Democratic leadership is aloof and out of touch...and needs to go. ..."
Jun 28, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH , June 27, 2017 at 06:27 AM

Earth to the Democratic leadership: Stop talking so much about Russia.

"Frustrated Democrats hoping to elevate their election fortunes have a resounding message for party leaders: Stop talking so much about Russia.

Democratic leaders have been beating the drum this year over the ongoing probes into the Trump administration's potential ties to Moscow, taking every opportunity to highlight the saga and forcing floor votes designed to uncover any business dealings the president might have with Russian figures.

But rank-and-file Democrats say the Russia-Trump narrative is simply a non-issue with district voters, who are much more worried about bread-and-butter economic concerns like jobs, wages and the cost of education and healthcare.
In the wake of a string of special-election defeats, an increasing number of Democrats are calling for an adjustment in party messaging, one that swings the focus from Russia to the economy. The outcome of the 2018 elections, they say, hinges on how well the Democrats manage that shift.
"We can't just talk about Russia because people back in Ohio aren't really talking that much about Russia, about Putin, about Michael Flynn," Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) told MSNBC Thursday. "They're trying to figure out how they're going to make the mortgage payment, how they're going to pay for their kids to go to college, what their energy bill looks like.

"And if we don't talk more about their interest than we do about how we're so angry with Donald Trump and everything that's going on," he added, "then we're never going to be able to win elections."

http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/339248-dems-push-leaders-to-talk-less-about-russia

Russia and Putin weren't effective issues for Hillary, and they're not effective issues now, yet the Democratic leadership insists on flogging them. The corrupt, sclerotic, and incompetent Democratic leadership is aloof and out of touch...and needs to go.

[Jun 27, 2017] In case you did not have time to look for the widely available information on how the US has been supplying certain forces in Syria with various weaponry, including anti aircraft weapons

Jun 27, 2017 | www.unz.com

MarkinLA June 25, 2017 at 10:01 pm GMT

@annamaria In case you did not have time to look for the widely available information on how the US has been supplying certain "forces" in Syria with various weaponry, including anti aircraft weapons, here is a summary: "How America Armed Terrorists in Syria: Another Middle East debacle" By GARETH PORTER • June 22, 2017
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-america-armed-terrorists-in-syria/

"The Obama administration's Syria policy effectively sold out the U.S. interest that was supposed to be the touchstone of the "Global War on Terrorism"-the eradication of al Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates... In October 2012, U.S. officials acknowledged off the record for the first time to the New York Times that "most" of the arms that had been shipped to armed opposition groups in Syria with U.S. logistical assistance during the previous year had gone to "hardline Islamic jihadists"- obviously meaning al Qaeda's Syrian franchise, al Nusra. ...

In early March 2015, the Harakat Hazm Aleppo branch dissolved itself, and al Nusra Front promptly showed off photos of the TOW missiles and other equipment they had captured from it. ... But that wasn't the only way for al Nusra Front to benefit from the CIA's largesse.

The non-jihadist armed groups getting advanced weapons from the CIA assistance were not part of the initial assault on Idlib City. After the capture of Idlib the U.S.-led operations room for Syria in southern Turkey signaled to the CIA-supported groups in Idlib that they could now participate in the campaign to consolidate control over the rest of the province. According to Lister, the British researcher on jihadists in Syria who maintains contacts with both jihadist and other armed groups, recipients of CIA weapons, such as the Fursan al haq brigade and Division 13, did join the Idlib campaign alongside al Nusra Front without any move by the CIA to cut them off. As the Idlib offensive began, the CIA-supported groups were getting TOW missiles in larger numbers, and they now used them with great effectiveness against the Syrian army tanks. That was the beginning of a new phase of the war, in which U.S. policy was to support an alliance between "relatively moderate" groups and the al Nusra Front."

And more of the same CIA judged to be "relatively moderate" anti-Assad groups

These CIA assessments are always loaded with weasel words and half truths like some child admitting he stuck his hand in the cookie jar but didn't actually take one. It is all designed as a silly whitewash of their actions. Admit just enough but stop short of something illegal.

When the CIA finally had to admit they were aware of the drug dealing during the Reagan administration by the Contras, they came out with some lame report where they admitted they were aware that some elements were trafficking drugs but the CIA wasn't directly involved. Of course, the pilots flying the arms in and drugs out all had CIA connections. The DEA also never made any significant arrests.

The CIA knows there are no "relatively moderates".

Priss Factor Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 10:25 pm GMT

What is happening in Syria is an Extreme Steroidal version of what is happening in the West.

Westerners are told 'diversity' and 'inclusion' are highest values.

Well, Syria wouldn't have been such a powder keg if it weren't so diverse filled with so many resentments. And it was the weakening of borders and 'inclusion' of Jihadis and foreign military that made things much worse. So, much for blessings of diversity and inclusion(euphemism for intrusion and invasion).

Two sicknesses of the globalized world: Diversease and Incluenza.

[Jun 27, 2017] How Israel Manages Its Message

economistsview.typepad.com
Those of us who are highly critical of Israel's ability to manipulate U.S. foreign policy frequently note how sites that permit comments on our articles are almost immediately inundated with hostile postings that are remarkably similar in both tone and substance. Given that it is unlikely that large numbers of visitors to the sites read the offending piece more-or-less simultaneously, react similarly to its content, and then go on to express their disgust in very similar language, many of us have come to the conclusion that the Israeli government or some of the groups dedicated to advancing Israeli interests turn loose supporters who are dedicated to combating and refuting anything and everything that casts Israel in a negative light.

The fact is that Israel is extremely active in an enterprise that falls in the gray area between covert operations and overt governmental activity. Many governments seek to respond to negative commentary in the media, but they normally do it openly with an ambassador or press officer countering criticism by sending in a letter, writing an op-ed, or appearing on a talk show. Such activity is generally described as public diplomacy when it is done openly by a recognized government official and the information itself is both plausible and verifiable, at least within reasonable limits. Israel does indeed do that, but it also engages in other activities that are not so transparent and which are aimed at spreading false information.

When an intelligence organization seeks to influence opinion by creating and deliberately circulating "false news," it is referred to as a "disinformation operation."

But Israel has refined the art of something that expands upon that, what might be referred to more accurately as "perception management" or "influence operations" in which it only very rarely shows its hand overtly, in many cases paying students as part-time bloggers or exploiting diaspora Jews as volunteers to get its message out. The practice is so systemic, involving recruitment, training, Foreign Ministry-prepared information sheets, and internet alerts to potential targets, that it is frequently described by its Hebrew name, hasbara, which means literally "public explanation." It is essentially an internet-focused "information war" that parallels and supports the military action whenever Israel enters into conflict with any of its neighbors or seeks to influence public opinion in the United States and Europe.

... ... ...

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has sent a letter out to a number of pro-Israel organizations emphasizing the "importance of the internet as the new battleground for Israel's image." Haaretz reported in 2013 how Prime Minister Netanyahu's office collaborated with the National Union of Israeli Students to establish "covert units" at the seven national universities to be structured in a "semi-military" fashion and organized in situation rooms. Students are paid as much as $2,000 monthly to work the online targets.

The serious collaboration between government and volunteers actually began with Operation Cast Lead in early 2009, an incursion into Gaza that killed more than 1,800 Palestinians, when the Foreign Ministry pulled together a group of mostly young computer savvy soldiers supplemented by students both overseas and within Israel to post a number of government-crafted responses to international criticism.

Many of the initial volunteers worked through a website giyus.org (an acronym for Give Israel Your United Support). The website included a desktop tool called Megaphone that provided daily updates on articles appearing on the internet that had to be challenged or attacked. There were once believed to be 50,000 activists receiving the now-inactive Megaphone's alerts.

There have also been reports about a pro-Israel American group called Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) preparing to enter its own version of developments in the Middle East on the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia. E-mails from CAMERA reveal that the group sought volunteers in 2008 to edit material on Wikipedia "to help us keep Israel-related entries from becoming tainted by anti-Israel editors," while also recommending that articles on the Middle East be avoided initially by supporters so as not to arouse suspicions about their motives. Volunteers were also advised to use false names that did not hint at any Israeli or Jewish connection and to avoid any references to being organized by CAMERA. Fifty volunteers reportedly were actively engaged in the program when it was exposed in the media and the program was put on hold.

CAMERA is an Internal Revenue Service-approved 501(c)(3) organization, which means that contributions to it are tax exempt. Such exemptions are granted to organizations that are either charitable or educational in nature and they normally preclude any involvement in partisan political activity. As CAMERA would not appear to qualify as a charity, it is to be presumed that its application for special tax status stressed that it is educational. Whether its involvement in "un-tainting" Wikipedia truly falls within that definition might well be debated, particularly as it appears to have been carried out in semi-clandestine fashion. CAMERA might well also be considered to be a good candidate for registration under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA), as its activity is uniquely focused on promoting the perceived interests of a foreign government.

The use of Israel's universities as propaganda mills by the government also raises other significant issues. The growing BDS movement has included some Israeli universities as targets because of their alleged involvement with the government in the occupation of the West Bank. That the universities are also involved in possible government-sponsored information operations might be an additional convincing argument that BDS supporters might use to justify blacklisting at least some Israeli academic institutions.

Every government is engaged in selling a product, which is its own self-justifying view of what it does and how it does it. But the largely clandestine Israeli effort to influence American opinion is unique in that it comes from a country which receives more than $3 billion annually from the U.S. taxpayer. We Americans are therefore paying to be propagandized by people working for a foreign government who often pretend to be our fellow citizens but are not. What is occurring is essentially an intelligence operation directed against the United States, something that the CIA would have run back in the 1970s and 1980s.

That Israel can continue to reap huge amounts of aid and political cover from Washington while it is actively working to make sure that Americans are poorly informed about the Middle East reveals more than anything the corruption of our political class and media, both of which appear to be ready to sell out for thirty shekels to anyone with the cash in hand. Time to drain the swamp, indeed.

exiled off mainstreet Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 4:47 am GMT

This is documented long-term foreign influence which has reached treason levels in the past, for instance at the time the USS Liberty was sunk in June, 1967. This can be contrasted with the phony Russia accusations levelled by many of the same people whose first loyalty is to the Israeli state rather than to the yankee imperium employing them. I don't see this ending well.

Wally Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 4:52 am GMT

Tip of the iceberg:

The True Cost of Parasite Israel
Forced US taxpayers money to Israel goes far beyond the official numbers.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-true-cost-of-israel/

"Jewish groups get up to 97% of grants from the Homeland Security"

http://mondoweiss.net/2012/07/islamophobia-shmislamophobia-97-of-homeland-security-security-grants-go-to-jewish-orgs

Zionist Wikipedia Editing Course

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/139189

The Zionist attempt to control language.
The Israel Project's 2009 GLOBAL LANGUAGE DICTIONARY

https://www.transcend.org/tms/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/sf-israel-projects-2009-global-language-dictionary.pdf

The commander behind the pro-Israel student troops on U.S. college campuses

http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page//.premium-1.709014

Israel tech site paying "interns" to covertly plant stories in social media

http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/israel-tech-site-paying-interns-covertly-plant-stories-social-media

Israeli students to get $2,000 to spread state propaganda on Facebook

http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israeli-students-get-2000-spread-state-propaganda-facebook

Not to mention that every US taxpayers "loan" that 'Israel' receives has never been paid back. The Israeli Occupied Congress curiously "forgives" all these huge debts. As if it wasn't assumed at the beginning.

"Jame Bamford of Wired subsequently reported that the NSA had hired secretive contractors with extensive ties to Israeli intelligence to establish 10 to 20 wiretapping rooms at key telecommunication points throughout the country."
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-impact-of-nsa-domestic-spying-2013-6#ixzz3NxPMujNo

"Two Secretive Israeli Companies Reportedly Bugged The US Telecommunications Grid For The NSA"
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/israelis-bugged-the-us-for-the-nsa-2013-6#ixzz3NxPnnUFg

"IDF Unit 8200 Cyberwar Veterans Developed NSA Snooping Technology"
Read more: http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2013/06/08/idf-unit-8200-cyberwar-veterans-developed-nsa-snooping-technology/

How to Bring Down the Elephant in the Room

http://www.unz.com/tsaker/how-to-bring-down-the-elephant-in-the-room/

Mark Green Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 6:03 am GMT

Israel's global news penetration (via hasbara) and other disinformation strategies are routine. Diabolical, but routine.

The Zionist state's various tricks and manipulations are legendary and ruthless. They function as a backdoor attack on intellectual liberty as well as open political discourse. They are anti-democratic.

Thus, even 'freedom of expression' in America is under constant Israeli pressure and surveillance. No stone goes unturned.

This is why Holocaust 'education' is ubiquitous and, when possible, mandatory. If the stories fail, inject guilt. It's an unscrupulous strategy that is working.

Meanwhile, Zionist myths rain down endlessly via American TV and throughout American mass media. Deep Zionist victimology has penetrated even US public schools. Hasbara is strategic. It is unrelenting. Ironically, it represents the tribal interest of a foreign power. Do Americans live under soft occupation? It increasingly looks that way.

This explains why Jewish suffering, Jewish innocence, and Jewish victimology are now compulsory subjects in American life–from schools to children's TV, to higher education and adult cinema. 'Dominare the message'.

On the other hand, Israel's commitment to segregation between Jews and gentiles is quietly steadfast. "Unshakable'. This head-scratching phenomena has been obscured by the Fake News meme involving America's 'Judeo-Christian' heritage. Yet it is an absolute ruse. No such heritage exists. These are Zionist-lead political movements and Zionist headlines. They tread on the thin, manufactured ice. Theydo not exist organically.

Christ's teachings were in fact a break from Judaism. Christ said as much. Christianity is an Open Admissions theology that stresses universal ethics that are non-racial. On the other hand, Israel is tribal, racial and exclusionary. This wouldn't be so repulsive if not for Israel's vociferous (and insincere) support for 'equality' and its pious contempt for 'white nationalism'.

Jewish racism is commanded by God. And Israel's ethical basis is polluted by nepotism, 'chosenness' and racial favoritism under God. It is a collection of myths and yarns that drip with tribal supremacism.

It's worth remembering also that Jews in Israel have a distinct word for their version of 'Apartheid'. It is 'Hafrada', which means 'separation' in Hebrew. Ever heard of it? Of course not! Hasbara operatives and their cousins in US news media make sure of that.

Sadly, we Americans live under soft occupation.

Significantly, few non-Jews have ever heard of 'hafrada'. But everyone has heard of 'Apartheid'.
Gee. How come?

We can thank the legions of young Israeli activists (and their elders) for this deliberate omission and assorted side shows. Control speech. Control thought.

Make no mistake about it: Israel is a racial supremacist state. Segregation is a core Zionist value. Jewish exceptionalism is their paramount goal. America is a useful, but temporary, ally. This is the nature of the 'special relationship.'

jilles dykstra Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 6:56 am GMT

Zionists never foresaw that having an own state would demonstrate what jews are capable of.
In 1948, thanks to the persecutions of the jews during WWII, Israel had a lot of sympathy in the world.
Nowadays, with no solution anywhere in sight for the Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed in 1948, in Germany a Secretary for, against, Antisemitism seems necessary.
Germany debates if criticism of Israel, antizionism, is he same as antisemitism.
Norman Finkelstein and Ilian Pappe recently were not allowed to speak in Germany.
Indeed Israel is great in propaganda, but the effects are less and less.
Israel has but one 'friend', the USA, and how sincere this friendship is is more and more debatable.
Mobilising jews to write on fora, in many languages, any time there have been Israeli atrocities, may have the opposite effect.
Anyone familiar with these fora notices how these propagandists pop up, and disappear after some time.
What they are paid even is known, four or five dollars per message.
It looks like 'you can fool all people some time, some people all the time, but not all the people all the time', still is true.

Ronald Thomas West Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 7:27 am GMT

"What is occurring is essentially an intelligence operation directed against the United States, something that the CIA would have run back in the 1970s and 1980s"

Hi Phil

Jesse Ventura would have us believe the CIA is as busy as it ever had been, when it comes to running operations against the American people. I agree with Jesse.

Meanwhile, here's a collection of links I'd assembled some time back, includes American military psyops (esp Air Force) along the lines of hasbara (who're also included)

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2014/04/18/military-sock-puppets-nsa-trolls-cia-shills/

^

Tha Philosopher Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 9:17 am GMT

Wally,

The CIA and NSA are essentially the jewish elite secret police. They align exactly with Mossad. Hence 9-11.

Read the Devil's Chessboard by Stephen Talbot. We've previoulsy lived under a gentile plutocracy since the assasination of JFK.

But something happened since as Zion rose to prominence. The coup against Nixon by the Deep State is a part of the puzzle. Allen Welsh Dulles groomed Nixon. So his loyalists would never have removed him. My hunch is that Nixon's fall to the Washington Post, consummate deep state pillar, is the key to understanding the later 20th century and our current 'occupation'. Its a pity nobody could ask David Rockefeller in candour how his group had lost control or merged with the new Zionists.

... ... ...

mcohen Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 11:13 am GMT

here it is folks in all its glory.enjoy.just the plain truth

https://mosaicmagazine.com/essay/2017/06/the-forgotten-truth-about-the-balfour-declaration/

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 11:19 am GMT

sites that permit comments on our articles are almost immediately inundated with hostile postings that are remarkably similar in both tone and substance.

Speaking of substance, they typically lack any of it. They usually resort to smarmy personal attacks as well as scatological foolishness and crass bragging. Some resort to juvenile pseudo-intellectual banter that's obviously intended to intimidate or humiliate, while another favorite tactic seems to be off topic trash that's also supposed to impress the rest of us somehow.

Nevertheless, I encourage the trolls to keep it up and leave them to figure out why.

But the largely clandestine Israeli effort to influence American opinion is unique in that it comes from a country which receives more than $3 billion annually from the U.S. taxpayer. We Americans are therefore paying to be propagandized by people working for a foreign government who often pretend to be our fellow citizens but are not.

Yeah, that really burns.

lavoisier Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 11:56 am GMT

Ideas have power. Hence the desire to control ideas. To control minds.

I have always thought that the Bolsheviks were Masters at thought control. The ultimate control freaks.

But why such comfort with lies and deception? Why not be open to the free exchange of ideas?

Without openness to ideas civilization stagnates as talent is buried.

This IS scary.

Jason Liu Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 1:32 pm GMT

Also interesting is how they manage to do this without widespread condemnation and/or suspicion. It's like people know about it, but the Israelis create an environment where people don't quite care. Contrast that to the wumao, China's paid commenters, who arouse widespread suspicion and constant accusations of shilling.

So Israel must have gone one step further. They manage their image with propagandists, but they also manage the image of the propagandist as well.

annamaria Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 1:43 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra "Zionists never foresaw that having an own state would demonstrate what jews are capable of."

But the truth is coming out: " Selected Articles: Criminal Israel Under the Spotlight" http://www.globalresearch.ca/selected-articles-criminal-israel-under-the-spotlight/5596278

The articles show American taxpayers' money in action.

Again, what was the aftermath of 9/11 about – fighting against Al Qaeda? If yes, then why should not Israel be designated as a terrorist state supporting Al Qaeda, the US sworn enemy? It seems that Al Qaeda is "good guys" nowadays because they help to farther the Eretz Israel project

The Israel-occupied US government is proverbially dancing on the graves of 9/11 victims: "How America Armed Terrorists in Syria"

Bragadocious Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 2:01 pm GMT

CAMERA is as old as the hills. I remember when I subscribed to the Atlantic back in the 80s this mangy outfit would run little 2×3 inch print ads. I always wondered what the fuss was about; I mean, who could be against accurate reporting in the ME? Then it became clear. And they most certainly should be subjected to the Foreign Agents Registration Act, as should many others, including NY-based Irish Central (a propaganda sheet for the Paddy open borders crowd).

ISmellBagels Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 2:07 pm GMT

They not only use American-sounding names, but hilariously patriotic posting handles, like Patriot, KeepAmericaSafe, TrueAmerican, etc.

HAL 9000 Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 2:11 pm GMT

By this time, pretty much everyone does this. Israel might be the biggest or most extensive, but anyone engaged in politics or related activities does pretty much the same thing.

Any major political party now does this. For example, I was relatively sure the Democrats did this only a couple of weeks back. AG Sessions was due to testify in a major hearing. It seemed to me that the Democrats both recruited a Senator to hammer a particular theme, which was to put Sessions in a spot where he had to refuse to answer questions for perfectly legal reasons, and a small army of internet activists, paid trolls, or bots was mobilized to push memes on the internet on this topic.

By this time, I regard a political party that does not do this as being incompetent.

Corporations also do this. They call it 'brand protection' or 'guerrilla marketing'. Anyone with a little bit of money can find firms that offer this as a service. What it costs to buy this service would seem expensive to ordinary citizens, but given the amount of money in play, the cost of a few hundred thousand to a 'consultant' firm is chicken feed. You don't even need to recruit humans to do it. After all, a fake name and a fake email address can easily be connected to a computer generated fake message.

A website I go to for news often has headlines like "Twitter explodes to .". I pretty much ignore these as its predictable and obvious that this can be pre-arranged and manipulated.

The interesting issue I saw raised not too long ago let to the possibility that AI's might manipulate this in the future. At some point, we'd have to question if there is even a human entity behind this, or is it just an AI that managing our perception towards itself or other AIs.

There's an old saying that all politics is local. We might actually have to go back to talking to each other face to face.

moi Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 2:31 pm GMT

Good article, but fails to mention that the hasbara would not work without Jewish control of "our" media/entertainment (NYT, WaPo, Google, Facebook, Hollywood, TV, etc.) industry, not to mention the financial sector and disproportionate representation of Jews in Congress. Sorry, but those are facts.

annamaria Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 2:32 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra More on Syria and the upcoming false flag:
"White House Says It Will Fake "Chemical Weapon Attack" In Syria" http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/06/white-house-says-it-will-fake-chemical-weapon-attacks-in-syria.html#comments

ISmellBagels Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 2:37 pm GMT

@HAL 9000 Israel is the only country that has control of our congress, our media and the control of the dumb masses to keep driving the US to ruin. The "everyone does this" line is not much of a response.

DaveE Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 2:42 pm GMT

@DanCT You bring up an important point.

Hasbara trolls and websites which publish them are an important measure of true public opinion for the zionists. The Lobby has its own internal opinion polls which are never shared, certainly not in the crap served up to us by Zogby, Reuters and Pew, etc. etc. etc.

I suspect that this database is far more comprehensive than commonly known, probably going as far as linking an "anti_Semite" rating to individual commenters.

I'm probably in the top 10%, I'm proud to say.

Chu Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 2:47 pm GMT

@Wally The mooch fest never ends, unless there's a growing under-current to cut the tentacles. And with cooperative efforts like Technion/Cornell partnering, they are anchoring themselves to the US indefinitely – so if they fail, they'll pull the US down with them.

They brought Zionist terror to the Middle East, but the victim shtick, via hollywood, has caused the complacent TV-watchers to be lulled into a false narrative, and who never challenge what a corrupt collective of occupiers, and land swindlers they are.

A review of 'Being in Time: A Post-Political Manifesto' – by Gilad Atzmon

https://platosguns.com/2017/06/24/athens-versus-jerusalem/

annamaria Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 2:50 pm GMT

How Israel manages its messages? – Via the presstituting MSM like Washington Post: http://www.moonofalabama.org
"WaPo has a 8,300 word weekend opus on how Obama failed to react to CIA director Brennan's claims that Putin himself ordered to hack the U.S. election.
Note:
Reading that piece it becomes clear (but is never said) that the sole source for that August 2016 Brennan claim of "Russian hacking" is the absurd Steele dossier some ex-MI6 dude created for too much money as opposition research against Trump . The only other "evidence" for "Russian hacking" is the Crowdstrike report on the DNC "hack". Crowdstrike has a Ukrainian nationalist agenda, was hired by the DNC , had to retract other "Russian hacking" claims and no one else was allowed to take a look at the DNC servers. Said differently: The whole "Russian hacking" claims are solely based on "evidence" of two fake reports."

The Crowdstrike' report was concocted under command of Dmitri Alperovitch, a rabid Russophobe of Jewish ethnicity, who is also an "expert" at Atlantic Council, where he joins other "experts" like Eliot Higgins. Higgins was nicely dressed recently by the honorable C0l. Pat Lang who wrote about Higgins: " an uneducated, inexperienced guy with an opinion The fact that this gentlemen is treated as a credible source is further proof of the insanity that has taken over the public debate. He knows nothing other than what he has read. He has not been through live agent training at Fort McClellan (I have). He has no scientific background in the subject matter and no experience (other than playing video games) with actual chemical weapons (Ted Postol, who has written extensively on the subject, does have actual scientific and military expertise on the topic). Higgins knows nothing of the military doctrine for employing such weapons. He knows nothing of the process and procedures required for a military unit to safely handle, load, activate and deploy such weapons."

To illustrate the power of the Lobby, it is educational to know that Higgins is also a "Visiting Research Associate at the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS), Department of War Studies, King's College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS," - kidding you not. http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/warstudies/people/visiting/higgins.aspx

[Jun 26, 2017] America and China: A Quick Critique of The Thucydides Trap by Lambert Strether

Notable quotes:
"... Second, I think that USA surpassing the British Empire at the beginning of the 20th century did result in war, just not between USA and UK. I accept the interpretation that the first war with Germany and the Great Depression resulted from London's desperate maneuvering to maintain British power, particularly the dominance of the Pound as the world's reserve currency. And, of course, the debris of the first war and the Depression led to the Second World War. ..."
"... In essence, Allison's critics charge that his rising vs. ruling power paradigm is oversimplified ..."
"... I don't know the context this comes from but, on it's face, it's a bizzarely tendentious reading of ancient Greek history. Any basic reading of Thucydides and Herodotus would conclude that the Greek city-states were in an almost constant state of war with each other. Whenever one side got too powerful, the rest would gang up, back and forth and over and over. Add into that the Greek death-cult ie. the belief in the absolute value of an honorable death and you begin to see what the ancient Persians ran into in Greece: a host of cities, with professional, regularly exercised military forces and a desire to die well. ..."
"... But then, the great irony of the Kagans is how they cheered on America's own expedition to Syracuse, using Thucydides! However, this is Washington DC where reading a book, any book, makes you an intellectual. ..."
"... If Sparta had 7,000 nuclear warheads and Athens 300, and Thebes 6,000 and well you get the picture. Comparisons to bronze age states' international relations is just a wanking exercise for neocon dickheads with a classical education and no creativity. ..."
"... Those huge environmental problems China faces are in large part the product of producing the detritus of products used to sustain the 'American lifestyle' in exchange for more of what Michael Hudson succinctly describes as "debts that can't be repaid (and) won't be". ..."
"... What's at stake for Western elites is not simply victory in some 'Great Game'. It is an economic relationship in which those elites can continue grabbing the world's resources and wealth by just writing more hot checks (AKA 'financial engineering', backed when required by 'sovereign debt'), more exploitation of the global economy's need for money, for a reserve currency. ..."
"... Both China and Russia know it is the resources and ability to produce real wealth – not gold-plated weapons and large bank accounts for an elite few – that is the ultimate source of national power. ..."
"... Yes and here's few articles that show what is going inside of China today. China is over 4000yrs old and they and Russia are playing the long game and Amerika is still playing quarter to quarter. ..."
"... The whole concept of the Thucydides Trap is in essence a mythological truth. Like virtually any other myth it tells small lies in the course of revealing a greater truth. Nothing is inevitable until it actually happens. ..."
"... Athens gained its empire by leading the sea contingent of Greek forces against the vastly superior forces of an invading Persian army and, against all odds, winning. This unlikely success led Athens to form the Delian League to defend against future Persian incursion. Only gradually did the Delian League become an implement of Athenian empire and even then ..."
"... The Peloponnesian War was tragic and potentially avoidable but there was a lot going on internally in the Greek world that fed it and I surely do not see anything resembling such a simple dynamic as "a rising power vs. established power." ..."
"... The outcome of the Peloponnesian War(s) were mixed. The defeat of Athens and the retreat of Sparta into its customary isolation meant the end of Greek independence. Within a generation Greece was conquered by the Macedonians, never to be independent again. But following on the triumphs of Alexander the Great, Greek culture and art has been present and incredibly important throughout the West and Near East ever since. ..."
"... Historical myopia. The Peloponnesian War wasn't a two way contest Persia was involved as a third party, first financially supporting one, then the other. It wasn't just the disaster in Syracuse that did Athens in it was the Persians paying for a Spartan fleet that could face down a weakened Athenian fleet. ..."
"... There is the problem of comparing China to Greece. China was already an Empire in 500 BC. I do think humans and society act according to clichés. "Grass is greener on the other side of the hill." Cultures move and clash. Wars are fought over resources. ..."
"... The Atlantic Alliance has seven thousand hydrogen bombs. When the West collapses due to the people withdrawing their consent to be governed due to the forever wars and austerity, it could well take the rest of the world with it. ..."
"... Essentially, the margin beyond dire necessity is what you use to project power. China is so huge that even a small margin amounts to a lot, but that's also a very shaky construct, the other aspect the quoted author points out. I wouldn't count on China becoming a full-scale world power, or even on the regime lasting much longer. They've had a remarkably good run as it is. ..."
"... There is something from ancient Greece that we might revisit – the adoption of democracy was one part of a two-part initiative. The other was the creation of theatre in which Sophocles and Euripides were able to explore the hard choices of politics and put them before the newly empowered people. We have mostly lost that today but one gets an inkling of its force in "The Trojan Women" which was filmed in 1970s ..."
"... With cheap gas from its strategic economic and military partnership with Russia, and a network of transport infrastructure transfiguring McKinder's 'world child' – from Vladivostok to Lisbon – OBOR is a geopolitical seismic game changer. ..."
"... Not for nothing are the drums of war being beaten by the Blob ..."
"... For some 70 years now the US Navy has been treating the Chinese coastline as its own personal boating lake. It is only now that the Chinese has developed its own missile defense grid and pushed them back out to sea that this whole concept of the 'Thucydides Trap' has been dredged out of the history books as a lens for viewing US/Chinese relations with. ..."
"... Sorry, but the current approach of surrounding China with US bases and parking THAAD missiles in Korea will not work to keep China down. The Chinese have already set up island bases to outflank this chain of bases and they are not going away. ..."
"... China has a great future as part of the world community but treated as a always hostile enemy may end up making the perception the reality. ..."
"... I think everyone is missing a huge point. China is not fast-rising rival like Athens, it was grown by US companies ..."
Jun 25, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Posted on June 25, 2017 by Lambert Strether

Probably most readers have heard the catchphrase "the Thucydides Trap" used; unsurprisingly, since, like "The Bourne Identity," or "The Andromedra Strain" it's virulently memetic. It was popularized by Kennedy School professor, policy entrepreneur[1], and fully paid up Blob member[2] Professor Graham Allison (a fervent though maladroit self-publicist) in his book Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap? . The Kennedy Center's Belfer School boosts Allison's book as follows:

Today, an irresistible rising China is on course to collide with an immovable America. The likely result of this competition was identified by the great historian Thucydides, who wrote: "It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable."

But the point of Destined for War is not to predict the future but to prevent it. Escaping Thucydides's Trap is not just a theoretical possibility. In four of the 16 cases, including three from the 20th century, imaginative statecraft averted war.

Can Washington and Beijing steer their ships of state through today's treacherous shoals? Only if they learn and apply the lessons of history.

In Destined for War , eminent Harvard scholar Graham Allison explains why Thucydides's Trap is the best lens for understanding the most critical foreign policy issue of our time.

("The best lens"? Really? How would we even know?) Allison, with less heavy breathing, explains in Foreign Policy :

[A]s China challenges America's predominance, misunderstandings about each other's actions and intentions could lead them into a deadly trap first identified by the ancient Greek historian Thucydides. As he explained, "It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable." The past 500 years have seen 16 cases in which a rising power threatened to displace a ruling one. Twelve of these ended in war.

Of the cases in which war was averted - Spain outstripping Portugal in the late 15th century, the United States overtaking the United Kingdom at the turn of the 20th century, and Germany's rise in Europe since 1990 - the ascent of the Soviet Union is uniquely instructive today. Despite moments when a violent clash seemed certain, a surge of strategic imagination helped both sides develop ways to compete without a catastrophic conflict. In the end, the Soviet Union imploded and the Cold War ended with a whimper rather than a bang.

There are only two problems with Allison's thesis: He's wrong about Greece, and he's wrong about China. But before I get to that, two sidebars:

First, The Blob has taken to defending itself by pointing to its role in America's victory over the U.S.S.R. in the Cold War, way back in the '90s; the Belfer Center's call for "imaginative statecraft" and Allison's call for a "surge of strategic imagination" amount to a call to reinforce The Blob's hegemony on China policy based on its track record (which would be why Allison recently briefed staffers at the White House ). My concern is that the same class saying "We got this" on China also said "Hold my beer while we take down Iraq," so I'm very much in "What have you done for us lately?" mode. To be fair, Allison's faction seems determined to use the history of the Peloponnesian War to avoid conflict, while the Kagans, like the good neo-cons they are, used that same history to foment it. Bringing me to my next point:

Second, Allison seems determined to avoid war, which, given our track record setting the Middle East on fire - and the constant beating of war drums by Clintonites and others - comes as a welcome relief. Politico summarizes :

A U.S. military conflict with China would be a global disaster. But while Allison believes it is entirely possible, he does not call it inevitable. His book identifies 16 historical case studies in which an established power like Sparta (or the United States) was confronted with a fast-rising rival like Athens (or China). Twelve of those cases led to war. Four were resolved peacefully. Allison hopes that readers-including officials in the Trump administration-can draw from the latter examples. "I am writing this history to help people not make mistakes," he says.

Mistakes that could occur on the scale of World War I. Allison writes in The Atlantic (2015):

When Barack Obama meets this week with Xi Jinping during the Chinese president's first state visit to America, one item probably won't be on their agenda: the possibility that the United States and China could find themselves at war in the next decade. In policy circles, this appears as unlikely as it would be unwise.

And yet 100 years on, World War I offers a sobering reminder of man's capacity for folly. When we say that war is "inconceivable," is this a statement about what is possible in the world-or only about what our limited minds can conceive? In 1914, few could imagine slaughter on a scale that demanded a new category: world war. When war ended four years later, Europe lay in ruins: the kaiser gone, the Austro-Hungarian Empire dissolved, the Russian tsar overthrown by the Bolsheviks, France bled for a generation, and England shorn of its youth and treasure. A millennium in which Europe had been the political center of the world came to a crashing halt.

And millions dead . Back to Allison on China and Greece. In essence, Allison's critics charge that his rising vs. ruling power paradigm is oversimplified (although, if Allison's intended audience was White House decision makers, especially those who fancy themselves deep thinkers, like strategist Steven Bannon, that may be a good thing).[3]

So, let's ask ourselves two questions:

1) Is China really a "rising power"? (At least as Allison understands the term as applied to Athens.)

2) Was the Peloponnesian War really a conflict between a "rising" Athens and a "ruling" Sparta?

Is China Really a "Rising Power"?

A controversial point, but the University of Pennsylvania's Arthur Waldron argues that China is not, at least, "rising" as Athens was "rising" with respect to Sparta. He writes , aggregating material that NC readers will be familiar with:

China's tremendous economic vulnerabilities have no mention in Allison's book. But they are critical to any reading of China's future. China imports a huge amount of its energy and is madly planning a vast expansion in nuclear power, including dozens of reactors at sea. She has water endowments similar to Sudan, which means nowhere near enough. The capital intensity of production is very high: In China, one standard energy unit used fully produces 33 cents of product. In India, the figure is 77 cents. Gradually climb and you get to $3 in Europe and then - in Japan - $5.55. China is poor not only because she wastes energy but water, too, while destroying her ecology in a way perhaps lacking any precedent. Figures such as these are very difficult to find: Mine come from researchers in the energy sector. Solving all of this, while making the skies blue, is a task of both extraordinary technical complexity and expense that will put China's competing special interests at one another's throats. Not solving, however, will doom China's future. Allison may know this on some level, but you have to spend a lot of time in China and talk to a lot of specialists (often in Chinese) before the enormity becomes crushingly real.

What's more, Chinese are leaving China in unprecedented numbers. The late Richard Solomon, who worked on U.S.-China relations for decades, remarked to me a few weeks before his death that "one day last year all the Chinese who could decided to move away." Why? The pollution might kill your infants; the hospitals are terrible, the food is adulterated, the system corrupt and unpredictable. Here in the Philadelphia suburbs and elsewhere, thousands of Chinese buyers are flocking to buy homes in cash. Even Xi Jinping sent his daughter to Harvard. For the first time this year, my Chinese graduate students are marrying one another and buying houses here. This is a leading indicator ..

Forget the fantasies, therefore, and look at the facts. In the decades ahead, China will have to solve immense problems simply to survive. Neither her politics nor her economy follow any rules that are known. The miracle, like the German Wirtschaftswunder and the vertical ascent of Japan, is already coming to an end. A military solution offers only worse problems.

Perhaps not war, but cultural and political synergy, is what is, in fact, "destined."

In other words, Allison's "ruling" vs. "rising" paradigm is greatly over-simplified.[4] Surely, then, China has "vulnerabilities" that are nothing at all like those of Athens?

Was the Peloponnesian War Really a Conflict Between a "Rising" Athens and a "Ruling" Sparta?

Waldron also aggregates material on a compelling alternative to Allison's paradigm (citing, ironically enough, the Kagans):

Allison's argument draws on one sentence of Thucydides's text: "What made war inevitable was the growth of Athenian Power and the fear which this caused in Sparta." This lapidary summing up of an entire argument is justly celebrated. It introduced to historiography the idea that wars may have "deep causes," that resident powers are tragically fated to attack rising powers. It is brilliant and important, no question, but is it correct?

Clearly not for the Peloponnesian War. Generations of scholars have chewed over Thucydides's text . In the present day, Kagan wrote four volumes in which he modestly but decisively overturned the idea of the Thucydides Trap. Badian did the same.

The problem is that although Thucydides presents the war as started by the resident power, Sparta, out of fear of a rising Athens, he makes it clear first that Athens had an empire, from which it wished to eliminate any Spartan threat by stirring up a war and teaching the hoplite Spartans that they could never win . The Spartans, Kagan tells us, wanted no war, preemptive or otherwise. Dwelling in the deep south, they lived a simple country life that agreed with them. They used iron bars for money and lived on bean soup when not practicing fighting, their main activity. Athens's rival Corinth, which also wanted a war for her own reasons, taunted the young Spartans into unwonted bellicosity such that they would not even listen to their king, Archidamus, who spoke eloquently against war. Once started, the war was slow to catch fire. Archidamus urged the Athenians to make a small concession - withdraw the Megarian Decree, which embargoed a small, important state - and call it a day. But the Athenians rejected his entreaties. Then plague struck Athens, killing, among others, the leading citizen Pericles.

Both Kagan and Badian note that the reason that the independent states of Hellas, including Athens and Sparta, had lived in peace became clear. Although their peoples were not acquainted, their leaders formed a web of friendship that managed things. The plague eliminated Pericles, the key man in this peace-keeping mechanism. Uncontrolled popular passions took over, and the war was revived, invigorated. It would end up destroying Athens, which had started it. Preemption would have been an incomprehensible concept to the Spartans, but war was not, and when the Athenians forced them into one, they ended up victors. The whole Thucydides Trap - not clear who coined this false phrase - does not exist, even in its prime example.

("Then, as his planet killed him, it occurred to Kynes that his father and all the other scientists were wrong, that the most persistent principles of the universe were accident and error" –Frank Herbert.) Again, Allison's "ruling" vs. "rising" paradigm is greatly over-simplified, if only because Athens already had an empire.

Conclusion

In conclusion, and FWIW, I'm all for a "realist" foreign policy (which to me would involve at the very least a drastic pruning of the imperial project, since self-licking ice cream cones and blowback mean it doesn't net out positive except for a very few 10%-ers (in The Blob) and 1%-ers on up (ka-ching). And, well, the Pentagon and the arms merchants, who would otherwise have to find honest work , but you know what I mean ). I'd also be happy not to go to war with China; that would be bad, and if Allison's White House briefing reins in whatever crazypants faction is in control over there (as opposed to the different crazypants faction in control of the Clintonites), then some good will have been done in the world. And I'm all for informing realism with a careful reading of history; in fact, I don't think there's another way to be realist. I just don't think "The Thucydides Trap" is that reading.

NOTES

[1] The New Yorker : "[Allison's] book would be more persuasive, however, if he knew more about China. Allison's only informants on the subject appear to be Henry Kissinger and the late Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, both of whom he regards with awe. This leads to some odd contradictions and a number of serious historical howlers. On one page, quoting Kissinger quoting the ancient military strategist Sun Tzu, Allison assures us that China likes to outclass its enemies without using force. On a later page, he warns us that Chinese leaders may use military force 'preemptively to surprise a stronger opponent who would not have done likewise.' Allison says that he wishes, with 'my colleague Niall Ferguson,' to set up a council of historians to advise the U.S. President, and yet his own grasp of history appears to be rather shaky." "Niall Ferguson." Eeew .

[2] That is, Allison is one of the "several hundred" bureaucrats and, presumably, Flexians who form the de facto "national security directorate" identified by Michael J. Glennon .

[3] It's worth noting that Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that he doesn't believe the Thucydides Trap applies:

[T]he phrase was coined by Graham Allison, a political scientist at Harvard, in reference to an observation by the Athenian historian Thucydides that the growth in Athens' power led to the fear in Sparta and made war inevitable. Mr. Xi said on Tuesday that "there is no Thucydides Trap" and that the promotion of mutual understanding would help avoid strategic misjudgment by the United States or China.

(Then again, the Rice-Davies Rule applies, does it not?) Other Chinese officials accept the frame, but argue that the trap can be avoided ; as indeed Allison would wish to do.

[4] I'm leaving out the section where Waldron essentially accuses Allison of "appeasement." dk , June 25, 2017 at 2:19 pm

So basically, the Thucydides Trap is not a trap, it's a Thucydides Excuse.

susan the other , June 25, 2017 at 2:58 pm

+100

Thuto , June 25, 2017 at 2:34 pm

I'm not sure if the elucidation of China's vulnerabilities is meant to water down the narrative of China as a rising threat to the pre-eminence of the US as a sole imperialist power. If it is, then the warhawks in the whitehouse could read this article then think they could somehow "ask somebody to hold their beers while they deal with China", which would of course amount to a serious and potentially lethal (on both sides) miscalculation of the situation. Secondly, if outsiders could, with diligent research, become aware of these vulnerabilities, I'm pretty certain the chinese themselves are acutely aware of them and are working actively to devise mitigating strategies. My reading of the situation is that China (add to this its alliance with Russia) is every bit the rising power/threat that it's made out to be and war between the resident and the rising power will only be averted by the dynamic present in the current power struggle which previous historical standoffs lacked: by waging war on China, America would lay waste to much of its, and its western allies, industrial manufacturing infrastructure. If shenzhen lay in ruins from American bombing, wall street would bleed as companies like apple have their value wiped out by having their offshore manufacturing bases flattened. This, imho, is what will avert war between China and the US

Quentin , June 25, 2017 at 2:47 pm

Well, would't an Athenian want to put the onus on the fabricated enemy, Sparta? Maybe Thucydides would have pinpointed Russia as Sparta instead of China. No matter, I find the whole idea pretentious goofiness.

gnatt , June 25, 2017 at 2:53 pm

nothing you wrote has any bearing on the possibility of a mistake militarily between two military powers maneuvering for power in, say, the south china sea. both allison and you have gotten hung up on concepts such as "rising power" and the weak analogy to ancient greece. Xi Jinping has had himself named "core leader," the first since mao to choose that title. in trump we have the most unstable leader in my lifetime (and this has nothing to do with the warlike hillary or the deep state. this is about egomaniacal and unstable personalities, both of whom feel they have something to prove. an internally messy china is all the more reason for the leaders to look for outside victories, military or economic.if china has proved conciliatory so far in pronouncements on korea for example or in buying american beef, this doesn't mean they will back down in a direct military challenge, which given our current leader, is entirely possible. and in that he might well be backed by the blob. isn't this at least possible? if not, why not.

Lambert Strether Post author , June 25, 2017 at 11:47 pm

> nothing you wrote has any bearing on the possibility of a mistake militarily between two military powers maneuvering for power

Consider reading the post:

("Then, as his planet killed him, it occurred to Kynes that his father and all the other scientists were wrong, that the most persistent principles of the universe were accident and error" –Frank Herbert.)

After quoting Allison on how accident removed Pericles from power, "invigorating" war advocates.

I don't know where you got the idea I buy into the "rising"/'ruling" dichotomy. If I implied that, I wrote carelessly.

etudiant , June 25, 2017 at 2:57 pm

China currently enjoys the fruits of empire, global access to raw materials and markets, while bearing very little of the burdens. It is doubtful China wants to change that. Indeed, the whole China Sea brouhaha seems deliberately designed to lead the US to discourage a greater and more costly international role by China.
So I'd expect China to remain a peaceful power, increasingly focused on internal problems, which are very substantial, as Waldron highlights above.

Synoia , June 25, 2017 at 2:59 pm

How the Sparta – Athens analogy is relevant is questionable because many of the conditions are very different.

The scale of the US and China vs two very old Cit States, the degree of interconnected trade, and the cross border money flows, all very different between Sparta and Athens.

Nor is the forced (by the US) entry of China into the WTO analogous, the desire to move work to cheap Chinese labor, and China's drive to embrace the US' own trade policies for their own benefit.

In addition, modern economic belief (or dogma) embraces the item of faith that trade ties are key to ending war, by intertwining dependence among economies.

The situations are only parallel when using poor measurements.

Tony Wikrent , June 25, 2017 at 3:04 pm

First, I think I know what you mean by "the Blob" but I would be better tuned in with an explanation. Is it the Ivy League educated establishment, clustered around the Council on Foreign Relations? Is it the Eastern Establishment? Does the Blob include Silicone Valley? Does it include elements of the Deep State?

Second, I think that USA surpassing the British Empire at the beginning of the 20th century did result in war, just not between USA and UK. I accept the interpretation that the first war with Germany and the Great Depression resulted from London's desperate maneuvering to maintain British power, particularly the dominance of the Pound as the world's reserve currency. And, of course, the debris of the first war and the Depression led to the Second World War.

Third, the mention of the statistics of capital intensity of production is very interesting. Since the cutbacks in the federal bureaucracy under Reagan in USA, official national income accounting and statistics have become highly suspect, and lack the power to provide an accurate picture of economic health.

Mark P. , June 25, 2017 at 3:12 pm

In essence, Allison's critics charge that his rising vs. ruling power paradigm is oversimplified

To say the least. Allison's 'Thuycdides Trap' is his 'pop' narrative/Cliff Notes version of two rather more sophisticated analytic approaches to this general problem, both of which have occupied better minds than Allison's for decades.

One is Power Transition Theory, in the international relations realm -

http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199743292/obo-9780199743292-0038.xml

The other is in game theory, where there's been lots of work done on Challenger-Defender scenarios as, forex, here -

'Sequential Analysis of Deterrence Games with a Declining Status Quo'
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07388940600666022

Nobody should buy these two approaches without scepticism either. But Allison's take is, essentially, the equivalent of a Deeprak Chopra self-help book about International Relations.

ennui , June 25, 2017 at 3:16 pm

Both Kagan and Badian note that the reason that the independent states of Hellas, including Athens and Sparta, had lived in peace became clear. Although their peoples were not acquainted, their leaders formed a web of friendship that managed things.

I don't know the context this comes from but, on it's face, it's a bizzarely tendentious reading of ancient Greek history. Any basic reading of Thucydides and Herodotus would conclude that the Greek city-states were in an almost constant state of war with each other. Whenever one side got too powerful, the rest would gang up, back and forth and over and over. Add into that the Greek death-cult ie. the belief in the absolute value of an honorable death and you begin to see what the ancient Persians ran into in Greece: a host of cities, with professional, regularly exercised military forces and a desire to die well.

But then, the great irony of the Kagans is how they cheered on America's own expedition to Syracuse, using Thucydides! However, this is Washington DC where reading a book, any book, makes you an intellectual.

WobblyTelomeres , June 25, 2017 at 3:52 pm

"this is Washington DC where reading a book, any book, makes you an intellectual."

Well, THAT explains Ted Cruz.

Tom Stone , June 25, 2017 at 3:42 pm

Ennui, does Trump have an autographed copy of "My pet goat"?

I Have Strange Dreams , June 25, 2017 at 3:52 pm

If Sparta had 7,000 nuclear warheads and Athens 300, and Thebes 6,000 and well you get the picture. Comparisons to bronze age states' international relations is just a wanking exercise for neocon dickheads with a classical education and no creativity.

IowanX , June 25, 2017 at 4:47 pm

+100. Thank you IHSD, and Lambert for the post. As Tom Ricks has pointed out, our general officers are not up to snuff. Neither are our "public intellectuals" which is why sites like NC are so important!

SufferinSuccotash , June 25, 2017 at 5:41 pm

The 5th century BCE was well past the Bronze Age, but Allison still furnishes a prime example of why you should never get your history from political scientists any more than you should get it from graphic novels or Hollywood.

Steven , June 25, 2017 at 6:06 pm

This goes beyond "pretentious goofiness". It is an attempt to use history to obscure the present, not to learn from it (history). I don't pretend to be a China scholar or be able to read what's in the minds of its leaders. But it is a pretty safe bet at least some of that leadership is looking for ways to escape the exploitative relationship in which it finds itself with Western nations, especially the United States.

Those huge environmental problems China faces are in large part the product of producing the detritus of products used to sustain the 'American lifestyle' in exchange for more of what Michael Hudson succinctly describes as "debts that can't be repaid (and) won't be".

What's at stake for Western elites is not simply victory in some 'Great Game'. It is an economic relationship in which those elites can continue grabbing the world's resources and wealth by just writing more hot checks (AKA 'financial engineering', backed when required by 'sovereign debt'), more exploitation of the global economy's need for money, for a reserve currency.

Both China and Russia know it is the resources and ability to produce real wealth – not gold-plated weapons and large bank accounts for an elite few – that is the ultimate source of national power.

jo6pac , June 25, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Yes and here's few articles that show what is going inside of China today. China is over 4000yrs old and they and Russia are playing the long game and Amerika is still playing quarter to quarter.

Steven , June 25, 2017 at 6:34 pm

China and Russia are playing the long game

That pretty well sums it up. Let's just hope there will be a long game. Especially with Trump, I keep hearing the lyrics of the old Joan Baez song "Blessed Are" (the stay at home millions who want leaders but get gamblers instead).

jo6pac , June 25, 2017 at 6:47 pm

Thanks as a Joan Baez lover who can't listen to her voice without crying the song nails it.

Blennylips , June 25, 2017 at 8:00 pm

Remarkable, no mention of pollution in your list some fly in that ointment!

2008, just prior to the Olympics, traveled Beijing to Urumqi by bus and train (total solar eclipse). Pollution levels mind numbing and debilitating and deadly.

way underestimated

jo6pac , June 25, 2017 at 11:33 pm

At lest China is working on it as my last link points out. Yes they have a long way to go but something tells me they will b there before Amerika and that goes for Russia also. If you look around there is even more on China and energy.

Andrew Watts , June 25, 2017 at 6:12 pm

The whole concept of the Thucydides Trap is in essence a mythological truth. Like virtually any other myth it tells small lies in the course of revealing a greater truth. Nothing is inevitable until it actually happens.

It's appealing to people who are not avid zealots of the school of historical determinism and equally repulsive to believers of that creed. It's a curious dichotomy at any rate.

hush / hush , June 25, 2017 at 7:14 pm

I find it interesting how much of the broader story of the Peloponnesian War seems to be overlooked in this whole narrative of a "Thucydides Trap":

1) Athens gained its empire by leading the sea contingent of Greek forces against the vastly superior forces of an invading Persian army and, against all odds, winning. This unlikely success led Athens to form the Delian League to defend against future Persian incursion. Only gradually did the Delian League become an implement of Athenian empire and even then

2) The "empire" was more of a treaty organization and a pretty loose and self-contradictory one. Eventually, it got to the point where Athens (mostly) built, maintained and manned the entire Greek navy while the other cities and colonies paid taxes to sustain it. When Persia's power wained Greek city states and western colonies got tired of paying Athens to maintain this huge navy (when most of the specific benefits accrued to Athens) but the Ionian colonies - many of which were actually in Asia - still feared Persian (Eastern) intervention and were content with the status quo. It was a recipe for catastrophe

3) The Peloponnesian War was tragic and potentially avoidable but there was a lot going on internally in the Greek world that fed it and I surely do not see anything resembling such a simple dynamic as "a rising power vs. established power."

4) Athens and Sparta never really beat each other and generally avoided direct engagement Athens only lost when it tried to invade and humble the powerful colony of Syracuse in today's Sicily (which paid a lot to help maintain that huge Greek navy and saw little benefit and did not fear Eastern intervention and thus became a huge thorn in Athens' side.) The Greek (Athenian) navy was destroyed in Syracuse by a combination of hubris, bad choices and acts of God. Only after Syracuse were the Spartans able to take the fight to Athens and win.

5) The outcome of the Peloponnesian War(s) were mixed. The defeat of Athens and the retreat of Sparta into its customary isolation meant the end of Greek independence. Within a generation Greece was conquered by the Macedonians, never to be independent again. But following on the triumphs of Alexander the Great, Greek culture and art has been present and incredibly important throughout the West and Near East ever since.

H. Alexander Ivey , June 25, 2017 at 9:40 pm

If I could get this kind of executive summary in Wikipedia, I would be estatic. But I don't so one day I'm going to get a complete set of Encyclopedia Brittania, hardcopy , and go back to the old days of "checking out things" at the library.

Disturbed Voter , June 25, 2017 at 7:42 pm

Historical myopia. The Peloponnesian War wasn't a two way contest Persia was involved as a third party, first financially supporting one, then the other. It wasn't just the disaster in Syracuse that did Athens in it was the Persians paying for a Spartan fleet that could face down a weakened Athenian fleet.

And Athens not only lost their early leader to plague, but had a traitor in their midst, the original sociopathic grifter Alcibiades. In what way is there a third party in this modern analogy?

Russia. Russia won't want either China or the US to be too powerful. Who is playing the role of Alcibiades?

hush / hush , June 25, 2017 at 10:21 pm

Good points. My understanding is that Persia was certainly looking for advantage but that it is not clear that their intrigue was decisive. Alcibades is an interesting character. He strikes me as a consummate opportunist less than a "sociopathic grifter" or 5th columnist.

I find it interesting that Athens had enough of a functioning and confident democracy to (effectively) ostracize Alcibades in the first place.

I can't imagine our democracy forcing any of our oligarch's to stop all involvement in politics, to preclude them from contributing money to political causes and to legally restrain them from meeting or conversing with politicians and lobbyists which was, essentially, the role ostracism was meant to play.

Maybe we should bring ostracism back! It would be revealing to see which of our "patriotic job creators" would flee America to work with the Saudis or Chinese, or any number of foreign actors with their power and prestige cut off domestically. Plague was an important factor all around. A wild card, kinda like climate change

VietnamVet , June 25, 2017 at 8:02 pm

There is the problem of comparing China to Greece. China was already an Empire in 500 BC. I do think humans and society act according to clichés. "Grass is greener on the other side of the hill." Cultures move and clash. Wars are fought over resources.

The West is a newcomer. Its culture was ascendant from the 17th to 20th century thanks to engineering and science but that advantage was sold to the Chinese so a few western oligarchs could get wealthier. The problem isn't the Chinese or the Communist Party. The Chinese are on the move like they always have been.

The Atlantic Alliance has seven thousand hydrogen bombs. When the West collapses due to the people withdrawing their consent to be governed due to the forever wars and austerity, it could well take the rest of the world with it.

Oregoncharles , June 25, 2017 at 8:09 pm

Something I've wondered about for a long time:

" China is poor not only because she wastes energy but water, too, while destroying her ecology in a way perhaps lacking any precedent. Figures such as these are very difficult to find: Mine come from researchers in the energy sector. Solving all of this, while making the skies blue, is a task of both extraordinary technical complexity and expense that will put China's competing special interests at one another's throats. Not solving, however, will doom China's future."

China has no margin; its resource base isn't up to its population, and if this is right, neither is its technological base. Granted, the Netherlands and Japan have similar ratios, but both are much smaller and less diverse, and neither is a world power in the sense China is rising toward. (frankly, I don't know how either country does it.)

Essentially, the margin beyond dire necessity is what you use to project power. China is so huge that even a small margin amounts to a lot, but that's also a very shaky construct, the other aspect the quoted author points out. I wouldn't count on China becoming a full-scale world power, or even on the regime lasting much longer. They've had a remarkably good run as it is.

RBHoughton , June 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm

There is something from ancient Greece that we might revisit – the adoption of democracy was one part of a two-part initiative. The other was the creation of theatre in which Sophocles and Euripides were able to explore the hard choices of politics and put them before the newly empowered people. We have mostly lost that today but one gets an inkling of its force in "The Trojan Women" which was filmed in 1970s

Damson , June 25, 2017 at 9:07 pm

What about OBOR, BRICS, SCO (the latter has India and Pakistan, historical foes now in the fold)?

This is where the perception of 'China rising' is coming from, as a Eurasia leader in a geopolitical shift that bypasses US maritime hegemony.

It's internal problems are significant, but no more so than the US.

Arguably considerably less so, since OBOR is a huge investment plan to project Chinese tradecraft far beyond its own borders.

With cheap gas from its strategic economic and military partnership with Russia, and a network of transport infrastructure transfiguring McKinder's 'world child' – from Vladivostok to Lisbon – OBOR is a geopolitical seismic game changer.

Not for nothing are the drums of war being beaten by the Blob .

The Rev Kev , June 25, 2017 at 9:18 pm

For some 70 years now the US Navy has been treating the Chinese coastline as its own personal boating lake. It is only now that the Chinese has developed its own missile defense grid and pushed them back out to sea that this whole concept of the 'Thucydides Trap' has been dredged out of the history books as a lens for viewing US/Chinese relations with.

Probably the Punic Wars might be a more worrying comparison when you think about it but nobody wants to talk about that because of what happened to Carthage whereas Athens was treated magnanimously by the victorious Spartans.

It is no secret that the US military have for a long time thought of themselves as the new Spartans (except for the gay bits) which may be why you see US tanks sport the Spartan Λ symbol. Culturally, however, the US is much more like the Athenians as can be seen in hush / hush's account as well as that of Kagan in this post. Sorry, but the current approach of surrounding China with US bases and parking THAAD missiles in Korea will not work to keep China down. The Chinese have already set up island bases to outflank this chain of bases and they are not going away.

Instead of dragging some ancient war out of the textbooks and forcing all current events to fit through the lens of this event (or should that be a Procrustean bed?) how about we simply see things as they are. I think that it was Bismarck that said that if you showed him a map of a country that he would tell you the foreign policy of that country. The map the Chinese are seeing is their country surrounded by hostile military bases hence their push back which we now call aggressiveness and arrogance – huh? China has a great future as part of the world community but treated as a always hostile enemy may end up making the perception the reality.

Sure hubris could turn the Chinese hostile down the track but trying to lock them up militarily will only ensure so.

surtt, June 25, 2017 at 11:54 pm
I think everyone is missing a huge point. China is not fast-rising rival like Athens, it was grown by US companies.

[Jun 26, 2017] Nick Turse The Commandos of Everywhere - The Unz Review

Jun 26, 2017 | www.unz.com

Agent76 Show Comment Next New Comment June 26, 2017 at 12:52 pm GMT

"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Lord Acton

December 24, 2013 The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases The Global Deployment of US Military Personnel

The US Military has bases in *63* countries. Brand new military bases have been built since September 11, 2001 in seven countries. In total, there are 255,065 US military personnel deployed Worldwide. The underlying land surface is of the order of *30* million acres. According to Gelman, who examined 2005 official Pentagon data, the US is thought to own a total of *737* bases in foreign lands. Adding to the bases inside U.S. territory, the total land area occupied by US military bases domestically within the US and internationally is of the order of *2,202,735 hectares*, which makes the *Pentagon* one of the largest landowners worldwide!

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-worldwide-network-of-us-military-bases/5564

September 17, 2014 US Pursues *134** Wars Around the World

The US is now involved in *134* wars or none, depending on your definition of war The White House spent much of last week trying to figure out if the word "war" was the right one to describe its military actions against the Islamic State.

http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/35654/US-Pursues-134-Wars-Around-the-World/

jim jones Show Comment Next New Comment June 26, 2017 at 2:40 pm GMT

As a Brit I am proud to say that we have been at war with 171 of the World`s Countries.

[Jun 26, 2017] US Govt Proves Loyalty To ISIS As Bill To Stop Arming Terrorists Gets Only 13 Supporters

marknesop.wordpress.com
June 21, 2017 " Information Clearing House " - One of the most rational bills ever proposed, barring the Feds from giving money and weapons to child murdering terrorists, has almost ZERO support.

For the last several decades, the US government has openly funded, supported, and armed various terrorist networks throughout the world to forward an agenda of destabilization and proxy war . It is not a secret, nor a conspiracy theory, America arms bad guys .

Given the insidious history of the American empire and its creation and fostering of terrorist regimes across the globe, it should come as no surprise that the overwhelming majority of politicians would refuse to sign on to a law that requires them to ' Stop Arming Terrorists .' And, that is exactly what's happened.

H.R.608 – Stop Arming Terrorists Act was introduced by Rep. Gabbard, Tulsi [D-HI] on January 23 of this year. The bill doesn't have any crazy strings attached and its original cosponsors are a mix of Republicans and Democrats - highlighting that it transcends party lines.

"For years, our government has been providing both direct and indirect support to these armed militant groups, who are working directly with or under the command of terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS , all in their effort and fight to overthrow the Syrian government," Gabbard said in an interview earlier this year.

The text of the bill is simple. It merely states that it prohibits the use of federal agency funds to provide covered assistance to: (1) Al Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or any individual or group that is affiliated with, associated with, cooperating with, or adherents to such groups; or (2) the government of any country that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) determines has, within the most recent 12 months, provided covered assistance to such a group or individual.

The only thing this bill does is prohibit the US government from giving money and weapons to people who want to murder Americans and who do murder innocent men, women, and children across the globe. It is quite possibly the simplest and most rational bill ever proposed by Congress. Given its rational and humanitarian nature, one would think that representatives would be lining up to show their support. However, one would be wrong.

After nearly 5 months since its introduction, only 13 of the 535 members of Congress have signed on as co-sponsors. What this lack of support for the bill shows is that the federal government is addicted to funding terror and has no intention of ever stopping it .

To add insult to treason and murder, Senator Rand Paul [R-KY] introduced this same legislation in the Senate . He currently has zero cosponsors.

Given the overwhelming lack of support for a bill that simply asks the government to stop giving money to people who behead children and video it , it should come as no surprise that Donald Trump signed hundreds of billions of dollars in weapons deals with other countries who also fund these people .

As Americans bicker over Trump's bogus and non-existent Russian scandal , he's signing a deal worth hundreds of billions of dollars with the largest state sponsor of terror in the world - ensuring decades of future wars and the continuation of the cycle of terrorism.

What's more is the fact that less than one week after publicly reprimanding Qatar for terrorism, President Trump signed off on the sale of $12 billion in weapons to the country he referred to as a "funder of terrorism." This move, in Trump's own stance, makes him a de facto funder of terrorism now.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/N4qxKYQS6ws

What this lack of support for the bills and the recent moves to arm the terrorist regimes illustrates is the fact that the US has no intention of ever stopping terrorism. Trump, just like Obama and Bush before him, will continue to foster the growth of terrorism to enrich those who profit from war.

Terrorism is necessary for the state. War, is the health of the state.

Without the constant fear mongering about an enemy who 'hates our freedom,' Americans begin questioning things. They challenge the status quo and inevitably desire more freedom. However, when they are told that boogeymen want to kill them, they become immediately complacent and blinded by their fear.

While these boogeymen were once mostly mythical, since 9/11, they have been funded and supported by the US to the point that they now pose a very real threat to innocent people everywhere. As the recent attacks in the UK illustrate, ISIS is organizing and spreading . Even the terrorists in the UK had ties to the British government who allowed them to freely travel and train with ISIS-linked groups because those groups were in opposition to Muammar Gaddafi , who the West wanted to snub out.

It's a vicious cycle of creating terrorists, killing innocence, and stoking war. And, unless something radical happens, it shows no signs of ever reversing.

The radical change that is necessary to shift this paradigm back to peace is for people to wake up to the reality that no matter which puppet is in the White House, the status quo remains unchanged.

Trump is proving that he can lie to get into power and his supporters ignore it. If you doubt this fact, look at what Trump did by calling out Saudi Arabia for their role in 9/11 and their support for terror worldwide prior to getting elected. He now supports these terrorists and his constituency couldn't care less.

This madness has to stop. Humanity has to stop being fooled by rhetoric read from teleprompters by puppets doing the bidding of their masters.

Please share this article with your friends and family to show them how their supposed 'leaders' - except for a few good ones - are content with funding the enemy, laying waste to rights, and condone the murder of innocence.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OPBcjsE7ADc

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Matt is the founder of The Free Thought Project.

This article was first published by The Last American Vagabond -

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

[Jun 26, 2017] The 2014 coup d'etat in Kiev had been plotted by US in advance

Notable quotes:
"... the U.S. government tenders to build NATO bases in Crimea , Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia:" http://redpilltimes.com/u-s-navy-tender-construction-work-sevastopol-crimea-hints-u-s-military-coveted-controlling-historic-russian-peninsula/ http://thesaker.is/russia-sitrep-june-25-2017/ ..."
"... In light of the evidence, the US cooperation with neo-Nazis in Ukraine looks natural. "Support the troops," neocon style. ..."
Jun 26, 2017 | www.unz.com

annamaria June 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm GMT

The 2014 coup d'etat in Kiev had been plotted by US in advance:

" the U.S. government tenders to build NATO bases in Crimea , Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia:" http://redpilltimes.com/u-s-navy-tender-construction-work-sevastopol-crimea-hints-u-s-military-coveted-controlling-historic-russian-peninsula/ http://thesaker.is/russia-sitrep-june-25-2017/

the document was issued in Sep 05, 2013

https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=2bb691b61c59be3a68180bd8c614a0cb&tab=core&_cview=1

In light of the evidence, the US cooperation with neo-Nazis in Ukraine looks natural. "Support the troops," neocon style.

[Jun 26, 2017] Intelligence agency officials play big politics

Another Mayberry Machiavelli from intelligence community
Notable quotes:
"... "In 2016 the Russian government, at the direction of (President) Vladimir Putin himself, orchestrated cyberattacks on our nation for the purpose of influencing our election - plain and simple," Johnson said." ..."
"... Modern-day political figures seem more and more like some of the characters on "WKRP In Cincinnati"; people who, as the receptionist explained "would otherwise not be able to get jobs" ..."
Jun 26, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Northern Star , June 21, 2017 at 1:16 pm
Appears to be a moron:
"Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson from the Obama administration told the House Intelligence committee that Moscow's high-tech intrusion did not change ballots, the final count or the reporting of election results.

Johnson described the steps he took once he learned of the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, his fears about an attack on the election itself and his rationale for designating U.S. election systems, including polling places and voter registration databases, as critical infrastructure in early January, two weeks before Donald Trump's inauguration.

"In 2016 the Russian government, at the direction of (President) Vladimir Putin himself, orchestrated cyberattacks on our nation for the purpose of influencing our election - plain and simple," Johnson said."

https://www.yahoo.com/news/ex-obama-homeland-security-chief-face-intelligence-panel-074831923–politics.html

Nope !! .IS a moron:

"In January 2011, Johnson provoked controversy when, according to a Department of Defense news story, he asserted in a speech at the Pentagon that deceased civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr., would have supported the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, despite King's outspoken opposition to American interventionism during his lifetime.[28] Johnson argued that American soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq were playing the role of the Good Samaritan, consistent with King's beliefs, and that they were fighting to establish the peace for which King hoped.[29][30] Jeremy Scahill of Salon.com called Johnson's remarks "one of the most despicable attempts at revisionist use of Martin Luther King Jr. I've ever seen," while Justin Elliott (also of Salon.com) argued that based on Dr. King's opposition to the Vietnam War, he would likely have opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the covert wars in Pakistan and Yemen."

yalensis , June 21, 2017 at 3:17 pm
"Johnson provoked controversy when, according to a Department of Defense news story, he asserted in a speech at the Pentagon that deceased civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr., would have supported the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq "

He lies! My what-if machine (what I have in my basement) tells me that Dr. King would have opposed, in the most militant manner possible, the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars!

Jen , June 21, 2017 at 9:25 pm
You didn't have to consult the alternative-worlds TARDIS machine database to find out that Dr King would have opposed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: here's the speech he made opposing the war in Vietnam which may have made him a target for assassination.

http://kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/documentsentry/doc_beyond_vietnam/

yalensis , June 22, 2017 at 5:33 pm
I rest my case!

https://ads.pubmatic.com/AdServer/js/showad.js#PIX&kdntuid=1&p=156204

marknesop , June 21, 2017 at 7:40 pm
"In 2016 the Russian government, at the direction of (President) Vladimir Putin himself, orchestrated cyberattacks on our nation for the purpose of influencing our election - plain and simple," Johnson said."

He's half-right – the idea certainly is simple. Just like him.

Modern-day political figures seem more and more like some of the characters on "WKRP In Cincinnati"; people who, as the receptionist explained "would otherwise not be able to get jobs".

[Jun 26, 2017] Times never has no reservations about serving as a conduit for fact-free propaganda from the US intelligence agencies

Jun 26, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Northern Star , June 20, 2017 at 10:14 am

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/06/20/pers-j20.html

"As for the Times, it has no reservations about serving as a conduit for fact-free propaganda from the US intelligence agencies. This points to the newspaper's putrefaction in recent decades, seen above all in the fact that its leading personnel, particularly on its editorial pages and foreign affairs staff, consist of ex-officio spokesmen for US imperialism, including a stable of CIA flacks such as Nicholas Kristof, Roger Cohen and Thomas Friedman.

The editorial page editor, James Bennet, is the brother of right-wing Democratic Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado and son of Douglas Bennet, a top State Department official in the Carter and Clinton administrations, whose career includes a stint heading the Agency for International Development (AID), a frequent instrument for CIA provocations.

The Times, channeling the intelligence agencies, has a definite political agenda. Powerful factions of the ruling class want to continue and intensify the anti-Russian foreign policy adopted by the Obama administration, particularly in the wake of the 2014 campaign to bring down the elected pro-Russian government in Ukraine and install an ultra-right, pro-US stooge regime."

FYI:

[Jun 26, 2017] Trump-Russia collusion fades from the media headlines

Jun 26, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

et Al ,

June 25, 2017 at 1:10 pm
Washington Examiner: Trump-Russia collusion fades from the media headlines
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-russia-collusion-fades-from-the-media-headlines/article/2626994

David Brooks, another columnist for the Times who spends his days Googling mental disorders to diagnose Trump with, admitted this week that it's "striking how little evidence there is that any underlying crime occurred - that there was any actual collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and the Russians."

Axios journalist Mike Allen writes a daily newsletter widely read in Washington and on Friday he wrote that "No evidence of collusion has emerged," which several leading Democrats have also publicly stated .

That comment came after Comey said that an entire New York Times report alleging "repeated contacts" between Trump and his associates with "senior Russian intelligence officials" was false.

"In the main, it was not true," Comey said of the Times report .

Liberal MSNBC host Chris Matthews said the theory held by Trump's opponents that his campaign colluded with Russia "came apart" with Comey's testimony
####

This is just the latest evolution of the Russia wot did it meme . Evidence that Trump is Putin's puppet/blackmail etc. has run out of steam (and is now admitted) but the Russia angle is just too good to let go.

marknesop , June 25, 2017 at 1:38 pm
And so they just amp it up a couple of more notches, which is what you do when you have no evidence. Oh, everywhere except in court, of course. Maybe that's the next step for Russia – take the west to court for defamation. At least Washington would have to admit it doesn't have any proof, and that its supposed tracings of Russian links to hackings could very possibly have originated elsewhere. Not least of all, Russia would be able to introduce the angle that Hillary's server was wide-open; a child could have hacked it, and the email disclosures all reported true information. How it looked on Clinton is not Russia's problem, and if Americans and westerners in general prefer being lied to as long as they like what they hear, maybe it's time to get that on the table.

[Jun 25, 2017] The 6-year-long US intervention in Syria failed to achieve its goals, while causing death of thousand of civilians

Notable quotes:
"... Once they create a supply line Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon, and if they can hold it, that's the game-over, the 6-year-long US intervention in Syria will have lost. ..."
www.moonofalabama.org

Mao Cheng Ji June 16, 2017 at 1:40 pm

Jun 25, 2017 | www.unz.com

as for Syria, I think I saw in the news a few days ago that SAA has reached the Iranian border.

It probably doesn't constitute a supply line yet, but that's a huge advance.

Once they create a supply line Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon, and if they can hold it, that's the game-over, the 6-year-long US intervention in Syria will have lost.

[Jun 25, 2017] Putin is probably lied that Donbass is internal Ukranian problem

Notable quotes:
"... Everybody knows and particularly Putin must have known that that war is not a civil internal war. It is an irredentist war. ..."
"... The people in Donbas (or broader in South-East Ukraine) do not seem to want to overthrow Kiev and install some more "honest" regime. All they have ever wanted is to join to Russia or at least to be independent from Kiev and left alone. ..."
"... This is not a classical civil war like in Spain, Libya, Syria, etc., where the anti-government forces want to control the entire country. I'm 100% sure the Donbas people do not care what may happen to West Ukraine or in Lviv. ..."
"... Frankly speaking he [ Yanukovych] was (is) actually a soft-line Ukrainian nationalist who was friendly with Russia as long as it helped Ukraine. ..."
"... Irrational fanaticism is a hallmark of decaying regimes. Consider the 'Satanic panic' in the eighties as the evangelicals enjoyed their last hurrah at the cultural helm. Demons conspired against the righteous from every dark corner in those days. ..."
"... Putin clings to the hope he can work out some sort of grand bargain with the West in which Russia becomes a respected 'partner.' Well, our elites are incapable of that sort of realism. The only partners they accept are ideologically colonized ones. The Russian elite should view the case of Iran as germane. No matter what Iran does, including signing the nuke deal, America (and the Zionist homunculus pulling the levers in Washington) will seek to raise their independence to the ground. Hell, America will stab its friends in the back (e.g., Mubarak). ..."
marknesop.wordpress.com

Boris N June 16, 2017 at 12:01 pm GMT

Jun 25, 2017 | www.unz.com

@Felix Keverich Anatoly,

Concerning Putin's comments on Ukraine, the impression I got is that this entire moment was staged. The man from Kiev who asked question had a Russian accent, and in his reply Putin simply repeated the official Kremlin narrative: war in Donbass is an internal conflict of the Ukraine.

Needless to say I don't think Putin was sincere in all of his answers. These "phone-ins" serve to convey a certain message to the Russian public, and the message Putin wanted to convey was that of compassion, competence, stability and peace.

in his reply Putin simply repeated the official Kremlin narrative: war in Donbass is an internal conflict of the Ukraine.

Everybody knows and particularly Putin must have known that that war is not a civil internal war. It is an irredentist war.

The people in Donbas (or broader in South-East Ukraine) do not seem to want to overthrow Kiev and install some more "honest" regime. All they have ever wanted is to join to Russia or at least to be independent from Kiev and left alone.

This is not a classical civil war like in Spain, Libya, Syria, etc., where the anti-government forces want to control the entire country. I'm 100% sure the Donbas people do not care what may happen to West Ukraine or in Lviv.

Boris N Show Comment Next New Comment June 16, 2017 at 12:18 pm GMT

@Seamus Padraig

... intervening in Ukraine before Yanukovych was overthrown ...
What are you talking about? Crimea? The Russians did not intervene until after Yanukovich was overthrown.

The Russians did not intervene until after Yanukovich was overthrown.

Frankly speaking he [ Yanukovych] was (is) actually a soft-line Ukrainian nationalist who was friendly with Russia as long as it helped Ukraine.

So it is a good thing he has been kicked off and Russia shouldn't have intervened, otherwise Russia hasn't got the Crimea, for example. But Russia should not have stopped there and should have intervened thereafter. But after having allowed to overthrow a soft-line nationalist, Putin and Co., instead of creating a really pro-Russian Ukraine, have allowed the hard-line nationalists to come to power. This obviously will remain one of the biggest fails in Russian history.

Lemurmaniac Show Comment Next New Comment June 16, 2017 at 12:41 pm GMT

@Seamus Padraig I agree with you.

I think Karlin is being way too negative on the SAA and on Russia's involvement in Syria.

I think he resents the fact that Putin is doing more to help Syria than Ukraine, and unfortunately, he's allowed his resentment to color his analysis.

To be sure, I think I can understand how Russian nationalists like Anatoly must feel about the situation. If I were a Russian nationalist, I would probably hold this against Putin too ('Putinsliv!').

But I'm not a Russian, so I have the luxury of being more objective about the situation. For the record, I think Russia should take a much stronger line with Kiev. Putin clings to the hope he can work out some sort of grand bargain with the West in which Russia becomes a respected 'partner.' Well, our elites are incapable of that sort of realism. The only partners they accept are ideologically colonized ones. The Russian elite should view the case of Iran as germane. No matter what Iran does, including signing the nuke deal, America (and the Zionist homunculus pulling the levers in Washington) will seek to raise their independence to the ground. Hell, America will stab its friends in the back (e.g., Mubarak).

Irrational fanaticism is a hallmark of decaying regimes. Consider the 'Satanic panic' in the eighties as the evangelicals enjoyed their last hurrah at the cultural helm. Demons conspired against the righteous from every dark corner in those days.

IMO, the reason Assad is receiving more decisive support is because the Kremlin believes its a lot harder for America to 'push back' in Syria. Conversely,a full spectrum Russian move against Ukraine would elicit consequences Russia is not willing to risk under the Putin Mindframe . (for instance, increased sanctions would mean Russia would be forced to adopt heterodox economics systematically).

Karlin has made a case why Russia should do more, but on the other hand Putin may know things he doesn't.

Andrei Martyanov Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 16, 2017 at 1:07 pm GMT

@Lemurmaniac For the record, I think Russia should take a much stronger line with Kiev.

Putin clings to the hope he can work out some sort of grand bargain with the West in which Russia becomes a respected 'partner.' Well, our elites are incapable of that sort of realism. The only partners they accept are ideologically colonized ones. The Russian elite should view the case of Iran as germane. No matter what Iran does, including signing the nuke deal, America (and the Zionist homunculus pulling the levers in Washington) will seek to raise their independence to the ground. Hell, America will stab its friends in the back (e.g., Mubarak).

Irrational fanaticism is a hallmark of decaying regimes. Consider the 'Satanic panic' in the eighties as the evangelicals enjoyed their last hurrah at the cultural helm. Demons conspired against the righteous from every dark corner in those days.

IMO, the reason Assad is receiving more decisive support is because the Kremlin believes its a lot harder for America to 'push back' in Syria. Conversely,a full spectrum Russian move against Ukraine would elicit consequences Russia is not willing to risk under the Putin Mindframe . (for instance, increased sanctions would mean Russia would be forced to adopt heterodox economics systematically). Karlin has made a case why Russia should do more, but on the other hand Putin may know things he doesn't.

For the record, I think Russia should take a much stronger line with Kiev. Putin clings to the hope he can work out some sort of grand bargain with the West in which Russia becomes a respected 'partner.'

Putin "clings" to hope, a justifiable one, that EU, especially Germany, will put Ukraine on its books. As per "stronger line", I guess the fact that Ukrainian Armed Forces still, after two years of famous cauldrons, didn't try to mount any serious operation in Donbass should be viewed as an indication of the "much stronger line". But ignoring the whole dynamics of events in Ukraine from early 2014 has become a MO for many. People still don't get it or simply ignore (very often deliberately) the fact that Russia, from the onset, needed Crimea only–she got it. The rest was a situationally-driven, mostly reactive, approach, which, as it became very clear after 3.5 years, was largely correct. Even such evident fact of a massive (and very expensive) construction of Crimean Bridge testifies to the fact that nobody had any serious hopes for the rest of Eastern Ukraine rising up and doing anything–a correct strategic assumption.

Lemurmaniac Show Comment Next New Comment June 16, 2017 at 1:34 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov

For the record, I think Russia should take a much stronger line with Kiev. Putin clings to the hope he can work out some sort of grand bargain with the West in which Russia becomes a respected 'partner.'
Putin "clings" to hope, a justifiable one, that EU, especially Germany, will put Ukraine on its books. As per "stronger line", I guess the fact that Ukrainian Armed Forces still, after two years of famous cauldrons, didn't try to mount any serious operation in Donbass should be viewed as an indication of the "much stronger line". But ignoring the whole dynamics of events in Ukraine from early 2014 has become a MO for many. People still don't get it or simply ignore (very often deliberately) the fact that Russia, from the onset, needed Crimea only--she got it. The rest was a situationally-driven, mostly reactive, approach, which, as it became very clear after 3.5 years, was largely correct. Even such evident fact of a massive (and very expensive) construction of Crimean Bridge testifies to the fact that nobody had any serious hopes for the rest of Eastern Ukraine rising up and doing anything--a correct strategic assumption. There's no denying a 'northern wind' blew through the Donbass at the critical juncture, but it sought to 'stabilize' the situation rather than resolve it. From a nationalist perspective, hanging those people out to dry (refusing to recognize their sovereignty) is kind of a dick move. But Putin's super duper plan involves leaving those regions in the Ukraine to veto pro-Western moves by Kiev. Setting aside the moral issue of leaving the Eastern Ukrainians in a position of constant insecurity, it sounds good in theory. There is simply no way the West will let that stand, however. John McCain and co are not about to let Moscow back into Kiev. So, either the conflict will remain permanently frozen (with Russian leaning Ukrainians permanently alienated from Moscow and Kiev), or Kiev will kick out the Donbass and become a NATO state. Since it seems Putin's whole strategy in Ukraine is predicated on that happening, a much stronger line on whose orbit Ukraine, or at least the whole Eastern half of the country belongs to, was required from the beginning.

I don't see why it helps Russia if Germany is writing checks for Kiev. They'll certainly never write 'em for the east.

[Jun 25, 2017] Andrew Bacevich "There Will Be Hell to Pay"

Notable quotes:
"... In a land that's released so much plutocratic money into politics that it's buried Washington in Koch brothers dollars , in a country where inequality has in recent years hit historic highs , Donald Trump seems to have been our own El Dorado (or perhaps El Mar-a-Lago). ..."
"... He's the destination toward which this country has evidently been traveling since, in 1991, the Soviet Union imploded and the United States, in all its triumphalist glory, became the "sole superpower" on planet Earth. ..."
"... If anything, Trump's ascendancy should have been the equivalent of a klieg light illuminating our recent American journey. His rise to well, whatever it is has lit up the highway that brought us here in a new way and, in the spirit of his coming infrastructure program for America, it turns out to have been a private toll road that wound through a landscape of Potemkin villages en route to the Oval Office. ..."
"... America's War for the Greater Middle East ..."
Jun 25, 2017 | www.unz.com

In an age of billionaires, whether the voters who elected him thought that he was the one who could do what was needed in the nation's capital or were just giving the finger to Washington, the effect was, as Donald Trump might say, of " historic significance ." His golf courses, hotels, properties of every sort are thriving and the money from them pouring into his family's coffers.

His Mar-a-Lago club doubled its membership fee after he was elected; the new Trump hotel in Washington has become a notorious hotspot for foreign diplomats eager to curry favor with the administration; and so it goes in the new America. Already three lawsuits have been filed - by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (a watchdog outfit ), the attorneys general of Maryland and Washington D.C., and 200 Democratic congressional representatives - challenging the president for breaching the emoluments clause of the Constitution. Investigations of presidential obstruction of justice and possibly even abuse of power are evidently underway (to the accompaniment of voluminous tweets by you know who), and the president has been lawyering up bigly, as has Vice President Pence and just about everyone else in sight, including the president's personal lawyer who now has a lawyer of his own.

President Trump has, in fact, been filling in his roster of personal lawyers far more effectively than he's been able to fill basic posts in his government.

And speaking of historic significance, around him is the richest crew ever to serve in a cabinet, the sort of plutocratic A-team that gives government of, by, and for the 1% genuine meaning. Now tell me, if this isn't a classic only-in-America story, what is? Okay, maybe it's not classic classic, not unless you go back to the Gilded Age of the nineteenth century. It's certainly not the version of American promise that was in the high-school history books of my youth, but if it isn't the twenty-first-century version of the American story, then what is?

In a land that's released so much plutocratic money into politics that it's buried Washington in Koch brothers dollars , in a country where inequality has in recent years hit historic highs , Donald Trump seems to have been our own El Dorado (or perhaps El Mar-a-Lago).

He's the destination toward which this country has evidently been traveling since, in 1991, the Soviet Union imploded and the United States, in all its triumphalist glory, became the "sole superpower" on planet Earth.

If anything, Trump's ascendancy should have been the equivalent of a klieg light illuminating our recent American journey. His rise to well, whatever it is has lit up the highway that brought us here in a new way and, in the spirit of his coming infrastructure program for America, it turns out to have been a private toll road that wound through a landscape of Potemkin villages en route to the Oval Office.

One thing's for sure: wherever we've landed, it certainly isn't where the " end of history " crowd of the last years of the previous century thought we'd be when the historians finally stopped typing and "liberal Democracy" reigned supreme.

With that in mind, join Andrew Bacevich, TomDispatch regular and author of America's War for the Greater Middle East , in considering just how, at this moment, historians should start reimagining our American age amid the rubble of our previous versions of history.

[Jun 25, 2017] The Latest Escalation in Syria – What Is Really Going On - The Unz Review

Jun 25, 2017 | www.unz.com

By now most of you have heard the latest bad news of out Syria: on June 18 th a US F/A-18E Super Hornet (1999) used a AIM-120 AMRAAM (1991) to shoot down a Syrian Air Force Su-22 (1970). Two days later, June 20 th , a US F-15E Strike Eagle shot down an Iranian IRGC Shahed 129 drone. The excuse used each time was that there was a threat to US and US supported forces. The reality is, of course, that the US are simply trying to stop the advance of the Syrian army. This was thus a typical American "show of force". Except that, of course, shooting a 47 year old Soviet era Su-22 fighter-bomber is hardly an impressive feat. Neither is shooting a unmanned drone. There is a pattern here, however, and that pattern is that all US actions so far have been solely for show: the basically failed bombing of the Syria military airbase, the bombing of the Syrian army column, the shooting down of the Syrian fighter-bomber and of the Iranian drone – all these actions have no real military value. They do, however, have a provocative value as each time all the eyes turn to Russia to see if the Russians will respond or not.

Russia did respond this time again, but in a very ambiguous and misunderstood manner. The Russians announced, amongst other measure that from now on " any airborne objects, including aircraft and unmanned vehicles of the [US-led] international coalition, located to the west of the Euphrates River, will be tracked by Russian ground and air defense forces as air targets " which I reported as " Russian MoD declares it will shoot down any aircraft flying west of the Euphrates river ". While I gave the exact Russian quote, I did not explain why I paraphrased the Russian words the way I did. Now is a good time to explain this.

First, here is the exact original Russian text :

"В районах выполнения боевых задач российской авиацией в небе Сирии любые воздушные объекты, включая самолёты и беспилотные аппараты международной коалиции, обнаруженные западнее реки Евфрат, будут приниматься на сопровождение российскими наземными и воздушными средствами противовоздушной обороны в качестве воздушных целей"

A literal translation would be:

"In areas of the combat missions of Russian aviation in the skies of Syria any airborne objects, including aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicle of the international coalition discovered to the West of the Euphrates river, will be tracked by Russian ground based an airborne assets as air targets"

So what does this exactly mean in technical-military terms?

A quick look inside a US fighter's cockpit

When an F/A-18 flies over Syria the on-board emission detectors (called radar warning receivers or RWR) inform the pilot of the kind of radar signals the aircraft is detecting. Over Syria that means that the pilot would see a lot of search radars looking in all directions trying to get a complete picture of what is happening in the Syrian skies. The US pilot will be informed that a certain number of Syrian S-300 and Russian S-400 batteries are scanning the skies and most probably see him. So far so good. If there are deconfliction zones or any type of bilateral agreements to warn each other about planned sorties then that kind of radar emissions are no big deal. Likewise US radars (ground, sea or air based) are also scanning the skies and "seeing" the Russian Aerospace Forces' aircraft on their radars and the Russians know that. In this situation neither side is treating anybody as "air targets". When a decision is made to treat an object as an "air target" a completely different type of radar signal is used and a much narrower energy beam is directed at the target which can now be tracked and engaged. The pilot is, of course, immediately informed of this. At this point the pilot is in a very uncomfortable position: he knows that he is being tracked, but he has no way of knowing if a missile has already been launched against him or not. Depending on a number of factors, an AWACS might be able to detect a missile launch, but this might not be enough and it might also be too late.

The kind of missiles fired by S-300/S-400 batteries are extremely fast, over 4,000mph (four thousand miles per hour) which means that a missile launched as far away as 120 miles will reach you in 2 minutes or that a missile launched 30 miles away will reach you in 30 seconds. And just to make things worse, the S-300 can use a special radar mode called "track via missile" where the radar emits a pulse towards the target whose reflection is then received not by the ground based radar, but by the rapidly approaching missile itself, which then sends its reading back to the ground radar which then sends guidance corrections back to the missile. Why is that bad for the aircraft? Because there is no way to tell from the emissions whether a missile has been launched and is already approaching at over 4,000mph or not. The S-300 and S-400 also have other modes, including the Seeker Aided Ground Guidance (SAGG) where the missile also computes a guidance solution (not just the ground radar) and then the two are compared and a Home On Jam (HOJ) mode when the jammed missile then homes directly on the source of the jamming (such as an onboard jamming pod). Furthermore, there are other radar modes available such as the Ground Aided Inertial (GAI) which guides the missile in the immediate proximity of the target where the missile switches on its own radar just before hitting the target. Finally, there is some pretty good evidence that the Russians have perfected a complex datalink system which allows them to fuse into one all the signals they acquire from their missiles, airborne aircraft (fighter, interceptor or AWACS) and ground radars and that means that, in theory, if a US aircraft is outside the flight envelope (reach) of the ground based missiles the signals acquired by the ground base radars could be used to fire an air-to-air missile at the US aircraft (we know that their MiG-31s are capable of such engagements, so I don't see why their much more recent Su-30/Su-35 could not). This would serve to further complicate the situational awareness of the pilot as a missile could be coming from literally any direction. At this point the only logical reaction would be for the US pilot to inform his commanders and get out, fast. Sure, in theory, he could simply continue his mission, but that would be very hard, especially if he suspects that the Syrians might have other, mobile, air defense on the way to, or near, his intended target.

Just try to imagine this: you are flying, in total illegality, over hostile territory and preparing to strike a target when suddenly your radar warning receiver goes off and tells you "you got 30 seconds or (much?) less to decide whether there is a 300lbs (150kg) warhead coming at you at 4000mph (6400kmh) or not". How would you feel if it was you sitting in that cockpit? Would you still be thinking about executing your planned attack?

The normal US strategy is to achieve what is called "air superiority/supremacy" by completely suppressing enemy air defenses and taking control of the skies. If I am not mistaken, the last time the US fighters operated in a meaningfully contested air space was in Vietnam

By the way, these technologies are not uniquely Russian, they are well known in the West, for example the US Patriot SAM also uses TVM, but the Russians have very nicely integrated them into one formidable air defense system.

The bottom line is this: once the US aircraft is "treated like a target" he has no way of knowing if the Syrians, or the Russians, are just being cheeky or whether has has seconds left to live. Put differently, "treating like a target" is tantamount to somebody putting a gun to your head and letting you guess if/when he will pull the trigger.

So yes, the Russian statement most definitely was a "threat to shoot down"!

Next, a look into the Russian side of the equation

To understand why the Russians used the words "treat like an air target" rather than "will shoot down" you need to remember that Russia is still the weaker party here. There is nothing worse than not delivering on a threat. If the Russians had said "we will shoot down" and then had not done so, they would have made an empty threat. Instead, they said "will treat as an air target" because that leaves them an "out" should they decided not to pull the trigger. However, for the US Navy or Air Force pilot, these considerations are all irrelevant once his detectors report to him that he is being "painted" with the beam of an engagement radar!

So what the Russians did is to greatly unnerve the US crews without actually having to shoot down anybody. It is not a coincidence that the Americans almost immediately stopped flying West of the Euphrates river while the Australians officially decided to bow out from any further air sorties .

It cannot be overemphasized that the very last thing Russia needs is to shoot down a US aircraft over Syria which is exactly what some elements of the Pentagon seem to want. Not only is Russia the weaker side in this conflict, but the Russians also understand the wider political consequences of what would happen if they took the dramatic step to shoot down a US aircraft: a dream come true for the Neocons and a disaster for everybody else.

A quick look from the US Neoconistan and the quest for a "tepid war"

The dynamic in Syria is not fundamentally different from the dynamic in the Ukraine: the Neocons know that they have failed to achieve their primary objective: to control the entire country. They also know that their various related financial schemes have collapsed. Finally, they are fully aware that they owe this defeat to Russia and, especially, to Vladimir Putin. So they fell back on plan B. Plan B is almost as good as Plan A (full control) because Plan B has much wider consequences. Plan B is also very simple: trigger a major crisis with Russia but stay short from a full-scale war. Ideally, Plan B should revolve around a "firm" "reaction" to the Russian "aggression" and a "defense" of the US "allies" in the region. In practical terms this simply means: get the Russians to openly send forces into Novorussia or get the Russians to take military actions against the US or its allies in Syria. Once you get this you can easily see that the latest us attacks in Syria have a minor local purpose – to scare or slow down the Syrians- and a major global purpose – to bait the Russians into using forces against the US or an ally. It bears repeating here that what the Neocons really want is what I call a "tepid" war with Russia: an escalation of tensions to levels not even seen during the Cold War, but not a full-scale "hot" WWIII either. A tepid war would finally re-grant NATO at least some kind of purpose (to protect "our European friends and allies" from the "Russian threat"): the already terminally spineless EU politicians would all be brought into an even more advanced state of subservience, the military budgets would go even higher and Trump would be able to say that he made "America" "great" again. And, who knows, maybe the Russian people would *finally* rise against Putin, you never know! (They wouldn't – but the Neocons have never been deterred from their goofy theories by such minor and altogether irrelevant things as facts or logic).

[Sidebar: I noticed this time again that each time the US tries to bait Russia into some kind of harsh reaction and Russia declines to take the bait, this triggers in immediate surge into the number of comments which vehemently complain that Russia is acting like a pussy, that Putin is a fake, that he is "in cahoots" with the US and/or Israel and that the Russians are weak or that they have "sold out". I am getting a sense that we are dealing with paid US PSYOP operatives whose mission is to use the social media to try to put the Kremlin under pressure with these endless accusations of weakness and selling-out. Since I have no interest in rewarding these folks in any way, I mostly send their recriminations where they belong: to the trash]

Does the Russian strategy work?

To reply to this, don't look at what the Russians do or do not do in the immediate aftermath of a US provocation. Take a higher level look and just see what happens in the mid to long term. Just like in a game of chess, taking the Gambit is not always the correct strategy.

I submit that to evaluate whether Putin's policies are effective or not, to see whether he has "sold out" or "caved in" you need to, for example, look at the situation in Syria (or the Ukraine, for that matter) as it was 2 years ago and then compare with what it is today. Or, alternatively, look at the situation as it is today and come back to re-visit it in 6 months.

One huge difference between the western culture and the way the Russians (or the Chinese for that matter) look at geostrategy is that westerners always look at everything in the short term and tactical level. This is basically the single main reason why both Napoleon and Hitler lost their wars against Russia: an almost exclusive focus on the short term and tactical. In contrast, the Russians are the undisputed masters of operational art (in a purely military sense) and, just like the Chinese, they tend to always keep their eyes on the long-term horizon. Just look at the Turkish downing of a Russian Su-24: everybody bemoaned the lack of "forceful" reaction from Moscow. And then, six months later – what do we have? Exactly.

The modern western culture is centered on various forms of instant gratification, and that is also true for geopolitics. If the other guy does something, western leaders always deliver a "firm" response. They like to "send messages" and they firmly believe that doing something, no matter how symbolic, is better than even the appearance of doing nothing. As for the appearance of doing nothing, it is universally interpreted as a sign of weakness. Russians don't think that way. They don't care about instant gratification, they care only about one thing: victory. And if that means to look weak, that is fine. From a Russian perspective, sending "messages" or taking symbolic actions (like all 4 of the recent US attacks in Syria) are not signs of strength, but signs of weakness. Generally, the Russians don't like to use force which they consider inherently dangerous. But when they do, they never threaten or warn, they take immediate and pragmatic (non-symbolic) action which gets them closer to a specific goal.

Conclusion

The Russian reaction to the latest US attack on Syria was not designed to maximize the approval of the many Internet armchair strategists. It was designed to maximize the discomfort of the US lead "coalition" in Syria while minimizing the risks for Russia. It is precisely by using an ambiguous language which civilians would interpret in one way, and military personnel in another, that the Russians introduced a very disruptive element of unpredictability into the planning of US air operations in Syria.

The Russians are not without their own faults and bad habits and they make mistakes (recognizing the Ukronazi junta in Kiev after the coup was probably such a mistake), but it is important to differentiate between their real weaknesses and mistakes and their very carefully designed strategies. Just because they don't act in the way their putative "supporters" in the West would does not mean that they have "caved in", "blinked first" or any other such nonsense. The first step towards understanding how the Russians function is to stop expecting that they would act just like Americans would.

P.S: By the way, the Syrian pilot shot down made it out alive. Here is a photo of him following his rescue by Syrian special forces:

Andrei Martyanov Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 2:35 pm GMT

The modern western culture is centered on various forms of instant gratification , and that is also true for geopolitics. If the other guy does something, western leaders always deliver a "firm" response. They like to "send messages"

Excellent point. That is why "West" (US mostly) can not win a single war in 70 years.

anonymous Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 2:42 pm GMT

A good, interesting article. Much of what's gone on is rather opaque and it's difficult to understand what the meaning of some of these actions are such as in this shoot-down of the Syrian plane. People scratch their heads and try to come up with plausible explanations. Plain stupidity or rashness on the part of some military people? Are there American special forces disguised and embedded with some of these 'rebel' groups that they wanted to protect? Or, more sinisterly and as suggested, there's a plan afoot to ratchet up US-Russian tensions by engineering incidents that could be used to fan war hysteria and panic. A new cold war, properly managed, could be good for business and divert money into the connected people's bank accounts, funneling tax money upwards. It's a racket that kills the expendables. At any rate we'll need a few more pieces of the puzzle to see what the American game plan happens to be.

Exiled off mainstreet Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 3:35 pm GMT

An excellent article, but a depressing situation. What happens if the Turks start bombing the Kurdish forces supported by the yankee imperium?

TipTipTopKek Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 4:26 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov It's been far more than 70 years since the West won a war. The Soviets won WWII, not the West.

Andrei Martyanov Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 4:59 pm GMT

@TipTipTopKek But at least it was, without denigrating a decisive role of the Soviet Union, a formal coalition victory. Plus, let's not deny US Navy its well deserved victory in the Pacific. Pacific was largely an American victory, even considering Red Army's crushing defeat of Kwantung Army in 1945. Yet, uncritical and triumphalist lessons of WW II on European Theater in WW II played as tricky of a role in US post-WW II history as did a turkey shoot against third rate Saddam's force in the Gulf in 1990-91. One can not learn properly when the lessons are wrong.

Quartermaster Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 5:23 pm GMT

Because there is no way to tell from the emissions whether a missile has been launched and is already approaching at over 4,000mph or not.

How little you know.

Just try to imagine this: you are flying, in total illegality, over hostile territory and preparing to strike a target when suddenly your radar warning receiver goes off and tells you "you got 30 seconds or (much?) less to decide whether there is a 300lbs (150kg) warhead coming at you at 4000mph (6400kmh) or not".

Hilarious. You need to give some thought to what you post.

More Saker. To paraphrase Mencken, If you don't read him, your uninformed. If do, you're misinformed.

Quartermaster Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 5:25 pm GMT

@TipTipTopKek Right. Only Ivan was fighting the Germans. The Rooskis got a lot of war material from the US. The Red Army would have starved to death if not for the us. And that is far from the only thing that went from the US to Stalin.

anon Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 6:09 pm GMT

"Pakistan's Foreign Office has issued a statement today warning that they will not tolerate drone strikes inside their territory"

Russia should lure Pak away from US orbit , get Taliban on its side and remove Iran from Indian influence- thus getting them rid of US. Russia can engineer a new reality against Saudi Israel US . Russia can prove Afghanistan as the tomb where empire comes to rest

Philip Owen Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 7:32 pm GMT

So just how cunning is Trump?

Andrei Martyanov Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 7:38 pm GMT

@anon

Russia should lure Pak away from US orbit

Pakistan (together with India) became full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization last week or two. This is very significant, to put it mildly, and it is certainly some long way from "US orbit".

Begemot Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 7:44 pm GMT

@Quartermaster It is true that the Soviets got a lot of Lend-Lease from the US. Britain got much more (about 2/3′s of the total). The Red Army would not have starved to death without the US. American lend-lease made the Soviet victory over Germany easier. It didn't make it possible. Since about 2/3′s of the German army was engaged on the Russian front the Americans should be forever grateful that those German divisions weren't waiting for the Americans in Normandy. The desperate need of many Americans to appear to be indispensable is pathetic.

Thirdeye Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 8:14 pm GMT

@Quartermaster So please enlighten us, O Wise One.

Sean Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 8:36 pm GMT

The oh so subtle Russian triumph in Syria that Saker keeps telling us about is apparently not understood by the US forces in Syria. The Assad regieme advances is 100% due to the US not supplying the popular forces with anti aircraft weapons. Assad's pilots are brave when they know there is nothing to fear, but now know they are going to be shot out of the sky over US backed forces, so the Assad advance will halt.

Mikel Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 8:55 pm GMT

once the US aircraft is "treated like a target" he has no way of knowing if the Syrians, or the Russians, are just being cheeky or whether has has seconds left to live.

It doesn't look like the Israeli pilots feel that way when they bomb their targets inside Syria, which they successfully do on a regular basis.

Thirdeye Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 9:06 pm GMT

@Quartermaster Through 1944, 80% of German losses were on the eastern front. That's from German records.

anon Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 9:09 pm GMT

@Sean Yes you rae correct US has not used the Nuclear bomb on Syria . That would ahve sealed Assad's fate and advanced IS if US wanted !!!!!1

Your assertion only stirs a big LOL !!

US has supplied more than enough way more than you can imagine

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/articles/western-plot-overthrow-assad/

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-america-armed-terrorists-in-syria/

Enlighten yourself.

Romil Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 10:19 pm GMT

@TipTipTopKek Not true, the USA won a war with Grenada, Panama (Noriega), etc.

Admittedly these wars were a little lopsided.

What is clear since Vietnam is that the USA military/ Political System is not very good at occupying a country after initial battlefield success.

Unless the chaos in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq etc is the intended result.

dearieme Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 11:42 pm GMT

@Philip Owen Cunning as a TV celebrity.

Macon Richardson Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 6:32 am GMT

@Mikel You don't say where Israel is bombing in Syria and the conceits of Israel are so boring to me I don't wish to research the topic. Based on history, I assume that Israeli bombing is in the Golan area, extreme south-west Syria.

Israeli "he-man" tactics in the Golan will have no effect on the defense of Syria against ISIS and the USA. Therefore, why should the Russians or the Syrians pay any attention at all to the little circus side show the Israelis present?

As to the Ũbermenschen Israeli pilots flying kamakazi missions into Syria, ho-hum? Write up an outline of a script and we'll send it to Hollywood.

mh505 Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 10:51 am GMT

@Thirdeye Who gives a damn what the "Quartermaster" thinks?

Rurik Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 4:06 pm GMT

the Syrian pilot shot down made it out alive.

good!

Mikel Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 5:16 pm GMT

@Macon Richardson As should be evident, all I did was provide a fact that seems to be in direct contradiction with Saker's technical explanations in this column.

That you don't have any clue of where the Israelis have been bombing, even though it has been widely reported in the media and recognized by both sides, is your problem. And, talking about soporific subjects, discussions over the Israelis/Jews being evil, good, heroic or cowards could hardly be further away from my interest.

I really have no idea about radar systems but the fact that nobody offered an explanation for this contradiction suggests that Saker may be, once again, exaggerating the Russian capabilities.

Carlton Meyer Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 6:15 pm GMT

While Russia may want caution, Syrian and Iranian militias don't care. ISIS is almost gone from SE Syria, so there is no need for an American base there to train anti-ISIS units. Americans have illegally invaded Syria, and the international community agrees. These militias have mortars and artillery, so can fire away and wait to see if the Americans dare counterattack by air. If they do, Russian missiles are ready for self-defense. Imagine a downed American pilot captured by ISIS.

Meanwhile, Russia shows restraint to enjoy the Qatar situation, with new Saudi demands that compensation is due and the Turkish troops must leave. These dictators have long tolerated American military bases under the assumption it meant American protection. If the USA back stabs Qatar, what will the other Gulf State tyrants think? What if Iranian troops are invited to defend Qatar?

And what about the Turks? They are itching for chance to reclaim NE Syria and its oil fields, which they say the Brits and French stole a hundred years ago. They can wipe out the Kurd forces there at the same time. They are building up forces in Syria for this move. They are just waiting for an excuse to attack.

El Dato Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 6:39 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov Let's call it a American / National-Chinese victory then.

Binding a few hundred thousands imperial troops on the mainland sure counts for something, doesn't it?

El Dato Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 7:01 pm GMT

@Mikel Why should the Russians anatagonize the Israelis? It costs a lot and is politically inconvenient. Israel is nearby, Russia is not. The minute-long rush of adrenaline would certainly not be worth it.

The clusterfuck is currently such that waiting & waltzing & carrying a stick, any stick, is likely to be the best policyless policy. ( Asterixian Wars come to mind, sorry for the juvenile reference)

A writeup in Haaretz (is this a premium page that is accessible via the print menu? well, I don't care)

http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page//.premium-1.797481

"We're working productively with Jordan, as we are working with Israel, and I'm not hiding anything from you," Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu told his country's parliament late last month. Shoygu even noted his "productive talks" with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, with whom he speaks on the phone regularly. Arab media outlets report on continuous communication between Russian and Israeli fighter pilots, who coordinate planned flights, just as Israel coordinates its aerial and other actions in Syria with Russian command headquarters.

The "other actions" include Israel's shipments of humanitarian and military aid to the militias operating in the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, and in the Daraa area nearby. An intense battle has been underway in recent weeks in Daraa as the Syrian army tries to advance with Shi'ite militias and Iranian-backed Hezbollah to suppress the rebels. These efforts are at the heart of coordination talks between Jordan, Russia, the United States and Saudi Arabia. In some of the talks that took place in Jordan, Israelis were on hand, and in other cases coordination was by phone or through emissaries who visited Israel.

Russian1 Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 10:51 pm GMT

@Quartermaster Americans are criminals killing all over the planet. Raped many girls during the war in many countries did American soldiers and nothing has changed they did the same on Vietnam and Iraq. Just savage animals with a penchant for war and buggery.
Also Eisenhower starved to death 1.2million German soldiers and proof of that is he rerouted supplies and let them die in the open air prisons without food. A cruel nation of barbarians.
The world is at the mercy of American mafia thugs and Russia is the savior behaving with principles.

SYRIA: Faced With Massive US Escalation, How Would Russia Respond? – #WW3 – Infinite Unknown Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 11:35 pm GMT

[ ] The Saker The Unz Review [ ]

nickels Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 12:18 am GMT

The old western Shane is an example where Americans used to be able to take one on the chin for the bigger picture.
But neocons are just animals. I remember in Josephus description of the sacking of Jerusalem, the Israelis were so out of their minds that they not only burnt their own grain during the siege, but their own temple as well.

The Scalpel Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 12:35 am GMT

Certain sources state that a Russian S-300 shot down a US Global Hawk drone over the Mediterranean.

Avery Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 4:24 am GMT

@Begemot {Since about 2/3′s of the German army was engaged on the Russian front}

It was not 2/3rds or ~67%: it was about 80%.
Also, about 80% of Wehrmacht's best, toughest divisions were ground up on the Eastern front. At a terribly high cost to the Red Army men and materiel.

{ . that those German divisions weren't waiting for the Americans in Normandy. }

Even the completely bled out Wehrmacht put American troops through the ringer at the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. With notable exceptions, e.g. the heroic defense of Bastogne, GIs mostly ran as Germans advanced. The disaster was averted when skies cleared and USAF came in and saved the day.

{The desperate need of many Americans to appear to be indispensable is pathetic.}

Indeed.

Russia's Response to Downed Jet and Drone – Site Title Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 5:17 am GMT

[ ] http://www.unz.com/tsaker/the-latest-escalation-in-syria-what-is-really-going-on/ [ ]

Intelligent Dasein Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 6:32 am GMT

@anonymous

A new cold war, properly managed, could be good for business and divert money into the connected people's bank accounts, funneling tax money upwards.

A lot of people around the internet express similar opinions, and the more obtuse of them even festoon their delivery with the same Smedley Butler quote we've all read a million times already, as if there were no limit to the number of occasions upon we needed to be re-informed that "war is a racket."

The problem is, it just isn't true. Nobody-not even the Neocons, not even government bureaucrats, not even the sleaziest defense contractor-could possibly look at America's fiscal predicament and conclude that a new Cold War is financially beneficial to anybody. Something else has to be motivating this, and that something is Boomer vanity.

These guys are just itching for one last game of Cowboys & Indians against the Russians. I find the whole thing quite embarrassing but also rather alarming, considering how serious the consequences could be.

However, I think it's time to retire the "war is a racket" meme. It has no explanatory power in today's world. The age of imperial expansion, of making Latin America safe for fruit companies or whatever Smedley Butler was on about, is well behind us. There is no longer any tincture of geopolitical or economic rationale in Washington's war-making. Every war we fight makes us weaker and poorer, whereas Butler's wars, however ignoble he thought the motives behind them, at least made us stronger and richer. The imperialists of yore knew what they were doing; they could point to some measure of worldly success as justification for their exploits. But nowadays we have only failures; and our imperialists, lacking the dignity even to be robber barons, have instead become dreamers and peddlers of ideology.

The Age of the Neocon Wars, c. 1990-present, is all about vanity. These are "existential" wars in the Sartrian sense, i.e. they are deliberate fabrications and extensions of identity. The Boomers are going on their penultimate journey of self-discovery, predictably wrecking everything in their path as they make burnt offerings to their insatiable egos.

jilles dykstra Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 7:07 am GMT

If 'peaceful' countries want war the trick is to provoke the country you want to attack to make the first move.
Hitler ran into the trap when he attacked Poland in Sept 1939, after Polish provocations since the British guarantee of March 1939.
Japan ran into the trap of Roosevelt's oil boycott.
Saddam did nothing stupid enough to excuse war, therefore Sept 11 was created.
Putin is not stupid, he knows quite well that the western war mongers are waiting for the excuse to attack Russia.
Heightened tensions in Syria in my opinion have but one goal: getting an excuse to attack Russia.
Some kind of Liberty 'accident' would be great.

jilles dykstra Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 7:12 am GMT

@Quartermaster An explanation on why it is hilarious would be great.

Miro23 Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 7:23 am GMT

@Philip Owen

So just how cunning is Trump?

Maybe he's too cunning/clever by half – as in a neo-con collaborator. He was given a mandate to get out of ME conflicts and if he had done what he was elected to do, the US could be getting on with domestic affairs rather than evaluating the possibility of WW3.

Greg Bacon Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 9:55 am GMT

From an April 2003 Haaretz article.

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.

This is a war of an elite. [Tom] Friedman laughs: I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/white-man-s-burden-1.14110

Then it was onto Libya, now Syria, then it will be onto Iran, all the glory of Apartheid Israel.

El Dato Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 10:23 am GMT

@Avery

Even the completely bled out Wehrmacht put American troops through the ringer at the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. With notable exceptions, e.g. the heroic defense of Bastogne, GIs mostly ran as Germans advanced. The disaster was averted when skies cleared and USAF came in and saved the day.

That's in the movies.

"GIs" did not "run", indeed Patton mounted a skillfull counterattack on the move. This last show of the Wehrmacht and Party Armed Forces (who didn't let the occasion to "clean up" in the re-occupied territories pass them by) had little chance of success in any case. Germans ran out of fuel, manpower and maintained equipment while trying to get this Hitler-fairyland-push towards Anvers rolling. The Meuse was never even crossed. Yes, control of the air helped, and the extraordinarily harsh winter did the rest. It was too late in any case.

(Also, in WWII, the US air wing was the "Army Air Forces", the USAF was created 1947, but that's just nitpicking)

Now, if you want to consider a senseless WWI-style grind-war that can be considered Allied failure: Battle of Hürtgen Forest : "The over-all cost of the Siegfried Line Campaign in American personnel was close to 140,000."

El Dato Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 10:25 am GMT

@The Scalpel US hasn't confirmed. They would if true.

El Dato Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 10:42 am GMT

@El Dato Asterixian Wars from the Comic

The Alarmist Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 10:47 am GMT

@TipTipTopKek I once had a pretty young Russian lady ask me (in a bar in Germany, of all places) why we celebrate VE day on 8 May, to which I replied, "That's the day we (she knew I meant Americans, and by that Americans alone) won the war with a bit of help from you guys, of course." If I hadn't said it with a light-hearted smile, I probably would have been run through with a broken vodka bottle on the spot, not to send a message, but, as Saker notes, as a pragmatic response to an arrogant Westerner.

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 10:48 am GMT

@TipTipTopKek

It's been far more than 70 years since the West won a war. The Soviets won WWII, not the West.

Actually, the Soviet leadership and the Western bankers did any "winning." The rest of us lost, big time, and are still paying.

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 11:03 am GMT

Very interesting article with too many great points to comment on all.

Some of the best points are:

Plan B is also very simple: trigger a major crisis with Russia

It helps keep dollars flowing to the Pentagon and its Israeli masters.

a dream come true for the Neocons and a disaster for everybody else.

As always.

It bears repeating here that what the Neocons really want is what I call a "tepid" war with Russia:

This also keeps the dollars flowing, keeps the usual nut cases in power and provides a huge source of distraction from the continued hosing of the American goyim,

One huge difference between the western culture and the way the Russians (or the Chinese for that matter) look at geostrategy is that westerners always look at everything in the short term and tactical level.

I've noticed that as a teen and it's still true today. Seems to have worked for the thugs in power, but not so much for the rest of us cattle. Apparently the American doofi (aka doofusses) will remain content to prance around waving their corny flags and proclaiming their "heroism" or whatever BS is fashionable at the time.

The Alarmist Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 11:07 am GMT

@Romil

"Not true, the USA won a war with Grenada ."

Urgent Fury was hardly a war. Been there, done that, and hit the break at Cherry Hill for a little surfing on day 4, 'cos the Rafters and Ivan don't surf.

The Alarmist Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 11:23 am GMT

@Intelligent Dasein

"Nobody-not even the Neocons, not even government bureaucrats, not even the sleaziest defense contractor-could possibly look at America's fiscal predicament and conclude that a new Cold War is financially beneficial to anybody."

Oh you dear, sweet, but misguided soul. The war-profiteers and neo-cons know that when things get fiscally tight they can simply print more of the World's Indispensible Currency TM, and if it gets really bad they will simply do a cram down of the debt, because the ROW doesn't really have a say in the matter. When you owe the world $20T, it's the world that has the problem.

Max Havelaar Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 11:29 am GMT

The Russians are far better victory-strategists (long-term) than the US maddogs Trump/Mattis/McMaster. They are for show and fireworks (white-phosphorous bombs) and show theiir Satanic nature.

The final Victory strategy = turn your ennemies into friends/partners in trade.

Putin has turned Erdogan into a partner with the south-stream pipeline.
And even Qatar may join the East front (Putin gave them majort shares in Russian energy companies).

The Al Sauds and Likudi's, the Jewish extremists on Golan, are the only problems left. But even with Netanyahu, Putin is trying to get a solution, using the Russian Leviathan basin suppport.

Putin may get there in the end.

chris Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 12:04 pm GMT

@Rurik It's amazing how rude the reporting of the incident in the MSM has been in not reporting the fate of the pilot. The point is to underscore his insignificance; they would have much preferred he was killed.

Imperial Circular. 25/06/17. – IMPERIAL ENERGY Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 12:06 pm GMT

[ ] Saker is mistaken: [ ]

headrick Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 12:07 pm GMT

There is no site than can come close to Saker for this ego-political military analysis.
Thanks Vin.

The Scalpel Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 12:28 pm GMT

@El Dato US hasn't confirmed. They would if true. They did acknowledge it in a sideways manner

Blogschätzchen des Tages 25.6.2017 | narrenspeise Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 12:31 pm GMT

[ ] dritten Mal innerhalb weniger Wochen möchte ich auf einen Beitrag von The Saker zu Syrien / Russland / USA hinweisen. Er macht [ ]

anonymous Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 1:43 pm GMT

@Intelligent Dasein


A new cold war, properly managed, could be good for business and divert money into the connected people's bank accounts, funneling tax money upwards.
A lot of people around the internet express similar opinions, and the more obtuse of them even festoon their delivery with the same Smedley Butler quote we've all read a million times already, as if there were no limit to the number of occasions upon we needed to be re-informed that "war is a racket."

The problem is, it just isn't true. Nobody---not even the Neocons, not even government bureaucrats, not even the sleaziest defense contractor---could possibly look at America's fiscal predicament and conclude that a new Cold War is financially beneficial to anybody. Something else has to be motivating this, and that something is Boomer vanity.

These guys are just itching for one last game of Cowboys & Indians against the Russians. I find the whole thing quite embarrassing but also rather alarming, considering how serious the consequences could be.

However, I think it's time to retire the "war is a racket" meme. It has no explanatory power in today's world. The age of imperial expansion, of making Latin America safe for fruit companies or whatever Smedley Butler was on about, is well behind us. There is no longer any tincture of geopolitical or economic rationale in Washington's war-making. Every war we fight makes us weaker and poorer, whereas Butler's wars, however ignoble he thought the motives behind them, at least made us stronger and richer. The imperialists of yore knew what they were doing; they could point to some measure of worldly success as justification for their exploits. But nowadays we have only failures; and our imperialists, lacking the dignity even to be robber barons, have instead become dreamers and peddlers of ideology.

The Age of the Neocon Wars, c. 1990-present, is all about vanity. These are "existential" wars in the Sartrian sense, i.e. they are deliberate fabrications and extensions of identity. The Boomers are going on their penultimate journey of self-discovery, predictably wrecking everything in their path as they make burnt offerings to their insatiable egos.

that something is Boomer vanity.

These guys are just itching for one last game of Cowboys & Indians

is all about vanity

insatiable egos.

What a dumb comment. It's all reducible to the personal psychology of a particular generation, it's "all about vanity", all about "insatiable egos". We're trying to have a serious discussion about important issues and random comic book reading commenters insist on projecting their weird Freudian fantasies onto everything.
Yeah, if everyone weren't so darn vain.

El Dato Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 2:09 pm GMT

@The Scalpel But this is in California.

If it was shot down in Syria, ysure that neocons would take to the Sunday morning TV programme and basically spoil eveyone's breakfast.

Plus, Russia would certainly recount the why & wherefore of this shootdown. It would be a "message".

After all, it's not as if you could sic an S-300 missile onto a Global Hawk under a sudden panicky impulse. The Good Drone would be readily identifiable as such (high-altitude, slow, possibly with a transponder on)

KenH Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 2:29 pm GMT

@The Alarmist More like the Russians would not have won had the U.S. not opened up a second front via the D-Day invasion. Stalin had been pestering Roosevelt and Churchill to do so for a long time and they both eventually complied with good ole "uncle Joe's" demand. Germany's army group center in Russia began disintegrating shortly after the Normandy invasion and allowed Russia to permanently stay on the offensive for the remainder of the war.

Without the D-Day invasion the Russo-German war would have likely resulted in a stalemate with Germany still holding on to some Russian territory.

jilles dykstra Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 2:46 pm GMT

@Max Havelaar http://luftpost-kl.de/luftpost-archiv/LP_16/LP10517_250617.pdf

The document begins in german, the english original is after the german version.

jilles dykstra Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 2:49 pm GMT

@KenH Churchill never agreed, he wanted an invasion in the Adriatic.
For FDR Stalin was Uncle Joe, never for Churchill.
FDR died before Uncle Joe showed his real nature through the Berlin blockade.
The obliteration of Dresden had not impressed him enough.

for-the-record Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 3:11 pm GMT

@KenH More like the Russians would not have won had the U.S. not opened up a second front via the D-Day invasion. Stalin had been pestering Roosevelt and Churchill to do so for a long time and they both eventually complied with good ole "uncle Joe's" demand. Germany's army group center in Russia began disintegrating shortly after the Normandy invasion and allowed Russia to permanently stay on the offensive for the remainder of the war.

Without the D-Day invasion the Russo-German war would have likely resulted in a stalemate with Germany still holding on to some Russian territory.

More like the Russians would not have won had the U.S. not opened up a second front via the D-Day invasion. . . Germany's army group center in Russia began disintegrating shortly after the Normandy invasion and allowed Russia to permanently stay on the offensive for the remainder of the war.

On D-Day the Red Army was already beyond the frontiers of Russia, having entered northern Romania and (pre-War) Poland.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1944-06-01GerWW2BattlefrontAtlas.jpg

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[Jun 25, 2017] How America Armed Terrorists in Syria

Jun 25, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Three-term Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a member of both the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees, has proposed legislation that would prohibit any U.S. assistance to terrorist organizations in Syria as well as to any organization working directly with them. Equally important, it would prohibit U.S. military sales and other forms of military cooperation with other countries that provide arms or financing to those terrorists and their collaborators.

Gabbard's "Stop Arming Terrorists Act" challenges for the first time in Congress a U.S. policy toward the conflict in the Syrian civil war that should have set off alarm bells long ago: in 2012-13 the Obama administration helped its Sunni allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar provide arms to Syrian and non-Syrian armed groups to force President Bashar al-Assad out of power. And in 2013 the administration began to provide arms to what the CIA judged to be "relatively moderate" anti-Assad groups-meaning they incorporated various degrees of Islamic extremism.

That policy, ostensibly aimed at helping replace the Assad regime with a more democratic alternative, has actually helped build up al Qaeda's Syrian franchise al Nusra Front into the dominant threat to Assad.

The supporters of this arms-supply policy believe it is necessary as pushback against Iranian influence in Syria. But that argument skirts the real issue raised by the policy's history. The Obama administration's Syria policy effectively sold out the U.S. interest that was supposed to be the touchstone of the "Global War on Terrorism"-the eradication of al Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates. The United States has instead subordinated that U.S. interest in counter-terrorism to the interests of its Sunni allies. In doing so it has helped create a new terrorist threat in the heart of the Middle East.

The policy of arming military groups committed to overthrowing the government of President Bashar al-Assad began in September 2011, when President Barack Obama was pressed by his Sunni allies-Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar-to supply heavy weapons to a military opposition to Assad they were determined to establish. Turkey and the Gulf regimes wanted the United States to provide anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to the rebels, according to a former Obama Administration official involved in Middle East issues.

Obama refused to provide arms to the opposition, but he agreed to provide covert U.S. logistical help i n carrying out a campaign of military assistance to arm opposition groups. CIA involvement in the arming of anti-Assad forces began with arranging for the shipment of weapons from the stocks of the Gaddafi regime that had been stored in Benghazi. CIA-controlled firms shipped the weapons from the military port of Benghazi to two small ports in Syria using former U.S. military personnel to manage the logistics, as investigative reporter Sy Hersh detailed in 2014 . The funding for the program came mainly from the Saudis.

A declassified October 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report revealed that the shipment in late August 2012 had included 500 sniper rifles, 100 RPG (rocket propelled grenade launchers) along with 300 RPG rounds and 400 howitzers. Each arms shipment encompassed as many as ten shipping containers, it reported, each of which held about 48,000 pounds of cargo. That suggests a total payload of up to 250 tons of weapons per shipment. Even if the CIA had organized only one shipment per month, the arms shipments would have totaled 2,750 tons of arms bound ultimately for Syria from October 2011 through August 2012. More likely it was a multiple of that figure.

The CIA's covert arms shipments from Libya came to an abrupt halt in September 2012 when Libyan militants attacked and burned the embassy annex in Benghazi that had been used to support the operation. By then, however, a much larger channel for arming anti-government forces was opening up. The CIA put the Saudis in touch with a senior Croatian official who had offered to sell large quantities of arms left over from the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. And the CIA helped them shop for weapons from arms dealers and governments in several other former Soviet bloc countries.

Flush with weapons acquired from both the CIA Libya program and from the Croatians, the Saudis and Qataris dramatically increased the number of flights by military cargo planes to Turkey in December 2012 and continued that intensive pace for the next two and a half months. The New York Times reported a total 160 such flights through mid-March 2013. The most common cargo plane in use in the Gulf, the Ilyushin IL-76 , can carry roughly 50 tons of cargo on a flight, which would indicate that as much as 8,000 tons of weapons poured across the Turkish border into Syria just in late 2012 and in 2013.

One U.S. official called the new level of arms deliveries to Syrian rebels a "cataract of weaponry." And a year-long investigation by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project revealed that the Saudis were intent on building up a powerful conventional army in Syria. The "end-use certificate" for weapons purchased from an arms company in Belgrade, Serbia, in May 2013 includes 500 Soviet-designed PG-7VR rocket launchers that can penetrate even heavily-armored tanks, along with two million rounds; 50 Konkurs anti-tank missile launchers and 500 missiles, 50 anti-aircraft guns mounted on armored vehicles, 10,000 fragmentation rounds for OG-7 rocket launchers capable of piercing heavy body armor; four truck-mounted BM-21 GRAD multiple rocket launchers, each of which fires 40 rockets at a time with a range of 12 to 19 miles, along with 20,000 GRAD rockets.

The end user document for another Saudi order from the same Serbian company listed 300 tanks, 2,000 RPG launchers, and 16,500 other rocket launchers, one million rounds for ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft guns, and 315 million cartridges for various other guns.

Those two purchases were only a fraction of the totality of the arms obtained by the Saudis over the next few years from eight Balkan nations. Investigators found that the Saudis made their biggest arms deals with former Soviet bloc states in 2015, and that the weapons included many that had just come off factory production lines. Nearly 40 percent of the arms the Saudis purchased from those countries, moreover, still had not been delivered by early 2017. So the Saudis had already contracted for enough weaponry to keep a large-scale conventional war in Syria going for several more years.

By far the most consequential single Saudi arms purchase was not from the Balkans, however, but from the United States. It was the December 2013 U.S. sale of 15,000 TOW anti-tank missiles to the Saudis at a cost of about $1 billion-the result of Obama's decision earlier that year to reverse his ban on lethal assistance to anti-Assad armed groups. The Saudis had agreed, moreover, that those anti-tank missiles would be doled out to Syrian groups only at U.S. discretion. The TOW missiles began to arrive in Syria in 2014 and soon had a major impact on the military balance.

This flood of weapons into Syria, along with the entry of 20,000 foreign fighters into the country-primarily through Turkey-largely defined the nature of the conflict. These armaments helped make al Qaeda's Syrian franchise, al Nusra Front (now renamed Tahrir al-Sham or Levant Liberation Organization) and its close allies by far the most powerful anti-Assad forces in Syria- and gave rise to the Islamic State .

By late 2012, it became clear to U.S. officials that the largest share of the arms that began flowing into Syria early in the year were going to the rapidly growing al Qaeda presence in the country. In October 2012, U.S. officials acknowledged off the record for the first time to the New York Times that "most" of the arms that had been shipped to armed opposition groups in Syria with U.S. logistical assistance during the previous year had gone to "hardline Islamic jihadists"- obviously meaning al Qaeda's Syrian franchise, al Nusra.

Al Nusra Front and its allies became the main recipients of the weapons because the Saudis, Turks, and Qataris wanted the arms to go to the military units that were most successful in attacking government targets. And by the summer of 2012, al Nusra Front, buttressed by the thousands of foreign jihadists pouring into the country across the Turkish border, was already taking the lead in attacks on the Syrian government in coordination with "Free Syrian Army" brigades.

In November and December 2012, al Nusra Front began establishing formal "joint operations rooms" with those calling themselves "Free Syrian Army" on several battlefronts, as Charles Lister chronicles in his book The Syrian Jihad . One such commander favored by Washington was Col. Abdul Jabbar al-Oqaidi, a former Syrian army officer who headed something called the Aleppo Revolutionary Military Council. Ambassador Robert Ford, who continued to hold that position even after he had been withdrawn from Syria, publicly visited Oqaidi in May 2013 to express U.S. support for him and the FSA.

But Oqaidi and his troops were junior partners in a coalition in Aleppo in which al Nusra was by far the strongest element. That reality is clearly reflected in a video in which Oqaidi describes his good relations with officials of the "Islamic State" and is shown joining the main jihadist commander in the Aleppo region celebrating the capture of the Syrian government's Menagh Air Base in September 2013.

By early 2013, in fact, the "Free Syrian Army," which had never actually been a military organization with any troops, had ceased to have any real significance in the Syria conflict. New anti-Assad armed groups had stopped using the name even as a "brand" to identify themselves, as a leading specialist on the conflict observed.

So, when weapons from Turkey arrived at the various battlefronts, it was understood by all the non-jihadist groups that they would be shared with al Nusra Front and its close allies. A report by McClatchy in early 2013, on a town in north central Syria, showed how the military arrangements between al Nusra and those brigades calling themselves "Free Syrian Army" governed the distribution of weapons. One of those units, the Victory Brigade, had participated in a "joint operations room" with al Qaeda's most important military ally, Ahrar al Sham, in a successful attack on a strategic town a few weeks earlier. A visiting reporter watched that brigade and Ahrar al Sham show off new sophisticated weapons that included Russian-made RPG27 shoulder-fired rocket-propelled anti-tank grenades and RG6 grenade launchers.

When asked if the Victory Brigade had shared its new weapons with Ahrar al Sham, the latter's spokesman responded, "Of course they share their weapons with us. We fight together."

Turkey and Qatar consciously chose al Qaeda and its closest ally, Ahrar al Sham, as the recipients of weapons systems. In late 2013 and early 2014, several truckloads of arms bound for the province of Hatay, just south of the Turkish border, were intercepted by Turkish police. They had Turkish intelligence personnel on board, according to later Turkish police court testimony . The province was controlled by Ahrar al Sham. In fact Turkey soon began to treat Ahrar al Sham as its primary client in Syria, according to Faysal Itani , a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.

A Qatari intelligence operative who had been involved in shipping arms to extremist groups in Libya was a key figure in directing the flow of arms from Turkey into Syria. An Arab intelligence source familiar with the discussions among the external suppliers near the Syrian border in Turkey during those years told the Washington Post's David Ignatius that when one of the participants warned that the outside powers were building up the jihadists while the non-Islamist groups were withering away, the Qatari operative responded, "I will send weapons to al Qaeda if it will help."

The Qataris did funnel arms to both al Nusra Front and Ahrar al Sham, according to a Middle Eastern diplomatic source. The Obama administration's National Security Council staff proposed in 2013 that the United States signal U.S. displeasure with Qatar over its arming of extremists in both Syria and Libya by withdrawing a squadron of fighter planes from the U.S. airbase at al-Udeid, Qatar. The Pentagon vetoed that mild form of pressure, however, to protect its access to its base in Qatar.

President Obama himself confronted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan over his government's support for the jihadists at a private White House dinner in May 2013, as recounted by Hersh. "We know what you're doing with the radicals in Syria," he quotes Obama as saying to Erdogan.

The administration addressed Turkey's cooperation with the al Nusra publicly, however, only fleetingly in late 2014. Shortly after leaving Ankara, Francis Ricciardone, the U.S. ambassador to Turkey from 2011 through mid-2014, told The Daily Telegraph of London that Turkey had "worked with groups, frankly, for a period, including al Nusra."

The closest Washington came to a public reprimand of its allies over the arming of terrorists in Syria was when Vice President Joe Biden criticized their role in October 2014. In impromptu remarks at Harvard University's Kennedy School, Biden complained that "our biggest problem is our allies." The forces they had supplied with arms, he said, were "al Nusra and al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world."

Biden quickly apologized for the remarks, explaining that he didn't mean that U.S. allies had deliberately helped the jihadists. But Ambassador Ford confirmed his complaint, telling BBC , "What Biden said about the allies aggravating the problem of extremism is true."

In June 2013 Obama approved the first direct U.S. lethal military aid to rebel brigades that had been vetted by the CIA. By spring 2014, the U.S.-made BGM-71E anti-tank missiles from the 15,000 transferred to the Saudis began to appear in the hands of selected anti-Assad groups. But the CIA imposed the condition that the group receiving them would not cooperate with the al Nusra Front or its allies.

That condition implied that Washington was supplying military groups that were strong enough to maintain their independence from al Nusra Front. But the groups on the CIA's list of vetted "relatively moderate" armed groups were all highly vulnerable to takeover by the al Qaeda affiliate. In November 2014, al Nusra Front troops struck the two strongest CIA-supported armed groups, Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionary Front on successive days and seized their heavy weapons, including both TOW anti-tank missiles and GRAD rockets.

In early March 2015, the Harakat Hazm Aleppo branch dissolved itself, and al Nusra Front promptly showed off photos of the TOW missiles and other equipment they had captured from it. And in March 2016, al Nusra Front troops attacked the headquarters of the 13th Division in northwestern Idlib province and seized all of its TOW missiles. Later that month, al Nusra Front released a video of its troops using the TOW missiles it had captured.

But that wasn't the only way for al Nusra Front to benefit from the CIA's largesse. Along with its close ally Ahrar al Sham, the terrorist organization began planning for a campaign to take complete control of Idlib province in the winter of 2014-15. Abandoning any pretense of distance from al Qaeda, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar worked with al Nusra on the creation of a new military formation for Idlib called the "Army of Conquest," consisting of the al Qaeda affiliate and its closest allies. Saudi Arabia and Qatar provided more weapons for the campaign, while Turkey facilitated their passage . On March 28, just four days after launching the campaign, the Army of Conquest successfully gained control of Idlib City.

The non-jihadist armed groups getting advanced weapons from the CIA assistance were not part of the initial assault on Idlib City. After the capture of Idlib the U.S.-led operations room for Syria in southern Turkey signaled to the CIA-supported groups in Idlib that they could now participate in the campaign to consolidate control over the rest of the province. According to Lister , the British researcher on jihadists in Syria who maintains contacts with both jihadist and other armed groups, recipients of CIA weapons, such as the Fursan al haq brigade and Division 13, did join the Idlib campaign alongside al Nusra Front without any move by the CIA to cut them off.

As the Idlib offensive began, the CIA-supported groups were getting TOW missiles in larger numbers, and they now used them with great effectiveness against the Syrian army tanks. That was the beginning of a new phase of the war, in which U.S. policy was to support an alliance between "relatively moderate" groups and the al Nusra Front.

The new alliance was carried over to Aleppo, where jihadist groups close to Nusra Front formed a new command called Fateh Halab ("Aleppo Conquest") with nine armed groups in Aleppo province which were getting CIA assistance. The CIA-supported groups could claim that they weren't cooperating with al Nusra Front because the al Qaeda franchise was not officially on the list of participants in the command. But as the report on the new command clearly implied , this was merely a way of allowing the CIA to continue providing weapons to its clients, despite their de facto alliance with al Qaeda.

The significance of all this is clear: by helping its Sunni allies provide weapons to al Nusra Front and its allies and by funneling into the war zone sophisticated weapons that were bound to fall into al Nusra hands or strengthen their overall military position, U.S. policy has been largely responsible for having extended al Qaeda's power across a significant part of Syrian territory. The CIA and the Pentagon appear to be ready to tolerate such a betrayal of America's stated counter-terrorism mission. Unless either Congress or the White House confronts that betrayal explicitly, as Tulsi Gabbard's legislation would force them to do, U.S. policy will continue to be complicit in the consolidation of power by al Qaeda in Syria, even if the Islamic State is defeated there.

Gareth Porter is an independent journalist and winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for journalism. He is the author of numerous books, including Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare (Just World Books, 2014).

  • Stewart , says: June 22, 2017 at 3:26 pm
    America has been doing the same thing in Syria that it did in Afghanistan in the 80s when they armed and trained Bin Laden and the Mujahideen to create Al Qaeda and look what that led to 9/11 only this time their criminal actions of arming Jihadists have led to terrorist attacks in Europe.
    Centralist , says: June 22, 2017 at 4:17 pm
    I think the largest problem with US Foreign Policy is we are rather ignorant of any aspect of the Middle East or its politics even after all that time in Iraq. It is almost embarrassing the fact we are a society that seem to reward and encourage ignorance at all levels of it. At one point in time many politicians lacked formal education yet they were all highly self educated. Lincoln was a self trained lawyer from a humble background. I

    Ignorance is not a virtue unless you are Orwellian in thought.

    Johann , says: June 23, 2017 at 10:03 am
    Cutting through all the propaganda, Assad is the least bad realistic option for syria. If Assad falls, there will be true genocide.
    Steve Diamond , says: June 23, 2017 at 10:21 am
    "ostensibly aimed at helping replace the Assad regime with a more democratic alternative" – That is the smartest insight of this story. US policy in the region strongly favors relatively secular dictators. Democracy is seen as a total threat to "stability," brutal US-allied regimes. The US should either stop meddling, or genuinely support democratic reform, but not lie to the American people by meddling in the name of democracy.
    Stephen J,Gray , says: June 23, 2017 at 11:26 am
    Here is an excerpt from Tulsi Gabbard's Press release.
    Why don't you publish it?

    "Under U.S. law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.[i] Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, December 8, 2016,Press Release.

    https://gabbard.house.gov/news/press-releases/video-rep-tulsi-gabbard-introduces-legislation-stop-arming-terrorists

    Peter , says: June 23, 2017 at 12:49 pm
    Could it get much worse? American wars in the Middle East have been a total disaster. For a while it looked as if Trump might be the game changer, someone who would finally pull us out. Instead, the situation is getting worse. ISIS is spreading like a cancer in Europe, with a flood of refugees changing the character of Europe permanently perhaps. Meanwhile, the non-Islamist groups were withering away" according to this article, because the US of all people are arming the terrorists. Geez, I wonder if that makes the US a terrorist nation? (Sadly we recently had a choice of partnering with Russia to wipe out ISIS, but we decided to play the sinister game of power politics instead. Clearly the Turks, Saudis other Sunis have been aiding and abetting ISIS in various ways. We should switch allegiance to Russia and Iran, IMO.)
    EK , says: June 23, 2017 at 12:53 pm
    So, the State Department's objective in the Middle East is to create a Sunnistan between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers controlled by radical Sunni Islamists of whatever name they chose to call themselves.

    It seems Israel has signed off on this.

    It also seems the Russians are saying "fine." But still the war goes on. Why?

    Is it absolutely necessary that Syria be destroyed as well?

    Why; is it because of Iran and it's puppets the rump of Iraq east of the Euphrates and Syria?

    If this is the final outcome envisioned of what possible relevance is Afghanistan?

    Skeptic , says: June 23, 2017 at 1:17 pm
    Peter: It already is worse.

    It would be wonderful to see some follow-on reporting by Gareth Porter. For example, on whether there was any relation between Gen. Flynn's apparent opposition to this 'strategy' and the campaign to get him out of the White House. Yeah, I know. He spoke with the Russian ambassador. Besides that.

    mark , says: June 23, 2017 at 3:23 pm
    Every terrorist attack, every child that is killed in the UK and Europe, is just a case of terrorism coming home, pigeons coming home to roost. What goes around comes around. It would be no more than justice if London/ Paris/ Brussels, let alone Riyadh and Doha, one day looked like Damascus does today. We have armed/ bankrolled/ trained this filth. They always bite the hand that feeds them.
    Sothguard , says: June 23, 2017 at 3:42 pm
    Yes. We know. The whole reason I voted for Trump, is because he looked as though he would end this conflict. But it didn't happen. And what did I really expect? No morality, no promise is solid.

    We should have banned travel and withdrawn every US and NATO force from the area, down to the last rifle. We are weakened from years of fighting and our enemies know it.

    It's time we elected a non-rich, non-politician, common man to the office of President. Somebody with outstanding morality and nothing to lose.

    Trump doesn't seem to be delivering what I want. And he's not the leader I want.

    I know what the leader I'm looking for is like. Wherever this man is, it's time he step forward. If he doesn't, then I will, but chances are it will be too late by the time I am ready. So how about one of millions of experienced adults show up for once. I'm tired of living my life, ruled by lesser men. Give me somebody to support, for God's sake.

  • [Jun 25, 2017] You know there is a saying falsely attributed to Churchill: "Those who choose shame between war and shame they end up by getting both". Russia chose shame in 2014, but will inevitable get war. Or hasn't it already? The "hybrid war", you know.

    Jun 25, 2017 | www.unz.com

    Boris N June 16, 2017 at 11:44 am GMT

    @German_reader

    any form of military escalation would be fraught with grave risks

    You know there is a saying falsely attributed to Churchill: "Those who choose shame between war and shame they end up by getting both". Russia chose shame in 2014, but will inevitable get war. Or hasn't it already? The "hybrid war", you know.

    Or another saying: "Better a terrible end than an endless terror".

    Your views on the Syrian intervention are convincing to me, Russia should definitely avoid deeper involvement.

    You pose a false ridiculous dilemma. How can a normal honest Russian equate some ragheads with Russians and hesitate whom to help and where to intervene?

    Imagine East Germany has not united with the West Germany, but instead become a fascist country with a hostile anti-WG identity. Some people there want to WG anyway and they raise a rebellion, so the Berlin regime starts to oppress and even bomb and kill them. At the same time WG has got an opportunity to fight ISIS on the ground. So how do you think what an honest German from WG should choose having the limited military resources? To help your German brothers nearby and intervene (or occupy EG outright altogether) or to fight some damned ragheads somewhere far away in the damned desert?

    Exactly if Putin has chosen an intervention in Syria over an intervention in Ukraine he is just saying to everybody that Russians do not matter but that Muslims do. When Putin was saying he's a nationalist "of some sort" we now know of what sort of nationalists he is. Muslim and Ukrainian ones! Or more generally any nationalists who are against Russians.

    [Jun 25, 2017] The US doesnt really want to settle the Syrian war. Without permanent Jihad, how could Washington ever justify a permanent War on Terror? Ditto Ukraine: they need a constant crisis there to isolate the Europe from Russia. They did not appreciate Putins attempts at improving relations with Europe–Germany,

    Jun 25, 2017 | www.unz.com

    Seamus Padraig Show Comment Next New Comment June 16, 2017 at 11:44 am GMT

    @Western Solidarity I will be brief here. Right now we are entering uncharted waters in Russo-American relations. What the investigations of Trump's ties to the Kremlin or at least to the Russian Mafia will reveal remains to be seen. Meanwhile the U.S. Senate is rushing to put more sanctions on Russia for alleged meddling in America's elections last year. This is simply insane. Russia and America have the two largest nuclear arsenals on earth. Russia sits at the crossroads of Asia, Europe and the Middle East and is Europe's first line of defense from invasion from the Orient or Moslem Middle East.

    Russia's help is need to settle the Syrian civil war, end the Ukrainian crisis, keep Iran nuclear free, de=fang North Korea and curb China's growing appetite and ambition for worldwide resources, markets and "adventures". The U.S. should be working with Russia to manage these issues and make Western solidarity not just a slogan but a reality. Instead the Congress is going all out to alienate and aggravate the Russian Bear. I fear that one day President Putin will tire of the persecution of Russia and her proud people and the demonization of his regime and give orders to send long range nuclear missiles and atomic warheads to both North Korea and Iran.

    Russia shares borders with both and could easily ship these weapons in piecemeal by train, truck, ship and plane to the tyrants in power in those countries and send technicians to assemble them and train the North Koreans and Iranians on how to use them.

    This is I know a nightmare scenario, but it could easily occur. At that point two of America's closest dependents, Israel and Japan, would be directly threatened by virulent dictators. How would America react?

    What could or would the U.S. President do to "retaliate"? This is very, very serious and Congress needs to stop playing games and realize it is vital to America's peace and security to be friends or at least neutral with Russia and work with them on areas of common agreement and need such as stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction, settling ongoing wars, stopping the migrant invasion of Europe, etc., etc. Otherwise it could literally come to World War II and the end of the planet. No joking matter my friends.

    Russia's help is need to settle the Syrian civil war, end the Ukrainian crisis, keep Iran nuclear free, de=fang North Korea and curb China's growing appetite and ambition for worldwide resources, markets and "adventures".

    Except that the US doesn't really want to settle the Syrian war. Without permanent Jihad, how could Washington ever justify a permanent 'War on Terror'? Ditto Ukraine: they need a constant crisis there to isolate the Europe from Russia. They did not appreciate Putin's attempts at improving relations with Europe–Germany, especially–since coming to power in 1999. The Norks' nukes don't threaten Russia in the slightest–Russia has more than enough of a deterrent to handle such a small, isolated country. And Iran and Russia now have quite goods relations, and Iran still doesn't have a bomb. As far as China's resource appetites are concerned, well, that actually benefits Russia, as China is now one of their largest customers, both for natural resources as well as defense/aerospace technology.

    [Jun 25, 2017] UKRAINE meddled in US 2016 election. In conspiracy to blackmail Trump, Ukraine provided DNC with false accusations against Manafort, hoping to derail Trump and install Deep State figurehead Hillary Clinton

    Jun 25, 2017 | www.unz.com

    RobinG June 24, 2017 at 4:32 am GMT

    DEMOCRATS & REPUBLICANS: ONE BIRD, 2 WINGS . SAME SHIT

    UKRAINE meddled in US 2016 election. In conspiracy to blackmail Trump, Ukraine provided DNC with false accusations against Manafort, hoping to derail Trump and install Deep State figurehead Hillary Clinton.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEjZ5gI9GaM UNREAL: The real election interference scandal HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT

    See the timeline, and smoking-gun email from Alexandra Chalupa. To steal election, DNC fabricated Trump-Russian collusion stories which have poisoned US-Russia relations in this administration and stoked impeachment fever. Anti-Russian hysteria serves Israel by killing Syria & Iran diplomacy. Great journalism by Lee Stranahan.

    Exiled off mainstreet Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 5:59 am GMT

    The fabricated collusion stories strike me as efforts to force Trump to put the US on an aggressive war footing against Russia in Syria and elsewhere. As such the constitute war crimes efforts and are not only criminal, but stupid in light of the unnecessary risk they put us to.

    [Jun 24, 2017] US invaded Syria conducting military operations in sovereign land and airspace of Syria without the permission of the Syrian government. Unlike Russia, from which Syria officially requested military assistance.

    Jun 24, 2017 | www.unz.com

    Avery

    { .. the Russian invasion of Ukraine,}

    There was no so-called 'invasion' of Ukraine by Russia.
    There was however an illegal invasion of the sovereign state of Iraq – 7,000 away from US – by US and UK ( .admitted as being illegal by Lord Prescott), resulting in its total destruction as a functioning State, and causing the deaths of something like 500,000 Iraqis, most of them civilians. The bloody aftermath of that criminal, illegal act by US&UK continues to this day. Death, destruction, dislocation.

    US has also invaded another sovereign State, Syria: US troops and air force are present and conducting military operations in sovereign land and airspace of Syria. All without the permission of the Syrian government. Unlike Russia, from which Syria officially requested military assistance.

    So stop lecturing anybody about the so-called 'invasion' of Ukraine by RF.

    { after the deceitful land grab by Russia of Crimea }

    You can't, quote, 'grab' something that belongs to you.
    Crimea has been part of Russia for 200+ years.
    In 1954 Soviet dictator Khrushchev "gave" Crimea to Ukraine SSR, without asking the residents of Crimea.

    After the dissolution of USSR, residents of Crimea held declarations and referendums:

    1992: Crimea declared Independence. Kiev ignored it.
    1994: Autonomy referendum. Passed by ~80%. Kiev ignored it.

    After the 2014 neo-Nazi putsch in Kiev, the neo-Nazi Azov battalion and other neo-Nazi gangs started murdering ethnic Russians, e.g. the Odessa Massacre. Not wanting a replay of Operation Barbarossa in Crimea, its residents held a referendum in 2014 to re-join Russia: passed by 96%+.
    Done. Thank you very much.

    By comparison, BREXIT passed 52% to 48%.
    So that somehow has more "legality" ?

    btw: most of so-called 'Ukraine' are Russian lands attached* to Ukraine by various Russian Tsars and dictators. In time, they will all be promptly returned to Mother Russia.

    Say, do you remember when US deceitfully grabbed the territory of Hawaii?

    _______

    *

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/05/20140504

    Cyrano June 22, 2017 at 10:17 pm GMT • 100 Words
    @Mr. Hack
    The only thing that Russia wanted from Ukraine is not to allow themselves to become threat to Russia by joining NATO. Ukraine, having wasted all other options for normal development, couldn't resist taking the offer of cashing in on becoming a threat to Russia. Ukraine tries to justify this based on some past historical grievances from the 1930's.
    What total lunacy and hippocracy. Do I really need to remind you that before 2014 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, NATO membership was not a popular option for most Ukrainians. But now, after the deceitful land grab by Russia of Crimea and three years of proxy directed war in Donbas orchestrated in Moscow, most Ukrainians now look favorably towards NATO membership. Latest polls show that 55.9% o Ukrainians now favor NATO integration (I think that pre 2014 it was less than 15%) and 66.4% now favor EU integration. You reap what you sew, Putinista fanboys. Bye, bye 'NovoRossiya'!

    http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2017/06/17/7147228/

    How can you steal something that's yours? Think of Crimea as the wedding ring. Once the marriage was dissolved – the ring goes back to its rightful owner. At the time Khruschev gifted Crimea to Ukraine, no one in their wildest dreams imagined that Russia and Ukraine would one day go their separate ways. Crimea was to be part of Ukraine only as long as Ukraine was part of the same country as Russia. Otherwise, Russia would have never agreed to cede Crimea. I guess following the marriage analogy, NovoRossiya would be the dowry. Ukraine can lose that too if they don't smarten up.

    [Jun 24, 2017] The United States and Iran Two Tracks to Establish Hegemony by James Petras

    Highly recommended!
    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... June 10, 2017 | unz.com ..."
    "... US imperial policy in the Middle East focuses on encircling, destroying and dismantling Iran's allies (Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Iraq (Shi'a Militia), Qatar and Yemen with the intent of overthrowing the government and installing a client regime in Teheran ..."
    "... And yet the US destroyed Iran's most useful enemy, Saddam's Iraq. Sometimes I wonder whether US foreign policy has any guiding intelligence at all. Maybe it consists only of stupid, reckless flailing. ..."
    www.unz.com
    June 10, 2017 | unz.com

    Introduction

    US policy in the Middle East and South Asia is shaped by several basic considerations:

    1. US Imperialism is the force of global domination
    2. US imperial policy in the Middle East focuses on encircling, destroying and dismantling Iran's allies (Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Iraq (Shi'a Militia), Qatar and Yemen with the intent of overthrowing the government and installing a client regime in Teheran.
    3. The return of Iran to the status of puppet regime will advance Washington's ultimate goal of encircling and isolating Russia and China.
    4. The US overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran will facilitate Israel's final seizure of Palestine, including Jerusalem, and establish Tel Aviv as the dominant regional power in the Middle East.

    Washington's 'Two Track' Policy for Domination

    US strategic planners rely on a two-track policy , combining and blending military and ideological weapons.

    Its military strategy relies on slicing up the Middle East - 'salami tactics' – invading and conquering of each and every country and government, which shares the Islamic Republic of Iran's policy of national sovereignty and independence. US military success or failure depends on its alliances in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. The US, Saudi Arabia and Israel all sponsor terrorist groups which have attacked Iran's scientists, its elected representatives and military leaders, as well as its sacred sites – inside Iran as well as abroad.

    The political and ideological strategy involves the penetration and organization of domestic forces to destabilize and weaken Iran's internal security, defense capability and overseas alliances.

    Ideological warfare involves: (1) exploiting regional, ethnic, class and religious differences to undermine stability and fragment the country; and (2) converting legitimate social critics and political opposition parties into imperial collaborators.

    Ideological attacks are designed to attract Iranian writers, academics, intellectuals and artists who choose to ignore the history of US imperialism in fomenting bloody coups (Mossadegh 1954), launching proxy wars via Saddam Hussain's invasion (1980- 88) and the terrorist attacks by Israel and Saudi Arabia, as well as the terrorists backed by Iraq's former dictator.

    US propaganda intervention in Iran's electoral process has been designed to promote a so-called "color revolution" regime change favored by neo-liberal, pro-West parties and candidates who seek US sponsorship in their ascent to power. The imperial collaborators and various Western 'human rights' NGOs hide the sordid history of Washington's overt and proxy wars/coups and occupations in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Palestine.

    In order to intimidate and weaken overseas and domestic allies; and the (4) financing and arming of terrorists from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa to attack the Islamic Republic.

    Linguistic and Conceptual Perversions

    Imperial warfare depends on perverting political language and concepts. The US refers to invasion, which have killed and maimed millions of Muslims and Christians in Iraq (2003-2017) and Syria (2011-2017) as 'humanitarian interventions'. In reality its policy described an ongoing 'holocaust' – the massive genocidal violation of the human rights of scores of millions of people to sovereignty, peace and security of home, life, limb, culture and faith.

    The millions of victims of the West's current holocaust in the Middle East reject and scorn Washington's imperialist claim of defending 'democratic values' and its so called 'responsibility to protect (R2P) ' as pronounced by a series of US Administrations through their mouthpieces in the United Nations.

    In contrast, US support for the Saudi monarch's brutal bombing and blockade of Yemen has led to an entire population facing starvation and a massive, cholera epidemic, which now threatens over 26 million Yeminis. The campaign against Yemen by the brutal Saudis and their US-EU allies is the very definition of crimes against humanity and international law.

    Sanctions: A Tool of Conquest

    US sanctions against Iraq, Syria, Iran and Yemen have been designed to starve working people into submission while capturing the support of some middle class consumers. US policy of invading Libya and brutally murdering President Gadhafi and his family members was designed to systematically destroy a prosperous, independent republic and turn it into a backward, impoverished fiefdom of tribal warlords, exploited by Western oil companies. Saudi Arabia joined the European Union in financing terrorists, many trained in the destroyed remnants of Libya, who later killed innocent civilians in Paris, Nice, London, Manchester and other parts of Europe.

    The strategic goal of the US invasion of Iraq, Syria and Yemen has been to violently divide these independent republics and turn them into ethnically cleansed, impoverished, mini-states – in the imperial tradition of 'divide and conquer'. Such tribal fiefdoms are easily dominated by imperial powers.

    Regional and Global Strategy

    Washington's imperial strategists have arrived at the conclusion that they cannot conquer independent states, like Iran, in a single attack, given its size, defense capability, internal cohesion and regional alliances.

    Their strategy is to surround Iran by destroying its allies, one nation at a time.

    The first phase of the US invasion, occupation and systematic destruction of Iraq and its entire governmental infrastructure was designed to overthrow the Baathist state, then neutralize the Shi'a militia and impose a servile client regime in Baghdad. The second step was to encourage Sunni tribal warlords to seize control of central Iraq. The third step was to arm the Kurds to form a mini-state in northern Iraq (so-called "Kurdistan"). This would entail large-scale ethnic cleansing, the total destruction of Iraq's ancient Christian community, the extermination of its multiethnic modern educated, scientific, cultural and technocratic work force. In other words, the US strategy was to obliterate any remnant of the Iraqi Republic in its war to 'remake the Middle East'.

    After Iraq and Libya, the next target for US-EU aggression has been the government of the Syrian Arab Republic, Iran's ally. The EU, USA, Saudi Arabia and Turkey sponsored an invasion by mercenary Salafi forces under a network of Daesh-ISIS-al Queda terrorists. Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates have provided military, logistical and financial support to the terrorists.

    After Syria, the fourth target of Anglo-American-Saudi-Israeli military strategy would be to undermine the national sovereignty of Lebanon and destroy the armed political Hezbollah Party, the powerful Lebanese resistance organization (allied with Iran). It was consistent with this strategy for the West to support Israel's brutal air and ground attacks against the civilian population and infrastructure of Beirut, Lebanese port cities and villages. Tens of thousands of Lebanese Christians were not spared the Israeli terror bombing campaign.

    If a Lebanese campaign were successful and Hezbollah was destroyed, the 'final' Israeli conquest of Palestine, the fifth objective, could commence: US and world Zionism would unconditionally celebrate Israel's massive ethnic purge of Palestine's native peoples and finish off the total confiscation of the homes, mosques, churches, land and resources of millions of Muslim and Christian Palestinians and other peoples. This would create history's first 'pure Jewish' state.

    The sixth imperial objective would be to disarm Iran's military and security structure and weaken its economy in order to isolate the Islamic Republic and undermine its Middle Eastern alliances. This strategic objective explains why Washington promotes its one-sided nuclear arms agreement with Iran, while the nuclear-armed Israel is excluded! Despite Iran's abiding by the terms of the agreement, there have been no reciprocal lifting of economic sanctions or the normalization of trade and diplomatic relations.

    Iran Counters the US Global Military Threat

    Iran responded by developing economic, technical and military agreements with Russia and China in order to counter the US-Israeli-Saudi threats and sanctions. Russia provides advanced defensive weapons systems. China signs large-scale, long-term trade agreements while including Iran in its huge Central Asian infrastructure projects. Most importantly, Iran has succeeded in defending the legitimate government of Syria, while aiding Iraq and Yemen.

    Iran undermined official US sanctions by signing multi-billion dollar agreements with the giant Boeing Corporation for the purchase of passenger airplanes as well as developing further agreements with US banks and agro-business exporters and oil companies. These profitable agreements with the US agro-business export sector can weaken the Pentagon-Zionist sanctions.

    Iran has the diplomatic support of the Non-Aligned Movement opposing Israeli-US Zionist military threats.

    Iran's principled opposition to Saudi Arabia's massive arms purchases, as well as the Kingdom's vicious alliance with Israel and its genocidal assault against the Yemeni people, has gained the support of world public opinion – especially the masses of independent Muslims throughout the world.

    Iran's educational, scientific, military and political-electoral advances provide the basis for national security, economic growth, cultural enrichment, international alliances and the deepening of social democracy for its people. It provides an alternative independent vision for many millions of Muslims living under harsh monarchies, military dictators and imperial oppression.

    Conclusion

    Since the US and its allies launched their 'hot war' by surrounding, threatening and destabilizing Iran, Washington's strategy has suffered serious military defeats and political retreats.

    Iraq is no longer encircled by the US. Shia-based militias have regional control, especially south of Baghdad and beyond. Syria, Iran's ally, has fought hard to finally liberate many towns, cities and territory taken by the terrorist mercenaries despite the EU-US-Saudi-Israel's initial advances.

    Rival rebel forces and mercenary gangsters besiege the US puppet governments in Libya, Somalia and South Sudan. The classic CIA term, 'blowback', means these terrorists are now turning their guns on the West.

    Washington has lost control of Afghanistan. Over a third of the Afghan military and police recruits defect to the resistance fighters. The central 'government' in Kabul influences less than a quarter of the country

    Despite spending trillions of dollars on wars and propaganda over the past two decades, US military strategy to encircle and conquer Iran has been a military, diplomatic and economic failure. The American people have suffered thousands of casualties and its domestic economy is in permanent crisis with massive unemployment, poverty, recession and stagnation.

    Despite US congressional, Presidential and Pentagon support for Israel's Jewish colonization of Palestine, more countries, trade unions and social movements, around the world, support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel than ever before. Manu are speaking up despite government threats to outlaw 'criticism of Israel' as a 'hate crime'.

    The turmoil and deep political divisions in the United States between the oligarchs allied to President Trump and the opposition oligarchs have created a profound institutional crisis, which has undermined domestic governance and disrupted US global alliances, US-EU relations and US-Asian trade links.

    Despite the bizarre and often theatrical presentation by the US mass media, the American Congress and President Trump are fighting over fundamental issues, including control of the national security agencies (CIA, NSA, FBI, Homeland Security, etc.), foreign and military policy, the economy and environmental agenda, the federal budget, judiciary and the Presidency.

    The political crisis has paralyzed the capacity of the US to start new wars and negotiate international agreements. President Trump is facing a serious coup d'état involving the political-intelligence elite, with the military looking warily on the chaos. The masses are increasingly polarized or disgusted.

    In an attempt to deflect from his domestic problems, President Trump deepened the US alliance with Saudi Arabia and reiterated threats against Iran. Nevertheless he declined pressure to move the US embassy to Israel. The inconsistent and ad hoc nature of current US policy alienates friends and foes – with no redeeming features.

    The domestic opposition demands an end of President Trump's diplomatic overtures to Russia. It uses the fake pretext of Russian interference in the US presidential election to move toward the president's impeachment.

    The US faces a CLANDESTINE CIVIL WAR among its elite!

    A financial bubble accompanies the American domestic political crisis. The economic elite, the banks and stock market have benefited through speculation, despite or because of, the paralysis among rival political oligarchs!

    The emergence of Trump's so-called 'national-capitalist ideology' means a decline in US multi-lateral agreements, such as NATO, the EU, NAFTA and the Trans-

    Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP). This explains Trump's effort to renegotiate bilateral agreements, which have failed

    Trump's stated policy objectives have fallen between two chairs: the multi-lateral agreements have not been replaced by lucrative bilateral deals. Trump relies on big business offerings and 'nationalist' ideology to minimize his diplomatic failures and ideological isolation. Trump wants to win contracts for greater US exports and investment. This has been weakened by the previous administration's pursuit of economic sanctions and expanding wars, as well as his feckless propaganda.

    The Trump regime is full of contradictions: It threatens to end the nuclear agreement with Iran but allows Boeing to sell billions of dollars of civilian aircraft to Teheran. It signs a $300 billion dollar arms sales agreement with Saudi Arabia (business for the for military industries) while losing political influence in the US, where the Saudis are widely despised.

    At least, Trump does not blather on about humanitarian wars; he would prefer signing business deals. He mentions the need for 'regime change' in Syria and sending more troops to Afghanistan but does little to implement these goals.

    President Trump is fighting for his own political (and personal) survival and to prevent his impeachment (via a Congressional coup). His strongest defense would be to strengthen the domestic economy and show some overseas economic successes.

    Essentially, Trump's economic agenda depends on his avoiding politically and militarily costly wars. That was one of his campaign promises that resonated with the nation's core electorate.

    Trump would like to balkanize Syria, while avoiding new troop commitments to Afghanistan. He would prefer profitable trade relations with Russia and China and perhaps, Iran, over war.

    The impediments to any Trump policy success are massive: Trump's Administration includes zealous neo-conservative Russophobes and Zionist-Iranophobes. These are militarists who would provoke eventual armed conflict with Moscow and Teheran. Their current focus is on expanding the war in Syria, sending more US troops to Afghanistan and forging deeper ties with Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    The current internal political contradictions between the Trump regime and the 'Deep' State apparatus, and between the Trump-allied business elite and the Zionist-neoconservative warmongers, preclude the development of a consequential Trump foreign policy.

    In the meantime, domestic political warfare and the deepening divisions between the US and EU will create opportunities for Russia, China and Iran to join together in historic economic political and alliances, which might help re-balance a world on the brink of 'world war', economic collapse and environmental disaster.

    The divisions among NATO countries undermine the establishment of a united front for greater imperial wars. The fragmentation of the European Union (Brexit, the collapse of Greece, the EU-sponsored putsch in Ukraine) lessens its global economic influence. The division between the US Presidential regime and the Opposition Security State apparatus paralyzes the US push for new imperial wars.

    Divisions and conflicts within the imperial camp presents favorable opportunities for anti-imperialist countries in the Middle East, like Iran, Syria and Lebanon.

    The strategic Russo-Chinese economic alliance may create a new global economy based on peaceful co-existence and greater economic co-operation.

    This essay is dedicated to the memory of the innocent martyrs of the recent brutal terrorist attacks against the Iranian Parliament and the holy shrine and to honor the brave survivors and family members of the victims.

    Republished from James Petras website

    James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. He is the author of 63 books published in 29 languages, and over 560 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, Journal of Contemporary Asia, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, Temps Moderne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet. His publishers have included Random House, John Wiley, Westview, Routledge, Macmillan, Verso, Zed Books and Pluto Books. He is winner of the Life Time Career Award, Marxist Section, of the American Sociology Association, the Robert Kenny Award for Best Book, 2002, and the Best Dissertation, Western Political Science Association in 1968. Some recent titles include Unmasking Globalization: Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century (2001); co-author The Dynamics of Social Change in Latin America (2000), Unmasking Globalisation (2001), System in Crisis (2003), co-author Social Movements and State Power (2003), co-author Empire With Imperialism (2005), co-author) Multinationals on Trial (2006). His most recent title, The Power of Israel in the United States (Clarity Press, Inc. 2006), has been acquired for Japanese, German, Italian, Indonesian and Arabic editions.He received his MA and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. Among his books:

    Joe Levantine Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 8:51 am GMT

    Jun 24, 2017 | www.unz.com

    A perfect article beyond any possible comments. Mr. Petras hits a perfect score as he often does. A dispassionate, lucid and thorough analysis of the greater geopolitical world that could teach the half brained and crooked congressional representatives a great many lessons.

    jilles dykstra Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 6:12 am GMT

    A very good description of the present world.
    Alas western media present a quite different picture.

    disturbed_robot Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 6:14 am GMT

    Mr. Petras, my hats off to you. This is the most to-the-point, honest assessment of what's going on I've read in a long time.

    My only complaint is the use of the term "Middle East". We should all drop this British colonial era term and just call it what it is: Southwest Asia. Please don't take that as being nit-picky and looking for fault (not my intention at all) your article is brilliant. But we have to start somewhere.

    jilles dykstra Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 6:15 am GMT

    @Joe Levantine Is it possible that many representatives know quite well what's going on, but have reasons, their own political survival, to pretend they do not know ?
    Senator Hollings just dared to speak the truth shortly before he resigned, in 2004.

    Hans Vogel Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 7:14 am GMT

    With respect to Israel's supposedly assigned role, I beg to differ. The US, like Russia and Iran, is an assimilative empire, established on the basis of welcoming and incorporating any group or individual willing to adopt the imperial culture and language. In other words, these are non-exclusive states. Israel, on the other hand, is built on rigid and comprehensive racial and religious exclusiveness. Only jews can join. Israel is the quintessential nation state, built on an antiquated, romantic 19th-century idea. The self-defeating and ultimately untenable model of the nation state was demonstrated unequivocally in 1945, but ignoring historical proof, Israel resuscitated it in 1948. Therefore, it would seem to me Israel can never become the dominant force in the Middle East. Even if it somehow succeeds in attaining this position, it will definitely be of a very short duration. It is a bit like what Guizot once remarked: you can do anything with a bayonet, except sit on it.

    Durruti Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 10:27 am GMT

    A Nicely Written Article by Petras:

    1. Could have used a bit of information on the Rothschilds and other dominant Jewish Banking Family Oligarchs, including their role in the assassination of John F. Kennedy (the last Constitutional President of the United States ), on November 22, 1963, in the Coup D'etat in Dallas, (the first successful Modern Arab Spring ).

    2. Could have benefitted by references to the horrors of Vietnam and Indonesia (1965), 9/11, and the attack on the Liberty, among other dark pages of recent history, which would have taken a sentence.

    3. Could have used a bit of a VISION advocacy of how to Cure this Zionist imperialist plague so nicely described by Petras. The Restoration of the Republic, destroyed on November 22, 1963, is the Revolutionary Cure so ignored by the earnest and not so earnest critics of the Zionist New World Order.

    Oh for our own Decembrists!

    God Bless America! Restore the Republic!

    Durruti for The Anarchist Collective

    jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 11:07 am GMT

    The strategic Russo-Chinese economic alliance may create a new global economy based on peaceful co-existence and greater economic co-operation.

    Let's hope so.

    I, for one, am more than fed up with the one trick parasite, gangster politics.

    Sergey Krieger Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 11:16 am GMT

    As USA internal rot accelerates she is becoming increasingly erratic and desperate in her international policy. It increasingly looks like biten by white shark seal trashing desperately in the water while life along with blood leaving it's body. Others should keep their cool and patiently wait.

    dearieme Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 11:37 am GMT

    "2) US imperial policy in the Middle East focuses on encircling, destroying and dismantling Iran's allies (Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Iraq (Shi'a Militia), Qatar and Yemen with the intent of overthrowing the government and installing a client regime in Teheran."

    And yet the US destroyed Iran's most useful enemy, Saddam's Iraq. Sometimes I wonder whether US foreign policy has any guiding intelligence at all. Maybe it consists only of stupid, reckless flailing.

    fnn Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 2:19 pm GMT

    How many Americans and Europeans realize that all Islamic terrorism in the West is Sunni and none of it is Shia, and that all the demonization of Iran and Hezbollah is solely for the benefit of Israel?

    Rurik Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 6:26 pm GMT

    Excellent article and analysis

    kudos and gratitude

    If I were to offer any suggestion, I'd just prefer that the author amend the abbreviation of the US to the Z US (Zionist occupied US), as all of the things he mentions that the US is doing, are all in direct contravention of the principles and interests and people of the actual US, and are, rather, all being done to benefit the most sinister and intractable enemy of the of the US (and so many others including Iran); the Z US.

    The American people have suffered thousands of casualties and its domestic economy is in permanent crisis with massive unemployment, poverty, recession and stagnation.

    Trump's economic agenda depends on his avoiding politically and militarily costly wars. That was one of his campaign promises that resonated with the nation's core electorate.

    I spell out my case for calling it the ZUS here:

    (which I invite the moderators to including under a blue 'more' link so as not to clutter up the comment section)

    saying US, by which I do not mean ordinary US people then the rotten elite running the show.

    I sort of know that, but I hope you (and others) can understand why that distinction is so important to us genuine Americans who're horrified at the conduct of the US government on the world's stage.

    The interests of the US government vs. the people of the US, could not be more diametrically opposed. They're looting our Treasury and our future to fund eternal wars for Israel- that do nothing but destroy any kind of long-term hope for this country. They're creating hatred for the American people that will reverberate over generations. They're systematically dismantling our sacred codified rights (earned in blood) going all the way back to the Magna Carta. They assassinate our citizens if they prove inconvenient to the regime, when they aren't burning them alive at places like Waco or the World Trade Center. There seems to be nothing too demonic that this government will do to us American citizens if they suspect that by doing so it will somehow augment their power to dominate us even more.

    Today in America is much like the Russians during the Bolshevik / Soviet regime. Our government is our most intractable and dangerous enemy on the planet. We Americans have nothing to fear from Russia or Iran. That's laughable. But we have everything to fear from Washington DC. The drooling fiend that inhabits those think tanks and J-Street and K-Street and CFR and PNAC and CIA and all the other acronyms of Satan are our worst enemy on this planet, just as they threaten and menace the rest of the people of the planet, intending to use our children as cannon fodder even as they commit endless atrocities and war crimes in our name.

    So I guess my point is just that the interests of the US [zio-government], vs. the interests of the US people are so wildly at odds, that it would be nice if others could see this as glaringly as those of us American citizens, watching with horror- as our government perpetrates monstrous crimes all over the globe, and here at home.

    The banking cartels are not run by patriotic American citizens, they're run by our enemies.

    The Pentagon is not run by patriotic American citizens, it's run by our enemies.

    the FBI and CIA and DEA and NSA are all operated by the enemies of the American people.

    the media are the most sinister and committed enemy we have. No one hates our guts more.

    the universities are nothing but kosher Marxist indoctrination centers, telling our young people (among other things) that the "US" liberated the people of Kosovo. (is that what happened?). They tell our students that our participation in the world wars was honorable and noble. They tell them that what we are doing in the Middle East today is honorable and noble. They even are attempting to make any criticism of Israel a crime on the universities and campuses. Outlawing any expression of support for the BDS movement. Does that sound like our universities are run by and for Americans?!

    there are two entities here in the good ol' US of A. There is the ZUSA, that is an enemy to all of mankind, including the people of the US. And then there are the people of the US; represented by those who still cling to quaint notions like the Rule of Law, and our traditions like freedom of speech and fair play. People like Michael Hastings. People like Seth Rich. People like Pat Tillman or Ron Paul or all of his supporters. People like the ones that voted for Obama to end the wars, and who voted for Trump to end the wars. People like Ken O'keefe, who are Americans to the core, and still represent the spirit of what being an American was all about, until our nation was hijacked in 1913 for the greater glory of $atan.

    the US goal in former Yugoslavia was primarily a rejuvenation of NATO which has lost its meaning with the demise of SU. Also, the Demoncrats have a natural propensity to package their imperialism into "humanitarian" interventions, the Republicans are much less sleazy – the Republicans just say you are with us or against us, no matter whether what we do is legal or illegal. Therefore, it was a perfect little war for the Clintons:
    1) breath a new life into NATO,
    2) clean up the Southern Europe of any residual Russia and/or socialist influence and
    3) do a dress rehearsal for attacking Russia (using NATO).

    sounds like a perfectly excellent analysis to me.

    I remember how we scrambled at the time to make sense of it. WTF were they up to?!

    why were they bombing a nation that had been 'our' ally during WWII, and seemingly so that some KLA terrorists could lay claim to their ancient and sacred lands? Hard won from the same Muslim hoards that had drenched Kosovo in Christian, Serbian blood for centuries.

    Some of us figured it was kind of a payback for Palestine. 'Yes, we zio-scum are ravaging your people in Palestine, but as payback, we'll give you Kosovo!

    We even wondered if there wasn't some secret, high-level negotiations going on between the representatives of Islam and the Zionists. 'OK, what do you want for Palestine?' / 'We'll take Kosovo'.

    Then there was general Clarks quote regarding the necessity of bombing Serbia:

    "Let's not forget what the origin of the problem is. There is no place in modern Europe for ethnically pure states. That's a 19th century idea and we are trying to transition into the 21st century, and we are going to do it with multi-ethnic states."

    - General Wesley Clark

    so it's been a conundrum, but your analysis sounds like the best so far.

    travelling NGO EcoSystem

    :-)

    Yes we see it all over the place. But also please keep in mind that the original NGO that $ubverted and corrupted is the one that took control of the US.

    The actions of the 'US' (ZUSA) today are no more a representation of the people of the US, than those in Kyiv or Kabul represent the typical Ukrainian or Afghan.

    Washington DC no more represents the 300+ million people here than did the actions of Mubarak represented the Egyptian people, or Yeltsin represented the Russian people, or Tony Blair represented the people of England.

    We have all of us been NGO'd by the Fiend, and none more so than us here in the US, where they declare from their pulpits that there is 'zero daylight between Israel and the ZUSA!'

    So it stings to read about how this or that benefits the US, when all the benefits are going to the very same Beast that is drooling its putrid saliva all over US too.

    [Jun 24, 2017] Obama Ordered Cyberweapons Implanted Into Russias Infrastructure by Jason Ditz

    Jun 23, 2017 | news.antiwar.com

    Former Official: Implants Designed to 'Cause Them Pain and Discomfort'

    A new report from the Washington Post today quoted a series of Obama Administration officials reiterating their official narrative on Russia's accused hacking of the 2016 election. While most of the article is simply rehashes and calls for sanctions, they also revealed a secret order by President Obama in the course of "retaliation" for the alleged hacking.

    This previously secret order involved having US intelligence design and implant a series of cyberweapons into Russia's infrastructure systems, with officials saying they are meant to be activated remotely to hit the most important networks in Russia and are designed to " cause them pain and discomfort ."

    The US has, of course, repeatedly threatened "retaliatory" cyberattacks against Russia, and promised to knock out broad parts of their economy in doing so. These appear to be the first specific plans to have actually infiltrate Russian networks and plant such weapons to do so.

    Despite the long-standing nature of the threats, by the end of Obama's last term in office this was all still in the "planning" phases. It's not totally clear where this effort has gone from there, but officials say that the intelligence community, once given Obama's permission, did not need further approval from Trump to continue on with it, and he'd have actually had to issue a countermanding order, something they say he hasn't.

    The details are actually pretty scant on how far along the effort is, but the goal is said to be for the US to have the ability to retaliate at a moment's notice the next time they have a cyberattack they intend to blame on Russia.

    Unspoken in this lengthy report, which quotes unnamed former Obama Administration officials substantially, advocating the effort, is that in having reported that such a program exists, they've tipped off Russia about the threat.

    This is, however, reflective of the priority of the former administration, which is to continuing hyping allegations that Russia got President Trump elected, a priority that's high enough to sacrifice what was supposed to be a highly secretive cyberattack operation.

    [Jun 24, 2017] For neocons peace is a four-letter word by Uri Avnery

    Jun 24, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

    When a Briton or American speaks about a "four-letter word", he means a vulgar sexual term, a word not to be mentioned in polite society. In Israel we also have such a word, a word of four letters. A word not to mention. This word is "Shalom", peace. (In Hebrew, "sh" is one letter, and the "a" is not written.)

    For years now this word has disappeared from intercourse (except as a greeting). Every politician knows that it is deadly. Every citizen knows that it is unmentionable. There are many words to replace it. "Political agreement". "Separation". "We are here and they are there". "Regional arrangement". To name a few.

    And here comes Donald Trump and brings the word up again. Trump, a complete ignoramus, does not know that in this country it is taboo.

    He wants to make peace here. SH-A-L-O-M. So he says. True, there is not the slightest chance that he really will make peace. But he has brought the word back into the language. Now people speak again about peace. Shalom.

    Peace? What is peace?

    There are all kind of peaces. Starting from a little peace, a baby-peace, to a large, even mighty peace.

    Therefore, before opening a serious debate about peace, we must define what we mean. An intermission between two wars? Non-belligerence? Existence on different sides of walls and fences? A prolonged armistice? A Hudna (in Arabic culture, an armistice with a fixed expiry date)?

    Something like the peace between India and Pakistan? The peace between Germany and France – and if so, the peace before World War I or the peace prevailing now? The Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, or the Hot Peace between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump?

    There are all kinds of peace situations. What kind of Israeli-Palestinian peace are we talking about? The peace between a horse and its rider? The peace between a people of masters and a people of slaves? Something like the peace between the South African Apartheid regime and the Bantustans it had created for the Blacks? Or a quite different kind of peace, a peace between equals?

    It's about this peace I would like to speak. Not "real" peace. Not "perfect" peace. Not "complete" peace.

    About peace. Peace pure and simple. Without qualifications, please.

    When did it all start? The conflict that now dominates the lives of the two peoples, when did it begin?

    Hard to say.

    It is easy to say: it started when the first Jewish immigrant reached these shores.

    Sounds simple. But it is not altogether true.

    It seems that the pre-Zionist Bilu immigrants, who came here in the early 1800s, did not arouse hostility.

    I have a theory about that: some time before the Bilu (short for "House of Jacob, Go!") came here, a religious German sect, the Templers, settled in this country. They had no political aims, just a religious vision. They set up model villages and townships, and the locals were grateful. When the first Jews arrived, the locals assumed that this was more of the same.

    Then came the Zionist movement, which definitely had political aims. They spoke only about a "national home", but the founder, Theodor Herzl, had previously written a book called "The Jewish State" (or, more accurately, "The Jewstate"). The aim was hidden for a time, because the country belonged to the Ottoman Empire.

    Only very few of the local population realized right from the beginning that this was a mortal danger for them. A large majority of the Muslims saw the Jews only as an inferior religious community, which the Prophet had commanded them to protect.

    So when did the conflict start? There are various theories about that. I adhere to the theory of the almost-forgotten historian Aharon Cohen, who pointed to a particular event. In 1908, the revolution of the "Young Turks" broke out. The Islamic Ottoman Empire turned into a nationalist state. As a reaction, there arose in Palestine and the neighboring countries an Arab national movement, which called for the "decentralization" of the empire, giving autonomy to its many peoples.

    A local Arab leader approached the Zionist representative in Jerusalem with a tempting offer: if the Jews support the Arab movement, the Arabs will support Zionist immigration.

    In great excitement, the Zionist representative rushed to the then leader of the Zionist world movement, Max Nordau, a German Jew, and urged him to accept the offer. But Nordau treated the offer with contempt. After all, it was the Turks who were in possession of the country. What did the Arabs have to offer?

    It is difficult to know how history would have evolved if such a Zionist-Arab cooperation had come into being. But a European Jew could not even imagine such a turn of events. Therefore the Zionists cooperated with the Turkish – and later with the British – colonial regime against the local Arab population.

    Since then, the conflict between the two peoples has intensified from generation to generation. Now peace is further away than ever.

    But what is peace?

    The past cannot be obliterated. Anyone who suggests that the past should be ignored and that we "start again from the beginning" is dreaming.

    Each of the two peoples lives in a past of its own. The past shapes their character and their behavior every day and every hour. But the past of one side is totally different from the past of the other.

    This is not just a war between two peoples. It is also a war between two histories. Two histories which contradict each other in almost every particular, though they concern the very same events.

    For example: Every Zionist knows that until the 1948 war, the Jews acquired land with good money, money contributed by Jews around the world. Every Arab knows that the Zionists bought the land from absentee landlords who lived in Haifa, Beirut or Monte Carlo, and then demanded that the Turkish (and later the British) police evict the fellahin who had tilled the land for many generations. (All the land had originally belonged to the Sultan, but when the empire was bankrupt the Sultan sold it to Arab speculators.)

    Another example: Every Jew is proud of the Kibbutzim, a unique achievement of human progress and social justice, which were frequently attacked by their Arab neighbors. For the Arabs, the Kibbutzim were just sectarian instruments of displacement and deportation.

    Another example: Every Jew knows that the Arabs started the 1948 war in order to exterminate the Jewish community. Every Arab knows that in that war, the Jews evicted half the Palestinian people from their homeland.

    And so forth: nowadays the Israelis believe that the Palestinian Authority, which pays a monthly salary to the families of "murderers", supports terrorism. The Palestinians believe that the Authority is duty-bound to support the families whose sons and daughters have sacrificed their lives for their people.

    And so forth, without end.

    (By the way, I am very proud of having invented the only scientifically sound definition of "terrorist", which both sides can accept: "Freedom fighters are on my side, terrorists are on the other side.")

    There will never be peace if the two peoples do not know the historical narrative of the other side. There is no need to accept the narrative of the opponent. One can deny it totally. But one has to know it, in order to understand the other people and respect it.

    Peace does not have to be based on mutual love. But it must be based on mutual respect. Mutual respect can arise only when each people knows the historical narrative of the other side. When it understands that, it will also understand why the other people acts the way it does, and what is needed for peaceful co-existence.

    That would be much easier if every Israeli Jew learned Arabic, and every Palestinian Arab learned Hebrew. That would not solve the problem, of course, but it would bring the solution much closer.

    When each of the two peoples understands that the other side is not a bloodthirsty monster, but acts from natural motives, it will discover many positive points in the culture of the other side. Personal contacts will be established, perhaps even friendships.

    This is already happening in Israel, though on a small scale. In the academic world, for example. And in the hospitals. Jewish patients are often surprised to discover that their nice and competent doctor is an Arab and that Arab male nurses are frequently more gentle than the Jewish ones.

    That cannot replace dealing with the real problems. Our two peoples are divided by real, weighty controversies. There is a problem about land, about borders, about refugees. There are problems of security and innumerable other issues. A war of more than a hundred years will not end without painful compromises.

    When there is a basis for negotiations between equals, a basis of mutual respect, insoluble problems will suddenly become soluble problems.

    But the precondition for this process is the return of the four-letter-word to the language.

    It is impossible to do something big, something historic, if there is no belief that it is possible.

    A person will not plug an electric cord into a wall if they do not believe that they will be connected to electricity. They must believe that the lights will go on.

    Nobody will start peace negotiations if they believe that peace is impossible.

    The belief in peace will not make peace certain. But at least it will make peace possible.

    Uri Avnery is a peace activist, journalist, writer, and former member of the Israeli Knesset. Read other articles by Uri , or visit Uri's website .

    [Jun 24, 2017] The Criminal Laws of Counterinsurgency by Todd E. Pierce

    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... Many "never-Trumpers" of both parties see the deep state's national security bureaucracy as their best hope to destroy Trump and thus defend constitutional government, but those hopes are misguided. ..."
    "... As Michael Glennon, author of National Security and Double Government, pointed out in a June 2017 Harper's essay, if "the president maintains his attack, splintered and demoralized factions within the bureaucracy could actually support - not oppose - many potential Trump initiatives, such as stepped-up drone strikes, cyberattacks, covert action, immigration bans, and mass surveillance." ..."
    "... Corraborative evidence of Valentine's thesis is, perhaps surprisingly, provided by the CIA's own website where a number of redacted historical documents have been published. Presumably, they are documents first revealed under the Freedom of Information Act. A few however are copies of news articles once available to the public but now archived by the CIA which has blacked-out portions of the articles. ..."
    "... This led to an investigation by New Times in a day when there were still "investigative reporters," and not the government sycophants of today. Based on firsthand accounts, their investigation concluded that Operation Phoenix was the "only systematized kidnapping, torture and assassination program ever sponsored by the United States government. . . . Its victims were noncombatants." At least 40,000 were murdered, with "only" about 8,000 supposed Viet Cong political cadres targeted for execution, with the rest civilians (including women and children) killed and "later conveniently labeled VCI. Hundreds of thousands were jailed without trial, often after sadistic abuse." The article notes that Phoenix was conceived, financed, and directed by the Central Intelligence Agency ..."
    "... But the article noted that one of the most persistent criticisms of Phoenix was that it resulted "in the arrest and imprisonment of many innocent civilians." These were called "Class C Communist offenders," some of whom may actually have been forced to commit such "belligerent acts" as digging trenches or carrying rice. It was those alleged as the "hard core, full-time cadre" who were deemed to make up the "shadow government" designated as Class A and B Viet Cong. ..."
    "... Ironically, by the Bush administration's broad definition of "unlawful combatants," CIA officers and their support structure also would fit the category. But the American public is generally forgiving of its own war criminals though most self-righteous and hypocritical in judging foreign war criminals. But perhaps given sufficient evidence, the American public could begin to see both the immorality of this behavior and its counterproductive consequences. ..."
    "... Talleyrand is credited with saying, "They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing." Reportedly, that was borrowed from a 1796 letter by a French naval officer, which stated, in the original language: Personne n'est corrigé; personne n'a su ni rien oublier ni rien appendre. In English: "Nobody has been corrected; no one has known to forget, nor yet to learn anything." That sums up the CIA leadership entirely. ..."
    Jun 24, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

    Douglas Valentine has once again added to the store of knowledge necessary for American citizens to understand how the U.S. government actually works today, in his most recent book entitled The CIA As Organized Crime . (Valentine previously wrote The Phoenix Program , which should be read with the current book.)

    The US "deep state" – of which the CIA is an integral part – is an open secret now and the Phoenix Program (assassinations, death squads, torture, mass detentions, exploitation of information) has been its means of controlling populations. Consequently, knowing the deep state's methods is the only hope of building a democratic opposition to the deep state and to restore as much as possible the Constitutional system we had in previous centuries, as imperfect as it was.

    Princeton University political theorist Sheldon Wolin described the US political system in place by 2003 as "inverted totalitarianism." He reaffirmed that in 2009 after seeing a year of the Obama administration. Correctly identifying the threat against constitutional governance is the first step to restore it, and as Wolin understood, substantive constitutional government ended long before Donald Trump campaigned. He's just taking unconstitutional governance to the next level in following the same path as his recent predecessors. However, even as some elements of the "deep state" seek to remove Trump, the President now has many "deep state" instruments in his own hands to be used at his unreviewable discretion.

    Many "never-Trumpers" of both parties see the deep state's national security bureaucracy as their best hope to destroy Trump and thus defend constitutional government, but those hopes are misguided. After all, the deep state's bureaucratic leadership has worked arduously for decades to subvert constitutional order.

    As Michael Glennon, author of National Security and Double Government, pointed out in a June 2017 Harper's essay, if "the president maintains his attack, splintered and demoralized factions within the bureaucracy could actually support - not oppose - many potential Trump initiatives, such as stepped-up drone strikes, cyberattacks, covert action, immigration bans, and mass surveillance."

    Glennon noted that the propensity of "security managers" to back policies which ratchet up levels of security "will play into Trump's hands, so that if and when he finally does declare victory, a revamped security directorate could emerge more menacing than ever, with him its devoted new ally." Before that happens, it is incumbent for Americans to understand what Valentine explains in his book of CIA methods of "population control" as first fully developed in the Vietnam War's Phoenix Program.

    Hating the US

    There also must be the realization that our "national security" apparatchiks - principally but not solely the CIA - have served to exponentially increase the numbers of those people who hate the US.

    Some of these people turn to terrorism as an expression of that hostility. Anyone who is at all familiar with the CIA and Al Qaeda knows that the CIA has been Al Qaeda's most important "combat multiplier" since 9/11, and the CIA can be said to have birthed ISIS as well with the mistreatment of incarcerated Iraqi men in US prisons in Iraq.

    Indeed, by following the model of the Phoenix Program, the CIA must be seen in the Twenty-first Century as a combination of the ultimate "Murder, Inc.," when judged by the CIA's methods such as drone warfare and its victims; and the Keystone Kops, when the multiple failures of CIA policies are considered. This is not to make light of what the CIA does, but the CIA's misguided policies and practices have served to generate wrath, hatred and violence against Americans, which we see manifested in cities such as San Bernardino, Orlando, New York and Boston.

    Pointing out the harm to Americans is not to dismiss the havoc that Americans under the influence of the CIA have perpetrated on foreign populations. But "morality" seems a lost virtue today in the US, which is under the influence of so much militaristic war propaganda that morality no longer enters into the equation in determining foreign policy.

    In addition to the harm the CIA has caused to people around the world, the CIA works tirelessly at subverting its own government at home, as was most visible in the spying on and subversion of the torture investigation by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The subversion of democracy also includes the role the CIA plays in developing and disseminating war propaganda as "information warfare," upon the American people. This is what the Rand Corporation under the editorship of Zalmay Khalilzad has described as "conditioning the battlefield," which begins with the minds of the American population.

    Douglas Valentine discusses and documents the role of the CIA in disseminating pro-war propaganda and disinformation as complementary to the violent tactics of the Phoenix Program in Vietnam. Valentine explains that "before Phoenix was adopted as the model for policing the American empire, many US military commanders in Vietnam resisted the Phoenix strategy of targeting civilians with Einsatzgruppen-style 'special forces' and Gestapo-style secret police."

    Military Commanders considered that type of program a flagrant violation of the Law of War. "Their main job is to zap the in-betweeners – you know, the people who aren't all the way with the government and aren't all the way with the Viet Cong either. They figure if you zap enough in-betweeners, people will begin to get the idea," according to one quote from The Phoenix Program referring to the unit tasked with much of the Phoenix operations.

    Nazi Influences

    Comparing the Phoenix Program and its operatives to "Einsatzgruppen-style 'special forces' and Gestapo-style secret police" is not a distortion of the strategic understanding of each. Both programs were extreme forms of repression operating under martial law principles where the slightest form of dissent was deemed to represent the work of the "enemy." Hitler's Bandit Hunters: The SS and the Nazi Occupation of Europe by Philip W. Blood describes German "Security Warfare" as practiced in World War II, which can be seen as identical in form to the Phoenix Program as to how the enemy is defined as anyone who is "potentially" a threat, deemed either "partizans" or terrorists.

    That the Germans included entire racial categories in that does not change the underlying logic, which was, anyone deemed an internal enemy in a territory in which their military operated had to be "neutralized" by any means necessary. The US military and the South Vietnamese military governments operated under the same principles but not based on race, rather the perception that certain areas and villages were loyal to the Viet Cong.

    This repressive doctrine was also not unique to the Nazis in Europe and the US military in Vietnam. Similar though less sophisticated strategies were used against the American Indians and by the imperial powers of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries, including by the US in its newly acquired territories of the Philippines and in the Caribbean. This "imperial policing," i.e., counterinsurgency, simply moved to more manipulative and, in ways, more violent levels.

    That the US drew upon German counterinsurgency doctrine, as brutal as it was, is well documented. This is shown explicitly in a 2011 article published in the Journal of Military and Strategic Studies entitled German Counterinsurgency Revisited by Charles D. Melson. He wrote that in 1942, Nazi commander Heinrich Himmler named a deputy for "anti-bandit warfare," (Bevollmachtigter fur die Bandenkampfung im Osten), SS-General von dem Bach, whose responsibilities expanded in 1943 to head all SS and police anti-bandit units and operations. He was one of the architects of the Einsatzguppen "concept of anti-partisan warfare," a German predecessor to the "Phoenix Program."

    'Anti-Partisan' Lessons

    It wasn't a coincidence that this "anti-partisan" warfare concept should be adopted by US forces in Vietnam and retained to the present day. Melson pointed out that a "post-war German special forces officer described hunter or ranger units as 'men who knew every possible ruse and tactic of guerrilla warfare. They had gone through the hell of combat against the crafty partisans in the endless swamps and forests of Russia.'"

    Consequently, "The German special forces and reconnaissance school was a sought after posting for North Atlantic Treaty Organization special operations personnel," who presumably included members of the newly created US Army Special Forces soldiers, which was in part headquartered at Bad Tolz in Germany, as well as CIA paramilitary officers.

    Just as with the later Phoenix Program to the present-day US global counterinsurgency, Melson wrote that the "attitude of the [local] population and the amount of assistance it was willing to give guerilla units was of great concern to the Germans. Different treatment was supposed to be accorded to affected populations, bandit supporters, and bandits, while so-called population and resource control measures for each were noted (but were in practice, treated apparently one and the same). 'Action against enemy agitation' was the psychological or information operations of the Nazi period. The Nazis believed that, 'Because of the close relationship of guerilla warfare and politics, actions against enemy agitation are a task that is just as important as interdiction and combat actions. All means must be used to ward off enemy influence and waken and maintain a clear political will.'"

    This is typical of any totalitarian system – a movement or a government – whether the process is characterized as counterinsurgency or internal security. The idea of any civilian collaboration with the "enemy" is the basis for what the US government charges as "conspiracy" in the Guantanamo Military Commissions.

    Valentine explains the Phoenix program as having been developed by the CIA in 1967 to combine "existing counterinsurgency programs in a concerted effort to 'neutralize' the Vietcong infrastructure (VCI)." He explained further that "neutralize" meant "to kill, capture, or make to defect." "Infrastructure" meant civilians suspected of supporting North Vietnamese and Vietcong soldiers. Central to the Phoenix program was that its targets were civilians, making the operation a violation of the Geneva Conventions which guaranteed protection to civilians in time of war.

    "The Vietnam's War's Silver Lining: A Bureaucratic Model for Population Control Emerges" is the title of Chapter 3. Valentine writes that the "CIA's Phoenix program changed how America fights its wars and how the public views this new type of political and psychological warfare, in which civilian casualties are an explicit objective." The intent of the Phoenix program evolved from "neutralizing" enemy leaders into "a program of systematic repression for the political control of the South Vietnamese people. It sought to accomplish this through a highly bureaucratized system of disposing of people who could not be ideologically assimilated." The CIA claimed a legal basis for the program in "emergency decrees" and orders for "administrative detention."

    Lauding Petraeus

    Valentine refers to a paper by David Kilcullen entitled Countering Global Insurgency. Kilcullen is one of the so-called "counterinsurgency experts" whom General David Petraeus gathered together in a cell to promote and refine "counterinsurgency," or COIN, for the modern era. Fred Kaplan, who is considered a "liberal author and journalist" at Slate, wrote a panegyric to these cultists entitled, The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War. The purpose of this cell was to change the practices of the US military into that of "imperial policing," or COIN, as they preferred to call it.

    But Kilcullen argued in his paper that "The 'War on Terrorism'" is actually a campaign to counter a global insurgency. Therefore, Kilcullen argued, "we need a new paradigm, capable of addressing globalised insurgency." His "disaggregation strategy" called for "actions to target the insurgent infrastructure that would resemble the unfairly maligned (but highly effective) Vietnam-era Phoenix program."

    He went on, "Contrary to popular mythology, this was largely a civilian aid and development program, supported by targeted military pacification operations and intelligence activity to disrupt the Viet Cong Infrastructure. A global Phoenix program (including the other key elements that formed part of the successful Vietnam CORDS system) would provide a useful start point to consider how Disaggregation would develop in practice."

    It is readily apparent that, in fact, a Phoenix-type program is now US global policy and - just like in Vietnam - it is applying "death squad" strategies that eliminate not only active combatants but also civilians who simply find themselves in the same vicinity, thus creating antagonisms that expand the number of fighters.

    Corraborative evidence of Valentine's thesis is, perhaps surprisingly, provided by the CIA's own website where a number of redacted historical documents have been published. Presumably, they are documents first revealed under the Freedom of Information Act. A few however are copies of news articles once available to the public but now archived by the CIA which has blacked-out portions of the articles.

    The Bloody Reality

    One "sanitized" article - approved for release in 2011 - is a partially redacted New Times article of Aug. 22, 1975, by Michael Drosnin. The article recounts a story of a US Army counterintelligence officer "who directed a small part of a secret war aimed not at the enemy's soldiers but at its civilian leaders." He describes how a CIA-directed Phoenix operative dumped a bag of "eleven bloody ears" as proof of six people killed.

    The officer, who recalled this incident in 1971, said, "It made me sick. I couldn't go on with what I was doing in Vietnam. . . . It was an assassination campaign . . . my job was to identify and eliminate VCI, the Viet Cong 'infrastructure' – the communist's shadow government. I worked directly with two Vietnamese units, very tough guys who didn't wear uniforms . . . In the beginning they brought back about 10 percent alive. By the end they had stopped taking prisoners.

    "How many VC they got I don't know. I saw a hell of a lot of dead bodies. We'd put a tag on saying VCI, but no one really knew – it was just some native in black pajamas with 16 bullet holes."

    This led to an investigation by New Times in a day when there were still "investigative reporters," and not the government sycophants of today. Based on firsthand accounts, their investigation concluded that Operation Phoenix was the "only systematized kidnapping, torture and assassination program ever sponsored by the United States government. . . . Its victims were noncombatants." At least 40,000 were murdered, with "only" about 8,000 supposed Viet Cong political cadres targeted for execution, with the rest civilians (including women and children) killed and "later conveniently labeled VCI. Hundreds of thousands were jailed without trial, often after sadistic abuse." The article notes that Phoenix was conceived, financed, and directed by the Central Intelligence Agency, as Mr. Valentine writes.

    A second article archived by the CIA was by the Christian Science Monitor, dated Jan. 5, 1971, describing how the Saigon government was "taking steps that could help eliminate one of the most glaring abuses of its controversial Phoenix program, which is aimed against the Viet Cong political and administrative apparatus." Note how the Monitor shifted blame away from the CIA and onto the South Vietnamese government.

    But the article noted that one of the most persistent criticisms of Phoenix was that it resulted "in the arrest and imprisonment of many innocent civilians." These were called "Class C Communist offenders," some of whom may actually have been forced to commit such "belligerent acts" as digging trenches or carrying rice. It was those alleged as the "hard core, full-time cadre" who were deemed to make up the "shadow government" designated as Class A and B Viet Cong.

    Yet "security committees" throughout South Vietnam, under the direction of the CIA, sentenced at least 10,000 "Class C civilians" to prison each year, far more than Class A and B combined. The article stated, "Thousands of these prisoners are never brought to court trial, and thousands of other have never been sentenced." The latter statement would mean they were just held in "indefinite detention," like the prisoners held at Guantanamo and other US detention centers with high levels of CIA involvement.

    Not surprisingly to someone not affiliated with the CIA, the article found as well that "Individual case histories indicate that many who have gone to prison as active supporters of neither the government nor the Viet Cong come out as active backers of the Viet Cong and with an implacable hatred of the government." In other words, the CIA and the COIN enthusiasts are achieving the same results today with the prisons they set up in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    CIA Crimes

    Valentine broadly covers the illegalities of the CIA over the years, including its well-documented role in facilitating the drug trade over the years. But, in this reviewer's opinion, his most valuable contribution is his description of the CIA's participation going back at least to the Vietnam War in the treatment of what the US government today calls "unlawful combatants."

    "Unlawful combatants" is a descriptive term made up by the Bush administration to remove people whom US officials alleged were "terrorists" from the legal protections of the Geneva Conventions and Human Rights Law and thus to justify their capture or killing in the so-called "Global War on Terror." Since the US government deems them "unlawful" – because they do not belong to an organized military structure and do not wear insignia – they are denied the "privilege" of belligerency that applies to traditional soldiers. But – unless they take a "direct part in hostilities" – they would still maintain their civilian status under the law of war and thus not lose the legal protection due to civilians even if they exhibit sympathy or support to one side in a conflict.

    Ironically, by the Bush administration's broad definition of "unlawful combatants," CIA officers and their support structure also would fit the category. But the American public is generally forgiving of its own war criminals though most self-righteous and hypocritical in judging foreign war criminals. But perhaps given sufficient evidence, the American public could begin to see both the immorality of this behavior and its counterproductive consequences.

    This is not to condemn all CIA officers, some of whom acted in good faith that they were actually defending the United States by acquiring information on a professed enemy in the tradition of Nathan Hale. But it is to harshly condemn those CIA officials and officers who betrayed the United States by subverting its Constitution, including waging secret wars against foreign countries without a declaration of war by Congress. And it decidedly condemns the CIA war criminals who acted as a law unto themselves in the torture and murder of foreign nationals, as Valentine's book describes.

    Talleyrand is credited with saying, "They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing." Reportedly, that was borrowed from a 1796 letter by a French naval officer, which stated, in the original language: Personne n'est corrigé; personne n'a su ni rien oublier ni rien appendre. In English: "Nobody has been corrected; no one has known to forget, nor yet to learn anything." That sums up the CIA leadership entirely.

    Douglas Valentine's book is a thorough documentation of that fact and it is essential reading for all Americans if we are to have any hope for salvaging a remnant of representative government.

    Todd E. Pierce retired as a Major in the US Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps in November 2012. His most recent assignment was defense counsel in the Office of Chief Defense Counsel, Office of Military Commissions. This originally appeared at ConsortiumNews.com .

    Read more by Todd E. Pierce Inciting Wars the American Way – August 14th, 2016 Chicago Police Adopt Israeli Tactics – December 13th, 2015 US War Theories Target Dissenters – September 13th, 2015 Ron Paul and Lost Lessons of War – September 1st, 2015 Has the US Constitution Been Lost to Military Rule?– January 4th, 2015

    [Jun 24, 2017] Ukraine had ceased to exist as an independent country in 2014, with arrival of Nuland (ziocon) and Brennan (the CIA)

    Ukraine is now debt slave. Debt slave is not an independent country. No way. It is a neo-colony.
    Notable quotes:
    "... The scale of de-industrialization and of de-modernization Ukraine achieved in short 26 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union is nothing short of mind-boggling and unprecedented. ..."
    Jun 24, 2017 | www.unz.com

    annamaria June 23, 2017 at 1:48 am GMT

    @Mr. Hack

    who give a damn about what Ukrainians feel.
    Why Ukrainians of course, it's their country after all. " it's their country after all."

    Their country?

    Ukraine had ceased to exist as an independent country in 2014, with arrival of Nuland (ziocon) and Brennan (the CIA). Hence the spectacular appointments of Misha Saakishvilli (wanted in his native Georgia), Natali Yaresko (an American felon), Pravyj sector (local neo-nazi), and finally, Groysman, a Jewish entrepreneur and current prime minister of Ukraine. Jews make 0.4% of Ukrainian population: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jewish-population-of-the-world

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-22/stockman-warns-great-big-coup-way

    "While Putin was basking in the glory of the 2014 winter Olympics at Sochi, the entire apparatus of Imperial Washington - the CIA, the National Endowment for Democracy, the State Department and a long string of Washington funded NGOs - was on the ground in Kiev assisting the putsch that overthrew Ukraine's constitutionally elected President and Russian ally.

    From there, the Ukrainian civil war and partition of Crimea inexorably followed, as did the escalating campaign against Russia and its leader.

    So as it turned out, the War Party could not have planned a better outcome - especially after Russia moved to protect its legitimate interests in its own backyard resulting from the Washington-instigated civil war in Ukraine. That included protecting its 200-year old naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea."

    Moreover, the Ukrainian territory is the result of Soviet annexations of Rumanian, Polish, and Hungarian territories; without the generous provisions by the USSR, Ukraine would be a puny patch of land: http://ukrmap.su/en-uh10/273.html

    Rmthoughs Show Comment Next New Comment June 22, 2017 at 10:58 pm GMT

    @Boris N
    Get it, boys and girls? Everyone owes it to Ukraine to "put her on her feet". Russia owes her gas transit, buying everything Ukraine (less and less) produces. And, of course, Ukraine's main idea about Europe, as even her former President still thinks so, is to get to EU, get a truck load of free money (aka investments) and start living as European upper middle class. I am not exaggerating. Of course, the fact that Ukraine became what it became by 1990 was largely thanks to the Soviet economic system somehow got lost on such people as Kuchma, not to speak of very many average Ukrainians.

    The scale of de-industrialization and of de-modernization Ukraine achieved in short 26 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union is nothing short of mind-boggling and unprecedented.

    [Jun 24, 2017] Kissing the Specious Present Goodbye - The Unz Review

    Notable quotes:
    "... Put another way, historical perspectives conceived in what Becker termed "the specious present" have a sell-by date. Beyond their time, they become stale and outmoded, and so should be revised or discarded. This process of rejecting truths previously treated as authoritative is inexorable and essential. ..."
    "... Memories, whether directly or vicariously acquired, are "necessary to orient us in our little world of endeavor." Yet the specious present that we inhabit is inherently unstable and constantly in flux, which means that history itself must be pliable. Crafting history necessarily becomes an exercise in "imaginative creation" in which all participate. However unconsciously, Everyman adapts the past to serve his most pressing needs, thereby functioning as "his own historian." ..."
    "... New York Times ..."
    "... This idée fixe ..."
    "... my sense is that many Americans have an inkling that history of late has played them for suckers. This is notably true with respect to the post-Cold War era, in which the glories of openness, diversity, and neoliberal economics, of advanced technology and unparalleled U.S. military power all promised in combination to produce something like a new utopia in which Americans would indisputably enjoy a privileged status globally. ..."
    "... "Of course money-lovers will want the United States Government, because it's the one government that exists simply and solely to protect money. " ..."
    "... Nah, they'll put a few more bricks in the wall, reinforce the gates, and hire more guards so they can rest well at night while bathed in the glow that they continue to advance the best interests of human-kind over the objections of the unwashed masses on the other side of the wall. ..."
    Jun 24, 2017 | www.unz.com

    Paging Professor Becker

    "For all practical purposes history is, for us and for the time being, what we know it to be." So remarked Carl Becker in 1931 at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association. Professor Becker, a towering figure among historians of his day, was president of the AHA that year. His message to his colleagues amounted to a warning of sorts: Don't think you're so smart. The study of the past may reveal truths, he allowed, but those truths are contingent, incomplete, and valid only "for the time being."

    Put another way, historical perspectives conceived in what Becker termed "the specious present" have a sell-by date. Beyond their time, they become stale and outmoded, and so should be revised or discarded. This process of rejecting truths previously treated as authoritative is inexorable and essential. Yet it also tends to be fiercely contentious. The present may be specious, but it confers real privileges, which a particular reading of the past can sustain or undermine. Becker believed it inevitable that "our now valid versions" of history "will in due course be relegated to the category of discarded myths." It was no less inevitable that beneficiaries of the prevailing version of truth should fight to preserve it.

    Who exercises the authority to relegate? Who gets to decide when a historical truth no longer qualifies as true? Here, Becker insisted that "Mr. Everyman" plays a crucial role. For Becker, Mr. Everyman was Joe Doakes, John Q. Public, or the man in the street. He was "every normal person," a phrase broad enough to include all manner of people. Yet nothing in Becker's presentation suggested that he had the slightest interest in race, sexuality, or gender. His Mr. Everyman belonged to the tribe of WHAM.

    Memories, whether directly or vicariously acquired, are "necessary to orient us in our little world of endeavor." Yet the specious present that we inhabit is inherently unstable and constantly in flux, which means that history itself must be pliable. Crafting history necessarily becomes an exercise in "imaginative creation" in which all participate. However unconsciously, Everyman adapts the past to serve his most pressing needs, thereby functioning as "his own historian."

    Yet he does so in collaboration with others. Since time immemorial, purveyors of the past - the "ancient and honorable company of wise men of the tribe, of bards and story-tellers and minstrels, of soothsayers and priests, to whom in successive ages has been entrusted the keeping of the useful myths" - have enabled him to "hold in memory those things only which can be related with some reasonable degree of relevance" to his own experience and aspirations. In Becker's lifetime it had become incumbent upon members of the professoriate, successors to the bards and minstrels of yesteryear, "to enlarge and enrich the specious present common to us all to the end that 'society' (the tribe, the nation, or all mankind) may judge of what it is doing in the light of what it has done and what it hopes to do."

    Yet Becker took pains to emphasize that professional historians disdained Mr. Everyman at their peril:

    "Berate him as we will for not reading our books, Mr. Everyman is stronger than we are, and sooner or later we must adapt our knowledge to his necessities. Otherwise he will leave us to our own devices The history that does work in the world, the history that influences the course of history, is living history It is for this reason that the history of history is a record of the 'new history' that in every age rises to confound and supplant the old."

    Becker stressed that the process of formulating new history to supplant the old is organic rather than contrived; it comes from the bottom up, not the top down. "We, historians by profession, share in this necessary effort," he concluded. "But we do not impose our version of the human story on Mr. Everyman; in the end it is rather Mr. Everyman who imposes his version on us."

    Donald Trump as Everyman's Champion?

    Becker offered his reflections on "Everyman His Own Historian" in the midst of the Great Depression. Perhaps because that economic crisis found so many Americans burdened with deprivation and uncertainty, he implicitly attributed to his everyman a unitary perspective, as if shared distress imbued members of the public with a common outlook. That was not, in fact, the case in 1931 and is, if anything, even less so in our own day.

    Still, Becker's construct retains considerable utility. Today finds more than a few White Heterosexual American males (WHAM), our own equivalent of Mr. Everyman, in a state of high dudgeon. From their perspective, the specious present has not panned out as it was supposed to. As a consequence, they are pissed. In November 2016, to make clear just how pissed they were, they elected Donald Trump as president of the United States.

    This was, to put it mildly, not supposed to happen. For months prior to the election, the custodians of the past in its "now valid version" had judged the prospect all but inconceivable. Yet WHAMs (with shocking support from other tribes) intervened to decide otherwise. Rarely has a single event so thoroughly confounded history's self-assigned proctors. One can imagine the shade of Professor Becker whispering, "I warned you, didn't I?"

    Those deeply invested in drawing a straight line from the specious present into the indefinite future blame Trump himself for having knocked history off its prescribed course. Remove Trump from the scene, they appear to believe, and all will once again be well. The urgent imperative of doing just that - immediately, now, no later than this afternoon - has produced what New York Times columnist Charles Blow aptly calls a "throbbing anxiety" among those who (like Blow himself) find "the relentless onslaught of awfulness erupting from this White House" intolerable. They will not rest until Trump is gone.

    This idée fixe , reinforced on a daily basis by ever more preposterous presidential antics, finds the nation trapped in a sort of bizarre do-loop. The media's obsession with Trump reinforces his obsession with the media and between them they simply crowd out all possibility of thoughtful reflection. Their fetish is his and his theirs. The result is a cycle of mutual contempt that only deepens the longer it persists.

    Both sides agree on one point only: that history began anew last November 8th, when (take your pick) America either took leave of its senses or chose greatness. How the United States got to November 8th qualifies, at best, as an afterthought or curiosity. It's almost as if the years and decades that had preceded Trump's election had all disappeared into some vast sinkhole.

    ... ... ...

    ...my sense is that many Americans have an inkling that history of late has played them for suckers. This is notably true with respect to the post-Cold War era, in which the glories of openness, diversity, and neoliberal economics, of advanced technology and unparalleled U.S. military power all promised in combination to produce something like a new utopia in which Americans would indisputably enjoy a privileged status globally.

    In almost every respect, those expectations remain painfully unfulfilled. The history that "served for the time being" and was endlessly reiterated during the presidencies of Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama no longer serves. It has yielded a mess of pottage: grotesque inequality, worrisome insecurity, moral confusion, an epidemic of self-destructive behavior, endless wars, and basic institutions that work poorly if at all. Nor is it just WHAMs who have suffered the consequences. The history with which Americans are familiar cannot explain this outcome.

    ... ... ...

    The author of several books, including most recently America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History , Andrew Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular , is currently trying to decipher the history of the post-Cold War era. (Reprinted from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative) ← Forbidden Questions? RSS Category: Ideology Tags: Donald Trump , TomDispatch Archives , White Americans

    Robert Magill Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 12:57 am GMT

    The Mandate of Heaven, which members of my tribe once took as theirs by right, has been cruelly withdrawn. History itself has betrayed us.

    How did we manage to sleepwalk for two plus centuries with dreams of "the city on a hill", our "exceptional nation" etc etc and quite freely disparage others for their war making proclivities without getting wise to it all?

    This line from D.H.Lawrence in his graphic novel "Quetzalcoatl" charges Mexico and other governments with encouraging our nefarious actions.

    "Of course money-lovers will want the United States Government, because it's the one government that exists simply and solely to protect money. "

    robertmagill.wordpress.com

    Carlton Meyer Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 5:14 am GMT

    Trump only exists because the two political parties have become so corrupt and arrogant they don't give a damn about working people. In theory, the Democratic party represents workers, but as profane lefty Jimmy Dore recently explained, the Dems are worse than Trump:

    Miro23 Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 6:44 am GMT

    When that happens, when promises of American greatness restored prove empty, there will be hell to pay. Joe Doakes, John Q. Public, and the man in the street will be even more pissed. Should that moment arrive, historians would do well to listen seriously to what Everyman has to say.

    Some thoughts on this would be that American greatness needed 1) a high level of national unity 2) a lot of discipline and hard work. There's a tendency to look back to the 1950′s when talking about "American Greatness", but in reality this was a very unusual time. America lacked industrial competitors. After WW2, Germany and Japan were in ruins. China was still an economic basket case and Europe was recovering with the help of US multi-nationals and US investment.

    Rather than start partying, the US needed an awareness of the coming challenges and needed from the 1950′s to develop a modern industrial base in new technologies with top class technological skills among its workforce as a national project. The aim should have been to build a world class education system at least to match the STEM results of the best Europeans and N/E Asians.

    In the event, the US disappeared into counter cultural Hippiedom and sent all its industries to Asian for cheaper and more efficient production. A government stuffed with commercial special interests is obviously going to do what is best for their bottom lines i.e. produce in Asia and sell in the US – they're not in business to look after the US public. The public are Consumers and they are Vendors.

    The Alarmist Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 8:09 am GMT

    Nah, they'll put a few more bricks in the wall, reinforce the gates, and hire more guards so they can rest well at night while bathed in the glow that they continue to advance the best interests of human-kind over the objections of the unwashed masses on the other side of the wall.

    Greg Bacon Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 8:32 am GMT

    "Are we any better off than we were 50 years ago? Absolutely . . . White dominance is on the decline as the demographic white majority heads for oblivion over the course of the next 30 years."

    Mark Potok in an August 2013 column for the white-hating SPLC. http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Mark_Potok#Quotes Us WHAMs are in the bulls eye of many a group who would like to see us join the dinosaurs.

    War for Blair Mountain Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 12:40 pm GMT

    Colonel Bacevich

    There is very strong trans-species-trans phylum evidence for what is going to happen in response to betrayal-deception .and it ain't pretty as they say. Harvard biologist Robert Trivers I believe Comrade Unz mentioned that he was a research assistant for Robert Trivers at Harvard wrote a book about the biology of betrayal and revenge using a massive amount of trans-species and trans-phylum evidence-data

    So I recommend that you read Robert Triver's book I also recommend that you read the conversation betwern Noam Chomsky and Robert Trivers ..where Trivers discusses the overwhelming ethnological evidence for this which you can very easily google for

    Larger point being made by Noam Chomsky these days: White Males are dying at an historically unprecedented rate .worse than if there was a plague-epidemic at higher rate than WW2

    Donald Trump's MAGA!!! Jobs Program for Working Class Native Born White Teenage Males from economically distressed Native Born White Working Class Families from the American Heartland=a Tour of Duty on patrol with a US Army issued M-16 in Afghanistan .Iraq Syria .coming back to their Mother's as limbless freaks .human sausages .canon fodder for Donald Trump's precious Jew only Israel .

    "War is a Racket" ..as USMC General and two time Congressional Medal winner .Smedley Butler wrote over 75 years ago

    War for Blair Mountain Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 1:26 pm GMT

    I'm a big fan of the late Dick Winters and 101 Airborne Easy Company Band of Brothers WW2. But I just found out recently that Easy Company members Ronald Spiers and Robert "Burr" Smith were at a high level actively involved in the destruction of Laos which was bombed back to the Stone Age by the USAF

    Interestingly Robert "Burr" Smith trained the US Army Delta Force Team that died in the Iranianian desert in 1980 .Smith avoided dying in that desert crash when the CIA yanked him out of this doomed mission at the last minute out of fear that if Smith a CIA Operative .was captured .risk of spilling the beans to the Iranians about what the CIA was up to Robert "Burr" Smith was the embodiment of "Invade the World-Invite the World with his role in the destruction of Laotian Society and his adopted Laotian teenage "son" .

    Corvinus Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 4:05 pm GMT

    @Stogumber

    "We only want to be life as easy as it was under Eisenhower (to be fair, from Truman to LBJ)."

    Nostalgia has a funny way of warping our sense of reality. Life for some people was "easy" in the 1950′s, but for a number of people, it was cold, hard, and dark.

    Wally Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 4:48 pm GMT

    @Greg Bacon But then who will pay the bills?

    Another of the usual enemies of free speech & Israeli citizen, Potok, supports strict Israeli immigration laws which specify JEWS ONLY, while he demands massive 3rd world immigration into the US & Europe.

    anonymous Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 5:35 pm GMT

    @Corvinus Life--has NEVER been easy!

    For anyone!

    edNels Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 5:44 pm GMT

    Interesting post, I've read it through twice, but it has complicated issues.

    WHAMs

    Wherever corporate CEOs,] . etc.etc.etc.--, [politicians, and generals congregate to pat each other on the back, you can count on WHAMs -reciting bromides about the importance of diversity!

    Important detail:

    some of my brethren - let's call them one percenters -

    YEah, SOME "brethren"! THat tiny fraction of a %point, that lives large!

    Some Brethren to the name WHAMs! they are.

    Sociopaths who some kind of way masquerade as W H A M. And what they do is done in the name of the W H A M , which is my sticking point.

    That small fraction of a %point does all the bad , and shifts the blame ( from the World!!) on to the real WHAMs, what's left of 'em, ( what's left of the White Hetero part
    of 'em, ) who aren't polluted from the social scientist/ ongoing war to turn WHAMs into WIAMPs! (White Inverted American Male/Tranny Punks.)!! That the world will hate, and eventually probably be encouraged to completely get rid of, while the fraction of the %point rides off into the sunset! Then you can see the real perverts in action!

    Anon Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 6:03 pm GMT

    @Wally Potok is an Israeli citizen? Prove it.

    Anonymous Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 6:26 pm GMT

    I've been saying this for two years now:

    What happens if you get rid of Trump? The people who voted for him will most likely replace him with someone very similar in almost every way, but more competent. Probably a professional politician version of him. Is that what you want?

    Priss Factor Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 7:10 pm GMT

    On the surface, it may seem like changes took place.

    But power is firmly in hands of Deep State. Look at the continuing mess in Syria.

    Look at never-ending 'new cold war' with Russia and globalist hysteria.

    And ACOWW or Afro-Colonization-of-White-Wombs continues all over the West.

    While morons worry about Russian jets and North Korean missiles, it is Negro dongs that are destroying the white race by conquering white wombs.

    https://www.facebook.com/capitalxtra/videos/10155312936841585/

    And just when black males are emasculating white males and conquering white wombs(the source of life), what do white males have as their new faith?

    The Police Department, bastion of male power and security, is celebrating the New 'Pride' of Homo Poo-Ride.

    https://www.facebook.com/FOX5NY/videos/10155617226221320/

    In the past, babies and things used to be Christened.
    Now, they are Fruitsened.

    Sean Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 7:27 pm GMT

    Yes, in ancient Greek history Trump is analogous to the Tyrants of Athens, who were a transition from aristocratic to truly democratic rule. Of course once democracy was installed the common people of Athens demanded and got wars against a variety of enemies. Trump rise is an alarming portent. A few decades from now George W. Bush will be regarded as the last of the cautious Skull and Bones aristocrats. It is a bit silly to talk of WHAMS, as if the displacement of white gentiles is less important that open acceptance of homosexuality. It is WASPs, gay or straight, who have lost.

    restless94110 Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 10:47 pm GMT

    As was said above, so many words, so little content.

    Bacevich has gone off the deep end. Truly.

    The idea that white males were sitting around lording it up with their privilege is absolutely preposterous. No white male ever has done that, and Bacevich certainly know that. Andrew? Exactly how many times in your long lifetime have you been slapping backs with other white men laughing about how great you have it because of your gender and your race?

    I'll help you out. It's zero, Andrew. You know it. I know it. We know it.

    So this writing is horseshit. Col. Bacevich, you do really great military anlysis and opinion.

    Stop with the virtual signalling fairy tales.

    As a white male nothing was ever easy. Yeah, perhaps I did not get my head beat a few times and avoided some jail. Maybe.

    And that makes how much difference in anyone's life?

    You really need to get back to the military analysis, bud. You are sounding like a lunatic with this stuff. But more than that. Dishonest.

    davidd Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 11:09 pm GMT

    I tuned out when he started saying WHAMS misguidedly didn't consider non-WHAMS in their history, which was completely rational considering before very recent times there was no reason to.

    Wally Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2017 at 11:27 pm GMT

    @Anon Seriously?
    You have got to be the thickest person at this forum.

    But then leave it to a racist Zionist to attempt to cover for another racist Zionist.

    'quotes from Gerard Menuhin: Revisionist Jew, Son of Famous Violinist'

    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10013

    Anon Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 12:33 am GMT

    @Wally So you have no proof. Thought so.

    Funny that you use the word "racist" but claim you don't know what it means.

    Che Guava Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 12:48 am GMT

    Interesting but nowhere near your better pieces, too meandering. Although I only hit the H in the WHAM formulation you have. WHAM doesn't work on two counts.

    i. The pop band, Wham, still well-known due to pop music being in stasis, and they had one great single and a few others that tasteless people like.

    ii. H also stands for homosexual. It is funny how that word is not goodspeak in English of now, and heterosexual almost has a pejorative quality but is widely used. The sickness of western culture. The equivalent in Japanese of homosexual is used to refer to people who are, well, homosexual. The equivalent of heterosexual is just about never heard. That is not discrimination, simply that it is naturally, as it should be, seen as the norm.

    Anon Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 2:08 am GMT

    @restless94110 The traditional role of the white male is to support a family by bringing home the bacon; be courageous when things get rough and defend your family and friends with your blood; fix everything that's broken; build everything you need with your hands, or build the machines necessary to build everything; run everything with competence and man up and take the blame if you screw up; teach your children how to deal with life; teach people right from wrong and set the example for them to follow; create high-level science, medicine, art, physics, math, engineering, etc.

    It's a very tall order, and anyone who thinks it's easy, is a fool.

    ANON Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 2:16 am GMT

    @anonymous Do you really mean NEVER?

    What about the likes of my aunt who was the second wife of a childless mega millionaire who died when she was 38 leaving her to enjoy 50 healthy years as a rich woman until she suddenly died in her sleep?

    Backwoods Bob Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 2:43 am GMT

    The first paragraph was enough social justice warrior crap to make it unnecessary reading the rest. Yet, I did try for another five paragraphs and it's just more of the same tripe.

    Yeah, all of us stand in line and get free hand-outs. White people at the front of the line. Nobody works for what they have. Everyone has the same IQ, the same work ethic, the same adherence to law. I'm upset because the color of my skin is supposed to dictate my place in the line for free hand-outs and I am no longer at the front of the line. God what arrogant, malicious crap.

    We just went through IQ scores by country in homeschool today. My kids are muti-racial, SE Asians, who occupy the top five spots worldwide. They have the highest average income in this country, the highest academic performance, and the lowest crime rates.

    Of course, we sat around talking about their "privilege" as SE Asians and how everything is handed to them for free. How they just go up to any line and cut in front. Right? No.

    What I just did was show them your article as a perfect example of why we don't go to government school.

    We are not your "peeps" for the white blood in us and you are not some hero of ours for having the arrogance to speak for our non-white blood either.

    You are disgusting and worthy of nothing but contempt. I'm majority white, not pure blood (Seneca Indian) but don't buy into the cult of victimology where I am supposed to get job preferences, school preferences, etc. because I am quantum blood Indian. That doesn't make me an "Indian". I am an American. Our kids are Americans.

    The idea that we should knock off "whitey" because we're mixed blood, like it's "our" turn now – how nonsensical and revolting.

    Wizard of Oz Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 3:02 am GMT

    @Backwoods Bob You are obviously a slow reader but apparently handicapped in dealing with numbers too. If you had actually read "another five paragraphs" you would have read the author's "All of which is nonsense of course" at the beginning of his sixth par.

    Fortunately I didn't waste time on many of your paragraphs.

    restless94110 Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 4:36 am GMT

    @Anon The traditional role of ANY male is to support a family by bringing home the bacon, etc.

    It's just what males do, anon.

    Bacevich's idiotic virtue signaling nonsense that posits that all white males knew this and knew that. and that we all had secret meetings in the basement of the church is ridiculous.

    I've known whites who had racist views on black people. I've also known blacks who have racist views on white people.

    But even racists never had any thought that they were suddenly privileged because of their skin color and/or they were smirking about it in secret or whatever it is that this guy is claiming in his long, long, long, overly long piece.

    In other words, men did those things, anon, white ones, black one, etc.

    This white privilege stuff is just bullshit. It has to go. Andrew B., let it die it's own irrelevant death.

    Bruce Marshall Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 6:07 am GMT

    @Stogumber Yes if you want life as it was in the 1950′s, then you need to recognize that we got out of the Great Depression because we started to pay farmers their fair share. Today they only get 35% of the Parity Dollar, the dollar that provided for the prosperity across the nation, because it was not stolen from the producer of that which keeps us alive, literally, and literally kept the economy afloat, because it was based upon real wealth properly monetized, meaning not stolen as is the system today .but we lost that when we stopped Parity, which created earned income at sufficient levels to not have to borrow as we are now addicted .. as the "interests whose interest is interest" intend.

    Here is a letter to Trump with an important chart.

    http://normeconomics.org/parity_table_45-16eb.pdf

    [Jun 22, 2017] Can America and China Escape Thucydidess Trap?

    Thucydides's Trap is a fake notion... This is unproven hypothesis. for example GB lost the power to the USA without major war between them.
    The Thucydides Trap is a term coined by Graham T. Allison, a Harvard professor and recognized US national security and defense policy expert. The concept itself comes from, fittingly, Thucydides, a Greek historian from about 2400 years ago who wrote a book entitled The History of the Peloponnesian War, generally regarded as the first work of history as we'd recognize it.[1] Thucydides argued that the cause of the Peloponnesian War was "the growth of Athenian power and the fear which this caused in Sparta." In other words, as one power rises, an already established power gets nervous and gears up for war, with this devolving into a vicious cycle that eventually results in war.
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thucydides
    Notable quotes:
    "... US is too busy making sure al Qaeda is around for decades consuming trillions of US war funding. ..."
    Jun 16, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

    anne -> anne... , June 21, 2017 at 04:33 AM

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/15/books/review/everything-under-the-heavens-howard-french-destined-for-war-graham-allison.html

    America's Collision Course With China
    By JUDITH SHAPIRO

    EVERYTHING UNDER THE HEAVENS
    How the Past Helps Shape China's Push for Global Power By Howard W. French

    DESTINED FOR WAR
    Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?
    By Graham Allison

    The Chinese superpower has arrived. Could America's failure to grasp this reality pull the United States and China into war? Here are two books that warn of that serious possibility. Howard W. French's "Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China's Push for Global Power" does so through a deep historical and cultural study of the meaning of China's rise from the point of view of the Chinese themselves. Graham Allison's "Destined for War: Can American and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?" makes his arguments through historical case studies that illuminate the pressure toward military confrontation when a rising power challenges a dominant one. Both books urge us to be ready for a radically different world order, one in which China presides over Asia, even as Chinese politicians tell a public story about "peaceful rise." The books argue persuasively that adjusting to this global power shift will require great skill on both sides if conflagration is to be avoided.

    French says in his exhaustively researched and fascinating account of geopolitics, China style, that the Chinese era is upon us. But, he asks, "How will the coming China-driven world look?" To what extent will China support the international order that emerged when it was suffering humiliation at the hands of foreign powers? What are the drivers and motivations for the new ways China projects its power? How best should its neighbors and its rival North American superpower respond?

    French, a former reporter for The Washington Post and The New York Times, argues that China's historical and cultural legacy governs its conduct of international relations, a legacy that sits uncomfortably with the Western notions of equality and noninterference among states. China's relations with its neighbors in Japan and Southeast Asia were for millenniums governed by the concept of tian xia, which held that everything "under the heavens" belonged to the empire. A superior civilization demanded deference and tribute from vassal neighbors and did not hesitate to use military force. China's testy relationship with Vietnam became fraught whenever a Vietnamese leader dared to demand equal footing with a Chinese emperor; the Japanese claim to divine origins was unacceptable.

    When China lost its regional dominance at the hands of colonial powers and invading armies, it saw the situation as temporary. The struggle in the East China Sea over the Senkaku Islands claimed by Japan since 1895, for example, has long been a sore point in Sino-Japanese relations. But the reform-era strongman Deng Xiaoping advised China to "hide our capacities and bide our time" on this and many other issues. Hostility between China and Japan simmers in disputes over hierarchy, wartime apology and historical narrative, with the two "in a situation resembling galaxies locked in each other's gravitational fields, destined to collide repeatedly only to sail past each other after wreaking their damage." French shows convincingly that China's goal is now to displace the American barbarians and correct historic humiliations imposed by those who dethroned China from its rightful position at the center of the world.

    China's recent spectacular land grab in the South China Sea is a fait accompli, given China's superior power in the area and its assertion that the region is a core national interest. Arbitrators for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea issued a 500-plus-page decision against China and in favor of the Philippines in a dispute over the definitions of islands versus rock formations; they concluded that Chinese arguments had no legal basis. But as French explains in sobering detail, China has unilaterally determined to claim much of the sea as its own. The country rejected the arbitration tribunal, knowing that its growing surface naval power and nuclear submarine capability support a highly uneven contest. Oil rigs have been established in contested waters, while artificial "islands" constructed from coral reefs are serving as military bases just miles from the Southeast Asian coastline. Similarly, China's projection of economic might through the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and One Belt, One Road initiative, which intends to bind a huge swath of Asia to China economically via new land infrastructure and consolidated control of the seas, generates "a kind of fatalism or resignation about the futility of trying to defy it." ...

    Paine -> anne... , June 21, 2017 at 05:34 AM
    Raw Bait for the ignorant bellicose masses

    "China's relations with its neighbors in Japan and Southeast Asia
    were for millenniums governed by the concept of tian xia,
    which held that everything "under the heavens" belonged to the empire."

    Evil Clown talk

    anne -> Paine ... , June 21, 2017 at 06:51 AM
    Howard French, a former reporter for The Washington Post and The New York Times, argues that China's historical and cultural legacy governs its conduct of international relations, a legacy that sits uncomfortably with the Western notions of equality and noninterference among states. China's relations with its neighbors in Japan and Southeast Asia were for millenniums governed by the concept of tian xia, which held that everything "under the heavens" belonged to the empire....

    -- Judith Shapiro

    Evil Clown talk

    -- Paine

    ilsm -> anne... , June 21, 2017 at 04:19 PM
    US is too busy making sure al Qaeda is around for decades consuming trillions of US war funding.

    No time for China who spend a mere 1.7% of GDP for war!

    And who are investing in a route to negate US navy power to blockade.

    [Jun 22, 2017] Americans have a blind spot on the actions of the USA. That's natural. But that blindness produces pretty idiotic comments even from commenters that are able to discuss intelligently other topics

    Jun 21, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

    DrDick -> Paine ... , June 21, 2017 at 08:33 AM

    Also historically moronic, since China had become increasingly isolationist from the 16th century on. This is not to say that China has not been deliberately annoying their neighbors lately, especially in the South China Sea, however. Clearly China has been extending its influence, mostly economically, around the world, especially in Africa, for a couple of decades now, but I do not see this as any different from what we do in the same regions. It is certainly not nearly as troubling as what Russia has been doing under Putin.
    libezkova said in reply to DrDick... , June 21, 2017 at 09:09 PM
    Compare your viewpoint with Forbes:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2017/06/16/in-final-oliver-stone-interview-putin-predicts-when-russia-us-crisis-ends/


    In Final Oliver Stone Interview, Putin Predicts When Russia-US Crisis Ends

    Jun 20, 2017 | www.forbes.com

    But with Trump in the White House, the Trump-Putin conspiracy theory is one reality TV show the news media can't shake. Stone's love for foreign policy intrigue at least makes him a Putin kindred spirit here. America's age old fear of the Russians, has made Putin public enemy number one and Stone his sounding board. For some unhappy campers, like John McCain, Putin has " no moral equivalent " in the United States. He's a dictator , a war criminal and tyrant .

    "You've gone through four U.S. presidents: Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump. What changes?" Stone asks him.

    "Almost nothing. Your bureaucracy is very strong and it is that bureaucracy that rules the world," he says. Then, solemnly, "There is change...when they bring us to the cemetery to bury us."

    In the last installment of the Putin interviews, the Russian leader admitted to liking Trump. "We still like him because he wants to restore relations. Relations between the two countries are going to develop," he said. It's a sentence very few in congress would say, and almost no big name politicians outside of Trump would imagine saying on television. On Russia, you scold. There is no fig leaf.

    In a recent sanctions bill in the senate, only Republicans Rand Paul and Mike Lee voted against it, making for a 97-2 landslide in favor of extra-territorial sanctions against Russian companies, namely oil and gas.

    Stone asked him why did he bother hacking the Democratic National Committee's emails if he believed nothing would change on the foreign policy front.

    STONE: Our political leadership and NATO all believe you hacked the election.

    PUTIN: We didn't hack the election at all. It would be hard to imagine any country, even Russia, being capable of seriously influencing the U.S. election. Someone hacked the DNC, but I don't think it influenced the election. What came through was not a lie.

    They were not trying to fool anybody. People who want to manipulate public opinion will blame Russia. But Trump had his finger on the pulse of the Midwest voter and knew how to pull at their hearts. Those who have been defeated shouldn't be shifting blame to someone else....We are not waiting for any revolutionary changes.

    Just then, editors cut to a video of Trump talking about Putin.

    TRUMP: I hope I get along with Putin. I hope I do. But there is a good chance that I won't.

    PUTIN: It almost feels like hatred of a certain ethnic group, like antisemitism. They are always blaming Russians, like antisemites are always blaming the Jews.

    The editors then flashed to footage of John McCain on the floor of the Senate ranting and raving about Putin. Then Joseph Biden in the Ukrainian parliament, ranting about Russia. Putin tells Stone all of this is unfortunate. He thinks their view is"old world." He reminds Stone that Russia and the U.S. were allies in World War I and World War II. It was Winston Churchill that started the Cold War from London, despite having respect for Russia's strongman leader at the time, the real dictator, Joseph Stalin.

    libezkova -> libezkova... , June 21, 2017 at 09:13 PM
    The point is the Americans have a blind spot on the actions of the USA.

    That's natural. But that produced pretty idiotic comments in this blog even from commenters that are able to discuss intelligently other topics.

    [Jun 22, 2017] Neocons influence on US foreign policy

    Equating critique of Israel with anti-Semitism is like equating critique of Nazi Germany with with denigrating everything German.
    Jun 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

    lavoisier Website June 21, 2017 at 10:27 am GMT

    @Sam J. "...In the end, it is the American people who decide whether Israel is to be or not to be a vital American ally and friend..."

    To make informed decisions you have to have information. The American people don't have that. So they really haven't made a decision at all. They've been tricked into doing things that are covered up in lies. The American people are responsible even if they are being manipulated by the MSM.

    Too many Americans are woefully ignorant about the world, particularly about the extent that Jewish interests have manipulated so many aspects of our government and our culture. If you even bring this issue up you are immediately branded a hater and your arguments dismissed.

    In short, many Americans are happy to drink the kool aid.

    It is a much deeper problem than simply our American Pravda.

    Many of us have chosen to be blind, refusing to even consider the possibility that we are being manipulated, and in the process fail as responsible citizens.

    One can choose to be red pilled today. This is ultimately the choice to go through life with an open mind and to have a high regard for reality, however uncomfortable that reality may be.

    annamaria June 21, 2017 at 12:34 pm GMT

    @Sam J. "...The source of Jewish power in the US is their brokerage of voter bias and federal entitlements between the federal government and the public..."

    There may be a little bit of that but it's not the main reason. The main reasons are:
    1. They own practically all media in the US.
    2. They own the FED providing almost limitless cash to their preferred people.
    3. They're blackmailing huge numbers of our Representatives with little Boys and little Girls.
    4. They'll kill you if they don't get their way.

    So if you run against them in the primary you will have extremely well funded opponents and the press will savage you. If that doesn't work they will try to redistrict you out of a job. If that doesn't work they will frame or kill you like they did to Ohio Congressman James Traficant. "1. They own practically all media in the US.
    2. They own the FED providing almost limitless cash to their preferred people.
    3. They're blackmailing huge numbers of our Representatives with little Boys and little Girls.
    4. They'll kill you if they don't get their way."

    And this has been leading the States – and Israel along with the States – to the demise. The US governing institutions have lost their ability to respond to reality and instead they respond to personal desires only. Hence the approaching danger of a hot war.

    annamaria June 21, 2017 at 2:53 pm GMT

    @Sam Shama

    Don't look for the exchange with Colbert on YouTube. CBS deleted it from its broadcast and website, demonstrating once again that the "I" word cannot be disparaged on national television.
    Is this the one?

    http://www.cbs.com/shows/the-late-show-with-stephen-colbert/video/tRfgCC966_LEXj4URvqwisoUugDosea4/oliver-stone-spent-two-years-interviewing-vladimir-putin/

    If so, you'll need to issue a retraction of your statement and all the other insinuations you derived from it. If it is not the video, I issue my apologies in advance.

    ......he was assassinated, which was a lucky break for Israel, particularly as Kennedy was replaced by the passionate Zionist Lyndon Baines Johnson.
    With this slander which others commented on earlier, it does deserve repeating emphatically, you've submerged yourself in conspiracies for reasons which appear to be occult Jew hatred impossible to contain just under the surface. It beggars belief that statement was written tongue in cheek; excessive cheek, tongue impossible to pry unstuck. An attempt at humour? Poor taste, really.
    The Israelis know what is going on all the time.
    Pure nonsense at some level. At another level, it is well-known we know more about our allies than their respective governments do and vice versa.
    ......but it also included an astonishingly large number of Democrats who describe themselves as progressive, including Corey Booker and Kamila Harris,
    So they are progressives, what of it? You fail to understand most Americans view Iranians as a nation of people which took hostage American diplomats. These congressmen are doing no more than what their constituents want.

    The readership of UR, a collection of a few excellent thinkers, overwhelmed by a larger group of lunatics, do not reflect the sentiment of the vast majority. They could not care what you or I think of Iranians. They remember Nov 1979.

    And there's still more. Bill HR 672 Combating European Anti-Semitism Act of 2017 was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives on June 14th.
    Antisemitism is a serious matter and it is well for it to bear scrutiny in some cases where through their actions overzealous elements[some in the judiciary] trivialise its intent. But you seem to favour an environment where mere vigilance through a bill deserves defeat. Unanimously.
    President Donald Trump traveled to the Middle East claiming to be desirous of starting serious negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, but it was all a sham. Benjamin Netanyahu took him aside and came out with the usual Israeli bullshit about the Palestinians "inciting" violence and hatred of Jews and Trump bought into it
    It's comical to behold the "select" group which voted for Trump now complain on these pages of the UR about what the man said he was going to do from the very beginning on the Israel-Palestine issue. It is not a sham. Trump never believed the "bullshit" coming from the U.N. [a body which has over 40 Muslim and Arab members] on the contrary, attacking the solitary Jewish nation state. He required no "taking aside" by Bibi. One needn't travel to the West Bank to find Jew hatred; a few months' worth of reading your columns being quite sufficient.

    I might note in passing that there has been no Senate resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bravery exhibited by the officers and crew of the USS Liberty as they were being slaughtered by the Israelis at the same time as Jerusalem was being "liberated"
    Such a Senate resolution requires convincing senators of its necessity. No one is stopping anyone.

    I understand you feel Jerusalem is better in the hands of Palestinians and Arabs. We disagree.

    A gem of an article all things considered.

    "You fail to understand most Americans view Iranians as a nation of people which took hostage American diplomats."

    You feign ignorance of the USSLiberty. The American servicemen were not just hostages for Israel – American servicemen were murdered by Israelis: https://theintercept.com/2017/06/06/fifty-years-later-nsa-keeps-details-of-israels-uss-liberty-attack-secret/
    Most Americans are also aware that the US Congress has become Israel-occupied Congress, with the horrific consequences for the global insecurity.
    "Israel Has Been Secretly Funding Syrian Rebels For Years:" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-19/israel-has-been-secretly-funding-syrian-rebels-years
    "The Kagans Are Back; Wars to Follow:" https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/15/the-kagans-are-back-wars-to-follow/
    There was an enormous sympathy for Jewish victims of the WWII; the sympathy and goodwill for Israel have been completed squandered by the bloody ziocons. Only opportunists stay loyal to Israeli agenda, whereas honest people look with horror on the transformation of a victim into an amoral villain.

    [Jun 21, 2017] As for the Times, it has no reservations about serving as a conduit for fact-free propaganda from the US intelligence agencies

    Jun 21, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
    Northern Star , June 20, 2017 at 10:14 am
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/06/20/pers-j20.html

    "As for the Times, it has no reservations about serving as a conduit for fact-free propaganda from the US intelligence agencies. This points to the newspaper's putrefaction in recent decades, seen above all in the fact that its leading personnel, particularly on its editorial pages and foreign affairs staff, consist of ex-officio spokesmen for US imperialism, including a stable of CIA flacks such as Nicholas Kristof, Roger Cohen and Thomas Friedman.

    The editorial page editor, James Bennet, is the brother of right-wing Democratic Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado and son of Douglas Bennet, a top State Department official in the Carter and Clinton administrations, whose career includes a stint heading the Agency for International Development (AID), a frequent instrument for CIA provocations.

    The Times, channeling the intelligence agencies, has a definite political agenda. Powerful factions of the ruling class want to continue and intensify the anti-Russian foreign policy adopted by the Obama administration, particularly in the wake of the 2014 campaign to bring down the elected pro-Russian government in Ukraine and install an ultra-right, pro-US stooge regime."

    FYI:
    http://freebeacon.com/issues/mexican-billionaire-carlos-slim-becomes-top-owner-of-new-york-times/
    http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/The-Mexican-Billionaire-Even-Ex-Presidents-Fear-Talking-About–20151201-0019.html

    [Jun 21, 2017] Trump won because his position was based on unnecessary war, non-interventionism, fiscal conservativism and anti-corruption. Then he betrayed his voters

    Jun 21, 2017 | www.unz.com

    PuttingTheSlimBackIntoMuslim

    June 20, 2017 at 4:43 am GMT

    Trump won because his position was based on unnecessary war, non-interventionism, fiscal conservativism and anti-corruption.

    He entertained the masses. The race, gender, anti-SJW, and anti-immigration stuff were simply talking points. None of his policies on these sidelong issues had teeth.

    Rest assured, if Republicans had put in an honest and strong candidate true to those core issues – they would destroy the Dems because these points appeal to all voters. Instead Republicans will reflexively say the minorities are killing them when really its the piss poor leadership that they have installed in the WH over the last two decades.

    God help the world when such smart people (Republicans) resort to being sucks even when they win.

    Mika-Non Show Comment Next New Comment June 20, 2017 at 7:30 am GMT

    Trump won .because he promised to curtail immigration and enforce the law w/r/t illegals.

    The Only Answer: An Immigration Moratorium

    Sadly, the 'only answer' is a few decades late, and not gonna happen anyway.

    Yes, the Republicans are just as treasonous as the Dems, only in a slightly different way now and then. Meanwhile, the Endgame of Diversity is not Diversity. It's dead white people. All of them.

    animalogic Show Comment Next New Comment June 20, 2017 at 7:56 am GMT

    This is the key quote:
    "But, ultimately, it's a question of numbers. The Ruling Class has decided America's economic future requires non-white immigrants"
    Whatever appearances suggest, mass immigration to the US is a non-partisan issue. Immigration befits ALL elites – whether economically or politically. Its affects on labour markets is wonderful: downward pressure on wages, increased unemployment & it's inevitable result on worker desperation. It's win-win & win. Naturally, Elites have NO exposure to the consequences of importing a ready made under-class.
    However unpalatable it seems, immigration is a tool of class warfare.

    Tom Welsh Show Comment Next New Comment June 20, 2017 at 9:04 am GMT

    It's funny how, in view of their "redistributionist" policies, the Democrats have consistently presided over even greater concentration of wealth and inequality of income.

    It's almost as if they didn't mean what they say.

    Although of course the Clintons are a good example of the beneficial effects of redistribution. Starting as two virtually bankrupt lawyers, they are now both multi-millionaires, possibly close to joining the billionaire club.

    So don't say that redistribution doesn't work.

    KenH Show Comment Next New Comment June 20, 2017 at 10:56 am GMT

    The first time Tammy Garnes visited a school in Cobb County, 10 years ago, she left in a hurry. It was just too white.

    "I want to surround my children with black people,"

    Blacks are racial bigots who prefer the company of their own people, too. Around 10-12 years ago 60 Minutes ran a segment about a blacks only (unofficially) suburban housing development outside of Atlanta and a couple of schools for professional blacks from other areas of the country. One of the black female residents who moved in said her son was attending a mostly white school in the Philadelphia suburbs (and doing well) but that she feared she was losing her son to white culture. She said wanted her son to have a black identity and grow up around other blacks.

    If whites had done something similar there would have been a nationwide media generated furor about "white supremacy" (since white privilege wasn't yet in vogue). It would have been denounced by politicians on both sides of the aisle and the Cheka, I mean FBI, would have investigated for civil rights violations. Eventually the all white development would have deemed illegal by the imperial federal judiciary and forced to integrate since nothing is more evil and un-American than whites wishing to live together.

    [Jun 21, 2017] If I see an article from Wapo or NYT or any of the other "msm", I don't read it. I stopped watching ANY tv, and exclusively read those who didn't lie about Iraq 2003

    Jun 21, 2017 | www.unz.com

    lavoisier June 21, 2017 at 10:14 am GMT

    @Pissedoffalese

    Disgusted "liberal". Am I even a "liberal" anymore? I loathe the I-word and the J-word now with a purple passion. If I see an article from Wapo or NYT or any of the other "msm", I don't read it. I stopped watching ANY tv, and exclusively read those who didn't lie about Iraq 2003. What the hell AM I? I despise Republicans, but the Dems didn't oppose their wars. Now I despise the Dems, and the right-wingnuts are starting to make sense. Is this cognitive dissonance? Bizzaro-world? I am one CONFUSED puppy.

    Thank you PG Thoughtful comment.

    The Democrats are every bit as much on board with the wars and the destruction of the working class as are the Republicans.

    Where are the respectable liberals in this country?

    I despise Democrats as you despise Republicans.

    Now I despise them both. I have little loyalty for my government and do not trust anything that they do.

    Our Republic is on life support.

    [Jun 20, 2017] Israels Dirty Little Secret

    Notable quotes:
    "... At a recent panel discussion in Washington, screenwriter, film director and producer Oliver Stone briefly addressed the issue of alleged Russian interference in the recent national election, observing that "Israel interfered in the U.S. election far more than Russia and nobody is investigating them." A few days later, in an interview with Stephen Colbert on the Late Show, Stone returned to the theme, responding to an aggressive claim that Russia had interfered in the election by challenging Colbert with "Israel had far more involvement in the U.S. election than Russia. Why don't you ask me about that?" ..."
    "... Don't look for the exchange with Colbert on YouTube. CBS deleted it from its broadcast and website, demonstrating once again that the "I" word cannot be disparaged on national television. ..."
    Jun 20, 2017 | www.unz.com
    At a recent panel discussion in Washington, screenwriter, film director and producer Oliver Stone briefly addressed the issue of alleged Russian interference in the recent national election, observing that "Israel interfered in the U.S. election far more than Russia and nobody is investigating them." A few days later, in an interview with Stephen Colbert on the Late Show, Stone returned to the theme, responding to an aggressive claim that Russia had interfered in the election by challenging Colbert with "Israel had far more involvement in the U.S. election than Russia. Why don't you ask me about that?"

    Don't look for the exchange with Colbert on YouTube. CBS deleted it from its broadcast and website, demonstrating once again that the "I" word cannot be disparaged on national television. Stone was, of course, referring to the fact that the Israel Lobby, most notably acting through its American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is undeniably a foreign lobby, no less so than anyone representing the presumed interests of Russia or China. It operates with complete impunity on Capitol Hill and also at state and local levels and no one dares to require it to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, which would permit scrutiny of its finances and also end its tax-exempt "educational" status. Nor does Congress or the media see fit to inquire into AIPAC's empowerment of candidates based on their fidelity to Israel, not to mention the direct interference in the American electoral process which surfaced most visibly in its support of candidate Mitt Romney in 2012.

    The last president that sought to compel the predecessor organization of AIPAC to register was John F. Kennedy, who also was about to take steps to rein in Israel's secret nuclear weapons program when he was assassinated, which was a lucky break for Israel, particularly as Kennedy was replaced by the passionate Zionist Lyndon Baines Johnson. Funny how things sometimes work out. The Warren Commission looked deeply into a possible Cuban connection in the shooting and came up with nothing but one has to wonder if they also investigated the possible roles of other countries. Likewise, the 9/11 Commission Report failed to examine the possible involvement of Israel in the terrorist attack in spite of a considerable body of evidence suggesting that there were a number of Israeli-sourced covert operations running in the U.S. at that time.

    Looking back from the perspective of his more than 40 years of military service, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer described the consequences of Jewish power vis-à-vis U.S. policy towards Israel, stating that "I've never seen a president – I don't care who he is – stand up to them [the Israelis]. It just boggles your mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn't writing anything down. If the American people understood what a grip those people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms. Our citizens don't have any idea what goes on."

    He also addressed the 1967 Israeli assault on the USS Liberty, saying "Israel attempted to prevent the Liberty's radio operators from sending a call for help by jamming American emergency radio channels. [And that] Israeli torpedo boats machine-gunned lifeboats at close range that had been lowered to rescue the most-seriously wounded." He concluded with "our government put Israel's interests ahead of our own? If so, Why? Does our government continue to subordinate American interests to Israeli interests?"

    It is a question that might well be asked today, as the subservience to Israeli interests is, if anything, more pervasive in 2017 Washington than it was in 2002 when Moorer spoke up. And, as in Moorer's day, much of the partiality towards Israel makes its way through congress with little or no media coverage lest anyone begin to wonder whose tail is wagging which dog. To put it succinctly, there is an Israeli hand in much of what the United States does internationally, and the involvement is not intended to do anything good for the American people.

    During the past several weeks alone there has been a flurry of legislation backed by Israel and its Lobby. One bill might actually have been written by AIPAC. It is called Senate 722, Countering Iran's Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017. The bill has 63 co-sponsors, most of whom are the usual suspects, but it also included an astonishingly large number of Democrats who describe themselves as progressive, including Corey Booker and Kamila Harris, both of whom are apparently terrified lest they say "no" to Israel. With 63 co-sponsors out of 100 senators the bill was certain to pass overwhelmingly, and it was indeed approved 98 to 2, with only Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders voting "no."

    And there's more to S.722 than Iran – it's subtitle is "An act to provide congressional review and to counter Iranian and Russian governments' aggression." Much of it is designed to increase sanctions on both Iran and Russia while also limiting the White House's ability to relieve any sanctions without approval by congress. Regarding Iran, the bill mandates that "Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 2 years thereafter, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Director of National Intelligence shall jointly develop and submit to the appropriate congressional committees a strategy for deterring conventional and asymmetric Iranian activities and threats that directly threaten the United States and key allies in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond."

    ORDER IT NOW

    The premise is of course nonsensical as Iran's ability to threaten anyone, least of all the United States, is limited. It is far outgunned by its neighbors and even more so by the U.S., but it has become the enemy of choice for congress as well as for the former generals who serve as White House advisers. The animus against Iran comes directly from Israel and from the Saudi Arabians, who have managed to sell their version of developments in their part of the world through a completely acquiescent and heavily Jewish influenced western media.

    And there's more. A bill has surfaced in the House of Representatives that will require the United States to "consult" with Israel regarding any prospective arms sales to Arab countries in the Middle East. In other words, Israel will have a say, backed up undoubtedly by Congress and the media, over what the United States does in terms of its weapons sales abroad. The sponsors of the bill, one Brad Schneider of Illinois, and Claudia Tenney of New York, want "closer scrutiny of future military arms sales" to maintain the "qualitative military edge" that Israel currently enjoys.

    Schneider is, of course, Jewish and a life member of AIPAC, so it is hardly as if he is a disinterested party. Tenny runs for office in New York State, so it is hardly as if she is disinterested either, but the net result of all this is that American jobs and U.S. international security arrangements through weapons sales will be at least in part subject to Israeli veto. And you know that is precisely what will happen as Israel could give a damn what happens to the struggling American entity that it so successfully feeds off of.

    And there's still more. Bill HR 672 Combating European Anti-Semitism Act of 2017 was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives on June 14 th . Yes, I said "unanimously." The bill requires the State Department of monitor what European nations and their police forces are doing about anti-Semitism and encourages them to adopt "a uniform definition of anti-Semitism." That means that criticism of Israel must be considered anti-Semitism and will therefore be a hate crime and prosecutable, a status that is already de facto true in Britain and France. If the Europeans don't play ball, there is the possibility of repercussions in trade negotiations. The bill was co-sponsored by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida and Nita Lowey of New York, both of whom are Jewish.

    There is also a Senate companion bill on offer in the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2017. The bill will make the Anti-Semitism Envoy a full American Ambassador and will empower him or her with a full staff and a budget permitting meddling worldwide. The bill is sponsored by Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Marco Rubio of Florida. Gillibrand is unlikely to miss co-sponsoring anything relating to Israel due to her own self-interest and Rubio wants to be president real bad so he is following the money.

    And finally, the U.S. Senate has also approved a resolution celebrating the 50 th anniversary of Israel's conquest of East Jerusalem. Again, the vote was unanimous. The resolution was co-sponsored by Senators Charles Schumer and Mitch McConnell, two reptiles who give snakes a bad name and about whom the less said the better. Schumer is Jewish and has described himself as the "shomer" or guardian of Israel in the Senate. That the resolution opposes long established U.S. government policy that the occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank by Israel is in contravention of international law and is an impediment to any peace process with the Palestinians apparently bothered not even one Senator.

    I might note in passing that there has been no Senate resolution commemorating the 50 th anniversary of the bravery exhibited by the officers and crew of the USS Liberty as they were being slaughtered by the Israelis at the same time as Jerusalem was being "liberated." There is probably even more to say, to include secret agreements with the Pentagon and intelligence agencies, but I will stop at this point with one final observation. President Donald Trump traveled to the Middle East claiming to be desirous of starting serious negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, but it was all a sham. Benjamin Netanyahu took him aside and came out with the usual Israeli bullshit about the Palestinians "inciting" violence and hatred of Jews and Trump bought into it. He then went to see Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and shouted at him for being a liar and opposed to peace based on what Netanyahu had told him. That is what passes for even-handed in the U.S. government, no matter who is president. A few days later the Israelis announced the building of the largest bloc of illegal new settlements on the West Bank since 1992, an action that they claim is being coordinated with Washington.

    Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon once boasted about owning the United States. I guess he was right.

    [Jun 20, 2017] What the Romans Did for Us On the Age-Old Art of Propaganda

    Notable quotes:
    "... By Jemimah Steinfeld, deputy editor of Index on Censorship magazine. This article appeared in the summer issue of the magazine. Click here for more information on Index . Cross posted from Open Democracy ..."
    "... "Augustus is probably the supreme master of the art of propaganda in the entire history of the West. No one has rivalled him and everyone has since been in his shadow," said historian Tom Holland, author of bestselling books on Rome, in an interview with Index on Censorship magazine. ..."
    "... Augustus perfected propaganda and his influence can be seen clearly in Napoleon, Mussolini and Hitler. The careful crafting of Mao's image – clad in a simple "Mao suit", with sunbeams resonating off his body – was straight out of the Roman ruler's playbook. ..."
    "... "At the heart of authoritarian propaganda is the manipulating of reality. The authoritarian must undermine this," said Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley , author of How Propaganda Works, in an interview with Index. ..."
    "... Propaganda once again changed with the advent of the internet as information, or misinformation, could be spread with a simple click. Yet even though the game has moved on, the rules remain the same. Whether it's a fabricated blog post, a viral video of North Korea bombing Washington or tirades of tweets telling everyone you're going to Make America Great Again, these are all timeless tactics repackaged for the modern day. ..."
    "... There are various sites , some tending toward tin-foil territory and others closer to what used to be thought of as journalism, where inquirers may learn more about what is not being presented in our media. The public may be deceived by the Grey Lady and her fellow-travelers, but there are still those who seek the truth. ..."
    "... Good point about the CIA. Propaganda benefits greatly from surveillance providing feedback, so having both in one agency sounds like amazing public sector efficiency. The links didn't get me anywhere much so I still don't know how Augustus got his feedback – the acclaim of the mob? That's important considering the failure of the similar Julian personality cult just prior. ..."
    "... In the Cold War, the ends justified the means. Not that Communist regimes weren't a threat, but making a big deal about them, certainly served those who wanted to act on "the ends justify the means". The fascist elements in the US weren't gone by 1945 .. they were just getting started. ..."
    "... Thanks for sharing the link Carla. Resisting corporate power in any way possible is now the duty of every citizen. That cognitive shift is the main tipping point to bring about social change. What is good for corporations is not good for citizens. ..."
    "... It may be a feckless effort, given the ubiquity of DYSinformation: "our" the CIA has been at it, on the massive offense against honesty and decency, via all the mechanisms we mopes, or too many of us, have thought worthy of "trust." Here's a telling review of a long form book on the subject of "Who Paid The Piper: The CIA and the Cultural Cold War," https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/CIAcultCW.pdf ..."
    "... Always, there are the Fifth Columnists (like Krauthammer and Krugman and the rest), and subtle little Iagos who infiltrate any kind of decency-based collective action (Occupy, NoDAPL, etc.) who will happily troll with Shakespearean "subtility" and betray and work full time to fiddle the rest of us, short-circuiting and defeating any efforts at collective action that might promote "the general welfare " ..."
    "... The Obama Presidency: His cult tells us that he is a selfless community organizer and constitutional lawyer who will make America a post-racial society. He is a speaker who is very persuasive and charismatic. Any criticism of His Presidency is racism by the ignorant. Of course in reality the man had sold out to Wall Street from the start and America may as well have elected Bill Clinton for 2 more terms. ..."
    "... Hillary Clinton proved unable to fool people in her cult. She is apparently a selfless experienced politician who will break glass ceilings. The reality? Her economic policies are little more than the typical neoliberalism, which will create ceilings for working and middle class Americans, outright kicking the poor down. She loves going to war. She is not charismatic at all. Her supporters tried to portray all criticism of Clinton as sexism unsuccessfully. The lesson here is that if you want any personality cult, it has to be believable and your candidate has to be likeable. ..."
    "... I think that like Rome, the US is going to come apart. Let's face the reality. It is largely an empire. It relies on its military dominance to get its way and enrich its already obscenely wealthy. Much like Rome or the USSR, internal contradictions could bring it down. ..."
    "... An example, the US claims that it is the land of opportunity, yet social mobility is better in Canada, Australia, and the Nordic Nations which have far more egalitarian cultures. It claims to be number 1 at everything, yet when you look at standards of living, it usually is a competition between the Nordic nations. There are other nations that do well. Japanese women for example have very long life expectancies. Healthcare is said to be the top, yet other nations spend less and live longer. I could go on, but the point is that propaganda can only go so far. ..."
    "... Yet it is the costs of war and the greed of the rich that will eventually bring these contradictions to an end. How this will end, I don't know. I think that it could end up like the Soviet Union. We have am elite class that is literally looting everything from the rest of us. The only question is, can we avoid a total collapse like the Romans? ..."
    "... His supporters tried to portray all criticism of Obama as racism. ..."
    "... Goebbels had at least one thing right. Understanding the human psyche is key in shaping human society. Too bad for us all that current leaders have such limited visions of what human society could be. Or should that be shame on us all for allowing such a condition to arise in the first place. It seems a negative approach is always used to exploit human weakness. The reigning morality is find a weakness and exploit it. ..."
    "... Propaganda is devoid of morality. It is just the roadmap to where you would like to go. All the talk of fake news, the sharing economy, public/private enterprises, privatization, fighting terrorism, the Russian menace, and TINA are attempts to obfuscate the fact that the morality brought about by capitalism no longer functions. ..."
    "... Propaganda and ideology are one in the same, they are belief systems. Neither can be found in the physical world; rather, they reside in our chosen identities. Thus, the ideologues must persuade each of us to willingly submit our personal power to them and become their compliant subject. The ideologues are not 'in' power but 'hold' the collectives' power until the individual chooses to break away and regain their individual power. ..."
    "... Louis Althusser's "Ideological State Apparatuses" is a good read. For Althusser, ideology was not a passive relation between the economic base and superstructure, but a pervasive set of dynamic conditions suffusing the institutional apparatus of the state and shaping not just the idea of the person as subject, but clarifying in structural terms the idea of a subject position; wherein, political and psychological forces converge to define possibilities of action and forces of constraint and repression. ..."
    "... ideology has no history since it is carried in the material, institutional forms of social life, and is always submerged back into them (reification). ..."
    "... The Roman Senate was nominally responsible for paying soldiers but by the time the republic was in it's waning days the coinage had become debased and devalued. The Roman soldier then looked to his individual commander as his meal ticket. ..."
    "... Raised with the fear of The Big Lie, what is interesting today is corporate media's propaganda omissions. The 20% decline in the number of middle class families. Earlier deaths. The transfer of enormous wealth to a very few very rich families. ..."
    "... The fall of the Soviet Union is recent enough that those who lived through it to say to us that the reason for the collapse was USSR's propaganda didn't match reality. When Boris Yeltsin's counter coup took place, Russians didn't take to the streets to defend the Communist Party and the economic system. Perhaps 5% of Americans are doing well servicing the oligarchs. That is far too few to defend predatory capitalism when the global economy crashes; which it will, due to spreading wars, climate change, fading democracy and social unrest. Survivors will say good riddance to the Hamptons. They had it coming. ..."
    Jun 20, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

    me name=

    By Jemimah Steinfeld, deputy editor of Index on Censorship magazine. This article appeared in the summer issue of the magazine. Click here for more information on Index . Cross posted from Open Democracy

    People see propaganda as a modern problem – manipulation by mass media. But the story is far older, and the tactics are timeless. While the game has moved on, the rules remain the same.

    The EU's police agency, Europol, recently revealed evidence that Isis is creating its own social media platform for the purpose of disseminating propaganda. It may be connected to Facebook and Google ramping up efforts to curb extremist material and "fake news". In May, according to Reuters, Europol director Rob Wainwright said it showed "some members of Daesh, at least, continue to innovate in this space". But while technological innovation might still be possible, will there be anything original on this new platform?

    Until the reign of Augustus, no one in Rome had come close to creating a personality cult.

    A striking image, a catchy phrase, shocking material – these are the bread and butter of propaganda. It turns out these tactics stretch right the way back through history. From etchings in caves to the Bayeux Tapestry, pushing out messages that seek to persuade and influence – the basic definition of propaganda – is as old as mankind. There was one figure, though, who really cracked it.

    "Augustus is probably the supreme master of the art of propaganda in the entire history of the West. No one has rivalled him and everyone has since been in his shadow," said historian Tom Holland, author of bestselling books on Rome, in an interview with Index on Censorship magazine.

    Until the reign of Augustus, no one in Rome had come close to creating a personality cult. Rome was built on the idea that it was a republic and that no single man should dominate all others. When Caesar's vanity led to his face appearing on coins, his demise quickly followed. Augustus, coming straight after Caesar, used hindsight to his advantage. He cast himself as essentially a normal person, even adopting the title princeps (first citizen), and would partake in entertainment with the masses, like racing, boxing and watching gladiators. But he also positioned himself as exceptional, using the title divi filius (son of the god), and his portraits echoed those of Apollo. Augustus's face was everywhere, from statues, friezes and coins to writings and poems, and most famously in his appearance in Virgil's Aeneid.

    "He promotes himself with absolute genius," Holland said. "He is simultaneously a figure who is an everyday guy and a figure of supernatural potency he appeals to every aspect."

    Augustus perfected propaganda and his influence can be seen clearly in Napoleon, Mussolini and Hitler. The careful crafting of Mao's image – clad in a simple "Mao suit", with sunbeams resonating off his body – was straight out of the Roman ruler's playbook.

    The Bayeux tapestry: the death of King Harold of England at the Battle of Hastings, 1066. Trevor Huxham/Flickr. Some rights reserved.

    So Augustus provided the template, but technological change has undoubtedly improved the means. The birth of the modern printing press was a godsend for propaganda. It was during World War I, when there was a need to recruit, that Wellington House in London established a secret propaganda bureau, and from this the political poster was born. Driven by similar motives, President Woodrow Wilson in the USA formed the Committee of Public Information, which produced posters, films and other material that sought to champion home security and democracy against a foreign enemy. The committee attempted to convince millions of people that they should support the war, and those that still rallied against it, such as socialist publications, were silenced in the process.

    The demands of the Russian Revolution quickly gave birth to a whole new genre, socialist realism or constructivism ("production art"), in which smiling peasants and strident factory workers were portrayed in bold colours and geometric shapes, pithy slogans slapped on top. Anatoly Lunacharsky, who was in charge of the People's Commissariat for Education shortly after the Bolsheviks took charge, believed that by depicting the perfect Soviet man, art could create perfect Soviets.

    Propaganda did not work just on what was shown; it worked also on what was omitted. Stalin was a master of this. Long before the advent of Photoshop, technicians in Russia manipulated photos so much that they became outright lies. David King, in The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Photographs and Art in Stalin's Russia, wrote that during the Great Purges, in the 1930s, "a new form of falsification emerged. The physical eradication of Stalin's political opponents at the hands of the secret police was swiftly followed by their obliteration from all forms of pictorial existence". The book highlights classic cases of "now you see me, now you don't". It includes a series of images featuring the same backdrops but with rotating casts, depending on who was or wasn't in favour at the time.

    "At the heart of authoritarian propaganda is the manipulating of reality. The authoritarian must undermine this," said Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley , author of How Propaganda Works, in an interview with Index.

    The birth of mass media meant that propaganda didn't need to confine itself to unmoving imagery. Instead, people's minds could be influenced in a far more interactive way. Lenin called the radio "a newspaper without paper and without boundaries" and used it to promote the Bolshevik message. And the revolution was televised, first at the cinema and then on TV. Sergei Eisenstein's most famous films – October , Battleship Potemkin and Alexander Nevsky – were huge successes precisely because they fused technical brilliance with politically correct storylines.

    The myriad possibilities of propaganda were not lost on Hitler, either. He devoted two chapters of Mein Kampf to it and, once in power, recruited a minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, who declared that with enough repetition and understanding of the human psyche, people could be convinced that a square was a circle.

    Propaganda once again changed with the advent of the internet as information, or misinformation, could be spread with a simple click. Yet even though the game has moved on, the rules remain the same. Whether it's a fabricated blog post, a viral video of North Korea bombing Washington or tirades of tweets telling everyone you're going to Make America Great Again, these are all timeless tactics repackaged for the modern day.

    "Everything you read in the newspapers, it's age-old," said Stanley, who added that "tech people" see this as a modern problem that they can solve. People are misinformed about the past, he said.

    Misinformed, yes, but also manipulated by people and industries that can look to history's masterminds for best practice when it comes to propaganda.

    Synoia , June 18, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    The Roman propaganda machine included their version of TV, the Theater, and the head of household imposing the propaganda on the whole household.

    Attending Theater was a head-of-household privilege, and attendance also identified exactly where you were in the Civic Strata, based on the position of one's seat in the Theater. No pressure there, no, none at all.

    For_Christ's_Sake , June 17, 2017 at 6:58 am

    The photo of the Syrian boy in the back of the ambulance is one example of the power of media coverage. It, in istself, wasn't the most striking or compelling of the myriad photo coverage to date, yet it received a disproportionete amount of coverage in the media, and at a crucial time when the Syrian forces loyal to Bashar al Assad were making considerable gains in the Aleppo area.

    Enquiring Mind , June 17, 2017 at 11:37 am

    There are various sites , some tending toward tin-foil territory and others closer to what used to be thought of as journalism, where inquirers may learn more about what is not being presented in our media. The public may be deceived by the Grey Lady and her fellow-travelers, but there are still those who seek the truth.

    integer , June 18, 2017 at 1:06 am

    MintPress Meets The Father Of Iconic Aleppo Boy, Who Says Media Lied About His Son

    thoughtful person , June 17, 2017 at 9:16 am

    I remember reading a copy of the Pike Report (1976, spokesman books). What impressed me was that most of the CIA budget appeared to be going to propaganda around the world – manipulation of reality as it were. Including a hot topic right now, spending millions on influencing elections. History certainly rhymes. Thanks for the article, will check out the links!

    Willem , June 17, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    The pharmaceutical industry does a similar thing: it spends millions on drug trials that cannot be replicated by doctors, because such trials are too expensive to be conducted by independent doctors. And then the pharma even spends more millions on advertisements (propaganda) to convince doctors and patients alike that the new drug works better than the old one. What would be more rational than spending money on PR is when the pharma would replicate their studies, preferably by independent researchers, but they seldom do this, or only at the time when their 'new' drug runs out of patent and they need yet a newer drug to compare to the 'new' drug. Etc, etc.

    It is time that people see through this propaganda, but unfortunately those who should see through this first (doctors in pharma, journalists in news, economists in banking) often have a conflict of interest that makes them deaf blind and stupid. Either because they receive money from corporations or information, or titles, or it could be as simple as receiving a penn from a company that people with a conflict of interest sincerely start to believe that these companies can't be that bad.

    And those who do not have a conflict of interest are seldom heard in corporate media.

    But fortunately there are other channels too.

    rfdawn , June 17, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Good point about the CIA. Propaganda benefits greatly from surveillance providing feedback, so having both in one agency sounds like amazing public sector efficiency. The links didn't get me anywhere much so I still don't know how Augustus got his feedback – the acclaim of the mob? That's important considering the failure of the similar Julian personality cult just prior.

    Procopius , June 19, 2017 at 1:01 am

    As I understand it he had quite a large secret police machine.

    Mike , June 17, 2017 at 9:21 am

    I have no proof, but isn't it propaganda when a weak argument upholding the governments position gets commented upon by "cranks", "crackpots", and wild "conspiracy theories" that can easily be used a straw men to be assaulted whenever "proof" of the governments side can't be presented? We have seen countless websites and blogs arise around the 9-11 story, spouting holograms, energy waves, and scientifically hazy plot lines. When "conspiracy theory" has to be kicked, these are the ones presented, while building science and physics are truly denied in the official explanation, and needs no proof because the "nuts" are the only argument against.

    Is it possible that the spurious or questionable postings/books/articles are MEANT to obfuscate, meant to create rejection, or at least doubt as to the reality of any position? I don't wish to attribute more power to this than necessary, but we have been hoodwinked before by more and less.

    Also, as a side note, Stalin sure did his job is discrediting Communism. Love those monastery students turned apparatchiks

    Disturbed Voter , June 17, 2017 at 9:33 am

    You took the wrong pill. You know too much. Is Alex Jones COINTELPRO?

    In the Cold War, the ends justified the means. Not that Communist regimes weren't a threat, but making a big deal about them, certainly served those who wanted to act on "the ends justify the means". The fascist elements in the US weren't gone by 1945 .. they were just getting started.

    Basically we little people will never know, even people closer to the events probably have contextual bias that prevents real knowing. Whether 9/11, or the death of Meriwether Lewis. Traditional and PC historical narrative is propaganda too. Even about Washington and Lincoln.

    Procopius , June 19, 2017 at 1:09 am

    I guess I've always been contrarian. When I was in high school (the McCarthy years) I noticed our school library did not have one single book that described Communism. Not one that reported what Marx and Engels had said. Not one copy of a speech by Lenin. Not even a description of the famine caused by Stalin's collectivization of the farms. Nor was there a single such book in the town public library. I think the Detroit Public Library had a copy of Kapital, but it was in the locked section, and you had to have academic credentials to access the material there. On the other hand, our library had two copies of Mein Kampf. I suppose the owners decided that danger was already passed, and Nazis would automatically hate Communists (Prussian Socialism was something very different).

    JTMcPhee , June 17, 2017 at 10:31 am

    In case any of us missed it, "Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt" (FUD) is a "thing," and one can read up on, and take classes in, how to generate and use FUD to promote any dishonorable and deceptive notion or product, or denigrate any decent thought or thing: "How to Market with FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, & Doubt," https://strategypeak.com/fud-fear-uncertainty-doubt/

    Norb , June 17, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    After reading your link, there is no mention as to whether the new computer software was able to actually achieve the stated goal of backwards compatibility. The lost trust was regained by a bold claim playing on the clients fears and desires.

    The article has a self-congratulatory tone that clearly shows what is wrong with current social relations. A clever marketing guy figures out a way to "beat" a competitor with lies and deceit. ( no evidence is given contrary) The executives making the decision are probably well paid either way with no downside for failure.

    My wife is an ER nurse, and even in that environment, they are given coaching by management to repeat certain phrases to patients during treatment to ensure positive perception. It's really quite disturbing when you consider the ubiquitous nature of the brainwashing by corporate powers. You can refuse to cooperate, but then you are branded as a troublemaker- not a team player.

    Carla , June 17, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    "My wife is an ER nurse, and even in that environment, they are given coaching by management to repeat certain phrases to patients during treatment to ensure positive perception."

    This is tragic. The profound element of the tragedy is that we all kinda know this goes on, in every area of our lives, including the most intimate ones, and yet we do nothing. Of course, we feel completely overwhelmed and inadequate in the naked face of this POWER.

    Norb, honestly, the main things that help me get through the day are Naked Capitalism and the Move to Amend the Constitution with a 28th amendment abolishing corporate personhood and money as speech.

    Last November 8, we had local citizen petition initiatives on the ballot in two suburbs of Cleveland: Shaker Heights and South Euclid, Ohio. Both had similar ballot language, stating that the electorates of those communities support and want to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution stating that only human beings are entitled to constitutional rights; and money is not equivalent to speech, and therefore money spent on election campaigns can be regulated.

    These local initiatives passed, with 78% voting yes in South Euclid and 82% voting yes in Shaker Heights. They were the 10th and 11th cities to pass such ballot measures in Ohio.

    For a look at the 28th amendment we support, see:
    https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-joint-resolution/48/text?r=19

    Also just search on Move to Amend (I'm trying to avoid moderation by giving another link).

    Norb , June 18, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Thanks for sharing the link Carla. Resisting corporate power in any way possible is now the duty of every citizen. That cognitive shift is the main tipping point to bring about social change. What is good for corporations is not good for citizens.

    That point has to be repeated over and over.

    The message is getting through.

    Blennylips , June 17, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Thank you Mr. Snowden: The Art of Deception: Training for a New Generation of Online Covert Operations

    And thank you WashingtonsBlog: How to Spot – and Defeat – Disruption on the Internet

    But what have the romans done for us, lately ? Aside from the aquaduct, sanitation, and the roads

    Angry Panda , June 17, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Aaaaaand the article falls apart the moment it veers into actual history. Or, rather, a highly distorted picture thereof. The old Internet-debate principle of why should I listen to your argument if you're getting some tangential facts wrong. [And the fun bit, I'd be the first to agree with the premise that propaganda dates back to at least Sumer and Egypt, which are the first civilizations we have any writings from so far as I know.]

    For example, specifically to Rome, before Caesar there was Sulla, for example. And Caesar wasn't killed for his "vanity" but rather by the "wealthy conservative" faction that wasn't happy he, Caesar, cut them off from power and was finally getting stuff done, including for the poor, and wanted to get back to the "good old days" (explicitly saying as much). And even the early-middle Republic saw plentiful propaganda, but especially late Republic when you had a whole conservatives-vs.-demagogues dynamic for many election cycles straight.

    I realize that this is meant to be a brief excursus to prove a point ( which could have been expressed in three sentences in lieu of a whole "article", but whatever), however that isn't really an excuse. Also, too, the whole "printing press" to "World War I" segue feels at best rushed (what, no propaganda in the 1500s-1600s? the 1700s? Franklin owned what again?), and at worst misleading (as in – the printing press must have been invented just before World War I ). Also, too, again, fun that the Russian Bolsheviks get top billing while the Nazis get a footnote. Although curiously there is a bit more accuracy in the Russian Bolshevik paragraphs than in the Roman ones.

    DJG , June 17, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Angry Panda: Maybe. I tend to doubt that Sulla qualifies as a personality cult. He was a brute during the brutal Roman civil wars.

    Julius Caesar may qualify as the first personality cult, regardless of his end. The Gallic Wars and the subsequent "book contract." The symbolic crossing of the Rubicon. Then there is the episode that may seem more bizarre now but was remarkable for its social / religious significance: Mark Anthony, naked from participating in the sacred races of Lupercalia, offering the crown to Julius Caesar, who turned it away three times. That's personality cult! (Although, admittedly, some of the Persian kings had had even more mythical rises to power.)

    But only Augustus Caesar, the former Octavian, succeeded in some minor propaganda efforts like renaming the months, eh–and we still use the names July and August (for his putative father Julius Caesar and himself).

    Another aspect of the perfection of propaganda under Augustus Caesar: The mystery of why the poet Ovid was sent into exile. Unlike Virgil, who was more flexible about his patriotism, Ovid was genuinely disruptive, and Ovid wrote erotic poetry that didn't fit well with official sexuality. And off he went to farthest Romania, living out his days unhappily.

    Synoia , June 18, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    And off he went to farthest Romania Dacia, living out his days unhappily.

    Susan the other , June 17, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Also recently revealed by Erdogan himself is a "platform" of sorts which Turkey is promoting across Europe. It is meant to disseminate Islam's political views and influence elections. And it is very interesting that Europol is referring to something similar and calling it propaganda, with an intent to censorship. No? How did Isis get the headline and not Erdogan? It's all propaganda, that's how.

    JTMcPhee , June 17, 2017 at 10:19 am

    The vector of despair that is propaganda rot is old news, though always, always topical, And still interesting and informative, for those wanting to try to armor themselves against DYSinformation and aim to "try to make things better in the world."

    It may be a feckless effort, given the ubiquity of DYSinformation: "our" the CIA has been at it, on the massive offense against honesty and decency, via all the mechanisms we mopes, or too many of us, have thought worthy of "trust." Here's a telling review of a long form book on the subject of "Who Paid The Piper: The CIA and the Cultural Cold War," https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/CIAcultCW.pdf

    Who would have thought that all those organs of public thought and the writers and artists that fed "content" into the public consciousness, people lionized for their "progressive" and/or "liberal" credentials, were actually, both consciously and in so many cases for pay out of CIA Secret Funds, filling the public mind and channels of political and "cultural" thought and debate with a particularly ancient and murderous set of poisons?

    So it is left up to each of us individuals, as Promethean actors and consumers and sorters and selectors of "information," to try to render ourselves sufficiently perceptive and skeptical and disbelieving and wise, to be discerning enough to separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the polished turds from the real gems of insight and event. Because NOTHING and NO ONE can be trusted to tell the truth, when even the concept of "truth" has been rendered meaningless in the Bernays Bouillabaisse of "ideas" and "information" that sloshes about and seeps and leaks into every corner and crevice of "our" political economy.

    Always, there are the Fifth Columnists (like Krauthammer and Krugman and the rest), and subtle little Iagos who infiltrate any kind of decency-based collective action (Occupy, NoDAPL, etc.) who will happily troll with Shakespearean "subtility" and betray and work full time to fiddle the rest of us, short-circuiting and defeating any efforts at collective action that might promote "the general welfare "

    Interesting that in so many of the pop cultural video dreck I waste time viewing, so many of the plots involve a supposedly Trustworthy Character warning the protagonist to "Trust no one." And we discover that the TC's phrase included an arch and covert warning that the protagonist should not have trusted the corrupt or murderous TC, who is actually part of the category "No one."

    But of course the CIA manipulators and masters know that some public awareness and knowledge of their shenanigans on behalf of corporate globalism, and the CIA as its own fortress of advancement and career and corruption, and the REAL Neos (-liberalism and -conservatism, both sic), only helps build the myth, and reality, of the agency's reach and clout and invulnerability and impunity. So they let us bloggers talk and fulminate about what they have done, to increase the sense of futility and debility that all of us have to feel, in some measure, about the nature and reach of the Deep REAL state They don't even have to put a lot of active, positive effort into pushing onto our consciousnesses the phrase "Resistance is futile," made iconic via Star Trek (that set of glimmering promises of Wonderful Technology and the triumph of the human spirit and innovation even in seemingly hopeless circumstances - if only we hold to the Federation's principles http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Kobayashi_Maru_scenario

    lyman alpha blob , June 17, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Same it it ever was with propaganda and with political smears as well. The Romans were pretty good at those too with a favorite being that a political figure had buggered one of his family members. Even the contemporary historians had no idea if these rumors were true, but modern historians are still talking about them.

    Back then it was Nero screwing his mother, today we have the Trump 'dossier' and piddling prostitutes.

    glib , June 17, 2017 at 11:01 am

    The Romans also imposed wheat on the Empire, to the point of killing those who refused. Many reasons, some related to propaganda: wheat was the fuel of war, so it was good to have it everywhere (not related), but also due to the opioids in wheat and the poorer health of the citizens, they had figured out that wheat eating populations were easier to conquer and hold. Totally unlike the Germans, the Scots and other tribes originating from the steppes.

    John , June 17, 2017 at 11:18 am

    You fail to mention one of the biggest purveyors and origin of the use of the word the Congregatio Propaganda Fide established by Pope Gregory XV in 1622.

    Yves Smith Post author , June 17, 2017 at 11:25 am

    As Edward Bernays pointed out in his 1926 book Propaganda, the word once had positive connotations precisely because it was seen as being about the legitimate spreading of the religious word. Bernays in his book tried hard, and unsuccessfully, to depict propaganda as positive and benign.

    Altandmain , June 17, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Closer to home, all the recent American Presidents and candidates have created their own cults of personality.

    The Obama Presidency: His cult tells us that he is a selfless community organizer and constitutional lawyer who will make America a post-racial society. He is a speaker who is very persuasive and charismatic. Any criticism of His Presidency is racism by the ignorant. Of course in reality the man had sold out to Wall Street from the start and America may as well have elected Bill Clinton for 2 more terms.

    Trump is of course the business man and deal maker who will turn America around. This cult relies heavily on the right-wing propaganda that business is superior to government and that Trump is a capable businessman. In reality, Trump inherited his wealth, went bankrupt several times, and I have read underperformed compared to an index fund. He also has a history of abusing the people he does business with and apparently women too.

    Hillary Clinton proved unable to fool people in her cult. She is apparently a selfless experienced politician who will break glass ceilings. The reality? Her economic policies are little more than the typical neoliberalism, which will create ceilings for working and middle class Americans, outright kicking the poor down. She loves going to war. She is not charismatic at all. Her supporters tried to portray all criticism of Clinton as sexism unsuccessfully. The lesson here is that if you want any personality cult, it has to be believable and your candidate has to be likeable.

    I think that like Rome, the US is going to come apart. Let's face the reality. It is largely an empire. It relies on its military dominance to get its way and enrich its already obscenely wealthy. Much like Rome or the USSR, internal contradictions could bring it down.

    An example, the US claims that it is the land of opportunity, yet social mobility is better in Canada, Australia, and the Nordic Nations which have far more egalitarian cultures. It claims to be number 1 at everything, yet when you look at standards of living, it usually is a competition between the Nordic nations. There are other nations that do well. Japanese women for example have very long life expectancies. Healthcare is said to be the top, yet other nations spend less and live longer. I could go on, but the point is that propaganda can only go so far.

    Yet it is the costs of war and the greed of the rich that will eventually bring these contradictions to an end. How this will end, I don't know. I think that it could end up like the Soviet Union. We have am elite class that is literally looting everything from the rest of us. The only question is, can we avoid a total collapse like the Romans?

    Bullwinkle , June 18, 2017 at 8:17 am

    I would like to take a sentence from your Hillary Clinton paragraph, revise it and add it to your Obama paragraph: His supporters tried to portray all criticism of Obama as racism.

    Procopius , June 19, 2017 at 1:35 am

    The "Roman collapse" wasn't actually a sudden event that you can pin down. It was a million collapses and failures and successes by new people and strangers moving in next door and somebody you never heard of being elected to the town council.

    The Eastern Empire lasted until Crusaders conquered Constantinople in 1204, and arguably made a partial comeback in 1261 until the Turks captured the city in 1453.

    Even in the Western Empire some of the forms were still followed, legal precedents were followed, the ancient taxes were still collected. I think the collapse of the American Empire is going to be more spectacular, but you could argue, I think, that America actually "fell" when we entered World War I.

    Norb , June 17, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Goebbels had at least one thing right. Understanding the human psyche is key in shaping human society. Too bad for us all that current leaders have such limited visions of what human society could be. Or should that be shame on us all for allowing such a condition to arise in the first place. It seems a negative approach is always used to exploit human weakness. The reigning morality is find a weakness and exploit it.

    What human society SHOULD be has always been the problem faced by the left. The history of human societies has always been the balance of what is and what should be. These are moral questions that find no place for discussion in a modern world busy consuming the planet.

    Somehow, we need to stop consuming and find the strength to reconsider the relationship and bonds we have formed with one another and the rest of the world. It is an approach understanding the fragility of the human psyche and attempting to strengthen that weakness instead of exploiting it.

    Propaganda is devoid of morality. It is just the roadmap to where you would like to go. All the talk of fake news, the sharing economy, public/private enterprises, privatization, fighting terrorism, the Russian menace, and TINA are attempts to obfuscate the fact that the morality brought about by capitalism no longer functions.

    Deciding what is right and wrong bring about revolutions.

    rps , June 18, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Propaganda and ideology are one in the same, they are belief systems. Neither can be found in the physical world; rather, they reside in our chosen identities. Thus, the ideologues must persuade each of us to willingly submit our personal power to them and become their compliant subject. The ideologues are not 'in' power but 'hold' the collectives' power until the individual chooses to break away and regain their individual power.

    Louis Althusser's "Ideological State Apparatuses" is a good read. For Althusser, ideology was not a passive relation between the economic base and superstructure, but a pervasive set of dynamic conditions suffusing the institutional apparatus of the state and shaping not just the idea of the person as subject, but clarifying in structural terms the idea of a subject position; wherein, political and psychological forces converge to define possibilities of action and forces of constraint and repression.

    Religion is one example in the mechanisms of ideology, explaining how the subject is "called" or "hailed", known as interpellation, which has been transferred to the political domain. In Althusser's thesis, ideology has no history since it is carried in the material, institutional forms of social life, and is always submerged back into them (reification).

    The analytical problem is to preserve a critical focus on the moment of "calling," as the interpellated subject is both created as a subject by being called, and subsumed by the very acknowledgement that, as he puts it, "It is I" who is being called. In this sense, one is always dealing with ideologies, and not a monolithic doctrine, that may be applied in any arena of social life including: family, schools, churches, political parties, governments, and so forth.

    By reading Marx expansively, Althusser had recontextualized Marxist theories by releasing it from the dogmas of doctrine or limitations of subject matter through the next step up of connecting the ranking of the subject to the institutional apparatus that at once sustains and vexes identity. One characteristic of his analytical approach lies in the fact that it does not insist on a barrier between the political and the psychoanalytic, instead, pointing the way to the praxis of ideology within one's identity and participation.

    OffgassingWaddler , June 18, 2017 at 11:19 am

    A relevant "quote"

    Ariel: You ever heard of the Masada? For two years, 900 Jews held their own against 15,000 Roman soldiers. They chose death before enslavement. The Romans? Where are they now?

    Tony Soprano: You're looking at them, a–hole.

    Oguk , June 17, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Wondering if people are familiar with Jacques Ellul's book Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1962)? I read it a long time ago. My take from it was: (1) propaganda is everywhere, is almost the same as what we might call culture; (2) the case that propaganda is not as much about spreading falsehoods as the selective use of truth, and (3) propaganda is an essential technique of mass politics and the modern state. He traces modern propaganda to the French Revolution, where it was essential to mobilize large parts of the population on behalf of the revolution.

    Personality cults seem to me like a vary narrow understanding of propaganda.

    Alan , June 17, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    The Roman Senate was nominally responsible for paying soldiers but by the time the republic was in it's waning days the coinage had become debased and devalued. The Roman soldier then looked to his individual commander as his meal ticket.

    A competent and generous general commanded loyalty above that of the state itself because it was upon his generalship and good fortune his soldiers depended. Caesar, apart from being the Michael Jordan of his day, was exceedingly generous in doling out plunder to his victorious legionnaires.

    Caesar's rivals also put their faces on coins, of course vanity played a role but it was much more that that. Troops could often be seduced into transferring allegiance if they believed they could get a better deal. Octavian (Augustus) while a competent general himself did not possess anything close to the skill of Caesar and ultimately owes his success to the tenth legion, Caesar's most loyal and skilled troops.

    These men transferred their allegiance to Octavian instead of Marc Antony because Octavian manipulated his men's aversion to what they perceived as the weakness and effeminacy of the East (Antony's relationship with Cleopatra and his subsequent appropriation of Eastern dress and manners). So this then was the beginning of propaganda, Augustus portrayed himself as fighting for traditional Roman virtue against that of the soft and corruptible East. Augustus made a point to always appear in public dressed in humble garb and forbade conspicuous consumption among Rome's patrician class. He further enshrined this commitment to Roman modesty by commissioning Virgil to compose an epic myth of Rome's founding, which masterfully echoed many of the themes Augustus sought to reinforce.

    Procopius , June 19, 2017 at 1:49 am

    Do you have a reference for the claim that Roman coinage was debased and devalued? I understood that under the Republic generals were always responsible for distributing their pay to the troops. In fact, as I understood it, Caesar was deeply in debt, to the point where he had to cross the Rubicon and prevail in a civil war or have his head chopped off (I think the actual punishment was to be thrown into the Tiber River, but would need to look it up). Anyway, that was a systemic problem throughout the Empire, as well. I don't think that debasement of coinage can actually be demonstrated, although I know it's a favorite claim of far right wing gold bugs (the Roman monetary system was based on silver, not gold - originally based on iron, but that goes way back).

    arte , June 17, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

    JTMcPhee , June 17, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Some pretty good models from the Romans, for big effing standing armies, and looting colonies, and marking a very few very rich, and a whole lot of lesser people very very dead It's called "civilization

    VietnamVet , June 17, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Raised with the fear of The Big Lie, what is interesting today is corporate media's propaganda omissions. The 20% decline in the number of middle class families. Earlier deaths. The transfer of enormous wealth to a very few very rich families.

    The fall of the Soviet Union is recent enough that those who lived through it to say to us that the reason for the collapse was USSR's propaganda didn't match reality. When Boris Yeltsin's counter coup took place, Russians didn't take to the streets to defend the Communist Party and the economic system. Perhaps 5% of Americans are doing well servicing the oligarchs. That is far too few to defend predatory capitalism when the global economy crashes; which it will, due to spreading wars, climate change, fading democracy and social unrest. Survivors will say good riddance to the Hamptons. They had it coming.

    [Jun 20, 2017] Much of the left has gone completely bonkers on this issue. There is now an unholy alliance between the Cold War neocons in Congress and the Trump haters on the left in regard to Russia.

    Jun 20, 2017 | www.thenation.com

     Much of the left has gone completely bonkers on this issue. There is now an unholy alliance between the Cold War neocons in Congress and the Trump haters on the left in regard to Russia. Katha Pollitt's legitimate animosity toward Trump because of his attitude toward women has unfortunately clouded her judgment vis-à-vis Russia. However, there is a substantial segment of the left that wants to see better relations with Russia and is dismayed and disheartened by the relentless hyping of the alleged Russian hacking, Trump's ties with Russia, etc. The neocons are laughing all the way to a military confrontation with Russia. Bravo to Victor Navasky and Stephen F. Cohen for continuing to speak truth to hysteria. And bravo to The Nation for doing the same in its editorials.

    Peggy Karp
    sebastopol, calif.

    [Jun 17, 2017] We will probably never find out what truly was discussed between Trump, the Saudis and the Israelis, but there is little doubt that the recent Saudi move against Qatar is the direct results of these negotiations by The Saker

    Notable quotes:
    "... Besides, was there ever a time with the Trump Administration's policies in the Middle-East made any logical sense at all? During the election campaign they were, shall we say, 50/50 (excellent on ISIS, plain stupid about Iran). But ever since the January coup against Flynn and Trump's surrender to the Neocons all we have seen in one form of delusional stupidity after another. ..."
    "... I see this latest crisis as yet another desperate attempt by the Three Rogue States to prove that they are still the biggest and baddest guys on the block and, just like the previous ones, I think that it will fail. For example, I just don't see the Qataris shutting down al-Jazeera, one of their most powerful "weapons". ..."
    "... The Three Rogue States have the same problem: their military capability to threaten, bully or punish is rapidly eroding and fewer and fewer countries out there fear them. ..."
    "... I will end this column by comparing what Presidents Putin and Trump are doing these days as I find this comparison highly symbolic of the new era we are living in: Trump, after bombing a few "technicals" (4×4 trucks with a machine gun) and trucks in Syria, the proceeded to tweet that Comey was a liar and a leaker. As for Putin, he participated the latest meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which welcomed both Pakistan and India as full members. The SCO now represents over half of all the people living on our planet and one quarter of the world's GDP . You can think of it as the "other G8", or the "G8 that matters". ..."
    "... the semi-official strategy of the Russian Foreign Ministry which is to "turn enemies into neutrals, neutrals into friends, friends into allies" ..."
    "... The West simply has no diplomacy any more, only the airforce and the bombs. Diplomacy has always been a highly rational means of achieving your own goals, where military should only be its extension tool, not a complete substitute. The Western MIC has made the Western countries forget this. ..."
    "... I don't think "because Trump said so" can be regarded as credible evidence of anything. Even his own most die-hard supporters rarely bother pretending his word is worth anything (they just claim when he lies that it's a cunning subterfuge based upon some complex strategerising). ..."
    "... the jury is still out on whether Trump actively and consciously "greenlit" the Saudi move to its full extent, or whether he just didn't understand what the implications would be of his toadying to Riyadh. ..."
    "... This is still just a political crisis, and given the stakes for both sides it must be most likely that it will remain such, and a resolution will ultimately be found that involves the Qataris conceding enough for the Saudis to claim victory. ..."
    "... But given that neither side can afford to be seen to lose completely, it only needs one side to be a bit too obdurate or a bit too greedy, and the crisis could move beyond the merely political. In that case we would see perhaps an attempted coup or uprising in Qatar, an occupation by the Saudis with US complicity, or perhaps Turkish or even Iranian troops guaranteeing Qatar against those events, which would mean genuinely significant shifts in Qatar's strategic position. ..."
    "... if Turkey formally "guarantees Qatar's independence" I'm going to start getting WW1 flashbacks, and seeing the ME as the new Balkans ..."
    "... The analogy is perhaps tenuous, but this affair reminds me slightly of Austria-Hungary's demands on Serbia in 1914. Didn't that end well? ..."
    "... How significant is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization? Just joining an organisation doesn't reveal its impact. Pakistan and India will never get along. I acknowledge Russia has good leadership. Though, what happens when Putin retires? China is strong, but much rests on the future leadership of China. ..."
    "... You are ever so wrong to call these God-fearing states "Rogue States"! Please, call them The Axis of Kindness. They specialize in dropping beautiful, democratic, humanitarian bombs. ..."
    "... In perhaps 2015, when Lavrov was constantly in the Middle East, I remember a report, perhaps in Russian on a meeting in Qatar with Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyah. Lavrov had promised Qatar a pipeline to be built through Syria in exchange for a $10 Bn investment in the RDIF, which has indeed happened. (Although, so has a similar KSA deal). At this time, presumably, success in Syria and investment mattered more than Gazprom's commercial interest. It could be that Qatar has cut off support for Syrian ISIS and Hamas. ISIS seems to be fading fast. The pipeline was to be Qatar's not the Iran-Russia-Turkey scheme to which Qatar has also been invited. ..."
    "... There have been other discussions about a Qatar, Iranian pipeline operated by Russia which makes more sense for Russia but is less of a bribe. Qatar Investment Authority funded Glencore to buy 19.5% of Rosneft this year. Sechin is pushing Putin to allow Rosneft to build and operate gas pipelines so Russia takes a stake in the Qatari pipeline through Rosneft rather than Gazprom? ..."
    "... In a nutshell, the situation of Qatar appears to be a symptom of the struggle between the political Islam and the hereditary/religious Islam, in which Qatar plays a part of the more progressive, and potentially more dangerous in the long run, political Islam . ..."
    "... Therefore, the Muslim lands of ME have added yet another schism to an already rich list, to the delight of Israel. Finally, it is simply sad how uninformed and bumbling the American version of Lawrence of Arabia, the saber dancer Donald Trump, is in all this, completely out of his depth. ..."
    "... Trump's attack on Syria was either a blunder, or just political show. The last possibility to me seems the most probable. Making Iran the threat to the ME might be meant to give Saudi Arabia the leading position in the ME, just as abandoning NATO by the USA may be meant to deliver the USA from the burden, imagined, to defend Europe against Russia. I still wonder if Trump is far more cunning than his enemies think he is. ..."
    "... As Russia had no intention of giving up Sebastopol, the USA will not give up Qatar. There is no business like show business. ..."
    "... The Israelis and Saudis have been in a defacto anti-Shiite alliance for years against Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Iran. I keep waiting for evidence of discontent among the Muslim masses over this the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques allied with Israel against other Muslim countries that now includes Qatar. ..."
    "... But no evidence of discontent. Perhaps this is due to the Wahhabi fundamentalists concluding that Muslim apostates like the Shiites are worse than Jews and Crusaders. Déjà vu the deadly European Thirty Years' War (1618 to 1648) between Catholics and Protestants all over again. ..."
    "... The article is correct when stating Iran is the target. ..."
    "... Anyway, the Saud family will last as long as the petrodollar enables them to bribe their own people (and having young, male, single, radicalized potential troublemakers-of whom the numbers are increasing-make trouble outside the borders rather than within the Kingdom) and CENTCOM allows them to keep the Shi'a in the Eastern Provinces in check. Once one or both of those factors go away, hell breaks loose in Riyadh. Unfortunately, contrary to what many Western liberals say, what will likely to replace the Saud family in the event of a revolution is probably going to be far worse than what exists today, if public opinion polls in the Kingdom and zakat donations from private donors in Saudi Arabia to jihadist groups are a barometer. ..."
    "... On the Thirty Year's War: very astute analogy, one that I agree with to an extent. However, a big difference is that the Sunni drastically outnumber the Shi'a in a way that the Protestants didn't the Catholics, around 7 to 1. That is what makes Beltway overestimation of Iranian capabilities so ludicrous. ..."
    "... Saudi Arabia and Israel spend a *lot* of money to keep the Beltway view of the world akin to what they want. Gulf money permeates our think tanks, both on the Left and the Right: and if Trump had an iota of intelligence last year, he would have hammered home the Clinton Foundation's connection to shady Gulfie donors when she paraded her feminism. ..."
    "... I think both the Left and Right give Trump way too much credit. He's neither a Russian controlled, closet white supremacist dictator in the making, nor a new Marius, heroically despised by the Establishment, who actually wants to keep his promises to those who voted him into power. Trump is exactly what he appears to be: the American Berlusconi, a corrupt billionaire mogul who just makes it up as he goes along. No more, no less. ..."
    "... The common people of the United States, like the same class of people in every other country, mean well, but they are ill-informed. Floundering about in their ignorance, they are tricked and robbed by those who have the inside information and who therefore know how to take advantage of every turn wheel of fortune. ..."
    Jun 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

    First, a quick who's who

    We will probably never find out what truly was discussed between Trump, the Saudis and the Israelis, but there is little doubt that the recent Saudi move against Qatar is the direct results of these negotiations. How do I know that? Because Trump himself said so -- As I mentioned in a recent column, Trump's catastrophic submission to the Neocons and their policies have left him stuck with the KSA and Israel , another two rogue states whose power and, frankly, mental sanity, are dwindling away by the minute.

    While the KSA and Qatar have had their differences and problems in the past, this time around the magnitude of the crisis is much bigger than anything the past. This is a tentative and necessarily rough outline of who is supporting whom:

    Supporting the Saudis ( according to Wikipedia ) Supporting Qatar (according to me)
    United Arab Emirates , Bahrain , Egypt , Maldives , Yemen (they mean the pro-Saudi regime in exile), Mauritania , Comoros , Libya (Tobruk government), Jordan , Chad , Djibouti , Senegal , United States , Gabon. Turkey , Germany , Iran.

    Questions, many questions

    The situation is very fluid and all this might change soon, but do you notice something weird in the list above? Turkey and Germany are supporting Qatar even though the US is supporting the KSA. That's two major NATO member states taking a position against the USA.

    Next, look at the list supporting the Saudis: except for the USA and Egypt they are all militarily irrelevant (and the Egyptians won't get militarily involved anyway). Not so for those opposing the Saudis, especially not Iran and Turkey. So if money is on the side of the Saudis, firepower is on the side of Qatar here.

    Then, Gabon? Senegal? Since when are those two involved in Persian Gulf politics? Why are they taking sides in this faraway conflict? A quick look at the 10 conditions the Saudis demand that the Qataris fullfil does not help us understand their involvement either

    ... ... ...

    More interestingly, why is ISRAEL not listed as a country supporting the KSA?

    As always, the Israelis themselves are much more honest about their role in all this. Well, maybe they don't quite say "we done it" but they write articles like " Five reasons why Israel should care about the Qatar crisis " which lists all the reasons why the Israelis are delighted:

    That kind of honesty is quite refreshing, even if it is primarily for internal, Israeli, consumption. Quick check with a Palestinian source – yup, the Israelis are backing the KSA. This is hardly surprising, no matter how hard the western corporate media tries to not notice this.

    What about the USA? Do they really benefit from this crisis?

    The USA has what might possibly the largest USAF base worldwide in Qatar, the Al Udeid Air Base . Furthermore, the forward headquarters of United StatesCENTCOM are also located in Qatar. To say that these are crucial US infrastructures is an understatement – one could argue that these are the most important US military facilities anywhere in the world outside the United States. Thus one would logically conclude that the very last thing the US would want is any type of crisis or even tensions anywhere near such vital facilities yet it quite clear that the Saudis and the Americans are acting in unison against Qatar. This makes no sense, right? Correct. But now that the US has embarked on a futile policy of military escalation in Syria it should come as no surprise that the two main US allies in the region are doing the same thing.

    Besides, was there ever a time with the Trump Administration's policies in the Middle-East made any logical sense at all? During the election campaign they were, shall we say, 50/50 (excellent on ISIS, plain stupid about Iran). But ever since the January coup against Flynn and Trump's surrender to the Neocons all we have seen in one form of delusional stupidity after another.

    Objectively, the crisis around Qatar is not good at all for the USA.

    ... ... ...

    What about Russia in all that?

    The Russians and the Qataris have butted heads many times over, especially over Syria and Libya where Qatar played an extremely toxic role in being the prime financiers of various takfiri terrorist groups. Furthermore, Qatar is Russia's number one competitor in many LNG (liquefied natural gas) markets. There were also other crises between the two countries, including what appears to be a Russian assassination of the Chechen terrorist Leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev and the subsequent torture and trial of two Russian Embassy employees accused of being involved in the assassination (they were sentenced to life in prison and eventually sent back to Russia). Still, the Russians and the Qataris are eminently pragmatic peoples and the two countries mostly maintained a cordial, if careful, relationship which even included some joint economic ventures.

    It is highly unlikely that Russia will intervene directly in this crisis unless, of course, Iran is directly attacked. The good news is that such a direct attack on Iran is unlikely as none of the Three Rogue States really have any stomach to take on Iran (and Hezbollah). What Russia will do is use her soft power, political and economic , to slowly try to reel Qatar into the Russian orbit according to the semi-official strategy of the Russian Foreign Ministry which is to " turn enemies into neutrals, neutrals into friends, friends into allies ". Just like with Turkey, the Russians will gladly help, especially since they know that this help will buy them some very precious influence in the region.

    Iran, the real target of it all

    The Iranians are now openly saying that the recent terrorist attack in Tehran was ordered by Saudi Arabia . Technically speaking, that means that Iran is now at war . In reality, of course, as the real local superpower, Iran is acting with calm and restraint : the Iranians fully understand that this latest terrorist attack is a sign of weakness, if not desperation, and that the best reaction to it is to act the same way the Russians reacted to the bombings in Saint Petersburg: stay focused, calm and determined. Just like the Russians, the Iranians have now also offered to send food to Qatar, but it is unlikely that they will intervene militarily unless the Saudis really go crazy. Besides, with Turkish forces soon deployed in Qatar , the Iranians have no real need for any displays of military might. I would argue that the simple fact that neither the USA nor Israel have dared to directly attack Iran since 1988 (since shooting down by the US Navy of the Iran Air Flight 655 Airbus ) is the best proof of the real Iranian military power.

    ... ... ..

    ...As for the Qataris, they have already clearly indicated that they are unwilling to surrender and that they will fight . The Saudis have already taken the outrageous decision to impose a blockade of a fellow Muslim country during the holy month of Ramadan. Will they really now further escalate and commit an act of aggression against a fellow Muslim country during that month? They might, but it is hard to believe that even they could be that ignorant of the Muslim public opinion. But if they don't, then their operation will lose a lot of momentum while the Qataris will be given time to prepare politically, economically, socially and militarily. Qatar might be small, and the Qataris themselves not very numerous, but their immense pockets allow them to quickly line up any amount of suppliers and contractors willing to help them out. This is case where the famous "market forces" will act to Qatar's advantage.

    The Qatari Foreign Minister is expected in Moscow on Saturday and it is pretty obvious what the talks will be about: while Russia will not put all her political weight to support the Qataris, the Kremlin might accept becoming a mediator between the KSA and Qatar. If that happens, that would be the ultimate irony: the main outcome of the Saudi-Israeli-US operation will make Russia an even more influential player in the region. As for Qatar itself, the outcome of this crisis will probably articulate itself along Nietzschean lines: " That which does not kill us, makes us stronger ."

    Conclusion

    I see this latest crisis as yet another desperate attempt by the Three Rogue States to prove that they are still the biggest and baddest guys on the block and, just like the previous ones, I think that it will fail. For example, I just don't see the Qataris shutting down al-Jazeera, one of their most powerful "weapons". Nor do I see them breaking all diplomatic relations with Iran as those two states are joined at the hip by the immense South Pars gas condensate field . The immense wealth of the Qataris also means that they have very powerful supporters worldwide who right now, as I write these lines, are probably on the phone making calls to very influential people and indicating to them in no unclear terms that Qatar is not to be messed with.

    If anything this crisis will only serve to push Qatar further into the warm embrace of other countries, including Russia and Iran, and it will further weaken the Saudis.

    The Three Rogue States have the same problem: their military capability to threaten, bully or punish is rapidly eroding and fewer and fewer countries out there fear them. Their biggest mistake is that instead of trying to adapt their policies to this new reality, they always chose to double-down over and over again even though they fail each time, making them look even weaker and their initial predicament even worse. This is a very dangerous downward spiral and yet the Three Rogue States seem unable to devise any other policy.

    I will end this column by comparing what Presidents Putin and Trump are doing these days as I find this comparison highly symbolic of the new era we are living in: Trump, after bombing a few "technicals" (4×4 trucks with a machine gun) and trucks in Syria, the proceeded to tweet that Comey was a liar and a leaker. As for Putin, he participated the latest meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which welcomed both Pakistan and India as full members. The SCO now represents over half of all the people living on our planet and one quarter of the world's GDP . You can think of it as the "other G8", or the "G8 that matters".

    I submit that this quick comparison of agenda really says I all.

    UPDATE1 : Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is now telling the Saudis to 'cool it' . The Saudi-Israeli plan is beginning to collapse.

    Kiza June 10, 2017 at 6:42 am GMT

    The real Qatari 'crime' was to refuse, on purely pragmatic reasons, to join into the massive anti-Iranian campaign imposed on the region by Saudi Arabia and Israel.

    This is why it is worth reading this good article. I suspected this to be the reason from the start of the crisis: Qatar has been an active supporter of ME terrorism (including ISIS) just like KSA, US, Israel, UAE and Turkey. But they were never as anti-Iranian as the other members of this Coalition of the Lovers of Terrorism.

    Also, I liked this sentence on the diplomatic skill forgotten in the West:

    the semi-official strategy of the Russian Foreign Ministry which is to "turn enemies into neutrals, neutrals into friends, friends into allies"

    The West simply has no diplomacy any more, only the airforce and the bombs. Diplomacy has always been a highly rational means of achieving your own goals, where military should only be its extension tool, not a complete substitute. The Western MIC has made the Western countries forget this.

    Randal June 10, 2017 at 11:46 am GMT

    there is little doubt that the recent Saudi move against Qatar is the direct results of these negotiations. How do I know that? Because Trump himself said so!

    I don't think "because Trump said so" can be regarded as credible evidence of anything. Even his own most die-hard supporters rarely bother pretending his word is worth anything (they just claim when he lies that it's a cunning subterfuge based upon some complex strategerising).

    As far as I can see the jury is still out on whether Trump actively and consciously "greenlit" the Saudi move to its full extent, or whether he just didn't understand what the implications would be of his toadying to Riyadh. Perhaps he really is so profoundly ignorant that he really believes what his words imply: that the Qataris sponsor terrorism (they do) but the Saudis (and his own regime) don't, remarkable as that would be in a national leader.

    As for the Qataris, they have already clearly indicated that they are unwilling to surrender and that they will fight.

    This is still just a political crisis, and given the stakes for both sides it must be most likely that it will remain such, and a resolution will ultimately be found that involves the Qataris conceding enough for the Saudis to claim victory.

    But given that neither side can afford to be seen to lose completely, it only needs one side to be a bit too obdurate or a bit too greedy, and the crisis could move beyond the merely political. In that case we would see perhaps an attempted coup or uprising in Qatar, an occupation by the Saudis with US complicity, or perhaps Turkish or even Iranian troops guaranteeing Qatar against those events, which would mean genuinely significant shifts in Qatar's strategic position. The odds are against that, because all parties have too much at stake to lightly go far down those roads, but such crises can spiral out of control. And on the way we could see all kinds of destructive economic warfare, lawfare, and hardball pressurising, together with lots of hanging out of each side's dirty laundry by the other.

    Popcorn time. But if Turkey formally "guarantees Qatar's independence" I'm going to start getting WW1 flashbacks, and seeing the ME as the new Balkans

    1. UPDATE1: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is now telling the Saudis to 'cool it'. The Saudi-Israeli plan is beginning to collapse.
    2. UPDATE2: Trump promptly undermines Tillerson's position ( Tillerson Scrambles to Undo Trump's Qatar Blunder )
    dearieme June 10, 2017 at 12:20 pm GMT

    The analogy is perhaps tenuous, but this affair reminds me slightly of Austria-Hungary's demands on Serbia in 1914. Didn't that end well?

    Weaver June 10, 2017 at 12:41 pm GMT

    How significant is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization? Just joining an organisation doesn't reveal its impact. Pakistan and India will never get along. I acknowledge Russia has good leadership. Though, what happens when Putin retires? China is strong, but much rests on the future leadership of China.

    The US isn't exactly in competition with China, because the US doesn't want to grow stronger. The US wants to help Israel expand. And the US wants to help enrich defence contractors and expand pork spending. So, the US and China have two very different goals. Also, the US and Europe are dedicated to undermining their European populations.

    So, while China and Russia pursue power, the US has very different objectives.

    Thales the Milesian June 10, 2017 at 3:08 pm GMT

    Saker:

    You are ever so wrong to call these God-fearing states "Rogue States"! Please, call them The Axis of Kindness. They specialize in dropping beautiful, democratic, humanitarian bombs.

    The Scalpel Website June 10, 2017 at 7:55 pm GMT

    @Weaver "The US isn't exactly in competition with China, because the US doesn't want to grow stronger. The US wants to help Israel expand. And the US wants to help enrich defence contractors and expand pork spending."

    ROFL!!!! Great writing. Funny, but so much truth there

    Philip Owen June 10, 2017 at 11:13 pm GMT

    In perhaps 2015, when Lavrov was constantly in the Middle East, I remember a report, perhaps in Russian on a meeting in Qatar with Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyah. Lavrov had promised Qatar a pipeline to be built through Syria in exchange for a $10 Bn investment in the RDIF, which has indeed happened. (Although, so has a similar KSA deal). At this time, presumably, success in Syria and investment mattered more than Gazprom's commercial interest. It could be that Qatar has cut off support for Syrian ISIS and Hamas. ISIS seems to be fading fast. The pipeline was to be Qatar's not the Iran-Russia-Turkey scheme to which Qatar has also been invited.

    I was monitoring so much Russian media at the time (hundreds of stories a day and this was not relevant to my task) I can't place it exactly but it was very memorable because of the reversals involved and the mass of implications. How did they reconcile interests. There have been other discussions about a Qatar, Iranian pipeline operated by Russia which makes more sense for Russia but is less of a bribe. Qatar Investment Authority funded Glencore to buy 19.5% of Rosneft this year. Sechin is pushing Putin to allow Rosneft to build and operate gas pipelines so Russia takes a stake in the Qatari pipeline through Rosneft rather than Gazprom?

    Kiza June 11, 2017 at 4:17 am GMT

    If you are interested in another objective view of the Qatari situation here is an article by Oliver Miles in the London Review of Books: https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2017/06/08/oliver-miles/whats-behind-the-saudi-blockade-of-qatar/ .

    It is very interesting that even Al ash-Shaikh has denounced Qatar because of its insubordination to Saudi commands and interests.

    In a nutshell, the situation of Qatar appears to be a symptom of the struggle between the political Islam and the hereditary/religious Islam, in which Qatar plays a part of the more progressive, and potentially more dangerous in the long run, political Islam .

    Therefore, the Muslim lands of ME have added yet another schism to an already rich list, to the delight of Israel. Finally, it is simply sad how uninformed and bumbling the American version of Lawrence of Arabia, the saber dancer Donald Trump, is in all this, completely out of his depth.

    jilles dykstra June 11, 2017 at 6:57 am GMT

    Trump's attack on Syria was either a blunder, or just political show. The last possibility to me seems the most probable. Making Iran the threat to the ME might be meant to give Saudi Arabia the leading position in the ME, just as abandoning NATO by the USA may be meant to deliver the USA from the burden, imagined, to defend Europe against Russia. I still wonder if Trump is far more cunning than his enemies think he is.

    jilles dykstra June 11, 2017 at 7:00 am GMT

    @Kiza

    As Russia had no intention of giving up Sebastopol, the USA will not give up Qatar. There is no business like show business.

    Talha June 11, 2017 at 9:56 am GMT

    @anon Let's look at the numbers again from an angle that makes more sense:

    Israeli expansion (relative to its size): 2500/8522 = 29%
    Indonesian expansion (relative to size): 130,000/735,358 = 18%
    Moroccan expansion (relative to size – keeping in mind it only occupies 2/3 of Western Sahara):
    68,660/274,460 = 25%
    Russian expansion (relative to size): 14,000/6,592,800 = <1%

    Nice try. Peace.

    The Alarmist June 11, 2017 at 10:05 am GMT

    "The SCO now represents over half of all the people living on our planet and one quarter of the world's GDP. You can think of it as the "other G8", or the "G8 that matters"."

    Very clever! Unfortunately the other G8 will only matter around 2040 or so, when the last of the West as we know it is finally subsumed into the Great Caliphate, at which point it will then turn on the other half of the planet.

    TheJester June 11, 2017 at 10:57 am GMT

    Nothing new. The Israelis and Saudis have been in a defacto anti-Shiite alliance for years against Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Iran. I keep waiting for evidence of discontent among the Muslim masses over this the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques allied with Israel against other Muslim countries that now includes Qatar.

    But no evidence of discontent. Perhaps this is due to the Wahhabi fundamentalists concluding that Muslim apostates like the Shiites are worse than Jews and Crusaders. Déjà vu the deadly European Thirty Years' War (1618 to 1648) between Catholics and Protestants all over again.

    mcohen June 11, 2017 at 11:43 am GMT

    @Philip Owen Thanks for that .2015.a lot has happened including the opening up of gas reserves on the Mediterranean. both turkey and Qatar have us airbases so that is leverage. regardless it Is one thing building a pipeline and another keeping it secure. Qatar has been trying to build up leverage on Israel via the Palestinians but that has come to and end with trumps push for peace. ideally peace does not suit qatars plans so gaza could explode soon. hence qatars flirtation with iran hoping to stir up trouble in s.lebanon via hezb. Al thani ran from Syria. maybe they can send him to s.lebanon for some character building

    Agent76 June 11, 2017 at 1:14 pm GMT

    The article is correct when stating Iran is the target.

    Sep 11, 2011 General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned – Seven Countries In Five Years

    "This is a memo that describes how we're going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran." I said, "Is it classified?" He said, "Yes, sir." I said, "Well, don't show it to me." And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, "You remember that?" He said, "Sir, I didn't show you that memo! I didn't show it to you!"

    nebulafox June 11, 2017 at 1:36 pm GMT

    @TheJester

    The Saud family has managed to make themselves even more unpopular (if that were even possible) on what we might term "Arab Street" due to their relatively newfound comfort with the Israelis, of course, but nobody can deny that it is smart politics. Saudi Arabia isn't Egypt, they've got plenty of money to ease the unemployment problem. For all its flaws, its nowhere near "pseudo-failed state" status like so many other Arab countries, despite the demographic and social pressures.

    Anyway, the Saud family will last as long as the petrodollar enables them to bribe their own people (and having young, male, single, radicalized potential troublemakers-of whom the numbers are increasing-make trouble outside the borders rather than within the Kingdom) and CENTCOM allows them to keep the Shi'a in the Eastern Provinces in check. Once one or both of those factors go away, hell breaks loose in Riyadh. Unfortunately, contrary to what many Western liberals say, what will likely to replace the Saud family in the event of a revolution is probably going to be far worse than what exists today, if public opinion polls in the Kingdom and zakat donations from private donors in Saudi Arabia to jihadist groups are a barometer.

    On the Thirty Year's War: very astute analogy, one that I agree with to an extent. However, a big difference is that the Sunni drastically outnumber the Shi'a in a way that the Protestants didn't the Catholics, around 7 to 1. That is what makes Beltway overestimation of Iranian capabilities so ludicrous.

    (IMO: the Shi'a have shrines and their own version of saints, both of which are considered heathenish by Wahhabists. They also have an organized structure. To become a mullah in Shi'a Islam, you have to train for decades, rigorous education in philosophy, logic, astronomy, et all, much like a rigorous classical education was required for Catholic orders -- not at all like modern Sunni Islam where any random guy can declare a fatwa. So they are akin to the Catholics in all this, whereas the Sunni are the Protestants. Not a perfect analogy, but makes the most sense for Westerners.)

    Seamus Padraig June 11, 2017 at 1:44 pm GMT

    The Zionist Entity and the Wahhabist Entity. With friends like these

    nebulafox June 11, 2017 at 1:48 pm GMT

    @jilles dykstra Saudi Arabia and Israel spend a *lot* of money to keep the Beltway view of the world akin to what they want. Gulf money permeates our think tanks, both on the Left and the Right: and if Trump had an iota of intelligence last year, he would have hammered home the Clinton Foundation's connection to shady Gulfie donors when she paraded her feminism.

    >I still wonder if Trump is far more cunning than his enemies think he is.

    I think both the Left and Right give Trump way too much credit. He's neither a Russian controlled, closet white supremacist dictator in the making, nor a new Marius, heroically despised by the Establishment, who actually wants to keep his promises to those who voted him into power. Trump is exactly what he appears to be: the American Ber