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

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

Tacitus, Agricola
 

News Corporatism Recommended Links Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations Neofascism Nation under attack meme
Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative  Inverted Totalitarism The Deep State Mystery of Building 7 Collapse Reconciling Human Rights With Total Surveillance Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ?
Total Surveillance Media-Military-Industrial Complex The Grand Chessboard Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Two Party System as Polyarchy The Iron Law of Oligarchy
Edward Snowden as Symbol of Resistance to National Security State Facebook as Giant Database about Users Social Sites as intelligence collection tools Systematic Breach of Vienna Convention Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few
American Exceptionalism New American Militarism Machiavellism Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Humor Etc

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

the legendary US diplomat George Kennan warned in 1947

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


Ronal Reagan about a different crisis

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

Michael Hirsh in

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

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

- James Madison


Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Customer

passionate albeit muddled, August 24, 1999

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer list of features of National security state

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pretty good bet they win...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edward Snowden quotes about National Security State

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


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[Apr 21, 2017] The Reason Behind The Sales-Surge For Nuclear-Proof Bunkers Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... On April 17 th , Scott Humor, the Research Director at the geostrategic site "The Saker," headlined "Trump has lost control over the Pentagon" , and he listed (and linked-to) the following signs that Trump is following through with his promise to allow the Pentagon to control U.S. international relations: ..."
"... March 14 th , the US National Nuclear Security Administration field tested the modernized B61-12 gravity nuclear bomb in Nevada . ..."
"... April 7, Liberty Passion, loaded with US military vehicles, moored at Aqaba Main Port, Jordan ..."
"... On April 7 th the Pentagon US bombed Syria's main command center in fight against terrorists ..."
"... April 10, United States Deploying Forces At Syrian-Jordanian Border ..."
"... April 11, The US Air Force might start forcing pilots to stay in the service against their will, according to the chief of the military unit's Air Mobility Command. ..."
"... April 12, President Donald Trump has signed the US approval for Montenegro to join NATO ..."
"... April 13, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg announced the alliance's increased deployment in Eastern Europe ..."
"... On April 13 th , the Pentagon bombed Afghanistan. The US military has bombed Afghanistan with its GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB) ..."
"... April 13, the US-led coalition bombed the IS munitions and chemical weapons depot in Deir ez-Zo r killing hundreds of people ..."
"... April 14, The Arleigh Burke-class, guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) has been deployed to the South China Sea ..."
"... April 14, the US sent F-35 jets to Europe ..."
"... April 14, Washington failed to attend the latest international conference hosted by Moscow, where 11 nations discussed ways of bringing peace to Afghanistan . The US branded it a "unilateral Russian attempt to assert influence in the region". ..."
"... April14, the US has positioned two destroyers armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles close enough to the North Korean nuclear test site to act preemptively ..."
"... On April 16 th , the US army makes largest deployment of troops to Somalia since the 90s. ..."
"... or there will be WW III. ..."
Apr 15, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
> Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

On April 15th, Zero Hedge bannered "Doomsday Bunker Sales Soar After Trump's Military Strikes", but this growth in the market for nuclear-proof bunkers is hardly new; it started during the Obama Administration, in Obama's second term, specifically after the Russia-friendly government of Ukraine, next-door to Russia, got taken over in 2014 by a rabidly anti-Russian government that's backed by the U.S. government.

This boom in nuclear-bunker sales is only increasing now, as the new U.S. President, Donald Trump, tries to out-do his predecessor in demonstrating his hostility toward the other nuclear superpower, Russia, and displaying his determination to overthrow the leader of any nation (such as Syria and Iran) that is at all friendly toward Russia. For earlier examples of feature-articles on this booming market for homes that allegedly would enable buyers to survive the first blast effects, and the most immediate nuclear contaminations, of a Third World War, see here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here.

This surging demand for nuclear bunkers started right after the U.S. government arranged a coup in Ukraine that replaced the existing Moscow-friendly democratically elected President by installing a rabidly anti-Russian Prime Minister and national-security appointees from Ukraine's two nazi Parties, the Right Sector Party, and the former Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine (which the CIA renamed "Svoboda" meaning "Freedom" so as to enable it to be acceptable to the American public). Then, the intensifying U.S. effort to replace the secular pro-Russian Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad by a sectarian jihadist government that would be dependent upon the Saudi-Qatari-UAE-Turkish-U.S. alliance, has only intensified further the demand for these types of "second homes".

Whereas all of the purchasers of these bunkers are being kept secret, the U.S. federal government provides, free-of-charge, to top officials, nuclear bunkers, so as to allow the then-dictatorship (continuation of America's current dictatorship) to function, in order, supposedly, to serve their country, which they'd already have destroyed (along with destroying the rest of the world) by their determination to conquer Russia. No one knows what the reality would actually be in such a post-WW-III world, except that there would be no functioning electrical grid, nights would be totally dark for anyone whose sole reliance is on the grid, and all rivers and other water-sources would be intensely radioactive from the fallout, so that groundwater soon would also be unusable - and, of course, the air itself would also be toxic; so, lifespans would be enormously shortened, and excruciating, not to say extremely depressing.

No one has published a computer-model of a U.S.-Russia nuclear war, because doing that would be unacceptable to the "military-industrial complex" including the U.S. government, but in 2014 a "limited, regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan" was computer-modeled and projected to produce global ozone-depletion and "the coldest average surface temperatures in the last 1000 years", which "could trigger a global nuclear famine". But such a war would be only 50 bombs instead of the 10,000+ that would be used in a WW III scenario; and, so, everyone who is paying money in order to survive WW III is simply wasting money.

But, somehow, there are people who either want a Russia-U.S. war, or else whose preparations for it are directed at surviving in such a world, instead of at ending the current grip on political power in the United States, on the part of the people who are working to bring about this type of (end to the) world. At least the owners of the major U.S. armaments-firms, such as Raytheon Corporation, would have an explosive financial boost during the build-up toward that war, but buying bunkers in order to survive it, would seem to be a dubious follow-up to such an investment-plan. On the other hand, it might appeal to some thrill-seekers who don't even feel the need for a good computer-simulation of a post-WW-III world; maybe they've got money to burn and a craving to experience 'the ultimate thrill', and don't want unpleasant knowledge to spoil the thrill.

After President Trump threw out his National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and replaced him with the rabidly anti-Russian H.R. McMaster, and then lobbed 59 cruise missiles against the Syrian government (which is protected by the Russian government), the cacophony of press that had been calling for President Trump to be impeached and replaced by his rabidly anti-Russian Vice President Mike Pence, considerably quieted down; and, so, the Obama-Trump market for nuclear bunkers seems now to be established on very sound foundations, for the foreseeable immediate future. And, if anyone in the U.S. federal government has been planning to prepare the U.S. for a post-WW-III world, that has not been publicly announced, and no newsmedia have even been inquiring about it - so, nothing can yet be said about it.

The general message, thus far, is that, after World War III, everyone will be on his or her own, but that the dictators will (supposedly) be in a far better position than will anyone outside that ruling group. However, if the survivors end up merely envying the dead, it will be no laughing matter, regardless of how silly those nuclear bunkers are. It would be nothing funny at all.

On April 17th, Scott Humor, the Research Director at the geostrategic site "The Saker," headlined "Trump has lost control over the Pentagon", and he listed (and linked-to) the following signs that Trump is following through with his promise to allow the Pentagon to control U.S. international relations:

March 14th, the US National Nuclear Security Administration field tested the modernized B61-12 gravity nuclear bomb in Nevada.

April 7, Liberty Passion, loaded with US military vehicles, moored at Aqaba Main Port, Jordan

On April 7th the Pentagon US bombed Syria's main command center in fight against terrorists

April 10, United States Deploying Forces At Syrian-Jordanian Border

April 11, The US Air Force might start forcing pilots to stay in the service against their will, according to the chief of the military unit's Air Mobility Command.

April 12, President Donald Trump has signed the US approval for Montenegro to join NATO

April 13, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg announced the alliance's increased deployment in Eastern Europe

On April 13th, the Pentagon bombed Afghanistan. The US military has bombed Afghanistan with its GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB)

April 13, the US-led coalition bombed the IS munitions and chemical weapons depot in Deir ez-Zor killing hundreds of people

April 14, The Arleigh Burke-class, guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) has been deployed to the South China Sea

April 14, the US sent F-35 jets to Europe

April 14, Washington failed to attend the latest international conference hosted by Moscow, where 11 nations discussed ways of bringing peace to Afghanistan. The US branded it a "unilateral Russian attempt to assert influence in the region".

April14, the US has positioned two destroyers armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles close enough to the North Korean nuclear test site to act preemptively

On April 16th, the US army makes largest deployment of troops to Somalia since the 90s.

Mr. Humor drew attention to an article that had been published in "The Daily Beast" a year ago, on 8 April 2016, "CALL OF DUTY: The Secret Movement to Draft General James Mattis for President. Gen. James Mattis doesn't necessarily want to be president-but that's not stopping a group of billionaire donors from hatching a plan to get him there". Though none of the alleged "billionaires" were named there, one prominent voice backing Mattis for the Presidency, in that article, was Bill Kristol, the Rupert Murdoch agent who co-founded the Project for a New American Century, which was the first influential group pushing the "regime-change in Iraq" idea during the late 1990s, and which also advocated for the foreign policies that George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump, have since been pursuing, each in his own way. It seems that whomever those "billionaires" were, they've now gotten their wish, with a figurehead Donald Trump as President, and James Mattis actually running foreign policy. Humor also noted that Mattis wants to boost the budget of the Pentagon by far more than the 9% that Trump has proposed. Perhaps Trump knew that even to get a 9% Pentagon increase passed this year would be almost impossible to achieve. First, the unleashed Pentagon needs to place the military into an 'emergency' situation, so as to persuade the public to clamor for a major invasion. That 'emergency' might be the immediate goal, toward which the March-April timeline of events that Humor documented is aiming.

As regards the military comparisons of the personnel and equipment on both sides of a U.S.-Russia war, the key consideration would actually be not the 7,000 nuclear warheads that Russia has versus the 6,800 nuclear warheads that the U.S. has, but the chief motivation on each of the respective sides: conquest on the part of the U.S. aristocracy, defense on the part of the Russian aristocracy. (Obviously, the U.S. having continued its NATO military alliance after the Soviet Union's Warsaw Pact military alliance ended in 1991, indicates America's aggressive intent against Russia. That became a hyper-aggressive intent when NATO absorbed Russia's former Warsaw Pact allies. NATO even brought in some parts of the former USSR itself, when in 2004, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, entered NATO, and in 2014 U.S. President Obama tried to get Ukraine into NATO, and these five countries hadn't even been Warsaw Pacters, but had instead been parts of the USSR itself. It was as if Russia had grabbed not only America's allies, but some states in the U.S. itself. This constituted extreme aggression, and shows the U.S. aristocracy's obsessive intent for global empire - to include Russia.)

Any limited war between the two powers would become a nuclear war once the side that's losing this limited war becomes faced with the choice of either surrendering that limited territory (now likely Syria) or else going nuclear. On Russia's side, allowing such military conquest of an ally would be unacceptable; the war would then expand with the U.S. and its allies invading Russian territory for Russia's continuing refusal to accept the U.S.-Saudi and other allies' grabbing of Syria (on 'humanitarian grounds', of course - as if, for example, the Sauds aren't far more brutal than Assad). After the traditional-forces' invasion of Russia, Russia's yielding its sovereignty over its own land has never been part of Russia's culture: If Russia were to be invaded by allies of the U.S., then launching all of Russia's nuclear weapons against the U.S. and America's invasion-allies, would be a reasonably expected result. Here's how it would develop: On America's side, which (very unlike Russia) has no record of any foreign invasion against its own mainland (other than the Sauds' own 9/11 'false flag' attacks), the likely response in the event of Russia's crushing its invaders would be for the U.S. President to seek to negotiate a face-saving end to that limited war, just as the American President Richard Nixon did regarding America's invasion and occupation of Vietnam.

However, a reasonable question can be raised as to whether, in such a situation, Russia would accept anything less than America's total surrender, much as Franklin Delano Roosevelt in WW II was determined to accept nothing less than Germany's total surrender, at the end of that war. If Trump wants to play Hitler, then Putin (acting in accord with Russian tradition) would probably play both FDR and Stalin, even if it meant the end of the world. For Russia to be conquered, especially by such intense evil as those invaders would be representing, would probably be viewed by Russians as being even worse than ending everything, and this would probably be Putin's view as well. If America did not simply capitulate, Putin would probably nuclear-blitz-attack the U.S. and its allies, rather than give Trump (or Pence) the opportunity to blitz-attack Russia and to sacrifice all of the U.S. side's invading troops in Russia so as to 'win' the overall war and finally conquer Russia. It would be like WW II, except with nuclear weapons - and thus an entirely different type of historical outcome after the war.

Consequently, either the U.S. will cease its designs on Russia, or there will be WW III. Russia's sovereignty will never be yielded, especially not to the thuggish gang who have come to rule the U.S. (both as "Republicans" and as "Democrats"). The bipartisan neoconservative dream of America's aristocrats (world-conquest) will never be achieved. Russia will never accept it. If America's rulers continue to press it, the result will be even worse than when the Nazis tried. It's just an ugly pipe-dream, but any attempt to make it real would be even uglier. And nobody who buys a 'nuclear-proof bunker' will get what he or she thinks is being bought - safety in such a world as that. It won't exist.

Shemp 4 Victory -> Crash Overide , Apr 20, 2017 10:56 PM

Fred Reed knocks one out of the park:

First Transgender President: Trump Becomes Hillary http://www.unz.com/freed/first-transgender-president-trump-becomes-hillary/

Luc X. Ifer -> Shemp 4 Victory , Apr 20, 2017 11:24 PM

False. We have a simulation, and it is far worse than people can even imagine.

[...

  • Even humans living in shelters equipped with many years worth of food, water, energy, and medical supplies would probably not survive in the hostile post-war environment.

    ...]

    http://www.nucleardarkness.org/warconsequences/hundredfiftytonessmoke/

  • Luc X. Ifer -> Luc X. Ifer , Apr 20, 2017 11:41 PM

    Another reason why USSA is in hurry to have the war with Russia ASAP is that they know that very soon - if not even now in the present, USSA ICBM defense is outdated and 100% ineficient against the newest Russian ICBMs, if by any bad chance Russia launches the 1st strike Disney Land USSA is Bye Felicia without even a chance to retaliate.

    https://www.rt.com/news/340588-hypersonic-warhead-sarmat-tested/

    winged -> Luc X. Ifer , Apr 20, 2017 11:41 PM

    If that time truly comes, make sure you know who's really responsible.

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

    [Apr 21, 2017] Americas Cyberwar Hypocrisy

    Apr 21, 2017 | www.foreignaffairs.com

    Today's cyberbattles could almost make one nostalgic for the Cold War . The nuclear arms race created a sense of existential threat, but at least it was clear who had the weapons. In contrast, a cyberattack could be the work of almost anyone. After hackers broke into the U.S. Democratic National Committee's servers in 2016 and released e-mails embarrassing to the DNC's leadership, the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said the attacker could be China, Russia, or "somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds."

    U.S. intelligence officials have said that the attack did indeed come from Russia , which Trump later acknowledged . But Trump's comment underscored a larger problem with cyberwarfare: uncertainty. How does a government respond to an invisible attacker, especially without clear rules of engagement? How can officials convince other governments and the public that they have fingered the right suspects? How can a state prevent cyberattacks when without attribution, the logic of deterrence-if you hit me, I'll hit you back-no longer applies? Two recent books delve into these questions. Dark Territory , by Fred Kaplan, and The Hacked World Order , by Adam Segal, lay out the history of cybersecurity in the United States and explain the dangers that future digital conflicts might pose. Both authors also make clear that although Americans and U.S. institutions increasingly feel themselves to be in the cross hairs of hackers and other cybercriminals, the United States is itself a powerful aggressor in cyberspace.

    In 2014 alone, the United States suffered more than 80,000 cybersecurity breaches.

    In the future, the United States must use its cyberpower judiciously. Every conflict poses the risk that one party will make a mistake or overreact, causing things to veer out of control. When it comes to cyberwar, however, the stakes are particularly high for the United States, as the country's technological sophistication makes it uniquely vulnerable to attack.

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, April 2008.

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, April 2008.

    CYBER-SUPERPOWER

    The dramatic headlines surrounding Russia's alleged hacking of the DNC and attempts to spread misinformation online during the U.S. election may have reinforced the perception among Americans that the United States is primarily a victim of cyber-intrusions. It's not. In Dark Territory , Kaplan details the United States' long history of aggression in cyberspace. It's not easy to write an engaging book on cyberwar, and Kaplan, a national security columnist at Slate , has done an admirable job. He presents a clear account of the United States' evolution into a formidable cyberpower, guiding the reader through a thicket of technical details and government acronyms.

    It turns out that the U.S. govern ment has been an aggressor for over a quarter century. Kaplan describes "counter command-control warfare"-attempts to disrupt an enemy's ability to control its forces-that goes back to the Gulf War in 1990–91. At a time when U.S. President George H. W. Bush had never used a computer, the National Security Agency (NSA) was employing a secret satellite to monitor the conversations of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his generals, which sometimes revealed the positions of Iraqi soldiers.

    The United States flexed its digital muscles again in the late 1990s, when Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina were protesting the presence of NATO soldiers enforcing the 1995 Dayton peace agreement, which had ended the Bosnian war. U.S. officials learned that local newscasters were telling protesters when and where to gather and even instructing them to throw rocks at NATO soldiers. It turned out that 85 percent of Serbs got their television broadcasts from just five transmission towers. U.S. officials, working with the NATO-led stabilization force, or SFOR, installed devices on those five transmitters that allowed SFOR engineers to turn them on and off remotely. Whenever a newscaster began urging people to protest, the engineers shut off the transmitters.

    American officials also enlisted the help of Hollywood producers, persuading them to supply programming to a U.S. -aligned Serbian station. During major anti-NATO protests, Serbians would turn on the television to find the channel playing episodes of Baywatch . Kaplan asserts, "Many Serbs, who might otherwise have hit the streets to make trouble , stayed in to watch young women cavorting in bikinis."

    Around a decade later, the United States set up what Kaplan calls a "mini -NSA" in Iraq. Kaplan describes how NSA teams in the Middle East intercepted insurgents' e-mails and shut down many of their servers with malware. In other cases, they sent insurgents deceptive e-mails directing them to places where U.S. Special Forces would be waiting to kill them. "In 2007 alone, these sorts of operations . . . killed nearly four thousand Iraqi insurgents," Kaplan writes.

    The United States will likely not win social media wars against countries such as China or Russia.

    The United States' most ambitious cyberattack began in 2006, when it teamed up with Israel to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program. The collab oration, dubbed Operation Olympic Games, targeted Iran's Natanz reactor, which relied on remote computer controls . Malware designed by American pro grammers took over the reactor's valve pumps, allowing NSA operatives to remotely increase the flow of uranium gas into the centrifuges, which eventually burst. By early 2010, the operation had destroyed almost a quarter of Iran's 8,700 centrifuges.

    For years, the Iranians failed to detect the intrusion and must have wondered if the malfunctions were their own fault. In that sense, Kaplan writes, "Operation Olympic Games was a classic campaign of information warfare : the target wasn't just the Iranians' nuclear program but also the Iranians' confidence-in their sensors, their equipment, and themselves." The Iranians and the wider public might never have learned about the virus, now widely known as Stuxnet, if it had not accidentally spread from the computers in Natanz to machines in other parts of the world, where private-sector security researchers ultimately discovered it.

    With Olympic Games, the United States "crossed the Rubicon," in the words of the former CIA director Michael Hayden. Stuxnet was the first major piece of malware to do more than harm other computers and actually cause physical destruction. The irony was rich, as Kaplan notes: "For more than a decade, dozens of panels and commissions had warned that America's critical infrastructure was vulnerable to a cyber attack-and now America was launching the first cyber attack on another nation's critical infrastructure."

    Of course, cyberattackers have often targeted the United States. In 2014 alone, Kaplan reports, the country suffered more than 80,000 cybersecurity breaches, more than 2,000 of which led to data losses. He also points out that until recently, U.S. policymakers worried less about Russia than China, which was "engaging not just in espionage and battlefield preparation, but also in the theft of trade secrets, intellectual property, and cash."

    China and Russia are not the only players. Iran and North Korea have also attacked the United States. In 2014, the businessman Sheldon Adelson criticized Iran, which responded by hacking into the servers of Adelson's Las Vegas Sands Corporation, doing $40 million worth of damage. That same year, hackers calling themselves the Guardians of Peace broke into Sony's network. They destroyed thousands of computers and hundreds of servers, exposed tens of thousands of Social Security numbers, and released embarrassing personal e-mails pilfered from the accounts of Sony executives. U.S. government officials blamed the North Korean government for the attack . Sony Pictures was about to release The Interview , a silly comedy about a plot to assassinate the North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un. As opening day neared, the hackers threatened theaters with retaliation if they screened the movie. When Sony canceled the release, the threats stopped.

    EVERYBODY HACKS

    The Hacked World Order covers some of the same ground as Dark Territory , although with a slightly wider lens. In addition to discussing cyberattacks and surveillance, Segal, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, details how the United States and other countries use social media for political ends. Russia, for example, tries to shape online discourse by spreading false news and deploying trolls to post offensive or distracting comments. The Russian government has reportedly hired English speakers to praise President Vladimir Putin on the websites of foreign news outlets. The goal is not necessarily to endear Americans to Putin, Segal explains . Rather, it sows confusion online to "make reasonable, rational conversation impossible." Chinese Internet commenters also try to muddy the waters of online discussion. Segal claims that the Chinese government pays an estimated 250,000–300,000 people to support the official Communist Party agenda online.

    The public understands cyberthreats far less well than it does the threat of nuclear weapons.

    Segal suggests that the United States will likely not win social media wars against countries such as China or Russia . U.S. State Department officials identify themselves on Facebook and Twitter, react slowly to news, and offer factual, rule-based commentary. Unfortunately, as Segal notes, "content that is shocking , conspiratorial, or false often crowds out the reasonable, rational, and measured."

    Social media battles also play out in the Middle East. In 2012, the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas fought a war for public opinion using Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest, and Tumblr at the same time as the two were exchanging physical fire. The Islamic State (also known as ISIS) has launched digital campaigns that incorporate, in Segal's words, "brutality and barbarism, packaged with sophisticated production techniques ." The United States has tried to fight back by sharing negative stories about ISIS and, in 2014, even created a video, using footage released by the group , that featured severed heads and cruci fixions. The video went viral, but analysts inside and outside the U.S. government criticized it for embracing extremist tactics similar to ISIS' own. Moreover, as Segal notes, it seems to have failed to deter ISIS' supporters.

    Part of what makes the cyber-era so challenging for governments is that conflict isn't limited to states. Many actors, including individuals and small groups, can carry out attacks. In 2011, for example, the hacker collective Anon ymous took down Sony's PlayStation Network, costing the company $171 million in repairs. Individuals can also disrupt traditional diplomacy, as when WikiLeaks released thousands of State Department cables in 2010, revealing U.S. diplomats' candid and sometimes embarrassing assessments of their foreign counterparts.

    Segal is at his best in his discussion of China's cyberstrategy, on which he has considerable expertise. Americans tend to see themselves as a target of Chinese hackers-and indeed they are. The problem is that China also sees itself as a victim and the United States as hypocritical. In June 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama warned Chinese President Xi Jinping that Chinese hacking could damage the U.S.-Chinese relationship. Later that month, journalists published documents provided by Edward Snowden, an NSA contractor, showing that the NSA had hacked Chinese universities and telecommunications companies. It didn't take long for Chinese state media to brand the United States as "the real hacking empire."

    The U.S.-Chinese relationship also suffers from a more fundamental disagreement. U.S. policymakers seem to believe that it's acceptable to spy for political and military purposes but that China's theft of intellectual property crosses a line. The United States might spy on companies and trade negotiators all over the world, but it does so to protect its national interests, not to benefit specific U.S. companies. The Chinese don't see this distinction. As Segal explains:

    Many states, especially those like China that have developed a form of state capitalism at home, do not see a difference between public and private actors. Chinese firms are part of an effort to modernize the country and build comprehensive power, no matter whether they are private or state owned. Stealing for their benefit is for the benefit of the nation.

    The intense secrecy surrounding cyberwarfare makes deciding what kinds of hacking are acceptable and what behavior crosses the line even harder. The Snowden revelations may have alerted Americans to the extent of U.S. government surveillance, but the public still remains largely in the dark about digital conflict. Yet Americans have a lot at stake. The United States may be the world's strongest cyberpower, but it is also the most vulnerable. Segal writes:

    The United States is . . . more exposed than any other country. Smart cities, the Internet of Things, and self-driving cars may open up vast new economic opportunities as well as new targets for destructive attacks. Cyberattacks could disrupt and degrade the American way of war, heavily dependent as it is on sensors, computers, command and control, and information dominance.

    Putin and Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov visit the new GRU military intelligence headquarters building in Moscow, November 2006.

    Putin and Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov visit the new GRU military intelligence headquarters building in Moscow, November 2006.

    FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED

    Neither Kaplan nor Segal offers easy solutions to these challenges. Kaplan argues that the cyber-era is much murkier than the era of the Cold War. Officials find it difficult to trace attack ers quickly and reliably, increasing the chances that the targeted country will make an error. The U.S. government and U.S. firms face cyberattacks every day, and there is no clear line between those that are merely a nuisance and those that pose a serious threat. The public also understands cyberthreats far less well than it does the threat of nuclear weapons. Much of the informa tion is classified, inhibiting public discus sion, Kaplan notes. He concludes that "we are all wandering in dark territory."

    The public understands cyberthreats far less well than it does the threat of nuclear weapons.

    Segal's conclusions are somewhat more prescriptive. The United States must support research and technological innovation, for example, and not just by providing more federal funding. Segal recommends that the United States replace its federal research plan with a public-private partnership to bring in academic and commercial expertise. Government and private companies need to share more information, and companies need to talk more openly with one another about digital threats. The United States should also "develop a code of conduct that draws a clear line between its friends and allies and its potential adversaries." This would include limiting cyberattacks to military actions and narrowly targeted covert operations, following international law, rarely spying on friends, and working to strengthen international norms against economic espionage. If the United States is attacked, it should not necessarily launch a counterattack, Segal argues; rather, it should explore using sanctions or other tools. This was apparently the path that Obama took after the attack on the DNC, when the United States punished Moscow by imposing fresh sanctions and expelling 35 suspected Russian spies.

    It's likely only a matter of time before the Trump administration faces a major cyberattack. When that happens, the government will need to react calmly, without jumping to conclusions. Failure to do so could have dire consequences. "The United States, Russia, and China are unlikely to launch destructive attacks against each other unless they are already engaged in military conflict or perceive core interests as being threatened," Segal writes. "The greatest risks are misperception, miscalculation, and escalation."

    Those risks now seem greater than ever. Some experts have argued that Obama's response to the Russian cyberattacks in 2016 did not do enough to deter future attackers. But if Obama underreacted, the United States may now face the opposite problem. Trump has proved willing to make bold, some times unsubstantiated accusations. This behavior is dangerous in any conflict, but in the fog of cyberwar, it could spell catastrophe.

    Is there anything the American public can do to prevent this? All over the country, people have been trying to check Trump's worst impulses by protesting, appealing to members of Congress, or simply demanding more information. Policy about cyberspace generally doesn't draw the same level of public engagement, in part due to a lack of knowledge. Cyberbattles can seem confusing, technical, and shrouded in secrecy, perhaps better left to the experts. But cybersecurity is everyone's problem now. The American public should inform itself, and these two books are a good place to start. If Washington inadvertently led the United States into a major cyberwar, Americans would have the most to lose.

    [Apr 20, 2017] Bill Binney explodes the Russia witchhunt

    Mar 04, 2017 | www.youtube.com

    He also exposes the NSA penchant for "swindles", such as preventing the plugging of holes in software around the world, to preserve their spying access.

    Frank Oak 3 weeks ago Big Mike's boat 200 tons coke bust n Hussien on the run as cosmic Camelots​ crimes going viral

    Marija Djuric 3 weeks ago Bill Binney should be head of the NSA

    Nancy M 3 weeks ago The Clinton campaign to divert attention to Russia instead of her myriad of crimes that were revealed during the election must be stopped and the alt media needs to start talking about her and Obama's crimes again and demand justice...control the dialogue

    John 3 weeks ago It's almost comical to hear that they lie to each other. No wonder why these retards in the mid-east and every other third world country gets the better of us.

    [Apr 20, 2017] Bill Maher Interviews Bill Binney NSA Whistleblower Obama Worst Than Bush! Impeach Them ALL!

    Apr 20, 2017 | www.youtube.com

    Alex B 8 months ago

    This man is definitely a patriot in the strictest sense

    [Apr 20, 2017] NSA Whistleblower Everyone in US under virtual surveillance, all info stored, no matter the post

    Notable quotes:
    "... Who knew that the NSA mandate *is to exceed their mandate" ..."
    Apr 20, 2017 | www.youtube.com

    Ethercruiser 11 year ago

    Great interview, thanks RT. I knew most of the material in this interview for years now, but it's good for it to get out whatever way possible. Hope you continue doing more such great interviews.

    jake gittes 1 year ago

    RT? Imagine the Russian equivalent? Golly, NSA out of control? Who knew? Who knew that the NSA mandate *is to exceed their mandate" .

    If you were in prison for the last 15 yrs you would know that NSA security in triplicate is just doing what they've always been doing except that PRISM, restarted in 2007, is just updated software.

    Jim Jimmy 2 years ago

    there is one main reason they collect all information and target everyone, even members of congress and people like Angela merkel. If they have personal information on these powerful people there comes the chance to blackmail them. "vote this way on this" "consent to this policy". It's political leverage

    Fighting Words 3 weeks ago

    It's called POLICE STATE.

    [Apr 20, 2017] Oliver Stone Rages Against The Deep States Wonderful Job Of Throwing America Into Chaos

    Notable quotes:
    "... I confess I really had hopes for some conscience from Trump about America's wars, but I was wrong -- fooled again! -- as I had been by the early Reagan, and less so by Bush 43. Reagan found his mantra with the "evil empire" rhetoric against Russia, which almost kicked off a nuclear war in 1983 -- and Bush found his 'us against the world' crusade at 9/11, in which of course we're still mired. ..."
    "... It seems that Trump really has no 'there' there, far less a conscience, as he's taken off the handcuffs on our war machine and turned it over to his glorified Generals ..."
    "... well, he got my generation started/up to speed with JFK truth, and took a beating for it. in the eyes of the entertainment media, he was a patriotic steven spielberg before jfk, he was conspiracy theorist with a good director of photography and editing team after. ..."
    "... his general analysis for 9/11 and who benefited from it, (<<cui bono, project for new american century>>) was pointing in the right direction. he might have done more harm than good if he started speaking about thermite or whatever, or would have been dismissed as a nut out of hand. ..."
    "... Stone is right enough is enough. Anyone who doesn't believe that countries use psychological warfare and propaganda to sway the opinions of people both in and outside of their country should be considered naive. ..."
    "... Americans have every reason to be concerned and worried considering revelations of just how big the government intelligent agencies have grown since 9-11 and how unlimited their spying and surveillance operations have become. The article below explores this growth and questions whether we have lost control. ..."
    "... We were all deceived by a great, maybe brilliant, actor. ..."
    Apr 20, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
    In March of last year, Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone warned the world :

    "we're going to war - either hybrid in nature...or a hot war (which will destroy our country). Our citizens should know this, but they don't because our media is dumbed down in its 'Pravda'-like support for our 'respectable', highly aggressive government."

    And strongly rejected the establishment's "the Russians are coming" narrative shortly after the election and correctly forecast that it wouldn't be long before the deep state pushed Trump into an anti-Kremlin position...

    "As much as we may disagree with Donald Trump (and I do) he's right now target number one of the MSM propaganda -- until, that is, he changes to the anti-Kremlin track over, God knows, some kind of petty dispute cooked up by CIA, and in his hot-headed way starts fighting with the Russians ...

    I never thought I'd find myself at this point in time praying for the level-headedness of a Donald Trump . "

    Stone was correct and in a Facebook post tonight expresses his disappointment at Trump and disgust for The Deep State (and America's wilful ignorance).

    "So It Goes"

    I confess I really had hopes for some conscience from Trump about America's wars, but I was wrong -- fooled again! -- as I had been by the early Reagan, and less so by Bush 43. Reagan found his mantra with the "evil empire" rhetoric against Russia, which almost kicked off a nuclear war in 1983 -- and Bush found his 'us against the world' crusade at 9/11, in which of course we're still mired.

    It seems that Trump really has no 'there' there, far less a conscience, as he's taken off the handcuffs on our war machine and turned it over to his glorified Generals -- and he's being praised for it by our 'liberal' media who continue to play at war so recklessly. What a tortured bind we're in. There are intelligent people in Washington/New York, but they've lost their minds as they've been stampeded into a Syrian-Russian groupthink, a consensus without asking -- 'Who benefits from this latest gas attack?' Certainly neither Assad nor Putin. The only benefits go to the terrorists who initiated the action to stave off their military defeat.

    It was a desperate gamble, but it worked because the Western media immediately got behind it with crude propagandizing about murdered babies , etc. No real investigation or time for a UN chemical unit to establish what happened, much less find a motive. Why would Assad do something so stupid when he's clearly winning the civil war?

    No, I believe America has decided somewhere, in the crises of the Trump administration, that we will get into this war at any cost, under any circumstances -- to, once again, change the secular regime in Syria, which has been, from the Bush era on, one of the top goals -- next to Iran -- of the neoconservatives. At the very least, we will cut out a chunk of northeastern Syria and call it a State.

    Abetted by the Clintonites, they've done a wonderful job throwing America into chaos with probes into Russia's alleged hacking of our election and Trump being their proxy candidate (now clearly disproved by his bombing attack) -- and sadly, worst of all in some ways, admitting no memory of the same false flag incident in 2013, for which again Assad was blamed (see Seymour Hersh's fascinating deconstruction of this US propaganda, 'London Review of Books' December 19, 2013, "Whose sarin?"). No memory, no history, no rules -- or rather 'American rules.'

    No, this isn't an accident or a one-off affair. This is the State deliberately misinforming the public through its corporate media and leads us to believe, as Mike Whitney points out in his brilliant analyses, "Will Washington Risk WW3" and "Syria: Where the Rubber Meets the Road," that something far more sinister waits in the background .

    Mike Whitney, Robert Parry, and former intelligence officer Phil Giraldi all comment below. It's well worth 30 minutes of your time to read. Lastly, below is a link to Bruce Cumings's "Nation" analysis of North Korea, as he again reminds us of the purposes of studying history.

    Can we wake up before it's too late? I for one feel like the John Wayne veteran (of war) character in "Fort Apache," riding with the arrogant Custer-like General (Henry Fonda) to his doom. My country, my country, my heart aches for thee.

    FIAT CON -> knukles •Apr 19, 2017 8:22 PM

    Everything is finite on this planet except the US$, I can't see how believing this will cause any trouble. /s

    gregga777 -> SallySnyd •Apr 19, 2017 7:44 PM

    "One has to wonder how many fronts Congress thinks that the American military complex can fight and win wars?"

    The truth is that America, as a deliberate policy, does not win wars. Dragging out wars (e.g., Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc.) produces far greater revenues and profits for the War Profiteers and Merchants of Death that control United States foreign policy. They all deserve bullets to the back of the neck for their evil takeover of the United States and their willingness to sacrifice the lives of millions of people to their evil, illegal and Unconstitutional Wars of Aggression.

    VIS MAIOR -> gregga777 •Apr 19, 2017 7:53 PM

    135 000 http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/vietnam-american-holocaust/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_War_casualties ... 1000 years ban for usa on OL games and other + forever ban on all !

    they kill own 135 000 + thousand more after in usa from depresions, alchdrugs.. + 4 milions !!!! asians what fuckretard nations cancer is usa ..

    please delete usa from this planet ..PLEASE

    Tothguy1948 -> Savyindallas •Apr 19, 2017 11:43 PM

    well, he got my generation started/up to speed with JFK truth, and took a beating for it. in the eyes of the entertainment media, he was a patriotic steven spielberg before jfk, he was conspiracy theorist with a good director of photography and editing team after.

    yeah, i've come to see him as a bit of fatuous idiot in some interviews, he sure has got his own achille's heel and hasn't offered every last truth on the subject, but who has done more to popularize critical thinking and research on it than him? i'm forever grateful for that

    his general analysis for 9/11 and who benefited from it, (<<cui bono, project for new american century>>) was pointing in the right direction. he might have done more harm than good if he started speaking about thermite or whatever, or would have been dismissed as a nut out of hand.

    Let it Go •Apr 19, 2017 8:12 PM

    Stone is right enough is enough. Anyone who doesn't believe that countries use psychological warfare and propaganda to sway the opinions of people both in and outside of their country should be considered naive. To many people America is more than a little hypocritical when they criticize other countries for trying to gain influence considering our history of meddling in the affairs of other countries.

    Americans have every reason to be concerned and worried considering revelations of just how big the government intelligent agencies have grown since 9-11 and how unlimited their spying and surveillance operations have become. The article below explores this growth and questions whether we have lost control.

    http://brucewilds.blogspot.com/2017/04/psychological-warfare-and-propaganda.html

    peterk •Apr 19, 2017 8:50 PM

    trump is perhaps the best president for the deep state...... a president who doesn't really care about anything too much.

    he has been a carefree billionaire playboy all his life, never gets to involved in any fight, as he isnt all that bright, so he just

    moves along when things get tough.

    he betrayed the USA

    Anonymous IX •Apr 19, 2017 9:46 PM

    A very simple question.

    Why has Trump completely reneged on his promise to stay out of foreign wars and regime change? Not only Syria but Yemen. Why has Trump placed the U.S. in a needless confrontation with Russia? Before the election, he spoke about establishing strong economic relations with other countries in favor of the U.S.

    Part of making "American Great Again" involves staying out of foreign wars which do not concern us and using our monies to re-educate and protect the diminishing American worker.

    Mr. Stone is right.

    Akhenaten II -> Anonymous IX •Apr 20, 2017 12:44 AM

    Trump works for Israel and the jewish mob. Always has.

    We were all deceived by a great, maybe brilliant, actor. The only saving grace is that this play is nearing its last act before they knock the entire theatre down, to be abandoned like the Coliseum.

    [Apr 19, 2017] American jingoism -- during civil war Both sides considered themselves very patriotic Americans, yet were revved up to kill each other to a total of aboutone million KIA

    Apr 17, 2017 | www.unz.com

    Avery , April 16, 2017 at 1:59 pm GMT \n

    100 Words @dearieme "Funny patriotism where they're most revved up to kill other Koreans". You could say that of the American "patriots" of 1776 who were revved up to kill fellow Britons. {You could say that of the American "patriots" of 1776 who were revved up to kill fellow Britons.}

    You could also say that about the 4 year long US Civil War.
    Both sides considered themselves very patriotic Americans, yet were revved up to kill each other to a total of about 785,000-1,000,000 KIA. Considering US population was about 20-25 million around then, that was huge number of dead.

    [Apr 18, 2017] Dear Washington the era of the false flag attack is now over

    Notable quotes:
    "... None other than Russian President Vladimir Putin then spoke out, saying that Russia believed similar "provocations" were being planned ..."
    Apr 18, 2017 | theduran.com
    Not so long ago, using the term "false flag" immediately marked you as a "conspiracy theorist," – basically a nutcase not in touch with reality. Supposedly.

    In case anybody still doesn't know, a "false flag [attack/event]" is an incident perpetrated by one party (usually a state) either against itself or someone else, while making it appear that a third party is to blame.

    False flag events are far from a new idea. King Gustav III of Sweden staged an attack on one of his own outposts using soldiers in fake Russian uniforms, to provide a pretext for initiating war against Russia in 1788.

    In the Gleiwitz Incident , Nazi Germany apparently staged an attack on a German radio station, in order to blame Poland and provide propaganda supporting the decision to go to war.

    However, it is the United States which, in the 20th and 21st centuries, has been most frequently accused of perpetrating false flag events.

    The 1898 Spanish-American war started after a US battleship, the Maine, mysteriously blew up in Havana harbor . The cause was never conclusively proven, but Spain was immediately blamed, and Congress declared war. (Nobody apparently asked what a US battleship was doing parked in another country's harbor in the first place.)

    Operation Northwoods was a plan developed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and submitted to President John F. Kennedy in 1962, proposing various scenarios for faking terrorist attacks on the US and blaming them on Cuba. Kennedy rejected the plan.

    Many consider the Gulf of Tonkin incident of 1964, which was used to introduce US ground troops into Vietnam, to have been a false flag. And millions of people world wide do not believe the official narrative of what occurred during the 9-11 attacks.

    When the United States accused the Syrian government, led by President Bashar al-Assad, of unleashing a sarin gas attack on civilians in the town of Khan Shaykhun in the Idlib province of Syria on April 4th – an incident which brought him no advantage, but played directly to the advantage of his enemies – the alternative media sphere immediately began crying foul.

    Twitter exploded with indications that the event was staged, with so-called "white helmets" humanitarian workers caught in multiple compromising positions:

    However, the proof in social media was only the first blow. None other than Russian President Vladimir Putin then spoke out, saying that Russia believed similar "provocations" were being planned:

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/bACg_VPECmk

    His statement was followed by an extended interview given by Syrian President Assad, whose reasoned responses ripped to sheds the accusations of his accusers:

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/Syyq7zbTuTA

    These public statements by two leading world statesmen immediately added impetus to the claims in alternative media that a false flag attack had indeed occurred.

    Then, in a clear message to the United States, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov followed up his April 12th meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, by meeting with the foreign ministers of Iran and Syria in Moscow only two days later, April 14th – a clear show of solidarity.

    This followed Tillerson's demand at the G7 in Lucca that Russia should "reconsider" its alliance with Iran and Syria.

    At the press conference afterward, Lavrov stated about the alleged chemical attack:

    There is growing evidence that this was staged – meaning the incident with the use of chemical weapons in Idlib province.

    What makes the false flag at Khan Shaykhun unlike previous false flags is the speed with which it was exposed – both on the internet using the alleged footage itself, and possibly for the first time, by other state parties (Russia and Syria) opposed to the agenda the perpetrators seek to advance.

    Now "false flag" has essentially entered the normal political lexicon.

    And normalizing awareness of what a false flag is, along with decreasing acceptance of it as a state tactic, essentially means it will be increasingly difficult to succeed with one in the future.

    Thus, it can be said that the era in which government orchestrated false flags can be carried out with a high chance of success is effectively over. Both modern communication media (i.e. the internet and smart phones) and risk of exposure by opposing governments will make it high-risk, low reward-undertaking.

    That is not to say false flags will not continue to happen. They will. After all, the deep state apparatus appears both highly resistant to change, and severely lacking in originality. But such events will be increasingly less likely to be successful in convincing observers that the party they intend to implicate is the one to blame.

    [Apr 18, 2017] Blame Putin! scheme is much older then recent Presidential elections

    Notable quotes:
    "... Most of the information about the specific instance of the CIA torturing an individual in Lebanon came from a biography on Bob Ames titled The Good Spy (2014) by Kai Bird. Which was a pretty good book. Ames has an interesting history. He forged a relationship which the author characterized as a friendship with high ranking individuals in the Palestinian Liberation Organization at a time when the PLO was labeled as a terrorist organization. It was this back channel connection that formed the basis of American diplomacy for peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. He died in the 1983 embassy bombing. ..."
    "... Similar methods that resulted in the death of prisoners during CIA's systemic torture program during the Bush Administration were used. They'd dump cold water on'em and leave them in a cold cell. Nimr was left in a cell with a fan blowing cold air on them. Hall wasn't present at the time Nimr died. ..."
    "... Besides the embassy bombing Mughniyeh was blamed for a lot of other terrorist acts that I think are based on nothing more than circumstantial evidence. Contemporary analysis suggests it's basically the "Blame Putin!" trope in action. ..."
    Jan 01, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    Andrew Watts , December 31, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    *I was in a rush yesterday so this is a follow-up to yesterday's hastily written comment on the torture report. Any fault or errors in that comment can be attributed to my gullibility.

    Most of the information about the specific instance of the CIA torturing an individual in Lebanon came from a biography on Bob Ames titled The Good Spy (2014) by Kai Bird. Which was a pretty good book. Ames has an interesting history. He forged a relationship which the author characterized as a friendship with high ranking individuals in the Palestinian Liberation Organization at a time when the PLO was labeled as a terrorist organization. It was this back channel connection that formed the basis of American diplomacy for peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. He died in the 1983 embassy bombing.

    -The individual who was tortured and died soon afterward was Elias Nimr . A Christian intelligence chieftain who appears to have played every side and angle he could during the Lebanon Civil War.

    -The name of the CIA contractor who tortured Nimr was identified as Keith "Captain Crunch" Hall . He was originally identified by Mark Bowden in his book Road Work: Among Tyrants, Heroes, Rogues, and Beasts. (2007) A former Marine before he joined the CIA and was later a cop in California.

    Similar methods that resulted in the death of prisoners during CIA's systemic torture program during the Bush Administration were used. They'd dump cold water on'em and leave them in a cold cell. Nimr was left in a cell with a fan blowing cold air on them. Hall wasn't present at the time Nimr died.

    -Bob Baer neglects to mention this specific incident of torture in See No Evil but doesn't blame Nimr for the bombing of the embassy. *cough* Appropriately titled book if you ask me. *cough* A part of his theory on the masterminds behind the '83 embassy bombings involves a former PLO turned Hezbollah operative named Imad Mughniyeh . Baer claims that Mughniyeh is was still in contact with his old Fatah contacts when the embassy was bombed.

    Besides the embassy bombing Mughniyeh was blamed for a lot of other terrorist acts that I think are based on nothing more than circumstantial evidence. Contemporary analysis suggests it's basically the "Blame Putin!" trope in action.

    -The name of the alleged defector from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard was actually a deputy defense minister and former brigadier general named Ali Reza Asgari . There was and still probably is controversy whether he was kidnapped or defected. The Iranians wouldn't want it known that such a high ranking defector went over to the West hence the kidnapping story.

    Hah! Guess not posting much for a few months finally caught up with me.

    [Apr 17, 2017] Clinton was always a sclezy dealer on word of whom only fool can rely

    Apr 17, 2017 | www.unz.com

    Agent76 , April 16, 2017 at 3:19 pm GMT \n

    October 18, 1994 Remarks on the Nuclear Agreement With North Korea William J. Clinton

    Good afternoon. I am pleased that the United States and North Korea yesterday reached agreement on the text of a framework document on North Korea's nuclear program.

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=49319

    [Apr 17, 2017] The pot calling the kettle black

    Notable quotes:
    "... As soon as I turned on a television here I wondered if I had arrived through an alt-right wormhole. ..."
    "... On the popular Russian television program "Vesti Nedeli," the host, Dmitry Kiselyov, questioned how Syria could have been responsible for the attack. After all, he said, the Assad government had destroyed all of its chemical weapons. It was the terrorists who possessed them, said Mr. Kiselyov, who also heads Russia's main state-run international media arm. ..."
    "... One of Mr. Kiselyov's correspondents on the scene mocked "Western propagandists" for believing the Trump line, saying munitions at the air base had "as much to do with chemical weapons as the test tube in the hands of Colin Powell had to do with weapons of mass destruction in Iraq." ..."
    "... RT, the Russian-financed English-language news service, initially translated Mr. Putin as calling it a "false flag. ..."
    "... As the pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia put it, "Apparently it was for good reason Donald Trump called unverified information in the mass media one of the main problems in the U.S." ..."
    "... The author asserts that those who questioned the Assad-did-it narrative were only on the alt-right "fringe". But this is absurd, as anyone who looks at a non-alt right site like https://consortiumnews.com/ can easily confirm. And of course a highly respected MIT scientist, Theodore Postol, has published not one but two notes effectively showing that the White House "Intelligence Report" about the incident was rubbish ("obviously false, misleading and amateurish") - but you are unlikely to read about this in the NYT. ..."
    "... The US media should have learned something about the Iraq war, but it still hasn't. It blindly supports every stupid foreign policy decision wrapped in humanitarian clothes while being unwilling to honestly tell the American people that its a proxy war where all the actors in it are evil. That no one knows for sure what happened because it wasn't investigated. The media in Russia may be a tool of the Kremlin but the US media is the tool of the war profiteers. There is no way to get around that no matter how Rutenberg tries to frame it around what he thinks is the correct opinion. ..."
    "... Israel wants the Syrian war to go on forever. The Saudi and Iranian proxies aren't saints. There are no good guys yet removing Assad is the preferred outcome for the US media. ..."
    "... The good thing about the US corporate media is that it is being put behind paywalls. I just use software to block these sites so I don't even bother wasting my time by clicking and then having to click back. I get "the line" from sources not behind a paywall. Only an idiot would pay to be lied to on behalf of groups that do not have the US interest at heart. ..."
    Apr 16, 2017 | www.nytimes.com

    From: A Lesson in Moscow About Trump-Style 'Alternative Truth' - The New York Times by Jim Rutenberg >

    Mr. Trump had just ordered a Tomahawk strike against Syria's Shayrat air base, from which, the United States said, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria had launched the chemical weapons attack that killed more than 80 and sickened hundreds.

    As soon as I turned on a television here I wondered if I had arrived through an alt-right wormhole.

    Back in the States, the prevailing notion in the news was that Mr. Assad had indeed been responsible for the chemical strike. There was some "reportage" from sources like the conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones - best known for suggesting that the Sandy Hook school massacre was staged - that the chemical attack was a "false flag" operation by terrorist rebel groups to goad the United States into attacking Mr. Assad. But that was a view from the fringe.

    Here in Russia, it was the dominant theme throughout the overwhelmingly state-controlled mainstream media.

    On the popular Russian television program "Vesti Nedeli," the host, Dmitry Kiselyov, questioned how Syria could have been responsible for the attack. After all, he said, the Assad government had destroyed all of its chemical weapons. It was the terrorists who possessed them, said Mr. Kiselyov, who also heads Russia's main state-run international media arm.

    One of Mr. Kiselyov's correspondents on the scene mocked "Western propagandists" for believing the Trump line, saying munitions at the air base had "as much to do with chemical weapons as the test tube in the hands of Colin Powell had to do with weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."

    That teed up Mr. Putin to suggest in nationally televised comments a couple of days later that perhaps the attack was an intentional "provocation" by the rebels to goad the United States into attacking Mr. Assad. RT, the Russian-financed English-language news service, initially translated Mr. Putin as calling it a "false flag." The full Alex Jones was complete.

    When Trump administration officials tried to counter Russia's "false narratives" by releasing to reporters a declassified report detailing Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles - and suggesting to The Associated Press without proof that Russia knew of Mr. Assad's plans to use chemical weapons in advance - the Russians had a ready answer borrowed from Mr. Trump himself.

    As the pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia put it, "Apparently it was for good reason Donald Trump called unverified information in the mass media one of the main problems in the U.S."

    It was the best evidence I've seen of the folly of Mr. Trump's anti-press approach. You can't spend more than a year attacking the credibility of the "dishonest media" and then expect to use its journalism as support for your position during an international crisis - at least not with any success.

    While Mr. Trump and his supporters may think that undermining the news media serves their larger interests, in this great information war it serves Mr. Putin's interests more. It means playing on his turf, where he excels.

    Integral to Mr. Putin's governing style has been a pliant press that makes his government the main arbiter of truth.

    While talking to the beaten but unbowed members of the real journalism community here, I heard eerie hints of Trumpian proclamations in their war stories.

    Take Mr. Trump's implicit threat to the owner of The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos, during the election campaign. In case you've forgotten, while calling The Post's coverage of him "horrible and false," Mr. Trump warned that if he won the presidency Mr. Bezos's other business, Amazon, would have "such problems." (The Post was undaunted, and the issue hasn't come up again.)

    ... ... ...

    Alexandra Odynova contributed research.

    for-the-record , April 17, 2017 at 6:16 pm GMT \n
    300 Words Is this parody or for real? Everything he cites the Russian press as saying seems to me far more believable than the "alternative" version purveyed by the NYT and other such "respectable" sources.

    To put it mildly, anyone with half a brain would be willing to accept that it was far more likely that the alleged chemical attack was the work of the not-so-moderate rebels, rather than the Syrian Government which had nothing to gain, and everything to lose, from such an attack (assuming that it still had chemical weapons, which even the US previously admitted was no longer the case). That those fighting Assad do indeed possess stocks of chemical weapons is no secret. Regarding Isis, for example, you can learn from Newsweek today (April 17) via Yahoo News:

    ISIS Militants Launch Multiple Chemical Weapons Attacks On Iraqi Troops

    The author tells us that

    Back in the States, the prevailing notion in the news was that Mr. Assad had indeed been responsible for the chemical strike.

    Of course this was and is the prevailing view, a convincing testimony to the effect of the "fake news" that is reported as "fact" by the mainstream media.

    The author asserts that those who questioned the Assad-did-it narrative were only on the alt-right "fringe". But this is absurd, as anyone who looks at a non-alt right site like https://consortiumnews.com/ can easily confirm. And of course a highly respected MIT scientist, Theodore Postol, has published not one but two notes effectively showing that the White House "Intelligence Report" about the incident was rubbish ("obviously false, misleading and amateurish") - but you are unlikely to read about this in the NYT.

    I live outside the US and also have the time and energy to investigate alternative sources. What amazes and pains me is that many friends of mine (US, UK) have swallowed hook, line and sinker the official story, not only about this incident but the general story about what is going on in Syria (and elsewhere, notably vis-à-vis Russia).

    Altai , April 17, 2017 at 8:29 pm GMT \n
    400 Words @for-the-record Is this parody or for real? Everything he cites the Russian press as saying seems to me far more believable than the "alternative" version purveyed by the NYT and other such "respectable" sources.

    To put it mildly, anyone with half a brain would be willing to accept that it was far more likely that the alleged chemical attack was the work of the not-so-moderate rebels, rather than the Syrian Government which had nothing to gain, and everything to lose, from such an attack (assuming that it still had chemical weapons, which even the US previously admitted was no longer the case). That those fighting Assad do indeed possess stocks of chemical weapons is no secret. Regarding Isis, for example, you can learn from Newsweek today (April 17) via Yahoo News:


    ISIS Militants Launch Multiple Chemical Weapons Attacks On Iraqi Troops
    The author tells us that

    Back in the States, the prevailing notion in the news was that Mr. Assad had indeed been responsible for the chemical strike.
    Of course this was and is the prevailing view, a convincing testimony to the effect of the "fake news" that is reported as "fact" by the mainstream media.

    The author asserts that those who questioned the Assad-did-it narrative were only on the alt-right "fringe". But this is absurd, as anyone who looks at a non-alt right site like https://consortiumnews.com/ can easily confirm. And of course a highly respected MIT scientist, Theodore Postol, has published not one but two notes effectively showing that the White House "Intelligence Report" about the incident was rubbish ("obviously false, misleading and amateurish") -- but you are unlikely to read about this in the NYT.

    I live outside the US and also have the time and energy to investigate alternative sources. What amazes and pains me is that many friends of mine (US, UK) have swallowed hook, line and sinker the official story, not only about this incident but the general story about what is going on in Syria (and elsewhere, notably vis-à-vis Russia).

    many friends of mine (US, UK) have swallowed hook, line and sinker the official story, not only about this incident but the general story about what is going on in Syria (and elsewhere, notably vis-à-vis Russia).

    It's unreal to me after everything that has happened the last 15 years that anyone who lived through it could not have learned a thing. It seems to be getting more blatant too. Now the BBC is pushing neocon talking points harder than most US outlets.

    Don't ever trust a western news outlet whenever it goes on a months long crusade to 'expose' a certain regime that is alleged to be doing exactly what our 'allies' do and get no coverage about. I knew little about what was going on in Syria years ago but when the BBC started telling me how horrible 'barrel bombs' were over and over, night after night, making sure to mention Assad in every sentence, my bullshit detector sprang up and I looked at the alt media I trusted. (Which I trusted as taking the narrative from them I was able to better predict and understand the world and this simply can't be said for mainstream media)

    I know a guy who thinks of himself as worldly but reads WaPo and Der Speigel daily. He doesn't understand how I can't believe how good Obama handled the US economy and how low US unemployment is. Any attempt to explain that US unemployment numbers post-1994 are not what he thinks it is is met with a dismissive as though I am full of bullshit.

    I think it might also be generational. I grew up in my teens with Iraq and the explosion of alt middle east commentators and journalists who posted to the net what they'd never get cleared in the MSM. You know exactly the deal with everybody, the anti-war left, the 'alt-right', the counter jihadis and the important motivations and differences between them that colour their commentary on different events, but it still didn't change the fact that what they were posting was news and information that was being deliberately obscured. But for a lot of people in their 40s and older everything non-MSM looks like InfoWars and is scary.

    It must be scary to be plugged into the MSM today. A kind of learned helplessness like this.

    WorkingClass , April 17, 2017 at 9:28 pm GMT \n
    I know it's bullshit. I read it in the New York Times.

    The NYT is an enemy of the human race.

    Assad didn't do it. Just like he didn't do it last time. Just like he will not have done it next time.

    El Dato , April 17, 2017 at 10:19 pm GMT \n
    300 Words @Altai

    many friends of mine (US, UK) have swallowed hook, line and sinker the official story, not only about this incident but the general story about what is going on in Syria (and elsewhere, notably vis-à-vis Russia).
    It's unreal to me after everything that has happened the last 15 years that anyone who lived through it could not have learned a thing. It seems to be getting more blatant too. Now the BBC is pushing neocon talking points harder than most US outlets.

    Don't ever trust a western news outlet whenever it goes on a months long crusade to 'expose' a certain regime that is alleged to be doing exactly what our 'allies' do and get no coverage about. I knew little about what was going on in Syria years ago but when the BBC started telling me how horrible 'barrel bombs' were over and over, night after night, making sure to mention Assad in every sentence, my bullshit detector sprang up and I looked at the alt media I trusted. (Which I trusted as taking the narrative from them I was able to better predict and understand the world and this simply can't be said for mainstream media)

    I know a guy who thinks of himself as worldly but reads WaPo and Der Speigel daily. He doesn't understand how I can't believe how good Obama handled the US economy and how low US unemployment is. Any attempt to explain that US unemployment numbers post-1994 are not what he thinks it is is met with a dismissive as though I am full of bullshit.

    I think it might also be generational. I grew up in my teens with Iraq and the explosion of alt middle east commentators and journalists who posted to the net what they'd never get cleared in the MSM. You know exactly the deal with everybody, the anti-war left, the 'alt-right', the counter jihadis and the important motivations and differences between them that colour their commentary on different events, but it still didn't change the fact that what they were posting was news and information that was being deliberately obscured. But for a lot of people in their 40s and older everything non-MSM looks like InfoWars and is scary.

    It must be scary to be plugged into the MSM today. A kind of learned helplessness like this.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8moePxHpvok Nice short film. However, I cannot agree that people are in some kind of "oh dear" mindset. On the contrary, they are easily instrumented into supporting any random "something must be (militarily) done" call for action. Maybe a direct consequence of post-Gulf War 1 triumphalism, when the US was great again and apparently had left behind of trauma of Vietnam for good (that was an actual talking point, believe it or not!). With the Soviet Union no more, poised to rework the world in its own image, the US was!

    It all went south of course. We got the Yougoslavia catastrophe. Taking sides along with Europeans acting according to reflexes harking back to 1914 and dropping bombs didn't go all that well. When bombing started, Serbia was as MSM-tarred as Syria is today. We got 10 years of suppressing Mr. Hussein. Something was happening in Russia and maybe Chechnya and Georgia but no-one was all too certain what or why. We got the surprise Hutu-on-Tutsi massacre after which liberventionists were clamoring that "something should have been done". There was some "cruise missile diplomacy" (i.e. Clinton bombs Sudan). There were noises from Afghanistan with military commanders in particular Ahmad Shah Massoud fighting someone called "Taliban" but nobody cared about that. There was the marginally interesting Israel-Palestinian conflict with neverending talks and the Israelis starting to behave like jerks after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. We got first "hard" terrorism hits: A bombing in the WTC basement, a sarin gas attack in Tokyo, a diplomatic mission in Africa and of course the OKC bombing. Well, I guess those years of practically pre-Internet chaos were when "liberventionism" gelled.

    After the 9/11-Anthrax events it was of course full neocon time and everyone was on the same track for foreign land adventurism. By hook or by crook. Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

    Johnny F. Ive , April 17, 2017 at 11:13 pm GMT \n
    The US media should have learned something about the Iraq war, but it still hasn't. It blindly supports every stupid foreign policy decision wrapped in humanitarian clothes while being unwilling to honestly tell the American people that its a proxy war where all the actors in it are evil. That no one knows for sure what happened because it wasn't investigated. The media in Russia may be a tool of the Kremlin but the US media is the tool of the war profiteers. There is no way to get around that no matter how Rutenberg tries to frame it around what he thinks is the correct opinion.

    Also VIPS had American intelligence contacts in the Middle East who said the Syrians hit something that had chemicals in it. Everyone has their anonymous intelligence sources. Assad isn't going anywhere there could have been a proper investigation. The US media salivated at the bombing of Syria. The US media is the American Empire's id. It tells it to do stupid stuff that is going to get it killed. The US media loves to play nuclear chicken with Russia. I suppose psychopaths need a lot of stimulation and what could be more stimulating than a risk of nuclear war.

    If the US media was doing its job it would not just be after Trump's relationship with Russia. It would be after the whole American establishments cozy relationship with Israel and Saudi Arabia. They've turned the US into a banana empire. Of course the US media is tied to weapons producers and Israel gets a welfare check to buy American arms and Saudi Arabia buys American arms. Also Israel no matter what it does is protected because of guilt (which will be its undoing because its bad behavior is not being checked). If Russia bought American arms I bet the US media would love Putin. The US media then would take it upon themselves to support Putin against his enemies.

    Israel wants the Syrian war to go on forever. The Saudi and Iranian proxies aren't saints. There are no good guys yet removing Assad is the preferred outcome for the US media. Its irrational unless you realize who its working for. Its not the American people. Its not even working to keep the US Empire in a position of strength. It demands obedience to the whims of the Empire's global subjects and its domestic war industry. That is what this Russian crap was about Trump. Maybe they tried to interfere. People were going to vote the way they voted anyway because Trump struck an emotional cord with his larger than life personality and the Democrats conspired against the candidate that could have beaten him (Bernie) while making sure no one that could win would run for the Democrat nomination. Also the Israelis are right wing and they get away with stuff the Alt-right could never get away with in the US (and I hope wouldn't want to engage in). What they do to the Palestinians is straight out of Nazi Germany before the holocaust (which is coming for the Palestinians). They loved Trump and voted for him. US media doesn't make a big deal about this. Any reporter who did would risk losing their job.

    The good thing about the US corporate media is that it is being put behind paywalls. I just use software to block these sites so I don't even bother wasting my time by clicking and then having to click back. I get "the line" from sources not behind a paywall. Only an idiot would pay to be lied to on behalf of groups that do not have the US interest at heart. By being whores for war profiteers and their global allies the US media makes Russian government controlled media seem great in comparison. There is no reason why the US should be a whore for unsavory governments and organizations across the world. Its 20 trillion in debt and the US media uses verbal abuse and praise to manipulate the President into making war, while framing the war into simplistic and cartoonish terms. There are some that are extremely wealthy. The Europeans could handle their own security but manipulating the US to do it is easy because of the US media and easily malleable politicians.

    How about the US media find some poor defenseless country and harp up a war and bleed the US Empire dry of its wealth in a fruitless quagmire and call it a day? Some of us do have a self preservation instinct and fighting Russia for the mess in Syria is stupid. If it was me I'd try to get the defense companies to focus on space and space mining. Whoever controls outer space will control humanity's destiny. But go ahead bleed the US dry on these short sided money grabbing crusades so other countries can take over outer space instead.

    [Apr 17, 2017] Why North Korea Needs Nukes - And How To End That

    Notable quotes:
    "... Isnt it amazing, the media in the west will always (ALWAYS!) be there for western nations when they want to wage a war, year after year. And then they say that we, who protest and expose them we are somehow the propagandists and disinformation agents?! ..."
    "... The pressure to capitulate to the US government on this issue is immense. The propaganda relentless. For over 64 years the American people have been living the Big Lie. ..."
    "... I cannot see how this ends well for any of us, mainly due to the intransigence and irrationality of the US ruling class, who do not care how much blood they shed. ..."
    "... The USA as representing western elites have never signed off on the Korean War as a truce and cessation of hostilities but not a peace treaty is the current situation. This war continues and is being pursued by other means, mainly financial and with sanctions, by the west and its South Korean proxies. ..."
    "... This on going policy by the west is of course aimed at its geo-political adversaries in China and Russia as allies of the North Korean nation. ..."
    "... No small country is safe from the evil empire (USA) if they don't have nuclear weapons. Witness what happened to Iraq (and others) who had no weapons of mass destruction. (even though USA claimed they did) ..."
    "... There is no other way to declare that China have backed off, otherwhise we wouldn't see this preparation for war by Trump that came after his big China meeting last week. ..."
    "... China will sure remember this idiot stance they have taken when the wars begin, after North Korea, China will be in the cross-hair themselves. ..."
    "... I still wonder why China stayed away from Syria with no talk of supporting Russia. This is/was a golden chance to show solidarity, in my opinion. Both NK and Pakistan are Chinese partners and nuclear powers. With MOAB in Afghanistan and forces around NK, this is a clear message to China. Is China setting a classic trap militarily or they just choosing to fight economically or otherwise? Somehow, Chinese reaction does not add up. ..."
    "... It is utmost stupidity. Trump is parking US war ships in reach of North Korea, Russia and China. Now he depends on them not to do anything. ..."
    "... If you ever ask a local jingoist to list all the countries attacked by North Korea vs a comparable USA list, you will illicit blank stares, followed by anger, followed by the suggestion you go live in North Korea. Putin's analogy of chess with a pigeon comes to mind. ..."
    "... China does not care about the current leadership of North Korea at all. Their concern is to keep US forces no closer to the Chinese border than they are now, and that they will do. ..."
    "... Actually what you are describing is the average westerner today (although, perhaps the average westerner is a jingoist today), they are indoctrinated every day by by the MSM, they have no idea whats going on in the world, its so tragic when you try to explain world events and they always react like you said, anger, hate, accuations etc. ..."
    "... why is the usa here there and everywhere on the planet where their war machines? answer - they are the planets most warmongering nation, hands down.. ..."
    "... This is extremely relevant yet almost never discussed in the US. North Korea is said to be "crazy", and is treated as some kind of rabid, non-human country that threatens the US. Of course, the opposite is more true. ..."
    "... Chinese FM earlier today said 'war might come to Korea any time now', basically, US and allies could attack Korea and we wont do aynthing about it, what a corrupt nature they are show off now, disgusting. ..."
    "... NK has seen what happens when nations give up their WMD's Iraq got invaded and Saddam first tortured, then hanged. Libya got smashed and Qaddafi got a bayonet up his arse. ..."
    "... Now Syria is in the cross-hairs, with much of the nation in ruins, close 500K dead, millions more wounded and millions more homeless, with Assad being fitted for a hemp necktie. ..."
    "... One point he makes is that the Korean war gave Truman a perfect excuse to expand the military and set up the national security complex. One thing he does not say is that US likely has zero interest in defusing the conflict - lest they'd have to leave the area. ..."
    "... I'm now wondering how much worse the Known Entity - the Murderous Bloody Hillary could have been. Trump is a bull in a China Shop. ..."
    "... This is why Trump acting so tough now, he know China+UN+EU+Nato will support his coming war. ..."
    "... Well well well, this is almost getting comical, chinese show its true nature once again, what a backstabbing nation. China will be as complicit in this war on NK as Trump (and other pathetic allies). How many billion dollar deals did the stupid president get by Trump to be able to accept this tremendous blunder? ..."
    "... At this stage, Russia was supposed to be the gas station that produced nothing. Syria should have fallen to US headchoppers. Philippines has pulled out of the pivot on China. ..."
    "... Obama's leading from behind, and proxy wars largely failed. This leaves the US very short on time to take down China, plus they now have to deal with a Russia that has risen from the dead. ..."
    "... Saudi's just formed a NATO-like Sunni force with an ex-Pakistani general as it's head. Now they have a about 20 nation force for basic ground ops and this will help Saudi's in Yemen and may be Syria especially with Pakistan's depth in recruiting regulars and non-regulars. This could not have happened without US approval, imo. ..."
    "... overwhelming majority of US political "elite" is generally an office plankton with law or political "science" (or journalism--which is not a profession or a skill) degrees from Ivy League "humanities" departments and their comprehension of the war is limited to Hollywood. Most difficulties in life they ever experienced was, most likely, being overbooked for the first class seats on the flight to Hawaii (or any other resort). ..."
    "... The #1 reason the Outlaw US Empire gets away with its continuation of massive crimes against humanity is that its citizenry is mostly ignorant--made so purposefully--of the history that matters and are today's equivalent of "Good Germans." ..."
    "... Anyways, cornering Iran is the goal that the US/Israel trying to accomplish, at least from reading the pattern of activities. Slippery slope indeed. ..."
    "... The development of napalm specifically to target civilians ties in the testing of the two US nuclear weapons in Japan. The Japanese target cities were left untouched by conventional air raids throughout, even though they contained valid military targets such a torpedo production plants. ..."
    "... The occupants were so used to seeing US planes pass them by without ill effect, that on the fateful day they stood out in the open watching the planes pass by as normal or so they thought. The two attacks - for different designs of weapon - were designed to test and calibrate the effects of nuclear weapons on undamaged cities and unprotected civilians. They were actual medical and physical experiments on real people. ..."
    "... The difference between now and all the years since WWII, through the cold war and so forth is that the US has very little time left. In trying to think how the US is acting different now to the past, or actually dig up solid points I would probably point to MH17. With MH17 Australia, one of the five eyes gladly sacrificed some people for empire. That shook me. The evidence was the same as the crap dossier on Assad gassing his own people, yet not a word of protest out of any Australian politician. ..."
    "... From US point of view--absolutely. US establishment, yet again, thinks that it can control escalation. ..."
    "... North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered 25 percent of Pyongyang residents to leave the city immediately, according to a Russian news outlet on Friday. The Pravda report said that in accordance with the order, 600,000 people should be urgently evacuated. ..."
    "... If China/Russia were facing imminent War, then they would very probably dump all US reserves and Treasury Bonds first, and pre-emptively trigger economic collapse & rout. Unless it's MAD first strike stuff, where is the industrial and manufacturing base of the US/UK to sustain and win a 'Total War' ? Russia/China/Iran/NK are all militarily self-sufficient ... long-term sanctions do that, somewhat self-defeating, no ? ..."
    "... IF the US collapses without War occurring, the 0.01% driving this will have already relocated in advance to, New Zealand or Iceland, etc ? To live lives of luxury, whilst purchasing collapsed US corporations for pennies on the dollar, perhaps, and wait for the investment to mature, maybe ? Ruthless bastards, citizens of the world ;) ..."
    "... Yet, mistakes & miscalculations can occur unintentionally when even only a sustained 'strategy of tension' goes on and on ... ..."
    "... "The US is going to war. Much thought and training going into fighting peer, or near peer adversary. " Do not see substantive evidence of the former, yet. Re the latter, other than neo-con/lib chickenhawk warmongers and detached from facts/reason/competent analysis & reality stink-tanks, again, see no evidence other than endless PR and rabid rhetoric, MSM abetted. ..."
    "... Have you seen the most recent data/reports on DOD readiness levels, it's not a pleasant read if you're a jingoistic warmonger ... would argue, short version, the opportunity existed prior to 2001, maybe even as late as 2004-2006 at a pinch ..."
    "... Thanks for a great article. It is so good to read truthful information and not the propaganda bullshit the MSM saturates us with. ..."
    "... Who knows, maybe NK will be rehabilitated, as is, and accepted back into the Russia/China 'Axis', openly, as for the then USSR/ChiCom 'Axis' pre and during the Korean war ? After all, given the insane and surreal rabid propaganda in western MSM, what difference would it make re supposed 'image' in the eyes of the supposed 'International Community' (US/UK/Israhell & good time vassals) ... any ? ..."
    "... I'll certainly echo Outraged's point about USA lacking the required industrial capacity and raw material for any such war other than MAD versus China/Russia. One of the main reasons the Lead From Behind strategy was adopted along with using terrorist proxies to destabilize Russia/China is because of that rather stark reality. ..."
    "... ...The figure of 1,800 massacre victims was given...Somebody--presumably in either the American military or government--seems to have made the decision to turn this into a Northern massacre, the characteristic, single atrocity of the entire war. The truth seems inescapable: The worst atrocity of the war was committed by forces acting in the name of the United Nations, and a concerted effort was then made to cover it up by blaming it on the North Korean enemy... ..."
    "... "...On the admission of [U.S.] General Ridgeway's Head Office, more POWs died in United Nations camps than in North Korean camps..." http://wherechangeobama.blogspot.com/2013/05/revisiting-history-of-korea-again-part-4.html?m=0 ..."
    "... China does have limited versions of both Klub-NK and Club-S, those were shorter ones until recently when China started to get her hands on actual Russian versions of such weapons as P-800 Onyx with their ranges of 660 kilometers, add here SU-35 (also in Russian configuration) and S-400, also in Russian configuration, and you have a rather interesting dynamics suddenly. ..."
    "... US MIC armament production ought to be seen/understood as MIC profitmaking scam that happens to produce few usable/battle-worthy assets. There's a very good reason for calling the USA's once mighty industrial heartland the Rust Belt--it's literally rotting away as a ride on Amtrak's Capitol Limited will testify. ..."
    "... It really makes little sense what the US is up to. Are they relying on bluff and bluster to win the day? ..."
    "... Thanks B for the information regarding how the US and South Korea time their military maneuvers to coincide with the rice planting and harvesting periods in North Korea. I had not been aware of this before. ..."
    "... Bill Clinton's offer to North Korea to supply grain and materials for building two new reactors and his later reneging on that do not surprise me at all as these are of a piece with the Clinton Foundation raising hundreds of millions for Haiti's post-quake reconstruction which in the end resulted in the construction of one factory employing 30 people making T-shirts for export. No doubt with the North Korean "offer" the Clintons got something of that. ..."
    "... "Approximately 30 nuclear power plants are operational in South Korea. Several of them could be destroyed even if conventional bombs and shells are used. This could lead to five-six Chernobyl-type disasters on a relatively small area of 99 square kilometers that could instantly turn into a place unsuitable for life," he explained. ..."
    "... I have read although ,in a casual way rather than a study, too much of the history of wars. Often what comes across the insanity of a country starting a war and then is itself destroyed. Nazi Germany - leading edge tech, smart people. Country of sixty million conquered virtually all of Europe with ease then took on Russia. Instead of being content with being a leading country, they were willing to gamble everything to have it all. ..."
    "... This is somewhat where the US is at today. The position is that it has over reached and now needs to pull back and consolidate, but we are not seeing that. instead, we are seeing the US become more threatening. ..."
    "... Apologies if this has already been mentioned - but if the USA were to unilaterally launch strikes on North Korea could Russia itself intervene and launch missiles against the ships/fleet at fault - ie - against those who have abrogated their responsibilities to international peace and security? The aggressor nation. Could Russia sink the ships with the USS Carl Vinson in the name of maintaining international peace and security?? What side of Korea is the Carl Vinson and is it closer to the coastline of Russia or Syria? frances | Apr 14, 2017 9:02:27 PM | 113 According to Jim Stone NK has a very formidable 50+ submarine fleet. He also said these subs are of NK manufacture based on their upgrades to Russian 1990's designs. ..."
    "... In addition nuclear reactors require fossil fuel power plants as backup up they suddenly lose power. In case of an air blast over South Korea the electrical grid would shut down with possible meltdown of reactors which didn't go into standby prior to the nuclear detonation. ..."
    "... it brings a huge conundrum in decision making, if trump doesn't do anything, all countries in asia will switch alliances towards china in the long run, except for broke jokes japan/usa. ..."
    "... "Wag the Dog" scenarios focus on salacious scandals, but the collapse of domestic Presidencies are usually followed by war Presidencies. Trump is largely the idiot he appears to be and is simply grabbing onto the various interests within the borg. Trump will bounce from "enemy" to "enemy" trying to find an issue to get his Presidency back on track. ..."
    "... Something that has struck me as this thread goes on.. WWII never ended. Nazi/imperial Japan quest for empire morphed into US quest for empire that is coming to a climax today. ..."
    "... Wide ranging fascinating interview with former high ranking CIA intelligence officer, Robert David Steele https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8UfYLA7FCqQ ..."
    "... If North Korea, Russia, Iran, China or any other country that resists Zio-U.S. imperialism sent an Armada off the U.S. coast on the fourth of July, the U.S. wouldn't hesitate to sink it immediately, no questions asked. Trump is proving every day that he's a dangerous idiot. ..."
    "... The wars to consolidate the world under one power has been going on for well over a century. Britain took the lead early on before passing the torch to the US once Rhodes plan to recover America was accomplished, sometime between Mckinleys assassination and the and of WWI . Wall Street and the money power in the city of London were always in sync. Albert Pike predicted 3 World Wars would be needed. ..."
    "... we are ruled by idiots, con men, war-mongers, and Neanderthal whackos. Any attack by the US would be a massacre and humanitarian disaster of epic proportions. Plus, I assume, the north korean army that remains would likely shower much of south korea with tens of thousands of rockets, mortars and missiles. http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/04/14/whackos-in-washington-the-risky-game-of-regime-decapitation/ ..."
    "... Whackos in Washington: the Risky Game of Regime Decapitation by Dave Lindorff ..."
    "... A lot of people do not know that the US bombed the hell out of the entire of north Korea during the war. Like to ashes. The Chinese, and even more so, the Soviet reconstruction project for north Korea was the biggest of its kind post WWII. Even bigger than what actually went to European reconstruction I believe, but don't quote me on that (not in terms of what was earmarked but spent). ..."
    "... ALSO perhaps the biggest crime was bombing the north's huge dams. Unless your a poor farmer you don't know what kind a thing that it is to do. No military value (I heard it was bombed because they ran out of other targets in some way). ..."
    "... Its insane and breeds a toooon of animosity. Plus rejecting all attempts at peace talks. Plus having the media only present it in one way and an attitude of RA RA we don't engage in diplomacy with the terrorist obviously he only listens to force. ..."
    "... The focus seems to be on what DPRK (north), PRC and USA might do. I would like to suggest that closer scrutiny should be applied to what is actually going on in RK (South). I think that this tension is being ratcheted upwards primarily to influence the outcome of the presidential election in the South. ..."
    "... As we all know, Park has recently been impeached. In normal circumstances it could be expected that an opposition figure like Moon Jae-In would be the favourite to win the election. This may not be in the interests of either the US, Japan or the powers-that-be in South Korea. ..."
    "... The election is 9 May 2017, and the US president has just ensured that North Korea will be front and centre in the campaign. ..."
    "... South Korea is clearly benefiting economically (finally) from US support, but also pays a price by being another lapdog to the US and an eternal host for our military presence, willing or not. I suspect it's 'willing' because the US does everything possible to remind South Koreans of their peril by demonizing the North. South Korean press is worse than the US MSM. ..."
    "... who pointed out above that wwii has not yet ended on the korean peninsula. i always knew that the war was 'technically' not over in the sense of no peace treaty's having been signed ... the same obtains between russia and japan, doesn't it? that's an indictment right there of the us. in both cases, as the us still has japan on a short leash. ..."
    "... The main issue will be South Korea's relationship with the US and China. Traditionally South Korea has profited more from the US than from exchange with China. I bet this has already changed. But the US managed to create a security conflict between China and South Korea that ensures increased Chinese military support for North Korea. ..."
    "... South Korean residents and civic group activists on Thursday filed a petition against the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system, which they depicted as unconstitutional. ..."
    "... Seoul and Washington abruptly announced a decision in July last year to install one THAAD battery in the county by the end of this year. Just three days before the announcement, Defense Minister Han Min-koo told lawmakers that he hadn't been informed of any notice about the THAAD installation. ..."
    "... "The THAAD decision did not follow any proper procedure. No effort has been made for dialogue with residents," said Ha Joo-hee, an attorney at Lawyers for a Democratic Society, an advocacy group composed of liberal lawyers. ..."
    "... Yet bet NATO wouldn't be happy. The entire 'containment' policy towards Beijing rests on the surrounding states being hostile to/ scared of China. Already SE Asia has all but 'fallen' (from a western viewpoint), what remains is Japan and SK. Detente? God forbid! ..."
    "... According to US MSM the Chinese are totally on board and only have moved troops to bolster the border and help the US. And Russia and China really aren't conducting military exercises together. ..."
    "... This constant mistranslated rhetoric and literally putting of words into foreign leaders mouths is of course one aspect of the western propaganda arm. Even when the headline or text of the article is updated, corrected or removed the meat of it remains in social media like Facebook. ..."
    "... I do know more than a few Koreans firsthand pissed off at US army personnel behaviour though. Perhaps that can be channelled into meaningful change. They tell me that the impunity from judicial retribution plays a big role in the anger. Certain bases in Japan have had similar problems (I get the sense it cause more anger there though unfortunately). Perhaps this is just the views of a few people I talk to in SK though. ..."
    "... What is real Russian position on this WWIII POTENTIAL STANDOFF. NK only one condemned attack on Syria while if what I hear is true, they want NK disarmed even in face of open US aggression. Also China if awfully quiet while repeating thirty year old equitable solution rejected by US that never looked for any solutions but domination. What's going on? ..."
    "... Don't know about Russia but I have some thoughts re. China. Xi made it clear to Donald that China would support Kim if NK is attacked i.e WW3. ..."
    "... Wikileaks, Podesta email about the Hillary Clinton speech for Goldman Sachs "We don't want a unified Korean Peninsula" because China, not the U.S., would naturally dominate it. The U.S. will do everything it can to prevent reunification. ..."
    "... Would that be Judith Miller, perhaps, or possibly just a hero/role model ? ;) One perfectly reasonable phrase comes to mind, ' Subsequent to good faith negotiations & actual, guarantees '. ..."
    Apr 17, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 9:18:34 AM | 1

    Isnt it amazing, the media in the west will always (ALWAYS!) be there for western nations when they want to wage a war, year after year. And then they say that we, who protest and expose them we are somehow the propagandists and disinformation agents?!

    As b show, North Korea is the rational, but no one in our "free" western media brings these fact up.

    No wonder western populations dont have any faith in their states and media.

    I really hope North Korea put an end to this by standing tall, the pathetic China have backed away apparently..

    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 9:30:57 AM | 2
    Bravo b. Bravo.

    Another key consideration from a strategic military perspective, re the massive extensive military 'exercises' by US/SK annually is such can and have been used historically in war to create a sense of routine & normalcy, so if the Nth should be complacent, and its been going on for decades, a surprise attack can be launched and have devastating effects, even thought the Nth is on 'annual' 'alert'.

    Maintaining heightened readiness, to Stand To! , stand ready for an attack, especially daily before dawn and prior to & after sunset, bayonets fixed, eye-peeled, adrenaline pumping, day after day, when the extended 'exercises' run, year after year after year is very difficult psychologically for the troops involved, corrosive of morale and discipline, and the Empire is very cognizant of this indeed.

    Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 14, 2017 9:50:19 AM | 3
    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 9:18:34 AM | 1

    I really hope North Korea put an end to this by standing tall, the pathetic China have backed away apparently..

    China doesn't have the option of backing away because a North Korea threatened by AmeriKKKa is also a China threatened by AmeriKKKa. I hope Trump knows what he's doing because the Chinese most certainly do know what they're doing.

    Jeff Kaye | Apr 14, 2017 10:04:05 AM | 4
    Thank you, b!

    The pressure to capitulate to the US government on this issue is immense. The propaganda relentless. For over 64 years the American people have been living the Big Lie.

    The oozing sore of a Cold War that never ended, that was really a Hot War for millions, now threatens to metastasize into Total War. I cannot see how this ends well for any of us, mainly due to the intransigence and irrationality of the US ruling class, who do not care how much blood they shed.

    BRF | Apr 14, 2017 10:07:06 AM | 5
    The USA as representing western elites have never signed off on the Korean War as a truce and cessation of hostilities but not a peace treaty is the current situation. This war continues and is being pursued by other means, mainly financial and with sanctions, by the west and its South Korean proxies.

    The imposition of a state of tension by the west is all the west seems capable of with the result in the current situation and any time a solution is proposed that could lead to a lessening of tensions the west either sabotages or outright rejects the initiative.

    This on going policy by the west is of course aimed at its geo-political adversaries in China and Russia as allies of the North Korean nation. The only fix that I can see is an economic collapse in the west that leads to a pull back from western imperial outposts as they become too expensive to maintain. This can only take place with the demise of the Federal Reserve Note (USD) as the world reserve currency which is printable in any amount the western elites desire in maintaining their grip and domination through imperial dictate over the rest of the world. End this financial death grip and the rest follows very very quickly.

    Mark Stoval | Apr 14, 2017 10:11:29 AM | 6
    No small country is safe from the evil empire (USA) if they don't have nuclear weapons. Witness what happened to Iraq (and others) who had no weapons of mass destruction. (even though USA claimed they did)

    The USA has always believed the myth that WW2 saved the economy from the Great Depression and that the country would have slide back into depression without a war to fight --- hence the cold war and all the CIA wars ever since. Then came the "destroy the middle east" for the sake of Israel. (or oil or whatever)

    The USA remains today the greatest impediment to world peace that there is. The USA may set off nuclear war and the destruction of all civilization at some point.

    God help us all.

    stumpy | Apr 14, 2017 10:13:43 AM | 7
    Dead on, b.

    If you parse Obama's Nobel prize acceptance speech he hints at the theoretical model he used to cut off chances for peace anywhere. With China's premiere in the room, no less.

    Let me also say this: the promotion of human rights cannot be about exhortation alone. At times, it must be coupled with painstaking diplomacy. I know that engagement with repressive regimes lacks the satisfying purity of indignation. But I also know that sanctions without outreach - and condemnation without discussion - can carry forward a crippling status quo. No repressive regime can move down a new path unless it has the choice of an open door.

    Effing liar. America offers the choice of an open door to North Korea? Ha. We like our indignation without cream and sugar, to maximize purity.

    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 10:15:53 AM | 8
    Hoarsewhisperer

    There is no other way to declare that China have backed off, otherwhise we wouldn't see this preparation for war by Trump that came after his big China meeting last week.

    China will sure remember this idiot stance they have taken when the wars begin, after North Korea, China will be in the cross-hair themselves.

    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 10:22:50 AM | 9
    @ Posted by: Jeff Kaye | Apr 14, 2017 10:04:05 AM | 4

    All honor & respect to you Invictus , for daunting, tireless & seemingly endless endeavor. Deepest & abiding respect indeed, Sir/Madam. Wishing you & yours safety & joy this Easter. ' Vale, Pax Tecum '.

    Ronak | Apr 14, 2017 10:31:30 AM | 10
    I still wonder why China stayed away from Syria with no talk of supporting Russia. This is/was a golden chance to show solidarity, in my opinion. Both NK and Pakistan are Chinese partners and nuclear powers. With MOAB in Afghanistan and forces around NK, this is a clear message to China. Is China setting a classic trap militarily or they just choosing to fight economically or otherwise? Somehow, Chinese reaction does not add up.
    somebody | Apr 14, 2017 10:35:14 AM | 11
    Chinese way of rebuking Trump
    "On the Korean Peninsula issue, it is not the one who espouses hasher rhetoric or raises a bigger fist that will win," Wang said.

    It is utmost stupidity. Trump is parking US war ships in reach of North Korea, Russia and China. Now he depends on them not to do anything.

    Lysander | Apr 14, 2017 10:39:27 AM | 12
    If you ever ask a local jingoist to list all the countries attacked by North Korea vs a comparable USA list, you will illicit blank stares, followed by anger, followed by the suggestion you go live in North Korea. Putin's analogy of chess with a pigeon comes to mind.
    @ 8, China does not care about the current leadership of North Korea at all. Their concern is to keep US forces no closer to the Chinese border than they are now, and that they will do.

    If Trump actually is dumb enough to strike, the Chinese will happily stand by and watch him hang himself. Just as promised at Mar-a-Lago.

    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 10:48:53 AM | 14
    Lysander

    +1 on that.
    Actually what you are describing is the average westerner today (although, perhaps the average westerner is a jingoist today), they are indoctrinated every day by by the MSM, they have no idea whats going on in the world, its so tragic when you try to explain world events and they always react like you said, anger, hate, accuations etc.

    stumpy | Apr 14, 2017 11:11:39 AM | 15
    Trump throwing stones at the mother of all hornet nests. Wonder what this all does for Samsung and Hyundai stock prices.
    james | Apr 14, 2017 11:28:04 AM | 16
    thanks b... many good comments already too! thanks folks.. @12 lysander - bang on example of how ignorant most folks remain.. why is the usa here there and everywhere on the planet where their war machines? answer - they are the planets most warmongering nation, hands down..
    WorldBLee | Apr 14, 2017 11:38:51 AM | 18
    Good article, b. This is extremely relevant yet almost never discussed in the US. North Korea is said to be "crazy", and is treated as some kind of rabid, non-human country that threatens the US. Of course, the opposite is more true.

    It's important to note that every country that disagrees with the US is called crazy. Al-Assad is a "butcher", an "animal", a "dictator who kills his own people". Every time the US wants regime change they first vilify the leader of said country to turn him into a non-human entity that should be feared and loathed. This self-justifies the impending destruction of the country, which after all happened "for its own good."

    Tobin Paz | Apr 14, 2017 11:59:34 AM | 19
    If I told you ten years ago that the defacto American diplomat to North Korea Dennis Rodman would get kicked out of the country for getting drunk and taking a shit in a Pyongyang hotel; and that WWE hall of famer and reality TV star Donald Trump would threaten to attack North Korea as POTUS... would you have believed me?
    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 12:02:37 PM | 20
    Chinese FM earlier today said 'war might come to Korea any time now', basically, US and allies could attack Korea and we wont do aynthing about it, what a corrupt nature they are show off now, disgusting.
    somebody | Apr 14, 2017 12:13:11 PM | 21
    The Huge Moron has got himself into a situation now where China is mediating between the US and Korea.
    likklemore | Apr 14, 2017 12:19:51 PM | 22
    Kudos b putting this together. That was some digging.

    Here is my 2 dumb questions: will the person who did the tallying of the MOAB taking out the 36 in Afghanistan be sent to NK for a similar task? Not to be crass, but given it was the "mother of all bombs" should the Pentagon folks not be embarrassed to release the count? KROI.

    China warns, and this from Her Majesty's paper, The Telegraph.co.uk with video interview:
    LINK

    "World 'on the brink of thermo-nuclear war', as North Korea mulls test that could goad Trump"

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Trump, as we have observed, does not enjoy being goaded - fights back when he is accused of having small hands.

    And Kim Jong-Un? Well never mind.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Wish all abundant blessings this Easter. We may not see 2018.

    Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 14, 2017 12:25:07 PM | 23
    Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 10:15:53 AM | 8

    Imo, the main reason AmeriKKKa is threatening Korea at this time is because Xi scared them, and their freedom of navigation charade, out of the South China Sea. And now they're adding blackmail to the provocation by putting NK between them. It's cowardly and stupid, which is why I said I hope Trump knows what he's doing, because it doesn't look that way to me.

    A violent conflict in NK will create a NK refugee problem which, as history illustrates, is AOK with AmeriKKKans but no-one else.
    And if Xi has scared AmeriKKKa once, he can do it again.

    likklemore | Apr 14, 2017 12:26:43 PM | 24
    and linked in the article is Democratic-Leader Pelosi 's tweet:

    President Trump's escalation on Syria, Saber-Rattling on North Korea Necessitate Immediate Congressional Scrutiny

    ~ ~ ~ ~
    somewhat late after Congress abandoned it's war powers to the past 4 presidents.

    Greg Bacon | Apr 14, 2017 12:33:42 PM | 25
    Why is NK our problem?

    NK has seen what happens when nations give up their WMD's Iraq got invaded and Saddam first tortured, then hanged. Libya got smashed and Qaddafi got a bayonet up his arse.

    Now Syria is in the cross-hairs, with much of the nation in ruins, close 500K dead, millions more wounded and millions more homeless, with Assad being fitted for a hemp necktie.

    So why should Kim give up his nukes, where's the benefit?

    GoraDiva | Apr 14, 2017 12:36:48 PM | 26
    For anyone even marginally interested in the issue of NK vs SK - please take time to listen to this interview - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba3dgDUtE9A (actually, 2 2-hr interviews).

    Historian Bruce Cumings looks way back in trying to explain the peninsula and its troubles. One point he makes is that the Korean war gave Truman a perfect excuse to expand the military and set up the national security complex. One thing he does not say is that US likely has zero interest in defusing the conflict - lest they'd have to leave the area.

    fastfreddy | Apr 14, 2017 12:47:00 PM | 28
    Trump is not a huge moron. He is an actor - pretending to be a moron for his moron fan club. He is very convincing. Superb acting. Terrific. An Armada of Stagecraft. Unfortunately, his moronic behavior leads to moronic and zany consequences.

    I'm now wondering how much worse the Known Entity - the Murderous Bloody Hillary could have been. Trump is a bull in a China Shop.

    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 12:49:02 PM | 29
    Hoarsewhispet

    IMO, if anyone it is Trump that have "scared" the chinese or rather baited the Chinese with good trade deals and have got the word from the chinese that they wont rescue NK nor attack US if US feel like attacking NK. This is why Trump acting so tough now, he know China+UN+EU+Nato will support his coming war.

    E Ring 46Z Vet | Apr 14, 2017 12:51:46 PM | 30
    b, this occasion, your writing is very one-sided. You left out (as did all the commentators to this moment) the decades of brinksmanship by NK, demanding as much as $50 million annually from all the presidents prior to Bush 43, including oil shipments.

    Consider this: (who ever is in charge of the WH now or last time, etc.) does not matter as much as "perhaps" that entire region, and the multiple layers of MIC/Deep State folks/their proxies in Congress in the USA, are finally fed up with the brinksmanship for cash to keep that guy's family and supporters in power, and now that NK lunatic has raised the anti to the nuke level (thanks Bill for helping them out there in the 1990's)... it looks like the Pentagon will work the decisions at their level as we now see in real-time.

    I served a recent tour there. "Ready to Fight Tonight" is not just a motto with South Korea. They have lived it since 1953 and they are really tired of it.

    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 1:00:32 PM | 31
    30

    Could you rephrase your whole chunk of text, it makes no sense, US dont "pay" North Korea anything and the lunatic is not in NorthKorea but in the White House allied with your dear South Koreans.

    GoraDiva | Apr 14, 2017 1:03:41 PM | 33
    @30
    You've likely absorbed too much MCM (c - corporate) reporting; for a more complex understanding of the subject, pls listen to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba3dgDUtE9A - that is you're interested in learning, as opposed to just repeating MCM talking points.
    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 1:08:11 PM | 34
    @ Posted by: E Ring 46Z Vet | Apr 14, 2017 12:51:46 PM | 30

    Respectfully, your comments are very one-sided, and you appear to be profoundly ignorant of the entire genesis of the Korean v US conflict and the motivations and conduct of involved parties since the days of the Kuomintang (KMT), Chiang Kai-shek, in the Chinese Civil War starting in 1940 but especially US actions from Sept 1946 and 1949 onward, as well as relevant USSR/Chinese involvement.

    Should you be interested there is significant detail in posts re 'Forgotten & buried History' of which you may be oblivious in the last three threads posts, or not.

    If you served in SK, ' Ready to Fight Tonight ', then why did you not bother to actually learn something of the Korean history, if only the last 70 years, with you and your buddies lives 'on the line', as opposed to merely regurgitating 'kool-aid' propaganda & misinformation ?

    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 1:32:44 PM | 37
    And while we are studying this, the empire is making more plans.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-usa-mattis-idUSKBN17G1C1
    U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Qatar and Djibouti starting on Tuesday, the Pentagon said in a statement on Friday.

    It said Mattis would "reaffirm key U.S. military alliances," and "discuss cooperative effort to counter destabilizing activities and defeat extremist terror organizations" during the April 18-23 tour. In Israel, he will hold talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the statement said.
    .......

    Syria? or Iran? When the above group talk about terrorist organizations they are talking Hezbollah. It is starting to look like the US is about to launch a two front war. Korea/China, Middle East/Russia.

    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 1:33:11 PM | 38
    @ Posted by: From The Hague | Apr 14, 2017 1:20:25 PM | 36

    Have been involved in detailed discussions that have carried thru the last three threads re Korea covering from 1940, to the critical events of Sept 1945, then thru to 1949 and just as important 1949 onwards, PRECEDING the Korean War of '50 ... many extracts, numerous links/sources/references, from multiple participating posters. Hm, suppose start around here:

    b | Apr 14, 2017 1:33:38 PM | 39
    @E Ring 46Z Vet

    I you come here for "neutral" piece that give equal weight and view to all sides you are in the wrong place. No author does that anyway and there are mountains to read that always highly endorse the U.S. side on each and every issue. I am not from the States and have a way more neutral view than you will find in your media. But I am not one sided. I have my moral position, my conscience and I follow it. I know what the U.S. has done to Korea - unnecessarily and for what I consider nefarious reasons.

    I also know that the claim NoKo was "demanding as much as $50 million annually from all the presidents prior to Bush 43, including oil shipments." is stupidly wrong.

    It was only Clinton who made a deal with NoKo which included for the U.S. side the delivery of oil and grain and the building of two civil nuclear reactors in North Korea. North Korea, in exchange, was to stop all nuclear work it had proceeded with including its own building of civil reactors which it urgently needed for electricity. It was a deal. Both side got something out of it.

    It was Clinton who broke that deal. It was Clinton who never delivered on his promises. The delivery of oil and grain was slow and ended early. Only the foundations of the reactors were build (by North Korea). No components were delivered. Bush only officially ended the deal Clinton had already renegaded on.

    chump change | Apr 14, 2017 1:39:08 PM | 40
    "demanding as much as $50 million annually from all the presidents prior to Bush 43"

    Should take lessons from Israel and demand 3 Bil. 50 mil is chump change. How much do you think these annual maneuvers cost? More to the point, isn't it interesting that the US's war budget is practically unlimited, while money spent on peace is always too much.

    You probably support tax cuts for oligarchs while bitching about money squandered upon the poor, homeless and ill.

    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 1:41:42 PM | 41
    Followup to #38

    Also very highly recommend the following article and embedded links/references re Korea and consequences/issues surrounding detailed expert factual analysis re possible war here:

    Posted by: Outraged | Apr 12, 2017 8:38:58 PM | 248, 'Is There A New U.S. Syria Policy? Is There One At All?' thread. Cheers.

    Skip | Apr 14, 2017 1:43:49 PM | 42
    @30

    I wonder how warm and fuzzy the USA would be if NK had 60+ years ago, devastated our population with the bloodlust described by MacArthur, yet still had 50,000 troops stationed all along the Mexican border(DMZ)with nuclear capabilities that in an instant could destroy Houston, Austin, Dallas, Phoenix and Los Angeles??? Somehow I hear screaming and howling coming from the bowels or our esteemed Washington overlords. Kim's behavior is no more foolish.

    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 1:52:11 PM | 43
    Air China to suspend some flights to North Korea http://presstv.ir/Detail/2017/04/14/518018/Air-China-suspend-flights-North-Korea

    Well well well, this is almost getting comical, chinese show its true nature once again, what a backstabbing nation. China will be as complicit in this war on NK as Trump (and other pathetic allies). How many billion dollar deals did the stupid president get by Trump to be able to accept this tremendous blunder?

    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 1:55:14 PM | 45
    Is the US going the full John McCain? China rising, pivot on Asia behind schedule. Resources Diverted back to Middle East when Obama's headchoppers threatened US oil at Erbil. More resources for the pivot on China with Russia's re entry into the world of hard power.

    At this stage, Russia was supposed to be the gas station that produced nothing. Syria should have fallen to US headchoppers. Philippines has pulled out of the pivot on China.

    Obama's leading from behind, and proxy wars largely failed. This leaves the US very short on time to take down China, plus they now have to deal with a Russia that has risen from the dead.

    So US going full John McCain to make up for time lost / ground lost through the Obama years?

    Ronak | Apr 14, 2017 1:55:59 PM | 46
    @ Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 1:32:44 PM | 37

    I still think it's a one-front war. Saudi's just formed a NATO-like Sunni force with an ex-Pakistani general as it's head. Now they have a about 20 nation force for basic ground ops and this will help Saudi's in Yemen and may be Syria especially with Pakistan's depth in recruiting regulars and non-regulars. This could not have happened without US approval, imo.

    SmoothieX12 | Apr 14, 2017 1:57:01 PM | 47
    @37, Peter AU
    Syria? or Iran? When the above group talk about terrorist organisations they are talking Hezbollah.It is starting to look like the US is about to launch a two front war. Korea/China, Middle East/Russia.

    US is in no position to launch any serious military operation as of now, certainly not against Iran, not to speak about Russia. Bombing something? Sure, as long as it is stand-off weapons and no US casualties. Yet, US is under pressure to "perform" something because, as of lately things are not going too well for US in general and her military in particular. Consider all these plans a self-medication. Per China, China is not in the shape to fight US Navy as of now, not does she want to risk losing the access to US markets.

    karlof1 | Apr 14, 2017 2:08:37 PM | 48
    For those wondering what book the page is from, it's Napalm: An American Biography by Robert Neer, Belknap, 2013. Using google, enter this exactly into the search box: macarthur "biblical devastation resulted" hit search and the top result will take you to the page. (The actual url is about 4 lines, so I refrained from posting.) I do suggest reading the next several paragraphs, but they are not for the squeamish as what's described is 100% revolting. If after reading the text you cannot fathom why the North Koreans detest Americans more than anything else, then you'll make a perfect Neocon and ought to join Cheney and Co.

    Thanks b for posting that extract provided by Jeffery Kaye!

    SmoothieX12 | Apr 14, 2017 2:10:57 PM | 49
    No one has forgotten the near genocide and no one in Korea, north or south, wants to repeat the experience.

    Meanwhile, overwhelming majority of US political "elite" is generally an office plankton with law or political "science" (or journalism--which is not a profession or a skill) degrees from Ivy League "humanities" departments and their comprehension of the war is limited to Hollywood. Most difficulties in life they ever experienced was, most likely, being overbooked for the first class seats on the flight to Hawaii (or any other resort).

    somebody | Apr 14, 2017 2:11:06 PM | 50
    46) Not true
    PAKISTAN'S Parliament rejected a Saudi request to dispatch troops to combat Houthi rebels in Yemen, much to the chagrin of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). When Pakistan joined the Saudi led 34 nation military alliance, Iran took offence believing itself to be the target. Pakistan thus found itself between a rock and a hard place. Stung by the sensitivities of both its friends, Pakistan has had to rethink its diplomatic overtures to maintain the right balance between Tehran and Riyadh.
    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 2:14:53 PM | 52
    @ Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 1:55:14 PM | 45

    Succinct overview recap, though very pessimistic ;)

    Its occurred to me you may not fully follow, with utmost respect, what I've referred to on occasion as: no key indicators re logistics/materiel mandatory pre-deployments with minimum ~3-6 months lead times, ONCE, a decision to go to War, or an Op that risks War breakout, any War, has been taken and formally committed to, before the War or risk 'of' Operation, can commence ?

    To do so without such pre-deployments well in advance of boots-on-the-ground, ships firing armaments or aircraft launching strikes, ie engaging in Ops that have inherent escalation to War risk, virtually guarantees failure and defeat should a War subsequently breakout ... Lieutenants study tactics, Field officers/Commanders/Generals/Admirals study logistics, to paraphrase numerous famous military commanders, especially smarmy/cheeky/insubordinate military logisticians ;)

    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 2:15:00 PM | 53
    SmoothieX12 47 China is not in the shape to fight US Navy as of now

    That is a good reason for the US to act now. Look up the Rand Corp report - Thinking the Unthinkable. Report finance by the pentagon as a military strategy for taking down China.

    In the report, if the US acts now, they have a good chance. In five years time it will it will be 50/50 and in ten year it is all over for the US. By then China will be militarily superior or at a point when any US force projection against China will be totally destroyed very quickly.

    Rand report here. I had the title wrong in earlier posts. PDF can be read online or downloaded from the Rand Corp link
    Thinking Through The Unthinkable http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1140.html

    Monolycus | Apr 14, 2017 2:27:04 PM | 54
    Thank you, E Ring 46Z Vet @#30 for that.

    I still read this blog from time to time, but this very issue is why I almost never comment anymore. North Korea is to the Left as Israel is to the Right, and it infuriates me. The decades of kidnapping foreign nationals, hijacked planes, international assassination attempts-- basically 70 years of deliberate destabilization and human rights abuses are all justified because... "America" spelled any various number of ways is eeeeeeeevil.

    I live in South Korea and have for the past 15 years. I posted a story here in 2012, shortly after Kim Jong-un came to power, about a defector badmouthing North Korea. B chastised me for believing such propaganda and responded with a linked story about how Kim Jong-un had created an agricultural revolution resulting in a surplus of crops that year and was a hero as a result of it. I am in South Korea.

    Kim Jong-un had been in power for less than a year. The time of year was very, very early Spring and the ground in South Korea was still frozen and no crops of any sort had been planted at all, so I know they could not possibly have been planted yet in the north. Yet I was the one believing in baseless propaganda. There's just no way to have any rational debate when the subject is as sacred a cow to the residents here as North Korea is. You'll catch abuse for your comment daring to suggest any culpability whatsoever for poor, innocent bystander North Korea, but I wanted to reassure you that there do exist a small minority of us who appreciated what you had to say.

    karlof1 | Apr 14, 2017 2:28:49 PM | 55
    The conclusion from a review of the book by SF Gate: "Neer has provided a valuable book that fills in historical gaps and sheds much-needed light on a history that many would rather forget ." [Emphasis mine] http://www.sfgate.com/books/article/Napalm-by-Robert-M-Neer-4377836.php

    The #1 reason the Outlaw US Empire gets away with its continuation of massive crimes against humanity is that its citizenry is mostly ignorant--made so purposefully--of the history that matters and are today's equivalent of "Good Germans."

    However, that doesn't excuse the remainder of the planet's citizenry from demanding an end to the criminal actions of the Rogue United States.

    Ronak | Apr 14, 2017 2:29:12 PM | 56
    @ Posted by: somebody | Apr 14, 2017 2:11:06 PM | 50

    Thanks for the link.

    This rejection was a while ago, 2015 or so? Or was there a new one after the general was given the top post? I had assumed things have changed since.

    Anyways, cornering Iran is the goal that the US/Israel trying to accomplish, at least from reading the pattern of activities. Slippery slope indeed.

    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 2:35:49 PM | 57
    @ Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 2:15:00 PM | 52

    Thought scenario ... US launches attacks and starts War with China, no virtually 'non-concealable' 6 month mandatory preparation lead-time ... however unlikely, events don't go well for PLA ... China assesses at risk of conventional defeat ... however unlikely, no possibility to continue to conventionally resist or recover for an extended conventional conflict or guerilla campaign... fires a demonstration tactical nuke (no casualties) to send a message re de-confliction/de-escalation, or else ... US either stands down or its MAD. Game Over.

    Alternately US just goes MAD straight up and risks it all with a supposed surprise First Strike (highly improbable to adequately conceal) ... only a few Sino nukes make it to Stateside, yet enough to wipe out 80Million+ instantly and same number in initially non-KIA casualties of varying degrees plus turn to 'glass' half a dozen major cities ... well armed citizens response/reaction to their new post-apocalyptic lives of joy & happiness ?

    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 2:45:17 PM | 58
    53 / Monolycus

    Thanks for proving how well the South Korean state propaganda work, you are basically calling for war against your own country (or perhaps you are not even a native korean?) and your own people, and you are calling people here crazy?

    Yonatan | Apr 14, 2017 2:47:10 PM | 59
    The 'Big Event' that Kim Jong Un boasted of, and had 'everyone' paralyzed in fear of nuke tests - the grand opening of a new mass residential area in Pyongyang.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxPw26MeviQ

    As others have stated, this whole mess is yet another US creation - the consequence of a 'nukes for oil' deal that the US reneged on - NK would cease nuke development in exchange for eased sanctions.

    somebody | Apr 14, 2017 2:47:13 PM | 60
    Posted by: Ronak | Apr 14, 2017 2:29:12 PM | 55

    Dated April 14, 2017

    Another fresh link - 17 hours ago

    ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday assured the National Assembly that Pakistan would not become part of any alliance against a Muslim state.

    Responding to a calling attention notice, he said that the terms of reference (TOR) of the Saudi-led military alliance would be unveiled by Saudi authorities next month.

    He said that the TOR of the alliance, which is to be led by former Chief of the Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif, and its aims and objectives will be presented in parliament before formally deciding whether Pakistan should become part of it or not.

    "We have committed to safeguarding Saudi Arabia's soil for the safety and sanctity of the two holy sites - Makkah and Medina - but we will not become part of any conflict against any Muslim state, including Iran," the defence minister said, responding to the notice moved by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MNA Dr Shireen Mazari.

    somebody | Apr 14, 2017 2:56:20 PM | 61
    add to 59

    Egypt's cooperation is not that safe either

    In Libya, the three states seem to be in lock step, supporting Khalifa Haftar, for example. In Palestine, a theatre long abandoned by the Arab leaders, Cairo has a deep-seated interest and is backing the anti-Hamas Mohammed Dahlan, who is also very close with the ruling family in the UAE.

    In Yemen, the Egyptian regime has announced its plan to maintain its limited presence, although Cairo's unwillingness to expand this presence is another source of disagreement with Riyadh.

    The issue on which there is the most daylight between Cairo and Riyadh, however, is the most significant conflict affecting the region today: the Syrian war.

    While Riyadh has backed forces opposed to the regime since the outset, Cairo has moved from a position of ambivalence to open support for the regime.

    ...

    Although rumblings of an Egyptian military presence in Syria have not been substantiated, Egyptian rhetoric and diplomatic efforts have firmly supported Assad. Most recently, Cairo abstained from a key vote in a UN Security Council resolution that would have imposed sanctions on the Syrian government, no doubt to the displeasure of the Saudis.

    This position is more consistent with the Egyptian regime's outlook; Sisi rose to power on an anti-Islamist platform and is waging a war against a small scale insurgency in the Sinai. The Trump administration's policy goals in the region seem to align with Sisi's vision of supporting authoritarian regimes against Islamists. This agenda puts both Trump and Sisi into Assad's camp.

    For this reason, it seems that Sisi's dream of a joint Arab military force will not materialise anytime soon, at least not with joint Egyptian and Saudi participation.

    Without agreement on Syria, this endeavor to unify Arab governments under his leadership is dead on arrival, as the Syrian conflict is currently the most significant security threat.

    b | Apr 14, 2017 3:03:08 PM | 62
    The link to the book extract in the post which @karlof1 provided. The book is Napalm: An American Biography by Robert Neer, Belknap, 2013

    The linked pages following the one above are about the extremely cruel effects of Napalm as used in Korea.

    Yonatan | Apr 14, 2017 3:03:41 PM | 63
    Karlof1 @48, @54

    The US laid a similar (though smaller scale) trail of destruction in Germany at the end of WWII.

    The development of napalm specifically to target civilians ties in the testing of the two US nuclear weapons in Japan. The Japanese target cities were left untouched by conventional air raids throughout, even though they contained valid military targets such a torpedo production plants.

    The occupants were so used to seeing US planes pass them by without ill effect, that on the fateful day they stood out in the open watching the planes pass by as normal or so they thought. The two attacks - for different designs of weapon - were designed to test and calibrate the effects of nuclear weapons on undamaged cities and unprotected civilians. They were actual medical and physical experiments on real people.

    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 3:04:29 PM | 64
    @ outraged

    I have been giving your posts a lot of consideration. How to tie the logistics and so forth lead time, to what we are seeing take place?
    create major incident, congress quickly votes for war?

    Can the US deploy faster than we have seen in the past? Most US wars since WWII have been wars of choice, done at leisure, in a time and place of US choosing.

    The difference between now and all the years since WWII, through the cold war and so forth is that the US has very little time left. In trying to think how the US is acting different now to the past, or actually dig up solid points I would probably point to MH17. With MH17 Australia, one of the five eyes gladly sacrificed some people for empire. That shook me. The evidence was the same as the crap dossier on Assad gassing his own people, yet not a word of protest out of any Australian politician.

    The US now have total and complete control over all its vassal. The US can now say and do anything, no matter how obvious, and the bobble heads as Putin calls them, just bobble their heads in agreement.

    I think what we will see in the next few years will be much different to the last 70 or so years. If the US does nothing, it will start to collapse as the power of the dollar is eroded by other currencies taking up market share.

    I believe US will act, and that means taking down China as China is currently the number one threat to the US. China simply continuing the way it is, manufacturing, trading ect will take down the US.

    The US is going to war. Much thought and training going into fighting peer, or near peer adversary. At the same time, China and Russia are working to prevent the US from going to war.

    What you have said about lead time does have to be taken into account to try and work out US strategy. Does the US need another Pearl Harbour to get its population on a war footing for the coming war with China? Sink a few useless aircraft carriers, similar to battleships being sunk at Pearl harbour when WWII was a aircraft carrier war and battle ships were largely obsolete?


    US think tanks like Brookings and Rand. Fronts for the 0.01% ? US policy roughly follows the lines put out by these type think tanks.

    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 3:06:51 PM | 65
    @ Monolycus

    If you truly earnestly believe:

    The decades of kidnapping foreign nationals, hijacked planes, international assassination attempts-- basically 70 years of deliberate destabilization and human rights abuses are all justified because...

    following on from the defeat of Japan at end WWII occurred without any similar actions prior to, concurrent with and subsequent to events of the Korean War, and the issues are purely of Left & Right 'isms', not basic matters of Humanity, then frankly, you're viewpoint/position is wilfully documented counter-factual, IMHO. Have seen no 'abuse' as you assert.

    You live in SK ? Respectfully, please enlighten us as to the history of the island of Jeju from Sept 1945 thru to today, as an example, maybe comment on the abandoned truth & reconciliation inquiries/compensation and the persisting existing community divisions thru to this day, hm ?

    SmoothieX12 | Apr 14, 2017 3:14:00 PM | 66
    @52, Peter AU
    That is a good reason for the US to act now.

    From US point of view--absolutely. US establishment, yet again, thinks that it can control escalation. Conventionally, North Korea is a punching bag. But I also would be very careful with any (I underscore--any) supposedly "reputable" US analytical source assessments of anyone. Overwhelming empirical evidence testifies to the fact that often they have no idea what they are talking about.

    ronny | Apr 14, 2017 3:16:05 PM | 67
    Kim Jong-un orders evacuation of Pyongyang: report

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered 25 percent of Pyongyang residents to leave the city immediately, according to a Russian news outlet on Friday. The Pravda report said that in accordance with the order, 600,000 people should be urgently evacuated.

    http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20170414000689

    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 3:25:30 PM | 68
    @ Peter AU
    If the US does nothing, it will start to collapse as the power of the dollar is eroded by other currencies taking up market share.

    Stepping back from fundamental military strategy/necessities ...

    If China/Russia were facing imminent War, then they would very probably dump all US reserves and Treasury Bonds first, and pre-emptively trigger economic collapse & rout. Unless it's MAD first strike stuff, where is the industrial and manufacturing base of the US/UK to sustain and win a 'Total War' ? Russia/China/Iran/NK are all militarily self-sufficient ... long-term sanctions do that, somewhat self-defeating, no ?

    IF the US collapses without War occurring, the 0.01% driving this will have already relocated in advance to, New Zealand or Iceland, etc ? To live lives of luxury, whilst purchasing collapsed US corporations for pennies on the dollar, perhaps, and wait for the investment to mature, maybe ? Ruthless bastards, citizens of the world ;)

    Yet, mistakes & miscalculations can occur unintentionally when even only a sustained 'strategy of tension' goes on and on ...

    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 3:31:49 PM | 69
    Another thing to consider now when looking at US actions... US have pinned all their hopes for military dominance on the F-35. Thirty years of R&D, a trillion dollars, and all they have produced is a flying scrapyard. The F-22 is a top aircraft, but they scrapped production to concentrate all resources on the F-35. I read not long ago that production of upgraded Super Hornets is about to kick off again.

    The F-35 has put the US too far behind. By the time they have designed and produced another 5th gen or later version aircraft, it will be all over for the US.

    somebody | Apr 14, 2017 3:37:12 PM | 70
    53/monolycos It is possible your opinion is not shared by South Koreans

    2003, report for congress South Korean Politics and Rising "Anti-Americanism": Implications for U.S. Policy Toward North Korea

    These shifts in the South Korean polity, particularly the rise in anti-Americanism, confront the Bush Administration with a policy dilemma: how to manage the U.S.-ROK alliance while pursuing a more confrontational approach toward North Korea than that favored by many, if not most, South Koreans.
    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 3:40:15 PM | 71
    You make good points Outraged. Will wait and watch, but I have a bad feeling that comes from a lot of small, on their own, seemingly inconsequential events/moves.
    somebody | Apr 14, 2017 3:41:39 PM | 72
    add to 69
    Opinion polls taken over the past few years generally have found that large majorities of respondents favor a partial or total withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea, though most holding this position say they favor a drawdown unless there are improvements in North-South Korean relations; few favor an outright withdrawal.
    SmoothieX12 | Apr 14, 2017 3:41:41 PM | 73
    @68, Peter AU
    The F-35 has put the US too far behind.

    It is not just F-35, it is a combination of factors of strategic, technological and operational nature. Take a look at LCS program or at the cost of SSBN Ohio-class replacement--a single hull for $8.1 billion. This is more than Russia spent on all 8 of her latest state-of-the-art SSBNs of Borey-class (Project 955, 955A)--3 afloat, 5-in different stages of readiness.

    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 3:42:31 PM | 74
    Followup to 67
    The US is going to war. Much thought and training going into fighting peer, or near peer adversary.

    "The US is going to war. Much thought and training going into fighting peer, or near peer adversary. " Do not see substantive evidence of the former, yet. Re the latter, other than neo-con/lib chickenhawk warmongers and detached from facts/reason/competent analysis & reality stink-tanks, again, see no evidence other than endless PR and rabid rhetoric, MSM abetted.

    Have you seen the most recent data/reports on DOD readiness levels, it's not a pleasant read if you're a jingoistic warmonger ... would argue, short version, the opportunity existed prior to 2001, maybe even as late as 2004-2006 at a pinch ... since then, and now, the window has closed and the opportunity lost ... the vassals you refer to have been as suborned as they are now since the late '40's, they just are now led by such incompetents that they don't have the sense to conceal that they are, bought & paid for, bobbleheads. Yet, they are good time opportunists and no guarantee of staying the course should it come to a potential WWIII, see Germany/Italy/etc ...

    Ike | Apr 14, 2017 3:50:58 PM | 75
    Thanks for a great article. It is so good to read truthful information and not the propaganda bullshit the MSM saturates us with.
    If more people read this the outrage would force the fascist US government to back off.
    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 3:51:40 PM | 76
    And again,

    US successfully test drops nuclear gravity bomb in Nevada https://reportuk.org/2017/04/14/breaking-us-successfully-test-drops-nuclear-gravity-bomb/

    Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 14, 2017 3:56:35 PM | 77
    Of passing interest...according to CGTN World Today, April 15, China and Russia's foreign ministers spoke by telephone on Friday to discus stability on the Korean Peninsula.
    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 4:03:27 PM | 78
    @ Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 14, 2017 3:56:35 PM | 76

    Who knows, maybe NK will be rehabilitated, as is, and accepted back into the Russia/China 'Axis', openly, as for the then USSR/ChiCom 'Axis' pre and during the Korean war ? After all, given the insane and surreal rabid propaganda in western MSM, what difference would it make re supposed 'image' in the eyes of the supposed 'International Community' (US/UK/Israhell & good time vassals) ... any ?

    karlof1 | Apr 14, 2017 4:06:09 PM | 79
    Peter AU--

    Perhaps the most important yet neglected fact related to the build-up for war with China is the lack of preparing the ignorant US citizenry via the sort of dehumanization campaign waged at Islam/Muslims. Heck, just the great preference for Chinese food makes such a campaign more than difficult--the Yellow Peril proclamations of the past long ago ceased to resonate. Plus, I'll certainly echo Outraged's point about USA lacking the required industrial capacity and raw material for any such war other than MAD versus China/Russia. One of the main reasons the Lead From Behind strategy was adopted along with using terrorist proxies to destabilize Russia/China is because of that rather stark reality.

    Yonatan @62--

    Thanks for your reply. Napalm was developed at Harvard and the book was published by one of Harvard's publishing houses. Given its current attitude, I bet Harvard would now call its own published work Fake News, and disallow it from classrooms while removing it from libraries.

    Monolycus--

    The following extracts are from Australian National University Professor Gavan McCormack's Target Korea: Pushing North Korea To The Brink of Nuclear Catastrophe and detail just which side did most of the murdering:

    "At the outbreak of war in 1950, one of the first acts of the [South Korean] Rhee regime was to order the execution of political prisoners, whose deaths were in due course attributed to atrocities by the incoming Northern forces...Declassified U.S. documents indicated that `more than 2,000' political prisoners were executed without trial in the early weeks, hundreds of them were taken out to sea from the port of Pohang and shot, their bodies dumped overboard...Throughout the country, according to Gregory Henderson, then a U.S. Embassy official in Seoul and later a prominent historian of Korea, probably over 100,000 people were killed without trial or legal warrant. Investigations into all this have scarcely begun...

    "When Seoul was recaptured by U.S. and South Korean forces perhaps as many as 29,000 Koreans were executed on suspicion of collaboration with the North...The occupation of Pyongyang and many other cities and villages above the 38th parallel [by South Korean forces] was characterized by atrocities...According to one estimate, 150,000 people were executed or kidnapped...

    "The official U.S. Army report at the end of the [Korean] war gave 7,334 as the figure for civilian victims of North Korean atrocities, a small fraction of those now known to have been executed by [government of South Korean leader] Rhee in the first moments of the war alone...

    "...The Taejon Massacre...became the centerpiece of the U.S. case for North Korean brutality...A U.S. Army report on the massacre, including graphic photographs, was published around the world in October 1953...
    "At Taejon, a town of about 160 kilometers south of Seoul, a massacre undoubtedly occurred...

    "...It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the most brutal North Korean atrocity in the South was actually a Southern atrocity in a brutal ongoing civil war...

    "...The figure of 1,800 massacre victims was given...Somebody--presumably in either the American military or government--seems to have made the decision to turn this into a Northern massacre, the characteristic, single atrocity of the entire war. The truth seems inescapable: The worst atrocity of the war was committed by forces acting in the name of the United Nations, and a concerted effort was then made to cover it up by blaming it on the North Korean enemy...

    "...On the admission of [U.S.] General Ridgeway's Head Office, more POWs died in United Nations camps than in North Korean camps..." http://wherechangeobama.blogspot.com/2013/05/revisiting-history-of-korea-again-part-4.html?m=0

    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 4:10:21 PM | 80
    Re US war manufacturing base. Where is the MIC at now? US is by far the largest manufacturer of military hardware. The assembly of the final product has not been offshored. How much do they import in the way of raw or processed materials? Steel smelting, rolling ect - Aluminium - Titanium?

    Rare earth metals required for high tech military is imported from China, North Korea has the other known large recoverable rare earth reserve. Any US war with China would most likely be a naval missile war, something along the lines of the Rand report?

    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 4:13:54 PM | 81
    Lawrence Wilkerson, a former U.S. Army colonel: U.S. Creating New Foes, Too Many To Handle
    http://www.mintpressnews.com/former-bush-chief-staff-u-s-creating-new-foes-many-handle/225999/
    SmoothieX12 | Apr 14, 2017 4:21:06 PM | 82
    Any US war with China would most likely be a naval missile war, something along the lines of the Rand report?

    China does have limited versions of both Klub-NK and Club-S, those were shorter ones until recently when China started to get her hands on actual Russian versions of such weapons as P-800 Onyx with their ranges of 660 kilometers, add here SU-35 (also in Russian configuration) and S-400, also in Russian configuration, and you have a rather interesting dynamics suddenly.

    China's very weak spot navy-wise is their submarine force, despite some good SSKs, PLAN's nuclear submarine component is atrocious--a generation or two behind what Russia and US operate. So, for now it is a mixed bag. Plus there is an issue of targeting, I don't know if Russia will make her Liana system available to China. Can China today sink US nuclear carrier? Possibly, In 5-7 years it will become not only possible but highly probable.

    karlof1 | Apr 14, 2017 4:25:05 PM | 83
    Peter AU @79--

    US MIC armament production ought to be seen/understood as MIC profitmaking scam that happens to produce few usable/battle-worthy assets. There's a very good reason for calling the USA's once mighty industrial heartland the Rust Belt--it's literally rotting away as a ride on Amtrak's Capitol Limited will testify.

    It would be far cheaper, saner and moral to obtain rare earth minerals and other goods via trade than expanding industrial capacity, instituting a military draft, outfitting such a force, then waging a war for conquest.

    b | Apr 14, 2017 4:40:02 PM | 84
    @Monolycus

    I tried for some 15 minutes to find the comment you wrote about and can not find it.

    But two remarks:

    byongjin policy ('progress in tandem' or 'move two things forward simultaneously') was developed and implemented years before Kim Jong-un came to power. He (more precise: those who are behind him) made it an official party policy and created the slogan long after the program had started. The first nuclear test in NoKo was 2006 - five years before him. The deterrence effects were already in place as well as a lessened conventional positioning, the economic trend was already positive.

    I may well have berated you about the uncritical quoting of a North Korean defector. These are notorious liars. Their income in South Korea was reported to be paid by the secret service in dependence of the media splash they create.

    There is huge amount of fake horror stories about North Korea in the South Korean (esp. Chosun Ilbo) and global press. Much of it is planted by the South Korean government. U.S. media have thankfully stopped to regurgitate most of the stories for now as too many turned out to be false .

    Kim Jong-un had his dogs maul one of his uncles?
    Stripped naked, thrown into a cage and torn apart by 120 starving dogs: How Kim Jong Un had 'scum' uncle executed
    That story ran one way or another in every bigger western media. It was false. The uncle was executed but after a (sham) trial and with guns by a regular execution command.

    North Korea hacked Sony? No it did not. It was an insider hack by a former Sony IT person. Sony made the "North Korea hack" up to escape culpability and to sell an otherwise unsellable bad movie.

    Kim Jong-un's ex-girlfriend reportedly executed by firing squad
    Bad, bad boy. But later she turns up on live TV , smiling and laughing as ever.

    Kim Jong-Un kills his half brother by having an unprotected person smear highly toxic VX in his face in a very public place in Malaysia? The person who does that gets not hurt one bit? Check the life style of his half brother - girls and drugs and rock&roll - lots of drugs and lots of alcohol. The dude much more likely had a heart infarct and the rest was made up like the other stories above.

    North Korea did and does some outrageous stuff. So did and do other countries. How many alleged "communists" and "sympathizers" did the various dictatorships in South Korea kill under U.S. tutelage? Thousands? Ten thousands? A hundredthousand at least. How many sabotage acts did they engineer in North Korea? How many were hurt by those?

    I am not blind on one eye. But the anti-NoKo propaganda is similar to the propaganda that created the war on Iraq fever. It is now even more important to look from the other side and to write that up, not just some pseudo-concerned "all sides are bad" pieces.

    Looking in vain for the old Monolycus comment I came across a piece I wrote in 2012.

    Therein I quote Tariq Ali from a piece he wrote about his 1970s visit to North Korea. This bit from the end of the piece on the U.S. position under Bush/Obama is enlightening:

    Over lunch I asked her about [the Bush administration] plans for North Korea. She was cogent. 'You haven't seen the glint in the eyes of the South Korean military,' she said. 'They're desperate to get hold of the North's nuclear arsenal. That's unacceptable.' Why? 'Because if a unified Korea becomes a nuclear power, it will be impossible to stop Japan from becoming one too and if you have China, Japan and a unified Korea as nuclear states, it shifts the relationship of forces against us.' Obama seems to agree with this way of thinking.
    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 4:40:46 PM | 85
    SmoothieX12 karlof1

    It really makes little sense what the US is up to. Are they relying on bluff and bluster to win the day? Anon1 @80 put up a good link. It is one of the things that has me worried.

    What we are seeing now, is it bluff and bluster? or is it Doolittle raid/battle of Midway type culture - US can overcome all no matter what?

    Willy2 | Apr 14, 2017 4:43:41 PM | 86
    - North Korea has some good reasons to not trust the US.

    1) In the 1990s they had a deal with the US, in which the US would supply Nort Korea with oil in return for a suspension of their nuclear program. But the US didn't deliver on theri promises.

    2) In 2003 or 2004 the US made some serious movements that did suggest that the US was preparing a MAJOR attack on North Korea. Under secretary Paul Wolfowitz also made some remarks that would suggest such a move.

    3) The G.W.Bush administration (2000-2008) deliberately increased tension with North Korea.

    From The Hague | Apr 14, 2017 4:45:58 PM | 87
    38 41 Outraged

    Thanks!
    Very relevant historical background.

    SmoothieX12 | Apr 14, 2017 4:46:09 PM | 88
    @84, Peter AU.
    What we are seeing now, is it bluff and bluster? or is it Doolittle raid/battle of Midway type culture - US can overcome all no matter what?

    Both. I am not sure that I can correctly estimate a percentage of both. Let me take a wild guess: bluster/bluff-60-65%, Doolittle--35-40%. The foundation of Pax Americana is a mythology of the "best military in the world", without this myth the whole house of cards begins to fold. It was folding with increasing speed since circa 2008 and accelerated tremendously in 2014.

    somebody | Apr 14, 2017 4:47:27 PM | 89
    Shadowbrokers just released NSA hacks for Windows Systems enabling kids to go to work over the Easter Weekend.

    NSA hacks include the Swift System.

    By the way, google "North Korean hackers" and have fun.

    Win | Apr 14, 2017 4:48:24 PM | 90
    @Monolycus

    Great that you swing by every so often. But I am not sure why you are offended when people criticise your point of view. That's what comments are for. And that's why this blog is here. To present an alternative view to mainstream lies. And just because you live in South Korea does not mean you have an objective view of the situation there. In the bigger picture, the mad dogs in the US government do all the things you mention, but no doubt because they are America they are ignored and their actions declared righteous. The agreements are historical and it was not North Korea who backed away, broke them or refused to consider them. North Korea has the tightest sanctions on earth and so b's reporting about the rationale for North Korea's actions is timely. Instead of the insidious propaganda we get from Western media. Enjoy yourself in South Korea. Just remember who invaded who there and who is causing mayhem in the rest of the world. Hint; it is not Kim Yong-Un.

    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 5:05:51 PM | 91
    @ Peter AU

    An old saw, but a profound truism, 'No Battleplan survives first engagement with the enemy'.

    So Rands 'plan' ain't worth much ... secondly, if you go into combat/war without actually considering the enemies own moves/counters/plans/actions, then you've already lost before the first shot is fired.

    For example, the Chinese have built an autobahn grade highway which ends ~10Kms short of the China-Afghan border, they have 3 combined arms army groups including air divisions from the adjacent Western Military Region they could send over that border pass, after getting the combat engineers, sweating hard and using machinery, to finish the final stretch in a matter of hours ... the remaining army group & numerous Police divisions could secure the military region, as its isolated from potential threats other than Indian border effectively.

    Within 3-4 days forced march, worst case, they've crossed the Iran-Afghan border and the ME is toast ... concurrent and co-ordinated with similar capabilities from Russia, the ME is toast. And in conjunction with Iran free to wipeout the GCC's pathetically unprofessional non-commital 'green' 'parade only' militaries.

    What has the US got, pre-positioned to prevent it ?

    The conventional forces that NATO used to have deployed, pre-positioned and in number to defend a USSR, now RF, multi echelon armored deep penetration into EU, no longer exists ...

    The Bundeswehr is a shadow of its glory days as an armored/mechanized shield during the Cold War, now periodically ridiculed for not having sufficient MGs or ammunition to train with on joint training exercises ... War ready in 2017 ?

    The nuclear and non-nuclear subs of both sides would promptly slaughter each other in a mutual knife-fight, sudden death, whilst taking out the majority of the Carriers, US/UK/FR ... the remainder of the Carrier group escorts exist and are designed/configured to defend/protect & shield the carrier, not very useful once its at the bottom of the ocean along with all the strike aircraft, pilots, support crews and sailors ...

    @ From the Hague

    You are most welcome, a group effort.

    okie farmer | Apr 14, 2017 5:07:18 PM | 92
    link http://eng.tibet.cn/world/1481178463674.shtml
    b | Apr 14, 2017 5:21:19 PM | 93
    For those beating up on China (or applauding it) for suspending flights with NoKo.

    Air China clarifies ticket sales to blame for temporary flight cuts to Pyongyang; no suspension of services

    Jen | Apr 14, 2017 5:23:04 PM | 94
    Thanks B for the information regarding how the US and South Korea time their military maneuvers to coincide with the rice planting and harvesting periods in North Korea. I had not been aware of this before.

    Bill Clinton's offer to North Korea to supply grain and materials for building two new reactors and his later reneging on that do not surprise me at all as these are of a piece with the Clinton Foundation raising hundreds of millions for Haiti's post-quake reconstruction which in the end resulted in the construction of one factory employing 30 people making T-shirts for export. No doubt with the North Korean "offer" the Clintons got something of that.

    Also thanks to Karlof1 for being the tireless terrier that he is in hunting down the information about US-allied atrocities during the Korean War.

    I would like to pose to Monolycus and the other South Korean-based commenter the challenge of explaining how South Korea rapidly recovered from total war devastation in the early 1960s to the point where in 1988 the nation's capital could host the Summer Olympic Games. This all took place in the space of less than 30 years. If you both can do this convincingly and somehow mention Park Chunghee as an enlightened free-market democratic capitalist ideologue, rest assured I will be blown away.

    fastfreddy | Apr 14, 2017 5:33:25 PM | 95
    American Technological progress is probably stymied by the manner in which it is conducted. That is to spread contracts for hardware/software/parts among competing states via state representative congressional bag men. Wasting time and money in the process. Hoping for cost overruns and delays which increase profits. Small wonder the state-of-the-art US warplane is shit.
    Pft | Apr 14, 2017 5:41:44 PM | 96
    I'd have to question Kims sanity if he OK's a missile or nuclear test at this time. Trumps obviously a mad man trying to show how tough he is in order go terrorize countries and maybe his own citizens into submission. However, he has the means to execute the destruction. The MSM will be behind him all the way and Americans love war because God blesses them and they believe they are the good guys fighting evil and making the world safe for liberty and Democracy. American exceptionalism they call it.. The citizens as a group might be the most insane of all of these entities. Certainly the dumbest.
    james | Apr 14, 2017 5:45:36 PM | 97
    b - great responses to the naysayers here.. very informative as well. thank you..
    Jen | Apr 14, 2017 5:49:40 PM | 98
    B @ 92: I should think Air China's flight cuts are due to people suddenly cancelling flight plans after the threats made by the Trump government against Nth Korea.

    Anticipating though that if the US were to make the first move against Nth Korea, Air China's flights back and forth between China and Nth Korea are going to be very full. I believe there are some 2 million Koreans living in China (mainly in Manchuria) and many if not most of them have family in Nth Korea. Beijing must consider preparing for a refugee exodus into China's northeast provinces if there are as yet no plans.

    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 5:52:13 PM | 99
    mmm... well something major is brewing. What is smoke and mirrors and deflection and what is the real US strategy?
    Syria, Korea, Mattis cooking up a plot with GCC+Isreal = Iran
    paul | Apr 14, 2017 6:40:24 PM | 101
    Wow - I'm impressed with this approach from China. But they still need to be a bit stronger about denying the US the right or the chance to attack NK. Even Russia has several times sent a fleet to Syria. China should do this to ward off the Hegemon.
    jfl | Apr 14, 2017 7:00:05 PM | 102
    @or, @p au

    interesting discussion on the likelihood of war, upcoming.

    i think certainly outraged has the 'rational' analysis of war well in hand. but i don't think that war is rational in, literally, the end.

    i think the 'smartest guys in the room' in the us are not military types, but financial types. the same guys who run the hedge funds run the 'rational analysis' and forecast the 'outcomes' of wars, purely imaginary. and they have the rest of the world backing down before the 'overwhelming' might of the us wehrmacht, though a good part of their analysis is based on their own 'funny money' based 'power', which is only as good as everyone else's willing suspension of disbelief. no 'rational actor' would not back down, they say, in double negative. they're reductionists, and their results only hold true in the very much reduced world they've disconnected, bottled, and simulate their 'trades' in.

    i think there is a very real chance that they'll take us all over the edge, especially now that they have the donald himself unequivocally - well for him - on board. we'll see, won't we?

    we won't be safe from all this until after the air has been let out of their financial balloon, for good this time, and they are no longer the 'smartest guys' in the room. and then we'll only be safe if we claim our world and install an alternative management.

    thanks b, for the excellent perspective on the ceaseless grind the us has put the peninsula under over the past six decades. i never noticed their lockstep of stress and torture with the agricultural cycle either. hades and persephone all over again. i guess it never stops.

    karlof1 | Apr 14, 2017 7:01:52 PM | 103
    Jen @94--

    Thanks much for the complement. There are two main credible reporters on the Korean War that I use: IF Stone's The Hidden History of the Korean War was published in 1952 and was excellent for its timely veracity; Bruce Cumings, recently History Chair at University of Chicago, has written extensively on Korea, and his two volume The Origins of the Korean War is the most extensive examination of the conflict. In 2010, he published a very abridged version that looks serviceable, easier to find and much less expensive. This links to a review of Stone's book in doc format, www.ais.org/~jrh/Hidden_History_of_Korean_War.doc Cumins also co-authored Inventing the Axis of Evil: The Truth about North Korea, Iran, and Syria which is short and very readable. Cumins has also examined and written about the relationship between War and Television within the USA. And here's a website containing many of IF Stone's writings, http://www.ifstone.org/index.php

    Krollchem | Apr 14, 2017 7:13:33 PM | 104
    I am amazed by the depth of the comments on Trump's military threats against North Korea (trolls excepted). I would hope that Trump is just playing Teddy Roosevelt who "carried the big stick" using the white fleet to intimidate Japan:
    http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h942.html

    Unfortunately, would appear that Trump actually wants to degrade North Korea's nuclear program using strategic bombers (B52, B-1b and B2) currently deployed at Guam (a rerun of the US attack on Iraq nuclear reactor?).
    https://reportuk.org/2017/04/14/us-defcon-nuclear-threat-warning-increased-with-north-korea-on-verge-of-war/

    The US has positioned two cruise missile carrying destroyers within 300 miles of the North Korean nuclear test site awaiting the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group including the WC-135 "nuclear sniffer" aircraft.

    U.S. Air Force has also just staged and epic Elephant Walk at Kadena Air Base Japan comprised of HH-60 Pave Hawks, F-15 Eagles, E-3 Sentries and KC-135 Stratotankers as a show of force (see Superstation95 for photos).

    In addition to the thermobaric bomb demonstration in Afghanistan, the US just tested the upgraded B61-12 nuclear gravity bomb (just linked by Anon1)

    Trump's "Big Stick" approach has led to mass movements of:

    (1) China moved 200,000 troops on the border of North Korea;

    (2) Evacuation of about 600,000civilians from Pyongyang;

    (3) Plans by Japan's National Security Council on how to evacuate its nearly 60,000 citizens from South Korea;

    (4) Lots of flights out of South Korea.

    There are reports that China has sent its submarines sent out to sea (setting on the bottom?) and is likely making additional preparations without fanfare.

    North Korea has recently stated that if an attack is perceived a nuclear war will occur. I would expect that the first strike would be an airburst meant to wipe out all electronics not protected by Faraday cages, including unhardened military communications systems.

    I hate to speculate on where the other nuclear bombs will be " delivered". Under a worst-case scenario it could result in some global cooling about 20% of that predicted http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013EF000205/full

    On the US West coast it would be wise to stock up on iodine tablets as attacks on nuclear reactors and other nuclear facilities will release iodine 131 from fuel rods as well as other biologically hazardous radionuclides including strontium-90, cesium-137, and uranium-234.

    It may be the Make America Great Again is actually represents the Jewish word for combat (MAGA). Such an approach was warned against by General Smedley Butler in his critical essay "War is a Racket". https://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html

    As a side note the South Korean elections are coming up soon. Does anyone have a point of view?

    dh | Apr 14, 2017 7:15:01 PM | 105
    @104 The hedge fund guys are only good if they make the right bets. What they depend on is inside information, which companies are in trouble, which country is going to get whacked etc. But they don't always get it right. And their thinking is mostly short term.

    'Alternative management' would be nice. Maybe a race of benevolent aliens could take over.

    blues | Apr 14, 2017 7:18:52 PM | 106
    I feel I should simply repeat what I said yesterday on this site. It still seems rather relevant:

    This is where this is going, I would guess:

    US Airstrike on North Korea Risks Leading to '5-6 Chernobyl-Type Disasters' https://sputniknews.com/politics/201704131052612166-us-north-korea-chernobyl/
    /~~~~~~~~~~
    "Approximately 30 nuclear power plants are operational in South Korea. Several of them could be destroyed even if conventional bombs and shells are used. This could lead to five-six Chernobyl-type disasters on a relatively small area of 99 square kilometers that could instantly turn into a place unsuitable for life," he explained.
    \~~~~~~~~~~

    But that's not all we're going to get:
    /~~~~~~~~~~
    The Pentagon "cannot but take into account that in case of an airstrike against North Korea, US-made Tomahawks will fly toward the territory of Russia and China. This is a more dangerous scenario than the show of force in Syria," he said. "Russia will not be able to wait for US missiles to accidentally land on its territory. Moscow will be forced to shoot down the missiles while they are in North Korean airspace."
    \~~~~~~~~~~

    Meanwhile, tens of millions of South Koreans perish, with a few becoming radionuclide refugees. Good job, eh?

    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 7:43:14 PM | 107
    @ blues
    I would guess that SK, Japan, Australia, are all viewed simply as forward military bases by the US, that can be abandoned if required.

    @ jfl

    I have read although ,in a casual way rather than a study, too much of the history of wars. Often what comes across the insanity of a country starting a war and then is itself destroyed. Nazi Germany - leading edge tech, smart people. Country of sixty million conquered virtually all of Europe with ease then took on Russia. Instead of being content with being a leading country, they were willing to gamble everything to have it all.

    This is somewhat where the US is at today. The position is that it has over reached and now needs to pull back and consolidate, but we are not seeing that. instead, we are seeing the US become more threatening.

    So for me that needs to be matched/reconciled to Outraged comments on pre-positioning, indicators ect.

    Piotr Berman | Apr 14, 2017 7:51:15 PM | 108
    TRUMP READY TO REMOVE CRAZED NORTH KOREAN KILLER [GLOBE as observed in my supermarket yesterday, front page reported on-line]

    IN a gutsy move to save the world from global disaster, courageous ­President ­Donald Trump has drawn up a ruthless, top-secret plan to kill North Korean ­warmonger Kim Jong Un before he can push the ­button that would unleash nuclear holocaust!

    D.C. insiders tell GLOBE the iron-willed president is fed up with roly-poly Kim's blustery bull and is determined to squash the pint-sized dictator, who recently launched four intercontinental ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan!

    "Trump has put the elite fighting teams of Delta Force and SEAL Team 6 in Trump has put the elite fighting teams of Delta Force and SEAL Team 6 in South Korea on standby and ordered Tomahawk missiles and nuclear weapons to the North Korean border!" a White House insider tells GLOBE.

    Get all the details and the latest information on the White House's latest moves against the tyrannical North Korean dictator in this week's issue of GLOBE.

    ====

    Piotr: I understand how "top-secrets" can make it to our intrepid GLOBE reporters. But how did they determined who is "iron-willed" and who is "rolly-polly". E.g. it seems to me that Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim have similar BMI. Or how both leaders exhibited iron will firing employees.

    Willy2 | Apr 14, 2017 7:53:30 PM | 109
    - MEDIA MATTERS had a VERY interesting take why we could see a US attack on North Korea:

    https://mediamatters.org/research/2017/04/13/punditry-syrian-airstrikes-encouraging-trump-escalate-tensions-north-korea/216023

    jfl | Apr 14, 2017 8:27:18 PM | 110
    @109 p au

    i agree. no matter what happens, it won't be good ... until the Mother Of All Bubbles has burst. and then it might be but a brief respite indeed if we don't take advantage of the lull in 'play' to 'decapitate' our own 'leadership'. it's our sheer, mere 300 million+ souls (600 million+ soles?) to their 535 caputs ... think we have a chance?

    Dr. Wellington Yueh | Apr 14, 2017 8:39:34 PM | 111
    @jfl #114:

    A primary problem there is that they have convinced at least 20% of those 300M to be human shields in the service of Empire.

    Julian | Apr 14, 2017 8:44:26 PM | 112
    Apologies if this has already been mentioned - but if the USA were to unilaterally launch strikes on North Korea could Russia itself intervene and launch missiles against the ships/fleet at fault - ie - against those who have abrogated their responsibilities to international peace and security? The aggressor nation.

    Could Russia sink the ships with the USS Carl Vinson in the name of maintaining international peace and security??

    What side of Korea is the Carl Vinson and is it closer to the coastline of Russia or Syria?

    frances | Apr 14, 2017 9:02:27 PM | 113
    According to Jim Stone NK has a very formidable 50+ submarine fleet. He also said these subs are of NK manufacture based on their upgrades to Russian 1990's designs. They are nowhere to be seen at the moment and as they run on batteries when still, there is no easy way to detect them if they are on the ocean floor.

    Many are nuclear, have on average 100 mile range and the largest one could travel to and hit the West Coast. So if the Trump armada attacks they may quickly find themselves on the bottom of the South China Sea. And as for a war with China, IMO there is no way the US can win conventionally IMO. And if it looks to go to nuclear, Russia will regretfully reduce us to ash. It appears Trump has turned over management of the military to the generals. I have the same sense of pending disaster that I would have if I, on rounding a corner bumped into 1000 Daleks and with not a Doctor in sight.

    Krollchem | Apr 14, 2017 9:24:28 PM | 115
    A Russia missile cruiser arrived in Korea on April 11th:

    https://already-happened.com/2017/04/11/russian-guided-missile-cruiser-varyag-and-rfs-pechenga-have-arrived-at-port-of-busan-south-korea-today/

    DemiJohn | Apr 14, 2017 9:33:42 PM | 116
    Amazing how Kim Jung-un is demonized. Certainly a bully but there is much worse ... and Erdogan is untouchable.
    Krollchem | Apr 14, 2017 9:43:21 PM | 117
    blues @108

    Good point about the nuclear reactors.

    In addition nuclear reactors require fossil fuel power plants as backup up they suddenly lose power. In case of an air blast over South Korea the electrical grid would shut down with possible meltdown of reactors which didn't go into standby prior to the nuclear detonation.

    An even more critical issue is that a lack of power would shutoff cooling water to the spent nuclear fuel storage ponds. This would result in the water boiling off and

    "Once the fuel is uncovered, it could become hot enough to cause the metal cladding encasing the uranium fuel to rupture and catch fire, which in turn could further heat up the fuel until it suffers damage. Such an event could release large amounts of radioactive substances, such as cesium-137, into the environment."

    http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear-power/nuclear-waste/safer-storage-of-spent-fuel#.WPF2kI61tt8

    http://allthingsnuclear.org/dlochbaum/spent-fuel-damage-pool-criticality-accident

    It is important to remember that there is more spent nuclear fuel in spent fuel rods than in the reactors. There is a DOE computer program for calculating the radionuclide composition of the fuel vs storage time (Origin code). but I cannot find it on the internet. The release of these daughter products and the long term dispersal onto the land would turn Korea into a dead zone for hundreds of years.

    jfl | Apr 14, 2017 10:13:07 PM | 118
    @125 username ... not your real name. my name is john francis lee. i've never understood people who hide behind 'clever' usernames.
    Alaric | Apr 14, 2017 10:17:31 PM | 119
    This is very disturbing but I still believe it is show and that trump is just using theater to intimidate N Korea and actually China to control N Korea.

    i fully expect that China will give him a bogus way of looking tough that will achieve nothing and do little to n Korea. The problem is what happens if n Korea and China call his bluff and give him no way to look tuff.

    Is it possible this is a distraction for further actions in Syria?

    marcus_lepidus | Apr 14, 2017 11:11:46 PM | 120
    Maybe connected.....maybe not? With the election of Trump....word gets out that North Korea is very interested in talks with the incoming administration....and then what happens: Kim Jong-un's brother dies in a spectacularly suspicious fashion. Now that Park has been impeached.......and her likely successor looks to be someone open to talks with North Korea, the US is suddenly on the brink of war with the DPRK. Coincidence...neocon serendipity? Inquiring minds wanna know!
    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 11:12:18 PM | 121
    129
    into sci-fi entertainment much?
    yesu | Apr 14, 2017 11:23:25 PM | 122
    @29 - This is why Trump acting so tough now, he know China+UN+EU+Nato will support his coming war.Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 12:49:02 PM | 29


    ridiculous idea to even contend with. scared of what? the very first place for he n.korean nukes will be US army basesin japan, even before s korea.

    everyone knows the so called armada is a bluff here in asia, on other note, it shows USA doesn't provide security to the freedom of navigation that it keeps on pushing onto others. it does the opposite, it shows all the nations what freedom of navigation really means ..... to push for war instead of protecting trade, of which almost all the trade is coming from china anyways.

    it brings a huge conundrum in decision making, if trump doesn't do anything, all countries in asia will switch alliances towards china in the long run, except for broke jokes japan/usa.

    if trump does do something ridiculous, there won't be much of US/japan influence left in asia as china/russia will be forced to respond, and respond it will not like the fake wars washington is content with nowadays. trump obviously wants to change the tune of the conflicts....... but sending an armada into enemy territory while espousing support from nato..... (pacific nato?) puts so much fear into any nation here, knowing there is no petroleum logistics here for the war lovers.

    where u going to buy oil from Hong kong? singapore? japan? russia?

    NotTimothyGeithner | Apr 14, 2017 11:33:03 PM | 123
    @127 The simple answer is much like Obama, Trump is turning to bumbling around the international stage now that his domestic Presidency is finished. Between the Freedom Caucus and extinction of the Democrats who have been reliable crossover votes, there isn't a working majority in Washington.

    The key event wasn't the chemical weapon false flag or Rachel Maddow's latest Glenn Beck screed but the failure to repeal ACA and the recognition the Republicans don't have a plan to go or much of anything. The budget will be up in a few months, and he still has the same problem he has ACA: Demcorats who cant provide cover and the Freedom Caucus types.

    "Wag the Dog" scenarios focus on salacious scandals, but the collapse of domestic Presidencies are usually followed by war Presidencies. Trump is largely the idiot he appears to be and is simply grabbing onto the various interests within the borg. Trump will bounce from "enemy" to "enemy" trying to find an issue to get his Presidency back on track.

    Kalen | Apr 14, 2017 11:34:00 PM | 124
    One other jewel of US propaganda is why US is there, Keeping peace between NK and SK? Not at all US is there to keep peace between both Koreas and Japan and US stake imperial claim against China.

    Numerous cases of Japanese even minute encroachments on territorial waters of whole Korea were met by SK and NK alike with joint condemnation recalling ambassadors and even small shooting war and that including sharp conflict between both Koreans and Japan over so called disputed islands and waters.

    In fact a claim that US role there is stabilizing the situation cannot be entirely dismissed however the issue is that it is the US THAT CAUSED THIS INSTABILITY IN THE FIRST PLACE pushing regional divisions what amounts to precluding possibility to really end WWII among enemies resolve issues that still remind unresolved like Korea and move on with acknowledgment of reality of Chinese economic and political leadership which would be just return to historical situation just two centuries ago with modern solutions for coexistence.

    But that would spell the end of globalist project under US imperial umbrella, a prospective that is strongly opposed on all sides for diametrically different reasons.

    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 11:47:55 PM | 125
    Something that has struck me as this thread goes on.. WWII never ended. Nazi/imperial Japan quest for empire morphed into US quest for empire that is coming to a climax today.
    Anoncommentator | Apr 14, 2017 11:51:21 PM | 126
    Wide ranging fascinating interview with former high ranking CIA intelligence officer, Robert David Steele
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8UfYLA7FCqQ
    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 11:55:22 PM | 127
    continuing from 135

    Russia/USSR won WWII in Vietnam, and Vietnam is now an independent sovereign country. US won WWII in Germany and Germany is still an occupied country. Japan has never been disputed and remains a US occupied country. Korea has never been settled and WWII is still ongoing.

    Krollchem | Apr 14, 2017 11:58:45 PM | 128
    "Deputy Defense Minister General of the Army of Russia, Dmitry Bulgakov has arrived in Khabarovsk Krai near North Korea to inspect troops."

    "Russia also moved military vehicles (Air Def) toward Vladivostok not far from the border with North Korea"

    Link also shows videos of Chinese units moving toward the North Korean border

    http://thesaker.is/news-brief-brics-joint-communique-troops-deployment-near-korean-peninsula/

    Circe | Apr 15, 2017 12:12:39 AM | 129
    If North Korea, Russia, Iran, China or any other country that resists Zio-U.S. imperialism sent an Armada off the U.S. coast on the fourth of July, the U.S. wouldn't hesitate to sink it immediately, no questions asked. Trump is proving every day that he's a dangerous idiot.
    Anoncommentator | Apr 15, 2017 12:31:18 AM | 130
    This is going viral and so it should!!! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rkj9UCHO0Tc
    denk | Apr 15, 2017 1:03:56 AM | 131
    so mark pence is in sk with the troops 'observing easter prayer', what fucking hypocrites , 'god's army' on the way to another killing spree. !

    i wonder if pence's son is with the grunts ? mao sent his son together with the troops to help nk beat back the murkkans, hundreds of thousands never went home, including mao's son.

    but nuthin about the chinese sacrifice was mentioned in the nk war memorial hall, its all about the 'great leader'.
    during the sino/soviet split, nk had no hesitation ditching beijing for the more powerful ussr.

    by all accounts kim jong un would dearly wish to dump beijing for the more powerful unitedsnake...if only washington would accept him.

    wouldnt be surprised if kim is eventually 'cowed' by trump's armada and submit to washington wish.

    then trump would brag 'didnt i tell you all the past prez are pussies, it takes a real man to get things done'

    hehhehe
    =============

    Peter AU | Apr 15, 2017 1:10:32 AM | 132
    @ outraged.
    What would we see for a naval and to a lesser extent air war to blockade China? No ground war component with the massive logistic tail that requires. Obama's pivot on China entailed moving 60% of US naval assets to Asia pacific region.

    Where are US subs located? Where are US missile ships located. What is classified in the way of US naval asset positioning and not available to the public?
    Carriers are smoke and mirrors. A bygone era.

    From what I can make of it, Carter pre-positioned India as a US asset in 2016.

    jfl | Apr 15, 2017 1:20:07 AM | 133
    it may be that b has hit the nail on the head again ...
    "As a first step, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) may suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises," Wang told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress.
    ... what happens is that tee-rump unveils essentially this plan at the 'last minute' and takes credit for it, having exercised us all and directed the attention to his spotlight on the yellow sea.

    i hope that's what happens. we're stuck with this clown for four more years. he has no talent of his own, unless you call this kind of 'performance' talent ... and in fact he seems to have claimed it ... he may be an a**hole but he's the world's biggest a**hole! ... at least we might all live through it, ruled by a 70 year-old enfant terrible. tee-rump will play dummy and putin and xi can alternate as ventriloquists ... smiling and holding the dummy up to take the bows.

    Dr. Wellington Yueh | Apr 15, 2017 1:21:00 AM | 134
    @145: I don't really consider folks here'bouts as peasants. There are trolls and sock puppets. B and the commentators here (you and jfl are high on the list!) comprise a collection of 'reality lenses' that I find useful.

    RE: My initial response to jfl, the 20% I envision as human shields might be splittable, but you're only going to flake off a few %. Also, ignorance/apathy/fear (or incapacity for some other reason) on 'our side' brings the numbers way down. Add to that attrition from whatever course of action Empire attempts, and you have even fewer. Since we seem to be dealing with the 'upset-the-table' kind of losers, I'm sure they'll do something spectacular as a coda.

    Anyway, currently reading "The Shining", "Conquest of the Useless", "Roughing It", "Moby Dick". Just finished Gregory Benford's "Galactic Center" series...that was gripping and depressing for 6 long volumes.

    somebody | Apr 15, 2017 1:30:34 AM | 135
    North Korea's statement names the "Trump's administration serious military hysteria" This description is correct.
    blues | Apr 15, 2017 1:31:08 AM | 136
    Hmmm. Hmmm.

    /~~~~~~~~~~
    Zero Hedge -- Krunch Time for Korean Krackpot Despot, Kim Jong-Un: Missile Crisis Countdown Has Begun -- Apr 14,2017
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-14/krunch-time-korean-krackpot-despot-kim-jong-un-missile-crisis-countdown-has-begun

    Vice President Pence is scheduled to visit Seoul on Sunday, during his first Asian trip. The timing of his visit, after the Day of the Sun, might indicate the US does not plan any pre-emptive strike against North Korea on the Day of the Sun However, while Pence is ostensibly going to South Korea to talk with the government there about North Korea's nuclear development, the White House has also said it has contingency plans for the VP's visit, should North Korea carry out another nuclear test, indicating the possibility of a sudden shift to a war footing if Kim goes ahead with his apparent plans.
    \~~~~~~~~~~

    What if Pence doesn't make it out in time?

    Hmmm.

    jfl | Apr 15, 2017 1:34:21 AM | 137
    @146 denk, 'by all accounts kim jong un would dearly wish to dump beijing for the more powerful unitedsnake...'

    but that's a plan made looking in the rearview mirror ... isn't it? the future is china's. the very recent past is the 'legacy' of the us, burnt-out shooting star. sacrificed to the greed of its ruling class. in this life, at any rate.

    any opportunist worth his wages would go with china at this point in the game. and isn't kim really just the korean version of trump?

    an apprentice working for the apparat that really runs the country as their frontman, to bound about on stage and keep the world's attention on korea?

    Peter AU | Apr 15, 2017 1:40:24 AM | 138
    151
    Ignorance/apathy covers the middle 75% or so. A US manual on special forces hybrid/covert warfare covers that well. Even has a pie chart. Too many home brews at the moment to dig up the link, compounded by the fact that it is nearly time for my nana nap.
    Julian | Apr 15, 2017 1:53:59 AM | 139
    Re: Posted by: Pft | Apr 14, 2017 5:41:44 PM | 97

    If Kim does want to 'provoke' the Americans and test a missile or nuke surely he's most likely to do it a bit later than people think - ie - like Tuesday night Korean time - perhaps just before US markets open for Tuesday after the holidays. Or are they open on Monday? If they are, perhaps 9-10pm Monday night Korean time???

    Try and cause a 'panicked' market crash before Trump can react? Ensuring he will react against the backdrop of a market crash should he choose to react.

    Anyone know - are US markets open on Monday?

    jfl | Apr 15, 2017 2:05:06 AM | 140
    @151 tjk

    i re-read moby dick myself a couple of years ago. found a whale chart to go along with it, which helped bring the voyage to life ... back in the day ... when i was a kid there were always films from africa on tv, millions of gazelles and wildebeasts. i imagine they're all gone now, as are the buffalo, as go the whales.

    i think that, just as the man himself has turned on a dime when confronted with 'reality', so too will we and many of our usian brothers and sisters, many his followers, once we reach the point of personal betrayal required to open our eyes to our real enemies, to forget the scripted 'enemies' our real enemies had taught us to love to hate. but i've never been through a real meltdown and revolution before, so i don't know. that looks to me the way things are headed though. deplored by all sides, yet thought to be well under control, yet we all have our own peculiar 'red lines', and are being pushed, relentlessly toward them. we are many and growing more numerous; they are few and getting fewer, by their own design.

    Pft | Apr 15, 2017 2:29:45 AM | 141
    @135 Peter AU

    The wars to consolidate the world under one power has been going on for well over a century. Britain took the lead early on before passing the torch to the US once Rhodes plan to recover America was accomplished, sometime between Mckinleys assassination and the and of WWI . Wall Street and the money power in the city of London were always in sync. Albert Pike predicted 3 World Wars would be needed.

    The main change has been the form of government envisioned for the future. This has changed from Communism to Fascism. Many supporters of fascism here in the 1930's including FDR. After WWII many of the fascist bankers and industrialists in Germany and Japan got off light and were reintegrated into the global economy where they trained up the next generation of fascists. They joined forces with those likeminded folks in the US and Brits by working together in BIS, various international agencies and groups like the Bilderbergers and Trilaterals to develop strategies to acccomplish their goals in the short and long terms

    This is oversimplistic but time is short

    Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 15, 2017 2:31:02 AM | 142
    ...
    After all, given the insane and surreal rabid propaganda in western MSM, what difference would it make re supposed 'image' in the eyes of the supposed 'International Community' (US/UK/Israhell & good time vassals) ... any ?
    Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 4:03:27 PM | 78

    That's a really good question. Imo, Western propaganda often seems to have an influence on the actions and statements of AmeriKKKa's fake enemies. There are two (maybe more?) ways of looking at this.

    1. The fake enemies really are worried about public opinion in the West.
    2. They're not worried, but deem it sensible to pretend that they are, because anything they can do to encourage AmeriKKKa to believe more of its own bullshit should lead to an escalation to the point where it crosses the line dividing the sublime from the ridiculous - which is what seems to have happened this year.

    michaelj72 | Apr 15, 2017 2:40:23 AM | 143
    we are ruled by idiots, con men, war-mongers, and Neanderthal whackos. Any attack by the US would be a massacre and humanitarian disaster of epic proportions. Plus, I assume, the north korean army that remains would likely shower much of south korea with tens of thousands of rockets, mortars and missiles. http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/04/14/whackos-in-washington-the-risky-game-of-regime-decapitation/

    Whackos in Washington: the Risky Game of Regime Decapitation by Dave Lindorff

    .....But what would the result of such a strike be?

    For one thing, almost certainly it would mean the contamination of part or even much of the country in North Korea with nuclear fallout and radiation. For another it - given the long history of US "precision" targeting going terribly wrong - it would mean much death and destruction for the long-suffering North Korean people.

    It would also mean chaos in a country that for nearly three-quarters of a century has been ruled by one absolute tyrant or another, in which there is simply no organized system of governance at lower levels to handle anything, from delivery of health services to distribution of food. If you think the chaos that followed the US invasion and overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the Baathist leadership of Iraq was bad, or that the chaos of the US overthrow of Gaddafy in Libya was bad, you ain't seen nothing yet if North Korea's leader gets offed in a US strike.

    In theory, China, South Korea or Japan could step in with troops, money and civilian personnel to help reestablish some kind of order and peace, while preventing the rise of yet another tyrannical government, but none of that is likely. The Chinese would probably not want to take it on, the Japanese are viewed negatively as a former colonial power, and South Korea may not want the financial burden of rescuing the North, which would be staggering.

    Meanwhile, while the US could relatively easily, and at minimal cost, "take out" North Korea's missiles, nukes and leadership, especially in the case of the Trump administration, there is absolutely no interest in taking on the costs of occupying and subsidizing the rebuilding North Korea following such an ill-conceived attack......

    Peter AU | Apr 15, 2017 2:51:26 AM | 144
    163
    "Any attack by the US would be a massacre and humanitarian disaster of epic proportions."

    Just part of human nature. Very common throughout history.
    As technology increases, the scale increases.

    George Smiley | Apr 15, 2017 3:27:44 AM | 145
    A lot of people do not know that the US bombed the hell out of the entire of north Korea during the war. Like to ashes. The Chinese, and even more so, the Soviet reconstruction project for north Korea was the biggest of its kind post WWII. Even bigger than what actually went to European reconstruction I believe, but don't quote me on that (not in terms of what was earmarked but spent).

    ALSO perhaps the biggest crime was bombing the north's huge dams. Unless your a poor farmer you don't know what kind a thing that it is to do. No military value (I heard it was bombed because they ran out of other targets in some way).

    Its insane and breeds a toooon of animosity. Plus rejecting all attempts at peace talks. Plus having the media only present it in one way and an attitude of RA RA we don't engage in diplomacy with the terrorist obviously he only listens to force.

    Crazy world. And most people can't see past it at a level more deep than "crazy dictator with a bad haircut."

    The world is so fucked up.

    okie farmer | Apr 15, 2017 3:28:25 AM | 146
    The 'mother of all bombs' is big, deadly – and won't lead to peace Medea Benjamin
    "I'm really very good at war. I love war, in a certain way," bragged candidate Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Iowa. This is the same Donald Trump who avoided the Vietnam draft by claiming a bone spur in his foot, a medical problem that never kept him off the tennis courts or golf courses, and miraculously healed on its own.
    But with the escalation of US military involvement in Syria, the record number of drone attacks in Yemen, more US troops being sent to the Middle East and, now, the dropping of a massive bomb in Afghanistan, it looks like Trump may indeed love war. Or at least, love "playing" war.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/14/the-mother-of-all-bombs-big-deadly-ineff

    https://youtu.be/FMArIc5Hn_g

    George Smiley | Apr 15, 2017 3:30:53 AM | 147
    I've also heard the total death toll was between 1/10 and 1/5 of the total population.

    Of the TOTAL population. Imagine knowing no one could name a person not being touched by the violence. Having total families decimated. Breeds a ton of hatred and understandably so. We need to get that its not just as one sided as having everyone "brainwashed" without access to outside culture. Its an insane outlook.

    George Smiley | Apr 15, 2017 3:37:42 AM | 148
    Solo sorry for the triple post, also needed to say that because everyone hates this crazy dictator people never take the anti war position. Its just we should charge in with our guns - or giant missiles - blazing hooorahh.

    No one sees the death and destruction that will take place. The artillery alone not even nukes, would smash Seoul. They can't see beyond the black and white of 'allow dictator nukes' and 'kill him.' There's never room for diplomacy here - its just as bad as 'negotiating with terrorists.' What a crock of shit. And trumps played his hand badly cause he has no wiggle room. Makes Syrian strike looks like a joke. So much for being friendly with China. How about a piece of delicious cake as consolation?

    b | Apr 15, 2017 3:45:16 AM | 150
    @Outraged - deleted a bunch of your comments with long list of military equipment no one is interested in

    provide links to such stuff, don't copy it.

    --

    @all - deleted a bunch of nonsensical one-liners and some sniping at each other that I considered off topic. Go back to kindergarten if you need that.

    George Smiley | Apr 15, 2017 3:45:27 AM | 151
    LOVE B's take on the economics of nuclear might is. Crazy I never heard of those documents. Doesn't help that the North has been straved of food - and more importantly OIL. Means a lot of money when you get down to brass taxes. Worst of all, north Korea NEEDS subsistence farming and its so mountainous you need oil and diesel to blow these hilly as hell fields. When you strave them of oil, you strave them of food again in a way. Without subsistence farming they strave for the most part. And people think that drives people AWAY from a demagogic/personality cult type figure. It only endears them more. It, in a way, is proving the dictator right... That the US IS OUT TO GET US (and it is) and THE US IS STARVING YOU NOT ME (also true).
    b | Apr 15, 2017 4:02:52 AM | 152
    @all - done some housecleaning here for Day of the Sun - Juche 105 (.i.e.today)
    ---

    The parade in North Korea yesterday was quite a show. Lots of new TEL (Transport-Erector-Launch Vehicles) for big intercontinental missiles. We don't know if real missiles were inside but NoKo likes to show new stuff off and only field it a year or two later.

    Video of the 3 hour parade from NoKo TV https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okxM0AUsh_w The interesting mil stuff starts around 2h 14m with the leg swinging girls (intentionally?)

    Some remarks on the off-road capable TEL North Korea's 2017 Military Parade Was a Big Deal. Here Are the Major Takeaways

    Even though Pyongyang withheld from testing this weekend amid rumors of possible retaliation by the United States, North Korea is still looking to improve its missile know-how. Moreover, the long-dreaded ICBM flight test also might not be too far off now. Given the ever-growing number of TELs - both wheeled and tracked - North Korea may soon field nuclear forces amply large that a conventional U.S.-South Korea first strike may find it impossible to fully disarm Pyongyang of a nuclear retaliatory capability. That would give the North Korean regime what it's always sought with its nuclear and ballistic missile program: an absolute guarantee against coercive removal.
    (will put the above in a post update)
    ashley albanese | Apr 15, 2017 4:31:45 AM | 153
    smoothie X2 82
    Ah ! what lies beneath the waves? . I remember in the early 1970's comments in the Western press that China through budget constraints was putting its 'eggs' into the submarine basket - cost effectiveness - . The article stressed that Chinese strategists deliberately eschewed using non-Chinese designs and 'fast track' technology so as to develop submarine systems that would have unique , secret capabilities honed to Chinese conditions . Perhaps of all weaponary the Chinese sub-mariners may have some surprises in store . Let's hope we never have to find out !
    oneoffposter | Apr 15, 2017 4:38:31 AM | 154
    Dear b and community. I read all of your posts on this topic with interest.

    The focus seems to be on what DPRK (north), PRC and USA might do. I would like to suggest that closer scrutiny should be applied to what is actually going on in RK (South). I think that this tension is being ratcheted upwards primarily to influence the outcome of the presidential election in the South.

    For the past two presidential terms, the South has had Lee Myung-Bak and Park Geun-Hye both of whom took a hardline against North Korea and have killed the Sunshine Policy of their predecessors (Kim Dae-Jung and Roh Moo-Hyun). As we all know, Park has recently been impeached. In normal circumstances it could be expected that an opposition figure like Moon Jae-In would be the favourite to win the election. This may not be in the interests of either the US, Japan or the powers-that-be in South Korea.

    The election is 9 May 2017, and the US president has just ensured that North Korea will be front and centre in the campaign.

    Just a thought. Thanks for everyone's contributions. This is a really good place to gain insight.

    George Smiley | Apr 15, 2017 5:17:39 AM | 155
    @154

    Extremely interesting take. Plus the anti THAAD movement is growing. Incidents between American soldiers in South Korean bases and the locals have been growing and that doesn't help. Remember that Osprey crash a couple months back?

    It all adds up.

    PavewayIV | Apr 15, 2017 5:24:32 AM | 156
    oneoffposter@154 - Thanks for that, oneoffposter. Korea would (supposedly) have been re-unified in the late 90's if it wasn't for US and Japanese efforts to prevent that from happening. I don't have specifics to back that up, but that 'feels' about right with regards to US actions over the years.

    South Korea is clearly benefiting economically (finally) from US support, but also pays a price by being another lapdog to the US and an eternal host for our military presence, willing or not. I suspect it's 'willing' because the US does everything possible to remind South Koreans of their peril by demonizing the North. South Korean press is worse than the US MSM.

    Likewise, the US does everything possible to antagonize North Korean leaders and rattle their cage, making them seem even more insane than they usually are. Resulting, of course, in the South Koreans eagerly approving an eternal US presence for protection and the North Korean leaders sliding further into a black hole of indignation and rage. We didn't create the psychopaths in North Korea, but we're sure good at keeping them in power. They're useful to us.

    I'll be watching the elections in the South with much interest now.

    jfl | Apr 15, 2017 6:15:41 AM | 157
    i wonder how much we really know about the koreans. it's hard for me to imagine that the korean people hate and fear each other. korea is not a settler country, like us five eyes, where the possibility of setting one group against another is so conveniently ready to hand to the oppressors. can either set of koreans hate and fear one of their governments more than the other? i think, as someone else pointed out above, the worst of the terror after the war was undertaken by korean compradors of the japanese, at american instigation. i remember reading about a program to 'allow' southerners to cross the border for family reunions. i think it was terrifically popular.

    who pointed out above that wwii has not yet ended on the korean peninsula. i always knew that the war was 'technically' not over in the sense of no peace treaty's having been signed ... the same obtains between russia and japan, doesn't it? that's an indictment right there of the us. in both cases, as the us still has japan on a short leash.

    treating peoples like objects, we'll be objects of hate ourselves, finally. already are in many quarters, of course. but in far fewer than we 'merit'. i don't see how that cannot change now that we have embraced 'the dark side', as cheney put it, and now the unabashed evil-clown/wicked-witch with trump/clinton in the 2016 coin toss.

    now with mercenaries, cruise missiles, drones, chemical weapons, and none of our own skin in the game ourselves any longer, we really do fit the description of creatures from another planet to our victims. the image of hg wells' aliens in tripods sticks in my mind. that must be just what americans - not even in - drones and cruise missiles must seem to our victims.

    atonement. at-one-ment a friend of mine used to say. with the human race. how long will that take for america and americans, once 'the pride of man' is broken in the dust again.

    V. Arnold | Apr 15, 2017 6:36:59 AM | 158
    Well, it's 19:02m in Korea, on the 15th and no nuke blast. President Loon (my apology to the bird) will have to pack up his toys and go home.
    I wonder how much that hubris cost the US?
    somebody | Apr 15, 2017 6:43:12 AM | 159
    Posted by: oneoffposter | Apr 15, 2017 4:38:31 AM | 154

    From German experience this would not work. Every South Korean knows that war with the North was/would be total desaster.

    It is also clear that North Korea will only open up if they feel safe. The break down of communist systems is over, there is no use to wait for that.

    German Social Democrats had their best election results when promoting a "change by approach" policy.

    The main issue will be South Korea's relationship with the US and China. Traditionally South Korea has profited more from the US than from exchange with China. I bet this has already changed. But the US managed to create a security conflict between China and South Korea that ensures increased Chinese military support for North Korea.

    jfl | Apr 15, 2017 7:14:42 AM | 160
    @159 sb, 'South Korea has profited more from the US than from exchange with China. I bet this has already changed. '

    you win your bet...

    The top export destinations of South Korea are
    China ($131B),
    the United States ($72.7B),
    Vietnam ($26.6B),
    Hong Kong ($26.3B) and
    Japan ($25.5B).

    The top import origins are
    China ($90.1B),
    Japan ($44.6B),
    the United States ($42.7B),
    Germany ($20.2B) and
    Saudi Arabia ($17.7B).

    oneoffposter | Apr 15, 2017 7:54:29 AM | 161
    @160 jfl

    Thanks for posting the figures. I don't know what the present day figures are like (your source seems to be posting figures for 2015).

    Since then, Park Geun-Hye gave the go ahead for THAAD to be installed overriding the objections of the local people. People more informed than I question (to put it mildly) the benefit this gives to South Korea. However, it has already had an impact on the South's economic relationship with China (and I guess, the political relationship too), showing just how important the question of who holds power in South Korea really is.

    Posters here often refer to the US/NATO attempt to split the Russia/China axis. It seems to me that this KOR/CHINA relationship also would not be welcomed.

    The ideas and slow-build towards reunification as evidenced by Kim Dae-Jung & Roh Moo-Hyun (e.g. Sunshine policy and the Truth commissions) were (in my opinion) logical steps to be taken towards first reducing the tensions on the peninsula leading perhaps to reunification talks (you never know). It is impossible to know now where they would have led, but they have been thoroughly discredited at this point and it is difficult to see how they could be restarted.

    somebody | Apr 15, 2017 7:57:38 AM | 162
    S.Koreans file petition with constitutional court against THAAD deployment
    SEOUL, April 6 (Xinhua) -- South Korean residents and civic group activists on Thursday filed a petition against the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system, which they depicted as unconstitutional.

    Residents from Seongju county and Gimcheon city in southeast South Korea and peace activists gathered outside the constitutional court in central Seoul, holding a press conference before submitting the constitutional appeal.

    According to the petition document, the residents and activists said the THAAD deployment violated many of the constitution clauses while failing to follow any appropriate procedures.

    Seoul and Washington abruptly announced a decision in July last year to install one THAAD battery in the county by the end of this year. Just three days before the announcement, Defense Minister Han Min-koo told lawmakers that he hadn't been informed of any notice about the THAAD installation.

    Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se visited a department store when the THAAD deployment decision was announced, indicating no advance discussions between ministers of defense and foreign affairs and the presidential office.

    The petitioners said the decision-making process on THAAD was rough and ready as there was no approval in the cabinet meeting, and that it was unilaterally determined by the national security council of the presidential office.

    "The THAAD decision did not follow any proper procedure. No effort has been made for dialogue with residents," said Ha Joo-hee, an attorney at Lawyers for a Democratic Society, an advocacy group composed of liberal lawyers.

    smuks | Apr 15, 2017 8:17:00 AM | 163
    So much provocation, vilification and preparation of the public...for nothing.

    The Neocons had really hoped that NK would react in some spectacularly 'menacing' way on its national holiday...but no, just a parade with some huge phal...er, missiles. Sad.

    It doesn't really matter *who* starts an aggression, but somebody at some point would surely lose his nerves, no? And NK would make for such a good villain, reminding SK and Japan of how dearly they need all that 'protection'.

    Let's see where the next act will play out. Ukraine once again, or Libya?

    (on that MOAB - looks like a strong message that 'we' are not about to give Afghanistan up, but rather willing to up the ante...)

    col from oz | Apr 15, 2017 8:26:51 AM | 164
    Beautifully written 157 jfl esp NOW
    smuks | Apr 15, 2017 8:32:42 AM | 165
    @ oneoffposter | Apr 15, 2017 7:54:29 AM | 161

    Yet bet NATO wouldn't be happy. The entire 'containment' policy towards Beijing rests on the surrounding states being hostile to/ scared of China. Already SE Asia has all but 'fallen' (from a western viewpoint), what remains is Japan and SK. Detente? God forbid!

    The THAAD deployment places SK (even more) firmly in the cross-hairs of China's missiles. So now, at least they have some reason to fear it and scramble for 'protection'...mission accomplished!

    (President Park didn't approve of this...which is why she was removed.)

    Is there a way out of this? Not really. The US running out of money, maybe.

    Curtis | Apr 15, 2017 8:59:05 AM | 166
    b
    I read the nj.gov link and it does not tend to match your narrative in that paragraph although I agree that official narratives tend to twist the truth. I cannot see the Soviet motives towards Korea as anymore altruistic than Japan's especially in that time period. The Soviets are no more saints in the WWII period than the US.

    I do agree that US maneuvers close to the borders of "opponents" whether Russia or NK are antagonistic and unnecessary. And sometimes stupid action takes place after them like we saw in Georgia 2008. Putin shook a finger at Bush and rightly so. If Mr. "Art of the Deal" really were a deal maker he would meet at Panmunjon with the leaders of NK, SK, Russia, and China and sign an final official end to the Korean war and set the framework for demilitarization of the peninsula and trade/other deals.

    Curtis | Apr 15, 2017 9:01:20 AM | 167
    somebody jfl
    Excellent points. What South Korea wants should be paramount to the issue of what the US should do. Seoul is very vulnerable.
    Anon1 | Apr 15, 2017 9:06:26 AM | 168
    smuks

    For nothing? The american ship have pretty much just arrived, within next 4 weeks we probably will see something happen by the US. He simply cant back now.

    Gravatomic | Apr 15, 2017 9:18:57 AM | 169
    @Hoarsewhisperer

    According to US MSM the Chinese are totally on board and only have moved troops to bolster the border and help the US. And Russia and China really aren't conducting military exercises together.

    This constant mistranslated rhetoric and literally putting of words into foreign leaders mouths is of course one aspect of the western propaganda arm. Even when the headline or text of the article is updated, corrected or removed the meat of it remains in social media like Facebook.

    I have friends who use Facebook, I don't, who constantly say the oddest, incorrect things to me that could only have been fomented there.

    Gravatomic | Apr 15, 2017 9:23:57 AM | 170
    @ oneoffposter

    Yes, when the arm twisting doesn't suffice they remove you, that's part of what the NSA and CIA do. Smear, blackmail and gather corruption evidence, whether real, perceived or planted to keep US puppets in line.

    jfl | Apr 15, 2017 10:29:41 AM | 171
    @161 oop,

    yes, somebody's link had the china-south korea trade at 300 billion, whereas the numbers in the link i found were at ~220 billion. but the the china-south korea trade at 220 billion was just about twice the us-south korea trade in that period. i imagine it ratio was higher, if anything, up until thaad.

    @162, sb,

    maybe the trade value lost due to the thaad deal will make everyone 'notice' its illegality ... now that they're starting to bleed. money speaks louder than the law, in most countries these days.

    @167 curtis

    they'd set the peninsula on fire if they thought it would bring them closer to world domination. the us ruling class cares not a whit for humans of any 'brand', americans included. certainly not for koreans, north or south.

    @170 gravatomic

    i have no proof but that's exactly the thought that ran through my head when park went down : she wasn't 'on board' the thaad train. i suppose it was the memory of the pictures with xi ... and of the vile cia's past actions, all over the world.

    Monolycus | Apr 15, 2017 10:32:57 AM | 172
    @b

    I saw your response earlier about how no writer can represent both sides equally, and I agree. I still lurk here and find no fault with your insights 99% of the time. You know perfectly well that in most situations, I am a staunch non-interventionist. I simply disagree (strongly) on this particular issue. Anyway, I apologize for sounding so hostile--especially at you. This situation just has my nerves pretty frayed right now.

    I don't want to be dragged into a giant tu quoque match, so I won't respond to much more here, except to address George Smiley @155, above. I'm not sure where you read that the anti-THAAD movement is "growing," but that certainly doesn't seem to be the case from here on the ground. I am about 20 minutes from Seongju, and have spoken to many of the anti-THAAD people about their concerns. There's very, very little going on there politically; Seongju is a very poor area which is economically dependent on a particular melon crop they are famous for. Most of the anti-THAAD demonstrators were local farmers who had gotten the idea that the EM radiation coming from the THAAD radar would hurt their crops. In the wake of China's economic retaliation against THAAD, however, a good many of the locals have reversed their opinion and now support it. When the deployment was first announced, there was a lot of buzz about it (nobody wanted it here in their backyard,) but now when the subject is brought up at all (increasingly rarely,) it's usually digging in their heels about how China deserves it for kicking out their K-pop stars and shutting down the Lotteria fast food restaurants unfairly. Public opinion might change again if Moon Jae-in declares a firm position about it instead of waffling back and forth, but at this moment it's only a small but vocal minority that are opposed to it.

    dh | Apr 15, 2017 10:33:07 AM | 173
    @158 The US armada will be off to Pattaya soon for some well deserved R&R.

    The BBC coverage is worth a watch BTW for those who like to read between the lines. Lots of spin of course but the commentator does admit at one point that NK needs its nukes to avoid going the way of Iraq and Libya.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-39607343

    jfl | Apr 15, 2017 10:47:18 AM | 174
    @168 anon

    was there ever an 'official' announcement of a nuclear test planned for saturday? or was it just an 'expectation' ... if the latter, maybe the cia fostered it, knowing it wasn't going to happen, so they could thwack tee-rump's rump and have him take a 'victory lap' when it didn't? if they're serious about nukes ... and they should be as long as the us has them in its sights ... the north koreans have got to test more at some point.

    it's really hard for me to imagine any good excuse for a us battle group to be between china and korea in the yellow sea without an invitation. what would the us position be if a chinese - not to mention a russian - battle group showed up in the caribbean, or hudson's bay, concerned about the rogue american state and it's mad leader ?

    denk | Apr 15, 2017 11:03:02 AM | 175
    jfl 137


    here's the oft derided 'unelected' ccp partial plan for 2017,
    'to lift another 10-20m people outta poverty and step up the anti corruption battle'.
    thats in addition to the 70m already bailed out , cited by UN as a text book case of social development.

    whats the vaunted 'elected' leaders of murkka plan for 2017,
    to do 'syria, nk, iran, china, russia.... '?
    350 ships for the 'depleted' USN ?
    'star war' redux ?
    by the guy who got 'elected' on his 'anti deep state' and 'populist' platform !


    denk | Apr 15, 2017 11:09:48 AM | 176

    lots of people say mdm park is a murkkan stooge and she's been removed by people power.

    well like i say many times before, park is a very reluctant 'stooge',
    first off she is a known sinophile who's well versed in chinese culture,
    she had been dragging her feet over the thaad installation for years and china is sk's largest market.
    hence antagonising china must be the last thing on her mind.

    anyone of the above is enough reason for a regime change.
    the last straw was most likely when she defied washington's dictat and join putin in china's ww2 memorial ceremony in 2015.
    mind you, she's the only leader from the murkkan camp with 'cojones'to attend. [1]
    i guess her fate was sealed from that moment.

    so is her ouster yet another color rev masqueraded as 'people power',like the 'arab spring' etc ?

    some observers think so.

    we shall see.

    [1]
    Xi extended a particularly warm welcome to Park, who attended the ceremony over the objections of Japan and the U.S.
    http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/International-Relations/Ties-between-Park-Xi-shape-East-Asia-diplomacy

    Anon1 | Apr 15, 2017 11:27:54 AM | 177
    jfl / 174

    Re: US provocations

    Yes you are of course right, as usual when US does it themselves, it is apparently the fault of the other party (North Korea) according to the useless MSM in the west.

    There are some rumours that NK will test its nuclear tech. again soon and then US will strike.
    China is getting nervous somehow, apparently dont understand what they effectively have giving a green light to:

    China : "We call on all parties to refrain from provoking and threatening each other, whether in words or actions, and not let the situation get to an irreversible and unmanageable stage."
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/04/15/nkor-a15.html

    The chinese cant even condemn the foreign aggressor anymore.

    juliania | Apr 15, 2017 12:13:45 PM | 178
    Thank you very much for this important and critical posting, b. I wish for you and all who come here a joyful and rich Springtime holy season to assuage our fears and give us hope for the future.

    Peace to all.

    Rick | Apr 15, 2017 2:37:35 PM | 179
    Sure would be nice to find the original of the comments attributed to MacArthur. I've looked at the references in "Napalm: an American biography" by Robert M. Neer but can't find any original sources online. The footnote for this passage is jumbled, citing seven sources for this passage.

    I did find that at the time MacArthur was advocating far more attacks in Korea, not less, which makes such comments suspect. Why would someone who was losing their job, and likely their career, due to their stance advocating more military action make such comments?

    mauisurfer | Apr 15, 2017 3:14:19 PM | 180

    It's Time for America to Cut South Korea Loose

    From Foreign Policy Magazine (behind the paywall)

    The first step to solving the North Korean problem is removing U.S. troops from the middle of it.

    By Doug Bandow
    April 13, 2017

    It's Time for America to Cut South Korea Loose

    Asia contains the world's two most populous nations, the country with the largest Muslim population, the two largest economies after America, and the next superpower and peer competitor to the United States. But when U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited the continent recently, small, impoverished North Korea nearly monopolized his attention.

    Why is the United States, which dominates the globe militarily, politically, and economically, fixated on this poor, isolated, and distant nation? Because America has gotten entangled where it does not belong.

    Washington has been deeply involved in the Korean Peninsula since the end of World War II. Subsequently, the Cold War gave a zero-sum quality to international relations, with Washington's loss being the Soviet Union's gain. Having invested some 37,000 lives to save South Korea during the Korean War, America's credibility was also at stake. And with the "loss" of China to communism fresh on Americans' minds, nobody was willing to see another Asian nation go red.

    But that world disappeared long ago.

    The Korean Peninsula has lost its geopolitical significance, South Korea its helplessness, and America's Korea commitment its purpose.

    The Korean Peninsula has lost its geopolitical significance, South Korea its helplessness, and America's Korea commitment its purpose. While there is much to criticize in the approach of Donald Trump's administration to the rest of the world, the president correctly sees the need for a foreign policy that more effectively protects America's interests. A good place to start shifting course is the region home to the world's newest and least responsible nuclear power.

    The Koreas are no longer a proxy battleground between superpowers. There was a time when U.S. withdrawal from a confrontation with a Soviet ally in Asia would have, analysts believed, signaled weakness a continent away in Europe. But the Soviets are long gone and the cause for American commitment with them. An inter-Korean war would be tragic and the body count enormous, but absent American involvement the fighting would largely be confined to the peninsula. The continued presence of U.S. forces, by contrast, virtually guarantees the spread of conflict.

    South Korea's defense no longer requires Washington's presence. The South's economy began racing past its northern antagonist during the 1960s. Democracy arrived in the late 1980s. By the 1990s, when mass starvation stalked Pyongyang as Seoul's economy boomed, the gap between the two Koreas was already huge and growing. The South's military potential is correspondingly great though as yet unrealized - in part because dependence on the U.S. presence has affected strategic choices.

    Yet America's military presence has remained sacrosanct. Jimmy Carter's plan to bring home U.S. troops was opposed even by his own appointees. Ronald Reagan pushed a more muscular confrontation with the Soviet Union and other communist states. With the end of the Cold War, his successors expanded alliance commitments, particularly in Europe, but also in Asia. Today, 28,500 troops remain in South Korea, backed up by U.S. forces in Okinawa and other Asian-Pacific bases, and highlighted by periodic decisions to overfly the North with bombers or send aircraft carriers to nearby waters whenever Washington wants to demonstrate "resolve" to Pyongyang.

    So why is America still there?

    One argument, advanced by analyst Robert E. McCoy, is moral, "since it was American ignorance that facilitated the division of the Korean Peninsula in the concluding days of World War II." Some Koreans malign America for this division. But this is the wisdom of hindsight; in the chaotic aftermath of global conflict, no U.S. official wanted to push the Soviets over a faraway peninsula. The alternative was pure inaction, which would have resulted in South Koreans joining their northern neighbors in the Kim dynasty's new Dark Age. Perhaps inadvertently, Washington did a very good deed. For that it deserves praise, not criticism and claims that it must forever police the peninsula.

    More practical is the contention of analysts such as the Heritage Foundation's Bruce Klingner that U.S. backing is "necessary to defend" the South. Yet, in contrast to 1950, there is no reason the South cannot protect itself - if properly motivated to do so by the departure of U.S. conventional forces. With a bigger economy, larger population, and significant technological edge, as well as greater international support, Seoul could construct armed forces capable of deterring and defeating the North. Doing so would be expensive and take serious effort, but so what? The South Korean government's most important duty is to protect its people.

    Taking on that responsibility also would force Seoul to treat Pyongyang more consistently. The "Sunshine Policy" begun under former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung resulted in the transfer of some $10 billion in cash and assistance to the North, even as the latter was developing missiles and nuclear weapons. That approach was viable only because Washington provided a military backstop (and if the new South Korean president, to be elected in May, revives the Sunshine Policy, as some have suggested, there's no telling if the Trump administration would be so forgiving). The South needs to bear both the costs and benefits of whatever approach it takes.

    But even if South Korea couldn't defend itself, the argument would still fall short.

    American soldiers shouldn't be treated as defenders of the earth, deployed here, there, and everywhere.

    American soldiers shouldn't be treated as defenders of the earth, deployed here, there, and everywhere. The United States should go to war only when its most important interests are at stake.

    South Korea's prosperity is not one of those vital interests, at least in security terms. A renewed conflict confined to the two Koreas would be horrific, but the consequences for the United States would be primarily humanitarian and economic, not security. The cost would be high but fall primarily on the region. In contrast, direct U.S. involvement in another Korean War would be much more expensive than the Afghan and Iraqi conflicts, which have cost America thousands of lives and trillions of dollars.

    Of course, the North's possession of what we assume to be a growing and at some point deliverable nuclear arsenal skews the peninsula's balance of power. However, this doesn't create a need for a conventional American military presence on the peninsula. Washington could still guarantee massive retaliation against any North Korean use of nuclear weapons, providing a deterrent against the North's threats.

    But it is worth contemplating whether it would be better to allow South Korea to construct its own deterrent. In the late 1970s, South Korean President Park Chung-hee worried about Washington's reliability and began work on a Korean bomb - only to stop under U.S. pressure. Since then, support for reviving such work has periodically surfaced in South Korea. Encouraging such efforts might actually be in the best interests of the United States, even if America has to maintain its nuclear umbrella while the Korean bomb is developed.

    Yes, encouraging nuclear proliferation is a risky path. But the United States would gain from staying out of Northeast Asia's nuclear quarrels. China, fearful that Japan would join the nuclear parade, might take tougher action against Pyongyang in an attempt to forestall Seoul's efforts. The South could feel confident in its own defense, rather than remaining reliant upon U.S. willingness to act.

    A potpourri of broader claims is also made for maintaining U.S. forces. America's presence supposedly constrains China, promotes regional stability, and deters an arms race. Let's consider those claims in order. What sort of constraint is allegedly being posed to China? If the idea is to coerce it into assuming responsibility for North Korea in the event of its collapse, Beijing has shown no interest in attempting to swallow a Korean population likely to prove indigestible. And if the calculation is rather that Washington can persuade South Korea to pressure China on non-Korean matters, it's easy to predict the unfriendly response Seoul's Blue House would give if invited by the White House to join it in warring against China to, say, save an independent Taiwan, counter Chinese moves in the South China Sea - or, horror of horrors, defend Japan. Indeed, absent U.S. protection, South Korea and Japan might feel greater pressure to finally settle historical disputes so often misused by their nationalist politicians.

    As for the idea that the U.S. presence deters a regional arms race, building weapons so others don't have to is not the sort of charity America should engage in. Alliances can deter. But, as dramatically demonstrated by World War I, they also can act as transmission belts of war. Moreover, small nations often act irresponsibly - such as underinvesting in defense - when protected by big powers.

    The U.S. security presence in South Korea is an expensive and dangerous commitment that America can no longer afford. Nor has it ever brought the United States much popularity in the country, where U.S. soldiers are a constant irritant to nationalists. The South is no longer a poor nation in need of protection from the specter of global communism but one more than capable of standing on its own two feet.

    George Smiley | Apr 15, 2017 4:50:38 PM | 181
    @172 That makes me sad to hear. I appreciate a perspective that comes from first hand experience. Its hard to get a proper outloom I feel outside of speaking with Koreans or even knowing the language.

    Perhaps reading articles published by journalists opposed to THAAD has distorted my handle of the situation. Sad the movement doesn't have more traction.

    I do know more than a few Koreans firsthand pissed off at US army personnel behaviour though. Perhaps that can be channelled into meaningful change. They tell me that the impunity from judicial retribution plays a big role in the anger. Certain bases in Japan have had similar problems (I get the sense it cause more anger there though unfortunately). Perhaps this is just the views of a few people I talk to in SK though.

    Any thoughts? I appreciate your response greatly.

    Kalen | Apr 15, 2017 5:01:37 PM | 182
    What is real Russian position on this WWIII POTENTIAL STANDOFF. NK only one condemned attack on Syria while if what I hear is true, they want NK disarmed even in face of open US aggression. Also China if awfully quiet while repeating thirty year old equitable solution rejected by US that never looked for any solutions but domination. What's going on?
    karlof1 | Apr 15, 2017 5:19:16 PM | 183
    Rick @179--

    I wanted to see the footnotes for that section, too, but I don't have a paper copy of the book. However, based upon other readings of same testimony, I believe they were made during Congressional testimony.

    Perhaps the most important element to learn from the aggression waged against the peoples of Korea, Indochina, and Iraq by the Outlaw US Empire is their Genocidal nature, and the additional fact that in their post-war environment the killing and maiming continues unabated: All casualty categories combined add up to well over 10 million and rising, far outperforming Hitler's genocide of jews, gypsies and others.

    Outraged | Apr 15, 2017 5:21:08 PM | 184
    @ b 150

    Apologies. Understood. Will comply.

    Re b @ 152 & post update

    Heres an 8min38Sec Youtube of the military personnel & 'hardware' portion only:

    North Korea Holds Massive Military Parade 'Day of the Sun Parade' in Pyongyang ( Show Case Missile )
    dh | Apr 15, 2017 5:22:19 PM | 185
    @182 Don't know about Russia but I have some thoughts re. China. Xi made it clear to Donald that China would support Kim if NK is attacked i.e WW3.

    At the same time Xi told Kim not to provoke Donald i.e. no nuclear test. Let them think they've won.

    Outraged | Apr 15, 2017 5:42:46 PM | 186
    @ Posted by: dh | Apr 15, 2017 5:22:19 PM | 185

    Fully concur. And the Chinese are 'civilized' re public discourse, just because the are not openly bellicose and full of aggressive rhetoric, does not mean they are push over pussies, exactly the opposite behind the agreeable, diplomatic, ' face '. Talk softly, yet have a big stick ready, just in case.

    jfl | Apr 15, 2017 6:26:20 PM | 187
    @180 mauisurfer

    the foreign policy article extends tee-tump's 'pay for a native implementation of us policy' a la nato to south korea ... and wouldn't it be a good idea if south korea had nukes, too. their summary of us 'involvement' in korea post-wwii is shameful ...

    The alternative was pure inaction, which would have resulted in South Koreans joining their northern neighbors in the Kim dynasty's new Dark Age. Perhaps inadvertently, Washington did a very good deed. For that it deserves praise, not criticism ...
    Depraved foreign policy recommendations from the us foreign policy establishment might as well stay in their echo chamber, behind their paywall, as far as i'm concerned. news of the us foreign policy establishment's depravity is dog bites man.
    smuks | Apr 15, 2017 7:05:05 PM | 188
    @ Anon1 168

    Why should that happen, if no side is willing to fire the first shot? There's been 'increased tensions' many times before, missile and nuclear tests, naval drills...so far it's all just scaremongering to me, and I don't quite see why it should be heating up *now*.

    Peter AU | Apr 15, 2017 7:11:02 PM | 189
    Looks like NK may have done a missile test. Failed apparently.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-usa-missile-idUSKBN17H0NL
    https://sputniknews.com/asia/201704161052679707-north-korea-fails-misile-launch/

    jfl | Apr 15, 2017 8:10:03 PM | 190
    there's a brief summary at the nation of the most germane us-north korean history by Burce Cumings, on 23 March This Is What's Really Behind North Korea's Nuclear Provocations .
    Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 16, 2017 1:21:37 AM | 191
    Other authors sympathetic to the plight of Korea are...
    Gavan NcCormack
    Gregory Elich
    Desaix Anderson, who delivered an address on the US monstrous and systematic betrayal of NK to the Nautilus Institute called Crisis In North Korea. Anderson was the CEO of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organisation (KEDO).
    I can no longer find the article on the www but one of the sleuths here may be able to track it down.
    Mr Reynard | Apr 16, 2017 2:44:06 AM | 192
    Actually, all the problems started with the demands that Kim Jong Un made to USA !
    First, he has demanded that USA give up all of its nuclear weapons, that USA stop all nuclear research, that there should be a "regime change" in Washington, plus he had the chutzpah to send assassins to USA to kill the POTUS !! So I'm not surprised at the reaction of D Trump to this provocation ??
    b | Apr 16, 2017 10:11:11 AM | 194
    Had forgotten this when I wrote the post above:

    Wikileaks, Podesta email about the Hillary Clinton speech for Goldman Sachs "We don't want a unified Korean Peninsula" because China, not the U.S., would naturally dominate it. The U.S. will do everything it can to prevent reunification.

    JMiller | Apr 16, 2017 10:26:08 AM | 195
    The NK offer says that they "MAY suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises"

    It does not say that they WILL suspend its nuclear and missile activities.

    Outraged | Apr 16, 2017 10:32:20 AM | 196
    @ JMiller

    Would that be Judith Miller, perhaps, or possibly just a hero/role model ? ;) One perfectly reasonable phrase comes to mind, ' Subsequent to good faith negotiations & actual, guarantees '.

    Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 16, 2017 12:28:22 PM | 197
    Link to Desaix Anderson's Nautilus Institute address
    Crisis In North Korea.
    http://oldsite.nautilus.org/fora/security/0325A_Anderson.html
    JMiller | Apr 16, 2017 2:39:37 PM | 198
    The NK offer says that they "MAY suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises".

    It does not say that they WILL suspend its nuclear and missile activities, just that they may. It is not surprising that the U.S. turned down the offer since it did not guarantee that NK would do anything.

    Anon1 | Apr 16, 2017 3:08:42 PM | 199
    Jimiller

    Yeah how dare NK offer peaceful ways to solve problems in this world. Yeah no wonder US not accepted it, go figure.

    [Apr 17, 2017] Meanwhile, overwhelming majority of US political elite is generally an office plankton with law or political science (or journalism--which is not a profession or a skill)

    Notable quotes:
    "... overwhelming majority of US political "elite" is generally an office plankton with law or political "science" (or journalism--which is not a profession or a skill) degrees from Ivy League "humanities" departments and their comprehension of the war is limited to Hollywood. Most difficulties in life they ever experienced was, most likely, being overbooked for the first class seats on the flight to Hawaii (or any other resort). ..."
    Apr 17, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

    SmoothieX12 | Apr 14, 2017 2:10:57 PM | 49

    No one has forgotten the near genocide and no one in Korea, north or south, wants to repeat the experience.

    Meanwhile, overwhelming majority of US political "elite" is generally an office plankton with law or political "science" (or journalism--which is not a profession or a skill) degrees from Ivy League "humanities" departments and their comprehension of the war is limited to Hollywood. Most difficulties in life they ever experienced was, most likely, being overbooked for the first class seats on the flight to Hawaii (or any other resort).

    [Apr 17, 2017] US Attack on Syria Cements Kremlins Embrace of Assad

    Apr 17, 2017 | www.nytimes.com

    By championing Mr. Assad and condemning American "aggression," President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia seemed to be burying the idea that he could somehow cooperate with the Trump administration to end the conflict on his terms.

    The solidarity with Damascus is likely to cause problems for Russia in the long run, analysts said, although Mr. Putin probably cannot be persuaded to loosen his embrace any time soon.

    The Russian government often takes its time to react to major world events, but the Kremlin issued a prompt statement early Friday castigating the United States for the missile strike on Al Shayrat airfield in retaliation for Syria's chemical weapons attack.

    The Russian Ministry of Defense vowed to strengthen Syria's air defense systems, sent a frigate on a port call and froze an agreement with the United States to coordinate activity in Syrian air space.

    [Apr 17, 2017] Ron Paul Peace Is Popular... People Dont Start The Wars Zero Hedge

    Notable quotes:
    "... You have/had no leaders, you have owners. ..."
    "... "Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger." ..."
    "... We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction. ..."
    "... The problem is the US education/MSM/government indoctrination that you must pick a team and be loyal regardless of its acts. ..."
    "... Those teams are major league sports/local sports/Demo-Rep/identity politics/US military/captain America/right-left/ and so forth. ..."
    "... The MSM profits from those team events. War is an extension of my team "uber alles psychosis." War promises glory, victories and the impossibility of defeat or losses for the USA. Trained sheeple emote USA, USA, USA. Reality is they're no different than the deranged in a Depression era movie, wherein thousands bow down, worshiping, an evil leader. ..."
    "... God backs the USA? God gives glory and heaven to all who die for the USA? God rewards killing? When will they ever learn? ..."
    "... The most important insight in the article for me is the distinction between control freak, power-obsessed psychopaths like most in congress and those who just want to be left alone (e.g. most of the ZH readers). The desire to be left alone and not told by nannycrats how to live your life is at the heart of libertarian philosophy coupled with individual responsibility. That soda is too big for you, wear a seatbelt, sensible gun control, shared responsibility tax, wear a motorcycle helmet, reduce your carbon footprint etc. The whining nagging nannycrats don't understand: the universe is random, you can't control everything with laws and regulations. In short, their worldview is fundamentally flawed and this is why there can never be compromise in matters of liberty. Death to the MIC, the prison industrial complex fueled by the failed war on drug, the failed "war on poverty". And most important, death to the FED, whose debt money allows the financing of the warfare/welfare state which is the single greatest impediment to human progress. To paraphrase Ayn Rand, the individual in the engine which drives the world and liberty its fuel. ..."
    Apr 17, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
    by Future Jim -> logicalman , Apr 16, 2017 11:51 AM

    They Live

    Learn how we know the cabal is real.

    WTFRLY -> Future Jim , Apr 16, 2017 11:53 AM

    It's not people, it's the creatures masquerading as people

    Yukon Cornholius -> WTFRLY , Apr 16, 2017 12:17 PM

    Ron Paul figures he needs about 29 million Americans to get on board with making radical change. Good luck with that.

    HopefulCynical -> Yukon Cornholius , Apr 16, 2017 12:27 PM

    All wars are banker wars.

    Giant Meteor -> HopefulCynical , Apr 16, 2017 1:59 PM

    Correct.

    Snorster, The Black Swan Is On The Wing

    Never get's old .. "The International Banker Is THe Scum of The Earth" ..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1HhQejLoSA

    daily westerner -> Giant Meteor , Apr 16, 2017 2:57 PM

    Ron Paul knows a thing or two.

    He could teach that orange goblin some tricks. Let's be honest, we could be better with an OLDER adviser, instead of Javanka.

    Trump Comes Across a Bit too "Clever" for His Own Good

    http://dailywesterner.com/news/2017-04-16/trump-comes-across-a-bit-too-c...

    FreeShitter -> BaBaBouy , Apr 16, 2017 11:44 AM

    You have/had no leaders, you have owners.

    Giant Meteor -> FreeShitter , Apr 16, 2017 11:51 AM

    They OWN you ! Shoutout to Carlin ...

    Giant Meteor , Apr 16, 2017 11:49 AM

    Things have a tendency to spin out of control ..

    "Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

    - Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

    The quote cited above does not appear in transcripts of the Nuremberg trials because although Goering spoke these words during the course of the proceedings, he did not offer them at his trial. His comments were made privately to Gustave Gilbert, a German-speaking intelligence officer and psychologist who was granted free access by the Allies to all the prisoners held in the Nuremberg jail.

    We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

    "Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."

    "There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    http://www.snopes.com/quotes/goering.asp

    lie_to_me -> flaminratzazz , Apr 16, 2017 12:23 PM

    Psychopaths aren't human. The capacity for empathy makes us human.

    HopefulCynical -> lie_to_me , Apr 16, 2017 12:46 PM

    Exactly. Humans have a conscience. Those who don't - aren't.

    jamesmmu , Apr 16, 2017 12:00 PM

    Did President Trump's Dinner/Summit With President Of China At Mar-A-Lago Help With North Korea And Other Matters For Americans?

    http://investmentwatchblog.com/did-president-trumps-dinnersummit-with-pr...

    Reaper , Apr 16, 2017 12:00 PM

    The problem is the US education/MSM/government indoctrination that you must pick a team and be loyal regardless of its acts.

    Those teams are major league sports/local sports/Demo-Rep/identity politics/US military/captain America/right-left/ and so forth.

    The MSM profits from those team events. War is an extension of my team "uber alles psychosis." War promises glory, victories and the impossibility of defeat or losses for the USA. Trained sheeple emote USA, USA, USA. Reality is they're no different than the deranged in a Depression era movie, wherein thousands bow down, worshiping, an evil leader.

    God backs the USA? God gives glory and heaven to all who die for the USA? God rewards killing? When will they ever learn?

    BenBache , Apr 16, 2017 12:05 PM

    I totally disagree. The voting class has given us all the wars. Read the comments at Breitbart or the Washington Times. They love bombs and killing. Same with the left when they have their murderers in charge. The entire left supported Obama's claim that the president has the right to execute Americans on a whim, including children. No one objected when Obama launched fake missiles into fake wedding parties. Since FDR Americans have seen war as their Christian National Duty.

    SteveK9 , Apr 16, 2017 1:14 PM

    Why do we have wars? Hermann Goering summed it up superbly:

    "Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."

    "There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    seataka , Apr 16, 2017 1:24 PM

    I thought this link important enough to risk being accused of spam:

    In a world reduced to thought stopping sound-bytes, perspective is everything:

    http://thesaker.is/how-to-bring-down-the-elephant-in-the-room/

    " The poor man apparently had absolutely no idea of the power and maniacal drive of the Neocons who met him once he entered the White House. Even worse is the fact that he apparently does not realize that they are now using him to try out some pretty demented policies for which they will later try to impeach him as the sole culprit should things go wrong (and they most definitely will). "

    rockstone , Apr 16, 2017 1:39 PM

    "If we learn how to build so many wonderful things and the standard of living goes up for so many people and we have all of these luxuries, why is it that we haven't figured out how to stay out of killing each other?"

    I don't know Paul. Maybe because there are people who don't care to "learn to build so many wonderful things" and will slit your throat in a heartbeat to take it.

    I notice you're down there in beautiful lilly white Lake Jackson surrounded by Bubba nice and safe.

    Next time, head about 90 minutes north and discuss "non aggression" in the Ward. Otherwise STFU.

    Son of Captain Nemo , Apr 16, 2017 1:56 PM

    Ron. As always we appreciate your dissertation on the voracious American appetite for indifference when it pledges to make every other energy rich sovereign Nation a "nail" for it's "hammer" before "looting"...

    But I digress....

    This is where you should have come in after Paul Wellstone was murdered in his investigation of the U.S. government's hand in the event(s) of 9/11 and it's "cover up"!

    You voted for Afghanistan and hung a "yellow bumper sticker" on your car when you knew out of the starting gate what it was for and more importantly how it would end up being used to prop up a failing American British Central Banking system that was on it's last legs after it took place?..

    No more pity parties after you were approached by the likes of "AE911Truth" twice after 2009!

    Step aside and let the Russian Bear commence it's "bitch slapping" in Raqqa and the Donbass!!

    Only way the American people will wise up is when Congress brings home oodles of American "char broiled" in body bags from Syria needing "NGDR" which will require a Draft this time given we're sort of light in the wallet as well as the "loafers" post-2008ish!!!

    Internet-is-Beast , Apr 16, 2017 2:01 PM

    Trump is being blindsided by his narcisism and materialism. He is like a character in a Greek play. He will drag us all down with him. Those Greeks were really on to something. That's why it's so important to have a classical education.

    GRDguy , Apr 16, 2017 2:25 PM

    As an old man, and a very long time student of history, it never ceases to amaze me how the sociopathic 1% of the population can lie-to, steal-from, and murder in the name of the 99% who are NOT sociopathic. That's why I vote against every incumbent, every primary and every election. Simple odds are that we'll get a non-sociopathic majority in government each time.

    Zoomorph -> GRDguy , Apr 16, 2017 4:14 PM

    It's not surprising since "sociopath" has been defined practically to mean someone powerful (although the definition is ambiguous, and also commonly includes another sort of person) - so there's no surprise that those in positions of power are "sociopaths". Anyways, if you don't yet understand that that's how life works and has to work then you ought to go read more history and reflect further on the subject.

    Does it also amaze you that the 0.001% human beings continue to trample over, eat, or viciously murder the 99.999% insects and plants?

    besnook -> PitBullsRule , Apr 16, 2017 2:34 PM

    before the west discovered asia and the pacific there was relative peace for hundreds of years. constant war is a western thing. you have never given up your roman, visigoth, barbarian, uncivilized essence.

    Able Ape , Apr 16, 2017 3:23 PM

    You own a munitions plant, you send checks to CONgress, in the mean time people eat up Patriotism like it was candy from the time they are 5 years old, politicians who get checks from the munitions plants tell their constituents that we need to go to war and its the patriotic thing to do and it will take the peoples' minds off the messes CONgress had made .... in this trail of tears, where's the resistance? Hardly any is there? It's like a greased path right to war.... Yet, how many people want to live in neighborhoods where there is constant shooting, bombing, killing - where you don't know if you will see the next sunrise...People like to live in nice, quiet, peaceful neighborhoods, SO.....?

    John_Coltrane , Apr 16, 2017 3:30 PM

    First, let me congratulate ZH for publishing this great article with the thoughts of one of the most intelligent, insightful, honest and humane individuals who has ever served this country. Ron reminds us of why we should sometimes be proud of being American when we have so much to make us ashamed.

    The most important insight in the article for me is the distinction between control freak, power-obsessed psychopaths like most in congress and those who just want to be left alone (e.g. most of the ZH readers). The desire to be left alone and not told by nannycrats how to live your life is at the heart of libertarian philosophy coupled with individual responsibility. That soda is too big for you, wear a seatbelt, sensible gun control, shared responsibility tax, wear a motorcycle helmet, reduce your carbon footprint etc. The whining nagging nannycrats don't understand: the universe is random, you can't control everything with laws and regulations. In short, their worldview is fundamentally flawed and this is why there can never be compromise in matters of liberty. Death to the MIC, the prison industrial complex fueled by the failed war on drug, the failed "war on poverty". And most important, death to the FED, whose debt money allows the financing of the warfare/welfare state which is the single greatest impediment to human progress. To paraphrase Ayn Rand, the individual in the engine which drives the world and liberty its fuel.

    Live long and prosper Doctor Paul.

    Sid Davis , Apr 16, 2017 5:03 PM

    Peace might be popular with ordinary people, but government being the institutionalization of force, doesn't do what ordinary people do. The people who gravitate to government offices are the extreme narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths of the world, and they like to use force (the power of government). Since war is the ultimate expression of force, it actually is something these people in government like to do.

    When the inmates run the asylum, the results are bad for the rest of us.

    The only legitimate use of force is in self defence, which is why normal people sometimes choose to fight rebellions against the crazies in government.

    [Apr 15, 2017] Leaks NSA Penetrated Mideast Banking Networks -- News from Antiwar.com

    Apr 15, 2017 | news.antiwar.com

    New leaked documents released by the Shadow Brokers includes information showing that the NSA penetrated Middle Eastern financial networks , initially with an eye toward being able to track all financial transactions in the region as an "anti-money laundering" effort.

    This involved hacking into the region's SWIFT banking system, and unsurprisingly,, given the NSA's penchant for mission creep fairly quickly grew this into an effort not only to have access to the information on financial transactions, but to try to gain access to a long list of banks "of interest."

    The leaks provided information showing that SWIFT bureau in the Middle East, EastNet, made some very poor security choices, which would've allowed the NSA to easily attack essentially all of the banks on the network, as soon as they had compromised the first one.

    Documents showed at least five of the banks "of interest" had been compromised. It is unclear from the documents whether the NSA continues to have these banks' systems compromised and is continued to collect data from them, though at the very least they now have a heads up that it's going on.

    [Apr 14, 2017] Goodbye, American neoliberalism. A new era is here

    Notable quotes:
    "... The Bush and Clinton dynasties were destroyed by the media-saturated lure of the pseudo-populist billionaire with narcissist sensibilities and ugly, fascist proclivities. The monumental election of Trump was a desperate and xenophobic cry of human hearts for a way out from under the devastation of a disintegrating neoliberal order – a nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness. ..."
    "... This lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees. In short, the abysmal failure of the Democratic party to speak to the arrested mobility and escalating poverty of working people unleashed a hate-filled populism and protectionism that threaten to tear apart the fragile fiber of what is left of US democracy. And since the most explosive fault lines in present-day America are first and foremost racial, then gender, homophobic, ethnic and religious, we gird ourselves for a frightening future. ..."
    "... In this sense, Trump's election was enabled by the neoliberal policies of the Clintons and Obama that overlooked the plight of our most vulnerable citizens. The progressive populism of Bernie Sanders nearly toppled the establishment of the Democratic party but Clinton and Obama came to the rescue to preserve the status quo. And I do believe Sanders would have beat Trump to avert this neofascist outcome! ..."
    "... The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang ..."
    "... The white house and congress are now dominated by tea party politicians who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand.....read Breitbart news to see how Thatcher and Reagan are idolised. ..."
    "... if you think the era of "neo liberalism" is over, you are in deep denial! ..."
    "... The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad. ..."
    "... Didn't Obama say to Wall Street ''I'm the only one standing between you and the lynch mob? Give me money and I'll make it all go away''. Then came into office and went we won't prosecute the Banks not Bush for a false war because we don't look back. ..."
    "... He did not ignore, he actively, willingly, knowingly protected them. At the end of the day Obama is wolf in sheep's clothing. Exactly like HRC he has a public and a private position. He is a gifted speaker who knows how to say all the right, progressive liberal things to get people to go along much better than HRC ever did. ..."
    "... Even when he had the Presidency, House and Senate, he never once introduced any progressive liberal policy. He didn't need Republican support to do it, yet he never even tried. ..."
    Nov 17, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

    The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang. The political triumph of Donald Trump shattered the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties – both wedded to the rule of Big Money and to the reign of meretricious politicians.

    The Bush and Clinton dynasties were destroyed by the media-saturated lure of the pseudo-populist billionaire with narcissist sensibilities and ugly, fascist proclivities. The monumental election of Trump was a desperate and xenophobic cry of human hearts for a way out from under the devastation of a disintegrating neoliberal order – a nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness.

    White working- and middle-class fellow citizens – out of anger and anguish – rejected the economic neglect of neoliberal policies and the self-righteous arrogance of elites. Yet these same citizens also supported a candidate who appeared to blame their social misery on minorities, and who alienated Mexican immigrants, Muslims, black people, Jews, gay people, women and China in the process.

    This lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees. In short, the abysmal failure of the Democratic party to speak to the arrested mobility and escalating poverty of working people unleashed a hate-filled populism and protectionism that threaten to tear apart the fragile fiber of what is left of US democracy. And since the most explosive fault lines in present-day America are first and foremost racial, then gender, homophobic, ethnic and religious, we gird ourselves for a frightening future.

    What is to be done? First we must try to tell the truth and a condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak. For 40 years, neoliberals lived in a world of denial and indifference to the suffering of poor and working people and obsessed with the spectacle of success. Second we must bear witness to justice. We must ground our truth-telling in a willingness to suffer and sacrifice as we resist domination. Third we must remember courageous exemplars like Martin Luther King Jr, who provide moral and spiritual inspiration as we build multiracial alliances to combat poverty and xenophobia, Wall Street crimes and war crimes, global warming and police abuse – and to protect precious rights and liberties.

    Feminists misunderstood the presidential election from day one Liza Featherstone By banking on the idea that women would support Hillary Clinton just because she was a female candidate, the movement made a terrible mistake Read more

    The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad.

    Rightwing attacks on Obama – and Trump-inspired racist hatred of him – have made it nearly impossible to hear the progressive critiques of Obama. The president has been reluctant to target black suffering – be it in overcrowded prisons, decrepit schools or declining workplaces. Yet, despite that, we get celebrations of the neoliberal status quo couched in racial symbolism and personal legacy. Meanwhile, poor and working class citizens of all colors have continued to suffer in relative silence.

    In this sense, Trump's election was enabled by the neoliberal policies of the Clintons and Obama that overlooked the plight of our most vulnerable citizens. The progressive populism of Bernie Sanders nearly toppled the establishment of the Democratic party but Clinton and Obama came to the rescue to preserve the status quo. And I do believe Sanders would have beat Trump to avert this neofascist outcome!

    Click and elect: how fake news helped Donald Trump win a real election Hannah Jane Parkinson The 'alt-right' (aka the far right) ensnared the electorate using false stories on social media. But tech companies seem unwilling to admit there's a problem

    In this bleak moment, we must inspire each other driven by a democratic soulcraft of integrity, courage, empathy and a mature sense of history – even as it seems our democracy is slipping away.

    We must not turn away from the forgotten people of US foreign policy – such as Palestinians under Israeli occupation, Yemen's civilians killed by US-sponsored Saudi troops or Africans subject to expanding US military presence.

    As one whose great family and people survived and thrived through slavery, Jim Crow and lynching, Trump's neofascist rhetoric and predictable authoritarian reign is just another ugly moment that calls forth the best of who we are and what we can do.

    For us in these times, to even have hope is too abstract, too detached, too spectatorial. Instead we must be a hope, a participant and a force for good as we face this catastrophe.

    theomatica -> MSP1984 17 Nov 2016 6:40

    To be replaced by a form of capitalism that is constrained by national interests. An ideology that wishes to uses the forces of capitalism within a market limited only by national boundaries which aims for more self sufficiency only importing goods the nation can not itself source.

    farga 17 Nov 2016 6:35

    The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang.

    Really? The white house and congress are now dominated by tea party politicians who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand.....read Breitbart news to see how Thatcher and Reagan are idolised.

    That in recent decades middle ground politicians have strayed from the true faith....and now its time to go back - popular capitalism, small government, low taxes.

    if you think the era of "neo liberalism" is over, you are in deep denial!

    Social36 -> farga 17 Nov 2016 8:33

    Maybe, West should have written that we're now in neoliberal, neofascist era!

    ForSparta -> farga 17 Nov 2016 14:24

    Well in all fairness, Donald Trump (horse's ass) did say he'd 'pump' money into the middle classes thus abandoning 'trickle down'. His plan/ideology is also to increase corporate tax revenues overall by reducing the level of corporation tax -- the aim being to entice corporations to repatriate wealth currently held overseas. Plus he has proposed an infrastructure spending spree, a fiscal stimulus not a monetary one. When you add in tax cuts the middle classes will feel flushed and it is within that demographic that most businesses and hence jobs are created. I think his short game has every chance of doing what he said it would.

    SeeNOevilHearNOevil 17 Nov 2016 6:36

    The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad.

    Didn't Obama say to Wall Street ''I'm the only one standing between you and the lynch mob? Give me money and I'll make it all go away''. Then came into office and went we won't prosecute the Banks not Bush for a false war because we don't look back.

    He did not ignore, he actively, willingly, knowingly protected them. At the end of the day Obama is wolf in sheep's clothing. Exactly like HRC he has a public and a private position. He is a gifted speaker who knows how to say all the right, progressive liberal things to get people to go along much better than HRC ever did.

    But that lip service is where his progressive views begin and stop. It's the very reason none of his promises never translated into actions and I will argue that he was the biggest and smoothest scam artist to enter the white house who got even though that wholly opposed centre-right policies, to flip and support them vehemently. Even when he had the Presidency, House and Senate, he never once introduced any progressive liberal policy. He didn't need Republican support to do it, yet he never even tried.

    ProbablyOnTopic 17 Nov 2016 6:37

    I agree with some of this, but do we really have to throw around hysterical terms like 'fascist' at every opportunity? It's as bad as when people call the left 'cultural Marxists'.

    LithophaneFurcifera -> ProbablyOnTopic 17 Nov 2016 7:05

    True, it's sloganeering that drowns out any nuance, whoever does it. Whenever a political term is coined, you can be assured that its use and meaning will eventually be extended to the point that it becomes less effective at characterising the very groups that it was coined to characterise.

    Keep "fascist" for Mussolini and "cultural Marxist" for Adorno, unless and until others show such strong resemblances that the link can't seriously be denied.

    I agree about the importance of recognising the suffering of the poor and building alliances beyond, and not primarily defined by, race though.

    l0Ho5LG4wWcFJsKg 17 Nov 2016 6:40
    Hang about Trump is the embodiment of neo-liberalism. It's neo-liberalism with republican tea party in control. He's not going to smash the system that served him so well, the years he manipulated and cheated, why would he want to change it.
    garrylee -> l0Ho5LG4wWcFJsKg 17 Nov 2016 9:38
    West's point is that it's beyond Trump's control. The scales have fallen from peoples eyes. They now see the deceit of neo-liberalism. And once they see through the charlatan Trump and the rest of the fascists, they will, hopefully, come to realize the only antidote to neo-liberalism is a planned economy.

    Nash25 17 Nov 2016 6:40

    This excellent analysis by professor West places the current political situation in a proper historical context.

    However, I fear that neo-liberalism may not be quite "dead" as he argues.

    Most of the Democratic party's "establishment" politicians, who conspired to sabotage the populist Sanders's campaign, still dominate the party, and they, in turn, are controlled by the giant corporations who fund their campaigns.

    Democrat Chuck Schumer is now the Senate minority leader, and he is the loyal servant of the big Wall Street investment banks.

    Sanders and Warren are the only two Democratic leaders who are not neo-liberals, and I fear that they will once again be marginalized.

    Rank and file Democrats must organize at the local and state level to remove these corrupt neo-liberals from all party leadership positions. This will take many years, and it will be very difficult.


    VenetianBlind 17 Nov 2016 6:42

    Not sure Neo-Liberalism has ended. All they have done is get rid of the middle man.

    macfeegal 17 Nov 2016 6:46

    It would seem that there is a great deal of over simplifying going on; some of the articles represent an hysteric response and the vision of sack cloth and ashes prevails among those who could not see that the wheels were coming off the bus. The use of the term 'liberal' has become another buzz word - there are many different forms of liberalism and creating yet another sound byte does little to illuminate anything.

    Making appeals to restore what has been lost reflects badly upon the central political parties, with their 30 year long rightward drift and their legacy of sucking up to corporate lobbyists, systems managers, box tickers and consultants. You can't give away sovereign political power to a bunch of right wing quangos who worship private wealth and its accumulation without suffering the consequences. The article makes no contribution (and neither have many of the others of late) to any kind of alternative to either neo-liberalism or the vacuum that has become a question mark with the dark face of the devil behind it.

    We are in uncharted waters. The conventional Left was totally discredited by1982 and all we've had since are various forms of modifications of Thatcher's imported American vision. There has been no opposition to this system for over 40 years - so where do we get the idea that democracy has any real meaning? Yes, we can vote for the Greens, or one of the lesser known minority parties, but of course people don't; they tend to go with what is portrayed as the orthodoxy and they've been badly let down by it.

    It would be a real breath of fresh air to see articles which offer some kind of analysis that demonstrates tangible options to deal with the multiple crises we are suffering. Perhaps we might start with a consideration that if our political institutions are prone to being haunted by the ghost of the 1930's, the state itself could be seen as part of the problem rather than any solution. Why is it that every other institution is considered to be past its sell by date and we still believe in a phantom of democracy? Discuss.

    VenetianBlind -> macfeegal 17 Nov 2016 7:00

    I have spent hours trying to see solutions around Neo-Liberalism and find that governments have basically signed away any control over the economy so nothing they can do. There are no solutions.

    Maybe that is the starting point. The solution for workers left behind in Neo-Liberal language is they must move. It demands labor mobility. It is not possible to dictate where jobs are created.

    I see too much fiddly around the edges, the best start is to say they cannot fix the problem. If they keep making false promises then things will just get dire as.

    [Apr 14, 2017] The west used colonies as laboratories for weapons. Its not different today

    Apr 14, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

    The United States has dropped its largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat against Isis targets in Afghanistan. But why drop such a gargantuan bomb in the first place? No one can have any sympathy for Isis and its murderous offshoots, but you don't need to be a military expert to suspect something strange might be going on here.

    Since the US's stated objective was to destroy underground tunnels, wouldn't so-called bunker buster bombs, which can also be huge and dig deep into the earth, serve the aims of this mission just as well, if not better?

    Look to the history of colonial warfare for the answer. The lands of the colonized have always served as the western world's laboratory for the newest and worst weapons of war.

    Bombs may have been with us since the invention of gunpowder, but the phenomenon of aerial warfare is only as old as 1 November 1911, when Libya became the first country to suffer a bombardment from the sky.

    Late to the colonial scramble for Africa, Italy coveted Libya, then a province of the failing Ottoman empire. In 1911, the Italians invaded the north African territory and that November, Lieutenant Giulio Gavotti flew over Ain Zara, just east of Tripoli. Unbeknownst to his superiors, Gavotti tossed four 1.5kg grenades out of his window, pulling the pins with his teeth, and watching them explode on the oasis town below. He later wrote that he was "really pleased with the result".

    Just like today, the press went crazy with the news. The innovation of aerial warfare was mind blowing. Gavotti was lauded as a true Italian hero, although Europe's professional warriors initially thought otherwise. They considered the act beneath the rules of civilized combat. Their contempt didn't last long, and a new era of aerial warfare, especially against "uncivilized" peoples, began.

    In 1920, Britain took charge of Iraq, and a popular revolt quickly erupted. The Royal Air Force responded with a new strategy they called "control without occupation". The thinking was that there would be no need for large and costly contingents of soldiers on the ground if one could simply bomb the local population into submission from the sky. And bomb they did. For days, weeks, and months on end.

    Churchill , who in 1919 had penned a memo stating that he was "strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes", even pushed Air Marshal Trenchard in 1920 to "proceed with the experimental work on gas bombs, especially mustard gas, which would inflict punishment upon recalcitrant natives without inflicting grave injury upon them". Historians now believe there wasn't enough mustard gas to go around, so large-scale conventional bombing was left to achieve Britain's desired result in Iraq.

    The United States is not immune to such military opportunism either. The US fired its first depleted uranium munitions during the 1991 Gulf war. A total of 320 tons (290,300 kgs) landed in Iraq in that war, and depleted uranium has a half-life of 4.5 billion years, as old as our solar system now is. The results have been spectacularly terrible throughout Iraq, with birth defects and cancer rates disturbingly elevated throughout the country.

    The Russian military has exploited its campaign assisting the Assad regime in Syria to test out 162 new weapons systems, including new cruise missiles and long-range bombers. It would seem the Russians are very proud of their new weapons. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu used the occasion of Vladimir Putin's 63 rd birthday to announce that Russia had fired cruise missiles at targets in Syria from the Caspian Sea, some 900 miles away.

    Look at the countries mentioned thus far – Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan . Southeast Asia of course also suffered terribly when it was the west's main laboratory of death and destruction, but this list of countries should give us a sense of history regarding our current conflicts along with some much-needed humility about the success of bombing people into submission.

    This brings us to the GBU-43/B, a 22,600-pound bomb that is known as a Moab, officially a Massive Ordinance Air Blast and unofficially a Mother of All Bombs. Developed for the 2003 Iraq war, each GBU-43/B reportedly costs $16m. The bomb, which explodes before impact and with a reported blast radius as large as a mile in diameter, is the second largest non-nuclear weapon in the American arsenal. It has never been used before. Until now.

    Once again, the territory inhabited by the "uncivilized" has been shelled so the west can try out its new lethal toys. Forgotten in all of this is that bombs, especially ones this size, don't affect only people. Munitions may be aimed at enemies, but an enormous bomb such as this kills plant life massively as well. When such a bomb detonates, a percussive blast destroys everything in it fatal path, shattering the insides of humans and animals alike.

    The air is literally sucked out of the atmosphere to feed the jealous fire created by its explosion. The aim of such a bomb is to kill enemies but at what consequence to our earth? There is something narcissistic to think that bombs of this enormity are an attack on humanity. In fact, they are an assault on all forms of life.

    --> Devondaddy , 13m ago The MOAB used in Afghanistan was almost exactly the same size as Barns Wallace's Grandslam' bomb deployed by the RAF against the Nazis in 1945.
    Sorry if that doesn't fit with the narrative, but in conflict the most appropriate weapons are deployed irrespective of who the enemy are.
    Try reading a little military history if you are going to write about it.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Slam_(bomb )

    --> , MartinSilenus , 14 Apr 2017 18:01

    Oh, Poison Gas was first used, on Europeans, by Europeans.
    Nuclear weapons only use was not on `uncivilised tribes`, but an Industrial Nation, Imperial Japan.
    Mostly, we used the most sdvanced weapons, to kill other western forces: only then, were they used in Colonial wars. Custers men at the Little Big Horn, used single shot rifles, the only repeating rifles were used by some of the Native Americans. He could have taken `Gatling Guns`he refused!
    "The Lakota and Cheyenne warriors did join the battle with a number of Henry and Spencer repeating rifles"
    https://www.wired.com/2009/06/dayintech_0625 /
    http://www.historynet.com/battle-of-little-bighorn-were-the-weapons-the-deciding-factor.htm
    http://custerlives.com/7thcav11.htm
    , Briar , 14 Apr 2017 17:57
    Of course The West doesn't do things like this - as far as its own self portrait is concerned. You won't find any shade of the opinion of this commentator in the items singing the praises of America's massive WMDs in the media today. They are so excited about the size of the bomb! About the message it sends about the West's Greatness. I daresay most men of god will similarly support it this Sunday by not mentioning the obscenity of calling the bomb a "mother" or deploying it at Easter. It's just so Christian - killing people of lesser gods en masse at what the West regards as the holiest time of the year.
    , Black_Sparrow , 14 Apr 2017 17:56
    Failing banana republics like the US need to distract as much as possible from the domestic problems. Dropping big bombs in Afghanistan makes Americans think they are still powerful, while the country is collapsing like a cheap tent.
    , MartinSilenus , 14 Apr 2017 17:49
    Note, in the below - famous - Churchill memo on the use of `poison gas` he states quite clearly the type he envisages using: "making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas".

    Lachrymatory means tears/crying, in other words tear gas, formally known as a lachrymatory agent. He had been in the Trenches, the effects of Mustard gas on the Eyes, Skin & Lungs would have been familiar to him, read the memo yourself, does it sound like WWI poison gasses: Chlorine, Phosgene or Mustard gas, was being proposed? Note: the blinded of Mustard Gas, could have lived until the late 20th Century, why no accounts of them blinded as children, great anti British propoganda, so why has no such tales of gas blindings from the 1920`s ever been reported from Iraq?

    " as shown in a War Office minute of 12 May 1919 in which Winston Churchill argued :

    "I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favour of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare. It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected."

    , PierreCorneille , 14 Apr 2017 17:48
    It amazes me, well, not anymore, how ignorant Americans are. This "Mother" bomb is not the biggest ever used. One of them yes, but the RAF used a 22,000 pound bomb called the Grand Slam. Carried by the Avro Lancaster, it was used for highly reinforced positions like U boat pens. Reply Share
    , CforCynic PierreCorneille , 14 Apr 2017 17:53
    Biggest in terms of the amount of explosives inside it. Grand Slam had just less than half the amount of explosives inside it that the MOAB does. We used to have a few empty Grand Slam casings laying around on one of the MoD sites I worked at. Extremely thick steel, to say the least. Reply Share
    , Pfalze CforCynic , 14 Apr 2017 18:06
    Grand Slams were designed to go deep into the ground and explode creating an underground chamber.They were also known as earthquake bombs.The largest high explosive bomb was the Blockbuster. A 12000lb bomb 3/4 of the weight of the bomb was the contents.It was designed as a blast bomb. Reply Share
    , CforCynic Pfalze , 14 Apr 2017 18:17
    I spent a bit of my MoD career working with what was euphemistically referred to as "energetic materials". We had quite a few WW2 relics at one of the sites. From bits of Tallboy and Grand Slam casings, to all different types of MC and HC bombs. Last I heard the scrappy got his hands on them, so they're probably baked-bean cans by now.
    , Pier16 , 14 Apr 2017 17:40
    I have figured out 90% of the US government activity is selling BS to the American people so that they can continue doing what they're doing without being questioned.

    In the big scheme of things this is a big bomb to take out supposedly a large depot of arms belonging to the ISIS terrorists who were about to commence their spring offensive in that area.

    Americans have done bombings like this before (not with MOAB ~~ but hundreds of smaller bombs). But, the "public relations" aspect of this bombing was just out of this world. For example retired general McCaffrey on MSNBC said this is a weapon of terror (he meant it in a good way). It terrorizes ISIS and anyone who cooperates with them. I guess he meant in a "shock and awe" way. The American media is cheering this, as if no one in the world knows US has nukes and can blow everyone off the face of the earth several times, until they deployed this weapon. You hear from the talking heads and their echo chambers, this is going to give a message to the North Koreans and this or that group. The message North Koreans, and this or that group is getting is US has a huge amount of weapons, a big military, but after fighting for 16 years in an impoverished country, with a GDP of $3 billion, US has resorted to biggest nonnuclear weapon in its arsenal to show how tough they are. The message this sends to the rest of the world is US military is impotent and incompetent, so is the US government.

    , CriticAtLarge Pier16 , 14 Apr 2017 17:49
    The Taliban control more of Afghanistan than at any point since 2001. Yeah, I am sure a massive bomb will turn the tide. Reply Share
    , moria50 CriticAtLarge , 14 Apr 2017 18:06
    The Taliban have head office in Turkey, UAE and Qatar....and business meetings in the Maldives.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22957827

    [Apr 14, 2017] 'Brought to you by agency which produced Al-Qaeda ISIS' – Assange trolls CIA chief

    Notable quotes:
    "... "Called a 'non-state intelligence service' today by the 'state non-intelligence agency' which produced Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Iraq, Iran & Pinochet." ..."
    "... "non-state hostile intelligence service," ..."
    "... "he and his ilk make common cause with dictators." ..."
    "... "firm and continuing policy " ..."
    "... "We publish truths regarding overreaches and abuses conducted in secret by the powerful," ..."
    Apr 14, 2017 | www.rt.com
    Julian Assange has responded to CIA Director Mike Pompeo's accusation that WikiLeaks is a "non-state intelligence agency" by trolling the CIA over its own roles in producing "Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Iraq, Iran and Pinochet."

    Called a "non-state intelligence service" today by the "state non-intelligence agency" which produced al-Qaeda, ISIS, Iraq, Iran & Pinochet.

    - Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) April 14, 2017

    Assange tweeted, "Called a 'non-state intelligence service' today by the 'state non-intelligence agency' which produced Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Iraq, Iran & Pinochet."

    Pompeo accused WikiLeaks of siding with dictators and being a "non-state hostile intelligence service," at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event on Thursday. He called Assange and his associates "demons" and said "he and his ilk make common cause with dictators."

    BREAKING: #WikiLeaks is 'hostile intel' and #Assange & his followers are 'demons' - CIA chief Mike #Pompeo https://t.co/DA5MmJIYWF pic.twitter.com/MjQ87lKJgR

    - RT America (@RT_America) April 13, 2017

    Assange in turn accused the CIA of producing terrorist groups and dictators. He said the CIA produced Al-Qaeda, referring to the agency's role in arming and training mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets during the 1970s, some of whom – including Osama Bin Laden – later evolved into Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

    Assange has previously stated that the CIA's role in arming the mujahideen led to Al-Qaeda, which led to 9/11, the Iraq invasion and, later, the formation of ISIS.

    The CIA admitted it was behind the 1953 coup in Iran which overthrew Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq and reinstalled the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, whose 26 year rule led to the 1979 Islamic revolution.

    #WikiLeaks releases more than 500k US diplomatic cables from 1979 https://t.co/9Ophyvp2zD

    - RT America (@RT_America) November 28, 2016

    Assange's Pinochet reference alludes to the CIA's "firm and continuing policy " to assist in the overthrowing of Chilean President Salvador Allende in 1973, and its support for dictator Augusto Pinochet.

    Pompeo's attack on WikiLeaks appears to be in response to an op-ed Assange wrote in the Washington Post on Tuesday which referenced President Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1961 farewell speech, in which he warned of the dangers of the influence of the military industrial complex. Assange said the speech is similar to WikiLeaks' own mission statement.

    READ MORE: 40 targets in 16 countries: Scale of CIA-linked #Vault7 hacking tools revealed by Symantec

    "We publish truths regarding overreaches and abuses conducted in secret by the powerful," he said, going on to say that WikiLeaks' motives are the same as those of the New York Times and the Washington Post.

    Pompeo himself has previously appeared to support WikiLeaks' revelations, while President Donald Trump praised the whistleblowing site on more than one occasion during the presidential election, even professing his love for WikiLeaks in October.

    [Apr 12, 2017] Did Assad Really Use Sarin

    Notable quotes:
    "... is a journalist based in Madison, WI whose work focuses on the Middle East. He can be reached via Twitter @paulgottinger or email: paul.gottinger@gmail.com ..."
    Apr 12, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

    Almost immediately after video of the alleged chemical weapons attack in Idlib hit Western media, Assad was declared guilty by US news networks and political commentators. The front page of the New York Times on April 5 th showed a heartbreaking image of a child wounded in the alleged chemical attack with a headline claiming Assad was responsible.

    By the afternoon of April 7, a US attack seemed inevitable as both Rex Tillerson and Trump said action would be taken.

    Between Democrats and Republicans, a bipartisan consensus emerged, rare in the Trump presidency, whereby Assad was deemed guilty and Trump was goaded on to attack. The few voices of dissent seemed mostly concerned with the lack of constitutional approval for the strike

    The night of the strike, US media snapped into DPRK-style, state media mode. TV pundits fell into a trance while expressing the " beauty " of American power being unleashed on a country already destroyed by 6 years of war.

    Pundits described the attack as "surgical" despite the pentagon quietly admitting one of the missiles missed its target and they don't know where it landed. My questions to both CENTCOM and the Secretary of Defense Office on the missing cruise missile have thus far gone unanswered. However, Syrian sources claim civilians were killed in the missile strike.

    Trump justified the attack by invoking religiously themed buzzwords and unconvincing blather on the "beautiful babies" murdered in the chemical attack.

    Following the attack, Trump officials' statements indicated there was a shift towards regime change. UN ambassador Nikki Haley said Sunday that removing Assad is now a priority.

    The Neocon sharks have started circling too. Bill Kristol tweeted that these strikes should be used to move towards regime change in Iran. Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, and John McCain have all joined in too, their mouths watering at the thought of ousting Assad.

    But was Assad really responsible for the attack?

    To ask such a question is to be deemed an "Assadist" by pundits and discourse police across the political spectrum.

    Neither the lack of an independent investigation, nor the fact that nearly all the information on the alleged attack has come from rebel sources, who stand to benefit from a US response, is deemed sufficient cause for skepticism.

    In a civilized society an actor is be presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. If guilt is determined, a legally justified course of action is taken. In the US however, if the accused is a US enemy, no evidence is needed, and even deranged conspiracies are given play in mainstream media coverage.

    The best recent example of this is the US media's conspiracy about Russia stealing the US election and working for Trump. The US media has stooped so low as to even push bizarre conspiracies by Louise Mensch . She recently claimed the 2014 uprising in Ferguson was a Russian plot.

    In the case of the alleged attack on Khan Sheikhun, US officials and pro-war experts immediately declared Assad's guilty and then cheered on an illegal use of force. This is all very reminiscent of the lead up to the Iraq war.

    In an eerie coincidence, Michael R. Gordon, who with Judith Miller helped sell the Iraq WMD story to Americans, coauthored the New York Times April 4th article on Assad's alleged sarin attack at Khan Sheikhun.

    To help sell the sarin narrative, the US media brought on a doctor to describe the alleged attack that has been accused of helping kidnap journalists in his work with extremists.

    When the US investigated its own airstrike in Mosul this March, it took a number of days before it admitted it had killed hundreds of civilians. Yet, guilt was immediately assigned in the Khan Sheikhun attack.

    In 2013, the US media also rushed to the conclusion Assad used sarin in a horrific incident in Ghouta. The US was on the verge of attacking Assad then, but Obama decided against it. Obama claimed he held off because US intelligence voiced skepticism about Assad's guilt.

    The UN investigation on the Ghouta attack took almost a month and even its conclusions have been disputed.

    In December of 2013, Seymour Hersh published a lengthy investigation into the 2013 attack in Ghouta and found reason to doubt Assad's responsibility for attack. He was forced to publish it in the London Review of Books after the New York Times and the Washington Post refused to run it.

    He reported that classified US reports claimed that Syria's al Qaeda affiliate had "mastered the mechanics of creating sarin".

    A month after Hersh's piece appeared, a MIT study cast further doubt on the US government's story by demonstrating that the rockets used in the Ghouta attack couldn't have flown as far as the US government claimed.

    Ted Postol, one of the authors of the study said, "We were within a whisker of war based on egregious errors."

    In this latest alleged gas attack, a few individuals have dared question the state narrative.

    The journalist Robert Parry has recently claimed there is much to be made of the fact that Mike Pompeo, the CIA Director, wasn't among those helping sell this latest sarin story to the American people. He believes it indicates doubt in the CIA over Assad's involvement.

    Scott Ritter, a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, has raised skepticism over Assad's involvement. He says rebels have had chemical weapons facilities in Syria and some of the witnesses' statements describe a strong smell during the attack, which indicates something other than sarin was used.

    The Canadian government originally called for an investigation and stopped short of blaming Assad at the UN, but then later championed Trump's strikes.

    Groups like Organizations for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and Human Rights Watch are still investigating the alleged attack in Khan Sheikhun.

    Whether these groups or others will be able to conduct an independent investigation is not known. But in usual fashion, the US had no interest in investigating facts, which may provide the wrong answers.

    It's possible that Assad carried out the attack, but just because he's a reprehensible figure doesn't mean there is no need to present evidence and conduct an independent investigation.

    What's clear now is that the US attack benefitted jihadi groups, has made further US military action more likely, and has increased the chances of a direct military confrontation with Russia. All of these results are very dangerous.

    Future US military action in Syria should be resisted with popular pressure. History shows we can't count on the media or pundits to act as the voice of reason. Join the debate on Facebook

    Paul Gottinger is a journalist based in Madison, WI whose work focuses on the Middle East. He can be reached via Twitter @paulgottinger or email: paul.gottinger@gmail.com

    [Apr 11, 2017] Is Trump Joining the War Party?

    Trump surrendered to neocons. He is now Israel first instead of America first.
    Notable quotes:
    "... A Syrian war would consume Trump's presidency. ..."
    "... Another problem: Trump's missile attack was unconstitutional. Assad had not attacked or threatened us, and Congress, which alone has the power to authorize war on Syria, has never done so. ..."
    "... What was Trump thinking? Here was his strategic rational: "When you kill innocent children, innocent babies-babies, little babies-with a chemical gas that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line. And I will tell you, that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me. My attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much." ..."
    "... Now, that gas attack was an atrocity, a war crime, and pictures of its tiny victims are heart-rending. But 400,000 people have died in Syria's civil war, among them thousands of children and infants. ..."
    "... For it makes no sense. Why would Assad, who is winning the war and had been told America was no longer demanding his removal, order a nerve-gas attack on children, certain to ignite America's rage, for no military gain? ..."
    "... Like the gas attack in 2013, this has the marks of a false-flag operation to stampede America into Syria's civil war. ..."
    "... And as in most wars, the first shots fired receive the loudest cheers. But if the president has thrown in with the neocons and War Party, and we are plunging back into the Mideast maelstrom, Trump should know that many of those who helped to nominate and elect him-to keep us out of unnecessary wars-may not be standing by him. ..."
    "... We have no vital national interest in Syria's civil war. It is those doing the fighting who have causes they deem worth dying for. ..."
    "... Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of ..."
    "... and the author of the book ..."
    "... Unfortunately Pat the "War Party" will probably get its way. Hate to break your heart but Trump is well on his way to "selling out" all the promises he ran on. I'm surprised you didn't see that a long time ago. What in Trump's background made you think he was a man of any integrity? ..."
    "... The media / administration (are they any different) are certain that Assad did it. Now they are upping the ante and claiming for sure Putin approved it. Really? can we recall the battleship Maine? can we recall the Gulf of Tonkin, can we recall the WMD in Iraq? ..."
    "... How much money is budgeted for this? Based on results so far in Iraq and Afghanistan countries with basically no allies we have spent 3T. Syria is allied with Russia better budget 2T for that but no need for body bags as the nukes will cremate us all. ..."
    "... Donald Trump said that he would keep us out of unnecessary foreign wars – wars that damaged the US national interest. ..."
    "... Some of us who campaigned most fervently to elect Donald Trump President are old-timers who have also campaigned and marched for more than half a century against unnecessary US wars – wars that have damaged the national interest. ..."
    "... Make no mistake: As fervently as we have supported our beloved "America First" President Trump, our first loyalty is – and will always be - to the interests of America, not to President Trump. ..."
    "... If President Trump drags us into another Middle East war in Syria - risking a military confrontation with Russia, the one remaining nuclear power in the world capable of destroying the US – many of us will stop supporting President Trump. ..."
    "... Trump's "non-interventionism," like so much else about him, is only skin-deep. In fact, I doubt there are *any* consistent non-interventionists on the Right in elected office. I believe the consistent ones are all either writing for or reading TAC. ..."
    "... Patrick was spot on in 2003 with his article "Whose war?" He is again right. The same cabal that sent us into Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya has reemerged stronger and more determined than ever to force American to pursue a policy not in its national interests. ..."
    "... If you are on a diet, you do not hire gourmet chefs to advise you. This is what Trump has done. He has invited the (continual) war party to be his closest advisors. His credentials as an "American First" president have been irrevocably shattered beyond repair. All that is left is a war-compliant Congress. These are difficult times. ..."
    "... The most ludicrous figure is poor Tillerson, who when he arrives in Moscow will probably be taken to the nearest Motel 6 and forgotten. Why would Putin agree to see this sputtering, foaming wind-up toy after his several warnings and insults? No reason I can see. ..."
    "... I am in my 60s, Vietnam War era kid. Since I started paying attention those many years ago, I have watched the US "intelligence" community lie about the Gulf of Tonkin incident, fail to know the USSR was collapsing, overthrow government leaders in South America, lie about the Shah of Iran's conduct which led to the Iranian revolution, support Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime as it went to war against Iran and killed one million people in the process, then either lied about or grossly got wrong the "weapons of mass destruction" that we now know did not exist in Iraq. ..."
    "... Surely; you jest . Like the captain of the Vincennes, who got a medal? Sure; when Russia bombs a hospital; it's evil; when we do it the next week; well; I guess mistakes happen.. ..."
    "... "What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?" – Ghandi ..."
    "... I wrote the White House, my congressman, and one of my senators to denounce our intervention in Syria and urge detente. It most likely will amount to nothing, but it seemed the only option within my power to take. ..."
    "... Overthrowing Assad will certainly "do something about ISIS": It will grow stronger. ..."
    "... John S. Thanks for your analysis of the difference between American and Russian way of attacks. You say "we launch investigations, and we look for culpability. And if there was culpability, we mete out justice". Sir can you kindly give us one instance of justice meted out in US for such attacks? Does WMD and at least a million Iraqis killed/maimed count? How about Libya where they had a functioning government now a no mans land where our beloved CIA/DIA dare not thread ..."
    "... There is a wonderful Russian fable about a fly sitting on an ox's back as the ox tills a field, and then telling to the ox "we did a great job." No offense, but this is exactly the relationship between consistent non-interventionists and the Trump electorate. You all supported Trump because you heard no more war; But Trump was saying "blow up bad guys without spending any money or losing any soldiers." ..."
    Apr 11, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
    By firing off five dozen Tomahawk missiles at a military airfield, our "America First" president may have plunged us into another Middle East war that his countrymen do not want to fight.

    Thus far Bashar Assad seems unintimidated. Brushing off the strikes, he has defiantly gone back to bombing the rebels from the same Shayrat air base that the U.S. missiles hit.

    Trump "will not stop here," warned UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on Sunday. "If he needs to do more, he will."

    If Trump fails to back up Haley's threat, the hawks now cheering him on will begin deriding him as "Donald Obama."

    But if he throbs to the war drums of John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio and orders Syria's air force destroyed, we could be at war not only with ISIS and al-Qaeda, but with Syria, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah.

    A Syrian war would consume Trump's presidency.

    Are we ready for that? How would we win such a war without raising a large army and sending it back into the Middle East?

    Another problem: Trump's missile attack was unconstitutional. Assad had not attacked or threatened us, and Congress, which alone has the power to authorize war on Syria, has never done so.

    Indeed, Congress denied President Obama that specific authority in 2013.

    What was Trump thinking? Here was his strategic rational: "When you kill innocent children, innocent babies-babies, little babies-with a chemical gas that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line. And I will tell you, that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me. My attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much."

    Two days later, Trump was still emoting: "Beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror."

    Now, that gas attack was an atrocity, a war crime, and pictures of its tiny victims are heart-rending. But 400,000 people have died in Syria's civil war, among them thousands of children and infants.

    Have they been killed by Assad's forces? Surely, but also by U.S., Russian, Israeli, and Turkish planes and drones-and by Kurds, Iranians, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, ISIS, U.S.-backed rebels, and Shiite militia.

    Assad is battling insurgents and jihadists who would slaughter his Alawite brethren and the Christians in Syria just as those Copts were massacred in Egypt on Palm Sunday. Why is Assad more responsible for all the deaths in Syria than those fighting to overthrow and kill him?

    Are we certain Assad personally ordered a gas attack on civilians?

    For it makes no sense. Why would Assad, who is winning the war and had been told America was no longer demanding his removal, order a nerve-gas attack on children, certain to ignite America's rage, for no military gain?

    Like the gas attack in 2013, this has the marks of a false-flag operation to stampede America into Syria's civil war.

    And as in most wars, the first shots fired receive the loudest cheers. But if the president has thrown in with the neocons and War Party, and we are plunging back into the Mideast maelstrom, Trump should know that many of those who helped to nominate and elect him-to keep us out of unnecessary wars-may not be standing by him.

    We have no vital national interest in Syria's civil war. It is those doing the fighting who have causes they deem worth dying for.

    For ISIS, it is the dream of a caliphate. For al-Qaeda, it is about driving the Crusaders out of the Dar al Islam. For the Turks, it is, as always, about the Kurds.

    For Assad, this war is about his survival and that of his regime. For Putin, it is about Russia remaining a great power and not losing its last naval base in the Med. For Iran, this is about preserving a land bridge to its Shiite ally Hezbollah. For Hezbollah it is about not being cut off from the Shiite world and isolated in Lebanon.

    Because all have vital interests in Syria, all have invested more blood in this conflict than have we. And they are not going to give up their gains or goals in Syria and yield to the Americans without a fight.

    And if we go to war in Syria, what would we be fighting for?

    A New World Order? Democracy? Separation of mosque and state? Diversity? Free speech for Muslim heretics? LGBT rights?

    In 2013, a great national coalition came together to compel Congress to deny Barack Obama authority to take us to war in Syria.

    We are back at that barricade. An after-Easter battle is shaping up in Congress on the same issue: Is the president authorized to take us into war against Assad and his allies inside Syria?

    If, after Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen, we do not want America in yet another Mideast war, the time to stop it is before the War Party has us already in it. That time is now.

    Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority .

    Fred Bowman, April 10, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Unfortunately Pat the "War Party" will probably get its way. Hate to break your heart but Trump is well on his way to "selling out" all the promises he ran on. I'm surprised you didn't see that a long time ago. What in Trump's background made you think he was a man of any integrity? All he did was tell people what they wanted to hear but there was nothing in Trump's past that would suggest he would ever deliver on them. At best Trump is just an opportunist who got in "over his head" and will end up as "figurehead President" controlled by those who have done so much to destroy what's left of the American Republic.

    John Sharpe, April 11, 2017 at 1:45 am

    Is it in America's vital interest that the use of WMD's never becomes a common tactic for unstable regimes to punish/control misbehaving populations? I don't know. It's hard to argue for a world where sarin gas attacks happen at the about the same frequency as car bombs. Could be a handful of missiles bought the world another decade or so before that comes about.

    john, April 11, 2017 at 1:48 am

    The media / administration (are they any different) are certain that Assad did it. Now they are upping the ante and claiming for sure Putin approved it. Really? can we recall the battleship Maine? can we recall the Gulf of Tonkin, can we recall the WMD in Iraq?

    How much money is budgeted for this? Based on results so far in Iraq and Afghanistan countries with basically no allies we have spent 3T. Syria is allied with Russia better budget 2T for that but no need for body bags as the nukes will cremate us all.

    Kurt Gayle, April 11, 2017 at 1:52 am

    Donald Trump said that he would keep us out of unnecessary foreign wars – wars that damaged the US national interest.

    Some of us who campaigned most fervently to elect Donald Trump President are old-timers who have also campaigned and marched for more than half a century against unnecessary US wars – wars that have damaged the national interest.

    This week's US bombing of Syria has set off alarm bells for many of us. We find it hard to believe that – after just three months in office – someone in whom we placed so much trust might be on the verge of betraying his promise to keep us out of unnecessary wars.

    Make no mistake: As fervently as we have supported our beloved "America First" President Trump, our first loyalty is – and will always be - to the interests of America, not to President Trump.

    If President Trump drags us into another Middle East war in Syria - risking a military confrontation with Russia, the one remaining nuclear power in the world capable of destroying the US – many of us will stop supporting President Trump.

    Instead, we will do what we have always done: We will support our country, the US, and its national interest in staying out of unnecessary foreign wars.

    The ball is now in President Trump's court. We, his supporters, are watching him closely – by the hour.

    Live up to your campaign promises, Mr. President!

    Alex , says: April 11, 2017 at 2:22 am
    "In 2013, a great national coalition came together to compel Congress to deny Barack Obama authority to take us to war in Syria."

    Obama was much smarter than Trump. Now Republicans are trashing Obama for being weak and praising Trump for being strong. The Republicans talk about rule of law when it suits them.

    Trump sent a message. A pretty expensive and stupid and meaningless one. The majority of stupid Republicans and spineless Democrats are supporting it.

    Trump did what he was supposed to: he eliminated Hillary. Now we need to survive theses four years.

    Pear Conference , says: April 11, 2017 at 6:27 am
    Trump's "non-interventionism," like so much else about him, is only skin-deep. In fact, I doubt there are *any* consistent non-interventionists on the Right in elected office. I believe the consistent ones are all either writing for or reading TAC.
    PAXNOW , says: April 11, 2017 at 8:29 am
    Patrick was spot on in 2003 with his article "Whose war?" He is again right. The same cabal that sent us into Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya has reemerged stronger and more determined than ever to force American to pursue a policy not in its national interests.

    If you are on a diet, you do not hire gourmet chefs to advise you. This is what Trump has done. He has invited the (continual) war party to be his closest advisors. His credentials as an "American First" president have been irrevocably shattered beyond repair. All that is left is a war-compliant Congress. These are difficult times.

    Mel Profit , says: April 11, 2017 at 8:46 am
    The most ludicrous figure is poor Tillerson, who when he arrives in Moscow will probably be taken to the nearest Motel 6 and forgotten. Why would Putin agree to see this sputtering, foaming wind-up toy after his several warnings and insults? No reason I can see.

    This administration has all the finesse of a bar fight with baseball bats.

    John S , says: April 11, 2017 at 8:51 am
    Two points.

    "Have they been killed by Assad's forces? Surely, but also by U.S., Russian "

    Surely there's a world of difference between our attacks and those of the Russians? For when innocent civilians suffer when we attack, the American public is scandalized, we launch investigations, and we look for culpability. And if there was culpability, we mete out justice. At least that's the way we hope it works. No such thing happens on the Russian side. Russia was complicit in this gas attack. In fact, Russia targets innocents regularly. And there is no comparable scandal in Moscow.

    "We have no vital national interest in Syria's civil war"
    Doesn't Mr. Buchanan want to do something about ISIS?

    PAXNOW , says: April 11, 2017 at 9:46 am
    @ John S – Like Representative Gabbard and others Patrick wants us to stop supporting ISIS (directly or indirectly).
    No to neos , says: April 11, 2017 at 10:07 am
    I am in my 60s, Vietnam War era kid. Since I started paying attention those many years ago, I have watched the US "intelligence" community lie about the Gulf of Tonkin incident, fail to know the USSR was collapsing, overthrow government leaders in South America, lie about the Shah of Iran's conduct which led to the Iranian revolution, support Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime as it went to war against Iran and killed one million people in the process, then either lied about or grossly got wrong the "weapons of mass destruction" that we now know did not exist in Iraq.

    That list is just off the top of my head. Yet we're supposed to automatically believe this same "intelligence" community knows beyond doubt what happened in that gas attack?

    SDS , says: April 11, 2017 at 10:11 am
    What Kurt Gayle said- I second.

    "For when innocent civilians suffer when we attack, the American public is scandalized, we launch investigations, and we look for culpability. And if there was culpability, we mete out justice "

    Surely; you jest . Like the captain of the Vincennes, who got a medal? Sure; when Russia bombs a hospital; it's evil; when we do it the next week; well; I guess mistakes happen..

    IN the end; we will do what Israel wants us to do We did in Iraq; in Libya; yet to do in Iran; and now we will attack Syria; all because Israel wants us to .

    Sad! .

    BradD , says: April 11, 2017 at 11:02 am
    @John S

    "Surely there's a world of difference between our attacks and those of the Russians? "

    "What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?" – Ghandi

    I doubt that those on the ground really know who it is that are bombing them all the time. A bomb is a bomb, a missile a missile. An errant drone strike that hits a hospital does the same damage that an intentional one causes.

    "Doesn't Mr. Buchanan want to do something about ISIS?"

    Ah, to 'do something'. I can do a lot of somethings: I could wish really hard ISIS go away, I could launch attacks on China thinking that would deter ISIS, I could paint a red line around my house cause ISIS won't cross red lines. ISIS is in Iraq and Syria. They have no aircraft carrier, no tanks, no transport ships. They will no arrive on our shores in a mass invasion. They are trying to recruit those that are here, inspire attacks, and infiltrate in numbers less than a dozen. Let our intelligence services do their job, not our military a thousand miles away.

    Scott_api , says: April 11, 2017 at 11:35 am
    "In 2013, a great national coalition came together to compel Congress to deny Barack Obama authority to take us to war in Syria."

    In 2013, a GOP coalition came together to stop Obama getting credit for doing something the GOP war party wanted to reserve solely for their own use – bombing brown people to inflate their domestic polling numbers.

    I think that is what you meant to say.

    If you are under the illusion that the GOP stopped Obama from bombing Syria for any other reason than the above, you are in need of a check-up.

    minimammal , says: April 11, 2017 at 12:06 pm
    I wrote the White House, my congressman, and one of my senators to denounce our intervention in Syria and urge detente. It most likely will amount to nothing, but it seemed the only option within my power to take.

    Also to respond to John S.'s comment: "Doesn't Mr. Buchanan want to do something about ISIS?"

    How does creating a power vacuum in Syria thwart ISIS?

    Lee Timmer , says: April 11, 2017 at 12:52 pm
    @John S
    Overthrowing Assad will certainly "do something about ISIS": It will grow stronger.
    Murali , says: April 11, 2017 at 12:55 pm
    John S. Thanks for your analysis of the difference between American and Russian way of attacks. You say "we launch investigations, and we look for culpability. And if there was culpability, we mete out justice". Sir can you kindly give us one instance of justice meted out in US for such attacks? Does WMD and at least a million Iraqis killed/maimed count? How about Libya where they had a functioning government now a no mans land where our beloved CIA/DIA dare not thread

    To our honor can we also add Afganistan where we displaced the government with a constant night rides and drone attacks?

    Oh by the way we lobbied bombs on a hospital operated by Doctors without borders, we first denied then said may be and launched an investigation to nowhere? Surely appreciate your thoughts.

    Dan , says: April 11, 2017 at 1:20 pm
    "Donald Trump said "

    words that have been uttered by stiffed contractors and workers for decades and now people who thought they had elected a savior.

    This is the problem with personality cults, Mr. Buchanan. Trump was a million different images to a million different people. But, ultimately, he's a conman and selfish.

    None of this is surprising, even if the details are frightening. Trump lied; he always lies; he will continue to lie.

    We need to check this frightening figure. I can only hope the Constitutional 'literalists' grow a pair and do their duty. So far, it seems we have a party of sycophants to our own strongman

    John Gruskos , says: April 11, 2017 at 1:37 pm
    Great column by Pat Buchanan, and a great comment from Kurt Gayle.
    Kevin , says: April 11, 2017 at 1:37 pm
    "Some of us who campaigned most fervently to elect Donald Trump President are old-timers who have also campaigned and marched for more than half a century against unnecessary US wars – wars that have damaged the national interest.
    "

    There is a wonderful Russian fable about a fly sitting on an ox's back as the ox tills a field, and then telling to the ox "we did a great job." No offense, but this is exactly the relationship between consistent non-interventionists and the Trump electorate. You all supported Trump because you heard no more war; But Trump was saying "blow up bad guys without spending any money or losing any soldiers."

    Patrick D , says: April 11, 2017 at 3:41 pm
    Kevin,

    "But Trump was saying "blow up bad guys without spending any money or losing any soldiers."

    This was basically the Democratic Party's MO the last 8 years, aka "smart power", and Clinton promised more.

    PRDoucette , says: April 11, 2017 at 4:05 pm
    If the Russians and Iranians starting laughing when Trump gave them 30 minutes advance warning of the message he was going to send to Assad for using chemical weapons, they really doubled over when Trump's people called for regime change in Syria. Talk about a meaningless gesture. The only way there will be a regime change in Syria is if the Russians and Iranians decide Assad is no longer useful and they want to put their selected puppet on the throne for reasons that they see as vital to their national interests, which Syria very much represents to both of them.

    [Apr 10, 2017] That was roundly 30 tons of weight.

    Apr 10, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

    ilsm -> DrDick... April 10, 2017 at 02:04 PM

    That was roundly 30 tons of weight.

    In Vietnam US exploded 10's of millions of tons and got nothing!

    Bombing does not work, which is the conclusion of the suppressed minority including JK Galbraith of the bombings in WW II.

    Except the A bomb which scared the emperor.

    [Apr 09, 2017] Agent Orange failed to understand that he was elected mostly due to Hillary jingoism, not on his own merits

    Notable quotes:
    "... Villagers reported the victims as three-month-old Asma Fahad Ali al Ameri; Aisha Mohammed Abdallah al Ameri, 4; Halima Hussein al Aifa al Emeri, Hussein Mohammed Abdallah Mabkhout al Ameri, both 5; Mursil Abedraboh Masad al Ameri, 6; Khajija Abdallah Mabkhout al Ameri, 7; Nawar Anwar al Awlaqi, 8; Ahmed Abdelilah Ahmed al Dahab, 11; Nasser Abdallah Ahmed al Dahab, 12. ..."
    "... The concierge at Mar-a-Lago had the good manners not to interrupt Trump, Kushner, Bannon and the rest at dinner with pictures of the dead children. Therefore, no change of policy: they can go back to eating and planning the next raid. ..."
    Apr 09, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    Julio, April 09, 2017 at 11:30 AM
    From Newsweek's report
    http://www.newsweek.com/trumps-yemen-raid-killed-nine-children-what-went-wrong-554611
    on Trump's Yemen raid:

    "Villagers reported the victims as three-month-old Asma Fahad Ali al Ameri; Aisha Mohammed Abdallah al Ameri, 4; Halima Hussein al Aifa al Emeri, Hussein Mohammed Abdallah Mabkhout al Ameri, both 5; Mursil Abedraboh Masad al Ameri, 6; Khajija Abdallah Mabkhout al Ameri, 7; Nawar Anwar al Awlaqi, 8; Ahmed Abdelilah Ahmed al Dahab, 11; Nasser Abdallah Ahmed al Dahab, 12."

    The concierge at Mar-a-Lago had the good manners not to interrupt Trump, Kushner, Bannon and the rest at dinner with pictures of the dead children. Therefore, no change of policy: they can go back to eating and planning the next raid.

    No chemical weapons were used, so all is OK.

    libezkova -> Julio , April 09, 2017 at 01:40 PM
    Agent Orange failed to understand that he was elected mostly due to Hillary jingoism, not on his own merits. [And that voters expect to hism to stop the wars for neoliberal empire expansion as well as neocons war in support of Israeli regional interests.]

    Or was forcefully "converted" into Hillary during the first 100 days of his presidency.

    [Apr 09, 2017] As a result of President Trump's actions, that provision has now become a dead letter. The last constraints inhibiting the use of force by whoever happens to be commander-in-chief have now disappeared. When it comes to initiating hostilities, the occupant of the Oval Office is now omnipotent

    Apr 09, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    Being omnipotent to unleash military actions is a sign of imperial presidency, and the sign that the US is not longer democracy, even if we assume that it was for some period of time such a republic.
    But Bacevich conveniently forgot that this was situation did not suddenly appeared with Trump -- the case with several previous Us presidents.

    Fred C. Dobbs -> Fred C. Dobbs.. April 08, 2017 at 10:21 AM

    Trump doesn't have authority to order strikes against Syria
    http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2017/04/07/trump-doesn-have-authority-order-strikes-against-syria/AwUgfHIvGctBS0ImGTHGFM/story.html?event=event25
    via @BostonGlobe - Andrew J. Bacevich April 07, 2017

    Let's be clear: Syria's Bashar Assad is a bum and probably a war criminal. Yet it does not follow that the president of the United States possesses the authority to order an armed attack on the sovereign state that Assad governs.

    That authority rests with the Congress, as Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution explicitly states. As a result of President Trump's actions, that provision has now become a dead letter. The last constraints inhibiting the use of force by whoever happens to be commander-in-chief have now disappeared. When it comes to initiating hostilities, the occupant of the Oval Office is now omnipotent.

    Granted, presidents have been encroaching on congressional war powers for decades now. At least since Harry Truman ordered US troops into Korea back in 1950, the role allotted Congress in authorizing the use of force has eroded. Not since December 1941 has Congress actually "declared" war, now a quaint notion akin to asking your girlfriend's dad for her hand in marriage.

    True, to sustain a pretense of relevance, Congress has periodically issued broad statements that essentially give presidents a free hand to do as they see fit. The Tonkin Gulf Resolution of 1964 offers one infamous example of this practice. The so-called Authorization to Use Military Force, or AUMF, passed with minimal debate on September 14, 2001, offers a second.

    That document directs the president to "use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided" the events of 9/11. In effect, it says to the president: You decide; just keep us safe.

    The AUMF is the ultimate blank check. In the 15-plus years since, senior US officials have cited it as a basis for conducting military operations against various and sundry evildoers who had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11. It has become the point of departure for permanent war conducted according to the whim of whoever happens to be sitting in the Oval Office. What's left to the Congress is simply to pay the bills, which it does routinely with minimal complaint or partisan bickering. When it comes to funding wars, bipartisanship reigns.

    Small wonder then that in initiating hostilities against Syria, Trump felt no need to consult Congress. In what the New York Times describes as a "meeting of considerable length," he huddled with a handful of aides - more than a few of them career military officers - and rendered a decision. From start to finish, the process consumed less time than Trump normally spends in signing off on the construction of a new luxury golf resort.

    All indications suggest that this one military action - not much more than a pinprick really - is a mere prelude. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has announced that regime change in Syria has now become an administration priority. Unless Assad goes voluntarily, that suggests the prospect of further US military action, the nature and duration of which remain to be seen. Always eager to "support the troops," a compliant Congress will pony up the necessary funds. The $54 billion increase to the Pentagon budget that Trump has already requested will be just for starters.

    Perhaps Trump will convene another "meeting of considerable length" to assess the consequences likely to follow if and when Assad is finally removed. We must hope so. The previous results of regime change - Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011 - suggest that the real trouble begins after the evil dictator leaves the scene. ...

    [Apr 09, 2017] Full blown neo-McCartism is now politically correct in the USA

    Apr 09, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    Peter K. -> BenIsNotYoda... , April 07, 2017 at 01:39 PM
    If there is some connection, it will come out after some time. Comey said there was an FBI investigation into Russian interference in the election. The former National Security adviser Flynn wants an immunity deal.

    But the liberals like PGL have certainly gone hysterical in that it reminds me of McCarthyism. They'd rather talk about the traitors than why Hillary lost the election to a buffoon. Samantha Bee joked that the Russian hackers who spread fake news in Midwest swing states had a better game plan than Hillary.

    The center-left cant' believe they lost to Trump. So they focus on Russia, the external enemy.

    Kind of like wagging the dog.

    Sanjait -> Peter K.... , April 07, 2017 at 11:37 PM
    The Trump Organization subsisted for years off Russian oligarch money and his campaign and administration are lousy with people paid directly by them for political activities including his son.

    And you wonder "if" there is a connection? Bless your useful heart.

    ilsm -> Sanjait... , April 08, 2017 at 06:48 AM
    while the Clinton

    mob took Sunni

    royals' money

    in exchange for US

    keeping the Shi'a down

    it is different'

    when it is

    slaughter by US'

    puppet masters

    ilsm -> BenIsNotYoda... , April 07, 2017 at 05:36 PM
    What is the difference between Watergate and Obama wire tapping Trump and the GOP?

    Nixon did not trash the US constitution.

    If you think that is peanuts I suggest you look at pictures of US cemeteries in France.

    Sanjait -> ilsm... , April 07, 2017 at 11:38 PM
    I'm going to bet you are a 9/11 truther, and I suspect you're also the type who thinks fluoridated water is some kind of conspiracy.
    ilsm -> Sanjait... , April 08, 2017 at 06:52 AM
    your thinking skills

    are suspect

    what would you

    risk to find out?

    you do well betting?

    as Twain said

    it is difficult

    to argue with

    non "thinkers"

    they bring you

    into their delusion

    and beat you

    with experience

    libezkova -> Sanjait... , April 08, 2017 at 10:29 AM
    "I'm going to bet you are a 9/11 truther"

    I am going to bet that you are Hillary email scandal denier. And worse -- clueless jingoist, who get your all foreign policy information from the CNN and then uncritically regurgitate this neoliberal propaganda here.

    Each of us has a set of positions, and there should be some level of respect of them despite differences, because it is the debate that gets us closer to the truth.

    And it is a required behavior for those, who like you continuously try to show up your university education, despite the evidence to the contrary that that their posts often produce.

    The real sign of the university education is the tolerance toward the opponents. It is badly lacking in your behavior in this forum.

    [Apr 08, 2017] CIA bluff: Brennan claims that CIA had Evidence of Russian Effort to Help Trump Earlier Than Believed

    Looks like John O. Brennan , then the CIA. director was a very important player in creating anti-Russian hysteria. Who put a lot of efforts is fanning the "Russian threat" meme designed to suppress Hillary email scandal and DNC revelations. some senators such as McCain and Reid also played a role: "Mr. Reid fired off another letter on Oct. 30, accusing Mr. Comey of a "double standard" in reviving the Clinton investigation while sitting on "explosive information" about possible ties between Russia and Mr. Trump."
    Apr 08, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

    pgl, April 07, 2017 at 11:41 AM

    So on the same night, we sent missiles against an Assad airbase, the New York Times rant this story:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/06/us/trump-russia-cia-john-brennan.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

    C.I.A. Had Evidence of Russian Effort to Help Trump Earlier Than Believed

    ilsm -> pgl... , April 07, 2017 at 05:47 PM
    No way could Russia have done worse than the crooks in the DNC!

    Besides the Russia Putin canard diverts attention from the DNC trashing of the constitution.....

    libezkova -> ilsm... , April 08, 2017 at 12:31 PM
    I suspect that this is more of an attempt to unite the divided nation (and, especially, the Democratic Party), in which the majority of population now rejects official ideology of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization. With trust in official institution such as Congress, at dangerously low levels. And rumors (aka "fake news") rampant due to lack of trust in discredited official media channels. Proliferation of rumors ("improvised news") as Tamotsu Shubitani noted in his book ( https://www.amazon.com/Improvised-News-Sociological-Study-Rumor/dp/0672511487 ) is a definitive sign of the crisis of legitimacy of the ruling elite and/or dominant ideology of a given society. Sign of growing level of distrust.

    War hysteria is a proven cure in such circumstances. It also helps to suppress Sanders wing of the Democratic Party. Susan A. Brewer is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point book, Why America Fights: Patriotism and War Propaganda from the Philippines to Iraq, told a fascinating history of how the US elite has conducted what Donald Rumsfeld called "perception management" on the US population:

    == quote ==

    10. WE FIGHT TO STOP ANOTHER HITLER. There was only one Hitler, but he lives on in wartime propaganda since World War II.

    9. WE FIGHT OVER THERE SO WE DON'T HAVE TO FIGHT HERE. In this message, America typically is portrayed as a pastoral land of small towns, not as an urban, industrialized and militant superpower.

    8. WE FIGHT CLEAN WARS WITH SUPERIOR TECHNOLOGY. This message suggests that U.S. troops will not be in much danger, nor will innocent civilians be killed in what is projected to be a quick and decisive conflict.

    7. WE FIGHT TO PROTECT WOMEN AND CHILDREN. A traditional theme of war propaganda since ancient times, it is accompanied by compelling visuals and heartrending stories.

    6. WE FIGHT BRUTISH, FANATICAL ENEMIES. Another classic, it dehumanizes enemy fighters.

    5. WE FIGHT TO UNITE THE NATION. Here war is shown to heal old wounds and unify the divisions caused by the Civil War, class conflict, racial and ethnic differences, or past failures such as the Vietnam War.

    4. WE FIGHT FOR THE FLAG AND THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS. The trend has been to emphasize the flag over the republic. The more flags on display, the less likely the people's elected representatives will debate foreign policy or exercise their power to declare war.

    3. WE FIGHT TO LIBERATE THE OPPRESSED. When the oppressed resist U.S. help, they appear ungrateful and in need of American guidance especially if they have valuable resources.

    2. WE FIGHT TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. During the Philippine War, for example, this message advised that Uncle Sam knew what was best for the little brown brothers.

    1. WE FIGHT TO PROTECT THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE. Although the American way of life stands for peace, it requires a lot of fighting.

    == end of quote ==

    So it like the real goal of current warmongering hysteria is to unite the nation in general and Democratic Party in particular against the common enemy, using Russian threat as a scapegoat.

    This also helps to preserve the grip of Clinton (neoliberal) wing on Democratic Party, because after Hillary momentous fiasco, in normal circumstances, all of them need to go and be replaced with Sanders wing appointees.

    [Apr 06, 2017] Where are canisters and where are bomblets.

    Notable quotes:
    "... I find revealing is that the United States Ambassador to the UN should decide in effect to dictate to the UN. Diplomacy and belligerency differ, Ambassador Haley does not appear to care. ..."
    Apr 06, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    ilsm -> pgl..., April 05, 2017 at 03:11 PM
    bomblet debris is missing. need pictures. sarin is volatile. cannot be exploded. must be canister dropped.

    where are canisters and where are bomblets.

    about 40% duds on average if they are bad as US CBU's

    anne -> anne... , April 05, 2017 at 02:13 PM
    What the outcome may be I have no idea, but what I find revealing is that the United States Ambassador to the UN should decide in effect to dictate to the UN. Diplomacy and belligerency differ, Ambassador Haley does not appear to care.

    [Apr 06, 2017] Susan Rice just called "counter intelligence" the politically motivated surveillance of republicans

    Apr 06, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    ilsm -> Peter K, April 05, 2017 at 02:45 PM
    In Oct 2016 Obama said "there is no serious/sensible person who believes the US election could be hacked...."

    While he said this Susan Rice was "unredacting" the politically motivated surveillance of republicans, calling it "counter intelligence" while none of these people had any critical sensitive information to share unlike Clinton's 30000 e-mails.

    Those "unredactings" have been leaked to attempt to discredit the US elections.

    Seems Obama was surrounded by no one who was "serious/sensible" but many who used his office to attack the US Bill of Rights.

    Since 9 Nov 16 the DNC and its media tools have tried a coup by discrediting the US election using the security apparatus to assault privacy and they got nothing!

    [Apr 06, 2017] Scott Uehlinger Susan Rice Unmasking 'Abuse of Power' Violates 'Spirit of the Law,' Should Be 'Further Investigated'

    Notable quotes:
    "... Breitbart News Daily ..."
    Apr 06, 2017 | www.breitbart.com
    Former CIA operations officer Scott Uehlinger, co-host of The Station Chief podcast, talked about the Susan Rice "unmasking" story with SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam on Tuesday's Breitbart News Daily.

    "I think it's an issue which deeply concerns people like myself and other people, working-level officers in the intel community," Uehlinger said. "Even though at this point, there seems to be no evidence of breaking the law, this 'unmasking' of people was ill-advised at best. I think it really shows that abuse of power and the fact that many people in the Obama administration were willing to violate the spirit of the laws designed to protect Americans, perhaps rather than the law itself."

    ... ... ...

    "As a working-level CIA officer, we were always told by upper authority, you're always told to – and the quote is – 'avoid the appearance of impropriety,'" he said. "Well, this does not pass that smell test, definitely."

    Uehlinger said another thing that concerns working-level officers in the intelligence and military communities is "the American people, average Americans like myself, are tired of seeing two sets of rules followed by the higher-ups and then the working-level people."

    "This is just part of that again. A working-level officer would have gotten into big trouble doing anything remotely like this," he observed. "But now, we have a lot of people saying that she should just be given a pass."

    "While I understand, you know, it's important that the Trump administration has to move forward with its domestic agenda, but these allegations demand to be further investigated," he urged.

    Kassam proposed that Democrats and their media would not allow the Trump administration to move forward with any part of its agenda until this "Russia hysteria" is cleaned up. That will be a difficult task since, as Kassam noted, the hysteria has been burning at fever pitch for months without a shred of evidence to back up the wildest allegations.

    Uehlinger agreed and addressed Kassam's point that media coverage alternates between "no surveillance was conducted" and "we know everything about Trump's Russia connections."

    "The Obama administration relaxed the rule that allowed raw intelligence that was gathered by the NSA to be shared throughout the government," he pointed out. "First of all, to relax that, there is absolutely no operational justification for doing that. With all of the counter-intelligence problems, with espionage, with Snowden, all these things we've had, to raise by an order of magnitude the access to this very sensitive information makes no operational sense at all."

    "So for someone to approve that, it's clear they had another intent, and I believe the intent was to allow for further leakage," he charged. "To give more people access, thus more leaks, which, in fact, would hurt the Trump administration. It seems very obvious when you put that together and combine it with the actions of Susan Rice and other people in unmasking people. That is the true purpose behind this."

    "I say this as somebody who – you have to remember, when I was a station chief overseas, this is what I was reporting on. I was in countries like Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kosovo – countries which constantly had the offices of the prime minister or president using the intelligence services to suppress the domestic opposition. So I've been to this rodeo before, many a time. I saw the storm clouds gathering several weeks ago, and everything I've suspected has so far come to fruition," Uehlinger said.

    He pronounced it "very disappointing" that such transparent abuse of government power for partisan politics would occur in the United States.

    "An intelligence service has to have the trust of the people and the government in order to function effectively," he said. "With all of these scandals happening, and with the name of perhaps the CIA and other intelligence community elements in the mud, this makes the object of protecting our national security more problematic. The agencies have to have the trust of the American people, and they're losing it, because it seems as though they've been weaponized – perhaps, like I said, not breaking the law but playing very close to the line."

    Kassam suggested that leaking the information might have been illegal, even if Rice was legally entitled to request information on Donald Trump's campaign and unmask the U.S. persons monitored during surveillance of foreign intelligence targets.

    "That's absolutely the case," Uehlinger agreed. He went on to argue that the absence of hard evidence for any wrongdoing by the Trump campaign in all of these leaks was highly significant.

    "Since basically the Obama administration has sort of loaded this with these rule changes and all to allow for leaks the fact that there is no 'smoking gun' of Trump administration collusion with Russia indicates that there isn't any. There is nothing substantial here because a juicy morsel like that would certainly have been leaked by the same people that have been leaking everything else. The fact it hasn't been leaked out means it does not exist," he reasoned.

    Kassam said some of the Russia hysteria came from imputing sinister motives to conventional business dealings, arguing that Trump's organization made deals around the world, and it is exceedingly difficult to do business with any Russian entity that is not somehow connected to the Russian government.

    "That's an excellent point. You're absolutely right," Uehlinger responded. "It shows these people who are doing these gambits are relying on the relative ignorance of the American public of the actual nuts and bolts of intelligence to make their point. Anyone with any background in this stuff can see it for what it is: a desperate attempt to discredit an administration because they were crushed in the past elections."

    Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

    [Apr 06, 2017] Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed

    Apr 06, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    im1dc

    , April 05, 2017 at 09:36 AM
    US Navy has a new Arleigh Burke

    http://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2017/04/05/General-Dynamics-christens-US-Navys-USS-Thomas-Hudner/8921491404714/

    "General Dynamics christens U.S. Navy's USS Thomas Hudner"

    By Ryan Maass...April 5, 2017...11:34 AM

    "April 5 (UPI) -- General Dynamics Bath Iron Works christened the U.S. Navy's future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner during a ceremony.

    The christening took place at Bath Iron Works' shipyard on Saturday, and was attended by the ship's namesake, Capt. Thomas Hudner. During the Korean War, Hudner intentionally crash-landed his plane to save Ensign Jesse Brown, the first African-American Navy pilot...

    The christening comes almost two after the keel for the vessel was laid down in Bath, Maine. The Navy expects to commission the ship in Boston in 2018.

    Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers are multirole surface ships built to engage threats in all directions. The vessels can be used to support anti-air warfare as well as anti-submarine warfare. They can operate independently or as part of larger groups."

    ilsm -> im1dc... , April 05, 2017 at 03:03 PM
    Years behind in replacing Arleigh Burkes*. Nothing replacing the Ticonderoga class cruisers.

    Two more hulls and the Arleigh Burkes class gets an upgrade, designated "Flight III" about 1000 more tons, 4 ft wider stern, and if it works (might use some new materials GaNi chips) a new radar replacing the 40 year old Aegis.

    The extra weight is to make room for air conditioners to keep all the denser electronics cool.

    The Navy lost Zumwalt (DD 1000) at 3 ships and never got a chance for bigger cruiser class ships.

    A serious compromise and risky proposition with air and missile defenses that are questionable from the outset.

    *there seems to be about 17 new hulls for Arleigh Burke with the last 15 being new "Flt III" for the newer radar. I see s schedule issue!

    libezkova -> ilsm... , April 05, 2017 at 07:12 PM
    This is a lot of money ...

    Eisenhower:

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone.

    It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

    The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

    It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.

    It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.

    We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.

    We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

    This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.

    This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

    [Apr 06, 2017] Diplomats warn of Russia hysteria

    Apr 06, 2017 | thehill.com
    "That's total horseshit," said Wayne Merry, a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council who worked as a U.S. diplomat to Russia and has known Kislyak for decades. "It's a witch-hunt with paranoia and hysteria at its core. Normally it's the Russians who become paranoid and hysterical. That the conspiracy theories and paranoia is coming from Americans makes me very uncomfortable."

    The past two U.S. ambassadors to Russia defended Kislyak in interviews with The Hill: Michael McFaul a fierce Trump critic who was appointed by former President Obama, and John Beyrle, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush but served for three years under Obama.

    Both former ambassadors tell The Hill that the Russian ambassador was merely doing his job and that there is no evidence of any illicit collusion between him and the Trump campaign.

    McFaul and Beyrle say they are extremely troubled by evidence that suggests the Russians interfered in the U.S. election. They support an independent investigation into the matter.

    But allegations and insinuations that Kislyak was the point person for this - and that it could have played out in broad daylight at meetings on Capitol Hill or at Trump campaign events - are preposterous, they say.

    "Kislyak's job is to meet with government officials and campaign people and I think he's good at his job," said McFaul. "People should meet with the Russian ambassador and it's wrong to criminalize that or discourage it. I want the Russian government to be as informed as possible about the American political process. When I was ambassador, it was frustrating how poorly informed the Russian government was. It's a good thing to meet with him, not a bad thing."

    National security experts generally agree that Sessions and other Trump campaign officials have handled the Russia issue poorly.

    Sessions, they say, should have told Congress about his meeting with Kislyak.

    And they say Flynn was reckless and wrong to speak with Russian diplomats about sanctions during the transition period when Obama was still president.

    Still, former diplomats say the atmosphere in Washington over anything that carries even a whiff of Russia is out of control.

    "It's the usual Washington breathlessness that accompanies any story these days about Trump or the Russians," said Beyrle. "That doesn't mean there isn't need for an investigation. There is almost no question that there was Russian interference in the election and there needs to be an investigation. But to conclude from all this that Kislyak was somehow a bad actor is missing the target."

    National security experts say the uproar around Kislyak could have foreign policy reverberations, potentially making life difficult for the current U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Tefft, or his successor, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

    "The Russian default mode is reciprocity," said Beyrle. "If they feel we're doing it to them, more often than not they'll do it back to us."



    McFaul has experienced this first-hand. He routinely landed on the front page of Russian newspapers, accused of fomenting revolution.

    "I was demonized and called all kinds of things in the Russian press and I don't want Americans to do to Kislyak what the Russian government did to me," McFaul said. "It's not good for U.S. Russian relations. People should be able to meet with him without fear of being called a double-agent. Throwing around loosely, without documentation, that this person is an intelligence officer is dangerous."

    It's damaging to U.S. interests for lawmakers to be skittish about meeting with foreign ambassadors, according to Nikolas Gvosdev, a professor of national security at the U.S. Naval War College.

    From the Russian perspective, Gvosdev is worried that the frenzy around Kislyak will provoke the Russians to shut down diplomatic backchannels needed for the countries to cooperate on even basic levels.

    "Russia is still a major player. We can't not talk to them, " Gvosdev said. "We are really creating issues for future diplomacy with the Russians and this will make it harder when there's an actual major challenge from them."

    Andrey Sushentsov, the head of the Moscow-based Foreign Policy Advisory Group and a program director at the Valdai Club there, says the damage has already been done.

    "It seems that the "Russian question" is becoming one of the issues in America's culture wars," Sushentsov said in an email to The Hill. "By demonizing a foreign partner for a political purposes the U.S. limits it's capability in global governance and diplomacy.

    "Russia was not expecting the relations with the U.S. to improve significantly, but was not striving to worsen them even more. What Russia needs is predictability and stability in its relations with the US - even if this is a negative stability. Current climate in Washington does not permit this." Tags Jeff Sessions

    [Apr 04, 2017] Susan Rice asked for unmasking for national security, source says - CBS News

    Notable quotes:
    "... A Monday report by Bloomberg's Eli Lake said that Rice requested the unmasking of Trump officials. Names of Americans swept up incidentally in the collection of intelligence are normally masked, or kept redacted, in intelligence briefings ..."
    "... the former official did not dispute the reporting by Bloomberg. ..."
    Apr 04, 2017 | www.cbsnews.com

    A Monday report by Bloomberg's Eli Lake said that Rice requested the unmasking of Trump officials. Names of Americans swept up incidentally in the collection of intelligence are normally masked, or kept redacted, in intelligence briefings . However, the law provides for much leeway when it comes to unmasking by National Security Council officials, which suggests that Rice's request was legal.

    This type of request was not a special practice related to the Trump transition team, though the former official did not dispute the reporting by Bloomberg.

    As a procedural matter, an intelligence briefer would have had to clear a requested unmasking with the head of the agency providing the intelligence. It is unclear why these intelligence intercepts were considered so important that they would need to be shared with the president's national security adviser.

    A former national security official told CBS News that when such information on U.S. individuals is approved and provided by the intelligence community, it is typically given directly to the senior official who made the request and is not broadly disseminated.

    On some occasions, the official added, it is necessary to know the identity of U.S. persons in order to understand the context and substance of the intelligence. There is nothing improper, unusual or political about such requests.

    President Donald Trump tweeted last month that Trump Tower had been wiretapped by President Obama , a claim for which there is still no evidence. Later, House Intelligence chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said he had obtained evidence showing that the names of Trump associates that were swept up incidentally by intelligence agencies had been unmasked. That evidence is believed to have been provided to Nunes by the White House.

    Rice had said that she was unaware of the names of Trump officials being swept up incidentally by intelligence agencies. "I know nothing about this," she told "PBS NewsHour" last month when asked about Nunes' claim.

    [Apr 04, 2017] Drones, special operations, CIA arms supplies, military advisers, aerial bombings - the whole nine yards.

    Apr 04, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    RGC , April 04, 2017 at 07:42 AM
    US Military Should Get Out of the Middle East Jeffrey Sachs, Boston Globe

    It's time to end US military engagements in the Middle East.

    Drones, special operations, CIA arms supplies, military advisers, aerial bombings - the whole nine yards. Over and done with.

    That might seem impossible in the face of ISIS, terrorism, Iranian ballistic missiles, and other US security interests, but a military withdrawal from the Middle East is by far the safest path for the United States and the region. That approach has instructive historical precedents.

    America has been no different from other imperial powers in finding itself ensnared repeatedly in costly, bloody, and eventually futile overseas wars. From the Roman empire till today, the issue is not whether an imperial army can defeat a local one. It usually can, just as the United States did quickly in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003.

    The issue is whether it gains anything by doing so. Following such a "victory," the imperial power faces unending heavy costs in terms of policing, political instability, guerilla war, and terrorist blowback.

    http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/04/03/us-military-should-get-out-middle-east

    anne -> RGC... , April 04, 2017 at 08:42 AM
    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/27/magazine/the-empire-slinks-back.html

    April 27, 2003

    The Empire Slinks Back
    By NIALL FERGUSON

    Wheresoever the Roman conquers, he inhabits. -- Seneca

    Iraq has fallen. Saddam's statues are face down in the dust. His evil tyranny is at an end.

    So -- can we, like, go home now?

    You didn't have to wait long for a perfect symbol of the fundamental weakness at the heart of the new American imperialism -- sorry, humanitarianism. I'm talking about its chronically short time frame. I wasn't counting, but the Stars and Stripes must have been up there on the head of that statue of Saddam for less than a minute. You have to wonder what his commanding officer said to the marine responsible, Cpl. Edward Chin, when he saw Old Glory up there. ''Son, get that thing down on the double, or we'll have every TV station from here to Bangladesh denouncing us as Yankee imperialists!''

    An echo of Corporal Chin's imperial impulse can be heard in the last letter Cpl. Kemaphoom Chanawongse sent home before he and his Marine unit entered Iraq. Chanawongse joked that his camp in Kuwait was like something out of ''M*A*S*H'' -- except that it would need to be called ''M*A*H*T*S*F'': ''marines are here to stay forever.''

    But the question raised by Corporal Chanawongse's poignant final joke -- he was killed a week later, when his amphibious assault vehicle was blown up in Nasiriya -- is, Are the marines in Iraq ''to stay forever''? No doubt it is true, as President Bush said, that the America will ''honor forever'' Corporal Chanawongse and the more than 120 other service personnel so far killed in the conflict. Honored forever, yes. But there forever? In many ways the biggest mystery about the American occupation of Iraq is its probable duration. Recent statements by members of the Bush administration bespeak a time frame a lot closer to ephemeral than eternal. As the president himself told the Iraqi people in a television broadcast shortly after the fall of Baghdad: ''The government of Iraq and the future of your country will soon belong to you. . . . We will respect your great religious traditions, whose principles of equality and compassion are essential to Iraq's future. We will help you build a peaceful and representative government that protects the rights of all citizens. And then our military forces will leave.''

    What the president didn't make entirely clear was whether the departing troops would be accompanied by the retired Lt. Gen. Jay Garner and his ''Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance,'' newspeak for what would once have been called Omgus -- the Office of Military Government (United States). Nor was he very specific about when exactly he expected to see the handover of power to the ''peaceful and representative government'' of Iraqis.

    But we know the kind of time frame the president has in mind. In a prewar speech to the American Enterprise Institute, Bush declared, ''We will remain in Iraq as long as necessary and not a day more.'' It is striking that the unit of measure he used was days. Speaking less than a week before the fall of Baghdad, Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense, suggested that Garner would be running Iraq for at least six months. Other administration spokesmen have mentioned two years as the maximum transition period. When Garner himself was asked how long he expected to be in charge, he talked about just three months.

    If -- as more and more commentators claim -- America has embarked on a new age of empire, it may turn out to be the most evanescent empire in all history. Other empire builders have fantasized about ruling subject peoples for a thousand years. This is shaping up to be history's first thousand-day empire. Make that a thousand hours.

    Let me come clean. I am a fully paid-up member of the neoimperialist gang. Two years ago -- when it was not at all fashionable to say so -- I was already arguing that it would be ''desirable for the United States to depose'' tyrants like Saddam Hussein. ''Capitalism and democracy,'' I wrote, ''are not naturally occurring, but require strong institutional foundations of law and order. The proper role of an imperial America is to establish these institutions where they are lacking, if necessary . . . by military force.'' ...

    [Apr 04, 2017] VIDEO Ex-Obama Staffer Who Urged Spying On Trump Predicted 'Quick' Impeachment Weeks Before Election

    Apr 04, 2017 | www.breitbart.com
    Speaking at a conference two weeks before the 2016 presidential election, Evelyn Farkas, a former top Obama administration official, predicted that if Donald Trump won the presidency he would "be impeached pretty quickly or somebody else would have to take over government," Breitbart News has found.

    Farkas served as deputy assistant secretary of defense under the Obama administration. She has been in the spotlight since the news media last week highlighted comments she made on television that seemed to acknowledge efforts by members of the Obama administration to collect intelligence on Trump and members of his campaign.

    Now it has emerged that at on October 26, 2016, Farkas made remarks as a panelist at the annual Warsaw Security Forum predicting Trump's removal from office "pretty quickly."

    Asked at the event to address the priorities of a future Hillary Clinton administration, Farkas stated:

    It's not a done deal, as you said. And so, to the Americans in the audience please vote. And not only vote but get everybody to vote. Because I really believe we need a landslide. We need an absolute repudiation of everything. All of the policies that Donald Trump has put out there. I am not afraid to be political. I am not hiding who I am rooting for. And I think it's very important that we continue to press forward until election day and through election day to make sure that we have the right results.

    I do agree however with General Breedlove that even if we have the wrong results from my perspective America is resilient. We have a lot of presidential historians who have put forward very coherent the argument – they have given us examples of all of our horrible presidents in the past and the fact that we have endured. And we do have a strong system of checks and balances. And actually, if Donald Trump were elected I believe he would be impeached pretty quickly or somebody else would have to take over government. And I am not even joking.

    Farkas was referring to General Philip Mark Breedlove, another panelist at the conference who served as Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) of NATO Allied Command Operations. The panel discussion was about what to expect following the Nov. 8 presidential election.

    Farkas has also been in the news after remarks she made as a contributor on MSNBC on March 2 resurfaced last week. In the comments , she said that she told former Obama administration colleagues to collect intelligence on Trump and campaign officials.

    "I was urging my former colleagues and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill, it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration," stated Farkas.

    She continued:

    Because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior [Obama] people who left, so it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy that the Trump folks – if they found out how we knew what we knew about their the Trump staff dealing with Russians – that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we no longer have access to that intelligence.

    The White House has utilized Farkas's statements to bolster the charge that Trump was being illicitly surveilled during the campaign.

    White House Spokesman Sean Spicer last week stated :

    [I]f you look at Obama's Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense that is out there, Evelyn Farkas, she made it clear that it was their goal to spread this information around, that they went around and did this.

    They have admitted on the record that this was their goal - to leak stuff. And they literally - she said on the record "Trump's team." There are serious questions out there about what happened and why and who did it. And I think that's really where our focus is in making sure that that information gets out.

    Farkas, a former adviser to Hillary Clinton's campaign, served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia until she resigned in 2015.

    She told the Daily Caller last week that she had no access to any intelligence. "I had no intelligence whatsoever, I wasn't in government anymore and didn't have access to any," she said.

    Speaking to the Washington Post, Farkas denied being a source of any leaks.

    The Post reported:

    Farkas, in an interview with The Post, said she "didn't give anybody anything except advice," was not a source for any stories and had nothing to leak. Noting that she left government in October 2015, she said, "I was just watching like anybody else, like a regular spectator" as initial reports of Russia contacts began to surface after the election.

    Farkas currently serves as a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, which takes a hawkish approach toward Russia and has released numerous reports and briefs about Russian aggression.

    The Council is funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Inc., the U.S. State Department, and NATO ACT. Another Council funder is the Ploughshares Fund, which in turn has received financing from billionaire George Soros' Open Society Foundations.

    Farkas serves on the Atlantic Council alongside Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder of CrowdStrike, the third-party company utilized by the FBI to make its assessment about alleged Russian hacking into the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Alperovitch is a nonresident senior fellow of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

    Last month, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that his agency never had direct access to the DNC's servers to confirm the hacking. "Well, we never got direct access to the machines themselves," he stated. "The DNC in the spring of 2016 hired a firm that ultimately shared with us their forensics from their review of the system."

    National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers also stated the NSA never asked for access to the DNC hardware: "The NSA didn't ask for access. That's not in our job."

    [Apr 04, 2017] 11 Highlights of Susan Rice's MSNBC Interview with Andrea Mitchel

    Apr 04, 2017 | www.breitbart.com
    Here are the highlights of Mitchell's interview with Rice, which took up the first quarter-hour of Mitchell's show.
      Rice admitted asking for the names of U.S. citizens in intelligence reports to be "unmasked." Rice said: "There were occasions when I would receive a report in which a U.S. person was referred to. Name not provided, just U.S. person. And sometimes in that context, in order to understand the importance of the report, and assess its significance, it was necessary to find out, or request, the information as to who that U.S. official was." Rice argued it was necessary for her and other officials to request that information, on occasion, to "do our jobs" to protect national security. Rice admitted asking specifically for the names of members of Donald Trump's transition team. She argued that she had not done so for political purposes, however. Mitchell asked: "Did you seek the names of people involved in - to unmask the names of people involved in the Trump transition, the people surrounding the president-elect in order to spy on them and expose them?" Rice answered: "Absolutely not for any political purposes to spy, expose, anything." Rice denied leaking the name of former General Michael Flynn. "I leaked nothing to nobody, and never have, and never would." She added that to discuss particular targets would be to reveal classified information. She later walked back her denial. Mitchell: "The allegation is that you were leaking the fact that he spoke to the [Russian] ambassador and perhaps to others." Rice: "I can't get into any specific reports what I can say is there is an established process." Rice denied reports that she prepared a "spreadsheet" of Trump transition staff under surveillance. Mitchell asked specifically about the Daily Caller story Tuesday: "They allege there was a spreadsheet you put out of all of these names and circulated it." Rice: "Absolutely false. No spreadsheet, no nothing of the sort." She said that unmasked names "was not then typically broadly disseminated throughout the national security community or the government." Rice said that even if she did request the names of citizens to be unmasked, that did not mean she leaked them. "The notion that by asking for the identity of an American person, that is the same as leaking it, is completely false." Rice admitted that the pace of intelligence reports accelerated throughout the election. She said she could not say whether the pace of her "unmasking" requests accelerated, but she said there was increasing concern, as well as increasing information, relating to the possibility of Russian interference in the election, particularly after August 2016. Rice implied that President Obama himself ordered the compilation of intelligence reports on Trump officials. " the president requested the compliation of the intelligence, which was ultimately provided in January [2017]." Rice said that she was unaware, even while working with Flynn during the transition, that he was working for the Turkish government. Mitchell asked: "When did you learn that?" Rice answered: "In the press, as everybody else did." Mitchell, incredulously: "You didn't know that, when you were National Security Advisor?" Rice: "I did not." Rice reiterated that President Obama never tapped Trump's phone. "Absolutely false there was no such collection [or] surveillance on Trump Tower or Trump individuals directed by the White House or targeted at Trump individuals." She did not deny that there might have been some surveillance by other agencies, however. She said it was impossible for the White House to order such surveillance, but that the Department of Justice could have done so. Rice seemed aggrieved by Trump's claims. "It wasn't typical of the way presidents treat their predecessors." Rice would not say whether she would be willing to testify on Capitol Hill before Congress. "Let's see what comes. I'm not going to sit here and prejudge," she said. But she insisted that the investigations into Russian interference in the presidential election were of interest to every American citizen, and should be followed wherever the evidence leads.

    [Apr 04, 2017] Report Susan Rice Ordered 'Spreadsheets' of Trump Campaign Calls

    Notable quotes:
    "... Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the " most influential " people in news media in 2016. His new book, ..."
    "... , is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak . ..."
    Apr 04, 2017 | www.breitbart.com
    President Barack Obama's National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, allegedly ordered surveillance of Donald Trump's campaign aides during the last election, and maintained spreadsheets of their telephone calls, the Daily Caller reports.

    The alleged spreadsheets add a new dimension to reports on Sunday and Monday by blogger Mike Cernovich and Eli Lake of Bloomberg News that Rice had asked for Trump aides' names to be "unmasked" in intelligence reports. The alleged "unmasking" may have been legal, but may also have been part of an alleged political intelligence operation to disseminate reports on the Trump campaign widely throughout government with the aim of leaking them to the press.

    At the time that radio host Mark Levin and Breitbart News compiled the evidence of surveillance, dissemination, and leaking - all based on mainstream media reports - the mainstream media dismissed the story as a " conspiracy theory ."

    Now, however, Democrats are backing away from that allegation, and from broader allegations of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, as additional details of the Obama administration's alleged surveillance continue to emerge.

    The Daily Caller reports :

    "What was produced by the intelligence community at the request of Ms. Rice were detailed spreadsheets of intercepted phone calls with unmasked Trump associates in perfectly legal conversations with individuals," diGenova told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group Monday.

    "The overheard conversations involved no illegal activity by anybody of the Trump associates, or anyone they were speaking with," diGenova said. "In short, the only apparent illegal activity was the unmasking of the people in the calls."

    The surveillance and spreadsheet operation were allegedly "ordered one year before the 2016 presidential election." According to a Fox News report on Monday, former White House aide Ben Rhodes was also involved.

    Rhodes and Rice were both implicated in a disinformation campaign to describe the Benghazi terror attack in Sep. 2012 as a protest against a YouTube video. Rhodes also boasted of creating an " echo chamber " in the media to promote the Iran deal, feeding stories to contrived networks of "experts" who offered the public a steady stream of pro-agreement propaganda.

    On Monday, Rhodes retweeted a CNN story quoting Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) claiming that the alleged unmasking was "nothing unusual."

    To the extent they have reported the surveillance story at all, CNN and other news outlets have focused on Trump's tweets last month that alleged President Obama had "wiretapped" Trump Tower, describing the claims as unfounded.

    CNN continued treating story dismissively on Monday, with The Lead host Jake Tapper insisting allegations of Russian interference in the election were more important than what he referred to as the president's effort to distract from them.

    Later in the day, host Don Lemon declared he would ignore the surveillance story and urged viewers to do likewise.

    The potential abuse of surveillance powers for political purposes has long troubled civil libertarians, and could affect the re-authorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act later this year.

    Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the " most influential " people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution , is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak .

    [Apr 04, 2017] Rand Paul Susan Rice 'Ought to Be Under Subpoena,' Asked If Obama Knew About Eavesdropping

    Apr 04, 2017 | www.breitbart.com
    Tuesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) called on former National Security Advisor Susan Rice to be brought in front of Congress under subpoena and asked questions about allegations she was behind the unmasking of American identities in raw surveillance.

    Paul also said she should be asked about former President Barack Obama's knowledge of these alleged activities.

    "For years, both progressives and libertarians have been complaining about these backdoor searches," Paul said. "It's not that we're searching maybe one foreign leader and who they talk to; we search everything in the whole world. There were reports a couple of years ago that all of Italy's phone calls were absorbed in a one month period of time. We were getting Merkel's phone calls; we were getting everybody's phone calls. But by rebound we are collecting millions of Americans phone calls. If you want to look at an American's phone call or listen to it, you should have to have a warrant, the old fashioned way in a real court where both sides get represented."

    "But a secret warrant by a secret court with a lower standard level because we're afraid of terrorism is one thing for foreigners but both myself and a Progressive Ron Wyden have been warning about these back door searches for years and that they could be politicized," he continued. "The facts will come out with Susan Rice. But I think she ought to be under subpoena. She should be asked did you talk to the president about it? Did President Obama know about this? So this is actually, eerily similar to what Trump accused them of which is eavesdropping on conversations for political reasons."

    [Apr 04, 2017] 5 Susan Rice Scandal Facts Every American Must Know - Breitbart

    Notable quotes:
    "... Special Report. ..."
    Apr 04, 2017 | www.breitbart.com
    Below are five facts from Susan Rice scandals every American should know.

    1. Susan Rice allegedly ordered surveillance of Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign aides as part of a political intelligence operation.

    Rice allegedly maintained spreadsheets of Trump aides' telephone calls "one year before the 2016 presidential election," according to the Daily Caller.

    The Daily Caller reports :

    "What was produced by the intelligence community at the request of Ms. Rice were detailed spreadsheets of intercepted phone calls with unmasked Trump associates in perfectly legal conversations with individuals," diGenova told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group Monday.

    "The overheard conversations involved no illegal activity by anybody of the Trump associates, or anyone they were speaking with," diGenova said. "In short, the only apparent illegal activity was the unmasking of the people in the calls."

    ... ... ...

    5. Susan Rice was the driving force behind a misinformation campaign about the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi terror attacks.

    Then-UN Ambassador Rice, acting as the Obama White House's spokeswoman, appeared on five Sunday morning talk shows and repeatedly claimed that the Benghazi attacks had been caused by an anti-Islam video.

    Rice appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, and CNN and regurgitated talking points purporting that the protests that had erupted "spontaneously" near two U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya and were a result of a "hateful video" that was offensive to Islam.

    But government documents , released following a Judicial Watch lawsuit, reveal that government officials monitoring the attack in real-time did not cite an anti-Islam video as an explanation for the paramilitary attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

    In May 2015 interview, former Obama CIA Director Mike Morell said Rice's Benghazi talking points blaming an anti-Islam YouTube video crossed "the line between national security and politics."

    "I think the line in there that says one of our objectives here right on the Sunday show is to blame the video rather than a failure of policy," Morell said on Fox News' Special Report. "And as you know, I say in the book that I think that that is crossing the line between national security and politics."

    [Apr 04, 2017] The pursuit of Trump may have caught the Obama White House - The Washington Post

    Notable quotes:
    "... The cacophony of accusations, deflections and distractions has led us to the latest revelation that is causing a "holy cow" double-take, plot-thickening moment in Washington: President Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, sought to unmask the identities of Trump aides whose conversations had been collected through routine electronic intercepts of foreign officials' communications. ..."
    "... Multiple senators are now demanding her testimony . There could have been crimes committed and a real scandal could develop, so you can bet the full story will be slow to emerge. It appears that Rice has issued the standard denials. And her defenders on Capitol Hill and in the media will do all they can to distract and demand that there is nothing to see here. Democrats and their media allies will continue to make baseless allegations, hoping that the Russia investigations will somehow deliver for them and become this president's Watergate. ..."
    "... The result so far? Competing outrage. Just as Democrats are pursuing L-TACs (links, ties, associations or contacts) in search of a crime, the Obama White House's national security adviser has now landed as one of the ones who will have to answer for her actions under oath. ..."
    Apr 04, 2017 | www.washingtonpost.com
    The pursuit of Trump may have caught the Obama White House - The Washington Post It is said that Watergate wasn't about the crime, but about the coverup. Well, at least in the Watergate scandal, there was a proper crime - specifically, the break-in and wiretapping. The media hasn't even settled on what to call its quest for a potentially nefarious Russia-Trump link. The whole pursuit is vaguely referred to as looking at President Trump's "links," "ties," "associations" or "contacts" with Russia. Since this is Washington, let's give it an acronym: L-TACs. With no end in sight, the manic pursuit of L-TACs has produced a basket of denials, lies, half-baked plots, evasions, one-off non sequiturs, side tracks, conspiracies and suspicions between the Trump administration, Democrats and the media. The frenzy has created a scandal without perpetrators or a crime. There is a sense that Washington is on the brink, but no one can say on the brink of what.

    When they have to be specific, some Democrats have settled on the idea that the Trump campaign may have collaborated with Russia on the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the John Podesta emails. There is no evidence of this, but it is worth remembering a few things. First, the FBI was aware of the DNC hacking when it occurred. This was confirmed again yesterday in Politico's interview with Lisa Monaco , who served as assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism in the Obama White House. She said the hacking was handled as a law enforcement matter. I assume she was referring to when the FBI called the dolts at the DNC, but the DNC took no action.

    Then-national security adviser Susan Rice is seen last year on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)

    And what Earth-shattering insights were revealed as a result of the hacks? That the DNC was in the tank for Hillary Clinton and had been lying to Bernie Sanders. Everybody in Washington already knew that, and it didn't make any difference to Trump. In fact, the revelations gave the Clinton camp a pretext to get rid of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz - something it wanted to do anyway. Next, Clinton campaign chairman Podesta's emails did not reveal anything beyond Beltway gossip that was only of interest to political junkies. Nothing was revealed that drove any votes. If Russian hackers wanted to harass Podesta, what is the crime that the Trump campaign might have committed?

    The cacophony of accusations, deflections and distractions has led us to the latest revelation that is causing a "holy cow" double-take, plot-thickening moment in Washington: President Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, sought to unmask the identities of Trump aides whose conversations had been collected through routine electronic intercepts of foreign officials' communications. To unmask, or reveal, the identities of U.S. citizens whose names and conversations were gathered through incidental collection is unusual. And there are more suspicious reasons for Obama's national security adviser to have sought to unmask the identities of Trump campaign aides than there are valid reasons. Rice has a history of a strained relationship with the truth, and for a national security adviser, she has, at times, flown close to the partisan political flame. So, what was going on? Why did she do it? And with whom, in the government and the media, did she share the information?

    Multiple senators are now demanding her testimony . There could have been crimes committed and a real scandal could develop, so you can bet the full story will be slow to emerge. It appears that Rice has issued the standard denials. And her defenders on Capitol Hill and in the media will do all they can to distract and demand that there is nothing to see here. Democrats and their media allies will continue to make baseless allegations, hoping that the Russia investigations will somehow deliver for them and become this president's Watergate.

    The result so far? Competing outrage. Just as Democrats are pursuing L-TACs (links, ties, associations or contacts) in search of a crime, the Obama White House's national security adviser has now landed as one of the ones who will have to answer for her actions under oath.

    Washington is as scandal-primed as I've ever seen it - there is a lot of smoke right now, but no clear fire. So the noise and finger-pointing will continue. And I have no idea who is winning. The pursuit of Trump may have caught the Obama White House - The Washington Post Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush White Houses and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour in 1991. Follow @EdRogersDC

    Bigly Fan 5:38 PM EDT
    How did Ed slip this article past the Wapo /DNC/Loony Left /Bezos Puppet editors?
    theworm1 5:37 PM EDT
    "The whole pursuit [ of Trump's Russian engagement] is vaguely referred to as looking at President Trump's "links', 'ties', 'associations' or 'contacts'"

    These are the same nouns the media uses to describe the alleged "connections" between al Qaeda and Saddam and between ISIS and whoever we dont like today.

    They carry meaning or they dont. I think most people think they do.

    Io fifty 5:37 PM EDT
    I just read in Breitbart, sure you have too Mr. Rogers ...... that Ms. Rice kept a 'spreadsheet' of phone calls taking place within the Trump campaign. Will that be in the next installment of this ongoing drama?

    [Apr 04, 2017] Top Obama Adviser Sought Names of Trump Associates in Intel

    Apr 04, 2017 | www.bloomberg.com
    White House lawyers last month learned that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

    The pattern of Rice's requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government's policy on "unmasking" the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations and appear in reports as something like "U.S. Person One."

    The National Security Council's senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, was conducting the review, according to two U.S. officials who spoke with Bloomberg View on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly. In February Cohen-Watnick discovered Rice's multiple requests to unmask U.S. persons in intelligence reports that related to Trump transition activities. He brought this to the attention of the White House General Counsel's office, who reviewed more of Rice's requests and instructed him to end his own research into the unmasking policy.

    The intelligence reports were summaries of monitored conversations -- primarily between foreign officials discussing the Trump transition, but also in some cases direct contact between members of the Trump team and monitored foreign officials. One U.S. official familiar with the reports said they contained valuable political information on the Trump transition such as whom the Trump team was meeting, the views of Trump associates on foreign policy matters and plans for the incoming administration.

    Rice did not respond to an email seeking comment on Monday morning. Her role in requesting the identities of Trump transition officials adds an important element to the dueling investigations surrounding the Trump White House since the president's inauguration.

    Both the House and Senate intelligence committees are probing any ties between Trump associates and a Russian influence operation against Hillary Clinton during the election. The chairman of the House intelligence committee, Representative Devin Nunes, is also investigating how the Obama White House kept tabs on the Trump transition after the election through unmasking the names of Trump associates incidentally collected in government eavesdropping of foreign officials.

    Rice herself has not spoken directly on the issue of unmasking. Last month when she was asked on the "PBS NewsHour" about reports that Trump transition officials, including Trump himself, were swept up in incidental intelligence collection, Rice said : "I know nothing about this," adding, "I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that account today."

    Rice's requests to unmask the names of Trump transition officials do not vindicate Trump's own tweets from March 4 in which he accused Obama of illegally tapping Trump Tower. There remains no evidence to support that claim.

    But Rice's multiple requests to learn the identities of Trump officials discussed in intelligence reports during the transition period does highlight a longstanding concern for civil liberties advocates about U.S. surveillance programs. The standard for senior officials to learn the names of U.S. persons incidentally collected is that it must have some foreign intelligence value, a standard that can apply to almost anything. This suggests Rice's unmasking requests were likely within the law.

    The news about Rice also sheds light on the strange behavior of Nunes in the last two weeks. It emerged last week that he traveled to the White House last month, the night before he made an explosive allegation about Trump transition officials caught up in incidental surveillance. At the time he said he needed to go to the White House because the reports were only on a database for the executive branch. It now appears that he needed to view computer systems within the National Security Council that would include the logs of Rice's requests to unmask U.S. persons.

    The ranking Democrat on the committee Nunes chairs, Representative Adam Schiff, viewed these reports on Friday. In comments to the press over the weekend he declined to discuss the contents of these reports, but also said it was highly unusual for the reports to be shown only to Nunes and not himself and other members of the committee.

    Indeed, much about this is highly unusual: if not how the surveillance was collected, then certainly how and why it was disseminated.

    [Apr 04, 2017] Obama administration spying included press, allies, Americans Fox News

    Apr 04, 2017 | www.foxnews.com

    As the facts about who surveilled whom during the transition get sorted out, it is useful to remember why Trump's team and his supporters have reason to be suspicious, thanks to a long documented history of Obama using shady surveillance tactics on both political opponents and international allies. Rhodes himself knows this history but that doesn't seem to matter as he once again attempts to make people believe he fell out of the sky and onto Twitter on January 21st, 2017.

    ... ... ...

    1. Fox News reporter James Rosen

    In 2013 the news broke that Eric Holder's Justice Department had spied on James Rosen . Obama's DOJ collected Rosen's telephone records as well as tracked his movements to and from the State Department from where he reported. Rosen was named as a possible co-conspirator in a Justice Department affidavit. Rosen claims that his parents phone line was also swept up in the collection of his records and DOJ records seem to confirm that. Despite the targeting of Rosen, there were no brave calls to boycott the White House Correspondents Dinner.

    2. Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA

    CIA officers penetrated a network used to share information by Senate Intel committee members, including Sen. Diane Feinstein, the committee's Democrat chair. The bombshell New York Times report went on to disclose:

    The C.I.A. officials penetrated the computer network when they came to suspect that the committee's staff had gained unauthorized access to an internal C.I.A. review of the detention program that the spy agency never intended to give to Congress. A C.I.A. lawyer then referred the agency's suspicions to the Justice Department to determine whether the committee staff broke the law when it obtained that document. The inspector general report said that there was no "factual basis" for this referral, which the Justice Department has declined to investigate, because the lawyer had been provided inaccurate information. The report said that the three information technology officers "demonstrated a lack of candor about their activities" during interviews with the inspector general.

    The Obama White House defended CIA director John Brennan's actions and response. Imagine that.

    3. Associated Press Phone Records

    Much like James Rosen and his shady al Qaeda looking parents, Obama's Justice Department secretly obtained months of phone records belonging to AP journalists while investigating a failed terror attack. And much like the Rosen spying, this was personally approved by Attorney General Holder.

    Mass surveillance and expansion of such under the Patriot Act is one of the most historically prevalent things about the Obama administration. There's even a Wikipedia page dedicated to that alone . So why do the media and former administration officials act shocked and surprised when someone points the finger in their direction and asks if targeting an incoming President is possible?

    There is a long, decorated history of questionable-even unconstitutional-surveillance from the Obama administration none of which proves Trump's twitter ravings to be true. But it certainly is enough to raise suspicions among Trump's supporters and even some of this critics that he could be perfectly correct.

    [Apr 04, 2017] Susan Rice requested to unmask names of Trump transition officials, sources say Fox News

    Apr 04, 2017 | www.foxnews.com
    Multiple sources tell Fox News that Susan Rice, former national security adviser under then-President Barack Obama, requested to unmask the names of Trump transition officials caught up in surveillance.

    The unmasked names, of people associated with Donald Trump, were then sent to all those at the National Security Council, some at the Defense Department, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and then-CIA Director John Brennan – essentially, the officials at the top, including former Rice deputy Ben Rhodes.

    The names were part of incidental electronic surveillance of candidate and President-elect Trump and people close to him, including family members, for up to a year before he took office.

    It was not clear how Rice knew to ask for the names to be unmasked, but the question was being posed by the sources late Monday.

    ... ... ...

    This comes in the wake of Evelyn Farkas' television interview last month in which the former Obama deputy secretary of defense said in part: "I was urging my former colleagues and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill – it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration."

    ... ... ...

    As the Obama administration left office, it also approved new rules that gave the NSA much broader powers by relaxing the rules about sharing intercepted personal communications and the ability to share those with 16 other intelligence agencies.

    ... ... ...

    Rice is no stranger to controversy. As the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, she appeared on several Sunday news shows to defend the adminstration's later debunked claim that the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on a U.S. consulate in Libya was triggered by an Internet video.

    [Apr 04, 2017] Susan Rice Responds To Trump Unmasking Allegations I Leaked Nothing To Nobody

    Apr 04, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

    If anyone expected former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, the same Susan Rice who "stretched the truth" about Benghazi, to admit in her first public appearance after news that she unmasked members of the Trump team to admit she did something wrong, will be disappointed. Instead, moments ago she told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell that she categorically denied that the Obama administration inappropriately spied on members of the Trump transition team.

    "The allegation is that somehow, Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes," Rice told Mitchell. " That's absolutely false.... My job is to protect the American people and the security of our country. "

    "There was no such collection or surveillance on Trump Tower or Trump individuals, it is important to understand, directed by the White House or targeted at Trump individuals," Rice said.

    EXCLUSIVE: Susan Rice says the claim that intelligence was used for political purposes is "absolutely false" Watch: https://t.co/JdbgCtSgEN

    - MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 4, 2017

    "I don't solicit reports," Rice said Tuesday. "They're giving it to me, if I read it, and I think that in order for me to understand, is it significant or not so significant, I need to know who the 'U.S. Person' is, I can make that request." She did concede that it is "possible" the Trump team was picked up in "incidental surveillance."

    "The notion, which some people are trying to suggest, that by asking for the identity of the American person is the same is leaking it - that's completely false," Rice said. "There is no equivalence between so-called unmasking and leaking."

    Watch: Susan Rice tells @mitchellreports it is "possible" the Trump team was picked up in incidental surveillance https://t.co/nTHeqx8zlr

    - MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 4, 2017

    That said, Rice did not discuss what motive she may have had behind what Bloomberg, Fox and others have confirmed, was her unmasking of members of the Trump team.

    Rice also flatly denied exposing President Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign in February after media reports revealed that he misled Vice President Pence about the contents of a phone call with the Russian ambassador. Asked by Mitchell if she seeked to unmask the names of people involved in the Trump campaign in order to spy on them, Rice says: "absolutely not, for any political purpose, to spy, expose, anything." And yet, that is what happened. She was then asked if she leaked if she leaked the name of Mike Flynn: "I leaked nothing to nobody."

    WATCH: Susan Rice insists "I leaked nothing to nobody" https://t.co/kAsbu4VJDN

    - MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 4, 2017

    In a follow up question, Rice said that when it comes to Mike Flynn with whom she had "civil and cordial relations", that she learned "in the press" that he was an unregistered agent for the Turkish government.

    WATCH: Susan Rice says she learned from the press that Flynn was an unregistered agent for the Turkish government https://t.co/xD41R2fbBL

    - MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 4, 2017

    We doubt that anyone's opinion will change after hearing the above especially considering that, in addition to Benghazi, Rice is the official who praised Bowe Bergdahl for his "honorable service" and claimed he was captured "on the battlefield", and then just two weeks ago, she told PBS that she didn't know anything about the unmasking.

    It is thus hardly surprising that now that her memory has been "refreshed" about her role in the unmasking, that Rice clearly remembers doing nothing at all wrong.

    On Monday night, Rand Paul and other Republicans called for Rice to testify under oath, a request she sidestepped on Tuesday. "Let's see what comes," she told Mitchell, when asked if she would testify on the matter. "I'm not going to sit here and prejudge."

    [Apr 04, 2017] Beyond Vietnam

    Notable quotes:
    "... Then came the buildup in Vietnam, and I watched this program broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle political plaything on a society gone mad on war. And I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic, destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such. ..."
    "... Perhaps a more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. ..."
    "... Also, it must be clear that the leaders of Hanoi considered the presence of American troops in support of the Diem regime to have been the initial military breach of the Geneva Agreement concerning foreign troops. ..."
    "... Hanoi remembers how our leaders refused to tell us the truth about the earlier North Vietnamese overtures for peace, how the president claimed that none existed when they had clearly been made. ..."
    "... Each day the war goes on the hatred increased in the hearts of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. ..."
    "... It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom, and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism. ..."
    "... sustained applause ..."
    "... applause continues ..."
    "... sustained applause ..."
    "... sustained applause ..."
    "... In 1957 a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which has now justified the presence of U.S. military advisors in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counterrevolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Cambodia and why American napalm and Green Beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru. ..."
    "... It is with such activity that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ..."
    "... A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. [ sustained applause ..."
    "... Therefore, communism is a judgment against our failure to make democracy real and follow through on the revolutions that we initiated. ..."
    Apr 04, 1967 | kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu

    Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns, this query has often loomed large and loud: "Why are you speaking about the war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent?" "Peace and civil rights don't mix," they say. "Aren't you hurting the cause of your people?" they ask. And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment, or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live. In the light of such tragic misunderstanding, I deem it of signal importance to state clearly, and I trust concisely, why I believe that the path from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church-the church in Montgomery, Alabama, where I began my pastorate-leads clearly to this sanctuary tonight.

    I come to this platform tonight to make a passionate plea to my beloved nation. This speech is not addressed to Hanoi or to the National Liberation Front. It is not addressed to China or to Russia. Nor is it an attempt to overlook the ambiguity of the total situation and the need for a collective solution to the tragedy of Vietnam. Neither is it an attempt to make North Vietnam or the National Liberation Front paragons of virtue, nor to overlook the role they must play in the successful resolution of the problem. While they both may have justifiable reasons to be suspicious of the good faith of the United States, life and history give eloquent testimony to the fact that conflicts are never resolved without trustful give and take on both sides. Tonight, however, I wish not to speak with Hanoi and the National Liberation Front, but rather to my fellow Americans.

    Since I am a preacher by calling, I suppose it is not surprising that I have seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into the field of my moral vision. There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle I and others have been waging in America. A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor, both black and white, through the poverty program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Vietnam, and I watched this program broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle political plaything on a society gone mad on war. And I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic, destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.

    Perhaps a more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem. So we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. So we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would hardly live on the same block in Chicago. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.

    ... .. ..

    And as I ponder the madness of Vietnam and search within myself for ways to understand and respond in compassion, my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula. I speak now not of the soldiers of each side, not of the ideologies of the Liberation Front, not of the junta in Saigon, but simply of the people who have been living under the curse of war for almost three continuous decades now. I think of them, too, because it is clear to me that there will be no meaningful solution there until some attempt is made to know them and hear their broken cries.

    They must see Americans as strange liberators. The Vietnamese people proclaimed their own independence in 1954-in 1945 rather-after a combined French and Japanese occupation and before the communist revolution in China. They were led by Ho Chi Minh. Even though they quoted the American Declaration of Independence in their own document of freedom, we refused to recognize them. Instead, we decided to support France in its reconquest of her former colony. Our government felt then that the Vietnamese people were not ready for independence, and we again fell victim to the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long. With that tragic decision we rejected a revolutionary government seeking self-determination and a government that had been established not by China-for whom the Vietnamese have no great love-but by clearly indigenous forces that included some communists. For the peasants this new government meant real land reform, one of the most important needs in their lives.

    For nine years following 1945 we denied the people of Vietnam the right of independence. For nine years we vigorously supported the French in their abortive effort to recolonize Vietnam. Before the end of the war we were meeting eighty percent of the French war costs. Even before the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu, they began to despair of their reckless action, but we did not. We encouraged them with our huge financial and military supplies to continue the war even after they had lost the will. Soon we would be paying almost the full costs of this tragic attempt at recolonization.

    After the French were defeated, it looked as if independence and land reform would come again through the Geneva Agreement. But instead there came the United States, determined that Ho should not unify the temporarily divided nation, and the peasants watched again as we supported one of the most vicious modern dictators, our chosen man, Premier Diem. The peasants watched and cringed and Diem ruthlessly rooted out all opposition, supported their extortionist landlords, and refused even to discuss reunification with the North. The peasants watched as all of this was presided over by United States influence and then by increasing numbers of United States troops who came to help quell the insurgency that Diem's methods had aroused. When Diem was overthrown they may have been happy, but the long line of military dictators seemed to offer no real change, especially in terms of their need for land and peace.

    The only change came from America as we increased our troop commitments in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept, and without popular support. All the while the people read our leaflets and received the regular promises of peace and democracy and land reform. Now they languish under our bombs and consider us, not their fellow Vietnamese, the real enemy. They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move on or be destroyed by our bombs.

    So they go, primarily women and children and the aged. They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops. They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. They wander into the hospitals with at least twenty casualties from American firepower for one Vietcong-inflicted injury. So far we may have killed a million of them, mostly children. They wander into the towns and see thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals. They see the children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers.

    What do the peasants think as we ally ourselves with the landlords and as we refuse to put any action into our many words concerning land reform? What do they think as we test out our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe? Where are the roots of the independent Vietnam we claim to be building? Is it among these voiceless ones?

    We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. We have destroyed their land and their crops. We have cooperated in the crushing of the nation's only noncommunist revolutionary political force, the unified Buddhist Church. We have supported the enemies of the peasants of Saigon. We have corrupted their women and children and killed their men.

    Now there is little left to build on, save bitterness. Soon the only solid physical foundations remaining will be found at our military bases and in the concrete of the concentration camps we call "fortified hamlets." The peasants may well wonder if we plan to build our new Vietnam on such grounds as these. Could we blame them for such thoughts? We must speak for them and raise the questions they cannot raise. These, too, are our brothers.

    Perhaps a more difficult but no less necessary task is to speak for those who have been designated as our enemies. What of the National Liberation front, that strangely anonymous group we call "VC" or "communists"? What must they think of the United States of America when they realize that we permitted the repression and cruelty of Diem, which helped to bring them into being as a resistance group in the South? What do they think of our condoning the violence which led to their own taking up of arms? How can they believe in our integrity when now we speak of "aggression from the North" as if there was nothing more essential to the war? How can they trust us when now we charge them with violence after the murderous reign of Diem and charge them with violence while we pour every new weapon of death into their land? Surely we must understand their feelings, even if we do not condone their actions. Surely we must see that the men we supported pressed them to their violence. Surely we must see that our own computerized plans of destruction simply dwarf their greatest acts.

    How do they judge us when our officials know that their membership is less than twenty-five percent communist, and yet insist on giving them the blanket name? What must they be thinking when they know that we are aware of their control of major sections of Vietnam, and yet we appear ready to allow national elections in which this highly organized political parallel government will not have a part? They ask how we can speak of free elections when the Saigon press is censored and controlled by the military junta. And they are surely right to wonder what kind of new government we plan to help form without them, the only real party in real touch with the peasants. They question our political goals and they deny the reality of a peace settlement from which they will be excluded. Their questions are frighteningly relevant. Is our nation planning to build on political myth again, and then shore it up upon the power of a new violence?

    Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence, when it helps us to see the enemy's point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition.

    So, too, with Hanoi. In the North, where our bombs now pummel the land, and our mines endanger the waterways, we are met by a deep but understandable mistrust. To speak for them is to explain this lack of confidence in Western worlds, and especially their distrust of American intentions now. In Hanoi are the men who led this nation to independence against the Japanese and the French, the men who sought membership in the French Commonwealth and were betrayed by the weakness of Paris and the willfulness of the colonial armies. It was they who led a second struggle against French domination at tremendous costs, and then were persuaded to give up the land they controlled between the thirteenth and seventeenth parallel as a temporary measure at Geneva. After 1954 they watched us conspire with Diem to prevent elections which could have surely brought Ho Chi Minh to power over a unified Vietnam, and they realized they had been betrayed again. When we ask why they do not leap to negotiate, these things must be considered.

    Also, it must be clear that the leaders of Hanoi considered the presence of American troops in support of the Diem regime to have been the initial military breach of the Geneva Agreement concerning foreign troops. They remind us that they did not begin to send troops in large numbers and even supplies into the South until American forces had moved into the tens of thousands.

    Hanoi remembers how our leaders refused to tell us the truth about the earlier North Vietnamese overtures for peace, how the president claimed that none existed when they had clearly been made. Ho Chi Minh has watched as America has spoken of peace and built up its forces, and now he has surely heard the increasing international rumors of American plans for an invasion of the north. He knows the bombing and shelling and mining we are doing are part of traditional pre-invasion strategy. Perhaps only his sense of humor and of irony can save him when he hears the most powerful nation of the world speaking of aggression as it drops thousands of bombs on a poor, weak nation more than eight hundred, or rather, eight thousand miles away from its shores.

    At this point I should make it clear that while I have tried to give a voice to the voiceless in Vietnam and to understand the arguments of those who are called "enemy," I am as deeply concerned about our own troops there as anything else. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy, and the secure, while we create a hell for the poor.

    Surely this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroy, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor in America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home, and dealt death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as one who loves America, to the leaders of our own nation: The great initiative in this war is ours; the initiative to stop it must be ours.

    This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. Recently one of them wrote these words, and I quote:

    Each day the war goes on the hatred increased in the hearts of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies.

    It is curi