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|"Fascism: Any program for setting up a centralized autocratic national regime with severely nationalistic
policies, exercising regimentation of industry, commerce, and finance, rigid censorship, and forcible suppression of opposition."
"Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites , abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion."
- Robert Paxton
That, in its essence, is fascism -- ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt -
“National Socialism was a revulsion by my friends against parliamentary politics, parliamentary debate, parliamentary government—against all the higgling and the haggling of the parties and the splinter parties, their coalitions, their confusions, and their conniving. It was the final fruit of the common man's repudiation of 'the rascals'. Its motif was, 'Throw them all out.'
I fooled myself. I had to. Everybody has to. If the good had been twice as good and the bad only half as bad, I still ought to have seen it. But I didn't want to see it, because I would have then had to think about the consequences of seeing it, what followed from seeing it, what I must do to be decent. I wanted my home and family, my job, my career, a place in the community.”
Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free-
You can view neofascism as fixed state ( fixed social system), or as a trend to more extreme forms of nationalism under neoliberalism. I view it more like a trend, with the revival of far right nationalism as a reaction on excesses of neoliberalization and destruction of the civil society under neoliberalism with its cult of globalization. Kind of neoliberal globalization blowback. The key feature of neofascism is a more flexible and more sophisticated mechanism of suppression of opposition, which no longer rely solely on brute force like in classical fascism but more on the combination of total surveillance with powerful propaganda machine.
The root of the rise of neofascism (and far right nationalism, which is close but differs in in the social program part, see below) is the impoverishment of working (both blue and lower strata of white collar) and lower middle class under neoliberalism. So neofascism is a reaction on crisis of neoliberalism (which started in 2008 and so far did not end producing "permanent stagnation") , extreme inequality, and the threat from neoliberal globalization to the existence of nation-states. In other words, neoliberalism is a powerful enabler of both neofascism and far right nationalism.
Simplifying neofascism means classic fascism with the following major features removed/modified:
Neofascism rejects or revise several postulates of fascism:
Neofascism like classic fascism is a derivative of corporatism (control of the state by financial oligarchy and large industrialists) and political power still belongs to the capitalists, but the preference is given to "national" monopolies and large banks instead of transnational.
In the USA the main part of the neoliberal elite (or more correctly several different parts of the neoliberal elite) support the current shift to neofascism and far right nationalism. Among them are "imperial servants" and what Eisenhower defined as "military-industrial complex." The latter includes politicized intelligences agencies (the "Deep state" in a narrow sense of this word). In this sense Russiagate is a the second stage of the shift to neofascism in the USA after Bush II regime unleashed series of neocolonial wars after 9/11 (which in this sense is equivalent to Reichstag fire)
At the same time neofascism has a large number of common elements with fascism. Among them:
It is important to understand that neofascism inherits all major elements of fascism foreign policy. It is interesting to compare definition of neofascism with the definition of Neoconservatism. The latter, according to Wikipedia was defined by prominent neocons Robert Kagan as:
In 2008, Kagan wrote an article titled "Neocon Nation: Neoconservatism, c. 1776" for World Affairs, describing the main components of American Neoconservatism as
- a belief in the rectitude of applying US moralism to the world stage,
- support for the US to act alone,
- the promotion of American-style liberty and democracy in other countries,
- the belief in American hegemony,
- the confidence in US military power,
- a distrust of international institutions.
According to Kagan, his foreign-policy views are "deeply rooted in American history and widely shared by Americans".
As we can see. in foreign policy Neoconservatism and neofascism are almost identical. I would say that the idea of Neoconservatism was to take fascist foreign policy and recreate it as a separate political supremacist movement using Trotskyism with its idea of "World revolution" as the common glue.
In this sense, the victory of the USA after WWII quickly backfired as with the creation of Truman powerful and uncontrollable intelligence agencies and McCarthyism campaign the key elements of neofascism quickly emerged within the country. Especially important in this sense was the creation by Truman powerful intelligence agencies (CIA and FBI) and JFK assassination in 1963. It is also important to remember that the first McCarthyism hysteria lasted for over decade.
This two developments created preconditions for the slide toward the flavor of neofascism which prominent political scientist Sheldon Wolin called "inverted totalitarism". The existence of a powerful intelligence agencies (or network of such agencies -- the Deep state in a narrow sense) is a litmus test for "inverted totalitarism". As soon a Truman created CIA such the slide became inevitable and 1963 was in this sense the defining year after which we can consider the the USA has have "inverted totalitarism" regime established. The dominance of intelligence agencies and assumption by them of political functions is a very important indication of the slide toward neofascism, as it the size of the military budget in general. In a way, the role of military establishment in general and intelligence agencies in particular in the rise of neofascism deserves more detailed study.
The role of military establishment in general and intelligence agencies in particular in the rise of neofascism deserves more detailed study.
The natural logic of evolution of powerful intelligence agencies presuppose acquiring by them political function (JFK assassination happened just after 15 years of existence of CIA) as well as assuming of FBI the critical role in crushing the political dissent (FBI under Edgar Hoover). If we view intelligence agencies as as special, semi-controlled by the state type of organized crime (and sometimes they have ties with organized crime and are involved in narcotrade and arms trade) there are some similarities with the term "mafia state":
The term mafia state is a political buzzword to describe a state system where the government is tied with organized crime, including when government officials, police, and/or military take part in illicit enterprises. The term mafia is a reference to any organized crime groups strongly connected with the authorities.
According to the critics of the mafia state concept, the term "has now been so used and abused in popularized descriptions of organized criminal activity that it has lost much of its analytic value".
The term may also be used in a positive sense, and be used to describe a political system in which the government has been replaced by organized crime.
As for political role of intelligence agencies, in 2016 the US intelligence agencies (mainly CIA and FBI) definitely attempted to become "kingmakers" in the national election (although previously CIA also played crucial role in Carter defeat, as well as Nixon impeachment; not this not the first case). After they failed to prevent Trump from being elected they launched a color revolution against him (known mostly under the term of Russiagate). Other measures are taken against politicians who deviate too much from the accepted "Party line" in best traditions of blackmail by Gestapo, STASI and NKVD. Assassinations in case the politician who is classified as "hopeless" or "dangerous" is another. Robert Kennedy assassination probably belongs to this case.
In this sense no society with powerful intelligence agencies (be it CIA, MI6, FSB, Mossad, etc) can not be properly called democracy as it has one of the most important elements of neofascism imbedded in the particular society. From the moment of their creation the process of politization and the loss of civil control over intelligence services is an inevitable process, which is difficult to control, although some countries fared better in this respect then the other. As soon as politization reach critical state and "the tail starts waging the dog": such agencies very quickly assume purely political function (such as "kingmakers") and start behaving like the Praetorian Guard in Rome.
Intelligences agencies also play prominent role in brainwashing the population, as they often covertly control substantial part of the national press and the major part of foreign correspondents corps. Former CIA Director William Casey quote "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false" (I think the quote has two levels: level one is about foreign events coverage in the USA; the level two is about CIA attempt to deceive Soviet intelligence which like the US intelligence relied for 80% of their data on public sources ). in proper historical context this can be viewed as a refined statement about importance of creation of national myth under neofascism and the level of distortion of foreign events coverage which is the hallmark of any fascist or neofascist regime. It can be attributed to any the major fascist propagandas machine official, such as Goebbels.
Elimination of political figures using trump up changes of foreign conspiracy is the most obvious sign of politicized intelligence agencies. This essentially makes political dissent a dangerous activity because they are framed as stooges (or worse agents ) of the foreign state. This is the key feature of all fascists and neofascist states (as well as Bolsheviks regime -- look at Stalin "Show Trials") . While McCarthyism period was a specific for the US decade, similar periods can be observed in other nations too.
And now McCarthyism was re-ignited on new level with the framework of Russiagate. In this sense the current color revolution against Trump (aka Russiagate) can be interpreted as a sign of a new stage of sliding of the USA toward neofascism. Please note the that in this case intelligence agencies clearly assumed important political role. As Patrick Martin noted (Inside The FBI's 'Police State' Operation Against Trump, Jan 23, 2019, Off-guardian.org)
The Times article goes on to describe how FBI officials monitored the platform adopted at the Republican National Convention, reporting that the spy agency "watched with alarm as the Republican Party softened its convention platform on the Ukraine crisis in a way that seemed to benefit Russia." That is, the nation's top police agency was concerned that the positions adopted contravened certain basic tenets of dominant sections of the foreign policy establishment.
By what constitutional authority can the FBI, based on political positions adopted by one or the other of the two main capitalist parties, open up a secret investigation into treason and conspiracy? Such an operation bespeaks a police state and recalls the methods of the Stalinist NKVD.
The agency also investigated four of Trump's campaign aides over possible ties to Russia, and even made use of the notorious Steele dossier, consisting of anti-Trump gossip collated from Russian sources by a former British intelligence agent on the payroll of the Democratic Party.
After Trump fired Comey, according to the Times , "law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president's behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence."
The operations of the FBI, encouraged, aided and abetted by the Times , recall the paranoid rantings of the John Birch Society, the ultra-right group formed in the 1950s, whose founder, Robert Welch, notoriously claimed that President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the former World War II commander of Allied forces in Europe, was a "a dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy."
Claims that once were the province of an extremist group, on the fringes of American politics, are now embraced by the military-intelligence apparatus, appear on the front page of the most influential American daily newspaper, and dominate the network and cable television news.
But these allegations have no credibility. Why should anyone believe claims that Trump, at age 70, after decades as a real estate mogul, con man and media celebrity, with a billion-dollar fortune, suddenly decided to throw in his lot with Vladimir Putin? Even the Times report itself concedes, in a single sentence buried in the 2,000-word text, "No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials."
The third defining feature is rampant militarism and open disregard of all international norms ("might makes right" mentality). That include the pipe dream of "full spectrum dominance" which is the USA neoliberal elite goal since 1991 -- the year of the collapse of the USSR. The USA under Trump administration actually pursued openly disregard international law. Please note that all Presidents since Clinton pursued this policy. Only the degree of violation of international norms varied between those presidencies. all four "post-Soviet" (Clinton, Bush, and Obama and Trump) launched aggressive wars under false pretences (with Bush and Obama -- multiple wars; Trump so far only color revolution in Venezuela with Iran as a possible next step)
One interesting nuance that distinguishes the recent mutation of neofascism in the USA from all previous versions is that political mobilization of masses are discouraged under neoliberalism. "Go shopping" was famous Bush II recommendation to US citizens after the 9/11, while he pushed Patriot act which essentially make intelligence agencies key political actors in the USA, the role which they played both in Third Reich and Stalin regime. In this sense it is important to understand that the use of the term "fascism" by neoliberal propaganda more often then not constitute projection and neoliberalism always carry within itself strong elements of neofascism, and they became even stronger when neoliberalism entered an ideological crisis in 2008.
In a sense the notorious female warmonger and former Secretary of State under Bill Clinton Madeleine Albright (of Yugoslav bombing face and her remark about Iraq children) with her book Fascism A Warning screaming the certain Central European states are sliding toward neofascism is a classic example The pot calling the kettle black. The same is true about primitive (and corrupt) neocon warmonger like Max Boot (chickenhawk who cheerleadered Iraq invasion; see The Iraq War cheerleaders who are still around 15 years later) who claim that Putin is a fascist dictator. Putin probably can be called authoritarian ruler, but he is a neoliberal. If he can be called "fascist dictator" then both Nobel price winner Barack Obama (with his past connections to CIA via his mother family and wars of aggression in Libya and Syria) and Trump with his "humanitarian bombings" of Syria, clear authoritarian tendencies, nepotism and pandering to the oligarchy (Trump tax cuts) are fascist dictators two. In this sense it is important to abstract from neoliberal/neocon propaganda of the USA MSM in order better understand this complex and interesting issue. Aggressive militaristic posture, cult of militarism in the society, are classic features of fascism and neofascism.
And only very naive person can deny the fact that cult of militarism in the USA is an official state policy. Whether of not neocons can be called neofascists is an interesting and so far unresolved question. But the fact that their foreign policy is identical to neofascist policies is undisputable.
By Nuremberg principles all US officials who participated in unleashing Iraq war are war criminals
The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
- (a) Crimes against peace:
- (i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
- (ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).
- (b) War crimes:
- Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the Seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.
- (c) Crimes against humanity:
- Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.
Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.
Still the rise of far right nationalism movement in Europe is an important political factor of modern times. And many ask question: Is this the neofascism or not? I view it more like the reaction to neoliberalism that neofascism some elements of neofascism: both are variations of corporatism. But at the same time fascism in many of its elements is identical to the reaction of any society on grave threat. And neoliberal globalization represents such a threat. Which makes reaction of some Eastern European states look similar to neofascism, but each incarnation of neofascism has important differences and neofascism movements that emerged after 2008 differ from classic fascism movements of 1930th in many key elements.
Again, as used in the USA neoliberal MSM the terms "fascism" or "neofascism" more often then not constitutes projection. Despicable warmongers, especially female neocon Madeleine Albright exploits those terms as a powerful propaganda cliché ( Everything Madeleine Albright Doesn’t Like is Fascism ). In the review of her book Guillaume Durocher noted:
Opponents of American imperialism will observe that Albright's list of quasi-Fascist states corresponds quite closely with those who have opposed U.S. foreign policies in recent decades. There is barely a word about America's authoritarian allies Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.
... ... ...
Strikingly, the word "Netanyahu" does not appear in the book's Index at all. The existence of a democratic ethno-nationalist state goes against her whole narrative. For what it's worth, I suspect most people in European nationalist parties and in the Alt-Right would be happy to preserve democracy if they could have their own Netanyahus, with the establishment of Western ethnostates dedicated to their own people, with the explicit goal of preserving or restoring ethnic European demographic supermajorities.
This selectivity will encourage the impression that the State Department's talk of "human rights" has less to do with upholding universal moral principles than with demonizing the United States' geopolitical opponents du jour . The American Establishment does not bully China as much as Russia, despite being obviously more authoritarian. I suspect this is because China is already too big to bully, while Russia can still be pushed around and serve as a useful bogeyman (always useful to the Military-Industrial Complex, the National Security State, and for all the Establishmentarians who need a scapegoat for the rise of populism). On that note, I suspect most diplomatic conflicts today have less to do with "realist" international power dynamics than with the utility of foreign enemies for governments domestically.
... ... ...
In a dictatorship, the elimination of political and ideological pluralism means that the country can enjoy political stability. This, by the way, is crucial in multiethnic countries such as Yugoslavia or Iraq, for which the fall of the dictatorship and democratization led to atrocious ethno-religious civil war. As Lee Kuan Yew , my favorite antidote to the political childishness that prevails in the West today, said concerning his multiracial state of Singapore: "We had to lock up people, without trial, whether they are communists, whether they are language chauvinists, or religious extremists. If you don't do that the country would be in ruins today!" Few things have been as murderous as the promotion of "democracy" in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, a policy which, not coincidentally, has destroyed several geopolitical opponents of Israel.
In any case it is important to understand that corporatism is a very resilient political system, which can take many forms. With some being if fierce conflict with each other. Both "classic neoliberalism" and "national neoliberalism" are flavors of the same political system -- corporatism. One promotes globalism including using the force of arms for opening countries to transnational corporations and financial institutions, the other rejects it and promote strengthening of national borders and wars on weaker nations as the way of solving internal problems.
The USA is the example of the country which set a precedent for Deep State type of corporatism structure: Tweed's system was the corrupt mafia-style organization with the level of cohesion so strong that it lasted for decades (Tammny Hall's political patronage "machine" thrived from 1850's to the 1930's.) It was described as:
It's hard not to admire the skill behind Tweed's system ... The Tweed ring at its height was an engineering marvel, strong and solid, strategically deployed to control key power points: the courts, the legislature, the treasury and the ballot box. Its frauds had a grandeur of scale and an elegance of structure: money-laundering, profit sharing and organization [organized crime].
All forms of fascism (aka "national socialism") are forms of corporatism and as such are based on the merger of government and corporations. From classic fascism modern form borrowed the role of intelligence agencies. But, in a sense we can view intelligence agencies as powerful corporations with the majority stakes on government and minor stake of Wall-Street (especially, in case of CIA) and add them to the list of corporations, as they operate semi-independently from the government and often have goals which does not correlate (and sometimes are opposite) with the goals of executive branch especially in foreign policy.
They form the core of so called Deep State and position themselves of a new praetorian guard that makes of breaks presidential candidates at will. The suppression of Hillary Clinton "emailgate" investigation, surveillance over Trump campaign and launching by intelligence services color revolution against Trump (aka Russiagate) after Presidential election of 2016 in the USA are just most prominent illustration of this trend. Derailing Sanders by suppressing emailgate definitely position them as kingmakers Here we are talking about CIA, FBI and the State Department. The role of NSA is not that clear and is somewhat controversial, due to Admiral Mike Rogers warning to Trump (The Last Refuge, Mar 3, 2017).
Fascism combines nationalism, militarism and revival/rebirth of nation fantasies in a unique but very eclectic and self-contradicting framework. It simply lacks a coherent theoretical/ideological core: oscillating between elitism and populism, between anti-capitalist and anti-socialist themes, and between ethnic and cultural nationalism. In all cases fascist movements (and often modern neofascist movements) offers an alternative to liberal and neoliberal ideology and social practice, making the nationalism as the core of the resistance to neoliberal globalization.
The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence is a 1974 controversial non-fiction political book written by Victor Marchetti, a former special assistant to the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and John D. Marks, a former officer of the United States Department of State. The book discusses how the CIA works and how its original purpose (i.e. collecting and analyzing information about foreign governments, corporations, and persons in order to advise public policymakers) has, according to the author, been subverted by its obsession with clandestine operations.
The book was a critically acclaimed bestseller whose publication contributed to the establishment of the Church Committee, a United States Senate select committee to study governmental operations with respect to intelligence activities, in 1975. The book was published in paperback by Dell Publishing in 1975.
Victor Marchetti used the expression "cult of intelligence" to denounce what he viewed as a counterproductive mindset and culture of secrecy, elitism, amorality and lawlessness within and surrounding the Central Intelligence Agency in the service of American imperialism:
There exists in our nation today a powerful and dangerous secret cult -- the cult of intelligence. Its holy men are the clandestine professionals of the Central Intelligence Agency. Its patrons and protectors are the highest officials of the federal government. Its membership, extending far beyond governmental circles, reaches into the power centers of industry, commerce, finance, and labor. Its friends are many in the areas of important public influence -- the academic world and the communications media.
The cult of intelligence is a secret fraternity of the American political aristocracy. The purpose of the cult is to further the foreign policies of the U.S. government by covert and usually illegal means, while at the same time containing the spread of its avowed enemy, communism. Traditionally, the cult's hope has been to foster a world order in which America would reign supreme, the unchallenged international leader.
Today, however, that dream stands tarnished by time and frequent failures. Thus, the cult's objectives are now less grandiose, but no less disturbing. It seeks largely to advance America's self-appointed role as the dominant arbiter of social, economic, and political change in the awakening regions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. And its worldwide war against communism has to some extent been reduced to a covert struggle to maintain a self-serving stability in the Third World, using whatever clandestine methods are available.
In his 1978 memoir, Honorable Men: My Life in the CIA, William Colby, a former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, endorsed Marchetti's critique and adopted the use of the expression "cult of intelligence":
Socially as well as professionally they cliqued together, forming a sealed fraternity. They ate together at their own special favorite restaurants; they partied almost only among themselves; their families drifted to each other, so their defenses did not always have to be up. In this way they increasingly separated themselves from the ordinary world and developed a rather skewed view of that world.
Their own dedicated double life became the proper norm, and they looked down on the life of the rest of the citizenry.
And out of this grew what was later named -- and condemned -- as the "cult" of intelligence, an inbred, distorted, elitist view of intelligence that held it to be above the normal processes of society, with its own rationale and justification, beyond the restraints of the Constitution, which applied to everything and everyone else.
Control of MSM by intelligence agencies is another important feature of neofqascism ( The CIA and the MSM 50 Facts the World Needs to Know Humans Are Free):
This is exactly the reason why news organizations and individual journalists are tapped as assets by intelligence agencies and, as the experiences of German journalist Udo Ulfkotte (entry 47 below) suggest, this practice is at least as widespread today as it was at the height of the Cold War.
Consider the coverups of election fraud in 2000 and 2004, the events of September 11, 2001, the invasions Afghanistan and Iraq, the destabilization of Syria, and the creation of “ISIS.”
These are among the most significant events in recent world history, and yet they are also those much of the American public is wholly ignorant of. In an era where information and communication technologies are ubiquitous, prompting many to harbor the illusion of being well-informed, one must ask why this condition persists.
Further, why do prominent US journalists routinely fail to question other deep events that shape America’s tragic history over the past half century, such as the political assassinations of the 1960s, or the central role played by the CIA major role in international drug trafficking?
Popular and academic commentators have suggested various reasons for the almost universal failure of mainstream journalism in these areas, including newsroom sociology, advertising pressure, monopoly ownership, news organizations’ heavy reliance on “official” sources, and journalists’ simple quest for career advancement.
There is also, no doubt, the influence of professional public relations maneuvers. Yet such a broad conspiracy of silence suggests another province of deception examined far too infrequently — specifically the CIA and similar intelligence agencies’ continued involvement in the news media to mold thought and opinion in ways scarcely imagined by the lay public.
The following historical and contemporary facts–by no means exhaustive–provides a glimpse of how the power such entities possess to influence if not determine popular memory and what respectable institutions deem to be the historical record.
- The CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD is a long-recognised keystone among researchers pointing to the Agency’s clear interest in and relationship to major US news media. MOCKINGBIRD grew out of the CIA’s forerunner, the Office for Strategic Services (OSS, 1942-47), which during World War Two had established a network of journalists and psychological warfare experts operating primarily in the European theatre.
- Many of the relationships forged under OSS auspices were carried over into the postwar era through a State Department-run organization called the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) overseen by OSS staffer Frank Wisner.
- The OPC “became the fastest-growing unit within the nascent CIA,” historian Lisa Pease observes, “rising in personnel from 302 in 1949 to 2,812 in 1952, along with 3,142 overseas contract personnel. In the same period, the budget rose from $4.7 million to $82 million.” Lisa Pease, “The Media and the Assassination,” in James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease, The Assassinations: Probe Magazine on JFK, MLK, RFK and Malcolm X, Port Townsend, WA, 2003, 300.
- Like many career CIA officers, eventual CIA Director/Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Richard Helms was recruited out of the press corps by his own supervisor at the United Press International’s Berlin Bureau to join in the OSS’s fledgling “black propaganda” program. “‘[Y]ou’re a natural,” Helms’ boss remarked. Richard Helms, A Look Over My Shoulder: A Life in the Central Intelligence Agency, New York: Random House, 2003, 30-31.
- Wisner tapped Marshall Plan funds to pay for his division’s early exploits, money his branch referred to as “candy.” “We couldn’t spend it all,” CIA agent Gilbert Greenway recalls. “I remember once meeting with Wisner and the comptroller. My God, I said, how can we spend that? There were no limits, and nobody had to account for it. It was amazing.” Frances Stonor Saunders, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters, New York: The New Press, 2000, 105.
- When the OPC was merged with the Office of Special Operations in 1948 to create the CIA, OPC’s media assets were likewise absorbed.
- Wisner maintained the top secret “Propaganda Assets Inventory,” better known as “Wisner’s Wurlitzer”—a virtual rolodex of over 800 news and information entities prepared to play whatever tune Wisner chose. “The network included journalists, columnists, book publishers, editors, entire organizations such as Radio Free Europe, and stringers across multiple news organizations.” Pease, “The Media and the Assassination,” 300.
- A few years after Wisner’s operation was up-and-running he “’owned’ respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS, and other communication vehicles, plus stringers, four to six hundred in all, according to a CIA analyst. Each one was a separate ‘operation,’” investigative journalist Deborah Davis notes, “requiring a code name, a field supervisor, and a field office, at an annual cost of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars—there has never been an accurate accounting.” Deborah Davis, Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and the Washington Post Empire, Second Edition, Bethesda MD: National Press Inc, 1987, 139.
- Psychological operations in the form of journalism were perceived as necessary to influence and direct mass opinion, as well as elite perspectives. “[T]he President of the United States, the Secretary of State, Congressmen and even the Director of the CIA himself will read, believe, and be impressed by a report from Cy Sulzberger, Arnaud de Borchgrave, or Stewart Alsop when they don’t even bother to read a CIA report on the same subject,” noted CIA agent Miles Copeland. Cited in Pease, “The Media and the Assassination,” 301.
- By the mid-to-late 1950s, Darrell Garwood points out, the Agency sought to limit criticism directed against covert activity and bypass congressional oversight or potential judicial interference by “infiltrat[ing] the groves of academia, the missionary corps, the editorial boards of influential journal and book publishers, and any other quarters where public attitudes could be effectively influenced.” Darrell Garwood, Under Cover: Thirty-Five Years of CIA Deception, New York: Grove Press, 1985, 250.
- The CIA frequently intercedes in editorial decision-making. For example, when the Agency proceeded to wage an overthrow of the Arbenz regime in Guatemala in 1954, Allen and John Foster Dulles, President Eisenhower’s Secretary of State and CIA Director respectively, called upon New York Times publisher Arthur Hays Sulzberger to reassign reporter Sydney Gruson from Guatemala to Mexico City. Sulzberger thus placed Gruson in Mexico City with the rationale that some repercussions from the revolution might be felt in Mexico. Pease, “The Media and the Assassination,” 302.
- Since the early 1950s the CIA “has secretly bankrolled numerous foreign press services, periodicals and newspapers—both English and foreign language—which provided excellent cover for CIA operatives,” Carl Bernstein reported in 1977. “One such publication was the Rome Daily American, forty percent of which was owned by the CIA until the 1970s.” Carl Bernstein, “The CIA and the Media,” Rolling Stone, October 20, 1977.
- The CIA exercised informal liaisons with news media executives, in contrast to its relationships with salaried reporters and stringers, “who were much more subject to direction from the Agency” according to Bernstein. “A few executives—Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times among them—signed secrecy agreements. But such formal understandings were rare: relationships between Agency officials and media executives were usually social—’The P and Q Street axis in Georgetown,’ said one source. ‘You don’t tell William Paley to sign a piece of paper saying he won’t fink.’” Director of CBS William Paley’s personal “friendship with CIA Director Dulles is now known to have been one of the most influential and significant in the communications industry,” author Debora Davis explains. “He provided cover for CIA agents, supplied out-takes of news film, permitted the debriefing of reporters, and in many ways set the standard for the cooperation between the CIA and major broadcast companies which lasted until the mid-1970s.” Deborah Davis, Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and the Washington Post, Second Edition, Bethesda MD: National Press Inc, 1987, 175.
- “The Agency’s relationship with the Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials,” Bernstein points out in his key 1977 article. “From 1950 to 1966, about ten CIA employees were provided Times cover under arrangements approved by the newspaper’s late publisher, Arthur Hays Sulzberger. The cover arrangements were part of a general Times policy—set by Sulzberger—to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible.” In addition, Sulzberger was a close friend of CIA Director Allen Dulles. “’At that level of contact it was the mighty talking to the mighty,’ said a high‑level CIA official who was present at some of the discussions. ‘There was an agreement in principle that, yes indeed, we would help each other. The question of cover came up on several occasions. It was agreed that the actual arrangements would be handled by subordinates…. The mighty didn’t want to know the specifics; they wanted plausible deniability.’” Bernstein, “The CIA and the Media.”
- CBS’s Paley worked reciprocally with the CIA, allowing the Agency to utilize network resources and personnel. “It was a form of assistance that a number of wealthy persons are now generally known to have rendered the CIA through their private interests,” veteran broadcast journalist Daniel Schorr wrote in 1977. “It suggested to me, however, that a relationship of confidence and trust had existed between him and the agency.” Schorr points to “clues indicating that CBS had been infiltrated.” For example, “A news editor remembered the CIA officer who used to come to the radio control room in New York in the early morning, and, with the permission of persons unknown, listened to CBS correspondents around the world recording their ‘spots’ for the ‘World News Roundup’ and discussing events with the editor on duty. Sam Jaffe claimed that when he applied in 1955 for a job with CBS, a CIA officer told him that he would be hired–which he subsequently was. He was told that he would be sent to Moscow–which he subsequently was; he was assigned in 1960 to cover the trial of U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers. [Richard] Salant told me,” Schorr continues, “that when he first became president of CBS News in 1961, a CIA case officer called saying he wanted to continue the ‘long standing relationship known to Paley and [CBS president Frank] Stanton, but Salant was told by Stanton there was no obligation that he knew of” (276). Schorr, Daniel. Clearing the Air, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1977, 277, 276.
- National Enquirer publisher Gene Pope Jr. worked briefly on the CIA’s Italy desk in the early 1950s and maintained close ties with the Agency thereafter. Pope refrained from publishing dozens of stories with “details of CIA kidnappings and murders, enough stuff for a year’s worth of headlines” in order to “collect chits, IOUs,” Pope’s son writes. “He figured he’d never know when he might need them, and those IOUs would come in handy when he got to 20 million circulation. When that happened, he’d have the voice to be almost his own branch of government and would need the cover.” Paul David Pope, The Deeds of My Fathers: How My Grandfather and Father Built New York and Created the Tabloid World of Today, New York: Phillip Turner/Rowman & Littlefield, 2010, 309, 310.
- One explosive story Pope’s National Enquirer‘s refrained from publishing in the late 1970s centered on excerpts from a long-sought after diary of President Kennedy’s lover, Mary Pinchot Meyer, who was murdered on October 12, 1964. “The reporters who wrote the story were even able to place James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s head of counterintelligence operations, at the scene.” Another potential story drew on “documents proving that [Howard] Hughes and the CIA had been connected for years and that the CIA was giving Hughes money to secretly fund, with campaign donations, twenty-seven congressmen and senators who sat on sub-committees critical to the agency. There are also fifty-three international companies named and sourced as CIA fronts .. and even a list of reporters for mainstream media organizations who were playing ball with the agency.” Pope, The Deeds of My Fathers, 309.
- Angleton, who oversaw the Agency counterintelligence branch for 25 years, “ran a completely independent group entirely separate cadre of journalist‑operatives who performed sensitive and frequently dangerous assignments; little is known about this group for the simple reason that Angleton deliberately kept only the vaguest of files.” Bernstein, “The CIA and the Media.”
- The CIA conducted a “formal training program” during the 1950s for the sole purpose of instructing its agents to function as newsmen. “Intelligence officers were ‘taught to make noises like reporters,’ explained a high CIA official, and were then placed in major news organizations with help from management. These were the guys who went through the ranks and were told ‘You’re going to he a journalist,’” the CIA official said.” The Agency’s preference, however, was to engage journalists who were already established in the industry. Bernstein, “The CIA and the Media.”
- Newspaper columnists and broadcast journalists with household names have been known to maintain close ties with the Agency. “There are perhaps a dozen well known columnists and broadcast commentators whose relationships with the CIA go far beyond those normally maintained between reporters and their sources,” Bernstein maintains. “They are referred to at the Agency as ‘known assets’ and can be counted on to perform a variety of undercover tasks; they are considered receptive to the Agency’s point of view on various subjects.” Bernstein, “The CIA and the Media.”
- Frank Wisner, Allen Dulles, and Washington Post publisher Phillip Graham were close associates, and the Post developed into one of the most influential news organs in the United States due to its ties with the CIA. The Post managers’ “individual relations with intelligence had in fact been the reason the Post Company had grown as fast as it did after the war,” Davis (172) observes. “[T]heir secrets were its corporate secrets, beginning with MOCKINGBIRD. Phillip Graham’s commitment to intelligence had given his friends Frank Wisner an interest in helping to make the Washington Post the dominant news vehicle in Washington, which they had done by assisting with its two most crucial acquisitions, the Times-Herald and WTOP radio and television stations.” Davis, Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and the Washington Post, 172.
- In the wake of World War One the Woodrow Wilson administration placed journalist and author Walter Lippmann in charge of recruiting agents for the Inquiry, a first-of-its-kind ultra-secret civilian intelligence organization whose role involved ascertaining information to prepare Wilson for the peace negotiations, as well as identify foreign natural resources for Wall Street speculators and oil companies. The activities of this organization served as a prototype for the function eventually performed by the CIA, namely “planning, collecting, digesting, and editing the raw data,” notes historian Servando Gonzalez. “This roughly corresponds to the CIA’s intelligence cycle: planning and direction, collection, processing, production and analysis, and dissemination.” Most Inquiry members would later become members of the Council on Foreign Relations. Lippmann would go on to become the Washington Post’s best known columnists. Servando Gonzalez, Psychological Warfare and the New World Order: The Secret War Against the American People, Oakland, CA: Spooks Books, 2010, 50.
- The two most prominent US newsweeklies, Time and Newsweek, kept close ties with the CIA. “Agency files contain written agreements with former foreign correspondents and stringers for both the weekly newsmagazines,” according to Carl Bernstein. “Allen Dulles often interceded with his good friend, the late Henry Luce, founder of Time and Life magazines, who readily allowed certain members of his staff to work for the Agency and agreed to provide jobs and credentials for other CIA operatives who lacked journalistic experience.” Bernstein, “The CIA and the Media.”
- In his autobiography former CIA officer E. Howard Hunt quotes Bernstein’s “The CIA and the Media” article at length. “I know nothing to contradict this report,” Hunt declares, suggesting the investigative journalist of Watergate fame didn’t go far enough. “Bernstein further identified some of the country’s top media executives as being valuable assets to the agency … But the list of organizations that cooperated with the agency was a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of the media industry, including ABC, NBC, the Associated Press, UPI, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Newsweek magazine, and others.” E. Howard Hunt, American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate, and Beyond, Hoboken NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2007, 150.
- When the first major exposé of the CIA emerged in 1964 with the publication of The Invisible Government by journalists David Wise and Thomas B. Ross, the CIA considered purchasing the entire printing to keep the book from the public, yet in the end judged against it. “To an extent that is only beginning to be perceived, this shadow government is shaping the lives of 190,000,000 Americans” authors Wise and Ross write in the book’s preamble. “Major decisions involving peace and war are taking place out of public view. An informed citizen might come to suspect that the foreign policy of the United States often works publicly in one direction and secretly through the Invisible Government in just the opposite direction.”Lisa Pease, “When the CIA’s Empire Struck Back,” Consortiumnews.com, February 6, 2014.
- Agency infiltration of the news media shaped public perception of deep events and undergirded the official explanations of such events. For example, the Warren Commission’s report on President John F. Kennedy’s assassination was met with almost unanimous approval by US media outlets. “I have never seen an official report greeted with such universal praise as that accorded the Warren Commission’s findings when they were made public on September 24, 1964,” recalls investigative reporter Fred Cook. “All the major television networks devoted special programs and analyses to the report; the next day the newspapers ran long columns detailing its findings, accompanied by special news analyses and editorials. The verdict was unanimous. The report answered all questions, left no room for doubt. Lee Harvey Oswald, alone and unaided, had assassinated the president of the United States.” Fred J. Cook, Maverick: Fifty Years of Investigative Reporting, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1984, 276.
- In late 1966 the New York Times began an inquiry on the numerous questions surrounding President Kennedy’s assassination that were not satisfactorily dealt with by the Warren Commission. “It was never completed,” author Jerry Policoff observes, “nor would the New York Times ever again question the findings of the Warren Commission.” When the story was being developed the lead reporter at the Times‘ Houston bureau “said that he and others came up with ‘a lot of unanswered questions’ that the Times didn’t bother to pursue. ‘I’d be off on a good lead and then somebody’d call me off and send me out to California on another story or something. We never really detached anyone for this. We weren’t really serious.’” Jerry Policoff, “The Media and the Murder of John Kennedy,” in Peter Dale Scott, Paul L. Hoch and Russell Stetler, eds., The Assassinations: Dallas and Beyond, New York: Vintage, 1976, 265.
- When New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison embarked on an investigation of the JFK assassination in 1966 centering on Lee Harvey Oswald’s presence in New Orleans in the months leading up to November, 22, 1963, “he was cross-whipped with two hurricane blasts, one from Washington and one from New York,” historian James DiEugenio explains. The first, of course, was from the government, specifically the Central Intelligence Agency, the FBI, and to a lesser extent, the White House. The blast from New York was from the major mainstream media e.g. Time-Life and NBC. Those two communication giants were instrumental in making Garrison into a lightening rod for ridicule and criticism. This orchestrated campaign … was successful in diverting attention from what Garrison was uncovering by creating controversy about the DA himself.” DiEugenio, Preface, in William Davy, Let Justice Be Done: New Light on the Jim Garrison Investigation, Reston VA: Jordan Publishing, 1999.
- The CIA and other US intelligence agencies used the news media to sabotage Garrison’s 1966-69 independent investigation of the Kennedy assassination. Garrison presided over the only law enforcement agency with subpoena power to seriously delve into the intricate details surrounding JFK’s murder. One of Garrison’s key witnesses, Gordon Novel, fled New Orleans to avoid testifying before the Grand Jury assembled by Garrison. According to DiEugenio, CIA Director Allen “Dulles and the Agency would begin to connect the fugitive from New Orleans with over a dozen CIA friendly journalists who—in a blatant attempt to destroy Garrison’s reputation—would proceed to write up the most outrageous stories imaginable about the DA.” James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed: JFK, Cuba, and The Garrison Case, Second Edition, New York: SkyHorse Publishing, 2012, 235.
- CIA officer Victor Marchetti recounted to author William Davy that in 1967 while attending staff meetings as an assistant to then-CIA Director Richard Helms, “Helms expressed great concerns over [former OSS officer, CIA operative and primary suspect in Jim Garrison's investigation Clay] Shaw’s predicament, asking his staff, ‘Are we giving them all the help we can down there?’” William Davy, Let Justice Be Done: New Light on the Jim Garrison Investigation, Reston VA: Jordan Publishing, 1999.
- The pejorative dimensions of the term “conspiracy theory” were introduced into the Western lexicon by CIA “media assets,” as evidenced in the design laid out by Document 1035-960 Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report, an Agency communiqué issued in early 1967 to Agency bureaus throughout the world at a time when attorney Mark Lane’s Rush to Judgment was atop bestseller lists and New Orleans DA Garrison’s investigation of the Kennedy assassination began to gain traction.
- Time had close relations with the CIA stemming from the friendship of the magazine’s publisher Henry Luce and Eisenhower CIA chief Allen Dulles. When former newsman Richard Helms was appointed DCI in 1966 he “began to cultivate the press,” prompting journalists toward conclusions that placed the Agency in a positive light. As Time Washington correspondent Hugh Sidney recollects, “‘[w]ith [John] McCone and [Richard] Helms, we had a set-up when the magazine was doing something on the CIA, we went to them and put it before them … We were never misled.’ Similarly, when Newsweek decided in the fall of 1971 to do a cover story on Richard Helms and ‘The New Espionage,’ the magazine, according to a Newsweek staffer, went directly to the agency for much of the information. And the article … generally reflected the line that Helms was trying so hard to sell: that since the latter 1960s … the focus of attention and prestige within CIA’ had switched from the Clandestine Services to the analysis of intelligence, and that ‘the vast majority of recruits are bound for’ the Intelligence Directorate.” Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974, 362-363.
- In 1970 Jim Garrison wrote and published the semi-autobiographical A Heritage of Stone, a work that examines how the New Orleans DA “discovered that the CIA operated within the borders of the United States, and how it took the CIA six months to reply to the Warren Commission’s question of whether Oswald and [Jack] Ruby had been with the Agency,” Garrison biographer and Temple University humanities professor Joan Mellen observes. “In response to A Heritage of Stone, the CIA rounded up its media assets” and the book was panned by reviewers writing for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Sun Times, and Life magazine. “John Leonard’s New York Times review went through a metamorphosis,” Mellen explains. “The original last paragraph challenged the Warren Report: ‘Something stinks about this whole affair,’ Leonard wrote. ‘Why were Kennedy’s neck organs not examined at Bethesda for evidence of a frontal shot? Why was his body whisked away to Washington before the legally required Texas inquest? Why?’ This paragraph evaporated in later editions of the Times. A third of a column gone, the review then ended: ‘Frankly I prefer to believe that the Warren Commission did a poor job, rather than a dishonest one. I like to think that Garrison invents monsters to explain incompetence.’” Joan Mellen, A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination, and the Case That Should Have Changed History, Washington DC: Potomac Books, 2005, 323, 324.
- CIA Deputy Director for Plans Cord Meyer Jr. appealed to Harper & Row president emeritus Cass Canfield Sr. over the book publisher’s pending release of Alfred McCoy’s The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, based on the author’s fieldwork and Yale PhD dissertation wherein he examined the CIA’s explicit role in the opium trade. “Claiming my book was a threat to national security,” McCoy recalls, “the CIA official had asked Harper & Row to suppress it. To his credit, Mr. Canfield had refused. But he had agreed to review the manuscript prior to publication.” Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, Chicago Review Press, 2003, xx.
- Publication of The Secret Team, a book by US Air Force Colonel and Pentagon-CIA liaison L. Fletcher Prouty recounting the author’s firsthand knowledge of CIA black operations and espionage, was met with a wide scale censorship campaign in 1972. “The campaign to kill the book was nationwide and world-wide,” Prouty notes. “It was removed from the Library of Congress and from college libraries as letters I received attested all too frequently … I was a writer whose book had been cancelled by a major publisher [Prentice Hall] and a major paperback publisher [Ballantine Books] under the persuasive hand of the CIA.” L. Fletcher Prouty, The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World, New York: SkyHorse Publishing, 2008, xii, xv.
- During the Pike Committee hearings in 1975 Congressman Otis Pike asked DCI William Colby, “Do you have any people paid by the CIA who are working for television networks?” Colby responded, “This, I think, gets into the kind of details, Mr. Chairman, that I’d like to get into in executive session.” Once the chamber was cleared Colby admitted that in 1975 specifically “the CIA was using ‘media cover’ for eleven agents, many fewer than in the heyday of the cloak-and-pencil operations, but no amount of questioning would persuade him to talk about the publishers and network chieftains who had cooperated at the top.” Schorr, Clearing the Air, 275.
- “There is quite an incredible spread of relationships,” former CIA intelligence officer William Bader informed a US Senate Intelligence Committee investigating the CIA’s infiltration of the nation’s journalistic outlets. “You don’t need to manipulate Time magazine, for example, because there are Agency people at the management level.” Bernstein, “The CIA and the Media.”
- In 1985 film historian and professor Joseph McBride came across a November 29, 1963 memorandum from J. Edgar Hoover, titled, “Assassination of President John F. Kennedy,” wherein the FBI director stated that his agency provided two individuals with briefings, one of whom was “Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency.” ” When McBride queried the CIA with the memo a “PR man was tersely formal and opaque: ‘I can neither confirm nor deny.’ It was the standard response the agency gave when it dealt with its sources and methods,” journalist Russ Baker notes. When McBride published a story in The Nation, “The Man Who Wasn’t There, ‘George Bush,’ C.I.A. Operative,” the CIA came forward with a statement that the George Bush referenced in the FBI record “apparently” referenced a George William Bush, who filled a perfunctory night shift position at CIA headquarters that “would have been the appropriate place to receive such a report.” McBride tracked down George William Bush to confirm he was only employed briefly as a “probationary civil servant” who had “never received interagency briefings.” Shortly thereafter The Nation ran a second story by McBride wherein “the author provided evidence that the Central Intelligence Agency had foisted a lie on the American people … As with McBride’s previous story, this disclosure was greeted with the equivalent of a collective media yawn.” Since the episode researchers have found documents linking George H. W. Bush to the CIA as early as 1953. Russ Baker, Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years, New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2009, 7-12.
- Operation Gladio, the well-documented collaboration between Western spy agencies, including the CIA, and NATO involving coordinated terrorist shootings and bombings of civilian targets throughout Europe from the late 1960s through the 1980s, has been effectively expunged from major mainstream news outlets. A LexisNexis Academic search conducted in 2012 for “Operation Gladio” retrieved 31 articles in English language news media—most appearing in British newspapers. Only four articles discussing Gladio ever appeared in US publications—three in the New York Times and one brief mention in the Tampa Bay Times. With the exception of a 2009 BBC documentary, no network or cable news broadcast has ever referenced the state-sponsored terror operation. Almost all of the articles referencing Gladio appeared in 1990 when Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti publicly admitted Italy’s participation in the process. The New York Times downplayed any US involvement, misleadingly designating Gladio “an Italian creation” in a story buried on page A16. In reality, former CIA director William Colby revealed in his memoirs that covert paramilitaries were a significant agency undertaking set up after World War II, including “the smallest possible coterie of the most reliable people, in Washington [and] NATO.” James F. Tracy, “False Flag Terror and Conspiracies of Silence,” Global Research, August 10, 2012.
- Days before the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City DCI William Colby confided to his friend, Nebraska State Senator John DeCamp his personal concerns over the Militia and Patriot movement within the United States, then surging in popularity due to the use of the alternative media of that era–books, periodicals, cassette tapes, and radio broadcasts. “I watched as the Anti-War movement rendered it impossible for this country to conduct or win the Vietnam War,” Colby remarked. “I tell you, dear friend, that the Militia and Patriot movement in which, as an attorney, you have become one of the centerpieces, is far more significant and far more dangerous for American than the Anti-War movement ever was, if it is not intelligently dealt with. And I really mean this.” David Hoffman, The Oklahoma City Bombing and the Politics of Terror, Venice CA: Feral House, 1998, 367.
- Shortly after the appearance of journalist Gary Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series in the San Jose Mercury News chronicling the Agency’s involvement in drug trafficking, the CIA’s public affairs division embarked on a campaign to counter what it termed “a genuine public relations crisis for the Agency.” Webb was merely reporting to a large audience what had already been well documented by scholars such as Alfred McCoy and Peter Dale Scott, and the 1989 Kerry Committee Report on Iran-Contra—that the CIA had long been involved in the illegal transnational drug trade. Such findings were upheld in 1999 in a study by the CIA inspector general. Nevertheless, beginning shortly after Webb’s series ran, “CIA media spokesmen would remind reporters seeking comment that this series represented no real news,” a CIA internal organ noted, “in that similar charges were made in the 1980s and were investigated by the Congress and were found to be without substance. Reporters were encouraged to read the “Dark Alliance’ series closely and with a critical eye to what allegations could actually be backed with evidence.” http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/DOC_0001372115.pdf
- On December 10, 2004 investigative journalist Gary Webb died of two .38 caliber gunshot wounds to the head. The coroner ruled the death a suicide. “Gary Webb was MURDERED,” concluded FBI senior special agent Ted Gunderson in 2005. “He (Webb) resisted the first shot [to the head that exited via jaw] so he was shot again with the second shot going into the head [brain].” Gunderson regards the theory that Webb could have managed to shoot himself twice as “impossible!” Charlene Fassa, “Gary Webb: More Pieces in the Suicided Puzzle,” Rense.com, December 11, 2005.
- The most revered journalists who receive “exclusive” information and access to the corridors of power are typically the most subservient to officialdom and often have intelligence ties. Those granted such access understand that they must likewise uphold government-sanctioned narratives. For example, the New York Times’ Tom Wicker reported on November 22, 1963 that President John F. Kennedy “was hit by a bullet in the throat, just below the Adam’s apple.” Yet his account went to press before the official story of a single assassin shooting from the rear became established. Wicker was chastised through “lost access, complaints to editors and publishers, social penalties, leaks to competitors, a variety of responses no one wants.” Barrie Zwicker, Towers of Deception: The Media Coverup of 9/11, Gabrioloa Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2006, 169-170.
- The CIA actively promotes a desirable public image of its history and function by advising the production of Hollywood vehicles, such as Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. The Agency retains “entertainment industry liaison officers” on its staff that “plant positive images about itself (in other words, propaganda) through our most popular forms of entertainment,” Tom Hayden explains in the LA Review of Books. “So natural has the CIA–entertainment connection become that few question its legal or moral ramifications. This is a government agency like no other; the truth of its operations is not subject to public examination. When the CIA’s hidden persuaders influence a Hollywood movie, it is using a popular medium to spin as favorable an image of itself as possible, or at least, prevent an unfavorable one from taking hold.” Tom Hayden, “Review of The CIA in Hollywood: How the Agency Shapes Film and Television by Tricia Jenkins,” LA Review of Books, February 24, 2013,
- Former CIA case officer Robert David Steele states that CIA manipulation of news media is “worse” in the 2010s than in the late 1970s when Bernstein wrote “The CIA and the Media.” “The sad thing is that the CIA is very able to manipulate [the media] and it has financial arrangements with media, with Congress, with all others. But the other half of that coin is that the media is lazy.” James Tracy interview with Robert David Steele, August 2, 2014,
- A well-known fact is that broadcast journalist Anderson Cooper interned for the CIA while attending Yale as an undergraduate in the late 1980s. According to Wikipedia Cooper’s great uncle, William Henry Vanderbilt III, was an Executive Officer of the Special Operations Branch of the OSS under the spy organization’s founder William “Wild Bill” Donovan. While Wikipedia is an often dubious source, Vanderbilt’s OSS involvement would be in keeping with the OSS/CIA reputation of taking on highly affluent personnel for overseas derring-do. William Henry Vanderbilt III, Wikipedia.
- Veteran German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, author of the 2014 book Gekaufte Journalisten (Bought Journalists) revealed how under the threat of job termination he was routinely compelled to publish articles written by intelligence agents using his byline. “I ended up publishing articles under my own name written by agents of the CIA and other intelligence services, especially the German secret service,” Ulfkotte explained in a recent interview with Russia Today. “German Journo: European Media Writing Pro-US Stories Under CIA Pressure,” RT, October 18, 2014.
- In 1999 the CIA established In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm seeking to “identify and invest in companies developing cutting-edge information technologies that serve United States national security interests.” The firm has exercised financial relationships with internet platforms Americans use on a routine basis, including Google and Facebook. “If you want to keep up with Silicon Valley, you need to become part of Silicon Valley,” says Jim Rickards, an adviser to the U.S. intelligence community familiar with In-Q-Tel’s activities. “The best way to do that is have a budget because when you have a checkbook, everyone comes to you.” At one point IQT “catered largely to the needs of the CIA.” Today, however, “the firm supports many of the 17 agencies within the U.S. intelligence community, including the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate.” Matt Egan, “In-Q-Tel: A Glimpse Inside the CIA’s Venture Capital Arm,” FoxBusiness.com, June 14, 2013.
- At a 2012 conference held by In-Q-Tel CIA Director David Patraeus declared that the rapidly-developing “internet of things” and “smart home” will provide the CIA with the ability to spy on any US citizen should they become a “person of interest’ to the spy community,” Wired magazine reports. “‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,’ Patraeus enthused, ‘particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft’ … ‘Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing,” Patraeus said, “the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing.” Spencer Ackerman, “CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher,” Wired, March 15, 2012.
- In the summer of 2014 a $600 million computing cloud developed by Amazon Web Services for the CIA began servicing all 17 federal agencies comprising the intelligence community. “If the technology plays out as officials envision,” The Atlantic reports, “it will usher in a new era of cooperation and coordination, allowing agencies to share information and services much more easily and avoid the kind of intelligence gaps that preceded the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.” “The Details About the CIA’s Deal With Amazon,” The Atlantic, July 17, 2014.
And the objective causes of fascism "renaissance" that we observe have less to do with "revival" fantasies of ‘rebirth’ of the society in crisis, than with the failure of neoliberalism as the ideology of modern "market economies." In a way fascism is a revolutionary ‘third way’ ideology, combining elements of conservatism and socialism, anti-materialist revision of Marxism which reflects synthesis of right wing nationalism (some researchers consider fascism as the most extreme form of nationalism) and trade unionism (syndicalism). The key fascist myth of unity and national identity oppose both capitalism and socialism. It also has specific flavor due to the fantasy of ‘national rebirth’ ("Make America Great Again" is the variation on the same theme).
In this sense the events after WWII proved that the merger of government and corporate power was not accidental and proved to have a staying power. Germany, Italy and Spain, each with its own national idiosyncrasies were simply pioneers in this direction. There are strong objections of using the term "fascism" due to its historical baggage (and first of the connection to all the crimes committed by Nazi Germany in WWII), but the ideology of neofascism now experience strong Renaissance in most European countries, the USA and GB.
Critics claim that the term lost any precision and in many respects become a catchall for any kind of totalitarianism and far right policies. But this is not completely true. What is true is that ideas of national socialism recently mutated in more modern forms of "inverted totalitarism" and national security state.
There are distinct new elements in those new political structures, which were absent in the classic fascist states. Some prominent element of classic fascist state such using violence to suppress opposition are now lost relevance. Moreover the dominance of "military industrial complex" is viewed by many as a new form of fascism, which was the essence of warning of President Eisenhower.
Other critics claim that the term became useless because it lacks strict definition. I disagree with this position. Despite clear deficiency the term "neofascism capture important class of social reaction again neoliberalism in various countries and as such a legitimate political/sociological term. It does have more or less "well structured" definition which allows to distinguish it from "classic fascism" on one side and "neoliberalism" on the other. Wikipedia defines the term stressing the neofascism possesses significant elements of fascist ideology, and defining what are those significant elements as:
Neo-fascism is a post–World War II ideology that includes significant elements of fascism. Neo-fascism usually includes ultranationalism, populism, anti-immigration policies or, where relevant, nativism, anti-communism, anti-socialism, anti-Marxism, anti-anarchism, and opposition to the parliamentary system and liberal democracy. Allegations that a group is neo-fascist may be hotly contested, especially if the term is used as a political epithet.
You can see the Wikipedia authors experience difficulties with the definition. That's why they included the phases "usually" and "where relevant." So in their opinion three trait are more important then the other:
Classic fascism (as implemented in Germany by NSDAP and in Italy by Mussolini) can be viewed as a variant of ultra-nationalism which aspires to bring the renewal of a nation deeply in crisis and advocates the replacement of the corrupt liberal democracy with (supposedly temporary) authoritarian dictatorship under a strong leader with extraordinary powers (like in army).
At the same time "classic fascism" it was closely linked to the post WWI realities, especially for Germany. In many ways, Classic Fascism strongly correlates with the mental state of nation which is attacked by strong enemy, the enemy which has supporters inside the country.
But it is more then that. The distinct feature of fascism is its strong aversion to the excessive financialization of economy and banking, which fascist consider evil (in a way prosecution of Jews under Fascism was closely connected with their role in banking, not only as a repression against the ethnic group the refuses to assimilate). And this feature of national socialism now is instrumental in its revival, as financialization was the essence of neoliberalism. Which can be consider as the rule of financial oligarchy -- the same class of people against which original German fascist tried to fight, while masking it with the particular national identity, due to historical for Europe overrepresentation of Jew in financial industry.
Unlike Trotskyism and neoliberalism, fascism is always nationalistic, so attempt to equate neoliberalism and fascism is the attempt to ignore the core difference between them. That's why neofascism is on the rise due to the crisis of neoliberal globalization. It is true though, that neoliberalism carry elements of neofascism and represent a rich subtract on which neofascism can grow, because like situation after the WWI it creates mass of disenfranchised workers and small entrepreneurs, who are deprived of chances to be the valuable members of society
As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.
Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “disposable” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”.
Both have the elements of Nietzschean Ubermench philosophy imbedded in hem
If one looks at NSDAP program of 1920, one can clearly see the requisite elements of fascist social movements. Paradoxically those demands now position the US neofascists to the left of the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party, which is in the pocket of financial oligarchy and is ready to privatize Social Security and Medicare to please its Wall Street sponsors. To say nothing about Republican Party:
The 25-point Program of the NSDAP
… … …
7. We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.
8. Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.
9.All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.
10.The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:
11.Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
12.In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore, we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
13.We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
14.We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
15.We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
16.We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
17.We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
18.We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
… … …
21.The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.
22. We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.
In addition Classic Fascism typically promotes militarism and territorial or economic expansion as the way to deal with internal problems. In this sense it is indistinguishable from neoliberalism (and both have common roots in Trotskyism). Both consider violence including foreign wars a useful political tool. With neoliberalism openly advocating Trotskyite-type of "Permanent revolution" in countries the refuse to switch this social system.
Another important feature of fascism that distinguishes it from neoliberalism is that this ideology has strong suspicion the liberal democracy is just a tool for the dictate of financial oligarchy, which has all the money to buy politicians. In this sense neofascism starts when the party/movement that adhere to the fascism social program renounce violence and accepts parliamentary democracy as the "necessary evil", still striving to get to power using the election mechanisms and use for suppression of financial oligarchy, especially international investment banks and speculators like Soros. But instead of military coup d'état they accept the goal of winning the election within the constrains imposed by this model in Western states (although tremendous growth of political power of intelligence agencies, which really became "kingmakers:, and which in the core can be considered as new type of proto-fascist political parties, put important corrections into this consideration; in a way they stand in the direct opposition to the parliamentary system, like classic fascism)
In its essence any form of fascism is an attempt to simplify control of population by the elite, by "bribing" the dominant in the particular state nationality. It remains a viable right wing program for setting up a highly centralized regime with militaristic, nationalistic policies (especially external expansion, for example in the form of neoliberal empire expansion), merge of industrial and financial corporations with the government, total population control, rigid control of MSM by intelligence agencies, and "extra-judicial" methods of suppression of opposition, including McCarthyism witch hunts and "Russiagate"
In its essence any form of fascism is an attempt to simplify control of population by the elite, by "bribing" the dominant in the particular state nationality.
Neofascism essentially relax the same postulates of "classic fascism" making it more socially acceptable, but preserving the core resentment against financialization of the economy (but no longer associates it with the particular ethnic group) as well as immigration, viewing foreigners as a group which "steals" jobs and wealth from the core demographic group of the particular country.
Unlike "classic fascism", neofascism does not directly oppose to parliamentary democracy and is ready to work within parliamentary system to get to power. It does not advocate violence against political opponents as the primary means of suppressing the opposition, although it does not shut from using it when necessary or expedient.
At the same time modern technology polished the ways of suppression any opposition by other means (see Inverted Totalitarism == Managed Democracy == Neoliberalism ) so this difference is pretty superficial -- the level of spying on the population in any modern Western state is comparable with the level that existed in Germany under the rule of NSDAP.
The strongest common link is rampant militarism and exaggeration of external threat to the nation well-being (for example, the threat from Islamic terrorism), which makes it surprisingly close to the ideology of National Security State and not that different from neoliberalism (Fascism - Wikipedia ):
Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism 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.
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. 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.
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. 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. Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature, and views political violence, war, and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation. Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.
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.
In other words while classic fascism now is almost extinct, there are multiple and more viable mutations of far right nationalism (which experience renaissance due to impoverishment of population caused by neoliberal austerity) that are called by generic name of neofascism. And it proved to be highly adaptable ideology with higher survivability potential than classic Bolshevism. In almost all European countries and in the USA nationalist movements are on the rise and far right parties often enjoy success in elections. They come to power in several European states such as Poland, Ukraine, and several Baltic republics.
The most distinct feature of this set of political movements is obsessive preoccupation with militarism, community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood (Nation under attack meme) and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and the idea of national rejuvenation (as reflected in "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) slogan, although it originated in the Paleoconservatism movement which is not connected to fascist ideology of any kind).
After all, the concept of national rejuvenation after a deep economic/political crisis historically was one of the key reasons classic fascist regimes of the last century came to power. Both Mussolini and then Hitler espoused citizens’ duty to recover their respective nations ancient strength and glory from the situation of deep decline after the defeat in the WWI and reparations imposed. Both fought with valor in WWI.
The key question for particular country is:
"Do the country has an organized, committed nationalistic (please note that "exceptionalism" is a form of nationalism) militants, in alliance with traditional elites, who are ready to use extra-judicial methods (not necessary violence) with minimal legal restrains for internal cleansing of the society and external expansion?".
Without far right nationalists organized in military fashion as was the case in Ukraine it is difficult to classify a movement which adheres to those ideas and is as a fascist movement. But it can well be neofascist. The readiness to go to extra-legal means is the key distinction between neofascism (and any far right nationalism) and regular nationalism (which essentially adhere to "law and order" paradigm).
Both "Regular" nationalism, "national neoliberalism" followers (Trumpism) and economic nationalists still are adhering to the existing legal framework and fights for their ideas on election booth. Fascists cross this boundary (and that's why they often are called far-right). They despise traditional dual law enforcement (one for elite and one for common people) and oligarchic democracy (the democracy for only top 1% or less of population) and think that authoritarian model is preferable to the existing level of corruption in legal system as well as harsh punishment for transgression (not understanding that while the existing "far from being perfect" legal system might be eliminated, both injustice in the form of preferential treatment of the elite (which essentially is above the law) and corruption will remain; just the composition of the elite changes)
Another important distinction is presence of elements of social democratic requirements, requirements for social justice in their program: neofascists movements typically are more pro-middle class and, at least partially, pro working class then far right movements. One litmus test is the level of animosity toward financial oligarchy and "unearned" income. This is the key distinction of neofascism and "national neoliberalism" (Trumpism). Unlike neoliberals, which hare many trials with fascism and neofascism they view sovereignty of the nation as an "ultimate good" that need to be preserved and defended.
They are also anti-elite, and anti multinational corporations and transnational organizations like NAFTA or WTO. And especially against transnational financial oligarchy (in Nazism that degenerated into anti-Semitism as the percentage of Jews among top levels of financial oligarchy was always very high, but it is not necessary for a fascist movement to be anti-Semitic per se; other nationalities can serve as scapegoats).
Like classic economics, a typical neofascist movement distinguished between "earned" and "unearned" income and consider the later a sign of parasitism and decadence of the society. NSDAP program of 1920 explicitly stated
"Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery."
Without this point we can talk only about for-right nationalism or in case of "economic nationalism" and "national neoliberalism" (neoliberalism without globalization as to a certain extent professed by Trump administration).
The idea of Lebensraum - Wikipedia is inherent of fascist movements but typically is absent or is suppressed of neo-fascism movements: .
The German concept of Lebensraum (German pronunciation: [ˈleːbənsˌʁaʊm] "living space") comprises policies and practices of settler colonialism which proliferated in Germany from the 1890s to the 1940s. First popularized around 1901, Lebensraum became a geopolitical goal of Imperial Germany in World War I (1914–1918) originally, as the core element of the Septemberprogramm of territorial expansion. The most extreme form of this ideology was supported by the Nazi Party (NSDAP) and Nazi Germany until the end of World War II.
And as far as external expansion goes, neoliberalism can definitely viewed as a form of neofascism ("Permanent War for Permanent Peace"), so there is a strong connection between neoliberalism and neofascism in foreign policy area and for this reason neoconservatism should probably be viewed as a modern flavor of neofascism. See Professor Andrew Bacevich excellent book Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War
But, in reality it is not, even if it is used as a synonym of "far right nationalism", because most modern far right nationalism movement borrow key ideas of the three classic fascist regimes -- Mussolini in Italy, Nazism in Germany and Fracoism (falangism) in Spain. New is often well forgotten old. As Robert O. Paxton noted in his essay "The Five Stages of Fascism":
We cannot give up in the face of these difficulties. A real phenomenon exists. Indeed, fascism is the most original political novelty of the twentieth century, no less. ... If we cannot examine fascism synthetically, we risk being unable to understand this century, or the next.
We must have a word, and for lack of a better one, we must employ the word that Mussolini borrowed from the vocabulary of the Italian Left in 1919, before his movement had assumed its mature form. Obliged to use the term fascism, we ought to use it well.
Similarly there is a right for existence of the term neofascism, which is general denotes more aggressive and violent forms of far right nationalism, but at the same time expressing interests of lower middle and working class and having strong anti financial oligarchy sentiments (for example, distinguishing between earned and unearned income (rent)). This is a set of trends and far right political movements now observable in many countries which experienced neoliberal austerity, especially in Europe.
Like fascism and neoliberalism, in no way neofascism is a coherent ideology. It is often self-contradicting and contains mutually exclusive elements. That are several sometimes conflicting types of neofascism in modern societies:
Neofascism ideology is pretty fuzzy and flexible (remember that allies of Nazi Germany in WWII were Japanese, which were as far from Arian ethno type as we can get; while Nazi were adamantly anti-Slav, which represents very similar to Arian ethnic type).
All-in-all it represents a popular and rising in importance on the political scene post–World War II ideology, which proved to be more enduring and popular then the communist ideology. It well coexists with neoliberalism (and can be completely merged with it as in Chile under Pinochet). While "excesses" of classical fascism are rejected it still has the key elements of "national socialism" in the form of "socialism for 1%", if you wish.
There are multiple similar terms, such as military-industrial complex (neoconservatives can be viewed as lobbyists of military industrial complex, and as such neofascist at least in foreign policy strategy and goals), predator state, national security state, etc which essentially describe the same phenomenon, stressing different aspects of it.
While still adhering to the core postulates of fascism, neofascism is very flexible and thus more difficult to define precisely. It relies on achievement of modern technologies and first of all new possibility of surveillance. Neofascism replace physical suppression of internal opposition with MSM control (the situation which already is fully achieved in neoliberal societies). Opposition is simply pushed out of mainstream media into alternative media and ignored, but not physically suppressed.
Along with computers and communication technologies, other technological achievement plays in neofascism favor as well. for example war against weaker opponents now can be conducted with much less casualties and most via technological supremacy on the battlefield.
Similar the idea of racial/ethnic purity can be replaced by cultural "belonging", by rejection of speakers of alternative languages (and culture) in particular country. It can be Spanish in the USA, or Russian in Ukraine.
Neo-fascism also deploy more sophisticated forms of identity politics, than classic fascism. And it less oriented on open violence. Neo-fascists often reject ethnic-based identity policies replacing "ethnic nationalism" with the "cultural nationalism" based solely on the language and culture identifies.
Similar, the idea of one party rule system present in classic fascism can be replaced with two party system, producing the same effect and allowing to preserve parliamentary democracy, while achieving basically the same goals as one party system as both party candidates are selected by non-elected party functionaries, be it the "Deep state" in the form o intelligence agencies control of elections, or the "party elite", or some mixture of the two.
Mass authoritarian, far right party can now be replaced by personnel of intelligence agencies which serve the same purpose with intelligence agencies brass becoming political leaders of the movement, much like Nazi bonzes in the past.
Look how close to basic tenets of neofascism (if we assume that Arian nation is limited to financial, government and corporate oligarchy) is what James K Galbraith called the predator state (from the review by Thomas I Palley of the book in Asia Times Online, Aug 22, 2008):
Economist Jamie K Galbraith's recent book  describes modern (Bush-Cheney) Republicanism as creating a "predator state". Its predatory aspects are starkly visible in the gangs of corporate lobbyists who roam Washington DC, the Halliburton Iraq war procurement scandal and the corruption and incompetence that surrounded the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.
However, the broad concept of a predator state needs qualification as we are really talking of an "American corporate" predator state. Thus, the predatory nature of contemporary US governance is quintessentially linked to corporations, and it is also a uniquely American phenomenon.
Kleptocratic predator states, such as Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe or Sese Seko Mobutu's Zaire in Africa, are fundamentally different. There is no equivalent in Europe, and none in East Asia where ruling elites have a sense of obligation to the nation even as they often enrich themselves illicitly. Nor is there an equivalent in Latin America because government there never reached an economic size proportional to that of government in the US.
It is important to understand the social origins of the American corporate predator state because understanding is a necessary part of developing responses for caging the predators and replacing them with another, better, order. Those origins clearly trace back to the military-industrial complex that president Dwight Eisenhower warned about in his final televised address to the nation on January 17, 1961.
That complex has captured politics and corrupted the business of government, including of course the conduct of national security policy. The fact that it has wrapped itself with the flag makes it impossible to confront without being charged as unpatriotic. Worst yet, its enormous enduring profitability has provided a model for imitation by other industrial complexes like Big Pharma and Big Oil.
The political success of these predators is clearly linked to money's role in politics. Money gives the power to buy the political process, and that power is defended by a gospel of free speech that takes no account of the fact that out-shouting someone is qualitatively equivalent to silencing them. Economics also comes to money's defense with its absurd myth of a market for ideas in which participants compete on a level playing field and truth is effortlessly sorted from error.
The American worship of business and businessmen, which Sinclair Lewis (Babbitt, 1922) wrote about long ago, also plays a role. This worship privileges business over thought and other activities, and is behind the dismissive sneer "if you're so smart, how come you're not rich?" As a result, Americans are all too willing to hand over their government to business predators. Today, it is in Goldman Sachs we trust.
Another feature of business worship is a tendency to conflate profit with free markets. That means the distinction between fair competition (which is good) and fat profits (which are bad) is lost, thereby providing cover for predators.
Lastly, there is the legacy of the Cold War which contributed to economic dumbing-down and suppression of awareness of class and class conflict. This suppression was seen as necessary for blunting the dangerous appeal of Soviet communism, but a consequence was to create blindness to the predators in our midst.
All of this reveals a deep deficit in America's social and economic understanding (some deficits really do matter). And as long as this deficit remains, the predators will have a starting-gate advantage in the game of political persuasion.
Yet, how to close the deficit and insert another understanding is an enormous challenge. There are deep institutional obstructions in the academy, the media, and the Democratic Party. Moreover, raising these issues may create unsettling cognitive dissonance that pushes voters into denial and a closer embrace of the predators.
In effect, there is a paradox to be solved. Lasting progressive political victory requires transforming understanding, but the immediate political incentives are aligned to discourage engagement with such a project.
Note: The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too, by James K Galbraith, Free Press, 2008.
Thomas I Palley is the founder of the Economics for Democratic and Open Societies Project.
Fascism is not a uniform doctrine. From the very beginning there were different flavors of it. In this sense attempt to distill key features of such regimes are difficult and non-rewarding task because fascism was always a national not universal (like Marxism) phenomenon. Such attempts as Arendt's leave much to be desired. Even within a single country there can be several competing version of fascism. They can be even hostile to such an extent that the supporters of one of fascism movement strive to completely destroy the supporters of the other.
Since 30-ies of XX century, there were four "classic" flavors of fascism: Italian fascism, Nazism, and Spanish Francoism(falangism) and (mostly Latin American) "induced fascism" régimes. All "classic" versions rely on mass political movement of the "middle class" making a claim to political power -- to the detriment of the traditional elites and "working classes". They were mildly hostile to monopolies and, sometimes, to financial oligarchy. For example, Nazi decried "unearned income" -- rentier capitalism. All those regimes were revolutionary in a sense that they accepted violence as the legitimate political tool in the struggle to get to power.
But even within them there are multiple and significant differences both in social base and proclaimed goals:
Mussolini started his political career as socialist and at one time was the editor of Avanti While associated with socialism, Mussolini's writings after 1913 indicated that he had abandoned Marxism and egalitarianism in favor of Nietzsche's übermensch concept and anti-egalitarianism. After being ousted by the Italian Socialist Party for his support of Italian intervention in 1914, Mussolini made a radical transformation, ending his support for class conflict and joining in support of revolutionary nationalism transcending class lines. Mussolini got his start in politics with the help of a £100 weekly wage (the equivalent of £6000 as of 2009) from the British security service MI5, to keep anti-war protestors at home and to publish pro-war propaganda.
After coming to power after "March on Rome" (27 and 28 October 1922), Mussolini start removing most of the political opposition
using secret police and by outlawing labor strikes. Power was consolidated by converting Italian state into
one party dictatorship through a series of laws. Mussolini enjoyed a wide support in the military and among the industrial and agrarian
elites. Mussolini was also supported by Catholic church. He later initiated an aggressive expansion (limited to Mediterranean region);
But all in all Italian fascism (many of who were former socialists, including Mussolini himself) were not hell bent on racial purity.
They simply viewed their "revolution" as a preventive act - to prevent the "bolshevisation" of Italy; In the merger of the state
and the party the state was probably more dominant then the party. Nazism based was the urban "middle class" and first of
all small business owners; it has strong redistributive component and strives to rebuild the German state as a hierarchical technocratic
military industrial complex (country as a giant military factory); it was supported by a large part of industrialists, by German
military brass. It at least partially rejected religion replacing it with a specific flavor of "pan-German" mysticism, and the drive
for racial purity; its goal was a rapid modernization of the country after the crushing defeat in WWI. It put the state in the subordination
of the party, while like Bolshevism by-and-large merging the Party and the state.
In its racial categorization, Nazism viewed what it called the Aryan race as the master race of the world—a race that was superior to all other races. It viewed Aryans as being in racial conflict with a mixed race people, the Jews, whom Nazis identified as a dangerous enemy of the Aryans. It also viewed a number of other peoples as dangerous to the well-being of the Aryan race. In order to preserve the perceived racial purity of the Aryan race, a set of race laws were introduced in 1935 which came to be known as the Nuremberg Laws. At first these laws only prevented sexual relations and marriages between Germans and Jews, but were later extended to the "Gypsies, Negroes, and their bastard offspring", who were described by the Nazis as people of "alien blood".
Like Italian fascism Nazism rejected the Marxist concept of class struggle, but supported the idea of "class struggle between nations", and sought to resolve internal class struggle in the nation while it identified Germany as a proletarian nation fighting against plutocratic nations. The Nazi Party had many working-class supporters and members, but its strongest appeal was to the middle class, especially small business owners. The financial collapse of the white collar middle-class of the 1920s also led to their strong support of Nazism. The Nazi Party Programme of 1920 guaranteed freedom for all religious denominations not hostile to the State and endorsed Positive Christianity to combat “the Jewish-materialist spirit” (read Marxism). The Nazis were initially highly hostile to Catholics. In 1933, extensive Nazi violence occurred against Catholics due to their association with the Centre Party and their opposition to the Nazi regime's sterilization laws. At the same time in propaganda, the Nazis used elements of Germany's Catholic history, in particular the German Catholic Teutonic Knights and their campaigns in Eastern Europe. The Nazis identified them as "sentinels" in the East against "Slavic chaos".
While Nazis benefitted from the first post-Depression economic upswing, their public works projects, job-procurement program, and subsidized home repair program reduced unemployment by as much as 40% in one year, a development which tempered the unfavorable psychological climate caused by the earlier economic crisis and encouraged Germans to support the regime. march in step with the regime. The Nazis also promised "progressive" social policies like a national labor service, state-provided health care, guaranteed pensions, and an agrarian settlement program.
The Nazis sought to gain support of workers by declaring May Day, a day celebrated by organized labor, to be a paid holiday and held celebrations on 1 May 1933 to honor German workers. Nazi were strongly against "non earned" income and financial sector in general which they considered to be parasitic.
The Nazis argued that capitalism damages nations due to international finance, the economic dominance of big business, and
Jewish influences. Nazi propaganda posters in working class districts emphasized anti-capitalism, such as one that said:
"The maintenance of a rotten industrial system has nothing to do with nationalism. I can love Germany and hate capitalism. Adolf
Hitler, both in public and in private, expressed disdain for capitalism, arguing that it holds nations ransom in the interests of
a parasitic cosmopolitan rentier class. He opposed free market capitalism's profit-seeking impulses and desired an economy
in which community interests would be protected. Hitler told a party leader in 1934, "The economic system of our day is the creation
of the Jews." On other occasion he said to Benito Mussolini that capitalism had "run its course". Hitler also said that the business
bourgeoisie "know nothing except their profit. 'Fatherland' is only a word for them." Hitler was personally disgusted with
the ruling bourgeois elites of Germany during the period of the Weimar Republic, who he referred to as "cowardly shits". A
number of other Nazis held even more strong revolutionary socialist and anti-capitalist beliefs, most prominently Ernst Röhm, the
leader of the Sturmabteilung. Another radical Nazi, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels had stressed the socialist character of Nazism,
and claimed in his diary in the 1920s that if he were to pick between Bolshevism and capitalism, he said "in final analysis", "it
would be better for us to go down with Bolshevism than live in eternal slavery under capitalism."
Because "induced" fascism was highly depended on a "democratic metropolis" it is often observed in varying degrees of "democratic decorum": there was a Parliament, multiparty system and periodic "elections". Of course, it was to a greater or lesser extent a sham (in Paraguay during the Stroessner the question of "cohabitation" of fascism with parliamentary democracy was solved simply and elegantly: in the country has a military regime, except for one day - election day).
In order to facilitate the creation of regimes "induced fascism" in third world countries the army, police and intelligence services have turned into some kind of fascist parties without the parties themselves and Nazi ideology became part of indoctrination in those organizations. In hindsight, after the military coup in Chile, it became clear that the diehard fascists in the Chilean army were much father to the right then the "civilian" fascist organizations in Chile. Same thing became clear in hindsight in relation to the Brazilian police and military counterintelligence.
"Induced" fascism represent a bridge between parliamentary democracies and the right-wing authoritarian (aka totalitarism) regimes, movements and doctrines, "blurring" the concept of fascism and making it "more acceptable" to liberals. So, the regime of Somoza in Nicaragua planted by the USA, ideologically was close to European fascism, and even helped the Uruguayan fascists to prepare their coup - and at the same time acted as a strategic US ally in the region and was formally at war with the "Axis powers".
In Europe, the first case of "induced" fascism was a post-war pro-British regime in Greece, where after the liberation of the country from German troops the civil war started. The British labor party denounced Churchill for his support in Greece "monarchist fascists" and "Nazi collaborators", but when they came in 1945 to power, themselves supported by the same "monarch-fascist" and "Nazi collaborators".
The political views of the "new right" coincided with the views of practitioners of neoliberalism in the era of Reaganomics and Thatcherism. Not by chance the Pinochet regime (a classic example of "induced, puppet fascism") is characterized as "Militant Thatcherism". Even the fundamental views publicly expressed by Thatcher and Pinochet, were often identical (e.g., he and the other refused to recognize the existence of society - which was, in fact, merely a repetition of the doctrine of Italian fascism). What parties and movements, connecting the idea of "new right" has achieved in recent years greater success in elections in Western Europe: the national front of Le Pen in France, the party of P. Fortuyn in the Netherlands, the freedom Party. Haider in Austria, etc. (revealing, incidentally, that the Freedom Party is included in the Liberal international!).
Other cases pre-war neofascism was monarchist far right regimes developed in countries of Eastern Europe. Rapid inclusion of these parties and regimes in the orbit of Italian and German influences have masked their identity, on the one hand, and did not allow them to develop into independent phenomenon.
There can me multiple fascism movements in the same country. In France before the war all three classic brand of fascism were well represented: French version of the Italian fascism ("francism", etc.), the French version of Nazism (French people's party, etc.), the French version of francoism ("capulary") and, finally, the original aristocratic elitist fascism "action française", close to the monarchist-fascism. Sometimes the supporters of the different flavors of fascism fight with each other. In Austria supporters of Italian fascism came to power in February 1934, but in July, the Nazis organized a putsch and killed Chancellor E. Dollfuss, and ended the fight by smashing austrofascism and initiating the Anschluss. In Hungary, the supporters of Italian fascism - hungarista led by Admiral Horthy was overthrown in 1944 by the Hungarian Nazis movement headed by Salashi. In Romania, the confrontation between supporters of Italian fascism and Nazism - "seleniumselenium", "jeleznovodask", Antonescu and Horia SIMA - has resulted in mutual mass terror .
After World war II the Western ruling elite has never repeated his pre-war mistakes and understood that fascism is a tricky bet in the fight against social revolution. So it was relegated as a tool for countries "About which we do not care" They understood that such a movement as "classical" fascism or other extremist movements of "middle class" easily get out of control. All post-war fascist regimes relied on mass movements. Such movements were outlawed in most Western countries.
As neofascism has a lot of common features with far right nationalism it is very difficult to say when one ends and another starts. Those terms can be used as synonyms, but I would suggest that neofascism is a specific flavor of far right nationalism that has anti-financial oligarchy bent. It is a more "socialist" version of far right nationalism and always was.
So far right nationalism a more generic term then neofascism: all neofascists are far right nationalists, but the reverse is not true.
Neofascism is more narrow concept that emphasizes/defines more features of the movement then far right nationalism. Typically neofascism movements are a more radical, more anti-democratic, more statist than an "average" far right nationalism movements. And their flavor of militaristic bent includes the idea of expanding the "living space"/empire for the particular nation (or country) by promoting rampant militarism (which also serves as a tool to "unify" the nation and suppress dissent). Like for example neoconservatives in the USA. Also neofascism has a certain flavor of "victimhood" which far right nationalism does not necessary possesses.
What is clear that there is a much larger political space for far right nationalist movements then for neofascist movements in modern societies. The backlash against neoliberal globalization now mainly take the form of far right nationalism, but not necessarily neo-fascism: many such far right movement are completely devoid of the hostility to financial oligarchy and unearned income.
So it's given that far right movements and their more specific case -- neofascism -- have many common features, many similarities:
A perception is manufactured that opposition to the power elite is tantamount to an attack on religion.
But there are some important differences.
Griffin, who is a professor of history and political theory at Oxford Brookes University, puts it best: "You can be a total
xenophobic racist male chauvinist bastard and still not be a fascist." For example, as long as Trump does not advocate the abolition
of America's democratic institutions and constitution, and their replacement by some sort of national security state, he, at least
technically, is not a fascist or neofascist. But at the same time calling the current political system corrupt and exaggerating the
level of the degradation of the US society as well as pushing for its "renewal" ("Make America great again" slogan) might still
qualify him as a neofascist.
Like communists, classic fascists promote violence as a legitimate political tool, but this is less true about neofascist. Classic fascism, Payne says, requires
"a philosophical valuing of violence, of Sorelian violence. [Fascists believe] that violence is really good for you, that it's the sort of thing that makes you a vital, alive, dedicated person, that it creates commitment. Fascism makes violence not just a political strategy, but also a philosophical principle. For fascists "war is the health of the nation".
That's mentality is unique to fascism. This feature is reduced and subdued in neofascism, but still is present.
Classic fascism also has some anti-clerical bent and typically promotes a specific secular, "political religion" in which the nation is considered a real, living, and yet sacred thing to be revered and protected, instead of traditional religion. This goes well beyond typical far right nationalism views on religion. Far right nationalists more commonly promote an existing religion (Vox). But those two trends can happily co-exists.
The idea of rejuvenation of the nation also is typical for both. But look more closely at the way Trump talks about rejuvenating America:
- "I will build the finest and most modern veterans hospitals in the world."
- "This lower rate makes corporate inversions unnecessary by making America’s tax rate one of the best in the world."
- "Our highspeed Internet access is only 16th best in the world … The World Economic Forum ranks the US infrastructure as only the 12th best in the world."
These statements are much closer to the "I want my soccer team to win" version of patriotism — and much more concerned with the qualities of Donald Trump as the leader, than America the nation.
Neoliberal MSM brainwash people running a campaign hypertrophied dehumanization of Untermensch. Essentially this campaign is directed toward conditioning people to view "lower classes" as a category of cattle, much like in slavery. This tendency of "blaming poor" is definitely a defining trend of modern day US neoliberalism. And that's as close to fascism as one can get. Redefinition of poverty as inferiority is clearly a neofascism element in the neoliberal societies.
Socialism in national socialism exists only for Ubermensch. And for them (and for them only) it does contain almost all major socialist elements. This is undeniable if we analyze the NSDAP Party program announced by Hitler on February 20, 1920. It is also important to remember that some fascists leaders, such as Benito Mussolini (who previously was the editor in chief of Avate), previously were prominent figures in the social-democratic movement (Wikipedia)
The National Socialist Programme (aka the 25-point Programme and the 25-point Plan) was the party program of the National Socialist German Workers' Party. Originally the name of the party was the German Workers' Party (DAP) but on the same day of the announced party program it was renamed the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei), headed by Adolf Hitler. Hitler announced the party's program on 24 February 1920 in front of around 2000 people in the Munich Festsaal of the Hofbräuhaus. The National Socialist Program originated at a DAP congress in Vienna, then was taken to Munich, by the civil engineer and theoretician Rudolf Jung, who, having explicitly supported Hitler, had been expelled from Czechoslovakia, because of his political agitation.
... ... ...
- We demand the unification of all Germans in the Greater Germany on the basis of the people's right to self-determination.
- We demand equality of rights for the German people in respect to the other nations; abrogation of the peace treaties of Versailles and St. Germain.
- We demand land and territory (colonies) for the sustenance of our people, and colonization for our surplus population.
- Only a member of the race can be a citizen. A member of the race can only be one who is of German blood, without consideration of creed. Consequently no Jew can be a member of the race.
- Whoever has no citizenship is to be able to live in Germany only as a guest, and must be under the authority of legislation for foreigners.
- The right to determine matters concerning administration and law belongs only to the citizen. Therefore we demand that every public office, of any sort whatsoever, whether in the Reich, the county or municipality, be filled only by citizens. We combat the corrupting parliamentary economy, office-holding only according to party inclinations without consideration of character or abilities.
- We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.
- Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.
- All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.
- The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently we demand:
- Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
- In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
- We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
- We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
- We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
- We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
- We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
- We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
- We demand substitution of a German common law in place of the Roman Law serving a materialistic world-order.
- The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions. The plans of instruction of all educational institutions are to conform with the experiences of practical life. The comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school [Staatsbürgerkunde] as early as the beginning of understanding. We demand the education at the expense of the State of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.
- The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.
- We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.
- We demand legal opposition to known lies and their promulgation through the press. In order to enable the provision of a German press, we demand, that: a. All writers and employees of the newspapers appearing in the German language be members of the race; b. Non-German newspapers be required to have the express permission of the State to be published. They may not be printed in the German language; c. Non-Germans are forbidden by law any financial interest in German publications, or any influence on them, and as punishment for violations the closing of such a publication as well as the immediate expulsion from the Reich of the non-German concerned. Publications which are counter to the general good are to be forbidden. We demand legal prosecution of artistic and literary forms which exert a destructive influence on our national life, and the closure of organizations opposing the above made demands.
- We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: The good of the state before the good of the individual.
- For the execution of all of this we demand the formation of a strong central power in the Reich. Unlimited authority of the central parliament over the whole Reich and its organizations in general. The forming of state and profession chambers for the execution of the laws made by the Reich within the various states of the confederation. The leaders of the Party promise, if necessary by sacrificing their own lives, to support by the execution of the points set forth above without consideration.
Neoliberalism demonstrate the resurgence of classic fascism tendencies with the sharp division between upper class (Ubermensch) and lower class, "inferior people" (Untermensch) and the associated cult of violence. Although in new slightly more moderate form, but with the same set of core ideas and principles.
In neofascism unrestricted violence, terror against "inferior people" is subdued. As the criteria nationality is often (but not completely) replaced with culture and especially the national language (language nationalism) and is directed almost exclusively to foreigners, immigrants and national minorities who continue to use "wrong" language because it is their mother tongue (for example, Russians in case of Far Right Forces in Ukraine).
In neoliberalism nationality is replaced by "creative abilities", which are understood as the ability of capital accumulation and self-enrichment. In cultural variant of neofascism the language and culture replace the race as a defining point of "belonging", and the key distinction between "Arian race" and Untermensch. Replacement of nationality with the cultural identity makes it closer to ultra-right republicanism as exists in the USA. It is also clearly visible in Ukrainian far right movement:
But all-in-all neofascism remains just a mutation of classic fascist ideology (yuricareport.com):
Call it Pseudo Fascism. Or, if you like, Fascism Lite. Happy-Face Fascism. Postmodern Fascism. But there is little doubt anymore why the shape of the "conservative movement” in the 21st century is so familiar and disturbing: Its architecture, its entire structure, has morphed into a not-so-faint hologram of 20th-century fascism.
...Unlike the genuine article, it presents itself under a normative, rather than a revolutionary, guise; and rather than openly exulting in violence, it pays lip service to law and order. Moreover, even in the areas where it resembles real fascism, the similarities are often more familial than exact. It is, in essence, less virulent and less violent, and thus more likely to gain broad acceptance within a longtime stable democratic system like that of the United States.
It is important to understand that neofascism inherited the major traits of fascism connected with creating a scapegoat nationality or anti-immigration sentiments, often induced by actual misbehavior of immigrants (such a rapes, beating of people by criminal gangs, etc) or large influx of immigrant from other nation in economic crisis (Immigrants in Europe, Russia, to lesser extent in other "countries of immigrants" such as USA, Australia, Canada, etc). At certain stages it can actually "return to the roots" and adopt violence as the key form of dealing with the opponents (see EuroMaidan )
The key element of any flavor of fascist ideology is rejection of liberalism and opposition to the parliamentary system and liberal democracy (and implicitly to the rule of law). It is the cult of "strong hand" the makes it similar to authoritarism. While officially neofascists parties no longer endorses violence as a chief means to silence the opposition, they often resort to it as a temporary mean to achieve their goals, and, especially, to come to power.
Allegations that a group is neofascist are typically hotly contested, especially if the term is used as a political epithet.
neofascism can be viewed as one of the forms of the "revolt of the elite", a mutation of corporatism that invariably emerges during acute economic crises and related loss of profitability of many businesses. While cannon fodder of neofascism are small business owners, the puppeteers always are large business owners and, especially, financial oligarchy and oligarchy connected to military-industrial complex. For the latter neofascism is an ideal regime.
That's why right now proto-fascist and neofascist groups and sentiments are on the rise in many countries including, but not limited USA, France, Germany, Holland, Russia, Poland, Greece, Ukraine, Hungary, Finland, Norway. In many cases neofascist parties such as Ukrainian Svoboda get enough votes to be represented in national parliaments (algemeiner.com/2013/05/24):
In Ukraine, the noisiest anti-Semitic group is the Svoboda ( "Freedom”) party. Established in 1991 as the "Social-National Party of Ukraine” under the SS-era symbol of the Wolfsangel. In 2004, with new leader Oleh Tyahnybok, the party renamed itself and adopted innocuous symbols.
That, however, didn’t change the Nazi characteristic of the party. Tyahnybok himself has stated on several occasions that the "Moscow-Jewish mafia” is running Ukraine. Other prominent party members have often used the derogatory, anti Jewish slur ”zhid”, including against Ukrainian-born American actress Mila Kunis, suggesting she was not a "real” Ukrainian because of her Jewish heritage.
Svoboda supporters include among their heroes leaders of pro-Nazi World War II organizations known for their atrocities against Jews and Poles, such as the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and the 14th Waffen-SS Galicia Division. (To Svoboda’s vocal displeasure, Poland’s parliament recently introduced a resolution condemning the OUN and the UPA for wartime massacres of Polish civilians.)
Here is another telling video:
Skinheads is also a prominent phenomenon which is typical for many European countries. They are definitely part of neofascism movement. This rage is directed toward immigrants. Torch processions borrowed from classic fascism now became common in many countries (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20929755)
7 January 2013 Last updated at 01:38 ET Help
A sudden rise in popularity of Ukraine's ultra-nationalist party, Svoboda, has caused concern both inside and outside the country.
Svoboda, which means "freedom" in Ukrainian, is allied with European far-right parties. But many observers warn that its views are extremist.
David Stern reports from Kiev.
Also popular are typical for classic fascism physical violence such as street fights with opponents. A new element is that now it can happen during football matches like recently in Poland: video was removed by Youtube
While neofascism is anti-democratic, anti-liberal, and corporatist, unlike classic fascism which openly declared itself as such, they deployed as thick smoke screen of propaganda to present itself in completely different light. The destruction of meaning by creating "empty phrases" combining opposite ideas has, as we have seen, become a prominent strategy deployed by the conservative movement.]
Another key element of neofascism is "vast, systemic, blanket collection of the personal data of innocent people." It often covered with a fig leaf of "fight against terrorism". DW.DE 09.01.2014
Like classic fascism neofascism remains rabidly anti-socialist. Actually socialists and communists, let's not forget, were among the first people imprisoned and "liquidated" by the Nazi regime.
Early on during the first term of the Bush presidency many progressives characterized Bush's statements and actions as "neofascist". It is also true that Bush II has some neofascist baggage, as Bush family did has some ties with fascist regimes in the past and the U.S. government found that Bush's grandfather had illegally aided the Nazis during the 30's. It's true that regime of Bush II has some neofascist leanings. It definitely introduced into public discourse and tried to implement in practice several elements of neofascist ideology. Some of them with some interesting innovations. For example, unlike classic fascism instead of mass mobilization Bush government preferred political passivity as prescribed by Inverted Totalitarism doctrine ("go shopping" was his famous recommendation after 9/11).
But full development of neofascist ideas and forming a popular party is impossible without acute economic distress
or political crisis (like the one in Ukraine) and a real economic crisis arrived only at the end of Bush Presidency (2008). So paradoxically the major implementer of Bush neofascist ideas and first of all the idea of total surveillance was the regime of Barack Obama. With a tea-party being a close proxy of radical neofascist parties in Eastern Europe. There is distinct racial element in it. Nobody will try to disprove the claim that it has mainly white middle class composition. And like European radical parties of neofascist orientation it endorses violence to achieve its goals. See Tea Party and right wing rage
But even if we assume that 9/11 was a false flag operation that is reminiscent of Reichstag Fire generally the USA neofascist elements were innovatively mixed with the ideas from the theoretical model called Inverted Totalitarism. Direct violence toward opponents never materialized. Just the pre-existing process of the conversion of the USA into National Security State dramatically increased. Now we know more about the new role assigned to NSA during this period.
American exeptionalism ideas promoted by Bush administration clearly resonate with the proto-fascist "... uber alles" ideas. The unique feature here is that they were integrated into the framework of globalist neoliberal regime. So it's more like "top 1% uber alles" then "The USA uber alles" ;-).
It should be stressed that some of the ideas inherent in neofascist doctrine are integral part of European culture. As Paxton describes them (Robert O. Paxton, "The Five Stages of Fascism," The Journal of Modern History 70 (March 1998): pp. 3-5.) in the following way:
...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:
- The primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether universal or individual.
- 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.
- Dread of the group's decadence under the corrosive effect of individualistic and cosmopolitan [neoliberalism.
- 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.
- An enhanced sense of identity and belonging, in which the grandeur of the group reinforces individual self-esteem.
- Authority of natural leaders (always male) throughout society, culminating in a national chieftain who alone is capable of incarnating the group's destiny.
- The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group's success in a Darwinian struggle.
Paxton's list makes easier to identify typical "passions" which are at play in proto-fascist environment, particularly during the debate over the Iraq war and the attacks on dissenters that occurred during it (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.
In 2002, Laurence W. Britt's Fascism Anyone? analyzed seven fascist regimes in order to find the common features that constitute "generic fascism". He selected the following regimes: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco's Spain, Salazar's Portugal, Papadopoulos's Greece, Pinochet's Chile, and Suharto's Indonesia. He found 14 common characteristics (reprinted below, with 6 additions by Umberto Eco) and concluded:
"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."
We think "maybe not." It's just a matter of degree. There is an ongoing transformation of the US in this particular direction.
It is difficult to tell when far right nationalistic group get brown color. Litmus text is the creation of paramilitary group (death squads, stormtroopers, etc) for repression of opponents and adoption of terror as a legitimate methods of struggle for power. Those paramilitary group exists outside law, the key interpreter of which became the party not the counts. Another telling sign is the creation of concentration camps.
Here are six more characteristics found in Umberto Eco's "Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt," from New York Review of Books, 22 June 1995, pp.12-15.
Both Eastern and Western Europe are experiencing a new and important cultural and political development: the appearance of a new breed, new generation, of far right, extremist movements. These are some indications of the emergence of a new, emerging political forces in Europe which emerged as a reaction to neoliberalism with its dominance of globalized banking. That lead to paradoxical situation when many of Le Pen's votes come from former Red strongholds. In other word like in 20th and 30th the working class is, for very understandable reasons, is turning to nationalism as an antidote to casino capitalism enforced by the USA. So the USA neoliberal empire is the main precondition for resurgence As Slavoj Žižek noted:
The Ukrainian nationalist right is one instance of what is going on today from the Balkans to Scandinavia, from the US to Israel, from central Africa to India: ethnic and religious passions are exploding, and Enlightenment values receding.
These passions have always been there, lurking; what’s new is the outright shamelessness of their display.
... ... ...
One of the signs of this regression is a request often heard on the new European right for a more "balanced" view of the two "extremisms", the right and the left. We are repeatedly told that one should treat the extreme left (communism) the same way that Europe after the second world war treated the extreme right (the defeated fascists)
But in reality there is no balance here: the equation of fascism and communism secretly privileges fascism. Thus the right are heard to argue that fascism copied communism: before becoming a fascist, Mussolini was a socialist; Hitler, too, was a National Socialist; concentration camps and genocidal violence were features of the Soviet Union a decade before Nazis resorted to them; the annihilation of the Jews has a clear precedent in the annihilation of the class enemy, etc.
The point of these arguments is to assert that a moderate fascism was a justified response to the communist threat (a point made long ago by Ernst Nolte in his defence of Heidegger’s involvement with Nazism). In Slovenia, the right is advocating the rehabilitation of the anti-communist Home Guard which fought the partisans during the second world war: they made the difficult choice to collaborate with the Nazis in order to thwart the much greater evil of communism.
Among other condition that favor resurgence of such groups we can name such features of neoliberal regimes, what now dominate the continent as demographic pressures from immigrant labor, social dislocation due to dismantling of social security state, and economic pressures inherent in "dog eat dog" capitalism and outsourcing to lower wage countries advocated by neoliberalism. In many ways neoliberalism represents a perfect environment for nurturing neofascist movements.
Those pressures are very similar to pressures which used to exist in 20th and 30th of the last century. As before they stimulate the formation of a new generation of far right movements whose motives and characteristics while somewhat differ from the right wing groups of the early twentieth century what came to power in Italy, Germany and Spain are still driven by the same resentment of middle class and "Lumpenbourgeoisie". They use the same ideas of dominance of particular ethnic group. scapegoat in form of another ethnic group, glorification of state, using violence against opponents, limitations on civil rights in the name of giving the state more power to protect the populace from "destructive elements" within the society and external aggressors. Fall of "fist generation" fascist regimes did not destroy the movement which acquired strong roots in neoliberal societies across the globe.
They are different from classic far right nationalist of the past that the criteria of belonging is no longer ethnicity per se (although some elements, for example anti-Semitism and Russophobia, of this remained) but "cultural affiliation" and first of all the language. In other words they are not fascists, they are neofascists. But in Ukraine they are not only alive, they are particularly well. Ukraine is the first European state where element of neofascist Party were included in the government after putsch of February 22.
All that means that the huge rise of Ukrainian far right forces is not a unique and isolated phenomenon. Far right organizations that first crystallized around football ultras and skinheads are European-wide phenomenon. See for example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG-2HdFdvkY
This process also includes Russia although level of suppression of nationalism and especially neofascism in Russia is probably one of the highest among European countries.
And it goes without saying that all major EU counties experience dramatic rise of far right forces too. That includes Germany, France, Sweden as well as usual suspects Hungary, Poland and Baltic states (Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia). The whole story of the EU since the Maastricht Treaty and the establishment of the Euro was about neoliberal conversion similar to the USA conversion. And this conversion destroyed standards of living of lower middle class, especially small merchants, across southern Europe. Now the Southern Europe have had enough and are going to send nationalists to the European Parliament (The Guardian, May 14, 2014):
This new wave of nationalism is different then the previous wave which arose in the beginning of XX century and which led to establishment of "classic" fascist regimes. It can be called "cultural nationalism" where not ethnicity, but cultural identity was put in the center of the nationalistic doctrine.
In France, Denmark and Finland, rightwing nationalist and racist parties are set to win more than 20% of the vote – with Geert Wilders' Muslim-baiting Freedom party not far behind in the Netherlands. So is the virulently anti-Roma and anti-Semitic Jobbik in Hungary, while the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Greece is on the way to winning its first Euro seats.In France, Denmark and Finland, rightwing nationalist and racist parties are set to win more than 20% of the vote – with Geert Wilders' Muslim-baiting Freedom party not far behind in the Netherlands. So is the virulently anti-Roma and antisemitic Jobbik in Hungary, while the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Greece is on the way to winning its first Euro seats.
For "cultural nationalism" a common identity is based more on acceptance for the language and the culture than on the racial solidarity (although it dies not exclude xenophobia). Due to the power of the USA and general alliance with the West, fewer of this movements and parties are openly anti-Semitic and if they are anti-Semitic then the stress is on refusal of Jews to accept the national culture, the charge similar to the change of "country less cosmopolitans" trials in the USSR in late 40th of the last century.
Ukrainian fascists love the Russia-hammering NATO, but detest the Russia-accommodating and supra-nationalistic EU.
And they aren’t alone. Fascism — and anti-EU sentiment — pervade parts of Europe that never felt Stalin’s wrath. In the last elections for the European Parliament, "eurosceptics” and xenophobic ultra-nationalists scored significant gains, led by Marine Le Pen, whose National Front took 25% of the French seats.
A lot of it has to do with the equivocal track record of globalized neo-liberal capitalism in the last decade. We’re all Pikettyists now, and it seems that among the most important outcomes of neo-liberalism are income inequality and oligarchs.
It is anathema to liberal democrats, but it should be acknowledged that fascism is catching on, largely as a result of a growing perception that neo-liberalism and globalization are failing to deliver the economic and social goods to a lot of people.
Democracy is seen as the plaything of oligarchs who manipulate the current system to secure and expand their wealth and power; liberal constitutions with their guarantees of minority rights appear to be recipes for national impotence. Transnational free markets in capital and goods breed local austerity, unemployment, and poverty. Democratic governments seem to follow the free market playbook, get into problems they can’t handle, and surrender their sovereignty to committees of Euro-financiers.
Fascism, with its exaltation of the particular, the emotional, and the undemocratic provides an impregnable ideological and political bulwark against these outside forces.
Fascism has become an important element in the politics of resistance: a force that obstructs imposition of the norms of globalization, and an ideology that justifies the protection of local interests against the demands of liberal democracy, transnational capital, and property and minority rights.
Maybe it’s neo-liberalism, not fascism, that is facing a crisis of legitimacy and acceptance.
So the idea that fascism can be treated as a delusional artifact of the 20th century and the challenge of fascism to the neo-liberal order can be ignored is, itself, wishful thinking.
... ... ...
For some, resentment will, inevitably, congeal around nationalism and the perception that fascist resistance, defiantly militant, uncompromising, and irrational, racial and undemocratic, exclusionary and brutal, is the best instrument to achieve local identity and agency—power– in an ever bigger, more dangerous, and less responsive continental order.
New nationalist movements and far right groups widely use Internet and have well established Web presence including such social sited as Facebook and Google++. They also establish cross-border links with similar parties. For example Ukrainian far-right group have links not only with Germany far right (which is natural for them), but paradoxically also with Polish far-right with which they theoretically should be bitter enemies and sometimes even with Russian neo-liberals (several of them visited EuroMaidan in "support missions") and far-right groups (despite the fact that Russian culture and by extension people are official cultural enemy of Ukrainian nationalism)
The story of 20th and 30th repeats again. Far right groups are nurtured by both government and part of the big business as the most adequate response to the challenging and poorly controlled political situation at home. That happened, for example, in Ukraine under Yanukovich who essentially nurtured his own demise. As Helena Smith reported about Greece (The Observer, [Jun 09, 2014):
It has been a bad week for democracy in Athens. All around this great Greek city, the politics of hate now lurk. On Friday I got a taste of it in the tiny Italian-style cafe I frequent off Syntagma Square.
It arrived in the form of two middle-aged men, both supporters of the neofascist Golden Dawn – and, by their own account, the holders of university degrees, well-travelled and well-informed. Over espressos, they began to engage in an animated discussion about all that is wrong with Greece.
The first, a self-described businessman decked out in designer suit, brogues and silk tie, blamed the country's economic collapse on malfeasance, corruption and uncontrolled immigration. "The only way to teach our filthy politicians is to bring in Golden Dawn," he trilled, his eyes locked in a fierce glare. "These gentlemen are patriots, proud Greek nationalists, and they know how to deal with the scum, the foreigners who never pay taxes, who steal our jobs, who have taken over our streets."
What makes Ukrainian experience more interesting is the Ukrainian far right forces are classic case of forces brought to the front stage and openly supported by the neoliberal government. They were covertly supported by all Ukrainian governments, but, especially, by pro-US "democratic" Yushchenko regime, since 1991 as a way to create "Ukrainian national identity". This is when they got open state support and Yushchenko even dared to bestow the title of hero of Ukraine to the leader of Ukrainian nationalists in WWII Stepan Bandera, who is guilty of serious crimes such an ethnic cleansing against Polish citizens and Jews.
Viktor Yushchenko, the president produced by the last American-supported Ukrainian uprising, the "Orange Revolution,” put the full weight of the ideological apparatus of the Ukrainian state into reinventing the history of Ukrainian complicity with Nazism into a "national liberation” mythology.
But paradoxically it was not Yushchenko, but Yanukovich regime and his financial and logistical support which essentially launch Svoboda into mainstream. As CounterPunch noted (The Durability of Ukrainian Fascism):
Ukrainian nationalists turned largely toward fascism, specifically toward a concept of "integral nationalism” that, in the absence of an acceptable national government, manifested itself in a national will residing in the spirit of its adherents, not expressed by the state or restrained by its laws, but embodied by a charismatic leader and exercised through his organization, whose legitimacy supersedes that of the state and whose commitment to violence makes it a law unto itself.
That leader, at least for many Ukrainians of the fascist persuasion, was Stepan Bandera. The organization, his OUN-B faction.
This state of affairs persists in today’s successor to the OUN-B, Pravy Sektor, with its fascist trappings, leader cult, and paramilitary arm. The "mainstreaming” of the second major fascist grouping, Svoboda, looks more like a strategic repackaging in order to strive for greater electoral success by hiding its fascist antecedents.
So, unfortunately for apologists for the current Kyiv regime, the correct description of these two groups is not "nationalist” or "ultranationalist”; it is "fascist”.
Fatally, the Ukrainian government has turned to fascist nationalism and heroes in order to forge a post-Soviet, essentially Ukrainian, identity for the post-1991 state
Paradoxically, part of Ukrainian far right groups, at least superficially, are pro-EU. It is less paradoxical then it sounds is we assume that the cultural affinity is the key to the new nationalism. Ukrainian nationalists cultural identity is based on strong, fanatic rejection of all things Russian demonstrating a perfect example of Narcissism of small differences -- the tendency to exaggerate the dissimilarities of those who resemble us in an effort to buttress our own self-regard...
An excellent discussion of why this is the case and why they are nurtured by the US government was provided in the article Charge of the Right Brigade: Ukraine and the Dynamics of Capitalist Insurrection from The Polemicist blog (March 19, 2014). I recommend to read this excellent analysis in full, but here is a (large) relevant quote:
To pretend that the ex-post-facto parliamentary maneuvers that ratified the result of this insurrection actually confer some kind of retroactive constitutional legitimacy on it is ludicrous. As Nicolai Petro points out, these actions were taken by "a Parliament that rules without any representation from the majority party – since most of the deputies of the east and the south of the country are afraid to set foot in Parliament… [and] all across the country, headquarters of parties are being sacked by their opponents,” by a parliament that outlawed the only effective remaining opposition party (the Communists) and that "consolidate[ed] the powers of the speaker of the Parliament and the acting president in a single individual, giving him greater powers than allowed under any Ukrainian constitution,” in a context where "Vigilante militias routinely attack and disperse public gatherings they disapprove of.”25 Please, let’s recognize these parliamentary acts as what they are – the ratification of an insurrection, in defiance of the extant constitutional order. Call them the first steps in a new, post-insurrection constitutional order if you want, but recognize the radical break they represent.
And why not call this what it is? Isn’t that what revolutionary change is all about – a radical break with the old order? To reprise what I said in a previous post on Egypt: An electoral process can be a thin facade of democracy and, effectively, a tool of disempowerment, justifying militant extra-electoral politics, or even insurrection. A serious revolutionary conjuncture, a real break into a new social order, usually involves both. It’s an unapologetic, forceful, seizure of power that seeks to be definitive and irreversible. (Of course, not every insurrection is a revolution, or even a step forward, but let’s leave that aside for the moment.)
As someone who accepts the revolutionary socialist argument, I do not object to extra-legal, extra-parliamentary, insurrectionary politics per se. And guess what? All the self-proclaimed liberal, conservative, moderate, non-violent, constitutional, parliamentary democratic thinkers, politicians and commentators who are proudly and loudly supporting what happened in Ukraine also do not object to extra-legal, extra-parliamentary, insurrectionary politics per se – they just don’t want to admit it. Like me, they will support an insurrection, depending on what it’s about. Unlike me, they will pretend it wasn’t really an insurrection at all, just another, maybe somewhat "messy,” but fundamentally non-violent, constitutionally-authorized transition within the rules of bourgeois parliamentary democracy. And that’s because, as the man said: We wouldn’t permit that in any Western capital, no matter how righteous the cause.
It’s quite amusing, until it gets sickening, to watch American leaders—who cling to the notion that a thin, corrupt, disempowering electoral process legitimizes them — embrace the forceful overthrow of a democratically-elected leader in a functioning parliamentary democracy while insisting they are doing no such thing.
Let’s recognize that virtually nobody really supports or opposes what happened in Ukraine, or anywhere else, because it was an insurrection, but because of what kind of insurrection it was – what it’s explicit and implicit socio-political objective was, what different kind of society and polity it was moving toward creating. And let’s recognize that the US would denounce, and help to crush, any insurrection, no matter how popular or righteous the cause, in which leftist forces played anything close to the prominent fighting role that right-wing, neofascist forced played in this one. If revolutionary anarcho-syndicalists had been the vanguard of the Maidan, Yanukovych would have been America’s "democratic” hero.
As for "democracy” (along with "nonviolent,” one of the most dishonestly abused words in the American political vocabulary), it certainly does not just mean having an election. It means power to the people. Neither Ukrainian oligarchs, nor the EU-IMF neo-liberal "technocrats,” nor the American government, nor NATO, want that. They have too much to lose.
It was a right-wing, imperialist insurrection, powered by fascist groups and permeated with fascist ideology.
The overthrow of Yanukovych was an insurrection accomplished by a political movement that was driven by popular socio-economic discontent and thoroughly imbued by "ultranationalist”—i.e., neofascist—ideology.
It was decidedly not a revolution, in the strong sense of the word. A revolutionary insurrection marks the beginning of a change in the social order. This movement did not, will not, and, given its foundations, could not, establish a popular government that will create anything like more widespread prosperity and deeper democracy, let alone a new social order.
It was a regime change, fuelled by popular discontent, powered by neofascist militants, and surreptitiously managed by American intelligence diplomats, with Ukrainian oligarchs maneuvering for ultimate control behind the scenes—factions that have different, sometimes internally contradictory, agendas. It will create a government that will be controlled by and benefit some Ukrainian oligarchs at the expense of others, that will benefit European and American capitalism at the (acknowledged, indeed promised!) cost of austerity and immiseration for Ukrainian working people, and that will benefit American and NATO plans for an ever-tightening military encirclement of Russia at the expense of possible war and perpetual tension for Ukraine.
The only possibility for a more serious, "revolutionary” break from neo-liberal standards of oligarchic-imperial rule in the near future would come from the neofascist groups, who indeed imagine themselves to have a radically different agenda. But guess what? Faced with any popular uprising against its policies, from the right or the left, the new neo-liberal, Euro-facing, Russia-hating, America-loving, Ukrainian government, and its international supporters, will trot out the bourgeois democratic principles that its leaders, of course, never really contravened, and insist, Berkut (by any other name) and all: We won’t permit that in our democratic, European capital, no matter how righteous the cause.
Is there anybody who honestly doubts any of this?
Brendan O’Neill makes the point quite nicely:
For what we have in Ukraine is not revolution, but regime change …As for the word ‘revolution’ … its deployment in Ukraine takes its bastardisation to a new low: there has of course been no replacement of one social order by another in Ukraine, or even the installment of a people’s government; instead various long-established parties in parliament, some of which are deeply unpopular among certain constituencies in Ukraine, are forming an interim government. Revolutionary? Hardly.
The Western debate and coverage … has certainly made externally generated regime change seem revolutionary, and the Western-assisted anti-democratic removal of an elected leader seem like an act of people’s democracy. It has exposed a severe dearth of independent critical thinking among the Western commentariat. …
The truth of what has happened in Ukraine is this: the EU and Washington have effectively brought about regime change, replacing an elected pro-Russian regime with an unelected, still-being-formed new government that is more amenable to the institutions of the West.26
Regarding the "fascism” question, Max Blumenthal’s Alternet piece, and Per Anders Rudling’s detailed scholarly study are indispensable sources. Rudling understates considerably, when he says: "The far-right tradition is particularly strong in western Ukraine.” The fascist currents in the Kiev movement are undeniable. They are represented in the parliament by the Svoboda (Freedom) Party (originally called the Social National Party). In December, 2012, the European Parliament condemned Svoboda for its "racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views,” and urged other Ukrainian parties "not to associate with, endorse or form coalitions with this party.”27
As Blumenthal notes, Svoboda’s leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, defines his mission as freeing his country from the "Muscovite-Jewish mafia.” His deputy, Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn founded a think tank named after a historical figure he admires greatly: The Joseph Goebbels Political Research Center. Svoboda’s – and, unfortunately, much of western Ukraine’s – "nationalism” is embodied in the revered figure of Stepan Bandera, a World War II-era Nazi collaborator who led the pro-fascist Organization of Ukrainian (OUN), which helped to form a Ukrainian division of the Waffen SS to fight with the Nazis against the Soviet Union. From 1942-1944, Yaroslav Stetsko, the "Prime Minister” of ONU-B (Bandera’s wing), who supported "bringing German methods of exterminating Jewry to Ukraine,” oversaw the killing of "more than 90,000 Poles and thousands of Jews” in western Ukraine. Banderists in Lvov circulated a pamphlet telling the city’s Jews: "We will lay your heads at Hitler’s feet.”28
After the war, Bandera’s Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) continued its fascist campaign for "a totalitarian, ethnically pure Europe,” engaging in a futile armed struggle against the Soviet Union, until KGB agents assassinated him in Munich in 1959. Nothing "neo” about this Nazi.
Viktor Yushchenko, the president produced by the last American-supported Ukrainian uprising, the "Orange Revolution,” put the full weight of the ideological apparatus of the Ukrainian state into reinventing the history of Ukrainian complicity with Nazism into a "national liberation” mythology. He "tasked a set of nationalistically minded historians” into "disseminating a sanitized, edifyingly patriotic version of the history of the ‘Ukrainian national liberation movement,’ the leaders of which were presented in iconographic form as heroic and saintly ﬁgures, martyrs of the nation.”
Thus, in 2010, against the protestation of the European Parliament—which he accused of having a "historical complex” — Yushchenko awarded Stepan Bandera the title of "Hero of Ukraine."29 As Rudling notes: "There was little protest from intellectuals who identify themselves as liberals.” It was the government of big, bad Yanukovych that later annulled the award.
And thus, still satisfied by their political research, Svoboda led a 15,000-person march in honor of Bandera in Kiev on January 1st of this year, with chants of "Ukraine above all” and "Bandera, come and bring order!” 30
Now, as a result of the insurrection, Svoboda, which won about 10% of the vote in the last election, has effectively muscled the much larger (34% of the last vote) Party of the Regions out of parliament, and seeks nationally to outlaw it and the Communist Party (13% of the vote), whose leader’s house was burned down. With the help of its Right Sector allies, these parties have already been banned in a number of regions. Svoboda now holds "key leadership positions in the parliament and law enforcement, four ministerial portfolios in the new government [including Prosecutor General and Deputy Prime Minister] and several appointed governorships.” Svoboda’s co-founder, Andriy Parubiy, is head of the National Security & Defense Council of the new, democratic, government of Ukraine.31
So, fourteen months after denouncing Svoboda for its "racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia,” European governments are gushing over the new "democracy” in Ukraine over which Svoboda presides. And, as the BBC reports: "Inside the columned central hall of Kiev's city council, an activist base of operations, hung a giant banner with a Celtic cross, a symbol of ‘white power,’ and an American confederate flag….and an immense portrait of Stepan Bandera.”32Keep in mind, too, Rudling’s point that the whole Banderist "national liberation” narrative "was well received in western Ukraine but was received coldly or met open hostility in the eastern and southern parts of the country.”
As Svoboda represents fascism in the parliament, Right Sector (Pravy Sektor) represented fascism in the maidan, and continues to do so with its intimidating tactics in the streets and administrative offices of Kiev and the regions, as well as from its new positions in government. Right Sector is a confederation of far-right groups such as Patriots of Ukraine, the Social-National Assembly, White Hammer, Stepan Bandera’s Trident, and the Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian People's Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO). Their favorite ensign is the wolfsangel--a favorite, too, of the Waffen SS--which was on display all over the maidan:
As Ukrainian journalist Oleg Shynkarenko points out, Right Sector leader, Dmytro Yarosh defines the group's creed thusly: "We are against degeneration and totalitarian liberalism, but we support traditional morals and family values, against the cult of profit and depravity.” Right Sector’s websites rail against the "liberal homodictatorship” of modern Western society.33 Blumenthal points out that Right Sector is: "linked to a constellation of international neofascist parties,” and "through the Alliance of European National Movements (AEMN), Right Sector is promising to lead its army of aimless, disillusioned young men on ‘a great European Reconquest’.” In some ways, the neofascist right does want power to the people—just the morally and ethnically pure people.
BBC did a decent report on the "Neo-Nazi threat in new Ukraine.” Again, maybe not so "neo.” The reporter, Gabriel Gatehouse, interviews Svoboda and Right Sector militants, meets a group called C14 (apparently an armed wing of Svoboda) under a portrait of Lenin in the Communist Party headquarters they had taken over, and shows two Svoboda MPs displaying "14” and "88” tokens. These numbers, which are often displayed in combination, and which appeared in graffiti throughout the maidan, have special fascist significance: "14” stands for from the Fourteen Words coined by an American white supremacist: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children” (there’s an alternate version, about "the White Aryan woman”); "88” represents a double of the eighth letter of the Latin alphabet, HH, for Heil Hitler. [I cannot make this stuff up.]
Yes, it depends what you’re fighting for.
My favorite is this 2½-minute tidbit from a young Right Sector gentleman, explaining the group’s, and his, affinity for "National Socialist themes,” and assuring his interviewer that they want a society that’s just "a little bit like” that "under Hitler”:
The leader of the Right Sector, Dmytro Yarosh, is now the deputy head of the National Security Council, and is running for President, of Ukraine’s new, democratic, government.
You might also take a look at this video, where Right Sector leader Aleksandr Muzychko roughs up a local prosecutor to show him who’s the boss now, and threatens to have him lynched: "Shut the fuck up, you bitch! Your fucking time is over… If you think I am goodie because I’ve come without my rifle, you are gravely mistaken. I’ve come with a pistol. There are a few choice videos of Muzychko, who is also identified as a member of the "Wiking" unit of the Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO), another post-Banderist right-wing paramilitary group.
So there’s no question that fascists were part of the insurrection, and there is no question that they were crucial to its success. As Oleg Shynkarenko insists, the scenes of fighting resistance and advance were led by Right Sector and allied groups:[I]t was the far right that first started to talk back to Yanukovych in his own language. They were the first to throw Molotov cocktails and stones at police and to mount real and well-fortified barricades. They were amongst those who burned two military troop carriers that attacked the barricades on February 18. The Euromaidan won thanks to the resoluteness of people who were ready to fight rather than to negotiate in parliament when any negotiation became pointless.Nicolai Petro agrees, and points out the political ramifications:I ascribe a much greater role to the Right Sector…the spearhead of the revolution. … [T]he actual coup was accomplished thanks to the armed intervention of extreme nationalists, led by the Right Sector. And the fact that they were so instrumental in accomplishing this change of power has put them in the driver’s seat. From now on, whatever political decisions are arrived at will really be at the sufferance of the Right Sector.Let’s be clear, also, that these neofascist groups not only fought and defeated Yanokovych’s police, they attacked and drove away any political group from the left that tried to establish a presence in the maidan. The fascists made sure they controlled the radical politics of the square. Sascha, a member of AntiFascist Action Ukraine, a group that monitors and fights fascism in Ukraine, recounts in an interview published in mid-February:A group of 100 anarchists tried to arrange their own self-defense group, different Anarchist groups came together for a meeting on the Maidan. While they were meeting a group of Nazis came in a larger group, they had axes and baseball bats and sticks, helmets, they said it was their territory. They called the Anarchists things like Jews, blacks, Communists. There weren’t even any Communists, that was just an insult. The Anarchists weren’t expecting this and they left. People with other political views can’t stay in certain places, they aren’t tolerated.34And Mira, of the same group, adds:One of the worst things is that Pravy has this official structure. They are coordinated. You need passes to go certain places. They have the power to give or not give people permission to be active. We’re trying to be active but we have to avoid Nazis, and I’m not going to ask a Nazi for permission!...Early on a Stalinist tent was attacked by Nazis. One was sent to the hospital. Another student spoke out against fascism and he was attacked.Pravy Sektor got too much attention after the first violence, the media gave them popularity and they started to think they’re cool guys. Pravy existed before but now it’s growing and attracting a lot of new people.Ilya Budraitskis, a Russian Socialist who came to the maidan in January, tells us how the "ultranationalists” brutalized and evicted everyone from leftish Europhiles to anarchists:Another part of the left repetitively tried to join the movement, even after they were repetitively kicked out of it. Some of the "euro-enthusiastic” leftists came to Maidan in November with red (instead of blue) flag of the EU, with banners for free healthcare and education, and with feminist slogans. They were brutally attacked by Nazis. Then there was an episode when the far-right attacked the tent of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine near the Maidan. A man on the stage said that there were some "provocateurs” and said that "men know what to do”; as a result, a mob of Nazis has broken ribs of the trade union activists, tore their tent with knives and stolen their property. The victims hadn’t been doing anything "leftist” per se, but they were members of the left movement, known to their political adversaries, and that was enough….[T]here is also another group of people who are often confused with the radical left. …who call themselves anarchists but actually have a very conservative political agenda full of machismo and xenophobia. After the protests have begun, they shifted to the right dramatically; they reached truce with the nazi groups and showered Molotov cocktails at the police together. Eventually, they parted ways with left movement finally.A week ago they, together with some actual leftists who wanted to "act”, decided to form an "anarchist sotnia [defense unit]” in the Maidan self-defence. In order to do that, they were prepared to give an oath to [Svoboda leader] Andriy Parubiy. But when they formed their ranks to do this, they were met by approximately 150 Svoboda fighters with baseball bats and axes. The fascists accused them of being racially impure and politically irrelevant and forced them out of Maidan.35So much for Professor Snyder’s agora.
Of course, the great majority of the people in the square are not fascists, but, for all the reasons of history and ideology discussed above, a lot of people in western Ukraine are susceptible to their charms. As Denis, from Kiev Autonomous Workers Union says: "[I]n the long run the rightist political hegemony is being reinforced,” because "That’s what happens when you don’t have a developed left movement and your liberals are too corrupt and ugly!” Here’s how he describes the rightward political momentum on the maidan:[Far right] ideology has really become more acceptable in the mainstream (which had initially been leaning to the right!). ... Of course, most protesters really say they want political pluralism, bourgeois democracy. … But at the same time the crowd at the Maidan revives some deeply buried pre-modern, medieval social practices like whipping post, lynching, reinforced traditional gender roles. This scary readiness to slip into barbarism is born from the general disenchantment with parliamentary politics and the ubiquitous nationalist mythology about the golden past, imposed in schools and media.The original Euromaidan agenda in November was a right liberal one, standing for the EU, "economic liberties” and bourgeois democracy. But even then the issues of multiculturalism, LGBT rights, workers’ rights and freedoms were severely repressed by the politically conscious far-right activists … [whose] political programme had always included critique of the EU’s "liberal fascism”. … The attackers didn’t represent the majority of protesters, but the majority was very susceptible to their political agenda which they had been aggressively pushing through…[P]eople are new to politics, they just "know” they are rightists and nationalists. And therefore they trust the more politically experienced leaders to express their views and formulate their programme for them. It just so happens that those leaders are nationalists or even Nazis. And they shift the centre of the political discourse even further to the right.But, first of all, their ideas are welcome among the apolitical crowd; second of all, they are very well organized, and also people love their "radicalism”. An average Ukrainian worker hates the police and the government but he will never fight them openly and risk his comfort. So he or she welcomes a "vanguard” which is ready to fight on their behalf; especially if that vanguard shares "good” patriotic values….And since the basic "common sense” had long ago been established on the nationalist fundamental assumptions, the radicalization goes only further in that direction.36As we all know, fascists don’t have to be a majority to determine outcomes, and their power to do so can increase very quickly under favorable conditions. Perhaps the most telling, and disturbing remark of the leftists cited in these interviews was this, from Sascha of AntiFascist Action Ukraine, a couple of weeks before the head of Right Sector became deputy head of the National Security and Defense Council: "If Pravy [Right Sector] has positions in a new government that would be really dangerous but that isn’t possible, they aren’t powerful enough.”
Oh, yes they are. Consider the stunning turn of events we have just witnessed: "the ascension of a genuinely fascist mass movement into the corridors of power” in a European country for the first time since WWII, greeted with a stunning non-chalance—nay, embraced as an exemplar of democracy—by the Western liberal democracies. University of Ottawa political scientist Ivan Katchanovski specifies: "The paramilitary right sector has de facto power at least in some Western Ukrainian regions,” and "The far right in Ukraine has now achieved the level of representation and influence that is unparalleled in Europe.”37
Then imagine, please, Professor Katchanovski’s last sentence with "left” substituted for "right,” and consider how unthinkable it is that any American government would be so welcoming of such a "democratic” outcome. The United States and its allied liberal democracies are, in other words, willing to accommodate very hard swings to the right in order to secure and/or extend the neo-liberal capitalist, and US/NATO imperialist, order, but will abide not an inch of movement toward resistance from the left—no matter how righteous or democratic the cause.
Intelligence agencies represent now a distinct and powerful political force with employees of those agencies as a surrogate of the authoritarian party that brought to power such leaders as Mussolini. And top brass as the leadership of the this quasi-party. In a way the tremendous growth of intelligences agencies creates state within the state and makes possible neofascism without mass political party. Professor Stephen Cohen aptly noted this newfound role of intelligence agencies in determining the results of the USA elections as well as the USA foreign policy in his article in Nation (US Congress has no Russian policy other than sanctions)
Oct 17, 2018
Inconvenient thoughts on Cold War and other news. Intelligence agencies, Nikki Haley, sanctions, and public opinion.
1. National intelligence agencies have long played major roles, often not entirely visible, in international politics. They are doing so again today, as is evident in several countries, from Russiagate in the United States and the murky Skripal assassination attempt in the UK to the apparent murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey. Leaving aside what President Obama knew about Russiagate allegations against Donald Trump and when he knew it, the question arises as to whether these operations were ordered by President Putin and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) or were " rogue " operations unknown in advance by the leaders and perhaps even directed against them.
There have been plenty of purely criminal and commercial " rogue " operations by intelligence agents in history, but also " rogue " ones that were purposefully political. We know, for example, that both Soviet and US intelligence agencies - or groups of agents - tried to disrupt the Eisenhower-Khrushchev détente of the late 1950s and early 1960s, and that some intelligence players tried to stop Khrushchev's formal recognition of West Germany, also in the early 1960s.
It is reasonable to ask, therefore, whether the attacks on Skripal and Khashoggi were " rogue " operations undertaken by political opponents of the leaders' policies at home or abroad, with the help of one or another intelligence agency or agents. Motive is a - perhaps the - crucial question. Why would Putin order such an operation in the UK at the very moment when his government had undertaken a major Western public-relations campaign in connection with the upcoming World Cup championship in Russia? And why would MbS risk a Khashoggi scandal as he was assiduously promoting his image abroad as an enlightened reform-minded Saudi leader?
Growth of censorship ad the level of control of MSM are another two signs of growing influence of intelligence agencies in political life of many countries and first of all the USA (Article Globalist Traitors Seek to Delete History--Who Are the Real Fascists OpEdNews )
We're living in a moment where we are seeing people adopting what used to be denounced as fascist policies--the shutting down of free speech, the destruction of opposition voices--and the people who are doing it are arguing that the president is a supporter of fascism. It is Orwellian...
... ... ...
Through the Foreign Intelligence Court (FISC), and a reciprocal intelligence-sharing partnership among the nations of Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. called the "Five Eyes," the Obama administration manufactured, altered and misrepresented various pieces of evidence in an attempt to justify conducting surveillance on certain individual Americans. The Obama administration--in conjunction with the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and, yes, the CIA--employed the same process that is used to spy on foreigners deemed to be severe terror threats to America against American citizens... specifically, in this case, political opponents vying against the Clinton-Obama globalist cabal.
Fascism is a system of political authority and social order intended to reinforce the unity, energy, and purity of communities in which liberal democracy stands accused of producing division and decline. [...]
A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.
Jan 21, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
– Maya Angelou
"It's amazing," fellow CounterPuncher Eric Draitser recently wrote me, "that people ever thought a Trump administration would be something other than this."
"This" is the demented neofascistic Trump-Pence regime, which openly violates basic constitutional norms and rules while conducting itself in barefacedly racist, sexist, and eco-cidal ways.
The long record of this presidency's transgressions now includes the open dog-wagging assassination – on brazenly false pretexts – of a foreign military commander atop a state (Iran) with which the United States is not at war and without the permission of a government (Iraq) on whose soil the monumental war crime took place.
... ... ...Another person likely unsurprised by Trump's horrifying presidency is New Yorker columnist Adam Gopnik. "Trump," Gopnik wrote in July of 2016, summarizing elementary facts of Trump' life: "is unstable, a liar, narcissistic, contemptuous of the basic norms of political life, and deeply embedded among the most paranoid and irrational of conspiracy theorists. There may indeed be a pathos to his followers' dreams of some populist rescue for their plights. But he did not come to political attention as a 'populist'; he came to politics as a racist, a proponent of birtherism." As Gopnik had explained two months before, the correct description of Trump needed to include the world "fascist" in one way or another:
"There is a simple formula for descriptions of Donald Trump: add together a qualification, a hyphen, and the word "fascist." The sum may be crypto-fascist, neo-fascist, latent fascist, proto-fascist, or American-variety fascist -- one of that kind, all the same. Future political scientists will analyze (let us hope in amused retrospect, rather than in exile in New Zealand or Alberta) the precise elements of Poujadisme, Peronism and Huck Finn's Pap that compound in Trump's 'ideology.' But his personality and his program belong exclusively to the same dark strain of modern politics: an incoherent program of national revenge led by a strongman; a contempt for parliamentary government and procedures; an insistence that the existing, democratically elected government, whether Léon Blum's or Barack Obama's, is in league with evil outsiders and has been secretly trying to undermine the nation; a hysterical militarism designed to no particular end than the sheer spectacle of strength; an equally hysterical sense of beleaguerment and victimization; and a supposed suspicion of big capitalism entirely reconciled to the worship of wealth and "success." It is always alike, and always leads inexorably to the same place: failure, met not by self-correction but by an inflation of the original program of grievances, and so then on to catastrophe. The idea that it can be bounded in by honest conservatives in a Cabinet or restrained by normal constitutional limits is, to put it mildly, unsupported by history (emphasis liberally added) ." [Adam Gopnik, "Going There With Donald Trump," The New Yorker , May 11, 2016].
Paul Street's latest book is They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Paradigm, 2014)
Jan 21, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org
Daniel Lazare January 20, 2020 © Photo: Wikimedia The New York Times caused a mini-commotion last week with a front-page story suggesting that Russian intelligence had hacked a Ukrainian energy firm known as Burisma Holdings in order to get dirt on Joe Biden and help Donald Trump win re-election.
But the article was flimsy even by Russiagate standards, and so certain questions inevitably arise. What was it really about? Who's behind it? Who's the real target?
Here's a quick answer. It was about boosting Joe Biden, and its real target was his chief rival, Bernie Sanders. And poor, inept Bernie walked straight into the trap.
The article was flimsy because rather than saying straight out that Russian intelligence hacked Burisma, the company notorious for hiring Biden's son, Hunter, for $50,000 a month job, reporters Nicole Perlroth and Matthew Rosenberg had to rely on unnamed "security experts" to say it for them. While suggesting that the hackers were looking for dirt, they didn't quite say that as well. Instead, they admitted that "it is not yet clear what the hackers found, or precisely what they were searching for."
So we have no idea what they were up to, if anything at all. But the Times then quoted "experts" to the effect that "the timing and scale of the attacks suggest that the Russians could be searching for potentially embarrassing material on the Bidens – the same kind of information that Mr. Trump wanted from Ukraine when he pressed for an investigation of the Bidens and Burisma, setting off a chain of events that led to his impeachment." Since Trump and the Russians are seeking the same information, they must be in cahoots, which is what Democrats have been saying from the moment Trump took office. Given the lack of evidence, this was meaningless as well.
But then came the kicker: two full paragraphs in which a Biden campaign spokesman was permitted to expound on the notion that the Russians hacked Burisma because Biden is the candidate that they and Trump fear the most.
"Donald Trump tried to coerce Ukraine into lying about Joe Biden and a major bipartisan, international anti-corruption victory because he recognized that he can't beat the vice president," the spokesman, Andrew Bates, said. "Now we know that Vladimir Putin also sees Joe Biden as a threat. Any American president who had not repeatedly encouraged foreign interventions of this kind would immediately condemn this attack on the sovereignty of our elections."
If Biden is the number-one threat, then Sanders is not, presumably because the Times sees him as soft on Moscow. If so, it means that he could be in for the same neo-McCarthyism that antiwar candidate Tulsi Gabbard encountered last October when Hillary Clinton blasted her as "the favorite of the Russians." Gabbard had the good sense to blast her right back.
"Thank you @Hillary Clinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know – it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine ."
If only Sanders did the same. But instead he put out a statement filled with the usual anti-Russian clichés:
"The 2020 election is likely to be the most consequential election in modern American history, and I am alarmed by new reports that Russia recently hacked into the Ukrainian gas company at the center of the impeachment trial, as well as Russia's plans to once again meddle in our elections and in our democracy. After our intelligence agencies unanimously agreed that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, including with thousands of paid ads on Facebook, the New York Times now reports that Russia likely represents the biggest threat of election meddle in 2020, including through disinformation campaigns, promoting hatred, hacking into voting systems, and by exploiting the political divisions sewn [sic] by Donald Trump ."
And so on for another 250 words. Not only did the statement put him in bed with the intelligence agencies, but it makes him party to the big lie that the Kremlin was responsible for putting Trump over the top in 2016.
Let's get one thing straight. Yes, Russian intelligence may have hacked the Democratic National Committee. But cybersecurity was so lax that others may have been rummaging about as well. (CrowdStrike, the company called in to investigate the hack, says it found not one but two cyber-intruders.) Notwithstanding the Mueller report, all the available evidence indicates that Russia did not then pass along thousands of DNC emails that Wikileaks published in July 2016. (Julian Assange's statement six months later that "our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party" remains uncontroverted.) Similarly, there's no evidence that the Kremlin had anything to do with the $45,000 worth of Facebook ads purchased by a St. Petersburg company known as the Internet Research Agency – Robert Mueller's 2018 indictment of the IRA was completely silent on the subject of a Kremlin connection – and no evidence that the ads, which were politically all over the map, had a remotely significant impact on the 2016 election.
All the rest is a classic CIA disinformation campaign aimed at drumming up anti-Russian hysteria and delegitimizing anyone who fails to go along. And now Bernie Sanders is trying to cover his derrière by hopping on board.
It won't work. Sanders will find himself having to take one loyalty oath after another as the anti-Russia campaign flares anew. But it will never be enough, and he'll only wind up looking tired and weak. Voters will opt for the supposedly more formidable Biden, who will end up as a bug splat on the windshield of Donald Trump's speeding election campaign. With impeachment no longer an issue, he'll be free to behave as dictatorially as he wishes as he settles into his second term.
After inveighing against billionaire's wars, he'll find himself ensnared by the same billionaire war machine. The trouble with Sanders is that he thinks he can win by playing by the rules. But he can't because the rules are stacked against him. He'd know that if his outlook was more radical. His problem is not that he's too much of a socialist. Rather, it's that he's not enough.
Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kali , Jan 17 2020 19:26 utc | 7
That Power Elite theory which was written in the 50s by C.W. Mills is incomplete for today because in the 60s there was a split among the power elite between the new "movement conservatives" and the old eastern bank establishment. The conservatives were more focused on the pacific region and containing China, and the liberal establishment were more focused on Europe and containing Russia.
The "movement conservatives" leader was Barry Goldwater who Trump's dad was a big supporter of, and Trump was raised in and among AND represents that faction of elite power. In fact he is the 1st president from that faction of the elites to hold the oval office, many people thought Reagan was, but he was brought under the control of George Bush and the liberal elites after taking office after he was injured by a Bush related person. The different agendas of the the two factions are out in the open today with one being focused on anti-Russia and the other being focused on anti-China. It has been like that since the 1960s.
The anti-China conservative faction which Trump represents (and which unleashed the VietNam War) is screwing up the "rules based order" aka "Liberal International Economic Order" aka Pax Americana which was set up after WWII at Bretton Woods and then altered in the 1970s with the creation of the petrodollar and petrodollar recycling into Treasury Bonds, by destroying the monetary scam they set up to control the world
It needed the cooperation of the elites of Europe and elsewhere, which Trump and his faction doesn't care about -- they only care about short term profits on Wall St.
The LIEO or Rules Based Order is based on being closely allied with European elites against Russia to contain the Middle East and Central Asia (Iran and Afghanistan) based on Zbigniew Brzezinski's Grand Chessboard theory. China trade is important for them, Russia is their main enemy. ( War of the Worlds: The New Class ). Trump and his movement conservative faction is ruining their world order for their own short term gain on Wall St.
VietnamVet , Jan 17 2020 22:34 utc | 44The 1950's triangle of power was superseded by the oligarch's counter revolution that led to supranational trade institutions. Democracies were relegated to a secondary status and run by technocrats for the benefit of oligarchs until Donald Trump. He is a nationalist plutocrat; admittedly a lower level one, a NY casino owner who went bankrupt. Mike Bloomberg represents the other side, a globalist billionaire. Elizabeth Warren is a top level technocrat but no politician.fairleft , Jan 18 2020 1:21 utc | 81
The endless wars are fought to make a profit for the plutocracy and destabilize nations to make foreign corporate exploitation possible. That was why Hunter Biden was in Ukraine. The conflicts are not meant to be won.
Donald Trump is way for over his head and getting old. His competent staff are in jail or fired. Apparently no one told him about the thousands of ballistic missiles that can destroy the Gulf States' oil facilities at will and make the buildup for the invasion of Iran impossible. He makes stupid mistakes. Through the barrage of propaganda, reports of shell shocked troops, destroyed buildings and 11 concussion causalities from Iran's missile attack made it into the news. The military must be pissed. The aura of invincibility is gone.
Donald Trump should be removed by the 25th amendment before he mistakenly triggers the Apocalypse. Except the 1% politician VP, Mike Pence, believes that the End of Time is God's Will and necessary for his Ascension.The power triangle theory is less in line with the facts than a simple duality: Wall Street & the MIC, you have to advance interests of both or you're out.Passer by , Jan 17 2020 22:04 utc | 35
Second, the 'meeting in the Tank' sounds like complete b.s. designed to sell books, with an obvious sales strategy, as b said, of pleasuring both the pro/anti Trump sides of the book-buying bourgeoisie.
And the 'rules-based international order' rings very false as something that would be said with a straight face by real MIC insiders, which those generals are.
Finally, whether Trump ridiculed the generals or not, that's a sideshow to entertain the rubes. Trump's always been on side with the big picture Neocon approach essential to the MIC. Their global dominance or chaos approach is essential to keeping military budgets gigantic until 'forever'. True that Trump whined about endless wars as a 2016 campaign strategy, but he was either b.s.-ing or at the time didn't get that they are part of the overall Neocon approach he backs.A P , Jan 17 2020 19:33 utc | 9
Not a very good analysis by b because this does not explain why 90 % of US corporate media is hostile to Trump. This does not happen without significant elite support.
That Trump is backed by the military faction is something i have been saying often. But there are forces within the government faction that dislike him, for example the CIA.
As for the corporate faction, it is not true that free money made them supportive of Trump. Rather the faction is divided - between the globalist corporate faction, relying on globalisation, including most tech companies, and US nationalist faction, such as local US businesses, big oil, shale gas, etc.
Another point - jews have large influence within the US, and 80 % voted against Trump regardless of his Israeli support. They again voted 80 % Dem in 2018. Having 80 % of US jews against you means encountering significant resistance.
Demographically speaking, most women, jews, muslims, latinos, asians, afroamericans, lgbt people, young people, etc. are strongly against him so i think that he will lose. Unless for some reason they do not vote.
Even if he somehow wins again, this will lead to civil war like situation and extreme polarisation in the US.Walter , Jan 17 2020 23:25 utc | 56
The US military, the various factions within the Deep State, political and corporate cabals has the attitude of a spoiled 3-year-old: If I can't have it, I'll break it so it is of little use to others.
Unfortunately, breaking other countries is just fine for the MIC... arms sales all around and chaos to impede non-military commerce with other major power centers like Russia or China.
Trump is the product of a dysfunctional family, a "greed is good" trust-fund social circle and a sociopathic US bully/gun culture.
The fact "bone spurs" Trump weaseled out of the draft will also not play well with the generals, let alone the grunts who suffer most from endless POTUS idiocy (not limited to Trump, see Prince Bush/Bandar the 2nd)
All the more proof that most Western "democracies" would be better served with a lottery to choose their Congressional and POTUS chair-warmers. Joe Sixpack could do a better job. A 200-lb sack of flour would do better than any POTUS since Kennedy.Likklemore , Jan 17 2020 21:50 utc | 29
@ wagelaborer | Jan 17 2020 19:04 utc | 3
your: "Trump can't start a war without ruling class backing any more than he can end the wars if the rulers veto it."
May be, I think is, true in one sense. But Trump is far from the sole agent capable of starting a war. War, as opposed to simple murder, involve 2 or more parties. Whatever the intentions, the recent murders by drone in Baghdad hav,e it seems, brought Iran to consider war exists now...and they have a nifty MAGA policy. On Press TV today they hosted an expert who called for the execution of several exceptional American leaders...sounds like war to me.
(Make America Go Away)
The system is so screwy and peopled by such uneducated and delusional people that it's quite simple that they would do some stupid that that caused a war. Looks like war to me. I await the horrors.
Decaying empires usually start wars that bring about their rapid ruin. Does it matter how they do this?
The thesis of the triangle of elite factions is fascinating.
Walter recalls that JFK got the reports from Vietnam that said we were winning, while at the same time Johnson got the true story. And also what happened then with the "correction" of 1963 (their words) and the immediate change of war policy. Can't help an old guy from remembering old folly. And noting that history repeats as farce.
The Iran affair is liable to coordinate with NATO. Lavrov spoke to the NATO preparations today @ TASS...
Some say Trumpie screwed up the schedule, which goes hot in April as a showdown with the Roooskies. I take that with a grain of salt. But I think the sources I've seen might be right. They say that if Barbarossa had not been delayed, the nazis woulda won in Russia. Screwups can be very important.
I can't see any way the US won't use atomic bangers. But maybe...psychohistorian , Jan 17 2020 19:52 utc | 11
@ wagelaborer 3
Good points. I endorse. However the USD have been weaponized, is being sidelined and will be shunned U.S. dollar: Russia, China, EU are motivated to shift from
@ juiliana 22
I posted an article by Shedlock essentially saying all it will take is 3 states to flip and Trump loses: Trump will be easily defeated in 2020 perhaps by a landslide.
Not only sick of wars, his mobster approach to foreign policy and allies is an embarrassment to RINO and Independents.
I agree with wagelaborer in comment #3 and worth a repeat of most of it
"Trump can't start a war without ruling class backing any more than he can end the wars if the rulers veto it.
US foreign policy is not run by White House puppets.
The US trash-talked Saddam Hussein and starved Iraqis for 14 years, but didn't actually invade until he started trading oil in Euros.
The US trash-talked Ghaddafi for decades, and even launched missiles which killed his child in the 80s, but didn't destroy Libya until Ghaddafi decided to sell oil in dinars.
The US has trash-talked and sanctioned Iran for decades, but it was the threat of Iran and Saudi Arabia making peace that pushed them to assassinate General Soleimani, as he arrived at the airport on that diplomatic mission.
If Iran and Saudi Arabia make peace, and the Saudis drop the petro-dollar, the US Empire crumbles. It doesn't matter at all who is in the White House at the time, the Empire will never allow that."
Humanity is in a civilization war about public/private finance being fought by proxies and character actors like Trump. Maybe after this war is over, and if we survive, we can all communicate about the social contract directly instead of through proxy fronts. Do you want to live in a sharing/caring world or a selfish/competitive one?....socialism or barbarism?
Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
vk , Jan 18 2020 2:37 utc | 90I think the "triangle of power" theory walks towards the truth, but is not the truth.
For starters, the USA is a very large and complex society. There are a lot of classes and a lot of groups which clash and prop up each other all the time. The only consensus is that it is and must remain a capitalist society, i.e. that capitalism must be preserved at any cost.
That said, I see many interests involved, but a hierarchy, in layered form. Here's my opinion on the state of the art of the USA right now:
1) at the highest level, there's the division between the most powerful members of the capitalist class between what should be the American foreign policy strategy for the rest of this century. It is divided between two different ideologies: russophobes (i.e. the "establishment") and the believers of the "clash of civilizations" (i.e. the far-right, sinophobes). The only thing that unites both groups is the conviction Eurasia should remain divided, i.e. that Russia and China should not consolidate their newborn alliance. If that alliance consolidates a century from now, then this contradiction will disappear, but America's new enemy will be stronger than ever - possibly more powerful than the USA.
2) at the lower level, there's the division of the American people about how the spoils that come from the imperial conquests should be better shared. This division manifests itself in the battle between social-democracy and fascism. Neoliberalism is basically a rotten corpse after 2008, but it is important to state it is not an ideology per se, but a political doctrine, from which both American social-democracy and American fascism lend some aspects.
3) at the vestigial level, you have many micro battles which shock with each other. For example, the good part of the American middle class imploded Elizabeth Warren's support for universal healthcare because they wanted to keep their class distinction as the class which has access to healthcare through expensive health insurances (which are often directly linked to distinct jobs they probably have) - but they still will vote Democrat, and probably will support Warren as long as she's viable. In the far-right camp, there are those who want to emphasize the fight against China must happen because China represents modern socialism, while another part wants to fight China for the simple fact they want some jobs back. In the deep state, there's the usual Pentagon vs CIA clash of philosophies about how to better operate overseas. In the lobby industry, each one is fending for themselves.
In conclusion, my take is all of these conflicts have one ultimate cause: the exhaustion of the American imperial system installed in 1945 . Capitalism doesn't know national barriers; in 1945, the USA was both the industrial and financial superpower, but capital must spread and expand or it dies. The Marshall Plan soon begun and, in two decades, Germany and Japan - both spawns of the American post-war doctrine - directly threatened the USA as the industrial superpower. It still managed to fend off these two nations with the Plaza Accord (1985), but at a huge cost: outsourcing its own industrial capacity to China. In 2011, China definitely overcame the USA and now holds the belt of the industrial superpower. It is now trying to be also the financial superpower, with the "opening up" reforms.
This generated a structural contradiction: the loss of the industrial superpower title left the USA only with the financial superpower title. But the financial superpower title can only be maintained, in a nation-State architecture, with increased submission of the rest of the world - naturally, through violent means and financial sanctions.
However, that was not the way the USA was able to build its overwhelming post-war alliance: it did so with nation building , i.e. the proverbial "carrot", the massive investments in infrastructure and better living standards for Western Europe, Japan, Asian Tigers and Australia. But without the industrial superpower title, the USA cannot maintain its "alliance" (i.e. the empire), which reinforces its condition as the financial superpower - which, in turn, increases its necessity to maintain the alliance (empire) which, in turn, weakens more and more said alliance, which, in turn, increases even more its necessity to maintain said alliance, and so on, in a downward spiral movement.
The result of this dialectical contradiction is that the USA will, over time, resort to ever more violent methods to keep the corners of its empire whole, which will drive it ever closer to an epic war against its ultimate enemy: socialism (China/Eurasia).
Duncan Idaho , Jan 18 2020 2:41 utc | 91Well-----Patroklos , Jan 18 2020 4:52 utc | 100
"And many of them may actually be as mind-blowingly stupid as he is as well and they don't see what a problem it is to have such an arrogant moron running the world's only superpower. If there's one thing right-wingers take as an article of faith it's that expertise is nothing but a scam and the guy at the end of the bar can run the world better than the pointy-headed elites. They got what they wanted."
Trump might be appropriate. The survivors, if any, will have more resources, as the ditch he is heading into.
A slow death by Dims would be worse.@ vk 90
Your analysis nicely maps onto the Braudelian model of the phases of capitalism, especially as articulated in the chapter by Arrighi and Moore in Phases of Capitalist Development . They argue that the historical signal that the US had begun to lose its hegemony in commodity production (M-C-M') was the Nixon shock/Oil Shock (1970-73). They further argue that the inevitable shift to financial hegemony (M-M'), which has occurred in every other phase (Genovese, Dutch, British), has taken place more quickly than the one before it. As a result, they predicted (in 2001) very broadly that the terminal point of this financial (self-)vampirism -- when the system reaches a point of complete contradiction -- would take place around 2020. One key difference they note between the US global regime with all prior hegemonic orders is the reach and power of the military. The British Empire was able to deploy its navy to support its hegemony only up to a point -- and then became a paper tiger overnight. But the US military has not been deployed to any extent comparable to 1941-45. If it saw a real existential threat to dollar hegemony their military capacity would postpone any collapse indefinitely -- and throw the world into utter chaos.
My question to you and all is this: where are we in the timeline between their loss of industrial hegemony and the real crisis of their financial hegemony? Is this the decade of hegemonic challenge and change -- and therefore war? And to what extent will Iran be the trigger? Or will it be another GFC and de-dollarization?
Jan 19, 2020 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com
"The Marxist political parties, including the Social Democrats and their followers, had fourteen years to prove their abilities. The result is a heap of ruins. All around us are symptoms portending this breakdown. With an unparalleled effort of will and of brute force the Communist method of madness is trying as a last resort to poison and undermine an inwardly shaken and uprooted nation.
In fourteen years the November parties have ruined the German farmer. In fourteen years they created an army of millions of unemployed. The National Government will carry out the following plan with iron resolution and dogged perseverance. Within four years the German farmer must be saved from pauperism. Within four years unemployment must be completely overcome.
Our concern to provide daily bread will be equally a concern for the fulfillment of the responsibilities of society to those who are old and sick. The best safeguard against any experiment which might endanger the currency lies in economical administration, the promotion of work, and the preservation of agriculture, as well as in the use of individual initiative."
Adolf Hitler, Radio Appeal to the German People, February 1, 1933
"Both religion and socialism thus glorify weakness and need. Both recoil from the world as it is: tough, unequal, harsh. Both flee to an imaginary future realm where they can feel safe. Both say to you. Be a nice boy. Be a good little girl. Share. Feel sorry for the little people. And both desperately seek someone to look after them -- whether it be God or the State.
A thriving upper class accepts with a good conscience the sacrifice of untold human beings, who, for its sake, must be reduced and lowered to incomplete human beings,to slaves, to instruments... One cannot fail to see in all these noble races the beast of prey, the splendid blond beast, prowling about avidly in search of spoil and victory; this hidden core needs to erupt from time to time, the animal has to get out again and go back to the wilderness."
"At a certain point in their historical cycles, social classes become detached from their traditional parties. In other words, the traditional parties, in their particular organisational bias, with the particular men who constitute, represent and lead them, are no longer recognised by their class as their own, and representing their interests. When such crises occur, the immediate situation becomes delicate and dangerous, because the field is open for violent solutions, for the activities of unknown forces, represented by charismatic 'men of destiny' [demagogues].
The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters."
Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks, 1930-35
"Be human in this most inhuman of ages; guard the image of man for it is the image of God. You agree? Good. Then go with my blessing. But I warn you, do not expect to make many friends. One of the awful facts of our age is the evidence that it is stricken indeed, stricken to the very core of its being by the presence of the Unspeakable."
Thomas Merton, Raids on the Unspeakable
"The more power a government has the more it can act arbitrarily according to the whims and desires of the elite, and the more it will make war on others and murder its foreign and domestic subjects."
R. J. Rummel, Death by Government: A History of Mass Murder and Genocide Since 1900
"This is as old as Babylon, and evil as sin. It is the power of the darkness of the world, and of spiritual wickedness in high places. The only difference is that it is not happening in the past, or in a book, or in some vaguely frightening prophecy -- it is happening here and now."
"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. Plunder, rape, and murder they falsely call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace."
"Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage.
And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun."
Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
"Day by day the money-masters of America become more aware of their danger, they draw together, they grow more class-conscious, more aggressive. The [first world] war has taught them the possibilities of propaganda; it has accustomed them to the idea of enormous campaigns which sway the minds of millions and make them pliable to any purpose.
American political corruption was the buying up of legislatures and assemblies to keep them from doing the people's will and protecting the people's interests; it was the exploiter entrenching himself in power, it was financial autocracy undermining and destroying political democracy. By the blindness and greed of ruling classes the people have been plunged into infinite misery."
Upton Sinclair, The Brass Check
"Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction."
"We must alter our lives in order to alter our hearts, for it is impossible to live one way and pray another.
If you have not chosen the kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead."
Jan 09, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca
The 1933 Marx brothers film Duck Soup was meant to be a satirical look at Benito Mussolini, ruler of Italy. In the film the mythical country of Freedonia , ruled by the effervescent Rufus T. Firefly ( played by Groucho), due to an insult by the ambassador of rival nation Sylvania, declares war. Laughs abound. Well, in our own nation of ' Free markets', ' Free enterprise' and ' Free use of war' whenever it pleases us, we are led by another Firefly, who is as comedic as he is dangerous to peace.
Of course, the major difference with movie's Freedonia and our own is like night and day. In the film the leader, Firefly, had full control of every decision needed to be made. In our Freemerika , Mr. Trump, regardless of the image he portrays as an absolute ruler, has to dance to the tune of the Military Industrial Empire, just like ALL our previous presidents. Folks, sorry to say, but presidents are not so much harnessed by our Constitution or Congress ( or even the Supreme Court) but by the wizards who the empire picks to advise him. They decide the ' when and if' of such dramatic actions like the other day's drone missile murder in Iraq of the Iranian general. Unlike when Groucho decides he was insulted by Trentino, the Sylvanian ambassador, and declares ' This means war!', Mr. Trump gave the order for the assassination but ONLY after those behind the curtain advised him.Violence Is as Violence Does. All in the Name of "Restoring Democracy"
To believe that our presidents have carte blanche to do the heinous deeds is foolish at best . LBJ's use of the Gulf of Tonkin phony incident to gung ho in Vietnam was not just one man making that call.
Or Nixon's Christmas carpet bombing of Hanoi, Bush Sr.'s attack on Iraq in 1991 , his son's ditto against Iraq in 2003, Obama's use of NATO to destroy Libya in 2011, or this latest arrogance by Trump, were all machinations by this empire's wizards who advised them. When the late Senator Robert Byrd stood before a near empty Senate chamber in 2003 to warn of this craziness, that told it all! We are not led by Rufus T. Firefly, rather a Cabal that most in this government do not even realize who in the hell these people are!
Of course, the embedded mainstream media does the usual job of demonizing who the empire chooses to be our enemies. As with this recent illegal act by our government of crossing into another nation's sovereignty to do the deed, now they all tell us how deadly this Iranian general was. Yet, how many of the news outlets ever mentioned this guy for what they now tell us he was, for all these years? Well, here is the kicker. I do not know what this man was responsible for , regarding acts of insurgency against US forces in Iraq. Maybe he did aid in the attacks on US personnel. Maybe he also was there to neutralize the fanatical ISIS terrorists who were killing US and Iraqi personnel in Iraq and Syria. What I do know is that, in the first place, we had no business ever invading and occupying Iraq period! Thus, the rest of this Duck Soup becomes postscript.
Philip A Farruggio is a contributing editor for The Greanville Post. He is also frequently posted on Global Research, Nation of Change, World News Trust and Off Guardian sites. He is the son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen and a graduate of Brooklyn College, class of 1974. Since the 2000 election debacle Philip has written over 300 columns on the Military Industrial Empire and other facets of life in an upside down America. He is also host of the ' It's the Empire Stupid ' radio show, co produced by Chuck Gregory. Philip can be reached at email@example.com
Jan 04, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
oldhippie , Jan 4 2020 18:11 utc | 13Sitting in coffee shop in Chicago listening to Americans. The general sentiment is they had it coming and Iran should be nuked.
Glass parking lot is the desired end.
This sentiment is bottom to top in America. Measured response? No way can Iran 'measure' a response.
More generally the sentiment is that a little war in Iran, a few nukes, is not even a big thing. Football scores more important.
Isabella , Jan 4 2020 18:22 utc | 16"Sitting in coffee shop in Chicago listening to Americans. The general sentiment is they had it coming and Iran should be nuked.Zanon , Jan 4 2020 21:09 utc | 76
Glass parking lot is the desired end."
That's pretty much the picture i get from reading responses in UK MSM, not only from English, but many giving American addresses. They are all pretty much thoroughly brainwashed, believing as gospel the lies they've told, and still think that they are the "White hatted, good guys, who do good things for the places they bomb and invade".
it seems they will be supportive of an attack on Iran, and if their maniac "leaders", the basement crazies who got out of the basement, realise this, it increases substantially the chances of a "hot" war. In that case, should it escalate out of control, your Chicago coffee deadheads will get the Glass parking lot they want. It just wont be in the ME. Or Russia. They can have their very own, in their own back yard.Information_AgentPft , Jan 4 2020 21:48 utc | 79
Yes I also noticed this, what I believe is most depressing is how dumb people are. Trump/White house tell alot of lies which then become the truth for alot of his supporters and he also manage to get MSM where he wants, because MSM do not seems to care either, they are on-board when it comes to war.
And yes additional to that, a clear psychological operation going on to get the propaganda out.
I try to counter it on social media, I hope everyone here also do the same.Patroklos @77Dick , Jan 4 2020 22:13 utc | 83
Its about conditioning people that its the new normal. Anything goes, "do as thou wilt". So long as it serves the interests of our masters. With no fear that MSM or alt media can or will provide sustained or effective criticism, and the corruption of religious or secular morals among the population thanks to hollywoods cultural marxism/propaganda and corruption of christianity , they can get support among the people for just about anything. People can be made to believe anything. The past 100 years has proven that beyond all doubt. With all doubt now removed they can show their true colors and this will be accepted as the new normal.The problem with the US is most everyone in the US military, US citizenry, and US government believe their own Exceptionalism propaganda and act accordingly. Attacking the PMU units of the Iraqi army was certainly an unwise decision, but killing Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis is an act of complete moronic insanity!Robert Snefjella , Jan 5 2020 0:22 utc | 121The United States launched a war of aggression, the supreme crime, upon Iraq in 2003, based on blatant lies, and are still there. Prior to that, they helped foment the war between Iraq and Iran, then attacked Iraq in 1991, and on top of the overt warfare there was the economic sanctions warfare. The death and maiming and poisoning of millions of Iraqis has been the American contribution to Iraq, over the last several decades. What for? How has this helped the United States? Or Europe? The main advocates for this supreme criminality has been the Israel lobby, Israel, and the supporters of Israel.
The American Apache helicopters are still buzzing around over Baghdad, dealing out terror and intimidation and death. The murder by the United States of yet more Iraqi soldiers and officials recently has been largely absent from the propaganda narratives. But could those be 'the final straw'?
As far as Trump's 52 target threat, this comes after the apparent please don't escalate and we'll make a deal - good cop-bad cop routine.
The 52 number was used to remind mind-controlled Americans that the evil Iranians outrageously took 52 Americans hostage. American's don't just take people hostage; they give them orange suits and torture them, unless they kill them. Apart from murdering and maiming by the millions, they even stage fictional killings, like Osama bin laden, to entertain the zombies, and stick out their chests, hand out medals and the like.
Jan 04, 2020 | consortiumnews.com
Former DNI James Clapper had his own words read back to him by Ray McGovern, exposing his role in justifying the Iraq invasion based on fraudulent intelligence.
... ... ...
Clapper was appointed Director of National Intelligence by President Barack Obama in June 2010, almost certainly at the prompting of Obama's intelligence confidant and Clapper friend John Brennan, later director of the CIA. Despite Clapper's performance on Iraq, he was confirmed unanimously by the Senate. Obama even allowed Clapper to keep his job for three and a half more years after he admitted that he had lied under oath to that same Senate about the extent of eavesdropping on Americans by the National Security Agency (NSA). He is now a security analyst for CNN.
In his book, Clapper finally places the blame for the consequential fraud (he calls it "the failure") to find the (non-existent) WMD "where it belongs -- squarely on the shoulders of the administration members who were pushing a narrative of a rogue WMD program in Iraq and on the intelligence officers, including me, who were so eager to help that we found what wasn't really there." ( emphasis added ) .
So at the event on Tuesday I stood up and asked him about that. It was easy, given the background Clapper himself provides in his book, such as:
"The White House aimed to justify why an invasion of and regime change in Iraq were necessary, with a public narrative that condemned its continued development of weapons of mass destruction [and] its support to al-Qaida (for which the Intelligence Community had no evidence)."
What Clapper chokes on -- and avoids saying -- is that U.S. intelligence had no evidence of WMD either. Indeed, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had put him in charge of the agency responsible for analyzing imagery of all kinds -- photographic, radar, infrared, and multispectral -- precisely so that the absence of evidence from our multi-billion-dollar intelligence collection satellites could be hidden, in order not to impede the planned attack on Iraq. That's why, as Clapper now admits, he had to find "what wasn't really there."
Members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) who have employed Clapper under contract, or otherwise known his work, caution that he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. So, to be fair, there is an outside chance that Rumsfeld persuaded him to be guided by the (in)famous Rumsfeld dictum: "The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."
But the consequences are the same: a war of aggression with millions dead and wounded; continuing bedlam in the area; and no one -- high or low -- held accountable. Hold your breath and add Joe Biden awarding the "Liberty Medal" to George W. Bush on Veteran's Day.
Protection Racquet , November 17, 2018 at 02:46
When did this perjurer before Congress have any credibility? The guys a professional liar.
Mild -ly Facetious , November 18, 2018 at 17:27
The guy is a professional liar,and
a member of The Establishment
"The Anglo-American Establishment"
Copyright 1981/ Books in Focus, Inc,
Vallejo D , November 19, 2018 at 21:15
No shit. I saw the video of Clapper perjuring himself to the US Congress on national television, bald-face lying about the NSA clocking our emails.
I wouldn't believe Clapper if he the sky is blue and grass is green. EPIC liar.
PS: Erstwhile national security state "friend" actually had the nerve to claim that "Clapper lied to protect you." As if. My bet is that ONLY people on the planet who didn't know about the NSA's grotesque criminal were the American taxpayers.
Mild -ly Facetious , November 20, 2018 at 12:38
RECALL THIS EXTRAORDINARY STATEMENT -- from the GW Bush administration
There was, however, one valuable insight. In a soon-to-be-infamous passage, the writer, Ron Suskind, recounted a conversation between himself and an unnamed senior adviser to the president:
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernable reality."
I nodded and murmured something about Enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off.
"That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create reality. And while you are studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we'll act again creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Anonymot , November 16, 2018 at 20:56
Mild -ly - Facetious , November 18, 2018 at 19:33
Anonymot , Yes!
Here Is A Sequence of books for those who reside in chosen darkness:
"The Lessons of History" by Will & Edith Durant – c. 1968
"The Anglo-American Establishment" by Carroll Quigley – c. 1981
"Understanding Special Operations" by David T. Ratcliffe – c. 1989 / 99
" The Secret War Against The Jews" by John Loftus and Mark Aarons c. 1994
Douglas Baker , November 16, 2018 at 19:42
Thanks Ray. The clap merry-go-round in Washington, D.C., with V.D. assaulting brain integrity has been long playing there with James Clapper another hand in, in favor of the continuation of those that direct the United States' war on world from Afghanistan to Syria, staying the course of firing up the world as though Northern California's Camp fire sooting up much of the state with air borne particulate matter and leaving death and destruction in its wake.
JRGJRG , November 16, 2018 at 19:29
All this is fine, except it dares not touch the still taboo subject among these "professionals" of how all of this started getting justified in the first place when America attacked itself on September 11, 2001 in New York City and Washington in the most sophisticated and flawed false flag attack in history, murdering thousands of its own citizens Operation Northwoods style, blaming it on 19 Saudi hijackers with box cutters, the most grandiose of all conspiracy theory, the official 911 story.
The incriminating evidence of what happened that day in 2001 is now absolutely overwhelming, but still too incredible and controversial for even these esteemed folks to come to grips with. If we're going to take a shower and clean all this excrement off ourselves, let's do it thoroughly.
JRGJRG , November 16, 2018 at 19:46
In fact, wait! Let's ask the really important question of Clapper.
What was he doing and where was he on 9/11, the "New Pearl Harbor," and what was his role in the coverup and transformation of the CIA in the ensuing years?
Why doesn't Ray ask him about that?
GKJames , November 16, 2018 at 06:46
(1) One needn't be a Clapper fan to say that he was merely a cog in a body politic that (a) lives and breathes using military force to "solve" geopolitical problems; and (b) has always been driven by the national myth of American exceptionalism and the American love of war. The only issue ever is the story Americans tell themselves as to why a particular assault on some benighted country that can't meaningfully shoot back is justified. But for that, there are countless clever people in the corridors of power and the Infotainment Complex always eager to spread mendacity for fun and profit. Sure, hang Clapper, but if justice is what you're after, you'd quickly run out of rope and wood.
(2) What doesn't compute: Clapper is quoted as saying that he and cohort "were so eager to help that [they] found what wasn't really there". That's followed by: "Rumsfeld put him in charge so that the absence of evidence could be hidden . Clapper now admits [that] he had to find 'what wasn't really there'". While Rumsfeld's intent was exactly that, i.e., to prevent a narrative that he and Cheney had contrived, that's not the same as Rumsfeld's explicitly instructing Clapper et al to do that. Further, it mischaracterizes Clapper's admission. He doesn't admit that "he had to find" what wasn't there (which would suggest prior intent). What he does admit is that the eagerness to please the chain of command resulted in "finding" what didn't exist. One is fraud, the other group-think; two very different propositions. The latter, of course, has been the hallmark of US foreign policy for decades, though the polite (but accurate) word for it is "consensus". Everybody's in on it: the public, Congress, the press, and even the judiciary. By and large, it's who Americans are.
(3) Does this really equate the WMD fiasco with the alleged "desperate [attempt] to blame Trump's victory on Russian interference"? Yes, Clapper was present in 2003 and 2016. But that's a thin reed. First, no reasonable person says that Russian interference was the only reason that Clinton lost. Second, to focus on what was said in January 2017 ignores the US government's notifying various state officials DURING THE CAMPAIGN in 2016, of Russian hacking attempts. If, as is commonly said, the Administration was convinced that Clinton would win, how could hacking alerts to the states have been part of an effort to explain away an election defeat that hadn't happened yet, and which wasn't ever expected to happen? And, third, as with WMDs, Clapper wasn't out there on his own. While there were, unsurprisingly, different views among intelligence officials as to the extent of the Russian role, there was broad agreement that there had been one. Once again, fraud vs. group-think.
Skip Scott , November 16, 2018 at 13:46
I think there is a big difference between "group think" and inventing and cherry picking intelligence to fit policy objectives. I believe there is ample evidence of fraud. The "dodgy dossier" and the yellow cake uranium that led to Plame being exposed as a CIA operative are two examples that come immediately to mind. "Sexed up" intelligence is beyond groupthink. It is the promoting of lies and the deliberate elimination of any counter narrative in order to justify an unjust war.
The same could be said of the "all 17 intelligence agencies" statement about RussiaGate that was completely debunked but remained the propaganda line. It was way more than "groupthink". It was a lie. It is part of "full spectrum dominance".
I do agree that "Clapper wasn't out there on his own". He is part of a team with an agenda, and in a just world they'd all be in prison.
It wasn't "mistaken" intelligence, or "groupthink". You are trying to put lipstick on a pig.
GKJames , November 17, 2018 at 07:21
Fraud is easy to allege, hard to prove. In the case of Iraq, it's important to accept that virtually everyone -- the Administration, the press, the public, security agencies in multiple countries, and even UN inspectors (before the inspections, obviously) -- ASSUMED that Saddam had WMDs. That assumption wasn't irrational; it was based on Saddam's prior behavior. No question, the Administration wanted to invade Iraq and the presumed-to-exist WMDs were the rationale. It was only when evidence appeared that the case for it wasn't rock-solid that Cheney et al went to work. (The open question is whether they began to have their own doubts or whether it never occurred to them, given their obsession.) But there is zero evidence that anyone was asked to conclude that Saddam had WMDs even though the Americans KNEW that there weren't any. That's where the group-think and weak-kneed obeisance to political brawlers like Cheney come in. All he had to do was bark, and everyone fell in line, not because they knew there were no WMDs, but because they weren't sure but the boss certainly was.
In that environment, what we saw from Clapper and his analysts wasn't fraud but weakness of character, not to mention poor-quality analysis. And maybe that gets to the bigger question to which there appears to be an allergy: Shouting Fraud! effectively shuts down the conversation. After all, once you've done that, there's not much else to say; these guys all lied and death and destruction followed. But what if the answer is just as likely that the national security state created by Truman has grown into something uncontrollable, beyond legitimate oversight by the people it's supposed to serve? What if the people in that business aren't all that clever, let alone principled? After all, the CIA is headed by a torture aficionada and we haven't heard peep from the employee base, let alone the Congress that confirmed her. That entire ecosystem has been permitted to flourish without adult supervision for decades. Whenever someone asks, "that's classified". What do you do when Americans as a whole are perfectly fine with that?
Sam F , November 18, 2018 at 08:17
But fraud from the top was shown very well by Bamford in his book Pretext For War. Where discredited evidence was retained by intel agencies, as in the Iraq War II case, traitors like the zionist Wolfowitz simply installed known zionist warmongers Perl, Feith, and Wurmser into "stovepipe" offices at CIA, DIA, NSA to send the known-bad "evidence" to Rumsfeld & Cheney.
Skip Scott , November 18, 2018 at 09:27
They seem to conveniently classify anything that could prove illegality such as fraud, or in the case of the JFK assassination, something much worse. They use tools such as redaction and classification not only to protect "national security", but to cover up their crimes.
"But what if the answer is just as likely that the national security state created by Truman has grown into something uncontrollable, beyond legitimate oversight by the people it's supposed to serve?"
I believe this is very much the case, but that doesn't preclude fraud as part of their toolkit. The people at the top of the illegalities are clever enough to use those less sharp (like Clapper) for their evil purposes, and if necessary, to play the fall guy. And although the Intelligence Agencies are supposed to serve "We the People", they are actually serving unfettered Global Capitalism and the .1% that are trying to rule the world. This has been the case from its onset.
Furthermore, I am an American, and I am definitely NOT FINE with the misuse of classification and redaction to cover up crimes. The way to fix the "entire ecosystem" is to start to demand it by prosecuting known liars like James Clapper, and to break up the MSM monopoly so people get REAL news again, and wake people up until they refuse to support the two party system.
GKJames , November 19, 2018 at 10:20
(1) Assuming you could find a DOJ willing to prosecute and a specific statute on which to bring charges, the chance of conviction is zero because the required fraudulent intent can't be proved beyond reasonable doubt. All the defendant would have to say is, We thought WMDs were there but it turned out we were wrong. Besides, the lawyers said it's all legal. And if you went after Clapper only, he'd argue (successfully) that it was a highly selective prosecution. (2) If you're going to create a whole new category of criminal liability for incompetence and/or toadyism and careerism, Langley corridors would quickly empty. It's certainly one way to reduce the federal workforce. (3) The intelligence agencies ARE serving "We the People". There isn't anything they do that doesn't have the blessing of duly elected representatives in Congress. (4) That you, yourself, are "NOT FINE" overlooks the reality that your perspective gets routinely outvoted, though not because of "evil" or "fraud". A Clapper behind bars would do zero to change that. Why? Because most Americans ARE fine with the status quo. That's not a function of news (fake or real); Americans are drowning in information. Like all good service providers, the media are giving their customers exactly what they want to hear.
Skip Scott , November 19, 2018 at 11:25
(1) It is you who is "assuming" that fraud could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. What if evidence was presented that showed that they didn't really think there were WMD's, but were consciously lying to justify an invasion. I agree that it would be nearly impossible to find a DOJ willing to prosecute within our corrupted government, but if we could get a 3rd party president to sign on to the ICC, we could ship a bunch of evil warmongers off to the Hague. (2) As already discussed, I don't buy the representation of their actions as mere "toadyism". (3) As shown by many studies, our duly elected representatives serve lobbyists and the .1%, not "We the People". Here's one from Princeton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tu32CCA_Ig (4) From your earlier post: "What do you do when Americans as a whole are perfectly fine with that?" Since I am part of the "whole", your statement is obviously false. And Americans are drowning in MISinformation from our MSM, and that is a big part of the problem. And please provide evidence that most Americans are fine with the status quo. Stating that I get routinely outvoted when many Americans see their choice as between a lesser of two evils, and our MSM keeps exposure of third party viewpoints to a minimum, is an obvious obfuscation.
Sam F , November 16, 2018 at 21:01
I will second Skip on that.
The groupthink of careerists is not "who Americans are."
"Broad agreement" on an obvious fraud is a group lie.
Tom Hall , November 17, 2018 at 10:49
What Clapper did was fraud. What went on in his head was group-think. The two are by no means incompatible. The man admits to outright fabrication-
"my team also produced computer-generated images of trucks fitted out as 'mobile production facilities used to make biological agents.' Those images, possibly more than any other substantiation he presented, carried the day with the international community and Americans alike."
He knew exactly what he was doing.
wootendw , November 15, 2018 at 22:41
"Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, said vehicle traffic photographed by U.S. spy satellites indicated that material and documents related to the arms programs were shipped to Syria "
Syria and Iraq became bitter enemies in 1982 when Syria backed Iran during the Iran-Iraq War. Syria even sent troops to fight AGAINST Saddam during the first Iraq War. Syria and Iraq did not restore diplomatic relations until after Saddam was captured. The idea that Saddam would send WMDs (if he had them) to Syria is ludicrous.
Zhu , November 15, 2018 at 20:54
Cheney wanted to steal the oil. Bush wanted to fulfill prophecy & make Jesus Rapture him away from his problems. Neither plan worked.
Zhu , November 15, 2018 at 20:50
Our big shots never suffer for their crimes against humanity. Occasionally a Lt. Calley will get a year in jail for a massacre, but that's it.
bostonblackie , November 16, 2018 at 13:54
Calley was placed under house arrest at Fort Benning, where he served three and a half years.
JRGJRG , November 16, 2018 at 19:16
That's like less than 2.5 days served per each defenseless My Lai villager slaughtered, massacred, in cold blood.
What kind of justice is that? Who gets away with murder that way?
Helen Marshall , November 15, 2018 at 17:41
While serving in an embassy in 2003, the junior officer in my office was chatting with the long-time local employee, after viewing the Powell Shuck and Jive. One said to the other, "the US calls North Korea part of the 'Axis of Evil' but doesn't attack it because there is clear evidence that it has WMD including nukes." And the other said "yes, and that's why the US is going to invade Iraq because we know they don't." QED
John Flanagan , November 16, 2018 at 22:25
Love this comment!
Taras 77 , November 15, 2018 at 16:36
Thanks, Ray, for an excellent article!
You are one of few who are calling out these treasonous bastards. I am still .waiting for at least some of them to do the perp walk, maybe in the presence of war widows, their children, and maimed war veterans.
Chris Fogarty , November 15, 2018 at 12:27
Clapper played the central role in deceiving America into abandoning the republic and becoming the genocidal empire now terrorizing Planet Earth. If it is too late; if the criminals have permanent control of our government, there won't be a cleansing Nuremberg Tribunal, and our once-great USA will continue along its course of death and destruction until it destroys itself.
Where are our patriots? If any exist, now is the time for a new Nuremberg.
Zhu , November 15, 2018 at 20:56
The genocidal empire goes back to 1950 the Korean War.
bostonblackie , November 16, 2018 at 13:58
How about 1945 and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
JRGJRG , November 16, 2018 at 19:08
Keep going. Further back than that.
How about the Spanish American War, justified by the false flag blowing up of the Maine in Havana Harbor, which led to the four-year genocidal war against Filipino rebels and the war against the Cubans?
How about the 19th Century genocide of Native Americans? What was that justified by, except for lust for conquest of territory and racism?
How about America's role with other western colonial powers in the 1900 Boxer Rebellion in China.
The list of American violations of international law is too long to restate here, in the hundreds.
The only way out of this moral dilemma is to turn a new page in history in a new administration, hold our war criminals in the dock, and make amends under international law, and keep them, somehow without sacrificing national jurisdiction or security. America has to be reformed as an honest broker of peace instead of the world's leading pariah terrorist state.
bostonblackie , November 17, 2018 at 16:29
How about slavery? America was founded on genocide and slavery!
Skip Scott , November 15, 2018 at 09:44
I think Ray is being a little overly optimistic about Clapper being travel restricted. Universal Jurisdiction is for the small fry. Even with Bush and Rumsfeld, their changing travel plans was probably more about possible "bad press" than actual prosecution. Maybe down the road, when the USA collapse is more obvious to our "vassals" and they start to go their own way, such a thing could happen. Even then, we've got tons of armaments, and a notoriously itchy trigger finger.
My hope is that the two party system collapses and a Green Party candidate gets elected president. He or she could then sign us on to the ICC, and let the prosecutions begin. I know it's delusional, but a guy's gotta dream.
Robert Emmett , November 15, 2018 at 08:52
It occurs to me that even given Cheney's infamous 1% doctrine, these no-goodniks couldn't even scratch together enough of a true story to pass that low bar. So they invented, to put it mildly, plausible scenarios, cranked-up the catapults of propaganda and flung them in our faces via the self-absorbed, self-induced, money grubbing fake patriots of mass media.
But, geez, Ray, it's not as if we didn't already know about fixing facts around the policy, resignations of career operatives because of politicizing intelligence, reports of Scott Ritter, plus the smarmy lying faces & voices of all the main actors in the Cheney-Rumsfeld generated mass hysteria. I doubt these types of reveals, though appreciatively confirming what we already know, will change very many minds now. After all, the most effective war this cabal has managed to wage has been against their own people.
Perhaps when these highfalutin traitors, treasonous to their oaths to protect the founding principles they swore to preserve, at last shuffle off their mortal coils, future generations will gain the necessary perspective to dismiss these infamous liars with the contempt they deserve. But that's just wishful thinking because by then the incidents that cranked-up this never-ending war likely will be the least of their worries.
In the meantime, the fact that this boiled egghead continues to spew his Claptrap on a major media channel tells you all you need to know about how deeply the poison of the Bush-Cheney era has seeped into the body politic and continues to eat away at what remains of the foundations while the military-media-government-corporate complex metastasizes.
Sam F , November 15, 2018 at 21:03
Ray knows that the well-informed know much of the story, and likely writes to bring us the Clapper memoir confession and summarize for the less informed.
JOHN CHUCKMAN , November 15, 2018 at 07:11
I am always glad to see confirmation in such matters, however, for people who work to inform themselves and think critically, there are no real surprises to be discovered about the invasion of Iraq.
It could be clearly seen as a fraud at the time because there were a number of experts, experts not working for the American government, who in effect told us then that it was a fraud.
What the whole experience with Iraq reveals is a couple of profound truths about imperial America, truths that are quite unpleasant and yet seem to remain lost to the general public.
One, lying and manipulation are virtually work-a-day activities in Washington. They go on at all levels of the government, from the President through all of the various experts and agency heads who in theory hold their jobs to inform the President and others of the truth in making decisions.
Indeed, these experts and agency heads actually work more like party members from George Orwell's Oceania in 1984, party members whose job it is to constantly rewrite history, making adjustments in the words and pictures of old periodicals and books to conform with the Big Brother's latest pronouncements and turns in policy.
America has an entire industry devoted to manufacturing truth, something the rather feeble term "fake news" weakly tries to capture.
The public's reaction to officials and agencies in Washington ought to be quite different than it generally is. It should be a presumption that they are not telling the truth, that they are tailoring a story to fit a policy. It sounds extreme to say so, but it truly is not in view of recent history.
We are all watching actors in a costly play used to support already-determined destructive policies.
Two, the press lies, and it lies almost constantly in support of government's decided policies. You simply cannot trust the American press on such matters, and the biggest names in the press – the New York Times or Washington Post or CBS or NBC – are the biggest liars because they put the weight of their general prestige into the balance to tip it.
Their fortunes and interests are too closely bound to government to be in the least trusted for objective journalism. Journalism just does not exist in America on the big stuff.
This support is not just done on special occasions like the run-up to the illegal invasion of Iraq but consistently in the affairs of state. We see it today in everything from "Russia-gate" to the Western-induced horrors of Syria. Russia-gate is almost laughable, although few Americans laugh, but a matter like Syria, with more than half a million dead and terrible privations, isn't laughable, yet no effort is made to explain the truth and bring this monstrous project – the work equally of Republicans and Democrats – to an end.
Three, while virtually all informed people know that Israel's influence in Washington is inordinate and inappropriate, many still do not realize that the entire horror of Iraq, just like the horror today of Syria, reflects the interests and demands of Israel.
George Bush made a rarely-noticed, when Ariel Sharon was lobbying him to attack other Middle Eastern countries following the Iraq invasion, along the lines of, "Geez, what does the guy want? I invaded Iraq for him, didn't I?"
Well, today, pretty much all of the countries that Sharon thought should be attacked have indeed been attacked by the United States and its associates in one fashion or another – covertly, as in Syria, or overtly, as in Libya. And we are all witnessing the ground being prepared for Iran.
It has been a genuinely terrifying period, the last decade and a half or so. War after war with huge numbers of innocents killed, vast damages inflicted, and armies of unfortunate refugees created. All of it completely unnecessary. All of it devoid of ethics or principles beyond the principle of "might makes right."
It simply cannot be distinguished, except by order of magnitude, from the grisly work of Europe's fascist governments of the 1930s and '40s.
All the discussions we read or see from America about truth in journalism, about truth in government, and about founding principles are pretty much distraction and noise, meaningless noise. The realities of what America is doing in the world make it so.
Sam F , November 15, 2018 at 20:56
tpmco , November 16, 2018 at 02:48
john Wilson , November 15, 2018 at 04:47
It seems to me that showing up the blatant lies of the Iraq affair, while laudable, doesn't really get us anywhere. The guilty are never and will never be brought to account for their heinous crimes and some of the past villains are still lying, scheming, and brining about war, terror and horror today.
If the white helmets in Syria, the lies about Libya, the West engineered coupé in The Ukraine, Yemen, etc, aren't all tactics from the same play book used by the criminal cabals of the Iraq time, then we are blind. These days, the liars in the deep state, an expression which encapsulates everything from Intel to think tanks, don't even try to tell plausible lies, they just say anything and MSM cheers them on. Anyone challenging the MSM/government/deep state etc are just ridiculed and called conspiracy theorists, no matter how obvious and ludicrous the lies are.
Sam F , November 15, 2018 at 06:26
In fact "showing up the blatant lies of the Iraq affair" informs others, to whom the MSM can no longer cheer on liars, nor ridicule truth. Truth telling, like contemplation, is essential before the point of action.
Randal , November 15, 2018 at 02:38
I remember a woman reporter saying the reason we invaded Iraq was because Sadam Husien had put a bounty on the Bush family for running him out of qwait. This was a personal revenge to take out Husien before he had a chance at the Bush's. Any way the reporter was silenced very quickly. I personally believe the allegation.
Gary Weglarz , November 15, 2018 at 01:54
You have my complete and total respect Mr. McGovern. That was beautiful! Thank you.
F. G. Sanford , November 15, 2018 at 01:33
"We drew on all of NIMA's skill sets and it was all wrong."
Every time I hear the term, "skill sets", I recall a military colleague who observed, "We say skill sets so we don't have to say morons." They used to say, "The military doesn't pay you to think." Now they say, "We have skill sets." It's a euphemism for robotized automatons who perform specific standardized tasks based on idealized training requirements which evolve from whatever the latest abstract military doctrine happens to be. And, they come up with new ones all the time.
"The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." This is a phrase Rumsfeld borrowed directly – and I'm not making this up – from the UFO community. It was apparently first uttered by Carl Sagan, and then co-opted by people like Stanton Friedman. He's the guy who claims we recovered alien bodies from flying saucers at Roswell, New Mexico. The scientific antidote to the "absence of evidence" argument is, of course, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof." Simply put, absence of evidence really just means "no evidence". A hypothesis based on "no evidence" constitutes magical thinking.
It's probably worth going to Youtube and looking up a clip called "Stephen Gets a Straight Answer Out of Donald Rumsfeld". He admits to Colbert that, "If it was true, we wouldn't call it intelligence." Frankly, Clapper's gravest sin is heading up a science-based agency like NIMA, but failing to come to the same conclusion as General Albert Stubblebine. People who analyze reconnaissance imagery are supposed to be able to distinguish explosive ordnance damage from other factors. But, I guess Newtonian Physics is "old school" to this new generation of magical thinkers and avant-garde intelligence analysts.
Sam F , November 16, 2018 at 10:44
Part of the problem of "intelligence" is its reliance upon images that show a lot of detail but without any definite meaning, and upon guesses to keep managers and politicians happy. So "expert assessments" that milk trucks in aerial photos might be WMD labs became agency "confidence" and then politician certainties, never verified.
When suspect evidence was retained by intel agencies, as in the Iraq War II case, traitors like the zionist Wolfowitz simply installed known zionist warmongers Perl, Feith, and Wurmser into "stovepipe" offices at CIA, DIA, NSA to send the non-evidence to Rumsfeld. See Bamford's Pretext For War.
Gen Dau , November 14, 2018 at 22:20
Thank you, Ray, for a very good article that treats Clapper objectively and not as a demi-god, as most of the MSM and the Democratic establishment does. It is totally unacceptable for a government official, current or former, to answer "I don't know." That is the hideout of irresponsible scoundrels. Questioners should be allowed to ask follow-up questions such as, "If you didn't know, did you try to think about why the President's opinion on this very important question was different from yours? Is simply not knowing acceptable for an intel officer, especially one in a leadership position?" I look forward to your further reports and analyses.
Thanks also to the editors for returning at least the main text to a readable font. But why not go whole hog and make reading everything a pleasure again? Putting the headlines in a hard-to-read and distracting font is especially unfortunate, since some casual visitors to Consortium News may be turned off by the headlines and skip reading the very important articles attached to the headlines.
Daniel , November 15, 2018 at 03:13
You are right, my friend.
Mark A Goldman , November 14, 2018 at 22:17
According to my calculations (admittedly simplistic), the world has past the point of peak oil and in aggregate cannot produce enogh oil to meet present and future demand and that may very well be why the US is doing its best to destroy or damage as many economies in the world as it can even if it has to go to war to do it. Once it becomes well established that we are past peak oil no telling what our financial markets will look like. Would appreciate hearing from someone who has more expertise than I have. https://www.gpln.com
anon4d2s , November 14, 2018 at 22:23
Why are you trying to change the subject? Please desist.
Mark A. Goldman , November 15, 2018 at 13:01
I'm offering you the, or a, motive of why the deep state is pursuing the agendas we see unfolding, which is to say, the crimes, the lies, the treason that the likes of Clapper, Bush, Obama, Clinton and others are pursuing to cover up their reaction to their own fears. Of course 9/11, the false flag coup and smoking gun that proves my point is still the big elephant in the room and will eventually bring us down if the truth is never released from its chains.
Mark A. Goldman , November 15, 2018 at 14:43
I didn't change the subject. I'm offering you an answer as to the motive of why so many officials are willing to trash the Constitution in order to accomplish their insane agendas. It's all about money and power and the terrified Deep State fear of facing the blowback from the lies that have been propagated by the government and media regarding just about everything. Here's another place you might want to look in addition to my website: https://youtu.be/CDpE-30ilBY It's not just about oil. But this is where the rubber's going to meet the road. This is about what's going to hit the fan at any moment and in the absence of the Truth, we are all going to face this unprepared. 9/11 is still the smoking gun. It not just a few liars and cheats we're talking about.
Mark A. Goldman , November 15, 2018 at 23:58
I didn't change the subject. The purpose of the search for WMD was to misdirect the public's attention away from the real purpose of the invasion which was to gain control of Iraq's oil reserves primarily. Misdirection is primary skill used by those in power and very effectively.
Mark A Goldman , November 14, 2018 at 23:23
On my website you might want to review what I wrote here: "Why the Economy Can't Recover" https://www.gpln.com/audacityofhope.htm
Skip Edwards , November 14, 2018 at 22:10
Thanks, as always, go out to Ray for his continued bravery in speaking truth to power. I remember years ago when David McMichaels, Ex-CIA, gave a talk at Ft Lewis College in Durango, CO, about Ronnie Reagan's corruption in what the US was doing to the elected government in Nicaragua. Thanks to both of these men for trying to inform us all about the corruption so rampant in our government. This is further proof that Trump is only a small pimple on top of the infectous boil that is our government.
Sam F , November 14, 2018 at 21:52
Hurray for Ray McGovern! A beautiful and superbly-planned confrontation. We are lucky that Clapper admitted these things in his memoir, but we needed you to bring that out in public with full and well-selected information. You are truly a gem, whom I hope someday to meet.
Sam F , November 14, 2018 at 22:19
An astounding revelation of systematic delusion in secret agencies.
But until now my best source on the Iraq fake WMD has been Bamford's Pretext For War, in which he establishes that zionist DefSec Wolfowitz appointed three known zionist operatives Perl, Wurmser, and Feith to "stovepipe" known-bad info to Rumsfeld et al. Does the memoir shed any light there, and does your information agree?
mike k , November 14, 2018 at 19:58
Spies lie constantly, they have no respect for the truth. To trust a spy is a sign of dangerous gullibility. Spies are simply criminals for hire.
Gen Dau , November 14, 2018 at 22:30
Yes, I also hope our replies will be in a more civil and less reader-hostile font. The same font as the article text would be fine.
dfnslblty , November 15, 2018 at 09:59
I would offer that spies do not lie ~ they gather information.
Spy masters do lie ~ they prevaricate to fit the needs of their masters.
Tomonthebeach , November 15, 2018 at 23:48
To paraphrase in a way that emphasizes the deja vu. Trump lies constantly, he has no respect for the truth. To trust Trump is a sign of dangerous gullibility. Trump is simply a crook for hire, and it would seem that Putin writes the checks.
anon4d2s , November 16, 2018 at 10:48
Gosh, you fooled everyone so easily with standard Dem zionist drivel!
Why not admit that every US politician is bought, including Dems?
Don't forget to supply your unique evidence of Russian tampering.
Mild-ly - Facetious , November 18, 2018 at 16:44
"Clapper's Credibility Collapses"
as does Colin Powell's U.N.BULL Spit Yellow Cake propaganda/
all that's required is a Sales Pitch to everyday striving citizens into
how a brutal strain of aristocrat have come to rule america
and how you must delve into the Back-Stories of, for example,
GHW Bush CIA connection and his presents in Dallas, 1963
credibility collapses abound under weight of 'what really happened'
after Chaney convened summit of oil executives just PRIOR to 9/11?
Jan 04, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
prawnik , 03 January 2020 at 09:53 AMTrump is weak, stupid, reckless and easily manipulated. This has long been obvious.Renae -> Jack... , 03 January 2020 at 01:49 PM
That is not an argument in favor of Team D, the Resistance, the Deep State, the Blob or whatever (if anything it is an argument against their conspiracy theories), but Trump is what he is.I don't believe Trump ordered this attack. I believe that the neocons/neolibs are afraid they would lose power when the coup plot is revealed. So, this is a pre-emptive action against Trump winning re-election. It seems Nancy Pelosi was consulted by Secretary of Defense Esper first, although she denies she was briefed about the asassination. Well, we all know where to stick her denials, don't we? https://www.enmnews.com/2020/01/03/pelosi-briefed-thursday-night-after-strike-killing-soleimani/turcopolier -> Renae... , 03 January 2020 at 04:58 PMRenaeJack -> Eric Newhill... , 03 January 2020 at 12:40 PM
You don't understand how the US government works. The armed forces would not accept such an order from anyone else but the CinC.blue peacock said in reply to Larry Johnson ... , 03 January 2020 at 11:08 AM"Trump inherited the mess. Perhaps he is trying to salvage something out of it."
Admittedly he did inherit this mess. However, IMO, he's done nothing to salvage it. He fired missiles into Syria on the basis of false propaganda and while he's ostensibly ordered troops out of Syria, it's like the Pentagon is thumbing their nose at him, while he tweets.
And rather than putting in place a plan and executing on getting out of the wars that have cost us trillions of dollars and destabilized the entire Middle East he's just aggravated it further by blowing up people on the Iraqi/Syrian border. And now he's escalated it further.
The bodybags still keep coming home from Afghanistan, where we know with certainty that we'll have to exit and that it will revert back to its natural state. I'm afraid he just went along to get along with the neocon warmongers that he's ensconced in all the top places in his administration.
In many ways Trump seems like Governor William J. Le Petomane, in Blazing Saddles.Well said Larry.Skip Molander said in reply to blue peacock... , 03 January 2020 at 01:57 PM
Yours is precisely the point. Iraq was a secular country under the "tyrannical" Saddam's Baathist regime. So is Syria a secular country under Assad. Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11. The Saudis did. He would have been a natural counter-weight to Iran. Of course he may have kicked out the Al Sauds soon enough to hang out in London, New York and Paris after he consolidated Kuwait. That may have been a good thing in hindsight.
Bush & Cheney supported by both parties invaded Iraq and created the ascendancy of Iran. Then Obama comes along and aids & abets Al Qaeda to head-chop Christians in Syria, once again with support from both our political parties.
Trump comes along as the "no more wasting money in the Middle East" guy. But surrounds himself with all neocons including his daughter & son-in-law. And he has shown to be generally clueless on anything beyond one slide on a Powerpoint. He thinks he's still on the set of The Apprentice.
I'd like to say that the US is no longer a Constitutional Republic. We have law enforcement & intelligence who ran a coup attempt and half the country thinks that was a good thing. We have coteries that lie and propagandize us into war that has cost the American people several trillion that they've had to borrow from future generations. With the Patriot Act, FISA and all kinds of other "anti-terrorist laws", we essentially have a lawless national security surveillance state.
We are fucked because so many of our fellow citizens fall for the black & white Rambo movie plot, while their ass is being taken to the cleaners.Amen! Most Americans are ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL. They don't know which way is UP! They haven't a clue. They are easy prey to the progandists in the US government (dominated by Zionists/Israel-Firsters) and in the US media (also dominated by the Zionist narrative).The Beaver said in reply to Larry Johnson ... , 03 January 2020 at 11:10 AMMr Johnson,Terry said in reply to Eric Newhill... , 03 January 2020 at 11:19 AM
In addition Eric forgot what happened on December 29th and the reason for Suleimani to be in Iraq early on Friday morning: to attend the funeral of the Iraqi soldiers who died during those strikes neal al-Qaim.Do other countries have any right to self determination? How would Americans react to foreign powers controlling our country and killing our citizens at will?Factotum said in reply to Terry... , 03 January 2020 at 12:11 PM
When we instilled a democracy in Shiite majority Iraq who would get voted into power? What was the result of disbanding the Arab baathist Iraqi army?
We handed Iraq to Iran.Narco-controlled foreigners now run rough shod over much of California. How does that example work for context.Terry said in reply to Factotum... , 03 January 2020 at 02:56 PMAs context, nothing to do with the current topic.ISL -> Eric Newhill... , 03 January 2020 at 11:31 AM
The cartels should be declared terrorists along with domestic gangs, antifa, and the muslim brotherhood.
The border should be controlled by our government.There is a reason civilized nations do not do assassinations, but then you may have forgotten how WW1 started.Fred -> ISL... , 03 January 2020 at 12:00 PM
I shudder at the world you plan to leave our children, but empires do not last forever (or much longer with an easily manipulated moron in charge) and you may live to see assassinations of Americans on US soil as common "geopolitics."ISL,JohninMK said in reply to Fred ... , 03 January 2020 at 01:12 PM
"forgotten how WW1 started"
So Soleimani was heir apparent to the Supreme Leader?No but he could well have gone to the top in their politics as his next career move. With a satisfaction rating over 80% he was a probable future President.ISL -> Fred ... , 03 January 2020 at 02:03 PMUnintended consequences of a high level assassination.vig -> ISL... , 03 January 2020 at 02:05 PM
No good pathway to de-escalate for any side once open hostilities start.
Block heads running things (President f---ing moron - quote Tillerson), born again fundamentalists believing in the second coming calling the shots on one side and the Mahdi on the other.
But if you want to focus on a title, I guess nothing to see.EN: So you, like many here, are fine with people that organize attacks on our embassies?prawnik said in reply to Eric Newhill... , 03 January 2020 at 12:28 PM
I fully agree, outrageous! Simply outragepus! Now of course I have to reflect in what ways those men could have joined Americans in celebration of the dead of their comrades.
ISL: There is a reason civilized nations do not do assassinations
didn't Trump suggest somewhere that the Geneva Convention is obsolete anyway? Not that it matters anyway anymore, other then to US soldiers maybe? Some of them? ... The US writes the rules for to its own convience anyway?Evidence, please.Artemesia said in reply to Eric Newhill... , 03 January 2020 at 12:58 PMPlease don't laugh or pooh-pooh if I introduce Christian preacher - activist Rick Wiles' assessment of the penetration and protests at the US embassy in Baghdad: Wiles, whose colleague spent time in Iraq w/ US military, asked how it was that "Iraqi" protesters could get inside the Green Zone, apparently protected by a 10 mile perimeter, and also inside the building itself, to cause damage.Dr. George W Oprisko -> Eric Newhill... , 03 January 2020 at 02:08 PM
How is it Reuters was on the scene to photograph the protests and the damage?
How is it the protesters were so quickly called off by a word from the PM?
US military guards the embassy, right?
If one argued that Iraqi soldiers permitted Iraqi protesters to gain access, that could make sense: didn't Russian soldiers refuse to fire upon citizens who stormed the Czar's palace?
But that is apparently not what happened.
So Wiles conjectures that US military allowed the penetration and destruction of US embassy, in order to blame it on _____ . Callers to C Span Washington Journal this morning raised the issue of "Iranians took our embassy in 1979." Do tell.
~ 40 min.Solemeni was in Iraq to attend the funeral of the PMU soldiers killed byLA Sox Fan -> Eric Newhill... , 03 January 2020 at 02:22 PM
the US last week.
He was there with the full support of the Iraqi government.
He was on a diplomatic mission.
The US killed an Iranian Diplomat on a diplomatic mission.
That is the way the Iranians and Iraqi people will see this.
Also, the base attacked was an Iraqi and PMU base. 107mm rockets of the kind the US gave ISIS were used.
This kerfluffle began over an ISIS attack for the purpose of taking advantage of Iraqi disarray to steal Iraqi oil.... likely for sale to Israel...
INDYEric, you make many assertions, but provide no facts to support them. For example, you claim Soleimani was planning attacks on both US troops and our embassy. You also claim Iran took over our embassy. However, you provide no facts supporting those assertions and I am not aware of any. So tell us, what evidence or facts do you have proving your claims?Mark -> Eric Newhill... , 03 January 2020 at 03:30 PM
Additionally, you seem to have skipped over the part where Bush agreed all US troops would withdraw from Iraq and Obama was unwilling to agree to have US troops remain if they would be subject to the Iraqi justice system. So all of them left, only for some to be allowed back when ISIS threatened.
Obviously, when all US troops left Iran did not take over Iraq. When all US troops leave again, which Trump just about insured will happen very soon, Iran will again not take over Iraq. They will remain allies, but one will not rule the other.You and Trump have something in common. Ypou are both short of brains and common sense. A couple of zionist neocon puppets.prawnik said in reply to Eric Newhill... , 03 January 2020 at 04:35 PM"I'm a 100% isolationist personally, but if you're not, you have to do something to keep Iran in its place. I recognize that there's a lot I don't understand about reasons to not be an isolationist and maybe there are good reasons."Something To Think About -> Eric Newhill... , 03 January 2020 at 04:58 PM
Tell me, if you are a "100% isolationist" why must Iran be kept "in its place"? Then, tell me how many countries Iran has invaded in the last 100 years? (The answer is - ZERO!)
It's good that you recognize that there are things that you don't know or understand. Blindly following Trump will not lead you to greater understanding. Nor will making excuses for people when they betray you."Soleimani was in Iraq architecting attacks on the US embassy and on Americans."Eric Newhill said in reply to Something To Think About... , 04 January 2020 at 12:48 AM
Wrong, actually, but don't let facts get in the way.
Soleimani was in Iraq to attend the funeral of Iraqi soldiers killed by US airstrikes. That is a fact.
So the US took the opportunity to kill him. Via airstrike. That is also a fact.
Perhaps you should take off those blinkers for once and consider this possibility: most of what you think you understand about this has been brought to your attention by people who have made a career out of lying to you.You know all of that how exactly? Who's propaganda are you and your fellow travelers thoughtlessly consuming and spreading?Terry , 03 January 2020 at 10:32 AMWhen anti-Syria propaganda was running strongest, "Assad must go" I always asked "Then what? What comes next?"Artemesia said in reply to Terry... , 03 January 2020 at 01:12 PM
We have a big stick but we need more than running around clubbing others. We never should have abandoned the international law we helped to create.
We can create fear, most people fear a powerful bully but they don't respect them and will work to undermine them. It is a weak form of power and sooner or later you end up isolated.
All stick and no carrot, hard power and no soft power just isn't a vision you can build on. So, Now what? What comes next? What comes after a war with Iran?O/T, perhaps: Machiavelli wrote in The Prince that the effective leader must be feared AND loved: were he only feared, the people would turn against him as quickly as an opportunity emerged.Diana C said in reply to Artemesia... , 03 January 2020 at 02:02 PM
I donated a significant sum (all things being relative) to my local library and requested that it be used to teach the mostly-Black and impoverished young people who frequent that library, about Machiavelli: I'd just read about a very wealthy community in my state where high school students participated in an essay contest on Machiavelli. They will be the next generation's leaders. I though the poor kids in my neighborhood should have the same opportunity.
Library administrators all the way up and down the line resisted my proposal: "Our kids are not capable of such a project."
Instead, the library system is proliferating Drag Queen Story Hours.
They want me to put my gift in the hands of the local librarians who introduced this program to the library system."So, Now what? What comes next?"
Drag Queen Story Hours for your 1 yr to 5th grade children and grandchildren.
Your son - grandson dressed in high heels, chiffon, and a wig.
Your little girl telling you she needs drugs and surgery because she "feels like a boy."
That's what comes next.
Weimar 2.0When I had to move out of a large house into a small apartment recently, I donated over 900 books from my personal library to the local university library. My books reflected my major and minor areas of study: Literature from all periods of English and American authors, many books on the theories and research about linguistic theory and often brain research in regard to linguistics. I also had many books from my minor in German.prawnik said in reply to Artemesia... , 03 January 2020 at 04:38 PM
I was an avid user of libraries from the time I was quite young. My mother dropped me and my siblings off at the local library while she did the Saturday shopping and bill paying. The librarians never directed us in regard to what we should study. They helped us to find resources on each of our varied interests. My brother and two sisters had quite different interests from mine. I was then studying all I could in Greek and Roman mythology and in the Acient history of Greece and Rome.
It's the old, You can take the horse to the water, but...." Expose children to the rewards they get from reading and studying, but let their own personal interests determine what they read.
Our problem is not that our students now "should" be reading ......(fill in the space. Our problem is currently that our children are now totally unacquainted with reading much in depth. They want sound bites and quick Google searches.
As for the topic of Larry's post, I'm convinced that few Americans are even aware of the event or have any idea of why it happened and no opinion about whether it should have happened.
I hold my breath every day, hoping that we don't become involved in another big mess that will cause the life and maiming of our young people in the military and of the people on the ground in the places they are sent to.
But I have no opinion of why or whether Trump's decision was right or wrong. All I can do is pray fervently that really God is ultimately in charge and God will control it for His purposes. I never assume that God is always on "our side." I just put my faith that it is all in God's hands, no matter what the personal price I or anyone else will have to pay for His decisions.
I also pray that Trump will always make his deicisions based on good and sound advice and on his own sense of right and wrong. It must be hard picking and choosing from the many people who surround him and from their various ideas of what is right or what is wrong to do.
I certainly did not want the previous Middle East War and do not want another.If it makes you feel better, the only thing that Machiavelli will do for the more clued-in sort of mostly Black poor people is put in words what they already know deep down.Artemesia said in reply to prawnik... , 03 January 2020 at 11:30 PM
The Prince caused such an outrage because Machiavelli merely described how rulers actually behave.prawnik, In my Machiavelli proposal to the library I urged that the works of Machiavelli scholar Maurizio Viroli be offered to the young people. Viroli maintains that the key chapter in The Prince is the final chapter -- classical rhetoricians know that the most powerful theme must come last, as that is what the audience will remember. Chapter 26 is nearly a prayer (Machiavelli was deeply Christian, tho he hated the Roman Catholic papacy), a prayer for a courageous leader - redeemer, like Moses, Cyrus, Theseus, who would deliver Florence, which he loved "greater than my soul," from "barbarous cruelties and oppressions" to a life of republican self-government.Theymustbemorons , 03 January 2020 at 10:33 AM
The critical concept is his deep love for Florence.
I hoped that the young people could be moved beyond the CliffNotes version of The Prince to an understanding that would arouse passion, pride and patriotism.
We did not ask the Iraqi government for permission and we are obligated to do so, yes? Is it possible the Iraqi government will tell us to pick up our personnel and all our stuff and leave -- and never come back?turcopolier -> Theymustbemorons... , 03 January 2020 at 04:59 PMtheymustbemoronsSomething To Think About -> turcopolier ... , 03 January 2020 at 10:25 PM
Yes they can, but will we go?Colonel, that is a very interesting question.casey , 03 January 2020 at 11:09 AM
If the USA refuses to go then... what happens next?
I assume it is not under dispute that if those US forces refuse to go then the Iraqis have a right under international law to attempt to eject them. After all, it is their territory.
This isn't 2003 and the US forces inside Iraq do not number in the hundreds of thousands. Something in the region of 5,000 is my understanding, with another 4,000 on standby. Is that enough?Thank you, Mr. Johnson, for your always pointed and concise analysis. If I understand correctly, the US/Israel bloc believes it has Iran in checkmate. If Iran retaliates (or if some provocation is arranged that can plausibly be blamed on Iran), then the Empire launches a full-on attack. If Iran doesn't retaliate (or a provocation doesn't arise), Iran looks weak and unable to defend itself and limps to the negotiating table, where its carcass will be picked apart.Dan -> casey... , 03 January 2020 at 06:17 PM
The only way this makes sense is if the Empire is convinced it can flatten Iran and pick apart its carcass without taking significant losses. Is that delusional and, possibly, "terminally stupid?"I wouldn't use the term checkmate but I do agree that the situation is precarious for Iran...this was a pointed provocation and they are forced to respond. But that response has got to be well-calibrated to not bite off more than it can chew in terms of escalation. They need a spectacle more than anything.Luther Bliss , 03 January 2020 at 11:11 AMWhen James Woolsey was Trump's spokesthingie during the 2016 election, I placed multiple bets that "Trump attacks Iran to be a 'war-time president' for 2020 election."prawnik said in reply to Luther Bliss... , 03 January 2020 at 12:29 PM
I've endured mocking phonecalls as Trump wildly vacillated but his NSC choices (all 4 or 5 of them...) were all NeoCons. And if you bed with the NeoCons, you catch their disease.
I haven't watched the news in the last 3 years but the phone-calls are starting again, but the attitude is all different.
If thing keep going this way, I guess this hippie socialist is about his win bet with a bunch of pollyanna veterans and bubble-headed conservatives who could not face reality.Was it not written that "personnel is policy"?Nathan , 03 January 2020 at 11:35 AMI can't imagine a war scenario that is positive for the US, except for the neo-con fantasy that the oppressed Iranian people will rise up and overthrow the wicked mullahs when things get bad enough. I don't know anything about the internal politics of Iran, but I'm not so sure how well America holds up after gas prices triple at the pump. Of course by that time they'll be a draft and rationing. The only way to avoid that outcome would be to nuke 'em, which is something I wouldn't put pass the Israelis or Trump.Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) -> Nathan... , 03 January 2020 at 01:19 PM
I don't believe our leaders are thinking long-term, but acting out of a combination of financial self interest for war spending in general and contracts within Iraq in particular; and emotional self satisfaction: for powerful Boomers this kind of belligerance somehow makes them feel like worthy sucessors to their dead "Greatest Generation" parents.ISL , 03 January 2020 at 11:50 AMexcept for the neo-con fantasy that the oppressed Iranian people will rise up and overthrow the wicked mullahs when things get bad enough
In the last around 20 years or so this was a foundation for operational planning in the US. This is not to mention a key fact of neocons being utterly incompetent in warfare with results of this lunacy being in the open for everyone to see.Dear Larry Johnson,Factotum , 03 January 2020 at 12:07 PM
Please add to your list the assassination of US high level personnel (diplomat or military) in Europe by sleeper cells.
Interestingly (as in stupidly), the US also arrested the head of the Iraqiya MP who heads the largest block in the Iraqi parliament - apparently he had the audacity to appear at a protest of the US bombing without authorization Iraqi citizens. One suspects that Iran will have full Iraq support in retaliation. The big question is whether Turkey makes a play and bans flights from Incirlik. Note US carrier groups are not in the gulf or even nearby to fly support missions...
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iraq-violence-idUSBRE9BR03120131229 - no mention largest bloc in Parliament.
That said, I expect Russia and China will offer unlimited weapons to Iran to bog the US down long term.If we are that vulnerable to iranian retaliation on so many levels as you just set out, best we start dealing with this extortion threat right here now. Lance the festering boil and build t a new line of defenses.Factotum , 03 January 2020 at 12:27 PM
No matter what the triggering incident, we might as well accept we needed a reality check regarding this level of global threat. Not pretty, but apparently necessary if the Iranians are as capable of global disruption as you just present.
It did not take an assassination in Sarajevo to set of WWI, it was festering well before and was an inevitable march off the cliff regardless. If we are that vulnerable to cyber terrorism and infrastructure terrorism, does it matter what finally lights the match?If the world powers are gunning for an all out war, it will happen regardless. Mind your narratives. They are far scarier than the facts on the ground. Was this bad guy "assassinated", or taken out by a good guy with a gun as he was poised to strike.luke8929 , 03 January 2020 at 12:38 PM
Why have Democrats spent the past three years saber-rattling over Russia, Russia, Russia, as if any hint of favor or benign contact was high treason. C'mon people, what is really going on in this world today. Who has really created this current scenario of being a nation in imminent peril from nefarious foreign threachery by even the flimsiest of implications.
Just a few days ago our entire national security was predicated on Trump delaying arms to Ukraine by a few weeks. Ukraine, fer crisssakes which few can even find on a map. Isn't that the jingoist frothing we were just asked to believe by our loyal opposition party to the point of initiating impeachment proceedings due to Trump's alleged risking of our entire nation's place of honor on this entire planet?
We suffer from internal hyperbole, as much as outside bad actors. A world who wants war, will get it. A world who wants peace will get that too. Running off to the corner pouting and hand-wringing brings neither.I will take the other side of the Russians will help coin, if anything I would suggest the Russians may have even provided intel to the Americans on Qasem Soleimani location and movements, Putin was recently in the news thanking Trump for providing intel stopping a Terrorist attack in St Petersburg recently, I still think the Russians provided intel on the whereabouts of the head of the head of the Islamic state Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to the Americans and Putin did nothing about the deaths of the 20 Russian airmen or the cruise missile attacks on Syria, as bad a Ally as the USA is the Russian Federation is clearly worse, the Russians clearly can't be trusted.ISL -> luke8929... , 03 January 2020 at 02:08 PMwhy do you think the US could not have this intel on its own? A high level visit to a friendly nation by a top military and you have to posit Russians? You insult US Intel.luke8929 , 03 January 2020 at 12:47 PMThe Russians aren't going to do anything, Putin does whats best for Russia, he is clearly not interested in confronting the Americans and if anything would probably like to see Iranian influence in Syria diminished. 20 dead airmen, cruise missile attacks in Syria and he didn't do anything. If anything my money is on the Russians providing intel to the US on Qasem Soleiman's location and movements. I still think they provided intel on the location of the Islamic state leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and last week Putin was thanking Trump for intel that stopped an attack in St Petersburg, so perhaps rolling over on Soleiman was his way of saying thanks to Trump. I don't think the Russians intentions are as pure as people think. As untrustworthy as the USA is the Russians are worse.Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) -> luke8929... , 03 January 2020 at 02:22 PMJack , 03 January 2020 at 12:51 PMI still think they provided intel on the location of the Islamic state leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and last week Putin was thanking Trump for intel that stopped an attack in St Petersburg,
What a fantastically convoluted scenario. Russia and the US are cooperating on terrorism threats for years now, and the latest on St. Petersburg was not the first one issued by the US. Russia wouldn't mind some limits to Iranian influence in Syria but not at the price of surrendering a man who was to a large degree responsible for getting Russia into Syria and cooperating with her there, which was a crucial factor in success of the campaign. I also do not see problems with US "developing" own targeting on Baghdadi w/o any Russia's help.Rand Paul opposing the nomination of Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State, March 2018: "I'm perplexed by the nomination of people who love the Iraq War so much that they would advocate for a war with Iran next. It goes against most of the things President Trump campaigned on."Jack , 03 January 2020 at 01:00 PM
Deja whoopsHarper , 03 January 2020 at 01:06 PM
History doesn't repeat...
It has been pointed out to me that until his retirement in October 2019, JCS Chairman Joe Dunford was a factor in tempering neocon fervor for war. The same was true for his predecessor Martin Dempsey. Now we have a self-described "West Point Mafia" class of 1986 and a JCS Chairman far more politically motivated than Dunford and Dempsey. This looks to be to be more dangerous than when Bolton the chicken hawk was running around the West Wing. This is a recent Politico profile of the new Defense team, including Pompeo, Esper and other key national security advisors to Trump.Fred -> Harper... , 03 January 2020 at 06:19 PM
https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2019/11/17/west-point-alumni-pompeo-esper-state-department-071212Harper,Elora Danan said in reply to Fred ... , 03 January 2020 at 07:24 PM
Thanks for the link. The Trump triumvirate of class of '86 advisors did the minimum time on active duty and left service for greener pastures. The move to politics is reminiscent of the neocons decameron mentioned on the prior thread. It looks like the move to war which only the neocons want is coming on in full force.For not to mention that neither of them arrived at top office by own merits, but by lobbying into each other ...Fred -> Elora Danan... , 03 January 2020 at 07:36 PM
Typical arribistas ...a scourge for any nation...and the most corruptible...Elora,Elora Danan said in reply to Fred ... , 03 January 2020 at 08:02 PM
It must be late in Spain. The trio left active duty in the early 90s; that's almost 3 decades ago and plenty of time to "earn their own merits" but not necessarily enough to earn wisdom.It´s indeed too late in Europe...thanks, Fred, for to remind Elora she must go to bed...robt willmann , 03 January 2020 at 03:07 PM
She is just exhausted...to be honest...
G´night to all!After around 25 people were killed by a U.S. attack over the weekend, and subsequently the damage was being done to the "embassy" in Iraq, it looked like a real problem was developing. But it seemed as if Iraqi security people had let the demonstrators and attackers into the area where the U.S. embassy is, and then the following day were not letting them in, and so the embassy cleanup would begin. At that time I felt better about the situation. In other words, the Iraqi government, such that it is, allowed the protest and damage at the embassy to occur, and then was stopping it after making the point of a protest.TeakWoodKite , 03 January 2020 at 03:07 PM
However, that defusing of the situation by the Iraqi government by shutting down the embassy protest was for naught when the ignorant people in the U.S. government carried out the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and several others inside Iraq itself. Now there is a real problem.I am curious LJ. Some lateral drift on my part. Been reading that much of the funding for these proxies are from coming Iran. According to the Treasury. So the following is BS from State?John Merryman , 03 January 2020 at 06:23 PM
"The State Department's most recent Country Reports on Terrorism, released Friday, stated that Iran is still the "world's worst state sponsor of terrorism," spending nearly $1 billion per year to support terror groups including Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad."
There is much nashing of proverbial teeth in our media. Peeps like Sen Graham saying "the Iraqi's need to choose between us or Iran."
(That choice is a Sunni sandwich with Kurdish Bread and Shia Mayo)
There critical mass in 72 hours and the straight of Hormuz will be closing soon.
LJ are you stating that there was no Intel on emerging threats from Iran? Or the strike Saudi oil plant was not via Iran?
Seems to me China and Russia have to much $$$ invested in Iran to see it go up in smoke.Given the real masters of the universe are the very rich, would the Iranians see them as logical targets?
Sheldon Adelson comes to mind, as he is a primary backer of both Trump and Netanyahu. As well as likely not known, or appealing to Trump's base, so avenging his death wouldn't appeal in the same way as soldiers or diplomats. Especially leading up to the election. Not only that, but if the very rich were to sense their Gulfstreams are somewhat vulnerable to someone with a Stinger at the end of the runway in quite a few tourist destinations, Davos, etc, the pressure from the People Who Really Matter might be against further conflict.
The rule of law has its uses and destroying the structure on which their world rests does have consequences.
Jan 01, 2020 | crookedtimber.org
bianca steele 12.31.19 at 10:57 pm ( 24 )EB's second paragraph @18 is very clear, I think, about the stakes for one of the more important issues facing liberals / Democrats in the US. Is the party organized around protecting women, LBGT individuals, and religious and ethnic minorities from theocrats who want to tear down Constitutional and statutory civil rights, or is it organized around working people who may have a stake in a less secular, less socially progressive future, but will support a strong government if it supports ordinary working families who belong to the dominant culture?
The "liberalism is fascism; only anarchism is properly socialist" faction seems as strong as ever, though these days, it seems possible to add a third clause, "big government is good," to the list, to listen to some people.
It's almost as if what they really mean is "all governments are the same, but don't boss *me* around."
Jan 01, 2020 | crookedtimber.org
rivelle 12.31.19 at 11:33 amJQ is right to emphasize the similarities and continuities between the identity politics of the liberal and rightist varieties. They exist along a continuum and easily located within the ideological cultural and civilizational symbolic of Western capitalist polities. Understood as a power-elite *ruling ideology*, this is what is properly described as "Liberalism". (In contrast, superficial electoral politics and journalism are merely epiphenomenal when they seek to pigeon-hole parties, politicians and policies into granular categories of "left", "center", "right".)
For reasons similar to those outlined above, Corey Robin and Slavoj Zizek have rejected labelling Trump a "fascist", especially when this label comes from political centrists – DNC Democrats; "bourgeois liberals" etc. Robin and Zizek emphasize the manner in which Trump is simply capitalist business as usual. And since the start of the Trump admin., Robin also has noted the many political weaknesses of Trump and the GOP, over and above Trump's neophyte incompetence and vainglorious stupidity.
See here, for example https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/02/american-institutions-wont-keep-you-safe-trumps-excesses
The problem with Robin's and Zizek's positions though, Fascism is just as much capitalist business as usual. Capitalist economic activity can operate effectively under both centrist and hard-right ideologies, the relation of Liberalism (including "conservatism") and Fascism is along a continuum and the first can readily morph into the second.
(cont. in next post)
rivelle 12.31.19 at 11:33 am ( 9 )Two recent books describe the inter-relationship between Liberalism and Fascism as capitalist ruling ideologies.rivelle 12.31.19 at 11:34 am ( 10 )
Domenico Losurdo – Liberalism: A Counter-History.
Ishay Landa – The Apprentice's Sorcerer: Liberal Tradition and Fascism
A review of Losurdo's book on Amazon provides a good summary of its thesis.
"1. Liberalism does not expand the boundaries of freedom in an organic dialectical process. Liberalism has undergone profound changes in its history, but not because of any sort of internal tendency towards progress. The expanders of liberty have been rebellious slaves, socialists, organized workers, anti-colonial nationalists, and other forces outside of the Community of the Free. Generally, the Community of the Free only grants accessions when faced with powerful opposition from outside its walls.
2. Ideologies such as white supremacy, social Darwinism, and colonialism were created by liberals as a means of defending the liberty of the Community of the Free. When the American Founding Fathers rebelled against Britain, one of their most commonly stated reasons for doing so was that the British government didn't respect the freedom Americans had imbibed through their Northern European blood. The Framers saw themselves as the preservers of the freedoms of the Glorious Revolution, a revolution based on the right of freedom-worthy peoples to dominate the supposedly insipid masses. They were explicit in this respect, and the later history of liberalism continued to attest to this tendency.
3. Liberalism contains within itself the semi-hidden corollary that human behavior must be strictly regulated in order for freedom to be maintained. In liberalism, individuals have the freedom to compete with one another and rise to the top based on merit. Liberal elites have often interpreted this as proof that those at the top of the social ladder deserve their place. The other conclusion that stems from this is that criminals, the uneducated, the poor, and non-Western cultures fully deserve their servile status. If nature wanted them to be part of the Community of the Free, so goes the logic, then it would allow them to participate in liberty. Therefore, the dominated peoples of the world must hold their position due to their own internal defects. For Losurdo, this belief is what defines liberalism and separates it from radicalism.
4. In liberalism, liberty has historically been seen as a trait that people possess, one granted by nature. Thus, liberalism easily justifies its tendencies towards inequality by devising various ways of explaining why nature simply doesn't grant some people the liberty it grants others. Meanwhile, radicalism sees the establishment of liberty as an active process. Interestingly, this indicates that negative liberty possesses a magnetism towards authoritarianism. Losrudo points out that during the early days of Fascism, many liberals in the U.S. and Western Europe such as von Mises, Croce, and the Italian liberal establishment saw Mussolini's regime as a possible defender of classical liberalism and liberty as it was understood by the Anglo-Saxon theorists of liberalism.
This book is as disturbing as it is insightful. I personally see it as self-evident that many of the authoritarian tendencies that Losurdo identifies have made a comeback with a vengeance in the neo-liberal era, and have strengthened since the start of the Great Financial Crisis. Modern liberals, especially in American academia, often assure themselves that liberalism will not tolerate any serious regresses into authoritarianism, because of the myth of the dialectical process I described at the beginning of this review. I even believed in this to some extent, and if I remember correctly, I recall Slavoj Zizek of all people praising liberalism for this reason. Fortunately, Losurdo has seriously damaged my faith in this tendency in liberalism. Again, I don't even consider myself to be a liberal, I identify as a Leftist (one of the radicals Losurdo describes). Perhaps it speaks to the pervasiveness of the comforting nature of liberalism's self image that even its critics unknowingly take refuge in it."
https://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/178168166X/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_cmps_btm?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviewsThis is an excerpt of a review of Landa's book from Goodreads:Hidari 12.31.19 at 11:44 am ( 11 )
"The last 2 chapters are dedicated to attacking 4 liberal myths about fascism. 1) that it was "the tyranny of the majority" 2) that it was "collectivist" as compared to "individualist" liberalism 3) that the "big lie", the use of propaganda etc to cover the "truth", was unique to fascism/"totalitarianism" or started there 4) that fascism was an ultra-nationalist attack on liberal cosmopolitanism.
For 1, he focuses not so much on attacking the idea that fascists were a majority (he does do this, but the book isn't focused on this sort of thing which has been gone over before many times) but instead how many liberals believed in the tyranny of the majority *against property owners* and were perfectly willing to accept dictatorship to protect the elite minority from the dangers of a majority attacking their elite position – and that liberals were in fact key ideological supporters of the fascist dictatorship to protect the market against the attacks of socialism.
For 2, he points out first "it should be realized that terms such as "individualism" or "collectivism" are, in and of themselves, devoid of political meaning, whether radical or conservative, left or right, socialist or capitalist. It is only the historical content poured into such signifiers, that lends them their concrete ideological import." These terms aren't helpful or meaningful as ideals. Nevertheless, he points out how liberal defences of the individual actually often took place from the standpoint of a greater community or goal – he points out how Edmund Burke called society a "family" simply to defend that the elite patriarchs should be able to do whatever they want yet without any responsibility in return. The collective standpoint acts as a justification for inequalities – that allowing the elite to do what they want advances greater goals, like culture, the health of the race, the nation etc. Individualism was actually often a way of advancing socialist goals by pointing out that every human being deserves a certain quality of life and the elite don't deserve more.
For 3, he quotes liberal philosophers who believed in the dangers of democracy so talked about the need for elites to work behind the scenes so the masses believe they're in charge while really a small elite do everything. He quotes Leo Strauss extensively, which is kind of weird as he's "post-fascism", but it's valuable as a more developed example of exactly what other liberal philosophers wanted. It shows that "totalitarianism" isn't so obviously confined to non-liberal ideologies.
For 4, he points out how common ideas of the nation were for liberals – similar to 2 – as a justification for inequality, as a basis for wealth (Wealth of Nations for example), as a myth to rally the masses. Again, he's clear that nationalism isn't inherently "good" or "bad" – pointing to the way nowadays third world nationalism is a valuable force for liberation while liberal countries at capitalism's centre are stressing the opposite. He's saying that nationalism isn't a unique quality of fascism at all. He also quotes Hitler suggesting that if Germany isn't good enough to win its place at the forefront of countries, he doesn't care for it. He doesn't present it as if it counters the idea of nationalism in fascism but he points out that it suggests alternative priorities.
The epilogue focuses on one specific historian's (Michael Mann) ideas about how fascism wasn't able to take hold in north-west Europe because of their "strong liberal traditions". He points out first that there were serious differences in material conditions but also that British politicians, for example, were closely tied to fascism, regularly expressing admiration for it and supporting fascists abroad, while implementing "crypto-fascist" ideas at home. Fascism was also impossible without ideas from the UK and the US – eugenics ideas from there especially were very popular among fascists. The idea that it was "liberal traditions" that stopped it spreading is shown as, at best, incredibly naive."
https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/13237181I agree with '3': I also think that thinking about dictatorship makes us think that the threat is coming from a certain direction, which makes us unprepared if the threat comes from a completely different direction (think of this as being like an intellectual Maginot Line if you want). Things may change in 100 years time (they normally do!).
But it's clear that for the immediate future (by which I mean, roughly up until about 2050 or thereabouts) 'Old Skool' fascist dictatorships are simply a busted flush. Modi might praise Hitler and Bolsanaro might speak approvingly of the previous military dictatorships but even they (more or less) stick to democratic norms (elections etc.) although of course they try and undermine what one might term the 'true' spirit of democracy at every turn (the only place on Planet Earth which still habitually uses the 'dictatorship' mode of governance is the area round the Gulf, for very specific socio-cultural reasons).
If you are looking for previous analogues for what we are looking at in the future you might look at South Africa (which had elections but only for 'whites'), Mexico under the PRI, Japan under the LDP, etc. Even in the UK, which is nominally a 'real' democracy you have a situation (and have had since about 1950) in which, while elections are 'real' the Tories almost always win them, and after 1979, even when the opposition does win the election, it does not engage in any serious ideological opposition to the political philosophy of the Tories (the US is like this too, since roughly 1981).
At the moment at least, the Republicans in the US and the Tories in the UK are simply doubling down on gerrymandering, voter suppression, 'let them eat racism' type crackdowns on 'immigrants' to disguise (and create a 'reason' for) rising inequality, the blizzard of propaganda we call 'fake news' (which mainly, contrary to popular belief, comes from 'mainstream' media sources): and so far these techniques seem to be working. Outright dictatorship would create foreign policy problems (e.g. with the UN, the EU etc.) and there is little sign at the moment that the Right wants to go down that route, at least in the short term.
Jan 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Tim E. , Dec 29 2019 4:45 utc | 59"I don't think there's any actual material reason that there should be any material wants anywhere on this planet, instead "only" political and managerial ones but that's because I believe (and I'm not an expert) one can add additional levels of safeguards -- both physical and administrative -- to existing or new nuclear power-plants and "burn" most of the byproducts into essentially new fuel thus buying humanity at least several thousands of years of time instead of for example chopping up large volumes of air and everything in it be it insects or birds.
We should already be in a post-scarcity world, no -isms required, only kindness and applied knowledge. So to me that will be our death sentence if that is the final outcome; too little kindness (towards all life), too little application and sharing of knowledge.
I don't know if that is inspiring or depressing or both :)"
I always find those thoughts scary - since you and I are both NOT Farmers - and depend upon those little people to supply us with the foodstuffs we need to survive.
It's GREAT to be a rocket scientist - but before a rocket scientist can exist - ya need Farmers.
Jay Hanson and Richard Duncan said it best:
Here is a synopsis of the behavioral loop described above:
Step 1. Individuals and groups evolved a bias to maximize fitness by maximizing power, which requires over-reproduction and/or over-consumption of natural resources (overshoot), whenever systemic constraints allow it. Differential power generation and accumulation result in a hierarchical group structure.
Step 2. Energy is always limited, and overshoot eventually leads to decreasing power available to some members of the group, with lower-ranking members suffering first.
Step 3. Diminishing power availability creates divisive subgroups within the original group. Low-rank members will form subgroups and coalitions to demand a greater share of power from higher-ranking individuals, who will resist by forming their own coalitions to maintain power.
Step 4. Violent social strife eventually occurs among subgroups who demand a greater share of the remaining power.
Step 5. The weakest subgroups (high or low rank) are either forced to disperse to a new territory, are killed, enslaved, or imprisoned.
Step 6. Go back to step 1.
The above loop was repeated countless thousands of times during the millions of years that we were evolving. This behavior is inherent in the architecture of our minds -- is entrained in our biological material -- and will be repeated until we go extinct. Carrying capacity will decline with each future iteration of the overshoot loop, and this will cause human numbers to decline until they reach levels not seen since the Pleistocene.
Current models used to predict the end of the biosphere suggest that sometime between 0.5 billion to 1.5 billion years from now, land life as we know it will end on Earth due to the combination of CO2 starvation and increasing heat. It is this decisive end that biologists and planetary geologists have targeted for attention. However, all of their graphs reveal an equally disturbing finding: that global productivity will plummet from our time onward, and indeed, it already has been doing so for the last 300 million years.
It's impossible to know the details of how our rush to extinction will play itself out, but we do know that it is going to be hell for those who are unlucky to be alive at the time.
The Olduvai theory is defined by the ratio of world energy production and population. It states that the life expectancy of Industrial Civilization is less than or equal to 100 years: 1930-2030. After more than a century of strong growth -- energy production per capita peaked in 1979. The Olduvai theory explains the 1979 peak and the subsequent decline. Moreover, it says that energy production per capita will fall to its 1930 value by 2030, thus giving Industrial Civilization a lifetime of less than or equal to 100 years. This analysis predicts that the collapse will be strongly correlated with an 'epidemic' of permanent blackouts of high-voltage electric power networks -- worldwide.
Will Humans reach the Stars? I believe NOT - and that extinction is but a heart beat away. We are not a Peaceful species - amongst many others - but the Universe lives in Harmony.
Dec 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
William Gruff , Dec 24 2019 14:13 utc | 97Hierarchy ≠ class society.
There is nothing wrong with hierarchy in and of itself. After all, is seniority to mean nothing? Is demonstrated competence meaningless? Should an individual's efforts to build skill sets be treated as equivalent to the couch potato's efforts to build up an epic Body Mass Index (BMI)? Should notions of winners and losers be banned from athletic competitions and sporting events, along with any associated prizes? Everybody gets a trophy whether they run the race or not?
As I understand it there were plenty of routes through life in the Soviet Union in which people could distinguish themselves, perhaps more than in the West. There were plenty of ways to rise in society's hierarchy. None of those routes resulted in fabulous and opulent wealth, but if some did then the society would necessarily be able to afford fewer such routes.
The only problems with hierarchy in society is if the process of rising in it is corrupt (being born into wealth, for instance) or if the span between the bottom and the top of that hierarchy is larger than what the population considers fair.
juliania , Dec 24 2019 18:35 utc | 108William Gruff @ 97
"...The only problems with hierarchy in society is if the process of rising in it is corrupt (being born into wealth, for instance) or if the span between the bottom and the top of that hierarchy is larger than what the population considers fair."
That is true, the only problem being (for the lower classes) that by the time the gap becomes evident to all, mechanisms of 'law' and power (plus bread and circuses) have been set in place to prevent or repress the necessary changes from happening from below. This is evident to the US populace as the few who saw it coming and protested could not rouse enough support when it could have mattered. We looked and still look for helpers among the children of the hierarchs because those are the only ones who can work within the current system. So far, such are few, if they exist at all. But we saw with FDR it only takes one or two. (I don't know if you saw my previous post that finance was not the governmental powerhouse it has become in FDR's time. First they came for the legislators!!)
I still have hope that the system in the US will of its own weight become unweildly. There are already signs of that happening in the increasing inability of US powermongers to have their way on the world stage, and in their search for ephemeral 'boltholes'. And while they are still able to inflict harm on others and do so with reckless abandon, I do not believe they are ready to risk their own skins or those of their near and dear - or the fortunes they have staked everything to gain. My hope is that even that damaging ability will peter out as climate change necessities force a refocus on what actually threatens said skins and fortunes.
Mar 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
by Tyler Durden Fri, 03/08/2019 - 23:55 240 SHARES Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
The Syrian National News Agency headlined on February 26th, "Gold deal between United States and Daesh" (Daesh is ISIS) and reported that,
Information from local sources said that US army helicopters have already transported the gold bullions under cover of darkness on Sunday [February 24th], before transporting them to the United States.
The sources said that tens of tons that Daesh had been keeping in their last hotbed in al-Baghouz area in Deir Ezzor countryside have been handed to the Americans, adding up to other tons of gold that Americans have found in other hideouts for Daesh, making the total amount of gold taken by the Americans to the US around 50 tons, leaving only scraps for the SDF [Kurdish] militias that serve them [the US operation].
Recently, sources said that the area where Daesh leaders and members have barricaded themselves in, contains around 40 tons of gold and tens of millions of dollars.
Allegedly, "US occupation forces in the Syrian al-Jazeera area made a deal with Daesh terrorists, by which Washington gets tens of tons of gold that the terror organization had stolen, in exchange for providing safe passage for the terrorists and their leaders from the areas in Deir Ezzor where they are located."
ISIS was financing its operations largely by the theft of oil from the oil wells in the Deir Ezzor area, Syria's oil-producing region, and they transported and sold this stolen oil via their allied forces, through Turkey, which was one of those US allies trying to overthrow Syria's secular Government and install a Sunni fundamentalist regime that would be ruled from Riyadh (i.e., controlled by the Saud family) . This gold is the property of the Syrian Government, which owns all that oil and the oil wells, which ISIS had captured (stolen), and then sold. Thus, this gold is from sale of that stolen black-market oil, which was Syria's property.
The US Government claims to be anti-ISIS, but actually didn't even once bomb ISIS in Syria until Russia started bombing ISIS in Syria on 30 September 2015, and the US had actually been secretly arming ISIS there so as to help ISIS and especially Al Qaeda (and the US was strongly protecting Al Qaeda in Syria ) to overthrow Syria's secular and non-sectarian Government. Thus, whereas Russia started bombing ISIS in Syria on 30 September 2015, America (having become embarrassed) started bombing ISIS in Syria on 16 November 2015 . The US Government's excuse was "This is our first strike against tanker trucks, and to minimize risks to civilians, we conducted a leaflet drop prior to the strike." They pretended it was out of compassion -- not in order to extend for as long as possible ISIS's success in taking over territory in Syria. (And, under Trump, on the night of 2 March 2019, the US rained down upon ISIS in northeast Syria the excruciating and internationally banned white phosphorous to burn ISIS and its hostages alive, which Trump's predecessor Barack Obama had routinely done to burn alive the residents in Donetsk and other parts of eastern former Ukraine where voters had voted more than 90% for the democratically elected Ukrainian President whom Obama's coup in Ukraine had replaced . It was a way to eliminate some of the most-undesired voters -- people who must never again be voting in a Ukrainian national election, not even if that region subsequently does become conquered by the post-coup, US-imposed, regime. The land there is wanted; its residents certainly are not wanted by the Obama-imposed regime.) America's line was: Russia just isn't as 'compassionate' as America. Zero Hedge aptly headlined "'Get Out Of Your Trucks And Run Away': US Gives ISIS 45 Minute Warning On Oil Tanker Strikes" . Nobody exceeds the United States Government in sheer hypocrisy.
The US Government evidently thinks that the public are fools, idiots. America's allies seem to be constantly amazed at how successful that approach turns out to be.
Indeed, on 28 November 2012, Syria News headlined "Emir of Qatar & Prime Minister of Turkey Steal Syrian Oil Machinery in Broad Daylight" and presented video allegedly showing it (but unfortunately providing no authentication of the date and locale of that video).
Jihadists were recruited from throughout the world to fight against Syria's secular Government. Whereas ISIS was funded mainly by black-market sales of oil from conquered areas, the Al-Qaeda-led groups were mainly funded by the Sauds and other Arab royal families and their retinues, the rest of their aristocracy. On 13 December 2013, BBC headlined "Guide to the Syrian rebels" and opened "There are believed to be as many as 1,000 armed opposition groups in Syria, commanding an estimated 100,000 fighters." Except in the Kurdish areas in Syria's northeast, almost all of those fighters were being led by Al Qaeda's Syrian Branch, al-Nusra. Britain's Center on Religion & Politics headlined on 21 December 2015, "Ideology and Objectives of the Syrian Rebellion" and reported: "If ISIS is defeated, there are at least 65,000 fighters belonging to other Salafi-jihadi groups ready to take its place." Almost all of those 65,000 were trained and are led by Syria's Al Qaeda (Nusra), which was protected by the US
In September 2016 a UK official "FINAL REPORT OF THE TASK FORCE ON COMBATING TERRORIST AND FOREIGN FIGHTER TRAVEL" asserted that, "Over 25,000 foreign fighters have traveled to the battlefield to enlist with Islamist terrorist groups, including at least 4,500 Westerners. More than 250 individuals from the United States have also joined." Even just 25,000 (that official lowest estimate) was a sizable US proxy-army of religious fanatics to overthrow Syria's Government.
On 26 November 2015, the first of Russia's videos of Russia's bombing ISIS oil trucks headed into Turkey was bannered at a US military website "Russia Airstrike on ISIS Oil Tankers" , and exactly a month later, on 26 December 2015, Britain's Daily Express headlined "WATCH: Russian fighter jets smash ISIS oil tankers after spotting 12,000 at Turkish border" . This article, reporting around twelve thousand ISIS oil-tanker trucks heading into Turkey, opened: "The latest video, released by the Russian defence ministry, shows the tankers bunched together as they make their way along the road. They are then blasted by the fighter jet." The US military had nothing comparable to offer to its 'news'-media. Britain's Financial Times headlined on 14 October 2015, "Isis Inc: how oil fuels the jihadi terrorists" . Only America's allies were involved in this commerce with ISIS -- no nation that supported Syria's Government was participating in this black market of stolen Syrian goods. So, it's now clear that a lot of that stolen oil was sold for gold as Syria's enemy-nations' means of buying that oil from ISIS. They'd purchase it from ISIS, but not from Syria's Government, the actual owner.
On 30 November 2015 Israel's business-news daily Globes News Service bannered "Israel has become the main buyer for oil from ISIS controlled territory, report" , and reported:
An estimated 20,000-40,000 barrels of oil are produced daily in ISIS controlled territory generating $1-1.5 million daily profit for the terrorist organization. The oil is extracted from Dir A-Zur in Syria and two fields in Iraq and transported to the Kurdish city of Zakhu in a triangle of land near the borders of Syria, Iraq and Turkey. Israeli and Turkish mediators come to the city and when prices are agreed, the oil is smuggled to the Turkish city of Silop marked as originating from Kurdish regions of Iraq and sold for $15-18 per barrel (WTI and Brent Crude currently sell for $41 and $45 per barrel) to the Israeli mediator, a man in his 50s with dual Greek-Israeli citizenship known as Dr. Farid. He transports the oil via several Turkish ports and then onto other ports, with Israel among the main destinations.
After all, Israel too wants to overthrow Syria's secular, non-sectarian Government, which would be replaced by rulers selected by the Saud family , who are the US Government's main international ally .
On 9 November 2014, when Turkey was still a crucial US ally trying to overthrow Syria's secular Government (and this was before the failed 15 July 2016 US-backed coup-attempt to overthrow and replace Turkey's Government so as to impose an outright US stooge), Turkey was perhaps ISIS's most crucial international backer . Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's leader, had received no diploma beyond k-12, and all of that schooling was in Sunni schools and based on the Quran . (He pretended, however, to have a university diploma.) On 15 July 2015, AWD News headlined "Turkish President's daughter heads a covert medical corps to help ISIS injured members" . On 2 December 2015, a Russian news-site headlined "Defense Ministry: Erdogan and his family are involved in the illegal supply of oil" ; so, the Erdogan family itself was religiously committed to ISIS's fighters against Syria, and they were key to the success of the US operation against Syrians -- theft from Syrians. The great investigative journalist Christof Lehmann, who was personally acquainted with many of the leading political figures in Africa and the Middle East, headlined on 22 June 2014, "US Embassy in Ankara Headquarter for ISIS War on Iraq – Hariri Insider" , and he reported that the NATO-front the Atlantic Council had held a meeting in Turkey during 22-23 of November 2013 at which high officials of the US and allied governments agreed that they were going to take over Syria's oil, and that they even were threatening Iraq's Government for its not complying with their demands to cooperate on overthrowing Syria's Government. So, behind the scenes, this conquest of Syria was the clear aim by the US and all of its allies.
The US had done the same thing when it took over Ukraine by a brutal coup in February 2014 : It grabbed the gold. Iskra News in Russian reported, on 7 March 2014 , that "At 2 a.m. this morning ... an unmarked transport plane was on the runway at Borosipol Airport" near Kiev in the west, and that, "According to airport staff, before the plane came to the airport, four trucks and two Volkswagen minibuses arrived, all the truck license plates missing." This was as translated by Michel Chossudovsky at Global Research headlining on 14 March, "Ukraine's Gold Reserves Secretly Flown Out and Confiscated by the New York Federal Reserve?" in which he noted that, when asked, "A spokesman for the New York Fed said simply, 'Any inquiry regarding gold accounts should be directed to the account holder.'" The load was said to be "more than 40 heavy boxes." Chossudovsky noted that, "The National Bank of Ukraine (Central Bank) estimated Ukraine's gold reserves in February to be worth $1.8 billion dollars." It was allegedly 36 tons. The US, according to Victoria Nuland ( Obama's detail-person overseeing the coup ) had invested around $5 billion in the coup. Was her installed Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk cleaning out the nation's gold reserves in order to strip the nation so that the nation's steep indebtedness for Russian gas would never be repaid to Russia's oligarchs? Or was he doing it as a payoff for Nuland's having installed him? Or both? In any case: Russia was being squeezed by this fascist Ukrainian-American ploy.
On 14 November 2014, a Russian youtube headlined "In Ukraine, there is no more gold and currency reserves" and reported that there is "virtually no gold. There is a small amount of gold bars, but it's just 1%" of before the coup. Four days later, bannered "Ukraine Admits Its Gold Is Gone: 'There Is Almost No Gold Left In The Central Bank Vault'" . From actually 42.3 tons just before the coup, it was now far less than one ton.
The Syria operation was about oil, gold, and guns. However, most of America's support was to Al-Qaeda-led jihadists, not to ISIS-jihadists. As the great independent investigative journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva reported on 2 July 2017 :
"In December of last year while reporting on the battle of Aleppo as a correspondent for Bulgarian media I found and filmed 9 underground warehouses full of heavy weapons with Bulgaria as their country of origin. They were used by Al Nusra Front (Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria designated as a terrorist organization by the UN)."
The US had acquired weapons from around the world, and shipped them (and Gaytandzhieva's report even displayed the transit-documents) through a network of its embassies, into Syria, for Nusra-led forces inside Syria. Almost certainly, the US Government's central command center for the entire arms-smuggling operation was the world's largest embassy, which is America's embassy in Baghdad.
Furthermore, On 8 March 2013, Richard Spenser of Britain's Telegraph reported that Croatia's Jutarnji List newspaper had reported that "3,000 tons of weapons dating back to the former Yugoslavia have been sent in 75 planeloads from Zagreb airport to the rebels, largely via Jordan since November. The airlift of dated but effective Yugoslav-made weapons meets key concerns of the West, and especially Turkey and the United States, who want the rebels to be better armed to drive out the Assad regime."
Also, a September 2014 study by Conflict Armaments Research (CAR), titled "Islamic State Weapons in Iraq and Syria" , reported that not only east-European, but even US-made, weapons were being "captured from Islamic State forces" by Kurds who were working for the Americans, and that this was very puzzling and disturbing to those Kurds, who were risking their lives to fight against those jihadists.
In December 2017, CAR headlined "Weapons of the Islamic State" and reported that "this materiel was rapidly captured by IS forces, only to be deployed by the group against international coalition forces." The assumption made there was that the transfer of weapons to ISIS was all unintentional.
That report ignored contrary evidence, which I summed up on 2 September 2017 headlining "Russian TV Reports US Secretly Backing ISIS in Syria" , and reporting there also from the Turkish Government an admission that the US was working with Turkey to funnel surviving members of Iraq's ISIS into the Deir Ezzor part of Syria to help defeat Syria's Government in that crucial oil-producing region. Moreover, at least one member of the 'rebels' that the US was training at Al Tanf on Syria's Jordanian border had quit because his American trainers were secretly diverting some of their weapons to ISIS. Furthermore: why hadn't the US bombed Syrian ISIS before Russia entered the Syrian war on 30 September 2015? America talked lots about its supposed effort against ISIS, but why did US wait till 16 November 2015 before taking action, "'Get Out Of Your Trucks And Run Away': US Gives ISIS 45 Minute Warning On Oil Tanker Strikes" ?
So, regardless of whether the US Government uses jihadists as its proxy-forces, or uses fascists as its proxy-forces, it grabs the gold -- and grabs the oil, and takes whatever else it can.
This is today's form of imperialism.
Grab what you can, and run. And call it 'fighting for freedom and democracy and human rights and against corruption'. And the imperial regime's allies watch in amazement, as they take their respective cuts of the loot. That's the deal, and they call it 'fighting for freedom and democracy and human rights and against corruption around the world'. That's the way it works. International gangland. That's the reality, while most of the public think it's instead really "fighting for freedom and democracy and human rights and against corruption around the world." For example, as RT reported on Sunday , March 3rd, about John Bolton's effort at regime-change in Venezuela, Bolton said: "I'd like to see as broad a coalition as we can put together to replace Maduro, to replace the whole corrupt regime,' Bolton told CNN's Jake Tapper." Trump's regime wants to bring clean and democratic government to the poor Venezuelans, just like Bush's did to the Iraqis, and Obama's did to the Libyans and to the Syrians and to the Ukrainians. And Trump, who pretends to oppose Obama's regime-change policies, alternately expands them and shrinks them. Though he's slightly different from Obama on domestic policies, he never, as the US President, condemns any of his predecessors' many coups and invasions, all of which were disasters for everybody except America's and allies' billionaires. They're all in on the take.
The American public were suckered into destroying Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011, Syria in 2011-now, and so many other countries, and still haven't learned anything, other than to keep trusting the allegations of this lying and psychopathically vicious and super-aggressive Government and of its stenographic 'news'-media. When is enough finally enough ? Never? If not never, then when ? Or do most people never learn? Or maybe they don't really care. Perhaps that's the problem.
On March 4th, the Jerusalem Post bannered "IRAN AND TURKEY MEDIA PUSH CONSPIRACY THEORIES ABOUT US, ISIS: Claims pushed by Syrian regime media assert that US gave ISIS safe passage out of Baghuz in return for gold, a conspiracy picked up in Tehran and Ankara" , and simply assumed that it's false -- but provided no evidence to back their speculation up -- and they closed by asserting "The conspiracies, which are manufactured in Damascus, are disseminated to Iraq and Turkey, both of whom oppose US policy in eastern Syria." Why do people even subscribe to such 'news'-sources as that? The key facts are hidden, the speculation that's based on their own prejudices replaces whatever facts exist. Do the subscribers, to that, simply want to be deceived? Are most people that stupid?
Back on 21 December 2018, one of the US regime's top 'news'-media, the Washington Post, had headlined "Retreating ISIS army smuggled a fortune in cash and gold out of Iraq and Syria" and reported that "the Islamic State is sitting on a mountain of stolen cash and gold that its leaders stashed away to finance terrorist operations." So, it's not as if there hadn't been prior reason to believe that some day some of the gold would be found after America's defeat in Syria. Maybe they just hadn't expected this to happen quite so soon. But the regime will find ways to hoodwink its public, in the future, just as it has in the past. Unless the public wises-up (if that's even possible).
Dec 19, 2019 | caucus99percent.com
All pretense of our country being a representative democracy @snoopydawg
is gone. Our
two partyuniparty government has completely turned its back on serving the needs of the vast majority of the people of this country, and of the wider world. Profit sits at the head of our government. The monikers "Fascist" and "Totalitarian" are apt descriptors of the direction of our current trajectory. A dystopian future surely awaits us on this beautiful, fragile and life sustaining planet that we are trashing with such abandon.
Other than that, things are going quite nicely. Nancy is wearing her power pants and fools are applauding.
Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
NoOneYouKnow , Dec 18 2019 23:16 utc | 34The Dems have given Trump's insane military budget more than he asked for, they got no bargains in renewing the NDAA (both of which betray the lie they think Trump is compromised), and finalized a huge new trade deal with him.
The impeachment farce and most of the battle with Trump is kabuki for the rubes. Business as usual continues in DC, except the swamp realizes more and more that their grip on power is slipping. They are far more frightened of Bernie Sanders. These are dangerous times.
ben , Dec 19 2019 0:36 utc | 46"The Democrats did the "right" thing - considering their options.
Option A: Counter Trump with real policy issues; policies that the majority of Americans support: ending unending wars, healthcare, environmental protection, income equality, etc.. But that would cost them money from their BIG DONORS, and as such all privileges of the Dem bosses. Not a good option
Option B: Follow the Russiagate/Ukrainegate/Impeachment path and thereby avoid having to oppose Trump on policy. Their BIG DONORS are happy (because there is no policy change). Even if the Dems lose 2020 election, the party bosses still retain their privileges.
Disclaimer: The Dims and the Repugs are the same party - just two different brands of it. Anyone doubting this assertion should check out who finance them .... big oligarchy, even if there may be slight differences in composition.
Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Dec 18 2019 23:07 utc | 31
This IMO is the best synopsis posted to date. Salient, and to the point. Thanks NM!!
Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Russ , Dec 18 2019 22:00 utc | 19Historically the ability of unelected, unaccountable, secretive bureaucracies (aka the "Deep State") to exercise their own policy without regard for the public or elected officials, often in defiance of these, has always been the hallmark of the destruction of democracy and incipient tyranny.
Today's Deep State most resembles the colonial administrations during the heyday of European imperialism. These too worked to run their own secret foreign policy, and to bring their power to bear on domestic policy as well.
Although both halves of the One-Party really want the effective tyranny of state and corporate bureaucracies, it's not surprising that it's the Democrats (along with the MSM) taking the lead in openly defending the tyrannical proposition that the CIA should be running its own foreign (and implicitly domestic) policy, and that the president should be just a figurehead which follows orders. That goes with the Democrats' more avowedly technocratic style, and it goes with the ratchet effect whereby it's usually Democrats which push the policy envelope toward ever greater inequality, ecocide and tyranny.
Now is a time of rising irredentism and the decline of all the ideas of globalization and technocracy, though the reality is likely to hang on for awhile. The whole Deep State-Zionist-Russia-Deranged-Trump-Deranged-MSM-social media censorship campaign is globalization trying to maintain its monopoly of ideas by force, since it knows it can never win in a free clash of ideas.
Impeachment, and the pro-bureaucracy anti-democracy campaign related to it, besides its more petty purposes (distraction from real social problems; forestalling Sanders), is the culmination of technocracy's attempted coup against a president who, even though he agrees with this cabal on all policy matters, is considered too unreliable, too undisciplined, too damn honest about the evil of the US empire. If they can take him down, they think they can restore the full business-as-usual status quo including the compliance of the rest of the world.
Since impeachment's going to fail, we can expect the system to try other ways.
james , Dec 19 2019 1:51 utc | 57hey b... i like your title - "How The Deep State Sunk The Democratic Party" ... could change it to" How the Deep State Sunk the USA" could work just as well...ptb , Dec 19 2019 2:07 utc | 62
Seven of the 11 security state representatives who had joined the Democrats in 2018 gave the impulse for impeachment.
is this intentional?? it sort of looks like it...
good quote from @ 26 lk - "The contradictions of US empire and global capitalism cannot be mitigated by either more liberal strategies or realist ones."@babyl-on 35
yes that is about right. The top power networks are all a tight mix of names from govt, MIC, and private equity (incl. top 2-3 investment banks). With the latter group naturally paying the salaries of the whole policy making ecosystem, and holding the positions that select future generations who will eventually take their place.
They want the security of knowing noone in the world will mess with them. This necessitates that noone in the world *can* mess with them. Pretty straightforward from there.
Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Babyl-on , Dec 18 2019 23:21 utc | 35I would like to put forward my understanding of the "deep state" and see if I have any company.
In my view the deep state (the interagency consensus) is the hired help of the oligarchy, which infects the gov and occupies every key position of power(except president for the first time in over 75 years).
People are constantly saying the deep state wants this or it wants that and that is off the mark. The deep state follows the orders of the oligarchy it does not make policy or make independent decisions.
In effect, the CIA is nothing more or less than a secret army of the oligarchy.
The dems funded the wall, they gave the treasonous Trump another 100+ billion to do Putin's bidding with, the dems fast tracked 115 Trump judges (Bernie could have stopped it and did not) at least two nuclear treaties were abandoned and a third will be soon. The oligarchy and its empire laugh at all the pledbs caught up in their macabre pantomime covering the non-stop for 75 years slaughter of innocent people.
It should be clear who is in charge - the people who own the world run the world.
psychohistorian , Dec 18 2019 23:36 utc | 37I am moving my comment from the Open Thread where karlof1 had provided a link to the Trump/Pelosi letterpsychohistorian , Dec 18 2019 23:53 utc | 42
@ Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 18 2019 17:53 utc | 131 with the Trump letter to Pelosi
Thanks for that.
I just read it and besides what you and others have said I was struck by the blame for the impeachment attempt being put on the "deranged and radical representatives of the far left"."
That sentence was then followed by one saying that the Dems are motivated by and living in fear of socialist primary challengers.
Think about that context in lieu of what many barflies here understand to be reality.
1. We live in a dictatorship of global private finance
2. The far left, if it exists, know that Hillary "We came, we saw, he died" Clinton bears no claim to anything left of fascism.
3. America use to have a socialist government, because that is what government is by definition, and still has, to a degree, a mixed economy of socialism and capitalism....(gawd I hate those terms anymore)
Those are just my first thoughts......My 2nd set of thoughts follow my first and those of other barflies comments and b's posting
1. Trump is giving the Dems cover to neuter the "socialist" candidates like Bernie and Tulsi
2. Trump is setting the stage for a new McCarthyism.
3. As Posted by: Babyl-on | Dec 18 2019 23:21 utc | 35 who wrote
In effect, the CIA is nothing more or less than a secret army of the oligarchy.
This true and goes for all of the Deep State
4. This impeachment shit show will continue to override any social discussion of domestic or foreign issues including the Depression that the US is clearly in....never having recovered from the Recession of 2008
5. This is what control of the narrative looks like......get out in front of the train, make lots of noise and carrying on to obfuscate reality.
And meanwhile the rest of the world is getting on with the evolution of a multi-polar world.....while America and Americans are being thrown under the bus in a managed Shock Doctrine event.
Kratoklastes , says: December 12, 2019 at 3:42 am GMT
Dec 13, 2019 | www.unz.com
started by an unemployed Englishman named Eliot Higgins
Good on him – being able to create a thing that rises to such prominence in such a short space of time speaks volumes about this Higgins guy's entrepreneurial ability. And if he wasn't mobbed-up to begin with, he sure as fuck is now – which is a double- mitzvah (for him).
If he did so starting from being unemployed, then anybody who turned down a job application from the guy must be kicking themselves. (' Unemployed ' is obviously used pejoratively in the blockquote; 'Englishman' is purely-descriptive).
Also, the entire article accepts Bernays' conclusion, but disagrees as to which objectives should be pursued.
Bernays' conclusions are hardly controversial: most people are gullible imbeciles . It's not clear to me how much more empirical evidence we need before that becomes just a thing that everyone with an IQ above 115 accepts.
So the question then becomes " OK, now what? ".
As usual, the right answer is " Depends " – and not just for those with bladder control problems.
If you want to do things that are just , exploiting gullible imbeciles would appear to violate the playing conditions. It would be hors jeu ; not done; just not cricket .
As the Laconian famously said . " IF ."
For those for whom the 'if' condition returns 'false', it does very little to bleat about how awful they are. You're not going to cause a little switch in their brain to flick on (or off?), whereupon they realise the error of their ways and make a conscious decision to leave the gullible imbeciles unexploited.
It's even unlikely to affect their victims (remember, they're imbeciles) – because otherwise some infra-marginal imbeciles would have to process their way through quite a bit of cognitive dissonance, and they're not wired for introspection (or processing).
So the sole real purpose (apart from κάθαρσις catharsis ) is prophylaxis (προ + φύλαξις – guarding ). Both good enough aims obviously the writer is the one who gets the cathartic benefit, but who is going to be on heightened alert as a result of this Cassandra -ish jeremiad -ing?
Non-imbeciles don't need it; imbeciles won't benefit.
Here's the thing: the gullible imbeciles are going to be exploited by someone .
This is something that people of my persuasion struggle with. It boils down to the following:
Let's assume that a reprehensible thing exists already, and is unlikely to be overthrown by my opposition to it. Should I just participate and line my pockets?
The resources used are going to be used whether I participate or not, so it may as well be me who gets them. After all, I will put them to moral uses – and while inside, I can do things that are contrary to the interests of the reprehensible thing.
There is no satisfactory counter-argument to that line of reasoning, and yet I reject it.
Then again: I was dropped on my head as an infant, so YMMV.
Dec 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
BeeGee , 9 hours ago linkhoytmonger , 9 hours ago link
I seem to be missing something here. Isn't Marxism where the proletariat own the means of production? So, doesn't this look more like fascism where the corporations own everything?cosmic dwarf , 8 hours ago link
Fascism is private ownership, but state control, of the means of production.
The US has had a fascist economy for quite a while now.
Even Mussolini declared, "He is one of us!" after reading FDR's biography.BobPaulson , 7 hours ago link
"The proletariat" don't make decisions collectively - it's not possible given the nature of man. Every authoritarian system is fascism in practice - where a cabal of chosen ones call the shots. Whether it's corporate execs, billionaire playboys, demagogues, bureaucrats, union bosses, soldiers, intellectuals, or aliens at the top... it really only changes the flavor.
Ok, so it's not just me. The repeating of the word Marx in that article was getting weird. Can we actually talk about what that guy wrote instead of the symbol that name has become? It seems very boomer-ish to be reviving the talk of communism all the time when that system is essentially dead. Now a bunch of retirees are red-baiting again when Russia isn't communist, China isn't communist, and about the only communist country on earth is Cuba.
Meanwhile, just about every country on earth is becoming an oligarchic bureaucracy. They don't generally give a **** about **** Marx was on about.
Dec 01, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca
The Short Road: Democracy to Fascism By Larry Romanoff Global Research, November 30, 2019 Region: USA Theme: History
Fascism is a political ideology fundamentally authoritarian in character, with a strong nationalism and an essentially belligerent militaristic outlook. Fascism carries primarily a corporate perspective as opposed to a socialist view, directed to satisfying the needs, values and objectives of finance and corporations, organising both the economy and the political system according to this agenda.
A fascist government actively suppresses any objection to its ideology and typically will crush any movement which opposes it. In keeping with their belligerent nature, fascist governments generally view violence and war as stimulants to national spirit and vitality.
Being politically Right-Wing, they maintain their position through firm control or compliance of the media, and most often engage in a vast array of lies and deception. These governments tend to be bigoted, if not racist, invariably require "enemies" to achieve public solidarity, and are often supremacist or at least 'exceptional' in their self-assessment. They either believe, or pretend to believe, that they have a license on truth. Large military budgets, the creation and demonisation of fictitious enemies to propagate fear and maintain population control, are all typical characteristics of a fascist regime, as is massive public surveillance.
In 1995 the Italian Scholar Umberto Eco produced a paper titled 'Eternal Fascism' (1) in which he examined the characteristics of fascist regimes. In 2003, Laurence W. Britt did an excellent and scholarly work in dissecting and categorising past fascist regimes (2), in which he revealed common threads that linked all of them in "patterns of national behavior and abuse of power". He wrote that "Even a cursory study of these fascist and protofascist regimes reveals the absolutely striking convergence of their modus operandi, (which is) not a revelation but useful to shed needed light on current circumstances." I am including here a composite of edited extracts from these two papers with additional commentary of my own. Significant statements by these two authors are in quotation marks. This is a list of the characteristics of fascist states, taken from Britt's original article:
Early Warning Signs of Fascism
- Powerful and continuing nationalism
- Supremacy of the military
- Obsession with national security
- Obsession with crime and punishment
- Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause
- Disdain for human rights
- Corporate power is protected while labor power is suppressed
- Controlled mass media
- Rampant cronyism and corruption
- Intertwined religion and government
- Fraudulent elections
- Disdain for intellectuals and the arts
- Rampant Sexism
If we examine the US on these categories, we find an almost perfect match. Certainly the US has the most strident nationalism of all nations today, with the hysteria of patriotism and flag-worship unabated and even increasing, with the delusional theory of American Exceptionalism as virulent as ever.
There is no question about military supremacy , with the US spending almost twice as much on its military as the rest of the world combined and being by an order of magnitude the world's largest arms manufacturer and dealer. Obama once stated flatly that for the US to remain 'peaceful and prosperous' it needed the world's largest and most powerful military to maintain an overwhelming military supremacy. Obsession with issues of national security is so common in the US today they have become objects of ridicule. Every manner of information is withheld, every manner of lie is told, every manner of crime is committed, all with the excuse of 'national security'. Britt noted that a national security apparatus was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints, with its actions always justified under the rubric of protecting "national security", and that questioning these oppressive activities is now often portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.
All the fascist regimes have an obsession with crime and punishment, Britt stating that most "maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations" – a perfect description of America today, including the 'unchecked power and rampant abuse' by the police. He also noted that in all these fascist states, 'normal' crime and political crime were almost interchangeable, "often merged into trumped-up criminal charges used against political opponents of the regime". These characteristics of crime, punishment and incarceration are all fields in which America leads the world by a wide margin today as we have already seen.
In terms of enemies being needed for solidarity and to maintain "a unifying cause", the US is also the outstanding world leader, creating real and fictitious enemies not only for itself, but doing a rather good job in creating animosities throughout the world. In fact, a signature feature of the US is its worldwide propagation of regional unrest, as we see in Asia today, and with interference in the Ukraine, Russia, China, and dozens of other countries. Creating political chaos and large military risks is a common fascist trait, which is partly why military supremacy is necessary, black and white America attempting to partition the world into ideological factions, often in preparation for war.
For some decades, the US milked the Cold War for all it was worth, casting the Soviet Union as a bitter enemy and creating animosity where none would have existed. With the fall of the USSR, the US turned immediately to other nations, never really forgetting Russia, and then created its 9-11 'Pearl Harbor Moment' that would permit it to have a permanent enemy in the person of 'terrorism', a war that will never be won since the US creates all the terrorist events to prolong it. It has the added advantage of demonising all the world's Muslims while equating all Arabs with terrorists. Enough enemies here for a lifetime of fascism.
A fundamental practice of a fascist or pre-fascist government is demonisation of 'the others', outsiders who are the enemy.
For the people, these (usually imaginary) enemies provide not only an essential cornerstone of the fascist state but an essential adhesive for their fabricated national identity. Being thus united against a common other, fascism becomes deeply racist by definition and in practice. This demonisation of selected enemies is so intense that pacifism or a lack of belligerence equate to treason, due to sympathising with the enemy or, in today's US lexicon, "giving aid and comfort to the enemy". In the world of fascism, disagreement is treason. George Bush and Dick Cheney: "If you aren't with us, you're against us". US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles: "There are only two kinds of people in the world: Christians who believe in capitalism, and the other kind."The Global Rise of Fascism: Capitalism End Game?
In his study of these regimes, Britt wrote that "the most significant common thread" among them was this demonisation of other peoples as enemies of the state, "to divert attention, to shift blame, and to channel frustration into controlled directions". He claimed that their methods of choice – propaganda and misinformation – were usually effective. Britt noted that "Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly", which is precisely what happens today in the US, where increasingly it occurs that challengers of the system are labeled as terrorists, even to the extent of those operating food banks being classified as 'food terrorists'.
No reasonable person can claim today that the US has any concern for human rights, certainly not any outside the continental US, and increasingly less within its borders. Except for Israel, the US has by far the worst record of human rights violations during the past several hundred years, far outstripping anything attributed to people like Stalin or Hitler, or even the Japanese. It is, after all, the US that built and still maintains the largest network of torture prisons and ships in the history of the world, even though the US media have removed this topic from the publishing list.
In terms of media control, the US government covers this not by ownership or direct censorship but by a cabal of closely-interwoven interests working on the same precise agenda, almost totally eliminating any necessity for overt acts.
Corruption and cronyism are as alive and virulent in American government today as they have ever been in any society at any time in recent history. The lobbies alone, working with the secret government, are more than sufficient evidence of this, with corruption increasing noticeably each year. Americans may quarrel with the point of an integration of religion and government but, while religion is theoretically separated from the state, it is joined at the hip in practice.
We have George Bush telling us God told him to invade and destroy Iraq, Obama telling us Christ's redemption of him provides him with solace on a daily basis, and a long list of other nonsense indicating that evangelical hysteria is never far removed from the government, even if only to mislead an ignorant population. Britt noted that religion and the ruling elite were tied together in some way .
"The fact that the ruling elite's behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the 'godless'."
Fraudulent elections are more overtly creeping into the American electoral system every year. We had George Bush's brother removing more than 50,000 persons from the voter lists in Florida, all of whom were legitimate voters, and sufficient to provide an election victory. Even then, when votes were finally counted accurately, Bush was proven to have lost the election, but the consequences could not be reversed. As well, the new digital voting machines have been condemned even by those who designed them, as wide open to electoral fraud and manipulation to the extent of changing the outcome of every vote. Moreover, it is openly admitted that even without manipulation, an accurate count is not physically possible. But the government continues to roll out these systems, one would have to assume for their manipulation potential.
It is widely recognised the US has been dumbing-down education for decades, starving the educational systems of funds, using increasingly unqualified part-time and adjunct teachers and professors, increasing tuition costs to the point where education will soon be unaffordable. We don't need an education to see that the only possible result is an increasingly uneducated and ignorant population. In his study, Britt noted that "intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed." This forms a perfect description of the situation today in the US, certainly on the crushing of dissent. I have no observation to make on the arts, but the US appears to qualify solidly on every point in the above list, and I see no reason for Americans or indeed anyone else to take comfort in this. Is the US a fascist state? How do we avoid answering in the affirmative?
To people of a country like the US, who are deprived of a clear national identity, fascism creates one by stoking the fires of a false nationalism though propagandising the pathologically false conviction that "the world's greatest privilege is to be born or to live in this country", that every citizen "belongs to the best people in the world", all of whom are, by definition, "good". US President Calvin Coolidge:
"To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race".
Michael Hirsh used the same jingoistic nonsense to justify American cannibalisation of the world by stating that American global domination was "the greatest gift the world has received in possibly all of recorded history." Britt noted the powerful propagation and displays of nationalistic expression,
"From the 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, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism."
To underscore the above, Global Research published an article in March of 2015 titled "The End of Canada in Ten Steps: A Conversation with Naomi Wolf" (3), in which it was noted that she studied "the way open societies were crushed from within by authoritarian elements", such as those existing in all Right-Wing countries today, and claimed there was "a 'blueprint' followed by all dictatorial rulers composed of ten steps" as follows:
- Invoke an external and internal threat
- Establish secret prisons
- Develop a paramilitary force
- Surveil ordinary citizens
- Infiltrate citizen groups
- Arbitrarily detain and release citizens
- Target key individuals
- Restrict the press
- Cast criticism as "espionage" and dissent as "treason"
- Subvert the rule of law
Global Research finally noted that "In her 2007 book The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, Naomi Wolf not only described this formula for fascism, she outlined how these repressive measures are in evidence in modern day America."
There is one other item pertaining to fascism in America that contains elements of all characteristics we've discussed, one which Hollywood and the media have taken great pains to develop though the ground was already very fertile indeed, and this category is heroes and super-heroes. The US has always glorified war and war heroes, describing American cannon-fodder as "sons of freedom giving their lives for democracy", when they were simply massacring impoverished civilians to enrich the bankers. Eco noted that "In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Fascist ideology heroism is the norm", with the fascist hero impatient to die, but who, in his impatience, "more frequently sends other people to death".
This black and white religious proto-fascism which has perhaps always existed in America was the seedbed for the worship of heroes and winners. Americans, in their desperate jingoistic desire to be "good" and to "win", and in a bid to prove their overwhelming moral superiority, turned from reality to fiction and gave us Superman, Batman, Spiderman and Captain America. All are Christian proto-fascists engaged in fictional battles of good against evil, with the Americans living vicariously through these imaginary beings, sharing in their awesome power and moral righteousness, and whose costumes inevitably bear labels saying "Made in America". And indeed we cannot watch an American movie without encountering this irritating white supremacist ideology. Think of movies like Avatar or Independence Day; their entire purpose is to fuel this ideological jingoism and make all viewers "proud to be American". But it's all a fiction. The real American heroes are not Superman or Spiderman but Curtis LeMay, Henry Kissinger, Ronald Reagan and Madeline Albright, all criminally-insane psychopathic killers.
It is interesting that a fascist government, with its instinctive hatred of socialism, propagates "fascist socialism" which nurtures and feeds corporations while normal socialism nurtures the general population. What we might call "corporate socialism", which is what exists today in the US, is a fairly precise definition of fascism.
Tax benefits that favor the rich either primarily or exclusively, a high income inequality, the dismantling of any social safety net, different laws for the rich and powerful than for the poor, corporate immunity for crimes, a lack of corporate regulation and oversight, are all typical characteristics. Britt noted that "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 US government and elites, except for one brief historical period, have always strived to destroy labor to protect the profits of big business. In Britt's study, "the poor formed an underclass, (and) being poor was considered akin to a vice." And in which nation today have color and poverty been criminalised? The world's largest fascist state – America.
He also noted rampant cronyism and corruption between the political and corporate elites and stated that "With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population." Corruption and cronyism are as alive and virulent in American government today as they have ever been in any society at any time in recent history. The lobbies alone, working with the secret government, are more than sufficient evidence of this, with corruption increasing noticeably each year. Similarly, no reasonable person can question any longer the suppression of labor and the protection and enhancement of corporate power in America. We have already covered in detail the trashing of the social contract, the destruction of labor protections and the evisceration of the middle class. No further evidence is necessary.
There is another alarming category that evidences even more strongly the threats to civil society from the authoritarian and fascist police-state mentality that is increasingly permeating all of the US, this involving trivial civil disputes that should in no case involve the police. In July of 2014, a Minneapolis man was ejected from a Southwest Airlines flight with his two children for questioning why he was qualified for priority boarding but his two children were not. He posted a Tweet that said, "Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy". Southwest Airlines' gate attendants saw the tweet, ejected Watson and his children from the flight, informing him he now qualified as a "safety threat", threatening to have him arrested unless he immediately deleted his post.
In the US today, kindergarten teachers regularly call the police to arrest children who misbehave. A Chinese woman tourist in New Hampshire was tasered and assaulted by police when a clerk at an Apple store complained she wanted to buy two phones. In another case, a father in New Hampshire attended a parent-school meeting to protest the classroom use of sexually-explicit reading material provided to his teen-age daughter. When the man exceeded the arbitrary maximum of two minutes speaking time, the principal called the police and had the man arrested. In each case, no 'law' was violated so the police used generic charges of "causing a public disturbance" or some other such nuisance charge.
These false charges may well be dismissed by a court but still present a serious violation of civil rights and a gross exaggeration of the ability of individuals to create their own laws and of the police to enforce them. In the Southwest Airlines case above, had the man refused to delete his negative post, the agent would certainly have called the police who, cast from the same authoritarian mold, would have automatically arrested and charged him, probably with 'Twitter Terrorism'. The man would likely have escaped in the end, but it would have been a long and expensive climb out from the bottom of that hole. In the case of the Apple store, the female customer was physically knocked to the ground and tasered by police immediately on their arrival. In neither case did the police make even minimal attempts to ascertain the facts. In fact, the only salient "fact" was that of a civilian challenging any kind of authority, even the kind that is so weak as to be invisible. No civilian has any practical defense against an airline agent or shop clerk who testifies that he "caused a public disturbance", nor against police charges for having done so. The only immunity comes from wealth or political power.
There are countless similar cases which all have in common an implicit assumption that anyone, even in a position of minimal authority such as a KFC clerk, has the power to dictate imaginary rules that obtain the force of law with the police and which, if challenged, will result in arrest. Individual private citizens, as least those lacking obvious wealth or power, are increasingly relegated to the social trash bin. Incidents such as these may appear individually trivial and unconnected, but they are not trivial in bulk and are indications of a frightening authoritarianism infecting all of America, part of the widespread rush to fascism occurring in all politically Right-Wing nations, especially in the US. That this should be such a common experience is a frightening and almost terrifying development, where one now fears to enter any dispute with even the most minor employee or clerk, in almost any context, and regardless of the justification.
When common citizens are afraid to challenge the most trivial injustices in civil society, when the people as individuals have been moved to the bottom of the priority list, when even store clerks have effective arrest authority, this is authoritarian fascism – a classic definition of a de facto fascist police state. In the US today there are so many similar examples where this, the most fundamental of civil rights – the right to voice complaint – has been converted to a criminal act. Those instances involved mostly the police badly exceeding their authority, but this category involves mere civilians with no actual invested civil authority of any kind, and yet in each case legal authority being presumed and exercised entirely at the whim of these same persons. While Americans please themselves by accusing China of being authoritarian, it is in fact the US that is both authoritarian and fascist. China is today a very human civil society compared to Transformed America.
Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.
Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai's Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
(1) Umberto Eco: "Eternal Fascism
(2) The 14 Characteristics of Fascism, by Lawrence Britt
(3) https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-end-of-canada-in-ten-steps-a-conversation-with-naomi-wolf/5438017The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © Larry Romanoff , Global Research, 2019
Nov 30, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
How about the hysteria that led to the Spanish War? "Remember the Maine," The ship was supposedly sunk in Havana Harbor by Spanish perfidy. In fact the Maine blew up because a coal bunker fire burned through a bulkhead and set off something or other. That was the US Navy's investigative finding after the war. Don't tell me about Hearst. Hearst was just selling newspapers. The American people went into a hysteric rage against Spain and that was the cause of war. Hearst just wanted to find "Rosebud." Figure it out.
And now we have the approaching end of the world through man made climate change. It would be funny if there were not so many who believe it.
Science? Hah! For every study you can produce in support of this fantasy I will find you one to rebut it. All you ecofreaks! Don't send me material about this. I will not help you support the hysteric fantasy. Send money to the Democratic Party. They believe this crap. pl.
Bandit , 29 November 2019 at 10:29 PMNow this is a post I can get behind. For me it has been the hysteria and the ease with which people are manipulated through propaganda that has astonished me, because that is what the climate change agenda is all about. We can all agree that humans have had a devastating impact on every corner the environment, every ecosystem. However, it is a leap of manufactured faith (manipulation) to claim that humans are responsible for climate change.Mr Zarate , 29 November 2019 at 10:41 PM
To support this bogus hypothesis, scientists strangle and manipulate data in an effort to justify draconian laws and policies that can only line the pockets of the very rich at the expense of the rest of the tax paying population. Carbon tax is the real aim here, a totally bullshit pretext to suck more trillions of dollars from the economies of the world. Self-selecting "experts" join the chorus because of fear of censorship and loss of status while the brave ones are called, as always, climate change denialists, and thus denigrated.The hysteria that erupts when anyone questions climate change says pretty much all you need to know about it.ambrit , 29 November 2019 at 10:41 PMOh man! Even most of the lefties I associate with believe it. They are supposed to, through the tenets of their secular 'religion,' use solid evidence as their guides. The evidence is not persuasive. The Earth has gone through fluctuations in climate for ever. The dinosaurs made do in a much hotter earth, if the geologic evidence be true. It took a cosmic strike to do them in.
Humans are the top predators here because they can adapt to change much quicker than any other animal. Modern human civilization may not be recognizable to any of us in two hundred years. That would be true with or without "climate change." We will carry on, one way or another.
Similarly to what Bandit wrote above, I see various 'elites' angling to make book on whatever does happen. The Science Fiction writer William Gibson has proposed in his book "The Peripheral," a near future based on a massive world population die back that he calls "The Jackpot."
All in all, we live in 'Interesting Times.'
Thank you for your indulgence.
Nov 29, 2019 | blackagendareport.com
... ... ...
Trump Is a Demagogue, But Not Fascist
Often a demagogic politician such as Trump is called fascist because he won the election through bourgeois-democratic methods and his rightist policies. Trump won the election. He now leads through bourgeois-democratic practices. President Trump continues to exploit the prejudice and ignorance of the white working-class. The Donald overturned political norms; he used double meaning slogans such as "Make America great again," and "lock her up" that sounded like political rhetoric but appealed to racists as well.
Trump's win in 2016 remained predicated on Hillary Clinton's deficits and her asides about the "deplorable," white working-class, and her relationship to Barack Obama, who did nothing for white and black workers. Obama chose to rescue capitalist corporations at the expense of the working class and other lower-middle-income forces – many blacks that lost their houses.
Huey Long was a demagogue. Senator Joseph McCarthy provides an example of a demagogue, as do many of the Dixiecrats that Malcolm X so rightly railed against through his speeches and activism. George Wallace fits the criteria. When all said and done, they all are capitalists. They work on behalf of capitalists to perpetuate capitalism and spread worldwide imperialism.
"They all are capitalists."
Yes, both Mussolini and Hitler were demagogues, but their countries' underlying dire economic conditions made them and their administrations Fascists.
Trump is just another one of the forty-four U.S. presidents that held reign over capitalism and, after the beginning of the twentieth century, the advent of U.S. imperialism – the highest order of capitalism. They presided over state terrorism and genocide against world peoples.
Capitalism in the U.S. produces gross economic deprivations and inequalities, racism, sexism, and homophobia. Look at what Harry Truman did when he nuclear bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan. Like puppeteers, the capitalist ruling classes will, for as long as capitalism still exists, control politicians' strings. Yes, capitalism is in crisis and rotten to the core, but not yet failed.
You will not get rid of any of these things by impeaching Trump.
What Is Fascism?
Yes, Adolph Hitler and Mussolini were both demagogic and fascist. Fascism, according to Marxist precepts, observation and study, stems from a mass movement rooted in the capitalist ruling classes, that not able to survive without it. Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler are two historical examples of such fascists.
In other words, the ruling class dictatorship can no longer rule by popular democratic ways. The principal contradiction in U.S. society remains in the alienation between labor and capital. Fascism is simply the only way to maintain capitalist rule, according to scientific socialism.
Fascist movements are historically composed of their leaders, small capitalists, low-level bureaucrats or petty-bourgeois, farmers, and the declassed lumpenproletariat. Big capital sponsors and funds the movement. Big time capitalists, along with the top-tier leaders they create, then make up Fascism's ruling nobility.
Among the characteristics of fascists: They are fiercely nationalistic and patriotic. Criticisms are unpatriotic or treasonous. Fascists are opposed to Marxism and any left politics, from moderate to progressive. Fascism infuses suspicion about foreigners, thuggery, and exudes an adversarial mentality,
"Big capital sponsors and funds the movement."
Organizationally, there exists an iconic leader and secretive and selective capitalists. They scrutinize your every move at the job, and at schools. Fascism is always on war footing. All levels of government need to be in the line of march. Imprisonment and execution await any person that opposes the new norm.
Economic equality is a no-no. Immigrants obtain lower status than actual citizens. Equality in gender, religion, sex, and minority rights are forbidden. Backward religious beliefs often prevail. If you are not a Christian or an affiliated Catholic, you are out of the circle. Violence creates racial inferiority and the destiny of history.
Fascism raises its ugly head without a revolution taking place. Their rule comes from the top of the anointed aristocracy. Corporate power reigns supreme. No workers' rights exist. Wars are made mainly to create markets. Fascism is supposed to liberate survivors of these wars in foreign lands – a justification for imperialism. Art, where it does not conform to Fascist culture, is destroyed. When Fascism does appear, Antifa will not save us.
So yes, Trump is a demagogic leader with disdainful characteristics, but capitalism has not reached the point where actual fascism is the only way capitalists can rule. For now, understand that imperialism, racism, sexism, and homophobia are characteristics of capitalism. The rule of capitalist law and the capitalist form of democracy continues to exist. We, as black people, do not want to be disoriented into thinking that the U.S. and Trump are Fascist.
Dr. Ken Morgan is an activist scholar and internationalist. He can be reached at email@example.com .
Nov 28, 2019 | www.preservearticles.com
The iron law of oligarchy is a political theory, first developed by the German syndicalist sociologist Robert Michels in his 1911 book, Political Parties.
The "iron law of oligarchy" states that all forms of organization, regardless of how democratic or autocratic they may be at the start, will eventually and inevitably develop oligarchic tendencies, thus making true democracy practically and theoretically impossible, especially in large groups and complex organizations.
The relative structural fluidity in a small-scale democracy succumbs to "social viscosity" in a large-scale organization. According to the "iron law," democracy and large-scale organization are incompatible.
Nov 28, 2019 | www.sociologyindex.com
IRON LAW OF OLIGARCHY
Civil Service is a self-perpetuating oligarchy, the Iron Law of Oligarchy. Many writers believe that any political system eventually evolves into iron law of oligarchy. James Madison, the fourth President of the United States said: "Never fear. The iron law of oligarchy always obtains." In iron law of oligarchy, actual differences between viable political rivals are small, the oligarchic elite impose strict limits on what constitutes an 'acceptable' and 'respectable' political position. Iron Law of Oligarchy was first defined by German sociologists like Robert Michels (1876-1936).
According to writers, Zulma Riley, Keith Riley, and Robert Michels, modern Democracy should be considered as elected Oligarchy . They called this theory the iron law of oligarchy. Michels discovered that in the Iron Law of Oligarchy, even in the most egalatarian movements, elites will call most of the shots.
Iron Law of Oligarchy refers to the inherent tendency of all complex organizations to develop a ruling clique of leaders with interests in the organization itself rather than in its official aims.
It became difficult for the mass membership to provide any effective counterweight to this professional, entrenched, leadership, the Iron Law of Oligarchy. Aristotle used the term oligarchy as a synonym for rule by the rich. Oligarchy is not always a rule by wealthy people, for which the term is plutocracy . Oligarchy means "the rule of the few" and monarchy means "the rule of the one".
Such power-sharing from one person to a larger group of persons happened when English nobles got together in 1215 to force King John of England to sign the Magna Carta, a recognition of failure of oligarchy. Magna Carta guaranteed greater rights to greater numbers of people, thus setting the stage for English constitutional monarchy .
Oligarchy can also be compared with aristocracy . In an aristocracy, a small group of wealthy or socially prominent citizens control the government. Members of this high social class claim to be, or are considered by others to be, superior to the other people because of family ties, social rank, wealth, or religious affiliation.
Breaking the iron law of oligarchy: union revitalization in the American labor movement. Voss, Kim and Sherman, Rachel - The American Journal of Sociology [AJS], 106(2), 303 - 49.
ABSTRACT: This article addresses the question of how social movement organizations are able to break out of bureaucratic conservatism. The article concludes by drawing out the theoretical implications of the finding that bureaucratic conservatism can sometimes be overcome in mature social movements .
Nov 28, 2019 | crookedtimber.org
likbez 11.27.19 at 6:59 am
MisterMr 11.26.19 at 12:50 pm @69
So in the end the problem is, are "loyalty, authority, sanctity" actually fascist values? In my opinion largely yes,
That's a bridge too far. FYI fascism is an ideology of national socialism, or socialism for one privileged and racially defined group (eclectic, but still an ideology), not a system of badly defined personal traits, or values.
Moreover, loyalty (and a certain level of groupthink and conformism) can be legitimately viewed as a precondition of survival of any organized group. Look at religious group that adopt all those three values. Are all of them (or even most of them) fascist?
But one of the observable differences between Republican and Democratic Parties in the USA is the difference in the level of authoritarism of the average member of the party. That's an interesting difference that has certain social implications as for policies that each of the parties favor most when in power (I abstract here from the sad fact that the USA Corporate Dems recently became the second pro-war militarist party, and learned to love intelligence agencies; two things unimaginable in 60th and 70th. )
MisterMr 11.28.19 at 7:30 am 92@likbez 83
I disagree. Fascism is not an ideology in the way we understand the term, it's just too muddled, and certainly is not socialism for a single ethnic group : Hitler and Mussolini even more used a lot of socialist buzzwords because at the time socialism polled well, but in reality many if not most of their policies were in direct opposition to that of the socialist parties of the time, and they came to power by beating and literally killing socialists.
At best we could say that fascism is closer to ordoliberalism, as they never put in question the role of property, but they saw some behaviors as a form of excessive capitalism. But even there they put it in moral terms, economic crises happen because banks are run by Jews, who are evil or not part of the community, or because of a Bolshevik Jewish American Masonic conspiracy (Mussolini).
What happens IMO is that currently right leaning parties would lose big time if they fought elections on economics, so they have to fight elections on cultural values. If they fight on cultural values they can get the support of many people of the working class who would otherwise give them the middle finger.
At some point the conservative cultural values may become prevalent even on the economic interests, as we see in the case of brexit, but this happens because conservative parties bet on conservative cultural values early on.
When we get to conservative cultural values, these are not really a specific set of values, or actually every society has its own traditional values. The point is that the right wing populists bet on the values that are perceived as traditional in that point of time, because such values have an appeal that goes beyond social class.
The values of "loyalty, authorithy and sacred" are certainly part of the human psyche, because everyone is loyal to something, respects some authority and holds this or that thing as sacred, but if you take them in the abstract they just mean "I'm part of a group and I will follow it", so in the way Haidt seems to discuss them they refer just to the perception of being part of a community and fighting off the outsiders, that dovetails with the weaponisation of traditional cultural values by the right.
So it's not that fascism is a personality trait, but rather fascism, or more generally right wing populism, is a social phenomenon where some personality traits are weaponised .
likbez 11.28.19 at 11:13 pm ( 95 )
MisterMr 11.28.19 at 7:30 am @92
This is a good comment that clarifies your views considerably. And with this clarification, I believe we are generally on the same page. Thank you.
At best, we could say that fascism is closer to ordoliberalism, as they never put in question the role of property, but they saw some behaviors as a form of excessive capitalism. But even there they put it in moral terms; economic crises happen because banks are run by Jews, who are evil or not part of the community, or because of a Bolshevik Jewish American Masonic conspiracy (Mussolini).
That's a good analogy. But this only means that the financial oligarchy can be a privileged social group crossing racial lines. The term "Jews" as used by fascists was, at least initially, directly at financial oligarchy, where this ethnic group was overrepresented. In general, anti-Semitism can be viewed as a scapegoating, a primitive and misguided protest against the excesses of capitalism. In this sense, "economic crises happen because banks are run by Jews, who are evil or not part of the community" has the real meaning "economic crises happen because banks are run by the financial oligarchy, which is evil or not part of the community."
What happens IMO is that, currently, right-leaning parties would lose big time if they fought elections on economics, so they have to fight elections on cultural values. If they fight on cultural values, they can get the support of many people of the working class who would otherwise give them the middle finger.
Not only right-leaning parties. All neoliberal parties. That's why identity politics is as important under neoliberalism as it was under classic national socialism. That's a classic application of "Divide and Conquer" principle in politics, which, in turn, is the Corollary of the Iron Law of Oligarchy, the way the oligarchic elite weakens threats to its rule by distracting population from actual issues, and imposing strict limits on what constitutes an 'acceptable' and 'respectable' political position. Neo-McCarthyism serves the same purpose.
At some point, the conservative cultural values may become prevalent even on the economic interests, as we see in the case of Brexit, but this happens because conservative parties bet on conservative cultural values early on.
I respectfully disagree. I see Brexit more of a spontaneous protest against neoliberal globalization, which is not that much connected with "conservative cultural values" but with more prosaic things like displacement of workers by foreigners, disappearance of good job due to relentless outsourcing/offshoring, automation and cost-cutting, reduction of national sovereignty (including inability to regulate labor flows) due to EU neoliberal policies, brazen betrayal by the New Labour of working and lower middle class economic and social interests, growth in inequality and gradual slide of the standard of living of working and lower middle class due to the redistribution of wealth up immanent under neoliberalism etc.
The same set of reasons which in the USA led to the election of Trump and decimation of the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party (Hillary fiasco). After almost 30 years, US workers managed to understand that Clinton's democrats are essentially "wolfs in sheep's clothing" and decided to show them the middle finger, which as a side effect of the two-party system led to the election of Trump.
And this process is irreversible, unless Democratic Party changes, and Clinton democrats brass is excluded from the party and sent to the dustbin of history, where they belong. That's why I am skeptical about Dem Party chances in 2020, unless one of the trio Warren/Sanders/Tulsi (who promote some level of changes) is the nominee. The train of history has left the station for the Corporate Democrats, and they are still standing on the old platform, hoping that it returns.
And I view the resurgence of the far-right nationalism as a primitive form of social protest, which of course is hijacked, exploited and misdirected by sleek demagogy from the second branch of oligarchy that does not like the results of globalization, and resent FIRE and Silicon Valley branch, in full accordance with the dialectical view on Oligarchy, where with time neoliberal oligarchy inevitably splits and factions start fighting with each other tooth and nail.
Russiagate and Ukrainegate (which is essentially Russiagate 2.0) are just two reflections of this internal political struggle within the USA oligarchy. Struggle that in some forms gradually became closer and closer to the civil war (or, at least, The War between Antony and Octavian) for political dominance as views on the ways to overcome the current crisis of neoliberalism in the USA of those two factions became more and more incompatible. Historically national socialism emerged as a way to overcome the crisis of capitalism at the beginning of the XX century.
it's not that fascism is a personality trait, but rather fascism, or more generally right wing populism, is a social phenomenon where some personality traits are weaponised.
I agree. That's an interesting angle to view the current resurgence of the far right. But it does not explain the fact why in the USA many members of trade unions voted for Trump. Also, please take a look at the phenomenon of Tucker Carson.
Thank you again for your insights into this complex social phenomenon.
Nov 23, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
"The UN Is Being Turned into a Public-Private Partnership": Harris Gleckman Explains Stealth Takeover by World Economic Forum Posted on November 21, 2019 by Yves Smith Yves here. It is exciting to see Lynn Fries, a Geneva-based film-maker that we know from her days at The Real News Network, featuring important stories independently. OpenDemocracy presented this segment , on the corporate infiltration of the UN, and hence international governance. Lynn speaks with Harris Gleckman, Senior Fellow at the Center for Governance and Sustainability, and the author of 'Multistakeholder Governance and Democracy : A Global Challenge '. For the past 30 years, he has been a leading expert on multinational corporations, global environmental management, financing for development, global governance institutions, and the economics of climate change. They discuss how the World Economic Forum, best known for its annual Davos gathering for the rich and connected, has entered into a troubling agreement with the UN
Produced by GPEnewsdocs.
LYNN FRIES : This newsdoc explores the folly of expecting private enterprise to operate in the service of the public interest on a grand scale, globally, in key fields: Financing the United Nations 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals, Climate change, Health, Digital cooperation, Gender equality and the empowerment of women, Education and skills. Specifically, it explores the United Nation's Strategic Partnership Agreement with the World Economic Forum. The agreement was signed by the Office of the UN Secretary-General and Executives of WEF, the World Economic Forum better known as DAVOS, a leading proponent of public-private partnerships and a multistakeholder approach to global governance.
The United Nations as the world's intergovernmental multilateral system should always focus on protecting common goods and providing global public benefits. That's the position of signatories of an Open Letter sent to the UN Secretary-General by hundreds of civil society organizations from all regions of the world. The letter states: "This public-private partnership will permanently associate the UN with transnational corporations, some of whose essential activities have caused or worsened the social and environmental crises that the planet faces. This is a form of corporate capture". The letter calls on the Secretary-General to terminate the Agreement.
I met up with Harris Gleckman to get his take on all this. Harris Gleckman is the author of "Multistakeholder Governance and Democracy: A Global Challenge" and is currently working on a handbook on the governance of multistakeholderism. Harris Gleckman is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Governance and Sustainability, UMass Boston. We go now to our featured clips of that meeting.
LYNN FRIES : Civil society is calling the World Economic Forum-UN Agreement as a corporate takeover of the UN.
HARRIS GLECKMAN: The UN Charter starts with the words "We the Peoples". What the Secretary-General is doing through the Global Compact and now through the partnership with the World Economic Forum is tossing this out the window. He is saying: I'm going to align the organization with a particular structural relationship with multinationals, with multistakeholderism, and set aside attention to all the different peoples of the world in their particular interests of environment, health, water needs and really talk about how to govern the world with those who have a particular role in creating problems of wars from natural resources, of creating problems relating to climate, creating problems relating to food supply and technologies. That is undermining a core element of what the United Nations has been and should be for its next 75 years.
LYNN FRIES : It's striking that the Agreement was signed as the UN is celebrating 100 years of multilateralism, the centenary year 1919 to 2019. And next year 2020 will mark the 1945 signing of the UN Charter 75th anniversary.
HARRIS GLECKMAN : Lynn, if I could give you an overview of what I'm concerned about the aspect of this about multistakeholderism is that the Secretary-General is the leading public figure for the multilateral system, the intergovernmental system. The World Economic Forum is the major proponent or one of the major proponents that a multi-stakeholder governance system should replace or marginalize the multilateral system. So the Secretary-General is taking steps to just jump on the bandwagon of multistakeholderism without a public debate about the democratic character of multistakeholderism, about a public debate about whether this is effectively able to solve problems, without a public debate about how stakeholders are selected to become global governors or even a public debate about what role the UN should have with any of these multistakeholder groups.
LYNN FRIES : I noted that the letter that was sent to the UN Secretary-General was also copied to the President of the General Assembly, the President of the Security Council and the Chair of the G77 with a request that it be circulated to all Governments as an Official Document.
HARRIS GLECKMAN : The Secretary-General should have gone to the intergovernmental process to debate this issue and now civil society is saying to the intergovernmental process: If the Secretary-General isn't going to tell you about it, we want you to have that debate anyway.
LYNN FRIES : In addressing the UN Secretary-General the letter by Civil Society Organizations recognized that the Secretary-General faced serious challenges.
HARRIS GLECKMAN: Yes it is absolutely the case that the Secretary-General is caught in a very difficult bind. Governments are not able to collect and are not collecting their taxes from the bulk of international business activities because of movements around tax havens. Government's say: well we don't have the money, so we cannot underwrite an effort to have a credible global governance system and this is affecting the operation of the UN. So the Secretary-General is looking at a challenge. He has the financial challenge: under payment of current dues and underfunding of the whole organization and an aggressive effort by the Trump administration to deconstruct all the organizations of the international system in a period Lynn where as you observed it's the hundredth year of multilateralism and the 75th year of the United Nations. And here the Secretary-General has two major crises on his hands in terms of the integrity of the system.
LYNN FRIES: Briefly give us some context on what you see as the motivation of the World Economic Forum.
HARRIS GLECKMAN : The World Economic Forum's motivation for joining, for perhaps, even driving forward this idea of a strategic partnership came from their work following the financial crisis starting n 2008-09. Davos, the common name for the World Economic Forum, convened 700 people working for a year and a half on a project that they called Global Redesign Initiative. They created that project because they realized that the whole public view about globalization as "a good for the world" was crumbling as a result of the financial crisis. And so they wanted to propose a new method of governing the world. And two of the elements of their proposal – that's actually a 700 page research paper – were to have a new relationship with governments in the United Nations system and to advocate that the global problems of the world should be solved by multistakeholder groups. This new partnership with the Secretary-General is an implementation of what they laid out in their Global Redesign Initiative to have a special place in the United Nations system for corporations to influence the behavior of the international organizations. And also for those corporations to be able to say to other people: Look we're in partnership with the United Nations so treat us as if we were neutral friendly bodies.
Let me just share with you a couple of examples that may help convey how serious that is. The Sustainable Development Goals were negotiated by governments in open sessions and they determined what the goals should be in 17 areas. Multistakeholder groups have announced that they are going to implement Goal 8 or Goal 6. And in the process, they declare: Here is how we will work on health, here's how we will work on education, here's how we will work on the environment. And rewrite what is the outcome of the Sustainable Development Goals in their own organizational interest. In some ways, that's not surprising. You bring together a group of companies, selected governments, selected civil societies, selected academics and they will have their own internal dynamic of concern. But what they do is they assert that what they are doing- their rewritten version- actually they are telling the world: Well, we are actually doing the UN version. But that is not what their text is.
For example, in the energy field, in the energy goal there are five key adjectives that describe the target about global energy needs. The leading multistakeholder group, Sustainable Energy for All, their target has four of those adjectives and they drop the one which was AFFORDABILITY. This is how the process of multistakeholders taking over an area, redefining it but to the public announcing that they are implementing the intergovernmental goals is an unhealthy development in global governance.
LYNN FRIES : The Civil Society letter referred to the Agreement as a public-private partnership as did you in a recent OPED. Explain more about the public interest issue with public-private partnerships.
HARRIS GLECKMAN : Well let's take a particular effort of a public-private partnership in providing water in a city. Historically this is a public or a municipal function to make sure that there is adequate amounts of water. The quality of water is healthy and its safety. And that it's regularly and reliably available to the residents in the area. When a public-private partnership comes in, the corporate side may have an interest in some of these goals but add an additional one. That is they want a return on their investment, they want a profit from it. So some of the items of those various public functions – access, quality of material of water, reliability of water, access to all people then gets suddenly changed. So if there's a manufacturing facility in one part of town more water may be diverted in that direction. If water purification is a little hard about a particular element: We may get a little lazy about doing that in the interests of profits. If it's going to take a lot of work to dig up a street and replace pipes, they'll say: Well, we can wait another five years and use those pipes which may have lead in them. All because now you add the fact that this public-private partnership needs to make a return of profit on what should be, what historically has a public municipal function. So you create this unequal development in terms of meeting public needs against the now new requirement that if you want a water system, you have to produce a profit for some of the actors involved.
LYNN FRIES : Food security is a major issue for vast populations. Comment on the implications for food security.
HARRIS GLECKMAN : If we want to build, recover, create a food secure world, you need to work with those who are growing, producing foods directly. Not those who are processing, distributing, marketing, rebranding. We need to start at the very base and create a system of engagement with small farmers, with small fishing families, with those around the world who are the actual food producers. Who have been preserving knowledge and building knowledge for centuries, they received that knowledge from centuries. That's the direction that would change the way in which we could actually look at the issues of hunger and food security in the world in a quite different fashion. Going to those who have a profit-centered motive in global governance will sharply narrow what might be possible to do. That's what the partnership will tend to do as the Secretary General and WEF have private discussions about how do we address the issue of food security while not talking very loud about how we make a profit in that process.
LYNN FRIES : If the UN Secretary-General invited you for a 1:1 what would you say?
HARRIS GLECKMAN : I think that I would say to the Secretary-General that he needs to give a major re-examination of the way the United Nations works with all of the peoples of the world. In order to provide a stronger base for the United Nations, the doors have to be made wider so that the views of various popular bodies, social movements, communities around the world have far greater access to the United Nations. I'd also say to him. Mr. Secretary General, the UN needs an open and clear conflict of interest policy and a conflict of interest practice. For those multinationals who are causes of problems, who aggravate the global problems of inequality we need and you as Head of the United Nations need to separate the United Nations from that process. They should not be invited to attend meetings. They should not be allowed to make statements. In the climate area, those who are continuing to extract natural resources from the ground where they should stay we have taken too much of carbon out of the ground. If we're going to meet the Paris Accord, they should have no role entering the United Nations. I'd also say to the Secretary General that he needs to establish a much bigger office to support civil society. At the moment, the UN support for civil society organization institutional support is about two people. That is absolutely the wrong level of engagement with the wider elements of civil society. And the last thing I would probably say to the Secretary-General is that the UN is very proud of having developed a system of internal governance that protects the weaker countries, the smaller countries, that their views can be heard in the intergovernmental governance process. The Secretary-General should not engage with multi stakeholder groups who do not have a rulebook that allows for the protection of smaller members of the group, that does not have a way to appeal and challenge decisions that does not require public disclosure of their finances, all of those characteristics of multistakeholderism. The Secretary General should have and the UN should have no relationship with those who are not interested in protecting core concepts of democracy
LYNN FRIES : We have to leave it there. Special thanks to our guest contributor, Harris Gleckman, and thank you for watching and for your interest in this segment of GPEnewsdocs coming to you from Geneva, Switzerland.
Ignacio , November 21, 2019 at 6:46 am
The WEF and its various constituencies try to overtake control of development with their "public-private partnership" flag but how these, let's say, partnerships, actually work and interact with local communities and governments is an issue that need to attract more scrutiny and transparency. If one uses the migratory pressure as a measure, so far, development in Africa, South America and South Asia is not doing a good job on the part of local communities. There may be a few success cases, as it seems to be the case that deforestation in Brazil that while proceeding it's way, has somehow slowed down compared to the last decade of the XXth century. But when a success story is analysed what you find behind is simply strong government action as the Brazilian did starting in 2004 when they begun the monitoring of development in the Amazon basin and expanded in 2006 with a moratorium in soya culture and beef production. The WEF has a series of initiatives on what they call sustainable development that sound excellent in their web pages but in reality do not seem to work so well and the UN should be kept independent and legally above of the WEF initiatives to monitor development and accountability. This initiative will almost certainly result in foxes governing henhouses.
As I see it the WEF makes the hell of a good PR job without counterbalancing parties.
Olga , November 21, 2019 at 9:54 am
Truly scary stuff and why does it remind me of the way public transport was destroyed in the US: step 1 – starve it of revenue; step 2 – privatize it (while promising better service); step 3 – let it rot; and step 4 – close it down (responding to the public, gripping about how bad the service had become). The job accomplished!
One has to wonder what the Sec. General has been smoking lately and where are Russians and Chinese to push back?
DHG , November 21, 2019 at 10:26 am
The UN will never accomplish its mission, man is incapable of bringing about world peace. The UN is here for one reason and one reason only and that is to destroy the false religious system when the political rulers hand it their power to accomplish just that.
Susan the Other , November 21, 2019 at 11:19 am
If WEF is looking at doing infrastructure on a global scale that is based on good science, is sustainable and maintainable, the ultimate power over the "multi-stakeholder groups" submitting their bids to the UN should be the UN – this means a new UN mandate that must be ratified yearly by voters, and bureaucrats that must win elections. If this big idea is going to accomplish what needs to be done the "stakeholders" might want to take a close look at what happened to the dearly departed ideas of neoliberalism. Neoliberalism was destroyed from within by the need for ever more profit; by the" rat-race to the bottom" and by externalizing costs in the form of pollution – by the most obviously unsustainable practices, both social and environmental. If the goal is clear and comprehensive all these problems inherent in yesterday's capitalism will have to be addressed at the get-go. It is a difference of scale whether a city hires a contractor to do new waterlines, or the UN hires "multi stakeholder groups" to do some continent-wide 50 year project. That means the UN will need to become answerable to the people for the management of all these big ideas. Because conflict of interest will be so massive as to be unmanageable otherwise. And one definition will be imperative – Just what stake or stakes is/are held by "multi-stakeholder groups"? Because what is at stake is the planet itself. Not money.
Titus , November 21, 2019 at 1:14 pm
To quote Lambert, 'Everything is going according to plan'.
RBHoughton , November 21, 2019 at 9:04 pm
The UN problem has always been money. The 200 nation states are dilatory in paying their dues. This gives the few rich countries power – 'cooperate with us and we'll fund your activities.' Its not as bare-faced as I state it but you get the picture. To solve this problem we need the majority of countries to vote to make national dues a precedent claim on each government. Publish the result of the vote and monthly progress towards the aim. Name the countries cooperating.
Once the UN administration is confident of its income it can plan its activities better, make peoples' health and livelihoods a priority and achieve a much higher profile amongst humanity.
Nielsen , November 22, 2019 at 1:55 am
After heavy drought in Chile the rivers magically recovered the day when a delegation from the UN arrived to inspect the riots.
RÍO ACONCAGUA CON AGUA!!!! 20/10/2019
A settler tells how the Mapocho River magically recovers its flow, as has happened in recent days in different parts of Chile.
Water is used to cultivate avocados
Stop buying avocados from Chile.
"Mining transnationals find it cheaper to buy water rights than to desalinate seawater and transport it for tens or hundreds of kilometers. Even more so if they have to use less polluting but more expensive desalination technologies.
This is an unequal and unjust war where the main victims are the poor population, small farmers and the sustainable development of our region of Atacama.
We continue to approve and facilitate the approval of mining projects and mega-projects without making it a condition not to consume water from the basin.
– The population of Copiapó, Caldera, Tierra Amarilla and Chañaral, particularly the lower income population, suffers the consequences of having to endure repeated supply cuts, low pressure and a terrible quality of drinking water.
The drinking water crisis in the mentioned cities is a direct consequence of the over exploitation of the Copiapó river basin by foreign mining companies, of the purchase-sale and speculation with water rights, as well as of the irrationality and indolence of the State in not establishing priorities in the use of the vital water"
Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator
Sofia Monsalve , November 22, 2019 at 8:32 am
Although corporate meddling is not unheard of in the UN system, under the new terms of the UN-WEF partnership, the UN will be permanently associated with transnational corporations. In the long-term, this would allow corporate leaders to become 'whisper advisors' to the heads of UN system departments.
The UN system is already under a significant threat from the US Government and those who question a democratic multilateral world. Additionally, this ongoing corporatization will reduce public support for the UN system in the South and the North, leaving the system, as a whole, even more vulnerable.To prevent a complete downfall, the UN must adopt effective mechanisms that prevent conflicts of interest consistently. Moreover, it should strengthen peoples and communities which are the real human rights holders, while at the same time build a stronger, independent, and democratic international governance system.
There is a strong call to action going on by hundreds of organizations against this partnership agreement http://bit.ly/33bRQZP
Marybeth Gardam , November 22, 2019 at 1:46 pm
How can a civil society organization sign on to this letter?
Nov 21, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Nov 14 2019 17:20 utc | 110Assad on recent convenient deaths :
"The Syrian president said he saw links between the death of Le Mesurier and the deaths of US financier Jeffry Epstein, Al Qaeda chieftain Osama bin Laden and Islamic State (outlawed in Russia) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. 'American billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was killed several weeks ago, they said he had committed suicide in jail. However, he was killed because he knew a lot of vital secrets connected with very important people in the British and American regimes, and possibly in other countries as well,' Assad pointed out....
"'Both of us know that they [representatives of the White Helmets] are naturally part of Al Qaeda. I believe that these people, as well as the previously liquidated bin Laden and al-Baghdadi had been killed chiefly because they knew major secrets. They turned into a burden once they had played out their roles. A dire need to do away with them surfaced after they had fulfilled their roles,' Assad explained.
"According to him, the death of Le Mesurier is the work of the CIA that got rid of the founder of the White Helmets independently or through the intelligence services of other countries. 'Of course, this is the work of the secret services. But which secret service? When we talk about Western secret services in general, about Turkish and some other ones in our region, these are not the secret services of sovereign states, rather these are departments of the main intelligence agency - the CIA,' he stressed."
Many will nod their heads in agreement with Assad's hypothesis. Indeed, one of the more amazing happenings related to taking terrorists prisoners is the resulting lack of information related to the NATO-Terrorist bond we know exists but rarely sees the light of day in the form of documents, radio intercept logs and other items, although we're constantly treated to a massive parade of captured arms and munitions including chemical weapon precursors stamped with their NATO country of origin.
Nov 16, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
WGruff, dirtyMarxist , Nov 15 2019 16:29 utc | 165Of course, fascists are always just trying to do what's best for their tribe. Does anyone imagine that the Japanese and Germans and Italians of almost a century ago just woke up one morning and decided "Hey, let's be evil! Let's commit the most inhuman acts imaginable against our fellow humans because why not? That would be a great way to spend a few years!" ? Of course not. They were just as convinced as our NemesisOfHumanity that they stood for good and were just standing up for their tribe. They were convinced of their own exceptionality, and were horrified by the flapper decadence of prior years, seeking something more divine and purified for their respective exceptional cultures.
It would always be best if people (and whole cultures!) could accept themselves for what they really are rather than building elaborate fantasies in which they play the starring roles. Fascists could achieve peace of mind if they could see themselves for what they truly are, but then with their delusions discarded they couldn't really be fascists anymore, could they? Without their delusions the sinister threats from the scheming Soviets and the inscrutable Chicoms would dissipate from the fascists' minds like the morning fog before the sun. The vast gulf of differences between themselves and those "primitive others" whom the fascists feel obligated to bring enlightenment to, by force if necessary, would dwindle to insignificance without the delusions that the fascists rely upon to view themselves as superheroes.
Finally, without the delusions the fascists would be able to see fascism for the pack psychology that it is, with the fascists just being the beta dogs serving the elite alpha dogs in the hopes for a pat on the head. The "It is also in the best interests of elites to take care of their people" assertion would become apparent to them as a plaintive plea to the alpha dogs of their pack/tribe for security against the imaginary threats their delusions generate.
As an aside, real socialists never say "The elites should take care of the little guy!" On the contrary, real socialists say "The working class should organize itself and seize control of the productive forces of society." The first is begging from one's master, while the second is working towards a society without masters. The first cultivates in the believer's mind the notion that if they better serve their master that they may be rewarded with scraps off that master's dinner table, while the second cultivates the idea that everyone should sit at that dinner table. It is that drive to better serve the elites that powers the viciousness of fascism, while it is the delusion that beta dog status in the exceptional pack is an exalted position that conceals from the fascist their own rabid viciousness.
c1ue , Nov 15 2019 16:39 utc | 166@WGruff #165
The problem is - the Soviet Union showed that even "working class" socialist governments still can be corrupted by power.
That the power is held by bureaucrats as opposed to oligarchs is a distinction without meaning.
From my view, the main problem isn't that the oligarchs are taking more and more control - it is that the balance has shifted too far. So I actually agree with what you're advocating, but only in the short term.
Ultimately, my personal view is that a government that randomly shifts, en mass, every generation is the only type that would work because this is the only way to ensure that smart, motivated people within any system won't be able to long term game/modify the system to benefit themselves.
Oct 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
I am sorry but I c/n remember if was the guy at the far end of the bar down near to the bathroom in the boots, bathing suit, and top hat, or the guy at the seat nearest to the front door, in the grey flannel suit with polished boots, but it was one of them who gave the bar, a few evenings back, much of what it needs to be coherent. It was hierarchy of elements that propagandist use to install and support false narratives in their written and spoken words. It was system of analysis, given to us here at the bar, to establish the gosh awful truth hidden within an intentionally wrong narrative.
That evening I had too much bar juice, so this all I can recall, 8 elements could be applied to the propaganda to diagnose and debunk and discover the false in wrongful, misleading propaganda.. see the following.
1. EN always the propagandist must establish the general narrative God turned the blue sky, red.
2. WR the propagandist must make great wrongs into powerful strong rights.. The devil made him do it.
3. PE profession propagandists cherry pick the facts; include in the narrative only those facts that support the proposition.
The devil was seen talking to God on more than one occasion.
4. IS ignore damning or off point stuff that challenge or defeat the narrative or transform it into a positive
The fact that God had killed the devil two years before is ignored.
5. BV blame the victim.. don't give the victim a chance to speak.. The victim (God) did it..
6. MU make stuff up to support the narrative. A person on Jupitor saw God practising every evening He watched as God turned blue seas red and red seas blue
7. AC Attack all challengers allow no one to intercede in the attack. The Pope said God could not show him that he could turn Blue seas to red, or vice a versa
8. RL Repeat, and repeat and repeat the lie.. until it becomes embedded in the mind of the innocent. We are all tired of hearing this story..
After sobering up and thinking about this list, I realized its content seems very close to what a lynch party seeking to get up the never to hang an innocent slave for a criminal act "done by one of their kind" would do. The party would pretty much go through the 8 things, attempting to convince itself that the slave was guilty, until finally one of the members of the lynching party would swat the horse and the party would watch the victim swing..
We must develop a technology suitable to encoding these things, and to find other such things to add to this debunk the propaganda list of 8 items; so that no one can pass off on us wrongful narrative?
Its ok to be innocently wrong, in fact, we all learn when we discover a wrong, but intentional wrong should be against the rules of the bar.
We should adopt these 8 things and use them in our analysis..
Nov 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Sasha , Nov 11 2019 23:34 utc | 163@Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 11 2019 21:30 utc | 152
But, with that explanation, it is like you are whithewashing fascism as a merely opposing political view, which is precisley the position and pretension of the Trumpers, when it is not. Fascism is incompatible with democracy and human rights...as the recent ( just overnight the coup...) declarations by The Donald on the events in Bolivia come to confirm...
You forget a main characteristic of fascists, that is that they aspire ( and when the circumstances allow it, always try...) to wipe out their political adversaries from the face of Earth, as the case in Bolivia is so flagrantry illustrating. Along with their political adversaries, who are always those who position themselves in the side or as representives of the people, they always try to wipe out also all those subgroups of human beings they consider utermenschen ...In this cathegory they will include many, slavs, latinos, jews, gypsies, black people...
Then, once in power, they will use terror to keep the citizenry ( who otherwise will rebel once the real "program" of the nazis unveiled ) in control...
Sasha , Nov 11 2019 23:53 utc | 164That the US system is as a whole fascist falls plainly in the faces of all its deluded and anestesized citizens when you see today that neither Pelosi, nor Schumaker, nor Clinton, nor Biden have said a word agsint what happened yesterday in Bolivia or against the words of the POTUS who "allegedly" they try to overthrow...a representation described by Trump himself, in the heights of stone face, as coup d´etat...William Gruff , Nov 12 2019 0:08 utc | 165Sasha @163
I stated that fascism has no ideology. It cannot be a "political view" .
The fascists in Rwanda are Black. The fascists in Israel are Jewish. The fascists in Ukraine are Slavs. The fascists in Colombia are Latinos.
Fascism isn't about one ethnicity or another. Ethnic prejudice is just one (of many) handle that the capitalists elites use to get some parts of society to attack other parts. The people who fall under that control by the capitalist elites are fascists.
Nov 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
jayc , Nov 11 2019 21:10 utc | 151
William Gruff , Nov 11 2019 21:30 utc | 152NemesisCalling @127: "I see that you never question the implication of what calling one a fascist really means"
What is fascism? It usually has a religious component, be it Protestant, Catholic, Hindu, Shinto, and yes, Muslim, Buddhist and even Jewish.
OK, so defining fascism by religion isn't going to get you anywhere as it runs the gamut.
There are certainly white fascists, but there are also Black fascists, Japanese fascists, Indian fascists, Chinese fascists, Latino fascists... I guess ethnicity won't get you anywhere with explaining what fascism is either.
Nationalism? No, there are fascists of pretty much every nationality, so that hardly gets us anywhere closer to understanding what it is.
A fetish for crisp uniforms? No, fascists are just as likely to wear filthy rancid goat scented rags.
Fascist ideology is malleable. It morphs to be whatever it needs to be at the moment. So the what is the one common aspect that fascism always possesses? Answer: In the class war between labor and capital, fascists always back capital and oppose labor.
When it comes down to a street fight big business doesn't have the numbers to counter labor from within their own class, and the capitalist elites don't want to get their hands dirty anyway. As a consequence they must recruit goons and societal support for those goons from the small business class, the sub-working-class, and from the working class itself to defeat the working class. To accomplish this recruiting the capitalist elites use their control over mass media to make appeals to every prejudice that exists in society to turn those influenced by those prejudices against the working class. Every form of tribalism is exploited, and since the precise characteristics of the major tribalist divisions in society differ from region to region, and even neighborhood to neighborhood, the composition of the fascist forces recruited to attack the working class tends to vary from place to place.
If fascism is so variable in all of its characteristics, how then can anyone say who is and who isn't a fascist?
The answer to that is actually fairly easy. When the class war breaks out into the open, as is the case in Bolivia right now, the people who are not lords of capital but still throw their lot in with capital are fascists.
In other words, in North America and Europe, fascism is far more prevalent than most people are willing to face.
Doesn't it make you feel better to know that fascism is just the proper name for anti-socialist?
Nov 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Elizabeth Vos via ConsortiumNews.com,
Establishment Democrats and those who amplify them continue to project blame for the public's doubt in the U.S. election process onto outside influence, despite the clear history of the party's subversion of election integrity. The total inability of the Democratic Party establishment's willingness to address even one of these critical failures does not give reason to hope that the nomination process in 2020 will be any less pre-ordained.
The Democratic Party's bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential nomination, followed by the DNC defense counsel doubling down on its right to rig the race during the fraud lawsuit brought against the DNC , as well as the irregularities in the races between former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova, indicate a fatal breakdown of the U.S. democratic process spearheaded by the Democratic Party establishment. Influences transcending the DNC add to concerns regarding the integrity of the democratic process that have nothing to do with Russia, but which will also likely impact outcomes in 2020.
The content of the DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks demonstrated that the DNC acted in favor of Hillary Clinton in the lead up to the 2016 Democratic primary. The emails also revealed corporate media reporters acting as surrogates of the DNC and its pro-Clinton agenda, going so far as to promote Donald Trump during the GOP primary process as a preferred " pied-piper candidate ." One cannot assume that similar evidence will be presented to the public in 2020, making it more important than ever to take stock of the unique lessons handed down to us by the 2016 race.Social Media Meddling
Election meddling via social media did take place in 2016, though in a different guise and for a different cause from that which are best remembered. Twitter would eventually admit to actively suppressing hashtags referencing the DNC and Podesta emails in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Additional reports indicated that tech giant Google also showed measurable "pro-Hillary Clinton bias" in search results during 2016, resulting in the alleged swaying of between 2 and 10 millions voters in favor of Clinton.
On the Republican side, a recent episode of CNLive! featured discussion of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which undecided voters were micro-targeted with tailored advertising narrowed with the combined use of big data and artificial intelligence known collectively as "dark strategy." CNLive! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan noted that SCL, Cambridge Analytica's parent company, provides data, analytics and strategy to governments and military organizations "worldwide," specializing in behavior modification. Though Cambridge Analytica shut down in 2018, related companies remain.
The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign.
In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted.
Though the purge was not explicitly found to have benefitted Clinton, the admission falls in line with allegations across the country that the Democratic primary was interfered with to the benefit of the former secretary of state. These claims were further bolstered by reports indicating that voting results from the 2016 Democratic primary showed evidence of fraud.DNC Fraud Lawsuit
The proceedings of the DNC fraud lawsuit provide the most damning evidence of the failure of the U.S. election process, especially within the Democratic Party. DNC defense lawyers argued in open court for the party's right to appoint candidates at its own discretion, while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the impression that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.
In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates.
The Observer noted the sentiments of Jared Beck, the attorney representing the plaintiffs of the lawsuit:
"People paid money in reliance on the understanding that the primary elections for the Democratic nominee -- nominating process in 2016 were fair and impartial, and that's not just a bedrock assumption that we would assume just by virtue of the fact that we live in a democracy, and we assume that our elections are run in a fair and impartial manner. But that's what the Democratic National Committee's own charter says. It says it in black and white."
The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . The DNC's lawyers wrote: