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Elite [Dominance] Theory and the Revolt of the Elite
(Silent Coup or Revolt of the Rich)

News Principal-agent problem Recommended Books Recommended Links The Deep State Audacioues Oligarchy and Loss of Trust Neoliberal "New Class" as variant of Soviet Nomenklatura
The Iron Law of Oligarchy The Pareto Law Amorality of neoliberal elite The Rise of the New Global Elite  Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Two Party System as polyarchy
Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition Corporatism Neo-fascism National Security State New American Militarism Lesser evil trick of legitimizing disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections   Pluralism as a myth
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Casino Capitalism Inverted Totalitarism Predator state Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism What's the Matter with Kansas
Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few US and British media are servants of security apparatus Real war on reality Patterns of Propaganda The importance of controlling the narrative  New American Caste System Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich
Wrecking Crew: Notes on Republican Economic Policy Libertarian Philosophy  Media-Military-Industrial Complex Groupthink Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

Introduction


Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

In political science and sociology, elite [dominance] theory is a theory of the state which seeks to describe the power relationships in contemporary society. The theory posits that a small minority, consisting of members of the economic elite, policy-planning networks (which include not only think tanks, but also part of academia, see Econned) and selected members of "professional class", holds the most political power and that they acquire this power bypassing the democratic elections process and are able to hold into it for a long time (see Two Party System as polyarchy).

This, in a way, is close to position of "classic" or paleo conservatives (not to mix them with neocons). Their position has never been simply that a hierarchical society is better than an egalitarian one; it always has been that an egalitarian, genuinely democratic  society is impossible. That every society includes rulers and ruled, and it is rulers(the elite) who make critical decisions, no matter under which sauce: democratic republic, communist dictatorship, authoritarism  or some other variant.  The central question of politics, therefore is how to select the rulers in an optimal way so that those at the bottom of food chain were not mercilessly wiped out. Extremes meet and in fact Bolsheviks were other early adopters of the same "elite dominance" vision. Lenin’s classic  question “who, whom?” is an essence of Bolshevism. While Bolsheviks promised that a classless society would one day emerge as a variant of Christ Second Coming, in the meantime, however, they were open and enthusiastic practitioners of brutal power politics which they shrewdly called "dictatorship of proletariat", while in reality it was a dictatorship of the Party elite and state bureaucrats (so called "nomenklatura")

Under neoliberalism any democracy even theoretically is impossible and to claim otherwise is to engage in open propaganda. Even revolt of people, which is the past was a powerful control mechanism of the elite,  now is very unlikely due to the power and sophistication of repressive apparatus, power at which functionless of Stasi could only dream.. Through positions in corporations and corporate boards, as well as the influence over the policy-planning networks through financial support of foundations`` or positions with think tanks or policy-discussion groups, members of the "elite" are able to exert dominant power over the policy decisions of the corporations in their own favor (outsized bonuses is just one example here) and subdue the national governments to the interests of those corporations due to financial levers that corporate wealth provides.

A recent example of this can be found in the Forbes Magazine article [1] (published in December 2009) entitled The World's Most Powerful People, in which Forbes lists the 67 people, which the editors consider to be the most powerful people in the world (assigning one "slot" for each hundred million of humans).

The initial variant of this theory was proposed In 1956, C Wright Mills. In his book The Power Elite he described how political, corporate and military leaders in the US made policy with minimal, if al all, control, or even just consideration of preferences or concerns of ordinary citizens.

The majority of Americans now feel they are ruled by a remote, detached from their needs elite class.  As Robert Johnson noted "Oligarchy now is audacious. They don't really care if they are legitimate. Their slogan is: "Legitimate if you can, coerce if you have to, and accommodate if you must."  That creates  as Christopher Hayes  noted "national mood of exhaustion, frustration and betrayal" at the "near total failure of each pillar institution of our society."

As soon as we understand the dominance of elite is inevitable several fundamental questions arise:

Elite dominance theory postulates that there are powerful barriers that exist for citizens  participation of the citizens in the control of government. In less "politically correct" terms "rank-and-file" citizens are politically powerless. Still the stability of the society depends on the ability of the most capable members of the society, no matter in what strata they were born, to rise to the top.  Equal opportunities in education in this sense are of paramount importance and represent a real "safety valve" in the society. 

As for the question whether the elite is interested in stability and well-being of the given society, the key problem is to determine about which society we are talking. Elite low operates in transnational categories and can value stability of "transnational world" higher then stability and well-being of a given society. The idea that the national elite acts in the interest of the nation is now under review. Dissolution of the USSR, when the elite (aka nomenklatura)  singlehandingly decimated and "privatized" the whole country to get their "fair share" of wealth is a telling example, a textbook example of self-centered and destructive behavior of  new "transnational" elites.

It has shown that modern elites are not anymore connected with their country of origin and social background and roots. Paradoxically, the KGB elite actively participated in dismantling of the USSR, and Gorbachov was put in power mostly by efforts of Andropov, the guy who was the head of KGB.  Here is one telling comment:

IHaveLittleToAdd, Aug 28, 2014 9:03:13 AM

Considering the non-elite citizens of the US have effectively no say in policy, what would happen if all of a sudden our government and media began shooting straight? Seems to me, pretty much nothing. It's not that most of the people I know don't realize we are being deceived to advance an altogether hidden agenda, it's that they simply don't care and are unaware of even the fabricated story.

In other words, the world's ruling elites are abandoning their host countries. They have a global vision and ambitions, their families often live in countries other are then their native country (and the country of main business), and they do not accept any constraints (such as level of taxation) and limits (such as local laws) in the pursuance of their egotistical interests, which are basically money oriented.

They move their money to offshore zones to avoid taxation. They break with impunity local laws to increase profits. It is now common for the leaders and members of the ruling elite to base self esteem upon material success, accumulation of raw wealth, emphasize Randian positivist philosophy and downplay humanistic ideals such as respect and tolerance. They no longer feel in the same boat as the rest of the society and openly worship on the altar of unlimited, pathological greed. This is especially noticeable among the US and GB financial elite.  In the USA they also morphed both Republican party and Democratic party into a single party of  rent-seekers on behalf of the wealthier members of society.

Marx would turn in his grave, if he saw how his idea of international unity of workers mutated into the actual international unity of elites. And how elites instead of workers implement a version of socialism, "socialism for rich", or "corporate welfare society". And they do it much more effectively then communists ever managed to implement "socialism for working class" (which actually was never a real goal, just a convenient slogan).  And like Bolsheviks they also practice redistribution of profits. In the same direction toward "nomenklatura", but much more effectively (also under Stalin regime position in nomenklatura was a precarious, as Stalin practiced "purges" as a method for rotation of the elite)

With NAFTA as a prominent example, Jeff Faux had shown how national elites are morphing into a global governing class ('The Party of Davos') and are shaping the new global economy alongside the lines of their neoliberal gospel. Their long arms are the IMF, the WTO, transnational corporations and transnational economic agreements. Being transnational the US elite does not care that the technological engine of the 20th century, the USA, is fatally wounded. That its high-tech industry, which was envy of the whole world is now outsourced, education way too expensive and outside several top universities is quite mediocre, and its scientific power is waning.

In other words they no longer believe in a Benjamin Franklin's dictum: "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

Classic Elite theory

  “Now, there's one thing you might have noticed I don't complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky. They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain't going to do any good; you're just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it's not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here... like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There's a nice campaign slogan for somebody: 'The Public Sucks. F*ck Hope.”

-- George Gavlin

Classic Elite [Dominance] Theory is based on several ideas:

  1. Power lies in the positions of authority in key economic and political institutions.  
  2. The Iron Law of Oligarchy is a political theory, first developed by the German sociologist Robert Michels in his book 1915 Political Parties. Michels was an anarcho-syndicalist at the time he formulated the Law. He later became an important ideologue of Mussolini's fascist regime in Italy. The simplest formulation of the 'Iron Law of Oligarchy': "Who says organization, says oligarchy." In essence Iron law of oligarchy postulate that any complex organization self-generate its own elite, an oligarchy that has disproportional influence on the decisions made in the organization and is pretty autonomous from "rank-and-file" members and is little affected by elections. As such Iron law of oligarchy stands in stark opposition to pluralism and suggests that "participatory democracy" is a utopian ideal and that democracy is always limited to very narrow strata of existing oligarchy (top 0.01% in the USA). It also stands in opposition to state autonomy theory. 
  3. Pareto principle is related to the original observation was in connection concentration of the wealth in top 20% of the population. Pareto noticed that 80% of Italy's land was owned by 20% of the population. He then carried out surveys on a variety of other countries and found to his surprise that a similar distribution applied. Due to the scale-invariant nature of the power law relationship, the relationship applies also to subsets of the income range. Even if we take the ten wealthiest individuals in the world, we see that the top three (Carlos Slim Helú, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates) own as much as the next seven put together. A chart that gave the inequality a very visible and comprehensible form, the so-called 'champagne glass' effect, was contained in the 1992 United Nations Development Program Report, which showed the distribution of global income to be very uneven, with the richest 20% of the world's population controlling 82.7% of the world's income.
    Distribution of world GDP, 1989[8]
    Quintile of population Income
    Richest 20% 82.70%
    Second 20% 11.75%
    Third 20% 2.30%
    Fourth 20% 1.85%
    Poorest 20% 1.40%

    The Pareto principle has also been used to attribute the widening economic inequality in the United States to 'skill-biased technical change'—i.e. income growth accrues to those with the education and skills required to take advantage of new technology and globalization. 

  4. The psychological difference that sets elites apart is that they have personal resources, for instance intelligence and skills, money, and a vested interest in the government; while the rest are relatively incompetent and do not have the capabilities of governing themselves and are deprived of money. That means that once in power the elite are resourceful and will strive to sustain its rule. 
  5. The elite have the most to lose if government or state failed as Russian elite discovered twice in the last century. So there are some natural limits of plundering of the state by the elite. 
  6. The simple plurality voting system is a single-winner voting system also called  winner-takes-all or  first-past-the-post. The latter term is an analogy to horse racing, where the winner of the race is the first to pass a particular point (the "post") on the track, after which all other runners automatically lose. Elections in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada belong to this category. In this voting there is no requirement that the winner gain an absolute majority of votes. Duverger's law is a principle which asserts that any plurality voting system elections naturally impose a two-party system  That means that single-winner voting system essentially hand all the power to the elite as it is elite that controls the electability of candidates from both parties. The discovery of this tendency is attributed to Maurice Duverger, a French sociologist who observed the effect and recorded it in several papers published in the 1950s and 1960s. In the course of further research, other political scientists began calling the effect a "law" or principle. Duverger's law suggests a nexus or synthesis between a party system and an electoral system: a proportional representation (PR) system creates the electoral conditions necessary to foster party development while a plurality system marginalizes smaller political parties, resulting in what is known as a two-party system.

The top twelve classical elite theorists include

  1. Karl Marx  is typically cited, along with Émile Durkheim and Max Weber, as one of the three principal architects of modern social science. Although the key postulate of Marxism about liberating role of proletariat proved wrong, Marxism made a tremendous contribution into understanding of power structure of the society, pointing that all power is concentrated directly or indirectly in owners of capital hands: a sociological theory of class domination. Marxism teaches that all societies progress through the dialectic of class struggle: a conflict between an ownership class which controls production and a lower class which produces the labor for goods. He called the current socio-economic form of society (capitalism) "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie" that is run by the wealthy elite purely for own benefit, and predicted that, like previous socioeconomic systems, it would inevitably produce internal tensions within different faction of the elite. He first understood that political class represents a powerful force that is somewhat independent from economic foundations, especially if it is organized as a political party (and state can even be dominated by a fervent ideological network like USSR, China, Saudi Arabia,  Iran since 1979).  and that the current political elite is vary to redistribute this power with other factions of the elite even if relative balance of power within various factions changed.  What Marx give to the world is the understanding is that of Western history from the disintegration of Roman Empire was about the deadly conflict between rising factions of economic elite (industrial, landed, banking, etc) and existing political elite, with an occasional and temporary coalitions with peasants or artisans who tried to take advantage of the divisions in elite circles. So what Marx incorrectly called class struggle was actually a deadly struggle between economic and political elites within a society. In the 17th and 18th centuries it begins to make sense to describe the state -- paraphrasing Marx -- as an executive committee for managing the common affairs of the elite.  Generally speaking, Marx overstated the importance of industrial capitalists as compared to landed elites within the ruling circles of the 19th century, and of urban workers as compared to other urban dwellers and peasants (Hamilton, 1991). 
  2. Thorstein Veblen combined sociology with economics in his masterpiece The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) where he argued that there was a basic distinction between the productiveness of "industry", run by engineers manufacturing goods, vis-à-vis the parasitism of "business" that exists only to make profits for elite that he called  a leisure class. The chief activity of the elite was "conspicuous consumption", and their economic contribution is "waste," activity that contributes nothing to productivity. The American economy was thereby made inefficient and corrupt though Veblen never made that claim explicit. He believed that technological advances were the driving force behind cultural change, but, unlike many contemporaries, refused to connect change with progress. Although Veblen was sympathetic to state ownership of industry, he had a low opinion of workers and the labor movement. He pointed out that the new industrial processes created a conflict between businessmen and engineers, with businessmen representing the older order and engineers as the innovators of new ways of doing things. In combination with the tendencies described in The Theory of the Leisure Class, this conflict resulted in waste and “predation” that served to enhance the social status of those who could benefit from predatory claims to goods and services. 
  3. Vilfredo Pareto. Pareto emphasized the psychological and intellectual superiority that the Elites obtained, he believed that the elites were the highest accomplishers in any field and he discussed how there were two types of Elites
    1. governing elites
    2. non-governing elites

    He also extended on the idea that a whole elite can be replaced by a new one and how one can circulate from being elite to non-elite. 

  4. Gaetano Mosca. Mosca emphasized the sociological and personal characteristics of elites. He said elites are an organized minority and that the masses are an unorganized majority. The ruling class is composed of the ruling elite and the sub-elites. He divides the world into two groups:
    1. ruling class
    2. class that is ruled

    Mosca asserts that elites have intellectual, moral, and material superiority and/or other qualities that is highly esteemed and influential. 

  5. Robert Michels.  German sociologist Robert Michels developed The Iron Law of Oligarchy in his book  Political Parties published in 1915.  The Iron Law of Oligarchy  asserts that social and political organizations are run by few individuals, and social organization and labor division are the key. He believed that all organizations are elitist and that existence of elites is based on several factors that come into play in the bureaucratic structure of any large political organization:
    1. Need for leaders, as well as for specialized staff and facilities.
    2. The relative scarcity of the people with the psychological attributes of the leaders
    3. Natural monopolization of the their position by elected leaders within any sizable organization and related subversion of the democratic process even in organizations devoted to the promotion of democracy.

    Michels stressed several factors that underlie the 'Iron Law of Oligarchy'.

    In other words rule by an elite (aka "oligarchy") is inevitable within any large organization and society as a whole because both  "tactical and technical necessities".  As Michels stated:

    "It is organization which gives birth to the dominion of the elected over the electors, of the mandataries over the mandators, of the delegates over the delegators. Who says organization, says oligarchy".

     He went on to state that "Historical evolution mocks all the prophylactic measures that have been adopted for the prevention of oligarchy." That means that the official goal of democracy of eliminating elite rule is impossible, and any "democracy" is always just a façade legitimizing the rule of a particular elite. What is important is the level of mobility of "non-elite" to the elite and the rotation of the elite.  

  6. C. Wright Mills. Mills published his book The Power Elite in 1956, which provided a new sociological perspective on structure of power in the United States. He identified a triumvirate of power groups - political, economic and military - which form a distinguishable, although not unified, power-wielding body in the United States. This theory later was enhanced by Michael Mann who proposed that the power structures within Western civilization, and probably other civilizations, too, are best understood by determining the intertwining and relative importance at any given time of the organizations based in four "overlapping and intersecting sociospatial networks of power" (Mann, 1986, p. 1). These networks are ideological, economic, military, and political. This view is called "The IEMP model".  Simultaneous crisis in several of those networks, the phenomenon we observe now in the USA and previously in the USSR represent a social crisis.

    Mills proposed that those groups emerged through a process of rationalization at work that occurs in all advanced industrial societies. And in all of them power became concentrated at the very top (0.01%), funneling overall control into the hands of a very small, somewhat corrupt group.  This tendency is reflected in a decline of politics as an arena for debate about social change and relegation it to a merely formal level of discourse about non-essential issues, a smokescreen for backroom dealings of the oligarchy,

    This macro-scale analysis sought to point out that the degradation of democracy in "advanced" societies in not accidental. It reflects the fact that real power generally lies outside  of the elected representatives. A main influence on the emergence of this views on politics was Franz Leopold Neumann's book, Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism, 1933-1944 , a study of how Nazism came to power in the German democratic state.

    It provided the tools to analyze the structure of a political system and served as a warning of what could happen in a modern capitalistic democracy. 

  7. Floyd Hunter. The elite theory analysis of power was also applied on the micro scale in community power studies such as that by Floyd Hunter (1953). Hunter examined in detail the power relationships evident in his "Regional City" looking for the "real" holders of power rather than those in obvious official positions. He posited a structural-functional approach which mapped the hierarchies and webs of interconnection operating within the city – mapping relationships of power between businessmen, politicians, clergy etc.

    The study debunks current mythology about the level of ‘democracy’ is present within urban politics.

    This type of analysis was also used in later, larger scale, studies such as that carried out by M. Schwartz examining the power structures within the corporate elite in the USA. 

  8. G. William Domhoff. In his book Who Rules America?, G. William Domhoff researched local and national decision making process networks in order to illustrate the power structure in the United States. He asserts, much like Hunter, that an elite class that owns and manages large income-producing properties (like banks and corporations) dominate the American power structure politically and economically.  
  9. James Burnham. Burnham’s early work The Managerial Revolution sought to express the movement of all functional power into the hands of appointed managers rather than the owners – separating ownership and control. Many of these ideas were adapted by paleoconservatives Samuel T. Francis and Paul Gottfried in their theories of the managerial state. Burnham's thoughts on Elite Theory were elucidated more specifically in his book The Machiavellians which discusses the thoughts of, among others, Pareto, Mosca, and Michels; in it he attempts to analyze of both elites and politics generally from his background as a former Trotskyite. 
  10. John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) proposed the term technostructure in his book "The New Industrial State" (1967) to describe the group of managers within an enterprise (or an administrative body) with considerable political influence (especially true for financial brass) and the level of control on nation's economy. It usually refers to so called managerial capitalism where top managers, scientists, or lawyers acquire more power and influence than the shareholders in the corporation. They are the de-facto the owners of the corporation, while shareholders (outside a few large one) are generally powerless to influence the way the corporation develops and do business. 
  11. Robert D. Putnam

    Putnam saw the development of technical and exclusive knowledge among administrators and other specialist groups as a mechanism by which power is stripped from the democratic process and slipped sideways to the advisors and specialists influencing the decision making process.[7]

    "If the dominant figures of the past hundred years have been the entrepreneur, the businessman, and the industrial executive, the ‘new men’ are the scientists, the mathematicians, the economists, and the engineers of the new intellectual technology."

  12. Thomas R. Dye. Dye in his book Top Down Policymaking, argues that U.S. public policy does not result from the "demands of the people," but from quite opposite phenomenon -- the Elite consensus found in Washington. It is a consensus between key non-profit foundations, think tanks, special-interest groups, and prominent lobbyists and law firms. Dye's thesis is further expanded upon in his works: The Irony of Democracy, Politics in America, Understanding Public Policy, and Who's Running America?

The idea of "The Revolt of the Elites" and "The Quiet Coup" by Financial Oligarchy

Previous consensus was that elite generally shares the idea that the society in which they live works best when all members of society can engage in upward mobility and improve their status via education and entrepreneurship. If there is significant upward mobility channels then members of society perceive themselves as belonging to the same team and care about ensuring that that team succeeds.

But in new" internationalized" world dominated by transnational corporations, the notion that a company or corporate executive of transnational corporation or professional (for example, IT professional) working is such a corporation is bound by an allegiance to their country of origin and work for its benefit is passé. The elites  of today are bound to their corporations, one another, not to the countries. And their greed is just overwhelming and decimates all other considerations such as patriotism and moral obligations. Amorality became a norm. 

People outside the elite became just tools, not compatriots and their standard of living means nothing.  This new generation of transnational elite are running the country like a regular for profit corporation in which they are both the members of the board and the controlling shareholders.

Not all elites are created equal. In the last half-century we have witnessed a dramatic expansion of American corporate power into every corner of the world, accompanied by an equally awesome growth in U.S. military power. The means the US elite is higher on pecking order then elites of other countries. That does not make it less transnational.  And this new power of the USA as a sole superpower state  is not used in traditional way to conquer and plunder the countries (like the USA did in Philippines, Mexico and other countries in the past). Instead it is used to support subservient regimes that favor business interests of transnational companies, putting those interests above interest of the country and its people. And if necessity remove non-complaint regimes by force The USA foreign policy now is essentially based on the coercive use of economic, political, and military power to expropriate other nations land, labor, capital, natural resources, commerce, and markets in the interests of transnational corporation, not in the interest of the American people. Now the decisive factor in the selection of allies and foes is the respective actors' position on "free market policies" like trade liberalization, privatization and deregulation, that favor international corporations and related transnational part of elite. In fact, the USA recent "patterns of intervention" reveal no or little correlation between democratic ideals and the role the US plays in the affairs of other nations. Globalization that is very successfully enforced by the USA foreign policy establishment (which contrary to its critics proved to be very apt and competent in achieving its goals) amounts to a Quiet coup d'état by transnational capital over the peoples of the world, subverting democracy and national autonomy everywhere including the USA itself, while ushering in a new stage of international expropriation of resources in the interest of elite and sending the US citizens to die for the benefit of transnational corporations. the blowback for the US people includes a national security state, an inviolable Pentagon budget, and rampant PTSD among military personnel.  From this point of view the popular but simplistic notion that a neoconservative cabal headed by George W. Bush has somehow 'hijacked' the U.S. government looks extremely naive.

In effect the transnational elite behaves as an occupying  power, although less brutal, toward the US population as well.  In a way America  is just another casualty of the new transnational elite. Cutbacks in social programs, decaying infrastructure, declining wages, massive unemployment, and the rise of municipalities facing bankruptcy means not only that a republic in decline, but that unchecked appetites of transnational elite fit classic Marxist scenario -- to expropriate as much above minimum subsistence level as possible. 

An important additional factor is the a new elite despise commoners. As Christoper Lasch pointed out in his groundbreaking book: "The new elites, the professional classes in particular, regard the masses with mingled scorn and apprehension."

Playing with financial flows as if they are computer game lead to high levels of unemployment, which can no longer be regarded as aberrational, but due to labor arbitrage and dramatically improved communications became a necessary part of the working mechanisms of  modern capitalist mode of production.

Oligarchy became really audacious. They don't really care if they are legitimate. "Legitimate if you can, coerce if you have to, and accommodate if you must." Crass materialism and accumulation of excessive wealth became the primary goal. Privatization and sell of public assets -- the mean to achieve those goals.

They have what Dr. John McMurtry has termed "The Ruling Group Mind"  when reality is warped to  conform to manufactured delusions submerging the group and its members within a set of  hysteria, denials and projections...

The USA still has a privileged position in this "new world order" but no my much. As Napoleon Bonaparte observed

"When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes.

Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain." 

"The Revolt of the Elites" by Christoper Lasch

Christopher Lasch (1932-1994) was a historian and penetrating social critic. He was the first who promoted the idea  that the values and attitudes of elites and those of the working classes have dramatically diverged to the extent that elite became a natural "fifth column" within the state and generally hostile to the nation-state well-being and especially to the well-being of lower strata of the population. 

In 1994, Lasch had come to believe that the economic and cultural elite of the United States, who historically has insured the continuity of a culture had lost faith in the traditional values (which that organized the country culture since its inception), and replaced then with unrestrained greed . He saw a threat to the continuation of Western civilization was not a mass revolt as envisioned by the pro-communist New Left of the 1960's, but a rejection of its liberal and pluralistic values by the educated elite. (see Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult)

In the process of throwing off  elements of traditional morality, transnational elite adopted Nietzschean "Übermensch" mentality (typically in the form of Objectivism).  They also have mastered the art of the shameless transgression of authority for their own enrichment. This tendency became possible because of computer revolution. Computers dramatically increased the capability of transnational corporation making possible growth far beyond that was possible before them. They also enabled "hacking" on monetary system to the extent that was not possible in 1920, although financial elite were always capable to find a sure way to a huge crash to be bailed out by the state again and again. . 

Here is a couple of insightful reviews from Amazon:

According to Lasch, contrary to the thesis advanced by Ortega y Gasset in The Revolt of the Masses, the revolt of the masses is over ending in the defeat of communism and is to be followed by a revolt of the cultural elite. Lasch advances arguments showing how we have reached a new stage of political development in America where the elite have become increasingly detached from the concerns of the common man. Unlike the elite of past ages, the former aristocracy of wealth and status, the new elite constitutes an aristocracy of merit. However, unlike in past ages, the new elite have increasingly alienated themselves from the common man. Lasch demonstrates how an increasing division between rich and poor, in which the working class has become alienated from the intellectual class of "symbolic analysts", has led to an utter sense of apathy among the American people.

In addition, the values of the new intellectual class are utterly different from the values of the man in the street. While the working class is fundamentally culturally conservative (a fact which Lasch has certainly latched onto) demanding moral certainties on such issues as homosexual rights, abortion, feminism, patriotism, and religion, the intellectual class demands political correctness advocating affirmative action, feminism, homosexual liberation, and promoting a radical (or rather, pseudo-radical) agenda.

Lasch seems to sympathize with the populists of old, who sought a sort of third way between the horrors of monopoly capitalism and the welfare state. Populists promoted the values of the common man, thus maintaining a cultural conservativism, while at the same time demonstrating an innate fear of bigness and far off bureaucracy. In addition, Lasch sees in communitarianism which seeks to emphasize the role of community, neighborhoods, and organic connectedness (contrary to libertarianism which emphasizes the individual at the whim of market forces and cultural pluralism) a new hope for the working class and cultural conservativism. Those who are opposed to communitarianism argue that based on previous experiments with small close knit communities (particularly emphasizing cases such as Calvin's Geneva and the New England Puritans but also small towns and neighborhoods) that these are oppressive. Obviously a balance needs to be struck; nevertheless, a re-emphasis on community and traditional values is obviously an important way to achieve improvement in human conditions. Unlike many right wing libertarians who may give lip service to "family values" but who then place the family at the whim of unfettered markets and corporate interests, Lasch argues for a restraint in order to facilitate family and community growth. Lasch shows how class remains an important division with equality of opportunity being merely a further means to oppress the working class. In addition, Lasch shows how the left uses the issue of race (extended arbitrarily to include all minorities and underprivileged - as defined by them, particularly so as to include whites) to create further difficulties for the common man, who is utterly alienated by political correctness. Lasch also argues that feminism remains an important force for the new class, because by allowing more women to enter the workforce they have achieved a situation whereby they perpetuate themselves. Lasch also turns his attention to education, showing how the modern system of compulsory education has failed, emphasizing the failures of such individuals as Horace Mann, who sought to eliminate politics from education. In addition, Lasch turns his attention to the university system, a hotbed of political correctness, multiculturalism, and postmodernist philosophies. Lasch shows how these philosophies have totally alienated any contact that universities may have with ordinary citizens, becoming more and more jargon-laden and specialized while at the same time promoting values completely contrary to those of the common man. Lasch refers to this as "academic pseudo-radicalism" to show how it differs distinctly from true radicalism, how it is fundamentally elitist, and how it further denies opportunities to the very minorities that it claims to so valiantly protect. However, unlike many of the other right wing critics of the university system, Lasch argues that corporations have continued to play a large role in the development of departments leading to a weakening of humanities programs. I found Lasch's criticisms of political correctness in the university system to be particularly cogent. While economically Lasch is opposed to unfettered capitalism, nevertheless he finds room to criticize the welfare state and government bureaucracy which promotes dependency and a culture of victimization. Lasch also shows how respect and shame have been misunderstood by the modern age. In addition, Lasch shows how a culture of narcissism has developed in this country, in which individuals have become excessively self interested and rely heavily on psychotherapies which promote self esteem and "happiness" as the highest good. Lasch also argues for a return to traditional religious values as a means for achieving hope and providing an inoculation against otherwise difficult times.

As a cultural conservative, I found Lasch's brand of populism/communitarianism to be particularly interesting. Lasch's analysis of the elites seems to make sense in light of their lack of contact with everyday reality, their lack of respect for common sense and the average person, and their lack of ties to nation and place. Our country is increasingly controlled by political elites in both parties who serve merely as tourists with little interest in America beyond what makes them money. In this respect, I believe Lasch's arguments to be particularly well thought out.

caroline miranda "caroline miranda" (los angeles) -

The aristocratic elitism of modern society's version of royalty--well-educated liberals, university administrators, race and class baiters and political elites who fear accusations of being insufficiently sophisticated and sensitive--are tossed off their thrones by Christopher Lasch. Lasch gives a clear and comprehensive overview of the social and political upheaval of the last 40 years that occurred under the noses of a bland and uncaring populace.

He explains the changes in America that led to morality becoming a code word for judgmentalism, standards becoming a code word for racism, multiculturalism becoming a code word for denigrating an evil European culture, the loss of family and neighborhood hailed as necessary for individual freedom, and the death of social cohesiveness, which never was mourned. "Most of our spiritual energy is devoted precisely to a campaign against shame and guilt, the object of which is to make people 'feel good about themselves.' The churches themselves have enlisted in this therapeutic exercise...," he notes.

Lest one think this is a Bill Bennett-type bromide, Lasch's observations extend far beyond the ain't-divorce-and-latchkey-children-terrible speech and extends to the paradox of modern society in which people have never been better off materially because of capitalism but so in danger of losing the core of their souls and their society's democratic values.

Individuality without community connection and the disintegration of unstated but commonly understood traditional rules and obligations that neighbors and a community once believed they owed other threaten democracy, Lasch believes.

When multiculturalism is seen from a limited tourist-type approach of folk dances and exotic food, when crime and violence in ethnic neighborhoods replace social cohesiveness, when impersonal malls and fast food restaurants displace informal gathering spots where people once discussed ideas and experiences, and when intimidation and name-calling replace reasoned debate, the country is deeply troubled, he notes. Worse yet, no one seems to find these developments alarming, so enmeshed they are in their structured public work worlds and isolated private home worlds.

Lasch pessimistically regrets the faltering of the foundation of a culture lost the very core of its democratic ideals: reasoned governance by an informed populace with a sense of community and ethics. He decries the usurpation of cultural norms instigated by elites, who rarely venture outside their smug circle of we-know-best-for-you compatriots and who refuse to acknowledge a need for individual responsibility and rather see the average, ordinary working person as a spigot for unending social spending and an unsophisticated inferior.

"...Identity politics has come to serve as a substitute for religion--or at least for the feeling of self-righteousness that is so commonly confused with religion," he says, while meanwhile decrying the modern tendency to use religion as a way to achieve personal happiness instead of as a guide to rightful living.

Lasch's clear and flowing writing style and his insights into the disorder and straying of modern society from its historical anchor make the book a timely and informative expose of many of the ills of modern society.

The Quiet Coup of Financial Oligarchy by Simon Johnson

Simon Johnson is the Ronald A. Kurtz (1954) Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT's Sloan School of Management. He wrote an influential piece in the Atlantic Magazine titled The Quiet Coup.  While in reality translation elite is much broader, he concentrated on financial elite (or financial oligarchy) as the dominant player among them and provided an interesting perspective on how they got dominant power position and fully control government of a particular country (in this case the USA was an example):

Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason—the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit—and, most of the time, genteel—oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders.

When a country like Indonesia or South Korea or Russia grows, so do the ambitions of its captains of industry. As masters of their mini-universe, these people make some investments that clearly benefit the broader economy, but they also start making bigger and riskier bets. They reckon—correctly, in most cases—that their political connections will allow them to push onto the government any substantial problems that arise.

In Russia, for instance, the private sector is now in serious trouble because, over the past five years or so, it borrowed at least $490 billion from global banks and investors on the assumption that the country’s energy sector could support a permanent increase in consumption throughout the economy. As Russia’s oligarchs spent this capital, acquiring other companies and embarking on ambitious investment plans that generated jobs, their importance to the political elite increased. Growing political support meant better access to lucrative contracts, tax breaks, and subsidies. And foreign investors could not have been more pleased; all other things being equal, they prefer to lend money to people who have the implicit backing of their national governments, even if that backing gives off the faint whiff of corruption.

But inevitably, emerging-market oligarchs get carried away; they waste money and build massive business empires on a mountain of debt. Local banks, sometimes pressured by the government, become too willing to extend credit to the elite and to those who depend on them. Overborrowing always ends badly, whether for an individual, a company, or a country. Sooner or later, credit conditions become tighter and no one will lend you money on anything close to affordable terms.

The downward spiral that follows is remarkably steep. Enormous companies teeter on the brink of default, and the local banks that have lent to them collapse. Yesterday’s “public-private partnerships” are relabeled “crony capitalism.” With credit unavailable, economic paralysis ensues, and conditions just get worse and worse. The government is forced to draw down its foreign-currency reserves to pay for imports, service debt, and cover private losses. But these reserves will eventually run out. If the country cannot right itself before that happens, it will default on its sovereign debt and become an economic pariah. The government, in its race to stop the bleeding, will typically need to wipe out some of the national champions—now hemorrhaging cash—and usually restructure a banking system that’s gone badly out of balance. It will, in other words, need to squeeze at least some of its oligarchs.

Squeezing the oligarchs, though, is seldom the strategy of choice among emerging-market governments. Quite the contrary: at the outset of the crisis, the oligarchs are usually among the first to get extra help from the government, such as preferential access to foreign currency, or maybe a nice tax break, or—here’s a classic Kremlin bailout technique—the assumption of private debt obligations by the government. Under duress, generosity toward old friends takes many innovative forms. Meanwhile, needing to squeeze someone, most emerging-market governments look first to ordinary working folk—at least until the riots grow too large.

Eventually, as the oligarchs in Putin’s Russia now realize, some within the elite have to lose out before recovery can begin. It’s a game of musical chairs: there just aren’t enough currency reserves to take care of everyone, and the government cannot afford to take over private-sector debt completely.

He lays out the threat that the American society faced now -- capture of the government by the finance industry:

"The great wealth that the financial sector created and concentrated gave bankers enormous political weight—a weight not seen in the U.S. since the era of J.P. Morgan (the man). In that period, the banking panic of 1907 could be stopped only by coordination among private-sector bankers: no government entity was able to offer an effective response. But that first age of banking oligarchs came to an end with the passage of significant banking regulation in response to the Great Depression; the reemergence of an American financial oligarchy is quite recent."

"The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time."

In his NPR interview with Terry Gross he demonstrated that he does not understand the fact that the mousetrap is closed and that financial oligarchy the ruling elite of the country without any significant countervailing forces. So he dispensed a pretty naive advice (Fighting America's 'Financial Oligarchy):

"We face at least two major, interrelated problems," Johnson writes. "The first is a desperately ill banking sector that threatens to choke off any incipient recovery that the fiscal stimulus might generate. The second is a political balance of power that gives the financial sector a veto over public policy, even as that sector loses popular support."

Johnson insists the U.S. must temporarily nationalize banks so the government can "wipe out bank shareholders, replace failed management, clean up the balance sheets, and then sell the banks back to the private sector." But, Johnson adds, the U.S. government is unlikely to take these steps while the financial oligarchy is still in place.

Unless the U.S. breaks up its financial oligarchy, Johnson warns that America could face a crisis that "could, in fact, be worse than the Great Depression — because the world is now so much more interconnected and because the banking sector is now so big."

A good discussion of his key ideas can be found at Jesse's Café Américain Sep 02, 2012 post  Reprise -- Simon Johnson On the Quiet Coup d'Etat in the Anglo-American Financial System

In an interview with MIT economist Simon Johnson which was posted here in February, 2009.

Have we heeded Simon Johnson's warning? Has he proven to be prescient? Is crony capitalism and the kleptocracy becoming bolder, more aggressive, ever more demanding?

"I think I'm signaling something a little bit shocking to Americans, and to myself, actually. Which is the situation we find ourselves in at this moment, this week, is very strongly reminiscent of the situations we've seen many times in other places.

But they're places we don't like to think of ourselves as being similar to. They're emerging markets. It's Russia or Indonesia or a Thailand type situation, or Korea. That's not comfortable. America is different. America is special. America is rich. And, yet, we've somehow find ourselves in the grip of the same sort of crisis and the same sort of oligarchs...

But, exactly what you said, it's a small group with a lot of power. A lot of wealth. They don't necessarily - they're not necessarily always the names, the household names that spring to mind, in this kind of context. But they are the people who could pull the strings. Who have the influence. Who call the shots...

...the signs that I see this week, the body language, the words, the op-eds, the testimony, the way they're treated by certain Congressional committees, it makes me feel very worried.

I have this feeling in my stomach that I felt in other countries, much poorer countries, countries that were headed into really difficult economic situation. When there's a small group of people who got you into a disaster, and who were still powerful. Disaster even made them more powerful. And you know you need to come in and break that power. And you can't. You're stuck....

The powerful people are the insiders. They're the CEOs of these banks. They're the people who run these banks. They're the people who pay themselves the massive bonuses at the end of the last year. Now, those bonuses are not the essence of the problem, but they are a symptom of an arrogance, and a feeling of invincibility, that tells you a lot about the culture of those organizations, and the attitudes of the people who lead them...

But it really shows you the arrogance, and I think these people think that they've won. They think it's over. They think it's won. They think that we're going to pay out ten or 20 percent of GDP to basically make them whole. It's astonishing....

...these people are throughout the system of government. They are very much at the forefront of the Treasury. The Treasury is apparently calling the shots on their economic policies.

This is a decisive moment. Either you break the power or we're stuck for a long time with this arrangement."

Bill Moyer's Journal - Interview with Simon Johnson, February, 2009.

Johnson also wrote a piece in the Atlantic Magazine titled The Quiet Coup. It may be worth re-reading.
Here is the introduction to this in The Fall of the American Republic: The Quiet Coup d'Etat in August 2010.
"I am not so optimistic that this reform is possible, because there has in fact been a soft coup d'etat in the US, which now exists in a state of crony corporatism that wields enormous influence over the media and within the government.

Let's be clear about this, the oligarchs are flush with victory, and feel that they are firmly in control, able to subvert and direct any popular movement to the support of their own fascist ends and unshakable will to power.

This is the contempt in which they hold the majority of American people and the political process: the common people are easily led fools, and everyone else who is smart enough to know better has their price. And they would beggar every middle class voter in the US before they will voluntarily give up one dime of their ill gotten gains.

But my model says that the oligarchs will continue to press their advantages, being flushed with victory, until they provoke a strong reaction that frightens everyone, like a wake up call, and the tide then turns to genuine reform."

As far as I can tell, we are right on track for a very bad time of it. And you might be surprised at how far a belief in exceptionalism and arrogant superiority can go before it finally ends, or more likely, falls.

Revolt of the Rich by Mike Lofgren

An interesting variation of the quiet coup theory was advanced by Mike Lofgren in his influence article Revolt of the Rich (TAC, August 27, 2012)

It was 1993, during congressional debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement. I was having lunch with a staffer for one of the rare Republican congressmen who opposed the policy of so-called free trade. To this day, I remember something my colleague said: “The rich elites of this country have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their fellow American citizens.”

That was only the beginning of the period when the realities of outsourced manufacturing, financialization of the economy, and growing income disparity started to seep into the public consciousness, so at the time it seemed like a striking and novel statement.

At the end of the Cold War many writers predicted the decline of the traditional nation-state. Some looked at the demise of the Soviet Union and foresaw the territorial state breaking up into statelets of different ethnic, religious, or economic compositions. This happened in the Balkans, the former Czechoslovakia, and Sudan. Others predicted a weakening of the state due to the rise of Fourth Generation warfare and the inability of national armies to adapt to it. The quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan lend credence to that theory. There have been numerous books about globalization and how it would eliminate borders. But I am unaware of a well-developed theory from that time about how the super-rich and the corporations they run would secede from the nation state.

I do not mean secession by physical withdrawal from the territory of the state, although that happens from time to time—for example, Erik Prince, who was born into a fortune, is related to the even bigger Amway fortune, and made yet another fortune as CEO of the mercenary-for-hire firm Blackwater, moved his company (renamed Xe) to the United Arab Emirates in 2011. What I mean by secession is a withdrawal into enclaves, an internal immigration, whereby the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot.

Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension—and viable public transportation doesn’t even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call and a chartered plane to get to the Mayo Clinic, why worry about Medicare?

Being in the country but not of it is what gives the contemporary American super-rich their quality of being abstracted and clueless. Perhaps that explains why Mitt Romney’s regular-guy anecdotes always seem a bit strained. I discussed this with a radio host who recounted a story about Robert Rubin, former secretary of the Treasury as well as an executive at Goldman Sachs and CitiGroup. Rubin was being chauffeured through Manhattan to reach some event whose attendees consisted of the Great and the Good such as himself. Along the way he encountered a traffic jam, and on arriving to his event—late—he complained to a city functionary with the power to look into it. “Where was the jam?” asked the functionary. Rubin, who had lived most of his life in Manhattan, a place of east-west numbered streets and north-south avenues, couldn’t tell him. The super-rich who determine our political arrangements apparently inhabit another, more refined dimension.

To some degree the rich have always secluded themselves from the gaze of the common herd; their habit for centuries has been to send their offspring to private schools. But now this habit is exacerbated by the plutocracy’s palpable animosity towards public education and public educators, as Michael Bloomberg has demonstrated. To the extent public education “reform” is popular among billionaires and their tax-exempt foundations, one suspects it is as a lever to divert the more than $500 billion dollars in annual federal, state, and local education funding into private hands — meaning themselves and their friends. What Halliburton did for U.S. Army logistics, school privatizers will do for public education. A century ago, at least we got some attractive public libraries out of Andrew Carnegie. Noblesse oblige like Carnegie’s is presently lacking among our seceding plutocracy.

In both world wars, even a Harvard man or a New York socialite might know the weight of an army pack. Now the military is for suckers from the laboring classes whose subprime mortgages you just sliced into CDOs and sold to gullible investors in order to buy your second Bentley or rustle up the cash to get Rod Stewart to perform at your birthday party. The sentiment among the super-rich towards the rest of America is often one of contempt rather than noblesse.

Stephen Schwarzman, the hedge fund billionaire CEO of the Blackstone Group who hired Rod Stewart for his $5-million birthday party, believes it is the rabble who are socially irresponsible. Speaking about low-income citizens who pay no income tax, he says: “You have to have skin in the game. I’m not saying how much people should do. But we should all be part of the system.”

But millions of Americans who do not pay federal income taxes do pay federal payroll taxes. These taxes are regressive, and the dirty little secret is that over the last several decades they have made up a greater and greater share of federal revenues. In 1950, payroll and other federal retirement contributions constituted 10.9 percent of all federal revenues. By 2007, the last “normal” economic year before federal revenues began falling, they made up 33.9 percent. By contrast, corporate income taxes were 26.4 percent of federal revenues in 1950. By 2007 they had fallen to 14.4 percent. So who has skin in the game?

... ... ...

Since the first ziggurats rose in ancient Babylonia, the so-called forces of order, stability, and tradition have feared a revolt from below. Beginning with Edmund Burke and Joseph de Maistre after the French Revolution, a whole genre of political writings—some classical liberal, some conservative, some reactionary—has propounded this theme. The title of Ortega y Gasset’s most famous work, The Revolt of the Masses, tells us something about the mental atmosphere of this literature.

But in globalized postmodern America, what if this whole vision about where order, stability, and a tolerable framework for governance come from, and who threatens those values, is inverted? What if Christopher Lasch came closer to the truth in The Revolt of the Elites, wherein he wrote, “In our time, the chief threat seems to come from those at the top of the social hierarchy, not the masses”? Lasch held that the elites—by which he meant not just the super-wealthy but also their managerial coat holders and professional apologists — were undermining the country’s promise as a constitutional republic with their prehensile greed, their asocial cultural values, and their absence of civic responsibility.

Lasch wrote that in 1995. Now, almost two decades later, the super-rich have achieved escape velocity from the gravitational pull of the very society they rule over. They have seceded from America.

Mike Lofgren also authored the book The Party Is Over How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted. Here is quote from one of Amazon reviews:

Over time, that sense of entitlement insensibly changed Democrats into what we in the Pentagon would call ENABLERS of Republicans. The Democratic enablers unwittingly played a crucial role in the demolition of the American dream, not unlike that played by infiltration troops in blitzkrieg. Infiltration troops soften up the front by slipping through defenses to find or create holes and weak areas for the tanks to roar thru to reap chaos and destruction deep in the enemy's rear area. Only in this case, the rear area being ruined is the American middle class, and the flood of tanks is taken up by the flood money supplied by the oligarchs who feather their nests by buying Democrats as well as Republicans in one seamless auction.

Put bluntly, to protect a sense of hereditary entitlement to the power that accompanied the coattails of FDR and the New Deal, Democrats abandoned their heritage and moved to Wall Street, Big Pharma, Defense, etc., and in so doing, insensibly mutated into faux Republicans. If you doubt this, look at the enervating, quasi-neoliberal bloviating by the self-inflating Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) or the cynical triangulations and warmongerings of Messrs. Clinton and Obama. The abdication of traditional Democratic principles gave Republican crazies more room to get even crazier, and together the faux Republicans and the real crazy Republicans reinforced each other to create a rightward shift in the American political dynamic that unleashed the emergence of a new gilded age, together with the emergence of a legalized plutocracy that criminal Russian oligarchs would envy. And this mutation came about in a remarkably short time of 30 to 40 years.

In so doing, the Democrats sold out their most important constituency, i.e., John Q. Average American, and colluded in the historic swindle that brought the great American middle class to the brink of impoverishment and debt peonage, a condition some times referred to chillingly in the tone-deaf salons of Versailles on the Potomac as the "new normal."

If you think collusion is too strong a term, I would urge you to think about Bill Clinton's (the DLC's choice for president in the 1992 election) collusion with Republicans in 1999 to nullify of the Depression era Glass-Steagle Act -- one of monuments of reform in the New Deal. This nullification was one of the main deregulatory "initiatives" that unleashed the greedy excesses that led to the 2007-8 financial meltdown. When he left office, Bill Clinton, by the way, did not pick up his grips and retire to a modest house in Independence Missouri like Harry Truman; he chose instead to join the plutocratic elite, where he is now well on his way to becoming a card-carrying member of the one-tenth of one-percent club of the mega rich. The bottom line: the Democrats' sense of entitlement and the consequent corruption of their principles have been a necessary, if not sufficient, condition in the emergence of the current political-economy that is destroying what is left of the middle class in our good ole USA. The reader would make a great mistake if he or she allowed the hilariously disgusting Republican hijinks described by Lofgren to brand his book as an anti-Republican polemic written by a convert, and miss his main message.

Mike, of course, states clearly in his title that his subject is how the madness of the Republicans and the uselessness of the Democrats reinforced each other over the last 30 to 40 years to hose the American People. It is the degenerate nature of their symbiotic relationship that is his thesis and should be the Left's call to arms.

I do not count on this happening, however. The faux Republicans are far more likely to try to exploit the embarrassment of riches in Mike's book for their narrow short-term political advantage, in yet another demonstration of the hypocrisy and opportunism that are central pillars propping up their losing mentality.

Neo-classical economics smoke screen in Yves Smith’s Econned

Chicago neoclassical economics school is a well known pseudo-science school, one of the pillars of Economic Lysenkoism (along with  Supply Side Economics).  This is an economic cult, an ideology of financial oligarchy. So it is more proper to it not neoclassical, but as aptly suggested by Bill Black “theoclassical”   or  Chicago Ponzinomics.  It is a neoliberal phenomenon, not neoclassical. Like in Lysenkoism, and high demand sects anybody who strays from the cult is in danger of being ostracized. As Mark Thoma observed:

Some years ago, when I first presented an empirical paper questioning some of the conventional views on trade to a high profile economics conference, a member of the audience (a very prominent economist and a former co-author of mine) shocked me with the question "why are you doing this?

There is a useful part of neoclassical economy related to thinking about an aggregate social phenomena in terms of costs and benefits of individual participants, and that can be sometimes (but not always) as a useful supplementary approach. Bastartized version of this notion which tries to imply cost-benefit motives in all human interactions is called Freakonomics. Still you can view some choices people make as tradeoffs between desired goals and social constraints (which can interpreted as costs). 

Still neoclassical economics as practiced by Chicago school  is driven by ideology and financed by financial oligarchy.

And like Trofim Lysenko and his followers those people are as close to criminals as one can get.  Like Rabbies and Catolic Priests can be criminals, the same is true about people in academic mantles. Corruption of academics is nothing new, but corruption of economists is a very dangerous mass form of  white-collar crime as close to Madoff  and his associates as one can get. This is the way we should look at the Chicago schools: kind of incarnation of Lysenko henchmen or, if you wish, Chicago mafia in a university environment. Actually similar way of thinking can be applied to Harvard (see Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia ).

Is neoclassical economics a mafia? Sort of, says Christopher Hayes in a very well-written and very interesting piece in The Nation. He says orthodox economists are a close-knit group and are quick to penalize those among them or from outside who overstep the boundaries. Here is an excerpt:

So extreme is the marginalization of heterodox economists, most people don't even know they exist. Despite the fact that as many as one in five professional economists belongs to a professional association that might be described as heterodox, the phrase "heterodox economics" has appeared exactly once in the New York Times since 1981. During that same period "intelligent design," a theory endorsed by not a single published, peer-reviewed piece of scholarship, has appeared 367 times.

It doesn't take much to call forth an impressive amount of bile from heterodox economists toward their mainstream brethren. John Tiemstra, president of the Association for Social Economics and a professor at Calvin College, summed up his feelings this way: "I go to the cocktail parties for my old schools, MIT and Oberlin, and people are all excited about Freakonomics. I kind of wince and go off to another corner or have another drink." After the EPI gathering, Peter Dorman, an economist at Evergreen State College with a gentle, bearded air, related an e-mail exchange he once had with Hal Varian, a well-respected Berkeley economist who's moderately liberal but firmly committed to the neoclassical approach. Varian wrote to Dorman that there was no point in presenting "both sides" of the debate about trade, because one side--the view that benefits from unfettered trade are absolute--was like astronomy, while any other view was like astrology. "So I told him I didn't buy the traditional trade theory," Dorman said. "'Was I an astrologer?' And he said yes!"

Please note that some of the most close to Lysenkoism figures at Chicago, such as Cochrane and Fama, are in the business school rather than the econ department.   And they were key enablers of  Goldman Sacks and Co. looters. Deregulation wave was promoted by right wing extremists who recruited corrupted academicians like Milton Friedman to perform specific role of Trojan horse to undermine New Deal.  He managed to made the "invisible hand" a prefect pocket picker!  And the method of spreading influence was essentially borrowed from the Lysenko book: control the economic department and those who went to college and studied those theories in the 70’s and 80’s would then go to Wall St and Government and enact them. Control the key academic magazines and conferences and any aspiring economists need either to conform or leave the field.

Here is one telling comment about corruption of those modern day Lysenkoists in the blog Crooked Timber

ogmb 09.18.09 at 12:01 pm

...Cochrane is the AQR Capital Management Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth [formerly Graduate] School of Business. Which incidentally also makes his whining that Krugman ‘accuses us literally of adopting ideas for pay, selling out for “sabbaticals at the Hoover institution” and fat “Wall street paychecks”’ a bit malnourished in the introspection department, coming from someone who holds a chair sponsored by a quantitative trading firm at a school sponsored by the founder of an EMH investment firm. (Nevermind that Krugman never, literally or otherwise, accused Cochrane and his peers of selling out to Wall Street…)

In this ideology Milton Friedman is playing the role of false prophet and lesser "giants" producing continued steam of detached from reality papers and speeches. It also includes several clown who as Krugman noted have some qualities of irritable adolescents, but actually are proper heirs of Academician Trofim Lysenko:

And that same adolescent quality was evident in the reactions to the Obama administration’s attempts to deal with the crisis — as Brad DeLong points out, people like Robert Lucas and John Cochrane (not to mention Richard Posner, who isn’t a macroeconomist but gets his take from his colleagues) didn’t say that when serious scholars like Christina Romer based policy recommendations on Keynesian economics, they were wrong; the freshwater crowd declared that anyone with Keynesian views was, by definition, either a fool or intellectually dishonest. So the freshwater outrage over finding their own point of view criticized is, you might think, a classic case of people who can dish it out but can’t take it.

But it’s actually even worse than that.

When freshwater macro came in, there was an active purge of competing views: students were not exposed, at all, to any alternatives. People like Prescott boasted that Keynes was never mentioned in their graduate programs. And what has become clear in the recent debate — for example, in the assertion that Ricardian equivalence rules out any effect from government spending changes, which is just wrong — is that the freshwater side not only turned Keynes into an unperson, but systematically ignored the work being done in the New Keynesian vein. Nobody who had read, say, Obstfeld and Rogoff would have been as clueless about the logic of temporary fiscal expansion as these guys have been. Freshwater macro became totally insular. And hence the most surprising thing in the debate over fiscal stimulus: the raw ignorance that has characterized so many of the freshwater comments. Above all, we’ve seen the phenomenon of well-known economists “rediscovering” Say’s Law and the Treasury view (the view that government cannot affect the overall level of demand), not because they’ve transcended the Keynesian refutation of these views, but because they were unaware that there had ever been such a debate. It's a sad story. And the even sadder thing is that it’s very unlikely that anything will change: freshwater macro will get even more insular, and its devotees will wonder why nobody in the real world of policy and action pays any attention to what they say.

The proper label for neo-classical economics might be "theological voluntarism", the term which has some academic aura... There are several issues here:

  1. Excessive dependence or even open prostitution to the financial oligarchy. It's deplorable but probably unavoidable as the grip of financial community of economic profession does not requires any additional commentary. Also there are always exceptions to the rule.
  2. Mathematical masturbation instead of science. When, for example, a paper that propose even a linear equation (or God forbid differential equation) does not provide any estimate of errors of input data such a paper in a narrow sense can be called mathematical masturbation. Classic example here would be any paper that has inflation as an input variable. In a more broad sense this occurs when research paper contains results or mathematical model which rely on idealized, with little connections to reality postulates about the structure of economic activities. Many supply/demand models belong to this category as they rely on existence of equilibrium between supply and demand and/or are ignoring Minsky instability hypothesis. Most neo-classical economics can be called a theory in a desperate search for suitable reality.
  3. Relying on discredited and openly anti-scientific assumptions or hypothesis. Examples include, but not limited to "supply side voodoo", "monetarism", "Taylor rule", "permanent equilibrium fallacy", "invisible hand" (both as a postulate about absence of manipulation of the markets and the idea that "free markets lead to efficient outcomes" disregarding the role of government and almost permanent government intervention as well as issues of economic rent and taxation of participants to support an aristocracy or oligarchy).

Chicago (or as some called it freshwater) school specializes in deification of the market (often in the form of "invisible hand" deification, see The Invisible Hand, Trumped by Darwin - NYTimes.com). 

Econned

Yves Smith’s in her book Econned, How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism discussed the role of corrupted economics professor in establishing and supporting the rule of financial oligarchy. Here is one Amazon review

kievite:

 Neoclassical economics as a universal door opener for financial oligarchy, September 25, 2010

There are many good reviews of the book published already and I don't want to repeat them. But I think there is one aspect of the book that was not well covered in the published reviews and which I think is tremendously important and makes the book a class of its own: the use of neoclassical economics as a universal door opener for financial oligarchy. I hope that the term "econned" will became a new word in English language.

Neoclassical economics has become the modern religion with its own priests, sacred texts and a scheme of salvation. It was a successful attempt to legitimize the unlimited rule of financial oligarchy by using quasi-mathematical, oversimplified and detached for reality models. The net result is a new brand of theology, which proved to be pretty powerful in influencing people and capturing governments ("cognitive regulatory capture"). Like Marxism, neoclassical economics is a triumph of ideology over science. It was much more profitable though: those who were the most successful in driving this Trojan horse into the gates were remunerated on the level of Wall Street traders.

Economics is essentially a political science. And politics is about perception. Neo-classical economics is all about manipulating the perception in such a way as to untie hands of banking elite to plunder the country (and get some cramps from the table for themselves). Yves contributed to our understanding how "These F#@king Guys" as Jon Steward defined them, economics professors from Chicago, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton and some other places warmed by flow of money from banks for specific services provided managed to serve as a fifth column helping Wall Street to plunder the country. The rhetorical question that a special counsel to the U.S. Army, Joseph Welch, asked Senator McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency?" applies.

The main effect of neoclassical economics is elevating unregulated ( "free" in neoclassic economics speak) markets into the key mechanism for distribution of the results of economic activity with banks as all-powerful middlemen and sedating any opposition with pseudo-mathematical mumbo-jumbo. Complexity was used as a powerful smoke screen to conceal greed and incompetence. As a result financial giants were able to loot almost all sectors of economics with impunity and without any remorse, not unlike the brutal conquerors in Middle Ages.

The key to the success of this nationwide looting is that people should be brainwashed/indoctrinated to believe that by some alchemical process, maximum level of greed results in maximum prosperity for all. Collapse of the USSR helped in this respect driving the message home: look how the alternative ended, when in reality the USSR was a neo-feudal society. But the exquisite irony here is that Bolsheviks-style ideological brainwashing was applied very successfully to the large part of the US population (especially student population) using neo-classical economics instead of Marxism (which by-and-large was also a pseudo-religious economic theory with slightly different priests and the plan of salvation ;-). The application of badly constructed mathematical models proved to be a powerful tool for distorting reality in a certain, desirable for financial elite direction. One of the many definitions of Ponzi Scheme is "transfer liabilities to unwilling others." The use of detached from reality mathematical models fits this definition pretty well.

The key idea here is that neoclassical economists are not and never have been scientists: much like Marxist economists they always were just high priests of a dangerous cult -- neoliberalism -- and they are more then eager to stretch the truth for the benefit of the sect (and indirectly to their own benefit). All-in-all this is not unlike Lysenkoism: state support was and still is here, it is just working more subtly via ostracism, without open repressions. Look at Sheller story on p.9.

I think that one of lasting insights provided by Econned is the demonstration how the US society was taken hostage by the ideological views of the neoclassical economic school that has dominated the field at least for 30 or may be even 50 years. And that this ideological coup d'état was initiated and financed by banking establishment who was a puppeteer behind the curtain. This is not unlike the capture of Russia by Bolsheviks supported by German intelligence services (and Bolsheviks rule lasted slightly longer -- 65 years). Bolsheviks were just adherents of similar wrapped in the mantle of economic theory religious cult, albeit more dangerous and destructive for the people of Russia then neoclassical economics is for the people of the USA. Quoting Marx we can say "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce".

That also means that there is no easy way out of the current situation. Ideologies are sticky and can lead to the collapse of society rather then peaceful evolution.

Amorality and psychopathic tendencies

It might well be that for certain part of this new transnational elite with their "cult of greed" can be characterized by a callous disregard for other people feelings typical for psychopaths. Moreover for new, first generation members of this elite those psychopathic tendencies (which does not mean that the person is an outright psychopath, or sociopath)  might be a powerful engine in climb to the top and can play a important, if not decisive role in their success. They look more like "well compensated" sociopaths. See Authoritarians and Corporate Psychopaths as Toxic Managers for more information about typical traits that define this condition.

 There’s a section in the book The Psychopath Test, in which British journalist Jon Ronson  does the psychopath test on "Chainsaw Al" Dunlop, the former CEO of Sunbeam who was notorious for gleefully laying off thousands of workers to make more money.  And he redefines a great number of the items on the checklist as business positives. He turned the psychopath test into “Who Moved My Cheese?” The thing that’s so startling about his story is that the more ruthlessly and remorselessly psychopathically he behaved when he was heading up Sunbeam and the company before Sunbeam — Scott — the more he was rewarded. As Times reported on 2011/09/20:

One in 25 bosses may be psychopaths — a rate that’s four times greater than in the general population — according to research by psychologist and executive coach Paul Babiak.

Babiak studied 203 American corporate professionals who had been chosen by their companies to participate in a management training program. He evaluated their psychopathic traits using a version of the standard psychopathy checklist developed by Robert Hare, an expert in psychopathy at the University of British Columbia in Canada.

Psychopaths, who are characterized by being completely amoral and concerned only with their own power and selfish pleasures, may be overrepresented in the business environment because it plays to their strengths. Where greed is considered good and profitmaking is the most important value, psychopaths can thrive.

Just look at the at their grandiosity, their pathological lying, their lack of empathy, their lack of remorse of the financial elite demonstrated during the crisis of 2008.  I know there’s a danger in seeing psychopaths everywhere, but sometimes in this case it’s just impossible not to see some alarming correlations. Look at the apostils of deregulation in the USA such as:

Shaming the poor as a new sport for the transnational elites and subservient politicians

Amorality and psychopathic tendencies of new transnational elite and a special breed of corrupted politicians who serve them are perfectly demonstrated in the new sport for crooked politicians, especially from the part of the US Republican Party which can be called neo-confederates.

Barbara Ellen in her Guardian column (Guardian March 2, 2013) pointed out that the Methodists, the United Reformed Church, the Church of Scotland and the Baptist Union have joined forces to publish a study called The Lies We Tell Ourselves. It highlights myths surrounding people and poverty, including Iain Duncan Smith's much trumpeted "families out of work for three generations" line (which, it turns out, has never been backed up by data).

The report argues that the government is "deliberately misrepresenting" the poor, blaming them for their circumstances while ignoring more complex reasons, including policy deficiencies. Moreover, they feel that this scapegoating is the result of collusion between politicians, the media and the public.

Increasingly, the shame is being taken out of poor-shaming. It didn't seem so long ago that most people would think twice about denigrating fellow citizens who were having a hard time. These days, it appears to have been sanctioned as a new sport for the elites. A politician is one thing but these attitudes are spreading and hardening among ordinary people too. Indeed, poverty seems a trigger to inspire hate speech that would be quickly denounced if it related to race or gender.

Is this our new default setting – that the needy are greedy? This chimes with a slew of government policies that appear to be founded on notions of bulletproof self-reliance, making no allowances for circumstances or sheer bad luck, and which many would require huge amounts of help to put into practice, never mind sustain. Meanwhile, the more fortunate are invited to pour scorn upon anyone who fails.

While there are people whose problem are self-inflicted for many this is not true. In reality substantial number of poor are former people of modest means hit by a serious disease and who run out of options.

And shaming poor is a pretty safe sport. The poor are poor. They have no money, no voice, no representatives, and no means to defend their interests. Poverty is a like collapse of domino – once the first domino falls, all others follow the suit. In such circumstances, if a group of people are "deliberately misrepresents" the real situation with the poor, then there's precious little they can do about it. The churches got it right – if anything, the truth seems so much worse that it must surely be time to put the shame back into poor-shaming.

Poor-shamers are bullies, and right now they're getting away with it.

To what extent new transnational elite is monolithic ?

State interests and interest of large social groups are "projected" on the elite making is less monolithic then otherwise it might be. Here is come to a complex question of "national elite" vs. "transnational elite". This question is often discussed under the banner of  "Fifth column".  In this sense   Color revolutions  can be viewed as attempts to "harmonize" elite with the requirements of international corporations plus geostrategic interests of the counties which "home" those corporations.  See for example Russian experience in "white Revolution" of 2011-2012

In this sense Civil war can be viewed as a condition in which two parts of the elite in the same country can't reconcile their differences with peaceful means. That's definitely true about the US Civil War. 

Existence of "ideologically charged" and openly nationalistic parties which periodically come to power in various countries somewhat undermines the thesis about international elite dominance, unless you assume that such parties represent "blowback" of internationalization of capital and come to power to protect the interest of some parts of the national elite threatened by "more international" (aka comprador) part of the elite. Which is historically  true for NDSP (with military-industrial complex as the main supported of them as a tool against communists as well as against Jewish financial oligarchy) as well as for Bolsheviks in Russia (if we assume the theory that the initial core of Bolsheviks movement before Stalin purges was Russian Jewish intelligencia supported by the USA (via Trotsky connections) and some other countries (paradoxically Germany during the period of WWI; it was Germany that "delivered" to Russia by via a special train  Bolshevik leaders caught at the beginning of WWI in various European countries including Germany, in violation of the their status as "interned" nationals for the duration of the First World War )).

"Resource nationalism" is another close, but more modern phenomenon

Nationalism is probably the most potent force for undermining the unity of international elite.

The problem of degeneration of elite

The elite in most European countries and the USA consists not of the "best of the breed". It became more like the result of adverse selection.  Conversion to neoliberalism just made this problems more acute. At this point the problem of degeneration of elite comes to the forefront. George Bush II was clear a warning in the respect. Obama might well be the second bell. In criticizing the degeneration of the current US or GB elite, we should not forget that such processes are not new and in the past were the cause of several revolutions. Financial oligarchy of the neoliberal society is only a new name for aristocrats. And in the past the self-serving, decadent and corrupted upper class was the important source of instability in the society.  level of degeneration  of European elite which clearly demonstrated the fact the Cameron managed to came to power in GB in many respects makes the situation even more fragile than in the USA. Here is one telling quote (The EU's ugly kindergarten of intellectually challenged clowns):

It is generally accepted that "politics is the art of the possible" and yet the EU leaders are clearly engaged in the art of the absolutely impossible. The fact that they are all pretending like this is going to have some useful impact is truly a sign of how much the EU leadership has degenerated over the years. Can you imagine Helmut Schmidt, Charles de Gaulle, Margaret Thatcher, François Mitterrand or Francisco Franco engaging in that kind of infantile nonsense? All these leaders had their bad aspects, but at least none of them were clowns, whereas when I look at the current EU leadership, especially Van Rumpey, Adners Fogh Rasmussen or José Manuel Barroso I get the feeling that I am looking at some ugly kindergarten of intellectually challenged clowns and, frankly, I can understand Mrs Nuland's feelings.

Degeneration of elites lead the denunciation of the elites, when to a large body of civil population became clear that the upper class is no longer fulfill their function, do not care about the people, and, in case of neoliberal elite, is not even the part of the same society -- it acquired features of a foreign, parasitizing on the national body occupation force.

If the elite is not regenerates itself, catastrophic crisis in Society became more likely.  The state itself became a “quasi-state”: endowed with juridical statehood, yet lacking the political will, institutional capacity, and organized authority to protect human rights and provide socioeconomic welfare for the population. In this case a parallel political authority -- a shadow state replaces the "regular" stat – whose defining characteristic is the change of the role of security services in the governance of the state. See National Security State. Dissolution of the USSR was particularly connected with such a level of degeneration of the elite as well as betrayal of security services with KGB brass changing sides and adopting neoliberalism as a new ideology. 

At the same time while people like Obama and Cameron are merely instruments of  neoliberalism and financial capital.  So one explanation of the degradation of elite is the current crisis of neoliberalism. This is somewhat similar to the degradation of  Politburo in last years of the USSR.  They all however fit the definition of idiocy, repeating the same mistakes that prove so unfailingly disastrous, over and over, the inability to learn from their mistakes.

Here is one telling comment from Moon of Alabama discussion:

jayc | Aug 29, 2014 3:12:01 PM | 13

When Cameron started taking selfies at Mandela's funeral it undermined any remaining notion that he was some kind of leader, he was rather revealed as a mediocre middle-management suckup.

Western political leadership is chock full of these types. Policy is being developed at another level than elected representatives and middle-management is there to sell the policy.

I'm not sure NATO wants a full shooting proxy war - they don't care much about Ukraine or its people and would be content with new bases and new weapons programs.

The intent, it seems, is to isolate Russia from Europe and hope that the effects from sanctions could produce some sort of regime change or fracture the country into territories It seems that the Kiev regime has done just about everything possible to provoke a Russian invasion.

Western politicians and media, by their open hysteria and constant insistence that Russia has "invaded" and shot down a passenger plane, are invoking a sort of nostalgia for the Afghanistan invasion of 1978 or the KAL007 shoot down, when the evil empire stood revealed and the brave middle managers could rush to the barricades.

Unfortunately for them, Russia hasn't played that game and because they are mediocre the West's political leadership cannot summon the imagination for what to do next.

Crest | Aug 29, 2014 6:26:49 PM | 47 

@jayc 13
"Russia hasn't played that game and because they are mediocre the West's political leadership cannot summon the imagination for what to do next."

This is a great line. Western elites have no imagination, because of a generation of brutally purging all dissent from the neoliberalism/financialist imperalism paradigm.

If you don't believe in the Washington consensus, you don't exist.

They simply can't think of anything better, and they won't allow themselves to try.


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[Jul 12, 2017] The Syrian Test of the Trump-Putin Accord by Ray McGovern

Schizophrenic and very well armed America is a real danger to the world...
The USA is no longer can be considered as a country that can obey agreements and treaties signed. That means that it is pariah on international stage and only the power of Us military-industrial complex keeps other countries from spitting in the US representatives face.
Notable quotes:
"... Yet, the key to Putin's assessment of Donald Trump is whether the U.S. President is strong enough to make the mutually agreed-upon ceasefire stick. As Putin is well aware, to do so Trump will have to take on the same "deep-state" forces that cheerily scuttled similar agreements in the past. In other words, the actuarial tables for this cease-fire are not good; long life for the agreement will take something just short of a miracle. ..."
"... Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will have to face down hardliners in both the Pentagon and CIA. Tillerson probably expects that Defense Secretary James "Mad-Dog" Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo will cooperate by ordering their troops and operatives inside Syria to restrain the U.S.-backed "moderate rebels." ..."
"... But it remains to be seen if Mattis and Pompeo can control the forces their agencies have unleashed in Syria. If recent history is any guide, it would be folly to rule out another "accidental" U.S. bombing of Syrian government troops or a well-publicized "chemical attack" or some other senseless "war crime" that social media and mainstream media will immediately blame on President Bashar al-Assad. ..."
"... Last fall's limited ceasefire in Syria, painstakingly worked out over 11 months by Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and approved personally by Presidents Obama and Putin, lasted only five days (from Sept. 12-17) before it was scuttled by "coalition" air strikes on well-known, fixed Syrian army positions, which killed between 64 and 84 Syrian troops and wounded about 100 others. ..."
"... In public remarks bordering on the insubordinate, senior Pentagon officials a few days before the air attack on Sept. 17, showed unusually open skepticism regarding key aspects of the Kerry-Lavrov agreement – like sharing intelligence with the Russians (an important provision of the deal approved by both Obama and Putin). ..."
"... The Pentagon's resistance and the "accidental" bombing of Syrian troops brought these uncharacteristically blunt words from Foreign Minister Lavrov on Russian TV on Sept. 26: ..."
"... "My good friend John Kerry is under fierce criticism from the U.S. military machine. Despite the fact that, as always, [they] made assurances that the U.S. Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama, supported him in his contacts with Russia apparently the military does not really listen to the Commander in Chief." ..."
"... Lavrov specifically criticized Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Gen. Joseph Dunford for telling Congress that he opposed sharing intelligence with Russia despite the fact, as Lavrov put it, "the agreements concluded on direct orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama [who] stipulated that they would share intelligence." Noting this resistance inside the U.S. military bureaucracy, Lavrov added, "It is difficult to work with such partners." ..."
"... Putin picked up on the theme of insubordination in an Oct. 27 speech at the Valdai International Discussion Club, in which he openly lamented: ..."
"... "My personal agreements with the President of the United States have not produced results. people in Washington are ready to do everything possible to prevent these agreements from being implemented in practice." ..."
"... It took, actually, not even Syria but Ukraine to expose a complete incohesiveness of US power structure–it is literally not treaty-worthy. It can not be since itself is divided into parties with, sometimes, diametrically opposite views (and objectives). It is really sad and embarrassing. ..."
"... Today was yet another corporate America Trump defamation day. Trump's son admitted that last year the Russians gave him evidence that H. Clinton did corrupt deals in Russia. What were these deals? No one cares! It does not matter, we all know she is corrupt. Clinton is not open for attack! The Trumpers committed treason by simply accepting such evidence! Impeach! ..."
"... America wanted regime change from the get-go. Rebels in Syria got huge amounts of weapons courtesy of America and its allies. John McCain pleaded for rebels to get weapons and support. The result was Al Qaida using American TOW missiles. ..."
Jul 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

The immediate prospect for significant improvement in U.S.-Russia relations now depends on something tangible: Will the forces that sabotaged previous ceasefire agreements in Syria succeed in doing so again, all the better to keep alive the "regime change" dreams of the neoconservatives and liberal interventionists?

Or will President Trump succeed where President Obama failed by bringing the U.S. military and intelligence bureaucracies into line behind a cease-fire rather than allowing insubordination to win out?

These are truly life-or-death questions for the Syrian people and could have profound repercussions across Europe, which has been destabilized by the flood of refugees fleeing the horrific violence in the six-year proxy war that has ripped Syria apart.

But you would have little inkling of this important priority from the large page-one headlines Saturday morning in the U.S. mainstream media, which continued its long obsession with the more ephemeral question of whether Russian President Vladimir Putin would confess to the sin of "interference" in the 2016 U.S. election and promise to repent.

Thus, the headlines: "Trump, Putin talk election interference" ( Washington Post ) and "Trump asks Putin About Meddling During Election" ( New York Times ). There was also the expected harrumphing from commentators on CNN and MSNBC when Putin dared to deny that Russia had interfered.

In both the big newspapers and on cable news shows, the potential for a ceasefire in southern Syria – set to go into effect on Sunday – got decidedly second billing.

Yet, the key to Putin's assessment of Donald Trump is whether the U.S. President is strong enough to make the mutually agreed-upon ceasefire stick. As Putin is well aware, to do so Trump will have to take on the same "deep-state" forces that cheerily scuttled similar agreements in the past. In other words, the actuarial tables for this cease-fire are not good; long life for the agreement will take something just short of a miracle.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will have to face down hardliners in both the Pentagon and CIA. Tillerson probably expects that Defense Secretary James "Mad-Dog" Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo will cooperate by ordering their troops and operatives inside Syria to restrain the U.S.-backed "moderate rebels."

But it remains to be seen if Mattis and Pompeo can control the forces their agencies have unleashed in Syria. If recent history is any guide, it would be folly to rule out another "accidental" U.S. bombing of Syrian government troops or a well-publicized "chemical attack" or some other senseless "war crime" that social media and mainstream media will immediately blame on President Bashar al-Assad.

Bitter Experience

Last fall's limited ceasefire in Syria, painstakingly worked out over 11 months by Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and approved personally by Presidents Obama and Putin, lasted only five days (from Sept. 12-17) before it was scuttled by "coalition" air strikes on well-known, fixed Syrian army positions, which killed between 64 and 84 Syrian troops and wounded about 100 others.

In public remarks bordering on the insubordinate, senior Pentagon officials a few days before the air attack on Sept. 17, showed unusually open skepticism regarding key aspects of the Kerry-Lavrov agreement – like sharing intelligence with the Russians (an important provision of the deal approved by both Obama and Putin).

The Pentagon's resistance and the "accidental" bombing of Syrian troops brought these uncharacteristically blunt words from Foreign Minister Lavrov on Russian TV on Sept. 26:

"My good friend John Kerry is under fierce criticism from the U.S. military machine. Despite the fact that, as always, [they] made assurances that the U.S. Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama, supported him in his contacts with Russia apparently the military does not really listen to the Commander in Chief."

Lavrov specifically criticized Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Gen. Joseph Dunford for telling Congress that he opposed sharing intelligence with Russia despite the fact, as Lavrov put it, "the agreements concluded on direct orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama [who] stipulated that they would share intelligence." Noting this resistance inside the U.S. military bureaucracy, Lavrov added, "It is difficult to work with such partners."

Putin picked up on the theme of insubordination in an Oct. 27 speech at the Valdai International Discussion Club, in which he openly lamented:

"My personal agreements with the President of the United States have not produced results. people in Washington are ready to do everything possible to prevent these agreements from being implemented in practice."

On Syria, Putin decried the lack of a "common front against terrorism after such lengthy negotiations, enormous effort, and difficult compromises."

Lavrov's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, meanwhile, even expressed sympathy for Kerry's quixotic effort, giving him an "A" for effort.after then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter dispatched U.S. warplanes to provide an early death to the cease-fire so painstakingly worked out by Kerry and Lavrov for almost a year.

For his part, Kerry expressed regret – in words reflecting the hapless hubris befitting the chief envoy of the world's "only indispensible" country – conceding that he had been unable to "align" all the forces in play.

With the ceasefire in tatters, Kerry publicly complained on Sept. 29, 2016: "Syria is as complicated as anything I've ever seen in public life, in the sense that there are probably about six wars or so going on at the same time – Kurd against Kurd, Kurd against Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sunni, Shia, everybody against ISIL, people against Assad, Nusra [Al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate]. This is as mixed-up sectarian and civil war and strategic and proxies, so it's very, very difficult to be able to align forces."

Admitting Deep-State Pre-eminence

Only in December 2016, in an interview with Matt Viser of the Boston Globe , did Kerry admit that his efforts to deal with the Russians had been thwarted by then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter – as well as all those forces he found so difficult to align.

"Unfortunately we had divisions within our own ranks that made the implementation [of the ceasefire agreement] extremely hard to accomplish," Kerry said. "But it could have worked. The fact is we had an agreement with Russia a joint cooperative effort.

"Now we had people in our government who were bitterly opposed to doing that," he said. "I regret that. I think that was a mistake. I think you'd have a different situation there conceivably now if we'd been able to do that."

The Globe's Viser described Kerry as frustrated. Indeed, it was a tough way for Kerry to end nearly 34 years in public office.

After Friday's discussions with President Trump, Kremlin eyes will be focused on Secretary of State Tillerson, watching to see if he has better luck than Kerry did in getting Ashton Carter's successor, James "Mad Dog" Mattis and CIA's latest captive-director Pompeo into line behind what President Trump wants to do.

As the new U.S.-Russia agreed-upon ceasefire goes into effect on Sunday, Putin will be eager to see if this time Trump, unlike Obama, can make a ceasefire in Syria stick; or whether, like Obama, Trump will be unable to prevent it from being sabotaged by Washington's deep-state actors.

The proof will be in the pudding and, clearly, much depends on what happens in the next few weeks. At this point, it will take a leap of faith on Putin's part to have much confidence that the ceasefire will hold.

Ray McGovern was an Army officer and CIA analyst for almost 30 years. He now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). He can be reached at: rrmcgovern@gmail.com . A version of this article first appeared on Consortiumnews.com.

Andrei Martyanov , Website July 11, 2017 at 4:44 pm GMT

Only in December 2016, in an interview with Matt Viser of the Boston Globe, did Kerry admit that his efforts to deal with the Russians had been thwarted by then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter – as well as all those forces he found so difficult to align.

It took, actually, not even Syria but Ukraine to expose a complete incohesiveness of US power structure–it is literally not treaty-worthy. It can not be since itself is divided into parties with, sometimes, diametrically opposite views (and objectives). It is really sad and embarrassing.

Carlton Meyer , Website July 12, 2017 at 4:31 am GMT

Today was yet another corporate America Trump defamation day. Trump's son admitted that last year the Russians gave him evidence that H. Clinton did corrupt deals in Russia. What were these deals? No one cares! It does not matter, we all know she is corrupt. Clinton is not open for attack! The Trumpers committed treason by simply accepting such evidence! Impeach!

I watched part of Oliver Stone's interview. The reason Snowden remains in Russia is because the USA refuses to sign an extradition treaty with Russia. There are several Russians living in the USA wanted for looting large sums in Russia, and Putin wants justice, but they are exempt, like Hillary. Read about her Russian Uranium kickback deal, its on-line, but of no interest to our corporate media.

Not news in the USA!

Ram , July 12, 2017 at 10:06 am GMT

@Sean " Assad could not win a free election and everyone knows it. "

Just as everyone knows that Russia won the election for Trump as enunciated by the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.

Jon Halpenny , July 12, 2017 at 10:33 am GMT

Sean, that is pure nonsense. America wanted regime change from the get-go. Rebels in Syria got huge amounts of weapons courtesy of America and its allies. John McCain pleaded for rebels to get weapons and support. The result was Al Qaida using American TOW missiles.

[Jul 10, 2017] The Media Perpetuated A Clinton Lie For 9 Months. What It Means For The Russia Narrative

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
"... the Associated Press ..."
"... The truth about this "17 intel agencies" claim matters, not so much because of what it says about the intelligence community's conclusion on Russian meddling, but because of what it says about the establishment media's conclusion on Russian meddling. ..."
"... The fact is many of these narratives bear all the same hallmarks as the "17 intelligence agencies" mess. ..."
"... Based on the word of one anonymous source, The Washington Post reported that Russia had hacked the U.S. electrical grid. That was quickly proven false when the electric company, which the reporter had not bothered to contact before publishing, said in a statement the grid definitely was not hacked , and the "Russian hacker" may have been no hacker at all, but an employee who mistakenly visited an infected site on a work computer. ..."
"... The media is bent on supporting already foregone conclusions about Trump and Russian meddling, no matter what they have to scoop up or parrot or claim (or ignore) to do so. ..."
"... for the media, it's also just a "basic fact" that Trump likely colluded with Russia, and that he should be impeached, and that his White House is on the verge of literally disappearing into a sinkhole. ..."
Jul 10, 2017 | dailycaller.com
When Hillary Clinton claimed "17 intelligence agencies" agree on Russian meddling in the third presidential debate, a host of media outlets including The New York Times rated the claim as 100 percent true. Nine months later, those same outlets say the stat is obviously false, and there's been a "simple" explanation as to why all along.

A closer look at how the claim survived and thrived over those nine months reveals a startling lack of skepticism in the press when it comes to the Russia narrative. The truth is the great majority of the 17 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community had nothing to do with the investigation and made no judgments about the matter.

"The reason the views of only those four intelligence agencies, not all 17, were included in the assessment is simple: They were the ones tracking and analyzing the Russian campaign," The New York Times now reports . "The rest were doing other work."

Strange admission for the paper, since its star political reporter recently reiterated the false claim as she was in the middle of writing an article characterizing President Trump as stubbornly foolish.

"The latest presidential tweets were proof to dismayed members of Mr. Trump's party that he still refuses to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help him get elected," Maggie Haberman wrote. Her story was later corrected to reflect the ! basic fact ! that only three agencies working under the Director of National Intelligence contributed to the intelligence community's conclusion.

A few days later, the Associated Press echoed that correction in a "clarification" bulletin acknowledging there's no truth to the claim the wire service had repeatedly blasted out for publication to news outlets all over the world.

The bizarrely timed corrections put the media in a bit of a truth pickle, especially after Trump drew attention to the corrections at a high-profile press conference in Poland. "They had to apologize, and they had to correct," he noted.

The New York Times, CNN and others quickly spun up articles and tweets aimed at steering the conversation away from this uncomfortable truth about their proliferation of an outright false claim, and back to the more comfortable "isn't Trump an idiot?" narrative.

"17 intel agencies or four? Either way, Russia conclusion still valid," Politifact wrote in a Thursday headline . "Trump still doesn't seem to believe his intelligence agencies," CNN blared .

The New York Times took it a step further , dismissing the truth of the claim as a "technicality" and then accusing Trump of spreading a "misleading" narrative by correcting the record. Their headline on a story about Trump calling them out for pushing a bogus claim: "Trump Misleads on Russian Meddling: Why 17 Intelligence Agencies Don't Need to Agree."

Journalists eagerly tweeted out these headlines .

But that uncomfortable truth remains. The "17 intelligence agencies" embellishment is frighteningly easy to catch. A cursory glance of the DNI website would show the truth. More importantly, the sheer length of time the falsehood stood in public record at the highest echelons of media betrays an astounding lack of scrutiny on other points in the Russia narrative, which are often sourced to political operatives and anonymous "officials."

Let's look at how this happened, and what it says about the media's overall credibility in the Russia collusion narrative, from the top.

The claim can be traced straight back to candidate Clinton in the third presidential debate, remarking on Russian meddling a few weeks after the DNI released a statement on the investigation. The press didn't demonstrate any interest in the number of agencies that signed off on the Oct. 7 statement, until Clinton unleashed the "17" number in the debate (other than a CNN report incorrectly claiming there are 19 intelligence agencies).

She was clearly trying to add some umpf to the DNI assessment and pour cold water on Trump's skepticism about Russia's attempt to influence the election. She even repeated the number twice, firmly planting it in the record.

"I think that this is such an unprecedented situation," Clinton said. "We've never had a foreign government trying to interfere in our election. We have 17, 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin. And they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing."

Trump took the bait.

"She has no idea whether it is Russia, China or anybody else," he replied, setting off a back and forth that would be reiterated over and over in the press as evidence he was in denial about Russian meddling. "I am quoting 17, 17 ! do you doubt?" Clinton said, and Trump responded definitively: "Our country has no idea. Yeah, I doubt it. I doubt it."

With that, Hillary's claim was up and off.

Journalists highlighted the talking point on Twitter as they covered the debate. And the fact checks came rolling in. The New York Times , Politico , ABC News , Politifact and PBS all rated the claim as totally true the night of the debate. Before the night ended The New York Times was using Clinton's number with authority in its reporting, saying in a debate wrap up that Trump had "refused" to acknowledge "the unanimous conclusion of America's 17 intelligence agencies."

The following day the number popped up in reports from Politico and Defense One, quickly divorced from its context as a debate talking point and transformed into an indisputable fact attached to Trump-Russia stories.

"The Office of the Director of National Intelligence collects and coordinates for the President the information and analysis from the 17 agencies that make up U.S. national intelligence collection," a line in the Defense One report on "Trump's Denial" stated.

Politico hadn't previously used the 17 figure in reporting on Russian meddling, but now framed it as common knowledge that Clinton had to "explain" to Trump: "As Clinton tried to explain that the Russian role is the finding of 17 military and civilian intelligence agencies, Trump cut her off: 'I doubt it.'"

The fact checks continued to roll in. USA Today wrote a particularly aggressive check on the claim headlined "Yes, 17 intelligence agencies really did say Russia was behind hacking." The article confidently asserted, "Clinton is correct."

All of these "fact checks" and reports were wrong, of course, as has since been made ultra clear. As The New York Times now concedes, the truth about her claim was obviously false from the start. Any reporter capable of operating Google could have looked up a list of the intelligence agencies in question, and ruled out almost half in just minutes.

The Department of Energy, Treasury and Drug Enforcement agencies can be dismissed out of hand. The military service intelligence organizations can't legally operate on U.S. soil. Add the Coast Guard and we're tentatively at eight remaining intel agencies under DNI. The Defense Intelligence Agency is also unlikely. Geospatial intelligence? Definitely not. National recon office? Not unless a political influence campaign has something to do with a missile launch or natural disaster.

That leaves us with State Department intelligence, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, CIA and NSA. Five tops, narrowed down at the speed of common sense and Google.

Sure, the October DNI report was presented as the conclusion of the intelligence community, which does consist of 16 separate agencies headed up by the DNI. At first glance, her claim might seem perfectly reasonable to someone unfamiliar with the makeup of the intelligence community. But it's journalistic malpractice to do a fact-check level review of her claim that each agency separately reviewed and judged the campaign, without so much as hinting at the obvious likelihood that most of them weren't involved.

Nevertheless, the claim persisted.

"All 17 U.S. Intelligence agencies believe the Russians are behind that leak," ABC host George Stephanopoulos told Trump in an October interview . "Why don't you believe it?"

"[Trump] has consistently denied any link between the hackers and the Kremlin, despite 17 intelligence agencies' claims to the contrary," the Daily Beast reported that same day .

NBC News dropped Hillary's number nugget in a December report on the Obama White House asking the intelligence community for a dossier on the hacking assessment. The resulting report would be shared with the public, White House counterterrorism advisor Lisa Monaco said at the time.

"Monaco used careful language, calling it a 'full review of what happened during the 2016 election process,'" NBC reported. "But since the U.S. government has already said that all 17 intelligence agencies agree Russia was behind the hacks, Monaco's meaning was clear."

Reuters, too, touted the number in a December report that characterizes the DNI as a "17-agency strong" operation.

The declassified DNI report that followed in January provided new details on the assessment that dumped ice-cold water on the "17 intelligence agencies agree" claim. The conclusion was drawn only from the NSA, CIA and FBI, the report said. (The New York Times conceded this in a break down of the report, although the claim would later make its way back into the paper's pages.)

A few months later former national intelligence director James Clapper reiterated the truth in a high-profile congressional hearing about Russian interference, opting to correct the record without any partisan prompting.

"As you know, the I.C. was a coordinated product from three agencies; CIA, NSA, and the FBI ! not all 17 components of the intelligence community," he said in his opening remarks. "Those three under the aegis of my former office."

And when Democrat Sen. Al Franken reiterated the false claim later in the hearing, Clapper once again made a point of correcting the record.

"The intelligence communities have concluded ! all 17 of them ! that Russia interfered with this election," Franken said. "And we all know how that's right."

Clapper interjected: "Senator, as I pointed out in my statement, Senator Franken, it was, there were only three agencies directly involved in this assessment, plus my office."

"But all 17 signed on to that?" Franken pressed.

"Well, we didn't go through that, that process," Clapper replied, again shooting down the claim as utterly false. "This was a special situation because of the time limits we decided to restrict it to those three."

So not only was the assessment only made by three of the 16 agencies working under the DNI, but also Clapper indicated here that none of the other agencies even signed off on the report before it was released. Yes, none of them dissented. But why would they, since they didn't have independent evidence to suggest otherwise?

At this point in the life of Hillary's debate talking point, there's just no credible way to rate the claim as true. The DNI report made the truth explicit, and Clapper had now reiterated that truth in a very public setting.

Yet just a few weeks later Clinton unabashedly reiterated the "17 agencies agree" claim in an interview with the tech outlet recode, and as if on cue the media once more began spreading it around.

"Read the declassified report by the intelligence community that came out in early January," Clinton said. "17 agencies, all in agreement – which I know from my experience as a senator and secretary of state is hard to get – they concluded with 'high confidence' that the Russians ran an extensive information war against my campaign to influence voters in the election."

A little while later the bogus claim showed up in an AP report , after The Daily Caller News Foundation fact checked Clinton's claim in the interview and found it false. And then twice more in June before the "clarification" memo was published. Stephanopolous was back at it as well in a June 11 interview with Republican Sen. Mike Lee. And then that Haberman report in The New York Times on the 25th echoing the claim, which was rather strangely corrected four days later.

After all this, CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta actually accused Trump on Thursday of pushing "fake news" by saying the conclusion only came from "three or four" agencies. "Where does that number come from?" Acosta asked.

And all the time , the tweets from journos eager to harp on the Trump-Russia narrative kept coming .

The timing of the AP and NYT corrections are a bit of a mystery, but for whatever reason the press is now collectively saying Trump is correct in his push back on the "17 agencies" claim. And that's got the narrative a bit tangled. After initially doubling down on the "true" rating of Clinton's debate claim, Politifact is now bizarrely also rating the claim mostly false in a separate fact check.

So we're left with that uncomfortable truth. The establishment press uncritically "vetted" and embraced a Clinton campaign talking point designed to make Trump look foolish, divorced it of its political context and reiterated it word-of-God style for more than six months ! all the time either ignoring or missing entirely easily obtainable information proving it false ! and then suddenly reversed course on the claim weeks after it was unambiguously and authoritatively debunked.

We live in a world where r/the_donald ! a Reddit thread teeming with Trump supporters ! proved more shrewd than The New York Times and the Associated Press when vetting an important claim about the Russia investigation.

The truth about this "17 intel agencies" claim matters, not so much because of what it says about the intelligence community's conclusion on Russian meddling, but because of what it says about the establishment media's conclusion on Russian meddling.

Haberman and her ilk seem intent on casting Trump as a loner bordering on a nervous breakdown, maniacally watching the news at all hours, hollering at staff and generally acting like a buffoon. And there's the almost daily implication that Trump personally coordinated a hacking campaign with Russia, an implication grounded in no hard evidence despite a lengthy investigation.

The fact is many of these narratives bear all the same hallmarks as the "17 intelligence agencies" mess.

Sources often appear to be politically motivated, like Clinton. They show up in bizarre numbers, like "dozens" or "more than 30." Anecdotes seem almost questionable at face value. An astonishing number of hastily reported or vaguely sourced "scoops" turn out to be totally wrong when the subject of the story corrects the record.

In a report casting the White House as fraught and bordering on collapse, Haberman wrote that Trump likes to stew over cable news in a bathrobe. The White House refuted the anecdote in no uncertain terms the following day.

Based on the word of one anonymous source, The Washington Post reported that Russia had hacked the U.S. electrical grid. That was quickly proven false when the electric company, which the reporter had not bothered to contact before publishing, said in a statement the grid definitely was not hacked , and the "Russian hacker" may have been no hacker at all, but an employee who mistakenly visited an infected site on a work computer.

CNN reported that Former FBI Director James Comey would refute Trump's claim the director told him three separate times he was not personally under investigation. Comey did no such thing. In fact he corroborated Trump's account .

Just weeks after retracting a story on a wealthy Trump associate and Russia, CNN insisted for days Trump would not ask Putin about Russian meddling during their first meeting. Of course, the report depended on an anonymous source. Of course, it was wrong . One of the first things Trump did when he sat down with Putin was "press" him on the subject multiple times, according to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was in the room.

We could go on, but the point remains. The media is bent on supporting already foregone conclusions about Trump and Russian meddling, no matter what they have to scoop up or parrot or claim (or ignore) to do so. Sure, it's a "basic fact" Russia meddled in the election. But for the media, it's also just a "basic fact" that Trump likely colluded with Russia, and that he should be impeached, and that his White House is on the verge of literally disappearing into a sinkhole.

The facts they use to support these conclusions might as well be irrelevant.

Follow Rachel on Twitter Send tips to rachel@ dailycallernewsfoundation.org .

[Jul 02, 2017] Does the global neoliberal elite represents a parasitic entity ? If we are talking about financial oligarchy then the answer is yes

The fact that considerable part of financial elite is Jewish changed nothing
www.moonofalabama.org

pantaraxia | Jul 2, 2017 9:08:27 AM | 64

@45 smuks

Careful about that 'parasites' thing.

The conflict is systemic, deeply rooted in the current (dominant) socio-economic order. Reducing it to a narrative of 'parasitic global elites' risks encouraging simplistic 'answers', i.e. laying the blame on certain groups of people.

Last time it was the Jews...who's turn now?

...Your obvious apprehension over the demonization of 'parasitic global elites' is addressed here:

New Rule: Save the Rich Fcks | Real Time with Bill Maher
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahpp27WAT2M

PS: Its interesting to note that in the context of discussing 'parasitic global elites' you bring up the subject of Jews, contextually implying some sort of association. There are numerous Jewish organizations that would accuse you of practicing 'dog whistle politics' here.

[Jul 01, 2017] Americans are mostly either fed-up, checked out, suffering from Stockholm syndrome, or some combination of the these.

Jul 01, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU | Jun 30, 2017 8:49:39 PM | 34

@NemesisCalling | Jun 30, 2017 8:21:54 PM | 31

The US could be divided into three or more parts.

  1. First the US as a state, which is its government. Neo-cons/full spectrum dominance ect.
  2. Second the US culture in general, Exceptionalism/arrogance that gave rise to the state.
  3. Third is the tiny percentage of Americans who do not have the culture of exceptionalism and arrogance.

Jackrabbit | Jun 30, 2017 9:38:11 PM | 37

I too am an American that is awake.

There are many US Libertarians, Progressives, and others that are dismayed at the exceptional! go-along-to-get-along and corporate-controlled media, all led by neolibcons that want MOAR!

Americans are (mostly) either fed-up, checked out, suffering from Stockholm syndrome, or some combination of the these. What they need a kick-in-the-ass. And that is likely to come from what has been termed "the reset": a point at which the can can no longer be kicked.

smuks | Jun 30, 2017 8:50:51 PM | 35

@Nemesis

Well said...!
I know there are many highly intelligent Americans, who are already today suffering and paying a price. And I agree that (widespread) anti-American sentiment is as stupid and reactionary as any other form of nationalism. It's just another 'divide and rule' ideology to keep ordinary people at each others' throats, rather than see them united against their common enemy, the global so-called 'elite'/ oligarchs.
Playing groups of people against one another is the oldest domination trick in the world, but it seems to work every single time...sad! ;-)

[Jul 01, 2017] The Corporate Contradictions of Neoliberalism by David Ciepley

Notable quotes:
"... This article originally appeared in ..."
"... Volume I, Number 2 (Summer 2017): 58–71. ..."
consortiumnews.com
In The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism -a canonical work of economic sociology in the 1970s and '80s-Daniel Bell argued that the productive and consumptive sides of capitalism had fallen into contradiction. Capitalism continued to rely on the Protestant ethic of sobriety and delayed gratification in the sphere of production, yet, contradictorily, had come to rely on modernist hedonism and credit purchasing in the sphere of consumption. Modern capitalism needed people to be sober by day and swingers by night. What is more, the displacement of the Protestant ethic by hedonism, Bell argued, was primarily the work of capitalism itself. Its mass production urbanized the population and created an economy of abundance, the continuation of which relied on ever increasing demand, stimulated through marketing and the extension of credit. This pulled the middle class away from small town, Protestant values. In other words, capitalism was undermining the conditions of its own existence. The economy's contradictory need for both prudence and prodigality from its participants was "the deepest challenge to the society."

I first read and taught Bell as a graduate student in the 1990s. Already by then the urgency of Bell's thesis had receded. Capitalism had weathered this putative internal contradiction for a generation, with no signs of implosion. The perceived threat to American capitalism at the time came instead from the outside, from Japan. Japan's integrated industrial policy, "quality circles," and knack for translating American technological advances into desirable consumer products had created an economic juggernaut that seemed to be rolling right over American industry. It seemed emblematic when President George H. W. Bush led a pugnacious trade delegation to Japan in 1992 only to fall ill and, at a state dinner, cast the craw and faint into the lap of the Japanese prime minister.

Japan's economic miracle, moreover, could itself be read as putting Bell's thesis in question. At that time, the routine of the Japanese salaryman was to work very long and grave hours at the office followed by almost daily late-night drinking parties and the occasional group outing to the hot spring baths, the night girls, or the geisha: sober by day, swinger by night. This behavior was not seen as contradictory. Nor did it have to be. The compartmentalization of value spheres and conduct is commonplace in most human societies; the demand for consistency is the real anomaly. The case could thus be made that Bell's sense of foreboding was but an artifact of the American tendency to misconstrue as a human norm the peculiarly Puritan aspiration for consistency of personality across all spheres, rationalizing all life according to one supreme value. Setting aside that assumption, it seemed to me not so much that American capitalism was becoming self-contradictory as that it was becoming more "Japanese," with the undergraduate ethos of "work hard play hard" as its training ground.

Whatever the shortcomings of Bell's specific thesis, however, one should not dismiss the more general possibility Bell raises of a system-threatening contradiction between a cultural system and an economic system. In particular, there can be a contradiction between a society's economic ideology, or cultural system of economic legitimation, and its economic reality. I argue that we are experiencing this in an acute way under neoliberalism-a contradiction between the market ideology neoliberalism espouses and the corporate reality it fosters.

Any system exhibiting a contradiction between its legitimation system and its reality is set up for sudden delegitimation. But in the case of neoliberalism, the contradiction does more. Neoliberalism was born in reaction against totalitarian statism, and matured at the University of Chicago into a program of state-reduction that was directed not just against the totalitarian state and the socialist state but also (and especially) against the New Deal regulatory and welfare state. Neoliberalism sought to privatize public services, deregulate private services, and shrink social spending. 1 It is thus unusual among ideologies in that it does not seek to rationalize the status quo. It is a self-consciously reactionary ideology that seeks to roll back the status quo and institutionalize (or, on its own understanding, re-institutionalize) the "natural" principles of the market. In other words, it is transformative. But the contradiction between its individualist ideals and our corporate reality means that the effort to institutionalize it, oblivious to this contradiction, has induced deep dysfunction in our corporate system, producing weakened growth, intense inequality, and coercion. This makes neoliberalism's position all the more precarious. And when the ideological support of a system collapses-as appears to be happening with neoliberalism-then either the system will collapse, or new levels of coercion and manipulation will be deployed to maintain it. This appears to be the juncture at which we have arrived.

The Corporation as a Franchised Government

For the contradiction between neoliberalism and the corporation to be clear, it is necessary to say a few words about the nature of the business corporation.

The business corporation, like any corporation, is a little government. Its deepest roots run back to the municipality of Rome, the first corporation in law, which was at the same time the civitas , or Roman state. More proximately, the business corporation was modeled on the incorporated medieval town, and it carries forward its central legal features.

(1) As is true of the town, a corporate firm's assets are not owned by natural persons, but by an abstract legal entity -the "artificial person" of the corporation, which assumes the legal position of sole proprietor. This fact should immediately explode the most insidious myth about the business corporation, that it is owned by its stockholders. The whole point of the legal form is to transfer ownership of the business assets to this legal entity, which in principle "never dies." This prevents investors from pulling these assets out and liquidating the firm, and it allows all economic liabilities generated by the firm to be shifted from natural persons to this entity. Since the legal entity owns the assets of the business corporation, the stockholders obviously do not.

In the case of a university or other incorporated nonprofit, it is obvious that the assets are owned by a legal entity, since there are no stockholders to whom one could ascribe ownership. The business corporation, however, is commonly read through the lens of the partnership (due in good measure to the efforts of the neoliberals, as we will see), as if the stockholders were a species of partner and thus co-owners of the firm. Yet this is precisely what they are not, lacking the ownership rights, the liabilities, and the responsibilities of partners.

The misconception that stockholders are owners akin to partners in a partnership seems to stem from two things. First, stockholders have purchased stock, which is imagined to be tantamount to acquiring part ownership. But stock is just a financial instrument-a special form of good that a corporation is privileged to sell. And purchasing a good sold by a firm-whether stocks, blocks, or socks-does not give one ownership rights in the firm. In the United States, as in most countries, stockholders, whether acting individually or jointly, cannot use, lend out, exclude others from, collateralize, sell, or alienate corporate assets. In other words, stock ownership does not convey any rights of ownership over the firm or its assets. And this has been true from the beginning (despite legal ideology sometimes to the contrary). Stockholders have no legal claim whatsoever on these assets except at bankruptcy, when they are last in line as heirs, not first in line as owners. Nor do stockholders have a legal right to profits or dividends. Dividends are issued at the discretion of the board-as Apple demonstrated quarter after quarter to its long-suffering stockholders.

The second source of the confusion is that stockholders appear to have ultimate control of the firm, and ultimate control is a right of owners. This view, however, rests on a double misconception. First, while ownership implies control rights, control rights do not necessarily imply ownership. If they did, the boards of charitable foundations would be the owners, as would the bishops and elders of churches, the principals of schools, the mayors of towns, and the presidents and parliaments of countries. As this should make clear, control can derive from jurisdictional authority no less than from ownership. Therefore, one cannot infer shareholder ownership from whatever control rights shareholders might have. Second, stockholders do not in fact have any control rights, whether proximate or ultimate, over the firm-at least not in the United States nor in most other countries. In the business corporation, as in the university, the ultimate right to control the property and to create, fill, and prescribe the duties of all positions lies with the board, as is expressly stated in the corporate charter or general incorporation statute. (Holders of a majority of the stock must consent to a firm's liquidation or its merger with another firm, because this involves the death of the firm. But they have no right to initiate or force these actions.)

It is true that the holders of common stock (although not the holders of preferred stock or other nonvoting shares) get to elect all members of the board other than the members of the first board. And this appears to give them ultimate control. If they are well organized, it will indeed likely give them de facto control. But this is not a legally enforceable control right . Imagine that all the common stock is held by a single stockholder, who therefore can place on the board whomever she will. If this board nonetheless subsequently decides to defy her, all she can do is wait for the next board election and replace it-just as the citizens of a town must wait for the next election to replace their city council or mayor (assuming no criminal activity). She cannot overrule the board, nor remove the offending board members, nor sue them (all things she could do if she were the owner and they her legal agent). All control rights lie with the board (just as all control rights lie with a sovereign parliament, not with the citizenry that elects it).

It might yet be thought that, although the right of election does not convey genuine control rights, it is itself evidence of ownership. But this is not correct either-as if the cardinals who elect the pope "own" the papacy, or the citizens who elect the mayor or president "own" the town or the state and its assets. True owners don't get a vote, but a veto, which is why the governance rule for general partnerships (whose members are true owners of the firm's assets) is unanimity on all major questions affecting the firm. The right of shareholders to participate in board elections is a charter right, not a property right.

In light of this, it is correct to argue, as did Adolf Berle and Gardner Means in their 1932 tour de force The Modern Corporation and Private Property , that the modern corporation exhibits a "separation of ownership and control." But Berle and Means were wrong to suggest that this separation occurred gradually, as shareholders became more numerous and geographically dispersed. Rather, the separation is inherent to the corporate form. Ownership is with the entity; control is with the board, which acts on behalf of the entity. What Berle and Means meant to underscore is that all but the largest shareholders have lost meaningful participation in the election of the board, and thus have lost their influence over it, leaving hired managers a free hand. But properly put, this is not a separation of ownership and control (which obtains regardless of the shareholders' level of participation), but a separation of shareholder and de facto control, or more precisely, a separation of shareholder and "influence" through election. Control of a corporation is simply not a function of who "owns" it, any more than control of a town is. (If it were, control would rest with the legal entity; but an abstract entity cannot act and a fortiori cannot control.) Rather, control rights are established by the charter.

As noted above, the point of having assets owned by a legal entity is to prevent assets from being pulled out by investors, forcing partial or complete liquidation of the firm. That is the Achilles heel of the general partnership as a business form. In contrast, with a corporation, assets are locked in permanently and can be specialized to the production process, allowing for increased scale and productivity. Historically, this is the main advantage of the corporate form for business. Marx was thus right to hold that bourgeois property would become a fetter on the productive powers of capital, to be burst asunder and replaced with socialized property. But it has been socialized primarily at the level of the corporation, not at the level of the state. Corporate property is a form of socialized property.

(2) The next legal feature that the business corporation carried over from the town is that, like the officers of a town, the managers and investors of a business corporation are exempt from liability for corporate debts , and in practice almost always escape liability for corporate harms, or torts. This is a second advantage of the corporate form for business. Debts and damages are paid by the corporate entity, not by natural persons. Here, however, an important distinction must be noted between the corporate town and the corporate firm. The officers of the town are elected by those over whom they rule and upon whom they act. Therefore, if they cause harm, it is at their own political risk, regardless of their protection from normal economic and legal risk. The officers of the corporate firm, in contrast, neither rule over nor act upon those who elect them, but rather rule over disenfranchised employees and act on numerous third parties. This relieves those who control corporate firms of most of their personal incentive to avoid causing harm when it is otherwise profitable.

(3) If neither the shareholders nor the managers own the assets of the corporate firm, whence derives management's authority? Like a town, every corporation receives from the state a jurisdiction within which its officers legislate and rule. A university's board of trustees, for example, legislates and rules over the property and personnel of the university-an authority it receives from the state, via the corporate charter. Similarly, in a business corporation, the board of directors legislates and rules over the property and personnel of the firm, even though the directors may not own any of it. This authority of the board, too, is delegated to it by the state, via a charter. It does not come from the shareholders (who, although they select the occupants of the seats on the board going forward, do not create the board's structure, procedures, powers, or duties). Indeed, the board is created and begins to operate the business before shares are even issued. The board creates the shareholders; shareholders do not create the board. And prior to that, the state creates the board, and endows it with its authority. This does not make the board and the firm it controls an agent of the state. Rather, it is the state's franchisee. To spell this out: the corporate firm gets its "personhood" (its right to own and contract as a separate legal entity), its liability regime, its governance structure, and its governing authority from the state, but it hires its own personnel and secures its own financing. This is a franchising relationship, and for this reason, I refer to corporations as "franchise governments." 2

The Neoliberal Corporation

The above exposition of corporations as governing authorities franchised by the civil government is, with slight modification, the classic view of corporations, as expounded, for example, in Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England . "None but the king can make a corporation," which the king does either directly or through delegation to others such as the legislature. The authority the corporation wields, Blackstone continues, is a "franchise" of the king, analogous in this respect to the authority that the feudal vassal wields, also delegated from the king. Like lordships, corporations are part of the overall system of government established by the king. 3 And this is part of the reason that classical liberals, including Adam Smith, were so suspicious of corporations and wished to circumscribe them. 4 They recognized that they were not part of the free market, but represented state interventions in the market.

This is, of course, not the view of corporations espoused by neoliberals. The problem that the corporation posed for neoliberals, when neoliberalism first emerged as a self-conscious ideological movement at the end of World War II, is that one could hardly put over a free market agenda if one's leading business actors were seen as state-created entities. So neoliberals had to retheorize the corporation as a creation of private contract (or at least something that could in principle be created by private contract). Accordingly, stockholders-rechristened "shareholders"-were theorized as owners who hire a board to act on their behalf. (Again, remember how wrong this is; shareholders are not owners of corporate assets, and the board gets its authority before they even exist.) In other words, neoliberals cast the corporation as a glorified partnership, to be operated in the interest of its imagined owners and principals, the stockholders.

This account superficially squares the corporation with market principles of private property and contract. But the social cost has been high. The institutionalization of this account in recent decades has transformed both the boardroom and the workplace, producing what I call the "neoliberal corporation." And this is responsible for many of the economic inequities and dislocations that plague us today.

First it transformed the boardroom. Starting in the 1980s, under the influence of the Chicago school of "law and economics"-one of the founding strongholds of neoliberal thought-both law and norms changed to reorient corporations towards maximizing "shareholder value." This was done partly by empowering stockholders in the boardroom-although unfortunately at a time when the character of the typical stockholder was changing, from an individual long-term investor to an institutional investor (a pension fund, mutual fund, hedge fund, or private equity fund) working under quarterly profit imperatives. Executives who didn't look out for this new (and impatient) Number One were liable to find themselves replaced.

Even more effectively, this reorientation was done by bribing executives with compensation packages heavily skewed towards stock and stock options. A generation ago, stock compensation was an insignificant part of CEO pay. Today, in Fortune 500 companies, it constitutes over 80 percent of a CEO's pay. 5 In the tinted view of human psychology typical of Chicago School neoliberalism, it is assumed that CEOs will strive narrowly to maximize their personal income, not the welfare of the firm. Therefore, the Chicago neoliberal reasons, structure their pay so that, in maximizing it, they simultaneously maximize (short-term) stockholder returns.

Two effective means of quickly juicing a stock price are to increase dividend payments and to buy back stock. As William Lazonick details, stock buybacks-that is, corporate repurchases of its previous stock issues, which decrease the supply of outstanding stock, and thus increase its price-have become so popular with executives that buybacks now consume on average over 50 percent of the profits of S&P 500 firms. In some years, the buybacks of some firms have topped 100 percent of corporate profits. 6 That is, the companies spent more on repurchasing their stock than they earned for the year, which is done by cutting into their reserves, taking on debt, or selling off assets. Increasing dividend payments, even when profits are not rising, similarly robs the future to pay off the present. This is what I call "vampire management," sucking out the accumulated life force of the company to feed current stockholders. Others have likened it to cannibalism-of stockholders eating the corporate body. What it means, in Bell's terms, is that the hedonism and immediate gratification of the rentier has gained control over the arena of production.

The societal consequences have been overwhelmingly negative. On the one hand, it means that the revenues of the firm have been massively reallocated, with much of what used to be shared with workers now disgorged to shareholders and executives. Wages stagnated even when productivity continued to climb. This is at the root of our growing economic inequality. But it also affects the rate of economic growth itself. Production is still an arena wherein focus on the long term-that is, delayed gratification-works best. But the refocus on short-term share price means that research and development get cut, reinvestment in plant expansion gets cut, and worker training gets cut, because their payoffs are not immediate. The result is slower growth. What is more, the pressure against worker training encourages, as an alternative, the de-skilling of the production process, which in turn facilitates the offshoring of jobs, further suppressing domestic wages.

In short, when the short-term focus of the hedonist gains control of the arena of production, all lose out in the long term, but the worker loses out disproportionately, in both long term and short term. There is no longer a "cultural contradiction" between production and consumption, as both are now ruled by an ethos of immediate gratification. It turns out we were better off when there was a contradiction.

Second, neoliberal retheorization of the corporation has transformed the workplace. As part of this retheorization, neoliberals adopted a newfangled principal-agent theory indebted to game theory, according to which principal and agent always act opportunistically towards one another. In the neoliberal view, shareholders are assumed to be the principals (rather than the corporate entity and its authorized purpose), and the employees-whether top managers or line employees-are assumed to be their agents, who will shirk if left to their own vices. Fortunately for top managers, boards primarily use the carrot of stock and stock options to align the managers' interests with the shareholders (although this is arguably the most expensive way to motivate managers). But there aren't enough carrots to go around. So line workers get the stick-that is, an increasingly coercive workplace with electronic monitoring, shaming, and so forth. This of course decreases their actual commitment to their employer and, in a self-fulfilling prophecy, can turn them into actual shirkers.

In sum, the rise of the neoliberal corporation creates a slow-growth, high-inequality, high-coercion economy.

Neoliberalism and the New Scarcity

What neoliberalism has done to the realm of production must also be placed in the context of what neoliberalism has done to the realm of consumption. This can be summarized by saying that neoliberalism reimposes the logic of scarcity on the economy of abundance. It does so in several ways.

First, as just explained, are the distributive effects of neoliberalism. Workers are deprived of their productivity gains, with almost all of it conferred upon the executives and the rentiers. So their purchasing power remains stagnant even as wealth explodes all around them. This is both a material and psychological reimposition of scarcity.

Second are the privatization effects of neoliberalism. Neoliberalism shrinks the sphere of public services and "privatizes"-or rather, corporatizes-the provision of the public services that remain. In most instances, corporate provision has proven to be more expensive than public provision, since the rentier investor needs his cut. Think of privately operated toll roads, or Chicago's privately operated parking. And it shifts the cost of service from the wealthy taxpayer to the general public of users, which pays cost plus profit. Relatedly, college has gotten so expensive, as its own managerial costs have exploded while state legislatures have cut public funding, that parents' expectation of a "return on investment" becomes understandable. Students feel forced into the moneymaking occupations, rather than artistic or care occupations, because of student debt, and because essential goods increasingly must be purchased, including education for the students' own anticipated children. The tightening of personal bankruptcy laws increases this pressure. There is limited public provision of the basics to liberate one for risk-taking, including entrepreneurial risk-taking, and fewer second chances if one gets in financial trouble. So even the youth become extremely risk averse. With fewer going into the helping professions and creative professions, there is less help for those in need, and an impoverishment of the culture.

Third are the monopoly effects of neoliberalism. One of the first targets of the Chicago neoliberals, both on the law faculty and the economics faculty, was the country's antitrust regime. Breaking up monopolies was just one more unnecessary government intervention in the market. Given enough time, the market would itself undermine monopolies, as new entrants brought disruptive technologies to bear. Their recommended rollback of antitrust enforcement was finally institutionalized under President Reagan.

Unfortunately, neoliberal argumentation on this point was always tendentious. Firms naturally pursue "pricing power," and when industry concentration can occur through acquisition even more easily than through organic growth, it is foolhardy to imagine that new entrants will keep markets competitive. They can simply be bought out. Indeed, in a corporate economy, this can be done even against the will of the target company's management. And sure enough, monopoly has returned to the United States with a vengeance, as Barry Lynn and Philip Longman of New America have argued. Commodity food producers are hit especially hard. Their productive inputs-seeds and sprays, for example-are in the hands of a few suppliers. Meanwhile, their productive outputs-chicken, beef, pork, corn, soy, dairy, and so on-often have only one local buyer. A few enormous processors operate as monopsonists with respect to the food producers, and monopolists with respect to the consumer, lowering incomes on the one end, and raising prices on the other. Monopoly pricing pervades other consumer markets as well-cable television and Internet service, eyewear, beer, breakfast cereal, pet food, department stores and office supply stores, and so on-where monopoly is often concealed behind a veneer of brand diversity. Standing at the end of supply chains riddled with unchecked monopolies, the consumer finds the reach of her dollar considerably foreshortened. Lynn and Longman also argue persuasively that monopoly has suppressed innovation and job creation. Monopoly is thus a double burden, producing fewer good incomes in an economy of overpriced goods.

Fourth are the globalization effects of neoliberalism. For those who control corporations, the new mobility of corporate capital has been a race to the top, as national jurisdictions compete to offer ever more favorable terms of operation for those who control. For everyone else, that means a race to the bottom, as corporate tax rates are cut along with environmental regulations, health and safety regulations, and worker wages. The decline in tax receipts means a decline of funding for what still remains in the public sphere, even as the other declines mean these funds are more needed. It may be the case that there are productive efficiencies to be gained through the mobility of capital-although as we've seen, if this comes at the expense of long-term investments in productivity, this may not be true on balance. But even supposing there are, the costs and benefits of these productivity gains are being distributed most unequally.

In this new neoliberal world, the economic drive elicited by the siren song of hedonism is replaced by the spur of deprivation, as wages fail to keep up with the cost of living. 7 American households have the highest credit card debt load in the world (over $6,000 on average, but over $16,000 on average among those that have credit card debt), which is perhaps not surprising given that over half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, with an estimated 62 percent lacking liquid funds sufficient to cover a $1,000 emergency expenditure. 8 Debt that was racked up to live large becomes debt racked up to stay afloat. It is all the same to the creditor rentier. The economic ideal of the financier, banker, and rentier in general is that all purchases, whether of private individuals or governments, be made on credit, so that all income streams are channeled to themselves, the debt holders, to pay interest and principal. Why the debts are being contracted is immaterial.

In sum, the neoliberal effort to square the corporation with free market principles of private property, contract, and self-interest has had the consequence of increasing inequality, coercion, and mediocrity in the corporation. And since the neoliberal push for "privatization" really means corporatization, these maladies of the neoliberal corporation are pushed ever further into American life. The American worker and consumer is then undermined further by the exodus of capital abroad and the return of monopoly at home. Neoliberalism has thus created a world that is almost the inverse of the world Bell was diagnosing. The short-term orientation of the hedonist has been imposed on the production process, while the logic of scarcity has been reimposed upon the working class and middle class in the sphere of consumption, even as productivity continues to rise, but is siphoned off by plutocrats. It is an economy of abundance for the few, but of scarcity and coercion for the many.

There is no virtue today in poverty and abstinence. Work, as Bell notes, is no longer proof of salvation, nor an end in itself as a "calling," but a means to consumption and social status. Stagnant or declining wages, especially when set next to the exploding wealth of those at the top, is therefore only experienced as great frustration. And so one gets the kind of elections we have been seeing around the world.

The Contradictions of Neoliberalism

Because modern economies are corporate, not atomistic, there is a yawning chasm between the legitimating ideals of neoliberalism and the reality it creates. And this chasm is even wider than first appears if the true nature of the business corporation is kept in view. For example:

(1) Neoliberalism idealizes an individualistic, private property economy. But the economy it actually promotes is a socialized, corporate property economy, where property is controlled by, but unowned by, natural persons, with all the problems of moral hazard that this raises.

(2) Neoliberalism idealizes a free market economy, with minimal state intervention, beyond protecting property and contract. Yet the economy it promotes is dominated by state-created legal entities. State intervention makes the corporation.

(3) Neoliberalism holds that the state is a sphere of coercion, while the market is a sphere of freedom. But in most contexts, the state only makes general laws that must be followed as one pursues one's own ends. In contrast, the corporation, for which most people must now work, issues direct commands to its ends, and under neoliberalism it has only become more coercive in seeing that these commands are carried out.

(4) Neoliberalism promises to increase economic growth. But corporations reconstructed on neoliberal lines retard growth, in favor of redirecting revenues to those who control and finance.

(5) Neoliberalism advocates an ethic of individual responsibility. If you fail in the market, you should accept the consequences, and not expect the wealth generated by others to be redistributed to you. But thanks to the principle of limited liability, the corporate form spares those who control the corporation from the legal or direct economic consequences of their actions. The corporation is institutionalized irresponsibility. In the neoliberal economy, individual responsibility is imposed on the weak (with a downsized social safety net, tightened personal bankruptcy laws, etc.); freedom from responsibility is enjoyed by the strong-those who invest, and those who control.

It is hard to exaggerate how far neoliberal ideology is contradicted by our economic reality. The contradiction ultimately stems from the failure of neoliberals to understand the corporate form, and thus a failure to understand the corporate economy. Indeed, it means a failure to understand the modern world as a whole, which is fundamentally corporate in its construction. Its corporatization began in medieval Europe in the wake of the recovery of the Roman law of corporations. The corporate form first transformed the semi-subordinate bodies of the Church (its monasteries, cathedral chapters, confraternities, chantries), and eventually the Church as a whole, all modeled as corporations. It then transformed civil society (its towns, universities, and guilds). And then it transformed the state (inspiring the positing of an abstract and sovereign juridical person, the "state," distinct from the ruler).

Briefly, it looked like that would be the end of the line for the corporate form. Rhetoric, and to an extent, reality, suggested that the corporate form would be swept away, with corporate rights replaced by the rights of man. In the Age of Enlightenment, corporate bodies came under attack as remnants of the ancien régime-examples of legal privilege obnoxious to the demand for equality under the law. At the Constitutional Convention, America's founders, fearing the rise of monopoly and a monied aristocracy, refused to grant the power of incorporation to the federal government. 9 The French Constitution of 1791 went so far as to dissolve all corporations for being "injurious to liberty and equality of rights." But, in America, federal incorporation was later held to be an implied power, and, in France, the corporate ban would prove to be short-lived.

The problem with neoliberalism is that it construes the idealized, individualist world of eighteenth-century rhetoric as a good approximation of twenty-first-century reality. But in the nineteenth-century United States especially, a new corporate age was birthed as the corporate form made its final and most potent conquest, transforming the business firm and economy. In our "social imaginary," to use a coinage of Charles Taylor, the United States is the individualist society sans pareil -the most modern of modern societies because it is the most thorough in its realization of the individualist impulses of the Renaissance and the radical Reformation. Yet, in reality, it is now the most corporate of societies, teeming with franchised governments large and small: towns, state governments, and the federal government (franchised by "the People"), but also and especially our myriad for-profit and non-profit corporations (business firms, churches, foundations, and other "non-governmental," yet actually quite governmental, associations).

Our ability to come to grips with our current predicament requires as its first step a fundamental reworking of our picture of modern society. Ours is not the world of Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill. It is a world in which the means of production and the means of rule are owned by juridical entities, not natural persons. A world wherein control is exercised by officeholders, not owners; wherein the officeholders-of corporate government no less than of civil government-dodge direct economic and legal responsibility for the consequences of their control; and wherein the officeholders are therefore supposed to be guided by a fiduciary duty to the organization's authorized purposes, not by individual self-interest. This is the world we inhabit, and it is a world that falls into dysfunction and exploitation when neoliberal categories and prescriptions are imposed upon it.

This article originally appeared in American Affairs Volume I, Number 2 (Summer 2017): 58–71.

Notes
1 See Philip Mirowski and Dieter Plehwe, eds., The Road from Mont Pèlerin: The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009).

2 For further detail on this view of corporations, see my "Beyond Public and Private: Toward a Political Theory of the Corporation," American Political Science Review 107, no. 1 (Feb. 2013): 139–58.

3 William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, in Four Books , vol. 1 (1753; Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1893), 297, 324; see also 180–81.

4 Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations , vol. 2 of The Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976), pt. 2, pp. 225–30, 246–47.

5 William Lazonick, "Profits without Prosperity," Harvard Business Review 92, no. 9 (Sept. 2014): 46–55.

6 Ibid.

7 Erin El Issa, "2016 American Household Credit Card Debt Study," NerdWallet , https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/average-credit-card-debt-household/.

8 Ibid.; Scott Dylan, "American Credit Card Debt at Record High-Should You Be Worried?," Get , May 24, 2016, https://www.get.com/news/american-credit-card-debt/; Quentin Fottrell, "Most Americans Are One Paycheck Away from the Street," MarketWatch , January 7, 2015, https://secure.marketwatch.com/story/most-americans-are-one-paycheck-away-from-the-street-2015-01-07.

9 Pauline Maier, "The Revolutionary Origins of the American Corporation," William and Mary Quarterly 50, no. 1 (Jan. 1993): 51–84.

David Ciepley is associate professor of political science at the University of Denver. He is the author of Liberalism in the Shadow of Totalitarianism (Harvard University Press, 2006) as well as of "Beyond Public and Private: Toward a Political Theory of the Corporation," American Political Science Review 107, no. 1 (February 2013): 139–58.

[Jun 30, 2017] The present empty suit is proof that the POTU$ really doesnt matter

Notable quotes:
"... Yes, but why are liberals so outraged at Trump? Is it only because they don't like his manners..his vulgarity? I really don't get it. All these spineless, gutless wonders in world capitals going on about what an evil guy Trump is etc. ..."
"... I don't get where the hysteria is coming from because Trump is hardly uniquely evil...he's just more direct and vulgar Oh the horror! ..."
Jun 30, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Temporarily Sane | Jun 29, 2017 8:02:38 PM | 58 Temporarily Sane | Jun 29, 2017 8:18:54 PM | 59

@57 Ben
The present "empty suit", is proof, IMO, that the POTU$ really doesn't matter. The ship of state is controlled by a corporate cabal, that pursues the business interests of the empire,( U$A/NATO) regardless of who the POTUS is. Enriching the business elites globally, is the agenda. Join the club, or face destruction.

Yes, but why are liberals so outraged at Trump? Is it only because they don't like his manners..his vulgarity? I really don't get it. All these spineless, gutless wonders in world capitals going on about what an evil guy Trump is etc. but when he says "jump!" they say "how high?" Even American "opponents" of Trump really only get upset at his rhetoric and his "Muslim ban" (killing Muslims is fine though, encouraged even). And the border wall of course.

But Obama was known as the "deporter in chief" and there is already a 700-mile fence along the U.S. - Mexico border.

I don't get where the hysteria is coming from because Trump is hardly uniquely evil...he's just more direct and vulgar Oh the horror! Can it be they are afraid people will be more alert to slick (or otherwise) politicians trying to pull the wool over their eyes after four or eight years of Trump's nonsense?

Somebody help me out here...

DemiJohn | Jun 29, 2017 9:19:34 PM | 60
V. Arnold quotes : "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. "
Besides the point but my favorite variant is : "Power corrupts, absolute power is even better".

[Jun 30, 2017] The Russians are coming narrative is an attempt to reassert the control by neoliberal elite after Trump election

Notable quotes:
"... i think it's because the rump 'came in through the bathroom window' ... defying 'both parties'. the uniparty is trying to reassert control, somehow. what would happen if people noticed that the uniparty was not only not needed, was in fact the engine of malfeasance and misrule, what if people decided to 'do it themselves' ... platform, primaries, elections ... the whole nine yards? ..."
Jun 30, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

jfl | Jun 29, 2017 9:35:53 PM | 62

@59 ts

i think it's because the rump 'came in through the bathroom window' ... defying 'both parties'. the uniparty is trying to reassert control, somehow. what would happen if people noticed that the uniparty was not only not needed, was in fact the engine of malfeasance and misrule, what if people decided to 'do it themselves' ... platform, primaries, elections ... the whole nine yards?

so 'the Russians are coming!' anything to reassert a narrative it can control.

[Jun 30, 2017] Elections Absenteeism, Boycotts and the Class Struggle

Notable quotes:
"... who won or who lost' ..."
"... Oligarchs compete and alternate with one another over controlling and defining who votes and doesn't vote. They decide who secures plutocratic financing and mass media propaganda within a tiny corporate sector. 'Voter choice' refers to deciding which preselected candidates are acceptable for carrying out an agenda of imperial conquests, deepening class inequalities and securing legal impunity for the oligarchs, their political representatives and state, police and military officials. ..."
"... The politicians who participate in the restrictive and minoritarian electoral system, with its predetermined oligarchic results, celebrate 'elections' as a democratic process because a plurality of voters, as subordinate subjects, are incorporated. ..."
"... deplorables' ..."
"... New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... overwhelming victory' ..."
"... political elite election ..."
"... The striking differences in the rate of abstention in France, Puerto Rico and the UK reflect the levels of class dissatisfaction and rejection of electoral politics. ..."
"... Corbyn's foreign policy promised to end the UK's involvement in imperial wars and to withdraw troops from the Middle East. He also re-confirmed his long opposition to Israel's colonial land-grabbing and oppression of the Palestinian people, as a principled way to reduce terrorist attacks at home. ..."
"... In other words, Corbyn recognized that introducing real class-based politics would increase voter participation. This was especially true among young voters in the 18-25 year age group, who were among the UK citizens most harmed by the loss of stable factory jobs, the doubling of university fees and the cuts in national health services. ..."
"... In contrast, the French legislative elections saw the highest rate of voter abstention since the founding of the 5 th Republic. These high rates reflect broad popular opposition to ultra-neo-liberal President Francois Macron and the absence of real opposition parties engaged in class struggle. ..."
"... The established parties and the media work in tandem to confine elections to a choreographed contest among competing elites divorced from direct participation by the working classes. This effectively excludes the citizens who have been most harmed by the ruling class' austerity programs implemented by successive rightist and Social Democratic parties ..."
"... The vast majority of citizens in the wage and salaried class do not trust the political elites. They see electoral campaigns as empty exercises, financed by and for plutocrats. ..."
"... Most citizens recognize (and despise) the mass media as elite propaganda megaphones fabricating 'popular' images to promote anti-working class politicians, while demonizing political activists engaged in class-based struggles. ..."
"... Brexit' ..."
"... Modern "Democracy" is a system for privatizing power and socializing responsibility. The elites get the power, the masses have to take responsibility for the consequences. because, of course, it's a 'democracy.' ..."
Jun 30, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

The most striking feature of recent elections is not ' who won or who lost' , nor is it the personalities, parties and programs. The dominant characteristic of the elections is the widespread repudiation of the electoral system, political campaigns, parties and candidates.

Across the world, majorities and pluralities of citizens of voting age refuse to even register to vote (unless obligated by law), refuse to turn out to vote (voter abstention), or vote against all the candidates (boycott by empty ballot and ballot spoilage).

If we add the many citizen activists who are too young to vote, citizens denied voting rights because of past criminal (often minor) convictions, impoverished citizens and minorities denied voting rights through manipulation and gerrymandering, we find that the actual 'voting public' shrivel to a small minority.

As a result, present day elections have been reduced to a theatrical competition among the elite for the votes of a minority. This situation describes an oligarchy – not a healthy democracy.

Oligarchic Competition

Oligarchs compete and alternate with one another over controlling and defining who votes and doesn't vote. They decide who secures plutocratic financing and mass media propaganda within a tiny corporate sector. 'Voter choice' refers to deciding which preselected candidates are acceptable for carrying out an agenda of imperial conquests, deepening class inequalities and securing legal impunity for the oligarchs, their political representatives and state, police and military officials.

Oligarchic politicians depend on the systematic plundering Treasury to facilitate and protect billion dollar/billion euro stock market swindles and the illegal accumulation of trillions of dollars and Euros via tax evasion (capital flight) and money laundering.

The results of elections and the faces of the candidates may change but the fundamental economic and military apparatus remains the same to serve an ever tightening oligarchic rule.

The elite regimes change, but the permanence of state apparatus designed to serve the elite becomes ever more obvious to the citizens.

Why the Oligarchy Celebrates " Democracy "

The politicians who participate in the restrictive and minoritarian electoral system, with its predetermined oligarchic results, celebrate 'elections' as a democratic process because a plurality of voters, as subordinate subjects, are incorporated.

Academics, journalists and experts argue that a system in which elite competition defines citizen choice has become the only way to protect 'democracy' from the irrational 'populist' rhetoric appealing to a mass of citizens vulnerable to authoritarianism (the so-called ' deplorables' ). The low voter turn-out in recent elections reduces the threat posed by such undesirable voters.

A serious objective analysis of present-day electoral politics demonstrates that when the masses do vote for their class interests – the results deepen and extend social democracy. When most voters, non-voters and excluded citizens choose to abstain or boycott elections they have sound reasons for repudiating plutocratic-controlled oligarchic choices.

We will proceed to examine the recent June 2017 voter turnout in the elections in France, the United Kingdom and Puerto Rico. We will then look at the intrinsic irrationality of citizens voting for elite politicos as opposed to the solid good sense of the popular classes rejection of elite elections and their turn to extra-parliamentary action.

Puerto Rico's Referendum

The major TV networks (NBC, ABC and CBS) and the prestigious print media ( New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times and Washington Post ) hailed the ' overwhelming victory' of the recent pro-annexationist vote in Puerto Rico. They cited the 98% vote in favor of becoming a US state!

The media ignored the fact that a mere 28% of Puerto Ricans participated in the elections to vote for a total US takeover. Over 77% of the eligible voters abstained or boycotted the referendum.

In other words, over three quarters of the Puerto Rican people rejected the sham ' political elite election '. Instead, the majority voted with their feet in the streets through direct action.

France's Micro-Bonaparte

In the same way, the mass media celebrated what they dubbed a ' tidal wave ' of electoral support for French President Emmanuel Macron and his new party, 'the Republic in March'. Despite the enormous media propaganda push for Macron, a clear majority of the electorate (58%) abstained or spoiled their ballots, therefore rejecting all parties and candidates, and the entire French electoral system. This hardly constitutes a 'tidal wave' of citizen support in a democracy.

During the first round of the parliamentary election, President Macron's candidates received 27% of the vote, barely exceeding the combined vote of the left socialist and nationalist populist parties, which had secured 25% of the vote. In the second round, Macron's party received less then 20% of the eligible vote.

In other words, the anti-Macron rejectionists represented over three quarters of the French electorate. After these elections a significant proportion of the French people – especially among the working class –will likely choose extra-parliamentary direct action, as the most democratic expression of representative politics.

The United Kingdom: Class Struggle and the Election Results

The June 2017 parliamentary elections in the UK resulted in a minority Conservative regime forced to form an alliance with the fringe Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a far-right para-military Protestant party from Northern Ireland. The Conservatives received 48% of registered voters to 40% who voted for the Labor Party. However, 15 million citizens, or one-third of the total electorate abstained or spoiled their ballots. The Conservative regime's plurality represented 32% of the electorate.

Despite a virulent anti-Labor campaign in the oligarch-controlled mass media, the combined Labor vote and abstaining citizens clearly formed a majority of the population, which will be excluded from any role the post-election oligarchic regime despite the increase in the turnout (in comparison to previous elections).

Elections: Oligarchs in Office, Workers in the Street

The striking differences in the rate of abstention in France, Puerto Rico and the UK reflect the levels of class dissatisfaction and rejection of electoral politics.

The UK elections provided the electorate with something resembling a class alternative in the candidacy of Jeremy Corbyn. The Labor Party under Corbyn presented a progressive social democratic program promising substantial and necessary increases in social welfare spending (health, education and housing) to be funded by higher progressive taxes on the upper and upper middle class.

Corbyn's foreign policy promised to end the UK's involvement in imperial wars and to withdraw troops from the Middle East. He also re-confirmed his long opposition to Israel's colonial land-grabbing and oppression of the Palestinian people, as a principled way to reduce terrorist attacks at home.

In other words, Corbyn recognized that introducing real class-based politics would increase voter participation. This was especially true among young voters in the 18-25 year age group, who were among the UK citizens most harmed by the loss of stable factory jobs, the doubling of university fees and the cuts in national health services.

In contrast, the French legislative elections saw the highest rate of voter abstention since the founding of the 5 th Republic. These high rates reflect broad popular opposition to ultra-neo-liberal President Francois Macron and the absence of real opposition parties engaged in class struggle.

The lowest voter turn-out (28%) occurred in Puerto Rico. This reflects growing mass opposition to the corrupt political elite, the economic depression and the colonial and semi-colonial offerings of the two-major parties. The absence of political movements and parties tied to class struggle led to greater reliance on direct action and voter abstention.

Clearly class politics is the major factor determining voter turnout. The absence of class struggle increases the power of the elite mass media, which promotes the highly divisive identity politics and demonizes left parties. All of these increase both abstention and the vote for rightwing politicians, like Macron.

The mass media grossly inflated the significance of the right's election victories of the while ignoring the huge wave of citizens rejecting the entire electoral process. In the case of the UK, the appearance of class politics through Jeremy Corbyn increased voter turnout for the Labor Party. However, Labor has a history of first making left promises and ending up with right turns. Any future Labor betrayal will increase voter abstention.

The established parties and the media work in tandem to confine elections to a choreographed contest among competing elites divorced from direct participation by the working classes. This effectively excludes the citizens who have been most harmed by the ruling class' austerity programs implemented by successive rightist and Social Democratic parties.

The decision of many citizens not to vote is based on taking a very rational and informed view of the ruling political elites who have slashed their living standards often by forcing workers to compete with immigrants for low paying, unstable jobs. It is deeply rational for citizens to refuse to vote within a rigged system, which only worsens their living conditions through its attacks on the public sector, social welfare and labor codes while cutting taxes on capital.

Conclusion

The vast majority of citizens in the wage and salaried class do not trust the political elites. They see electoral campaigns as empty exercises, financed by and for plutocrats.

Most citizens recognize (and despise) the mass media as elite propaganda megaphones fabricating 'popular' images to promote anti-working class politicians, while demonizing political activists engaged in class-based struggles.

Nevertheless, elite elections will not produce an effective consolidation of rightwing rule. Voter abstention will not lead to abstention from direct action when the citizens recognize their class interests are in grave jeopardy.

The Macron regime's parliamentary majority will turn into an impotent minority as soon as he tries carry out his elite promise to slash the jobs of hundreds of thousands of French public sector workers, smash France's progressive labor codes and the industry-wide collective bargaining system and pursue new colonial wars.

Puerto Rico's profound economic depression and social crisis will not be resolved through a referendum with only 28% of the voter participation. Large-scale demonstrations will preclude US annexation and deepen mass demands for class-based alternatives to colonial rule.

Conservative rule in the UK is divided by inter-elite rivalries both at home and abroad. ' Brexit' , the first step in the break-up of the EU, opens opportunities for deeper class struggle. The social-economic promises made by Jeremy Corbyn and his left-wing of the Labor Party energized working class voters, but if it does not fundamentally challenge capital, it will revert to being a marginal force.

The weakness and rivalries within the British ruling class will not be resolved in Parliament or by any new elections.

The demise of the UK, the provocation of a Conservative-DUP alliance and the end of the EU (BREXIT) raises the chance for successful mass extra-parliamentary struggles against the authoritarian neo-liberal attacks on workers' civil rights and class interests.

Elite elections and their outcomes in Europe and elsewhere are laying the groundwork for a revival and radicalization of the class struggle.

In the final analysis class rule is not decided via elite elections among oligarchs and their mass media propaganda. Once dismissed as a 'vestige of the past', the revival of class struggle is clearly on the horizon. (Republished from The James Petras Website by permission of author or representative)

Brás Cubas Show Comment Next New Comment June 28, 2017 at 5:57 pm GMT

A much needed analysis by Mr. Petras. Here in Brazil it is becoming increasingly apparent that extra-electoral manifestations are the only path left for the destitute classes. The only name to which the Left seems able to garner votes is the eternal Luiz da Silva, who has pandered to Capital all through his political career, and will possibly become inelectable anyway, by upcoming criminal convictions.

WorkingClass Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 5:18 pm GMT

"In the final analysis class rule is not decided via elite elections among oligarchs and their mass media propaganda. Once dismissed as a 'vestige of the past', the revival of class struggle is clearly on the horizon."

Globalism is the new Feudalism. In the U.S. the serfs still think they are "middle class".

Only the working class can help the working class. This truism is being re-learned.

jilles dykstra Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 7:26 am GMT

We see in any country with a district voting system how democracy does not function: USA, GB and France.
The Dutch equal representation system is far superior, the present difficulties of forming a government reflect the deep divisions in Dutch society.
These deep divisions should be clear anywhere, now that the struggle between globalisation and nationalism is in full swing.

jilles dykstra Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 7:28 am GMT

@Brás Cubas In nearly the whole of S America elections just reflect the struggle between two or more groups of rich people for power.

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 9:05 am GMT

The vast majority citizens (sic) in the wage and salaried class do not trust the political elites. They see electoral campaigns as empty exercises, financed by and for plutocrats.

And they'd be correct.

What amazes me is how many "professional" people still smugly retain faith in an obviously rigged and parasitic system even as their independence is relentlessly eroded. Also, most of them, even the non-TV watchers, seem to slurp the usual propaganda about who the enemies supposedly are.

Self reflection obviously ain't their shtick. Maybe there's comfort in denial and mythology.

Expletive Deleted Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 11:38 am GMT

The DUP would be very quick to insist that they are not para-militaries. As would their Tweedledee, Sinn Féin (invariably referred to as 'Sinn-Féin-I-R-A' by the Unionist factions; not even banter).

It is undeniable that in the past they have had links to UVF/UDA, both straight-up rightwing paramilitary thug outfits formed to mirror and combat the Provisionals and latterly the Continuity IRA and self-styled "Real IRA" nationalist/socialist thugs. And presumably do so to this day.

"Everybody knows" that each political group is pretty much furtively hand-in-glove with their respective heavy mobs, and who's in which one. It's a wee tiny place, the Six Counties.

Expletive Deleted Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 11:59 am GMT

Corbyn has definitely struck a rich vein of popularity (if not populism) among the "don't vote it just encourages them" tendency, and a healthy majority of wealthy and not so wealthy young Brits. Listen to the Glasto crowd. He gets this everywhere now in public (and maybe at home, IDK).

Remarkable transformation for somebody who only few years ago was a dull grey teadrinker from Camden Council, with a half-century-old cardigan and a Catweazle beard.

Even The Demon Blair could never raise this sort of adulation.

eD Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 12:56 pm GMT

I want to like the article, but Petras gives three examples, all of which are bad examples for different reasons.

In the case of Puerto Rico, opposition parties campaigned, not for people to vote and to vote against the government position, but to abstain altogether. This is a long standing political tactic of opposition parties and other examples can be found. Its not used that often because its usually a better tactic to just try to get people to get out and vote against the government. However, it can work if there is a minimum turnout requirement for the election to be valid, which is often the case in referenda and seems to be here. But this is evident of people rejecting the government position, not the entire system. Voters obviously responded to the pro-Commonwealth status campaign. By the way, usually referenda on things like independence, or in this case statehood, get unusually high turnout, it was the opposite this time because of the opposition tactic.

On the other hand, in the 2017 French elections there really was a high amount of non-organized or dis-organized abstention on the part of pissed off voters. The problem with Petras account is that this was in fact widely covered in French media and by French political analysts, with commentary along the lines of "these people must be really pissed off not to vote!".

In the recent UK elections turnout was both quite high and increased, so I have no idea wtf Petras is talking about here.

If the examples used weren't so ridiculously bad the article could be OK I guess.

High abstention rates occur when big chunks of the electorate suspect that the elections are rigged, usually by means of vote counting fraud, but effective or legal restrictions on who can run or who can vote can do the job. The rigging might even take the form of discarding ballots, which is the most common form in the US, which means turnout would be recorded as low even if people tried to vote!

Keep in mind that with universal suffrage, it seems consistently that about a quarter of the electorate has no interest in participating in electoral politics whatever the situation. If forced to vote by law, they will spoil their ballots, vote for parties that campaign to end the democratic system, or not vote anyway and suffer whatever legal penalties are imposed. Reasonably healthy democracies can get to turnouts of around 70% fairly consistently. Anything less should be taken as evidence of widespread electoral fraud.

TG Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 1:35 pm GMT

Modern "Democracy" is a system for privatizing power and socializing responsibility. The elites get the power, the masses have to take responsibility for the consequences. because, of course, it's a 'democracy.'

Bottom line: political systems are to a great extent irrelevant. Putting your faith in any system: monarchy, socialism, representative democracy, parliamentary democracy, checks and balances, etc., is a mistake. There is (almost) no system that cannot be made to muddle through if the elites have some consideration for the society as a whole. And there is absolutely no system that cannot be easily corrupted if the elites care only about themselves.

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 3:21 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

In nearly the whole of S America elections just reflect the struggle between two or more groups of rich people for power.

The same could be said for the revolution of 1776, and it continues in the US today.

I said, "No, there is a great difference. Taft is amiable imbecility. Wilson is willful and malicious imbecility and I prefer Taft."
Roosevelt then said : "Pettigrew, you know the two old parties are just alike. They are both controlled by the same influences, and I am going to organize a new party " a new political party " in this country based upon progressive principles.
"Roosevelt then said : "Pettigrew, you know the two old parties are just alike. They are both controlled by the same influences "

- R. F. Pettigrew, "Imperial Washington," The story of American Public life from 1870 to 1920 (1922), p 234

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt/search?q1=amiable;id=yale.39002002948025;view=1up;seq=7;start=1;sz=10;page=search;orient=0

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 3:26 pm GMT

I recommend not voting because it is not ethical to send a non-corrupt person to Washington. The United States is too powerful.

Good recommendation and for a good reason.

I'd say that it's unethical to send anyone to Washington since there is too much wealth and power concentrated in the hands of too few, ethical or not.

In fact, the record shows that few men are worthy to wield much power at all and a system such as we have is almost guaranteed to produce hideous, irresponsible monsters if not downright sadistic ones (like Hillary, for instance).

Instead of talking about draining the swamp, we should have flushed the toilet long go. Now we have to live with the stench.

Wally Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 4:42 pm GMT

@Expletive Deleted Looks like a Trump rally.

http://a.abcnews.com/images/Politics/AP_Donald_Trump_Rally_hb_160310_4x3_992.jpg

Wally Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 4:44 pm GMT

@Daniel Thom Hmmm.

President Trump Has Now Signed 40 Pieces Of Legislation As He Moves To Enact His Agenda

http://dailycaller.com/2017/06/25/president-trump-has-now-signed-40-pieces-of-legislation-as-he-moves-to-enact-his-agenda/

bluedog Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 8:04 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra Yes indeed just like it is here in the election between Clinton and Trump, two packs of wolves fighting over the sheep

unpc downunder Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 11:06 pm GMT

The primary reason why lots of working class people don't vote is because they dislike the liberal policy combinations offered by the elite-controlled political parties. Most working class people are socially conservative and economically moderate, while most wealthy, educated people are socially and economically liberal, so mainstream political parties only offer liberal policy packages.

Modern representative democracy was designed in the late 19th Century to allow for some democratic representation for the middle class while protecting the bourgeois elites from the rule of the mob. That may have been a reasonable concern at the time, but it now means tyranny of the liberal elites.

The solution is to reduce the power of political parties, either by making political parties more accountable to their grass roots supporters or getting rid of political parties and directly electing government ministers.

Wizard of Oz Show Comment Next New Comment July 1, 2017 at 12:20 am GMT

@eD A well informed comment without the kind of Marxist or other blinkers on that Petras wears. But I question the last sentence. Electoral fraud could work to add votes as well as destroy or lose them and vigilance is needed anyway. Are there highly numerate and worldly wise psephologists with adequate research funding who are acting plausibly to keep a check on the way the bureaucratic guardians of our electoral processes do their job? (All sorts of factors could make a big difference in the proportion who vote. Is it part of the culture one was broùght up in to believe that one had a duty to do one's modest best to participate? Are there a lot of elections at sometimes inconvenient times within a short space of time? Is there a genuine problem deciding between the only candidates who might win on either grand moral or national policy grounds or even simple self interest? Is it assumed only one candidate can possibly win the seat? That last is one of the few arguments for proportional representatiion because a dutiful voter who has a preference for one party will make his infinitesimal contribution by voting).

Even Australia with its 80 to 90+ per cent turnouts to vote in sometimes complicated elections with mixed Alternative Vote/Preferential and proportional representation for the different houses of parliament (and not much "informal" voting as protest) exhibits the growing weaknesses of democracies. That is, as I propose to write in another comment, the corruption of respect for the oligarchs (whether traditional upper and upper middle classes or labour bosses), the replacement of the class that went into politics as a duty by professiinal calculating careerists – plus opportunistic extremists – and the growth of a sense of entitlement which ptobably adds up by now to 150 per cent of all that is or can be. Thanks to China's huge appetite for Australian resources and products Australian democracy can stagger on with scope even for absurd fantasies e.g. about Australia's proper level of masochism in rejecting coal for energy when it can make absolutely no difference to Australia – except to make it poorer.

Wizard of Oz Show Comment Next New Comment July 1, 2017 at 12:49 am GMT

@unpc downunder Your version of history differs from mine. 1832 and even 1867 in the UK still built in some protection from the unpropertied lower orders (and 100 per cent from women – publicly anyway) but Australian colonial suffrage was typically the alarming manhood suffrage with only property qualification for some upper house elections as a break on the masses' savage expropriatory instincts – not too much to be feared amongst ambitious colonial strivers in fact. The general assumption that everyone with an IQ of 100 and a degree in Fashionable Jargon-ridden Muddled Thinking is as worth listening to as anyone from the tradional educated bougeois or landed elite has inevitably put politics into the hands of the ruthless, often arriviste careerists.

Please think again about your last par. which I suggest is a prescription for (even worse) disaster. The idea of getting rid of political parties (how?) is as unrealistic as having the bored populace vote directly for membership of the executive government who, in parliamentary systems at least, have to command legislative majorities to be effective. And why do you think responsiveness to those few who join political parties is likely to benefit the wider public when you consider what has been wrought in the UK Labour Party by election of the leader by a flood of new young members wlling to pay £3 to join!! I believe the Tories have also moved in that idiotic direction. Imagine even the comparatively simple business of making motor cars being headed by a CEO who had campaigned for votes amingst all workers who had been employed for more than 4 weeks with promises of squeezing shareholders and doubling wages.

Wizard of Oz Show Comment Next New Comment July 1, 2017 at 1:00 am GMT

@jilles dykstra Your observation seems to depend for its truth on people (and you?) seeing politics and national life as a zero sum game with no chance of increase in wealth or other good things of life. That seems to be a logical attitude only in countries which sre still Malthusian like say Niger with its TFF of 7! Is that a tealistic assessment of 2017 South America, or most of it?

Wizard of Oz Show Comment Next New Comment July 1, 2017 at 1:21 am GMT

@jilles dykstra We see in any country with a district voting system how democracy does not function: USA, GB and France.
The Dutch equal representation system is far superior, the present difficulties of forming a government reflect the deep divisions in Dutch society.
These deep divisions should be clear anywhere, now that the struggle between globalisation and nationalism is in full swing. I had in mind your comment when writing part of my last par in #17 which I won't repeat.

But allow me to expŕess astonishment at the idea that a truly sovereign nation benefits from an electoral system which so represents irreconcilable differences in society that a government cannot be formed. The Netherlands comfortable position as a minor feature of the EU makes it perhaps less of a problem than, at least potentially, it is for Israel. Whenever Israel handles anything really stupidly it is a good bet that it is during wrangling over putting together a majority government.

Another problem with PR well illustrated by Israel that you don't mention is that citizens have no local member who has to show that he cares about his constituents' concerns and actually gets to know about them. That, for the average citizen has to be a really important matter. In Australia we have just seen a pretty dodgy Chinese government aligned businessman/ donor to the New South Wales Labor Party rewarded with nomination to a winnable place in the PR election of the Senate. There is no way he would be put forward to win votes in a local electorate of thousands of voters rather than millions.

[Jun 30, 2017] Why The Elites Hate Putin by Justin Raimondo

Notable quotes:
"... So it doesn't matter who wins the presidential election, and inhabits the White House, because the national security bureaucracy is forever, and their power is – almost – unchallengeable. And so, given this, Putin's answer to Stone's somewhat tongue-in-cheek question, "Why did you hack the election?", is anti-climactic. The answer is: why would they bother? Putin dismisses the question as "a very silly statement," and then goes on to wonder why Western journalists find the prospect of getting along with Russia so problematic. ..."
"... "And I think that Obama's outgoing team has created a minefield for the incoming president and for his team. They have created an environment which makes it difficult for the new president to make good on the promises he gave to the people." ..."
"... it's not about one single truck – there are thousands of trucks going through that route. It looks as if it were a living pipeline." ..."
"... Putin reveals how US aid reaches jihadists: "According to the data we received, employees of the United States in Azerbaijan contacted militants from the Caucasus." In a letter from the CIA to their Russian counterparts, the Americans reiterated their alleged right to funnel aid to their clients, and the missive "even named the employee of the US Special Services who worked in the US embassy in Baku." ..."
"... it reveals the Russian leader's instinctual pro-Americanism, despite his objections to the policies of our government. ..."
"... Early on, Stone asks "What is the US [foreign] policy? What is its strategy in the world as a whole?" To which Putin replies: "Certainly, I am going to reply to this question very candidly, in great detail – but only once I retire." In speaking about Washington's unilateral abrogation of the ABM Treaty, Stone remarks: ..."
"... "You know, the American Indians made treaties with the US government and they were the first to experience the treachery of the US government. You're not the first." ..."
"... To which Putin replies: "We wouldn't like to be the last." And he laughs. ..."
"... Stone has been pilloried in the US media, by all usual suspects, but what's very telling is that none of his critics delve into the content of the interviews: they simply accuse Stone of being a " useful idiot ," a phrase from the lexicon of the cold war that's being revived by the liberals who used to be labeled as such. ..."
"... And yet when you get down in the weeds, as I have tried to do in this series, one begins to realize the enormity of the hoax that's been perpetrated on the American people. Putin is routinely described in our media as the principal enemy of the United States: our military brass has been pushing this line, for budgetary reasons, and the Clinton wing of the Democratic party has been pushing it for political reasons. And yet the lasting impression left by "The Putin Interviews" is of a man who greatly admires the United States, and sees the vast potential of détente between Moscow and Washington, a potential he would like very much to bring to realization. ..."
Jun 30, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

On Oliver Stone's The Putin Interviews (Part III)

by Justin Raimondo Posted on June 30, 2017 June 29, 2017 As the "Russia-gate" farce continues to dominate the American "news" media, and President Trump's foreign policy veers off in a direction many of his supporters find baffling, one wonders: what the heck happened? I thought Trump was supposed to be "Putin's puppet," as Hillary Clinton and her journalistic camarilla would have it.

The Russian president, in his extended interview with filmmaker Oliver Stone, has an explanation: "Stone: Donald Trump won. This is your fourth president, am I right? Clinton, Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama, and now your fourth one. "Putin: Yes, that's true. "Stone: What changes? "Putin: Well, almost nothing."

Stone is surprised by this answer, and Putin elaborates:

"Well, life makes some changes for you. But on the whole, everywhere, especially in the United States, the bureaucracy is very strong. And bureaucracy is the one that rules the world."

This is a reiteration of something the Russian president said earlier in the context of Stone's questions about the US election. Stone asks what he thinks of the various candidates: Trump's name doesn't come up, but Stone does ask about Bernie Sanders. Putin replies:

"It's not up to us to say. It's not whether we are going to like it or not. All I can say is as follows the force of the United States bureaucracy is very great. It's immense. And there are many facts not visible about the candidates until they become president. And the moment one gets to the real work, he or she feels the burden."

So it doesn't matter who wins the presidential election, and inhabits the White House, because the national security bureaucracy is forever, and their power is – almost – unchallengeable. And so, given this, Putin's answer to Stone's somewhat tongue-in-cheek question, "Why did you hack the election?", is anti-climactic. The answer is: why would they bother? Putin dismisses the question as "a very silly statement," and then goes on to wonder why Western journalists find the prospect of getting along with Russia so problematic.

Trump and his campaign, says Putin, "understood where their voters were located" – a reference, I believe, to the surprising results in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Clinton's supporters "should have drawn conclusions from what they did, from how they did their jobs, they shouldn't have tried to shift the blame on to something outside." This is what the more perceptive progressives are saying – but then again I suppose that they, too, are "Putin's puppets."

This section of the interviews occurred in February, and so it's interesting how Putin predicted what would happen to the Trump presidency and the conduct of his foreign policy:

"And I think that Obama's outgoing team has created a minefield for the incoming president and for his team. They have created an environment which makes it difficult for the new president to make good on the promises he gave to the people."

To say the least. There is much more in this series of interviews, including some real news that has been ignored by the "mainstream" media, including:

Joint US-Russian efforts to eliminate ISIS in Syria were on the agenda even before Trump took the White House, "But at the last moment," says Putin, "I think due to some political reasons, our American partners abandoned this project." (This is yet another vindication of my theory of " libertarian realism ," by the way.) Putin tells Stone that the Ukraine snipers who shot at both the government forces and the anti-government crowds in Kiev – an event that signaled the end of the Yanukovych regime – were trained and financed in the West: "[W]e have information available to us that armed groups were trained in the Western parts of Ukraine itself, in Poland, and in a number of other places." Putin has evidence of Turkish support for ISIS : "During the G20 summit, when the journalists left the room, I took out photos and from my place where I was sitting I showed those photos [of ISIS oil being transported to Turkey] to everyone. I showed it to my counterparts. I showed them the route I mentioned earlier. And we have shown these photos to our American counterparts . Everyone knew about everything. So trying to open a door which is already open is simply senseless. It's something that is absolutely evident. So it's not about one single truck – there are thousands of trucks going through that route. It looks as if it were a living pipeline." At one point, Putin takes out his cell phone and shows Stone a video of a Russian attack on ISIS forces, remarking "By the way, they were coming from the Turkish side of the border." Putin reveals how US aid reaches jihadists: "According to the data we received, employees of the United States in Azerbaijan contacted militants from the Caucasus." In a letter from the CIA to their Russian counterparts, the Americans reiterated their alleged right to funnel aid to their clients, and the missive "even named the employee of the US Special Services who worked in the US embassy in Baku."

And then there's one specific instance in which the news is anticipated: Stone brings up the Snowden revelation that the Americans have planted malware in Japanese infrastructure capable of shutting that country down, and he speculates that Washington has surely targeted Russia in the same way. Which brings to mind a recent Washington Post story reporting that this is indeed the case .

There's a lot more in these interviews than I have space to write about: my favorites are the instances in which Stone's leftism comes up against Putin's paleoconservatism. At several points the issue of "anti-Americanism" comes up, and the debate between the two is illuminating in that it reveals the Russian leader's instinctual pro-Americanism, despite his objections to the policies of our government. I had to laugh when Putin asked Stone: "Are you a communist?" Stone denies it: "I'm a capitalist!"

There is also a lot of humor here: Stone insists on showing Putin a scene from "Dr. Strangelove," the part where the mad scientist rides a nuke, laughing maniacally. The sardonic expression on Putin's face speaks volumes. Early on, Stone asks "What is the US [foreign] policy? What is its strategy in the world as a whole?" To which Putin replies: "Certainly, I am going to reply to this question very candidly, in great detail – but only once I retire." In speaking about Washington's unilateral abrogation of the ABM Treaty, Stone remarks:

"You know, the American Indians made treaties with the US government and they were the first to experience the treachery of the US government. You're not the first."

To which Putin replies: "We wouldn't like to be the last." And he laughs.

Putin's sense of humor is a bit dark, and things get darker still as he predicts what the consequences for Stone will be when "The Putin Interviews" is released:

"You've never been beaten before in your life?," says Putin. "Oh yes, many times," says Stone. I think Putin was talking about being physically beaten, but, anyway, the Russian leader goes on to say: "Then it's not going to be anything new, because you're going to suffer for what you're about to do." "No, I know," says Stone, "but it's worth it. It's worth it to try to bring some more peace and consciousness to the world."

Stone has been pilloried in the US media, by all usual suspects, but what's very telling is that none of his critics delve into the content of the interviews: they simply accuse Stone of being a " useful idiot ," a phrase from the lexicon of the cold war that's being revived by the liberals who used to be labeled as such.

And yet when you get down in the weeds, as I have tried to do in this series, one begins to realize the enormity of the hoax that's been perpetrated on the American people. Putin is routinely described in our media as the principal enemy of the United States: our military brass has been pushing this line, for budgetary reasons, and the Clinton wing of the Democratic party has been pushing it for political reasons. And yet the lasting impression left by "The Putin Interviews" is of a man who greatly admires the United States, and sees the vast potential of détente between Moscow and Washington, a potential he would like very much to bring to realization.

What we have witnessed in the past few months, however, is that this potential benefit to both countries is being denied by some very powerful forces. The entire "Deep State" apparatus, which Putin is very much aware of, is implacably opposed to peaceful cooperation, and will do anything to stop it. But why?

There are many factors, including money – the military-industrial complex is dependent on hostility between the US and Russia, as are our parasitic "allies' in Europe – as well as cultural issues. Russia is essentially a conservative society, and our "progressive" elites hate it for that reason. Which brings us to the real reason for the Russophobia that infects the American political class, and that is Putin's commitment to the concept of national sovereignty.

Nationalism in all its forms is bitterly opposed by our elites, and this is what sets them against not only Putin but also against President Trump. Their allegiance isn't to the United States as a separate entity, but to the "Free World," whatever that may be. And their foreign allies are even more explicit about their radical internationalism, bitterly clinging to transnational institutions such as the European Union even as populist movements upend them.

This is the central issue confronting the parties and politicians of all countries, the conflict that separates the elites from the peoples they would like to rule: it is globalism versus national sovereignty. And this is not just a foreign policy question. It is a line of demarcation that puts the parties of all countries on one side of the barricades or the other.

In his famous essay, " The End of History ," neoconservative theorist Francis Fukuyama outlined the globalist project, which he saw as the inevitable outcome of human experience: a "universal homogenous State" that would extend its power across every civilized country and beyond. But of course nothing is inevitable, at least in that sense and on that scale, a fact the elites who hold this vision recognize all too well. So they are working day and night to make it a reality, moving their armies and their agents into this country and that country, encircling their enemies, and waiting for the moment to strike. And Putin, the ideologue of national sovereignty, is rightly perceived as their implacable enemy, the chief obstacle to the globalist project.

That's why they hate him. It has nothing to do with the annexation of Crimea, or the alleged "authoritarianism" of a country that now has a multi-party system a few short decades after coming out of real totalitarianism. Even if Russia were a Jeffersonian republic, and Putin the second coming of Gandhi, still they would demonize him and his country for this very reason.

As to who will win this struggle between globalism and national particularism, I would not venture a guess. What I will do, however, is to remind my readers that if ever this worldwide "homogenous State" comes into being, there will be nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, no way to escape its power.

Editorial note : This is the third and last part of a three-part series on Oliver Stone's "The Putin Interviews." The first part is here , and the second part is here . You can get the book version – which contains some material not included in the film – here .

NOTES IN THE MARGIN

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

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

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

Read more by Justin Raimondo Vladimir Putin: A Suitor Spurned – June 27th, 2017 Who Tried to Kill Putin – Five Times? – June 25th, 2017 A Brief Missive – June 22nd, 2017 Our Rush to War in Syria – June 20th, 2017 Hodgkinson's Disease: Politics and Paranoia in the Age of Trump – June 18th, 2017

[Jun 28, 2017] After Fire, Britain Asks if Deregulation Has Gone Too Far

Jun 28, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne, June 28, 2017 at 08:08 AM

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/28/world/europe/uk-grenfell-tower-fire-deregulation.html

June 28, 2017

After Fire, Britain Asks if Deregulation Has Gone Too Far
By STEVEN ERLANGER

The deadly blaze at a high rise has helped crystallize resentment over the country's embrace of neoliberalism, privatization and austerity.

[ That dozens of high-rise apartment buildings in Britain could have been legally wrapped in flammable coatings, is beyond what I would have thought possible. ]

[Jun 27, 2017] How Israel Manages Its Message

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip of the iceberg:

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

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

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

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

Zionist Wikipedia Editing Course

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Bring Down the Elephant in the Room

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sadly, we Americans live under soft occupation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hi Phil

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

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

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

^

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

Wally,

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah, that really burns.

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

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

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

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

Without openness to ideas civilization stagnates as talent is buried.

This IS scary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The articles show American taxpayers' money in action.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@DanCT You bring up an important point.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Jun 27, 2017] Seymour Hirsh has been forced to get his stories published in Europe because the US and UK media have conspired to ban his exposes of their fake news

Notable quotes:
"... Some American military and intelligence officials were especially distressed by the president's determination to ignore the evidence. ..."
"... "None of this makes any sense," one officer told colleagues upon learning of the decision to bomb. "We KNOW that there was no chemical attack ... the Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real Intel and know the truth ... I guess it didn't matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump." ..."
"... Hersh's investigations have not only undermined evidence-free claims being promoted in the west to destabilise Assad's goverment but threatened a wider US policy seeking to "remake the Middle East". His work has challenged a political and corporate media consensus that portrays Russia's Vladimir Putin, Assad's main ally against the extremist Islamic forces fighting in Syria, as another dangerous monster the West needs to bring into line. ..."
"... For all these reasons, Hersh has found himself increasingly friendless. The New Yorker refused to publish his Syria investigations. Instead, he had to cross the Atlantic to find a home at the prestigious but far less prominent London Review of Books. ..."
Jun 27, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

RGC, June 27, 2017 at 07:27 AM

On April 6, United States President Donald Trump authorized an early morning Tomahawk missile strike on Shayrat Air Base in central Syria in retaliation for what he said was a deadly nerve agent attack carried out by the Syrian government two days earlier in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun.

Trump issued the order despite having been warned by the U.S. intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon.

The available intelligence made clear that the Syrians had targeted a jihadist meeting site on April 4 using a Russian-supplied guided bomb equipped with conventional explosives.

Details of the attack, including information on its so-called high-value targets, had been provided by the Russians days in advance to American and allied military officials in Doha, whose mission is to coordinate all U.S., allied, Syrian and Russian Air Force operations in the region.

Some American military and intelligence officials were especially distressed by the president's determination to ignore the evidence.

"None of this makes any sense," one officer told colleagues upon learning of the decision to bomb. "We KNOW that there was no chemical attack ... the Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real Intel and know the truth ... I guess it didn't matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump."

Within hours of the April 4 bombing, the world's media was saturated with photographs and videos from Khan Sheikhoun. Pictures of dead and dying victims, allegedly suffering from the symptoms of nerve gas poisoning, were uploaded to social media by local activists, including the White Helmets, a first responder group known for its close association with the Syrian opposition.
........................
https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905578/Trump-s-Red-Line.html

RGC -> RGC... , June 27, 2017 at 07:33 AM
June 27, 2017

Hersh's New Syria Revelations Buried From View

by Jonathan Cook

.................

Hersh's investigations have not only undermined evidence-free claims being promoted in the west to destabilise Assad's goverment but threatened a wider US policy seeking to "remake the Middle East". His work has challenged a political and corporate media consensus that portrays Russia's Vladimir Putin, Assad's main ally against the extremist Islamic forces fighting in Syria, as another dangerous monster the West needs to bring into line.

For all these reasons, Hersh has found himself increasingly friendless. The New Yorker refused to publish his Syria investigations. Instead, he had to cross the Atlantic to find a home at the prestigious but far less prominent London Review of Books.
................
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/27/hershs-new-syria-revelations-buried-from-view/

RGC -> RGC... , June 27, 2017 at 07:37 AM
White House Says It Will Fake "Chemical Weapon Attack" In Syria

The White House claims that the Syrian government is preparing "chemical weapon attacks". This is clearly not the case. Syria is winning the war against the country. Any such attack would clearly be to its disadvantage.

The White House announcement must thereby be understood as preparation for another U.S. attack on Syria in "retaliation" for an upcoming staged "chemical weapon attack" which will be blamed on the Syrian government.
.................
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/06/white-house-says-it-will-fake-chemical-weapon-attacks-in-syria.html#more

JohnH -> RGC... , June 27, 2017 at 07:38 AM
When the going gets tough, the US fakes a chemical weapons attack...
JohnH -> RGC... , June 27, 2017 at 07:37 AM
Seymour Hirsh has been forced to get his stories published in Europe because the US and UK media have conspired to ban his exposes of their fake news.

Hirsh has been a thorn in the side of the national security state ever since his expose of the My Lai massacre in 1969...and they're doing their best to shut him up.

[Jun 27, 2017] MoA - White House Says It Will Fake Chemical Weapon Attack In Syria

Looks like after Hersh story was published trump decided to double down.
Notable quotes:
"... The lunatic US ambassador to the UN jumped in to make it clear that it does not matter who commits whatever crime in Syria, Takfiris, the U.S. or Israel, it will be the Syrian, Russian and Iranian governments who will held guilty of it: ..."
"... Trump has to make a deal (or war) with Russia and the announced fake "chemical attack" will be the pressure point against Putin. The neoconservatives in his administration want to break up Syria and Trump is tasked to get the Russian agreement for that (... or else.) ..."
"... Don't you think that if the Americans really intended to make a false flag, they would never issue this warning? For me, looks like the White House, knowing of the possibility of a Pentagon faction to provoke a false flag, issued this warning as an alert to Russians and Syrians and as a vaccin, to avoid this operation. ..."
"... Right after Khan Sheikhoun preparations were being made in the media for another false flag. Several embarrassingly weak "think" pieces were published in the NYT attempting to rationalize why Syria would use chemical weapons when it weakened the country's defenses. ..."
"... i'd look to the CIA for false flags, not the pentagon. the pentagon sees itself on the receiving end of the cia's 'fun and games'. ..."
"... It is Trump, and his direct handlers, who have the bit in their teeth now. no one else - state, nor defense, nor the 'analysis' false-front at the CIA - wants to go near this. Trump wants to watch himself evolve as something bigger-than-life on TV, and whatever happens in what we quaintly call 'the real world' has no place in his 'thinking'. ..."
"... What is in maddog's peace pipe? i guess he didn't get the memo on the upcoming retaliation for the - so far, virtual - new 'sarin attack' - which is known to be aimed at babies? not entirely clear which comes first, the attack or the 'retaliation' for it. The russians are not interested in 'deconflicting' with a lying/out-of-the-loop bunch such as the american general command. And those same generals are pushing the turks into russia's lap ... i guess when you have a crack outfit - outfit on crack? - like the saudis for allies you don't need anyone else. The kurds have sold ALL their bona fides down the euphrates with their us/saudi no-matter-what alliance. ..."
"... Ah, that old chestnut again...typical Zionist Hollywood formula...the good cop, bad cop routine. Trump is actually perfect for this shit, his background in shithouse primetime T.V. makes for the perfect dummy agent. ..."
"... I guess this is why Sy Hersh's most recent effort didn't get published in the US or UK...it just didn't suit the upcoming singular MSM narrative. ..."
"... Trump is even more of a idiot than I previously thought. Now he plays patsy for the neo con's hegemonic Empire agenda in taking the blame for the Syrian air base strike on information the intelligence community now claims they had that was inconclusive that Assad did it. ..."
"... If the neo cons narrative on their story of the Assad forces having used gas AGAIN hadn't fallen apart so quickly, even after their MSM backed the story to the hilt, they wouldn't be back tracking with this new line of bovine by product that Trump ordered the strike against the spy agencies best advice. ..."
"... The neo cons are getting desperate, like a scene from Hitler's last days in the bunker when the illusion is dissolved that any further military ability is all but crushed. ..."
"... After Seymour Hersh ridiculed the White House for having 'punished' Bashar al Assad, for a crime he has not committed, it was necessary for the White House to show how 'intelligent' they are in preventing 'another' attacks. Fake face saving! ..."
"... This wreaks of propaganda that is designed to counter the Sy Hersh story and leaks that just came out regarding trump ignoring Intel and attacking Syria anyway. The White House changed the narrative from did trump Le to watch out for a cutout chemo attack and its statement about future chemical strikes claims there was a first strike - it seeks to make a fallacy assumed as true. ..."
"... I go along with comments 14 and 15 and see it actually as a response intended to defend against the inference from the Hersh piece that Trump revealed himself to be a moron for succumbing despite the evidence to media propaganda. I think that the problem is that Trump is less than fully in control of elements of his government, possibly even Spicer, as evidenced by the failure to inform the state dept, military and others of the statement, which may not have been fully vetted. I wouldn't be surprised if Spicer's time as press secretary is limited. ..."
"... The fact that the Hersh piece was published in one of Germany's ueber-establishment organs, Die Welt, is significant. It means that Germany is no longer on board, and I don't see Macron, though he is an empty suit, doing a 180 like some fear, since he takes many of his orders from Merkel. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the Russia conspiracy stories in the US seem to be in the early stages of blowing up, with a CNN official being exposed as admitting it was all propaganda, and Loretta Lynch, the ex-Justice Minister, appearing to be becoming a target based on her defence of the Harpy from criminal liability for the email server during the 2016 campaign. ..."
"... It's got to be a bitch for all the former Trumpsters around here who have seen their main man morph from a swamp-draining non-interventionist into a world class warmonger with a cabinet full of world class swamp creatures. ..."
"... Things certainly didn't work out as planned. Assad is in the cross hairs as is Iran and Hezbollah. It's maybe time to hope that Mueller gets enough dirt, and fast, to dethrone this dangerous president even if it leaves some egg on the face of certain Russian officials and businessmen. ..."
"... thanks b.. no proof needed with the west... lies and insinuation of responsibility is all that is needed... ..."
Jun 27, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

The White House claims that the Syrian government is preparing "chemical weapon attacks". This is clearly not the case. Syria is winning the war against the country. Any such attack would clearly be to its disadvantage. The White House announcement must thereby be understood as preparation for another U.S. attack on Syria in "retaliation" for an upcoming staged "chemical weapon attack" which will be blamed on the Syrian government.

In August 2013 Syria invited inspectors of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to investigate chemical weapons attacks on the Syrian army. As soon as the inspectors arrived in Damascus a "chemical attack" was staged in Ghouta near Damascus. Lots of Jihadist video coverage of killed children was published and the "western" media blamed the incident on the Syrian government. It never explained why targeting a militarily irrelevant area with chemical weapons at the same time as inspectors arrived would have been a rational decision for a Syrian government that was just regaining control and international standing.

The "attack" was clearly staged by the opposition of the Syrian government and its foreign supporters. The Obama administration had planned to use it to launch U.S. attacks on the Syrian government but refrained from this when Russia arranged to remove Syria's strategic chemical weapons, aimed at Israel, instead.

In early 2017 the new U.S. president Trump made positive comments about the Syrian government. Assad can stay, he said. The Syrian military and its allies had gained the upper hand and were victorious on all fronts. Two days later another "chemical attack" was staged in the al-Qaeda held town of Khan Sheikhun. Lots of Jihadi video coverage of killed children, likely prepared in advance, was spilled onto the "western" public. U.S. intelligence knew that no chemical attack by the Syrian government had taken place. But the Trump administration used the incident to launch a volley of cruise missiles against a Syrian military airport. The neoconservatives were delighted. They finally had Trump where they wanted him. The media coverage changed from damming Trump for his alleged "Russian connections" to lauding his decisiveness in response to the faked attack.

Late May the new French president Macron ostensibly changed his position towards the Syrian government. The hostile position of France (and other EU countries) against the Syrian president Assad that had been eminent throughout the last six years changed on a dime :

Macron said that on Syria: "My profound conviction is that we need a political and diplomatic roadmap. We won't solve the question only with military force. That is a collective error we have made. The real change I've made on this question, is that I haven't said the deposing of Bashar al-Assad is a prerequisite for everything. Because no one has introduced me to his legitimate successor!

But Macron also added:

"I have red lines on chemical weapons and humanitarian corridors. I said it very clearly to Vladimir Putin. I will be uncompromising on that. So the use of chemical weapons will be met with a response, and even if France acts alone."

This immediately set off my warning lights:

Moon of Alabama @MoonofA - 4:28 PM - 29 May 2017
You like fakes? Tune in to Macron announcing the next False Flag chemical weapon attack in Syria.

Like all "red lines" this one Macron set was an invitation to the Takfiris to launch more fake incidents. Others had a similar reaction to Macron's (fake) turnaround.

The end of the war on Syria is in sight . One can start to tabulate the winners and losers . The U.S. military conceded that it had lost the race to occupy south-east Syria. All these turns in favor of Syria show that the war is practically won unless some of the outside sponsors of the Takfiri "rebels" again escalate.

Such an escalation is now happening. The White House claims to have information that the Syrian government is preparing a chemical weapon attack to kill "innocent children":

In an ominous statement issued with no supporting evidence or further explanation , Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the U.S. had "identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children."

He said the activities were similar to preparations taken before an April 2017 attack that killed dozens of men, women and children, and warned that if "Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price."

Several State Department officials typically involved in coordinating such announcements said they were caught completely off guard by the warning, which didn't appear to be discussed in advance with other national security agencies. Typically, the State Department, the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies would all be consulted before the White House issued a declaration sure to ricochet across foreign capitals.

The White House claim is of course nonsense and not supported by any evidence or logic at all. No one but the White House, not the State Department nor the Defense Department, seems to be informed about this (though that could be a ruse):

Five US defense officials said they did not know where the potential chemical attack would come from and were unaware the White House was planning a statement.

The lunatic US ambassador to the UN jumped in to make it clear that it does not matter who commits whatever crime in Syria, Takfiris, the U.S. or Israel, it will be the Syrian, Russian and Iranian governments who will held guilty of it:

Nikki Haley‏ @nikkihaley - 2:36 AM - 27 Jun 2017
Any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Assad, but also on Russia & Iran who support him killing his own people.

A U.S. bomb attack on an Islamic State used building in Mayadin, Syria, just killed 57 prisoners of the Islamic State. Will Nikki Halley hold the Syrian government responsible for this?

Take note of Trump's schedule today:

Laura Rozen‏ @lrozen 8:56 AM - 27 Jun 2017

Trump has call with France's Macron first thing this morning, before intel brief. Then meeting w Nat. Sec. adviser McMaster

Intense U.S. military reconnaissance takes place along the Syrian coast. The UK Defense Minister just announced that his government is "in full agreement" with any U.S. "retaliation" for a chemical attack in Syria. U.S. Secretary of Defense Mattis announced that the U.S. will continue to arm its Kurdish proxies in Syria even after ISIS is defeated.

During the last three days Al-Qaeda attacks on Syrian army position near the Israeli occupied Golan heights were supported by Israeli air attacks .

This all is clearly a coordinated operation by the "western" supporters of the Takfiris in Syria. Their aim is to prevent the victory of Syria and its allies. The U.S. wants to split up the country.

The announced fake "chemical attack" and the "retaliation" it is supposed to justify will likely happen in the south-west of Syria around Deraa where all recent attempts by Israel and the U.S. supported Takfiris to dislodge the Syrian government forces have failed. The provocation, now prepared and announced by Macron and the White House and supported by the UK, is probably planned to happen shortly before or during the upcoming G-20 meeting in Hamburg:

President Trump and members of his administration are requesting a full bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit in Germany next month.

...

While some administration officials have pressed for a quick "pull-aside" meeting at the Group of 20 summit or lower officials talking privately instead of the heads of state, Trump wants an event that includes the media and time for work sessions, according to one government official.

Trump has to make a deal (or war) with Russia and the announced fake "chemical attack" will be the pressure point against Putin. The neoconservatives in his administration want to break up Syria and Trump is tasked to get the Russian agreement for that (... or else.)

Syria insists that its has no chemical weapons nor any intention to use any indiscriminate weapon. Russia warns of any further military aggression and calls such U.S. threats unacceptable .

Posted by b on June 27, 2017 at 07:49 AM | Permalink

Dario | Jun 27, 2017 7:56:49 AM | 1
Don't you think that if the Americans really intended to make a false flag, they would never issue this warning? For me, looks like the White House, knowing of the possibility of a Pentagon faction to provoke a false flag, issued this warning as an alert to Russians and Syrians and as a vaccin, to avoid this operation.

just impressions, ideas, ideas...

Anon | Jun 27, 2017 8:01:03 AM | 2
Intresting b,- on the France connection, perhaps France are the ones feeding the false info to bomb Syria, the sleazy Macron needs a war to get some support? Anyway, check EU, Western nations, Media these days and see the ugly propaganda being played out, once again the west plan, threat with illegal wars and their media is right there to help them.

Russia is quite uninterested in defending Syria it seems, I think at least they could have shipped Syria S300 and put them right in Damascus by know.

Because, after Syria, Russia like Iran and North Korea will also sooner or later be bombed. Be sure about that. These are sick lunatics ruling the American military.
Remember who rule America these days, its not Trump:

Bannon: Trump's strategy is 'let the warfighters fight the war'

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/339301-bannon-trumps-strategy-is-let-the-warfighters-fight-the-war

Laguerre | Jun 27, 2017 8:15:03 AM | 3
the sleazy Macron needs a war to get some support
Really? He's just won the elections massively. What sort of support does he need?
R Winner | Jun 27, 2017 8:17:46 AM | 4
The US Regime is obviously in panic mode. The SAA is rapidly advancing on three fronts:

1. Raqqa - The SAA is quickly moving around the hapless Kurds and moving to the area south of Raqqa. Ensuring IS is unable to execute their agreement with the US Regime to evacuate towards Deir ez-Zur.

2. Deir ez-Zur - Huge numbers of SAA are quickly approaching the defenders in Deir ez-Zur. Once Deir ez-Zur is secure, the SAA will move north to link up with the SAA forces in al Hasakah.

3. al Bukamal - The SAA and Iraq PMU are working as a unified force on both sides of the border and are preparing to surround the border city.

What this means is:

  1. The US Regime partion dreams are dead. There is no viable Kurdish 'state' other than a bunch of clowns pretending to be a new 'government' in Raqqa.
  2. The Iraq PMU are increasingly working side by side with the SAA. Any attack by the US Regime puts their bases in Iraq open to attack.
  3. The absurd threats from Saudi Arabia towards Qatar now have the various terror groups still alive in Syria attacking each other.
  4. Syria is close to a decisive military victory against the foreign terrorists. Once the SAA secures the bulk of the Eurphrates only Idlib and Daraa remain as security problems.
  5. Every day the SAA advances and IS or terrorist pockets are cleared, more and more troops are freed up and being moved to the major fronts in either Daraa or the Eurphrates.
  6. Turkey and Russia are in complete agreement on preventing any sort of Kurdish state in the north of Syria. Any attempts by the US Regime to establish some sort of giant military base backed by Kurds is going to have to fight Turkey, the SAA, Russia, and quite possibly Iraq.
  7. The success of the de-escalation zone means that the US Regime is greatly hamstrung in coming up with further faked chemical attacks. The only real options now are Idlib and Daraa.

IS is being wiped out in the eastern Syrian desert by the SAA and in the western desert of Iraq by the PMU. Those giant grey IS areas on battle maps are evaporating and at the same time the entire pretext for the US Regime to be attacking Syria.

Mike Maloney | Jun 27, 2017 8:23:41 AM | 5
Right after Khan Sheikhoun preparations were being made in the media for another false flag. Several embarrassingly weak "think" pieces were published in the NYT attempting to rationalize why Syria would use chemical weapons when it weakened the country's defenses.

Now almost three months later the White House is actually staging a roll out of the false flag. Incredible. Legacy media can't raise a ruckus because their complicit in previous false flags.

Russia on the other hand can't back down this time. To do so would be to invite perpetual rape and plunder by the U.S. and its various clients. Russia needs to make a very clear statement right now -- paratroopers dropped around Deraa -- to prevent the false flag from going forward.

blues | Jun 27, 2017 8:24:04 AM | 6
The US military generals got caught with their pants down. They are losing the war -- everything but the wastelands. For the military/intel, losing is FAILURE. They basically get fired. So they will pull any stunt to not "fail". Of course, the Russians are going to make them fail despite all their "valiant" efforts. Trump better wake up and smell the coffee, or he will wake up to a brilliant flash.
jfl | Jun 27, 2017 8:26:42 AM | 7
@1 d

i'd look to the CIA for false flags, not the pentagon. the pentagon sees itself on the receiving end of the cia's 'fun and games'.

@2 a, 'Russia is quite uninterested in defending Syria it seems, I think at least they could have shipped Syria S300 and put them right in Damascus by know'

i think so too, every time. but I've been wrong everytime so far. it's finally occurred to me that there's more going on than what i know about, and that the Russians are dealing with a fuller deck than i am. And that they've spent their lifetimes at this kind of high pressure stuff and have a far better understanding of it all than i do. but don't take my word for it ... look at the results they've gotten.

It is Trump, and his direct handlers, who have the bit in their teeth now. no one else - state, nor defense, nor the 'analysis' false-front at the CIA - wants to go near this. Trump wants to watch himself evolve as something bigger-than-life on TV, and whatever happens in what we quaintly call 'the real world' has no place in his 'thinking'.

Anon | Jun 27, 2017 8:33:44 AM | 8
Laguerre

Massivly won? Sleazy Macron won an election where huge part of France didnt even vote not only in the prez. election but in the parliamentary election.
Or please tell us why this sleazy Macron threat Syria with war all of a sudden? For what reason? This guy is globalist 101% this is what people like himself do to get support.

This guy for crying out loud just warned some weeks ago that France will respond to a chemical attack! What more proof do you need?

jfl | Jun 27, 2017 8:48:06 AM | 9
Mattis: US arms for Syrian Kurds will continue after Raqqa
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday that America will continue to provide weapons to Syrian Kurdish fighters after the battle to oust Islamic State militants from Raqqa, Syria, is over.

Mattis said the de-confliction talks continue and are happening at several military levels, to insure that aircraft and ground forces are safe.

What is in maddog's peace pipe? i guess he didn't get the memo on the upcoming retaliation for the - so far, virtual - new 'sarin attack' - which is known to be aimed at babies? not entirely clear which comes first, the attack or the 'retaliation' for it. The russians are not interested in 'deconflicting' with a lying/out-of-the-loop bunch such as the american general command. And those same generals are pushing the turks into russia's lap ... i guess when you have a crack outfit - outfit on crack? - like the saudis for allies you don't need anyone else. The kurds have sold ALL their bona fides down the euphrates with their us/saudi no-matter-what alliance.

it's hard to believe the us wehrmacht is in such obvious disarray. if the Russians wait it out, the Americans will defeat themselves in Syria. Looks like in short order, too.

MadMax2 | Jun 27, 2017 8:59:47 AM | 10
Ah, that old chestnut again...typical Zionist Hollywood formula...the good cop, bad cop routine. Trump is actually perfect for this shit, his background in shithouse primetime T.V. makes for the perfect dummy agent.
mls | Jun 27, 2017 9:07:09 AM | 11
Trump does not need a chemical weapons attack to actually take place in Syria. He may be planning to preempt such an incident. This way there will be no phony White Helmets video footage to dissect. Listen to what the British Defense Minister has to say:
British Defense Minister Michael Fallon said London would support U.S. action to prevent a chemical weapons attack but that it had not seen the intelligence on which Washington based Monday's statement.
according to Reuters here
I guess this is why Sy Hersh's most recent effort didn't get published in the US or UK...it just didn't suit the upcoming singular MSM narrative.

MadMax2 | Jun 27, 2017 9:11:09 AM | 12

Moon is precisely right. The implied assumption of WH/intel Junta is that Ivan is coward and will not stand. The implied action is that WH/intel intends attack RuF/Sy?Ir/+ forces. Assumes Iran etc will not stand. Is this an incorrect assumption set? Failure of WH strategy is thus proximate.
BRF | Jun 27, 2017 9:19:38 AM | 14
Trump is even more of a idiot than I previously thought. Now he plays patsy for the neo con's hegemonic Empire agenda in taking the blame for the Syrian air base strike on information the intelligence community now claims they had that was inconclusive that Assad did it.

Hersh is again the go to mouth piece on this one for the neo cons. If the neo cons narrative on their story of the Assad forces having used gas AGAIN hadn't fallen apart so quickly, even after their MSM backed the story to the hilt, they wouldn't be back tracking with this new line of bovine by product that Trump ordered the strike against the spy agencies best advice.

This whole show is a cock and bull offering. The neo cons are getting desperate, like a scene from Hitler's last days in the bunker when the illusion is dissolved that any further military ability is all but crushed.

So desperate they US neo con brain trust is willing to go to the poison gas well again and again with their 'tell the big lie often' meme....after all it is only the Syrian civilian population and innocent beautiful babies that will have to die this time around again. I'll give the Israelis some credit for at least having the better excuse for their aggression against the Syrian nation and people.

virgile | Jun 27, 2017 9:24:49 AM | 15
After Seymour Hersh ridiculed the White House for having 'punished' Bashar al Assad, for a crime he has not committed, it was necessary for the White House to show how 'intelligent' they are in preventing 'another' attacks. Fake face saving!
plantman | Jun 27, 2017 9:26:31 AM | 16
Mattis is clearly working secretly with the White House on a plan to counter the steady progress of the SAA. He seems strangely unprepared for recent developments on the ground. There is still a good possibility he will try something foolhardy like sending his militia at al Tanf north thru SAA lines to join the fight at Deir Ezzor.
The SAA probably won't take Raqqa, but will focus on Deir Ezzor which is only 75 miles away.

Expect the chemical attack to be in the vicinity of deir ezzor.

Amanita Amanita | Jun 27, 2017 9:33:14 AM | 17
Surely this Assad prepares killer tomatoes fairytale is a feint...more likely the spark comes from the Balts or the Balks...so much kindling.

http://app.debka.com/n/article/26116/US-may-preempt-an-Assad-chemical-strike-in-Syria

virgile | Jun 27, 2017 9:33:52 AM | 18
The recent series of failures of the US in Syria, together with a shift of Turkey on the side of Bashar al Assad's army and France's u-turn on Bashar Assad necessitated a big noise: The threat of a 'new' chemical attack that would united the "friends of Syria" again.

Another infantile drama from desperate Pentagon to show the US relevance in the region! France will not buy it and Russia will make sure that false flag wont happen again.

jfl | Jun 27, 2017 9:34:02 AM | 20
@15 virgile

yeah, but they have to pose in their photo-ops themselves. no one else wants to be seen in pictures with them in the imagined future. the rump loves it ... 'larger than life'.

well, if they shut up now and wait a bit, they can announce that they were successful in preventing the dastardly attack on the babies by 'assad' ...

on the other hand, they may well have to figure out what to do after al-cia-duh 'surprises' them with some dead babies ... they'll be shocked! never imagined that might happen! wasn't in their copy of the script ... it's all a sit-com to them ...

Out of Istanbul | Jun 27, 2017 9:54:40 AM | 21
Looks like Assad is taking a "tour" of Russia's airbase... https://twitter.com/AliHa_97/status/879685253878734849 Looks like the time frame has been moved up dramatically since b's report... AP also running stories about the US military seeing indications of a chemical weapon being prepared.
Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 27, 2017 10:12:05 AM | 22
I've got a quibble with the intro to this post. It should say...

The White House claims that the Syrian government is preparing " another chemical weapon attack".

"another" is the presumptuous, Hollywood-ish weasel word intended to pre-emptively legitimise the false and unproven Yankee allegations that the Syrian Govt has conducted ANY chemical attacks. In fact, one could go farther and point out the measures taken by the Christian Colonial Clowns to AVOID producing evidence to support their past claims.

Julian | Jun 27, 2017 10:21:28 AM | 23
G20 G20 G20. If Putin wants to avoid WW3 he must get the leaders of countries like China, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Indonesia, Korea, who else? to stand up behind him and condemn this rush to war. The time has come for Merkel to make a decision - and it happens to be at her home G20 Summit. Does Mutti have the cojones???
Alaric | Jun 27, 2017 10:32:35 AM | 24
I agree with the posters of 15 and 22.

This wreaks of propaganda that is designed to counter the Sy Hersh story and leaks that just came out regarding trump ignoring Intel and attacking Syria anyway. The White House changed the narrative from did trump Le to watch out for a cutout chemo attack and its statement about future chemical strikes claims there was a first strike - it seeks to make a fallacy assumed as true.

It's the same tactc he is using regarding Russian interference. He is redirected there as well to Obama. "Why didn't Obama do anything about the leaks."

That said you can't put anything beyond the empire. SAA, Russia and friends need to be ready.

exiled off mainstreet | Jun 27, 2017 10:33:18 AM | 25
I go along with comments 14 and 15 and see it actually as a response intended to defend against the inference from the Hersh piece that Trump revealed himself to be a moron for succumbing despite the evidence to media propaganda. I think that the problem is that Trump is less than fully in control of elements of his government, possibly even Spicer, as evidenced by the failure to inform the state dept, military and others of the statement, which may not have been fully vetted. I wouldn't be surprised if Spicer's time as press secretary is limited.

The fact that the Hersh piece was published in one of Germany's ueber-establishment organs, Die Welt, is significant. It means that Germany is no longer on board, and I don't see Macron, though he is an empty suit, doing a 180 like some fear, since he takes many of his orders from Merkel.

It is seriously disconcerting that the neocons still seem to be able to rule the roost. If any "chemical" attack occurs within a few days or longer away, it will be extremely suspect.

Meanwhile, the Russia conspiracy stories in the US seem to be in the early stages of blowing up, with a CNN official being exposed as admitting it was all propaganda, and Loretta Lynch, the ex-Justice Minister, appearing to be becoming a target based on her defence of the Harpy from criminal liability for the email server during the 2016 campaign.

In light of these facts, I think the whole thing more likely shows weakness and disarray, not a serious conspiratorial threat of armageddon, though it could end up blowing up in that direction.

JaimeInTexas | Jun 27, 2017 10:38:50 AM | 27
@21

Hmmm. If the preemptive strike against an alleged chemical attack preparation takes out Assad? Just serendipity, icing on the cake? Any chance that the message is that these uSA has intelligence on Assad's movements?

x | Jun 27, 2017 10:45:17 AM | 28
And when this same old gas story loses traction it will be back to 'Barrel Bombs'...

peter | Jun 27, 2017 11:04:14 AM | 30
I suppose now that CNN has fired three journalists that Special Council Mueller will give notice to his investigators to pack it in and go home. Yep, nothing to see here folks. Sorry for wasting your time. Fat fucking chance. This cat's on a mission and won't be deterred.

It's got to be a bitch for all the former Trumpsters around here who have seen their main man morph from a swamp-draining non-interventionist into a world class warmonger with a cabinet full of world class swamp creatures.

Things certainly didn't work out as planned. Assad is in the cross hairs as is Iran and Hezbollah. It's maybe time to hope that Mueller gets enough dirt, and fast, to dethrone this dangerous president even if it leaves some egg on the face of certain Russian officials and businessmen.

jfl | Jun 27, 2017 11:27:12 AM | 31
US has seen chemical weapons activity at Syrian airbase: Pentagon
The U.S. regime has recently seen chemical weapons activity at the Shay'rat Airbase in the Homs Governorate, the Pentagon claimed, as reported by Matt Lee of the Associated Press.
this seems pretty whack. the syrians will say hey, come have a look? the us will go and say ... oops, our mistake? what's going on here? i guess it's the pentagon giving the rump a way to climb down? he can say he 'forced' an inspection? or something?
XLemming | Jun 27, 2017 11:27:39 AM | 32
@29 HW

A good start would be hanging all those responsible for war crimes... But until that happens, evil will proceed unabated

Christian Chuba | Jun 27, 2017 11:44:25 AM | 34
Since we know that Trump gets his info from his favorite cable TV programs and a select few websites and doesn't use the vast resources of the U.S. Intel community, has anyone found the original source for the new Assad allegation? It would be interesting to see what The Donald is reading nowadays.
james | Jun 27, 2017 11:49:58 AM | 35
thanks b.. no proof needed with the west... lies and insinuation of responsibility is all that is needed...

ditto many comments here..

@ 22 Hoarsewhisperer.. yeah - 'another' when they haven't verified any previously... more lies and insinuation of responsibility absent any facts... who needs facts when you want to destroy another country?

@29 quote "If people in the West don't want WW3 they're going to have to do something about the people who bribe, and own, their politicians." but hoarsewhisperer - that is what all these lies and deception are meant to do - keep the people in the west completely ignorant of the facts and reality.. dontcha know that lying to your people in the msm regularly keeps the sheeple quiet and passive? us freaks here at moa are in a real minority..

@34 chuba - they just make this shit up man... the first source i saw was from yesterday spicer idiot..

[Jun 27, 2017] No matter how many times the USA has lied to Russia, disparaged it, lied about it, cheated it .when America says, Hey, lets play football! Ill hold it, and you come running up and kick it! Russia will still fall for the old dodge, and come running and try to kick it, only to have it snatched away at the last second so it can fall on its ass

Notable quotes:
"... I really hope Russia has learned its lesson. It does no good to talk with Washington, as it only and always means Russia harm. Despite the popular aphorism, "Jaw, jaw is better than war, war", there is no reason Russia must choose one. Any overtures by Washington – including and especially to re-open the deconfliction channel in Syria – should be met with polite non-commitment, and a vague promise to look at it, then nothing. ..."
Jun 27, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

marknesop ,

June 21, 2017 at 10:21 pm
Americans (in Washington and in the think tanks) see themselves as Lucy in Charles Shultz's "Peanuts" comic strip, and the Russians as Charlie Brown. No matter how many times the USA has lied to Russia, disparaged it, lied about it, cheated it .when America says, "Hey, let's play football! I'll hold it, and you come running up and kick it!" Russia will still fall for the old dodge, and come running and try to kick it, only to have it snatched away at the last second so it can fall on its ass.

I really hope Russia has learned its lesson. It does no good to talk with Washington, as it only and always means Russia harm. Despite the popular aphorism, "Jaw, jaw is better than war, war", there is no reason Russia must choose one. Any overtures by Washington – including and especially to re-open the deconfliction channel in Syria – should be met with polite non-commitment, and a vague promise to look at it, then nothing.

yalensis , June 22, 2017 at 5:41 pm
Russia's choice:

Cortes , June 21, 2017 at 7:33 pm
Stoogesite Exclusive!

Revealed for the first time: The Donald Meeting His KGB Handler:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/TDbBoJoI-ZU?feature=oembed

[Jun 26, 2017] I am presently reading the book JFK and the Unspeakable by James W.Douglass and it is exactly why Kennedy was assassinated by the very same group that desperately wants to see Trump gone and the rapprochement with Russia squashed

Notable quotes:
"... Although I voted for Trump, only because he was a slightly smaller POS than Hillary, it's hard to have any sympathy for him. ..."
"... The Democrats and the Deep State should have accused Israel of interfering in US elections. That would have been a credible complaint. ..."
"... Felix, Except that Israel and her deep state puppets were interfering on behalf of the democrats. ..."
"... What is happening in the U.S. is the same MO the CIA has developed over the past 64 years to create turmoil within a nation to overthrow a ruler that would not comply with the dictates of Wall Street. ..."
"... I am presently reading the book " JFK and the Unspeakable" by James W.Douglass and it is exactly why Kennedy was assassinated by the very same group that desperately wants to see Trump gone and the rapprochement with Russia squashed. Peace is not in their books ,war is .John Kennedy had an epiphany and was wanting to make peace with the USSR at the time ,after the Cuban crisis , and this could not be allowed to happen . Same $hit different pile. ..."
"... Russia-gate - Just another weapon of mass distraction, brought to you by the liars in charge. ..."
"... David Stockman's excellent analysis makes clear that Trump doesn't know what he's doing and has appointed poor advisors, many of whom have been working against him from the start. Yet, per Stockman, "he doesn't need to be the passive object of a witch hunt." He could have and should have exposed the crimes of his accusers from the beginning, while he still had 100% support from the anti-war Right, which put him in office in the first place. He should have ignored the hysteria emanating from his enemies, and made peace with Vladimir Putin as a first order of business. Millions would have supported him. ..."
"... But, after his provocations in Syria and against Russia, which really resulted because he gave control of military decisions to uber hawk and Russia-phobic Mad Dog Mattis, his support from the anti-war crowd has all but evaporated and is unlikely to return. In other words, although he has been treated extremely unfairly by the corporate media, ultimately he has no one to blame but himself. Trump, with his endless stupid tweeting, has become a sad caricature of himself. ..."
"... When an outsider (like Trump) is elected POTUS and promises to do harm to the Pentagon, against the will of the Deep State -- the battle is on. A coup was planned against him, even before he took the oath of office. And, BTW--against the will of the people ..."
"... The Deep State bureaucracy will never let him have full control. Apparently, Obomber and Killery are running a Shadow White House, with all major decisions coming from the Deep State actors thereof. ..."
"... The Pentagon has seized power and does not recognize any elected or appointed power of the US government. Trump's 'power' is non-existent. If this 'soft coup' becomes a hard one, I predict all hell breaking loose in America ..."
"... "In a word, the Little Putsch in Kiev is now begetting a Great Big Coup in the Imperial City." Interesting point of view from David Stockman. Whatever happens in Washington, one can be sure there will come another provocation against Russia. This will probably be the Joint Investigation Team's final word on the shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014, not long after the little putsch in Kiev. The Joint Investigation Team relies on the Dutch Safety Board's Final Report on Flight MH17. With this report, the Dutch Safety Board has given the world a classic snow job, which I have pointed out in my critique on it. Please read it on my website at www.show-the-house.com/id119.html and share it with your elected representatives. Maybe a collective effort can head this off ..."
"... Not the first time! "US Power Elite, at war among themselves?" https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/us-powe... ..."
"... Watching from Australia what passes for domestic politics in the US within the media, reminds me of a primitive tribe reacting to a solar eclipse. They run around in hysterical fear gnashing their teeth thinking the great evil spirit has come to steal their corn, carry off their daughters, and destroy their village. ..."
Jun 26, 2017 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

Jenny G · 3 days ago

Although I voted for Trump, only because he was a slightly smaller POS than Hillary, it's hard to have any sympathy for him.

Every time he walks out on a stage clapping his hands, encouraging applause, like a daytime TV game show host, I want to puke.

I honestly don't think Trump really expected to win the presidency. And when he did, he was clueless. His "Mission Accomplished" party at the White House for a bill which would never pass the senate, was pure Dubya Bush. The orange haired POS is an embarrassment to the country.

Felix · 4 days ago
The Democrats and the Deep State should have accused Israel of interfering in US elections. That would have been a credible complaint.
follyofwar 107p · 3 days ago
Felix, Except that Israel and her deep state puppets were interfering on behalf of the democrats.
olde reb · 3 days ago
What is happening in the U.S. is the same MO the CIA has developed over the past 64 years to create turmoil within a nation to overthrow a ruler that would not comply with the dictates of Wall Street.

Detailed in --. http://farmwars.info/?p=15338 . A FACE FOR THE SHADOW GOVERNMENT

The "ultimate goal" (according to internal memos), is to collect on the fraudulent $20 trillion national debt which will result in Wall Street owning the United States. Hello, Greece.

Guysth 88p · 3 days ago
I am presently reading the book " JFK and the Unspeakable" by James W.Douglass and it is exactly why Kennedy was assassinated by the very same group that desperately wants to see Trump gone and the rapprochement with Russia squashed.

Peace is not in their books ,war is .John Kennedy had an epiphany and was wanting to make peace with the USSR at the time ,after the Cuban crisis , and this could not be allowed to happen .

Same $hit different pile.

doray · 3 days ago
Russia-gate - Just another weapon of mass distraction, brought to you by the liars in charge.
astraeaisabella 57p · 3 days ago
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2011/10/25... This may seem relevant, but considering Trump's visit to SAudi Arabia and then immediately "Israel", you might find it interesting.
follyofwar 107p · 3 days ago

David Stockman's excellent analysis makes clear that Trump doesn't know what he's doing and has appointed poor advisors, many of whom have been working against him from the start. Yet, per Stockman, "he doesn't need to be the passive object of a witch hunt." He could have and should have exposed the crimes of his accusers from the beginning, while he still had 100% support from the anti-war Right, which put him in office in the first place. He should have ignored the hysteria emanating from his enemies, and made peace with Vladimir Putin as a first order of business. Millions would have supported him.

But, after his provocations in Syria and against Russia, which really resulted because he gave control of military decisions to uber hawk and Russia-phobic Mad Dog Mattis, his support from the anti-war crowd has all but evaporated and is unlikely to return. In other words, although he has been treated extremely unfairly by the corporate media, ultimately he has no one to blame but himself. Trump, with his endless stupid tweeting, has become a sad caricature of himself.

RedRubies · 3 days ago
Stockman has only been a Congressman. They are allowed more leeway.

When an outsider (like Trump) is elected POTUS and promises to do harm to the Pentagon, against the will of the Deep State -- the battle is on. A coup was planned against him, even before he took the oath of office. And, BTW--against the will of the people, themselves.

The Deep State bureaucracy will never let him have full control. Apparently, Obomber and Killery are running a Shadow White House, with all major decisions coming from the Deep State actors thereof.

Killery still has her security clearance, by which she knew where the US Military would strike in Syria before Trump had any idea what was going on (http://headlinebits.com/2017-06-21/deep-state-hillary-clinton-staffers-still-have-security-clearances-access-to-sensitive-governmen.AlsHBgBSVVwAV1FWVwdSAwBWAg8HXQYE.html) .

You can't write an article about a 'soft coup' and NOT mention her name in connection with it!

The Pentagon has seized power and does not recognize any elected or appointed power of the US government. Trump's 'power' is non-existent. If this 'soft coup' becomes a hard one, I predict all hell breaking loose in America.

Stephen M. St. John · 3 days ago
"In a word, the Little Putsch in Kiev is now begetting a Great Big Coup in the Imperial City." Interesting point of view from David Stockman. Whatever happens in Washington, one can be sure there will come another provocation against Russia. This will probably be the Joint Investigation Team's final word on the shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014, not long after the little putsch in Kiev. The Joint Investigation Team relies on the Dutch Safety Board's Final Report on Flight MH17. With this report, the Dutch Safety Board has given the world a classic snow job, which I have pointed out in my critique on it. Please read it on my website at www.show-the-house.com/id119.html and share it with your elected representatives. Maybe a collective effort can head this off .
Schlüter 91p · 3 days ago
Not the first time! "US Power Elite, at war among themselves?" https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/us-powe...
Dick · 3 days ago
Watching from Australia what passes for domestic politics in the US within the media, reminds me of a primitive tribe reacting to a solar eclipse. They run around in hysterical fear gnashing their teeth thinking the great evil spirit has come to steal their corn, carry off their daughters, and destroy their village.

Emotional ignorance and blindness to the rational reality will only lead to more tears.

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

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

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

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

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

Nope !! .IS a moron:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Jun 24, 2017] The Criminal Laws of Counterinsurgency by Todd E. Pierce

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Many "never-Trumpers" of both parties see the deep state's national security bureaucracy as their best hope to destroy Trump and thus defend constitutional government, but those hopes are misguided. ..."
"... As Michael Glennon, author of National Security and Double Government, pointed out in a June 2017 Harper's essay, if "the president maintains his attack, splintered and demoralized factions within the bureaucracy could actually support - not oppose - many potential Trump initiatives, such as stepped-up drone strikes, cyberattacks, covert action, immigration bans, and mass surveillance." ..."
"... Corraborative evidence of Valentine's thesis is, perhaps surprisingly, provided by the CIA's own website where a number of redacted historical documents have been published. Presumably, they are documents first revealed under the Freedom of Information Act. A few however are copies of news articles once available to the public but now archived by the CIA which has blacked-out portions of the articles. ..."
"... This led to an investigation by New Times in a day when there were still "investigative reporters," and not the government sycophants of today. Based on firsthand accounts, their investigation concluded that Operation Phoenix was the "only systematized kidnapping, torture and assassination program ever sponsored by the United States government. . . . Its victims were noncombatants." At least 40,000 were murdered, with "only" about 8,000 supposed Viet Cong political cadres targeted for execution, with the rest civilians (including women and children) killed and "later conveniently labeled VCI. Hundreds of thousands were jailed without trial, often after sadistic abuse." The article notes that Phoenix was conceived, financed, and directed by the Central Intelligence Agency ..."
"... But the article noted that one of the most persistent criticisms of Phoenix was that it resulted "in the arrest and imprisonment of many innocent civilians." These were called "Class C Communist offenders," some of whom may actually have been forced to commit such "belligerent acts" as digging trenches or carrying rice. It was those alleged as the "hard core, full-time cadre" who were deemed to make up the "shadow government" designated as Class A and B Viet Cong. ..."
"... Ironically, by the Bush administration's broad definition of "unlawful combatants," CIA officers and their support structure also would fit the category. But the American public is generally forgiving of its own war criminals though most self-righteous and hypocritical in judging foreign war criminals. But perhaps given sufficient evidence, the American public could begin to see both the immorality of this behavior and its counterproductive consequences. ..."
"... Talleyrand is credited with saying, "They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing." Reportedly, that was borrowed from a 1796 letter by a French naval officer, which stated, in the original language: Personne n'est corrigé; personne n'a su ni rien oublier ni rien appendre. In English: "Nobody has been corrected; no one has known to forget, nor yet to learn anything." That sums up the CIA leadership entirely. ..."
Jun 24, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

Douglas Valentine has once again added to the store of knowledge necessary for American citizens to understand how the U.S. government actually works today, in his most recent book entitled The CIA As Organized Crime . (Valentine previously wrote The Phoenix Program , which should be read with the current book.)

The US "deep state" – of which the CIA is an integral part – is an open secret now and the Phoenix Program (assassinations, death squads, torture, mass detentions, exploitation of information) has been its means of controlling populations. Consequently, knowing the deep state's methods is the only hope of building a democratic opposition to the deep state and to restore as much as possible the Constitutional system we had in previous centuries, as imperfect as it was.

Princeton University political theorist Sheldon Wolin described the US political system in place by 2003 as "inverted totalitarianism." He reaffirmed that in 2009 after seeing a year of the Obama administration. Correctly identifying the threat against constitutional governance is the first step to restore it, and as Wolin understood, substantive constitutional government ended long before Donald Trump campaigned. He's just taking unconstitutional governance to the next level in following the same path as his recent predecessors. However, even as some elements of the "deep state" seek to remove Trump, the President now has many "deep state" instruments in his own hands to be used at his unreviewable discretion.

Many "never-Trumpers" of both parties see the deep state's national security bureaucracy as their best hope to destroy Trump and thus defend constitutional government, but those hopes are misguided. After all, the deep state's bureaucratic leadership has worked arduously for decades to subvert constitutional order.

As Michael Glennon, author of National Security and Double Government, pointed out in a June 2017 Harper's essay, if "the president maintains his attack, splintered and demoralized factions within the bureaucracy could actually support - not oppose - many potential Trump initiatives, such as stepped-up drone strikes, cyberattacks, covert action, immigration bans, and mass surveillance."

Glennon noted that the propensity of "security managers" to back policies which ratchet up levels of security "will play into Trump's hands, so that if and when he finally does declare victory, a revamped security directorate could emerge more menacing than ever, with him its devoted new ally." Before that happens, it is incumbent for Americans to understand what Valentine explains in his book of CIA methods of "population control" as first fully developed in the Vietnam War's Phoenix Program.

Hating the US

There also must be the realization that our "national security" apparatchiks - principally but not solely the CIA - have served to exponentially increase the numbers of those people who hate the US.

Some of these people turn to terrorism as an expression of that hostility. Anyone who is at all familiar with the CIA and Al Qaeda knows that the CIA has been Al Qaeda's most important "combat multiplier" since 9/11, and the CIA can be said to have birthed ISIS as well with the mistreatment of incarcerated Iraqi men in US prisons in Iraq.

Indeed, by following the model of the Phoenix Program, the CIA must be seen in the Twenty-first Century as a combination of the ultimate "Murder, Inc.," when judged by the CIA's methods such as drone warfare and its victims; and the Keystone Kops, when the multiple failures of CIA policies are considered. This is not to make light of what the CIA does, but the CIA's misguided policies and practices have served to generate wrath, hatred and violence against Americans, which we see manifested in cities such as San Bernardino, Orlando, New York and Boston.

Pointing out the harm to Americans is not to dismiss the havoc that Americans under the influence of the CIA have perpetrated on foreign populations. But "morality" seems a lost virtue today in the US, which is under the influence of so much militaristic war propaganda that morality no longer enters into the equation in determining foreign policy.

In addition to the harm the CIA has caused to people around the world, the CIA works tirelessly at subverting its own government at home, as was most visible in the spying on and subversion of the torture investigation by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The subversion of democracy also includes the role the CIA plays in developing and disseminating war propaganda as "information warfare," upon the American people. This is what the Rand Corporation under the editorship of Zalmay Khalilzad has described as "conditioning the battlefield," which begins with the minds of the American population.

Douglas Valentine discusses and documents the role of the CIA in disseminating pro-war propaganda and disinformation as complementary to the violent tactics of the Phoenix Program in Vietnam. Valentine explains that "before Phoenix was adopted as the model for policing the American empire, many US military commanders in Vietnam resisted the Phoenix strategy of targeting civilians with Einsatzgruppen-style 'special forces' and Gestapo-style secret police."

Military Commanders considered that type of program a flagrant violation of the Law of War. "Their main job is to zap the in-betweeners – you know, the people who aren't all the way with the government and aren't all the way with the Viet Cong either. They figure if you zap enough in-betweeners, people will begin to get the idea," according to one quote from The Phoenix Program referring to the unit tasked with much of the Phoenix operations.

Nazi Influences

Comparing the Phoenix Program and its operatives to "Einsatzgruppen-style 'special forces' and Gestapo-style secret police" is not a distortion of the strategic understanding of each. Both programs were extreme forms of repression operating under martial law principles where the slightest form of dissent was deemed to represent the work of the "enemy." Hitler's Bandit Hunters: The SS and the Nazi Occupation of Europe by Philip W. Blood describes German "Security Warfare" as practiced in World War II, which can be seen as identical in form to the Phoenix Program as to how the enemy is defined as anyone who is "potentially" a threat, deemed either "partizans" or terrorists.

That the Germans included entire racial categories in that does not change the underlying logic, which was, anyone deemed an internal enemy in a territory in which their military operated had to be "neutralized" by any means necessary. The US military and the South Vietnamese military governments operated under the same principles but not based on race, rather the perception that certain areas and villages were loyal to the Viet Cong.

This repressive doctrine was also not unique to the Nazis in Europe and the US military in Vietnam. Similar though less sophisticated strategies were used against the American Indians and by the imperial powers of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries, including by the US in its newly acquired territories of the Philippines and in the Caribbean. This "imperial policing," i.e., counterinsurgency, simply moved to more manipulative and, in ways, more violent levels.

That the US drew upon German counterinsurgency doctrine, as brutal as it was, is well documented. This is shown explicitly in a 2011 article published in the Journal of Military and Strategic Studies entitled German Counterinsurgency Revisited by Charles D. Melson. He wrote that in 1942, Nazi commander Heinrich Himmler named a deputy for "anti-bandit warfare," (Bevollmachtigter fur die Bandenkampfung im Osten), SS-General von dem Bach, whose responsibilities expanded in 1943 to head all SS and police anti-bandit units and operations. He was one of the architects of the Einsatzguppen "concept of anti-partisan warfare," a German predecessor to the "Phoenix Program."

'Anti-Partisan' Lessons

It wasn't a coincidence that this "anti-partisan" warfare concept should be adopted by US forces in Vietnam and retained to the present day. Melson pointed out that a "post-war German special forces officer described hunter or ranger units as 'men who knew every possible ruse and tactic of guerrilla warfare. They had gone through the hell of combat against the crafty partisans in the endless swamps and forests of Russia.'"

Consequently, "The German special forces and reconnaissance school was a sought after posting for North Atlantic Treaty Organization special operations personnel," who presumably included members of the newly created US Army Special Forces soldiers, which was in part headquartered at Bad Tolz in Germany, as well as CIA paramilitary officers.

Just as with the later Phoenix Program to the present-day US global counterinsurgency, Melson wrote that the "attitude of the [local] population and the amount of assistance it was willing to give guerilla units was of great concern to the Germans. Different treatment was supposed to be accorded to affected populations, bandit supporters, and bandits, while so-called population and resource control measures for each were noted (but were in practice, treated apparently one and the same). 'Action against enemy agitation' was the psychological or information operations of the Nazi period. The Nazis believed that, 'Because of the close relationship of guerilla warfare and politics, actions against enemy agitation are a task that is just as important as interdiction and combat actions. All means must be used to ward off enemy influence and waken and maintain a clear political will.'"

This is typical of any totalitarian system – a movement or a government – whether the process is characterized as counterinsurgency or internal security. The idea of any civilian collaboration with the "enemy" is the basis for what the US government charges as "conspiracy" in the Guantanamo Military Commissions.

Valentine explains the Phoenix program as having been developed by the CIA in 1967 to combine "existing counterinsurgency programs in a concerted effort to 'neutralize' the Vietcong infrastructure (VCI)." He explained further that "neutralize" meant "to kill, capture, or make to defect." "Infrastructure" meant civilians suspected of supporting North Vietnamese and Vietcong soldiers. Central to the Phoenix program was that its targets were civilians, making the operation a violation of the Geneva Conventions which guaranteed protection to civilians in time of war.

"The Vietnam's War's Silver Lining: A Bureaucratic Model for Population Control Emerges" is the title of Chapter 3. Valentine writes that the "CIA's Phoenix program changed how America fights its wars and how the public views this new type of political and psychological warfare, in which civilian casualties are an explicit objective." The intent of the Phoenix program evolved from "neutralizing" enemy leaders into "a program of systematic repression for the political control of the South Vietnamese people. It sought to accomplish this through a highly bureaucratized system of disposing of people who could not be ideologically assimilated." The CIA claimed a legal basis for the program in "emergency decrees" and orders for "administrative detention."

Lauding Petraeus

Valentine refers to a paper by David Kilcullen entitled Countering Global Insurgency. Kilcullen is one of the so-called "counterinsurgency experts" whom General David Petraeus gathered together in a cell to promote and refine "counterinsurgency," or COIN, for the modern era. Fred Kaplan, who is considered a "liberal author and journalist" at Slate, wrote a panegyric to these cultists entitled, The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War. The purpose of this cell was to change the practices of the US military into that of "imperial policing," or COIN, as they preferred to call it.

But Kilcullen argued in his paper that "The 'War on Terrorism'" is actually a campaign to counter a global insurgency. Therefore, Kilcullen argued, "we need a new paradigm, capable of addressing globalised insurgency." His "disaggregation strategy" called for "actions to target the insurgent infrastructure that would resemble the unfairly maligned (but highly effective) Vietnam-era Phoenix program."

He went on, "Contrary to popular mythology, this was largely a civilian aid and development program, supported by targeted military pacification operations and intelligence activity to disrupt the Viet Cong Infrastructure. A global Phoenix program (including the other key elements that formed part of the successful Vietnam CORDS system) would provide a useful start point to consider how Disaggregation would develop in practice."

It is readily apparent that, in fact, a Phoenix-type program is now US global policy and - just like in Vietnam - it is applying "death squad" strategies that eliminate not only active combatants but also civilians who simply find themselves in the same vicinity, thus creating antagonisms that expand the number of fighters.

Corraborative evidence of Valentine's thesis is, perhaps surprisingly, provided by the CIA's own website where a number of redacted historical documents have been published. Presumably, they are documents first revealed under the Freedom of Information Act. A few however are copies of news articles once available to the public but now archived by the CIA which has blacked-out portions of the articles.

The Bloody Reality

One "sanitized" article - approved for release in 2011 - is a partially redacted New Times article of Aug. 22, 1975, by Michael Drosnin. The article recounts a story of a US Army counterintelligence officer "who directed a small part of a secret war aimed not at the enemy's soldiers but at its civilian leaders." He describes how a CIA-directed Phoenix operative dumped a bag of "eleven bloody ears" as proof of six people killed.

The officer, who recalled this incident in 1971, said, "It made me sick. I couldn't go on with what I was doing in Vietnam. . . . It was an assassination campaign . . . my job was to identify and eliminate VCI, the Viet Cong 'infrastructure' – the communist's shadow government. I worked directly with two Vietnamese units, very tough guys who didn't wear uniforms . . . In the beginning they brought back about 10 percent alive. By the end they had stopped taking prisoners.

"How many VC they got I don't know. I saw a hell of a lot of dead bodies. We'd put a tag on saying VCI, but no one really knew – it was just some native in black pajamas with 16 bullet holes."

This led to an investigation by New Times in a day when there were still "investigative reporters," and not the government sycophants of today. Based on firsthand accounts, their investigation concluded that Operation Phoenix was the "only systematized kidnapping, torture and assassination program ever sponsored by the United States government. . . . Its victims were noncombatants." At least 40,000 were murdered, with "only" about 8,000 supposed Viet Cong political cadres targeted for execution, with the rest civilians (including women and children) killed and "later conveniently labeled VCI. Hundreds of thousands were jailed without trial, often after sadistic abuse." The article notes that Phoenix was conceived, financed, and directed by the Central Intelligence Agency, as Mr. Valentine writes.

A second article archived by the CIA was by the Christian Science Monitor, dated Jan. 5, 1971, describing how the Saigon government was "taking steps that could help eliminate one of the most glaring abuses of its controversial Phoenix program, which is aimed against the Viet Cong political and administrative apparatus." Note how the Monitor shifted blame away from the CIA and onto the South Vietnamese government.

But the article noted that one of the most persistent criticisms of Phoenix was that it resulted "in the arrest and imprisonment of many innocent civilians." These were called "Class C Communist offenders," some of whom may actually have been forced to commit such "belligerent acts" as digging trenches or carrying rice. It was those alleged as the "hard core, full-time cadre" who were deemed to make up the "shadow government" designated as Class A and B Viet Cong.

Yet "security committees" throughout South Vietnam, under the direction of the CIA, sentenced at least 10,000 "Class C civilians" to prison each year, far more than Class A and B combined. The article stated, "Thousands of these prisoners are never brought to court trial, and thousands of other have never been sentenced." The latter statement would mean they were just held in "indefinite detention," like the prisoners held at Guantanamo and other US detention centers with high levels of CIA involvement.

Not surprisingly to someone not affiliated with the CIA, the article found as well that "Individual case histories indicate that many who have gone to prison as active supporters of neither the government nor the Viet Cong come out as active backers of the Viet Cong and with an implacable hatred of the government." In other words, the CIA and the COIN enthusiasts are achieving the same results today with the prisons they set up in Iraq and Afghanistan.

CIA Crimes

Valentine broadly covers the illegalities of the CIA over the years, including its well-documented role in facilitating the drug trade over the years. But, in this reviewer's opinion, his most valuable contribution is his description of the CIA's participation going back at least to the Vietnam War in the treatment of what the US government today calls "unlawful combatants."

"Unlawful combatants" is a descriptive term made up by the Bush administration to remove people whom US officials alleged were "terrorists" from the legal protections of the Geneva Conventions and Human Rights Law and thus to justify their capture or killing in the so-called "Global War on Terror." Since the US government deems them "unlawful" – because they do not belong to an organized military structure and do not wear insignia – they are denied the "privilege" of belligerency that applies to traditional soldiers. But – unless they take a "direct part in hostilities" – they would still maintain their civilian status under the law of war and thus not lose the legal protection due to civilians even if they exhibit sympathy or support to one side in a conflict.

Ironically, by the Bush administration's broad definition of "unlawful combatants," CIA officers and their support structure also would fit the category. But the American public is generally forgiving of its own war criminals though most self-righteous and hypocritical in judging foreign war criminals. But perhaps given sufficient evidence, the American public could begin to see both the immorality of this behavior and its counterproductive consequences.

This is not to condemn all CIA officers, some of whom acted in good faith that they were actually defending the United States by acquiring information on a professed enemy in the tradition of Nathan Hale. But it is to harshly condemn those CIA officials and officers who betrayed the United States by subverting its Constitution, including waging secret wars against foreign countries without a declaration of war by Congress. And it decidedly condemns the CIA war criminals who acted as a law unto themselves in the torture and murder of foreign nationals, as Valentine's book describes.

Talleyrand is credited with saying, "They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing." Reportedly, that was borrowed from a 1796 letter by a French naval officer, which stated, in the original language: Personne n'est corrigé; personne n'a su ni rien oublier ni rien appendre. In English: "Nobody has been corrected; no one has known to forget, nor yet to learn anything." That sums up the CIA leadership entirely.

Douglas Valentine's book is a thorough documentation of that fact and it is essential reading for all Americans if we are to have any hope for salvaging a remnant of representative government.

Todd E. Pierce retired as a Major in the US Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps in November 2012. His most recent assignment was defense counsel in the Office of Chief Defense Counsel, Office of Military Commissions. This originally appeared at ConsortiumNews.com .

Read more by Todd E. Pierce Inciting Wars the American Way – August 14th, 2016 Chicago Police Adopt Israeli Tactics – December 13th, 2015 US War Theories Target Dissenters – September 13th, 2015 Ron Paul and Lost Lessons of War – September 1st, 2015 Has the US Constitution Been Lost to Military Rule?– January 4th, 2015

[Jun 24, 2017] Deceit and Self-Deception by Robert Trivers – review

Notable quotes:
"... What I Don't Know About Animals ..."
Jun 24, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
Konrad Lorenz and Desmond Morris , or anthropologists such as Lionel Tiger . They linked studies of animal behaviour to the idea of Darwinian evolutionary principles to tell readers just how very like the beasts we were in our sex lives, our workplaces and our recreational behaviours. We were advised to look at chimps and other primates and derive understanding of ourselves from their apparently culture-free activities and traits. Underneath all our fancy culture and language, we were simply naked apes enacting primitive territorial imperatives.

The reading public lapped it up as both a neat, satisfying narrative, and as an excuse for all manner of not-so-civilised behaviours for which we no longer had to take personal and moral blame. We go to war – well, so do baboons; it's in our genes, we can try to overcome it, but in the end as in the beginning we're all just animals. By 1976 we didn't even have to blame the animal in ourselves: Richard Dawkins gave us the selfish gene, whose sole reason for existence was to reproduce itself. And we, that is the body and brain of you and me, were nothing but vehicles for these genes which compelled us to optimise their chances of replicating. Talk to the gene, the conscience isn't listening.

Much of this was based on algebraic theories of altruism developed by WD Hamilton , who shifted the mechanism of evolution from making groups fitter to survive to a new insistence on individual inclusive fitness. This was via kin selection, which drills down deeper than the inter-relatedness of individual organisms, to the separate alleles (of which genes are made) in every organism: these preferentially promote only those vehicles which contain alleles most closely related to themselves. Genes were responsible, somehow, for you fighting the whirlwind to save your sister, but probably not your less related cousin, and certainly not the stranger from down the road.

Some people were not crazy about this view of the human race. Genes doing algebra didn't suit a more macrocosmic idea of a fallible but responsible humanity.

Robert Trivers was the man who produced the unifying theory of kin selection and altruism. Now, decades on, he has arrived at a big, new universal theory, also essentially based on the arithmetic of gene selection. Deceit is useful where telling the (unpleasant) truth would hamper your progress. Progress towards what? Trivers would say your fitness, which is defined as raising the chances of replicating your genes into the next generation.

Your genes, apparently, would agree with him; but they would, wouldn't they? That is if they were capable of agreeing. I want to hang on to the fact that the building blocks of ourselves do not want or intend anything. Chemicals aren't conscious, although by amazing chance they can combine to make a conscious organism.

Once self-conscious humans begin to do science, and with the benefit of language, start to describe the nature of the chemicals that make them what they are, but having to use regular language if they want a large audience (maths is a much better language, but fewer people can read it), they cannot help but slide into the notion of intention. Dawkins's selfish gene gained an absurd life of its own because most people don't speak arithmetic.

The biological mechanism by which we conceal inconvenient truths from ourselves and others is shown, says Trivers, in functional MRI scans of blood flow associated with neural activity in the brain: "It is estimated that fully ten seconds before consciousness of intent, the neural signals begin that will later give rise to the consciousness and then the behaviour itself." Freud, who always believed that neurology would discover a physical basis for the unconscious, would be delighted, though according to Trivers, psychoanalysis is nothing more than a money-grabbing hoax. Yet there remains a void between brain chemicals doing what they do and the emergence of the sense we all have of possessing a mind.

Trivers's theories of deceit and self-deceit are based on multiple gleanings from experimental psychology. A trial with rats shows this, another with students suggests that. The actual experiments are referenced, rather minimally, in page-related endnotes, but Trivers's writing is full of halting phraseology as he slips from findings in the lab or questionnaire to the generality of human social behaviour.

He suggests from relatedness theory that fathers should show a "slight genetic bias towards their daughters", but "no one knows if this is true". General assertions about human behaviour are peppered with such phrases as "One is tempted to imagine ", "in mice at least ", "work still in its infancy ", "first speculations ", "Whether any of my speculations are true I have no idea ". And, really, if he doesn't, I certainly don't.

Once he has laid out his evidence, our biologically determined deceit behaviour is ready to account for just about everything Trivers doesn't like about the world, such as the false justifications for the invasion of Iraq, the self-deceiving use, by the US and UK, of 9/11 to declare war on oil-rich countries and on to torture, religion and stock-market trading. It so happens that Trivers and I dislike much the same things but, though I daresay knowledge is generally better than lack of it, I'm not convinced of the benefits of offering us the excuse of having been manipulated by our genes for our repeatedly scurrilous behaviour.

While the first part of the book explains the theory, and the second part discusses how deceit was responsible for all the political and social injustices both he and I perceive in the world, there is a third element woven through both. An actual individual life, that of Trivers himself, emerges, like a gene in the organism, offered perhaps as a consciously self-deprecating example of what evolutionary pressure to deceive can do to a person. Somehow, though, it comes across as back-handed boasting.

The man whom Trivers calls "I" is a compulsive thief who can't go into a room without coming away with a trophy. He talks of his "'inadvertent' touching of women", which occurs exclusively with his left (unconscious) hand. Apropos chimps turning their backs to hide an erection from a dominant male, he explains that he finds it very hard "in the presence of a woman with whom I am close, to receive a phone call from another woman with whom I may have, or only wish to have, a relationship, without turning my back to pursue the conversation".

He understands the male/female gender split by recollecting "trying to poison the minds of my three daughters against their mother". He nearly killed his girlfriend and nephew by driving the nephew's "cool car" too fast on a precipitous road, when he noticed her interest in the younger man. And after pages and pages on biological selection, evolutionary pressure and the dangerous deception that is religion, it not only turns out that he prays regularly, but he gives a short lecture on the proper way to say the "Lord's Prayer" (emphasise "thy"). I wasn't surprised to discover that he is on prescription antidepressants, as well as using ganja and cocaine.

There will be Iron Johns who read this book and cheer, and although he explains that each sex (abhorring the word "gender", which he calls a euphemism) contains both male and female genes, my male genes are just too wimpy to find any charm in Trivers's display of self-disclosure – machismo and pet peeves – dressed up as an important new evolutionary understanding of humanity.

Jenny Diski's What I Don't Know About Animals is published by Virago.

frustratedartist , 11 Oct 2011 03:20

@greaterzog

Oh dear- could you then...disentangle your own behaviour from your 'human nature".

In general- Yes. Human behaviour changes rapidly and depends on culture and individual choices. Human nature changes very very slowly, in 'evolutionary time'. Too slowly for it to be observed.

On the level of the individual -- No. I can't disentangle my personal choices from my inherited tendencies. To what extent does my behaviour (or my character)reflect my genes or upbringing, to what extent is it my own free will? Nature, Nurture, or Nietzsche?, as Stephen Fry would say. I can't say- except that I believe that we all have free will and are therefore in most cases responsible for our actions.

As for 'my' human nature, that is a meaningless phrase. Human nature I would define as the (evolved) psychological traits humans have in common .

greatherzog , 10 Oct 2011 15:57

In his article Pinker gives (I think) quite a convincing explanation of how human behaviour can be changing for the better, while human nature (perforce) remains the same.

Oh dear- could you then-with the help of Pinker's pseudo-scientific, deterministic, eurocentric tosh and/or Dawkins overly simplistic, to the point of idiocy take on genes and evolution- disentangle your own behaviour from your 'human nature.' I am really curious.

[Jun 22, 2017] Neocons influence on US foreign policy

Equating critique of Israel with anti-Semitism is like equating critique of Nazi Germany with with denigrating everything German.
Jun 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

lavoisier Website June 21, 2017 at 10:27 am GMT

@Sam J. "...In the end, it is the American people who decide whether Israel is to be or not to be a vital American ally and friend..."

To make informed decisions you have to have information. The American people don't have that. So they really haven't made a decision at all. They've been tricked into doing things that are covered up in lies. The American people are responsible even if they are being manipulated by the MSM.

Too many Americans are woefully ignorant about the world, particularly about the extent that Jewish interests have manipulated so many aspects of our government and our culture. If you even bring this issue up you are immediately branded a hater and your arguments dismissed.

In short, many Americans are happy to drink the kool aid.

It is a much deeper problem than simply our American Pravda.

Many of us have chosen to be blind, refusing to even consider the possibility that we are being manipulated, and in the process fail as responsible citizens.

One can choose to be red pilled today. This is ultimately the choice to go through life with an open mind and to have a high regard for reality, however uncomfortable that reality may be.

annamaria June 21, 2017 at 12:34 pm GMT

@Sam J. "...The source of Jewish power in the US is their brokerage of voter bias and federal entitlements between the federal government and the public..."

There may be a little bit of that but it's not the main reason. The main reasons are:
1. They own practically all media in the US.
2. They own the FED providing almost limitless cash to their preferred people.
3. They're blackmailing huge numbers of our Representatives with little Boys and little Girls.
4. They'll kill you if they don't get their way.

So if you run against them in the primary you will have extremely well funded opponents and the press will savage you. If that doesn't work they will try to redistrict you out of a job. If that doesn't work they will frame or kill you like they did to Ohio Congressman James Traficant. "1. They own practically all media in the US.
2. They own the FED providing almost limitless cash to their preferred people.
3. They're blackmailing huge numbers of our Representatives with little Boys and little Girls.
4. They'll kill you if they don't get their way."

And this has been leading the States – and Israel along with the States – to the demise. The US governing institutions have lost their ability to respond to reality and instead they respond to personal desires only. Hence the approaching danger of a hot war.

annamaria June 21, 2017 at 2:53 pm GMT

@Sam Shama

Don't look for the exchange with Colbert on YouTube. CBS deleted it from its broadcast and website, demonstrating once again that the "I" word cannot be disparaged on national television.
Is this the one?

http://www.cbs.com/shows/the-late-show-with-stephen-colbert/video/tRfgCC966_LEXj4URvqwisoUugDosea4/oliver-stone-spent-two-years-interviewing-vladimir-putin/

If so, you'll need to issue a retraction of your statement and all the other insinuations you derived from it. If it is not the video, I issue my apologies in advance.

......he was assassinated, which was a lucky break for Israel, particularly as Kennedy was replaced by the passionate Zionist Lyndon Baines Johnson.
With this slander which others commented on earlier, it does deserve repeating emphatically, you've submerged yourself in conspiracies for reasons which appear to be occult Jew hatred impossible to contain just under the surface. It beggars belief that statement was written tongue in cheek; excessive cheek, tongue impossible to pry unstuck. An attempt at humour? Poor taste, really.
The Israelis know what is going on all the time.
Pure nonsense at some level. At another level, it is well-known we know more about our allies than their respective governments do and vice versa.
......but it also included an astonishingly large number of Democrats who describe themselves as progressive, including Corey Booker and Kamila Harris,
So they are progressives, what of it? You fail to understand most Americans view Iranians as a nation of people which took hostage American diplomats. These congressmen are doing no more than what their constituents want.

The readership of UR, a collection of a few excellent thinkers, overwhelmed by a larger group of lunatics, do not reflect the sentiment of the vast majority. They could not care what you or I think of Iranians. They remember Nov 1979.

And there's still more. Bill HR 672 Combating European Anti-Semitism Act of 2017 was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives on June 14th.
Antisemitism is a serious matter and it is well for it to bear scrutiny in some cases where through their actions overzealous elements[some in the judiciary] trivialise its intent. But you seem to favour an environment where mere vigilance through a bill deserves defeat. Unanimously.
President Donald Trump traveled to the Middle East claiming to be desirous of starting serious negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, but it was all a sham. Benjamin Netanyahu took him aside and came out with the usual Israeli bullshit about the Palestinians "inciting" violence and hatred of Jews and Trump bought into it
It's comical to behold the "select" group which voted for Trump now complain on these pages of the UR about what the man said he was going to do from the very beginning on the Israel-Palestine issue. It is not a sham. Trump never believed the "bullshit" coming from the U.N. [a body which has over 40 Muslim and Arab members] on the contrary, attacking the solitary Jewish nation state. He required no "taking aside" by Bibi. One needn't travel to the West Bank to find Jew hatred; a few months' worth of reading your columns being quite sufficient.

I might note in passing that there has been no Senate resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bravery exhibited by the officers and crew of the USS Liberty as they were being slaughtered by the Israelis at the same time as Jerusalem was being "liberated"
Such a Senate resolution requires convincing senators of its necessity. No one is stopping anyone.

I understand you feel Jerusalem is better in the hands of Palestinians and Arabs. We disagree.

A gem of an article all things considered.

"You fail to understand most Americans view Iranians as a nation of people which took hostage American diplomats."

You feign ignorance of the USSLiberty. The American servicemen were not just hostages for Israel – American servicemen were murdered by Israelis: https://theintercept.com/2017/06/06/fifty-years-later-nsa-keeps-details-of-israels-uss-liberty-attack-secret/
Most Americans are also aware that the US Congress has become Israel-occupied Congress, with the horrific consequences for the global insecurity.
"Israel Has Been Secretly Funding Syrian Rebels For Years:" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-19/israel-has-been-secretly-funding-syrian-rebels-years
"The Kagans Are Back; Wars to Follow:" https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/15/the-kagans-are-back-wars-to-follow/
There was an enormous sympathy for Jewish victims of the WWII; the sympathy and goodwill for Israel have been completed squandered by the bloody ziocons. Only opportunists stay loyal to Israeli agenda, whereas honest people look with horror on the transformation of a victim into an amoral villain.

[Jun 21, 2017] An Assault on Language Extremism by Gregory Barrett

Notable quotes:
"... The wealthy and powerful forces which control both of those influential centers in the formation of public opinion were desperate to regain control of the narrative, which has been slipping away from them at an increasing velocity since the advent of social media, and since the parallel growth of a broad spectrum of information networks with absolutely no interest in currying favor with the mighty, or in defending the status quo. ..."
"... As soon as the term "Fake News" appeared, Barack Obama pounced on it, and in a joint appearance in 2016 with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, used his worldwide microphone and bully pulpit – if only he had done so occasionally to sound the alarm about the approaching environmental crisis, or to express outrage about racism or police brutality, or to challenge war profiteers! – to announce his deep concern that "Fake News" was making it "difficult to govern" (for more on this and the struggle against corporate/government presstitute propaganda, see my article "Hope Is Our Enemy: Fighting Boiling Frog Syndrome"). ..."
"... This clumsy and panicky maneuver has deservedly met with far less success than Obama's incredibly successful propaganda sally against Russia and Vladimir Putin, which has captivated the paranoid fantasies of many millions of Americans and Europeans who desperately want to believe that NATO countries are virtuous and innocent, and are threatened by ruthless and aggressive foreigners who are responsible for the spreading chaos in the West. ..."
"... As one of his final acts in office, President Chameleon slapped new sanctions on Russia and deported Russian diplomats: after eight years, his transformation from Nobel Laureate and supposed apostle of peace to McCarthyite New Cold Warrior was complete, and vast numbers of angry Hillaroids were quickly on board the Blame Russia Express, full of self-righteous anger and the conviction that someone had stolen the election and that the usual suspects were obviously the guilty party. ..."
"... Things haven't gone so well for the "Fake News" campaign, however. Too many people could and can see disturbing patterns that ring true, if they spend enough time looking at truthful, objective analysis of the world around us, and there is quite a lot of it available via the internet. ..."
"... More people are spending more and more time on the internet and social media, where presstitute media lose the natural advantages they once had in a world dominated by government-regulated, corporate-financed TV, radio, and print news. ..."
"... It turns out that many of the best-informed writers see the world utterly differently than do the corporate and government shills who determine the "news" content in mainstream media. ..."
"... Social Democrats ..."
"... Christian Democrats ..."
"... The US military is by far the greatest polluter on Earth. ..."
"... I consider that an Orwellian assault on language. "Extremism" is what I oppose. Extreme wealth. Extreme greed. Extreme militarism. Extreme suicidal and ecocidal environmental destruction. Extreme governmental authority. Extreme stupidity. ..."
Jun 19, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

We have had a certain amount of success in exposing the amorphous and mendacious term "Fake News" for what it is: a tool in a major campaign of propaganda against dissenting independent journalism and political writing, a campaign perpetrated by governments and corporate media. The wealthy and powerful forces which control both of those influential centers in the formation of public opinion were desperate to regain control of the narrative, which has been slipping away from them at an increasing velocity since the advent of social media, and since the parallel growth of a broad spectrum of information networks with absolutely no interest in currying favor with the mighty, or in defending the status quo.

As soon as the term "Fake News" appeared, Barack Obama pounced on it, and in a joint appearance in 2016 with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, used his worldwide microphone and bully pulpit – if only he had done so occasionally to sound the alarm about the approaching environmental crisis, or to express outrage about racism or police brutality, or to challenge war profiteers! – to announce his deep concern that "Fake News" was making it "difficult to govern" (for more on this and the struggle against corporate/government presstitute propaganda, see my article "Hope Is Our Enemy: Fighting Boiling Frog Syndrome").

This clumsy and panicky maneuver has deservedly met with far less success than Obama's incredibly successful propaganda sally against Russia and Vladimir Putin, which has captivated the paranoid fantasies of many millions of Americans and Europeans who desperately want to believe that NATO countries are virtuous and innocent, and are threatened by ruthless and aggressive foreigners who are responsible for the spreading chaos in the West.

As one of his final acts in office, President Chameleon slapped new sanctions on Russia and deported Russian diplomats: after eight years, his transformation from Nobel Laureate and supposed apostle of peace to McCarthyite New Cold Warrior was complete, and vast numbers of angry Hillaroids were quickly on board the Blame Russia Express, full of self-righteous anger and the conviction that someone had stolen the election and that the usual suspects were obviously the guilty party.

Things haven't gone so well for the "Fake News" campaign, however. Too many people could and can see disturbing patterns that ring true, if they spend enough time looking at truthful, objective analysis of the world around us, and there is quite a lot of it available via the internet.

More people are spending more and more time on the internet and social media, where presstitute media lose the natural advantages they once had in a world dominated by government-regulated, corporate-financed TV, radio, and print news.

It turns out that many of the best-informed writers see the world utterly differently than do the corporate and government shills who determine the "news" content in mainstream media.

Which brings us to one of the latest victims in the assault on language by the 1% and their pawns in the presstitute media: the word "extremism".

Here in the European Union where I live, this word is currently heard so often in the traditional media – along with another victimized word being brutalized almost non-stop, "populist" – that even poorly-educated persons who aren't sure exactly what is meant can understand that they must mean something very, very bad.

If any such confused persons should take the time to pay closer attention and attempt to ascertain what it is that makes these "extremists" and "populists" so deplorable and dangerous, they may soon notice that at least one of these words, "extremist", has a pretty nebulous field of application. According to major sources of conventional wisdom in the EU, terrorists are "extremists". But "extremism", more generally, is also applied casually to nearly any political parties and interest groups to the Left and the Right of the large (if shrinking in some countries like France) parties called "people's parties" (Volksparteien) here in Germany: the no-longer-socialist Social Democrats who are allegedly center-left, the pseudo-Christian Christian Democrats who portray themselves as center-right, and even the thoroughly compromised and faded-to-brown Green Party , which has gone to great lengths and engaged in stupendous contortions of deliberate conformism to achieve its modern status as a pillar of the established order, a long journey from its radical roots in the 1980s.

As you may have deduced from my snarky tone, I find myself firmly ensconced among the so-called "extremists" of the Left.

What, one may legitimately ask, are the views which have led to this branding as a dangerous individual? Do I advocate keeping a stock of Molotov Cocktails handy for quick use when the shit starts to fly? I do not.

Okay I guess I'll have to come clean. Here are the radical, dangerous, "extremist" positions I support when I advocate more influence for this political party:

In addition, there is my allegedly "extreme" position on the environment, which is not so much a priority for "Die Linke" but is the most important issue of all for me personally. I am convinced that only a radical transformation of the world economy can save this planet, including most life on Earth. I believe this can only come about through an end to industrial capitalism: a ban on most fossil fuels, an end to the production of most plastics, an end to most beef production and strict organic regulation of all meat production, and worldwide mandatory measures to clean up the poisonous residue of the current system which is killing the planet. This will necessarily involve huge cuts in most military structures and war-making as well. The US military is by far the greatest polluter on Earth.

For these views, and my concomitant rejection of the large political parties in the EU and the USA which have done almost nothing to save the planet that was not outweighed by massive destruction – parties which thus, in the name of "realism", have sold our future to the rich and may have doomed all life on this planet, as scientific opinion is near unanimous that time is short – for these views I am labeled an "extremist".

I consider that an Orwellian assault on language. "Extremism" is what I oppose. Extreme wealth. Extreme greed. Extreme militarism. Extreme suicidal and ecocidal environmental destruction. Extreme governmental authority. Extreme stupidity.

[Jun 20, 2017] Deregulation in action

Notable quotes:
"... The Aluminium cladding on the Grenfell Tower had oxygen all the way round it was mounted with an air gap and a flammable polystyrene inner. The cladding is under the windows that can be opened. Once the polystyrene is exposed, say from rupture of the aluminium coating. ..."
"... 'Like other organic compounds, polystyrene is flammable. Polystyrene is classified according to DIN4102 as a "B3" product, meaning highly flammable or "Easily Ignited." ..."
"... This is off-topic and should be in the MF Cafe. Pls take the conversation there. Thx. Mod ..."
www.informationclearinghouse.info

ph on June 15, 2017 , · at 9:35 am UTC

Jun 20, 2017 | thesaker.is
Regarding the media presentation of the fire in London:

The Aluminium cladding on the Grenfell Tower had oxygen all the way round it was mounted with an air gap and a flammable polystyrene inner. The cladding is under the windows that can be opened. Once the polystyrene is exposed, say from rupture of the aluminium coating.

The expanded polystyrene core melts at 240 C so at this point the cladding loses its structural integrity.

'Like other organic compounds, polystyrene is flammable. Polystyrene is classified according to DIN4102 as a "B3" product, meaning highly flammable or "Easily Ignited."

As a consequence, although it is an efficient insulator at low temperatures, its use is prohibited in any exposed installations in building construction if the material is not flame-retardant. It must be concealed behind drywall, sheet metal, or concrete.[citation needed]

Foamed polystyrene plastic materials have been accidentally ignited and caused huge fires and losses, for example at the Düsseldorf International Airport and the Channel tunnel (where polystyrene was inside a railcar that caught fire).'

'Like all organic compounds, polystyrene burns to give carbon dioxide and water vapor.'

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

US Department of Energy report

'In the vicinity of room temperature, the reaction between aluminum metal and water to form aluminum hydroxide and hydrogen is the following: 2Al + 6H2O = 2Al(OH)3 + 3H2. The gravimetric hydrogen capacity from this reaction is 3.7 wt.% and the volumetric hydrogen capacity is 46 g H2/L.

Although this reaction is thermodynamically favorable, it does not proceed due to the presence of a coherent and adherent layer of aluminum oxide which forms on the surface of aluminum particles which prevents water from cominginto direct contact with the aluminum metal.

The key to inducing and maintaining the reaction of aluminum with water near room temperature is the continual removal and/or disruption of this coherent/adherent aluminum oxide layer. '

'In this case, the molten nature of the [aluminium] alloy prevents the development of a coherent and adherent aluminum oxide layer. '
.

'Thus, an engineering approach might be a continuous water stream to maintain a roughly steady state hydrogen generation rate'

'The Al/water reaction is highly exothermic with an enthalpy of reaction of about 280 kJ/mol H2 at ~50-100 C '

https://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/pdfs/aluminium_water_hydrogen.pdf

Aluminium has a melting point of 660 C. When the aluminium melts its protective oxide outer layer is removed causing any steam or water such as from the burning of the polystyrene to cause a highly exothermic reaction that releases hydrogen. This saw the rapid spread of the flames over the skin of the building.

The firefighters adding water to areas they could not quench acted as an accelerant to the fire once it had rose as steam and reacted with the molten aluminium.

Any iron or copper used as building material with rust or oxidation or impurities could even cause small thermite reactions with the aluminium oxide. This exothermic reaction can be seen on the Hindenberg disaster.

There could be a creation of higly volatile triorganoaluminium compounds:

"trimethylaluminium" has the formula Al2(CH3)6 (see figure). With large organic groups, triorganoaluminium compounds exist as three-coordinate monomers, such as triisobutylaluminium. Such compounds are widely used in industrial chemistry, despite the fact that they are often highly pyrophoric.'

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium#Organoaluminium_compounds_and_related_hydrides

Simple large life nets could have been used with springs to save the people.

The fact the outer layer of the building is in an exothermic reaction can be clearly seen:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ThermiteReaction.jpg

Compare video of the Grenfell Tower and Hindenburg – that was using aluminium paint according to A NASA scientist.

Chemical analysis of the cladding might help further at this stage.

This is off-topic and should be in the MF Cafe. Pls take the conversation there. Thx. Mod

[Jun 19, 2017] The Politics of Lying by Henry A. Giroux

The author mixed Trump with Clinton political machine and his characterization are applicable first of all to Clinton political machine, and only secondarily to Trump,
Notable quotes:
"... As important as the Trump-Comey affair is, it runs the risk of both exacerbating the transformation of politics into theater ..."
"... You belong by affirming. To win, you don't need reasons anymore, only power." ..."
"... This is especially important at a time when the United States is no longer a functioning democracy and is in the presence of what Zygmunt Bauman and Leonidas Donskis refer to in their book Liquid Evil as "the emergence of modern barbarity." ..."
"... Note: This is an expanded version of a piece that originally appeared on Ragazine . ..."
Jun 15, 2017 | www.truth-out.org

...Trump cannot be trusted because he not only infects political discourse with a language of hate, bigotry and lies, but also because he has allowed an ideology built on the use of disinformation to take over the White House. Under the Trump administration, the truth is distorted for ideological, political and commercial reasons. Lying has become an industry and tool of power. All administrations and governments lie, but under Trump lying has become normalized. It is a calling card for corruption and lawlessness, one that provides the foundation for authoritarianism.

Trump is a salesman and a bully. He constantly assumes the macho swagger of a used car salesman from a TV commercial while at the same time, as Rebecca Solnit observes, he bullies facts and truths as well as friends and acquaintances. He is obsessed with power and prides himself on the language of command, loyalty and humiliation. He appears fixated on the fear that the United States could still act on the memory, if not the ghosts, of a real democracy.

... ... ...

A democracy cannot exist without informed citizens and public spheres and educational apparatuses that uphold standards of truth, honesty, evidence, facts and justice. Under Trump, disinformation masquerading as news -- often via his Twitter account -- has become a weapon for legitimating ignorance and civic illiteracy. Not only has Trump lied repeatedly, he has also attacked the critical media, claimed journalists are enemies of the American people and argued that the media is the opposition party. There is more at stake here than the threat of censorship or the normalization of lying; there is also an attack on long-valued sources of information and the public spheres that produce them. Trump's government has become a powerful disimagination machine in which the distinction between fact and fiction, reality and fantasy are erased.

... ... ...

Berkowitz's piece is worth citing at length. He writes :

The reason fact-checking is ineffective today -- at least in convincing those who are members of movements -- is that the mobilized members of a movement are confounded by a world resistant to their wishes and prefer the promise of a consistent alternate world to reality. When Donald Trump says he's going to build a wall to protect our borders, he is not making a factual statement that an actual wall will actually protect our borders; he is signaling a politically incorrect willingness to put America first. When he says that there was massive voter fraud or boasts about the size of his inauguration crowd, he is not speaking about actual facts, but is insisting that his election was legitimate. 'What convinces masses are not facts, and not even invented facts, but only the consistency of the system of which they are presumably part.' Leaders of these mass totalitarian movements do not need to believe in the truth of their lies and ideological clichés. The point of their fabrications is not to establish facts, but to create a coherent fictional reality. What a movement demands of its leaders is the articulation of a consistent narrative combined with the ability to abolish the capacity for distinguishing between truth and falsehood, between reality and fiction.

As important as the Trump-Comey affair is, it runs the risk of both exacerbating the transformation of politics into theater and reinforcing what Todd Gitlin refers to as Trump's support for an "apocalyptic nationalism, the point of which is to belong, not to believe. You belong by affirming. To win, you don't need reasons anymore, only power." Trump values loyalty over integrity. He lies, in part, to test the loyalty of those who both follow him and align themselves with his power. The Trump-Comey affair must be understood within a broader attack on the fundamentals of education, critical modes of agency and democracy itself.

This is especially important at a time when the United States is no longer a functioning democracy and is in the presence of what Zygmunt Bauman and Leonidas Donskis refer to in their book Liquid Evil as "the emergence of modern barbarity." Trump's discourse of lies, misrepresentations and fakery makes it all the more urgent for us to acknowledge that education is at the center of politics because it is crucial in the struggle over consciousness, values, identity and agency. Ignorance in the service of education targets the darkness and reinforces and thrives on civic illiteracy. Trump's disinformation machine is about more than lying. It is about using all of the tools and resources for education to create a dystopia in which authoritarianism exercises the raw power of ignorance and control.

Artists, educators, young people, journalists and others need to make the virtue of truth-telling visible again. We need to connect democracy with a notion of truth-telling and consciousness that is on the side of economic and political justice, and democracy itself. If we are all going to fight for and with the most marginalized people, there must be a broader understanding of their needs. We need to create narratives and platforms in which those who have been deemed disposable can identify themselves and the conditions through which power and oppression bear down on their lives.

This is not an easy task, but nothing less than justice, democracy and the planet itself are at risk.

Note: This is an expanded version of a piece that originally appeared on Ragazine . Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission of the author.

Henry A. Giroux Henry A. Giroux currently holds the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest in the English and Cultural Studies Department and the Paulo Freire Distinguished Scholar in Critical Pedagogy. His most recent books are America's Addiction to Terrorism (Monthly Review Press, 2016) and America at War with Itself (City Lights, 2017). He is also a contributing editor to a number of journals, including Tikkun, the Journal of Wild Culture and Ragazine. Giroux is also a member of Truthout's Board of Directors. His website is www.henryagiroux.com .

[Jun 17, 2017] The Collapsing Social Contract by Gaius Publius

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Until elites stand down and stop the brutal squeeze , expect more after painful more of this. It's what happens when societies come apart. Unless elites (of both parties) stop the push for "profit before people," policies that dominate the whole of the Neoliberal Era , there are only two outcomes for a nation on this track, each worse than the other. There are only two directions for an increasingly chaotic state to go, chaotic collapse or sufficiently militarized "order" to entirely suppress it. ..."
"... Mes petits sous, mon petit cri de coeur. ..."
"... But the elite aren't going to stand down, whatever that might mean. The elite aren't really the "elite", they are owners and controllers of certain flows of economic activity. We need to call it what it is and actively organize against it. Publius's essay seems too passive at points, too passive voice. (Yes, it's a cry from the heart in a prophetic mode, and on that level, I'm with it.) ..."
"... American Psycho ..."
"... The college students I deal with have internalized a lot of this. In their minds, TINA is reality. Everything balances for the individual on a razor's edge of failure of will or knowledge or hacktivity. It's all personal, almost never collective - it's a failure toward parents or peers or, even more grandly, what success means in America. ..."
"... unions don't matter in our TINA. Corporations do. ..."
"... our system promotes specialists and disregards generalists this leads to a population of individualists who can't see the big picture. ..."
"... That social contract is hard to pin down and define – probably has different meanings to all of us, but you are right, it is breaking down. We no longer feel that our governments are working for us. ..."
"... Increasing population, decreasing resources, increasingly expensive remaining resources on a per unit basis, unresolved trashing of the environment and an political economy that forces people to do more with less all the time (productivity improvement is mandatory, not optional, to handle the exponential function) much pain will happen even if everyone is equal. ..."
"... "Social contract:" nice Enlightment construct, out of University by City. Not a real thing, just a very incomplete shorthand to attempt to fiddle the masses and give a name to meta-livability. ..."
"... Always with the "contract" meme, as if there are no more durable and substantive notions of how humans in small and large groups might organize and interact Or maybe the notion is the best that can be achieved? ..."
"... JTMcFee, you have provided the most important aspect to this mirage of 'social contract'. The "remedies" clearly available to lawless legislation rest outside the realm of a contract which has never existed. ..."
"... Unconscionable clauses are now separately initialed in an "I dare you to sue me" shaming gambit. Meanwhile the mythical Social Contract has been atomized into 7 1/2 billion personal contracts with unstated, shifting remedies wholly tied to the depths of pockets. ..."
"... Here in oh-so-individualistic Chicago, I have been noting the fraying for some time: It isn't just the massacres in the highly segregated black neighborhoods, some of which are now in terminal decline as the inhabitants, justifiably, flee. The typical Chicagoan wanders the streets connected to a phone, so as to avoid eye contact, all the while dressed in what look like castoffs. Meanwhile, Midwesterners, who tend to be heavy, are advertisements for the obesity epidemic: Yet obesity has a metaphorical meaning as the coat of lipids that a person wears to keep the world away. ..."
"... My middle / upper-middle neighborhood is covered with a layer of upper-middle trash: Think Starbucks cups and artisanal beer bottles. ..."
"... The class war continues, and the upper class has won. As commenter relstprof notes, any kind of concerted action is now nearly impossible. Instead of the term "social contract," I might substitute "solidarity." Is there solidarity? No, solidarity was destroyed as a policy of the Reagan administration, as well as by fantasies that Americans are individualistic, and here we are, 40 years later, dealing with the rubble of the Obama administration and the Trump administration. ..."
"... The trash bit has been linked in other countries to how much the general population views the public space/environment as a shared, common good. Thus, streets, parks and public space might be soiled by litter that nobody cares to put away in trash bins properly, while simultaneously the interior of houses/apartments, and attached gardens if any, are kept meticulously clean. ..."
"... The trash bit has been linked in other countries to how much the general population views the public space/environment as a shared, common good. ..."
"... There *is* no public space anymore. Every public good, every public space is now fair game for commercial exploitation. ..."
"... The importance of the end of solidarity – that is, of the almost-murderous impulses by the upper classes to destroy any kind of solidarity. ..."
"... "Conditions will only deteriorate for anyone not in the "1%", with no sight of improvement or relief." ..."
"... "Four Futures" ..."
"... Reminds me of that one quip I saw from a guy who, why he always had to have two pigs to eat up his garbage, said that if he had only one pig, it will eat only when it wants to, but if there were two pigs, each one would eat so the other pig won't get to it first. Our current economic system in a nutshell – pigs eating crap so deny it to others first. "Greed is good". ..."
"... Don't know that the two avenues Gaius mentioned are the only two roads our society can travel. In support of this view, I recall a visit to a secondary city in Russia for a few weeks in the early 1990s after the collapse of the USSR. Those were difficult times economically and psychologically for ordinary citizens of that country. Alcoholism was rampant, emotional illness and suicide rates among men of working age were high, mortality rates generally were rising sharply, and birth rates were falling. Yet the glue of common culture, sovereign currency, language, community, and thoughtful and educated citizens held despite corrupt political leadership, the rise of an oligarchic class, and the related emergence of organized criminal networks. There was also adequate food, and critical public infrastructure was maintained, keeping in mind this was shortly after the Chernobyl disaster. ..."
Jun 16, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Yves here. I have been saying for some years that I did not think we would see a revolution, but more and more individuals acting out violently. That's partly the result of how community and social bonds have weakened as a result of neoliberalism but also because the officialdom has effective ways of blocking protests. With the overwhelming majority of people using smartphones, they are constantly surveilled. And the coordinated 17-city paramilitary crackdown on Occupy Wall Street shows how the officialdom moved against non-violent protests. Police have gotten only more military surplus toys since then, and crowd-dispersion technology like sound cannons only continues to advance. The only way a rebellion could succeed would be for it to be truly mass scale (as in over a million people in a single city) or by targeting crucial infrastructure.

By Gaius Publius , a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius , Tumblr and Facebook . GP article archive here . Originally published at DownWithTyranny

"[T]he super-rich are absconding with our wealth, and the plague of inequality continues to grow. An analysis of 2016 data found that the poorest five deciles of the world population own about $410 billion in total wealth. As of June 8, 2017 , the world's richest five men owned over $400 billion in wealth. Thus, on average, each man owns nearly as much as 750 million people."
-Paul Buchheit, Alternet

"Congressman Steve Scalise, Three Others Shot at Alexandria, Virginia, Baseball Field"
-NBC News, June 14, 2017

"4 killed, including gunman, in shooting at UPS facility in San Francisco"
-ABC7News, June 14, 2017

"Seriously? Another multiple shooting? So many guns. So many nut-bars. So many angry nut-bars with guns."
-MarianneW via Twitter

"We live in a world where "multiple dead" in San Francisco shooting can't cut through the news of another shooting in the same day."
-SamT via Twitter

"If the rich are determined to extract the last drop of blood, expect the victims to put up a fuss. And don't expect that fuss to be pretty. I'm not arguing for social war; I'm arguing for justice and peace."
- Yours truly

When the social contract breaks from above, it breaks from below as well.

Until elites stand down and stop the brutal squeeze , expect more after painful more of this. It's what happens when societies come apart. Unless elites (of both parties) stop the push for "profit before people," policies that dominate the whole of the Neoliberal Era , there are only two outcomes for a nation on this track, each worse than the other. There are only two directions for an increasingly chaotic state to go, chaotic collapse or sufficiently militarized "order" to entirely suppress it.

As with the climate, I'm concerned about the short term for sure - the storm that kills this year, the hurricane that kills the next - but I'm also concerned about the longer term as well. If the beatings from "our betters" won't stop until our acceptance of their "serve the rich" policies improves, the beatings will never stop, and both sides will take up the cudgel.

Then where will we be?

America's Most Abundant Manufactured Product May Be Pain

I look out the window and see more and more homeless people, noticeably more than last year and the year before. And they're noticeably scruffier, less "kemp,"​ if that makes sense to you (it does if you live, as I do, in a community that includes a number of them as neighbors).

The squeeze hasn't let up, and those getting squeezed out of society have nowhere to drain to but down - physically, economically, emotionally. The Case-Deaton study speaks volumes to this point. The less fortunate economically are already dying of drugs and despair. If people are killing themselves in increasing numbers, isn't it just remotely maybe possible they'll also aim their anger out as well?

The pot isn't boiling yet - these shootings are random, individualized - but they seem to be piling on top of each other. A hard-boiling, over-flowing pot may not be far behind. That's concerning as well, much moreso than even the random horrid events we recoil at today.

Many More Ways Than One to Be a Denier

My comparison above to the climate problem was deliberate. It's not just the occasional storms we see that matter. It's also that, seen over time, those storms are increasing, marking a trend that matters even more. As with climate, the whole can indeed be greater than its parts. There's more than one way in which to be a denier of change.

These are not just metaphors. The country is already in a pre-revolutionary state ; that's one huge reason people chose Trump over Clinton, and would have chosen Sanders over Trump. The Big Squeeze has to stop, or this will be just the beginning of a long and painful path. We're on a track that nations we have watched - tightly "ordered" states, highly chaotic ones - have trod already. While we look at them in pity, their example stares back at us.

Mes petits sous, mon petit cri de coeur.

elstprof , June 16, 2017 at 3:03 am

But the elite aren't going to stand down, whatever that might mean. The elite aren't really the "elite", they are owners and controllers of certain flows of economic activity. We need to call it what it is and actively organize against it. Publius's essay seems too passive at points, too passive voice. (Yes, it's a cry from the heart in a prophetic mode, and on that level, I'm with it.)

"If people are killing themselves in increasing numbers, isn't it just remotely maybe possible they'll also aim their anger out as well?"

Not necessarily. What Lacan called the "Big Other" is quite powerful. We internalize a lot of socio-economic junk from our cultural inheritance, especially as it's been configured over the last 40 years - our values, our body images, our criteria for judgment, our sense of what material well-being consists, etc. Ellis's American Psycho is the great satire of our time, and this time is not quite over yet. Dismemberment reigns.

The college students I deal with have internalized a lot of this. In their minds, TINA is reality. Everything balances for the individual on a razor's edge of failure of will or knowledge or hacktivity. It's all personal, almost never collective - it's a failure toward parents or peers or, even more grandly, what success means in America.

The idea that agency could be a collective action of a union for a strike isn't even on the horizon. And at the same time, these same students don't bat an eye at socialism. They're willing to listen.

But unions don't matter in our TINA. Corporations do.

Moneta , June 16, 2017 at 8:08 am

Most of the elite do not understand the money system. They do not understand how different sectors have benefitted from policies and/or subsidies that increased the money flows into these. So they think they deserve their money more than those who toiled in sectors with less support.

Furthermore, our system promotes specialists and disregards generalists this leads to a population of individualists who can't see the big picture.

jefemt , June 16, 2017 at 9:45 am

BAU, TINA, BAU!! BOHICA!!!

Dead Dog , June 16, 2017 at 3:09 am

Thank you Gaius, a thoughtful post. That social contract is hard to pin down and define – probably has different meanings to all of us, but you are right, it is breaking down. We no longer feel that our governments are working for us.

Of tangential interest, Turnbull has just announced another gun amnesty targeting guns that people no longer need and a tightening of some of the ownership laws.

RWood , June 16, 2017 at 12:24 pm

So this inheritance matures: http://www.nature.com/news/fight-the-silencing-of-gun-research-1.22139

willem , June 16, 2017 at 2:20 pm

One problem is the use of the term "social contract", implying that there is some kind of agreement ( = consensus) on what that is. I don't remember signing any "contract".

Fiery Hunt , June 16, 2017 at 3:17 am

I fear for my friends, I fear for my family. They do not know how ravenous the hounds behind nor ahead are. For myself? I imagine myself the same in a Mad Max world. It will be more clear, and perception shattering, to most whose lives allow the ignoring of gradual chokeholds, be them political or economic, but those of us who struggle daily, yearly, decadely with both, will only say Welcome to the party, pals.

Disturbed Voter , June 16, 2017 at 6:33 am

Increasing population, decreasing resources, increasingly expensive remaining resources on a per unit basis, unresolved trashing of the environment and an political economy that forces people to do more with less all the time (productivity improvement is mandatory, not optional, to handle the exponential function) much pain will happen even if everyone is equal.

Each person does what is right in their own eyes, but the net effect is impoverishment and destruction. Life is unfair, indeed. A social contract is a mutual suicide pact, whether you renegotiate it or not. This is Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club, is we don't speak of Fight Club. Go to the gym, toughen up, while you still can.

JTMcPhee , June 16, 2017 at 6:44 am

"Social contract:" nice Enlightment construct, out of University by City. Not a real thing, just a very incomplete shorthand to attempt to fiddle the masses and give a name to meta-livability.

Always with the "contract" meme, as if there are no more durable and substantive notions of how humans in small and large groups might organize and interact Or maybe the notion is the best that can be achieved? Recalling that as my Contracts professor in law school emphasized over and over, in "contracts" there are no rights in the absence of effective remedies. It being a Boston law school, the notion was echoed in Torts, and in Commercial Paper and Sales and, tellingly, in Constitutional Law and Federal Jurisdiction, and even in Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. No remedy, no right. What remedies are there in "the system," for the "other halves" of the "social contract," the "have-naught" halves?

When honest "remedies under law" become nugatory, there's always the recourse to direct action of course with zero guarantee of redress

sierra7 , June 16, 2017 at 11:22 am

"What remedies are there in "the system," for the "other halves" of the "social contract," the "have-naught" halves?" Ah yes the ultimate remedy is outright rebellion against the highest authorities .with as you say, " zero guarantee of redress."

But, history teaches us that that path will be taken ..the streets. It doesn't (didn't) take a genius to see what was coming back in the late 1960's on .regarding the beginnings of the revolt(s) by big money against organized labor. Having been very involved in observing, studying and actually active in certain groups back then, the US was acting out in other countries particularly in the Southern Hemisphere, against any social progression, repressing, arresting (thru its surrogates) torturing, killing any individuals or groups that opposed that infamous theory of "free market capitalism". It had a very definite "creep" effect, northwards to the mainstream US because so many of our major corporations were deeply involved with our covert intelligence operatives and objectives (along with USAID and NED). I used to tell my friends about what was happening and they would look at me as if I was a lunatic. The agency for change would be "organized labor", but now, today that agency has been trashed enough where so many of the young have no clue as to what it all means. The ultimate agenda along with "globalization" is the complete repression of any opposition to the " spread of money markets" around the world". The US intends to lead; whether the US citizenry does is another matter. Hence the streets.

Kuhio Kane , June 16, 2017 at 12:33 pm

JTMcFee, you have provided the most important aspect to this mirage of 'social contract'. The "remedies" clearly available to lawless legislation rest outside the realm of a contract which has never existed.

bdy , June 16, 2017 at 1:32 pm

The Social Contract, ephemeral, reflects perfectly what contracts have become. Older rulings frequently labeled clauses unconscionable - a tacit recognition that so few of the darn things are actually agreed upon. Rather, a party with resources, options and security imposes the agreement on a party in some form of crisis (nowadays the ever present crisis of paycheck to paycheck living – or worse). Never mind informational asymmetries, necessity drives us into crappy rental agreements and debt promises with eyes wide open. And suddenly we're all agents of the state.

Unconscionable clauses are now separately initialed in an "I dare you to sue me" shaming gambit. Meanwhile the mythical Social Contract has been atomized into 7 1/2 billion personal contracts with unstated, shifting remedies wholly tied to the depths of pockets.

Solidarity, of course. Hard when Identity politics lubricate a labor market that insists on specialization, and talented children of privilege somehow manage to navigate the new entrepreneurism while talented others look on in frustration. The resistance insists on being leaderless (fueled in part IMHO by the uncomfortable fact that effective leaders are regularly killed or co-opted). And the overriding message of resistance is negative: "Stop it!"

But that's where we are. Again, just my opinion: but the pivotal step away from the jackpot is to convince or coerce our wealthiest not to cash in. Stop making and saving so much stinking money, y'all.

Moneta , June 16, 2017 at 6:54 am

The pension system is based on profits. Nothing will change until the profits disappear and the top quintile starts falling off the treadmill.

Susan the other , June 16, 2017 at 1:01 pm

and there's the Karma bec. even now we see a private banking system synthesizing an economy to maintain asset values and profits and they have the nerve to blame it on social spending. I think Giaus's term 'Denier' is perfect for all those vested practitioners of profit-capitalism at any cost. They've already failed miserably. For the most part they're just too proud to admit it and, naturally, they wanna hang on to "their" money. I don't think it will take a revolution – in fact it would be better if no chaos ensued – just let these arrogant goofballs stew in their own juice a while longer. They are killing themselves.

roadrider , June 16, 2017 at 8:33 am

There's a social contract? Who knew?

Realist , June 16, 2017 at 8:41 am

When I hear so much impatient and irritable complaint, so much readiness to replace what we have by guardians for us all, those supermen, evoked somewhere from the clouds, whom none have seen and none are ready to name, I lapse into a dream, as it were. I see children playing on the grass; their voices are shrill and discordant as children's are; they are restive and quarrelsome; they cannot agree to any common plan; their play annoys them; it goes poorly. And one says, let us make Jack the master; Jack knows all about it; Jack will tell us what each is to do and we shall all agree. But Jack is like all the rest; Helen is discontented with her part and Henry with his, and soon they fall again into their old state. No, the children must learn to play by themselves; there is no Jack the master. And in the end slowly and with infinite disappointment they do learn a little; they learn to forbear, to reckon with another, accept a little where they wanted much, to live and let live, to yield when they must yield; perhaps, we may hope, not to take all they can. But the condition is that they shall be willing at least to listen to one another, to get the habit of pooling their wishes. Somehow or other they must do this, if the play is to go on; maybe it will not, but there is no Jack, in or out of the box, who can come to straighten the game. -Learned Hand

DJG , June 16, 2017 at 9:24 am

Here in oh-so-individualistic Chicago, I have been noting the fraying for some time: It isn't just the massacres in the highly segregated black neighborhoods, some of which are now in terminal decline as the inhabitants, justifiably, flee. The typical Chicagoan wanders the streets connected to a phone, so as to avoid eye contact, all the while dressed in what look like castoffs. Meanwhile, Midwesterners, who tend to be heavy, are advertisements for the obesity epidemic: Yet obesity has a metaphorical meaning as the coat of lipids that a person wears to keep the world away.

My middle / upper-middle neighborhood is covered with a layer of upper-middle trash: Think Starbucks cups and artisanal beer bottles. Some trash is carefully posed: Cups with straws on windsills, awaiting the Paris Agreement Pixie, who will clean up after these oh-so-earnest environmentalists.

Meanwhile, I just got a message from my car-share service: They are cutting back on the number of cars on offer. Too much vandalism.

Are these things caused by pressure from above? Yes, in part: The class war continues, and the upper class has won. As commenter relstprof notes, any kind of concerted action is now nearly impossible. Instead of the term "social contract," I might substitute "solidarity." Is there solidarity? No, solidarity was destroyed as a policy of the Reagan administration, as well as by fantasies that Americans are individualistic, and here we are, 40 years later, dealing with the rubble of the Obama administration and the Trump administration.

JEHR , June 16, 2017 at 11:17 am

DJG: My middle / upper-middle neighborhood is covered with a layer of upper-middle trash: Think Starbucks cups and artisanal beer bottles. Some trash is carefully posed: Cups with straws on windsills, awaiting the Paris Agreement Pixie, who will clean up after these oh-so-earnest environmentalists.

Yes, the trash bit is hard to understand. What does it stand for? Does it mean, We can infinitely disregard our surroundings by throwing away plastic, cardboard, metal and paper and nothing will happen? Does it mean, There is more where that came from! Does it mean, I don't care a fig for the earth? Does it mean, Human beings are stupid and, unlike pigs, mess up their immediate environment and move on? Does it mean, Nothing–that we are just nihilists waiting to die? I am so fed up with the garbage strewn on the roads and in the woods where I live; I used to pick it up and could collect as much as 9 garbage bags of junk in 9 days during a 4 kilometer walk. I don't pick up any more because I am 77 and cannot keep doing it.

However, I am certain that strewn garbage will surely be the last national flag waving in the breeze as the anthem plays junk music and we all succumb to our terrible future.

jrs , June 16, 2017 at 1:09 pm

Related to this, I thought one day of who probably NEVER gets any appreciation but strives to make things nicer, anyone planning or planting the highway strips (government workers maybe although it could be convicts also unfortunately, I'm not sure). Yes highways are ugly, yes they will destroy the world, but some of the planting strips are sometimes genuinely nice. So they add some niceness to the ugly and people still litter of course.

visitor , June 16, 2017 at 1:04 pm

The trash bit has been linked in other countries to how much the general population views the public space/environment as a shared, common good. Thus, streets, parks and public space might be soiled by litter that nobody cares to put away in trash bins properly, while simultaneously the interior of houses/apartments, and attached gardens if any, are kept meticulously clean.

Basically, the world people care about stops outside their dwellings, because they do not feel it is "theirs" or that they participate in its possession in a genuine way. It belongs to the "town administration", or to a "private corporation", or to the "government" - and if they feel they have no say in the ownership, management, regulation and benefits thereof, why should they care? Let the town administration/government/corporation do the clean-up - we already pay enough taxes/fees/tolls, and "they" are always putting up more restrictions on how to use everything, so

In conclusion: the phenomenon of litter/trash is another manifestation of a fraying social contract.

Big River Bandido , June 16, 2017 at 1:47 pm

The trash bit has been linked in other countries to how much the general population views the public space/environment as a shared, common good.

There *is* no public space anymore. Every public good, every public space is now fair game for commercial exploitation.

I live in NYC, and just yesterday as I attempted to refill my MetroCard, the machine told me it was expired and I had to replace it. The replacement card doesn't look at all like a MetroCard with the familiar yellow and black graphic saying "MetroCard". Instead? It's an ad. For a fucking insurance company. And so now, every single time that I go somewhere on the subway, I have to see an ad from Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

visitor , June 16, 2017 at 2:39 pm

There *is* no public space anymore. Every public good, every public space is now fair game for commercial exploitation.

And as a result, people no longer care about it - they do not feel it is their commonwealth any longer.

Did you notice whether the NYC subway got increasingly dirty/littered as the tentacles of privatization reached everywhere? Just curious.

DJG , June 16, 2017 at 9:37 am

The importance of the end of solidarity – that is, of the almost-murderous impulses by the upper classes to destroy any kind of solidarity. From Yves's posting of Yanis Varoufakis's analysis of the newest terms of the continuing destruction of Greece:

With regard to labour market reforms, the Eurogroup welcomes the adopted legislation safeguarding previous reforms on collective bargaining and bringing collective dismissals in line with best EU practices.

I see! "Safeguarding previous reforms on collective bargaining" refers, of course, to the 2012 removal of the right to collective bargaining and the end to trades union representation for each and every Greek worker. Our government was elected in January 2015 with an express mandate to restore these workers' and trades unions' rights. Prime Minister Tsipras has repeatedly pledged to do so, even after our falling out and my resignation in July 2015. Now, yesterday, his government consented to this piece of Eurogroup triumphalism that celebrates the 'safeguarding' of the 2012 'reforms'. In short, the SYRIZA government has capitulated on this issue too: Workers' and trades' unions' rights will not be restored. And, as if that were not bad enough, "collective dismissals" will be brought "in line with best EU practices". What this means is that the last remaining constraints on corporations, i.e. a restriction on what percentage of workers can be fired each month, is relaxed. Make no mistake: The Eurogroup is telling us that, now that employers are guaranteed the absence of trades unions, and the right to fire more workers, growth enhancement will follow suit! Let's not hold our breath!

Daniel F. , June 16, 2017 at 10:44 am

The so-called "Elites"? Stand down? Right. Every year I look up the cardinal topics discussed at the larger economic forums and conferences (mainly Davos and G8), and some variation of "The consequences of rising inequality" is a recurring one. Despite this, nothing ever comes out if them. I imagine they go something like this:

  • "-Oh hi Mark. Racism is bad.
  • -Definitely. So is inequality, right, Tim?
  • -Sure, wish we could do something about it. HEY GUYS, HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT MY NEW SCHEME TO BUY OUT NEW AND UPCOMING COMPANIES TO MAKE MORE MONEY?"

A wet dream come true, both for an AnCap and a communist conspiracy theorist. I'm by no means either. However, I think capitalism has already failed and can't go on for much longer. Conditions will only deteriorate for anyone not in the "1%", with no sight of improvement or relief.

I'd very much like to be proven wrong.

Bobby Gladd , June 16, 2017 at 12:01 pm

"Conditions will only deteriorate for anyone not in the "1%", with no sight of improvement or relief." Frase's Quadrant Four. Hierarchy + Scarcity = Exterminism (From "Four Futures" )

Archangel , June 16, 2017 at 11:33 am

Reminds me of that one quip I saw from a guy who, why he always had to have two pigs to eat up his garbage, said that if he had only one pig, it will eat only when it wants to, but if there were two pigs, each one would eat so the other pig won't get to it first. Our current economic system in a nutshell – pigs eating crap so deny it to others first. "Greed is good".

oh , June 16, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Our country is rife with rent seeking pigs who will stoop lower and lower to feed their greed.

Vatch , June 16, 2017 at 12:37 pm

In today's Links section there's this: https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/jun/14/tax-evaders-exposed-why-super-rich-are-even-richer-than-we-thought which has relevance for the discussion of the collapsing social contract.

Chauncey Gardiner , June 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Don't know that the two avenues Gaius mentioned are the only two roads our society can travel. In support of this view, I recall a visit to a secondary city in Russia for a few weeks in the early 1990s after the collapse of the USSR. Those were difficult times economically and psychologically for ordinary citizens of that country. Alcoholism was rampant, emotional illness and suicide rates among men of working age were high, mortality rates generally were rising sharply, and birth rates were falling. Yet the glue of common culture, sovereign currency, language, community, and thoughtful and educated citizens held despite corrupt political leadership, the rise of an oligarchic class, and the related emergence of organized criminal networks. There was also adequate food, and critical public infrastructure was maintained, keeping in mind this was shortly after the Chernobyl disaster.

Here in the US the New Deal and other legislation helped preserve social order in the 1930s. Yves also raises an important point in her preface that can provide support for the center by those who are able to do so under the current economic framework. That glue is to participate in one's community; whether it is volunteering at a school, the local food bank, community-oriented social clubs, or in a multitude of other ways; regardless of whether your community is a small town or a large city.

JTMcPhee , June 16, 2017 at 1:21 pm

" Yet the glue of common culture, sovereign currency, language, community, and thoughtful and educated citizens held despite corrupt political leadership, the rise of an oligarchic class, and the related emergence of organized criminal networks."

None of which applies to the Imperium, of course. There's glue, all right, but it's the kind that is used for flooring in Roach Motels (TM), and those horrific rat and mouse traps that stick the rodent to a large rectangle of plastic, where they die eventually of exhaustion and dehydration and starvation The rat can gnaw off a leg that's glued down, but then it tips over and gets glued down by the chest or face or butt

I have to note that several people I know are fastidious about picking up trash other people "throw away." I do it, when I'm up to bending over. I used to be rude about it - one young attractive woman dumped a McDonald's bag and her ashtray out the window of her car at one of our very long Florida traffic lights. I got out of my car, used the mouth of the McDonald's bag to scoop up most of the lipsticked butts, and threw them back into her car. Speaking of mouths, that woman with the artfully painted lips sure had one on her

[Jun 15, 2017] Liars Lying About Nearly Everything by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... The United States has been using lies to go to war since 1846, when Americans who believed in manifest destiny sought to expand to the Pacific Ocean at the expense of Mexico, acquiring by force of arms California and what were to become the southwestern states. In 1898 the U.S. picked up the pieces of a dying Spanish Empire in a war that was driven by American imperialists and the yellow dog reporting of the Hearst Newspaper chain. And then came World War 1, World War 2, and Korea, all avoidable and all enabled by deliberate lying coming out of Washington. ..."
"... More recently, we have seen Vietnam with its Gulf of Tonkin fabrication, Granada and Panama with palpably ridiculous pretexts for war, Iraq with its nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, Afghanistan with its lies about bin Laden, Libya and its false claims about Gaddafi, and most recently Syria and Iran with allegations of an Iranian threat to the United States and lies about Syrian use of barrel bombs and chemical weapons. And if one adds in the warnings to Russia over Ukraine, a conflict generated by Washington when it brought about regime change in Kiev, you have a tissue of lies that span the globe and bring with them never-ending conflict to advance the American imperium. ..."
"... So lies go with the American Way of War, but the latest twist and turns in the Middle East are bizarre even by Washington's admittedly low standards of rectitude. ..."
"... The Saudis also have considerable blood on their hands by way of their genocidal assault on neighboring Yemen. In addition, the Saudi Royal House has served as the principal propagator of Wahhabism, the virulently fundamentalist version of Islam that provides a form of religious legitimacy to terror while also motivating many young Muslims to join radical groups. ..."
"... The falling out of two Gulf Arab regimes might be a matter of relatively little importance but for the unnecessary intervention of President Donald Trump in the quarrel. ..."
"... Trump's tweets might well be regarded as simply maladroit, driven by ignorance, but they could also provide a glimpse of a broader agenda. While in the Middle East, Trump was bombarded with anti-Iranian propaganda coming from both Israel and the Saudis. An escalation of hostilities with the intention of starting an actual war involving the United States to take down Iran is not unimaginable, particularly as the Israelis, who have already endorsed the Saudi moves, have been arguing that option and lying about the threat posed by Tehran for a number of years. ..."
Jun 13, 2017 | www.unz.com
Terrorism supporters in Washington and Riyadh close ranks against Qatar

The United States has been using lies to go to war since 1846, when Americans who believed in manifest destiny sought to expand to the Pacific Ocean at the expense of Mexico, acquiring by force of arms California and what were to become the southwestern states. In 1898 the U.S. picked up the pieces of a dying Spanish Empire in a war that was driven by American imperialists and the yellow dog reporting of the Hearst Newspaper chain. And then came World War 1, World War 2, and Korea, all avoidable and all enabled by deliberate lying coming out of Washington.

More recently, we have seen Vietnam with its Gulf of Tonkin fabrication, Granada and Panama with palpably ridiculous pretexts for war, Iraq with its nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, Afghanistan with its lies about bin Laden, Libya and its false claims about Gaddafi, and most recently Syria and Iran with allegations of an Iranian threat to the United States and lies about Syrian use of barrel bombs and chemical weapons. And if one adds in the warnings to Russia over Ukraine, a conflict generated by Washington when it brought about regime change in Kiev, you have a tissue of lies that span the globe and bring with them never-ending conflict to advance the American imperium.

So lies go with the American Way of War, but the latest twist and turns in the Middle East are bizarre even by Washington's admittedly low standards of rectitude. On the 5th of June, Saudi Arabia led a gaggle of Arab and Muslim nations that included the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain to cut off all diplomatic, commercial and transport links with Qatar, effectively blockading it. Qatar is currently isolated from its neighbors, subject to sanctions, and there have even been Saudi threats of going to war against its tiny neighbor. Salman al-Ansari, the president of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee, even tweeted: "To the emir of Qatar, regarding your alignment with the extremist government of Iran and your abuse of the Custodian of the two sacred mosques, I would like to remind you that Mohammed Morsi [of Egypt] did exactly the same and was then toppled and imprisoned."

It is the second time the Saudis have moved against Qatar. Two years ago, there was a break in diplomatic relations, but they were eventually restored. This time, the principal allegation being directed against Qatar by Riyadh is that it supports terrorism. The terrorist groups that it allegedly embraces are Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi's affiliation. Hezbollah and Hamas are close to Iran which is perhaps the real reason for their being singled out as many would call them resistance movements or even legitimate political parties rather than terrorists. And the Iran connection is critical as Qatar has been under fire for allegedly saying nice things about trying to respect and get along with Tehran, undoubtedly somewhat motivated by its joint exploitation with Iran of a vast gas field in the Persian Gulf.

Qatar's ownership of al-Jazeera also has been a sore point with the Saudis and other Gulf states as its reporting has often been critical of developments in the region, criticisms that have often rankled the Saudi monarchy and the Egyptians. It has been accused of spreading propaganda for "militant groups." One of the Saudi demands to permit Qatar to again become a "normal" Arab Gulf state would be to close down the network.

The terrorism claims by the Saudis are, of course, hypocritical. Both Qatar and Saudi Arabia are well known as sponsors of Salafist terrorism, including the funding and arming of groups like ISIS and the various al-Qaeda franchises, to include al-Nusra. Much of the money admittedly comes from private individuals and is often channeled through Islamic charities, but both Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been extremely lax in their enforcement of anti-terror and money laundering regulations. In a 2009 State Department memo signed off on by Hillary Clinton it was stated that "donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide." Qatar, meanwhile, has been described as a "permissive environment for terrorist financing."

The Saudis also have considerable blood on their hands by way of their genocidal assault on neighboring Yemen. In addition, the Saudi Royal House has served as the principal propagator of Wahhabism, the virulently fundamentalist version of Islam that provides a form of religious legitimacy to terror while also motivating many young Muslims to join radical groups.

The falling out of two Gulf Arab regimes might be a matter of relatively little importance but for the unnecessary intervention of President Donald Trump in the quarrel. He has taken credit for the burgeoning conflict, implying that his recent visit to the region set the stage for the ostracizing of Qatar. His twitter on the affair, posted on June 6 th , read ""So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!" And he again came down on Qatar on June 9 th during a press conference.

Trump's tweets might well be regarded as simply maladroit, driven by ignorance, but they could also provide a glimpse of a broader agenda. While in the Middle East, Trump was bombarded with anti-Iranian propaganda coming from both Israel and the Saudis. An escalation of hostilities with the intention of starting an actual war involving the United States to take down Iran is not unimaginable, particularly as the Israelis, who have already endorsed the Saudi moves, have been arguing that option and lying about the threat posed by Tehran for a number of years.

[Jun 14, 2017] Secret societies, Emperor's New Clothes, obvious lies, crimes

Notable quotes:
"... The US is a literal rogue state empire led by neocolonial looting liars. ..."
"... Rogue state empire ..."
Jun 14, 2017 | www.washingtonsblog.com

The societies try to be "secret," but their lies and crimes are Emperor's New Clothes obvious for anyone caring to apply a high school level of education to look:

[Jun 14, 2017] In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

Jun 14, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc, June 14, 2017 at 08:59 AM

Timely Thought of the Day:

"In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

George Orwell

anne , June 14, 2017 at 11:49 AM
"In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

There is no reason to think that this passage, however interesting, was written or spoken by George Orwell.

Fred C. Dobbs - , June 14, 2017 at 12:21 PM
More on this:

In a Time of Universal Deceit - Telling
the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/02/24/truth-revolutionary/

im1dc - , June 14, 2017 at 02:27 PM
Hey, "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act" remains a great thought for today, whoever said it.
ilsm - , June 14, 2017 at 02:59 PM
orwell also did not actually say 'we should love those rough men in the night who slaughter for us so we can sleep in 68 degree air conditioning bc the Saudi remain in power........'

And GC Scott's Patton's speech was a compilation.......

im1dc - , June 14, 2017 at 02:26 PM
My copy of Barlett's does not list this Orwell quote and Fred's link pretty well dispells it from being definitively an Orwell quote, although not absolutely.

It is possible that he did SAY IT to some group or other in England, rather than write it in one of his books, essays, or articles and that is how it survives today with his attribution.

Such attribution is not unheard of for older English authors. Apparently they drank a lot in pubs and clubs.

Keep in mind that even today the English don't 100% agree that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare's plays or poems, at least not without help from another.

libezkova - , June 14, 2017 at 03:21 PM
A similar saying was used by Ron Paul in 2008-"Truth is treason in the empire of lies."

http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/in_a_time_of_universal_deceit_telling_the_truth_is_a_revolutionary_act/

== quote==
Entry from August 15, 2011

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act"


"In a time/state of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act" is a statement often attributed to author George Orwell (1903-1950). The saying doesn't appear in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948), his essay "Politics and the English Language" (1946), or any other of Orwell's writings. The saying has been cited in print since at least 1984 (when it was attributed to George Orwell).

A similar saying was used by author and presidential candidate Ron Paul in 2008-"Truth is treason in the empire of lies."

[Jun 13, 2017] Donald has morphed. He is now part neocon and part Wall St. errand-boy.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Trump has been captured by the Deep State and the mainstream Zio-media. First, the implacable Left-Hollywood-Zionist axis unnerved, abused, and punked Trump out. Then they and their minions harassed and spooked him. Insurrection was in the air–ever as the President was being sworn into office! ..."
"... Has any newly-elected president has ever been treated so disdainfully and with such widespread contempt? It was very unsettling. Then Trump blinked. After that he caved. Now he is moving rapidly 'towards the center'. Unfortunately, this 'centrism' will require a Mideast war. The Donald has morphed. He is now part neocon and part Wall St. errand-boy. ..."
"... The hysteria over 'Russian interference' is a complete fabrication. This very accusation turns reality upside down. But it persists. What's going on? These illusions are pure Zionist subterfuge. Trump's now their boy. ..."
"... First up: Israel's foes. (Syria, Iran and Russia.) But who cares? Why should this matter? As Bibi Netanyahu observed: "America can be moved". And Bibi's quite right. Therefore, Trump's pro-Zionist militancy is being sold as something else ('war on terror') even though it is being championed by the usual Zionist cheerleaders in media and in government. Pro-Zionist alliances however radiate in odd directions. This explains Washington's (and our news media's) rising love affair with the House of Saud. Note that the Saudi Royals 1) have totally accepted Israel, 2) have absolutely nothing negative to say (or do) regarding Israel's subjugation of Palestine, 3) are hostile to Iran (like Israel), and 4) are willing also to accept the Kingdoms's second-tier military status vis-a-vis Israel. ..."
"... For these reasons, the authoritarian, undemocratic, and terror-funding Royal Saudi family is totally 'in sync' with Zio-Washington. The Saudis are even safe from any potential US-Israeli destabilization campaign. (At least for now.) ..."
"... In any case, US aid will flow immensely, unconditionally and without interruption to glorious 'democratic' Israel. ..."
Jun 13, 2017 | www.unz.com

Mark Green, June 13, 2017 at 9:49 am GMT

Trump has been captured by the Deep State and the mainstream Zio-media. First, the implacable Left-Hollywood-Zionist axis unnerved, abused, and punked Trump out. Then they and their minions harassed and spooked him. Insurrection was in the air–ever as the President was being sworn into office!

Has any newly-elected president has ever been treated so disdainfully and with such widespread contempt? It was very unsettling. Then Trump blinked. After that he caved. Now he is moving rapidly 'towards the center'. Unfortunately, this 'centrism' will require a Mideast war. The Donald has morphed. He is now part neocon and part Wall St. errand-boy.

Trump–who campaigned on a populist, pro-American, non-interventionist platform–has his new, improved sights set on toppling/destabilizing Iran, Syria and Lebanon. Haven't we seen this song and dance before?

Yes we have, despite the fact that these distant, non-nuclear states do not threaten US interests and do not threaten US security in any way, shape, or form.

Huge lies have become 'facts'.

Russia's alleged influence in our presidential election, for instance, is not even a fraction of what Israel can impose almost effortlessly.

The hysteria over 'Russian interference' is a complete fabrication. This very accusation turns reality upside down. But it persists. What's going on? These illusions are pure Zionist subterfuge. Trump's now their boy.

The wall with Mexico will just have to wait; as will Trump's infrastructure build. Gotta take out Assad first! After all, Syria shares a disputed border with Israel. That's important!

First up: Israel's foes. (Syria, Iran and Russia.) But who cares? Why should this matter? As Bibi Netanyahu observed: "America can be moved". And Bibi's quite right. Therefore, Trump's pro-Zionist militancy is being sold as something else ('war on terror') even though it is being championed by the usual Zionist cheerleaders in media and in government. Pro-Zionist alliances however radiate in odd directions. This explains Washington's (and our news media's) rising love affair with the House of Saud. Note that the Saudi Royals 1) have totally accepted Israel, 2) have absolutely nothing negative to say (or do) regarding Israel's subjugation of Palestine, 3) are hostile to Iran (like Israel), and 4) are willing also to accept the Kingdoms's second-tier military status vis-a-vis Israel.

For these reasons, the authoritarian, undemocratic, and terror-funding Royal Saudi family is totally 'in sync' with Zio-Washington. The Saudis are even safe from any potential US-Israeli destabilization campaign. (At least for now.)

But alliances can change rapidly, especially when anti-Zionist regimes rise and persist. Then they get targeted. (See: 'Saddam's Iraq'. See: 'Gadaffi's Libya'.) Up next: Syria, Lebanon and Iran.

In any case, US aid will flow immensely, unconditionally and without interruption to glorious 'democratic' Israel.

BTW- while it's widely known (and continuously recalled) that Hearst and his newspapers promoted the Spanish-American war (as Mr. Giraldi notes above) what's been mostly forgotten is that Hearst and his newspapers largely opposed Washington's entry into both WWI and WWII. 'Citizen Kane' and the endless array of Hearst-bashing references ignore this neglected yet significant fact. In fact, it was none other than Joseph Pulitzer (for whom the pretentious and politicized journalistic prizes are named) whose newspapers helped spearhead the international campaign for America's unnecessary and tragic entry into WWI.

Pulitzer was as influential as Hearst – and every bit as sensational. But Pulitzer was both anti-German and very pro-US-intervention in Europe. Unlike Hearst, Pulitzer demonized Imperial Germany long before the Great War began and it was Pulitzer – not Hearst–who helped sanitize America's pre-war efforts (before WWII) to aid the British and violate laws that sought to preserve US neutrality.

Like Hearst, Pulitzer was an artful media demagogue; but it was Pulitzer – not Hearst – who used his skills and power to steer America into the two greatest political conflicts ever seen. Joseph Pulitzer was also Jewish.

[Jun 13, 2017] June 13, 2017 at 4:32 am GMT

Notable quotes:
"... So watch the lies if you want to know when the next war is coming. If the House of Saud, the Israelis and Donald Trump are talking trash and seem to agree about something then it is time to head for the bomb shelter. Will it be Iran or an escalating catastrophe in Syria? Anything is possible. ..."
"... Looks like the Saudis have pretty much bought us off with their ridiculously large arms purchases and other ways of sending their billions our way. Money talks. The other stuff is just window dressing. We're their hired help and security guard. ..."
Jun 13, 2017 | www.unz.com
truthtellerAryan Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:07 am GMT

Hi PG, could our commander-in-chief have had ulterior reasons to cook up the ostracizing of Qatar?

https://www.google.com/amp/m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_593d6691e4b0c5a35ca06118/amp

Mind you, we have these obese brainless stooges who would dance to any tune as long as they're assured they'll still be in power comes tomorrow. Now the assurance has also been approved by the masters, DJT is in deeply with the Ziocons . When our masters accomplish this mission, than we'll again be led to the next one. The Ayrabs don't seem to get it yet. They'll all end up in the Zionists slaughterhouse
It seems Gen. Clark was right, just a little diversion here.
What will become of the average Goy?

exiled off mainstreet Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:08 am GMT

Let me commend Mr. Giraldi for another excellent contribution. The Saudi regime is the chief enemy of civilization and those backing it are tarred with the same brush. It is disappointing to see Trump taken in by the deep state love of the Saudi barbarians.

Miro23 Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:37 am GMT

So watch the lies if you want to know when the next war is coming. If the House of Saud, the Israelis and Donald Trump are talking trash and seem to agree about something then it is time to head for the bomb shelter. Will it be Iran or an escalating catastrophe in Syria? Anything is possible.

A fine article, and the answer to all this surely lies with the US. If Trump had pulled out of Middle East conflicts (as he was elected to do), all this talk would be much less dangerous. Israel and Saudi Arabia aren't going to attack Iran on their own.

Fran Macadam Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 8:29 am GMT

It's The Art of the War Deal.

LondonBob Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 10:44 am GMT

The Israeli and Saudi lobbies, and associated actors, seem to have had some success. I still don't see it going much further, Trump instinctively doesn't want another Iraq on his watch whatever the likes of Mattis etc. wish to engineer.

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 10:51 am GMT

@Mark Green

what's been mostly forgotten is that Hearst and his newspapers largely opposed Washington's entry into both WWI and WWII. ' Citizen Kane' and the endless array of Hearst-bashing references ignore this neglected yet significant fact.

Very, very true, and funny how that works. In the same way Charles Lindbergh, because of his opposition to entering WW2, has been egregiously smeared as an "anti-Semite" and the charge still sticks to this day.

Thanks for pointing that out, and informing us about Poo-litzer.

RealAmerican Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 10:51 am GMT

@anon An anonymous dim-witted nincompoop attacking the honorable and brave Mr. Giraldi for speaking the truth. The definition of cowardice, I bet.

AmericaFirstNow Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 11:11 am GMT

All in accord with the rest of the Israeli Likudnik Oded Yinon neocon plan vs Iran which Netanyahu's Israel AIPAC agent Kushner has duped the Saudis into supporting as well because of their Sunni vs Shia hatred of Iran:

http://america-hijacked.com/2014/07/13/the-unfolding-of-yinons-zionist-plan-for-the-middle-east-the-crisis-in-iraq-and-the-centrality-of-the-national-interest-of-israel/

Netanyahu's Israel 1st AIPAC agent Kushner has Trump pushing Israel Lobby agenda vs Syria as well:

http://america-hijacked.com/2012/02/12/israel-lobby-pushes-for-us-action-against-the-syrian-government/

No surprise when pandering Hillary Clinton pushed Syrian regime change for Israel's sake as well:

http://america-hijacked.com/2016/03/22/clinton-email-shows-us-sought-syria-regime-change-for-israels-sake/

So ISIS attacks Europe and US because of Israel:

So no surprise when Netanyahu said US is easily manipulated at following URL:

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2010/07/18/netanyahu-us-easily-manipulated

George Washington must be rolling in his grave for pandering US politicians who ignore his Farewell Address warning at following URL:

http://astandforjustice.org/#washington

Anonymous Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 11:20 am GMT

@exiled off mainstreet

Let me commend Mr. Giraldi for another excellent contribution. The Saudi regime is the chief enemy of civilization and those backing it are tarred with the same brush. It is disappointing to see Trump taken in by the deep state love of the Saudi barbarians. "The Saudi regime is the chief enemy of civilization "

Looks like you have a problem with reading comprehension. Read the first two paragraphs again, and then review who is indeed the Chief enemy of civilisation.

AmericaFirstNow Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 11:21 am GMT

@AmericaFirstNow All in accord with the rest of the Israeli Likudnik Oded Yinon neocon plan vs Iran which Netanyahu's Israel AIPAC agent Kushner has duped the Saudis into supporting as well because of their Sunni vs Shia hatred of Iran:

http://america-hijacked.com/2014/07/13/the-unfolding-of-yinons-zionist-plan-for-the-middle-east-the-crisis-in-iraq-and-the-centrality-of-the-national-interest-of-israel/

Netanyahu's Israel 1st AIPAC agent Kushner has Trump pushing Israel Lobby agenda vs Syria as well:

http://america-hijacked.com/2012/02/12/israel-lobby-pushes-for-us-action-against-the-syrian-government/

No surprise when pandering Hillary Clinton pushed Syrian regime change for Israel's sake as well:

http://america-hijacked.com/2016/03/22/clinton-email-shows-us-sought-syria-regime-change-for-israels-sake/

So ISIS attacks Europe and US because of Israel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48_ZeiK5gqU

CIA's Mike Scheuer on ISIS:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHwp7uwK6bc

CIA's Mike Scheuer on terrorism motivation ignored by US media:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95ncn5Q16N4&list=PL3C32560738EF3C30&feature=plpp

Petraeus & CENTCOM warned of Israel threat as well:

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/mehdi-hasan/2010/07/general-petraeus-israel-emails


Israel as terrorism motivation for San Bernardino ignored by US media as well:

http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/reported-politely-ignores/

Paul Findley: The High Cost of Subservience to Israel:

http://cosmos.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/articles/article0064805.html

See Dutch AIPAC documentary via following Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N294FMDok98

So no surprise when Netanyahu said US is easily manipulated at following URL:

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2010/07/18/netanyahu-us-easily-manipulated

George Washington must be rolling in his grave for pandering US politicians who ignore his Farewell Address warning at following URL:

http://astandforjustice.org/#washington

Just noticed that the youtube for Michael Scheuer's CNN interview with Smerconish about ISIS didn't go through in prior post! Following one should:
War for Blair Mountain Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 11:21 am GMT

@anon

Iran poses no threat to the Native Born White American Working Class.

Your allegiance is to Greater Israel

Phil and I have 0 allegiance to Israel Donald Trump's allegiance is to Greater Israel and this makes Donald Trump a GOD DAM TRAITOR!!! ...

dearieme Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 11:26 am GMT

"The United States has been using lies to go to war since 1846″: 1812.

ANON Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 11:30 am GMT

@Mark Green Well I have to thank you for prompting me to read up on Joseph Pulitzer"s remarkable career but I can't commend your attention to detail or recommend you as a source of accurate information to others.

There is a slight problem about your blaming him for being (before WW1) "pro US intervention in Europe" having "demonized Imperial Germany" and then that he "helped sanitize American efforts (pre WW2) to help the British". *He died in 1911* .

Interesting to compare Pulitzer's great career with that of another Central European Jew who immigrated with no English but built a popular newspaper empire. Both served in the armed forces of their adopted country. The other is that appalling rogue Robert Maxwell.

AmericaFirstNow Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 11:32 am GMT

See following article from Jewish Forward publication on how Netanyahu's Israel 1st AIPAC agent Kushner (who arranged Trump's trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel) has brought other Jewish AIPAC Israel 1sters into the White House:

http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/359120/jared-kushners-friend-picked-by-donald-trump-as-assistant/

NoseytheDuke Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 11:34 am GMT

@Wizard of Oz Idiot! The lie that OBL was involved in any way in 9/11 for just one. The lie that he was killed in the Delta 6 raid in Pakistan is another.

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 11:38 am GMT

Speaking of lies, war and the media, let us not forget the blatant lying about Stalin's crimes by Walter Duranty published in the New York Times for which the scumbag was awarded a prize by Pulitzer, another Red Millionaire.

It took the Times around half a century to begin to publicly admit to its callous malfeasance, yet apparently..

The Pulitzer board has twice declined to withdraw the award, most recently in November 2003, finding "no clear and convincing evidence of deliberate deception" in the 1931 reporting that won the prize (see Pulitzer Board statement), and The Times does not have the award in its possession.

- New York Times Statement About 1932 Pulitzer Prize Awarded to Walter Duranty

http://www.nytco.com/new-york-times-statement-about-1932-pulitzer-prize-awarded-to-walter-duranty/

Also note that in the statement, they deceitfully attempt to shift the responsibility for dirtball reporting on the effects of Soviet censorship, which though real, is no excuse for their mendacity.

anonymous Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 12:28 pm GMT

Looks like the Saudis have pretty much bought us off with their ridiculously large arms purchases and other ways of sending their billions our way. Money talks. The other stuff is just window dressing. We're their hired help and security guard.

War for Blair Mountain Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 12:52 pm GMT

Phil

Seriously 1846 is not relevant .and anyone who thinks it is in the context of opposing the ongoing war against Christian Russia and Shia Muslim Iran is not really a serious anti-war critic ..You need to deal with the fact that many of us here on Unz Review do not suffer from even a speck of White Guilt .even Old Noam Chomsky likes his precious Israel Jew only .which is the reason why Noam and Norman Finklestien are opposed to the right of return for Palestinians

So be a good phenomenologist and remember that context is everything

Philip Giraldi Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 12:59 pm GMT

@MSB Done! Thanks for catching it!

Agent76 Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 12:59 pm GMT

Jun 6, 2017 America's Reign of Terror: A Nation Reaps What It Sows

The U.S. government is creating the terror. It is, in fact, the source of the terror. Just think about it for a minute: almost every tyranny being perpetrated against the citizenry-purportedly to keep us safe and the nation secure-has come about as a result of some threat manufactured in one way or another by the U.S. government.

War for Blair Mountain Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 1:23 pm GMT

Phil

I can tell you from first hand personal family reasons that the filthy cockroach Donald Trump has very big plans to slaughter the Working Class Native Born White Christian American Male Teenager Population by using them as canon fodder for Greater Israel in a war with Shia Muslim Iran. This is Donald Trump's MAGA JOBS PROGRAM .post-Gruman Corp MAGA rally a year ago

Trump is as much of a filthy repellent cockroach as Hillary and Bill Clinton.

It looks like Trump's red hat MAGA HAT WEARING CHICKENHAWK WARHAWK JOCKSNIFFING White Male Voting Bloc Cucks and they are most definitely CUCKS who deserve to have the shit beat out of them .have given Trump a blank check to 1)bomb Hezzbollah in Syria and 2)bomb Shia Muslim Iran for Greater Israel

Donald Trump+Hillary Clinton=a "cute" post-nuclear WW3 cockroach breeding pair .a 13 billion year COCKROACH RIECH!!!

Wizard of Oz Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 1:31 pm GMT

@NoseytheDuke I never doubted that you think that but PG is a comparatively serious person and I wondered what he would say, choosing his words as carefully as he quite often seems to. Come to think of it I think he's been caught out being a bit careless on some of his other details this time.

And what's your version of sbat happened at Abbotabad and why?

nsa Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 1:41 pm GMT

The jooies and their kept eunuchs in wash dc are complaining their precious US (((holocaust))) museum is only being funded with 54 million in American taxpayer funds. This underfunding is very serious as they will have to close the lampshade wing and the soap bar exhibition. Contact your congressional whore immediately and complain ..

anon Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 1:53 pm GMT

@War for Blair Mountain Hey Happy Guy ,
Whats the problem. Giraldi is always whining about America and praising Iran. Why should he stay here . If he likes Iran so much he should move there . Do you think Giraldi should disclose if he has received money from any Iranian entity ??

Wizard of Oz Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT

@NoseytheDuke Presumably you think ObL died much earlier than the Navy Seals raid. But why would Obama go along with the charade? No doubt you would say he was looking for political advantage domestically – to which of course I answer that he wouldn't be so dumb as to believe that no one would blow the whistle.

Let's move on to whete you say the extremely long and detailed account of ObL's death in Wikipedia is wrong and say why. In particular, how come Al Qaeda and other Muslim organisations announced his death and threatened revenge?

War for Blair Mountain Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:18 pm GMT

@anon Well now first of all, .I want to greet you with a great big FUCK OFF!!! .Dearest Ivanka

The target of Phil's venom are the Jewish Neocons .and non-Jewish Neocons:The homo- cannibal General Mattis .Hannibal Lectre look-a-like General McMaster in-a-flava-bean-salad with the homo General Mattis .and the filthy cockroach breeding pair Donald Trump and his cockroach husband Hillary Clinton .and the SATANIST!!! that own and run the Military Industrial Complex ..the treasonous SATANIC NON-AMERICAN-ANTI-AMERICAN CABAL spawned in Satan's personal toilet bowl in rancid rotting corpse strewn HELL!!

Z-man Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:26 pm GMT

@Mark Green True, thank you and depressing, but hope springs eternal and I'm hoping Trump still has some independent thought and some patriotism and patriots behind him!

Chris Mallory Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:28 pm GMT

@jacques sheete

Mexico had more right to Tejas than the Zionist gangsters have to Palestine.

Neither group has any claim to the land. Mexico invited the Americans into Texas, primarily because Mexico could not deal with the Comanche who lived in Texas and raided both Texas and Mexico. Mexico then lost the war against the Texans and lost all claim to Texas.

Much of the SW, though claimed by Mexico was controlled by either the Comanche or the Apache.

Those tribes might have a claim, but Mexico has none.

David Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:34 pm GMT

@Lot You're displaying poor moral character to call the author America-hating.

Z-man Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:37 pm GMT

@AmericaFirstNow Unfortunately Mr. Scheuer hasn't been on TV much lately.

Z-man Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:42 pm GMT

@AmericaFirstNow See following article from Jewish Forward publication on how Netanyahu's Israel 1st AIPAC agent Kushner (who arranged Trump's trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel) has brought other Jewish AIPAC Israel 1sters into the White House:

http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/359120/jared-kushners-friend-picked-by-donald-trump-as-assistant/ The infestations continue.

Z-man Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:48 pm GMT

@anonymous

Looks like the Saudis have pretty much bought us off with their ridiculously large arms purchases and other ways of sending their billions our way. Money talks. The other stuff is just window dressing. We're their hired help and security guard.

Ah but there's the rub, and a good one, as the die hard Zionists in the US Congress, isn't that redundant, are already complaining about the deal. http://www.defensenews.com/articles/us-senate-democrats-rallying-votes-against-saudi-arms-sale
Hopefully the rats will kill themselves!

Theres also this from 'Up Chuck' Schumer;

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/schumer-to-oppose-smart-bomb-sale-to-saudi-arabia

Mark Green Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:54 pm GMT

@ANON Joseph Pulitzer II ran the St. Louis Post Dispatch and NY World after his father's death. He was a staunch supporter of FDR.

MarkinLA Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 2:56 pm GMT

@jacques sheete Mexico lost Texas because Santa Anna made himself a dictator and caused revolts all around Mexico. The Texans just happened to win. Mexico was trying to raise an army to retake it when the US annexed Texas.

Mexico made the stupid mistakes. Mexico knew the US wanted Texas and California. Mexico had rejected offers to buy them. Mexico should have done everything it could to avoid giving the US a chance to grab them.

Dutch Boy Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 3:36 pm GMT

@Lot Quite correct. Polk wanted to buy the eventual Mexican Cession, not conquer it.

Santoculto Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 3:44 pm GMT

@anon Jewnonymous

Realist Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 4:36 pm GMT

"In a 2009 State Department memo signed off on by Hillary Clinton it was stated that "donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.""

Why the hell would use anything Clinton said or did to advocate a position?

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 4:47 pm GMT

@Chris Mallory You are correct that the Mexicans invited Americans into Texas, (talk about the negative effects of encouraging immigration), and Mexico may never have had much claim to the land, but they still have a more legitimate claim than the Zionist gangsters have on Palestine.

In fact, if there were no oil in the region, I suspect the Zionists would all move to NYC!

Rurik Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 4:53 pm GMT

@Mark Green

Note that the Saudi Royals 1) have totally accepted Israel, 2) have absolutely nothing negative to say (or do) regarding Israel's subjugation of Palestine, 3) are hostile to Iran (like Israel), and 4) are willing also to accept the Kingdoms's second-tier military status vis-a-vis Israel.

For these reasons, the authoritarian, undemocratic, and terror-funding Royal Saudi family is totally 'in sync' with Zio-Washington. The Saudis are even safe from any potential US-Israeli destabilization campaign. (At least for now.)

to understand the Saudi leadership, you need only see how they got along with Iran during the reign of the Shah; a Zio/Anglo quisling installed after the CIA putsch that removed the legitimate, democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Iranian_coup_d%27état

Under the quisling puppet Shah, Iran was terrorized by a CIA/Mossad run organization notorious for its torture methods.

Time magazine described SAVAK as having "long been Iran's most hated and feared institution" which had "tortured and murdered thousands of the Shah's opponents."[24] The Federation of American Scientists also found it guilty of "the torture and execution of thousands of political prisoners" and symbolizing "the Shah's rule from 1963–79." The FAS list of SAVAK torture methods included "electric shock, whipping, beating, inserting broken glass and pouring boiling water into the rectum, tying weights to the testicles, and the extraction of teeth and nails."[25]

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

it was during this reign of Zionist and Anglo terror that the corrupt House of Saud got along wonderfully with the Shah's Zio-Iran. Here you see the king of Saudi Arabia dancing for the amusement of the treacherous little Shah:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYIft-_FcYQ

- who exhorted the rulers of Saudi Arabia to embrace the cultural and spiritual sewage of the Zio-West thus:

"Please, my brother, modernize. Open up your country. Make the schools mixed women and men. Let women wear miniskirts. Have discos. Be modern. Otherwise I cannot guarantee you will stay on your throne."[15]

as long as Iran was under the thrall of the Fiend, the Saudi were their bestest buddies ever. They were also bestest buddies with Israel and England and the ZUSA.

so much treachery and evil and oppression and murder and torture.. it makes the head spin.

anyways, what do you expect from a fiend, I guess

so today the Saudis are still under the thrall of the same Fiend, but Iran is not. Hence Saudi Arabia assassinates Shia clerics it doesn't like, and Iran gets blamed for human rights violations.

The lies and mendacity and treachery are nearly beyond comprehension. The Saudis toss their fellow Arabs in Palestine under the Zionist bus, and fund and foment ISIS to crucify Christians and burn men alive. The stark divisions between good and evil (if there are such concepts) could hardly be more glaring.

and yet the Zio-fiend has Trump making nice with the murderous, terrorist-funding Saudis, while saber rattling at the peaceful and civilized Iran.

great article yet again Mr. Giraldi !

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 5:11 pm GMT

@MarkinLA Yeah, I know all about it. At one time I was a great admirer of the Texians, and the constitution of the Texas Republic, and used to love to visit the Alamo before it was done over. Anyway my main point was not about Mexico or Texas.

BTW, as you probably know, Davey Crockett was one of the original "Love it or Leave It" dudes and left the US in disgust (in 1836) with craven, dishonest, politicians after his stints in government including Congress and headed for Texas telling the story that if not re-elected, his constituents could go to Hell, and [he] would go to Texas.

Rotten politicians are an original and permanent feature of American political life, it seems.

Z-man Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 5:41 pm GMT

@War for Blair Mountain

The homo- cannibal General Mattis .

LOL!!!

Sam McGowan Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 5:43 pm GMT

I've been to Iran and anyone who thinks a war there would be easy has rocks in their head.

Jake Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:09 pm GMT

I believe Qatar has the highest per capita income (for its citizens) in the world. That can never sit well with the House of Saud.

The British Empire made the House of Saud what it is, and the American successors of the Brits intend to keep the con game going. Wise and decent US leadership would recognize the Saudis as the worst of the Middle East and act accordingly. But the English all but created them, and we follow the English lead. And ow that the Israelis dearly love the Saudis, we can expect to see US-Israeli-Saudi mischief all over the region.

iveritas Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:13 pm GMT

PG is a true and a great patriot. those who have the chutzpa to tell PG, "move to Iran", my message to you is, move to Saudi Arabia or to Israel. But then again, most likely you're already there.

On the plus side, the personal attacks on PG are great. It means he must be doing something right.

Not to mention, when comments take the form of personal attacks instead of arguing the principle tenants of the article, it means the other side doesn't have a defensible point of view. Which only means PG's assertions are correct and indisputable.

I see some red-blooded Americans arguing about Texas, not being in Mexico. These people are forgetting the best form of patriotism is true understanding of our history as a nation. Ignorance and waiving a flag alone is not patriotism. Patriotism is defending the foundation and principles of our nation. Mainly, our constitution. Texas or the number of stars on our flag, etc. does not make America. America for me is the principles our founding father put forth. Which was formulated in a document far advanced for its time (even for today) in the form of our constitution.

Anything outside of the framework of our nation, I consider false or anger-patriotism. There is a reason why media has played a role in shaping the wars of choice mentioned in this article. Because faced with true facts against the framework of our constitution, those wars are not in the best interests of the public or the country.

Thank you, PG!

Moi Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:13 pm GMT

It would be great to have Mr. Giraldi write an article about the Mother of all Terrorism.

edNels Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:17 pm GMT

@War for Blair Mountain Now that's something. 13 billion years of COCKROACH REICK PESTILENCE!

Who or what is underlying the common denominator that makes it compelling to work so hard to bring about the ideal conditions for the Cockroach infestation that will grow after the Nuclear conflagration that is the fruit of Heimy science? (Poison/long half-lives.)

Or, what is the correlation in DNA of the Cockroach and some humanoids? Ever think of that?

God (as he may be understood,) or not, has infinity to work it out, and one lead that should be gone into could be where (from a concept called "Morphic Resonance" which posits that within DNA code there is much dormant potentiality, that also can be shown to tie together various diverse life forms.

INO's, some of the humans are in effect analogous to David Icke's ideas about lizards, or like the Bodysnatchers concept of long ago SF movies, (the one with Kevin McCarthy in BW was good).

The proclivities of, or the fruits of, the Drift The point aimed at by some people!

They seem to want to reset Earth to another beginning. A CockRoach Reich!

Thanks for the idea!

Quartermaster Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:30 pm GMT

The Orange Revolution was the work of Soros. Maidan, however, belongs to the Ukrainians themselves. They had no desire to be sold out to Putin by Yanukovich.

Mark Green Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:36 pm GMT

@iveritas Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Here is an outstanding essay that distinguishes between patriotism and nationalism. The author is none other than Joe Sobran.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/06/joseph-sobran/patriotism-or-nationalism/

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:40 pm GMT

@Sam McGowan I don't think a shooting war on Iran is imminent; it's enough to yap about imagined threats to keep people glued to the media and thinking we need the protection of crazies. No threat, less "need" for politicians and the military.

The more threats, the more dollars for the nut jobs amongst us.

Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken, In Defense of Women (1918)

Scott Peterson at the Christian Science Monitor produced a timeline for dire Israeli and US predictions of an imminent Iranian nuclear weapon, beginning ~38 years ago.

A timeline of warnings since 1979. Breathless warnings that the Islamic Republic will soon be at the brink of nuclear capability have been made for decades. Here is a chronicle of predictions.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/1108/Imminent-Iran-nuclear-threat-A-timeline-of-warnings-since-1979/Israel-s-one-year-timeframe-disproved-2010-11

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:52 pm GMT

@iveritas PG is a true and a great patriot. those who have the chutzpa to tell PG, "move to Iran", my message to you is, move to Saudi Arabia or to Israel. But then again, most likely you're already there.

On the plus side, the personal attacks on PG are great. It means he must be doing something right.

Not to mention, when comments take the form of personal attacks instead of arguing the principle tenants of the article, it means the other side doesn't have a defensible point of view. Which only means PG's assertions are correct and indisputable.

I see some red-blooded Americans arguing about Texas, not being in Mexico. These people are forgetting the best form of patriotism is true understanding of our history as a nation. Ignorance and waiving a flag alone is not patriotism. Patriotism is defending the foundation and principles of our nation. Mainly, our constitution. Texas or the number of stars on our flag, etc. does not make America. America for me is the principles our founding father put forth. Which was formulated in a document far advanced for its time (even for today) in the form of our constitution.

Anything outside of the framework of our nation, I consider false or anger-patriotism. There is a reason why media has played a role in shaping the wars of choice mentioned in this article. Because faced with true facts against the framework of our constitution, those wars are not in the best interests of the public or the country.

Thank you, PG!

Patriotism is defending the foundation and principles of our nation. Mainly, our constitution.

You sound like a highly respectable sort, and I agree with a lot of your comment, but you may want to reconsider your ideas about that document. I consider it a huge link in the chain around our necks. As for the "founding fathers," they were of opposing minds and the anti-federalists had good reasons for arguing against the imposition of the constitution. They were mostly correct.

In fact, Patrick Henry refused to attend the Constitutional Convention saying, "I smell a rat." He could have been totally anosmic and still would have been able to smell one, or more likely, quite a few.

The document stinks, and here's why*.:

The Constitution looked fairly good on paper, but it was not a popular document; people were suspicious of it, and suspicious of the enabling legislation that was being erected upon it. There was some ground for this. The Constitution had been laid down under unacceptable auspices; its history had been that of a coup d'état.

It had been drafted, in the first place, by men representing special economic interests. Four-fifths of them were public creditors, one-third were land speculators, and one-fifth represented interests in shipping, manufacturing, and merchandising. Most of them were lawyers. Not one of them represented the interest of production - Vilescit origine tali. (the dice were loaded from the start)

Albert Jay Nock, Liberty vs. the Constitution: The Early Struggle
[Excerpted from chapter 5 of Albert Jay Nock's Jefferson]

https://mises.org/library/liberty-vs-constitution-early-struggle

*My apologies to those who've seen this numerous times before, but it's a critical message and obviously must be presented to each individual as (s)he steps forward. Thanks in advance for your patience as well as your indulgence!

truthtellerAryan Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 6:55 pm GMT

@anon Why doesn't Giraldi move to Iran ?
Thats where his concerns and allegiance are. And maybe the source of his finances also ?

I bet they would love a chubby bear like him. Why don't you crawl back to the ghetto that you belong?
Why, after over two millennia of living in peace and prosperity in the land of Iran, the loudest voices for going to destroy Iran is coming from Joooies Iranians who have left Iran after the revolution? If they can't pinch a penny from you, you become their enemy. Has their lived such a treacherous bunch?
It's greedy Zionists like you that end up putting the whole tribe in trouble

chris Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 7:01 pm GMT

@Lot

There is nothing "genocidal" about the Saudis supporting the elected government of Yemen against Iran-funded rebels

The "elected government of Yemen," of course, featured exactly ONE candidate who won with a 100% of the vote, supported by Hillary Clinton, in 2012!

And if the elected "leader" of Yemen fled to the KSA why is he any more legitimate than the president of Ukraine who was overthrown by a US-funded revolution and fled to Russia?

chris Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 7:09 pm GMT

@War for Blair Mountain

You can always pack up and go live in Mexico.

Why bother, if they're all coming here anyway?

JoaoAlfaiate Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 7:48 pm GMT

@jacques sheete One of the few good reasons to support Israel.

anon Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 7:54 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/10/did-george-w-bush-do-all-he-could-to-prevent-911/411175/-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz obj ected that "I just don't understand why we are beginning by talking about this one man, bin Laden." Clarke responded that, "We are talking about a network of terrorist organizations called al-Qaeda, that happens to be led by bin Laden, and we are talking about that network because it and it alone poses an immediate and serious threat to the United States." To which Wolfowitz replied, "Well, there are others that do as well, at least as much. Iraqi terrorism for example."

and more "cording to Eichenwald's sources, "the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat."

--

That was the lie about Laden That was the lie

RobinG Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 8:20 pm GMT

@jacques sheete Question: How does Mr. Nock define production?

He wrote, "Not one of them represented the interest of production- " but he had just listed manufacturing as one of the represented interests. Also, in those days, did shipping include ship-building? If not, it was certainly a closely related enterprise. Anyway, you see my point. Nock made an absolute statement, but he himself contradicted it.

Certainly the scales were weighted, but so much of the argument here is just railing against human nature. Are some people more ambitious or enterprising than others? (Let alone those who are more evil and unscrupulous.)
Some people are very intelligently curious, but it seems rare that the scientist who makes [often labors over for years] a discovery is the one who profits from it. Not fair perhaps, but the way of business, the way of the world.

You don't like the Constitution or the Founders? They were the ones who stepped up to take responsibility (and to press their own interests, if you will). It's hard to please everybody. So much harder now that there are so many of us. Just look at how much disagreement there is here in these comments. Can you imagine if there were another revolution, and afterwards a new convention. Do you think they'd crowdsource the new Constitution on the web? Let the computer decide? Who would program the machines?

Terrorism Supporters in Washington and Riyadh Close Ranks Against Qatar-Times of News Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 8:55 pm GMT

[ ] Source: The Unz Review [ ]

truthtellerAryan Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 9:06 pm GMT

@Mark Green Hi Mark Green, well observed. The Arabs are so blinded by money, so lost in Zionist tricks, are tripping in their own stupidity. One of the largest ethnic-religious groups in the world, wealthy, but as dumb as a door nail, as Edward Said once said "they are a sorry lot ", haven't yet grasped how they're accommodating their own demise. Ironically, they're are paying for all expenses that will finish them, at least send them to dark ages.
They don't see how they're being played by their half-brothers . I guess treachery is in the blood ..

Agent76 Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 9:12 pm GMT

Mar 25, 2016 WAR IS A LIE – David Swanson in Asheville March 25, 2016

https://youtu.be/5GVjKUXcHIc

Sam Shama Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 9:17 pm GMT

@RobinG Question: How does Mr. Nock define production?

He wrote, "Not one of them represented the interest of production- " but he had just listed manufacturing as one of the represented interests. Also, in those days, did shipping include ship-building? If not, it was certainly a closely related enterprise. Anyway, you see my point. Nock made an absolute statement, but he himself contradicted it.

Certainly the scales were weighted, but so much of the argument here is just railing against human nature. Are some people more ambitious or enterprising than others? (Let alone those who are more evil and unscrupulous.)
Some people are very intelligently curious, but it seems rare that the scientist who makes [often labors over for years] a discovery is the one who profits from it. Not fair perhaps, but the way of business, the way of the world.

You don't like the Constitution or the Founders? They were the ones who stepped up to take responsibility (and to press their own interests, if you will). It's hard to please everybody. So much harder now that there are so many of us. Just look at how much disagreement there is here in these comments. Can you imagine if there were another revolution, and afterwards a new convention. Do you think they'd crowdsource the new Constitution on the web? Let the computer decide? Who would program the machines? Very good comment, Robin.

Best,
- One of the Unscrupulous

anon Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 9:26 pm GMT

@Rurik


Note that the Saudi Royals 1) have totally accepted Israel, 2) have absolutely nothing negative to say (or do) regarding Israel's subjugation of Palestine, 3) are hostile to Iran (like Israel), and 4) are willing also to accept the Kingdoms's second-tier military status vis-a-vis Israel.

For these reasons, the authoritarian, undemocratic, and terror-funding Royal Saudi family is totally 'in sync' with Zio-Washington. The Saudis are even safe from any potential US-Israeli destabilization campaign. (At least for now.)

to understand the Saudi leadership, you need only see how they got along with Iran during the reign of the Shah; a Zio/Anglo quisling installed after the CIA putsch that removed the legitimate, democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Iranian_coup_d%27état

Under the quisling puppet Shah, Iran was terrorized by a CIA/Mossad run organization notorious for its torture methods.

Time magazine described SAVAK as having "long been Iran's most hated and feared institution" which had "tortured and murdered thousands of the Shah's opponents."[24] The Federation of American Scientists also found it guilty of "the torture and execution of thousands of political prisoners" and symbolizing "the Shah's rule from 1963–79." The FAS list of SAVAK torture methods included "electric shock, whipping, beating, inserting broken glass and pouring boiling water into the rectum, tying weights to the testicles, and the extraction of teeth and nails."[25]

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

it was during this reign of Zionist and Anglo terror that the corrupt House of Saud got along wonderfully with the Shah's Zio-Iran. Here you see the king of Saudi Arabia dancing for the amusement of the treacherous little Shah:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYIft-_FcYQ

- who exhorted the rulers of Saudi Arabia to embrace the cultural and spiritual sewage of the Zio-West thus:

"Please, my brother, modernize. Open up your country. Make the schools mixed women and men. Let women wear miniskirts. Have discos. Be modern. Otherwise I cannot guarantee you will stay on your throne."[15]

as long as Iran was under the thrall of the Fiend, the Saudi were their bestest buddies ever. They were also bestest buddies with Israel and England and the ZUSA.

so much treachery and evil and oppression and murder and torture.. it makes the head spin.

anyways, what do you expect from a fiend, I guess

so today the Saudis are still under the thrall of the same Fiend, but Iran is not. Hence Saudi Arabia assassinates Shia clerics it doesn't like, and Iran gets blamed for human rights violations.

The lies and mendacity and treachery are nearly beyond comprehension. The Saudis toss their fellow Arabs in Palestine under the Zionist bus, and fund and foment ISIS to crucify Christians and burn men alive. The stark divisions between good and evil (if there are such concepts) could hardly be more glaring.

and yet the Zio-fiend has Trump making nice with the murderous, terrorist-funding Saudis, while saber rattling at the peaceful and civilized Iran.


great article yet again Mr. Giraldi !

Under the quisling puppet Shah, Iran was terrorized by a CIA/Mossad run organization notorious for its torture methods.

Lets compare to the current regime that executes Bahai school teachers. Mona Mahmoudenezhad , Bahai school teacher aged 17 years was executed along with 9 other female Bahai school teachers by the Iranian regime you are so fond of . Execution method : Public hanging from crane .
Also denial of basic human rights : Homosexuality illegal and punishable by death penalty . 150 homosexuals executed each year in Iran .
Prosletizing Christianity is illegal and punishable by the death penalty .
Converting from Islam to Christianity is punishable by the death penalty.
In court a mans testimony is given twice the weight of a womans.

fund and foment ISIS to crucify Christians and burn men alive

Muslims funding Muslims to kill Christians ? Nothing new . Has been going on for 1400 years.

anon Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 9:29 pm GMT

@truthtellerAryan They are selling their oil for the price of bottled water !!!!!!!!
And then using the money to buy gold toilets !!!!!!!!

truthtellerAryan Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 9:53 pm GMT

@anon It is official that loving America more than Zionists and Israel is anti-America. How embarrassing, that you see some of our cuck politicians wear flag lapels on their suits with both the Zionist and American flags as one. Treason or patriotism? We've already seen symbolically, the swearing of allegiance to this treacherous "shitty" nation by these so called " patriots "

Rurik Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 10:12 pm GMT

the only people I'm aware of that were hanged by a crane were some homosexual rapists that raped a young boy

something the rapists would probably get a medal for doing here in the Zio-West

so it sounds to me like you're lying or pathetically misinformed

"Today, there are at least 600 churches and 300,000–370,000 Christians in Iran.[1]"

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

and I understand that there is also a thriving and ancient Jewish community in Iran.

OK, I checked and the women were hanged back in the early eighties, just following the revolution that freed Iran from decades of Zionist atrocities and rapine, and apparently they were suspected of collaborating with the Zionists somehow. But that was a long time ago, and I don't hold today's Iranian government guilty for what was done decades ago.

the fact is that Iran has been wronged, (savaged even) by the ZUSA and Israel for a long, long time. Following their revolution that freed them from the Zio-stooge Shah, the ZUSA used their good buddy Saddam to wage a catastrophic war on Iran, and even handed Saddam some nice chemical weapons and gas to use on Iranian troops. Charming huh?

They've been menaced by Israel for so long that it's part of the fabric of their national narrative, because it seems that the Jewish supremacists can not stand to see others thrive. It drives them whacky- it does. They must have their boot on all throats, Palestinian, Iraqi, Lebanese, Syrian and everybody else. Iran tells them to fuck off, and the Jewish supremacists go bonkers.

If there's another world war, it will be forced upon the planet by Jewish, Zionist supremacists and their bought politician whores in London, Paris and DC.

I pray God speed to Trump in ferreting these Satanic scum out of the government and halls of power here in the former (and soon to be great again) good ol' US of A.

Rurik Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 10:18 pm GMT

@Rurik more:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/liberate-idleb-after-east-aleppo-shifting-military-alliances-moscows-role/5565126

anon Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 10:22 pm GMT

@truthtellerAryan

this treacherous "shitty" nation

Must be strange to totallyl obsessed and consumed with something so trivial as " a shitty nation ".
But you being an Aryan I would think you would be more concerned with Germany and the fact that you will lose the Aryan homeland within a couple of generations due to almost zero native birth rate ,a soaring Muslim birhrate from your pet " refugees" and turkish laboreres, and millions more military age Muslim men ( refugees ) pouring over your borders . But don't worry , keep obsessing over Jews. By the way who perpetrated the sexual assault festival at Germanys expense on New Years Eve , Jews or Muslims ,?? Who kidnapped/groomed and pimped out 1400 native British girls in Rotherham , Muslims or Jews ??

lavoisier Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 10:47 pm GMT

@anon The current Iranian regime is at least as ruthless and oppressive as was the regime led by the Shah. However, that regime poses no threat to the United States of America and should not be our problem. Trump is picking a fight with Iran because they threatened Israel. Again, Israel's fights should be their own fights. Leave us out.

That being said, it is naive to dismiss how much damage we have done to countries like Iran by meddling in their internal affairs and putting in power ruthless puppets like the shah. His cruelty to his own people is what eventually led to his regime being destroyed. If you cause enough harm to people, they will seek revenge.

If he had been more benevelont and avoided murder and mayhem, he may have been able to turn his country around. But he would also have had to work for the interests of his own people.

ANON Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 10:48 pm GMT

@Mark Green I would say "nice try" but that would be an exaggeration. The NY World closed in 1931 after being sold by the Pulitzers (plural). You would of course know that they were not Jewish but I suppose you could try making something of the fact that their mother was from a formerly slave owning Southern family..

Rurik Show Comment Next New Comment June 13, 2017 at 10:49 pm GMT

@anon


this treacherous "shitty" nation
Must be strange to totallyl obsessed and consumed with something so trivial as " a shitty nation ".
But you being an Aryan I would think you would be more concerned with Germany and the fact that you will lose the Aryan homeland within a couple of generations due to almost zero native birth rate ,a soaring Muslim birhrate from your pet " refugees" and turkish laboreres, and millions more military age Muslim men ( refugees ) pouring over your borders . But don't worry , keep obsessing over Jews. By the way who perpetrated the sexual assault festival at Germanys expense on New Years Eve , Jews or Muslims ,?? Who kidnapped/groomed and pimped out 1400 native British girls in Rotherham , Muslims or Jews ??

Muslim men ( refugees ) pouring over your borders . But don't worry , keep obsessing over Jews.

your butt-boy George Soros just got his arse handed to him

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-06-13/soros-s-native-hungary-approves-crackdown-on-foreign-funded-ngos

no more kosher Muslims in Hungary

[Jun 12, 2017] He who says organization, says oligarchy. Organizations and oligarchies are self-reinforcing psychopath magnets

Notable quotes:
"... Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy ..."
Jun 12, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
PavewayIV | Jun 11, 2017 1:10:50 PM | 42

Robert Michels and the Iron Law of Oligarchy (1911)

"He who says organization, says oligarchy."

Paraphrasing Lobaczewski c. 1959:

"Organizations and oligarchies are self-reinforcing psychopath magnets."

PavewayIV's Magic Box of Death:

Put a few oligarchs in a box and set on floor. Soon, hundreds of 'little people' will be attracted inside. Close box and shake vigorously. Torrents of dead 'little people' will pour out, but never any oligarchs. Repeat as often as desired. It's magic!
jfl | Jun 11, 2017 4:58:36 PM | 50

thanks for the link. reading what amounts to a short introduction, i discovered that Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy itself is available, as so many good books are available, from our friends and benefactors at library genesis.

Archive.org has one: Political parties; a sociological study of the oligarchical tendencies of modern democracy Michels, Robert, 1876-1936 Free

[Jun 12, 2017] You can't fix the media because its very raison d'etre is to subvert, mislead and corrupt, to put the viewer and the nation inside a mental labyrinth.

Jun 12, 2017 | www.unz.com

LetItRest Show Comment Next New Comment June 12, 2017 at 5:07 am GMT

You can't fix the media because its very raison d'etre is to subvert, mislead and corrupt, to put the viewer and the nation inside a mental labyrinth.

You see, in the US and the Western World, the Media is owned by a cartel of Jewish people with a common agenda – they only talk about the same events, with the same perspective. They change gears and news cycles in unison, they command the discourse window.

Of course, Fox News is the opposite of CNN to the masses of disinformed, but this is just a cordial accord between Owners to not eat each other's audiences. Mainly a market strategy to not create cannibalization.

If the Media was supposed to be serious, "but currently is not and in need of saving", instead of the truth of it never being anything close to that, just a propaganda machine, then, in all those decades, and specially now in the age of the internet, they should have been speaking about the system of Debt Currency that ruins all nations, or how today in America we have the biggest monopolies in the history of mankind, or how Immigration from countries with non-European populations destroys social trust, neighborhoods, cities, lower wages, overbudens public services, reintroduces extinct diseases and many many more.

But they don't talk about any of that, and never will.

Forget about the media altogether, let it die and rot.

[Jun 12, 2017] In Praise of Hypocrisy by Masha Gessen

Empire of Lies is a 2008 thriller novel written by Andrew Klavan. The book takes its title from a quote by George Orwell often used by Ron Paul, "Truth is treason in an empire of lies." Masha Gessen is a part of US propaganda empire, and now trying to defend it by all means. Demonstrating the level of sophisticaion I never suspected of her. I like the term "aspirational hypocrisy", because now the USA neocon foreign policy and neocon's wars can be defined as the "Wars of aspirational hypocrisy". But this is all I like in the article. It is useful as as sample of sophisticated propaganda. That's it.
In any case this article is nice example of "deception as an art form" and this neoliberal Masha proved to be a real artist in this art.
Notable quotes:
"... Everybody lies. But American politics has long rested on a shared understanding of what it is acceptable to lie about, how and to whom. ..."
"... One of the many norms that Donald J. Trump has assaulted since taking office is this tradition of aspirational hypocrisy, of striving, at least rhetorically, to act in accordance with moral values - to be better. ..."
"... Fascists the world over have gained popularity by calling forth the idea that the world is rotten to the core. In "The Origins of Totalitarianism," Hannah Arendt described how fascism invites people to "throw off the mask of hypocrisy" and adopt the worldview that there is no right and wrong, only winners and losers. ..."
"... Hypocrisy can be aspirational: Political actors claim that they are motivated by ideals perhaps to a greater extent than they really are; shedding the mask of hypocrisy asserts that greed, vengeance and gratuitous cruelty aren't wrong, but are legitimate motivations for political behavior. ..."
"... In the last decade and a half, post-Communist autocrats like Vladimir V. Putin and Viktor Orban have adopted this cynical posture. They seem convinced that the entire world is driven solely by greed and hunger for power, and only the Western democracies continue to insist, hypocritically, that their politics are based on values and principles. ..."
"... when he was asked about his admiration for Mr. Putin, whom the host Bill O'Reilly called "a killer." "You got a lot of killers," responded Mr. Trump. "What, you think our country's so innocent?" ..."
"... To an American ear, Mr. Trump's statement was jarring - not because Americans believe their country to be "innocent" but because they have always relied on a sort of aspirational hypocrisy ..."
"... No American politician in living memory has advanced the idea that the entire world, including the United States, was rotten to the core. ... ..."
"... How do you like the NKVD libruls afraid of Trump bringing fascism who were running a gestapo (the FBI wiring tapping other country's Ministers) on US citizens of the opposing party? ..."
Feb 18, 2017 | nyt.com

Everybody lies. But American politics has long rested on a shared understanding of what it is acceptable to lie about, how and to whom.

One of the many norms that Donald J. Trump has assaulted since taking office is this tradition of aspirational hypocrisy, of striving, at least rhetorically, to act in accordance with moral values - to be better. This tradition has set the standard of behavior for government officials and has shaped Americans' understanding of what their government and their country represent. Over the last four weeks, Mr. Trump has lashed out against any criticism of his behavior, because, as he never tires of pointing out, "We won."

In requesting the resignation of his national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, however, Mr. Trump made his first public concession to political expectations. Hypocrisy has scored a minor victory in America. This is a good thing.

The word "hypocrisy" was thrown around a lot during the 2016 presidential campaign. Both Mr. Trump and Bernie Sanders accused their respective parties and the country's elites of hypocrisy. As the election neared, some journalists tried to turn the accusation around on Mr. Trump, taking him to task, for example, for his stand on immigration. If Mr. Trump favored such a hard line on immigration, the logic went, should he not then favor the deportation of his own wife, Melania, who was alleged to have worked while in the United States on a visitor's visa?

The charge of hypocrisy didn't stick, not so much because it placed its proponents, unwittingly, in the distasteful position of advocating the deportation of someone for a long-ago and common transgression, but because Mr. Trump wasn't just breaking the rules of political conduct: He was destroying them. He was openly claiming that he abused the system to benefit himself. If he didn't pay his taxes and got away with it, this made him a good businessman. If he could force himself on women, that made him more of a man. He acted as though this primitive logic were obvious and shared by all.

Fascists the world over have gained popularity by calling forth the idea that the world is rotten to the core. In "The Origins of Totalitarianism," Hannah Arendt described how fascism invites people to "throw off the mask of hypocrisy" and adopt the worldview that there is no right and wrong, only winners and losers.

Hypocrisy can be aspirational: Political actors claim that they are motivated by ideals perhaps to a greater extent than they really are; shedding the mask of hypocrisy asserts that greed, vengeance and gratuitous cruelty aren't wrong, but are legitimate motivations for political behavior.

In the last decade and a half, post-Communist autocrats like Vladimir V. Putin and Viktor Orban have adopted this cynical posture. They seem convinced that the entire world is driven solely by greed and hunger for power, and only the Western democracies continue to insist, hypocritically, that their politics are based on values and principles.

This stance has breathed new life into the old Soviet propaganda tool of "whataboutism," the trick of turning any argument against the opponent. When accused of falsifying elections, Russians retort that American elections are not unproblematic; when faced with accusations of corruption, they claim that the entire world is corrupt.

This month, Mr. Trump employed the technique of whataboutism when he was asked about his admiration for Mr. Putin, whom the host Bill O'Reilly called "a killer." "You got a lot of killers," responded Mr. Trump. "What, you think our country's so innocent?"

To an American ear, Mr. Trump's statement was jarring - not because Americans believe their country to be "innocent" but because they have always relied on a sort of aspirational hypocrisy to understand the country. No American politician in living memory has advanced the idea that the entire world, including the United States, was rotten to the core. ...

Hungary's PM Viktor Orban praises Trump for saying countries should put their own interests first
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/donald-trump-nationalist-hungary-pm-viktor-orban-praise-america-first-a7542361.html

===

ilsm, February 18, 2017 at 12:27 PM

I am less worried now we got Trump and not apparatchik (experienced in deep state and catering to Jihadis) Clinton.
ilsm, February 18, 2017 at 12:25 PM
The faux librul side is all Joe McCarthy phony red scaring and surveillance of the opposition activists sort of like what Army Intell did to hippies protesting the liberals' debacle in Southeast Asia.

Deep state surveillance and trashing the Bill of Rights is a legacy of the past 8 years.

yuan, February 18, 2017 at 09:36 PM
it's telling that you believe genuine liberalism is positive...
ilsm , February 18, 2017 at 04:45 AM
Vox, what about reporting from a crystal ball requires truth?
Peter K. - , February 18, 2017 at 07:37 AM
The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming! Hide under your bed.
ilsm, February 18, 2017 at 12:42 PM
Flynn could have said something "inappropriate" by a Clintonista definition of "inappropriate", and he "could" be prosecuted under a law designed to muzzle US citizens, that has never been tried bc a Bill of rights argument would win!

How do you like the NKVD libruls afraid of Trump bringing fascism who were running a gestapo (the FBI wiring tapping other country's Ministers) on US citizens of the opposing party?

If the fascists are coming they would keep Obama's FBI!

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... February 18, 2017 at 05:35 PM

the dems' deep state have already trodden the Bill of Rights how worse can it get......

fascism is in the US for 8 years or so.

[Jun 11, 2017] Neo-Gramscianism - Wikipedia

Jun 11, 2017 | en.wikipedia.org
Neo-Gramscianism applies a critical theory approach to the study of International Relations (IR) and the Global Political Economy (GPE) that explores the interface of ideas, institutions and material capabilities as they shape the specific contours of the state formation. The theory is heavily influenced by the writings of Antonio Gramsci . [1]

Neo-Gramscianism analyzes how the particular constellation of social forces, the state and the dominant ideational configuration define and sustain world orders. In this sense, the Neo-Gramscian approach breaks the decades-old stalemate between the realist schools of thought, and the liberal theories by historicizing the very theoretical foundations of the two streams as part of a particular world order, and finding the interlocking relationship between agency and structure . Furthermore, Karl Polanyi , Karl Marx , Max Weber , Niccolò Machiavelli , Max Horkheimer , Theodor Adorno and Michel Foucault are cited as major sources within the Critical theory of International Relations. [1] York University professor emeritus, Robert W. Cox 's article "Social Forces, States and World Orders: Beyond International Relations Theory", in Millennium 10 (1981) 2, and "Gramsci, Hegemony and International Relations: An Essay in Method", published in Millennium 12 (1983) 2. In his 1981 article, Cox demands a critical study of IR, as opposed to the usual "problem-solving" theories, which do not interrogate the origin, nature and development of historical structures, but accept for example that states and the (supposedly) "anarchic" relationships between them as Kantian Dinge an sich .

However, Cox disavows the label Neo-Gramscian despite the fact that in a follow-up article, he showed how Gramsci's thought can be used to analyze power structures within the GPE. Particularly Gramsci's concept of hegemony , vastly different from the realists' conception of hegemony, appears fruitful. Gramsci's state theory, his conception of " historic blocs " – dominant configurations of material capabilities, ideologies and institutions as determining frames for individual and collective action – and of élites acting as "organic intellectuals" forging historic blocs , is also deemed useful.

The Neo-Gramscian approach has also been developed along somewhat different lines by Cox's colleague, Stephen Gill , distinguished research professor of political science at York University in Toronto . Gill contributed to showing how the elite Trilateral Commission acted as an "organic intellectual", forging the (currently hegemonic) ideology of neoliberalism and the so-called " Washington Consensus " and later in relation to the globalization of power and resistance in his book "Power and Resistance in the New World Order" (Palgrave 2003). Gill also partnered with fellow Canadian academic A. Claire Cutler to release a Neo-Gramscian inspired volume entitled "New Constitutionalism and World Order" (Cambridge 2014). The book brings together a selection of critical theorists and Neo-Gramscians to analyze the disciplinary power of legal and constitutional innovations in the global political economy. Co-editor A. Claire Cutler has been a pioneer scholar detailing a Neo-Gramscian theory of international law . [2] Outside of North America, the so-called "Amsterdam School" around Kees Van Der Pijl and Henk Overbeek (at VU University Amsterdam ) and individual researchers in Germany , notably in Düsseldorf , Kassel and Marburg as well as at the Centre for Global Political Economy at the University of Sussex in the UK, and other parts of the world, have adopted the neo-Gramscian critical method.

Basics of the neo-Gramscian perspective [ edit ]

In the mainstream approaches to international or global political economy the ontological centrality of the state is not in question. In contrast, Neo-Gramscianism, using an approach which Henk Overbeek, Professor of International Relations at the VU University , calls transnational historical materialism , "identifies state formation and interstate politics as moments of the transnational dynamics of capital accumulation and class formation". [3]

Neo-Gramscianism perceives state sovereignty as subjugated to a global economic system marked by the emergence of a transnational financial system and a corresponding transnational system of production. The major players in these systems, multinational corporations and international financial institutions such as the World Bank and IMF , have evolved into a "transnational historic bloc" that exercises global hegemony (in contrast to the realist view of hegemony as the "predominant power of a state or a group of states"). [4] The historic bloc acquires its authority through the tacit consent of the governed population gained through coercive techniques of intellectual and cultural persuasion, largely absent violence. It links itself to other social groups that have been involved in political struggles [5] to expand its influence and seeks to solidify its power through the standardization and liberalization of national economies, creating a single regulatory regime (e.g. World Trade Organization ).

There are powerful forces opposing the progress of this historic bloc who may form counterhegemonies to challenge it as part of an open-ended class struggle. These might include neo-mercantilists who depend on the protection of tariffs and state subsidies, or alliances of lesser developed countries , or feminist and environmentalist movements in the industrialized west. [6] If a counterhegemony grows large enough it is able to subsume and replace the historic bloc it was born in. Neo-Gramscians use the Machiavellian terms war of position and war of movement to explain how this is possible. In a war of position a counterhegemonic movement attempts, through persuasion or propaganda, to increase the number of people who share its view on the hegemonic order; in a war of movement the counterhegemonic tendencies which have grown large enough overthrow, violently or democratically, the current hegemony and establish themselves as a new historic bloc. [7] [8]

[Jun 08, 2017] Washington's Empire Is Not Unraveling - The Unz Review

Jun 08, 2017 | www.unz.com
Paul Craig Roberts June 5, 2017 700 Words RSS Jump To... Content Top Bottom Section Current Next Bookmark Toggle All ToC Remove from Library Add to Library Search Text Case Sensitive Exact Words Include Comments
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The military/security complex spent seven decades building its empire. The complex assassinated one American president (JFK) who threatened the empire and drove another (Richard Nixon) out of office. The complex does not tolerate the election of politicians in Europe who might not follow Washington's line on foreign and economic policy.

Suddenly, according to the Western and even Russian media, the complex is going to let one man, Trump, who does not rule America, and one woman, Merkel, who does not rule Germany, destroy its empire.

According to the presstitutes, by pulling out of the Paris Accord (the global climate pact) and stating that NATO members should contribute more to the alliance's budget for which the US taxpayer has an overweighted share, Trump has caused Merkel to conclude that Europe can no longer rely on Washington. The discord between Trump and Merkel and Washington's resignation of its leadership position has destroyed the Western alliance and left the EU itself on the verge of being torn apart.

All of this is nonsensical sillyness. What has happened is this:

Just as men in dark suits and dark ties carrying briefcases explained to Trump that it was not Washington's policy to normalize relations with Russia, they explained to him that it was not Washington's policy to exit the Paris Accord. Trump said something like this: Look, you guys, you have already required me to abandon my peace initiative with Russia and my intent to pull out of Syria. Now you are forcing me off my "America First" pledge. If people realize that I am not really the president, who are you going to rule through? What about a compromise?

Here is the deal, as Trump made perfectly clear in his speech. He is temporarily pulling the US out of the Paris Accord while he immediately opens negotiations to rejoin the Paris Accord on terms less burdensome to Americans. In other words, the "pull out" is a face-saving gesture that will result in a small reduction in America's share of the cost. We will have a "Trump victory" and no damage to the Paris Accord.

Merkel facing reelection needs a boost that will refocus German attention from the one million Muslim refugees, bringing crime, rape, and terrorism in their train, that Merkel brought into Germany. Her dramatic statement that Europe can no longer rely on America was a perfect way to refocus attention. I wouldn't be surprised if Trump and Merkel got together and agreed on how they would play this.

Yet neither reporters nor commentators could report the obvious truth. Why? The Western media could not let pass the opportunity to denounce Trump for destroying American leadership and the climate, and environmental organizations seized the fundraising opportunity to oppose Trump's climate destruction. Russian commentators saw hope for Russia in NATO and the EU breaking up as consequences of America going its own way.

There are two serious implications of this media deception. One is that Americans and the world are blinded to the fact that there are power centers that constrain a president and are capable of substituting their agendas for the agendas on which the president campaigned. We saw this with Obama, but were given the explanation that Obama never meant it in the first place. Now we will get the same explanation of Trump. The fact that the president is constrained by the military/security complex and the financial sector will not come through. Thus, The Matrix's myth of democracy bringing change via elections will continue to blind people to reality.

A second consequence is that the Russians, ever hopeful to be part of the West while retaining national sovereignty, which no member of the EU or NATO is permitted to do, will see in the reported withdrawal of American leadership renewed hopes of joining Europe. If the Russians take seriously the New York Times anointment of Germany's Merkel as "the liberal West's last defender" ( https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/13/world/europe/germany-merkel-trump-election.html?mcubz=0&_r=1 ), Russia might leave herself militarily and economically exposed by slowing military preparations and the development of economic relations with Asia.

People can have little idea of actual events as long as news reporting and commentary reflect political agendas and hopeful aspirations.

[May 31, 2017] THE PRESIDENTS INFERIORITY COMPLEX , HIS ADVISORS RUSSIA-HATING OBSESSION, AND THE PUTSCH PLOTTER WITH THE ITCHY TRIGGER FING by John Helmer,

Notable quotes:
"... Brzezinski flattered and fawned over Carter; relentlessly conspired to undermine Vance and other rivals for Carter's attention; postured, manipulated, lied to the press, and faked to the president. ..."
"... "it is important to recognize that Jimmy Carter was ultimately responsible for the nature of his policymaking system and for the decisions made about who would frame and articulate U.S. foreign policies." ..."
"... "Sure, Brzezinski was a strategic thinker," one of Sexton's sources told her. "But he was frequently wrong! Vance's strategies have withstood the test of time." According to Sexton, her source was a "public official [with] in-depth familiarity with Vance's and Brzezinski's work. He agreed to be interviewed on the condition he would not be quoted on this subject." ..."
"... Paul Henze came to Brzezinski's staff after serving as the CIA's station chief in Ethiopia in 1969 to 1972, and then in Turkey between 1974 and 1977. Henze had been one of the plotters of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in July 1974, which continues to this day. ..."
"... The Somali invasion of Ethiopia which began in July 1977, and was known as the Ogaden war until the Somalis were defeated by the Russian and Cuban-backed Ethiopian military in March 1978, was one of the schemes Henze managed, and Brzezinski persuaded Carter to approve. By the time Henze's war was defeated, he rationalized the war-fighting strategy's continuing purpose in a memorandum since declassified and quoted by Sexton ..."
"... Another of the Henze plots – the military putsch in Turkey in September 1980 – was Carter's and Brzezinski's scheme too. ..."
"... Henze had started in the CIA as a specialist managing assassination gangs with pretensions to anti-communist ideology. He began with the Iron Guard of Romania, and was still running the Grey Wolves of Turkey when he moved on to the Brzezinski staff. ..."
"... The KGB assessment was that Henze, Brzezinski and Carter had all been in on the plot, just as they had been in on the scheme to elect Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, Archbishop of Cracow, as the Pope in October 1978. ..."
"... Henze was joined by other CIA men on Brzezinski's staff including Donald Gregg, Fritz Ermarth, Robert Gates and Samuel Hoskinson. They were all plotters of the putsch which overthrew the President of Pakistan, Zulfiqar ali Bhutto, in July 1977. Bhutto was replaced by Army General Zia ul-Haq, and subsequently hanged. Zia was killed in August 1988, along with the US Ambassador to Pakistan, Arnold Raphel, and General Herbert Wassom, the head of US military aid mission to Pakistan. ..."
"... How many of the putsches which CIA operation histories log in as successful, and how many of the unsuccessful attempts – Ghana and El Salvador (1979), Bolivia, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, Suriname, Upper Volta (Burkina Faso), Iran (1980) – were engagements in acting tough and doing new big things which Brzezinski got the president to approve are questions Carter is shy to answer. ..."
May 31, 2017 | johnhelmer.net

The widow of Cyrus Vance, the only US Secretary of State to resign in protest against his president's actions in a hundred years, called Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor and Vance's rival, "that awful man". Not a single official of the State Department under Vance during the Carter Administration of 1977 to 1981, thought differently. Most of them had monosyllabic terms for Brzezinski. Since Brzezinski died last Friday, not a single member of his own White House staff has made a public statement in his honour, memory or defence. The mute ones include Madeleine Albright, who owed to Brzezinski her career promotion as an academic, then White House staffer, then Secretary of State herself.

Despite the disloyalty of those closest to him, and the detestation for Bzezinski of those further away, he was, and remained, Carter's favourite. Between 1977 and 1981, Brzezinski's time with Carter, according to the White House logs, amounted to more than 20% of the president's working time. That's 12 minutes of every hour - no other official came close. On Friday, shortly after Brzezinski's death was announced by his family, Carter issued a statement extolling him as "a superb public servant inquisitive, innovative, and a natural choice as my national security advisor brilliant, dedicated, and loyal. I will miss him."

What was this bond between them, and why does it matter now? One reason is that what they did together were the freshest American operations studied at KGB schools in Moscow by a recruit in training at the time named Vladimir Putin.

This was the National Security Advisor's staff during the four years of Carter's term, 1977-1981.

PRESIDENT CARTER'S RUSSIA-HATING TEAM

A 451-page doctoral dissertation by Mary Sexton examining the relationship between Carter and Brzezinski identifies the evidence, including documents, witnesses, and independent reports which should have driven them apart. She fails to answer why that didn't happen. She concludes Brzezinski flattered and fawned over Carter; relentlessly conspired to undermine Vance and other rivals for Carter's attention; postured, manipulated, lied to the press, and faked to the president. Sexton concluded in 2009: "it is important to recognize that Jimmy Carter was ultimately responsible for the nature of his policymaking system and for the decisions made about who would frame and articulate U.S. foreign policies."

She quoted Lloyd Butler, Carter's appointee as the White House lawyer so no Brzezinski underling, as saying he was baffled by Carter's refusal to address the troubles Brzezinski caused. "I will never understand it", Butler said in 2002. He died in 2005.

Neither Vance in his memoirs (he died in 2002), nor his wife Grace, nor any of Vance's deputies at State, nor Carter's staff at the White House, provide an answer. In research by Betty Glad, published in November 2009, she reported "a few close aides met the emotional needs of the president", but the aides didn't tell Glad what they thought Carter's emotional needs were. Glad acknowledged that in preparing her book she was "above all indebted to Zbigniew Brzezinski who expeditiously answered my emails and was very open about his interactions with Carter."

Glad concluded that Carter gave Brzezinski "his complete and absolute support Brzezinski was one of the few people Carter never reprimanded And Carter dismissed all criticisms of Brzezinski that might come his way." Why?

"Carter needed and admired the strategic skills and the toughness in dealing with others that Brzezinski offered," Glad summed up, with the latter's help. The need to be tough was a recurrent theme in Brzezinski's briefings and memoranda to Carter, she added. Brzezinski made Carter feel he was "doing big things." Fighting the Russians (Soviets then) was, in the advice Brzezinski presented to Carter and repeated to Glad, was the biggest of the big things. "Brzezinski", concluded Glad, "appealed to Carter's desire to do new big things and act quickly".

The bafflement reported by Carter subordinates and State Department officials under Vance is part truth; part cover-up by the officials; part deceit by Carter. For the answer of what bound Carter and Brzezinski together Glad doesn't uncover, nor even hint at. This is because it was a conspiracy of proxy wars, terrorism, assassinations, coups d'etat, and other black operations, still classified top secret, rationalized by Brzezinski to Carter and approved by the president, as part of a grand strategy to defeat the Kremlin. These were the acting-tough tactics which convinced Carter in secret, but which the president never admitted to in public. Not then, because the actions made Carter feel he was doing "new big things". Not since, because all of them have failed, with bloodshed and monumental losses for those whom the president and his strategist targeted, and collateral damage for the rest of the world, not least the US.

"Sure, Brzezinski was a strategic thinker," one of Sexton's sources told her. "But he was frequently wrong! Vance's strategies have withstood the test of time." According to Sexton, her source was a "public official [with] in-depth familiarity with Vance's and Brzezinski's work. He agreed to be interviewed on the condition he would not be quoted on this subject."

Paul Henze came to Brzezinski's staff after serving as the CIA's station chief in Ethiopia in 1969 to 1972, and then in Turkey between 1974 and 1977. Henze had been one of the plotters of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in July 1974, which continues to this day.

The Somali invasion of Ethiopia which began in July 1977, and was known as the Ogaden war until the Somalis were defeated by the Russian and Cuban-backed Ethiopian military in March 1978, was one of the schemes Henze managed, and Brzezinski persuaded Carter to approve. By the time Henze's war was defeated, he rationalized the war-fighting strategy's continuing purpose in a memorandum since declassified and quoted by Sexton. "Much as we want the Soviets out", Henze briefed Brzezinski and Carter, "we are not going to get them out soon We should make their stay as costly as possible and the source of fundamental strain for them. We can do this in many ways, both overtly [and] covertly The Soviets are the culprits in the Horn and we should never let them or the world forget it."

Another of the Henze plots – the military putsch in Turkey in September 1980 – was Carter's and Brzezinski's scheme too.

Henze had started in the CIA as a specialist managing assassination gangs with pretensions to anti-communist ideology. He began with the Iron Guard of Romania, and was still running the Grey Wolves of Turkey when he moved on to the Brzezinski staff. After Carter's downfall, Henze spent years trying to cover up the role the Grey Wolves had played in the attempted assassination of Pope John-Paul II in May 1981. Henze's version of the plot was that the Kremlin and KGB had masterminded the scheme through the Bulgarian secret service. The KGB assessment was that Henze, Brzezinski and Carter had all been in on the plot, just as they had been in on the scheme to elect Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, Archbishop of Cracow, as the Pope in October 1978.

Brzezsinski's euology at Henze's funeral in Virginia in 2011 provided the cover story that he had engaged Henze in 1977 "to assume responsibility for oversight of the radios and to coordinate more generally our efforts to prevail in the Cold War without an actual war. Paul was in his element. He mobilized his enthusiasm, his commitment, and his boundless energy not only to protect RFE [Radio Free Europe], but to develop also a broader effort to nourish the hopes of those living in the Soviet bloc, including even the Soviet Union itself, that someday they, too, would be free."

For their combined record of violent failure, Brzezinski had this to say: "Paul proved himself to be a ferocious bureaucratic infighter and eventually the winner – though at times he was even impatient with my efforts to pursue – on the President's behalf - also some accommodation with the Soviet Union in the area of mutual arms control. But that was Paul, my fellow Cold warrior: enthusiastic, fearless, committed, principled, and relentless. A great American, an Eastern European by association, and one of the anonymous architects of the peaceful and victorious end to the Cold War."

Henze was joined by other CIA men on Brzezinski's staff including Donald Gregg, Fritz Ermarth, Robert Gates and Samuel Hoskinson. They were all plotters of the putsch which overthrew the President of Pakistan, Zulfiqar ali Bhutto, in July 1977. Bhutto was replaced by Army General Zia ul-Haq, and subsequently hanged. Zia was killed in August 1988, along with the US Ambassador to Pakistan, Arnold Raphel, and General Herbert Wassom, the head of US military aid mission to Pakistan.

Gregg was one of the plotters of the December 12, 1979, military putsch in South Korea.

Hoskinson was engaged in Middle Eastern attack and overthrow plots, some he endorsed and assisted, and some he would have done if he judged they had a chance of success.

How many of the putsches which CIA operation histories log in as successful, and how many of the unsuccessful attempts – Ghana and El Salvador (1979), Bolivia, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, Suriname, Upper Volta (Burkina Faso), Iran (1980) – were engagements in acting tough and doing new big things which Brzezinski got the president to approve are questions Carter is shy to answer.

For them, the war in Afghanistan, which they plotted with alacrity from the start of the Carter Administration, was the culminating case of what Brzezinski described in his address over Henze's corpse as the "peaceful and victorious end to the Cold War."

These games of liquidating others in the cause of defeating the Kremlin has invigorated Carter, even today when Carter himself is on his last legs. Drawing the Russians on to the field of battle was his and Brzezinski's aim; Afghanistan, after the Soviet military intervention began in December 1979, was their main chance. Their successors in the White House have the same chance against Russian forces on the battlefields of Syria and Ukraine. Though he has tried, Brzezinski is no longer in a position to advise them that if they don't dare, they can't win. Carter is still alive to demonstrate that if they dare, they are likely to lose.

It isn't sure that's what KGB trainee Putin scribbled down during his lectures at the Andropov Red Banner Institute in 1984. It's certain he has noted it down now.

[May 30, 2017] The Deep State is the State by Ron Jacobs

Notable quotes:
"... For those who don't know what the NSC-68 actually was, it is essentially a directive that militarized the conflict between US capitalism and Soviet communism. ..."
"... It was based on the correct understanding that US capitalism required open access to the resources and markets of the entire planet and that the Soviet Union represented the greatest threat to that access. ..."
"... When one recalls that this period in US history was also a period when the FBI and the US Congress were going after leftists and progressives in the name of a certain right-wing ideological purity, the power of the US secret police becomes quite apparent. ..."
"... At times, the seemingly absolute power of the CIA and FBI have caused the US Executive Branch to try and set up other means and methods in order to circumvent that power. Two examples of this that come quickly to mind are the establishment of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) by the Kennedy administration in 1961-1962 and the failed attempt (known as the Huston plan after its creator Tom Huston) by the Nixon White House to centralize the direction of all US government intelligence operations in the White House. ..."
"... There is no soft coup taking place in DC. The entire government has been owned by big business and the banking industry for more than a century, if not since its inception. That ownership has been dominated by the military-industrial complex since about the same time as when the aforementioned agencies were created. That is no coincidence. However, their role in the current uproar over Russia and Michael Flynn is not because they are taking over the government. It is because their current leadership represents the factions of the US establishment that were removed from power in November 2016. ..."
"... Donald Trump is not against the so-called deep state. He is against it being used against himself and his cohorts. In the world of capitalist power, the factions Trump represents are not the same factions represented by the presidents former FBI director Comey served-the factions represented by Bush and Obama. He understands that if he can install individuals in key positions at the FBI, CIA, DHS and other security and military agencies, he and his allies will be more than happy to use the power of these agencies against their opponents. ..."
"... When the ruling class is in crisis, as it is now, the job of the left is not to choose one side or the other. Nor is it to accept the narrative provided by one or other faction of the rulers, especially when that narrative supports the police state. Instead, it is the Left's job to go to the root of the crisis and organize resistance to the ruling class itself. ..."
"... Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem. He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com . ..."
May 26, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org
The deep state is not some enigmatic entity that operates outside the US government. It is the US state itself. Like all elements of that state, the so-called deep state exists to enforce the economic supremacy of US capitalism. It does so primarily via the secret domestic and international police forces like the FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies. The operations of these agencies run the gamut from surveillance to propaganda to covert and overt military actions. Naturally, this so-called deep state operates according to their own rules; rules which ultimately insure its continued existence and relevance. Although it can be argued that it was the 1950 National Security Directive known as NSC-68 along with the Congressional Bill creating the Central Intelligence Agency that launched the "deep state" as we understand it, a broader understanding of the "deep state" places its genesis perhaps a century prior to that date. In other words, a structure designed to maintain the economic and political domination of certain powerful US capitalists existed well back into the nineteenth century. However, the centralization of that power began in earnest in the years following World War Two.

For those who don't know what the NSC-68 actually was, it is essentially a directive that militarized the conflict between US capitalism and Soviet communism.

It was based on the correct understanding that US capitalism required open access to the resources and markets of the entire planet and that the Soviet Union represented the greatest threat to that access. Not only did this mean the US military would grow in size, it also ensured that the power of the intelligence sector would expand both in terms of its reach and its budget. When one recalls that this period in US history was also a period when the FBI and the US Congress were going after leftists and progressives in the name of a certain right-wing ideological purity, the power of the US secret police becomes quite apparent.

As the 1950s turned into the 1960s, the so-called deep state's power continued to grow. Some of its better known manifestations include the failed attempt to invade revolutionary Cuba that became known as the Bay of Pigs, the use of psychoactive drugs on unsuspecting individuals as part of a mind control study, and numerous attempts to subvert governments considered anti-American. Among the latter actions one can include covert operations against the Vietnamese independence forces and the murder of the Congolese president Patrice Lumumba. In terms of the "deep state's" domestic operations, this period saw the intensification of spying on and disrupting various groups involved in the civil rights and antiwar organizing. Many elements of the domestic operation would become known as COINTELPRO and were directed by the FBI.

Although the agencies of the so-called deep state operate as part of the US state, this does not mean that those agencies are of one mind. Indeed, like any power structure, there are various factions represented. This means that there are disagreements over policies, priorities, direction, and personnel. The only certainty is that all of its members agree on the need to maintain the supremacy of US capital in the world. At times, the seemingly absolute power of the CIA and FBI have caused the US Executive Branch to try and set up other means and methods in order to circumvent that power. Two examples of this that come quickly to mind are the establishment of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) by the Kennedy administration in 1961-1962 and the failed attempt (known as the Huston plan after its creator Tom Huston) by the Nixon White House to centralize the direction of all US government intelligence operations in the White House.

There is no soft coup taking place in DC. The entire government has been owned by big business and the banking industry for more than a century, if not since its inception. That ownership has been dominated by the military-industrial complex since about the same time as when the aforementioned agencies were created. That is no coincidence. However, their role in the current uproar over Russia and Michael Flynn is not because they are taking over the government. It is because their current leadership represents the factions of the US establishment that were removed from power in November 2016.

Donald Trump is not against the so-called deep state. He is against it being used against himself and his cohorts. In the world of capitalist power, the factions Trump represents are not the same factions represented by the presidents former FBI director Comey served-the factions represented by Bush and Obama. He understands that if he can install individuals in key positions at the FBI, CIA, DHS and other security and military agencies, he and his allies will be more than happy to use the power of these agencies against their opponents. Indeed, he would most likely greatly enhance those agencies' power, making a further mockery of the US Constitution. If Trump is able to get the agencies of the deep state to work for the factions he represents-either by replacing those loyal to others not named Trump or by cajoling and coercing them to change their loyalty-he will think the deep state is a great thing. In this way he is no different than every other US president. He understands that whoever controls the deep state controls the US. The struggle we are witnessing between the FBI and the Trump White House is part of a power struggle between US power elites.

When the ruling class is in crisis, as it is now, the job of the left is not to choose one side or the other. Nor is it to accept the narrative provided by one or other faction of the rulers, especially when that narrative supports the police state. Instead, it is the Left's job to go to the root of the crisis and organize resistance to the ruling class itself.

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Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem. He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com .

[May 30, 2017] John Helmer Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Svengali of Jimmy Carters Presidency, Is Dead, But the Evil Lives On naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... Brzezinski was an obsessive Russia-hater from the beginning to the end. That led to the monumental failures of Carter's term in office; the hatreds Brzezinski released had an impact which continues to be catastrophic for the rest of the world. ..."
"... Carter and Brzezinski in Carter's study, six weeks into the presidential term - April 19, 1977. ..."
"... To Brzezinski also goes the credit for projecting Iran on to its nuclear-armed path against the Great Satan and US allies in the Middle East, making the sunni-shia sectarian division into a cause of international war which it was not, before Brzezinski began ..."
"... Left: Sadat standing up, with Begin and Carter at the signing of the Camp David accords, September 17, 1978. Right, Sadat's downfall in Cairo at the Egyptian Army's annual victory parade, October 6, 1981. ..."
"... Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter, February 1979. ..."
"... If not for Carter, Brzezinski would have remained the marginal voice he was before and after the four-year Carter term. From the start of that term, in the first six months of 1977, Carter was also warned explicitly by his own staff, inside the White House and working on his confidential instruction, not to allow Brzezinski to dominate his policy-making to the exclusion of all other advice, and the erasure of the evidence on which the advice was based. ..."
"... When Vernamonti and I had written up our two reports, we concluded that Brzezinski had been deliberately and systematically misinforming and misleading Carter in his policy memoranda. He withheld evidence; mistook or misrepresented what other officials and their agencies were saying; and manipulated the decision and action tails of his memoranda, so that Carter would think he had little option but to do what Brzezinski told him to choose. Our job, Carter had told us when we commenced work, was to spot the fox in the hen house, and warn him before there were fatal consequences. ..."
"... But dedicated and loyal Brzezinski was solely to himself – not to Carter nor the presidency he had been elected to run. Brzezinski's choices were among the reasons Carter was defeated in the landslide election of November 1980. ..."
"... Brzezinski is not the only Russia-hater of extraction from the minor Polish nobility to make a career of his monomania. For more of what he and Carter failed to achieve in Syria, read this ; and in Ukraine, this . For the other Polish monomaniac of recent times, Radoslaw Sikorski, read more . ..."
"... Brzezinski is the only national security advisor in American history to succeed at mesmerizing his president into singing his songs, as the character of Svengali did to Trilby O'Ferrall, an Irish working girl, in the best-selling novel of 1894 by George du Maurier. ..."
"... Carter gave the power of the White House stage to Brzezinski's voice. The ruin which has followed is Brzezinski's evil, but the evil-doing, that's Carter's fault. ..."
"... Remember, please, the Blackstone Group was founded by Rockefeller protégé, Peter G. Peterson, with Rockefeller seed money. ..."
"... The Carlyle Group was started by David Rubenstein (nephew of a dude named Jacob Rubenstein, before he changed his name to Jack Ruby) and Frank Carlucci, former CIA dude, with seed money from the Mellon family. ..."
"... The Deep State is that part of the organized crime syndicate, that is not only beyond morality, but beyond its own faux law (that it enforces against the uppity ones). ..."
"... Nowhere does Kennan encourage serious consideration of the possibility that the Soviets might have reason to feel threatened, "existentially," when they looked to the west .. ..."
"... The blaming of colonial powers is true in Africa where ocean going vessels altered what the colonial powers could achieve versus local powers, ..."
"... Again, most of this is increasingly well-known, but conventional wisdom seems to think that Saudi extremism and terror ties are contradictory to the United States' interests in supporting the regime. But it's contradictory only if terrorism poses a strategic threat to the West-it does not. ..."
"... Quite simply, terrorism in Europe or the US simply doesn't bother the Blob – its not a strategic issue, and they love to think of themselves as big strategic thinkers, too important to worry about mundane issues like civilian deaths. Terrorism works well for them – its not a real threat and every bomb blowing up tweens going to a concert just results in more money going to the securicracy. ..."
"... "The Simpsons" famously called Carter "History's greatest monster. " The two guys who crafted that scene and joke knew what a crummy President he was. I doubt it's been lost on Carter. ..."
"... That's a tall order for Brzezinski which I'm sure he played a significant role. Stephen Gowans has an interesting new book out 'Washington's Long War on Syria' which is recommended by Eva Bartlett. ..."
"... ""The thesis of this book is that Wall Street's war on Syria was motivated by the same aim: the de-Ba'athification of Syria and the elimination of secular Arab nationalist influence from the Syrian state, as a means of expunging the Arab nationalist threat to U.S. hegemony."" ..."
"... The blackest of humour contest to find Harvard's most evil. (Long intro about Hitler etc, skip to 18:30.) "Brzezinski is the Hydrox to Kissinger's Oreo" https://thetrap.fm/show/episode-100-chapo-goes-to-college-41717/ ..."
"... In Carter's defense, he has gone on the record and stated that the US today is now an oligarchy. Not exactly a "pass the buck" statement by a former president ..."
May 30, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

If ever there was a man who displayed on his face the evil on his mind, it was Zbigniew Brzezinski, (lead image, right) who died last week at a hospital near Washington.

Former President Jimmy Carter, who employed Brzezinski as his National Security Advisor between 1977 and 1981, the only high official post Brzezinski reached, said he "helped me set vital foreign policy goals, was a source of stimulation for the departments of defense and state, and everyone valued his opinion." Of Carter's three claims, only the first is true; the second is ironic hyperbole; the third is completely false. If Carter cannot tell the truth now about Brzezinski, after having 36 years to reflect on it, Carter reveals the principal source of Brzezisnki's power, when he exercised it. For Carter was no innocent ventriloquized by the evil Svengali (lead image, left), as in the original Svengali tale. Carter was simply more mendacious than Brzezinski, and is entirely to blame for doing what Brzezinski told him to do.

Brzezinski was an obsessive Russia-hater from the beginning to the end. That led to the monumental failures of Carter's term in office; the hatreds Brzezinski released had an impact which continues to be catastrophic for the rest of the world.

Carter and Brzezinski in Carter's study, six weeks into the presidential term - April 19, 1977.

To Brzezinski goes the credit for starting the organization, financing and armament of the mujahideen, the Islamic fundamentalists who have metastasized - with US money and arms still - into Islamic terrorist armies operating far from Afghanistan and Pakistan, where Brzezinski started them off. Only today, Russia – the target of Brzezinski's scheming - is relatively better prepared and safer from the terrorists than the countries of western Europe and the US itself.

To Brzezinski also goes the credit for projecting Iran on to its nuclear-armed path against the Great Satan and US allies in the Middle East, making the sunni-shia sectarian division into a cause of international war which it was not, before Brzezinski began. That it was not is due to the power of the secular Arab leaders to sustain an alternative to religion for governance. Brzezinski's idea was to target them as Kremlin stooges and overthrow them. To Brzezinski also goes the credit for releasing Israeli ambition under Menachem Begin and his successors on the Israeli right; the promotion of Egyptian corruption and weakness under Anwar Sadat and his successors; and the destruction of the Palestinians.

Left: Sadat standing up, with Begin and Carter at the signing of the Camp David accords, September 17, 1978. Right, Sadat's downfall in Cairo at the Egyptian Army's annual victory parade, October 6, 1981.

In Carter's obituary, he also gives Brzezinski the credit for "an essential role" in two other achievements Carter still claims for himself: "normalization of relations with China [and the] signing of the SALT II treaty." Carter is exaggerating the little he did, after his predecessors Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford had initiated and negotiated the terms for both. Carter says nothing about his failure to influence the course of US nuclear weapon designs that continue to evolve unhindered, and the schemes of first-strike war-fighting against both Russia and China which are virtual, if not quite stated US policy today.

Apart from the reference Carter makes first to his wife Rosalynn's views, there is no illumination. In 1977 Rosalynn Carter had different views from her husband's, but regarding Brzezinski and others in the Carter White House, she never dared to express them in public. On pain of instant dismissal nor did anyone else in the White House then. And there were no leaks.

Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter, February 1979.

If not for Carter, Brzezinski would have remained the marginal voice he was before and after the four-year Carter term. From the start of that term, in the first six months of 1977, Carter was also warned explicitly by his own staff, inside the White House and working on his confidential instruction, not to allow Brzezinski to dominate his policy-making to the exclusion of all other advice, and the erasure of the evidence on which the advice was based.

I know this because I was a member of the staff in those days. I know because I drafted the terms of a series of staff investigations which Carter requested and then authorized of how the advice he was receiving at his desk was influencing the choices and policy options he had to decide – memoranda from the cabinet departments, briefs from the intelligence agencies, and commentaries from different elements of the White House organization itself.

The investigation of two of Brzezinski's policy recommendations to Carter was assigned to a US Airforce officer on secondment to the White House staff at the time, Len Vernamonti ;and to me. We were part of a group of 25 titled the President's Reorganization Project (PRP). Our offices were in the New Executive Office Building, the red-brick structure across the street from the State, War and Navy Building, aka the Old Executive Office Building (OEOB); in Mark Twain's epithet, the ugliest building in America. Twain was referring to what the inhabitants of the building did, not to the exterior or interior decoration, which was grand. Brzezinski's staff operated in the OEOB. He himself, like his predecessors, kept his own office in the West Wing of the White House, diagonally across the lobby from the Oval Office and Carter's personal study.

The PRP, a Carter election campaign invention unprecedented in White House history, had the job of preparing a study for the president on how his White House operations might be organized to expand his policy choices, enlarge the evidence available for him to read – Carter was very keen on reading - anticipate consequences, and curb bureaucratic empire building outside the Oval Office. The staff had mostly come, as had I, from Carter's campaign advisors. Major Vernamonti, as he was then, had come to the PRP by secondment and by chance.

The idea of reorganization at the top of the US government bureaucracy wasn't novel; it most often accompanied incoming presidents whose party had been out of office for a long time and who wanted to purge non-loyalists and find jobs for their own people. But the idea of opening up the president's files and reassessing the decisions he had made in his first six months had never been attempted before.

Military, intelligence and foreign policy topics were off-limits because of the classification and security clearances required, so the PRP focused on domestic policymaking. In organizational management terms, they amounted to the same thing. We compiled a list of topics for investigation from among the public and private priorities of the new administration; Carter was asked to select which he wanted us to study. About 30 topics were selected; two were assigned to each of a dozen two-man teams. By Carter's order, we had authority to open all files, including those of the National Security Council (NSC). Bzezinski didn't like that; he resisted; he lost the first round

The subjects of the Brzezinski investigation remain classified. It's exactly 40 years since I last saw the papers. They were secret at the time, but there was a deeper, darker secret.

When Vernamonti and I had written up our two reports, we concluded that Brzezinski had been deliberately and systematically misinforming and misleading Carter in his policy memoranda. He withheld evidence; mistook or misrepresented what other officials and their agencies were saying; and manipulated the decision and action tails of his memoranda, so that Carter would think he had little option but to do what Brzezinski told him to choose. Our job, Carter had told us when we commenced work, was to spot the fox in the hen house, and warn him before there were fatal consequences. He had been a Navy officer and a submariner; also the Georgia State governor. So he knew about the pathologies of command and control; he also knew about fatal consequences. But neither he nor we anticipated that the fox would turn out to be Brzezinski, nor the chicken turn out to be Carter himself.

No president had ever been presented with such a stark analysis of his own reading of papers and his own decision-making. I knew that because I had consulted with senior White House staff directors going back to Franklin Roosevelt's time.

The recommendations Vernamonti and I drew from the decision-making research were revolutionary. We proposed that Carter retain a personal national security advisor with a staff restricted to sub-advisors amounting to less than a score. The large NSC bureaucracy, growing across the driveway in the OEOB, was to be broken up and returned to the mainline departments. Our idea was that the National Security Advisor would be restricted to being just that – an advisor in a staff function. Line command and control, which McGeorge Bundy started with President John Kennedy in 1961, and Henry Kissinger perfected under Richard Nixon between 1969 and 1975, was to be halted because it encouraged a government-wide war for the president's mind, which usually ended badly – not for the advisor but for the president.

There were more than 300 pages in the final PRP report, including the executive summary and the recommendations, plus the case studies. Brzezinski got early warning of the studies, and then received the drafts, plus a copy of the cover memorandum with recommendations. He saw at once the danger, and went to work on our superiors. The upshot was that on the weekend before our staff was due to present the report to Carter at a White House meeting, and answer his questions, Vernamonti and I were called in to an urgent meeting with the PRP leader, and his superior, Harrison Wellford.

Like several of us on the staff, Wellford was a Harvard graduate, with an equable, jocular Massachusetts manner of dealing in tight spots. He describes his background on the Carter campaign and then on the presidential transition team of 1976 here . But on the day Wellford called Vernamonti and me into his office, Wellford was not his usual self. He made clear that Brzezinski was furious, and would not allow our conclusions to go to Carter. Wellford himself didn't disagree with the evidence or the findings. He didn't disagree with the recommendations either, he said. But he lacked the power to fight Brzezinski with Carter, he conceded.

In his encomium on Brzezinski's death, Carter said last Friday: "Having studied Zbig's impressive background and his scholarly and political writings, I called on him to advise me on foreign policy issues during my first presidential campaign. I liked him immediately, and we developed an excellent personal relationship." That much is true. Carter also remembers: "He was brilliant, dedicated, and loyal." From the Harvard point of view, the first adjective was unexceptional – there are hundreds and thousands of "brilliant" Harvard graduates; about a dozen of them in the Carter White House. But dedicated and loyal Brzezinski was solely to himself – not to Carter nor the presidency he had been elected to run. Brzezinski's choices were among the reasons Carter was defeated in the landslide election of November 1980.

But that's getting ahead of our little tale. Wellford told Vernamonti and me he had no choice but to give us strict orders for the meeting scheduled the following week with Carter. Our case studies might, he said, be included in the tabs to the PRP briefing book we would present to the president. But the conclusions, and the recommendations for reform of the National Security Council, would be eliminated. Then Wellford added an ultimatum: Vernamonti and I would be allowed to sit at the meeting with Carter. But we were to say nothing unless Carter spoke to us. If that happened, we were not to mention our recommendations on Brzezinski. If we did that, we would both be fired instantly. That would have meant the end of Vernamonti's airforce career.

Wellford added this was a secret we were not to tell to anyone.

The upshot was this. Wellford, plus the PRP team leader (a Georgian like Carter whose name I've forgotten), the others on our staff; Vernamonti and I met with Carter to present our report. The meeting took place in the Cabinet Room. Vernamonti and I sat to the right of our superiors; Carter was across the table, his back to the windows. Brzezinski was present, along with other senior White House staff advisors of the day. The big briefing book lay in front of the president. He spoke of congratulations for the originality and painstaking work we had done, and promised to read every word. He asked questions, but not of Vernamonti or me. We stayed shtum. We walked out keeping our jobs, as did everyone else, especially Brzezinski.

Our defeat stayed secret for years. Ours was not the nail for want of which the shoe was lost, the horse, the knight, the battle, etc. There were many other nails, shoes, horses and knights lost, starting with Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, but he died in 2002 without telling as much as he could and should have done. Carter, however, did lose his kingdom, ignominiously. That still stings with him. Vernamonti (pictured recently, below left) went on to a brilliant USAF career, managing the purse which paid for US ballistic missile programs. Wellford (right) has managed the legal side of some of the largest energy businesses in the US.

Many years later, after the New York Times reported how thorough and effective Carter's reorganization of the White House had been, I responded with a letter detailing part of the Brzezinski record of 1977. I omitted Vernamonti's name, in case he was still in the Air Force; I included Wellford's. The letter was cued to be published, according to a Times editor who telephoned to check a couple of name-spellings and dates. But the letter never appeared. I was told by the Times that in advance of publication, Brzezinski was shown the text, and he commanded that it not appear. The newspaper did what it was told.

Brzezinski is not the only Russia-hater of extraction from the minor Polish nobility to make a career of his monomania. For more of what he and Carter failed to achieve in Syria, read this ; and in Ukraine, this . For the other Polish monomaniac of recent times, Radoslaw Sikorski, read more .

Brzezinski is the only national security advisor in American history to succeed at mesmerizing his president into singing his songs, as the character of Svengali did to Trilby O'Ferrall, an Irish working girl, in the best-selling novel of 1894 by George du Maurier.

Carter is mesmerized still. Without Carter, Brzezinski would have remained an inconsequential academic among many contending to be heard. Carter gave the power of the White House stage to Brzezinski's voice. The ruin which has followed is Brzezinski's evil, but the evil-doing, that's Carter's fault.

Disturbed Voter , May 30, 2017 at 5:32 am

Mika, his daughter, continues the Deep State work, in the MSM. And advisor Brzezinski wasn't the only cold warrior around in those days. Senator McCain carries that torch still, from the Hanoi Hilton.

esb , May 30, 2017 at 11:23 am

Right you are. This woman is truly dangerous, sporting her famous name and spewing her hateful, disruptive prattle, esp. due to her pairing with the faux-Republican Scarborough, who himself is a bizarre combination of neocon and progressive.

optimader , May 30, 2017 at 11:34 am

Who is the Deep State? Does it/they file Income tax?

sgt_doom , May 30, 2017 at 7:01 pm

Well, around 1963, the Deep State would be the super-rich families who called the shots, notably through such minions as Allen Dulles, (his cousin) Tracy Barnes, McGeorge Bundy, and a slew of others. Those richest families at that time were the Rockefeller, DuPont, Morgan, Harriman (Poindexter), Cabot (and Lodge), Forbes, Mellon and a few others.

Remember, please, the Blackstone Group was founded by Rockefeller protégé, Peter G. Peterson, with Rockefeller seed money.

The Carlyle Group was started by David Rubenstein (nephew of a dude named Jacob Rubenstein, before he changed his name to Jack Ruby) and Frank Carlucci, former CIA dude, with seed money from the Mellon family.

Presently, one of the largest or more powerful of the private intel contractors, Booz Allen Hamilton is owned by the Carlyle Group, last time I checked. Carlyle also owned ARINC for quite a few years, yielding incredible corporate intel from such as they!

So Robert Scheer, who wrote this book ("They Know Everything About You") where he remarked a bit on Palantir (started by Peter Thiel, primarily with CIA contracts, now a private intel company), and pondered in his book how Thiel came to know Richard Perle, who steered Thiel into Adm. Poindexter for those CIA (Total Infomration Awareness-like) CIA contracts?

Of course, Scheer is used to robotically repeating CIA disinformation stuff so is unable to pursue simple investigative reporting techniques which would have yielded that Peter Thiel sat on the board of "American Friends of Bilderberg, Inc." (according to their 990 tax forms) along with Richard Perle (from whence he knew him, 'natch!) and David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger, etc.

I trust I have added to your worldly sophistication?

Disturbed Voter , May 30, 2017 at 7:04 pm

You know you are in, when you are in the Carlyle Group. Not just the founders like the Bush family, but neo-libs like the Clintons. I am sure the Obama crime family will be invited into that exclusive private country club, if they continue to play ball the CIA way.

financial matters , May 30, 2017 at 10:55 pm

JFK and RFK took on US Steel as well as wanting to not escalate in Vietnam. This essentially probably got both of them killed.

Trump seems to be more circumspect in taking on the deep state.

Disturbed Voter , May 30, 2017 at 7:02 pm

When you are the law, like the Nixon presidency, there is no need to file, your taxable income is whatever you say it is. The Deep State is that part of the organized crime syndicate, that is not only beyond morality, but beyond its own faux law (that it enforces against the uppity ones).

Ignacio , May 30, 2017 at 6:30 am

I woludn't blame Brzezinski for the sunni-shia divide in countries like Irak. For this I would blame the british.

PlutoniumKun ,