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Color revolutions -- Neoliberalism adaptation of Trotskyism idea of "permanent revolution" 

It is easy to mobilize large crowds with slogans which one cannot but characterize as crowd pleasers – for democracy, against corruption, etc.  Add to this money infusion from G7 embassies distributed as cash and the targeted government has real problems; when color revolution succeeds people soon realize that what really bothered them (lack of freedom, humiliation, poverty, social corruption, lack of prospects of a decent life) goes on with doubled intensity under a new neoliberal regime.

News Fifth column Recommended Links Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool MSM as attack dogs of color revolution
Venezuella: another "bombs for oil" scenario after Lybia? Syria civil war Civil war in Ukraine Yemen war Looting pays dividends to empire War and Venture Capitalism
Methods used for destabilization of the society in color revolutions Bombing country with dollars Government snipers on rooftops false flag operation "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for color revolutions undermining government in developing and xUSSR countries Role of State Department and western embassies NGOs and think tanks as brain trust of color revolutions
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism The World as the Grand Chessboard of the American empire
Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war Delegitimization of Ruling Party Parasitism on Human rights: children of Lieutenant Schmidt Human right activists or globalism fifth column The art of manufacturing of prisoners of consciousness Sect of fraudulent election witnesses
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neoconservatism Media-Military-Industrial Complex The Deep State Compradors  
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair NGOs as braintrust of color revolutions Hong Cong Color Revolution of 2014 EuroMaidan Russian Color Revolution of 2012 Ukrainian orange revolution
Frustrated underachievers Russian neoliberal compradors Net Hamsters as a part of fifth column Exploiting Revolutionary Romantics as polit-technology IntelliXencia: Corruption of Intelligentsia and it usage in fifth column in Russia Gene Sharp Recipes and Russian Experience
Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite The Iron Law of Oligarchy Two Party System as polyarchy Foreign Agents Registration Act Attack of Think Tanks Destruction by the USA of international law

Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few

Predator state The Real War on Reality Media as a weapon of mass deception Anatol Leiven on American Messianism  Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich
American Exceptionalism Non-Interventionism Hypocrisy of British ruling elite Politically Incorrect Humor Russian Fifth column Humor Etc
NOTE: Due to the size introduction was converted to a separate page. Introduction to color regulation strategy and tactic
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"The great masquerade of evil has played havoc with all our ethical concepts. For evil to appear disguised as light, as charity, as historical necessity, or social justice is quite bewildering to anyone raised on traditional ethical concepts. But for the Christian who builds his life on the word of God, it merely confirms the fundamental perversity of evil."

-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

[Jul 22, 2019] Comey Under DOJ Investigation For Misleading Trump While Targeting Him In FBI Probe

Notable quotes:
"... Former FBI Director James Comey has been under investigation for misleading President Trump - telling him in private that he wasn't the target of an ongoing FBI probe, while refusing to admit to this in public. ..."
"... Comey was essentially "running a covert operation" against Trump - which began with a private "defensive briefing" shortly after the inauguration. RCI 's sources say that Horowitz has pored over text messages between the FBI's former top-brass and other communications suggesting that Comey was in fact conducting a "counterintelligence assessment" of the president during their January 2017 meeting in New York. ..."
"... What's more, the FBI couldn't treat Trump as a suspect - formally, as they didn't have the legal grounds to do so according to former FBI counterintelligence lawyer Mark Wauck. " They had no probable cause against Trump himself for 'collusion' or espionage ," he said, adding "They were scrambling to come up with anything to hang a hat on, but had found nothing." ..."
"... According to House Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), Comey and the rest of the FBI's top team (including Peter Strzok and Lisa Page) were attempting to "stop" Trump's presidency for political reasons. ..."
"... "You have the culmination of the ultimate spying, where you have the FBI director spying on the president, taking notes [and] illegally leaking those notes of classified information" to the MSM, said Nunes in a recent interview. ..."
"... Comey is just the political class operative who they brought in to save Scooter Libby's butt in the Valerie Flame leak. Then he got a seven figure job as a reward at a hedge fund (with no prior experience in the financial industry). Then, they took him off the bench to be FBI director. ..."
"... The larger problem is that the "five eyes" system is broken in favor of British surveillance and interference in our elections, and, the Patriot Act practice of "masking" is a complete violation of the fourth amendment and a fraud. From a fourth amendment analysis, it's like letting the police search everyone's house every day as long as they don't look at the name on the address. ..."
"... This investigation would explain why Comey, Brennan, and other members of Barry Obama's regime are very quiet, while Congressional Democrats are freaking out. ..."
"... Does the DOJ investigate British agents? Serious question. ..."
Jul 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Former FBI Director James Comey has been under investigation for misleading President Trump - telling him in private that he wasn't the target of an ongoing FBI probe, while refusing to admit to this in public.

According to RealClearInvestigations ' Paul Sperry, "Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will file a report in September which contains evidence that Comey was misleading the president " while conducting an active investigation against him.

Even as he repeatedly assured Trump that he was not a target, the former director was secretly trying to build a conspiracy case against the president, while at times acting as an investigative agent . - RCI

According to two US officials familiar with Horowitz's upcoming report on FBI misconduct, Comey was essentially "running a covert operation" against Trump - which began with a private "defensive briefing" shortly after the inauguration. RCI 's sources say that Horowitz has pored over text messages between the FBI's former top-brass and other communications suggesting that Comey was in fact conducting a "counterintelligence assessment" of the president during their January 2017 meeting in New York.

What's more, Comey had an FBI agent in the White House who reported the activities of Trump and his aides, according to 'other officials familiar with the matter.'

The agent, Anthony Ferrante, who specialized in cyber crime, left the White House around the same time Comey was fired and soon joined a security consulting firm, where he contracted with BuzzFeed to lead the news site's efforts to verify the Steele dossier, in connection with a defamation lawsuit. -RCI

According to the report, Horowitz and his team have examined over 1 million documents and conducted over 100 interviews - including sit-downs with Comey and other current and former FBI and DOJ employees. "The period covering Comey's activities is believed to run from early January 2017 to early May 2017, when Comey was fired and his deputy Andrew McCabe, as the acting FBI director, formally opened full counterintelligence and obstruction investigations of the president."

McCabe's deputy, Lisa Page, appeared to dissemble last year when asked in closed-door testimony before the House Judiciary Committee if Comey and other FBI brass discussed opening an obstruction case against Trump prior to his firing in May 2017. Initially, she flatly denied it , swearing: "Obstruction of justice was not a topic of conversation during the time frame you have described." But then, after conferring with her FBI-assigned lawyer, she announced: " I need to take back my prior statement ." Page later conceded that there could have been at least "discussions about potential criminal activity" involving the president . -RCI

Comey coordination

Sperry notes that Comey wasn't working in isolation on the Trump effort. In particular, Horowitz has looked at the January 6, 2017 briefing on the infamous 'Steele Dossier' - a meeting which was used by BuzzFeed, CNN and others to legitimize reporting on the dossier's salacious and unsubstantiated claims .

Comey's meeting with Trump took place one day after the FBI director met in the Oval Office with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to discuss how to brief Trump -- a meeting attended by National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who would soon go to work for CNN. -RCI

While Comey claims in his book, "A Higher Loyalty" that he didn't have "a counterintelligence case file open on [Trump]," former federal prosecutor and National Review columnist Andrew McCarthy notes that just because Trump's name wasn't on a formal file or surveillance warrant doesn't mean that he wasn't under investigation.

"They were hoping to surveil him incidentally, and they were trying to make a case on him," said McCarthy. " The real reason Comey did not want to repeat publicly the assurances he made to Trump privately is that these assurances were misleading . The FBI strung Trump along, telling him he was not a suspect while structuring the investigation in accordance with the reality that Trump was the main subject ."

What's more, the FBI couldn't treat Trump as a suspect - formally, as they didn't have the legal grounds to do so according to former FBI counterintelligence lawyer Mark Wauck. " They had no probable cause against Trump himself for 'collusion' or espionage ," he said, adding "They were scrambling to come up with anything to hang a hat on, but had found nothing."

What remains unclear is why Comey would take such extraordinary steps against a sitting president . The Mueller report concluded there was no basis for the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy theories. Comey himself was an early skeptic of the Steele dossier -- the opposition research memos paid for by Hillary Clinton's campaign that were the road map of collusion theories -- which he dismissed as "salacious and unverified." -RCI

According to House Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), Comey and the rest of the FBI's top team (including Peter Strzok and Lisa Page) were attempting to "stop" Trump's presidency for political reasons.

"You have the culmination of the ultimate spying, where you have the FBI director spying on the president, taking notes [and] illegally leaking those notes of classified information" to the MSM, said Nunes in a recent interview.

Read the rest of Sperry's report here .


AI Agent , 4 minutes ago link

They will whitewash Comey. The deep state is alive and well, the DoJ and the FBI are as corrupt as they were the day before Trump took office.

Why do I say this? Well, the canary hasn't fallen off her perch yet. Hillary Clinton is still singing her song, and even making noises like she's going to run again, and she's not in prison. They have her solid on over a hundred felony counts of mishandling classified documents and they've not touched her. Proof of life that the Deep State is still in power.

MoreFreedom , 8 minutes ago link

So, was the Steele dossier the ex post facto excuse for illegally spying on Trump, or was it the ex post facto diversion for ALL of Obama's spying on politically powerful people, which we know included spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee, spying on reporters, and spying on Trump. I'll bet Obama hopes the investigation doesn't get into all of his spying activities, and I wouldn't be surprised government officials in charge of the spying equipment are keeping it covered up because they don't want to lose their jobs (for either allowing such to happen, or because they fear the spying apparatus will be eliminated).

Did Obama also spy on SCOTUS justices, Congressmen, other Senators and other rich and powerful people? I'll bet he did, because we haven't seen all the unmasking documentation, and Obama took it to his library so no one can see it (at least so he thinks). Further, look at the way Brennan, Clapper, Comey and Rice are disparaging Trump (they protest too much). And look at how all the allegations about Trump are blowing right back into the faces of the Democrats who've shown their MO is to accuse their political opponents, of the illegal activity in which the Democrats are engaged.

They need to go to jail, for a long time, if not be executed for treason.

SgtShaftoe , 4 minutes ago link

Did Obama spy on SCOTUS justices, et al? - Yes. Look up project HAMR or "Hammer". MI5/6 was spying on all Americans comms to circumvent legal frameworks (5 eyes). Google is now fully Chinese intelligence - TREASON. It's coming and it's gonna blow most people's minds.

dcmbuffy , 10 minutes ago link

Just the minute the FBI begins making recommendations on what should be done with its information, it becomes a Gestapo.

J. Edgar Hoover

i at least agree with him on this one thought.

peippe , 9 minutes ago link

you realize J.Edgar probably said the above with a smile on his face.

Playtime's Over , 8 minutes ago link

been going on for longer than Obongo, but he put an inner cooled turbo on it.

radar99 , 13 minutes ago link

it all started with Obama. Time to investigate him and hang him for treason

SgtShaftoe , 8 minutes ago link

It started a very long time ago. 1913 was a notable date, so was JFK's assassination. So was 9/11. So was Operation Paperclip. These monsters have been slithering around a while. Now it's time for them to go bye-bye. Dark to Light. Execute.

Indelible Scars , 13 minutes ago link

B-B-But Nadler said...

JaxPavan , 14 minutes ago link

This goes back to Obama asking MI6 to surveil Trump and his campaign, and to continue it past the inauguration.

JaxPavan , 13 minutes ago link

correction: GCHQ

JaxPavan , 6 minutes ago link

Comey is just the political class operative who they brought in to save Scooter Libby's butt in the Valerie Flame leak. Then he got a seven figure job as a reward at a hedge fund (with no prior experience in the financial industry). Then, they took him off the bench to be FBI director.

The larger problem is that the "five eyes" system is broken in favor of British surveillance and interference in our elections, and, the Patriot Act practice of "masking" is a complete violation of the fourth amendment and a fraud. From a fourth amendment analysis, it's like letting the police search everyone's house every day as long as they don't look at the name on the address.

That our broken secrecy system effectively legalized Watergate under Obama and the "five eyes" is the real problem that needs fixing.

Stainless Steel Rat , 1 hour ago link

Three Things We Know For Sure

1. Trump did not collude with Russia

2. Mueller was sent on a witch hunt

3. Somebody's going under the bus

If not Comey, then who?

StiffLittleFinger , 39 minutes ago link

“I executed the session exactly as planned,”* Comey reported back to his “sensitive matter team.”

*in the meeting with Obama the day before

Equinox7 , 45 minutes ago link

This investigation would explain why Comey, Brennan, and other members of Barry Obama's regime are very quiet, while Congressional Democrats are freaking out. The end of the Deep State is starting.

valerie24 , 21 minutes ago link

Let’s hope so. The clock is ticking and this needs to happen by early 2020 or it won’t happen at all.

carbonmutant , 1 hour ago link

Are Comey's phones being bugged?

punchasocialist , 43 minutes ago link

Does the DOJ investigate British agents? Serious question.

[Jul 22, 2019] Zionists in the Bush Administration

Jul 22, 2019 | newobserveronline.com

Zionists in the Bush Administration

The IASPS conference study group leader was a Zionist named Richard Perle, who attended as a delegate from the American Enterprise Institute; while another Jewish neocon named Douglas Feith attended as a representative of Feith and Zell Associates.

Both these individuals then emerged as key players in the Bush administration: Perle was Chairman of George Bush's Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee, and Feith became Under Secretary of Defense and the Pentagon's Policy Advisor.

They were joined by a long list of similarly Israel-first Zionists in the Bush administration:

The scene was now set: all they needed was an excuse to maneuver America into destroying Iraq for the benefit of Israel, according to the plan which Perle and Feith had already helped to map out.

[Jul 22, 2019] All Hail Europe's Permanent Ruling Class

Notable quotes:
"... That said, Germany's military readiness directly relates to the invasion threat from Russia Europe actually faces. I.e., ZERO. Washington should take note but of course it won't because there is no money in it for the American Merchants of Death. And the Generals inside the Pentagon just have too much fun fear-mongering about illusory existential enemies. ..."
"... As Politico recently reported, "an investigative committee of the German parliament -- the toughest instrument that lawmakers can use to probe government misdeeds -- is digging into how lucrative contracts from her ministry were awarded to outside consultants without proper oversight ..."
"... Yet another U.S. mirror image. Because that is exactly how inside baseball works in the Pentagon acquisition system. von der Leyen as a European Hack is no worse than the Washington / Pentagon Hacks on the other side of the Atlantic. Note, MIC lifer and Raytheon parasite Mark Esper currently sitting in the Big Seat in the Pentagon. You can be sure that DoD reform is way down on his bucket list. ..."
Jul 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Meet Ursula von der Leyen, the new president-elect of the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union.

Like all those soon to occupy positions of power in the EU, von der Leyen did not run in the recent European elections for the position she is about to hold. She did not participate in the debates in front of various national electorates. But she was chosen -- after the elections -- by the political class in Brussels, ostensibly for her faith in and loyalty to the European superstate, and personally to the German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Since 2013, von der Leyen has been the German defense minister. During that time, a parliamentary report exposed German planes that can't fly and guns that don't shoot. Fewer than a fifth of Germany's helicopters are combat ready. Luftwaffe revealed that most of its 128 Typhoon jets were not ready to leave ground. All of Germany's six submarines were out of commission.

Another report by the Rand Corporation , a think tank, revealed that it would take Germany a month to mobilize in the case of a Russian invasion of the Baltic States. Von der Leyen is very unpopular in the German army , but very popular with the Eurocrats. She's a fervent supporter of a European army and a "United States of Europe" -- the ultimate qualification for being president of the European Commission.

But there is more to the von der Leyen story. As Politico recently reported , "an investigative committee of the German parliament -- the toughest instrument that lawmakers can use to probe government misdeeds -- is digging into how lucrative contracts from her ministry were awarded to outside consultants without proper oversight, and whether a network of informal personal connections facilitated those deals."

The scent of corruption is a common element among those who are to hold key positions in the European Union over the next few years. Josep Borrell, minister of foreign affairs for the socialist government of Spain, was fined 30,000 euros for insider trading. He is expected to hold the foreign policy post in the European Commission.

Christine Lagarde, most recently chief of the IMF, was involved in the case of an arbitration panel that awarded a massive payout to a French tycoon while she was the finance minister of France. A special court for ministerial misconduct found her guilty of "negligence" but "waived any punishment or criminal record, citing her 'international reputation' and role in dealing with 'the international financial crisis.'" A marvelously L'état, C'est Moi form of legal reasoning. Lagarde is expected to be the next president of the European Central Bank.

The common threads of corruption, incompetence, and lack of accountability are what unites a political class that has divorced itself from the concerns of the average European. In the last days before her confirmation, von der Leyen pursued a charm offensive that included a commitment to a "Green New Deal," a continuation of an open borders policy , and a further deepening and enlargement of the European superstate. This included the story of her having offered hospitality to a Syrian immigrant who "now speaks German fluently."

Emmanuel Macron: Trade Wars for Me, But Not for Thee Voters in Europe Just Smashed the Mainstream Establishment

Obviously von der Leyen would never have won the May elections running on an agenda like that. But of course, she never had to run a campaign to win the votes of the peoples of Europe. The campaign that she did run was premised on her having built "an extensive international network in politics and business," as another Politico story put it .

Von der Leyen thrived in the networking atmosphere of World Economic Forum meetings, where she "serves on the organization's board of trustees," Politico noted, adding, "She's also forged close ties to powerful figures outside the world of politics, most notably Bertelsmann, Europe's largest media company, which owns RTL, the Continent's largest commercial broadcaster, book publisher Random House and a stable of magazines."

A senior Green quoted for the article said her fluency in French has helped her establish a rapport with the French political class that is unrivaled in Berlin.

It's clear that von der Leyen's domestic record appears to have had little effect on her election -- what matters is that she is universally liked by the who's who. "What matters most in these circles is the personal connection," said an adviser to the leader of one of the EU's smaller member states.

Those who count and those who are to be ruled are not the same group of people. That seems to be the essence of modern European politics: a political class and ideological cult that masquerades as a competent technocratic elite, despite its long and disastrous history. Von der Leyen's terrible record as defense minister meant nothing. Neither did Lagarde's record as head of the IMF, where, for instance, the Greek debt crisis was transformed into a social catastrophe. The deciding factor was their dedication to something that "those who count" are committed to. Elections are merely a necessary, archaic ritual of legitimization.

Napoleon Linarthatos is a writer based in New York.


Parrhesia 10 hours ago

On Monday 22 July 1940, a major meeting was held at the Reich Economic Ministry in Berlin, under the chairmanship of Minister Walther Funk, to discuss a directive issued by Hermann Göring on 22 June, concerning the organization of a Greater European Economic Area under German leadership. The Germans were well advanced with their plans for a post-war settlement. One of the difficulties of planning lay in the fact that the Führer's aims and decisions were not yet known and the military measures against Britain were not yet concluded.

Plus ça change........

Lars 10 hours ago
What? A techno-managerial clique ruling the rest of us Great Unwashed (see "Deplorables")? It couldn't happen here, could it? It's OK if they went to the right schools, isn't it?
genocidal_maniac 10 hours ago
Too much use if the word disastrous. Disastrous is what Wilhelm II did to the German empire. This is not disastrous, but it is concerning like a rudderless ship.
Salt Lick 7 hours ago
Today's Holy Roman Empire.

Voltaire's comment back then still rings true."It was neither Holy, Roman nor an Empire."

Sid Finster 7 hours ago
Don't be asinine. Russia is not going to invade anything and has no claim on any part of western Europe. The only thing the German military is good for is for sucking up additional budgetary funds.
SteveM 6 hours ago
Another report by the Rand Corporation, a think tank, revealed that it would take Germany a month to mobilize in the case of a Russian invasion of the Baltic States.

For the sake of completeness, the Rand Corporation is actually a marketing arm of the Pentagon fully funded by the U.S. government.

That said, Germany's military readiness directly relates to the invasion threat from Russia Europe actually faces. I.e., ZERO. Washington should take note but of course it won't because there is no money in it for the American Merchants of Death. And the Generals inside the Pentagon just have too much fun fear-mongering about illusory existential enemies.

Of course that does not dismiss the charges of cronyism and corruption associated with Ursula von der Leyen. But re:

But there is more to the von der Leyen story. As Politico recently reported, "an investigative committee of the German parliament -- the toughest instrument that lawmakers can use to probe government misdeeds -- is digging into how lucrative contracts from her ministry were awarded to outside consultants without proper oversight , and whether a network of informal personal connections facilitated those deals."

Yet another U.S. mirror image. Because that is exactly how inside baseball works in the Pentagon acquisition system. von der Leyen as a European Hack is no worse than the Washington / Pentagon Hacks on the other side of the Atlantic. Note, MIC lifer and Raytheon parasite Mark Esper currently sitting in the Big Seat in the Pentagon. You can be sure that DoD reform is way down on his bucket list.

The real story is that taxpayers on both NATO poles are played for chumps by the Power Elites.

[Jul 22, 2019] Someone very kindly posted a link to an article in a San Fran newspaper which reveals the astonishing stupidity of the campaign against the mural which, of course, has nothing, really to do with artistic merit and is all about preserving hypocrisies

Jul 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Jul 22 2019 12:41 utc | 132

Russ,
1/Only last week the House of Representatives passed a motion calling on the Federal Government to investigate the possibility that Lyme Disease arose after a biowarfare experiment led to the accidental release of infected ticks into the wild.

2/ Re the mural. Someone very kindly posted a link to an article in a San Fran newspaper which reveals the astonishing stupidity of the campaign against the mural which, of course, has nothing, really to do with artistic merit and is all about preserving hypocrisies.

The notion that First Nations descendants ought to be protected from depictions of the genocide practised against their race is American Hypocrisy of the first water. Ditto the idea that Black people should not be made to endure reminders that their ancestors (or those who did not rape slaves) were kidnapped and enslaved.

It is amazing that those insisting that the murals have the merit of depicting historical realities, too often swept under carpets, are elderly white bigots is idiotic.
3/

On the subject of American Culture see 2 above- from those pretending that Epstein's involvement in prostitution is inexplicable, to those arguing that Venezuela is being attacked and an attempt to install a white dictatorship mounted in order to bring democracy to the country's poor people, to the ID politicos in San Fran who have been responsible, through the politicians they have supported for racist incarceration policies, decades of bloody war and the lowering of living standards and life expectancy throughout the USA-all is Hypocrisy, lies socially imposed.

[Jul 22, 2019] Us culture as eternal now

Jul 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Jul 22 2019 11:23 utc | 122

Russ @107

Of course America has nothing that could be compared with culture in many other parts of the world. Anything that could provide the present with historical context is erased, bulldozed, or painted over. Even the remaking of "classic" movies is done in part to separate people's sense of the present from America's past. What America has in place of culture is an eternal now , with the past being ephemeral and contingent upon the needs of the narratives of the moment. Iconic American food culture is just ground and pureed mystery protein and carbonated corn syrup water. The consumer doesn't want to know where those come from, and ten minutes after consuming them they have largely forgotten the experience.

Since the Apollo missions are in the news lately I will point out that we should expect an effort in the not too distant future similar to what we are seeing in San Francisco to erase the reality of that part of America's history. After all, the Apollo astronauts were all white men, and that is traumatizing for the feeble-minded neolibs.

But you know, it isn't a bad thing to want to try to develop genuine and historically anchored culture.

[Jul 22, 2019] Latest desperate attempt to trigger a color revolution in Hong Kong

Jul 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Jul 22 2019 11:50 utc | 123

Latest desperate attempt to trigger a color revolution in Hong Kong:

Mob Attack at Hong Kong Train Station Heightens Seething Tensions in City

William Gruff , Jul 22 2019 12:36 utc | 130

Damnit, folks, it is their job to say things that are wrong!

There is being wrong because one is missing some crucial information, or because one is personally invested in a wrong narrative, but then there is being wrong because one is deliberately trying to change a narrative to a false one for duty and profit.

The goings on in Hong Kong are so obviously a retry of the previous color revolution attempt by the evil empire that it can be used as a reliable litmus test for who is carrying water for the US State Department and Atlantic Council.

Herr Ringbone , Jul 22 2019 12:57 utc | 135
gzon @129

Yes, they 'feel encroached upon'. But honestly, their feelings in this matter are delusional, and I mean that they are on the same level of delusion as the beliefs of those involved in the Salem witch trials. Fantastic, community-wide, shared delusion.

It is hard for people to get their heads around the truth, because the narrative universally starts from the assumption that 'China has been interfering', 'China hasn't kept its word', etc.

And why not? It's China, right? It's a communist dictatorship. All those have to be safe assumptions?

Except that they aren't; such assumptions are quite wrong. China has pretty much left Hong Kong alone.

Yes, many Hong Kongers believe that they are being oppressed by China. But the belief is simply and literally delusional. Very badly so.

vk , Jul 22 2019 13:00 utc | 136
@ Posted by: aspnaz | Jul 22 2019 1:51 utc | 90

Your theory fails the empirical test. It's an abstraction akin to the "Sea Peoples" theory about the end of the Late Bronze Age.

Hong Kong, even after receiving 2 million migrants (which should've risen it GDP considerably), begun to stagnate in relation to the Mainland. Since 1997, it's grown on average 30%-50% the Mainland's average annual GDP growth rate (it is now growing at a 3% annual average -- half the Mainland's rate).

In 2017, Shenzhen surpassed Hong Kong in terms of "GDP".

The matter is simple: after the handover (1997), Hongkongers demanded to remain capitalist. The "One country, two systems" deal was a Hongkonger condition to go back to China. At the time, it seemed like a wise decision: China was still a poor country, and there was no signal Deng Xiaoping's reforms would be able to get out of the "middle income trap".

They simply bet on the wrong horse: Chinese socialism demonstrated more dynamism than Soviet socialism and achieved an important breakthrough in the period that ranged from its accession to the WTO in 2001 to the aftermath of the 2008 crisis in 2012 (when, e.g. Brazil -- another country growing at an accelerated pace from 2005 to 2011 thanks to high commodities' prices and was used as a counterexample to Chinese socialism's success -- collapsed).

We can attest this "bet on the wrong horse" theory by simply looking at the protesters' face: most of them very young, probably born after 1997 or too young to remember pre-1997 Hong Kong. They didn't live during the British despotic and authoritarian rule; they waived the colonial flag and called it freedom. They forgot they are already living the British dream: Hong Kong is still capitalist to the bone -- and will be until 2047, as the deal dictates (legal guarantee of deals is a basic principle of freedom, since it's a basic principle of Rule of Law -- so I don't know why the protesters are complaining about it).


@ Posted by: Herr Ringbone | Jul 22 2019 12:15 utc | 126

This "Hongkonger is a nationality" is farce, a modern fabrication by the Western MSM. Hong Kong was never a nation, and never will be a nation. The city proper doesn't even have a source of potable water.

And you don't have to be unicultural to be a country; the same way, having a culture doesn't entitle you to be a country. Culture doesn't equal country. This myth, that states country borders are determined by cultural (specially, linguistic) differentiation is a post-WWI fabrication, when the big imperialist powers had to find an excuse to partition the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires. Nobody outside Europe (and the Japanese) believes that.

In fact, China officially is a multi-ethnic nation, as it reiterated in a recent white paper about the Uighur quesiton.

Herr Ringbone , Jul 22 2019 13:18 utc | 140
Posted by: vk | Jul 22 2019 13:00 utc | 137

You are right. Hong Kongers effectively bet on the wrong horse. I mean, you can't really blame them. Even Deng didn't realize how quickly China would grow.

Personally I think that Hong Kongers are having a very hard time, psychologically, adjusting to the fact that Mainland Chinese are catching up or surpassing them in terms of wealth. In the 1990s, they felt superior to other Chinese, and were secure in this feeling.

That's all finished now.

In fact, given that this current colour revolution falls flat and we get back to normal in a couple of months, I predict that Hong Kongers themselves will beg for One Country, Two Systems to be ended early in about fifteen years' time. By then, it will be clear to anyone who isn't brain dead that 1C2S is harming the Hong Kong economy by preventing full integration with China, and no one in HK will support it any more.

You'll see Chinese flags being waved enthusiastically all over the place, probably by a lot of 37-year-olds who were once chucking bricks at the cops and yelling for 'independence' in 2019.

People are like that.

Jonathan , Jul 22 2019 15:23 utc | 157
@ Posted by: Herr Ringbone | Jul 22 2019 13:18 utc | 140

The lack of any productive industry is the fundamental economic problem with HK since 1997, and it's prior prosperity based on using itself as a main trade and investment gateway into the Mainland is a short and one-time affair of the unique geopolitics of that era. HKers who believe that privilege will last forever was naive to say the least, even when back in 97.

Contrast with Singapore that insists on sustaining a sizable manufacturing base to the point it's considered a top economic priority, albeit one where much of it is being owned by foreign capital.

Nemesiscalling , Jul 22 2019 16:18 utc | 167
Some posters are arguing that Hong Kongers are deluding themselves and that they should know better and stop fighting assimilation into the Chinese system.

Talk about arrogance. Hey, Venezuelans should stop fighting the U.S. And kiss the ring! I know what's good for them.

A good analogy for asserting our will over Hong Kong would be like trying to change the nature of lemmings because we know what's best for them. Sure they commit ritualistic suicide, but it is still their right and within their nature to do so.

Everything else equates to meddling and this is the stuff of absolute power and empire. A far cry indeed from the ideals that most here espouse in every other circumstance. I am not buying for a second that Hong Kongers don't have legitimate grievances with the concept of being absorbed into China and that they are indeed airing them out for the world to see.

*Applause*

[Jul 22, 2019] In Hong Kong, what we already suspected is now pretty much confirmed: there was an attempt of a color revolution in the city

Jul 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Jul 21 2019 16:51 utc | 19

In Hong Kong, what we already suspected is now pretty much confirmed: there was an attempt of a color revolution in the city:

Two of three men arrested over Hong Kong's biggest bomb plot, discovered on eve of major anti-government protest, are members of pro-independence groups

The process was textbook hybrid warfare: first, they tried to do "mass peaceful protests" in order to seek a violent police response (preferably, with some dead) so as to trigger a chain reaction to topple the democratically elected government. The Chinese are not stupid and ordered the police to not act violently. Then, they tried to storm the Legco in order to provoke a violent response: the police was against smart, and used the "scorched earth" tactic: the building was left empty and unprotected, so all that was left to the protesters was to vandalize the building (which played against their image); the fact that some blowhards waived the colonial flag also didn't help their image (good image is a conditio sine qua non for a color revolution).

Carrie Lam then outsmarted the protesters further by killing the bill (which is not essential to Mainland governance of Hong Kong either way). That further delegitimized the continuation of the protests. We can even speculate here if this bill wasn't a bait used to test the waters in Hong Kong.

As a last, desperate attempt by the protesters, they tried to besiege the police hq in order to try to induce a massacre. That obviously didn't work.

And then, this came to light:

Hong Kong protesters 'went to Taiwan in June' to explore options for asylum

Those "protesters" are likely the heads of the color revolution attempt, almost surely on the pockets of some NGO linked to Washington. They are now planning a fall back in order to regroup. Taiwan is using this to consolidate itself even more as liberal Festung in China.

As I stated here before, a color revolution only works against a strong government when it has the backup of the unconventional warfare (UW). Hong Kong is very susceptible to a color revolution, but is inviable as an unconventional warfare theater. That's because it doesn't have any sources of potable water -- which comes from the New Territories (the flatlands directly above the city-peninsula).

Well, it seems the color revolutionaires are very aware of this fact:

Police use tear gas against protesters in heart of city, violence erupts in New Territories

According to "Two masked male protesters", there's new reivindication in the agenda: they want the dissolution of the government and new elections, to be decided by "popular vote" (i.e. whoever is in the pockets of Washington).

vk , Jul 21 2019 17:10 utc | 21

Now even the Chinese government recognize the existence of the "Clash of Civilizations" doctrine in the USA:

Op-Ed: Promulgating the myth of "clash of civilizations" is stupid and dangerous

[Jul 20, 2019] The European Union's New Executive Kowtows to the Left

Jul 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Ursula von der Leyen arrives clouded in scandal and ready to implement radical economic policies that will stifle growth.

like Jean-Claude Juncker, she arrives in Brussels with a record of negligence in her country of origin. Whereas Juncker was accused of failing in his duty to inform the Luxembourg Parliament of illegal wiretapping by the intelligence service, von der Leyen was denounced for mismanagement. In October 2018, when she was still Germany's minister of defense, she admitted that her department had made mistakes in awarding contracts to external consultants, amounting to several hundred million euros.

In 2012, Josep Borrell, former president of the European Parliament and former minister in various Spanish socialist governments, was forced to resign from his position as president of the European University Institute (UIE) following allegations of conflicts of interest. At that time, he was receiving €300,000 as a member of the board of directors of the Spanish sustainable energy company Abengoa, while at the same time promoting biofuels through the institute.

Nevertheless, alongside von der Leyen, Borrell is about to be confirmed as the new head of EU diplomacy. Another perfect candidate.

The scandal in Berlin is not the only reason the vote for Von der Leyen was narrow. It was also that socialists and environmentalists weren't given sufficient trade-offs (in their eyes). The European Union is all about distributing the large number of positions and policy priorities between the involved parties, and in this case, the left felt shafted.

The Nationalists Who Could Take Over the European Union Stopped Clocks: The European Union Gets War With Iran Exactly Right

A source from the PiS party (the ruling party in Poland) told journalist Oskar Górzyński of the media company Wirtualna Polska that it was a call from Chancellor Angela Merkel that tipped some Polish MEPs over. What did Mrs. Merkel promise them? More agricultural subsidies? The abandonment of the Article 7 sanction procedure against judicial reforms in Poland? Only Merkel knows that and she won't tell.

Bill Wirtz comments on European politics and policy in English, French, and German. His work has appeared in Newsweek, the Washington Examiner, CityAM, Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Die Welt.

[Jul 20, 2019] Loyalty to the Nation All the Time, Loyalty to the Government When it Deserves It.

Jul 20, 2019 | conversableeconomist.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 4, 2019 "Loyalty to the Nation All the Time, Loyalty to the Government When it Deserves It." Mark Twain wrote an essay back in 1905 called "The Czar's Soliloquy" ( North American Review , Vol. 180.No. DLXXX). The essay was triggered by a sentence in the London Times , reporting: "After the Czar's morning bath it is his habit to meditate an hour before dressing himself." Twain imagined that the Czar, standing naked in front of a mirror, was for a few moments honest with himself about the injustices and cruelties that he had allowed and perpetrated, and hoped for a better future. Imagining the Czar's words to himself, Twain wrote:

There are twenty-five million families in Russia. There is a man-child at every mother's knee. If these were twenty-five million patriotic mothers, they would teach these man-children daily, saying : "Remember this, take it to heart, live by it, die for it if necessary: that our patriotism is medieval, outworn, obsolete; that the modern patriotism, the true patriotism, the only rational patriotism, is loyalty to the Nation all the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it.
On the Fourth of July in particular, it makes me sad to run into people whose patriotism ebbs and flows according to what political party occupies the White House. There ought to be a large and real line between support of whoever who is in government at a particular time, and a broader patriotism. A country is a mixture of people, ideals, geography, history, cultures, and more. It should be possible to love your country, whether your feelings about the government are positive, negative, neutral, ambivalent, or don't-give-a-damn.

[Jul 20, 2019] Western Interests Aim To Flummox Russia

Notable quotes:
"... One pressure on Putin comes from the Atlanticist Integrationists who have a material stake in their connections to the West and who want Russia to be integrated into the Western world. ..."
"... We agree with President Putin that the sanctions are in fact a benefit to Russia as they have moved Russia in self-sufficient directions and toward developing relationships with China and Asia. ..."
"... It is a self-serving Western myth that Russia needs foreign loans. This myth is enshrined in neoliberal economics, which is a device for Western exploitation and control of other countries. Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists. ..."
"... Neoliberals argue that Russia needs privatization in order to cover its budget deficit. Russia's government debt is only 17 percent of Russian GDP. According to official measures, US federal debt is 104 percent of GDP, 6.1 times higher than in Russia. If US federal debt is measured in real corrected terms, US federal debt is 185 percent of US GDP. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/07/08/deteriorating-economic-outlook/ ..."
"... Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists. ..."
"... Most of Russia's economic block has to be literally purged from their sinecures, some, indeed, have to be "re-educated" near Magadan or Tyumen, or Saransk. Too bad, two of these places are actually not too bad. Others deserved to be executed. Too bad this jackass Gaidar (actually no blood relation to Arkady whatsoever) died before he could be tried for crimes against humanity and genocide. Albeit, some say he died because of his consciousness couldn't take the burden. Looking at his swine face I, somehow, doubt it. ..."
"... This is not a US vs Russia issue. The real conflict is ... Globalism vs Russian nationalism and American nationalism. But since Jews control the media, they've spread the impression that it's about US vs Russia. ..."
"... Trump is an ultra-zionist for Sheldon Adelson and prolongs & creates wars for the Goldman banking crimesyndicat. ..."
"... Voltaire once said, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize." ..."
"... You write about Russia but have not done your homework. Russia is very dependent on Western technology and its entire high-tech industry depends on the import of Western machinery. Without such machinery many Russian factories, including military ones, would stall. Very important oil industry is particularly vulnerable. ..."
Mar 03, 2017 | www.unz.com
An article by Robert Berke in oilprice.com, which describes itself as "The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News," illustrates how interest groups control outcomes by how they shape policy choices.

Berke's article reveals how the US intends to maintain and extend its hegemony by breaking up the alliance between Russia, Iran, and China, and by oil privatizations that result in countries losing control over their sovereignty to private oil companies that work closely with the US government. As Trump has neutered his presidency by gratuitously accepting Gen. Flynn's resignation as National Security Advisor, this scheme is likely to be Trump's approach to "better relations" with Russia.

Berke reports that Henry Kissinger has sold President Trump on a scheme to use the removal of Russian sanctions to pry President Putin away from the Russian alliance with Iran and China. Should Putin fall for such a scheme, it would be a fatal strategic blunder from which Russia could not recover. Yet, Putin will be pressured to make this blunder.

One pressure on Putin comes from the Atlanticist Integrationists who have a material stake in their connections to the West and who want Russia to be integrated into the Western world. Another pressure comes from the affront that sanctions represent to Russians. Removing this insult has become important to Russians even though the sanctions do Russia no material harm.

We agree with President Putin that the sanctions are in fact a benefit to Russia as they have moved Russia in self-sufficient directions and toward developing relationships with China and Asia. Moreover, the West with its hegemonic impulses uses economic relationships for control purposes. Trade with China and Asia does not pose the same threat to Russian independence.

Berke says that part of the deal being offered to Putin is "increased access to the huge European energy market, restored western financial credit, access to Western technology, and a seat at the global decision-making table, all of which Russia badly needs and wants." Sweetening the honey trap is official recognization of "Crimea as part of Russia."

Russia might want all of this, but it is nonsense that Russia needs any of it.

Crimea is part of Russia, as it has been for 300 years, and no one can do anything about it. What would it mean if Mexico did not recognize that Texas and California were part of the US? Nothing.

Europe has scant alternatives to Russian energy. Russia does not need Western technology. Indeed, its military technology is superior to that in the West. And Russia most certainly does not need Western loans. Indeed, it would be an act of insanity to accept them.

It is a self-serving Western myth that Russia needs foreign loans. This myth is enshrined in neoliberal economics, which is a device for Western exploitation and control of other countries. Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists.

The Russian central bank has convinced the Russian government that it would be inflationary to finance Russian development projects with the issuance of central bank credit. Foreign loans are essential, claims the central bank.

Someone needs to teach the Russian central bank basic economics before Russia is turned into another Western vassal. Here is the lesson: When central bank credit is used to finance development projects, the supply of rubles increases but so does output from the projects. Thus, goods and services rise with the supply of rubles. When Russia borrows foreign currencies from abroad, the money supply also increases, but so does the foreign debt. Russia does not spend the foreign currencies on the project but puts them into its foreign exchange reserves. The central bank issues the same amount of rubles to pay the project's bills as it would in the absence of the foreign loan. All the foreign loan does is to present Russia with an interest payment to a foreign creditor.

Foreign capital is not important to countries such as Russia and China. Both countries are perfectly capable of financing their own development. Indeed, China is the world's largest creditor nation. Foreign loans are only important to countries that lack the internal resources for development and have to purchase the business know-how, techlology, and resources abroad with foreign currencies that their exports are insufficient to bring in.

This is not the case with Russia, which has large endowments of resources and a trade surplus. China's development was given a boost by US corporations that moved their production for the US market offshore in order to pocket the difference in labor and regulatory costs.

Neoliberals argue that Russia needs privatization in order to cover its budget deficit. Russia's government debt is only 17 percent of Russian GDP. According to official measures, US federal debt is 104 percent of GDP, 6.1 times higher than in Russia. If US federal debt is measured in real corrected terms, US federal debt is 185 percent of US GDP. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/07/08/deteriorating-economic-outlook/

Clearly, if the massive debt of the US government is not a problem, the tiny debt of Russia is not a problem.

Berke's article is part of the effort to scam Russia by convincing the Russian government that its prosperity depends on unfavorable deals with the West. As Russia's neoliberal economists believe this, the scam has a chance of success.

Another delusion affecting the Russian government is the belief that privatization brings in capital. This delusion caused the Russian government to turn over 20 percent of its oil company to foreign ownership. The only thing Russia achieved by this strategic blunder was to deliver 20 percent of its oil profits into foreign hands. For a one-time payment, Russia gave away 20 percent of its oil profits in perpetuity.

To repeat outselves, the greatest threat that Russia faces is not sanctions but the incompetence of its neoliberal economists who have been throughly brainwashed to serve US interests.

Mao Cheng Ji , February 14, 2017 at 6:55 pm GMT \n

When Russia borrows foreign currencies from abroad, the money supply also increases, but so does the foreign debt. Russia does not spend the foreign currencies on the project but puts them into its foreign exchange reserves. The central bank issues the same amount of rubles to pay the project's bills as it would in the absence of the foreign loan. All the foreign loan does is to present Russia with an interest payment to a foreign creditor.

Yes, correct. But this is an IMF rule, and Russia is an IMF member. To control its monetary policy it would have to get out.

Lyttenburgh , February 14, 2017 at 6:57 pm GMT \n

Another pressure comes from the affront that sanctions represent to Russians. Removing this insult has become important to Russians even though the sanctions do Russia no material harm.

Oh dear, neolibs at their "finest"!

This "theory" is simply not true. If anything, Russians don't want the sanctions to be lifted, because this will also force us to scrap our counter-sanctions against the EU. The agro-business in Russia had been expanding by leaps and bounds for the last two years. This persistent myth that "the Russians" (who exactly, I wonder – 2-3% of the pro-Western urbanites in Moscow and St. Pete?) are desperate to have the sanctons lifted is a self-deception of the West, who IS desparate of the fact that the sanctions didn't work.

Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists.

Yes! Ulyukayev is, probably, feeling lonely in his prison. I say – why not send Chubais, Siluanov and Nabiulina to cheer him up?

WorkingClass , February 14, 2017 at 7:59 pm GMT \n

Berke reports that Henry Kissinger has sold President Trump on a scheme to use the removal of Russian sanctions to pry President Putin away from the Russian alliance with Iran and China.

Kissinger, like Dick Cheney or George Soros, will probably never be completely dead.

SmoothieX12 , Website February 14, 2017 at 8:56 pm GMT \n
@WorkingClass
Berke reports that Henry Kissinger has sold President Trump on a scheme to use the removal of Russian sanctions to pry President Putin away from the Russian alliance with Iran and China.
Kissinger, like Dick Cheney or George Soros, will probably never be completely dead.

LOL! True. You forgot McCain, though.

SmoothieX12 , Website February 14, 2017 at 9:04 pm GMT \n
100 Words @Lyttenburgh
Another pressure comes from the affront that sanctions represent to Russians. Removing this insult has become important to Russians even though the sanctions do Russia no material harm.
Oh dear, neolibs at their "finest"! This "theory" is simply not true. If anything, Russians don't want the sanctions to be lifted, because this will also force us to scrap our counter-sanctions against the EU. The agro-business in Russia had been expanding by leaps and bounds for the last two years. This persistent myth that "the Russians" (who exactly, I wonder - 2-3% of the pro-Western urbanites in Moscow and St. Pete?) are desperate to have the sanctons lifted is a self-deception of the West, who IS desparate of the fact that the sanctions didn't work.
Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists.
Yes! Ulyukayev is, probably, feeling lonely in his prison. I say - why not send Chubais, Siluanov and Nabiulina to cheer him up? ;)

I say – why not send Chubais, Siluanov and Nabiulina to cheer him up?

Most of Russia's economic block has to be literally purged from their sinecures, some, indeed, have to be "re-educated" near Magadan or Tyumen, or Saransk. Too bad, two of these places are actually not too bad. Others deserved to be executed. Too bad this jackass Gaidar (actually no blood relation to Arkady whatsoever) died before he could be tried for crimes against humanity and genocide. Albeit, some say he died because of his consciousness couldn't take the burden. Looking at his swine face I, somehow, doubt it.

Priss Factor , February 14, 2017 at 10:38 pm GMT \n
100 Words

A silver-lining to this.

If the US continues to antagonize Russia, Russia will have to grow even more independent, nationalist, and sovereign. At any rate, this issue cannot be addressed until we face that the fact that globalism is essentially Jewish Supremacism that fears gentile nationalism as a barrier to its penetration and domination.

This is not a US vs Russia issue. The real conflict is ... Globalism vs Russian nationalism and American nationalism. But since Jews control the media, they've spread the impression that it's about US vs Russia.

Same thing with this crap about 'white privilege'. It is a misleading concept to fool Americans into thinking that the main conflict is between 'privileged whites' and 'people of color'. It is really to hide the fact that Jewish power and privilege really rules the US. It is a means to hoodwink people from noticing that the real divide is between Jews and Gentiles, not between 'privileged whites' and 'non-white victims'. After all, too many whites lack privilege, and too many non-whites do very well in America.

Seamus Padraig , February 14, 2017 at 11:29 pm GMT \n
@SmoothieX12
I say – why not send Chubais, Siluanov and Nabiulina to cheer him up?

Most of Russia's economic block has to be literally purged from their sinecures, some, indeed, have to be "re-educated" near Magadan or Tyumen, or Saransk. Too bad, two of these places are actually not too bad. Others deserved to be executed. Too bad this jackass Gaidar (actually no blood relation to Arkady whatsoever) died before he could be tried for crimes against humanity and genocide. Albeit, some say he died because of his consciousness couldn't take the burden. Looking at his swine face I, somehow, doubt it.

I'm generally a big fan and admirer of Putin, but this is definitely one criticism of him that I have a lot of sympathy for. It is long past time for Putin to purge the neoliberals from the Kremlin and nationalize the Russian Central Bank. I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

Seamus Padraig , February 14, 2017 at 11:34 pm GMT \n

Does PCR really think that Putin is stupid enough to fall for Kissinger's hair-brained scheme? I mean, give Putin a little bit of credit. He has so far completely outmaneuvered Washington on virtually ever subject. I'm sure he's clever enough to see through such a crude divide-and-rule strategy.

anonymous , February 15, 2017 at 4:17 am GMT

The Russians can't be flummoxed, they aren't children. Russia and China border each other so they have a natural mutual interest in having their east-west areas be stable and safe, particularly when the US threatens both of them. This geography isn't going to change. Abandoning clients such as Syria and Iran would irreversibly damage the Russian brand as being unreliable therefore they'd find it impossible to attract any others in the future. They know this so it's unlikely they would be so rash as to snap at any bait dangled in front of them. And, as pointed out, the bait really isn't all that irresistible. It's always best to negotiate from a position of strength and they realize that. American policy deep thinkers are often fantasists who bank upon their chess opponents making hoped-for predictable moves. That doesn't happen in real life.

SmoothieX12 , Website February 15, 2017 at 2:29 pm GMT \n
@Seamus Padraig

I'm generally a big fan and admirer of Putin, but this is definitely one criticism of him that I have a lot of sympathy for. It is long past time for Putin to purge the neoliberals from the Kremlin and nationalize the Russian Central Bank. I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

Partially, because Putin himself is an economic liberal and, to a degree, monetarist, albeit less rigid than his economic block. The good choices he made often were opposite to his views. As he himself admitted that Russia's geopolitical vector changed with NATO's aggression against Yugoslavia–a strengthening of Russia has become an imperative. This comeback was impossible within the largely "Western" monetarist economic model. Russia's comeback happened not thanks but despite Putin's economic views, Putin adjusted his views in the process, his economic block didn't. But many of them still remain his friends, despite the fact that many of them are de facto fifth column and work against Russia, intentionally and other wise. Eventually Putin will be forced to get down from his fence and take the position of industrialists and siloviki. Putin's present for Medvedev's birthday was a good hint on where he is standing economically today and I am beginning to like that but still–I personally am not convinced yet. We'll see. In many respects Putin was lucky and specifically because of the namely Soviet military and industry captains still being around–people who, unlike Putin, knew exactly what constituted Russia's strength. Enough to mention late Evgeny Primakov. Let's not forget that despite Putin's meteoric rise through the top levels of Russia's state bureaucracy, including his tenure as a Director of FSB, Putin's background is not really military-industrial. He is a lawyer, even if uniformed (KGB) part of his career. I know for a fact that initially (early 2000s) he was overwhelmed with the complexity of Russia's military and industry. Enough to mention his creature Serdyukov who almost destroyed Command and Control structure of Russia's Armed Forces and main ideologue behind Russia's military "reform", late Vitaly Shlykov who might have been a great GRU spy (and economist by trade) but who never served a day in combat units. Thankfully, the "reforms" have been stopped and Russian Armed Forces are still dealing with the consequences. This whole clusterfvck was of Putin's own creation–hardly a good record on his resume. Hopefully, he learned.

Vlad , February 17, 2017 at 8:44 am GMT \n
@Seamus Padraig

I'm generally a big fan and admirer of Putin, but this is definitely one criticism of him that I have a lot of sympathy for. It is long past time for Putin to purge the neoliberals from the Kremlin and nationalize the Russian Central Bank. I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

He has not done it already because he just cannot let go of his dream to have it as he did in 2003, when Russia Germany and France together blocked legality of US war in Iraq. Putin still hopes for a good working relationship with major West European powers. Italy France and even Germany.

He still hopes to draw them away from the US. However the obvious gains from Import substitution campaign make it apparent that Russia does benefit from sanctions, that Russia can get anything it wants in technology from the East rather than the West. So the break with Western orientation is in the making. Hopefully.

annamaria , February 17, 2017 at 3:50 pm GMT \n

You forgot to mention the "moderate" jihadis, including the operatives from NATO, Israel, and US. (It seems that the Ukrainian "patriots" that have been bombing the civilians in East Ukraine, also include special "patriots" from the same unholy trinity: https://www.roguemoney.net/stories/2016/12/6/there-are-troops-jack-us-army-donbass ). There has been also a certain asymmetry in means: look at the map for the number and location of the US/NATO military bases. At least we can see that RF has been trying to avoid the hot phase of WWIII. http://russia-insider.com/sites/insider/files/NATO-vs-Russia640.jpg

annamaria , February 17, 2017 at 4:11 pm GMT \n
200 Words @Priss Factor A silver-lining to this.

If the US continues to antagonize Russia, Russia will have to grow even more independent, nationalist, and sovereign.

At any rate, this issue cannot be addressed until we face that the fact that globalism is essentially Jewish Supremacism that fears gentile nationalism as a barrier to its penetration and domination.

This is not a US vs Russia issue. The real conflict is Jewish Globalism vs Russian nationalism and American nationalism. But since Jews control the media, they've spread the impression that it's about US vs Russia.

Same thing with this crap about 'white privilege'. It is a misleading concept to fool Americans into thinking that the main conflict is between 'privileged whites' and 'people of color'. It is really to hide the fact that Jewish power and privilege really rules the US. It is a means to hoodwink people from noticing that the real divide is between Jews and Gentiles, not between 'privileged whites' and 'non-white victims'. After all, too many whites lack privilege, and too many non-whites do very well in America.

On the power and privilege that really rule the US:
"Sanctions – economic sanctions, as most of them are, can only stand and 'succeed', as long as countries, who oppose Washington's dictate remain bound into the western, dollar-based, fraudulent monetary scheme. The system is entirely privatized by a small Zionist-led elite. FED, Wall Street, Bank for International Settlement (BIS), are all private institutions, largely controlled by the Rothschild, Rockefeller, Morgan et al clans. They are also supported by the Breton Woods Organizations, IMF and World Bank, conveniently created under the Charter of the UN.
Few progressive economists understand how this debt-based pyramid scam is manipulating the entire western economic system. When in a just world, it should be just the contrary, the economy that shapes, designs and decides the functioning of the monetary system and policy.
Even Russia, with Atlantists still largely commanding the central bank and much of the financial system, isn't fully detached from the dollar dominion – yet."

http://thesaker.is/venezuela-washingtons-latest-defamation-to-bring-nato-to-south-america/

Anon , February 17, 2017 at 4:55 pm GMT \n
100 Words

"I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this (nationalize the "central bank) already".

I read about a rumor a few years ago that Putin has been warned that nationalizing the now private Russian central bank will bring absolutely dire consequences to both him and Russia. It is simply a step he cannot take.

How dire are the potential consequences? Consider that the refusal of the American government to reauthorize the private central bank in the US brought about the War of 1812. The Americans learned their lesson and quickly reauthorized the private bank after the war had ended.

Numerous attempts were made to assassinate President Andrew Jacksons specifically because of his refusal to reauthorize the private central bank.

JFK anyone?

Agent76 , February 17, 2017 at 6:07 pm GMT \n
100 Words

Here it is in audio form so you can just relax and just listen at your leisure.

*ALL WARS ARE BANKERS' WARS* By Michael Rivero https://youtu.be/WN0Y3HRiuxo

I know many people have a great deal of difficulty comprehending just how many wars are started for no other purpose than to force private central banks onto nations, so let me share a few examples, so that you understand why the US Government is mired in so many wars against so many foreign nations. There is ample precedent for this.

Priss Factor , February 17, 2017 at 7:31 pm GMT \n
1,000 Words

Here is proof that there is no real Leftist power anymore.

Voltaire once said, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

If the Left really rules America, how come it is fair game to criticize, condemn, mock, and vilify Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Bakunin, Emma Goldman & anarchists, Castro, Che(even though he is revered by many, one's career isn't damaged by attacking him), Tito, Ceucescu, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Gramsci, Eurgene Debs, Pete Seeger, Abbie Hoffman, Bill Ayers, and etc.

You can say whatever you want about such people. Some will agree, some will disagree, but you will not be fired, blacklisted, or destroyed.

If the Left really rules, why would this be?

Now, what would happen if you name the Jewish Capitalists as the real holders of power?
What would happen if you name the Jewish oligarchic corporatists who control most of media?
What would happen if you said Jews are prominent in the vice industry of gambling?
What would happen if you named the Jewish capitalists in music industry that made so much money by spreading garbage?
What would happen if you said Jewish warhawks were largely responsible for the disasters in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine?
And what would happen if you were question the MLK mythology and cult?
What would happen if you were to make fun of homos and trannies?
Now, keep in mind that blacks and homos are favored by Jews as their main allies.
(Some say the US is not a pro-minority nation, but it's still permissible to criticize, impugn, and vilify Chinese, Iranians, Muslims, Mexicans, Hindus, and etc. Trump was hard on China, Iran, Muslims, and Mexicans, and he got some flak over it but not enough to destroy him. Now, imagine what would have happened if he'd said such things about blacks, Africa, homos, Jews, and Israel? American politics isn't necessarily pro-minority. If it is, it should favor Palestinian-Americans just as much as Jewish-Americans. Actually, since there are fewer Palestinian-Americans than Jewish-Americans, the US, being pro-minority, should favor Palestinians over Jews in America. In reality, it is AIPAC that draws all the politicians. America is about Pro-Power, and since Jews have the Power and since Jews are a minority, it creates the false impression that the US is a minority-supremacist nation. But WHICH minority? Jews would like for us think that all minorities are represented equally in the US, but do Eskimos, Hawaiians, Guatemalans, Vietnamese, and etc. have the kind of power & protection that the Jewish minority has? Do we see politicians and powerbrokers flock to such minorities for funds and favors?)

So, what does it about the real power in America? So many 'conservatives' say the Left controls America. But in fact, an American can badmouth all true bonafide leftist leaders and thinkers(everyone from Lenin to Sartre). However, if an American were to badmouth Sheldon Adelson as a sick demented Zionist capitalist oligarch who wants to nuke Iran, he would be blacklisted by the most of the media. (If one must criticize Adelson, it has to be in generic terms of him a top donor to the likes of Romney. One mustn't discuss his zealous and maniacal views rooted in Zionist-supremacism. You can criticize his money but not the mentality that determines the use of that money.) Isn't it rather amusing how the so-called Liberals denounce the GOP for being 'extreme' but overlook the main reason for such extremism? It's because the GOP relies on Zionist lunatics like Adelson who thinks Iran should be nuked to be taught a lesson. Even Liberal Media overlook this fact. Also, it's interesting that the Liberal Media are more outraged by Trump's peace offer to Russia than Trump's hawkish rhetoric toward Iran. I thought Liberals were the Doves.

We know why politics and media work like this. It's not about 'left' vs 'right' or 'liberal' vs 'conservative'. It is really about Jewish Globalist Dominance. Jews, neocon 'right' or globo-'left', hate Russia because its brand of white gentile nationalism is an obstacle to Jewish supremacist domination. Now, Current Russia is nice to Jews, and Jews can make all the money they want. But that isn't enough for Jews. Jews want total control of media, government, narrative, everything. If Jews say Russia must have homo parades and 'gay marriage', Russia better bend over because its saying NO means that it is defiant to the Jewish supremacist agenda of using homomania as proxy to undermine and destroy all gentile nationalism rooted in identity and moral righteousness.
Russia doesn't allow that, and that is what pisses off Jews. For Jews, the New Antisemitism is defined as denying them the supremacist 'right' to control other nations. Classic antisemitism used to mean denying Jews equal rights under the law. The New Antisemitism means Jews are denied the right to gain dominance over others and dictate terms.
So, that is why Jews hate any idea of good relations with Russia. But Jews don't mind Trump's irresponsible anti-Iran rhetoric since it serves Zionist interest. So, if Trump were to say, "We shouldn't go to war with Russia; we should be friends" and "We should get ready to bomb, destroy, and even nuke Iran", the 'liberal' media would be more alarmed by the Peace-with-Russia statement. Which groups controls the media? 'Liberals', really? Do Muslim 'liberals' agree with Jewish 'liberals'?

Anyway, we need to do away with the fiction that Left rules anything. They don't. We have Jewish Supremacist rule hiding behind the label of the 'Left'. But the US is a nation where it's totally permissible to attack real leftist ideas and leaders but suicidal if anyone dares to discuss the power of super-capitalist Jewish oligarchs. Some 'leftism'!

We need to discuss the power of the Glob.

annamaria , February 17, 2017 at 9:42 pm GMT \n
300 Words @Quartermaster Trump has not been neutered. Buchanan has the right on this and Flynn's actions.

Sorry, but Crimea is Ukraine. Russia is in serious economic decline and is rapidly burning through its reserves. Putin is almost down to the welfare fund from which pensions are paid, and only about a third of pensions are being paid now.

If Sanctions are of benefit to Russia, then the sanctions against Imperial Japan were just ducky and no war was fought.

Roberts is the next best thing to insane.

This is rich from a Ukrainian nationalist ruled by Groysman/Kagans.
First, figure out who is your saint, a collaborationist Bandera (Babiy Yar and such) or a triple-sitizenship Kolomojski (auto-da-fe of civilians in Odessa). If you still want to bring Holodomor to a discussion, then you need to be reminded that 80% of Ukrainian Cheka at that time were Jewish. If you still think that Russians are the root of all evil, then try to ask the US for more money for pensions, education, and healthcare – instead of weaponry. Here are the glorious results of the US-approved governance from Kiev: http://gnnliberia.com/2017/02/17/liberia-ahead-ukraine-index-economic-freedom-2017/ "Liberia, Chad, Afghanistan, Sudan and Angola are ahead of Ukraine. All these countries are in the group of repressed economies (49.9-40 scores). Ukraine's economy has contracted deeply and remains very fragile."

Here are your relationships with your neighbors on the other side – Poland and Romania:
"The right-winged conservative orientation of Warsaw makes it remember old Polish-Ukrainian arguments and scores, and claim its rights on the historically Polish lands of Western Ukraine" http://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/01/17/poland-will-begin-dividing-ukraine/
" the "Assembly of Bukovina Romanians" has recently applied to Petro Poroshenko demanding a territorial autonomy to the Chernivtsi region densely populated by Romanians. The "Assembly" motivated its demand with the Ukrainian president's abovementioned statement urging territorial autonomy for the Crimean Tatars." https://eadaily.com/en/news/2016/06/30/what-is-behind-romanias-activity-in-ukraine
And please read some history books about Crimea. Or at least Wikipedia:
"In 1783, Crimea was annexed by the Russian Empire. In 1954, the Crimean Oblast was transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic by Nikita Khrushchev (a Soviet dictator). In 2014, a 96.77 percent of Crimeans voted for integration of the region into the Russian Federation with an 83.1 percent voter turnout." You see, the Crimeans do not like Nuland-Kagan and Pravyj Sector. Do you know why?

Astuteobservor II , February 17, 2017 at 9:56 pm GMT \n
100 Words @Seamus Padraig Does PCR really think that Putin is stupid enough to fall for Kissinger's hair-brained scheme? I mean, give Putin a little bit of credit. He has so far completely outmaneuvered Washington on virtually ever subject. I'm sure he's clever enough to see through such a crude divide-and-rule strategy.

well it depends. if putin is just out for himself, I can see him getting in bed with kissinger and co. if he is about russia, he would not. that is how I see it. it isn't about if putin is smart or stupid. just a choice and where his royalty lies.

Lyttenburgh , February 17, 2017 at 9:58 pm GMT \n
100 Words @Quartermaster Trump has not been neutered. Buchanan has the right on this and Flynn's actions.

Sorry, but Crimea is Ukraine. Russia is in serious economic decline and is rapidly burning through its reserves. Putin is almost down to the welfare fund from which pensions are paid, and only about a third of pensions are being paid now.

If Sanctions are of benefit to Russia, then the sanctions against Imperial Japan were just ducky and no war was fought.

Roberts is the next best thing to insane.

Sorry, but Crimea is Ukraine.

How so? #Krymnash

Russia is in serious economic decline and is rapidly burning through its reserves.

If by "decline" you mean "expects this year a modest growth as opposed to previous years" then you might be right.

I've been reading about Russia's imminent collapse and the annihilation of the economy since forever. Some no-names like you (or some Big Names with agenda) had been predicting it every year. Still didn't happen.

Putin is almost down to the welfare fund from which pensions are paid, and only about a third of pensions are being paid now.

Can I see a source for that?

If Sanctions are of benefit to Russia, then the sanctions against Imperial Japan were just ducky and no war was fought.

False equivalence.

P.S. Hey, Quart – how is Bezviz? Also – are you not cold here? Or are you one of the most racally pure Ukrs, currently residing in Ontario province (Canada), from whence you teach your less lucky raguls in Nizalezhnaya how to be more racially pure? Well, SUGS to be you!

bluedog , February 17, 2017 at 10:03 pm GMT \n
@Quartermaster Trump has not been neutered. Buchanan has the right on this and Flynn's actions.

Sorry, but Crimea is Ukraine. Russia is in serious economic decline and is rapidly burning through its reserves. Putin is almost down to the welfare fund from which pensions are paid, and only about a third of pensions are being paid now.

If Sanctions are of benefit to Russia, then the sanctions against Imperial Japan were just ducky and no war was fought.

Roberts is the next best thing to insane.

Do you have any links to verify this that Russia is down to bedrock,from everything I read and have read Russia's do pretty damn good, or is this just some more of your endless antiRussian propaganda,,

Philip Owen , February 17, 2017 at 10:54 pm GMT \n

The US needed huge amounts of British and French capital to develop. Russia has the same requirement otherwise it will be another Argentina.

annamaria , February 17, 2017 at 11:00 pm GMT \n
500 Words

A scandal of a EU member Poland: http://thesaker.is/zmiana-piskorski-and-the-case-for-polish-liberation/
Two days after he [Piskorski] publicly warned that US-NATO troops now have a mandate to suppress Polish dissent on the grounds of combatting "Russian hybrid war," he was snatched up by armed agents of Poland's Internal Security Agency while taking his children to school on May 18th, 2016. He was promptly imprisoned in Warsaw, where he remains with no formal charges to this day."

With the Poland's entry into EU, "Poland did not "regain" sovereignty, much less justice, but forfeited such to the Atlanticist project Poland has been de-industrialized, and thus deprived of the capacity to pursue independent and effective social and economic policies Now, with the deployment of thousands of US-NATO troops, tanks, and missile systems on its soil and the Polish government's relinquishment of jurisdiction over foreign armed forces on its territory, Poland is de facto under occupation. This occupation is not a mere taxation on Poland's national budget – it is an undeniable liquidation of sovereignty and inevitably turns the country into a direct target and battlefield in the US' provocative war on Russia."

" it's not the Russians who are going to occupy us now – they left here voluntarily 24 years ago. It's not the Russians that have ravaged Polish industry since 1989. It's not the Russians that have stifled Poles with usurious debt. Finally, it's not the Russians that are responsible for the fact that we have become the easternmost aircraft carrier of the United States anchored in Europe. We ourselves, who failed by allowing such traitors into power, are to blame for this."

More from a comment section: "Donald Tusk, who is now President of the European Council, whose grandfather, Josef Tusk, served in Hitler's Wehrmacht, has consistently demanded that the Kiev regime imposed by the US and EU deal with the Donbass people brutally, "as with terrorists". While the Polish special services were training the future participants of the Maidan operations and the ethnic cleansing of the Donbass, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs made this official statement (02-02-2014): "We support the hard line taken by the Right Sector The radical actions of the Right Sector and other militant groups of demonstrators and the use of force by protesters are justified The Right Sector has taken full responsibility for all the acts of violence during the recent protests. This is an honest position, and we respect it. The politicians have failed at their peacekeeping function. This means that the only acceptable option is the radical actions of the Right Sector. There is no other alternative".

In short, the US has been the most active enabler of the neo-Nazi movement in Europe. Mrs. Clinton seemingly did not get a memo about who is "new Hitler."

Chuck Orloski , February 17, 2017 at 11:17 pm GMT \n
100 Words

Scranton calling Mssrs. Roberts and Hudson:

Do you happen to know anything about western financial giants' influence upon Russia's "Atlanticist Integrationists"?

It's low hanging fruit for me to take a pick, but I am thinking The Goldman Sachs Group is well ensconced among Russian "Atlanticist Integrationists."

You guys are top seeded pros at uncovering Deep State-banker secrets. In contrast, I drive school bus and I struggle to even balance the family Wells Fargo debit card!

However, since our US Congress has anointed a seasoned G.S.G. veteran, Steve Mnuchin, as the administration's Treasury Secretary, he has become my favorite "Person of Interest" who I suspect spouts a Ural Mountain-level say as to how "Atlanticist Integrationists" operate.

Speaking very respectfully, I hope my question does not get "flummoxed" into resource rich Siberia.

Thank you very much!

Bobzilla , February 17, 2017 at 11:46 pm GMT \n
@WorkingClass

Berke reports that Henry Kissinger has sold President Trump on a scheme to use the removal of Russian sanctions to pry President Putin away from the Russian alliance with Iran and China.
Kissinger, like Dick Cheney or George Soros, will probably never be completely dead.

Kissinger, like Dick Cheney or George Soros, will probably never be completely dead

.

Most likely the Spirit of Anti-Christ keeping them alive to do his bidding.

Bill Jones , February 18, 2017 at 12:39 am GMT \n
@Priss Factor Here is proof that there is no real Leftist power anymore.

Voltaire once said, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

If the Left really rules America, how come it is fair game to criticize, condemn, mock, and vilify Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Bakunin, Emma Goldman & anarchists, Castro, Che(even though he is revered by many, one's career isn't damaged by attacking him), Tito, Ceucescu, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Gramsci, Eurgene Debs, Pete Seeger, Abbie Hoffman, Bill Ayers, and etc.

You can say whatever you want about such people. Some will agree, some will disagree, but you will not be fired, blacklisted, or destroyed.

If the Left really rules, why would this be?

Now, what would happen if you name the Jewish Capitalists as the real holders of power?
What would happen if you name the Jewish oligarchic corporatists who control most of media?
What would happen if you said Jews are prominent in the vice industry of gambling?
What would happen if you named the Jewish capitalists in music industry that made so much money by spreading garbage?
What would happen if you said Jewish warhawks were largely responsible for the disasters in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine?
And what would happen if you were question the MLK mythology and cult?
What would happen if you were to make fun of homos and trannies?
Now, keep in mind that blacks and homos are favored by Jews as their main allies.
(Some say the US is not a pro-minority nation, but it's still permissible to criticize, impugn, and vilify Chinese, Iranians, Muslims, Mexicans, Hindus, and etc. Trump was hard on China, Iran, Muslims, and Mexicans, and he got some flak over it but not enough to destroy him. Now, imagine what would have happened if he'd said such things about blacks, Africa, homos, Jews, and Israel? American politics isn't necessarily pro-minority. If it is, it should favor Palestinian-Americans just as much as Jewish-Americans. Actually, since there are fewer Palestinian-Americans than Jewish-Americans, the US, being pro-minority, should favor Palestinians over Jews in America. In reality, it is AIPAC that draws all the politicians. America is about Pro-Power, and since Jews have the Power and since Jews are a minority, it creates the false impression that the US is a minority-supremacist nation. But WHICH minority? Jews would like for us think that all minorities are represented equally in the US, but do Eskimos, Hawaiians, Guatemalans, Vietnamese, and etc. have the kind of power & protection that the Jewish minority has? Do we see politicians and powerbrokers flock to such minorities for funds and favors?)

So, what does it about the real power in America? So many 'conservatives' say the Left controls America. But in fact, an American can badmouth all true bonafide leftist leaders and thinkers(everyone from Lenin to Sartre). However, if an American were to badmouth Sheldon Adelson as a sick demented Zionist capitalist oligarch who wants to nuke Iran, he would be blacklisted by the most of the media. (If one must criticize Adelson, it has to be in generic terms of him a top donor to the likes of Romney. One mustn't discuss his zealous and maniacal views rooted in Zionist-supremacism. You can criticize his money but not the mentality that determines the use of that money.) Isn't it rather amusing how the so-called Liberals denounce the GOP for being 'extreme' but overlook the main reason for such extremism? It's because the GOP relies on Zionist lunatics like Adelson who thinks Iran should be nuked to be taught a lesson. Even Liberal Media overlook this fact. Also, it's interesting that the Liberal Media are more outraged by Trump's peace offer to Russia than Trump's hawkish rhetoric toward Iran. I thought Liberals were the Doves.

We know why politics and media work like this. It's not about 'left' vs 'right' or 'liberal' vs 'conservative'. It is really about Jewish Globalist Dominance. Jews, neocon 'right' or globo-'left', hate Russia because its brand of white gentile nationalism is an obstacle to Jewish supremacist domination. Now, Current Russia is nice to Jews, and Jews can make all the money they want. But that isn't enough for Jews. Jews want total control of media, government, narrative, everything. If Jews say Russia must have homo parades and 'gay marriage', Russia better bend over because its saying NO means that it is defiant to the Jewish supremacist agenda of using homomania as proxy to undermine and destroy all gentile nationalism rooted in identity and moral righteousness.
Russia doesn't allow that, and that is what pisses off Jews. For Jews, the New Antisemitism is defined as denying them the supremacist 'right' to control other nations. Classic antisemitism used to mean denying Jews equal rights under the law. The New Antisemitism means Jews are denied the right to gain dominance over others and dictate terms.
So, that is why Jews hate any idea of good relations with Russia. But Jews don't mind Trump's irresponsible anti-Iran rhetoric since it serves Zionist interest. So, if Trump were to say, "We shouldn't go to war with Russia; we should be friends" and "We should get ready to bomb, destroy, and even nuke Iran", the 'liberal' media would be more alarmed by the Peace-with-Russia statement. Which groups controls the media? 'Liberals', really? Do Muslim 'liberals' agree with Jewish 'liberals'?

Anyway, we need to do away with the fiction that Left rules anything. They don't. We have Jewish Supremacist rule hiding behind the label of the 'Left'. But the US is a nation where it's totally permissible to attack real leftist ideas and leaders but suicidal if anyone dares to discuss the power of super-capitalist Jewish oligarchs. Some 'leftism'!

We need to discuss the power of the Glob.

Thanks for the digest of hasbarist crap.

Useful to have it all in one place..

annamaria , February 18, 2017 at 1:03 am GMT \n
100 Words

War profiteers (both of a dishonest character) have found each other: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-17/mccain-tells-europe-trump-administration-disarray http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-17/germany-issues-stark-warning-trump-stop-threatening-eu-favoring-russia
" Trump's administration was in "disarray," McCain told the Munich Security Conference, where earlier in the day Germany defense minister Ursula von der Leyen warned Trump to stop threatening the EU, abandoning Western values and seeking close ties with Russia, that the resignation of the new president's security adviser Michael Flynn over his contacts with Russia reflected deep problems in Washington."

What an amazing whoring performance for the war-manufacturers! And here is an interesting morsel of information about the belligerent Frau der Leyen: http://www.dw.com/en/stanford-accuses-von-der-leyen-of-misrepresentation/a-18775432
"Stanford university has said Ursula von der Leyen is misrepresenting her affiliation with the school. The German defense minister's academic career is already under scrutiny after accusations of plagiarism." No kidding. Some "Ursula von der Leyen' values" indeed.

Anonymous IX , February 18, 2017 at 2:42 am GMT \n
200 Words

I doubt we'll see little change from the Trump administration toward Russia.

From SOTT:

Predictable news coming out of Yemen: Saudi-backed "Southern Resistance" forces and Hadi loyalists, alongside al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), launched a new offensive against the Houthis in western Yemen on Wednesday.

This is not the first time Saudi-backed (and by extension, Washington-backed) forces have teamed up with al-Qaeda in Yemen .

Yemen is quickly becoming the "spark that lights the powder keg". The conflict has already killed, maimed and displaced countless thousands (thanks to the stellar lack of reporting from trustworthy western news sources, we can only estimate the scale of Saudi/U.S. crimes in Yemen), but now it seems that elements of the Trump administration are keen on escalation, likely in hopes of giving Washington an excuse to carpet bomb Tehran.

Apparently, we feel satisfied fighting with our old allies, al-Qaeda and Saudis.

I had hoped for much better from Trump.

Kiza , February 18, 2017 at 4:23 am GMT \n
200 Words

I think that the authors may be underestimating Putin in his determination to keep Russia and the Russian economy independent. For example, I find this rumoured offer of "increased access to the huge European energy market" very funny, for at least two reasons:
1) US wants to sell hydrocarbons (LPG) to the European market at significantly higher prices than the Russian prices, and
2) the current dependence of EU countries on the Russian energy would have never happened if there were better alternatives.

In other words, any detente offer that the West would make to Russia would last, as usual, not even until the signature ink dries on the new cooperation agreements. Putin does not look to me like someone who suffers much from wishful thinking.

The Russian relationship with China is not a bed of roses, but it is not China which is increasing military activity all around Russia, it is the West. Also, so far China has shown no interest in regime-changing Russia and dividing it into pieces. Would you rather believe in the reform capability of an addict in violence or someone who does not need to reform? Would the West self-reform and sincerely renounce violence just by signing a new agreement with Russia?

The new faux detente will never happen, as long as Putin is alive.

Max Havelaar , February 18, 2017 at 8:22 pm GMT \n
200 Words

Trump is an ultra-zionist for Sheldon Adelson and prolongs & creates wars for the Goldman banking crimesyndicat.

The only one stopping Trump is Putin or Russia's missile defenses.

Indeed, Putin's main inside enemy is Russia's central bank, or the Jewish oligarchs in Russia (Atlanticists). Also Russia needs to foster and encourage small&medium enterprises, that need cheap credit, to create competitive markets, where no prices are fixed and market shares change. These are most efficient resource users.

In the US, Wallstreet controls government = fascism = the IG Farben- Auschwitz concentration camps to maximize profits. This is the direction for the US economy.

Meanwhile in the EU, the former Auschwitz owners IG Farben (Bayer(Monsanto), Hoechst, BASF) the EU chemical giants, who have patented all natures molecules, are in controll again over EU. Deutsche bank et allies is eating Greece, Italy, Spain's working classes, using AUSTERITY as their creed.

So what is new? Nothing, the supercorporate-fascist elites are the same families, who 's morality is unchanged in a 100 years.

Anon , February 20, 2017 at 4:28 am GMT \n
@Priss Factor

Here is proof that there is no real Leftist power anymore.

Voltaire once said, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

... ... ...

Sergey Krieger , February 20, 2017 at 12:20 pm GMT \n
@Seamus Padraig

I'm generally a big fan and admirer of Putin, but this is definitely one criticism of him that I have a lot of sympathy for. It is long past time for Putin to purge the neoliberals from the Kremlin and nationalize the Russian Central Bank. I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

I would really love to like Putin and I am trying but him protecting all those criminals and not reversing the history greatest heist of 90′s makes it impossible. While I am behind all his moves to restore Russian military and foreign policy, I am still waiting for more on home front. Note, not only the Bank must be nationalized. Everything, all industries, factories and other assets privatized by now must be returned to rightful owner. Public which over 70 years through great sacrifice built all of it.

Sergey Krieger , February 20, 2017 at 12:31 pm GMT \n
300 Words @SmoothieX12
I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.
Partially, because Putin himself is an economic liberal and, to a degree, monetarist, albeit less rigid than his economic block. The good choices he made often were opposite to his views. As he himself admitted that Russia's geopolitical vector changed with NATO's aggression against Yugoslavia--a strengthening of Russia has become an imperative. This comeback was impossible within the largely "Western" monetarist economic model. Russia's comeback happened not thanks but despite Putin's economic views, Putin adjusted his views in the process, his economic block didn't. But many of them still remain his friends, despite the fact that many of them are de facto fifth column and work against Russia, intentionally and other wise. Eventually Putin will be forced to get down from his fence and take the position of industrialists and siloviki. Putin's present for Medvedev's birthday was a good hint on where he is standing economically today and I am beginning to like that but still--I personally am not convinced yet. We'll see. In many respects Putin was lucky and specifically because of the namely Soviet military and industry captains still being around--people who, unlike Putin, knew exactly what constituted Russia's strength. Enough to mention late Evgeny Primakov. Let's not forget that despite Putin's meteoric rise through the top levels of Russia's state bureaucracy, including his tenure as a Director of FSB, Putin's background is not really military-industrial. He is a lawyer, even if uniformed (KGB) part of his career. I know for a fact that initially (early 2000s) he was overwhelmed with the complexity of Russia's military and industry. Enough to mention his creature Serdyukov who almost destroyed Command and Control structure of Russia's Armed Forces and main ideologue behind Russia's military "reform", late Vitaly Shlykov who might have been a great GRU spy (and economist by trade) but who never served a day in combat units. Thankfully, the "reforms" have been stopped and Russian Armed Forces are still dealing with the consequences. This whole clusterfvck was of Putin's own creation--hardly a good record on his resume. Hopefully, he learned.

Smoothie, you seem to have natural aversion towards lawyers
Albeit, the first Vladimir, I mean Lenin also was a lawyers by education still he was a rather quick study. Remember that military communism and Lenin after one year after Bolsheviks took power telling that state capitalism would be great step forward for Russia whcih obviously was backward and ruined by wars at the time and he proceeded with New Economic Policy and Lenin despite not being industry captain realized pretty well what constituted state power hence GOELRO plans and electrification of all Russia plans and so forth which was later turned by Stalin and his team into reality.

Now, Lenin was ideologically motivated and so is Putin. But he clearly has been trying to achieve different results by keeping same people around him and doing same things. Hopefully it is changing now, but it is so much wasted time when old Vladimir was always repeating that time is of essence and delay is like death knell. Putin imho is away too relax and even vain in some way, hence those shirtless pictures and those on the bike. And the way he walks a la "Я Московский озорной гуляка". As you said it looks like he is protecting those criminals who must be prosecuted and yes, many executed for what they caused.

I suspect in cases when it comes to economical development he is not picking right people for those jobs and it is his major responsibility to assign right people and delegate power properly, not to be forgotten to reverse what constitutes the history greatest heist and crime so called "privatization". Basically returning to more communal society minus Politburo.

There is a huge elephant in the room too. Russia demographic situation which I doubt can be addressed under current liberal order. all states which are in liberal state of affairs fail to basically procreate hence these waves of immigrants brought into all Western Nations. Russia cannot do it. It would be suicide which is what all Western countries are doing right now.

Boris N , February 20, 2017 at 8:58 pm GMT \n

Russia does not need Western technology. Indeed, its military technology is superior to that in the West.

You write about Russia but have not done your homework. Russia is very dependent on Western technology and its entire high-tech industry depends on the import of Western machinery. Without such machinery many Russian factories, including military ones, would stall. Very important oil industry is particularly vulnerable.

Some home reading (sorry, they are in Russian, but one ought to know the language if one writes about the country).

http://www.fa.ru/fil/orel/science/Documents/ISA%2014644146.pdf

http://rusrand.ru/analytics/stanki-stanki-stanki

[Jul 18, 2019] The more "effective" the sanctions, the closer to war

Jul 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

elkern , Jul 17 2019 16:08 utc | 31

Trailer Trash is exactly right about brittle supply chains. To "maximize Shareholder value" (the Prime Directive from Wall Street), corporations are maximizing (not optimizing) efficiency, at the expense of long-term priorities.

Summer Diaz is sorta right about what I might describe as US cultural/political obesity, but I don't look forward to living here after the shit hits the fan. There are lotsa crazy bastards with guns. We'll see real race war, starvation, all 4 Horsemen.

Re questions about Israel's fate in Marandi's scenario: I think it's smart that he/they don't talk about retaliation against Israel. Everybody knows that Iran has the ability to really hurt Israel (sans Nukes, they probably can't obliterate it); but this threat is much better left unsaid, just hanging in the air. Threatening Israel would be bad PR, decreasing chances that EU, Russia, & China can talk the US back from the brink of WWIII. And making sure Israel knows they're in danger - without bragging about it - gets (non-crazy) Zionists in USA to help prevent all-out war!

It's OK for Iran to talk about the threat to KSA, UAE, etc, because everybody hates them anyway, and cutting off the world's energy supply is their Doomsday Bomb. They need to remind the world that if the US attacks Iran, everybody loses.


karlof1 , Jul 17 2019 16:23 utc | 32

Three main antagonists have aimed at post-revolution Iran: The Outlaw US Empire, Occupied Palestine, and Saudi Arabia, the latter being the most recent and vulnerable, while the first two have already waged varying degrees of war with the Empire's Economic War having existed for 40+ years. The Levant's former Colonial powers--Turkey, France, UK--are feeble, and in Turkey's case is allied with Iran while being spurned by NATO and EU. Lurking in the background are Russia and China's designs for Eurasian Integration which only the Outlaw US Empire seeks to prevent as such integration benefits Saudi Arabia, Occupied Palestine, France and UK. Thus the only entity that might benefit from non-hybrid war with Iran is the Outlaw US Empire--Occupied Palestine's interests actually lie with becoming part of an Integrated Eurasia not in trying to impede it. And the same goes for the other nations occupying the Arabian Peninsula--but they all need to come to their senses by deeply examining their actual long term interests as Qatar seems to have done in its rapprochement with Iran.

But, just how would a non-hybrid conflict with Iran benefit the Outlaw US Empire if it consumes its regional allies? Would it bring more riches or create greater debt atop the human cost? Most analysts have pointed to the Empire's vulnerability upon the trashing of the current global economic structure. Indeed, the only visible benefit might accrue from slowing Eurasian Integration. Then there's the highly negative result to the Empire's global credibility which is already scrapping rock bottom and the likely end of Dollar Hegemony and the Free Lunch it's lived on for the past 70+ years. But what about the fulfillment of the Christian Rapture Myth? Sorry, but there should be no need to answer that fantastical, magical, thinking. Not a very good balance sheet is it as liabilities seem to vastly outweigh assets. Unfortunately, such logic is ignored by ideologues drunk on magical thinking. And these results don't take into consideration an escalation into global nuclear conflict that's in nobody's interest.

But as noted, Trump's up a tree and keeps climbing higher onto ever thinner, more precarious branches. Iran offered him a chance to climb down if he removes illegal sanctions and returns to JCPOA, which Pompeo promptly replied to with a lie that Iran would negotiate on its ballistic missiles, thus giving the overall goal away.

So, Trump can't/won't climb down and non-hybrid conflict would do great damage to Outlaw US Empire interests, which is where we were at July's beginning.

goldhoarder , Jul 17 2019 16:41 utc | 33
Iran will respond to a limited military strike with a massive and disproportionate counterstrike targeting both the aggressor and its enablers.
Which will be the green light for an even more violent & disproportionate counterstrike on Iran. Make no mistake - there are plenty of gung-ho Washington & Tel Aviv power brokers who want to trash Iran. And they will do it, given the chance. The above scenario is precisely what the war gods are hoping for.

I don't know about that. The US and Israel would really be opening up a can of worms. Any over reaction by the USA and Israel gives Russia, India, and China a precedent to follow. China might it easy to settle their difficulties with Taiwan. Kiev might go up in a mushroom cloud. The USA isn't the only country in the world with problems. If they don't play by the rules it just leads to more rule breakers.

arata , Jul 17 2019 16:47 utc | 34
An Alternate Scenario
There is a saying in Persian language called "Namad Maali" translates as "feltman massag", it means slow killing.
This proverb is very often used in contemporary Persian language but most of the people do not know the actual origin of the proverb.
There is an interesting legend behind it. Holagu Khan, a Mongol ruler, the grandson of Chengiz Khan conquered Baghdad on year 1258, and captured the Caliph Al-Mo'tasam, the last Caliph of Abbasid dynasty. Holagu decided to execute the Caliph and finish the 500 years Muslim caliphate.
Many statesmen begged him to hold on. They told him that the caliph is legitimate successor of prophet Mohammad. Caliphate is the pillar of the world, if you remove this pillar there will be sun eclipse, thunder storm and total darkness. Holagu, with his shamanistic believes fearing sky revenge was yielding, but he consulted his prime minister a Persian mullah, Nasir al-Din Tusi. Nasir told him do not worry, these are total nonsense, all of our great Shai twelve imams were direct descendants of prophet Mohammad, they were inherently innocent, while Abbasid are not direct descendants of prophet. See that our imams, eleven out of twelve, were martyred, there was no sun eclipse, no thunder storm, no darkness of the world.
Holagu was bold enough to carry out the execution. Other statesmen brought forward a group of astrologists who searched through their horoscopes and studied signs of stars and concluded that all the signs are catastrophic, if a drop of caliph's blood drops on earth, there will be a devastating thunder storm, rain of bloods pours down from sky and end of world ...
Holagu consulted Nasi again. Nasir being a great humorist, told him not worry, we can devise a pretty easy solution for your peace of mind, send the caliph to hot bath of feltman workshop, order to be wrapped in felt, they will give him a hot water bath with soap, they will roll him slowly over and over, as they are crafting a felt, his life will be ended peacefully in massage, without a drop of blood, meanwhile I will assign one of my intelligent apprentice who is familiar with sky ways ( Nasir was a great mathematician and Astronomer, he founded a famous observatory, he was inventor of trigonometry), to sit on the roof top of the feltman workshop, he will monitor any changes on sky if there is a minor change, he will signal to the feltman to release the caliph.
President Vladimir Khan has been giving warnings to Ayatollah do not burn JCPOA, do not close Strait of Hurmoz. Ayatollah is telling him do not worry we are giving a feltman massage. Just tell Xi khan do not lean his back against the wall street pillar, clean up your hands from future fund casino, the pillars are collapsing slowly.



jason , Jul 17 2019 17:13 utc | 35
the US and its allies are bluffing. don't get caught up in wars and rumors of it. the only way it was going to happen was if syria and iraq fell and both of them didn't.

when it didn't. they resort back to the usual MO, look busy.

OutOfThinAir , Jul 17 2019 17:31 utc | 36
A reminder from Iran that they can hit back.

Hopefully folks who can influence power have been reading the Guns of August.

Possible miscalculations are everywhere and the parties are no strangers to false flags and proxy actors.

So I'm crossing my fingers for strong back channel communications.

I'm not expecting outright major war. Perhaps a skirmish or two, but a negotiated deal is still the most likely outcome.

c1ue , Jul 17 2019 17:56 utc | 37
@C I eh? #14
I don't see China as the same situation as Russia.
The Russians who have largely supported Putin despite economic ill-effects from sanctions are, at best, 1 generation removed from 1991-1996 post-Soviet collapse privation. They remember the bad times and how to get through them.
The mainland Chinese today are 2 generation removed from the famines in the 50s and 60s, and furthermore there is a largely generational break due to the Cultural Revolution.
I don't see China collapsing, but I also don't see the mainstream population taking a oil-starvation induced economic collapse well at all, because the deal is social repression if the economy and standards of living continue to improve.
The difference is French cheese and EU fruits and vegetables - luxury goods vs. oil = energy = everything.
Uncle Jon , Jul 17 2019 17:57 utc | 38
There seems to be misconception about Kuwait, in particular.

Kuwaitis are fed up with the Saudis and are more Iranophile than anything. They see who is a true regional power.

Recently, I happen to be invited to a diplomatic function, welcoming a new Kuwaiti ambassador (Not in US). There were several businessmen associates of the new ambassador at that function. In an impromptu conversation, they professed their love for anything Iranian or Persian, from culture and history to food and the people, and their disdain for the Saudis and their ruling family.

In fact, one of them, much to my shock, uttered the circulating rumor that the ruling family in SA are actually Jews. He said everyone in the region knows about this open secret but afraid to talk about. That was a revelation for me coming from a Kuwaiti since I never did pay attention to those rumors.

I think in the event of a regional conflict, Kuwait will be spared by Iran. What would happen to the ruling family will be another story.

james , Jul 17 2019 18:04 utc | 39
thanks Seyed Mohammad Marandi.. i agree with your headline...

the usa is not agreement friendly.. everything is on their terms only... they rip up contracts when a new president doesn't like it, and make endless demands of others under threat, just like bullies do. they sanction countries and don't mind killing, starving and subjecting people in faraway lands to their ongoing and desperate means of domination.. nothing about the usa is friendly... they spend all their money on the military not just because it works so well for wall st and the corporations but because they think they can continue to bully everyone and anyone indefinitely.. they get support from the obvious suspects and all the other colonies of the usa - europe, canada and etc - turn a type of blind eye to it all, fearful they might be next if they step out of line.. thus, all these chattel countries fail in line with the usa regime sanctions...

basically, the prognosis isn't good.. none of the colonies are capable of speaking up to the usa regime, largely because they lack strong leadership and independence of thought in all this... we continue to slip towards ww3 and at present all the observing countries sit on their hands waiting for the next shoe to drop.. that is where we are at present with regard the ramp up to war on iran...

Harry Law , Jul 17 2019 21:24 utc | 60
The Gulf states know they would be in the front lines in any conflict, Saudi and UAE infrastructure destruction would mean Kings, Princes and Emir's scurrying from their destroyed countries because of their inability to sell oil and feed their people, as one Iranian General said.. the US bases in the region are not threats, "they are targets". Its true Iran has an army of 500,000, they also have millions of military aged men who would form militias and have the reputation of taking their shrouds with them into battle.
I think a major miscalculation by Trump, initiating this kind of scenario is unlikely, those other whack jobs Pence, Pompeo and Bolton are a cause for concern, just hear this nutcase Lindsey Graham threatening the Europeans....
"The United States should sanction "to the ground" European countries that continue to trade with Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal and refuse to join America's pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic, says top Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
"I will tell the Europeans, 'If you want to side with the Iranians, be my guest, but you won't use an American bank or do business with the American economy,'" Graham said".
https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/07/16/601067/US-Graham-Trump-Iran-JCPOA-EU-sanction-to-ground
William Herschel , Jul 17 2019 21:39 utc | 61
Punitive sanctions against nations with a powerful military establishment have an incredibly poor track record. Germany after WWI. Japan prior to Pearl Harbor. And one might add Russia today. The more "effective" the sanctions, the closer to war.

But, of course, military planners in the U.S. and Israel have already picked out the targets for nuclear strikes during the very first wave of attacks on Iran. It will be nuclear first, ask questions later. Heil Trump has already said he will use nuclear weapons: "obliterate". But will even that work? I doubt it. Iran must expect nuclear attacks in the first wave. Yes, their urban populations will be destroyed, but their military? I doubt it.

Formerly T-Bear , Jul 17 2019 21:54 utc | 62
@ Harry Law | Jul 17 2019 21:24 utc | 60

The folks who now are called Iranian once fought the most militaristic society ever - the Spartans. There is likely a memory of that conflict still, and the lessons learned. They face a military that no longer remembers Vietnam or its lessons. Sanctions are an act of war, not military war but war against another who have been made into enemies nonetheless. Be mightily careful who you make your enemy, one sage reminds that you become like them. Look at those the U.S. has made enemy: Hitler and National Socialism; Mussolini and Fascism; Stalin and State Authoritarianism; Franco and Military Repression; and the list continues substantially, and then look at the U.S. in a distortion free mirror and what does one see?

Maracatu , Jul 17 2019 22:00 utc | 63
Taking into consideration the novel Rand Paul intervention, the likely way forward is this, and I'm sure it is what Putin (the master negotiator) has in mind: Trump blundered badly by throwing out the JCPOA, but he needs a way out that allows him to save face and even turn it into a partial "win". On the world stage (ie. for the public) it needs to look like Trump accedes to reinstate the JCPOA IN EXCHANGE for Iran withdrawing from Syria! This will not only save the nuclear deal, thereby reducing tensions, but it will force Israel to back down and shut up. Israel can't complain and Trump can sell it as an achievement of his, "without having to go to war". The US, of course will have to give Iran, Syria and Russia something in exchange: Iran and Russia ultimately bolstered their forces in Syria in order to save Assad. All things considered, Assad has won the war, so the reason for the bolstered Iranian and Russian presence no longer applies. What the US must agree to is to suspend its efforts to overthrow Assad (which Trump has been trying to do via the withdrawal of US troops in northern Syria), thereby returning the country to the status quo ante. The wild card in all of this, however, is Turkey's presence in Syria. Perhaps China can lend a helping hand on that issue?
Yeah, Right , Jul 17 2019 22:14 utc | 64
@35 "when it didn't. they resort back to the usual MO, look busy."

I agree with that comment, though I will add that for this Administration "looking busy" has a Keystone Cops look about it.

I mean, let's be real here: Norman Schwarzkopf did not make a single move against Iraq until he had well over 500,000 GI's at his command, and Tommy Franks was not willing to restart the Crash Boom Bang until he had built up his army to just shy of 500,000 soldiers.

And Iraq then was nowhere near as formidable as Iran is now.

Where are the troop buildups? Where is the CENTCOM army?
Nowhere. And no sign of it happening.

There is a real possibility that Bolton might get his way and start his dinky little war, only to find that the USA loses a great big war before he even manages to get out of bed.

CENTCOM is not ready for war, nowhere close to it, and for that reason alone Iran is correct to tell the USA that if Trump launches a "limited strike" then their response will be "it's on, baby".

Beibdnn. , Jul 17 2019 22:51 utc | 67
@ William Herschel 61. If the U.S. or anyone else uses any type of Nuclear weapons against Iran, a declared ally of Russia, it will result in an immediate and full scale Nuclear retaliation. This is a recent statement made by Vladimir Putin. Pompeo, Bolton et all are well aware of this. The U.S. might talk of using tactical nukes but despite their Hubris, even the most pro war in the Pentagon know what the results of that type of planned anihilation will have on the U.S. mainland. People like Lindsey Graham are merely empty vessels making a lot of noise.
karlof1 , Jul 17 2019 23:14 utc | 69
Why would Iran allow any Western nation to save face through negotiations or otherwise? Khamenei yesterday tweeted several statements that were later posted to his website:

"At this meeting, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran stressed that Western governments' arrogant behavior is the main obstacle in establishing ties and maintained: Western governments' major vice is their arrogance. If they face a weak government, their arrogance will be effective. But if that country knows the truth about them and resists, the Western governments will be defeated.

"Referring to problems rising between Iran and the European partners of the JCPOA, Ayatollah Khamenei said: Now, in the matters between us and the Europeans, the problems persist, because of their arrogance.

"The Leader of the Islamic Revolution highlighted Iran's commitment to the JCPOA -- also known as the Iran Deal -- and criticized European dignitaries of the deal for breaching it, saying: As stated by our Foreign Minister, who works hard, Europe has had eleven commitments, none of which it has met. The Foreign Minister, despite his diplomatic considerations, is clearly stating that. But what did we do? We acted based on our commitments, and even beyond that.

"Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated that Iran continued to stay within the JCPOA despite the fact that the EU partners of the JCPOA as well as the British government violated the international plan of action and yet demanded Iran to stay with its promises: Now that we have started to reduce our commitments, they step forward. They are very insolent, and they have not abided by their eleven commitments. We have just started to reduce some of our commitments, and this process will surely continue."

The hypothetical suggestion Zarif made in his interview with NBC News was just that--hypothetical--as it had to spell out again for the apparently illiterate, deaf or both SoS Pompeo and BigLie Media presstitutes.

In his arrogance, Trump climbed up the tree he's now stuck within; and as I've pointed out again and again, Iran isn't going to help him in his climb down--they'll be no face saving for the arrogant Western nations. I mean, how clear can the Iranians make that?! They quite well understand the very real interests at stake I put forth in my comment @32. And the Turks on their own have upped the stakes with Erdogan assuring :

"that his country is prepared to leave NATO during a meeting with Russian Deputy Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

"'I met twice with Turkish President Recep Erdogan and he told me personally that Turkey was willing to withdraw from NATO,' Zhirinovsky wrote."

Trump seems desperate for a way to climb down from his tree. Controversial Kentucky Senator Rand Paul apparently volunteered his services as an emissary to Iran , which Trump okayed but Paul's office is being mum about. As noted, Iran isn't going to talk unless tangible, visible concessions are made prior to any talks occurring--concessions Zarif and Rouhani have already stated as the minimum required: Ending all illegal sanctions and return to JCPOA.

Uncle Jon , Jul 17 2019 23:38 utc | 72
@karlof1 69

Iran just announced that they would be open to talk about ballistic missiles when US stops selling arms in the Middle East.

You have to hand it to the Iranians. In the one-up-manship game, they are a formidable opponent. Obviously, there is less than zero chance that would ever happen, but they are super smart in driving the message of US arrogance home. I am happy to see they don't take any shit from the Empire.

Master negotiators at work.

[Jul 17, 2019] 13 Russian Indictments -- Letter From Putin to Mueller

Notable quotes:
"... I originally published this as a satirical Facebook Note on February 21, 2018, after the New York Times reported on February 16, 2018 that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had indicted 13 Russians. ..."
Jul 15, 2019 | medium.com

Michael Weddle Follow Jul 15 · 3 min read

I originally published this as a satirical Facebook Note on February 21, 2018, after the New York Times reported on February 16, 2018 that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had indicted 13 Russians.

February 21, 2018

The Honorable Robert Swan Mueller III
Special Investigating Counsel
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530–0001

Dear Mr. Mueller:

I read with great interest your indictments of 13 Russian citizens and three Russian corporations.

Please note that Russia encourages you to continue your investigatory efforts as we are confident you will find that neither myself or any representatives of my office and government have anything to do with what many of your politicians and media members are describing as "Russian collusion" or "Russian meddling" with the US 2016 elections.

Also, as a side note, please know that we in Russia are completely surprised at how you conducted your 2016 election. From the vantage point of anyone living outside of America those elections did not appear fair at all. We in Russia are surprised by this as we thought you were a better nation than what we saw from your 2016 national elections.

Although the United States of America and The Russian Federation hold no formal extradition treaty agreement, please be advised I am willing to use the powers of my office to contact those whom you've indicted and I will do my utmost to encourage them to come to America in order to stand the trial of your indictments. We are confident that your jurisprudence system for legal discovery will produce both remarkable and enlightening evidence for your investigation.

On a mundane matter, would you be willing to pay for the costs of their travel and housing expenses while they stand trial in America, or would you prefer that The Russian Federation to cover this expense?

Finally, please find attached a copy of the Constitution of The Russian Federation. You are welcome to share with your fellow citizens as we are confident they will become very surprised by what they learn from reading the contents of our Constitution.

http://www.constitution.ru/en/10003000-01.htm

Very truly yours,

Vladimir Putin, President The Russian Federation

PS: I strongly recommend that your FBI, NSA and DHS departments thoroughly examine the DNC computers in order to determine if they were actually "hacked." I'm confident you will discover that the documents published by Wikileaks were the product of an inside "leak" onto a thumb drive. Please note that I am shocked that the thoroughness of your investigation has not yet accomplished this simple and obvious task.

[Jul 17, 2019] Who's Afraid of William Barr by Stephen F. Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of ..."
"... Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at ..."
"... New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show . Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at ..."
"... War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate ..."
Jul 17, 2019 | www.thenation.com
his Wikipedia biography , he has -- or he had -- "a sterling reputation" both among Republicans and Democrats. That changed when Barr announced his ongoing investigation into the origins of Russiagate, a vital subject I, too, have explored .

As Barr explained , "What we're looking at is: What was the predicate for conducting a counterintelligence investigation on the Trump campaign. How did the bogus narrative begin that Trump was essentially in cahoots with Russia to interfere with the U.S. election?" Still more, Barr, who is empowered to declassify highly sensitive documents, made clear that his primary focus was not the hapless FBI under James Comey but the CIA under John Brennan. Evidently this was too much for leading Democratic Senator Charles Schumer, who assailed Barr for having "just destroyed the scintilla of credibility that he had left." Not known for a sense of irony, Schumer accused Barr of using "the words of conspiracy theorists," as though Russiagate itself is not among the most malign and consequential conspiracy theories in American political history.

More indicative is the reaction of the generally liberal pro-Democratic New York Times and Washington Post , the country's two most important political newspapers, to Barr's investigation. Leaning heavily on the "expert" opinion of former intelligence officials and McCarthy-echoing members of Congress such as Adam Schiff, both papers went into outrage mode. The Times bemoaned Barr's "drastic escalation of [Trump's] yearslong assault on the intelligence community" while rejecting "the president's unfounded claims that his campaign had been spied on," even though some forms of FBI and CIA infiltration and surveillance of the 2016 Trump campaign are now well documented. (See, for example, Lee Smith's reporting .)

Unconcerned by the activities of either agency, the papers warned ominously that Barr's probe "effectively strips [the CIA] of its most critical power: choosing which secrets it shares and which remain hidden." It "could be tremendously damaging to the C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies." Not surprisingly, given the Times ' three-year role in promulgating Russiagate allegations, it preempted Barr's investigation by declaring that US intelligence agencies' covert actions were part of "a lawful investigation aimed at understanding a foreign power's efforts to manipulate an American election." Considering what is now known, this generalization seems a whitewash both of the Times ' coverage and the agencies' conduct. (In the Post , see coverage by Toluse Olorunnipa and Shane Harris .)

Hillary Clinton, also not surprisingly, agreed. As paraphrased by Matt Stevens in the Times on May 3 , she accused Barr of diverting attention "from what the real story is. The real story is the Russian interference in our election." According to the defeated Democratic candidate, "the Russians were successful in sowing 'discord and divisiveness' in the country, and helping Mr. Trump." But who has actually sowed more "discord and divisiveness" in America -- the Russians or Mrs. Clinton and her supporters, by still refusing to accept the legitimacy of her electoral loss and Trump's victory?

Unfortunately, but predictably, Barr's investigation has become polarizing, with Fox News, for example, bannering each new unsavory Russiagate revelation and the Times and the Post mostly ignoring them altogether. In particular, the Democratic Party, once traditionally skeptical of intelligence agencies, is becoming the party of an intel cult and thus of the new US-Russian Cold War. Only a few of the party's leaders, notably presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, demur from this dangerous folly. (Might Democratic reticence also be due to the circumstance that the intelligence chiefs now under investigation were appointees of former President Obama, who has been remarkably silent about the entire Russiagate saga? What, as I have asked previously, did Obama know, when did he know it, and what did he do?)

Everyone who cares about the quality of American political life, no matter what they think about Trump, should encourage Barr's probe. To resort to a familiar cliché, Russiagate allegations have become a spreading cancer in American politics, with Democratic congressional candidates raising funds by promising, despite the exculpatory findings of Robert Mueller regarding "collusion," to fight evil "Trump-Putin" forces in Washington. Meanwhile, some Republicans, despite ample contrary evidence, preposterously blame Russia itself -- for the infamous Steele Dossier, for example. (By the way, for more irony, Trump is regularly accused in the above-cited news accounts of "siding with" Russian President Vladimir Putin in denying that any "collusion" determined the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, a conclusion also reached by Mueller, thereby putting Trump, Putin, and Mueller on the same "side.")

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Ideally, we would have an investigation of the intelligence agencies entirely independent of the White House and headed by an eminent political figure who is not a presidential appointee, as was the 1975 Senate Church Committee. For now, we have only Trump's attorney general, William Barr. Nonetheless, we should support him, however conditionally. Rogue intelligence agencies subvert democracy, and the next candidate they target -- as they did Trump -- may be yours.

This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show . Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com .William Barr, a two-time attorney general who served at the CIA in the 1970s, would seem to be an ultimate Washington insider. According to his Wikipedia biography , he has -- or he had -- "a sterling reputation" both among Republicans and Democrats. That changed when Barr announced his ongoing investigation into the origins of Russiagate, a vital subject I, too, have explored .

As Barr explained , "What we're looking at is: What was the predicate for conducting a counterintelligence investigation on the Trump campaign. How did the bogus narrative begin that Trump was essentially in cahoots with Russia to interfere with the U.S. election?" Still more, Barr, who is empowered to declassify highly sensitive documents, made clear that his primary focus was not the hapless FBI under James Comey but the CIA under John Brennan. Evidently this was too much for leading Democratic Senator Charles Schumer, who assailed Barr for having "just destroyed the scintilla of credibility that he had left." Not known for a sense of irony, Schumer accused Barr of using "the words of conspiracy theorists," as though Russiagate itself is not among the most malign and consequential conspiracy theories in American political history.

More indicative is the reaction of the generally liberal pro-Democratic New York Times and Washington Post , the country's two most important political newspapers, to Barr's investigation. Leaning heavily on the "expert" opinion of former intelligence officials and McCarthy-echoing members of congress such as Adam Schiff, both papers went into outrage mode. The Times bemoaned Barr's "drastic escalation of [Trump's] yearslong assault on the intelligence community" while rejecting "the president's unfounded claims that his campaign had been spied on," even though some forms of FBI and CIA infiltration and surveillance of the 2016 Trump campaign are now well documented. (See, for example, Lee Smith's reporting .)

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Unconcerned by the activities of either agency, the papers warned ominously that Barr's probe "effectively strips [the CIA] of its most critical power: choosing which secrets it shares and which remain hidden." It "could be tremendously damaging to the C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies." Not surprisingly, given the Times ' three-year role in promulgating Russiagate allegations, it preempted Barr's investigation by declaring that US intelligence agencies' covert actions were part of "a lawful investigation aimed at understanding a foreign power's efforts to manipulate an American election." Considering what is now known, this generalization seems a whitewash both of the Times ' coverage and the agencies' conduct. (Writing for the Post , see coverage by Toluse Olorunnipa and Shane Harris .)

Hillary Clinton, also not surprisingly, agreed. As paraphrased by Matt Stevens in the Times on May 3 , she accused Barr of diverting attention "from what the real story is. The real story is the Russian interference in our election." According to the defeated Democratic candidate, "the Russians were successful in sowing 'discord and divisiveness' in the country, and helping Mr. Trump." But who has actually sowed more "discord and divisiveness" in America -- the Russians or Mrs. Clinton and her supporters, by still refusing to accept the legitimacy of her electoral loss and Trump's victory?

Unfortunately, but predictably, Barr's investigation has become polarizing, with Fox News, for example, bannering each new unsavory Russiagate revelation and the Times and Post mostly ignoring them altogether. In particular, the Democratic Party, once traditionally skeptical of intelligence agencies, is becoming the party of an intel cult and thus of the new US-Russian Cold War. Only a few of the party's leaders, notably presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, demur from this dangerous folly. (Might Democratic reticence also be due to the circumstance that the intelligence chiefs now under investigation were appointees of former President Obama, who has been remarkably silent about the entire Russiagate saga? What, as I have asked previously, did Obama know, when did he know it, and what did he do?)

Everyone who cares about the quality of American political life, no matter what they think about Trump, should encourage Barr's probe. To resort to a familiar cliché, Russiagate allegations have become a spreading cancer in American politics, with Democratic congressional candidates fund-raising by promising, despite the exculpatory findings of Robert Mueller regarding "collusion," to fight evil "Trump-Putin" forces in Washington. Meanwhile, some Republicans, despite ample contrary evidence, preposterously blame Russia itself -- for the infamous Steele Dossier, for example. (By the way, for more irony, Trump is regularly accused in the above-cited news accounts of "siding with" Russian President Vladimir Putin in denying that any "collusion" determined the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, a conclusion also reached by Mueller, thereby putting Trump, Putin, and Mueller on the same "side.")

Ideally, we would have an investigation of the intelligence agencies entirely independent of the White House headed by an eminent political figure who is not a presidential appointee, as was the 1975 Senate Church Committee. For now, we have only Trump's attorney general, William Barr. Nonetheless, we should support him, however conditionally. Rogue intelligence agencies subvert democracy, and the next candidate they target -- as they did Trump -- may be yours.

This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show . Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com . Ad Policy Stephen F. Cohen Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his new book War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate is available in paperback and in an ebook edition.

[Jul 17, 2019] Rachel Maddow's report on Monday night

Jul 17, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

ranney , July 16, 2019 at 16:56

That's a great article Ray. Thank you!
Now I am wondering if there is any chance you could take apart Rachel Maddow's report on Monday night. I confess I turned her off about half way through it, because I couldn't stand listening to her lies. But she was going on about how Russia gave wikileaks the DNC stuff and how some new evidence proves it.

I wondered at the time why she was doing this again, but now I understand – it was because of the Judge and I think word must have come down to trash Assange (she did have some nasty things to say about him). None of what I heard made sense to me or why it was taking up so much of her hour so I turned back to NPR, but the vehemance of her lies (she was pushing this version pretty hard) stuck with me.

So could you write something about this please? If not on CN maybe you could give us a link to another web site or broadcast that discusses what she is doing and the damage she is causing.

Thanks again for your efforts to keep this story straight.


Joe Tedesky , July 16, 2019 at 15:52

Finally after proving that she was the worst possible presidential candidate the Democrat's could have ever endorsed our anointed one Madam Hillary left her wandering party with the oversold ominous Russia Gate fiasco to waste this country's easily distracted valuable time with. This waste of time should be criminally prosecuted for all the disruption it has caused. Such a parting spectacle of arrogance it is that Hillary Clinton left her struggling party with these multiple claimed allegations without evidence filled nonsensical accusations of Russian collusion that the country is even more divided than ever due too even more unreal false flag issues for it's citizenry to deal with. Where in this Hillary created event is Patriotism to be found? Like where is love of country even considered when releasing upon the world such a mean spirited compromise driven hoax? When it comes to this issue of Russia Gate Investigation the wrong party is being investigated.

Skip Scott , July 17, 2019 at 07:20

Hi Joe-

I think you might be giving Hillary too much credit as being the "creator" of RussiaGate. She was certainly on board, but I think it is most likely John Brennan's baby.

For the evil ones leading our so-called "intelligence" agencies, there is no patriotism, only power. They are servants of an empire that goes beyond our borders. They seek global dominance for the Oligarchy at any cost. Patriotism is for us "little" folk. For them it is a quaint notion to be used to manipulate the proles.

Al Pinto , July 16, 2019 at 09:43

The DNC and MSM sold, and sold well, the Russiagate to the general public. Does it really matter, if the "Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has now come apart at the seams"? Neither the DNC, nor the MSM will report/mention either of the court case, pretty much a blackout for the general public.

Even, if these court cases are widely reported, do you really believe that the majority of the people would change their mind? After almost three years, there's no way that these people will change their mind. The only change that widely reporting these court cases would result in is, that Trump and HRC supporters would hate each other even more.

This Russiagate will be with us pretty much forever, it'll morph in to accusing people of being Russian agents and/or Russian Bots. We already see this taking place and just wait, until next year. It's not going to be pretty

DW Bartoo , July 16, 2019 at 12:17

I do not know where you got the CNN story, ML, though it appears you got it straight from gift-donkey's mouth.

From RT (today, at 11AM Eastern time)

"CNN has released a new 'exclusive' report, accusing Julian Assange of conspiracy with Russia (including RT) to meddle in the 2016 US election.

Citing a report compiled by a private Spanish security company – but not providing any of it – the network basically rehashed the entirety of the Russiagate conspiracy on Monday "

The whole article is well worth a gander, as the Dem-media attempt goose up the drivel for what they hope will be a slam dunk (most fowl).

Apparently, the Dem-leaning MSM has no intention of letting go the lucrative idiocy of 'Russia-did-it! with the angry assistance of Awful Assange.

The MSM is not bound, of course, by the legal constraints now judicially imposed upon Mueller and other government agents, so they can claim and conflate whatever they wish.

Thus, Skip Scott's very legitimate concerns, about the amnesia memory hole, may well be assuaged by a media hell-bent on slathering lipstick on this particular pig as they attempt, once again, to launch it into perpetual orbit,
at least until after Assange is locked away for the rest of his life.

Perhaps getting Assange and continuing to demonize Russia is far more important to certain "interests", than is the other service of Russiagate, the saving of private-public Hillary's reputation of being the permanent victim of vast conspiracies as official history. She may now be relegated to the hoary realm of legend and myth. (Which may be the best that wannabees may hope for, short of making the ultimate "great" career move.)

The two-fer-one deal may be unraveling, at least in part.

Getting Assange must be the real deep state/media deal.

DW

ML , July 16, 2019 at 16:07

Hey DW, yes, it was on CNN yesterday. It was ridiculous. Full of lies and spin. Today, I didn't see it still there, but it might have been hiding in the shadows on that sorry site. Can't stand to spend more than about 5 minutes there, just to see what they're lying and obfuscating about any given day

Skip Scott , July 17, 2019 at 07:42

I hope you are right and that we are witnessing the death throes of empire. I also hope for some kind of retribution for the masters and their evil servants.

I can't watch the world news at all, but even local news goes to the "national" desk to torture those of us just interested in what's going on locally. I walk out of the room or push the mute button. I don't have any TV at home, but I have been caregiving an elderly uncle for the past 2-1/2 yrs at his place. I don't know who is more demented, my uncle or CNN.

Susan J Leslie , July 16, 2019 at 08:57

Liberals had better wake up now to realize that Russiagate was all a hoax perpetrated by Clinton and cronies because she lost the 2016 election. I'm ashamed to say I voted for Hillary – wow what a huge mistake on my part. Fortunately she did lose the election or who knows where we'd be now. Don't get me wrong, Trump is an absolute nightmare but at the very least you know where he is coming from. On the other hand Clinton , Obama and other mainstream politicians are underhanded, secretive and subversive all while smiling and selling us lie after lie We came, we saw, he died? What the hell kind of sick, deluded person would say such a thing?

O Society , July 16, 2019 at 14:13

What Robert Mueller hasn't done is provide any public evidence of Russian collusion, which was his mandate.

Show me the money. Where's the evidence? That's correct, show me the evidence. You know, the evidence Mueller (or anyone else has) Donald Trump committed treason as John Brennan says, and is guilty of collusion with Putin, as Hillary Clinton says.

I mean, you can't can't show me where the evidence is because there isn't any. No pee tapes, no smoking guns, no nothing. And that's a problem. A big problem, because it means the entire Mueller spaghetti Western unraveled into something not even my cat is interested in playing with. The yarn got no evidence.

Prove me wrong. Please. We know how this story ends and have from the beginning. There's no evidence. It's bullshit. Yes, every word that comes out of Donald Trump's mouth is bullshit. Problem is Trump's lies don't exonerate Clinton and Obama's lies. All the stuff coming out of Comey, Clapper, and Brennan's mouths is bullshit too.

https://osociety.org/2018/07/20/ten-things-which-would-convince-me-its-not-a-witchunt/

Marko , July 16, 2019 at 07:31

Even worse news for the Russiahoaxers is the recent revelation , documented in a lawsuit , that Ellen Ratner , sister of deceased Wikileaks' lawyer Michael Ratner, met with Assange in the fall of 2016 and was told by him that Aaron and Seth Rich provided the DNC leaks to Wikileaks. Ed Butowsky was made aware of this , with instructions by Ms. Ratner for him to relay the information to the Rich family. When he did so , in December 2016 , he was told by Joel Rich , Seth's father , that he was already aware of his sons' involvement.

This is no longer conspiracy talk , folks. Ed Butowsky is not dumb enough to make these claims on court documents without knowing he can back them up. Shit is about to get real for Mueller and the DNC.

"BREAKING: Lawsuit Outs Reporter Ellen Ratner as Source for Seth Rich Information" @ Gateway Pundit

[Jul 17, 2019] The 'New Right' Is Not a Reaction to Neoliberalism, but Its Offspring

Notable quotes:
"... By Lars Cornelissen, who holds a PhD in the Humanities and works as a researcher and editor for the Independent Social Research Foundation. Originally published at openDemocracy ..."
"... 'New World Order' ..."
Jul 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The 'New Right' Is Not a Reaction to Neoliberalism, but Its Offspring Posted on July 17, 2019 by Yves Smith By Lars Cornelissen, who holds a PhD in the Humanities and works as a researcher and editor for the Independent Social Research Foundation. Originally published at openDemocracy

The ongoing and increasingly intense conservative backlash currently taking place across Europe is often understood as a populist reaction to neoliberal policy. The neoliberal assault on the welfare state, as for instance Chantal Mouffe has argued , has eroded post-war social security even as it destroyed people's faith in electoral politics. Coupled with a sharp increase in inequality and rapid globalisation, the technocratic nature of neoliberal government has angered electorates across the continent. Wanting to "take back control" of their political life, these electorates have turned away from traditional centrist parties and have thrown their lot in with populist parties on the fringes of the political spectrum. Although, as Mouffe is at pains to point out , this creates a space for both left-wing and right-wing populisms, today it seems that especially its inward-looking, nationalistic variants are experiencing electoral success.

To be sure, this diagnosis is by and large correct. Decades of neoliberal hegemony have certainly served to impoverish the cultural life of many European nations. Meanwhile, neoliberal policies of privatisation and deregulation, followed after the 2008 crisis by a decade of blithe austerity measures, have gutted most of the institutions that previously carried the promise of equity and security -- even if that promise was always already a false one. The rise in jingoistic nationalism is, in this sense, without doubt a consequence of the neoliberal era.

It would be incorrect to assume, however, that these nationalisms are somehow juxtaposed to or fundamentally different from neoliberalism. It would be wrong, that is, to see the rise of the so-called "new right" as a sign of neoliberalism's demise or to see the 2008 financial crisis as marking its death rattle. Neoliberalism did not merely provide the occasion for the rise of nationalist sentiment; rather, the latter also grew out of the former. Differently put, neoliberal doctrine already carried the seeds of the kind of conservativism that is currently running rampant in Europe.

The Neoliberal Network

A good place to start is the network of neoliberal think tanks and research institutes that has served as the frontline of the neoliberal project since the 1950s. Indeed, as numerous research studies by historians and sociologists have shown, although neoliberalism first emerged as an intellectual movement spearheaded by such figures as Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Walter Eucken, and Milton Friedman, crucial to the movement's success was its effort to disseminate its ideology strategically. Thus, after an initial phase in which these men prepared the philosophical grounds for the neoliberal agenda, they set out to spread their ideas, forming a Transatlantic web of intellectuals and researchers with the express objective of steadily influencing public opinion in general and policy-makers in particular.

Among the most prominent think tanks to be erected in this way are the Institute of Economic Affairs, founded by Anthony Fisher in 1955 on Hayek's explicit advice, the Cato Institute, founded in 1974, and the Adam Smith Institute, founded in 1977. They are merely the most visible core of a vast network of similar organisations, however. Whether named after neoliberalism's pioneering theorists (a small selection: the Hayek Institut; the Hayek Gesellschaft; the Ludwig von Mises Institute; the Walter Eucken Institut; the Becker Friedman Institute) or given more esoteric monikers (such as the Heritage Foundation or the Atlas Economic Research Foundation), many right-wing think tanks are of neoliberal descent. Those whose founding predates the birth of neoliberalism, such as the Hoover Institution and the American Enterprise Institute, were quickly absorbed into the neoliberal project. Together these think tanks form a sprawling network of ideological entrepreneurs driven, as Anthony Fisher is reported to have said , by the desire to "litter the world with free-market think tanks."

As the primary channels through which neoliberal ideas flow to the wider public, these institutions make for a crucial weather vane for shifts unfolding within the neoliberal mindset. Any attempt to make sense of neoliberalism's many twists and turns must therefore pay attention to trends in their ideological direction and outputs. And this is where neoliberalism's recent hard turn towards conservative nationalism becomes apparent.

Neoliberal Conservatism

Neoliberalism has always had a strong conservative streak: Hayek himself was inspired by Edmund Burke at least as much as by Adam Smith, and such towering figures of German neoliberalism as Wilhem Röpke and Alexander Rüstow were deeply conservative thinkers. Conversely, Hayek in particular has exerted a considerable influence on the most recent generation of conservative philosophers, with men like Roger Scruton, Paul Cliteur, Francis Fukuyama, and Niall Ferguson routinely drawing upon his ideas about the market, law, and societal order in support of their own conservatism. (The latter, as it happens, received the Hayek Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.)

However, what originally remained an intellectual attraction between neoliberals and conservatives has in recent decades morphed into something more closely resembling a synthesis. As neoliberal hegemony reached its climax in the 1990s, its intellectual custodians began focusing their attention on what they purported to be the failures of multiculturalism. Decrying 'cultural relativism,' neoliberal think tanks began publishing pamphlets that sang the praises of western culture, which their writers regarded as inherently superior to its non-liberal (read: non-western) counterparts. They proceeded to assert the need to protect national identity from its dilution by immigration and to advocate patriotism and nationalism as a means of consolidating such identity.

It is, then, wrong to assume that neoliberal parties or intellectuals embraced nationalism only after the so-called "new right" was in its ascendency, as a means to win back voters or to assuage a supposedly vitriolic and jingoistic electorate. In truth, many of neoliberalism's ideologues had swerved firmly towards conservative nationalism well before right-wing populism became a serious political contender. In doing so, they anticipated many of the latter's principal ideological markers, including its conspiratorial conception of " cultural Marxism " and its fondness for Oswald Spengler .

In short, neoliberals had no small part in setting the stage for the recent eruption of regressive nationalism. By peddling ethnocentric, nationalistic, and xenophobic ideas they helped shift public opinion to the conservative right, rendering it ever more salonfähig. A good example of this process may be found in Dutch politics, where Islamophobia entered mainstream discourse largely due to the efforts of Frits Bolkestein, then the country's leading neoliberal politician and author. Anticipating the Islamophobia of Pim Fortuyn and later Geert Wilders by about a decade, he claimed as early as 1991 that Islam is objectively speaking inferior to western culture. In so doing, he shifted the country's national debate and gave xenophobia a gloss of legitimacy, setting the stage for his country's sharp conservative turn in the new millennium.

A Neoliberal Brexit

Neoliberalism's influence on the rise of conservatism is not exhausted by its ideological appeal, however. Think tanks are, after all, meant to direct policy, not just to elaborate an ideological doctrine. By way of example, let us consider Brexit. Indeed, the neoliberals' impact on the "new right" is nowhere clearer than in the British hard right's attempt to enforce a no-deal Brexit.

To begin, it's worth noting that the Conservative Party's most prominent cadre of Brexit-backing nationalists counts many explicit devotees of Hayek amongst its numbers, including Roger Scruton , Boris Johnson , Priti Patel , and Sajid Javid (who called Hayek a "legend" in a 2014 tweet ). Jacob Rees-Mogg's late father William was similarly an outspoken Hayekian, calling himself "an Austrian economist more than anything else" in a 2010 interview and adding for good measure that he "knew Friedrich von Hayek and liked him very much."

But neoliberalism's impact on Tory hard Brexiteers goes much further. Here again, the neoliberal network of think tanks takes centre stage. As research done by openDemocracy UK has demonstrated, the Conservative Party's nationalist wing maintains very intimate ties with the Institute of Economic Affairs, which has lobbied extensively to broaden the appeal of a hard or even no-deal Brexit. Thus it maintains very close ties with the European Research Group (ERG), a group that represents the Party's most extreme Eurosceptics, and has had the ear of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, David Davis, and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The IEA is but one of many neoliberal think tanks that are today advocating a hard Brexit. The same is true for, amongst other, the Adam Smith Institute , the Hayek Institut , the Austrian Economics Center , the Mises Institute , the Hoover Institute , the Cato Institute , and the Heritage Foundation . Whilst it's not true that all of those who work for such institutes are Brexiteers -- indeed, the Adam Smith Institute is very open about its internal dispute over Brexit -- it certainly is the case that neoliberalism's ideological vanguard is contributing significantly to the justification and rationalisation of a no-deal scenario.

All of these threads seem to converge in the figure of Steve Baker. Serving as Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union from June 2017 until he resigned a year later over his disagreement with the government's stance on Brexit, Baker was one of his party's leading Eurosceptical voices well before that. In 2015, he co-founded the Conservatives for Britain campaign, which was instrumental in lobbying for a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU. What's more, he served as Chairman of the ERG between 2016 and 2018 and as Deputy Chairman since then. Baker is also a prominent figure in the world of neoliberal think tanks, having co-founded The Cobden Centre (TCC) in 2010 and served as its director until 2017. A self-declared Austrian-inspired think tank, TCC is co-directed by hard Brexiteer Daniel Hannan , routinely posts defences of a hard Brexit, hosts material by hard-line Brexiteers such as Nigel Farage , Douglas Carswell , Michael Tomlinson , and Baker himself, and has close links to a glut of other neoliberal, pro-Brexit think tanks.

There is ample evidence that what is often seen as the "new right" is in fact not all that different from its predecessor. Several decades of neoliberal hegemony have not just triggered a backlash by the conservative right. Rather, the conservative right is a mutation of neoliberalism, one of its many outgrowths. The left is ill served by the continued assumption that it's fighting a new enemy, for clearly neoliberalism is still very much with us.


Colonel Smithers , July 17, 2019 at 6:33 am

Many thanks, Yves.

With regard to Brexit, I would just add that neo con think tanks, e.g. the Henry Jackson Society, also joined their more economics focussed brethren. Brexit is a means of weakening the EU to the benefit of the anglosphere, albeit a US led community with the UK playing Greece to the US's Rome. They are less prominent, or shouty, but I think that is by design. The likes of Richard Dearlove, Charles Guthrie and John Scarlett know how to play this game and are happy to let the loud mouths, especially the colonials like Kate Andrews, Divya Chakraborty and Chloe "low tax" Westley, or "low fact" to some, front up on air.

Steve Baker is a former Royal Air Force officer and MP for the neighbouring constituency. He straddles both camps.

There are differences, often tensions, between the Austrians, neo cons and the likes of the North family. Pete(r J) North's latest blog addresses that.

Ignacio , July 17, 2019 at 6:35 am

Indeed all confessed VOX (populist rigth, Spain) voters I know were faithful Popular Party (conservative) voters. Anecdotic but in line with this article.

Watt4Bob , July 17, 2019 at 7:37 am

The 'New Right' are the storm troopers of the neoliberal 'New World Order' , conjured deliberately, and painstakingly into existence as a bulwark against the rising tide of legitimate populist revolt against the strangle hold of neoliberal rule.

This is exactly what Jay Gould meant* when he said he could hire half the working class to murder the other half.

It's disturbing to note how obviously Trump is stirring the embers of reactionary sentiment that are never far from the surface of our national lack-of-character.

*It matters not if Jay Gould actually uttered these words, they describe the foundation of right-wing power in America.

Carolinian , July 17, 2019 at 9:23 am

Where is this "rising tide" you refer to? In the US our supposed revolutionaries are firmly within the Democratic party which is neoliberal to the core. While the above article may be correct that the nationalist new right represents fake populism in the manner of Wall Street loving Trump, there's not a lot of evidence of an anti-capitalist revolt on the left either (Elizabeth Warren: I am a capitalist). The article linked the other day on inverted totalitarianism hit the nail squarely. Whether left or right "There Is No Alternative" holds sway until the house of cards finally collapses. In the meantime our current elites will go to any extreme to keep that from happening.

Watt4Bob , July 17, 2019 at 11:35 am

The discomfort of those at the bottom results eventually in anger, and that anger looks for an outlet.

Rather than take the chance that those angry folks might seek, and eventually find solace in solidarity with left-oriented populism a la Bernie Sanders flavor of socialism, TPTB nurture a perennial alternative, the empty, but effective promise to make things 'right' by force of will, and of course, violence if necessary.

If the "rising tide" of relatively informed and activist candidates did not exist, and were not influencing the electorate, there would be fear on the part of TPTB, and so no reason to encourage the "New Right" .

I might add, that IMHO, you are swimming in that "rising tide" by your participation here at NC.

Carolinian , July 17, 2019 at 12:23 pm

Guess I'm old enough to remember an actual popular tide. But as we found the tide comes in and then it goes out. IMO in order to have another New Deal we are probably going to need another Great Depression. The internet including this website have become a great resource for learning what is going on. But if the plutocrats begin to bothered by it they will institute censorship (it's already happening). What they really fear is losing their money and therefore their power. Another economic crisis might do the job.

Pym of Nantucket , July 17, 2019 at 10:31 am

Whenever one attributes anything to Trump, I believe it is important to imagine him not as the mastermind, but as the catalyst. There are countless pent up forces that are using him as the figurehead or scapegoat around which a torrent of change coming which was previously held back. I feel that the damage done by his presidency was coming anyway, with him now as Court Jester leading the parade. He is the perfect hybrid of Big Brother and Emmanuel Goldstein.

A.F , July 17, 2019 at 8:18 am

Nonsense.
Neoliberalism is anti-national and anti-conservative.

Petter , July 17, 2019 at 10:22 am

Epistemology of Neoliberalism – from Phillip Mirowski video – Hell is Truth Seen Too Late.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBB4POvcH18&t=653s

1. People are sloppy undependable cognitive agents.
2. Not to worry – "The Market" is the greatest information processor in human history.
3. The problem is to get people to accept and subjugate themselves to the Market. This is called "Freedom".
4. The politics of 1-3 can get a little tricky. Best not be too literal about it.

Susan the other` , July 17, 2019 at 1:12 pm

Liberty and liberal are both words that are fraught with contradiction and confusion. Whose Liberty? Liberal for whom? That never gets parsed out because in the parsing both words lose their meaning. They are just bricks and bats and hand grenades. Hayek reads like a thoughtful, reasonable person. But what he believes to be effective economics always fails. We are all current witnesses. Austrians are conservative in defense of their liberty. They seek liberal policies and governments so they can have more individual economic freedom. And free trade. Socialism sees it differently; socialists are, by contrast, conservative. They believe in conserving social justice. Now we have a first hand understanding of the failures of neoliberalism. People at the local level, and the rural, want to be included in the liberal prosperity so they vote for more economic freedom (leave the EU); the elite and the rich want something entirely different; they want an even less restricted government so they can sail off and be neocolonialists. So just like the confusion over the word "liberal" nobody asks, Brexit for whom? It makes me weary.

tegnost , July 17, 2019 at 11:06 am

I'd say the neolibs are more afraid of sanders than they are of trump, so conservative (why can't those better republicans be like us) and also that they understand labor arbitrage requires borders and so are pro national.

Thuto , July 17, 2019 at 9:18 am

Interesting perspective this about neoliberalism and the new right drawing from the same ideological source. I would also add that Ukraine is a cautionary tale to all would-be right wing "leaders" that you can whip citizens into a frenzy (with help from Victoria Nuland, John McCain and a not insignificant coup warchest of $5bn) and ride the stirred up resentment of the establishment to the presidency but unless you deliver real, socially beneficial changes the next election you'll have your as# handed to you by a comedian, just ask Poroshenko.

Outside of the US where right wing politicians like Trump can take the credit for levers like easy credit bidding up asset prices and the gig economy putting lipstick on the unemployment pig to keep the deception going (the deception being that stock markets are at all time highs, employment numbers are up etc even as wealth and income inequality are at robber baron levels), right wing populism is hardly a viable political strategy. Once all the immigrants have been demonized and chased out and people notice that their lives are still stuck in an economic rut, the right wingers run out of targets to aim their vitriol at, their rhetoric falls flat and public trust in their divisive tactics erodes.

David , July 17, 2019 at 9:41 am

He gets several things confused, apparently as a result of an attempt to argue that immigration, multiculturalism and so forth are unproblematic, and only "islamophobes" would suggest otherwise. It's very much a view from inside the Panglossian bubble. There are at least three strands here.
Celebrations of western culture in comparison with Islam (a minority position but one which is still found) go back a long time, mainly on the Right Christian heritage, democracy etc) but also to some extent on the Left, where some writers fear that secularism and class-based politics are themselves in danger.
Opposition to explicitly multicultural policies by government (not the same as living in a society with different cultures) is largely a reaction to policies promoted by governments of the ostensible Left, although supported for entirely cynical reasons by neoliberals as a way of fragmenting resistance. This opposition comes from all parts of the political system.
Opposition to neoliberal policies, most obviously the encouragement of immigration by unskilled workers from poor countries, is based primarily on the lived experience of the poor and disadvantaged who are the main victims of immigration. (A non-negligible element of the opposition comes from past immigrants who have settled and made lives for themselves.)
There's a very elitist argument here that people are incapable of understanding their actual situations and require some right-wing pundit to explain things to them.

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , July 17, 2019 at 10:56 am

Also the article elides the fact that neoliberalism has within its DNA a subspecies of Fabian Socialism that seems to assuage what little conciousness market fundamentalists have about rolling back a century of bitterly won advances by the working classes (of all erthnicities & gender identies, fixations and usages) within the insustrialized regions by diluting them with waves of foreign people made desperate by contrived colonial wars and climate disasters.
Does anyone believe that an Indonesian Muslim background person in Netherlands who's made a good living suddenly wants her children to have to compete with waves of Africans for starter jobs?
Also- we've just come off of 30 plus years of identitarian pride for all non-white people. Which is just garbage that's come out of english departments in the elite universities. White people have been told for about a decade now by everyone in academia and entertainment that they're all racist trash who need to intermarry with darker people as quickly as possible to expiate the sins of north american chattel slavery and ..muh holocaust. Somehow all the depradations, human sacrifices, genocides and repressions of and by about every group throughout all time are just 'whatabouttism' now. When you start scapegoating any group they will get their back up eventually. There's nothing conservative about it. But Disaster Capitalists are more than happy to insert themselves into the scene, supporting such causes the same way they supported #MeToo or #BlackLivesMatter when it was a convenience. Never let a good disaster go to waste, right?

Clive , July 17, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Yes, and nary a mention of long-standing socialist (oft referred to in the U.K. as Bennite in "honour" of the school of thought popularised by Tony Benn, but he merely expressed much older international labour movement (note the small "l" there not a big "L") notion of global worker solidarity) opposition to the EU.

You can say many things about socialism, Bennism and their kissing cousin Communism. But "neoliberal" or "neoliberal antecedences" isn't one of them.

A nice try at constricting -- and thereby, one has to assume, attempting to constrain and frame -- Brexit as being only a right wing or conservative reactionary ideal and thereby inherently neoliberal. But that might, only might, have worked a few years ago. Too much water has passed under the bridge and too much ideological complexity has emerged around it now for that to wash.

divadab , July 17, 2019 at 12:19 pm

@David – yes! Resistance to excessive immigration is non-ideological but based on very human tribalism. Too many strangers in a society results in a loss of fellow-feeling and more division. This is, IMHO, the root of much of the rot in Western societies – the destruction of trust, aided and abetted by a ruling class that uses deception habitually to manage the masses and divide them from themselves. Can't let the cattle figure out how we're exploiting them!

John Wright , July 17, 2019 at 1:17 pm

If one views the indigenous workforce of a nation as a loosely constructed "labor union", one only has to look at the disdain that labor unions have for strike breaking "scabs" to see why there is resistance to excessive immigration.

At the top of the workforce pyramid, the well-paid upper crust views their costs for domestic help and workplace staffing dropping with increased immigration..

I suspect left leaning US politicians do not allow that many voting, low wage, workers (aka HRC deplorables) view themselves competing with immigrants for jobs, with some numerical justification, as immigrants and their US born children constitute about 28% of US population.

https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/frequently-requested-statistics-immigrants-and-immigration-united-states

"Immigrants and their U.S.-born children now number approximately 89.4 million people, or 28 percent of the overall U.S. population, according to the 2018 Current Population Survey (CPS). Pew Research Center projects that the immigrant-origin share will rise to about 36 percent by 2065."

Trump has tapped into this, but is doing it in a Potemkin village style, as I tell people that Trump likes low wage workers for his properties and construction projects. His border wall is designed for show, not effectiveness, otherwise he would enforce employer sanctions against employing non US citizens.

Off The Street , July 17, 2019 at 10:03 am

Neo-liberalism seems to me to have as a logical consequence the fostering of a Covenant-Lite approach to culture as well as markets.

The markets show that some of those Covenant-Lite Collateralized Loan Obligations are blowing up now , distressingly reminiscent of the CDOs that wrought havoc on the world financial markets last decade during the Crash.

Culture gets its turn, as it always does, this time through an anything-goes approach without any moral or ethical underpinnings, of whatever nature. It should be no surprise to anyone that there are bad actors to manipulate situations, institutions and people.

Off The Street , July 17, 2019 at 12:05 pm

See also Wolf Richter on the matter.

Hayek's Heelbiter , July 17, 2019 at 10:16 am

Glad to see my nemesis being exposed for what he truly is! :)

Amfortas the hippie , July 17, 2019 at 10:52 am

I think this is neglecting an important strand ..Neoliberalism obviously contains within itself the resistance of the Hoi Polloi even Hayek and Mises were aware of this as far back as the 40's.
People would chafe at the all against all hyperindividualist yer-on-yer-own orthodoxy and seek ways to challenge the Neoliberal Order.
The Right Wing Version of such Populist insurgency is simply one that the Neoliberal Thought Collective can more easily swallow and use towards it's own ends.
Unlike the Sanders/Veroufkas(sp-2). Melanchon(sp-2) Actual Left version of Populism, which is the antithesis of Neoliberalism.
Look to the history of things like the CIA, and the Elite neofeudalist worldview it has worked for from it's very beginnings .anything that smells of the Left must be rooted out and crushed, lest it present an alternative while Right Wing Authoritarians are supported as "Freedom Fighters" and "Liberationists" .just ignore all the corpses(or blame them on the Powerless Left)
Neoliberalism is merely the latest(and slipperiest!) version of a Capitalist World Order that itself is merely the latest iteration of the Ancient Regime.
The Elite, as a class, have been trying to undo the Enlightenment(often by coopting many of it's features) since time immemorial.
The Populist Right is a useful(if dangerous) tool in furtherance of that end, while Lefty Populism is anathema, that would undo the very foundations of their preferred Order.

[Jul 14, 2019] >What's Really Going On in Hong Kong

Jul 14, 2019 | original.antiwar.com

by Reese Erlich Posted on July 13, 2019

For more than three months, people in Hong Kong massed in the streets to protest a proposed extradition law. Critics say it would allow China to extradite dissenting students, journalists, and business people to the mainland, where they could face prison for their views. Rallies and marches of tens of thousands grew to perhaps almost two million at their peak.

"I was very angry about the proposed law," says Adrian Leong, a former Hong Kong resident and political activist in San Francisco. "Everyone could see themselves getting in trouble."

But supporters of the Beijing government say the proposed law would only allow extradition of people accused of serious crimes, not political dissidents. Western governments and media use the phony extradition issue to foment rifts between Hong Kong and the mainland, they argue.

"They want China to splinter and die," says Nathan Rich, an American YouTube blogger living in China.

To sort out these competing claims, we have to understand some Hong Kong history.

Opium Wars

Starting in the late 1700s, the British East India Company illegally sold opium to China. By the 1830s, British and American entrepreneurs became fabulously wealthy selling opium, while addicting millions of Chinese. When the Chinese government ordered the sales to stop, the British sent gunboats to Chinese ports and fought the first Opium War from 1839-1842.

The Qing dynasty lost the war and was forced to cede Hong Kong island to the British, along with parts of other port cities. The British launched the Second Opium War from 1853-1858, in which they seized more Chinese territory and forced China to legalize opium.

For centuries, China had the world's largest economy, selling far more goods overseas than it imported. The opium wars were fought in the name of "free trade," – i.e., the right of British and American drug barons to open up the Chinese market.

Modern day imperialism

Selling addictive drugs to China didn't end in the nineteenth century. During the reign of President Ronald Reagan, for example, the US forced China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan to buy US made cigarettes – all in the name of opening their markets to free trade.

But by the 1980s, the People's Republic of China was emerging as a major world power, and Britain agreed give up Hong Kong. In 1997, Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty with an agreement that it would maintain two different political and economic systems. It became known as "one country, two systems."

One country, two systems was a bold step, something never tried before. China would keep its socialist economy; Hong Kong would remain capitalist. Hong Kong would maintain governing institutions established by the United Kingdom, including independent courts but also indirect election of top political leaders. The one country, two systems would last for 50 years.

The Communist Party of China hoped that, given time, Hong Kong residents would come to see the advantages of socialism and voluntarily join the mainland. They hoped Hong Kong could be a model for integrating Taiwan into China.

But Hong Kong had existed as a separate entity for well more than 100 years, and reunification wasn't going to be easy. Many Hongkongers seek to maintain their capitalist institutions for as long as possible. They want direct election of political leaders and a judiciary that tilts their way in case of disputes with Beijing.

Hongkongers have developed their own identity, notes Tom Fowdy, a China analyst who attended university in Hong Kong. "On paper they are the same ethnic group, but they are culturally different."

Extradition law

The roots of the current protests can be traced to the case of Chan Tong Kai . In February, he flew to Taiwan with his girlfriend, strangled her, stuffed her body in a suitcase, dumped her in a field, and flew back to Hong Kong. Although he confessed, he couldn't be sent to Taiwan because Hong Kong had no extradition treaty. (Hong Kong has extradition agreements with 20 countries but not China, Macao, and Taiwan.)

Hong Kong authorities couldn't charge Chan with a murder that took place elsewhere. So a Hong Kong court convicted him on a lesser charge and sentenced him to a few months in jail.

Outrage over the Chan case led Hong Kong legislators to draft a law that would allow extradition to any country on a case by case basis. Taiwan later indicated it would not seek Chan's extradition, making the murder case moot. But the extradition issue remained on the table.

Critics claim the proposed law would enable China to extradite and imprison political dissidents from Hong Kong. However, the bill's supporters point out that an extraditable offense must be a crime in both China and Hong Kong, which protects Hongkongers from arbitrary arrest. And the law specifically prohibits extradition for political crimes.

In addition, the bill granted Hong Kong's chief executive the ability to review extradition requests and allows for two separate judicial review processes. And according to the chief executive's office, extradition would "only cover 37 offenses punishable with imprisonment for seven years or above, and none of them prohibits the exercise of the right to freedom of expression."

But many people in Hong Kong simply don't trust Beijing. They cite examples when China remanded Hong Kong residents without following judicial procedures. "The Communist Party of China no longer respects the two systems," says activist Leong. "It only respects the one country."

Demonstrations

On March 31, Hongkongers marched and rallied against the proposed legislation. By June, the mostly peaceful protests grew to hundreds of thousands. On June 9, organizers said two million people marched, while police put the number at 338,000.

Then, in a preplanned action on July 1, hundreds of militants smashed their way into Hong Kong's legislative offices, where they destroyed furniture and sprayed anti-communist graffiti on the walls. They draped the union jack flag over the speaker's podium.

Analyst Fowdy says displaying the British flag doesn't mean protesters want a return to British rule. Rather, they want Hong Kong to "remain a special administrative region under Chinese sovereignty. They don't want Hong Kong to be just another Chinese city."

Whatever the militants' intention, in my opinion, raising the British flag leaves the impression that they favor independence. That plays into the hands of Western powers who have long sought to divide China.

It's no coincidence that most mainstream media unabashedly support the protesters and seek to excuse the violent actions. An opinion article in the Wall Street Journal urged readers to see the vandalism as "an act of desperation after years of frustration." I've yet to see the Journal apply that logic to Black Lives Matters protesters in the US.

Here's the bottom line: Hong Kong is Chinese; it's not an independent country. Any effort towards independence angers mainland Chinese, not just the government in Beijing.

Contrary to the impression left by the mainstream media, Hong Kong opinion is divided on the extradition law. On June 30, tens of thousands gathered for a rally supporting extradition and backing the Hong Kong government. Legislators say they collected 700,000 verified signatures on a petition supporting the proposed law.

For now, however, the momentum is with the anti-government forces. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam suspended the bill from consideration and on July 9 declared it "dead." Critics say that isn't enough. They want her to withdraw the legislation completely and to resign.

So demonstrations are likely to continue. China and Hong Kong will be struggling for many years to determine exactly what "one country, two systems" really means.

Reese Erlich's nationally distributed column, Foreign Correspondent, appears every two weeks. Follow him on Twitter , @ReeseErlich; friend him on Facebook ; and visit his webpage .

[Jul 13, 2019] The saddest thing of all is that the Dems' fixation on Russia and Putin is now coming back to bite them in the ass. Trump could not have asked for a better gift.

Notable quotes:
"... You can bet that the likes of Rachel Maddow will never change their tune on the subject of Russiagate. ..."
Jul 13, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Rob , July 12, 2019 at 12:27

You can bet that the likes of Rachel Maddow will never change their tune on the subject of Russiagate.

However, with the election season heating up, it might seem wise for them to start singing a different tune altogether, such as Sanders and Warren are too radical to have any chance of defeating Trump.

The saddest thing of all is that the Dems' fixation on Russia and Putin is now coming back to bite them in the ass. Trump could not have asked for a better gift.

[Jul 13, 2019] Mueller Does Not Have Evidence That The IRA Was Part of Russian Government Meddling by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Looks like Mueller and his team were extremely sloppy and just milked the US government and try to feed rumors to the media.
Mueller emerged as a stooge of Clinton mafia.
Notable quotes:
"... In short, the US Government cannot come out and declare that Concord Management, for example, was acting on behalf or or in collaboration with the Russian Government without presenting actual evidence. A prosecutor cannot simply claim that Concord is a Putin Stooge. ..."
"... The lawyers for Concord Management read the Mueller report and noted significant discrepancies between what was alleged in the original complaint and what was asserted as "fact" in the Mueller report. ..."
"... On April 25, 2019, Concord filed the instant motion in which it argues that the Attorney General and Special Counsel violated Local Rule 57.7 by releasing information to the public that was not contained in the indictment. Concord's main contention is that the Special Counsel's Report, as released to the public, and the Attorney General's related public statements improperly suggested a link between the defendants and the Russian government and expressed an opinion about the defendants' guilt and the evidence against them. ..."
"... Concord's lawyers wanted Judge Friedrich to find Robert Mueller and Attorney General Barr in contempt for violating rule 57.7. ..."
"... the Court has entered an order limiting public statements about this case moving forward and cautions the government that any future violations of that order will trigger a range of potential sanctions. ..."
"... But the Judge did not stop there. She pointed out some glaring discrepancies between the Mueller Report and the actual indictment: ..."
"... By attributing IRA's conduct to "Russia" -- as opposed to Russian individuals or entities -- the Report suggests that the activities alleged in the indictment were undertaken on behalf of, if not at the direction of, the Russian government. ..."
"... But the activities of the IRA and Concord Management are not established. In fact, Mueller's own report undermines his claims, as noted in a recent article by Nation's Aaron Mate. ..."
"... Mate's article, as I mentioned in a previous piece, does an excellent job of showing that the Mueller Report is based on heartfelt beliefs but devoid of corroborating evidence. ..."
"... I think Mueller, Weissman, et al did not expect Concord to contest their indictment. They believed they could continue their PR effort that Russia changed the outcome of the election by sending out tweets and Facebook posts without anyone calling them out. ..."
"... The national security surveillance state is only going to get bigger and more powerful. I suppose that is the real competition between the CCP & the USA who can get more totalitarian sooner. ..."
"... a very valuable recent piece in the 'Epoch Times' about the questions that need to be put to Mueller, Jeff Carlson discusses some of the problems relating both to Christopher Steele's involvement with Oleg Deripaska, and the involvement of Fusion GPS with Natalia Veseltnitskaya which led to the Trump Tower meeting. (See https://www.theepochtimes.com/33-key-questions-for-robert-mueller_2988876.html .) ..."
"... Andrew McCarthy, in the 'National Review', picks up one of the most interesting, and puzzling, moments in the fascinating notes by Kathy Kavalec of the conversation she had with Steele when Jonathan Winer brought him to see on her in October 2016. (See https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/oleg-deripaska-fbi-russia-collusion-theory/ ) ..."
"... 'Moreover, by January 2017, F.B.I. agents had tracked down and interviewed one of Mr. Steele's main sources, a Russian speaker from a former Soviet republic who had spent time in the West, according to a Justice Department document obtained by The New York Times and three people familiar with the events. After questioning him, F.B.I. officials came to suspect that the man might have added his own interpretations to reports from his own sources that he passed on to Mr. Steele, calling into question the reliability of the information.' ..."
"... Without wanting to prejudge things, it seems to me quite likely that what Horowitz has been contemplating is a kind of 'limited hangout'. So, the idea could be to suggest that Steele did have sources, that however these were not as reliable as he thought they were, but everything was done in good faith etc etc. In the light of information coming out, including that in the Friedrich ruling, he may however have decided to 'hold his horses.' ..."
"... It is important that the general pattern of assuming that Putin is some kind of omnipotent Sauron-figure, which has clearly left Mueller open to a counter-attack by Concord, was given a classic expression in the testimony which Glenn Simpson gave to the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017. ..."
"... Litvinenko himself, as well as having been a key member of the late Boris Berezovsky's 'information operations team', was an agent, as distinct from an informant, of MI6: accounts differ as to whether Steele was his personal 'handler' (John Sipher), or had never met him (Luke Harding). ..."
"... Also relevant is the fact that Shvets, a fanatical Ukrainian nationalist, and an important figure in the original 'Orange Revolution', was also a key member of Berezovsky's 'information operations' team. ..."
"... The account of his career by the 'New York Times' journalist Barry Meier in his 2016 study 'Missing Man' is a tissue of sleazy evasions, not least in relation to the role of Levinson in 'investigating' the notorious mobster Semion Mogilevich, a key figure in 'information operations' against both Putin and Trump, and also the opponents of Yulia Tymoshenko. ..."
"... A large question involved is how co-operation between not simply elements in MI6 and the CIA, but also in the FBI, with the oligarchs who refused to accept Putin's terms goes back a very long way. ..."
Jul 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Mueller Does Not Have Evidence That The IRA Was Part of Russian Government Meddling by Larry C Johnson

In the criminal case against alleged Russian operatives--Internet Research Agency and Concord Management and Consulting LLC--a Federal judge has declared that Robert Mueller has not offered one piece of solid evidence that these defendants were involved in any way with the Government of Russia. I think this is a potential game changer.

The world of law as opposed to the world of intelligence is as different as Mercury and Mars. The intelligence community aka IC can traffic in rumor and speculation. IC "solid" intelligence may be nothing more than the strident assertion of a source who lacks actual first hand knowledge of an event. The legal world does not enjoy that kind of sloppiness. If a prosecutor makes a claim, i.e., Jack shot Jill, then said prosecutor must show that Jack owned a firearm that matches the bullets recovered from Jill's body. Then the prosecutor needs to show that Jack was with Jill when the shooting took place and that forensic evidence recovered from Jack showed he had fired a firearm. Keep this distinction in mind as you consider what has transpired in the case against the Internet Research Agency and Concord Management and Consulting.

To understand why Judge Friedrich ruled as she did you must understand Local Rule 57.7. That rule: restricts public dissemination of information by attorneys involved in criminal cases where

"there is a reasonable likelihood that such dissemination will interfere with a fair trial or otherwise prejudice the administration of justice." It also authorizes the court "[i]n a widely publicized or sensational criminal case" to issue a special order governing extrajudicial statements and other matters designed to limit publicity that might interfere with the conduct of a fair trial. . . .

The rule prohibits lawyers associated with the prosecution or defense from publishing, between the time of the indictment and the commencement of trial, "[a]ny opinion as to the accused's guilt or innocence or as to the merits of the case or the evidence in the case."

In short, the US Government cannot come out and declare that Concord Management, for example, was acting on behalf or or in collaboration with the Russian Government without presenting actual evidence. A prosecutor cannot simply claim that Concord is a Putin Stooge.

The lawyers for Concord Management read the Mueller report and noted significant discrepancies between what was alleged in the original complaint and what was asserted as "fact" in the Mueller report.

On April 25, 2019, Concord filed the instant motion in which it argues that the Attorney General and Special Counsel violated Local Rule 57.7 by releasing information to the public that was not contained in the indictment. Concord's main contention is that the Special Counsel's Report, as released to the public, and the Attorney General's related public statements improperly suggested a link between the defendants and the Russian government and expressed an opinion about the defendants' guilt and the evidence against them.

Concord's lawyers wanted Judge Friedrich to find Robert Mueller and Attorney General Barr in contempt for violating rule 57.7.

Judge Friedrich gave Concord a partial victory:

Although the Court agrees that the government violated Rule 57.7 , it disagrees that contempt proceedings are an appropriate response to that violation. Instead, the Court has entered an order limiting public statements about this case moving forward and cautions the government that any future violations of that order will trigger a range of potential sanctions.

But the Judge did not stop there. She pointed out some glaring discrepancies between the Mueller Report and the actual indictment:

The Special Counsel Report describes efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. . . . But the indictment . . . does not link the defendants to the Russian government. Save for a single allegation that Concord and Concord Catering had several "government contracts" (with no further elaboration), id. ¶ 11, the indictment alleges only private conduct by private actors.

. . . the concluding paragraph of the section of the [Mueller] Report related to Concord states that the Special Counsel's "investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the 'active measures' social media campaign carried out by" Concord's co-defendant, the Internet Research Agency (IRA). By attributing IRA's conduct to "Russia" -- as opposed to Russian individuals or entities -- the Report suggests that the activities alleged in the indictment were undertaken on behalf of, if not at the direction of, the Russian government.

Similarly, the Attorney General drew a link between the Russian government and this case during a press conference in which he stated that "[t]he Special Counsel's report outlines two main efforts by the Russian government to influence the 2016 election." . . . The "[f]irst" involved "efforts by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company with close ties to the Russian government, to sow social discord among American voters through disinformation and social media operations." Id. The "[s]econd" involved "efforts by Russian military officials associated with the GRU," a Russian intelligence agency, to hack and leak private documents and emails from the Democratic Party and the Clinton Campaign.

The Report explains that it used the term "established" whenever "substantial, credible evidence enabled the Office to reach a conclusion with confidence." . . . It then states in its conclusion that the Special Counsel's "investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the 'active measures' social media campaign carried out by the IRA." In context, this statement characterizes the evidence against the defendants as "substantial" and "credible," and it provides the Special Counsel's Office's "conclusion" about what actually occurred.

But the activities of the IRA and Concord Management are not established. In fact, Mueller's own report undermines his claims, as noted in a recent article by Nation's Aaron Mate. Although Mueller claims that it was "established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the 'active measures' social media campaign carried out by" Concord's co-defendant, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), he provided no such evidence.

According to Mate :

After two years and $35 million, Mueller apparently failed to uncover any direct evidence linking the Prigozhin-controlled IRA's activities to the Kremlin. His best evidence is that "[n]umerous media sources have reported on Prigozhin's ties to Putin, and the two have appeared together in public photographs."

Mate's article, as I mentioned in a previous piece, does an excellent job of showing that the Mueller Report is based on heartfelt beliefs but devoid of corroborating evidence.

Some readers will insist that Mueller and his team have actual intelligence but cannot put that in an indictment. Well boys and girls, here is a simple truth--if you cannot produce evidence that can be presented in court then you do not have a case. There is that part of the Constitution that allows those accused of a crime to confront their accusers.

Posted at 11:09 PM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink


Sonal Chawhan , 12 July 2019 at 05:38 AM

Impressive!Thanks for the post
SAS Base and Advance

Peter VE , 12 July 2019 at 09:14 AM

Minor quibble: Judge Friedrich is a woman. I expect that this will get no play from the MSM, since Judge Friedrich was appointed by Trump, and "everyone" knows she's just covering up for him.

Larry Johnson -> Peter VE... , 12 July 2019 at 11:37 AM

Thanks. Never heard of a chick named, "Dabney." I was thinking Dabney Coleman. Dating myself.

Peter VE -> Larry Johnson ... , 12 July 2019 at 02:17 PM

Maybe her name is misspelled reference to Dagney Taggart...

Flavius , 12 July 2019 at 10:33 AM

Under the conditions and in the environment that it was returned, this indictment was Mueller and his partisan team throwing raw meat fo the media so as to prolong their mission, nothing more. Once filed, no one involved ever expected to appear in a courtroom to prosecute anyone, or defend any part of it. It was an abuse of process, pure and simple.

Consider it as a count against Mueller, his competence or his integrity, maybe both. He let himself become a tool.

pretzelattack -> Flavius... , 12 July 2019 at 07:27 PM

Johnson refers to "heartfelt beliefs" but i doubt Mueller believes his own bs. in this i guess he distinguishes himself from earlier witch-hunters, who apparently sincerely believed their targets were minions of satan.

blue peacock , 12 July 2019 at 11:33 AM

I think Mueller, Weissman, et al did not expect Concord to contest their indictment. They believed they could continue their PR effort that Russia changed the outcome of the election by sending out tweets and Facebook posts without anyone calling them out.

It seems on the current trajectory both the Trump colluded with Russia and our law enforcement & IC attempted a soft-coup will die on the vine. The latter because Trump is unwilling to declassify. It seems for him it was all just another reality TV show and him tweeting "witch hunt" constantly was what the script called for.

The next time the IC & law enforcement who now must believe that they are the real power behind the throne decide to exercise that power it will be a doozie.

The national security surveillance state is only going to get bigger and more powerful. I suppose that is the real competition between the CCP & the USA who can get more totalitarian sooner.

https://theintercept.com/2019/07/11/china-surveillance-google-ibm-semptian/

David Habakkuk , 12 July 2019 at 12:39 PM

Larry,

A fine piece.

I think a large question is raised as to how far the kind of sloppiness in the handling of evidence which Judge Friedrich identified in the Mueller report may have characterised a great deal of the treatment of matters to do with the post-Soviet space by the FBI and others – including almost all MSM journalists – for a very long time.

Unfortunately, one also finds this among some of the most useful critics of 'Russiagate'. So, for example, in a very valuable recent piece in the 'Epoch Times' about the questions that need to be put to Mueller, Jeff Carlson discusses some of the problems relating both to Christopher Steele's involvement with Oleg Deripaska, and the involvement of Fusion GPS with Natalia Veseltnitskaya which led to the Trump Tower meeting. (See https://www.theepochtimes.com/33-key-questions-for-robert-mueller_2988876.html .)

He then however goes on to write: 'In other words, not only was the firm that hired Steele, Fusion GPS, hired by the Russians, but Steele himself was hired directly by the Russians.'

And Andrew McCarthy, in the 'National Review', picks up one of the most interesting, and puzzling, moments in the fascinating notes by Kathy Kavalec of the conversation she had with Steele when Jonathan Winer brought him to see on her in October 2016. (See https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/oleg-deripaska-fbi-russia-collusion-theory/ )

Commenting on the fact that, in her scribbled notes, beside the names of Vladislav Surkov and Vyacheslav Trubnikov, who are indeed a top Putin adviser and a former SVR chief respectively, Kavalec writes 'source', McCarthy simply concludes that she meant that he had said that these were his – indirect – sources, and that this was accurate. And he goes on to write:

'Deripaska, Surkov, and Trubnikov were not informing on the Kremlin. These are Putin's guys. They were peddling what the Kremlin wanted the world to believe, and what the Kremlin shrewdly calculated would sow division in the American body politic. So, the question is: Did they find the perfect patsy in Christopher Steele?'

If you look at Kavalec's typing up of the notes, among a good deal of what looks to me like pure 'horse manure' – including the claim that 'Manafort has been the go-between with the campaign' – the single reference to Surkov and Trubnikov is that they are said to be 'also involved.'

As it happens, Surkov is a very complex figure indeed. His talents as a 'political technologist' were first identified by Khodorkovsky, before he subsequently played that role for Putin. It would obviously be possible that he and Steele still had common contacts.

The suggestion in Kavalec's notes that Sergei Millian 'may be involved in some way,' and also that, 'Per Steele, Millian is connected Simon Kukes (who took over management of Yukos when Khodorkovsky was arrested)' is interesting, but would seem to suggest that he would not have been cited to Kavalec as an intermediary.

All this is obviously worth putting together with claims made in the 'New York Times' follow-up on 9 July to the Reuters report on the same day breaking the story of the interviews carried out with Steele by the Inspector General's team in early June.

(See https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/09/us/politics/ig-russia-investigation-steele.html?module=inline .)

According to this:

'Moreover, by January 2017, F.B.I. agents had tracked down and interviewed one of Mr. Steele's main sources, a Russian speaker from a former Soviet republic who had spent time in the West, according to a Justice Department document obtained by The New York Times and three people familiar with the events. After questioning him, F.B.I. officials came to suspect that the man might have added his own interpretations to reports from his own sources that he passed on to Mr. Steele, calling into question the reliability of the information.'

Some observations prompted by all this.

Without wanting to prejudge things, it seems to me quite likely that what Horowitz has been contemplating is a kind of 'limited hangout'. So, the idea could be to suggest that Steele did have sources, that however these were not as reliable as he thought they were, but everything was done in good faith etc etc. In the light of information coming out, including that in the Friedrich ruling, he may however have decided to 'hold his horses.'

In trying to put together the accumulating evidence, it is necessary to realise, as so many people seem to find it difficult to do, that in matters like these people commonly play double games – often for very good reasons.

To say as Carlson does that Fusion and Steele were hired by 'the Russians' implies that these are some kind of collective entity – and then, one is one step away from the assumption that Veselnitskaya and Deripaska, as well as 'Putin's Cook', are simply puppets controlled by the master manipulator in the Kremlin. (The fact that Friedrich applies serious standards for assessing evidence to Mueller's version of this is one of the reasons why her judgement is so important.)

As regards what McCarthy says, to lump Surkov and Deripaska together as 'Putin's guys' is unhelpful. Actually, it seems to me very unlikely, although perhaps not absolutely impossible, that, had he been implicated in any conspiracy to intervene in an American election, Surkov would have been talking candidly about his role to anyone liable to relay the information to Steele.

Likewise, however, the notion of a Machiachiavellian Surkov, feeding disinformation about a non-existent plot through an intermediary to Steele, who swallows it hook, line and sinker, does not seem particularly plausible.

A rather more obvious possibility is that the intermediaries who were supposed to have conveyed a whole lot of 'smoking gun' evidence to Steele were either 1. fabrications, 2. people whom without their knowledge he cast in this role, or 3. co-conspirators. It would, obviously, be possible that Millian, although one can say no more than that at this stage, was involved in either or both of roles 2. and 3.

It is important that the general pattern of assuming that Putin is some kind of omnipotent Sauron-figure, which has clearly left Mueller open to a counter-attack by Concord, was given a classic expression in the testimony which Glenn Simpson gave to the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017.

(See https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/House_Intelligence_Committee_Interview_of_Glenn_Simpson )

Providing his version of what was going on following his move from the Washington office of the 'Wall Street Journal' to its European headquarters in January 2005, Simpson told the Committee:

'And the oligarchs, during this period of consolidation of power by Vladimir Putin, when I was living in Brussels and doing all this work, was about him essentially taking control over both the oligarchs and the mafia groups. And so basically everyone in Russia works for Putin now. And that's true of the diaspora as well. So the Russian mafia in the United States is believed bylaw enforcement criminologists to have – to be under the influence of the Russian security services. And this is convenient for the security services because it gives them a level of deniability.'

A bit less than two years after Simpson's move to Brussels, a similar account featured in what appears to have been the first attempt by Christopher Steele and his confederates to provide a 'narrative' in terms of which could situate the supposed assassination by polonium poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko.

This came in a BBC Radio 4 programme, entitled 'The Litvinenko Mystery', in which a veteran presenter with the Corporation, Tom Mangold, produced an account by the former KGB Major Yuri Shvets, supported by the former FBI Agent Robert Levinson, and an 'Unidentified Informer', who is told by Mangold that he cannot be identified 'reasons of your own personal security'.

(A full transcript is on the 'Evidence' archived website of the Litvinenko Inquiry – one needs to search for the reference HMG000513 – at https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence ">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence">https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

This figure, whose credentials we have no means of assessing, explains:

'Well it's not well known to Western leaders or Western people but it is pretty well known in Russia. Because essentially it is common knowledge in Russia that by the end of Nineties the so called Russian organised crime had been destroyed by the Government and then the Russian security agencies, primarily the law enforcement and primarily the FSB, essentially assumes the functions and methods of Russian organised crime. And they became one of the most dangerous organised crime group because they are protected by law. They're protected by all power of the State. They have essentially the free hand in the country and this shadow establishment essentially includes the entire structure of the FSB from the very top people in Moscow going down to the low offices.'

The story Mangold told was a pathetic tale of how Litvinenko and Shvets, trying to turn an honest penny from 'due diligence' work, identified damning evidence about the links of a figure close to Putin to organised crime, who in return sent Andrei Lugovoi to poison the former with polonium.

A few problems with this version have, however, subsequently, emerged. Among them is the fact that, at the time, Litvinenko himself, as well as having been a key member of the late Boris Berezovsky's 'information operations team', was an agent, as distinct from an informant, of MI6: accounts differ as to whether Steele was his personal 'handler' (John Sipher), or had never met him (Luke Harding).

Also relevant is the fact that Shvets, a fanatical Ukrainian nationalist, and an important figure in the original 'Orange Revolution', was also a key member of Berezovsky's 'information operations' team.

Perhaps most interesting is the fact that the disappearance of Levinson, on the Iranian island of Kish, the following March, was not as was claimed for years related to his private sector work. His entrapment and imprisonment – from which we now know Deripaska was later involved in attempting to rescue him – related to an undercover mission on behalf of elements in the CIA.

The account of his career by the 'New York Times' journalist Barry Meier in his 2016 study 'Missing Man' is a tissue of sleazy evasions, not least in relation to the role of Levinson in 'investigating' the notorious mobster Semion Mogilevich, a key figure in 'information operations' against both Putin and Trump, and also the opponents of Yulia Tymoshenko.

A large question involved is how co-operation between not simply elements in MI6 and the CIA, but also in the FBI, with the oligarchs who refused to accept Putin's terms goes back a very long way.

And, among other things, that raises a whole range of questions about Mueller.

Dan -> David Habakkuk ... , 12 July 2019 at 04:36 PM

Great info, thanks. I admittedly don't watch the skeptics' comments closely enough, and can be susceptible to twisted observations from guys like Carlson and Solomon.

[Jul 11, 2019] Is Epstein's arrest and indictment part of Barr's counter-offensive?

Notable quotes:
"... I'm curious when & how Epstein made his billions. No one that I know in the hedge fund world has ever heard of his trades!! Nor does it seem there is any reporting on that. ..."
"... Only reporting that I've seen is on his partner who was sentenced to 20 years for fraud. He skated then too. ..."
"... I think this may be Barr putting Mueller on notice in advance of congressional testimony, given that is very likely that Mueller is implicated in this whole Epstein affair. ..."
"... Utterly fascinating. Watching the US "nomenklatura" fight it out, gloves off. Us mere mortals never usually get to gawp on their goings on. ..."
"... ¿City on a hill? Caligula an Nero look good compared to that tribe. ..."
"... epsteins arrest had better be merely point of the lance or you can start the count down clock on our political dissolution. ..."
"... If, after interviewing Steele for sixteen hours, anyone professes to find him credible, then in my view they are either fools or knaves – if not both. ..."
"... The cover-up of the circumstances of the life and death of the late Alexander Litvinenko, which Steele was instrumental in orchestrating, is a matter I have discussed on and off here on SST. I now have a 'smoking gun' – it is clear there were honest detectives in Counter Terrorism Command, who got fed up with the lies he was mass producing (as is his wont). ..."
"... A very interesting question however arises as to how the Reuters report by Mark Hosenball which is the source of TTG's claim, originated, and what its implications are. ..."
"... Obviously, my hypotheses reflect my conviction that Steele is a form of pond life – the 'scum', rather than the 'dregs' of society – born in part out of experience with superannuated Cambridge and Oxford student politicians of his kind. ..."
"... As an outside observer, the only explanations that make sense about the absurd plea bargain agreement from 2007-2008 are that it was the result of either bribery, or an order that came down from someone above Alex Acosta in the heirarchy at the Department of Justice, and he followed orders. Or maybe both. ..."
"... Another observation is that Jeffrey Epstein has been and is a front man for an organization or organizations, that could be governmental, private, or both. ..."
"... In my opinion, there should be a RICO charge also against Epstein. ..."
"... From what I can gather, several high levels are getting real nervous, and rumblings that Epstein's time on this planet may be shortened because of it ..."
"... It appears that Epstein is a faux hedge fund manager. So, where does/did the money come from? Robert Willman suggested that the most interesting question about this creep is who or what he really represents. ..."
Jul 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

IMO AG Barr is conducting a general counter-offensive against "the resistance." He has his bulldog Durham organizing indictments for the former underground in DoJ and the FBI. He has DoJ IG Horowitz' report on malfeasance coming out soon. He has that fellow out in Utah who must have done something in all this elapsed time. He has various cats and dogs in DoJ running down a variety of blood trails looking for dead men walking.

And then there is Jeffrey Epstein (the man who loved childwomen). The timing is interesting as a part of the putative Barr counter-offensive. Is Trump vulnerable? Probably not unless he was so self-indulgent as to let Epstein ("a great guy") loan him one of these girls in days of yore. On the positive side Trump did ban Epstein from Mar a Lago a while back for an assault on a young woman. No. the vulnerables would seem to be mostly on the other side, especially the Clintons. Bill is a prospective figure of interest no matter what his spokesman said of his innocence and her majesty is toast if it can be shown that she was knowledgeable of adventures in Epsteinland. She doesn't have to have participated in the Epstein child care program. She merely has to have been contemporaneously knowledgeable.

Epstein flew back into the US aboard his private 727 (aka The Lolita Express). He must have thought he had the situation "wired." Apparently the AG did not accept the terms of the old Florida deal. IMO Barr is following his own program in this. Trump is merely a pleased spectator. pl


Jack , 09 July 2019 at 11:17 AM

Sir

What do you make of media reports of Bill Barr's father having hired Epstein as a school teacher? Why do you think they're going after him now considering his "protected" status and do you believe that they'll also go after the other high profile potential child rapists who took advantage of the Lolita Express?

https://www.lawandcrime.com/high-profile/william-barr-reveals-has-recused-himself-from-jeffrey-esptein-case-heres-the-reason-he-gave

Bill Wade -> Jack... , 09 July 2019 at 02:00 PM

Bloomberg today is reporting that AG Barr is not recusing himself from this case, rumors were yesterday that he was going to do that.

Interesting video if you have 30+ minutes to spare:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=7&v=Vc-uysS6Tlw

Jack -> Bill Wade... , 10 July 2019 at 03:02 PM

Yup. More than meets the eye here. I'm curious when & how Epstein made his billions. No one that I know in the hedge fund world has ever heard of his trades!! Nor does it seem there is any reporting on that.

Only reporting that I've seen is on his partner who was sentenced to 20 years for fraud. He skated then too.

rho -> Jack... , 10 July 2019 at 04:05 PM

Jack,

Zerohedge linked to the theory of some twitter user which sounds quite plausible to me:

https://twitter.com/quantian1/status/1148303672742469634

In short, Epstein's hedge fund may just have been a front to collect hush money (masked as "management fees", which for hedge funds are usually 2% of the total value of assets under management in any given year) from very rich people that he entrapped in his alleged underage women prostitution scheme.

PRC90 , 09 July 2019 at 12:07 PM

Timing is (just about) everything, including within the art of public swamp draining.

I'm not familiar with the pace of legal proceedings of this nature through the US Court system, however Trump will be in an advantageous position if Barr's processes are timed to result in convictions and penalties being handed out to various well known DNC and IC luminaries immediately before the 2020 election date.

The mistake would be to rely on any convictions of the 2016 players to discredit the DNC candidate of 2020. The Clintons, et al, are current era irrelevancies or indeed parodies, and they and proof of long gone conspiracies would be seen as separate issues to whatever the Democrat candidate, eg., Elizabeth Warren, can credibly promise for 2020-24.

Trump will still have to fight 2020, not re run 2016.

I think the answer to the above question is 'yes' within the context that ever action the WH takes from now on in, be it relating to Epsteins or Iranians, will be with the 2020 outcome as the prime determinant.

Barbara Ann -> PRC90... , 09 July 2019 at 02:44 PM

Timing is indeed everything. Russiagate set the precedent for lawfare to become a normal part of the political process and I'd fully expect Trump to maximize it to his own advantage in the run up to 2020.

Lolitagate may be targeting the Clintons and you are probably right that the Clintons need not drag down someone like Warren simply because of party association. However, I'd bet Barr can be relied upon to do plenty of damage to the Dems which will affect voters next year. It depends how high up the Russiagate blowback goes. I'd not expect any Dem candidate to beat Trump if the guts of the coup plot spill out in public, especially if St. Obama is implicated - that would be a dagger to the heart.

This is why I found it interesting to see the Strzok-Page texts info the Favored Fox News Channel had, referred to in Larry's last post. I'd expect more of the same building to a crescendo at the most opportune time. Trump is a ruthless SOB and I expect his revenge will be sweet.

Bill H , 09 July 2019 at 12:20 PM

This action is being brought by the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, which is/are also bring charges against Trump parallel to the federal charges which fizzled. It looks to me like that is another attempt to bring down an elected president. From Vox News:

"Trump, meanwhile, reportedly attended Epstein-hosted events in New York and Florida, as Epstein patronized the Mar-a-Lago Club. In 2002, Trump even gave a remarkable on-the-record comment about Epstein to a New York magazine journalist, calling him 'terrific' and adding that he 'likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.'"

And, "During the 2016 campaign, Trump was sued by an anonymous woman who claimed he raped her at an Epstein party when she was 13 years old."

I don't regard Vox as a reliable source, but am citing them here as representative of what the "story line" will be.

Johnb -> Bill H ... , 09 July 2019 at 09:19 PM

Yes my first and ongoing question is 'Who's being targeted' given that 2020 is underway. Given the Steele dossier is there any link to the leaking of the Ambassador cables just prior to this announcement. I'm way to far removed to comment further at this stage.

Fred -> Bill H ... , 10 July 2019 at 08:37 AM

Bill,

You are right about the storyline/narrative in the making. Christine Beasley Ford, the sequal. There are other reports out in the press that Trump had Epstein banned from Mar-a-Lago after his conduct there.

Sounds like Walrus' comments on a prior thread about the truly rich having their own folks investigate people before they get involved socially are accurate regarding Trump. He's be active in NYC, charity and entertainment circles for decades. I'm sure he's seen this kind of stuff destroy people many times.

Eric Newhill -> Fred ... , 10 July 2019 at 10:15 AM

Fred,

This article paints a little bit different picture. If the article is accurate, New York high society is apparently more degenerate than the movers and shakers that Walrus apparently knows.

"Why was Epstein so easily rehabilitated? He was smart. Attractive. Rich. And that is a potent combination. As David Patrick Columbia, editor of New York Social Diary, explained it for the Times: "A jail sentence doesn't matter anymore. The only thing that gets you shunned in New York society is poverty."

https://www.salon.com/2019/07/09/i-was-a-friend-of-jeffrey-epstein-heres-what-i-know/

Eric Newhill -> Fred ... , 10 July 2019 at 05:15 PM

Fred,

Yeah. I guess so. I misread what Walrus wrote. It seemed he was disagreeing with me because of how he wrote it and because he bothered to write it at all, yet we were saying the same thing.

The high flying people on Epstein's guest registry knew who they were associating with and chose to go ahead anyhow.

Eric Newhill -> Fred ... , 10 July 2019 at 03:50 PM

Fred,

I think you're missing the point - which is that Epstein was connected to many wealthy movers and shakers in New York society and, indeed, globally.

Walrus says that the movers and shakers he knows would never be so stupid and crass as to associate with the likes of Epstein. I'll take Walrus at his word, but, apparently, he doesn't know the subset of movers and shakers that do associate with the likes of Epstein, to include people that would have access to info such that they would understand Epstein's reputation and predilections. In fact, the article suggests that NY society knew and didn't care, which is contrary to what Walrus asserts.

I don't normally read Salon because it is typically globalist garbage. As I read the article I linked to, it's not a hit on Trump. Rather it is a hit on all of NY high society. They readily accepted Epstein back into their fold after his conviction in Florida. They knew who he was prior to the conviction as well.

Bottom line, NY society as well as global players, that should know better, did not exercise discretion in their association with Epstein. Walrus think that is inconceivable, but there it is and we will learn more names from the upper echelons who were involved in the weeks and months to come.

casey , 09 July 2019 at 12:31 PM

I wonder whether domestic Israeli politics is also involved here, too, in the form of Barak being fingered, so to speak, for his Epstein connections, via Wexner, in order to smear him as election time approaches.

eakens , 09 July 2019 at 12:34 PM

I think this may be Barr putting Mueller on notice in advance of congressional testimony, given that is very likely that Mueller is implicated in this whole Epstein affair.

I also think Les Wexner needs to be stripped of his fortune. I believe he was in cahoots with Epstein in this entrapment operation that was run.

Harry , 09 July 2019 at 12:55 PM

Utterly fascinating. Watching the US "nomenklatura" fight it out, gloves off. Us mere mortals never usually get to gawp on their goings on.

R , 09 July 2019 at 01:24 PM

The argument for Barr's counteroffensive is strengthened by his recusal reversal. Doubt still remains though as to what is really going on.

If the court filings at the below are accurate--graphic reading in some instances--POTUS was enmeshed in the Epstein-Maxwell op:

https://thememoryhole2.org/blog/doe-v-trump

Paco , 09 July 2019 at 01:46 PM

¿City on a hill? Caligula an Nero look good compared to that tribe.

ambrit (ex Britam) , 09 July 2019 at 03:24 PM

Sir;
Which "...her majesty..." do you refer to? There is HRH HRC, ie. Hillary, the Dowager of the White House and there is Elizabeth Rex, the real Queen of England. Both are associated with potential 'co-defendants' of Epstein.

As to the relevance of the Clintons in this election cycle, well, the Clinton Foundation still wields considerable power in internal Democrat Party affairs. Any real damage done to Bill Clinton will be a body blow to the now old guard Democrat 'Nomenklatura.'

It will be interesting to see how fast and how vehement the 'denunciations,' or lack thereof, of Bill Clinton will be. The Democrat insiders might spin this one as a 'litmus test' of Party loyalty.
The organized sexual exploitation of children has absolutely no excuse. Epstein has skated away on thin ice concerning this so far. His 'plea deal' from earlier was an abomination. It included a blanket immunity for anyone who aided and abetted him in the the sexual exploitation of these girls.

I don't care what Barr's motivations are. Here's to his continuing success in the vital democratic process of showing Justice to be carried out.

Lars , 09 July 2019 at 03:26 PM

All the conspiracies withstanding, the Miami Herald was going public with the details and thus forcing the prosecutors to act. There seems to be a "public corruption" angle to this, which will also be revealed in the future.

It would appear that Epstein has deserved all the attention.

Mark Logan , 09 July 2019 at 04:35 PM

If it is an offensive they've thrown one of their own under the bus to conduct it.

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/452202-trump-defends-acosta-amid-epstein-scrutiny

Acosta appears to be first up for the whipping post. Even if he blames it on someone else what will be on his resume afterwards would likely prove disqualifying at a Hong Kong rubber dog-poop factory.

turcopolier , 09 July 2019 at 04:47 PM

Acosta is a nobody. He fits nicely under the bus. How much do you think he made on the plea bargain?

Patrick Armstrong , 09 July 2019 at 07:25 PM

Hah Hah! If you guys hadn't revolted against your Lawful King 200+whatnot years ago, your only concerns today would be about socks.
https://footwearnews.com/2018/fashion/celebrity-style/justin-trudeau-sock-sales-impact-stance-halal-517799/

ted richard , 09 July 2019 at 07:27 PM

there is a larger issue going on.

for a not insignificant percentage of Americans the fairness and integrity of the us justice system is now viewed with deep skepticism all the way to out right contempt.

if this nation has any chance of surviving intact and in a manner that engenders respect and belief we have arrived at that moment when heads must roll for all the vile things done and never punished by so called untouchables (political, financial, popular celebrity).

epsteins arrest had better be merely point of the lance or you can start the count down clock on our political dissolution.

Bill Wade -> ted richard... , 10 July 2019 at 10:01 AM

I couldn't agree more, with the presiding judge being a Clinton appointee and one of the prosecutors being Comey's daughter, it's the US Justice Department on trial as much as it is Epstein.

The Twisted Genius , 09 July 2019 at 10:47 PM

I think AG Barr will be looking for ways to quash the Epstein affair. That's why he refused to recuse. Trump has more exposure to this than you think. Trump was already accused of sexual assault of a young girl in the company of Epstein a while back. The girl dropped her complaint out of fear. Perhaps we'll hear from her again now the SDNY is on the case or her photo is contained in the files seized from Epstein's mansion. Trump was also seen frequenting Epstein's NY house by witnesses. I doubt it was for poetry readings. In addition to infamously singing Epstein's praises back in 2002, Trump also admitted during an on air interview with Howard Stern that he was a sexual predator.

I am surprised Trump didn't throw Acosta under the bus already. To the contrary, he's standing by him and claiming Acosta's a great guy. At least he's now claiming he's no longer a fan of Epstein. I'm sure he prudently dropped Epstein like a hot potato once he was first indicted. I'm waiting for Trump to deny ever meeting him or claiming he was just a coffee boy any day now.

On another front, Trump's allies are not happy with the DOJIG interview with Steele. After 16 hours of questioning, the IG investigators found Steele's testimony credible and even surprising. The IG probed Steele's extensive work on Russian interference efforts outside his dossier, his intelligence-collection methods and his findings about Carter Page and came away believing him.

Fred -> The Twisted Genius ... , 10 July 2019 at 10:59 AM

TTG,

"The girl dropped her complaint out of fear."
So the example of Hilary running for office didn't giver her the courage to come forward;
the "grab 'm by the p****y" scandal didn't giver her the courage to come forward;
the pink hats at inauguration didn't giver her the courage to come forward;
the example of Christine Beasley Ford didn't give her the courage to come forward;
the example of Stormy Daniels didn't give her the courage to come forward; but hey, SDNY is on the case! - of just this one girl, not the others that were not of concern to kindly grandmother and FIFA scandal investigator Loretta Lynch or her Fast and Furious predecessor. Or their boss; or his predecessor. Thank goodness for prosecutors from the Empire State!

There is definitely a new sheriff in town, not at all like that Sheriff of Wall Street, Eliot Spitzer.

I wonder if Epstein has a photo of him from back in his good Democrat days?

"After 16 hours of questioning, the IG investigators found Steele's testimony credible and even surprising. "

I believe Ms. Ford was touted as credible too. Has all that testimony leaked out already?

David Habakkuk -> Fred ... , 10 July 2019 at 12:53 PM

Fred,

If, after interviewing Steele for sixteen hours, anyone professes to find him credible, then in my view they are either fools or knaves – if not both.

Having once been involved – successfully I hasten to add – in a protracted libel case in relation to a programme I made, I can easily see many lines of questioning to which he could quite clearly not have provided a satisfactory answer.

The cover-up of the circumstances of the life and death of the late Alexander Litvinenko, which Steele was instrumental in orchestrating, is a matter I have discussed on and off here on SST. I now have a 'smoking gun' – it is clear there were honest detectives in Counter Terrorism Command, who got fed up with the lies he was mass producing (as is his wont).

The maps they produced purporting to show Litvinenko's movements on the day Steele claimed he was poisoned were craftily constructed, so as to pretend to support the cover-up, while actually blowing it apart. It was done very ingeniously, with a sense of humour. More on this, I hope, shortly.

A very interesting question however arises as to how the Reuters report by Mark Hosenball which is the source of TTG's claim, originated, and what its implications are.

(See https://www.businessinsider.com/christophersteele-trump-dossier-author-questioned-by-justice-dept-2019-7?r=US&IR=T .)

According to the report:

'One of the two sources said Horowitz's investigators appear to have found Steele's information sufficiently credible to have to extend the investigation. Its completion date is now unclear.'

In fact, however one interpreted Steele's claims, it would be extremely likely that what he said would have provided good grounds to 'extend the investigation.'

All kinds of interpretations are, rather obviously, possible.

It could turn out that Horowitz is part of what is by now quite clearly a conspiracy to subvert the constitutional order in the United States. How people can continue to defend this, without calling in to question their ability to understand what a 'constitutional republic' means, has come rather to defeat me.

But then, Horowitz could be playing different sides. It might be convenient to disseminate a story which was partly disinformation, in order to gain time to pursue investigations undisturbed. Or, people concerned to put a 'gloss' or 'spin' favourable to Steele might have been those who leaked to the media.

Obviously, my hypotheses reflect my conviction that Steele is a form of pond life – the 'scum', rather than the 'dregs' of society – born in part out of experience with superannuated Cambridge and Oxford student politicians of his kind.

There may be other interpretations, for which a serious case can be made, more favourable to him.

But to take the Hosenball report at face value is really not sensible.

robt willmann , 09 July 2019 at 10:52 PM

The timing of the arrest of Epstein is indeed fascinating. The indictment which was of course unsealed yesterday, 8 July, shows a filing date of 2 July 2019, which was last week Tuesday.

The search warrant on his residence was executed shortly after he was arrested on 6 July. That search warrant had to be supported by an affidavit containing recent information showing that evidence relating to a particular crime should be found there. An affidavit cannot have "stale" or out-of-date information in it; if it does, the warrant is no good and the evidence gathered can be excluded from a trial. So, the search warrant affidavit should be interesting in itself.

As an outside observer, the only explanations that make sense about the absurd plea bargain agreement from 2007-2008 are that it was the result of either bribery, or an order that came down from someone above Alex Acosta in the heirarchy at the Department of Justice, and he followed orders. Or maybe both. The excuse that the federal Justice Department cowed down just because there were some experienced lawyers representing the defendant is not credible.

Another observation is that Jeffrey Epstein has been and is a front man for an organization or organizations, that could be governmental, private, or both.

Morongobill , 10 July 2019 at 10:22 AM

In my opinion, there should be a RICO charge also against Epstein. I'd like to see him get out of prison one day and take an Uber to his singlewide mobile mansion.

J , 10 July 2019 at 11:04 AM

Colonel, TTG,

From what I can gather, several high levels are getting real nervous, and rumblings that Epstein's time on this planet may be shortened because of it.

Nothing more dangerous than scared/nervous power players who have the real deal ability to reach out and touch someone. There are quite a few connect-the-dots to world and state power players that stretch around the globe.

What I find interesting on a side note is Mueller's past association with Epstein.

J

turcopolier , 10 July 2019 at 11:20 AM

All

It appears that Epstein is a faux hedge fund manager. So, where does/did the money come from? Robert Willman suggested that the most interesting question about this creep is who or what he really represents.

R said in reply to turcopolier ... , 10 July 2019 at 02:51 PM

Les Wexner for one; the E 71st street residence in NY is the tip of the iceberg: Wexner purchased the house in the 1980s and it was owned by an Epstein-Wexner joint trust until 2011 when ownership was transferred to Maple Inc, a US Virgin Islands company controlled by Epstein.

JimmyW -> turcopolier ... , 10 July 2019 at 02:54 PM

Sir,

Other people are asking which agency Epstein represents, too.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-07-10/bombshell-alex-acosta-reportedly-claimed-jeffrey-epstein-belonged-intelligence

Jack -> turcopolier ... , 10 July 2019 at 03:16 PM

Sir

I'm most curious about the question you pose. I know many people in the NYC hedge fund world and no one has heard of any winning trades by him, let alone any trading activity. There's more than meets the eye related to the question of his "wealth:.

The Twisted Genius -> turcopolier ... , 10 July 2019 at 03:29 PM

Epstein was originally funded by Deutsche Bank. I have no idea how much it was and if it was just a one time deal. DB definitely has a shady side. When I was retiring, a couple of friends and I were negotiating for a cybersecurity contract with them. My primary contribution was to assess the people we were dealing with. I told my buddies we should run. I got the feeling we could be left holding the bag if anything went sideways. We never regretted my assessment and recommendation.

turcopolier , 10 July 2019 at 03:11 PM

JimmyW

It doesn't have to be a US government agency. Bill's close association with this t--d raises questions in light of his Marc Rich pardon caper.

Eric Newhill -> turcopolier ... , 10 July 2019 at 04:08 PM

Sir,
Would a foreign govt really utilize someone with Epstein's life style to handle their money?

The guy doesn't exactly fly under the radar. It was only a matter of time before he was busted. Seems highly irresponsible and stupid of whichever government(s).

turcopolier , 10 July 2019 at 03:17 PM

Jack

I suspect that he is an asset of some foreign government and handled their money as Rich did.

Jack -> turcopolier ... , 10 July 2019 at 07:36 PM

Sir

I believe you are on to something. At least Marc Rich was an oil trader. With Epstein there doesn't seem to be any information on his trading activity. Would a foreign government or intelligence agency keep a depraved loose cannon as an asset? I suppose his role was not money management but blackmail or something more nefarious. Could this foreign government be our "staunchest ally" in the ME?

Flavius , 10 July 2019 at 03:32 PM

We haven't seen anything yet of which I'm aware to allow for a determination of what led to Epstein's serial abuses getting revisited. I very much doubt that it was a political appointee new to the system who came into the job while harboring a determination to right a wrong if given the chance. I think it more likely that it's a bottom up initiative, a witness having developed as a result of having gotten jammed up in another case and offering up a bigger fish, a newspaper story, new victims coming to light as a result of civil process, the review process prior to releasing the disclosure materials triggering outrage, something along these orders. Whatever it was, once the case was underway, in the era of #MeToo and with new political appointees in place, there would be no stopping it.
It will be interesting to see who will be the ultimate targets. It was a travesty that in the original case Epstein was the only person charged, unless I missed something. It's obvious that there had been a facilitating organization that he was running and boatloads of cash coming and going. No curiosity about that?
The prediction here is that Epstein will offer to cooperate sooner rather than later. It would not surprise me at all if hasn't already been given the opportunity and wanted to wait to see what cards the government was holding, try to figure out who from his old team had turned and were witnesses against him.
A big question now is that if and when he does cooperate, what kind of corroborative materials he would be able to bring along with him to bolster the victim testimony which will be recollections of abuse from women when they were adolescents that happened quite a while ago.
The indictment forecloses on any opportunity to use Epstein actively; and what kind of deal do you offer to this guy anyway who right now appears to be the principal malefactor in order to get to others, culpable users of his scheme surely, but not integral to his organization per se, largely because they are newsworthy figures of one sort or another. Not an easy call, but I would argue Epstein should take a major hit even if it means risking not getting his cooperation.

ted richard , 10 July 2019 at 03:40 PM

if you ask around the trading desk in nyc epstein and his org is unknown. how is it a billionaire finance guy is unknown on the trading desks?

answer:

because his fortune did not come from trading or investment or anything typically understood to be finance related.

perhaps epstein and his sexual predilections was a way for....say... the mossad........ to aggregate wealthy powerful and political figures into revealing the stuff needed to control them in the future as favors are needed.

whats is a service like that IF epstein was indeed just a pimp for the deviant.........worth?

how many billions to have a file on a who's who of international power would you pay?

Eric Newhill -> ted richard... , 10 July 2019 at 04:17 PM

Nobody knows what Epstein is really worth. The $billions figure comes from a single source; a stipulation in his original trial. He would say what his worth was and the prosecutors asked "$billions?" and E's lawyers said "sure". That's it.

He manages money held in off-shore accounts. Forbes thinks he has a fraction of that.

The guy is a sleazy con artist. He's probably happy to have people think he has way more than he does for various reasons.

Outrage Beyond , 10 July 2019 at 06:47 PM

Pollard was an amateur. Is Epstein the professional?

Some will recall the name "mega" surfacing during and after the Pollard contretemps. An as-yet unidentified Israeli spy operating at a high level.

Now consider the following quote:

"Epstein, who recently loaned his jet to President Clinton, is usually seen in the company of Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of deceased publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell. After Maxwell fell or was pushed off his yacht in 1991, it was revealed that he was working for the Israeli government and the Mossad, the Israeli Intelligence service. While Maxwell's ties to the Mossad are well-documented, Epstein's connections are less well known. The London Sunday Times quoted a New York social observer describing Epstein as follows: "He's Mr. Enigmatic. Nobody knows whether he's a concert pianist, property developer, a CIA agent, a math teacher or a member of Mossad." New York Magazine claims Epstein is the man who moves Wexner's billions around the globe.

Wexner's philanthropic side is more public. In 1998, the Wall Street Journal reported that Wexner was part of the "'Mega Group,' a loosely organized club of 20 of the nation's wealthiest and most influential Jewish businessmen." The Mega Group meets purportedly to discuss "philanthropy," but others have speculated that their charitable interests are often a cover for lobbying activities on behalf of Israel."

Source: https://freepress.org/article/wexner-war

This could be entirely coincidental. Or is Epstein (or Wexner) mega? It sure looks like his operation was all about getting kompromat for Mossad. Whether that comes out with any veracity remains to be seen.

[Jul 10, 2019] RAY MCGOVERN

Notable quotes:
"... As Congress arrives back into town and the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees prepare to question ex-Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller on July 17, partisan lines are being drawn even more sharply, as Russias-gate blossoms into Deep-State-gate. On Sunday, a top Republican legislator, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) took the gloves off in an unusually acerbic public attack on former leaders of the FBI and CIA. ..."
"... "The media went along with this – actually, keeping this farcical, ridiculous thought going that the President of the United States was somehow involved in a conspiracy with Russia against his own country." ..."
"... Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. No fan of the current President, Ray has been trained to follow and analyze the facts, wherever they may lead. He spent 27 years as a CIA analyst, and prepared the President's Daily Brief for three presidents. In retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). ..."
"... Mr. McGovern you are right in your analysis. Obama is in this up to his neck, however there will be a limited investigation at best because the Jews and Israel don't want this. They are involved and a real investigation would show what control they have over the FBI and CIA. ..."
"... The world is controlled by the Corporate Fascist Military-Intelligence Police State in which governments are nothing more than Proxies with Intelligence Agencies who work against the average citizen and for the Corporations. Politicians like Trump are nothing more than figureheads who must "Toe the Line" or else. ..."
Jul 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

JULY 8, 2019 1,500 WORDS 2 COMMENTS REPLY

As Congress arrives back into town and the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees prepare to question ex-Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller on July 17, partisan lines are being drawn even more sharply, as Russias-gate blossoms into Deep-State-gate. On Sunday, a top Republican legislator, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) took the gloves off in an unusually acerbic public attack on former leaders of the FBI and CIA.

King told a radio audience:

"There is no doubt to me there was severe, serious abuses that were carried out in the FBI and, I believe, top levels of the CIA against the President of the United States or, at that time, presidential candidate Donald Trump," according to The Hill.

King (image on the right), a senior congressman specializing in national security, twice chaired the House Homeland Security Committee and currently heads its Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. He also served for several years on the House Intelligence Committee.

He asserted:

"There was no legal basis at all for them to begin this investigation of his campaign – and the way they carried it forward, and the way information was leaked. All of this is going to come out. It's going to show the bias. It's going to show the baselessness of the investigation and I would say the same thing if this were done to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders It's just wrong."

The Long Island Republican added a well aimed swipe at what passes for the media today:

"The media went along with this – actually, keeping this farcical, ridiculous thought going that the President of the United States was somehow involved in a conspiracy with Russia against his own country."

According to King, the Justice Department's review, ordered by Attorney General William Barr , would prove that former officials acted improperly. He was alluding to the investigation led by John Durham , U.S. Attorney in Connecticut. Sounds nice. But waiting for Durham to complete his investigation at a typically lawyerly pace would, I fear, be much like the experience of waiting for Mueller to finish his; that is, like waiting for Godot. What about now?

So Where is the IG Report on FISA?

That's the big one. If Horowitz is able to speak freely about what he has learned, his report could lead to indictments of former CIA Director John Brennan , former FBI Director James Comey , former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe , former Deputy Attorneys General Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein , and Dana Boente -- Boente being the only signer of the relevant FISA applications still in office. (No, he has not been demoted to file clerk in the FBI library; at last report, he is FBI General Counsel!).

The DOJ inspector General's investigation, launched in March 2018, has centered on whether the FBI and DOJ filing of four FISA applications and renewals beginning in October 2016 to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page amounted to abuse of the FISA process. (Fortunately for the IG, Obama's top intelligence and law enforcement officials were so sure that Hillary Clinton would win that they did not do much to hide their tracks.)

The Washington Examiner reported last Tuesday, "The Justice Department inspector general's investigation of potential abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is complete, a Republican congressman said, though a report on its findings might not be released for a month." The report continued:

"House Judiciary Committee member John Ratcliffe (R, Texas) said Monday he'd met with DOJ watchdog Michael Horowitz last week about his FISA abuse report. In a media interview, Ratcliffe said they'd discussed the timing, but not the content of his report and Horowitz 'related that his team's investigative work is complete and they're now in the process of drafting that report. Ratcliffe said he was doubtful that Horowitz's report would be made available to the public or the Congress anytime soon. 'He [Horowitz] did relay that as much as 20% of his report is going to include classified information, so that draft report will have to undergo a classification review at the FBI and at the Department of Justice,' Ratcliffe said. 'So, while I'm hopeful that we members of Congress might see it before the August recess, I'm not too certain about that.'"

Earlier, Horowitz had predicted that his report would be ready in May or June but there may, in fact, be good reason for some delay. Fox News reported Friday that "key witnesses sought for questioning by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz (image on the left) early in his investigation into alleged government surveillance abuse have come forward at the 11th hour." According to Fox's sources, at least one witness outside the Justice Department and FBI has started cooperating -- a breakthrough that came after Durham was assigned to lead a separate investigation into the origins of the FBI's 2016 Russia case that led to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

"Classification," however, has been one of the Deep State's favorite tactics to stymie investigations -- especially when the material in question yields serious embarrassment or reveals crimes. And the stakes this time are huge.

Judging by past precedent, Deep State intelligence and law enforcement officials will do all they can to use the "but-it's-classified" excuse to avoid putting themselves and their former colleagues in legal jeopardy. (Though this would violate Obama's executive order 13526 , prohibiting classification of embarrassing or criminal information).

It is far from clear that DOJ IG Horowitz and Attorney General Barr will prevail in the end, even though President Trump has given Barr nominal authority to declassify as necessary. Why are the the stakes so extraordinarily high?

What Did Obama Know, and When Did He Know It?

Recall that in a Sept. 2, 2016 text message to the FBI's then-deputy chief of counterintelligence Peter Strzok, his girlfriend and then-top legal adviser to Deputy FBI Director McCabe, Lisa Page , wrote that she was preparing talking points because the president "wants to know everything we're doing." [Emphasis added.] It does not seem likely that the Director of National Intelligence, DOJ, FBI, and CIA all kept President Obama in the dark about their FISA and other machinations -- although it is possible they did so out of a desire to provide him with "plausible denial."

It seems more likely that Obama's closest intelligence confidant, Brennan, told him about the shenanigans with FISA, that Obama gave him approval (perhaps just tacit approval), and that Brennan used that to harness top intelligence and law enforcement officials behind the effort to defeat Trump and, later, to emasculate and, if possible, remove him.

Moreover, one should not rule out seeing in the coming months an "Obama-made-us-do-it" defense -- whether grounded in fact or not -- by Brennan and perhaps the rest of the gang. Brennan may even have a piece of paper recording the President's "approval" for this or that -- or could readily have his former subordinates prepare one that appears authentic.

Reining in Devin Nunes

That the Deep State retains formidable power can be seen in the repeated Lucy-holding-then-withdrawing-the-football-for-Charlie Brown treatment experienced by House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member, Devin Nunes (R-CA, image on the right). On April 5, 2019, in the apparent belief he had a green light to go on the offensive, Nunes wrote that committee Republicans "will soon be submitting criminal referrals on numerous individuals involved in the abuse of intelligence for political purposes. These people must be held to account to prevent similar abuses from occurring in the future."

On April 7, Nunes was even more specific, telling Fox News that he was preparing to send eight criminal referrals to the Department of Justice "this week," concerning alleged misconduct during the Trump-Russia investigation, including leaks of "highly classified material" and conspiracies to lie to Congress and the FISA court. It seemed to be no-holds-barred for Nunes, who had begun to talk publicly about prison time for those who might be brought to trial.

Except for Fox, the corporate media ignored Nunes's explosive comments. The media seemed smugly convinced that Nunes's talk of "referrals" could be safely ignored -- even though a new sheriff, Barr, had come to town. And sure enough, now, three months later, where are the criminal referrals?

There is ample evidence that President Trump is afraid to run afoul of the Deep State functionaries he inherited. And the Deep State almost always wins. But if Attorney General Barr leans hard on the president to unfetter Nunes, IG Horowitz, Durham and like-minded investigators, all hell may break lose, because the evidence against those who took serious liberties with the law is staring them all in the face.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. No fan of the current President, Ray has been trained to follow and analyze the facts, wherever they may lead. He spent 27 years as a CIA analyst, and prepared the President's Daily Brief for three presidents. In retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

niteranger , says: July 9, 2019 at 11:30 pm GMT

Mr. McGovern you are right in your analysis. Obama is in this up to his neck, however there will be a limited investigation at best because the Jews and Israel don't want this. They are involved and a real investigation would show what control they have over the FBI and CIA.

Trump by now realizes these agencies can make anything up and the Jewish owned and controlled media will do their bidding. I have to assume that Trump has come to the conclusion that he wasn't suppose to win and that the NWO wasn't happy with that because he stands in their way especially on World Trade and Immigration.

The world is controlled by the Corporate Fascist Military-Intelligence Police State in which governments are nothing more than Proxies with Intelligence Agencies who work against the average citizen and for the Corporations. Politicians like Trump are nothing more than figureheads who must "Toe the Line" or else.

I believe Trump knows he could be assassinated at any time. Obama the "God King" did his part for NWO and that's why he gets a King's Ransom for his speeches for reading a teleprompter and banging on his chest and saying, "I did that." What he is really saying is I did that for you -- now where's my check!

Fran Macadam , says: July 10, 2019 at 12:24 am GMT

When they frog-marched you out of that Clinton event, Ray, they had no idea what they were unleashing.

[Jul 09, 2019] Halper, such as he could be called a source at all, appears to have been, has to have been, working in the UK with Agency people and almost certainly with MI6 as well.

Notable quotes:
"... Halper, such as he could be called a source at all, appears to have been, has to have been, working in the UK with Agency people and almost certainly with MI6 as well. ..."
"... If John Brennan was not there at the genesis of this fiasco, I will eat my hat; and I cannot see how there weren't high level officials at MI6 engaged as well ..."
"... Similarly, Steele is dredging for Russian dirt wherever he can get it and he's sealed himself off from his former employer? Not likely. ..."
"... The one thing which overwhelms all else is the actual nature of the material that came from the DNC servers and appeared on Wikileaks. A great deal of noise is made about that information's journey, who stole (hacked or copied) it, how it was done, who transmitted it, etc. But no noise whatever is made about the information itself, or at least when an attempt is made it is buried by the "Russia meddled" noise. ..."
"... The information itself is that the DNC is a bad actor, that it rigged the primary election for Hillary Clinton. No one, no one , denies the truth of the information itself. When what the DNC did is mentioned the conversation instantly changes to the Russians having "meddled in our election." ..."
"... Buried in the noise is that the DNC meddled in the electoral process far more destructively and far more directly than the Rusians did, if the Russians did so at all, which I perceive as highly doubtful. ..."
Jul 09, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Flavius -> Turcopolier... ,

I would guess that the Bureau Agents had to be read in on what the Agency people had been doing with Halper and possibly Mifsud,; that, and to bring their purported counter-intelligence expertise to bear. Active investigation in the UK with respect to Papadopolis was in prospect, probably to include tech surveillance, and the Bureau has no authority to conduct active independent investigation overseas.

Halper, such as he could be called a source at all, appears to have been, has to have been, working in the UK with Agency people and almost certainly with MI6 as well.

If NSA was there in the UK, it was with a view to coordinating tech; but with that said, it would be highly irregular for our people to be conducting active investigation, especially if it included physical and technical surveillance, without coordinating at some level with MI6 and 5 as well.

If John Brennan was not there at the genesis of this fiasco, I will eat my hat; and I cannot see how there weren't high level officials at MI6 engaged as well .

Halper is working in the UK with the Agency in re Russia and not working with the Russia obsessed MI6? Similarly, Steele is dredging for Russian dirt wherever he can get it and he's sealed himself off from his former employer? Not likely.

Bill H , 08 July 2019 at 10:08 AM

The one thing which overwhelms all else is the actual nature of the material that came from the DNC servers and appeared on Wikileaks. A great deal of noise is made about that information's journey, who stole (hacked or copied) it, how it was done, who transmitted it, etc. But no noise whatever is made about the information itself, or at least when an attempt is made it is buried by the "Russia meddled" noise.

The information itself is that the DNC is a bad actor, that it rigged the primary election for Hillary Clinton. No one, no one , denies the truth of the information itself. When what the DNC did is mentioned the conversation instantly changes to the Russians having "meddled in our election."

Buried in the noise is that the DNC meddled in the electoral process far more destructively and far more directly than the Rusians did, if the Russians did so at all, which I perceive as highly doubtful.

JamesT -> Bill H ... , 08 July 2019 at 03:05 PM

Bill H - I could not agree with you more.

pretzelattack , 08 July 2019 at 02:00 PM

i'm not familiar with all the intricate details of the "investigation" (i just detect a strong smell of bs coming from mueller), and I found this piece hard to follow on the page-strzok texts and their significance.

Barbara Ann , 08 July 2019 at 02:00 PM

Thanks Larry.

This from the Fox article: "Fox News has learned some of the words and names that were redacted in the string of Strzok-Page messages" prompts a (maybe dumb) question:

Do we know/can we infer how Fox managed to fill in just some of the redacted info? It seems odd to me that only a few of the blanks have been filled in, as if Fox had access to the original FBI phone records they'd have all of it. Also, the new handwritten parts seem to contain information which could not possibly have been gathered from any other source outside of this private 2 way conversation - e.g. "Just you two? Was DCM present for the interview?" and the reply "No, two of them, two of us".

Do Fox have it all and are they then just teasing us, or is perhaps one of the two star-crossed lovers singing?

[Jul 09, 2019] Pretty Please - - Trump Asked Iran To Allow Him To Bomb It

This is like fake wrestling on internati0nal arena. Typical negotiations before the fake wrestling event
Jul 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Don Bacon , Jul 8 2019 15:35 utc | 4

An Iranian general yesterday confirmed Magnier's take (also here ):

A senior Iranian general has revealed that Washington, through diplomatic channels, recently asked Tehran to allow it to conduct a small-scale operation in the Iranian airspace in order to save its face following the IRGC's shoot-down of a US spy drone.

Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali, the Head of Iran's Civil Defence Organization, said Iran vehemently rejected the US request, saying that it will respond to any act of aggression.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran responded that it views any operation as a war and will give a crushing response to it. You may initiate a war but this is Iran which will finish it," he said Sunday.

The idea that the U.S. would ask Iran to allow it to bomb some targets without hitting back sounds crazy.

Dear Mr. Rouhani,

could you please name me three targets in your country that I am allowed to bomb?

It is urgent as I need to look tough on Iran.

Pretty please!

Donald Trump

But this is the Trump White House and the only thing Trump really seems to care for is his own rating.

. . .that Trump be allowed to bomb one, two or three clear objectives, to be chosen by Iran,
Trump has experience in such a charade, when empty buildings were struck with US rockets after the fake Syrian "gas attack" in Douma, April 2018. Probably the details were worked out between US and Russia in that case. That it wasn't possible this time is a clear indication of Iran strength. Stronger than Russia! Imagine that.

bevin , Jul 8 2019 15:36 utc | 5

Alistair Crooke thinking about Iran and Israel
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/07/08/to-think-outside-box-helps-first-understand-whats-box/
Don Wiscacho , Jul 8 2019 15:42 utc | 6
That Trump would come begging hat in hand seeking for Tehran to let the US bomb the country unimpeded does not strike me as surprising or implausible. It fits Trump's trademark MO of "chaotic, incoherent" to a 't', with a heavy dash of megalomania thrown in as well. Just another day in the office for Trump.
The seizure of the Grace 1 is more intriguing for its brazen illegality as well as the reported circumstances (if one can believe the Brits in their claim of boarding 2.5 miles from shore). Was this another avenue of "maximum pressure" cooked up by Iran?
As for Iran seeking US military targets in the region, those sitting ducks will be the last targets sought. Not that they might not, but that certainly would be nuclear option for Tehran. There is much lower hanging fruit to target that would cripple the lackey Gulf states. Hitting the desalination plants of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain would ruin those economies overnight without risking environmental fallout. Iran would be hammered in the MSM, but would be no matter their course of action. Those countries would have strategic reserves of water, so I wouldn't imagine people actually dying of thirst in the desert, but the next day there would be a biblical exodus of the ex-pats that run those economies. The UAE would grind to a halt, there would be a possible overthrow of the monarchy of Bahrain, and massive unrest in Saudi Arabia, without risking immediate gloves-off war with the US.
Dan Lynch , Jul 8 2019 15:50 utc | 8

The cartoon has an element of truth, but mainly Trump is doing the bidding of his pro-Israel billionaire funders, Sheldon Adelson and Robert Mercer. They are frustrated that Trump has not been forceful enough with Iran.

Mercer">https://www.salon.com/2019/06/18/robert-and-rebekah-mercer-bail-on-trump-campaign-they-spent-49-million-in-2016/">Mercer bails on Trump

[Jul 09, 2019] Ex-FBI, CIA Officials Draw Withering Fire on Russiagate by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "Classification," however, has been one of the Deep State's favorite tactics to stymie investigations -- especially when the material in question yields serious embarrassment or reveals crimes. And the stakes this time are huge. ..."
"... Judging by past precedent, Deep State intelligence and law enforcement officials will do all they can to use the "but-it's-classified" excuse to avoid putting themselves and their former colleagues in legal jeopardy. (Though this would violate Obama's executive order 13526 , prohibiting classification of embarrassing or criminal information). ..."
"... Recall that in a Sept. 2, 2016 text message to the FBI's then-deputy chief of counterintelligence Peter Strzok, his girlfriend and then-top legal adviser to Deputy FBI Director McCabe, Lisa Page, wrote that she was preparing talking points because the president "wants to know everything we're doing." [Emphasis added.] It does not seem likely that the Director of National Intelligence, DOJ, FBI, and CIA all kept President Obama in the dark about their FISA and other machinations -- although it is possible they did so out of a desire to provide him with "plausible denial." ..."
"... It seems more likely that Obama's closest intelligence confidant, Brennan, told him about the shenanigans with FISA, that Obama gave him approval (perhaps just tacit approval), and that Brennan used that to harness top intelligence and law enforcement officials behind the effort to defeat Trump and, later, to emasculate and, if possible, remove him. ..."
"... "That's the big one. If Horowitz is able to speak freely about what he has learned, his report could lead to indictments of former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former Deputy Attorneys General Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein, and Dana Boente -- Boente being the only signer of the relevant FISA applications still in office. (No, he has not been demoted to file clerk in the FBI library; at last report, he is FBI General Counsel!)." ..."
"... It will be a very interesting 2020 campaign if the Democratic candidate has to run with the ripe stinking dead albatross of Russiagate around her neck. ..."
"... The only outcome that could be more bizarre than the last go-round would be to see Trump favored by all the smart money and then lose to the latest corporate Democrat to shamelessly sell out the middle class in broad daylight. ..."
"... The Grabber in Chief vs Willie Brown's mistress – wonderful. ..."
"... Forgive my cynicism but the US government is so corrupt, has wielded illegitimate power for so long, and has covered the tracks of countless functionaries who have not upheld the constitution that I doubt this will go anywhere. I have been quoting Ben Franklin for some time "you have a republic, if you can keep it." I don't think we can. A reading of "A History of Venice" by John J. Norris would be appropriate here. The most serene republic lasted for essentially 1,000 years from roughly 800 to not quite 1800, first as a democracy, later as an oligarchy. Much like us, including having the most feared secret service in Europe at the time, Venice kept its power through trade but at least we don't hoist the new president up on a chair so that he can throw golden Ducats to the crowd on Wall Street the way that a new Doge would. ..."
"... I don't suppose anything will happen to anybody important about this. After all, nothing happened to anybody when they were caught mass spying on any and all american citizens, even before they made it legal. ..."
"... Unfortunately Webb and Parry exposed much of these gangster criminal "intel" savages for running guns and drugs to Central American pseudo fascist mercenary sadists throughout much of the late 1970s through the '80s. I say unfortunately b/c nothing much ever came along by way of true justice, by way of the criminal players rotting in maximum security jail cells for years on end, not unlike the crack or heroin addict who steals a $400 television. ..."
"... This has been one long crime against the American people. King should read what he knows into the Congressional Record. I have no sympathy for Trump's fear of the deep state. He has sent people to die knowing full well that his actions were based on lies, lies that would result in the deaths of civilians as well as our own military. If he is going to do that, then he should have the courage to face the deep state. That's partial penance for all the deaths he has caused. ..."
"... I also don't care about Trump's personal issue about being surveilled. He personally supports that against everyone else. That is why I feel this is a crime against our people as a whole. Our constitution has been stripped bare. We don't have the rule of law. Mass surveillance covering the globe is current reality. It is dangerous. It is wrong. It is lawless. It is a disaster. ..."
"... Further, Russiagate was used to keep real opposition away from Trump. His supporters doubled down on "liking" Trump because he appeared to be a victim of these lies. Democrats meanwhile learned to further worship the IC. They ignored Trump's actual unlawful behavior, and, in the case of war crimes, still support Trump on every war/regime change action etc. recommended to them by their IC "resistance" "leaders". ..."
"... This has been one of the most effective propaganda tools I have ever seen against our populace. It has created a divided, unthinking populace who is ripe for the picking by evil men and women. I am truly hoping that once this is exposed people will stop this madness and pull together for a common good. But I'm quite worried that, like most cults, when the leader is shown to be wrong, people cling to them even more. ..."
"... there have always been nefarious agents in one government or another for one gangster interest or another, whether was Milner's roundtable or Dulles's Gladio werewolves, these are nefarious individuals there is no gray area in that, however they may conduct themselves and their personal lives, it is not sloppy journalism, is to call something what it is, a this shadow government working in many instances against the direct interest of the American people ..."
"... It's the propaganda, the United States is one of the most heavily propagandize societies in the world, we make the Soviets look like children. No one wants you to have sympathy for Donald Trump, you do not have to agree or like a person to see that the cartel seeking to damage him is also simultaneously against your interests and they are against your interests whether you're from the left or the right because they do not have an ideology just it will to power. ..."
"... So reminiscent of the darker days of the Cold War. A stark education has just played out to this point. ..."
Jul 08, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

The Deep State almost always wins. But if Attorney General Barr leans hard on Trump to unfetter investigators, all hell may break lose, says Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

A s Congress arrives back into town and the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees prepare to question ex-Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller on July 17, partisan lines are being drawn even more sharply, as Russias-gate blossoms into Deep-State-gate. On Sunday, a top Republican legislator, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) took the gloves off in an unusually acerbic public attack on former leaders of the FBI and CIA.

King told a radio audience: "There is no doubt to me there was severe, serious abuses that were carried out in the FBI and, I believe, top levels of the CIA against the President of the United States or, at that time, presidential candidate Donald Trump," according to The Hill.

King, a senior congressman specializing in national security, twice chaired the House Homeland Security Committee and currently heads its Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. He also served for several years on the House Intelligence Committee.

He asserted:

"There was no legal basis at all for them to begin this investigation of his campaign – and the way they carried it forward, and the way information was leaked. All of this is going to come out. It's going to show the bias. It's going to show the baselessness of the investigation and I would say the same thing if this were done to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders It's just wrong."

The Long Island Republican added a well aimed swipe at what passes for the media today: "The media went along with this – actually, keeping this farcical, ridiculous thought going that the President of the United States was somehow involved in a conspiracy with Russia against his own country."

King: Lashes out.

According to King, the Justice Department's review, ordered by Attorney General William Barr, would prove that former officials acted improperly. He was alluding to the investigation led by John Durham, U.S. Attorney in Connecticut. Sounds nice. But waiting for Durham to complete his investigation at a typically lawyerly pace would, I fear, be much like the experience of waiting for Mueller to finish his; that is, like waiting for Godot. What about now?

So Where is the IG Report on FISA?

That's the big one. If Horowitz is able to speak freely about what he has learned, his report could lead to indictments of former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former Deputy Attorneys General Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein, and Dana Boente -- Boente being the only signer of the relevant FISA applications still in office. (No, he has not been demoted to file clerk in the FBI library; at last report, he is FBI General Counsel!).

The DOJ inspector General's investigation, launched in March 2018, has centered on whether the FBI and DOJ filing of four FISA applications and renewals beginning in October 2016 to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page amounted to abuse of the FISA process. (Fortunately for the IG, Obama's top intelligence and law enforcement officials were so sure that Hillary Clinton would win that they did not do much to hide their tracks.)

The Washington Examiner reported last Tuesday, "The Justice Department inspector general's investigation of potential abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is complete, a Republican congressman said, though a report on its findings might not be released for a month." The report continued:

"House Judiciary Committee member John Ratcliffe (R, Texas) said Monday he'd met with DOJ watchdog Michael Horowitz last week about his FISA abuse report. In a media interview, Ratcliffe said they'd discussed the timing, but not the content of his report and Horowitz 'related that his team's investigative work is complete and they're now in the process of drafting that report. Ratcliffe said he was doubtful that Horowitz's report would be made available to the public or the Congress anytime soon. 'He [Horowitz] did relay that as much as 20% of his report is going to include classified information, so that draft report will have to undergo a classification review at the FBI and at the Department of Justice,' Ratcliffe said. 'So, while I'm hopeful that we members of Congress might see it before the August recess, I'm not too certain about that.'"

Horowitz: Still waiting for his report

Earlier, Horowitz had predicted that his report would be ready in May or June but there may, in fact, be good reason for some delay. Fox News reported Friday that "key witnesses sought for questioning by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz early in his investigation into alleged government surveillance abuse have come forward at the 11th hour." According to Fox's sources, at least one witness outside the Justice Department and FBI has started cooperating -- a breakthrough that came after Durham was assigned to lead a separate investigation into the origins of the FBI's 2016 Russia case that led to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

"Classification," however, has been one of the Deep State's favorite tactics to stymie investigations -- especially when the material in question yields serious embarrassment or reveals crimes. And the stakes this time are huge.

Judging by past precedent, Deep State intelligence and law enforcement officials will do all they can to use the "but-it's-classified" excuse to avoid putting themselves and their former colleagues in legal jeopardy. (Though this would violate Obama's executive order 13526 , prohibiting classification of embarrassing or criminal information).

It is far from clear that DOJ IG Horowitz and Attorney General Barr will prevail in the end, even though President Trump has given Barr nominal authority to declassify as necessary. Why are the the stakes so extraordinarily high?

What Did Obama Know, and When Did He Know It?

Recall that in a Sept. 2, 2016 text message to the FBI's then-deputy chief of counterintelligence Peter Strzok, his girlfriend and then-top legal adviser to Deputy FBI Director McCabe, Lisa Page, wrote that she was preparing talking points because the president "wants to know everything we're doing." [Emphasis added.] It does not seem likely that the Director of National Intelligence, DOJ, FBI, and CIA all kept President Obama in the dark about their FISA and other machinations -- although it is possible they did so out of a desire to provide him with "plausible denial."

It seems more likely that Obama's closest intelligence confidant, Brennan, told him about the shenanigans with FISA, that Obama gave him approval (perhaps just tacit approval), and that Brennan used that to harness top intelligence and law enforcement officials behind the effort to defeat Trump and, later, to emasculate and, if possible, remove him.

Moreover, one should not rule out seeing in the coming months an "Obama-made-us-do-it" defense -- whether grounded in fact or not -- by Brennan and perhaps the rest of the gang. Brennan may even have a piece of paper recording the President's "approval" for this or that -- or could readily have his former subordinates prepare one that appears authentic.

Reining in Devin Nunes

That the Deep State retains formidable power can be seen in the repeated Lucy-holding-then-withdrawing-the-football-for-Charlie Brown treatment experienced by House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member, Devin Nunes (R-CA). On April 5, 2019, in the apparent belief he had a green light to go on the offensive, Nunes wrote that committee Republicans "will soon be submitting criminal referrals on numerous individuals involved in the abuse of intelligence for political purposes. These people must be held to account to prevent similar abuses from occurring in the future."

On April 7, Nunes was even more specific, telling Fox News that he was preparing to send eight criminal referrals to the Department of Justice "this week," concerning alleged misconduct during the Trump-Russia investigation, including leaks of "highly classified material" and conspiracies to lie to Congress and the FISA court. It seemed to be no-holds-barred for Nunes, who had begun to talk publicly about prison time for those who might be brought to trial.

Except for Fox, the corporate media ignored Nunes's explosive comments. The media seemed smugly convinced that Nunes's talk of "referrals" could be safely ignored -- even though a new sheriff, Barr, had come to town. And sure enough, now, three months later, where are the criminal referrals?

There is ample evidence that President Trump is afraid to run afoul of the Deep State functionaries he inherited. And the Deep State almost always wins. But if Attorney General Barr leans hard on the president to unfetter Nunes, IG Horowitz, Durham and like-minded investigators, all hell may break lose, because the evidence against those who took serious liberties with the law is staring them all in the face.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. No fan of the current President, Ray has been trained to follow and analyze the facts, wherever they may lead. He spent 27 years as a CIA analyst, and prepared the President's Daily Brief for three presidents. In retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

If you enjoyed this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.


Joe T Wallace , July 8, 2019 at 20:24

I'm a great admirer of Ray McGovern's reporting. He exposes much that is never revealed by the mainstream media. That said, I do have one quibble about this article. In the seventh paragraph, just below the heading "So Where is the IG Report on FISA?" he writes:

"That's the big one. If Horowitz is able to speak freely about what he has learned, his report could lead to indictments of former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former Deputy Attorneys General Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein, and Dana Boente -- Boente being the only signer of the relevant FISA applications still in office. (No, he has not been demoted to file clerk in the FBI library; at last report, he is FBI General Counsel!)."

My immediate reaction was: Who is Horowitz? It was confusing not to know. Further down in the article, I learned that Ray was referring to Michael Horowitz, a DOJ watchdog who is preparing an IG report about FISA abuse, but readers should have been informed who he was earlier in the article.

John , July 8, 2019 at 17:10

Peter King? Devin Nunes?

At one point the article says little effort was made to cover tracks because of certainty that HRC would win but later that the FBI et al were planting land mines to either defeat Trump or blow up his presidency. Seemed contradictory to me.

Perhaps you have the skinny on these machinations, if indeed there were machinations by one person or group or another for this purpose or that.

But Peter King and Devin Nunes? If either ever was credible, their track record condemns them to be received, if at all, with extreme skepticism.

Realist , July 8, 2019 at 16:59

It will be a very interesting 2020 campaign if the Democratic candidate has to run with the ripe stinking dead albatross of Russiagate around her neck. Or will she be expected to repudiate the Hitlery-run DNC? Where does the money and the ground game originate if the latter?

The only outcome that could be more bizarre than the last go-round would be to see Trump favored by all the smart money and then lose to the latest corporate Democrat to shamelessly sell out the middle class in broad daylight. I won't like it, but I can see Trump Derangement Syndrome pulling out the chestnuts for the Dems, what with all their celebrity spokespeople constantly running and ranting like their hair is on fire underneath those pussy hats. My poor gullible sister from Cali embraces that whole ball of wax as revealed truth holier than the total dry weight of all the Abrahamic scriptures rolled into one big bale for the recycling center. Kamala Harris seems to be emerging as the new messiah anointed to lead this country back to Obamian gridlock and more prestidigitation like mandated insurance to ensure the health of the insurance companies. Again, it will only be the illusion of "free stuff."

The only way such a scenario won't cause four more years of turmoil for this country (rinse and repeat in 2024) is if the victor is Gabbard and she ends all the illegal and unconstitutional wars by edict, telling all the sure-to-be pissing and moaning Deep State functionaries to pick up their severance pay and go pound sand. Then shut the world-wide spider web of military bases and bring home the troops while we can still afford the carfare. That would be "morning in America," and Gabbard would be the most heroic chief exec since Lincoln and FDR made their marks in the history books, though such fantasies never play out in the real world. More likely all the criminal evidence of treason remains classified, most Americans pop the blue pill, the actual rabbit hole continues to grow ever deeper but the masses are contentedly oblivious to it all, satisfied to blame select scapegoats from Russia, China and other "malign" countries for our viewing entertainment.

Deniz , July 8, 2019 at 17:50

The Grabber in Chief vs Willie Brown's mistress – wonderful.

ML , July 8, 2019 at 20:12

You are really something, Realist. I love the way you flourish that pen of yours. Thank you.

Rob Roy , July 8, 2019 at 20:13

Realist, well said, per usual. To add a bit the Dems probably gave Trump the gift of a lifetime the next election. Wasting three years on Russiagate instead of hammering out a decent platform for the party was beyond dumb. That reminds me. the Dems's next dumbest idea choosing Joe Biden as their next candidate. Just like Hillary, he can't beat Trump. The duopoly is dead, they just don't know it.

As for Tulsi, she's got my vote.

John Earls , July 8, 2019 at 16:55

Looks like Barry Eisler's John Rain (expert in "death by natural causes") will have a lot of work in front of him if the investigation builds and a whole lot of "material witnesses" begin to testify.

ricardo2000 , July 8, 2019 at 16:33

I'm supposed to feel sorry for the surveillance of a right-wing creep? OH PLEASE.
No one in government, or the right wing ReThugs, has ever suffered the intrusive, lying, speculative 'investigations' that social justice, environmental, or human rights activists have over the past 70 years.

When these buttheads suffer what MLK and Malcolm X have suffered then I might just wipe away a few tears, after I stop roaring with laughter and get off the floor.

Realist , July 8, 2019 at 17:08

You prefer a race to the bottom of the cesspool?

You never win when you adopt the methods you claim to revile. The opponent who introduced the tactics you condemn wins if you embrace them as your own. You didn't beat him, you joined him.

LibertyBonBon , July 8, 2019 at 18:12

Must be nice to think the justice system should revolve around your particular emotions, rather than equality and objectivity. Safe and easy.

Dunderhead , July 8, 2019 at 20:41

ricardo2000, nothing personal, I get the revulsion to Trump and entourage not to mention a large portion of the Maga crowd but this right and left thing is really just an illusion, the people doing the persecuting here regardless of how disgusting Trump is are the same ones doing the persecuting to a large degree of everyone else from Assange to the Iranians, that is this government deep state in combination with all of the various American alphabet soup agencies as well as foreign deep states have cornered the market in State power, hate Trump but don't confuse this with a good thing.

O Society , July 8, 2019 at 16:18

Thank you, Ray McGovern. You are a good man, Charlie Brown!

Thing is, all of this was predictable from the beginning. Many of us saw it coming.

No one really wanted an incompetent baboon running things – the song about Monkey and the Engineer comes to mind – so Obama tried to hamstring Trump with this investigation. I mean, Obama couldn't very well have not completed the transfer of power because it is the most valuable thing about democracy. There is no ten year bloody hellified civil war every time the crown changes hands from one inbred to the next.

So Obama did the next best thing on his way out the Oval Office doors, he put Brennan and the boys on it. Seemed like a good idea at the time, I'm sure. But it backfired because he couldn't call the dogs off once he was no longer president. Not Brennan, not anyone could call them off after the snowball really got rolling because the spooks believed their own story and the media made too much money off selling the mythology:

https://osociety.org/2019/07/06/spooks-spooking-themselves/

Only question left to answer now is whether or not Trump the carnival barker can milk his opportunist Armageddon into a second term of fleecing the rubes.

http://osociety.org/2019/07/08/can-donald-trump-delay-an-economic-crash-until-2020

karlof1 , July 8, 2019 at 15:00

This is a very serious Constitutional Law issue and MUST be pursued–and it makes no difference the political party denomination of those breaking the law! The Current Oligarchy–Deep State–is the adversary of the vast majority of US citizens and humanity. With Epstein's arrest and the developments McGovern relates, some progress appears to be happening.

Lydia , July 8, 2019 at 14:51

You summed it up perfectly, Jill.

Pablo Diablo , July 8, 2019 at 14:42

"the effort to defeat Trump and, later, to emasculate and, if possible, remove him." says it all. Trump is a loose cannon. The so called "Deep State" has been "controlling" our Presidents since at least the Dulles Brothers. Truman even admitted giving them power was a BIG mistake. Still question the Kennedy Assassination.
In the 70's, the FBI mailed me a box of drugs, which I refused to take from a very incompetent fake Mail Man, and three minutes later they showed up with a search warrant for my house that listed all the drugs in the failed mailed box signed by a Federal Judge. So much for FISA. The bullshit continues. I could reveal more if necessary.

robert e williamson jr , July 8, 2019 at 14:32

Sam F. whether you realize it or not you got it pretty much on the nose. Except for this.

The judiciary has been compromised by the congresses refusal to hold CIA et. al. accountable for their actions. Why? Those in congress remember what happened to JFK.

The number one reason is because the deep state ensures that if anyone goes after CIA officials or designees that the persons career and life are ruined. Which is something else that needs to be investigated. Something that if explored may very well put a stop to CIA's B.S. of lying about everything and getting away with it.

Currently no deterrent exists. None.

Anytime some one or entity gets close the Deep State ends up with their guy as AG. See the Bill Barr story.

Barr may get his chance to prove me right and at the same time prove "Lady Justice" has little to do with the DOJ! I think he is a cowardly blowhard. Justice would be Trump and Barr going to jail .

Justice in this country for the true scoundrels in government or billionaires is non- existent at this point in time. Putting Epstein in prison for life is called for and if he is threatened with that maybe his jaw will loosen up.

Until DOJ can become a deterrent to bad actors in government, all government the country will be controlled by the Deep State. The SWETS, super wealthy elitists.

Keep your eyes on George Soro and the Kochs.

Paul Merrell , July 8, 2019 at 17:28

@ "Justice would be Trump and Barr going to jail ."

Are you suggesting that *any* of their living predecessors don't deserve the same? If so, which do not and why?

Jay , July 8, 2019 at 14:18

Bif:

I agree something very suspect occurred.

And it's very likely the Obama White House knew that either the NSA or the FBI was tapping into the communications of some of Trump's campaign team BEFORE Hillary lost in Nov. 2016.

However the xenophobic, lying, terrorist (IRA) supporting, Peter King is not a credible messenger. (Right, Rep Steve King of Iowa is even worse than King of Long Island.)

Peter Dyer , July 8, 2019 at 14:09

Thanks, Ray.

DH Fabian , July 8, 2019 at 13:59

Actually, that deep split among the masses, and certainly within the Dem voting base, was achieved in the 1990s -- middle class vs. poor, workers vs. those left jobless, further split by race. The Obama years confirmed that this split is permanent. Russia had nothing to do with the Democrats' 2016 defeat, nor will it be the reason for their 2020 defeat. Democrats maintain their resistance against acknowledging the consequences of dividing and conquering their own voting base.

EuGene Miller , July 9, 2019 at 00:24

DH, that's an interesting assessment. However, I doubt that any House or Senate Democrat sought an advantage by "splitting their base". The elected Dems do not control the narrative. So, who benefits by splitting the masses into rival factions?

Perhaps the narrative of social and political discourse is defined by the owners, boards, and foundations that control the main-stream media and pop-culture.

Robert Reich wrote that an oligarchy divides-and-conquers the rest of us. I suspect that controlling the narrative is not simply a propaganda tool; it is the basis of divide-and-conquer strategy.

https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/57499-there-is-no-right-v-left-it-is-trump-and-the-oligarchs-against-the-rest

robert e williamson jr , July 8, 2019 at 13:56

Is it possible that the DOJ, see the Sec. of Labor's problems developing with the Espstein case, is about to have it's gloriously corrupt underbelly rolled over into the sunlight? (you must roll the snake over to see its belly)

Please Ray tell me this is where we might be heading or instead will we end up with the courts truncating investigation because they say it will be best for the country not to have all this filthy laundry dragged out into the sunlight or someones bull shit sources and methods might be exposed. The DOJ has become a really bad joke!

I'm hoping you know something I don't because Barr's past history pretty much speaks for itself I'd say after be made sure he pardoned all of Bush 41 henchmen!

At this point I certainly do not have much faith in the DOJ doing the right thing. What Acosta did in Florida with Epstein was hardly the right thing to do.

They all need to be locked up.

Eric32 , July 8, 2019 at 13:33

Very little "punishment" will occur, and no deep change cleanup will occur.
The US govt. is controlled by money and blackmail – not "voting" or public outrage.

So many high level people have so much dirt on other high level people that nothing major will be done.
A series of very big events, including the JFK murder and the 9/11 charade went unexposed and undealt with – there is no reason to think that this medium size event will wind up making a big difference.

What will happen is that US "democracy" will continue on its downward course, but maybe with a better facade.

Dunderhead , July 8, 2019 at 20:59

I personally believe that the empire will crash when it hits maximum overreach it will also simultaneously go broke at the same time, as the money interests at that point Will probably move east, this will partially be due to both the feds tendency to over inflate in order to cover military acquisitions as well as the decline of swift and the ascendancy of China in the rest. I actually think that this is what some American factions desire, it is potentially good for all of us if we can regain a republic but it will mean the end of American hegemony.

Gary Weglarz , July 8, 2019 at 13:22

This is the same "deep state" that assassinated a sitting president, then proceeded to assassinate the next three most important and influential progressive leaders in the country all over a five year period. Problem solved. And just when you thought Allen Dulles didn't know what to do with all those oh so experienced Nazi war criminals he'd recruited to the CIA.

When Congress investigated the CIA in the mid-1970's (before Congress became completely "owned" by the deep state) right on cue witnesses began to "commit suicide" just before they would be scheduled to testify. Problem solved. Hardly a raised eyebrow from the always complicit MSM through all of this. Expecting anything more than a massive coverup of this latest deep state corruption and abuse is beyond my abilities to even effectively fantasize about.

herbert davis , July 8, 2019 at 14:12

Justice in the USA?

John Drake , July 8, 2019 at 13:20

The corporate Democrats strike out again. They run a corrupt, violent(war monger) candidate, who loses to a buffoon-an election which was hers to lose. Meanwhile trying to hedge their bets they play sleazeball with the investigative arm's authority in order to sabotage said buffoon; which as it is revealed gives ammunition and the advantage to their target. i.e. "They were illegally picking on me"
If Trump is smart-a very long stretch, but some advisor might suggest this- he will expose all this slime closer to the election for maximum effect. What a distressing thought. All the more reason to run a progressive Presidential candidate that can disavow the DNC clowns and their corruption.

geeyp , July 8, 2019 at 12:37

It's past time for the Deep State to come up from the deep state of hell in which they reside. At least to purgatory for some fresh air and a wee ray of light. I couldn't let the Schumer warning keep me from giving the go ahead on this. If my coconut is shattered, someone somewhere (not our current media) would have a clue as to what happened to me. Sic 'em, President Trump and A.G. and Devin Nunes!

Sam F , July 8, 2019 at 12:14

The US needs to solve the underlying problem of corruption of secret agencies and judiciary, otherwise the political wrongdoing of one faction will only be matched by that of its opponents, regardless of a few prosecutions. I know from experience the extreme corruption of the Repubs, and little doubt that the Dems do such things at least when desperate.

The solution includes:
1. All secrets meaningfully shared among multiparty committees;
2. All politicians and top officials monitored for corrupt influence;
3. Entire federal judiciary fired, replaced, and monitored like the politicians; and
4. Amendments to protect elections and mass media from control by money power.
Until then all government acts are tribal gangsterism and little more.

Guy , July 8, 2019 at 13:50

You forgot about dual citizenship members of the senate and congress . Elected as a representative for the country of the US should mean just that and not another country . And while we are at it , major reform on monetary contributions to candidates running for re-election . There is something terribly wrong with needing millions if not billions of dollars to run the electoral races.There is much more that needs to be done but this would be a good start .

Sam F , July 8, 2019 at 17:32

Yes, the proposed Amendments would restrict funding of mass media and elections to registered individual contributions (some prefer government funding) limited to the average day's pay annually (for example), with full reporting by candidates and all intermediaries. We all can see the destruction of democracy that was caused by economic power controlling elections, mass media, the judiciary, etc.

But of course we cannot get those amendments because those tools of democracy now belong to the rich, etc. History suggests that we are in for generations of severe decline before the people are hurting enough to turn off the tube and do something, and generations more before they can re-establish democracy.

Herman , July 8, 2019 at 15:20

Ray McGovern writes:"Classification," however, has been one of the Deep State's favorite tactics to stymie investigations -- especially when the material in question yields serious embarrassment or reveals crimes. And the stakes this time are huge"

On the matter of government reform classification there is a great need of public discussion and radical reform. Why? Because the government is playing with an essential right, the right to know. All the red herrings needed to be thrown in the trash and the burden placed on the classifiers to justify why the public does not have a right to know.

Sam F , July 8, 2019 at 17:24

Yes, the facts and their significance (especially about false flags and scandals) need to be publicly debated, as well as policy goals, and the policies derived from facts and goals. We have far too many government secrets to sustain a democracy.

I suggest limiting secrets to ongoing investigations (with a time limit), defensive military plans and operations (not alleged provocations or aggressive war schemes), and personal IDs of those at risk. Beyond that secrets disguise tyranny.

Ida G Millman , July 8, 2019 at 16:02

Another path towards a solution to government corruption could be term limits for all federal representatives. Limiting the number of terms would curtail the opportunities for forming the uninterrupted years of long coalitions between public servants and government officials that result in the abuses of power that have damaged the interests of ordinary less wealthy citizens, in favor of corporate and military interests.

In the matter of the original intentions of the men who wrote our founding documents, we should consider one of the enormous differences that technology has made between us: that our representatives can travel between DC and their homes with enough ease that they can continue reasonably, or nearly reasonably, satisfactory family lives – something that could not be done in the 18th century. The forefathers did not foresee that being a member of government would become a career for a lifetime. They assumed, I believe, that members of government would always be citizens who would give our country a few years of their lives and then return to private life to share their experience and knowledge with their neighbors.

Such a change would not magically reform government corruption. There will always be those who will find a way – but it could slow things down and it would certainly engage an increasing number of citizens who would participate in governing, as well as the circles of people surrounding each of them whose interest in and understanding of government would increase because everyone would know more of their representatives. Got that, kids? L&B&L

Sam F , July 8, 2019 at 17:37

Term limits are useful and we should enact more. There seems to be a sufficient supply of puppets for the rich/WallSt/Mic/zionists to ensure that all new candidates represent only those interests, unless we go further and control funding of mass media and elections, monitoring of politicians and judges for life, etc.

Rob Roy , July 8, 2019 at 20:28

Ida,
Term limits wouldn't be necessary if money were out of elections and all elections were publicly funded. Next, a law should be passed to prevent retired congress people from lobbying for any private company of any kind. Then people wouldn't have to spend all their time in congress lining up money for the next election, nor would they owe favors to anyone.

Dunderhead , July 8, 2019 at 21:19

Sam F, all of those goals seem very nice but it would probably be better if we just dissolved back into 50 states save for an interstate system and a very small navy for common defense, maybe four nuclear submarines total, the American people will be best off without a government completely working it out for themselves, if some of them work it out in completely different ways without hurting each other so be it. Besides even a libertarians would have to acknowledge democracy best works for smaller populations. We may never be able to curb the will to power of evil men but we can diminish their abilities to fleece the public if we are not subject to them.

Jay , July 8, 2019 at 11:42

Peter King?

Really now.

Not a credible source, no matter how invention filled Russia-gate is. And no matter how clear it is that in 2016 the FBI was poking around campaign Trump and likely telling the White House what it found.

Bif Webster , July 8, 2019 at 13:28

I agree that King isn't the best of messengers, but we can also go to others who are not right-wing to see something fishy went on.

Those text messages convinced me something was going on. And that was before all the other stuff came to light.

I think this will be about who has more dirt on the other side you know, leverage?

Jeff Harrison , July 8, 2019 at 11:41

Thank you, Ray. Forgive my cynicism but the US government is so corrupt, has wielded illegitimate power for so long, and has covered the tracks of countless functionaries who have not upheld the constitution that I doubt this will go anywhere. I have been quoting Ben Franklin for some time "you have a republic, if you can keep it." I don't think we can. A reading of "A History of Venice" by John J. Norris would be appropriate here. The most serene republic lasted for essentially 1,000 years from roughly 800 to not quite 1800, first as a democracy, later as an oligarchy. Much like us, including having the most feared secret service in Europe at the time, Venice kept its power through trade but at least we don't hoist the new president up on a chair so that he can throw golden Ducats to the crowd on Wall Street the way that a new Doge would.

I don't see that as necessarily much of a plus.

Steven Berge , July 8, 2019 at 11:40

I don't suppose anything will happen to anybody important about this. After all, nothing happened to anybody when they were caught mass spying on any and all american citizens, even before they made it legal.

Drew Hunkins , July 8, 2019 at 11:32

Unfortunately Webb and Parry exposed much of these gangster criminal "intel" savages for running guns and drugs to Central American pseudo fascist mercenary sadists throughout much of the late 1970s through the '80s. I say unfortunately b/c nothing much ever came along by way of true justice, by way of the criminal players rotting in maximum security jail cells for years on end, not unlike the crack or heroin addict who steals a $400 television.

Jill , July 8, 2019 at 11:15

This has been one long crime against the American people. King should read what he knows into the Congressional Record. I have no sympathy for Trump's fear of the deep state. He has sent people to die knowing full well that his actions were based on lies, lies that would result in the deaths of civilians as well as our own military. If he is going to do that, then he should have the courage to face the deep state. That's partial penance for all the deaths he has caused.

I also don't care about Trump's personal issue about being surveilled. He personally supports that against everyone else. That is why I feel this is a crime against our people as a whole. Our constitution has been stripped bare. We don't have the rule of law. Mass surveillance covering the globe is current reality. It is dangerous. It is wrong. It is lawless. It is a disaster.

Further, Russiagate was used to keep real opposition away from Trump. His supporters doubled down on "liking" Trump because he appeared to be a victim of these lies. Democrats meanwhile learned to further worship the IC. They ignored Trump's actual unlawful behavior, and, in the case of war crimes, still support Trump on every war/regime change action etc. recommended to them by their IC "resistance" "leaders".

People won't speak to one another because of this division, all based on lies. Democrats want Assange put to death because he exposed truthful information about Clinton. Neighbor has turned against neighbor over this. We have stopped talking and stopped thinking about whether claims make sense or have evidence behind them. Political parties have become cults with cult leaders. Meanwhile, many who think it was wrong to use surveillance against Trump, accept mass surveillance against everyone else, including themselves.

This has been one of the most effective propaganda tools I have ever seen against our populace. It has created a divided, unthinking populace who is ripe for the picking by evil men and women. I am truly hoping that once this is exposed people will stop this madness and pull together for a common good. But I'm quite worried that, like most cults, when the leader is shown to be wrong, people cling to them even more.

I cannot believe what Russiagate has done to our own people. I am terrified at the wars it has/may yet cause and the cruelty against others, both foreign and domestic, which it has wrought.

Dunderhead , July 8, 2019 at 21:51

What else would you call it, there have always been nefarious agents in one government or another for one gangster interest or another, whether was Milner's roundtable or Dulles's Gladio werewolves, these are nefarious individuals there is no gray area in that, however they may conduct themselves and their personal lives, it is not sloppy journalism, is to call something what it is, a this shadow government working in many instances against the direct interest of the American people, I'm not trying to be you over the head with this but Mr. McGovern was once upon a Time swimming in the same waters and he knows what he is talking about. The deep state maybe several different factions but all of it at least so far is fairly I'm Accountable, this thing must be named.

AnneR , July 8, 2019 at 14:18

First the Disclaimer: I'm not a supporter of either side of the one party two headed monster political machine, not of either HRC or DT, both, and their "parties," making me want to puke.

I am curious about the following: "He [DT] has sent people to die knowing full well that his actions were based on lies, lies that would result in the deaths of civilians as well as our own military. If he is going to do that, then he should have the courage to face the deep state. That's partial penance for all the deaths he has caused."

While I have no doubt that DT has been responsible for civilian deaths (I am far less concerned about military deaths – join the military and you cannot expect not to have to chance it, particularly in a warmongering nation state; if the recruit doesn't recognize this reality, then they need to do some reading), *most* such deaths in those countries we (the US and its vassal states and proxies) have been happily bombing, shelling, destroying one way or another, even since the late 1980s (not therefore including the appalling and illegal warring on Vietnam et al) are down, not to DT, but rather to presidents: BC, GHB, GWB, BO. Pretty evenly divided betwixt the two heads, wouldn't you say?

That's not to excuse DT (and I wouldn't excuse HRC either – think Libya; as bad as MA, if with different forms of warfare; but then they're buddies, like attracting like).

We – the US – need to stop killing other peoples (let's cry for the war-making profiteers), stop destroying other countries (and for our corporate-capitalists who plunder them); need to mind our own "shop" and business. And stop pretending that we're such a wonderful, white-hatted, "good" nation.

Jill , July 8, 2019 at 15:15

AnneR,

We have had war criminal presidents from the legacy parties, period. Barr is a party to war crimes so I share other's doubts that he will do anything about actual justice. He may be in on the current winning side of the IC and they may be purging some enemies at this time. That is the only thing I see Barr being involved in.

Speaking as someone who has done counter-recruitment in schools, I will just give you my experience. Students are tracked from grade school. A file is kept on them with over a thousand data points. These files are taken by recruiters and used to "pitch" the military to young people. I don't know if you were sophisticated at 16. I was a little bit but not much. So here's an example–they told one young woman who had a single mother that if she went in the military she would not be a burden on her mother any longer. They understood the family had few resources and they played on this young woman's "guilt" over being a financial "drain" on her mother. No, recruiters do not tell the truth to those they meet. They lie and they lie very well because they have excellent information to help them tell the correct lies. That girl is dead and I mourn her death.

Dunderhead , July 8, 2019 at 22:05

AnneR, you have so much anger, I understand, it is terrible what our nation has done and is continuing to do, it has gone on so long that many of the people currently perpetrating the crimes against foreign populations are themselves of descendents of peoples the US has victimized. It's the propaganda, the United States is one of the most heavily propagandize societies in the world, we make the Soviets look like children. No one wants you to have sympathy for Donald Trump, you do not have to agree or like a person to see that the cartel seeking to damage him is also simultaneously against your interests and they are against your interests whether you're from the left or the right because they do not have an ideology just it will to power.

Dunderhead , July 8, 2019 at 22:09

Jill that was an incredibly cogent description of the mess we are currently in, congratulations on such clarity, peace out.

David Otness , July 9, 2019 at 00:18

With you on all that you state, Jill. It's really exposed the U.S. population for what we unfortunately are, if not what we've become. So reminiscent of the darker days of the Cold War. A stark education has just played out to this point. I wonder how many have learned anything at all from it?

[Jul 06, 2019] Why is Iran such a high priority for US elite? Because Iran successfully booted out the CIA and CIA-imposed regime out of their country and successfully remained independent since then

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is at present no other powerful leadership group that is so adamantly unwilling to compromise with the U.S. The potential loss of U.S. control over Middle East oil being at the root of it. ..."
"... The Saudis et al have it, and Israel is a forward operating base for protecting it. The Saudi royal family rightly fear an Iran-inspired popular uprising against them and Israel fears the loss of lands granted to them by their invisible friend as related in a popular fairy tale. ..."
"... Iran is a relatively large country with a semi independent foreign policy and banking,/ financial system, and they want to control their own resources independent of western dictates about opening up their system to the neo liberal system. ..."
"... Because Iran successfully booted out the CIA and CIA-imposed regime out of their country and successfully remained independent since then. ..."
"... Iran was after WW2 a client state of both the US and the UK, the latter installing the Shah as a ruler. Iran was important for the US and the UK through its oil resources and its border with the USSR. ..."
"... Iran is still a major player when it comes to oil, but contrary to the Shah years quite hostile to the aspirations of Israel to become the “western” power in the middle east. ..."
"... The enmity clearest showed up when Israel and the USA supplied Saddam Hussein with intelligence and Germany and France with the capability to produce chemical weapons during the Iraq/Iran war. ..."
"... America essentially followed the old British approach towards Iran: keep it semi-alive so that it can put up enough resistance to the USSR until America’s more important and intrinsic interests, such as those in the Persian Gulf, were safeguarded. But Washington never wanted to turn Iran into a strong ally that one day might be capable of challenging America. ..."
"... By changing the international balance of power and removing the risk of Soviet penetration, the USSR’s fall eliminated Iran’s value to the United States even as a buffer state. In fact, the fundamental shift to a US approach based on the principle of no compromise, can be traced to 1987, when Gorbachev’s reforms began. ..."
"... Since then, the United States has refused to accept any solution to the Iran problem that has not involved the country’s absolute capitulation. ..."
"... For instance, in 2003, Iran offered to put all the outstanding issues between the two countries on the table for negotiations, but the US refused. ..."
"... Because Iran refuses to be a second-class citizen in its own neighborhood. Theirs is an ancient culture whose legacy to the world is enormous, their history is the stuff of legend, and they are the geopolitical power player in the region, not to mention the most powerful Shia Muslim nation. ..."
Jul 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Joe Well, July 5, 2019 at 11:47 am

>>US President Donald Trump’s ruthless use of the centrality of his country’s financial system and the dollar to force economic partners to abide by his unilateral sanctions on Iran has forced the world to recognise the political price of asymmetric economic interdependence.

Why is Iran such a high priority for so many US elites?

Lee, July 5, 2019 at 12:28 pm

Just spit-balling here: The Iranian leadership, with good cause, wants to diminish or eliminate the U.S. grip on the region and this subversive, potentially destabilizing sentiment resonates among the citizenry of various Middle Eastern countries.

There is at present no other powerful leadership group that is so adamantly unwilling to compromise with the U.S. The potential loss of U.S. control over Middle East oil being at the root of it.

The Saudis et al have it, and Israel is a forward operating base for protecting it. The Saudi royal family rightly fear an Iran-inspired popular uprising against them and Israel fears the loss of lands granted to them by their invisible friend as related in a popular fairy tale.

This is hardly definitive and I’m sure others could elaborate.

workingclasshero, July 5, 2019 at 12:53 pm

Iran is a relatively large country with a semi independent foreign policy and banking,/ financial system, and they want to control their own resources independent of western dictates about opening up their system to the neo liberal system.

I’m sure this is obvious to most people at this kind of web site and is overly simplistic but i sense sometimes some people are shocked about the conflict with Iran and don’t get that basic dynamic of this conflict.

Underdog Revolutions, July 5, 2019 at 1:34 pm

Because Iran successfully booted out the CIA and CIA-imposed regime out of their country and successfully remained independent since then.

US elites never forgave them for it. Same reason they hate and punish Cuba, another country that poses no threat to anyone but its own citizens.

Peter Moritz, July 5, 2019 at 1:46 pm

Why is Iran such a high priority for so many US elites?

Iran was after WW2 a client state of both the US and the UK, the latter installing the Shah as a ruler. Iran was important for the US and the UK through its oil resources and its border with the USSR.

Mossadegh, by nationalising the oil supply until, played against the status and he was overthrown in a MI/CIA sponsored coup in 1953, leaving the Shah as the sole ruler in Iran till the revolution of 1979 when Iran came under theocratic rule and basically diminished the power the US had throughout the years of the Shah’s rule.

The US was also shown to be quite powerless -- short of an invasion -- to deal with the hostage crisis in the US embassy, which was finally after more than a year resolved with the help of Canada.

Iran is still a major player when it comes to oil, but contrary to the Shah years quite hostile to the aspirations of Israel to become the “western” power in the middle east.

The enmity clearest showed up when Israel and the USA supplied Saddam Hussein with intelligence and Germany and France with the capability to produce chemical weapons during the Iraq/Iran war.

Here is a more in-depth look:

https://lobelog.com/the-real-causes-of-americas-troubled-relations-with-iran/

This U.S. approach towards Iran has been the result of its lack of an intrinsic interest in the country. The same was true of Britain. The late Sir Denis Right, the UK’s ambassador to Iran in the 1960s, put it best by writing that Britain never considered Iran of sufficient value to colonize it. But it found Iran useful as a buffer against the competing great power, the Russian Empire. Thus, British policy towards Iran was to keep it moribund but not dead, at least not as long as the Russian threat persisted.

America essentially followed the old British approach towards Iran: keep it semi-alive so that it can put up enough resistance to the USSR until America’s more important and intrinsic interests, such as those in the Persian Gulf, were safeguarded. But Washington never wanted to turn Iran into a strong ally that one day might be capable of challenging America.

By changing the international balance of power and removing the risk of Soviet penetration, the USSR’s fall eliminated Iran’s value to the United States even as a buffer state. In fact, the fundamental shift to a US approach based on the principle of no compromise, can be traced to 1987, when Gorbachev’s reforms began.

Since then, the United States has refused to accept any solution to the Iran problem that has not involved the country’s absolute capitulation.

For instance, in 2003, Iran offered to put all the outstanding issues between the two countries on the table for negotiations, but the US refused.

ChiGal in Carolina, July 5, 2019 at 6:38 pm

Because Iran refuses to be a second-class citizen in its own neighborhood. Theirs is an ancient culture whose legacy to the world is enormous, their history is the stuff of legend, and they are the geopolitical power player in the region, not to mention the most powerful Shia Muslim nation.

[Jul 06, 2019] Neoliberalism start collapsing as soon as considerable part of the electorate has lost hope that thier standard of living will improve

Pretty superficial article, but some points are interesting. Especially the fact that the collapse of neoliberalism like collapse of Bolshevism is connected with its inability to raise the standard of living of population in major Western countries, despite looting of the USSR and Middle eastern countries since 1991. Spoils of victory in the Cold War never got to common people. All was appropriated by greedy "New Class" of neoliberal oligarchs.
The same was true with Bolshevism in the USSR. The communist ideology was dead after WWII when it became clear that "proletariat" is not a new class destined to take over and the "iron law of oligarchy" was discovered. Collapse happened in 45 years since the end of WWII. Neoliberal ideology was dead in 2008. It would be interesting to see if neoliberalism as a social system survives past 2050.
The level of degeneration of the USA elite probably exceeds the level of degeneration of Nomenklatura even now.
Notable quotes:
"... A big reason why liberal democracies in Europe have remained relatively stable since WWII is that most Europeans have had hope that their lives will improve. A big reason why the radical vote has recently been on the rise in several European countries is that part of the electorate has lost this hope. People are increasingly worried that not only their own lives but also the lives of their children will not improve and that the playing field is not level. ..."
"... As a result, the traditional liberal package of external liberalisation and internal redistribution has lost its appeal with the electorate, conceding ground to the alternative package of the radical right that consists of external protectionism and internal liberalisation ..."
"... Mr Mody said the bottom half of German society has not seen any increase in real incomes in a generation. ..."
"... The reforms pushed seven million people into part-time 'mini-jobs' paying €450 (£399) a month. It lead to corrosive "pauperisation". This remains the case even though the economy is humming and surging exports have pushed the current account surplus to 8.5pc of GDP." ..."
"... "British referendum on EU membership can be explained to a remarkable extent as a vote against globalisation much more than immigration " ..."
"... As an FYI to the author immigration is just the flip side of the same coin. Why were immigrants migrating? Often it's because they can no longer make a living where they left. Why? Often globalization impacts. ..."
"... The laws of biology and physics and whatever else say that the host that is being parasitised upon, cannot support the endless growth of the parasites attached upon it. The unfortunate host will eventually die. ..."
"... "negative effects of globalisation: foreign competition, factory closures, persistent unemployment, stagnating purchasing power, deteriorating infrastructures and public services" ..."
"... he ruling elites have broken away from the people. The obvious problem is the gap between the interests of the elites and the overwhelming majority of the people. ..."
"... One of the things we must do in Russia is never to forget that the purpose of the operation and existence of any government is to create a stable, normal, safe and predictable life for the people and to work towards a better future. ..."
"... "If you're not willing to kill everybody who has a different idea than yourself, you cannot have Frederick Hayek's free market. You cannot have Alan Greenspan or the Chicago School, you cannot have the economic freedom that is freedom for the rentiers and the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector to reduce the rest of the economy to serfdom." ~ Michael Hudson ..."
"... I'm surprised more people don't vote for neo-fascist parties like the Golden Dawn. Ordinary liberal politics has completely failed them. ..."
Jul 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The more a local economy has been negatively affected by the two shocks, the more its electors have shifted towards the radical right and its policy packages. These packages typically combine the retrenchment against international openness and the liberalisation of the internal market and more convincingly address the demand for protection by an electorate that, after the austerity following the Crisis, no longer trusts alternatives based on more liberal stances on foreign relations and the parallel promise of a stronger welfare state.

A big reason why liberal democracies in Europe have remained relatively stable since WWII is that most Europeans have had hope that their lives will improve. A big reason why the radical vote has recently been on the rise in several European countries is that part of the electorate has lost this hope. People are increasingly worried that not only their own lives but also the lives of their children will not improve and that the playing field is not level.

On the one hand, despite some progress in curtailing 'tax havens' in recent years, there has never been as much wealth in tax havens as there is today (Zucman 2015). This is seen as unfair because, if public goods and services (including those required to help the transition to a 'green economy') have to be provided in the regions where such hidden wealth comes from, lost tax revenues have to be compensated for by higher taxes on law-abiding households.

On the other hand, fairness is also undermined by dwindling social mobility. In the last decades, social mobility has slowed down across large parts of the industrialised world (OECD 2018), both within and between generations. Social mobility varies greatly across regions within countries, correlates positively with economic activity, education, and social capital, and negatively with inequality (Güell at al. 2018). Renewed migration from the South to the North of Europe after the Crisis (Van Mol and de Valk 2016) is a testimony of the widening relative lack of opportunities in the places that have suffered the most from competition from low-wage countries.

Concluding Remarks

Globalisation has come accompanied by the Great Convergence between countries around the world but also the Great Divergence between regions within several industrialised countries. The same holds within the EU. In recent years, redistributive policies have had only a very limited impact in terms of reversing growing regional inequality.

As a result, the traditional liberal package of external liberalisation and internal redistribution has lost its appeal with the electorate, conceding ground to the alternative package of the radical right that consists of external protectionism and internal liberalisation.

This is both inefficient and unlikely to lead to more regional convergence. What the political and policy debate in Europe is arguably missing is a clearer focus on two of the main underlying causes of peoples' growing distrust in national and international institutions: fiscal fairness and social mobility.

See original post for references


Jesper , July 3, 2019 at 12:37 pm

When did this traditional liberal package mentioned in the concluding remarks ever happen?

the traditional liberal package of external liberalisation and internal redistribution has lost its appeal with the electorate

Maybe if it was clear who got it, what it was, when it was done, how it happened then people might find this liberal package appealing.

flora , July 3, 2019 at 11:26 pm

Right. It would be better to say "the traditional New Deal liberal package " has not lost its appeal, it was killed off bit by bit starting with NAFTA. From a 2016 Thomas Frank essay in Salon:

That appeal to [educated credentialed] class unity gives a hint of what Clintonism was all about. To owners and shareholders, who would see labor costs go down as they took advantage of unorganized Mexican labor and lax Mexican environmental enforcement, NAFTA held fantastic promise. To American workers, it threatened to send their power, and hence their wages, straight down the chute. To the mass of the professional-managerial class, people who weren't directly threatened by the treaty, holding an opinion on NAFTA was a matter of deferring to the correct experts -- economists in this case, 283 of whom had signed a statement declaring the treaty "will be a net positive for the United States, both in terms of employment creation and overall economic growth."

The predictions of people who opposed the agreement turned out to be far closer to what eventually came to pass than did the rosy scenarios of those 283 economists and the victorious President Clinton. NAFTA was supposed to encourage U.S. exports to Mexico; the opposite is what happened, and in a huge way. NAFTA was supposed to increase employment in the U.S.; a study from 2010 counts almost 700,000 jobs lost in America thanks to the treaty. And, as feared, the agreement gave one class in America enormous leverage over the other: employers now routinely threaten to move their operations to Mexico if their workers organize. A surprisingly large number of them -- far more than in the pre-NAFTA days -- have actually made good on the threat.

Twenty years later, the broader class divide over the subject persists as well. According to a 2014 survey of attitudes toward NAFTA after two decades, public opinion remains split. But among people with professional degrees -- which is to say, the liberal class -- the positive view remains the default. Knowing that free-trade treaties are always for the best -- even when they empirically are not -- seems to have become for the well-graduated a badge of belonging.

https://www.salon.com/2016/03/14/bill_clintons_odious_presidency_thomas_frank_on_the_real_history_of_the_90s/

The only internal redistribution that's happened in the past 25 – 30 yearsis from the bottom 80% to the top 10% and especially to the top 1/10th of 1 %.

Not hard to imagine why the current internal redistribution model has lost its appeal with the electorate.

Sound of the Suburbs, , July 3, 2019 at 1:50 pm

UK policymakers had a great plan for globalisation.

Everyone needs to specialise in something and we will specialise in finance based in London.

That was it.

rd , , July 3, 2019 at 1:58 pm

I think there are two different globalizations that people are responding to.

1. Their jobs go away to somewhere in the globe that has lower wages, lower labor protections, and lower environmental protections. So their community largely stays the same but with dwindling job prospects and people slowly moving away.

2. The world comes to their community where they see immigrants (legal, illegal, refugees) coming in and are willing to work harder for less, as well as having different appearance, languages, religion, and customs. North America has always had this as we are built on immigration. Europe is much more focused on terroire. If somebody or something has only been there for a century, they are new.

If you combine both in a community, you have lit a stick of dynamite as the locals feel trapped with no way out. Then you get Brexit and Trump. In the US, many jobs were sent overseas and so new people coming in are viewed as competitors and agents of change instead of just new hired help. The same happened in Britain. In mainland Europe with less inequality and more job protection, it is more of just being overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of newcomers in a society that does not prize that at all.

Sound of the Suburbs, , July 3, 2019 at 2:04 pm

I saw the warning signs when Golden Dawn appeared in Greece

The liberals said it was just a one off, as they always do, until it isn't.

How did successful Germany turn into a country where extremism would flourish?
The Hartz IV reforms created the economic hardship that causes extremism to flourish.

"Germany is turning to soft nationalism. People on low incomes are voting against authority because the consensus on equality and justice has broken down. It is the same pattern across Europe," said Ashoka Mody, a former bail-out chief for the International Monetary Fund in Europe.

Mr Mody said the bottom half of German society has not seen any increase in real incomes in a generation. The Hartz IV reforms in 2003 and 2004 made it easier to fire workers, leading to wage compression as companies threatened to move plants to Eastern Europe.

The reforms pushed seven million people into part-time 'mini-jobs' paying €450 (£399) a month. It lead to corrosive "pauperisation". This remains the case even though the economy is humming and surging exports have pushed the current account surplus to 8.5pc of GDP."

This is a successful European country, imagine what the others look like.

Adam1 , July 3, 2019 at 2:20 pm

"British referendum on EU membership can be explained to a remarkable extent as a vote against globalisation much more than immigration "

As an FYI to the author immigration is just the flip side of the same coin. Why were immigrants migrating? Often it's because they can no longer make a living where they left. Why? Often globalization impacts.

Summer , July 3, 2019 at 4:23 pm

Another recap about that really just mourns the lack of trust in the establishment, with no answers. More "I can't believe people are sick to death of experts of dubious skills but networking "

What it is just admitted that a system that can only work great for 20% of any given population if they are born in the right region with the right last name just simply not work except as an exercise in extraction?

And about the EU as if it could never be taken over by bigger authoritatians than the ones already populating it. Then see how much those who think it is some forever bastion of liberalism over sovereignity likes it .

Which is worse - bankers or terrorists , July 4, 2019 at 7:21 am

"Another recap about that really just mourns the lack of trust in the establishment, with no answers."

Usually it involves replacing the establishment or creating an internal threat to reinstate compliance in the establish (Strauss and Howe).

Strategies for initiate the former may be impossible in this era where the deep state can read your thoughts through digital media so you would like it would trend to the latter.

stan6565 , July 3, 2019 at 4:35 pm

Mmmmm, yes, migration, globalisation and such like.

But, unregulated migration into an established environment, say a country, say, UK, on one hand furthers profits to those benefiting from low labour wages (mainly, friends of people working for governments), but on the other leads to creation of parallel societies, where the incoming population brings along the society they strived to escape from. The Don calls these sh***hole societies. Why bring the f***ing thing here, why not leave it where you escaped from.

But the real betrayal of the native population happens when all those unregulated migrants are afforded immediate right to social security, full access to NHS and other aspects of state support, services that they have not paid one penny in support before accessing that particular government funded trough. And then the parasitic growth of their "family and extended family" comes along under the banner of "human rights".

This is the damnation of the whole of Western Civilisation which had been hollowed out from within by the most devious layer of parasitic growth, the government apparatus. The people we pay for under the auspices that they are doing some work for us, are enforcing things that treat the income generators, the tax paying society as serfs whose primary function in life is to support the parasites (immigrants) and parasite enablers (government).

The laws of biology and physics and whatever else say that the host that is being parasitised upon, cannot support the endless growth of the parasites attached upon it. The unfortunate host will eventually die.

Understanding of this concept is most certainly within mental capabilities of all those employed as the "governing classes " that we are paying for through our taxes.

Until such time when legislation is enacted that each and every individual member of "government classes " is made to pay, on an indemnity basis, through financial damages, forced labour, organs stripping or custodial penalties, for every penny (or cent, sorry, yanks), of damage they inflict on us taxpayers, we are all just barking.

Skip Intro , July 3, 2019 at 4:49 pm

This piece does an admirable job conflating globalisation and the ills caused by the neoliberal capture of social democratic parties/leaders. Did people just happen to lose hope, or were they actively betrayed? We are left to guess.

"negative effects of globalisation: foreign competition, factory closures, persistent unemployment, stagnating purchasing power, deteriorating infrastructures and public services"

Note that these ills could also be laid at the feet of the austerity movement, and the elimination/privatisation of National Industrial Policy, both cornerstones of the neoliberal infestation.

Summer , July 3, 2019 at 5:56 pm

Not only is globalization not new, all of the issues that come with it are old news.
All of it.

Part of the problem is that the global economic order is still in service to the same old same old. They have to rebrand every so often to keep the comfortable even more comfortable.

Those tasked with keeping the comfortable more comfortable have to present this crap as "new ideas" for their own careerism or actually do not realize they haven't espoused a new idea in 500 years.

K Lee , July 5, 2019 at 9:12 am

Putin's recent interview with Financial Times editor offers a clear-eyed perspective on our changing global structure:

"What is happening in the West? What is the reason for the Trump phenomenon, as you said, in the US? What is happening in Europe as well? The ruling elites have broken away from the people. The obvious problem is the gap between the interests of the elites and the overwhelming majority of the people.

Of course, we must always bear this in mind. One of the things we must do in Russia is never to forget that the purpose of the operation and existence of any government is to create a stable, normal, safe and predictable life for the people and to work towards a better future.

You know, it seems to me that purely liberal or purely traditional ideas have never existed. Probably, they did once exist in the history of humankind, but everything very quickly ends in a deadlock if there is no diversity. Everything starts to become extreme one way or another.

Various ideas and various opinions should have a chance to exist and manifest themselves, but at the same time interests of the general public, those millions of people and their lives, should never be forgotten. This is something that should not be overlooked.

Then, it seems to me, we would be able to avoid major political upheavals and troubles. This applies to the liberal idea as well. It does not mean (I think, this is ceasing to be a dominating factor) that it must be immediately destroyed. This point of view, this position should also be treated with respect.

They cannot simply dictate anything to anyone just like they have been attempting to do over the recent decades. Diktat can be seen everywhere: both in the media and in real life. It is deemed unbecoming even to mention some topics. But why?

For this reason, I am not a fan of quickly shutting, tying, closing, disbanding everything, arresting everybody or dispersing everybody. Of course, not. The liberal idea cannot be destroyed either; it has the right to exist and it should even be supported in some things. But you should not think that it has the right to be the absolute dominating factor. That is the point. Please." ~ Vladmir Putin

https://www.ft.com/content/878d2344-98f0-11e9-9573-ee5cbb98ed36

He's talking about the end of neoliberalism, the economic fascism that has gripped the world for over 40 years:

"If you're not willing to kill everybody who has a different idea than yourself, you cannot have Frederick Hayek's free market. You cannot have Alan Greenspan or the Chicago School, you cannot have the economic freedom that is freedom for the rentiers and the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector to reduce the rest of the economy to serfdom." ~ Michael Hudson

Let's get back to using fiscal policy for public purpose again, to granting nations their right to self-determination and stopping the latest desperate neoliberal attempt to change international norms by installing fascist dictators (while pretending they are different) in order to move the world backwards to a time when "efforts to institutionalize standards of human and civil rights were seen as impingements on sovereignty, back to the days when no one gave a second thought to oppressed peoples."

http://tothepointanalyses.com/making-progressives-the-enemy/?fbclid=IwAR0ebXAngJpSZY0-WdB-zOgfqWnGsmYzqkYMP4A69kqbHrTI6WqjSpWM4Ow

kristiina , July 4, 2019 at 2:47 am

Very interesting article, and even more interesting conversation! There is a type of argument that very accurately points out some ills that need addressing, and then goes on to spout venom on the only system that might be able to address those ills.

It may be that the governing classes are making life easy for themselves. How to address that is the hard and difficult issue. Most of the protection of the small people comes from government. Healthcare, schools, roads, water etc.(I'm in scandinavia).

If the government crumbles, the small people have to leave. The most dreadful tyranny is better than a failed state with warring factions.

The only viable way forward is to somehow improve the system while it is (still) running. But this discussion I do not see anywhere.

If the discussion does not happen, there will not be any suggestions for improvement, so everything stays the same. Change is inevitable – it what state it will catch us is the important thing. A cashier at a Catalonian family vineyard told me the future is local and global: the next level from Catalonia will be EU. What are the steps needed to go there?

SteveB , July 4, 2019 at 5:54 am

Same old, Same old. Government is self-corrupting and is loath to change. People had enough July fourth 1776.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

FWIW: The fireworks we watch every Fourth of July holiday are symbolic!!!!

John , July 4, 2019 at 5:43 pm

The cashier seems to be envisioning a neoliberal paradise where the nation-state no longer exists. But who, then, collects the taxes that will pay for infrastructure, healthcare, education, public housing, and unemployment insurance? The European Parliament?

Will Germans and Finns be willing to pay high taxes in order to pay for those services for Greeks and Spaniards?

Look at the unemployment rate in Greece the Germans would simply say that the Greeks are lazy parasites and don't want to work (rather than understand that the economic conditions don't allow for job creation), and they would vote for MEPs that vote to cut taxes and welfare programs.

But maybe this was the plan all along you create this neoliberal paradise, and slowly but surely, people will dismantle all but the bare bones of the welfare state.

John , July 4, 2019 at 5:35 pm

I believe that one of the fundamental flaws in the logic behind the EU is this assumption of mobility. Proponents of the EU imagine society to be how it is described in economics textbooks: a bunch of individual actors seeking to maximize their incomes that don't seem to exist in any geographic context. The reality is that people are born into families and communities that speak a language. Most of them probably don't want to just pack up all of their things, relocate, and leave their family and home behind every time they get a new job. People throughout history have always had a very strong connection to the land on which they were raised and the society into which they were brought up; more accurately, for most of human history, this formed the entire existence, the entire universe, of most people (excluding certain oppressed groups, such as slaves or the conquered).

Human beings are not able to move as freely as capital. While euros in Greece can be sent to and used instantly in Germany, it is not so easy for a Greek person to leave the society that their ancestors have lived in for thousands of years and move to a new country with a new culture and language. For privileged people that get to travel, this doesn't sound so bad, but for someone whose family has lived in the same place for centuries and never learned to speak another language, this experience would be extremely difficult. For many people over the age of 25, it might not even be a life worth living.

In the past, economic difficulties would lead to a depreciation of a nation's currency and inflation. But within the current structure of the Eurozone, it results in deflation as euros escape to the core countries (mainly Germany) and unemployment. Southern Europeans are expected to leave everything they have ever known behind and move to the countries where there is work, like Germany or Holland. Maybe for a well-educated worldly 18 year old, that's not so bad, but what about a newly laid-off working class 35 year-old with a wife and kids and no college degree? He's supposed to just pick up his family and leave his parents and relatives behind, learn German, and spend the rest of his life and Germany? His kids now have to be German? Would he even be able to get a job there, anyway? Doing what? And how is he supposed to stop this from happening, how is he supposed to organize politically to keep jobs at home? The Greek government can hardly do anything because the IMF, ECB, and European Commission (all unelected officials) call the shots and don't give them any fiscal breathing room (and we saw what happened the last time voters tried to assert their autonomy in the bailout deal referendum), and the European Parliament doesn't have a serious budget to actually do anything.

I'm surprised more people don't vote for neo-fascist parties like the Golden Dawn. Ordinary liberal politics has completely failed them.

[Jul 06, 2019] I do think the protest against the Iraq war was a watershed moment, when the protests were simply ignored, and the in your face response by the powers that be.

Jul 06, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Herman , July 3, 2019 at 14:27

Went on Kunstler's website with the tasteless name and read comment about Hannity screaming to bomb Iran. And if Mr. Kunstler's facts are correct I imagine the Republicans will be saving Mueller's answers for the next election. Whatever Mr. Kunstler has to say, he says it well. What a mess. The way the bad guys have dug in and rigged the election process and the "News" business, it is difficult to imagine anything can change.

The controls of our society have become so efficient it is tempting to say what the hell and see if there is a good old film or an meaningful sporting event and let it go at that.

In saying that, it brings to mind the other CN article about anti-war sentiment and organizing against war and the war machine that has gone missing makes the point very well. I do think the protest against the Iraq war was a watershed moment, when the protests were simply ignored, and the in your face response by the powers that be.

Eddie S , July 4, 2019 at 10:01

"I do think the protest against the Iraq war was a watershed moment, when the protests were simply ignored, and the in your face response by the powers that be."

Yes, I know that the whole Iraq War-crime episode was an extremely disheartening episode to myself and millions of others who had marched in protest. It was horrible enough when the neo-cons were able to blatantly orchestrate an illegal invasion (with the obeisance of the long-cowed Democrats), but the RE-election of 'W' -- a year after the non-existence of the WMDs was proven by our OWN invading military -- was in a political sense worse because it showed that the majority of the US public was indifferent to illegal US invasions of other countries, so there would be little resistance in the future to these 'wars'.

It was only when the media was portraying the deaths & bad injuries to US soldiers occupying Iraq that a modest amount of public sentiment turned against the whole sordid episode.

So the tacit message was pretty clear to powers that be -- - as long as US troops aren't hurt, go-ahead and bomb-away those foreign men, women, and even children getting killed by them don't matter, especially if our military leaders offer-up oh-so-sincere apologies and state that 'these were unavoidable collateral civilian casualties because we only perform surgical strikes on terrorists' (and said in a most serious, gravitas-laden tone, so you KNOW they're telling the truth).

Windup , July 4, 2019 at 16:09

George wasn't 'elected' in the first place, let alone 're-elected'. I don't know if that makes you feel better. Maybe it does- at least about the American public (at that point in time anyway).

But it was certainly a forerunner to how we 'elect' our officials, which at this point is more blatantly fraudulent. At least to those of us not reading/watching msm.

[Jul 05, 2019] Who are the arsonists of the petrol tankers in the Gulf, by Manlio Dinucci

Notable quotes:
"... The control of the energy corridors is of capital importance. By accusing Iran of attempting to " interrupt the flow of oil through the Straights of Hormuz ", Mike Pompeo announced that " the United States will defend freedom of navigation ". In other words, he has announced that the United States want to gain military control of this key area for energy supplies, including for Europe, by preventing above all the transit of Iranian oil (to which Italy and other European countries cannot in any case enjoy free access because of the US embargo). ..."
"... Natural gas might also have arrived directly in Italy from Russia, and from there be distributed to other European countries with notable economical advantages, via the South Stream route through the Black Sea. But the pipeline, already in an advanced stage of construction, was blocked in 2014 by the pressure of the United States and European Union itself, with heavy prejudice for Italy. ..."
"... In fact it was the reproduction of North Stream which continued, making Germany the centre of triage for Russian gas.. Then, on the basis of the " USA/EU strategic cooperation in the energy field " agreement stipulated in July 2018, US exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the EU tripled. The triage centre was in Poland, from which was distributed the " Freedom Gas " which also arrived in Ukraine. ..."
"... Washington's objective is strategic – to hurt Russia by replacing Russian gas in Europe with US gas ..."
"... So what does Matteo Salvini have to say about all that? When he arrived in the " greatest democracy in the Western world ", he proudly declared - " I am part of a government which in Europe is no longer satisfied with breadcrumbs " ..."
Jun 19, 2019 | www.voltairenet.org

Manlio Dinucci invites us to take a step back. He replaces the sabotage of these petrol tankers, for which Washington accuses Teheran, in the context of the global energy policy of the United States. By doing so, he demonstrates that, contrary to appearances, Mike Pompeo is not targeting Iran, but Europe.

While the United States prepared a new escalation of tension in the Middle East by accusing Iran of attacking petrol tankers in the Gulf of Oman, Italian vice-Prime Minister Matteo Salvini met with one of the artisans of this strategy in Washington, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, assuring him that " Italy wants to regain its place as the major partner on the European continent of the greatest Western democracy ". Thereby he has allied Italy with the operation launched by Washington.

The " Gulf of Oman affair " , a casus belli against Iran, is a carbon copy of the " Gulf of Tonkin affair " of 4 August 1964, itself used as a casus belli to bomb North Vietnam, which was accused of having attacked a US torpedo boat (an accusation which was later proved to be false).

Today, a video released by Washington shows the crew of an alleged Iranian patrol boat removing an unexploded mine from the hull of a petrol tanker in order to conceal its origin (because the mine would allegedly have borne the inscription " Made in Iran ").

With this " proof " - a veritable insult to our intelligence - Washington is attempting to camouflage the goal of the operation. It is part of the strategy aimed at controlling the world reserves of oil and natural gas and their energy corridors [ 1 ]. It is no coincidence that Iran and Iraq are in US crosshairs. Their total oil reserves are greater than those of Saudi Arabia, and five times greater than those of the United States. Iranian reserves of natural gas are approximately 2.5 times those of the USA. Venezuela finds itself targeted by the USA for the same reason, since it is the country which owns the greatest oil reserves in the world.

The control of the energy corridors is of capital importance. By accusing Iran of attempting to " interrupt the flow of oil through the Straights of Hormuz ", Mike Pompeo announced that " the United States will defend freedom of navigation ". In other words, he has announced that the United States want to gain military control of this key area for energy supplies, including for Europe, by preventing above all the transit of Iranian oil (to which Italy and other European countries cannot in any case enjoy free access because of the US embargo).

Low-cost Iranian natural gas might also have reached Europe by way of a pipeline crossing Iraq and Syria. But the project, launched in 2011, was destroyed by the USA/NATO operation to demolish the Syrian state.

Natural gas might also have arrived directly in Italy from Russia, and from there be distributed to other European countries with notable economical advantages, via the South Stream route through the Black Sea. But the pipeline, already in an advanced stage of construction, was blocked in 2014 by the pressure of the United States and European Union itself, with heavy prejudice for Italy.

In fact it was the reproduction of North Stream which continued, making Germany the centre of triage for Russian gas.. Then, on the basis of the " USA/EU strategic cooperation in the energy field " agreement stipulated in July 2018, US exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the EU tripled. The triage centre was in Poland, from which was distributed the " Freedom Gas " which also arrived in Ukraine.

Washington's objective is strategic – to hurt Russia by replacing Russian gas in Europe with US gas. But we have no guarantees, neither on the price, nor on the time-scale for US gas extracted from the bituminous shale by the technique known as fracking (hydraulic fracturation), which is disastrous for the environment.

So what does Matteo Salvini have to say about all that? When he arrived in the " greatest democracy in the Western world ", he proudly declared - " I am part of a government which in Europe is no longer satisfied with breadcrumbs ". Manlio Dinucci

Translation
Pete Kimberley

Source
Il Manifesto (Italy)

[Jul 01, 2019] A Think Tank Dedicated to Peace and Restraint

Notable quotes:
"... The creation of a think tank dedicated to "an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing" is very welcome news. Other than the Cato Institute, there has been nothing like this in Washington, and this tank's focus will be entirely on foreign policy. ..."
"... I am quite amazed that Soros and Koch bro are involved. We will wait to see how this plays out. ..."
Jul 01, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Stephen Kinzer comments on the creation of a new think tank, The Quincy Institute, committed to promoting a foreign policy of restraint and non-interventionism:

Since peaceful foreign policy was a founding principle of the United States, it's appropriate that the name of this think tank harken back to history. It will be called the Quincy Institute, an homage to John Quincy Adams, who in a seminal speech on Independence Day in 1821 declared that the United States "goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own." The Quincy Institute will promote a foreign policy based on that live-and-let-live principle.

The creation of a think tank dedicated to "an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing" is very welcome news. Other than the Cato Institute, there has been nothing like this in Washington, and this tank's focus will be entirely on foreign policy. The lack of institutional support has put advocates of peace and restraint at a disadvantage for a very long time, so it is encouraging to see that there is an effort underway to change that. The Quincy Institute represents another example of how antiwar progressives and conservatives can and should work together to change U.S. foreign policy for the better. The coalition opposed to the war on Yemen showed what Americans opposed to illegal and unnecessary war can do when they work towards a shared goal of peace and non-intervention, and this institute promises to be an important part of such efforts in the future. Considering how long the U.S. has been waging war without end , there couldn't be a better time for this.

TAC readers and especially readers of this blog will be familiar with the people involved in creating the think tank:

The institute plans to open its doors in September and hold an official inauguration later in the autumn. Its founding donors -- Soros's Open Society Foundation and the Charles Koch Foundation -- have each contributed half a million dollars to fund its takeoff. A handful of individual donors have joined to add another $800,000. By next year the institute hopes to have a $3.5 million budget and a staff of policy experts who will churn out material for use in Congress and in public debates. Hiring is underway. Among Parsi's co-founders are several well-known critics of American foreign policy, including Suzanne DiMaggio, who has spent decades promoting negotiated alternatives to conflict with China, Iran and North Korea; the historian and essayist Stephen Wertheim; and the anti-militarist author and retired Army colonel Andrew Bacevich.

"The Quincy Institute will invite both progressives and anti-interventionist conservatives to consider a new, less militarized approach to policy," Bacevich said, when asked why he signed up. "We oppose endless, counterproductive war. We want to restore the pursuit of peace to the nation's foreign policy agenda."

Trita Parsi and Andrew Bacevich are both TAC contributors and have participated in our foreign policy conferences in recent years. Parsi and I were on the same panel last fall at our most recent conference. I have also cited and learned from arguments made by Suzanne DiMaggio and Stephen Wertheim in my posts here . Their involvement is a very good sign, and it shows both the political breadth and intellectual depth of this new institution. I look forward to seeing what they do, and I wish them luck.


chris chuba 9 hours ago
Good luck. I hope you will be invited on cable shows. I am tired of seeing the beard from the Foundation of the Defense of Democracies and his clones.

Once in a while the hosts mess up and they interview someone who doesn't give the correct answer about the M.E., or somewhere else and I see the blank look on their face as they thank the guess as since it is obvious they cannot process the information. I generally do not see those guests ever again.

The guidelines are, the world is divided into those who crave U.S. leadership and the evildoers who are constantly testing our leadership. We must always be vigilant against the latter. It is inconceivable that anyone merely act in their own interest. It is all about us.

Jonathan Dillard Lester 17 hours ago
Might be a few kindred souls put off by the Soros money, but nothing wrong with taking it!
SFBay1949 20 hours ago
I also am looking forward to reading their thoughts and ideas about a foreign policy that doesn't include the US invading yet another country under the ridiculous notion that we are somehow being threatened by them. We have the largest military on earth. It's also telling that we pick on and invade countries that can't actually hurt us. That makes us all the more the bully on the block. It's to our shame that we even consider these shameful actions.
Paul a day ago
Exciting news. An early endeavor , if not already accomplished, should be consideration of relevant theoretical models for understanding competition and cooperation. Since the Cold War and to the present day, variants of the Prisoners Dilemma serve this function. Prior to that, misconceptions of survival of the fittest led to the disasters of eugenics and WW2. Maybe the new think tank will outline or draw inspiration from a new theory.
SteveM a day ago
Re: "I look forward to seeing what they do, and I wish them luck."

So do I. Very much so. However, the most prominent realist Washington Think Tank is the Cato Institute. It has well spoken advocates of realism and restraint including Christopher Preble, Doug Bandow and Ted Galen Carpenter. Unfortunately, the thoughtful Cato scribes get very little exposure on the MSM compared to the atrocious Heritage, AEI and Brookings nests of go along to get along Neocon / Neoliberal lackeys. It's not clear to me how and why the Quincy Institute will generate any more leverage.

I've argued many times before that the linchpin of the busted U.S. Global Cop foreign policy model is the Pentagon. As long as the Pentagon hacks are considered the paragons of Olympian insight and wisdom by the political class and the MSM, nothing will change.

Related to that though, there actually was a hopeful article in the Atlantic about the newest Pentagon Big Mouth, CENTCOM Commander General General Kenneth McKenzie:

https://bit.ly/2Lyel6p

Hopefully, that is a crack in the wall of Military Exceptionalism. The sooner others start taking a 2x4 to the sanctified occupants of the 5-Sided Pleasure Palace, knocking them off of their pedestals, the better.

BTW, the new Acting Defense Secretary and MIC Parasite Mark Esper is no friend of the taxpayers. Expect that failed Pentagon audit that was deep-sixed by Mad Dog Mattis to stay deep-sixed with Esper in the Big Seat.

Taras77 a day ago
I am quite amazed that Soros and Koch bro are involved. We will wait to see how this plays out.

Jeez, who can believe this amongst the "think" tanks: "an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing"

[Jun 30, 2019] Barak and CIA

Jun 30, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

You have probably seen the bumper sticker that says: "Shit Happens." Some people are just lucky, I suppose, and odd coincidences mark their lives.

When he was just out of Columbia College and working for a reputed CIA front company, Business International Corporation, Barack Obama had a chance encounter with a young woman, Genevieve Cook, with whom he had a 1-2 year relationship.

Like Obama and at about the same time, Cook just happened to have lived in Indonesia with her father, Michael Cook, who just happened to become Australia's top spook, the director-general of the Office of National Assessments, and also the Ambassador to Washington.

Of course, Obama's mother, as is well-known, just happened to be living in Indonesia with Barack and Obama's step-father, Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian military officer, who had been called back to Indonesia by the CIA supported General Suharto three months before the CIA coup against President Sukarno. Suharto subsequently slaughtered over a million Indonesian Communists and Indonesian-Chinese.

As is also well-known, it just so happened that Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, trained in the Russian language, after teaching English in the US Embassy in Jakarta that housed one of the largest CIA stations in Asia, did her "anthropological" work in Indonesia and Southeast Asia financed by the well-known CIA conduits, USAID and the Ford Foundation.

Then there is Cook's stepfather, Philip C. Jessup, who just happened to be in Indonesia at the same time, doing nickel-mining deals with the genocidal Suharto government.

Anyway, "shit happens." You never know whom you might meet along the way of life.

[Jun 30, 2019] Aggressive US Lies and Misleads to Justify War on Iran by William Boardman

Notable quotes:
"... The secretary of state delivered this appallingly Orwellian official assessment of the US government within hours of the five explosions on two tankers, well before any credible investigation establishing more than minimal facts could be carried out. As is his habit, Mike Pompeo flatly lied about whatever might be real in the Gulf of Oman, and most American media ran with the lies as if they were or might be true. There is almost no chance that Mike Pompeo and the US government are telling the truth about this event, as widespread domestic and international skepticism attests. ..."
"... Pompeo's official assessment was false even in its staging. For most of his four-minute appearance, Pompeo stood framed by two pictures behind him, each showing a tanker with a fire amidships. This was a deliberate visual lie. The two pictures showed the same tanker, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair , from different angles. The other tanker, Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous , did not catch fire and was not shown. ..."
"... Pompeo did not identify the unnamed intelligence entities, if any, within the government who made this assessment. He offered no evidence to support the assessment. He did offer something of an argument that began: ..."
"... He didn't say what intelligence. He didn't say whose intelligence. American intelligence assets and technology are all over the region generating reams of intelligence day in, day out. Then there are the intelligence agencies of the Arab police states bordering the Persian Gulf. They, too, are busy collecting intelligence 24/7, although they are sometimes loath to share. Pompeo didn't mention it, but according to CNN an unnamed US official admitted that the US had a Reaper Drone in the air near the two tankers before they were attacked. He also claimed that Iran had fired a missile at the drone, but missed. As CNN inanely spins it, "it is the first claim that the US has information of Iranian movements prior to the attack." As if the US doesn't have information on Iranian movements all the time . More accurately, this is the first admission that the US had operational weaponry in the area prior to the attack. ..."
"... Pompeo did not name a single weapon used. Early reporting claimed the attackers used torpedoes or mines, a claim that became inoperative as it became clear that all the damage to the tankers was well above the waterline. There is little reason to believe Pompeo had any actual knowledge of what weapons were used, unless one was a Reaper Drone. ..."
"... There are NO confirmed "recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping," and even if there were, they would prove nothing. Pompeo's embarrassingly irrelevant list that follows includes six examples, only one of which involved a shipping attack ..."
"... Instead of "recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping," Pompeo offers Iran's decades-old threat to close the Strait of Hormuz (which it's never done), together with three attacks by the Houthis on Saudi Arabia, an unattributed rocket attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad, and an unattributed car bomb in Afghanistan. Seriously, if that's all he's got, he's got nothing. But he's not done with the disinformation exercise: ..."
"... The US is stumbling down a path toward war with no justification ..."
Jun 26, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

It is the assessment of the United States Government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today. This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.

This is only the latest in a series of attacks instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its surrogates against American and allied interests, and they should be understood in the context of 40 years of unprovoked aggression against freedom-loving nations.

-- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announcement , June 13, 2013

The secretary of state delivered this appallingly Orwellian official assessment of the US government within hours of the five explosions on two tankers, well before any credible investigation establishing more than minimal facts could be carried out. As is his habit, Mike Pompeo flatly lied about whatever might be real in the Gulf of Oman, and most American media ran with the lies as if they were or might be true. There is almost no chance that Mike Pompeo and the US government are telling the truth about this event, as widespread domestic and international skepticism attests.

Pompeo's official assessment was false even in its staging. For most of his four-minute appearance, Pompeo stood framed by two pictures behind him, each showing a tanker with a fire amidships. This was a deliberate visual lie. The two pictures showed the same tanker, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair , from different angles. The other tanker, Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous , did not catch fire and was not shown.

First, what actually happened, as best we can tell five days later? In the early morning of June 13, two unrelated tankers were heading south out of the Strait of Hormuz, sailing in open water in the Gulf of Oman, roughly 20 miles off the south coast of Iran. The tankers were most likely outside Iran's territorial waters, but within Iran's contiguous zone as defined by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea . At different times, some 30 miles apart, the two tankers were attacked by weapons unknown, launched by parties unknown, for reasons unknown. The first reported distress call was 6:12 a.m. local time. No one has yet claimed responsibility for either attack. The crew of each tanker abandoned ship soon after the explosions and were rescued by ships in the area, including Iranian naval vessels, who took the Front Altair crew to an Iranian port.

Even this much was not certain in the early afternoon of June 13 when Mike Pompeo came to the lectern at the State Department to deliver his verdict:

It is the assessment of the United States Government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today.

Pompeo did not identify the unnamed intelligence entities, if any, within the government who made this assessment. He offered no evidence to support the assessment. He did offer something of an argument that began:

This assessment is based on intelligence .

He didn't say what intelligence. He didn't say whose intelligence. American intelligence assets and technology are all over the region generating reams of intelligence day in, day out. Then there are the intelligence agencies of the Arab police states bordering the Persian Gulf. They, too, are busy collecting intelligence 24/7, although they are sometimes loath to share. Pompeo didn't mention it, but according to CNN an unnamed US official admitted that the US had a Reaper Drone in the air near the two tankers before they were attacked. He also claimed that Iran had fired a missile at the drone, but missed. As CNN inanely spins it, "it is the first claim that the US has information of Iranian movements prior to the attack." As if the US doesn't have information on Iranian movements all the time . More accurately, this is the first admission that the US had operational weaponry in the area prior to the attack. After intelligence, Pompeo continued:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used .

Pompeo did not name a single weapon used. Early reporting claimed the attackers used torpedoes or mines, a claim that became inoperative as it became clear that all the damage to the tankers was well above the waterline. There is little reason to believe Pompeo had any actual knowledge of what weapons were used, unless one was a Reaper Drone. He went on:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation

The "level of expertise needed" to carry out these attacks on a pair of sitting duck tankers does not appear to be that great. Yes, the Iranian military probably has the expertise, as do the militaries of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Israel, or others with a stake in provoking a crisis in the region. And those who lack the expertise still have the money with which to hire expert surrogates. The number of credible suspects, known and unknown, with an interest in doing harm to Iran is easily in double figures. Leading any serious list should be the US. That's perfectly logical, so Pompeo tried to divert attention from the obvious:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping .

There are NO confirmed "recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping," and even if there were, they would prove nothing. Pompeo's embarrassingly irrelevant list that follows includes six examples, only one of which involved a shipping attack. The one example was the May 12, 2019, attack on four ships at anchor in the deep water port of Fujairah. Even the multinational investigation organized by the UAE could not determine who did it. The UAE reported to the UN Security Council that the perpetrator was likely some unnamed "state actor." The logical suspects and their surrogates are the same as those for the most recent attack.

Instead of "recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping," Pompeo offers Iran's decades-old threat to close the Strait of Hormuz (which it's never done), together with three attacks by the Houthis on Saudi Arabia, an unattributed rocket attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad, and an unattributed car bomb in Afghanistan. Seriously, if that's all he's got, he's got nothing. But he's not done with the disinformation exercise:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.

The whole proxy group thing is redundant, covered by "the level of expertise needed" mentioned earlier. Pompeo doesn't name any proxy group here, he doesn't explain how he could know there's no proxy group that could carry out such an attack, and he just throws word garbage at the wall and hopes something sticks that will make you believe – no evidence necessary – that Iran is evil beyond redemption:

Taken as a whole, these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran.

The attacks in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Afghanistan have all been provoked by the US and its allies. The US has long been a clear threat to international peace and security, except when the US was actually trashing peace and security, as it did in Iraq, as it seems to want to do in Iran. There is, indeed, "an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension," but it's a campaign by the US. The current phase began when the Trump administration pulled out of the multinational nuclear deal with Iran. The US wages economic warfare on Iran even though Iran continues to abide by the Trump-trashed treaty. All the other signatories and inspectors confirm that Iran has abided by the agreement. But Iran is approaching a point of violation, which it has been warning about for some time. The other signatories allow the US to bully them into enforcing US sanctions at their own cost against a country in compliance with its promises. China, Russia, France, GB, Germany, and the EU are all craven in the face of US threats. That's what the US wants from Iran.

Lately, Trump and Pompeo and their ilk have been whining about not wanting war and claiming they want to negotiate, while doing nothing to make negotiation more possible. Iran has observed US actions and has rejected negotiating with an imperial power with a decades-long record of bad faith. Lacking any serious act of good faith by the US, does Iran have any other rational choice? Pompeo makes absolutely clear just how irrational, how dishonest, how implacable and untrustworthy the US is when he accuses Iran of:

40 years of unprovoked aggression against freedom-loving nations.

This is Big Lie country. Forty years ago, the Iranians committed their original sin – they overthrew one of the world's most brutal dictatorships, imposed on them by the US. Then they took Americans hostage, and the US has been playing the victim ever since, out of all proportion to reality or justice. But the Pompeos of this world still milk it for all it's worth. What about "unprovoked aggression," who does that? The US list is long and criminal, including its support of Saddam Hussein's war of aggression against Iran. Iran's list of "unprovoked aggressions" is pretty much zero, unless you go back to the Persian Empire. No wonder Pompeo took no question on his statement. The Big Lie is supposed to be enough.

The US is stumbling down a path toward war with no justification. Democrats should have objected forcefully and continuously long since. Democrats in the House should have put peace with Iran on the table as soon as they came into the majority. They should do it now. Democratic presidential candidates should join Tulsi Gabbard and Elizabeth Warren in forthrightly opposing war with Iran. Leading a huge public outcry may not keep the president from lying us into war with Iran any more than it kept the president from lying us into war with Iraq. But an absence of outcry will just make it easier for this rogue nation to commit a whole new set of war crimes.

Intellectually, the case for normal relations with Iran is easy. There is literally no good reason to maintain hostility, not even the possibility, remote as it is, of an Iranian nuclear weapon (especially now that Trump is helping the Saudis go nuclear). But politically, the case for normal relations with Iran is hard, especially because forty years of propaganda demonizing Iran has deep roots. To make a sane case on Iran takes real courage: one has to speak truth to a nation that believes its lies to itself.

William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. This article was first published in Reader Supported News . Read other articles by William .

[Jun 30, 2019] Mainstream Media Outraged! That US Missiles Are In Unknown Libyan Rebel Hands

Jun 30, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The New York Times is outraged, just outraged! -- that US anti-tank missiles have been found in "unknown" Libyan rebel hands . Of course, when tons of American military hardware was covertly sent to al-Qaeda linked "rebels" fighting to topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, and when those same weapons were later transferred to the anti-Assad insurgency in Syria , many of them no doubt used by ISIS and al-Nusra Front, the mainstream media didn't find much to complain about. But now the "scandal" is being uncovered in 2019?

Currently, it's the UN-backed government in Tripoli which finds itself on the receiving end of deadly accurate high-tech US-made weapons systems, according to the Times :

Libyan government fighters discovered a cache of powerful American missiles , usually sold only to close American allies, at a captured rebel base in the mountains south of Tripoli this week.

The four Javelin anti-tank missiles, which cost more than $170,000 each, had ended up bolstering the arsenal of Gen. Khalifa Hifter , whose forces are waging a military campaign to take over Libya and overthrow a government the United States supports.

Markings on the missiles' shipping containers indicate that they were originally sold to the United Arab Emirates, an important American partner, in 2008.

... ... ...

The Times report noted further, "If the Emirates transferred the weapons to General Hifter, it would likely violate the sales agreement with the United States as well as a United Nations arms embargo ."

Gen. Haftar -- who solidified control of Eastern Libya over the past two years and swept through the south early this year, has sought to capture Tripoli and seize military control of the entire country, with the support of countries like the UAE and France, but is strongly opposed by Turkey and most European countries.

Haftar has long been described by many analysts as "the CIA's man in Libya" -- given he spent a couple decades living in exile a mere few minutes from CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia during Gaddafi's rule.

He was inserted back onto the Libyan battlefield before Gaddafi's eventual capture and field execution at the hands of NATO supported Islamist fighters in 2011. The NYT offered further details of the US weapons recovered this week as follows :

Markings on the missile crates identify their joint manufacturer, the arms giants Raytheon and Lockheed Martin , and a contract number that corresponds with a $115 million order for Javelin missiles that was placed by the United Arab Emirates and Oman in 2008.

Again, isn't it a little late for the mainstream media to somehow only now discover and care about the "scandal" of major US weapons systems in "unknown rebel hands" ?

For a trip down memory lane, and to review just what Obama and Hillary's original Libya war has wrought, see Dan Sanchez's 2015 essay, "Where Does ISIS Get Those Wonderful Toys?"


VZ58 , 12 minutes ago link

The CIA knows where these weapons are. All POTUS' know where these weapons are. The Israelis know where these weapons are. The Saudis and UK know where these weapons are. What is the problem?

ardent , 15 minutes ago link

"It does not take a genius to figure out that the United States...

has no vital interests at stake in places like Syria, Libya, Iran and Iraq.

Who is driving the process and benefiting? Israel is clearly the intended

beneficiary... " – Philip Giraldi, Former CIA officer.

TheNeosNeo , 1 hour ago link

" "We take all allegations of misuse of U.S. origin defense articles very seriously," a State Department official said in a statement following the Javelin anti-tank missile recovery.

"We are aware of these reports and are seeking additional information. We expect all recipients of U.S. origin defense equipment to abide by their end-use obligations," the statement continued. "

Hilarious. Do they expect the "unknown" rebels to just return them? If they're unknown, how do tehy know they're rebels?

AriusArmenian , 1 hour ago link

The US is supplying Haftar through its vassals and proxies in the Middle East.

And remember that Haftar is a CIA asset.

madashellron , 1 hour ago link

But i guess they're not worried under Obama thousands of these missiles were supplied to Islamic Terrorists in Syria. And now Trump gave the green light to supply more missiles to Turkish Islamic Terrorists in Syria. That are slaughtering Thousands of Syrian soldiers with these missiles.

[Jun 29, 2019] Nationalism vs multi-culturalism vs economic zionism

Notable quotes:
"... The term multi-cultural is propaganda, the shift from "nation" to "culture" is used to atomise the perception of belonging that nation implies, into becoming one amongst many under the authority of state, which at this point has usually become an impersonal law and structure from which a bureaucratic elite govern and thrive off of private enterprise, where before a feudal lordship profited by taking a share of personal endeavour. The extremes might be Frankfurt school vs serfdom, with various combinations of philosophy in-between. ..."
"... The economic zionism you describe is via knowledge of finance, monetary theory, trade, weaknesses in society, political reality and more. It uses international realities as a tool. Where before international banking was a measure of trust in the clearing of accounts, this left room for manipulation, and the ability to pressure by holding control of that accounting. ..."
"... And although immigrants should feel free to speak their language at home and even in society, they will have to accept that the language of the law, commerce, education and civil authority is that of the host nation and it is up to them to learn it or at least learn how to work with or around it. ..."
Jun 29, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

gzon , Jun 29, 2019 8:49:43 AM | 129

@ snake 90

"Nationality, is a named object, programmed by propaganda."

Nationality in the formal sense, derives from two or more feudal monopolies defining their differences and according a separate recognition to the other, usually including geographical markers. The extension of personal identity to national identity is product of the recognition of belonging to one specific feudal hierarchy. This might be natural or imposed, the theme of nation literally implies the environment or peoples one is born into.

The term multi-cultural is propaganda, the shift from "nation" to "culture" is used to atomise the perception of belonging that nation implies, into becoming one amongst many under the authority of state, which at this point has usually become an impersonal law and structure from which a bureaucratic elite govern and thrive off of private enterprise, where before a feudal lordship profited by taking a share of personal endeavour. The extremes might be Frankfurt school vs serfdom, with various combinations of philosophy in-between.

The evolution of the above has been observed to occur by financial means, but is itself also an ideology. The capitalist side to this ranges from the granting of favours (as per permission to reside) through to fractional lending backed only by national debt (spending). The taxation that must still occur to provide a sense of connectedness to real economy, and hence to provide a sense of value to the currency, punishes the established and functional society. The sum when mispent goes towards recruiting new nationals, and on paying the elite bureaucracy for their pet projects. The old hierarchy tends to maintain much control the private financial sphere, and works with the state by granting it a certain legitimacy, as well as receiving positions, contracts and favours.

The economic zionism you describe is via knowledge of finance, monetary theory, trade, weaknesses in society, political reality and more. It uses international realities as a tool. Where before international banking was a measure of trust in the clearing of accounts, this left room for manipulation, and the ability to pressure by holding control of that accounting. The reality though is that nations (leaders) became weak or corrupted, decided on grand enterprise they could not repay, and so broke trust in the old order by resorting to or accepting manipulation of accounts (for example ending the original European Monetary Union of the 19th century), and eventually resorting to war amongst themselves where outward conquest was no longer profitable enough.

Were, or are they, clients of monopolies though ? Well no, because it is an illusion that anyone holds monopoly of finance or money. However they did commit themselves to a system without which they would then be left weak, where they would lose public honour and respect if they did not produce a result of some kind. The resulting corruption between various sides became a feature of national policy, a kind of symbiosis at elite levels. "Multiculturalism" helps hide that reality, as well as serving in terms of having population with weakened identity at their disposal.

The only monopoly states are truly client to is that of the use of force.

On a more social side, there are corners of the world where various cultures exist well side by side, and where interaction is positive. This even within the boundaries of one country. However it is not that country that makes that work, the different cultures tend to hold a deeper respect and understanding for one another, but if you look you will find that they do keep to themselves voluntarily, and simply reside next to each other peacefully. They don't call themselves multiculti or anything. I expect multiculturalism theoretically could exist, but because it is so artificial a concept, it seems more like an ersatz for loss of own culture, so being sad cheap and empty once trying to celebrate it returns to common day to day reality.

You are right about the correct form being a society that knows itself, that naturally governs and watches over itself. This is often criticised as simplistic or idealised, and the reason for that is that those who seek more centralised control only have the view of putting down vast law as scripture and then forcefully imposing it, they love complexity so as to be those that clarify it. If we live outside of that the rules, and life, are much simpler, and fortunately most people have an innate understanding of right and wrong somewhere. The local culture explains or represents the true form of interaction, so if that becomes confused, so does society, and strife and unhappiness results.

Here is an interesting and very readable explanation on monetary theory, it gives a quite clear explanation of how finance actually works in social and political terms

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2007/06/why-does-fiat-money-seemingly-work.html

ralphieboy , Jun 29, 2019 9:08:22 AM | 130

"Multiculturalism" is a loaded term: if it is used to mean different styles of food, music and dress, then I am all for it. But it does not mean that the host nation should accept misogyny, homophobia, honor killings or other "traditional values" that immigrants bring along.

And although immigrants should feel free to speak their language at home and even in society, they will have to accept that the language of the law, commerce, education and civil authority is that of the host nation and it is up to them to learn it or at least learn how to work with or around it.

[Jun 29, 2019] EU Busts Iran Sanctions. Dollar No Longer Reserve for Oil Trades caucus99percent

Notable quotes:
"... India pays Iran for oil in gold. Europe would be smart to convert to the Yuan/gold convertible bond as a trading currency to use with Iran, and hold reserves in that. It's redeemable for gold at many settlement banks around the world. It was designed as a trading currency to use outside the SWIFT system. All the groundwork was painstakingly laid just for this purpose. ..."
"... Food for oil. What an insult. Europe wants it both ways. They should grow up and start leading the world instead of hiding behind Uncle Sams petticoat. ..."
"... Iran's main demand in talks aimed at saving its nuclear deal is to be able to sell its oil at the same levels that it did before Washington withdrew from the accord a year ago, an Iranian official said on Thursday. ... ..."
"... Trump is a bull in a china shop. Someone will have to pick up the pieces and it won't be the one percent. YOU and I are expendable. ..."
"... Iran's main demand in talks aimed at saving its nuclear deal is to be able to sell its oil at the same levels that it did before Washington withdrew from the accord a year ago, an Iranian official said on Thursday. ... ..."
"... Senior officials from Iran and the deal's remaining parties will meet in Vienna on Friday with the aim of saving the agreement. But with European powers limited in their ability to shield Iran's economy from U.S. sanctions it is unclear what they can do to provide the large economic windfall Tehran wants. ..."
Jun 28, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

leveymg on Fri, 06/28/2019 - 4:41pm In a surprise move, the EU special purpose vehicle for trade with Iran (INSTEX) exercised its first trade today. The body was set up to facilitate exports of Iranian oil without U.S. dollars, avoiding a sanctions regime imposed unilaterally by the U.S.

Instex is now operational despite U.S. threats to European banks and officials of reprisal sanctions if they violated Iran sanctions.

Bloomberg had reported on May 7 the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Sigal Mandelker, issued a warning letter that Instex and anyone associated with it could be barred from the U.S. financial system if it goes into effect.

In defiance of U.S. pressure, Instex was set up by EU diplomats in January as a means to prevent total collapse of the Iranian nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The first official trades occurred today, in the shadow of the Group of 20 Summit meeting. https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/eu-claims-iran-deal-held-togethe...

A senior EU diplomat has said the first transactions were being made by a special purpose vehicle for trade with Iran at a meeting of the remaining members of the 2015 nuclear deal in Vienna.

Friday's meeting in Vienna featured "constructive discussions," Helga Schmid, the head of the EU diplomatic service said, confirming the entity, named Instex, was making its first transactions.

"INSTEX now operational, first transactions being processed and more EU Members States to join. Good progress on Arak and Fordow [fuel enrichment] projects," she posted.

The Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (Instex) is designed to facilitate trade of essential goods, such as food and medicine, mainly from the EU to Iran. A Chinese official said Beijing was open to using the facility.

The platform has been set up in France, with a German managing director in a coordinated European effort to counterbalance the US economic power displayed by its sanctions policy.

President Donald Trump last year pulled out of the Iranian nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which curbed Iran's nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions.

According to today's report:

As the talks kicked off on Friday, seven EU nations expressed support for Instex and the JCPOA, asking Iran "to abide by and fully respect the terms and provisions of the nuclear agreement".

"We are working with France, Germany and the United Kingdom, as well as with the European External Action Service and the European Commission, to establish channels to facilitate legitimate trade and financial operations with Iran, one of the foremost of these initiatives being the establishment of Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges," read the statement from Austria, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Whether the declaration of support and first tranche of transactions will be enough to keep Iran committed to the 2015 nuclear deal is still in question.

leveymg on Fri, 06/28/2019 - 6:07pm
Here's more on how INSTEX works free from Dollar exchange

@Linda Wood

While major US media have so far ignored the story (anyone here surprised?), Deutsch Weldt (DW) confirms the report that INSTEX started operations today. https://www.dw.com/en/eu-mechanism-for-trade-with-iran-now-operational/a...

A linked background article explains how the special exchange will bypass U.S. sanctions and the U.S. currency controls over oil exports to Europe: https://www.dw.com/en/opinion-eu-taking-a-stand-through-legal-trading-wi...

Crucial for INSTEX's success will be whether participating states also develop mechanisms for European companies and their employees that protect them from the expected American sanctions and compensate for any damages incurred. The legislative instrument for this exists: The EU's blocking statute. It just needs to be updated to meet the new requirements.

Read more: US welcomes German firms' compliance on Iran sanctions

International transactions independent of the dollar

The knowledge and experience gained in the process could later be transferred to other areas, such as European initiatives in international monetary transactions. This expertise could then come in handy for establishing payment channels independent of the American financial system and the dollar, which the US also uses as a lever in its sanctions policy.

Two pieces of good news in two days, Tulsi Gabbard winning acknowledgement and respect in the debate, and this encouraging sign from Europe. A person could almost get used to thinking common sense is gaining ground. Thank you, leveymg, for posting this.

wendy davis on Fri, 06/28/2019 - 6:36pm
thanks for bringing

this news. earlier today (yesterday?) i'd grabbed this link at RT.com that includes this baffling part toward the end, with zero citation, i'll add:

"However, the EU's efforts to set up the long-promised payment channel have not satisfied Tehran. Earlier this week, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyed Abbas Moussavi called INSTEX a " faux thing of no practical use ," according to Iranian media.

He later said that if this turns out to be the case, the Islamic Republic will not accept it and may change its commitments under the nuclear deal that Brussels is trying to hold on to."

i do remember tehran had complained earlier (as the EU dithered) that it wasn't operational, and when it was so, it would mainly be for medicines and...food (?)

leveymg on Fri, 06/28/2019 - 9:50pm
If this is another Oil for Food thing, it's a nonstarter.

@wendy davis

Right now, it's unclear which way this is going to go. If Europe bows to American power, again, it will turn out very badly for everyone. Iraq times ten.

this news. earlier today (yesterday?) i'd grabbed this link at RT.com that includes this baffling part toward the end, with zero citation, i'll add:

"However, the EU's efforts to set up the long-promised payment channel have not satisfied Tehran. Earlier this week, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyed Abbas Moussavi called INSTEX a " faux thing of no practical use ," according to Iranian media.

He later said that if this turns out to be the case, the Islamic Republic will not accept it and may change its commitments under the nuclear deal that Brussels is trying to hold on to."

i do remember tehran had complained earlier (as the EU dithered) that it wasn't operational, and when it was so, it would mainly be for medicines and...food (?)

Pluto's Republic on Sat, 06/29/2019 - 2:25am
India has been trading with Iran

@wendy davis

...just fine. India pays Iran for oil in gold. Europe would be smart to convert to the Yuan/gold convertible bond as a trading currency to use with Iran, and hold reserves in that. It's redeemable for gold at many settlement banks around the world. It was designed as a trading currency to use outside the SWIFT system. All the groundwork was painstakingly laid just for this purpose.

Food for oil. What an insult. Europe wants it both ways. They should grow up and start leading the world instead of hiding behind Uncle Sams petticoat.

[edited to correct]

this news. earlier today (yesterday?) i'd grabbed this link at RT.com that includes this baffling part toward the end, with zero citation, i'll add:

"However, the EU's efforts to set up the long-promised payment channel have not satisfied Tehran. Earlier this week, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyed Abbas Moussavi called INSTEX a " faux thing of no practical use ," according to Iranian media.

He later said that if this turns out to be the case, the Islamic Republic will not accept it and may change its commitments under the nuclear deal that Brussels is trying to hold on to."

i do remember tehran had complained earlier (as the EU dithered) that it wasn't operational, and when it was so, it would mainly be for medicines and...food (?)

joe shikspack on Fri, 06/28/2019 - 9:20pm
this is excellent news ...

i'll throw in this bit that i read today which i think might make this a breakthrough:

'We only want to sell our oil,' Iran official says before nuclear talks

Iran's main demand in talks aimed at saving its nuclear deal is to be able to sell its oil at the same levels that it did before Washington withdrew from the accord a year ago, an Iranian official said on Thursday. ...

Senior officials from Iran and the deal's remaining parties will meet in Vienna on Friday with the aim of saving the agreement. But with European powers limited in their ability to shield Iran's economy from U.S. sanctions it is unclear what they can do to provide the large economic windfall Tehran wants.

"What is our demand? Our demand is to be able to sell our oil and get the money back. And this is in fact the minimum of our benefit from the deal," the official told reporters on condition of anonymity. "We are not asking Europeans to invest in Iran... We only want to sell our oil."

The Voice In th... on Fri, 06/28/2019 - 10:15pm
Be careful what you wish for.

@joe shikspack
Doing all oil business in dollars is the only thing holding up the dollar.

Trump is a bull in a china shop. Someone will have to pick up the pieces and it won't be the one percent. YOU and I are expendable.

i'll throw in this bit that i read today which i think might make this a breakthrough:

'We only want to sell our oil,' Iran official says before nuclear talks

Iran's main demand in talks aimed at saving its nuclear deal is to be able to sell its oil at the same levels that it did before Washington withdrew from the accord a year ago, an Iranian official said on Thursday. ...

Senior officials from Iran and the deal's remaining parties will meet in Vienna on Friday with the aim of saving the agreement. But with European powers limited in their ability to shield Iran's economy from U.S. sanctions it is unclear what they can do to provide the large economic windfall Tehran wants.

"What is our demand? Our demand is to be able to sell our oil and get the money back. And this is in fact the minimum of our benefit from the deal," the official told reporters on condition of anonymity. "We are not asking Europeans to invest in Iran... We only want to sell our oil."

[Jun 28, 2019] The Donald's Latest Iranian Caper Sh*t-Faced Stupidity by David Stockman

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... This is just wanton shit-faced stupidity. We are referring to the Trump Administration's escalation of sanctions on Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei and its foreign minister, and then the Donald's tweet-storm of bluster, threats and implicit redlines when they didn't take too kindly to this latest act of aggression by Washington. ..."
"... That last point can't be emphasized enough. Iran is zero threat to the American homeland and has never engaged in any hostile action on U.S soil or even threatened the same. ..."
"... To the contrary, Washington's massive naval and military arsenal in the middle east is essentially the occupational force of a naked aggressor that has created mayhem through the Persian Gulf and middle eastern region for the past three decades; and has done so in pursuit of the will-o-wisp of oil security and the neocon agenda of demonizing and isolating the Iranian regime. ..."
"... the demonization of the Iranian regime is based on lies and propaganda ginned up by the Bibi Netanyahu branch of the War Party (that has falsely made Iran an "existential" threat in order to win elections in Israel). ..."
"... Likewise, it has presumed to have an independent foreign policy involving Washington proscribed alliances with the sovereign state of Syria, the leading political party of Lebanon (Hezbollah), the ruling authorities in Baghdad and the reining power in the Yemen capital of Sana'a (the Houthis). All these regimes except the puppet state of Iraq are deemed by Washington to be sources of unsanctioned "regional instability" and Iran's alliances with them have been capriciously labeled as acts of state sponsored terrorism. ..."
"... The same goes for Washington's demarche against Iran's modest array of short, medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles. These weapons are palpably instruments of self-defense, but Imperial Washington insists their purpose is aggression – unlike the case of practically every other nation which offers its custom to American arms merchants for like and similar weapons. ..."
"... For example, Iran's arch-rival across the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, has more advanced NATO supplied ballistic missiles with even greater range (2,600 km range). So does Israel, Pakistan, India and a half-dozen other nations, which are either Washington allies or have been given a hall-pass in order to bolster US arms exports. ..."
"... In short, Washington's escalating war on Iran is an exercise in global hegemony, not territorial self-defense ..."
"... When the cold-war officially ended in 1991, in fact, the Cheney/neocon cabal feared the kind of drastic demobilization of the US military-industrial complex that was warranted by the suddenly more pacific strategic environment. In response, they developed an anti-Iranian doctrine that was explicitly described as a way of keeping defense spending at high cold war levels. ..."
"... Iranians had a case is beyond doubt. The open US archives now prove that the CIA overthrew Iran's democratically elected government in 1953 and put the utterly unsuited and megalomaniacal Mohammad Reza Shah on the peacock throne to rule as a puppet in behalf of US security and oil interests. ..."
"... Indeed, in this very context the new Iranian regime proved quite dramatically that it was not hell bent on obtaining nuclear bombs or any other weapons of mass destruction. In the midst of Iraq's unprovoked invasion of Iran in the early 1980s the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against biological and chemical weapons. ..."
"... Yet at that very time, Saddam was dropping these horrific weapons on Iranian battle forces – some of them barely armed teenage boys – with the spotting help of CIA tracking satellites and the concurrence of Washington. So from the very beginning, the Iranian posture was wholly contrary to the War Party's endless blizzard of false charges about its quest for nukes. ..."
"... However benighted and medieval its religious views, the theocracy which rules Iran does not consist of demented war mongers. In the heat of battle they were willing to sacrifice their own forces rather than violate their religious scruples to counter Saddam's WMDs. ..."
"... Then in 1983 the new Iranian regime decided to complete the Bushehr power plant and some additional elements of the Shah's grand plan. But when they attempted to reactivate the French enrichment services contract and buy necessary power plant equipment from the original German suppliers they were stopped cold by Washington. And when the tried to get their $2 billion deposit back, they were curtly denied that, too. ..."
Jun 25, 2019 | original.antiwar.com
This is just wanton shit-faced stupidity. We are referring to the Trump Administration's escalation of sanctions on Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei and its foreign minister, and then the Donald's tweet-storm of bluster, threats and implicit redlines when they didn't take too kindly to this latest act of aggression by Washington.

That last point can't be emphasized enough. Iran is zero threat to the American homeland and has never engaged in any hostile action on U.S soil or even threatened the same.

To the contrary, Washington's massive naval and military arsenal in the middle east is essentially the occupational force of a naked aggressor that has created mayhem through the Persian Gulf and middle eastern region for the past three decades; and has done so in pursuit of the will-o-wisp of oil security and the neocon agenda of demonizing and isolating the Iranian regime.

But as we have demonstrated previously, the best cure for high oil prices is the global market, not the Fifth Fleet. And the demonization of the Iranian regime is based on lies and propaganda ginned up by the Bibi Netanyahu branch of the War Party (that has falsely made Iran an "existential" threat in order to win elections in Israel).

Stated differently, the American people have no dog in the political hunts of Washington's so-called allies in the region; and will be no worse for the wear economically if Washington were to dispense with its idiotic economic warfare against Iran's 4 million barrel per day oil industry and allow all exporters in the region to produce and sell every single barrel they can economically extract.

Viewed in the proper context, Iran's response to the new sanctions and intensified efforts to destroy their economy was readily warranted:

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the new sanctions "outrageous and stupid." Mr. Khamenei, while the political leader of Iran, also is one of the world's leading authorities for Shia Muslims.

"Would any administration with a bit of wisdom [sanction] the highest authority of a country? And not only a political authority, a religious, social, spiritual one, and not the leader of Iran only, the leader of the Islamic revolution all over the world?" Mr. Rouhani said in a speech broadcast on state television.

He said it was "obvious" that the US was lying about wanting to negotiate with Iran: "You want us to negotiate with you again?" Mr. Rouhani said, "and at the same time you seek to sanction the foreign minister too?"

Iran also said these sanctions closed the door on diplomacy and threatened global stability, as American officials renewed efforts to build a global alliance against Tehran.

Unfortunately, it didn't take the Donald long to upchuck what amounted to a dangerous tantrum:

.Iran's very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality. Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!

Those words are utterly reckless and outrageous. The Donald is carrying water for the neocons, Bibi and the Saudis without really understanding what he is doing and in the process is betraying America First and inching closer to an utterly unnecessary conflagration in the Persian Gulf that will virtually upend the global economy.

Worst of all, as he escalates the confrontation with the Iranian regime, he espouses a pack of lies and distortions that do no remotely comport with the facts. For instance, the following tweet is absolutely neocon baloney:

.The wonderful Iranian people are suffering, and for no reason at all. Their leadership spends all of its money on Terror, and little on anything else. The US has not forgotten Iran's use of IED's & EFP's (bombs), which killed 2000 Americans, and wounded many more

The truth of the matter is that the Donald is referring to attacks on US forces by the Shiite militias in Iraq during Washington's misbegotten invasion and occupation of that woebegone nation during the last decades. The Shiite live there, constitute the majority of its electorate, didn't want America there in the first place, and now actually run the government that Washington placed in power and are totally opposed to Trump's confrontation with their Shiite compatriots in Iran.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

Better still, it is crucial to understand that this entire dangerous escalation is owing to the fact that the Donald got into his thick head that utter nonsense that the Iran nuke deal was some kind of disaster, and from there walked-away from the deal and restarted a brutal economic war against Iran in the guise of sanctions.

But nothing could be further from the truth. The Donald's action to terminate the Iranian nuclear deal was a complete triumph for the War Party.

It gutted the very idea of America First because Washington's renewed round of sanctions constitute economic aggression against a country that is no threat to the US homeland whatsoever.

In fact, Iran did not violate any term of the nuke deal, and as we demonstrate below, scrupulously adhered to the letter of it. So the real reasons for Trump's abandonment of the nuke deal have everything to do with the kind of Imperial interventionism that is the antithesis of America First.

Trump's action, in fact, is predicated on the decades long neocon-inspired Big Lie that Iran is an aggressive expansionist and terrorism-supporting rogue state which threatens the security of not just the region, but America too.

But that's flat out poppycock. As we documented last week, the claim that Iran is the expansionist leader of the Shiite Crescent is based on nothing more than the fact that Tehran has an independent foreign policy based on its own interests and confessional affiliations – legitimate relationships that are demonized by virtue of not being approved by Washington.

Likewise, the official charge that Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism is not remotely warranted by the facts: The listing is essentially a State Department favor to the Netanyahu branch of the War Party.

The fact is, the Iranian regime with its piddling $14 billion military budget has no means to attack America militarily and has never threatened to do so. Nor has it invaded any other country in the region where it was not invited by a sovereign government host.

As Ron Paul cogently observed:

Is Iran really the aggressive one? When you unilaterally pull out of an agreement that was reducing tensions and boosting trade; when you begin applying sanctions designed to completely destroy another country's economy; when you position military assets right offshore of that country; when you threaten to destroy that country on a regular basis, calling it a campaign of "maximum pressure," to me it seems a stretch to play the victim when that country retaliates by shooting a spy plane that is likely looking for the best way to attack.

Even if the US spy plane was not in Iranian airspace – but it increasingly looks like it was – it was just another part of an already-existing US war on Iran. Yes, sanctions are a form of war, not a substitute for war.

The point is Washington's case is almost entirely bogus. To wit:

Mr. Trump also reiterated his demands Monday at the White House: "We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran until the regime abandons its dangerous activities and its aspirations, including the pursuit of nuclear weapons, increased enrichment of uranium, development of ballistic missiles, engagement in and support for terrorism, fueling of foreign conflicts, and belligerent acts directed against the United States and its allies."

Let's see about those "dangerous activities and aspirations".

In fact, Iran has no blue water navy that could effectively operate outside of the Persian Gulf; its longest range warplanes can barely get to Rome without refueling; and its array of mainly defensive medium and intermediate range missiles cannot strike most of NATO, to say nothing of the North American continent.

Likewise, it has presumed to have an independent foreign policy involving Washington proscribed alliances with the sovereign state of Syria, the leading political party of Lebanon (Hezbollah), the ruling authorities in Baghdad and the reining power in the Yemen capital of Sana'a (the Houthis). All these regimes except the puppet state of Iraq are deemed by Washington to be sources of unsanctioned "regional instability" and Iran's alliances with them have been capriciously labeled as acts of state sponsored terrorism.

The same goes for Washington's demarche against Iran's modest array of short, medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles. These weapons are palpably instruments of self-defense, but Imperial Washington insists their purpose is aggression – unlike the case of practically every other nation which offers its custom to American arms merchants for like and similar weapons.

For example, Iran's arch-rival across the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, has more advanced NATO supplied ballistic missiles with even greater range (2,600 km range). So does Israel, Pakistan, India and a half-dozen other nations, which are either Washington allies or have been given a hall-pass in order to bolster US arms exports.

In short, Washington's escalating war on Iran is an exercise in global hegemony, not territorial self-defense. It is a testament to the manner in which the historic notion of national defense has morphed into Washington's arrogant claim that it constitutes the "Indispensable Nation" which purportedly stands as mankind's bulwark against global disorder and chaos among nations.

Likewise, the Shiite theocracy ensconced in Tehran was an unfortunate albatross on the Persian people, but it was no threat to America's safety and security. The very idea that Tehran is an expansionist power bent on exporting terrorism to the rest of the world is a giant fiction and tissue of lies invented by the Washington War Party and its Bibi Netanyahu branch in order to win political support for their confrontationist policies.

Indeed, the three decade long demonization of Iran has served one overarching purpose. Namely, it enabled both branches of the War Party to conjure up a fearsome enemy, thereby justifying aggressive policies that call for a constant state of war and military mobilization.

When the cold-war officially ended in 1991, in fact, the Cheney/neocon cabal feared the kind of drastic demobilization of the US military-industrial complex that was warranted by the suddenly more pacific strategic environment. In response, they developed an anti-Iranian doctrine that was explicitly described as a way of keeping defense spending at high cold war levels.

And the narrative they developed to this end is one of the more egregious Big Lies ever to come out of the beltway. It puts you in mind of the young boy who killed his parents, and then threw himself on the mercy of the courts on the grounds that he was an orphan!

To wit, during the 1980s the neocons in the Reagan Administration issued their own fatwa again the Islamic Republic of Iran based on its rhetorical hostility to America. Yet that enmity was grounded in Washington's 25-year support for the tyrannical and illegitimate regime of the Shah, and constituted a founding narrative of the Islamic Republic that was not much different than America's revolutionary castigation of King George.

That the Iranians had a case is beyond doubt. The open US archives now prove that the CIA overthrew Iran's democratically elected government in 1953 and put the utterly unsuited and megalomaniacal Mohammad Reza Shah on the peacock throne to rule as a puppet in behalf of US security and oil interests.

During the subsequent decades the Shah not only massively and baldly plundered the wealth of the Persian nation. With the help of the CIA and US military, he also created a brutal secret police force known as the Savak, which made the East German Stasi look civilized by comparison.

All elements of Iranian society including universities, labor unions, businesses, civic organizations, peasant farmers and many more were subjected to intense surveillance by the Savak agents and paid informants. As one critic described it:

Over the years, Savak became a law unto itself, having legal authority to arrest, detain, brutally interrogate and torture suspected people indefinitely. Savak operated its own prisons in Tehran, such as Qezel-Qalaeh and Evin facilities and many suspected places throughout the country as well.

Ironically, among his many grandiose follies, the Shah embarked on a massive civilian nuclear power campaign in the 1970s, which envisioned literally paving the Iranian landscape with dozens of nuclear power plants.

He would use Iran's surging oil revenues after 1973 to buy all the equipment required from Western companies – and also fuel cycle support services such as uranium enrichment – in order to provide his kingdom with cheap power for centuries.

At the time of the Revolution, the first of these plants at Bushehr was nearly complete, but the whole grandiose project was put on hold amidst the turmoil of the new regime and the onset of Saddam Hussein's war against Iran in September 1980. As a consequence, a $2 billion deposit languished at the French nuclear agency that had originally obtained it from the Shah to fund a ramp-up of its enrichment capacity to supply his planned battery of reactors.

Indeed, in this very context the new Iranian regime proved quite dramatically that it was not hell bent on obtaining nuclear bombs or any other weapons of mass destruction. In the midst of Iraq's unprovoked invasion of Iran in the early 1980s the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against biological and chemical weapons.

Yet at that very time, Saddam was dropping these horrific weapons on Iranian battle forces – some of them barely armed teenage boys – with the spotting help of CIA tracking satellites and the concurrence of Washington. So from the very beginning, the Iranian posture was wholly contrary to the War Party's endless blizzard of false charges about its quest for nukes.

However benighted and medieval its religious views, the theocracy which rules Iran does not consist of demented war mongers. In the heat of battle they were willing to sacrifice their own forces rather than violate their religious scruples to counter Saddam's WMDs.

Then in 1983 the new Iranian regime decided to complete the Bushehr power plant and some additional elements of the Shah's grand plan. But when they attempted to reactivate the French enrichment services contract and buy necessary power plant equipment from the original German suppliers they were stopped cold by Washington. And when the tried to get their $2 billion deposit back, they were curtly denied that, too.

To make a long story short, the entire subsequent history of off again/on again efforts by the Iranians to purchase dual use equipment and components on the international market, often from black market sources like Pakistan, was in response to Washington's relentless efforts to block its legitimate rights as a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) to complete some parts of the Shah's civilian nuclear project.

Needless to say, it did not take much effort by the neocon "regime change" fanatics which inhabited the national security machinery, especially after the 2000 election, to spin every attempt by Iran to purchase even a lowly pump or pipe fitting as evidence of a secret campaign to get the bomb.

The exaggerations, lies, distortions and fear-mongering which came out of this neocon campaign are downright despicable. Yet they incepted way back in the early 1990s when George H.W. Bush actually did reach out to the newly elected government of Hashemi Rafsanjani to bury the hatchet after it had cooperated in obtaining the release of American prisoners being held in Lebanon in 1989.

Rafsanjani was self-evidently a pragmatist who did not want conflict with the United States and the West; and after the devastation of the eight year war with Iraq was wholly focused on economic reconstruction and even free market reforms of Iran's faltering economy.

It is one of the great tragedies of history that the neocons managed to squelch even George Bush's better instincts with respect to rapprochement with Tehran.

The Neocon Big Lie About Iranian Nukes And Terrorism

So the prisoner release opening was short-lived – especially after the top post at the CIA was assumed in 1991 by Robert Gates. As one of the very worst of the unreconstructed cold war apparatchiks, it can be well and truly said that Gates looked peace in the eye and then elected to pervert John Quincy Adams' wise maxim by searching the globe for monsters to fabricate.

In this case the motivation was especially loathsome. Gates had been Bill Casey's right hand man during the latter's rogue tenure at the CIA in the Reagan administration. Among the many untoward projects that Gates shepherded was the Iran-Contra affair that nearly destroyed his career when it blew-up, and for which he blamed the Iranians for its public disclosure.

From his post as deputy national security director in 1989 and then as CIA head Gates pulled out all the stops to get even. Almost single-handedly he killed-off the White House goodwill from the prisoner release, and launched the blatant myth that Iran was both sponsoring terrorism and seeking to obtain nuclear weapons.

Indeed, it was Gates who was the architect of the demonization of Iran that became a staple of War Party propaganda after the 1991. In time that morphed into the utterly false claim that Iran is an aggressive wanna be hegemon that is a fount of terrorism and is dedicated to the destruction of the state of Israel, among other treacherous purposes.

That giant lie was almost single-handedly fashioned by the neocons and Bibi Netanyahu's coterie of power-hungry henchman after the mid-1990s. Indeed, the false claim that Iran posses an "existential threat" to Israel is a product of the pure red meat domestic Israeli politics that have kept Bibi in power for much of the last two decades.

But the truth is Iran has only a tiny fraction of Israel's conventional military capability. And compared to the latter's 100 odd nukes, Iran has never had a nuclear weaponization program after a small scale research program was ended in 2003.

That is not merely our opinion. It's been the sober assessment of the nation's top 17 intelligence agencies in the official National Intelligence Estimates ever since 2007. And now in conjunction with a further study undertaken pursuant to the 2015 nuke deal, the IAEA has also concluded the Iran had no secret program after 2003.

On the political and foreign policy front, Iran is no better or worse than any of the other major powers in the Middle East. In many ways it is far less of a threat to regional peace and stability than the military butchers who now run Egypt on $1.5 billion per year of US aid.

And it is surely no worse than the royal family tyrants who squander the massive oil resources of Saudi Arabia in pursuit of unspeakable opulence and decadence to the detriment of the 30 million citizens which are not part of the regime, and who one day may well reach the point of revolt.

When it comes to the support of terrorism, the Saudis have funded more jihadists and terrorists throughout the region than Iran ever even imagined.

In fact, Iran is a nearly bankrupt country that has no capability whatsoever to threaten the security and safety of the citizens of Spokane WA, Peoria IL or anywhere else in the USA.

Its $460 billion GDP is the size of Indiana's and its 68,000 man military is only slightly larger than the national guard of Texas.

It is a land of severe mountains and daunting swamps that are not all that conducive to rapid economic progress and advanced industrialization. It has no blue water navy, no missiles with more than a few hundred miles of range, and, we must repeat again, has had no nuclear weapons program for more than a decade.

Moreover, Donald's incessant charge that the Obama Administration gave away the store during the nuke deal negotiations that led to the JCPA is just blatant nonsense. In fact, the Iranians made huge concessions on nearly every issue that made a difference.

That included deep concessions on the number of permitted centrifuges at Natanz; the dismantlement of the Fordow and Arak nuclear operations; the virtually complete liquidation of its enriched uranium stockpiles; the intrusiveness and scope of the inspections regime; and the provisions with respect to Iran's so-called "breakout" capacity.

For instance, while every signatory of the non-proliferation treaty has the right to civilian enrichment, Iran agreed to reduce the number of centrifuges by 70% from 20,000 to 6,000.

And its effective spinning capacity was reduced by significantly more. That's because the permitted Natanz centrifuges now consist exclusively of its most rudimentary, outdated equipment – first-generation IR-1 knockoffs of 1970s European models.

Not only was Iran not be allowed to build or develop newer models, but even those remaining were permitted to enrich uranium to a limit of only 3.75% purity. That is to say, to the generation of fissile material that is not remotely capable of reaching bomb grade concentrations of 90%.

Equally importantly, pursuant to the agreement Iran has eliminated enrichment activity entirely at its Fordow plant – a facility that had been Iran's one truly advanced, hardened site that could withstand an onslaught of Israeli or US bunker busters.

Instead, Fordow has become a small time underground science lab devoted to medical isotope research and crawling with international inspectors. In effectively decommissioning Fordow and thereby eliminating any capacity to cheat from a secure facility – what Iran got in return was at best a fig leave of salve for its national pride.

The disposition of the reactor at Arak has been even more dispositive. For years, the War Party has falsely waved the bloody shirt of "plutonium" because the civilian nuclear reactor being built there was of Canadian "heavy water" design rather than GE or Westinghouse "light water" design; and, accordingly, when finished it would have generated plutonium as a waste product rather than conventional spent nuclear fuel rods.

In truth, the Iranians couldn't have bombed a beehive with the Arak plutonium because you need a reprocessing plant to convert it into bomb grade material. Needless to say, Iran never had such a plant – nor any plans to build one, and no prospect for getting the requisite technology and equipment.

But now even that bogeyman no longer exists. Iran removed and destroyed the reactor core of its existing Arak plant in 2016 and filled it with cement, as attested to by international inspectors under the JCPA.

As to its already existing enriched stock piles, including some 20% medical-grade material, 97% has been eliminated as per the agreement. That is, Iran now holds only 300 kilograms of its 10,000 kilogram stockpile in useable or recoverable form. Senator Kirk could store what is left in his wine cellar.

But where the framework agreement decisively shut down the War Party was with respect to its provision for a robust, comprehensive and even prophylactic inspections regime. All of the major provision itemized above are being enforced by continuous IAEA access to existing facilities including its main centrifuge complex at Natanz – along with Fordow, Arak and a half dozen other sites.

Indeed, the real breakthrough in the JCPA lies in Iran's agreement to what amounts to a cradle-to-grave inspection regime. It encompasses the entire nuclear fuel chain.

That means international inspectors can visit Iran's uranium mines and milling and fuel preparation operations. This encompasses even its enrichment equipment manufacturing and fabrication plants, including centrifuge rotor and bellows production and storage facilities.

Beyond that, Iran has also been subject to a robust program of IAEA inspections to prevent smuggling of materials into the country to illicit sites outside of the named facilities under the agreement. This encompasses imports of nuclear fuel cycle equipment and materials, including so-called "dual use" items which are essentially civilian imports that can be repurposed to nuclear uses, even peaceful domestic power generation.

In short, not even a Houdini could secretly breakout of the control box established by the JCPA and confront the world with some kind of fait accompli threat to use the bomb.

That's because what it would take to do so is absurdly implausible. That is, Iran would need to secretly divert thousands of tons of domestically produced or imported uranium and then illicitly mill and upgrade such material at secret fuel preparation plants.

It would also need to secretly construct new, hidden enrichment operations of such massive scale that they could house more than 10,000 new centrifuges. Moreover, they would need to build these massive spinning arrays from millions of component parts smuggled into the country and transported to remote enrichment operations – all undetected by the massive complex of spy satellites overhead and covert US ands Israeli intelligence agency operatives on the ground in Iran.

Finally, it would require the activation from scratch of a weaponization program which has been dormant according to the National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) for more than a decade. And then, that the Iranian regime – after cobbling together one or two bombs without testing them or their launch vehicles – would nevertheless be willing to threaten to use them sight unseen.

So just stop it!

You need to be a raging, certifiable paranoid boob to believe that the Iranians can break out of this framework box based on a secret new capacity to enrich the requisite fissile material and make a bomb.

In the alternative scenario, you have to be a willful know-nothing to think that if it publicly repudiates the agreement, Iran could get a bomb overnight before the international community could take action.

To get enough nuclear material to make a bomb from the output of the 5,000 "old and slow" centrifuges remaining at Natanz would take years, not months. And if subject to an embargo on imported components, as it would be after a unilateral Iranian repudiation of the JCPA, it could not rebuild its now dismantled enrichment capacity rapidly, either.

At the end of the day, in fact, what you really have to believe is that Iran is run by absolutely irrational, suicidal madmen. After all, even if they managed to defy the immensely prohibitive constraints described above and get one or a even a few nuclear bombs, what in the world would they do with them?

Drop them on Tel Aviv? That would absolutely insure Israel's navy and air force would unleash its 100-plus nukes and thereby incinerate the entire industrial base and major population centers of Iran.

Indeed, the very idea that deterrence would fail even if a future Iranian regime were to defy all the odds, and also defy the fatwa against nuclear weapons issued by their Supreme Leader, amounts to one of the most preposterous Big Lies ever concocted.

There is no plausible or rational basis for believing it outside of the axis-of-evil narrative. So what's really behind Trump's withdrawal from the JCPA is nothing more than the immense tissue of lies and unwarranted demonization of Iran that the War Party has fabricated over the last three decades.

Iran Never Wanted the Bomb

At bottom, all the hysteria about the mullahs getting the bomb was based on the wholly theoretically supposition that they wanted civilian enrichment only as a stepping stone to the bomb. Yet the entirety of the US intelligence complex as well as the attestation of George W. Bush himself say it isn't so.

As we have previously indicated, the blinding truth of that proposition first came in the National Intelligence Estimates of 2007. These NIEs represent a consensus of all 17 US intelligence agencies on salient issues each year, and on the matter of Iran's nuclear weapons program they could not have been more unequivocal:

"We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program; we also assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons. We assess with moderate confidence Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007, but we do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.

"Our assessment that Iran halted the program in 2003 primarily in response to international pressure indicates Tehran's decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic and military costs."

Moreover, as former CIA analyst Ray McGovern noted recently, the NIE's have not changed since then.

An equally important fact ignored by the mainstream media is that the key judgments of that NIE have been revalidated by the intelligence community every year since.

More crucially, there is the matter of "Dubya's" memoirs. Near the end of his term in office he was under immense pressure to authorize a bombing campaign against Iran's civilian nuclear facilities.

But once the 2007 NIEs came out, even the "mission accomplished" President in the bomber jacket was caught up short. As McGovern further notes,

Bush lets it all hang out in his memoir, Decision Points. Most revealingly, he complains bitterly that the NIE "tied my hands on the military side" and called its findings "eye-popping."

A disgruntled Bush writes, "The backlash was immediate ."I don't know why the NIE was written the way it was. Whatever the explanation, the NIE had a big impact – and not a good one."

Spelling out how the Estimate had tied his hands "on the military side," Bush included this (apparently unedited) kicker: "But after the NIE, how could I possibly explain using the military to destroy the nuclear facilities of a country the intelligence community said had no active nuclear weapons program?"

So there you have it. How is it possible to believe that the Iranian's were hell-bent on a nuclear holocaust when they didn't even have a nuclear weapons program?

And why in the world is the Donald taking America and the world to the edge of a utterly unnecessary war in order to force a better deal when the one he shit-canned was more than serviceable?

The answer to that momentous questions lies with the Bombzie Twins (Pompeo and Bolton) and the malign influence of the Donald's son-in-law and Bibi Netanyahu toady, Jared Kushner.

Rarely have a small group of fanatics more dangerously and wantonly jeopardized the security, blood and treasure of the American people.

David Stockman was a two-term Congressman from Michigan. He was also the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street. He's the author of three books, The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed , The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America and TRUMPED! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin And How to Bring It Back . He also is founder of David Stockman's Contra Corner and David Stockman's Bubble Finance Trader .

[Jun 28, 2019] A war would ensure Trump s reelection or speed up his demise and criminal procecution

It is interesting that Trump destiny now depends on geopolitical events he can't control namely actions of Iran and China. Trump foreign policy appears to be driven by a combination of resentment and arrogance -- not a good combination for survival of Trump and/or mankind
Was with Iran might result in high oil prices would kill the already anemic global growth and cause a recession (I guess the volatility in oil prices will go through the roof at that point), Iran can destabilize the global economy by destroying most of the oil production infrastructure around the gulf.
While Lyndon Johnson had chosen not running for reelection in 1968 because anti-war sentiment was high, G W Bush who was reelected and the USA have now contractor army and casualties without draft does not matter much.
Notable quotes:
"... More likely they attack Saudi Arabia directly. Same impact, more justifiable if not outright popular. No one likes Prince Bone Saw. ..."
"... Iran could take those 10 million barrels a day away in 15 minutes. ..."
Jun 22, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

China will play a large roll in whether trump get re-elected. If they decide they prefer his dysfunctional governance to his opponent, then they will engage in a trade deal that will allow to trump to declare victory. It will likely be a very superficial victory.

If they decide they would prefer to engage with a different administration, they will likely refrain from a trade deal until after the election.
Have you asked yourself why Putin preferred trump? The answer is not pretty (for trump, or the USA).


Iron mike says: 06/22/2019 at 7:36 am

This is probably an absurd point of view. But in my opinion, it might be in Iran's interest to drag the U.S into war, probably as indirectly as possible. That way they might significantly reduce the chance of Trump being re-elected. (Obviously lives will be sacrificed in this scenario)

The question is if it would work and would a Democrat president stop the war and go into the same JCPOA deal again. Who knows. Very unpredictable.

Westexasfanclup says: 06/22/2019 at 7:58 am
Well, Mike, as absurd IMO is that Iran would risk self-destruction to get rid of Trump. He's certainly a PITA for them, but closing the Strait of Hormuz to crash the global economy and to blame it on Trump wouldn't work: Trump could blame it all on Iran while keeping on cooking a controlled conflict with them, showing the world that the US doesn't depend on oil from any other continent.

This would be a very difficult situation for a Democrat to step in and to promise a better solution. The US would be relatively well off compared to Asia and Europe and even could emerge out of such a constellation relatively more powerful.

But it could also end up in a terrible mess. As you wrote: Who knows. Very unpredictable.

ProPoly says: 06/22/2019 at 8:36 am
More likely they attack Saudi Arabia directly. Same impact, more justifiable if not outright popular. No one likes Prince Bone Saw.
GuyM says: 06/22/2019 at 9:15 am
Nobody is his fan, but they need his oil,
Hightrekker says: 06/22/2019 at 7:11 pm
Yep-

Iran could take those 10 million barrels a day away in 15 minutes.

[Jun 27, 2019] 'Christian Zionism' is the direct fruit of Anglo-Saxon Puritanism broadly understood

Jun 21, 2019 | www.unz.com

Jake says: June 20, 2019 at 4:24 pm GMT 300 Words @Cleburne

'Christian Zionism' is the direct fruit of Anglo-Saxon Puritanism broadly understood. Over its life, it has manifested itself in many ways. The beliefs were so powerful even before the Puritan revolution that groups of English Dissenter/Low Church Protestants existed that taught that the original natives of Britain, barbarians in every sense, had been uplifted by the arrival of the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel – this was taught to prove that the English had Hebrew blood and so were the Chosen Race, which meant that Anglophone Protestantism (Low Church) was the true faith.

By the dawn of the Victorian age, standard Brit WASP Judaizing had become secular and had discovered that Arabs are also Semites linguistically and culturally. That allowed many of the Brit WASP Elites to adopt Arabs and/or Mohammedanism as their pet Semite to elevate over the vast majority of British Isles natives that they despised.

The religiously pro-Jewish original focus of the culture produced by the Judaizing heresy that was Anglo-Saxon Puritanism was still alive and very powerful at the dawn of the 20th century. That is how the Oxford UP came to publish the Scofield Study Bible.

Churches across the South were remarkably free of any taint of overt Judaizing in the WASP vein until well after WW2. The growth was slow but steady until after the Reagan years, when it exploded. I have seen no signs of a regression in the 21st century.

You also are way off about the economic notions held by rural Evangelicals in the South.

[Jun 27, 2019] The Ongoing Restructuring of the Greater Middle East by C.J. Hopkins

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... If I were a particularly cynical analyst, it might look to me like global capitalism, starting right around 1990, freed by the collapse of the U.S.S.R. to do whatever the hell it wanted, more or less immediately started dismantling uncooperative power structures throughout the Greater Middle East. My cynical theory would kind of make sense of the "catastrophic policy blunders" that the United States has supposedly made in Iraq, Libya, and throughout the region, not to mention the whole "Global War on Terror," and what it is currently doing to Syria, and Iran. ..."
"... Take a look at that map again. What you're looking at is global capitalism cleaning up after winning the Cold War. And yes, I do mean global capitalism, not the United States of America (i.e., the "nation" most Americans think they live in, despite all evidence to the contrary). I know it hurts to accept the fact that "America" is nothing but a simulation projected onto an enormous marketplace but seriously, do you honestly believe that the U.S. government and its military serve the interests of the American people? If so, go ahead, review the history of their activities since the Second World War, and explain to me how they have benefited Americans not the corporatist ruling classes, regular working class Americans, many of whom can't afford to see a doctor, or buy a house, or educate their kids, not without assuming a lifetime of debt to some global financial institution. ..."
"... OK, so I digressed a little. The point is, "America" is not at war with Iran. Global capitalism is at war with Iran. The supranational corporatist empire. Yes, it wears an American face, and waves a big American flag, but it is no more "American" than the corporations it comprises, or the governments those corporations own, or the military forces those governments control, or the transnational banks that keep the whole show running. ..."
Jun 27, 2019 | www.unz.com

... ... ...

If I were a particularly cynical analyst, it might look to me like global capitalism, starting right around 1990, freed by the collapse of the U.S.S.R. to do whatever the hell it wanted, more or less immediately started dismantling uncooperative power structures throughout the Greater Middle East. My cynical theory would kind of make sense of the "catastrophic policy blunders" that the United States has supposedly made in Iraq, Libya, and throughout the region, not to mention the whole "Global War on Terror," and what it is currently doing to Syria, and Iran.

Take a good look at this Smithsonian map of where the U.S.A. is "combating terrorism." Note how the U.S. military (i.e., global capitalism's unofficial "enforcer") has catastrophically blundered its way into more or less every nation depicted. Or ask our "allies" in Saudi Arabia, Israel, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and so on. OK, you might have to reach them in New York or London, or in the South of France this time of year, but, go ahead, ask them about the horrors they've been suffering on account of our "catastrophic blunders."

See, according to this crackpot conspiracy theory that I would put forth if I were a geopolitical analyst instead of just a political satirist, there have been no "catastrophic policy blunders," not for global capitalism. The Restructuring of the Greater Middle East is proceeding exactly according to plan. The regional ruling classes are playing ball, and those who wouldn't have been regime-changed, or are being regime-changed, or are scheduled for regime change.

Sure, for the actual people of the region, and for regular Americans, the last thirty years of wars, "strategic" bombings, sanctions, fomented coups, and other such shenanigans have been a pointless waste of lives and money but global capitalism doesn't care about people or the "sovereign nations" they believe they live in, except to the extent they are useful. Global capitalism has no nations. All it has are market territories, which are either open for business or not.

Take a look at that map again. What you're looking at is global capitalism cleaning up after winning the Cold War. And yes, I do mean global capitalism, not the United States of America (i.e., the "nation" most Americans think they live in, despite all evidence to the contrary). I know it hurts to accept the fact that "America" is nothing but a simulation projected onto an enormous marketplace but seriously, do you honestly believe that the U.S. government and its military serve the interests of the American people? If so, go ahead, review the history of their activities since the Second World War, and explain to me how they have benefited Americans not the corporatist ruling classes, regular working class Americans, many of whom can't afford to see a doctor, or buy a house, or educate their kids, not without assuming a lifetime of debt to some global financial institution.

OK, so I digressed a little. The point is, "America" is not at war with Iran. Global capitalism is at war with Iran. The supranational corporatist empire. Yes, it wears an American face, and waves a big American flag, but it is no more "American" than the corporations it comprises, or the governments those corporations own, or the military forces those governments control, or the transnational banks that keep the whole show running.

This is what Iran and Syria are up against. This is what Russia is up against. Global capitalism doesn't want to nuke them, or occupy them. It wants to privatize them, like it is privatizing the rest of the world, like it has already privatized America according to my crackpot theory, of course.


peterAUS , says: June 25, 2019 at 10:08 pm GMT

if I were a geopolitical analyst, I might be able to discern a pattern there, and possibly even some sort of strategy.

Sounds good.
Some other people did it before, wrote it down etc. but it's always good to see that stuff.

it might look to me like global capitalism, starting right around 1990, freed by the collapse of the U.S.S.R. to do whatever the hell it wanted, more or less immediately started dismantling uncooperative power structures throughout the Greater Middle East.
.there have been no "catastrophic policy blunders," not for global capitalism. The Restructuring of the Greater Middle East is proceeding exactly according to plan. The regional ruling classes are playing ball, and those who wouldn't have been regime-changed, or are being regime-changed, or are scheduled for regime change.
Sure, for the actual people of the region, and for regular Americans, the last thirty years of wars, "strategic" bombings, sanctions, fomented coups, and other such shenanigans have been a pointless waste of lives and money but global capitalism doesn't care about people or the "sovereign nations" they believe they live in, except to the extent they are useful. Global capitalism has no nations. All it has are market territories, which are either open for business or not.

Spot on.

Now .there IS a bit of oversight in the article re competing groups of people on top of that "Global capitalist" bunch.
It's a bit more complicated than "Global capitalism".

Jewish heavily influenced, perhaps even controlled, Anglo-Saxon "setup" .. or Russian "setup" or Chinese "setup".
Only one of them can be on the top, and they don't like each other much.
And they all have nuclear weapons.

"Global capitalism" idea is optimistic. The global overwhelming force against little players. No chance of MAD there so not that bad.NOPE IMHO.
There is a chance of MAD.

That is the problem . Well, at least for some people.

WorkingClass , says: June 26, 2019 at 12:46 am GMT
Globalists are not Capitalists. There is no competition. Just a hand full of monopolies. These stateless corporate monopolists are better understood as Feudalists. They would have everything. We would have nothing. That's what privatization is. It's the Lords ripping off the proles.

I was a union man in my youth. We liked Capitalism. We just wanted our fair share of the loot. The working class today knows nothing about organizing. They don't even know they are working class. They think they are black or white. Woke or Deplorable.

ALL OF US non billionaires are coming up on serious hard times. Serious enough that we might have to put aside our differences. The government is corrupt. It will not save us. Instead it will continue to work to divide us.

Reparations anyone?

animalogic , says: June 26, 2019 at 10:06 am GMT
Another great article by C J Hopkins.
Hopkins (correctly) posits that behind US actions, wars etc lies the global capitalist class.
"Global capitalism has no nations. All it has are market territories, which are either open for business or not"
This is correct -- but requires an important caveat.
Intrinsic to capitalism is imperialism. They are the head & tail of the same coin.
Global capitalists may unite in their rapacious attacks on average citizens the world over. However, they will disunite when it comes to beating a competitor to a market.
The "West" has no (real) ideological differences with China, Russia & Iran. This is a fight between an existing hegemon & it's allies & a rising hegemon (China) & it's allies.
In many ways it's similar to the WW I situation: an established imperial country, the UK, & it's allies against a country with imperial pretensions -- Germany (& it's allies)
To put it in a nice little homily: the Capitalist wolves prefer to eat sheep (us) -- but, will happily eat each other should they perceive a sufficient interest in doing so.
Digital Samizdat , says: June 26, 2019 at 11:49 am GMT
@WorkingClass

Globalists are not Capitalists. There is no competition. Just a hand full of monopolies.

In most key sectors, competition ends up producing monopolies or their near-equivalent, oligopolies. The many are weeded out (or swallowed up) by the few . The situation is roughly the same with democracy, which historically has always resulted in oligarchy, as occurred in ancient Rome and Athens.

Parfois1 , says: June 27, 2019 at 11:01 am GMT
@WorkingClass

Globalists are not Capitalists. There is no competition. Just a hand full of monopolies. These stateless corporate monopolists are better understood as Feudalists. They would have everything. We would have nothing. That's what privatization is. It's the Lords ripping off