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Demonization of Putin

Unending series of neoliberal MSM witch hunt and false flag operations by Western intelligence agencies
designed to weaken and discredit Russian leader

Reuters/David W Cerny

PseudoScience > Who Rules America > Pathological Russophobia of the US elite

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Europe has manufactured an artificial "Russian enemy"
 in order to create an artificial "European identity"

Guy Mettan

Demonization of Putin is integral part of policy of the US and British elite toward Russia, designed to weaken, and, if possible, dismember the Russian state. It is also an instrument of increasing national unity by creating a demonized external enemy.

Russophobia of the US elite should be understood in the context of Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism as Russia represent an obstacle for complete domination of the globe by the US neoliberal empire. Nothing personal here, just business. Recent statements by Putin made at Valday club in Sochi (October 24, 2014) also do not produce any love to Putin from the global and first of all the USA neoliberal elite as well as London-based financial oligarchy. Not accidentally for both the US and GB elite Putin is a "Great Satan".

Like anti-Semitism, Russophobia is based on standard mechanism of Demonization (Wikipedia):

In colloquial usage, the term demonization is used metaphorically to refer to propaganda directed on delitimization of particular individual or group.

Delegitimization is the psychological process which undermines or marginalizes an individual or entity by presenting value judgments as facts which are construed to devalue legitimacy. The ultimate goal of justifying harm or war.

The concept applies to a wide spectrum of social contexts but generally means categorization of individual or groups into extreme social categories which are ultimately excluded from society. Delegitimization provides the moral and the discursive basis to harm the delegitimized group, even in the most inhumane ways.

It is related to stereotyping in a sense that it leads to prejudice when people emotionally react to the name of the person, ascribe evil intention and characteristic to the person or group without evaluating objective evidence.

As always in such cases three-letter agencies are in the vanguard of such complains (Is the CIA Running a Defamation Campaign Against Putin - Russia Insider)

A major topic in the Russian media is mystification with how Putin is portrayed in the Western media. Wildly popular at home, and seen as a decent, modest, an admirable person, and Russians don't understand how there can be such a disconnect with Western impressions.

Recently, leading Russian commentators and politicians have been suggesting that this can only be explained by a deliberate campaign to defame Putin, by governments or other groups.

Yesterday, at a briefing to foreign journalists, Sergey Ivanov, Putin's chief of staff, arguably the 2nd most powerful man in Russia, spoke of an "information war" consisting of "personal attacks" on Putin.

The western media hit a new low...
>The day before another member of Putin's inner circle, Vyasheslav Volodin, made similar remarks, telling foreign journalists "an attack on Putin is an attack on Russia."

The logic, they argue, is that by defaming the leader of a country, you weaken his power domestically by undermining popular support for him, and internationally, by rallying popular opinion to support policies against that country. The ultimate goal, they argue, is to weaken the country itself. They also talk about regime change.

They argue that if one looks at the facts, that there is evidence of ongoing character assassination which cannot be explained by a vague popular zeitgeist in the West, but is more likely the result of a dedicated effort to introduce this defamation into the news flow.

Newsweek has been one of the most virulent Putin-bashers for years

The issue of manipulation of news by intelligence services has been in the news recently with revelations that the CIA and German Secret Service (GSS) have long-running programs to influence how media executives and top journalists convey and interpret the news, including direct cash payments.

Here are some examples they point to:

RI sat down with The Saker, a leading analyst of Russia in international affairs, and asked him what he thinks:

So, is there any credence to this line of thinking, or is this conspiracy theorists running wild?

There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the US is waging a major psyop war against Russia, although not a shooting war, for now, and that what we are seeing is a targeted campaign to discredit Putin and achieve "regime change" in Russia or, should that fail, at the very least "regime weakening" and "Russia weakening".

And the Economist has been the very worst of them all...

So this is a US government program?

Yes, Putin is absolutely hated by certain factions in the US government two main reasons:

1. He partially, but not fully, restored Russia's sovereignty which under Gorbachev and Yeltsin had been totally lost … Russia then was a US colony like Ukraine is today … and,

2. He dared to openly defy the USA and its civilizational model.

… a free and sovereign Russia is perceived by the US "deep state" as an existential threat which has to be crushed. … this is a full-scale political assault on Russia and Putin personally.

So what the Russians are saying, that the constant personal attacks against Putin in the global media are partly the result of deliberate efforts by US intelligence services, … basically, planted stories…

Yes, absolutely

It seems like “Operation Mockingbird” all over again… Are you aware of other instances aimed at Putin?

(Editors Note: Operation Mockingbird was a CIA program started in the 1950s to influence the US media, which was gradually exposed by investigative journalists starting in the late 60s, culminating in sensational televised congressional hearings in 1975 which shocked the nation, forcing the program’s termination. Critics maintain that the same tactics have continued since, under different programs. Wikipedia)

Yes, of course. Since this defamation has very little traction with the Russian public … Putin's popularity is higher than ever before .., there is an organized campaign to convince them that Putin is "selling out" Novorussia, that he is a puppet of oligarchs who are making deals with Ukrainian oligarchs to back-stab the Novorussian resistance…

… So far, Putin's policies in the Ukraine have enjoyed very strong support from the Russian people who still oppose an overt military intervention…

… but if Kiev attacks Novorussia again - which appears very likely - and if such an attack is successful - which is less likely but always possible - then Putin will be blamed for having given the Ukrainians the time to regroup and reorganize.

Warm and fuzzy...

So you are saying that if the Ukrainian military strengthens its position enough to deliver a serious blow to the East Ukrainians, the US can use this as a method to strike at Putin’s support base…

Yes, that’s right ... there are a lot of "fake patriots" in Russia and abroad who will reject any negotiated solution and who will present any compromise as a "betrayal". They are the "useful idiots" used by western special services to smear and undermine Putin.

Is it limited to government special ops, or are there other groups who might have an interest in doing this?

Yes, well here is something that most people in the west don’t appreciate… there is a major behind-the scenes struggle among Russian elites between what I call the "Eurasian Sovereignists" (basically, those who support Putin) and what I call the "Atlantic Integrationists" (those whom Putin refers to as the "5th column).

The western media talks about this as the struggle between Russian liberals and conservatives, reformers and reactionaries, right?

Well its sort of like that, but not exactly…

The former see Russia's future in the Russian North and East and want to turn Russia towards Asia, Latin America and the rest of the world, while the latter want Russia to become part of the "North Atlantic" power configuration.

The Atlantic Integrationists are now too weak to openly challenge Putin - whose real power base is his immense popular support - but they are quietly sabotaging his efforts to reform Russia while supporting anti-Putin campaigns.

Regarding the revelations of CIA activities in Germany, do you think this is going on in other countries, in the US?

I am sure that this is happening in most countries worldwide. The very nature of the modern corporate media is such that it makes journalists corrupt.

As the French philosopher Alain Soral says "nowadays a reporter is either unemployed or a prostitute". There are, of course, a few exceptions, but by and large this is true.

This is not to say that most journalists are on the take. In the West this is mostly done in a more subtle way - by making it clear which ideas do or do not pass the editorial control, by lavishly rewarding those journalists who 'get it' and by quietly turning away those who don't.

If a journalist or reporter commits the crime of "crimethink" he or she will be sidelined and soon out of work.

There is no real pluralism in the West where the boundaries of what can be said or not are very strictly fixed.

Ok, but is it like what has been revealed in Germany, …similar specific operational programs in France, the UK, Italy, Latin America, etc.

Yes, one has to assume so – it is in their interests to have them and there is no reason for them not to.

As for the CIA, it de-facto controls enough of the corporate media to "set the tone". As somebody who in the past used to read the Soviet press for a living, I can sincerely say that it was far more honest and more pluralistic than the press in the USA or EU today.

Joseph Goebbels or Edward Bernays could not have imagined the degree of sophistication of modern propaganda machines.

If the US is doing it, can't one assume other governments are too? Are the Russians doing it against western leaders?

I think that all governments try to do that kind of stuff. However, what makes the US so unique it a combination of truly phenomenal arrogance and multi-billion dollar budgets.

The US "deep state" owns the western corporate media which is by far the most powerful media on the planet. Most governments can only do that inside their own country ... to smear a political opponent or discredit a public figure, but they simply do not have the resources to mount an international strategic psyop campaign. This is something only the US can do.

So foreign governments are at a great disadvantage in this arena vis-a-vis the US?

Absolutely.

Quotes from Putin speech and answers to the questions at the meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club

 


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[Apr 21, 2019] Escobar The Deep State Vs. WikiLeaks by Pepe Escobar

Notable quotes:
"... John Pilger, among few others, has already stressed how a plan to destroy WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was laid out as far back as 2008 – at the tail end of the Cheney regime – concocted by the Pentagon's shady Cyber Counter-Intelligence Assessments Branch. ..."
"... But it was only in 2017, in the Trump era, that the Deep State went totally ballistic; that's when WikiLeaks published the Vault 7 files – detailing the CIA's vast hacking/cyber espionage repertoire. ..."
"... This was the CIA as a Naked Emperor like never before – including the dodgy overseeing ops of the Center for Cyber Intelligence, an ultra-secret NSA counterpart. ..."
"... The monolithic narrative by the Deep State faction aligned with the Clinton machine was that "the Russians" hacked the DNC servers. Assange was always adamant; that was not the work of a state actor – and he could prove it technically. ..."
"... The DoJ wanted a deal – and they did make an offer to WikiLeaks. But then FBI director James Comey killed it. The question is why. ..."
"... Some theoretically sound reconstructions of Comey's move are available. But the key fact is Comey already knew – via his close connections to the top of the DNC – that this was not a hack; it was a leak. ..."
"... Ambassador Craig Murray has stressed, over and over again (see here ) how the DNC/Podesta files published by WikiLeaks came from two different US sources; one from within the DNC and the other from within US intel. ..."
"... he release by WikiLeaks in April 2017 of the malware mechanisms inbuilt in "Grasshopper" and the "Marble Framework" were indeed a bombshell. This is how the CIA inserts foreign language strings in source code to disguise them as originating from Russia, from Iran, or from China. The inestimable Ray McGovern, a VIPS member, stressed how Marble Framework "destroys this story about Russian hacking." ..."
"... No wonder then CIA director Mike Pompeo accused WikiLeaks of being a "non-state hostile intelligence agency" ..."
"... Joshua Schulte, the alleged leaker of Vault 7, has not faced a US court yet. There's no question he will be offered a deal by the USG if he aggress to testify against Julian Assange. ..."
"... George Galloway has a guest who explains it all https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VvPFMyPvHM&t=8s ..."
"... Escobar is brain dead if he can't figure out that Trumpenstein is totally on board with destroying Assange. As if bringing on pukes like PompAss, BoltON, and Abrams doesn't scream it. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The Made-by-FBI indictment of Julian Assange does look like a dead man walking. No evidence. No documents. No surefire testimony. Just a crossfire of conditionals...

But never underestimate the legalese contortionism of US government (USG) functionaries. As much as Assange may not be characterized as a journalist and publisher, the thrust of the affidavit is to accuse him of conspiring to commit espionage.

In fact the charge is not even that Assange hacked a USG computer and obtained classified information; it's that he may have discussed it with Chelsea Manning and may have had the intention to go for a hack. Orwellian-style thought crime charges don't get any better than that. Now the only thing missing is an AI software to detect them.

https://www.rt.com/shows/going-underground/456414-assange-wkileaks-asylum-london/video/5cb1c797dda4c822558b463f

Assange legal adviser Geoffrey Robertson – who also happens to represent another stellar political prisoner, Brazil's Lula – cut straight to the chase (at 19:22 minutes);

"The justice he is facing is justice, or injustice, in America I would hope the British judges would have enough belief in freedom of information to throw out the extradition request."

That's far from a done deal. Thus the inevitable consequence; Assange's legal team is getting ready to prove, no holds barred, in a British court, that this USG indictment for conspiracy to commit computer hacking is just an hors d'oeuvre for subsequent espionage charges, in case Assange is extradited to US soil.

All about Vault 7

John Pilger, among few others, has already stressed how a plan to destroy WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was laid out as far back as 2008 – at the tail end of the Cheney regime – concocted by the Pentagon's shady Cyber Counter-Intelligence Assessments Branch.

It was all about criminalizing WikiLeaks and personally smearing Assange, using "shock troops enlisted in the media -- those who are meant to keep the record straight and tell us the truth."

This plan remains more than active – considering how Assange's arrest has been covered by the bulk of US/UK mainstream media.

By 2012, already in the Obama era, WikiLeaks detailed the astonishing "scale of the US Grand Jury Investigation" of itself. The USG always denied such a grand jury existed.

"The US Government has stood up and coordinated a joint interagency criminal investigation of Wikileaks comprised of a partnership between the Department of Defense (DOD) including: CENTCOM; SOUTHCOM; the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA); Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA); Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA); US Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) for USFI (US Forces Iraq) and 1st Armored Division (AD); US Army Computer Crimes Investigative Unit (CCIU); 2nd Army (US Army Cyber Command); Within that or in addition, three military intelligence investigations were conducted. Department of Justice (DOJ) Grand Jury and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of State (DOS) and Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). In addition, Wikileaks has been investigated by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Office of the National CounterIntelligence Executive (ONCIX), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); the House Oversight Committee; the National Security Staff Interagency Committee, and the PIAB (President's Intelligence Advisory Board)."

But it was only in 2017, in the Trump era, that the Deep State went totally ballistic; that's when WikiLeaks published the Vault 7 files – detailing the CIA's vast hacking/cyber espionage repertoire.

This was the CIA as a Naked Emperor like never before – including the dodgy overseeing ops of the Center for Cyber Intelligence, an ultra-secret NSA counterpart.

WikiLeaks got Vault 7 in early 2017. At the time WikiLeaks had already published the DNC files – which the unimpeachable Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) systematically proved was a leak, not a hack.

The monolithic narrative by the Deep State faction aligned with the Clinton machine was that "the Russians" hacked the DNC servers. Assange was always adamant; that was not the work of a state actor – and he could prove it technically.

There was some movement towards a deal, brokered by one of Assange's lawyers; WikiLeaks would not publish the most damning Vault 7 information in exchange for Assange's safe passage to be interviewed by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

The DoJ wanted a deal – and they did make an offer to WikiLeaks. But then FBI director James Comey killed it. The question is why.

It's a leak, not a hack

Some theoretically sound reconstructions of Comey's move are available. But the key fact is Comey already knew – via his close connections to the top of the DNC – that this was not a hack; it was a leak.

Ambassador Craig Murray has stressed, over and over again (see here ) how the DNC/Podesta files published by WikiLeaks came from two different US sources; one from within the DNC and the other from within US intel.

There was nothing for Comey to "investigate". Or there would have, if Comey had ordered the FBI to examine the DNC servers. So why talk to Julian Assange?

T he release by WikiLeaks in April 2017 of the malware mechanisms inbuilt in "Grasshopper" and the "Marble Framework" were indeed a bombshell. This is how the CIA inserts foreign language strings in source code to disguise them as originating from Russia, from Iran, or from China. The inestimable Ray McGovern, a VIPS member, stressed how Marble Framework "destroys this story about Russian hacking."

No wonder then CIA director Mike Pompeo accused WikiLeaks of being a "non-state hostile intelligence agency", usually manipulated by Russia.

Joshua Schulte, the alleged leaker of Vault 7, has not faced a US court yet. There's no question he will be offered a deal by the USG if he aggress to testify against Julian Assange.

It's a long and winding road, to be traversed in at least two years, if Julian Assange is ever to be extradited to the US. Two things for the moment are already crystal clear. The USG is obsessed to shut down WikiLeaks once and for all. And because of that, Julian Assange will never get a fair trial in the "so-called 'Espionage Court'" of the Eastern District of Virginia, as detailed by former CIA counterterrorism officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou.

Meanwhile, the non-stop demonization of Julian Assange will proceed unabated, faithful to guidelines established over a decade ago. Assange is even accused of being a US intel op, and WikiLeaks a splinter Deep State deep cover op.

Maybe President Trump will maneuver the hegemonic Deep State into having Assange testify against the corruption of the DNC; or maybe Trump caved in completely to "hostile intelligence agency" Pompeo and his CIA gang baying for blood. It's all ultra-high-stakes shadow play – and the show has not even begun.


JailBanksters , 40 minutes ago link

Not to mention the Pentagram has silenced 100,000 whistleblower complaints by Intimidation, threats, money or accidents over 5 years . A Whistleblower only does this when know there is something seriously wrong. Just Imagine how many knew something was wrong but looked the other way.

ExPat2018 , 47 minutes ago link

George Galloway has a guest who explains it all https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VvPFMyPvHM&t=8s

Betrayed , 2 hours ago link

Maybe President Trump will maneuver the hegemonic Deep State into having Assange testify against the corruption of the DNC; or maybe Trump caved in completely to "hostile intelligence agency" Pompeo and his CIA gang baying for blood.

Escobar is brain dead if he can't figure out that Trumpenstein is totally on board with destroying Assange. As if bringing on pukes like PompAss, BoltON, and Abrams doesn't scream it.

besnook , 2 hours ago link

assange and wikileaks are the real criminals despite being crimeless. the **** is a sanctioned criminal, allowed to be criminal with the system because the rest of the sanctioned criminals would be exposed if she was investigated.

this is not the rule of laws. this is the law of rulers.

_triplesix_ , 2 hours ago link

Anyone seen Imran Awan lately?

Four chan , 34 minutes ago link

yeah those ***** go free because they got everything on the stupid dems and they are muslim.

assange exposes the podesta dws and clinton fraud against bernie voters+++ and hes the bad guy. yeah right

hillary clinton murdered seth rich sure as **** too.

[Apr 21, 2019] John Brennan's Police State USA

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Sadly, Brennan's propaganda coup only works on what the Bell Curve crowd up there would call the dumbest and most technologically helpless 1.2σ. Here is how people with half a brain interpret the latest CIA whoppers. ..."
"... Convincing Americans in Russia's influence or Russia collusion with Trump was only a tool that would create pressure on Trump that together with the fear of paralysis of his administration and impeachment would push Trump into the corner from which the only thing he could do was to worsen relations with Russia. What American people believe or not is really secondary. With firing of Gen. Flynn Trump acted exactly as they wanted him to act. This was the beginning of downward slope. ..."
"... Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration. Trump can concentrate on Iran in which he will be supported by all sides and factions including the media. Even Larry David will approve not only the zionist harpies like Pam Geller, Rita Katz and Ilana Mercer. ..."
"... The only part that is absurd is that Russia posed a bona fide threat to the US. I'm fine with the idea that he ruined Brennen's plans in Syria. But thats just ego we shouldn't have been there anyway. ..."
"... No one really cares about Ukraine. And the European/Russian trade zone? No one cares. The Eurozone has its hands full with Greece and the rest of the old EU. I have a feeling they have already gone way too far and are more likely to shrink than expand in any meaningful way ..."
"... " ..factions within the state whose interests do not coincide with those of the American people." ..."
"... All the more powerfully put because of its recognisably comical. understatement. Thank you Mr Whitney. Brilliant article that would be all over the mainstream media were the US MSM an instrument of American rather than globalist interests. ..."
"... A sad story, how the USA always was a police state, where the two percent rich manipulated the 98% poor, to stay rich. When there were insurrections federal troops restored order. Also FDR put down strikes with troops. ..."
"... The elephant in the room is Israel and the neocons , this is the force that controls America and Americas foreign policy , Brennan and the 17 intel agencies are puppets of the mossad and Israel, that is the brutal fact of the matter. ..."
"... "The absence of evidence suggests that Russia hacking narrative is a sloppy and unprofessional disinformation campaign that was hastily slapped together by over confident Intelligence officials who believed that saturating the public airwaves with one absurd story after another would achieve the desired result " ..."
"... But it DID achieve the desired result! Trump folded under the pressure, and went full out neoliberal. Starting with his missile attack on Syria, he is now OK with spending trillions fighting pointless endless foreign wars on the other side of the world. ..."
"... I think maybe half the US population does believe the Russian hacking thing, but that's not really the issue. I think that the pre-Syrian attack media blitz was more a statement of brute power to Trump: WE are in charge here, and WE can take you down and impeach you, and facts don't matter! ..."
"... Sometimes propaganda is about persuading people. And sometimes, I think, it is about intimidating them. ..."
"... The Brit secret service, in effect, created and trained not merely the CIA but also the Mossad and Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Presidency. All four are defined by endless lies, endless acts of utterly amoral savagery. All 4 are at least as bad as the KGB ever was, and that means as bad as Hell itself. ..."
"... Traditional triumphalist American narrative history, as taught in schools up through the 60s or so, portrayed America as "wart-free." Since then, with Zinn's book playing a major role, it has increasingly been portrayed as "warts-only," which is of course at least equally flawed. I would say more so. ..."
"... Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration. ..."
"... That pre-9/11 "cooperation" nearly destroyed Russia. Nobody in Russia (except, perhaps, for Pussy Riot) wants a return to the Yeltsin era. ..."
"... The CIA is the world largest criminal and terrorist organization. With Brennan the worst has come to the worst. The whole Russian meddling affair was initiated by the Obama/Clinton gang in cooperation with 95 percent of the media. Nothing will come out of it. ..."
"... [The key figures who had primary influence on both Trump's and Bush's Iran policies held views close to those of Israel's right-wing Likud Party. The main conduit for the Likudist line in the Trump White House is Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, primary foreign policy advisor, and longtime friend and supporter of Netanyahu. Kushner's parents are also long-time supporters of Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank. ..."
"... Another figure to whom the Trump White House has turned is John Bolton, undersecretary of state and a key policymaker on Iran in the Bush administration. Although Bolton was not appointed Trump's secretary of state, as he'd hoped, he suddenly reemerged as a player on Iran policy thanks to his relationship with Kushner. Politico reports that Bolton met with Kushner a few days before the final policy statement was released and urged a complete withdrawal from the deal in favor of his own plan for containing Iran. ..."
"... Putin's dream of Greater Europe is the death knell for the unipolar world order. It means the economic center of the world will shift to Central Asia where abundant resources and cheap labor of the east will be linked to the technological advances and the Capital the of the west eliminating the need to trade in dollars or recycle profits into US debt. The US economy will slip into irreversible decline, and the global hegemon will steadily lose its grip on power. That's why it is imperative for the US prevail in Ukraine– a critical land bridge connecting the two continents– and to topple Assad in Syria in order to control vital resources and pipeline corridors. Washington must be in a position where it can continue to force its trading partners to denominate their resources in dollars and recycle the proceeds into US Treasuries if it is to maintain its global primacy. The main problem is that Russia is blocking Uncle Sam's path to success which is roiling the political establishment in Washington. ..."
"... Second, Zakharova confirms that the western media is not an independent news gathering organization, but a propaganda organ for the foreign policy establishment who dictates what they can and can't say. ..."
"... Such a truthful portrait of reality ! The ruling elite is indeed massively corrupt, compromised, and controlled by dark forces. And the police state is already here. For most people, so far, in the form of massive collection of personal data and increasing number of mandatory regulations. But just one or two big false-flags away from progressing into something much worse. ..."
"... Clearly the CIA was making war on Syria. Is secret coercive covert action against sovereign nations Ok? Is it legal? When was the CIA designated a war making entity – what part of the constitution OK's that? Isn't the congress obliged by constitutional law to declare war? (These are NOT six month actions – they go on and on.) ..."
"... Syria is only one of many nations that the CIA is attacking – how many countries are we attacking with drones? Where is congress? ..."
"... Close the CIA – give the spying to the 16 other agencies. ..."
Oct 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

Fran Macadam , October 20, 2017 at 3:08 pm GMT

A credible reading of the diverse facts, Mike.
Kirk Elarbee , October 20, 2017 at 8:27 pm GMT
Sadly, Brennan's propaganda coup only works on what the Bell Curve crowd up there would call the dumbest and most technologically helpless 1.2σ. Here is how people with half a brain interpret the latest CIA whoppers.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/10/everyone-hacked-everyone-hacked-everyone-spy-spin-fuels-anti-kaspersky-campaign.html

utu , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:18 am GMT
Again Mike Whitney does not get it. Though in the first part of the article I thought he would. He was almost getting there. The objective was to push new administration into the corner from which it could not improve relations with Russia as Trump indicated that he wanted to during the campaign.

Convincing Americans in Russia's influence or Russia collusion with Trump was only a tool that would create pressure on Trump that together with the fear of paralysis of his administration and impeachment would push Trump into the corner from which the only thing he could do was to worsen relations with Russia. What American people believe or not is really secondary. With firing of Gen. Flynn Trump acted exactly as they wanted him to act. This was the beginning of downward slope.

Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration. Trump can concentrate on Iran in which he will be supported by all sides and factions including the media. Even Larry David will approve not only the zionist harpies like Pam Geller, Rita Katz and Ilana Mercer.

Pamela Geller: Thank You, Larry David

http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2017/10/19/pamela-geller-thank-larry-david/

anon , Disclaimer Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:54 am GMT
OK.

The only part that is absurd is that Russia posed a bona fide threat to the US. I'm fine with the idea that he ruined Brennen's plans in Syria. But thats just ego we shouldn't have been there anyway.

No one really cares about Ukraine. And the European/Russian trade zone? No one cares. The Eurozone has its hands full with Greece and the rest of the old EU. I have a feeling they have already gone way too far and are more likely to shrink than expand in any meaningful way

The one thing I am not positive about. If the elite really believe that Russia is a threat, then Americans have done psych ops on themselves.

The US was only interested in Ukraine because it was there. Next in line on a map. The rather shocking disinterest in investing money -- on both sides -- is inexplicable if it was really important. Most of it would be a waste -- but still. The US stupidly spent $5 billion on something -- getting duped by politicians and got theoretical regime change, but it was hell to pry even $1 billion for real economic aid.

ThereisaGod , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 6:37 am GMT
" ..factions within the state whose interests do not coincide with those of the American people."

All the more powerfully put because of its recognisably comical. understatement. Thank you Mr Whitney. Brilliant article that would be all over the mainstream media were the US MSM an instrument of American rather than globalist interests.

jilles dykstra , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 6:46 am GMT
I am reading Howard Zinn, A Peoples History of the USA, 1492 to the Present. A sad story, how the USA always was a police state, where the two percent rich manipulated the 98% poor, to stay rich. When there were insurrections federal troops restored order. Also FDR put down strikes with troops.
Logan , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 11:16 am GMT
@jilles dykstra

You should be aware that Zinn's book is not, IMO, an honest attempt at writing history. It is conscious propaganda intended to make Americans believe exactly what you are taking from it.

DESERT FOX , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 1:30 pm GMT
The elephant in the room is Israel and the neocons , this is the force that controls America and Americas foreign policy , Brennan and the 17 intel agencies are puppets of the mossad and Israel, that is the brutal fact of the matter.

Until that fact changes Americans will continue to fight and die for Israel.

TG , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 2:03 pm GMT
"The absence of evidence suggests that Russia hacking narrative is a sloppy and unprofessional disinformation campaign that was hastily slapped together by over confident Intelligence officials who believed that saturating the public airwaves with one absurd story after another would achieve the desired result "

But it DID achieve the desired result! Trump folded under the pressure, and went full out neoliberal. Starting with his missile attack on Syria, he is now OK with spending trillions fighting pointless endless foreign wars on the other side of the world.

I think maybe half the US population does believe the Russian hacking thing, but that's not really the issue. I think that the pre-Syrian attack media blitz was more a statement of brute power to Trump: WE are in charge here, and WE can take you down and impeach you, and facts don't matter!

Sometimes propaganda is about persuading people. And sometimes, I think, it is about intimidating them.

Anonymous , Disclaimer Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 2:05 pm GMT
Whitney is another author who declares the "Russians did it" narrative a psyop. He then devotes entire columns to the psyop, "naww Russia didn't do it". There could be plenty to write about – recent laws that do undercut liberty, but no, the Washington Post needs fake opposition to its fake news so you have guys like Whitney in the less-mainstream fake news media.

So Brennan wanted revenge? Well that's simple enough to understand, without being too stupid. But Whitney's whopper of a lie is what you're supposed to unquestionably believe. The US has "rival political parties". Did you miss it?

Jake , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 2:32 pm GMT
The US is doing nothing more than acting as the British Empire 2.0. WASP culture was born of a Judaizing heresy: Anglo-Saxon Puritanism. That meant that the WASP Elites of every are pro-Jewish, especially in order to wage war, physical and/or cultural, against the vast majority of white Christians they rule.

By the early 19th century, The Brit Empire's Elites also had a strong, and growing, dose of pro-Arabic/pro-Islamic philoSemitism. Most of that group became ardently pro-Sunni, and most of the pro-Sunni ones eventually coalescing around promotion of the House of Saud, which means being pro-Wahhabi and permanently desirous of killing or enslaving virtually all Shiite Mohammedans.

So, by the time of Victoria's high reign, the Brit WASP Elites were a strange brew of hardcoree pro-Jewish and hardcore pro-Arabic/islamic. The US foreign policy of today is an attempt to put those two together and force it on everyone and make it work.

The Brit secret service, in effect, created and trained not merely the CIA but also the Mossad and Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Presidency. All four are defined by endless lies, endless acts of utterly amoral savagery. All 4 are at least as bad as the KGB ever was, and that means as bad as Hell itself.

Logan , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:04 pm GMT
@Grandpa Charlie

Fair enough. I didn't know that about the foreword. If accurate, that's a reasonable approach for a book.

Here's the problem.

Back when O. Cromwell was the dictator of England, he retained an artist to paint him. The custom of the time was for artists to "clean up" their subjects, in a primitive form of photoshopping.

OC being a religious fanatic, he informed the artist he wished to be portrayed as God had made him, "warts and all." (Ollie had a bunch of unattractive facial warts.) Or the artist wouldn't be paid.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/nov/08/cromwell-portraitist-samuel-cooper-exhibition

Traditional triumphalist American narrative history, as taught in schools up through the 60s or so, portrayed America as "wart-free." Since then, with Zinn's book playing a major role, it has increasingly been portrayed as "warts-only," which is of course at least equally flawed. I would say more so.

All I am asking is that American (and other) history be written "warts and all." The triumphalist version is true, largely, and so is the Zinn version. Gone With the Wind and Roots both portray certain aspects of the pre-war south fairly accurately..

America has been, and is, both evil and good. As is/was true of every human institution and government in history. Personally, I believe America, net/net, has been one of the greatest forces for human good ever. But nobody will realize that if only the negative side of American history is taught.

Wally , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:16 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

Hasbarist 'Kenny', you said:

"There must be something really dirty in Russigate that hasn't yet come out to generate this level of panic."

You continue to claim what you cannot prove.

But then you are a Jews First Zionist.

Russia-Gate Jumps the Shark
Russia-gate has jumped the shark with laughable new claims about a tiny number of "Russia-linked" social media ads, but the US mainstream media is determined to keep a straight face

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/10/robert-parry/jumping-the-shark/

Yet Another Major Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet?

https://theintercept.com/2017/09/28/yet-another-major-russia-story-falls-apart-is-skepticism-permissible-yet/

+ review of other frauds

Logan , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:20 pm GMT
@Jake

Most of that group became ardently pro-Sunni, and most of the pro-Sunni ones eventually coalescing around promotion of the House of Saud, which means being pro-Wahhabi and permanently desirous of killing or enslaving virtually all Shiite Mohammedans.

Thanks for the laugh. During the 19th century, the Sauds were toothless, dirt-poor hicks from the deep desert of zero importance on the world stage.

The Brits were not Saudi proponents, in fact promoting the Husseins of Hejaz, the guys Lawrence of Arabia worked with. The Husseins, the Sharifs of Mecca and rulers of Hejaz, were the hereditary enemies of the Sauds of Nejd.

After WWI, the Brits installed Husseins as rulers of both Transjordan and Iraq, which with the Hejaz meant the Sauds were pretty much surrounded. The Sauds conquered the Hejaz in 1924, despite lukewarm British support for the Hejaz.

Nobody in the world cared much about the Saudis one way or another until massive oil fields were discovered, by Americans not Brits, starting in 1938. There was no reason they should. Prior to that Saudi prominence in world affairs was about equal to that of Chad today, and for much the same reason. Chad (and Saudi Arabia) had nothing anybody else wanted.

Grandpa Charlie , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:25 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

'Putin stopped talking about the "Lisbon to Vladivostok" free trade area long ago" -- Michael Kenney

Putin was simply trying to sell Russia's application for EU membership with the catch-phrase "Lisbon to Vladivostok". He continued that until the issue was triply mooted (1) by implosion of EU growth and boosterism, (2) by NATO's aggressive stance, in effect taken by NATO in Ukraine events and in the Baltics, and, (3) Russia's alliance with China.

It is surely still true that Russians think of themselves, categorically, as Europeans. OTOH, we can easily imagine that Russians in Vladivostok look at things differently than do Russians in St. Petersburg. Then again, Vladivostok only goes back about a century and a half.

Seamus Padraig , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:39 pm GMT
@utu

Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration.

I generally agree with your comment, but that part strikes me as a bit of an exaggeration. While relations with Russia certainly haven't improved, how have they really worsened? The second round of sanctions that Trump reluctantly approved have yet to be implemented by Europe, which was the goal. And apart from that, what of substance has changed?

Seamus Padraig , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:45 pm GMT
@Grandpa Charlie

That pre-9/11 "cooperation" nearly destroyed Russia. Nobody in Russia (except, perhaps, for Pussy Riot) wants a return to the Yeltsin era.

Ludwig Watzal , Website Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:46 pm GMT
It's not surprising that 57 percent of the American people believe in Russian meddling. Didn't two-thirds of the same crowd believe that Saddam was behind 9/11, too? The American public is being brainwashed 24 hours a day all year long.

The CIA is the world largest criminal and terrorist organization. With Brennan the worst has come to the worst. The whole Russian meddling affair was initiated by the Obama/Clinton gang in cooperation with 95 percent of the media. Nothing will come out of it.

This disinformation campaign might be the prelude to an upcoming war.
Right now, the US is run by jerks and idiots. Watch the video.

anonymous , Disclaimer Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:50 pm GMT
Only dumb people does not know that TRUMP IS NETANYAHU'S PUPPET.

The fifth column zionist jews are running the albino stooge and foreign policy in the Middle East to expand Israel's interest against American interest that is TREASON. One of these FIFTH COLUMNISTS is Jared Kushner. He should be arrested.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/donald-trumps-likudist-campaign-against-iran/5614264

[The key figures who had primary influence on both Trump's and Bush's Iran policies held views close to those of Israel's right-wing Likud Party. The main conduit for the Likudist line in the Trump White House is Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, primary foreign policy advisor, and longtime friend and supporter of Netanyahu. Kushner's parents are also long-time supporters of Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank.

Another figure to whom the Trump White House has turned is John Bolton, undersecretary of state and a key policymaker on Iran in the Bush administration. Although Bolton was not appointed Trump's secretary of state, as he'd hoped, he suddenly reemerged as a player on Iran policy thanks to his relationship with Kushner. Politico reports that Bolton met with Kushner a few days before the final policy statement was released and urged a complete withdrawal from the deal in favor of his own plan for containing Iran.

Bolton spoke with Trump by phone on Thursday about the paragraph in the deal that vowed it would be "terminated" if there was any renegotiation, according to Politico. He was calling Trump from Las Vegas, where he'd been meeting with casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the third major figure behind Trump's shift towards Israeli issues. Adelson is a Likud supporter who has long been a close friend of Netanyahu's and has used his Israeli tabloid newspaper Israel Hayomto support Netanyahu's campaigns. He was Trump's main campaign contributor in 2016, donating $100 million. Adelson's real interest has been in supporting Israel's interests in Washington -- especially with regard to Iran.]

Miro23 , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 4:56 pm GMT
A great article with some excellent points:

Putin's dream of Greater Europe is the death knell for the unipolar world order. It means the economic center of the world will shift to Central Asia where abundant resources and cheap labor of the east will be linked to the technological advances and the Capital the of the west eliminating the need to trade in dollars or recycle profits into US debt. The US economy will slip into irreversible decline, and the global hegemon will steadily lose its grip on power. That's why it is imperative for the US prevail in Ukraine– a critical land bridge connecting the two continents– and to topple Assad in Syria in order to control vital resources and pipeline corridors. Washington must be in a position where it can continue to force its trading partners to denominate their resources in dollars and recycle the proceeds into US Treasuries if it is to maintain its global primacy. The main problem is that Russia is blocking Uncle Sam's path to success which is roiling the political establishment in Washington.

American dominance is very much tied to the dollar's role as the world's reserve currency, and the rest of the world no longer want to fund this bankrupt, warlike state – particularly the Chinese.

First, it confirms that the US did not want to see the jihadist extremists defeated by Russia. These mainly-Sunni militias served as Washington's proxy-army conducting an ambitious regime change operation which coincided with US strategic ambitions.

The CIA run US/Israeli/ISIS alliance.

Second, Zakharova confirms that the western media is not an independent news gathering organization, but a propaganda organ for the foreign policy establishment who dictates what they can and can't say.

They are given the political line and they broadcast it.

The loosening of rules governing the dissemination of domestic propaganda coupled with the extraordinary advances in surveillance technology, create the perfect conditions for the full implementation of an American police state. But what is more concerning, is that the primary levers of state power are no longer controlled by elected officials but by factions within the state whose interests do not coincide with those of the American people. That can only lead to trouble.

At some point Americans are going to get a "War on Domestic Terror" cheered along by the media. More or less the arrest and incarceration of any opposition following the Soviet Bolshevik model.

CanSpeccy , Website Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:11 pm GMT
@utu

On the plus side, everyone now knows that the Anglo-US media from the NY Times to the Economist, from WaPo to the Gruniard, and from the BBC to CNN, the CBC and Weinstein's Hollywood are a worthless bunch of depraved lying bastards.

Thales the Milesian , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:53 pm GMT
Brennan did this, CIA did that .

So what are you going to do about all this?

Continue to whine?

Continue to keep your head stuck in your ass?

So then continue with your blah, blah, blah, and eat sh*t.

You, disgusting self-elected democratic people/institutions!!!

AB_Anonymous , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:59 pm GMT
Such a truthful portrait of reality ! The ruling elite is indeed massively corrupt, compromised, and controlled by dark forces. And the police state is already here. For most people, so far, in the form of massive collection of personal data and increasing number of mandatory regulations. But just one or two big false-flags away from progressing into something much worse.

The thing is, no matter how thick the mental cages are, and how carefully they are maintained by the daily massive injections of "certified" truth (via MSM), along with neutralizing or compromising of "troublemakers", the presence of multiple alternative sources in the age of Internet makes people to slip out of these cages one by one, and as the last events show – with acceleration.

It means that there's a fast approaching tipping point after which it'd be impossible for those in power both to keep a nice "civilized" face and to control the "cage-free" population. So, no matter how the next war will be called, it will be the war against the free Internet and free people. That's probably why N. Korean leader has no fear to start one.

Art , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 6:18 pm GMT
An aside:

All government secrecy is a curse on mankind. Trump is releasing the JFK murder files to the public. Kudos! Let us hope he will follow up with a full 9/11 investigation.

Think Peace -- Art

Mr. Anon , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:07 pm GMT
@utu

The objective was to push new administration into the corner from which it could not improve relations with Russia as Trump indicated that he wanted to during the campaign.

Good point. That was probably one of the objectives (and from the point of view of the deep-state, perhaps the most important objective) of the "Russia hacked our democracy" narrative, in addition to the general deligitimization of the Trump administration.

Art , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:11 pm GMT
And, keep in mind, Washington's Sunni proxies were not a division of the Pentagon; they were entirely a CIA confection: CIA recruited, CIA-armed, CIA-funded and CIA-trained.

Clearly the CIA was making war on Syria. Is secret coercive covert action against sovereign nations Ok? Is it legal? When was the CIA designated a war making entity – what part of the constitution OK's that? Isn't the congress obliged by constitutional law to declare war? (These are NOT six month actions – they go on and on.)

Are committees of six congressman and six senators, who meet in secret, just avoiding the grave constitutional questions of war? We the People cannot even interrogate these politicians. (These politicians make big money in the secrecy swamp when they leave office.)

Syria is only one of many nations that the CIA is attacking – how many countries are we attacking with drones? Where is congress?

Spying is one thing – covert action is another – covert is wrong – it goes against world order. Every year after 9/11 they say things are worse – give them more money more power and they will make things safe. That is BS!

9/11 has opened the flood gates to the US government attacking at will, the various peoples of this Earth. That is NOT our prerogative.

We are being exceptionally arrogant.

Close the CIA – give the spying to the 16 other agencies.

Think Peace -- Art

Rurik , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:12 pm GMT
@Ben10

right at 1:47

when he says 'we can't move on as a country'

his butt hurt is so ruefully obvious, that I couldn't help notice a wry smile on my face

that bitch spent millions on the war sow, and now all that mullah won't even wipe his butt hurt

when I see ((guys)) like this raging their inner crybaby angst, I feel really, really good about President Trump

MAGA bitches!

Mr. Anon , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:15 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

I am reading Howard Zinn, A Peoples History of the USA

A Peoples History of the USA? Which Peoples?

Tradecraft46 , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 8:04 pm GMT
I am SAIS 70 so know the drill and the article is on point.

Here is the dealio. Most reporters are dim and have no experience, and it is real easy to lead them by the nose with promises of better in the future.

[Apr 21, 2019] Whenever someone inconveniences the neoliberal oligarchy, the entire neoliberal MSM mafia tells us 24 x7 how evil and disgusting that person is. It's true of the leader of every nation which rejects neoliberal globalization as well as for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Highly recommended!
Apr 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Have you ever noticed how whenever someone inconveniences the dominant western power structure, the entire political/media class rapidly becomes very, very interested in letting us know how evil and disgusting that person is? It's true of the leader of every nation which refuses to allow itself to be absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized power alliance, it's true of anti-establishment political candidates, and it's true of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Corrupt and unaccountable power uses its political and media influence to smear Assange because, as far as the interests of corrupt and unaccountable power are concerned, killing his reputation is as good as killing him. If everyone can be paced into viewing him with hatred and revulsion, they'll be far less likely to take WikiLeaks publications seriously, and they'll be far more likely to consent to Assange's imprisonment, thereby establishing a precedent for the future prosecution of leak-publishing journalists around the world. Someone can be speaking 100 percent truth to you, but if you're suspicious of him you won't believe anything he's saying. If they can manufacture that suspicion with total or near-total credence, then as far as our rulers are concerned it's as good as putting a bullet in his head.

Those of us who value truth and light need to fight this smear campaign in order to keep our fellow man from signing off on a major leap in the direction of Orwellian dystopia, and a big part of that means being able to argue against those smears and disinformation wherever they appear. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any kind of centralized source of information which comprehensively debunks all the smears in a thorough and engaging way, so with the help of hundreds of tips from my readers and social media followers I'm going to attempt to make one here. What follows is my attempt at creating a tool kit people can use to fight against Assange smears wherever they encounter them, by refuting the disinformation with truth and solid argumentation.

This article is an ongoing project which will be updated regularly where it appears on Medium and caitlinjohnstone.com as new information comes in and new smears spring up in need of refutation.

[Apr 21, 2019] The remarkable susceptibility of the American people to propaganda has to do with the philosophical tradition of pragmatism: What is true is that what is useful in our lives

Notable quotes:
"... Alex Carey explains is his excellent book "Taking the Risk out of Democracy" that the remarkable susceptibility of the American people to propaganda has to do with the philosophical tradition of pragmatism. Famous scholars like William James and John Dewey said things like: "What is true is that what is useful in our lives" and "Believing something helps to make that thing become true". So you want to believe because you think it serves your purposes. ..."
"... This whole Russiagate is a sort of orgy of pragmatism. This could not happen in any other country, I'm sure. The only bright lining is that apparently large parts of the US population do not care one whit about Russiagate. The thing only has traction among the educated classes. But still! Amazing to see how so many evidently smart people mislead themselves into believing this shoddy story or at least taking it way too serious. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | therealnews.com

Paul Janssen 11 hours ago ,

My God you Americans are so strange! (I'm from the Netherlands)

Alex Carey explains is his excellent book "Taking the Risk out of Democracy" that the remarkable susceptibility of the American people to propaganda has to do with the philosophical tradition of pragmatism. Famous scholars like William James and John Dewey said things like: "What is true is that what is useful in our lives" and "Believing something helps to make that thing become true". So you want to believe because you think it serves your purposes.

Betrand Russell considered this attitude to represent a kind of madness. Truth is the objective correspondence to the facts, was his position.

This whole Russiagate is a sort of orgy of pragmatism. This could not happen in any other country, I'm sure. The only bright lining is that apparently large parts of the US population do not care one whit about Russiagate. The thing only has traction among the educated classes. But still! Amazing to see how so many evidently smart people mislead themselves into believing this shoddy story or at least taking it way too serious.

As to the title you gave these two items: "Will the Mueller Report Help Defeat Trump in 2020?" Of course not ! TO THE CONTRARY!

Sad that the Real News also has gone under in this intellectual morass. You really should have kept on Aaron Maté.

[Apr 20, 2019] Sure, blame those guys over there for Hillary fiasco and hire Mueller to get the goods . That s the ultimate the dog ate my homework excuse.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It is quite distressing that in may so called “progessive” or “left liberal” – self designated of course – circles in the USA and the UK such a statement will lead to your being labelled a Russian Troll or the suggestion you are being on Putin’s payrol ..."
"... “…In the era of weapons of mass destruction, not only nuclear, but primarily nuclear, ever more sophisticated, the Russians now have a new generation of nuclear weapons -- Putin announced them on March 1, they were dismissed here, but they’re real -- that can elude any missile defense. .. ..."
"... Russia has now thwarted us; they now have missile defense-evading nuclear weapons from submarines, to aircraft, to missiles. And Putin has said, ‘It’s time to negotiate an end to this new arms race,’ and he’s 100 percent right. ..."
"... So when I heard Trump say, in 2016, we have to cooperate with Russia, I had already become convinced… ..."
"... When I see the right-of-center DNC supporters saying, “Our democracy has been attacked,” I an reminded of the interview Hermann Goering gave while he was waiting to be executed. ..."
"... Perhaps the assumption of Russia meddling in our election is a simple case of projection. As has been documented, the USA has frequently meddled in other countries’ elections or election outcomes (Iran, Russia, Chile, Central America). ..."
"... To paraphrase the late Leona Helmsley, “Democracy is for little people”, not for the meddling-in-foreign-democracies policymakers of the Boston-Washington corridor. ..."
"... We live in a multi-polar world and if Washington can’t get used to it, we are the ones who may pay for their willful stubborn blindness, their inability to come to terms with a perfectly obvious developing reality. ..."
"... The neocons have not had a new idea in 30 years. I continue to be baffled by their obsession with Iran. Iran is a fact; the enmity goes back to our support for the overthrow of Mossadegh in 1953 and only made worse by our support of the Shah as our-guy-in-Tehran. ..."
"... The USA is in disarray internally and in its approach to the rest of the world. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

flora , , April 19, 2019 at 10:38 am

The DNC had the biggest influence on the 2016 outcome; they insisted on running a disliked candidate who was a terrible campaigner so disliked the DNC cleared the field for her ahead of time (got Biden and others to not declare in 2016) and had to club dissenters in their own party to make sure she got the nomination. imo. But sure, blame "those guys over there". That's the ultimate "the dog ate my homework" excuse. meh.

Susan the other` , April 19, 2019 at 10:43 am

Good analysis. This even makes the insanity of “Russiagate” seem strategic. (But as overwrought as saying ‘give us liberty or give us death’. The solution to everything is somewhere in the middle.) We know that such dedicated souls as the very fatuous Mr. Brennan cooked it all up and pretended it was because Trump was “treasonous”.

Brennan in his dotage might actually be thinking that.

I’ve always thought that Putin, like Yeltsin, was pro West. Possibly an atlanticist. Tho’ being as chauvinistic as an atlanticist today is a little offensive to the rest of the world. Cohen’s statement that Putin is pro Russian-anti communism might be a simplification. Russia is certainly positioning itself to be safe from our aggression. I think there are remnants of good social management that the commies learned over the years that Russia/Putin still employs.

It’s too simplistic to say Putin is anti-communist. He’s just a realist. And he’s a nationalist. Being a nationalist-protectionist is the worst sin against neoliberal advancement. That’s another propaganda bullet point – you never hear a rational discussion of nationalism – it’s all trash, “Marine LePen is a fascist” exaggeration.

Peter , April 19, 2019 at 11:04 am

It is quite distressing to see the Mueller report take up as if it were settled fact the idea that Russia influenced the 2016 Presidential election, particularly since his investigation didn’t provide any information that supported this theory.

It is quite distressing that in may so called “progessive” or “left liberal” – self designated of course – circles in the USA and the UK such a statement will lead to your being labelled a Russian Troll or the suggestion you are being on Putin’s payroll. That is the level of rational discussion in many those circles today when it comes to the discussion about the west's relationship to Russia.

This of course led in Russia to the conclusion that to engage with the west at present in an attempt to ease the tensions is futile and rather counterproductive.

juliania , April 19, 2019 at 11:15 am

I think Professor Cohen has a real point in the following statements:

“…In the era of weapons of mass destruction, not only nuclear, but primarily nuclear, ever more sophisticated, the Russians now have a new generation of nuclear weapons -- Putin announced them on March 1, they were dismissed here, but they’re real -- that can elude any missile defense. ..

Russia has now thwarted us; they now have missile defense-evading nuclear weapons from submarines, to aircraft, to missiles. And Putin has said, ‘It’s time to negotiate an end to this new arms race,’ and he’s 100 percent right.

So when I heard Trump say, in 2016, we have to cooperate with Russia, I had already become convinced…

So I began to speak positively about Trump at that moment–that would have been probably around the summer of 2016–just on this one point, because none of the other candidates were advocating cooperation with Russia…”

Then, when he goes on to elaborate on China’s weaponry and posit including them in the next round of draw-down negotiations, as far off as that may look – that to me is what Trump can use for his re-election. I do believe his attitude towards Russia won him his first term.

Those Russia-gate kooks need to focus on the American people, not on Trump. Well, maybe they did, and still do. It’s really about us, not him.

Procopius , April 19, 2019 at 7:56 pm

When I see the right-of-center DNC supporters saying, “Our democracy has been attacked,” I an reminded of the interview Hermann Goering gave while he was waiting to be executed.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

John Wright , April 19, 2019 at 11:20 am

Perhaps the assumption of Russia meddling in our election is a simple case of projection. As has been documented, the USA has frequently meddled in other countries’ elections or election outcomes (Iran, Russia, Chile, Central America).

One recent Democratic presidential candidate was taped asserting “we should not have held the election unless we could determine the outcome” in another foreign country.

If Russia did not meddle significantly in the US election, the political class may have had to ponder that possibly the Russians believed that the decline of the US in the world stage did not merit the effort.

To paraphrase the late Leona Helmsley, “Democracy is for little people”, not for the meddling-in-foreign-democracies policymakers of the Boston-Washington corridor.

John , April 19, 2019 at 11:45 am

The thrust of Cohen’s position is correct. Quibble all you wish with the details. We live in a multi-polar world and if Washington can’t get used to it, we are the ones who may pay for their willful stubborn blindness, their inability to come to terms with a perfectly obvious developing reality.

The neocons have not had a new idea in 30 years. I continue to be baffled by their obsession with Iran. Iran is a fact; the enmity goes back to our support for the overthrow of Mossadegh in 1953 and only made worse by our support of the Shah as our-guy-in-Tehran.

The Russians really do have a new generation of weapons. The Chinese are re-assuming a leading position in the world that has been theirs most of the time for two thousand years.

Europe is not a rising power.

The USA is in disarray internally and in its approach to the rest of the world. I do not consider these to be opinions but objective statements. I am not prepared to suffer for illusions and vanity among the “elite.”

[Apr 20, 2019] Did Assange lied about Seth Rich?

Assange actually undermined the key pre-condition of the Deep state existence -- secrecy.
Notable quotes:
"... Robert Mueller, who helped the Bush administration deceive the world about WMD in Iraq, has claimed that the GRU was the source of WikiLeaks' 2016 drops, and claimed in his report that WikiLeaks deceived its audience by implying that its source was the murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich. ..."
"... The smear is that Assange knew his source was actually the Russian government, and he implied it was Seth Rich to throw people off the scent. Mueller asserted that something happened, and it's interpreted as hard fact instead of assertion. There's no evidence for any of this, and there's no reason to go believing the WMD guy on faith about a narrative which incriminates yet another government which refuses to obey the dictates of the US empire. ..."
"... HItchen's Razor: "what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

I'm just going to toss this one here at the end because I'm seeing it go around a lot in the wake of the Mueller report.

Robert Mueller, who helped the Bush administration deceive the world about WMD in Iraq, has claimed that the GRU was the source of WikiLeaks' 2016 drops, and claimed in his report that WikiLeaks deceived its audience by implying that its source was the murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich.

This claim is unsubstantiated because, as we discussed in Smear 4, the public has not seen a shred of evidence proving who was or was not WikiLeaks' source, so there's no way to know there was any deception happening there. We've never seen any hard proof, nor indeed anything besides official narrative, connecting the Russian government to Guccifer 2.0 and Guccifer 2.0 to WikiLeaks, and Daniel Lazare for Consortium News documents that there are in fact some major plot holes in Mueller's timeline. Longtime Assange friend and WikiLeaks ally Craig Murray maintains that he knows the source of the DNC Leaks and Podesta Emails were two different Americans, not Russians, and hints that one of them was a DNC insider. There is exactly as much publicly available evidence for Murray's claim as there is for Mueller's.

Mainstream media has been blaring day after day for years that it is an absolute known fact that the Russian government was WikiLeaks' source, and the only reason people scoff and roll their eyes at anyone who makes the indisputably factual claim that we've seen no evidence for this is because the illusory truth effect causes the human brain to mistake repetition for fact.

The smear is that Assange knew his source was actually the Russian government, and he implied it was Seth Rich to throw people off the scent. Mueller asserted that something happened, and it's interpreted as hard fact instead of assertion. There's no evidence for any of this, and there's no reason to go believing the WMD guy on faith about a narrative which incriminates yet another government which refuses to obey the dictates of the US empire.

And I guess that's it for now. Again, this article is an ongoing project, so I'll be updating it and adding to it regularly as new information comes in and new smears need refutation. If I missed something or got something wrong, or even if you spotted a typo, please email me at admin@caitlinjohnstone.com and let me know. I'm trying to create the best possible tool for people to refute Assange smears, so I'll keep sharpening this baby to make sure it cuts like a razor. Thanks for reading, and thanks to everyone who helped! Phew! That was long.


motherjones , 52 minutes ago link

We don't have to like Julian Assange, but the release of the "Collateral Damage" video alone is enough to justify defending Assange and the freedom of the press.

Ozymandiasssss , 1 hour ago link

She really didn't debunk the thing about Seth Rich very well. Basically just said that whatever Mueller said wasn't true, which doesn't go very far for me. He definitely did imply that he got at least some of his info from Rich so if there is some sort of proof of that, it needs to be supplied; otherwise Mueller's story is the only one.

bh2 , 1 hour ago link

HItchen's Razor: "what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

beemasters , 2 hours ago link

I have recently seen a political cartoon with Dotard then saying: "I love Wikileaks" + " I will throw her in jail" and now saying: "I know nothing about Wikileaks" + "I will throw him in jail"

It summed up perfectly that swine's lack of integrity.

Downtoolong , 2 hours ago link

It's so simple. Assange and Wikileaks exposed Hillary, Podesta, and the entire DNC to be lying, deceiving, hypocritical, disingenuous, elitist bastards. His crimes are miniscule compared to that, and all who attempt to condemn Assange only show us that they are members of that foul group.

beemasters , 1 hour ago link

Yet Dotard didn't push hard at all to get Killary, Podesta & friends charged...not even tweets calling for it since he got elected.

TotalMachineFail , 3 hours ago link

Excellent thorough content. And Kim Schmitz pointed out they'll drag things on for as long as possible and try to add additional things as they go. Such a bunch of sad, pathetic control freaks. Covering up their own failures, crimes and short comings with a highly publicized distraction putting the screws to a single journalist.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBs1dgYL-7w

When the next world leader is Kashoggied nobody is going to care.

freedommusic , 3 hours ago link

“ Ty Clevenger has FOIAed information from NSA asking for any data that involved both Seth Rich and also Julian Assange .

And they responded by saying we’ve got 15 files , 32 pages , but they’re all classified in accordance with executive order 13526 covering classification, and therefore you can’t have them.

That says that NSA has records of communications between Seth Rich and Julian Assange. I mean, that’s the only business that NSA is in — copying communications between people and devices.”

—Bill Binney (NSA 30 year vet)

( source )

RussianSniper , 3 hours ago link

Long story!

Important topic!!

Assange and Snowden are freedom fighters, exposing the duplicitous, corrupt, and criminals to the entire world.

The hundreds of millions of mindless zombies are so brainwashed by the fake news industry, that if Assange and Snowden are not spies, they are criminal in some capacity.

I have liberal, conservative, and libertarian leaning friends, and virtually every one of them believe Assange and Snowden are traitors to America, got innocent people killed, are rapists, or too cowardly to stand trial in the USA.

What has happened to common sense and some necessary cynicism?

Dugald , 2 hours ago link

The trouble with Common Sense is it's not all that common.....

LetThemEatRand , 3 hours ago link

Why even bother arguing with these people. Assange gave up his liberty to reveal the truth, and the American public said in essence "so what." No one except the leakers and whistle-blowers faced any punishment, and I can't think of a single national politician who even talks about doing anything about the misconduct that was revealed. Yeah, a small percentage of the population is outraged at what was revealed, but the vast majority literally don't give a ****.

fezline , 3 hours ago link

Hehe... I guess you will find out how wrong you are in 2020 :-) His release of Hillary's emails gave Trump 2016... and him turning his back on Assange took away his chances in 2020

chunga , 3 hours ago link

Most regular readers on ZH know but this is an echo chamber for "Always Trumpers" so there won't be many commenters on this article. Rather than defend his DOJ's extradition attempts with implausible theories they'll be chattering back and forth about the Mueller Report.

/winning

LetThemEatRand , 2 hours ago link

Agreed. It's amazing to me that people who claim to be believers of the MAGA message don't see the harm associated with the arrest of Assange, and all of the other uniparty **** Trump is perpetuating. A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest.

ZENDOG , 3 hours ago link

Whole lot of yadda yadda yadda about someone 99.9% of Americans don't know.

And even less who give a ****.

Hillary dead yet?

fezline , 3 hours ago link

Yeah and yet.... everyone seemed to credit Hillary's loss to the release of her emails on wikileaks... Hmm that narrative that seems to be trying to minimize the impact on Trumps chances in 2020 really breaks down in the face of that fact doesn't it?? Trump has no hope... just stop... get behind a republican that has a chance... Trump doesn't... he lost half of his base... get over it...

[Apr 20, 2019] So when Putin came to power, he was very much in the tradition of Gorbachev and Yeltsin. He wanted a strategic alliance with the United States

Apr 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, if so, it's a fool's folly. Russia is leaving the West. I mean, it can't leave the West geopolitically, because Russia is so big, it's half in the West and a half in the un-West geographically. But American foreign policy, NATO expansion, the unwise policies made in Brussels and Washington, are driving Russia from the West.

STEPHEN COHEN: And not only China, where else? All major powers that are not members of NATO, including Iran. So when Putin came to power, he was very much in the tradition of Gorbachev and Yeltsin. He wanted a strategic alliance with the United States. Who was the first person to call up Bush after 9/11? Putin. And he said, "George, anything." And if you go back and look at what the Russians did to help the American ground war in Afghanistan against the Taliban, whether you think it was a good idea or not, that ground war, Russia did more to save American lives -- Russian soldiers fighting in Afghanistan -- than any NATO country did.

PAUL JAY: No, Iran did more than any NATO country to help America.

STEPHEN COHEN: But Russia had assets, unbelievable assets, and corridors for transportation, and even an army, the Northern Alliance, that it kept in Afghanistan. It gave it all to the United States. Putin wanted a strategic alliance with the United States, and what did he get in return? He got from Bush, the second Bush, more NATO expansion right to Russia's borders, and as I mentioned before, American withdrawal from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, which had been the bedrock of Russian nuclear security for 30 or 40 years. He got betrayed, and they use that word, "We were betrayed by Washington." This is serious stuff.

The pivot away from the West begins there and continues with these crazy policies that Washington has pursued toward Russia. It doesn't mean that Russia is gone forever from the West, but if you look at the billions of dollars of investment, you look at which way the pipelines flow, you look at Russia -- Putin meets like six times a year, maybe more, with the leader of China. They've each called each other their best friend in politics. Trump meets with Putin and we think, "Oh my god, how can he meet with him." I mean, it's normal.

PAUL JAY: Netanyahu just met with Putin; nobody said a word.

STEPHEN COHEN: But the point here is that Russia has been torn between East and the West forever. Its best policy, in its own best interest, is to straddle East and West, not to be of the East or the West, but it's impossible in this world today. And U.S.-led Western policy since the end of the Soviet Union, and particularly since Putin came to power in 2000, has persuaded the Russian ruling elite that Russia can not count any longer, economically, politically, militarily, on being part of the West. It has to go elsewhere. So all this talk about wanting to win Russia to an American position that's anti-Iranian and anti-Chinese is conceived in disaster and will end in disaster. They should think of some other foreign policy.

PAUL JAY: I agree, but I think that's what Trump's -- the people around Trump that wanted the detente --

STEPHEN COHEN: We should get new people.

PAUL JAY: Well

STEPHEN COHEN: I'll tell you truthfully, if Trump really wants to cooperate with Russia for the sake of American national security, if we forget all this Russiagate stuff and we say, "The guy is a little dim, but his ideas are right, you've got to cooperate with Russia," he has to get some new advisors. Because the people around him don't have a clue how to do it.

PAUL JAY: I don't think that is the intent, the intent is make money. I don't think there's any other intent. Make money for arms manufacturers, fossil fuel --

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, hope dies with us. I just don't see that constant bashing of Trump demeaning him, though it's so easy to do, helps us think clearly about American national interests.

PAUL JAY: I don't think bashing Trump by dredging up the demons of the Cold War is anything but war mongering. On the other hand, I don't think we should create any illusions about who Trump is.

STEPHEN COHEN: So let me give you the part with a paradox. We shouldn't have any illusions about who Trump is, that seems like --

PAUL JAY: Or who the system is, really.

STEPHEN COHEN: OK. So let's say -- I mean, that seems a sensible point of view. But let me ask you a question. Why was it that American presidents since Eisenhower could do detente with Soviet communist leaders, and they weren't demonized after Stalin, but we're not permitted -- and certainly Trump is not permitted -- to do detente with a Russian Kremlin anti-communist leader, which Putin is? Did we like the communists better than the anti-communists in the Kremlin?

PAUL JAY: No. I'll give you what I think, it's just a layman's opinion. I think the foreign policy establishment, the elite, they were absolutely furious that after all these decades of trying to overthrow the Soviet Union, and they finally accomplish -- although I think it was mostly an internal phenomenon, but still -- and then they get Yeltsin and they have open Wild West, grabbing all these resources. I think they were really pissed that a state emerged, led by Putin, that said, "Hold on, it may be oligarchs, but they're going to be Russian, and you Americans aren't going to have a free-for -- all, taking up the resources and owning the finance. We're not going to be a third world country to your empire."

https://c.deployads.com/sync?f=html&s=2343&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakedcapitalism.com%2F2019%2F04%2Fis-trump-for-detente-or-militarism-a-talk-with-stephen-cohen.html

https://eus.rubiconproject.com/usync.html

https://acdn.adnxs.com/ib/static/usersync/v3/async_usersync.html <img src="http://b.scorecardresearch.com/p?c1=2&c2=16807273&cv=2.0&cj=1" /> STEPHEN COHEN: I've got more hair. You've distracted me. What we share, despite the age difference, is that we grew up at a time when we were told -- whether you or I believed it or not, but our generations, two generations, were told we are against Russia because it's communist. We were told that for decade after decade after decade. Now, Russia, the Kremlin, is not communist, it's anti-communist, and we're still against Russia. How do Russian intellectuals and policy-makers interpret that turnabout, that it was never about communism, it was about Russia? There's a saying in Russia formulated by a philosopher, his name was Zinoviev, he passed on but he was very influential, they were shooting -- meaning the West -- they were shooting at communism, but they were aiming at Russia.

And the view, very widespread among the Russian policy intellectual class today, is that Washington, in particular, will never accept Russia as an equal great power in world affairs, regardless of whether Russia is communist or anti-communist. And if that is so, Russia has to entirely reconceive its place in the world and its thinking about the West. And that point of view is ascending in Russia today due to Western policy. But just remember the view that all during the previous Cold War, they claim they were shooting at communism, but it was really Russia. And they still are today.

PAUL JAY: Yeah, I agree with that. I just --

STEPHEN COHEN: But we don't -- you and I may agree, but we don't want Russians to think that way.

PAUL JAY: But I think the view coming out of World War II about being the global hegemon, the superpower, what that also means is you can't have any adversarial regional powers. And whether it's Russia or Iran, if you're not in the smaller American sphere of influence, the umbrella, you can't be there.

STEPHEN COHEN: It's funny you say that. I mean, I'm not a Putin apologist or a Trump apologist, but I do like intellectual puzzles. If you're saying that we have to give up our thinking about a multipolar world, so to speak, that there'll be other regional superpowers or great powers, then isn't Trump the first American president who seems to be OK with that? I don't see in Trump much a demand that we be number one.

PAUL JAY: Oh, I think Make America Great Again?

STEPHEN COHEN: But he didn't say Make American Number One Again. Maybe that's what he means, but you don't have Trump --

PAUL JAY: I don't think it kind of matters what the hell Trump thinks or says. And I think --

STEPHEN COHEN: Have you heard Trump say this thing that Obama and Madeleine Albright ran around saying for years, that American is "the indispensable nation?" Do you know how aggravated that made other states in the world? I mean, stop and think about it. Who runs around saying "we're indispensable?" I haven't heard Trump say that, maybe he has.

PAUL JAY: I just don't think we should put too much weight into whatever Trump says. I think he's a vehicle, he's a vessel.

STEPHEN COHEN: You take what you can get these days.

PAUL JAY: He's a vessel, first and foremost, for the arms manufacturers, for the fossil fuel industry. He's a vessel for right-wing evangelical politics. He's not a philosopher king. He's not a peacenik.

STEPHEN COHEN: You have to have priorities.

PAUL JAY: I think he's rather banal.

STEPHEN COHEN: Yeah, probably, but you have to have priorities. My priority in international affairs is to avoid a military conflict with Russia. In my book, my new book, War with Russia?, when I start writing that book in 2013, I never intended to give it that title. But as I worked and watched events unfold since 2013 to 2019, for the first time in my long career, I thought war with Russia was possible. I didn't even think there was going to be a war -- as I remember it, I don't remember it vividly -- during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Today, I assure you, the new Cold War is fraught with multiple Cuban Missile Crises. Take your pick; in the Baltic area where NATO is building up, in Ukraine where we've got ourselves involved in a proxy war, in Georgia where NATO is trespassing again as we talk, in Syria where American and Russian forces are flying and fighting on the ground in close proximity. By the way, Trump was absolutely right in withdrawing those -- what were they -- 3000 Americans in Syria because whatever, Russia had killed just one of them.

With Trump in the White House, the trip wires, a war between nuclear Russia and nuclear America, are far greater and more multiple than they have ever been. That's the danger. Therefore, at this moment, if Trump says it's necessary to cooperate with Russia, on that one issue we must support him. It's existential at this moment. And believe me, and believe me, people love to hate on Putin in this country; "Putin's evil, Putin's bad." It's nonsense. Putin is a recognizable leader in Russia's tradition. Putin, as you said I think before, came to power wanting an alliance with the United States. He's spoken of his own illusions publicly. Leaders very rarely admit they ever had an illusion, rights, it's not something they do. He is reproached in Russia, reproached in Russia, for still having illusions about the West. You know what they say about him in high places in Russia? "He's not proactive, he just reacts, he waits for the West to do something abysmal to Russia, and then he acts. Why doesn't he first see what's coming?" What do they cite? They cite Ukraine.

PAUL JAY: Well, that's the next segment, because my question to you is going to be, "Did Putin make a mistake in Crimea?" So please join us for the continuation of our series of interviews with Stephen Cohen on Reality Asserts Itself on The Real News Network.

Donald , April 19, 2019 at 10:26 am

So when Trump opposes a pipeline from Russia to Germany or when he contemplates a US military base in Poland he is making Vlad happy?

False Solace , April 19, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Yet another delusional remark at odds with reality. Haven’t these people learned anything from the implosion of their pathetic Russiagate hysteria? The Russophobes won’t be happy until we’re at war with a nuclear power and the nukes are about to land.

Here are things Trump has actually done, as opposed to red-limned fantasies drawn from the fever-dreams of Putin haters:

  1. Unilaterally abandoned 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty
  2. Expelled 60 diplomats and closed 3 Russian diplomatic annexes
  3. Bombed Syria, a Russian ally, with Russian troops in country
  4. Sold arms to Ukraine, which is actively at war with Russia
  5. Threatened Germany to cancel a new Russian pipeline through the Baltic (effort failed)
  6. Even more sanctions against Russia and Russian nationals
  7. Stationed missile defense systems on the Russian border in violation of arms treaties
  8. Massive military exercises in Europe on the Russian border
  9. Stationed troops in Poland
  10. Negotiating with Poland to build a permanent US military base in Poland

All this has certainly made the world safer. /s

[Apr 20, 2019] April 19, 2019 at 1:16 pm

Notable quotes:
"... A lot of money not only in the USA but from the vassal states is and was at stake thus when Trump came along with his anti-imperial rhetoric ..."
"... Whatever Candidate Trump may or may not thought about a militaristic foreign policy, once in office he was properly tutored in the realities of the game. He now realizes that the MIC exists purely through the sufferance of external "enemies"; that "Full-Spectrum Dominance" means what it says; that America Numba One is non-negotiable; that Israel sets ME policy for the US; and that there is no limit to the DoD budget. Any policy changes outside of those parameters is tolerated and here we are plus ça change, etc., etc. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Cohen states:

President Bush withdrew the United States unilaterally from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, correct? Now, this treaty was related, because it forbid the deployment of so-called missile defense in a way that either side, American or Russian, could think that it had such great missile defense, it had a first strike capability. And everybody agreed nobody should think that. Mutually assured destruction had kept us safe in the nuclear age. But if Russia or the United States gets a first strike capability, then you don't have assured mutual destruction, and some crazy person might be tempted to risk it. So how did the Russians react to that? They began to develop–as I said before, when we began to deploy missile defense–a new generation of weapons. In other words, you're getting this classic action, reaction, action, reaction that drove the previous nuclear arms race, and now it's happening again.

Here is Putin's reaction to U.S. suspension of and withdrawal from the INF Treaty
Putin: Do The Math! Our Mach 9 Missiles Are 200 Miles Off US East Coast; How Fast They Can Reach It?

Decisions on whether to go to nuclear war are down to less than 5 minutes. That's the reason the Doomsday clock is closer to midnight than ever before. And Trump, Pompeo, and Bolton will be making the decisions.

Chris Cosmos , April 19, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Since the decline and fall of the Soviet Empire Washington has been worried that its existence as an imperial capital was in danger due to the rise of the small government right.

A lot of money not only in the USA but from the vassal states is and was at stake thus when Trump came along with his anti-imperial rhetoric the entire Washington Establishment rose as one and screamed "off with his head" so Trump had to mollify everyone by more warlike rhetoric and allying himself with the Saudis and the neo-fascists in Israel and it looks like he will finish out his term.

Detente will never come no matter who wins next year and no one wants nuclear war but we could step into it as Cohen warns.

But I believe today that military leaders have shown how adept they were in avoiding conflict in Syria so I'm more hopeful than Cohen.

barrisj , April 19, 2019 at 7:17 pm

Whatever Candidate Trump may or may not thought about a militaristic foreign policy, once in office he was properly tutored in the realities of the game. He now realizes that the MIC exists purely through the sufferance of external "enemies"; that "Full-Spectrum Dominance" means what it says; that America Numba One is non-negotiable; that Israel sets ME policy for the US; and that there is no limit to the DoD budget. Any policy changes outside of those parameters is tolerated and here we are plus ça change, etc., etc.

[Apr 20, 2019] Is Trump for Detente or Militarism - RAI with Stephen Cohen (2-5)

Notable quotes:
"... Great points, Mr. Cohen....this protracted attack on Russia via the phoney "Russiagate" investigation has set back relations with Russia for years to come. ..."
"... That Trump represents a thinking that the post Soviet reality is not of a uni-superpower world, but one of a multi-polar world dominated by US economic empire. ..."
"... After reading "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century" in 2005, I came to the idea that the most dangerous section of the American elite were those that posited this uni-superpower world order idea; ..."
"... The problem is the incorrigible Big C (Capital) that wanted to eat away Russian minerals that Putin stopped in national interest. Any subsequent cooperation from the Russian side was probably was only for strategic cooperation with the U.S. to have world peace. ..."
"... Not a word in Cohen's appraisal about US criminality. Jay was pushing in that direction. I hope they get around to the criminality of the Deep State Mafia. ..."
"... Despite all the chaos and the moral panics that keep rocking the White House, Trump's three National Security Advisors - Flynn, McMaster, Bolton - had one core commonality: they want war with Iran. Watching the sinister neo-con Jim Woolsey betray the frothing neo-con Flynn to Joe Biden was a comedy of neo-con infighting. A major part of Russiagate was the older 'Atlanticist' neo-cons boxing in the boorish 'Trumpist' neo-cons. Whether Atlantic Council or US-homegrown both flavors of neo-conservatism want war with Iran. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | therealnews.com

PAUL JAY: Welcome back to Reality Asserts Itself on The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay.

And we're continuing our series of discussions with Stephen Cohen. And his biography is down below the video player, and you really should watch the first few segments anyway and you'll get where we are. Thanks for joining us again.

STEPHEN COHEN: Thank you.

PAUL JAY: So I've watched several of your interviews. You've done Larry King and others, and you've been positive about Trump's attitude towards sort of a detente, lowering tensions with Russia. And in terms of my personal view, I think you're right. I think anything that lowers tensions between two nuclear powers is a good thing, and I think this self-righteous American attitude towards Putin and Russia– when you look at the scale of crimes committed by countries internationally, there is nothing that Russia has done that compares to the Iraq war, and go on and on with the United States has done, and to have some self-righteous attitude Two, it's clear it's so hypocritical to worry about political rights in Russia, because it's clear in terms of U.S. foreign policy if you can ally with Saudi Arabia, the Israeli occupation, and you name it how many dictators the United States has supported over the years, it's not about democracy.

So whatever Trump's intent is, I think I agree that this is a good thing. I actually think Trump framed it quite well himself, where he said, "Russia is not our adversary, they're our competitor, the way other big capitalist countries are our competitors." I think all that makes sense. Where I push back is I think you need to add that one of the prime reasons Trump wants to diminish tensions with Russia–assuming he really does, because some of the people that work for him, Nikki Haley in the UN and others, have said as outrageous stuff about Russia as any Democrat has said.

All that being said, I think the Trump presidency is one of the most dangerous presidencies ever, and he is planning and his whole foreign policy agenda has been regime change in Iran. And I think that if they don't accomplish that through economic warfare against Iran, with John Bolton there, the possibility of some kind of at least bombing attack on Iran before 2020 is very possible. One of the reasons I think he wants to lower tensions with Russia is so he can go after China. His acting defense secretary justified this new military expenditure, the new budget, the 765 billion dollar budget, with three words, "China, China, China." Their strategic vision–and you can see this in Steve Bannon's interviews and language–is diminish the tensions with Russia, go after Iran and go after China. And I think one needs to say this, otherwise it kind of looks like Trump is some kind of peacenik. And far from it, I think they're militarists.

STEPHEN COHEN: Not sure what the question is, though. Is it about–

PAUL JAY: Well, my question is, I think when you are saying positive things about Trump diminishing tensions with Russia, which I think is correct, but I think you need to add this guy does not have peaceful intentions, he's very dangerous.

STEPHEN COHEN: I live in a social realm–to the extent that I have any social life at all anymore– where people get very angry if I say, or anybody says, anything positive about Donald Trump. When Trump was campaigning in 2016, he said, "I think it would be great to cooperate with Russia." All of my adult life, my advocacy in American foreign policy–I've known presidents, the first George Bush invited me to Camp David to consult with him before he went to the Malta Summit. I've known presidential candidates, Senators and the rest, and I've always said the same thing. American national security runs through Moscow, period. Nothing's changed.

In the era of weapons of mass destruction, not only nuclear, but primarily nuclear, ever more sophisticated, the Russians now have a new generation of nuclear weapons–Putin announced them on March 1, they were dismissed here, but they're real–that can elude any missile defense. We spent trillions on missile defense to acquire a first strike capability against Russia. We said it was against or Iran, but nobody believed it. Russia has now thwarted us; they now have missile defense-evading nuclear weapons from submarines, to aircraft, to missiles. And Putin has said, "It's time to negotiate an end to this new arms race," and he's 100 percent right. So when I heard Trump say, in 2016, we have to cooperate with Russia, I had already become convinced–and I spell this out in my new book, War with Russia?–that we were in a new cold war, but a new cold war more dangerous than the preceding one for reasons I gave in the book, one of them being these new nuclear weapons.

So I began to speak positively about Trump at that moment–that would have been probably around the summer of 2016–just on this one point, because none of the other candidates were advocating cooperation with Russia. And as I told you before, Paul, all my life I've been a detente guy. Detente means cooperate with Russia. I saw in Trump the one candidate who said this is necessary, in his own funny language. Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, was very much a hawk. When she said publicly that Vladimir Putin has no soul, you could not commit or utter a more supreme statement of anti-diplomacy, and particularly addressing the Russians, who put a lot of stock in soul. To say somebody has no soul and then go on to equate him with Hitler, I found that so irresponsible. I didn't vote for Trump, but I did begin to write and broadcast that this was of vital importance that we have this discussion, that we needed a new detente because of the new and more dangerous Cold War.

Since he's been president, I think he's been ineffective in regard to pursuing detente with Russia for a couple of reasons. I think that the people who invented Russiagate were the enemies of detente, and they piled on. So they've now demonized Russia, they've crippled Trump. Anything he does diplomatically with Putin is called collusion. No matter what Mueller says, it's collusion. This is anti-democracy, and detente is pursued through democracy. So whatever he really wants to do–it's hard to say–he's been thwarted. I think it's also one of the reasons why he put anti-detente people around him.

PAUL JAY: Why didn't he pull out of the arms treaty?

STEPHEN COHEN: So this is a separate issue now, and a complicated one. We have been in violation–let's be clear for folks which treaty we're talking about. We're talking about the so-called Intermediate-Range Treaty. This band of deployment of missiles that could fly roughly from 500, I think, to 3000 miles, they were exceedingly dangerous. The American ones have been based in Europe. They were very dangerous because they tested high-alert systems. They flew low, fast, they could elude radar. They were dangerous. Reagan and Gorbachev abolished them in 1987, correct? Now, stop and think for a minute, Paul. What Reagan and Gorbachev did in 1987 was the first ever, ever in history, act of nuclear abolitionism. They abolished an entire category of nuclear weapons. That was a sacred act. It needed to be cherished and preserved forever, no matter what difficulties emerged.

But then comes the history, and we need to remember the history. In 2002, the second President Bush withdrew the United States unilaterally from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, correct? Now, this treaty was related, because it forbid the deployment of so-called missile defense in a way that either side, American or Russian, could think that it had such great missile defense, it had a first strike capability. And everybody agreed nobody should think that. Mutually assured destruction had kept us safe in the nuclear age. But if Russia or the United States gets a first strike capability, then you don't have assured mutual destruction, and some crazy person might be tempted to risk it. So how did the Russians react to that? They began to develop–as I said before, when we began to deploy missile defense–a new generation of weapons. In other words, you're getting this classic action, reaction, action, reaction that drove the previous nuclear arms race, and now it's happening again.

So that brings us to Trump's decision. We don't know yet where it's going to lead, because Trump has said we're withdrawing. He said the Russians have been in violation. But in fact, we've been in violation since we deployed the missile defense systems. Just for the record, by the way–and professor Theodore Postol at MIT has been very good about this–these missile defense installations that we've installed around Russia, land, air, and sea, can actually fire cruise missiles. They are in violation of that Intermediate-Range Treaty, so we've been in systematic violation. Pushes come to shove, we withdrew, the Russians have now withdrawn. But Trump has said two things that are interesting and maybe correct, that technically the treaty was out of date because of the new weaponry. And secondly, who has the most cruise missiles? China. 30 years ago in 1987, it was only the United States and Russia, the Soviet Union. But now China, because of its vast regional presence, has all these intermediate range missiles.

So Trump says offhandedly, maybe in a Tweet, "Have you ever looked at the military budget of Russia, China, and the United States? It's obscene. We should cut it." What does that mean? What does that mean? It's a good idea, right? Then he said, "We can't have such a treaty without China." The Russians know this too, so let us hope that what they're stumbling toward is a new, modernized intermediate-range ban that would include China. China, however, will never sign it. But if they begin the negotiations and China doesn't deploy any more during the negotiations, and the negotiations go on indefinitely, we are safer than we now are. Now, do I think that Trump is cunning and thought this up? I'm not sure, but he's got China on the mind, and I don't quite agree with you that–he's got a kind of dualistic attitude toward China. It's a threat, but every time he makes a new trade deal with China, he brags on it that it's great for us.

You would agree with that, right? He's always talking about, "We're going to have this wonderful trade agreement with China, it's going to be so good for us." So in his mind, Trump's mind, China is kind of potentially–in his businessman mind–this big economic plus that he alone is going to get right. Let him try.

PAUL JAY: I don't know how much of this policy at all is Trump or not Trump. I think the brains behind a lot of this policy now is Bolton and some of the other neocon crazies around him.

STEPHEN COHEN: But Trump has been saying the same thing about cooperating with Russia long before he took on Bolton. There's two ways to look at this.

PAUL JAY: But his attitude towards China–

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, just stay for one minute on Russia, because the China thing is worth talking about too. But he says, almost alone, for the first time–how long has it been since we had a president really pursue detente? It's been a very long time. Obama called it a reset, but it was fraudulent. It was basically saying to the Russians, "Give us everything, and we aren't going to give you anything." It was doomed from the beginning. Plus, they wagered that Putin wouldn't return to the presidency. Do you know, by the way, speaking of meddling, that Biden went to Moscow and told Putin not to return to the presidency in 2012?

PAUL JAY: No.

STEPHEN COHEN: Wrap your head around that a minute. The vice president of the United States goes to Moscow and tells Putin, who's now prime minister because he termed out, but he could return, "We don't think you should return to the presidency." So you know what I'm wondering, I'm wondering whether Biden's calling up Putin today and asking Putin whether Biden should get into the presidential race here. I mean, what the hell? What the hell? And we talk about meddling? So the point about Trump, to finish this, is for the first time in many, many years, a presidential candidate, one that I didn't vote for and didn't care for, had said it's necessary to cooperate with Russia.

PAUL JAY: OK, but I've got to contextualize it. Because it's not enough–because first of all, Trump's a big liar, and everyone, from beginning to end, for real.

STEPHEN COHEN: Politicians lie, Paul. Welcome to the world,

PAUL JAY: No, but I think he lied on Russia.

STEPHEN COHEN: About what?

PAUL JAY: Well, on two things. I think number one–I think two things drove his Russia–

STEPHEN COHEN: Let me get my word in. Then I'll give it to you, I promise I'll pass it right to you, because this is going to set you up beautifully. When he said, Trump, 2016, "It's necessary to cooperate with Russia," there are two ways to interpret that. He was wise and smart, or the Kremlin had something on him.

PAUL JAY: No, I don't think either of those are true.

STEPHEN COHEN: And then we go straight to Russia.

PAUL JAY: Neither of those are true.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, I'm not saying you say that, but that's the way it was taken.

PAUL JAY: No, I think there's two things drove the Russia thing. Number one, they wanted sanctions lifted because Tillerson and the American oil companies, especially Exxon, wanted a big energy play in Russia, and they needed to lift the sanctions to do it, and Tillerson was all positioned for it. And if it hadn't been for this whole Russiagate stuff, they would have sailed along, had a detente, lifted the sanctions, and had a whole realm of new energy.

STEPHEN COHEN: You mean under Trump.

PAUL JAY: Under Trump. And I think that would have been a good thing. I'm not critiquing that in the sense that anything that reduces tensions between the United States and Russia is a good, thing normalizing, even if it's exploitive and ripping off the Russian people in their oil, I don't care. The nuclear threat is so paramount, anything that reduces those tensions are good. But these are not peacenik intentions.

STEPHEN COHEN: Where do we disagree? You've lost me.

PAUL JAY: I'm not saying we necessarily disagree on this. The second part of it is–and this is where I think is the dangerous part. Because I think sometimes when Trump and Putin get together and talk quietly, part of that conversation could well be about Iran. Because when they had the first big round of sanctions on Iran, Russia supported them, Russia came in on it. And if your foreign policy objective–and clearly it is, between whether it was Flynn, or whether it was Mattis, or whether it was Bolton, all of them are "regime change in Iran is the prime objective." And if you want to do that, wouldn't you want Russia to at the very least step back a little bit?

STEPHEN COHEN: I got you now, I see where you're going.

PAUL JAY: Number one. And number two, the big strategic guns are focused on China. So if you want to focus on China, wouldn't it be nice to have a strategic normalization with Russia, try to split Russia from China? Because in their minds, the real enemy is not Russia, the real enemy is a superpower economy–

STEPHEN COHEN: In whose mind?

PAUL JAY: Much of the American foreign policy establishment, both Democrat and Republican.

STEPHEN COHEN: The real enemy is ?

PAUL JAY: China. Because that's the global economy, that's going to be the competing superpower.

STEPHEN COHEN: Let's say you're right.

PAUL JAY: And that doesn't in any way say it's still, in the final analysis, a good thing if Trump can diminish these tensions. But let's give it the whole context.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, but it doesn't–I'm not sure what the whole context is. It seems to me you just said to me that Trump or these people were playing for Russia's support against Iran in China.

PAUL JAY: As one piece of this, yeah.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, if so, it's a fool's folly. Russia is leaving the West. I mean, it can't leave the West geopolitically, because Russia is so big, it's half in the West and a half in the un-West geographically. But American foreign policy, NATO expansion, the unwise policies made in Brussels and Washington, are driving Russia from the West.

PAUL JAY: No doubt.

STEPHEN COHEN: And when you leave the West, where do you end up, Paul?

PAUL JAY: They are pushing exactly the kind of a line–

STEPHEN COHEN: Where do you go?

PAUL JAY: Well, with China, of course.

STEPHEN COHEN: And not only China, where else? All major powers that are not members of NATO, including Iran. So when Putin came to power, he was very much in the tradition of Gorbachev and Yeltsin. He wanted a strategic alliance with the United States. Who was the first person to call up Bush after 9/11? Putin. And he said, "George, anything." And if you go back and look at what the Russians did to help the American ground war in Afghanistan against the Taliban, whether you think it was a good idea or not, that ground war, Russia did more to save American lives–Russian soldiers fighting in Afghanistan–than any NATO country did.

PAUL JAY: No, Iran did more than any NATO country to help America.

STEPHEN COHEN: But Russia had assets, unbelievable assets, and corridors for transportation, and even an army, the Northern Alliance, that it kept in Afghanistan. It gave it all to the United States. Putin wanted a strategic alliance with the United States, and what did he get in return? He got from Bush, the second Bush, more NATO expansion right to Russia's borders, and as I mentioned before, American withdrawal from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, which had been the bedrock of Russian nuclear security for 30 or 40 years. He got betrayed, and they use that word, "We were betrayed by Washington." This is serious stuff.

The pivot away from the West begins there and continues with these crazy policies that Washington has pursued toward Russia. It doesn't mean that Russia is gone forever from the West, but if you look at the billions of dollars of investment, you look at which way the pipelines flow, you look at Russia–Putin meets like six times a year, maybe more, with the leader of China. They've each called each other their best friend in politics. Trump meets with Putin and we think, "Oh my god, how can he meet with him." I mean, it's normal.

PAUL JAY: Netanyahu just met with Putin; nobody said a word.

STEPHEN COHEN: But the point here is that Russia has been torn between East and the West forever. Its best policy, in its own best interest, is to straddle East and West, not to be of the East or the West, but it's impossible in this world today. And U.S.-led Western policy since the end of the Soviet Union, and particularly since Putin came to power in 2000, has persuaded the Russian ruling elite that Russia can not count any longer, economically, politically, militarily, on being part of the West. It has to go elsewhere. So all this talk about wanting to win Russia to an American position that's anti-Iranian and anti-Chinese is conceived in disaster and will end in disaster. They should think of some other foreign policy.

PAUL JAY: I agree, but I think that's what Trump's–the people around Trump that wanted the detente–

STEPHEN COHEN: We should get new people.

PAUL JAY: Well

STEPHEN COHEN: I'll tell you truthfully, if Trump really wants to cooperate with Russia for the sake of American national security, if we forget all this Russiagate stuff and we say, "The guy is a little dim, but his ideas are right, you've got to cooperate with Russia," he has to get some new advisors. Because the people around him don't have a clue how to do it.

PAUL JAY: I don't think that is the intent, the intent is make money. I don't think there's any other intent. Make money for arms manufacturers, fossil fuel–

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, hope dies with us. I just don't see that constant bashing of Trump demeaning him, though it's so easy to do, helps us think clearly about American national interests.

PAUL JAY: I don't think bashing Trump by dredging up the demons of the Cold War is anything but war mongering. On the other hand, I don't think we should create any illusions about who Trump is.

STEPHEN COHEN: So let me give you the part with a paradox. We shouldn't have any illusions about who Trump is, that seems like–

PAUL JAY: Or who the system is, really.

STEPHEN COHEN: OK. So let's say–I mean, that seems a sensible point of view. But let me ask you a question. Why was it that American presidents since Eisenhower could do detente with Soviet communist leaders, and they weren't demonized after Stalin, but we're not permitted–and certainly Trump is not permitted–to do detente with a Russian Kremlin anti-communist leader, which Putin is? Did we like the communists better than the anti-communists in the Kremlin?

PAUL JAY: No. I'll give you what I think, it's just a layman's opinion. I think the foreign policy establishment, the elite, they were absolutely furious that after all these decades of trying to overthrow the Soviet Union, and they finally accomplish–although I think it was mostly an internal phenomenon, but still–and then they get Yeltsin and they have open Wild West, grabbing all these resources. I think they were really pissed that a state emerged, led by Putin, that said, "Hold on, it may be oligarchs, but they're going to be Russian, and you Americans aren't going to have a free-for–all, taking up the resources and owning the finance. We're not going to be a third world country to your empire."

STEPHEN COHEN: That's correct.

PAUL JAY: And they're pissed off at that.

STEPHEN COHEN: They, meaning ?

PAUL JAY: The Americans.

STEPHEN COHEN: Our people.

PAUL JAY: Our people. Well, I don't want to even take ownership for it.

STEPHEN COHEN: Don't run away. I don't know your age–

PAUL JAY: I'm 67.

STEPHEN COHEN: So we've established that I'm older than you.

PAUL JAY: No doubt. But you look younger, and I'm pissed at that.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, that's a separate subject.

PAUL JAY: You've got more hair.

STEPHEN COHEN: I've got more hair. You've distracted me. What we share, despite the age difference, is that we grew up at a time when we were told–whether you or I believed it or not, but our generations, two generations, were told we are against Russia because it's communist. We were told that for decade after decade after decade. Now, Russia, the Kremlin, is not communist, it's anti-communist, and we're still against Russia. How do Russian intellectuals and policy-makers interpret that turnabout, that it was never about communism, it was about Russia? There's a saying in Russia formulated by a philosopher, his name was Zinoviev, he passed on but he was very influential, they were shooting–meaning the West–they were shooting at communism, but they were aiming at Russia.

And the view, very widespread among the Russian policy intellectual class today, is that Washington, in particular, will never accept Russia as an equal great power in world affairs, regardless of whether Russia is communist or anti-communist. And if that is so, Russia has to entirely reconceive its place in the world and its thinking about the West. And that point of view is ascending in Russia today due to Western policy. But just remember the view that all during the previous Cold War, they claim they were shooting at communism, but it was really Russia. And they still are today.

PAUL JAY: Yeah, I agree with that. I just–

STEPHEN COHEN: But we don't–you and I may agree, but we don't want Russians to think that way.

PAUL JAY: But I think the view coming out of World War II about being the global hegemon, the superpower, what that also means is you can't have any adversarial regional powers. And whether it's Russia or Iran, if you're not in the smaller American sphere of influence, the umbrella, you can't be there.

STEPHEN COHEN: It's funny you say that. I mean, I'm not a Putin apologist or a Trump apologist, but I do like intellectual puzzles. If you're saying that we have to give up our thinking about a multipolar world, so to speak, that there'll be other regional superpowers or great powers, then isn't Trump the first American president who seems to be OK with that? I don't see in Trump much a demand that we be number one.

PAUL JAY: Oh, I think Make America Great Again?

STEPHEN COHEN: But he didn't say Make American Number One Again. Maybe that's what he means, but you don't have Trump–

PAUL JAY: I don't think it kind of matters what the hell Trump thinks or says. And I think–

STEPHEN COHEN: Have you heard Trump say this thing that Obama and Madeleine Albright ran around saying for years, that American is "the indispensable nation?" Do you know how aggravated that made other states in the world? I mean, stop and think about it. Who runs around saying "we're indispensable?" I haven't heard Trump say that, maybe he has.

PAUL JAY: I just don't think we should put too much weight into whatever Trump says. I think he's a vehicle, he's a vessel.

STEPHEN COHEN: You take what you can get these days.

PAUL JAY: He's a vessel, first and foremost, for the arms manufacturers, for the fossil fuel industry. He's a vessel for right-wing evangelical politics. He's not a philosopher king. He's not a peacenik.

STEPHEN COHEN: You have to have priorities.

PAUL JAY: I think he's rather banal.

STEPHEN COHEN: Yeah, probably, but you have to have priorities. My priority in international affairs is to avoid a military conflict with Russia. In my book, my new book, War with Russia?, when I start writing that book in 2013, I never intended to give it that title. But as I worked and watched events unfold since 2013 to 2019, for the first time in my long career, I thought war with Russia was possible. I didn't even think there was going to be a war–as I remember it, I don't remember it vividly–during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Today, I assure you, the new Cold War is fraught with multiple Cuban Missile Crises. Take your pick; in the Baltic area where NATO is building up, in Ukraine where we've got ourselves involved in a proxy war, in Georgia where NATO is trespassing again as we talk, in Syria where American and Russian forces are flying and fighting on the ground in close proximity. By the way, Trump was absolutely right in withdrawing those–what were they–3000 Americans in Syria because whatever, Russia had killed just one of them.

With Trump in the White House, the trip wires, a war between nuclear Russia and nuclear America, are far greater and more multiple than they have ever been. That's the danger. Therefore, at this moment, if Trump says it's necessary to cooperate with Russia, on that one issue we must support him. It's existential at this moment. And believe me, and believe me, people love to hate on Putin in this country; "Putin's evil, Putin's bad." It's nonsense. Putin is a recognizable leader in Russia's tradition. Putin, as you said I think before, came to power wanting an alliance with the United States. He's spoken of his own illusions publicly. Leaders very rarely admit they ever had an illusion, rights, it's not something they do. He is reproached in Russia, reproached in Russia, for still having illusions about the West. You know what they say about him in high places in Russia? "He's not proactive, he just reacts, he waits for the West to do something abysmal to Russia, and then he acts. Why doesn't he first see what's coming?" What do they cite? They cite Ukraine.

PAUL JAY: Well, that's the next segment, because my question to you is going to be, "Did Putin make a mistake in Crimea?" So please join us for the continuation of our series of interviews with Stephen Cohen on Reality Asserts Itself on The Real News Network.


Pax et Bonum 2 days ago ,

In a country where the media runs the lives of gullible citizens, it is easy to believe that all the moves are being made for the peace and well being of all. Behind the curtains, a narcissistic and egotistic machine is hard at work trying to sell war for peace. This business only benefits a few and causes great suffering on others ... but who am I kidding, no one cares, as long money is being made ... no one really cares!

0040 Pax et Bonum 2 days ago ,

The US Constitution and other supporting documents have long stymied attempts at direct democracy in the US. Beware of anyone claiming to be a strict Constitutionalist ! They hate democracy and embrace slavery in all its disguises.

Marilynne L. Mellander 19 hours ago ,

Great points, Mr. Cohen....this protracted attack on Russia via the phoney "Russiagate" investigation has set back relations with Russia for years to come....of course, even here in Bezerkeley, there were signs posted everywhere before the 2016 election: "Hillary=WWIII (just sayin')".....even the libs around here knew the Clinton cabal wanted a war with Russia ASAP

Michael Holloway 18 hours ago ,

That Trump represents a thinking that the post Soviet reality is not of a uni-superpower world, but one of a multi-polar world dominated by US economic empire.

I think that's true.

After reading "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century" in 2005, I came to the idea that the most dangerous section of the American elite were those that posited this uni-superpower world order idea; an impossibility in this age of technology (one in which even small economies like Canada could lead the world in nuclear physics understandings and implementation, and one where our collective wealth of scientific understanding and method, plus systems management, can 'leap' a large agrarian/industrial economy (China) to a 2nd generation industrial world power in 50 years, proves that understanding).

gchakko 20 hours ago ,

I haven't read the first part. But what the second part reveals is not that unravelling. American power is despotic. No principles. Money gain only. Russia turned democratic after enlightened brains like Yuri Andropov (Jewish-born ex-KGB Chief), old fox Andrei Gromyko, Gorbachev plus- plus, decided to change the system. In other words, Russia was willing for openness. But American oligarchs wanted to usurp Russian wealth with a hand stroke after Soviet State implosion.

Second, why did Rothschild-Rockefeller Banker vassals like Henry Kissinger, Schultz under Edward Teller influence, sabotage the Reagan-Gorbachev understanding to eliminate nuclear weapons entirely in Reykjavik, insisting unilateral Star Wars capability for the U.S. to remain as sole Superpower.

The problem is the incorrigible Big C (Capital) that wanted to eat away Russian minerals that Putin stopped in national interest. Any subsequent cooperation from the Russian side was probably was only for strategic cooperation with the U.S. to have world peace.

Steve belongs to that lone group of handful, distinguished U.S. intellectuals who see problems as they are in eventual meaningfulness for objective U.S. politics. I admire his talent and courage and support him.

George Chakko, former U.N. correspondent, now retiree in Vienna, Austria.
Vienna, 20/04/2019 06:05 am CET

Fat 18 hours ago ,

Not a word in Cohen's appraisal about US criminality. Jay was pushing in that direction. I hope they get around to the criminality of the Deep State Mafia.

That is the narrative that will get the most results. Trump is greedy and the neocons have already attacked him on two fronts: Russiagate and his need for money. He will likely do what the New World Order folks want him to do. Russiagate will turn out to be a benefit as long as he sticks with the program that the Neocons want. Who has pushed the US hard to get into war with Russia? Hilary, Obama, Cheney, now Bolton --all New World Order soldiers who will commit any crime to rule the world. This is what we are facing.

Jack Lomax a day ago ,

Trump like every POTUS since JFK does the bidding of the Zionist masters. Every POTUS except Nixon and Carter that is, and they were demonised and side tracked respectively. Nixon for his feral decision to recognise China and Jimmy Carter for being a dangerous liberal. But Trump is a normal run of the mill POTUS minus the PR masking tape. Perhaps the system has decided that the nice respectable masking tape is now an unnecessary add-on and every future president (if there are any or many) will do the will of Wall St and Tel Aviv as openly as does Trump and the msm will assure us that this is good and necessary. Good fo the economy and necessary to protect the poor suffering Jewish nation from the anti Semitic hatred of the deluded Palestinian lovers

nina sakun a day ago ,

and finally i think Putin is for Russian greatness, trump is for money for himself and his family, but also for a white America if that can fit in with his money making schemes.

mikjall • a day ago ,

I'm sorry, but Paul Jay, whom I sincerely admire, though with some reservations, sounds in this--very important--interview as if he were suffering from attention deficit syndrome. You see it most of all in the transcript. Stephen Cohen attempted to keep the discussion coherent and focused, and Paul injected irrelevancies. Paul, please keep your eye on the ball. Stephen Cohen is presenting an important message. It's OK to disagree with it, if you have coherent reasons, but it's important even if it's wrong.

michael nola a day ago ,

I think it's a mistake to take Trump at his word on anything that doesn't directly benefit himself. He is two things; an economic animal and a con man, and his motives are no more complicated than those of a cat. Unlike HRC, Bolton, Cheney Bush etc. he's no ideologue for war, however, I don't think he has any deep seated dislike of it either, so taking him at his word, either for or against any military action is foolish; basically, he's running a con and seeing where it goes, especially if there's any money in it for him or his family, a very obvious characteristic of his relationship with the Saudis and his continuing support of their genocidal war in Yemen, a gift he inherited from our Nobel Peace Prize president.

In the long run, there will be no stopping an alliance between the PRC and Russia, especially given our political elites' inability to see we are living in a world they can no longer dominate through an institution, the military, that few have ever been in, and those of Vietnam war draft eligibility, avoided at all costs, and they will continue that losing effort until the combined economic might of those nations and their geographic location on the world's most important land mass, Eurasia, and its proximity to resource rich Africa, eventually bring about the downfall of the American Empire.

antiparasites 2 days ago ,

1) Trump personally doesn"t want wars, never mind a war with Russia, though he's no philosopher or angel.

2) the neolibs, who almost had Russia in the bag before Putin came to power, have been pissed off at Putin and want regime change in Russia.

3) the same neolibs also want to pit russia, iran, and china against each other, in order to complete and maintain their New World Order.

4) the same neolibs panicked at Trump's election victory but has reined him in since with Russiagate. so whatever Trump wants matters not at the moment.

5) the same neolibs have miserably failed in their pursuit of 2) and 3) because of the alliance of the three, russia, china, and iran. now the entire arab world has declared independence from the US of Israel, because they now see an alternative bloc of russia, china, and iran to work with.

all the above are true. more and more people see the truth and reject the neolibs that the DNC leadership represents.

Trump will be reelected in 2020, if he fires bolton / pompeo / mnuchin / abrams etc. so far, he's been all bark but no bite, which is a good sign.

Yo 2 days ago ,

Ever noticed how contradictory people you know can be? Ever noticed how contradictory in yourself, in your own attitudes and deeds you can be? So why be surprised that Trump can be Stephen Cohen's Trump as much as Paul Jay's Trump? No problem really :-)

Luther Blissett • 2 days ago ,

There is no contraction between Cohen's observation that Trump is a voice of sanity on Russia (it just shows how bad US discourse on Russia is) and Jay's concern that detente with Russia is part of larger plan for war (economic, kinetic or hybrid) against Iran and China.

Real or fake, Trump's isolationism has produced no more peace than Obama's tepid liberalism did and Trump's veto of a bipartisan resolution to forced an end to American military involvement in Yemen has shown any arguments for an 'anti-war' Trump were pure self-delusion.

Despite all the chaos and the moral panics that keep rocking the White House, Trump's three National Security Advisors - Flynn, McMaster, Bolton - had one core commonality: they want war with Iran. Watching the sinister neo-con Jim Woolsey betray the frothing neo-con Flynn to Joe Biden was a comedy of neo-con infighting. A major part of Russiagate was the older 'Atlanticist' neo-cons boxing in the boorish 'Trumpist' neo-cons. Whether Atlantic Council or US-homegrown both flavors of neo-conservatism want war with Iran.

0040 2 days ago ,

Wonderful article with Mr Jay playing the role of village idiot ? Mr Cohen speaks with extreme clarity on Russia, which is totally unacceptable in for profit America by all sides, where arms sales are us. In regards to Crimea , I'd ask Mr Jay, did Bush 1 make a mistake in Panama where we killed 4 thousand civilians in keeping China from acquiring an interest in the Panama canal?

Doug Latimer 2 days ago ,

There are so many contradictions under the tent of Killer Clown's circus that it really isn't possible to make clear sense of them, is there?

I'll just say that he absolutely pimps "Amerika über alles", as it's the putrid patriotic red white and blue meat he throws his base.

Does he buy his own sales pitch? He does whatever his tiny but tricky little mind tells him is to his benefit. He'd be perfectly happy as a Russian oligarch or Saudi prince (as long as Putin or MBS let him bloviate to his heart's content).

His only allegiance is to the state of his ego and bank account.

[Apr 20, 2019] Is Russian 'Meddling' an Attack on America - RAI with Stephen Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... Sanctions are road rage. When you don't have a real policy, you do sanctions. But what's the logic of the sanctions? The sanction is we put this punishment on you. But when you change your behavior we will remove the punishment. Isn't that what we say with sanctions? Therefore sanctions have to be discussed if you're going to have diplomacy. So I would expect an American president to say to the Kremlin we need to have a lot of discussions, including the discussion of sanctions. The ones we've imposed. ..."
"... Actually, by now, depending on what comes next, I don't think the Kremlin cares very much. They've coped very nicely with the sanctions. Though it's hurting their ability to roll over their loans with Western banks, it's true. But generally speaking, they've managed. And Europe wants the sanctions ended, because it's hurt European manufacturers, I think there's 9,000 German firms that were or are making a profit in Russia. It's hurt European -- we have almost no trade with Russia, the United States. Sanctions is -- hurting Europe. ..."
"... Flynn was a professional intelligence officer. Let's repeat that. A professional intelligence officer. He knew everybody was listened to. It didn't bother him. The president had told him to have conversations with the Russian ambassador. There was a tradition of doing this. He had nothing to hide. ..."
"... The psychopaths in the Clinton campaign had no concern that the Russiagate meme would cause enormous consequences in the US relationships with important governments around the globe. Hillary Clinton attempted to damage Trump, the candidate that she wished for the Republicans to nominate, by alleging he was "Putin's puppet." More importantly, Clinton wanted to change the subject from her corruption that was evidenced in her leaked emails (likely by the murdered Seth Rich to Assange). The emails, among other things, proved that she and her toady Debbie Wasserman Schultz et al schemed to steal the nomination from Bernie Sanders. ..."
"... It's about Russian interference alright, but not in the election, rather with Washington's hegemonic ambitions in Eastern Europe (Ukraine), then in the Middle East (Syria) and now in South America (Venezuela). Charles Krauthammer's "unipolar moment" is over, the Bear is back. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | therealnews.com

PAUL JAY: Welcome to Reality Asserts Itself on The Real News Network. And I'm Paul Jay.

People that follow this show know I particularly like to interview people that stick their neck out and stick to their guns for what they believe in, what they're fighting for. And our next guest is someone who's done both of those things under a lot of pressure. So this is the story, to begin with, of Stephen Cohen. Stephen is emeritus professor of politics at Princeton University, professor emeritus of Russian studies and history at New York University, and his most recent book: War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russia. Thanks for joining us again.

STEPHEN COHEN: Thanks, Paul.

PAUL JAY: So a lot of people were rather happy with Barr's summary of the Mueller report. And as we sit here talking today we haven't seen the Mueller report, it hasn't been given to Congress yet, and it may even happen tomorrow. We don't know. And it may change what we think of what I'm about to ask, but I don't think it's going to change too much about what I'm going to ask.

Obviously President Trump's pretty happy so far with the no collusion argument. And that was pretty clear from what Mueller said; what Barr says Mueller said. There's a quote from Mueller in Barr's summary. But I thought some people who've been critical of Russiagate were a little bit too happy about this, because the more important, I thought, substance of what Mueller says is that, in fact, Russia did interfere in the elections. And he takes it very seriously. And the more important part of Russiagate narrative, I don't think, was ever the collusion part. In fact, we all knew Mueller was not heading down any big collusion road anyway, because as you pointed out in one of your interviews, I don't know if it was Larry King, you know, you could see from how other people were being charged, Manafort and others, there was no breadcrumb leading you to a collusion argument with Trump. The real problem is the underlying idea is that this is an existential threat to American democracy, and Mueller more or less confirms that.

And I thought people shouldn't be so happy about that part of it, because the substantial argument -- and I'll quote you again -- is that whatever they did it was low-level stuff. It happens all the time between these countries. They all interfere in each other's elections. And then it gets raised to the existential level. That's the problem. And Mueller more or less confirms that.

STEPHEN COHEN: You are absolutely right, only not right enough. This expression, which has become a truth in the media and for too many politicians that "Russia attacked America during the 2016 presidential election" is both exceedingly dangerous and a complete falsehood. Why is it dangerous? Because if a great power is attacked, that great power has to eventually attack back, counterattack. This is a ticking time bomb in relations with Russia. No attack on America occurred in 2016. I was awake, present, and observant. I saw no missiles descending on our country. No Russian paratroopers. No Russian submarines. No Russian combat planes. Nothing. It's a complete fiction.

It's a form, I guess, of hyperbole. Did the Russians meddle? Some Russians? I don't know. I'm not even sure the Kremlin knew anything about it. But the Russiagate story is that Putin decided he wanted Trump to be in the White House. So he attacked American elections and rigged it. So Trump is now in the White House. I don't know how many people actually believe this. But too many continue to say it, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC. Too many influential news outlets are putting out an exceedingly dangerous fiction which is a form of warmongering. It didn't happen, but they won't let go of it.

So I agree with you. There was no attack on America. But they're keeping this up. Was there meddling? As you say, sure. So let's do the -- briefly -- the history of Russian-American meddling in each other's politics. Where would you like to begin? Should we begin with the American intervention in the Russian Civil War in 1918? I mean, Wilson sent about 8,000 American troops to try to help overthrow the new red Communist government. Was that meddling? Really, is it meddling? You tell me. Sounds like meddling to me.

PAUL JAY: It's armed intervention.

STEPHEN COHEN: It's armed intervention. All right. What about, to leap forward, 1996? I was in Moscow, I observed it. Then-president of post-Soviet Russia Boris Yeltsin stood no chance of being reelected. No chance whatsoever. He was like 3 percent in the polls. But the Clinton administration desperately needed to keep him in power. So they meddled, big time. They sent electoral experts -- not unlike, by the way, Paul Manafort. Guys who make a living advising other countries about how to rig elections. We've got lots of them who do this for big money. So they set up in the presidential hotel. You could see them. Clinton arranged, I think, it was $10 billion, I may be wrong there, IMF loan to Yeltsin so Yeltsin could pay pensions and salaries he hadn't paid for five years. I mean, we did the whole -- I mean this was a massive intervention into Russia's election. And basically we kept Russia, Yeltsin, in the presidency. Is that meddling? Is that meddling?

PAUL JAY: Yeah, of course.

STEPHEN COHEN: What happened with Russian meddling in 2016, compared to the kind of meddling both sides have done, was jaywalking. The only reason it became one of the worst scandals, and I think most damaging in American history, because of the loathing for Trump and because the Clinton people couldn't accept that she was defeated fair and square. So they made up a story. You know, there's this book Shattered which tells about how they sat around and said we'll blame it on the Russians. However, it's exceedingly unpatriotic. It's warmongering. It's damaging our institutions of the presidency.

I mean, if it's true -- for example, let's say it's true that the Kremlin can put Trump in the White House. Then evidently our electoral system in this country is not reliable. And why not a governor, or a senator, or a member of the Congress that Putin likes? And what about the next one? I think it's going to erode confidence in our electoral system on the part of American voters. And what about the presidency itself? I mean, people actually say that a Kremlin puppet sits in the presidency. Do they think that the damage done to the institution of the presidency is going to end when Trump leaves? And do they think Republicans aren't going to do something similar to the next Democratic president?

And the media's scandalous coverage of this, abandoning their own standards. I mean, you don't get your virginity back quite that easily. I mean, they've got a lot to atone for, but at the moment they're not even prepared to say they did anything wrong. Just the other day the heads of these -- CNN, the executive editor of the New York Times and the Washington Post -- all said they thought their coverage of Russiagate had been great. I mean, really? Really? I mean, that's like a brain surgeon missing cancer, and then saying he thought he did a good job. I mean, it's preposterous.

So we have a major problem here. And the myth -- there was no Russian attack. The Russians meddled. Mainly what made the meddling different from the kind of meddling that went on, for example, when there were Russian-backed American communist parties, for example, in this country, is social media. It was a social media thing.

And a final point. Let's say that the Russians -- they didn't -- launched a major social media attack to distort the thinking of American voters, and were successful. Because that's one of the premises, right? People are saying that, right?

PAUL JAY: Yeah.

STEPHEN COHEN: What does that say for American voters? What contempt people have for American voters. So-called American Democrats have contempt for American voters. And now what are they doing? They're out busy censoring social media so that we won't get any information that might disorient an American voter. You can't -- if you don't believe that the electorate will reach a rational decision in voting by whatever interests individual voters have, you're not a democrat. I don't mean a member of the Democratic Party. You're not a democratic person. If you don't believe in voters you can't be a democratic person. Then you're an authoritarian.

PAUL JAY: The story that got completely lost as they focused on low-level meddling that was mostly -- that I think anyone can determine rather ineffective -- was the Cambridge Analytica story, and Bannon, and the use of troll farms, American-controlled troll farms, to do this targeted social media manipulation. And that's out there, including an arm of Cambridge Analytica which helped shape the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom. And the role of Robert Mercer, who funded Bannon and Kellyanne Conway and originally backed Cruz, and then helped create Trump as president, I mean, that's the real story of the Trump presidency. Not this low-level meddling. And they've never really told that story in mainstream media. We did a whole documentary on it on The Real News. This whole thing's been lost about the real kind of sinister dark side to the 2016 elections.

STEPHEN COHEN: What worries me more, though, is the way Russiagate, Russiagaters, the zealots of Russiagate, have criminalized contacts with Russia. I think that this Clinton organization -- what's it called, Center for American Progress, or something, CAP, which has a website called Thought Progress or something -- has some posted 150 Trump-related contacts with Russia. I mean, I've had most of those contacts with Russia. I mean, I've had contacts with Russian intelligence agents. One was a good friend of mine. Five or six of them I worked with in a historical archive, and we did smoking breaks and lunch breaks together, and we talked. I mean, I've had all sorts of contacts in my nearly 50 years of dealing with Russia. There was a time when contacts were supposed to be good because it was a way of understanding and avoiding conflict. Part of detente. Part of diplomacy. But Russiagate, the allegations -- and I don't believe any of them, by the way -- the allegations have criminalized contacts.

Incidentally, as we talk, this young Russian woman, Marina Butina -- sometimes pronounced here BuTIna, but it's BUtina, B-U-T-I-N-A -- has been sitting in an American prison for more than six months, most of it in solitary, for doing nothing other than what many Americans do in Russia, and that is go around talking about how good the American political system is to Russia, Russians. She went around bragging on Putin and the Russian political system here. For that she's been kept in prison, and was, as Russians say, finally broken. Literally. That's how Russians break people. They lock you away to you confess. We call confession a plea. So she -- and she's still in prison, even though she pled.

What did she plead guilty to? Coming here and advocating Russian perspectives without registering as a foreign agent. This is a Soviet practice, Paul. One of the things that worries me is that Russiagate has generated too many Soviet-style practices by American authorities. The use of informers. People who were sent to inform on members of Trump's team, like Papadopoulos, for example. Holding people's families hostage. I mean, Mueller held General Flynn's son hostage, essentially, until Flynn pled. And Flynn never should have pled guilty. Never. In fact, he said the other day he regretted it.

Let's talk about Flynn, for example, to see how bogus this is. Flynn was taped, as he knew he would be, making contact after Trump was elected, before Trump came President, with the Russian ambassador, correct? That was how the story began.

PAUL JAY: And they had to know they were being listened to.

STEPHEN COHEN: Of course they [inaudible].

PAUL JAY: Or he should have.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, so you would say if he knew he was being listened to, why would he go forward and have this meeting, or discussions, with the Russian ambassador? Because Trump had told him to do it. And the reason is very simple to anyone who knows even a little history. At least since Nixon -- maybe since Eisenhower and Kennedy -- but at least since Nixon, every American president-elect has made a so-called back channel connection with the Russians, with the Kremlin, before taking office. End of story. And we know -- I mean, Kissinger did it for Nixon.

PAUL JAY: But Nixon did it with the North Vietnamese, and Johnson called it treason.

STEPHEN COHEN: I don't care. The point of it is it's become traditional standard practice for the president-elect to reach out to the Russians to say basically chill out, we're going to discuss everything. I mean, you got to remember what happened. I mean, this was dangerous. Obama, to his eternal disgrace, threatened the Russians with a cyberattack. He threatened them. He said we've implanted in your infrastructure some kind of cyber thing.

PAUL JAY: And passed sanctions.

STEPHEN COHEN: But forget the sanctions. Forget the sanctions. He threatened them with a secret attack on their infrastructure. Did it mean their medical system? Did it mean their banking system? Did it mean their nuclear control system? And then the nitwit Vice President -- Obama's -- goes out and tells jokes about it on late night TV. Yeah, hey, we got him. What kind of behavior is this?

So I think Trump did absolutely the right thing. He told General Flynn, after Obama had made this reckless statement, but after Trump was elected, but not yet president, told Flynn, go tell the Russians not to overreact to what Obama said. Don't do anything crazy. We'll sort this out when I take office. I personally am grateful he did that, because there were people in Moscow arguing to Putin that they had to wage some kind of counterattack first. I mean, this was a very dangerous moment that Obama created, unnoticed in this country. Unreported on.

But not only was it the tradition that the president-elect made contact with the Russians. Backdoor. Everyone had done it. But in this case it was essential, because the crazies in Moscow were urging Putin to do something based on what Obama had said. By the way, who's vanished. On the question of Russiagate, Obama has disappeared himself. I mean Russiagate began on Obama's watch as president. You'd think he'd have something to say. He hadn't said a word.

PAUL JAY: But let me counter. I mean, I think the sanctions Obama put on Russia for Russia's meddling in the U.S. elections was uncalled for; aggressive, and so on. And a continuation of a bunch of aggressive policy. But their argument is Obama was the president, and the sanctions had been implemented. And Trump was saying to Putin, don't worry, we're going to get rid of them.

STEPHEN COHEN: No there's no record. This is-

PAUL JAY: I thought that was Flynn's conversation.

STEPHEN COHEN: No. No. What Flynn told Kislyak, so far as we know, I haven't heard the tape, was do not overreact to this statement by Obama that your infrastructure is going to be attacked, and we will discuss everything, maybe he said including sanctions, when Trump takes the White House.

Now, let's back up a minute. Why shouldn't we discuss sanctions? The logic -- I don't believe in sanctions. They're road rage. I mean, as we talk, a few nitwit senators are up on the Hill trying to think up some new sanctions. And if you ask them what they're sanctioning Russia for today, they couldn't tell you. Everything. In fact, they do tell you. It's called for Putin's malign behavior in the world. It's not about Crimea anymore. It's not about voter interference. It's just basically he's a malign character, and you can't have too many sanctions.

Sanctions are road rage. When you don't have a real policy, you do sanctions. But what's the logic of the sanctions? The sanction is we put this punishment on you. But when you change your behavior we will remove the punishment. Isn't that what we say with sanctions? Therefore sanctions have to be discussed if you're going to have diplomacy. So I would expect an American president to say to the Kremlin we need to have a lot of discussions, including the discussion of sanctions. The ones we've imposed.

Actually, by now, depending on what comes next, I don't think the Kremlin cares very much. They've coped very nicely with the sanctions. Though it's hurting their ability to roll over their loans with Western banks, it's true. But generally speaking, they've managed. And Europe wants the sanctions ended, because it's hurt European manufacturers, I think there's 9,000 German firms that were or are making a profit in Russia. It's hurt European -- we have almost no trade with Russia, the United States. Sanctions is -- hurting Europe.

PAUL JAY: Well, let's get back to Flynn. How could he not know that's being listened to? And I guess they assume that this was not abnormal for an incoming president to have a conversation like this.

STEPHEN COHEN: Flynn was a professional intelligence officer. Let's repeat that. A professional intelligence officer. He knew everybody was listened to. It didn't bother him. The president had told him to have conversations with the Russian ambassador. There was a tradition of doing this. He had nothing to hide.

PAUL JAY: OK. There's a part of this that I don't think we're going to agree on, and we're going to talk about that in the next-

STEPHEN COHEN: I don't even know you were disagreeing with me. Those are just facts I gave you.

PAUL JAY: I didn't disagree up until this point. We might agree on something and then disagree in the next segment. So please join us for the next segment of our series of interviews with Stephen Cohen.


Infarction 4 days ago ,

Stephen Cohen: "... [B]ecause of the loathing for Trump and because the Clinton people couldn’t accept that she was defeated fair and square. So they made up a story. You know, there’s this book Shattered which tells about how they sat around and said we’ll blame it on the Russians."

The psychopaths in the Clinton campaign had no concern that the Russiagate meme would cause enormous consequences in the US relationships with important governments around the globe. Hillary Clinton attempted to damage Trump, the candidate that she wished for the Republicans to nominate, by alleging he was "Putin's puppet." More importantly, Clinton wanted to change the subject from her corruption that was evidenced in her leaked emails (likely by the murdered Seth Rich to Assange). The emails, among other things, proved that she and her toady Debbie Wasserman Schultz et al schemed to steal the nomination from Bernie Sanders.

0040 Infarction 3 days ago ,

In fact Billary won the "election" by 3 million votes. But since we are not a democracy it did not matter. Trump was appointed by America's elites, claiming otherwise just serves the status quo. I'm sure Mr Cohen knows that?

Putin Apologist 4 days ago ,

It's about Russian interference alright, but not in the election, rather with Washington's hegemonic ambitions in Eastern Europe (Ukraine), then in the Middle East (Syria) and now in South America (Venezuela). Charles Krauthammer's "unipolar moment" is over, the Bear is back.

antiparasites 4 days ago ,

right on point, Mr. cohen, right on the money. looking forward to the next installment.

RandyM 4 days ago ,

Just a question Paul. Who is "too happy" that no collusion was found? Can you name names? Russiagate debunkers like Glenn Greenwald and Aaron Mate may feel vindicated, but I don't see happiness in the fact that the whole episode probably helps Trump.

antiparasites RandyM 4 days ago ,

truth should set good people free and thus make them very happy. you're not too happy? well then you know what you are.

Marko 4 days ago ,

"But I thought some people who’ve been critical of Russiagate were a little bit too happy about this, because the more important, I thought, substance of what Mueller says is that, in fact, Russia did interfere in the elections..."

If there was interference , it was , as Cohen says , on the level of jaywalking in its seriousness. What would really constitute "an existential threat to American democracy" is if this whole affair began and continued as a fabricated-from-whole-cloth stitch-up of a candidate and then sitting President , orchestrated and implemented at the highest levels of the CIA , FBI , Justice and State Depts. , etc., and possibly all the way up to ex-Pres. Obama. If the origin of this whole mess is ever investigated properly , as it should be , I hope TRNN will cover it and the ramifications of its findings at least as thoroughly as it has the hoax itself , and will invite Stephen Cohen back to contribute to that analysis. You certainly won't hear from him on the MSM , where such honesty and clarity of thought are effectively banned.

EarthView 4 days ago ,

Where is part 2? What is it that Paul Jay disagrees with Cohen? Sanctions are utterly stupid. ALL sanctions against all countries should be removed, including those on Russia, Iran, Venezuela, China and even North Korea. No self-respecting counties will submit to the ridiculous demands of the terrorist empire because of sanctions.

0040 EarthView 3 days ago ,

Sanctions, embargoes, and tariffs, are a forms of taxation that harm the masses in the state that applies them, while their rulers blame others for the resulting shortages and higher prices.

antiparasites EarthView 4 days ago ,

fewer and fewer parties are concerning themselves about the US sanctions. not "even" north korea, according to their latest communique. maybe that's why cohen says "forget the sanctions."

Mark Swanson 3 days ago ,

Okay, Mr. Cohen spends a lot of time trashing the Clintons but is almost an apologist for the Trump administration. He states correctly that the U.S. has meddled in Russian politics in the past, notably in the 1920s and 1990s, which we probably shouldn't have done but that does not make it okay for the Russians to do the same to us. His position seems to be, tit-for-tat, eye-for-an-eye, so what, forget it. He dismisses, with contempt, the idea that Russia meddled at all, but no one knows how much they meddled or what the effects were because no one has looked into it.

Mr. Cohen states that Russia did not attack the U.S. by which he means militarily with troops and missles. Obviously, that is true but so what. Is cyberassault not something the U.S. should worry about? Also Mr. Cohen seems to imply that Vladimir Putin is not that bad as leaders go, despite the poisonings, the assassinations, the imprisonment of critics and banning of political opponents, and most egregious, the invasion of the Ukraine and occupation of Crimea. He seems to think invading other countries is okay and that the Europeans don't care because sanctions against Russia cause them economic hardship. I suspect that many Europeans care very much about European countries invading each other. He criticizes President Obama for placing sanctions on Russia and states that Obama did so because the U.S. doesn't have a strategy regarding Russia. How does he think the U.S. should respond? What does he think U.S. policy should be towards Russia?

Mr. Cohen defends Michael Flynn stating all new administrations contact Russia to reassure them. Maybe so but that doesn't explain why Mr. Flynn failed to register as a lobbyist for Turkey. Mr. Mueller would not have been able to hold Mr. Flynn's son "hostage" if neither Flynn or his son had not done something illegal. Cohen also defends Ms. Butina even though she was in contact with the National Rifle Association.

Altogether I don't find Mr. Cohen persuasive because of his dismissive arrogance of everything supporting the Russiagate scandal. At this point no on is in a position to accurately critique Russiagate until the report by Mr. Mueller is released.

It would have helped his case if he had expressed as much contempt for the Trump Administration as he did of the Clinton and the Democrats such as some acknowledgement that Trump is a dispicable, cruel, vicious and pathological narcissist. It also did not help that Mr. Jay seemed embarrassed to question or critique Mr. Cohen's assertions. Unfortunately in making his points Mr. Cohen takes too much information out of context and leaves out far too many details of the Russiagate scandal.

Paul McArthur Mark Swanson 3 days ago ,

I think if you listen more to professor Cohen (try Stephen Cohen John Batchelor show) , you find acknowledgement of all of Trumps faults as well that you accurately described and realize his "dismissive arrogance" relates to his informed knowledge of the Russiagate scandal.

Oracle Mark Swanson 3 days ago ,

I couldn’t have put it any more coherently. I don’t find Mr. Cohen persuasive at all, particularly after watching the Russian intelligence and counter intelligence cohort at the House Intelligence Committee hearing. (They were extremely knowledgeable.) After hearing them, this guy seems unbelievable to me. But! Paul got his anti-Mueller report guy. At this point, this country is like a boulder ready to roll down a cliff and finish democracy for good. Two of the issues I found ironic was that Mr. Cohen 1) feels that Democrats must not think voters are very smart if they are swayed by the Social Networks (ha!) and 2) he really believes (straight face) that our voting system and elections in this country are solid and uncorrupted. Where has he been? Thank you, Mark Swanson, for your eloquent analysis.

Marilynne L. Mellander 19 hours ago ,

Finally - an interview with someone who doesn't suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome - great stuff!!

TomG 3 days ago ,

So simple yet so true, "Sanctions are road rage. When you don't have effective policy, you implement sanctions."

Maricata • 4 days ago ,

The NYT or WAPO, both, are CIA outlets that ALWAYS lied to the world

miomyo 4 days ago ,

I say, now is the time to invest in tinfoil.

0040 4 days ago ,

An historically factual and informative article once again based based on a false premise. Trump was not elected. Billary won the election by 3 million votes. Trump was appointed POTUS by the Electoral College, as Bush2 was appointed by the SCOTUS and then employed a government official in Ohio to stuff electronic ballot boxes to secure himself a second term, and the US media forced fed to desperate but credulous Americans the empty suit Obomber turned out to be to. The US is not and has never been a Democracy, more a police state run by Plutocrats . Mr Cohen simply trumpets the corporate approved narrative offering incrementalism for obedience. Kissinger and friends, investment advisers to most of the worlds tyrants, continues to facilitate Putin's end run around US sanctions helping him invest his enormous fortune.

antiparasites 0040 4 days ago ,

you don't like the rules? then change the rules first. Trump won the election fair and square, following the rules. if the rules had been different, voters and candidates would have behaved totally differently as well in terms of campaign strategies and voting. Trump could have won the popular vote by a landslide. ever thought about that? no.

0040 antiparasites 3 days ago ,

The rules are , there are no longer any rules just the cloying greed of our rulers, whose minions will promote/support any lie in their service.

[Apr 20, 2019] Trump has certainly made the world safer

Highly recommended!
Apr 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

False Solace , April 19, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Yet another delusional remark at odds with reality. Haven’t these people learned anything from the implosion of their pathetic Russiagate hysteria? The Russophobes won’t be happy until we’re at war with a nuclear power and the nukes are about to land.

Here are things Trump has actually done, as opposed to red-limned fantasies drawn from the fever-dreams of Putin haters:

  1. Unilaterally abandoned 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty
  2. Expelled 60 diplomats and closed 3 Russian diplomatic annexes
  3. Bombed Syria, a Russian ally, with Russian troops in country
  4. Sold arms to Ukraine, which is actively at war with Russia
  5. Threatened Germany to cancel a new Russian pipeline through the Baltic (effort failed)
  6. Even more sanctions against Russia and Russian nationals
  7. Stationed missile defense systems on the Russian border in violation of arms treaties
  8. Massive military exercises in Europe on the Russian border
  9. Stationed troops in Poland
  10. Negotiating with Poland to build a permanent US military base in Poland

All this has certainly made the world safer. /s

[Apr 20, 2019] Here is an interesting interpretation of Trumps selection of cabinet and advisor positions

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's main problem in this respect is that the diversity of viewpoints within the military, the NSA or other government agencies might already be too narrow and he needs a Republican version of Stephen Cohen who has always advocated for engagement with Russia, along with other people from outside Washington DC but with experience in state legislatures for the various departments. ..."
"... I agree and I suspect Trump regards Putin as a fellow CEO and perhaps the best one on the planet. ..."
"... A more fundamental problem is that the US has not yet reached rock bottom. So, its delusions remain strong. Trump, as said before, may be a false dawn unless the bottom is closer than suspected and he has new allies (perhaps foreign allies). ..."
Nov 20, 2016 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Patient Observer , November 19, 2016 at 8:41 am

Here is an interesting interpretation of Trump's selection of cabinet and advisor positions:

https://sputniknews.com/politics/201611191047623363-trump-administration-analysis/

It is not about politics, but Trump's peculiar management style, Timofey Bordachev, Director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at Russia's High School of Economics, told RIA Novosti.

"Those who have been studying the business biography of the newly elected president have noted that he has always played off his high-ranking employees against each other. While doing so he remained above the fight," he said.

And

Gevorg Mirzayan, an assistant professor of the Political Science department at the Financial University in Moscow pointed out two purposes for the nominations.

"Trump needs to consolidate the Republican Party, hence he should nominate representatives of different party groups to key positions in his administration to win the support of the whole party," he told RIA Novosti. Surveillance © Photo: Pixabay Trump National Security Team Reportedly Wants to Dismantle Top US Spy Agency The second purpose is to form an administration that doesn't look too "dovish" or too "hawkish" to be able to avoid further accusations of excessive loyalty towards Moscow, he suggested. Thus without an image of a 'dove" who neglects the national interests, he will be able to normalize Russian-American relations, the expert said.

The above brings rationality to the diverse selections made by Trump.

However, the black swan event will be an economic collapse (fast or protracted over several years). That will be the defining event in the Trump presidency. I have no inkling how he or those who may replace him would respond.

Jen , November 19, 2016 at 12:18 pm
I had guessed myself that Trump was going to run the government as a business corporation. Surrounding himself with people of competing viewpoints, and hiring on the basis of experience and skills (and not on the basis of loyalty, as Hillary Clinton might have done) would be two ways Trump can change the government and its culture. Trump's main problem in this respect is that the diversity of viewpoints within the military, the NSA or other government agencies might already be too narrow and he needs a Republican version of Stephen Cohen who has always advocated for engagement with Russia, along with other people from outside Washington DC but with experience in state legislatures for the various departments.

If running the US government as a large mock business enterprise brings a change in its culture so it becomes more open and accountable to the public, less directed by ideology and identity politics, and gets rid of people engaged in building up their own little empires within the different departments, then Trump might just be the President the US needs at this moment in time.

Interesting that Russian academics have noted the outlines of Trump's likely cabinet and what they suggest he plans to do, and no-one else has. Does this imply that Americans and others in the West have lost sight of how large business corporations could be run, or should be run, and everyone is fixated on fake "entrepreneurship" or "self-entrepreneur" (whatever that means) models of running a business where it's every man, woman, child and dog for itself?

Patient Observer , November 19, 2016 at 5:21 pm Patient Observer , November 19, 2016 at 5:21 pm
I agree and I suspect Trump regards Putin as a fellow CEO and perhaps the best one on the planet. Trump may have noted how Putin did an incredible turnaround of Russia and it all started with three objectives: restore the integrity of the borders, rebuild the industrial base and run off the globalists/liberals/kreakles. I am certainly not the first one to say this and I think that there is a lot of basis for that analysis. However, Trump will have a far more difficult challenge and frankly I don't think he has enough allies or smarts to pull it off.

A more fundamental problem is that the US has not yet reached rock bottom. So, its delusions remain strong. Trump, as said before, may be a false dawn unless the bottom is closer than suspected and he has new allies (perhaps foreign allies).

[Apr 20, 2019] The Guccifer 2.0 Gaps in Mueller s Full Report undermine the validity of findings

Apr 10, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Originally from: The 'Guccifer 2.0' Gaps in Mueller's Full Report April 18, 2019 • 12 Commentsave

Like Team Mueller's indictment last July of Russian agents, the full report reveals questions about Wikileaks' role that much of the media has been ignoring, writes Daniel Lazare.

By Daniel Lazare
Special to Consortium News

<img src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Daniel-Lazare-150x150.jpg" alt="" width="100" height="100" /> A s official Washington pores over the Gospel According to Saint Robert, an all-important fact about the Mueller report has gotten lost in the shuffle. Just as the Christian gospels were filled with holes , the latest version is too – particularly with regard to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.

The five pages that the special prosecutor's report devotes to WikiLeaks are essentially lifted from Mueller's indictment last July of 12 members of the Russian military intelligence agency known as the GRU. It charges that after hacking the Democratic National Committee, the GRU used a specially-created online persona known as Guccifer 2.0 to transfer a gigabyte's worth of stolen emails to WikiLeaks just as the 2016 Democratic National Convention was approaching. Four days after opening the encrypted file, the indictment says, "Organization 1 [i.e. WikiLeaks] released over 20,000 emails and other documents stolen from the DNC network by the Conspirators [i.e. the GRU]."

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-35305" src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM.png" alt="Barr holding press conference on full Mueller report, April 18, 2019. (YouTube)" width="1248" height="612" srcset="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM.png 848w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM-400x196.png 400w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM-768x377.png 768w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM-700x343.png 700w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM-160x78.png 160w" sizes="(max-width: 1248px) 100vw, 1248px" />

Attorney General William Barr holding press conference on full Mueller report, April 18, 2019. (YouTube)

Mueller's report says the same thing, but with the added twist that Assange then tried to cover up the GRU's role by suggesting that murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich may have been the source and by telling a congressman that the DNC email heist was an "inside job" and that he had "physical proof" that the material was not from Russian.

All of which is manna from heaven for corporate news outlets eager to pile on Assange, now behind bars in London. An April 11, 2019, New York Times news analysis , for instance, declared that "[c]ourt documents have revealed that it was Russian intelligence – using the Guccifer persona – that provided Mr. Assange thousands of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee," while another Times article published shortly after his arrest accuses the WikiLeaks founder of "promoting a false cover story about the source of the leaks."

But there's a problem: it ain't necessarily so. The official story that the GRU is the source doesn't hold water, as a timeline from mid-2016 shows. Here are the key events based on the GRU indictment and the Mueller report:

June 12: Assange tells Britain's ITV that another round of Democratic Party disclosures is on the way: "We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton, which is great. WikiLeaks is having a very big year." June 14: The Democratic National Committee accuses Russia of hacking its computers. June 15: Guccifer 2.0 claims credit for the hack. "The main part of the papers, thousands of files and mails, I gave to WikiLeaks ," he brags . "They will publish them soon." June 22: WikiLeaks tells Guccifer via email: "Send any new material here for us to review and it will have a much higher impact than what you are doing." July 6: WikiLeaks sends Guccifer another email: "if you have anything hillary related we want it in the next tweo [ sic ] days prefable [ sic ] because the DNC [Democratic National Convention] is approaching and she will solidify bernie supporters behind her after."Replies Guccifer: "ok . . . i " July 14: Guccifer sends WikiLeaks an encrypted file titled "wk dnc link1.txt.gpg." July 18: WikiLeaks confirms it has opened "the 1Gb or so archive" and will release documents "this week." July 22: WikiLeaks releases more than 20,000 DNC emails and 8,000 other attachments.

According to Mueller and obsequious news outlets like the Times , the sequence is clear: Guccifer sends archive, WikiLeaks receives archive, WikiLeaks accesses archive, WikiLeaks publishes archive. Donald Trump may not have colluded with Russia, but Julian Assange plainly did. [Attorney General Will Barr, significantly calling WikiLeaks a publisher, said at his Thursday press conference: " Under applicable law, publication of these types of materials would not be criminal unless the publisher also participated in the underlying hacking conspiracy."]

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-35300" src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM.png" alt="Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announcing in 2018 a grand jury indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses related to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (Wikimedia Commons) " width="1236" height="611" srcset="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM.png 973w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM-400x198.png 400w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM-768x380.png 768w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM-700x346.png 700w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM-160x79.png 160w" sizes="(max-width: 1236px) 100vw, 1236px" />

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announcing in 2018 the grand jury indictment of 12 GRU agents. (Wikimedia Commons)

Avoiding Questions

The narrative raises questions that the press studiously avoids. Why, for instance, would Assange announce on June 12 that a big disclosure is on the way before hearing from the supposed source? Was there a prior communication that Mueller has not disclosed? What about the reference to "new material" on June 22 – does that mean Assange already had other material in hand? After opening the Guccifer file on July 18, why would he publish it just four days later? Would that give WikiLeaks enough time to review some 28,000 documents to insure they're genuine?

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"If a single one of those emails had been shown to be maliciously altered," blogger Mark F. McCarty observes , "Wikileaks' reputation would have been in tatters." There's also the question that an investigator known as Adam Carter poses in Disobedient Media : why would Guccifer brag about giving WikiLeaks "thousands of files" that he wouldn't send for another month?

The narrative doesn't make sense – a fact that is crucially important now that Assange is fighting for his freedom in the U.K. New Yorker staff writer Raffi Khatchadourian sounded a rare note of caution last summer when he warned that little about Guccifer 2.0 adds up. While claiming to be the source for some of WikiLeaks ' most explosive emails, the material he released on his own had proved mostly worthless – 20 documents that he "said were from the DNC but which were almost surely not," as Khatchadourian puts it, a purported Hillary Clinton dossier that "was nothing of the sort," screenshots of emails so blurry as to be "unreadable," and so forth.

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-35303" src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/John_Podesta_at_2nd_debate_full_image.jpg" alt="John Podesta at the spin room of the second presidential debate of 2016. (Voice of America via Wikimedia Commons)" width="500" height="341" srcset="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/John_Podesta_at_2nd_debate_full_image.jpg 650w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/John_Podesta_at_2nd_debate_full_image-400x273.jpg 400w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/John_Podesta_at_2nd_debate_full_image-160x109.jpg 160w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />

John Podesta: Target of a phishing expedition. (Voice of America via Wikimedia Commons)

While insisting that "our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party, Assange told Khatchadourian that the source was not Guccifer either. "We received quite a lot of submissions of material that was already published in the rest of the press, and people seemingly submitted the Guccifer archives," he said somewhat cryptically. "We didn't publish them. They were already published." When Khatchadourian asked why he didn't put the material out regardless, he replied that "the material from Guccifer 2.0 – or on WordPress – we didn't have the resources to independently verify."

No Time for Vetting

So four days was indeed too short a time to subject the Guccifer file to proper vetting. Of course, Mueller no doubt regards this as more "dissembling," as his report describes it. Yet WikiLeaks has never been caught in a lie for the simple reason that honesty and credibility are all-important for a group that promises to protect anonymous leakers who supply it with official secrets. (See "Inside WikiLeaks : Working with the Publisher that Changed the World," Consortium News , July 19, 2018.) Mueller, by contrast, has a rich history of mendacity going back to his days as FBI director when he sought to cover up the Saudi role in 9/11 and assured Congress on the eve of the 2003 invasion that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction pose "a clear threat to our national security."

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-35301" src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/MuellerBushImage.jpg" alt="Mueller with President George W. Bush on July 5, 2001, as he is being appointed FBI director. (White House)" width="501" height="373" srcset="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/MuellerBushImage.jpg 600w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/MuellerBushImage-400x298.jpg 400w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/MuellerBushImage-160x119.jpg 160w" sizes="(max-width: 501px) 100vw, 501px" />

Mueller with President George W. Bush on July 5, 2001, as he is being appointed FBI director. (White House)

So if the Mueller narrative doesn't hold up, the charge of dissembling doesn't either. Indeed , as ex-federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy observes in The National Review , the fact that the feds have charged Assange with unauthorized access to a government computer rather than conspiring with the Kremlin could be a sign that Team Mueller is less than confident it can prove collusion beyond a reasonable doubt. As he puts it, the GRU indictment "was more like a press release than a charging instrument" because the special prosecutor knew that the chances were zero that Russian intelligence agents would surrender to a U.S. court.

Indeed, when Mueller charged 13 employees and three companies owned by Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin with interfering in the 2016 election, he clearly didn't expect them to surrender either. Thus , his team seemed taken aback when one of the alleged " troll farms " showed up in Washington asking to be heard. The prosecution's initial response, as McCarthy put it , was to seek a delay "on the astonishing ground that the defendant has not been properly served – notwithstanding that the defendant has shown up in court and asked to be arraigned." When that didn't work, prosecutors tried to limit Concord's access to some 3.2 million pieces of evidence on the grounds that the documents are too " sensitive " for Russian eyes to see. If they are again unsuccessful, they may have no choice but to drop the charges entirely, resulting in yet another " public relations disaster " for the Russia-gate investigation.

None of which bodes well for Mueller or the news organizations that worship at his shrine. After blowing the Russia-gate story all these years, why does the Times continue to slander the one news organization that tells the truth?

Daniel Lazare is the author of "The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy" (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics. He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nation to Le Monde Diplomatique and blogs about the Constitution and related matters at D aniellazare.com .

[Apr 19, 2019] The USSR was a kind of guarantor of sanity of the USA elite, supressing built-in suisidal tendences. With it gove they went off the rail

For Western world, especially people of the USA, the collapse of the USSR was really geopolitical catastrophe, as Putin once put it. It unleaseshed cannibalistic instincts of neoliberal elite.
Apr 19, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Drew Hunkins , April 18, 2019 at 12:39

" "Can you imagine what the world would be like today if there was still a Soviet Union?" remarked Zbigniew Bzezinski "

Yeah, I can.

There never would have been a war on Iraq in 1991 nor an obliteration of Iraq in 2003, which has lasted until the present day. The destruction of Yugoslavia never would have taken place and the wars and proxy wars on Syria and Libya would have only existed in the twisted and depraved imaginations of the Zionist and militarist psychos in our midst.

TINA never would have been an imperative and the working people of the Western world (primarily the U.S.) wouldn't be in a race to the bottom as it comes to wages, healthcare insurance, poverty levels, infant mortality, life-expectancy, union power in the workplace, secure retirements, and outlandish housing costs. With the demise of the USSR the millionaire capitalist-investor class really took the gloves off and saw no reason to provide the working masses with certain life-affirming policies, it was time to really sock it to the bottom 90%.

Despite some its faults, the world's people have been paying dearly for the demise of the USSR.

For further reading on what I've outlined above:
"Blood Lies" by Grover Furr
"Blackshirts and Reds" by Michael Parenti
"Fool's Crusade" by Diana Johnstone
"Against Empire" by Michael Parenti
essays and articles by Paul Craig Roberts
essays and articles by Andre Vltchek

Al Pinto , April 18, 2019 at 13:31

In short, without an antidote, the US does what the neocons and Israel decide to do. Welcome to the world of "my way, or the highway" cowboy mentality

Rob Roy , April 18, 2019 at 20:26

Actually, people in the USSR lived lives of constant fear (they call it the “Time of Terror”) that their friends, relatives, neighbors, strangers, even their children, would “tattle” on them and they would wind up in the torture chambers. They lived in stark, nearly unbearable poverty; the only comfort was that they all were in the same godforsaken boat. Communism might be a good idea on paper, but in reality, because of the ignorance of the bureaucratic leadership, it was a dismal failure.

The demise of the USSR would have no effect whatsoever on the hegemonic madness of the US which, under the guiding light of the Monroe Doctrine (established way before the USSR), carries on destroying one country after another. I would ask, “What would the world do without the USA?” Live in a much more peaceful world for sure. As for Omar, I wish her the fortitude to continue telling the truth. Again, Max Blumenthal proves himself one of the world’s best reporters.

OlyaPola , April 19, 2019 at 05:33

“constant fear”

The years of 1928 to 1953 were not constant since there were the years 1954 and subsequent.

Drew Hunkins , April 19, 2019 at 10:22

That’s not true Rob Roy. You’re parroting Western capitalist talking points. A whole host of brand new scholarly literature has hit the shelves in just the last few years proving the USSR was nowhere near as horrible as the Washington imperialist media made it out to be. In fact, under Stalin the Soviet Union made substantial gains in women’s rights, literacy, healthcare and industrial wages. Also, had it not been for Stalin’s agrarian plan there would have been more famines and more severe famines.

And as everyone knows, if Stalin never crash course industrialized the country they never would have defeated Nazi Germany.

Far from the USSR being a police-state it was often seen as a giant trough in which, for example, rent wouldn’t be paid and no one would come around to collect it.

Please see the following books for a truth trip: “Blood Lies” by Grover Furr and “Stalin, Waiting for the Truth” by Grover Furr. Also, Michael Parenti’s “Blackshirts and Reds is excellent.

Dump Pelousy , April 18, 2019 at 20:52

Micheal Perenti is the best. He was the Truth To Power voice before 9/11, before all the yuppie reporters sold their souls for “access” and a talking heads show. I watched it happen in slow motion with great dismay.

mp66 , April 18, 2019 at 22:23

Spot on. The western owner class was forced to share at least one plate with the rest of the population to make the west appear superior in material terms, and with that incentive or threat gone, there is no more need for a plate, few crumbs under the table should be sufficient. But as usual, greed goes along with stupidity, they forgot that doing so for decades undermines the stability of the system. Trump, Brexit, trade wars, abrogations of treaties, blatant disregard for bare basics of international law etc. are just symptoms of deeper discontent across the globe.

[Apr 19, 2019] Why Russiagate Will Never Go Away by Rob Urie

With 240,000 people employed by DHS to find terrorists, terrorists will be found
Apr 19, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

Given that Russia's economy today is smaller than Italy's and its military budget wouldn't buy a toilet seat or hammer in the U.S. military procurement system, the question of why Russia would seem a great mystery outside of history. And left unstated is that the U.S. defense industry needs enemies to survive. 'Radical Islam,' an invention of oil and gas industry flacks that turned out to be serviceable for marketing Tomahawk missiles and stealth fighter jets as well, lost some of its luster when ISIS and Al Qaeda came over to 'our side.' And humanitarian intervention ain't what it used to be with Libya reduced to rubble and open-air slave markets now dotting the landscape.

From 1948 through the early 1990s Russia was Pennywise the evil clown, helping to sell bananas, nuclear weapons and cut-rate underwear around the globe wherever American empire alighted. Costumed 'communists,' locals paid a day-rate to dress up and shout whatever slogans conveyed evil most effectively, were a staple of CIA interventions from Iran to Guatemala to the streets of New York, Boston and Los Angeles. Never mind that the slayer of monsters is more monstrous than an army of evil clowns, as the Koreans, Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, Nicaraguans, El Salvadorans, Chileans, Iraqis, Afghanis, Yemenis and on and on, were to learn.

The big why (?) here would suggest an eternal mystery were it not for the arithmetic we learned as tykes. The U.S. has an annual military budget that is larger than the next seven evil empires combined. Killing people and blowing shit up is what America does. Stated reverse-wise, what is the point of being able to end all human life on earth more than once? Yet the U.S. can do it 3X -- 5X or 30X -- 50X, depending on which analysis is chosen. And while it would be anti-historical to remove mal-intent as motive, an alternative explanation of the militarization of the police is 'overstock,' that there is nothing else to do with the stuff that the Pentagon produces.

This would seem a tremendous waste of resources under any reasonable theory of their efficient use (e.g. capitalism). The explanation of 'national defense' reads as legitimate until history is brought back in. For a few thousand years, the argument against maintaining a standing army was that standing armies tend to get used. Preparations for armed conflict facilitate armed conflict. The mobilizations for WWI and WWII were mobilizations, not drawdowns from existing military inventory. There is something to be said for wars requiring large expenditures of time, effort and resources from everyone for whom they are undertaken. Otherwise, they are likely to be started lightly.

The U.S. has long been the most militaristic nation in the world. This probably doesn't read right to most Americans. 'We' are a peace-loving nation that only sends in the military as a last resort, goes the myth. And 'we' changed the name from the Department of War to the Department of Defense. It was early in the twentieth century that U.S. General Smedley Butler proclaimed that 'war is a racket' (racket = organized crime) as he described his military career as a ' gangster for capitalism .' The business of war in support of capitalism had long been a business in its own right, just ask Wall Street.

When the George W. Bush administration created the Department of Homeland Security following 9/11, the obvious question from people who thought about such things was: what are these people going to do all day? With daily briefings presented to Mr. Bush entitled ' Bin Laden determined to strike in U.S. 'before 9/11, the only intelligence failure, if that is what it was, occurred in the White House. Mr. Bush's entourage had been rumbling about going back to Iraq to 'finish the job' since the end of his father's war. How much of a leap was it then to assume that Mr. Bush's WMD scam was a pretext for re-invading Iraq?

But the question isn't rhetorical. With 240,000 people employed by DHS to find terrorists, terrorists will be found. The basic insight is that justifying one's employment is crucial to keeping it. In this light, the FBI counter-terrorism unit spent its time since 2001 enticing poor and desperate people to claim each other as terrorists. The first person to point out that there are no terrorists would be the first to receive a pink slip. And the same is true of government contracting. Brave entrepreneurs who feed at the trough of military largesse need to justify their existences. If they don't, some other proud patriot will step forward and do so. A logic of necessity becomes a legitimating belief system More broadly, one could argue that manufacturing terrorists has been the strategic goal of U.S. military operations for much of the last century. If you bomb enough villages and wedding parties, people will fight back. Wasn't this the implied storyline of anti-communist agitprop like Red Dawn and anti-Muslim agitprop like Zero Dark Thirty -- if you invade 'our' country and / or bomb 'our' villages and wedding parties, we will fight back. As a business proposition, the more people that are killed, the more legitimate the operation is made to appear. Make the weapons, then employ hundreds of thousands of people to explain why 'we' need to bomb villages. Then make more weapons. page1image256

Graphic: Time Magazine was the voice of post-War liberalism in the 1970s -- it reflected the opinions emanating from American officialdom through a faux-critical lens. This cover featuring Muammar Gaddafi presaged the Obama administration's destruction of Libya by 35 years. The main difference then was relative honesty about U.S. motives -- 'Oil' was the lede in 1973, where 'humanitarian' concerns drove the American propaganda effort in 2011. Note: 'Arab' was replaced by 'Muslim extremist' following the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Source: Time, Inc.

Propaganda theory is relevant here because of the ease with which the Russiagate story was sold -- all evidence, no matter how contradictory, was claimed to point in only one direction. Contrariwise, Russia isn't the Soviet Union. America's political leaders have long supported strongmen and dictators. The biggest threat to free and fair elections in the U.S. is American oligarchs followed by Israel. The Democrat running in the 2016 presidential election openly manipulated the 1996 Russian presidential election. Russia today is a neoliberal petrostate. Vladimir Putin is admired in Russia because he booted out corrupt American 'advisors' who were looting the country. In other words, Russia today isn't Russia!

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union and ostensible end of the first Cold War, a ' peace dividend ' of reduced military spending was expected to fund increased domestic spending, the classic 'guns versus butter' formulation shifted in favor of butter. A drop to pre-WWII levels of military spending would have meant 95%+ of the military-industrial complex went away. Following a very brief drop in the rate of growth of military spending in the early 1990s, a recession caused by the looting of Savings & Loans and its aftermath led to the argument that 'the economy' couldn't withstand a reduced military. September 11 th , 2001 was the best day ever for U.S. military contractors. America was back in the business of industrial-scale slaughter.

Early on, the American defense industry tried a few new enemies on for size. The George W. Bush administration's WMD scam targeted an audience that had been primed by several decades of anti-Muslim propaganda (see Time cover above) tied to oil geopolitics. The only WMDs found in Iraq had come from the Reagan administration in its effort to keep Iraq warring with Iran in the Iran-Iraq war. Current American amnesia over the genesis of Islamophobia is quaint. The New York Times has been demonizing Muslims since the 1970s . It was hardly incidental that 'reporting' on the Iraq war contained breathless descriptions of newly created instruments of mass slaughter.

However, there were two tacks that propelled the Iraq War forward. Humanitarian intervention had been the liberal formulation for selling the carpet bombing of civilian populations as in the interest of those being bombed. The term was used for the aerial bombardment of civilian populations in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the mid-1990s. And it was the back-up explanation for the American war against Iraq -- to remove an evil dictator in order to liberate the people of Iraq. It was also used to justify the U.S. / NATO bombing of Libya in 2011. To the certain dismay of the defense industry, none of those interventions retained the patina of good intentions once it became known that the target nations had been functionally destroyed.

Russiagate has been a godsend for those who profit from destruction. As the story goes, the wily Russian bear, led by an evil dictator and newly trained in the technologies of modernity, set loose a witch's brew of inter-continental ballistic internet messages to sow dissent amongst the brothers and sisters of die Vaterland united by their common bond of loving America. For younger readers, the claim that foreign 'agitation' motivated the Civil Rights and anti-War movements, and more broadly, the American Left, has been a mainstay of CIA and FBI propaganda since these agencies were created. Old playbooks are good playbooks?

Those with a sense of humor, if humor includes installing a drunken buffoon to head a nuclear armed foreign power, might offer that 'Trump' is the English translation of 'Yeltsin.' In 1996 the American President colluded with people inside the Russian government to overturn the democratic will of the Russian people to install Boris Yeltsin as President of Russia. Yuk, yuk -- an unstable jackass was installed to head a foreign government. The 'payback' narrative no-doubt motivated true belief amongst some American officials after 2016. But alas, as with bombed villages and wedding parties, unless you just will not stop fucking with other people, they generally have other things to do than plot revenge.

None of the propagators of the phony WMD stories suffered from passing off state propaganda as news. The New York Times and Washington Post found themselves on the winning side of the 'fake news' scam to shut down the opposition press. Even Judith Miller, brief heroine of the free press for being 'stove-piped' by Dick Cheney, went on to a well-paid gig at Fox News, wrote an autobiography that more than just her immediate family read and now lives as a 'celebrity.' Heroes of the #Resistance like David Corn, Rachel Maddow and Michael Isikoff have the proceeds from book sales and television appearances to sustain them until their services are needed to sell the next scam-with-a-purpose.

The economic role of American defense spending will lead to endless iterations of WMD and Russiagate scams until the Pentagon is shut down. And that's the good part. The wars that these scams support are the bane of humanity. Their true costs, in terms of lives destroyed, appear to be meaningless to people living in twenty-room houses who want to live in thirty room houses. Winding down the warfare state would be less politically fraught if people had non-murderous ways of paying their bills. But how was this not understood as the warfare state was being built?

Finally, apologists for Russiagate claim that it has been nowhere near as dangerous as WMD lies. Let's see: a cadre of national security officials spent two-and-one-half years claiming that it has secret evidence that the President of the U.S. colluded with the leader of a foreign government to assume power and then use his office for the benefit of that foreign leader. Following, the domestic press claimed that the U.S. 'was under attack' and 'was at war' with this foreign power. Meanwhile, the U.S. went about arming anti-Russian militias on Russia's border while unilaterally abrogating a short-and-intermediate range nuclear weapons treaty after publicly announcing that it was 'modernizing' its stockpile of short-and-intermediate-range nuclear weapons.

Respectfully, this has all been a tad less than constructive.

Join the debate on Facebook

Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics is published by CounterPunch Books. More articles by: Rob Urie

[Apr 19, 2019] Some nuances of Chief nurse story

Apr 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Apr 19, 2019 9:01:53 AM | link

@5

@5 I had listed some curious incidences of "training exercises" including a bioterrorism training exercise that happened in New York three
days before 9/11.

I am adding to my own personal notes another bioterrorism training exercise that happened just prior to the highly suspicious Skripal poisoning.

-------

Add to the list, "Toxic Dagger", a biological/chemical training exercise held
just prior to the Skripal poisoning. Toxic Dagger is the largest annual British army
biological/chemical training exercise.

"Completing the training and exercising against these scenarios provides
a challenging programme for the Royal Marines to demonstrate their proficiency in
the methods to detect, assess and mitigate a CBRN threat."

http://www.defenddemocracy.press/a-very-strange-coincidence-exercise-toxic-dagger-on-the-eve-of-skripal-poisoning/

https://www.greanvillepost.com/2019/01/20/coincidence-chief-nurse-of-british-army-was-first-to-arrive-at-novichoked-skripal-scene/

The first person to discover the Skripals was the Chief Nursing Officer of the British Army (whose experience includes deployment to Sierre Leone to help fight Ebola).

"An experienced officer, highly connected, who is also known for handling highly infectious patients?"

The nurse claimed later that it was actually her daughter that was with her that detected and assessed the Skripal scenario.

The daughter was 16 at the time and we presume the Lifesaver Award she received would be a feather in her cap useful for her imminent application for admission to a university. Wonder if Lori Loughlin had thought of using such an angle?

Sunny Runny Burger , Apr 19, 2019 10:57:38 AM | link

Btw on the Skripal thing does that nurse also run over to every "spice" zombie she sees in public? Anyone in a puddle of their own partly digested booze? Does she go hunting under bridges for heroin addicts and glue sniffers? Does she check on everyone sleeping on a bench or in some doorway? It is England after all.

Weird hobby she's got and with her kid in tow too :P

(Yes I'm being facetious about a bullshit narrative straight out of the 1950ies).

[Apr 19, 2019] The USSR was a kind of garantor of sanity of the USA elite, supressing built-in suisidal tendences. With it gove they went off the rail

For Western world, especially people of the USA, the collapse of the USSR was really geopolitical catastrophe, as Putin once put it. It unleaseshed cannibalistic instincts of neoliberal elite.
Apr 19, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Drew Hunkins , April 18, 2019 at 12:39

" "Can you imagine what the world would be like today if there was still a Soviet Union?" remarked Zbigniew Bzezinski "

Yeah, I can.

There never would have been a war on Iraq in 1991 nor an obliteration of Iraq in 2003, which has lasted until the present day. The destruction of Yugoslavia never would have taken place and the wars and proxy wars on Syria and Libya would have only existed in the twisted and depraved imaginations of the Zionist and militarist psychos in our midst.

TINA never would have been an imperative and the working people of the Western world (primarily the U.S.) wouldn't be in a race to the bottom as it comes to wages, healthcare insurance, poverty levels, infant mortality, life-expectancy, union power in the workplace, secure retirements, and outlandish housing costs. With the demise of the USSR the millionaire capitalist-investor class really took the gloves off and saw no reason to provide the working masses with certain life-affirming policies, it was time to really sock it to the bottom 90%.

Despite some its faults, the world's people have been paying dearly for the demise of the USSR.

For further reading on what I've outlined above:
"Blood Lies" by Grover Furr
"Blackshirts and Reds" by Michael Parenti
"Fool's Crusade" by Diana Johnstone
"Against Empire" by Michael Parenti
essays and articles by Paul Craig Roberts
essays and articles by Andre Vltchek

Al Pinto , April 18, 2019 at 13:31

In short, without an antidote, the US does what the neocons and Israel decide to do. Welcome to the world of "my way, or the highway" cowboy mentality

Rob Roy , April 18, 2019 at 20:26

Actually, people in the USSR lived lives of constant fear (they call it the “Time of Terror”) that their friends, relatives, neighbors, strangers, even their children, would “tattle” on them and they would wind up in the torture chambers. They lived in stark, nearly unbearable poverty; the only comfort was that they all were in the same godforsaken boat. Communism might be a good idea on paper, but in reality, because of the ignorance of the bureaucratic leadership, it was a dismal failure.

The demise of the USSR would have no effect whatsoever on the hegemonic madness of the US which, under the guiding light of the Monroe Doctrine (established way before the USSR), carries on destroying one country after another. I would ask, “What would the world do without the USA?” Live in a much more peaceful world for sure. As for Omar, I wish her the fortitude to continue telling the truth. Again, Max Blumenthal proves himself one of the world’s best reporters.

OlyaPola , April 19, 2019 at 05:33

“constant fear”

The years of 1928 to 1953 were not constant since there were the years 1954 and subsequent.

Drew Hunkins , April 19, 2019 at 10:22

That’s not true Rob Roy. You’re parroting Western capitalist talking points. A whole host of brand new scholarly literature has hit the shelves in just the last few years proving the USSR was nowhere near as horrible as the Washington imperialist media made it out to be. In fact, under Stalin the Soviet Union made substantial gains in women’s rights, literacy, healthcare and industrial wages. Also, had it not been for Stalin’s agrarian plan there would have been more famines and more severe famines.

And as everyone knows, if Stalin never crash course industrialized the country they never would have defeated Nazi Germany.

Far from the USSR being a police-state it was often seen as a giant trough in which, for example, rent wouldn’t be paid and no one would come around to collect it.

Please see the following books for a truth trip: “Blood Lies” by Grover Furr and “Stalin, Waiting for the Truth” by Grover Furr. Also, Michael Parenti’s “Blackshirts and Reds is excellent.

Dump Pelousy , April 18, 2019 at 20:52

Micheal Perenti is the best. He was the Truth To Power voice before 9/11, before all the yuppie reporters sold their souls for “access” and a talking heads show. I watched it happen in slow motion with great dismay.

mp66 , April 18, 2019 at 22:23

Spot on. The western owner class was forced to share at least one plate with the rest of the population to make the west appear superior in material terms, and with that incentive or threat gone, there is no more need for a plate, few crumbs under the table should be sufficient. But as usual, greed goes along with stupidity, they forgot that doing so for decades undermines the stability of the system. Trump, Brexit, trade wars, abrogations of treaties, blatant disregard for bare basics of international law etc. are just symptoms of deeper discontent across the globe.

[Apr 19, 2019] The UK government and the media, had lost all moral authority

Not only they lost all moral authority. UK MSM became openly neofascist in some areas exceeeding the press of Third Riech and the USSR in distortions and falsifications. .
Notable quotes:
"... Corruption of government and media, is also exceedingly dangerous, for everyone's mental health. People begin to subconsciously know that they are being lied to, but they cannot accept it, because the lies conflict with their worldview, which quite naturally is based on trust for authority, and that nice man reading the news on TV. ..."
"... In 2004, Karl Rove in The Bush Government " Guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' [ ] 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do' ..."
Apr 17, 2019 | craigmurray.org.uk
Charles Bostock , April 17, 2019 at 11:40

Even if the Skripal affair WAS staged, you shouldn't get too excited about it. In fact, you should be rather pleased because it would demonstrate that the tired, incompetent old UK is still capable of mounting an operation of which young, vigorous, competent Russia would be proud.

The UK can fake events with the best of them! I would find that reassuring rather than deplorable because it's a nasty world out there.

John2o2o , April 17, 2019 at 19:07

I shouldn't be anything. The whole thing shames the UK and is an insult to Russia and it's people.

Tony_0pmoc , April 17, 2019 at 11:44

The Government and the media, have not been telling the whole truth for a long time. Sometimes they blatantly lie. Most people still believe most of what they say, as there is an in-built trust of authority, for some very good historical reasons. The Skripal story, made it obvious to a large number of people, that some of it could not be true. Most still believe it or din't take much notice. The arrest of Julian Assange made it clearer, to an even larger number of people, that the government and the media, had lost all moral authority. Still many people didn't take much notice, or were convinced by the lies in the media, that he was a rapist and should be in jail.

The lies and corruption from government, is now increasingly out in the open. I believe that this is deliberate. I also think that it is exceedingly dangerous for society for multiple reasons. We are conditioned to accept authority as our moral guide. They act as an example of acceptable behaviour. If society as a whole, behaved like government, all trust would break down. Virtually all functions of society are based on trust. Without such trust, nothing will work.

Corruption of government and media, is also exceedingly dangerous, for everyone's mental health. People begin to subconsciously know that they are being lied to, but they cannot accept it, because the lies conflict with their worldview, which quite naturally is based on trust for authority, and that nice man reading the news on TV.

I believe this has all been pre-planned, and it will result in a disastrous effect on all society, unless something happens to bring the governments and media back to truth and sanity. I have no idea what that might be, but I expect it will not be pleasant.

The following was an early warning of the mass insanity affecting The US Government. It has spread like a highly infectious disease.

In 2004, Karl Rove in The Bush Government " Guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' [ ] 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do'

[Apr 19, 2019] Yesterday's Country by Fred Reed

Apr 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

China has risen explosively, from being clearly a "Third World" country forty years ago to become a very serious and rapidly advancing competitor to America. Anyone who has seen today's China (I recently spent two weeks there, traveling muchly) will have been astonished by the ubiquitous construction, the quality of planning, the roads and airports and high-speed rail, the sense of confidence and modernity. Compare this with America's rotting and dangerous cities, swarms of homeless people, deteriorating education, antique rail, deindustrialized midlands, loony government, and ahe military sucking blood from the economy like some vast leech, and America will seem yesterday's country. The phrase "national suicide" comes to mind.

A common response to these observations from thunder-thump patriots is the assertion that the Chinese can't invent anything, just copy and steal. What one actually sees is a combination of rapid and successful adoption of foreign technology (see Shanghai maglev below) and, increasingly, cutting edge science and technology. More attention might be in order.

... ... ...

"More Than 510,000 Overseas Students Return to China"

This year. A couple of decades ago, Chinese students in the US often refused to return to a backward and repressive country. It now appears that Asia is where the action is and they want to be part of it.


Anon [372] Disclaimer , says: Website April 18, 2019 at 5:35 pm GMT

Compare this with America's rotting and dangerous cities

Certain parts of the cities are doing better than ever.

The problem of crime and danger is all about blacks.

Anon [372] Disclaimer , says: Website April 18, 2019 at 5:44 pm GMT
All those things you mentioned are micro-innovations, not macro ones.

China hasn't come up with a game-changer like the internet.

But we must keep in mind that most of the West hasn't been all that innovative either. Rather, there have been spurts and sudden explosions followed by little activity.

Look at the Greeks. So creative long long ago but what happened to that fire during Byzantine yrs? And what are Greeks today? And Italians? And Renaissance was mostly about few parts of Northern Italy. Italy made some great films in the 20th century but hasn't been a key player in much of anything.

And most European peoples haven't been all that innovative. It was only pockets of places in UK, France, and Germany mostly in the modern era. What big thing came out of Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, and etc? There are surely exceptions, but they weren't major players.

Innovations are about sparks. Sparks of inspiration, ingenuity. But for sparks to catch fire, there has to be dry wood. The problem for East Asia was it tended to suppress spark-mentality and, besides, the wood was wet with tradition and customs.

But then, a nation that defines itself by genius and innovation alone will fail too. Why? Because only a tiny number of people are genius or innovative. Most people are 'lame'. If a nation comes to define itself mainly by wealth, smarts, and genius, then most people will have no value. Also, the top smarties will identify mainly with smarties in other parts of the world than with their own 'lame' folks. This is why Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore are going the wrong path. They've emphasized excellence so much that only elites have value, and these elites feel closer to Western elites than with their own 'lame' masses who are to be replaced like white folks in US and EU.

Anon [372] Disclaimer , says: Website April 18, 2019 at 5:45 pm GMT
@WorkingClass The U.S. is in decline.

US is both going up and down.

Certain sectors are doing better than ever. Also, US continues to be the top magnet of talent around the world.
But in other ways, it is falling apart.

Much of US will end up worse but much of it will get richer.

US will be like a hyper Latin American nation with great riches and great poverty.

Citizen of a Silly Country , says: April 18, 2019 at 6:17 pm GMT

A common response to these observations from thunder-thump patriots is the assertion that the Chinese can't invent anything, just copy and steal.

Well, let's do a thought exercise and simply assume that this is 100% true, that the Chinese can't invent anything, just copy, steal and maintain what whites invent. Does that change your opinion that China will overtake the West? It shouldn't.

The West is slowly (at least for now) imploding. We are importing the 3rd world, while we demonize whites. The West has managed to avoid dramatic decline because whites were still a large majority of the citizens. That is changing. Whites are less than 50% of births in the United States. Non-whites account for 1 in 3 births in England. Muslims account for at least 20% of births in France with Sub-Saharan Africans making up between 5% and 10% of the births.

We'll reach a tipping point at some point where things start to noticeably decline. China doesn't need to outdo the West. It just has to avoid declining with the West. If China simply maintains the technology and societal organization of the West while the West falls into tribal warfare – hot or cold – China will become the dominate power.

Citizen of a Silly Country , says: April 18, 2019 at 6:20 pm GMT
@Anon I'd agree with that. But under that scenario, China will still become the dominant world power. We're on our way to be a sort-of Brazil of the North. Well, Brazil doesn't do much on the world stage.

We simply won't have the money or talent to maintain a global military and cultural presence. Then again, we'll probably still be run by Jews, so we'll like remain a presence in the Middle East.

[Apr 19, 2019] RussiaGate Is Dead! Long Live Russiagate!

Apr 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Gerald Sussman via Counterpunch.org,

Now that Mueller's $40 million Humpty Trumpty investigation is over and found wanting of its original purpose (to retire Trump), perhaps the ruling class can return without interruption to the business of destroying the world with ordnance, greenhouse gases, and regime changes. A few more CIA-organized blackouts in Venezuela (it's a simple trick if one follows the Agency's " Freedom Fighter's Manual "), and the US will come to the rescue, Grenada style, and set up yet another neoliberal regime. There is a small solace that with Trump, Pompeo, and Bolton, there is at least a semblance of transparency in their reckless interventions. The assessed value of Guaido and Salman, they forthrightly admit, is in their countries' oil reserves. And Russians better respect the Monroe Doctrine and manifest destiny if they know what's good for them. Crude as they may be, Trump's men tell it like it is. And when Bolton speaks of "the Western Hemisphere's shared goals of democracy, security, and the rule of law," he is of course referring to US-backed coups, military juntas, debt bondage, invasions, embargoes, assassinations, and other forms of gunboat diplomacy.

That the US is not already formally at war with Russia (even with NATO forces all along its borders) has only to do with the latter's nuclear arsenal deterrent. Since World War II, a period some describe as a " a period of unprecedented peace, " the US war machine has wiped out some 20 million people, including more than 1 million in Iraq since 2003, engaged in regime change of at least 36 governments, intervened in at least 82 foreign elections, including Russia (1996), planned more than 50 assassinations of foreign leaders, and bombed over 30 countries. This is documented here and here .

Despite unending US and US-supported assaults on Africa and western and central Asia, the authors who see postwar unprecedented peace argue that it's Russia and China, not the US, that represent the real threats to peace and deserve to be treated as "outcasts." That NATO has warships plying the Black Sea and making port calls at the ethnically Russian Ukraine city of Odessa and is conducting war games from Latvia to Bulgaria and Ukraine represents unprecedented peace? While NATO, which together has 20 times the military spending of Russia and includes member states along virtually the entire perimeter of Russia, in Western propaganda Russia is the aggressor.

Although the US corporate media may have missed the news, the rest of the world gets the fact that the greatest threat to peace on the planet is Uncle Sam. In 2013, a WIN/Gallup International poll of 66,000 people in 65 countries found that the US was considered by far the most dangerous state on earth (24% of respondents), while Russia didn't even register statistically on that poll. In 2017, a Pew poll found the same perception of US power and that such a view had increased to 38% and had grown in 21 of 30 countries compared to 2013. Even America's neighbors, Canada and Mexico, see the US as a major threat to their countries, worse than either China or Russia. The mainstream media (MSM) stenographers' myopia in failing to cover this story is not an oversight. Carl Bernstein, of Watergate exposé fame, documented in 1977 the fact that from the early 1950s to the late 1970s, the MSM ( New York Times , Washington Post , NBC, ABC, CBS, and the rest) had regularly served as overseas informers for the CIA. It would be hard to believe that those ties are not still intact given the level of collaboration among the CIA, the MSM, and the Democratic Party in the Russiagate conspiracy drama.

Context is everything.

In blaming others for the instability of the Middle East, it is important to bear in mind that for 36 years since Reagan launched air attacks on Beirut and parts of Syria, the US, and its ally Israel, has been using the greater Middle East region as a testing ground for its weapons systems. This has meant repeated bombing and droning of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Iran, Yemen, Kuwait, and Sudan, and increased weapons sales to the region to assure continuous instability and profits. The US has "special forces" operating in two-thirds of the world's countries and non-special forces stationed in three-quarters of them, altogether over 800 military bases and installations in as many as 130 countries (the Pentagon refuses to give the exact number). By comparison, apart from several bases in some of the former Soviet republics, Russia has a naval resupply facility in Vietnam and small temporary leased naval and airport stations in Syria. China opened a combined naval and army base in Djibouti in 2017 and an "unofficial military presence" in Tajikistan. There is nothing remotely close to equivalence.

We can expect a continuing outcasting of Russia, either under a second Trump presidency or, if the long dark shadow of the Clintons prevails, a Joe Biden White House. Biden claims without the benefit of evidence that currently " the Russian government is brazenly assaulting the foundations of Western democracy around the world ," as if the huge imbalance of military forces and the long history of US interventions against liberal democracies and socialist states were unknown or irrelevant. In his (and the establishment's) heavy-handed uses of propaganda, Biden has learned well the tactics of Goebbels – repeat the lies often enough to make the imperial state appear as the victim.

With regard to a brazen assault on democracy, Biden might take a cue from Clinton, who knew how to capitalize on her power position by signing off on huge arms sales to the Saudis (e.g., a $29 billion sale of fighter jets to that country to be used against Yemen) and other Gulf States while securing tens of millions of dollars in donations from the sheikhs ($25 million from Saudi Arabia alone) to her private foundation, run by her husband. This is all the more contemptuous given that she acknowledged in 2013: "The Saudis and others are shipping large amounts of weapons clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region and pretty indiscriminately – not at all targeted toward the people that we think would be the more moderate, least likely, to cause problems in the future."

In other words, she knew the Saudis and other Gulf dictators were arming ISIS (ISIL) and other caliphate actors but continued to keep them as allies and patrons. She also took $800 thousand for her 2016 campaign (almost double what Trump received) and some $3 million for her private foundation from oil and gas companies after approving lucrative gas pipeline in the Canadian tar sands. Part of the foundation staff's business was to arrange meetings of top donors meetings with the then secretary of state. Following Clinton and Obama's lead and without a second thought, Trump has authorized US energy companies to sell the Saudi monarchy nuclear power technology and assistance.

In foreign policy, indeed, it's hard to see any meaningful difference between Republican and Democratic administrations. Obama and John Kerry sent Undersecretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Victoria Nuland to Kiev's Maidan to cheer on the 2014 coup, hand out sandwiches to protesters, and give marching orders to her ambassador there to arrange for Yatsenyuk to be prime minister and to "fuck the EU." Poroshenko, a regular informer at the US embassy, as WikiLeaks revealed, was already in the bag for president. Biden was brought in to "midwife" and "help glue this thing" by pressuring the still-ruling Yanukovych to step down in favor of the US-designated coup leaders. Along the same lines, Trump's then ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, joined Venezuelan protesters outside UN headquarters in New York, using a megaphone to publicly call for a coup against Maduro. "I will tell you," she told the group, "the U.S. voice is going to be loud."

Both the Ukraine and Venezuela interventions are in part a grand strategy to isolate Russia. However, the orchestration of a new Cold War against Russia and to implicate Trump as a Kremlin puppet has failed, and the problem for Russiagate propagandists is how to keep the conspiracy theory alive now that Mueller's unsuccessful hunt for 5thcolumnists is in the dustbin . The leading Russia scholar, Stephen Cohen , who has been professionally marginalized because of his skepticism toward the CIA narrative, sees the impact of a larger scandal – the corruption of the Democratic Party and its minions in the media that formed an alliance with the spooks. He asks: "what about the legions of high-ranking intelligence officials, politicians, editorial writers, television producers, and other opinion-makers, and their eager media outlets that perpetuated, inflated, and prolonged this unprecedented political scandal in American history ?"

Another question is, how would the mainstream media financially survive an ending of Russiagate, if indeed the media moguls allow it to end? This spectacular failure of the "fourth estate" in covering the Clinton and Democrats' defeat in 2016 greatly weakened their trust status, which has been in quite steady decline since the 1970s, especially among Republicans. Democrats tend to look more favorably on the largely partisan liberal MSM for obvious reasons. However, as of December 2018, according to an IPSOS/Reuters poll , only 44% of Americans has much (16%) or some (28%) confidence in the MSM, compared to hardly any (48%). On whether MSM news organizations are more interested in making money than telling the truth, 59% agreed with the former assessment. No known organization has published findings on MSM trust since the completion of the Mueller debacle.

What is to be made politically of the Russia obsession? Russiagate, which Matt Taibbi calls "this generation's WMD," can be seen as serving three broad major purposes.

It has given the Democratic Party leadership and its partners in the CIA and MSM a cause célèbre inorder to salvage the status and image of the party and distract from its disastrous electoral defeats from 2008 to 2016. It thereby serves as an alternative reality to the widespread recognition that the ruling forces in the party have no genuine popular agenda and represent corporate, banking, neoliberal, and neoconservative militarist projects designed under Bill Clinton's New Democrat agenda.

On foreign policy, Russiagate puts the Democrats to the right of the Republicans, similar to the way that John Kennedy in the 1960 campaign accused the Eisenhower (and VP Nixon) administration of weakening America's defenses, which presently enables the energy and defense industries and their lobbyists to unduly influence the perception of international threats and flashpoints. Democrats in the House and Senate voted overwhelmingly for the 2019 $716 billion defense budget, over and above what even Trump requested. In 2018, five military contractors – Northrup Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Raytheon – provided key political leaders in both parties with $14.4 million in addition to $94 million spent on lobbying efforts that year. Oil & gas spent $89 million on the election campaign and $125 million on lobbying.

And, third, it serves to stifle the political left in and outside the party and the demands for progressive legislative changes activated by Bernie Sanders in 2016 and by newer members like Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Tulsi Gabbard.

Where is the center of public political confidence these days? Certainly not with the mainstream media, which is even lower than that for Trump. Even in terms of its vaunted claims of press freedom, the US fares quite badly. Reporters Without Borders ranked the US number 45th worldwide (of 180 countries cited) in press freedom in its 2018 report. Tory-led Britain slid from 33rd in 2014 to 40th– only Italy and Greece were behind the UK among western European countries. And although Trump hasn't helped with his attacks on the media (and more than reciprocated by the media's extraordinarily hostile coverage of the president), the situation wasn't much better under Obama, who threatened whistle blowers in the press with enforcing the 1917 Espionage Act. This is law that may be pressed against the journalist Julian Assange. There still exists no "shield law" guaranteeing journalists the right to protect their sources' identities. Journalism students should be concerned for another reason as well:Newspaper employment between 2001 and 2016 has been cut by more than half, from 412,000 to 174,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

William Arkin, who quit NBC News as a political commentator last January, accused the station of peddling "ho-hum reporting" that "essentially condones" an endless US war presence in the Middle East and Africa. He also took the network to task for not reporting "the failures of the generals and national security leaders," and essentially becoming "a defender of the government against Trump" and a "cheerleader for open and subtle threat mongering."

In his parting comments, he wrote: "I'm alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war. Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy that it is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really yearn for the Cold War?"

It may be whistling in the wind, but there are more important things to worry about than whether "the Russians" exposed the DNC's perfidious behavior in 2016. It would be more worthwhile for Democrats to demand programs that eliminate child poverty, which is at 20% in the US, compared to an OECD average of 13%. It might also be useful to concentrate a bit more on the white working class and working poor that went to Trump in 2016, whose kids make up 31% of the child poverty bracket (black children are 24%, and Latino children are 36%).

And while they're at it, they might try to change the fact that the US ranks 25thout of 29 industrialized countries in investments in early childhood education or the fact that the disgraceful American infant mortality rate at 5.8 deaths per 1,000 live births is 50% higher than the OECD average (3.9%) . Many of the parents of these less privileged children are serving long sentences in prison for non-violent crimes, the discarded citizens who form the highest incarceration rate in the world. Overall, the Stanford Center on Inequality and Poverty ranked the US 18th out of 21 wealthy countries on measures of labor markets, poverty rates, safety nets, wealth inequality, and economic mobility. On the other hand, the US has more than 25% of the world's 2,208 billionaires. This is American exceptionalism at its worst.

The corporate-run market system and the calamities it is bringing to the world depends on such distractions. As the New York Times journalist and defender of US global supremacy, Thomas Friedman, has noted, "The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the U.S. Air Force F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies to flourish is called the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps." In his view, the system needs protecting, for which his "journalism" and most of the MSM are certainly doing their part.

Unless the rather soft left within the Democratic Party can somehow capture the public imagination, the Democrats' political agenda, the MSM and their cohorts in the deep state will likely continue to report fake Russian conspiracies around the world.

Russiagate is a propaganda industry that keeps on giving. In the longue durée of American elections, the question is what discourse will dominate the next campaign – social justice and a rational foreign policy or more aggressive polemics about Russia aimed at a steady pathway to nuclear war?

J S Bach , 12 minutes ago link

In truth, "Russiagate" is "Obfusgate".

There is so much obvious obfuscation and deflection taking place by the (((MSM))) as to real issues and guilty parties in world and domestic affairs.

People... PLEASE... use the internet... with all of its remaining free and accessible qualities to glean truth. Yes... you will come across countless contradictions, but if you have half a brain to use in the processing of data, you won't find it hard to ascertain what is really going on. It is up to YOU to figure it out... not Tucker Carlson, not Laura Ingraham, not Rachel Maddow. No. YOU.

Do it. Be confident in your conclusions. Pass along to those you know and love those conclusions. If you do this, the tentacles of truth will spread within this body of jewish lies and serve as our leukocytes.