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Cold War II

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The Russian and US perceptions of war are totally different: for a Russian the war is a fight for survival as an individual and as a nation, for a US person war and killing are just another day in the office. And that includes perception of the risks of "Cold War" turning into hot.  Jingoism of the current US elite is really crazy: ‘Kill Russians and Iranians, threaten Assad,’ says ex-CIA chief backing Clinton. And this is not some drunk schmuck in the pub.  This is a  top CIA official, who twice served as the acting director of the agency

In an interview with Charlie Rose in August 2016, Morell blamed Syrian President Assad, Russia, and Iran for the death toll in Syria.[28] He called on the moderate opposition in Syria to make Russia and Iran "pay a price" for their involvement in Syria, in part by targeting their military personnel in the country.[29] He also called on the US to begin bombing Syrian government targets in order to bring Assad to the negotiating table.[30] Regarding President Bashar al-Assad, Morell argued "I want to go after those things that Assad sees as his personal power base. I want to scare Assad."[29]

You would think that this guys is a crazy psychopath (thanks God he retired form CIA in 2013). But his views reflect the views of a large swat of Washington political establishment. And President Trump actually fulfilled Hillary bidding and attacked Assad's military installations, the action  which Morell argued for.   Which opened a new chapter in Cold War II history.

Key events of Cold War II

Generally we can think about Cold War II as consisting of several phases, signified by particular events:

  1. Phase I
    1. Prehistory (1991-1999). The USA, especially Bill Clinton administration,  wanted to weaken, isolate and subdue Russia since the dissolution of the USSR (using corrupt regime of drunk Yeltsin as a puppet and Harvard mafia as economic advisors; Russian neoliberals who came to power in Russia after the dissolution of the USSR  allowed fox to guard the chickens and faced consequences )  and encouraged efforts to dismember it (via support of Chechen radicals and islamists, in general).
    2. 1999: War against Yugoslavia as the demonstration of Russia neo-colonial status.  Primakov flight U-turn over Athlantic
    3. 2000: Putin ascendance to power as a reaction to Yeltsin regime failings and neo-colonization of Russia.  Kursk submarile disaster CBS news then broke the story that the United States had three ships in the vicinity observing the naval exercise that Kursk was taking part in. Two of the three ships were submarines, later determined to be USS Memphis and USS Toledo, type 688 Los Angeles class fast attack submarines which are often used for covert intelligence gathering.  USS Memphis, reported by Norway to be undergoing repairs at a Norwegian naval yard.
    4. 2001: Neocons get full power in Bush II administration and started to implement PNAC agenda. September 11, 2001 events. Invasion of Afghanistan with Russian support (via North Alliance) with large supplies of Russian arms.
    5. 2003: Colin Powell lies to UN in his speech about Iraq weapons of mass destruction(full text) falsely accusing Iraq regime of producing chemical weapons. Subsequent invasion of Iraq under false evidence and occupation of Iraq. The USA uses events in Afghanistan to establish military bases in former Soviet republics starting the operation of "encirclement" of Russia. For some period of time Russia allowed transport of military cargo via its territory. this stopped only after "NATO sanctions" were introduced in 2014.
    6. 2008: In august 2008 Georgia staged invasion of north Ossetia which resulted in Russian military operation against Georgia (called the war with Georgia). This was the first time Russia opposed US sanctioned actions of US allies. And did it militarily.
    7. 2011: "We say, we came, he died". The USA fooled Russian President Medvedev into supporting "no-fly zones" which were interpreted by West as the cart blanche for full scale bombing of Gaddafi regime. American and British naval forces fired over 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles,[20] the French Air Force, British Royal Air Force, and Royal Canadian Air Force[21] undertaking sorties across Libya and a naval blockade by Coalition forces. French jets launched air strikes against Libyan Army tanks and vehicles. The Libyan government response to the campaign was totally ineffectual. Regime soon fell and Gaddafi was brutally murdered.
    8. 2011-2012 attempt to stage a color revolution in Russia by Obama administration (with Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State), using the power of NGOs and neoliberal fifth column to prevent return of Putin to power ("white revolution" of 2012)
  2. Phase II
    1. 2014: Anti-Russian hysteria during Sochi Olympics, Ukrainian coup d'้tat and introduction of sanctions. Malaysian flight MH17  tragegy that points to a false flag operation
    2. 2015: Russian involvement in Syria and Ambush of Russian Su-24 bomber by Turkey.
    3. 2016: US deploy offensive and dangerous to Russian strategic forces "missile shield" in Poland and Romania, continuing the policy of encirclement of Russia. On May 12, 2016 US missile shield in Romania goes live to Russian fury
    4. 2016: Anti-Russian hysteria during and after Presidential elections. Democtatic Pary turns into the second War party in Washington and the level of jingoism and anti-Russian hysteria reached unprecedented level.
    5. 2017: As a reaction to Hillary loss in 2016 election fierce  Neo-Mccratyism campaign against Russia was launched, with the level of demonization of Russia justifiable only if the USA is reading population for a war.  The Congress starts the investigation of Russian meddling into the US Presidential Elections.
    6. April 2017: Hopes about Trump more reasonable approach to foreign policy and detente with Russia vanished. Under relentless attacks of neocons, which actually resemble a color revolution" (called Purple revolution) Trump folded. Attack on Syrian airbase followed, which actually signify direct attack on Russian involvement (and policy) in Syria. It was masked as a reaction on Khan Sheikhoun gas attack (which, most probably, was a false flag operation)

Sanction as official start of Cold War II

What is called "sanctions" is essentially the "official" start of Cold War II. Not everybody  understand this. Russians tend to obscure this fact with bravado. "Sanctions is not only a challenge, but also can serve as a useful resource for our country economic development" -- said the first deputy head of the Presidential Administration Vyacheslav Volodin, in his address to the seminar meeting with officials of the government of subjects of the Russian Federation and representatives of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation which took place Dec 1-3.

"Today, the state conducts an internal policy that really reflects the interests and enjoys the support of the absolute majority of the Russian people. For example, the reunification of the Crimea and Sevastopol to Russia has supported more than 93% of Russian citizens" noted Vyacheslav Volodin. "But the highest level of support for government policy - not a reason to calm down and relax. This is the issue of preversing this huge level of credibility, great expectations of people. It is important to use this social energy for development of the country, addressing major social and economic problems. "

"The current economic situation is today is an inflected on us stress test for the government, for the economy, for the country as a whole," - said Vyacheslav Volodin.

"This is an opportunity to see who is who. World leaders of the 20th century took place at different times this path - the path of development in the face of opposition of the environment, trade wars, sanctions and restrictions. Some of the countries, such as China, have been able, in spite of the sanctions regime, to build one of the strongest economies in the world and dramatically improve the quality of life of its citizens. Such an opportunity does exist for us too. "

According to Vyacheslav Volodin, economic recovery should be a continuing priority for the country. Sanctions - this is an additional opportunity to resolve overdue to restructure the domestic market, provided support for domestic manufactures.

"Import substitution and new industrialization, which we discussed back in the pre-election articles and messages of the President of the Russian Federation in 2012 and 2013 - a key aspect of state sovereignty,"

I would recommend Volodin to listen famous Russian song, almost a hymn of Russian navy Varyag.  Russia now faces the whole NATO alliance, which is by oprder or magnitute is more powerful economically.  

Putin assessed situation in more sober way (From 28 min Putin discuss sanctions), but still I think underestimated the capabilities of the "collective West" led by the USA to wreck Russian economy. And while Biden is a regular neocon chickenhawk (essentially Hillary in pants), behind him  like an aircraft carriers stand 500 largest US companies and the whole US military industrial complex which wants war: 

The U.S. and the European Union imposed sanctions on people and companies close to President Vladimir Putin after Russia annexed the Black Sea Crimea peninsula in March. Ukraine has accused Russia of supplying weapons, military vehicles and mercenaries to separatists, which Russia denies. The two nations are also in conflict over gas, with Russia cutting off supplies this week because of unpaid bills.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Putin's government faces the threat of further economic sanctions if it doesn’t do more “to exercise its influence among the separatists to lay down their weapons and renounce violence, both of which Russia has thus far failed to do,” according to a statement released by the White House yesterday.

And it is not accidental that  the World Bank, one of the cornerstones of world neoliberal economic order,  has designed two scenarios for the growth of the Russian economy in 2014 taking into account increased risks over the Crimean crisis (MOSCOW, March 26 (RIA Novosti)

The first variant is based on short-term influences of the events in Ukraine on Russia's economy, and the second, threats of a serious shock and downturn of the gross domestic product (GDP).

"The scenario with a low level of risk presupposes that actions over the Crimean crisis will be limited and short-term and with a prognosis of a slowing economic growth to 1.1 percent in 2014 and a slight increase to 1.3 percent in 2015,"

according to a World Bank report on the Russian economy published on Wednesday.

French politician Philippe de Villiers Without Russia Europe has no future by Viacheslav

Q: What do you think about the "war of sanctions" that Russia waged against the West?

Philippe de Villiers: I will answer you as a person, seriously studied history. It was not even a single case where sanctions would lead to the desired result. Moreover, they give the opposite result.

Country against which an embargo is introduced, usually finds the hidden reserves and becomes stronger. Sanctions by themselves - it is an act of war, they hurt the pride of the people, and those mobilized, concentrated, what is happening now in Russia. In French, one of the meanings of the word "sanctions" refers to a school dictionary. Teacher allowed to punish the student to apply to it "sanctions." But as far as I know, Mr. Putin is not a disciple of Mr Barroso. Sanctions lead to retaliatory sanctions to a dangerous chain of mutual blows.

Cooperation between countries - it is an act of peace. Our joint project of theme parks in Russia and indeed this is. Support him, President Putin has committed an act of peace. I appeal to all the French entrepreneurs to follow suit in order to strengthen ties and friendship between France and Russia.

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[Nov 09, 2019] Made In America How the U.S. Government Paid For Turkey's War in Syria The National Interest

Nov 09, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

Mounting evidence shows that Turkey is now using rebel groups paid for by a $1 billion U.S. taxpayer-funded program as its soldiers in a brutal war on the Kurdish-led forces in Syria -- which were also armed and trained by America.

U.S. officials are describing these militants as "thugs, bandits, and pirates" as the Turkish-led Islamist forces are currently committing alleged war crimes against civilians and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Northeast Syria. Ironically, the United States armed many of these rebels as part of an effort to overthrow Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Critics say that there were warning signs along the way year after year. In fact, Turkish-backed fighters recently videotaped themselves using a U.S.-made anti-tank rocket against an SDF vehicle, perhaps itself supplied by the U.S. military. "If a fighter was in a faction that received weapons from the CIA, and is still fighting today -- and that's a big if -- he is most likely in the ranks of the Syrian National Army," said Foreign Policy Research Institute Fellow Elizabeth Tsurkov, who has extensive contacts with Syrian rebels.

Anti-Russia and anti-Iran hawks believe that the United States could have ended the could have pre-empted the whole mess in Northeast Syria -- Turkey, the Kurds, ISIS, and all -- by taking out Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Now that the window of opportunity has passed, and as President Donald Trump doubles down on ending the "endless war" in Syria, anti-Assad hawks have shifted their attention toward using U.S. power to pressure the Syrian dictator into submission. But first, they have to clean up the image of the Syrian opposition.

[Nov 09, 2019] Israel's Last War by Gilad Atzmon

Notable quotes:
"... Until now, Iran has restrained itself despite constant aggression from Israel, but this could easily change. "The result could be a counterstrike by Iran, using cruise missiles that penetrate Israel's air defenses and smash into targets like the Kiryah, Tel Aviv's equivalent of the Pentagon. Israel would retaliate massively against Hezbollah's headquarters in Beirut as well as dozens of its emplacements along the Lebanese border. And then, after a day of large-scale exchanges, the real war would begin " ..."
Nov 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

Last War Gilad Atzmon November 6, 2019 1,100 Words 59 Comments Reply Listen ॥ ■ ► RSS

In my 2011 book, The Wandering Who , I elaborated on the possible disastrous scenario in which Israel is the nucleus of a global escalation over Iran's emerging nuclear capabilities. I concluded that Israel's PRE Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PRE-TSS) would be central to such a development. "The Jewish state and the Jewish discourse in general are completely foreign to the notion of temporality. Israel is blinded to the consequences of its actions, it only thinks of its actions in terms of short-term pragmatism. Instead of temporality, Israel thinks in terms of an extended present."

In 2011 Israel was still confident in its military might, certain that with the help of America or at least its support, it could deliver a mortal military blow to Iran. But this confidence has diminished, replaced by an existential anxiety that might well be warranted. For the last few months, Israeli military analysts have had to come to terms with Iran's spectacular strategic and technological abilities. The recent attack on a Saudi oil facility delivered a clear message to the world, and in particular to Israel, that Iran is far ahead of Israel and the West. The sanctions were counter effective: Iran independently developed its own technology.

Former Israeli ambassador to the US, and prolific historian, Michael Oren, repeated my 2011 predictions this week in the Atlantic and described a horrific scenario for the next, and likely last, Israeli conflict.

Oren understands that a minor Israeli miscalculation could lead to total war, one in which missiles and drones of all types would rain down on Israel, overwhelm its defences and leave Israeli cities, its economy and its security in ruins.

Oren gives a detailed account of how a conflict between Israel and Iran could rapidly descend into a massive "conflagration" that would devastate Israel as well as its neighbours.

In Israel, the term "The War Between the Wars ," refers to the targeted covert inter-war campaign waged by the Jewish State with the purpose of postponing, while still preparing for, the next confrontation, presumably with Iran. In the last few years Israel has carried out hundreds of 'war between the wars' strikes against Iran-linked targets in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Oren speculates that a single miscalculation could easily lead to retaliation by Iran. "Israel is girding for the worst and acting on the assumption that fighting could break out at any time. And it's not hard to imagine how it might arrive. The conflagration, like so many in the Middle East, could be ignited by a single spark."

Until now, Iran has restrained itself despite constant aggression from Israel, but this could easily change. "The result could be a counterstrike by Iran, using cruise missiles that penetrate Israel's air defenses and smash into targets like the Kiryah, Tel Aviv's equivalent of the Pentagon. Israel would retaliate massively against Hezbollah's headquarters in Beirut as well as dozens of its emplacements along the Lebanese border. And then, after a day of large-scale exchanges, the real war would begin "

Oren predicts that rockets would "rain on Israel" at a rate as high as 4,000 a day. The Iron Dome system would be overwhelmed by the vast simultaneous attacks against civilian and military targets throughout the country. And, as if this weren't devastating enough, Israel is totally unprepared to deal with precision-guided missiles that can accurately hit targets all across Israel from 1000 miles away.

Ben Gurion International Airport would be shut down and air traffic over Israel closed. The same could happen to Israel's ports. Israelis that would seek refuge in far away lands would have to swim to safety .

In this scenario, Palestinians and Lebanese militias might join the conflagration and attack Jewish border communities on the ground while long-range missiles from Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran land. Before long, Israel's economy would cease to function, electrical grids severed and damaged factories and refineries would spew toxic chemicals into the air.

In the Shoah scenario Oren describes, "Millions of Israelis would huddle in bomb shelters. Hundreds of thousands would be evacuated from the border areas as terrorists attempt to infiltrate them. Restaurants and hotels would empty, along with the offices of the high-tech companies of the start-up nation. The hospitals, many of them resorting to underground facilities, would quickly be overwhelmed, even before the skies darken with the toxic fumes of blazing chemical factories and oil refineries."

Oren predicts that Israel's harsh response to attack, including a violent put down of likely West Bank and Gaza protests, would result in large scale civilian casualties and draw charges of war crimes.

As Oren states, he did not invent this prediction, it is one of the similar scenarios anticipated by Israeli military and government officials.

If such events occur, the US will be vital to the survival of the Jewish State by providing munitions, diplomatic, political, and legal support, and after the war, in negotiating truces, withdrawals, prisoner exchanges and presumably 'peace agreements.' However, the US under the Trump administration is somewhat unpredictable, especially in light of the current impeachment proceedings against Trump.

In 1973 the US helped save Israel by providing its military with the necessary munitions. Will the US do so again? Do the Americans have the weapons capability to counter Iran's ballistics, precision missiles and drones? More crucially, what kind of support could America provide that would lift the spirits of humiliated and exhausted Israelis after they emerge from underground shelters having enduring four weeks without electricity or food and see their cities completely shattered?

This leads us to the essential issue. Zionism vowed to emancipate the Jews from their destiny by liberating the Jews from themselves. It vowed to bring an end to Jewish self-destruction by creating a Jewish safe haven. How is it that just seven decades after the founding of the Jewish state, the people who have suffered throughout their history have once again managed to create the potential for their own disaster?

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In The Wandering Who I provide a possible answer: "Grasping the notion of temporality is the ability to accept that the past is shaped and revised in the light of a search for meaning. History, and historical thinking, are the capacity to rethink the past and the future." Accordingly, revisionism is the true essence of historical thinking. It turns the past into a moral message, it turns the moral into an ethical act. Sadly this is exactly where the Jewish State is severely lacking. Despite the Zionist promise to introduce introspection, morality and universal thinking to the emerging Hebrew culture, the Jewish State has failed to break away from the Jewish past because it doesn't really grasp the notion of the 'past' as a dynamic elastic ethical substance.


A123 , says: November 8, 2019 at 2:07 pm GMT

Everyone understands that a minor Iranian miscalculation could lead to total war. One in which nuclear bombs would rain down on Iran leaving its cities, economy, and security in ruins.

The sociopath, Ayatollah Khameni is detached from reality and may be willing to take such risks. However, there is no reason to believe that The Iranian military or civilian population will embrace certain suicide. It is quite likely that the IRGC would decide that it is time for another revolution and end the theocracy, rather than die following the dubious commands of a deranged Ayatollah.
____

The whole theory about a prolonged conflict falls apart once accurate facts are applied to the situation. Iranian al'Hezbollah has large numbers of Katyusha pattern rockets, but very few precision weapons. And to provide human shields for these weapons, almost all of them are in a limited number of urban centers.

The facts are clear, even if Gilad chooses to ignore them in favor of his personal fantasies. Iranian al'Hezbollah would lose badly in a total forces engagement. The nuclear incineration of their rear echelons would leave forward forces totally defenseless against overwhelming Israeli air superiority.

-- Would there be Israeli civilian casulities? Certainly.
-- Would Lebanon become uninhabitable? Yes.
-- Would Ayatollah Khameni perish when Israeli nukes Tehran? Absolutely.
______

There is no possible scenario where Iran "wins" if they launch a substantial first strike. And, the Iranian military understands this as fact.

Fran Taubman , says: November 8, 2019 at 2:34 pm GMT
@A123 It is really fun when Gilad gets off Epstein and rape stuff and ventures into wars and Israeli security. The generals have kept Gilad up to date on the latest and the greatest.
He is so out to lunch in his desire to see Israel panic and loose the next war facing horrible casualties because it makes his point about how the Jews are doomed unless they cease being Jews.

He really believes that he can solve the problem and change our destiny if we all read "Wondering
Who"

In The Wandering Who I provide a possible answer: "Grasping the notion of temporality is the ability to accept that the past is shaped and revised in the light of a search for meaning. History, and historical thinking, are the capacity to rethink the past and the future." Accordingly, revisionism is the true essence of historical thinking. It turns the past into a moral message, it turns the moral into an ethical act. Sadly this is exactly where the Jewish State is severely lacking. Despite the Zionist promise to introduce introspection, morality and universal thinking to the emerging Hebrew culture, the Jewish State has failed to break away from the Jewish past because it doesn't really grasp the notion of the 'past' as a dynamic elastic ethical substance.

I wonder what it is like to wish death and destruction on a people and a country to prove your point and call yourself an unemotional Athenian.

No Jews in the headline another slow thread.

Gilad Atzmon , says: November 8, 2019 at 2:51 pm GMT
@A123 As you may have noticed, in the Israeli apocalyptic scenarios the Jewish state doesn't put into play the Samson option.. it is slightly less genocidal than yourself .. you may want to ask yourself why
Rev. Spooner , says: November 8, 2019 at 4:05 pm GMT
Israel is making a terrible mistake. The oft touted "Sampson Option" is a bogus option as Bibi, Benny Gatz and/or any other Israeli leader knows it will be suicide if they use this option. Because even if they emerge from the bunkers days later after using nuclear bombs against Iran, Syria, Lebanon and other European capitals ( Samson option targets Europe ) they will be greeted with hostility and will have no sanctuary.

Three times in world history the Jews were rescued by the Persians.
Believe it or not.

Miro23 , says: November 8, 2019 at 4:52 pm GMT

However, the US under the Trump administration is somewhat unpredictable, especially in light of the current impeachment proceedings against Trump.

Not at all unpredictable with regards to Israel. Trump and Congress would use the last cent of US taxpayer's money and the last drop of Anglo blood to save the place. Trump is Israel's US Viceroy and Congress is its Colonial Parliament.

Israel's real nightmare starts when US nationalists toss out the colonialists, and Israel has to find a way live on its own resources.

Sulu , says: November 8, 2019 at 5:07 pm GMT
I have to think that considering the failure of military intelligence agencies in the past that no one has any real idea how close Iran is to getting the bomb. But even if they get numbers of them and have a means to deliver them on target it simply would mean that Iran and Israel are in a standoff. I can understand how Israel would not want Iran to have the bomb but in reality how much difference would it make? It would only be relevant if the two countries had already blundered into war and things were entering a final disastrous stage. Then it would simply mean both countries would be destroyed instead of just one.
Also, not being a military man am I naive in thinking Iran might be able to buy nuclear weapons on the black market? From North Korea, perhaps? I have got to suspect Israel will be faced with two options. Either fight Iran sooner, before they get nukes. Or they will simply have to accept that Iran is going to be a nuclear power. It's pretty obvious that Israel has been trying to get America to fight their war for them. But Trump has been reluctant to do so. No wonder the Jews are chomping at the bit to find some way to get rid of him. 2020 should prove to be an interesting year.
Tom Verso , says: November 8, 2019 at 5:45 pm GMT
This analysis leaves out two very significant historic military facts:

1) The 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon aka the "33 Day War" where in:

"Hezbollah inflicted more Israeli casualties per Arab fighter in 2006 than did any of Israel's state opponents in the 1956, 1967, 1973, or 1982 Arab-Israeli interstate wars, and is generally acknowledge that Israel flat out lost that war and de facto sued for a cease fire.

(see: "U.S. Department of Defense. The 2006 Lebanon Campaign and the Future of Warfare: Implications for Army and Defense Policy." Kindle Edition.)

2) The Syrian army is currently the only army in the world that has multi-front, contiguous multi-year 'combined arms' (i.e. army, armor, artillery and air force) combat experience .

Further, the leader of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah in a recent interview pointed out that Hezbollah fighting along side of the Syrian Army these past five years, now has experience in offensive warfare. In 2006 they fought strictly defensively.

In short, if an Israeli war comes again, given the experience of the Syrian and Hezbollah armies and Syria acquiring state of the art air defense system (S 300, etc), Iranian missiles may very well be the least of Israel's worries.

Indeed, before Iran launches missiles, Hezbollah and Syria may move to take back Shebaa Farms and Golan Heights.

To my mind: Israel and American militaries are "paper Tigers". Israel has never fought a combined arms war for a sustained period of time against an equally matched military. And the US not since Korea. Their victories have always been overwhelming an inferior force.

Gilad Atzmon , says: November 8, 2019 at 6:10 pm GMT
@AaronB For me the fact that the Jewish state indulges itself in apocalyptic and genocidal fantasies is really a glimpse into to tribal mind.. as far as I can tell this pre traumatic stress points at severe form of projection .. Israeli politicians and commentators attribute their own symptoms to their neighbours ..
Colin Wright , says: November 8, 2019 at 6:55 pm GMT
@Rev. Spooner ' Three times in world history the Jews were rescued by the Persians.
Believe it or not.'

The Persians more or less created 'the Jews.' At any rate, a religion recognizable as Judaism first appeared in the wake of the Persian conquests.

However, when did the Persians 'rescue' the Jews?

They allowed the creation of an autonomous Jewish state in Palestine when they overran that place around the beginning of the seventh century AD -- but that only lasted for about twenty years anyway.

So what are the three times?

Tom Verso , says: November 8, 2019 at 7:43 pm GMT
@A123 If I may: I don't know for sure what G Atzmon meant by the Samson Option; but, I have come across this express before and I took it to mean that Israel will go to nuclear war even if means the destruction of the Jewish State. That is, like Samson who destroyed his enemies by killing himself; Israel nuec's Iran and Iran nuce's Israel (kills enemies and itself).

This should not be taken lightly. While it would be totally irrational for most states to take the Samson Option, it is to my mind a plausible option for Israel. For even if the Jewish State is destroyed, the Jewish Nation i.e. the Jewish people around the world will survive and continue on as they have these thousands of years. But, they will be free of what they perceive as their arch enemy i.e. Iran and other Moslems. They survived the metaphoric Holocaust and they will survive a literal one. The Jewish State may be destroyed but not the Jewish People.

Altai_3 , says: November 8, 2019 at 9:35 pm GMT
This is something not enough people comment on. Israel's military is not a mini US military, it has serious problems and takes losses and casualties in contexts that would be shocking for another Western country that spends as much per capita for it's military.

This is why Israel having nuclear weapons irks me so much, the more it can't rely on it's conventional military, the more they'll lean into their nuclear deterrent, increasing the probability of it's use. (Not dissimilar to the situation with Pakistan vis-a-vis India, though in that case, India has nukes too)

Adrian , says: November 8, 2019 at 10:06 pm GMT
@Tom Verso The Samson Option
The Samson Option.jpg
Author Seymour Hersh
Country United States
Language English
Genre Non-fiction
Publisher Random House
Publication date
1991
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 362 pp
ISBN 0-394-57006-5
OCLC 24609770
Dewey Decimal
355.8/25119/095694 20
LC Class UA853.I8 H47 1991
The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy is a 1991 book by Seymour Hersh. It details the history of Israel's nuclear weapons program and its effects on Israel-American relations. The "Samson Option" of the book's title refers to the nuclear strategy whereby Israel would launch a massive nuclear retaliatory strike if the state itself was being overrun, just as the Biblical figure Samson is said to have pushed apart the pillars of a Philistine temple, bringing down the roof and killing himself and thousands of Philistines who had gathered to see him humiliated.

According to The New York Times, Hersh relied on Ari Ben-Menashe, a former Israeli government employee who says he worked for Israeli intelligence, for much of his information on the state of the Israeli nuclear program. However, Hersh confirmed all of this information with at least one other source.[1] Hersh did not travel to Israel to conduct interviews for the book, believing that he might have been subject to the Israeli Military Censor. Nevertheless, he did interview Israelis in the United States and Europe during his three years of research.[1]

Colin Wright , says: November 8, 2019 at 10:31 pm GMT
@Fran Taubman ' If you study it, can be pretty scary. It is not just Israel. Also who wants another North Korea blackmail game?'

You mean something like the Samson option?

Anyway, the whole discussion is silly. No nation -- and that included Imperial Japan in 1945, when the chips were down -- chooses self-immolation. They always give way. Iran isn't a threat to Israel because Iran's not going to commit national suicide, and 'the Samson Option' is bullshit as well, because six million Jews aren't going to commit national suicide either.

Zionists such as yourself only choose to think otherwise about Iran -- in spite of the absence of any historical evidence at all -- because it justifies your own pathological aggression towards a nation that is (a) a thousand miles away, and (b) poses no serious threat to Israel whatsoever.

Try not attacking literally everyone you can think of. That might help. I mean, fuck -- Israel is the only state in modern history that has attacked literally every single one of her neighbors, and several more besides. Since 1948, she's attacked Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, and even the United States. What's up?

Art , says: November 8, 2019 at 10:41 pm GMT

Despite the Zionist promise to introduce introspection, morality and universal thinking to the emerging Hebrew culture, the Jewish State has failed to break away from the Jewish past because it doesn't really grasp the notion of the 'past' as a dynamic elastic ethical substance.

The Jews are always long-term losers because they teach their children that they have always been and will forever be victims of humanity. Jew children are traumatized at an immature young age – they are mentally damaged by the thought that humanity wants to kill them and do them harm. This notion is inculcated deep in the Jew child's psyche. These poor children can never escape what has been implanted. (For three thousand years, generation after generation, Jew culture has been abusing their children with dreadful thoughts.)

Nine out of ten adult Jews are triggered into thoughts of doom by any criticism of Israel – their reactions are visceral, and a pure reflex coming out of their brainstem.

Jews cannot be introspective because of what elder Jews have implanted in them in their youth. Their rational emotional systems have been short-circuited.

I have seen intelligent Jews on this forum flirt with empathy for Palestinians – only to fall back into mindless reflexive support of whatever Israel does.

Art , says: November 8, 2019 at 11:14 pm GMT
@Art

Jews Are Feeling Guilty: They Should Be. Their Influence Has Been Cancerous to America
Gilad Atzmon Wed, Nov 6, 2019

It has become an institutional Jewish habit to examine how much Jews are hated by their host nations and how fearful Jews are of their neighbours. Jewish press outlets reported yesterday that "9 out of 10 US Jews worry about anti-Semitism."

. . .

As Haartez writer Ari Shavit wrote back in 2003: "The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish " Maybe some Jews now understand that the Zionist shift from a 'promised land' to the Neocon 'promised planet' doesn't reflect well on the Jews as a group.

https://russia-insider.com/en/politics/jews-are-feeling-guilty-they-should-be-their-influence-has-been-cancerous-america/ri27813

Miro23 , says: November 8, 2019 at 11:40 pm GMT
@AaronB

Any separation of one group from another is a tribe. Any identity whatsoever is a tribe – because identity sets you apart. The moment you define yourself you are tribal, because definitions distinguish one thing from another.

The issue is that some people are not particularly tribal (i.e. Westerners) and they are open to multiculturalism – i.e. proposition nations. However, proposition nations are very much non-tribalist places and need non-tribalism to survive.

If tribalists talk multiculturalism and proposition nations (i.e. use deception) while practicing tribalism, they quickly overwhelm these societies – which is where the US is today with regards to Jewish tribalists.

What does a Jewish tribalist elite do next? And what does a (subjected) majority do next?

renfro , says: November 9, 2019 at 12:49 am GMT

Michael Oren, repeated my 2011 predictions this week in the Atlantic and described a horrific scenario for the next, and likely last, Israeli conflict.

The purpose of Oren's Atlantic article was to create alarm in the DC political corridors .."warning' that if the US doesnt 'soon help Israel' with its Iran enemy there will be chaos and dead bodies galore .
Its propaganda but 'true' propaganda 'if' Israel were to attack Iran on their own but they wont .they aren't capable of it alone.
They are running this same propaganda articles/warnings in Europe, saying Europe needs to 'do something' about Iran Now!
Its basically a blackmail and scare ploy because they don't think Trump will do it for them .and of course if Israel starts a war it will be because Trump/US deserted them like he/we did the Kurds and they were 'forced' to try and defend the world against Iran 'all alone' and Israel isn't to blame for the mess lol.

What Israel will do is try to start a war on Hezbollah 'first, as Hezbollah would be their most immediate and dangerous threat , severely crippling Israel right at the onset of any war with Iran.
They will claim that Iran directed attacks on Israel and so the US should step in because its an attack by Iran.

If we had anyone in DC that wasn't bought off by Jewish 'benjamin's ' they would be laughing their asses off at this typical Jewish tactic.

Ash Williams , says: November 9, 2019 at 2:10 am GMT
@A123

Everyone understands that a minor Iranian miscalculation could lead to total war. One in which nuclear bombs would rain down on Iran leaving its cities, economy, and security in ruins.

The sociopath, Ayatollah Khameni is detached from reality and may be willing to take such risks. However, there is no reason to believe that The Iranian military or civilian population will embrace certain suicide. It is quite likely that the IRGC would decide that it is time for another revolution and end the theocracy, rather than die following the dubious commands of a deranged Ayatollah.

Kristol, you're drunk. Turn off the computer and go to bed, you shmuck.

renfro , says: November 9, 2019 at 4:49 am GMT
@Colin Wright

She has us all to herself

That was the goal.
Remember the Zios in Rumsfeld's pentagon stressing how the US must dump 'old Europe"?
Even a non genius like me could figure that out .old Europe might be too much of a 'restraining ' influence on the US.
The Jews hate Europe anyway ..just like they hate Russia.

Some interesting things popped up this week .Vindman , main testifier against Trump on Ukraine is a Ukraine Jew, Solderman,Trump's main man on Ukraine is a Jew, also has now testified against Trump, their attorney is also a Jew ..they all have issued statements about how the plucky "little Ukraine is fighting against Russia for the US and world" and needs our aid and so on. Exactly the same wording and bullshit spin the Jews use about Israel "fighting Iran to protect the US and world interest".
Plain to me the Uber Jews are trying to set up the Ukraine as a Israel satellite and weight on Russia's flank.

I read Vindman's testimony to congress ..something is very off about the guy. he sounded numerous times like he lost his script. He's, in his own words, a fanatical supporter of Ukraine . I don't like Trump but I think the Ukraine deal to impeach him is a set up ..and its not coming mainly from the CIA ,its coming from the Nat Sec Council that Vindman works for.

https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=6543468-Alexander-Vindman-Testimony

ziogolem , says: November 9, 2019 at 5:28 am GMT
The Andinia Plan (and others like it) gives Israel almost a "reset" button, making the Samson Option a disturbing possibility.

"Holiday camps" with hundreds of thousands of empty houses, a military landing strip, a submarine base
https://www.globalresearch.ca/does-israel-have-a-patagonia-project-in-argentina/5624434

A Palestinian sees for herself what these Israeli tourists are about
http://www.kawther.info/K20040416A.html
http://www.kawther.info/wpr/2009/01/30/israeli-war-criminals-in-patagonia

It seems that the Argentinian elite are reliant on Israeli (and US) armed support
https://steemit.com/informationwar/@renny-krieger/the-military-invasion-of-argentina-english-version

It is terrifying to think that in the event Israel be run by psychopaths, they might sacrifice another "6 million", while securing themselves a new Zion.

On the other hand, a peaceful transfer of the occupation of Palestine to Patagonia (and elsewhere), without the trigger of war, would be a possible path to peace in the Middle East (not so ideal for Patagonia though).

What would it take for either outcome to pass? I fear the former is far more likely than the latter.

Not Raul , says: November 9, 2019 at 5:31 am GMT
@Altai_3 I agree.

Israel is much more likely to be the next country to use atomic weapons than Iran.

They reached their limit in the 2006 Lebanon War with just over a hundred fatalities.

It's hard to imagine the Israelis losing even half as many as they did in 1973 (somewhat less than 3000) before pushing the button.

anon [113] Disclaimer , says: November 9, 2019 at 5:35 am GMT
@renfro

I don't like Trump but I think the Ukraine deal to impeach him is a set up ..and its not coming mainly from the CIA ,its coming from the Nat Sec Council .

Have you heard of –
Growing Indicators of Brennan's CIA Trump Task Force
by Larry C Johnson
https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/11/growing-indicators-of-brennans-cia-trump-task-force-by-larry-c-johnson.html

They were out to get him a year before he was elected;

[Nov 09, 2019] The Media's Obsession With Personalities Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... Earlier in Stone's legal process his lawyers filed a motion to try to prove that Russia did not hack the DNC and Podesta emails. The motion revealed that CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign, never completed its report, and only gave a redacted draft to the FBI blaming Russia. The FBI was never allowed to examine the DNC server itself. ..."
"... Faced now with a criminal investigation into how the Russiagate conspiracy theory originated intelligence officers and their accomplices in the media and in the Democratic Party are mounting a defense by launching an offensive in the form of impeachment proceedings against Trump that is based on an allegation of conducting routine, corrupt U.S. foreign policy. ..."
"... Consortium News ..."
Nov 09, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Earlier in Stone's legal process his lawyers filed a motion to try to prove that Russia did not hack the DNC and Podesta emails. The motion revealed that CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign, never completed its report, and only gave a redacted draft to the FBI blaming Russia. The FBI was never allowed to examine the DNC server itself.

In the end, though, it doesn't matter if it were a hack or a leak by an insider. That's because the emails WikiLeaks released were accurate. When documents check out it is irrelevant who the source is. That's why WikiLeaks set up an anonymous drop box, copied by big media like The Wall Street Journal and others . Had the emails been counterfeit and disinformation was inserted into a U.S. election by a foreign power that would be sabotage. But that is not what happened.

The attempt to stir up the thoroughly discredited charge of collusion appears to be part of the defense strategy of those whose reputations were thoroughly discredited by maniacally pushing that false charge for more than two years. This includes legions of journalists. But principal among them are intelligence agency officials who laundered this "collusion" disinformation campaign through the mainstream media.

Faced now with a criminal investigation into how the Russiagate conspiracy theory originated intelligence officers and their accomplices in the media and in the Democratic Party are mounting a defense by launching an offensive in the form of impeachment proceedings against Trump that is based on an allegation of conducting routine, corrupt U.S. foreign policy.

Stone may be just a footnote to this historic partisan battle that may scar the nation for a generation. But he has the personality to be the poster boy for the Democrats' lost cause.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for T he Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe , Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

[Nov 09, 2019] Three Deep State Confessions On Syria by Brad Hoff

At a US gov-funded think tank, this official who oversaw Congress' Syria Study Group outlines the continued regime-change strategy. She says the US military "owned" 1/3rd of Syrian territory, including its oil/wheat-rich region. And the US is trying to block reconstruction funds: 1191808201177604096
Notable quotes:
"... Trump is a total moron, but we owe him a great debt for bringing the Deep State out into the open. We also owe him a great debt for blatantly stealing Syria's oil. Trump's big problem is that he's too stupid to keep the secrets of the ruling-class. They will never again be able to deny the Deep State. And their "just" wars are all exactly what they always looked like: unadulterated criminal greed. It's just killing and stealing, no different from any other murderous, thieving criminal other than the massive scale of the killing and stealing. ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Brad Hoff via The Libertarian Institute,

First, all the way back in 2005 -- more than a half decade before the war began -- CNN's Christiane Amanpour told Assad to his face that regime change is coming . Thankfully this was in a televised and archived interview, now for posterity to behold.

Amanpour, it must be remembered, was married to former US Assistant Secretary of State James Rubin (until 2018), who further advised both President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"Mr. President you know the rhetoric of regime change is headed towards you from the United States... They're granting visas and visits to Syrian opposition politicians," Amanpour told Assad in a 2005 CNN interview .

Next, a surprisingly blunt assessment of where Washington currently stands after eight years of the failed push to oust Assad and influence the final outcome of the war, from the very man who was among the early architects of America's covert "arm the jihadists to topple the dictator" campaign .

Myself and others long ago documented how former Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford worked with and funded a Free Syrian Army commander who led ISIS suicide bombers into the battlefield in 2013.

Amb. Ford has since admitted this much (that US proxy 'rebels' and ISIS worked together in the early years of the war), and now admits defeat in the below recent interview as perhaps a reborn 'realist'.

And finally, not everyone is as pessimistic on the continuing prospects for yet more US-led regime change future efforts as Robert Ford is above. Below is an astoundingly blunt articulation of the next disturbing phase of US efforts in Syria , from an October 31 conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) .

"The panel featured the two co-chairs of the Syria Study Group , a bi-partisan working group appointed by Congress to draft a new US war plan for Syria," The Grayzone's Ben Norton wrote of the below clip:

She made it a point to stress that this sovereign Syrian land "owned" by Washington also happened to be "resource-rich," the "economic powerhouse of Syria, so where the hydrocarbons are as well as the agricultural powerhouse."

With images now circulating of Trump's "secure the oil" policy in effect, which has served to at least force pro-interventionist warmongers to drop all high-minded humanitarian notions of "democracy promotion" and "freedom" and R2P doctrine as descriptive of US motives in Syria, the above blunt admissions of Dana Stroul , the Democratic co-chair of the Syria Study Group, are ghastly and chilling in terms of what's next for the suffering population of Syria.

We are "preventing reconstruction aid and technical expertise from going back into Syria," she stressed in her statement.

America is not finished, apparently, and it's likely to get a lot uglier than merely seizing the oil.


Generation O , 1 hour ago link

Hell, why doesn't America unleash nerve gas on Syria's population and get this shat-show over with? Naturally, this will result in the loss to the international body parts market of Syria's youngsters (videos of actual procedures upon screaming school-age kids are available online), but America's shockingly-enabled Child Protective Services seems quite adept at replacing that market sector.

Blue Boat , 1 hour ago link

General Wesley Clarke revealed it all in 2007. He's been banished from the TV pundit shows ever since.

If you haven't seen this, it's 2 min. Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTbg11pCwOc

jeff montanye , 1 hour ago link

"They're granting visas and visits to Syrian opposition politicians"

think there were any quid pro quos with those? of course that was ok; it only led to a million dead in the mideast for the very short term advantage of the likud mossad, for which anything, at all, from 9-11 to epstein, is permitted

jeff montanye , 1 hour ago link

zionist but yes. note rubin worked both sides of the street like victoria nuland.

also the lovely lady in the video is dana sproul, https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=dana+stroul+zionist+***&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

Conscious Reviver , 1 hour ago link

The Dogs of War live in Occupied DC.

Aleedsfella , 2 hours ago link

Gooooooooo Russia! NATO are great at bombing farmers but they **** their panties when another modern army drew a line in the sand and they retreated and dug in around the oil fields.

That sounds very anti USA and it is! But I know the British are involved, I just do not see the British Armed Forces as the British Armed Forces anymore they are just small players in a USA fronted globalist force and this globalist force fights for the private wealth of a few individuals?

**** that and **** you for your service to all NATO personnel since 9/11. Our armed forces are the bad guys in this movie. Which oil/ore rich nation without a western run central bank are NATO forces going to free the **** out of next? I was betting on Iran but it looks like America is about to turn on South America soon, Venezuela looks like NATO want to free it.

East Indian , 2 hours ago link

Christiane Amanpour - I wonder what she sees when she sees herself in the mirror.

'To die, to sleep – to sleep – perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub, for in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause.'

Good luck, Amanpour.

BobEore , 2 hours ago link

Put down that crak pipe ho! \

likely to get a lot uglier than merely seizing the oil

Lost in their factionalist partisan bubble of rabid political gamesmanship, Merikans continue to squabble over which of their talmudic puppet parties suffer more from imperial over reach...

whilst serious war crimes committed by jihadis and their neo-islamist backers continue to occur as a result of the WAR CRIMINAL IN CHIEFS' kowtowing to an oriental despot who has the goods on Donnies' Debt Deal with turco-talmudic bagmen who did over his dirty real estate laundry in return for having their own 'special genius' POTUS dancing on their strings!

Hundreds of thousands displaced, and more now on the run from rape n pillage gangsters due to Dons' Deceitful Sellout of the ONLY group who took on the Daesh/ISIS and pounded their pouty asses in to the desert sands. All to save his own chicken neck; And you wanna talk about oil?

"I like oil - we're keeping the oil." OIL FOR BLOOD - BLOODY DON DRIMPF, THE JIHADIST CHEW TOY!

Condor_0000 , 2 hours ago link

Trump is a total moron, but we owe him a great debt for bringing the Deep State out into the open. We also owe him a great debt for blatantly stealing Syria's oil. Trump's big problem is that he's too stupid to keep the secrets of the ruling-class. They will never again be able to deny the Deep State. And their "just" wars are all exactly what they always looked like: unadulterated criminal greed. It's just killing and stealing, no different from any other murderous, thieving criminal other than the massive scale of the killing and stealing.

ImTalkinfullCs , 2 hours ago link

This twat wants to "hold the line on preventing reconstruction aid from going back to Syria" ........ the Zionists love a failed state. Music to their creepy ears.

DEDA CVETKO , 2 hours ago link

Syria is the last barrier that separates the civilization from the tsunami of evil. The Syrian sovereignty and independence - however flawed - must be preserved at any cost.

Anglo-Aryan , 2 hours ago link

Jews responsible for the whole of it. America cannot become a decent force in the world without deposing its Jewish elite and removing their power, reach and influence.

pHObuk0wrEHob71Suwr2 , 2 hours ago link

https://vault.fbi.gov/victor-marchetti/victor-marchetti-part-01-of-01/view

DEDA CVETKO , 1 hour ago link

I lived under communism for 21 years. For the first 11 or so years, we only had one TV channel, which was kinda 50/50: fifty percent government propaganda, fifty percent government-approved forms of entertainment. Some 11 years later, we got another channel, which was mostly movies and assorted entertainment, with bits and pieces of Big Brother presence tossed in for good measure.

Still, I found the official news credible in one sense: you knew that these guys were full of **** and lying through the teeth so you could always reconstruct the truth by placing their news coverage on its head. It never failed. It worked like a charm.

Now, I have some 600+ channels worth of pure brainwash in every shape, shade and nuance of mind control. It is impossible to even think of reconstituting some semblance of objective reality from the fake media coverage. All you get is one gigantic funhouse, the house of horrors, the lunatic asylum on steroids. The only way to stay sane is to steer clear and as far away from the insanity as possible. You did the right thing, in fact the only possible thing.

Seek Shelter , 2 hours ago link

The Washington Institute -- founded by Barbi Weinberg and first led by the former deputy director of research for AIPAC. Democrat, Republican--all the same to these 'think tanks'.

[Nov 09, 2019] Post-Cold War Triumphalism and Kennan's Warning by Daniel Larison

Nov 09, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Andrew Bacevich describes how the U.S. learned all the wrong lessons from the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War:

You won't hear it from any of the candidates vying to succeed Trump, but we are still haunted by our false conception of the Cold War. On the stump, politicians get away with reciting comforting clichés about the imperative of American global leadership. Yet the time for believing such malarkey is long gone.

An essential first step toward recoupling national security policy and reason is to see the Cold War for what it was: not a "long, twilight struggle" ending in victory, but a vast and costly tragedy that inflicted needless suffering, brought humankind absurdly close to extinction, and from which U.S. policymakers have drawn all the wrong lessons.

The anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall offers an occasion not for celebration but for somber and long overdue reflection.

One of the wrong lessons that U.S. policymakers drew from the events of 1989-1991 was that the U.S. was chiefly responsible for ending and "winning" the Cold War, which inevitably overestimated our government's capabilities and effectiveness in affecting the political fortunes of other parts of the world. The far more critical and important role of the peoples of central and eastern Europe and the Soviet Union itself in overthrowing the system that had oppressed them was pushed into the background as much as possible. The U.S. took credit for their success and policymakers frequently attributed the outcome to the policies of the late Cold War rather than to the deficiencies and failings of the other system. After waging stalemated and failed wars in the name of anticommunism, U.S. policymakers wanted to be able to claim that they had "won" something, and so they declared victory for something that they hadn't caused.

The period that followed the dissolution of the USSR was one of triumphalism, expansion, and overreach. The U.S. not only congratulated itself for achieving something that was accomplished by others, but it also assumed that it could achieve similar results in other parts of the world. If NATO had been a great success as a defensive alliance, the "thinking" went, why shouldn't it continue and expand to include many more countries? If the U.S. was supposedly able to bring down the Soviet Union, why shouldn't it do the same to authoritarian regimes elsewhere? Absent the check on ambition and hubris that a superpower rival provided, the U.S. was free to run amok and do whatever it liked without regard for the consequences. That triumphalism sowed the seeds for many of the more significant post-Cold War failures that we have witnessed since then. Even today, that same overconfidence encourages U.S. policymakers to flirt with the idea of engaging in another Cold War-style rivalry with a more formidable state in China.

George Kennan presciently warned against the triumphalism that he saw around him as early as 1992. At that time, he was responding directly to the claims from Republicans that Reagan and his policies had "won" the Cold War:

The suggestion that any American administration had the power to influence decisively the course of a tremendous domestic-political upheaval in another great country on another side of the globe is intrinsically silly and childish. No great country has that sort of influence on the internal developments of any other one.

Kennan went on to say that the militarization of U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War was a boon to Soviet hard-liners and in that way helped prolong it:

The extreme militarization of American discussion and policy, as promoted by hard-line circles over the ensuing 25 years, consistently strengthened comparable hard-liners in the Soviet Union.

The more America's political leaders were seen in Moscow as committed to an ultimate military rather than political resolution of Soviet-American tensions, the greater was the tendency in Moscow to tighten the controls by both party and police, and the greater the braking effect on all liberalizing tendencies in the regime. Thus the general effect of cold war extremism was to delay rather than hasten the great change that overtook the Soviet Union at the end of the 1980's.

Whenever hawks talk about "winning" the Cold War, they invariably mean that it was the militarized policies they favored that carried the day, but Kennan reminded us that this was not so. In fact, a militarized foreign policy perpetuated the struggle by providing Soviet hard-liners with a plausible foreign threat that they could use to justify their own policies and to clamp down on internal dissent. We have seen the same thing repeated several times in the last thirty years on a smaller scale with other governments. The most aggressive and confrontational policies unwittingly aid authoritarian regimes by giving them an external enemy that they can use to deflect attention from their own failings and as a pretext for the consolidation of power at home.

Kennan was already telling us shortly after the Cold War ended that no one had "won" it:

Nobody -- no country, no party, no person -- "won" the cold war. It was a long and costly political rivalry, fueled on both sides by unreal and exaggerated estimates of the intentions and strength of the other party [bold mine-DL]. It greatly overstrained the economic resources of both countries, leaving both, by the end of the 1980's, confronted with heavy financial, social and, in the case of the Russians, political problems that neither had anticipated and for which neither was fully prepared.

We can all be grateful that the Cold War ended, but we shouldn't delude ourselves with talk of victory. Not only is it inaccurate, but it encourages the worst kinds of overreach and arrogance that has led to several serious foreign policy failures in the decades that have followed. Kennan warned us almost thirty years ago not to go down this path of triumphalism, and as so often happened Americans ignored Kennan's wisdom.

Kennan concluded with the same idea that Bacevich stated at the end of his op-ed:

That the conflict should now be formally ended is a fit occasion for satisfaction but also for sober re-examination of the part we took in its origin and long continuation. It is not a fit occasion for pretending that the end of it was a great triumph for anyone, and particularly not one for which any American political party could properly claim principal credit.

American policymakers are not known for sober re-examination and acknowledgment of error, but these are exactly the things that are needed if we are to stop making the same blunders and learning the wrong lessons from the past. Kennan and Bacevich's advice is just as timely and important today as it was twenty-seven years ago. Perhaps this time we should pay attention and listen to it.

[Nov 09, 2019] Whether NATO is alive or dead, and which of its parts are comatose that's not for us to decide. We're not pathologists.

Nov 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU1 , Nov 8 2019 19:01 utc | 19

Lavrov "I wouldn't want to drag myself into a discussion about the medical side of this issue.. If Macron had felt that the diagnosis he made [of NATO] was so evident – he had all the right to state it. He knows NATO better than me, since he represents a nation which is a member of the alliance."

Peskov "Whether NATO is alive or dead, and which of its parts are comatose – that's not for us to decide. We're not pathologists."
https://www.rt.com/news/472929-lavrov-macron-nato-comment/

[Nov 08, 2019] Scapegoating as the major neoliberal propaganda tool

Nov 08, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Orange Watch 11.07.19 at 5:11 pm 71

Donald@63 :

The tendency to scapegoat rather than make the case for one's own merit is very deeply ingrained in our top-down liberal democratic systems; the Democratic establishment is unfortunately just getting back to core principles by shifting almost exclusively to this mode of discourse over the past decade. From Guy Debord's 1988 Commentaries on the Society of the Spectacle :

This perfect democracy creates for itself its own inconceivable enemy, terrorism. In effect, it wants to be judged by its enemies moreso than by its results. The history of terrorism is written by the State; it is therefore instructive. The spectator populations certainly cannot know everything about terrorism, but they can always know enough to be persuaded that compared to terrorism, anything else must seem to be more or less acceptable, and in any case more rational and democratic.

[Nov 08, 2019] Assange lawyers links to US govt Bill Browder raises questions by Lucy Komisar

Notable quotes:
"... Browder is key in the U.S. demonization of Russia. Assange has exposed U.S. war crimes. For lawyers associated in the British legal system to take both sides on that conflict would appear to be an egregious conflict of interest. But it fits with the U.S.-UK support of the Browder-Magnitsky hoax and their cooperation in the attack on Assange. ..."
"... Bailin is a member of Matrix Chambers, which was founded by the wife of Tony Blair, the former neocon Labor British Prime Minister. He is solidly in the Browder camp. He represented Leonid Nevzlin, a major partner of Browder collaborator Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who according to filings with FARA (the Foreign Agents Registration Act), paid $385,000 for Congress to adopt the Magnitsky Act which has been used by the U.S. as a weapon against the Russian government. ..."
"... In 2017 British legal actions surrounding an inquest into the death of Alexander Perepilichnyy, he represented Browder, who claimed that the Russian, who died of a heart attack, was somehow a victim of Russian President Putin. Perepilichnyy had lost money in investments he was handling for clients and had to get out of town. ..."
"... Needing support, he decamped to London and gave Browder documents relating to his client's questionable bank transfers. He died after a jog, Browder claimed he was poisoned by a rare botanical substance, obviously ordered by Putin, but forensic tests found that untrue. Robertson accused local police of a cover-up. ..."
"... Why did Assange or his advisors choose lawyers associated with the interests of the U.S. government and Browder? Or how could those lawyers be so ignorant about the facts of Browder's massive tax evasion and his Magnitsky story fabrications? ..."
"... What we are seeing now is no different from the Lula case in Brazil or any one of a thousand similar cases in authoritarian regimes. Upset the Deep State and you face selected targeted application of the law and the destruction of your life and future. ..."
"... because of the peculiar quirks of the legal system in Britain that may include a great deal of secrecy about how aspects of it operate, is how Julian Assange came to have such a dubious legal representation with its various connections to Bill Browder and Mikhail Khodorkovsky ..."
"... who is going to foot these barristers' bills? ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Assange lawyers' links to US govt & Bill Browder raises questions The network of lawyers in conflicting roles in Browder, Assange and US government cases raises questions about Julian Assange's defense. Editor

A US government lawyer in the Assange extradition case just wrote a London Times oped promoting the Browder Magnitsky hoax. Ben Brandon is one of five lawyers in a London network whose spokes link to convicted tax fraudster William Browder, the U.S. government, and to both sides of the extradition case against whistleblower publisher Julian Assange.

Here is how the British legal system works. Lawyers are either solicitors who work with clients or barristers who go to court in cases assigned by the solicitors. To share costs, barristers operate in chambers , which provide office space, including conference rooms and dining halls, clerks who receive and assign cases from solicitors, and other support staff. London has 210 chambers. There are not "partners" sharing profits, but members operate fraternally with each other.

Browder is key in the U.S. demonization of Russia. Assange has exposed U.S. war crimes. For lawyers associated in the British legal system to take both sides on that conflict would appear to be an egregious conflict of interest. But it fits with the U.S.-UK support of the Browder-Magnitsky hoax and their cooperation in the attack on Assange.

The law firm and chambers involved in the Browder-Assange stories are Mishcon de Reya, Matrix Chambers and Doughty Street Chambers.

Ben Brandon of Mishcon de Reya and Alex Bailin of Matrix Chambers co-authored an opinion article in The Times of London October 24, 2019 in which they repeated William Browder's fabrications about the death of his accountant Sergei Magnitsky.

The article aimed to promote the Magnitsky Act which builds a political wall against Russia. It is based on the fake claim that Magnitsky, the accountant who handled Browder's tax evasion in Russia, was really a lawyer who exposed a government scam.

Except that is not true, there is no evidence for it, and the lies are documented here . But the Act has prevented the Russians from collecting about $100 million Browder owes in back taxes and illicit stock buys.

Brandon's and Bailin's connections are notable. Law firms, at least in the U.S., tend to stake out their commitments. Lawyers who represent unions do not represent companies fighting unions. It appears to be different in Britain, where legal chambers have members on either side of some cases.

Bailin is a member of Matrix Chambers, which was founded by the wife of Tony Blair, the former neocon Labor British Prime Minister. He is solidly in the Browder camp. He represented Leonid Nevzlin, a major partner of Browder collaborator Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who according to filings with FARA (the Foreign Agents Registration Act), paid $385,000 for Congress to adopt the Magnitsky Act which has been used by the U.S. as a weapon against the Russian government.

Nevzlin's suit was for $50 billion against Russia for money allegedly lost by the nationalization of Yukos Oil. Yukos was obtained by Khodorkovsky in the mid-90s in one of then Russian President Boris Yeltsin's rigged auctions. Khodorkovsky's bank Menatep ran the auction.

He paid $309 million for a controlling 78 percent of the state company. Months later, Yukos traded on the Russian stock exchange at a market capitalization of $6 billion. Not surprising, after Yeltsin departed, the state wanted the stolen assets back.

To add insult to injury, Khodorkovsky laundered profits from Yukos through transfer-pricing and other scams.

Transfer pricing is when you sell products to a shell company at a fake low price, and the shell sells them on the world market at the real price, giving you the rake-off. It cheats tax authorities and minority shareholders. See how Khodorkovsky and Browder did this with Russian company Avisma, which Khodorkovsky also got through a rigged auction.

The Times oped co-author, Brandon of Mishcon de Reya, has a startling connection. The day after an extradition request targeting Julian Assange was signed by the UK home secretary , Brandon representing the U.S. government, formally opened the extradition case.

Now look at another Assange link. Mark Summers , who is representing Julian Assange is, along with Bailin, a member of Matrix Chambers.

But while he is Assange's lawyer, Summers is acting for Assange's persecutor, the U.S. government, in a major extradition case involving executives of Credit Suisse in 2013 making fake loans and getting kickbacks from Mozambique government officials.

Does Assange, or those who care about his interests, know he is part of chambers working for the U.S. government?

And where do you put this factoid? Alex Bailin is representing Andrew Pearse, one of the Credit Suisse bankers that the U.S. government, represented by Summers, is seeking to extradite!

But there's chambers where two members are each supporting both Browder and Assange.

Geoffrey Robertson is founder of Doughty Street Chambers. He is also a longtime Browder / Magnitsky story promoter. He has pitched implementation of a Magnitsky Act in Australia and has served Browder in UK court.

In 2017 British legal actions surrounding an inquest into the death of Alexander Perepilichnyy, he represented Browder, who claimed that the Russian, who died of a heart attack, was somehow a victim of Russian President Putin. Perepilichnyy had lost money in investments he was handling for clients and had to get out of town.

Needing support, he decamped to London and gave Browder documents relating to his client's questionable bank transfers. He died after a jog, Browder claimed he was poisoned by a rare botanical substance, obviously ordered by Putin, but forensic tests found that untrue. Robertson accused local police of a cover-up.

He is a legal advisor to Assange and is regularly interviewed by international media about the case.

Jennifer Robinson of Doughty Street Chambers also has a Browder connection. She is acting for Paul Radu a journalist and official of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) which is being sued by an Azerbaijan MP. OCCRP is a Browder collaborator.

Browder admits in a deposition that OCCRP prepared documents he would give to the U.S. Justice Department to accuse the son of a Russian railway official of getting $1.9 million of $230 million defrauded from the Russian Treasury. The case was settled when the U.S. couldn't prove the charge, and the target declined to spend more millions of dollars in his defense. OCCRP got the first Magnitsky Human Rights award , set up for Browder's partners and acolytes.

Robinson is also the longest-serving member of Assange's legal team. She acted for Assange in the Swedish extradition proceedings and in relation to Ecuador's request to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights Advisory Opinion proceedings on the right to asylum.

Why did Assange or his advisors choose lawyers associated with the interests of the U.S. government and Browder? Or how could those lawyers be so ignorant about the facts of Browder's massive tax evasion and his Magnitsky story fabrications?

It raises questions about how they are handling the Assange defense.

The individuals cited were asked to respond to points made about them, but none did.

Here is my audio interview on this issue on Fault Lines, "The Avisma Scandal + The Link Between Browder & Assange." The Browder-Assange part starts 13:20 minutes in. Filed under: Assange Arrest , latest , Russia , United States Tagged with: Bill Browder , julian assange , Lucy Komisar , russia , Sergei Magnitsky , Wikileaks

can you spare $1.00 a month to support independent media


Adrian @ J'Accuse

The Telegraph reports on a 2015 private dinner in the home of Doughty Street 's Geoffrey Robertson at which the Magnitsky myth and sanctions against Russia are pitched to then-Labour-Party-leader Ed Miliband, and Doughty Street lawyer Amal Clooney and co.:

Revealed: Ed Miliband's dinner with George and Amal Clooney

Today we find aforementioned Browder/Magnitsky touts Alex Bailin, QC (Matrix lawyer and "legal writer for The Guardian, The Times and The Lawyer – co-writer of the bogus FT Magnitsky column with Ben Brandon), and Geoffrey Robertson, QC (Doughty Street's eminence grise), both on the Advisory Board of Amal Clooney's " TrialWatch " (part of the Clooney " Foundation for Justice "): TrialWatchฎ Advisory Board

universal
The tentacles of the deep state (no longer secret now) are clamping on our life so tightly that one would honestly wish that one of those extraterrestrial rocks would smash into this planet causing total annhilation –just in order to get rid of these psychopathic mongrels ruling over us.

I am not sure, though, fantasy could solve problems!

mark
We have a corrupt and politicised "justice" system used for the purposes of intimidation and political persecution. Some people still believe in fairy stories like the Rule of Law and an independent judiciary.

What we are seeing now is no different from the Lula case in Brazil or any one of a thousand similar cases in authoritarian regimes. Upset the Deep State and you face selected targeted application of the law and the destruction of your life and future.

Jen
Unfortunately what we don't get in Lucy Komisar's article, perhaps because of the peculiar quirks of the legal system in Britain that may include a great deal of secrecy about how aspects of it operate, is how Julian Assange came to have such a dubious legal representation with its various connections to Bill Browder and Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Who recommended Mishcon de Reya and other barristers to Assange and Wikileaks, and who is going to foot these barristers' bills? Are there no other barristers specialising in human rights cases in Britain who can take on Assange's case or was the case awarded to certain chambers in some kind of bidding arrangement or some other competitive arrangement?

BTW it's not unusual for law firms in Britain and Australia to have clients whose interests may be opposed, ie a law firm can represent both a company and a trade union whose members may be employed by that company. What usually happens is that different teams of lawyers work for the two sides and the work of one team is separated from the other team by internal firewalls. The firewalls include physical separations: the teams may even work on different floors so as not to share copiers or other office equipment and lawyers in opposing teams may be discouraged from socialising with each other during lunch and coffee breaks. Sounds bizarre but this does happen.

R Heybroek
With respect, you can't judge British law by US standards. Barristers are briefed by solicitors, not individual clients, and associate primarily in areas of competence, e.g. criminal, corporate or tax law. In their specialization, they generally follow the 'cab rank' principle and accept briefs from prosecution or defence as they arise. It's a strength of the system, not a problem.

Whatever I may think of some of the barristers in Matrix or Doughty, it would be foolish to assume that everyone in a chambers shares the same political views or attitudes. They do not. They argue like cats and dogs, usually with considerable professional respect.

I see nothing dubious about the range of experience of Assange's legal team. If his solicitor thinks a barrister has a conflict of interest, he will withdraw the brief. I'd suggest you direct your enquiries to the instructing solicitor.

RobG
Julian Assange was a dead man walking from the time he was taken (totally illegally) from the Ecuadorian embassy. Just about all the Wikileaks team are now totally corrupted; and as this article points out, most of Assange's legal team are also corrupted. The alleged mental deterioration of Assange, combined with harsh (and totally unnecessary) prison conditions, might account for some of this.
Jen
But surely it's odd that at the same time he is representing Julian Assange against the US government, Mark Summers is also acting for the United States government in another case in which three British-based Credit Suisse bankers are fighting extradition to the US on charges of security fraud and money laundering?
MLS
An important subsidiary question becomes, why aren't any of his high profile champions asking these questions? John Pilger? Craig Murray? They all bang on about stuff like 'torture' but never point out that his lawyers totally fail to address this pretty darn crucial issue. Craig Murray says 'Julian has great lawyers'. Really? If we step back and think for a minute, does it honestly look that way?

They can't even get him out of solitary or into a lower security prison. Shit, they can't even get his mail delivered adequately or uphold his right to get regular legal visitation! And yet no one, not even his parents, are complaining about these failures! And who is running Wikileaks these days? Do we have any way of being sure they aren't just a co-opted shell?

Betrayed planet
To be fair Pilger is one of the few real supporters of Julian along with a handful of musicians. His lone voice is not enough. I saw a clip of Pilger crying after the recent spectacle of a so called hearing. The presiding judge, The Honorary Upyourbottom should have been in the dock for perjury, fraud, lying before a court and crimes against humanity.
LawStudent
I'm a 2nd year law student and I can confirm that questions about the conduct of Assange's defence are legion in my school. MNynpeople talking about the inexplicable lapses. Just s fee usdyes often discussed: Why didn't the defense take up the judge's offer of bail application? To say 'well they would lose' is counter to the basics of jurisprudence.

Why is there no complaint being lodged about his detention in a maximum security facility when he's on remand – not serving a sentence – pending an extradition hearing? Why don't his lawyers lodge an appeal to the ECHR based on the testimony of the UN observers? Why are his lawyers keeping such low media profiles?

It's generally agreed something is very 'off' about this.

L Took
I think his lawyers stated that they were never offered a bail application, even though the judge claimed they had refused one. But I'm not sure; I had heard previous to this event that the lawyers would not ask because if they lost (the appeal?) Assange could be further punished for the loss. Is this accurate?
MaryD
It may be relevant that one of Assange's barristers also represents the corporate psyop Extinction Rebellion!
nottheonly1

Assange lawyers' links to US govt & Bill Browder raises questions. The network of lawyers in conflicting roles in Browder, Assange and US government cases raises questions about Julian Assange's defense.

Assange lawyers' links to US govt & Bill Browder raises only one question: What the?

I know it's not comedy, because people get seriously hurt and killed as a result of the transformation of a more or less democratic government into a well organized criminal organization. Who better to run the courts, than the mob? Mob 'Law' enforcement included. So, organized crime owns everything. The big club. The biggest profits are made with stuff that was bought to blow up something. Or somebody. One could ask: 'With links like these, who needs enemies?' Anybody interfering into, or compromising the Mob execution of the owners' plan, will be taken care of. Laws are written to owners' demands and are quickly as needed in show trials.

The eloquence in describing what is happening right now – and in all other show trials – is comforting.

As it is more like 'a gang of lawyers in revolving door roles in organized crime by Browder and US regime et al versus Julian Assange, providing Defense for Julian Assange in his case against the same people and the same regime.

I forgot where, but I have heard of such things before.

The World will have to understand that, without the immediate release of Julian Assange, no more rule of law exists on Earth. And to whomever has not connected the Assange affair with 'pre-emptive incarceration', might for a little longer enjoy playing outdoor chess on the deck of a sinking cruise ship.

Oh, and yes, the qualifier "six ways to/from Sunday" should also be mentioned as an exemplary business practice by the Mob regime. Actually, the Mob merged with the regime, with the regime belonging to the owners' club.

Northern
Good to see another article on this, seen several people raising concerns about these associations in independent media over the last few months, though it's no doubt one of those things that will never be 'officially' addressed. Many people with more knowledge than I have questioned the wisdom of certain decisions his legal team have made (or not, as the case may be) in recent proceedings. Craig Murray's account of Julian's recent court appearance reads like something you'd expect from a country with 'the people's democratic republic' in the name.

On a tangentially related note, anybody reading this who has the impetus to write to Julian in support;

The 'writetoJulian' website which appears at to the top of Google's search results for those who google how to go about such a thing, is either accidentally or deliberately (one can probably guess which) mis-advising its readers of the requirements. The website advises several times NOT to include Julian's prisoner number on any correspondence sent to him, but I know from direct knowledge of communicating with the incarcerated that without the prisoner number your correspondence will be destroyed and neither you nor the receiver will be notified. I hate to think how many well meaning messages of support for Julian have been 'legally' destroyed without him seeing them as a result of this.

Northern
Ah, in a limited sliver of good news; The aforementioned website seem to have cottoned on to their mistake after several people bringing it to their attention. They now advise you should include his number on all correspondence.

Mr Julian Assange
Prisoner #: A9379AY
HMP Belmarsh
Western Way
London SE28 0EB
UK

Betrayed planet
I have long suspected that Julian is not getting proper legal council. That his lawyers have not yet been able to get a proper hearing whilst he is left to rot in a maximum security prison is suspect in the extreme. The obvious Nazi style behaviour of the unlawful and fascist U.K. government and its lick spittle judiciary are apparent to all with absolutely no fight back from the excuse of a media nor indeed 99.9 percent of its compliant increasingly dumbed down and wilfully ignorant population.

What is obvious now to anyone with half an eye open is that the U.K. is now a rogue state where law and justice are meaningless, where bribery and corruption are common place. That Julian Assange is slowly dying in front of the whole world, will die without some kind of major intervention is a stain on every single aware English resident. Mind you with a population seemingly set to vote back in the same filthy vermin that have turned the country into the complete shithole it has become, it's hardly surprising.
Does anybody know if Gareth Pierce is still involved in his case?

nottheonly1
For quite some time now, an odd possibility offers itself – theoretically. Julian Assange is not the messenger. He is the message.

As a messenger, he is somewhat ineffective. He has not been able to convince people that the need for an uprising against lawlessness exists. That any form of government cannot work when the judiciary is corrupt and that there is no justice in a society ruled over by a regime.

As a message however, he is in the eyes of masses of people. Probably a majority of humans on Earth know who Julian Assange is. How many know who he is, where he came from and what it was exactly he did, before he published videos showing how well the 'Support our Troops' deserve was used up in the way it was intended, can only be a guess. Or a dedicated team of statisticians to hold polls in every country.

So, the published material, that was also leaked by a whistle blower, was proof of how deserving those soldiers were of our support – showing them killing innocent human beings and 'our Troops' having the greatest times of their lives doing it.

The message is simply: Look, if we can do this to Assange, what do you think we will do to you from Monday to Sunday – if you get any ideas?

No matter where you are. No matter who you are.

The only antidote to this insanity is the Truth and it be given its day(s) in court. 'Justice Mondays'.

Petra Liverani
I wonder if Alexander Perepilichnyy's death happened any which way – if indeed he was even a real person – there's only two photos of him as far as I can tell and the feeling of reality about his is not strong – as the Japan Times says, "What we know of Perepilichnyy is slight." Could he have just conveniently been invented and disappeared somehow? The story of him spending his last night with his 22 year-old mistress (the good old 22) in Paris, complaining about his dinner, vomiting and then having his wife the next day in London prepare his favourite food, sorrel soup, for lunch then going out jogging somehow doesn't ring true and we see a typical anomaly of faked stories, different versions:

The Guardian: "was found outside his Surrey home"
The Atlantic: "He collapsed on Granville Road, within 100 meters of the house he was renting"
Japan Times: "Then, 50 meters from his home, he staggered into the road and died."
Wikipedia: "[he] was found dead on the road by a neighbour" with a reference to a BBC story makes no mention of neighbour
BBC story: "[he] has been found dead near his home in Weybridge. had collapsed on a road early on the evening"

Collapsed on a road? Wouldn't you give the name of the road in a suburban area?

Rhys Jaggar
Same story in UK sports reporting corrupt industries raking in cash for unprincipled wordsmithery
DiggerUK
The defence team around Julian seems to be unfathomable at many levels. My main concern has been over the unproved allegations of chemical torture made during his incarceration in Bellmarsh Prison. Why has his defence team not asked for an independent medical assessment? Why have concerns not been raised with prison visitors who are allowed to investigate independently? https://www.imb.org.uk/independent-monitoring-boards/

Craig Murray who saw Julian on his last court appearance wrote of his condition . https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/10/assange-in-court/ is it as a result of drugs used during interrogations, or is it down to mental trauma after what he has been through. Either way, his defense team and close friends need to up their game.

This article is not the first time that concerns have been raised in a worrying manner about the defence team around Julian _

Rhys Jaggar
It is a standard Uk tactic to have someone try to beat you up then publicly say what a friend of yours they are. Happened to me four times: I called the lot of them out on it, something which gets them on their faux high horses very quickly
Harry Stotle
Amazing isn't it, the way the legal system goes into hyperdrive pursuing those who expose war crimes while nonchantly turning a blind eye to those who commit them (no matter how high the body count). Harder to find a more glaring example of the way hypocrisy defines the elite's relationship with things like morality, fairness or decency, not least because no western politician has ever been held to account for the havoc they have unleashed (in any court prosecuting war crimes).

Ellen DeGeneres hi-fiving with George Bush. British MPs pretending a courageous whistle blower is not being tortured to death just a few miles from parliament.

The one MP who did stand up for Assange has just been kicked out of Labour by the NEC. They should at least have the courage to make public the names of those who voted for Chris Williamson's expulsion. https://labour.org.uk/about/how-we-work/national-executive-committee/whos-on-the-nec/

Needless to say the MSM has fully sided with the criminals: first denigrating Julian Assange, then mocking his plight – this gave way to lies, and now silence.

The importance of Craig Murray's analysis of the way the law has been used to destroy a journalist cannot be overtstated.
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/10/assange-in-court/

Put simply can anyone expect justice in Britain if their actions conflict with the ethos of the gangsters who control Britain's economic, media and military interests?

Rhys Jaggar
We are actually approaching apartheid South Africa in that regard, namely contempt for legal due process. Not quite had the Met coppers beating Assange over the head like SA cops did to Steve Biko, but we are slowly getting there

[Nov 08, 2019] Inconvenient Truths by Stephen F. Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. ..."
"... We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. ..."
"... We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. ..."
"... Opponents of Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate say it is impermissible or unprecedented to "investigate the investigators." But the bipartisan Church Committee, based in the US Senate, did so in the mid-1970s. It exposed many abuses by US intelligence agencies, particularly by the CIA, and adopted remedies that it believed would be permanent. Clearly, they have not been. ..."
"... However well-intentioned Barr may be, he is Trump's attorney general and therefore not fully credible. As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty. ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Almost daily for three years, Democrats and their media have told us very bad things about Donald Trump's life, character, and presidency. Some of them are true. But in the process, we have also learned some lamentable, even alarming, things about the Democratic Party establishment, including self-professed liberals. Consider the following:

The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. But there was no "attack" in 2016, only, as I have previously explained , ritualistic "meddling" of the kind that both Russia and America have undertaken in the other's elections for decades. Little can be more phobic than the allegation or belief that one has been "attacked by a hostile" entity. And yet this myth and its false narrative persist in the Democratic Party's discourse, campaigning, and fund-raising. We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. Early on, I termed this operation " Intelgate ," and it has since been well documented by other writers, including Lee Smith in his new book . Intel officials did so in tacit alliance with certain leading, and equally Russophobic, members of the Democratic Party, which had once opposed such transgressions. This may be the most alarming revelation of the Trump years: Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain. We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. Indeed, what the mainstream media -- leading national newspapers and two cable news networks, in particular -- chose to cover and report, and chose not to cover and report, made the abuses and consequences of Russiagate allegations possible. Even now, exceedingly influential publications such as The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham into the origins of Russiagate. Barr's critics accuse him of fabricating a "conspiracy theory" on behalf of Trump. But the real, or grandest, conspiracy theory was the Russiagate allegation of "collusion" between Trump and the Kremlin, an accusation that was -- or should have been -- discredited by the Robert Mueller report. And we have learned, or should have learned, that for all the talk by Democrats about Trump as a danger to US national security, it is their Russiagate allegations that truly endanger it. Consider two examples. Russia's new "hyper-sonic" missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so. But even if he is able to, will Trump be entrusted enough to conduct negotiations as successfully as did his predecessors in the White House, given the "Putin puppet" and "Kremlin stooge" accusations still being directed at him? Similarly, as I have asked repeatedly, if confronted with a US-Russian Cuban missile–like crisis -- anywhere Washington and Moscow are currently eyeball-to-eyeball militarily, from the Baltic region and Ukraine to Syria -- will Trump be as free politically as was President John F. Kennedy to resolve it without war? Here too there is an inconvenient truth: To the extent that Democrats any longer seriously discuss national security in the context of US-Russian relations, it mostly involves vilifying both Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. (Recall also that previous presidents were free to negotiate with Russia's Soviet communist leaders, even encouraged to do so, whereas the demonized Putin is an anti-communist, post-Soviet leader.)

The current state of US-Russian relations is unprecedentedly dangerous, not only due to reasons cited here -- a new Cold War fraught with the possibility of hot war. Whether President Trump serves one or two terms, he must be fully empowered to cope with the multiple possibilities of a US-Russian military confrontation. That requires ridding him and our nation of Russiagate allegations -- and that in turn requires learning how such allegations originated.

Opponents of Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate say it is impermissible or unprecedented to "investigate the investigators." But the bipartisan Church Committee, based in the US Senate, did so in the mid-1970s. It exposed many abuses by US intelligence agencies, particularly by the CIA, and adopted remedies that it believed would be permanent. Clearly, they have not been.

However well-intentioned Barr may be, he is Trump's attorney general and therefore not fully credible. As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty.

[Nov 07, 2019] Rigged Again Dems, Russia, The Delegitimization Of America s Democratic Process by Elizabeth Vos

Highly recommended!
Images removed.
Notable quotes:
"... The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign. ..."
"... In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted. ..."
"... In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates. ..."
"... The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . ..."
"... The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race, ..."
"... f Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent. ..."
"... Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time: ..."
"... Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet. ..."
"... Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Elizabeth Vos via ConsortiumNews.com,

Establishment Democrats and those who amplify them continue to project blame for the public's doubt in the U.S. election process onto outside influence, despite the clear history of the party's subversion of election integrity. The total inability of the Democratic Party establishment's willingness to address even one of these critical failures does not give reason to hope that the nomination process in 2020 will be any less pre-ordained.

The Democratic Party's bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential nomination, followed by the DNC defense counsel doubling down on its right to rig the race during the fraud lawsuit brought against the DNC , as well as the irregularities in the races between former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova, indicate a fatal breakdown of the U.S. democratic process spearheaded by the Democratic Party establishment. Influences transcending the DNC add to concerns regarding the integrity of the democratic process that have nothing to do with Russia, but which will also likely impact outcomes in 2020.

The content of the DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks demonstrated that the DNC acted in favor of Hillary Clinton in the lead up to the 2016 Democratic primary. The emails also revealed corporate media reporters acting as surrogates of the DNC and its pro-Clinton agenda, going so far as to promote Donald Trump during the GOP primary process as a preferred " pied-piper candidate ." One cannot assume that similar evidence will be presented to the public in 2020, making it more important than ever to take stock of the unique lessons handed down to us by the 2016 race.

Social Media Meddling

Election meddling via social media did take place in 2016, though in a different guise and for a different cause from that which are best remembered. Twitter would eventually admit to actively suppressing hashtags referencing the DNC and Podesta emails in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Additional reports indicated that tech giant Google also showed measurable "pro-Hillary Clinton bias" in search results during 2016, resulting in the alleged swaying of between 2 and 10 millions voters in favor of Clinton.

On the Republican side, a recent episode of CNLive! featured discussion of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which undecided voters were micro-targeted with tailored advertising narrowed with the combined use of big data and artificial intelligence known collectively as "dark strategy." CNLive! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan noted that SCL, Cambridge Analytica's parent company, provides data, analytics and strategy to governments and military organizations "worldwide," specializing in behavior modification. Though Cambridge Analytica shut down in 2018, related companies remain.

The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign.

In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted.

Though the purge was not explicitly found to have benefitted Clinton, the admission falls in line with allegations across the country that the Democratic primary was interfered with to the benefit of the former secretary of state. These claims were further bolstered by reports indicating that voting results from the 2016 Democratic primary showed evidence of fraud.

DNC Fraud Lawsuit

The proceedings of the DNC fraud lawsuit provide the most damning evidence of the failure of the U.S. election process, especially within the Democratic Party. DNC defense lawyers argued in open court for the party's right to appoint candidates at its own discretion, while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the impression that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.

In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates.

The Observer noted the sentiments of Jared Beck, the attorney representing the plaintiffs of the lawsuit:

"People paid money in reliance on the understanding that the primary elections for the Democratic nominee -- nominating process in 2016 were fair and impartial, and that's not just a bedrock assumption that we would assume just by virtue of the fact that we live in a democracy, and we assume that our elections are run in a fair and impartial manner. But that's what the Democratic National Committee's own charter says. It says it in black and white."

The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . The DNC's lawyers wrote:

"To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office ." [Emphasis added]

The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race,

Tim Canova's Allegations

If Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent.

Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time:

"[Canova] sought to look at the paper ballots in March 2017 and took Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes to court three months later when her office hadn't fulfilled his request. Snipes approved the destruction of the ballots in September, signing a certification that said no court cases involving the ballots were pending."

Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms.

Republicans appear no more motivated to protect voting integrity than the Democrats, with The Nation reporting that the GOP-controlled Senate blocked a bill this week that would have "mandated paper-ballot backups in case of election machine malfunctions."

Study of Corporate Power

A 2014 study published by Princeton University found that corporate power had usurped the voting rights of the public: "Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."

In reviewing this sordid history, we see that the Democratic Party establishment has done everything in its power to disrespect voters and outright overrule them in the democratic primary process, defending their right to do so in the DNC fraud lawsuit. We've noted that interests transcending the DNC also represent escalating threats to election integrity as demonstrated in 2016.

Despite this, establishment Democrats and those who echo their views in the legacy press continue to deflect from their own wrongdoing and real threats to the election process by suggesting that mere discussion of it represents a campaign by Russia to attempt to malign the perception of the legitimacy of the U.S. democratic process.

Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet.

Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," Jamali argued :

"Moscow will use its skillful propaganda machine to prop up Gabbard and use her as a tool to delegitimize the democratic process. " [Emphasis added]

Jamali surmises that Russia intends to "attack" our democracy by undermining the domestic perception of its legitimacy. This thesis is repeated later in the piece when Jamali opines : "They want to see a retreat of American influence. What better way to accomplish that than to attack our democracy by casting doubt on the legitimacy of our elections." [Emphasis added]

The only thing worth protecting, according to Jamali and those who amplify his work (including former Clinton aide and establishment Democrat Neera Tanden), is the perception of the democratic process, not the actual functioning vitality of it. Such deflective tactics ensure that Russia will continue to be used as a convenient international pretext for silencing domestic dissent as we move into 2020.

Given all this, how can one expect the outcome of a 2020 Democratic Primary -- or even the general election – to be any fairer or transparent than 2016?

* * *

Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter, co-host of CN Live! and regular contributor to Consortium News. If you value this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

[Nov 07, 2019] Powell discusses Flynn's case, claims FBI tampered with interview notes - YouTube

Strzok and Lisa Page has known that this was an ambush
Nov 07, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Elizabeth Colson , 1 week ago

No surprise there. The Democrats need to be held accountable for their disgusting behavior.

[Nov 07, 2019] Scapegoating as the major neoliberal propaganda tool

Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Orange Watch 11.07.19 at 5:11 pm 71

Donald@63 :

The tendency to scapegoat rather than make the case for one's own merit is very deeply ingrained in our top-down liberal democratic systems; the Democratic establishment is unfortunately just getting back to core principles by shifting almost exclusively to this mode of discourse over the past decade. From Guy Debord's 1988 Commentaries on the Society of the Spectacle :

This perfect democracy creates for itself its own inconceivable enemy, terrorism. In effect, it wants to be judged by its enemies moreso than by its results. The history of terrorism is written by the State; it is therefore instructive. The spectator populations certainly cannot know everything about terrorism, but they can always know enough to be persuaded that compared to terrorism, anything else must seem to be more or less acceptable, and in any case more rational and democratic.

[Nov 07, 2019] 3 Steps to Reviving the Russian Relationship

Notable quotes:
"... This period is when Clinton IMHO sent NATO in a wrong direction from being strictly defensive/political to getting involved in Yugoslavia which certainly irritated Russia. ..."
"... Then good old Obama and another Clinton deciding to overthrow Gaddafi and his whole Arab Spring foreign policy to include getting involved in Syria. These were disastrous decisions that the current POTUS inherited and is trying to change except the "deep state" is fighting him tooth and nail. ..."
"... Getting out of Ukraine would be a huge trust maker for Russia and it would be followed by sanctions being lifted allowing for a level playing field to begin working on the issues that need fixing. NATO isn't going away however the forward deployed forces in the Baltic's and Poland could over time in an agreed to reciprocal move say removing Iskander missiles from Kaliningrad could be accomplished. ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

J Urie Z'ing Sui 13 hours ago ,

You are 100% correct that trust is the number one point in coming to any agreement and currently there is very little trust on either side for varying reasons. One important fact that is overlooked by most people is the leadership of President George H. W. Bush and PM Margaret Thatcher during the transition from the Soviet Union/Warsaw pact to independent sovereign nations. The Bush was a WW II pilot and Thatcher earned the name Iron Lady for her decisive action in the Falklands War, both understood the world as it was in 1990. This statement highlights the view that prevailed from Bush at the time: "Not once, but three times, Baker tried out the "not one inch eastward" formula with Gorbachev in the February 9, 1990, meeting. He agreed with Gorbachev's statement in response to the assurances that "NATO expansion is unacceptable." Baker assured Gorbachev that "neither the President nor I intend to extract any unilateral advantages from the processes that are taking place," and that the Americans understood that "not only for the Soviet Union but for other European countries as well it is important to have guarantees that if the United States keeps its presence in Germany within the framework of NATO, not an inch of NATO's present military jurisdiction will spread in an eastern direction." (See Document 6)"

These were complicated issues that involved a multitude of parties being negotiated by just a few i.e. US, UK, France and West Germany a holdover from the WW II model. The Poles, Czechs and others were not consulted and IMHO had they been the situation would have become untenable. It must be remembered that Poland and Czechoslovakia suffered heavily due to "large important nations" giving them away pre and post WW II. There was no written agreement nor official treaty between the west and the Soviet Union soon to be Russian Federation and I believe that was intentional for the reason I give above. George H. W. Bush was not reelected in 1992 and Bill Clinton became POTUS and he pursued a foreign policy that was entirely different. Some of his ideas used Thatchers earlier idea of a more political NATO with less emphasis on the original military mission which brought in the Partnerships for Peace program. That program was IMHO quite good as it stabilized countries that were wobbly in the 1990's after the breakup occurred. The Clinton White House had Madeline Albright an immigrant from Czechoslovakia as secretary of State and Zbigniew Brzezinski a former secretary of State and an academic that influenced his policies which were pro eastern European anti Russian. It was during this time that NATO expanded. The US is a country of immigrants and there is a large Polish population as well as other eastern Europeans and political considerations are always come into play.

This period is when Clinton IMHO sent NATO in a wrong direction from being strictly defensive/political to getting involved in Yugoslavia which certainly irritated Russia.

G.W. Bush basically continued the trend with regard to NATO but was preoccupied with 9/11 more than anything else. Bush thought that he understood Putin and even invited him to his ranch in Crawford, Texas which Putin accepted and they did seem to get along.

However 2008 and the Georgia War began the slide in relations between the two countries. Then good old Obama and another Clinton deciding to overthrow Gaddafi and his whole Arab Spring foreign policy to include getting involved in Syria. These were disastrous decisions that the current POTUS inherited and is trying to change except the "deep state" is fighting him tooth and nail.

Getting out of Ukraine would be a huge trust maker for Russia and it would be followed by sanctions being lifted allowing for a level playing field to begin working on the issues that need fixing. NATO isn't going away however the forward deployed forces in the Baltic's and Poland could over time in an agreed to reciprocal move say removing Iskander missiles from Kaliningrad could be accomplished.

Gaugamela39 a day ago ,

Carthago delenda est. The policy of Cato the Censor should be applied in an unrelenting manner, leading to 'salting the earth' of Moscow.

dorotea Gaugamela39 a day ago ,

Many have tried, usually ended up in those infamous endless Russian fields, in long boxes. See Pushkin, for the exact quote. But historical trivialities aside, there should be a way to satisfy Imperial hubris without 'salting the grounds'. Hannibal's elephants did not carry nukes in their trunks. Trying for the sixth time in the last 4 centuries to get Moscow grounds salted might end badly for the entire planet.

The Chosen One dorotea a day ago ,

So it seems to me that only the advent of a nuclear weapon and the threat of an imminent deadly retaliation prevents a new "drang nach osten".

Z'ing Sui J Urie 39 minutes ago • edited ,

Trust was not breached by Russia, military buildup, hostile threatening military, NATO expansion and refusal to negotiate on these issues did not originate from Russia. Russia has tried to negotiate, concede and de-escalate before. The West did not respond to those moves. Even US sanctions placed on Soviet Union were not removed from Russia, despite there being no reason for them to remain in place. This and other recent events (libya, iran deal etc) tells Russia and other global players that de-escalating with the West doesn't work.

Even now, West seems to be interested to trade with Russia at least in some areas. And Europe is increasingly frustrated with the United States. There is reportedly a number of EU initiatives aimed at gradually limiting US economic levers created during the Cold War. Rising economies will gradually offer more opportunities outside of the Western world. Multipolar wolrd was a slogan in the 00s, in the 2040es it might be a reality.

We know NATO will not maintain ABM and CFE, and it is apparently not interested in INF and Open Skies, and even START is in question now. NATO will withdraw troops if only Russia does something? Please, you don't really believe that. With INF gone, Iskander is outdated, it was a treaty-limited weapon. Moving it a few hundred klicks will not make NATO concede anything now.

A huge trust maker would be for all NATO members to publically admit on their web page that pledges to Russia were broken and at least some NATO officials feel responsibility for that. They've spent 27 years denying any verbal assurances, now that those assurances are declassified, they build other narratives about how those pledges did not matter. For there to be trust, there needs to be an admission that trust was there, and was broken, and not by Russia. No troop movements necessary even.

J Urie mal a day ago • edited ,

Biden isn't going to win the next election Trump will be reelected in 2020. The current strain in relations with Russia has been inherited by Trump and even before he was elected the DNC and Hillary Clinton cooked up the "Russia colusion" story which after $46 million and 2 1/2 years no Russia collision. Of course now we have the Dems trying to impeach Trump which will not go anywhere in the Senate more waste of time and money. However there is the Justice Department I.G. report soon to be released and many of the people who brought you the Russia colusion hoax will be named. The Justice Department has an ongoing criminal investigation into the key players and will undoubtedly result in indictments and prosecutions.
The real reason all of this is going on is because the establishment both Dem's & Repub's along with the deep state look at Trump as an outsider who is tipping over their apple cart i.e. he is changing the foreign policy direction and they don't like it one bit so they create fake issues to try and stop him.
After his reelection I predict that more normal relations with Russia will resume.

dorotea Roma Ilto 14 hours ago ,

Nowadays the actual attacks are manifested as 'hybrid warfare'. Of course Russia took the US intervention and financing of Chechen rebels as an attack back in the 2000 ties. She took fermenting and financing of the Georgian rose revolution as a hybrid attack, same as promises made to pres. Saakashvili to support him militarily and politically after his attack on Tskhinvali were taken as a hybrid attack. Same goes for both of the first color revolution in Ukraine, and then the Revolution of dignity of 2014 that pushed ultra-right government to power in Ukraine. In fact the NATO promise to both Georgia and Ukraine to take them in as members in 2008 right after Putin's warning in 2007 was the first move in the 'hybrid war'. The West had been warned, yet it decided to bulldoze its way across Eurasia and triggered the confrontation. The placings of Aegises ashore in Poland and Romania was the cherry on top. There can be be no meaningful compromise until the West backs off on the NATO enlargement. That 2008 conference was what had reanimated the image of the collective West as adversary for Russia.

What both sides should strive for though is at the very least to diminish the degree of danger to the planet. Russia would not back off because she finds it easy enough to corner individual EU states into minimal economic cooperation - Germany is already in recession and there is no way they are going to continue damaging their economy for the sake of US politics. And then there is China. When the Russians cannot buy goods from Germans they go for made in China, which in turn gets China secure oil and gas from Russia. Which make the repeat of pre-WW II situation with blockade on Japan pretty much impossible. Get realistic, the West is loosing this one and should count her chickens already.

Roma Ilto dorotea 14 hours ago ,

Well, then the sanctions will continue, as will the policy of keeping Russian in check in the EU gas market.
What's interesting is that NATO never attacked Russia or threatened to attack Russia. Seems to me that Putin is simply using the expansion as a pretext for military aggression against the neighboring states. It's what the USSR did in 1939 against Finland. According the Soviet side, the war started after Finland attacked the Soviet Union...

dorotea Roma Ilto 14 hours ago ,

Russia *needs* the sanctions for at least another 5 years. Her milk and beef production is still lagging compared to the deceased USSR and the only way her greedy oligarchs will heavily invest in cow herd rearing is to continue to block the Eastern European milk products to enter Russia. Chicken, eggs, pork and veggies are already up to speed, wheat production is exploding, the salmon breeding programme have started so the Norway is not getting her market back, bu the cow herds take longer to rear.
The Power of Siberia pipeline is being certified and filled right now - China would receive her first delivery of piped Russian gas in 2020, so it is good that EU is prepping or the squeeze - they are not going to continue getting unlimited cheap Russian gas, because Power of Siberia II is in the works.

Every individual NATO member had attacked Russia in the past 4 centuries ( including small but meaningful US contingent in the 1918), and some non-member allies had stomped those fields as well. So the Russians are not taking any chances with the buffer zone. All of Russia expansions to the West have always started with West invading first - then being rolled back league by league. But seriously - ? Russians can live with Europe staying where she is - if in turn Europe can learn to respect her civilization borders. The move on Ukraine and Georgia was not a wise one.

[Nov 07, 2019] Note on the the degradation of the elite.

Notable quotes:
"... There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details. ..."
"... They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes. ..."
"... He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria. ..."
"... Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:37 am 64

" In a sense, the current NeoMcCartyism (Russophobia, Sinophobia) epidemic in the USA can partially be viewed as a yet another sign of the crisis of neoliberalism: a desperate attempt to patch the cracks in the neoliberal façade using scapegoating -- creation of an external enemy to project the problems of the neoliberal society.

I would add another, pretty subjective measure of failure: the degradation of the elite. When you look at Hillary, Trump, Biden, Warren, Harris, etc, you instantly understand what I am talking about. They all look like the second-rate, if not the third rate politicians. Also, the Epstein case was pretty symbolic."

I had decided to stay on the sidelines for the most part after making a few earlier comments, but I liked this summary, except I would give Warren more credit. She is flawed like most politicians, but she has made some of the right enemies within the Democratic Party.

On Trump and " the Deep State", there is no unified Deep State. There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details.

They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes.

He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria.

But yes, scapegoating is a big thing with liberals now. It's pathetic. Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence .

For the most part, if we have a horrible political culture nearly all the blame for that is homegrown.

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:40 am (no link)

Sigh. Various typos above. Here is one --

Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.
--

I meant to say I would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.

[Nov 06, 2019] More Evidence that The Comey FBI was a Malevolent Clown Show by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... If Flynn actually had lied to Strzok and Pientka that fact would have been reflected in the notes and the original 302. But that did not happen. A normal routine would be to write up the 302 and put it into final within five days. That did not happen. The original 302 still has not been produced. However, Ms. Powell has presented exhibits showing that there were other versions of the 302 generated and that substantive, unsupportable changes were made. The "final" 302 essentially made the case that Flynn lied. ..."
"... But Sidney Powell has produced documentary evidence showing that Strzok stated he did not believe that Flynn lied. And there was more FBI misconduct. General Flynn, for example, was not advised of the need to have a lawyer present nor was he shown the transcript of the call that was illegally recorded by the NSA. At no point was he given a chance to correct the record. It was a total setup and designed to paint Flynn as a liar and a collaborator with the Russians. This is malevolently diabolical conduct by law enforcement officers. ..."
Nov 06, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

I believe in repentance and redemption. But the FBI remains an unrepentant, vile sinner. Yesterday, Tuesday, the FBI and the Department of Justice made a stunning admission in the Michael Flynn case--they mislabeled evidence. DOJ sheepishly admitted that the notes of the interview of Michael Flynn taken by Agent Pientka actually belonged to Agent Strzok and that the notes attributed to Strzok actually belonged to Pientka. Holy Guacamole, Batman. It is still not clear that the FBI is freely confessing its sin and is committed to turning its bureaucratic life around.

There is no good news in this for the government's case. At a minimum it exposes the FBI as incompetent clowns. At worse, it may be evidence of a deliberate effort to deceive the defense and the judge. It has been exposed because of the insistent demands of the principled Sidney Powell, a relentless Honey Badger. That woman will not quit in demanding that General Flynn be treated fairly. She knows right from wrong. Cannot say the same for the FBI. The Bureau is a disgrace.

Now that we know that the FBI mislabeled the notes taken by the FBI agents during their interview of General Flynn, it would appear the entire case is in jeopardy. The foundation of the charge that Flynn lied about his conversation with the Russian Ambassador is predicated on the notes the FBI agents took and then turned into a 302 report. I asked one of my retired FBI buddies (he served as a Special Agent in Charge of a large US city) if the agents were required to date and sign their notes. He replied: No, we did not sign and date notes. They were placed in a 1-A (evidence) Envelope which had our name and the date collected along with the file number and, I believe, the case title. The 1-As were kept as part of the original case file. They were not entered into evidence like other things we collected.

Those notes should have been placed in an "evidence" envelope with the appropriate name and date on the envelope. How could so-called professionals screw up something this basic?

There was something more nefarious afoot. Let's put this into the broader context. If Flynn actually had lied to Strzok and Pientka that fact would have been reflected in the notes and the original 302. But that did not happen. A normal routine would be to write up the 302 and put it into final within five days. That did not happen. The original 302 still has not been produced. However, Ms. Powell has presented exhibits showing that there were other versions of the 302 generated and that substantive, unsupportable changes were made. The "final" 302 essentially made the case that Flynn lied.

But Sidney Powell has produced documentary evidence showing that Strzok stated he did not believe that Flynn lied. And there was more FBI misconduct. General Flynn, for example, was not advised of the need to have a lawyer present nor was he shown the transcript of the call that was illegally recorded by the NSA. At no point was he given a chance to correct the record. It was a total setup and designed to paint Flynn as a liar and a collaborator with the Russians. This is malevolently diabolical conduct by law enforcement officers.

Honey Badger Powell's terrific lawyering and insistence on getting her hands on the evidence the US Government is withholding has now backed the Mueller team into a corner. Sidney Powell has exposed staggering misconduct and malfeasance. Michael Flynn will be exonerated. The only real question is whether or not the prosecutors will be held in contempt and tried.


Jack , 06 November 2019 at 11:55 AM

Larry

Why doesn't the FBI, just record an interview? It's not that video cameras and tape recorders are a new invention. Is the objective to manipulate using written interpretations of conversations?

Mr Zarate , 06 November 2019 at 12:16 PM
I'm worried there won't be any popcorn left by the time we get to the end of this sorry saga. It would be nice to think that success by Sidney Powell might be the start of the finale in this duplicitous story but I doubt it. The world is upside down and to many this is now a matter of belief not evidence, something that has been largely caused be an entirely partisan mainstream media (interested only in improving its revenue stream) and what can only be described as a totally gullible section of the voting public.
Upstate NY'er , 06 November 2019 at 01:14 PM
One thing, Flynn has one hell of a lawsuit against his prior lawyers - a well known swamp law firm. Egregious malpractice if not outright conspiring with the prosecutors.

LA Sox Fan -> Jack... , 06 November 2019 at 06:16 PM

FBI interviews are not recorded because if they were, then the interview subject could not be falsely charged with the felony of lying to a federal investigator.
Coleen Rowley -> Jack... , 06 November 2019 at 10:32 PM
I need to write about the long history of the FBI honoring J. Edgar Hoover's policy, even countering former Director Louis Freeh, after a meeting in mid 1990's with a federal judge who had same suggestion, ORDERED the FBI to begin tape recording confessions and even after many states like Minnesota, began to find their own constitutions required tape-recording (at least of custodial confessions). After Freeh ordered the FBI to begin tape-recording, a number of SACs argued the advantages for prosecutorial purposes of sticking with the old policy of allowing Agents to write up, from memory and notes, what subjects and witnesses said. The SACs made the point that juries would always tend to believe agents over the word of defendants. So Freeh backed down. Flynn's attorney ought to request these memos documenting how FBI policy was deliberately kept antiquated because it was advantageous.
artemesia said in reply to Upstate NY'er... , 06 November 2019 at 06:12 PM
Perhaps Larry Johnson knows -- Does Michael Flynn have some form of redress agains the government, some established protocol for compensation for the misery and expense he's been put through? Or are lawsuits against former lawyers his only option to try to recoup legal expenses?

Strozk's caree/life is over. An interesting meditation: is he an evil man, or did he get caught up in something larger than he could handle? (He thought he had what it took to swim with the sharks, but he was just a barnacle. Or steelhead trout.)

The "unidentified" supposed whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, is young - early 30s. Age of consent, for sure, but very young, the "age of youthful ambition," a different category from Strozk, the age of damn well should have known better. I would judge Eric -- whom I suspect was at very least put up to carrying out dirty deeds for Biden and careerism -- less harshly than Strozk.

Factotum , 06 November 2019 at 02:58 PM
How did Sidney Powell become involved in this long, on-going case? She can't ethically "solicit" the business, but someone must have put Flynn in touch with her -- at what point. What made Flynn seek legal advice elsewhere.

Flynn seemed so passive about facing these drummed up charges earlier in the case - what exactly was he trying to protect his son about that allegedly caused this legal passivity about his own case.

Love watching this unfold and the lessons in " big government" that come with it. But Flynn having to live out a modern day Greek tragedy is a very high price to pay for our civics lesson.

Factotum said in reply to Factotum... , 06 November 2019 at 07:46 PM
Asked and answered: Powell tussled dramatically in the past with Andrew Weissman over his role in the government's prosecution of Enron steam roller cases. She finally got court vindication for her clients 9 years later.

Why does Andrew Weissman's name keep popping up just about everywhere now, when one is looking in pari delitci (including our now famous Pierre Delecto)?

Brent , 06 November 2019 at 03:04 PM
From what I have read, I gather that the FBI in the Mueller / Comey era has made extensive use of "perjury traps". They then threaten charges to get someone to "flip" on someone bigger, in this case Trump. Flynn wouldn't flip even when they threatened to go after Flynn's son. So they decided to "F" him, as stated by Andrew McCabe.

The FBI has been thoroughly disgraced, and Wray is incapable of cleaning it up. He just wants to keep the dirt under the rug. It is too late for that, it is all coming out. US citizens deserve to know how dirty our FBI and CIA are - they are criminal organizations.

Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) , 06 November 2019 at 04:07 PM
Is it just me (wink, wink) but I find it completely coincidental that both Strzok (100%) and Pientka (likely) are of Polish origins. Could it be my Russian paranoia. Nah, I am being unreasonable--those people never had a bad feeling towards Trump's attempts to boost Russian-American relations with Michael Flynn spearheading this effort. Jokes aside, however, I can only imagine how SVR and GRU are enjoying the spectacle. I can only imagine how many "free" promotions and awards can be attach to this thing as a free ride.

[Nov 06, 2019] Lisa Page, Special Counsel to Deputy Director McCabe, resigned; she edited Mr. Flynn's 302 and was part of a small, high-level group that strategically planned his ambush

Notable quotes:
"... "Page didn't recall whether she took part in editing the FD-302," the filing stated. Included was a discussion between Lisa Page and her paramour Peter Strzok talking about editing Flynn's 302 report. Strzok to Page: "I made your edits" Also discussion of misleading leadership re: picking up 302. Upon seeing her texts, Page "believes she must have seen it at some point " ..."
Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Teamtc321 , 3 hours ago link

Another shoe is about to drop. Gen. Flynn was entrapped by the Obama Bin Biden clan.

General Flynn Attorney Sidney Powell: "We Will Seek to Move to Dismiss for Egregious Government Conduct"

Attorney Sidney Powell joined Lou Dobbs on Tuesday night to discuss the latest updates on US Government's court case against General Michael Flynn.

The Justice Department on Friday responded to Flynn's lawyer Sidney Powell's motion to compel production of Brady Material and to hold prosecutors in contempt.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/11/general-flynn-attorney-sidney-powell-we-will-seek-to-move-to-dismiss-for-egregious-government-conduct-video/

Sidney Powell filed a motion a couple weeks ago revealing that General Flynn was indeed set up by the FBI with an ambush, damaging leaks and altered 302 reports.

Powell revealed that former FBI lawyer Lisa Page EDITED General Mike Flynn's 302 report, then lied to the DOJ about the edits.

A 302 summary report consists of contemporaneous notes taken by an FBI agent when interviewing a subject.

"Lisa Page, Special Counsel to Deputy Director McCabe, resigned; she edited Mr. Flynn's 302 and was part of a small, high-level group that strategically planned his ambush." the filing said.

"Page didn't recall whether she took part in editing the FD-302," the filing stated. Included was a discussion between Lisa Page and her paramour Peter Strzok talking about editing Flynn's 302 report. Strzok to Page: "I made your edits" Also discussion of misleading leadership re: picking up 302. Upon seeing her texts, Page "believes she must have seen it at some point "

[Nov 06, 2019] The demonisation of Russia is all about the long term aim if destabilising, cracking it open and stealing it's resources

Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard , Nov 5 2019 8:04 utc | 34

@13 Joost Your comment is spot on. The demonisation of Russia is all about the long term aim if destabilising, cracking it open and stealing it's resources. Russia is, in fact, the woreld's largets and most resource rich nation so its an irresistible target to the insane, greed-driven psychopath's who rule us.

First and foremost amongst those (and the most insane) is Hillary Clinton who it seems maybe preparing for another run at the presidency...a Hillary presidency risks a full out nuclear war.

You see, Hilary and the people who back her (and whom she faithfully serves) genuinely are psychopaths. They lack empathy, care, and humanity. They see only their own need and greed, only their own dysfunctional lust for power and wealth; they don't give a damn what it takes to satisfy their perverse desires and who dies in the process. Psychopaths (blinded by their own perversity) are also bad judges of risk and, in the minds of Hillary and her cabal of psychopaths, they actually do believe that the US could fight a 'limited' nuclear war against Russia, win it and steal all those lovely Russian resources.

The tragic misjudgement here, and why disgusting Hillary and her ilk are so dangerous, is that there is no such thing as a 'limited' nuclear war. A nuclear war would be global. And fatal.

https://richardhennerley.com/2019/10/21/hilary-clinton-is-back-be-afraid-very-afraid/

[Nov 06, 2019] British Government Disinformation Shop Lost Charity Status

Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Integrity Initiative, as paid for by the British Foreign Office, Ministry of Defense, NATO and other such entities, will live on as a non-charitable entity with even less transparency. Its website, as well as that of Institute of Statecraft, is down. That it will now have to live in total secrecy will make it more difficult for it to recruit foreign journalists to spread its propaganda.

Since the Integrity Initiative was exposed the British government opened and financed a new secretive shop that will continue to spread anti-Russian disinformation :

On 3rd April, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister Alan Duncan revealed his department's 'Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme' - which bankrolls the Institute for Statecraft and its Integrity Initiative subsidiary - was funding a new endeavour, Open Information Partnership (OIP).

The announcement, buried in a response to a written parliamentary question, was supremely light on detail - Duncan merely said the effort would "respond to manipulated information in the news, social media and across the public space". Official fanfare was also unforthcoming - there was no accompanying press release, briefing document, or even mention of the launch by any government minister or department via social media channels.

The original proposal for the Open Information Partnership , as released by 'anonymous' , included the Institute of Statecraft , a Media Diversity Institute , Bellingcat , DFR Lab (i.e. the Atlantic Council) and some others in a so called ZINC Network . On the current OIP website the Institute of Statecraft 'charity' is no longer named.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the issue:

Tim Hayward provides a list (scroll down) of a large number of articles written here and elsewhere about the Integrity Initiative . Speaking of Bellingcat:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BfLPJpRtyq4RFtHJoNpvWQjmGnyVkfE2HYoICKOGguA/mobilebas

Posted by: NOBTS | Nov 4 2019 18:45 utc | 2


karlof1 , Nov 4 2019 18:49 utc | 3

At Kit Klarenberg's Twitter , there's a long tweet thread further detailing what b has written above. I can't help be wonder how the Monty Python troop would have portrayed the Institute for Statecraft and its parent the Integrity Initiative. It appears that the governments of the English speaking nations became addicted to lying to their citizens @1900 and are unable to kick the habit and instead have actually deepened their addiction. Elsewhere on the planet, it seems that people are learning it's easier to talk straight and transparently with other people and to pool resources and combine efforts to form a community of nations and humanity to better one and all. Seems simple enough to determine which is functional and which isn't.
/div> Oops! Googlehidden. Here's one that might work. An interesting compendium: https://www.comsuregroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Bellingcats-Digital-Toolkit.pdf

Posted by: NOBTS , Nov 4 2019 18:51 utc | 5

Oops! Googlehidden. Here's one that might work. An interesting compendium: https://www.comsuregroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Bellingcats-Digital-Toolkit.pdf

Posted by: NOBTS | Nov 4 2019 18:51 utc | 5

Symen Danziger , Nov 5 2019 11:34 utc | 41
Bellingcat only serves one interest, a propaganda/info laundering shop for NATO, the military industrial complex and some very rich people. The blatant lies about MH17, chemical weapons in Syria, OPCW, Russia, the list goes on and on.

By the time the people in the Netherlands find out how they have been manipulated with the MH17 narrative and the role of Bellingcat in this operation, hopefully they will torch the office of Bellingcat in The Hague and club the survivors to death like the Uktainian Nazi friends of Bellingcat did in Odessa.

The Ukrainian army shot down MH17. It was no accident. The Dutch were also involved with the 2014 coup in the Ukraine. Putting the blame on Russia is a political decision, its not based on facts. Dutch politicians are very dirty people. Burn in hell.

[Nov 06, 2019] Hate Inc. Why Today's Media Makes Us Despise One Another eBook Matt Taibbi Kindle Store

Nov 06, 2019 | www.amazon.com

I thought I understood this and many other things about the journalism business at a young age. I even knew everything that "off the record" entails -- really knew, as if it were a religious tenet -- before I hit junior high. I thought I was an expert.

Then I read Manufacturing Consent .

The book came out in 1988 and I read it a year later, when I was nineteen. It blew my mind.

Along with the documentary Hearts and Minds (about the atrocities of the Vietnam War) and books like Soul on Ice, In the Belly of the Beast, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Manufacturing Consent taught me that some level of deception was baked into almost everything I'd ever been taught about modern American life.

I knew nothing about either of the authors, academics named Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky. It seemed odd that a book purporting to say so much about journalism could be written by non-journalists. Who were these people? And how could they claim to know anything about this business?

This was the middle of the George H. W. Bush presidency, still the rah-rah Top Gun eighties. Political earnestness was extremely uncool. America was awesome and hating on America was sad. Noam Chomsky was painted to me as the very definition of uncool, a leaden, hectoring bore.

But this wasn't what I found on the page. Manufacturing Consent is a dazzling book. True, like a lot of co-written books, and especially academic books, it's written in slow, grinding prose. But for its time, it was intellectually flamboyant, wild even.

The ideas in it radiated defiance. Once the authors in the first chapter laid out their famed propaganda model, they cut through the deceptions of the American state like a buzz saw.

The book's central idea was that censorship in the United States was not overt, but covert. The stage-managing of public opinion was "normally not accomplished by crude intervention" but by the keeping of "dissent and inconvenient information" outside permitted mental parameters: "within bounds and at the margins."

The key to this deception is that Americans, every day, see vigorous debate going on in the press. This deceives them into thinking propaganda is absent. Manufacturing Consent explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it.

This careful sham is accomplished through the constant, arduous policing of a whole range of internal pressure points within the media business. It's a subtle, highly idiosyncratic process that you can stare at for a lifetime and nonetheless not see.

American news companies at the time didn't (and still don't) forbid the writing of unpatriotic stories. There are no editors who come blundering in, red pen in hand, wiping out politically dangerous reports, in the clumsy manner of Soviet Commissars.

Instead, in a process that is almost 100 percent unconscious, news companies simply avoid promoting dissenting voices. People who are questioners by nature, prodders, pains in the ass -- all good qualities in reporting, incidentally -- get weeded out by bosses, especially in the bigger companies. Advancement is meanwhile strongly encouraged among the credulous, the intellectually unadventurous, and the obedient.

As I would later discover in my own career, there are a lot of C-minus brains in the journalism business. A kind of groupthink is developed that permeates the upper levels of media organizations, and they send unconscious signals down the ranks.

Young reporters learn early on what is and is not permitted behavior. They learn to recognize, almost more by smell than reason, what is and is not a "good story."

Chomsky and Herman described this policing mechanism using the term "flak." Flak was defined as "negative responses to a media statement or program."

They gave examples in which corporate-funded think tanks like The Media Institute or the anti-communist Freedom House would deluge media organizations that ran the wrong kinds of stories with "letters, telegrams, phone calls, petitions, lawsuits" and other kinds of pressure.

What was the wrong kind of story? Here we learned of another part of the propaganda model, the concept of worthy and unworthy victims . Herman and Chomsky defined the premise as follows:

A propaganda system will consistently portray people abused in enemy states as worthy victims, whereas those treated with equal or greater severity by its own government or clients will be unworthy.

Under this theory, a Polish priest murdered by communists in the Reagan years was a "worthy" victim, while rightist death squads in U.S.-backed El Salvador killing whole messes of priests and nuns around the same time was a less "worthy" story.

What Herman and Chomsky described was a system of informal social control, in which the propaganda aims of the state were constantly reinforced among audiences, using a quantity-over-quality approach.

Here and there you might see a dissenting voice, but the overwhelming institutional power of the media (and the infrastructure of think-tanks and politicians behind the private firms) carried audiences along safely down the middle of a surprisingly narrow political and intellectual canal.

One of their examples was Vietnam, where the American media was complicit in a broad self-abnegating effort to blame itself for "losing the war."

An absurd legend that survives today is that CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, after a two-week trip to Vietnam in 1968, was key in undermining the war effort.

Cronkite's famous "Vietnam editorial" derided "the optimists who have been wrong in the past," and villainously imparted that the military's rosy predictions of imminent victory were false. The more noble course, he implied, was to face reality, realize "we did the best we could" to defend democracy, and go home.

The Cronkite editorial sparked a "debate" that continues to the present.

On the right, it is said that we should have kept fighting in Vietnam, in spite of those meddling commies in the media.

The progressive take is that Cronkite was right, and we should have realized the war wasn't "winnable" years earlier. Doing so would have saved countless American lives, this thinking goes.

These two positions still define the edges of what you might call the "fairway" of American thought.

The uglier truth, that we committed genocide on a fairly massive scale across Indochina -- ultimately killing at least a million innocent civilians by air in three countries -- is pre-excluded from the history of that period.

Instead of painful national reconciliation surrounding episodes like Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the CIA-backed anti-communist massacres in places like Indonesia, or even the more recent horrors in Middle Eastern arenas like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, we mostly ignore narrative-ruining news about civilian deaths or other outrages.

A media that currently applauds itself for calling out the lies of Donald Trump (and they are lies) still uses shameful government-concocted euphemisms like "collateral damage." Our new "Democracy Dies in Darkness" churlishness has yet to reach the Pentagon, and probably never will.

In the War on Terror period, the press accepted blame for having lost the most recent big war and agreed to stop showing pictures of the coffins coming home (to say nothing of actual scenes of war deaths).

We also volunteered to reduce or play down stories about torture ("enhanced interrogation"), kidnapping ("rendition"), or assassination ("lethal action," or the "distribution matrix").

Even now, if these stories are covered, they're rarely presented in an alarmist tone. In fact, many "civilian casualties" stories are couched in language that focuses on how the untimely release of news of "collateral damage" may hinder the effort to win whatever war we're in at the time.

"After reports of civilian deaths, U.S. military struggles to defend air operations in war against militants," is a typical American newspaper headline.

Can you guess either the year or the war from that story? It could be 1968, or 2008. Or 2018.

As Manufacturing Consent predicted -- with a nod to Orwell, maybe -- the scripts in societies like ours rarely change. 1

When it came time for me to enter the journalism business myself, I discovered that the Chomsky/Herman diagnosis was mostly right. Moreover, the academics proved prescient about future media deceptions like the Iraq War. Their model predicted that hideous episode in Technicolor.

But neither Herman nor Chomsky could have known, when they published their book in 1988, that the media business was going through profound change.

As it turned out, Manufacturing Consent was published just ahead of three massive revolutions. When I met and interviewed Chomsky for this book (see Appendix 2 ), we discussed these developments. They included:

1. The explosion of conservative talk radio and Fox-style news products. Using point of view rather than "objectivity" as commercial strategies, these stations presaged an atomization of the news landscape under which each consumer had an outlet somewhere to match his or her political beliefs. This was a major departure from the three-network pseudo-monopoly that dominated the Manufacturing Consent period, under which the country debated a commonly held set of facts.

2. The introduction of twenty-four-hour cable news stations, which shifted the emphasis of the news business. Reporters were suddenly trained to value breaking news, immediacy, and visual potential over import. Network "crashes" -- relentless day-night coverage extravaganzas of a single hot story like the Kursk disaster or a baby thrown down a well, a type of journalism one TV producer I knew nicknamed "Shoveling Coal For Satan" -- became the first examples of binge-watching. The relentless now now now grind of the twenty-four-hour cycle created in consumers a new kind of anxiety and addictive dependency, a need to know what was happening not just once or twice a day but every minute. This format would have significant consequences in the 2016 election in particular.

3. The development of the Internet, which was only just getting off the ground in 1988. It was thought it would significantly democratize the press landscape. But print and broadcast media soon began to be distributed by just a handful of digital platforms. By the late 2000s and early 2010s, that distribution system had been massively concentrated. This created the potential for a direct control mechanism over the press that never existed in the Manufacturing Consent era. Moreover the development of social media would amplify the "flak" factor a thousandfold, accelerating conformity and groupthink in ways that would have been unimaginable in 1988.

Maybe the biggest difference involved an obvious historical change: the collapse of the Soviet Union.

One of the pillars of the "propaganda model" in the original Manufacturing Consent was that the media used anti-communism as an organizing religion.

The ongoing Cold War narrative helped the press use anti-communism as a club to batter heretical thinkers, who as luck would have it were often socialists. They even used it as a club to police people who weren't socialists (I would see this years later, when Howard Dean was asked a dozen times a day if he was "too left" to be a viable candidate).

But the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet empire took a little wind out of the anti-communist religion. Chomsky and Herman addressed this in their 2002 update of Manufacturing Consent, in which they wrote:

The force of anti-communist ideology has possibly weakened with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the virtual disappearance of socialist movements across the globe, but this is easily offset by the greater ideological force of the belief in the "miracle of the market "

The collapse of the Soviets, and the weakening of anti-communism as an organizing principle, led to other changes in the media. Manufacturing Consent was in significant part a book about how that unseen system of informal controls allowed the press to organize the entire population behind support of particular objectives, many of them foreign policy objectives.

But the collapse of the Wall, coupled with those new commercial strategies being deployed by networks like Fox, created a new dynamic in the press.

Media companies used to seek out the broadest possible audiences. The dull third-person voice used in traditional major daily newspapers is not there for any moral or ethical reason, but because it was once believed that it most ably fulfilled the commercial aim of snatching as many readers/viewers as possible. The press is a business above all, and boring third-person language was once advanced marketing.

But in the years after Manufacturing Consent was published the new behemoths like Fox turned the old business model on its head. What Australian tabloid-merchant Rupert Murdoch did in employing political slant as a commercial strategy had ramifications the American public to this day poorly understands.

The news business for decades emphasized "objective" presentation, which was really less an issue of politics than of tone.

The idea was to make the recitation of news rhetorically watered down and unthreatening enough to rope in the whole spectrum of potential news consumers. The old-school anchorperson was a monotone mannequin designed to look and sound like a safe date for your daughter: Good evening, I'm Dan Rather, and my frontal lobes have been removed . Today in Libya

Murdoch smashed this framework. He gave news consumers broadcasts that were pointed, opinionated, and nasty. He struck gold with The O'Reilly Factor, hosted by a yammering, red-faced repository of white suburban rage named Bill O'Reilly (another Boston TV vet).

The next hit was Hannity & Colmes, a format that played as a parody of old news. In this show, the "liberal" Colmes was the quivering, asexual, "safe date" prototype from the old broadcast era, and Sean Hannity was a thuggish Joey Buttafuoco in makeup whose job was to make Colmes look like the spineless dope he was.

This was theater, not news, and it was not designed to seize the whole audience in the way that other debate shows like CNN's Crossfire were.

The premise of Crossfire was an honest fight, two prominent pundits duking it out over issues, and may the best man (they were usually men) win.

The prototypical Crossfire setup involved a bombastic winger like Pat Buchanan versus an effete liberal like New Republic editor Michael Kinsley. On some days the conservative would be allowed to win, on some days the liberal would score a victory. It looked like a real argument.

But Crossfire was really just a formalized version of the artificial poles of allowable debate that Chomsky and Herman described. As some of its participants (like Jeff Cohen, a pioneering media critic who briefly played the "liberal" on the show, about whom we'll hear more later) came to realize, Crossfire became a propagandistic setup, a stage trick in which the "left" side of the argument was gradually pushed toward the right over the years. It was propaganda, but in slow motion.

Hannity & Colmes dispensed with the pretense. This was the intellectual version of Vince McMahon's pro wrestling spectacles, which were booming at the time. In the Fox debate shows, Sean Hannity was the heel, and Colmes was the good guy, or babyface. As any good wrestling fan knows, most American audiences want to see babyface stomped.

The job of Colmes was to get pinned over and over again, and he did it well. Meanwhile rightist anger merchants like Hannity and O'Reilly (and, on the radio, Rush Limbaugh) were rapidly hoovering up audiences that were frustrated, white, and often elderly. Fox chief Roger Ailes once boasted, "I created a network for people 55 to dead." (Ailes is now dead himself.)

This was a new model for the media. Instead of targeting the broad mean, they were now narrowly hunting demographics. The explosion of cable television meant there were hundreds of channels, each of which had its own mission.

Just as Manufacturing Consent came out, all the major cable channels were setting off on similar whale hunts, sailing into the high demographic seas in search of audiences to capture. Lifetime was "television for women," while the Discovery Channel did well with men. BET went after black viewers. Young people were MTV's target audience.

This all seems obvious now, but this "siloing" effect that spread across other channels soon became a very important new factor in news coverage. Fox for a long time cornered the market on conservative viewers. Almost automatically, competitors like CNN and MSNBC became home to people who viewed themselves as liberals, beginning a sifting process that would later accelerate.

A new dynamic entered the job of reporting. For generations, news directors had only to remember a few ideological imperatives. One, ably and voluminously described by Chomsky and Herman, was, "America rules: pay no attention to those napalmed bodies." We covered the worthy victims, ignored the unworthy ones, and that was most of the job, politically.

The rest of the news? As one TV producer put it to me in the nineties, "The entire effect we're after is, 'Isn't that weird?'"

Did you hear about that guy in Michigan who refused to mow his lawn even when the town ordered him to? Weird! And how about that drive-thru condom store that opened in Cranston, Rhode Island? What a trip! And, hey, what happened in the O.J. trial today? That Kato Kaelin is really a doof! And I love that lawyer who wears a suede jacket! He looks like a cowboy!

TV execs learned Americans would be happy if you just fed them a nonstop succession of National Enquirer –style factoids (this is formalized today in meme culture). The New York Times deciding to cover the O.J. freak show full-time broke the seal on the open commercialization of dumb news that among other things led to a future where Donald Trump could be a viable presidential candidate.

In the old days, the news was a mix of this toothless trivia and cheery dispatches from the front lines of Pax Americana. The whole fam could sit and watch it without getting upset (by necessity: an important principle in pre-Internet broadcasting is that nothing on the air, including the news, could be as intense or as creative as the commercials). The news once designed to be consumed by the whole house, by loving Mom, by your crazy right-wing uncle, by your earnest college-student cousin who just came home wearing a Che T-shirt.

But once we started to be organized into demographic silos, the networks found another way to seduce these audiences: they sold intramural conflict.

The Roger Ailes types captured the attention of the crazy right-wing uncle and got him watching one channel full of news tailored for him, filling the airwaves with stories, for instance, about immigration or minorities committing crimes. Different networks eventually rose to market themselves to the kid in the Che T-shirt. If you got them in different rooms watching different channels, you could get both viewers literally addicted to hating one another.

There was a political element to this, but also not. It was commerce, initially. And reporters stuck in this world soon began to realize that the nature of their jobs had changed.

Whereas once the task was to report the facts as honestly as we could -- down the middle of the "fairway" of acceptable thought, of course -- the new task was mostly about making sure your viewer came back the next day.

We sold anger, and we did it mainly by feeding audiences what they wanted to hear. Mostly, this involved cranking out stories about people our viewers loved to hate.

Selling siloed anger was a more sophisticated take on the WWE programming pioneered in Hannity & Colmes . The modern news consumer tuned into news that confirmed his or her prejudices about whatever or whoever the villain of the day happened to be: foreigners, minorities, terrorists, the Clintons, Republicans, even corporations.

The system was ingeniously designed so that the news dropped down the respective silos didn't interfere with the occasional need to "manufacture" the consent of the whole population. If we needed to, we could still herd the whole country into the pen again and get them backing the flag, as was the case with the Iraq War effort.

But mostly, we sold conflict. We began in the early nineties to systematically pry families apart, set group against group, and more and more make news consumption a bubble-like, "safe space" stimulation of the vitriolic reflex, a consumer version of "Two Minutes Hate."

How did this serve the needs of the elite interests that were once promoting unity? That wasn't easy for me to see, in my first decades in the business. For a long time, I thought it was a flaw in the Chomsky/Herman model. It looked like we were mostly selling pointless division.

But it now seems there was a reason, even for that.

The news media is in crisis. Polls show that a wide majority of the population no longer has confidence in the press. Chomsky himself despairs at this, noting in my discussion with him (at the end of this book) that Manufacturing Consent had the unintended consequence of convincing readers not to trust the media.

There are many ways of mistrusting something, but people who came away from Manufacturing Consent with the idea that the media peddles lies misread the book. Papers like the New York Times, for the most part, do not traffic in outright deceptions.

The overwhelming majority of commercial news reporting is factual (with one conspicuous exception I'll get into later on), and the individual reporters who work in the business tend to be quite stubborn in their adherence to fact as a matter of principle. (Sadly, in the time it's taken to write this book, even this has begun to change some). Still, people should trust most reporters, especially local reporters, who tend to have real beats (like statehouses or courts), have few of the insular prejudices of the national media, and don't deserve the elitist tag. The context in which reporters operate is most often the problem.

Now, more than ever, most journalists work for giant nihilistic corporations whose editorial decisions are skewed by a toxic mix of political and financial considerations. Without understanding how those pressures work, it's very difficult for a casual news consumer to gain an accurate picture of the world.

This book is intended as an insider's guide to those distortions.

The technology underpinning the modern news business is sophisticated and works according to a two-step process. First, it creates content that reinforces your pre-existing opinions, and, after analysis of your consumer habits, sends it to you.

Then it matches you to advertisers who have a product they're trying to sell to your demographic. This is how companies like Facebook and Google make their money: telling advertisers where their likely customers are on the web.

The news, basically, is bait to lure you into a pen where you can be sold sneakers or bath soaps or prostatitis cures or whatever else studies say people of your age, gender, race, class, and political persuasion tend to buy.

Imagine your Internet surfing habit as being like walking down a street. A man shouts: "Did you hear what those damned liberals did today? Come down this alley."

You hate liberals, so you go down the alley. On your way to the story, there's a storefront selling mart carts and gold investments (there's a crash coming -- this billionaire even says so!).

Maybe you buy the gold, maybe you don't. But at the end of the alley, there's a red-faced screamer telling a story that may even be true, about a college in Massachusetts where administrators took down a statue of John Adams because it made a Hispanic immigrant "uncomfortable." Boy, does that make you pissed!

They picked that story just for you to hear. It is like the parable of Kafka's gatekeeper, guarding a door to the truth that was built just for you.

Across the street, down the MSNBC alley, there's an opposite story, and set of storefronts, built specifically for someone else to hear.

People need to start understanding the news not as "the news," but as just such an individualized consumer experience -- anger just for you.

This is not reporting. It's a marketing process designed to create rhetorical addictions and shut any non-consumerist doors in your mind. This creates more than just pockets of political rancor. It creates masses of media consumers who've been trained to see in only one direction, as if they had been pulled through history on a railroad track, with heads fastened in blinders, looking only one way.

As it turns out, there is a utility in keeping us divided. As people, the more separate we are, the more politically impotent we become.

This is the second stage of the mass media deception originally described in Manufacturing Consent .

First, we're taught to stay within certain bounds, intellectually. Then, we're all herded into separate demographic pens, located along different patches of real estate on the spectrum of permissible thought.

Once safely captured, we're trained to consume the news the way sports fans do. We root for our team, and hate all the rest.

Hatred is the partner of ignorance, and we in the media have become experts in selling both.

I looked back at thirty years of deceptive episodes -- from Iraq to the financial crisis of 2008 to the 2016 election of Donald Trump -- and found that we in the press have increasingly used intramural hatreds to obscure larger, more damning truths. Fake controversies of increasing absurdity have been deployed over and over to keep our audiences from seeing larger problems.

We manufactured fake dissent, to prevent real dissent.

[Nov 06, 2019] Manufacturing Fear and Loathing, Maximizing Corporate Profits! A Review of Matt Taibbi's Hate Inc. Why Today's Media Makes Us

Notable quotes:
"... "Manufacturing Consent," Taibbi writes, "explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it" (p. 11). ..."
"... Americans were held captive by the boob tube affords us not only a useful historical image but also suggests the possibility of their having been able to view the television as an antagonist, and therefore of their having been able, at least some of them, to rebel against its dictates. Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets, the workings of which are so precisely intertwined with even the most intimate minute-to-minute aspects of our lives that our relationship to them could hardly ever become antagonistic. ..."
"... The massive political revolution was, going all the way back to 1989, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and then of the Soviet Union itself -- and thus of the usefulness of anti-communism as a kind of coercive secular religion (pp. 14-15). ..."
"... our corporate media have devised -- at least for the time being -- highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent (p. 21). ..."
"... And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid. ..."
"... For Maddow, he notes, is "a depressingly exact mirror of Hannity . The two characters do exactly the same work. They make their money using exactly the same commercial formula. And though they emphasize different political ideas, the effect they have on audiences is much the same" (pp. 259-260). ..."
Nov 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Matt Taibbi's Hate Inc . is the most insightful and revelatory book about American politics to appear since the publication of Thomas Frank's Listen, Liberal almost four full years ago, near the beginning of the last presidential election cycle.

While Frank's topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and Taibbi's is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite social circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class. In fact, I would strongly recommend that the reader spend some time with Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? (2004) and Listen, Liberal! (2016) as he or she takes up Taibbi's book.

And to really do the book the justice it deserves, I would even more vehemently recommend that the reader immerse him- or herself in Taibbi's favorite book and vade-mecum , Manufacturing Consent (which I found to be a grueling experience: a relentless cataloging of the official lies that hide the brutality of American foreign policy) and, in order to properly appreciate the brilliance of Taibbi's chapter 7, "How the Media Stole from Pro Wrestling," visit some locale in Flyover Country and see some pro wrestling in person (which I found to be unexpectedly uplifting -- more on this soon enough).

Taibbi tells us that he had originally intended for Hate, Inc . to be an updating of Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent (1988), which he first read thirty years ago, when he was nineteen. "It blew my mind," Taibbi writes. "[It] taught me that some level of deception was baked into almost everything I'd ever been taught about modern American life .

Once the authors in the first chapter laid out their famed propaganda model [italics mine], they cut through the deceptions of the American state like a buzz saw" (p. 10). For what seemed to be vigorous democratic debate, Taibbi realized, was instead a soul-crushing simulation of debate. The choices voters were given were distinctions without valid differences, and just as hyped, just as trivial, as the choices between a Whopper and a Big Mac, between Froot Loops and Frosted Mini-Wheats, between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, between Marlboro Lites and Camel Filters. It was all profit-making poisonous junk.

"Manufacturing Consent," Taibbi writes, "explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it" (p. 11). And there's an indisputable logic at work here, because the reality of hideous American war crimes is and always has been, from the point of view of the big media corporations, a "narrative-ruining" buzz-kill. "The uglier truth [brought to light in Manufacturing Consent ], that we committed genocide of a fairly massive scale across Indochina -- ultimately killing at least a million innocent civilians by air in three countries -- is pre-excluded from the history of the period" (p. 13).

So what has changed in the last thirty years? A lot! As a starting point let's consider the very useful metaphor found in the title of another great media book of 1988: Mark Crispin Miller's Boxed In: The Culture of TV . To say that Americans were held captive by the boob tube affords us not only a useful historical image but also suggests the possibility of their having been able to view the television as an antagonist, and therefore of their having been able, at least some of them, to rebel against its dictates. Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets, the workings of which are so precisely intertwined with even the most intimate minute-to-minute aspects of our lives that our relationship to them could hardly ever become antagonistic.

Taibbi summarizes the history of these three decades in terms of three "massive revolutions" in the media plus one actual massive political revolution, all of which, we should note, he discussed with his hero Chomsky (who is now ninety! -- Edward Herman passed away in 2017) even as he wrote his book. And so: the media revolutions which Taibbi describes were, first, the coming of FoxNews along with Rush Limbaugh-style talk radio; second, the coming of CNN, i.e., the Cable News Network, along with twenty-four hour infinite-loop news cycles; third, the coming of the Internet along with the mighty social media giants Facebook and Twitter.

The massive political revolution was, going all the way back to 1989, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and then of the Soviet Union itself -- and thus of the usefulness of anti-communism as a kind of coercive secular religion (pp. 14-15).

For all that, however, the most salient difference between the news media of 1989 and the news media of 2019 is the disappearance of the single type of calm and decorous and slightly boring cis-het white anchorman (who somehow successfully appealed to a nationwide audience) and his replacement by a seemingly wide variety of demographically-engineered news personæ who all rage and scream combatively in each other's direction. "In the old days," Taibbi writes, "the news was a mix of this toothless trivia and cheery dispatches from the frontlines of Pax Americana . The news [was] once designed to be consumed by the whole house . But once we started to be organized into demographic silos [italics mine], the networks found another way to seduce these audiences: they sold intramural conflict" (p. 18).

And in this new media environment of constant conflict, how, Taibbi wondered, could public consent , which would seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum from conflict, still be manufactured ?? "That wasn't easy for me to see in my first decades in the business," Taibbi writes. "For a long time, I thought it was a flaw in the Chomsky/Herman model" (p. 19).

But what Taibbi was at length able to understand, and what he is now able to describe for us with both wit and controlled outrage, is that our corporate media have devised -- at least for the time being -- highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent (p. 21).

And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.

Or pretty much so. Taibbi is more historically precise. Because of the tweaking of the Herman/Chomsky propaganda model necessitated by the disappearance of the USSR in 1991 ("The Russians escaped while we weren't watching them, / As Russians do ," Jackson Browne presciently prophesied on MTV way back in 1983), one might now want to speak of a Propaganda Model 2.0. For, as Taibbi notes, " the biggest change to Chomsky's model is the discovery of a far superior 'common enemy' in modern media: each other. So long as we remain a bitterly-divided two-party state, we'll never want for TV villains" (pp. 207-208).

To rub his great insight right into our uncomprehending faces, Taibbi has almost sadistically chosen to have dark, shadowy images of a yelling Sean Hannity (in lurid FoxNews Red!) and a screaming Rachel Maddow (in glaring MSNBC Blue!) juxtaposed on the cover of his book. For Maddow, he notes, is "a depressingly exact mirror of Hannity . The two characters do exactly the same work. They make their money using exactly the same commercial formula. And though they emphasize different political ideas, the effect they have on audiences is much the same" (pp. 259-260).

And that effect is hate. Impotent hate. For while Rachel's fan demographic is all wrapped up in hating Far-Right Fascists Like Sean, and while Sean's is all wrapped up in despising Libtard Lunatics Like Rachel, the bipartisan consensus in Washington for ever-increasing military budgets, for everlasting wars, for ever-expanding surveillance, for ever-growing bailouts of and tax breaks for and and handouts to the most powerful corporations goes forever unchallenged.

Oh my. And it only gets worse and worse, because the media, in order to make sure that their various siloed demographics stay superglued to their Internet devices, must keep ratcheting up levels of hate: the Fascists Like Sean and the Libtards Like Rachel must be continually presented as more and more deranged, and ultimately as demonic. "There is us and them," Taibbi writes, "and they are Hitler" (p. 64). A vile reductio ad absurdum has come into play: "If all Trump supporters are Hitler, and all liberals are also Hitler," Taibbi writes, " [t]he America vs. America show is now Hitler vs. Hitler! Think of the ratings! " The reader begins to grasp Taibbi's argument that our mainstream corporate media are as bad as -- are worse than -- pro wrestling. It's an ineluctable downward spiral.

Taibbi continues: "The problem is, there's no natural floor to this behavior. Just as cable TV will eventually become seven hundred separate twenty-four-hour porn channels, news and commentary will eventually escalate to boxing-style, expletive-laden, pre-fight tirades, and the open incitement to violence [italics mine]. If the other side is literally Hitler, [w]hat began as America vs. America will eventually move to Traitor vs. Traitor , and the show does not work if those contestants are not eventually offended to the point of wanting to kill one another" (pp. 65-69).

As I read this book, I often wondered about how difficult it was emotionally for Taibbi to write it. I'm just really glad to see that the guy didn't commit suicide along the way. He does describe the "self-loathing" he experienced as he realized his own complicity in the marketing processes which he exposes (p. 2). He also apologizes to the reader for his not being able to follow through on his original aim of writing a continuation of Herman and Chomsky's classic: "[W]hen I sat down to write what I'd hoped would be something with the intellectual gravitas of Manufacturing Consent ," Taibbi confesses, "I found decades of more mundane frustrations pouring out onto the page, obliterating a clinical examination" (p. 2).

I, however, am profoundly grateful to Taibbi for all of his brilliantly observed anecdotes. The subject matter is nauseating enough even in Taibbi's sparkling and darkly tragicomic prose. A more academic treatment of the subject would likely be too depressing to read. So let me conclude with an anecdote of my own -- and an oddly uplifting one at that -- about reading Taibbi's chapter 7, "How the News Media Stole from Pro Wrestling."

On the same day I read this chapter I saw that, on the bulletin board in my gym, a poster had appeared, as if by magic, promoting an upcoming Primal Conflict (!) professional wrestling event. I studied the photos of the wrestlers on the poster carefully, and, as an astute reader of Taibbi, I prided myself on being able to identify which of them seemed be playing the roles of heels , and which of them the roles of babyfaces .

For Taibbi explains that one of the fundamental dynamics of wrestling involves the invention of crowd-pleasing narratives out of the many permutations and combinations of pitting heels against faces . Donald Trump, a natural heel , brings the goofy dynamics of pro wrestling to American politics with real-life professional expertise. (Taibbi points out that in 2007 Trump actually performed before a huge cheering crowd in a Wrestlemania event billed as the "battle of the billionaires." Watch it on YouTube! https://youtu.be/5NsrwH9I9vE -- unbelievable!!)

The mainstream corporate media, on the other hand, their eyes fixed on ever bigger and bigger profits, have drifted into the metaphorical pro wrestling ring in ignorance, and so, when they face off against Trump, they often end up in the role of inept prudish pearl-clutching faces .

Taibbi condemns the mainstream media's failure to understand such a massively popular form of American entertainment as "malpractice" (p. 125), so I felt more than obligated to buy a ticket and see the advertised event in person. To properly educate myself, that is.

... ... ...


Steve Ruis , November 5, 2019 at 8:13 am

I have stopped watching broadcast "news" other than occasional sessions of NPR in the car. I get most of my news from sources such as this and from overseas sources (The Guardian, Reuters, etc.). I used to subscribe to newspapers but have given them up in disgust, even though I was looking forward to leisurely enjoying a morning paper after I retired.

I was brought up in the positive 1950's and, boy, did this turn out poorly.

Dao Gen , November 5, 2019 at 8:59 am

Matt Taibbi is an American treasure, and I love his writing very much, but we also need to ask, Why hasn't another Chomsky (or another Hudson), an analyst with a truly deep and wide-ranging, synthetic mind, appeared on the left to take apart our contemporary media and show us its inner workings? Have all the truly great minds gone to work for Wall Street? I don't have an answer, but to me the pro wrestling metaphor, while intriguing, misses something about the Fourth Estate in America, if it indeed still exists. And that is, except for radio, there is a distinct imbalance between the two sides of the MSM lineup. On the corporate liberal side of the national MSM team you have five wrestlers, but on the conservative/reactionary side you have only the Fox entry. Because of this imbalance, the corruption, laziness, self-indulgence, and generally declining interest in journalistic standards seems greater among the corporate liberal media team, including the NYT and WaPo, than the Fox team.

I'm not a fan of either Maddow (in her current incarnation) or Hannity, but Hannity, perhaps because he thinks he's like David, often hustles to refute the discourse of the corporate liberal Goliath team. Hannity obviously does more research on some topics than Maddow, and, perhaps because he began in radio, he puts more emphasis on semi-rationally structured rants than Maddow, who depends more on primal emotion, body language, and Hollywood-esque fear-inducing atmospherics.

I'd wager that in a single five-minute segment there will often be twice as many rational distinctions made in a Hannity rant than in a Maddow performance. In addition, for the last three years Hannity has simply been demonstrably right about the fake Russiagate propaganda blitz while Maddow has been as demonstrably wrong from the very beginning as propaganda industry trend-setter Adam Schiff. So for at least these last three years, the Maddow-Hannity primal match has been a somewhat misleading metaphor. The Blob and the security state have been decisively supporting (and directing?) the corporate liberal global interventionist media, at least regarding Russia and the permanent war establishment, and because the imbalance between the interventionist and the non-interventionist MSM, Russia and Ukraine are being used as a wedge to steadily break down the firewalls between the Dem party, the intel community, and the interventionist MSM. If we had real public debates with both sides at approximately equal strength as we did during the Vietnam War, then even pro wrestling-type matches would be superior to what we have now, which is truthy truth and thoughtsy thought coming to us from the military industrial complex and monopolistic holding companies. If fascism is defined as the fusion of the state and corporations, then the greatest threat of fascism in America may well be coming from the apparent gradual fusion of the corporate liberal MSM, the Dem party elite, and the intel community. Instead of an MSM wrestling match, we may soon be faced with a Japanese-style 'hitori-zumo' match in which a sumo wrestler wrestles with only himself. Once these sumo wrestlers were believed to be wrestling with invisible spirits, but those days are gone . http://kikuko-nagoya.com/html/hitori-zumo.htm

coboarts , November 5, 2019 at 9:59 am

"If we had real public debates" and if they were even debates where issues entered into contest were addressed point by point with evidence

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , November 5, 2019 at 10:03 am

Today's Noam Chomksy? Chomsky was part of the machine who broke ranks with it. His MIT research was generously funded by the Military Industrial Complex. Thankfully, enough of his latent humanity and Trotskyite upbringing shone through so he exposed what he was part of. So I guess today that's Chris Hedges, though he's a preacher at heart and not a semiotician.

neighbor7 , November 5, 2019 at 10:04 am

Thank you, Dao Gen. An excellent analysis, and your final image is usefully haunting.

a different chris , November 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm

> In addition, for the last three years Hannity has simply been demonstrably right about the fake Russiagate propaganda blitz while Maddow has been as demonstrably wrong

Eh. Read whats-his-name's (Frankfurter?) book On Bullshit . You are giving Hannity credit for something he doesn't really care about.

jrs , November 5, 2019 at 12:21 pm

I don't believe the media environment as a whole leans corporate Dem/neoliberal.

T.V. maybe, but radio is much more right wing than left (yes there is NPR and Pacifica, the latter with probably only a scattering of listerners but ) and it's still out there and a big influence, radio hasn't gone away. So doesn't the right wing tilt of radio kind of balance out television? (not necessarily in a good way but). And then there is the internet and I have no idea what the overall lean of that is (I mean I prefer left wing sites, but that's purely my own bubble and actually there are much fewer left analysis out there than I'd like)

Self Affine , November 5, 2019 at 9:05 am

Also,

Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism

by Sheldon S. Wolin

Critical deep analysis of not just the media but the whole American political enterprise and
the nature of our "democracy".

DJG , November 5, 2019 at 9:20 am

The whole review is good, but this extract should be quoted extensively:

While Frank's topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and Taibbi's is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite social circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class.

In short, stagnation and self-dealing at the top. What could possibly go wrong?

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 11:51 am

Are you serious? Maddow called Trump a traitor and accused him of betrayal in Russiagate, and was caught out when that fell apart. This was pointed out all over the MSM .

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/03/27/rachel-maddows-deep-delusion-226266

https://www.salon.com/2018/07/17/rachel-maddow-hits-the-panic-button-after-trump-putin-summit-this-is-the-worst-case-scenario/

Carolinian , November 5, 2019 at 9:52 am

This is great stuff. Thanks.

One quibble: the author says

Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets

and then goes on to spend most of the article talking about television. I'd say television is still the main propaganda instrument even if many webheads like yours truly ignore it (I've never seen Hannity's show or Maddow's–just hear the rumors). Arguably even newspapers like the NYT have been dumbed down because the reporters long to be on TV and join the shouting. And it's surely no coincidence that our president himself is a TV (and WWE) star. Mass media have always been feeders of hysteria but television gave them faces and voices. Watching TV is also a far more passive experience than surfing the web. They are selling us "narratives," bedtime stories, and we like sleepy children merely listen.

Jerri-Lynn Scofield , November 5, 2019 at 9:54 am

This rave review has inspired me to add this to my to-read non-fiction queue. Currently reading William Dalrymple's The Anarchy, on the rise of the East India Company. Next up: Matt Stoller's Goliath. And then I'll get to Taibbi. Probably worth digging up my original copy of Manufacturing Consent as well, which I read many moons ago; time for a re-read.

Susan the Other , November 5, 2019 at 12:32 pm

almost every page of mine is dog-eared and marked along the edge with exclamation points

urblintz , November 5, 2019 at 1:41 pm

May I suggest Stephen Cohen's "War with Russia?" if it's not already on your list? In focusing on the danger emerging from the new cold war, seeded by the Democrats, propagated by corporate media (which he thinks is more dangerous than the first), Cohen clarifies the importance of diplomacy especially with one's nuclear rivals.

Imagine that

shinola , November 5, 2019 at 9:56 am

Support your local book store!

Off The Street , November 5, 2019 at 9:57 am

Us rubes knew decades ago about pro wrestling. There was a regional circuit and the hero in one town would become the villain in another town. The ones to be surprised were like John Stossel, who got a perforated eardrum from a slap upside the head for his efforts at in-your-face journalism with a wrestler who just wouldn't play along with his grandstanding. Somewhere, kids cheered and life went on.

The Historian , November 5, 2019 at 10:01 am

Ah, Ancient Athens, here we come – running back to repeat your mistakes! Our MSM media has decided that when we are not at our neighbor's throats, we should be at each other's throats!

teacup , November 5, 2019 at 10:11 am

I was watching old clips of the 'Fred Friendly Seminars' on YouTube. IMHO any channel that produced a format such as this would be a ratings bonanza. Imagine a round table with various media figures (corporate) left, (corporate) right, and independent being refereed by a host-moderator discussing topics in 'Hate, Inc.'. In wrestling it's called a Battle Royale. The Fourth Estate in a cage match!

@ape , November 5, 2019 at 10:12 am

And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.

This is important, if people don't want to be naive about what democracy buys. Democracy in the end is a ritual system to determine which members of an elite would win a war without actually having to hold the war. Like how court functions to replace personal revenge by determining (often) who would win in a fight if there were one, and the feudal system replaced the genocidal wars of the axial age with the gentler warfare of the middle ages which were often ritual wars of the elite that avoided the full risk of the earlier wars.

That, I think, is important -- under a democracy, the winner should be normally the winner of the avoided violent conflict to be sustainable. Thus, it's enough to get most people to consent to the solution, using the traditional meaning of consent being "won't put up a fight to avoid it". If the choices on the table are reduced enough, you can get by with most people simply dropping out of the questions.

Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit

It shouldn't be a surprise that we've moved to "faking dissent" -- it's the natural evolution of a system where a lot of the effective power is in the hands of tech, and not just as in the early 20th century, how many workers you have and how many soldiers you can raise.

If you don't like it, change the technology we use to fight one another. We went from tribes to lords when we switch from sticks to advanced forged weapons, and we went from feudalism to democracy when we had factories dropping guns that any 15 year old could use (oversimplifying a bit). Now that the stuff requires expertise, you'd expect a corresponding shift in how we ritualize our conflict avoidance, and thus the organization of how we control communication and how we organize our rituals of power.

Aka, it's the scientists and the engineers who end up determining how everything is organized, and people never seem to bother with that argument, which is especially surprising that even hard-core Marxists waste their time on short-term politics rather than the tech we're building.

I'd be curious whether Taibbi thought about the issue of the nature of the technology and whether there are technological options on the horizon which drive the conflict in other directions. If we had only kept the laws on copyright and patent weaker, so that the implementation of communicative infrastructure would have stayed decentralized

Susan the Other , November 5, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Tabby's "manufacturing fake consent" was really the whole punchline – the joke's on us. Hunter S. Thompson, another of Taibbi's heroes, is, along with Chomsky, speaking to us through MT. Our media is distracting us from social coherence. Another thing it is doing (just my opinion) is it is overwhelming us to the point of disgust. Nobody likes it. And we protect ourselves by tuning it out. Turning it off. Once the screaming lunatics marginalize themselves by making the whole narrative hysterical, we just act like it's another family fight and we're gonna go do something else. When everyone is screaming, no one is screaming.

Jerry B , November 5, 2019 at 10:26 am

I have tried to read Hate Inc. and Taibbi's Griftopia but one of my main issues with Taibbi's writing is his lack of notes, references, or bibliography, etc. in his books. In skimming Hate Inc. it seems like a book I would enjoy reading, however my personal value system is that any book without footnotes, endnotes, citations, or at minimum a bibliography is just an opinion or a story. At least Thomas Frank's Listen Liberal has a section for End Notes/References at the end of the book. Again just my personal values.

Sbbbd , November 5, 2019 at 10:45 am

Another classic in the genre of manufactured consent through media from the age of radio and Adolf Hitler:

"The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception", in the book Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer.

Joe Well , November 5, 2019 at 11:04 am

I am from Greater Boston, far, far from flyover country (which I imagine begins in Yonkers NY), but I sure grew up with pro wrestling as part of the schoolyard discourse. I certainly knew it was as much of a family affair as Disney on Ice and have trouble believing he thought otherwise though I will not impugn his honesty. I am very grateful to the author for taking the time to write this, but is it possible for a male who grew up in the US to be as deeply embedded in the MSNBC demo as he claims to be?

Seriously, how is it possible for a male raised in the US to not at least have some working familiarity with pro wrestling? My family along with my community was very close to the national median income–do higher income boys really not learn about WWF and WWE?

Seriously, rich kids, what was childhood like? I know you had music lessons and sports camps, what else? Was it really that different?

Carolinian , November 5, 2019 at 11:59 am

And it's not just the US. See the British WWE movie: Fighting With My Family.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_with_My_Family

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 12:03 pm

Sorry, my blue collar, lifetime union member brother says your view is horseshit. All the knows about WWE and WWF is that they are big-budget fakery and that's why they are of no interest.

amfortas the hippie , November 5, 2019 at 1:38 pm

aye. in my blue to white collar( and back to blue to no collar) upbringing, wrestling was never a thing. it was for the morons who couldn't read. seen as patently absurd by just about everyone i knew. and this in klanridden east texas exurbia
wife's mexican extended familia oth luche libre is a big thing that all and sundry talked about at thanksgiving. less so these days possibly due to the hyperindiviualisation of media intake mentioned
(and,btw, in my little world , horseshit is a good thing)

BlueStater , November 5, 2019 at 11:11 am

Even allowing for my lefty-liberal bias, I do not see how it is possible to equate Fox Noise and MSNBC, or Hannity and Maddow, as "both-sides" extremists. Fox violates basic professional canons of fairness and equity on a daily basis. MSNBC occasionally does, but is quick to correct errors of fact. Hannity is a thuggish outer-borough New York schmuck without much education or knowledge of the world. Maddow is an Oxford Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar. It is one of the evil successes of the right-wing news cauldron to have successfully equated these two figures and organizations.

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 12:05 pm

Huh? MSNBC regularly makes errors of omission and commission with respect to Sanders. They are still pushing the Russiagate narrative. That's a massive, two-year, virtually all the time error they have refused to recant.

The blind spots of people on the soi-disant left are truly astonishing.

semiconscious , November 5, 2019 at 1:08 pm

'Hannity is a thuggish outer-borough New York schmuck without much education or knowledge of the world. Maddow is an Oxford Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar '

oh, well, then – end of conversation! i mean, god knows, it'd be a cold day in hell before a rhodes scholar, or even someone married to one, would ever lead us astray down the rosy neoliberal path to hell, while, at the same time, under the spell of trump derangement syndrome, actually attempt to revive the mccarthy era, eh?

Summer , November 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Actual drugs are being used to hinder debate as well as emotional drugs like hate.
They can't trust agency to be removed by words and images alone – the stakes are too high.
Now all of you go take a feel good pill and stop complaining!

McWatt , November 5, 2019 at 1:02 pm

I would like to know if Matt is doing any book signings any where around the states for this new title?

David , November 5, 2019 at 1:15 pm

I've been impressed with Taibbi's work, what I've read of it, but ironically this very article contains a quote from him which exemplifies the problem: his casual assertion that the US committed "genocide" in Indochina. Even the most fervent critics of US policy didn't say this at the time, for the very good reason that there was no evidence that the US tried to destroy a racial, religious, ethnic or nationalist group (the full definition is a lot more complex and demanding than that). He clearly means that the US was responsible for lots of deaths, which is incontestable. But the process of endless escalation of rhetoric, which this book seems to be partly about, means that everything now has to be described in the most extreme, absurd or apocalyptic tones, and at the top of your voice, otherwise nobody takes any notice. So any self-respecting war now has to be qualified as "genocide" or nobody will take any notice.

[Nov 06, 2019] CENTCOM strategy seems to be protect ISIS and help them kill Syrian soldiers, while coalition jets destroy as much Syrian civilian and commercial infrastructure as humanly possible around Deir EzZor.

Nov 06, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

LeaNder said in reply to trinlae... , 03 February 2017 at 09:17 AM

Pat, will allow me to follow your off-topic link.

Interesting author, trinlae. Great points.

Random pick from the only comment by Pave Way IV. But triggering something on my mind.

CENTCOM strategy seems to be protect ISIS and help them kill Syrian soldiers, while coalition jets destroy as much Syrian civilian and commercial infrastructure as humanly possible around Deir EzZor.

I wouldn't mind someone to take a closer look at one specific 'point' versus its 'counterpoint', or aligned diverse narration variants plus the respectively supporting evidence. Maybe the author wouldn't be a bad choice. ;)

In a nutshell:

a) (point) Assad more or less deliberately created Isis by releasing a series of Islamists from prison in 2011.

b) (counterpoint) the US supports both AQ and Isis indirectly somewhat following earlier US strategies at ME regime change.

"a" seems to be the dominating narrative on our media over here too. No surprise there. It also surfaced in an article by Omar Kassem on CounterPunch linked here a couple of days ago, if I recall correctly.

Am I to believe that releasing a couple of Islamist from prison, -- how many anyway -- had a bigger impact on the genesis of Isis than the mishandling of the Iraqi transition and Occupation. After a war that should never have happened to start with?

Comment variation of 'counterpoint':

http://www.alternet.org/comments/world/isis-syrian-war-and-al-qaeda#disqus_thread

Article contains variation of 'point', Assad created Isis:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/01/grinding-towards-peace-in-the-middle-east-as-america-looks-inward/

[Nov 06, 2019] Something about Trump coherence

Nov 05, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Barba_Papa 21 hours ago

The US openly occupies parts of Syria, boasts of taking it resources and supported the attempts of the Kurds to set up their own little state, until the Turks blew a hissy fit. And yet it has the gall to call out what Russia does in the Ukraine as a breach of international law.

[Nov 05, 2019] Anti-Russian hysteria and the extensive disinformation campaign probably stems from a 'Five Eyes' strategy ... with the malign Uncle as its director.

Notable quotes:
"... Integrity Initiative. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... 'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.' ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative, ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft, ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Open Information Partnership ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Media Diversity Institute ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Moon of Alabama ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Integrity Initiative. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... 'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.' ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative, ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft, ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Open Information Partnership ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Media Diversity Institute ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Moon of Alabama ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
Nov 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Nov 4 2019 19:46 utc | 8

james @ 4 opined;"
thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex"

I'm with ya' james, this demonization of Russia, and any countries that refuse the empire's beck and call, is around to stay I'm afraid.

And yes, it's all of the above, but, mostly about the $.


semiconscious , Nov 4 2019 20:11 utc | 9

james @ 4;

'i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale?...'

They're the nuclear rival that don't import many of the u.s.'s consumer products. otherwise, it'd either be china, or both...

plus, of course, there's all them cold war memes that can be triggered in a sizable portion of the population's heads...

chet380 , Nov 4 2019 20:26 utc | 11
#4 James, #8 Ben --

I suspect the the antipathy to Russia and the extensive disinformation campaign stems from a 'Five Eyes' project and strategy ... with the malign Uncle as its director.

Joost , Nov 4 2019 20:41 utc | 13
@james #4 "i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia..."
Same motivation as all forgotten empires had. Even our cat want some of it, staring down on his employees from his basket high up on the fridge with that evil look on his face. We call it his World Domination Command Centre, WDCC for short. Global domination is what they crave. Kill the competition, loot its resources, more power, more money. America has been looted, devastated. Time for the locusts to move on to greener pastures. Russia is the promised land, the next wild west new world to colonize. Problem is, as always, the natives.
TEP , Nov 4 2019 21:11 utc | 14
I am hopeful that more and more of the population are realising that if an organisation is promoted by any western government as a source of information, then that organisation will provide disinformation by default. There are few, if any, journalists anywhere that are not part of the empirical disinformation program. Those that are not will be independent and, therefore, by alternate default, extremely wary of western government/government-funded/NGO sources. All the hegemon and it's vassals can do now is double-down and hope that the populations will go back to sleep.
Trisha , Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
As with all things evil, the British oligarchy began in the 1830s targeting Russia as a threat to its autocratic interests, in this case "defending" the Ottoman Empire against Russia.

The Brits were further scared out of their wits when the 1917 Russian Revolution was on the verge of establishing an anti-capitalist system. So they, along with a ragtag bag of co-conspirators including the United States, launched a military invasion of Russia.

That's right, U.S. troops landed at two places in Russia and fought against Russian soldiers. The Brits/U.S/et. al. suffered a humiliating defeat, leaving so quickly that U.S. dead soldiers were left behind buried in Soviet soil, to be repatriated years later.

But it's Russia that is the threat to "us", right?

Ort , Nov 4 2019 22:23 utc | 19
@ Trisha | Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
___________________________________________

Thanks for your informative comment. I'd started to reply to James that Russia has been a default "boogie-man" and Western scapegoat since the 19th Century, but that sounded unhelpfully circular-- and I didn't have the ambition to refresh my understanding with actual historical facts. ;)

The fact that a sort of Western "coalition of the willing" invaded Russia after the 1917 revolution is still a well-kept secret! It was never mentioned in my (US) school courses, from parochial school through the "Honors Survey of Western Civilization" course I took in college.


/div> " The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-64 , Main November 04, 2019 British Government Disinformation Shop Lost Charity Status - Continues In New Format

At the end of last year some enterprising 'anonymous' person released papers of the British Integrity Initiative. As we reported at that time:

The British government financed Integrity Initiative is tasked with spreading anti-Russian propaganda and thereby with influencing the public, military and governments of a number of countries. What follows is an contextual analysis of the third batch of the Initiative's internal papers which were dumped by an anonymous yesterday.

Christopher Nigel Donnelly (CND) is the co-director of The Institute for Statecraft and founder of its offshoot Integrity Initiative . The Initiative claims to "Defend Democracy Against Disinformation".

The Integrity Initiative does this by planting disinformation about alleged Russian influence through journalists 'clusters' throughout Europe and the United States.

Both, the Institute as well as the Initiative, claim to be independent Non-Government Organizations. Both are financed by the British government, NATO and other state donors.

There have been seven releases of Institute of Statecraft documents. They included proposals for large anti-Russian disinformation campaigns . The Institute of Statecraft suggested to impose anti-Russian sanctions as early as January 2015. Its head, the former NATO advisor and military spy Chris Donnelly , also proposed to synchronously expel a large number of Russian diplomats from western countries.

That plans seems to have been the blueprint for the March 2018 mass expulsion of Russian diplomats during the Skripal affair. Several of the other measures Donnelly and his ilk planned have since been implemented.

The Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity under Scottish law. After the release of its papers the Scottish charity regulator OSCR investigated the status of the Institute . Unsurprisingly the OSCR found (pdf) that its shady behavior and its running of anti-Russian disinformation campaigns did not justify its status:

In the course of our inquiry we found that the charity was not meeting the charity test required for continuing registration as a charity in Scotland because:

The purpose of the charity was purportedly to educate the public. But the regulator found that the Integrity Initiative did not educate but only spread its own version of 'reality' i.e. disinformation. The charity lacked neutrality:

In addition, our Meeting the Charity Test guidance states that:

'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.'

OSCR's view is that the Integrity Initiative expressed a particular perspective intended to persuade the public to a specific point of view and, given the nature of the subject matter, it was not sufficiently neutral to advance education.

The crocks who were running the charity were filling their own pockets with the public money the 'charity' received:

To pass the charity test any private benefit must be incidental to the organisation's activities that advance its purposes, that is, it must be a necessary result or by-product of the organisation's activities and not an end in itself.

We were concerned at the level of private benefit that a number of the charity's trustees were gaining from the exercise of its functions.

There was no clear explanation as to why the salaries being paid to charity trustees were considered reasonable and necessary, and we had concerns about the charity trustees' decision-making process around these payments. We do not consider that this private benefit was incidental to the organisation's activities that advanced its purposes.

The regulator also noted a lack of record keeping and a lack of documentation of decision making by the Institute's trustees.

Unfortunately the charity regulator will not close down the Institute of Statecraft. It accepted that it rectified its behavior by taking a number of measures:

The Integrity Initiative, as paid for by the British Foreign Office, Ministry of Defense, NATO and other such entities, will live on as a non-charitable entity with even less transparency. Its website, as well as that of Institute of Statecraft, is down. That it will now have to live in total secrecy will make it more difficult for it to recruit foreign journalist to spread its propaganda.

Since the Integrity Initiative was exposed the British government opened and financed a new secretive shop that will continue to spread anti-Russian disinformation :

On 3rd April, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister Alan Duncan revealed his department's 'Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme' - which bankrolls the Institute for Statecraft and its Integrity Initiative subsidiary - was funding a new endeavour, Open Information Partnership (OIP).

The announcement, buried in a response to a written parliamentary question, was supremely light on detail - Duncan merely said the effort would "respond to manipulated information in the news, social media and across the public space". Official fanfare was also unforthcoming - there was no accompanying press release, briefing document, or even mention of the launch by any government minister or department via social media channels.

The original proposal for the Open Information Partnership , as released by 'anonymous' , included the Institute of Statecraft , a Media Diversity Institute , Bellingcat , DFR Lab (i.e. the Atlantic Council) and some others in a so called ZINC Network . On the current OIP website the Institute of Statecraft 'charity' is no longer named.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the issue:

Tim Hayward provides a list (scroll down) of a large number of articles written here and elsewhere about the Integrity Initiative .

Posted by b on November 4, 2019 at 17:57 UTC | Permalink

" The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-64 | Main November 04, 2019 British Government Disinformation Shop Lost Charity Status - Continues In New Format

At the end of last year some enterprising 'anonymous' person released papers of the British Integrity Initiative. As we reported at that time:

The British government financed Integrity Initiative is tasked with spreading anti-Russian propaganda and thereby with influencing the public, military and governments of a number of countries. What follows is an contextual analysis of the third batch of the Initiative's internal papers which were dumped by an anonymous yesterday.

Christopher Nigel Donnelly (CND) is the co-director of The Institute for Statecraft and founder of its offshoot Integrity Initiative . The Initiative claims to "Defend Democracy Against Disinformation".

The Integrity Initiative does this by planting disinformation about alleged Russian influence through journalists 'clusters' throughout Europe and the United States.

Both, the Institute as well as the Initiative, claim to be independent Non-Government Organizations. Both are financed by the British government, NATO and other state donors.

There have been seven releases of Institute of Statecraft documents. They included proposals for large anti-Russian disinformation campaigns . The Institute of Statecraft suggested to impose anti-Russian sanctions as early as January 2015. Its head, the former NATO advisor and military spy Chris Donnelly , also proposed to synchronously expel a large number of Russian diplomats from western countries.

That plans seems to have been the blueprint for the March 2018 mass expulsion of Russian diplomats during the Skripal affair. Several of the other measures Donnelly and his ilk planned have since been implemented.

The Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity under Scottish law. After the release of its papers the Scottish charity regulator OSCR investigated the status of the Institute . Unsurprisingly the OSCR found (pdf) that its shady behavior and its running of anti-Russian disinformation campaigns did not justify its status:

In the course of our inquiry we found that the charity was not meeting the charity test required for continuing registration as a charity in Scotland because:
  • its purposes were not entirely charitable
  • one of its most significant activities, a project known as Integrity Initiative, did not provide public benefit in furtherance of the charity's purposes
  • private benefit to charity trustees was not incidental to the charity's activities that advance its charitable purpose

The purpose of the charity was purportedly to educate the public. But the regulator found that the Integrity Initiative did not educate but only spread its own version of 'reality' i.e. disinformation. The charity lacked neutrality:

In addition, our Meeting the Charity Test guidance states that:

'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.'

OSCR's view is that the Integrity Initiative expressed a particular perspective intended to persuade the public to a specific point of view and, given the nature of the subject matter, it was not sufficiently neutral to advance education.

The crocks who were running the charity were filling their own pockets with the public money the 'charity' received:

To pass the charity test any private benefit must be incidental to the organisation's activities that advance its purposes, that is, it must be a necessary result or by-product of the organisation's activities and not an end in itself.

We were concerned at the level of private benefit that a number of the charity's trustees were gaining from the exercise of its functions.

There was no clear explanation as to why the salaries being paid to charity trustees were considered reasonable and necessary, and we had concerns about the charity trustees' decision-making process around these payments. We do not consider that this private benefit was incidental to the organisation's activities that advanced its purposes.

The regulator also noted a lack of record keeping and a lack of documentation of decision making by the Institute's trustees.

Unfortunately the charity regulator will not close down the Institute of Statecraft. It accepted that it rectified its behavior by taking a number of measures:

  • the charity has ceased to undertake any activity related to the Integrity initiative, and this is now undertaken by a non-charitable entity having no legal connection to the charity
  • the charity has ceased to remunerate any of its charity trustees
  • the charity is taking external guidance on governance
  • some charity trustees are to stand down as soon as replacement charity trustees can be identified

The Integrity Initiative, as paid for by the British Foreign Office, Ministry of Defense, NATO and other such entities, will live on as a non-charitable entity with even less transparency. Its website, as well as that of Institute of Statecraft, is down. That it will now have to live in total secrecy will make it more difficult for it to recruit foreign journalist to spread its propaganda.

Since the Integrity Initiative was exposed the British government opened and financed a new secretive shop that will continue to spread anti-Russian disinformation :

On 3rd April, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister Alan Duncan revealed his department's 'Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme' - which bankrolls the Institute for Statecraft and its Integrity Initiative subsidiary - was funding a new endeavour, Open Information Partnership (OIP).

The announcement, buried in a response to a written parliamentary question, was supremely light on detail - Duncan merely said the effort would "respond to manipulated information in the news, social media and across the public space". Official fanfare was also unforthcoming - there was no accompanying press release, briefing document, or even mention of the launch by any government minister or department via social media channels.

The original proposal for the Open Information Partnership , as released by 'anonymous' , included the Institute of Statecraft , a Media Diversity Institute , Bellingcat , DFR Lab (i.e. the Atlantic Council) and some others in a so called ZINC Network . On the current OIP website the Institute of Statecraft 'charity' is no longer named.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the issue:

Tim Hayward provides a list (scroll down) of a large number of articles written here and elsewhere about the Integrity Initiative .

Posted by b on November 4, 2019 at 17:57 UTC | Permalink

div
NoOneYouKnow , Nov 4 2019 18:27 utc | 1
Thanks, B. It's a pity the people of the UK have no foreseeable recourse to stop shadow government operations like this that exist to disinform the people of the UK.
div> Speaking of Bellingcat:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BfLPJpRtyq4RFtHJoNpvWQjmGnyVkfE2HYoICKOGguA/mobilebas

Posted by: NOBTS , Nov 4 2019 18:45 utc | 2

Speaking of Bellingcat:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BfLPJpRtyq4RFtHJoNpvWQjmGnyVkfE2HYoICKOGguA/mobilebas

Posted by: NOBTS | Nov 4 2019 18:45 utc | 2

karlof1 , Nov 4 2019 18:49 utc | 3
At Kit Klarenberg's Twitter , there's a long tweet thread further detailing what b has written above. I can't help be wonder how the Monty Python troop would have portrayed the Institute for Statecraft and its parent the Integrity Initiative. It appears that the governments of the English speaking nations became addicted to lying to their citizens @1900 and are unable to kick the habit and instead have actually deepened their addiction. Elsewhere on the planet, it seems that people are learning it's easier to talk straight and transparently with other people and to pool resources and combine efforts to form a community of nations and humanity to better one and all. Seems simple enough to determine which is functional and which isn't.
james , Nov 4 2019 18:50 utc | 4
thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale? i agree with @ 1 - noyk - it is unfortunate the uk people are used as guinea pigs on such a regular basis.. i suspect a similar exercise is in operation in canada and the west, although it seems the msm fulfills this role here...
NOBTS , Nov 4 2019 18:51 utc | 5
Oops! Googlehidden. Here's one that might work. An interesting compendium: https://www.comsuregroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Bellingcats-Digital-Toolkit.pdf
erik , Nov 4 2019 18:54 utc | 6
It seems that often products or organizations, which contain superlatives or anodyne expressions in their names, are generally sketchy...
karlof1 , Nov 4 2019 19:19 utc | 7
The Federalist declares it's published a scoop :

"CIA, FBI Informant Was Washington Post Source For Russiagate Smears."

The article details a segment of Russiagate's overall unraveling and outs WaPost's David Ignatius as part of Operation Mockingbird. And I see no reason to dispute the item's conclusion:

"These close connections between the Washington Post's Ignatius and individuals connected to the American and British intelligence communities, and the false reporting that has taken place over the last three-plus years, raise grave concerns that the warfare of the soft coup aimed at President Trump includes using the media to push propaganda."

The longer the above conclusion's denied, the wider the polarization becomes between those guided by facts and those following media fantasies.

ben , Nov 4 2019 19:46 utc | 8
james @ 4 opined;"
thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex"

I'm with ya' james, this demonetization of Russia, and any countries that refuse the empire's beck and call, is around to stay I'm afraid.

And yes, it's all of the above, but, mostly about the $.

semiconscious , Nov 4 2019 20:11 utc | 9
james @ 4;

'i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale?...'

they're the nuclear rival that don't manufacture many of the u.s.'s consumer products. otherwise, it'd either be china, or both...

plus, of course, there's all them cold war memes that can be triggered in a sizable portion of the population's heads...

David G , Nov 4 2019 20:13 utc | 10
The OSCR report includes the Institute for Statecraft's own description of its purposes, but nothing about its actual operations, other than the ones now being deemed unsatisfactory under the charities law.

So now that the Institute has committed not to run the Integrity Initiative, and not to enrich its trustees, what are its legitimate "charitable" activities that OSCR is kindly allowing it to continue with?

chet380 , Nov 4 2019 20:26 utc | 11
#4 James, #8 Ben --

I suspect the the antipathy to Russia and the extensive disinformation campaign stems from a 'Five Eyes' project and strategy ... with the malign Uncle as its director.

James , Nov 4 2019 20:31 utc | 12
As an Irish citizen, I think the British deep state - the original deep state -have been very successful at demonising the enemies of 'freedom' and 'civilisation', the Irish yes, also the Indians, Africans, Germans, french, Spanish, Muslims and now the Russians. Our enemies are not each other rather the deep state. Let's recognise who our real enemy is
Joost , Nov 4 2019 20:41 utc | 13
@james #4 "i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia..."
Same motivation as all forgotten empires had. Even our cat want some of it, staring down on his employees from his basket high up on the fridge with that evil look on his face. We call it his World Domination Command Centre, WDCC for short. Global domination is what they crave. Kill the competition, loot its resources, more power, more money. America has been looted, devastated. Time for the locusts to move on to greener pastures. Russia is the promised land, the next wild west new world to colonize. Problem is, as always, the natives.
TEP , Nov 4 2019 21:11 utc | 14
I am hopeful that more and more of the population are realising that if an organisation is promoted by any western government as a source of information, then that organisation will provide disinformation by default. There are few, if any, journalists anywhere that are not part of the empirical disinformation program. Those that are not will be independent and, therefore, by alternate default, extremely wary of western government/government-funded/NGO sources. All the hegemon and it's vassals can do now is double-down and hope that the populations will go back to sleep.
james , Nov 4 2019 21:18 utc | 15
@8 ben / @ 9 semiconscious / @ 11 chet380.. yes, there is that too, but is that it? money as ben says rings true for me mostly... that is mostly how i see this...the agencies seem to be a front for western oligarchs.. the kleptomaniacs want access to all russian resources and have yet to be successful in getting it.. they succeeded in ukraine for the most part in having the kleptos gain control over much of ukraine.. the 2014 coop was meant to solidify more of that and poke russia in the eye too..

@ 13 joost... i would watch out for your cat! alas, we all seem to agree it is about wanting to loot russia... we share a similar viewpoint.. it is really sick how so many are ignorant pawns, or worse in all of this.. no wonder i make next to no money working in the music industry... i am in the wrong game and don't share a lack of ethics on such display with all these losers..

Trisha , Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
As with all things evil, the British oligarchy began in the 1830s targeting Russia as a threat to its autocratic interests, in this case "defending" the Ottoman Empire against Russia.

The Brits were further scared out of their wits when the 1917 Russian Revolution was on the verge of establishing an anti-capitalist system. So they, along with a ragtag bag of co-conspirators including the United States, launched a military invasion of Russia.

That's right, U.S. troops landed at two places in Russia and fought against Russian soldiers. The Brits/U.S/et. al. suffered a humiliating defeat, leaving so quickly that U.S. dead soldiers were left behind buried in Soviet soil, to be repatriated years later.

But it's Russia that is the threat to "us", right?

Jen , Nov 4 2019 21:34 utc | 17
Reading through the OCSR's document at the PDF link in B's post, I am surprised (should I be?) that during the entire decade-long period when the Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity, the OCSR did not see fit at any time to remind the organisation of its responsibilities to keep proper records of its activities and decision-making, to provide a proper formal and transparent structure for its activities that could be shown to demonstrate a public benefit, and to have proper formal structures generally for its day-to-day running and governance activities. The Scottish public have every right to hold the OCSR to much higher standards of being a regulatory organisation making sure that charities are run properly as charities and not simply accept those charities' word that they will improve their operations when they have spent 10 long years taking money (some of it taxpayers' money) and misusing it.
Jackrabbit , Nov 4 2019 21:46 utc | 18
james @15:
they succeeded in ukraine for the most part in having the kleptos gain control over much of ukraine..

Ukraine is an economic disaster. Donbas and Crimea were the most valuable parts.

Ort , Nov 4 2019 22:23 utc | 19
@ Trisha | Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
___________________________________________

Thanks for your informative comment. I'd started to reply to James that Russia has been a default "boogie-man" and Western scapegoat since the 19th Century, but that sounded unhelpfully circular-- and I didn't have the ambition to refresh my understanding with actual historical facts. ;)

The fact that a sort of Western "coalition of the willing" invaded Russia after the 1917 revolution is still a well-kept secret! It was never mentioned in my (US) school courses, from parochial school through the "Honors Survey of Western Civilization" course I took in college.


Jackrabbit , Nov 4 2019 22:31 utc | 20
james @4

You ask too many questions... isn't it clear?

We hate THEM 'cause THEY hate US.

/snarc

Seriously, we've seen the movie and read the book. This is how "Red Scare" McCarthyism works.

!!

james , Nov 5 2019 0:10 utc | 21
@18 jr... disaster capitalism at its finest!!

@ 20..lol.. that is true... can't ver ask too many questions! and, it has been a repeat of mccarthyism.. it's bizarre to see so many otherwise intelligent people swallow this crap.. i think of emptywheel and how i used to think she was smart.. she is so busy looking at the trees, she's incapable of seeing the forest..

james , Nov 5 2019 0:21 utc | 22
@16 trisha... thanks... as i have mentioned here at moa numerous times, the book 'paris 1918' by Margaret Macmillan is an excellent book that gives an overview and discusses exactly what you are talking about.. i can't recommend the book enough..
https://www.bookbrowse.com/reviews/index.cfm/book_number/1135/Paris-1919
Ash Naz , Nov 5 2019 0:55 utc | 23
I ploughed through the Kit Klarenberg piece on Sputnik that b linked to and would have wept at the Orwellian inversions of truth in the OIP's 'mission statment' if I'd had any tears left after enduring the recent decades of lies and projection of the Empire's propaganda machine. The Mighty Wurlitzer at corporate-speak indeed. In fact all I could do was laugh like Group Captain Mandrake in Dr Strangelove when confronted with the madness of General Ripper.

Tragically, the opening paragraph of their statement sounded like something Caitlin Johnstone might pen, urging our side to be wary and vigilant of the propaganda of them .

"Democracy cannot thrive without honest, accurate and freely available information about the world around us We need to know where our information is coming from, we need to know the motives (good, bad or neither) of those providing the information, and be in the habit of thinking critically about everything we read and hear. Every one of us has the right to be properly informed – that knowledge gives us strength. Every one of us shares responsibility for informed engagement and critical thinking, to challenge the powerful and uncover the truth An engaged population, equipped with clarity and the truth, is the foundation for a world where we can all enjoy greater equality and greater peace."

"critical thinking"
"challenge the powerful"
"uncover the truth"

They are taking the tools that we need to deal with their perfidy, and pretending that they need to use them to "challenge the powerful and uncover the truth". I found this Orwellian inversion of the truth so chilling that I could only laugh.

In all seriousness, I can only presume that they actually believe their own lies.

vk , Nov 5 2019 3:10 utc | 26
The Wolfowitz Doctrine (1992) states that Russia should remain America's main enemy for the forseeable future because it inherited the USSR's nuclear arsenal. At least this is the official rationale.

But there may be another reason. Courtesy from Pepe Escobar's facebook page:

Francis Fukuyama interview: "Socialism ought to come back"

Trisha , Nov 5 2019 4:08 utc | 29
@22 James ... thanks for the "Paris 1919" book reference, luckily it's available at my local library. For a detailed history of (sadly) another in a long list of America's criminal acts of aggressive war, I highly recommend Russian Sideshow: America's Undeclared War, 1918-1920 by Robert L. Willett.
nietzsche1510 , Nov 5 2019 7:15 utc | 33
they are attacking Russia because they know that only military force can stop the collapse the fake Dollar & all the Jewish printed wealth which goes with it. "yes, the Dollar is our money, but, it is your problem" sort of imposed doctrine of the last half-century is coming to an end & no naval carriers could stop its fall.

[Nov 05, 2019] The problem with stealing Syrian oil by Daniel Larison

Nov 03, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

U.S. troops sent into Syria on an illegal and pointless mission to "take the oil" don't know what they are supposed to be doing :

US military commanders overseeing Syria operations are still waiting for precise battlefield orders from the White House and Pentagon on their exact mission to protect oilfields in eastern Syria, according to a defense official directly familiar with the matter.

Nearly three weeks after President Donald Trump ordered troops out of northern Syria, publicly declaring he was taking "control" of the oil and sending troops and armored carriers to protect it from ISIS, US commanders lack clarity on the most basic aspects of their mission, including how and when troops can fire their weapons and what, exactly, that mission is.

The lack of precise orders means troops are on the ground while critical details are still being worked out -- exactly where they will go, when and how they will stay on small bases in the area, and when they go on patrol.

Perhaps most crucially, there is no clarity about exactly who they are operating against in the oilfields.

Everything the Trump administration has done in Syria has been horribly confused, so it makes sense that the latest version of the policy would be baffling to our own troops. U.S. commanders lack clarity about the mission because it was cooked up to appeal to the president's desire for plundering other countries' resources. It was thrown together on the spur of the moment as an excuse to keep U.S. troops in Syria no matter what, and now those troops are stuck there with no instructions and no idea what they are expected to do. This is the worst kind of unnecessary military mission, because it is being carried out simply to keep a U.S. foothold in Syria for its own sake. The "critical details" aren't being worked out so much as a plausible justification after the fact is being conjured out of thin air. There is no reason for these troops to be there, and there is nothing that they can do there legally, but the administration will come up with some bad argument to keep them there anyway.

Meanwhile, Trump is very proud of his clownish, illegal Syria policy:

me title=

Trump labors under the delusion that the oil is ours to "distribute." which everyone else knows to be false. The oil belongs to the Syrian government, and that oil can't be sold and revenues from those sales cannot be used without the permission of the government that owns it. Syria's oil resources are not that great, and the infrastructure of many of the fields has been damaged or destroyed, so if it were legal to loot the spoils there wouldn't be very much to loot. The president thinks that seizing Syrian oil is worth boasting about, but in reality it is one of the most absurd and indefensible reasons for deploying troops abroad. In addition to damaging the country's international standing with allied and friendly governments with this open thievery, Trump's "take the oil" fixation is a propaganda coup for hostile governments and groups. As Paul Pillar pointed out last week, it plays into the hands of jihadist groups and aids them in their recruitment:

Trump's Sunday appearance before the press played right into this theme. Referring back to the Iraq War, Trump described as his own view at the time that if the United States was going into Iraq, it should "keep the oil." As for Syria's oil, he said it can help the Kurds but "it can help us because we should be able to take some also. And what I intend to do, perhaps, is make a deal with an Exxon Mobil or one of our great companies to go in there and do it properly." A propagandist for ISIS or al-Qaeda would hardly have written the script differently.

Keeping troops in Syria to "take the oil" is divorced from genuine American security interests just like any other unnecessary military intervention. The president is exposing U.S. military personnel to unnecessary risk, and he is also putting them in legal jeopardy by ordering them to commit what is essentially the war crime of pillaging. The president has managed to take a Syria policy that was already incoherent and chaotic and he has made it even worse.

[Nov 05, 2019] Something about Trump coherence

Nov 05, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Barba_Papa 21 hours ago

The US openly occupies parts of Syria, boasts of taking it resources and supported the attempts of the Kurds to set up their own little state, until the Turks blew a hissy fit. And yet it has the gall to call out what Russia does in the Ukraine as a breach of international law.

[Nov 05, 2019] Syrians especially, but all of us owe a huge thank you to Russia for saving us from the horrors that would've come in wider wars if not for Russia's intervention.

Nov 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

PJB , Nov 5 2019 3:30 utc | 28

Good article by Scott Ritter, former US army officer and senior U.N. weapons of mass destruction inspector, about how Syrians especially, but all of us owe a huge thank you to Russia for saving us from the horrors that would've come in wider wars if not for Russia's intervention.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/russia-isnt-getting-the-recognition-it-deserves-on-syria/

[Nov 05, 2019] The Empire, Trump and Intra-Ruling Class Conflict Dissident Voice

Notable quotes:
"... On the other hand, as Targ explains, are the Trumpian, "America First" nationalist capitalists. This faction of the ruling class, while also supporting global dominance and a permanent war economy (military-related spending will consume 48 percent of the 2020 federal budget) favors trade restrictions, economic nationalism, building walls and anti-immigrant policies. Although Trump is inconsistent, bumbling and sometimes contradictory, he's departed from the neocon's agenda by making overtures to North Korea and Russia, voicing doubts about NATO as an expensive relic from the past that is being dangerously misused outside of Europe, not being afraid to speak bluntly to EU allies, frequently mentioning ending our "endless, ridiculous and costly wars," asserting that the U.S. is badly overextended and saying "The job of our military is not to police the world." ..."
"... This is a high stakes intra-ruling class struggle and neither side cares a fig about what's best for the American people or those beyond our borders. At this point it's impossible to know how it will play out but grasping the underlying dynamics explains much about current U.S. domestic and foreign policy. This understanding may, in turn, point toward how opponents of America's oligarchic elites can most expeditiously use their time and energy. ..."
"... Foremost is the fact that Trump's intra-elite enemies despise him not for being a neo-fascistic demagogue, a despicable human being devoid of a conscience, or for the brouhaha over Ukraine. Their animus is rooted in the conviction that Trump has been a foot dragging imperialist, an equivocal caretaker of empire, unreliable pull-the-trigger Commander-in-chief (e.g.Iran) and transparent truth-teller about the real motives behind U.S. foreign policy. These are his unforgivable sins and if he's impeached or denied the Oval Office by some other means, they will be real reasons. ..."
"... One of Trump's most traitorous acts is that he's been consistent, at least rhetorically, in being opposed to U.S. troops being killed in "endless wars." One need not agree with his reasons to find merit in this worthy objective. His motives probably include Nativism, racism, foreign investment stability, the wars causing more refugees to come here, his massive ego, appeals to his voting base, or simply because he believes both he and the "real America" would be better off. For him, the latter two are synonymous. ..."
"... For this treachery, those arrayed against Trump include at least, the Pentagon-CIA-armaments lobby, MSM editors like those at CNN, The New York Times ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
Nov 05, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

Over the past few months President Trump has unilaterally by Tweet and telephone begun to dismantle the U.S. military's involvement in the Middle East. The irony is amazing, because in a general overarching narrative sense, this is what the marginalized antiwar movement has been trying to do for decades. 1

Prof. Harry Targ, in his important piece "United States foreign policy: yesterday, today, and tomorrow," (MR online, October 23, 2919), reminds us of the factional dispute among U.S. foreign policy elites over how to maintain the U.S. empire. On the one hand are the neoliberal global capitalists who favor military intervention, covert operations, regime change, strengthening NATO, thrusting China into the enemy vacuum and re-igniting the Cold War with Russia. All of this is concealed behind lofty rhetoric about humanitarianism, protecting human rights, promoting democracy, fighting terrorism and American exceptionalism. Their mantra is Madeleine Albright's description of the United States as the world's "one indispensable nation."

On the other hand, as Targ explains, are the Trumpian, "America First" nationalist capitalists. This faction of the ruling class, while also supporting global dominance and a permanent war economy (military-related spending will consume 48 percent of the 2020 federal budget) favors trade restrictions, economic nationalism, building walls and anti-immigrant policies. Although Trump is inconsistent, bumbling and sometimes contradictory, he's departed from the neocon's agenda by making overtures to North Korea and Russia, voicing doubts about NATO as an expensive relic from the past that is being dangerously misused outside of Europe, not being afraid to speak bluntly to EU allies, frequently mentioning ending our "endless, ridiculous and costly wars," asserting that the U.S. is badly overextended and saying "The job of our military is not to police the world."

I would add that Trump is also an "American exceptionalist" but ascribes a very different provincial meaning to the term, something closer to a crabbed provincialism, an insular "Shining City on a Hill," surrounded by a moat.

This is a high stakes intra-ruling class struggle and neither side cares a fig about what's best for the American people or those beyond our borders. At this point it's impossible to know how it will play out but grasping the underlying dynamics explains much about current U.S. domestic and foreign policy. This understanding may, in turn, point toward how opponents of America's oligarchic elites can most expeditiously use their time and energy.

Foremost is the fact that Trump's intra-elite enemies despise him not for being a neo-fascistic demagogue, a despicable human being devoid of a conscience, or for the brouhaha over Ukraine. Their animus is rooted in the conviction that Trump has been a foot dragging imperialist, an equivocal caretaker of empire, unreliable pull-the-trigger Commander-in-chief (e.g.Iran) and transparent truth-teller about the real motives behind U.S. foreign policy. These are his unforgivable sins and if he's impeached or denied the Oval Office by some other means, they will be real reasons.

One of Trump's most traitorous acts is that he's been consistent, at least rhetorically, in being opposed to U.S. troops being killed in "endless wars." One need not agree with his reasons to find merit in this worthy objective. His motives probably include Nativism, racism, foreign investment stability, the wars causing more refugees to come here, his massive ego, appeals to his voting base, or simply because he believes both he and the "real America" would be better off. For him, the latter two are synonymous.

For this treachery, those arrayed against Trump include at least, the Pentagon-CIA-armaments lobby, MSM editors like those at CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post , NSA, Zionist neocons, the DNC, establishment Democrats, some hawkish Republican senators, many lifestyle liberals still harboring a sentimental faith in American goodness and even EU and NATO elites who've benefited from being faithful lackeys to Washington's global imperialism.

In a recent interview, Major Danny Sjursen, retired army officer and West Point instructor with tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, notes that "The last bipartisan issue in American politics today is warfare, forever warfare." In terms of the military, that means " even the hint of getting out of the establishment interventionist status quo is terrifying to these generals, terrifying to these former intelligence officers from the Obama administration who seem to live on MSNBC now." Sjursen adds that many of these generals (like Mattis) have already found lucrative work with the military industrial complex. 2

In response to Trump's announcement about removing some U.S. troops from the region, we find an op-ed in The New York Times by Admiral William McRaven where he states that Trump "should be out of office sooner than later. It's time for a new person in the Oval Office, Republican, Democrat or Independent. The fate of the nation depends on it." The unmistakeable whiff of support for a soft coup is chilling. If Trump can't be contained, he must be deposed one way or another.

And this is all entirely consistent with the fact that the national security state was totally caught off guard by Trump's victory in 2016. For them, Trump was a loose cannon, erratic and ultra-confrontational, someone they couldn't control. Their favored candidate was the ever reliable, Wall Street-friendly, war-mongering Hillary Clinton or even Jeb Bush. Today, barring a totally chastised Trump, the favorites include a fading Biden, Pence, a reprise of Clinton or someone in her mold but without the baggage.

For Trump's establishment enemies, another closely related failing is his habit of blurting out inconvenient truths. I'm not the first person to say that Trump is the most honest president in my lifetime. Yes, he lies most of the time but as left analyst Paul Street puts it, "Trump is too clumsily and childishly brazen in laying bare the moral nothingness and selfishness of the real material-historical bourgeois society that lives beneath the veils of 'Western civilization' and 'American democracy.'" 3

All his predecessors took pains or were coached to conceal their imperialist actions behind declarations of humanitarian interventionism but Trump has pulled the curtains back to reveal the ugly truths about U.S. foreign policy. As such, the carefully calibrated propaganda fed to the public in endless reiterations over a lifetime is jeopardized whenever Trump utters a transparent truth. This is intolerable.

Here are a few examples culled from speeches, interviews and press reports:

As noted earlier, the endgame is not in sight. Trump seems without a clear strategy for moving forward and from all reports he can't depend on his current coterie of White House advisors to produce one. Further, he may lack the necessary political in-fight skills or tenacity to see it through. When some of his Republican "allies" savaged his announcement to withdraw troops from Syria, he backtracked and made some, at least cosmetic concessions. However, the fact that Trump's position remains popular with his voter base and especially with veterans of these wars will give pause to Republicans. If some finally join the Democrats in voting for impeachment over Ukraine-gate they may minimize re-election risks by hiding their real motives behind pious claims -- as will most Democrats -- about "protecting the constitution and the rule of law".

Now, lest I be misunderstood, nothing I've written here should be construed as support for Donald Trump or that I believe he's antiwar. Trump is aberration only in that his brand of Western imperialism means that the victims remain foreigners while U.S. soldiers remain out of harm's way. He knows that boots on the ground can quickly descend into bodies in the ground and unlike his opponents, coffins returning to Dover Air Base are not worth risking his personal ambitions. This is clearly something to build upon. We don't know if Trump views drones, cyber warfare and proxies as substitutes but his intra-elite opponents remain extremely dubious. In any event, that's another dimension to expose and challenge.

Finally, we know the ruling class in a capitalist democracy -- an oxymoron -- expends enormous time and resources to obtain a faux "consent of the governed" through misinformation conveyed via massive, lifelong ideological indoctrination. For them, citizen's policing themselves is more efficient than coercion and precludes raising questions that might delegitimize the system. Obviously force and fear are hardly unknown -- witness the mass incarceration and police murder of black citizens -- but one only has to look around to see how successful this method of control has been.

Nevertheless, as social historian Margaret Jacoby wisely reminds us, "No institution is safe if people simply stop believing the assumptions that justify its existence." 4 Put another way, the system simply can't accommodate certain "dangerous ideas."

Today, we see promising political fissures developing, especially within the rising generation, and it's our responsibility to help deepen and widen these openings through whatever means at our disposal.

[Nov 03, 2019] The Saker interviews Michael Hudson by Michael Hudson and The Saker

Nov 03, 2019 | www.unz.com

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Introduction: I recently spoke to a relative of mine who, due to her constant and voluntary exposure to the legacy AngloZionist media, sincerely believed that the three Baltic states and Poland had undergone some kind of wonderful and quasi-miraculous economic and cultural renaissance thanks to their resolute break with the putatively horrible Soviet past and their total submission to the Empire since. Listening to her, I figured that this kind of delusion was probably common amongst those who still pay attention and even believe the official propaganda. So I asked Michael Hudson, whom I consider to be the best US economists and who studied the Baltics in great detail, to reply to a few very basic questions, which he very kindly did in spite of being very pressed on time. Once again, I want to sincerely thank him for his kind time, support and expertise.

* * *

The Saker: The US propaganda often claims that the three Baltic states are a true success, just like Poland is also supposed to be. Does this notion have a factual basis? Initially it did appear that these states were experiencing growth, but was that not mostly/entirely due to EU/IMF/US subsidies? Looking specifically at the three Baltic states, and especially Latvia, these were the "showcase" Soviet republics, with a high standard of living (at least compared to the other Soviet republics) and a lot of high-tech industries (including defense contracts). Could you please outline for us what truly happened to these economies following independence? How did they "reform" their economies going from an ex-Soviet one to the modern "liberal" one?

Michael Hudson: This is a trick question, because it all depends on what you mean by "success."

The post-Soviet neoliberalism has been a great success for kleptocrats at the top. They gave themselves the public domain, from key industries to prime real estate. But the Balts largely let their Soviet industries collapse, making no effort to salvage or reorganize them.

Much of the problem, of course, was that all the linkages to Soviet-era industry were torn apart as the Soviet Union was disbanded. With their supplier and final markets closed down from Russia to Central Asia, the Baltic economies had to start afresh – with a very right-wing tax policy and no government help whatsoever, as the government itself had become privatized in the hands of former officials and grabitizers.

Lithuania was marginally better in having some industrial policy. EU and NATO accession in 2004, along with easy credit, kicked off property bubbles in the Baltics, largely inflated by Swedish banks that made a bonanza off these countries that lacked their own banks or public credit creation. The resulting 2008 crashes were the largest in the world as a percent of GDP, with Latvia suffering the world's biggest contraction.

The neoliberal western advisors who took control of these economies – as if this was the only alternative to Soviet bureaucracy – imposed crushing austerity programs to restore macroeconomic "stability" meaning security of their land and infrastructure grabs. This was applauded by Europe's bankers, who thought the Balts had discovered a workable recipe allowing austerity governments to retain power in a seeming democracy. These policies would have collapsed governments anywhere else, but the ability to emigrate, plus ethnic divisions against Russian speakers, allowed these governments to survive.

It's a historically specific situation, but Europe's bankers promote it as a generalized model. George Soros's INET and his associated front institutions have been leaders in subsidizing this financialization-cum-grabitization. The result has been a massive exodus of prime working age people from Lithuania and Latvia. (Estonians simply commute to Finland.) Meanwhile, their economies are buoyed by foreign bank lending, which sends profits back to home countries and can be reversed at any time.

Politically, the neoliberal revolution also has been a success for U.S. Cold Warriors, who sent over native Balts from Georgetown and other universities to impose "free market" doctrine – that is, a market "free" of domestic regulation against theft of the public domain, against monopolies, against land taxes and other income taxes. The Baltic states, like most of the rest of the former Soviet Union, became the Wild East.

What was left to the Baltic countries was land and real estate. Their forests are being cut down to sell wood abroad. I describe all this in my book Killing the Host .

The Saker: After independence, the Baltic states had tried to cut as many ties with Russia as possible. This included building (rather silly looking) fences, to forcing the Russians to develop their ports on the Baltic, to shutting down large (or selling to foreign interests which then shut them down) and profitable factories (including a large nuclear plant I believe), etc. What has been the impact of this policy of "economic de-Sovietization" on the local economies?

Michael Hudson: Dissolution of the Soviet Union meant that Baltic countries lost their traditional markets, and had to shift their focus to Western Europe and, to some extent, Asia.

Latvia and Estonia had been assigned computer and information technology, and they have found this to be much in demand. When I was in Japan, for instance, CEOs told me that they were looking to Latvia above all to outsource computer work.

Banking also was a surviving sector. Gregory Lautchansky, former vice-rector at the University of Riga had been a major player already in the 1980s for moving out Russian oil and KGB money. (His company, Nordex, was sold to Mark Rich.) Many banks continued to shepherd Russian flight capital via offshore banking centers into the United States, Britain and other countries. Cyprus of course was another big player in this.

The Saker: Russians are still considered "non-citizens" in the Baltic republics; what has been the economic impact of this policy, if any, of anti-Russian discrimination in the Baltic states?

ORDER IT NOW

Michael Hudson: Russian-speakers, who do not acquire citizenship (which requires passing local language and history tests), are blocked from political office and administrative work. While most Russian speakers below retirement age have now acquired that citizenship, the means by which citizenship must be acquired has caused divisions.

Early on in independence, many Russians were blocked from government, and they went into business, which was avoided by many native Balts during the Soviet era because it was not as remunerative as going into government and profiting from corruption. For instance, real estate was a burden to administer. Russian-speakers, especially Jewish ones, have wisely focused on real estate.

The largest political party is Harmony Center, whose members and leadership are mainly Russian-speaking. But the various neoliberal and nationalist parties have jointed to block its ability to influence law in Parliament.

Since Russian speakers are only able to "vote with their feet," many have joined in the vast outflow of emigration, either back to Russia or to other EU countries. Moreover, the poor quality of social benefits has led to few children being born.

The Saker: I often hear that a huge number of locals (including non-Russians) have emigrated from the Baltic states. What has caused this and what has been the impact of this emigration for the Baltic states?

Michael Hudson: The Baltic states, especially Latvia, have lost about 30 percent of their population since the 1990s, especially those of working age. In Latvia, about 10 percent of the loss were Russians who exited shortly after independence. The other 20 percent have subsequently emigrated.

The European Commission forecasts that Latvia's working-age population will decline by 1.6% annually for the next 20 years, while the birth rate remains as stagnant as it was in the late 1980s. The retired population (over age 65) will rise to half a million people by 2030, more than a quarter of today's population, and perhaps about a third of what remains. This is not a domestic market that will attract foreign or local investment.

And in any case, the European Union has viewed the post-Soviet economies simply as markets for their own industrial and agricultural exports, not as economies to be built up by public subsidy as the European countries themselves, the U.S. and Chinee economies have done. The European motto is, "Give a man a fish, and he will be fed all day with your surplus fish and consumer goods – but give him a fishing rod and we will lose a customer."

Readers who are interested might want to look at the following books and articles. I think the leading work has been done by Jeffrey Sommers and Charles Woolfson.

The Saker: Finally, what do you believe is the most likely future for these states? Will the succeed in becoming a "tiny anti-Russia" on Russia's doorstep? The Russians appear to have been very successful in their import-substitution program, at least when trying to replace the Baltic states: does that mean that the economic ties between Russia and these states is now gone forever? Is it now too late, or are there still measures these countries could take to reverse the current trends?

Michael Hudson: Trump's trade sanctions against Russia hurt the Baltic countries especially. One of their strong sectors was agriculture. Lithuania, for instance, was known for its cheese, even in Latvia. The sanctions led Russian dairy farming to develop their own cheese-making, and agriculture has become one of Russia's strongest performing sectors.

This is a market that looks like it will be permanently lost to the Baltic states. In effect, Trump is helping Russia follow precisely the policy that made American agriculture rich: agricultural isolation has forced domestic replacement for hitherto foreign food. I expect that this will lead to consumer goods and other products as well.

The Saker: thank you for your time and replies!


PeterMX , says: November 3, 2019 at 7:01 am GMT

I am in Tallinn, Estonia right now. Just how good an economy is performing is often hard to determine by talking to people, because like economists, many people have different perceptions. I was just talking to a Russian-Estonian who was telling me how much better Lithuanians and Latvians are then Estonians at doing things and how much cheaper things are there. It is true that things are much cheaper in the other Baltic countries because Estonia (a tiny country of just over 1 million people) has taken off. Since the 2008 econmic collapse housing prices have shot up and in Tallinn there is building going on all over the city. But, my acquaintance is wrong about other things. Estonians do things very well and Tallinn is a very nice city, with beautiful cafes, clean and well kept streets and crime is very low. It is a very good city, except it is now very expensive, especially considering how much people make here. The weather is not nice, except for in the summer and there are friendly Estonians but they don't have a reputation for being particularly friendly, even among themselves. I have not been back to Latvia yet, but when I was in Riga years ago, it was a gorgeous city, bigger than Tallinn too. I think they do things very well there too. The Russians I speak to here are often friendly and based on what I have been told, relations between Russians and Estonians are much better than when I was here in the early 2000's.

No offense is intended to Russians, but the Baltic countries had large German populations that played a key role in the development of the cultures and peoples of these countries. There were also many Jews here prior to WW II. By the time WW II had begun the German populations were much smaller than they had been and at the end of the war the Jewish populations were much smaller. Jews were targeted in Latvia and Lithuania and many Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians were shipped off to far off places in the USSR during the war. I believe the Jews were largely pro communist and welcomed the Soviet takeover of these countries in 1940, while the Latvian and Estonian peoples were pro German, thus explaining the hard feelings between Balts and Jews.. They wanted independence and formed legions to fight alongside the German army during WW II.

These countries were very advanced before WW II, having engineering industries and the Russian Empire's first auto company was formed in Riga before WW I. While engineering may have been restarted after WW II, these countries populations were decimated and they never returned to their former heights. Perhaps they still can.

GMC , says: November 3, 2019 at 7:33 am GMT
I'm assuming that these 3 East European countries are being bombarded with the same propaganda as the Ukies are, so Russian speakers and those intelligent enough to see the game being played will be belittled and isolated. But the Russian folks living in Russia have a birds eye view of what is going on in the west and their puppet countries. Russia TV and debate programs, just have to show the delinquencies that are daily happenings in the States, and Europe, in order to make the Ru people say – No Thanks to that way of life. As far as the new Russian cheeses that are now in the markets -lol – they make a lightly smoked gouda that is really good and is about 120-140 roubles a kilo. And, they are making more cheddar that is a white medium taste as well. No scarcity of good natural food in Russia and No POlice state. Spacibo Unz Rev.
Anonymous [159] Disclaimer , says: November 3, 2019 at 8:18 am GMT
The trade volume between Russia and the Baltic states has actually risen, despite the sanctions. The Baltics send food products and booze to Russia (and another 150 countries, food exports to Russia actually grew in 2016-2018). As well as chemical products and pharmaceuticals. Meldonium, btw, is made in Latvia and is still being sent to Russia (as well as 20 other countries), not for athletes, but for regular folks. Work is being carried out on a new generation Meldonium pill (the biggest market will be Russia).

Growth in the Baltic states has been 3-4% in the last few years. GDP per capita, as well as HDI, is higher than in Russia. Foreign investment, including from Russia, has been growing (Russia was the second largest investor in Latvia in 2018). Savings rates are growing, too. After a relative quiet period after 2010, the number of Russian (and other tourists) has grown again.

Estonia's population stopped shrinking in 2016 and is now growing in fact. They've seen immigration from Finland, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, as well as returning Estonians.

Emigration is a problem, of course, but this is partly because the Baltic states are the only former USSR republics whose citizens were even given work permits in the West, imagine what would happen if these permits were given to Russians from the regions.

Neo-liberal policies are of course bad and certain types of investment should be controlled, but to say that there are no social services in the Baltic states is complete nonsense. Due to generous parental payments, birthrates have risen significantly since the 1990s – in fact, birthrates in the Baltics are now slightly higher than the EU average. Life expectancy is also growing. Latvia covers IVF treatments in full. There are free school lunches.

Yes, it is true that some of the Soviet era factories should've been salvaged but the problem was they were not competitive globally at that time (and there was no capital to remodel them). The Soviet market was a closed one. However, some businesses were salvaged. There is local manufacturing (electronics, pharmaceuticals, etc).

Not everything is ideal, but it is also not the kind of gloom and doom as you paint.

Jake , says: November 3, 2019 at 11:46 am GMT
If the Anglo-Zionist Empire comes to save you, you should expect to be raped: culturally and religiously as well as economically.
onebornfree , says: Website November 3, 2019 at 3:48 pm GMT
Saker says: "Initially it did appear that these states were experiencing growth, but was that not mostly/entirely due to EU/IMF/US subsidies?"

"Foreign Aid Makes Corrupt Countries More Corrupt":

"Any time a government hands out money, not just foreign aid, it breeds corruption And there are few better examples than Ukraine – just don't tell the House impeachment hearings. Counting on foreign aid to reduce corruption is like expecting whiskey to cure alcoholism .If U.S. aid was effective, Ukraine would have become a rule of law paradise long ago . The surest way to reduce foreign corruption is to end foreign aid."

http://jimbovard.com/blog/2019/10/29/foreign-aid-makes-corrupt-countries-more-corrupt/

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: November 3, 2019 at 5:16 pm GMT
@onebornfree The EU gives every year about 2,500 million euros to the 3 Baltic countries ( 6 million people the three of them ) , and 9000 million euros to Poland ( 38 million people ) , plus more billions to other eastern members .

Older members of the EU , specially the UK which is going out , Greece witch was tortured ( again ) economically by Germany , and south Europe in general are not very happy about admitting so many ex-soviets countries en the EU and subsidizing them .

AnonFromTN , says: November 3, 2019 at 9:31 pm GMT
@SeekerofthePresence

Recovery and self-sufficiency since Yeltsin show the brilliance of the Russian people

It's not so much brilliance as sheer necessity to survive under sanctions. But some results were better than anyone expected. Say, food before sanctions used to be so-so in the provinces and downright bad in Moscow because of abundance of imported crap. Now the food is exclusively domestic, fresh and tasty. Russia never had traditions of making fancy cheeses. Now, to bypass sanctions, quite a few Italian and French cheese-makers started production in Russia, so in the last 2-3 years domestically made excellent fancy cheeses appeared in supermarkets. Arguably, Russian agriculture benefited by sanctions more than any other sector, but there are success stories virtually in every industry. Sanctions and Ukrainian stupidity served as a timely wake up call for Russian elites, who earlier wanted to sell oil and natural gas and buy everything else. Replacing imports after the sanctions were imposed had a significant cost in the short run, but in the long run it made Russia much stronger, economically and militarily. Speak of unintended consequences.

Kazlu Ruda , says: November 3, 2019 at 11:58 pm GMT
My mom is from Lithuania and I've been there several times. We have second cousins our age.

Her father was a surveyor for the Republic in the 20s and 30s, charged with breaking up the manors and estates and the state distributing the land to the peasantry. It was near-feudalism. There was very little industrialization; that which existed were in a few urban centers. One interesting comment from her was that the "Jews were communists". From what I've read they were the urban working class, but perhaps part of the socialist/Jewish Bund?

There is no doubt that the Soviet period unleashed considerable industrialization and modernization. Lithuania had some of the best infrastructure in the USSR. Its traditional culture was really celebrated.

When I first visited, not long after the fall of the USSR, there were enormous, vacant industrial plants. The collective farms were in the process of being sold off the western European agribusiness firms. One relative through marriage was from the Ukraine, with a PhD in Physics and had been employed in the military industries -- she was cleaning houses thereafter.

Any usable industrial enterprises were quickly sold off. The utilities are all foreign owned. Part of EU mandates are "open" electricity "markets", which resulting in DC interconnections costing hundreds of millions with the west to import very high priced electricity. The EU has paid for "Via Baltica", a highway running from Poland to Estonia; it is choked with trucks carrying imports and there are huge distribution and fulfillment centers along the highway. Such progress, huh?

There had been good public transport in the earlier years of independence, but that has been replaced with personal automobiles -- usually western European used cars that pollute a lot. Trakai is a commuter town to Vilnius with a medieval castle (restored in Soviet times). First time I went it was very pleasant. Second time in 2018 the place was choked with cars and not very nice at all.

The impact of emigration cannot be over-stated. College educated young people leave by the hundreds of thousands. Those that remain are paid very low wages (e.g., 1000 euros for a veterinarian or dentist), but pay west European prices for many essentials. Housing is cheaper than the west.

Last time in Kazlu Ruda there were huge NATO exercises in progress and even bigger ones planned for 2020. German units were billeted at an airbase nearby, rumored to have been a CIA black site. How fitting, as the Germans with the Lithuanian Riflemens Union exterminated a quarter of a million Jews in a matter of months (see Jager Report on Wikipedia). There is a Red Army graveyard in the town that has the remains of perhaps 350 soldiers killed in the area driving out the Nazis. I was frankly surprised it was still there.

Lithuania hasn't been independent since the days of the Pagans and Vytautas. It surely isn't independent today.

Anecdotal -- yes. But based on personal observation.

[Nov 03, 2019] No true war is bad

Nov 03, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

by John Quiggin on October 13, 2019 On Facebook, my frined Timothy Scriven pointed to an opinion piece by classics professor Ian Morris headlined In the long run, wars make us safer and richer It's pushing a book with the clickbaity title War! What is it Good For? Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots .". Timothy correctly guessed that I wouldn't like it.

Based on the headline, I was expecting a claim along the lines "wars stimulate technological progress" which I refuted (to my own satisfaction at any rate) in Economics in Two Lessons" . But the argument is much stranger than this. The claim is that war, despite its brutality created big states, like the Roman empire, which then delivered peace and prosperity.

For the classical world at 100 CE or so, the era on which Morris is an expert, that argument seemed pretty convincing. As the famous Life of Brian sketch suggests, Roman rule delivered a lot of benefits to its conquered provinces.

The next 1900 years or so present a bit of a problem, though. There have been countless wars in that time, and no trend towards bigger states. On the contrary two or three dozen states (depending on how you count them) now occupy the territory of the former Roman Empire.

You could cut the number down a bit by treating the European Union as a new empire, but then you have an even bigger problem. The EU was not formed through war, but through a determination to avoid it. Whatever you think about the EU in other respects, this goal has been achieved.

Morris avoids the problem by a "no true Scotsman" argument. He admits in passing that the 1000 years of war following the high point of Rome had the effect of breaking down larger, safer societies into smaller, more dangerous ones, but returns with relief to the era of true wars, in which big states always win. That story works, roughly, until 1914, when the empires he admires destroyed themselves, killing millions in the process.

After that, the argument descends into Pinker-style nonsense. While repeating the usual stats about the decline in violent deaths, Morris mentions in passing that a nuclear war could cause billions of deaths. He doesn't consider the obvious anthropic fallacy problem – if such a war had happened, there would not be any op-eds in the Washington Post discussing the implications for life expectancy.

I haven't read the book, and don't intend to. If someone can't present a 700 word summary of their argument without looking silly, they shouldn't write opinion pieces. But, for what its worth, FB friends who have read it agree that it's not very good.


William Meyer 10.13.19 at 12:31 pm (no link)

I have not read the book in question, so I don't know if the author made this point: "Since violence or implicit violence is how we overcome essentially all collective action problems as humans, war probably does belong in the human toolkit." Obviously it would be better if we could find more and better alternatives to war, and remove the obvious glitches in the alternatives (e.g., representative democracy, single-party states, etc.) we have tried in the past. So I find it odd as I get old that so little energy/research/academic effort is devoted by the human race to finding better means of collective decision making. Clearly our current abilities in this field are completely inadequate. I ponder if this is because we are incapable of doing better by some inherent flaw in our makeup or if it is because, as in some many areas of life, the wicked work tirelessly to maintain the systems that enrich and empower them. I suspect I'll never find out.
Omega Centauri 10.13.19 at 4:33 pm (no link)
There might be a case to be made for empire building conquest advancing human society. I think it was primarily by forcing the mixing of cultures which otherwise would have been relatively isolated from each other. Also empires tended to create safe internal trade routes, the Silk Road was made possible by the Mongol empire.

At least the authors of books about such empires like to state that over a timespan of centuries that empire creation was a net positive.

Orange Watch 10.13.19 at 7:07 pm (no link)
Tim Worstall and Dipper's suggestion that the EU is borne of war is mostly just a failure to take Morris's claim on its unsophisticated face and instead assume it contains subtle complexity that is obviously missing if you read the article itself:

This happened because about 10,000 years ago, the winners of wars began incorporating the losers into larger societies. The victors found that the only way to make these larger societies work was by developing stronger governments; and one of the first things these governments had to do, if they wanted to stay in power, was suppress violence among their subjects.

For the EU to have been a result of war in the sense that Morris means, it would have to have been forcibly formed in 1945 by the US/UK/Russia forcibly incorporating Europe into it. When Morris states "wars make us stronger and richer" he very simply means wars of conquest are long-term net positives. He doesn't mean something subtle about nations banding together to forestall further war; he bluntly means conquerors gluing together their conquests into empires and then liberally applying boot leather to necks.

Mark Brady 10.13.19 at 7:56 pm (no link)
John Quiggin is, of course, well aware of this quotation, but some of you may not.

"Though some of them would disdain to say that there are net benefits in small acts of destruction, they see almost endless benefits in enormous acts of destruction. They tell us how much better off economically we all are in war than in peace. They see "miracles of production" which it requires a war to achieve. And they see a postwar world made certainly prosperous by an enormous "accumulated" or "backed up" demand. In Europe they joyously count the houses, the whole cities that have been leveled to the ground and that "will have to be replaced." In America they count the houses that could not be built during the war, the nylon stockings that could not be supplied, the worn-out automobiles and tires, the obsolescent radios and refrigerators. They bring together formidable totals.

"It is merely our old friend, the broken-window fallacy, in new clothing, and grown fat beyond recognition. This time it is supported by a whole bundle of related fallacies. It confuses need with demand."

Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson, Chapter 3, "The Blessings of Destruction."

Alex SL 10.13.19 at 8:37 pm (no link)
On one side, AFAIK the last few centuries of war in Europe have indeed seen a reduction of the number of states. Yes, the trend was partly reversed since 1914, but never to the degree of splintering that existed in the middle ages.

On the other side, even the widely accepted cases of supposedly 'beneficial' empires such as the Romans bringing the Pax Romana and the Mongols allowing far-reaching trade and travel need to be seen against the devastation they caused to make their victories possible. The Romans, for example, committed genocide in Gaul and Carthage, and they enslaved millions.

Best case argument in my eyes is that a very successful war is beneficial because it stops continuous smaller wars, which is still not exactly the same as a general "war is beneficial". Why not just create institutional arrangements that avoid wars between small nations in the first place?

fran6 10.13.19 at 9:26 pm (no link)
Here's another personality who's also unfazed by the evils of war (although, she does wish more folks were "kind" to each other):

https://www.youtube.com/embed/EsWSh8kPMfg?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Barry 10.13.19 at 10:40 pm ( 18 )
Tim Worstall: "The EU came into existence in 1992, neatly coinciding with the Yugoslav unpleasantnesses."

You might want to look at the time between then and WWII.

You also might want to check the membership in the EU in 1992, and see which state(s) were not in it (hint – Yugoslavia).

John Quiggin 10.13.19 at 11:36 pm ( 19 )
Stephen @11 Say what? Are you suggesting that the Soviet bloc was part of the EU? As both your comment and Tim Worstall's unwittingly illustrate, the fact that the EU has been entirely peaceful since its creation (by contrast with non-EU Europe) is not because Europeans suddenly became pacifists.
Salazar 10.14.19 at 12:39 am ( 20 )
Sorry if I have a hard time getting Morris' argument, but: towards the end, be seems to be saying the world requires a "Globocop" like the US to ensure its prosperity. But how does that relate to his wider point about the benefits of war? Does Morris believe the hegemon owes it to itself, and to the rest of the world, to wage permanent war?
Tabasco 10.14.19 at 1:23 am ( 21 )
"the EU has been entirely peaceful since its creation"

Spain and Portugal are still arguing the 200+ year border dispute over Olivenza/Olivença, but it hasn't reached Kashmir levels (yet).

Ed 10.14.19 at 2:34 am ( 22 )
Morris sold out. This was evident in his book comparing the progress of China and Europe, though that book made excellent points in between the fluff and is well worth reading. But he is well versed enough in Chinese history to be aware of the ultimate example of armies conquering and bringing peace to a large area, which happens repeatedly in Chinese history.

Actually, Chinese history itself shows that the opposite argument has more support, that instead of war being valuable because one powerful country will conquer a large area and bring peace to it, its valuable because competition between states who are worried about other states getting a jump on them turns out to be valuable to progress. Large continental empires, including the Roman one as well, tended to stagnate in terms of culture and technology and become correct.

MFB 10.15.19 at 7:18 am (no link)
Well, the opinion-piece was published on Jeff Bezos' blog. Oligarchs are naturally in favour of centralised power and therefore of empires (so long as they are at the apex thereof, which they usually are). The best way to build an empire is through war.

Of course, the author has to say "despite Hitler, Stalin and Mao", for ideological reasons. Actually, Hitler built his empire largely through the threat of war rather than through war itself; once he had actually started the war, he antagonised three more powerful empires than his own and his empire was then crushed. As for Stalin, he actually did various double-back-somersaults to avoid getting into wars, and the "empire" which he built in Eastern Europe as a result of winning a war he didn't want did not sustain itself. And of course Mao didn't start any wars at all -- his name just had to be thrown in for reactionary reasons.

It is true that the Spanish, Portuguese, French and British empires were built upon war. But where are they now? The United States fought a lot of wars against its indigenous people, but frankly it would still have been a global superpower if it had simply sidestepped most of them, at least from about 1865 onward.

An interesting question: can it be that a professor of Classics doesn't actually have to understand the concept of evidence-based argument in any case, because everything has already been said on the subject and all you have to do is cherry-pick other people's statements? Because that seems to be how that silly article reads.

And yes, the whole thing reeks of the better angels propaganda. Let's not forget, by the way, that various members of the EU -- Britain, France, Italy et al -- have launched brutally murderous wars elsewhere, and the fact that they don't fight among themselves doesn't make them peaceful or moral entities.

Neville Morley 10.15.19 at 9:47 am (no link)
@TheSophist #25: that was mentioned as a joke rather than self-publicity, but if you're really interested: The Roman Empire: roots of imperialism (Pluto Press, 2020). Obviously books about the Roman Empire are ten a penny; my main claim for this one, besides its being less apologetic and/or gung-ho than most, is that I try to integrate the historical reality with its reception, i.e. how people have subsequently deployed Rome as an example or model.
Bill Benzon 10.15.19 at 12:44 pm (no link)
Maybe the Roman Empire delivered on peace, but prosperity is a bit more complicated. Some years ago David Hays wrote a book on the history of technology. One of the things he did was make a back-of-the-envelope estimate of material welfare at different levels of development. He concluded that, while civilization has always been a good deal for the elite, it's been rather iffy for peasants and workers. It's only during the Industrial Evolution that the standard of living at the lower end of society rose above that of hunter-gatherers. So, the prosperity delivered by the Roman Empire went mostly to the elite, not the peasantry.

I've excerpted the relevant section of Hays's book .

steven t johnson 10.16.19 at 8:06 pm (no link)
Peter Erwin@43 wanted the Nazis to roll right up to the eastern border of Poland, etc. etc. So did Hitler. And although I'm quite reluctant to read minds, especially dead one, I will nevertheless guarantee the move into the Baltics was seen as a blow to his plans, even if accepted for temporary advantage. You must always see who hates Stalin for beating Hitler, and those rare few who object to his real crimes.

And, Erwin thinks Chinese troops being in Korea with permission is an aggression, while US troops closing on Chinese borders is not. The US still isn't out of Korea, but China is, but he can't figure out who the aggressor is.

Really, Peter Erwin really says it all. The maddest ant-Communist propaganda is now official.

MFB 10.17.19 at 9:02 am (no link)
I don't want to unnecessarily dump on Peter Erwin, because I don't believe in kicking disadvantaged children, but if he reads the original post he will notice that it was talking about international wars, not civil wars. I'll admit the invasion of Finland (and of the Baltic states and Poland) but those were fairly obviously ways of strengthening the USSR's position in order to discourage a German invasion, and all took place within the boundaries of the former Russian Empire which Stalin undoubtedly saw as the default position.

As to Mao, he didn't start the Korean war (as Erwin unwillingly admits) and all the other wars except for the invasion of Vietnam were civil wars since they entailed moving into Chinese-controlled territory which had broken away during the main civil war. I'll admit that Vietnam was a problem, but then, since Mao had been dead for some time by then, it's would be hard for Erwin to blame him except for the fact that Erwin clearly lives on Planet Bizarro.

Z 10.17.19 at 9:05 am (no link)
@John Quiggin The claim is that war, despite its brutality created big states, like the Roman empire, which then delivered peace and prosperity

I don't think this is an intellectually generous summary of the arguments, as presented in the article.

The author himself summarizes it as "war made states, and states made peace", and if it is indeed true that the author often speaks of "larger, more organized societies" there is a strong implication that for a society to be "large" in the sense discussed in the article, it is not really necessary that it be territorially very wide (the most clear cut indication of that is that the author refers to the European states of the 1600s as "big, settled states" while they all were geographically tiny at the time). So the point of the author, if interpreted with intellectual honesty, seems to me to be twofold: 1) that war has been a crucial factor in the formation of complex, organized states and societies and 2) that these complex, organized states and societies brought with them so many positive things that the wars required to form them were worth it.

The second point is pure Pinker. I consider it logically meaningless, myself (it ultimately relies on the concept that History proceeds like an individual who is choosing a pair of shoes) and morally repugnant (it is not hard to see who will be pleased to have a rhetorical tool that can justify any atrocity by the long term gains it will provide humanity – indeed, it is instructive in that respect to read SS internal papers on when and why children should be executed with their parents, and how to select people for that task: contrary to what could be guessed, the manual recommends the soldiers who appear to have a strong sense of empathy and morality, with the idea that they will those who will most strongly endorse the "by doing this abominable act, we are sacrificing ourselves on behalf of future generations" thesis).

The first point, however, appears to me to be broadly correct descriptively. Extracting an interesting thesis out of it requires much more work than is indicated by the article, however (I consider Ertman's Birth of the Levianthan an example of that kind of extra work done successfully).

Z 10.17.19 at 9:30 am ( 52 )
@John Quiggin Lots of people predicted, along the lines of your post, that with the external threat of the USSR gone, and the US pulling back, the old warlike Europe would reassert itself.

I think what we may call the "wide military context thesis" runs rather like this: because of the experience of WWII and the Cold War, modern industrial states have amassed enormous military power while at the same time knowing that they can experience total destruction if they enter into a military conflict with a state of comparable military might. As a consequence, peace dominates between them. So France is not at war with the United Kingdom or Germany, certainly in part because they are all (for now) members of the EU but also in part for the same reason Japan is not at war with South Korea and Russia not at war with China.

Personally, I think it would be absurd to claim that the EU has played no role in the pacification of Western Europe in the second half of the twentieth century, but I think it would be equally absurd to deny the role of other factors that plainly play a major role in the equally remarkable pacification of other regional areas in the absence of an economical and political unification process (rise in prosperity, rise in education, aging populations, increased military power ).

otpup 10.19.19 at 10:51 pm ( 68 )
@7, Omega
Not really wanting to get into the "do empires benefit civilization by promoting trade" argument, but having just read Lost Enlightenment, nothing in that lengthy tome suggests the Silk Road city states gain any special advantage from the Mongol invasion. In fact, quite the opposite. After the Mongols (in part for reasons preceeding the conquest), Central Asia never regained its pre-eminence (it had actually not just been a facilitator of trade but also a center of manufacture, culture, scientific progress). Maybe the trade routes hobbled along as trade routes but the civilization that was both built by and facilitated trade did not rebound. Most empires seem to get that there is wealth to be had from involvement in trade, they don't always know how to keep the gold goose alive.
LFC 10.20.19 at 9:10 pm (no link)
"War made states and states made peace" is a riff on Charles Tilly's line "war made the state and the state made war."

[Nov 03, 2019] How Controlling Syria s Oil Serves Washington s Strategic Objectives by Nauman Sadiq

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Washington's basic purpose in deploying the US forces in oil and natural gas fields of Deir al-Zor governorate is to deny the valuable source of income to its other main rival in the region, Damascus. ..."
Nov 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Nauman Sadiq,

Before the evacuation of 1,000 American troops from northern Syria to western Iraq, the Pentagon had 2,000 US forces in Syria. After the drawdown of US troops at Erdogan's insistence in order for Ankara to mount a ground offensive in northern Syria, the US has still deployed 1,000 troops, mainly in oil-rich eastern Deir al-Zor province and at al-Tanf military base.

Al-Tanf military base is strategically located in southeastern Syria on the border between Syria, Iraq and Jordan, and it straddles on a critically important Damascus-Baghdad highway, which serves as a lifeline for Damascus. Washington has illegally occupied 55-kilometer area around al-Tanf since 2016, and several hundred US Marines have trained several Syrian militant groups there.

It's worth noting that rather than fighting the Islamic State, the purpose of continued presence of the US forces at al-Tanf military base is to address Israel's concerns regarding the expansion of Iran's influence in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Regarding the oil- and natural gas-rich Deir al-Zor governorate, it's worth pointing out that Syria used to produce modest quantities of oil for domestic needs before the war – roughly 400,000 barrels per day, which isn't much compared to tens of millions barrels daily oil production in the Gulf states.

Although Donald Trump crowed in a characteristic blunt manner in a tweet after the withdrawal of 1,000 American troops from northern Syria that Washington had deployed forces in eastern Syria where there was oil, the purpose of exercising control over Syria's oil is neither to smuggle oil out of Syria nor to deny the valuable source of revenue to the Islamic State.

There is no denying the fact that the remnants of the Islamic State militants are still found in Syria and Iraq but its emirate has been completely dismantled in the region and its leadership is on the run. So much so that the fugitive caliph of the terrorist organization was killed in the bastion of a rival jihadist outfit, al-Nusra Front in Idlib, hundreds of kilometers away from the Islamic State strongholds in eastern Syria.

Much like the "scorched earth" battle strategy of medieval warlords – as in the case of the Islamic State which early in the year burned crops of local farmers while retreating from its former strongholds in eastern Syria – Washington's basic purpose in deploying the US forces in oil and natural gas fields of Deir al-Zor governorate is to deny the valuable source of income to its other main rival in the region, Damascus.

After the devastation caused by eight years of proxy war, the Syrian government is in dire need of tens of billions dollars international assistance to rebuild the country. Not only is Washington hampering efforts to provide international aid to the hapless country, it is in fact squatting over Syria's own resources with the help of its only ally in the region, the Kurds.

Although Donald Trump claimed credit for expropriating Syria's oil wealth, it bears mentioning that "scorched earth" policy is not a business strategy, it is the institutional logic of the deep state. President Trump is known to be a businessman and at least ostensibly follows a non-interventionist ideology; being a novice in the craft of international diplomacy, however, he has time and again been misled by the Pentagon and Washington's national security establishment.

Regarding Washington's interest in propping up the Gulf's autocrats and fighting their wars in regional conflicts, it bears mentioning that in April 2016, the Saudi foreign minister threatened that the Saudi kingdom would sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets if the US Congress passed a bill that would allow Americans to sue the Saudi government in the United States courts for its role in the September 11, 2001 terror attack – though the bill was eventually passed, Saudi authorities have not been held accountable; even though 15 out of 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals.

Moreover, $750 billion is only the Saudi investment in the United States, if we add its investment in Western Europe and the investments of UAE, Kuwait and Qatar in the Western economies, the sum total would amount to trillions of dollars of Gulf's investments in North America and Western Europe.

Furthermore, in order to bring home the significance of the Persian Gulf's oil in the energy-starved industrialized world, here are a few stats from the OPEC data: Saudi Arabia has the world's largest proven crude oil reserves of 265 billion barrels and its daily oil production exceeds 10 million barrels; Iran and Iraq, each, has 150 billion barrels reserves and has the capacity to produce 5 million barrels per day, each; while UAE and Kuwait, each, has 100 billion barrels reserves and produces 3 million barrels per day, each; thus, all the littoral states of the Persian Gulf, together, hold 788 billion barrels, more than half of world's 1477 billion barrels of proven oil reserves.

No wonder then, 36,000 United States troops have currently been deployed in their numerous military bases and aircraft carriers in the oil-rich Persian Gulf in accordance with the Carter Doctrine of 1980, which states: "Let our position be absolutely clear: an attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force."

Additionally, regarding the Western defense production industry's sales of arms to the Gulf Arab States, a report authored by William Hartung of the US-based Center for International Policy found that the Obama administration had offered Saudi Arabia more than $115 billion in weapons, military equipment and training during its eight-year tenure.

Similarly, the top items in Trump's agenda for his maiden visit to Saudi Arabia in May 2017 were: firstly, he threw his weight behind the idea of the Saudi-led "Arab NATO" to counter Iran's influence in the region; and secondly, he announced an unprecedented arms package for Saudi Arabia. The package included between $98 billion and $128 billion in arms sales.

Therefore, keeping the economic dependence of the Western countries on the Gulf Arab States in mind, during the times of global recession when most of manufacturing has been outsourced to China, it is not surprising that when the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia decided to provide training and arms to the Islamic jihadists in the border regions of Turkey and Jordan against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Obama administration was left with no other choice but to toe the destructive policy of its regional Middle Eastern allies, despite the sectarian nature of the proxy war and its attendant consequences of breeding a new generation of Islamic jihadists who would become a long-term security risk not only to the Middle East but to the Western countries, as well.

Similarly, when King Abdullah's successor King Salman decided, on the whim of the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, to invade Yemen in March 2015, once again the Obama administration had to yield to the dictates of Saudi Arabia and UAE by fully coordinating the Gulf-led military campaign in Yemen not only by providing intelligence, planning and logistical support but also by selling billions of dollars' worth of arms and ammunition to the Gulf Arab States during the conflict.

In this reciprocal relationship, the US provides security to the ruling families of the Gulf Arab states by providing weapons and troops; and in return, the Gulf's petro-sheikhs contribute substantial investments to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars to the Western economies.

Regarding the Pax Americana which is the reality of the contemporary neocolonial order, according to a January 2017 infographic by the New York Times, 210,000 US military personnel were stationed all over the world, including 79,000 in Europe, 45,000 in Japan, 28,500 in South Korea and 36,000 in the Middle East.

Although Donald Trump keeps complaining that NATO must share the cost of deployment of US troops, particularly in Europe where 47,000 American troops are stationed in Germany since the end of the Second World War, 15,000 in Italy and 8,000 in the United Kingdom, fact of the matter is that the cost is already shared between Washington and host countries.

Roughly, European countries pay one-third of the cost for maintaining US military bases in Europe whereas Washington chips in the remaining two-third. In the Far Eastern countries, 75% of the cost for the deployment of American troops is shared by Japan and the remaining 25% by Washington, and in South Korea, 40% cost is shared by the host country and the US contributes the remaining 60%.

Whereas the oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) – Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar – pay two-third of the cost for maintaining 36,000 US troops in the Persian Gulf where more than half of world's proven oil reserves are located and Washington contributes the remaining one-third.

* * *

Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism and petro-imperialism.


ipsprez , 8 minutes ago link

I am always amazed (and amused) at how much smarter "journalists" are than POTUS. If ONLY Mr. Trump would read more and listen to those who OBVIOUSLY are sooo much smarter!!!! Maybe then he wouldn't be cowed and bullied by Erdogan, Xi, Jung-on, Trudeau (OK so maybe that one was too far fetched) to name a few. Please note the sarcasm. Do I really need to go in to the success after success Mr. Trump's foreign policy has enjoyed? Come on Man.

OLD-Pipe , 19 minutes ago link

What a load of BOLOCKS...The ONLY, I mean The Real and True Reason for American Armored presence is one thing,,,,,,,Ready for IT ? ? ? To Steal as much OIL as Possible, AND convert the Booty into Currency, Diamonds or some other intrinsically valuable commodity, Millions of Dollars at a Time......17 Years of Shadows and Ghost Trucks and Tankers Loading and Off-Loading the Black Gold...this is what its all about......M-O-N-E-Y....... Say It With Me.... Mon-nee, Money Money Mo_on_ne_e_ey, ......

Blue Steel 309 , 5 minutes ago link

This is about Israel, not oil.

ombon , 58 minutes ago link

From the sale of US oil in Syria receive 30 million. dollars per month. Image losses are immeasurably greater. The United States put the United States as a robbery bandit. This is American democracy. The longer the troops are in Syria, the more countries will switch to settlements in national currencies.

Pandelis , 28 minutes ago link

yeah well these are mafia guys...

uhland62 , 50 minutes ago link

"Our interests", "strategic interests" is always about money, just a euphemism so it doesn't look as greedy as it is. Another euphemism is "security' ,meaning war preparations.

BobEore , 1 hour ago link

...The military power of the USA put directly in the service of "the original TM" PIRATE STATE. U are the man Norm! But wait... now things get a little hazy... in the classic... 'alt0media fake storyline' fashion!

"President Trump is known to be a businessman and at least ostensibly follows a non-interventionist ideology; being a novice in the craft of international diplomacy, however, he has time and again been misled by the Pentagon and Washington's national security establishment."

Awww! Poor "DUmb as Rocks Donnie" done been fooled agin!

...In the USA... the military men are stirring at last... having been made all too aware that their putative 'boss' has been operating on behalf of foreign powers ever since being [s]elected, that the State Dept of the once Great Republic has been in active cahoots with the jihadis ...

and that those who were sent over there to fight against the headchoppers discovered that the only straight shooters in the whole mess turned out to be the Kurds who AGENT FRIMpf THREW UNDER THE BUS ON INSTRUCTIONS FROM JIHADI HQ!

... ... ...

[Nov 02, 2019] WATCH Udo Ulfkotte – Bought Journalists by Terje Maloy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... We drove for hours through the desert, towards the Iraqi border. Approx. 20-30 kilometers from the border, there really was nothing. First of all no war. There were armored vehicles and tanks, burned-out long ago. The journalist left the bus, splashed the contents of the cans on the vehicles. We had Iraqi soldiers with us as an escort, with machine guns, in uniform. You have to imagine: tanks in a desert, burned out long ago, now put on fire. Clouds of smoke. And there the journalists assemble their cameras. ..."
"... So I gathered courage and asked one of the reporters: 'I understand one thing, they are great pictures, but why are they ducking all the time? ' ..."
"... I'll finish, because I am not here to make satire today. I just want to say that this was my first experience with truth in journalism and war reporting. ..."
"... Then a certain type of reporting is expected. Which one? Forget my newspaper, this applies in general. At the start of the trip, the journalist gets a memo – today it is electronic – in his hand. If you are traveling abroad, it is info about the country, or the speeches that will be held. This file contains roughly what will happen during this trip. In addition there are short conversations, briefings with the politician's press manager. He then explains to you how one views this trip. Naturally, you should see it the same way. No one says it in that way. But is is approximately what one would have reported. ..."
"... He explained that a recruitment board from the intelligence services had participated. But I had no idea that the seminar Introduction to Conflict Studies was arranged by the defense forces and run by the foreign intelligence service BND, to have a closer look at potential candidates among the students, not to commit them. They only asked if they, after four such seminars, possibly could contact me later, in my occupation. ..."
"... Two persons from BND came regularly to the paper, to a visiting room. And there were occasions when the report not only was given, but also that BND had written articles, largely ready to go, that were published in the newspaper under my byline. ..."
"... But a couple of journalists were there, they told about it. Therefore I repeat: Merkel invited the chief editors several times, and told them she didn't want the population to be truthfully and openly informed about the problems out there. For example, the background for the financial crisis. If the citizens knew how things were, they would run to the bank and withdraw their money. So beautifying everything; everything is under control; your savings are safe; just smile and hold hands – everything will be fine. ..."
"... From one hour 18 minutes onwards, Ulfkotte details EU-Inter-State Terror Co-operation, with returning IS Operatives on a Free Pass, fully armed and even Viktor Orban had to give in to the commands of letting Terrorists through Hungary into Germany & Austria. ..."
"... Everybody who works in the MSM, without exception, are bought and paid for whores peddling lies on behalf of globalist corporate interests. ..."
"... Udo's voice (in the form of his book) was silenced for a reason – that being that he spoke the truth about our utterly and completely corrupt Western fantasy world in which we in the West proclaim our – "respect international law" and "respect for human rights." His work, such as this interview and others he has done, pulled the curtain back on the big lie and exposed our oligarchs, politicians and the "journalists" they hire as simply a cadre of professional criminals whose carefully crafted lies are used to soak up the blood and to cover the bodies of the dead, all in order to hide all that mayhem from our eyes, to insure justice is an impossibility and to make sure we Western citizens sleep well at night, oblivious to our connection to the actual realities that are this daily regime of pillage and plunder that is our vaunted "neoliberal order." ..."
"... "The philosopher Diogenes (of Sinope) was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, 'If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.' To which Diogenes replied, 'Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king"." ..."
"... So Roosevelt pushed Hitler to attack Stalin? Hitler didn't want to go East? Revisionism at it most motive free. ..."
"... Pushing' is synonymous for a variety of ways to instigate a desired outcome. Financing is just one way. And Roosevelt was in no way the benevolent knight history twisters like to present him. You are outing yourself again as an easliy duped sheep. ..."
"... Lebensraum was first popularized in 1901 in Germany https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensraum Hitler's "Mein Kampf" ( 1925) build on that: he had no need for any American or other push, it was intended from the get go. ..."
"... This excellent article demonstrates how the Controlling Elite manipulates the Media and the Message for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objective of securing Global Ownership (aka New World Order). ..."
"... Corporate Journalism is all about corporatism and the continuation of it. If the Intelligence Community needs greater fools for staffing purposes in the corporate hierarchy they look for anyone that can be compromised via inducements of whatever the greater fools want. ..."
"... Bought & paid for corporate Journalists are controlled by the Intelligence Agencies and always have been since at least the Second World War. The CIA typically runs bribery & blackmail at the state & federal level so that when necessary they have instant useless eaters to offer up as political sacrifice when required via state run propaganda, & impression management. ..."
"... Assuming that journalism is an ethical occupation is na๏ve and a fools' game even in the alternative news domain as all writers write from bias & a lack of real knowledge. Few writers are intellectually honest or even aware of their own limits as writers. The writer is a failure and not a hero borne in myth. Writers struggle to write & publish. Bought and paid for writers don't have a struggle in terms of writing because they are told what to write before they write as automatons for the Intelligence Community knowing that they sold their collective souls to the Prince of Darkness for whatever trinkets, bobbles, or bling they could get their greedy hands on at the time. ..."
"... Once pond scum always pond scum. ..."
"... It is a longer process in which one is gradually introduced to ever more expensive rewards/bribes. Never too big to overwhelm – always just about what one would accept as 'motivation' to omit aspects of any issue. Of course, omission is a lie by any other name, but I can attest to the life style of a journalist that socializes with the leaders of all segments of society. ..."
"... Professional whoring is as old as the hills and twice as dusty. Being ethical is difficult stuff especially when money is involved. Money is always a prime motivator but vanity works wonders too. Corporatists will offer whatever inducements they can to get what they want. ..."
"... All mainstream media voices are selling a media package that is a corporatist lie in and of itself. Truth is less marketable than lies. Embellished news & journalistic hype is the norm ..."
Oct 06, 2019 | off-guardian.org

WATCH: Udo Ulfkotte – Bought Journalists Terje Maloy

Subtitled and transcribed by Terje Maloy

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3ZLgW3hgRBY

In 2014, the German journalist and writer Udo Ulfkotte published a book that created a big stir, describing how the journalistic profession is thoroughly corrupt and infiltrated by intelligence services.

Although eagerly anticipated by many, the English translation of the book, Bought Journalists , does not seem to be forthcoming anytime soon.

[We covered that story at the time – Ed.]

So I have made English subtitles and transcribed this still very relevant 2015-lecture for those that are curious about Ulfkotte's work. It covers many of the subjects described in the book.

Udo Ulfkotte died of a heart attack in January 2017, in all likelihood part of the severe medical complications he got from his exposure to German-made chemical weapons supplied to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s.

Transcription

[Only the first 49 minutes are translated; the second half of the lecture deals mostly with more local issues]

Introducer Oliver: I am very proud to have such a brave man amongst us: Udo Ulfkotte

Udo Ulfkotte: Thanks Thanks for the invitation Thanks to Oliver. I heard to my great surprise from Oliver that he didn't know someone from the intelligence services (VVS) would be present. I wish him a warm welcome. I don't mean that as a joke, I heard this in advance, and got to know that Oliver didn't know. If he wants – if it is a man – he can wave. If not? no? [laughter from the audience]

I'm fine with that. You can write down everything, or record it; no problem.

To the lecture. We are talking about media. we are talking about truth. I don't want to sell you books or such things. Each one of us asks himself: Why do things develop like they do, even though the majority, or a lot of people shake their heads.

The majority of people in Germany don't want nuclear weapons on our territory. But we have nuclear weapons here. The majority don't want foreign interventions by German soldiers. But we do.

What media narrates and the politicians say, and what the majority of the population believes – seems often obviously to be two different things.

I can tell you this myself, from many years experience. I will start with very personal judgments, to tell you what my experiences with 'The Lying Media' were – I mean exactly that with the word 'lying'.

I was born in a fairly poor family. I am a single child. I grew up on the eastern edge of the Ruhr-area. I studied Law, Political Science and Islamic Studies. Already in my student years, I had contact with the German Foreign Intelligence, BND. We will get back to that later.

From 1986 to 2003, I worked for a major German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), amongst other things as a war reporter. I spent a lot of time in Eastern and African countries.

Now to the subject of lying media. When I was sent to the Iran-Iraq war for the first time, the first time was from 1980 to July 1986, I was sent to this war to report for FAZ. The Iraqis were then 'the good guys'.

I was bit afraid. I didn't have any experience as a war reporter. Then I arrived in Baghdad. I was fairly quickly sent along in a bus by the Iraqi army, the bus was full of loud, experienced war reporters, from such prestigious media as the BBC, several foreign TV-stations and newspapers, and me, poor newbie, who was sent to the front for the first time without any kind of preparation. The first thing I saw was that they all carried along cans of petrol. And I at once got bad consciousness, because I thought: "oops, if the bus gets stuck far from a petrol station, then everyone chips in with a bit of diesel'. I decided to in the future also carry a can before I went anywhere, because it obviously was part of it.

We drove for hours through the desert, towards the Iraqi border. Approx. 20-30 kilometers from the border, there really was nothing. First of all no war. There were armored vehicles and tanks, burned-out long ago. The journalist left the bus, splashed the contents of the cans on the vehicles. We had Iraqi soldiers with us as an escort, with machine guns, in uniform. You have to imagine: tanks in a desert, burned out long ago, now put on fire. Clouds of smoke. And there the journalists assemble their cameras.

It was my first experience with media, truth in reporting.

While I was wondering what the hell I was going to report for my newspaper, they all lined up and started: Behind them were flames and plumes of smoke, and all the time the Iraqis were running in front of camera with their machine guns, casually, but with war in their gaze. And the reporters were ducking all the time while talking.

So I gathered courage and asked one of the reporters: 'I understand one thing, they are great pictures, but why are they ducking all the time? '

'Quite simply because there are machine guns on the audio track, and it looks very good at home.'

That was several decades ago. It was in the beginning of my contact with war. I was thinking, the whole way back:'Young man, you didn't see a war. You were in a place with a campfire. What are you going to tell?'

I returned to Baghdad. There weren't any mobile phones then. We waited in Hotel Rashid and other hotels where foreigners stayed, sometimes for hours for an international telephone line. I first contacted my mother, not my newspaper. I was in despair, didn't know what to do, and wanted to get advice from an elder person.

Then my mother shouted over the phone: 'My boy, you are alive!' I thought: 'How so? Is everything OK?'

'My boy, we thought ' 'What's the matter, mother?' 'We saw on TV what happened around you' TV had already sent lurid stories, and I tried to calm my mother down, it didn't happen like that. She thought I had lost my mind from all the things that had happened in the war – she saw it with her own eyes!

I'll finish, because I am not here to make satire today. I just want to say that this was my first experience with truth in journalism and war reporting.

That is, I was very shocked by the first contact, it was entirely different from what I had experienced. But it wasn't an exceptional case.

In the beginning, I mentioned that I am from a fairly poor family. I had to work hard for everything. I was a single child, my father died when I was young. It didn't matter further on. But, I had a job, I had a degree, a goal in life.

I now had the choice: Should I declare that the whole thing was nonsense, these reports? I was nothing, a newbie straight out of uni, in my first job. Or if I wanted to make money, to continue, look further. I chose the second option. I continued, and that for many years.

Over these years, I gained lots of experience. When one comes from university to a big German newspaper – everything I say doesn't only apply to FAZ, you can take other German or European media. I had contact with other European journalists, from reputable media outlets. I later worked in other media. I can tell you: What I am about to tell you, I really discovered everywhere.

What did I experience? If you, as a reporter, work either in state media financed by forced license fees, or in the big private media companies, then you can't write what you want yourself, what you feel like. There are certain guidelines.

Roughly speaking: everyone knows that you won't, for example in the Springer-newspapers – Bild, die Welt – get published articles extremely critical of Israel. They stand no chance there, because one has to sign a statement that one is pro-Israel, that one won't question the existence of the state of Israel or Israeli points of view, etc.

There are some sort of guidelines in all the big media companies. But that isn't all: I learned very fast that if one doesn't – I don't mean this negatively – want to be stuck in the lower rungs of editors, if one wants to rise; for me this rise was that I was allowed to travel with the Chancellor, ministers, the president and politicians, in planes owned by the state; then one has to keep to certain subjects. I learned that fast.

That is, if one gets to follow a politician – and this hasn't changed to this day – I soon realized that when I followed the president or Chancellor Helmut Kohl etc, one of course isn't invited because your name is Udo Ulfkotte, but because you belong to the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine.

Then a certain type of reporting is expected. Which one? Forget my newspaper, this applies in general. At the start of the trip, the journalist gets a memo – today it is electronic – in his hand. If you are traveling abroad, it is info about the country, or the speeches that will be held. This file contains roughly what will happen during this trip. In addition there are short conversations, briefings with the politician's press manager. He then explains to you how one views this trip. Naturally, you should see it the same way. No one says it in that way. But is is approximately what one would have reported.

All the time you no one tells you to write it this or that way but you know quite exactly that if you DON'T write it this or that way,then you won't get invited next time. Your media outlet will be invited, but they say 'we don't want him along'. Then you are out.

Naturally you want to be invited. Of course it is wonderful to travel abroad and you can behave like a pig, no one cares. You can buy what you want, because you know that when you return, you won't be checked. You can bring what you want. I had colleagues who went along on a trip to the US.

They brought with them – it was an air force plane – a Harley Davidson, in parts. They sold it when they were back in Germany, and of course earned on it. Anyway, just like the carpet-affair with that development minister, this is of course not a single instance. No one talks about it.

You get invited if you have a certain way of seeing things. Which way to see things? Where and how is this view of the world formed? I very often get asked: 'Where are these people behind the curtain who pulls the wires, so that everything gets told in a fairly similar way?'

In the big media in Germany – just look yourself – who sit in the large transatlantic think-tanks and foundations,the foundation The Atlantic Bridge, all these organizations, and how is one influenced there? I can tell from my own experience.

We mustn't talk only theoretically. I was invited by the think-tank The German Marshall Fund of the United States as a fellow. I was to visit the United States for six weeks. It was fully paid. During these six weeks I could this think-tank has very close connections to the CIA to this day, they acquired contacts in the CIA for me and they got me access to American politicians, to everyone I wanted. Above all, they showered me with gifts.

Already before the journey with German Marshall Fund, I experienced plenty of bought journalism. This hasn't to do with a particular media outlet. You see, I was invited and didn't particularly reflect over it, by billionaires, for example sultan Quabboos of Oman on the Arabian peninsula.

When sultan Qabboos invited, and a poor boy like me could travel to a country with few inhabitants but immense wealth, where the head of state had the largest yachts in the world, his own symphony orchestra which plays for him when he wants – by the way he bought a pub close to Garmisch-Patenkirchen, because he is a Muslim believer, and someone might see him if he drank in his own country, so he rather travels there. The place he bought every day fly in fresh lamb from Ireland and Scotland with his private jet. He is also the head of an environmental foundation.

But this is a digression. If such a person, who is so incredibly rich, invites someone like me, then I arrive first class. I had never traveled first class before. We arrive, and a driver is waiting for me. He carries your suitcase or backpack. You have a suite in the hotel. And from the very start, you are showered with gifts. You get a platinum or gold coin. A hand-weaved carpet or whatever.

I interviewed the sultan, several times. He asked me what I wanted. I answered among other things a diving course. I wanted to learn how to dive. He flew in a PADI-approved instructor from Greece. I was there for two weeks and got my first diving certificate. On later occasions, the sultan flew me in several times, and the diving instructor. I got a certificate as rescue diver, all paid for by the sultan. You see, when one is attended to in such a way, then you know that you are bought. For a certain type of journalism. In the sultan's country, there is no freedom of the press.

There are no human rights. It is illegal to import many writings, because the sultan does not wish so. There are reports about human rights violations, but my eyes are blind. I reported, like all German media when they report about the Sultanate of Oman, to this day, only positive things. The great sultan, who is wonderful. The fantastic country of the fairy tale prince, overshadowing everything else – because I was bought.

Apart from Oman, many others have bought me. They also bought colleagues. I got many invitations through the travel section in my big newspaper. 5-star. The reportage never mentioned that I was bought, by country A or B or C. Yemenia, the Yemeni state airline, invited me to such a trip.

I didn't report about the dirt and dilapidation in the country, because I was influenced by this treatment, I only reported positively, because I wanted to come back. The Yemenis asked me when I had returned to Frankfurt what I wished In jest, I said "your large prawns, from the Red Sea, from the Indian Ocean, they were spectacular.", from the seaport of Mocha (Mocha-coffee is named after it). Two days later, Yemenia flew in a buffet for the editorial office, with prawns and more.

Of course we were bought. We were bought in several ways. In your situation: when you buy a car or something else, you trust consumer tests. Look closer. How well is the car tested? I know of no colleagues, no journalists, who do testing of cars, that aren't bribed – maybe they do exist.

They get unlimited access to a car from the big car manufacturers, with free petrol and everything else. I had a work car in my newspaper, if not, I might have exploited this. I had a BMW or Mercedes in the newspaper. But there are, outside the paper, many colleagues who only have this kind of vehicle all year round. They are invited to South Africa, Malaysia, USA, to the grandest travels, when a new car is presented.

Why? So that they will write positively about the car. But it doesn't say in these reports "Advertisement from bought journalists".

But that is the reality. You should also know – since we are on the subjects of tests – who owns which test magazines? Who owns the magazine Eco-test? It is owned by the Social Democrats. More than a hundred magazines belong to the Social Democrats. It isn't about only one party, but many editorial rooms have political allegiance. Behind them are party political interests.

I mentioned the sultan of Oman and the diving course, and I have mentioned German Marshall Fund. Back to the US and the German Marshall Fund. There one told me, they knew exactly, 'hello, you were on a diving course in Oman ' The CIA knew very precisely. And the CIA also gave me something: The diving gear. I received the diving gear in the United States, and I received in the US, during my 6-week stay there, an invitation from the state of Oklahoma, from the governor. I went there. It was a small ceremony, and I received an honorary citizenship.

I am now honorary citizen of an American state. And in this certificate, it is written that I will only cover the US positively. I accepted this honorary citizenship and was quite proud of it. I proudly told about it to a colleague who worked in the US. He said 'ha, I already have 31 of these honorary citizenships!'

I don't tell about this to be witty, today I am ashamed, really.

I was greedy. I accepted many advantages that a regular citizen at my age in my occupation doesn't have, and shouldn't have. But I perceived it – and that is no excuse – as entirely normal, because my colleagues around me all did the same. But this isn't normal. When journalists are invited to think-tanks in the US, like German Marshall Fund, Atlantic Bridge, it is to 'bring them in line', for in a friendly way to make them complicit, naturally to buy them, to grease them with money.

This has quite a few aspects that one normally doesn't talk about. When I for the first time was in Southern Africa, in the 80s, Apartheid still existed in South Africa, segregated areas for blacks and whites. We didn't have any problems with this in my newspaper, we received fully paid journeys from the Apartheid regime to do propaganda work.

I was invited by the South-African gold industry, coal industry, tourist board. In the first invitation, this trip was to Namibia – I arrived tired to the hotel room in Windhoek and a dark woman lay in my bed. I at once left the room, went down to the reception and said 'excuse me, but the room is already occupied' [laughter from the audience]

Without any fuss I got another room.

Next day at the breakfast table, this was a journalist trip, my colleagues asked me 'how was yours?' Only then I understood what had happened. Until then, I had believed it was a silly coincidence.

With this I want to describe which methods are used, maybe to film journalists in such situations, buy, make dependent. Quite simply to win them over to your side with the most brutal methods, so that they are 'brought in line'.

This doesn't happen to every journalist. It would be a conspiracy theory if I said that behind every journalist, someone pulls the wires.

No. Not everyone has influence over the masses. When you – I don't mean this negatively – write about folk costume societies or if you work with agriculture or politics, why should anyone from the upper political spheres have an interest in controlling the reporting? As far as I know, this doesn't happen at all.

But if you work in one of the big media, and want up in this world, if you want to travel with politicians, heads of state, with CEOs, who also travel on these planes, then it happens. Then you are regularly bought, you are regularly observed.

I said earlier that I already during my study days had contact with the intelligence services.

I will quickly explain this to you, because it is very important for this lecture.

I studied law, Political Science and Islamology, among other places in Freiburg. At the very beginning of my study, just before end of the term, a professor approached me. Professors were then still authority figures.

He came with a brochure, and asked me: 'Mr. Ulfkotte, what are your plans for this vacation?'

I couldn't very well say that I first planned to work a bit at a building site, for then to grab my backpack and see the ocean for the first time in my life, to Italy, 'la dolce vita', flirting with girls, lie on the beach and be a young person.

I wondered how I would break it to him. He then came with a brochure [Ulfkotte imitating professor]: 'I have something for you a seminar, Introduction to Conflict Studies, two weeks in Bonn I am sure you would want to participate!'

I wondered how I would tell this elderly gentleman that I wanted to flirt with girls on the beach. Then he said 'you will get 20 Marks per day as support, paid train journey, money for books 150 Marks You will naturally get board and lodging.' He didn't stop telling me what I would receive.

It buzzed around in my head that I had to achieve everything myself, work hard. I thought 'You have always wanted to participate in a seminar on Introduction to Conflict Studies!'

So I went to Bonn from Freiburg, and I saw other students who had this urge to participate in this seminar. There were also girls one could flirt with, about twenty people. The whole thing was very strange, because we sat in a room like this one, there were desks and a lectern, and there sat some older men and a woman, they always wrote something down. They asked us about things; What we thought of East Germany, we had to do role play.

The whole thing was a bit strange, but it was well paid. We didn't reflect any further. It was very strange that in this house, in Ubierstra฿e 88 in Bonn, we weren't allowed to go to the second floor. There was a chain over the stairs, it was taboo.

We were allowed to go to the basement, there were constantly replenished supplies of new books that we were allowed to get for free. Ebay didn't exist then, but we could still sell them used. Anyway, it was curious, but at the end of the fortnight, we were allowed to go up these stairs, where we got an invitation to a continuation course in Conflict Studies.

After four such seminars, that is, after two years, someone asked me 'you have probably wondered what we are doing here'.

He explained that a recruitment board from the intelligence services had participated. But I had no idea that the seminar Introduction to Conflict Studies was arranged by the defense forces and run by the foreign intelligence service BND, to have a closer look at potential candidates among the students, not to commit them. They only asked if they, after four such seminars, possibly could contact me later, in my occupation.

They gave me a lot of money. My mother has always taught me to be polite. So I said 'please do', and they came to me. I was then working in the newspaper FAZ from 1986, straight after my studies.

Then the intelligence services came fairly soon to me. Why am I telling you this? The newspaper knew very soon. It is also written in my reference, therefore I can say it loud and clear. I had very close contact with the intelligence service BND.

Two persons from BND came regularly to the paper, to a visiting room. And there were occasions when the report not only was given, but also that BND had written articles, largely ready to go, that were published in the newspaper under my byline.

I highlight certain things to explain them. But if I had said here: 'There are media that are influenced by BND', you could rightly say that 'these are conspiracy theories, can you document it?'

I CAN document it. I can say, this and that article, with my byline in the paper, is written by the intelligence services, because what is written there, I couldn't have known. I couldn't have known what existed in some cave or other in Libya, what secret thing were there, what was being built there. This was all things that BND wanted published. It wasn't like this only in FAZ.

It was like this also in other media. I told about it. If we had rule of law, there would now be an investigation commission. Because the political parties would stand up, regardless of if they are on the left, in the center or right, and say: What this Ulfkotte fella says and claims he can document, this should be investigated. Did this occur in other places? Or is it still ongoing?'

I can tell you: Yes it still exists. I know colleagues who still have this close contact. One can probably show this fairly well until a few years ago. But I would find it wonderful if this investigation commission existed.

But it will obviously not happen, because no one has an interest in doing so. Because then the public would realize how closely integrated politics, media, and the secret services are in this country.

That is, one often sees in reporting, whether it is from the local paper, regional papers, TV-channels, national tabloids and so-called serious papers.

Put them side by side, and you will discover that more than 90% looks almost identical. A lot of subjects and news, that are not being reported at all, or they are – I claim reported very one-sided. One can only explain this if one knows the structures in the background, how media is surrounded, bought and 'brought onboard' by politics and the intelligence services; Where politics and intelligence services form a single unity. There is an intelligence coordinator by the Chancellor.

I can tell you, that under the former coordinator Bernd Schmidbauer, under Kohl, I walked in and out of the Chancellery and received stacks of secret and confidential documents, which I shouldn't have received.

They were so many that we in the newspaper had own archive cabinets for them. Not only did I receive these documents,but Schmidbauer should have been in jail if we had rule of law. Or there should have been a parliamentary commission or an investigation, because he wasn't allowed

For example if I couldn't bring along the documents if the case was too hot, there was another trick. They locked me in a room. In this room were the documents, which I could look through. I could record it all on tape, photograph them or write them down. When I was done, I could call on the intercom, so they could lock me out. There were thousands of these tricks. Anonymous documents that I and my colleagues needed could be placed in my mail box.

These are of course illegal things. BUT, you ONLY get them if you 'toe the line' with politics.

If I had written that Chancellor Helmut Kohl is stupid, a big idiot, or about what Schmidbauer did, I would of course not have received more. That is, if you today, in newspapers, read about 'soon to be revealed exposures, we will publish a big story based on material based on intelligence', then none of these media have dug a tunnel under the security services and somehow got hold of something secret. It is rather that they work so well with intelligence services, with the military counterespionage, the foreign intelligence, police intelligence etc, that if they have got hold of internal documents, it is because they cooperate so well that they received them as a reward for well performed service.

You see, in this way one is in the end bought. One is bought to such a degree that at one point one can't exit this system anymore.

If I describe how you are supplied with prostitutes, bribed with cars, money; I tried to write down everything I received in gifts, everything I was bribed with. I stopped doing so several years ago, more than a decade ago.

It doesn't make it any better, but today I regret everything. But I know that it goes this way with many journalists.

It would make me very happy if journalists stood up and said they won't participate in this any longer, and that they think this is wrong.

But I see no possibility, because media corporations in any case are doing badly. Where should a journalist find work the next day? It isn't so that tens of thousands of employers are waiting for you. It is the other way round. Tens of thousands of journalists are looking for work or commissions.

That is, from pure desperation one is happy to be bribed. If a newsroom stands behind or not an article that in reality is advertising, doesn't matter, one goes along. I know some, even respected journalists, who want to leave this system.

But imagine if you are working in one of the state channels, that you stand up and tell what you have received. How will that be received by your colleagues? That you have political ulterior motives etc.

September 30 [2015], a few days ago, Chancellor Merkel invited all the directors in the state channels to her in the Chancellery. I will claim that she talked with them about how one should report the Chancellors politics. Who of you [in the audience] heard about this incident? 3-4-5? So a small minority. But this is reality. Merkel started already 6 years ago, at the beginning of the financial crisis, to invite chief editors ..she invited chief editors in the large media corporations, with the express wish that media should embellish reality, in a political way. This could have been only claims, one could believe me or not.

But a couple of journalists were there, they told about it. Therefore I repeat: Merkel invited the chief editors several times, and told them she didn't want the population to be truthfully and openly informed about the problems out there. For example, the background for the financial crisis. If the citizens knew how things were, they would run to the bank and withdraw their money. So beautifying everything; everything is under control; your savings are safe; just smile and hold hands – everything will be fine.

In such a way it should be reported. Ladies and gentlemen, what I just said can be documented. These are facts, not a conspiracy theory.

I formulated it a bit satirically, but I ask myself when I see how things are in this country: Is this the democracy described in the Constitution? Freedom of speech? Freedom of the press?

Where one has to be afraid if one doesn't agree with the ruling political correctness, if one doesn't want to get in trouble. Is this the republic our parents and grandparents fought for, that they built?

I claim that we more and more – as citizens – are cowards 'toeing the line', who don't open our mouths.

It is so nice to have plurality and diversity of opinions.

But it is at once clamped down on, today fairly openly.

Of my experiences with journalism, I can in general say that I have quit all media I have to pay for, for the reasons mentioned. Then the question arises, 'but which pay-media can I trust?'

Naturally there are ones I support. They are definitely political, I'll add. But they are all fairly small. And they won't be big anytime soon. But I have quit all big media that I used to subscribe to, Der Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine, etc. I would like to not having to pay the TV-license fee, without being arrested because I won't pay fines. But maybe someone here in the audience can tell me how to do so without all these problems?

Either way, I don't want to financially support this kind of journalism. I can only give you the advice to get information from alternative, independent media and all the forums that exist.

I'm not advertising for any of them. Some of you probably know that I write for the publishing house Kopp. But there are so many portals. Every person is different in political viewpoint, culturally etc. The only thing uniting us, whether we are black or white, religious or non-religious, right or left, or whatever; we all want to know the truth. We want to know what really happens out there, and exactly in the burning political questions: asylum seekers, refugees, the financial crisis, bad infrastructure, one doesn't know how it will continue. Precisely with this background, is it even more important that people get to know the truth.

And it is to my great surprise that I conclude that we in media, as well as in politics, have a guiding line.

To throw more and more dust in the citizens' eyes to calm them down. What is the sense in this? One can have totally different opinions on the subject of refugees with good reasoning.

But facts are important for you as citizens to decide the future. That is, how many people will arrive? How will it affect my personal affluence? Or will it affect my affluence at all? Will the pensions shrink? etc. Then you can talk with people about this, quite openly. But to say that we should open all borders, and that this won't have any negative consequences, is very strange. What I now say isn't a plug for my books. I know that some of them are on the table in front.

I'm not saying this so that you will buy books. I am saying this for another reason that soon will be clear. I started to write books on certain subjects 18 years ago. They have sold millions. It is no longer about you buying my books. It is important that you hear the titles, then you will see a certain line throughout the last ten years. One can have different opinions about this line, but I have always tried to describe, based on my subjective experiences, formed over many years in the Middle East and Africa.

That there will be migration flows, from people from culture areas that are like; if one could compare a cultural area with an engine, that one fills petrol in a diesel engine then everyone knows what will happen, the engine is great, diesel is great, but if there too much petrol, then the engine starts to splutter and stop.

I have tried to make you aware of this, with drastic and less drastic words. What we can expect, and ever faster. The book titles are SOS Occident; Warning Civil War; No Black,Red, Yellow [the colors in the German flag], Holy War in Europe; Mecca Germany.

I just want to say, when politicians and media today claim no one could have predicted it, everything is a complete surprise; Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not at all surprising. The migration flows, for years warnings have been coming from international organizations, politicians, experts, exactly about what happened and it is predictable, if we had a map over North Africa and the Middle East..

If the West continues to destabilize countries like Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, country by country, Iraq when we toppled Saddam Hussein, Afghanistan. We as Europeans and Germans have spent tens of billions on a war where we allegedly defend peace and liberty, at the mountain range Hindu Kush [in Afghanistan]. And here, in front of our own door, we soon have Hindu Kush.

We have no stabilization in Afghanistan. Dozens of German soldiers have lost their lives for nothing. We have a more unstable situation than ever.

You can have your own opinions. I am only saying that these refugee flows didn't fall from the sky. It is predicable, that if I bomb and destabilize a country, that people – it is always so in history – it hasn't anything to do with the Middle East or North Africa. I have seen enough wars in Africa. Naturally they created refugee flows.

But all of us didn't want to see this. We haven't prepared. And now one is reacting in full panic, and what is most disconcerting with this, is when media and politicians, allegedly from deepest inner conviction, say: 'this was all a complete surprise!'

Are they drunk? What are they smoking? What sort of pills are they eating? That they behave this way?

End transcription

The transcription has been edited for clarity, and may differ from the spoken word. The subtitles and transcription are for the first 49 minutes of the lecture only. Subtitled and transcribed by Terje Maloy. This article is Creative Commons 4.0 for non-commercial purposes.
Terje Maloy ( Website ) is a Norwegian citizen, with roots north of the Arctic Circle. Nowadays, he spends a lot of time in Australia, working in the family business. He has particular interests in liberty, global justice, imperialism, history, media analysis and what Western governments really are up to. He runs a blog , mostly in Norwegian, but occasionally in English. He likes to write about general geopolitical matters, and Northern Europe in particular, presenting perspectives that otherwise barely are mentioned in the dominant media (i.e. most things that actually matter).
Tim Jenkins
From 1:18 minutes, Ulfkotte reveals without question, that the EU Political 'elite's' combined intelligence services work with & propagate . . .

Terror, Terrorists & Terrorism / a conscious organised Politics of FEAR ! / Freedom of Movement, of fully armed IS Agents Provocateurs & with a Secret Services get out of jail free card, 'Hไnde Weg Nicht anfassen', it's 'Hammertime', "U Can't Touch this", we're armed state operatives travelling to Germany & Austria, " don't mess with my operation !" & all journalists' hands tied, too.

The suggestions & offers below to translate fully, what Ulfkotte declares publicly, make much sense. It is important to understand that even an 'Orban' must bow occasionally, to deep state Security State Dictators and the pressures they can exert in so many ways. Logic . . . or else one's life is made into hell, alive or an 'accidental' death: – and may I add, it is a curiously depressing feeling when you have so many court cases on the go, that when a Gemeinde/Municipality Clerk is smiling, celebrating and telling you, (representing yourself in court, with only independent translator & recorder), "You Won the Case, a superior judge has over-ruled " and the only reply possible is,

"Which case number ?"

life gets tedious & time consuming, demanding extreme patience. Given his illness, surely Ulfkotte and his wife, deserve/d extra credit & 'hot chocolate'. Makes a change to see & read some real journalism: congrats.@OffG

Excellent Professional Journalism on "Pseudo-Journalist State Actors & Terrorists". If you see a terrorist, guys, at best just reason with him or her :- better than calling

INTERPOL or Secret Services @theguardian, because you wouldn't want a member of the public, grassing you up to your boss, would you now ? ! Just tell the terrorist who he really works for . . . Those he resents ! Rather like Ulfkotte had to conclude, with final resignation. My condolences to his good wife.

Wilmers31
Very good of you to not forget Ulfkotte. If I did not have sickness in the house, I would translate it. Maybe I can do one chapter and someone else can do another one? What's the publisher saying?
jgiam
It's just a long unedited speech.
Tim Jenkins
You wouldn't say that if you could speak German, my friend ! ?

From one hour 18 minutes onwards, Ulfkotte details EU-Inter-State Terror Co-operation, with returning IS Operatives on a Free Pass, fully armed and even Viktor Orban had to give in to the commands of letting Terrorists through Hungary into Germany & Austria.

But, don't let that revelation bother you, living under a Deep State 'Politic of Fear' in the West and long unedited speeches gets kinda' boring now, I know a bit like believing in some kinda' dumbfuk new pearl harbour, war on terror &&& all phoney propaganda fairy story telling, just like on the 11/9/2001, when the real target was WTC 7, to hide elitist immoral endeavours, corruption & the missing $$$TRILLIONS$$$ of tax payers money, 'mislaid' by the D.o.D. announced directly the day before by Rumsfeld, forgotten ? Before ramping the Surveillance States abilities in placing & employing "Parallel Platforms" on steroids, so that our secret services can now employ terror & deploy terrorists at will .., against us, see ?

Plus ca change....
I remember on a similar note a 60 Minutes piece just prior to Clinton's humanitarian bombing of Serbian civilian infrastructure (and long ago deleted, I'm sure) on a German free-lancer staging Kosovo atrocities in a Munich suburb, and having the German MSM eating it up and asking for more. (WWII guilt assuagement at work, no doubt).
mark
Everybody who works in the MSM, without exception, are bought and paid for whores peddling lies on behalf of globalist corporate interests.
That is their job.
That is what they do.
They have long since forfeited all credibility and integrity.
They have lied to us endlessly for decades and generations, from the Bayonetted Belgian Babies and Human Bodies Turned Into Soap of WW1 to the Iraq Incubator Babies and Syrian Gas Attacks of more recent times.

You can no longer take anything at face value.
The default position has to be that every single word they print and every single word that comes out of their lying mouths is untrue.
If they say it's snowing at the North Pole, you can't accept that without first going there and checking it out for yourself.
You can't accept anything that has not been independently verified.

This applies across the board.
All of the accepted historical narrative, including things like the holocaust.
And current Global Warming "science."
We know we have been lied to again and again and again.
So what else have we been lied to without us realising it?

mark
Come to think of it, I need to apologise to sex workers.
I have known quite a few of them who have quite high ethical and moral standards, certainly compared to the MSM.
And they certainly do less damage.
Vert few working girls have blood on their hands like the MSM.
Compared to them, working girls are the salt of the earth and pillars of the community.
Seamus Padraig

Compared to them, working girls are the salt of the earth and pillars of the community.

I heartily agree. Even if one disapproves morally of prostitution, how can it possibly be worse to sell your body than to sell your soul?

Oliver
Quite. Checking things out for yourself is the way to go. Forget 'Peer Reviews', just as bent as the journalism Ulfkotte described. DIY.
Mortgage
So natural, all it seems

Part II:
Bought Science

Part III:
Bought Health Services

mapquest directions
The video you shared with great info. I really like the information you share. boxnovel
Gary Weglarz
I knew we were in dangerous new territory regarding government censorship when after waiting several years for Ulfkotte's best selling book to finally be available in English – it suddenly, magically, disappeared completely – a vanishing act – and I couldn't get so much as a response from, much less an explanation from, the would be publisher. Udo's book came at a time when it could have made a difference countering the fact-free complete and total "fabrication of reality" by the U.S. and Western powers as they have waged a brutal and ongoing neocolonial war on the world's poor under the guise of "fighting terrorism."

Udo's voice (in the form of his book) was silenced for a reason – that being that he spoke the truth about our utterly and completely corrupt Western fantasy world in which we in the West proclaim our – "respect international law" and "respect for human rights." His work, such as this interview and others he has done, pulled the curtain back on the big lie and exposed our oligarchs, politicians and the "journalists" they hire as simply a cadre of professional criminals whose carefully crafted lies are used to soak up the blood and to cover the bodies of the dead, all in order to hide all that mayhem from our eyes, to insure justice is an impossibility and to make sure we Western citizens sleep well at night, oblivious to our connection to the actual realities that are this daily regime of pillage and plunder that is our vaunted "neoliberal order."

Ramdan
After watching the first 20 min I couldn't help but remembering this tale:

"The philosopher Diogenes (of Sinope) was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, 'If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.' To which Diogenes replied, 'Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king"."

which is also the reason why such a large part of humanity lives in voluntary servitude to power structures, living the dream, the illusion of being free..

Ramdan
"English Translation of Udo Ulfkotte's "Bought Journalists" Suppressed?" at Global Research 2017!!

https://www.globalresearch.ca/english-translation-of-udo-ulfkottes-bought-journalists-suppressed/5601857

Francis Lee
Just rechecked Amazon. Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News by Udo Ulfkotte PH.D. The tag line reads.

Hard cover – currently unavailable; paperback cover – currently unavailable; Kindle edition – ?

Book burning anyone?

nottheonly1
No translation exists for this interview with Udo Ulfkotte on KenFM, the web site of Ken Jebsen. Ken Jebsen has been in the cross hairs of the CIA and German agencies for his reporting of the truth. He was smeared and defamed by the same people that Dr. Ulfkotte had written extensively about in his book 'Gekaufte Journalisten' ('Bought Journalists').

The reason why I add this link to the interview lies in the fact that Udo Ulfkotte speaks about an important part of Middle Eastern and German history – a history that has been scrubbed from the U.S. and German populations. In the Iraq war against Iran – that the U.S. regime had pushed for in the same fashion the way they had pushed Nazi Germany to invade the U.S.S.R. – German chemical weapons were used under the supervision of the U.S. regime. The extend of the chemical weapons campaign was enormous and to the present day, Iranians are born with birth defects stemming from the used of German weapons of mass destruction.

Dr. Ulfkotte rightfully bemoans, that every year German heads of state are kneeling for the Jewish victims of National socialism – but not for the victims of German WMD's that were used against Iran. He stresses that the act of visual asking for forgiveness in the case of the Jewish victims becomes hypocrisy, when 40 years after the Nazis reigned, German WMD's were used against Iran. The German regime was in on the WMD attack on Iran. It was not something that happened because they had lost a couple of thousand containers with WMDs. They delivered the WMD's to Iraq under U.S. supervision.

Ponder that. And there has never been an apology towards Iran, or compensations. Nada. Nothing. Instead, the vile rhetoric and demagogery of every U.S. regime since has continued to paint Iran in the worst possible ways, most notably via incessant psychological projection – accusing Iran of the war crimes and crimes against humanity the U.S. and its Western vassal regimes are guilty of.

Here is the interview that was recorded shortly before Udo Ulfkotte's death:

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

If enough people support the effort, I am willing to contact KenFM for the authorization to translate the interview and use it for subtitles to the video. However, I can't do that on my own.

nottheonly1
Correction: the interview was recorded two years before his passing.
Antonym
the U.S. regime had pushed for in the same fashion the way they had pushed Nazi Germany to invade the U.S.S.R.

So Roosevelt pushed Hitler to attack Stalin? Hitler didn't want to go East? Revisionism at it most motive free.

nottheonly1
It would help if you would use your brain just once. 'Pushing' is synonymous for a variety of ways to instigate a desired outcome. Financing is just one way. And Roosevelt was in no way the benevolent knight history twisters like to present him. You are outing yourself again as an easliy duped sheep.

But then, with all the assaults by the unintelligence agencies, it does not come as a surprise when facts are twisted.

Antonym
Lebensraum was first popularized in 1901 in Germany https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensraum Hitler's "Mein Kampf" ( 1925) build on that: he had no need for any American or other push, it was intended from the get go. The timing of operation Barbarossa was brilliant though: it shocked Stalin into a temporary limbo as he had his own aggressive plans.
Casandra2
This excellent article demonstrates how the Controlling Elite manipulates the Media and the Message for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objective of securing Global Ownership (aka New World Order).

This approach has been assiduously applied, across the board, over many years, to the point were they now own and run everything required to subjugate the 'human race' to the horrors of their psychopathic inclinations. They are presently holding the global economy on hold until their AI population (social credit) control system/grid is in place before bringing the house down.

Needless to say, when this happens a disunited and frightened Global Population will be at their mercy.

If you wish to gain a full insight of what the Controlling Elite is about, and capable of, I recommend David Icke's latest publication 'Trigger'. I know he's been tagged a 'nutter' over the past thirty years, but I reckon this book represents the 'gold standard' in terms of generating awareness as a basis for launching a united global population counter-attack (given a great strategy) against forces that can only be defined as pure 'EVIL'.

MASTER OF UNIVE
Corporate Journalism is all about corporatism and the continuation of it. If the Intelligence Community needs greater fools for staffing purposes in the corporate hierarchy they look for anyone that can be compromised via inducements of whatever the greater fools want. Engaging in compromise allows both parties to have complicit & explicit understanding that corruption and falsehood are the tools of the trade. To all-of-a-sudden develop a conscience after decades of playing the part of a willing participant is understandable in light of the guilt complex one must develop after screwing everyone in the world out of the critical assessment we all need to obtain in order to make decisions regarding our futures.

Bought & paid for corporate Journalists are controlled by the Intelligence Agencies and always have been since at least the Second World War. The CIA typically runs bribery & blackmail at the state & federal level so that when necessary they have instant useless eaters to offer up as political sacrifice when required via state run propaganda, & impression management.

Assuming that journalism is an ethical occupation is na๏ve and a fools' game even in the alternative news domain as all writers write from bias & a lack of real knowledge. Few writers are intellectually honest or even aware of their own limits as writers. The writer is a failure and not a hero borne in myth. Writers struggle to write & publish. Bought and paid for writers don't have a struggle in terms of writing because they are told what to write before they write as automatons for the Intelligence Community knowing that they sold their collective souls to the Prince of Darkness for whatever trinkets, bobbles, or bling they could get their greedy hands on at the time.

Developing a conscience late in life is too late.

May all that sell their souls to the Intel agencies understand that pond scum never had a conscience to begin with.

Once pond scum always pond scum.

MOU

nottheonly1
What is not addressed in this talk is the addictive nature of this sort of public relation writing. Journalism is something different altogether. I know that, because I consider myself to be a journalist at heart – one that stopped doing it when the chalice was offered to me. The problem is that one is not part of the cabal one day to another.

It is a longer process in which one is gradually introduced to ever more expensive rewards/bribes. Never too big to overwhelm – always just about what one would accept as 'motivation' to omit aspects of any issue. Of course, omission is a lie by any other name, but I can attest to the life style of a journalist that socializes with the leaders of all segments of society.

And I would also write a critique about a great restaurant – never paying a dime for a fantastic dinner. The point though is that I would not write a good critique for a nasty place for money. I have never written anything but the truth – for which I received sometimes as much as a bag full of the best rolls in the country.

Twisting the truth for any form of bribes is disgusting and attests of the lowest of any character.

MASTER OF UNIVE
Professional whoring is as old as the hills and twice as dusty. Being ethical is difficult stuff especially when money is involved. Money is always a prime motivator but vanity works wonders too. Corporatists will offer whatever inducements they can to get what they want.

All mainstream media voices are selling a media package that is a corporatist lie in and of itself. Truth is less marketable than lies. Embellished news & journalistic hype is the norm.

If the devil offers inducements be sure to up the ante to outsmart the drunken sot.

MOU

[Nov 02, 2019] The WTO is being dismantled by Trumpian nonfeasance in pursuit of the deliberate rejection of the very idea of international institutions standing above the national statw, in pursuit of the old fashioned imperialism

That's what "national neoliberalism" is about.
Nov 02, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

steven t johnson 11.01.19 at 3:27 pm 64

Last, these OT comments are not truly OT. The WTO is being dismantled by Trumpian nonfeasance in pursuit of the deliberate rejection of the very idea of international institutions (of imperialism, as I see it, but others don't,) standing above the national state, immunizing the market against the mistakes of democracy, providing the essential support to make a world market.

The OP says in the title this is arrogance, presumably as violating economic science. But all these seeming side issues are about political economy in the end. Trump wants to pretend the US has been exploited by the old system, and pose as a nationalist. I think he just wants to rationalize US empire, cutting costs, increasing ROI, etc.

I think Trump is getting support, primarily from the rich; also from middle strata, the kind of people who put FOX TV on in the waiting rooms of their businesses; AKA from lower strata led by Christianity to favor any oppressive government that will provide them support for their efforts to police society; also lower strata ethnic groups who have slowly been turning inwards to each other as they see a future dog-eat-dog country where the breeds of dogs have to stick together, or perish.

In short, what the OP sees as arrogant dismissal of science I see as desperation masked with bravado.

[Nov 02, 2019] Assad Calls Trump Best US President Ever For Transparency Of Real US Motives

Nov 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Arguably some of the most significant events since the eight-year long war's start have played out in Syria with rapid pace over just the last month alone, including Turkey's military incursion in the north, the US pullback from the border and into Syria's oil fields, the Kurdish-led SDF&# deal making with Damascus, and the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. All of this is why a televised interview with Presiden39;st Bashar Assad was highly anticipated at the end of this week.

Assad's commentary on the latest White House policy to "secure the oil" in Syria, for which US troops have already been redeployed to some of the largest oil fields in the Deir Ezzor region, was the biggest pressing question. The Syrian president's response was unexpected and is now driving headlines, given what he said directly about Trump, calling him the "best American president" ever – because he's the "most transparent."

"When it comes to Trump you may ask me a question and I'll give you an answer which might seem strange. I tell you he's the best American president," Assad said, according to a translation provided by NBC.

"Why? Not because his policies are good, but because he is the most transparent president," Assad continued.

"All American presidents commit crimes and end up taking the Nobel Prize and appear as a defender of human rights and the 'unique' and 'brilliant' American or Western principles. But all they are is a group of criminals who only represent the interests of the American lobbies of large corporations in weapons, oil and others," he added.

"Trump speaks with the transparency to say 'We want the oil'." Assad's unique approach to an 'enemy' head of state which has just ordered the seizure of Syrian national resources also comes after in prior years the US president called Assad "our enemy" and an "animal."

Trump tweeted in April 2018 after a new chemical attack allegation had surfaced: "If President Obama had crossed his stated Red Line In The Sand, the Syrian disaster would have ended long ago! Animal Assad would have been history!"

A number of mainstream outlets commenting on Assad's interview falsely presented it as "praise" of Trump or that Assad thinks "highly" of him; however, it appears the Syrian leader was merely presenting Trump's policy statements from a 'realist' perspective , contrasting them from the misleading 'humanitarian' motives typical of Washington's rhetoric about itself.

That is, Damascus sees US actions in the Middle East as motivated fundamentally by naked imperial ambition, a constant prior theme of Assad's speeches , across administrations, whether US leadership dresses it up as 'democracy promotion' or in humanitarian terms characteristic of liberal interventionism. As Assad described, Trump seems to skip dressing up his rhetoric in moralistic idealism altogether, content to just unapologetically admit the ugly reality of US foreign policy.


indaknow , 4 minutes ago link

Most President's thought you had to plot coups. Regime changes, color revolutions. Long convoluted wars with many deaths and collateral damage.

Trump says **** that. We're just taking the oil. Brilliant

Chupacabra-322 , 18 minutes ago link

To fund their Black Ops to destabilize Sovereign Countries & rape, murder, pillage & steal their natural resources. And, install their Puppet leaders.

Wash, rinse & repeat.

ExPat2018 , 22 minutes ago link

I see Americans keep calling Assad and Putin a ''dictator'' Hey, jackasses, they were ELECTED in elections far less corrupt than what you have in the USSA

Guentzburgh , 54 minutes ago link

Transparently Assad is a moron, the oil belongs to the kurds snake.

beemasters , 52 minutes ago link

Not anymore... Russian Military Releases Satellite Images Confirming US Smuggling of Syrian Oil
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201910261077154752-russian-military-releases-satellite-images-confirming-us-smuggling-of-syrian-oil/

yerfej , 1 hour ago link

Securing oil from those you don't want to have it is different than "stealing" the oil. Face it the oil means nothing to any large western economy.

Dzerzhhinsky , 33 minutes ago link

Face it the oil means nothing to any large western economy.

The one thing all capitalists have in common is they all want more money, it's never enough.

You commies will never understand the deep in your gut need to take every penny from every child.

Fiscal Reality , 1 hour ago link

Pelosi, Schiff, Cankels, Schumer, The MSM all sriek in unison "TRUMP IS ASSAD'S PAWN. IMPEACH HIM!!!"

beemasters , 1 hour ago link

the "best American president" ever – because he's the "most transparent."

Very much so. When he says something, it's definitely the opposite that he would be doing. You can't get more transparent than that.

NorwegianPawn , 1 hour ago link

Assad is a very eloquent speaker. Witty, sharp and always calm when speaking with decadent press. Of course the MSM understood what he DID mean, but they cannot help themselves, but parse anything to try hurting Trump.

Just don't believe a word the media says.

Son of Captain Nemo , 1 hour ago link

Mr. Assad's got that pitch correctly...

As a matter of fact he used "real motives" when he should have used the words "maniacal" and "desperate"...

Case in point... https://southfront.org/western-europe-archdiocese-officially-reunited-with-russian-orthodox-church/

If true. It means the Vatican (the oldest most important money there is) like Saudi Arabia and the UAE sure do seem to care about stuff like purchasing power in their "portfolios" and a "store of value"?...

I see lots of EU participants taking their money to Moscow as well with that Arctic bonanza that says "come hither" if you want your money to be worth something!!!

To Hell In A Handbasket , 1 hour ago link

It's always been about oil. Spreading Freedumb, Dumbocracy and Western values, is PR spiel. The reality is, the West are scammers, plunderers and outright thieves. Forget the billions Shell Oil, is holding for the Biafran people/region in Nigeria, which it won't give to either the Bianfran states in the east, nor the Nigerian government, dating back to the secessionist state of Biafra/Nigerian civil war 1967-70. The west are nothing more than gang-bangers, but on the world stage.

If people think its just oil we steal, then you are mad. What the UK did in reneging on 1500 Chieftain tanks and armoured personnel vehicles, with Iran which they paid for up-front and fucked Iran over in the UK courts over interest payments over 40 years. Are stories that simply do not make the news.

Yet the department for trade and industry is scratching its head, wondering why their are so few takers for a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK, where the honest UK courts have the final say? lol

truthseeker47 , 1 hour ago link

Too bad it is political suicide for an American president to try to establish communication with Assad. He seems like a pretty practical guy and who knows, it might be possible to work out a peaceful settlement with him.

TheLastMan , 1 hour ago link

economic warfare on the syrian civlian population through illegal confiscation of vital civilian economic assets, and as conducted in venezeula, is called ________________

Meximus , 1 hour ago link

That is not a compliment for Trompas .

Assad is saying where before the UKK was a masked thief, with Trompas and his egotism alias exceptionalism, has not bothered withthe mask. He is still a murderer and thief.

Obi-jonKenobi , 2 hours ago link

Now Assad has some idea why Trump is so popular with his base, they love him for not being politically correct, for "telling it like it is". He's like the wolf looking at the sheep and telling them he's going to eat them and the sheep cheering because he's not being a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Unfortunately in the case of Trump's sheeple, they don't even have a clue they're going to be eaten, the Trumptards all think he's going to eat someone else like the "deep state" or the "dumbocrats". Meanwhile he's chewing away at their health care, their export markets, piling up record deficits, handing the tax gold to the rich and corporations while they get the shaft, taking away program after program that aided students, the poor, and the elderly, appointing lobbyists to dismantle or corrupt departments they used to lobby against, and in general destroying the international good will that it's taken decades to build.

It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

[Nov 02, 2019] Ron Unz seems to write in the following manner: Nazi empire was not 100% guilty for the outbreak of WW 2 (true)- therefore Nazis were almost blameless (false); Churchill his cronies have much to be blamed for (true) -therefore, they re almost completely guilty (false); Jews have magnified numbers of their WW 2 victims some influential American Jewish figures like Morgenthau are repulsive perhaps war criminals (true) therefore, Jews suck are to be blamed for many, if not most of Germany s miseries during 1940s (false).

Sep 24, 2019 | www.unz.com
Antares says: September 23, 2019 at 9:27 am GMT 100 Words

Very interesting but I have a small note. Not that it matters politically how they entered France, but World War 2 was Blitzkrieg.

"In desperation, Churchill therefore ordered a series of large-scale bombing raids against the German capital of Berlin, doing considerable damage, and after numerous severe warnings, Hitler finally began to retaliate with similar attacks against British cities." (RU)

This makes me wonder when this happened and how the bombing of Rotterdam (may 14 1940) by the Nazis fits into the story chronologically.


Tom67 , says: September 23, 2019 at 9:26 am GMT

I have read most of the revisionist literature (regarding the holocaust) on your website and found most of it either beyond my ken or else rather poorly sourced. There is something though that I know for 100% sure and it mitigates against the revisionists: starting even before the war and then continuing the German government started to exterminate all Germans they considered not worthy of further sustenance. That is severly physically or mentally handicapped children and the insane. At least a 100 000 children and adults were killed. Usually by injection but some also by being gassed. Although it was a government secret as this happened in Germany and to ethnic Germans the news inadvertedly spread and the practise was (officially but not entirely) abandoned after the Catholic Archbishop of Münster had publicly protested against it. So if gas was used in Germany to exterminate Germans it seems rather logical that it would be also used against Jews.

Having said that I do agree that there are things that are rather spurious regarding the Holocaust. Specifically the numbers don´t seem to add up.
One book in your archive stood out: The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry by

WALTER N. SANNING: a book revising downward the number of Jews killed in Poland. A meticilously researched piece of scholarship about the demographics of Eastern European Jewry.

Everything else I find rather doubtful. I have personally talked to several people who have survived the Holocaust and there is no doubt in my mind that to be a Jew in German dominated Europe amounted to a death sentence. That is not to say that the numbers haven´t been exaggerated. Just as the numbers of German vistims after the war have been downplayed. Alas, that has been the way since antiquity: the victor writes what is later regarded as "history" .

Flint Clint , says: September 23, 2019 at 10:32 am GMT
Simply magnificent. Simply infuriating. It's bone chilling to read this. It must be an enormous burden for Mr Unz to possess this knowledge. It feels demoralising to simply be the recipient of it – knowing full well the price of telling the truth, even now, even today.
Bardon Kaldian , says: September 23, 2019 at 10:59 am GMT
Typical Unzian goulash. It is good that he exposed Churchill's lunacy & Eisenhower's culpability (although I'm not sure for how many victims Eisenhower is to blame).

Though, I'm not convinced at all that Japanese soldiers would have surrendered en masse from 41. to 45. The situation with Soviets is simply not derivable from their previous behavior. As for Hitler- no, he was much more ambitious & ruthless:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/A1_afTvmqz4?feature=oembed

Ron Unz seems to write in the following manner: Nazi empire was not 100% guilty for the outbreak of WW 2 (true)- therefore Nazis were almost blameless (false); Churchill & his cronies have much to be blamed for (true) -therefore, they're almost completely guilty (false); Jews have magnified numbers of their WW 2 victims & some influential American Jewish figures like Morgenthau are repulsive & perhaps war criminals (true) – therefore, Jews suck & are to be blamed for many, if not most of Germany's miseries during 1940s (false).

Readers & followers of this site think, I guess, that Jews are collectively guilty of __ (type in your favorite obsession). This is the inversion of another lunatic idea: Germans are collectively guilty for WW 2 in Europe.

Of course, both claims are nonsensical. Collective guilt does not exist.

gotmituns , says: September 23, 2019 at 11:01 am GMT
Here's the scoop on ww2. that pos, fdr (he set up Pearl Harbor attack) got us into it even though he knew the vast majority of Americans were against going to war in Europe. We lost every encounter we had with the German infantry without our overwhelming air and arty support (Africa, Sicily, Italy, Normandy, Holland, Bulge, Hurtgen Forest, etc. Then we did unspeakable things to the German people and their leadership all for the jews. There you have it – simple.
SolontoCroesus , says: September 23, 2019 at 11:11 am GMT
@Charles

To sum up: history is written by the victors

WRONG, and it is an insult to the courageous and diligent efforts of people like David Irving, Ernst Zundel, A J P Taylor, Harry Elmer Barnes, Ron Unz to keep repeating that Bernaysian drivel.

What the victors wrote re the 20th century world wars is not history, it is a continuation of propaganda.

Historian Thomas Fleming (RIP) has argued that at least 50 years must pass before cool, objective history can be written; before that, recountings of the events are emotion-laden and agenda-driven.

It is intellectually lazy and extremely dangerous to "sum up" by miming the victor's 2 minutes of hate: you do their work for them.

PJ London , says: September 23, 2019 at 11:13 am GMT
"Atrocity propaganda is how we won the war. And we're only really beginning with it now! We will continue this atrocity propaganda, we will escalate it until nobody will accept even a good word from the Germans, until all the sympathy they may still have abroad will have been destroyed and they themselves will be so confused that they will no longer know what they are doing. Once that has been achieved, once they begin to run down their own country and their own people, not reluctantly but with eagerness to please the victors, only then will our victory be complete. It will never be final. Re-education needs careful tending, like an English lawn. Even one moment of negligence, and the weeds crop up again – those indestructible weeds of historical truth."
-- Sefton Delmer, 1904-1979, former British Chief of Black propaganda, said after the German surrender, in 1945, in a conversation with the German professor of international law, Dr. Friedrich Grimm
Franklin Ryckaert , says: September 23, 2019 at 12:19 pm GMT
@Bardon Kaldian Yes, this reversed black-and-white thinking irks me too. I have said before that WWII was not a war of "good guys against bad guys", even if we reverse the roles. All parties (including the Jews) were guilty in this conflict. All lied and all committed atrocities.

As for "collective guilt", I think to a certain degree it does exist. Groups of course are led by their leaders, and "collective crimes" are instigated by their leaders, but still it is the groups that choose or tolerate their leaders, and thus share a responsibility in their criminal conduct.

Alta , says: September 23, 2019 at 12:25 pm GMT
@Antares Chronologically, I am not sure.
Some use Rotterdam and Warsaw as examples of terror bombing being used by the Germans before the British ever but they also leave out why those cities were bombed. Firstly they were not declared "open cities" as Paris was, secondly Dutch and Polish troops had occupied their respective cities before any formal cease fire/peace treaty had been formalized. Also in the case of Warsaw the mayor, or whatever the equivalent, had refused multiple German demands for surrender.
Alta , says: September 23, 2019 at 12:32 pm GMT
@Brabantian Czechoslovakia was being torn apart by all its neighbors, Austria, Hungary and Poland. Not just Germany. There was also ethnic tensions among the Czechs and Slovaks. The prime minister of Czechoslovakia met Hitler in Germany a few days before the countries complete annexation REQUESTING Germany occupy the entire country before an ethnic civil war or perhaps the Hungarians or Poles decided they wanted more.
Bardon Kaldian , says: September 23, 2019 at 1:40 pm GMT
@Franklin Ryckaert How can we measure it? Legally?

For instance, most Germans did not vote for Hitler. And even if he was elected by 90% margin- what would it mean? He did many great things to heal German post-WW 1 humiliation & succeeded in spectacular economic recovery. When Europe (and world) descended into WW 2 – how could an average German, or any group of Germans, do anything to change the course of history?

They were indoctrinated, but even if most of them had not been – no individual nor collective can change the inertia of events. Things just keep on happening. For instance, Waffen SS were denounced as a "criminal organization" & its members deprived of military honors (ca. 900,000 men, 500,000 out of them Germans). I call it baloney. You don't have 900,000 "war criminals". This is simply a nonsense.

I am not saying that collectives do not share peculiar characteristics (for instance, you can't have anything seriously done with Gypsies), but any political-social-historical movement is too complex to be reduced to moralistic sermonizing.

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 23, 2019 at 1:42 pm GMT
@Brabantian Yes, all wars are bankers war. That being said, once the first spark is struck, events rapidly spiral out of control. What I find with these older and even newer versions of revisionist history is Stalin and Soviet Russia very rarely ever assigned any blame in the starting of the whole mess which I find absurd. A great example of this is story of Rudolf Hess and how he was betrayed by everyone.
[Hide MORE]

Was Hess aware at the time of the existence of a Secret Protocol, attached to the Hitler-Stalin "Non-Aggression" Pact of Aug. 23, 1939 and signed by Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyascheslav Molotov, which stated "in event of any war," Russia would be assigned"spheres of influence" in eastern Poland (40% of the country); .the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia; a freehand in Finland; and that portion of Romania abutting Soviet territory. Soviet actions after Hitler's invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, showed how precisely the Soviets adhered to the Protocol's terms. On Sept. 17, Russia invaded Poland from the east; on Sept. 18 Russian and German troops shook hands in Poland. Then, Moscow invaded Finland. Next, it took the Baltic states.

"Stalin was able, in conference with Britain and the United States (when they became his allies against Hitler), to present these actions as "defensive" against the Nazi threat. But the
Secret Protocol would prove that, to the contrary, Russia had used the deal with Hitler to advance her ancient imperial designs on Europe."

"Obviously, if Stalin were shown to be guilty of plotting with Hitler-to wage aggressive war, then the question arose: What were the Soviets doing as judges with the French,
British, and Americans on the Nuremberg tribunal? The tribunal would have to be reconstituted. Would not Molotov and Stalin have to be tried? They had stood at a map table with Ribbentrop in Moscow, while Ribbentrop consulted with Hitler on the phone from Germany, and the four of them had redrawn the map of Eastern Europe. Stalin and Molotov could be accused of having conspired with Hitler to wage war; shouldn't they take their
places in the Nuremberg dock?"

Source information and a short three page article on The Hess defense at Nuremburg.
https://larouchepub.com/eiw/public/1987/eirv14n36-19870911/eirv14n36-19870911_053-what_moscow_has_to_hide_rudolf_h.pdf

German_reader , says: September 23, 2019 at 1:42 pm GMT
@Bardon Kaldian

As for Hitler- no, he was much more ambitious & ruthless:

That video is pretty questionable imo, because as far as I know the Generalplan Ost plans of the SS don't exist anymore, at least not in detail. What does exist, is a memorandum drawn up by Dr Wetzel from Rosenberg's Ostministerium , whose text can be read here:
https://www.ifz-muenchen.de/heftarchiv/1958_3_5_heiber.pdf

The proposals in that document are undoubtedly extremely racist and would have amounted to massive ethnic cleansing programmes, at least against Poles and Czechs. They don't quite amount to genocide though, in fact the author explicitly states that one can't physically exterminate Poles like Jews (whose physical destruction is quite openly affirmed in the text), because Germany would then be generally hated by all neighbouring peoples instead Poles who can't be Germanized should emigrate to Siberia, or possibly to Brazil. Proposal for Russia is basically to split up the country in various republics and foster regional identities, with Siberia maybe becoming a pan-European economic zone.
Much attention is devoted to "racially valuable" Slavs who should be sent to the Reich for Germanization (Dr Wetzel is concerned about foreign workers from Italy and the Balkans who could bring Near Eastern and negroid ancestry to Germany; he'd prefer to replace them with "Nordic" types from Belarus). Even the view of Russians isn't entirely negative while Wetzel regards most of them as a "dull primitive mass", he thinks there still are Nordic types in the Russian peasantry and attributes Russia's industrialization to people of such a background (which makes Russia especially dangerous). So this isn't exactly the same view as of Jews.
Of course even the ethnic cleansing schemes proposed in that document could easily have shaded into genocide (in 1940 even top Nazis still thought of just sending the Jews away to Madagascar, not killing them all, so there was a precedent for such radicalisation). And presumably the plans of the SS were more extreme than what Rosenberg's Ostministerium proposed.
Still, in any case a German victory in WW2 would certainly have been pretty bad for many of the peoples of Eastern Europe. As for revisionism of the kind demonstrated once again on Ron Unz's article, imo it's not worth bothering with, since it's so far removed from reality.

Agent76 , says: September 23, 2019 at 1:48 pm GMT
*All Wars Are Bankers' Wars*

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

https://www.youtube.com/embed/5hfEBupAeo4?feature=oembed

Bankers Hate Peace: All Wars Are Bankers' Wars

In the beginning of World War I, Woodrow Wilson had adopted initially a policy of neutrality. But the Morgan Bank, which was the most powerful bank at the time, and which wound up funding over 75 percent of the financing for the allied forces during World War I pushed Wilson out of neutrality sooner than he might have done, because of their desire to be involved on one side of the war.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/bankers-hate-peace-all-wars-are-bankers-wars/5438849

May 26, 2012 Federal Reserve Act – Remedy

The 1913 Federal Reserve Act has remedy written into it; still in full force and effect today.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/DU6fxC5CXMg?feature=oembed

Grandson of a 6th division member , says: September 23, 2019 at 1:54 pm GMT
Japanese soldiers on the Pacific islands had habits. One of those was sometimes setting off a grenade after 'surrendering'.

This lead to a lot fewer surrenders being accepted.

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website September 23, 2019 at 1:58 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova

The puzzle that never will be put together.

In Anglo-American world–never. Agree with that.

szopen , says: September 23, 2019 at 1:59 pm GMT
@Alta And what would be excuse for bombing Frampol? Because for Wieluń Germans had at least excuse that before war there was cavalry unit stationed nearby, though indiscriminate bombing still was bad.

Not to mention that Polish witnesses remember that all Red Cross flags soon had to be taken off the hospitals and other objects, because they became favourite target of Luftwaffe.

szopen , says: September 23, 2019 at 2:01 pm GMT
@Alta Because you said so. And, of course, Poles from Zamojszczyzna left their homes voluntarily, and thousands or testimonies about Zamojszczyzna children being separated from families (and most of them never returned) are all propaganda, while you should believe without question all German stories.
John Regan , says: September 23, 2019 at 2:30 pm GMT
@Grandson of a 6th division member

Japanese soldiers on the Pacific islands had habits. One of those was sometimes setting off a grenade after 'surrendering'.

This lead to a lot fewer surrenders being accepted.

American soldiers on the Pacific islands also had habits. One of those was routinely torturing and murdering Japanese servicemen who tried to surrender, and mutilating and defiling their corpses.

This lead to a lot fewer Japanese surrendering, and to some of them setting off a grenade after "surrendering".

In case I have to point it out, I'm not saying this to be anti-American. I think that's more or less what you can expect to happen when you send these scared young men, forcefed for years on propaganda about the Japanese being subhuman monsters, out to fight them life or death in hellish climates thousands of miles from home. I blame the crooked politicians and the lying media more than the soldiers. But it's astonishing how, even today, the propaganda narratives about noble Yanks and evil Japs still persist. Even among people who ought to know better.

If anyone else feels inclined to nod and agree with knee-jerk posts like the one I'm responding to here, please make the effort to at least read the book about the Pacific War our host Mr. Unz is recommending. (I've read it. It's good, and it's not just mindless America-bashing like some people will no doubt want to think. Dower looks at how both the Americans and the Japanese dehumanized the enemy.) It's one more tiny but important step along the difficult road toward the vitally necessary goal of attaining a more balanced view of our modern history.

Bardon Kaldian , says: September 23, 2019 at 2:53 pm GMT
@German_reader I am not saying that everything would go as if planned in some document. Those totalitarian regimes possess their own internal dynamic which is hard to stop when they're set into motion.

For instance, all atrocities which devoured perhaps 30+ million people (including those who perished in Russian civil war) were contained, in nuce , in Lenin's works, ideas & positions (I am not talking about good things that came to pass as the result of his actions). Lenin did not write about extermination of whole classes, forced famine, new & more efficient Inquisition etc. But they were somehow logical result of his (and not only his) vision of the future society.

Hitler's (mostly) intra-white racism could also have predictable results. His world-view had, basically, two pillars: eastern expansion to somewhere along Urals- Caucasus axis & getting rid of Jews. Of course Jews get much rap because they suffered, percentage-wise, more than others (Gypsies excluded), but the real deal would be annihilation of Balto-Slavophone central & eastern European peoples (Czechs, Poles, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Russians & most Baltic peoples).

He would, I guess, have chosen "racially" desirable children for assimilation & off with others. First, they would have worked as slaves; then, they would be simultaneously killed & deported (probably similar to Stalin's deportation of Chechens & other potentially disloyal peoples. Out of 900,000 of them, perhaps 400,000-500,000 died in the process of deportation). If one tries to annihilate a people- and these are numerous peoples by European standards – you don't have to shoot or gas them. Just relocate them somewhere in the east of Urals, most of them (you can't keep so many of them within your sphere of authority because they will rebel, sooner or later). So, I guess tens of millions individuals, from Czechs to Russians, were slated to death from famine, disease & overwork.

Generalplan Ost is more important as the document of the state of mind than as a master plan with all the details & nuances. And that state of mind would have resulted in tens of millions of unnatural deaths & Poles, Ukrainians, .. would be now just a footnote in history, similar to Indians in what is now Manhattan.

Bardon Kaldian , says: September 23, 2019 at 3:10 pm GMT
@John Regan

They say nothing about exterminating half of Russia; on the contrary, they expected the population to grow through natural increase under the German occupation once it was no longer oppressed by Communism.

Gee whizz, Hitler had the bright future for Russians somewhere in his heart. Just..he somehow failed to communicate his hidden sympathies to them.

John Regan , says: September 23, 2019 at 3:56 pm GMT
@Bardon Kaldian No. He wanted Russia to be a subordinate, essentially colonial dependency for Germany to use as a captive market for its industries, so he would be able to compete with global American capitalism capitalism in economies of scale. He realized that you need a domestic market of hundreds of millions of people (like US, Russia, China) to be an economic superpower.

Hitler personally used the figure of India a lot in his "Table Talk" conversations: Just like India was the market for Britain's textile industries in the 19th century, Russia would be the market for Germany's modern industries in the 20th. (In those, if you check them, he incidentally also used a lot of hyperbole about wanting the Russian rank and file to be illiterate, though in the official policy documents he wanted a compulsory elementary school for them. Which, of course, makes infinitely better economic sense.)

Hitler did want meritocracy within his empire: Russians who were of good character and "good race" were to be given German work permits and citizenship if they applied for it, just like Dutchmen, poles and anyone else who was Aryan (that is, "White"). So kind of a H1B option, more like India is for America in the 21st century than it was for Britain in the 19th. I guess you could say he wanted a "bright future" for them. But the big mass of Russians he wanted to stay in Russia, and to be banned from moving to Germany (which he wanted to remain ethnically German, with only a relatively small leavening of bright foreigners).

However, in order to be good consumers of German exports, the Russians in Russia still had to have their living standards raised over the squalor of Bolshevism. Hitler thought that was absolutely necessary. So in the end, they would benefit, even if they remained subordinate and disprivileged compared to the Germans.

Of course, these were long-term plans, spanning over decades. Hitler and his planning staff still anticipated that many Russians would die in the war (which of course happened in real life, even though they won it), and weren't extremely sad about that. But it wasn't a specific aim of German policy to cause those deaths. In more modern lingo that wasn't yet used at the time, they were collateral damage from destroying the Communist superstate and establishing a German economic and political sphere of influence.

Of course, this makes the Nazis sound well, not exactly nice, but far less evil than Stalin was comfortable with, given potential comparisons to his own record. Which is why he had his propaganda commissars bruit the nonsense that the Nazis wanted to murder all Russians (and/or all "Slavs" for good measure). And incidentally, such a demonic image also fit very well with how certain other powerful vested interests, these ones operating in the "Western" world's media, academia and assorted institutions, wanted to portray a regime they hated for their own reasons. Though Stalin is long gone, these other ones are still going strong, and still keeping up his good work.

I again recommend that you read the Madajczyk book I referred to, if you read German. It will add considerably to your understanding of World War II. If you don't read German, there is another good book by one Dr. Rainer Zitelmann that has been translated and is called "Hitler: The Policies of Seduction" in English. That one is more about Hitler's general ideology and policy, but touches on these issues also.

History isn't binary. You don't have to think Hitler and the Germans were angels from Heaven, any more than you have to buy that they were demons from Hell. But in this day and age, with so much material available fairly easily (and often even free on the Internet), there are few excuses left for believing the recycled Soviet propaganda your video was promoting.

[Nov 01, 2019] The Absurdity and Futility of Our Syria Policy by Daniel Larison

Oct 31, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The new deployment in Syria will leave almost the same number of U.S. troops in the country as there were before the "withdrawal":

Meanwhile, the first few hundred infantry troops, soon to be joined by mechanized troops in Bradley fighting vehicles and possibly a few tanks, have driven in from Iraq. Defense Department officials said the total number of American troops guarding the oil fields would be around 500. When combined with the troops at Al-Tanf, that brings the number of American troops projected to be in Syria to near 900, a number that could easily rise if, as expected, the Islamic State begins to make a comeback. "We're under no illusion that they will go away because we killed Baghdadi," said Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the head of the military's Central Command, during a Pentagon news conference Wednesday. "Since it's an ideology, you will never be able to stamp it out." Meanwhile, the first few hundred infantry troops, soon to be joined by mechanized troops in Bradley fighting vehicles and possibly a few tanks, have driven in from Iraq. Defense Department officials said the total number of American troops guarding the oil fields would be around 500. When combined with the troops at Al-Tanf, that brings the number of American troops projected to be in Syria to near 900, a number that could easily rise if, as expected, the Islamic State begins to make a comeback. "We're under no illusion that they will go away because we killed Baghdadi," said Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the head of the military's Central Command, during a Pentagon news conference Wednesday. "Since it's an ideology, you will never be able to stamp it out." When combined with the troops at Al-Tanf, that brings the number of American troops projected to be in Syria to near 900, a number that could easily rise if, as expected, the Islamic State begins to make a comeback. "We're under no illusion that they will go away because we killed Baghdadi," said Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the head of the military's Central Command, during a Pentagon news conference Wednesday. "Since it's an ideology, you will never be able to stamp it out." When combined with the troops at Al-Tanf, that brings the number of American troops projected to be in Syria to near 900, a number that could easily rise if, as expected, the Islamic State begins to make a comeback. "We're under no illusion that they will go away because we killed Baghdadi," said Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the head of the military's Central Command, during a Pentagon news conference Wednesday. "Since it's an ideology, you will never be able to stamp it out." "We're under no illusion that they will go away because we killed Baghdadi," said Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the head of the military's Central Command, during a Pentagon news conference Wednesday. "Since it's an ideology, you will never be able to stamp it out." "We're under no illusion that they will go away because we killed Baghdadi," said Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the head of the military's Central Command, during a Pentagon news conference Wednesday. "Since it's an ideology, you will never be able to stamp it out."

These few sentences in the These few sentences in the NYT report on the deployment sum up the absurdity and futility of the mission that these troops have been given. A few hundred troops are being sent to "guard" oil fields that belong to the Syrian government for the purpose of keeping the Syrian government from being able to use their own property, so there it seems as if U.S. troops stuck with this illegal and bizarre mission indefinitely. The troops that have been sent there also happen to be a National Guard unit that shouldn't be there: ... ... ... A smaller number of troops will remain at the pointless Tanf base as a token force just so that the administration can say that it is opposing Iranian influence in Syria. Neither one of these has anything to do with making the U.S. more secure, and neither one of them has ever been authorized by Congress. The unauthorized anti-ISIS mission that these two groups of soldiers are supposedly supporting also won't end because, as Gen. McKenzie puts it, "you will never be able to stamp it out," so their illegal military presence in Syria will continue because there will always be the possibility of a "resurgence." Killing Baghdadi is an operational success that doesn't really change very much. Max Abrahms ... ... ... A smaller number of troops will remain at the pointless Tanf base as a token force just so that the administration can say that it is opposing Iranian influence in Syria. Neither one of these has anything to do with making the U.S. more secure, and neither one of them has ever been authorized by Congress. The unauthorized anti-ISIS mission that these two groups of soldiers are supposedly supporting also won't end because, as Gen. McKenzie puts it, "you will never be able to stamp it out," so their illegal military presence in Syria will continue because there will always be the possibility of a "resurgence." Killing Baghdadi is an operational success that doesn't really change very much. Max Abrahms A smaller number of troops will remain at the pointless Tanf base as a token force just so that the administration can say that it is opposing Iranian influence in Syria. Neither one of these has anything to do with making the U.S. more secure, and neither one of them has ever been authorized by Congress. The unauthorized anti-ISIS mission that these two groups of soldiers are supposedly supporting also won't end because, as Gen. McKenzie puts it, "you will never be able to stamp it out," so their illegal military presence in Syria will continue because there will always be the possibility of a "resurgence." Killing Baghdadi is an operational success that doesn't really change very much. Max Abrahms Killing Baghdadi is an operational success that doesn't really change very much. Max Abrahms Killing Baghdadi is an operational success that doesn't really change very much. Max Abrahms explains that his death doesn't matter for the future of the group because he was a remarkably bad leader:
When you look scientifically at the history of militant groups, one thing becomes immediately clear about the Islamic State (ISIS): Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was one stupid leader. Baghdadi could have written a book called Rules for Rebels to Fail. Indeed, he did the exact opposite of what smart leaders have historically done to achieve their stated political goals. When you look scientifically at the history of militant groups, one thing becomes immediately clear about the Islamic State (ISIS): Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was one stupid leader. Baghdadi could have written a book called Rules for Rebels to Fail. Indeed, he did the exact opposite of what smart leaders have historically done to achieve their stated political goals.
In other words, eliminating such an incompetent leader is hardly a fatal blow to a group when he is the one who led them to ruin. All of this demonstrates how foolish our Syria policy is in particular, and it also shines a light on our complete lack of strategy in countering terrorist groups. The U.S. can kill jihadist leaders and lots of their followers again and again, but a heavily militarized approach to counter-terrorism has caused terrorist groups to flourish and terrorist attacks to increase significantly over time. If it is impossible to "stamp it out" because it is an ideology, it doesn't make any sense to devote enormous resources to a futile effort at stamping it out through force, especially when a militarized response produces more enemies than it can possibly eliminate. This approach has sometimes been likened to whack-a-mole, but that gives it too much credit. At least in whack-a-mole, the player isn't responsible for killing innocent civilians and destabilizing entire regions along the way. Eighteen years since 9/11, the "war on terror" has succeeded mainly in spawning more and worse terrorist groups, and illegally keeping a few hundred troops in a country where they don't belong won't achieve anything worthwhile. In other words, eliminating such an incompetent leader is hardly a fatal blow to a group when he is the one who led them to ruin. All of this demonstrates how foolish our Syria policy is in particular, and it also shines a light on our complete lack of strategy in countering terrorist groups. The U.S. can kill jihadist leaders and lots of their followers again and again, but a heavily militarized approach to counter-terrorism has caused terrorist groups to flourish and terrorist attacks to increase significantly over time. If it is impossible to "stamp it out" because it is an ideology, it doesn't make any sense to devote enormous resources to a futile effort at stamping it out through force, especially when a militarized response produces more enemies than it can possibly eliminate. This approach has sometimes been likened to whack-a-mole, but that gives it too much credit. At least in whack-a-mole, the player isn't responsible for killing innocent civilians and destabilizing entire regions along the way. Eighteen years since 9/11, the "war on terror" has succeeded mainly in spawning more and worse terrorist groups, and illegally keeping a few hundred troops in a country where they don't belong won't achieve anything worthwhile. All of this demonstrates how foolish our Syria policy is in particular, and it also shines a light on our complete lack of strategy in countering terrorist groups. The U.S. can kill jihadist leaders and lots of their followers again and again, but a heavily militarized approach to counter-terrorism has caused terrorist groups to flourish and terrorist attacks to increase significantly over time. If it is impossible to "stamp it out" because it is an ideology, it doesn't make any sense to devote enormous resources to a futile effort at stamping it out through force, especially when a militarized response produces more enemies than it can possibly eliminate. This approach has sometimes been likened to whack-a-mole, but that gives it too much credit. At least in whack-a-mole, the player isn't responsible for killing innocent civilians and destabilizing entire regions along the way. Eighteen years since 9/11, the "war on terror" has succeeded mainly in spawning more and worse terrorist groups, and illegally keeping a few hundred troops in a country where they don't belong won't achieve anything worthwhile. All of this demonstrates how foolish our Syria policy is in particular, and it also shines a light on our complete lack of strategy in countering terrorist groups. The U.S. can kill jihadist leaders and lots of their followers again and again, but a heavily militarized approach to counter-terrorism has caused terrorist groups to flourish and terrorist attacks to increase significantly over time. If it is impossible to "stamp it out" because it is an ideology, it doesn't make any sense to devote enormous resources to a futile effort at stamping it out through force, especially when a militarized response produces more enemies than it can possibly eliminate. This approach has sometimes been likened to whack-a-mole, but that gives it too much credit. At least in whack-a-mole, the player isn't responsible for killing innocent civilians and destabilizing entire regions along the way. Eighteen years since 9/11, the "war on terror" has succeeded mainly in spawning more and worse terrorist groups, and illegally keeping a few hundred troops in a country where they don't belong won't achieve anything worthwhile. If it is impossible to "stamp it out" because it is an ideology, it doesn't make any sense to devote enormous resources to a futile effort at stamping it out through force, especially when a militarized response produces more enemies than it can possibly eliminate. This approach has sometimes been likened to whack-a-mole, but that gives it too much credit. At least in whack-a-mole, the player isn't responsible for killing innocent civilians and destabilizing entire regions along the way. Eighteen years since 9/11, the "war on terror" has succeeded mainly in spawning more and worse terrorist groups, and illegally keeping a few hundred troops in a country where they don't belong won't achieve anything worthwhile. If it is impossible to "stamp it out" because it is an ideology, it doesn't make any sense to devote enormous resources to a futile effort at stamping it out through force, especially when a militarized response produces more enemies than it can possibly eliminate. This approach has sometimes been likened to whack-a-mole, but that gives it too much credit. At least in whack-a-mole, the player isn't responsible for killing innocent civilians and destabilizing entire regions along the way. Eighteen years since 9/11, the "war on terror" has succeeded mainly in spawning more and worse terrorist groups, and illegally keeping a few hundred troops in a country where they don't belong won't achieve anything worthwhile. At least in whack-a-mole, the player isn't responsible for killing innocent civilians and destabilizing entire regions along the way. Eighteen years since 9/11, the "war on terror" has succeeded mainly in spawning more and worse terrorist groups, and illegally keeping a few hundred troops in a country where they don't belong won't achieve anything worthwhile. At least in whack-a-mole, the player isn't responsible for killing innocent civilians and destabilizing entire regions along the way. Eighteen years since 9/11, the "war on terror" has succeeded mainly in spawning more and worse terrorist groups, and illegally keeping a few hundred troops in a country where they don't belong won't achieve anything worthwhile.

Sid Finster • a day ago

Now, were Israel (and Saudi Arabia) not screeching for regime change, nobody in the pundit class would care in the slightest about "Muh Poor Kurds" or "Iranian influence" or "ISIS ZOMG" or anything else about the region.

Filter any news reports you read or see accordingly.

Zoran Aleksic • 21 hours ago
Will achieve a good deal of something. Steal the oil to finance the empire, poke the Russians in the eye, continue destabilizing Syria as the means to get closer to installing democracy in Iran. Will, definately.
HenionJD • 21 hours ago
Well, at least this operation will put and end to that silly idea that the only reason we're in the Middle East is for oil.
PEACEINOURTIMES • 16 hours ago
Incorrect!!!!! Our Middle East policy is fantastic - if you are a local neocon, warmonger, apostle and/or fan of the only democracies in the Middle East; namely, Israel and Saudi Arabia. If you are an American it is an absurd, illogical, and possibly unconstitutional policy. Don't count on the knee jerk worshipers of AIPAC in Congress to call for a proper examination. Golly NO! They are still upset that Russia might be interfering in our elections. Never mind Israel. Israel just runs the show. Not to worry - they are our best and bravest ally? Congress still does not believe the USS Liberty was attacked by our beloved Israel. Get out of the Middle East morass ASAP and screw the party of Middle East wars .

[Nov 01, 2019] RAY McGOVERN Thanks to a Soviet Navy Captain -- We Survived 1962 – Consortiumnews

Nov 01, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Consortiumnews Volume 25, Number 304–Friday, November 1, 2019

Column , Cuba , Foreign Policy , Russia , U.S. , Until This Day--Historical Perspectives on the News RAY McGOVERN: Thanks to a Soviet Navy Captain -- We Survived 1962 October 28, 2019 • 26 Comments

Captain Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov spared humanity from extinction on what has been called "the most dangerous moment in human history."

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

O ct. 27, 1962, is the date on which we humans were spared extinction thanks to Soviet Navy submarine Captain Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov.

Arkhipov insisted on following the book on using nuclear weapons. He overruled his colleagues on Soviet submarine B-59, who were readying a 10-kiloton nuclear torpedo to fire at the USS Randolph task force near Cuba without the required authorization from Moscow.

Soviet naval officer Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov. (Wikimedia Commons)

Communications links with naval headquarters were down, and Arkhipov's colleagues were convinced WWIII had already begun. After hours of battering by depth charges from U.S. warships, the captain of B-59, Valentin Grigorievich Savitsky, screamed, "We're going to blast them now! We will die, but we will sink them all -- we will not disgrace our Navy!" But Captain Arkipov's permission was also required. He countermanded Savitsky and B-59 came to the surface.

Much of this account of what happened on submarine B-59 is drawn from Daniel Ellsberg's masterful book, "The Doomsday Machine" -- one of the most gripping and important books I have ever read. Dan explains, inter alia, on pages 216-217 the curious circumstance whereby the approval of Arkhipov, chief of staff of the submarine brigade at the time, was also required.

Ellsberg adds that had Arkhipov been stationed on one of the other submarines (for example, B-4, which was never located by the Americans), there is every reason to believe that the carrier USS Randolph and several, perhaps all, of its accompanying destroyers would have been destroyed by a nuclear explosion.

Equally chilling, says Dan:

"The source of this explosion would have been mysterious to other commanders in the Navy and officials on the ExComm, since no submarines known to be in the region were believed to carry nuclear warheads. The clear implication on the cause of the nuclear destruction of this antisubmarine hunter-killer group would have been a medium-range missile from Cuba whose launch had not been detected. That is the event that President Kennedy had announced on October 22 would lead to a full-scale nuclear attack on the Soviet Union."

'The Most Dangerous Moment in Human History'

Historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., a close adviser to President John F. Kennedy, later described Oct. 27, 1962, as Black Saturday, calling it "the most dangerous moment in human history." On that same day, the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended an all-out invasion of Cuba to destroy the newly emplaced Soviet missile bases there. Kennedy, who insisted that former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Llewelyn Thompson attend the meetings of the crisis planning group, rejected the advice of the military and, with the help of his brother Robert, Ambassador Thompson, and other sane minds, was able to work out a compromise with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

As for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the president had already concluded that the top military were unhinged Russophobes, and that they deserved the kind of sobriquet used by Under Secretary of State George Ball applied to them -- a "sewer of deceit." As Ellsberg writes (in his Prologue, p. 3): "The total death toll as calculated by the Joint Chiefs, from a U.S. first strike aimed at the Soviet Union, its Warsaw Pact satellites, and China, would be roughly six hundred million dead. A hundred Holocausts." And yet the fools pressed on, as in trying to cross "The Big Muddy."

Intelligence Not So Good

The pre-Cuban-missile crisis performance of the intelligence community, including Pentagon intelligence, turned out to hugely inept. The U.S. military, for example, was blissfully unaware that the Soviet submarines loitering in the Caribbean were equipped with nuclear-armed torpedoes. Nor did U.S. intelligence know that the Russians had already mounted nuclear warheads on some of the missiles installed in Cuba and aimed at the U.S. (The U.S. assumption on Oct. 27 was that the warheads had not been mounted.)

It was not until 40 years later, at a Cuban crisis "anniversary" conference in Havana, that former U.S. officials like Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy learned that some of their key assumptions were dead and dangerously wrong. (Ellsberg p. 215ff)

Today the Establishment media has inculcated into American brains that it is a calumny to criticize the "intelligence community." This is despite the relatively recent example of the concocting of outright fraudulent "intelligence" to "justify" the attack on Iraq in 2003, followed even more recently, sans evidence, falsely accusing Putin himself of ordering Russian intelligence to "hack" the computers of the Democratic National Committee. True, the U.S. intelligence performance on Russia and Cuba in 1962 came close to getting us all killed in 1962, but back then in my view it was more a case of ineptitude and arrogance than outright dishonesty.

As for Cuba, one of the most consequential CIA failures was the formal Special National Intelligence Estimate (SNIE) of Sept. 19, 1962, which advised President Kennedy that Russia would not risk trying to put nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba. To a large extent this judgment was a consequence of one of the cardinal sins of intelligence analysis -- "mirror imaging." That is, we had warned the Russians strongly against putting missiles in Cuba; they knew the U.S., in those years would not take that kind of risk; ergo, they would take us at our word and avoid blowing up the world over Cuba. Or so the esteemed NIE estimators thought.

The Russians, too, were mirror imaging. Khrushchev and his advisers regarded U.S. nuclear war planners as rational actors acutely aware of the risks of escalation, who would shy away from ending life immediately for hundreds of millions of human beings. Their intelligence was not very good on the degree of Russophobia infecting Air Force General Curtis LeMay and others on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were prepared to countenance hundreds of millions of deaths in order "to end the Soviet threat." (Ellsberg was there; he provides a first-hand account of the craziness in "The Doomsday Machine.")

Where Did the Grenade Launchers Go?

I reported for active duty at Infantry Officers School at Fort Benning, Georgia, on Nov. 3, 1962, six days after the incident. Most of us new lieutenants had heard about a new weapon, the grenade launcher, and were eager to try it out. There were none to be found. Lots of other weapons normally used for training were also missing.

After we made numerous inquiries, the brass admitted that virtually all the grenade launchers and much of the other missing arms and vehicles had been swept up and carried south by a division coming through Georgia a week or so before. All of it was still down in the Key West area, we were told. Tangible signs as to how ready the JCS and Army brass were to attack Cuba, were President Kennedy to have acceded to their wishes.

Had that happened, it is likely that neither you nor I would be reading this. Yet, down at Benning, there were moans and groans complaining that we let the Commies off too easy.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer from 1962-64 and later served as Chief of CIA's Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and morning briefer of the President's Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

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Post navigation ← WikiLeaks Coverage: Another Good Reason to Support Consortium News PATRICK LAWRENCE: A Sudden-Seeming Power Shift in the Middle East → 26 comments for "RAY McGOVERN: Thanks to a Soviet Navy Captain -- We Survived 1962"

Walter , October 31, 2019 at 10:18

Ray (and others) may also wish to know the name of the man on Okinawa who stopped the MACE B launches, at gunpoint, which took place at the same time.

"If he tries to launch, shoot him."

See Japan Times : japantimes.co.jp/life/2012/07/08/general/okinawas-first-nuclear-missile-men-break-silence/

The MACE B targets were Chinese, no Ruski

What I want to know is WHO gave the order to fire that they got on Okinawa

Walter , October 31, 2019 at 10:38

stripes.com/news/special-reports/features/cold-war-missileers-refute-okinawa-near-launch-1.385439

has the story

"airmen were holding an Air Force nuclear missile crew at gunpoint deep in a top-secret bunker on Okinawa.

The crew had just been ordered to launch the island's missiles at targets in the Soviet Union and Asia, just as the Cuban Missile Crisis was reaching a harrowing climax in October 1962. But an Air Force launch officer was opposing the order.

The officer sent "two men over there with .45's and [they were] told to shoot anybody who tried to launch until the situation was resolved so those two men kept that whole crew at bay while we made a decision of what to do," said John Bordne, a nuclear missile mechanic for the Okinawa-based 873rd Tactical Missile Squadron who was on duty Oct. 28, 1962."

Coleen Rowley , October 30, 2019 at 21:44

Arkhipov was not the only Russian to save the world from nuclear Armageddon.

See this article: vox.com/2018/9/26/17905796/nuclear-war-1983-stanislav-petrov-soviet-union?fbclid=IwAR3XZREPaiekG2ncpUOUGkzppOqs9102z4pityZtIjvi19tWsHD4CLf3h4s

for a few other cases of Russians who kept their cool during mistaken perceptions when the protocol would have been to launch nuclear war.

Ray McGovern , October 30, 2019 at 16:59

A huge thank you for the many informative comments. Ray

Herman , October 30, 2019 at 15:58

Remembering the time and remembering it was like watching children playing chicken. Remember to0 the country was ingrained with the belief that mankind could be destroyed. Movies like On the Beach and Dr. Strangelove(that may not have been the title) made America conscious of the real threat of extinction out there and equally serious that there might be a Doctor Strangelove near the trigger. So as I and others watched and read we were torn between fear and the sense that it was unreal. The former Lieutenant Ray McGovern reminds us it was. And yes, a Russian of all things saved our behinds. Back to game seven of the World Series.

Lone Wolf , October 30, 2019 at 09:55

Mr. Ray McGovern, your article is a ray of light, no pun intended, shining brightly on the heart of darkness we live in. A MAD rule keeps the clock ticking two minutes to midnight, and there is no hope in sight of moving it backwards. All for what? Greed and possessiveness. What is the winner going to inherit after a nuclear war? A nuclear winter? How can they market that? Summer in Venus? Retirement on the moon? Tanning rooms galore? Just FYI, survivors might not have a skin to tan. The empire is reaching sunset, and it is threatening to take humanity with it into a long nuclear night mare. We can't let them.

Lone Wolf

PS: A new abnormal: It is still two minutes to midnight – See: thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/current-time/

David Evans , October 30, 2019 at 07:49

A Tribute to Vasily Arkhipov (Who Saved the World in October of 1962)
(b. 30 January 1926 d. 19 August 1998)
Vice Admiral, Russian Navy
By Dave Evans

Today, as I sense the earth awakening
Under an umbrella of dueling pear trees,
I inhale the sweet esters of spring
Assuaging all my mortal fears.

So much beauty in a simple flower
Cast away those jaded eyes!
To see the art of a higher power
In the tears the racing clouds cry.

The universe has for many eons labored
To produce a blushing plum,
As the mountains were skillfully chiseled
With the rays of the rising sun.

Ours is a blue green gem hanging in the sky
Home to so many great aspirations,
Of generations gone by and by
Rising above our pitiful lamentations.

And what of our tumultuous history
Frozen in amber teardrop,
We are the offspring of a great mystery
Whose outcome we know not.

The world goes round and round
On this the eve of destruction,
As we are oblivion bound
Unknown actors in a tragic production.

Once before in history we were on the brink
Verily, verily, verily!
We have but one man to thank
Vasily, Vasily, Vasily!
Thank you for preserving Sophia's dream
Beyond the Warmongers' guile,
As the angry Generals screamed
With a blood-lust most vile.

Vasily, you have saved all mankind
We owe you a great debt of gratitude,
As we part the mists of time
And pay homage to your infinitude.

Bless the wake of your fair heart
That gave us our world back,
With the rays of a brand new start
Stopping the final attack!

I wish I could thank you to your face
Vasily my dear friend,
For saving the human race
And to our noble destiny defend!

To say the proper words to thank you
They are indeed hard to find,
As we were trapped in annihilation's queue
You saved all mankind!

elmerfudzie , October 29, 2019 at 22:49

Ray, thank you for rewriting the old propaganda story that claimed humanity was saved by JFK s diplomatic negotiations and unique skills during the Cuban missile crisis. Here's a cut n paste reprint of a few comments I made a few years ago, regarding the heroism of one, Vice Admiral Vasili Arkhipov and it is paraphrased here. I wish to pause, take a moment to extend the warmest thanks to Soviet Naval officer, Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov and his extended family. He, who single handed-ly prevented WW III during the crisis by refusing to launch a nuclear tipped torpedo into one of our U.S. battle cruisers.

Vice Admiral Arkhipov, if you can hear us from the grave, we award you the real "Nobel Peace Prize" not a piece of paper, not a figurine, not a check for one million dollars but a peace prize from our hearts, from those of us who truly understand, what is meant by military leadership and just how lonely, unrewarding, that place of authority and decision was for you! The world will NEVER be so lucky again!

Coleen Rowley , October 30, 2019 at 21:31

A FB friend filled me in on the following "rest of the story" re Arkhipov who was also on the the Soviet submarine K-19:

(From Wikipedia) "In July 1961, Arkhipov was appointed deputy commander and therefore executive officer of the new Hotel-class ballistic missile submarine K-19.[3] After a few days of conducting exercises off the south-east coast of Greenland, the submarine developed an extreme leak in its reactor coolant system. This leak led to failure of the cooling system. Radio communications were also affected, and the crew was unable to make contact with Moscow. With no backup systems, Commander Zateyev ordered the seven members of the engineer crew to come up with a solution to avoid nuclear meltdown. This required the men to work in high radiation levels for extended periods. They eventually came up with a secondary coolant system and were able to keep the reactor from a meltdown. Although they were able to save themselves from a nuclear meltdown, the entire crew, including Arkhipov, were irradiated. All members of the engineer crew and their divisional officer died within a month due to the high levels of radiation they were exposed to. Over the course of two years, fifteen more sailors died from the after-effects."

Tony , October 31, 2019 at 09:44

Yes, but Kennedy was also a big factor.

He was able to resist pressure to invade Cuba and so the Luna tactical nuclear missiles in Cuba were not used. We owe both Kennedy and Arkhipov a great deal.

Hans Janetzke , October 29, 2019 at 21:43

now wth the dumbest is president of the usa
remember the usa is only on of 35 independent countries
i worry more than i did in from 1950 to 1963
but i realise it is hard to open any pressure cooker under full pressure
also the now totally useless un is degraded to an puppy of the usa
all the hope we had with the un is not lost i hope they wake and rise up

Stan W. , October 29, 2019 at 15:33

I remember those days well as I was on a temporary assignment in Washington, D.C. Nerve-wracking period in history!

Tony , October 29, 2019 at 12:09

It is truly frightening to think of what would have happened if Lyndon Johnson had been president at the time.
He bombed Hanoi at around the time that Soviet premier Kosygin was there!

We need to eliminate nuclear weapons before they eliminate us. That is the very clear message coming from Ellsberg's book.

Incidentally, the Bay of Pigs was deliberately set up by the CIA to fail. It was in order to force JFK to invade Cuba.

John Drake , October 29, 2019 at 18:55

Good point, it is even more frightening to contemplate if Richard Nixon had defeated Kennedy and was President then.
Let us not forget that Kennedy refused to follow up war in Laos and Cambodia and had ordered the withdrawal of 1000 US troops(stymied by the Pentagon) from Vietnam; a precursor to complete withdrawal.
LBJ immediately reversed the order after JFK's death and then sent in combat troops after an election in which he promised "I'll not send Amurican(sic) boys to do what Asian boys ought to do for themselves".

jerry olek , October 29, 2019 at 10:53

I remember working on National Estimates in the late 1970s when the Pentagon was still pushing the idea that we could fight and win a nuclear war with the Soviets. Then CIA director, Stansfield Turner strongly disagreed with the analysis and successfully convinced people in power not to entertain such an idea. I believe military and civilian leaders, especially after Chernobyl, have come to realize that nuclear war would be catastrophic for all participants. But, I am concerned that President Trump does not fully understand the consequences of using nuclear weapons He supposedly asked in a Pentagon briefing why we had nuclear weapons if we don't use them.

M Le Docteur Ralph , October 29, 2019 at 08:40

Words mean everything.
We always call it the Cuban missile crisis, not the Turkish missile crisis and that betrays our prejudice.
Meaning that it was perfectly okay for the U.S. Air Force to handover nuclear capable Jupiter missiles that could reach Moscow to the Italian and Turkish air force to be installed at Bari and Izmir, but when Khrushchev reacted and installed Soviet missiles in Cuba this created the crisis.
The real origins of this crisis lie in the fact that the real enemy of the U.S. Army was never the Red Army it was always the U.S. Navy and the US Air Force. The U.S. Army developed the Jupiter missile so that it would possess its own nuclear deterrent but then lost control of it to the U.S. Air Force.
The U.S. Air Force and its preferred contractors were not missile friendly at the time as they wanted to build as many bombers as possible and had invented the "bomber gap" to enable this. So given the U.S. Army's Jupiter program was an anathema to the U.S. Air Force as they represented a potential threat to the bomber budget, the missiles were parked on Italian and Turkish air force bases with the local air force being responsible for the missiles (to ensure there would be problems with the Army developed missiles) and the U.S. Air Force controlling the nuclear warheads.
A brilliant plan, sure to win victory in the war of inter-service rivalry but which failed to take into account the fact that what the Soviet leadership saw were missiles that could reach Moscow being placed into the hands of the Italians who had participated in Operation Barbarossa and their traditional enemies the Turks with whom Russia had fought an endless series of wars and who had so recently facilitated the Nazi invasion of the USSR by allowing access through the Dardanelles.
In April 1959, the Secretary of the Air Force issued instructions to deploy two Jupiter squadrons to Italy to be operated by Italian Air Force crews with USAF personnel controlling the arming of the nuclear warheads. In October 1959, a government-to-government agreement was signed with Turkey and resulted in a third Jupiter squadron being deployed in and around ?zmir, Turkey. In October 1962 a first flight of three Jupiter missiles was handed over to control of the Turkish Air Force again with USAF personnel supposedly controlling the arming of the nuclear warheads.
How are the Soviets to know that the USAF personnel were really in control and an Italian or Turkish equivalent of General Ripper did not have access to the keys? You cannot overfly with a U2 to find that out.
Real equivalence in the so-called Cuban missile crisis would be if the Soviet Union had installed medium-range missiles that could hit Los Angeles, Chicago and New York at a base in Sinaloa Mexico, then handed over the keys to the missiles to the Mexicans while insisting that everything was hunky-dory because a Soviet officer with known drug problems had the keys to the nuclear warhead.

Todd Pierce , October 29, 2019 at 08:24

Great article Ray! And absolutely necessary for the American people, meaning all of us in this hemisphere, to know how close millions of us came to being incinerated by the criminality of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and their allies in government who saw the Cuban Crisis as an "opportunity" to launch our own "preemptive" nuclear attack on the USSR, and the JCS willingness to accept a reciprocal attack in retaliation which would predictably kill at least 20 million people in this hemisphere, as a "fair exchange" for the hundreds of millions of human beings the US nuclear attack would incinerate in the USSR. That's how "Mad" the US military was then, and is today, if one reads current doctrine. William R. Polk was there in the White House as McGeorge Bundy's advisor, and has written of this and told me details in a lengthy oral history. He tells of how angry at Kennedy the JCS were, so much that he feared a military coup, as did Kennedy, as explained in this video:
`JFK wanted movie "Seven Days in May" made' [youtube.com/watch?v=fRiZtqVPJ9U]

But Americans have this placid confidence, similar to the "What, me worry" attitude of the Holstein cows I once dealt with in my youth, even as we would be preparing them for a ride to the stockyards, that the threat or possibility of nuclear war/accident is a thing of the past, even while we, the US, under three administrations now, has been hard at work to increase the possibility of some sort of nuclear conflagration in our lifetimes.

Noah Way , October 28, 2019 at 20:09

The Soviets also had atomic artillery which could have been used to repel a US invasion, which would also have started WW3. The bullet was dodged twice – first by JFK NOT invading, then by Arkhipov by not allowing the launch of a nuclear torpedo.

As Ray has said, now there are no adults in the room.

SteveK9 , October 28, 2019 at 17:46

Our military is no less crazy today. Subtext of Putin's March 1, 2018 address on new strategic nuclear weapons 'nuclear war is unthinkable, so kindly stop thinking about it'.

geeyp , October 28, 2019 at 16:27

Those moans and groans weren't just happening in Georgia, Ray.

robert e williamson jr , October 28, 2019 at 16:02

Hats off again to Mr. McGovern for calling balls and strikes with uncanny precision .

I'm sure of that moaning and groaning at Ft. Benning seeing as how those folks had no clue to what had really happened and would have moaned and groaned even had they known. After all Ray it was OCS.

Ray I'm recommending that everyone listen to the interview of Edward Snowden by Joe Rogan. In fact get a hold of Bill Binney, Tom Drake, J. Kurt Wiebe and Ed Loomis and let them know about it. Some fascinating stuff for me and it could be a major eye opener for those naive individuals who believe cell phones in their current configuration are great tools. I'm betting 90% of those who would watch this would want that, "I own my data not ( the cell phone company name goes here), "button" Snowden talked about.

I'm I wrong here or can everyone who agrees that the "Orange Apocalypse" could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and be above prosecution be tried on conspiring to give the " fake potus" dictatorial powers and removed from office?

Thanks again Ray for your great work

Tennegon , October 29, 2019 at 17:50

As for Mr. Snowden, I happened to watch the video, 'Citizenfour', last night on Roku. If you're not aware of it, it's certainly worth trying to view: citizenfourfilm.com

incontinent reader , October 28, 2019 at 14:34

Ray- Great article. I hope those in the Administration and Congress read it- and read Ellsberg's book.