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American Exceptionalism as the USA version of nationalism

News Who Rules America Recommended books Recommended Links Economic costs of American Exceptionalism American imperialism: the attempt to secure global hegemony What's the Matter with Kansas
Andrew Bacevich on the American militarism Diplomacy by deception American imperialism: the attempt to secure global hegemony Big Uncle is Watching You Industrial Espionage Edward Snowden as Symbol of Resistance to National Security State Damage to the US tech companies
National Security State Corporatism Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization  Neoconservatism as a stage of development of Neoliberalism Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Understanding Mayberry Machiavellians (Rovism) The History of Media-Military-Industrial Complex Concept
Narcissism as Key American Value Anti-Americanism Nation under attack meme National Socialism and Military Keysianism Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Authoritarian Corporatism Terrorism as a smokesreen for National Security State implementation
Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Fighting Russophobia Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? American Exceptionalism as Civil Religion Fighting Neo-Theocracy Inside democratization hypocrisy fair The Unlikely History of American Exceptionalism Walter A. McDougall
Quotes Mark Twain Quotes Niccolo Machiavelli Reinhold Niebuhr Propaganda Quotes Politically Incorrect Humor Etc

Introduction


I call it a tribal phenomena. A tribe can be a religion, a nation, a gender, a race, or any group which is different from the group you identify with. It is not confined to religion.

And it seems to be an inherent trait in the human species that was one aspect of our evolution. Only when we learn that it is better to cooperate with each other rather than kill each other will we be free from this deadly disease which may, in the end, destroy us all.

sheridan44 comment in The Guardian

[American exceptionalism] is a reaction to the inability of people to understand global complexity or important issues like American energy dependency. Therefore, they search for simplistic sources of comfort and clarity. And the people that they are now selecting to be, so to speak, the spokespersons of their anxieties are, in most cases, stunningly ignorant.

Zbigniew Brzezinski

According to George Soros, the events of 9/11 renewed a "distorted view" of American supremacy that "postulates that because we are stronger than others, we must know better and we must have right on our side."  In other words 9/11 was important step to the transformation of the USA in the "National Security State" with the permanent regime of Total survellance" over the population. The next step were events of 2008, which signified crisis of neoliberalism as an ideology. Neoliberalism now can mostly be propagated by brute force, via military intervention or some form of coup d'état (aka color revolutions) much like Trotskyites planned to propagate socialism to other countries via Permanent Revolution.  With  "Democracy promotion" instead of "liberation of proletariat".

Rise of American exeptionalism is also connected with the reaction to neoliberalism with its redistribution of wealth up by most of US population. Actually this is global phenomenon: neoliberalism gives strong impulse to the rise of neofascism in many countries, not only in the USA. As William I. Robinson noted in his article  Global Capitalism Crisis of Humanity and the Specter of 21st Century Fascism  

Yet another response [ to globalization] is that I term 21st century fascism.5   The ultra-right is an insurgent force in many countries. In broad strokes, this project seeks to fuse reactionary political power with transnational capital and to organise a mass base among historically privileged sectors of the global working class – such as white workers in the North and middle layers in the South – that are now experiencing heightened insecurity and the specter of downward mobility. It involves militarism, extreme masculinisation, homophobia, racism and racist mobilisations, including the search for scapegoats, such as immigrant workers and, in the West, Muslims.

Twenty-first century fascism evokes mystifying ideologies, often involving race/culture supremacy and xenophobia, embracing an idealised and mythical past. Neo-fascist culture normalises and glamorises warfare and social violence, indeed, generates a fascination with domination that is portrayed even as heroic.

American exceptionalism is unique in many ways as it does not include mass mobilization (see Inverted Totalitarism). "Go shopping" famously recommended George W Bush after 9/11. It should probably be more correctly called US-specific version of far right nationalism. The latter is  a milder variant of  one that existed in 30th of the last century in national-socialist countries of Europe, such as Italy and Spain, which does not necessarily employ physical violence against political opponents.  

The sad fact is that the America of today is even more arrogant than the America  in the days of Manifest Destiny and gunboat diplomacy. Indeed, the dissolution of the USSR cemented the national myth of superiority. The establishment of unparalleled industrial might, military victories in two world wars and on both sides of the globe, and the staggering economic defeat of Communism in the Cold War all have combined to cement America’s presumption of  chapters in a long history of escalating national illusions of pre-eminence and blind national egoism. The dominant view about the USA from most countries is that it has a split paranoid personality,  a “Jekyll and Hyde” America, “a democracy inside, an empire outside.” American policy makers, with their pretensions of global superiority after collapse of the USSR and with ever-increasing power of their military machine moved steadily toward making the whole globe a US preserve.  Despite its vulgarity and borderline obsession with pornography (or may be because of that) the US culture made inroad all over the globe, and even in Europe and Russia despite rich cultural traditions of both. While the blatant American imperialism of the turn of the last century is now only a memory, today the nations face policies evidence more insidious brands of imperialism: cultural imperialism, economic imperialism,  the imperialism of neoliberal ideology and forced globalization on the US terms.  All are spread by the same national arrogance, the same cock-sure certainly that we are right.  Many nations fear the United States practices a contemporary brand of “soft imperialism,” enslaving nations with IMF debt meachisms under  the auspice of economic globalization.  Converting  the Third World in debt slaves or simply exploit it. In spite of such fears, and despite the setbacks, Americans remain convinced that eventually all nations are destined to fall into step and adopt “the American way.” All the while, the US politicians decry the rigid fundamentalism of our enemies while we remain utterly blind to our own.

Americans have been, and are today, exposed almost from birth to a particularly virulent strain of nationalism unlike that found in other modern nations. The resulting affliction stems from an unswerving faith in national superiority and uniqueness that is deeply ingrained in the American mind. Historically, these notions of superiority sprang from myths of the visions of chosen-ness, and high destiny; from the myth of frontier self-sufficiency; and finally from the perceived universality of American ideology and dominance of US culture and English language over the globe. While in some of us, nationalist feelings are not that pronounced, few of us are immune, and that is especially visible in times of anger, or fear. In spite of, and perhaps because of, our many strengths, practically all of us as Americans share this particularly prideful, unlovely, and potentially fatal weakness. In one form or another and to some degree or another, we carry national pride across the invisible boundary that separates benign patriotism from malignant far right nationalism. Hillary candidacy demonstrates that this process went too far and became really  malignant:

Still, Americans are sure that they, like Woodrow Wilson, have seen “visions that other nations have not seen,” and that, accordingly, the United States’ mission has always been to become the “light of the world.”28 Indeed, from the very beginning, the American national identity was built on audacious visions of chosen-ness, destiny, and mission. Ronald Reagan was not the first nor the last in a long line of entrenched American visionaries to proclaim American exceptionalism, with its missionary implications of the Puritan “city on the hill,” no longer a stationary beacon, but an active force, the “leader of the free world” directing its forces against “empires of evil.”29

With such visions comes a warning: “the adoption of political and social values … as a framework for national identification is possible only if these values are based on some source of apparent ultimate truth which confers on them absolute validity — if they can claim universality.”30 If Americans unflinchingly believe that theirs is the single principle of Absolute Truth representing the universal interests of humankind, then any opposition will appear either criminal or inhuman.31 As Arthur Schlesinger Jr. puts it, “Those who are convinced that they have a monopoly on Truth always feel that they are saving the world when they slaughter heretics. Their object remains the making of the world over in the image of their dogmatic ideology — their goal is a monolithic world, organized on the principle of the infallibility of a single creed.”32 If Americans are so egotistical as to believe that their nation with its gleaming lamp of Ultimate Truth is the envy of the world, then they will perceive no wrong in trying to make the world over in America’s image, by whatever means. However, the world is a very complex and diverse place, and Ultimate Truth is a highly elusive and unstable substance. Thus, these are not only very arrogant ideas; they are also very dangerous ideas.

The way in which American elite as a whole relates with the rest of the world demonstrates a strong nationalistic (as in cultural nationalism) and chauvinistic point of view. That means that mass media presents events only from the particular  point of view, that militarism is always encouraged and defended. With the considerable part of brainwashed lemmings (aka American public) believing that their nation, or culture, is superior to all others.

This view involves a unique mixture of prejudice, xenophobia and inter-group and in-group violence, with the latter directed at suppression of dissent. Indeed, the United States’ inflated sense of eminence create additional, non-economic stimulus for the country elite to act in  fundamentally ethnocentric ways, and to to strive for unilateral rule of the world using military supremacy as door opener to resources of other nations.  And first of all oil.

The other key support of American exeptionalism are large financial institutions, which depend on the success of the US "financial imperialism". We can view imperialism as ethnocentrism in action. And "financial imperialism" is very similar to "old-style" European imperialism, where  European nations discovered new lands and imposed capitalism, their system of law and culture on the native peoples usually through violence. Like old colonies were forced to abandon their way of life and adopt a “superior” lifestyle and became resource base of metropolia, financial imperialism impose debt on other nations keeping them in a kind of debt slavery with the same result: they also became resource base for metropolia. 

American exceptionalism might also have religious overtones as "citi on the hill" metaphor implies.  It is not thus accidental that the first deep analyses of American exceptionalism was done by Niebuhr from the religious positions in his famous book The Irony of American History. Niebuhr as a theologian came to conclusion that it represents a sin that inevitably lead to the false allure of simple solutions and lack of appreciation of limits of power. In his opinion "Messianic consciousness" which constitute the core of American exceptionalism, was partially inherited form religious dogmas of early religious sects which came to colonize America.  Those views were later enhanced and developed further by Professor Bacevich. See more details exposition of his views on the subject in the page New American Militarism

Any unbiased analysis of the nationalist activities leads to a disappointing conclusion: nationalists can behave as compradors: as enthusiastic servants of a foreign occupier of their own territory. In this case international banking cartel. Ukraine is one example, Serbia and Georgia are other but very similar examples. In the same way the USA can be viewed as a country occupied by financial oligarchy with most of its citizents converted into "debt slaves".

The policy which oppose exceptionalism is often called Noninterventionism

Noninterventionism is a rather clunky and unappealing label for a set of very appealing ideas: that the U.S. should mind its own business, act with restraint, respect other nations, refrain from unnecessary violence, and pursue peace. If future administrations took just a few of these as guiding principles for the conduct of foreign policy, America and the world would both be better off.

There were several important thinkers who contributed to understand of this complex and multifaceted, like any type of nationalism,  phenomena. We will discuss (in breif) just four thinkers that made significant impact in understanding of this very complex concept. Among them: 

  1. Niebuhr
  2. Michael Ignatieff
  3. Anatol Lieven
  4. Andrew Basevich

American neo-conservatism  is a closely related phenomenon. In this case the key point is that the pre-eminence of the USA as the sole superpower needs to be maintained at all costs and with wide use of military force. Among prominent neocons we can name Hillary Clinton and most of republican candidates for the presidency in the 2016 presidential race. That means that American exeptionalism is an establishment view, the view of the US elite, not some anomaly.  

Niebuhr's contribution to understanding of American exeptionalism

In his brilliant foreword to Niebuhr's book The Irony of American History Bacevich noted:

In Niebuhr's view, America's rise to power derived less from divine favor than from good fortune combines with a fierce determination to convert that good fortune in wealth and power. The good fortune cane in the form of vast landscape, rich in resources, ripe for exploitation, and apparently insulated from the bloody cockpit of [European] power politics. The determination found expression in a strategy of commercial and territorial expansionism that proved staggeringly successful, evidence not of superior virtue but of shrewdness punctuated with a considerable capacity for ruthlessness.

In describing America's rise to power Niebuhr does not shrink from using words like "hegemony" and "imperialism". His point is not to tag the United States with responsibility for all the world's evils. Rather, it is to suggest that it does not differ from other great powers as much as Americans may imagine.

...Niebuhr has little patience for those who portray the United States as acting on God's behalf. "All men are naturally inclined to obscure the morally ambiguous element in this political cause by investing it with religious sanctity," he once observed. " This is why religion is more frequently a source of confusion then of light in the political realm.". In the United States, he continued "The tendency to equate our political [goals] with our Christian convictions cause politics to generate idolatry."

Michael Ignatieff contribution to understanding of American exeptionalism

In the introduction to American Exceptionalism and Human Rights Michael Ignatieff identifies three main types of exceptionalism:

I would add to it

The contributors to American Exceptionalism and Human Rights use Ignatieff's essay as a starting point to discuss specific types of exceptionalism -- America's approach to capital punishment and to free speech, for example -- or to explore the social, cultural, and institutional roots of exceptionalism.

Anatol Lieven contribution

The second important contribution to to the studies of American exceptionalism is Anatol Lieven.  He correctly linked American exceptionalism with far right nationalism which Wikipedia defined as

Far-right politics or extreme-right politics are right-wing politics to the right of the mainstream centre right on the traditional left-right spectrum. They often involve a focus on tradition as opposed to policies and customs that are regarded as reflective of modernism. They tend to include disregard or disdain for egalitarianism, if not overt support for social inequality and social hierarchy, elements of social conservatism and opposition to most forms of liberalism and socialism

 "America keeps a fine house," Anatol Lieven writes in his probably best book on the American Exceptionalism (America Right or Wrong An Anatomy of American Nationalism ) "but in its cellar there lives a demon, whose name is nationalism."  In a way US neocons, who commanded key position in Bush II and Barack Obama administrations  are not that different from Israeli Likud Party. 

While neocons definitely played an important role in shaping the US policy immediately after 9/11, the origins of aggressive U.S. foreign policy since 9/11 also reflect controversial character of the US national identity, which according to Anatol Lieven embraces two contradictory features.

Both of those tendencies are much older then 9/11. The first aggressive, expansionist war by the US was the war of 1812. See American Loyalists, The Most Important War You Probably Know Nothing About - By James Traub Foreign Policy

The War of 1812 matters because it was America’s first war of choice. The United States did not have to declare war on Great Britain on June 18, 1812, to survive as a nation and indeed President James Madison did not want to. The newly founded United States was growing westward but the “war hawks” in Congress pressed for a conflict with America’s former colonial masters in the hopes of gaining even more territory to the north. The term “hawk” was coined in the run-up to the War of 1812 and the hawks of U.S. foreign policy have been with us ever since.

The War of 1812 was America’s first neocon war. With an audacity that would become familiar, the war hawks appealed to a combination of personal pride — the British navy was forcibly conscripting Americans — and the prospect of material gain — the absorption of British Canada — wrapped up in love of country. No one said the conquest of Canada would be a “cakewalk,” but the hawks were confident the Americans would be greeted as liberators.

These two mutually-excusive impulses caused wild oscillations of the US foreign policy, especially in the Middle East and influenced the nature of U.S. support for Israel. Due to those oscillations those two contradictory impulses are undermining the U.S. foreign policy credibility in the eyes of the worlds and complicates reaching important national objectives.

Some attribute the term “American Exceptionalism” to Alexis de Tocqueville — though he never penned the phrase. In reality this term originated by German Marxists who were trying to explain weakness of worker movement in the USA. The idiom was popularized by neo-conservative pundits (aka former Trotskyites) soon after WWII.

In reality the term "American Exceptionalism is nothing but a disguised, more "politically correct" reference to America's Janus-faced nationalism. It has some mystical components like long vanished under the hill of financial oligarchy the "American dream" and its German-style refrain "God bless America". What is interesting about "God bless America" is that most founding fathers were Deists, profoundly critical of organized religions and they sought to separate personal -- what many of them described as mythologies -- from government. They were profoundly respectful of personal religious belief, but saw government as necessarily secular if freedom was to prevail. Not until the religious revivals of the 1820s through the 1860s can you find many identifying religion as a component of American exceptionalism.

As Martin Woollacott aptly noted in his review of Anatol Lieven book America, Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism ( Guardian):

He cuts through the conformist political rhetoric of America, the obfuscating special language of the "American dream", or the "American exception", which infects even foreign accounts. Even to use the word "nationalism" to describe an American phenomenon is, as he notes, not normal. Americans are not "nationalist", they are "patriotic". It is a patriotism which too often leaves no room for the patriotism of others, combining a theoretical care for all humanity with, in practice, an "indifference verging on contempt" for the interests and hopes of non-Americans. Nothing could be more distant from "the decent respect to the opinions of mankind" recommended to Americans in the early years of their independent existence

Lieven first paints a picture of an in some ways admirable American "civic nationalism", based on respect for the rule of law, constitutionality, democracy, and social (but not economic) equality, and a desire to spread these values in the world. But because this nationalism unrealistically holds that such "American" values can be exported at will, it blinds Americans to the different nature of other societies, sustaining the mistaken idea that if only particular rulers or classes can be displaced, "democracy" will prevail - a "decapitation" theory which contributed to the decision to attack Saddam. The American campaign to democratize other societies, Lieven says, harshly but fairly, "combines sloppiness of intellect and meanness of spirit". But, while in part mythic and not entirely rational, this side of American nationalism is of some value not only to the United States, but to the world as a whole.

...The result, Lieven argues, is that instead of the mature nationalism of a satisfied and dominant state, American nationalism is more akin to that of late developing and insecure states such as Wilhelmine Germany and Tsarist Russia.

"While America keeps a splendid and welcoming house," Lieven writes in his preface, "it also keeps a family of demons in its cellar.

His book supports Mark Twain quite to the effect that we are blessed with three things in this country, freedom of speech, freedom of conscience and, thirdly, the common sense to practice neither one!

He also points at the very important side effect of Exceptionalism: "America's hypocrisy," (see for example Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair). An outstanding level of hypocrisy in the US foreign policy also is corroborated by other scholars, among them James Hillman in his recent book "A Terrible Love of War" in which he characterizes hypocrisy as quintessentially American (although British are strong competitors). Now after Snowden, Libya, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, etc we might be appear to be entering an new stage on which "The era of easy hypocrisy is over."

The regime of easy hypocrisy means that America position itself as a blessed nation created by God and (here’s the rub) therefore privileged in what actions it can take around the world and the nation that can safely ignore international norms, which are created only for suckers. It is above the international law.

We create our own reality

The source of the term, which implicitly stresses that the USA stands outside international norms and treaties and can act as it please, is a quotation in an October 17, 2004, The New York Times Magazine article by writer Ron Suskind, quoting an unnamed aide to George W. Bush (later attributed to Karl Rove[1]):

The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."[2]

This is pretty precise definition of the idea of introduced by Nazi idea of “decisionism” in which action is seen as a value in itself. Decisionism is a defining feature of any totalitarian state. By extension if you find decisionism exists in particular state, it is rational to expect other F-features of such states. Umberto Eco has listed fourteen attributes along with two major features: irrationalism and decisionism. Eco has them listed as attributes 2 and 3.

The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.

3. Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action's sake.

Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes. Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Hermann Goering's fondness for a phrase from a Hanns Johst play ("When I hear the word 'culture' I reach for my gun") to the frequent use of such expressions as "degenerate intellectuals," "eggheads," "effete snobs," and "universities are nests of reds." The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values.

Eternal Fascism:
Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt

http://www.themodernword.com/eco/eco_blackshirt.html

Fascism has an irrational element that rejects modern thought because it conflicts with traditional beliefs of the Christian religion and because fascism views communist ideology as a child of the Age of Reason and Jewish intellectuals. The Nazis were well aware that Karl Marx was a German Jew. Evolution is seen as modernist and is rejected in favor of Christian creationism. This debate is repeating itself today in American society with Christian fundamentalism attempting to gain control of state education.

Very closely related to irrationalism is “decisionism” in which action is seen as a value in itself. This is an existential element in fascism that elevates action over thought. Action is a sign of unambiguous power, and thought is associated with weakness and indecision. Carl Schmitt, a Nazi Law constitutional jurist, wrote that a decision is “(an actual historical event) and not within that of a norm (an ahistoric and transcendent idea).” The a priori is overshadowed by the posteriori. Actions over abstract principles, Fact over Idea, Power over pure thought, Certainty over ambiguity are the values and ideological norms that are primary in a totalitarian state.

After fleeing Germany, Marcuse wrote in 1934 a critique of German fascist society and attempted to identify those beliefs and philosophical themes found within fascist ideology. Marcuse believed that the seeds of fascism could be found in the Capitalist Democratic Liberal State, which over time mutate as Monopoly Capitalism gain control of the State as in the case of Germany. The evolution of Capitalism is also the concealed dialectic of Fascism. Those mutated liberal democratic ideas and values are betrayed by a totalitarianism based on action and force.

Using Germany as his example of a fascist society Marcuse writes:

And within the political sphere all relationships are oriented in turn toward the most extreme “crisis,” toward the decision about the “state of emergency,” of war and peace. The true possessor of power is defined as beyond all legality and legitimacy: “Sovereign is he who decides on the state of emergency.” (Carl Schmitt, Politische Theologie,1922).

Sovereignty is founded on the factual power to make this decision (decisionism). The basic political relationship is the “friend-enemy relationship.” Its crisis is war, which proceeds until the enemy has been physically annihilated.

There is no social relationship that does not in a crisis turn into a political relationship. Behind all economic, social, religious, and cultural relations stands total politicization. There is no sphere of private or public life, no legal or rational court of appeal that could oppose it.
Negations, page 36.

From what social idea in Capitalistic Liberalism did this decisionism evolve? It is none other than the economic hero, the free independent entrepreneur of industrial capitalism.The idea of the charismatic, authoritarian leader is already preformed in the liberalist celebration of the gifted economic leader, the “born” executive. Negations, page 18.

The total-authoritarian state is born out of the Liberal state and the former concept of the economic leader is transformed into a Fuhrer. We can see this mutation of the concept of the “born” executive into the leader-state (Fuhrerstaat) in George Bush’s speech and actions.

An uneducated but privileged man, George Bush, has merged the idea of the CEO with that of the State Leader. But society has also made this same concatenation of ideas. He is a president of action and seen as a “strong” president. He is doer and not a thinker and his followers are proud of this persona. His opponents are “feminine” and members of the “reality based community.” Consequently, the Bush administration has attempted to engineer the executive branch to be the strongest in American history by claiming “inherent” presidential powers. It is precisely the concept of “state of emergency” that Bush has used to grab more and more state power in the name of security.

He has instituted the hyper-surveillance of Americas with the Patriot act, which is based on the same justification Nazi Law used to empower the Fuhrer. A Bush lawyer and advisor, John Yoo, wrote, Just two weeks after the September 11 attacks, a secret memo to White House counsel Alberto Gonzales’ office concluded that President Bush had the power to deploy military force “preemptively” against any terrorist groups or countries that supported them—regardless of whether they had any connection to the attacks on the World Trade Towers or the Pentagon. The memo, written by Justice Department lawyer John Yoo, argues that there are effectively “no limits” on the president’s authority to wage war—a sweeping assertion of executive power that some constitutional scholars say goes considerably beyond any that had previously been articulated by the department. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6732484/site/newsweek/

Carl Schmitt, a Nazi Law constitutional jurist in Hitler’s Third Reich, wrote a similar justification of power for the State Leader using the concept of the “exception” in his work “Political Theology,” Hence, the thundering opening of his treatise: 'The sovereign is he who decides on the exception.' It is a disturbingly 'realistic' view of politics, which, in the manner of Hobbes, subordinates de jure authority to de facto power: autoritas, non veritas facit legem. (The law is made by the one who has authority (i.e. power) and not the one who possesses the truth (the legitimate sovereign).)

The problem of the exception, for the constitutional jurist Schmitt, can only be resolved within the framework of a decision (an actual historical event) and not within that of a norm (an ahistoric and transcendent idea). Moreover, the legal act which decides what constitutes an exception is 'a decision in the true sense of the word', because a general norm, an ordinary legal prescription, 'can never encompass a total exception'. If so, then, 'the decision that a real exception exists cannot be derived entirely from this norm.' The problem of the exception, in other words, demarcates the limit of the rule of law and opens up that trans-legal space, that no-man's land of existential exigency, which is bereft of legal authority and where the decision of the sovereign abrogates the anomaly of the legal void. …against the legal positivism of his times, Schmitt seems to be arguing that not law but the sovereign, not the legal text but the political will, is the supreme authority in a state. States are not legal entities but historical polities; they are engaged in a constant battle for survival where any moment of their existence may constitute an exception, it may engender a political crisis that cannot be remedied by the application of the rule of law. From the existential priority of the sovereign over the legitimacy of the norm, it would also follow that according to Schmitt, law is subservient to politics and not autonomous of it. The Sovereignty of the Political Carl Schmitt and the Nemesis of Liberalism http://www.algonet.se/~pmanzoor/CarlSchmitt.htm

When the Bush administration argues that increased presidential power is needed to fight terrorism by suspending or overriding the constitutional protections against search and seizures, they are arguing the principles of Nazi constitutional law. Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday vigorously defended the Bush administration's use of secret domestic spying and efforts to expand presidential powers, saying "it's not an accident that we haven't been hit in four years." Talking to reporters aboard his government plane as he flew from Islamabad, Pakistan to Muscat, Oman on an overseas mission, Cheney said a contraction in the power of the presidency since the Vietnam and Watergate era must be reversed. "I believe in a strong, robust executive authority and I think that the world we live in demands it. And to some extent, that we have an obligation as the administration to pass on the offices we hold to our successors in as good of shape as we found them," he said.

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2005/12/20/D8EK28B82.htmlAgainst these ever expanding powers of the State stand the once traditional individual freedoms upheld by the Liberal Democratic State. The theologian and philosopher of the Age of Reason, Immanuel Kant wrote…Human right must be kept sacred, no matter how great the sacrifice it costs the ruling powers. One cannot go only halfway and contrive a pragmatically conditioned right….All politics, rather, must bend the knee before sacred human right…

"Faith-based community" vs. Reality-based community

The same idea from slightly different angle is reflected in term "Faith-based community" vs. Reality-based community ( Wikipedia )

Reality-based community is a popular term among liberal political commentators in the United States. In the fall of 2004, the phrase "proud member of the reality-based community" was first used to suggest the commentator's opinions are based more on observation than on faith, assumption, or ideology. The term has been defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from judicious study of discernible reality." Some commentators have gone as far as to suggest that there is an overarching conflict in society between the reality-based community and the "faith-based community" as a whole. It can be seen as an example of political framing.

The source of the term is a quotation in an October 17, 2004, New York Times Magazine article by writer Ron Suskind, quoting an unnamed aide to George W. Bush:

The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."[1]

Commentators who use this term generally oppose former President Bush's policies and by using this term imply that Bush's policies (and, by extension, those of the conservative movement generally) were (or are) out of touch with reality. Others use the term to draw a contrast with the perceived arrogance of the Bush Administration's unilateral policies, in accordance with the aide's quote. Its popularity has prompted some conservative commentators to use the term ironically, to accuse the left-leaning "reality-based community" of ignoring reality[2].

Imperial Outreach

The Republican Party — and more particularly the neo-con wing of the party — is particularly susceptible to imperial outreach. This imperial mentality is well exemplified by Fox News reporting.

For example, Matt Lewis, a conservative political Pundit on MSNBC attacked Barack Obama for saying “Any world order that elevates one nation above another will fall flat.” In response Lewis stated:

“I think that goes against the idea of American exceptionalism…most Americans believe that America was gifted by God and is a blessed nation and therefore we are better.”

For any conservative the concept of “American Exceptionalism” is rather bemusing. America is not more democratic, more free, more enterprising, more tolerant, or more anything else be it Canada, New Zealand or for that matter Australia. America is just a bigger country and due to its size, human resources and industrial potential it the leading Western country and the owner of world reserve currency, after Great Britain became financially exhausted after WWII. That means that American Exceptionalism is simply a politically correct work for a combustible mixture of nationalism (with Christian messianism component similar to Crusades with "democracy" instead Jesus) and Jingoism. In a very deep sense this is negation of the idea "all men are created equal" and as such is anti-American ;-).

America is a blessed nation as everybody in the country is an immigrant, the nation that at some point of time was freer and more prosperous than many others, but as a great Nazarene once said, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.”

Bill Moyers Journal . Watch & Listen | PBS

sample:

BILL MOYERS:

Here is one of those neon sentences. Quote,

"The pursuit of freedom, as defined in an age of consumerism, has induced a condition of dependence on imported goods, on imported oil, and on credit. The chief desire of the American people," you write, "is that nothing should disrupt their access to these goods, that oil, and that credit. The chief aim of the U.S. government is to satisfy that desire, which it does in part of through the distribution of largesse here at home, and in part through the pursuit of imperial ambitions abroad."

In other words, you're saying that our foreign policy is the result of a dependence on consumer goods and credit.

ANDREW BACEVICH:

Our foreign policy is not something simply concocted by people in Washington D.C. and imposed on us. Our foreign policy is something that is concocted in Washington D.C., but it reflects the perceptions of our political elite about what we want, we the people want. And what we want, by and large - I mean, one could point to many individual exceptions - but, what we want, by and large is, we want this continuing flow of very cheap consumer goods.

We want to be able to pump gas into our cars regardless of how big they may happen to be, in order to be able to drive wherever we want to be able to drive. And we want to be able to do these things without having to think about whether or not the book's balanced at the end of the month, or the end of the fiscal year. And therefore, we want this unending line of credit.

Anti-Americanism as blowback of American exeptionalism

Quite logically the imperial actions is a source of widespread Anti-Americanism. As Ian Tyrrell noted in What is American exceptionalism

It is also important to realize that there is a “negative” version of exceptionalism, i.e. that the US has been exceptionally bad, racist, violent. While this is less a part of the common myths about American history, the attempt to compensate for American exceptionalism by emphasizing unique American evils is equally distorting. We need to think more about this matter, especially when we deal with racial divisions and gender prejudice. Is the US experience a variant on wider racial and gender patterns? While social history has provided new perspectives on the role of women, African Americans, and ethnics in the making of American history, has that new history discredited or qualified ideas of American exceptionalism?

The actual term “American exceptionalism” was originally coined by German Marxists who wished to explain why the US seemed to have by-passed the rise of socialism and Marxism. (Actually the US had much class conflict, some Marxist parties and theorists, and a lively socialist movement, though the latter was not on the scale of, say, France and Germany.) But exceptionalism is much more than about class conflict.

Some historians prefer the terms “differences” or “uniqueness?” Are these suitable substitutes? Whatever the terminology, the implications of American difference/uniqueness have long been debated. Some have said the difference was temporary, and eventually the US would be like other countries. Others have argued that American “specialness” stems from its political, intellectual, and even religious heritage, and is enduring.

Conclusions

Skeptic view on American Exceptionalism is valuable for different reasons some of which were listed by Stephen M. Walt in his The Myth of American Exceptionalism (Foreign Policy, November 2011)

The only thing wrong with this self-congratulatory portrait of America's global role is that it is mostly a myth. Although the United States possesses certain unique qualities -- from high levels of religiosity to a political culture that privileges individual freedom -- the conduct of U.S. foreign policy has been determined primarily by its relative power and by the inherently competitive nature of international politics. By focusing on their supposedly exceptional qualities, Americans blind themselves to the ways that they are a lot like everyone else.

This unchallenged faith in American exceptionalism makes it harder for Americans to understand why others are less enthusiastic about U.S. dominance, often alarmed by U.S. policies, and frequently irritated by what they see as U.S. hypocrisy, whether the subject is possession of nuclear weapons, conformity with international law, or America's tendency to condemn the conduct of others while ignoring its own failings. Ironically, U.S. foreign policy would probably be more effective if Americans were less convinced of their own unique virtues and less eager to proclaim them.

What we need, in short, is a more realistic and critical assessment of America's true character and contributions. In that spirit, I offer here the Top 5 Myths about American Exceptionalism.

Myth 1: There Is Something Exceptional About American Exceptionalism.

Whenever American leaders refer to the "unique" responsibilities of the United States, they are saying that it is different from other powers and that these differences require them to take on special burdens.

Yet there is nothing unusual about such lofty declarations; indeed, those who make them are treading a well-worn path. Most great powers have considered themselves superior to their rivals and have believed that they were advancing some greater good when they imposed their preferences on others. The British thought they were bearing the "white man's burden," while French colonialists invoked la mission civilisatrice to justify their empire. Portugal, whose imperial activities were hardly distinguished, believed it was promoting a certain missão civilizadora. Even many of the officials of the former Soviet Union genuinely believed they were leading the world toward a socialist utopia despite the many cruelties that communist rule inflicted. Of course, the United States has by far the better claim to virtue than Stalin or his successors, but Obama was right to remind us that all countries prize their own particular qualities.

So when Americans proclaim they are exceptional and indispensable, they are simply the latest nation to sing a familiar old song. Among great powers, thinking you're special is the norm, not the exception.

Myth 2: The United States Behaves Better Than Other Nations Do.

Declarations of American exceptionalism rest on the belief that the United States is a uniquely virtuous nation, one that loves peace, nurtures liberty, respects human rights, and embraces the rule of law. Americans like to think their country behaves much better than other states do, and certainly better than other great powers.

If only it were true. The United States may not have been as brutal as the worst states in world history, but a dispassionate look at the historical record belies most claims about America's moral superiority.

For starters, the United States has been one of the most expansionist powers in modern history. It began as 13 small colonies clinging to the Eastern Seaboard, but eventually expanded across North America, seizing Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California from Mexico in 1846. Along the way, it eliminated most of the native population and confined the survivors to impoverished reservations. By the mid-19th century, it had pushed Britain out of the Pacific Northwest and consolidated its hegemony over the Western Hemisphere.

The United States has fought numerous wars since then -- starting several of them -- and its wartime conduct has hardly been a model of restraint. The 1899-1902 conquest of the Philippines killed some 200,000 to 400,000 Filipinos, most of them civilians, and the United States and its allies did not hesitate to dispatch some 305,000 German and 330,000 Japanese civilians through aerial bombing during World War II, mostly through deliberate campaigns against enemy cities. No wonder Gen. Curtis LeMay, who directed the bombing campaign against Japan, told an aide, "If the U.S. lost the war, we would be prosecuted as war criminals." The United States dropped more than 6 million tons of bombs during the Indochina war, including tons of napalm and lethal defoliants like Agent Orange, and it is directly responsible for the deaths of many of the roughly 1 million civilians who died in that war.

More recently, the U.S.-backed Contra war in Nicaragua killed some 30,000 Nicaraguans, a percentage of their population equivalent to 2 million dead Americans. U.S. military action has led directly or indirectly to the deaths of 250,000 Muslims over the past three decades (and that's a low-end estimate, not counting the deaths resulting from the sanctions against Iraq in the 1990s), including the more than 100,000 people who died following the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. U.S. drones and Special Forces are going after suspected terrorists in at least five countries at present and have killed an unknown number of innocent civilians in the process. Some of these actions may have been necessary to make Americans more prosperous and secure. But while Americans would undoubtedly regard such acts as indefensible if some foreign country were doing them to us, hardly any U.S. politicians have questioned these policies. Instead, Americans still wonder, "Why do they hate us?"

The United States talks a good game on human rights and international law, but it has refused to sign most human rights treaties, is not a party to the International Criminal Court, and has been all too willing to cozy up to dictators -- remember our friend Hosni Mubarak? -- with abysmal human rights records. If that were not enough, the abuses at Abu Ghraib and the George W. Bush administration's reliance on waterboarding, extraordinary rendition, and preventive detention should shake America's belief that it consistently acts in a morally superior fashion. Obama's decision to retain many of these policies suggests they were not a temporary aberration.

The United States never conquered a vast overseas empire or caused millions to die through tyrannical blunders like China's Great Leap Forward or Stalin's forced collectivization. And given the vast power at its disposal for much of the past century, Washington could certainly have done much worse. But the record is clear: U.S. leaders have done what they thought they had to do when confronted by external dangers, and they paid scant attention to moral principles along the way. The idea that the United States is uniquely virtuous may be comforting to Americans; too bad it's not true.

Myth 3: America's Success Is Due to Its Special Genius.

The United States has enjoyed remarkable success, and Americans tend to portray their rise to world power as a direct result of the political foresight of the Founding Fathers, the virtues of the U.S. Constitution, the priority placed on individual liberty, and the creativity and hard work of the American people. In this narrative, the United States enjoys an exceptional global position today because it is, well, exceptional.

There is more than a grain of truth to this version of American history. It's not an accident that immigrants came to America in droves in search of economic opportunity, and the "melting pot" myth facilitated the assimilation of each wave of new Americans. America's scientific and technological achievements are fully deserving of praise and owe something to the openness and vitality of the American political order.

But America's past success is due as much to good luck as to any uniquely American virtues. The new nation was lucky that the continent was lavishly endowed with natural resources and traversed by navigable rivers. It was lucky to have been founded far from the other great powers and even luckier that the native population was less advanced and highly susceptible to European diseases. Americans were fortunate that the European great powers were at war for much of the republic's early history, which greatly facilitated its expansion across the continent, and its global primacy was ensured after the other great powers fought two devastating world wars. This account of America's rise does not deny that the United States did many things right, but it also acknowledges that America's present position owes as much to good fortune as to any special genius or "manifest destiny."

Myth 4: The United States Is Responsible for Most of the Good in the World.

Americans are fond of giving themselves credit for positive international developments. President Bill Clinton believed the United States was "indispensable to the forging of stable political relations," and the late Harvard University political scientist Samuel P. Huntington thought U.S. primacy was central "to the future of freedom, democracy, open economies, and international order in the world." Journalist Michael Hirsh has gone even further, writing in his book At War With Ourselves that America's global role is "the greatest gift the world has received in many, many centuries, possibly all of recorded history." Scholarly works such as Tony Smith's America's Mission and G. John Ikenberry's Liberal Leviathan emphasize America's contribution to the spread of democracy and its promotion of a supposedly liberal world order. Given all the high-fives American leaders have given themselves, it is hardly surprising that most Americans see their country as an overwhelmingly positive force in world affairs.

Once again, there is something to this line of argument, just not enough to make it entirely accurate. The United States has made undeniable contributions to peace and stability in the world over the past century, including the Marshall Plan, the creation and management of the Bretton Woods system, its rhetorical support for the core principles of democracy and human rights, and its mostly stabilizing military presence in Europe and the Far East. But the belief that all good things flow from Washington's wisdom overstates the U.S. contribution by a wide margin.

For starters, though Americans watching Saving Private Ryan or Patton may conclude that the United States played the central role in vanquishing Nazi Germany, most of the fighting was in Eastern Europe and the main burden of defeating Hitler's war machine was borne by the Soviet Union. Similarly, though the Marshall Plan and NATO played important roles in Europe's post-World War II success, Europeans deserve at least as much credit for rebuilding their economies, constructing a novel economic and political union, and moving beyond four centuries of sometimes bitter rivalry. Americans also tend to think they won the Cold War all by themselves, a view that ignores the contributions of other anti-Soviet adversaries and the courageous dissidents whose resistance to communist rule produced the "velvet revolutions" of 1989.

Moreover, as Godfrey Hodgson recently noted in his sympathetic but clear-eyed book, The Myth of American Exceptionalism, the spread of liberal ideals is a global phenomenon with roots in the Enlightenment, and European philosophers and political leaders did much to advance the democratic ideal. Similarly, the abolition of slavery and the long effort to improve the status of women owe more to Britain and other democracies than to the United States, where progress in both areas trailed many other countries. Nor can the United States claim a global leadership role today on gay rights, criminal justice, or economic equality -- Europe's got those areas covered.

Finally, any honest accounting of the past half-century must acknowledge the downside of American primacy. The United States has been the major producer of greenhouse gases for most of the last hundred years and thus a principal cause of the adverse changes that are altering the global environment. The United States stood on the wrong side of the long struggle against apartheid in South Africa and backed plenty of unsavory dictatorships -- including Saddam Hussein's -- when short-term strategic interests dictated. Americans may be justly proud of their role in creating and defending Israel and in combating global anti-Semitism, but its one-sided policies have also prolonged Palestinian statelessness and sustained Israel's brutal occupation.

Bottom line: Americans take too much credit for global progress and accept too little blame for areas where U.S. policy has in fact been counterproductive. Americans are blind to their weak spots, and in ways that have real-world consequences. Remember when Pentagon planners thought U.S. troops would be greeted in Baghdad with flowers and parades? They mostly got RPGs and IEDs instead.

Myth 5: God Is on Our Side.

A crucial component of American exceptionalism is the belief that the United States has a divinely ordained mission to lead the rest of the world. Ronald Reagan told audiences that there was "some divine plan" that had placed America here, and once quoted Pope Pius XII saying, "Into the hands of America God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind." Bush offered a similar view in 2004, saying, "We have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom." The same idea was expressed, albeit less nobly, in Otto von Bismarck's alleged quip that "God has a special providence for fools, drunks, and the United States."

Confidence is a valuable commodity for any country. But when a nation starts to think it enjoys the mandate of heaven and becomes convinced that it cannot fail or be led astray by scoundrels or incompetents, then reality is likely to deliver a swift rebuke. Ancient Athens, Napoleonic France, imperial Japan, and countless other countries have succumbed to this sort of hubris, and nearly always with catastrophic results.

Despite America's many successes, the country is hardly immune from setbacks, follies, and boneheaded blunders. If you have any doubts about that, just reflect on how a decade of ill-advised tax cuts, two costly and unsuccessful wars, and a financial meltdown driven mostly by greed and corruption have managed to squander the privileged position the United States enjoyed at the end of the 20th century. Instead of assuming that God is on their side, perhaps Americans should heed Abraham Lincoln's admonition that our greatest concern should be "whether we are on God's side."

Given the many challenges Americans now face, from persistent unemployment to the burden of winding down two deadly wars, it's unsurprising that they find the idea of their own exceptionalism comforting -- and that their aspiring political leaders have been proclaiming it with increasing fervor. Such patriotism has its benefits, but not when it leads to a basic misunderstanding of America's role in the world. This is exactly how bad decisions get made.

America has its own special qualities, as all countries do, but it is still a state embedded in a competitive global system. It is far stronger and richer than most, and its geopolitical position is remarkably favorable. These advantages give the United States a wider range of choice in its conduct of foreign affairs, but they don't ensure that its choices will be good ones. Far from being a unique state whose behavior is radically different from that of other great powers, the United States has behaved like all the rest, pursuing its own self-interest first and foremost, seeking to improve its relative position over time, and devoting relatively little blood or treasure to purely idealistic pursuits. Yet, just like past great powers, it has convinced itself that it is different, and better, than everyone else.

International politics is a contact sport, and even powerful states must compromise their political principles for the sake of security and prosperity. Nationalism is also a powerful force, and it inevitably highlights the country's virtues and sugarcoats its less savory aspects.

But if Americans want to be truly exceptional, they might start by viewing the whole idea of "American exceptionalism" with a much more skeptical eye.


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[Nov 18, 2017] State Department's New Victoria Nuland...is Just Like the Old Victoria Nuland

Nov 18, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Yesterday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson swore into office a new Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. Dr. A. Wess Mitchell became the Trump Administration's top diplomat for Europe , "responsible for diplomatic relations with 50 countries in Europe and Eurasia, and with NATO, the EU and the OSCE."

Readers will recall that the position was most recently held during the Obama Administration by Kagan family neocon, Victoria Nuland, who was key catalyst and cookie provider for the US-backed coup overthrowing the elected government in Ukraine. Victoria Nuland's virulently anti-Russia position was a trademark of the neocon persuasion and she put ideology into action by " midwifing ," in her own words, an illegal change of government in Ukraine.

It was Nuland's coup that laid the groundwork for a precipitous decay in US/Russia relations, as Washington's neocons peddled the false line that "Russia invaded Ukraine" to cover up for the fact that it was the US government that had meddled in Ukrainian affairs. The coup was bloody and divisive , resulting in a de-facto split in the country that continues to the day. Ukraine did not flourish as a result of this neocon scheme, but has in fact been in economic free-fall since the US government installed its preferred politicians into positions of power.

You don't hear much about Ukraine these days because the neocons hate to talk about their failures. But the corruption of the US-installed government has crippled the country, extreme nationalist elements that make up the core of the post-coup elites have imposed a new education law so vicious toward an age-old Hungarian population stuck inside arbitrarily re-drawn post-WWI borders that the Hungarian government has blocked Ukraine's further integration into NATO, and a new "Maidan" protest has steadily gathered steam in Kiev despite Western cameras being uninterested this time.

Fortunately Donald Trump campaigned on and was elected to improve relations with Russia and end the Obama Administration's neocon-fueled launch of a new Cold War. He raised eyebrows when he directly challenged the neocon shibboleth -- amplified by the mainstream media -- that Russia was invading Ukraine. But candidate Trump really blew neocon minds -- and delighted voters -- when he said he was looking into ending US sanctions on Russia imposed by Obama and may recognize Crimea as Russian territory.

Which brings us back to Wess Mitchell. Certainly President Trump, seeing the destruction of Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Victoria Nuland's anti-Russia interventionism, would he finally restore a sane diplomat to the position vacated by the unmourned former Assistant Secretary. Would appoint someone in line with the rhetoric that landed him the Oval Office. Right?

Wrong!

If anything, Wess Mitchell may well prove to be Victoria Nuland on steroids. He was co-founder and CEO of the neocon-dominated Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). Mitchell's CEPA is funded largely by the US government, NATO, neocon grant-making mega-foundations, and the military-industrial complex. The "think tank" does the bidding of its funders, finding a Russian threat under every rock that requires a NATO and defense industry response -- or we're doomed!

Mitchell's CEPA's recent greatest hits? " The Kremlin's 20 toxic tactics ," " Russian disinformation and anti-Western narratives in Romania: How to fight back? ," " Winning the Information War ," " Alliances and American greatness ," " Russia's historical distortions ," " What the Kremlin Fears Most ," and so on. You get the idea. The raison d'etre of the organization founded by the new Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia is to foment a new (and very profitable) Cold War (and more?) with Russia.

Last month, CEPA put on its big conference, the " CEPA Forum 2017 ." Speakers included central European heavy hitter politicos like the president of Latvia and also Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe, who gave a talk on how "the unity of the NATO Alliance" is "what Russia fears the most." The grand event was funded, as might be expected, by war contractors Raytheon and Lockheed-Martin. But also, surprisingly, significant funding came from the Hungarian government of Viktor Orban, who is seen as somewhat of a maverick in central Europe for refusing to sign on to the intense Russia-hate seen in the Baltics and in Poland.

The no-doubt extraordinarily expensive conference was funded by no less than three Hungarian government entities: the Embassy of Hungary in Washington, DC, the Hungarian Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade , and the Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrad Group . Again, given Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's reputation for bucking neocon positions vis-a-vis Russia it is surprised to see the virulently anti-Russia CEPA conference so awash in Hungarian taxpayer money. Perhaps there is something to explore in the fact that the recently-fired Hungarian Ambassador to Washington,Réka Szemerkényi, was recently named executive vice president of CEPA. Hmmm. Makes you wonder.

But back to Mitchell. So he founded a neocon think tank funded by a NATO desperate for new missions and a military-industrial complex desperate for new wars. What about his own views? Surely he can't be as bad as Nuland. Right? Wrong! Fortunately Assistant Secretary Mitchell is a prolific writer, so it's easy to track his thinking. In a recent piece for neocon Francis Fukuyama's American Interest , titled "Predators on the Frontiers," Mitchell warns that, "From eastern Ukraine and the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea, large rivals of the United States are modernizing their military forces, grabbing strategic real estate, and threatening vulnerable US allies."

Mitchell continues, in a voice right out of the neocon canon, that:

By degrees, the world is entering the path to war. Not since the 1980s have the conditions been riper for a major international military crisis. Not since the 1930s has the world witnessed the emergence of multiple large, predatory states determined to revise the global order to their advantage -- if necessary by force.
We are on a path to war not seen since the 1930s! And why are our "enemies" so hell-bent on destroying us? Because we are just so isolationist!

Writes Mitchell: "Over the past few years, Russia, China, and, to a degree, Iran have sensed that the United States is retreating in their respective regions..."

We are "retreating"?

So what can we do? Mitchell again does the bidding of his paymasters in advising that the only thing we can do to save ourselves is...spend more on militarism:

The United States should therefore enhance its nuclear arsenal by maintaining and modernizing it. It needs to sustain a credible nuclear extended deterrent at a time when revisionist states are gradually pushing their spheres of influence and control closer to, if not against, U.S. allies. Moreover, it should use the limited tactical nuclear weapons at its disposal and seed them in a few of the most vulnerable and capable frontline states (Poland and Japan, for instance) under "nuclear sharing" agreements.
There is our new Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia. Our top diplomat for Europe. The only solution is a military solution. President Trump. Elected to end the endless wars, to forge better relations with Russia, to roll-back an "outdated" NATO. President Trump has replaced Victoria Nuland with something far more dangerous and frightening. Heckuva job, there, Mr. President!
Copyright © 2017 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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[Nov 16, 2017] Massive Overkill by William Hartung

Notable quotes:
"... Such fears were then exaggerated further, thanks to hawkish journalists of the era like Joseph Alsop and prominent Democratic senators like John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, as well as Stuart Symington, who just happened to be a friend and former colleague of an executive at the aircraft manufacturing company Convair, which, in turn, just happened to make ICBMs. As a result, he lobbied hard on behalf of a Pentagon plan to build more of that corporation's Atlas ballistic missiles, while Kennedy would famously make the nonexistent missile gap a central theme of his successful 1960 campaign for the presidency. ..."
"... Eisenhower couldn't have been more clear-eyed about all of this. He saw the missile gap for the fiction it was or, as he put it, a "useful piece of political demagoguery" for his opponents. "Munitions makers," he insisted , "are making tremendous efforts towards getting more contracts and in fact seem to be exerting undue influence over the Senators." ..."
"... William D. Hartung, a ..."
"... , is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and the author of ..."
"... . An earlier version of this essay appears in ..."
"... , edited by Helen Caldicott (the New Press). ..."
Nov 14, 2017 | www.unz.com

One thing is certain, however: the president has plenty of nuclear weapons to back up his aggressive rhetoric -- more than 4,000 of them in the active U.S. stockpile, when a mere handful of them could obliterate North Korea at the cost of millions of lives . Indeed, a few hundred nuclear warheads could do the same for even the largest of nations and those 4,000, if ever used, could essentially destroy the planet.

In other words, in every sense of the term, the U.S. nuclear arsenal already represents overkill on an almost unimaginable scale. Independent experts from U.S. war colleges suggest that about 300 warheads would be more than enough to deter any country from launching a nuclear attack on the United States.

Despite this, Donald Trump is all in (and more) on the Pentagon's plan -- developed under Barack Obama -- to build a new generation of nuclear-armed bombers, submarines, and missiles, as well as new generations of warheads to go with them. The cost of this " modernization " program? The Congressional Budget Office recently pegged it at $1.7 trillion over the next three decades, adjusted for inflation. As Derek Johnson, director of the antinuclear organization Global Zero, has noted , "That's money we don't have for an arsenal we don't need."

Building a Nuclear Complex

Why the desire for so many nukes? There is, in fact, a dirty little secret behind the massive U.S. arsenal: it has more to do with the power and profits of this country's major weapons makers than it does with any imaginable strategic considerations.

It may not surprise you to learn that there's nothing new about the influence the nuclear weapons lobby has over Pentagon spending priorities. The successful machinations of the makers of strategic bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles, intended to keep taxpayer dollars flowing their way, date back to the dawn of the nuclear age and are the primary reason President Dwight D. Eisenhower coined the term " military-industrial complex " and warned of its dangers in his 1961 farewell address.

Without the development of such weapons, that complex simply would not exist in the form it does today. The Manhattan Project , the vast scientific-industrial endeavor that produced the first such weaponry during World War II, was one of the largest government-funded research and manufacturing projects in history. Today's nuclear warhead complex is still largely built around facilities and locations that date back to that time.

The Manhattan Project was the first building block of the permanent arms establishment that came to rule Washington. In addition, the nuclear arms race against that other superpower of the era, the Soviet Union, was crucial to the rationale for a permanent war state. In those years, it was the key to sustaining the building, funding, and institutionalizing of the arms establishment.

As Eisenhower noted in that farewell address of his, "a permanent arms industry of vast proportions" had developed for a simple enough reason. In a nuclear age, America had to be ready ahead of time. As he put it, "We can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense." And that was for a simple enough reason: in an era of potential nuclear war, any society could be destroyed in a matter of hours. There would be no time, as in the past, to mobilize or prepare after the fact.

In addition, there were some very specific ways in which the quest for more nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles drove Eisenhower to give that farewell address. One of his biggest fights was over whether to build a new nuclear bomber. The Air Force and the arms industry were desperate to do so. Eisenhower thought it a waste of money , given all the other nuclear delivery vehicles the U.S. was building at the time. He even cancelled the bomber, only to find himself forced to revive it under immense pressure from the arms lobby. In the process, he lost the larger struggle to rein in the nation's nuclear buildup and corral the burgeoning military-industrial complex.

At the same time, there were rumblings in the intelligence community, the military establishment, the media, and Congress about a "missile gap" with the Soviet Union. The notion was that Moscow had somehow jumped ahead of the United States in developing and building intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). There was no definitive intelligence to substantiate the claim (and it was later proved to be false). However, a wave of worst-case scenarios leaked by or promoted by intelligence analysts and eagerly backed by industry propaganda made that missile gap part of the everyday news of the time.

Such fears were then exaggerated further, thanks to hawkish journalists of the era like Joseph Alsop and prominent Democratic senators like John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, as well as Stuart Symington, who just happened to be a friend and former colleague of an executive at the aircraft manufacturing company Convair, which, in turn, just happened to make ICBMs. As a result, he lobbied hard on behalf of a Pentagon plan to build more of that corporation's Atlas ballistic missiles, while Kennedy would famously make the nonexistent missile gap a central theme of his successful 1960 campaign for the presidency.

Eisenhower couldn't have been more clear-eyed about all of this. He saw the missile gap for the fiction it was or, as he put it, a "useful piece of political demagoguery" for his opponents. "Munitions makers," he insisted , "are making tremendous efforts towards getting more contracts and in fact seem to be exerting undue influence over the Senators."

Once Kennedy took office, it became all too apparent that there was no missile gap , but by then it hardly mattered. The damage had been done. Billions of dollars more were flowing into the nuclear-industrial complex to build up an American arsenal of ICBMs already unmatched on the planet.

The techniques that the arms lobby and its allies in government used more than half a century ago to promote sky-high nuclear weapons spending continue to be wielded to this day. The twenty-first-century arms complex employs tools of influence that Kennedy and his compatriots would have found familiar indeed -- including millions of dollars in campaign contributions that flow to members of Congress and the continual employment of 700 to 1,000 lobbyists to influence them. At certain moments, in other words, there have been nearly two arms lobbyists for every member of Congress. Much of this sort of activity remains focused on ensuring that nuclear weapons of all types are amply financed and that the funding for the new generations of the bombers, submarines, and missiles that will deliver them stays on track.

across the country . There are nuclear weapons labs in California and New Mexico; a nuclear weapons testing and research site in Nevada; a nuclear warhead assembly and disassembly plant in Texas; a factory in Kansas City, Missouri, that builds nonnuclear parts for such weapons; and a plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, that enriches uranium for those same weapons. There are factories or bases for ICBMs, bombers, and ballistic missile submarines in Connecticut, Georgia, Washington State, California, Ohio, Massachusetts, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Wyoming. Such a nuclear geography ensures that a striking number of congressional representatives will automatically favor more spending on nuclear weapons.

In reality, the jobs argument is deeply flawed. As the experts know, virtually any other activity into which such funding flowed would create significantly more jobs than Pentagon spending. A study by economists at the University of Massachusetts, for example, found infrastructure investment would create one and one-half times as many jobs as Pentagon funding and education spending twice as many.

In most cases it hasn't seemed to matter that the jobs claims for weapons spending are grotesquely exaggerated and better alternatives litter the landscape. The argument remains remarkably potent in states and communities that are particularly dependent on the Pentagon. Perhaps unsurprisingly, members of Congress from such areas are disproportionately represented on the committees that decide how much will be spent on nuclear and conventional weaponry.

A Field Guide to Influencing Nuclear Thinking in Washington

Another way the nuclear weapons industry (like the rest of the military-industrial complex) tries to control and focus public debate is by funding hawkish, right-wing think tanks. The advantage to weapons makers is that those institutions and their associated "experts" can serve as front groups for the complex, while posing as objective policy analysts. Think of it as an intellectual version of money laundering.

One of the most effective industry-funded think tanks in terms of promoting costly, ill-advised policies has undoubtedly been Frank Gaffney's Center for Security Policy. In 1983, when President Ronald Reagan first announced his Strategic Defense Initiative (which soon gained the nickname "Star Wars"), the high-tech space weapons system that was either meant to defend the country against a future Soviet first strike or -- depending on how you looked at it -- free the country to use its nuclear weapons without fear of being attacked, Gaffney was its biggest booster. More recently, he has become a prominent purveyor of Islamophobia, but the impact of his promotional work for Star Wars continues to be felt in contracts for future weaponry to this day.

He had served in the Reagan-era Pentagon, but left because even that administration wasn't anti-Soviet enough for his tastes, once the president and his advisers began to discuss things like reducing nuclear weapons in Europe. It didn't take him long to set up his center with funding from Boeing, Lockheed, and other defense contractors.

Another key industry-backed think tank in the nuclear policy field is the National Institute for Public Policy (NIPP). It released a report on nuclear weapons policy just as George W. Bush was entering the White House that would be adopted almost wholesale by his administration for its first key nuclear posture review. It advocated such things as increasing the number of countries targeted by the country's nuclear arsenal and building a new, more "usable," bunker-busting nuke. At that time, NIPP had an executive from Boeing on its board and its director was Keith Payne. He would become infamous in the annals of nuclear policy for co-authoring a 1980 article at Foreign Policy entitled "Victory Is Possible," suggesting that the United States could actually win a nuclear war, while "only" losing 30 million to 40 million people. This is the kind of expert the nuclear weapons complex chose to fund to promulgate its views.

Then there is the Lexington Institute , the think tank that never met a weapons system it didn't like. Their key front man, Loren Thompson, is frequently quoted in news stories on defense issues. It is rarely pointed out that he is funded by Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and other nuclear weapons contractors.

And these are just a small sampling of Washington's research and advocacy groups that take money from weapons contractors, ranging from organizations on the right like the Heritage Foundation to Democratic-leaning outfits like the Center for a New American Security , co-founded by former Obama administration Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy (who was believed to have the inside track on being appointed secretary of defense had Hillary Clinton won the 2016 election).

And you may not be surprised to learn that Donald Trump is no piker when it comes to colluding with the weapons industry. His strong preference for populating his administration with former arms industry executives is so blatant that Senator John McCain recently pledged to oppose any new nominees with industry ties. Examples of Trump's industry-heavy administration include Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a former board member at General Dynamics; White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who worked for a number of defense firms and was an adviser to DynCorp, a private security firm that has done everything from (poorly) training the Iraqi police to contracting with the Department of Homeland Security; former Boeing executive and now Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan; former Lockheed Martin executive John Rood, nominated as undersecretary of defense for policy; former Raytheon Vice President Mark Esper, newly confirmed as secretary of the Army; Heather Wilson, a former consultant to Lockheed Martin, who is secretary of the Air Force; Ellen Lord, a former CEO for the aerospace company Textron, who is undersecretary of defense for acquisition; and National Security Council Chief of Staff Keith Kellogg, a former employee of the major defense and intelligence contractor CACI, where he dealt with "ground combat systems" among other things. And keep in mind that these high-profile industry figures are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the corporate revolving door that has for decades been installed in the Pentagon (as documented by Lee Fang of the Intercept in a story from early in Trump's tenure).

... ... ...

William D. Hartung, a TomDispatch regular , is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and the author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex . An earlier version of this essay appears in Sleepwalking to Armageddon: The Threat of Nuclear Annihilation , edited by Helen Caldicott (the New Press).

[Nov 16, 2017] William Hartung How to Wield Influence and Sell Weaponry in Washington by Tom Engelhardt

Notable quotes:
"... Sleepwalking to Armageddon: The Threat of Nuclear Annihilation ..."
Nov 16, 2017 | www.unz.com

When it comes to the art of the deal, at least where arms sales are concerned, American presidents, their administrations, and the Pentagon have long been Trumpian in nature. Their role has been to beat the drums (of war) for the major American weapons makers and it's been a highly profitable and successful activity. In 2015, for instance, the U.S. once again took the top spot in global weapons sales, $40 billion dollars of them, or a staggering 50.2% of the world market. (Russia came in a distant third with $11.2 billion in sales.) The U.S. also topped sales of weaponry to developing nations. In these years, Washington has, in fact, peddled the products of those arms makers to at least 100 countries , a staggering figure if you stop a moment to think about the violence on this planet. Internationally, in other words, the U.S. has always been an open-carry nation.

Donald Trump has, however, changed this process in one obvious way. He's shoved the president's role as arms-purveyor-in-chief in everybody's face. He did so on his initial trip abroad when, in Riyadh, he bragged ceaselessly about ringing up $110 billion dollars in arms sales to the Saudis. Some of those had, in fact, already been brokered by the Obama administration and some weren't actually "sales" at all, just " letters of intent ." Still, he took the most fulsome of credit and, when it comes to his "achievements," exaggeration is, of course, the name of his game.

And he's just done it again on his blustery jaunt through Japan and South Korea. There, using the North Korean threat, he plugged American weaponry mercilessly (so to speak), while claiming potential deals and future American jobs galore. In the presence of Shinzo Abe, for instance, he swore that the Japanese Prime Minister would "shoot [North Korean missiles] out of the sky when he completes the purchase of a lot of military equipment from the United States." Both the Japanese and the South Korean leaders, seeing a way into his well-armored heart, humored him relentlessly on the subject and on his claims of bringing home jobs to the U.S. (In fact, one of the weapons systems he was plugging, the F-35 , would actually be assembled in Japan!)

Strangely enough, however, the president didn't bring up an issue he raises regularly when it comes to weapons sales in the United States (at least, sales to white people, not Muslims, with an urge to kill): mental health . Isn't it curious that, as he peddles some of the more destructive weaponry imaginable across Asia and the Middle East, he never brings that up? Fortunately, TomDispatch regular and expert on American arms sales William Hartung raises the issue today in an adaptation of a piece he wrote for Sleepwalking to Armageddon: The Threat of Nuclear Annihilation , a book just published by the New Press. You might say that he considers the most mentally unnerving aspect of American arms sales: the way, since the 1950s, the nuclear lobby has sold planet-destroying weaponry of every sort to presidents, the Pentagon, and Congress. And if that doesn't represent a disturbing mental health record of the first order, what does?

[Nov 13, 2017] People who are told at every possible opportunity how exceptional they are, are also likely to accept the war crimes of their leaders, as these are of course exceptional leaders. The U.S. can unilaterally withdraw from all treaties against war crimes and attack anybody at will - because exceptional countries must be given the freedom to do what their decrepitude demands.

Notable quotes:
"... Secondly, those who are told at every possible opportunity how 'exceptional' they are, are also likely to accept the war crimes of their leaders, as these are of course exceptional leaders.The U.S. can unilaterally withdraw from all treaties against war crimes and attack anybody at will - because 'exceptional' countries must be given the freedom to do what their decrepitude demands. ..."
"... The U.S. has destroyed life, liberty and the pursuit of survival of millions of innocent people. Only the most repugnant folks are okay with that and with those who ordered the war crimes. But the problem is that a large part of the population suffers from instilled amnesia and does not know what war crimes these psychopathic puppets need to be tried for. Because killing one million innocent people for resources sounds about right for the average Joe and Jane. Got to fill that SUV up. The destruction of sovereign countries based on lies poses no problem for the average Joe and Jane. Incubator lies, WMD lies, Sarin gas lies are all reason enough to bomb a place that contains more ancient artifacts than any other country into smithereens. Plus, it's job security to commit war crimes. ..."
Nov 13, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

nhs | Nov 12, 2017 3:19:22 PM | 1

How the establishment attempts to brainwash collective memory concerning war criminals
str8arrow62 | Nov 12, 2017 3:46:35 PM | 2
Rolling that wheelchair bound POS ex-Prez. out on to the field at the last super duper bowl to a cheering audience can now be considered a weekly 2 minutes of stupidity ritual.
Daniel | Nov 12, 2017 4:04:02 PM | 3
nhs @2, yes, this rehabilitation of war criminals is startling. I first noticed it a few years ago, and wrote this comment during the primaries when I still had hope that Sanders could present a step in the right direction.


A few years back, Stephen Colbert did a dance routine skit in which he danced into Henry Kissinger's office and then left. I commented that I didn't think it appropriate to include that war criminal in a "progressive" comedy skit that didn't call him out as the monster he is, and I got a lot of grief from Colbert fans (which I was also).

Then, in Jon Stewart's last season on The Daily Show, he had Henry Kissinger on as a guest and did a disgustingly fawning interview. I was sickened.

Why? I asked. Why was Viacom introducing to this younger audience a war criminal and treating him like some great statesman?

Then, the Obama Administration (Ash Carter specifically) gave Kissinger the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest award our country can grant to a civilian.

What???

But then, in one of the debates against Bernie Sanders, HRC gave a shout out to Kissinger as a dear friend whom she has gone to for advice on foreign policy for decades, and to whom she would seek out his "wise counsel" if elected President.

And then the previous couple of years of gradually refurbishing Kissinger made sense.

Why people with liberal/progressive values - or simple humane values - didn't immediately see that as disqualifying for a Democratic candidate is beyond me.

notheonly1 | Nov 12, 2017 6:56:13 PM | 7
@ nhs | Nov 12, 2017 3:19:22 PM | 1

A very good example as to why Krishnamurti called this society 'profoundly sick'.

Although we now know that it is much more than that. Instead of being profoundly sick, this society is terminally ill.

This happening is reminiscent of the practices the Fascists devised in Germany. The media depicted the most rabid war criminals as loyal followers of the Führer. In other words, they were above the law and shielded from any public scrutiny (by the same kind of 'media') until they ended up at the Nuremberg Tribunal, in which the big boys got scot free and the little guys were hung. Which in turn led to the German 'proverb' "Die Kleinen hängt man und die Grossen läßt man laufen." (The little ones are hanged and the big ones walk away.)

So, by itself there is nothing new about that. What is most disturbing though, is the impunity the so called 'news' 'media' displays when lying to the public. One day the chicken will come home to roost.

The archaic leadership delusion needs to go. Abolish the office of the most dangerous man on earth. The government is public enemy number one and there are two ways of denial about it:

The first is related to ' inexterminateable ' obedience . There are really still people out there that believe all the shit the 'media' churns out on behalf of the owners of this planet (at least that's how see themselves).

Secondly, those who are told at every possible opportunity how 'exceptional' they are, are also likely to accept the war crimes of their leaders, as these are of course exceptional leaders.The U.S. can unilaterally withdraw from all treaties against war crimes and attack anybody at will - because 'exceptional' countries must be given the freedom to do what their decrepitude demands.

The U.S. has destroyed life, liberty and the pursuit of survival of millions of innocent people. Only the most repugnant folks are okay with that and with those who ordered the war crimes. But the problem is that a large part of the population suffers from instilled amnesia and does not know what war crimes these psychopathic puppets need to be tried for. Because killing one million innocent people for resources sounds about right for the average Joe and Jane. Got to fill that SUV up. The destruction of sovereign countries based on lies poses no problem for the average Joe and Jane. Incubator lies, WMD lies, Sarin gas lies are all reason enough to bomb a place that contains more ancient artifacts than any other country into smithereens. Plus, it's job security to commit war crimes.

After all we only do it to protect the American people and their allies from all these dictators that we have prepped up prior. With the exception of Syria, that is on the regime change wish list of public enemy number one since 70 years.

Thanks for the link, even though I had some stomach fluid coming up at the sight of these pathetic excuses for what goes for a Human Being.

Sigh. It really looks like it will get a lot worse before it can get slightly better.

[Nov 08, 2017] Although most Americans today reject the official (lone gunman) account of the Kennedy assassination, they also have doubts about alternative versions involving CIA as the main culprit. This means the CIA program was successful, for its aim was not to sell the Warren Commission, but to sow uncertainty. Today, people are not only uncertain, they have given up ever learning the truth

Arlen Specter - Wikipedia Arlen Specter (February 12, 1930 – October 14, 2012) was an American lawyer and politician who served as United States Senator from Pennsylvania. Specter was a Democrat from 1951 to 1965,[1][2][3] then a Republican from 1965 until 2009, when he switched back to the Democratic Party. First elected in 1980, he represented his state in the Senate for 30 years.
Cyril Wecht - Wikipedia Cyril Harrison Wecht (born March 20, 1931) is an American forensic pathologist. He has been a consultant in numerous high-profile cases, but is perhaps best known for his criticism of the Warren Commission's findings concerning the assassination of John F. Kennedy. See books: Into EVIDENCE: Truth, Lies and Unresolved Mysteries in the Murder of JFK; November 22, 1963: A Reference Guide to the JFK Assassination
Notable quotes:
"... "about 500 people gathered at Duquesne University for a JFK symposium sponsored by the university's Institute of Forensic Science and Law, which is named for Wecht. Appearances by Stone and a doctor who tended to Kennedy brought national attention. People sneered when they mentioned Specter's name or the single-bullet theory. ..."
"... (Specter has been useful to the deep state in other ways: he protected Zalman Shapiro, former head of NUMEC, from prosecution for his part in smuggling uranium to Israel. http://israellobby.org/numec/ ..."
Sep 23, 2017 | www.unz.com

anon, Disclaimer September 6, 2016 at 2:10 am GMT

deHaven Smith is not that impressive on several counts.

one example: book opens:

"Although most Americans today reject the official (lone gunman) account of the Kennedy assassination, they also have doubts about conspiracy theories and those who believe them. This means the CIA program was successful, for its aim was not to sell the Warren Commission, but to sow uncertainty about the commission's critics. Today, people are not only uncertain, they have given up ever learning the truth. "

At least one high-profile person and an entire community that supports him does not have doubts, has not given up. Cyril Wecht blasted holes in Arlen Specter's "one bullet" theory in 1965. He's still at it. In 2013, the fiftieth anniversary of JFK's assassination,

"about 500 people gathered at Duquesne University for a JFK symposium sponsored by the university's Institute of Forensic Science and Law, which is named for Wecht. Appearances by Stone and a doctor who tended to Kennedy brought national attention. People sneered when they mentioned Specter's name or the single-bullet theory.

Across the state, the Single Bullet exhibit opened on Oct. 21. It's the first exhibition in Philadelphia University's Arlen Specter Center for Public Policy. Willens, the former Kennedy aide, delivered a speech. The center's coordinator, Karen Albert, said he was looking forward to defending his conclusion on the 50th anniversary. " http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5017529-74/wecht-commission-specter

Smith did not even mention Wecht or Specter and the single-bullet theory in his book. The omission is important insofar as its inclusion would have demonstrated that for many years the populace has been aware of the dishonesty of the US government and some have been raising their voices against and continue to do so.

That knowledge should give encouragement to activists such as those who demand accountability for Israel's attack on the USS Liberty and the deliberate killing of 34 US sailors and other personnel.

(Specter has been useful to the deep state in other ways: he protected Zalman Shapiro, former head of NUMEC, from prosecution for his part in smuggling uranium to Israel. http://israellobby.org/numec/

[Nov 08, 2017] Stephen Kotkin How Vladimir Putin Rules

Highly recommended!
This analysis is from 2015 or two years from now. It Is interesting to compare it (along with comments) with he current situation and new developments...
Notable quotes:
"... Russia is classified as a high-income economy by the World Bank (having a per capita GDP exceeding $14,000). Its unemployment remains low (around five percent); until recently, consumer spending had been expanding at more than five percent annually; life expectancy has been rising; and Internet penetration exceeds that of some countries in the European Union. ..."
"... it is the predatory West's efforts to enslave people to the European weltanschauung. ..."
"... This is no World Order: it a man eat man world that has been created. ..."
"... Before America decided to KILL Gadhafi by indiscriminatingly arming gangsters to carry out their will, the incipient-unity state of Libya did not have the sectarian violence that we presently hear about. ..."
"... Dear Jamil: As an American citizen, I take my hat off to you for telling the exact truth--that the terrorist state is the United States of America and our media's propaganda stream is now in overdrive, especially in regard to Russia, which is our latest target. ..."
"... The US State Department's Victoria Nuland and our CIA (+ Blackwater mercenaries) installed the puppet Yatsenyuk/Poroshenko govt. in Kiev (to do our bidding) and CIA Dir. James Brennan himself went to Kiev to launch the civil war against the Eastern provinces that Europeans, at least, are now trying to bring to a halt. The US does leave nothing but failed states behind it, and Western Ukraine will be the next failed state in a long list. Since the end of WWII, the best estimate is that the United States, in 67 military operations and countless covert CIA operations, has destroyed between 20 and 30 million people world-wide, largely in the interest of commandeering their resources or serving the interests of the banks to which they owe money--money they were usually cajoled into borrowing. ..."
"... I hold to my original point that Islamic terrorism has been created by unjustified Western interference. ..."
"... He advocates a world ruled by an elite (unspecified). ..."
"... Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin... :)) ..."
Mar 28, 2015 | Foreign Affairs
How did twenty-first-century Russia end up, yet again, in personal rule? An advanced industrial country of 142 million people, it has no enduring political parties that organize and respond to voter preferences. The military is sprawling yet tame; the immense secret police are effectively in one man's pocket. The hydrocarbon sector is a personal bank, and indeed much of the economy is increasingly treated as an individual fiefdom. Mass media move more or less in lockstep with the commands of the presidential administration. Competing interest groups abound, but there is no rival center of power. In late October 2014, after a top aide to Russia's president told the annual forum of the Valdai Discussion Club, which brings together Russian and foreign experts, that Russians understand "if there is no Putin, there is no Russia," the pundit Stanislav Belkovsky observed that "the search for Russia's national idea, which began after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, is finally over. Now, it is evident that Russia's national idea is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin."

Russia is classified as a high-income economy by the World Bank (having a per capita GDP exceeding $14,000). Its unemployment remains low (around five percent); until recently, consumer spending had been expanding at more than five percent annually; life expectancy has been rising; and Internet penetration exceeds that of some countries in the European Union.

But Russia is now beset by economic stagnation alongside high inflation, its labor productivity remains dismally low, and its once-vaunted school system has deteriorated alarmingly. And it is astonishingly corrupt. Not only the bullying central authorities in Moscow but regional state bodies, too, have been systematically criminalizing revenue streams, while giant swaths of territory lack basic public services and local vigilante groups proliferate.

Across the country, officials who have purchased their positions for hefty sums team up with organized crime syndicates and use friendly prosecutors and judges to extort and expropriate rivals. President Vladimir Putin's vaunted "stability," in short, has turned into spoliation. But Putin has been in power for 15 years, and there is no end in sight. Stalin ruled for some three decades...

Jamil M Chaudri

Interesting but slanted and one-sided, myopic analysis. Why would the 1.6 billion Muslims spread over three continents, accept Mr Kotkin's concept of "World Order".

There is no World Order; it is the predatory West's efforts to enslave people to the European weltanschauung. It is an effort by the colonialists to prolong their hegemony over Muslim lands and people.

One of the biggest mistakes Pakia made was to join the West in destroying Soviet Russia. A bi-polar world was a better world than a unipolar world, where the west is destroying Muslim nations (one after the other).

This is no World Order: it a man eat man world that has been created.

Jamil M Chaudri -> JACK RICE

Before the invasion (and total destruction) of Afghanis there was no daily violence in Afghania. Before the invasion (and total destruction) of Iraqia, there is no daily violence in Iraqia. Before Pakia allied itself with America (leading to the further debasement of an evolving state) there were no (practically) daily suicide bombings in Pakia. Before America decided to aid Ethiopia (and joined it) in destroying Somalia, the state of Somalia had a pretty vibrant civil society, and no gangster precipitate violence.

Before America decided to KILL Gadhafi by indiscriminatingly arming gangsters to carry out their will, the incipient-unity state of Libya did not have the sectarian violence that we presently hear about. Before America decided to Destroy the Syrian State, by leading a crusade (guised as a push for, of all things, DEMOCRACY), Syria was a fast-developing state. ......... This list could be stretched back to the days of Pilgrim Fathers. But I am hoping you follow the drift.

If the hat fits, wear it! If the shoe fits, wear them!! From the top of the head to the sole of the shoes, everything is dyed deep in BLOOD.

At the moment with more than 2'000'000 deaths in Iraqia, and more than 250'000 deaths in Afgania and more than 10'000 deaths in Pakia,

Jamil M Chaudri -> BAKER ALLON

Take some smelling salts, and read what happened in North and South America, when whole nations were destroyed by the colonialists, and kept in RESERVATIONS; their children were taken to missions for conversion to Christianity, their dwellings were destroyed. Read about the Trail of Tears, when a whole nation was banished from their ancestral lands. Read about 2'000'000 deaths in Afghania. For you destruction of HUMAN LIFE is less important than destruction of statues? Shows the kind of person you are. There are many clips available on the internet showing the destruction of Human Life in most parts of Iraqia(including Mosel) by the blood thirsty invaders. Harping about statues and museums, and totally callus about human lives (millions of them) you are indeed a museum piece! Go back to the shelf you have come off.

Renee Barclay -> Jamil M Chaudri • 19 days ago

Bush was a moron but that doesn't change the fact that Saddam was a murderous dictator. And Saddam's sons were known rapists and murderers.
Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites turned on each other after Bush eliminated Saddam and that's the simple fact. And they're STILL killing each other to this day. Google it.

Jamil M Chaudri -> Renee Barclay

I do not have to Google such assertions. They are non sequitur, in nature. Even then, let us examine your assertion for a moment: Bush was a Moron but Saddam was a murderous dictator.

By your logic we American must be the epitome of Moron-ness, for we ELECTED Bush; Iraqis must be a gentle and good people who were overpowered by the Saddam, the Murderous Dictator..

By the way, how many Iraqis did Saddam murder? And then, how many Iraqis were murdered, at the command of Bush? Since the Iraqis were killed/murdered at the command of Bush, and Americans elected Bush, Americans are responsible for the murders. We Americans have blood on our hands!

My assertion is that America is responsible for 2'000'000 deaths in Iraq.

On your non-sequitur. If a good man has evils sons, does the man become evil? Again, Sunnis turned against Shias; so what? About the American Civil War, Google says: Though the number of killed and wounded in the Civil War is not known precisely, most sources agree that the total number killed was between 640,000 and 700,000.

There was no civil war in Iraq before American Invasion and destruction of Iraqi State and Society. Thus, America is TOTALLY responsible for 2'000'000 deaths in Iraq.

Vivienne Perkins -> Jamil M Chaudri

Dear Jamil: As an American citizen, I take my hat off to you for telling the exact truth--that the terrorist state is the United States of America and our media's propaganda stream is now in overdrive, especially in regard to Russia, which is our latest target.

The US State Department's Victoria Nuland and our CIA (+ Blackwater mercenaries) installed the puppet Yatsenyuk/Poroshenko govt. in Kiev (to do our bidding) and CIA Dir. James Brennan himself went to Kiev to launch the civil war against the Eastern provinces that Europeans, at least, are now trying to bring to a halt. The US does leave nothing but failed states behind it, and Western Ukraine will be the next failed state in a long list. Since the end of WWII, the best estimate is that the United States, in 67 military operations and countless covert CIA operations, has destroyed between 20 and 30 million people world-wide, largely in the interest of commandeering their resources or serving the interests of the banks to which they owe money--money they were usually cajoled into borrowing.

As for political corruption, I don't know much about Russian levels of corruption, but I know a lot about the total corruption of our system of government and the evisceration of all of our civil liberties, subsequent to the passage of the so-called and mis-named Patriot Act. By the provisions of the NDAA, any US citizen can be picked up and held in indefinite military detention without charge or trial. I wonder how much worse is Russia than that?

And since Citizens United, nearly every legislator in our Congress is absolutely bought and paid for. Maybe we should leave Russia alone and think about how to restore what we once thought of as a democratic system of governance h ere in the United States.

jlord37 -> Vivienne Perkins

One thing has nothing to do with the other. While I'm in agreement with you on the Ukrainian matter, lets not forget that Vladimir Putin's Russia also has a very big problem with Islamic extremists in their territories as does a number of countries around the world .

Vivienne Perkins -> jlord37

I'm not sure I get your point. Maybe we should think about why the West has trouble with Islamic extremists. Might it be because for over a hundred years the Western powers have chosen the dictatorial rulers of Muslim countries, drawn their boundaries, supported leaders or removed them at its own whim (as S. Hussein in Iraq, the Shah in Iran, Mubarak in Egypt, Khaddafi in Libya, etc.) and inserted Israel into Arab territory for its own reasons. Has it ever occurred to you that if Muslim nations had been allowed to develop according to their own preferences, we might possibly have a more rational and peaceful world today? I can't prove this obviously, but it does seem clear that the more the US attacks and interferes, the more hostile the Muslims become. As an American I would like to see my country behave in a more decent way and with less self-serving propaganda.

jlord37 -> Vivienne Perkins

And was America to blame for Jihadi activity thousands of years ago before its existence? Do you not realize that their actvity is given full sanction, and indeed commands them to go to war with the Kufar? Currently, there is Jihadi activity in countries stretching from India toChechnya and in several African countries. They all have to do with Islamic aggression against there neighbors and almost nothing to do with " western imperialism'

Vivienne Perkins -> jlord37

"Thousands of years ago" Islam did not exist. I hold to my original point that Islamic terrorism has been created by unjustified Western interference.

jlord37 -> Vivienne Perkins

Islam first appeared on the world stage in about the year 620 AD.

Vivienne Perkins -> jlord37

Which means it is now 1,395 years old (not thousands) and I doubt that it's legitimate to equate its idea that it was entitled to make forcible conversions to the present situation, which seems to me to have arisen fairly recently as a response to Western meddling in Arab lands.

Jamil M Chaudri -> jlord37

The answer to the one of your question is a LOWD Yes: It was the FIRST CRUSADES that brought religiosity into the GAME OF KINGS: enlarging kingdoms at the expense of neighbouring kingdoms. The First Crusade was indeed nearly a thousand years ago. The only differences between JIHAD and CRUSADE are:

1. CRUSADERS are more cruel, surreptitious, deceptive, etc.

2. Crusades have no moral component, the goal is political supremacy. Jihad is about moral supremacy, justice and equality.

Since you bring religion into the mix, try to re-read the bible (the new and the old, both of which) PRESCRIBE DEATH to heretics and non-believers. Here is a action in pursuance of such biblical dictate:

"A Spanish missionary, Bartolome de las Casas, described eye-witness accounts of mass murder, torture and rape. 2 Author Barry Lopez, summarizing Las Casas' report wrote:

"One day, in front of Las Casas, the Spanish dismembered, beheaded, or raped 3000 people. 'Such inhumanities and barbarisms were committed in my sight,' he says, 'as no age can parallel....' The Spanish cut off the legs of children who ran from them. They poured people full of boiling soap. They made bets as to who, with one sweep of his sword, could cut a person in half. They loosed dogs that 'devoured an Indian like a hog, at first sight, in less than a moment.' They used nursing infants for dog food." 3

Currently there is CRUSADING MISSIONARY activity in all non-Christian lands by religious warrior-fanatics (wearing the piety hat of the Christian hue). Read about the recent reaction local Hindu population in India against such activity.

First the Western nations used the RELIGION hat to subdue MORALLY SUPPERIOR but less BLOOD-THURSTY peoples; When that strategy ceased to work they rolled out a second version called DEMOCRACY. The second is as much of a sham as the earlier attempt.

Even internal to American, the "down trodden" masses are beginning to cry foul. The prevailing poverty rate in America is staggering. See the figures in most authoritative publications.

Reading does bring enlightenment. That is why I read from diverse sources.

jlord37 -> Jamil M Chaudri

Yes that's why millions of people are seeking to emigrate by any means necessary., and not the reverse. I can assure the " impoverished masses" in the west are in a lot better shape than they are in your neck of the woods.

But I think your trying to deflect once again. That Christianity ad well as other religions has had a bloody past, is no revelation, band I for one am no big fan. But steps have been taken since than, to temper the extremism that brought on these acts. One does not read of to many beheadings and or sucide bombings in the name of Jesus, Buddha, or Shiva. This is not meant as a criticism of Muslim people per se, or a put down of that particular of the world, it is merely mea by as a critique of some of the problems that I, and countless others see in the Islamic faith. There's no question that the leadership in the west, can be very corrupt and rapacious at times, but I think the general trend is towards an attempt at understanding and accommodation. Now, I think it is time for the Muslim world to attempt some sort of inner dialogue where they take steps towards a dressing and correcting their own problems. I enjoyed our discussion, and I hope we will be able to part in civil terms. Best wishes.

Jamil M Chaudri -> jlord37

First of all let me disabuse your notion of "my neck of the woods". In one of my earlier posting I have clearly stated that I am a proud American Citizen, living in a well wooded and watered part of the US of A. But as my country has gone wayward (essentially in pursuit of the buck) from its charter I am trying to bring America back to its promise.

You have levied accusation against me of "deflecting" arguments. Let me tell you what your problem is: you want to levy unsubstantiated accusations against others, and when they, with references, confront your falsehoods and soothsaying, you accuse the other of "deflecting" or "hijacking" the discussion! Pot calling the kettle black? Man, it is you who is unable to stick to the argument – but then, as you have no argument, of course, you have nothing to stick to. Your statements are based on your penchant for name-calling, bad mouthing, others. Perhaps your mind-set suggests that with such strategies, you will be the last "man standing" (?).
.
In my first posing on Dr Kotkin's article, I simply wanted to repudiate the so called "World Order". By what right have Great Britain and France seats at the Security Council. By definition in a democratic set-up, every unit has equal rights. What Dr Kotkins calls a World Order is therefore a sham democracy, created to benefit the West.

Under the guise of bringing democracy to Iraqia, Afghania, Libya, the Yemen, etc. the west is simply trying to prolong its hegemony. It is a sham democracy they impose on weak nations. Pliant regimes are being installed, and millions of people being killed. Any voice that is raised against such pseudo-democracy is silenced by force, by the thugs installed as "democratic" regimes. This is western patronage.

Presently, you read about EXCESSES done by the lunatic fringes of the Muslim Society (these groups, by the way, were created by and operate with the support of CIA – so that organisations like HOMELAND Security can get more dollars), because 90% of the news buzz is created by American media.

The USA is a state trying to improve its democracy on a continuous basis. In 1777 did America treat all people the same way? When was the promulgation of freedom (of SLAVES) passed in America? When was the voting rights acts passed? Are the economic developments of the Whites and Blacks (call it Afro-American, if you like) even TODAY at the same level?

I wish you and your, the very best. May Allah have his mercy on us as a Nation, so that we can STANDING TOGETHER still sing the Star-Spangled Banner.

jlord37 -> Jamil M Chaudri

We currently have a black president, black attorney General, a black director of homeland security, and a black national security adviser. That's not to mention the various statutes and regulations on the books that are strictly enforced to prevent discrimination and instances of inequality. Are these details of such small consequence? With regards to your observations of so called regime change, I am in complete agreement with you . I against such interventions wether it is Cairo or Kiev. It is up to the indigenous population of that country to determine the course that their country should take, and not have to be subjected to outside interference. However, I have to ask the question, do you really think that the CIA bears the sole responsibility for the for the existence of these groups? Could it be that they're trying to co opt them and use them for their own purposes? Im almost certain that the CIA didn't create the leaders who take certain texts and use them for recruitment purposes. All I'm suggesting is that we need to hear more from the moderate elements, and that some sort of reformation May have to be undertaken, much in the way it occurred in other religions. ( Christianity for example )

Finally, Im not sure where you got the idea that I " have a penchant of bad mouthing others" but nevertheless, I sincerely apologize if I have offended you in anyway. You are a worthy opponent, and it's been an enlightening discussion to say the least.

Robert Munro -> Jamil M Chaudri

Stephen Kotkin is a Jewish shill for the oligarchy.

Jamil M Chaudri -> Robert Munro

I only knew Dr Kotkin's background as a historian; his religious affiliation did not concern me. The only part of his writing that offended me was the concept of "World Order". I do not accept nor do I want anybody else to be suppressed by the unbridled-capitalists.

Unfortunately, to exercise unbridled capitalism, the underpinning is provided by exercise of power over others. It is the RAPE OF NATIONS.

Robert Munro -> Jamil M Chaudri

I've read Kotkin before. He advocates a world ruled by an elite (unspecified). However, from his background and affiliations, it's very possible that his mind-set matches that of Baruch Levy, below..........

"The Jewish people as a whole will become its own Messiah. It will attain world domination by the dissolution of other races, by the abolition of frontiers, the annihilation of monarchy and by the establishment of a world republic in which the Jews will everywhere exercise the privilege of citizenship.

In this New World Order, the children of Israel will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition. The Governments of the different peoples forming the world republic will fall without difficulty into the hands of the
Jews. It will then be possible for the Jewish rulers to abolish private property and everywhere to make use of the
resources of the state.

Thus will the promise of the Talmud be fulfilled, in which it is said that when the Messianic time is come, the Jews will have all the property of the whole world in their hands."

Baruch Levy, Letter to Karl Marx (1879), printed in La Revue de Paris, p. 574, June 1, 1928

Given the 3000 year history of Judaism, its religious writings, its possession of nuclear weapons and control of the American government/economy/media, it seems appropriate to take such claims very seriously.

Robert Munro -> BAKER ALLON

Here's some more "fantasy" about your barbaric cult............

http://www.haaretz.com/news/di...

http://www.richardsilverstein....

http://www.btselem.org/downloa...

BTW- All three of the links above are to Jewish web sites - civilized Jews.

Robert Munro -> BAKER ALLON

It is the cult for which you shill that is the disease.......for 3000 years you have been a malignant cancer trying to metastasize throughout our world.

Robert Munro -> BAKER ALLON

The disease that sickens and, hopefully, will kill your cult is truth...............

"To communicate anything with a Goy about our relations would be equal to the killing of all Jews, for if the Goyim knew what we teach about them, they would kill us openly." (found in both the Torah and Talmud)

Jamil M Chaudri -> ARJAN VELLEKOOP

Of course, of course. But then, there are even some people with eyes who do not see. For them it is a blessing, for they see no evil. It is really a mental condition due to aberrant eye. By the way, Yogi Berra is supposed to have said: "You can observe a lot just by watching". But perhaps street-walkers in Europe do not watch, because their game is different, and they are enjoying the benefits of their game.

I do not want to shatter your innocence, but slaves are not seen by street-walkers: Slaves are consigned to SLAVE QUARTERS. Present day, western world has built slave quarters in India, Pakistan, Sudan, Congo, etc. This is where the Western Worlds Slaves Live. If you want to read the whole report goto: http://www.globalslaveryindex....

India has the largest number of slaves in the world (14 million).

Mind you, A related concept is "wage slavery". To understand this concept requires sensibility.

Yet another but even more subtle concept is "mental slavery". A variation of this is known as the Stockholm Syndrome. Mental Slavery is a totally abject state where the person ceases to think eigenartig but assumes the likes and hates of the person/people who have programmed him/her.

From the last line in your post, I can only assume that deep programming has been done. Programmed consciousness is virtual reality.

ARJAN VELLEKOOP -> Jamil M Chaudri

So, now the west should care for what governments in other countries do with their citizens? I thought you hated imperialists! Your reference to India is just idiotic. Why should the west feel responsible for the condition India is in?! You are probably going to say the colonial past. Well, thats bullcrap since there are plenty of countries which have grown, since their liberty, into decent and reasonably wealthy states. The west is not responsible for India, India is responsible for itself.

Particularly the Middle Eastern countries have shown behaviour to shift the blame away from their own failures. Maybe it have to do with their Islamic background, in which so many actions are based/motivated from religious basis. And of course the prophet is never wrong, so it must be the fault of a imperialist outsider.

Get real. The countries which contain these so called slaves, can make their own choices. They dont have to be part of the capitalist terrible world order. They can make the better choice like you and other believe it. Sadly enough, that idea is, apparently, not that good. Because good ideas sell itself.

Jamil M Chaudri -> ARJAN VELLEKOOP

You seem unable to differentiate between an imperialist and a "good Samaritan". You had earlier written that, as a street walker in Europe you had not seen any slaves, my response to that posting simply told you where you could go to see slavery. And specific reference to India was simply to help you find slavery most easily - with 14 million slaves India is the centre of Modern Slavery. However, in my conversations with Indians, especially the demi-literate ones, instead of admitting to the prevailing REALITY in India, they do not admit to seeing it. With their eyes open, the street walkers do not see it.

There is absolutely no religious underpinning for State Government in any of the states where Muslims are in Majority. The Saudi Family are are there because of America; the present rule in Iran is a reaction to America (re-)installing the 2-cent "SHAH" to rule the Iranian Nation. The present excesses of the Iranian state are essentially defense postures against America intransigence, and mechanisms to harm (and if possible) destroy the Iranian Nation.

I experience reality every day. If you would just come out of your VIRTUAL REALITY, you might by just watching observe some. I know deprogramming is not easy, and self-deprogramming is even more difficult.

All the same, I suggest that you wake up and smell the Coffee; if not try some smelling salts.

Robert Munro -> ARJAN VELLEKOOP

And we have read the drivel of thousands of shills for the oligarchy and the Zionist/Fascist cult...............such as yourself.

Ivan Night Terrible

Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin... :))

Hmmm... oк, about Putin:

Look at Putin's foreign agenda this past year: Latin America just as the sanctions came in - an intentional finger in Washington's eye, as I read it - then China, China again recently, Turkey more recently, India just now. He has not been to Iran, but there, as in all these other places, he has forged or reiterated promising relations. The deals cut are too numerous to list.

A couple are worth mentioning. The twin gas deals with China, worth nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars, are historic all by themselves. In six years' time China will be buying more gas from Russia than the latter now sells to Europe. And do not miss this: My sources tell me that this gas can be priced such as to crowd the U.S. at least partially out of the Asian market. Other side of the world: Putin has just canceled a planned pipeline to southeastern Europe, the South Stream. This is the defeat Western media put it over as, surely: Russia loses some customers. But two points:

[Nov 08, 2017] More 'Fake News,' Alas, From the New York Times The American Conservative by Andrew J. Bacevich

Notable quotes:
"... Third, Manafort's efforts mattered bigly. In 2010, he helped Victor F. Yanukovych become president of Ukraine. An unquestionably nasty piece of work, Yanukovych was, according to Farkas, "Putin's man in Kiev." Yet like it or not, he came to power as the result of democratic election. In 2013, Yanukovych opted against joining the EU, which along with NATO, had, in Farkas's words, "experienced a burst of membership expansion" right up to Russia's own borders. ..."
"... In response to Yanukovych's action, "the Ukrainian people," that is, the enlightened ones, "took to the streets," forcing him to flee the country. Rather than bowing to the expressed will of the people, however, Russia's Vladimir Putin "instigated a separatist movement" in eastern Ukraine, thereby triggering "a war between Russia and Ukraine that continues to this day." ..."
"... To accept Farkas's account as truthful, one would necessarily conclude that as Manafort was hijacking history, the United States remained quietly on the sidelines, an innocent bystander sending prayers heavenward in hopes that freedom and democracy might everywhere prevail ..."
"... Furthermore, Russia was not alone in its meddling. The United States has been equally guilty. When "the Ukrainian people took to the streets," as Farkas puts it, the State Department and CIA were behind the scenes vigorously pulling strings. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland believed it was incumbent upon the United States to decide who should govern Ukraine. ("Yats is the guy," she said on a leaked call). Nuland would brook no interference from allies slow to follow Washington's lead. ("F–k the EU," she told the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.) ..."
"... That Ukraine is, as Farkas correctly states, a torn country, did not give Nuland pause. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. policymakers have assigned to themselves a magical ability to repair such tears and to make broken countries whole. The results of their labors are amply on display everywhere from Somalia and Haiti to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Now add Ukraine to that sorry list. ..."
"... Even so, can't we at least assume Nuland's motives were morally superior to Putin's? After all, President Putin is clearly a thug whereas Nuland is an estimable product of the American foreign policy establishment. She's married to Robert Kagan, for heaven's sake. ..."
"... This is why we should disband politically oriented NGO's. In essence, a country is only a democracy if it is pro-U.S. Resistance is futile. Meddling at this level will only bring about more conflict, instability and military obligations will follow. It is good to be king but it is also quite expensive and ultimately ruinous. ..."
"... Imperialism rules other peoples against their will, necessitating for its survival the lessening of democratic accountability at home, too, since it lessens the importance of citizens' own concerns, also requiring for its warmaking security keeping voters in the dark. ..."
"... Make that, More 'Fake News,' Of Course From the New York Times. Saturated with Fake News of various manifestations, the NY Times and its rancid analog Washington Post on the other end of the Crony-Elite NY-DC axis are unreadable. ..."
"... Given a ham-fisted EU run by Elite hacks in Brussels that is white washing Europe's Christian legacy, mandating overbearing economic and social controls and absorbing millions of net negative migrants, the Czechs, Poles, Hungarians and Balts seem to be having second thoughts. BTW, The Russians will not and do not want to invade those countries. As the EU spins out of control and the One Belt One Road initiative develops, Russia only needs to ask them what direction they want to face in the future. ..."
"... So, having said that, on foreign policy they, all newspapers and the vast majority of magazines, are war-peddling neo-con supporters. ..."
"... Do not buy any major newspaper. Let them wither away and, it wasn't fake spun 'news' we have been getting only this year: fake agenda driven bull has been going on for decades. Go to the internet and overseas for news think what I said over and you will see ..."
"... All this social, economic and political mess is the result of deregulation in the economic, social, political spheres. The effects of those deregulations are now quite obvious in: economy, society, morality and politics that are already corrupted to the core, but the corruption is not stopping there, it is consuming everything else on its way. There is no end to it, and what is even more surprising is that people want even more of all kinds of deregulations etc. ..."
"... Wouldn't it be more logical to bring back responsibility, moral standards and decency to politics, society and economy etc? What I now see in media is the total lack of any ideas on how to correct the obvious, but instead everybody is spinning his/her lies to make them more believable to the yet unconverted. This is pure relativism and sophistry and it destroys not only the USA, but the West as well. ..."
"... If an opinion piece in NYT or other MSM blatantly distorts the facts, then it belongs to the category of "fake news." Which should probably be called "malicious rumors." So the defense of some commenters that you can blatantly lie in opinion pieces (the right NYT exercised to the full extent in this particular example and for which Bacevich criticized them) is wrong. Anti-Russian witch hunt in NYT and other MSM destroys the credibility of the USA version of neoliberalism as well as the USA foreign policy. Along with Trump election, I view it as a symptom of the crisis of neoliberalism for which the US elite is unable to find a more suitable answer than scapegoating. Also the fact that Nuland is married to neocon warmonger Kagan is a material fact. ..."
Nov 08, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Disregarding President Trump's insistent claim that the establishment press propagates "fake news" requires a constant effort -- especially when a prestigious outlet like the New York Times allows itself to be used for blatantly fraudulent purposes.

I cherish the First Amendment. Mark me down as favoring journalism that is loud, lively, and confrontational. When members of the media snooze -- falling for fictitious claims about Saddam's WMD program or Gaddafi's genocidal intentions, for example -- we all lose.

So the recent decision by Times editors to publish an op-ed regarding Paul Manafort's involvement in Ukraine is disturbing. That the Times is keen to bring down Donald Trump is no doubt the case. Yet if efforts to do so entail grotesque distortions of U.S. policy before Trump, then we are courting real trouble. Put simply, ousting Trump should not come at the cost of whitewashing the follies that contributed to Trump's rise in the first place.

The offending Times op-ed, the handiwork of Evelyn N. Farkas, appears under the title "With Manafort, It Really Is About Russia, Not Ukraine." During the Obama administration, Farkas served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia, and Mess Kit Repair. Okay, I added that last bit, but it does seem like quite an expansive charter for a mere deputy assistant secretary.

The story Farkas tells goes like this.

First, from the moment it achieved independence in 1991, Ukraine was a divided nation, "torn between Western Europe and Russia." Ukrainians in the country's western precincts wanted to join the European Union and NATO. Those further to east "oriented themselves toward Russia, which exerted maximum influence to keep Ukraine closely aligned." In one camp were enlightened Ukrainians. In the other camp, the unenlightened.

Second, Manafort's involvement in this intra-Ukrainian dispute was -- shockingly -- never about "advanc[ing] the interests of democracy, Western Europe or the United States." Manafort's motives were strictly venal. In what Farkas describes as a "standoff between democracy and autocracy," he threw in with the autocrats, thereby raking in millions.

Third, Manafort's efforts mattered bigly. In 2010, he helped Victor F. Yanukovych become president of Ukraine. An unquestionably nasty piece of work, Yanukovych was, according to Farkas, "Putin's man in Kiev." Yet like it or not, he came to power as the result of democratic election. In 2013, Yanukovych opted against joining the EU, which along with NATO, had, in Farkas's words, "experienced a burst of membership expansion" right up to Russia's own borders.

In response to Yanukovych's action, "the Ukrainian people," that is, the enlightened ones, "took to the streets," forcing him to flee the country. Rather than bowing to the expressed will of the people, however, Russia's Vladimir Putin "instigated a separatist movement" in eastern Ukraine, thereby triggering "a war between Russia and Ukraine that continues to this day."

To accept Farkas's account as truthful, one would necessarily conclude that as Manafort was hijacking history, the United States remained quietly on the sidelines, an innocent bystander sending prayers heavenward in hopes that freedom and democracy might everywhere prevail .

Such was hardly the case, however. One need not be a Putin apologist to note that the United States was itself engaged in a program of instigation, one that ultimately induced a hostile -- but arguably defensive -- Russian response.

In the wake of the Cold War, the EU and NATO did not experience a "burst" of expansion, a formulation suggesting joyous spontaneity. Rather, with Washington's enthusiastic support, the West embarked upon a deliberate eastward march at the Kremlin's expense, an undertaking made possible by (and intended to exploit) Russia's weakened state. In football, it's called piling on.

That this project worked to the benefit of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, the Baltic Republics, and others is very much the case. On that score, it is to be applauded.

That at some point a resentful Russia would push back was all but certain. Indeed, more than a few Western observers had warned against such a response.

The proposed incorporation of Ukraine into NATO brought matters to a head. For Putin, this was an unacceptable prospect. He acted as would any U.S. president contemplating the absorption of a near neighbor into hostile bloc of nations. Indeed, he acted much as had Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy when they assessed the implications of Cuba joining the Soviet bloc.

That doesn't justify or excuse Putin's meddling in Ukraine. Yet it suggests an explanation for Russian behavior other than the bitterness of an ex-KGB colonel still with his shorts in a knot over losing the Cold War. Russia has an obvious and compelling interest in who controls Ukraine, even if few in Washington or in the editorial offices of the New York Times will acknowledge that reality.

Furthermore, Russia was not alone in its meddling. The United States has been equally guilty. When "the Ukrainian people took to the streets," as Farkas puts it, the State Department and CIA were behind the scenes vigorously pulling strings. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland believed it was incumbent upon the United States to decide who should govern Ukraine. ("Yats is the guy," she said on a leaked call). Nuland would brook no interference from allies slow to follow Washington's lead. ("F–k the EU," she told the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.)

That Ukraine is, as Farkas correctly states, a torn country, did not give Nuland pause. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. policymakers have assigned to themselves a magical ability to repair such tears and to make broken countries whole. The results of their labors are amply on display everywhere from Somalia and Haiti to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Now add Ukraine to that sorry list.

Even so, can't we at least assume Nuland's motives were morally superior to Putin's? After all, President Putin is clearly a thug whereas Nuland is an estimable product of the American foreign policy establishment. She's married to Robert Kagan, for heaven's sake.

Persuade yourself that the United States is all about democracy promotion, as Farkas appears to believe, and the answer to that question is clearly yes. Alas, the record of American statecraft stretching over decades provides an abundance of contrary evidence. In practice, the United States supports democracy only when it finds it convenient to do so. Should circumstances require, it unhesitatingly befriends despots, especially rich ones that pay cash while purchasing American weaponry.

Yanukovych was Putin's man, "and therefore, indirectly, so was Mr. Manafort," Farkas concludes. All that now remains is to determine "the extent to which Mr. Manafort was Putin's man in Washington." For Farkas, the self-evident answer to that question cannot come too soon.

As to whether Russia -- or any other great power -- might have legitimate security interests that the United States would do well to respect, that's not a matter worth bothering about. Thus does the imperative of ousting Trump eclipse the need to confront the pretensions and the hubris that helped make Trump possible.

Andrew Bacevich is writer-at-large at The American Conservative

John Fargo , says: November 7, 2017 at 11:17 pm

This is why the term "fake news" is so harmful and should not be used by media outlets. The use of "bad journalism" would be much more useful as it forces the claimants to justify their reasons for doing so.
"Fake news" is just a dog whistle.
William Dalton , says: November 8, 2017 at 12:02 am
Has it not occurred to the foreign policy establishment in Washington that it is more in America's national interests for Ukraine to remain in Moscow's orbit, so as to strengthen U.S.-Russian relations, not exacerbate tensions, rather than to pull them into the EU, or, God forbid, NATO? Isn't this what any of the seasoned experts at Foggy Bottom would tell you? Why aren't they doing so?
Tiktaalik , says: November 8, 2017 at 2:49 am
Two comments in order

1) Yanukovich won in 2004 as well and the election results were hijacked by 'Maidan'

2) Yanukovich wasn't Putin man back in 2010. As a matter of fact, he and his party actively promoted EU integration deal, until they read its actual conditions. After that they backtracked and rushed to Putin for a support.

So it was classical case of sitting on two chairs simultaneously.

JonB , says: November 8, 2017 at 5:39 am
Completely agree with John Fargo. "Fake News" should be reserved for deliberate falsehoods published knowingly. This NYT op-ed amounts to "an interpretation of history Bacevich doesn't agree with." I may not agree with it either – but it's not like claiming that the Vegas shooter was anti-Trump, or creating a Facebook account for a non-existent person or organization.
Nolan , says: November 8, 2017 at 6:42 am
Mr Fargo: Disagree. "Bad journalism" implies the author is lazy yet innocent in their way. "Fake news" is more about narrative control and manipulation of the reader through reinvention or exaggeration, et cetera. Calling articles and outlets fake news is more accurate and levies much more weight against the lies and deceit than simply accusing someone or thing of bad journalism.
Christian Chuba , says: November 8, 2017 at 6:54 am
This is why we should disband politically oriented NGO's. In essence, a country is only a democracy if it is pro-U.S. Resistance is futile. Meddling at this level will only bring about more conflict, instability and military obligations will follow. It is good to be king but it is also quite expensive and ultimately ruinous.
Fran Macadam , says: November 8, 2017 at 7:30 am
If it were all about democracy promotion, they wouldn't also be so anxious to negate an election here at home. Imperialism rules other peoples against their will, necessitating for its survival the lessening of democratic accountability at home, too, since it lessens the importance of citizens' own concerns, also requiring for its warmaking security keeping voters in the dark.
SteveM , says: November 8, 2017 at 7:36 am
Re: "More 'Fake News,' Alas, From the New York Times"

Make that, More 'Fake News,' Of Course From the New York Times. Saturated with Fake News of various manifestations, the NY Times and its rancid analog Washington Post on the other end of the Crony-Elite NY-DC axis are unreadable.

Re: "That this project worked to the benefit of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, the Baltic Republics, and others is very much the case. On that score, it is to be applauded."

Given a ham-fisted EU run by Elite hacks in Brussels that is white washing Europe's Christian legacy, mandating overbearing economic and social controls and absorbing millions of net negative migrants, the Czechs, Poles, Hungarians and Balts seem to be having second thoughts. BTW, The Russians will not and do not want to invade those countries. As the EU spins out of control and the One Belt One Road initiative develops, Russia only needs to ask them what direction they want to face in the future.

Dee , says: November 8, 2017 at 8:08 am
How is it someone's "opinion" constitutes "fake News"? Trump did not win by policy issues, he rode the right-wing outrage at all things clinton/libtard better than anyone else. His policy positions were mostly promise everything to everyone, but his campaign was about Lock her up/ build the wall! After bashing Goldman Sachs during the election, once he won he promptly filled his cabinet with them and other mega donor types.
Mario Diana , says: November 8, 2017 at 9:30 am
@John Fargo – I'm in almost complete sympathy with Mr. Bacevich's essay, but you make an excellent point. "Bad journalism" is the better term. In fact, the only criticism I can make of your statement is that "dog whistle" is the wrong term. Everyone associates the term "fake news" with Donald Trump. (If it were possible, he no doubt would have trademarked it.) Using the term alienates the very people who need to hear criticisms like those in Mr. Bacevich's essay. They hear it, too; and upon hearing it, they stop listening.
Egypt Steve , says: November 8, 2017 at 11:34 am
Look, elite and non-elite self-delusion about the purity of U.S. motives abroad dates back to the Roosevelt administration at least -- and I mean the Teddy Roosevelt administration. I don't see how any of this amounts to a defense of charges of money-laundering against Manafort.
Janek , says: November 8, 2017 at 11:37 am
I disagree with John Fargo. The news that NYT, Washington Post, and other media outlets (not only liberal ) "produce" is the "Fake News". "Bad journalism" should be reserved and used in the sense Nolan explains. Besides the "Fake News" on the so called "left" in American politics in general is the problem of "double speak" and speaking with the "forked tongues". American "right" is the camp of the white flag.
Tom , says: November 8, 2017 at 12:20 pm
The op-ed page is for opinion pieces of writing and that is what this was an opinion. It isn't fake news because it isn't news.
SteveM , says: November 8, 2017 at 12:43 pm
Re: Janek:

Besides the "Fake News" on the so called "left" in American politics in general is the problem of "double speak" and speaking with the "forked tongues". American "right" is the camp of the white flag.

I've mentioned the various "flavors" of Fake News before. There is (1) the obvious – what is claimed as true is actually false. But also (2), what is claimed as important, actually isn't. And (3) what is important, is weakly or not reported at all.

An example of Type 2 is the WaPost reporting on its front page before the 2016 that Jared Kushner may have been greased into the Harvard MBA program. As if Ivy League greasing by monied Elites is unheard of. How was that front page news? And how about the acceptances of Chelsea Clinton (Stanford) and Malia Obama (Harvard)?

The cases of Type 3 Fake News are much more egregious. For example, the reasoned arguments and analysis by retired American intelligence officers and academics that the Syrian forces "chemical weapon attack" in April was almost certainly a false flag with staged recovery activity.

The NY Times and WaPost have consistently refused to acknowledge that those arguments and analysis even exist.

The linking of Russia to the DNC email leaks as factual by the Times, Post and NPR without a scintilla of published hard evidence is another example.

There are many more examples of Type 3 Fake News that could be demonstrated. Much of what claims to be journalism by the MSM is now Fake News trash.

Siarlys Jenkins , says: November 8, 2017 at 1:09 pm
Disregarding President Trump's insistent claim that the establishment press propagates "fake news" requires a constant effort -- especially when a prestigious outlet like the New York Times allows itself to be used for blatantly fraudulent purposes.

I agree in principal, although I note that President Trump and his team are as guilty of fake news as anyone, and the president himself appears to be positively delusional. I might at times disagree with Bacevich as to which news is fake.

I would also agree that there has been a great deal of "fake news" out of Ukraine, and what is really going on their is a former SSR with a bitterly divided population that each has about equal numbers, proponderance in some territories compared to others, and equally opportunistic leadership showing no great commitment to anything recognizable as "democracy."

Fayez Abedaziz , says: November 8, 2017 at 3:22 pm
Say, can we refrain from using the word 'journalism' when we refer to the American media? We should.

The internet and sources overseas, such as the Independent News paper/site out of Britain, have news that is not purposely spun as is by the neo-con American news papers and magazines. Not as much, anyway. Several points here, for example of what bad news (pun intended) the joke of American media is:

1- quit calling the main stream media liberal or left. They are liberal in a 'social issues sense,' that is, to be politically correct.

2- So, having said that, on foreign policy they, all newspapers and the vast majority of magazines, are war-peddling neo-con supporters.

3-They have agendas. Do we not remember how they, at the new york times, peddled the war against Iraq and how, when you look at the editorial page you feel that these people and the guests opinion writers are soulless people that have no concern for America's 'flyover' country?

4- Yeah, isn't that ironic that these people look down on America's middle class, blue collar workers and yes, it's troops, by that constant bashing of nations here and there and pushing for aggressive stands or even military attacks? Let the people at the major newspapers like this n.y.times rag tell us when they served in the U.S. military or their when their offspring did or when they're gonna join and volunteer for combat duty. Never mind, I've got the answer-none of 'em.

Do not buy any major newspaper. Let them wither away and, it wasn't fake spun 'news' we have been getting only this year: fake agenda driven bull has been going on for decades. Go to the internet and overseas for news think what I said over and you will see

Janek , says: November 8, 2017 at 3:39 pm
@SteveM

Not everybody has the time to analyze the deluge of all the "Fake News" and categorize it into classes and/or sub-classes you or somebody else proposes. Where all that leads? Soon we will have new sociopolitical discipline and experts on "fake-newsology" that will introduce another layer of pseudo-information that will have to be translated to the uninitiated and unwashed.

All this social, economic and political mess is the result of deregulation in the economic, social, political spheres. The effects of those deregulations are now quite obvious in: economy, society, morality and politics that are already corrupted to the core, but the corruption is not stopping there, it is consuming everything else on its way. There is no end to it, and what is even more surprising is that people want even more of all kinds of deregulations etc.

Wouldn't it be more logical to bring back responsibility, moral standards and decency to politics, society and economy etc? What I now see in media is the total lack of any ideas on how to correct the obvious, but instead everybody is spinning his/her lies to make them more believable to the yet unconverted. This is pure relativism and sophistry and it destroys not only the USA, but the West as well.

nikbez

If an opinion piece in NYT or other MSM blatantly distorts the facts, then it belongs to the category of "fake news." Which should probably be called "malicious rumors."

So the defense of some commenters that you can blatantly lie in opinion pieces (the right NYT exercised to the full extent in this particular example and for which Bacevich criticized them) is wrong.

Anti-Russian witch hunt in NYT and other MSM destroys the credibility of the USA version of neoliberalism as well as the USA foreign policy. Along with Trump election, I view it as a symptom of the crisis of neoliberalism for which the US elite is unable to find a more suitable answer than scapegoating.

Also the fact that Nuland is married to neocon warmonger Kagan is a material fact.

[Nov 04, 2017] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Leads US President Trump to War with Iran by Prof. James Petras

Highly recommended!
I am not sure the tail is wagging the dog in Middle East. The USA has Carter doctrine in place which means that they need to dominate all petro states. That might explain high level of animosity toward Iran, which is not a puppet regime as Carter doctrine requires. In this sense Israel interests are probably highly congruent with the USA interests. Otherwise Netanyahu would not be a prime minister. He proved to be greedy and reckless. The US intelligence agencies probably have enough material to remove him without much noise.
Notable quotes:
"... Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Presidents of the 52 Major Jewish American Organizations are leading President Trump , like a puppy on a leash, into a major war with Iran. The hysterical '52 Presidents' and 'Bibi' Netanyahu are busy manufacturing Holocaust-level predictions that a non-nuclear Iran is preparing to 'vaporize' Israel, , The buffoonish US President Trump has swallowed this fantasy wholesale and is pushing our nation toward war for the sake of Israel and its US-based supporters and agents. We will cite ten recent examples of Israeli-authored policies, implemented by Trump in his march to war (there are scores of others). ..."
"... Trump's total reliance on his pro-Israel advisers, embedded in his regime, at the expense of US military intelligence, has led to the construction of a parallel government, pitting the President and his Zionist-advisers against his generals . This certainly exposes the total hypocrisy of Trump's presidential campaign promise to ' Make America Great Again' . His practice and policy of promoting war with Iran for the sake of Israel are placing US national interest and the advice of the US generals last and will never restore American prestige. ..."
Oct 26, 2017 | www.defenddemocracy.press

Can Generals James Mattis (US Secretary of Defense) and John Hyten (Head of US Strategic Command) Prevent a Disaster?

Introduction

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Presidents of the 52 Major Jewish American Organizations are leading President Trump , like a puppy on a leash, into a major war with Iran. The hysterical '52 Presidents' and 'Bibi' Netanyahu are busy manufacturing Holocaust-level predictions that a non-nuclear Iran is preparing to 'vaporize' Israel, , The buffoonish US President Trump has swallowed this fantasy wholesale and is pushing our nation toward war for the sake of Israel and its US-based supporters and agents. We will cite ten recent examples of Israeli-authored policies, implemented by Trump in his march to war (there are scores of others).

  1. After many years, Israel and 'the 52 President' finally made the US withdraw from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) because of its detailed documentation of Israeli crimes against Palestinian people. Trump complied with their demands.
  2. Tel Aviv demanded a Zionist fanatic and backer of the illegal Jewish settler occupation of Palestinian lands, the bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman , be appointed US Ambassador to Israel. Trump complied, despite the ambassador's overt conflict of interest.
  3. Israel launched waves of savage bombings against Syrian government troops and facilities engaged in a war against ISIS-mercenary terrorists. Israel, which had backed the terrorists in its ambition to break-up of the secular Syrian state, demanded US support. Trump complied, and sent more US arms to the anti-government terrorists.
  4. Israel denounced the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal Framework and Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action , signed by 6 major states and UN Security Council Members, (US, France, UK, Germany, China and Russia). A furious Netanyahu demanded that President Trump follow Tel Aviv and abrogate the multiparty agreement signed by his predecessor, Barack Obama . Trump complied and the US is at risk of openly violating its international agreement.

    Trump parrots Netanyahu's falsehoods to the letter: He raves that Iran, while technically in compliance, has violated ' the spirit of the agreement' without citing a single instance of actual violation. The 5 other signers of the ' Framework', the US military and the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency have repeatedly certified Iran's strict compliance with the accord. Trump rejects the evidence of countless experts among US allies and 'his own generals' while embracing the hysterical lies from Israel and the ' 52' . Who would have thought the 'hard-nosed' businessman Trump would be so ' spiritual' when it came to honoring and breaking treaties and agreements!

  5. Israel and the ' 52' have demanded that Washington imprison and fine US citizens who have exercised their constitutional First Amendment Right of free speech by supporting the international boycott, divest and sanctions (BDS) campaign, which is designed to end the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and crimes against Palestinians. Trump complied. Americans may soon face over a decade in prison and complete economic ruin for supporting a peaceful economic boycott of Israeli settler products. This will represent an unprecedented violation of the US Constitution. At present, US public employees, like teachers in certain US states, are facing job loss for refusing to sign a 'loyalty oath' not to boycott products from Israel's illegal settlements. Desperate American victims of the floods and natural disasters in Texas are being denied access to public US taxpayer relief funds unless they sign similar loyalty oaths in support of Israel.
  6. Israel demanded that the US appoint Zionist fanatic real estate attorney, Jason Greenblatt and real estate speculator, Jared Kushner as Middle East peace negotiators. Trump appointed South Carolina businesswoman Nikki Haley as US Ambassador to the United Nations. Israel pushed for Ms. Haley, the first US governor to criminalize support for the peaceful BDS movement.
  7. Trump went against the advice of ' his Generals' in his own cabinet regarding Iran's compliance with the nuclear agreement, and chose to comply with Netanyahu's demands.
  8. Trump supports the long-standing Israeli project to maneuver a Kurdish takeover of Northern Iraq, grabbing the oil-rich Kirkuk province and permanently divide the once secular, nationalist Iraqi nation. Trump has sent arms and military advisers to the Kurds in war-torn Syria as they attempt to grab territory for a separate 'Kurdistan'. This is part of an Israeli plan to subdivide the Middle East into impotent tribal 'statelets'.
  9. Trump rejected the Turkish government's demand to extradite CIA-Israeli-backed Fethullah Gulen , self-exiled in the US since 1999, for his leadership role in the failed 2016 military coup d'etat.
  10. Like all his predecessors, Trump is completely submissive to Israeli-directed ' lobbies' (like AIPAC), which operate on behalf of a foreign power, in violation of the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act. Trump chose his Orthodox Zionist son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a callow real estate investor and prominent supporter for war against Iran, as his chief foreign policy adviser.

President Trump's irresponsible pandering to Israel and its American-Jewish agents has caused deep unease among the Generals in his cabinet, as well as among active duty and retired US military officers, who are skeptical about Tel Aviv's push for open-ended US wars in the Middle East.

Ten Reasons Why Military Officers support America's Nuclear Accord with Iran

The Netanyahu-Israel First power configuration in Washington succeeded in convincing Trump to tear-up the nuclear accord with Iran. This went against the advice and wishes of the top US generals in the White House and active duty officers in the field who support the agreement and recognize Iran's cooperation.

The Generals have ten solid reasons for rejecting the Netanyahu-Trump push to shred the accord:

  1. The agreement is working. By all reliable, independent and official observers, including the International Atomic Energy Agency, the US intelligence community and the US Secretary of State – Iran is complying with its side of the agreement.
  2. If Trump violates the agreement, co-signed by the 6 members of the UN Security Council, in order to truckle to the whims of Israel and its gang of ' 52', the US government will lose all credibility among its allies. The US military will be equally tainted in its current and future dealings with NATO and other military 'partners'.
  3. Violation of the agreement will force the Iranians to restart their nuclear, as well as advanced defensive, weapons programs, increasing the risk of an Israeli-Trump instigated military confrontation. Any US war with Iran will be prolonged, costing the lives of tens of thousands of US troops, its land bases in the Gulf States, and warships in the Persian Gulf. Full-scale war with Iran, a large and well-armed country, would be a disaster for the entire region.
  4. US generals know from their earlier experiences under the George W. Bush Administration that Zionist officials in Washington, in close collaboration with Israeli handlers, worked tirelessly to engineer the US invasion of Iraq and the prolonged war in Afghanistan. This led to the death and injury of hundreds of thousands of US military personnel as well as millions of civilian casualties in the invaded countries. The ensuing chaos created the huge refugee crises now threatening the stability of Europe. The Generals view the Israel-Firsters as irresponsible armchair warmongers and media propagandists, who have no 'skin in the game' through any service in the US Armed Forces. They are correctly seen as agents for a foreign entity.
  5. US generals learned the lesson of the wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Somalia – where disastrous interventions led to defeats and loss of potential important regional allies.
  6. US generals, who are working with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to negotiate an agreement with North Korea, know that Trump's breaking a negotiated agreement with Iran, only reinforces North Korea's distrust of the US and will harden its opposition to a diplomatic settlement on the Korean Peninsula. It is clear that a full-scale war with nuclear-armed North Korea could wipe out tens of thousands of US troops and allies throughout the region and kill or displace hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of civilians.
  7. US generals are deeply disturbed by the notion that their Commander in Chief, the elected President of the United States, is taking his orders from Israel and its US proxies. They dislike committing American blood and treasure for a foreign power whose policies have only degraded US influence in the Middle East. The generals want to act for and in defense of US national interests – and not Tel Aviv's.
  8. US military officials resent the fact that Israel receives the most advanced US military weapons and technology, which have been subsidized by the US taxpayers. In some cases, Israelis receive advanced US weapons before US troops even have them. They also are aware that Israeli intelligence agents (and American citizens) have spied on the US and received confidential military information in order to preempt US policy. Israel operates within the United States with total impunity!
  9. US generals are concerned about negotiating accords with China over strategic military issues of global importance. The constant catering and groveling to Israel, an insignificant global economic entity, has reduced US prestige and status, as well as China's trust in the validity of any military agreements with the Americans.
  10. Trump's total reliance on his pro-Israel advisers, embedded in his regime, at the expense of US military intelligence, has led to the construction of a parallel government, pitting the President and his Zionist-advisers against his generals . This certainly exposes the total hypocrisy of Trump's presidential campaign promise to ' Make America Great Again' . His practice and policy of promoting war with Iran for the sake of Israel are placing US national interest and the advice of the US generals last and will never restore American prestige.

Trump's decision not to certify Iran's compliance with the accord and his handing the ultimate decision on an international agreement signed by the six members of the UN Security Council over to the US Congress is ominous: He has effectively given potential war making powers to a corrupt legislature, often derided as 'Israeli occupied territory', which has always sided with Israeli and US Zionist war mongers. Trump is snubbing ' his' State Department, the Pentagon and the various US Intelligence agencies while giving into the demands of such Zionist zealots as New York Senator Charles Schumer , Netanyahu's alter ego in the US Senate and a huge booster for war with Iran.

Conclusion

Trump's refusal to certify Iran's compliance with nuclear accord reflects the overwhelming power of Israel within the US Presidency. Trump's rebuke of his generals and Secretary of State Tillerson, the UN Security Council and the 5 major cosigners of the 2015 accord with Iran, exposes the advanced degradation of the US Presidency and the US role in global politics.

All previous US Presidents have been influenced by the billionaire and millionaire die-hard Israel-Firsters, who funded their electoral campaigns. But occasionally, some ' Commanders in Chief' have decided to pursue policies favoring US national interest over Israel's bellicose ambitions. Avoiding a catastrophic war in the Middle East is such a case: Obama chose to negotiate and sign a nuclear accord with Iran. Tel Aviv's useful fool, Donald Trump, intends to break the agreement and drag this nation further into the hell of regional war.

In this regard, international opinion has sided with America's generals. Only Israel and its US acolytes on Wall Street and Hollywood applaud the blustering, bellicose Trump!

* James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York.He is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, TempsModerne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet. He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. In 1973-76 he was a member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Repression in Latin America

Read also: They prepare new Iraq in Syria - Danger of Nuclear War

[Nov 04, 2017] Duty, Honor, Atrocity

Iraq war was the war for oil... Bush was just a puppet.
Notable quotes:
"... Erik Edstrom is a graduate of the West Point class of 2007. He was an infantry officer, Army Ranger, and Bronze Star Medal recipient who deployed to direct combat in Afghanistan. ..."
Nov 04, 2017 | www.unz.com

In George W. Bush's home state of Texas, if you are an ordinary citizen found guilty of capital murder, the mandatory sentence is either life in prison or the death penalty. If, however, you are a former president of the United States responsible for initiating two illegal wars of aggression, which killed 7,000 U.S. servicemen and at least 210,000 civilians , displaced more than 10 million people from their homes, condoned torture, initiated a global drone assassination campaign, and imprisoned people for years without substantive evidence or trial in Guantanamo Bay, the punishment evidently is to be given the Thayer Award at West Point.

On October 19th, George W. Bush traveled to the United States Military Academy, my alma mater , to receive the Sylvanus Thayer Award at a ceremony hosted by that school's current superintendent and presented on behalf of the West Point Association of Graduates. The honor is "given to a citizen whose outstanding character, accomplishments, and stature in the civilian community draw wholesome comparison to the qualities for which West Point strives."

... ... ...

Erik Edstrom is a graduate of the West Point class of 2007. He was an infantry officer, Army Ranger, and Bronze Star Medal recipient who deployed to direct combat in Afghanistan.

SolontoCroesus , October 23, 2017 at 4:17 pm GMT
Half right.

Bush is a war criminal and should not be rewarded for upholding moral standards, he should be in prison or on the end of a piano wire.
But, the seed does not fall far from the tree (from which both should hang).

Lt Col Pete Kilner styles himself an ethicist and teaches/counsels ethics and morality to West Pointers and helps military personnel deal with post-engagement moral issues. Kilner published this essay a few days ago:

MORAL MISCONCEPTIONS: FIVE FLAWED ASSUMPTIONS CONFUSE MORAL JUDGMENTS ON WAR

https://www.ausa.org/articles/moral-misconceptions-five-flawed-assumptions-confuse-moral-judgments-war

imo nearly every argument Kilner makes to refute the "5 misconceptions" are childishly simplistic; some rely on distortions or omissions of key facts.
For example, Kilner writes:

Misconception 4
Motives must be pure:
The 1990–91 First Gulf War was a paradigm case of a just war. Iraq invaded and occupied Kuwait, and the U.S. and other countries assisted Kuwaiti forces in liberating their country and re-establishing their government. Critics of the war claim that the United States' involvement was motivated by a desire to keep oil prices low. Even if they are right, would it matter?

No, the Gulf War was NOT a "paradigm case of a just war." Just war theory / Jus Ad Bellum Convention holds that the just war must:

have just cause, be a last resort, be declared by a proper authority, possess right intention, have a reasonable chance of success, and the end must be proportional to the means used. . . http://www.iep.utm.edu/justwar/#H2

First of all, if you have to lie to gain assent to wage war, then any moral claim to having a just cause is null.
Incubator babies??

In almost every other way the Persian Gulf war waged by George H W Bush violated jus ad bellum principles but especially:

War should always be a last resort. This connects intimately with presenting a just cause – all other forms of solution must have been attempted prior to the declaration of war.

As Vernon Loeb recorded -- and the George H W Bush archives as examined by historian Jeff Engel affirm, King Hussein of Jordan, in concert with other Arab leaders, had achieved a resolution to which Saddam would have agreed, and repeatedly asked Bush to let the Arabs take care of their own conflict. Likewise, Mikhael Gorbachev persisted to the point of annoyance in calling Bush and urging him NOT to go to war to resolve the conflict. Bush shouted at him and ignored his advice.

All other options had NOT been exhausted.

The Berlin wall had fallen, USSR and Gorbachev no longer had power to counterbalance US power; George H W Bush was King of the Mountain and he wielded his power recklessly. The world is still reeling -- and hundreds of thousands are dead, because of his reckless disregard of thousand-year old principles of Justice in War.

It's astonishing that an ethicist who teaches West Pointers did not make this basic analysis.

In summary, if Lt. Col. Pete Kilner is representative of the "moral foundation" provided West Point cadets, the institution -- and the United States that, according to a Gallup poll, trusts the military more than any other institution in USA -- are in deeper trouble than Erik Erdstrom comprehends.

reiner Tor , October 23, 2017 at 8:06 pm GMT
Previously had the impression that Dubya was a dumb but decent person, manipulated by others. I didn't know for example his eager participation in the speechmaking/lecture circus. This mental picture has changed somewhat in recent years, but I remained greatly ignorant of a lot of details. Now these two articles about him shed some light how he really is a piece of shit, just like the others. Maybe not so extremely dumb, though.
willem1 , October 23, 2017 at 9:20 pm GMT
This article is (sadly) on the money. However, it is just another illustration revealing the mockery that most such prestigious awards have made of themselves in recent years. Awarding Barack Obama the Nobel Prize was one recent instance of this – a president that at one point had us engaged in seven wars at once. But at least in that case, it can be claimed that the award was aspirational, as the totality of his "accomplishment" did not become a matter of record until after the award was made. In the case described above, the honor is being awarded with full knowledge of the recipient's history.
SolontoCroesus , October 23, 2017 at 10:37 pm GMT
@peterAUS

Trump's brutal comment to the dead soldier in Florida was on the money: That's what you signed up for. It would be gratifying to think that Trump knew exactly what he was saying; Scott Adams thinks Trump is a master communicator. Conversely, tragic to hear the Florida Rep gripe that she was so upset at Trump's callousness because she "had mentored the young man and helped him get in the military." That's just like helping you get a job with Goldman Sachs, right? No risk, no moral quandaries. re Lt Col Kilner -- he's Chhristiian: here's a piece he wrote for Christianity Today:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/december-web-only/war-is-hell-but-it-can-be-heaven.html

War Is Hell But It Can Be Heaven

peterAUS , October 23, 2017 at 11:51 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus

Thank you for that link. A VERY GOOD article. A gem really. Some parts I found particularly good:

This insight is that combat deployments affect our souls so deeply because they allow us to taste something of heaven and hell, in ways that civilian life rarely does. The profound purpose, unity, and love that soldiers in a small unit experience is almost impossible to replicate outside of war; it is a foretaste of heaven. At the same time, the dehumanizing suffering and apparent absence of God that characterize a war zone instruct veterans on how awful human existence can be; there's a reason we say "war is hell."

Soldiers are pawns in a conflict started by others.

And for the first time in most soldiers' lives, we encounter undisguised evil.

Hidden beneath the ugly destructiveness of war, however, is a sublime beauty that is known only to the veterans who have experienced it.

The greater the dangers and adversity that soldiers face and overcome, the greater those bonds. Some soldiers become closer to each other than to their own families.

, it explains why soldiers want to be deployed. We're not warmongers; we're longing for another taste of heaven alongside other warriors. Second, it explains why life outside of war can seem so mundane and even meaningless. Having gone through heaven and hell, our everyday lives can feel like limbo.

We've seen what humans are capable of, for better and for worse. Reflecting on our experiences of war, we are alternately inspired and appalled. We have glimpsed what was previously unimaginable: the happiness of heaven, the desolation of hell.

Compliments to Lt.Col Kilner.

wraith67 , October 24, 2017 at 10:06 am GMT
I'm not sure why that's supposed to be surprising. Leadership across swathes of institutions has abdicated their responsibility to lead or govern and instead adopted baby-sitting and appeasement.
Pete Kilner , Website November 3, 2017 at 6:43 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus

Solonto: You've posted more than 2,600 comments on this website? "You" are likely a group of Russians working full time to sow discord. But let's charitably assume that you're a real person. Your knowledge of the history of the 1990-91 Gulf War is terrible. I assume that you were too young to remember the events leading up to it. Watch President George H. W. Bush's speech to the world and learn:

https://www.c-span.org/video/?15723-1/president-bush-announces-beginning-persian-gulf-air-war

That may be the best explanation in terms of Just War you'll ever hear a politician give. He checks every block of jus ad bellum.

Also, about your snide comment, "Lt Col Pete Kilner styles himself an ethicist." I have a masters degree in philosophical ethics from an excellent program, and I've researched, written on, and taught ethics for 20 years. I may "style" myself a comedian or good dancer, but I'm pretty well-credentialed as an ethicist.

Pete Kilner , November 3, 2017 at 6:46 pm GMT
@peterAUS

Thanks, Peter. If you want to read more, I have a column on professional ethics in Army Magazine. You can access my articles at: https://www.ausa.org/people/lt-col-pete-kilner

Cheers,
Pete

LauraMR , November 4, 2017 at 4:34 am GMT
So what.

Obama turned war itself into a prolonged assassination campaign via remote drone and he awarded himself every conceivable medal. Previous administrations successfully circumvented genocide as a crime against humanity by raining annihilation from the skies. Which part of the government of our country do you fail to understand?

Reg Cæsar , November 4, 2017 at 4:53 am GMT
@Carlton Meyer

"This past Summer, after months of private discussions about POW treatment at Gitmo, the Red Cross openly declared the US Government in violation of the Geneva Conventions based upon first hand reports from Cuba "

Why doesn't the Red Cross do something useful, like making the same claim about Puerto Rico? Then we'd be forced to grant them independence. It's way overdue.

Reg Cæsar , November 4, 2017 at 4:56 am GMT
@SolontoCroesus

Bush is a war criminal and should not be rewarded for upholding moral standards, he should be in prison or on the end of a piano wire.

So how is he different from Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Harry S Truman, who are considered heroes?

utu , November 4, 2017 at 5:25 am GMT
@Pete Kilner

I was around 1990/91 and I followed what was happening. I do not agree with SolontoCroesus take on Bush and Gulf War. I already once had exchanged comments with him about it, I think, but my points did not make a dent.

Bush never looked thrilled to go to this war. I had impression that his arms had to be twisted. He seemed like he would not mind letting Saddam Hussein slide. It was his meeting with Margaret Thatcher in Aspen that changed everything. Bush built broad coalition including many Arab and Muslim nations and went to war. He head to give $500 millions to Israel to keep them away and not retaliating against Iraq in order to not upset Arab allies in the coalition.

The war was won. Bush did not go to Bagdad but only liberated Kuwait. It was reported in papers that his popularity hit 90% which was 20% more than what Hitler got after the Anschluss of Austria in 1938, as I remember thinking this at that time.

In summer 1991 Bush decided to use his political capital and tried to say no Israel illegal settlements by holding money slated for Israel. Yitzhak Shamir got furious and the Lobby attacked. Everybody was against hime. Most people did not know what was happening. Bush backed off and instead of turning to American people and leveling with them on what was going on he only complained that he was all alone in WH.

It was decided (I do not know how, when and where and by whom but it was decided nevertheless) that Bush could not be trusted with the 2nd term. He did not take advantage of the golden opportunity to occupy Iraq and then he had audacity to challenge Israel which last time happened in early summer 1993 by JFK when said no to the development of nuclear weapons by Israel. So everything was done what had to be done for him to lose. And he knew that it would be so. He did not fight. He got impatient with the campaign and looked at his watch during the debate to show his disdain. He had no chance to win. Ross Perot played the same role as Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 election to deprive Taft the 2nd term. Unlike Roosevelt Ross Perot probably did not know what role he was cast to play.

Why Bush did what he did? Why he did not occupy Iraq? Why he challenged Israel? My take is that he really did not want this war. That he really believed that after the wall coming down and Soviet Union falling apart America can change the course and start reducing military spending. He seemed to really believe in the peace dividends. The end of the Cold War was his greatest achievement and it was ruined by Saddam Hussein invasion of Kuwait. So the most important question is to find out who TF whispered to Saddam Hussein's ear to convince him that he will get away with his attack on Kuwait? The same people who wanted Iraq destroyed who eventually had it destroyed 12 years later and all those who did not want peace dividends and who feared the cuts in military spending? I think Bush knew who was really behind Hussain? Who screwed up his vision of post Cold War peace, who deprived him of his legacy. So he said no to Israel when he had the highest approval rating in recent history but then he chickened out. He was intimidated by something. In retrospect he was not a bad guy but he wasted possibly the last opportunity to have America extricated from the iron grip of the Lobby.

jilles dykstra , November 4, 2017 at 6:47 am GMT
Just read the chapter on the Vietnam war by Howard Zinn A Peoples History of the USA. Or read an Eisenhower letter, written after WWII, 'we should have killed much more Germans'. James Bacque, ´Der geplante Tod, Deutsche Kriegsgefangene in amerikanischen und französischen Lagern 1945 – 1946, Frankfurt/M, 1989, 1994 (Other losses, Toronto, 1989)
jilles dykstra , November 4, 2017 at 6:50 am GMT
@SolontoCroesus

As Chomsky said ' according to Neurenberg standards any USA president should have been hanged'.

Realist , November 4, 2017 at 7:51 am GMT
@reiner Tor

"Maybe not so extremely dumb, though."

Oh he's stupid alright. His cerebral prowess is being burnished to further the Deep State cause. Like father like son.

Greg Bacon , Website November 4, 2017 at 10:28 am GMT

The United States Military Academy is, or at least should be, a steward of American military values

But they are upholding American values, like lying, cheating, murdering, stealing, which is what many American presidents, but definitely since President Clinton, have engaged in around the world.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the liars with Operation Inherent Resolve, the gangster outfit that is overseeing the 'Wars for Wall Street and Israel' in SW Asia and the ME, bomb to smithereens civilians on a daily basis, then get in front of the cameras and LIE that they didn't do it, it was those Rooskies. Then, when they're outed with evidence, they LIE again, promising to investigate and that's the last you'll hear of the latest American-made mass murder.
Aren't all those command types at Operation Butcher Muslims, sorry, Inherent Resolve West Point or Annapolis graduates, that lie, cheat, steal and murder on a daily basis, yet they get their chests festooned with medals from a grateful nation for being basically, unhinged psycho-killers, so you see, West Point is upholding American values.

RealAmerican , November 4, 2017 at 10:56 am GMT
I have read elsewhere that Mr. Bush had the largest contingent of rabbis in his administration, as advisors behind the scenes, to provide him with moral guidance. What is a person to make of that? Was he that obtuse?
Thank you Mr. Edstrom!
WorkingClass , November 4, 2017 at 11:41 am GMT

The Thayer may be one of the most important awards that hardly anyone has ever heard of.

Not anymore. Sort of like the Nobel Peace Prize. Dark humor.

jacques sheete , November 4, 2017 at 11:51 am GMT
@peterAUS

Thanks for posting those excerpts.

Most of them annoy the bleep outta me because they seem like more of the sappy (unctuous even),over romanticized, self aggrandizing, claptrap that we've come to expect from functionaries of the state.

This, type of nonsense, in particular, galls me.:

Hidden beneath the ugly destructiveness of war, however, is a sublime beauty that is known only to the veterans who have experienced it.

What a disgustingly hollow load of bulshit that is! Oh, but the rest of us, who haven't experienced the "sublime beauty" of war, aren't counted amongst the anointed elite who know things the rest of us mere mortals don't.

"Sublime beauty?"

Who do you think yer kidding? I was a grunt (volunteer, not drafted) in Vietnam, and I never saw any beauty in war, sublime, mundane, or otherwise.

Here's how a man with integrity views the military.:

"Military life in general depraves men. It places them in conditions of complete idleness, that is, absence of all rational and useful work; frees them from their common human duties, also puts them into conditions of servile obedience to those of higher ranks than themselves."

― Leo Tolstoy Resurrection Or, The Awakening, 1899
In 1851 Tolstoy and his older brother went to the Caucasus where he joined the Russian army as an artillery officer.
In 1854, during the Crimean War Tolstoy transferred to Wallachia to fight against the French, British and Ottoman Empire and defend Sevastopol.

http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1872

Here's what military establishments are really about; I wonder if they deal with this at West Point, or in "ethics" classes.

A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.

James Madison, Speech, Constitutional Convention (1787-06-29), from Max Farrand's Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, vol. I [1] (1911), p. 465

Standing armies are un-American, and no amount of cloyingly romantic slight of hand with the truth will change it. Here's all one needs to know about the "ethics" of state sponsored terrorism.:

Wherever an army is established, it introduces a revolution in manners, corrupts the morals, propagates every species of vice, and degrades the human character."

Mercy Otis Warren, Revolution-era historian,
History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution vol. 1, Ch3, 1805

http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1872

Ethics my tush!:

" I spent most of my [33 years in the Marine Corps] being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers.

In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for [crony] capitalism."

Major General Butler USMC, War is a Racket, 1935

http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html

So, you see, the truth is nothing new. Anyone with a sense of ethics wouldn't try to smear lipstick on a pig.

jacques sheete , November 4, 2017 at 11:59 am GMT
@Greg Bacon

But they are upholding American values, like lying, cheating, murdering, stealing, which is what many American presidents, but definitely since President Clinton, have engaged in around the world.

True, but one could argue that Lincoln was the first of the worst. Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson, and FDR took hypocrisy and mockery of "American values" to new depths and it's been downhill since then.

We have to face the fact that none of us is fit to wield the levers of so much power. To think otherwise is positively deranged.

jacques sheete , November 4, 2017 at 12:08 pm GMT
@Pete Kilner

Also, about your snide comment, "Lt Col Pete Kilner styles himself an ethicist." I have a masters degree in philosophical ethics from an excellent program, and I've researched, written on, and taught ethics for 20 years.

I must tell you that the comment, whether snide or not, is spot on.

Your other credentials are worth about as much as Bush's award or O-bomb-a's "peace" prize, and any adult should know that.

What're the ethics of farces?

n230099 , November 4, 2017 at 12:19 pm GMT
Still, as criminal as Bush and Obama's actions were, between Wilson, FDR, Truman, and Kennedy/Johnson, there are way more Americans dead for nothing than these pikers killed.
DESERT FOX , November 4, 2017 at 12:45 pm GMT
Bush jr. and Bush sr. are both war criminals and were front men for the Zionists who really control this country and both were complicit with Israel and the deep state in 911.

They are evil incarnate with satan and also their henchman Cheney, straight from hell.

TG , November 4, 2017 at 1:19 pm GMT
Whatever one thinks of Trump, one must appreciate the public service that he did in utterly humiliating Jeb! Bush and pretty much putting a stake in the heart of the Bush political dynasty. One takes ones guilty pleasures where one finds them.
jacques sheete , November 4, 2017 at 1:24 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX

All of your comment is true and I'd like to add that the fetid scent of Zionist sympathies can be detected at least as far back as Wilson and FDR as well, and probably even goes further back.

This quote is interesting though I do not mean to conflate Judaism with Zionism.:

We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time, an element which through historical development – to which in this harmful respect the Jews have zealously contributed – has been brought to its present high level

In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism. The Jew has already emancipated himself in a Jewish way.

"The Jew, who in Vienna, for example, is only tolerated, determines the fate of the whole Empire by his financial power. The Jew, who may have no rights in the smallest German state, decides the fate of Europe. While corporations and guilds refuse to admit Jews, or have not yet adopted a favorable attitude towards them, the audacity of industry mocks at the obstinacy of the material institutions." (Bruno Bauer, The Jewish Question, p. 114)

This is no isolated fact. The Jew has emancipated himself in a Jewish manner, not only because he has acquired financial power, but also because, through him and also apart from him, money has become a world power and the practical Jewish spirit has become the practical spirit of the Christian nations. The Jews have emancipated themselves insofar as the Christians have become Jews.

-Karl Marx, On The Jewish Question, First Published: February, 1844 in Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher; https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/jewish-question/

EliteCommInc. , November 4, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT
A someone very fond of the Bush family, I have to admit, as someone who opposed both conflict (one outright) the other as to scale and purpose) this article is a very heavy indictment, less of the executive but of members of congress, the foreign policy establishment and the military advocates for invasion (men and women alike).

I have always thought that Pres Bush ignored his bet instincts on the matter and was ill advised. I don't know what recompense the country will garner for our actions, but I don't think it has yet come. We need to pull up and consider the dark space into which are knee-jerking our way into.

-- –

However, I don't think this is about Pres. Bush or even a stamp of approval on needless and careless interventions as much as it an attempt to wedge the military against Pres Trump or tangentially express discomfit by some in the higher echelons with the Pres.

Deeply appreciated this a article. No argument against those invasion penetrated the cloud of revenge the country was bent on exacting. And it is deeply troubling – when the case against invasion was so blatantly clear.

anonymous , Disclaimer November 4, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT

At West Point, it's still possible to believe that we are fighting in the interests of the Afghan people

If that's true then they are mentally deficient. Mercenaries and the mentally defective working under the leadership of the morally corrupt, the perfect dance partners.

jacques sheete , November 4, 2017 at 2:10 pm GMT
I apologize to those who may find my comments excessive, but some of the attitudes expressed here need to be confronted. I regret that I can't do it in person.

To those who postulate such insubstantial, quasi-profound, faux-poetic pornography, if not swinishly orgasmic, fanciful hooey as:

combat deployments affect our souls so deeply because they allow us to taste something of heaven and hell, in ways that civilian life rarely does. The profound purpose, unity, and love that soldiers in a small unit experience is almost impossible to replicate outside of war; it is a foretaste of heaven.

we're longing for another taste of heaven alongside other warriors . Second, it explains why life outside of war can seem so mundane and even meaningless. Having gone through heaven and hell , our everyday lives can feel like limbo.

Having gone through heaven and hell, our everyday lives can feel like limbo.

I say that Aristophanes, to name just one, saw through the self adulating humbug, millennia ago.

SAUSAGE-SELLER
you wish the war to conceal your rogueries as in a mist , that Demos may see nothing of them, and harassed by cares, may only depend on yourself for his bread. But if ever peace is restored to him, if ever he returns to his lands to comfort himself once more with good cakes, to greet his cherished olives, he will know the blessings you have kept him out of, even though paying him a salary; and, filled with hatred and rage, he will rise, burning with desire to vote against you. You know this only too well; it is for this you rock him to sleep with your lies.

- Aristophanes, The Knights, 424 BC

http://classics.mit.edu/Aristophanes/knights.html

Mulegino1 , November 4, 2017 at 2:32 pm GMT
Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama all fit in the category of war criminal, and were there such a thing as authentic and impartial international justice, they could all be in the dock of a new Nuremberg Tribunal – albeit one without the kangaroo court and vae victis characteristics of the eponymous one.
Ris_Eruwaedhiel , November 4, 2017 at 2:54 pm GMT
@peterAUS

George Bush served in the Texas Air National Guard during Vietnam and his dad served as a naval aviator during WWII. Quite a difference. At one time, the people who started wars fought in them. The last English king to serve in combat was the much-maligned Richard III, killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. James IV of Scotland was killed at the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513. George II was commander at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743.

Prince Harry saw service in Afghanistan and Andrew in the Falklands. So, the denigrated Royals have a better track record than the elites in a democracy. In Robert Heinlein's Starship Trooper novel, only people who served their society in a dangerous position had the right to vote. That would weed out almost of the "cloud people" who dominate the West.

Ris_Eruwaedhiel , November 4, 2017 at 2:58 pm GMT
@utu

I remember James Baker's comment: "F -- the Jews, they didn't vote for us anyway."

MEexpert , November 4, 2017 at 3:09 pm GMT
Bush II could be called a war criminal by reason of stupidity. The real culprit is the bastard standing next to him in the picture. He controlled George W. Bush and was the real President. To this day, he continues to push for war against Iran.
Don Bacon , November 4, 2017 at 3:26 pm GMT
Blaming Bush for starting wars is sort of like blaming bin Laden for 9/11 or Putin for Hilary's defeat. There were a lot more people involved in recent and ongoing US wars, including many people from the "opposing" party, Joe Biden and Al Gore come to mind.
anonymous , Disclaimer November 4, 2017 at 3:31 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Previously had the impression that Dubya was a dumb but

He's obviously no intellectual and it's unlikely he's ever read any book on his own. He appears to lack curiosity whatever his mental level may be. His speeches, like everyone else, are written by others and just simply read as an actor reads their lines. However, his job was to deliver and that he did in spades. He ratcheted up the security state to a historic level and diverted trillions from the US treasury for the biggest gravy train ever. It's an income transfer scheme, from the masses to the upper classes, all while scaring everyone with nonexistent hobgoblins. He did nothing about unchecked illegal immigration, giving his constituency, the haves and the have-mores, their cheap labor. Historians will argue as to who the worst president of all time was and Bush's name will figure prominently. He'll be seen as one of the downward turning points in American history, a person who ruined what was left of American credibility and pride. He had a lot of enablers though, and did not act alone, standing astride a mountain of bones. So, smart or not, the evil nature of this man will continue to cast it's shadow for years to come.

Carlton Meyer , Website November 4, 2017 at 3:45 pm GMT
I checked the web and found this award often goes to the most despicable neocon in the nation. I expect McCain to win next year.

Sylvanus Thayer Award Recipients

I stopped with Tom Brokaw because that seems odd to most. Watch this funny and insightful Jimmy Dore clip about how Brokaw was a no newsman, but a Pentagon bootlicker, hence the award.

sample , November 4, 2017 at 4:28 pm GMT
I think what we can all be thankful is the fact that we are no longer dependant on the NY time/Washington Post etc to see the World through their prizes l
europeasant , November 4, 2017 at 5:02 pm GMT
President Bush may have been dumb or naive or he may have been smart. It's difficult to know what a person really thinks. The Iraq war was a mistake but Bush the Younger also pushed for implementation of other policies which look to be highly dubious. Does anyone remember "No Child left Behind" or "The Housing Gap"? These two policies were hairbrained to say the least. Only a foolish person could ever believe in such nonsense. He truly believed that we were all created equal, he was they ultimate champion of the "Blank Slate" theory. A delusional fool who I actually voted for in 2000.
Yes I think he was "A True Believer" in Social Justice causes.
Ris_Eruwaedhiel , November 4, 2017 at 5:38 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

I daresay that (((Howard Zinn))) approved of that.

utu , November 4, 2017 at 6:02 pm GMT
@Ris_Eruwaedhiel

I daresay that (((Howard Zinn))) approved of that.

Rather not. Zinn on one of his last missions as a member of USAF bomber crew was sent to bomb with napalm large groupings of German soldiers who were just awaiting to surrender somewhere in northern France. The front line past them and was much further West. He did not like it at all. He thought that the only purpose of the mission was to test how the new napalm worked.

nsa , November 4, 2017 at 6:07 pm GMT
West Point? Isn't that some place where the Jooies indoctrinate their latest crop of servile Goy Gurkhas? Change those posters to: Uncle Samuel Wants You with a pic of Samuel in his beanie pointing a bony finger out at you, the suckers.
J1234 , November 4, 2017 at 6:10 pm GMT

George W. Bush Receives a Character Award at West Point

He's a character alright.

peterAUS , November 4, 2017 at 6:16 pm GMT
@Ris_Eruwaedhiel

Agree.

And, you definitely have a point here:

In Robert Heinlein's Starship Trooper novel, only people who served their society in a dangerous position had the right to vote. That would weed out almost of the "cloud people" who dominate the West.

Now, there is one country which adheres to that rule a bit:Israel. Interesting, isn't it? Easy, especially on sites like this, to heap abuse on, say, Netanyahu. Just from Wikipedia, though:

Netanyahu joined the Israel Defense Forces shortly after the Six-Day War in 1967, and became a team leader in the Sayeret Matkal special forces unit . Netanyahu took part in many missions, including Operation Inferno (1968), Operation Gift (1968) and Operation Isotope (1972), during which he was shot in the shoulder . Netanyahu fought on the front lines in the War of Attrition and the Yom Kippur War in 1973, taking part in special forces raids along the Suez Canal, and then leading a commando assault deep into Syrian territory.[3][4] Netanyahu achieved the rank of captain before being discharged.

You have to give them: they got that right. Now, we'll see, say, 20 replies with 20 links each about .. .them . Will keep the article busy though. Interested in topic could just skip them.

edNels , November 4, 2017 at 7:39 pm GMT
Thanks for the article about how the elite soldiers are morally conditioned in these days.

Did they teach anything about General Smedley Butler? Some of his second thoughts he had?

What's the matter with these academics who run everthing now, are they senile?

Or, much worse, (maybe not though,) there is a policy on high, to effect the intentional dilution, and then destruction of standards. Prominently, auspicious prizes given to idiots and worse scoundrels! what's that do to the mental and moral health of the youths, will they wise up and see through it and not show up?
No, just replaced with a lower order, who will be more monstrous .

All this decay of stuff is everywhere, who benefits Cui Bono? They don't need smart soldiers what with robots and AI etc. and the real work is in dumbing down the peeps, for the eventual enclosures .

Antiwar7 , November 4, 2017 at 8:16 pm GMT
Really well written. I honor the author's service in writing this piece.

Also, I thank him for pointing out that W. Bush shares another thing with Adolf Hitler, besides war-mongering: painting.

Sane Left Libertarian , November 4, 2017 at 9:18 pm GMT
Most of it's already been said above, but we've been a war nation for more than a generation. Mr. Bush's predecessor bombed Iraq for years. Bush himself (or Cheney or whoever) turned it into an official and seemingly permanent war, using what are now known to be bold-faced lies. Torture as a matter of routine also started during Cheney's reign. Nobel Peace Prize Obama ramped us up to 6 or 7 wars, normalized drone murder, and in his usual unctuous way told us to stop harping on Abu Graib ("It's important we don't get too sanctimonious"). Now Mr. Trump is starting/threatening even more war, complete with nukes, and bragging about the torture.

My point is that someone we don't even see is calling the shots, for all of them. These guys on TV just work for them, and are paid handsomely. The awards they get mean even less than their elections. I don't see us (the proletariat, wage slaves, trying to raise a family) ever even figuring out what's going on, much less doing anything about it.

lavoisier , Website November 4, 2017 at 9:29 pm GMT
"The former president deserves a cold metal bench in a stockade awaiting trial, not an award and a warm round of applause from the academy. No coffee table books featuring his paintings -- a perverse form of macabre exhibitionism -- will atone for his actions. If West Point and its Association of Graduates want to maintain any credible pretense of adhering to the values they claim to espouse, they should revoke the most recent Thayer Award immediately."

NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Excellent essay. What has happened to West Point to act this way?? No one with any sense could think of Bush as anything other than a moron at best, a traitorous moron at worst. There must be an explanation–FOLLOW THE MONEY.

[Nov 01, 2017] JFK The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy by L. Fletcher Prouty

Notable quotes:
"... The president, he claims, had angered the military-industrial establishment with his procurement policies and his determination to withdraw from Vietnam, and had threatened to break the CIA into "a thousand pieces" after the Bay of Pigs fiasco. ..."
"... His death was in effect a coup d'etat that placed in the White House a very different man with a very different approach -- one much more acceptable to what Prouty consistently calls "the power elite." ..."
"... Mr. Prouty points to what he calls "the power elite" as the movers of geopolitics and war. JFK had other ideas as to what makes the world turn. It's the age old battle, as Lincoln put it, "between the divine rights of kings and the common rights of man"... ..."
"... Mr Prouty is no "conspiracy theorist". He worked in the Pentagon and arranged the support for the CIA operations until he retired in 1964. He knew everyone from Allen Dulles to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. ..."
"... He was in a particularly excellent position, due to his official responsibilities, to know intimately of the OSS and later CIA operations, as well as the White House positions under various presidents, for he saw and worked with their communications. ..."
"... His book is full of specifics, many to most of which few people know or knew. He served under three presidents. He was liaison between the Joint Chiefs and the CIA. In 1954 he was ordered to establish the Office of Special Operations, and in 1964 retired as chief of Special Operations. In 1963 he wrote the formal directive on covert ops used by Joint Chiefs of Staff for all military services.. What this man, Prouty, said cannot be tossed aside. He knew the subject, and he knew what was done. ..."
"... His book really has two entwined themes, the role of CIA operations including the real power which drives those operations and the assassination of JFK. ..."
"... As for the assassination, he takes apart the Warren Commission in detail, point by point. He knew what was at stake between interested parties, and provides quotes from key JFK White House documents. He goes into the source and evolution of the Indochina / Vietnam war, beginning in 1943, as he was present at those allied high level meetings. He provides eye-opening historical material about which I expect few of our citizens are cognizant. ..."
"... The premise of this book is that Pres. Kennedy wanted to pull out of Vietnam, and the military-industrial complex didn't want that to happen. Today there is contention whether this is indeed true or not. I think JFK was uncertain himself ..."
"... After Pres. Kennedy was assasinated it is undeniable we went head first into Vietnam. He had made numerous enemies. The banking industry, the military, the CIA, J. Edgar Hoover, etc. He was a maverick going against conventional thinking and he had to be removed. As the author states those gunshots on Elm street(which by the way, isn't it interesting that the Hollywood "cabal" chose to use as a title to a famous movie series) were a message to all future Presidents that the "secret team" is running the show now. ..."
"... According to prouty kennedy was a victim of a military-industrial complex plot triggered by his plan to withdraw from vietnam, the most important was a top secret National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM 263) drafted only six weeks before the assassination once NSAM 263 was signed, kennedy was, for all intents, a dead man. ..."
"... It's not hard to understand why Obama hasn't pulled out of Iraq or Afghanistan. He can't. The military industrial complex and their bankers won't let him. ..."
"... ***Note: Anyone interested in the Kennedy Assassination should realize that there is a "misinformation plant" in the Library Journal review department. Every honest book on the subject has been unconvincingly discredited by them, while they praise and try to steer you towards known flake CIA-financed writers such as Gerald Posner. ..."
"... It's rather common to hear of wrongdoing by the CIA. I saw a graph recently that showed American citizen's belief in their government plummeting after the Kennedy Assassination. Almost no one accepted the Warren Commission Report and such a cover up has casted doubt on our government ever since. ..."
"... However, for all its problems as a book, the info contained herein meshes with several other books I've read recently that all point to the fact that Kennedy was moving from a Cold Warrior to a peacenik, (elsewhere attributed to his taking LSD with his mistress Mary Meyer. Who knows?) ..."
"... Oh yes, another of Prouty's big ideas is that the weapons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a huge error on the part of the Cabal/Elite, since it made normal war impossible, hence a turn to guerrilla warfare by proxy. Again, the belief that everything is part of a master plan. The outcome is valid, but the idea of an invisible hand behind the scenes stage-managing all this is not reasonable to me. ..."
"... Is it credible that the CIA could have been involved in Kennedy's assassination? On this point, I think the answer is yes. The old objection that people wouldn't be able to keep quiet if there were a conspiracy is pretty much moot if we're talking about the CIA, since by definition, these are guys who could do unimaginable things, have a cigarette, and then never speak of it again. ..."
"... I think there is pretty decent evidence that Oswald was connected to the CIA. (The defection and then un-defection in and of itself is pretty incredible, and his statement that he was the patsy is more likely if he was in fact a patsy, than if he were a either a nut job or a Castro sympathizer. Both of those types want credit!) ..."
"... And this book also confirms the feeling that I often get that in fact the US has many of the characteristics of a fascist state, minus the concentration camps for Jews. It is true that we have wrought havoc in many other people's countries, that we maintain a near-constant state of war, and that *if* a president tried to go in a different direction, there are forces within the military-industrial-intelligence complex that might both want and be capable of taking them out. ..."
Nov 01, 2017 | www.amazon.com
From Publishers Weekly Prouty, who was a Washington insider for nearly 20 years--in the last few of them as Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Kennedy--has a highly unusual perspective to offer on the assassination and the events that led up to it. Familiar to moviegoers as the original of the anonymous Washington figure, played by Donald Sutherland in the Oliver Stone's movie JFK , who asks hero Jim Garrison to ponder why Kennedy was killed, Prouty leaves no doubt where he stands.

The president, he claims, had angered the military-industrial establishment with his procurement policies and his determination to withdraw from Vietnam, and had threatened to break the CIA into "a thousand pieces" after the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

His death was in effect a coup d'etat that placed in the White House a very different man with a very different approach -- one much more acceptable to what Prouty consistently calls "the power elite." Although he declares that such an elite has operated, supranationally, throughout history, and is all-powerful, he never satisfactorily explains who its members are and how it functions--or how it has allowed the current East-West rapprochement to take place.

Still, this behind-the-scenes look at how the CIA has shaped postwar U.S. foreign policy is fascinating, as are Prouty's telling questions about the security arrangements in Dallas, his knowledge of the extraordinary government movements at that time (every member of the Cabinet was out of the country when Kennedy was shot) and his perception that most of the press has joined in the cover-up ever since. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. From Library Journal Prouty, the mysterious "X" in Oliver Stone's JFK , promises to explain why Kennedy was assassinated. Instead, he delivers a muddled collection of undocumented, bizarre theories, most significantly that a super-powerful, avaricious power elite engineered the Cold War and all its pivotal events -- Korea, Vietnam, the U-2 incident, the Bay of Pigs, and the Kennedy assassination.

Although they are never identified, these shadowy technocrats, working through the CIA, allegedly had Kennedy murdered because he was on the brink of ending America's commitment to Vietnam, along with its billions of dollars of military contracts.

Prouty avoids some very important issues. Would Kennedy, a Cold War warrior's warrior, have indeed ended American support for Diem? And why couldn't the omnipotent power elite ensure the election of Richard Nixon, its preferred candidate, in 1960--especially since Kennedy won by only .02 percent? A much better choice is John M. Newman's JFK and Vietnam: Deception, Intrigue, and the Struggle for Power ( LJ 3/15/92). See also James DiEugenio's Destiny Betrayed: JFK, Cuba, and the Garrison Case , reviewed in this issue, p. 123.--Ed.

Emil Petardi on October 1, 2014

We are living through that kind of paradigm except they now wear suits and carry briefcases and never get theirs hands dirty. Mr

Mr. Prouty points to what he calls "the power elite" as the movers of geopolitics and war. JFK had other ideas as to what makes the world turn. It's the age old battle, as Lincoln put it, "between the divine rights of kings and the common rights of man"... .

We are living through that kind of paradigm except they now wear suits and carry briefcases and never get theirs hands dirty.

Mr Prouty is no "conspiracy theorist". He worked in the Pentagon and arranged the support for the CIA operations until he retired in 1964. He knew everyone from Allen Dulles to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Coolfire VINE VOICE on May 17, 2012
Content of highest importance.

This is a very important book. It is difficult to read, because Prouty's writing is disorganized, perhaps not so to him, but to a reader. The fact is he had first hand knowledge of a great deal of what went on and into the period covering the latter part of WWII, all of Indochina / Vietnam, and into the Cold War. He was in a particularly excellent position, due to his official responsibilities, to know intimately of the OSS and later CIA operations, as well as the White House positions under various presidents, for he saw and worked with their communications.

His book is full of specifics, many to most of which few people know or knew. He served under three presidents. He was liaison between the Joint Chiefs and the CIA. In 1954 he was ordered to establish the Office of Special Operations, and in 1964 retired as chief of Special Operations. In 1963 he wrote the formal directive on covert ops used by Joint Chiefs of Staff for all military services.. What this man, Prouty, said cannot be tossed aside. He knew the subject, and he knew what was done.

His book really has two entwined themes, the role of CIA operations including the real power which drives those operations and the assassination of JFK. The lessons are real. It would have helped had his writing been more organized, rather than jumping around with much repetition, but he does provide abundant specifics in support of his positions. In many cases he uses first person, as he was present. He knew what he was talking about. He has specifics.

As for the assassination, he takes apart the Warren Commission in detail, point by point. He knew what was at stake between interested parties, and provides quotes from key JFK White House documents. He goes into the source and evolution of the Indochina / Vietnam war, beginning in 1943, as he was present at those allied high level meetings. He provides eye-opening historical material about which I expect few of our citizens are cognizant.

His material, cleaned up, should be taught in schools, but such history is never taught in classes. It is only learned `in the field' so to speak. And no nation wants it advertised exactly what drives covert operations and to whose benefit.

V-ROD on September 15, 2010
New information here

I agree with the author's premise of a conspiracy to murder JFK. There is information in this book that I have not read in any other historical reference. For example, the author states that the CIA transported the northern based people of Vietnam called the Tonkin and moved them to the south. He claims that this created a turmoil in the land as people began to fight for resources(food)to live. He states that it was this turmoil that was made to look like a communist infiltration of the country. All of this being a CIA manipulated event. Another interesting aspect is that we had been aiding the French occupation of Vietnam. This continued up until 1954; a few months before Diem being installed as President. We had been helping the enemy of the South Vietnamese people just prior to Diem's installation.

The premise of this book is that Pres. Kennedy wanted to pull out of Vietnam, and the military-industrial complex didn't want that to happen. Today there is contention whether this is indeed true or not. I think JFK was uncertain himself and that is why you can find facts supporting both schools of thought. For example, Pres. Kennedy stated he wanted to be the first to put a man on the moon. A direct challenge to the cold war enemy Russia. Yet the book states later that Kennedy signed a memorandum desiring cooperation with Russia in the exploration of space. This is obviously an affront to the "cabal" that wanted the cold war to continue. There was alot of money to be made. I was disappointed the author didn't write about Pres.Kennedy issuing silver certificates in defiance of the Federal Reserve.

After Pres. Kennedy was assasinated it is undeniable we went head first into Vietnam. He had made numerous enemies. The banking industry, the military, the CIA, J. Edgar Hoover, etc. He was a maverick going against conventional thinking and he had to be removed. As the author states those gunshots on Elm street(which by the way, isn't it interesting that the Hollywood "cabal" chose to use as a title to a famous movie series) were a message to all future Presidents that the "secret team" is running the show now.

This book is not an easy read. One negative about this book is that the author's points are repeated. It also left me feeling dismayed and bewildered. If you take the author's premise at face value, almost everything we see and read now has the possibility of being a planned event. The fascinating aspect about the JFK assassination is to see how this "secret team" that works behind the scenes is in control of almost all positions of authority that we have in this country. A chief justice resides on the Warren Commission and signs off on the absurd Warren report, police in Dallas allowing reporters direct access to Oswald; at the time the suspect for the murder. Police allowing Jack Ruby to just waltz up to Oswald and shoot him. LBJ and Hoover having a conversation about not wanting a congressional investigation of the assassination and just wanting to use the Hoover/Warren reports. This is way too many coincidences not to have been a conspiracy. Fletcher Prouty may not be 100% accurate, but I'll believe his version over our official history any day.

Tamango on May 6, 2012

"Let the truth rein, or let the heaven's fall."

"This is one of the greatest books written on the assassination of John F. Kennedy,the author Col L. Fletcher Prouty contribution from his work in the pentagon and his common sense view that someone needed to level the playing field-to let the public know that military spending and goals are completely unrealistic. We have to learn from the past and Col. Prouty is one of the few who explain the uncomfortable truth. This uncomfortable feeling goes on today. How do we know when we've won in Iraq or Afghanistan? Will this repeat in Iran and North Korea? What is the next military action that will be another unwinnable war designed to keep the Defense Department in business despite the astronomical costs as it bankrupts the nation? It's time that everyone examine what Col. Fletcher Prouty wrote as a warning of what was really going on as opposed to what was reported regarding the Vietnam war and the removal of John F. Kennedy.

Col. Prouty blows the lid right off our official history and reveal what is probably the closest to the truth that we will ever get regarding the assassination of JFK, this is a true example of what is done in the dark will come to the light..anyone who wants to continue to hide from the truth, then this book is not for you because you cannot handle the truth,it's too much for you.

This is a very important book unique in this big mess that continues to surround Kennedy's murder it is a story that has been buried for decades. It is an account the government didnot want you to hear, and actually fabricated evidence in order to keep you from hearing the truth. There are no crackpot theories here, these are facts this great cabal ( the power elite) has control high enough in government or at least in the councils of government, to be able to influence the travel plans of the president, vice-president and a presidential candidate (Nixon) and all members of the kennedy cabinet. They were powerful enough to have orders issued to the army, and were able to mount a massive campaign to control the media during and after the assassination. Now if that is not power in the wrong hands, i donot know what is..there is something about Col. Prouty manner that speaks of authority, knowledge and above all, old fashioned honesty."

According to prouty kennedy was a victim of a military-industrial complex plot triggered by his plan to withdraw from vietnam, the most important was a top secret National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM 263) drafted only six weeks before the assassination once NSAM 263 was signed, kennedy was, for all intents, a dead man.

Vietnam for the powers that be... represented the potential of tens of billions of dollars. This is what caused him to be murdered, it was a military-style ambush from start to finish, "a coup d'etat."

One of the most memorable lines in the book and the movie JFK: "Sometimes i think the organizing principle of any society is for war, the authority of the state over its people resides in its war powers war readiness accounts for approximately a tenth of the output of the world's economy. This power elite together they stand above the law, can any president ever be strong enough really to rule?

And what about the outright theft of the president's brain from the national archives? And the total and complete failure of the secret service to protect JFK in dallas? It boggles the mind, they tagged him as a dangerous traitor plotted his assassination, and orchested the subsequent cover-up. This is an unspeakable refers to an evil whose depth and deceit seemed to go beyond the capacity of words to describe.

If you are not afraid to face the truth then this book is were you would want to start. So many things make sense when you start to put the piece's of the puzzle together and facts and common sense go a long way. That is why most people want to remain ignorant,they cannot face the truth so they try to discredit people like Col. Prouty, Oliver Stone, Jim Garrison, Jesse Ventura to make them sound like lone nuts, sound like de'ja vu huh?

Col. Prouty was a Washington insider for nearly 20 years as chief of staff under president Kennedy this man lived this part of our history, who can better tell us the real deal than someone who was there and lived though it and who does not have anything to gain by keeping the biggest lie told to the american people on-going. Just sticking to the facts of this case and what just take basic common sense is to ask yourself "Why? that's the real question isn't it--why? the how is just scenery,Oswald, Ruby, Cuba, Mafia it keeps people guessing like a parlor game, but it prevents them from asking the most important question--why?

Why was kennedy killed? Who benefited? Who had the power to cover it up? This book is a must read for anyone out there who still believes in truth and justice for all. Don't believe me or anyone else..do your own thinking for yourself and you might surprise yourself in the process of searching for that truth. I would like to end this by saying thank-you to Col. Prouty, Mr. jim garrison, Oliver Stone, and Jesse Ventura for being courageous enough to step forward to shine a light on the truth.

And for the non-believer's out there i feel sorry for you that you are satisfied with never really knowing the truth and how much it still effects your life today. I was not even born yet when president kennedy was assassinate but i was born one year later..and the deferences between me and you is i will always search for the truth and question it until i do find it.

I leave you with this quote: Those who can't remember the past, are condemned to repeat it. Everyone should own a copy of this part of history go out now and purchase this book before it disappear,just like the truth about JFK assassination.

bruce Lasch on June 29, 2013
JFK

I read this book a second time, about 1 year after I read it the first time. Mr Prouty had a very long and interesting career in the Air Air Corps which became the USAF. He has first hand knowledge of much of what he writes about in this book. His book is really the history of the USA since WW II with respect to the warnings of IKE "Beware of the military industrial complex".

If you did not like President Kennedy but wonder why the US has constantly been "at war" somewhere in the world since WW II then I think you will get a lot out of this book. When I was in the USAF back in the 1970's the higher ranking pilots that I flew with told me that Viet Nam was not a great war but it was the only war they had. Well, wars were good for career building if you were in the war, if you were the military industrial complex war was very good and necessary for profits.

The Radio Patriot on July 18, 2010
International Power Elite Pulling the Strings

I'm reading a stunning book written by the late L. Fletcher Prouty who served as the chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Kennedy presidency. A retired colonel of the U.S. Air Force, Prouty was in charge of the global system designed to provide military support for the CIA's secret activities. He knew where the bodies were buried and the file cabinet containing the paperwork used to cover it up.

Prouty was a source for Oliver Stone's movie "JFK" and was portrayed as "Mr. X" by Donald Sutherland, the man in black who advised New Orleans DA Jim Garrison (portrayed by Kevin Costner) that he was on the trail to the truth.

If you have ANY interest whatsoever in learning the truth of the events that led to what happened to our country on Nov. 22nd, 1963 and changed the course of its direction, read it.

A brief excerpt from the 375+ page book that is the most detailed account of the inception of the CIA and the events that culminated in the coup d'etat on Elm Street in Dallas on a sunny day in November.

Excerpt:

From Chapter 16 - Government by Coup d'Etat

The year was 1964. Pres. John F. Kennedy had been shot dead months before by bursts of "automatic gunfire" in Dallas by "mechanics," that is, skilled gunmen, hired by a power cabal determined to exert control over the United States government. Lyndon B. Johnson, JFK's successor, had been only a few feet under the bullets fired at Kennedy as he rode two cars back in that fatal procession.

By 1964 Johnson was becoming mired in the swamp of the Indochina conflict. Kennedy, who had vowed to "break the CIA into a thousand pieces," was dead. LBJ, who had heard those fatal bullets zing past his ears, had learned the ultimate lesson; and for good measure, Richard Nixon was in Dallas on that fatal day, so that he, too, had the fact of this ever-present danger imprinted on his memory for future use by his masters.

From Chapter 18 - Setting the Stage for the Death of JFK

"The significance of all this was that I had introduced President Kennedy's Vietnam policy statement NSAM #263, into these discussions. It is my belief that the policy announced so forcefully by Kennedy in his earlier NSAM #55 and in NSAM #263 had been the major factor in causing the decision by certain elements of the power elite to do away with Kennedy before his reelection and to take control of the U.S. government in the process.

Kennedy's NSAM #263 policy would have assured that Americans by the hundreds of thousands would not have been sent to the war in Vietnam. This policy was anathema to elements of the military-industrial complex, their bankers, and their allies in the government. This policy and the almost certain fact that Kennedy would have been reelected President in 1964 set the stage for the plot to assassinate him."

I can't put this book down. It is without doubt, the most thorough explanation of the rogue CIA, it's influence and impact on America's involvement in paramilitary operations around the world and subsequent growing conflicts. It is, as Prouty describes:

"...For the world as a whole, the CIA has now become the bogey that communism had been for America. Wherever there is trouble, violence, suffering, tragedy, the rest of us are now quick to suspect the CIA had a hand in it. Our phobia about the CIA is, no doubt, as fantastically excessive as America's phobia about world communism; but in this case, too, there is just enough convincing guidance to make the phobia genuine...

"This is what the destruction of sovereignty and disregard for the rule of law means, and it will not stop there. With it will go property rights -- as we have witnessed in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union -- and the rights of man."

It's not hard to understand why Obama hasn't pulled out of Iraq or Afghanistan. He can't. The military industrial complex and their bankers won't let him.

This is a fascinating look into the world of the power elite: the supremely powerful international bankers who keep the books and balances for each side.

"They make these transactions possible by offering the loans, issuing letters of credit, and collecting the interest on the entire package. In many LDCs (third world "less developed countries") the total amount of interest paid to the banks and their international financing structure amounts to more than half of the total value of dollars earned by their exports. For this reason, annual payments are seldom more than the interest involved and none of the principal. This is one reason why the principal never comes back to the United States." (p. 243 - Ch. Sixteen - Government by Coup d'Etat)

Though the title focuses on the CIA, Vietnam and the plot to kill JFK, this 355 page (not including six pages of notes) book goes much further. It lays out and explains the real power -- the international power elite -- that designs the strategy and moves the pieces on the global chess board of politics, finance, and wars, domestic and international.

Prouty's very detailed book is based on a 19-part magazine series first developed by Prouty, with and published by Freedom Magazine. Prouty served as the chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Kennedy presidency. A retired U.S. Air Force colonel, Prouty was in charge of the global system that provided military support for the CIA's secret activities. He was witness to activities, machinations and policy-making in the Pentagon and the White House that few others can claim. Prouty died in 2001.

"The year was 1964. Pres. John F. Kennedy had been shot dead months before by bursts of "automatic gunfire" in Dallas by "mechanics," that is, skilled gunmen hired by a power cabal determined to exert control over the United States government. Lyndon B. Johnson, JFK's successor, had been only a few feet under the bullets fired at Kennedy as he rode two cars back in that fatal procession.

"By 1964 Johnson was becoming mired in the swamp of the Indochina conflict. Kennedy, who had vowed to "break the CIA into a thousand pieces," was dead. LBJ, who heard those fatal bullets zing past his ears, had learned the ultimate lesson; and for good measure, Richard Nixon was in Dallas on that fateful day, so that he, too, had the fact of this ever-present danger imprinted on his memory for future use by his masters. (Ch. Sixteen, Government by Coup d'Etat - p 232)

~~*~~

When World War II ended with the nuclear bomb, the military industrial complex had a dilemma -- it understood that the next world war would be the final one, Yet it needed a way to keep the lucrative business of war making alive and profitable. How? By fighting a war waged for dollars, without a true military objective, under the control of civilian leaders, a war never intended to achieve victory. Enter Vietnam. Sound familiar?

Chapter Eighteen - "Setting the Stage for the Death of JFK"

[p 267]

Kennedy's NSAM #265 policy would have assured that Americans by the hundreds of thousands would not have been sent to the war in Vietnam. This policy was anathema to elements of the military-industrial complex, their bankers, and their allies in the government. This policy and the almost certain fact that Kennedy would be reelected President in 1964 set the stage for the plot to assassinate him.

[snip]

First of all, NSAM #263, October 11, 1963, was a crucial White House document. Much of it, guided by White House policy, was actually written by my boss in the Pentagon, General Krulak, myself, and others of his staff. I am familiar with it and with events which led to its creation.

[snip]

Our history books and the basic sources of history which lie buried in the archives of government documents that have been concealed from the public, and worse still, government documents that have been tampered with and forged. As I have just demonstrated above, this most important policy statement, NSAM #263, that so many historians and journalists say does not exist, has been divided into two sections in the Pentagon Papers source history.

~~*~~

Chapter Nineteen - Visions of a Kennedy Dynasty

[pp 289-290]

"With Kennedy's announcement that he was getting Americans out of Vietnam, he confirmed that he was moving away from the pattern of Cold War confrontation in favor of détente. He asked Congress to cut the defense budget. Major programs were being phased out. As a result, pressure from several fronts began to build against the young President. The pressure came from those most affected by cuts in the military budget, in the NASA space program, and in the enormous potential cost -- and profit -- of the Vietnam War.

Kennedy's plans would mean an end to the warfare in Indochina, which the United States had been supporting for nearly two decades. This would mean the end to some very big business plans, as the following anecdote will illustrate.

It was reported in an earlier chapter that the First National Bank of Boston had sent William F. Thompson, a vice president, to my office in the Pentagon in 1959, presumably after discussions with CIA officials, to explore "the future of the utilization of the helicopter in [clandestine] military operations" that had been taking place in Indochina up to 1959.

A client of that bank was Textron, Inc. The bank had suggested to Textron officials that the acquisition of the near-bankrupt Bell Aircraft Company, and particularly its helicopter division, might be a good move. What the bank and Textron needed to determine was the extent of use of helicopters by the military and by the CIA then and the potential for their future in Indochina.

Both parties were satisfied with the information they acquired from the Pentagon and from other sources in Washington. In due time the acquisition took place, and on October 13, 1963, news media in South Vietnam reported that an elite paramilitary force had made its first helicopter strike against the Vietcong from "Huey" Bell-Textron helicopters. It was also reported in an earlier chapter that more than five thousand helicopters were ultimately destroyed in Indochina and that billions of dollars were spent on helicopter purchases for those lost and their replacements.

Continuing the warfare in Vietnam, in other words, was of vital importance to these particular powerful financial and manufacturing groups. And helicopters, of course, were but one part of the $220 billion cost of U.S. participation in that conflict. Most of the $220 billion, in fact, was spent after 1963; only $2 - $3 billion had been spent on direct U.S. military activities in Vietnam in all of the years since World War II up to and including 1963. Had Kennedy lived, it would not have gone much higher than that.

It is often difficult to retrace episodes in history and to locate an incident that became crucial to subsequent events. Here, however, we have a rare opportunity.

The success of the deal between the First National Bank of Boston, Textron, and Bell hinged on the escalation of the war in Indochina. A key man in this plan was Walter Dornberger, chief of the German Rocket Center at Peenemunde, Germany, during World War II and later an official with the Bell Aircraft Company. Dornberger's associate and later protegé from Peenumunde, Wehrner von Braun, who had been instrumental in the development of the army's Pershing and Jupiter rocket systems, became a central figure in NASA's plans for the race to the moon. Such connections among skilled technicians can be of great importance within the military-industrial complex, as they generally lead to bigger budgets for all related programs.

Kennedy had announced a reduced military budget, the end of American participation in Indochina, and a major change in the race to the moon. It takes no special wisdom or inside knowledge to understand that certain vested interests considered the Kennedy proposal to defuse Vietnam and these other major budget items to be extremely dangerous to their own plans.

The pressure brought to bear on Kennedy was intense, but some sort of major event was needed that would stir emotions and trigger action. It is very likely that the death of President Ngo Dinh Diem of Vietnam and his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, on November 1, 1963, in Saigon was one of those events. There were at least eight or nine more that, in retrospect, indicate that a plot against Kennedy had begun to unfold."

~~*~~

Is it any wonder that despite his campaign rhetoric to the contrary, Obama is still in Iraq and Afghanistan???

If you apply what Prouty reveals, it follows that Obama does not do anything unless it is decreed by the international power elite -- from pulling out of Iraq/Afghanistan to protecting our Gulf Coast oil-stained states.

JFK didn't dance to the tune of his masters. He did it his way. It cost him his life. Obama is the creation of his masters. He serves at their pleasure. He won't make JFK's mistake. You can count on it.

By Theodore M. Herlich on August 11, 1999
Mr. Prouty's book is excellent as autobiography

Mr. Prouty served in the Pentagon's Office of Special Operations during a significant portion of his professional military career. In this role, he observed first-hand how the CIA arranged/staged coups d'etat in the Phillipines and other nations around the globe. In the Office of Special Operations, Mr. Prouty was responsible for providing U.S. military support for CIA operations. This experience serves as the basis for Mr. Prouty's strong inference that the assassination of President Kennedy was a CIA-style coup d'etat. The "why" of the coup d'etat is strongly established by Mr. Prouty. JFK intended to withdraw 1,000 military personnel from Vietnam by the close of 1963 and hoped to complete the full withdrawal of U.S. military personnel from Vietnam by the close of 1965. To do this, JFK needed to get re-elected. His decision to withdraw from Vietnam was based upon the McNamara-Taylor report of early October, 1963 and codified in National Security Action Memorandum#263 of October 11, 1963. [For a thorough, scholarly analysis of the evolution of JFK's Vietnam policy, see "JFK and Vietnam" by John M. Newman (New York: Warner Books, 1992). Mr. Newman is a professional historian and a faculty member at the University of Maryland]. Powerful interests in the CIA, Pentagon and the corporate world were "gung ho" in favor of large-scale military intervention in Vietnam. The prospective war promised billions of dollars in military contracts for the defense industry. JFK's intention to withdraw from Vietnam would deny these elements in the CIA, Pentagon and corporate communities their pot of gold. Immediately after the assassination of JFK, LBJ issued NSAM#273 on November 26, 1963 which was a complete reversal of JFK's policy. NSAM#273 authorized U.S. military raids into North Vietnam. These raids precipitated the Gulf of Tonkin incidents of July-August 1963, led to Congress' Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and massive U.S. military intervention in Vietnam. LBJ gave the CIA, Pentagon and defense contractors what JFK would have denied them: billions of dollars in defense contracts in support of the full-scale war in Vietnam. For Mr. Prouty, the ultimate inference is irresistible: to effectuate the complete turn-around of Vietnam policy proposed by JFK, a CIA-style coup d'etat was carried out in Dallas on November 22, 1963. LBJ's NSAM#273 reversing JFK's Vietnam policy [from withdrawal to establishing the foundation for massive U.S. intervention] was issued on November 26, 1963. The goals of the coup were obtained immediately following the assassination. Prouty gives us the "why" of the coup. Further research remains to be done in order to give us "who" and the "how". Prouty's work is a valuable starting point for further inquiry and deserves our appreciation for its autobiographical honesty and heartfelt analysis.

By doctordave77 on January 3, 2016
Very disappointing.

Very disappointing. I was looking forward to reading this book primarily because the author was so close to the action. But as other reviewers have pointed out, the focus of the book is a far reaching review of US history since 1944-45. Unfortunately, in this regard, the book is a failure.

Prouty isn't a historian and I'm sure that he doesn't claim to be one. But to attempt to cover the ground that he does, he's lacking a lot of background knowledge. This shows up quickly in the book - let me give you a couple of examples;

- He states that President Roosevelt died suddenly, unexpectedly is the word he uses, and this simply isn't true. Roosevelt was bed-ridden for about 6 months before his death and the US government was effectively run by his advisors during this period.

- He claims that the USA and Russia were allies at the close of WWII (true), but also that an atmosphere of trust existed between the two countries (false). He continues to make the claim that but for the actions of the CIA, the Cold War would not have happened. That's simply not the case - Roosevelt and his advisors weren't happy with Stalin and vice versa. The CIA didn't even formally exist until Truman created them in 1947 and they didn't act without full political approval of the US governments of the time.

Look, I'm no fan of the CIA, and I completely agree with him that they plotted and achieved the death of JFK. But that doesn't mean that they and the KGB were responsible for creating the Cold War! Does Prouty think that the KGB could have acted in anyway without the full and knowing approval of Stalin himself? And that the Dulles brothers somehow manipulated the USA into the Cold War without the support and approval of Roosevelt and Truman? Apparently, he does!

Much of his thesis is based on the concept that there is a "power elite" that has actually been in control of world of US and Russian actions since 1944. Perhaps he is correct that a cabal currently sits behind our governments and influences events, but I disagree with his notion that they have controlled political events in the detailed way that he suggests throughout the world since 1944.

This really isn't a book about JFK and his assassination as it is a somewhat innacurate attempt to describe world history since WWII.

By Jeff Marzano on November 16, 2014
Dark And Sinister Revelations

This book presents a very strange and sinister theory.

People who are into conspiracy theories talk about groups like the Bilderberg Group who collude in secret to make decisions that are good for them but disastrous for everyone else. Those types of groups, so the theory goes, are not associated with any one particular government or country. Author Fletcher Prouty describes something like that although he says it is not the Bilderberg Group.

I've always believed in the JFK conspiracy but I never thought this conspiracy extended beyond the United States government and Lyndon Johnson. But yet I have to ask myself, if Fletcher is wrong what is the alternative ? Could he be right ?

Fletcher Prouty was deeply saddened by what he observed first hand in Vietnam. People who had lived in peace for many thousands of years in northern Vietnam were uprooted from their ancestral lands and moved to the south with nothing but the clothes on their backs. This was done to create hopelessness and a boiling cauldron of despair which was the perfect environment for igniting the inferno of warfare.

This was all accomplished by that most sinister of organizations called the CIA. This agency is expert at creating confusion, human misery, and death on a massive scale with no regard for human life whatsoever.

Fletcher spends a few chapters analyzing the official story about the Kennedy assassination as far as Oswald's involvement (he was not involved), the number of shooters, and the many unexplained lapses of following official and long held procedures for protecting the president.

He was able to easily see through the smoke screen of lies created by the government about the JFK assassination and many other things because he saw all this from the inside. He was part of the very machine that caused the escalation in Vietnam and the JFK assassination. The Warren Commission's story does not hold up for many, many reasons. For one thing there were too many bullets fired. What a strange coincidence that on the day JFK was killed Fletcher happened to be in Antarctica serving as a military escort for a bunch of diplomats on some sight seeing excursion.

But yet it seems the nefarious group that ordered this assassination didn't really care if people thought there was a conspiracy because they knew nobody can do anything anyway. That's what's so scary about all this.

Fletcher feels this High Cabal, as Winston Churchill called it, has existed for 2,000 years or more in some form. Perhaps this is that great, lying beast and multi headed hydra described in the bible in the Book Of Revelation.

Some of the groups Fletcher feels are part of this cabal are the CIA and the other American intelligence agencies, the American military, international bankers, industrialists, and the Dallas police department. But beyond that even Fletcher doesn't know who is really at the very top of this super elite power structure.

For Fletcher this cabal is much more powerful than the president of the United States and they will disregard what the president says if they want to. That's exactly what happened when the CIA sent Gary Powers on a U2 spy plane mission over Russia and made sure the plane malfunctioned. As a result a planned peace summit between president Eisenhower and Nikita Khrushchev was cancelled. Ike had given orders to stop all covert activity until this summit was over.

They also cancelled a mission to shoot up Fidel Castro's three aircraft before the Bay Of Pigs fiasco. That was a direct failure to follow president Kennedy's orders to make sure these planes were destroyed before the invasion. They did this to embarrass president Kennedy. That's because peace is the High Cabal's greatest fear and enemy.

The election of president Kennedy was a disaster for the High Cabal. JFK was interfering with their plans to spend, not billions, but trillions of dollars in Vietnam and on their other Cold War projects. JFK was interfering with their ability to control the American government. So they killed him and regained that power, partially through their murderous accomplice Lyin' Lyndon Johnson.

After World War II the High Cabal created the perception in the public's mind of an epic struggle between Communism and the West. They used this false premise to create limited, protracted warfare all over the world. But they had to ensure the fighting did not become too intense because of the ever present menace of nuclear weapons.

Could it really be that the High Cabal doesn't care about the ideological struggle between Communism and the West or any other ideology for that matter ? Could the CIA, the KGB, and other similar groups really be providing weapons to the combatants on all sides just to prolong warfare forever ? That's what Fletcher Prouty says in this book.

Another point is the Vietnam conflict did not have any well defined military objective so it was doomed to become a protracted and ultimately unsuccessful bloodbath with the body count being the only measure of success.

Here's an exchange between Lyin' Lyndon Johnson and military legend General Creighton Abrams and his aide:

Lyndon:

"Abe, you are going over there to win. You will have an army of 550,000 men, one of the most powerful air forces ever assembled, and the invincible Seventh Fleet of the U.S. Navy offshore. Now go over there and do it."

Aide:

"Mr. President, you have told us to go over there and do 'it'. Would you care to define what 'it' is ?"

Johnson remained silent as he ushered General Abrams and his men out of the Oval Office.

Fletcher appears in an episode of the documentary 'The Men Who Killed Kennedy'. The hypocrites have taken legal action to have some of those episodes pulled off the market and the DVDs are no longer available for those 'Final Chapter' episodes. However 'The Men Who Killed Kennedy' can still be watched on the internet which I highly recommend.

Fletcher served as an advisor for Oliver Stone when Stone created his JFK movie. Stone's movie created a lot of controversy with the public and as a result people called for more hearings about the assassination. But those later investigations ran into the same brick wall of secrecy and deception that continues to this very day.

Fletcher drops another bomb shell in the notes section at the end of the book. He says on the day of the assassination JFK was shot with a poisonous flechette that was launched from an umbrella. A flechette is a very small, rocket propelled dart which travels at a very high velocity and which is very difficult to detect during an autopsy. Why they poisoned JFK even though they were planning on shooting him anyway I don't know. This may have been insurance in case JFK was not shot or not shot fatally.

The people who did this were professional killers. They leave very little to chance and account for many different scenarios.

On the Trail of the Assassins: One Man's Quest to Solve the Murder of President Kennedy

The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ

The Men Who Killed Kennedy

Hit List: An In-Depth Investigation into the Mysterious Deaths of Witnesses to the JFK Assassination

David Ferrie: Mafia Pilot, Participant in Anti-Castro Bioweapon Plot, Friend of Lee Harvey Oswald and Key to the JFK Assassination

Dr. Mary's Monkey: How the Unsolved Murder of a Doctor, a Secret Laboratory in New Orleans and Cancer-Causing Monkey Viruses Are Linked to Lee Harvey ... Assassination and Emerging Global Epidemics

Top Secret/Majic: Operation Majestic-12 and the United States Government's UFO Cover-up

UFOs and the National Security State: Chronology of a Coverup, 1941-1973

The Men Who Killed Kennedy DVD Series - Episode List

1. "The Coup D'Etat" (25 October 1988)

2. "The Forces Of Darkness" (25 October 1988)

3. "The Cover-Up" (20 November 1991)

4. "The Patsy" (21 November 1991)

5. "The Witnesses" (21 November 1991)

6. "The Truth Shall Set You Free" (1995)

The Final Chapter episodes (internet only):

7. "The Smoking Guns" (2003)

8. "The Love Affair" (2003)

9. "The Guilty Men" (2003)

By A Time Traveler on February 7, 2014
As Told By a Pentagon/Military Insider Since WWII

For all intents and pruposes, Prouty was serving behind the scenes of US Intelligence services in one capacity or another since before WWII (as special duty at both the Cairo and Tehran Conferences), until the day he retired. So how do you know he isn't just like all the other shills and "company men" from the inside who tell the public only what the elite want them to know? There is no better illustration of Prouty's willingness to tell his whole story -- with the vast information at his disposal -- than Page 260, which in this edition, is in Chapter 17 JFK's Plan to End the Vietnam Warfare:

"Why did the US government in 1945, before the end of World War II, choose to arm and equip Ho Chi Minh? Why did the United States, a few short years later, shift its allegiance from Ho Chi Minh to the French in their losing struggle that ended ignominiously with the battle of Dien Bien Phu? Why, after creating the Diem government in 1954 and after supporting that government for ten years, did the United States shift again and encourage those Vietnamese who planned to overthrow it? And finally, why, after creating an enormous military force in Indochina, did the US government fail to go ahead and defeat this same Ho Chi Minh when, by all traditional standards of warfare, it possessed the means to do so?"

And this makes-up the majority of this work by Prouty. He wisely stays with the evidence that HE has at his disposal. In other words, what Prouty effectively laid out for the reader, is the "Why" in the Kennedy assassination. He does so without assuming very much, as when reading the book, you see very well that there was quite a large swath of the Military Industrial Complex that stood to loose billions if Kennedy had lived. And thankfully, Prouty effectively explains in great detail that any myth about Kennedy escalating the Vietnam war is just that -- a myth. And Prouty's evidence of this? Documents from his time in the Pentagon and White House, not to mention press members and administration members who backed Kennedy's own words that US forces would be pulled out of the region after he was reelected.

For those who wish to research this subject further than the events in Dealey Plaza, Prouty's book is for you. If you want an idea as to "why" Kennedy was killed, I couldn't recommend this book highly enough.

By Acute Observer on October 20, 2014
Memoirs of an Insider

JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy

Events in the real world and society are mostly planned, they do not just happen. This book presents selected events from 1943 to 1990. The major events of this time were craftily and systematically planned by the power elite. This book will attempt to explain the Cold War, the Korean and Vietnam wars, the effects of the development of the hydrogen bomb, and why the "military-industrial complex" removed JFK from the Presidency. L. Fletcher Prouty spent 1955-64 as chief of special operations. Page xxxiii tells of one incident he witnessed of the "power elite". Page 4 explains how an agent for the East India Company created an ideological justification for eliminating unwanted people. Page 8 says that neither H-bombs or "Star Wars" can prevent warfare by terrorists.

Pages 15-16 tells of the driving force of acquisitiveness. Mineral wealth is controlled by corporate interests directly, or by the World Bank or International Monetary Fund. Genocide is regularly practices to limit the "excess population", particularly those who object to this exploitation. He repeats Elliot Roosevelt's story about Stalin's claim that FDR was poisoned (he had spies everywhere?). "Many of the skilled saboteurs and terrorists of today are the CIA students of yesterday" (p.37). "The first aerial hijackings were publicly solicited by the US in return for big cash awards, plus sanctuary". Page 56 tells why so many of our leaders are lawyers: they are trained to work under the direction of their clients. Their "lawyer-client confidence" ensures secrecy, even in court; they work for international law firms in government, banks, and major industries.

Chapter Six, "Genocide by Transfer", tells how over a million Tonkinese were moved to Cochin China; it caused a rice shortage in a previously rice-exporting country! The destruction of self-sufficient villages created consumers of imported food (like post-1962 Burma), and enriched merchants and shippers. It also created a source of cheap labor? Chapter Seven tells of the destruction of the village economy, and the resulting banditry. The depopulation of rural counties and the "urban renewal" in the big cities caused internal migration and a rise in the crime rate here in America too. After Textron Corporation bought Bell helicopters, there was now a need for these helicopters in Vietnam. Page 108 tells how 43% of lives lost were "not from action by hostile forces" - just accidents! The high cost of machines and their need for maintenance (supplies, personnel) helped to lose the war.

L. Fletcher Prouty says the massive slaughter in Cambodia, the Iran-Iraq war, "Desert Storm", and the Middle East hostilities are an example of Malthusian social engineering (p.187). Chapter 16 explains the economic reasons for coups d' etat, whether Marcos in the Phillipines, Batista, Somoza, or Trujillo (pp. 236-7). Once a puppet ruler in s country tries to counteract its exploitation, its goodbye. Page 238 tells how "foreign aid" is used to support American companies moving their factories and machinery to foreign countries. Page 240 explains why Vietnam (like Korea) was a limited "unwinnable" war.

On November 22, 1963 JFK was removed from office by a powerful group that wanted to escalate the war in Vietnam, and increase government spending (p.257). Pages 261-4 answers those who mistakenly claim JFK did not want to withdraw military forces from Vietnam. Prouty presents information from the public record and his personal experience. NSAM#263 shows that JFK did plan to withdraw military personnel from Vietnam in 1963. The death of JFK changed the war in Indochina from low-intensity to a major operation. Page 291 lists the many things done as standard security procedure which were NOT done on 11-22-1963. If the Warren Report is wrong on any key point, then it is false. Governor Connally contradicted the key point of the Warren Report to his dying day. The assassination of JFK demonstrated that most major events of world significance are masterfully planned and orchestrated by an elite coterie of enormously powerful people (p.334). You can read Jim Marrs' "Rule by Secrecy". The August 31, 1983 downing of Korean Air flight 007 resulted in the largest Defense Department budget ever passed in peacetime.

By Liz KS on November 24, 2015
Hard to put down.

A must read if you're wanting answers. I was and I've read a lot of books about this era because I lived through it and wanted answers to questions I had. Now it all makes sense. I would also suggest reading "Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover" by Anthony Summers. I had a hard time putting that book down too.

By Herbert L Calhoun on October 31, 2013
The Long Journey to Dallas Texas

JFK The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy

by Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty

The Long Journey to Dallas Texas

Spoiler alert: This is neither the shortest version, nor the shortest route to understanding the JFK assassination. But it is as close to the complete canonical text and understanding of the assassination as there is ever likely to be. It is told by an insider, the high priest of understanding about the JFK assassination if you ask me (or Oliver Stone), one who has been around long enough, and has resided deep enough inside the bowels of the US government to know where all the skeletons are buried.

Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty was also a member of "The Secret Team," which he wrote a very revealing book about, of the same name. It has proven to be a critical part of the unfolding of the 50-year old drama of the JFK assassination. (Read my Amazon review of it.)

Here Col Prouty takes us by the hand and guides us on a journey, moving slowly but steadily and deliberately along a long winding path, through the historical underbrush beginning at the end of WW-II. He then leads us out into a clearing called "the Cold War," where events are craftily orchestrated around the threat of a nuclear holocaust. But it is orchestrated in such a way that the right to continue endless conventional wars is preserved and the world is made forever safe "for wars of profit" by other more novel means. Korea, would be the first but not the last of the "make money wars." The mother of all such un-winnable "money wars," however was Vietnam. It would represent a signature turn in the road that would "vector" directly to the JFK assassination. However, along the way the reader will also be introduced to Saudi Arabia, Iran and the oil angle, and then on to Cuba and the threat of nuclear war, finally ending up at high noon on 11/22/63 with the assassination of our 35th president.

As enlightening as the journey is it is not an easy trip for a "democratically trained mind." For along the way, we must unlearn the old rules of democracy in favor of learning a new set, with a new unwritten covenant, as well as a new vocabulary of reactionary and self-destructive power politics. And with them, we must also adopt and adapt to wearing a new kind of emotional straitjacket, armor better to make us comfortable granting involuntary consent to these altered understandings of how our more twisted and diminished democracy is supposed to work.

To wit: We the people, and they, our new anonymous ruling power elite, consent to govern us from above but forever behind the screen, promising nothing but to be unreliable invisible puppet-masters. And in return "we the people" are expected to close our "lying eyes" and pretend that when "we" see JFK's head snap violently back and to the left, it did not really happen? Now, and henceforth, our only reality tests are those prepared for us by our "lying media," the lemmings bought and paid for by our new invisible rulers. In short, the new contract mandates that we go along quietly, without whimpering, and accept the fact that "we the people" have been robbed of all previous contractual understandings of what a democratic government is supposed to mean.

What government "by," "for" and "of" the people used to mean, has been permanently altered. In this new "hyper real context" of being governed by an anonymous power elite, who are constantly pulling the strings from behind the curtains, government "by," "for" and "of" the people now means whatever our anonymous puppet-masters' media outlets tell us it means.

Those steeped in the conspiracy paranoia of the likes of the Bilderburghers, the Trilateralists, and the Council of Foreign Relations, must understand that what Colonel Prouty is telling us here is not the same. They will find no comfort here on this journey for cheap conspiracy nonsense. Instead, they will find here just the clean facts, with all of the dots connected, convincingly written by one of the last of America's authentic patriots. When readers complete this book, they will then understand why the Bilderburghers, the Trilateralists, and the Council of Foreign Relations, are all superfluous and unnecessary. All of the questions one can imagine about the JFK assassination are answered here.

A "Rough" Summary of Colonel Prouty's Story

After World War II, and owing primarily to the creation of the CIA, the U.S entered a new "hyper covert reality" in which, just as General Eisenhower had warned in his farewell address, the machinery of government was effectively commandeered by reactionary warmongers and war profiteers. The post-war power elite ruled by calling for continuous wars, with the CIA and the military acting as their vanguard and shock troops. There was nothing subtle about this take over, nor is reference to it just knee-jerk conspiracy nonsense. Colonel Prouty provides us a framework and a clear discrete paper trail that reveals every step of the "take over process," steps that he argues convincingly led inexorably to the JFK assassination.

Step one was carefully embedded within policy memorandum NSC-5412, which among other things, gave all covert operations over to the CIA, and specifically prohibited the active military from engaging in them. However, after the spectacular debacle of the John Foster Dulles led Bay of Pigs operation, JFK issued (and was in the process of implementing at the time of his very timely assassination), a reversal of this policy with NSC-55, which would have given the responsibility for covert operations back to the active military through the JCS. Not only was this reversing directive never implemented, but with JFK's death, all of the generals running the Vietnam War, were actually CIA officers operating under military cover and rank. According to Colonel Prouty, this was nail #1 in the JFK coffin.

Nail number two involved an excruciatingly carefully worked out policy directive, NSAM-65 by the JFK national security team. It was the policy directive initiating the complete withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Vietnam by 1965. NSAM-65 was drawn up after an unprecedented 23 high-level meetings by JFK's and his national security team. Not only was NSAM-65 not implemented, but it was reversed in a week after the assassination by LBJ initiated policy directives NSC-273 and NSC-288.

The final nail in the coffin, according to Colonel Prouty, the one that actually signaled that assassination plans were already afoot, is the tell-tale fact that in the Pentagon papers that had been released within the government before JFK was assassinated (and later exposed publicly by Daniel Ellsberg), one-page cover sheets were entered in the text at the point where the substance of JFK's two policy directives should have been? Twenty-five stars

By Luc REYNAERT on August 24, 2007
Today America has become the nightmare (Arnold Toynbee)

Prouty's autobiography is very revealing indeed. Of course, it contains controversial items (Would JFK have stopped the Vietnam War?). But, it is the general picture that counts, and here, the author is prophetic.

Prouty presents his world view as follows: `The world is ruled by a power elite. The basic motivations are always the same. Money lays at the root ... the enormous amount spent on military matériel.'

This elite wields its power partly and most importantly through invisible intelligence agencies. `The power of any agency allowed to operate in secrecy is boundless'.

Nationally, JFK would probably be reelected in 1964, also via carefully directed investments, which should have influenced favorably the voting in heavily contested states. This reelection for another 4 years was very hard to swallow for a part of the power elite. JFK had promised to cut the defense budget and destroy one of its power bases (`split an intelligence agency into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.')

JFK's masterfully planned assassination was a coup d'état, not less than a total takeover of the US government. The cover-up of the assassination, which is still going on, shows the immense power of the culprits. They controlled the Warner Commission and could (can) force, until today, the media and Congress to pay lip service to them. Congress was never capable to launch an adequate investigation into the murder.

Internationally, `the world's power elite benefited splendidly from the staggering sums involved in the Vietnam War.' The author's moving evocation of the fate of a pastoral Vietnamese village shows that `people's lives are valueless when they get in the way of elitist interests.' (Mark Curtis)

The powerful show absolutely no respect for national sovereignty (e.g., Vietnam, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Panama, Iraq, the Philippines, even Grenada), which is the principle on which `the family of nations exists, with its property rights and the rights of man.'

At the end, Prouty is even prophetic: `the power elite utilizes all manner of plots to achieve their ambitious goal. That gamesmanship is called `Terrorism'.

This book is a must read for all those wanting to understand the world we live in.

By Thomas J. Farrell on December 25, 2014
Well written and ably researched

In his perceptive book JFK: THE CIA, VIETNAM, AND THE PLOT TO ASSASSINATE JOHN F. KENNEDY (2011), Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty (Retired, U.S. Air Force) admirably demonstrates that he understands the dynamics involved in the Vietnam War. Time and again, Col. Prouty draws on his own personal experience to elucidate various matters he discusses.

Concerning the Vietnam War, President Lyndon B. Johnson used trumped-up charges to escalate the conflict between North Vietnam and South Vietnam into a major tragedy - and a defeat for the United States. Col. Prouty sees the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as having orchestrated the conflict between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. Allen Dulles was the director of the CIA - until President John F. Kennedy fired him as a result of the CIA adventure to invade Cuba known as the Bay of Pigs debacle. During the Eisenhower administration, Allen Dulles' brother, John Foster Dulles, served as the Secretary of State. The Dulles brothers were fervently anti-communist. Moreover, they regarded nation-states not aligned with the U.S. as aligned with the communists - the enemy in the Cold War.

Concerning the Dulles brothers, see Stephen Kinzer's book THE BROTHERS: JOHN FOSTER DULLES, ALLEN DULLES, AND THEIR SECRET WORLD WAR (2013). In my estimate, Kinzer does fine job of tracing the American anti-communist spirit back to the time of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917. But Col. Prouty does not advert to this earlier history of the American anti-communist spirit. Instead, he picks up the story in the waning times of World War II (WWII). As he points out, Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union was one of our allies in WWII against Adolf Hitler's Nazis in Germany. As Col. Prouty also points out, Chiang Kai-shek's China was one of our allies in WWII against Japan. (Subsequently, Chiang Kai-shek was defeated by Moa Tse-tung's communist forces.)

Col. Prouty explains how 1.1 million peasants had earlier been transported about a thousand miles from their traditional culture in what then became known as the nation-state of North Vietnam and had been relocated in what then became known as the nation-state of South Vietnam, where they were landless and poor. Their relocation was orchestrated by the CIA.

As a result of their dire needs for food, many of them became bandits. As Col. Prouty repeatedly explains, those bandits had been relocated in the Mekong Delta. The Mekong Delta is so far to the south of North Vietnam as to preclude their having infiltrated from North Vietnam. Unfortunately, those bandits were considered to be communist "infiltrators" from North Vietnam - the enemy. Those bandits came to be referred to as the Vietcong.

With admirable clear-sightedness, Col. Prouty also explains the complicated logistics of helicopter warfare in the Vietnam War.

Because President Harry Truman had dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to get Japan to surrender, most powerful Americans had subsequently figured out that another all-out war like WWII would result in the nuclear destruction of human life on the planet. As a result, Col. Prouty claims, President Johnson would not authorize the American military to fight for victory over North Vietnam because such a fight would of necessity run the risk of expanding the conflict to bring in China and perhaps the Soviet Union - and thereby risk the dreaded nuclear holocaust. Thus American forces were consigned to waging the Vietnam War without risking victory - and the dreaded nuclear holocaust.

Even though Col. Prouty's overall discussion of the Vietnam War is astute, his major thesis in the book is that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, by experienced assassins hired to do the job. In CIA parlance, such hired assassins were referred to as "mechanics."

President Kennedy had ordered that all American advisers would be out of Vietnam by the end of 1965. Moreover, he was likely to win re-election in 1964, which would mean that he could make his order stick.

However, for years, the CIA had been cultivating Vietnam for a war there. A war there would serve the purposes of enriching what President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his farewell address had referred to as the military-industrial complex - in plain English, war profiteers. No doubt the war profiteers did profit enormously from the Vietnam War. (Of course the war profiteers employed many Americans in their civilian work force.)

Despite the fact that Col. Prouty suggests that the CIA was probably involved in President Kennedy's assassination, he stops well short of naming specific CIA and other government officials who were involved in the carefully orchestrated plot to assassinate President Kennedy. In this respect, we could say that Col. Prouty paints the big picture - but he ably paints the big picture.

In conclusion, Col. Prouty's book JFK: THE CIA, VIETNAM, AND THE PLOT TO ASSASSINATE JOHN F. KENNEDY (2011) is well written and ably researched.

By John Duddy on August 21, 2015
Who runs this planet?

This is a shocking book. L. Fletcher Prouty is a world class whistleblower. After reading this masterpiece take another look at the official 9/11 report. The secret cabal running our planet has been exposed by many writers and few politicians; this is an insider's report on that cabal. False flag attacks are now used by the cabal, not only in USA but in any country where the locals are not towing the line as demanded by the banksters.

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

Amazing, the cabal has kept the lid on the murder of JFK for over 50 years. How long will we be kept in the dark about 9/11?

By W. Wilt on March 11, 2014
So somebody finally pulls it all together--the conspiracy is not a theory, it's all facts. Circumstantial, but no lies

Best editorial trick revealed: Leslie H. Gelb, who was to the Watergate papers what Phil Zelikow was to the 9/11 Commission novel, used the neat writer's trick (Gelb was a New York Times editor, you may recall) to hide something in black ink on a white page. Gelb uses the title President to avoid mentioning that JFK's presidency was ended with bullets. The President (JFK) had NSAM #263 written & promulgated, 1 Oct 63. The memo noted that the troops could be pulled out of Vietnam by the end of 1965. Ending the CIA-guided Indochina war they'd begun in September of 1945. So Gelb has "The President" as author of #263, have a mind-change with his cabinet, all of who had decided to go to Honolulu for the 22nd. On the 23rd, when an official speaks with The President, and a new NSAM is issued--#273, which called for an escalation of Conflict. The President of #263 has changed his mind and issued #273. The title stays the same, but the brain of the President who commissioned #263 was blown away by, what, Hornady hollow-point, boat-tail bullets (the kind the Abteilung der Heimats Versicherheit (dept of "home" "security"). And "The President" of the second instance just happened to be a different president, LBJ.

That's some clever and wondrously deliberate writing. The words are there in front of your nose, in plain sight. And yet they hide the circumstances, that, in the brief period between Nov. 21 and Nov. 23, the title President had not changed--just the life and body for which it represented. (In the newspaper biz, novices are instructed to "write around" facts that are missing. In this case, a few years after the Assassination of JFK, i think most people had gotten the news that JFK was dead and gone. Gelb and his boss were in that news loop, so I doubt Gelb would testify that he didn't know that JFK had been murdered (by a head shot fired from the Grassy Knoll, of course, but who's quibbling). No reason to fail to mention that The President (JFK) had been replaced by The President (LBJ), except if you want to avoid the "chance" that people will notice that Presidential Policy on Nov 21, 1963 (NSAM 263 (JFK) hand changed 180 degrees to Presidential Policy (NSAM 273) on Nov. 23 (LBJ).

So in the murder investigation, you'd want to bring Gelb in to get his story. You might want to set a water-board in the witness box right next to him--perhaps the special, autographed KSM (Khalid Sheikh Mohammad) model, guaranteed to last at least 168 uses (whether by one "detainee" (POW) or a succession of them. And you'd want to get all this moving while at least a few of the players are still alive. I'd like to hear what David R. and the rest of the Wall Street Banksters and lawyers have to say about JFK, RFK, Tonkin, USS Liberty, 9/11, etc. And also what Cheney and Shrub I and Shrub II and Rumsfeld & Wolfowitz and Pearle, etc., have to say about all the above.

At any rate, Prouty is a must-read. As is William Pepper's "An Act of State: The assassination of MLKjr." which puts the quietus to the phrase "conspiracy theory". Not a theory any longer, but a conspiracy fact. But who will prosecute members of the High Cabal? They run the government, with their private army, the CIA, and have since Nov. 22, 1963. Not that anybody cares, of course.

By Acute Observer on October 20, 2014
Memoirs of an Insider

JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy

Events in the real world and society are mostly planned, they do not just happen. This book presents selected events from 1943 to 1990. The major events of this time were craftily and systematically planned by the power elite. This book will attempt to explain the Cold War, the Korean and Vietnam wars, the effects of the development of the hydrogen bomb, and why the "military-industrial complex" removed JFK from the Presidency. L. Fletcher Prouty spent 1955-64 as chief of special operations. Page xxxiii tells of one incident he witnessed of the "power elite". Page 4 explains how an agent for the East India Company created an ideological justification for eliminating unwanted people. Page 8 says that neither H-bombs or "Star Wars" can prevent warfare by terrorists.

Pages 15-16 tells of the driving force of acquisitiveness. Mineral wealth is controlled by corporate interests directly, or by the World Bank or International Monetary Fund. Genocide is regularly practices to limit the "excess population", particularly those who object to this exploitation. He repeats Elliot Roosevelt's story about Stalin's claim that FDR was poisoned (he had spies everywhere?). "Many of the skilled saboteurs and terrorists of today are the CIA students of yesterday" (p.37). "The first aerial hijackings were publicly solicited by the US in return for big cash awards, plus sanctuary". Page 56 tells why so many of our leaders are lawyers: they are trained to work under the direction of their clients. Their "lawyer-client confidence" ensures secrecy, even in court; they work for international law firms in government, banks, and major industries.

Chapter Six, "Genocide by Transfer", tells how over a million Tonkinese were moved to Cochin China; it caused a rice shortage in a previously rice-exporting country! The destruction of self-sufficient villages created consumers of imported food (like post-1962 Burma), and enriched merchants and shippers. It also created a source of cheap labor? Chapter Seven tells of the destruction of the village economy, and the resulting banditry. The depopulation of rural counties and the "urban renewal" in the big cities caused internal migration and a rise in the crime rate here in America too. After Textron Corporation bought Bell helicopters, there was now a need for these helicopters in Vietnam. Page 108 tells how 43% of lives lost were "not from action by hostile forces" - just accidents! The high cost of machines and their need for maintenance (supplies, personnel) helped to lose the war.

L. Fletcher Prouty says the massive slaughter in Cambodia, the Iran-Iraq war, "Desert Storm", and the Middle East hostilities are an example of Malthusian social engineering (p.187). Chapter 16 explains the economic reasons for coups d' etat, whether Marcos in the Phillipines, Batista, Somoza, or Trujillo (pp. 236-7). Once a puppet ruler in s country tries to counteract its exploitation, its goodbye. Page 238 tells how "foreign aid" is used to support American companies moving their factories and machinery to foreign countries. Page 240 explains why Vietnam (like Korea) was a limited "unwinnable" war.

On November 22, 1963 JFK was removed from office by a powerful group that wanted to escalate the war in Vietnam, and increase government spending (p.257). Pages 261-4 answers those who mistakenly claim JFK did not want to withdraw military forces from Vietnam. Prouty presents information from the public record and his personal experience. NSAM#263 shows that JFK did plan to withdraw military personnel from Vietnam in 1963. The death of JFK changed the war in Indochina from low-intensity to a major operation. Page 291 lists the many things done as standard security procedure which were NOT done on 11-22-1963. If the Warren Report is wrong on any key point, then it is false. Governor Connally contradicted the key point of the Warren Report to his dying day. The assassination of JFK demonstrated that most major events of world significance are masterfully planned and orchestrated by an elite coterie of enormously powerful people (p.334). You can read Jim Marrs' "Rule by Secrecy". The August 31, 1983 downing of Korean Air flight 007 resulted in the largest Defense Department budget ever passed in peacetime.

By Michael Tozer on September 1, 2006
Simply Great!

In this volume, Colonel Fletcher Prouty captures both the secret history of the United States from 1945 to 1975 and the reasons behind the plot to kill President Kennedy. Herein, the courageous Colonel illustrates quite clearly that the clandestine history and the assassination plot were intrinsically linked.

From the important information in this book, we learn that the war in Vietnam actually began on September 2, 1945, when Ho Chi Minh was established as the new leader of Vietnam by our OSS, the predecessor of the CIA, and the US Army. The United States was thoughtful enough to provide all the weapons, ammunition, and supplies necessary for Ho and Giap to pursue their war against the French, which culminated in the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu. Following that defeat, the CIA arranged for the transfer of 1.1 million "refugees" from the North of Vietnam to the South. These folks caused such disruption in the fragile agricultural economy of the South that their arrival ultimately drove the orginal residents to banditry in order that they might survive. These displaced bandits became what was later known as the Viet Cong. Hence, the CIA created the conditions necessary for a full scale war in Vietnam.

On coming to office, Kennedy, a brilliant and studious man, came soon to understand the perfidy of the CIA. One of first his acts on realizing this was to fire CIA director Allen Dulles. Soon thereafter, he issued one the most important, and unknown, documents of US history, NSAM 263. Issued in October of 1963, this document called for 1,000 US military personnel to come home from Vietnam by that Christmas. The remainder were to be out of Vietnam by the end of 1965. Had John Kennedy lived, what Americans know as the war in Vietnam would never have happened.

Prouty demonstrates herein that the powers that be ultimately made the decision that they could not allow Kennedy to live. He makes it clear that assassination researches who make a career of examining the details of the government's false cover story truly miss the point. What matters is not how the President was killed, but why. And the answer to that question is that the assassination was a coup d'etat, transferring control of the government of the United States to a power elite, which has been in control ever since. Hence, we have the strange silence of every succeeding President on the issue of the cover up of the Kennedy assassination.

The book is well written and extraordinarily important. He would understand our nation and how it came to be in the condition that now obtains would be well advised to read carefully this terribly important book. God bless.

By Bill Crowley on June 27, 2015
Finally, a man on the inside talks

This book is written by someone who was sitting in the middle of Eisenhower's feared military-industrial complex, instead of an outside researcher. Col Prouty lived what he tells us for several years. He saw the Korean & the Vietnam War buildup from the inside; he watched as the Bay of Pigs went down and No, it was not JFK's fault.

I was most impressed that Col Prouty is the actual person depicted as "Mr. X" and portrayed by Donald Sutherland in Oliver Stone's JFK.

If only half of what he tells us is the truth, then we need to demand another look at JFK's murder.

By Peter Cimino on November 6, 2012
Fascinating read, from a man inside the Military Complex

Overall, this was a fascinatiing read, and an awesome addition to my already humongous JFK Assassination collection. My only points of contention: 1)The name of it (and I realize the name needs to attract the reader) should have been The Military Complex / The Power Elite: How it works and it's connection to the JFK Assassination. The first three quarters of this book was all about the High Cabal and the Military complex. Incredibly detailed and compelling reading, but I just could not wait for it to end so we could get to the JFK part. But when it did...BAM! I could not put the book down. 2) This may be minor, but parts were extremely repetitve. I stopped counting how many times he referred to the one million Vietnemese who migrated to South Vietnam. I know he was trying to bang the point home, but it got to a point where it was not needed. 3) Once he got to the assassination itself I truly thought he would get into names...who made up this High Cabal or Power Elite that is more powerful than the President and US Government. I understand this could be dangerous...but a little hint would have been nice. 4) I thought he would get into more detail how the Assassination was pulled off. He drops a lot of hints and possibilities, but never really gives details to his personal thoughts. I cannot believe Mr. Prouty, after all his years serving in the military in the sensitive positions he held, could not come up with some kind of idea. Be that as it my, I truly believe this is as close the truth that we could ever get. I think this give the Why and Who would benefit. But would love even more detail. Maybe that's asking too much... Whether or not you are a JFK Assassination buff...this is truly an amazing read.

By Gianmarco Manzione on February 12, 2005
An Admirble Attempt at Truth-telling by a Good Man

If you have come to this book looking for another lean, persuasive investigation of the various conspiracies that could have led to the killing of JFK, you have come to the wrong place. prouty's book reaches far wider than that narrow scope, exploring every square inch of his vast, first-hand knowledge of the workings and consequences of the so-called Cold War (though I don't see how the bloody loss of millions of lives during that time constitute a war that was anything but blazing hot).

Prouty, a former Air Force colonel and CIA insider, manages to observe his life's work from an objective standpoint that raises countless probing and often hair-raising questions and warnings. Reaching back to the origins of the cold war and its effects on the policy and history that would soon be made, Prouty paints an expansive, thorough and detailed account not only of the JFK assassination, but of the entire political and industrial framework festering in the 20 years leading up to that moment that allowed such a tragedy to take place.

Contrary to most other books that deal --either obliquely or directly -- with JFK's murder, prouty's endures with a relevance that has as much to say about our own time as it does about Kennedy's. He foresees all the problems of a tyrannically powerful CIA that functions as the President's puppet master. "Many of the skilled saboteurs and terrorists of today are CIA students of yesterday," Prouty asserts in what amounts to an astonishing revelation when one considers that, among others, Osama Bin Laden is one of those "CIA students of yesterday." But it isn't only terrorists: it is the people we put in place as American puppets around the world. Take Hamad Karzai, for example, former CIA agent and millionaire now serving as President of Afghanistan.

The intimate and omnipotent mingling of money, military, covert intelligence operations and politics is precisely the network of power Prouty implicates not only in the crime that was the JFK murder, but the crime of so many brutal wars and coups performed by the CIA throughout the world to this very day. We are under the tyranny of an intelligence elite, an elite that happens to have the most powerful military and political machines on the planet at its service.

As prouty shows, Truman regretted his approval of the formation of the CIA toward the end of his presidency. Eisenhower tried to curb its powers but failed miserably, and when Kennedy fired Allen Dulles -- CIA chief at the time -- and not only threatened but actually worked to break the CIA "into a thousand pieces," he was killed. If that strieks you as an irrational logical leap, you need to read Prouty's book.

It is admirable that he undertook the writing of the book himself, rather than resorting to the services of some professional writer as so many politicians and military officials do for their memoirs and other books. Consequently, Prouty's book suffers a bit from a lack of the kind of polish it might have had. He struggles to organize his vast knowledge into the kind of coherant narrative he envisions and promises to no avail throughout. The reader has to work a little harder here to put the many pieces together that prouty lays out.

Nonetheless, Prouty's book reads like a desperate, angry and even frantic attempt at telling the truth by a man whose writing voice belies a remarkable warmth and sincerity. He knows so much and is so appalled at the hypocrisy he witnessed throughout his career -- hypocrisy that turned to horror -- that his book reads like the result of a minor god angrily shaking his fists and roaring in a locked room. His background, littered with merits and accolades, backs up every claim he makes here.

Prouty's book is entirely based on first-hand knowledge and expertise he gleaned over the course of a distinguished career: the precarious security arrangements in Dallas that day, Kennedy's advocacy of a US note that would compete with the federal note, his vow to remove all troops from Vietnam by 1965 and how this threatened the money-making machine that was the Vietnam "conflict," the utter astonishment in Washington at Kennedy's victory over Nixon, a man for whom various war and intelligence initiatives had already been drawn up for him to sign off on at the start of his presidency -- before he was even elected!

From its first hour, Kennedy's thousand-day presidency threatened so many established powers, so many benefactors of the military industrial complex, that there was no way it could have ended up otherwise. Even Robert McNamara, a great admirer of the president and godfather to one of Bobby Kennedy's kids, understood that a helicopter-augmented war like Vietnam would "churn out big dollars," that the war itself was capable of creating the $500 billion in military-industrial profits it eventually raised. Any former Ford executive understands the profits inherent in the collusion between military and industry.

As Prouty reports, quoting the controversial novel "Report From iron Mountain," "The war system is indispensable to the stable political structure . . . war provides the sense of external necessity without which no government can long remain in power." This is precisely the bleak "necessity" that Kennedy eventually grew to rebuke, and it was that rebuke that put the nails in his coffin long before his trip to Dallas.

By A customer on June 15, 1996
Very, very good.

I am a fan of Col Prouty, ever since I read The Secret Team.

Oliver Stone is in excellent company, because both of these men aren't afraid to tell the truth.

It is exactly the lack of truth that is killing the

United States.

Those who attack this book, and Stone, with the usual ignorant hysterics, are part of the cancer that is destroying the very innards of the last, great democracy on earth.

JFK's assasination was just a symptom of disease that is ravageing us today. This book supports this point.

By the way, if you believe the results of the Warren Commmission, (the House Select Comm. on Assasinations didn't, in 1976-78),then you are part of the problem.

This book gives an excellent pre-text to the take-over plans of the war-industy complex,starting after World War II. Prouty clearly states how the US Navy took part in the destabilization of Viet Nam by assisting in exporting tribes to the south. The resulting mess fell into Kennedy's hands.

You can understand why the fascists would have to dispatch a man like Kennedy, because he tried to do what was right. He was too charismatic, and he was correct. He could move too get emotionally involved, and then to act. This was viewed to be a dangerous thing.

Kennedy's Presidential Memorandum #263 was the spark the could ignite a conflagration, pulling the armed forces out of Viet Nam. This correct moral action would lead to other positive events, such as the deconstruction of the war machine at home. If this course was allowed to be taken. It didn't , of course.

The Military Right Wing and Ultra Hawks of the US had to liquidate Kennedy. Then, later, Bobby, Malcom X, King... and I am sure that it was They were all done in by the same smoking gun. They couldn't stand in the light of truth, like a vampire can stand the light of the sun.

The prolem is still rampant today, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Read this book before revisionist history forces it from the shelves. Keep it alive, talk about it. You'll find that you will defend it when you see the context that is carefully presented by Prouty.

Also, think about how (now) Sen. Arlen Specter told us how the "magic" bullet is proof of the single assasin theory. Then think about how he told us that this same bullet dediced to wait in the air 1.6 seconds before striking Gov. Connally, and then move on to kill President Kennedy, and still later was recovered with absolutely no loss of mass. Think, then reject the fantasy tale outright.Specter was a liar, then as he is today, and the Warren Commisssion's finding are pathetically false.

You should then read this book. It's not fantasy.

The cancer grows as you read this, but it is not too late... I think. If enough people get informed, and then act according to their conscience, they can then eradicate the cancer.

There are not enough liar/fascists to stop a revolution of the truth. Today, they are afraid, and for good reason.

Thank you.

MBF

By A customer on December 24, 1998
"The Truth Shall Set You Free" - Plaque at CIA's entrance

These words of St. John are displayed at CIA's Head Quarters in Langley, VA. The DCI, (Director of Central Intelligence), Allen Dulles, was not known for his ability to write good "original" material... At one time, he commissioned one E. Howard Hunt to ghost write for him. That might be likened to a liar who hires a thief to tell the truth! Colonel Leroy Fletcher Prouty was not cast from the same "mold" that produced the likes of Colson, MacGruder, Hunt, Sturgis, McCord, Liddy, Mitchell, Hoover, LeMay, Lansdale, and all the rest... No, he was cast from a very different mold... a mold of integrity and dedication to his country, the United States of America.

Imagine a patriotic young man, who enlists into the military, sees combat as a subordinate on the front lines, is commissioned by his superiors (as they recognized the leadership capabilities that he possessed), and is eventually placed in a newly created position: Chief of Special Operations, as an adjunct to his previous title of "Focal Point Officer/Military Liaison" in support of all CIA Clandestine Operations, as per National Security Council Directive #5412. It is from this very perspective that the good Colonel speaks... and he does, in fact, speak the truth.

I would do a disservice to those who seek an accurate account of the CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate JFK, if I failed to mention the following:

Those who criticize or attack the content of this most important "work" of Fletcher, have failed to understand that: "In the interest of a LEGITIMATE National Security Agenda" many covert activities were necessary to insure the continued security of the United States. In such instances any and all of the brave men and women, be they CIA, military, or civilian personnel, who have engaged in such activity, including Fletcher Prouty, are to be commended for their heroism and dedication to the freedom of us all, as unpalatable as many of these activities may seem to those of us who have only known "peace" in our home land. Without the work of the many "human assets" whose dedication to preserving our security at times included, what is euphemistically called "Black Ops"-- we would not be free today to speak of these issues. In this context, "Black Ops" can be seen as a necessary, albeit "unfortunate choice" - However, choosing the lesser of two or more evils MUST be made at times.

At what point does one say "enough is enough?" I believe Colonel Prouty's insight is extremely acute because of the honesty of the man AND the unique "position" he held at the fulcrum of the meeting point between the military, industrial and intelligence complex, of the United States. If one who is in such a position:

1. "Knows the signature of black ops" from years of experience;

2. Witnesses the "breakdown" of the Law mandated by Congress as a "Control Mechanism" -- i.e., the NSC's ability to DIRECT the activities of the intelligence community;

3. Ultimately recognizes that the removal of the main member of the NSC, President John F. Kennedy, was saturated with the "fingerprints" of a very carefully orchestrated "coup d'etat";

Then, (if such an individual is a true patriot), he is under an obligation to "right the wrongs" to the best of his ability... even if it may mean speaking of things that, despite their truth, will tend to strain the credibility of the messenger.

I applaud Colonel Prouty's courage, dedication, wisdom, excellent reportage, attention to detail, and finally, his relentless committment... He is an excellent messenger.

In the words of Jim Garrison: "Do not forget your dying king..."

GO_SECURE

Gregory Burnham

VISAC

By Acute Observer on January 22, 2002
Memoirs of an Insider

Events in the real world and society are mostly planned, they do not just happen. This book presents selected events from 1943 to 1990. The major events of this time were craftily and systematically planned by the power elite. This book will attempt to explain the Cold War, the Korean and Vietnam wars, the effects of the development of the hydrogen bomb, and why the "military-industrial complex" removed JFK from the Presidency.

L. Fletcher Prouty spent 1955-64 as chief of special operations. Page xxxiii tells of one incident he witnessed of the "power elite". Page 4 explains how an agent for the East India Company created an ideological justification for eliminating unwanted people. Page 8 says that neither H-bombs or "Star Wars" can prevent warfare by terrorists.

Pages 15-16 tells of the driving force of acquisitiveness. Mineral wealth is controlled by corporate interests directly, or by the World Bank or International Monetary Fund. Genocide is regularly practices to limit the "excess population", particularly those who object to this exploitation. He repeats Elliot Roosevelt's story about Stalin's claim that FDR was poisoned (he had spies everywhere?).

"Many of the skilled saboteurs and terrorists of today are the CIA students of yesterday" (p.37). "The first aerial hijackings were publicly solicited by the US in return for big cash awards, plus sanctuary". Page 56 tells why so many of our leaders are lawyers: they are trained to work under the direction of their clients. Their "lawyer-client confidence" ensures secrecy, even in court; they work for international law firms in government, banks, and major industries.

Chapter Six, "Genocide by Transfer", tells how over a million Tonkinese were moved to Cochin China; it caused a rice shortage in a previously rice-exporting country! The destruction of self-sufficient villages created consumers of imported food (like post-1962 Burma), and enriched merchants and shippers. It also created a source of cheap labor?

Chapter Seven tells of the destruction of the village economy, and the resulting banditry. The depopulation of rural counties and the "urban renewal" in the big cities caused internal migration and a rise in the crime rate here in America too. After Textron Corporation bought Bell helicopters, there was now a need for these helicopters in Vietnam. Page 108 tells how 43% of lives lost were "not from action by hostile forces" - just accidents! The high cost of machines and their need for maintenance (supplies, personnel) helped to lose the war.

L. Fletcher Prouty says the massive slaughter in Cambodia, the Iran-Iraq war, "Desert Storm", and the Middle East hostilities are an example of Malthusian social engineering (p.187).

Chapter 16 explains the economic reasons for coups d' etat, whether Marcos in the Phillipines, Batista, Somoza, or Trujillo (pp. 236-7). Once a puppet ruler in s country tries to counteract its exploitation, its goodbye. Page 238 tells how "foreign aid" is used to support American companies moving their factories and machinery to foreign countries. Page 240 explains why Vietnam (like Korea) was a limited "unwinnable" war.

On November 22, 1963 JFK was removed from office by a powerful group that wanted to escalate the war in Vietnam, and increase government spending (p.257). Pages 261-4 answers those who mistakenly claim JFK did not want to withdraw military forces from Vietnam. Prouty presents information from the public record and his personal experience. NSAM#263 shows that JFK did plan to withdraw military personnel from Vietnam in 1963. The death of JFK changed the war in Indochina from low-intensity to a major operation. Page 291 lists the many things done as standard security procedure which were NOT done on 11-22-1963. If the Warren Report is wrong on any key point, then it is false. Governor Connally contradicted the key point of the Warren Report to his dying day.

The assassination of JFK demonstrated that most major events of world significance are masterfully planned and orchestrated by an elite coterie of enormously powerful people (p.334). You can read Jim Marrs' "Rule by Secrecy". The August 31, 1983 downing of Korean Air flight 007 resulted in the largest Defense Department budget ever passed in peacetime.

By A customer on December 24, 1998
"The Truth Shall Set You Free" - Plaque at CIA's entrance

These words of St. John are displayed at CIA's Head Quarters in Langley, VA. The DCI, (Director of Central Intelligence), Allen Dulles, was not known for his ability to write good "original" material... At one time, he commissioned one E. Howard Hunt to ghost write for him. That might be likened to a liar who hires a thief to tell the truth! Colonel Leroy Fletcher Prouty was not cast from the same "mold" that produced the likes of Colson, MacGruder, Hunt, Sturgis, McCord, Liddy, Mitchell, Hoover, LeMay, Lansdale, and all the rest... No, he was cast from a very different mold... a mold of integrity and dedication to his country, the United States of America.

Imagine a patriotic young man, who enlists into the military, sees combat as a subordinate on the front lines, is commissioned by his superiors (as they recognized the leadership capabilities that he possessed), and is eventually placed in a newly created position: Chief of Special Operations, as an adjunct to his previous title of "Focal Point Officer/Military Liaison" in support of all CIA Clandestine Operations, as per National Security Council Directive #5412. It is from this very perspective that the good Colonel speaks... and he does, in fact, speak the truth.

I would do a disservice to those who seek an accurate account of the CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate JFK, if I failed to mention the following:

Those who criticize or attack the content of this most important "work" of Fletcher, have failed to understand that: "In the interest of a LEGITIMATE National Security Agenda" many covert activities were necessary to insure the continued security of the United States. In such instances any and all of the brave men and women, be they CIA, military, or civilian personnel, who have engaged in such activity, including Fletcher Prouty, are to be commended for their heroism and dedication to the freedom of us all, as unpalatable as many of these activities may seem to those of us who have only known "peace" in our home land. Without the work of the many "human assets" whose dedication to preserving our security at times included, what is euphemistically called "Black Ops"-- we would not be free today to speak of these issues. In this context, "Black Ops" can be seen as a necessary, albeit "unfortunate choice" - However, choosing the lesser of two or more evils MUST be made at times.

At what point does one say "enough is enough?" I believe Colonel Prouty's insight is extremely acute because of the honesty of the man AND the unique "position" he held at the fulcrum of the meeting point between the military, industrial and intelligence complex, of the United States. If one who is in such a position:

1. "Knows the signature of black ops" from years of experience;

2. Witnesses the "breakdown" of the Law mandated by Congress as a "Control Mechanism" -- i.e., the NSC's ability to DIRECT the activities of the intelligence community;

3. Ultimately recognizes that the removal of the main member of the NSC, President John F. Kennedy, was saturated with the "fingerprints" of a very carefully orchestrated "coup d'etat";

Then, (if such an individual is a true patriot), he is under an obligation to "right the wrongs" to the best of his ability... even if it may mean speaking of things that, despite their truth, will tend to strain the credibility of the messenger.

I applaud Colonel Prouty's courage, dedication, wisdom, excellent reportage, attention to detail, and finally, his relentless committment... He is an excellent messenger.

In the words of Jim Garrison: "Do not forget your dying king..."

GO_SECURE

Gregory Burnham

VISAC

By jrbednorz@earthlink.net on February 24, 1999
Constitutional Implications of the JFK Assassination

A recent poll taken by CNBC and a "news-eum" shows that the assassination of John F. Kennedy was the 6th most important event of the twentieth century. How or why those polled justify this choice is not clear. But anyone familiar with American history, American culture, and the myths and assumptions most Americans carry as a foundation of their beliefs -- can deduce the relevance of November 22, 1963 and its implications.

Every school kid is taught that we live in a country where there is no need for coup d'etat. We don't assassinate our leaders; we retire them at the voting booth. In this, derives the faith we have in all our other institutions, and especially, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. From the dawn of our individual consciousness, we are made to believe and assume that we are "safe," that we can think and say and do as we please, so long as we don't tread on the rights of others. And every school kid learns by rote the Preamble to the Constitution -- "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense . . secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity . . . ."

So for thirty-five years, most of us have been living in some form of illusion and denial. We were told and made to accept the story that the President of the United States was killed by a single, crazed person -- a relative nobody, an insect. The Warren Commission Report assured a majority of people over some part of those 35 years that our institutions are safe. It attempted to assure us, among other things, that our public officials continue to be honest; that our judges continue to value and protect Justice and Truth above everything else; that our policemen and local officials can be relied upon to protect us; and that the government, when it tells us to send the flower of our youth to war, does so for good reason. In a way, the Report was a means of continuing the myths that we all believe, especially, that "We the People" are the ultimate source of authority and power in our government.

Unfortunately for the authors of the 26-volume Report -- but fortunately for the rest of us -- it has lost its credibility. That credibility began to erode almost as soon as the Report was published, as Jim Garrison, District Attorney of New Orleans parish, resurrected his investigation into the activities and actors of the building at Lafayette and Camp streets. Almost from the beginning, the work of Garrison and his staff was hampered by the seemingly unexplainable efforts of the FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency. Since that time, we have been slowly awakened to the possible involvement of as many as three elected presidents in the Warren Commission coverup, and there are echoes of something worse, something more sinister.

We owe this awakening in part to the efforts of Garrison, and to the contribution of the man who anonymously assisted him in that investigation of the late 60's. Col. L. Fletcher Prouty, the "Mr. X" of Oliver Stone's "JFK," retired from the CIA not more than a year after the assassination. New facts in the assassination have slowly accumulated, partly due to the efforts of Prouty, Garrison, an emerging army of quiet and persistent historical researchers, investigative journalists, and -- yes -- even elected officials.

Now there are several variations on the conspiracy theme, which polls show is now accepted or suspected by as much as 78 percent of the American population. Some believed that Castro was the source of the plot to kill JFK. Others accepted the most reasonable theory that organized crime, namely Carlos Marcello, was the dark force behind the assassination. How comforting. We can now change the TV channel to "The Brady Bunch" -- we are still safe as long as the identity of the bogeyman that robbed us of a President and half a century's history doesn't challenge our basic beliefs in the institutions of government. And of course, the institutions of the powerful are also safe from a skeptical and inquiring public.

Other theories are more troubling, and as Prouty tells us apologetically, advocates of these theories perennially suffer the labels of "conspiracy nut" and "paranoid." But Prouty was the post-war pilot who shuttled dignitaries to the major conferences of World War II and facilitated the "rescue" of Nazi intelligence officers from their potential Soviet captors. He was on Okinawa when the thousands of tons of war materiel suddenly deemed unnecessary for an invasion of Japan were unexplainably shipped to Haiphong Harbor for the VietMinh. He was privy to the CIA's covert operations from that point forward which slowly enmired America in a war without strategic objectives -- the war in Vietnam. He was in the midst of CIA staff who planned the covert initiatives against Castro, notably Operation Mongoose and the Bay of Pigs. He presents detailed, plausible explanations of the reasons why these efforts failed. This provides a basis for a most incredible argument that a "High Cabal" of individuals and agencies -- above politics, even above government itself -- set in motion the decisions, events, and coordination that enabled the murder of a President.

Prouty was Oliver Stone's closest consultant in forging the epic movie "JFK." The underlying theory of the movie has been labeled "Conspiracy-a-Go-Go," the essence of a plot masterminded by a "High Cabal." The features of such a plot are merely hinted by the movie. Viewers may take away from the film an awakened sense of suspicion mixed with disbelief, and this does not detract from the film as good cinematic art. But Prouty's book offers some solid history and autobiography. It doesn't digest as impassioned rhetoric or the rantings of an extremist paranoid. It comes off as the ruminations and reflections of a witness who has both feet on solid ground.

The author consistently reminds us that an explanation of Kennedy's murder must be grounded in economic reasoning. "Who stood to benefit?" "Why?" He tells us that he doesn't want to concern himself with the identities of the contract assassins themselves, and indeed he informs us that it is in the nature of this underworld thick with professional "mechanics" that their identities may never be entirely known. Instead, he provides us a review of history and foreign policy during the initial and most frightening stages of the Cold War, and he reminds us that individuals are at the core of power where decisions of enormous scope are made frequently without either the participation or the knowledge of the public. So rather than point the finger explicitly at conspirators -- whose identities may be suggested or mentioned as part of the book's historical message -- he leaves it to the reader's judgment.

I cannot fault the book for its failure to present solutions. Ted Kazynski, in his "Manifesto," levels accusations against the same dark, if not anonymous forces, and most people will overlook the scribblings of someone diagnosed as criminally insane. But we cannot ignore any longer the existence of a "power elite" and the imperatives of large-scale global organization which support its existence. If we wish to live in society and partake of the benefits of a civilization thousands of years in the making, we have to accept these distortions to the democratic myths that saturate our consciousness and perceptions. Offering a practical prescription for controlling those forces was never Prouty's objective in writing this book. More aptly, "JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy" is a profound wake-up call.

Prescriptions do not come easily. Those interested in what should prove to be a long and protracted debate should read Gerry Spence's "Give Me Liberty." But one cannot address the problem unless he or she is aware of it. To this end, Prouty's book provides sharp historical focus.

Randy Bednorz

By Smith_Dick@msn.com on September 11, 1998
This vital work is a MUST READ for ALL Americans.

Col. Prouty's most informative book exposes the vicious, greedy, and super-anonymous hand of the "High Cabal" as none other has dared attempt. It clearly demonstrates the bizarre and disgusting chain of events (created by the OSS and CIA) that began before the end of WWII; events that led to President Eisenhower's unprecedented farewell address (and warning) to the nation. These events also led to the creation of President John F. Kennedy's National Security Action Memorandum #263, which called for de-escalation of the Vietnam War and withdrawal of all troops from Vietnam; the memorandum that ultimately led to his death.

This work exposes the planned genocide of millions of innocent, non-combatant Southeast Asian civilians, under the guise of such noble sounding terms as "pacification." Readers learn that none of these attacks on the peace-loving Southeast Asians were undertaken to protect any nation or preserve any ideology. Rather, they were thrust upon the Southeast Asians to further feed the exceedingly bulging pockets of greedy international bankers and the insidious military-industrial complex. These events also served to further perpetuate the High Cabal's iron-fisted, though ultra-secret, control over American government, among others, and the world economy. Vietnam is but one homeland that the High Cabal has decimated to serve its own purposes. There have indeed been many others throughout history. The question is: who's next? Perhaps us? Every American should read this vitally important book. And, think about it...

Hats off to Col. L. Fletcher Prouty. A truly great American! I proudly salute you, Sir.

By Mike Bartus on February 23, 2000
A great book among others

I want those readers who have not read this book to read my opinions below.

First, this is a great book simply because Prouty has provided more inside ammunition for researchers to mine the depths of our secret government. This is the government of men who controlled the secret programs of assassination, the secret slush funds of counterintelligence, the operatives who dilligently carried out their secret orders,their programs of stealth, quasi-law breaking, and other publically inaccessible information. Prouty's book quite correctly points the finger at Dulles, Lansdale, and others in CIA, who were paranoid about communism and Castro. They viewed Kennedy as a traitor and he stood in the way of the war machine they were operating, both overtly, but especially covertly. The termination of raids to Cuba, the failure of follow-up air support at the Bay of Pigs, the promise not to invade Cuba after the Cuban missile crisis, were all blamed on Kennedy. The firing of Dulles, Cabell, and Bissell contributed to the intelligence community wanting JFK removed from command. It is astonishing that so few have commented on the contrast between now and then: in 1963 we were fed lies depicting Oswald as a crazed nut, a loner, and defector. These days we have mountains of evidence he was much more than these pictures of him. He associated with Clay Shaw, David Ferrie, anti-castro cubans, and others. He returned to the US without a hitch, but in those days a defector would have been hounded and closely watched. If this were true,then why wasn't the FBI catching all his associations and illegal activities? Prouty has produced the superstructure of the conspiracy by showing the history, and context of the cold war and the CIA.

If one can view a supposed loser like Oswald pulling off this assassination as being totally ridiculous, then one can entertain other possibilities. Why was Lyndon Johnson reversing NSAMs so quickly concerning Vietnam? Why did Johnson appoint Warren, Dulles, Ford, et al? Why wasn't the Dulles appointment perceived as a conflict of interest? Here is the fired subordinate investigating the dead boss! Dulles definitely kept information from the panel, especially about the assassination plots being orchestrated by the CIA, with the Mafia as the gunmen. In this connection, another book of importance should be read and that is by Peter Dale Scott: Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. It is a difficult book because he describes a quasi government,over-and-above government institutions, which controlled the plot and the outcome. This corresponds to some observations about Prouty's book, which fails to name names. But that isn't quite correct. Prouty does name many persons who were in command positions and had the power to orchestrate the assassination.Two prominent persons were Dulles and Lansdale. Any clever and alert reader who watched Stone's movie JFK will see a very short (about 2 second)sequence in the movie where General X is making the call to the network to carry out the plot and kill JFK. On his desk is a nameplate which clearly says "Lansdale".

The Prouty book establishes that Kennedy "was getting Americans out of Vietnam, he confirmed that he was moving away from the pattern of Cold War confrontation in favor of detente.He asked congress to cut the defense budget.Major programs were being phased out. As a result, pressure from several fronts began to to build against the young President.The pressure came from those most affected by cuts in the military budget, in the NASA space program, and in the enormous potential cost-and profit-of the Vietnam War."

It is very ironic that his enemies in government brought about detente with the Soviet Union. The notion that Oswald was a lone killer is preposterous and if it were true, why would the full truth be kept from us so long after the collapse of communism? This was the facile justification for locking up the evidence until 2025: that our outrage against a communist conspiracy would demand a war against the communists. The real truth was to control the information to the American public, so as to cover their tracks, and establish a legend to the JFK killing.

Everyone should read this book. I heartily recommend this book to anyone seeking insight into the question about insiders being involved in the killing.

By basement@dnai.com Tim Canale on January 6, 1999
Highly Recommended!!

Prouty gives us the point of view of both an ace historian and an insider taking us from the origins of the cold war up through the assassination of President Kennedy, and then on up through tomorrow night's evening news. It's haunting how the power elite's patterns of military strategies and propaganda tactics of that era correlate with many of today's current events. Just the other day somebody on TV was screaming, "Why wasn't there an objective in Desert Fox?!" while at the same time I'm reading the answer in Prouty's book, yet the book was written 6 or 7 years ago.

This isn't a book only on the Kennedy assassination, but Kennedy's bold decisions which led to his death and the forces behind it all. He explains clearly the post-H-bomb military strategy of aiding both sides of the fence in Vietnam to win the REAL war - big business. We get an inside look at the Dulles brothers and their direct line to the "High Cabal" which overrules even the White House.

I once heard Col. Prouty say in an interview that he's never read a page of the Warren Commission's 26 volumes of hearings on the assassination. He said he didn't have to because he knew who did it. I thought that was a bit odd, but after reading this book I understand what he means. Prouty had worked with these guys! These are the same forces that overthrew the Philipines, Greece, Iran, Bulgaria and Guatemala (to name just a few).

Out of all the books written about the Kennedy assassination this is easily one of the best. Check out his website!

By A customer on October 22, 1999
A disturbing and enlightening insight into the Cold War

This book uncovers the many reasons for the Korean & Vietnam conflicts. It clearly implicates the OSS/CIA during the end of World War II in their involvement in providing supplies for the Koreans and then later for the Vietminh. Colonel Prouty indicates how the CIA are quite often able to live in a secret world while manipulating other federal agencies to their desired ends. When Kennedy took office in 1960 he inherited $6.5 billion in surplus from the previous administration. When he planned not to include a major defense manufacturer to build the TFX and gave that bid to General Dynamics the CIA and their constituents were vey upset. Prouty points out that Kennedy never had any intention in building great offensive systems for war. Kennedy wanted to create a united peace in the world through his reelection by implementing domestic policies that would focus on the problems "at home." He also desired better foreign relations with the Soviet Union. Kennedy planned to bring 1000 troops home from Viet Nam by Christmas of 1963. McNamara's report on the Indonesian situation indicated that all military units in Vietnam could be home by Kennedy's due date of 1965. But major corporations having an investment in the manufacturing of war machines do not thrive during peacetime. This was a critical area for Kennedy because of his change in the national policy. Prouty shows that the President's shift prompted many businessmen to seriously think about Kennedy's position as president. This book answers the whys of the cold war period as well as the assassination motives. Prouty's book points out the wasted time in focusing on a "patsy" as the lone assasin of JFK. In all probability Oswald was a soldier carrying out commands from his superior officers not fully knowing the extent of the damage. L. Fletcher Prouty wrote this history from his personal experiences with covert operations and his involvement with government agencies. After reading this book the author leaves one feeling disturbed, yet enlightened by the rich insight he has provided. I am grateful to Colonel Prouty for his willingness to share his knowledge so that many may have an alternative view and perhaps a better understanding regarding the Cold War era.

By Jon W. Davis on October 20, 2004
A Sobering Look Into the Past of JFK and the CIA

Prouty was well postioned to tell his story as seen from inside the intelligence community. Unknown to most people Kennedy challenged the hegemony of the privately owned and controlled Federal Reserve. In the summer of 1963 Kennedy signed an executive order to create 4 billion dollars in United States Notes, in direct competion to Federal Reserve Notes. Why? The United States Notes were based on the government silver stores and their creation did not create interest payements to the world bankers and owners of the Fed. Bills in denominations of $2, $5, $10, and $20's were authorized and the $2's and $5's were printed and in circulation. The $10's and $20 were being printed when Kenndy was killed. In Johnsons first month in office the US Notes were recalled from circulation. Go to any good coin shop and ask to buy a 1963 US Note. See it for yourself! The one gem in Prouty's book that ties Kennedy to this issue is a few sentences where he discusses Kennedy sending Robert McNamara to meet with the Governors of the Federal Reserve to let them know that there are going to be big changes in the nations money system. There is very little information out there about Kennedy and money and Prouty clearly knew there was a connection. Why is the topic of Kennedy and the money he created so obscure and unknown? The only other president in the history of the country to create US Notes directly from the authority of the US Government was Lincoln with his greenbacks during the civil war. The only two presidents to buck the money powers were both assasinated in office. I think Prouty shows a possible origin of one of the smoking guns.

By A customer on January 4, 1998
The key to the mystery of the crime of the century.

As a United States Marine in the Vietnam war, I never challenged my country's intentions to stem the tide against communist aggression throughout the world. After my extended tour of duty in that war zone, I came home to ponder how we became involved in such a protracted war that divided the country (USA) so. It all points back to the tradgic event on 22 November 1963. With the death of our beloved President Kennedy, the powers to be had free reign to curtail the planned withdrawl of the small amount of troops in that zone. Only 16,000 at that time. This book is an excellent reference to how real events were managed to create so much grief for the people of South Vietnam and the United States. As a former Marine who left enough of his friends to pay the ultimate sacrifice, I highly recommend Colonel Prouty's fine book. "Those of us who made it have an obligation to find the goodness in man and make this world a better place in which to live." Long live the memory of JFK.

Semper Fidelis

Ronald E. Springer on September 22, 2005
America has Waited a Long Time to Hear the Truth...

Finally, those involved are getting old enough not to place concern about their own welfare above truth anymore.

This book provides so many connections, such a depth of behind the scenes knowledge and inner workings of the specific programs operating at the time, you can't help but be bowled over.

***Note: Anyone interested in the Kennedy Assassination should realize that there is a "misinformation plant" in the Library Journal review department. Every honest book on the subject has been unconvincingly discredited by them, while they praise and try to steer you towards known flake CIA-financed writers such as Gerald Posner.

It's rather common to hear of wrongdoing by the CIA. I saw a graph recently that showed American citizen's belief in their government plummeting after the Kennedy Assassination. Almost no one accepted the Warren Commission Report and such a cover up has casted doubt on our government ever since.

This "High Cabal" as Churchill called them obviously doesn't start with the CIA, or the Federal Reserve. It predates Christianity, but it's quite simple. There are bums who seek handouts and never try to rise, and there are bums who gain a position over others but still yearn for that same handout, taking it by force, by skimming, whatever is necessary to defeat justice, honor and civility. These are not great men and they will not be remembered like an Edison or a Ford. They are the most creative parasites on the planet, and the most deeply engrained.

Currency control has changed EIGHT times since America's inception. The most vocal fighter against irrational banking was Andrew Jackson; not Kennedy or Lincoln (google "Jackson Bank Veto"). He fought and defeated in his time what has morphed into the Federal Reserve Bank. Before the Civil War, such bankers were buying politicians, planting press stories, steering elections, stealing freedoms, killing people--anything to assure a fascist cushion between themselves and existence.

Do we ever hear anything bad about the Federal Reserve? In Jackson's time, they were entrenched 16 years deep and it was difficult to rout them out then. They did try to kill him. Now they are ninety years deep. They have owned many Presidents, they control the Justice and State Departments, and the CIA secretly furthers their agenda.

Nothing happens at the Assassination Level without their approval. In today's world, America is struggling in recession (bankruptcy) mostly due to the $360 Billion we now pay to the Fed for their generous "Debt-Money" System, and that is an exponentially increasing burden. EVERY dollar in our country has interest being paid on it as if it were borrowed! Due to this, bankruptcy for America is a mathematical certainty. (Imagine if you had to pay interest not just on every dollar you owed, but on every dollar you made! America IS!)

With changes in the laws, soon none of us will be permitted to walk away from our debts and start over--as if our hard economic times is our own personal fault.

We are all about to become debt slaves, as they intend. If you want to have a chance at recovery, if you want your kids to have a chance at a decent future, join me and I'll give you the Moral Armor neccessary to beat down these parasites and restore America to what it was meant to be. They CAN be defeated, but not without YOUR empowerment. If you can't stand up or are afraid to, I'll show you how. Invest in yourself right now and let's save this ship!

Joshua Lewis on October 4, 2014
They must be pretty well organized

Hard to believe for various reasons. First, other reviewers have commented on the "logic" of the author's arguments. There are, however, numerous fallacies in the book. Lots of, "X happened, and then Y happened, THEREFORE..." but the conclusions are never proven and don't follow logically from the premises. Second, the author doesn't seem to notice some of the absurdities in his thesis when applied to November of 1963. For example, we're told that an international elite working above the leaders elected to the highest offices of government have created and controlled world wide war efforts, power transfers, government overthrows, and economic and monetary conditions among other things, since the end of WWII.

They must be pretty well organized, financed and intelligent to do so. Yet, they were unable to ensure the election of Nixon in the closest election in history up to that point?

Seems odd to be able to start wars but not rig an election that was lost by .02 percent. And, if that isn't a good enough example, let's try another one.

The author gives us several photos in the book of the Dallas "Police" who transported a band of vagabonds on the day JFK was killed and points out the facts that their uniforms aren't standard DPD issue, their uniforms don't match, and their caps and weapons are not standard.

The obvious allusion is that they weren't real policemen and were somehow a part of or hired by this power elite who operated to kill on that day. Yet, wouldn't a "High Cabal" capable of all I mentioned above, have made sure to procure authentic police uniforms, caps, badges and weapons for such an important day, leaving nothing to chance, and preparing for every contingency? It seems like a very sloppy oversight by a group with such limitless powers and ability.

These are just two examples of many where common sense seems to trump the passionate arguments of the author. That being said, there is some interesting information in the book on the inner workings of the CIA and government especially during the Vietnam War. If you are going to read it, just be on the lookout for the faulty logic and use common, critical thinking skills to help sort possibility from probability.

Gary P on January 2, 2013
A few nice nuggets burried in the muck.

In "JFK", Fletcher Prouty shares numerous fascinating observations garnered from his position as a mid-grade officer in what I call the "Conglomerate of Covert Cold Warriors" (OSS/CIA/Military Intelligence/Special Operations/etc) from the 1940s until the early 1960s. Some of the conclusions he draws, however, are completely unsubstantiated and require a real stretch of the imagination.

Chief among these is the existence of some sort of secret "high cabal" of bankers and industrialists (but not the Illuminati, Bilderbergs, Council on Foreign Relations, Freemasons, Trilateral Commision, Pentaverate,or any other previously speculated secret organization) which has been manipulating the governments of the world into conflicts large and small for at least the last hundred years for the purpose of generating profits on the sale and/or financing of war materials.

Prouty further supposes that the CIA and KGB were the two principal levers with which this supposed cabal have exerted their influence on the world in the post-WWII era.

Prouty also suggests that the Korean and Vietnam Wars were prearranged prior to the close of World War II, and that everything that happened in Vietnam from '45 on was part of a master plan by the OSS/CIA to set the table for a protracted large-scale US engagement in a later decade. Kennedy's intent to deviate from this carefully and painstaking constructed plan for Vietnam supposedly was the instigation for the high cabal to orchestrate his murder.

While Prouty brings to light many interesting connections between the "Conglomerate" and world events, the need to attribute credit/blame for everything to some "invisible elite" group of power brokers who pull the strings of the CIA is difficult to accept. It seems to me that the fact that the CIA was a very insular group, created and led by a small cadre of extremely ambitious ideologues who operated with a nearly unlimited budget and almost no accountability means they were likely responsible on their own for most things that Prouty blames on "the cabal."

At times Prouty contradicts himself, suggesting on one hand that various apparent CIA miscalculations that drag us farther into the Vietnam war were actually intentional, while later claiming that the CIA were surprised when the same actions did not yield any strategic gains.

One last criticism I have is that Prouty often repeats himself. Certain themes are addressed over and over, with little or no additional detail brought to the table. Some passages were so similar to ones in previous chapters I wondered if my kindle was malfunctioning and moving me back to pages I'd already read. I blame this more on the editors than Prouty; they should have restructured his ideas more logically and could have cut 50-100 pages from this book without removing any value.

If you can look past the cabal angle and sloppy organization, there are some interesting ideas presented. Prouty makes a strong case that JFK intended to take the country in a direction in Vietnam that was counter to the aims of the "Conglomerate" and that certain individuals were conspicuously well prepared to reverse that policy in the immediate aftermath of the assassination. He also fairly criticizes the failure of the "Pentagon Papers" to put the the dramatic shift in Vietnam policy that occurred in late November, 1963, in the context of of a violent change in the presidency. His theory that the CIA-sponsored relocation of ~1,000,0000 Tonkinese Vietnamese from the North to the Mekong Delta in the South spawned the Viet Cong is compelling, whether or not you buy his supposition that it was a calculated result.

The fact that Prouty is the mysterious "Mr X" from Garrisons book "On the Trail of the Assassins" and Stone's movie "JFK" is reason enough for any assassination buff to read this book despite the shortcomings. That there are other interesting and salient nuggets burried in the muck of the "high cabal" theme is a bonus.

A customer on September 5, 1999
Prouty long on entrigue - short on facts.

I once had the opportunity to ask Col. Prouty (via e-mail) if he had retained any of the orders he states he received, or could produce another officer who shared his perspective on events surrounding the assassination of JFK. Instead of answers, what I got in return was a geriatric tirade and a sermon on respect for the men who have served this great nation. His thesis on the Bay of Pigs, given documentation now available (_Bay of Pigs Declassified_, 1998 National Security Archive, [...]) demonstrates that, where facts are concerned, Prouty is victim to his own perspective. Prouty reports that JFK was advised through CIA channels that Castro's air force had to be disabled prior to the April 17, Bay of Pigs attack, by Cuban exiles/CIA forces. Prouty states that JFK gave the green light for the initial April 15 attack, which decommissioned all but three of Castro's T-33 aircraft, and conveys that when JFK was advised on April 16 that three planes remained, he authorized their destruction with a second wave attack. Col. Prouty contends that McGeorge Bundy made a secure call to General Charles Cabell (brother of the Dallas mayor when JFK was assassinated, Earle Cabell) giving the president's approval, but that Cabell delayed deployment of the exile air force at Nicaragua. The Colonel contends that Cabell's delay in passing the order was the reason Kennedy later had him relieved of duty, and that the Mayor of Dallas retaliated for his brother's dismissal by participating in JFK's assassination.

Prouty makes the case that Cabell foiled any chances of success for the maritime operation by delaying the order for the B-26 aircraft to return to Cuba and destroy three remaining T-33s. But, Prouty is way off the mark on this one. Recently released documentation proves JFK wanted deniabilty and did not authorize the second wave of air attacks. While a question may remain as to whether the CIA adequately briefed Kennedy on the importance of the second wave attacks by the Cuban exiles, there is little doubt that whomever or whatever caused Prouty to print his version of the events will not contribute to Prouty's reputation for accuracy when confidently stating things as fact.

In a realm where hard evidence is a must, Prouty tells interesting tales. If his accounts of the events are to be believed, Col Prouty should furnish us military sources who agree with the Colonel, or concede that historically he simply cannot prove his assertions.

Evelyn Uyemura VINE VOICE on September 15, 2013
Half Credible, Half Not

What a sad mess of a book. It is really unfortunate that the people who were active adults in 1963 are now approaching their dotage, 50 years later, and in addition, that few serious publishers will touch the more controversial points of view with a 10-foot pole. As a result, we get books like this, from someone who might actually know something, but who can't write or edit a book into shape so that we can tell whether it makes any sense.

Prouty has several bugs in his bonnet:

  1. There is a secret Cabal of elites who run the entire world and have for centuries. Presidents and generals are puppets, mostly clueless as to what is really going on. (barely credible.)
  2. The fact that the earth is round, plus Malthus and Darwin, are the keys to the past 500 years of history, and the source of private property, colonialism, and pretty much all evil. (not credible to me.)
  3. Before WW2 had even ended, the US had already decided that its ally, the USSR, was going to be its next enemy and that Germany would be its ally, and started acting on this in the closing days of the war. The reason for this decision is that we, like all countries, need perpetual war to maintain sovereignty. (semi-credible--I doubt that any of this was conscious, if it happened at all.)
  4. A decision was made in 1945 that after WW2, we would next fight in Korea and Vietnam, and we sent weapons there for that purpose. (not credible to me. Yes, we may have sent weapons there, but I really doubt that there was a master plan in place.)

By now you're probably wondering what any or all of this has to do with the assassination of JFK. Well, that's the problem--this book is so all over the place that he spends essentially the whole book on deep background stuff, and the actual explanation of what this has to do with Kennedy is scattered throughout the book. He keeps bringing the story up to 1963 in every chapter, and then backtracking again and again. And again!

However, for all its problems as a book, the info contained herein meshes with several other books I've read recently that all point to the fact that Kennedy was moving from a Cold Warrior to a peacenik, (elsewhere attributed to his taking LSD with his mistress Mary Meyer. Who knows?) He *did* found a thing called the Peace Corps. He did give a speech at an American university that is called his Peace speech. Supposedly, he and Khrushchev were sort of pen pals, and they had both stared into the nuclear abyss and decided to make love not war.

Oh yes, another of Prouty's big ideas is that the weapons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a huge error on the part of the Cabal/Elite, since it made normal war impossible, hence a turn to guerrilla warfare by proxy. Again, the belief that everything is part of a master plan. The outcome is valid, but the idea of an invisible hand behind the scenes stage-managing all this is not reasonable to me.

Is it credible that the CIA could have been involved in Kennedy's assassination? On this point, I think the answer is yes. The old objection that people wouldn't be able to keep quiet if there were a conspiracy is pretty much moot if we're talking about the CIA, since by definition, these are guys who could do unimaginable things, have a cigarette, and then never speak of it again.

I think there is pretty decent evidence that Oswald was connected to the CIA. (The defection and then un-defection in and of itself is pretty incredible, and his statement that he was the patsy is more likely if he was in fact a patsy, than if he were a either a nut job or a Castro sympathizer. Both of those types want credit!)

And this book also confirms the feeling that I often get that in fact the US has many of the characteristics of a fascist state, minus the concentration camps for Jews. It is true that we have wrought havoc in many other people's countries, that we maintain a near-constant state of war, and that *if* a president tried to go in a different direction, there are forces within the military-industrial-intelligence complex that might both want and be capable of taking them out.

I am fairly knowledgeable about the assassination scenarios, but I found this book rough going, because it goes into a lot of political detail about the internal politics of Vietnam as well as very detailed descriptions of Washington politics. Perhaps if you are a bit older than me (I was 11 in 1963), or more knowledgeable about all the names and politics of that time, it would all come together. But a good editor would have helped tremendously to make it accessible to the general public.

Curt Butler on March 2, 2008
Who was Maj. Gen. E.G. ?

In Oliver Stone's film "JFK" in the Mall Scene meeting between D.A. Jim Garrison (played by Kevin Costner) and "Man X" (played by Donald Sutherland), a flashback scene presented a nameplate from the desk of an Air Force military general speaking on the phone, and partialy showing his name as Maj/Gen. E.G. (unknown)?

Who was Stone attempting to make reference to and cast aspersions upon Maj. General E.G. Lansdale?

Does anybody know?? Will check back from time-to-time is see "IF" any comments are posted to my inquiry. Thanks!

R. Anderson on March 28, 2005
Completely Ludicrus

Contrary to popular belief today, Kennedy was a cold warrior. There is no evidence at all that he was (in his second term, if he even got one) going to end the cold war, or pull out of Vietnam. Michael Lind in his book 'Vietnam: The Necessary War' addresses this issue, and points out that the record clearly shows otherwise.

Several of the people who claim that Kennedy told them he was going to pull out of Vietnam revealed this information in the late 60's after the war had become traumatic for the country. Robert McNamara (one of the original architects of the Vietnam War), who has speculated for years that Kennedy would have withdrawn from Vietnam, admits that Kennedy never told him he was going to pull out.

In an interview with Walter Cronkite a few months before he was assassinated Kennedy said (about Vietnam): "I think it would be a mistake to withdraw." Oliver Stone (cleverly), only shows bits and pieces of the interview at the beginning of JFK. Editing the interview to make it look like Kennedy was going to withdraw. In fact, the day he was assassinated Kennedy gave a speech endorsing our involvement in Vietnam. The claim that Kennedy was going to pull out of Vietnam is speculation at best. Go to : [...]

This post details many of the myths surrounding JFK's policy stances, and shows that (by today's standards) Kennedy (most likely) would have been a moderate Republican. There was no motive (as Prouty claims) to kill Kennedy.

Also go to: [...]

For some more of Prouty's crackpot opinions.

Kennedy was a cold warrior: he was conspicuously absent (as a representative from Massachusetts) when the House of Representatives voted to censure Joseph McCarthy (he even praised McCarthy on several occasions). He ran against Nixon in 1960 on the missile gap (i.e. we were behind the Soviets in the number of ICBM's). He said in his inaugural address: "......Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty." Doesn't sound to me like he was going to "bug out" of Vietnam.

Also, check out: [...]

This further debunks the idea that JFK was going to withdraw from Vietnam.

[Oct 31, 2017] JFK was taken out by a combined US Naval Intel and CIA plot. The beneficiary was the MIC

Notable quotes:
"... One other thing about the counter-insurgency. It was not so much Military. They waited while the IC ran the leaks and counter-insurgency. Then, Trump fell into the Military's arms. He had been cut off from his base and key supporters and had to empower them by obedience to their plans. Foreign policy is what they wanted. He can still have all the domestic policy he can get, which is basically nothing much. A SC justice, some EOs, and all the Twitter-shit he can muster. ..."
Oct 31, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Red Ryder | Oct 21, 2017 7:36:54 PM | 16

B,

You stated: The insurgency that brought Trump to the top was defeated by a counter-insurgency campaign waged by the U.S. military. (Historically its first successful one).

I differ. JFK was taken out by a combined US Naval Intel and CIA plot. The beneficiary was the MIC. Eleven days later, LBJ reversed the executive order by JFK to end the US involvement in Nam. For 11 more years the Military got what it wanted -- war.

LBJ got what he wanted -- the Presidency. The Cuban-Americans got what they wanted -- revenge for failure at Bay of Pigs by Kennedy. The Mafia got what they wanted -- revenge for Bobby Kennedy.

One other thing about the counter-insurgency. It was not so much Military. They waited while the IC ran the leaks and counter-insurgency. Then, Trump fell into the Military's arms. He had been cut off from his base and key supporters and had to empower them by obedience to their plans. Foreign policy is what they wanted. He can still have all the domestic policy he can get, which is basically nothing much. A SC justice, some EOs, and all the Twitter-shit he can muster.

bits | Oct 21, 2017 8:33:54 PM | 22
@b:

The military/intelligence -- slash not dash -- coup was on September 11, 2001. Trump's overt Junta is psyops. This is the "armed forces" rescuing us from "neocons" lead by courageous slimebag Trump.

--

@Red Ryder | Oct 21, 2017 7:36:54 PM | 16

Dear RR. You forgot that JFK wanted to subject ISRAEL to the same IAEA regime that IRAN is now subjected to. "Never forget".

[Oct 30, 2017] How America Spreads Global Chaos by Nicolas J.S. Davies

Highly recommended!
The article contain some important observation about self-sustaining nature of the US militarism. It is able to create new threats and new insurgencies almost at will via CIA activities.
The key problem is that wars are highly profitable for important part of the ruling elite, especially representing finance and military industrial complex. Also now part of the US ruling elite now consists of "colonial administrators" which are directly interested in maintaining and expanding the US empire. This is trap from which nation might not be able to escape.
Notable quotes:
"... The critical "lesson of Vietnam" was summed up by Richard Barnet in his 1972 book Roots of War ..."
"... Even the senior officer corps of the U.S. military saw it that way, since many of them had survived the horrors of Vietnam as junior officers. The CIA could still wreak havoc in Latin America and elsewhere, but the full destructive force of the U.S. military was not unleashed again until the invasion of Panama in 1989 and the First Gulf War in 1991. ..."
"... Trump is facing these questions, not just in one country, Vietnam, but in dozens of countries across the world, and the interests perpetuating and fueling this cycle of crisis and war have only become more entrenched over time, as President Eisenhower warned that they would, despite the end of the Cold War and, until now, the lack of any actual military threat to the United States. ..."
"... The Secret Team: The CIA and its Allies in Control of the United States and the World ..."
"... The main purpose of the CIA, as Prouty saw it, is to create such pretexts for war. ..."
"... The CIA is a hybrid of an intelligence service that gathers and analyzes foreign intelligence and a clandestine service that conducts covert operations. Both functions are essential to creating pretexts for war, and that is what they have done for 70 years. ..."
"... Prouty described how the CIA infiltrated the U.S. military, the State Department, the National Security Council and other government institutions, covertly placing its officers in critical positions to ensure that its plans are approved and that it has access to whatever forces, weapons, equipment, ammunition and other resources it needs to carry them out. ..."
"... Journey to Extremism ..."
"... in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment ..."
"... Journey to Extremism in Africa ..."
"... The People's Perspectives ..."
"... : Civilian Involvement in Armed Conflict ..."
"... Journey to Extremism in Africa ..."
"... This is a textbook CIA operation on the same model as Vietnam in the late 1950s and early 60s. The CIA uses U.S. special forces and training missions to launch covert and proxy military operations that drive local populations into armed resistance groups, and then uses the presence of those armed resistance groups to justify ever-escalating U.S. military involvement. This is Vietnam redux on a continental scale. ..."
"... China is already too big and powerful for the U.S. to apply what is known as the Ledeen doctrine named for neoconservative theorist and intelligence operative Michael Ledeen who suggested that every 10 years or so, the United States "pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business." ..."
"... As long as the CIA and the U.S. military keep plunging the scapegoats for our failed policies into economic crisis, violence and chaos, the United States and the United Kingdom can remain the safe havens of the world's wealth, islands of privilege and excess amidst the storms they unleash on others. ..."
"... But if that is the only "significant national objective" driving these policies, it is surely about time for the 99 percent of Americans who reap no benefit from these murderous schemes to stop the CIA and its allies before they completely wreck the already damaged and fragile world in which we all must live, Americans and foreigners alike. ..."
"... Douglas Valentine has probably studied the CIA in more depth than any other American journalist, beginning with his book on The Phoenix Program ..."
"... The CIA as Organized Crime ..."
"... : How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World, ..."
"... In Venezuela, the CIA and the right-wing opposition are following the same strategy that President Nixon ordered the CIA to inflict on Chile, to "make the economy scream" in preparation for the 1973 coup. ..."
"... Age of Deception ..."
"... : Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times ..."
"... : the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare ..."
"... A Single Roll of the Dice ..."
"... : Obama's Diplomacy With Iran ..."
"... Obama's charm offensive invigorated old and new military alliances with the U.K., France and the Arab monarchies, and he quietly ran up the most expensive military budge t of any president since World War Two. ..."
Oct 30, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

The U.S. government may pretend to respect a "rules-based" global order, but the only rule Washington seems to follow is "might makes right" -- and the CIA has long served as a chief instigator and enforcer, writes Nicolas J.S. Davies.

As the recent PBS documentary on the American War in Vietnam acknowledged, few American officials ever believed that the United States could win the war, neither those advising Johnson as he committed hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops, nor those advising Nixon as he escalated a brutal aerial bombardment that had already killed millions of people.

As conversations tape-recorded in the White House reveal, and as other writers have documented, the reasons for wading into the Big Muddy, as Pete Seeger satirized it , and then pushing on regardless, all came down to "credibility": the domestic political credibility of the politicians involved and America's international credibility as a military power.

Once the CIA went to work in Vietnam to undermine the 1954 Geneva Accords and the planned reunification of North and South through a free and fair election in 1956, the die was cast. The CIA's support for the repressive Diem regime and its successors ensured an ever-escalating war, as the South rose in rebellion, supported by the North. No U.S. president could extricate the U.S. from Vietnam without exposing the limits of what U.S. military force could achieve, betraying widely held national myths and the powerful interests that sustained and profited from them.

The critical "lesson of Vietnam" was summed up by Richard Barnet in his 1972 book Roots of War . "At the very moment that the number one nation has perfected the science of killing," Barnet wrote, "It has become an impractical means of political domination."

Even the senior officer corps of the U.S. military saw it that way, since many of them had survived the horrors of Vietnam as junior officers. The CIA could still wreak havoc in Latin America and elsewhere, but the full destructive force of the U.S. military was not unleashed again until the invasion of Panama in 1989 and the First Gulf War in 1991.

Half a century after Vietnam, we have tragically come full circle. With the CIA's politicized intelligence running wild in Washington and its covert operations spreading violence and chaos across every continent, President Trump faces the same pressures to maintain his own and his country's credibility as Johnson and Nixon did. His predictable response has been to escalate ongoing wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and West Africa, and to threaten new ones against North Korea, Iran and Venezuela.

Trump is facing these questions, not just in one country, Vietnam, but in dozens of countries across the world, and the interests perpetuating and fueling this cycle of crisis and war have only become more entrenched over time, as President Eisenhower warned that they would, despite the end of the Cold War and, until now, the lack of any actual military threat to the United States.

Ironically but predictably, the U.S.'s aggressive and illegal war policy has finally provoked a real military threat to the U.S., albeit one that has emerged only in response to U.S. war plans. As I explained in a recent article , North Korea's discovery in 2016 of a U.S. plan to assassinate its president, Kim Jong Un, and launch a Second Korean War has triggered a crash program to develop long-range ballistic missiles that could give North Korea a viable nuclear deterrent and prevent a U.S. attack. But the North Koreans will not feel safe from attack until their leaders and ours are sure that their missiles can deliver a nuclear strike against the U.S. mainland.

The CIA's Pretexts for War

U.S. Air Force Colonel Fletcher Prouty was the chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1955 to 1964, managing the global military support system for the CIA in Vietnam and around the world. Fletcher Prouty's book, The Secret Team: The CIA and its Allies in Control of the United States and the World , was suppressed when it was first published in 1973. Thousands of copies disappeared from bookstores and libraries, and a mysterious Army Colonel bought the entire shipment of 3,500 copies the publisher sent to Australia. But Prouty's book was republished in 2011, and it is a timely account of the role of the CIA in U.S. policy.

Prouty surprisingly described the role of the CIA as a response by powerful people and interests to the abolition of the U.S. Department of War and the creation of the Department of Defense in 1947. Once the role of the U.S. military was redefined as one of defense, in line with the United Nations Charter's prohibition against the threat or use of military force in 1945 and similar moves by other military powers, it would require some kind of crisis or threat to justify using military force in the future, both legally and politically. The main purpose of the CIA, as Prouty saw it, is to create such pretexts for war.

The CIA is a hybrid of an intelligence service that gathers and analyzes foreign intelligence and a clandestine service that conducts covert operations. Both functions are essential to creating pretexts for war, and that is what they have done for 70 years.

Prouty described how the CIA infiltrated the U.S. military, the State Department, the National Security Council and other government institutions, covertly placing its officers in critical positions to ensure that its plans are approved and that it has access to whatever forces, weapons, equipment, ammunition and other resources it needs to carry them out.

Many retired intelligence officers, such as Ray McGovern and the members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), saw the merging of clandestine operations with intelligence analysis in one agency as corrupting the objective analysis they tried to provide to policymakers. They formed VIPS in 2003 in response to the fabrication of politicized intelligence that provided false pretexts for the U.S. to invade and destroy Iraq.

CIA in Syria and Africa

But Fletcher Prouty was even more disturbed by the way that the CIA uses clandestine operations to trigger coups, wars and chaos. The civil and proxy war in Syria is a perfect example of what Prouty meant. In late 2011, after destroying Libya and aiding in the torture-murder of Muammar Gaddafi, the CIA and its allies began flying fighters and weapons from Libya to Turkey and infiltrating them into Syria. Then, working with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Croatia and other allies, this operation poured thousands of tons of weapons across Syria's borders to ignite and fuel a full-scale civil war.

Once these covert operations were under way, they ran wild until they had unleashed a savage Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria (Jabhat al-Nusra, now rebranded as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham), spawned the even more savage "Islamic State," triggered the heaviest and probably the deadliest U.S. bombing campaign since Vietnam and drawn Russia, Iran, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Hezbollah, Kurdish militias and almost every state or armed group in the Middle East into the chaos of Syria's civil war.

Meanwhile, as Al Qaeda and Islamic State have expanded their operations across Africa, the U.N. has published a report titled Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment , based on 500 interviews with African militants. This study has found that the kind of special operations and training missions the CIA and AFRICOM are conducting and supporting in Africa are in fact the critical "tipping point" that drives Africans to join militant groups like Al Qaeda, Al-Shabab and Boko Haram.

The report found that government action, such as the killing or detention of friends or family, was the "tipping point" that drove 71 percent of African militants interviewed to join armed groups, and that this was a more important factor than religious ideology.

The conclusions of Journey to Extremism in Africa confirm the findings of other similar studies. The Center for Civilians in Conflict interviewed 250 civilians who joined armed groups in Bosnia, Somalia, Gaza and Libya for its 2015 study, The People's Perspectives : Civilian Involvement in Armed Conflict . The study found that the most common motivation for civilians to join armed groups was simply to protect themselves or their families.

The role of U.S. "counterterrorism" operations in fueling armed resistance and terrorism, and the absence of any plan to reduce the asymmetric violence unleashed by the "global war on terror," would be no surprise to Fletcher Prouty. As he explained, such clandestine operations always take on a life of their own that is unrelated, and often counter-productive, to any rational U.S. policy objective.

"The more intimate one becomes with this activity," Prouty wrote, "The more one begins to realize that such operations are rarely, if ever, initiated from an intent to become involved in pursuit of some national objective in the first place."

The U.S. justifies the deployment of 6,000 U.S. special forces and military trainers to 53 of the 54 countries in Africa as a response to terrorism. But the U.N.'s Journey to Extremism in Africa study makes it clear that the U.S. militarization of Africa is in fact the "tipping point" that is driving Africans across the continent to join armed resistance groups in the first place.

This is a textbook CIA operation on the same model as Vietnam in the late 1950s and early 60s. The CIA uses U.S. special forces and training missions to launch covert and proxy military operations that drive local populations into armed resistance groups, and then uses the presence of those armed resistance groups to justify ever-escalating U.S. military involvement. This is Vietnam redux on a continental scale.

Taking on China

What seems to really be driving the CIA's militarization of U.S. policy in Africa is China's growing influence on the continent. As Steve Bannon put it in an interview with the Economist in August, "Let's go screw up One Belt One Road."

China is already too big and powerful for the U.S. to apply what is known as the Ledeen doctrine named for neoconservative theorist and intelligence operative Michael Ledeen who suggested that every 10 years or so, the United States "pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business."

China is too powerful and armed with nuclear weapons. So, in this case, the CIA's job would be to spread violence and chaos to disrupt Chinese trade and investment, and to make African governments increasingly dependent on U.S. military aid to fight the militant groups spawned and endlessly regenerated by U.S.-led "counterterrorism" operations.

Neither Ledeen nor Bannon pretend that such policies are designed to build more prosperous or viable societies in the Middle East or Africa, let alone to benefit their people. They both know very well what Richard Barnet already understood 45 years ago, that America's unprecedented investment in weapons, war and CIA covert operations are only good for one thing: to kill people and destroy infrastructure, reducing cities to rubble, societies to chaos and the desperate survivors to poverty and displacement.

As long as the CIA and the U.S. military keep plunging the scapegoats for our failed policies into economic crisis, violence and chaos, the United States and the United Kingdom can remain the safe havens of the world's wealth, islands of privilege and excess amidst the storms they unleash on others.

But if that is the only "significant national objective" driving these policies, it is surely about time for the 99 percent of Americans who reap no benefit from these murderous schemes to stop the CIA and its allies before they completely wreck the already damaged and fragile world in which we all must live, Americans and foreigners alike.

Douglas Valentine has probably studied the CIA in more depth than any other American journalist, beginning with his book on The Phoenix Program in Vietnam. He has written a new book titled The CIA as Organized Crime : How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World, in which he brings Fletcher Prouty's analysis right up to the present day, describing the CIA's role in our current wars and the many ways it infiltrates, manipulates and controls U.S. policy.

The Three Scapegoats

In Trump's speech to the U.N. General Assembly, he named North Korea, Iran and Venezuela as his prime targets for destabilization, economic warfare and, ultimately, the overthrow of their governments, whether by coup d'etat or the mass destruction of their civilian population and infrastructure. But Trump's choice of scapegoats for America's failures was obviously not based on a rational reassessment of foreign policy priorities by the new administration. It was only a tired rehashing of the CIA's unfinished business with two-thirds of Bush's "axis of evil" and Bush White House official Elliott Abrams' failed 2002 coup in Caracas, now laced with explicit and illegal threats of aggression.

How Trump and the CIA plan to sacrifice their three scapegoats for America's failures remains to be seen. This is not 2001, when the world stood silent at the U.S. bombardment and invasion of Afghanistan after September 11th. It is more like 2003, when the U.S. destruction of Iraq split the Atlantic alliance and alienated most of the world. It is certainly not 2011, after Obama's global charm offensive had rebuilt U.S. alliances and provided cover for French President Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Cameron, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Arab royals to destroy Libya, once ranked by the U.N. as the most developed country in Africa , now mired in intractable chaos.

In 2017, a U.S. attack on any one of Trump's scapegoats would isolate the United States from many of its allies and undermine its standing in the world in far-reaching ways that might be more permanent and harder to repair than the invasion and destruction of Iraq.

In Venezuela, the CIA and the right-wing opposition are following the same strategy that President Nixon ordered the CIA to inflict on Chile, to "make the economy scream" in preparation for the 1973 coup. But the solid victory of Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party in recent nationwide gubernatorial elections, despite a long and deep economic crisis, reveals little public support for the CIA's puppets in Venezuela.

The CIA has successfully discredited the Venezuelan government through economic warfare, increasingly violent right-wing street protests and a global propaganda campaign. But the CIA has stupidly hitched its wagon to an extreme right-wing, upper-class opposition that has no credibility with most of the Venezuelan public, who still turn out for the Socialists at the polls. A CIA coup or U.S. military intervention would meet fierce public resistance and damage U.S. relations all over Latin America.

Boxing In North Korea

A U.S. aerial bombardment or "preemptive strike" on North Korea could quickly escalate into a war between the U.S. and China, which has reiterated its commitment to North Korea's defense if North Korea is attacked. We do not know exactly what was in the U.S. war plan discovered by North Korea, so neither can we know how North Korea and China could respond if the U.S. pressed ahead with it.

Most analysts have long concluded that any U.S. attack on North Korea would be met with a North Korean artillery and missile barrage that would inflict unacceptable civilian casualties on Seoul, a metropolitan area of 26 million people, three times the population of New York City. Seoul is only 35 miles from the frontier with North Korea, placing it within range of a huge array of North Korean weapons. What was already a no-win calculus is now compounded by the possibility that North Korea could respond with nuclear weapons, turning any prospect of a U.S. attack into an even worse nightmare.

U.S. mismanagement of its relations with North Korea should be an object lesson for its relations with Iran, graphically demonstrating the advantages of diplomacy, talks and agreements over threats of war. Under the Agreed Framework signed in 1994, North Korea stopped work on two much larger nuclear reactors than the small experimental one operating at Yongbyong since 1986, which only produces 6 kg of plutonium per year, enough for one nuclear bomb.

The lesson of Bush's Iraq invasion in 2003 after Saddam Hussein had complied with demands that he destroy Iraq's stockpiles of chemical weapons and shut down a nascent nuclear program was not lost on North Korea. Not only did the invasion lay waste to large sections of Iraq with hundreds of thousands of dead but Hussein himself was hunted down and condemned to death by hanging.

Still, after North Korea tested its first nuclear weapon in 2006, even its small experimental reactor was shut down as a result of the "Six Party Talks" in 2007, all the fuel rods were removed and placed under supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the cooling tower of the reactor was demolished in 2008.

But then, as relations deteriorated, North Korea conducted a second nuclear weapon test and again began reprocessing spent fuel rods to recover plutonium for use in nuclear weapons.

North Korea has now conducted six nuclear weapons tests. The explosions in the first five tests increased gradually up to 15-25 kilotons, about the yield of the bombs the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but estimates for the yield of the 2017 test range from 110 to 250 kilotons , comparable to a small hydrogen bomb.

The even greater danger in a new war in Korea is that the U.S. could unleash part of its arsenal of 4,000 more powerful weapons (100 to 1,200 kilotons), which could kill millions of people and devastate and poison the region, or even the world, for years to come.

The U.S. willingness to scrap the Agreed Framework in 2003, the breakdown of the Six Party Talks in 2009 and the U.S. refusal to acknowledge that its own military actions and threats create legitimate defense concerns for North Korea have driven the North Koreans into a corner from which they see a credible nuclear deterrent as their only chance to avoid mass destruction.

China has proposed a reasonable framework for diplomacy to address the concerns of both sides, but the U.S. insists on maintaining its propaganda narratives that all the fault lies with North Korea and that it has some kind of "military solution" to the crisis.

This may be the most dangerous idea we have heard from U.S. policymakers since the end of the Cold War, but it is the logical culmination of a systematic normalization of deviant and illegal U.S. war-making that has already cost millions of lives in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan. As historian Gabriel Kolko wrote in Century of War in 1994, "options and decisions that are intrinsically dangerous and irrational become not merely plausible but the only form of reasoning about war and diplomacy that is possible in official circles."

Demonizing Iran

The idea that Iran has ever had a nuclear weapons program is seriously contested by the IAEA, which has examined every allegation presented by the CIA and other Western "intelligence" agencies as well as Israel. Former IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei revealed many details of this wild goose chase in his 2011 memoir, Age of Deception : Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times .

When the CIA and its partners reluctantly acknowledged the IAEA's conclusions in a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), ElBaradei issued a press release confirming that, "the agency has no concrete evidence of an ongoing nuclear weapons program or undeclared nuclear facilities in Iran."

Since 2007, the IAEA has resolved all its outstanding concerns with Iran. It has verified that dual-use technologies that Iran imported before 2003 were in fact used for other purposes, and it has exposed the mysterious "laptop documents" that appeared to show Iranian plans for a nuclear weapon as forgeries. Gareth Porter thoroughly explored all these questions and allegations and the history of mistrust that fueled them in his 2014 book, Manufactured Crisis : the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare , which I highly recommend.

But, in the parallel Bizarro world of U.S. politics, hopelessly poisoned by the CIA's endless disinformation campaigns, Hillary Clinton could repeatedly take false credit for disarming Iran during her presidential campaign, and neither Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump nor any corporate media interviewer dared to challenge her claims.

"When President Obama took office, Iran was racing toward a nuclear bomb," Clinton fantasized in a prominent foreign policy speech on June 2, 2016, claiming that her brutal sanctions policy "brought Iran to the table."

In fact, as Trita Parsi documented in his 2012 book, A Single Roll of the Dice : Obama's Diplomacy With Iran , the Iranians were ready, not just to "come to the table," but to sign a comprehensive agreement based on a U.S. proposal brokered by Turkey and Brazil in 2010. But, in a classic case of "tail wags dog," the U.S. then rejected its own proposal because it would have undercut support for tighter sanctions in the U.N. Security Council. In other words, Clinton's sanctions policy did not "bring Iran to the table", but prevented the U.S. from coming to the table itself.

As a senior State Department official told Trita Parsi, the real problem with U.S. diplomacy with Iran when Clinton was at the State Department was that the U.S. would not take "Yes" for an answer. Trump's ham-fisted decertification of Iran's compliance with the JCPOA is right out of Clinton's playbook, and it demonstrates that the CIA is still determined to use Iran as a scapegoat for America's failures in the Middle East.

The spurious claim that Iran is the world's greatest sponsor of terrorism is another CIA canard reinforced by endless repetition. It is true that Iran supports and supplies weapons to Hezbollah and Hamas, which are both listed as terrorist organizations by the U.S. government. But they are mainly defensive resistance groups that defend Lebanon and Gaza respectively against invasions and attacks by Israel.

Shifting attention away from Al Qaeda, Islamic State, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and other groups that actually commit terrorist crimes around the world might just seem like a case of the CIA "taking its eyes off the ball," if it wasn't so transparently timed to frame Iran with new accusations now that the manufactured crisis of the nuclear scare has run its course.

What the Future Holds

Barack Obama's most consequential international achievement may have been the triumph of symbolism over substance behind which he expanded and escalated the so-called "war on terror," with a vast expansion of covert operations and proxy wars that eventually triggered the heaviest U.S. aerial bombardments since Vietnam in Iraq and Syria.

Obama's charm offensive invigorated old and new military alliances with the U.K., France and the Arab monarchies, and he quietly ran up the most expensive military budget of any president since World War Two.

But Obama's expansion of the "war on terror" under cover of his deceptive global public relations campaign created many more problems than it solved, and Trump and his advisers are woefully ill-equipped to solve any of them. Trump's expressed desire to place America first and to resist foreign entanglements is hopelessly at odds with his aggressive, bullying approach to every foreign policy problem.

If the U.S. could threaten and fight its way to a resolution of any of its international problems, it would have done so already. That is exactly what it has been trying to do since the 1990s, behind both the swagger and bluster of Bush and Trump and the deceptive charm of Clinton and Obama: a "good cop – bad cop" routine that should no longer fool anyone anywhere.

But as Lyndon Johnson found as he waded deeper and deeper into the Big Muddy in Vietnam, lying to the public about unwinnable wars does not make them any more winnable. It just gets more people killed and makes it harder and harder to ever tell the public the truth.

In unwinnable wars based on lies, the "credibility" problem only gets more complicated, as new lies require new scapegoats and convoluted narratives to explain away graveyards filled by old lies. Obama's cynical global charm offensive bought the "war on terror" another eight years, but that only allowed the CIA to drag the U.S. into more trouble and spread its chaos to more places around the world.

Meanwhile, Russian President Putin is winning hearts and minds in capitals around the world by calling for a recommitment to the rule of international law , which prohibits the threat or use of military force except in self-defense. Every new U.S. threat or act of aggression will only make Putin's case more persuasive, not least to important U.S. allies like South Korea, Germany and other members of the European Union, whose complicity in U.S. aggression has until now helped to give it a false veneer of political legitimacy.

Throughout history, serial aggression has nearly always provoked increasingly united opposition, as peace-loving countries and people have reluctantly summoned the courage to stand up to an aggressor. France under Napoleon and Hitler's Germany also regarded themselves as exceptional, and in their own ways they were. But in the end, their belief in their exceptionalism led them on to defeat and destruction.

Americans had better hope that we are not so exceptional, and that the world will find a diplomatic rather than a military "solution" to its American problem. Our chances of survival would improve a great deal if American officials and politicians would finally start to act like something other than putty in the hands of the CIA.

Nicolas J. S. Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq . He also wrote the chapters on "Obama at War" in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama's First Term as a Progressive Leader .

[Oct 29, 2017] John Feffer The Real Disuniting of America by Tom Engelhardt

Wars eventually deeply affect on the nation which launches them....
Notable quotes:
"... Stop thinking of this country as the sole superpower or the indispensable nation on Earth and start reimagining it as the great fracturer, the exceptional smasher, the indispensable fragmenter. Its wars of the twenty-first century are starting to come home big time -- home being not just this particular country (though that's true , too) but this planet. Though hardly alone , the U.S. is, for the moment, the most exceptional home-destroyer around and its president is now not just the commander-in-chief but the home-smasher-in-chief. ..."
"... Just this week, for instance, home smashing was in the headlines. After all, the Islamic State's "capital," the city of Raqqa, was " liberated ." We won! The U.S. and the forces it backed in Syria were finally victorious and the brutal Islamic State (a home-smashing movement that emerged from an American military prison in Iraq) was finally driven from that city ( almost !). And oh yes, according to witnesses , the former city of 300,000 lies abandoned with hardly a building left undamaged, unbroken, unsmashed. ..."
"... In the Greater Middle East and Africa, people by the tens of millions , including staggering numbers of children , have been uprooted and displaced, their homes destroyed, their cities and towns devastated, sending survivors fleeing across national borders as refugees in numbers that haven't been seen since a significant part of the planet was leveled in World War II. ..."
Oct 24, 2017 | www.unz.com

Stop thinking of this country as the sole superpower or the indispensable nation on Earth and start reimagining it as the great fracturer, the exceptional smasher, the indispensable fragmenter. Its wars of the twenty-first century are starting to come home big time -- home being not just this particular country (though that's true , too) but this planet. Though hardly alone , the U.S. is, for the moment, the most exceptional home-destroyer around and its president is now not just the commander-in-chief but the home-smasher-in-chief.

Just this week, for instance, home smashing was in the headlines. After all, the Islamic State's "capital," the city of Raqqa, was " liberated ." We won! The U.S. and the forces it backed in Syria were finally victorious and the brutal Islamic State (a home-smashing movement that emerged from an American military prison in Iraq) was finally driven from that city ( almost !). And oh yes, according to witnesses , the former city of 300,000 lies abandoned with hardly a building left undamaged, unbroken, unsmashed. Over these last months, the American bombing campaign against Raqqa and the artillery support that went with it reportedly killed more than 1,000 civilians and turned significant parts of the city into rubble -- and what that didn't do, ISIS bombs and other munitions did. (According to estimates , they could take years to find and remove.) And Raqqa is just the latest Middle Eastern city to be smashed more or less to bits.

And since the splintering of the planet is the TomDispatch subject of the day, what about the recent Austrian election, fought out and won by right-wing "populists" on the basis of anti-refugee sentiments and Islamophobia? Where exactly did such sentiments come from? You know perfectly well: from America's war on terror and the much-vaunted " precision warfare " (smart bombs and the rest) that continues to fracture a vast swath of the planet from Afghanistan to Libya and beyond.

In the Greater Middle East and Africa, people by the tens of millions , including staggering numbers of children , have been uprooted and displaced, their homes destroyed, their cities and towns devastated, sending survivors fleeing across national borders as refugees in numbers that haven't been seen since a significant part of the planet was leveled in World War II. In this way, America's 16-year-old war on terror has been a genuine force for terror, and so for the kind of resentment and fear that's now helping to crack open a recently united Europe (and in the United States helped elect well, you know just who).

And that's only a small introduction to the largely unexplored American role in the fracturing of this planet. Don't even get me started on our president and climate change!

As it happens, the fellow who brought the nature of this splintering home to me was TomDispatch regular John Feffer, who in early 2015 began writing for this website what became his remarkable dystopian novel Splinterlands . In it, he imagined our shattered planet in 2050 so vividly that it's stayed with me ever since -- and evidently with him, too, because today he considers just how quickly the splintering process he imagined has been occurring not in his fictional version of our world, but in the all-too-real one.

Robert Magill , October 25, 2017 at 3:40 pm GMT

If we lose the state in a fourth great shattering, we will lose an important part of ourselves as well: our very humanity.

In many respects the "state", USA that is, is already lost. What we had until the 1950s was an ongoing mythology known as America; an agreed upon, ongoing concern known abroad for its popular music, for Hollywood, for a thriving middle class, a healthy working-class and a supplier of goods and services to the world, envy of all. Well, we shot a few holes in Myth America!

First to go was the music: replaced by Bubblegum; downhill from there. Tin Pan Alley is now dumpster heaven. The middle class now resides in Beijing with largess delivered to our Dollar emporiums (not seen here since the Great Depression). Noticeable gaps in the starving malls once housed record stores and book shops; remember them?

The final blow has landed on the movie houses across the land. Near empty, struggling. Even in the depths of the 30′s, movie house were full. But then, "No myth:No nation". No more.

https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2017/10/14/mankind-a-bogus-species/

[Oct 29, 2017] Whose Bright Idea Was RussiaGate by Paul Craig Roberts

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The answer to the question in the title of this article is that Russiagate was created by CIA director John Brennan.The CIA started what is called Russiagate in order to prevent Trump from being able to normalize relations with Russia. The CIA and the military/security complex need an enemy in order to justify their huge budgets and unaccountable power. Russia has been assigned that role. The Democrats joined in as a way of attacking Trump. They hoped to have him tarnished as cooperating with Russia to steal the presidential election from Hillary and to have him impeached. I don't think the Democrats have considered the consequence of further worsening the relations between the US and Russia. ..."
"... Russia bashing became more intense when Washington's coup in Ukraine failed to deliver Crimea. Washington had intended for the new Ukrainian regime to evict the Russians from their naval base on the Black Sea. This goal was frustrated when Crimea voted to rejoin Russia. ..."
"... The neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony requires the principal goal of US foreign policy to be to prevent the rise of other countries that can serve as a restraint on US unilateralism. This is the main basis for the hostility of US foreign policy toward Russia, and of course there also is the material interests of the military/security complex. ..."
"... Washington is fully aware that there was no Russian interference in the presidential election or in the state elections. The military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Democratic Party are merely using the accusations to serve their own agendas. ..."
Oct 03, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

The answer to the question in the title of this article is that Russiagate was created by CIA director John Brennan.The CIA started what is called Russiagate in order to prevent Trump from being able to normalize relations with Russia. The CIA and the military/security complex need an enemy in order to justify their huge budgets and unaccountable power. Russia has been assigned that role. The Democrats joined in as a way of attacking Trump. They hoped to have him tarnished as cooperating with Russia to steal the presidential election from Hillary and to have him impeached. I don't think the Democrats have considered the consequence of further worsening the relations between the US and Russia.

Public Russia bashing pre-dates Trump. It has been going on privately in neoconservative circles for years, but appeared publicly during the Obama regime when Russia blocked Washington's plans to invade Syria and to bomb Iran.

Russia bashing became more intense when Washington's coup in Ukraine failed to deliver Crimea. Washington had intended for the new Ukrainian regime to evict the Russians from their naval base on the Black Sea. This goal was frustrated when Crimea voted to rejoin Russia.

The neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony requires the principal goal of US foreign policy to be to prevent the rise of other countries that can serve as a restraint on US unilateralism. This is the main basis for the hostility of US foreign policy toward Russia, and of course there also is the material interests of the military/security complex.

Russia bashing is much larger than merely Russiagate. The danger lies in Washington convincing Russia that Washington is planning a surprise attack on Russia. With US and NATO bases on Russia's borders, efforts to arm Ukraine and to include Ukraine and Georgia in NATO provide more evidence that Washington is surrounding Russia for attack. There is nothing more reckless and irresponsible than convincing a nuclear power that you are going to attack.

Washington is fully aware that there was no Russian interference in the presidential election or in the state elections. The military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Democratic Party are merely using the accusations to serve their own agendas.

These selfish agendas are a dire threat to life on earth.

Reprinted with permission from PaulCraigRoberts.org .

[Oct 29, 2017] Deciphering Trumps Foreign Policy by Oscar Silva-Valladares

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump's presidency, like preceding ones, is trapped by the interests of the power elite that has ruled America since World War II. The constraints imposed on domestic policy by this elite inevitably have a direct impact on America's foreign policy. ..."
"... The growing misalignment between government policies and people's yearnings coincides with the ascent of the military establishment within the power elite that rules America. Despite the country's aggressive expansionism, America's power elite was initially driven mainly by political and economic forces and much less by its growing military strength. It is fair to say that the military establishment, as an influential component of the American power elite, only appeared in the context of World War II. Nowadays, it is a dominant player. ..."
"... Today's power elite in America is fundamentally the same as the one that emerged after World War II and which was accurately described by C. Wright Mills in the 1950s. Consequently, the main forces shaping US domestic and foreign policies have not changed since then. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War did not make irrelevant the existing power elite at that time. The elite only became more vocal in its efforts to justify itself and this explains today's existence of NATO, for instance. ..."
"... Despite its economic and entrepreneurial might, the US distilled version of capitalism is unable to attain the needs of a growing number of its population, as the Great Recession of 2008 has shown. Within the OECD, arguably the club with the highest levels of economic and social development in the world, US rankings are abysmal, for instance concerning education and health, as it lays at the bottom in learning metrics and on critical health measures such as obesity. The wealth gap has widened and the social fabric is broken. American economic decline is evident and growing social conflict across economic, social and geographic lines is just a reaction to this decline. ..."
"... Concerning China, Trump is learning about the limits of his ability to successfully challenge it economically. It seems virtually impossible to reverse China's momentum which, if it continues, will consolidate its economic domination. ..."
"... A fundamental weakness of American foreign policy is its inability to understand war in all its different dimensions ..."
"... Despite the need to see through Trump's true intentions beyond his pomp and circumstance, there is an important warning to be made. Trump's eventual inability to fulfill his promises, combined with his bravado and America's incapacity to take a more sobering approach to world events is a dangerous combination. ..."
Oct 28, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Donald Trump's presidency, like preceding ones, is trapped by the interests of the power elite that has ruled America since World War II. The constraints imposed on domestic policy by this elite inevitably have a direct impact on America's foreign policy. Alternative social forces, like the ones behind Trump's presidential triumph, only have a limited impact on domestic and ultimately on foreign policy. A conceptual detour and a brief on history and on Trump's domestic setting when he was elected will help clarifying these theses.

Beyond the different costumes that it wears (dealing with ideology, international law, and even religion), foreign policy follows domestic policy. The domestic policy actors are the social forces at work at a given point of time, mainly the economic agents and their ambitions (in their multiple expressions), including the ruling power elite. Society's aspirations not only relate to material welfare, but also to ideological priorities that population segments may have at a given point of time.

From America's initial days until the mid 1800s, there seems to have been a broad alignment of US foreign policy with the wishes of its power elite and other social forces. America's expansionism, a fundamental bulwark of its foreign policy from early days, reflected the need to fulfill its growing population's ambitions for land and, later on, the need to find foreign markets for its excess production, initially agricultural and later on manufacturing. It can be said that American foreign policy was broadly populist at that time. The power elite was more or less aligned in achieving these expansionist goals and was able to provide convenient ideological justification through the writings of Jefferson and Madison, among others.

As the country expanded, diverging interests became stronger and ultimately differing social forces caused a significant fracture in society. The American Civil War was the climax of the conflicted interests between agricultural and manufacturing led societies. Fifty years later, a revealing manifestation of this divergence (which survived the Civil War), as it relates to foreign policy, is found during the early days of the Russian Revolution when, beyond the ideological revulsion of Bolshevism, the US was paralyzed between the agricultural and farming businesses seeking exports to Russia and the domestic extractive industries interested in stopping exports of natural resources from this country.

The growing misalignment between government policies and people's yearnings coincides with the ascent of the military establishment within the power elite that rules America. Despite the country's aggressive expansionism, America's power elite was initially driven mainly by political and economic forces and much less by its growing military strength. It is fair to say that the military establishment, as an influential component of the American power elite, only appeared in the context of World War II. Nowadays, it is a dominant player.

Today's power elite in America is fundamentally the same as the one that emerged after World War II and which was accurately described by C. Wright Mills in the 1950s. Consequently, the main forces shaping US domestic and foreign policies have not changed since then. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War did not make irrelevant the existing power elite at that time. The elite only became more vocal in its efforts to justify itself and this explains today's existence of NATO, for instance.

Despite its economic and entrepreneurial might, the US distilled version of capitalism is unable to attain the needs of a growing number of its population, as the Great Recession of 2008 has shown. Within the OECD, arguably the club with the highest levels of economic and social development in the world, US rankings are abysmal, for instance concerning education and health, as it lays at the bottom in learning metrics and on critical health measures such as obesity. The wealth gap has widened and the social fabric is broken. American economic decline is evident and growing social conflict across economic, social and geographic lines is just a reaction to this decline.

Trump won his presidency because he was able to get support from the country's growing frustrated white population. His main social themes (bringing jobs to America by stopping the decline of its manufacturing industry, preventing further US consumer dependence on foreign imports and halting immigration) fitted well with the electors' anger. Traditional populist themes linked to foreign policy (like Russophobia) did not play a big role in the last election. But whether or not the Trump administration can align with the ruling power elite in a manner that addresses the key social and economic needs of the American people is still to be seen.

Back to foreign policy, we need to distinguish between Trump's style of government and his administration's actions. At least until now, focusing excessively on Trump's style has dangerously distracted from his true intentions. One example is the confusion about his initial stance on NATO which was simplistically seen as highly critical to the very existence of this organization. On NATO, all that Trump really cared was to achieve a "fair" sharing of expenditures with other members and to press them to honor their funding commitments.

From immigration to defense spending, there is nothing irrational about Trump's foreign policy initiatives, as they just reflect a different reading on the American people's aspirations and, consequently, they attempt to rely on supporting points within the power elite which are different from the ones used in the past.

Concerning China, Trump is learning about the limits of his ability to successfully challenge it economically. It seems virtually impossible to reverse China's momentum which, if it continues, will consolidate its economic domination. A far-reaching lesson, although still being ignored, is that China's economic might is showing that capitalism as understood in the West is not winning, much less in its American format. It also shows that democracy may not be that relevant, as it is not necessarily a corollary or a condition for economic development. Perhaps it even shows the superiority of China's economic model, but this is a different matter.

As Trump becomes more aware about his limitations, he has naturally reversed to the basic imprints of America's traditional foreign policy, particularly concerning defense. His emphasis on a further increase in defense spending is not done for prestigious or national security reasons, but as an attempt to preserve a job generating infrastructure without considering the catastrophic consequences that it may cause.

On Iran, Obama's initiative to seek normalization was an attempt to walk a fine line (and to find a less conflictive path) between supporting the US traditional Middle East allies (mainly the odd combination of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey) and recognizing Iran's growing aspirations. Deep down, Obama was trying to acknowledge Iran's historical viability as a country and a society that will not disappear from the map, while Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, may not be around in a few years. Trump's Iran policy until now only represents a different weighing of priorities, although it is having far reaching consequences on America's credibility as a reliable contractual party in international affairs.

In the case of Afghanistan, Trump's decision to increase boots on the ground does not break the inertia of US past administrations. Aside from temporary containment, an increasing military presence or a change in tactics will not alter fundamentally this reality.

Concerning Russia, and regardless of what Trump has said, actions speak more than words. A continuous deterioration of relations seems inevitable.

Trump will also learn, if he has not done so already, about the growth of multipolar forces in world's events. Russia has mastered this reality for several years and is quite skillful at using it as a basic tool of its own foreign goals. Our multipolar world will expand, and Trump may even inadvertently exacerbate it through its actions (for instance in connection with the different stands taken by the US and its European allies concerning Iran).

While fulfilling the aspirations of the American people seems more difficult within the existing capitalist framework, there are also growing apprehensions coming from America's power elite as it becomes more frustrated due to its incapacity of being more effective at the world level. America's relative adolescence in world's history will become more and more apparent in the coming years.

A fundamental weakness of American foreign policy is its inability to understand war in all its different dimensions. The US has never suffered the consequences of an international conflict in its own backyard. The American Civil War, despite all the suffering that it caused, was primarily a domestic event with no foreign intervention (contrary to the wishes of the Confederation). The deep social and psychological damage caused by war is not part of America's consciousness as it is, for instance in Germany, Russia or Japan. America is insensitive to the lessons of history because it has a very short history itself.

Despite the need to see through Trump's true intentions beyond his pomp and circumstance, there is an important warning to be made. Trump's eventual inability to fulfill his promises, combined with his bravado and America's incapacity to take a more sobering approach to world events is a dangerous combination.

Oscar Silva-Valladares is a former investment banker that has lived and worked in North and Latin America, Western & Eastern Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the Philippines and Western Africa. He currently chairs Davos International Advisory, an advisory firm focused on strategic consulting across emerging markets.


Related

[Oct 25, 2017] The McCain globalist-American Exceptionalism narrative is the steady injection of lies and half-truths so that the public accepts the unending demands for increased defense spending, accepting that the world outside is a dangerous place that must be kept in line by force majeur of US policeman.

Notable quotes:
"... This is why hawks like John McCain, while receiving a "Liberty" award from Joe Biden, can, with a straight face, get away with denouncing those Americans who have become tired of playing at being the world's policeman. He describes them as fearful of "the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, [abandoning] the ideals we have advanced around the globe, [refusing] the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism." ..."
"... And this is why we are where we are -- our government is infested by the likes of McCain, Lindsay Graham, and hundreds of others of their ilk. There is no milk of human kindness that flows in my veins when I look at these despicable creatures who have done so much harm to so many people and continue to exist, cancer and all, like Darth Cheney with his nuclear heart, while the innocents fall by the wayside from their evil. ..."
"... I can't find that citation at the moment, but I recall a report from US military experts that placed the accuracy of interceptor missiles at about 10% in real-world conditions. I vaguely recall that during the Gulf war, we had placed Patriot interceptors in Israel to protect the chosen from Saddam's Scud missiles, and apparently only a few of those decrepit scuds were successfully intercepted. I believe the lack of accuracy of these Patriot missiles was hushed up. ..."
Oct 25, 2017 | www.unz.com

Americans consequently do not know war except as something that happens elsewhere and to foreigners, requiring only that the U.S. step in on occasion and bail things out, or screw things up depending on one's point of view. This is why hawks like John McCain, while receiving a "Liberty" award from Joe Biden, can, with a straight face, get away with denouncing those Americans who have become tired of playing at being the world's policeman. He describes them as fearful of "the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, [abandoning] the ideals we have advanced around the globe, [refusing] the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism."

McCain's completely fatuous account of recent world history befits a Navy pilot who was adept at crashing his planes and almost sank his own aircraft carrier. He also made propaganda radio broadcasts for the North Vietnamese after he was captured. The McCain globalist-American Exceptionalism narrative is also, unfortunately, echoed by the media. The steady ingestion of lies and half-truths is why the public puts up with unending demands for increased defense spending, accepting that the world outside is a dangerous place that must be kept in line by force majeure . Yes, we are the good guys.

But underlying the citizenry's willingness to accept that the military establishment should encircle the globe with foreign bases to keep the world "safe" is the assumption that the 48 States are invulnerable, isolated by broad oceans and friendly nations to the north and south. And protected from far distant threats by technology, interceptor systems developed and maintained at enormous expense to intercept and shoot down incoming ballistic missiles launched by enemies overseas.

Cloak And Dagger, October 24, 2017 at 5:22 am GMT

Phil, two topics so dear to my heart!

This is why hawks like John McCain, while receiving a "Liberty" award from Joe Biden, can, with a straight face, get away with denouncing those Americans who have become tired of playing at being the world's policeman. He describes them as fearful of "the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, [abandoning] the ideals we have advanced around the globe, [refusing] the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism."

And this is why we are where we are -- our government is infested by the likes of McCain, Lindsay Graham, and hundreds of others of their ilk. There is no milk of human kindness that flows in my veins when I look at these despicable creatures who have done so much harm to so many people and continue to exist, cancer and all, like Darth Cheney with his nuclear heart, while the innocents fall by the wayside from their evil.

I had wished him dead, but as a friend reminded me, it is better for him to live, suffering from excruciating agony as cancer demolishes him one cell at a time, jabbing his brain every second of every day -- to the brink of madness and just a step behind the precipice that would end his life, living for decades more, tortured and despised.

Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell's heart, I stab at thee; For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee.

-- Herman Melville

Even the federal government watchdog agencies have concluded that the missile interception system seldom performs.

I can't find that citation at the moment, but I recall a report from US military experts that placed the accuracy of interceptor missiles at about 10% in real-world conditions. I vaguely recall that during the Gulf war, we had placed Patriot interceptors in Israel to protect the chosen from Saddam's Scud missiles, and apparently only a few of those decrepit scuds were successfully intercepted. I believe the lack of accuracy of these Patriot missiles was hushed up.

Meanwhile, the Russian S-300, S-400, and the soon-to-appear S-500 missile batteries have demonstrated very impressive results. Now our "allies" are all scampering over to Moscow to acquire these instead of our duds, following the utter failure of our $0.5 Trillion F-35 embarrassment.

It is high time for us to ask how we got here and who is responsible. I will give you three guesses, and the first two don't count.

[Oct 25, 2017] Tell Me How This Ends

The military and deep state are so thoroughly intertwined with the USA's domestic economy now that any attempt to rein in the military and/or the intelligence and law enforcement agencies that constitute the USA's deep state will have immediate and politically unacceptable consequences.
There are costs of maintaining global empire and fighting eight wars simultaneously, even if each is a low intensity conflict. That's how empires became bankrupt. Fighting wars at foreign lands also erode civil liberties at home. And that effect might be more profound in the USA case than many think. This is the effect not mentioned by the author.
Intelligence agencies were important players in all wars mentioned in the article and for them those countries served as a platform for development of more sophisticated methods of surveillance. And then chicken came home to roost. It was James Mattis experience with Iraq cell phone call interception (where you generally can't understand the content of the message and has only the "envelope" time of the call, duration and from and to parameters -- aka metadata) that led to current "total surveillance" regime. Which is another very expensive operation with somewhat questionable benefits. Which taken to the extreme when all connections are recorded at Telco level and internet provider level suffer from the problem of "drinking from the fire hose". To alleviate this problem, the direct access to major Webmail providers mailboxes was instituted as Snowden demonstrated. In this case information is already organized and filtered by the user.
But that means that security-conscious people just stopped using such accounts (not that reasonable people used Facebook, Gmail or hotmail for important emails in any case) and search engines which supposedly do not store history of your searches appeared on the market (keep our fingers crossed ;-) . Of cause Amazon remain the best fired of CIA and NSA, but it also might suffer from public understanding that being under the microscope of your purchases is not a very good thing.
Notable quotes:
"... The Best and the Brightest ..."
"... Field Service Manual 3-24 ..."
"... For example, the USA has, if I remember correctly, some 13 carrier task forces, more than six times as many as any other country and twice as many as all other countries in the world combined. Yet rather than eliminating any of this grotesquely belligerent, budget busting overkill, there is pressure to increase the number. The reasons behind this irrationality are obvious. The home bases of each task force are thriving domestic mini-economies centered entirely around catering to the needs of its carrier task force. Suggesting the task force's elimination would be political suicide. ..."
"... Despite this dismal scholarship, Petraeus became a four-star General, partly due to marriage to the daughter of four-star Army General William Knowlton. General Petraeus was in charge of counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and since he failed to learn from the Vietnam war, he failed in those conflicts because of myths of U.S. military invincibility. " ..."
"... The all volunteer Army is a good thing for the USA and humanity in the long term. It selects for the most violent amoral young American men and hopefully eliminates their genes from the gene pool before they can reproduce. At a minimum, it gets a lot of them out of the USA so that they commit their rapes, assaults, and other crimes somewhere else ..."
"... Just Sayin, you are absolutely right about the intertwining of the economy and the military-industrial-intelligence-media complex. My present home state of Texas is deeply embedded with the military and actually allots a significant amount of state revenue to be prepared to prevent the closure or shrinkage of any military installation. And otherwise "progressive" political figures cite the need for this as a given, nothing to discuss here ..."
"... I recall teaching political science at the time that Tricky Dick eliminated the draft, and while my students applauded I warned them that we'd come to regret this. It didn't take long. But MBlanc 46 is right, the draft isn't coming back. The powers that be do not want public protests about their wars and their "war machine." ..."
"... "military leaders recall US units never lost a battle" is a brilliantly evasive phrasing, lawyer-like in its cunning, perhaps even Jesuitical. Sly dog, Petraeus. ..."
"... On another note, Petreus studied Vietnam. Ben Bernanke studied the Great Depression. Both led us into intractable quagmires. When will we ever learn to not put people who study failure into positions to lead to new failures? ..."
Oct 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

It took 14 years, but now we have an answer.

It was March 2003, the invasion of Iraq was underway, and Major General David Petraeus was in command of the 101st Airborne Division heading for the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. Rick Atkinson, Washington Post journalist and military historian, was accompanying him. Six days into a lightning campaign, his division suddenly found itself stopped 30 miles southwest of the city of Najaf by terrible weather, including a blinding dust storm, and the unexpectedly "fanatical" attacks of Iraqi irregulars. At that moment, Atkinson reported ,

"[Petraeus] hooked his thumbs into his flak vest and adjusted the weight on his shoulders. 'Tell me how this ends,' he said. 'Eight years and eight divisions?' The allusion was to advice supposedly given the White House in the early 1950s by a senior Army strategist upon being asked what it would take to prop up French forces in South Vietnam. Petraeus's grin suggested the comment was more droll quip than historical assertion."

Certainly, Petraeus knew his history when it came to American interventions in distant lands. He had entered West Point just as the American war in Vietnam was beginning to wind down and did his doctoral dissertation at Princeton in 1987 on that conflict ("The American Military and the Lessons of Vietnam: A Study of Military Influence and the Use of Force in the Post-Vietnam Era"). In it, he wrote,

"Vietnam cost the military dearly. It left America's military leaders confounded, dismayed, and discouraged. Even worse, it devastated the armed forces, robbing them of dignity, money, and qualified people for a decade Vietnam was an extremely painful reminder that when it comes to intervention, time and patience are not American virtues in abundant supply."

So no wonder he was well acquainted with that 1954 exchange between President Dwight D. Eisenhower and former Korean War commander General Matthew Ridgeway about the French war in Vietnam. Perhaps, the "droll quip" aspect of his comment lay in his knowledge of just how badly Ridgeway underestimated both the years and the troop numbers that the American version of that war would eat up before it, too, ended in disaster and in a military as riddled with protest and as close to collapse as was imaginable for an American force of our era.

In his thesis, Petraeus called for the military high command to be granted a far freer hand in whatever interventions the future held. In that sense, in 1987, he was already mainlining into a twenty-first-century world in which the U.S. military continues to get everything it wants ( and more ) as it fights its wars without having to deal with either an obstreperous citizen army or too many politicians trying to impose their will on its actions.

And by the way, though his Najaf comments have regularly been cited as if they were sui generis , as the Ridgeway reference indicates, he was hardly the first American military commander or political figure to appropriate Joan of Arc's question in Bernard Shaw's play Saint Joan : "How long, oh Lord, how long?"

As Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Halberstam recounted in his history of the Vietnam years, The Best and the Brightest , for instance, President Lyndon Johnson turned to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Earle Wheeler in a June 1965 meeting and asked of the war in Vietnam, "What do you think it will take to do the job?"

Wheeler's answer echoed Ridgeway's 11 years earlier, though in the escalatory mode that was typical of Vietnam: "It all depends on what your definition of the job is, Mr. President. If you intend to drive the last Vietcong out of Vietnam it will take seven hundred, eight hundred thousand, a million men and about seven years. But if your definition of the job is to prevent the Communists from taking over the country, that is, stopping them from doing it, then you're talking about different gradations and different levels. So tell us what the job is and we'll answer it."

A Generational Approach to America's Wars

Not so long after that moment on the outskirts of Najaf, the 101st Airborne made its way to Baghdad just as the burning and looting began, and that would only be the prologue to David Petraeus's war, to his version of eight years and eight divisions. When an insurgency (actually several) broke out in Iraq, he would be dispatched to the northern city of Mosul (now a pile of rubble after its 2017 "liberation" from the Islamic State in Washington's third Iraq War). There, he would first experiment with bringing back from the Vietnam experience the very strategy the U.S. military had hoped to be rid of forever: "counterinsurgency," or the winning of what in that war had regularly been called "hearts and minds." In 2004, Newsweek was already hailing him on its cover with the dramatic question : "Can This Man Save Iraq?" (Four months after Petraeus ended his stint in that city, the police chief he had trained there went over to the insurgents and it became a stronghold for them.)

By the time the occupation of Iraq turned into a full-scale disaster, he was back at Fort Leavenworth running the U.S. Army's Combined Arms Center. During that period, he and another officer, Marine Lieutenant General James Mattis -- does that name ring any bells? -- joined forces to oversee the development and publication of Field Service Manual 3-24 , Counterinsurgency Operations . It would be the first official counterinsurgency (COIN) how-to book the military had produced since the Vietnam years. In the process, he became "the world's leading expert in counterinsurgency warfare." He would famously return to Iraq in 2007, that manual in hand, with five brigades, or 20,000 U.S. troops, for what would become known as "the surge," or "the new way forward," an attempt to bail the Bush administration out of its disastrous occupation of the country. His counterinsurgency operations would, like the initial invasion, be hailed by experts and pundits in Washington (including Petraeus himself ) as a marvel and a success of the first order, as a true turning point in Iraq and in the war on terror.

A decade later, with America's third Iraq War ongoing, you could be excused for viewing the "successes" of that surge somewhat differently .

In the process, Petraeus (or "King David" as he was supposedly nicknamed by Iraqis during his stint in Mosul) would become America's most celebrated, endlessly featured general, and go on in 2008 to head U.S. Central Command (overseeing America's wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq). In 2010, he would become the U.S. Afghan commander, largely so that he could perform the counterinsurgency miracles in Afghanistan he had supposedly performed in Iraq. In 2011, he became Barack Obama's CIA director only to crash and burn a year later in a scandal over a lover-cum-biographer and the misuse of classified documents, after which he morphed into a go-to expert on our wars and a partner at KKR, a global investment firm. In other words, as with the three generals of the surge generation now ascendant in Washington, including Petraeus's former COIN pal James Mattis (who also headed U.S. Central Command), he presided over this country's failing wars in the Greater Middle East.

And only recently, 14 years after he and Atkinson were briefly trapped outside Najaf, in his role as a pundit and prognosticator on his former wars, he finally answered -- and not quippingly either -- the question that plagued him then. Though his comments were certainly covered in the news (as anything he says is), in a sense no one noticed. Asked by Judy Woodruff of the PBS News Hour whether, in Donald Trump's America, it was "smart" to once again send more U.S. troops surging into Afghanistan, he called the Pentagon's decision "heartening," even as he warned that it wasn't a war that would end any time soon.

Instead, after so many years of involvement, experience, thought, and observation, in a studio without a grain of sand, no less a dust storm in sight, he offered this observation:

"But this is a generational struggle. This is not something that is going to be won in a few years. We're not going to take a hill, plant a flag, [and] go home to a victory parade. And we need to be there for the long haul, but in a way that is, again, sustainable. We have been in Korea for 65-plus years because there is an important national interest for that. We were in Europe for a very long period of time, still there, of course, and actually with a renewed emphasis now, given Russia's aggressive actions. And I think that's the way we need to approach this."

In proposing such a "generational struggle" to be handed on to our children, if not grandchildren, he's in good company. In recent times, the Pentagon high command, too, has been adopting a " generational approach " to Afghanistan and assumedly our other wars across the Greater Middle East and Africa. Similarly, the scholars of the Brookings Institution have urged on Washington's policymakers what they call "an enduring partnership" in Afghanistan: "The U.S.-Afghan partnership should be recognized as generational in duration, given the nature of the threat and the likely longevity of its future manifestations."

Even if, under further questioning by Woodruff, Petraeus wouldn't quite cop to a 60-year Afghan war (that is, to a war lasting at least until 2061), his long-delayed answer to his own question of the 2003 invasion moment was now definitive. Such American wars won't end. Not now. Maybe not ever. And in a way you can't be much blunter or grimmer than that in your assessment of the "successes" of the war on terror.

A Military Success Story of the Strangest Sort

Until James "Mad Dog" Mattis hit Washington in 2017, no American general of our era was ever written about as much as, or in a more celebratory fashion, than David Petraeus. Adulatory (if not fawning) profiles of him are legion. Even today, in the wake of barely avoided felony and other charges (for, among other things, lying to the FBI) -- he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in the handling of classified documents and was sentenced to two years of probation and a fine -- he may still be this country's most celebrated general.

adult day care " in the White House -- are still treated like the only " adults in the room " in our nation's capital, like, in short, American winners.

And yet consider recent events in the central African country of Niger, which already has an operating U.S. drone base, another under construction , and about 800 American troops quietly but permanently stationed there. It's also a country that, until this moment, not an American in a million would have been able to locate on a map. On October 4th, four Green Berets were killed and two others wounded during a " routine training mission " there. Patrolling with Nigerien troops, they were ambushed by Islamic militants -- whether from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb or a new branch of ISIS remains unclear. That officially makes Niger at least the eighth country , including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and Libya, to be absorbed into Washington's war on terror and, in case you hadn't noticed, in none of them has that war ended and in none have U.S. forces triumphed.

And yet you could comb the recent mainstream coverage of the events in Niger without finding any indication that those deaths represented a modest new escalation in the never-ending, ever-spreading war on terror.

As was inevitable, in Iraq and Syria, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's Islamic "caliphate" is finally collapsing. The city of Mosul is back in Iraqi hands, as is Tal Afar , and more recently the town of Hawija (with a rare mass surrender of ISIS militants). Those were the last significant urban areas controlled by ISIS in Iraq, while in Syria, the " apocalyptic ruins " of the Islamic State's "capital," Raqqa, are also largely in the hands of forces allied with and supported by the air power of the U.S. military. In what are now the ravaged ruins of Syria and Iraq, however, such "victories" will inevitably prove as hollow as were the "successful" invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq or the "successful" overthrow of Libyan autocrat Muammar Gaddafi. Meanwhile, the Islamic State may have spread its brand to another country with U.S. forces in it. And yet, across a vast swath of the planet, the wars of David Petraeus, James Mattis, and the other generals of this era simply go on and on in a region being fractured and devastated (and whose vast numbers of displaced refugees are, in turn, helping to fracture Europe).

Worse yet, it's a situation that can't be seriously discussed or debated in this country because, if it were, opposition to those wars might rise and alternatives to them and the by-now brain-dead decisions of those generals, including newly heightened air wars and the latest mini-surge in Afghanistan, might become part of an actual national debate.

So think of this as a military success story of the strangest sort -- success that can be traced directly back to a single decision, now decades old, made by a long-discredited American president, Richard Nixon. Without returning to that decision, there is simply no way to understand America's twenty-first-century wars. In its own way, it would prove an act of genius (if, at least, you wanted to fight never-ending wars until the end of time).

In any case, credit, when owed, must be given. Facing an antiwar movement that wouldn't go away and, by the early 1970s, included significant numbers of both active-duty servicemen and Vietnam veterans, the president and his secretary of defense, Melvin Laird , decided to try to cut into its strength by eliminating the draft. Nixon suspected that young men not endangered by the possibility of being sent into the Vietnam War might be far less eager to demonstrate against it. The military high command was uncertain about such a move. They worried, with reason, that in the wake of Vietnam it would be hard to recruit for an all-volunteer military. Who in the world, they wondered, would want to be part of such a discredited force? That was, of course, a version of Nixon's thinking turned upside down, but the president moved ahead anyway and, on January 27, 1973 , conscription was ended.

There would be no more draft calls and the citizen's army, the one that had fought World War II to victory and had raised such a ruckus about the grim and distasteful war in Vietnam, would be no more.

In that single stroke, before he himself fell prey to the Watergate scandal and resigned his presidency, Nixon functionally created a legacy for the ages, paving the way for the American military to fight its wars "generationally" and lose them until hell froze over with the guarantee that no one in this country would seem to care a whit . Or put another way, can you truly imagine such silence in "the homeland" if an American draft were continually filling the ranks of a citizen's army to fight a 16-year-old war on terror, still spreading, and now considered "generational"? I doubt it.

So as American air power in places like Yemen, Somalia, and Afghanistan is ramped up yet again, as the latest mini-surge of troops arrives in Afghanistan, as Niger enters the war, it's time to put generals David Petraeus, James Mattis, H.R. McMaster, and John Kelly in context. It's time to call them what they truly are: Nixon's children.

Tom Engelhardt is a co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of The United States of Fear as well as a history of the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture . He is a fellow of the Nation Institute and runs TomDispatch.com . His latest book is Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World .

MBlanc46 , October 17, 2017 at 4:25 pm GMT

If the answer here is, "Bring back the draft", I'm afraid that it's the wrong one.It's not going to happen. Because it would mean drafting women. It would mean giving them M4s and putting them on the front lines. They'd start dying in "routine training accidents". They'd start coming home horribly maimed and disfigured. We'd have a generation of orphans whose "mommy died in the war".
Jeff Allen , October 17, 2017 at 5:42 pm GMT
If a draft is indeed a non-starter, then it might be interesting to see what Engelhardt thinks of Posen's "Restraint."
Jus' Sayin'... , October 17, 2017 at 7:14 pm GMT
A very nice summary of the situation. If I may, I'd like to add two observations:

(1) The military and deep state are so thoroughly intertwined with the USA's domestic economy now that any attempt to rein in the military and/or the intelligence and law enforcement agencies that constitute the USA's deep state will have immediate and politically unacceptable consequences.

For example, the USA has, if I remember correctly, some 13 carrier task forces, more than six times as many as any other country and twice as many as all other countries in the world combined. Yet rather than eliminating any of this grotesquely belligerent, budget busting overkill, there is pressure to increase the number. The reasons behind this irrationality are obvious. The home bases of each task force are thriving domestic mini-economies centered entirely around catering to the needs of its carrier task force. Suggesting the task force's elimination would be political suicide.

As another example, the UIS military is burdened with complex modern weapons systems – airplanes, ships, ballistic weapons – that are extraordinarily expensive and break down constantly under even the most ideal operating conditions. They are essentially so useless and expensive that even our pampered military command would prefer to be without them. Yet once again the impact on the domestic economy of eliminating these white elephants is such that even suggesting cut backs is a dangerous political move.

The situation in the deep state is just as bad. The vast majority of the intrusions into the privacy of citizens and foreigners is actually conducted by private, for profit, corporate contractors. Contractors also play a major role in joint military-intelligence operations overseas. Attempts to rein these contractors in have economic consequences that terrify risk-averse politicians.

Our last great president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, foresaw what has happened and warned against it in his farewell address regarding the military-industrial complex. His warnings were not heeded and the situation has now metastasized beyond even Eisenhower's wildest imaginings.

(2) The absolute control Israel and its agents -- the Israel Lobby comprised of fanatic domestic Zionists, so- called neocons, and their domestic dupes -- exercise over US foreign policy and the malignant effect this has had. But Phillip Giraldi has covered this topic much better than I can. See here http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/americas-jews-are-driving-americas-wars/ and here http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/the-lobby-british-style/ and here http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/how-i-got-fired/ for some brief examples. Do searches on "USS Liberty", "Jonathan Pollard", "Cynthia McKinney", etc., etc., etc., for other examples.

Without the malignant control Israel exercises over US foreign policy – with increasing assistance from its quondam allies, Saudi Arabia and the other terrorist-sponsoring, Sunni, Gulf sheikhdoms -- the USA would never have gotten enmeshed in the unending series of wars that Israeli-provoked, US aggression has created in the Near East, Central Asia, North Africa, and now Central Africa.

The neocons' malignant influence has also expanded US aggression into the Balkans, Ukraine, the Baltic, and much of Eastern Europe, making an utterly unnecessary nuclear confrontation with Russia increasingly likely.

Carlton Meyer , Website October 17, 2017 at 9:56 pm GMT
I mentioned General P at the end of my series: "Lost Battles of the Vietnam War".

"Ironically, the USA succeeded in Vietnam only after its military left. Billions of dollars in annual aid were no longer required, while American GIs were no longer killed or maimed. There was no Chinese communist takeover of the region. In contrast, traditional rivalries resurfaced leading to a short, yet bloody, war between China and Vietnam in 1979. Without the distraction of fighting a war, the Vietnamese government was forced to address economic problems. It recognized the need for foreign trade and the value of free enterprise and has become a capitalistic economic power. American corporations now operate factories in Vietnam while United Airlines has daily flights. Likewise, the USA will never win in Afghanistan until its troops come home.

Given the ample historical facts available, many historians are amazed this "we never lost a battle" myth persists. Part of the blame lies with certain professors, who published this myth in articles like: "Lessons of History and Lessons of Vietnam" where in 1986 U.S. Army Major David H. Petraeus (left) wrote: "Vietnam planted doubts in many military minds about the ability of US forces to conduct successful large-scale counterinsurgencies. These misgivings do not in all cases spring from doubts about the capabilities of American troops and units per se; even in Vietnam, military leaders recall US units never lost a battle." Despite this dismal scholarship, Petraeus became a four-star General, partly due to marriage to the daughter of four-star Army General William Knowlton. General Petraeus was in charge of counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and since he failed to learn from the Vietnam war, he failed in those conflicts because of myths of U.S. military invincibility. "

http://www.g2mil.com/lost_vietnam.htm

Issac , October 17, 2017 at 10:32 pm GMT
Hey, hey, LBJ ! How many kids have you killed today?
renfro , October 17, 2017 at 11:32 pm GMT
Bring back the draft. And you will see the mother of all uprisings to end US wars. So hell yea..bring it back.
The Scalpel , Website October 18, 2017 at 8:26 am GMT
The all volunteer Army is a good thing for the USA and humanity in the long term. It selects for the most violent amoral young American men and hopefully eliminates their genes from the gene pool before they can reproduce. At a minimum, it gets a lot of them out of the USA so that they commit their rapes, assaults, and other crimes somewhere else

The ideal war would be one in which the US Army fought another similar all volunteer army in a close matchup and huge numbers on each side were killed. The problem is that the US Army usually fights innocent conscripts and others forced to defend their actual homes and families. It also kills many civilians. Those are relatively good genes the US Army is removing from the gene pool.

Helen Marshall , October 18, 2017 at 3:10 pm GMT
Just Sayin, you are absolutely right about the intertwining of the economy and the military-industrial-intelligence-media complex. My present home state of Texas is deeply embedded with the military and actually allots a significant amount of state revenue to be prepared to prevent the closure or shrinkage of any military installation. And otherwise "progressive" political figures cite the need for this as a given, nothing to discuss here

I recall teaching political science at the time that Tricky Dick eliminated the draft, and while my students applauded I warned them that we'd come to regret this. It didn't take long. But MBlanc 46 is right, the draft isn't coming back. The powers that be do not want public protests about their wars and their "war machine."

dearieme , October 18, 2017 at 11:08 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer

"military leaders recall US units never lost a battle" is a brilliantly evasive phrasing, lawyer-like in its cunning, perhaps even Jesuitical. Sly dog, Petraeus.

The Alarmist , October 19, 2017 at 10:36 am GMT
@MBlanc46

Maybe that's the way to end this war and avoid future frivolous wars. I forget how many women died in Vietnam, but it was a very small number.

On another note, Petreus studied Vietnam. Ben Bernanke studied the Great Depression. Both led us into intractable quagmires. When will we ever learn to not put people who study failure into positions to lead to new failures?

The Alarmist , October 19, 2017 at 10:57 am GMT
@dearieme

It is a myth. US military leaders have lost a number of battles, sometimes spectacularly, even in wars they claim to have won. Ike, himself, got some schooling from the Germans at Kasserine Pass during WW2, though, to be fair, he was not the field commander there.

[Oct 25, 2017] >We gave you uranium, you repaid us by bombing Belgrade Putin slams US over nuclear treaties

Notable quotes:
"... "one of the most effective disarmament efforts in history," ..."
"... "set up permanent workplaces in them adorned with American flags." ..."
"... "From the Russian side unprecedented openness and trust were demonstrated," ..."
"... "What we got in return is well-known – a complete disregard for our national interests, support for separatism in the Caucasus, a circumvention of the UN Security Council, the bombing of Yugoslavia, the invasion of Iraq, and so on. The US must have seen the state of our nuclear weapons and economy and decided to do away with international law ..."
"... "Countries' readiness to talk about getting rid of nuclear weapons is in direct proportion to their advances in other weapons systems," ..."
"... "offer almost as much damage, with far superior accuracy." ..."
"... "We are carefully monitoring what is happening around the world, just as our own country is acquiring these non-nuclear weapons system," ..."
Oct 25, 2017 | www.rt.com

Vladimir Putin has criticized the US for failing to keep their end of the bargain in a host of international disarmament agreements. He says Moscow will not exit any existing treaties, but promised an "instant, symmetrical response" if Washington decides to quit first. 'US decided to do away with international law'

Speaking during a Q & A session at the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi, an annual meeting with international journalists and Russia experts, Putin began by recalling the Megatons to Megawatts program, which ran between 1993 and 2013, and saw Russia downblend enriched uranium from the equivalent of about 20,000 of its nuclear warheads into low-enriched uranium to be used as fuel by US power stations. Putin said that as part of what he called "one of the most effective disarmament efforts in history," US officials made 170 visits to top secret Russian facilities, and "set up permanent workplaces in them adorned with American flags."

"From the Russian side unprecedented openness and trust were demonstrated," said Putin, saying that through the 1990s, about 100 US officials were entitled to carry out surprise inspections of Russian nuclear facilities, as part of Gorbachev and Yeltsin-era agreements.

"What we got in return is well-known – a complete disregard for our national interests, support for separatism in the Caucasus, a circumvention of the UN Security Council, the bombing of Yugoslavia, the invasion of Iraq, and so on. The US must have seen the state of our nuclear weapons and economy and decided to do away with international law ."

... ... ...

"Countries' readiness to talk about getting rid of nuclear weapons is in direct proportion to their advances in other weapons systems," said Putin, noting that both conventional and high-tech weapons delivered with modern targeting systems "offer almost as much damage, with far superior accuracy."

"We are carefully monitoring what is happening around the world, just as our own country is acquiring these non-nuclear weapons system," Putin said.

READ MORE: Putin on Catalonia: EU triggered rise of separatism by supporting Kosovo independence

[Oct 24, 2017] The US lurches toward military dictatorship by Andre Damon

Notable quotes:
"... World Socialist Web Site. ..."
Oct 23, 2017 | www.wsws.org

The militarist diatribe by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired Marine general, at a White House press briefing last week laid bare an open secret of American politics: behind the façade of democratic rule, the United States increasingly resembles a military dictatorship.

Firing back at criticisms of President Donald Trump's handling of the October 4 deaths of four US soldiers in Niger, Kelly called members of the US military "the best one percent this country produces." He then announced that he would take questions only from journalists who were family, friends or acquaintances of soldiers killed in action.

In an expression of undisguised contempt for the civilian government, Kelly denounced Democratic Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who had publicly exposed Trump's callousness in his condolence call to the widow of one of the soldiers killed in the October 4 incident. Kelly falsely accused Wilson of bragging about securing funding for a government building in Miami named after slain FBI agents, saying of her: "Empty barrels [make] the most noise."

The next day, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders implied at a press briefing that any questioning of the pronouncements of the military was out of bounds. "If you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general," she said, "I think that that's something highly inappropriate."

Concerned over the White House's undisguised contempt for the constitutional principle of civilian control over the military, some military figures sought to verbally distance themselves from Kelly's statements. ABC's "This Week" program on Sunday led with an interview with retired four-star army general and former CIA director David Petraeus, who declared, "We in uniform are fiercely protective of the rights of our fellow Americans to express themselves, even if that includes criticizing us."

Kelly's remarks evoked such defensive statements not because they challenge nearly 250 years of civilian rule in the United States, but because sections of the US political establishment see it as necessary, at least for the time being, to cloak the massive power exercised by the military over political life with the formal trappings of civilian rule.

This task, however, is increasingly difficult. Shortly after Petraeus's appearance, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press," where he had an extraordinary exchange with moderator Chuck Todd. Asked whether as Senate Democratic leader he had been briefed on the situation in Niger, Schumer nonchalantly replied, "Not yet."

When Todd asked whether Schumer knew the US had a thousand troops stationed in Niger, Schumer replied, "Uh, No, I did not."

Todd pressed him further: "How do you describe it any other way than never-ending war?" Schumer gave a meandering reply that ended with the words, "We have to keep at it."

In other words, the country's civilian leadership neither knows where the US military operates, nor dares to inquire. Wars are not declared. Those who lead them are not accountable to Congress or the people. The military is deployed at the discretion of the president and his generals, as in the over one dozen African countries where US troops are engaged in combat operations. The ranking member of the nominal opposition party has no problem with this state of affairs.

Should anybody be surprised, then, when Kelly, one of three generals occupying the most sensitive positions in Trump's cabinet, denounces a member of Congress for daring to question the commander-in-chief?

One need only consider the rest of Sunday's broadcast of ABC's "This Week" interview program. With only the slightest modifications, the entire program could have been produced in a country run by a military junta. In the midst of host Martha Raddatz's interview with Petraeus, the program cut to a prerecorded segment showing Raddatz on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan as it carried out a war exercise off the Coast of North Korea, with Raddatz declaring enthusiastically, "The Sea of Japan is bristling with warships."

The segment featured statements by the captain, the commander, a signal officer and a pilot aboard the ship. Raddatz concluded, "With the region remaining on the brink, they have to be ready to fight tonight." The program then went on to preview an upcoming eight-part miniseries by the National Geographic Channel glorifying the Iraq war.

By this point, three quarters of the program had elapsed and not a single nonmilitary figure had made an appearance on one of the premier political talk shows of the world's leading "democracy."

Kelly's comments triggered statements of concern among some segments of the US press. "A military dictatorship: that appears what the White House thinks the United States is," declared CNN anchor Erin Burnett. Masha Gessen wrote in the New Yorker , "Consider this nightmare scenario: a military coup. You don't have to strain your imagination -- all you have to do is watch Thursday's White House press briefing, in which the chief of staff, John Kelly, defended President Trump's phone call to a military widow, Myeshia Johnson. The press briefing could serve as a preview of what a military coup in this country would look like."

But this raises the question: Would the United States really need to have a coup to transition to military rule? Would it really look much different from today's "democracy"? There would be the same parade of generals serving as talking heads on the news, the same "embedded" reporters interviewing commanders on the front lines, the same members of Congress (most dictatorships do not dissolve parliament) declaring they had "not yet" been briefed on what the military has decided to do.

One could object that a military dictatorship would censor the press. But this has already in large measure been accomplished. The search engine giant Google has announced that it is promoting "authoritative" news content, while it buries links to left-wing sites in search results, almost entirely removing results on Google News for the World Socialist Web Site.

The ever-growing power of the military in the United States is not some accident or fluke stemming from the personality of Donald Trump. Despite being at war for his entire two terms in office, Trump's Democratic Party predecessor Barack Obama never once went to Congress for authorization to use military force, and he defended his orders for drone assassinations of US citizens as part of the prerogatives of the commander-in-chief.

In the current political furor over the deaths of the soldiers in Niger, the Democrats have not questioned the legality of the deployment of thousands of US troops to Africa, carried out without any public discussion and behind the backs of the population, but instead sought to attack Trump from the right for being insufficiently deferential to the military.

After all, it is the Democrats and newspapers generally aligned with them, particularly the New York Times and the Washington Post , which praised General Kelly, together with fellow generals H. R. McMaster (national security adviser) and James Mattis (secretary of defense) as the "grown-ups" in the White House, with Times columnist Thomas Friedman calling on the generals to "reverse the moral rot that has infected the Trump administration" in the person of the president.

The increasingly dictatorial forms of rule emerging in the United States are the outcome of protracted and deep-rooted processes. Amid levels of social inequality that eclipse even those of the Gilded Age, bourgeois democracy in the US is collapsing, replaced by direct rule by the oligarchy and its partners in the military.

This process has been accelerated through a quarter century of aggressive wars, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, which have reached such a pitch that "never-ending war," in the words of CNN's Chuck Todd, is the new American reality, presently reaching a higher stage with the looming threat of nuclear war over North Korea.

The move toward dictatorship in the United States, accompanied by the drive to world war, is proceeding at breakneck speed. There is not much time. Workers and young people must mobilize now to oppose it on the basis of a socialist and internationalist program aimed at overthrowing the root cause of war, social inequality and dictatorship -- the capitalist system.

Andre Damon

Peter L. , October 23, 2017 4:59 PM

Look, let's be honest: since November 22, 1963 this country has been on the road to a separate military government which controls and operates foreign policy. As a nation and as a society we have reached the end of this road. We are at war in Niger with no Congressional approval or even knowledge. Africom wants to destroy the African Union and guarantee access to Africa's resources for the West and to insure the West can pay for those resources in dollars. Requiring Western nations to pay for African resources with gold backed dinars was one of Gaddafi's policies as head of the AU .That was the reason for the overthrow of Gaddafi and his government. It is the reason U.S. troops are in Africa.

Ron Ruggieri , October 23, 2017 11:59 AM

In the form of under-reported public opinion there still exists a measure of " civilian control " over the military. To the degree that ordinary Americans see the government as " democratic " they will tolerate large numbers of regular troops deployed. How can hundreds of thousands of American soldiers be deployed to enforce the New Colonialism in the Middle East or be stationed in an " enemy " country after a USA ordered nuclear attack ? Already sick of " endless war ", the not so few " brave and bold " will not be put in a mutinous mood ?

The breaking point in Vietnam was , I recall , 500,000 American combat troops with hundreds of casualties a week.

And that would put about 500,000 anti-war protesters in the streets on one day in 1969, or 1970 or 1971. Clearly US imperialism would have to share the spoils of war with many dubious allies.

How much protest would a draft - of males and females- provoke ? . Fascist America cannot possible resemble Nazi Germany overnight - with sheep-like submission. Or will it ? I am not yet bumping into any goose stepping working class or middle class neighbors .

Will American fascist propaganda proclaim not a master RACE but a master NATION ? ( Rainbow Fascism ? With female pilots dropping H-bombs ? ).

The Eternal Champion , October 23, 2017 10:51 AM

There are far too many people within the working class of this country that are ok with the current situation and they aren't interested in seeing the truth. More than anything, they are the real impediment to socialist change.

Charlotte Ruse , October 23, 2017 10:08 AM

"When Todd asked whether Schumer knew the US had a thousand troops stationed in Niger, Schumer replied, "Uh, No, I did not."

And when the same question was asked to Lindsey Graham, a Senator who sits on the The Armed Services Committee, and is in favor of every military intervention he had the exact same response: "No, I did not know." How is it possible, that the Senate and Congress in both political parties are so totally unaware about military operations and yet have NO hesitation about giving the Pentagon $700 billion in tax dollars.

It should be noted, that on every mainstream media news program questions about the US involvement in Africa is always limited by just saying that it's all about fighting "terrorism." Terrorism has become the cloth to smother any analytical conversation about US Imperialism. Just use the word TERRORISM and then all military actions can be justified.

And that was the greatest "triumph" of 911 for the PNAC. They had the cover of terrorism to unharness the power of militarism and the police state which can only lead to fascism.

"Amid levels of social inequality that eclipse even those of the Gilded Age, bourgeois democracy in the US is collapsing, replaced by direct rule by the oligarchy and its partners in the military."

Charlotte Ruse Selim Sulaiman , October 23, 2017 2:27 PM

Actually, terrorism has been a good excuse to promote unilateral US hegemony. The funding and promoting of terrorists has been used to undermine other capitalistic oligarchies in Russia and China.

dmorista , October 23, 2017 8:14 AM

The U.S. has never simply been a "democracy" (or a republic as right-wingers and libertarian types, correctly, always like to point out). The country was founded in a revolution, led largely by wealthy merchants from the North and plantation cavaliers from the South; when they saw that various factions of the common people were assuming too much socioeconomic power and freedom of action under the Articles of Confederation, they gathered in Philadelphia to write a new foundational document, the much ballyhooed Constitution. It, of course, favored their interests and set up a more centralized system of political power (ironically the best part and most enduring legacy of the Constitution is clearly the first 10 amendments, that some of the wiser men there demanded as the price for their affirmation). Of course the original document set up such anti-democratic measures as the electoral college, the 3/5 of a person rule for slaves, voting rights extended only to white male property owners, and selection of U.S. Senators by state legislatures.

As the country grew in strength and power, political coalitions of the rich and well-connected ran roughshod over the populace in their quest for even more wealth. Much of the time, they used mobilization of select segments of the population as part of their process of socioeconomic and political control. In general, however, the populace had much more say in policy and events, when they mobilized themselves and organized their own institutions, and used that solidarity to fight physically on the streets and in the workplaces, and politically in the halls of government with their own parties and candidates; than when they acquiesced to meekly voting and merely supporting one of the two ruling class political parties.

The very social advancements, now and for several previous decades under relentless attack, that make life bearable in the U.S., e.g. the 8-hour day, public education, the right for workers to organize to protect their interests, freedom from debtor's prison and various types of debt peonage, widespread home ownership, and other items were the result of public mobilization and demands for social justice by the common people. Never once did the ruling class ever do anything other than resist social advancement and try to maintain the status quo. They always took every measure, from constant military and paramilitary attacks against workers attempting to organize unions up until the 1930s, to the more recent methods of using spies, informers, and agents provocateurs to infiltrate the popular organizations that protest the wars and other outrages, to maintain their power and socioeconomic privileges.

While the American ruling class was always very aggressive, and never shrank from using military force to obtain their objectives, it was not until the post-WW 2 period that they decided to maintain a huge standing military during the "peace" that followed that horrific war. The U.S. rulers saw the opportunity to push the greatly weakened British Empire from their post as global hegemon, and to take the many advantages that accrue from that economic, military, and political global position. Of course, part and parcel of the benefits and costs of assuming the throne of "Global Hegemon", is the position as Capitalist Enforcer keeping the sea lanes open and granting special economic concessions to needed allies. Even President Dwight D. Eisenhower became disturbed by the resultant growth of socioeconomic and political power, in the hands of the military and its supporting economic and political infrastructure in the armaments industry and congress. He introduced the term Military Industrial Complex into the lexicon (changed from Military Industrial Congressional Complex by the urging of political aides and advisors).

The powerful position of the U.S., as the hegemonic power, increased the advantages and opportunities for American capitalists to move their investments, to places where labor was cheaper and regulations were more lax. After 70+ years of this process the U.S. is now greatly weakened itself, much like the British Empire was after WW 1, but still stronger perhaps than the British Empire was after WW 2. The military grew in both absolute and relative power, as did the vultures of finance capital, while the civilian goods and services part of the socioeconomic system stagnated and shrank both relatively and even absolutely. The military high command, the great majority of whom are personally always setting themselves up for post-military careers, as highly paid consultants and operatives for the armaments industries, or as "expert commentators" for the Corporate Controlled Media militarist cheering sections, has become much stronger and visible in the councils of power than used to be the case. In fact, this is a harbinger of the fact that the end of American dominance and hegemony draws nigh.

It is no coincidence, that this increased role of the military brass in direct governance is occurring, at the same time that right-wing anarchist wreckers like Steve Bannon are an active part of the Republican Party's meetings of their elites and semi-elites. The final destruction of the New Deal and Great Society social welfare institutions would free up many trillions of dollars, for the elite to loot for personal gain and to fund a last gasp militarist push. This is a far cry from earlier, and wiser, constellations of political coalitions and socioeconomic policy making. Well suited to a myopic ruling class, in which Marie Antoinette (let them eat cake) would be very comfortable.

Infarction , October 23, 2017 8:13 AM

Suddenly, the corporate media and even the usually far-sighted WSWS have finally realized that the US is a military dictatorship under President Donald Trump. In fact the US has been a military dictatorship for years, arguably starting during the Bush/Cheney regime, but certainly during President Barack Obama's regime.

The US became a military dictatorship, when Obama declared in 2011 the authority to murder, torture and imprison anyone on the planet at his whim, without the slightest whiff of due process.

dmorista Infarction , October 23, 2017 11:32 AM

Although, I would argue for the 2001 passage of the Patriot Act and the earlier 2001 Deep State operations in New York, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania, that set up the rah-rah atmosphere necessary for a coup.

Of course on some level November 22, 1963 was the real beginning when a decent, though certainly flawed, reformist politician was summarily and very publicly executed; and there were the two major follow-up jobs against MLK and RFK. Endless colonial wars and horrific covert agency operations became the norm, and unless massive popular mobilization occurred, these machinations continued despite whatever criticism was proffered. As JFK said "those who make peaceful reform impossible make violent revolution inevitable". He also proposed a general gradual disarmament that would have ended with all the militaries on the planet being disbanded with only small reserve forces and police remaining. That was in June in his famous American University Speech. Five months later he was eliminated.

Jim Bergren dmorista , October 23, 2017 2:22 PM

The murder of the 35th President of the US was the beginning of the shift from civilian rule to the military. Kennedy had said that the torch was passing to a "new generation" but the old generation said "no way" with the bullets that killed him. Right from that event LBJ pursued a program of war and allowed Israel to produce nukes which Kennedy had ordered Golda Mier not to do because he did not want an arms race in the middle East. Kennedy also was a friend of Patrice Lumumba and had promised him aid for the Congo before his(Kennedy's) election. The Dulles CIA then assassinated Lumumba right before the election. That is why Kennedy wanted to "smash the CIA into a thousand pieces". It is now a well known fact that three of the plotters of Kennedy's murder became US presidents and all pursued wars of aggression subsequentially.

veblen , October 23, 2017 5:01 AM

The US is not likely to become a military dictatorship. There is no need since US style democracy works fine for the Military industrial complex. It also channels peoples protests safely into criticisms of an Individual (Trump) instead of the system

Off course, if there is a mass movement of the working class, this could change and there is a real possibility of the US becoming a dictatorship.

weilunion veblen , October 23, 2017 4:33 PM

Yes, if there was a mass movement of the working class this would change the trajectory. But this is not in the material conditions we find ourselves in.

Decades of neglect for democratic thinking, let alone democracy, has severed US citizens from rational reasoning.

No, the military is the dark force of enforcement in the protection of the petrol/dollar

Selim Sulaiman veblen , October 23, 2017 11:41 AM

Military industrial complex = dictatorship and imperialism

CH , October 23, 2017 4:00 AM

This Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a real piece of work, too. I happened to catch her on the TV news making her "get into a debate with a four-star Marine general" utterance. I thought the sneer on her upper lip was probably the most telling thing about it.

K SHESHU BABU , October 23, 2017 3:41 AM

The US government is fearing that it is loosing control over the world politics. In order to keep it's hegemony in tact, the only alternative left to Trump is military aggression. So, he needs military dictatorship' to achieve his goal. Suppressing dissent internally through military deployment and suppressing external rebellion by militarisation is the policy adopted to control opposition

weilunion K SHESHU BABU , October 23, 2017 4:34 PM

Trump needs the military, the military needs Trump. For as long as the Orange Caligula is the center of attention the deflection works. This is why he was selected.

лидия , October 23, 2017 2:50 AM

I wonder, who had send USA colonial troops to Niger? It could be Obama, of course, I doubt it is a recent development.

OL лидия , October 23, 2017 7:29 AM

Obama in 2013, the French had asked for help IIRC.

лидия OL , October 23, 2017 12:56 PM

Thank you. Why am I NOT surprised?

лидия , October 23, 2017 2:47 AM

"ABC's "This Week" program on Sunday led with an interview with retired four-star army general and former CIA director David Petraeus, who declared, "We in uniform are fiercely protective of the rights of our fellow Americans to express themselves, even if that includes criticizing us.""
and
"Masha Gessen wrote in the New Yorker, "Consider this nightmare scenario: a military coup. You don't have to strain your imagination -- all you have to do is watch Thursday's White House press briefing, in which the chief of staff, John Kelly, defended President Trump's phone call to a military widow, Myeshia Johnson. The press briefing could serve as a preview of what a military coup in this country would look like.""

Made me laugh bitterly. A war criminal/the (former?) master of back ops and a notorious pro-NATO Russian propaganda person are now ones saving USA democracy?

лидия , October 23, 2017 2:42 AM

As Angry Arab noted "US media worship of the US military

The Washington Post and other media have no problem in referring to lies by Trump. But when it came to lies uttered by Gen. Kelly, the Post among others only dared to say that he was "not accurate"."

Sebouh80 , October 23, 2017 2:26 AM

Comrades it is not surprising at all to see US under current conditions descending into a Military dictatorship. The outcome of years of overseas imperial wars and growing social discrepancy in America has undermined the relevance of bourgeois democratic state institutions. This trend accelerated under President Obama and now under the Trump administration it has taken a new dimension.

weilunion Sebouh80 , October 23, 2017 4:35 PM

This, and the outcome of American Exceptionalism propaganda through movies, TV, internet and print.

Godfree Roberts , October 23, 2017 1:34 AM

A wise Latin American diplomat observed that military dictatorships are not evident by men wearing peaked caps giving orders to elected officials, but to budgets.

More than half of America's discretionary budget is spent on the military and the White House is run by three generals.

Mirek Godfree Roberts , October 23, 2017 5:21 AM

Of course, all these `public funds` spent, military actions taken are to make Americans secure, and the US and Pentagon safe for Wall Street and the military-industrial complex! There is no contradiction there!

[Oct 24, 2017] Our Quest For 'Absolute Security' Guarantees Forever War by Danny Sjursen

The truth may be that neither the Us people, nor the US government controls foreign policy of the nation after 1963. MIC controls it. After all neocons are just hired guns, propagandists for MIC. They have no courage, no integrity, nothing, except desire for a cramps form MIC table.
Militarism is the doctrine by which the USA operate. As Eisenhower stated the danger was the capture of the nation by the MIC and it did happened in 1963. This is more about MIC interest in profits, then the US population interest in absolute security. After all number of homicides in the USA are above level in many other nations.
Bush II with his neocon clique just skillfully sold the US population the war in Iraq, which was already planned by PNAC long ago. In no way Iraq war was about enhancing the US people security, it was about oil.
Notable quotes:
"... It's not just the neocons. This is a deeply rooted American problem. ..."
"... Need an example? Let us examine everyone's least favorite (and ever present) national ritual. We've all been there: you queue up, empty those pockets, undo the belt, (maybe) kick off your shoes, do a final liquid check, and wait your turn for airport security. Depending on the day and the culture of the town, you listen as a cynical, jovial, or sometimes even clever TSA agent rattles off familiar instructions. "No metallic objects blah blah blah liquid ounces step back step forward." Wait, wait some more, then we raise our hands in a -- for me -- familiar pose of enemy surrender. ..."
"... But realistically the sharper minds among us know we're not really safe. Motivated terrorists are inevitably smarter than the average TSA agent, and the entire ritual (usually) only deters yesterday's threat. The rational mind recognizes the illusion of it all. One is never truly safe from terrorism -- or lightning strikes for that matter -- in any absolute sense. Nevertheless, life goes on. It must. ..."
"... If you're a regular reader of TomDispatch , you've heard me drone on about the dangers of military optimism , and you are certainly familiar with Andrew Bacevich's powerful takedown of the all-volunteer military. That leaves the third tradition: America's fixation on the mythical search for absolute security. ..."
"... Some level of threat, insecurity, or uncertainty is inevitable, and to assume otherwise is to seek the impossible. Unfortunately, after 9/11 that's exactly the path the United States embarked upon: to defeat "evil" and restore the bygone era of "free security." So here we are, tilting at windmills amidst fruitless campaigns across rather inhospitable sections of the globe. ..."
"... On it goes, the eternal urge for American troops to do something about the over-hyped Islamic. Terrorist. Threat. A surprisingly bipartisan foreign policy consensus combines with a flourishing military-industrial complex, American armaments industry, and terrified -- often by the proclamations of those same politicians -- public to ensure there's likely to be more military interventions in the near future. ..."
"... What amazes me is that by any military measure, the military failed its missions. Rather than demand answers and change, the American public blithely ignores the failures, claims to admire the generals and admirals who led the failures and embraces international violence without end. ..."
"... But I disagree that the people expect perfect security. The American people aren't given a choice. I'm certain that, prior to the invasion of Iraq, had Congress proceeded with a national debate on the efficacy of an invasion as well as the quality of the evidence of WMDs, their wouldn't have been an invasion. ..."
"... This is an issue of governance. The structures of governance created by the Constitution are no longer capable of providing good decisions for the nation. ..."
"... And really, the fact is that the USA is bounded by oceans to the east and west and friendlies to the north and south. We have little need for a military to begin with, all-volunteer or otherwise. Of course that must not be openly discussed. ..."
"... You have this huge behemoth who isn't all that bright. Wouldn't you try to figure out ways to get the Rhino charging into conflicts that could tip the balance into your favor? ..."
"... For example, ISIS rose in Syria because Obama didn't enforce the 'red line'. Wow, how would attacking Assad have deterred ISIS yet this is folklore repeated by talking heads fed to them by respected analysts. ..."
"... Our incessant need to 'do something' in the endless need for perfect security can easily be manipulated. Our foreign policy experts aren't that bright. Rex Tillerson should have been laughed at when he called for the Shiite militias to 'leave Iraq and go home' (Rex, they are Iraqis, they were born in Iraq) but it fits the narrative. ..."
"... Follow the money and see who's getting rich from America's quest for "Absolute Security". And it seems to have been (and still is) one helluva of a "marketing campaign" that sadly way to many Americans have bought into. Meanwhile the Republic rots. ..."
"... Democracies can be much more easily managed externally. You can manipulate who runs for office, how much advertising support they'll get, how ballots are counted, who gets to vote, etc And you only need to control 51% of the elected officials. From that, you can get laws passed that ensure the profitability of your business investments are maximized. Non-democratic leaders tend to have too much ill-gotten wealth to be so easily manipulated. ..."
Oct 24, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

It's not just the neocons. This is a deeply rooted American problem.

Ah, the illusion of security. Most Americans love it, need it, crave it.

Need an example? Let us examine everyone's least favorite (and ever present) national ritual. We've all been there: you queue up, empty those pockets, undo the belt, (maybe) kick off your shoes, do a final liquid check, and wait your turn for airport security. Depending on the day and the culture of the town, you listen as a cynical, jovial, or sometimes even clever TSA agent rattles off familiar instructions. "No metallic objects blah blah blah liquid ounces step back step forward." Wait, wait some more, then we raise our hands in a -- for me -- familiar pose of enemy surrender.

If you're lucky, the whole affair consumes less than 20 minutes. Then you load the plane, do a cursory check for vaguely Arab faces -- feel a tinge of liberal guilt about that -- and settle in for the miracle of flight.

But realistically the sharper minds among us know we're not really safe. Motivated terrorists are inevitably smarter than the average TSA agent, and the entire ritual (usually) only deters yesterday's threat. The rational mind recognizes the illusion of it all. One is never truly safe from terrorism -- or lightning strikes for that matter -- in any absolute sense. Nevertheless, life goes on. It must.

There's just one problem. At the macro level, policymakers, politicians, and the public alike actually expect total security from terrorism. Well, at least one kind of terror: as President Trump so loves to enunciate: Radical. Islamic. Terrorism. Never mind that more American deaths stem from right-wing extremists, or that the chances of dying in a terror attack are comparable to drowning in your own bathtub. Because the public, and our elected leaders, demand absolute security from terror, the United States has spent the last decade and a half shipping people like me on one quixotic adventure after another across the Middle East.

Brace yourself for an uncomfortable fact: the blame for today's indecisive wars doesn't rest with George W. Bush, Barack Obama, or Donald Trump alone. Rather, these quagmires represent symptoms of an entirely American problem. While it is quite satisfying to blame Iraq and Afghanistan on a group of neoconservative, interventionist zealots in the Bush administration, that explanation will not entirely suffice. A combination of three factors has enabled the lengthy, inconclusive, and unnecessary "wars" of the 21st century: optimism about the efficacy of force, our current all-volunteer system of military service, and a fixation on absolute security.

If you're a regular reader of TomDispatch , you've heard me drone on about the dangers of military optimism , and you are certainly familiar with Andrew Bacevich's powerful takedown of the all-volunteer military. That leaves the third tradition: America's fixation on the mythical search for absolute security.

Here I must invoke critical analysis by the eminent military historian John Shy. Shy identifies several enduring characteristics of American military culture, among them "a concept of military security that was expressed not in relative but in absolute terms." From the outset, Americans' inherent military optimism has combined with this distinctive obsession for absolute security. As Shy notes , American interpretations of national security are traditionally binary -- either "the United States is secure, or it is not; it is threatened, or it is not." Only that's not reality. Global geopolitics play out in a vast gray abyss. Some level of threat, insecurity, or uncertainty is inevitable, and to assume otherwise is to seek the impossible. Unfortunately, after 9/11 that's exactly the path the United States embarked upon: to defeat "evil" and restore the bygone era of "free security." So here we are, tilting at windmills amidst fruitless campaigns across rather inhospitable sections of the globe.

When combined with fear -- which, along with honor and (often economic) interest, are the prime motivators of human behavior -- obsession with absolute security led post-9/11 policymakers down the road towards open-ended military deployments. This just wasn't realistic or smart. Too many places on earth house potential terrorists or anti-American extremists for our military to reasonably handle them all. Moreover, it is unclear whether the deployment of U.S. troops doesn't in fact do more harm than good. It is now certain that one of Osama bin Laden's goals in the 9/11 attacks was to lure American ground forces into Islamic Southwest Asia in order to inflame local passions and ignite a millennial holy war. As bin Laden himself declared : "Iraq has become a point of attraction and a restorer of our energies." Well, mission accomplished!

While intelligence operations, Special Forces raids, and limited conventional incursions are (maybe) necessary and appropriate, prolonged occupations in the Middle East tend only to radicalize the locals and dangerously conflate nationalist with religious resistance. Human beings are a proud lot. We tend to get touchy about having our capitals seized and our streets filled with foreign soldiers. Think Americans would respond any differently? Hardly. Exhibit A: Boston, 1775. Exhibit B: Not one, but two iterations of the film Red Dawn

President Bush and his advisors wasted no opportunity instilling in the American people a distinct, if convenient, Manichean worldview. It all centered on mythical promises of perfect security. The events of 9/11, we were told, changed everything. The globe was now divided between the forces of good and evil. Bush communicated this quite clearly in an address to the nation just days after 9/11: "Our responsibility to history is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil."

Such proclamations define the contemporary American quest for absolute security. If terrorism exists, then so does evil, and evil must be swept away to avoid a 9/11 repeat. No one seems to ask whether a relatively small, 10-division, professional, volunteer army is even equipped to rid the world of evil. An even tougher question is whether U.S. military force has any utility in the Mideast these days. Two wars and 16 years in uniform later, this soldier, at least, isn't so sure. Either way, it's not the average citizen's problem. Leave that quandary to a volunteer, warrior caste. The new American way.

But it gets worse. Think for a moment about all the counterproductive decisions this (and previous) administrations have made in this pursuit of absolute security from -- "Islamic" -- terrorists:

Travel (read: Muslim) bans and tightened immigration limitations as the world suffers through the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War. All the while, ISIS has taken to calling Trump's travel policy the "blessed ban."

Warrantless wiretapping and a domestic surveillance state (to paraphrase Mr. Trump) the likes of which this world has never seen. Anyone else miss the long ago-demolished Fourth Amendment

A 16-year military campaign that has cost the U.S. military about 7,000 killed and more than 50,000 wounded in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen.

What exactly did they all sacrifice for anyway?

And that's but a cursory list.

On it goes, the eternal urge for American troops to do something about the over-hyped Islamic. Terrorist. Threat. A surprisingly bipartisan foreign policy consensus combines with a flourishing military-industrial complex, American armaments industry, and terrified -- often by the proclamations of those same politicians -- public to ensure there's likely to be more military interventions in the near future.

Perhaps it is time to shed naïve notions of absolute security and reinstate the American people as agents of national defense. Ever since Nixon ended the draft, the vast majority of Americans have ceased to fear, expect, or even consider national service. The result is an apathetic citizenry disconnected from an all-volunteer, warrior caste. When combined with their obsession over absolute security, American apathy proves the lethal nail in the coffin. Seen in this light, America's decade of failures appear wholly predictable. Perhaps it is worth reflecting on this and questioning the true -- if unpleasant -- legacy of the "War on Terror," as hawks once again beat the drums for the ever expanding interventions in Syria, Iraq, and who knows where else.

Should the U.S. once again escalate its commitments in Iraq, I suspect the outcome will prove disappointing. But who knows: perhaps in the Persian Gulf, the third time's the charm.

Anyway, I don't buy it. Here's one absolute you can bet on: we've already lost.

Major Danny Sjursen, a TomDispatch regular , is a U.S. Army officer and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the author of Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge. Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet .

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.]

EliteCommInc. , , October 23, 2017 at 11:48 pm

"Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government."

Maybe they should. Laugh.

I won't back away for a minute that after 9/11 we should have shut down the border. We should overhauled our immigration enforcement.

I remain convinced then a now Iraq was a huge strategic and ethical error, for which we have not yet received consequence. Afghanistan too was overkill and a needless invasion to the goal.

The subsequent meddling only made matters worse. We lost in Iraq. We may lose in Afghanistan.

And I don't think a draw down is isolationist. I don't think a serious rethinking of our role in the world is isolationist, but it is required by a nation unhinged till by the event of Sept 11. I won't budge on illegal immigration and the undermining of the US citizens opportunities by other schemes of foreign labor.

We do have some areas of reasoned joint operations. I think ensuring the security of Niger, until it can secure itself is reasoned.

I wanted get that up front before agreeing with a good deal of this article. I re main guilt ridden about Iraq, because so much tragedy there is squarely on us. But that ship has long since sailed.

Fran Macadam , , October 24, 2017 at 12:07 am
Absolute security means none, as everyone must be under suspicion.
Hal Donahue , , October 24, 2017 at 6:25 am
Finally, a military officer says what needs to be said. long ago, I was involved with then Vice-President George Bush's counter terrorism. The assumption was not if the US would be attacked but when and yes, the use of passenger aircraft was a considered option.

When possibility turned into reality, Bush the torturer panicked and shortly there after panicked the nation. It has yet to recover.

What amazes me is that by any military measure, the military failed its missions. Rather than demand answers and change, the American public blithely ignores the failures, claims to admire the generals and admirals who led the failures and embraces international violence without end. This will not end well without drastic change.

Kent , , October 24, 2017 at 6:26 am
Great article. But I disagree that the people expect perfect security. The American people aren't given a choice. I'm certain that, prior to the invasion of Iraq, had Congress proceeded with a national debate on the efficacy of an invasion as well as the quality of the evidence of WMDs, their wouldn't have been an invasion.

This is an issue of governance. The structures of governance created by the Constitution are no longer capable of providing good decisions for the nation.

And really, the fact is that the USA is bounded by oceans to the east and west and friendlies to the north and south. We have little need for a military to begin with, all-volunteer or otherwise. Of course that must not be openly discussed.

Christian Chuba , , October 24, 2017 at 7:29 am
I like to comment on the article that is written rather than retreat into my pet subject. In this spirit, I'd go as far to say that Islamists have tried to take advantage of this view by provoking us into wars to upset the game table. Think about it, wouldn't you? You have this huge behemoth who isn't all that bright. Wouldn't you try to figure out ways to get the Rhino charging into conflicts that could tip the balance into your favor?

For example, ISIS rose in Syria because Obama didn't enforce the 'red line'. Wow, how would attacking Assad have deterred ISIS yet this is folklore repeated by talking heads fed to them by respected analysts.

Our incessant need to 'do something' in the endless need for perfect security can easily be manipulated. Our foreign policy experts aren't that bright. Rex Tillerson should have been laughed at when he called for the Shiite militias to 'leave Iraq and go home' (Rex, they are Iraqis, they were born in Iraq) but it fits the narrative.

Beware the Red Cape you stupid Bull.

Dan Green , , October 24, 2017 at 8:59 am
Great article for as they say someone in the know. Another slant however.

I am from the very small so called silent generation born and raised by the greatest generation.

When WW 2 ended at the troops came home as before they left and when they returned we never locked our doors we left the keys in the car. I could travel to a favorite hinting area and give my shot gun to the pilot during flight.

polistra , , October 24, 2017 at 9:00 am
I don't think the security motive is a major or constant theme of warmongering propaganda.

Wilson made war "to spread Democracy", and the modern Wilsonians (Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump) have continued using the same insane pretext.

Security is the supposed reason for INTERNAL tyranny via FBI, DHS, TSA, etc.

EliteCommInc. , , October 24, 2017 at 11:18 am
"And really, the fact is that the USA is bounded by oceans to the east and west and friendlies to the north and south."

If you think our relationship with Mexico is friendly, you are misreading Mexico's intentions. No state that willfully support violating your border regulations and who citizens undermine the integrity of the Us has friendly intentions. You might want to read La Raza's charter.

Spend one minute listening to Hispanics in los angele, san diego, and san francisco complain about the theft of Mexican territory --

It sounds over the top, but what we have in the making is a low scale war to recapture the southwest.

____________

"I don't think the security motive is a major or constant theme of warmongering propaganda."

There's a significant shift since then. Before the lean has been in support of existing democracies. Currently the press is to make democracies and if that means war so be it. The interventionists to that end are winning that argument to make democracies.

On its face it' an appealing grand narrative, in practice impractical, destructive and probably infeasible.

Fred Bowman , , October 24, 2017 at 11:31 am
Follow the money and see who's getting rich from America's quest for "Absolute Security". And it seems to have been (and still is) one helluva of a "marketing campaign" that sadly way to many Americans have bought into. Meanwhile the Republic rots.
Kent , , October 24, 2017 at 12:45 pm
"The interventionists to that end are winning that argument to make democracies."

Democracies can be much more easily managed externally. You can manipulate who runs for office, how much advertising support they'll get, how ballots are counted, who gets to vote, etc And you only need to control 51% of the elected officials. From that, you can get laws passed that ensure the profitability of your business investments are maximized. Non-democratic leaders tend to have too much ill-gotten wealth to be so easily manipulated.

[Oct 24, 2017] The country's civilian leadership neither knows where the US military operates, nor dares to inquire. Wars are not declared. Those who lead them are not accountable to Congress or the people. The military is deployed at the discretion of the president and his generals

Oct 24, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Northern Star , October 23, 2017 at 4:13 pm

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/10/23/pers-o23.html

Again the article and the comments are totally spot on .
e.g:

"Kelly's remarks evoked such defensive statements not because they challenge nearly 250 years of civilian rule in the United States, but because sections of the US political establishment see it as necessary, at least for the time being, to cloak the massive power exercised by the military over political life with the formal trappings of civilian rule.
This task, however, is increasingly difficult. Shortly after Petraeus's appearance, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press," where he had an extraordinary exchange with moderator Chuck Todd. Asked whether as Senate Democratic leader he had been briefed on the situation in Niger, Schumer nonchalantly replied, "Not yet."

When Todd asked whether Schumer knew the US had a thousand troops stationed in Niger, Schumer replied, "Uh, No, I did not." Todd pressed him further: "How do you describe it any other way than never-ending war?" Schumer gave a meandering reply that ended with the words, "We have to keep at it."

In other words, the country's civilian leadership neither knows where the US military operates, nor dares to inquire. Wars are not declared. Those who lead them are not accountable to Congress or the people. The military is deployed at the discretion of the president and his generals, as in the over one dozen African countries where US troops are engaged in combat operations. The ranking member of the nominal opposition party has no problem with this state of affairs.

Peter L. • 2 hours ago

Look, let's be honest: since November 22, 1963 this country has been on the road to a separate military government which controls and operates foreign policy. As a nation and as a society we have reached the end of this road. We are at war in Niger with no Congressional approval or even knowledge. Africom wants to destroy the African Union and guarantee access to Africa's resources for the West and to insure the West can pay for those resources in dollars. That was the reason for the overthrow of Ghaddafi and his government. It is the reason U.S. troops are in Africa."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Days_in_May#Plot

[Oct 22, 2017] Who Can Blame McCain for Loathing Trump

Oct 22, 2017 | washingtonmonthly.com

Yes, one can argue that McCain set in motion the series of events that put Trump in the White House by selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate in August 2008 . Of course, the counterargument is that McCain basically had no choice, that he was under severe pressure to throw a bone to the wingnuts, that he was held hostage by the far right. In other words, it wasn't Palin per se that caused McCain to lose the 2008 presidential election, but the right-wing forces that intimidated McCain into making such a choice .

[Oct 22, 2017] Trump and His 'Beautiful' Weapons by William Blum

Notable quotes:
"... It's easy to understand why some of President Trump's senior advisers privately consider him a "moron," with a limited vocabulary and stunning lack of normal human empathy, as William Blum explains at Anti-Empire Report. ..."
"... Capturing the wisdom and the beauty of Donald J. Trump in just one statement escaping from his charming mouth: "Our military has never been stronger. Each day, new equipment is delivered; new and beautiful equipment, the best in the world – the best anywhere in the world, by far." [Washington Post, Sept. 8, 2017] ..."
"... And in case you still don't fully appreciate that, notice that he specifies that our equipment is the best in the world BY FAR! That means that no other country is even close! Just imagine! ..."
"... Lucky for the man his seeming incapacity for moral or intellectual embarrassment. He's twice blessed. His fans like the idea that their president is no smarter than they are. This may well serve to get the man re-elected, as it did with George W. Bush. ..."
"... Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II ..."
"... Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower ..."
Oct 21, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

It's easy to understand why some of President Trump's senior advisers privately consider him a "moron," with a limited vocabulary and stunning lack of normal human empathy, as William Blum explains at Anti-Empire Report.

Capturing the wisdom and the beauty of Donald J. Trump in just one statement escaping from his charming mouth: "Our military has never been stronger. Each day, new equipment is delivered; new and beautiful equipment, the best in the world – the best anywhere in the world, by far." [Washington Post, Sept. 8, 2017]

Here the man thinks that everyone will be impressed that the American military has never been stronger. And that those who, for some unimaginable reason, are not impressed with that will at least be impressed that military equipment is being added EACH DAY. Ah yes, it's long been a sore point with most Americans that new military equipment was being added only once a week.

And if that isn't impressive enough, then surely the fact that the equipment is NEW will win people over. Indeed, the newness is important enough to mention twice. After all, no one likes USED military equipment. And if newness doesn't win everyone's heart, then BEAUTIFUL will definitely do it. Who likes UGLY military equipment? Even the people we slaughter all over the world insist upon good-looking guns and bombs.

And the best in the world. Of course. That's what makes us all proud to be Americans. And what makes the rest of humanity just aching with jealousy. And in case you don't fully appreciate that, notice that he adds that it's the best ANYWHERE in the world.

And in case you still don't fully appreciate that, notice that he specifies that our equipment is the best in the world BY FAR! That means that no other country is even close! Just imagine! Makes me choke up.

Lucky for the man his seeming incapacity for moral or intellectual embarrassment. He's twice blessed. His fans like the idea that their president is no smarter than they are. This may well serve to get the man re-elected, as it did with George W. Bush.

William Blum is an author, historian, and renowned critic of U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II and Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower , among others. [This article originally appeared at the Anti-Empire Report, https://williamblum.org/ .]

[Oct 21, 2017] Washington Funds Foreign Think Tanks That Blacklist Opponents of Neocon Foreign Policy by Ron Paul

I admired Ron Paul foright policy views for a along time. and this time he also did not disappointed his reader.
Soviet labeled anybody who dissented from communist propaganda line or did not believe in Communist dogma as "agents of imperialism". Neocons similarly bland and-war activists and people who question this war mongering as peddlers of "Russian propaganda". This is what often happen with victors in wars: they acquired worst features of their defeated enemies. for example to defeat the USSR the USA create powerful network of intelligence agencies. Which promptly went out of civil control in 1963, much like KGB in the USSR and became state within the state. In a way now it in now now unfeasible that the Soviet Union posthumously have won the Cold War, as it is more and more difficult to distinguish Soviet propaganda and the US government propaganda.
So the fact that the US government allocate large sums of money for the propaganda against another neoliberal state -- Russia, which represent regional threat to the US hegemonic ambitions -- tells a lot about neoliberalism as a social system. Hostilities among neoliberal states, much like hostilities between communist states are not only possible, they are the reality.
Notable quotes:
"... So what is the "European Values" think tank? A bunch of kooks? Well perhaps, but they are well-funded kooks. In fact they are funded by American taxpayers to defame other Americans who appear on media outlets that are out of favor with Washington's elites. Among the top donors to the "European Values" think tank is the United States Embassy in Prague. Other top funders include George Soros' "Open Society Foundation," the European Commission, and the European Parliament. They are also funded by other US government funded think tanks such as the Prague-based "League of Human Rights." ..."
"... How ironic that such a Soviet-style attack on political dissent in the United States was launched from Prague, which for decades suffered under the Štátna bezpečnosť -- ..."
"... "I am not here to defend RT," I said on the program tonight. I am here to defend the marketplace of ideas that is critical to a free society. I am here to defend the right of US citizens to dissent from the foreign policy of their government without being attacked by their own government -- or by foreign think tanks funded by their government. ..."
"... This should infuriate us: The US government defines anyone who dissents from its foreign policy of endless wars and a global military empire as peddlers of "Russian propaganda" and then Congress appropriates tens of million dollars to "counter Russian propaganda." ..."
"... That means the US Congress is appropriating tens of millions of our dollars to silence our objection to Washington's trillion dollar global military empire. What a scam! How anti-American! Is that not a declaration of war on the rest of us? Is that not an act of tyranny? ..."
Oct 21, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Dear Friends of the Ron Paul Institute:

I just finished an interview on RT.

Someday soon, perhaps, anyone writing the above sentence will land in some sort of gulag, as once did East Europeans found to have appeared on a foreign broadcast questioning the historical inevitability of the worldwide communist revolution.

In my case, I was asked to comment on a new report (see above pic) from a Czech " think tank " exposing 2,327 American "useful idiots" who dared appear on the Russian government-funded RT television network.

Among the "Kremlin stooges" listed in the report of the "European Values" think tank? Alongside critics of US foreign policy like Ron Paul, the Czech "European Values" think tank listed Sen. Lindsay Graham, Joe Lieberman, Dick Cheney, US Rep. Adam Schiff, former acting CIA director Michael Morrell, former CIA director Michael Hayden, and hundreds more prominent Americans who have been notably hostile to Russia and its government.

I said: "Wow! this conspiracy is even deeper than we thought! Even the virulently anti-Russian neocons and Russia-hating CIA bigwigs are in fact Putin's poodles!"

It's funny but it's not. This is when the neo-McCarthyism lately in fashion across the ideological divide descends into the absurd. This is when the mask slips from the witch trials, when the naked emperor can no longer expect to not be noticed.

So what is the "European Values" think tank? A bunch of kooks? Well perhaps, but they are well-funded kooks. In fact they are funded by American taxpayers to defame other Americans who appear on media outlets that are out of favor with Washington's elites. Among the top donors to the "European Values" think tank is the United States Embassy in Prague. Other top funders include George Soros' "Open Society Foundation," the European Commission, and the European Parliament. They are also funded by other US government funded think tanks such as the Prague-based "League of Human Rights."

Since when did "European values" come to be defined as government-funded lists of political "enemies" who dare question US foreign policy on television networks despised by neocons and Washington interventionists? How ironic that such a Soviet-style attack on political dissent in the United States was launched from Prague, which for decades suffered under the Štátna bezpečnosť -- the communist secret police -- that took exactly the same view of those who deviated from the Soviet party line as does the modern Czech "European Values" think tank.

Anyone questioning our one trillion dollar global military empire is automatically considered to be in the pay of hostile foreign governments. How patriotic is that?

"I am not here to defend RT," I said on the program tonight. I am here to defend the marketplace of ideas that is critical to a free society. I am here to defend the right of US citizens to dissent from the foreign policy of their government without being attacked by their own government -- or by foreign think tanks funded by their government.

This should infuriate us: The US government defines anyone who dissents from its foreign policy of endless wars and a global military empire as peddlers of "Russian propaganda" and then Congress appropriates tens of million dollars to "counter Russian propaganda."

That means the US Congress is appropriating tens of millions of our dollars to silence our objection to Washington's trillion dollar global military empire. What a scam! How anti-American! Is that not a declaration of war on the rest of us? Is that not an act of tyranny?

The noose is tightening around us. Yet we must continue to fight for what we believe in! We must continue to fight for the prosperity that comes from a peaceful foreign policy. Your generous support for the Ron Paul Institute helps us continue to be your voice in the fight for free expression and a peaceful foreign policy.

[Oct 19, 2017] Profile In Treason - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... Read John McCain's Liberty Medal ceremony speech ..."
"... John McCain just delivered a total and complete takedown of Trumpism ..."
"... Senator John McCain: "We Are All Ukrainians ..."
"... The Kurdish War with Iraq ..."
"... Mr. McCain Goes To Washington ..."
"... National Review, ..."
"... The Liberalism That Isn't ..."
"... Married couple sentenced for migrant critical Facebook post ..."
"... [Pick a single Handle and stick to it, or use Anonymous/Anon. Otherwise, your comments may get trashed.] ..."
Oct 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

There is no hatred more complete and no malevolence more fanatical than that held by the American political class for the American people. The commissar's rage against the kulaks, the jihadist 's fury against the infidel , the inquisitor 's wrath against the unbeliever , all of this pales in comparison to the genocidal bloodlust Senators and Congressmen have against their own constituents . And even as they gleefully promote the outsourcing of jobs, the importation of cheap labor , and the ruthless extirpation of property, wealth and liberty, these shameless parasites demand their slaves die to export their filthy System all over the world.

The most contemptible and dangerous of these vermin is Senator John McCain . In a political career marked by near constant betrayal and hypocrisy , there are only two constants to his bloody career. The first is a passion for war, any war, for any reason, which can only be termed pathological. The second is the desire to replace the people of his own state and the voters of his own party.

Like a dying venomous snake , McCain is using his final moments to strike at President Trump and those who supported him.

In remarks gleefully repeated by the sociopathic controlled media, McCain simpered:

To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.

[ Read John McCain's Liberty Medal ceremony speech , Boston Globe, October 17, 2017]

It's worth noting McCain gave his comments while accepting an award from Joe Biden. Much like McCain's "patriotism" consists of deconstructing the Historic American Nation itself, Biden poses as a champion of the "working class" because he rides Amtrak but supports "constant, unrelenting" immigration , outsourcing, anti-white racial preferences and endless, nihilistic wars. McCain and Biden, are, in all essentials, practically identical.

One aches to ask Senator McCain directly what "problem" he thinks will be more effectively "solved" by importing the Third World. National security ? Health care ? Collapsing wages ? Rising inequality ? Crumbling infrastructure ?

McCain's mumblings are practically self-discrediting. But as American journalists exist to serve power and suppress dissent it's unlikely the Senator has been or will ever be asked to defend such ludicrous claims.

McCain draws a distinction between "nationalism" and "patriotism," with the former being defined by the concrete realities of history and heritage and the latter formed by mysterious abstractions.

"We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil," he explained. "We are the custodians of those ideals at home, and their champion abroad."

These ideals, as is customary when they are invoked, are not defined. Yet given McCain's tributes to the "immigrant's dream," the land which "reinvents itself," and the current "international order," his remarks are being hyped as a rebuke of "Trumpism" and celebrated by Leftist journalists who suddenly claim the right to define what is "conservatism" or "Republicanism" [ John McCain just delivered a total and complete takedown of Trumpism , by Chris Cillizza, CNN, October 17, 2017]

McCain's ideals would be unrecognizable , not only to the Founding Fathers, but to practically any other American generation in history. Would the Father of Our Country have countenanced endless interventionism? Would either Jefferson or Hamilton have recognized a moral imperative for self-annihilation? Would any Federalist or anti-Federalist celebrate the replacement of the very people who had just won independence from the British Empire?

McCain's denunciation of "nationalism" is also selective. McCain is quite eager to defend the borders of other nations. "We are all Ukrainians," he declared on one occasion [ Senator John McCain: "We Are All Ukrainians , by Jay Newton-Small, Time, February 28, 2014]. "We are all Georgians" he pronounced on another.

It is only when it comes to America that McCain's "patriotism" becomes abstract and imaginary. Indeed, it seems every people on earth has a right to "blood and soil" which must be safeguarded by American arms, except Americans themselves.

Even as this is written, Kurds and Iraqis are on the brink of war [ The Kurdish War with Iraq , by Thomas Ricks, Foreign Policy, October 17, 2017]. If it erupts, once again, the tribal hatreds and border conflicts of peoples who should be of interest to us only in anthropology textbooks will be cause for the death of American soldiers.

The sacrifice of our military is framed as "leadership." "That leadership has had its costs, but we have become incomparably powerful and wealthy as we did," McCain gloats. And he is right, in speaking of his peers; he and his fellow parasites are indeed incomparably powerful and wealthy.

But such power and wealth does not trickle down to those he ostensibly represents. The wages of working Americans have stagnated for decades , and even skilled workers can barely earn a wage sufficient to support a family.

And "power?" The tyranny of George III that our forefathers rose against would be a glorious boon for ordinary Americans of today, as their lives , families, communities , and property are forfeit to the whims of unelected bureaucrats, publicly funded "activists," or sadistic reporters eager to rouse a mob. McCain's tribute to America's "power" and "wealth" is reminiscent of an Ottoman sultan boasting about shared victories to the janissaries he's kidnapped from Eastern Europe.

The democratic system McCain pledges Americans to defend is a form of government in which elected officials blatantly lie to their constituents and then taunt them at the very moment of betrayal. Consider McCain himself. He campaigned on repealing Obamacare, and then gleefully voted to save it [ Mr. McCain Goes To Washington , by John Fund, National Review, July 30, 2017] He promised to "complete the danged fence" but instead has done his best to make sure Arizona ceases to be an American state in any meaningful sense.

One may disagree with monarchy or some other form of unelected leadership, but it seems vastly preferably to a system where political power is awarded to the most outrageous liar. Such a system should not be tolerated, let alone fought for.

Besides, the liberal international order McCain defends is nothing of the kind. The Western world is not free. [ The Liberalism That Isn't , by Costin Alamariu, Daily Caller, September 7, 2017] East Germany in the 1980s was in some ways more free than contemporary Germany is today: it would not have occurred to Erich Honecker to expose his subjects to mass sexual assault at the hands of Muslim invaders and then arrest anyone who protests. [ Married couple sentenced for migrant critical Facebook post , by Chris Tomlinson, Breitbart, July 8, 2016]

The Occupation Government in Washington has presided over the Death of the West . The world order McCain defends is, quite explicitly, built on the dispossession of the European-Americans who actually created the American polity. If our civilization or country is to survive in any meaningful sense, that order must be destroyed.

And that means replacing the political class, the enemy collaborators, exemplified by the likes of Senator McCain. His warmongering against a nuclear armed Russia is unhinged . His desire to hurt our own nation is so unrelenting and energetic one wonders if he is working under duress or threat of blackmail . I almost hope so. To think he actually believes these ideas is a terrifying possibility.

It is not polite to speak ill of the terminally ill. Yet this cruel, murderous and thoroughly despicable character poses a threat not just to the existence of the American nation, but to the very lives of people all over the world.

I wish the Senator no harm. I only offer a desperate prayer in self-defense that his retirement will be forthcoming and his media megaphone removed.

The political life not just of our country, but of the world, must be rid of this Man of Blood , this sociopathic butcher -- who, shuffling to his grave, seems determined to drag us all down with him.

The Alarmist , October 18, 2017 at 11:02 am GMT

Gee, you didn't even mention his actual collaboration with the actual enemy while a POW in Hanoi.

Speaking of Germany, they held elections in Niedersachsen the other day, and more than a few people were surprised to see a large influx of votes for the AfD (so-called ultra-nationalists) come from immigrants who came to the country legally through the proper channels aside from so-called Asylum or simply walking in.

Another interesting thing from Germany: The native-German Interior Minister suggests that Islamic holidays be added to the legal holiday list, and the biggest critic of that turns out to be the Turkish-descended leader of the Green Party.

RealAmerican , October 18, 2017 at 2:48 pm GMT
Who can forget the humiliation suffered at the hands of this man by the patriotic and courageous Chuck Hagel, when Mr. Hagel was nominated to be Secretary of Defence under Obama. That a compromised and morally corrupt, traitorous individual can inflict such demeaning treatment in the open on the MSM on an outstanding true American, such as Mr. Hagel, speaks volumes about the state of affairs in the USA today. Thank you Mr. Kirkpatrick!
KenH , October 18, 2017 at 10:46 pm GMT
There's no doubt that the vast majority of Republican congressman utterly loathe their white constituents and John McAmnesty is one of the worst if not the worst. They're on board with white race replacement and support the spurious nationalism of Israel as well as the racial chauvinism of every third world racial group within the United States while condemning white nationalism.

John McCain especially champions the spurious nationalism of Israel and even lovingly refers to it as a Jewish state while he insists that it's the U.S.'s destiny to "reinvent" itself as a multiracial flophouse with no racial core and hothouse of anti-white racial hatred.

Personally, I hope the evil SOB dies a miserable death whether of cancer or some other cause. He would richly deserve it.

Dan Hayes , October 19, 2017 at 12:41 am GMT
@RealAmerican

RealAmerican:

I didn't realize or had forgotten about McCain's unsavory interrogation of Hagel. A guttersnipe performance is what one would expect from the good senator. A quick google search once again proved this to be the case!

ThreeCranes , October 19, 2017 at 2:59 am GMT
"We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil," he explained. "We are the custodians of those ideals at home, and their champion abroad."

How can a land be made of ideals? Land is land. It is rock overlaid with soil. While rock cannot sustain life, soil can. Soil is the decomposed bodies of all the living things that have had their abode there. Culture, like soil is the substrate in which the individual is rooted and from which he draws his sustenance.

It is impossible to think about "ideals" without at the same time invoking culture, the sum total of inherited wisdom. Inherited wisdom is the fruit of a tree whose sap is the blood of its forebears. The tree is rooted in soil made up of the figurative decomposed bodies of its forebears. Ideals that are not rooted in blood and soil float in the air; they are abstracted, removed and alien.

In his book "The Rebel", Camus drew a distinction between rebellion and revolution. Observing that revolutions always devoured their own, Camus came to the conclusion that whereas rebellion was a violent "pushing back" which defined a limit beyond which humans may not proceed, revolution, based on pure "ideals" was restrained by no such limit. The consequence of Revolution was a top-down tyranny which gave itself permission to remake humankind according to its' "ideal" blueprint even if that meant reeducation, radical reconditioning and ultimately murdering the poor subjects of the grand social experiment.

Revolutions, born in the realm of "ideals" always end in murder and tyranny. Rebellions are more human affairs. Both the French and Russian revolutions ended in the slaughter of thousands if not millions under the pretext of creating the perfected human race. Rebellions, grounded in a man's personal feeling of having "had it up to here" are an act of defiance that implicitly draws a line in the sand saying "Beyond this line you shall not go." and "This far and no farther". We see the same limit-drawing in the defiance which the Alt Right has shown in standing up to today's ruling demagogues. As long as those rebelling hold themselves in their behavior to the same line or limit they have drawn, then the human race develops its potentialities.

It is no surprise then that McCain, speaking on behalf of an alien, occupying government, would espouse an ideal blueprint that undermines the solidarity of this nation's citizens and which will, if history is any indication, likely result in the slaughter of millions of us.

nsa , October 19, 2017 at 5:16 am GMT
Now taking bets as to how long the senile old coot, Tokyo Rose McCain, can defy the reaper. My guess is 9 months as he is on the best socialized medical plan on the planet .free everything at Walter Reed in Bethesda. Hell, Cheney has been plugging along for years after the elite medicos replaced his diseased ticker with an aquarium pump ..so there is no reason Rose can't make it 9 more months with his mickey mouse brain tumor. Let's see .that would make it July 18 but maybe the gods are in a playful mood so let's predict July 29, the anniversary of the day a Rose afterburner prank set the USS Forrestal on fire, killing 134 sailors.
Van Tolstoy , October 19, 2017 at 5:51 am GMT
[Pick a single Handle and stick to it, or use Anonymous/Anon. Otherwise, your comments may get trashed.]

We have doubled the national debt "fighting terrorism". Yet, corrupt Zio puppets like McCain think the same 3rd world menace that we have spent decades bombing are " cured" of their terrorist ways once they step on American soil? That is a a level of absolute ignorance that shouldn't be tolerated.

Cyrano , October 19, 2017 at 6:46 am GMT
In order to understand what the ruling class in America is all about, we need to examine 2 of their most favorite phrases: 1. US is exceptional 2. We are all equal.

These are 2 mutually exclusive statements that only make sense if we identify whom exactly are they referring to.

It's actually pretty simple. US has 2 classes. 1. Ruling elites 2. Proles

The statement that US are exceptional refers to their ruling elites. They are the ones that are exceptional and irreplaceable. The statement about "all of us" being equal refers clearly to the proles – as seen through the eyes of the ruling elites.

Proles are all equal from the perspective of the ruling elites. Not only are the proles equal among themselves – they are equal to all the proles from all over the world. The proof of this is – of course the uncontrolled immigration from the 3rd world.

The domestic proles are not only equal to the ones from the 3rd world – they are also replaceable by them. In order to make this point as clear as possible – the ruling elites are not only replacing the domestic proles with 3rd world proles – they also intend to equalize the standards of living between these 2 types of proles – and this equalization is not working in favor of the domestic proles.

The declining standards of living for the domestic proles meet with the inclining standards of living for the newly arrived 3rd world proles who are still possible to impress with declining standards of living of the proles in US – considering that the places where they come from are even worse off.

Those 2 magnanimous statements about: 1.US being exceptional and 2. We are all equal need to be replaced with (as spoken through the lying, mendacious and hypocritical mouths of the ruling elites):

1. We are exceptional (ruling elites) 2. YOU are all equal (all proles regardless of place of origin). That should put some clarity into the phony generosity of the ruling elites with which they "embrace" everybody as being "equal".

Realist , October 19, 2017 at 9:11 am GMT
The North Vietnamese coup de grâce to the US was sending McCain home alive.
Realist , October 19, 2017 at 9:15 am GMT
@KenH

"There's no doubt that the vast majority of Republican congressman utterly loathe their white constituents "

The same can be said about Democrat congressmen.

lavoisier , Website October 19, 2017 at 10:12 am GMT
@KenH

He is dying from cancer.

And it will take this terrible disease to rid the nation of this terrible man as the voters of Arizona continued to put the traitor in office over far too many years.

No hope for a republic with voters this stupid.

Jayzerbee , October 19, 2017 at 10:16 am GMT
Both this article and the comments reflect a segment of this country that has gone off the rails. This is trash and nothing more than resentful low life expressing their anger, devoid of any sense of decency.
Greg Bacon , Website October 19, 2017 at 11:05 am GMT
McCain's a phony and anyone who thinks he's some kind of hero is either deluded or part of the problem of this country being used and abused by certain actors to obtain power, wealth and other people's land.

You can bet the house that Johnny Boy would never say "We are all Palestinians" anytime, let alone when Israel is venting its impotence against its neighbors by carpet-bombing Gaza.

To selectively advocate for freedom only for those who've donated huge amounts of money or who your CFR or AIPAC overlords tell you to cheer on is not only craven, but treasonous, as it gets the USA involved in endless war mongering and nation building.

In a way, McCain is the Harvey Weinstein of the USG, only he doesn't rape little girls, but nations yearning to be free of Wall Street and a Zionist infested neoCON government.

Anon , Disclaimer October 19, 2017 at 11:21 am GMT
"To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history."

Must be the brain tumor!

ThreeCranes , October 19, 2017 at 11:28 am GMT
@Jayzerbee

"This is trash and nothing more than resentful low life expressing their anger, devoid of any sense of decency."

You've put the cart before the horse.

We are angry because we are people with a sense of decency who resent the arrogance of a self-anointed, alien, occupying Elite by whose actions our standard of living is being lowered.

fnn , October 19, 2017 at 11:28 am GMT
@Jayzerbee

Do you have anything to say other than verbal pearl-clutching?

jacques sheete , October 19, 2017 at 11:31 am GMT

There is no hatred more complete and no malevolence more fanatical than that held by the American political class for the American people.

That's s a verity beyond question, and I might add, they no doubt feel the same about the people everywhere. Albert J. Beveridge's 1898 "March of the Flag " is a must read since he's quite open about how the ruling plutoligarchs viewed others and it rivals Cecil Rhodes' "Confession of Faith" (1877).

What surprises me is that most 'Merkins seem so clueless about it and must be constantly reminded when, in fact, the concept was well known to those who opposed the imposition of the constitution on the peasant and prol class over 2 centuries ago.

Here are a few excerpts from "The Use of Coercion by the New Goverenment" (1788) that illustrate the fact that early Americans were better informed than the clueless masses of 'Merkin fools of today. Note the date as well as how many points apply to the situation today.

Read the said constitution [I] find that we are to receive but little good, and a great deal of evil.

Aristocracy, or government in the hands of a very few nobles, or RICH MEN, is therein concealed in the most artful wrote plan that ever was formed to entrap a free people. The contrivers of it have so completely entrapped you, and laid their plans so sure and secretly And in order to bring you into their snare, you may daily read new pieces published in the newspapers, in favor of this new government; and should a writer dare to publish any piece against it, he is immediately abused and vilified.

Look round you and observe well the RICH MEN, who are to be your only rulers, lords and masters in future! Are they not all for it? Yes! Ought not this to put you on your guard? Does not riches beget power, and power, oppression and tyranny?

Let me beg of you to reflect a moment on the danger you run. If you choose these men, or others like them, they certainly will do everything in their power to adopt the new government. Should they succeed, your liberty is gone forever; and you will then be nothing better than a strong ass crouching down between two burdens.

-"A FARMER AND PLANTER" had his work printed in The Maryland Journal, and Baltimore Advertiser, April 1, 1788.

http://csac.history.wisc.edu/md_farmerandplanter.pdf

We're now a bunch of weak asses and we're crouching about as low as we can get.

Bahmi , October 19, 2017 at 11:46 am GMT
When McPain talks about the vast merits of this country, surely he must be praising our penchant for wars of imperialism. There is little for other countries to envy, the US has gone to the dogs.

This detritic monster must have a radio device in his brain that tells him to utter such lies with his special brand of contempt.

geokat62 , October 19, 2017 at 11:48 am GMT

One aches to ask Senator McCain directly what "problem" he thinks will be more effectively "solved" by importing the Third World. National security? Health care? Collapsing wages? Rising inequality? Crumbling infrastructure?

None of the above. As Prof. MacDonald has clearly demonstrated, the truth is that The Lobby was behind the push for importing the Thirld World.

Here's the source:

Jewish Involvement in Shaping American Immigration Policy, 1881-1965: A Historical Review

Kevin MacDonald

California State University-Long Beach

This paper discusses Jewish involvement in shaping United States immigration policy. In addition to a periodic interest in fostering the immigration of co-religionists as a result of anti-Semitic movements, Jews have an interest in opposing the establishment of ethnically and culturally homogeneous societies in which they resideas minorities. Jews have been at the forefront in supporting movements aimed at altering the ethnic status quo in the United States in favor of immigration of non-European peoples. These activities have involved leadership in Congress, organizing and funding anti-restrictionist groups composed of Jews and gentiles, and originating intellectual movements opposed to evolutionary and biological perspectives in the social sciences.

An excerpt from p. 300:

A congruent opinion is expressed by prominent Jewish social scientist and political activist Earl Raab' who remarks very positively on the success of revised American immigration policy in altering the ethnic composition of the United States since 1965. Raab notes that the Jewish community has taken a leadership role in changing the Northwestern European bias of American immigration policy (1993a, p. 17), and he has also maintained that one factor inhibiting anti-Semitism in the contemporary United States is that "(a)n increasing ethnic heterogeneity, as a result of immigration, has made it even more difficult for a political party or mass movement of bigotry to develop" (1995, p. 91). Or more colorfully:

The Census Bureau has just reported that about half of the American population will soon be non-white or non-European. And they will all be American citizens. We have tipped beyond the point where a Nazi-Aryan party will be able to prevail in this country. We [i.e., Jews] have been nourishing the American climate of opposition to bigotry for about half a century. That climate has not yet been perfected, but the heterogeneous nature of our population tends to make it irreversible -- and makes our constitutional constraints against bigotry more practical than ever (Raab, 1993b, p. 23).

Indeed, the "primary objective" of Jewish political activity after 1945 "was to prevent the emergence of an anti-Semitic reactionary mass movement in the United States" (Svonkin 1997,1998).

So, as the concluding sentence intimates, The Lobby had pushed for immigration reform for over a hundred years because it wanted to ensure that pogroms would never occur in the New World, like they did in the Old World.

As I've previously stated, what we witnessed in Charlottsville, VA is the last spasms of an organism that has been attacked by the "Diversity Is Our Strength" virus, implanted by The Lobby. But, as I keep reminding people, the tremendous success of The Lobby may be sowing the seeds of its own demise, as it will inevitably succumb to hubristic forces and keep reaching for more and more – e.g., the anti-BDS law that could fine Americans for up to $1M and imprison them for up to 20 yrs if they support BDS. These types of actions will convince more and more Americans that The Lobby is working against their interests and a day of reckoning will come.

To avert this scenario from unfolding, my consistent advice has been for the Jewish community to take notice of these risks and to work to curb the influence of their powerful lobbies. These lobbies must immediately cease and desist from pursuing their nefarious objectives – both domestic (diversity is our strength) and foreign (the phony GWOT that has drained gallons of blood and trillions of dollars to enhance the security of the villa in the jungle) – that are inimical to the interests of the American people.

Don't believe me? Here's what Prof. MacDonald predicts the future holds if things continue on the same path they're currently on:

CONCLUSION

The defeats of 1924 and 1952 did not prevent the ultimate victory of the Jewish interest in combating the cultural, political, and demographic dominance of the European-derived peoples of the United States. What is truly remarkable is the tenacity with which Jewish ethnic interests were pursued for a period of close to 100 years. Also remarkable was the ability to frame the argument of immigration-restrictionists in terms of racial superiority in the period from 1924-1965 rather than in such positive terms as the ethnic interests of the peoples of northern and western Europe in main- taining a status quo as of 1924.

During the period between 1924 and 1965 Jewish interests were largely thwarted, but this did not prevent the ultimate triumph of the Jewish perspective on immigration.

Although the success of the anti-restrictionist effort is an indication that people can be induced to be altruistic toward other groups, I rather doubt such altruism will continue to occur if there are obvious signs that the status and political power of the European-derived group is decreasing while the power of other groups increases as a result of immigration and other social policies. The prediction, both on common sense grounds and on the basis of psychological research on social identity process (e.g., Hogg & Abrams, 1987) , is that as other groups become increasingly powerful and salient in a multicultural society, the European-derived peoples of the United States will become increasingly unified and that contemporary divisive influences among the European-derived peoples of the United States (e.g., issues related to gender and sexual orientation; social class differences; religious differences) will be increasingly perceived as unimportant. Eventually these groups will develop greater cohesion and a sense of common interest in their interactions with the other ethnic groups with profound consequences on the future history of America and the West.

jacques sheete , October 19, 2017 at 11:53 am GMT
This is an excellent article, but this doesn't quite fit.

The sacrifice of our military is framed as "leadership."

The author, since he invoked the founding fathers, really need to check out how the founders felt about standing armies.

Many knew of and spoke against imposing standing armies on the rest of us.

This is typical.:

Standing armies are dangerous to the liberties of a people.

-BRUTUS, Objections to A Standing Army (Part 1), http://www.thisnation.com/library/antifederalist/24.html

Note to authors.: If you intend to have something published, please research the topic first. You tainted a perfectly fine article with your comment on the military. What we have is an abomination, and McCain itself makes, and has made use of, the monstrosity for his own evil ends.

jacques sheete , October 19, 2017 at 12:00 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

Superb comment.

Please consider sharing more!

jacques sheete , October 19, 2017 at 12:09 pm GMT
@Jayzerbee

Both this article and the comments reflect a segment of this country that has gone off the rails.

I got news for ya. The country went off the rails in 1788.

This is trash and nothing more than resentful low life expressing their anger, devoid of any sense of decency.

Actually your comment is trash. Petulant trash to be more precise. People are expressing their anger because of the despicable McCain's total lack of decency.

Please re-read the article. McCain is the indecent trash and he does evoke anger. Hell, rage against that horrid pile of swine scat is justified too, I think.

If he spends eternity simmering in a cauldron of fetid pig body fluids mixed with molten gold, a punishment similar to those mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud, I wouldn't shed any tears. It would be deserved and appropriate.

jacques sheete , October 19, 2017 at 12:14 pm GMT
@Greg Bacon

You can bet the house that Johnny Boy would never say "We are all Palestinians"

Exactly, and ya beat me to it!

jacques sheete , October 19, 2017 at 12:17 pm GMT
@geokat62

Excellent work, Sir!

iffen , October 19, 2017 at 12:28 pm GMT
@geokat62

Oh no!

Not dem Jews again!

Propagandist Hacker , Website October 19, 2017 at 1:05 pm GMT
cancer cells, they're a-multiplyin'
it's electrifyin'
jacques sheete , October 19, 2017 at 1:14 pm GMT
Speaking of McStain and the military, not only did the scumster itself betray its fellows, but it was excreted by a military family.

Let's look a bit more at what "Brutus" had to say about standing armies what it attracts

an army will afford a decent support, and agreeable employment to the young men of many families, who are too indolent to follow occupations that will require care and industry, and too poor to live without doing any business, we can have little reason to doubt but that we shall have a large standing army as soon as this government can find money to pay them, and perhaps sooner.

-BRUTUS, Objections to A Standing Army (Part 1), http://www.thisnation.com/library/antifederalist/24.html

DESERT FOX , October 19, 2017 at 1:22 pm GMT
McCain caused the explosion and fire on the USS FORRESTAL that took the lives of 134 men and wounded 161 as a result of a wet start prank with his jet and a coverup of the incident took place as his father was in command of the navy.

McCain also made over 30 tapes for North Vietnam condemning the U.S. and he gave information on bombing runs that led to American planes being shot down. McCain gave so much info to the North that he was label by them as the SONGBIRD.

McCain has a filthy mouth as is evident in videos of him on you tube cursing out various people and especially when asked about his covering up the fact that POWS were left behind in North Vietnam.

McCain was in on supporting ISIS aka AL CIADA and was pictured with ISIS leaders in Syria and was an important part in supplying ISIS.

McCain is a absolute fraud and a traitor and a liar.

Mulegino1 , October 19, 2017 at 1:28 pm GMT
In short, " the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century" is FUBAR, and yes, our nation is a mix of blood and soil. Mostly the blood of Christians of European descent, and the soil consecrated by the incredible sacrifices of the latter to win it and cultivate it.

The providential role of America was to be a great tellurocratic continental power stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific and to the Gulf of Mexico and to provide a home for those Christian Europeans eager to avoid the petty dynastic quarrels and internecine squabbles of Europe. It was never intended to be a dumping ground for the world's refuse nor an international gendarme.

Unfortunately, the demonic spiritual ancestors of the likes of McCain decided to make the republic an empire and set their sights upon the Caribbean and the Philippines and the rest is history. America's blundering into world affairs has been nothing but disastrous, and has led to the outright destruction of the European homeland's culture, and now a near extinction of its people.

McCain is a warmongering idiot and a major war criminal who will never face human justice but who should prepare himself for Divine justice by spending his last years or months on earth in a monastic cell doing penance.

Michael Kenny , October 19, 2017 at 1:35 pm GMT
This reflects the current fight within the US hegemonist camp: who to destroy first, Putin or the EU. Mr Kirkpatrick's extraordinary fury probably stems from the fact that Mc Cain has exposed that split in the public arena. McCain sees Putin as having become a far greater threat to US hegemony than the EU, so he wants to put destroying the EU on the back burner until the more immediate threat of Putin is removed. Clearly, Mr Kirkpatrick is on the other side of that argument. He wants to stick to the original plan of using Putin to destroy the EU and then turning on Putin. The argument about intervention or non-intervention is indeed "spurious" and "half-baked". The "non-intervention" argument was concocted in haste after Putin had departed from the US hegemonist "script" by annexing Crimea and has never been more than a pretext for letting Putin win in Ukraine, which Mr Kirkpatrick goes out of his way to mention, so that he can get on with the job the US hegemonists have given him of breaking up the EU. Thus, the reason why the "nationalism" preached by the Breitbart/VDare camp sounds spurious and half-baked is precisely because it is. Indeed, Mr Kirkpatrick betrays himself by his comments about Germany. A "non-interventionist" wouldn't care a hoot about what happens in Germany, on way or the other, and a person on the right of the political spectrum certainly wouldn't declare a communist dictatorship to be "more free" than a democracy. People like Mr Kirkpatrick piously preach the rights of white Americans but , we white Europeans, and we are, after all, the "original" whites, are to have our media manipulated and our elections and referenda rigged so as to prevent us exercising the national sovereignty which the same Americans are urging upon us in a way which does not serve the cause of US global hegemony. That may or may not be spurious and half-baked but it certainly can't be called "non-intervention"!
Jake , October 19, 2017 at 1:38 pm GMT
John McCain is evil.
Anon , Disclaimer October 19, 2017 at 1:39 pm GMT
McCain legacy in Ukraine: "Ukraine has a Nazi problem " https://www.rt.com/op-edge/406991-western-media-ukraine-nazi/
"On Saturday night, up to 20,000 far-right radicals honored the 75th anniversary of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) – a paramilitary group led by Stepan Bandera, which actively collaborated with Hitler's Germany. The leaders of the procession included Oleg Tyahnybok, an associate of US Senators John McCain " https://www.rt.com/op-edge/406991-western-media-ukraine-nazi/

What a family! – the panderers to ziocons (USSLiberty tragedy) and the associates of neo-Nazis (Ukrainian tragedy).

anarchyst , October 19, 2017 at 1:46 pm GMT
John McCain was a disaster from day one. He graduated near the bottom of his class at Annapolis, did an aircraft "hot start" as a "stunt" which killed a number of Navy crewmen, personally crashed 3 aircraft, and was never punished for it. You see, McCain's daddy was an admiral who protected "sonny boy" from repercussions for his stupidity.

Captured in North Vietnam, he turned out to be one of the most prolific "stoolies" which caused untold suffering for his fellow POWs. His POW nickname was "songbird". You can be sure that he "tweeted" a lot in order to procure preferential treatment for himself.

Fast forward to the "savings and loan" scandal, in which McCain was a principle player. Of course, his POW "status" got him out of that one. McCain is a Democrat masquerading as a Republican. He should have been put "out to pasture" a long time ago . . .

Both John McCain (R-Tel Aviv) and John Kerry (D-Tel Aviv) should be put out to pasture. . . It is no secret that only HALF of our verified Vietnam War POW's were released to us. The North Vietnamese "held back" HALF of our POWs in anticipation of receiving "war reparations" (which never materialized).

Most people are unaware that both of these cretins cut off the search for POWs in Southeast Asia at a time when there were STILL verified sightings of Americans held in captivity. These sightings took place by satellite imaging ("circle-K") as well as being verified by various "boots on the ground". McCain and Kerry consigned these brave men to their suffering deaths. . . So much for "leaving no one behind". . .

ThreeCranes , October 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm GMT
@Mulegino1

Well stated with Authority .

jacques sheete , October 19, 2017 at 2:02 pm GMT

by spending his last years or months on earth in a monastic cell doing penance.

I have a suggestion; Abu Ghraib. In a radioactive cell with Hillary and Netan-yahoooo.

How about subjecting these pustulent vermin to an occasional dose of napalm and WP when they're feeling uppity, and a refreshing shower of Agent Orange now and then? As a consolation, they can sleep on mattresses stuffed with money.

Yes, "our" military is so lovely

Johnny Smoggins , October 19, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

"The consequence of Revolution was a top-down tyranny which gave itself permission to remake humankind according to its' "ideal" blueprint ."

Too bad you sullied an otherwise well thought out comment by using the awkward, feminist nomenclature "humankind" instead of mankind.

SMK , Website October 19, 2017 at 2:16 pm GMT
@The Alarmist

Yes, the only way to save Germany is by turning it into a Muslim-majority country.

Joe Hide , October 19, 2017 at 2:18 pm GMT
Mr Kirkpatrick,
GOOD, BEST, GREATEST ARTICLE!
John McCain is scum. From the first sentence you wrote, I was in perfect agreement with you. Write more!
Cloppy , October 19, 2017 at 2:42 pm GMT
McCain and Biden are indeed indentical in one key respect.

Both are bought and paid for and always do the bidding of their masters. For McCain, he's a servant of the Merchants of Death. Or to use their more offical but oxymoronic name, the 'defense contractors.' Biden was once known as the Senator from MasterCard, and Obama picked him to signal to Obama's banker backers that they'd have their old friend in the White House alongside Obama.

Thus, neither really represents a personal idealogy. Both simply do whatever the people who own them tell them to do, and then spout a lot of nonsense that sound like personal beliefs. But any of those statement will change or be discarded when their owners decide they want something different. And in between, limited and meaningless statements of what they think their voters want to hear during campaigns.

The Senator from Boeing and the Senator from MasterCard. A perfect pair.

Rurik , October 19, 2017 at 2:45 pm GMT
Thank you Mr. Kirkpatrick for writing this.

the Bloodstain will rightly check out of this world the most hated and despised man in American history

Benedict Arnold or John Wayne Gacy or Jerry Sandusky are all notorious for their evil deeds, but John McCain, by shear weight of the incomprehensible human suffering and horrors he's personally responsible for, will surely go down in history as the most execrable human being to ever defile our nation.

when Gacy breathed his last feculent breath, it was a cause of celebration to all whose lives he touched

and similarly, hundreds of millions.. indeed; billions of people the world over- from Russia to the Middle East to America's heartland- will all quietly celebrate in our hearts, as a united family of humanity, when that evil little man finally goes to meet his reward in hell.

I sort of wonder if that's why they kept Ariel Sharon on life support for so long, so as to cheat us all of the quiet celebration we were all entitled to when that toad finally checked out.

Please Bloodstain, don't linger in that way. Give us all a what we're entitled to! what we long for..

You are/were, hand's down, the most loathsome human being on the planet during your entire murderous and treasonous career, at least try at least in some small way, to make up for it by giving us all, the entire populace of planet Earth, a united cause to celebrate, at least for one glorious moment!

Don Bacon , October 19, 2017 at 3:03 pm GMT
re: The sacrifice of our military is framed as "leadership."
"Fallen" (dead) soldiers are the sacrificial lambs which sanctify the government's leaders. It's the blood of the lamb, or the Aztec sacrifices, whatever one's religion, which make the government's policy holy and right. Religious power correlates wonderfully with government power, and each promotes the other.
Anon , Disclaimer October 19, 2017 at 3:11 pm GMT
@Jayzerbee

You mean this is decent?-
"Nazi Roots of Ukraine's Conflict: Sen. John McCain appearing with Ukrainian rightists of the Svoboda [neo-Nazi] party at a pre-coup rally in Kiev." https://consortiumnews.com/2016/01/28/nazi-roots-of-ukraines-conflict/
"John McCain Went To Ukraine And Stood On Stage With A Man Accused Of Being An Anti-Semitic Neo-Nazi" http://www.businessinsider.com/john-mccain-meets-oleh-tyahnybok-in-ukraine-2013-12

Is it your dedication to zionism or is it your neo-Nazi Ukrainian patriotism that made you an admirer of the "Tokyo Rose?" McCain is a big friend of both Israel and neo-Nazis; no conflict here. See also the Jewish citizen Kolomojsky, famous for his financing the neo-Nazi battalion Azov.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called McCain "A hero. A fighter. A friend." Who needs another recommendation when Bibi approves McCain? https://www.timesofisrael.com/4-times-john-mccain-went-maverick-with-jewish-friends/

SMK , Website October 19, 2017 at 3:13 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

Yes, "non-interventionists" who are race-realists and white advocates, immigration restrictionists who support and want to conserve what is left of West Civilization in North America, Australia, and Europe, a civilization that was created and can only be sustained by Europeans, shouldn't care about the ruination of Germany, France, the UK, Sweden, Belgium, etc. by Muslims, black Africans, and Somalis who are black and Muslim. They shouldn't care about Muslim terrorism, about the sexual assaults of hundreds of women and girls in Cologne and other German cities by Muslim savages and predators and misogynists; about the abduction, enslavement, torture, and gang-rapes of girls as young as 10 and 11 in Rotherham by Muslim immigrants from Pakistan; about Arab and Somali Muslims committing over 95% of rapes in Sweden; about virtually all the nations of Western Europe being transformed into Muslim and black African-majority hell-holes and dystopias.

hyperbola , October 19, 2017 at 3:17 pm GMT
This article skirts around the fact that McCain sold himself out to a racist-supremacist, mideast sect that abuses Americans decades ago. His whole political career has been based on being a lackey of a corrupt foreign mafia that ponied up "funds" to get him re-elected whenever a real American posed a threat to the sect's lackey.

google( John McCain; A Closer Look at Evil (Part 2) )
The political genealogy of Arizona Senator John McCain is firmly rooted in organized crime. Gus Greenbaum, an influential mobster, was close to Meyer Lansky in New York .

google( John McCain; A Closer Look at Evil (Part 4) )
The career of John McCain offers a textbook case confirming how war is waged on the U.S. by way of deception -- with the help of senior lawmakers. Despite the constancy of his treasonous conduct, .

Lets remember that as a lackey of the sect, McCain helped introduce the "campaign reform" that facilitated buying of American elections by the sect with this kind of perversion.
google( How Hillary Clinton Bought the Loyalty of 33 State Democratic Parties counterpunch )

hyperbola , October 19, 2017 at 3:31 pm GMT
@iffen

Seems to be a large majority of them anyway.

The Zionist Attack on Jewish Values

http://www.acjna.org/acjna/articles_detail.aspx?id=520

Although there are also exceptions to the racist-supremacism of the sect.

A Jewish Defector Warns America: Benjamin Freedman speaks

http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/israel/freedman.htm

c matt , October 19, 2017 at 3:35 pm GMT
I don't wish McCain ill, I just wish him out.
wlindsaywheeler , Website October 19, 2017 at 3:43 pm GMT
I'm sorry if I don't agree with the OP author's contention that the FFofA wouldn't recognize McCain's remarks. Half of the FFofA were Masons or fellow travellers of Masonry like Tom Paine. George Washington was a Mason as were all of his generals under him. America is the first Masonic Republic, look at the Seal of the US and the two slogans, "Novus Ordo" and "E pluribus unum" -- very Masonic sentiments, ideas. The only 'dogma' of Masonry is the Brotherhood of Man–the rebuilding of the Tower of Babel. McCain is only espousing true Masonic ideas and values. Masonry calls race those "accidental divisions of mankind". Not all of America is onboard with Masonry, but much of the Elite, especially the Establisment Swamp IS Masonic at its core. Masonry is an American tradition.

Masonry is an evil ideology and McCain is only a practitioner of it.

[Oct 19, 2017] The U.S. Military - Pampered, Safe And Very Scared

Oct 19, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

The U.S. military is a socialist paradise :

Service members and their families live for free on base. People living off base are given a stipend to cover their housing costs. They shop in commissaries and post exchanges where prices for food and basic goods are considerably lower than at civilian stores. Troops and their families count on high-quality education and responsive universal health care. They expect to be safe at home, as bases, on average, have less violence than American cities of comparable size. And residents enjoy a wide range of amenities -- not just restaurants and movie theaters but fishing ponds, camp sites, and golf courses built for their use.

Of course, some bases are better than others. But even the most austere provides a comprehensive network of social welfare provisions and a safety net that does not differentiate between a junior employee and an executive.

For those who stay on, the military provides a generous retirement pay .

"But life in the military is dangerous!"

Not so.

According to a 2012 study by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC) the risk to ones life is lower for soldiers than for civilians:

In the past two decades ( which include two periods of intense combat operations ), the crude overall mortality rate among U.S. service members was 71.5 per 100,000 [person-years] . In 2005, in the general U.S. population, the crude overall mortality rate among 15-44 year olds was 127.5 per 100,000 p-yrs

The huge difference is quite astonishing. The death rate for soldiers would still have been lower than for civilians if the U.S. had started another medium size war:

If the age-specific mortality rates that affected the U.S. general population in 2005 had affected the respective age-groups of active component military members throughout the period of interest for this report, there would have been approximately 13,198 (53%) more deaths among military members overall.

Those working in the U.S. military, even when the U.S. is at war, have a quite pampered life with lots of benefits. They have less risk to their lives than their civilian peers. But when some soldier dies by chance, the announcements speak of "sacrifice". The fishermen, transport and construction workers, who have the highest occupational death rates , don't get solemn obituaries and pompous burials .

There may be occasions where soldiers behave heroic and die for some good cause. But those are rather rare incidents. The reports thereof are at times manipulated for propaganda purposes.

The U.S. military spends more than a billion per year on advertisement. It spends many uncounted millions on hidden information operations. These are not designed to influence an enemy but the people of the United States. In recent years the U.S. military and intelligence services have scripted or actively influenced 1,800 Hollywood and TV productions. Many of the top-rated movie scripts pass through a military censorship office which decides how much 'production assistance' the Department of Defense will provide for the flick.

A rather schizophrenic aspect of its safe life is the military's fear. Despite being cared for and secure, the soldiers seem to be a bunch of scaredy-cats. The military's angst is very ambiguous. It meanders from issue to issue. This at least to various headlines:

Members of the U.S. military live quite well. They are safe. Their propaganda depicts them as heroes. At the same time we are told that they are a bunch of woosies who fear about anything one can think of.

I find that a strange contradiction.

/snark

Posted by b on October 19, 2017 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

Don Bacon | Oct 19, 2017 12:40:38 PM | 1

remember--
"October 13 - 8 Out Of 10 Will Only Read This Headline"
not pampered, but I assume that's a tongue in cheek argument. Live under the rules of a tyrant and call yourself pampered.

Posted by: Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 1:01:21 PM | 2

not pampered, but I assume that's a tongue in cheek argument.
Live under the rules of a tyrant and call yourself pampered.

Posted by: Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 1:01:21 PM | 2 /div

StephenLaudig | Oct 19, 2017 1:15:57 PM | 3
The US military.... losing wars since 1946 [unless you count Panama and/or Grenada]... But in fairness it was tasked with wars that were, by their nature, unwinnable wars. One of the 'grand lessons' of the 20th and 21st centuries is that empires will [almost] always lose wars. The American Empire will lose wars until it runs out of money and then it will quit. All the US needs is a border patrol and a coast guard. All the rest is imperial impedimenta.
la Cariatide | Oct 19, 2017 1:19:49 PM | 4
where do i sign to join american socialist dream?
john | Oct 19, 2017 1:21:01 PM | 5
Their propaganda depicts them as heroes

their suicide rate depicts them as conflicted.

Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 1:23:00 PM | 6
try Venezuela, the United States is of America, it's not America. The "dreamers" all trying to get here.
Ian | Oct 19, 2017 1:23:48 PM | 7
The amenities are good but the pay is low, and health care for veterans is below par.
mischi | Oct 19, 2017 1:26:29 PM | 8
the best soldiers the world has ever seen, like they like to call themselves. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Joe | Oct 19, 2017 1:39:26 PM | 9
Please don't confuse the fears of a lowly enlisted guy, like I used to be, with the published "fears" intended only to extract moar taxpayer dollars....
Burt | Oct 19, 2017 1:43:26 PM | 10
I thought North Korea had a pampered army treated better than the civilian population. Isn't that an Axis of Evil thing?
mena | Oct 19, 2017 1:43:48 PM | 11
Well, and except for the whole Bill of Rights thing. But I guess that's a different conversation.
Of course, the Free Market ideal is to replace as many soldiers with private mercenaries as possible, as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Oct 19, 2017 2:03:05 PM | 12

Of course, the Free Market ideal is to replace as many soldiers with private mercenaries as possible, as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Oct 19, 2017 2:03:05 PM | 12 /div

Piotr Berman | Oct 19, 2017 2:15:40 PM | 13
Honestly, the military exists to respond to "threats", and that entails identifying those threats. The impact of volcano eruptions on jet planes is very real, to give one example, so it is rational to develop options when you cannot use such planes. And so on. I should read "The Airforce 4 biggest fears", just beforehand, I would guess budget cuts are number one. But expenditures imposed by morons in Congress should also be considered. That makes me curious what is number 3 and number 4.
ben | Oct 19, 2017 2:17:18 PM | 14
"Members of the U.S. military live quite well. They are safe. Their propaganda depicts them as heroes."

Not quite as good as depicted b, but, none the less, quite better than the average workers in the U$A today.

IMO, the true heroes in the U$A today are the many workers who struggle daily on minimum wage, to provide for their family's welfare with no job security, and no health care..

james | Oct 19, 2017 2:29:40 PM | 15
b, did you get some kick back for this promotional ad for the us armed forces? i hope so!

@6 stryker. i always get a kick out of when it is referred to as 'america' as if the usa is as big as many in the country think it is! meanwhile us lowly others who inhabit the 'americas' don't get much of a mention...

NemesisCalling | Oct 19, 2017 2:46:06 PM | 16
Even though I have a brother in the Navy who joined because of the shit economy, let me play on the devil's side here, even though I gemerally agree with you.

Ideally, these types of benefits would be welcomed by any country who were legitimately proud of their military. It just so happens that the military we are talking about here is the empire's world police. It really ISN'T the US military any longer, although it takes our cash this way and that for "defense" spending. Although down the list when it comes to defense spending as a per centage of GDP, the US still spends wayyyyyyyy too much. So we are altogether looking at a weird-ass example, b, and although you may be right when it comes to the pussification of our military, I look at it differently for two reasons: 1) as stated above, the US military is unique in their role for the empire; this has created the immense problem of explaining or warranting their existence in faraway lands for almost no discernible reasons. A scattered and bungling approach, meanwhile being stretched way too far, means certain morale and training issues; and 2) it is also a generational thing which ties into the shit economy run by technocratic elites who don't give one iota of a care for the lesser classes which they have massacred through globalization.

So while I think you are in the right to help deconstruct the myth of American military might, I would argue that it is a moot point really and the table is already set for the whole MIC pertaining to US spending to come crashing down once the economy goes tits up. After that, god only knows if militaries will even be useful. In the end, it is difficult for an American like myself to really see the purpose of a military adventure force due to our geographical location. OTOH, a soldier in India looking out from his post over Kashmir might know exactly his worth now and for the future.

Just Sayin' | Oct 19, 2017 2:50:56 PM | 17
The fears of the US Military are the best fears that money can buy.

USA! USA! USA!
Number 1!!!!!!!

notlurking | Oct 19, 2017 2:51:46 PM | 18
I stopped watching most of the war movies dealing with ME conflicts.....a lot of propaganda bullshit.....
Liam | Oct 19, 2017 2:59:43 PM | 19
#MeToo – A Course In Deductive Reasoning: Separating Fact From Fiction Through The Child Exploitation Of 8 Year Old Bana Alabed

https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/10/19/metoo-a-course-in-deductive-reasoning-separating-fact-from-fiction-through-the-child-exploitation-of-8-year-old-bana-alabed/

b | Oct 19, 2017 3:07:51 PM | 20
I now added the /snark tag to the post. Seems necessary ...
S Brennan | Oct 19, 2017 3:09:51 PM | 21
"the crude overall mortality rate among U.S. service members was 71.5 per 100,000 [person-years]. In 2005, in the general U.S. population, the crude overall mortality rate among 15-44 year olds was 127.5 per 100,000 p-yrs"

Roughly two-thirds of all DOD active-duty military personnel were ages 30 or younger in 2015. Only about one-in-ten (9%) were older than 40.*

Compared to**:

15 to 19 years 20,219,890 7.2
20 to 24 years 18,964,001 6.7
25 to 34 years 39,891,724 14.2
35 to 44 years 45,148,527 16.0

So, the disproportionality of the age groups in the cited example would more than account for mortality.

Additionally, massive injuries including dismemberment, permanent brain damage and paralysis are not accounted for. That misrepresentation goes further than the general reader is aware, battlefield casualties that were once fatal are now, though initial response, being treated and the Soldier/Marine returned to society.***

* http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/13/6-facts-about-the-u-s-military-and-its-changing-demographics/

** https://www.infoplease.com/us/comprehensive-census-data-state/demographic-statistics-342

*** http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2004/12/iraq_2004_looks_like_vietnam_1966.html

WorldBLee | Oct 19, 2017 3:17:22 PM | 22
#7 - I agree, the pay for enlisted soldiers is low and VA healthcare doesn't want to treat many chemical issues soldiers get from being around depleted uranium, toxic burn pits, etc. Still, it's a much better life than those bombed by them experience!
Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 3:37:58 PM | 23
@15 James, thanks for the feedback, not too many picking up on that yet.
karlof1 | Oct 19, 2017 3:38:54 PM | 24
The intellectual quality of the Outlaw US Empire's military serfs is reflected in their inability to see that the government they're in service to is the #1 Domestic threat to the Constitution they swore to uphold and protect, with the so-called Deep State tied to it like a shadow.
ken | Oct 19, 2017 3:57:56 PM | 25
A 1st Lieutenant over 3 years makes $4,682 base pay. Thats $30 per hour on average. That is well above most civilian pay. Then many businesses hand them a 10-15% discount.

A Sergeant over 3 5 years makes $2,725 base pay. That's about $17.50 per hour... Not so bad.

Then the get BAS (Meals) $246 for Officers and $347 for enlisted. BAH (Housing) $1291 per month Enlisted. They're hiding the Officers amount.

Then kick in free medical. No Obamacare for them!

And God only know the pension they get after 20 or 30 years. I knew a person receiving a military pension and a Post Office pension. The Post Office is very partial to military and dependents. Almost impossible to work for them full time as a civilian. My wife went to take the 'test' and was told she didn't stand a chance as there were too many military retirees vying for the job.

When I went in the Military in 1967 I made $78 per month. When I got out in 1978 I made $700 per month.

All government workers including military on average make more then civilian counterparts.

What's maddening is when I hear them poor boy everyone. Calling, wanting money for the military or cops.

Debsisdead | Oct 19, 2017 4:24:54 PM | 26
Aha! A hint of how the pampered rapists were left exposed in Niger. According to that bastion of oppression, truth and the amerikan way, Foreign Policy DOT com, the government of Chad is somewhat discomfited by the inclusion of Chad on the most recent iteration of Trump's 'Muslim Ban' list. Hah, Chad is pissed at the latest moronity from Agent Orange eh, at least they have a coupla followers of Islam there, imagine how the population of Venezuela feel since last time anyone looked those Venezuelans who still bought into old wives' tales were prostrating themselves in front of two chunks of wood attached in two dimensional perpendicularity I.E. a cruciform.

Still Chad is pissed and you can hardly blame 'em as for more than 60 years the Chad army has performed vital step & fetchit roles for advancing amerikan and french imperial interests - raping and looting villages from Maghreb to the Sahel, from Nigeria through to Mali whenever it seemed the innate right of amerika to plunder whatever pleases them was being questioned.

From assorted tidbits on offer from the usual corrupt sources, we are told that the band of butchers were visiting a village in Niger to provide a 'pep talk' on anti-terror. when they were attacked by as yet unnamed terrorists; apart from the notion that any group of indigenous persons who attack a gang of armed foreign invaders could ever be called terrorists there is a further irony - the pentagon also asserts that there was no indication of prior 'terrorist activity' in the area where the village was located. If that is correct WTF were amerikan troops going there to provide 'anti-terrorist' information for?

This previously pristine region suddenly filled with alleged 'terrorists' who then proceeded to lay waste to the squad of imperial invaders. Since we know now that this was right after Chad's government, pissed at their inclusion on 'The List' , pulled its mercenary forces out of Niger, it would be fair to surmise that it was they, the Chad gang, who had been keeping the world safe for global exploitation in Niger, but that DC, not wishing to acknowledge the 'muslim ban' had caused such a major screw up, chose to ignore that reality and continued to send it's thugs out to 'disseminate information'.

"This wasn't in the brochure" whined one enabler of empire as he choked out his final words.

Fernando Arauxo | Oct 19, 2017 4:34:32 PM | 27
The USA's armed forces are deadly. We may mock them and while it is true, they don't "win" wars. However the damage they wreak is horrendous, the Armed Forces when unleashed will cause more damage than the mongols. People seem to forget the wars the USA did "win". It's wiped it's ass with the Dominican Republic and Haiti many times. Africa, Asia and Europe suffers under the boot of the G.I.
They don't win, but they don't really "lose" either.
Jagger | Oct 19, 2017 4:43:46 PM | 28
I was trying to figure out the purpose of this article. Since the author didn't list the downsides of serving in the military, I will assume the author has never actually served in the military. My suggestion would be for the author to join as soon as possible to gain access to that great military life and all those fantasic benefits. And since the author believes they are a force of wussies and scaredy-cats, the author should not have any problems getting in. Of course, after the author has spent his third tour humping the boonies in Afghanistan, survived his umpteenth road-side bomb or small arms ambush, should be interesting to see if he turns into a 20 year man so he can fully enjoy the good life.

The article was too one-sided, shallow and exaggerated to be written by anyone but a troll. Waste of time to read it.

Anonymous | Oct 19, 2017 4:57:18 PM | 29
Game over in Syria. After tripartite talks (Syria, Kurds, Russia) at al Qamishli over the Kurdish issue and the US bases in Syria, the Kurds have transferred control of the large Conoco oil facility to Russian ground forces. The Kurds now have no control of oil for financing the so-called 'state'. It looks like they have seen the US casting the Iragi Kurds aside and wondered - 'will the same happen to us?' and gone for the negotiated solution. No wonder Shoigu and Putin have gone on record as saying the Syria issue is nearly over.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/10/syrians-russians-and-kurds-discuss.html

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/breaking-russian-troops-take-control-key-gas-field-kurdish-forces-deir-ezzor/

gepay | Oct 19, 2017 5:01:41 PM | 30
I wonder if you included suicides or disability post service. WWI the military introduced metal helmets and mortality went down but brain injuries increased. My understanding is that brain injuries due to IED are very common. I would imagine the majority of soldiers returning from a war zone come home maimed in body/and or mind.

As the son of a 20+ year Army vet, I know these perks have been there for a long time. They were necessary to attract anybody before WW2. I imagine they have increased with the volunteer military. Mostly the Army is populated with the more competent people from the lower strata of American society. They have a choice of working at a fast food, convenience store, or motel along the interstate - or the Army - oh yeah being a prison guard is also an option as the burgeoning American prison population is housed in low income rural areas.

I imagine there is bloat in the officer corps - most of those golf courses you mentioned are for officers only. These officers are mainly not coming from low income families. The real bloat though, is in the military contractors - Eisenhower's military-industrial complex with an added national security complex. Amazing how the US has gone from being basically isolationist before WW2 to the militaristic society of today. The US military is the bitch enforcer for global elite. The police are being increasingly militarized. Many of them trained by those human rights paragons - the Israelis.

Just Sayin' | Oct 19, 2017 5:17:18 PM | 31
Amazing how the US has gone from being basically isolationist before WW2 to the militaristic society of today.

Posted by: gepay | Oct 19, 2017 5:01:41 PM | 30

LOL Seriously?

This is only a partial list of US military actions in foreign countries. This list only covers the 50 years from 1890 to WW2

---------------


ARGENTINA 1890 Troops Buenos Aires interests protected.
CHILE 1891 Troops Marines clash with nationalist rebels.
HAITI 1891 Troops Black revolt on Navassa defeated.
IDAHO 1892 Troops Army suppresses silver miners' strike.
HAWAII 1893 (-?) Naval, troops Independent kingdom overthrown, annexed.
CHICAGO 1894 Troops Breaking of rail strike, 34 killed.
NICARAGUA 1894 Troops Month-long occupation of Bluefields.
CHINA 1894-95 Naval, troops Marines land in Sino-Japanese War
KOREA 1894-96 Troops Marines kept in Seoul during war.
PANAMA 1895 Troops, naval Marines land in Colombian province.
NICARAGUA 1896 Troops Marines land in port of Corinto.
CHINA 1898-1900 Troops Boxer Rebellion fought by foreign armies.
PHILIPPINES 1898-1910 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, killed 600,000 Filipinos
CUBA 1898-1902 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, still hold Navy base.
PUERTO RICO 1898 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, occupation continues.
GUAM 1898 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, still use as base.
MINNESOTA 1898 (-?) Troops Army battles Chippewa at Leech Lake.
NICARAGUA 1898 Troops Marines land at port of San Juan del Sur.
SAMOA 1899 (-?) Troops Battle over succession to throne.
NICARAGUA 1899 Troops Marines land at port of Bluefields.
IDAHO 1899-1901 Troops Army occupies Coeur d'Alene mining region.
OKLAHOMA 1901 Troops Army battles Creek Indian revolt.
PANAMA 1901-14 Naval, troops Broke off from Colombia 1903, annexed Canal Zone; Opened canal 1914.
HONDURAS 1903 Troops Marines intervene in revolution.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1903-04 Troops U.S. interests protected in Revolution.
KOREA 1904-05 Troops Marines land in Russo-Japanese War.
CUBA 1906-09 Troops Marines land in democratic election.
NICARAGUA 1907 Troops "Dollar Diplomacy" protectorate set up.
HONDURAS 1907 Troops Marines land during war with Nicaragua
PANAMA 1908 Troops Marines intervene in election contest.
NICARAGUA 1910 Troops Marines land in Bluefields and Corinto.
HONDURAS 1911 Troops U.S. interests protected in civil war.
CHINA 1911-41 Naval, troops Continuous occupation with flare-ups.
CUBA 1912 Troops U.S. interests protected in civil war.
PANAMA 1912 Troops Marines land during heated election.
HONDURAS 1912 Troops Marines protect U.S. economic interests.
NICARAGUA 1912-33 Troops, bombing 10-year occupation, fought guerillas
MEXICO 1913 Naval Americans evacuated during revolution.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1914 Naval Fight with rebels over Santo Domingo.
COLORADO 1914 Troops Breaking of miners' strike by Army.
MEXICO 1914-18 Naval, troops Series of interventions against nationalists.
HAITI 1914-34 Troops, bombing 19-year occupation after revolts.
TEXAS 1915 Troops Federal soldiers crush "Plan of San Diego" Mexican-American rebellion
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1916-24 Troops 8-year Marine occupation.
CUBA 1917-33 Troops Military occupation, economic protectorate.
WORLD WAR I 1917-18 Naval, troops Ships sunk, fought Germany for 1 1/2 years.
RUSSIA 1918-22 Naval, troops Five landings to fight Bolsheviks
PANAMA 1918-20 Troops "Police duty" during unrest after elections.
HONDURAS 1919 Troops Marines land during election campaign.
YUGOSLAVIA 1919 Troops/Marines intervene for Italy against Serbs in Dalmatia.
GUATEMALA 1920 Troops 2-week intervention against unionists.
WEST VIRGINIA 1920-21 Troops, bombing Army intervenes against mineworkers.
TURKEY 1922 Troops Fought nationalists in Smyrna.
CHINA 1922-27 Naval, troops Deployment during nationalist revolt.
MEXICO 1923 Bombing
HONDURAS 1924-25 Troops
PANAMA 1925 Troops Marines suppress general strike.
CHINA 1927-34 Troops Marines stationed throughout the country.
EL SALVADOR 1932 Naval Warships send during Marti revolt.

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You know, I hear they have this new-fangled thing call "The Internet" now.
The hipster kids tell me you can actually connect to it and do things like research a statement before you go and say something stupid.
Can't make head nor tail of it