"The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their
lust for power as well. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them.
Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich. Robbery, rape,
and slaughter they falsely call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace."
"When the rich wage war, it is the poor who die."
Jean-Paul Sartre, The Devil and the Good Lord
During the Vietnam War, one of the peace movement’s more sardonic slogans was: “War is good business.
Invest your son" (Iraq
War and Venture Capitalism by Norman Solomon )
During the Vietnam War, one of the peace movement’s more sardonic slogans was: “War is good business.
Invest your son.”
In recent years, some eminent pundits and top government officials have become brazen about praising
war as a good investment.
Thomas Friedman’s 1999 book “The Lexus and the Olive Tree” summed up a key function of the USA’s
high-tech arsenal. “The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist,” he wrote.
“McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the U.S. Air Force F-15. And
the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies to flourish is called
the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.”
On Sept. 12, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke this way as he defended the U.S. military
occupation of Iraq: “Since the United States and its coalition partners have invested a great deal
of political capital, as well as financial resources, as well as the lives of our young men and women
-- and we have a large force there now -- we can’t be expected to suddenly just step aside.” He was
voicing the terminology and logic of a major capitalist investor.
And so, it was fitting when the New York Times reported days ago that Powell will soon be (in
the words of the headline) “Taking a Role in Venture Capitalism.” The article explained that Powell
is becoming a partner in Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a renowned Silicon Valley venture firm:
“Mr. Powell acknowledged in an interview Tuesday that he has had any number of tempting job offers
since leaving the State Department in January, but that the chance to work as a venture capitalist
at Kleiner Perkins seemed too enticing to turn down.”
Writ large, the balance-sheet outlook of venture capitalism is being widely applied to the current
war in Iraq -- even while defenders of the war are apt to indignantly reject any claim that it’s
driven by zeal for massive profits. But let’s take the corporate firms at their own words.
Last year, I went through the latest annual reports from some American firms with Pentagon contracts.
Those reports acknowledged, as a matter of fact, the basic corporate reliance on the warfare state.
Orbit International Corp., a small business making high-tech products for use by the U.S. Navy,
Air Force, Army, and Marines, had increased its net sales by nearly $2.4 million during the previous
two years, to about $17.1 million -- and the war future was bright. “Looking ahead,” CEO Dennis Sunshine
reported, “Orbit’s Electronics and Power Unit Segments expect to continue to benefit from the expanding
military/defense and homeland security marketplace.” In its yearly report to federal regulators,
Orbit International acknowledged: “We are heavily dependent upon military spending as a source of
revenues and income. Accordingly, any substantial future reductions in overall military spending
by the U.S. government could have a material adverse effect on our sales and earnings.”
A much larger corporation, Engineered Support Systems, Inc., had quadrupled its net revenues between
1999 and 2003, when they reached $572.7 million. For the report covering 2003, the firm’s top officers
signed a statement that declared: “As we have always said, rapid deployment of our armed forces drives
our business.” The company’s president, Jerry Potthoff, assured investors: “Our nation’s military
is deployed in over 130 countries, so our products and personnel are deployed, as well. As long as
America remains the world’s policeman, our products and services will help them complete their missions.”
The gigantic Northrop Grumman firm, while noting that its revenues totaled $26.2 billion in 2003,
boasted: “In terms of the portfolio, Northrop Grumman is situated in the ‘sweet spot’ of U.S. defense
and national security spending.”
War. How sweet it can be.
This article is adapted from Norman Solomon’s new book “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits
Keep Spinning Us to Death.” For information, go to:
FILE PHOTO: Judges at the UN's highest court are seen during a hearing in a case launched
by Ukraine which alleges Moscow is funding pro-Russian separatist groups in Ukraine, in
The Hague, Netherlands June 3, 2019. REUTERS/Eva Plevier
Reading a summary of the ruling, Presiding Judge Abdulqawi Yusuf said conditions had been met
for the case to be heard in full, with the 16-judge panel rejecting Russian objections by a large
The International Court of Justice found that on the basis of anti-terrorism and
anti-discrimination treaties signed by both countries it has jurisdiction to hear the case over
Russia's alleged support for separatists in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
At a hearing in June, Moscow had asked judges to dismiss the suit, saying Kiev was using it as
pretext for a ruling on the legality of Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea.
Addressing that point, Yusuf said Ukraine had not asked the court to rule "on the status of
Crimea or on violations of the rules of international law" other than those contained in the United
Nations anti-discrimination and anti-terrorism treaties.
Kiev says Russia's support for separatist forces violated a U.N. convention banning the
funding of terrorist groups.
"... Until now, Iran has restrained itself despite constant aggression from Israel, but this could easily change. "The result could be a counterstrike by Iran, using cruise missiles that penetrate Israel's air defenses and smash into targets like the Kiryah, Tel Aviv's equivalent of the Pentagon. Israel would retaliate massively against Hezbollah's headquarters in Beirut as well as dozens of its emplacements along the Lebanese border. And then, after a day of large-scale exchanges, the real war would begin " ..."
In my 2011 book,
The Wandering Who
, I elaborated on the possible disastrous scenario in which Israel is the nucleus of a
global escalation over Iran's emerging nuclear capabilities. I concluded that Israel's PRE Traumatic Stress
Syndrome (PRE-TSS) would be central to such a development. "The Jewish state and the Jewish discourse in
general are completely foreign to the notion of temporality. Israel is blinded to the consequences of its
actions, it only thinks of its actions in terms of short-term pragmatism. Instead of temporality, Israel
thinks in terms of an extended present."
In 2011 Israel was still confident in
its military might, certain that with the help of America or at least its support, it could deliver a mortal
military blow to Iran. But this confidence has diminished, replaced by an existential anxiety that might
well be warranted. For the last few months, Israeli military analysts have had to come to terms with Iran's
spectacular strategic and technological abilities. The recent attack on a Saudi oil facility delivered a
clear message to the world, and in particular to Israel, that Iran is far ahead of Israel and the West. The
sanctions were counter effective: Iran independently developed its own technology.
Former Israeli ambassador to the US, and
prolific historian, Michael Oren, repeated my 2011 predictions this week in the
and described a horrific scenario for the next, and likely last, Israeli conflict.
Oren understands that a minor Israeli
miscalculation could lead to total war, one in which missiles and drones of all types would rain down on
Israel, overwhelm its defences and leave Israeli cities, its economy and its security in ruins.
Oren gives a detailed account of how a
conflict between Israel and Iran could rapidly descend into a massive "conflagration" that would devastate
Israel as well as its neighbours.
In Israel, the term
"The War Between the Wars
," refers to the targeted covert inter-war campaign waged by the Jewish State
with the purpose of postponing, while still preparing for, the next confrontation, presumably with Iran. In
the last few years Israel has carried out hundreds of 'war between the wars' strikes against Iran-linked
targets in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Oren speculates that a single miscalculation could easily lead to
retaliation by Iran. "Israel is girding for the worst and acting on the assumption that fighting could break
out at any time. And it's not hard to imagine how it might arrive. The conflagration, like so many in the
Middle East, could be ignited by a single spark."
Until now, Iran has restrained itself
despite constant aggression from Israel, but this could easily change. "The result could be a counterstrike
by Iran, using cruise missiles that penetrate Israel's air defenses and smash into targets like the Kiryah,
Tel Aviv's equivalent of the Pentagon. Israel would retaliate massively against Hezbollah's headquarters in
Beirut as well as dozens of its emplacements along the Lebanese border. And then, after a day of large-scale
exchanges, the real war would begin "
Oren predicts that rockets would "rain on
Israel" at a rate as high as 4,000 a day. The Iron Dome system would be overwhelmed by the vast simultaneous
attacks against civilian and military targets throughout the country. And, as if this weren't devastating
enough, Israel is totally unprepared to deal with precision-guided missiles that can accurately hit targets
all across Israel from 1000 miles away.
Ben Gurion International Airport would be
shut down and air traffic over Israel closed. The same could happen to Israel's ports. Israelis that would
seek refuge in far away lands would have to swim to safety
In this scenario, Palestinians and
Lebanese militias might join the conflagration and attack Jewish border communities on the ground while
long-range missiles from Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran land. Before long, Israel's economy would cease to
function, electrical grids severed and damaged factories and refineries would spew toxic chemicals into the
In the Shoah scenario Oren describes,
"Millions of Israelis would huddle in bomb shelters. Hundreds of thousands would be evacuated from the
border areas as terrorists attempt to infiltrate them. Restaurants and hotels would empty, along with the
offices of the high-tech companies of the start-up nation. The hospitals, many of them resorting to
underground facilities, would quickly be overwhelmed, even before the skies darken with the toxic fumes of
blazing chemical factories and oil refineries."
Oren predicts that Israel's harsh
response to attack, including a violent put down of likely West Bank and Gaza protests, would result in
large scale civilian casualties and draw charges of war crimes.
As Oren states, he did not invent this
prediction, it is one of the similar scenarios anticipated by Israeli military and government officials.
If such events occur, the US will be
vital to the survival of the Jewish State by providing munitions, diplomatic, political, and legal support,
and after the war, in negotiating truces, withdrawals, prisoner exchanges and presumably 'peace agreements.'
However, the US under the Trump administration is somewhat unpredictable, especially in light of the current
impeachment proceedings against Trump.
In 1973 the US helped save Israel by
providing its military with the necessary munitions. Will the US do so again? Do the Americans have the
weapons capability to counter Iran's ballistics, precision missiles and drones? More crucially, what kind of
support could America provide that would lift the spirits of humiliated and exhausted Israelis after they
emerge from underground shelters having enduring four weeks without electricity or food and see their cities
This leads us to the essential issue.
Zionism vowed to emancipate the Jews from their destiny by liberating the Jews from themselves. It vowed to
bring an end to Jewish self-destruction by creating a Jewish safe haven. How is it that just seven decades
after the founding of the Jewish state, the people who have suffered throughout their history have once
again managed to create the potential for their own disaster?
ORDER IT NOW
In The Wandering Who I provide a
possible answer: "Grasping the notion of temporality is the ability to accept that the past is shaped and
revised in the light of a search for meaning. History, and historical thinking, are the capacity to rethink
the past and the future." Accordingly,
is the true essence of historical thinking. It
turns the past into a moral message, it turns the moral into an ethical act. Sadly this is exactly where the
Jewish State is severely lacking. Despite the Zionist promise to introduce introspection, morality and
universal thinking to the emerging Hebrew culture, the Jewish State has failed to break away from the Jewish
past because it doesn't really grasp the notion of the 'past' as a dynamic elastic ethical substance.
Everyone understands that a minor Iranian miscalculation could lead to total war. One in which nuclear bombs
would rain down on Iran leaving its cities, economy, and security in ruins.
The sociopath, Ayatollah
Khameni is detached from reality and may be willing to take such risks. However, there is no reason to
believe that The Iranian military or civilian population will embrace certain suicide. It is quite likely
that the IRGC would decide that it is time for another revolution and end the theocracy, rather than die
following the dubious commands of a deranged Ayatollah.
The whole theory about a prolonged conflict falls apart once accurate facts are applied to the situation.
Iranian al'Hezbollah has large numbers of Katyusha pattern rockets, but very few precision weapons. And to
provide human shields for these weapons, almost all of them are in a limited number of urban centers.
The facts are clear, even if Gilad chooses to ignore them in favor of his personal fantasies. Iranian
al'Hezbollah would lose badly in a total forces engagement. The nuclear incineration of their rear echelons
would leave forward forces totally defenseless against overwhelming Israeli air superiority.
-- Would there be Israeli civilian casulities? Certainly.
-- Would Lebanon become uninhabitable? Yes.
-- Would Ayatollah Khameni perish when Israeli nukes Tehran? Absolutely.
There is no possible scenario where Iran "wins" if they launch a substantial first strike. And, the
Iranian military understands this as fact.
It is really fun when Gilad gets off Epstein and rape stuff and ventures into wars and Israeli security. The
generals have kept Gilad up to date on the latest and the greatest.
He is so out to lunch in his desire to see Israel panic and loose the next war facing horrible casualties
because it makes his point about how the Jews are doomed unless they cease being Jews.
He really believes
that he can solve the problem and change our destiny if we all read "Wondering
In The Wandering Who I provide a possible answer: "Grasping the notion of temporality is the ability
to accept that the past is shaped and revised in the light of a search for meaning. History, and
historical thinking, are the capacity to rethink the past and the future." Accordingly, revisionism is
the true essence of historical thinking. It turns the past into a moral message, it turns the moral into
an ethical act. Sadly this is exactly where the Jewish State is severely lacking. Despite the Zionist
promise to introduce introspection, morality and universal thinking to the emerging Hebrew culture, the
Jewish State has failed to break away from the Jewish past because it doesn't really grasp the notion of
the 'past' as a dynamic elastic ethical substance.
I wonder what it is like to wish death and destruction on a people and a country to prove your point and
call yourself an unemotional Athenian.
As you may have noticed, in the Israeli apocalyptic scenarios the Jewish state doesn't put into play the
Samson option.. it is slightly less genocidal than yourself .. you may want to ask yourself why
Israel is making a terrible mistake. The oft touted "Sampson Option" is a bogus option as Bibi, Benny Gatz
and/or any other Israeli leader knows it will be suicide if they use this option. Because even if they
emerge from the bunkers days later after using nuclear bombs against Iran, Syria, Lebanon and other European
Samson option targets Europe
) they will be greeted with hostility and will have no
Three times in world history the Jews were rescued by the Persians.
Believe it or not.
However, the US under the Trump administration is somewhat unpredictable, especially in light of the
current impeachment proceedings against Trump.
Not at all unpredictable with regards to Israel. Trump and Congress would use the last cent of US
taxpayer's money and the last drop of Anglo blood to save the place. Trump is Israel's US Viceroy and
Congress is its Colonial Parliament.
Israel's real nightmare starts when US nationalists toss out the colonialists, and Israel has to find a
way live on its own resources.
I have to think that considering the failure of military intelligence agencies in the past that no one has
any real idea how close Iran is to getting the bomb. But even if they get numbers of them and have a means
to deliver them on target it simply would mean that Iran and Israel are in a standoff. I can understand how
Israel would not want Iran to have the bomb but in reality how much difference would it make? It would only
be relevant if the two countries had already blundered into war and things were entering a final disastrous
stage. Then it would simply mean both countries would be destroyed instead of just one.
Also, not being a military man am I naive in thinking Iran might be able to buy nuclear weapons on the black
market? From North Korea, perhaps? I have got to suspect Israel will be faced with two options. Either fight
Iran sooner, before they get nukes. Or they will simply have to accept that Iran is going to be a nuclear
power. It's pretty obvious that Israel has been trying to get America to fight their war for them. But Trump
has been reluctant to do so. No wonder the Jews are chomping at the bit to find some way to get rid of him.
2020 should prove to be an interesting year.
This analysis leaves out two very significant historic military facts:
1) The 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon aka the "33 Day War" where in:
"Hezbollah inflicted more Israeli casualties per Arab fighter in 2006 than did any of Israel's state
opponents in the 1956, 1967, 1973, or 1982 Arab-Israeli interstate wars, and is generally acknowledge that
Israel flat out lost that war and de facto sued for a cease fire.
(see: "U.S. Department of Defense. The 2006 Lebanon Campaign and the Future of Warfare: Implications for
Army and Defense Policy." Kindle Edition.)
2) The Syrian army is currently the only army in the world that has multi-front, contiguous multi-year
'combined arms' (i.e. army, armor, artillery and air force) combat experience .
Further, the leader of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah in a recent interview pointed out that Hezbollah
fighting along side of the Syrian Army these past five years, now has experience in offensive warfare. In
2006 they fought strictly defensively.
In short, if an Israeli war comes again, given the experience of the Syrian and Hezbollah armies and
Syria acquiring state of the art air defense system (S 300, etc), Iranian missiles may very well be the
least of Israel's worries.
Indeed, before Iran launches missiles, Hezbollah and Syria may move to take back Shebaa Farms and Golan
To my mind: Israel and American militaries are "paper Tigers". Israel has never fought a combined arms
war for a sustained period of time against an equally matched military. And the US not since Korea. Their
victories have always been overwhelming an inferior force.
For me the fact that the Jewish state indulges itself in apocalyptic and genocidal fantasies is really a
glimpse into to tribal mind.. as far as I can tell this pre traumatic stress points at severe form of
projection .. Israeli politicians and commentators attribute their own symptoms to their neighbours ..
If I may: I don't know for sure what G Atzmon meant by the Samson Option; but, I have come across this
express before and I took it to mean that Israel will go to nuclear war even if means the destruction of the
Jewish State. That is, like Samson who destroyed his enemies by killing himself; Israel nuec's Iran and Iran
nuce's Israel (kills enemies and itself).
This should not be taken lightly. While it would be totally irrational for most states to take the Samson
Option, it is to my mind a plausible option for Israel. For even if the Jewish State is destroyed, the
Jewish Nation i.e. the Jewish people around the world will survive and continue on as they have these
thousands of years. But, they will be free of what they perceive as their arch enemy i.e. Iran and other
Moslems. They survived the metaphoric Holocaust and they will survive a literal one. The Jewish State may be
destroyed but not the Jewish People.
This is something not enough people comment on. Israel's military is not a mini US military, it has serious
problems and takes losses and casualties in contexts that would be shocking for another Western country that
spends as much per capita for it's military.
This is why Israel having nuclear weapons irks me so much, the more it can't rely on it's conventional
military, the more they'll lean into their nuclear deterrent, increasing the probability of it's use. (Not
dissimilar to the situation with Pakistan vis-a-vis India, though in that case, India has nukes too)
The Samson Option
The Samson Option.jpg
Author Seymour Hersh
Country United States
Publisher Random House
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 362 pp
LC Class UA853.I8 H47 1991
The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy is a 1991 book by Seymour Hersh. It
details the history of Israel's nuclear weapons program and its effects on Israel-American relations. The
"Samson Option" of the book's title refers to the nuclear strategy whereby Israel would launch a massive
nuclear retaliatory strike if the state itself was being overrun, just as the Biblical figure Samson is said
to have pushed apart the pillars of a Philistine temple, bringing down the roof and killing himself and
thousands of Philistines who had gathered to see him humiliated.
According to The New York Times, Hersh
relied on Ari Ben-Menashe, a former Israeli government employee who says he worked for Israeli intelligence,
for much of his information on the state of the Israeli nuclear program. However, Hersh confirmed all of
this information with at least one other source. Hersh did not travel to Israel to conduct interviews for
the book, believing that he might have been subject to the Israeli Military Censor. Nevertheless, he did
interview Israelis in the United States and Europe during his three years of research.
' If you study it, can be pretty scary. It is not just Israel. Also who wants another North Korea
You mean something like the Samson option?
Anyway, the whole discussion is silly.
-- and that included Imperial Japan in 1945, when
the chips were down -- chooses self-immolation. They always give way. Iran isn't a threat to Israel because
Iran's not going to commit national suicide, and 'the Samson Option' is bullshit as well, because six
million Jews aren't going to commit national suicide either.
Zionists such as yourself only choose to think otherwise about Iran -- in spite of the absence of any
historical evidence at all -- because it justifies your own pathological aggression towards a nation that is
(a) a thousand miles away, and (b) poses no serious threat to Israel whatsoever.
Try not attacking literally everyone you can think of. That might help. I mean, fuck -- Israel is the only
state in modern history that has attacked literally
every single one
of her neighbors, and several
more besides. Since 1948, she's attacked Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, and even the
United States. What's up?
Despite the Zionist promise to introduce introspection, morality and universal thinking to the
emerging Hebrew culture, the Jewish State has failed to break away from the Jewish past because it
doesn't really grasp the notion of the 'past' as a dynamic elastic ethical substance.
The Jews are always long-term losers because they teach their children that they have always been and
will forever be victims of humanity. Jew children are traumatized at an immature young age – they are
mentally damaged by the thought that humanity wants to kill them and do them harm. This notion is inculcated
deep in the Jew child's psyche. These poor children can never escape what has been implanted. (For three
thousand years, generation after generation, Jew culture has been abusing their children with dreadful
Nine out of ten adult Jews are triggered into thoughts of doom by any criticism of Israel – their
reactions are visceral, and a pure reflex coming out of their brainstem.
Jews cannot be introspective because of what elder Jews have implanted in them in their youth. Their
rational emotional systems have been short-circuited.
I have seen intelligent Jews on this forum flirt with empathy for Palestinians – only to fall back into
mindless reflexive support of whatever Israel does.
Jews Are Feeling Guilty: They Should Be. Their Influence Has Been Cancerous to America
Gilad Atzmon Wed, Nov 6, 2019
It has become an institutional Jewish habit to examine how much Jews are hated by their host nations
and how fearful Jews are of their neighbours. Jewish press outlets reported yesterday that "9 out of 10
US Jews worry about anti-Semitism."
. . .
As Haartez writer Ari Shavit wrote back in 2003: "The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative
intellectuals, most of them Jewish " Maybe some Jews now understand that the Zionist shift from a
'promised land' to the Neocon 'promised planet' doesn't reflect well on the Jews as a group.
Any separation of one group from another is a tribe. Any identity whatsoever is a tribe – because
identity sets you apart. The moment you define yourself you are tribal, because definitions distinguish
one thing from another.
The issue is that some people are not particularly tribal (i.e. Westerners) and they are open to
multiculturalism – i.e. proposition nations. However, proposition nations are very much non-tribalist places
and need non-tribalism to survive.
If tribalists talk multiculturalism and proposition nations (i.e. use deception) while practicing
tribalism, they quickly overwhelm these societies – which is where the US is today with regards to Jewish
What does a Jewish tribalist elite do next? And what does a (subjected) majority do next?
Michael Oren, repeated my 2011 predictions this week in the Atlantic and described a horrific scenario
for the next, and likely last, Israeli conflict.
The purpose of Oren's Atlantic article was to create alarm in the DC political corridors .."warning' that
if the US doesnt 'soon help Israel' with its Iran enemy there will be chaos and dead bodies galore .
Its propaganda but 'true' propaganda 'if' Israel were to attack Iran on their own but they wont .they aren't
capable of it alone.
They are running this same propaganda articles/warnings in Europe, saying Europe needs to 'do something'
about Iran Now!
Its basically a blackmail and scare ploy because they don't think Trump will do it for them .and of course
if Israel starts a war it will be because Trump/US deserted them like he/we did the Kurds and they were
'forced' to try and defend the world against Iran 'all alone' and Israel isn't to blame for the mess lol.
What Israel will do is try to start a war on Hezbollah 'first, as Hezbollah would be their most immediate
and dangerous threat , severely crippling Israel right at the onset of any war with Iran.
They will claim that Iran directed attacks on Israel and so the US should step in because its an attack by
If we had anyone in DC that wasn't bought off by Jewish 'benjamin's ' they would be laughing their asses
off at this typical Jewish tactic.
Everyone understands that a minor Iranian miscalculation could lead to total war. One in which nuclear
bombs would rain down on Iran leaving its cities, economy, and security in ruins.
The sociopath, Ayatollah Khameni is detached from reality and may be willing to take such risks.
However, there is no reason to believe that The Iranian military or civilian population will embrace
certain suicide. It is quite likely that the IRGC would decide that it is time for another revolution and
end the theocracy, rather than die following the dubious commands of a deranged Ayatollah.
Kristol, you're drunk. Turn off the computer and go to bed, you shmuck.
That was the goal.
Remember the Zios in Rumsfeld's pentagon stressing how the US must dump 'old Europe"?
Even a non genius like me could figure that out .old Europe might be too much of a 'restraining ' influence
on the US.
The Jews hate Europe anyway ..just like they hate Russia.
Some interesting things popped up this week .Vindman , main testifier against Trump on Ukraine is a
Ukraine Jew, Solderman,Trump's main man on Ukraine is a Jew, also has now testified against Trump, their
attorney is also a Jew ..they all have issued statements about how the plucky "little Ukraine is fighting
against Russia for the US and world" and needs our aid and so on. Exactly the same wording and bullshit spin
the Jews use about Israel "fighting Iran to protect the US and world interest".
Plain to me the Uber Jews are trying to set up the Ukraine as a Israel satellite and weight on Russia's
I read Vindman's testimony to congress ..something is very off about the guy. he sounded numerous times
like he lost his script. He's, in his own words, a fanatical supporter of Ukraine . I don't like Trump but I
think the Ukraine deal to impeach him is a set up ..and its not coming mainly from the CIA ,its coming from
the Nat Sec Council that Vindman works for.
It is terrifying to think that in the event Israel be run by psychopaths, they might sacrifice another "6
million", while securing themselves a new Zion.
On the other hand, a peaceful transfer of the occupation of Palestine to Patagonia (and elsewhere),
without the trigger of war, would be a possible path to peace in the Middle East (not so ideal for Patagonia
What would it take for either outcome to pass? I fear the former is far more likely than the latter.
From the Medium article "John Bolton's Old Rivals Say Trump Should Be Very, Very
"I don't think dirt-digging would offend Bolton. What would offend Bolton is interrupting
military supplies to a country in a deadly battle with Russia. Doing something that for
whatever reason appeases Putin," Thielmann said."
The country referred to is Ukraine. I guess I've missed all the msm articles detailing all
those deadly clashes between Russian & Ukrainian military units along with casualty
figures and all that. I suppose I need to pay closer attention (or something).
UN says 12,800–13,000 killed since April 2014. So Congress bought a pile of Javelin
AT munitions, the ones with a top attack flight profile that will place a high explosive
shape-charge of molten copper through tops of young Russian tank commanders' heads, who are
sons of Putin's base, if there was a mechanized push further into Ukraine. [The political
tolerance window for which is narrowing.]
Our benevolent leader said, "Hold-on. You gotta first get your FBI to clear my campaign
and come up with some trumped-up charges against my political opponent. My FBI won't do it."
Congressional impoundment, solicitation of a bribe for personal gain, and abuse of power. In
any case, Ukraine's getting a smaller pile of missiles until next year, so, gross incompetent
moves, both domestic and abroad.
The great bulk of (pro-government) Ukrainian casualties occurred in the course of
ill-advised and poorly conducted offensives against the breakaway republics. When it only
defends, the Ukrainian side doesn't suffer casualties. Because nobody attacks it.
"... "Manufacturing Consent," Taibbi writes, "explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it" (p. 11). ..."
"... Americans were held captive by the boob tube affords us not only a useful historical image but also suggests the possibility of their having been able to view the television as an antagonist, and therefore of their having been able, at least some of them, to rebel against its dictates. Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets, the workings of which are so precisely intertwined with even the most intimate minute-to-minute aspects of our lives that our relationship to them could hardly ever become antagonistic. ..."
"... The massive political revolution was, going all the way back to 1989, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and then of the Soviet Union itself -- and thus of the usefulness of anti-communism as a kind of coercive secular religion (pp. 14-15). ..."
"... our corporate media have devised -- at least for the time being -- highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent (p. 21). ..."
"... And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid. ..."
"... For Maddow, he notes, is "a depressingly exact mirror of Hannity . The two characters do exactly the same work. They make their money using exactly the same commercial formula. And though they emphasize different political ideas, the effect they have on audiences is much the same" (pp. 259-260). ..."
Matt Taibbi's Hate Inc . is the most insightful and revelatory book about American
politics to appear since the publication of Thomas Frank's Listen, Liberal almost four
full years ago, near the beginning of the last presidential election cycle.
While Frank's topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and
Taibbi's is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the
prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite social
circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our
intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class.
In fact, I would strongly recommend that the reader spend some time with Frank's What's the
Matter with Kansas? (2004) and Listen, Liberal! (2016) as he or she takes up
And to really do the book the justice it deserves, I would even more vehemently recommend
that the reader immerse him- or herself in Taibbi's favorite book and vade-mecum ,
Manufacturing Consent (which I found to be a grueling experience: a relentless
cataloging of the official lies that hide the brutality of American foreign policy) and, in
order to properly appreciate the brilliance of Taibbi's chapter 7, "How the Media Stole from
Pro Wrestling," visit some locale in Flyover Country and see some pro wrestling in person
(which I found to be unexpectedly uplifting -- more on this soon enough).
Taibbi tells us that he had originally intended for Hate, Inc . to be an updating of
Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent (1988), which he first read
thirty years ago, when he was nineteen. "It blew my mind," Taibbi writes. "[It] taught me that
some level of deception was baked into almost everything I'd ever been taught about modern
American life .
Once the authors in the first chapter laid out their famed propaganda model [italics
mine], they cut through the deceptions of the American state like a buzz saw" (p. 10). For what
seemed to be vigorous democratic debate, Taibbi realized, was instead a soul-crushing
simulation of debate. The choices voters were given were distinctions without valid
differences, and just as hyped, just as trivial, as the choices between a Whopper and a Big
Mac, between Froot Loops and Frosted Mini-Wheats, between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, between
Marlboro Lites and Camel Filters. It was all profit-making poisonous junk.
"Manufacturing Consent," Taibbi writes, "explains that the debate you're watching is
choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear
it" (p. 11). And there's an indisputable logic at work here, because the reality of
hideous American war crimes is and always has been, from the point of view of the big media
corporations, a "narrative-ruining" buzz-kill. "The uglier truth [brought to light in
Manufacturing Consent ], that we committed genocide of a fairly massive scale across
Indochina -- ultimately killing at least a million innocent civilians by air in three countries
-- is pre-excluded from the history of the period" (p. 13).
So what has changed in the last thirty years? A lot! As a starting point let's consider the
very useful metaphor found in the title of another great media book of 1988: Mark Crispin
Miller's Boxed In: The Culture of TV . To say that Americans were held captive by
the boob tube affords us not only a useful historical image but also suggests the possibility
of their having been able to view the television as an antagonist, and therefore of their
having been able, at least some of them, to rebel against its dictates. Three decades later, on
the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets, the workings
of which are so precisely intertwined with even the most intimate minute-to-minute aspects of
our lives that our relationship to them could hardly ever become antagonistic.
Taibbi summarizes the history of these three decades in terms of three "massive revolutions"
in the media plus one actual massive political revolution, all of which, we should note, he
discussed with his hero Chomsky (who is now ninety! -- Edward Herman passed away in 2017) even
as he wrote his book. And so: the media revolutions which Taibbi describes were, first, the
coming of FoxNews along with Rush Limbaugh-style talk radio; second, the coming of CNN, i.e.,
the Cable News Network, along with twenty-four hour infinite-loop news cycles; third, the
coming of the Internet along with the mighty social media giants Facebook and Twitter.
The massive political revolution was, going all the way back to 1989, the collapse of
the Berlin Wall, and then of the Soviet Union itself -- and thus of the usefulness of
anti-communism as a kind of coercive secular religion (pp. 14-15).
For all that, however, the most salient difference between the news media of 1989 and the
news media of 2019 is the disappearance of the single type of calm and decorous and slightly
boring cis-het white anchorman (who somehow successfully appealed to a nationwide audience) and
his replacement by a seemingly wide variety of demographically-engineered news personæ
who all rage and scream combatively in each other's direction. "In the old days," Taibbi
writes, "the news was a mix of this toothless trivia and cheery dispatches from the frontlines
of Pax Americana . The news [was] once designed to be consumed by the whole house . But once we
started to be organized into demographic silos [italics mine], the networks found
another way to seduce these audiences: they sold intramural conflict" (p. 18).
And in this new media environment of constant conflict, how, Taibbi wondered, could public
consent , which would seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum from conflict,
still be manufactured ?? "That wasn't easy for me to see in my first decades in the
business," Taibbi writes. "For a long time, I thought it was a flaw in the Chomsky/Herman
model" (p. 19).
But what Taibbi was at length able to understand, and what he is now able to describe for us
with both wit and controlled outrage, is that our corporate media have devised -- at least
for the time being -- highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent in
order to smother real dissent (p. 21).
And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam
job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.
Or pretty much so. Taibbi is more historically precise. Because of the tweaking of the
Herman/Chomsky propaganda model necessitated by the disappearance of the USSR in 1991 ("The
Russians escaped while we weren't watching them, / As Russians do ," Jackson Browne presciently
prophesied on MTV way back in 1983), one might now want to speak of a Propaganda Model 2.0.
For, as Taibbi notes, " the biggest change to Chomsky's model is the discovery of a far
superior 'common enemy' in modern media: each other. So long as we remain a bitterly-divided
two-party state, we'll never want for TV villains" (pp. 207-208).
To rub his great insight right into our uncomprehending faces, Taibbi has almost
sadistically chosen to have dark, shadowy images of a yelling Sean Hannity (in lurid FoxNews
Red!) and a screaming Rachel Maddow (in glaring MSNBC Blue!) juxtaposed on the cover of his
book. For Maddow, he notes, is "a depressingly exact mirror of Hannity . The two characters
do exactly the same work. They make their money using exactly the same commercial formula. And
though they emphasize different political ideas, the effect they have on audiences is much the
same" (pp. 259-260).
And that effect is hate. Impotent hate. For while Rachel's fan demographic is all wrapped up
in hating Far-Right Fascists Like Sean, and while Sean's is all wrapped up in despising Libtard
Lunatics Like Rachel, the bipartisan consensus in Washington for ever-increasing military
budgets, for everlasting wars, for ever-expanding surveillance, for ever-growing bailouts of
and tax breaks for and and handouts to the most powerful corporations goes forever
Oh my. And it only gets worse and worse, because the media, in order to make sure that their
various siloed demographics stay superglued to their Internet devices, must keep
ratcheting up levels of hate: the Fascists Like Sean and the Libtards Like Rachel must be
continually presented as more and more deranged, and ultimately as demonic. "There is us and
them," Taibbi writes, "and they are Hitler" (p. 64). A vile reductio ad absurdum has
come into play: "If all Trump supporters are Hitler, and all liberals are also Hitler," Taibbi
writes, " [t]he America vs. America show is now Hitler vs. Hitler! Think of the
ratings! " The reader begins to grasp Taibbi's argument that our mainstream corporate media are
as bad as -- are worse than -- pro wrestling. It's an ineluctable downward spiral.
Taibbi continues: "The problem is, there's no natural floor to this behavior. Just as cable
TV will eventually become seven hundred separate twenty-four-hour porn channels, news and
commentary will eventually escalate to boxing-style, expletive-laden, pre-fight tirades, and
the open incitement to violence [italics mine]. If the other side is literally Hitler,
[w]hat began as America vs. America will eventually move to Traitor vs. Traitor ,
and the show does not work if those contestants are not eventually offended to the point of
wanting to kill one another" (pp. 65-69).
As I read this book, I often wondered about how difficult it was emotionally for
Taibbi to write it. I'm just really glad to see that the guy didn't commit suicide along the
way. He does describe the "self-loathing" he experienced as he realized his own complicity in
the marketing processes which he exposes (p. 2). He also apologizes to the reader for his not
being able to follow through on his original aim of writing a continuation of Herman and
Chomsky's classic: "[W]hen I sat down to write what I'd hoped would be something with the
intellectual gravitas of Manufacturing Consent ," Taibbi confesses, "I found decades of
more mundane frustrations pouring out onto the page, obliterating a clinical examination" (p.
I, however, am profoundly grateful to Taibbi for all of his brilliantly observed anecdotes.
The subject matter is nauseating enough even in Taibbi's sparkling and darkly tragicomic prose.
A more academic treatment of the subject would likely be too depressing to read. So let me
conclude with an anecdote of my own -- and an oddly uplifting one at that -- about reading
Taibbi's chapter 7, "How the News Media Stole from Pro Wrestling."
On the same day I read this chapter I saw that, on the bulletin board in my gym, a poster
had appeared, as if by magic, promoting an upcoming Primal Conflict (!) professional
wrestling event. I studied the photos of the wrestlers on the poster carefully, and, as an
astute reader of Taibbi, I prided myself on being able to identify which of them seemed be
playing the roles of heels , and which of them the roles of babyfaces .
For Taibbi explains that one of the fundamental dynamics of wrestling involves the invention
of crowd-pleasing narratives out of the many permutations and combinations of pitting
heels against faces . Donald Trump, a natural heel , brings the goofy
dynamics of pro wrestling to American politics with real-life professional expertise. (Taibbi
points out that in 2007 Trump actually performed before a huge cheering crowd in a
Wrestlemania event billed as the "battle of the billionaires." Watch it on YouTube!
The mainstream corporate media, on the other hand, their eyes fixed on ever bigger and
bigger profits, have drifted into the metaphorical pro wrestling ring in ignorance, and so,
when they face off against Trump, they often end up in the role of inept prudish
pearl-clutching faces .
Taibbi condemns the mainstream media's failure to understand such a massively popular form
of American entertainment as "malpractice" (p. 125), so I felt more than obligated to buy a
ticket and see the advertised event in person. To properly educate myself, that is.
I have stopped watching broadcast "news" other than occasional sessions of NPR in the car.
I get most of my news from sources such as this and from overseas sources (The Guardian,
Reuters, etc.). I used to subscribe to newspapers but have given them up in disgust, even
though I was looking forward to leisurely enjoying a morning paper after I retired.
I was brought up in the positive 1950's and, boy, did this turn out poorly.
Matt Taibbi is an American treasure, and I love his writing very much, but we also need to
ask, Why hasn't another Chomsky (or another Hudson), an analyst with a truly deep and
wide-ranging, synthetic mind, appeared on the left to take apart our contemporary media and
show us its inner workings? Have all the truly great minds gone to work for Wall Street? I
don't have an answer, but to me the pro wrestling metaphor, while intriguing, misses
something about the Fourth Estate in America, if it indeed still exists. And that is, except
for radio, there is a distinct imbalance between the two sides of the MSM lineup. On the
corporate liberal side of the national MSM team you have five wrestlers, but on the
conservative/reactionary side you have only the Fox entry. Because of this imbalance, the
corruption, laziness, self-indulgence, and generally declining interest in journalistic
standards seems greater among the corporate liberal media team, including the NYT and WaPo,
than the Fox team.
I'm not a fan of either Maddow (in her current incarnation) or Hannity, but Hannity,
perhaps because he thinks he's like David, often hustles to refute the discourse of the
corporate liberal Goliath team. Hannity obviously does more research on some topics than
Maddow, and, perhaps because he began in radio, he puts more emphasis on semi-rationally
structured rants than Maddow, who depends more on primal emotion, body language, and
Hollywood-esque fear-inducing atmospherics.
I'd wager that in a single five-minute segment there will often be twice as many rational
distinctions made in a Hannity rant than in a Maddow performance. In addition, for the last
three years Hannity has simply been demonstrably right about the fake Russiagate propaganda
blitz while Maddow has been as demonstrably wrong from the very beginning as propaganda
industry trend-setter Adam Schiff. So for at least these last three years, the Maddow-Hannity
primal match has been a somewhat misleading metaphor. The Blob and the security state have
been decisively supporting (and directing?) the corporate liberal global interventionist
media, at least regarding Russia and the permanent war establishment, and because the
imbalance between the interventionist and the non-interventionist MSM, Russia and Ukraine are
being used as a wedge to steadily break down the firewalls between the Dem party, the intel
community, and the interventionist MSM. If we had real public debates with both sides at
approximately equal strength as we did during the Vietnam War, then even pro wrestling-type
matches would be superior to what we have now, which is truthy truth and thoughtsy thought
coming to us from the military industrial complex and monopolistic holding companies. If
fascism is defined as the fusion of the state and corporations, then the greatest threat of
fascism in America may well be coming from the apparent gradual fusion of the corporate
liberal MSM, the Dem party elite, and the intel community. Instead of an MSM wrestling match,
we may soon be faced with a Japanese-style 'hitori-zumo' match in which a sumo wrestler
wrestles with only himself. Once these sumo wrestlers were believed to be wrestling with
invisible spirits, but those days are gone . http://kikuko-nagoya.com/html/hitori-zumo.htm
Today's Noam Chomksy? Chomsky was part of the machine who broke ranks with it. His MIT
research was generously funded by the Military Industrial Complex. Thankfully, enough of his
latent humanity and Trotskyite upbringing shone through so he exposed what he was part of. So
I guess today that's Chris Hedges, though he's a preacher at heart and not a semiotician.
I don't believe the media environment as a whole leans corporate Dem/neoliberal.
T.V. maybe, but radio is much more right wing than left (yes there is NPR and Pacifica,
the latter with probably only a scattering of listerners but ) and it's still out there and a
big influence, radio hasn't gone away. So doesn't the right wing tilt of radio kind of
balance out television? (not necessarily in a good way but). And then there is the internet
and I have no idea what the overall lean of that is (I mean I prefer left wing sites, but
that's purely my own bubble and actually there are much fewer left analysis out there than
The whole review is good, but this extract should be quoted extensively:
While Frank's topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and
Taibbi's is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the
prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite
social circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our
intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class.
In short, stagnation and self-dealing at the top. What could possibly go wrong?
Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and
and then goes on to spend most of the article talking about television. I'd say television
is still the main propaganda instrument even if many webheads like yours truly ignore it
(I've never seen Hannity's show or Maddow's–just hear the rumors). Arguably even
newspapers like the NYT have been dumbed down because the reporters long to be on TV and join
the shouting. And it's surely no coincidence that our president himself is a TV (and WWE)
star. Mass media have always been feeders of hysteria but television gave them faces and
voices. Watching TV is also a far more passive experience than surfing the web. They are
selling us "narratives," bedtime stories, and we like sleepy children merely listen.
This rave review has inspired me to add this to my to-read non-fiction queue. Currently
reading William Dalrymple's The Anarchy, on the rise of the East India Company. Next up: Matt
Stoller's Goliath. And then I'll get to Taibbi. Probably worth digging up my original copy of
Manufacturing Consent as well, which I read many moons ago; time for a re-read.
May I suggest Stephen Cohen's "War with Russia?" if it's not already on your list? In
focusing on the danger emerging from the new cold war, seeded by the Democrats, propagated by
corporate media (which he thinks is more dangerous than the first), Cohen clarifies the
importance of diplomacy especially with one's nuclear rivals.
Us rubes knew decades ago about pro wrestling. There was a regional circuit and the hero
in one town would become the villain in another town. The ones to be surprised were like John
Stossel, who got a perforated eardrum from a slap upside the head for his efforts at
in-your-face journalism with a wrestler who just wouldn't play along with his grandstanding.
Somewhere, kids cheered and life went on.
I was watching old clips of the 'Fred Friendly Seminars' on YouTube. IMHO any channel that
produced a format such as this would be a ratings bonanza. Imagine a round table with various
media figures (corporate) left, (corporate) right, and independent being refereed by a
host-moderator discussing topics in 'Hate, Inc.'. In wrestling it's called a Battle Royale.
The Fourth Estate in a cage match!
And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam
job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.
This is important, if people don't want to be naive about what democracy buys. Democracy
in the end is a ritual system to determine which members of an elite would win a war without
actually having to hold the war. Like how court functions to replace personal revenge by
determining (often) who would win in a fight if there were one, and the feudal system
replaced the genocidal wars of the axial age with the gentler warfare of the middle ages
which were often ritual wars of the elite that avoided the full risk of the earlier wars.
That, I think, is important -- under a democracy, the winner should be normally the winner
of the avoided violent conflict to be sustainable. Thus, it's enough to get most people to
consent to the solution, using the traditional meaning of consent being "won't put up a fight
to avoid it". If the choices on the table are reduced enough, you can get by with most people
simply dropping out of the questions.
Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit
It shouldn't be a surprise that we've moved to "faking dissent" -- it's the natural
evolution of a system where a lot of the effective power is in the hands of tech, and not
just as in the early 20th century, how many workers you have and how many soldiers you can
If you don't like it, change the technology we use to fight one another. We went from
tribes to lords when we switch from sticks to advanced forged weapons, and we went from
feudalism to democracy when we had factories dropping guns that any 15 year old could use
(oversimplifying a bit). Now that the stuff requires expertise, you'd expect a corresponding
shift in how we ritualize our conflict avoidance, and thus the organization of how we control
communication and how we organize our rituals of power.
Aka, it's the scientists and the engineers who end up determining how everything is
organized, and people never seem to bother with that argument, which is especially surprising
that even hard-core Marxists waste their time on short-term politics rather than the tech
I'd be curious whether Taibbi thought about the issue of the nature of the technology and
whether there are technological options on the horizon which drive the conflict in other
directions. If we had only kept the laws on copyright and patent weaker, so that the
implementation of communicative infrastructure would have stayed decentralized
Tabby's "manufacturing fake consent" was really the whole punchline – the joke's on
us. Hunter S. Thompson, another of Taibbi's heroes, is, along with Chomsky, speaking to us
through MT. Our media is distracting us from social coherence. Another thing it is doing
(just my opinion) is it is overwhelming us to the point of disgust. Nobody likes it. And we
protect ourselves by tuning it out. Turning it off. Once the screaming lunatics marginalize
themselves by making the whole narrative hysterical, we just act like it's another family
fight and we're gonna go do something else. When everyone is screaming, no one is
I have tried to read Hate Inc. and Taibbi's Griftopia but one of my main issues with
Taibbi's writing is his lack of notes, references, or bibliography, etc. in his books. In
skimming Hate Inc. it seems like a book I would enjoy reading, however my personal value
system is that any book without footnotes, endnotes, citations, or at minimum a bibliography
is just an opinion or a story. At least Thomas Frank's Listen Liberal has a section for End
Notes/References at the end of the book. Again just my personal values.
I am from Greater Boston, far, far from flyover country (which I imagine begins in Yonkers
NY), but I sure grew up with pro wrestling as part of the schoolyard discourse. I certainly
knew it was as much of a family affair as Disney on Ice and have trouble believing he thought
otherwise though I will not impugn his honesty. I am very grateful to the author for taking
the time to write this, but is it possible for a male who grew up in the US to be as deeply
embedded in the MSNBC demo as he claims to be?
Seriously, how is it possible for a male raised in the US to not at least have some
working familiarity with pro wrestling? My family along with my community was very close to
the national median income–do higher income boys really not learn about WWF and
Seriously, rich kids, what was childhood like? I know you had music lessons and sports
camps, what else? Was it really that different?
aye. in my blue to white collar( and back to blue to no collar) upbringing, wrestling was
never a thing. it was for the morons who couldn't read. seen as patently absurd by just about
everyone i knew. and this in klanridden east texas exurbia
wife's mexican extended familia oth luche libre is a big thing that all and sundry talked
about at thanksgiving. less so these days possibly due to the hyperindiviualisation of media
(and,btw, in my little world , horseshit is a good thing)
Even allowing for my lefty-liberal bias, I do not see how it is possible to equate Fox
Noise and MSNBC, or Hannity and Maddow, as "both-sides" extremists. Fox violates basic
professional canons of fairness and equity on a daily basis. MSNBC occasionally does, but is
quick to correct errors of fact. Hannity is a thuggish outer-borough New York schmuck without
much education or knowledge of the world. Maddow is an Oxford Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar. It is
one of the evil successes of the right-wing news cauldron to have successfully equated these
two figures and organizations.
Huh? MSNBC regularly makes errors of omission and commission with respect to Sanders. They
are still pushing the Russiagate narrative. That's a massive, two-year, virtually all the
time error they have refused to recant.
The blind spots of people on the soi-disant left are truly astonishing.
'Hannity is a thuggish outer-borough New York schmuck without much education or knowledge
of the world. Maddow is an Oxford Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar '
oh, well, then – end of conversation! i mean, god knows, it'd be a cold day in hell
before a rhodes scholar, or even someone married to one, would ever lead us astray down the
rosy neoliberal path to hell, while, at the same time, under the spell of trump derangement
syndrome, actually attempt to revive the mccarthy era, eh?
Actual drugs are being used to hinder debate as well as emotional drugs like hate.
They can't trust agency to be removed by words and images alone – the stakes are too
Now all of you go take a feel good pill and stop complaining!
I've been impressed with Taibbi's work, what I've read of it, but ironically this very
article contains a quote from him which exemplifies the problem: his casual assertion that
the US committed "genocide" in Indochina. Even the most fervent critics of US policy didn't
say this at the time, for the very good reason that there was no evidence that the US tried
to destroy a racial, religious, ethnic or nationalist group (the full definition is a lot
more complex and demanding than that). He clearly means that the US was responsible for lots
of deaths, which is incontestable. But the process of endless escalation of rhetoric, which
this book seems to be partly about, means that everything now has to be described in the most
extreme, absurd or apocalyptic tones, and at the top of your voice, otherwise nobody takes
any notice. So any self-respecting war now has to be qualified as "genocide" or nobody will
take any notice.
Oleg, you followed Biden story from its very inception. Biden is not the only Dem
politician involved in the Ukrainian corruption schemes, is he?
Indeed, John Kerry, the Secretary of State in Obama's administration, was his
partner-in-crime. But Joe Biden was number one. During the Obama presidency, Biden was the
US proconsul for Ukraine, and he was involved in many corruption schemes. He authorised
transfer of three billion dollars of the US taxpayers' money to the post-coup government of
the Ukraine; the money was stolen, and Biden took a big share of the spoils.
It is a story of ripping the US taxpayer and the Ukrainian customer off for the benefit
of a few corruptioners, American and Ukrainian. And it is a story of Kiev regime and its
dependence on the US and IMF. The Ukraine has a few midsize deposits of natural gas,
sufficient for domestic household consumption. The cost of its production was quite low;
and the Ukrainians got used to pay pennies for their gas. Actually, it was so cheap to
produce that the Ukraine could provide all its households with free gas for heating and
cooking, just like Libya did. Despite low consumer price, the gas companies (like Burisma)
had very high profits and very little expenditure.
After the 2014 coup, IMF demanded to raise the price of gas for the domestic consumer to
European levels, and the new president Petro Poroshenko obliged them. The prices went
sky-high. The Ukrainians were forced to pay many times more for their cooking and heating;
and huge profits went to coffers of the gas companies. Instead of raising taxes or lowering
prices, President Poroshenko demanded the gas companies to pay him or subsidise his
projects. He said that he arranged the price hike; it means he should be considered a
Burisma Gas company had to pay extortion money to the president Poroshenko. Eventually
its founder and owner Mr Nicolai Zlochevsky decided to invite some important Westerners
into the company's board of directors hoping it would moderate Poroshenko's appetites. He
had brought in Biden's son Hunter, John Kerry, Polish ex-President Kwasniewski; but it
didn't help him.
Poroshenko became furious that the fattened calf may escape him, and asked the Attorney
General Shokin to investigate Burisma trusting some irregularities would emerge. AG Shokin
immediately discovered that Burisma had paid these 'stars' between 50 and 150 thousand
dollar per month each just for being on the list of directors. This is illegal by the
Ukrainian tax code; it can't be recognised as legitimate expenditure.
At that time Biden the father entered the fray. He called Poroshenko and gave him six
hours to close the case against his son. Otherwise, one billion dollars of the US
taxpayers' funds won't pass to the Ukrainian corruptioners. Zlochevsky, the Burisma owner,
paid Biden well for this conversation: he received between three and ten million dollars,
according to different sources.
AG Shokin said he can't close the case within six hours; Poroshenko sacked him and
installed Mr Lutsenko in his stead. Lutsenko was willing to dismiss the case of Burisma,
but he also could not do it in a day, or even in a week. Biden, as we know, could not keep
his trap shut: by talking about the pressure he put on Poroshenko, he incriminated himself.
Meanwhile Mr Shokin gave evidence that Biden put pressure on Poroshenko to fire him, and
now it was confirmed. The evidence was given to the US lawyers in connection with another
case, Firtash case.
by John Quiggin on October 13, 2019 On Facebook, my frined
Timothy Scriven pointed to an opinion piece by classics professor Ian Morris headlined
In the long run, wars make us safer and richer It's pushing a book with the clickbaity
title War! What is it Good For? Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to
Robots .". Timothy correctly guessed that I wouldn't like it.
Based on the headline, I was expecting a claim along the lines "wars stimulate technological
progress" which I refuted (to my own satisfaction at any rate) in Economics in Two
Lessons" . But the argument is much stranger than this. The claim is that war, despite its
brutality created big states, like the Roman empire, which then delivered peace and
For the classical world at 100 CE or so, the era on which Morris is an expert, that argument
seemed pretty convincing. As the famous Life of Brian sketch suggests, Roman rule delivered a
lot of benefits to its conquered provinces.
The next 1900 years or so present a bit of a problem, though. There have been countless wars
in that time, and no trend towards bigger states. On the contrary two or three dozen states
(depending on how you count them) now occupy the territory of the former Roman Empire.
You could cut the number down a bit by treating the European Union as a new empire, but then
you have an even bigger problem. The EU was not formed through war, but through a determination
to avoid it. Whatever you think about the EU in other respects, this goal has been
Morris avoids the problem by a "no true Scotsman" argument. He admits in passing that the
1000 years of war following the high point of Rome had the effect of breaking down larger,
safer societies into smaller, more dangerous ones, but returns with relief to the era of true
wars, in which big states always win. That story works, roughly, until 1914, when the empires
he admires destroyed themselves, killing millions in the process.
After that, the argument descends into Pinker-style nonsense. While repeating the usual
stats about the decline in violent deaths, Morris mentions in passing that a nuclear war could
cause billions of deaths. He doesn't consider the obvious anthropic fallacy problem – if
such a war had happened, there would not be any op-eds in the Washington Post discussing the
implications for life expectancy.
I haven't read the book, and don't intend to. If someone can't present a 700 word summary of
their argument without looking silly, they shouldn't write opinion pieces. But, for what its
worth, FB friends who have read it agree that it's not very good.
William Meyer 10.13.19 at 12:31 pm (no link)
I have not read the book in question, so I don't know if the author made this point: "Since
violence or implicit violence is how we overcome essentially all collective action problems
as humans, war probably does belong in the human toolkit." Obviously it would be better if we
could find more and better alternatives to war, and remove the obvious glitches in the
alternatives (e.g., representative democracy, single-party states, etc.) we have tried in the
past. So I find it odd as I get old that so little energy/research/academic effort is devoted
by the human race to finding better means of collective decision making. Clearly our current
abilities in this field are completely inadequate. I ponder if this is because we are
incapable of doing better by some inherent flaw in our makeup or if it is because, as in some
many areas of life, the wicked work tirelessly to maintain the systems that enrich and
empower them. I suspect I'll never find out.
Omega Centauri 10.13.19 at 4:33 pm (no link)
There might be a case to be made for empire building conquest advancing human society. I
think it was primarily by forcing the mixing of cultures which otherwise would have been
relatively isolated from each other. Also empires tended to create safe internal trade
routes, the Silk Road was made possible by the Mongol empire.
At least the authors of books about such empires like to state that over a timespan of
centuries that empire creation was a net positive.
Orange Watch 10.13.19 at 7:07 pm (no link)
Tim Worstall and Dipper's suggestion that the EU is borne of war is mostly just a failure to
take Morris's claim on its unsophisticated face and instead assume it contains subtle
complexity that is obviously missing if you read the article itself:
This happened because about 10,000 years ago, the winners of wars began incorporating
the losers into larger societies. The victors found that the only way to make these larger
societies work was by developing stronger governments; and one of the first things these
governments had to do, if they wanted to stay in power, was suppress violence among their
For the EU to have been a result of war in the sense that Morris means, it would have to
have been forcibly formed in 1945 by the US/UK/Russia forcibly incorporating Europe into it.
When Morris states "wars make us stronger and richer" he very simply means wars of conquest
are long-term net positives. He doesn't mean something subtle about nations banding together
to forestall further war; he bluntly means conquerors gluing together their conquests into
empires and then liberally applying boot leather to necks.
Mark Brady 10.13.19 at 7:56 pm (no link)
John Quiggin is, of course, well aware of this quotation, but some of you may not.
"Though some of them would disdain to say that there are net benefits in small acts of
destruction, they see almost endless benefits in enormous acts of destruction. They tell us
how much better off economically we all are in war than in peace. They see "miracles of
production" which it requires a war to achieve. And they see a postwar world made certainly
prosperous by an enormous "accumulated" or "backed up" demand. In Europe they joyously count
the houses, the whole cities that have been leveled to the ground and that "will have to be
replaced." In America they count the houses that could not be built during the war, the nylon
stockings that could not be supplied, the worn-out automobiles and tires, the obsolescent
radios and refrigerators. They bring together formidable totals.
"It is merely our old friend, the broken-window fallacy, in new clothing, and grown fat
beyond recognition. This time it is supported by a whole bundle of related fallacies. It
confuses need with demand."
Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson, Chapter 3, "The Blessings of Destruction."
Alex SL 10.13.19 at 8:37 pm (no link)
On one side, AFAIK the last few centuries of war in Europe have indeed seen a reduction of
the number of states. Yes, the trend was partly reversed since 1914, but never to the degree
of splintering that existed in the middle ages.
On the other side, even the widely accepted cases of supposedly 'beneficial' empires such
as the Romans bringing the Pax Romana and the Mongols allowing far-reaching trade and travel
need to be seen against the devastation they caused to make their victories possible. The
Romans, for example, committed genocide in Gaul and Carthage, and they enslaved millions.
Best case argument in my eyes is that a very successful war is beneficial because it stops
continuous smaller wars, which is still not exactly the same as a general "war is
beneficial". Why not just create institutional arrangements that avoid wars between small
nations in the first place?
fran6 10.13.19 at 9:26 pm (no link)
Here's another personality who's also unfazed by the evils of war (although, she does wish
more folks were "kind" to each other):
Stephen @11 Say what? Are you suggesting that the Soviet bloc was part of the EU? As both
your comment and Tim Worstall's unwittingly illustrate, the fact that the EU has been
entirely peaceful since its creation (by contrast with non-EU Europe) is not because
Europeans suddenly became pacifists.
Sorry if I have a hard time getting Morris' argument, but: towards the end, be seems to be
saying the world requires a "Globocop" like the US to ensure its prosperity. But how does
that relate to his wider point about the benefits of war? Does Morris believe the hegemon
owes it to itself, and to the rest of the world, to wage permanent war?
Morris sold out. This was evident in his book comparing the progress of China and Europe,
though that book made excellent points in between the fluff and is well worth reading. But he
is well versed enough in Chinese history to be aware of the ultimate example of armies
conquering and bringing peace to a large area, which happens repeatedly in Chinese history.
Actually, Chinese history itself shows that the opposite argument has more support, that
instead of war being valuable because one powerful country will conquer a large area and
bring peace to it, its valuable because competition between states who are worried about
other states getting a jump on them turns out to be valuable to progress. Large continental
empires, including the Roman one as well, tended to stagnate in terms of culture and
technology and become correct.
MFB 10.15.19 at 7:18 am (no link)
Well, the opinion-piece was published on Jeff Bezos' blog. Oligarchs are naturally in favour
of centralised power and therefore of empires (so long as they are at the apex thereof, which
they usually are). The best way to build an empire is through war.
Of course, the author has to say "despite Hitler, Stalin and Mao", for ideological
reasons. Actually, Hitler built his empire largely through the threat of war rather than
through war itself; once he had actually started the war, he antagonised three more powerful
empires than his own and his empire was then crushed. As for Stalin, he actually did various
double-back-somersaults to avoid getting into wars, and the "empire" which he built in
Eastern Europe as a result of winning a war he didn't want did not sustain itself. And of
course Mao didn't start any wars at all -- his name just had to be thrown in for reactionary
It is true that the Spanish, Portuguese, French and British empires were built upon war.
But where are they now? The United States fought a lot of wars against its indigenous people,
but frankly it would still have been a global superpower if it had simply sidestepped most of
them, at least from about 1865 onward.
An interesting question: can it be that a professor of Classics doesn't actually have to
understand the concept of evidence-based argument in any case, because everything has already
been said on the subject and all you have to do is cherry-pick other people's statements?
Because that seems to be how that silly article reads.
And yes, the whole thing reeks of the better angels propaganda. Let's not forget, by the
way, that various members of the EU -- Britain, France, Italy et al -- have launched brutally
murderous wars elsewhere, and the fact that they don't fight among themselves doesn't make
them peaceful or moral entities.
@TheSophist #25: that was mentioned as a joke rather than self-publicity, but if you're
really interested: The Roman Empire: roots of imperialism (Pluto Press, 2020). Obviously
books about the Roman Empire are ten a penny; my main claim for this one, besides its being
less apologetic and/or gung-ho than most, is that I try to integrate the historical reality
with its reception, i.e. how people have subsequently deployed Rome as an example or model.
Maybe the Roman Empire delivered on peace, but prosperity is a bit more complicated. Some
years ago David Hays wrote a book on the history of technology. One of the things he did was
make a back-of-the-envelope estimate of material welfare at different levels of development.
He concluded that, while civilization has always been a good deal for the elite, it's been
rather iffy for peasants and workers. It's only during the Industrial Evolution that the
standard of living at the lower end of society rose above that of hunter-gatherers. So, the
prosperity delivered by the Roman Empire went mostly to the elite, not the peasantry.
Peter Erwin@43 wanted the Nazis to roll right up to the eastern border of Poland, etc. etc.
So did Hitler. And although I'm quite reluctant to read minds, especially dead one, I will
nevertheless guarantee the move into the Baltics was seen as a blow to his plans, even if
accepted for temporary advantage. You must always see who hates Stalin for beating Hitler,
and those rare few who object to his real crimes.
And, Erwin thinks Chinese troops being in Korea with permission is an aggression, while US
troops closing on Chinese borders is not. The US still isn't out of Korea, but China is, but
he can't figure out who the aggressor is.
Really, Peter Erwin really says it all. The maddest ant-Communist propaganda is now
MFB 10.17.19 at 9:02 am (no link)
I don't want to unnecessarily dump on Peter Erwin, because I don't believe in kicking
disadvantaged children, but if he reads the original post he will notice that it was talking
about international wars, not civil wars. I'll admit the invasion of Finland (and of the
Baltic states and Poland) but those were fairly obviously ways of strengthening the USSR's
position in order to discourage a German invasion, and all took place within the boundaries
of the former Russian Empire which Stalin undoubtedly saw as the default position.
As to Mao, he didn't start the Korean war (as Erwin unwillingly admits) and all the other
wars except for the invasion of Vietnam were civil wars since they entailed moving into
Chinese-controlled territory which had broken away during the main civil war. I'll admit that
Vietnam was a problem, but then, since Mao had been dead for some time by then, it's would be
hard for Erwin to blame him except for the fact that Erwin clearly lives on Planet
@John Quiggin The claim is that war, despite its brutality created big states, like the
Roman empire, which then delivered peace and prosperity
I don't think this is an intellectually generous summary of the arguments, as presented in
The author himself summarizes it as "war made states, and states made peace", and if it is
indeed true that the author often speaks of "larger, more organized societies" there is a
strong implication that for a society to be "large" in the sense discussed in the article, it
is not really necessary that it be territorially very wide (the most clear cut indication of
that is that the author refers to the European states of the 1600s as "big, settled states"
while they all were geographically tiny at the time). So the point of the author, if
interpreted with intellectual honesty, seems to me to be twofold: 1) that war has been a
crucial factor in the formation of complex, organized states and societies and 2) that these
complex, organized states and societies brought with them so many positive things that the
wars required to form them were worth it.
The second point is pure Pinker. I consider it logically meaningless, myself (it
ultimately relies on the concept that History proceeds like an individual who is choosing a
pair of shoes) and morally repugnant (it is not hard to see who will be pleased to have a
rhetorical tool that can justify any atrocity by the long term gains it will provide humanity
– indeed, it is instructive in that respect to read SS internal papers on when and why
children should be executed with their parents, and how to select people for that task:
contrary to what could be guessed, the manual recommends the soldiers who appear to have a
strong sense of empathy and morality, with the idea that they will those who will most
strongly endorse the "by doing this abominable act, we are sacrificing ourselves on behalf of
future generations" thesis).
The first point, however, appears to me to be broadly correct descriptively. Extracting an
interesting thesis out of it requires much more work than is indicated by the article,
however (I consider Ertman's Birth of the Levianthan an example of that kind of extra
work done successfully).
@John Quiggin Lots of people predicted, along the lines of your post, that with the
external threat of the USSR gone, and the US pulling back, the old warlike Europe would
I think what we may call the "wide military context thesis" runs rather like this: because
of the experience of WWII and the Cold War, modern industrial states have amassed enormous
military power while at the same time knowing that they can experience total destruction if
they enter into a military conflict with a state of comparable military might. As a
consequence, peace dominates between them. So France is not at war with the United Kingdom or
Germany, certainly in part because they are all (for now) members of the EU but also in part
for the same reason Japan is not at war with South Korea and Russia not at war with
Personally, I think it would be absurd to claim that the EU has played no role in the
pacification of Western Europe in the second half of the twentieth century, but I think it
would be equally absurd to deny the role of other factors that plainly play a major role in
the equally remarkable pacification of other regional areas in the absence of an economical
and political unification process (rise in prosperity, rise in education, aging populations,
increased military power ).
Not really wanting to get into the "do empires benefit civilization by promoting trade"
argument, but having just read Lost Enlightenment, nothing in that lengthy tome suggests the
Silk Road city states gain any special advantage from the Mongol invasion. In fact, quite the
opposite. After the Mongols (in part for reasons preceeding the conquest), Central Asia never
regained its pre-eminence (it had actually not just been a facilitator of trade but also a
center of manufacture, culture, scientific progress). Maybe the trade routes hobbled along as
trade routes but the civilization that was both built by and facilitated trade did not
rebound. Most empires seem to get that there is wealth to be had from involvement in trade,
they don't always know how to keep the gold goose alive.
LFC 10.20.19 at 9:10 pm (no link)
"War made states and states made peace" is a riff on Charles Tilly's line "war made the state
and the state made war."
"... In excess of 13,000 people, mostly Ukrainians, are known to have died in this war, and some two million have been forced from their homes. The economy of eastern Ukraine has collapsed. Ukraine has suffered through painful economic dislocation and political division. Meanwhile, several hundred Russians are believed to have been killed fighting in the Donbass. Western sanctions have damaged Russia's weak economy. And although the majority of Crimeans probably wanted to join Russia, opposition activists and journalists have been abducted, brutalized, and/or imprisoned. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been closed and Tartars have been persecuted. ..."
"... Even though the overall idea of ending the sponsoring of the conflict by Washington is plausible there are a number of shortcomings in the article to put it mildly. I realize though that the author has to make Washington look innocent and Russia look bad to escape the danger of being stigmatized as a pro-Russian traitor. ..."
"... I understand why you want to thread the needle. After the invasions, having to add more failure or at the very least recognition of dysfunction to our foreign policy choices and consequences is a bitter pill. But as you note had the US and the EU seriously had the desire to add the Ukraine into the western European sphere of influence, they could have offered a better deal on oil - they didn't. ..."
"... I think we have got to stop accusing the then existing government of corruption. As your own article states, the history of unstable governance with accompanying "corruption" seems a staple and nonunique. ..."
"... And as is the case in developing countries, what we call corruption is a cultural staple of how business and affairs are conducted. Whatever the issues, the Ukrainian public was not overly beset by the results so as to spontaneously riot. ..."
"... How the civil unrest spun out of control the second time in ten years, can be linked directly to US and EU involvement. ..."
Recently Ukraine has been thrown into the spotlight as Democrats gear up to impeach President Donald Trump. More important, though,
is its role in damaging America's relations with Russia, which has resulted in a mini-Cold War that the U.S. needs to end.
Ukraine is in a bad neighborhood. During the 17th century, the country was divided between Poland and Russia, and eventually ended
up as part of the Russian Empire. Kiev then enjoyed only the briefest of liberations after the 1917 Russian Revolution, before being
reabsorbed by the Soviet Union. It later suffered from a devastating famine as Moscow confiscated food and collectivized agriculture.
Ukraine was ravaged during Germany's World War II invasion, and guerrilla resistance to renewed Soviet control continued for years
In 1991, the collapse of the U.S.S.R. gave Ukraine another, more enduring chance for independence. However, the new nation's development
was fraught: GDP dropped by 60 percent and corruption burgeoned. Ukraine suffered under a succession of corrupt, self-serving, and
ineffective leaders, as the U.S., Europe, and Russia battled for influence.
In 2014, Washington and European governments backed a street putsch against the elected, though highly corrupt, pro-Russian president,
Viktor Yanukovych. The Putin government responded by annexing Crimea and backing separatist forces in Eastern Ukraine's Donbass region.
Washington and Brussels imposed economic sanctions on Russia and provided military aid to Kiev.
The West versus Russia quickly became a "frozen" conflict. Moscow reincorporated Crimea into Russia, from which it had been detached
in 1954 as part of internal Soviet politics. In the Donbass, more than a score of ceasefires came and went. Both Ukraine and Russia
failed to fulfill the 2016 Minsk agreements, which sought to end the conflict.
In excess of 13,000 people, mostly Ukrainians, are known to have died in this war, and some two million have been forced from
their homes. The economy of eastern Ukraine has collapsed. Ukraine has suffered through painful economic dislocation and political
division. Meanwhile, several hundred Russians are believed to have been killed fighting in the Donbass. Western sanctions have damaged
Russia's weak economy. And although the majority of Crimeans probably wanted to join Russia, opposition activists and journalists
have been abducted, brutalized, and/or imprisoned. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been closed and Tartars have been persecuted.
The most important geopolitical impact has been to poison Russia's relations with the West. Moscow's aggressions against Ukraine
cannot be justified, but the U.S. and Europe did much to create the underlying suspicion and hostility. Recently declassified documents
reveal the degree to which Western officials misled Moscow about their intention to expand NATO. Allied support for adding Georgia
and Ukraine, which would have greatly expanded Russian vulnerability, generated a particularly strong reaction in Moscow. The dismemberment
of Serbia with no consideration of Russia's interests was another irritant, along with Western support for "color revolutions" elsewhere,
including in Tbilisi. The ouster of Yanukovych finally triggered Putin's brutal response.
Washington and Brussels apparently did not view their policies as threatening to Russia. However, had Moscow ousted an elected
Mexican president friendly to America, while inviting the new government to join the Warsaw Pact, and worked with a coalition of
Central American states to divert Mexican trade from the U.S., officials in Washington would not have been pleased. They certainly
wouldn't have been overly concerned about juridical niceties in responding.
This explains (though does not justify) Russia's hostile response. Subsequent allied policies then turned the breach in relations
into a gulf. The U.S. and European Union imposed a series of economic sanctions. Moreover, Washington edged closer to military confrontation
with its provision of security assistance to Kiev. Moscow responded by challenging America from Syria to Venezuela.
It also began moving towards China. The two nations' differences are many and their relationship is unstable. However, as long
as their antagonism towards Washington exceeds their discomfort with each other, they will cooperate to block what they see as America's
pursuit of global hegemony.
Why is the U.S. entangled in the Ukrainian imbroglio? During the Cold War, Ukraine was one of the fabled "captive nations," backed
by vigorous advocacy from Ukrainian Americans. After the Soviet Union collapsed, they joined other groups lobbying on behalf of ethnic
brethren to speed NATO's expansion eastward. Security policy turned into a matter of ethnic solidarity, to be pursued irrespective
of cost and risk.
To more traditional hawks who are always seeking an enemy, the issue is less pro-Ukraine than anti-Russia. Mitt Romney, the Republican
Party's 2012 presidential nominee, improbably attacked Russia as America's most dangerous adversary. Hence the GOP's counterproductive
determination to bring Kiev into NATO. Originally Washington saw the transatlantic alliance as a means to confront the Soviet menace;
now it views the pact as a form of charity.
After the Soviet collapse, the U.S. pushed NATO eastward into nations that neither mattered strategically nor could be easily
protected, most notably in the Balkans and Baltics. Even worse were Georgia and Ukraine, security black holes that would bring with
them ongoing conflicts with Russia, possibly triggering a larger war between NATO and Moscow.
Ukraine never had been a matter of U.S. security. For most of America's history, the territory was controlled by either the Russian
Empire or the Soviet Union. Washington's Cold War sympathies represented fraternal concerns, not security essentials. Today, without
Kiev's aid, the U.S. and Europe would still have overwhelming conventional forces to be brought into any conflict with Moscow. However,
adding Ukraine to NATO would increase the risk of a confrontation with a nuclear armed power. Russia's limitations when it comes
to its conventional military would make a resort to nuclear weapons more likely in any conflict.
Nevertheless, George W. Bush's aggressively neoconservative administration won backing for Georgian and Ukrainian membership in
NATO and considered intervening militarily in the Russo-Georgian war. However, European nations that feared conflict with Moscow
blocked plans for NATO expansion, which went into cold storage. Although alliance officials still officially backed membership for
Ukraine, it remains unattainable so long as conflict burns hot with Russia.
In the meantime, Washington has treated Ukraine as a de facto military ally, offering economic and security assistance. The U.S.
has provided $1.5 billion for Ukrainian training and weapons, including anti-tank Javelin missiles. Explained Obama administration
defense secretary Ashton Carter: "Ukraine would never be where it is without that support from the United States."
Equally important, the perception of U.S. backing made the Kiev government, headed by President Petro Poroshenko, less willing
to pursue a diplomatic settlement with Russia. Thus did Ukraine, no less than Russia, almost immediately violate the internationally
backed Minsk accord.
Kiev's role as a political football highlights the need for Washington to pursue an enduring political settlement with Russia.
European governments are growing restless; France has taken the lead in seeking better relations with Moscow. Germany is unhappy
with U.S. attempts to block the planned Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. In Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky has campaigned
to end the conflict.
Negotiators for Russia, Ukraine, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe recently met in Minsk to revive the
agreement previously reached in the Belarus capital. They set an election schedule in the contested east, to be followed by passage
of Ukrainian legislation to grant the region greater autonomy and separatists legal immunity. Despite strong opposition from nationalists,
passage is likely since Zelensky's party holds a solid legislative majority.
Many challenges remain, but the West could aid this process by respecting Russian security concerns. The U.S. and its allies should
formally foreclose Ukraine's membership in the transatlantic alliance and end lethal military aid. After receiving those assurances,
Moscow would be expected to resolve the Donbass conflict, presumably along the lines of Minsk: Ukraine protects local autonomy while
Russia exits the fight. Sanctions against Russia would be lifted. Ukrainians would be left to choose their economic orientation,
since the country would likely be split between east and west for some time to come. The West would accept Russia's control of Crimea
while refusing to formally recognize the conquest -- absent a genuinely independent referendum with independent monitors.
Such a compromise would be controversial. Washington's permanent war lobby would object. Hyper-nationalistic Ukrainians would
double down on calling Zelensky a traitor. Eastern Europeans would complain about appeasing Russia. However, such a compromise would
certainly be better than endless conflict.
Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is the author
of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire.
I credit Mr. Bandow for his largely fair and accurate description of the events in Ukraine of five years ago, and for his ultimate
policy proposal for the US to extricate itself from its close involvement in the area. However, I'm a little confused by what
exactly the author means by "Moscow's aggressions against Ukraine" and "Putin's brutal response" (aside from the treatment of
dissidents and journalists as he specifically mentioned) to the Maidan Revolution.
Was it aggressive and brutal for Russia to support separatists in the Donbass who were facing the prospect of legal discrimination
and violence by a criminal, neo-fascist government in Kiev, not to mention de-industrialization, the gutting of the agriculture
sector and the forced economic migration of an enormous number of its young workers (assuming that Ukraine's economic deal with
the EU followed the script of every other Easter European's country's deal with the EU)? If Yanukovych had fled to the Donbass
and proclaimed himself still the freely elected (though certainly corrupt) President of the nation, Russia's support for the region
would have even had a shiny brass legal fig leaf, wouldn't it?
As for the supposed "conquest" of Crimea, that's a rather strong word to use considering that all of two members of the Ukrainian
military were killed, and 60-80 of them detained, while 15,000 defected to Russia. Compared to the violence in Kiev and Odessa,
what happened in Crimea almost qualifies as a bloodless coup. But then Mr. Bandow shies away from using the word "hegemony" to
describe the foreign policy of the United States, figuratively putting the word in the mouths of those bad men (which they are)
in Moscow and Beijing. It's a pity that Mr. Bandow felt the need to make linguistic concessions to the foreign policy establishment
in what was otherwise a useful and balanced piece.
Even though the overall idea of ending the sponsoring of the conflict by Washington is plausible there are a number of shortcomings
in the article to put it mildly. I realize though that the author has to make Washington look innocent and Russia look bad to
escape the danger of being stigmatized as a pro-Russian traitor.
I understand why you want to thread the needle. After the invasions, having to add more failure or at the very least recognition
of dysfunction to our foreign policy choices and consequences is a bitter pill. But as you note had the US and the EU seriously
had the desire to add the Ukraine into the western European sphere of influence, they could have offered a better deal on oil
- they didn't.
I think we have got to stop accusing the then existing government of corruption. As your own article states, the history
of unstable governance with accompanying "corruption" seems a staple and nonunique.
And as is the case in developing countries, what we call corruption is a cultural staple of how business and affairs are
conducted. Whatever the issues, the Ukrainian public was not overly beset by the results so as to spontaneously riot.
How the civil unrest spun out of control the second time in ten years, can be linked directly to US and EU involvement.
It is a deeply held belief that democracy is a system that by definition a generally acceptable path forward. That belief is
false as democracy is still comprised of human beings. And democracy in their hands is no "cure all". It can be a turbulent and
jerky bureaucratic maze process that pleases no one and works over time.
The US didn't accomplish it without violence until after more than 130 years, when the native populations were finally subdued.
And as for a system that embodied equal treatment to similar circumstance -- we are still at it. But a violent revolution every
ten years certainly isn't the most effective road to take.
Why we insistent on restarting the cold war is unclear to me save that it served to create a kind of strategic global clarity
Though what that means would troublesome because Russia's ole would now be as a developing democratic state as opposed to a communist
monolith. And that means unfettered from her satellites and empowered by more capital markets her role as adversary would be more
adroit. As time after time, Ores Putin has appeared the premier diplomat for peace and stability in situations in which the US
was engaged or encouraging violence.(the Ukraine). I certainly don't think that our relations with Russia or China are a to be
kumbaya love fests, there is still global competition and there's no reason to pretend it would be without tensions. But seriously,
as a democratic/capital market player -- there really was no way to contain Russia.
Given what we experienced during 2007 --- corruption comes in a mryiad of guises.
The Ukraine situation is complex to be certain, but ending military aid and letting Russia clean up seems like a bad idea.
This week we saw Russian forces occupy US bases abandoned when Trump ordered our troops to withdraw from the Turkish border.
And now the author is arguing we should do something similar in the Ukraine.
When did Russian appeasement become so important to conservative foreign policy?
Mate, Russians were in Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government. US troops are there illegally (no Congress mandate, no
international mandate, no invitation). US is an occupying, destabilizing, terrorist protecting force in Syria and Americans should
look beyond their self esteem before commenting on this "shameful" retreat. US does not have the right to put its troops wherever
This win or loose mentality will be the death of you. Who do you think is threatening the US, when it has the biggest moats
protecting its shores? The only thing that is happening is that the hegemonic role, that of controlling everyone's economy for
its own elites benefit is being denied.
This is what you are complaining mate, the the rich Americans cannot get richer? Do you think they will share with you, or
that, like the good English boys of the past, you will not be able to land a job with East India Co. and despoil the natives for
If the US were smart then they would lead some sort of negotiation where eastern Europe and Ukraine and Russia were allowed only
mutually agreed defensive weapons systems. A demilitarization of say 200 miles on each side of the Russia border. The strategy
should be to encourage trade between Eastern Europe and Russia where Russia has influence but is not threatening. It may be slow
to build that trust but the real question is whether the US and Europe and NATO want peace with Russia or whether they are using
fear of Russia to keep eastern Europe united with the US and Europe. This may be the case but the future will have China as a
greater threat than Russia (China will even be a threat to Russia). Any shift in Russian relations will take decades of building
trust on both sides.
Good article and excellent history of facts. If I recall during the last Bush administration W hosted a Putin and his then spouse,
at a visit at his ranch. Putin informed W," the Ukraine belongs to Russia. end of sentence.
The author forgot the critical role of Sevastopol in the Crimea. It is Russia's only warm water port and there was no way that
it was going to allow this area to become a NATO naval base. Secretary of State Clinton and her sidekick for Ukraine, Victoria
Nuland should have known this before they started supporting the overthrow of the pro-Russia government in Kiev.
If you look at a historical atlas, you won't find an independent country called Ukraine before 1991. When my parents were born,
near what is now called Lviv, the area was called Galicia and Lemberg was its provincial capital. A gold medal issued in 1916
in honor of Franz Josef's 85th birthday noted that he was the Kaiser of Austria, Hungary, Galicia and Lodomeria.
When the old Soviet Union agreed to allow East and West Germany to reunify, it was with the understanding that NATO would not
extend membership to former Soviet block countries and that there would be no NATO bases in these areas either. NATO and the US
broke their oral commitment to Russia a few years later.
The US should get out of the business of trying to spread democracy in third world countries and interfering in the affairs
of foreign governments. We can't afford to be the policeman of the world. We don't even have the ability to make many of our own
central cities safe for Americans. Think Baltimore, St. Louis, New Orleans and Detroit, all four of which appear on Wikipedia's
list of the 50 murder capitals of the world (per thousand population).
"... But militarism is more than thuggish dictators, predatory weaponry, and steely-eyed troops. There are softer forms of it that are no less significant than the "hard" ones. In fact, in a self-avowed democracy like the United States, such softer forms are often more effective because they seem so much less insidious, so much less dangerous. ..."
"... But who can object to celebrating " hometown heroes " in uniform, as happens regularly at sports events of every sort in twenty-first-century America? Or polite and smiling military recruiters in schools ? Or gung-ho war movies like the latest version of Midway , timed for Veterans Day weekend 2019 and marking America's 1942 naval victory over Japan, when we were not only the good guys but the underdogs? ..."
"... Roughly two-thirds of the federal government's discretionary budget for 2020 will, unbelievably enough, be devoted to the Pentagon and related military functions, with each year's "defense" budget coming ever closer to a trillion dollars ..."
"... The U.S. military remains the most trusted institution in our society, so say 74% of Americans surveyed in a Gallup poll. ..."
"... A state of permanent war is considered America's new normal. ..."
"... America's generals continue to be treated, without the slightest irony, as "the adults in the room." ..."
"... The media routinely embraces retired U.S. military officers and uses them as talking heads to explain and promote military action to the American people. ..."
"... America's foreign aid is increasingly military aid. ..."
"... In that context, consider the militarization of the weaponry in those very hands, from .50 caliber sniper rifles to various military-style assault rifles. ..."
"... Paradoxically, even as Americans slaughter each other and themselves in large numbers via mass shootings and suicides (nearly 40,000 gun deaths in 2017 alone), they largely ignore Washington's overseas wars and the continued bombing of numerous countries. ..."
"... 9. Even as Americans "support our troops" and celebrate them as "heroes," the military itself has taken on a new " warrior ethos " that would once -- in the age of a draft army -- have been contrary to this country's citizen-soldier tradition , especially as articulated and exhibited by the "greatest generation" during World War II. ..."
"... Democracy shouldn't be about celebrating overlords in uniform. A now-widely accepted belief is that America is more divided, more partisan than ever, approaching perhaps a new civil war , as echoed in the rhetoric of our current president. Small wonder that inflammatory rhetoric is thriving and the list of this country's enemies lengthening when Americans themselves have so softly yet fervently embraced militarism. ..."
Killing Me Softly with Militarism - The Decay of Democracy in America
When Americans think of
they may imagine jackbooted soldiers goose-stepping through the streets as flag-waving crowds exult
, they may think of enormous parades featuring troops and missiles and tanks, with
warplanes soaring overhead. Or nationalist dictators wearing military uniforms
medals, ribbons, and badges like so many barnacles on a sinking ship of state. (Was Donald
recently when he said he'd like to award himself a Medal of Honor?)
they may also think is: that's not us. That's not America. After all, Lady Liberty used to welcome
newcomers with a torch, not an
distant parts of the world, right?
But militarism is more than thuggish dictators, predatory weaponry, and steely-eyed
troops. There are softer forms of it that are no less significant than the "hard" ones.
fact, in a self-avowed democracy like the United States, such softer forms are often more effective
because they seem so much less insidious, so much less dangerous. Even in the heartland of Trump's
famed base, most Americans
nakedly bellicose displays like phalanxes of tanks rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue.
But who can object to celebrating "
" in uniform, as happens regularly at sports events of every sort in twenty-first-century
America? Or polite and smiling military recruiters
? Or gung-ho war movies like the latest version of
, timed for Veterans
Day weekend 2019 and marking America's 1942 naval victory over Japan, when we were not only the
good guys but the underdogs?
What do I mean by softer forms of militarism?
I'm a football fan, so one recent
Sunday afternoon found me watching an NFL game on CBS. People deplore violence in such games, and
rightly so, given the number of injuries among the players, notably concussions that debilitate
lives. But what about
during the game? In that one afternoon, I noted repetitive commercials for
all CBS shows from this quietly militarized American moment of ours. In other words, I was exposed
to lots of guns, explosions, fisticuffs, and the like, but more than anything I was given glimpses
of hard men (and a woman or two) in uniform who have the very answers we need and, like the
in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, are armed to the teeth. ("Models with guns," my wife
Got a situation in Nowhere-stan? Send in the Navy SEALs. Got a murderer on the loose? Send in
the SWAT team. With their superior weaponry and can-do spirit, Special Forces of every sort are
sure to win the day (except, of course, when they don't, as in America's current series of
in distant lands).
And it hardly ends with those three shows.
Consider, for example, this
century's update of
, a CBS
show featuring a kickass private investigator. In the original
that I watched as a teenager, Tom Selleck played the character with an easy charm.
Magnum's military background in Vietnam was acknowledged but not hyped. Unsurprisingly, today's
Magnum is proudly billed as an ex-Navy SEAL.
Cop and military
shows are nothing new on American TV, but never have I seen so many of them,
new and old, and so well-armed.
On CBS alone you can add to the mix
(yet more models with guns updated and up-armed from my youthful years), the three
Criminal Investigative Service) shows, and
(ironically starring a more grizzled and less charming Tom Selleck) -- and who
knows what I haven't noticed? While today's cop/military shows feature far more diversity with
respect to gender, ethnicity, and race compared to hoary classics like
they also feature far more gunplay and other forms of bloody violence.
Look, as a veteran, I have nothing against realistic shows on the military. Coming from a family
of first responders -- I count four firefighters and two police officers in my immediate family --
I loved shows like
my youth. What I'm against is the strange militarization of everything, including, for instance,
the idea, distinctly of our moment, that first responders need their very own version of the
American flag to mark their service. Perhaps you've seen those
flags, sometimes augmented with a red line for firefighters. As a military veteran,
my gut tells me that there should only be one American flag and it should be good enough for all
Americans. Think of the proliferation of flags as another soft type of up-armoring (this time of
Speaking of which, whatever happened to
's Sergeant Joe Friday, on the
beat, serving his fellow citizens, and pursuing law enforcement as a calling?
need a thin blue line battle flag. And in the rare times when he wielded a gun, it was .38 Special.
Today's version of Joe looks a lot more like G.I. Joe, decked out in body armor and carrying an
assault rifle as he exits a tank-like vehicle, maybe even a
Militarism in the USA
Besides TV shows, movies, and commercials, there are many signs of the increasing embrace of
militarized values and attitudes in this country. The result: the acceptance of a military in
places where it
, one that's
far too much
money and cultural
authority, while becoming
Let me offer just nine signs of this that would have been so much less conceivable when
I was a young boy watching reruns of
the federal government's discretionary budget for 2020 will, unbelievably enough, be devoted to
the Pentagon and related military functions, with each year's "defense" budget coming ever
closer to a
. Such colossal sums are rarely debated in Congress; indeed, they enjoy wide
2. The U.S. military remains the
institution in our society, so say 74% of Americans surveyed in a Gallup poll. No
other institution even comes close, certainly not the presidency (37%) or Congress (which
recently rose to a monumental
an impeachment high). Yet that same military has produced disasters or quagmires in Afghanistan,
Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and elsewhere. Various "surges" have repeatedly failed. The
Pentagon itself can't even pass
. Why so much trust?
3. A state of permanent war is considered America's new normal. Wars are now automatically
treated as multi-generational with little concern for how
degrade our democracy. Anti-war protesters are rare enough to be
crying in the wilderness.
4. America's generals continue to be treated, without the slightest irony, as "the adults in
the room." Sages like former Secretary of Defense
in the recent debate among 12 Democratic presidential hopefuls) will
from unskilled and tempestuous politicians like one Donald J. Trump. In the 2016
presidential race, it seemed that neither candidate could run without being endorsed by a
screaming general (
5. The media routinely embraces retired U.S. military officers and uses them as
to explain and promote military action to the American people. Simultaneously, when
the military goes to war, civilian journalists are "embedded" within those forces and so are
dependent on them in every way. The result tends to be a cheerleading media that supports the
military in the name of patriotism -- as well as higher ratings and corporate profits.
6. America's foreign aid is increasingly military aid. Consider, for instance, the current
controversy over the aid to Ukraine that President Trump blocked before his infamous phone call,
which was, of course,
. This should serve to remind us that the United States has become the
merchant of death, selling far more weapons globally than any other country. Again,
there is no real debate here about the morality of profiting from such massive sales, whether
billion in arms sales for this fiscal year alone, says the Defense Security Cooperation Agency)
staggering 150 million new guns produced in the USA since 1986, the vast majority remaining in
7. In that context, consider the militarization of the weaponry in those very hands, from .50
various military-style assault rifles. Roughly
AR-15s are currently owned by ordinary Americans. We're talking about a gun designed
for battlefield-style rapid shooting and maximum damage against humans. In the 1970s, when I was
a teenager, the hunters in my family had bolt-action rifles for deer hunting, shotguns for
birds, and pistols for home defense and plinking. No one had a military-style assault rifle
because no one needed one or even wanted one. Now, worried suburbanites buy them, thinking
they're getting their "
" back by toting such a weapon of mass destruction.
8. Paradoxically, even as Americans slaughter each other and themselves in large numbers via
mass shootings and suicides (nearly 40,000
in 2017 alone), they largely ignore Washington's overseas wars and the
of numerous countries. But ignorance is not bliss. By tacitly giving the military a
blank check, issued in the name of securing the homeland, Americans embrace that military,
however loosely, and its misuse of violence across significant parts of the planet. Should it be
any surprise that a country that kills so wantonly overseas over such a prolonged period would
also experience mass shootings and other forms of violence at home?
9. Even as Americans "support our troops" and celebrate them as "heroes," the military itself
has taken on a new "
" that would once -- in the age of a draft army -- have been contrary to this
especially as articulated and exhibited by the "greatest generation" during World War II.
What these nine items add up to is a paradigm shift as well as a change in the
zeitgeist. The U.S. military is no longer a tool that a democracy funds and uses reluctantly. It's
become an alleged force for good, a virtuous entity, a band of brothers (and sisters), America's
foremost missionaries overseas and most lovable and admired heroes at home.
of the military is precisely what I would call soft militarism. Jackbooted troops may not be
marching in our streets, but they increasingly seem to be marching unopposed through -- and
The Decay of Democracy
As Americans embrace the military, less violent policy options are downplayed or
Consider the State Department, America's diplomatic corps, now a
of the Pentagon led by Mike Pompeo (celebrated by Donald Trump as a tremendous leader because he
at West Point). Consider President Trump as well, who's been labeled an isolationist, and
to truly withdraw troops or end wars. In Syria, U.S. troops were recently redeployed,
not withdrawn, not from the region anyway, even as
are being sent to Saudi Arabia. In Afghanistan, Trump sent a few thousand more troops in
2017, his own modest version of a mini-surge and they're still there, even as peace negotiations
with the Taliban have been abandoned. That decision, in turn, led to a new surge (a "
") in U.S. bombing in that country in September, naturally in the name of advancing
The result: yet higher levels of
How did the U.S. increasingly come to reject diplomacy and democracy for militarism and
Partly, I think, because of the absence of a military draft. Precisely
because military service is voluntary, it can be valorized. It can be elevated as a calling that's
uniquely heroic and sacrificial. Even though most troops are drawn from the working class and
volunteer for diverse reasons, their motivations and their imperfections can be ignored as
politicians praise them to the rooftops. Related to this is the Rambo-like cult of the warrior and
, now celebrated as something desirable in America. Such an ethos fits seamlessly with
America's generational wars. Unlike conflicted draftees, warriors exist solely to wage war. They
are less likely to have the questioning attitude of the citizen-soldier.
Don't get me wrong: reviving the draft isn't the solution; reviving democracy is.
We need the active involvement of informed citizens, especially resistance to
on American weapons of mass destruction. The true cost of our previously soft (now
possibly hardening) militarism isn't seen only in this country's quickening march toward a
militarized authoritarianism. It can also be measured in the dead and wounded from our wars,
distant lands. It can be seen as well in the rise of increasingly well-armed, self-avowed
nationalists domestically who promise solutions via walls and weapons and "good guys" with guns.
("Shoot them in the legs," Trump is
have said about immigrants crossing America's southern border illegally.)
Democracy shouldn't be about celebrating overlords in uniform.
accepted belief is that America is more divided, more partisan than ever, approaching perhaps a
, as echoed in the rhetoric of our current president. Small wonder that inflammatory
rhetoric is thriving and the list of this country's enemies lengthening when
themselves have so softly yet fervently embraced militarism.
With apologies to the great
America is killing itself softly with war songs.
"Police who deployed explosives and armored vehicles to flush
out a man –who'd stolen two belts and a shirt from a Greenwood
Village Walmart– from the house of Leo and Alfonsia Lech, are
not required to compensate the couple for destroying their
home, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals
Those police destroyed a house worth well over 200K since
it's in metro Denver...and all to apprehend a punk that
shoplifted less than $100 of merchandise...something
terribly wrong, all the govt units, local on up are high on
the arrogance of power with impunity.
In addition to the fired Shokin's claim that President Poroshenko warned him not to
investigate Burisma because it was not in the Bidens' interest, the notes say, the prosecutor
also said he "was warned to stop" by the then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt .
The State Department declined to explain this assertion about Pyatt, who was ambassador to
Ukraine from 2013 to 2016 and now is Ambassador to Greece. The Biden presidential campaign did
not respond to a request for comment.
Recounting Shokin's version of events, the notes say he "was called into Mr. Poroshenko's
office and told that the investigation into Burisma and the Managing Director where Hunter
Biden is on the board, has caused Joe Biden to hold up one billion dollars in U.S. aid to
Ukraine." Poroshenko later told Shokin that "he had to be fired as the aid to the Ukraine was
being withheld by Joe Biden," the Giuliani interview notes say.
Trump has claimed that Vice
President Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to fire Shokin because he was investigating
his son's employer.
"I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really
unfair," the president said, referring to Shokin in his July 25 phone call with Ukraine's
president, Volodymyr Zelensky. That call triggered the current impeachment crisis after a CIA
whistleblower alleged that Trump had pressured the Ukrainian leader to investigate Biden in
return for military aid.
investigation in 2017 found that officials in Poroshenko's government helped Hillary
Clinton allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, notably Paul Manafort,
who before joining the Trump campaign was a political consultant for ousted Ukrainian President
Poroshenko's administration insisted at the time that Ukraine stayed neutral in the
Following a short artillery and air engagement with Syria over raids by exiled Palestinian
guerillas, Egypt mobilized against her nemesis in 1967. President Nasser sent six divisions to
the Sinai, removed the UN peacekeeping force, and closed the Straits of Tiran south of Israel.
Israel struck first, fearing annihilation.
As Israeli historian Martin Van Creveld states in
The Transformation of War , "for six glorious days war was Israel and Israel was war."
The result was a smashing victory for the Israelis
, who lost around 800 soldiers, as opposed to 20,000 for Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. The Sinai
peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights were added to
Compare this short war with another conflict that played out in 2006. For 34 days, Israel
battled Hezbollah in southern Lebanon in response to the Shia terrorist group's killing and
capturing of several Israeli soldiers in cross-border raids. Israel launched a massive air and
artillery campaign, followed by a ground invasion in late July. When the ceasefire was signed
on August 14, both sides claimed victory, but as John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt noted in
The Israel Lobbyand U.S. Foreign
Policy , "it was clear to most independent experts" that "Hezbollah had come out ahead
in the fight." The IDF chief of staff resigned, and an Israeli government investigation rebuked
the planning and handling of the campaign, stating that the military had "pursued goals that
were not clear and could not be achieved."
Worse still, the air, artillery, and naval campaign killed an estimated 1,183 Lebanese (a
third of them children) and devastated the country's infrastructure. These actions drew strong
condemnation from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for causing "destruction on a
catastrophic scale." During the last three days of the war, the IDF fired over one million
cluster bombs into southern Lebanon, "saturating the area." The leader of an IDF rocket unit called these actions
"insane and monstrous."
War can still be won by being nasty and short, as shown in the first Gulf War, but time is
not on the side of the powerful. Escalation by a powerful state against a poorly equipped
adversary almost always works to the advantage of the weaker side. Van Creveld compares this
situation to an adult who "administers a prolonged, violent beating to a child in a public
place." Observers will sympathize with the child and intervene, regardless of its prior
With the Palestinians, the position of weakness is even more extreme. Israel dominates the
lives of 3.8 million Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, controlling air, land, and sea
access, in a situation that's been compared to "living in a cage" by Swedish foreign minister
Jan Eliasson. Despite numerous American attempts to secure Palestinian statehood and resolve
the conflict, the present situation seems worse than ever.
The Trump administration, on the other hand, has made it clear that Israel will be supported
through thick and thin. And the world has slowly but surely begun to take notice. The
BDS movement (Boycott, Divest, Sanction), initially confined to college campuses and
Palestine, spilled into the national news when Democratic lawmakers Ilhan Omar and Rashida
Talib spearheaded a movement opposing bills aimed at criminalizing support of BDS. Some
Republicans, namely Senator Rand Paul, have opposed those bills, too, on
free speech grounds.
Recently, after the congresswomen were denied entry to Israel because of their support of
BDS, liberal Jewish journalist Peter Beinart defended their stance. Speaking on a CNN panel , he openly
sympathized with the plight of the Palestinians, claiming their treatment by Israel constitutes
an "indefensible denial of basic human rights." Fellow panelists attempted to tie support for
Palestine to terrorism, a common tactic. But terrorism in that part of the world is nothing
new. Israel's defenders tend to forget or are ignorant of the fact that beginning in 1937, the
militant Zionist group Irgun
was responsible for placing bombs in buses and large crowds. One of its leaders during Israel's
war for independence, future prime minister Menachem Begin, was referred to by Prime Minister
Levi Eshkol simply as "the terrorist."
Modern Israel is no longer a weak state in danger of annihilation. The IDF is highly
motivated, trained, and funded. Emboldened by the financial and moral backing of the United
States and powerful lobbying groups, its treatment of Palestinians and other enemies has become
steadily more severe.
elections still contested , it remains to be seen whether these policies will continue. But
militarily, Israel's position is not tenable. You can win at the tactical level and rack up a
higher body count, but still lose the war. As frequent TAC contributor and military historian
William S. Lind notes, "in the 3,000 years that the story of David and Goliath has been told,
how many listeners have identified with Goliath?"
So TAC is standing with the Palestinians now I see. Will it stand with those other Davids,
the intersectional allies of the BDS crowd too? namely Black Lives Matter, illegal Latino
migrants, the LGBTQ+ community, and other assorted SJW types?
We are now in the end times; when it comes to Israel, all is in the hands of the Lord. As
the nations of the earth seek to attack and destroy Israel, they fall into ruin: look at
the entire Muslim world; look at what's happening to Europe. Most of all, look at the
astonishing rise and continued power of Donald Trump, the man who recognized Jerusalem as
the capital of Israel. Pick your side and accept your fate accordingly.
"Escalation by a powerful state against a poorly equipped adversary almost always
works to the advantage of the weaker side."
I don't always buy this. For me this only works if the powerful state is in the wrong.
And sadly, in this situation, Israel is deeply in the wrong.
But what does happen is over time, the weak becomes slowly stronger. Because they are
always studying their enemies. They are learning their tactics and how to defeat them. This
may take decades, but eventually the weak become the strong.
This is why it is always best to quickly offer a hand of friendship to a vanquished
enemy. If you don't, you'll eventually trade places.
The author seems to be writing an interesting fiction, reminds one of a Hollywood movie
about a Russian oligarch at the behest of a senior Russian government official, attempting
to engineer wall street crash.
Taking out a newspaper advertisement with proper representation to state one's case can't
be compared with the US funded National Endowment for Democracy's funding of Hong Kong's
increasingly violent rioting.
This is like apple and orange, not comparable. China did not interfere in
NBA's affairs, just reacting to her citizens uproar against the infamous now
deleted tweet. Thus many Chinese Chinese sponsors pulled out. This is no
different to sponsors pulling out of US athletes endorsements from time to
time when there are scandals.
Whereas NED is US intelligence cover for interference in targeted countries
like Ukraine, Venezuela, Iran and many Islamic countries around the world, to
advance US political agenda.
This is a paper or news site about asia. It is written in English? What does this tell
you? The audience ostensibly consists of westerners (or educated people from asia or
elsewhere) who want to read an alternative to the drivel and rubbish that's propagated in
copious quantities by the scat factories of the west and their zionist-oligarch dominated
Who is interfering in elections? Does china name some loser guaido as president of
venezuela or support terrorists in syria? Is china sanctioning (with financial warfare)the
whole world including their own allies? You must have no modicum of shame to come up with
this absolute smorgasbord of rancid festering bollocks that you think is befitting of
"reporting." You are bettet off taking a sabbatical and never coming back... i would tell
you all of this to your face with the utmost respect that i could muster before i
Presidents come and go... the empire, deep state bureaucrats, and their slavish
dual-state minions such as yourself will march on no matter what until your rotten seed
perpetuate the corruption and degeneracy passed down through your genes. That xyz is
president makes zero difference in deterring the momentum of evil that lurks within the
diseased sociopaths such as yourself.
You are an unmitigated disgrace to true journalism and do a grave disservice to this
CIA uses fake identities for the propaganda articles. If a nation is building close
ties with China, automatically an author with a name from that nation appears. They
also have groups posting propaganda under a single fake name. There are only a few
genuine Asian CIA hacks making a living off the CIA.
USA is heading for multiple
recessions possibly a depression unless they change their current anti China
In fact, in military, fake identities for information warfare are assigned to
one person, so that it multiplies the effect. To keep track of these
"personas" per each real person, and their postings -- a "persona" data bases
are needed to keep track of their activities. And unfortunately , there are
always some technicians who are more then happy to talk about it.
It would not surprise me if he worked for the CIA... this organization is, by
its mission, embedded into all public spheres...
What is worrisome is that
the cia has no accountability to anyone. It is one great example of deep state
operator. Also, cia is heavily infiltrated by mossad. In other words, cia is a
parallel drug traffickers organization that dabbles in news, democracy
promotion, torture, coups, blackmail, assasibation, rendition...
It is accountable to no one ... their actions are conducted in secrecy and
cannot be scrutinized... the president can't control them... these
organizations are a manifest example of why this article is a huge fallacy
dressed up in cured excrement.
These people are outrageously shameless in their assertion that they can openly interfere
in the internal affairs of other countries, like the recent bills passed by the US House
of Representatives in support of the Blackshirts of HK, but they would not brook any
interference from China in their election, not that it's true at all.
This is a good example of how the US apply its Orwellian ideology of "American
Exceptionalism" - "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" -
George Orwell's "Animal Farm."
Another guy cashing in on the evil China fad, pathetic. It is the US who conducts
financial warfare by imposing illegal sanctions and restrictions on other countries using
the dominance of the dollar in international trade.
If it is so easy to have a country's financial system snd stock markets manipulated -- how
do know that our own financial sharks are not already manipulating market to enrich them
selves , while making it appear that everything is fine? Or that they are not crashing
markets in order to profit?
There is something not right about a country with financial and market systems living off
the fumes of news cycle?
Look at how many times West attacked Russian financial systems
and markets, blocking whole companies and financial institutions -- yet nothing crashed.
Currency lost some value helping exports, while those earning in dollars simply had more
money to spend domestically. And by placing sanctions kn European food products -- they
shot up to the first place globally in wheat production.
I am wondering if the difference is Russia's large currency and gold reserves. As
opposed US economy that sits atop a large debt bubble? Than anything can spook it.
Bill Gertz is running out of stuff to bad mouth China. He is eager to make some money now
that he's been fired by Washington Free Beacon for having some shady deals with the
Chinese billionaire fugitive Guo who is the subject covered in his reporting.
Maybe Gertz can tell us who China wants to be elected by staging these financial influence
campaign? Gertz is sounding utterly ridiculous now.
american are losers, foreign influence here and there, well thanks to your own foreign
policies bombing here and there and regime change everywhere, you sow what you get. if you
don't want foreign influence. just build a great wall and extend it to these. not only no
5G, ditch all comunications including mail
This is a nonsense article. Lots of hypotheticals with no proof presented of China's
intention or cases of actually trying to influence any American election.
This is more
how Western countries behave with their Machivellian modus operandi overthrowing
governments in Eastern Europe, Latin America, etc. This author and American officials are
merely voicing what the USA is already capable of doing rather than what China has in
In fact there is a debate among Chinese officials and think tanks that they might want
Trump to have a second term because as the USA p@sses off many countries including those
allied with the USA that might help China down the line.
Wait a minute -- Russia wants Trump to be reelected, and China wants him to lose?
With US creating legislation for the whole world -- our sanctions whose enforcement is
imposed in others -- means that other people must have the right to elect the president?
How can the world accept such financial burden on others with no right to vote.
America next time you vote for sanctions, tariffs etc. -- no taxation without
Global presidents must be elected globally!
There's no need for the Chinese to rely on 'covert' operation to influence the election's
outcome. For instance, if China just cancels the buying of the agricultural goods from the
US that it has dealt with Trump in what is being called the partial deal from the trade
war, it would be already enough to influence in the election. Lol!
"... The brother of the current Chilean president, scions of one of the richest families in Chile, became famous for introducing, as Minister of Labor and Social Security under Pinochet, a funded system of pensions where employees make compulsory contributions from their wages into one of several pension funds, and after retirement receive pensions based on investment performance of such funds. Old-age pensions thus became a part of roulette capitalism. But In the process, the pension funds, charging often exorbitant fees, and their managers became rich. ..."
"... José Piñera had tried to "sell" this model to Yeltsin's Russia and to George Bush's United States, but, despite the strong (and quite understandable) support of the financial communities in both countries, he failed. Nowadays, most Chilean pensioners receive $200-$300 per month in a country whose price level (according to International Comparison Project, a worldwide UN- and World Bank-led project to compare price levels around the world) is about 80% of that of the United States. ..."
"... the combined wealth of Chilean billionaires' (there were twelve of them) was equal to 25% of Chilean GDP. The next Latin American countries with highest wealth concentrations are Mexico and Peru where the wealth share of billionaires is about half (13 percent of GDP) of Chile's. But even better: Chile is the country where billionaires' share, in terms of GDP, is the highest in the world (if we exclude countries like Lebanon and Cyprus) where many foreign billionaires simply "park" their wealth for tax reasons. The wealth of Chile's billionaires, compared to their country's GDP, exceeds even that of Russians. [Graph] ..."
"... Such extraordinary inequality of wealth and income, combined with full marketization of many social services (water, electricity etc.), and pensions that depend on the vagaries of the stock market has long been "hidden" from foreign observers by Chile's success in raising its GDP per capita. ..."
"... if there Is no social justice and minimum of social cohesion, the effects of growth will dissolve in grief, demonstrations, and yes, in the shooting of people. ..."
Chile: The poster boy of neoliberalism who fell from grace
It is not common for an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development county to
shoot and kill 16 people in two days of socially motivated riots. (Perhaps only Turkey, in
its unending wars against the Kurdish guerrilla, comes close to that level of violence.) This
is however what Chilean government, the poster child of neoliberalism and transition to
democracy, did last week in the beginning of protests that do not show the signs of subsiding
despite cosmetic reforms proposed by President Sebastian Piñera.
The fall from grace of Chile is symptomatic of worldwide trends that reveal the damages
causes by neoliberal policies over the past thirty years, from privatizations in Eastern
Europe and Russia to the global financial crisis to the Euro-related austerity. Chile was
held, not the least thanks to favorable press that it enjoyed, as a exemplar of success.
Harsh policies introduced after the overthrow of Salvador Allende in 1973, and the murderous
spree that ensued afterwards, have been softened by the transition to democracy but their
essential features were preserved. Chile indeed had a remarkably good record of growth, and
while in the 1960-70s it was in the middle of the Latin American league by GDP per capita, it
is now the richest Latin American country. It was of course helped too by high prices for its
main export commodity, copper, but the success in growth is incontestable. Chile was
"rewarded" by the membership in the OECD, a club of the rich nations, the first South
American country to accede to it.
Where the country failed is in its social policies which somewhat bizarrely were
considered by many to have been successful too. In the 1980s-90s, the World Bank hailed
Chilean "flexible" labor policies which consisted of breaking up the unions and imposing a
model of branch-level negotiations between employers and workers rather than allowing an
overall umbrella union organization to negotiate for all workers. It was even more bizarrely
used by the World Bank as a model of transparency and good governance, something that the
transition countries in Eastern Europe should have presumably copied from Chile. The
brother of the current Chilean president, scions of one of the richest families in Chile,
became famous for introducing, as Minister of Labor and Social Security under Pinochet, a
funded system of pensions where employees make compulsory contributions from their wages into
one of several pension funds, and after retirement receive pensions based on investment
performance of such funds. Old-age pensions thus became a part of roulette capitalism. But In
the process, the pension funds, charging often exorbitant fees, and their managers became
José Piñera had tried to "sell" this model to Yeltsin's Russia and to
George Bush's United States, but, despite the strong (and quite understandable) support of
the financial communities in both countries, he failed. Nowadays, most Chilean pensioners
receive $200-$300 per month in a country whose price level (according to International
Comparison Project, a worldwide UN- and World Bank-led project to compare price levels around
the world) is about 80% of that of the United States.
While Chile leads Latin America in GDP per capita, it also leads it terms of inequality.
In 2015, its level of income inequality was higher than in any other Latin American country
except for Colombia and Honduras. It exceeded even Brazil's proverbially high inequality. The
bottom 5% of the Chilean population have an income level that is about the same as that of
the bottom 5% in Mongolia. The top 2% enjoy the income level equivalent to that of the top 2%
in Germany. Dortmund and poor suburbs of Ulan Bataar were thus brought together.
Chilean income distribution is extremely unequal. But even more so is its wealth
distribution. There, Chile is an outlier even compared to the rest of Latin America.
According to the Forbes' 2014 data on world billionaires, the combined wealth of Chilean
billionaires' (there were twelve of them) was equal to 25% of Chilean GDP. The next Latin
American countries with highest wealth concentrations are Mexico and Peru where the wealth
share of billionaires is about half (13 percent of GDP) of Chile's. But even better: Chile is
the country where billionaires' share, in terms of GDP, is the highest in the world (if we
exclude countries like Lebanon and Cyprus) where many foreign billionaires simply "park"
their wealth for tax reasons. The wealth of Chile's billionaires, compared to their country's
GDP, exceeds even that of Russians.
Such extraordinary inequality of wealth and income, combined with full marketization of
many social services (water, electricity etc.), and pensions that depend on the vagaries of
the stock market has long been "hidden" from foreign observers by Chile's success in raising
its GDP per capita.
But the recent protests show that the latter is not enough. Growth is
indispensable for economic success and reduction in poverty. But it is not enough: if there
Is no social justice and minimum of social cohesion, the effects of growth will dissolve in
grief, demonstrations, and yes, in the shooting of people.
MOSCOW, October 26, 2019 – RIA Novosti – The Russian Ministry of Defense has
published satellite intelligence images , showing American oil smuggling from Syria.
Image 1: Situation in the Syrian Arab Republic as of October 26, 2019.
According to the ministry, the photos confirm that "Syrian oil, both before and after the
routing defeat of the Islamic State terrorists in land beyond the Euphrates river , under the
reliable protection by US military servicemen, oil was actively being extracted and then the
fuel trucks were massively being sent for processing outside of Syria."
Image 2: Daman oil gathering station, Syria, Deir ez-Zor province, 42 km east of Deir
ez-Zor, August 23, 2019.
Here, in a picture of the Daman oil gathering station (42 kilometers east of the Deir-ez-Zor
province), taken on August 23, a large amount of trucks were spotted. "There were 90 automotive
vehicles, including 23 fuel trucks," the caption to the image said.
In addition, on September 5, there were 25 vehicles in the Al-Hasakah province, including 22
fuel trucks. Three days later, on September 8, in the vicinity of Der Ez-Zor, 36 more vehicles
were recorded (32 of them were fuel trucks). On the same day, 41 vehicles, including 34 fuel
trucks, were in the Mayadin onshore area.
Image 3: Gathering of vehicles in Syria, Al-Hasakah province, 8 km west of Al-Shaddadi,
September 5, 2019.
As the official representative of the Defense Ministry Igor Konashenkov noted, the Americans
are extracting oil in Syria with the help of equipment, bypassing their own sanctions.
"Under the protection of American military servicemen and employees of American PMCs, fuel
trucks from the oil fields of Eastern Syria are smuggling to other states. In the event of
any attack on such a caravan, special operations forces and US military aircraft are
immediately called in to protect it," he said.
According to Konashenkov, the US-controlled company Sadcab , established under the so-called
Autonomous Administration of Eastern Syria , is engaged in the export of oil, and the income of
smuggling goes to the personal accounts of US PMCs and special forces.
The Major General added that as of right now, a barrel of smuggled Syrian oil is valued at
$38, therefore the monthly revenue of US governmental agencies exceeds $30 million.
Image 4: Gathering of vehicles in Syria, Deir ez-Zor province, 10 km east of Mayadin,
September 8, 2019.
"For such a continuous financial flow, free from control and taxes of the American
government, the leadership of the Pentagon and Langley will be ready to guard and defend oil
fields in Syria from the mythical 'hidden IS cells' endlessly," he said.
According to Konashenkov, Washington, by holding oil fields in eastern Syria, is engaged in
international state banditry.
Image 5: Gathering of vehicles in Syria, Deir ez-Zor province, 14 km east of Mayadin,
September 8, 2019.
The reason for this activity, he believes, "lies far from the ideals of freedom proclaimed
by Washington and their slogans on the fight against terrorism."
"Neither in international law, nor in American legislation itself – there is not and
cannot be a single legal task for the American troops to protect and defend the hydrocarbon
deposits of Syria from Syria itself and its own people, " the representative of the Defense
A day earlier, the Pentagon's head, Mark Esper declared that the United States is studying
the situation in the Deir ez-Zor region and intends to strengthen its positions there in the
near future "to ensure the safety of oil fields."
The Ruskies are mad - Trump is stopping them from taking the oil, it belongs to the Kurds
for their revenue and if US wants to help them have it so what....US is staying to secure
those oilfields against ISIS taking it again!
If everyone listened to the President when he talks there wouldn't be any spin that anyone
could get away with.
The oil is on Kurdish land. This part of Syria is just a small sector of Kurdish territory
that has been stolen from them by dividing it between four "countries", each of which has
oil. This is why the territory was stolen and why the Kurds have become the world's best
Putin brokered a deal to stop Turkey wiping the Kurds by having their fighting force
assimilate with the Syrian military and required Russian observers access to ensure the Turks
keep their word and not invade to wipe all the Kurd civilians in order to also take their
So the corrupt US generals get caught in the act. Their senators and reps on the payroll
are going to need some more of that fairy tale PR for POTUS to read to us at bedtime.
If we are to believe that this is to protect the oil fields then the oil revenue should be
going to Syria, even though the Kurds are on the land. Follow the money to find the truth
because there is no one you can trust on this stage.
MSM are simply not covering this story. Or the other story about the supposed gas attack
at Douma where evidence was adulterated and/or ignored completely under US pressure.
Expect the same from MH17.
WTF is going on with our leaders and corporate MSM....can no one in a leadership position
distinguish between lies and the truth? Or fantasy and reality? Where are the 'journalists'
who will stand up and tell the truth in MSM? They no longer exist.
Wasn't Erdogan doing the same not too long ago? Shortly after Erdogan became close friends
with Putin. Does this mean Trump and Putin will become close friends as well? Or is this
simply a common practice between two people who undeservingly place relatives in government
positions? First Turkey hands over Al Baghdadi (he received medical treatment in Southern
Turkey in a private clinic owned by Erdogan's daughter guarded by MIT agents) so that they
can continue to commit genocide against Kurds in Turkey and Syria... and now the US is
stealing Syrian oil like how the Turks initially were doing. What a mess and a
disappointment. Hopefully Erdogan visits DC and unleashes his security guards beating any
person freely walking the streets while Trump smiles and describes him as a great leader.
No coincidence another article on ZH brung attention to the Ukrainian wareehouse arsos..12
in 2 yrs..2017-2018 where stored munition were carted away...not to fight rebels n Donbass
but sold to Islamic groups in Syria..it was one of Bidens pals..one keeps the wars going
while the others steal siphon of resources..whatever isn't nailed down..I've never seen
anything like this..Democrats are truly CRIME INC
w/o that oil..Syria can never reconstruct itself..Usually in a War or ,after that is, the
victors help rebuild..what we see is pillaging and salting the earth and walk away.. as the
Romans did to enemies like Carthage..it will resemble Libya ...a shambles
During WW2 central bank gold was pillaged from countries that were 'liberated'.
Exactly, that's where the US got its 8,000 tons of gold. Before WWII, the US had 2000 tons
of gold, after WWII it had 8,000 tons. Even today the US always steals the gold of the
countries it "liberates"
Help me understand why the USA would want to smuggle oil from Syria. When the USA has more
oil than all of the middleast.
Now I can see why Russia would blame the USA if smuggling Oil from Syria. Russia needs
that oil really bad. So to get the USA away from the Syrian oil fields they would of course
create a reason for the rest of the world that the USA is Dishonerable and must not be
trusted with Syrian oil. It is just too obvious to me, what Russia is trying to
Huh? The US is stealing the oil to deprive the Syrian people energy they need to rebuild
the country we destroyed. This is collective punishment of Syrians because they won't
Collective punishment is a crime against humanity according to international law. There's
your impeachable offense. But don't worry, that kind of crime is ok with Shifty Schiff and
the rest of the Israel ***-kissers in Congress.
This is nothing new. We've been stealing oil from dozens of countries for the past 75
years since WWII. The only difference is that Trump is being blatant about it which in a way
is weirdly refreshing.
Last week, Thierry Meyssan posted an excellent paper ( https://www.voltairenet.org/article208007.html),
in which he states that the recent events in Syria, in which 'a quarter of the country was
freed in a week' is not only a victory for Assad, but the defeat of the 'military strategy to
establish the supremacy of financial capitalism'. These events mark the overturning of the
world order that has been in place since the end of WWII.
What I find remarkable is how quickly the old order has been overturned. The old order was
initially a bi-polar world, which evolved, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, into a
Uni-Polar World Order under the control of 'financial capitalism' (i.e. the 'Globalists',
also referred to as 'international financial elites', 'Anglo-Zionists', the 'Davos Crowd',
etc.). Arguably the Uni-Pole's power peaked in the early 2000s after the creation of the EU
and the eastern expansion of NATO. The first cracks in the Uni-Pole's hegemonic power
appeared in 2003 with the fiasco in Iraq, and in 2008 with the Global Financial Crisis. But
even as late as 2015, when Obama dismissed Russia's entry into Syria as nothing but Russia
stepping into a quagmire, the 'Globalists' could foresee no opposing force that would prevent
them from consolidating their Uni-Polar World Order into an enduring world-wide system of
'Global Governance' through a 'Rules-based International Order' under the 'Globalists'
control and enforced by the U.S. and NATO. But now, as Meyssan suggests, only four years
later, the Uni-Polar World Order has been toppled.
In its place a 'Multi-Polar World' order is emerging. I would like to suggest that the
outlines of this emerging order are as follows:
1. The dominant pole of this Multi-polar World is that led by the alliance of Russia and
China. Spanning Eurasia from the Pacific to the Mediterranean, this pole includes the
countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the Eurasian Economic Union, and
includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, and possibly, in the future, Turkey.
2. The second pole will be the remnants of the 'Globalist' empire, stripped, however, of
Europe (ex. U.K.) and any Asian representation, i.e. the U.S., U.K., Israel and likely
3. A third group consists of countries that are currently either occupied militarily by
the U.S. or are part of NATO, but are either economically dependent on China or are in
economic competition with the U.S. This includes most of Europe, Japan, South Korea,
Australia, New Zealand, and the GCC countries (KSA, UAE, etc.). These countries cannot be
considered as poles by themselves, for while some of them may have the economic weight to be
considered a pole, such as Germany and Japan, they lack the geo-political weight. These
countries are likely to try to escape from their status as American ('Globalist') vassals and
become independent nations dealing equitably with all the poles of the new Multi-Polar World.
In my view, it is unlikely that the EU will survive the birth of this new-world order in its
current form. At best it is likely to revert back to a European free trade area, in which
each country will recapture its sovereignty and its own currency.
4. A fourth group consists of countries that, while not being a part of the Russia/China
pole will be under its wing, with Russia providing military, political and geo-political
support, and China providing economic support. This group includes countries which are
currently either under threat from the 'Globalists' (ie. Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia,
etc.), are in turmoil due to exploitation by the 'Globalists' (ie. Chile, Argentina, Brazil,
etc.) or are outright failed states (most of Africa). Under the protection of Russia and
China, they will once again have a chance to overcome the anarchy of the past 20 or so years
and to return to peaceful development.
5. A fifth group consists of what will likely end up as secondary poles of the Multi-Polar
World. These are countries that today are both independent and have the geo-political and
economic weight to continue to function independently. This group includes the likes of India
and the ASEAN countries.
Uncertain is the time that it will take for this emerging order to stabilize. In my view,
this depends to a great extent on whether Trump survives impeachment and wins in 2020. If he
does then the emergence of the Multi-Polar World Order could be quite quick and painless, as
it is aligned with the policies that Trump has been espousing from the beginning of his
presidential campaign in 2015. To 'Make America Great Again' requires that the U.S. recover
its sovereignty and redevelop its industrial power. After all, a countries wealth, and thus
its power, is what it produces, and a country that doesn't produce as much as it consumes
will, in the end, consume itself. To redevelop its industrial power the U.S. needs to isolate
itself, as Trump is attempting to do behind a wall of tariff barriers and a devalued
currency. The Multi-Polar World Order will allow the U.S. the opportunity it needs isolate,
and then rebuild, itself. One must remember that it was the isolation of the U.S. in the 19th
and early 20th centuries that enabled the U.S. to become so powerful in the first place.
If, on the other hand, Trump is either overthrown by the 'Globalists' or defeated in 2020
then the emergence of the Multi-Polar World Order will be fraught with conflict. The
'Globalists' will fight it every step of the way, using all tools at their disposal, and
particularly the military muscle of the U.S. and NATO. For the 'Globalists' the Multi-Polar
World Order means the dispossession of their power and wealth. However, I believe that will
simply be a case of the losers continuing to fight long after the war has been lost. It is
only a question of how much time that it will take, and death and destruction that will
occur, before the U.S. and NATO are exhausted.
The emergence of the Multi-Polar World Order, once it stabilizes, is likely to usher in a
new era of peace and human development, similar to that which the world experienced in the
decades following WWII.
I agree with dh-mtl that we are entering a multi-polar world but that is happening because of
the deep corruption and divisions within the Washington Deep State. Still, the imperial
forces are formidable and should any faction get full control of them an expansion of current
wars is very possible. Trump is trying to fashion and has been trying to fashion a coalition
but he's failed and is failing. Media narratives, in the USA, always represent the interests
of the factions in power and they are all against Trump. This election is critical to world
history. Will we get a restoration with Biden (or Buttigieg) or Pence or will we start moving
in a new direction with Warren or Sanders? If the latter then the Deep State may move in a
new direction and begin to negotiated with Russia/China. If Trump then more chaos.
Sorry John, the quote that you posted was not taken from Thierry Meyssan, but is my
original work. I only quoted from Meyssan in the first paragraph.
The decades after WW2 may have spawned the CIA and their dirty tricks, but in spite of
this, the stand off between the U.S. and Russia, the bi-polar world, ensured a level of peace
and stability that lasted until the fall of the Soviet Union. These decades were undoubtedly
on of the greatest eras of human development that mankind has experienced.
I think those 5 categories are pretty much spot on. They also appear to be in sync with
Russia's envisioned relation with the main elements of those categories, as they develop in
practice. China's positioning looks more obscure though, but that must be due to lack of
information on my part more than anything else. What Russia initiates, China consolidates in
its broad strokes, but i am missing how coherent the details where the space of action
actually overlaps between the two.
The switch between the first and second category members from the previous status quo
appears to be settled along with tolerable levels of conflict. Circe won't like to hear it,
but in my opinion, we have Trump to thank for that, not because he intended for the switch,
but because he stresses on the US economical system the main effective capitalist
contradiction: productive vs financial capital. The tumultuous social and psychological state
of the US, attest to that contradiction despite emerging as very heated but apparently
distant themes (immigration, gender issues, the personality and conduct of the president,
etc..), Circe would have us believe it is all kabuki. I believe it is real, commonly
misanalysed but very very real.
What I have yet to see though is the multi-polar trend to take root. Obvious signs would
be Germany and Europe in general of course, but at best as a block of sovereigns, and for
that, Frankfurt will have to surrender before the remaining capitals. That may actually come
about as production takes the main stage, and this could be very sudden.
This is obvious positive thinking. An anecdote:
Once I super glued the tip of my finger. I had a box cutter nearby and I just thought - I
simply must use it as a razor blade to scrap the glue out, movements perpendicular to the
blade, and I'll be fine - whatever I do just don't move along the .... zaaaat - here's the
scar. The point being: as soon as the wrong thought crossed my mind, my hand simply ignored
the "don't do" part of the thinking and obeyed the rest.
"... The below analysis is provided by " Ehsani " -- a Middle East expert, Syrian-American banker and financial analyst who visits the region frequently and writes for the influential geopolitical analysis blog, Syria Comment . ..."
"... An M1 Abrams tank at the Udairi Range Complex in Kuwait, via Army National Guard/Military Times. ..."
Why Trump's "Secure Syria's Oil" Plan Will Prove Practically Impossible
Sat, 10/26/2019 - 23:30
The below analysis is provided by "
" -- a Middle
East expert, Syrian-American banker and financial analyst who visits the region frequently and writes
for the influential geopolitical analysis blog,
Much has been debated since President Trump tweeted that
"The U.S has secured the oil"
in Syria. Is this feasible? Does it make any sense? The below will
explain how and why
the answer is a resounding
Al-Omar and Conoco fields are already secured by Kurdish-led SDF and U.S forces. Some of the oil
from these fields was being sold through third parties to Syria's government by giving it in crude
form and taking back half the quantity as refined product
(the government owns the
Syria's government now has access to oil fields inside the 32km zone
by the Turkish military incursion and subsequent withdrawal of Kurdish forces). Such fields can produce
up to 100K barrels a day and will already go a long way in terms of meeting the country's immediate
So the importance of accessing oil in SDF/U.S hands is not as pressing any longer.
SDF/U.S forces can of course decide to sell the oil to Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)
but Syria's government now has control over the border area connecting Syria to KRG territory through
both Yaaroubia and Al-Mallkiya.
The Syrian government also now has control over supply of electricity. This was made possible by
taking control of the Tishreen and Furat dams.
Operating those fields needs electric power
supply and the state is now the provider.
Securing and operating these fields also entails paying salaries to those operating the fields.
International companies would be very reluctant to get involved without legal backing to operate
"Securing the oil" therefore
can only mean preventing the Syrian state from accessing al-Omar/Conoco
only (not oil in the north)
. It's unlikely anything can be sold or transported.
And let's not forget "securing" this oil would need
ready air cover, and all for what?
SDF composition included Arab fighters and tribes who accepted Kurds in leadership since they had
American support and key cities in north. Many of those Arabs are already switching and joining the
"Securing" oil for benefit of the Kurds is likely to antagonize the Arab fighters
and tribes in the region.
Preventing rise of ISIS is likely to entail securing support of the region's Arabs and tribes more
than that of the Kurds. This Kurd/Arab issue is yet another reason why President Trump's idea of
"securing" the oil for the benefit of the Kurds just doesn't make sense nearly on every level
By withdrawing from Northern Kurdistan and by making an exception
for the oil fields, Genius President Trump just told the world a number
To trust the U.S.A. as an ally is sheer stupidity
The "alternative media" theory that it is all about oil (and
possible gas) has been proven true
The U.S.A. is being ruled by a hobbyist who has no strategic
plans, replacing them with a "random walk" concept
Of course, the European allies (except Turkey) are still refusing
to learn from this experience. "Duck and cover until November 2020"
is their current tactics. Not sure if this is a good idea.
Turkey has learned to go their own ways, but I don't think it is
a good idea to create ever more enemies at one's borders. Greece,
Armenia, the Kurdish regions, Syria, Cyprus, not sure how their stance
is towards Iran. Reminds me of Germany before both World Wars. Won't
"America/The US", a label, is
actually just a location on a map and is not a reference to the actual
identities of those who start wars for profit.
Also it is hilarious to use that label as if an area of the planet
is or has attacked another area. Land can not attack itself, ever,
just as guns don't kill people, people kill people.
Trump is not claiming posession of oil in syria by leaving some
troops behind. Just as he did not declare war, nor start any EVER.
Every conflct on earth has it's roots with very specific individuals,
none of whom are even related to Trump.
Syria was a conflicting mess before he took office and he is dutifully
attempting to pull US soldiers out of a powder keg of nonsense he
wants no part of. Nor does any sane American want more conflict in
battles we can't afford, in countries we'll never even visit.
Like I said before, Trump can't just abruptly yank all our troops.
It's simply not that simple. And for those pretending he is doing
syria a disservice, I dare any one of you to go there yourselves and
see if you bunch of complete dipshits can do better. Who knows, maybe
you'll find the love of your life, ******* idiots.
First, the US invades Syria in violation of the Geneva Convention
on War making it an international criminal. Then it funds and equips
the most vile terrorists on the planet which leads to the killing
of thousands of innocent Syrians. And now it has decided to stay and
steal oil from Syria. The US is now the Evil American Empire owned
and run by crooks, gangsters and mass murderers. The Republic is dead
along with morality, justice and freedom.
Let's limit the culprits to: The Obama regime... and
not all the US. This is why these devils need to be brought
to trial and their wealth clawed out of their hiding places to
pay reparations to some of the victims.
The US has been an Evil American Empire for a long time, since
at least the Wilson administration, and Republican or Democrat...it
make little difference. World wars, the Fed, IRS, New Deal,
Korea, Vietnam, War OF Terror, assassinations, coups, sanctions,
Big Pharma, Seeds of Death and Big Agri...and the list goes
on and on. Please understand that America is not great and one
day all Americans will have to account for what their country
did in their name. If you believe in the Divine, then know that
their will be a reckoning.
The Obama regime was merely a continuation of the Chimpy Bush
regime, which was merely a continuation of the Clinton regime,
which was merely a continuation of the Pappy Bush regime, which
was merely a continuation... etc.
More chinks in the petrodollar armor will be the outcome of this. The credibility of murica is withering
away as every day passes. Iraqi pressure upon foreign troops there
to leave and/or drawdown further will also make this venture even
more difficult to manage.
may not be the smartest with regards to picking allies, but even they
may by now have learned that sticking to murica any longer will destroy
any semblance of hope for any autonomy status whatsoever once the
occupants have left. Likewise, the Sunni tribes around this area don't
want to become another Pariah group once things revert to normal.
Assad will eventually retake all his territory and
this is speeding up the process of eventual reconciliation in Syria.
They've spent far more on these wars than they've made back by stealing
other countries' resources. Trillions wasted in exchange for mere
billions in profit, to say nothing of the massive loss of life and
'The below analysis is provided by "
-- a Middle East expert, Syrian-American banker and financial analyst
who visits the region frequently and writes for the influential geopolitical
this quote was my first red flag.
so POTUS outsmarts Erdongan, takes out ISIS leader BAGHDADI along
with Erdongan MIT agents meeting with him. sorry, Ehsani, i think
your full of sh*t.
All info needs verification. US sources are not trustworthy including
anyone where money originates from the usual fake info instigators/
POTUS is so misled by the deep state MIC /CIA/ FBI et al and their
willing fake media cohorts that he agreed to give the White Helmets
more public money for more fake movies, as has been properly proven
and widely reported.
Either they have taken control of his mind with a chip insert or
they have got his balls to the knife.
The false flags have been discredited systematically and only a
very brainwashed or a very frightened person would believe anything
from the same source until after a thorough scourge is proven successfully
It is evident that even the last hope department has been got at
by the money-power.
If they can do 9/11 and get away with it, as they have, then they
will stop at nothing to remain entrenched.
...meanwhile, both according to
as well as the
(otherwise lying rag of a newspaper)
, the russian
government seems to take a different position to the views expressed
here by "a middle east expert".
russian state media is reporting that US troops are in the process
of taking control of syrian oil fields in the deir el-zour region
and have described such actions as "banditry". the crux of the matter
is this: if the US were not actually illegally taking control of Syrian
oil, then Russia would not be reporting this. Contrary to western
mainstream media, Russian sources have repeatedly shown themselves
to be factual.
Preventing rise of ISIS is likely to entail securing support of the region's Arabs and tribes more than that of the Kurds. This Kurd/Arab issue is yet another reason why President Trump's idea of
"securing" the oil for the benefit of the Kurds just doesn't make sense nearly on every level
Conservative government watchdog Judicial Watch have published formerly classified
documents from the U.S. Department of Defence which reveals the agencies earlier views on
ISIS, namely that they were a desirable presence in Eastern Syria in 2012 and that they
should be "supported" in order to isolate the Syrian regime.
Astoundingly, the newly declassified report states that for "THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND
TURKEY [WHO] SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A
DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS
IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN
The DIA report, formerly classified "SECRET//NOFORN" and dated August 12, 2012, was
circulated widely among various government agencies, including CENTCOM, the CIA, FBI, DHS,
NGA, State Dept., and many others.
The document shows that as early as 2012, U.S. intelligence predicted the rise of the
Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the
group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a U.S. strategic asset.
Government watchdog Judicial Watch published more than 100 pages of formerly classified
documents from the U.S. Department of Defense and the State Department.
The documents obtained through a federal lawsuit, revealed the agencies earlier views on
ISIS, namely that they were a desirable presence in Eastern Syria in 2012 and that they
should be "supported" in order to isolate the Syrian regime.
The U.S. intelligence documents not only confirms suspicions that the United States and
some of its coalition allies had actually facilitated the rise of the ISIS in Syria –
as a counterweight to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad- but also that ISIS
members were initially trained by members and contractors of the Central Intelligence Agency
at facilities in Jordan in 2012.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Since publication, this story has been corrected to clarify that the fighters
trained in Jordan became members of the ISIS after their training.]
JERUSALEM – Syrian rebels who would later join the Islamic State of Iraq and the
Levant, or ISIS, were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan,
according to informed Jordanian officials.
The officials said dozens of future ISIS members were trained at the time as part of
covert aid to the insurgents targeting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in
Syria. The officials said the training was not meant to be used for any future campaign in
The Jordanian officials said all ISIS members who received U.S. training to fight in Syria
were first vetted for any links to extremist groups like al-Qaida.
In February 2012, WND was first to report the U.S., Turkey and Jordan were running a
training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi in the country's northern
That report has since been corroborated by numerous other media accounts.
Last March, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported Americans were training Syrian rebels in
Quoting what it said were training participants and organizers, Der Spiegel reported it
was not clear whether the Americans worked for private firms or were with the U.S. Army, but
the magazine said some organizers wore uniforms. The training in Jordan reportedly focused on
use of anti-tank weaponry.
The German magazine reported some 200 men received the training over the previous three
months amid U.S. plans to train a total of 1,200 members of the Free Syrian Army in two camps
in the south and the east of Jordan.
Britain's Guardian newspaper also reported last March that U.S. trainers were aiding
Syrian rebels in Jordan along with British and French instructors.
Reuters reported a spokesman for the U.S. Defense Department declined immediate comment on
the German magazine's report. The French foreign ministry and Britain's foreign and defense
ministries also would not comment to Reuters.
Hundreds of Islamic State fighters, both Syrian and foreign, were covertly evacuated by US,
UK and Kurdish forces from the besieged city of Raqqa last month and freed to "spread out far
and wide across Syria and beyond".
Although reports on the convoy surfaced at the time, BBC journalists Quentin Sommerville
and Riam Dalati have revealed the details in their documentary Raqqa's Dirty Secret.
Their investigation describes how the convoy carrying 250 fighters, 3,500 family members,
and lorry loads of arms and possessions, was arranged for October 12th by local officials in
meetings attended by a western officer.
During a visit to Syria in mid-October, The Irish Times was told not only about the
evacuation but also that senior Islamic State commanders and their families, 45 people in
all, had been airlifted out of Raqqa by a US helicopter and flown to the Kurdish region in
Fighters escaping Raqqa were said to have been given passage across the desert to join
comrades battling the Syrian army and its allies in Deir al-Zor.
Among the people the BBC team interviewed for the exposé were drivers paid by the
Islamic State to drive the buses and trucks carrying the evacuees. According to driver Abu
Fawzi, men, women and children wore suicide vests and the trucks had been booby-trapped in
case "something went wrong".
The convoy contained 50 trucks, 13 buses, and more than 100 of the fighters' own vehicles.
Although it had been agreed they would take only personal weapons, they filled 10 trucks with
arms and ammunition.
It had also been stipulated that no foreigners would leave, but drivers told the BBC that
French, Turkish, Azerbaijani, Pakistani, Yemeni, Saudi, Chinese, Tunisian and Egyptians had
joined the exodus. The only restriction observed was a ban against flags and banners.
Whenever it passed through a village or hamlet, fighters warned frightened bystanders they
would return, a villager called Muhanad told the BBC, "running a finger across their
Two Humvees led the convoy into the desert where the going was rough. Coalition aircraft
and drones hovered above, dropping flares after dark to light the way. When the motorcade
reached Islamic State-held territory, fighters and civilians departed with their arms and
possessions and drivers returned home.
The BBC investigation compelled Col Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve,
to admit to the deal. He told the team: "We didn't want anyone to leave. But this goes to the
heart of our strategy 'by, with and through' local leaders on the ground.
His statement on foreign fighters contradicted information given to the BBC by drivers and
people along the route as well as a statement about strategy made by US defence secretary
James Mattis in May.
"... All that changed with the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state and with the adoption of a pro-empire, pro-intervention foreign policy. When that happened, the U.S. government assumed the duty to fix the wrongs of the world. ..."
"... That's when U.S. officials began thinking in terms of empire and using empire-speak. Foreign regimes became "allies," "partners," and "friends." Others became "opponents," "rivals," or "enemies." Events thousands of miles away became threats to "national security." ..."
"... The results of U.S. imperialism and interventionism have always been perverse, not only for foreigners but also for Americans. That's how Americans have ended up with out-of-control federal spending and debt that have left much of the middle class high and dry, unable to support themselves in their senior years, unable to save a nest egg for financial emergencies, and living paycheck to paycheck. Empire and interventionism do not come cheap. ..."
"... There is but one solution to all this chaos and mayhem -- the dismantling, not the reform, of the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, the vast empire of foreign and domestic military bases, and the NSA, along with an immediate end to all foreign interventionism. A free, peaceful, prosperous, and harmonious society necessarily entails the restoration of a limited-government republic and a non-interventionist foreign policy to our land. ..."
The chaos arising from U.S. interventionism in Syria provides an excellent opportunity to explore the interventionist mind.
Consider the terminology being employed by interventionists: President Trump's actions in Syria have left a "power vacuum," one
that Russia and Iran are now filling. The United States will no longer have "influence" in the region. "Allies" will no longer be
able to trust the U.S. to come to their assistance. Trump's actions have threatened "national security." It is now possible that
ISIS will reformulate and threaten to take over lands and even regimes in the Middle East.
This verbiage is classic empire-speak. It is the language of the interventionist and the imperialist.
Amidst all the interventionist chaos in the Middle East, it is important to keep in mind one critically important fact: None of
it will mean a violent takeover of the U.S. government or an invasion and conquest of the United States. The federal government will
go on. American life will go on. There will be no army of Muslims, terrorists, Syrians, ISISians, Russians, Chinese, drug dealers,
or illegal immigrants coming to get us and take over the reins of the IRS.
Why is that an important point? Because it shows that no matter what happens in Syria or the rest of the Middle East, life will
continue here in the United States. Even if Russia gets to continue controlling Syria, that's not going to result in a conquest of
the United States. The same holds true if ISIS, say, takes over Iraq. Or if Turkey ends up killing lots of Kurds. Or if Syria ends
up protecting the Kurds. Or if Iran continues to be controlled by a theocratic state. Or if the Russians retake control over Ukraine.
It was no different than when North Vietnam ended up winning the Vietnamese civil war. The dominoes did not fall onto the United
States and make America Red. It also makes no difference if Egypt continues to be controlled by a brutal military dictatorship. Or
that Cuba, North Korea, and China are controlled by communist regimes. Or that Russia is controlled by an authoritarian regime. Or
that Myanmar (Burma) is controlled by a totalitarian military regime. America and the federal government will continue standing.
America was founded as a limited government republic, one that did not send its military forces around the world to slay monsters.
That's not to say that bad things didn't happen around the world. Bad things have always happened around the world. Dictatorships.
Famines. Wars. Civil wars. Revolutions. Empires. Torture. Extra-judicial executions. Tyranny. Oppression. The policy of the United
States was that it would not go abroad to fix or clear up those types of things.
All that changed with the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state and with the adoption of a pro-empire,
pro-intervention foreign policy. When that happened, the U.S. government assumed the duty to fix the wrongs of the world.
That's when U.S. officials began thinking in terms of empire and using empire-speak. Foreign regimes became "allies," "partners,"
and "friends." Others became "opponents," "rivals," or "enemies." Events thousands of miles away became threats to "national security."
That's when U.S. forces began invading and occupying other countries, waging wars of aggression against them, intervening in foreign
wars, revolutions, and civil wars, initiating coups, destroying democratic regimes, establishing an empire of domestic and foreign
military bases, and bombing, shooting, killing, assassinating, spying on, maiming, torturing, kidnapping, injuring, and destroying
people in countries all over the world.
The results of U.S. imperialism and interventionism have always been perverse, not only for foreigners but also for Americans.
That's how Americans have ended up with out-of-control federal spending and debt that have left much of the middle class high and
dry, unable to support themselves in their senior years, unable to save a nest egg for financial emergencies, and living paycheck
to paycheck. Empire and interventionism do not come cheap.
The shift toward empire and interventionism has brought about the destruction of American liberty and privacy here at home. That's
what the assassinations, secret surveillance, torture, and indefinite detentions of American citizens are all about -- to supposedly
protect us from the dangers produced by U.S. imperialism and interventionism abroad. One might call it waging perpetual war for freedom
and peace, both here and abroad.
There is but one solution to all this chaos and mayhem -- the dismantling, not the reform, of the Pentagon, the military-industrial
complex, the vast empire of foreign and domestic military bases, and the NSA, along with an immediate end to all foreign interventionism.
A free, peaceful, prosperous, and harmonious society necessarily entails the restoration of a limited-government republic and a non-interventionist
foreign policy to our land.
"... Whilst the are absorbing that part of their country the battle of Iblib will restart. After that they can move their attention south and southeast, al-Tanf and the oilfields. I can't see how the US will be able to stop them but at least they will have time to plan their exit. ..."
"... At the moment the Syrian Government has enough oil, it is getting it from Iran via a steady stream of SUEZMAX tankers. The cost, either in terms of money or quid pro quo, is unknown. ..."
"... For those who have wondered as to why the DC FedRegime would fight over the tiny relative-to-FUKUS's-needs amount of oil in the Syrian oilfields. It is clearly to keep the SAR hobbled, crippled and too impoverished to retake all its territory or even to restore social, civic and economic functionality to the parts it retains. FUKUS is still committed to the policy of FUKUSing Syria. ..."
"... This President appears at times to recognize the reality of nation states and the meaning of national sovereignty. He needs to understand that on principle, not merely on gut instinct. President Trump's press conference today focused in one section on a simple fact -- saving the lives of Americans. Gen. Jack Keane, Sen. Lindsay Graham, and other gamers who think they are running an imperial chessboard where they can use living soldiers as American pawns, are a menace. Thanks Col. Lang for calling out these lunatics. ..."
"... During the 2016 election, Jack Keane and John Bolton were the two people Trump mentioned when asked who he listens to on foreign affairs/military policy. ..."
"... The crumbling apart is apparent. I don't know in what delusional world can conceive that 200 soldiers in the middle of the desert can deny Syria possession of their oil fields or keep the road between Bagdad and Damascus cut. All the West's Decision Makers can do is threaten to blow up the world. ..."
"... Corporate Overlords imposed austerity, outsourced industry and cut taxes to get richer, but the one thing for certain is that they can't keep their wealth without laws, the police and the military to protect them. ..."
"... Latin America is burning too - although the elites here have plundered and imposed structural plunder for too long. No matter where you are it .. Chile poster of the right, or Ecuador, Peru, etc ..."
"... Did you notice the Middle East Monitor article on October 21 reporting that the UAE has released to Iran $700 million in previously frozen funds? ..."
"... Yet in early September, Sigal Mandelker, a senior US Treasury official, was in the UAE pressing CEOs there to tighten the financial screws on Iran. The visit was deemed a success. During this visit she was quoted as saying that the Treasury has issued over 30 rounds of curbs targeting Iran-related entities. That would include targeting shipping companies and banks. ..."
"... It depends on who will be the democratic ticket .. will it mobilize the basis? I think the compromise candidate is Warren, but she looks to me a lot like John Kerry, Al Gore.. representing the professional, college educated segment of society, and that doesn't cut it. ..."
"... Trump is far from consistent. This is the man who attacked Syria twice on the basis of lies so transparent that my youngest housecat would have seen through them, and who tried and failed to leave Syria twice, then said he was "100%" for the continued occupation of Syria. ..."
"... He could have given the order to leave Syria this month, but Trump did not. Instead, he simply ordered withdrawal to a smaller zone of occupation, and that under duress. ..."
"... The Great Trumpian Mystery. I don't pretend to understand but I'm intrigued by his inconsistent inconsistencies. https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/03/17/trump-mysteries-inconsistent-inconsistencies/ ..."
"... It probably should come as no surprise to us that Trump is having small, but not no, success in getting the ship to alter course - too many deeply entrenched interests with no incentive to recognize their failures and every incentive to stay the course by removing, or at least handicapping the President who was elected on a platform of change. ..."
"... Whether the country elected the right man for the job remains to be seen. At times he appears to be his own worst enemy and his appointments are frequently topsy-- turvy to the platform he ran on but he does have his moments of success. He called off the dumb plan to go to war with Iran, albeit at 20 minutes to mid night and he is trying hard against the full might of the Borg to withdraw from Syria in accord with our actual interests. Trumps, alas, assumed office with no political friends, only enemies with varying degrees of Trump hate depending on how they define their political interests. ..."
"... Keane manipulated Trump by aggravating his animosity towards Iran, more specifically, his animosity towards Obama's JCPOA. I doubt Trump can see beyond his personal animus towards Obama and his legacy. He doesn't care about Iran, the Shia Crescent, the oil or even the jihadis any more than he cares about ditching the Kurds. This administration doesn't need a national security advisor, it needs a psychiatrist. ..."
"... IMO Trump cares about what Sheldon Adelson wants and Adelson wants to destroy Iran: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sCW4IasWXc Note the audience applause ..."
"... The difference between the reality that we perceive and the way it is portrayed in the media is so stark that sometimes I am not sure whether it is me who is insane or the world - the MSM and the cool-aid drinking libtards whose animosity against Trump won't let them distinguish black from white. Not that they were ever able to understand the real state of affairs. Discussions with them have always been about them regurgitating the MSM talking points without understanding any of it. ..."
"... "This administration doesn't need a national security advisor, it needs a psychiatrist." I think TTG speaks the truth. ..."
"... On Monday, 21 October, president Trump "authorized $4.5 million in direct support to the Syria Civil Defense (SCD)", a/k/a the White Helmets, who have been discussed here on SST before-- https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-press-secretary-89/ ..."
"... TTG IMO you and the other NEVER Trumpers are confused about the presence in both the permanent and appointed government of people who while they are not loyal to him nevertheless covet access to power. A lot of neocons and Zionists are among them. ..."
"... ANDREW BACEVICH: First of all, I think we should avoid taking anything that he says at any particular moment too seriously. Clearly, he is all over the map on almost any issue that you can name. I found his comment about taking the oil in that part of Syria, as if we are going to decide how to dispose of it, to be striking. And yet of course it sort of harkens back to his campaign statement about the Iraq war, that we ought to have taken Iraq's oil is a way of paying for that war. So I just caution against taking anything he says that seriously. ..."
"... That said, clearly a recurring theme to which he returns over and over and over again, is his determination to end what he calls endless wars. He clearly has no particular strategy or plan for how to do that, but he does seem to be insistent on pursuing that objective. And here I think we begin to get to the real significance of the controversy over Syria in our abandonment of the Kurds ..."
"... the controversy has gotten as big as it is in part because members of the foreign policy establishment in both parties are concerned about what an effort to end endless wars would mean for the larger architecture of U.S. national security policy, which has been based on keeping U.S. troops in hundreds of bases around the world, maintaining the huge military budget, a pattern of interventionism. Trump seems to think that that has been a mistake, particularly in the Middle East. I happen to agree with that critique. And I think that it is a fear that he could somehow engineer a fundamental change in U.S. policy is what really has the foreign policy establishment nervous. ..."
"... we created the problems that exist today through our reckless use of American military power. ..."
"... He let them roll him, just like Obama and so many others. Just a different set of rollers. ..."
"Joltin" Jack Keane, General (ret.), Fox Business Senior Strategery Analyst, Chairman of the
Board of the Kagan run neocon "Institute for the Study of War" (ISW) and Graduate
Extraordinaire of Fordham University, was on with Lou Dobbs last night. Dobbs appears to have
developed a deep suspicion of this paladin. He stood up to Keane remarkably well. This was
refreshing in light of the fawning deference paid to Keane by all the rest of the Fox crew.
In the course of this dialogue Keane let slip the slightly disguised truth that he and the
other warmongers want to keep something like 200 US soldiers and airmen in Syria east of the
Euphrates so that they can keep Iran or any other "Iranian proxy forces" from crossing the
Euphrates from SAG controlled territory to take control of Syrian sovereign territory and the
oil and gas deposits that are rightly the property of the Syrian people and their government
owned oil company. The map above shows how many of these resources are east of the Euphrates.
Pilgrims! It is not a lot of oil and gas judged by global needs and markets, but to Syria and
its prospects for reconstruction it is a hell of a lot!
Keane was clear that what he means by "Iranian proxy forces" is the Syrian Arab Army, the
national army of that country. If they dare cross the river, to rest in the shade of their own
palm trees, then in his opinion the air forces of FUKUS should attack them and any 3rd party
air forces (Russia) who support them
This morning, on said Fox Business News with Charles Payne, Keane was even clearer and
stated specifically that if "Syria" tries to cross the river they must be fought.
IMO he and Lindsey Graham are raving lunatics brainwashed for years with the Iran obsession
and they are a danger to us all. pl
Its probably one step at a time for the Syrians, although the sudden move over the past
couple of weeks must have been a bit of a God given opportunity for them.
Whilst the are absorbing that part of their country the battle of Iblib will restart.
After that they can move their attention south and southeast, al-Tanf and the oilfields. I
can't see how the US will be able to stop them but at least they will have time to plan their
As I posted in the other thread, the Syrian Government is the only real customer for their
oil and the Kurds already have a profit share agreement in place, so the US, if they allow
any oil out, will effectively be protecting the fields on behalf of Assad. Surely not what
At the moment the Syrian Government has enough oil, it is getting it from Iran via a
steady stream of SUEZMAX tankers. The cost, either in terms of money or quid pro quo, is
I think this might be President Putin's next problem to solve. As far as I know, there is no
legal reason for us to be there, not humanitarian, not strategic not even tactical. We simply
are playing dog-in-the-manger.
My guess is that we will receive an offer to good to refuse from Putin.
For those who have wondered as to why the DC FedRegime would fight over the tiny
relative-to-FUKUS's-needs amount of oil in the Syrian oilfields. It is clearly to keep the
SAR hobbled, crippled and too impoverished to retake all its territory or even to restore
social, civic and economic functionality to the parts it retains. FUKUS is still committed to
the policy of FUKUSing Syria.
Why is the Champs Elise' Regime still committed to putting the F in UKUS?
(I can understand why UKUS would want to keep France involved. Without France, certain nasty
people might re-brand UKUS as USUK. And that would be very not nice.)
A good antidote for Joltin' Jack Keane's madness would be for Lou Dobbs and other mainstream
media (MSM) to have Col Pat Lang as the commentator for analysis of the Syrian situation.
Readers of this blog are undoubtedly aware that Col. Lang's knowledge of the peoples of the
region and their customs is a national treasure.
This President appears at times to recognize the reality of nation states and the meaning
of national sovereignty. He needs to understand that on principle, not merely on gut
instinct. President Trump's press conference today focused in one section on a simple fact --
saving the lives of Americans. Gen. Jack Keane,
Sen. Lindsay Graham, and other gamers who think they are running an imperial chessboard where
they can use living soldiers as American pawns, are a menace. Thanks Col. Lang for calling out these lunatics.
In WWI millions of soldiers died fighting for imperial designs. They did not know it. They
thought they were fighting for democracy, or to stop the spread of evil, or save their
country. They were not. Secret treaties signed before the war started stated explicitly what
the war was about.
Now "representatives" of the military, up to and including the Commander in Chief say it's
about conquest, oil. The cards of the elite are on the table. How do you account for this?
The crumbling apart is apparent. I don't know in what delusional world can conceive that
200 soldiers in the middle of the desert can deny Syria possession of their oil fields or
keep the road between Bagdad and Damascus cut. All the West's Decision Makers can do is
threaten to blow up the world.
Justin Trudeau was elected Monday in Canada with a minority in Parliament joining the
United Kingdom and Israel with governments without a majority's mandate. Donald Trump's
impeachment escalates. MbS is nearing a meat hook in Saudi Arabia. This is not a coincidence.
The Elites' flushing government down the drain succeeded.
Corporate Overlords imposed austerity, outsourced industry and cut taxes to get richer,
but the one thing for certain is that they can't keep their wealth without laws, the police
and the military to protect them. Already California electricity is being cut off for a
second time due to wildfires and PG&E's corporate looting. The Sinaloa shootout reminds
me of the firefight in the first season of "True Detectives" when the outgunned LA cops tried
to go after the Cartel. The writing is on the wall, California is next. Who will the lawmen
serve and protect? Their people or the rich? Without the law, justice and order, there is
No doubt that Keane and his ilk want endless war and view Trump as a growing obstacle. Trump
is consistent: He wanted out of JCPOA, and after being stalled by his national security
advisors, he finally reached the boiling point and left. The advisors who counseled against
this are all gone. With Pompeo, Enders and O'Brien as the new key security advisors, I doubt
Trump got as much push back. He wanted out of Syria in December 2018 and was slow-walked.
Didn't anyone think he'd come back at some point and revive the order to pull out? The talk
with Erdogan, the continuing Trump view that Russia, Turkey, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia
should bear the burden of sorting out what is left of the Syria war, so long as ISIS does not
see a revival, all have been clear for a long time.
My concern is with Lindsey Graham, who is smarter and nastier than Jack Keane. He is also
Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and may hold some blackmail leverage over the
President. If the House votes up impeachment articles, Graham will be overseeing the Senate
trial. A break from Trump by Graham could lead to a GOP Senate stampede for conviction. No
one will say this openly, as I am, but it cannot be ignored as a factor for "controlling"
Trump and keeping as much of the permanent war machine running as possible.
Trump has committed the United States to a long war against the Shia Crescent. He has ceded
to Turkey on Syrian Kurds, but has continued with his operations against SAR. US needs
Turkey, Erdogan knows that. Likewise in regards to Russia, EU, and Iran. Turkey, as is said
in Persian, has grown a tail.
Did you notice the Middle East Monitor article on October 21 reporting that the UAE has
released to Iran $700 million in previously frozen funds?
Yet in early September, Sigal Mandelker, a senior US Treasury official, was in the UAE
pressing CEOs there to tighten the financial screws on Iran. The visit was deemed a success.
During this visit she was quoted as saying that the Treasury has issued over 30 rounds of
curbs targeting Iran-related entities. That would include targeting shipping companies and
It was also reported in September that in Dubai that recent US Treasury sanctions were
beginning to have a devastating effect. Iranian businessmen were being squeezed out. Even
leaving the Emirates. Yet only a few days ago--a month later-- there are now reports that
Iranian exchange bureaus have suddenly reopened in Dubai after a long period of closure.
Also, billions of dollars in contracts were signed between Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE
during Putin's recent visit to the region. It seems to me that this is real news. Something
big seems to be happening. It looks to me as if there could be a serious confrontation
between the Trump administration and MBZ in the offing.
Do you have an opinion on the Iranian situation in Dubai at the moment?
Lose big to whom in the next election? Biden got 300 people to show up for his rally in his hometown of Scranton and he is
supposedly the front runner. Bernie got 20,000 to show up at his rally in NY when he was
endorsed by The Squad and Michael Moore. Do you think the Dem establishment will allow him to
be the nominee?
Trump in contrast routinely can fill up stadiums with 30,000 people. That was the
indicator in the last election, not the polls. Recall the NY Times forecasting Hillary with a
95% probability of winning the day before the election.
As Rep. Al Green noted , the only way the Democrats can stop him is for the Senate to
convict him in an impeachment trial. Who do you believe are the 20 Republican senators that
will vote to convict?
Trump barely won the last time and while he currently has wide support in the GOP, it is not
nearly as deep as his cultists believe. When half the country, and growing, want him removed,
there is trouble ahead. Republicans are largely herd animals and if spooked, will create a
You can tell that there are problems when his congressional enablers are not defending him
on facts and just using gripes about processes that they themselves have used in the past. In
addition to circus acts.
I realize that many do not want to admit that they made a mistake by voting for him. I am
not so sure they want to repeat that mistake.
It depends on who will be the democratic ticket .. will it mobilize the basis? I think the
compromise candidate is Warren, but she looks to me a lot like John Kerry, Al Gore..
representing the professional, college educated segment of society, and that doesn't cut it.
It's not a question if he barely won. The fact is he competed with many other Republican
candidates including governors and senators and even one with the name Bush. He was 1% in the
polls in the summer of 2016 and went on to win the Republican nomination despite the intense
opposition of the Republican establishment. He then goes on to win the general election
defeating a well funded Hillary with all her credentials and the full backing of the vast
majority of the media. That is an amazing achievement for someone running for public office
for the first time. Like him or hate him, you have to give credit where it's due. Winning an
election for the presidency is no small feat.
There only two ways to defeat him. First, the Senate convicts him in an impeachment trial
which will require at least 20 Republican senators. Who are they? Second, a Democrat in the
general election. Who? I can see Bernie with a possibility since he has enthusiastic
supporters. But will the Democrat establishment allow him to win the nomination?
We're no longer having to listen to Yosemite Sam Bolton. His BFF Graham is left to fight on
his own. I don't think Trump feels the need to pay that much attention to Graham. He didn't
worry about him during the primary when Graham always seemed to be on the verge of crying
when he was asked questions.
Trump is far from consistent. This is the man who attacked Syria twice on the basis of lies
so transparent that my youngest housecat would have seen through them, and who tried and
failed to leave Syria twice, then said he was "100%" for the continued occupation of Syria.
He could have given the order to leave Syria this month, but Trump did not. Instead, he
simply ordered withdrawal to a smaller zone of occupation, and that under duress.
What the Colonel calls the Borg is akin to an aircraft carrier that has been steaming at near
flank speed for many years too long, gathering mass and momentum since the end of Cold War I.
With the exception of Gulf War I, none of our interventions have gone well, and even the
putative peace at the end of GUlf War I wasn't managed well because it eventuated in Gulf War
Ii which has been worst than a disaster because the disaster taught the Borg nothing and
became midwife to additional disasters.
It probably should come as no surprise to us that
Trump is having small, but not no, success in getting the ship to alter course - too many
deeply entrenched interests with no incentive to recognize their failures and every incentive
to stay the course by removing, or at least handicapping the President who was elected on a
platform of change.
Whether the country elected the right man for the job remains to be seen.
At times he appears to be his own worst enemy and his appointments are frequently topsy--
turvy to the platform he ran on but he does have his moments of success. He called off the
dumb plan to go to war with Iran, albeit at 20 minutes to mid night and he is trying hard
against the full might of the Borg to withdraw from Syria in accord with our actual
interests. Trumps, alas, assumed office with no political friends, only enemies with varying
degrees of Trump hate depending on how they define their political interests.
With that said, I doubt very much whether the Republicans in the Senate will abandon Trump in
an impeachment trial. Trump's argument that the process is a political coup is arguably
completely true, or certainly true enough that his political base in the electorate will not
tolerate his abandonment by Republican politicians inside the Beltway. I think there is even
some chance that Trump, were he to be removed from office by what could be credibly portrayed
as a political coup, would consider running in 2020 as an independent. The damage that would
cause to the Republican Party would be severe, pervasive, and possibly fatal to the Party as
such. I doubt Beltway pols would be willing to take that chance.
I don't think Keane or Trump are focused on the oil. Keane just used that as a lens to focus
Trump on Iran. That's the true sickness. Keane manipulated Trump by aggravating his animosity
towards Iran, more specifically, his animosity towards Obama's JCPOA. I doubt Trump can see
beyond his personal animus towards Obama and his legacy. He doesn't care about Iran, the Shia
Crescent, the oil or even the jihadis any more than he cares about ditching the Kurds. This
administration doesn't need a national security advisor, it needs a psychiatrist.
And in response, Russia killed and captured hundreds of US Special forces and PMC's alongside
SAS in East Ghouta . It is said that the abrupt russian op on East Ghouta was a response to
the Battle of Khasham.
The difference between the reality that we perceive and the way it is portrayed in the media
is so stark that sometimes I am not sure whether it is me who is insane or the world - the
MSM and the cool-aid drinking libtards whose animosity against Trump won't let them
distinguish black from white. Not that they were ever able to understand the real state of
affairs. Discussions with them have always been about them regurgitating the MSM talking
points without understanding any of it.
While it will always be mystifying to me why so many people on the street blindly support
America fighting and dying in the middle east, the support of the MSM and the paid hacks for
eternal war is no surprise. I hope they get to send their children and grandchildren to these
wars. More than that, I hope we get out of these wars. Trump might be able to put an end to
it, and not just in Syria, if he wins a second term, which he will if he is allowed to
contest the next election. There is however a chance that the borg will pull the rug from
under him and bar him from the elections. Hope that doesn't come to pass.
No, they just have to sit there and be an excuse to fly Coalition CAPs that would effectively
prevent SAA from crossing the Euphrates in strength. Feasible until the SAA finishes with
Idlib and moves some of its new Russian anti-aircraft toys down to Deir Ezzor.
TTG IMO you and the other NEVER Trumpers are confused about the presence in both the
permanent and appointed government of people who while they are not loyal to him nevertheless
covet access to power. A lot of neocons and Zionists are among them.
Colonel Lang, I am well aware of the power seekers who gravitate towards Trump or whoever
holds power not out of loyalty, but because they covet access to power. The neocons and
Zionists flock to Trump because they can manipulate him to do their bidding. That fact
certainly doesn't make me feel any better about Trump as President. The man needs help.
you are an experienced clan case officer. You do not know that most people are more than a
little mad? Hillary is more than a little nuts. Obama was so desperately neurotically in need
of White approval that he let the WP COIN generals talk him into a COIN war in Afghanistan. I
was part of that discussion. All that mattered to him was their approval. FDR could not be
trusted with SIGINT product and so Marshall never gave him any, etc., George Bush 41 told me
that he deliberately mis-pronounced Saddam's name to hurt his feelings. Georgie Junior let
the lunatic neocons invade a country that had not attacked us. Trump is no worse than many of
our politicians, or politicians anywhere. Britain? The Brexit disaster speaks for itself, And
then there is the British monarchy in which a princeling devastated by the sure DNA proof
that he is illegitimate is acting like a fool. The list is endless.
CK, the people surrounding Trump are largely appointees. Keane doesn't have to be let into
the WH. His problem is that those who would appeal to his non-neocon tendencies are not
people he wants to have around him. Gabbard, for instance, would be perfect for helping Trump
get ourselves out of the ME, is a progressive. Non-interventionists are hard to come by.
Those who he does surround himself with are using him for their own ideologies, mostly neocon