American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism

News Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism New American Militarism Super Imperialism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA America and the Imperial Project American Exceptionalism
The Grand Chessboard Wolfowitz Doctrine "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Neoconservatism US Department of Imperial Expansion Wolfowitz Doctrine Looting pays dividends to empire
Technological imperialism War and Venture Capitalism Predator state Civil war in Ukraine Media domination strategy Transnational Corporations never let a good crisis go to waste US Department of Imperial Expansion
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Note: Partially based on Wikipedia article American imperialism (which avoids discussion neoliberalism as the "imperial method used for the building modern US empire).


Introduction

American imperialism is the economic/financial (as well as  military and cultural) dominance of the United States over other countries. It is based on neoliberalism, so it more properly can be called "neo-imperialism"

Neoliberalism and associated with it a new type of empire (the USA neoliberal empire)  was not an accident, it was a development that while started in the USA took roots in many countries, including such diverse as  Chile (Pinochet), GB (Thatcher), China (Deng Xiaoping was a neoliberal reformer),  Russia (Yeltsin gang), and many other countries. Since the late 1970s, a shift of economic activity from the production of goods and non-financial services to finance has been adopted as mean to escape diminishing return on capital.  The oil crisis of the 1970s was probably another factor in the decision of the elite (and it was decision, a conscious choice, not an accident) to switch to neoliberal policies. 

"American empire" consists of vassal states and colonies. Vassal state that have some degree of independence is essentially a codename for NATO. All other states are colonies. An international financial elite (Davos crowd) which BTW consider the USA and NATO as a enforcer, a tool for getting what they want, much like Bolsheviks considered Soviet Russia to be such a tool. The last thing they are concerned is the well-being of American people.

During its history which starts around 70th (with the first major success the Pinochet's coup de etat in Chile, which was supported by the USA), neoliberalism undergone several stages of development:

The implosion of the entire global banking/mortgage industry in 2008 has essentially delegitimized neoliberalism central mantra about self-regulating market (which was a fake to begin with) and thus made it far less attractive as an economic and social model which the U.S. has been pleased to espouse as the royal road to prosperity for decades.

The implosion of the entire global banking/mortgage industry in 2008 has essentially delegitimized neoliberalism central mantra about self-regulating market (which was a fake to begin with)  and thus made it far less attractive as an economic and social model which the U.S. has been pleased to espouse as the royal road to prosperity for decades.

Also the neoliberal Pax Americana and the neoliberal version of global capitalism are increasingly contested by China, with the help of India, Russia, and Brazil (Carl Schmitt’s War on Liberalism The National Interest )

In different ways, Xi Jinping’s China, Vladimir Putin’s Russia and Narendra Modi’s India represent an alternative economic model, in which free markets and state capitalism are blended under strong executive rule.

In other words 2008 signified the "end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end" of Washington Consensus, if we use Churchill's words. But in now way it means that period of neoliberal revolutions came ot the end. Inertia and the level of technological and cultural dominance of the USA and its allies (G7) is such that even after bankruptcy as an ideology, neoliberalism continues to its world expansion and claims new victims among "resource nationalists" or simply "not neoliberal enough" regimes. After 2008 Libya, Syria and Ukraine were successfully "regime changed". I think Ukraine, which was a neoliberal state even before EuroMaidan is a special case and much of EuroMaidan events were connected with the desire to "put Russia in place" by Washington (and its European poodles) as well as century old Germany desire to expand its market and dominance into Ukraine.   

If we assume that Marxism as a political philosophy was dead around 1960-1970 when it became evident that working class does not represent the new dominant class able to take power and govern in a new social system as well as the fact that Communist Party political dominance is unable to secure higher standard of living for people then advanced capitalist societies,  and never will, and that The Iron Law of Oligarchy  is applicable to the USSR even more, not less that to any Western country. Still it took 20 years for the USSR to collapse after the USA elite bought part of The USSR nomenclature and organized a quite coup installing puppet neoliberal Yeltsin regime (sold as a "victory of democracy" to lemmings by Western propaganda machine). Using neoliberal advisors from Harvard (aka "Harvard mafia") it instituted "shock therapy" which instantly pushed 90% of population of the  xUSSR region into object poverty very and also enriched beyond imagination few multinationals who were will full support of Yeltsin regime to steal assets and natural resources for pennies on dollar (using Russian fifth column as an intermediary). Essentially looting of the USSR area was one of key factors which ensured recovery and quick growth of the USA economy in late 90th which was interrupted only by the dot-com crysy of 2000.

I would assume that neoliberalism is probably twice more resilient the communism, so 50-60 years since it became clear that the economic doctrine of neoliberalism is a pseudoscientific joke and its political doctrine is an eclectic mix masking financial slavery masked with the smokescreen of propaganda about "entrepreneur class" and "shareholder value"  the first sign of decay might be a reasonable estimate ot its eventual lifetime.  Much depends on the dynamics of the price of oil, as globalization and thus forces of neoliberalism are inherently dependent on cheap hydrocarbons. High prices or relative scarcity that affects transcontinental trade might damage neoliberalism and undermine the fifth column that support it in.

Also high cost of hydrocarbons means "end of growth", and neoliberalism financial scheme based on cheap credit. It might implode in the environment of slow, or close to zero growth.

That means that consistent price of oil, say, over 120 is a direct threat to neoliberal project in the USA. Even with prices over $100 the major neoliberal economics  entered the stage of "secular stagnation". It also makes the US military which is the largest consumer of oil in the USA much more expensive to run and increase the costs of  neoliberal "wars for regime change", essentially curtailing neoliberal expansion. Or at least making it more difficult. The same is true about financiering of color revolutions, which as a new type of neoliberal conquests of other countries, also require some cash, although not at the scale of "boots on the ground".

It is possible to lower the oil price, as happened at the end of 2014, but the question is how long this period will last. 

At this point ideology of neoliberalism as an ideology is completely discredited and its fake nature is evident to large part of global elite (which probably never have any illusions from the very beginning) as well, which is more dangerous, large part of middle class. It still is supported by pure military and financial power of the USA and its allies as well as technological superiority of the West in general. So only postulates of neoliberalism, especially as for free market absolutization, started to be questioned.  And partically revised (increased financial regulation is one example). This form of neoliberalism with the core ideology intact but modified one of several postulates can be called post-neoliberalism.

The USA still remains the most powerful country in the world with formidable military, and still behave as a word hegemon and the only source of justice ignoring US and other International organization, unless it if convenient to them. But as Napoleon noted "You can do anything with bayonets, but you can't sit on them". Running aggressive foreign policy on a discredited ideology and relying on blunt propaganda is a difficult undertaking as resistance mounts and bubble out in un-anticipated areas (Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk in Ukraine are recent example, when neoliberal color revolution, which was performed by few thousands trained by the West far right militants, including openly neo-fascist squads, led to civil war in the country).

Still, unfortunately, Libya, Syria  and Ukraine, were not probably a swan song of muscular enforcement of neoliberal model on other countries. While sponsored by the USA and allies anti-Putin putsch in Russia (aka white revolution") failed, events in Libya and Ukraine prove the neoliberalism sill can launch and win offensives (aka color revolutions). At the cost of plunging the country into economic and political chaos including civil war.  

Rule of financial oligarchy also gradually comes under some (although very limited) scrutiny in the USA. Some measures to restrict appetites of financial oligarchy were recently undertaken in Europe (bank bonuses limitations).

HFT and derivatives still remain off-reach for regulators despite JP Morgan fiasco in May 2012 in London branch. Trade loss was around two billions, decline of bank value was around $13bn (The Guardian) At this stage most people around the world realized that as Warren Buffett's right-hand man Charlie Munger quipped in his CNBC interview Trusting banks to self-regulate is like trusting to self-regulate heroin addicts. At the meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) heads of states in the spring of 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the death of “the Washington Consensus” — the famous list of market-liberalizing policy prescriptions that guided the previous 20 or 30 years of neoliberal expansion into third world countries  (Painter 2009).

Prominent economists in the United States and elsewhere pointed out that after decades of reform, market-liberalizing policies had not produced the promised benefits for either economic growth or social welfare of countries were those policies were applied (Stiglitz 2002, 2006; Rodrik 2006). These criticisms further undermined the legitimacy of neoliberal governance, exactly the same way as similar criticism undermined socialist model of the USSR and Eastern Europe. The problem is that while socialist experiment could be compared with the Western countries capitalism achievement, here there is no alternative model with which to compare.

Still a backlash directed at the USA is mounting even from the former loyal vassals. Even the UK elite starts to display the behavior that contradict its role of the obedient US poodle. The atmosphere is which the USA is considered "guilty" of pushing though the throats of other countries a utopia that harmed them is a different atmosphere for the US oligarchy that the role of it accustomed to.  Now the US oligarchy has found itself in USSR nomenklatura shoes and eventually might be called to answer for their global actions which similar to Opium Wars of the British can be called Dollar Wars.

Everybody is now aware of the substantial costs that the modern financial system has imposed on the real economy, especially in developing countries,  and no amount of propaganda and brainwashing can hide this simple fact.

Standard of living was rising slowly and after 2008 mostly stopped to rise and started to detiorate reflecting higher energy prices and the level on indebtness of many countries (Greece, Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, Ukraine, etc).   So the key promise of neoliberalism that "trickle down" from super rich will be enough to sustain better standard of living for all proved to be a confidence game.

It is questionable that the "financial innovations" of the last three-four decades can compensate for those huge costs and that they warrants those costs. Shocks generated within the financial system and transformation of economies imposed by international financial oligarchy as the core of neoliberal elite, implies that the rule of financial oligarchy creates negative externalities for societies and that some types of financial activities and some financial structures should be treated like an organized crime (in other words as purely parasitic, extortionist type of players).

Still this stage preserves several attributes of previous stage and first of all push for globalization and aggressive foreign policy. While economic crisis of 2008 destroyed legitimacy of ideology of neoliberalism, neoliberalism as an ideology continue to exists as a cult, much like communism as an ideology continues to exist, despite the failure of the USSR. And being phony ideology from the very beginning, a smokescreen for  the revanchism of financial oligarchy, it still can be promoted by unrelenting propaganda machine of the same forces which put it into mainstream albeit with les efficiency.  

So far no viable alternatives emerged, and inertia is still strong, as strong as G7 block with the USA as the head of the block. Like in 20th failure of neoliberalism led to rise of nationalism, especially in Europe (France, Hungary, Ukraine). In some countries, such as Ukraine, the net result of neoliberal revolution was establishing a far right regime which has uncanny similarities to the régimes which came to power in 30th such as Franko regime in Spain.  The phase of neoliberal dominance still continues, it is just the central idea of neoliberalism, the fake idea of self-regulating markets that was completely discredited by the crisis of 2008. Actually it was discredited before during Great Depression, but the generation that remembered this lesson is now extinct (it looks like it takes approximately 50 years for humanity to completely forget the lessons of history ;-).

Latin America, once paragon of a neoliberal revolution (Chile, Argentina, Mexico, etc), is now dominated by left-wing governments elected on explicitly anti-neoliberal platforms. Around the world, economists and policymakers now come to consensus that excessive reliance on unregulated financial markets and the unrestrained rule of financial oligarchy was the root cause of the current worldwide financial crisis. That created a more difficult atmosphere for the USA financial institutions to operate abroad. Several countries are now trying to limit role of dollar as the world currency (one of the sins Saddam Hussein paid the price).

Also internal contradictions became much deeper and the neoliberal regime became increasingly unstable even in the citadel of neoliberalism -- the USA. Like any overstretched empire it became hollow within with stretches on potholes ridden roads and decaying infrastructure visible to everyone. Politically, the Republican Party became a roadblock for any meaningful reform (and its radical wing -- the tea party even sending its representatives to Congress), the Party that is determined to rather take the USA the road of the USSR, then change its ideology. All this points to the fact that neoliberalism as an socio-economic doctrine is following the path of Bolshevism.

But its media dominance of neoliberalism paradoxically continues unabated. And this is despite the fact that after the crisis of 2008, the notion that finance mobilizes and allocates resources efficiently, drastically reduces systemic risks and brings significant productivity gains for the economy as a whole became untenable. We can expect that like was the case with Catholicism in middle ages and Bolshevism in the USSR, zombie phase of neoliberalism can last many decades (in the USSR, "zombie" state lasted two decades, say from 1970 to 1991, and neoliberalism with its emphasis on low human traits such as greed and supported by military and economic power of the USA, is considerably more resilient then Bolshevism). As of 2013 it is still supported by elites of several major western states (such as the USA, GB, Germany, France), transnational capital (and financial capital in particular) and respective elites out of the sense of self-preservation. That means that is it reasonable to expect that its rule in G7 will continue (like Bolshevism rule in the USSR in 70th-80th) despite probably interrupted by bursts of social violence (Muslim immigrants in Europe are once such force).

In the US, for example, income and wealth inequality continue to increase, with stagnating middle-class earnings, reduced social mobility, and an allegedly meritocratic higher education system, generously supported by tax exemptions, has been turned into the system whose main beneficiaries are the children of the rich and successful. Superimposed on this class divide is an increasingly serious intergenerational divide, and increases level of unemployment of young people, which make social atmosphere somewhat similar to the one in Egypt, although the pressure from Muslim fundamentalists is absent.

More and more neoliberalism came to be perceived as a ruse intended to safeguard the interests of a malignantly narcissistic empire (the USA) and of rapacious multinationals. It is now more and more linked with low-brow cultural homogeneity, social Darwinism, encroachment on privacy, mass production of junk, and suppression of national sentiments and aspiration in favor of transnational monopolies. It even came to be associated with a bewildering variety of social ills: rising crime rates, unemployment, poverty, drug addiction, prostitution, organ trafficking, and other antisocial forms of conduct.

While ideology of neoliberalism is by-and-large discredited, the global economic institutions associated with its rise are not all equally moribund. For example, the global economic crisis of 2008 has unexpectedly improved the fortunes of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an organization long famous for the neoliberal policy conditions attached to its loans that served to incorporate countries into a global neoliberal economic system. In 2008, a cascade of financial crises in Eastern Europe and Iceland fattened the IMF’s dwindling loan portfolio.

World Trade Organization (WTO), the key US-used and abused universal opener of markets to US corporations and investments is in worse shape then IMF, but still is viable too. The Doha round of negotiations is stalled, mostly due to irresolvable disputes between developed and developing countries. Consequently, the current crisis of neoliberalism raises many important questions about the future path of the current international institutions promoting the neoliberal order. But still Russia joined WTO in 2012 which means that this organization got a new lease of life.

Nonetheless, that "neoliberalism in name only" is still a powerful global "brand" which the U.S. seeks to maintain at all costs for macro geopolitical reasons (The Great Crash, 2008: A Geopolitical Setback for the West , Foreign Affairs)

The financial and economic crash of 2008, the worst in over 75 years, is a major geopolitical setback for the United States and Europe. Over the medium term, Washington and European governments will have neither the resources nor the economic credibility to play the role in global affairs that they otherwise would have played. These weaknesses will eventually be repaired, but in the interim, they will accelerate trends that are shifting the world's center of gravity away from the United States.

A brutal recession is unfolding in the United States, Europe, and probably Japan -- a recession likely to be more harmful than the slump of 1981-82. The current financial crisis has deeply frightened consumers and businesses, and in response they have sharply retrenched. In addition, the usual recovery tools used by governments -- monetary and fiscal stimuli -- will be relatively ineffective under the circumstances.

This damage has put the American model of free-market capitalism under a cloud. The financial system is seen as having collapsed; and the regulatory framework, as having spectacularly failed to curb widespread abuses and corruption. Now, searching for stability, the U.S. government and some European governments have nationalized their financial sectors to a degree that contradicts the tenets of modern capitalism.

Much of the world is turning a historic corner and heading into a period in which the role of the state will be larger and that of the private sector will be smaller. As it does, the United States' global power, as well as the appeal of U.S.-style democracy, is eroding.

Hegemony of the USA and its allies

The USA was and probably will remain the center of neoliberalism and firmly established as most important and the most powerful promoter of the doctrine (in some case, like with Serbia, Iraq and Libya, on the tips of bayonets).

After the dissolution of the USSR the US elite felt that "everything is permitted" and essentially started to pursue global Roman style imperial policy. The USA military forces are active over most of the globe: about 226 countries have US military troops, 63 of which host American bases, while only 46 countries in the world have no US military presence. This is a projection of military power that makes the Roman, British, and Soviet empires pale in comparison. In his 1919 essay, "The Sociology of Imperialisms," Joseph Schumpeter wrote of Rome during its years of greatest expansion.

There was no corner of the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in danger or under actual attack. If the interests were not Roman, they were those of Rome's allies; and if Rome had no allies, then allies would be invented. When it was utterly impossible to contrive such an interest-why, then it was the national honor that had been insulted.

The fight was always invested with an aura of legality. Rome was always being attacked by evil-minded neighbors, always fighting for a breathing-space. The whole world was pervaded by a host of enemies, and it was manifestly Rome's duty to guard against their indubitably aggressive designs.*

As G. John Ikenberry, professor of geopolitics at Georgetown University noted in Foreign Affairs:

The new grand strategy [initiated by the Bush administration]…. begins with a fundamental commitment to maintaining a unipolar world in which the United States has no peer competitor. No coalition of great powers without the United States will be allowed to achieve hegemony. Bush made this point the centerpiece of American security policy in his West Point commencement address in June: "America has, and intends to keep, military strengths beyond challenges-thereby making the destabilizing arms races of other eras pointless, and limiting rivalries to trade and other pursuits of peace."

…The United States grew faster than the other major states during the decade [of the 1990s], it reduced military spending more slowly, and it dominated investment in the technological advancement of its forces. Today, however, the new goal is to make these advantages permanent-a fait accompli that will prompt other states to not even try to catch up. Some thinkers have described the strategy as "breakout," in which the United States moves so quickly to develop technological advantages (in robotics, lasers, satellites, precision munitions, etc.) that no state or coalition could ever challenge it as global leader, protector and enforcer ("America's Imperial Ambition," Foreign Affairs, October 2002).

Perhaps one of extreme expressions of this neo-Roman imperial policy became that book by The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives by Zbigniew Brzezinski. This is how Brzezinski views the (supposedly sovereign) nations of Central Asia (sited from Amazon review by "A Customer" Jan 3, 2002 as pawns in a greater game for geopolitical domination:

The quote "... the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together." (The Grand Chessboard p.40) is probably the most revealing. Just ponder the meaning of these statements in a post-9-11 world:

To most Americans the people of the world and other nations are just that -- people, just like us, with a right to self-determination. To Brzezinski, they are merely pawns on a chessboard. At the same time, despite the fact that the analogy are not perfect, Rome fell, Napoleon fell, Hitler fell, USSR fell. Countries with too aggressive foreign policy ultimately self-destruct, because they over-extend their own countries resources to the point when people wellbeing drops to the levels of some colonies. The USA have over million people with the security clearance. So in a way it is becoming a copy-cat of the USSR. And while the US military is busy fighting for oil interests all around the world, those wars were launched by borrowing money and it's unclear who will pay the bills.

Neoliberalism beginning as ideology start was pretty modest. It was never considered a "right" ideology, ideology for which people are ready to fight and die. It was just an "ideology of convenience", an eclectic mix of mutually incompatible and incoherent mosaic of various ideologies (including some ideas of Trotskyism and national socialism) that served as useful tool to counter communist ideology. This is the tress of Friedman pretty weak opus "Capitalism and Freedom" -- which can be considered to be close analog of Communist Manifesto for neoliberalism. It also was useful for fighting some Keynesian excesses. Only later it become favorite ideology of financial oligarchy.

So in fight against "Godless communism" which does not respect private property and used "all-powerful" state, it idealized private property ownership, the role of "free" (as in free shooting) market and stressed the necessity to control the size of the government. As a tools to fight communist ideology those were reasonably effective tools. But at some point this deeply flawed, but useful for the specific purpose framework went out of control and became the cult of the deified markets and explicitly stated the necessary of diminishing the role of the state to minimum to ensure the high level of inequality the new neoliberal elite strived for (note not optimizing for a given historical conditions and technology available, but unconditionally diminishing to the point of elimination). Reagan famous phase "Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem." is a perfect example of how to "Throw out the baby with the bath water". But the meaning is more sinister: it meant "throw out of the water middle class".

That happened when financial oligarchy understood that a tool created for fighting communism is perfectly suitable for fighting elements of "New Deal". And it proved to be pretty effective in dismantling of set of regulations of financial sector that were the cornerstone of "New Deal". That was a very smooth ride "deregulatory" ride until 2008. But after 2008 the USA (citadel of neoliberalism) faces the set of problems that at least on the surface look similar to the problem that USSR faced before its disintegration, although the USA still have much more favorable conditions overall and disintegration is not among the current threats. Among them:

Still there are important difference with Marxism: despite extremely flawed to the point of being anti-scientific neoliberal ideology is still supported by higher standard of living of population in selected Western countries (G7). If also can rely on five important factors:

  1. Military dominance of the USA and NATO. There are very few countries in the globe without explicit or implicit USA military presence.
  2. Financial dominance of USA and its allies. The role of dollar as world currency and the role of USA controlled global financial institutions such as World Bank and IMF
  3. Technological dominance of USA and G7. Continuing brain drain from "Third world" and xUSSR countries to G7 countries.
  4. Cultural dominance of the USA (although this is gradually diminishing as after 2008 countries started of assert their cultural independence more vigorously).
  5. Ideological dominance, neoliberalism as yet another major civic religion

Military dominance of USA and NATO

The American society and the U.S. armaments industry today are different then it was when Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell speech (Eisenhower's Farewell Address to the Nation) famously warned Americans to beware the "military-industrial complex." See also The Farewell Address 50 Years Later. The major opponent, the USSR left the world scene, being defeated in the cold war. That means that currently the USA enjoy world military dominance that reminds the dominance of Roman Empire.

The USA now is the world's greatest producer and exporter of arms on the planet. It spends more on armed forces than all other nations combined -- while going deeply into debt to do so.

The USA also stations over 500,000 troops, spies, contractors, dependents, etc. on more than 737 bases around the world in 130 countries (even this is not a complete count) at a cost of near 100 billions a year. The 2008 Pentagon inventory includes 190,000 troops in 46 nations and territories, and 865 facilities in more than 40 countries and overseas U.S. territories. In just Japan, the USA have 99,295 people who are either members of US forces or are closely connected to US. The only purpose is to provide control over as many nations as possible.

Funny but among other thing the Pentagon also maintain 234 golf courses around the world, 70 Lear Jet airplanes for generals and admirals, and a ski resort in the Bavarian Alps.

Military dominance of the USA and NATO were demonstrated during Yugoslavia bombing and then invasion of Iraq. It's clear the Yugoslavia bombing would be out of question if the USSR existed.

Neoliberalism and militarism

Under neoliberalism, markets are now fused with the logic of expansion and militarization is the most logical was of securing expansion, improving global positions, and the ordering of social relations in a way favorable to the transnational elite.

Under neoliberal regime the United States is not only obsessed with militarism, which is shaping foreign policy , but wars have become real extension of the politics, the force that penetrates almost every aspect of daily life. Support of wars became a perverted version of patriotism.

As Henry A. Giroux noted in his interview to Truth-out (Violence is Deeply Rooted in American Culture), paradoxically in the country of "advanced democracy" schools and social services are increasingly modeled after prisons. Four decades of neoliberal policies have given way to an economic Darwinism that promotes a politics of cruelty.

Police forces are militarized. Popular culture endlessly celebrating the spectacle of violence. The Darwinian logic of war and violence have become addictive, a socially constructed need. State violence has become an organizing principle of society that has become the key mediating force that now holds everyday life together. State violence is now amplified in the rise of the punishing state which works to support corporate interests and suppress all forms of dissent aimed at making corporate power accountable. Violence as a mode of discipline is now enacted in spheres that have traditionally been created to counter it. Airports, schools, public services, and a host of other public spheres are now defined through a militarized language of "fight with terrorism", the language of discipline, regulation, control, and order. Human relations and behaviors are dehumanized making it easier to legitimate a culture of cruelty and politics of disposability that are central organizing principles of casino capitalism.

The national news became a video game, a source of entertainment where a story gains prominence by virtue of the notion that if it bleeds it leads. Education has been turned into a quest for private satisfactions and is no longer viewed as a public good, thus cutting itself off from teaching students about public values, the public good and engaged citizenship. What has emerged in the United States is a civil and political order structured around the criminalization of social problems and everyday life. This governing-through-crime model produces a highly authoritarian and mechanistic approach to addressing social problems that often focuses on the poor and minorities, promotes highly repressive policies, and places emphasis on personal security, rather than considering the larger complex of social and structural forces that fuels violence in the first place.

The key reference on the topic is the book The New American Militarism (2005) by Andrew Bacevich. Here is one Amazon review:

In his book The New American Militarism (2005), Andrew Bacevich desacralizes our idolatrous infatuation with military might, but in a way that avoids the partisan cant of both the left and the right that belies so much discourse today. Bacevich's personal experiences and professional expertise lend his book an air of authenticity that I found compelling. A veteran of Vietnam and subsequently a career officer, a graduate of West Point and later Princeton where he earned a PhD in history, director of Boston University's Center for International Relations, he describes himself as a cultural conservative who views mainstream liberalism with skepticism, but who also is a person whose "disenchantment with what passes for mainstream conservatism, embodied in the present Bush administration and its groupies, is just about absolute." Finally, he identifies himself as a "conservative Catholic." Idolizing militarism, Bacevich insists, is far more complex, broader and deeper than scape-goating either political party, accusing people of malicious intent or dishonorable motives, demonizing ideological fanatics as conspirators, or replacing a given administration. Not merely the state or the government, but society at large, is enthralled with all things military.

Our military idolatry, Bacevich believes, is now so comprehensive and beguiling that it "pervades our national consciousness and perverts our national policies.

" We have normalized war, romanticized military life that formally was deemed degrading and inhuman, measured our national greatness in terms of military superiority, and harbor naive, unlimited expectations about how waging war, long considered a tragic last resort that signaled failure, can further our national self-interests. Utilizing a "military metaphysic" to justify our misguided ambitions to recreate the world in our own image, with ideals that we imagine are universal, has taken about thirty years to emerge in its present form.

It is this marriage between utopians ends and military means that Bacevich wants to annul.

How have we come to idolize military might with such uncritical devotion? He likens it to pollution: "the perhaps unintended, but foreseeable by-product of prior choices and decisions made without taking fully into account the full range of costs likely to be incurred" (p. 206). In successive chapters he analyzes six elements of this toxic condition that combined in an incremental and cumulative fashion.

  1. After the humiliation of Vietnam, an "unmitigated disaster" in his view, the military set about to rehabilitate and reinvent itself, both in image and substance. With the All Volunteer Force, we moved from a military comprised of citizen-soldiers that were broadly representative of all society to a professional warrior caste that by design isolated itself from broader society and that by default employed a disproportionate percentage of enlistees from the lowest socio-economic class. War-making was thus done for us, by a few of us, not by all of us.
  2. Second, the rise of the neo-conservative movement embraced American Exceptionalism as our national end and superior coercive force as the means to franchise it around the world.
  3. Myth-making about warfare sentimentalized, sanitized and fictionalized war. The film Top Gun is only one example of "a glittering new image of warfare."
  4. Fourth, without the wholehearted complicity of conservative evangelicalism, militarism would have been "inconceivable," a tragic irony when you consider that the most "Christian" nation on earth did far less to question this trend than many ostensibly "secular" nations.
  5. Fifth, during the years of nuclear proliferation and the fears of mutually assured destruction, a "priesthood" of elite defense analysts pushed for what became known as the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). RMA pushed the idea of "limited" and more humane war using game theory models and technological advances with euphemisms like "clean" and "smart" bombs. But here too our "exuberance created expectations that became increasingly uncoupled from reality," as the current Iraq debacle demonstrates.
  6. Finally, despite knowing full well that dependence upon Arab oil made us vulnerable to the geo-political maelstroms of that region, we have continued to treat the Persian Gulf as a cheap gas station. How to insure our Arab oil supply, protect Saudi Arabia, and serve as Israel's most important protector has always constituted a squaring of the circle. Sordid and expedient self interest, our "pursuit of happiness ever more expansively defined," was only later joined by more lofty rhetoric about exporting universal ideals like democracy and free markets, or, rather, the latter have only been a (misguided) means to secure the former.

Bacevich opens and closes with quotes from our Founding Fathers. In 1795, James Madison warned that "of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other." Similarly, late in his life George Washington warned the country of "those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty."

Financial dominance

With dollar role as the primary world reserve currency the USA still rides on its "Exorbitant privilege". But there are countervailing forces that diminish dollar importance, such a euro. Financial dominance under neoliberalism became the primary tool of ensuring the control over the nations. See Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism

US and Western banks dominate the globe with New York and London as two world financial centers.

Things little changed after 2008 despite the fact that the US economy in entered a deep debt crisis, which is amplified by the level of destruction of real economy by offshoring and outsourcing achieved under the umbrella of neoliberalism during previous four decades. While the USA remains the sole super power its imperial problems now reached such a level that they may start to affect the foreign policy. Troubles of organizing an invasion in Syria are probably symptomatic. It proved to be more difficult undertaking that similar invasion of Iraq a decade earlier.

Economic troubles have important side effect: the ideological dominance, achieved by the USA during 1989 till 2008 is now under attack. There are a lot of skeptic and in a way neoliberalism goes the way of Marxism with the major difference that there were probably some sincere followers of Marxism at least during the first 30 years of its development.

Centrality of transnational financial flows (including emerging countries debt) and financial oligarchy in neoliberal regime

Since the late 1970s, there was a radical shift of economic activity from the production of goods and non-financial services to finance with the rapid growth since then of the share of financial profits in total corporate profits. Also reflective of this process of "financialisation of the Economy" was the explosive growth of private debt as a proportion of gross domestic product, and the piling of layers upon layers of claims with the existence of instruments like options, futures, swaps, and the like, and financial entities like hedge funds and structured investment vehicles.

With financialisation, the financial masturbation -- speculation directed on making money within the financial system, bypassing the route of commodity production, increasingly became the name of the game. Using Marxist terminology the general formula for capital accumulation, M-C-M', in which commodities are central to the generation of profits, was replaced by M-M', in which money simply begets more money with no relation to production.

This is related to the reason which brought on the financialization of the economy in the forefront: beginning with the sharp recession of 1974-75, the US economy entered a period of slow economic growth, high unemployment/underemployment and excess capacity. That happened after around 25 years of spectacular ascent following the second world war. So financialisation was thought a s a remedy to this "permanent stagnation" regime. And for a while it performed this function well, although it was done by "eating the host".

Finance under any neoliberalism-bound regime can be best understood as a form of warfare, and financial complex (typically large Western banks as locals are not permitted, unless specially protected by remnants of the nation state) as an extension of military-industrial complex. Like in military conquest, its aim is to gain control for occupying country of land, public infrastructure, and to impose tribute putting the country in debt and using dominance of dollar as world reserve currency. This involves dictating laws to vassal countries (imposing Washington consensus, see below) and interfering in social as well as economic planning using foreign debt and the necessity to service the foreign loans as a form of Gosplan.

The main advantage of neoliberalism in comparison with the similar practice of the past is the conquest is being done by financial means, without the cost to the aggressor of fielding an army. But the economies under attacked may be devastated as deeply by financial stringency as by military attack when it comes to demographic shrinkage, shortened life spans, emigration and capital flight. Actually following s successful attack of neoliberalism and conquest of the country by neoliberal elite Russian economy was devastated more then during WWII, when Hitler armies reached banks of Volga river and occupies half of the country.

This attack is being mounted not by nation states alone, but by a cosmopolitan financial class and international financial institutions such as World bank and IMF with full support of major western banks serving as agencies of western governments. Finance always has been cosmopolitan more than nationalistic – and always has sought to impose its priorities and lawmaking power over those of parliamentary democracies.

Like any monopoly or vested interest, the financial "Trojan horse" strategy seeks to block government power to regulate or tax it. From the financial vantage point, the ideal function of government is to enhance profits via privatization and protect finance capital from the population to allow "the miracle of compound interest" to siphon most of the revenue out of the country. Some tiny share of this revenue is paid to compradors within the national elite. In good years such tactic keeps fortunes multiplying exponentially, faster than the economy can grow. This "paradise for rentiers" last until they eat into the core and cause deindustrialization and severe debt crisis. Eventually they do to the economy what predatory creditors and rentiers did to the Roman Empire.

Technological dominance

The globalist bloc of Western countries led by the USA achieved hegemony in the end of the twentieth century because it managed to become the center of technological progress and due to this acquired a commanding influence over industrial production and social life around the world, including the ability to provide rewards and impose sanctions. One or the reason of technical backwardness of the USSR just before the dissolution were technical sanctions imposed by the West via COCOM. As most of global corporations belong to G7 this lead to "natural" technological hegemony of this block. As Thatcher used to say "There is no alternatives", although she meant there is no alternatives to neoliberalism, not to Western technology from G7 nations. Only recently Asian countries started to challenge this status quo in some areas.

Global corporation managed to create a situation in which the same goods are used in most countries of the globe. Western brand names dominate. American and European airliners, Japanese, American and German cars, Korean and American smartphones, Chinese and American PCs, etc.

China became world factory and produces lion share of goods sold under Western brands.

Dominance in Internet and global communications

The debate about the USA dominance in internet and global communications reemerged in June 2008 due to revelations make about existence of the Prism program and similar program by British security services. For example, Jacob Augstein used the term "Obama's Soft Totalitarianism" in his article Europe Must Stand Up to American Cyber-Snooping published by SPIEGEL. The NSA's infrastructure wasn't built to fight Al Qaeda. It has a far greater purpose, one of which is to keep the USA as the last superpower.

The USA has capabilities of intercepting of lion share of global internet traffic and with allies tries to intercept all the diplomatic communication during major conferences and trade talk in direct violation of Vienna protocols. Latin American countries were one of the recent victims of this activity during trade talks with the USA. There were reports about snooping on UN personnel communications in NYC.

Here is an interesting comment of user MelFarrellSr in The Guardian discussion of the article NSA analysts 'willfully violated' surveillance systems, agency admits (August 24, 2013):

Here's the thing about the NSA, the GCHQ, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, et al...

We all have to stop commenting as if the NSA and the GCHQ are in this thing on their own; the reality is that no one was supposed to know one iota about any of these programs; the NSA and the GCHQ began and put in place the structure that would allow all internet service providers, and indeed all corporations using the net, the ability to track and profile each and every user on the planet, whether they be using the net, texting, cell, and landline.

We all now know that Google, Yahoo, and the rest, likely including major retailers, and perhaps not so major retailers, are all getting paid by the United States government, hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money, our money, to profile 24/7 each and every one of us..., they know how we think, our desires, our sexual preferences, our religious persuasion, what we spend, etc.; make no mistake about it, they know it all, and what they don't currently have, they will very soon…

These agencies and indeed all those who are paid by them, will be engaged over the next few weeks in a unified program of "perception management" meaning that they will together come up with an all-encompassing plan that will include the release of all manner of statements attesting to the enforcement of several different disciplinary actions against whomever for "illegal" breaches of policy...

They may even bring criminal actions against a few poor unfortunate souls who had no idea they would be sacrificed as one part of the "perception management" game.

Has anyone wondered why, to date, no one in power has really come out and suggested that the program must be curtailed to limit its application to terrorism and terrorist types?

Here's why; I was fortunate recently to have given an education on how networks such as Prism, really work, aside from the rudimentary details given in many publications. They cannot, and will not, stop monitoring even one individuals activity, because to do so will eventually cause loss of the ability to effectively monitor as many as 2.5 Million individuals.

Remember the "Two to Three Hop" scenario, which the idiot in one of the hearings inadvertently spoke of; therein lies the answer. If the average person called 40 unique people, three-hop analysis would allow the government to mine the records of 2.5 million Americans Do the math; Internet usage in the United States as of June 30, 2012 reached a total of over 245,000,000 million…

The following link shows how connected the world is… http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm

We should never forget how the Internet began, and who developed it, the United States Armed Forces; initially it was known as Arpanet, see excerpt and link below…

"The Internet may fairly be regarded as a never-ending worldwide conversation." - Supreme Court Judge statement on considering first amendment rights for Internet users.

"On a cold war kind of day, in swinging 1969, work began on the ARPAnet, grandfather to the Internet. Designed as a computer version of the nuclear bomb shelter, ARPAnet protected the flow of information between military installations by creating a network of geographically separated computers that could exchange information via a newly developed protocol (rule for how computers interact) called NCP (Network Control Protocol)."

http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa091598.htm

There is no government anywhere on the planet that will give up any part of the program…, not without one hell of a fight...

Incidentally, they do hope and believe that everyone will come to the same conclusion; they will keep all of us at bay for however long it takes; they have the money, they have the time, and they economically control all of us...

Pretty good bet they win...

That includes industrial espionage:

EntropyNow:

Or industrial espionage?

Absolutely. See EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT report dated 11 July 2001 (Note it was before the 9/11 attack in the US).

7. Compatibility of an 'ECHELON' type communications interception system with Union law

7.1. Preliminary considerations
7.2. Compatibility of an intelligence system with Union law

7.2.1. Compatibility with EC law
7.2.2. Compatibility with other EU law

7.3. The question of compatibility in the event of misuse of the system for industrial espionage
7.4. Conclusion

EntropyNow -> StrawBear

The fact that they snoop on us all constantly, that's the problem. I agree that the indiscriminate surveillance is a problem. However, with such vast powers in the hands of private contractors, without robust legal oversight, it is wide open to abuse and interpretation. I believe we need to pull the plug and start again, with robust, independent, legal oversight, which respects fundamental international human rights laws In the US, the NDAA is a law which gives the government the right to indefinitely detain US citizens, without due process, without a trial, if they are suspected to be associated with 'terrorists'. Now define 'terrorism'?

Section 1021b is particularly worrying, concerning "substantial support." It is wide open to interpretation and abuse, which could criminalize dissent and even investigative journalism. See Guardian's excellent article by Naomi Wolf, 17 May 2012::

As Judge Forrest pointed out:

"An individual could run the risk of substantially supporting or directly supporting an associated force without even being aware that he or she was doing so. In the face of what could be indeterminate military detention, due process requires more."

In an excellent episode of Breaking the Set Feb 7 2013 Tangerine Bolen (Founder and Director, Revolutiontruth) stated that 'Occupy London' was designated a 'terrorist group" officially. There are independent journalists and civil liberty activists being targeted by private cyber security firms, which are contractors for the DOD, they are being harassed and intimidated, threatening free speech and liberty for everyone, everywhere. As Naomi Wolf concludes:

"This darkness is so dangerous not least because a new Department of Homeland Security document trove, released in response to a FOIA request filed by Michael Moore and the National Lawyers' Guild, proves in exhaustive detail that the DHS and its "fusion centers" coordinated with local police (as I argued here, to initial disbelief), the violent crackdown against Occupy last fall.

You have to put these pieces of evidence together: the government cannot be trusted with powers to detain indefinitely any US citizen – even though Obama promised he would not misuse these powers – because the United States government is already coordinating a surveillance and policing war against its citizens, designed to suppress their peaceful assembly and criticism of its corporate allies."

MadShelley

It seems to me that potential terrorist threats come in two sorts: the highly organised and funded groups that could commit catastrophic destruction, and the local schmucks that are really just old-fashioned losers-with-a-grudge adopting an empowering ideology.

The first group would be immensely cautious with their communications, and fall outside this sort of surveillance. The second group, if Boston and Woolwich are any evidence, are not effectively detected by these measures.

It appears very clear to me that this is runaway state power, predictably and transparently deflected with cries of "terrorism". And, perhaps most worrying, that definition of terrorism is now as wide as the state requires. Anything that embarrasses or exposes the evils of our states, including rendition, torture, and all manner of appalling injustice, is classified as a matter of 'national security', which must not be exposed lest it aid the enemy.

I know Orwell's name gets tossed around too much... but Jesus! I really hope we're not bovine enough to walk serenely into this future.

General_Hercules

...The NSA's infrastructure wasn't built to fight Al Qaeda. It has a far greater purpose, one of which is to keep the USA as the last superpower and moral authority for the rest of the time humanity has in this world.

All this muck is hurting bad. Obama is having a tough time from all sides. All the moralists think he is a villain doing everything he promised to change. All the secret society members think he is a clown who has spilled out every secret that was painstakingly put together over decades....

Cultural dominance

The temples of neoliberalism are malls and airports ;-). And they are build all over the glone is a very similar fashion. A drunk person accidentally transfered from New Jersey to, say Kiev and put in one of mjor malls can never tell the difference :-).

English became the major international language. Both language of technology and commerce. Much like Latin was before.

In developing countries goods are sold at considerable premium (up to 100%) but generally everything that can be bought in the USA now can be bought say in Kiev. Of course affordability is drastically different, but for elite itis not a problem. That create another opportunity for the top 1% to enjoy very similar, "internationalized" lifestyle all over the globe.

Hollywood films dominate world cinemas. American computer games dominate gaming space. In a way the USA culturally is present in any country. It was amazing how quickly remnants of communist ideology were wipes out in the xUSSR countries (Globalization, ethnic conflict and nationalism Daniele Conversi - Academia.edu):

Contrary to the globalists or ideologues of globalization (Steger 2005), both Marxists and liberals have highlighted the ' pyramidal ' structure underlying globalization. This metaphor applies well to cultural dissemination.

An elite of corporate, media, and governmental agencies sits at the pyramid' s top level, small regional intermediary elites sit immediately below, while the overwhelming majority of humans are pushed well down towards the pyramid' s bottom. In the realm of ' global culture ' , this looks like a master-servant relationship with much of the world at the boot-licking end. Whether such a relationship really exists, or is even practical, this metaphorical dramatization can nevertheless help to understand collective self-perceptions. The consequences in the area of ethnic conflict are significant. Such a hierarchical structure makes it impossible for global exchanges to turn into egalitarian relationships based on evenly balanced inter-cultural communication and dialogue.

On the contrary, cultural globalization is not reflected in a genuine increase of inter-personal, inter-ethnic and inter-cultural contacts. As I shall argue, in most public areas ' cultural globalization ' really means the unreciprocated, one-way flow of consumerist items from the US media and leisure machine to the rest of the world.

This top-down distribution ensures that a few individuals and groups, nearly all in the USA, firmly establish the patterns of behaviour and taste to be followed by the rest of mankind. Is this congruent with the view that there is a form of ' global centralization ' in cultural-legal matters leaning towards Washington, DC? As for a supposed ' global culture ', the symbolic capital would ideally be located in Hollywood, rather than Washington.

In fact, the term ' Hollywoodization ' insinuates a media-enforced hierarchical structure with immediate symbolic resonance. It also offers a more cultural, perhaps less sociological, focus than the Weberian concept of bureaucratic ' McDonaldization ' (Ritzer 1996).

Competing terminologies include ' Disneyfication ' / ' Disneyization ' , with its stress on extreme predictability and the infantilization of leisure (Bryman 2004), 'Walmarting ' as the streamlining of the retail sector (Fishman 2005, Morrow 2004), or earlier Cold War terms like ' Coca-Colonization ' (Wagnleitner 1994). We previously saw how the term ' McGuggenization ' has been used to indicate art-related cultural franchising and other forms of Americanization in the Basque Country (McNeill 2000).

All these equally refer to socio-economic trends originated in the USA and are hence forms of Americanization. However, ' Hollywoodization ' has broader implications for ethnic relations and nationalist conflicts.

In practice, Hollywood-inspired simplifications have become the daily staple for millions of peoples around the world in their leisure time. In the area of ethnicity, ' Hollywoodization ' has been elevated to the only known reality and the unique source of information about the outside world for increasing numbers of people, not only in the USA. Thus, the world is more likely to get its stereotypes of the Brits from US movies like The Patriot or Saving Private Ryan than via British productions.Similarly, most of the world is likely to see Scotland through the lenses of US-made Braveheart , as the larger public can barely afford any access to Scottish cultural productions.

This monopoly of global stereotyping and ethnic imagery has serious implicationsf or the spread and continuation of ethnic conflict.

The tools of primary socialization were once under firm control of the family, either nuclear or extended. They were subsequently assumed by the state in the industrialization ' phase ' , notably with post-1789 mass militarization and compulsory schooling (Conversi2007, 2008).

Under neo-liberal globalization, primary socialization has been seized by unaccountable cash-driven corporations and media tycoons. This has further reduced the space of inter-generational transmission and family interaction. If a community can no longer socialize its children according to its culture and traditions, then the very bases of local, regional, and national continuity are all visibly at stake. This threat to a group's survival is often seized upon by patriots and ethno-nationalists, whose political programs are founded on providing a new sense of social cohesion and security – even if the targets are often hapless and unprotected minorities.

That is partly how nationalism and xenophobia have expanded in tandem with globalization. Ethno-nationalism not only persisted through change, but is perceived by many as a response to the growth of globalization, providing a prêt-à-porter hope for national resistance and resilience. By depending on Hollywood as unique conveyor of ' globalization ', inter-ethnic interaction is inevitably undermined. In some instances, international communication has practically evaporated.

... ... ...

I have described, and subsequently dismissed, the profit-oriented ideology that globalization, intended as Mcdonaldization and Hollywoodization, can contribute to better international understanding. On the contrary, it has ushered in a process of planetary cultural and environmental destruction, while hampering inter-ethnic communication and fostering human conflict. The notion of cultural security, so central to international relations and peaceful coexistence, has undergone unprecedented challenges.

...Insofar as cultural globalization is understood as uni-dimensional import of standardized cultural icons, symbols, practices, values, and legal systems from the United States, it can simply be re-described as Americanization (rather than Westernization in the broad sense), or ' globalization by Americanization ' (Hilger 2008). This is of central importance for the study of ethnic conflict.

In fact, the outcome is scarce hybridization, amalgamation, and metissage . Rather than providing an inter-cultural bridge, this unilateral drive has often eroded the basis for mutual understanding, impeding inter-ethnic, inter-cultural, and international interaction. Given the current vertical, pyramidal structure of the ' cultural world order ' , the opportunity of distinctive groups to communicate directly and appreciate each other's traditions has decreased, except in the virtual area of long-distance communication. For an increasing number of individuals, an American mass consumer culture remains the only window on the world. Hence, to know and appreciate one ' s neighbours has become an ever-arduous task. To recapitulate my point, wherever cultural globalization appears as synonymous with Americanization, it engenders conflicts on a variety of levels.

Because the process is one-way and unidirectional, the result is unlikely to be a fusion between cultures or, evenless, the blending of ethnic groups. Contrary to the globalist utopia, the imposition of more and more American icons means less and less possibility for direct inter-ethnic encounter and communication among nations. Together with the collapse of state legitimacy, this substantially contributes to the spread of ethnic conflict and nationalism.

Incorporation of "globalist" parts of national élites as second class citizens of the transnational ruling class

Another aspect of cultural power of neoliberalism is that it accepts national elites (on some, less favorable then "primary" elites conditions) as a part of a new transnational elite, which serves as the dominant class. By class, following classic Marxism we mean a group of people who share a common relationship to the process of social production and reproduction, positioned in the society relationally on the basis of social power.

The struggle between descendant national fractions of dominant groups and ascendant transnational fractions has often been the backdrop to surface political dynamics and ideological processes in the late 20th century. These two fractions have been vying for control of local state apparatuses since the 1970s.

Trans national fractions of local elites swept to power in countries around the world in the 1980s and 1990s. They have captured the "commanding heights" of state policymaking: key ministries and bureaucracies in the policymaking apparatus - especially Central Banks, finance and foreign ministries - as key government branches that link countries to the global economy.

They have used national state apparatuses to advance globalization and to pursue sweeping economic restructuring and the dismantling of the old nation-state–based Keynesian welfare and developmentalist projects.

They have sought worldwide market liberalization (following the neoliberal model), and projects of economic integration such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and the European Union. They have promoted a supra-national infrastructure of the global economy, such as the World Trade Organization, as we discuss below.

In this new, transnational social system transnational corporations are intermixed with nation-states which they have special privileges. And the state itself now serves not the people of the country (which historically were upper classes) but primarily service the interests of the transnational corporations (and, by extension, narrow strata of "comprador" elite, much like aristocracy of the past). It is now extension and projection of corporate power ("What is good for GE is good for America"). Both the transactional elite (and first of all financial oligarchy) and transnational corporation enjoy tremendous privileges under such a regime (corporate socialism, or socialism for the rich). Like Bolshevik state was formally dictatorship of proletariat but in reality was dictatorship of the elite of an ideological sect called Communist Party (so called nomenklatura), transformed nation-states like the USA, GB, France, Russia, etc now to various degrees look like dictatorships of transnational elite (transnational bourgeoisie like Marxist would say ;-) while formally remaining sovereign democratic republics. Like with Communist Parties in various countries that does not excuse antagonism or even open hostilities.

That does not eliminates completely the elites competition and for example the EU elite put a knife in the back of the US elite by adopting the euro as completing with the dollar currency (so much about transatlantic solidarity), but still internalization of elites is a new and important process that is more viable that neoliberal ideology as such. Also for any state national elite is not completely homogeneous. While that is a significant part of it that favor globalization (comprador elite or lumpen elite) there is also another part which prefer national development and is at least semi-hostile to globalism. Still the comprador part of the elite represents a very important phenomenon, a real fifth column of globalization, the part that makes globalization successful. It plays the role of Trojan horse within nation states and the name "fifth column" in this sense is a very apt name. This subversive role of comprador elite was clearly visible and well documented in Russian unsuccessful "white revolution" of 2011-2012: the US supported and financed project of "regime change" in Russia. It is also clearly visible although less well documented in other "color revolutions" such as Georgian, Serbian, and Ukrainian color revolutions. comrade Trotsky would probably turn in his coffin if he saw what neoliberal ideologies made with his theory of permanent revolution ;-).

Propaganda victory of neoliberalism over Marxism and New Deal capitalism

As professor David Harvey noted in his A Brief History of Neoliberalism neoliberal propaganda has succeeded in fixating the public on a peculiar definition of "freedom" that has served as a smoke screen to conceal a project of speeding upper class wealth accumulation. In practice, the neoliberal state assumes a protective role for large and especially international corporations ("socialism for multinationals") while it sheds as much responsibility for the citizenry as possible.

The key component of neoliberal propaganda (like was the case with Marxism) was an economic theory. Like Marxism it has three components

For more information see

Ideological dominance, neoliberalism as yet another major civic religion

There is no question that neoliberalism emerged as another major world civic religion. It has its saints, sacred books, moral (or more correctly in this case amoral) postulates and the idea of heaven and hell.

Neoliberalism shares several fundamental properties with high demand religious cults. Like all fundamentalist cults, neoliberalism reduces a complex world to a set of simplistic dogmas (See Washington Consensus). All of society is viewed through the prism of an economic lens. Economic growth, measured by GDP, is the ultimate good. The market is the only and simultaneously the perfect mechanism to achieve this goal. Neoliberalism obsession with materialism have become normalized to the degree that it is hard to imagine what American society would look like in the absence of these structural and ideological features of the new and militant economic Darwinism that now holds sway over the American public. The mantra is well known: government is now the problem, society is a fiction, sovereignty is market-driven, deregulation and commodification are the way to a bright future, and the profit is the only viable measure of the good life and advanced society. Public values are a liability, if not a pathology. Democratic commitments, social relations, and public spheres are disposables, much like the expanding population of the unemployed and dispossessed. Any revolt is the threat to the neoliberal regime of truth and should be dealt with unrestrained cruelty. The market functions best with minimal or no interference from government or civil society and those who don't agree will be taken by police to the proper reeducation camps. All governments with possible exception of the US government should be minimized to allow unrestricted dominance of global corporations. The genius of neoliberalism as a cult, was its ability to cloak the US pretences of world hegemony in an aura of scientific and historical inevitability. Which again makes it very similar and in a way superior to Marxism as a cult. The collapse of the Soviet Union was the supreme, heaven sent validation of Margaret Thatcher's claim that there was no alternative. There is only one blessed road to prosperity and peace and outside it there is no salvation, nor remission from sins.

The great economic historian Karl Polanyi observed, "The idea of a self-adjusting market implied a stark utopia." And neoliberalism was a stunning utopia of economic determinism, one even more ambitious than that of Marx.

With all the big questions thus settled, history appeared to be at an end. There was one and only one route to prosperity and peace. All that was required was to make sure the model was correctly applied and all would be well. We all settled into our assigned roles. Capitalists retreated to the role of technocrats, eschewing risk themselves while shifting and spreading it throughout society. The rest of us were relegated to the roles not of citizens, but of consumers. Using our homes as ATMs, we filled our lives with Chinese-made goods, oblivious to the looming environmental and social costs of a runaway, unregulated consumer-driven society. Only a marginalized few questioned the basic economic structure. It was the era of homo economicus, humans in service to the economy.

Now that perfect machinery lies in pieces all around us and the global economic free fall shows no signs of ending any time soon. The fundamental reasons underlying the collapse aren't all that difficult to discern. Central to the whole neoliberal project was the drive to rationalize all aspects of human society. Relentless efforts to cut costs and increase efficiency drove down the living standards of the vast majority, while the diminution of government and other non-commercial institutions led to increasing concentration of wealth at the very top of society. As high paying jobs in the industrial and technical sectors moved from developed countries to low wage export-based economies in the developing world, capacity soon outstripped demand and profits in the real economy began to sag. Not content with declining earnings, wealthy elites began to search for investments offering higher returns. If these couldn't be found in the real economy, they could certainly be created in the exploding financial sector.

Once consigned to the unglamorous world of matching those with capital to invest with those with enterprises seeking to grow, finance became the powerful new engine of economic growth. No longer stodgy, bankers and brokers became sexy and glamorous. Exotic new financial instruments, called derivatives, traded on everything from commodities to weather.

This speculative frenzy was supported by a central bank only too happy to keep credit extremely cheap. Debt exploded among consumers, businesses and government alike. Creating new debt became the source of even more exotic investment vehicles, often bearing only the most tenuous of connections to underlying assets of real value, with unwieldy names such as "collateralized debt obligations" and "credit default swaps."

All the debt and the shuffling of fictional wealth hid the underlying rot of the real economy. It was a house of cards just waiting for the slight breeze that would send it all crashing down. And a collapse in housing prices in 2008 laid bare the economic contradictions.

The fundamental contradiction underlying much that confronts us in the age of crises is an economic and social system requiring infinite growth within the confines of a finite planet. Any vision seeking to replace neoliberalism must take this contradiction into account and resolve it. The overriding market failure of our time has nothing to do with housing. It's the failure to place any value on that which is truly most essential to our survival: clean air and water, adequate natural resources for the present and future generations, and a climate suitable for human civilization.

No such new vision is currently in sight. That this leaves everyone, neoliberals and their foes alike, in a state of uncertainty and doubt is hardly surprising. The seeming triumph of neoliberalism was so complete that it managed to inculcate itself in the psyches even of those who opposed it.

We find ourselves unsure of terrain we thought we knew well, sensing that one era has ended but unsure as to what comes next. We might do well to embrace that doubt and understand its power to free us. Our doubt allows us to ask meaningful questions again and questioning implies the possibility of real choice. Removing the intellectual straitjacket of neoliberal orthodoxy opens up the space necessary to reconsider the purpose of an economy and its proper role in a decent human society and to revisit the old debate over equity versus efficiency. It calls into question the assumption most central to homo economicus; that all humans act only to maximize their own interests.

It seems clear that the world emerging over the coming decades will look quite different from the one we now inhabit. Of necessity it will evolve in ways we can't fully understand just yet. Old battle lines, such as the ones between capitalism and socialism, will likely fade away. Both of those models arose in a world of abundant and cheap fossil fuels and within the confines a planet with a seemingly endless capacity to absorb the wastes of our conspicuous consumption. New battle lines are already beginning to take shape.

The Revolution is Upon Us The Age of Crisis and the End of Homo Economicus Logos

I think that like is the case with Marxism, the staying power of neoliberalism is that propose the religion picture of world with its "creation history", saints, and way of salvation. In a way it plays the role similar to the role of Catholicism in middle ages (aka Dark Ages). The greed of catholic clergy in Middle ages (trade in indulgencies) is a match of the greed of neoliberals( with financial derivates replacing indulgencies ;-). It is equally hostile to any attempts to analyze it, with the minor difference that heretics that question the sanctity of free market are not burned at the stake, but ostracized. It support "new Crusades" with the same mechanism of "indulgences" for small countries that participate.

The level of hypocrisy is another shared trait. The great irony is that the USA, the world's leading proponent of neoliberalism (with the US President as a Pope of this new religion), systematically is breaking the rules when it find it necessary or convenient. With high deficit spending and massive subsidizing of defense spending and financial sector, the United States has generally use a "do as I say, not as I do" approach. And with the amount of political appointee/lobbyists shuttling back and forth between business and government, Adam Smith's "Invisible Hand" looks more and more like a crushing fist of corporatist thugs. It involves dogmatic belief that the society is better off when ruled by a group of wealthy financiers and oligarchs, than by a group of professional government bureaucrats and politicians with some participation of trade unions.

The USA also dominates the cultural scene:

The United States' position as the leading maker of global culture has been basically unchallenged for the last century or so, especially in the Western world. Yet the economic power of the Western world is waning even as new nations, with new models of economic and social life, are rising. Might one -- or several -- of these nations like China, India or Brazil become new centers of global culture?

I believe that the answer to this question for the foreseeable future is "no." While the U.S.'s cultural prominence is partially related to its political, military and economic power, such power is not the only cause of America's global cultural hegemony. Rather, the U.S. offers a unique convergence of several factors, including economic opportunity, political freedom and an immigrant culture that served as a test bed for new cultural products.

Let me offer a brief account of the rise of the American film industry to suggest the way political, economic and immigrant forces shaped American cultural hegemony. In the U.S., the film industry started as commercial enterprise largely independent of state control. Movies had to adapt to market conditions to earn profit for their producers. In order to achieve this goal, American movies needed to appeal to a diverse population made up of both native-born and immigrant citizens.

As a consequence, filmmakers had to make movies that could appeal to international audiences simply to meet domestic demand. This fact helped the American film industry become globally preeminent well before the U.S. became a superpower. In other words, while U.S. military and economic power strengthened the position of the U.S. movie industry as globally dominant, that position was not dependent on U.S. military and economic power. Instead, American producers had a competitive advantage in global markets that was later cemented in place by the U.S. post-war economic and military hegemony in the West.

After the dissolution of the USSR, the USA became natural center of the "neoliberal religion" a dominant force in the new world order (the world's only superpower). And they used their newly acquired status against states which were not "friendly enough" very similar to Catholicism with its Crusades, launching a series of invasions and color revolutions against "nonbelievers" in a globalist neoliberal model. The level of plunder of Russia after the dissolution of the USSR looks like a direct replay of Crusades with the siege of Constantinople as primary example (despite stated goals, Crusades were by-and-large a monetary enterprise of the time with fig leaf of spread of Catholicism attached). This period of neoliberal crusades still continued in 2013, sometimes using various proxy to achieve "the regime change" by military means.

As we already refereed to neoliberalism as a cult an interesting question is whether neoliberalism can be viewed new "civic religion". The answer is unconditional yes, and I think that like Marxism before it should be considered to be yet another civic religion. It has it's set of holy books, Supreme being to worship, path to salvation and set of Apostils. Like communism before it propose humanity grand purpose and destiny.

Approliving:

Theistic and civic religions are also similar in that they both offer visions of humanity's grand purpose and destiny.

There are also significant differences between theistic religions and civil religions. Theistic religions explicitly rely on claims of divine authority for their validity, while civil religions rely on reason and the interpretation of commonly-accepted historical knowledge. Followers of theistic religions stress the importance of faith in times of adversity, while followers of civil religions tend to have a more pragmatic attitude when reality casts doubt on their beliefs.

Civil religions are more like big social experiments than actual religions because their central claims are much more falsifiable, and their followers show evidence of holding this perception (e.g. references to "the American experiment"; the voluntary abandonment of Communism throughout Eurasia when it became clear that it wasn't working).

Communism bears so much resemblance to Christianity because, as you mentioned last week, the Western imagination was thoroughly in the grip of Christianity when Communism emerged. Communism is similar to Christianity out of practical necessity: had it not been based on the Christian template, Communism probably would have been too intellectually alien to its Western audience to have ever taken off. Luckily for the founders of Communism, they were also subjected to this Christian cultural conditioning.

With all this in mind, and given that religion is evolving phenomenon, I think that civil religion is actually a distinct species of intellectual organism which has (at least in part) evolved out of religion.

Like Marxism, neoliberalism is first and foremost a quasi religious political doctrine. But while Marxism is aimed at liberation of workers , a political doctrine neoliberalism is aimed at restoring the power of capital. Neoliberalism originated in the rich countries of Anglo-Saxon world (GB and USA) so along with open despise of poor, it always has a distinct flavor of despise for peripheral countries. In global politics, neoliberalism preoccupies itself with the promotion of four basic issues:

As such, neoliberalism, in its crudest form, is crystallized in the Ten Commandments of the 1989 Washington Consensus (policy of debt slavery set for the world by the US via international financial institutions). While pushing the democracy as a smoke screen, they implicitly postulate hegemony of the financial elite (which is a part of "economic elite" that neoliberalism defines as a hegemonic class). Financialization of the economy also serves as a powerful method of redistribution of wealth, so neoliberalism generally lead to deterioration of standard of living for lower quintile of the population and in some countries (like Russia in 1991-2000) for the majority of the population. This is done largely via credit system and in this sense neoliberalism represents "reinters paradise". Neoliberal globalization was built on the foundation of US hegemony, conceived as the projection of the hegemony of the US capital and dollar as the dominant reserve currency. As such it is critically dependent of the power and stability of the US and the financial, economic, political and military supremacy of the US in every region. For this purpose the USA maintains over 500 military bases (737 by some counts) and over 2.5 million of military personnel.

But there are also important differences. Unlike most religions, neoliberalism is highly criminogenic (i.e., having the quality of causing or fostering crime). It is more criminogenic in countries with lower standard of living and in such countries it often lead to conversion of a "normal", but poor state into a kleptocratic state (Yeltsin's Russia is a good example) with the requisite mass poverty (Global Anomie, Dysnomie and Economic Crime Hidden Consequences of Neoliberalism and Globalization in Russia and Around the World). Unfortunately architects of this transformation (Harvard Mafia in case of Russia) usually avoid punishment for their crimes. Corruption of the US regulators which happened under neoliberal regime starting from Reagan is also pretty well covered theme.

While economic crisis of 2008 led to a crisis of neoliberalism, this is not necessary a terminal crisis. The phase of neoliberal dominance still continues, but internal contradictions became much deeper and the regime became increasingly unstable even in the citadel of neoliberalism -- the USA. Neoliberalism as an intellectual product is practically dead. After the crisis of 2008, the notion that finance mobilizes and allocates resources efficiently, drastically reduces systemic risks and brings significant productivity gains for the economy as a whole became untenable. But its zombie phase supported by several states (the USA, GB, Germany), transnational capital (and financial capital in particular) and respective elites out of the sense of self-preservation might continue (like Bolshevism rule in the USSR in 70th-80th) despite increasing chance of facing discontent of population and bursts of social violence.

Cornerstone of neoliberal regime, the economic power of the USA is now under threat from the rise of Asia. This is one reason of mutation of neoliberalism into aggressive neoconservative imperialism that we witness in the USA.

While intellectually neoliberalism was bankrupt from the beginning, after 2008 believing it in is possible only by ignoring the results of deregulation in the USA and other countries. In other words the mythology of self-regulating "free market" became a "damaged goods". In this sense, any sensible person should now hold neoliberal sect in contempt. But reality is different and it still enjoy the support of the part of population which can't see through the smoke screen. With the strong support of financial oligarchy neoliberalism will continue to exists in zombie state for quite a while, although I hope this will not last as long as dominance of Catholicism during European Dark Ages ;-). Still the US is yet to see its Luther. As was noted about a different, older sect: "Men are blind to prefer an absurd and sanguinary creed, supported by executioners and surrounded by fiery faggots, a creed which can only be approved by those to whom it gives power and riches".

Like communism in the USSR it is a state supported religion: Neoliberalism enjoys support of western governments and first of all the US government. Even when the US society entered deep crisis in 2008 and fabric of the society was torn by neoliberal policies it did not lose government support.

US was an imperial nation driven by annexation of territories from the very beginning

The USA has a history of "plain vanilla" (British style) imperialism, based on annexation and occupation of territories since the presidency of James K. Polk who led the United States into the Mexican–American War of 1846, and the eventual annexation of California and other western territories via the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Gadsden purchase. The term is most commonly used to describe the U.S.'s status since the 20th century (Empire - Wikipedia):

The term "American Empire" refers to the United States' cultural ideologies and foreign policy strategies. The term is most commonly used to describe the U.S.'s status since the 20th century, but it can also be applied to the United States' world standing before the rise of nationalism in the 20th century. The United States is not traditionally recognized as an empire, in part because the U.S. adopted a different political system from those that previous empires had used. Despite these systematic differences, the political objectives and strategies of the United States government have been quite similar to those of previous empires. Krishna Kumar explores this idea that the distinct principles of nationalism and imperialism may, in fact, result in one common practice.

In "Nation-states as empires, empires as nation-states: two principles, one practice?" she argues that the pursuit of nationalism can often coincide with the pursuit of imperialism in terms of strategy and decision making. Throughout the 19th century, the United States government attempted to expand their territory by any means necessary. Regardless of the supposed motivation for this constant expansion, all of these land acquisitions were carried out by imperialistic means. This was done by financial means in some cases, and by military force in others. Most notably, the Louisiana Purchase (1803), the Texas Annexation (1845), and the Mexican Cession (1848) highlight the imperialistic goals of the United States during this "modern period" of imperialism.

The U.S. government has stopped pursuing additional territories since the mid 20th century. However, some scholars still consider U.S. foreign policy strategies to be imperialistic. This idea is explored in the "contemporary usage" section.

... ... ...

Stuart Creighton Miller posits that the public's sense of innocence about Realpolitik (cf. American Exceptionalism) impairs popular recognition of US imperial conduct since it governed other countries via surrogates. These surrogates were domestically-weak, right-wing governments that would collapse without US support.[30] Former President G.W. Bush's Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, said: "We don't seek empires. We're not imperialistic; we never have been."[31] This statement directly contradicts Thomas Jefferson who, in the 1780s while awaiting the fall of the Spanish empire, said: "...till our population can be sufficiently advanced to gain it from them piece by piece".[32][33][34] In turn, historian Sidney Lens argues that from its inception, the US has used every means available to dominate other nations.[35] Other historian Max Ostrovsky argues that the term hegemony is better than empire to describe the US' role in the world but finds that hegemony is likely to be an intermediate stage between states system and empire.[36]

... ... ...

In his book review of Empire (2000) by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Mehmet Akif Okur posits that since the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the US, the international relations determining the world's balance of power (political, economic, military) have been altered. These alterations include the intellectual (political science) trends that perceive the contemporary world's order via the re-territorrialisation of political space, the re-emergence of classical imperialist practices (the "inside" vs. "outside" duality, cf. the Other), the deliberate weakening of international organisations, the restructured international economy, economic nationalism, the expanded arming of most countries, the proliferation of nuclear weapon capabilities and the politics of identity emphasizing a state's subjective perception of its place in the world, as a nation and as a civilisation. These changes constitute the "Age of Nation Empires"; as imperial usage, nation-empire denotes the return of geopolitical power from global power blocs to regional power blocs (i.e., centered upon a "regional power" state [China, Russia, U.S., et al.]) and regional multi-state power alliances (i.e., Europe, Latin America, South East Asia). Nation-empire regionalism claims sovereignty over their respective (regional) political (social, economic, ideologic), cultural, and military spheres.[43]

Annexation was the crucial instrument in the expansion of the USA after it won independence. The United States Congress' ability to annex a foreign territory is explained in a report from the Congressional Committee on Foreign Relations,

"If, in the judgment of Congress, such a measure is supported by a safe and wise policy, or is based upon a natural duty that we owe to the people of Hawaii, or is necessary for our national development and security, that is enough to justify annexation, with the consent of the recognized government of the country to be annexed."

Even prior to annexing a territory, the American government usually held tremendous political power in those territories through the various legislations passed in the late 1800s. The Platt Amendment was utilized to prevent Cuba from entering into any agreements with foreign nations, and also granted the Americans the right to build naval stations on their soil.[39] Executive officials in the American government began to determine themselves the supreme authority in matters regarding the recognition or restriction of [39]

When asked on April 28, 2003, on al-Jazeera whether the United States was "empire building," Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld replied "We don't seek empires, we're not imperialistic. We never have been."[40] And this denial is typical for "Empire of Lies" as some researchers call the USA. Historian Donald W. Meinig says the imperial behavior by the United States dates at least to the Louisiana Purchase, which he describes as an "imperial acquisition-imperial in the sense of the aggressive encroachment of one people upon the territory of another, resulting in the subjugation of that people to alien rule." The U.S. policies towards the Native Americans he said were "designed to remold them into a people more appropriately conformed to imperial desires."[41]

Writers and academics of the early 20th century, like Charles A. Beard, discussed American policy as being driven by self-interested expansionism going back as far as the writing of the Constitution. Some politicians today do not agree. Pat Buchanan claims that the modern United States' drive to empire is "far removed from what the Founding Fathers had intended the young Republic to become."[42]

Andrew Bacevich who is a an influencial writer about the US empite with his book American empite (2002) argues that the U.S. did not fundamentally change its foreign policy after the Cold War, and remains focused on an effort to expand its control across the world.[43] As the surviving superpower at the end of the Cold War, the U.S. could focus its assets in new directions, the future being "up for grabs" according to former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz in 1991.[44]

In Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, the political activist Noam Chomsky argues that exceptionalism and the denials of imperialism are the result of a systematic strategy of propaganda, to "manufacture opinion" as the process has long been described in other countries.[45]

Thorton wrote that "[…]imperialism is more often the name of the emotion that reacts to a series of events than a definition of the events themselves. Where colonization finds analysts and analogies, imperialism must contend with crusaders for and against."[46] Political theorist Michael Walzer argues that the term hegemony is better than empire to describe the US's role in the world;[47] political scientist Robert Keohane agrees saying, a "balanced and nuanced analysis is not aided...by the use of the phrase 'empire' to describe United States hegemony, since 'empire' obscures rather than illuminates the differences in form of rule between the United States and other Great Powers, such as Great Britain in the 19th century or the Soviet Union in the twentieth.".[48] Emmanuel Todd assumes that USA cannot hold for long the status of mondial hegemonic power due to limited resources. Instead, USA is going to become just one of the major regional powers along with European Union, China, Russia, etc.[49]

International relations scholar Joseph Nye argues that U.S. power is more and more based on "soft power", which comes from cultural hegemony rather than raw military or economic force.[69] This includes such factors as the widespread desire to emigrate to the United States, the prestige and corresponding high proportion of foreign students at U.S. universities, and the spread of U.S. styles of popular music and cinema. Mass immigration into America may justify this theory, but it is hard to know for sure whether the United States would still maintain its prestige without its military and economic superiority.

Military and cultural imperialism are interdependent. American Edward Said, one of the founders of post-colonial theory, said that,

[…], so influential has been the discourse insisting on American specialness, altruism and opportunity, that imperialism in the United States as a word or ideology has turned up only rarely and recently in accounts of the United States culture, politics and history. But the connection between imperial politics and culture in North America, and in particular in the United States, is astonishingly direct.[51]

International relations scholar David Rothkopf disagrees and argues that cultural imperialism is the innocent result of globalization, which allows access to numerous U.S. and Western ideas and products that many non-U.S. and non-Western consumers across the world voluntarily choose to consume.[52] Matthew Fraser has a similar analysis, but argues further that the global cultural influence of the U.S. is a good thing.[53]

Nationalism is the main process through which the government is able to shape public opinion. Propaganda in the media is strategically placed in order to promote a common attitude among the people. Louis A. Perez Jr. provides an example of propaganda used during the war of 1898,

"We are coming, Cuba, coming; we are bound to set you free! We are coming from the mountains, from the plains and inland sea! We are coming with the wrath of God to make the Spaniards flee! We are coming, Cuba, coming; coming now!"[39]

Chip Pitts argues similarly that enduring U.S. bases in Iraq suggest a vision of "Iraq as a colony".[ While territories such as Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa and Puerto Rico remain under U.S. control, the U.S. allowed many of its overseas territories or occupations to gain independence after World War II. Examples include the Philippines (1946), the Panama canal zone (1979), Palau (1981), the Federated States of Micronesia (1986) and the Marshall Islands (1986). Most of them still have U.S. bases within their territories. In the case of Okinawa, which came under U.S. administration after the Battle of Okinawa during the Second World War, this happened despite local popular opinion.[56] As of 2003, the United States had bases in over 36 countries worldwide.[57]

How America built its empire

How America built its empire The real history of American foreign policy that the media won't tell you - Salon.com

When you talk about the effectiveness of American imperialism, you highlight the fact that part of the reason it's so effective is because it has been able to be largely invisible, and it has been invisible, you point out, through, I think, two mechanisms, one, that it trains the elites in other countries in order to manage affairs on behalf of American imperialism, and also because it disseminates, through popular media, images of America that in essence -- I'm not sure you use this word exactly -- indoctrinate or brainwash a population into allowing them to believe that America is instilled with values that in fact it doesn't have, the ability of imperialistic forces to supposedly give these values to the countries they dominate.

I mean, that is a kind of a raison d'être for economic and even military intervention, as we saw in Iraq, in planning democracy in Baghdad and letting it spread out across the Middle East, or going into Afghanistan to liberate the women of Afghanistan. That, as somebody who spent 20 years on the outer edges of empire, is a lie.

The other day I wrote Perry Anderson, the subject of the following interview, to ask what he thought of the foreign policy debates, such as they are, among our presidential aspirants. Logical question: Anderson, a prominent scholar and intellectual for decades, has just published "American Foreign Policy and Its Thinkers," a superbly lucid account of U.S policy's historical roots and the people who shape policy in our time.

"Current candidates' f/p talk leaves me speechless," came Anderson's terse reply.

Perfectly defensible. Most of what these people have to say-and I do not exclude the Democratic candidates-is nothing more than a decadent, late-exceptionalist rendering of a policy tradition that, as Anderson's book reminds readers, once had a coherent rationale even as it has so often led to incoherent, irrational conduct abroad.

Born in London in 1938-during the Munich crisis, as he points out-Anderson has been a presence on the trans-Atlantic intellectual scene since he took the editor's chair at the then-struggling New Left Review in 1962, when he was all of 24. Eight years later NLR launched Verso, a book imprint as singular (and as singularly influential) as the journal.

Anderson has headed both at various intervals for years. His own books range widely. My favorites are "Zone of Engagement" (1992) and "Spectrum" (2005), which collect essays on an amazing range of 20th century thinkers. To them I now add the new foreign policy book, which I count indispensable to anyone serious about the topic.

I met Anderson, who has taught comparative political and intellectual history at UCLA since 1989, at his home in Santa Monica this past summer. Over a fulsome afternoon's conversation in his admirably spartan study, he impressed me again and as readers will see for themselves, but the counterarguments are generously given and always rewarding.

The transcript that follows is the first of two parts and includes a few questions posed via email after we met. It is otherwise only lightly edited. Part 2 will appear next week.

"American Foreign Policy and its Thinkers" is well timed, given the unusual prominence foreign policy now assumes in the American political conversation. How would you describe your approach? What distinguishes the book from so many others? How should one read it? What's the project?

The book tries to do two things. One is to cover the history of American foreign policy, from around 1900 to the present, tracing the gradual construction of a global empire. This first really came into view as a prospect during the Second World War and is today a reality across all five continents, as a glance at the skein of its military bases makes clear. The Cold War was a central episode within this trajectory, but the book doesn't treat just the U.S. record vis-á-vis the USSR or China. It tries to deal equally with American relations with the Europe and Japan, and also with the Third World, treated not as a homogenous entity but as four or five zones that required different policy combinations.

The second part of the book is a survey of American grand strategy-that is, the different ways leading counselors of state interpret the current position of the United States on the world stage and their recommendations for what Washington should do about it.

The "big think" set, in other words-Kissinger, of course, Brzezinski, Walter Russell Mead, Robert Kagan. And then people such as Francis Fukuyama, whom I consider a ridiculous figure but whose thinking you judged worth some scrutiny. How did you choose these?

From the range of in-and-outers-thinkers moving between government and the academy or think-tanks-who have sought to guide U.S. foreign policy since 2000, with some intellectual originality. Kissinger isn't among these. His ideas belong to a previous epoch, his later offerings are boilerplate. Fukuyama, who sensed what the effects of office on thought could be, and got out of state service quite early, is a mind of a different order. The figures selected cover the span of options within what has always been a bipartisan establishment.

You make a distinction between American exceptionalism, which is much in the air, and American universalism, which few of us understand as a separate matter. The first holds America to be singular (exceptional), and the second that the world is destined to follow us, that the trails we've blazed are the future of humanity. You call this a "potentially unstable compound." Could you elaborate on this distinction, and explain why you think it's unstable?

It's unstable because the first can exist without the second. There is, of course, a famous ideological linkage between the two in the religious idea, specific to the United States, of Providence-that is, divine Providence. In your own book "Time No Longer" you cite an astounding expression of this notion: "However one comes to the debate, there can be little question that the hand of Providence has been on a nation which finds a Washington, a Lincoln, or a Roosevelt when it needs him." That pronouncement was delivered in the mid-1990s-not by some television preacher, but by Seymour Martin Lipset: chairs at Harvard and Stanford, president of both the American Sociological and the American Political Science Associations, a one-time social democrat.

What is the force of this idea? A belief that God has singled out America as a chosen nation for exceptional blessings, a notion which then easily becomes a conviction of its mission to bring the benefits of the Lord to the world. President after president, from Truman through to Kennedy, the younger Bush to Obama, reiterate the same tropes: "God has given us this, God has given us that," and with the unique freedom and prosperity he has conferred on us comes a universal calling to spread these benefits to the rest of the world. What is the title of the most ambitious contemporary account of the underlying structures of American foreign policy? "Special Providence," by Walter Russell Mead. Year of publication: 2001.

But while a messianic universalism follows easily from providential exceptionalism, it is not an ineluctable consequence of it. You mount a powerful attack on the idea of exceptionalism in "Time No Longer," but-we may differ on this-if we ask what is the more dangerous element in the unstable compound of the nation's image of itself, I would say exceptionalism is the less dangerous. That may seem paradoxical. But historically the idea of exceptionalism allowed for an alternative, more modest deduction: that the country was different from all others, and so should not be meddling with them-the argument of Washington's Farewell Address [in 1796].

A century later, this position became known as isolationism, and as the American empire took shape, it was all but invariably castigated as narrow-minded, short-sighted and selfish. But it could often be connected with a sense that the republic was in danger at home, with domestic ills that needed to be addressed, which vast ambitions abroad would only compound. Mead terms this strand in American sensibility Jeffersonian, which isn't an accurate description of Jefferson's own empire-building outlook, but he otherwise captures it quite well.

We don't ordinarily apply the term "exceptionalist" in the same breath to America and to Japan, though if there is any nation that claims to be completely unique, it is Japan. But the claim produced a drastic isolationism as a national impulse, both in the Tokugawa period [1603-1868, a period of severely enforced seclusion] and after the war. Does that support the point you're making?

Exactly. Historically, exceptionalism could generate a self-limiting, self-enclosing logic as well as the gigantic expansionist vanities of the Co-Prosperity Sphere and the "Free World" [narrative]. In the American case, the two strands of exceptionalism and universalism remained distinct, respectively as isolationist and interventionist impulses, sometimes converging but often diverging, down to the Second World War. Then they fused. The thinker who wrote best about this was Franz Schurmann, whose " Logic of World Power" came out during the Vietnam War. He argued that each had a distinct political-regional base: the social constituency for isolationism was small business and farming communities in the Midwest, for interventionism it was the banking and manufacturing elites of the East Coast, with often sharp conflicts between the two up through the end of thirties. But in the course of the Second World War they came together in a synthesis he attributed-somewhat prematurely-to FDR, and they have remained essentially interwoven ever since. The emblematic figure of this change was [Arthur H.] Vandenberg, the Republican Senator from Michigan [1928-51], who remained an isolationist critic of interventionism even for a time after Pearl Harbor, but by the end of the war had become a pillar of the new imperial consensus.

Mainstream debate today seems to have constructed two very stark alternatives: There is either engagement or isolation. In this construction, engagement means military engagement; if we are not going to be militarily engaged we are isolationists. I find that absolutely wrong. There are multiple ways of being engaged with the world that have nothing to do with military assertion.

True, but engagement in that usage doesn't mean just military engagement, but power projection more generally. One of the thinkers I discuss toward the end of my book is Robert Art, a lucid theorist of military power and its political importance to America, who argues for what he calls selective-expressly, not universal-engagement. What is unusual about him is that in seeking to discriminate among engagements the U.S. should and should not select, he starts considering in a serious, non-dismissive way what would typically be construed as isolationist alternatives, even if ending with a fairly conventional position.

How far do you view the contemporary American crisis-if you accept that we are living through one-as, at least in part, one of consciousness? As an American, I tend to think that no significant departure from where find ourselves today can be achieved until we alter our deepest notions of ourselves and our place among others. I pose this question with some trepidation, since a change in consciousness is a generational project, if not more. Our leadership is not remotely close even to thinking about this. I'm suggesting a psychological dimension to our predicament, and you may think I put too much weight on that.

You ask at the outset whether I accept that Americans are living through a crisis. My reply would be: not anything like the order of crisis that would bring about the sort of change in consciousness for which you might hope. You describe that as a generational project, and there, yes, one can say that among the youngest cohorts of the U.S. population, the ideologies of the status quo are less deeply embedded, and in certain layers even greatly weakened. That is an important change, but it's generational, rather than society-wide, and it's not irreversible.

At the level of the great majority, including, naturally, the upper middle class, the image you use to describe the purpose of your last book applies: you write that it aims "to sound the tense strings wound between the pegs of myth and history during the hundred years and a few that I take to be the American century. It is this high, piercing tone that Americans now have a chance to render, hear, and recognize all at once. We have neither sounded nor heard it yet." That's all too true, unfortunately. The most one can say is that, among a newer generation, the strings are fraying a bit.

I tend to distinguish between strong nations and the merely powerful, the former being supple and responsive to events, the later being brittle and unstable. Is this a useful way to judge America in the early 21st century-monumentally powerful but of dubious strength? If so, doesn't it imply some change in the American cast of mind, as the difference between the two sinks in?

That depends on the degree of instability you sense in the country. In general, a major change in consciousness occurs when there is a major alteration in material conditions of life. For example, if a deep economic depression or dire ecological disaster strikes a society, all bets are off. Then, suddenly, thoughts and actions that were previously inconceivable become possible and natural. That isn't the situation so far in America.

Can you discuss the new accord with Iran in this context? I don't see any question it's other than a breakthrough, a new direction. What do you think were the forces propelling the Obama administration to pursue this pact? And let's set aside the desire for a "legacy" every president cultivates late in his time.

The agreement with Iran is an American victory but not a departure in U.S. foreign policy. Economic pressure on Iran dates back to Carter's time, when the U.S. froze the country's overseas assets after the ousting of the Shah, and the full range of ongoing U.S. sanctions was imposed by the Clinton administration in 1996. The Bush administration escalated the pressure by securing U.N. generalization of sanctions in 2006, and the Obama administration has harvested the effect.

Over the past decade, the objective has always been the same: to protect Israel's nuclear monopoly in the region without risking an Israeli blitz on Iran to preserve it-that might set off too great a wave of popular anger in the Middle East. It was always likely, as I point out in "American Policy and its Thinkers," that the clerical regime in Tehran would buckle under a sustained blockade, if that was the price of its survival. The agreement includes a time-out clause to save its face, but the reality is an Iranian surrender.

You can see how little it means any alteration in imperial operations in the region by looking at what the Obama administration is doing in Yemen, assisting Saudi Arabia's wholesale destruction of civilian life there in the interest of thwarting imaginary Iranian schemes.

This next question vexes many people, me included. On the one hand, the drives underlying the American imperium are material: the expansion of capital and the projection of power by its political representatives. The American mythologies are shrouds around these. On the other hand, the issue of security has a long history among Americans. It is authentically an obsession independent of capital-American paranoia dates back at least to the 18th century. I don't take these two accountings to be mutually exclusive, but I'd be interested to know how you reconcile these different threads in American foreign policy.

Yes, there has been a longstanding-you could say aboriginal-obsession with security in the United States. This can be traced as an independent strand running through the history of American dealings with the outside world. What happened, of course, from the Cold War through to the "war on terror" was a ruthless instrumentalization of this anxiety for purposes of expansion rather than defense. At the start of the Cold War you had the National Security Act and the creation of the National Security Council, and today we have the National Security Agency. Security became a euphemistic cloak for aggrandizement.

The United States occupies the better part of a continent separated by two immense oceans, which nobody in modern history has had any serious chance of invading, unlike any other major state in the world, all of which have contiguous land-borders with rival powers, or are separated from them only by narrow seas. The U.S. is protected by a unique geographical privilege. But if its expansion overseas cannot be attributed to imperatives of security, what has driven it?

A gifted and important group of historians, the Wisconsin school [which included the late William Appleman Williams, among others], has argued that the secret of American expansion has from the beginning lain in the quest by native capital for continuously larger markets, which first produced pressure on the internal frontier and the march across the continent to the Pacific, and when the West Coast was reached, a drive beyond into Asia and Latin America, and ultimately the rest of the world, under the ideology of the Open Door.

A couple of good scholars, Melvyn Leffler and Wilson Miscamble, one a liberal and the other a conservative, have identified my position with this tradition, taxing me with a belief that American foreign policy is essentially just an outgrowth of American business. This is a mistake. My argument is rather that because of the enormous size and self-sufficiency of the American economy, the material power at the disposal of the American state exceeded anything that American capital could directly make use of or require.

If you look at the First World War, you can see this very clearly. East Coast bankers and munitions manufacturers did well out of supplying the Entente powers, but there was no meaningful economic rationale for American entry into the war itself. The U.S. could tip the scales in favor of the British and French variants of imperialism against the German and Austrian variants without much cost to itself, but also much to gain.

The same gap between the reach of American business and the power of the American state explains the later hegemony of the United States within the advanced capitalist world after the Second World War. Standard histories wax lyrical in admiration of the disinterested U.S. generosity that revived Germany and Japan with the Marshall and Dodge Plans [reconstruction programs after 1945], and it is indeed the case that policies crafted at the State and Defense Departments did not coincide with the desiderata of the Commerce Department. The key requirement was to rebuild these former enemies as stable capitalist bulwarks against communism, even if this meant there could be no simple Open Door into them for U.S. capital.

For strategic political reasons, the Japanese were allowed to re-create a highly protected economy, and American capital was by and large barred entry. The priority was to defend the general integrity of capitalism as a global system against the threat of socialism, not particular returns to U.S. business. The importance of those were never, of course, ignored. But they had to bide their time. Today's Trans-Pacific Partnership will finally pry open Japanese financial, retail and other markets that have remained closed for so long.

I'd like to turn to the origins of the Cold War, since I believe we are never going to get anywhere until these are honestly confronted. You give a forceful account of Stalin's reasons for avoiding confrontation after 1945 and Washington's reasons for not doing so. But should we attribute the outbreak of the Cold War to the U.S. without too much in the way of qualification?

We can look at the onset of the Cold War on two levels. One is that of punctual events. There, you are certainly right to pick out the ideological starting gun as Truman's speech on Greece in 1947, designed the "scare hell" out of voters to win acceptance for military aid to the Greek monarchy. In policy terms, however, the critical act that set the stage for confrontation with Moscow was the flat American refusal to allow any serious reparations for the staggering level of destruction Russia suffered from the German attack on it. The most developed third of the country was laid waste, its industry and its cities wrecked, while Americans suffered not a fly on the wrist at home-basking, on the contrary, in a massive economic boom. There was no issue Stalin spoke more insistently about than reparations in negotiations among the Allies. But once the fighting was over, the U.S. reneged on wartime promises and vetoed reparations from the larger part of Germany-far the richest and most developed, and occupied by the West-because it did not want to strengthen the Soviet Union and did want to rebuild the Ruhr as an industrial base under Western control, with a view to creating what would subsequently become the Federal Republic.

Can you put Hiroshima and Nagasaki into this context?

Prior to this came Truman's decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan. He did so, of course, to shorten the war, and partly also because the Pentagon wanted to test its new weapons. But there was a further reason for the obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was urgent to secure a Japanese surrender before the Red Army could get close to the country, for fear that Moscow might insist on a Soviet presence in the occupation of Japan. The U.S. was determined not to let the Russians in, as they could not stop them from doing in Germany. So if we look just at events, you can say the starting points were the use of atomic bombs in Japan and the refusal of reparations in Germany. In that sense, those who argue that the Cold War was an American initiative-the Swedish historian Anders Stephanson, who has written most deeply about this, calls it an American project-are justified in doing so.

So these are your "punctual events."

Exactly. On the hand, if we look at the structural origins of the Cold War, they don't lie in these punctual events, but in the radical incompatibility between American capitalism and Soviet communism as forms of economy, society and polity. Revisionist historians have pointed out quite properly that Stalin was defensive in outlook after the war, determined to erect a protective glacis in Eastern Europe against any repetition of the Nazi invasion of Russia, but otherwise acutely conscious of Soviet weakness and superior Western strength.

All of that is true, but at the same time Stalin remained a communist who firmly believed that the ultimate mission of the world's working class was to overthrow capitalism, everywhere. His immediate stance was defensive, but in the much longer run his expectation was offensive. In that sense, U.S. policies toward the USSR were not needlessly aggressive, as revisionists maintain, but perfectly rational. The two systems were mortal antagonists.

Let's move to the topic of social democracy. I did a lot of my learning in developing countries and have a sense that Washington's true Cold War enemy was social democracy as it spread through Western Europe and all the newly independent nations. What's your view of this?

Strong disagreement, so far as Europe is concerned. If you look at the whole period from 1945 through to the present, you could argue that, on the contrary, European social democracy was Washington's best friend in the region. NATO was the brainchild not of the Pentagon but of Ernest Bevin, the social-democratic foreign secretary in Britain. Attlee, his prime minister, then split his own government by cutting the health service to fund rearmament for the American war in Korea. In France, the most ruthless crackdown on labor unrest after the war came from Jules Moch, the Socialist interior minister.

Think, too, of the Norwegian social democrat who Washington put in charge of the U.N. as its first secretary general, Trygve Lie, an odious collaborator with McCarthyism inside the United Nations. This was the period in which Irving Brown of the A.F.L., working closely with local social democrats, was installed in Europe by the C.I.A. with funds to divide and corrupt trade unions everywhere. He was still active in plotting against Allende [the Chilean social democratic president] in the '70s. As to more recent years, who was Bush's most ardent European ally in the war on Iraq? Not any conservative politician, but British social democrat Blair.

There were exceptions to this dismal record, but few and far between. Not by accident, they generally came from neutral countries that stayed out of the Cold War. In Sweden, Olaf Palme was a courageous opponent of the American war in Vietnam, detested by the U.S. for that reason. In Austria, Bruno Kreisky took an independent line on the Middle East, refusing to fall in with Western support for Israel-itself governed in those years by another social democratic party-and so was scarcely less disliked by the U.S.

But the dominant pattern has always been craven submission to Washington.

Well, I was thinking more of figures like Mossadeq, Arbenz and Allende-maybe the Sandinistas, too.

Their fate is certainly relevant, but there you are talking of a different political phenomenon-nationalism in the Third World, typically though not invariably of the left. You could add Lumumba in the Congo, Goulart in Brazil, Bosch in the Dominican Republic and others to the list. Not all were figures of the left, but from the Cold War onward the U.S. regarded nearly all serious attempts at nationalization of local resources as a threat to capital and worked to subvert or overthrow those who undertook them. A good part of my book is devoted to this front of imperial operations.

I've often wondered what the fate of Cuba would have been if Castro had been properly received in Washington in 1960. Could he have become something like a social democrat?

Excluded, if only because of the side of the Cuban Revolution that distinguished it from both the Chinese Revolution and from the outcome of Russian Revolution after Lenin, which was genuine internationalism. It had to be internationalist because it was a small island close to the United States, not a huge country far away, so it needed revolutionary solidarity within Latin America, which it couldn't hope for as long the continent was populated by assorted clients of the United States, most of them dictators. So even if, counterfactually, Eisenhower or Kennedy had rolled out a tactical red carpet for Fidel, there would have still have been insurmountable conflict over all these Latin American regimes propped up by the United States. The Cubans would have never said, if you put up with us, you can do what you want anywhere. Think of the fact they sent troops [in 1975] even to Angola-where they had no regional connection at all-to save it from a U.S.-backed invasion by South Africa.

Do you see any inflections in the development of American foreign policy over this period?

There is an underlying continuity in the long arc of the U.S. imperium that extends from FDR to Obama. But one can distinguish successive phases in this arc. You have the period that runs from Truman to Kennedy, the high Cold War. Then comes Nixon, the only American president with an original mind in foreign policy. He was intelligent because he was so cynical. He wasn't taken in or mystified by the enormous amount of rhetoric surrounding the lofty U.S. mission in the world. He was therefore more ruthless, but also genuinely innovative in a whole series of ways, the most important of which was to capitalize on the Sino-Soviet split.

The next phase runs from Carter through Reagan to the elder Bush, which sees a reversion to the earlier forms of foreign policy during the Cold War. The fourth phase, of humanitarian intervention, from Clinton through the younger Bush to Obama.

I once thought Carter was an exception in this line, but have since been persuaded to think again.

If you're interested in Carter, there's a good chapter on him in the huge "Cambridge History of the Cold War" by a scholar sympathetic to Carter, which captures the ambiguities and contradictions of his presidency quite well. He did, of course, talk a lot about human rights at the beginning of his tenure, and appointed Patricia Derian, who genuinely believed in them but was quite powerless, to an assistant position in the State Department. But one has to remember that at the outset he appointed Zbigniew Brzezinski as national security adviser, on whom he relied throughout his presidency.

Brzezinski was in many ways brighter than Kissinger, in later years an overrated showman not particularly interesting as a thinker. Brzezinski's cold, brittle mind was a good deal sharper. He was also as much, if not more, of a hawk than Kissinger had been. His masterstroke was funding religious and tribal resistance to the Communist regime in Afghanistan well before any Soviet troops were there, with the clear-cut and entirely successful aim of making the country the Vietnam of the USSR. There followed the Carter Doctrine, which put the U.S. into the military emplacements in the Gulf, where it remains today, while the president was toasting the Shah as a close personal friend and pillar of human rights. To top it off, with Brzezinski at his elbow again, Carter patronized and protected Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, keeping them at the U.N. as the legitimate government of Cambodia, as part of the deal with China for its attack on Vietnam.

In the Middle East, the peace treaty between Sadat and Begin is generally credited to Carter. Its precondition, however, was the double rescue of Israel and of Egypt by Nixon and Kissinger in the 1973 war, which put both countries into the palm of the American hand. What was the regional upshot? Sadat ditched the Palestinians and became a well-funded U.S. client, Begin secured an ally on Israel's southern flank and the Egyptians got the tyranny of Sadat, Mubarak and now Sisi for the next 40 years. Yet to this day Carter gushes over Sadat, a torturer whose memory is loathed by his people, as a wonderful human being. What is nevertheless true is that with all his weaknesses-and worse-Carter was a contradictory figure, who, once he was ousted from office, behaved more decently than any other ex-president in recent memory. Today, he's almost a pariah because of what he says on Israel. One can respect him for that.

Turning to Europe for a moment, I often feel disappointed-I don't think I'm alone in this-at the hesitancy of the Europeans to act on what seems to be their underlying impatience with American primacy. Is this an unrealistic expectation?

Impatience isn't the right word. The reality is rather its opposite. Europe has become ever more patient-a better word would be submissive-with the United States. After 1945, Western Europe was far weaker in relation to America than the E.U. today, which is larger than the U.S. in both GDP and population. But think of three European politicians-in France, Germany and England-in the first 15 years after the war. You had a great statesman in De Gaulle; a very strong, if much more limited leader in Adenauer, and a weak ruler in Eden. But the striking thing is all three were quite prepared to defy the United States in a way that no subsequent politician in Europe has ever done.

Eden launched the Suez expedition against Nasser [in late 1956] without informing Washington - the Americans were livid, Eisenhower beside himself, fearing that it would stoke popular anti-imperialism across Africa and Asia. So the U.S. brought the expedition to an abrupt halt by triggering a run on sterling, and Eden fell. But there was an aftermath. The French premier at the time was Guy Mollet, the Socialist who was an accomplice of Eden in the attack on Egypt, with, himself, a terrible record in Algeria. When the idea of a Common Market came up shortly after the Suez debacle, though he was personally favorable to it, he faced a lot of opposition in France - as there was, too, in Germany. Adenauer, who was quite willing to make commercial concessions to France to smooth the path for the undertaking, gave Mollet a political reason for the Common Market. Look what happened when you fought at Suez, he told him. None of our countries is strong enough to resist the U.S. on its own. Let's pool our resources and then we can do so.

Adenauer was loyal enough to the West, and a staunch anticommunist, but Germany, not America, was what counted for him. As for De Gaulle, he famously pulled France out of the military command of NATO, and defied America with éclat virtually throughout.

Since then, there has been nobody like this. If we ask why, I think the answer is that all these people were formed before the First and Second World Wars broke out, in a period in which major European states had as much weight as the United States on the international checkerboard, if not more. They were not brought up in a world where American hegemony was taken for granted. All of them were involved in the two World Wars, and in the Second De Gaulle had good reason to be distrustful of the U.S., since Roosevelt was long pro-Vichy and wanted to oust him as leader of the Free French.

We could add, incidentally, a couple of later politicians, who fought in the second conflict. One was the English Tory prime minister, Edward Heath, the only postwar ruler of Britain who never made the trip to simper on the White House lawn, receiving an audience and paying tribute, that would become a virtual ceremony of investiture for any new ruler around the world. The other was Helmut Schmidt, a veteran of Operation Barbarossa [the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941] who scarcely concealed his disdain for Carter. These were latecomers from the past. Their successors have grown up under U.S. paramountcy and take it for granted. This is America's world. It is second nature for them to defer to it.

You describe a generational difference in sensibility. But what about the EU?

If the generational declension is one big change, another is what has become of the European Union itself. On paper, it's much more powerful than any of the individual countries. But so far as any coherent foreign policy is concerned, it's institutionally paralyzed by the number of states that make it up-originally six, now 28-and the labyrinthine nature of their dealings with each other. None of them has any complete autonomy of initiative. A staggering amount of time is wasted in endless summits behind closed doors, agendas prepared by bureaucrats, tremulous fear of any public disagreement. No serious international statecraft can emerge from this.

During the countdown to the war in Iraq, there were large street demonstrations in not a few countries, which Dominique Strauss-Kahn-no less-described as a European Declaration of Independence. Schröder [Gerhard, the German chancellor from 1998-2005] announced that Germany could not accept the war, and Chirac [Jacques, the French president, 1995-2007] blocked a U.N. resolution endorsing it. Were these bold acts of independence? Far from it. The French envoy in Washington told Bush in advance: You already have one U.N. resolution saying Saddam must comply with inspections, which is suitably vague. Don't embarrass us by trying to get another resolution that is more specific, which we'll have to oppose. Just use that one and go in. No sooner, indeed, was the attack launched than Chirac opened French skies to U.S. operations against Iraq. Can you imagine De Gaulle meekly helping a war he had said he opposed? As for Schröder, it was soon revealed that German intelligence agents in Baghdad had signaled ground targets for "Shock and Awe." These were politicians who knew the war was very unpopular in domestic opinion, and so made a show of opposing it while actually collaborating. Their independence was a comedy.

That was a dozen years ago. What's the position today?

Edward Snowden's break with the illegalities of Obama's government revealed that it was not only spying on European as well as American citizens en masse, but tapping the phones and communications of Merkel, Hollande and other pillars of Atlantic solidarity. How have these leaders reacted? With an embarrassed smile, before the next warm embrace with the Leader of the Free World. Has one single European government dreamt of offering asylum to Snowden? Not one. Under Merkel, indeed, it now emerges that German intelligence itself was illegally spying on Germans at the behest of the U.S., and passing on the information it gathered to the CIA. There are no consequences to such revelations, except to those who reveal them. The level of abjection passes belief.

Let's put the Ukraine crisis in this context. It is, after all, what prompted me to raise the question of European passivity in the trans-Atlantic relationship. Here, it seems to me, the Europeans are furious with Washington for encouraging Kiev toward a patently dangerous confrontation with Russia. Animosity has been evident since Vicky Nuland's infamous "'F'the E.U." remark just before the coup last year. And now we see Merkel and Hollande more or less pushing the U.S. aside in favor of a negotiated settlement-or "seem to see," in any case. What's your view here?

Why should Washington object to European attempts to reach a stand-off in the Ukraine, so long as sanctions in Russia remain in place? Berlin and Paris are not going to defy it. Any real settlement is for the time being out of reach, but if one were materialize, they would be convenient sherpas for it. The E.U. as such hardly matters: Its reaction to Nuland's dismissal [of them] was to turn the other cheek.

Patrick Smith is Salon's foreign affairs columnist. A longtime correspondent abroad, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune and The New Yorker, he is also an essayist, critic and editor. His most recent books are "Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century" (Yale, 2013) and Somebody Else's Century: East and West in a Post-Western World (Pantheon, 2010). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is patricklawrence.us.

More Patrick L. Smith.

The Making Of Global Capitalism The Political Economy Of American Empire

The Making Of Global Capitalism The Political Economy Of American Empire Sam Gindin, Leo Panitch

Amazon.com

Hans G. Despain on October 7, 2012

Powerful Political Economy

Panitch and Gindin argue that market economies have never existed independent of nation states. The state was necessary for the genesis of capitalism, and the state was, and still is, necessary for its historical development and continuous reproduction. Nonetheless, Panitch and Gindin argue there is significant autonomy, or historical "differentiation," between the economy and the nation state. There are economic structural tendencies manifest from the logic of capital and the functioning of the market-system. At the same time nation states can affect these structural tendencies in remarkable ways.

In this sense, there has never been "separation" between capitalist reproduction/development and the state, but there is "differentiation" which has radically significant effects. There is a symbiotic relationship between the state and capitalistic reproduction/development.

This is a book of economic history. But is also a book of economic theory. The economic history is rich and interesting, aimed at explaining the historical emergence of global financial capitalism. While the history Panitch and Gindin offer is rich and interesting, the theory is still richer and even more intriguing.

Their history is primarily aimed, (1) at explaining the emergence of the "informal American empire" (what makes this empire "informal" is the hegemony is accomplished primarily through economic strategy, policy, and diplomacy; and less through military might and political coercion) and (2) demonstrating the historical shifting relationship (from decade to decade since the World War I) between workers, business, finance, and the state.

Their theoretical concern is threefold;

  1. (1) offer a theoretical explanation of the crisis of 2007-8;
  2. (2) offer guidance toward the direction the future the "informal American empire" has for guiding the economies of world; and
  3. (3) to understand the "informal American empire" as a set of beliefs, doctrine, and ideology of how to organize modern societies (workers, business, finance and the state) and the global order (both political [e.g. UN, NATO, etc.] and economical [World Bank, IMF, WTO) for the (ideological) common good.

Although Panitch and Gindin accept that capitalistic development is uneven and unstable, it is crucial to their thesis that each crisis is unique depending upon the particular relationships and alliances forged between workers, business, finance, and the state. In this sense, the crisis of 2007-8 is necessarily unique and the solutions or economic fiscal policies necessary for recovery necessarily different from previous crises.

The highlights of their economic global history include that there have been four! major historical global crises, the long depression in the 1870, the Great depression of 1930, the Great recession of 1970s, and the Great financial crisis of 2007-09.

According to Pantich and Gindin, the 1970s is an economic watershed moment which separates "two Golden ages" of American capitalism.

It may be quite strange to many readers to call 1983 - 2007 a Golden Age. But in fact when looking at the economic data of the period it was quite literally a Golden Age, with millions of Americans and Global financiers and business leaders becoming impressively wealthy. Moreover, the levels of production (GDP) and productivity during the second Golden Age generally outperform the levels of production and productivity during the first Golden Age. Nonetheless the distribution of this wealth is radically narrow and concentrated within primarily finance, while political power concentrated toward "free-trade" orientated states, and away from workers and industrial production. Moreover, Pantich and Gindin maintain that workers are generally weaker during the second Golden Age, finance is strengthen and trumps over production processes, which is more or less conventional wisdom of this period of modern history. Less conventional is their thesis that the state, in particular the American domestic fiscal state and global "informal American empire," greatly strengthened post-1973-83 crisis.

It is not clear the direction the post-2007-09 crisis will take the global economy and American capitalism. What is clear is that the symbiotic relationship between workers, business, finance, and the state, and the global order (U.S. Treasury, IMF, World Bank, WTO, UN) is once again shifting. Pantich and Gindin's book offers to the reader a far

Jeb Sprague on November 8, 2014

Fascinating & important book, yet suffers from nation-state centrism & ignores novel social dynamics of Global Capitalism era

Panitch and Gindin's epic and fascinating book has the goal of tracing what the authors describe as the central role of the informal "American empire" and U.S. capital in the formation of the contemporary global capitalist system. I published a review in the journal Critical Sociology (Vol. 40, No. 5. P. 803-807) earlier this year that expands further on the importance of this work but I also have some criticisms, of which I paste some of below:

Whereas the authors emphasize the role of longstanding national and international dynamics, they overlook the numerous studies that have shown how novel transnational dynamics have come about even as historic residue remains (see for example Harris, 2013; Murray G, 2012; Robinson, 2003, 2004, 2014). Other than briefly denying the usefulness of the idea, the authors say little about the good deal of work on transnational class relations, for example in regards to the different fractions of the transnational capitalist class (as detailed in the works of Baker, 2011; Robinson, 2003, 2008; Harris, 2008; Sklair, 2001; Carrol, 2011; Murray J, 2013). Panitch and Gindin argue that theories of a TCC (transnational capitalist class) lead us to overlook uneven development between "nation-states" and the "economic competition between various centers of accumulation" (p. 11).... Yet while capital tends to concentrate in particular built up spaces, this corresponds, as a number of studies have shown, less and less to the strict restrictions of national space. Functionally integrated circuits of production and finance, and other networks, for example, have come to cut through various geographic scales (including national space) (Dicken, 20112; Robinson, 2010). Whereas local, national, regional, and international dynamics remain legion and substantial, many decisive economic, social, and political processes have become transnationally oriented....

The role of the state and its different policies is a clear focus of Panitch and Gindin's book. At times the authors do refer to the role of state elites, but often the authors can reify the state, describing the state as if it acts on its own and of its own accord. We need here to understand more clearly the class nature of the state, how specific social groups operate through state apparatuses as a site of struggle. Rather than individuals of the capitalist class serving directly in the state, it is governing political groups that normally do this. As relatively autonomous these political groups and state elites maintain legitimacy in the eyes of the electorate, even as they overwhelmingly operate in the "collective" interests of capital. This relative autonomy is conditioned by a number of dynamics, such as prevailing socioeconomic conditions, the balance and struggle of social forces, and the position or character of the state. In those instances where Panitch and Gindin do write about state elites and political groups, these groups are presented as essentially the traditional nation-state governing elite who often operate in the interests of domestic capitalists. While these groups may fight among themselves or wrestle with domestic classes to carry out policies that are internationally geared, these political elites, as Panitch and Gindin describe them, do not veer far from the mold of their nation-state predecessors. The authors never recognize the fundamental changes that are taking place, through which state apparatuses, most importantly the U.S., are being utilized to reproduce conditions for circuits of global capital accumulation.

The authors pass over quickly some theories of the state that they disagree with, giving a straw person description of a "supranational global state" (p. 11) and citing an article by Philip McMichael (2001) that similarly misexplained ideas on the emergent transnationalization of state apparatuses and rise of transnationally oriented technocrats and elites who operate through state apparatuses (as discussed by Jayasuriya, 1999, 2005; Liodakis, 2010; Robinson, 2004, 2012; Sprague, 2012). I would argue for example that transnationally oriented state elites and technocrats believe that to develop they must insert their national states and institutions into global circuits of accumulation. They need access to capital, and capital is in the hands of the TCC. However, state elites must still appeal to their home audiences. They still interact with a variety of social groups and social classes, some more transnationally oriented and others with a more national orientation. Because of this, even as ties between state elites and TCC fractions deepen, national rhetoric and national state policies occur that are in apparent contradiction with TCC interests. In this way, political leaders attempt to maintain national political legitimacy while deepening practices of a global nature. However, as these state elites become entangled with and dependent upon processes of global capital accumulation they increasingly transition from taking part in national or international processes to transnational processes.

In regards to law, Panitch and Gindin argue that "Americanized internationalized law" has supplanted local international investment laws in much of the world. Here the authors obscure how transnational legal frameworks have come about through coalitions and the support of various interests and social forces. The mere adoption of laws for instance (even when heavily influenced by U.S. state elites) does not explain how they are implemented or modified. Nor does it explain the different interests behind these changes.

The authors emphasize the role of the "informal U.S. empire," with globalization "imbricated in the American empire," a system "under continuing US leadership," with the country maintaining its "imperial responsibilities for the reproduction of global capitalism" (p. 330). Yet they never clearly explain what is global capitalism, globalization, or the difference between the international and the transnational. This is because their conceptions of class, capital, and the state don't help us to understand the fundamental changes taking place. While they provide an extensive and critical historical overview in pointing out the leading role of the U.S. state and its policies in reproducing today's "system of class power and inequality" (p. 330), they don't recognize how this has occurred through fundamentally new dynamics of the global epoch.

While the authors help us to better understand the key role of the U.S. government and its policies during the late twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries, they do so through an outdated theoretical scope that never gets at the deep changes occurring. Rather than the U.S. nation-state empire and those operating through it creating conditions beneficial for closely aligned internationally active domestic capitalists, more and more we can see how transnationally oriented elites operating through the most powerful national state apparatus (headquartered in Washington) are promoting conditions for circuits of global capital accumulation and in the interests of TCC fractions.

While this book is well worth your time reading, for getting a deeper understanding of contemporary political economy I suggest Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity clearer picture of what is at stake and who are the main institutional actors in the historical drama and capitalistic tragedy we call modern human history.


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[Feb 17, 2019] There's No Denying It; It Was Never Anything But a Coup!

Notable quotes:
"... In interviews to boost his forthcoming book, fired former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe confirms that Obama holdovers repeatedly discussed removing President Donald Trump under the pretext of the 25th Amendment, and that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein more than once seriously offered to "wear a wire" in meetings with the President. After Trump fired James Comey as FBI Director in May 2017, McCabe, Comey's deputy director, launched a phony "obstruction of justice" investigation, and said that he began to accumulate files of memos on that and the "Russia Collusion" investigation, to try to ensure that the investigations would continue if he were fired as well. ..."
Feb 17, 2019 | larouchepub.com

In interviews to boost his forthcoming book, fired former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe confirms that Obama holdovers repeatedly discussed removing President Donald Trump under the pretext of the 25th Amendment, and that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein more than once seriously offered to "wear a wire" in meetings with the President. After Trump fired James Comey as FBI Director in May 2017, McCabe, Comey's deputy director, launched a phony "obstruction of justice" investigation, and said that he began to accumulate files of memos on that and the "Russia Collusion" investigation, to try to ensure that the investigations would continue if he were fired as well.

Now, after its own two years of investigation and 200 interviews, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Richard Burr (R-NC) has said, "There is no factual evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia." Ranking Member Mark Warner (D-VA) said he disagrees with the way Burr characterized the evidence, but declined to give his own assessment.

Veteran criminal attorney John Dowd, a member of Trump's legal team from June 2017 to March 2018, said,

"I know exactly what he [Mueller] has. I know exactly what every witness said, what every document said. I know exactly what he asked. And I know what the conclusion or the result is."

What will be the result of the probe?

"It's been a terrible waste of time.... This is one of the greatest frauds the country has ever seen. I'm just shocked that Bob Mueller didn't call it that way and say, 'I'm being used.' I would've done that.

"I'd have gone to [then Attorney General] Sessions and Rosenstein and said, 'Look. This is nonsense. We are being used by a cabal in the FBI to get even.' "

Asked about Mueller's final report, he responded, "I will be shocked if anything regarding the President is made public, other than, 'We're done.' "

At the same time, former NSA Technical Director William Binney has published new evidence which shows that the DNC documents posted by WikiLeaks in July 2016, were probably not hacked over the internet, by Russians or anyone else -- rather, the only available forensic evidence indicates that they were downloaded from within the DNC's network. His evidence is summarized in an article he co-authored with former CIA analyst Larry Johnson on Col. Pat Lang's "Sic Semper Tyrannis" blog yesterday.

[Feb 16, 2019] Russia Isn t the Only One Meddling in Elections. We Do It, Too

Notable quotes:
"... The precedent was established in Italy with assistance to non-Communist candidates from the late 1940s to the 1960s. "We had bags of money that we delivered to selected politicians, to defray their expenses," said F. Mark Wyatt, a former C.I.A. officer, in a 1996 interview . ..."
"... A self-congratulatory declassified report on the C.I.A.'s work in Chile's 1964 election boasts of the "hard work" the agency did supplying "large sums" to its favored candidate and portraying him as a "wise, sincere and high-minded statesman" while painting his leftist opponent as a "calculating schemer." Advertisement ..."
"... C.I.A. officials told Mr. Johnson in the late 1980s that "insertions" of information into foreign news media, mostly accurate but sometimes false, were running at 70 to 80 a day. In the 1990 election in Nicaragua, the C.I.A. planted stories about corruption in the leftist Sandinista government, Mr. Levin said. The opposition won. ..."
"... Over time, more American influence operations have been mounted not secretly by the C.I.A. but openly by the State Department and its affiliates. For the 2000 election in Serbia, the United States funded a successful effort to defeat Slobodan Milosevic, the nationalist leader, providing political consultants and millions of stickers with the opposition's clenched-fist symbol and "He's finished" in Serbian, printed on 80 tons of adhesive paper and delivered by a Washington contractor. ..."
"... Similar efforts were undertaken in elections in wartime Iraq and Afghanistan, not always with success. After Hamid Karzai was re-elected president of Afghanistan in 2009, he complained to Robert Gates, then the secretary of defense, about the United States' blatant attempt to defeat him, which Mr. Gates calls in his memoir "our clumsy and failed putsch." ..."
"... At least once the hand of the United States reached boldly into a Russian election. American fears that Boris Yeltsin would be defeated for re-election as president in 1996 by an old-fashioned Communist led to an overt and covert effort to help him, urged on by President Bill Clinton. It included an American push for a $10 billion International Monetary Fund loan to Russia four months before the voting and a team of American political consultants (though some Russians scoffed when they took credit for the Yeltsin win). ..."
"... In 2016, the endowment gave 108 grants totaling $6.8 million to organizations in Russia for such purposes as "engaging activists" and "fostering civic engagement." The endowment no longer names Russian recipients, who, under Russian laws cracking down on foreign funding, can face harassment or arrest. ..."
"... What the C.I.A. may have done in recent years to steer foreign elections is still secret and may not be known for decades. It may be modest by comparison with the agency's Cold War manipulation. But some old-timers aren't so sure. ..."
"... "I assume they're doing a lot of the old stuff, because, you know, it never changes," said William J. Daugherty, who worked for the C.I.A. from 1979 to 1996 and at one time had the job of reviewing covert operations. "The technology may change, but the objectives don't." ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

Bags of cash delivered to a Rome hotel for favored Italian candidates. Scandalous stories leaked to foreign newspapers to swing an election in Nicaragua. Millions of pamphlets, posters and stickers printed to defeat an incumbent in Serbia.

The long arm of Vladimir Putin? No, just a small sample of the United States' history of intervention in foreign elections.

On Tuesday, American intelligence chiefs warned the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia appears to be preparing to repeat in the 2018 midterm elections the same full-on chicanery it unleashed in 2016: hacking, leaking, social media manipulation and possibly more. Then on Friday, Robert Mueller, the special counsel, announced the indictments of 13 Russians and three companies, run by a businessman with close Kremlin ties, laying out in astonishing detail a three-year scheme to use social media to attack Hillary Clinton, boost Donald Trump and sow discord.

Most Americans are understandably shocked by what they view as an unprecedented attack on our political system. But intelligence veterans, and scholars who have studied covert operations, have a different, and quite revealing, view.

"If you ask an intelligence officer, did the Russians break the rules or do something bizarre, the answer is no, not at all," said Steven L. Hall, who retired in 2015 after 30 years at the C.I.A., where he was the chief of Russian operations. The United States "absolutely" has carried out such election influence operations historically, he said, "and I hope we keep doing it."

Loch K. Johnson, the dean of American intelligence scholars , who began his career in the 1970s investigating the C.I.A. as a staff member of the Senate's Church Committee, says Russia's 2016 operation was simply the cyber-age version of standard United States practice for decades, whenever American officials were worried about a foreign vote.

"We've been doing this kind of thing since the C.I.A. was created in 1947," said Mr. Johnson, now at the University of Georgia. "We've used posters, pamphlets, mailers, banners -- you name it. We've planted false information in foreign newspapers. We've used what the British call 'King George's cavalry': suitcases of cash."

The United States' departure from democratic ideals sometimes went much further. The C.I.A. helped overthrow elected leaders in Iran and Guatemala in the 1950s and backed violent coups in several other countries in the 1960s. It plotted assassinations and supported brutal anti-Communist governments in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

But in recent decades, both Mr. Hall and Mr. Johnson argued, Russian and American interferences in elections have not been morally equivalent. American interventions have generally been aimed at helping non-authoritarian candidates challenge dictators or otherwise promoting democracy. Russia has more often intervened to disrupt democracy or promote authoritarian rule, they said.

Equating the two, Mr. Hall says, "is like saying cops and bad guys are the same because they both have guns -- the motivation matters."

This broader history of election meddling has largely been missing from the flood of reporting on the Russian intervention and the investigation of whether the Trump campaign was involved. It is a reminder that the Russian campaign in 2016 was fundamentally old-school espionage, even if it exploited new technologies. And it illuminates the larger currents of history that drove American electoral interventions during the Cold War and motivate Russia's actions today.

A Carnegie Mellon scholar, Dov H. Levin , has scoured the historical record for both overt and covert election influence operations. He found 81 by the United States and 36 by the Soviet Union or Russia between 1946 and 2000, though the Russian count is undoubtedly incomplete.

"I'm not in any way justifying what the Russians did in 2016," Mr. Levin said. "It was completely wrong of Vladimir Putin to intervene in this way. That said, the methods they used in this election were the digital version of methods used both by the United States and Russia for decades: breaking into party headquarters, recruiting secretaries, placing informants in a party, giving information or disinformation to newspapers."

His findings underscore how routine election meddling by the United States -- sometimes covert and sometimes quite open -- has been.

The precedent was established in Italy with assistance to non-Communist candidates from the late 1940s to the 1960s. "We had bags of money that we delivered to selected politicians, to defray their expenses," said F. Mark Wyatt, a former C.I.A. officer, in a 1996 interview .

Covert propaganda has also been a mainstay. Richard M. Bissell Jr., who ran the agency's operations in the late 1950s and early 1960s, wrote casually in his autobiography of "exercising control over a newspaper or broadcasting station, or of securing the desired outcome in an election."

A self-congratulatory declassified report on the C.I.A.'s work in Chile's 1964 election boasts of the "hard work" the agency did supplying "large sums" to its favored candidate and portraying him as a "wise, sincere and high-minded statesman" while painting his leftist opponent as a "calculating schemer."

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C.I.A. officials told Mr. Johnson in the late 1980s that "insertions" of information into foreign news media, mostly accurate but sometimes false, were running at 70 to 80 a day. In the 1990 election in Nicaragua, the C.I.A. planted stories about corruption in the leftist Sandinista government, Mr. Levin said. The opposition won.

Over time, more American influence operations have been mounted not secretly by the C.I.A. but openly by the State Department and its affiliates. For the 2000 election in Serbia, the United States funded a successful effort to defeat Slobodan Milosevic, the nationalist leader, providing political consultants and millions of stickers with the opposition's clenched-fist symbol and "He's finished" in Serbian, printed on 80 tons of adhesive paper and delivered by a Washington contractor.

Vince Houghton, who served in the military in the Balkans at the time and worked closely with the intelligence agencies, said he saw American efforts everywhere. "We made it very clear that we had no intention of letting Milosevic stay in power," said Mr. Houghton, now the historian at the International Spy Museum.

Similar efforts were undertaken in elections in wartime Iraq and Afghanistan, not always with success. After Hamid Karzai was re-elected president of Afghanistan in 2009, he complained to Robert Gates, then the secretary of defense, about the United States' blatant attempt to defeat him, which Mr. Gates calls in his memoir "our clumsy and failed putsch."

At least once the hand of the United States reached boldly into a Russian election. American fears that Boris Yeltsin would be defeated for re-election as president in 1996 by an old-fashioned Communist led to an overt and covert effort to help him, urged on by President Bill Clinton. It included an American push for a $10 billion International Monetary Fund loan to Russia four months before the voting and a team of American political consultants (though some Russians scoffed when they took credit for the Yeltsin win).

That heavy-handed intervention made some Americans uneasy. Thomas Carothers, a scholar at the Carnegie Institute for International Peace, recalls arguing with a State Department official who told him at the time, "Yeltsin is democracy in Russia," to which Mr. Carothers said he replied, "That's not what democracy means."

But what does democracy mean? Can it include secretly undermining an authoritarian ruler or helping challengers who embrace democratic values? How about financing civic organizations?

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In recent decades, the most visible American presence in foreign politics has been taxpayer-funded groups like the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, which do not support candidates but teach basic campaign skills, build democratic institutions and train election monitors.

Most Americans view such efforts as benign -- indeed, charitable. But Mr. Putin sees them as hostile. The National Endowment for Democracy gave a $23,000 grant in 2006 to an organization that employed Aleksei Navalny, who years later became Mr. Putin's main political nemesis, a fact the government has used to attack both Mr. Navalny and the endowment.

In 2016, the endowment gave 108 grants totaling $6.8 million to organizations in Russia for such purposes as "engaging activists" and "fostering civic engagement." The endowment no longer names Russian recipients, who, under Russian laws cracking down on foreign funding, can face harassment or arrest.

It is easy to understand why Mr. Putin sees such American cash as a threat to his rule, which tolerates no real opposition. But American veterans of democracy promotion find abhorrent Mr. Putin's insinuations that their work is equivalent to what the Russian government is accused of doing in the United States today.

"It's not just apples and oranges," said Kenneth Wollack, president of the National Democratic Institute. "It's comparing someone who delivers lifesaving medicine to someone who brings deadly poison."

What the C.I.A. may have done in recent years to steer foreign elections is still secret and may not be known for decades. It may be modest by comparison with the agency's Cold War manipulation. But some old-timers aren't so sure.

"I assume they're doing a lot of the old stuff, because, you know, it never changes," said William J. Daugherty, who worked for the C.I.A. from 1979 to 1996 and at one time had the job of reviewing covert operations. "The technology may change, but the objectives don't."

Correction : Feb. 18, 2018

An earlier version of this article stated incorrectly that Aleksei Navalny, a political opponent of the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, had received grants from the National Endowment for Democracy. In fact, an organization employing him received one $23,000 grant from the endowment in 2006.

Scott Shane is a national security reporter for The Times and a former Moscow correspondent.

A version of this article appears in print on Feb. 18, 2018 , on Page SR 4 of the New York edition with the headline: America Meddles in Elections, Too.

[Feb 16, 2019] "Semi-intelligence agences" is a very sad joke

Jul 27, 2018 | thesaker.is

Alex on October 09, 2017 , · at 3:08 pm EST/EDT

Something tells me he doesn't want to push this too much as money for this film came from French and German sources. It is nice to see him sticking his neck out to uphold the Truth.

When I watched the US rep. who supposedly investigated this Magnitzky affair for the US gov. state under oath that he never verified any of the info that Browder gave him, I kept thinking "Is this guy serious ?" But when you realize that they never did any investigation then it all seems logical.

[Feb 16, 2019] Isn't the bottom of election problems, the very heart of the matter simple, eternal, laziness and stupidity of an average person?

Feb 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

jacques sheete , says: February 16, 2019 at 6:31 pm GMT

@peterAUS

Isn't the bottom, the very heart of the matter simple, eternal, laziness and stupidity of an average person?

Yup.

Laziness of the voting public, in particular.

Too lazy to question much, if anything.

Too lazy to study.

Too lazy to learn.

Too lazy to think.

Too lazy to move beyond some glib, mindless cliches such and "Hope and Change," MAGA, etc.

Too lazy to even admit the truth.

Too lazy to do much, if anything, more than cast a ballot for some lying schmuck lesser of two evils every coupla years and hope for the best.

Too lazy, even, to take down some ragged tattered flag during inclement weather

[Feb 16, 2019] Eugene McCarthy never became President, but he changed national politics. Gabbard could have a big impact even if she does not win.

Feb 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
Mark Thomason , says: February 16, 2019 at 5:47 pm GMT
Eugene McCarthy never became President, but he changed national politics. Gabbard could have a big impact even if she does not win.

She could also become VP, and at her age that might well be a stepping stone.

[Feb 16, 2019] Do American people care enough about war to vote for Tulsi Gabbard

Feb 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

HEL , says: February 16, 2019 at 6:26 pm GMT

Gabbard is going nowhere, and while it's true that the powers that be will try to bury her, they don't need to. The simple truth is this: the American public largely doesn't care about the wars and never has. There hasn't been an anti-war movement of any significance since Bush left office, and that was mostly a phony anti-war movement in the first place. It was primarily an anti-Bush movement, and the bulk of the people screaming 'no blood for oil' would've just been screaming some other anti-Bush slogan had our current path of destruction through the Mideast never occurred.

Yes, there has always been a small, independent-minded minority on both the right and left who genuinely oppose American interventionism.

The vast majority of voters, though, don't care much, don't have strong opinions and will largely just follow their leaders. Rank and file Democrats now oppose drawing down from Syria and Afghanistan and want to 'contain' Russia.

This is solely because Trump has made noises in the opposite direction, even if he hasn't done much of anything. And a good portion of the Republicans who say they want out of these wars would support them if Jeb or Rubio were in the White House.

There is a fair bit more genuine antiwar sentiment on the right now than there was 15 years ago. But it's not a dominant issue for many people on the right who didn't always oppose the wars from the get-go. And the mainstream left, again, has totally abandoned the issue.

Only a tiny proportion of the American public considers the endless wars to be the most important issue facing America today.

You don't win campaigns focusing on issues that are regarded as unimportant and where most of the voters in your party oppose you on this point. There is no real antiwar movement. Another full-scale invasion of a previously stable country would generate some serious opposition, sure, but the current slow bleed of endless occupations and occasional opportunistic attacks on already destabilizing regimes can continue forever with little pushback from the public at large.

How anyone could live through the last 15 years of American politics and not realize this is beyond me.

KenH , says: February 16, 2019 at 6:26 pm GMT
@Art

That one trick happens to the most important trick that America is facing.

No Art, that would be unchecked legal and illegal immigration and as far as I can tell Tulsi Gandhi is pretty dreadful on that subject. True, the likudniks in the diaspora don't like her because she would be bad for an expansionist Israel...

If elected Tulsi would probably become a Jew tool just like Trump has become. If not, then they'll have another special counsel ready to take her down. That's how the (((deep state))) operates.

[Feb 16, 2019] Yea, John McCain was a truly historic person. So far, he was the only person in history who managed to totally disable an American aircraft carrier.

Feb 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

AnonFromTN , says: February 16, 2019 at 6:43 pm GMT

@Wally Yea, John McCain was a truly historic person. So far, he was the only person in history who managed to totally disable an American aircraft carrier. Of course, he was not found guilty of anything: after all, having Admirals for your dad and granddad counts for something in squeaky-clean military.

[Feb 16, 2019] What other organization/group then CIA is capable of such as perfect job of covering their tracks

Feb 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

Peredur , says: February 12, 2019 at 11:02 pm GMT

@ariadna "What other organization/group is capable of such as perfect job of covering their tracks."

It is the organization that controls the government and the media that is capable of doing this. In other words, the same organization that was responsible for 9/11 and other major deceptions. It compartmentalizes knowledge of operational details using the need-to-know rule, but it can still be regarded as the same overall entity carrying out all of these deceptions, with the same general goals always applying.

[Feb 16, 2019] There is a tendency, especially among dissenters and conspiracy theorists, to equate the Kennedy family with the Gracchi brothers of the great late Roman republic

Feb 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

Miville , says: Website February 12, 2019 at 8:29 pm GMT

There is a tendency, especially among dissenters and conspiracy theorists, to equate the Kennedy family with the Gracchi brothers of the great late Roman republic, a model of a good opportunity for the Republic to evolve for the best and that was missed thanks to timely assassinations. Unfortunately that's not the case : JFK was rather a behavioural model of utter political servility, to the point of psychic codependence, towards the media sphere. He was actually the first American president to have been entirely made by the media, and especially by the most intensively Jewish ones as well as by the Hollywood actors' milieu : people even worse than the power elite proper. Anyway the American presidential institution was designed right from the start as a hidden imperial monarchy by adoption where none is admitted except from families having being initiated into the inner occult circles of the oligarchy and consecrated their whole progeny to come for one century and more : there never was the slightest risk that a US President disobey. The fact that the father had slight pro-Nazi inclinations should fool no one : Israel's Likud party has always collaborated with such figures among the non-Jews and anyway JFK's family is nearly Jewish on his mother's side. The American republic, though draping in Roman architecture and symbols, is clearly far more Carthaginian in outlook.

If JFK is to be compared with a Roman character it would be more with a kind of Nero, judging by his general private conduct, his lavish use of public money for private luxuries, and his abundant use of secret services to dispose of no longer useful women. He was all shape and no substance, and also known for a preference for false flags as the royal way to disentangle all diplomatic quandaries, and some of those false flags were so ridiculous that they fell flat, like the Bay of Pigs operation where he had given the orders to simulate the return of Christ. JFK had been put into power to accomplish a very specific mission : highjacking the Catholic Church into a religion 100% compliant with American interests and values (not an easy task) and also with Zionist theology : a most preposterous (and pervert) task but which he carried out in a brillant way. Up to then that religion had been the most opposite to the American enterprise, even more so than the communist enterprise, after the VII Council which that president was made to supervise as a nominal Catholic, the religion was made into some kind of neo-episcopalian thing. JFK did it mostly through the assassinations of countless prelates who would oppose such a turn. JFK also launched the Moonlanding mission in perfect knowledge, through Van Allen and Von Braun, that it was not feasible due to the impossibility to send any living being into space beyond a quite low orbit : he just counted on Hollywood. What he didn't realize is that it would be simpler for the American secret services to ensure the perfect secrecy of his own scheme to eliminate him once all orders to make it work were given. Had he escaped or survived the assassination in Dallas he would have been rapidly known as the very disappointing false liberal and real decadent machiavellian prince he was, one year of tabloid media coverage would have revealed him as an embarrassment to America, even though he was most probably due to die from his chronic illness before campaining for reelection. Thanks to his assassination he was transfigurated from the Nero he was into a kind of perfect tragic hero he was to become in the American dreamworld. In brief he was killed for obeying just to well, to the point of being more useful after death as a model, not for dissent of any kind (even though like all corrupt politicians who feel death to be impending he started making timid regrets and confessions about the power structure around him just a few days before, but in doing so he did no better than for instance FBI's Hoover or France's Mitterrand or Israel's Sharon just before entering mysterious coma).

Let us not be fooled by some allegations as to him having envisioned to do away with the FED by giving back the American state the right to print money : all he did in reality was allowing the American state to emit BONDS (not currency units) payable in metallic silver rather than in USD proper, a way different thing, actually a first move (by avowing the USD was subject to inflation in metallic terms as a judicial precedent to impose other decisions later on) to stealthily undo the convertibility of the dollar into precious metal as was to be finalized under Nixon. Let us not be deluded he envisioned doing away with the CIA : if anything JFK was an overuser of its assassination services, he just wished for the agency, which was then quite decentralized, to be eventually conflated with the FBI. And let us not imagine he was anti-Israel : when he refused Israel the authorization to go nuclear that was under the American Nuclear Industry Lobby's pressure which was then a more Jewish thing than its Israeli counterpart : Israel was seen as too young, too lefty, too hippie-like to be entrusted with everything at once, the real Jewish capital of the world was Manhattan, not Tel Aviv. Israel as an offshore power centre was still in construction and JFK's only concern, shared by his close Jewish appointees as well as by most conservative American Jews, was that it might fall under Soviet pressure for lack of maturity in operating secret services. In those kinds of affairs JFK heeded and obeyed the voice of best-established moneyed interests without delving too much deeply. Thanks to the JFK perfect model of media-tailored politicians the way was paved for Clinton and Obama to come thereafter as natural heirs.

[Feb 16, 2019] The Broken Presidential Destiny of JFK, Jr. by Laurent Guyénot

Feb 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
JFK Jr. as conspiracy theorist

Let's move on to the next question: how dedicated was John to getting to the bottom of his father's assassination?

According to testimonies from his friends, John Junior was haunted by the death of his father and quite knowledgeable about independent investigations contradicting the Warren Report. In 1999, he was not a newcomer to JFK conspiracy theories; his quest for truth had started as early as the late 1970s. His old high school girlfriend Meg Azzoni, in her self-published book, 11 Letters and a Poem: John F. Kennedy, Jr., and Meg Azzoni (2007), writes that as a teenager, JFK, Jr. was questioning the official version of his father's death: "His heartfelt quest was to expose and bring to trial who killed his father, and covered it up." [28] Quoted in John Koerner, Exploding the Truth: The JFK Jr., Assassination, Chronos Books, 2018, kindle k. 540-45. Don Jeffries, author of Hidden History, claimed that "another friend of JFK, Jr.'s adult inner circle, who very adamantly requested to remain anonymous, verified that he was indeed quite knowledgeable about the assassination and often spoke of it in private." [29] Quoted in Koerner, Exploding the Truth, op. cit., k. 540-5. JFK Jr., said Jeffries in a radio interview, was on "a Shakespearian quest," "to avenge his father's death," like young Hamlet. [30] https://midnightwriternews.com/mwn-episode-093-donal...fk-jr/

John is the only Kennedy to have shown a serious determination to pursue this truth, besides his uncle Bobby. And he took the risk of making his interest public in October 1998, when he released a special "Conspiracy Issue" of George magazine , which included an article by Oliver Stone titled "Our Counterfeit History," introduced on the cover as "Paranoid and Proud of It!"

In an article published in 2009 , journalist Wayne Madsen claimed that, two weeks after John's death, "I was scheduled to meet with Kennedy at his magazine's offices in Washington, DC to discuss hiring on as one of a few investigative journalists Kennedy wanted to dig deep into a number of cases, but most importantly that of his father's assassination." [31] Wayne Madsen, "JFK Jr.'s Plane Crash Was Originally Treated As Murder Investigation," Wayne Madsen Report, August 12, 2009, on http://www.whale.to/c/jfk_jr5.html. Madsen told more details to Jeffries, who reports them in his book Hidden History: An Expose of Modern Crimes, Conspiracies, and Cover-Ups in American Politics, Skyhorse publishing, 2016, kindle k. 3981. (There is no confirmation of Madsen's claim.)


Jake , says: February 11, 2019 at 2:30 pm GMT

... ... ..

If Joe Kennedy Jr had not died in WW2, they would have killed him, because he was the smartest and toughest of the four brothers.

The WASPs and their Jewish allies assumed they could control JFK because of his war injury and resulting lifetime of medication, as well as from his having chosen to be a playboy when he assumed Joe Jr would be President. But in the White House, JFK began to understand that US was going to have major troubles if it did not pull out of Vietnam sooner rather than later and it if did not rein in Israel. He likely would have dumped LBJ in '64, and that was enough to guarantee his death.

Bobby Kennedy had to go because he was indispensable to John's movements in understanding how the Brits and their Jewish allies had cost the America that was neither WASP Elite nor Jewish a great deal. Plus, from his time working on organized crime, Bobby Kennedy knew that all big time organized crime was significantly funded by Jews and that at some point, virtually all major Jewish American big business and prominent law firms had direct ties to Jewish organized crime. And as President, Bobby Kennedy would have applied such knowledge to Israel. And so Bobby Kennedy had to be killed.

I have long assumed that some alliance of CIA and Mossad, meaning WASP and Jewish, was behind Chappaquiddick. No need to kill Teddy, because he was the least intelligent Kennedy brother, as well as the only coward.

Why risk JFK Jr? Get rid of him before he holds any office. Do not risk any movement growing up around him, because he might turn out to be some combo of his dad and dead uncles.

So Bobb

restless94110 , says: February 11, 2019 at 7:19 pm GMT
@Jake

I have long assumed that some alliance of CIA and Mossad, meaning WASP and Jewish, was behind Chappaquiddick. No need to kill Teddy, because he was the least intelligent Kennedy brother, as well as the only coward.

What makes you think that he was not supposed to die in that crash? He got out by the skin of his teeth, could not save his companion. What would be a better smear on the Kennedys that Teddy died with some woman in his lap?

As it turned out, he survived but forever smeared anyway

SunBakedSuburb , says: February 11, 2019 at 8:29 pm GMT
Interesting article. I believe JFK Jr.'s death was the result of a conspiracy, but the author's assertion that Mossad was responsible leaves me with doubt. Hillary Clinton was the person who had the most to gain from JFK Jr.'s demise; they were both on the same trajectory: the open New York senate seat, followed by a run to the White House. The Clintons have been shadow government players since at least the 1980s when, while governor, Bill helped facilitate the CIA's trafficking of guns and drugs in Arkansas, which is a state with a significant Rockefeller presence. The demoness Hillary is where investigators of JFK Jr.'s death should start. Whether that leads to the Mossad, I don't know. My guess would be a domestic CIA network.
Steve Naidamast , says: February 11, 2019 at 8:30 pm GMT
I very much like the writing by Laurent Guyénot and I have read all of the articles by him that I have come across including purchasing his book, "From Yaweh to Zion".

And I have no doubt that some insidious form of foul play was what killed JFK Jr. and his wife.

As one who flew aircraft many years ago I can attest to the fact that on a fog-ridden night it is very easy to succumb to vertigo and crash your plane into the ground. You can do this very easily as well with the current bevy of highly sophisticated aircraft simulations that are available.

However, JFK Jr. was, to my knowledge, a consummate pilot and would have never attempted such a flight unless he was intsrument rated. As a result, he would have not succumbed to to the effects of vertigo since he would have been concentrating on his instruments.

Also, I understand that this was basically a night flight, which by law required an instrument rating.

From these generalizations alone one can see that JFK Jr. would have known how to fly his plane.

If the eyewitnesses to the explosion are credible along with other supporting evidence than there is no way any legitimate investigation could have concluded with verdict of "pilot error", unless of course JFK Jr. knowingly took a bomb on board his plane with the intent of blowing himself and his passengers up. A highly unlikely scenario.

If one were to look at the "only available picture" of JFK Jr.'s aircraft in this piece, even a layperson could see that there is no scarring anywhere to be seen on the debris, which would have been used then to support the stupidity of "pilot error".

You can see the same nonsense with the 911 pictures of the Pentagon after it was struck. There is literally no debris in any of those pictures from an aircraft freshly blown to pieces by its strike on the E-wing of the Pentagon.

Considering the insidiousness of the Clintons, especially Hillary herself, the author paints an excellent portrait of a likely pathway for the support and implementation of an assassination of JFK Jr through her. Given Hillary's background (and rabid incompetence) in nefarious operations such as the destruction of Libya, I wouldn't put it past this women to work with other planners to prevent JFK Jr. from obstructing her planned ascent into the US Senate from New York.

Despite her popularity in New York State, which was somewhat overrated in the media, many never considered her a welcome representative of our state. And JFK Jr. would have wiped the floor with her in a political contest.

Steve Naidamast , says: February 11, 2019 at 8:39 pm GMT
@Achmed E. Newman Achmed

As a former flyer myself, it is aviation law that you cannot fly any aircraft at night or non-VFR conditions without being instrument rated. If this was a night flight as stated then the moon could have been out lighting up every aspect of earth and still only instrument-rated pilots could fly.

And the airport he flew out of would have never allowed such a flight-plan for a non-instrument rated pilot unless they wanted to lose their license to operate an airport.

Cyrano , says: February 11, 2019 at 8:46 pm GMT
If JFK Jr. could send a message from the other world – it should probably be: "Don't cry for me Argentina".

Just because his father was a president (of dubious quality and of dubious control over the deep state – it probably was, as usual – vice versa, the deep state controlled him), doesn't mean that they had presidential DNA in their genes.

Sons of presidents are usually worse than their fathers in the same role. I have only 2 examples but they are adequate enough to prove the point. GW Bush was 10 times the disaster of a president his father was. And also Justin Trudeau is not even 1% the prime minister his father was. In fact, if JFK jr, lived long enough to be elected a president – he probably would have been the American Justin Trudeau.

Carlton Meyer , says: Website February 11, 2019 at 9:15 pm GMT
Our media ignored breaking news a few years ago that Kennedy's TWA "conspiracy theory" was proven true. TWA Flight 800 did not explode in mid-air because of an electrical short. It was accidentally hit by a US Navy anti-aircraft missile during a training exercise.

An outstanding 2013 documentary: "TWA Flight 800" appeared on Netflix, but was removed after just a few weeks. It featured two senior federal NTSB investigators of TWA 800 who declared the investigation was a cover-up by the Clinton administration, and waited until they retired to speak out. Several books have appeared that provide undeniable evidence, such as:

http://militarycorruption.com/flight-800/

DESERT FOX , says: February 11, 2019 at 9:29 pm GMT
@SunBakedSuburb Agree, the book Compromised, Clinton, Bush and the CIA by Terry Reed shows the connection between the Bushes and Clintons and the CIA and FBI and their CIA hit teams, or just read the customer comments on the book at Amazon.com.
renfro , says: February 11, 2019 at 9:50 pm GMT
@Diversity Heretic As a 30 year instrument rated pilot myself I would agree except for .."and the overstressed airframe comes apart."
In light civilian air craft that is very rare and usually caused by some defect already existing.
Unless the NTSB itself is lying and the radar records and the recovery divers are lying I go with their determination.
First, the debris field was only 120 feet, if the plane had exploded or broken up in the air it would have been scattered over a larger area.
Second, records show the plane entered a banking turn in excess of 45 degrees, which is not recommended and dangerous .It can cause a accelerated stall and if you don't have the altitude to recover from it before you hit the ground or you panic you go 'spiraling' down and smash into whatever is below, you like the ocean.
So I really am not into the plane being blown up theory.

'A performance study of the radar data revealed that the target began a descent from 5,500 feet about 34 miles west of MVY. The speed during the descent was calculated to be about 160 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS), and the rate of descent was calculated to have varied between 400 and 800 feet per minute (fpm). About 2138, the target began a right turn in a southerly direction. About 30 seconds later, the target stopped its descent at 2,200 feet and began a climb that lasted another 30 seconds. During this period of time, the target stopped the turn, and the airspeed decreased to about 153 KIAS. About 2139, the target leveled off at 2,500 feet and flew in a southeasterly direction. About 50 seconds later, the target entered a left turn and climbed to 2,600 feet. As the target continued in the left turn, it began a descent that reached a rate of about 900 fpm. When the target reached an easterly direction, it stopped turning; its rate of descent remained about 900 fpm. At 2140:15, while still in the descent, the target entered a right turn. As the target's turn rate increased, its descent rate and airspeed also increased. The target's descent rate eventually exceeded 4,700 fpm. The target's last radar position was recorded at 2140:34 at an altitude of 1,100 feet. (For a more detailed description of the target's [accident airplane's] performance, see Section, "Tests and Research," Subsection, "Aircraft Performance Study.")

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

On July 20, 1999, the airplane wreckage was located by U.S. Navy divers from the recovery ship, USS Grasp, at a depth of about 120 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. According to the divers, the recovered wreckage had been distributed in a debris field about 120 feet long and was oriented along a magnetic bearing of about 010/190 degrees. The main cabin area was found in the middle of the debris field.
At 2139:50, the airplane entered a left turn, while slightly increasing altitude to 2,600 feet. The airplane reached a maximum bank angle of 28 degrees left-wing-down (LWD) and a maximum vertical acceleration of 1.2 Gs in this turn. When the maximum LWD bank angle was obtained, the altitude started to decrease at a descent rate close to 900 fpm. The LWD attitude was maintained for approximately 15 seconds until the airplane was heading towards the east. At 2140:07, the airplane bank angle returned to wings level. At 2140:15, with the airplane continuing towards the east, it reestablished a descent close to 900 fpm and then started to increase its bank angle in a RWD direction at nearly a constant rate. As the airplane bank angle increased, the rate of descent increased, and the airspeed started to increase. By 2140:25, the bank angle exceeded 45 degrees , the vertical acceleration was 1.2 Gs, the airspeed increased through 180 knots, and the flightpath angle was close to 5 degrees airplane nose down. After 2140:25, the airplane's airspeed, vertical acceleration, bank, and dive angle continued to increase, and the right turn tightened until water impact

https://www.ntsb.gov/about/employment/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20001212X19354&ntsbno=NYC99MA178&akey=1

Rodney1111 , says: February 11, 2019 at 9:56 pm GMT
Creating conspiracy theories is lots of fun, and sometimes can even be productive, but for this one you really do have to go overboard ignoring Occam's Razor:

In reality, everyone who has ever acquired any kind of pilot's licence has been told repeatedly in training something like: "Understand, that without getting sufficient instruction to qualify for an instrument rating, if you lose visual reference to the ground, during the day or at night, you will be toast. Experiments have consistently shown that, even the world's most brilliant and experienced pilots, if they lose visual reference to the ground and cannot see the instruments to assess carefully what they are saying, in every case lose control of the aircraft in less than 45 seconds. And, having lost control, do not realize it, and are unable to figure out that they need to regain it, let alone what they need to do."

Most people find this surprising, which is why in the later stages of basic training a demonstration is usually done in which the pilot wears a hood that prevents him from seeing outside the aircraft, and is instructed to maintain straight and level flight. The instructor removes the student's hood when the aircraft is in a rapidly accelerating, 45 degree bank, descending turn, when the pilot had imagined he was still flying straight and level. I can vouch that this is a persuasive demonstration!

This isn't mere speculation. Loss of control is the inevitable consequence of a non-instrument rated pilot losing sight of the ground. It is enormously probable that this was JFK Jr's issue.

AriusArmenian , says: February 11, 2019 at 9:59 pm GMT
I remember a little after JFK was assassinated a report of a statement by an government official, I think someone in the FBI, saying there is evidence of a conspiracy to kill JFK and other Kennedy family members. What happens is that after an attack or bombing the media filters are not coordinated for hours or days but then controls and directives kick in the narratives get stabilized. I always watch the news reports right after the event to catch leaks. The above reported statement was never again reported by anyone.

It is certainly looking like Israel had a hand in many operations inside the US to control its foreign policy and make sure major narratives are pro-Israel like the UK has a long history (at least from WW2 on) of using dirty tricks to control the US. Since US foreign policy is substantially controlled by the UK, Saudis, and Israel, we must suspect any of them of trying to keep control of the US with all sorts of dirty tricks. Israel in a prime candidate for assassinations and false flag operations in the US as they certainly knew by the 1960's that the survival of Israel depended on US support. There are just too many dual passport holders in these events to ignore this any longer.

Peredur , says: February 11, 2019 at 10:01 pm GMT
Implicitly, this article takes the position that Jackie Kennedy was not involved in the JFK assassination conspiracy, but there is an intriguing connection between the Bouvier family and the assassination via a person named George de Mohrenschildt, who was a close friend of both the Bouviers and Oswald.
renfro , says: February 11, 2019 at 10:21 pm GMT
@Steve Naidamast That isnt correct.
There are 3 types of licenses a person can get:
Sport Flyer license restricted to local area and only certain types of small aircraft.
Recreational License restricted to local area and daylight hours only.
Private Pilot License ..not restricted, can fly at night . at their own risk

I did a lot of night time flying before I got my instrument rating. But wasn't stupid enough to fly in bad weather day or night.

niteranger , says: February 11, 2019 at 10:31 pm GMT
@Sean I have no idea if JFK Jr. was bombed out of the sky by our friends in the Mossad, CIA, or other wonderful entities. But years ago an ex CIA guy told me bluntly that the reason the CIA and intelligence agencies get away with stuff is because much of it no one would be believe they would even try thus the invention of the Conspiracy Theory.

The Kennedys were family of egomaniacs and were often careless and their itinerary through life was filled with many people they destroyed and cast by the side of the road. They believed they were really the chosen ones and their opinion and their way of doing things were right and everyone else was wrong. So they mirrored the Jews except they were Irish.

lysias , says: February 11, 2019 at 10:51 pm GMT
@Peredur Mohrenschildt seems to have been Oswald's CIA handler for a while, but months before the JFK assassination he went off to Haiti. There's nothing to connect him with the JFK assassination, especially if -- as seems likely -- Oswald was not the shooter who killed JFK.
anon [228] Disclaimer , says: February 11, 2019 at 10:54 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer TWA Flight 800 Investigators Claim the Official Crash Story Is a Lie
A new film claims the official government report on the crash of TWA Flight 800 in 1996 is an elaborate fabrication, but the most shocking part of the story is that charges are being leveled by the very investigators who put the report together.
A new film claims the official government report on the crash of TWA Flight 800 in 1996 is an elaborate fabrication, but the most shocking part of the story is that charges are being leveled by some of the very investigators who put the report together. Six experts who appear in the film were members of the National Transportation Safety Board investigation team that concluded the crash was an accident, but they now claim they were silenced by their superiors. The movies, "TWA Flight 800" will debut on EPIX TV next month, on the 17-year anniversary of the crash.
https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/06/twa-flight-800-film-coverup/314092/
jeff stryker , says: February 11, 2019 at 11:24 pm GMT
@Che Guava JFK junior was really just not that bright. He failed the bar exam at least once. As Larry Elders once said, the best thing you could say about JFK junior was that he was a down-to-earth guy who never pretended to be more than an average person who happened to be rich.

Supposedly he loved alcohol and was obsessed with porn-he was friends with Irish-America's one porn mogul in a gallery of Jews, Larry Flint.

He was handsome-some say that his father was Onassis and not Kennedy, believable considering his Mediterranean looks which were nothing like Kennedy's fair Irish looks (Though JFK junior was eternally proud of his Irish roots).

His magazine was alright, supposedly advised under-the-table by Larry Flynt again.

Anon [257] Disclaimer , says: February 12, 2019 at 1:30 am GMT
@Che Guava The magazine was in big trouble financially. It never did break even although the Kennedy PR machine and the Kennedy worshiping media pushed it for years
George was financed by the big French International publisher Hachette. Hachette was getting ready to stop financing a losing publication. The combination of People and New Republic just never worked.

I don't remember any announcements that JFKjr planned to run for any office. It was just speculation and part of the endless media coverage of JFKjr which increased a thousand times after he got married

Anon [257] Disclaimer , says: February 12, 2019 at 8:05 am GMT
There's a book Nemesis that claims that Jackie visited Onassis on his yacht in September? October? 1963 and they arranged that Jackie would divorce jack and marry Onassis ic Hack lost the 64 election

[Feb 16, 2019] Is Tulsi Gabbard for Real by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... Tulsi's own military experience notwithstanding, she gives every indication of being honestly anti-war. In the speech announcing her candidacy she pledged "focus on the issue of war and peace" to "end the regime-change wars that have taken far too many lives and undermined our security by strengthening terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda." She referred to the danger posed by blundering into a possible nuclear war and indicated her dismay over what appears to be a re-emergence of the Cold War. ..."
"... Gabbard has spoken at a conference of Christians United for Israel, which has defended Israel's settlement enterprise; has backed legislation that slashes funding to the Palestinians; and has cultivated ties with Boteach as well as with major GOP donor casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. She also attended the controversial address to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March 2015, which many progressive Democrats boycotted. ..."
"... Nevertheless, Tulsi supported Bernie Sanders' antiwar candidacy in 2016 and appears to be completely onboard and fearless in promoting her antiwar sentiments. Yes, Americans have heard much of the same before, but Tulsi Gabbard could well be the only genuine antiwar candidate that might truly be electable in the past fifty years. ..."
"... What's her angle about immigration? This: https://votesmart.org/public-statement/1197137/rep-tulsi-gabbard-calls-on-congress-to-pass-the-dream-act#.XGXEplUza1s Not optimistic. ..."
"... What's her angle about "outsourcing" jobs overseas? This: https://www.votetulsi.com/node/25011 Not bad, but, still .. ..."
"... Regularly Americans vote for the less interventionist candidate. ..."
"... Of course, it is impossible to predict whether it will be the same with Tulsi Gabbard, but unlike these other candidates in the past , she puts her rejection of neocons and regime change wars so much into the center of her campaign that it should be assumed that she is serious – otherwise it would be complete betrayal. ..."
"... She'll be sabotaged by relentless smears and other dirty tricks. Only someone bought and owned will be allowed to be a candidate which means the MIC must continue being fed enormous amounts of money and war hysteria constantly being stoked. ..."
"... Has anyone discussed the possibility of Tulsi being "marketed" or long-game "branded" through intentional theatre as "anti-war" ? ..."
"... Any serious Democratic candidate, and to some extent any Republican, must fly through the flack of Deep State anti-populist guns. I am skeptical about Gabbard because her policy views are already too good to be true. She is "cruisin' for a bruisin'" and there is already a campaign to erase her from the debate in the manner in which Ron Paul was erased a few years back ..."
"... Gabbard is an attractive woman and on camera she comes across as aggressive and a quick-thinking, highly articulate debater. Like Trump her instinct is to meet force with counter-force rather than roll with the punches and I think that is her best chance. ..."
"... De ja vu. I remember reading these very similar (not exactly but similar) sentiments about Barack Obama back in 2008. What a load of crap that turned out to be ..."
"... Don't know much about this lady. If she is "fair dinkum" in her anti war/anti-imperialism stance her only chance to get into power & then get things done will be to gain a massive, committed popular following. ..."
Feb 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

The lineup of Democrats who have already declared themselves as candidates for their party's presidential nomination in 2020 is remarkable, if only for the fact that so many wannabes have thrown their hats in the ring so early in the process. In terms of electability, however, one might well call the seekers after the highest office in the land the nine dwarfs. Four of the would-be candidates – Marianne Williamson a writer, Andrew Yang an entrepreneur, Julian Castro a former Obama official, Senator Amy Klobuchar and Congressman John Delaney – have no national profiles at all and few among the Democratic Party rank-and-file would be able to detail who they are, where they come from and what their positions on key issues might be.

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has a national following but she also has considerable baggage. The recent revelation that she falsely described herself as "American Indian" back in 1986 for purposes of career advancement, which comes on top of similar reports of more of the same as well as other resume-enhancements that surfaced when she first became involved in national politics, prompted Donald Trump to refer to her as "Pocahontas." Warren, who is largely progressive on social and domestic issues, has been confronted numerous times regarding her views on Israel/Palestine and beyond declaring that she favors a "two state solution" has been somewhat reticent. She should be described as pro-Israel for the usual reasons and is not reliably anti-war. She comes across as a rather more liberal version of Hillary Clinton.

And then there is New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, being touted as the "new Obama," presumably because he is both black and progressive. His record as Mayor of Newark New Jersey, which launched his career on the national stage, has both high and low points and it has to be questioned if America is ready for another smooth-talking black politician whose actual record of accomplishments is on the thin side. One unfortunately recalls the devious Obama's totally bogus Nobel Peace Prize and his Tuesday morning meetings with John Brennan to work on the list of Americans who were to be assassinated.

Booker has carefully cultivated the Jewish community in his political career, to include a close relationship with the stomach-churning "America's Rabbi" Shmuley Boteach, but has recently become more independent of those ties, supporting the Obama deal with Iran and voting against anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) legislation in the Senate. On the negative side, the New York Times likes Booker, which means that he will turn most other Americans off. He is also 49 years old and unmarried, which apparently bothers some in the punditry.

California Senator Kamala Harris is a formidable entrant into the crowded field due to her resume, nominally progressive on most issues, but with a work history that has attracted critics concerned by her hard-line law-and-order enforcement policies when she was District Attorney General for San Francisco and Attorney General for California. She has also spoken at AIPAC , is anti-BDS, and is considered to be reliably pro-Israel, which would rule her out for some, though she might be appealing to middle of the road Democrats like the Clintons and Nancy Pelosi who have increasingly become war advocates. She will have a tough time convincing the antiwar crowd that she is worth supporting and there are reports that she will likely split the black women's vote even though she is black herself, perhaps linked to her affair with California powerbroker Willie Brown when she was 29 and Brown was 61. Brown was married, though separated, to a black woman at the time. Harris is taking heat because she clearly used the relationship to advance her career while also acquiring several patronage sinecures on state commissions that netted her hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The most interesting candidate is undoubtedly Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who is a fourth term Congresswoman from Hawaii, where she was born and raised. She is also the real deal on national security, having been-there and done-it through service as an officer with the Hawaiian National Guard on a combat deployment in Iraq. Though in Congress full time, she still performs her Guard duty.

Tulsi's own military experience notwithstanding, she gives every indication of being honestly anti-war. In the speech announcing her candidacy she pledged "focus on the issue of war and peace" to "end the regime-change wars that have taken far too many lives and undermined our security by strengthening terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda." She referred to the danger posed by blundering into a possible nuclear war and indicated her dismay over what appears to be a re-emergence of the Cold War.

Not afraid of challenging establishment politics, she called for an end to the "illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government," also observing that "the war to overthrow Assad is counter-productive because it actually helps ISIS and other Islamic extremists achieve their goal of overthrowing the Syrian government of Assad and taking control of all of Syria – which will simply increase human suffering in the region, exacerbate the refugee crisis, and pose a greater threat to the world." She then backed up her words with action by secretly arranging for a personal trip to Damascus in 2017 to meet with President Bashar al-Assad, saying it was important to meet adversaries "if you are serious about pursuing peace." She made her own assessment of the situation in Syria and now favors pulling US troops out of the country as well as ending American interventions for "regime change" in the region.

In 2015, Gabbard supported President Barack Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran and more recently has criticized President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the deal. Last May, she criticized Israel for shooting "unarmed protesters" in Gaza, but one presumes that, like nearly all American politicians, she also has to make sure that she does not have the Israel Lobby on her back. Gabbard has spoken at a conference of Christians United for Israel, which has defended Israel's settlement enterprise; has backed legislation that slashes funding to the Palestinians; and has cultivated ties with Boteach as well as with major GOP donor casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. She also attended the controversial address to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March 2015, which many progressive Democrats boycotted.

Nevertheless, Tulsi supported Bernie Sanders' antiwar candidacy in 2016 and appears to be completely onboard and fearless in promoting her antiwar sentiments. Yes, Americans have heard much of the same before, but Tulsi Gabbard could well be the only genuine antiwar candidate that might truly be electable in the past fifty years.

What Tulsi Gabbard is accomplishing might be measured by the enemies that are already gathering and are out to get her. Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept describes how NBC news published a widely distributed story on February 1 st , claiming that "experts who track websites and social media linked to Russia have seen stirrings of a possible campaign of support for Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard."

But the expert cited by NBC turned out to be a firm New Knowledge, which was exposed by no less than The New York Times for falsifying Russian troll accounts for the Democratic Party in the Alabama Senate race to suggest that the Kremlin was interfering in that election. According to Greenwald, the group ultimately behind this attack on Gabbard is The Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD), which sponsors a tool called Hamilton 68 , a news "intelligence net checker" that claims to track Russian efforts to disseminate disinformation. The ASD website advises that "Securing Democracy is a Global Necessity."

ASD was set up in 2017 by the usual neocon crowd with funding from The Atlanticist and anti-Russian German Marshall Fund. It is loaded with a full complement of Zionists and interventionists/globalists, to include Michael Chertoff, Michael McFaul, Michael Morell, Kori Schake and Bill Kristol. It claims, innocently, to be a bipartisan transatlantic national security advocacy group that seeks to identify and counter efforts by Russia to undermine democracies in the United States and Europe but it is actually itself a major source of disinformation.

For the moment, Tulsi Gabbard seems to be the "real thing," a genuine anti-war candidate who is determined to run on that platform. It might just resonate with the majority of American who have grown tired of perpetual warfare to "spread democracy" and other related frauds perpetrated by the band of oligarchs and traitors that run the United States. We the people can always hope.


peterAUS , says: February 14, 2019 at 7:41 pm GMT

For the moment, Tulsi Gabbard seems to be the "real thing," a genuine anti-war candidate who is determined to run on that platform.

Be that as it may, what is conspicously missing from the article are some minor things:

1. What's her angle about immigration? This: https://votesmart.org/public-statement/1197137/rep-tulsi-gabbard-calls-on-congress-to-pass-the-dream-act#.XGXEplUza1s Not optimistic.

2. What's her angle about "outsourcing" jobs overseas? This: https://www.votetulsi.com/node/25011 Not bad, but, still ..

Just those two. We can leave the rest of "globo-homo" agenda off the table, for the moment. And, the last but not the least, that nagging angle about automation and (paid) work in general. Let's not get too ambitious here. Those two, only, should suffice at the moment.

Si1ver1ock , says: February 14, 2019 at 8:09 pm GMT
I like Tulsi. but she hasn't been tested in a presidential campaign yet. At least we will have someone who could put peace on the ballot. She should write a book pulling her policies together and use it to get some publicity.
Adrian E. , says: February 14, 2019 at 9:14 pm GMT
Regularly Americans vote for the less interventionist candidate. 2008, an important reason for Obama's victory against Hillary Clinton and John McCain was that he had been against the Iraq war. 2000, George W. Bush said he was against nation building. Then, after they are elected, the neocons remain in power. Something similar again with Donald Trump who campaigned against stupid wars in the Middle East and now has surrounded himself with some of the most extreme neocons.

Of course, it is impossible to predict whether it will be the same with Tulsi Gabbard, but unlike these other candidates in the past , she puts her rejection of neocons and regime change wars so much into the center of her campaign that it should be assumed that she is serious – otherwise it would be complete betrayal. However, if she is serious about this and is elected, she will be fought by the deep state and its allies in the media much more harshly than Trump, who isn't even consistently anti-neocons, just not reliably pro-neocon. What they would probably do to her would make spygate, the Russiagate conspiracy theory, and the Muller investigation look harmless. She might end like JFK (a VP who is just as anti-neocons might increase the chances of survival).

But despite all the risks, I think it is worth trying. If the US was a parliamentary democracy with proportional representation and the neocons had their own party, it would hardly have more than a handful of seats in Congress. Although they don't have, a significant base of their own, neocons have remained in power for a long time, whoever was elected. At the moment, Tulsi Gabbard is probably the best hope for ending their long reign.

anonymous [241] Disclaimer , says: February 15, 2019 at 12:30 am GMT
She'll be sabotaged by relentless smears and other dirty tricks. Only someone bought and owned will be allowed to be a candidate which means the MIC must continue being fed enormous amounts of money and war hysteria constantly being stoked. She won't have a chance. Besides, the Dem party has gotten radical and out of touch with the majority of Americans so who really wants them in? There's no cause for optimism anywhere one looks.
Gg Mo , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:21 am GMT
@the grand wazoo

Has anyone discussed the possibility of Tulsi being "marketed" or long-game "branded" through intentional theatre as "anti-war" ? Greenwald himself has questionable backers and the WWF good guy/bad guy character creations (like Trump's pre-election talking points concerning illegal wars , now stuffed down the memory holes of many), all the FAKE and distracting "fights" etc etc

See Corbett/Sibel Edmonds on Greenwald

jack daniels , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:48 am GMT
@peterAUS

Any serious Democratic candidate, and to some extent any Republican, must fly through the flack of Deep State anti-populist guns. I am skeptical about Gabbard because her policy views are already too good to be true. She is "cruisin' for a bruisin'" and there is already a campaign to erase her from the debate in the manner in which Ron Paul was erased a few years back.

Gabbard is an attractive woman and on camera she comes across as aggressive and a quick-thinking, highly articulate debater. Like Trump her instinct is to meet force with counter-force rather than roll with the punches and I think that is her best chance. In that way she calls the bluff of her opponents: Just how confident are they that in the end the public will prefer war to peace? These points add up to a realistic chance of success but given the Deep State's stranglehold on the media she is definitely a long shot.

Biff , says: February 15, 2019 at 4:04 am GMT
De ja vu. I remember reading these very similar (not exactly but similar) sentiments about Barack Obama back in 2008. What a load of crap that turned out to be, but I do understand that not all politicians are cut from the same dung heap, so it is probably best to find out who is funding the little pricks while they are campaigning – for once they are elected, payback is due.

In the case of Obama it was Robert Rubin( of Goldman Sachs) who bankrolled him, and of course, once elected it was bank bailout time. Then once Ghaddaffi's gold back Dinar became a monetary powerhouse, he committed another crime for the bankers.

"Is she the real deal?"

Elect her and you'll find out, and there lies the problem – you get to find out when it's too late. On the other hand, she could actually be honest and sincere, but that alone disqualifies her as a politician (the kind that Americans are used to anyway).

NTL, she's got people's attention and if for anything else – the people are anti-war, but the monied power brokers are definitely not which begs the question – will democracy actually happen?

animalogic , says: February 15, 2019 at 8:04 am GMT
@Adrian E.

Don't know much about this lady. If she is "fair dinkum" in her anti war/anti-imperialism stance her only chance to get into power & then get things done will be to gain a massive, committed popular following.

She will need to use tactics from both the Sanders & Trump play-books. She will need to appeal to a good number in both the Sanders & Trump constituencies. Regardless, she will need an iron-will & tsunami of charisma .

LondonBob , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:26 am GMT
@Biff Obama was a creation of the Pritzker and Crowne families, although the puppet did decide he wanted to somewhat act on his own. Gabbard is certainly taking flak from the Israel firsters, and her debating Trump on foreign policy in a US Presidential election would be a real paradigm shift.
RobinG , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:10 pm GMT
@renfro Where do you get this "obsessive hatred of Muslims and Islam?"

She's been [insistent and consistent] using the term 'radical Islamic terrorists' which, unfortunately, is an accurate description of ISIS (the bane of the ummah). OTOH, last year Tulsi was a featured speaker at a Moslem conference in NJ, and she has been outspoken about freedom of religion and mutual respect. If you've got some evidence that she excludes Islam from that, please show it.

RobinG , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:35 pm GMT
@jack daniels

[Gabbard's] policy views are already too good to be true.

Not really. Too good to be true would be if she understood Putin in the context of the US and oligarch rape of Russia in the 1990's and how he has restored the Russian economy and dignity; and if she recognized (openly) the US role in the Maidan coup and accepted the validity of the Crimean decision to return to Russia.

Unfortunately, even though she's taken a brave position on ending US regime-change war on Syria, in many other respects she remains quite conventional. She also promotes fear of DPRK, and who knows what she thinks about China.

she comes across as aggressive and a quick-thinking, highly articulate debater.

Aggressive? Composed, confident, yes. Aggressive, no. Calm under fire is more like it. Take a look at the whole interview on Morning Joe. She really outclasses those squirming bitches. BUT, notice her (short) responses on Putin and Assad ("adversary" and "no"), real Judas moments. Does she believe that, or is she clinging to the Overton Window?
https://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/rep-gabbard-assad-is-not-an-enemy-of-the-us-1438093891865

Forcible Overthrow time , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:41 pm GMT
Tulsi's presidential timber but she's wasting her life with the Democrats. Their consulting apparatchiks are going to stuff a bunch of incoherent slogans up her butt. If she wants a real antiwar platform she should steal it wholesale from Stein and Ajamu Baraka. Baraka built a complete and consistent law-and-order platform. He's the only real antiwar candidate in this country.

Of course the Democrat's CIA handlers will crush Tulsi if she starts to make sense, so she's going to have to take her supporters and jump to the Greens.

She will lose, but arbitrary forcible repression of the party will discredit bullshit US electoral pageantry once and for all. Then we move into the parallel government zone in conformity with world-standard human rights law and destroy the parasitic kleptocratic USA.

peterAUS , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:12 pm GMT
@jack daniels You know .there IS one thing nobody wants, really, to talk about.

.given the Deep State's stranglehold on the media she is definitely a long shot

Why, in this age, the "stronghold on the media" is so decisive? A person who gets the most of media exposure wins? That's how it works?
Or, do anyone reading and posting here gets his/her information from the "media"? I'd say not.

Isn't the bottom, the very heart of the matter NOT a Deep State, Dem Joos, Anglo-Saxons, Masons, Illuminati and .whatever but simple, eternal, laziness and stupidity of an average person?
Or, even worse: the real, true, needs and wants of an average person are simply "breads and circuses". Nothing more.
Combine those two and here we are.

I am aware that throws the spanner into works of those into Aryans, White supremacy, Western man and similar stuff, but, the conclusion seems inevitable.

That's the heart of the problem "we" face at the moment. How to fix it, or even is it possible, I don't know. Have some ideas, of course.

anon [194] Disclaimer , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:31 pm GMT
@2stateshmustate

If there was any justice in this country Mr. Chertoff would have long since been tried for treason for his involvement in the 911 attack.

The arc of something or other is long but tends toward justice er something like that:

Chertoff's business partner Mike Hayden had a stroke last November and is still "getting good care and working hard at therapy."

No doubt US taxpayers are paying to rebuild Scumbag Hayden's fried circuits.
Pity.

never-anonymous , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:54 pm GMT
CIA Giraldi probably has more Cherokee DNA than Warren. Another fact he failed to provide to the Government during the security clearance process. The troll has supported the republican establishment all his career, this distinguishes him from the trolls that support the democratic establishment all of their careers. The fact that people can debate the relative merits of political leaders from the dark lagoon reveals their complete lack of rational thought. No politician decides anything important.
Tulip , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:39 pm GMT
@Anonymous No, then she is toast in Hawaii politics, and she is probably running not because she plans on winning, but to raise her profile and perhaps open doors for herself on the national or state level, which won't happen if you shoot yourself in the foot at the same time.

Besides, leaving aside Krishna consciousness, she is too close to Sanders to get any traction among the Republicans. I suppose getting the bipartisan support of the Internet kook vote is something, but hard to translate into political office.

RobinG , says: February 15, 2019 at 8:19 pm GMT
@Tulip

..getting the bipartisan support of the Internet kook vote is something, but hard to translate into political office.

Brilliant.

Dem Juche , says: February 16, 2019 at 12:25 am GMT
You're never going to get anything worthwhile from a Democratic politician because they're indoctrinated worse that the brightest little Pioneer in Juche class. Take Ro Khana's meaningless pap.

https://fellowtravelersblog.com/2018/10/23/ro-khanna-five-principles/

What is this 'we should' crap? The law is perfectly clear. The right to self-defense is subject to necessity and proportionality tests, and invariably subject to UN Charter Chapter 7 in its entirety. See Article 51. Instead of this 'restraint' waffle, just say, the president must commit to faithfully execute the supreme law of the land, including UN Charter Chapter 7 and Article 2(4). That means refrain from use or threat of force. Period.

Second, national security is not a loophole in human rights. Khana uses the legally meaningless CIA magic word 'threat.' Under universal jurisdiction law, it is a war crime to declare abolished, suspended or inadmissible in a court of law the rights and actions of the nationals of the hostile party. Domestic human rights are subject to ICCPR Article 4, HRC General Comment 29, and the Siracusa Principles. Instead of CIA's standard National Security get-out clause, state explicitly that US national security means respect, protection and fulfillment of all human rights. To enforce that, ratify the Rome Statute or GTFO.

Third, internationalism is OK as far as it goes, but Ro Khana doesn't deal with the underlying problem: CIA has infested State with focal points and dotted-line reports, and demolished the department's capacity for pacific resolution of disputes. You have to explicitly tie State's mission to UN Charter Chapter 6, and criminalize placement of domestic CIA agents in State.

Fourth, Congressional war-making powers are useless with Congress completely corrupted. Bring back the Ludlow Amendment, war by public referendum only, subject to Article 51.

Rich , says: February 16, 2019 at 5:21 am GMT
Tulsi is a far Left democrat. She supports raising taxes to pay for free college for people earning less than 125K and universal health care, she actually joined protesters against the Dakota Access Pipeline, has a 100% rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood, supports homosexual marriage (changed her previous position in 2012), and has an F rating from the NRA. She's a Lefty. Not for me, anyway.
Ilyana_Rozumova , says: February 16, 2019 at 5:25 am GMT
In any case she is less vulnerable. She can call any opposition a misogynist.
Biff , says: February 16, 2019 at 5:30 am GMT
@obwandiyag

I like the one on here who says the Democrat party has "gotten radical."

I assume this is sarcasm, but there is no denying the fact that the neocons(radical whack jobs) have jumped ship from the Republicans and attached themselves to the Democrats (although there are filtering back into the Trump administration – drunk with power they'll suck up to anyone)

The DNC NeverTrump crowd is all but calling for a nuclear exchange with Russia because they colluded with Trump to throw the election, and they pose a National Security threat to the United States(in their head). Hillary also went on to say that Russians Hacking the DNC is another 9/11. The radical Antifa crowd is made up of 99.999999% of Democratic voters.

[Feb 16, 2019] Libya was a war crime.

Max Boot along with other neocons should be in jail.
Feb 16, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Stephen J. , February 15, 2019 a t 1:43 pm

The article states: " but by 2011 Boot had another war in mind. 'Qaddafi Must Go,' Boot declared in The Weekly Standard. In Boot's telling, the Libyan dictator had become a threat to the American homeland." -- -- - There is reported evidence that Libya was a war crime. And the perpetrators are Free. See info below:

"They Speak "

"The destruction of Libya by NATO at the behest of the UK, the US and France was a crime, one dripping in the cant and hypocrisy of Western ideologues " John Wight, November 27, 2017. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/27/libya-chose-freedom-now-it-has-slavery/

They speak of "The Rule of Law" while breaking the law themselves They are the dangerous hypocrites that bombed Libya, and created hell Thousands upon thousands are dead in this unfortunate country Many would still be alive, if our "leaders" had not been down and dirty

Libya is reportedly a war crime and the war criminals are free Some of them are seen posturing on the world stage and others are on T.V. Others have written books and others are retired from public office And another exclaimed: "We came, we saw, he died" as murder was their accomplice

They even teamed up with terrorists to commit their bloody crimes And this went unreported in the "media": was this by design? There is a sickness and perversion loose in our society today When war crimes can be committed and the "law" has nothing to say

Another "leader" had a fly past to celebrate the bombing victory in this illegal war Now Libya is in chaos, while bloody terrorists roam secure And the NATO gang that caused all this horror and devastation Are continuing their bloody bombings in other unfortunate nations

The question must be asked: "Are some past and present leaders above the law? Can they get away with bombing and killing, are they men of straw? Whatever happened to law and order in the so- called "democracies"? When those in power can get away with criminality: Is that not hypocrisy?

There is no doubt that Libya was better off, before the "liberators" arrived Now many of its unfortunate people are now struggling to exist and survive The future of this war torn country now looks very sad and bleak If only our "leaders" had left it alone; but instead hypocrisy: They Speak

"The cause of the catastrophe in Libya in Libya was the seven month US-NATO blitzkrieg from March to October 2011 in which thousands of bombs and rockets rained down on that unfortunate land which was governed by President Muammar Ghaddafi whom the West was determined to overthrow by assisting a rebel movement." Brian Cloughley, 12.02.2019 https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/02/12/in-libya-we-came-saw-he-died-will-there-repeat-in-venezuela.html

[More info on all of this at link below] http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2019/02/they-speak.html

[Feb 16, 2019] Trump as a> visibly unhinged president -- think of him, in axis-of-evil terms, as a rogue state of one ruling over divided and an increasingly unhinged aggressive country

Notable quotes:
"... There was a desperately weakened and impoverished Russia (still with its nuclear arsenal more or less intact) that, as far as they were concerned, had been mollycoddled by President Bill Clinton's administration. There was a Communist-gone-capitalist China focused on its own growth and little else. And there were a set of other potential enemies, "rogue powers" as they were dubbed, so pathetic that not one of them could, under any circumstances, be called "great." ..."
"... It was as clear as glass that the world -- the whole shebang -- was there for the taking ..."
"... Charles Krauthammer who, in February 2001, six months before the ... attacks of September 11th, wrote a piece swooning over the new Bush administration's "unilateralism" to come and the "Bush Doctrine" which would go with it. In the process, he gave that administration a green light to put the pathetic Russians in their nuclear place and summed the situation up this way: ..."
"... "America is no mere international citizen. It is the dominant power in the world, more dominant than any since Rome. Accordingly, America is in a position to reshape norms, alter expectations, and create new realities. How? By unapologetic and implacable demonstrations of will." ..."
"... "How did USA's oil get under Iraq's sand?" said a typical protest sign ..."
"... And yet, wrong as they may have been on such subjects, don't sell Krauthammer and the rest of that neocon crew short. They were, in their own way, also prophets, at least domestically speaking. After all, Rome, like the United States, had been an imperial republic. That republic was replaced, as its empire grew, by autocratic rule, first by the self-anointed emperor Augustus and then by his successors. Arguably, 18 years after Krauthammer wrote that column, the American republic might be heading down the same path. After all, so many years later, the neocons, triumphantly risen yet again in Washington ( both in the administration and as its critics), finally have their Caesar. ..."
"... All of this not only gave Americans a visibly unhinged president -- think of him, in axis-of-evil terms, as a rogue state of one -- but an increasingly unhinged country. ..."
"... Think of it not as an obituary for a single loopy president, a man who, with his "great, great wall," has indeed been an opiate of the masses (for his famed base, at least) in the midst of an opioid crisis hitting them hard. Yes, Donald J. Trump, reality TV star and bankruptee , he of the golden letters, was elevated to a strange version of power by a troubled republic showing signs of wear and tear. It was a republic feeling the pressure of all that money flowing into only half-noticed distant wars and into the pockets of billionaires and corporate entities in a way that turned the very idea of democracy into a bad joke. ..."
"... Someday, if people ask the obvious question -- not who lost Afghanistan, but who lost America? -- keep all those failed imperial wars and the national security state that went with them in mind when you try to answer. Cumulatively, they had a far more disruptive role than is now imagined in toppling the dominos that sent us all careening on a path to nowhere here at home. And keep in mind that, whatever Donald Trump does, the Caesarian die was cast early in this century as the neocons crossed their own Rubicon. ..."
Feb 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Engelhardt via TomDispatch.com,

What dreamers they were! They imagined a kind of global power that would leave even Rome at its Augustan height in the shade. They imagined a world made for one, a planet that could be swallowed by a single great power. No, not just great, but beyond anything ever seen before -- one that would build (as its National Security Strategy put it in 2002) a military "beyond challenge." Let's be clear on that: no future power, or even bloc of powers, would ever be allowed to challenge it again.

And, in retrospect, can you completely blame them? I mean, it seemed so obvious then that we -- the United States of America -- were the best and the last. We had, after all, outclassed and outlasted every imperial power since the beginning of time. Even that other menacing superpower of the Cold War era, the Soviet Union, the " Evil Empire " that refused to stand down for almost half a century, had gone up in a puff of smoke.

Imagine that moment so many years later and consider the crew of neoconservatives who, under the aegis of George W. Bush, the son of the man who had "won" the Cold War, came to power in January 2001. Not surprisingly, on viewing the planet, they could see nothing -- not a single damn thing -- in their way. There was a desperately weakened and impoverished Russia (still with its nuclear arsenal more or less intact) that, as far as they were concerned, had been mollycoddled by President Bill Clinton's administration. There was a Communist-gone-capitalist China focused on its own growth and little else. And there were a set of other potential enemies, "rogue powers" as they were dubbed, so pathetic that not one of them could, under any circumstances, be called "great."

In 2002, in fact, three of them -- Iraq, Iran, and North Korea -- had to be cobbled together into an " axis of evil " to create a faintly adequate enemy, a minimalist excuse for the Bush administration to act preemptively. It couldn't have been more obvious then that all three of them would go down before the unprecedented military and economic power of us (even if, as it happened, two of them didn't).

It was as clear as glass that the world -- the whole shebang -- was there for the taking.

... ... ...

As President Bush would put it in an address at West Point in 2002,

"America has, and intends to keep, military strengths beyond challenge, thereby making the destabilizing arms races of other eras pointless, and limiting rivalries to trade and other pursuits of peace."

In other words, jihadists aside, it was all over. From now on, there would be an arms race of one and it was obvious who that one would be. The National Security Strategy of that year put the same thought this way:

"Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States."

Again, anywhere on the planet ever .

Look at more or less any document from the period and you'll sense that they weren't shy about touting the unprecedented greatness of a future global Pax Americana . Take, for instance, columnist Charles Krauthammer who, in February 2001, six months before the ... attacks of September 11th, wrote a piece swooning over the new Bush administration's "unilateralism" to come and the "Bush Doctrine" which would go with it. In the process, he gave that administration a green light to put the pathetic Russians in their nuclear place and summed the situation up this way:

"America is no mere international citizen. It is the dominant power in the world, more dominant than any since Rome. Accordingly, America is in a position to reshape norms, alter expectations, and create new realities. How? By unapologetic and implacable demonstrations of will."

"How Did USA's Oil Get Under Iraq's Sand?"

And soon enough after September 11th, those unapologetic, implacable demonstrations of will did, in fact, begin -- first in Afghanistan and then, a year and a half later, in Iraq. Goaded by Osama bin Laden, the new Rome went into action.

Of course, in 2019 we have the benefit of hindsight, which Charles Krauthammer, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, and the rest of that crew didn't have as they applied their Roman-style vision of an imperial America to the actual world. It should be added, however, that the millions of people who hit the streets globally to protest the coming invasion of Iraq in the winter of 2003 -- "How did USA's oil get under Iraq's sand?" said a typical protest sign (which Donald Trump would have understood in his own way) -- had a far better sense of the world than did their American rulers-to-be. Like the Soviets before them , in fact, they would grievously confuse military power with power on this planet.

More than 17 years later, the U.S. military remains stuck in Afghanistan, bedeviled in Iraq, and floundering across much of the Greater Middle East and Africa on a planet with a resurgent Russia, and an impressively rising China. One-third of the former axis of evil, Iran, is, remarkably enough, still in Washington's gunsights , while another third (North Korea) sits uncomfortably in a presidential bear hug. It's no exaggeration to say that none of the dreams of a new Rome were ever faintly fulfilled. In fact, if you want to think about what's been truly exceptional in these years, it might be this: never in history has such a great power, at its height, seemed quite so incapable of effectively applying force, military or otherwise, to achieve its imperial ends or bring its targets to heel.

And yet, wrong as they may have been on such subjects, don't sell Krauthammer and the rest of that neocon crew short. They were, in their own way, also prophets, at least domestically speaking. After all, Rome, like the United States, had been an imperial republic. That republic was replaced, as its empire grew, by autocratic rule, first by the self-anointed emperor Augustus and then by his successors. Arguably, 18 years after Krauthammer wrote that column, the American republic might be heading down the same path. After all, so many years later, the neocons, triumphantly risen yet again in Washington ( both in the administration and as its critics), finally have their Caesar.

Hail, Donald J. Trump, we who are about to read your latest tweet salute you!

A Rogue State of One

Let's note some other passing parallels between the new Rome and the old one. As a start, it's certainly accurate to say that our new American Caesar has much gall (divided into at least three parts). Admittedly, he's no Augustus, the first of a line of emperors, but more likely a Nero, fiddling while, in his case, the world quite literally burns . Still, he could certainly say of campaign 2016 and what followed: Veni, Vidi, Tweeti (I came, I saw, I tweeted). And don't forget the classic line that might someday be applied to his presidency, " Et tu , Mueller?" -- or depending on who turns on him, you can fill in your name of choice.

One day, it might also be said that, in a country in which executive power has become ever more imperial (as has the power of the Senate's majority leader), blowback from imperial acts abroad has had a significant, if largely hidden, hand in crippling the American republic, as was once true of Rome. In fact, it seems clear enough that the first republican institution to go was the citizen's army. In the wake of the Vietnam War, the draft was thrown out and replaced by an "all-volunteer" force, one which would, as it came to fight on ever more distant battlefields, morph into a home-grown version of an imperial police force or foreign legion . With it went the staggering sums that, in this century, would be invested -- if that's even the word for it -- in what's still called "defense," as well as in a vast empire of bases abroad and the national security state, a rising locus of power at home. And then, of course, there were the never-ending wars across much of the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa that went with all of that. Meanwhile, so much else, domestically speaking, was put on the equivalent of austerity rations. And all of that, in turn, helped provoke the crisis that brought Donald Trump to power and might, in the end, even sink the American system as we've known it.

The Donald's victory in the 2016 election was always a sign of a deep disturbance at the heart of an increasingly unequal and unfair system of wealth and power. But it was those trillions of dollars -- The Donald claims seven trillion of them -- that the neocons began sinking into America's " infinite " wars, which cost Americans big time in ways they hardly tracked or noticed . Those trillions didn't go into shoring up American infrastructure or health care or education or job-training programs or anything else that might have mattered to most people here, even as untold tax dollars -- one estimate: $15,000 per middle-class family per year -- went into the pockets of the rich. And some of those dollars, in turn, poured back into the American political system (with a helping hand from the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision) and, in the end, helped put the first billionaire in the Oval Office. By the 2020 election campaign, we may achieve another all-American first: two or even three of the candidates could be billionaires.

All of this not only gave Americans a visibly unhinged president -- think of him, in axis-of-evil terms, as a rogue state of one -- but an increasingly unhinged country. You can feel so much of this in President Trump's confused and confusing attempts to both end American wars and ratchet them up , 17-and-a-half -- he always claims " almost 19 " -- years after the invasion of Afghanistan. You can feel it in his gut-level urge to attack the "deep state" and yet fund it beyond its wildest dreams. You can feel it in his attempts to create a corps of "my generals" and then fire them all. You can feel the unhinged nature of events in a world in which, after so many years of war, America's enemies still seem to have the formula for staying afloat, no matter what Washington does. The Taliban in Afghanistan is on the rise ; al-Shabaab in Somalia, is still going strong ; the Houthis in Yemen remain functional in a sea of horror and starvation; ISIS, now without its caliphate, has from Syria to the Philippines , Africa to Afghanistan , become a distinctly global brand ; al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula thrives , while terror groups more generally continue to spread .

You can feel it in the president's confused and confusing explanations for his urges to withdraw American troops in days or four months or whenever from Syria and do the same or maybe not exactly in Afghanistan. (As he said in his State of the Union address, American troops would both withdraw and "focus" on "counterterrorism" in that country.) You can feel it in the way, after so many years of visible failure, the neocons are once again riding high in Washington, ascendant both in his administration and as critics of its global and military policies.

These days, who even remembers that classic early Cold War question -- who lost China? -- that rattled American domestic politics for years, or later, the similar one about Vietnam? Still, if Donald Trump ever truly does withdraw American forces from Afghanistan (undoubtedly leaving this country's allies in a Vietnam-style ditch), count on foreign policy establishmentarians in Washington and pundits around the country to ask an updated version of the same question: Did Donald Trump lose Afghanistan?

But no matter what happens, don't make the mistake of blaming him. It's true that he tweeted endlessly while the world burned, but he won't be the one who "lost" Afghanistan. It was "lost" in the grisly dreams of the neocons as the century began and it's never truly been found again.

Of course, we no more know what's going to happen in the years ahead than the neocons did in 2001. If history has taught us anything, it's that prediction is the diciest of human predilections. Still, think of this piece as an obituary of sorts. You know, the kind major newspapers write about those still living and then continually update until death finally occurs.

Think of it not as an obituary for a single loopy president, a man who, with his "great, great wall," has indeed been an opiate of the masses (for his famed base, at least) in the midst of an opioid crisis hitting them hard. Yes, Donald J. Trump, reality TV star and bankruptee , he of the golden letters, was elevated to a strange version of power by a troubled republic showing signs of wear and tear. It was a republic feeling the pressure of all that money flowing into only half-noticed distant wars and into the pockets of billionaires and corporate entities in a way that turned the very idea of democracy into a bad joke.

Someday, if people ask the obvious question -- not who lost Afghanistan, but who lost America? -- keep all those failed imperial wars and the national security state that went with them in mind when you try to answer. Cumulatively, they had a far more disruptive role than is now imagined in toppling the dominos that sent us all careening on a path to nowhere here at home. And keep in mind that, whatever Donald Trump does, the Caesarian die was cast early in this century as the neocons crossed their own Rubicon.

Hail, Caesar, we who are about to die salute you!

[Feb 16, 2019] Why Are These Professional War Peddlers Still Around? Pundits like Max Boot and Bill Kristol got everything after 9/11 wrong but are still considered experts. by Tucker Carlson

Notable quotes:
"... As Trump found himself accused of improper ties to Vladimir Putin, Boot agitated for more aggressive confrontation with Russia. Boot demanded larger weapons shipments to Ukraine. ..."
"... Boot's stock in the Washington foreign policy establishment rose. In 2018, he was hired by The Washington Post as a columnist. The paper's announcement cited Boot's "expertise on armed conflict." ..."
"... Republicans in Washington never recovered. When Trump attacked the Iraq War and questioned the integrity of the people who planned and promoted it, he was attacking them. They hated him for that. Some of them became so angry, it distorted their judgment and character. ..."
"... Almost from the moment Operation Desert Storm concluded in 1991, Kristol began pushing for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In 1997, The Weekly Standard ran a cover story titled "Saddam Must Go." If the United States didn't launch a ground invasion of Iraq, the lead editorial warned, the world should "get ready for the day when Saddam has biological and chemical weapons at the tips of missiles aimed at Israel and at American forces in the Gulf." ..."
"... Under ordinary circumstances, Bill Kristol would be famous for being wrong. Kristol still goes on television regularly, but it's not to apologize for the many demonstrably untrue things he's said about the Middle East, or even to talk about foreign policy. Instead, Kristol goes on TV to attack Donald Trump. ..."
"... Trump's election seemed to undo Bill Kristol entirely. He lost his job at The Weekly Standard after more than 20 years, forced out by owners who were panicked about declining readership. He seemed to spend most of his time on Twitter ranting about Trump. ..."
"... By the spring of 2018, Kristol was considering a run for president himself. He was still making the case for the invasion of Iraq, as well as pushing for a new war, this time in Syria, and maybe in Lebanon and Iran, too. Like most people in Washington, he'd learned nothing at all. ..."
"... Creating complex and convincing false narratives to support demonic purposes is HARD WORK, and requires big pay. ..."
"... Lots of spilled ink here that's pretty meaningless without an answer to the following: Why does Trump employ John Bolton and Elliot Abrams? Explain Trump and Pence and Pompeo's Iran obsession and how it's any better than Kristol/Boot? ..."
Feb 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

One thing that every late-stage ruling class has in common is a high tolerance for mediocrity. Standards decline, the edges fray, but nobody in charge seems to notice. They're happy in their sinecures and getting richer. In a culture like this, there's no penalty for being wrong. The talentless prosper, rising inexorably toward positions of greater power, and breaking things along the way. It happened to the Ottomans.

Max Boot is living proof that it's happening in America.

Boot is a professional foreign policy expert, a job category that doesn't exist outside of a select number of cities. Boot has degrees from Berkeley and Yale, and is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has written a number of books and countless newspaper columns on foreign affairs and military history. The International Institute for Strategic Studies, an influential British think tank, describes Boot as one of the "world's leading authorities on armed conflict."

None of this, it turns out, means anything. The professional requirements for being one ofthe world's Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict do not include relevant experience with armed conflict. Leading authorities on the subject don't need a track record of wise assessments or accurate predictions. All that's required are the circular recommendations of fellow credential holders. If other Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict induct you into their ranks, you're in. That's good news for Max Boot.

Boot first became famous in the weeks after 9/11 for outlining a response that the Bush administration seemed to read like a script, virtually word for word. While others were debating whether Kandahar or Kabul ought to get the first round of American bombs, Boot was thinking big. In October 2001, he published a piece in The Weekly Standard titled "The Case for American Empire."

"The September 11 attack was a result of insufficient American involvement and ambition," Boot wrote. "The solution is to be more expansive in our goals and more assertive in their implementation." In order to prevent more terror attacks in American cities, Boot called for a series of U.S.-led revolutions around the world, beginning in Afghanistan and moving swiftly to Iraq.

"Once we have deposed Saddam, we can impose an American-led, international regency in Baghdad, to go along with the one in Kabul," Boot wrote. "To turn Iraq into a beacon of hope for the oppressed peoples of the Middle East: Now that would be a historic war aim. Is this an ambitious agenda? Without a doubt. Does America have the resources to carry it out? Also without a doubt."

In retrospect, Boot's words are painful to read, like love letters from a marriage that ended in divorce. Iraq remains a smoldering mess. The Afghan war is still in progress close to 20 years in. For perspective, Napoleon Bonaparte seized control of France, crowned himself emperor, defeated four European coalitions against him, invaded Russia, lost, was defeated and exiled, returned, and was defeated and exiled a second time, all in less time than the United States has spent trying to turn Afghanistan into a stable country.

Things haven't gone as planned. What's remarkable is that despite all the failure and waste and deflated expectations, defeats that have stirred self-doubt in the heartiest of men, Boot has remained utterly convinced of the virtue of his original predictions. Certainty is a prerequisite for Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict.

In the spring of 2003, with the war in Iraq under way, Boot began to consider new countries to invade. He quickly identified Syria and Iran as plausible targets, the latter because it was "less than two years" from building a nuclear bomb. North Korea made Boot's list as well. Then Boot became more ambitious. Saudi Arabia could use a democracy, he decided.

"If the U.S. armed forces made such short work of a hardened goon like Saddam Hussein, imagine what they could do to the soft and sybaritic Saudi royal family," Boot wrote.

Five years later, in a piece for The Wall Street Journal , Boot advocated for the military occupation of Pakistan and Somalia. The only potential problem, he predicted, was unreasonable public opposition to new wars.

"Ragtag guerrillas have proven dismayingly successful in driving out or neutering international peacekeeping forces," he wrote. "Think of American and French troops blown up in Beirut in 1983, or the 'Black Hawk Down' incident in Somalia in 1993. Too often, when outside states do agree to send troops, they are so fearful of casualties that they impose rules of engagement that preclude meaningful action."

In other words, the tragedy of foreign wars isn't that Americans die, but that too few Americans are willing to die. To solve this problem, Boot recommended recruiting foreign mercenaries. "The military would do well today to open its ranks not only to legal immigrants but also to illegal ones," he wrote in the Los Angeles Times . When foreigners get killed fighting for America, he noted, there's less political backlash at home.

♦♦♦

American forces, documented or not, never occupied Pakistan, but by 2011 Boot had another war in mind. "Qaddafi Must Go," Boot declared in The Weekly Standard . In Boot's telling, the Libyan dictator had become a threat to the American homeland. "The only way this crisis will end -- the only way we and our allies can achieve our objectives in Libya -- is to remove Qaddafi from power. Containment won't suffice."

In the end, Gaddafi was removed from power, with ugly and long-lasting consequences. Boot was on to the next invasion. By late 2012, he was once again promoting attacks on Syria and Iran, as he had nine years before. In a piece for The New York Times , Boot laid out "Five Reasons to Intervene in Syria Now."

Overthrowing the Assad regime, Boot predicted, would "diminish Iran's influence" in the region, influence that had grown dramatically since the Bush administration took Boot's advice and overthrew Saddam Hussein, Iran's most powerful counterbalance. To doubters concerned about a complex new war, Boot promised the Syria intervention could be conducted "with little risk."

Days later, Boot wrote a separate piece for Commentary magazine calling for American bombing of Iran. It was a busy week, even by the standards of a Leading Authority on Armed Conflict. Boot conceded that "it remains a matter of speculation what Iran would do in the wake of such strikes." He didn't seem worried.

Listed in one place, Boot's many calls for U.S.-led war around the world come off as a parody of mindless warlike noises, something you might write if you got mad at a country while drunk. ("I'll invade you!!!") Republicans in Washington didn't find any of it amusing. They were impressed. Boot became a top foreign policy adviser to John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008, to Mitt Romney in 2012, and to Marco Rubio in 2016.

Everything changed when Trump won the Republican nomination. Trump had never heard of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He had no idea Max Boot was a Leading Authority on Armed Conflict. Trump was running against more armed conflicts. He had no interest in invading Pakistan. Boot hated him.

As Trump found himself accused of improper ties to Vladimir Putin, Boot agitated for more aggressive confrontation with Russia. Boot demanded larger weapons shipments to Ukraine. He called for effectively expelling Russia from the global financial system, a move that might be construed as an act of war against a nuclear-armed power. The stakes were high, but with signature aplomb Boot assured readers it was "hard to imagine" the Russian government would react badly to the provocation. Those who disagreed Boot dismissed as "cheerleaders" for Putin and the mullahs in Iran.

Boot's stock in the Washington foreign policy establishment rose. In 2018, he was hired by The Washington Post as a columnist. The paper's announcement cited Boot's "expertise on armed conflict."

It is possible to isolate the precise moment that Trump permanently alienated the Republican establishment in Washington: February 13, 2016. There was a GOP primary debate that night in Greenville, South Carolina, so every Republican in Washington was watching. Seemingly out of nowhere, Trump articulated something that no party leader had ever said out loud. "We should never have been in Iraq," Trump announced, his voice rising. "We have destabilized the Middle East."

Many in the crowd booed, but Trump kept going: "They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none."

Pandemonium seemed to erupt in the hall, and on television. Shocked political analysts declared that the Trump presidential effort had just euthanized itself. Republican voters, they said with certainty, would never accept attacks on policies their party had espoused and carried out.

Republican voters had a different reaction. They understood that adults sometimes change their minds based on evidence. They themselves had come to understand that the Iraq war was a mistake. They appreciated hearing something verboten but true.

Rival Republicans denounced Trump as an apostate. Voters considered him brave. Trump won the South Carolina primary, and shortly after that, the Republican nomination.

Republicans in Washington never recovered. When Trump attacked the Iraq War and questioned the integrity of the people who planned and promoted it, he was attacking them. They hated him for that. Some of them became so angry, it distorted their judgment and character.

♦♦♦

Bill Kristol is probably the most influential Republican strategist of the post-Reagan era. Born in 1954, Kristol was the second child of the writer Irving Kristol, one of the founders of neoconservatism.

The neoconservatism of Irving Kristol and his friends was jarring to the ossified liberal establishment of the time, but in retrospect it was basically a centrist philosophy: pragmatic, tolerant of a limited welfare state, not rigidly ideological. By the time Bill Kristol got done with it 40 years later, neoconservatism was something else entirely.

Almost from the moment Operation Desert Storm concluded in 1991, Kristol began pushing for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In 1997, The Weekly Standard ran a cover story titled "Saddam Must Go." If the United States didn't launch a ground invasion of Iraq, the lead editorial warned, the world should "get ready for the day when Saddam has biological and chemical weapons at the tips of missiles aimed at Israel and at American forces in the Gulf."

After the September 11 attacks, Kristol found a new opening to start a war with Iraq. In November 2001, he and Robert Kagan wrote a piece in The Weekly Standard alleging that Saddam Hussein hosted a training camp for Al Qaeda fighters where terrorists had trained to hijack planes. They suggested that Mohammad Atta, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was actively collaborating with Saddam's intelligence services. On the basis of no evidence, they accused Iraq of fomenting the anthrax attacks on American politicians and news outlets.

Under ordinary circumstances, Bill Kristol would be famous for being wrong. Kristol still goes on television regularly, but it's not to apologize for the many demonstrably untrue things he's said about the Middle East, or even to talk about foreign policy. Instead, Kristol goes on TV to attack Donald Trump.

Trump's election seemed to undo Bill Kristol entirely. He lost his job at The Weekly Standard after more than 20 years, forced out by owners who were panicked about declining readership. He seemed to spend most of his time on Twitter ranting about Trump.

Before long he was ranting about the people who elected Trump. At an American Enterprise Institute panel event in February 2017, Kristol made the case for why immigrants are more impressive than native-born Americans. "Basically if you are in free society, a capitalist society, after two, three, four generations of hard work, everyone becomes kind of decadent, lazy, spoiled, whatever." Most Americans, Kristol said, "grew up as spoiled kids and so forth."

In February 2018, Kristol tweeted that he would "take in a heartbeat a group of newly naturalized American citizens over the spoiled native-born know-nothings" who supported Trump.

By the spring of 2018, Kristol was considering a run for president himself. He was still making the case for the invasion of Iraq, as well as pushing for a new war, this time in Syria, and maybe in Lebanon and Iran, too. Like most people in Washington, he'd learned nothing at all.

Tucker Carlson is the host of Fox News 's Tucker Carlson Tonight and author of Ship of Fools: How A Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution (Simon & Schuster). This excerpt is taken from that book.


Patrick Constantine February 14, 2019 at 10:50 pm

Trump isn't the only one hated by useless establishment Republicans – with essays like this so will Tucker. Thanks for this takedown of these two warmongering know-nothings. I wish Trump all the time was like he was at that debate in S Carolina where he said what every American knows: the Iraq invasion was stupid and we should not have done it!
Anne Mendoza , says: February 15, 2019 at 2:10 am
So why are these professional war peddlers still around? For the same reason that members of the leadership class who failed and continue to fail in the Middle East are still around. There has not been an accounting at any level. There is just more talk of more war.
polistra , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:54 am
Well, the headline pretty much answers its own question if you know the purpose of Experts. In any subject matter from science to economics to politics, Experts are paid to be wrong. Nobody has to be paid to observe reality accurately with his own senses and rational mind. Every living creature does that all the time. It's the basic requirement of survival.

Creating complex and convincing false narratives to support demonic purposes is HARD WORK, and requires big pay.

snake charmer , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:49 am
""The September 11 attack was a result of insufficient American involvement and ambition," Boot wrote. "The solution is to be more expansive in our goals and more assertive in their implementation.""

In other words, if we had only squandered even more blood and treasure, why, everything would have been fine.

Why do so many true believers end up with some variation on the true believer's wheeze: "Communism didn't fail ! It was never tried!" Then again one can't be sure that Boot is a true believer. He might be a treacherous snake trying to use American power to advance a foreign agenda.

Mike , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:55 am
This is an Exocet missile of an article. Both hulls compromised, taking water. Nice.
John S , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:11 am
This is beautiful, Boot has been rewarded for every horrible failure...
Tom Gorman , says: February 15, 2019 at 8:36 am
Mr. Carlson,

Max Boot has indeed been an advocate of overseas intervention, but you fail to point out that he has recanted his support of the Iraq War. In his 2018 book "The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I left the American Right," he states:

". . . I can finally acknowledge the obvious: it (The Iraq War) was all a big mistake. Saddam Hussein was heinous, but Iraq was better off under his tyrannical rule than the chaos that followed. I regret advocating the invasion and feel guilty about all the lives lost. It was a chastening lesson in the limits of American power."

I'm glad to see that Boot, along with yourself and other Republicans, realize that American use of force must have a clear objective with reasonable chance of success. I suggest you send this article to John Bolton. I'm not sure he agrees with you.

Dawg , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:29 am
Great article, Mr. Tucker. I hope folks also read Mearsheimer & Walt on the Iraq War. From chapter 8 of their book: http://mailstar.net/iraq-war.html
David LeRoy Newland , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:34 am
Excellent article. It's a shame that the Bush era GOP took Boot and Kristol seriously. That poor judgment led Bush to make the kinds of mistakes that gave Democrats the opening they needed to gain power, which in turn led them to make even more harmful mistakes.
Collin , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:55 am
Being against the Iraq 2 I find this populist arguing very 'eye-rolling' as you were pimping this war to death back in the day. (In fact I remember Jon Stewart being one of the few 'pundits' that questioned the war in 2003 & 2004.) And has dovish as Trump as been, his administration is still filled with Hawks and if you are concerned about wars then maybe use your TV show for instead of whining for past mistakes:

1) The administration action in Iran is aggressive and counter-productive to long term peace. The nuclear deal was an effective way of ensuring Iran controlling behavior for 15 years as the other parties, Europe and China, wanted to trade with Iran. (Additionally it makes our nation depend more on the Saudia relationship in which Washington should be slowly moving away from.)

2) Like it or not, Venezuela is starting down the steps of mission creep for the Trump Administration. Recommend the administration stay away from peace keeping troops and suggest this is China's problem. (Venezuela in debt to their eyeballs with China.)

3) Applaud the administration with peace talks with NK but warn them not to overstate their accomplishments. It is ridiculous that the administration signed big nuclear deals with NK that don't exist.

John In Michigan , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:59 am
I find it amazing that Boot is considered one of the "world's leading authorities on armed conflict,"yet never appears to have served in any branch of the armed forces, nor even heard a shot fired in anger. He is proof that academic credentials do not automatically confer "expertise."
Packard Day , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:26 am
Any war, anytime, any place, and cause just so long as American boys and girls can be in the middle of it.

Welcome to the American NeoCon movement, recently joined by Republican Never Trumpers, elected Democrats, and a host of far too many underemployed Beltway Generals & Admirals.

Joshua Xanadu , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:46 am
From a reformed Leftist, thank you Tucker for calling out the stank from the Republicans. The detailed compilation of lowlights from Max Boot and Bill Kristol (don't forget Robert Kagan!) should be etched in the minds of the now pro-war Democratic Party establishment.
Taras 77 , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:57 am
Being a neocon war monger means that you will never have to say you are sorry. The press will give them a pass every single time.

It is all about Israel-being wrong 100% of the time means it is all good because it was in the service of Israel.

Paul Reidinger , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:07 am
Yet another reason not to read the Washington Post.
Anja Mast , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:13 am
Tucker!!! When did you start writing for TAC?!?!

I laughed out loud while reading this, and continued laughing through to the end, until I saw who had the audacity to tell the truth about these utter incompetent failures (who have failed upwards for more than a decade now) who call themselves "foreign policy experts." Yeah -- "experts" at being so moronically wrong that you really start wondering if perhaps the benjamins from another middle eastern nation, that can't be named, has something to do with their worthless opinions, which always seem to do made for the benifit of the nameless nation.

So hurrah for you!!! Let the truth set us all free! Praise the Lord & Sing Songs of Praise to his Name!!!! Literally that's how great it is to hear the pure & unvarnished TRUTH spoken out loud in this publication!

I hope you get such awesome feedback that you are asked to continue to bless us with more truths! Thank you! You totally made my day!

And thank you for your service to this country, where it used to be considered patriotic to speak the truth honestly & plainly!

Joe , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:14 am
Why Are These Professional War Peddlers Still Around? Simple, leaders like Trump keep them around, e.g. Pompeo, Bolton and Abrams.
David Biddington , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:22 am
John Bolton and Eliot Abrams on Team Trump, gearing up with Bibi to attack Iran is of no concern to sir?
George Crosley , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:22 am
"Once we have deposed Saddam, we can impose an American-led, international regency in Baghdad, to go along with the one in Kabul," Boot wrote.

To which the reader might reasonably reply, "What do you mean we , Paleface?"

When I see Max Boot or Bill Kristol in uniform, carrying a rifle, and trudging with their platoon along the dusty roads of the Middle East, I'll begin to pay attention to their bleats and jeremiads.

Until that day, I'll continue to view them as a pair of droning, dull-as-ditchwater members of the 45th Word-processing Brigade. (Company motto: "Let's you and him fight!")

Frank Goodpasture III , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:29 am
It is my understanding that HRC led the charge to overthrow and hang Gaddafi in spite of a reluctant Obama administration. Did Boot, in fact, influence her?
marku52 , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:29 am
"Most Americans, Kristol said, "grew up as spoiled kids and so forth."" Unintentional irony, one must presume. Still it is astonishing that it took someone as addled as DJT to point out the obvious–Invading Iraq was a massive mistake.

Where were the rest of the "adults"

Jimmy Lewis , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:41 am
Boot, Kristal, Cheney, and Rumsfeld should all be in jail for war crimes.
jk , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:53 am
Just like Eliot Abrams, John McCain, GWB, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld or any other neocon, there is no justice or punishment or even well deserved humiliation for these parasites. They are always misinformed, misguided, or "well intentioned."

The US can interfere with sovereign governments and elections at will I guess and not be responsible for the the unintended consequences such as 500k+ killed in the Middle East since the Iraq and Afghan debacle.

There are sugar daddies from the MIC, the Natsec state (aka the Swamp), AIPAC, and even Jeff Bezos (benefactor of WaPo) that keep these guys employed.

You need to be more critical of Trump also as he is the one hiring these clowns. But other than that, keep up the good work Mr. Carlson!

Allen , says: February 15, 2019 at 12:09 pm
These Chairborne Rangers in Washington know nothing about war. They are the flip side of the radical Dems. "Hey, we lost in 2016. Let's do MORE of what made us lose in the first place!"
D , says: February 15, 2019 at 12:53 pm
Would've been nice if you wrote this about Bolton, Adams, Pompeo, Pence, or any of the other sundry neocon lunatics in the Trump administration.

Nonetheless, always good to see a takedown of Boot and Kristol.

J Thomsen , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:07 pm
The GOP is as much an enemy to the Trump revolution as the left. The Bush/Clinton/Obama coalition runs DC – controls the federal workforce, and colludes to run the Federal government for themselves and their pet constituents.

Trump should have stuck it out on the shutdown until those federal workers left. I think it was called RIF wherein after 30 days, he could dump the lot of em.

THE GOP IS NOT THE PARTY OF LESS GOVERNMENT. That's there motto for busy conservatives who don't have the time or inclination to monitor both sides of the swamp.

THEY ALL HAVE GILLS . we need to starve em out.

Joe from Pa , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:10 pm
Lots of spilled ink here that's pretty meaningless without an answer to the following: Why does Trump employ John Bolton and Elliot Abrams? Explain Trump and Pence and Pompeo's Iran obsession and how it's any better than Kristol/Boot?

What's going on in Yemen?

sanford sklansky , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:18 pm
Funny how when liberals said it was wrong to be in Iraq they were vilified. Yes some conservatives changed their minds. Trump however is all over the map when it comes to wars. http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176527/

[Feb 16, 2019] "Semi-intelligence agences" is a very sad joke: When I watched the US rep. who supposedly investigated this Magnitzky affair for the US gov. state under oath that he never verified any of the info that Browder gave him, I kept thinking "Is this guy serious ?"

Jul 27, 2018 | thesaker.is

Alex on October 09, 2017 , · at 3:08 pm EST/EDT

Something tells me he doesn't want to push this too much as money for this film came from French and German sources. It is nice to see him sticking his neck out to uphold the Truth.

When I watched the US rep. who supposedly investigated this Magnitzky affair for the US gov. state under oath that he never verified any of the info that Browder gave him, I kept thinking "Is this guy serious ?" But when you realize that they never did any investigation then it all seems logical.

[Feb 15, 2019] The International Rogue Nation America by Eric Zuesse

Notable quotes:
"... Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity . ..."
"... At this point the US government barely even bothers to cover itself with plausible stories but just goes ahead with it's open violence. Who is there to stop it? ..."
Feb 15, 2019 | www.unz.com

In 2003, America (and its lap-dog UK) invaded and destroyed Iraq on the basis of lies to the effect that the U.S. (and UK) regime were certain that Saddam Hussein had and was developing weapons of mass destruction . These U.S. allegations were based on provable falsehoods when they were stated and published, but the regime's 'news'-media refused to publish and demonstrate (or "expose") any of these lies . That's how bad the regime was -- it was virtually a total lock-down against truth, and for international conquest (in that case, of Iraq): it was mass-murder and destruction on the basis of sheer lies.

That's today's U.S. Government -- that's its reality, not its 'pro-democracy' and 'human rights' myth. (After all: its main ally is the Saud regime, which the U.S. regime is now helping to starve and kill by cholera perhaps millions of Houthis to death .)

In 2011, the U.S. regime, then under a different nominal leader than in the Iraq invasion, invaded and destroyed Libya -- also on the basis of lies that its press (which is controlled by the same billionaires who control the nation's two political Parties) stenographically published from the Government and refused ever to expose as being lies.

In 2011-2019 (but actually starting undercover in 2009 ), the U.S. regime (and its then allies King Saud and Tayyip Erdogan, and the Thanis who own Qatar ) hired tens of thousands of jihadis from around the world to serve as foot-soldiers (the U.S. regime calls them 'rebels') , in order to bring down Syria's secular, non-sectarian, Government, and thereby, via these jihadist proxy-forces , they invaded and destroyed Syria -- likewise on the basis of lies that the 'news'-media hid, secreting from the public such facts as that "The US Government's Interpretation of the Technical Intelligence It Gathered Prior to and After the August 21 Attack CANNOT POSSIBLY BE CORRECT." But the lies are never publicly acknowledged by any of the participating regimes and their press.This is an international empire of death and destruction based upon lies.

In 2011-2014, the U.S. regime perpetrated a bloody coup that ousted Ukraine's democratically elected Government and replaced it by a fascist rabidly anti-Russian regime that destroyed Ukraine and perpetrated ethnic cleansing . How much of this reality was being reported in the U.S. regime's press, at the time, or even afterward? It was hidden news at the time , and so those realities have since become buried, to become now only hidden history; and the U.S. regime and its 'news'-media continue to hide all of this ugly reality. It remains hidden, and isn't mentioned by either the regime or its press.

Right now, the U.S. regime (along with its other lap-dog Canada) is perpetrating, or at least attempting to perpetrate, a coup to take over Venezuela .

On February 8th, the Latin American Geopolitical Strategic Center (CELAG) issued their study, "The Economic Consequences of the Boycott of Venezuela" , and reported that throughout the five-year period of 2013-2017, Venezuela's "economy and society suffered a suffocation [of] $ 22.5 billion in annual revenues, as a result of a deliberate international strategy of financial isolation [of Venezuela]. Evidently, this financial pressure intensified since 2015 with the fall in the price of crude oil." So: that's a total loss of over $112 billion from Venezuela during the entire 5-year period, and the result has become (especially after 2014) the impoverishment of the country. The U.S. regime and its allies and their propaganda-media blame, for that, not themselves, but the very same Government they're trying to take down. The U.S. regime and its allies have contempt for the public everywhere. The more that Venezuelans blame their own Government for this impoverishment, instead of blame America's Government for it, the more that their exploiters will have contempt for them, but also the more that their exploiters will benefit from them, because the exploiters' taking control of the Government will then be much easier to do.

The U.S-and-allied exploiters are attempting to install in Venezuela a man who has absolutely no justification under the Venezuelan Constitution to be claiming to be the country's 'interim President' . For some mysterious reason, Venezuela's President isn't calling for that traitor to be brought up on charges of treachery -- attempting a coup -- and facing Venezuela's Supreme Judicial Tribunal on such a charge, which Tribunal is the Constitutionally authorized body to adjudicate that matter. So, Venezuela's Government is incompetent -- but so too have been all of its predecessors since at least 1980, and incompetence alone is not Constitutional grounds for replacing Venezuela's President by a foreign-imposed coup . At least Venezuela's actual President is no traitor, such as his would-be successor, Juan Guaido, definitely is .

Did Venezuela invade America so as for America's economic war against it to be justified? Did Iraq invade America so as for America's destruction of it to be justified? Did Libya invade America so as for America's destruction of it to be justified? Did Syria invade America so as for America's destruction of it to be justified? Did Ukraine invade America so as for America's destruction of it to be justified? None of them did, at all. In each and every case, it was pure aggression, by America, the international rogue nation.

Back in 1986, regarding America's international relations including its coups and invasions, the U.S. quit the International Court of Justice (ICJ), when that Court ruled against the U.S. in the Iran-Contra case, Nicaragua v. United States , which concerned America's attempted coup in that country. But though the U.S. propaganda-media reported the Government's rejection of that verdict in favor of Nicaragua, they hid the more momentous fact: the U.S. Government stated that it would not henceforth recognize any authority in the ICJ concerning America's international actions. The public didn't get to know about that. Ever since 1986, the U.S. Government has been a rogue regime, simply ignoring the ICJ except when the ICJ could be cited against a country that the U.S. regime is trying to destroy ('democratize'). And then, when the ICJ ruled on 9 March 2005 against the U.S. regime in a U.S. domestic matter where the regime refused to adhere to the U.S. Constitution's due-process clause regarding the prosecutions and death-sentences against 51 death-row inmates, and the Court demanded retrials of those convicts, the U.S. regime, in 2005, simply withdrew completely from the jurisdiction of the ICJ . Ever since 9 March 2005, the U.S. regime places itself above, and immune to, international law, regarding everything. George W. Bush completed what Ronald Reagan had started.

This rogue regime has no real legitimacy even as a representative of the American people. It doesn't really represent the American public at all . It is destroying the world and lying through its teeth all the while. Its puppet-rulers on behalf of America's currently 585 billionaires are not in prison from convictions by the International Court of Justice in the Hague. They're not even being investigated by the International Court of Justice in the Hague. That's a U.N. agency. Does the U.N. have any real legitimacy, under such circumstances as this? Can an international scofflaw simply refuse to recognize the authority of the international court? This mocks the U.N. itself. The U.S. places itself above the U.N.'s laws and jurisdiction and yet still occupies one of the five permanent seats on the U.N's Security Council and still is allowed to vote in the U.N.'s General Assembly. Why doesn't the U.N. simply expel America? It can't be done? Then why isn't a new international legal body being established to replace the U.N. -- and being granted legal authority everywhere regardless of whether a given national regime acknowledges its legal authority over matters of international law? Why is Venezuela being internationally isolated and sanctioned, instead of the U.S. being internationally isolated and sanctioned?

On top of all that, this is the same U.S. regime that has blocked the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and that has broken one international agreement after another -- not only NAFTA, and not only the nuclear agreement on Iran, and not only many nuclear agreements with first the Soviet Union and then Russia, but lots more -- and all with total impunity.

And it's not only the countries that the U.S. invades or otherwise destroys, which are being vastly harmed by this international monster-regime. How many millions of the flood of asylum-seekers who are pouring into Europe have done that in order to reach safety from America's bombs and proxy-troops -- jihadists and fascist terrorists -- which have ravaged their own homelands? What is that flood of refugees doing to Europe, and to European politics -- forcing it ever-farther to the right and so tearing the EU apart? Why are not Europeans therefore flooding their own streets with anti-American marches and movements for their own Governments to impose economic sanctions against all major American brands, and demanding prosecution of all recent American Presidents, starting at least with G.W. Bush -- or else to vote out of office any national politicians who refuse to stand up against the American bully-regime?

It isn't only weak nations such as Nigeria that are corrupt and rotten to the core. The entire U.S. empire, and especially its U.S. masters, are.

How much more will the peoples of the world remain suckers to the vast corporate propaganda-operation by that out-of-control beast of a rapacious regime, which displays the Orwellian nerve to label as being a 'regime' each and every Government that it seeks to overthrow and to call itself a 'democracy' ? The U.S. regime is itself actually allied the most closely with the world's most barbaric rulers, the Saud family, that own Saudi Arabia. The U.S. regime is also allied with the apartheid and internationally aggressive regime in Israel. Is such an international gang, as this is, going to get off scot-free, as if there were no international law -- or at least none that applies to itself?

And, if the U.S. regime is so concerned to 'protect democracy' and 'protect human rights' all over the world (as that perennially lying bunch always claim to be the 'justification' for their invasions and coups), then why isn't it starting first by prosecuting itself? (Or, maybe, by prosecuting Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud, for his many crimes -- and prosecuting his predecessors for financing the 9/11 attacks against Americans?) Well, of course, Hitler didn't do anything of the sort. (Nor did he prosecute his allies.) He set the standard. Maybe, ideologically, Hitler and Mussolini and Hirohito actually won the war, though this has happened after they first physically lost what everyone had thought was the end of WW II. After all, nobody is prosecuting the U.S. regime today. Isn't that somewhat like a global victory for fascism -- the Axis powers -- after the fact? Maybe "we" won the war, only to lose it later. Doesn't that appear to be the case? Mussolini sometimes called fascism "corporationism" , and this is how it always functions, and functions today by agreement amongst the controlling owners of international corporations that are headquartered in the U.S. and in its vassal-nations abroad.

Is this to go on interminably? When will this international reign of fascism end?

What would happen if all the rest of the world instituted an international legal and enforcement system (under a replacement U.N.) in which all commitments and contractual proceeds to benefit American-based international corporations and the U.S. Government were declared to be immediately null and void -- worthless except as regards the claims against the U.S. entities? (The owners of those entities have been the beneficiaries of America's international crimes.) Contracts can be unilaterally nullified. The U.S. Government does it all the time, with no justification except lies. Here, it would be done as authentically justifiable penalties, against actually massive global crimes.

The U.S. militarily occupies the world; this is a global empire; it has over a thousand military bases worldwide. Why aren't the people in all of those occupied countries demanding their own governments simply to throw them out -- to end the military occupation of their land?

You can't have a world at peace, and anything like international justice, without enforcing international law. This is what doing that would look like.

What we know right now is actually a lawless world. That's what every international gangster wants.

-- -- -- -- --

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity .


niteranger , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:46 am GMT

America is a Corporate Fascist Military Industrial-Intelligence Police State. The Intelligence Agencies are inseparable from the Corporations, The Bankers, and The Billionaires they work for. Most of the economic-social-media pathways are controlled by the Magic Jews. Elections are a fraud. You have seen what happened when the person they picked, Hillary didn't win. Trump may be an idiot but he won fair and square. The entire Mueller Fiasco is a demonstration of the Intelligence State and a warning for anyone who doesn't play their game. The Super Jew Zionist Senator Shumer warned Trump in a Freudian Slip about upsetting the Intelligence agencies which the Jewish Media quickly tried to hide.

This is the county where dimwits like Cortez complain about Mexican kids on the border while Obama and his associates bombed 7 Muslim countries, murdered and starved hundreds of thousands of children including those in Yemen and not a fucking thing was said by anyone on the left.

America and the world are headed for the dark ages. I doubt if anyone will really survive. Think Tanks for the super rich run by Intel know this and are preparing for the worse case scenario are you!

exiled off mainstreet , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:51 am GMT
The implications of this are enormous. This is the first time I've seen it wrapped up in a single article.
Zumbuddi , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:58 am GMT
"Total lockdown against truth and for internatio al conquest . . .mass murder and destruction on the basis of sheer lies. That's today's U. S. Government, that's it's reality."

It worked so well in WWI and WWII, why mess with a sure thing?

To behave otherwise, that is, honestly and decently would return a heap of millionaires to their rag-picker tin-peddlar origins.

Justsaying , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:33 am GMT

Ever since 1986, the U.S. Government has been a rogue regime

Why the leniency for a regime that has been led by gangsters of varying shades for the best part of the post-WWII era, hands down? Unless the Vietnam war and the companion Gulf of Tomkin lie, the mass murder in Laos and Cambodia and the Korean war are brushed aside. As was the kidnapping of Aristide of Haiti and Panama's Noriega are trivial mobster rule blips and the sodomising of Ghadhafi's cadaver by "rebels" after relentless bombing that left a once prosperous nation in utter ruin regarded as an unfortunate "aberration". The tainting of American hands with the blood of millions of innocents extends well beyond the leaders who presided over arguably the worst atrocities and crimes of the post-WWII era. For a nation that takes pride in its slogan of a government of, for and by the people, the people cannot escape responsibility for the horrendous crimes committed in their name.

animalogic , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:04 am GMT
@exiled off mainstreet Agree: great summary article.
Commentator Mike , says: February 15, 2019 at 8:27 am GMT
Reasonable article but US a fascist country? And I was reading elsewhere that this same US is now a communist country, with those billionaires apparently secret communists. Really!?! How can we have a meaningful debate if we can't agree even on basic definitions of what we're arguing about?
EliteCommInc. , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:07 am GMT
I think some of this is over the top. However, I am not sure that one can excuse challenging the case based on news reports. The case on its face had little of any supporting material. But there were news agencies that provided a counter narrative, they just weren't the mainstream sources. Which is why I think your giving an out where none exists.

Instead, a better case could be made as to how those that questioned the case got the boot and in some cases got it good. Those voices were not only muted out by the media, the advocates, but the public as well. One cannot ignore the palpable anger after 9/11. The country wanted revenge. And they would have it. Unlike Mr. Neeson, we did not restrain ourselves from acting out, against anyone of we held suspect as similar in nature -- we lashed out with few reservations.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -

Now I have to admit that the questions of international order are tricky. Who wants to take on enforcing the rule of law against the US when she violates the very rules she helped create and espouses. When the leadership bends, breaks or ignores the rules in the name of country. It's hard to make a case that everyone else abide by the rules if you yourself breaks them. Maybe people pf conscience will hire people who actually abide by what they say they will do when applying for the job of leadership.

But I have to be honest, I am cautious when it comes bodies of international order: UN, IMF, World Bank, WTO, NAFTA, and others. I appreciate the value of NATO, but I am a bit dubious about the agitation that the US take the lead in addressing Europe's security, at our expense. And while I would like to avoid what about, most nations treat the international bodies of justice with no small amount of reticence on their own account. I am unclear of China has backed away from provoking the Phillipines after the UNCLOS ruling regarding commercial development zones. They have made a point to say they will abide by UNCLOS except where they disagree. The short answer is that ultimately the developed world has to operate with some integrity. There's a lot of complaining about the Saudis and Israel. But those states can simply point to the US or the Europeans states and make a constituent claim,

"What's good for the gander . . ."

There is a manner of discipline and that is to our failures and the cost. We are at the moment large enough to absorb them (not sure that is not more face saving facade than truth). Iraq is a failure. Libya is a failure. Afganistahn most likely a failure, even we end up with some manner of negotiated settlement, it will still be far short of our objective(s). The Ukraine still threatens to fall into a full blown civil war. After five years plus of bombing Yemen, the end is nowhere in sight. If the Saudis think the Yemenis a threat, then they should deal with it. The Syria gambit was never a smart move and it has cost us. I am a firm believer that part of these issues results in not having a national draft system where our entire population is bought in on the US project and in so doing have an incentive to hold its government accountable. Because there is no body count to shock the public into reality as in previous military engagements.

We simply are not electing enough men such as representative Walter Jones into office, who upon recognizing an error will seek to change course. And I like him, I suspect, get increasingly restless about how our unrequited hypocrisy (if continued) will play out for us in the end. I think there are signs of trouble, just hints, that we need to get our ducks in order.

We honor and protect our sovereignty by respecting that of others (minus some outstanding extreme circumstance).

Note: not all of the US military programs are about the use of force. The US does huge amounts of humanitarian aide, independently and in conjunction with with are numerous aid depts. And as a nation we remain the most effectively generous (giving nations) on the planet to others in need, including private charitable organizations, no small number of them faith and practice based.

How many multitudes of sins that will cover is unknown to me.

Michael Kenny , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:57 am GMT
A typical piece of American racism. Naturally, the peoples of all these countries are far too primitive and far too stupid to see that they are being manipulated!
HiHo , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:29 am GMT
Dear Eric,

To quote your first para: 'In 2003, America (and its lap-dog UK) invaded and destroyed Iraq on the basis of lies to the effect that the U.S. (and UK) regime were certain that Saddam Hussein had and was developing weapons of mass destruction.'

It should read: 'In 2003, the UK (and its lap dog USA) invaded and destroyed Iraq. I know you Americans like to think that the USA is sovereign in its bullying of the world, but many people apart from myself, see it differently.

Rothschild runs the 'free west' and he is based in The City of London where he operates the world's drug money laundering operation. Yes, even all the drugs moved out of Afghanistan by his private drug army you call the CIA, those profits are laundered in London.

It is Rothschild in London that decides who to invade and why. The USA is Rothschild's private supply of canon fodder, weaponry and congenital idiots who think Jesus of Nazareth, that you erroneously call Jesus Christ, condones the violence, the blood baths and the pure evil that is the USA.

Your nation and its corrupt state is the puppet of Rothschild. I can understand it is especially hard for you to finger one of your own, especially as you consider yourself to be the goyim's friend, but that is not actually true is it?

What sort of idiot would want to get involved in a three year old war in 1917? What sort of buffoon would want to get involved in a Europe in the 1940s and in the Orient at the same time, if there were not vast profits to be made?

Everything that has happened since 1914 when the Fed came in to existence right up to the attacks on Venezula today, only make sense if you are Rothschild.

Yours sincerely,

HiHo Silver Lining.

JackOH , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:35 am GMT
Eric, thanks.

I'm not into America-bashing. Life's too short, and, besides, I did half-seriously think of emigrating from the States, and didn't do it.

But–but–I think there's enough evidence to support the writing of a "black book" of American democracy since 1945, a hit piece modeled on a similarly titled book about Communism's depredations that, I think, was first published in France maybe thirty years ago.

Better observers than I can probably offer a laundry list of American cruelties worth including, and some of those better observers comment here on Unz Review .

American military interventions, a Constitution drained of effectiveness and meaning, the "ethnic cleansing" of American cities, the gratuitous cruelties of American health care, etc .

Keep the book short, about 250-350 pp., and include good front and back matter to focus the reader's attention.

Sean , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:47 am GMT
@niteranger If the author of this piece a child who believes in fairy stories about American exceptionalism . America is more powerful than other countries and if it is "The International Rogue Nation" then it is solely as a result of being more powerful that other countries, for were they as strong as America they all would do the same as America.

This is the county where dimwits like Cortez complain about Mexican kids on the border while Obama and his associates bombed 7 Muslim countries, murdered and starved hundreds of thousands of children including those in Yemen and not a fucking thing was said by anyone on the left.

The Democrats want future voters to swamp the votes of native-born Americans. The kids in Yemen are irrelevant. So are the innocent kids in countries like Syria.

America is a Corporate Fascist Military Industrial-Intelligence Police State

That is just a long winded way of saying it is a state. Like any other state America can't call 911 if it gets into trouble so it has to do its own dirty work. Or, of course. America could just surrender to moral imperatives and live as tree huggers in perpetual peace. Except it would come to an end, just as it did for the Tibetans (and their trees).

jacques sheete , says: February 15, 2019 at 12:13 pm GMT

The International Rogue Nation: America

The only?

The U.S. regime is also allied with the apartheid and internationally aggressive regime in Israel.

How about, The International Rogue Mafias: America and Israel?

Felix Krull , says: February 15, 2019 at 12:15 pm GMT
These U.S. allegations were based on provable falsehoods when they were stated and published, but the regime's 'news'-media refused to publish and demonstrate (or "expose") any of these lies.

Back in the late summer of 2003, when Washington finally admitted there were no WMD in Iraq, the Danish Public Broadcaster had invited four of the heaviest hitters in Danish MSM, four foreign policy editors of the largest news outlets in Denmark.

The conversation was supposed to be about something else, but the WMD-news had dropped that same morning, and at one point they discuss the missing WMD. One guy spontaneously says: "I never believed in the WMD-story anyway." The three others quickly agree, because they don't want to be seen as the slow, gullible kid in the class.

So they'd been peddling this WMD-nonsense aggressively since the invasion, but they didn't actually believe that story themselves? The broadcast was taken off the internet 24 hours later, but I have their names in my little book.

jacques sheete , says: February 15, 2019 at 12:29 pm GMT

What we know right now is actually a lawless world. That's what every international gangster wants.

Well yes, but they also want not only a monopoly on violence and compliant tax, debt, wage and dollar slaves, but also "legal" support for it all, hence "gubbermint." Keep payin' dem taxes and hoping for da Messiah in the forms of the likes of the Cacklin' Hyena, The Trumpster, and "Bibi."

Felix Krull , says: February 15, 2019 at 12:42 pm GMT
And another thing: back in the day, the PM, Anders "Fogh of War" Rasmussen spoke frequently about Saddam in the Danish parliament. But he never said "weapons of mass destruction", he said "dangerous weapons" – didn't want to be caught lying to the legislature, would you? Nobody ever called him out on it; you'd think journalists were familiar with sleazy rhetoric, but not on this occasion. He went on to become secretary general of NATO.
Charles Homer , says: February 15, 2019 at 12:46 pm GMT
As shown in this article, Russia has significant concerns about American breaches of the INF treaty that have received almost no coverage in the Western media: https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/02/the-russian-response-to-washingtons.html

Rather than presenting a balanced viewpoint where we hear both sides of the story regarding nuclear treaty violations by both sides, we are subjected to what can best be termed "fake news".

The Alarmist , says: February 15, 2019 at 2:26 pm GMT

"Is this to go on interminably? When will this international reign of fascism end?"

The plutocrat criminal elite are working fast and furiously to import a new electorate and slave labour force: At some point they will no longer be able to finance the machine, because you get what you pay for, and bread and circuses aren't cheap, and at that point the machine will pull back from the world, if not outright devolve into mayhem in its streets.

Asagirian , says: Website February 15, 2019 at 2:47 pm GMT
How Jewish-controlled Media work.

https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/bill-dagostino/2019/02/14/networks-2202-minutes-russia-scandal-zero-no-collusion-report

Globo-homo logic. Russia didn't do it. Punish Russia.

Johnny Walker Read , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:00 pm GMT
Just came across these powerful words from Kevin Tillman, Pat Tillman's brother.

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can't be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few "bad apples" in the military.

Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It's interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don't be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that "somehow" was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat's birthday.

Brother and Friend of Pat Tillman,

Kevin Tillman

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/after-pats-birthday-2/

peter mcloughlin , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:07 pm GMT
Global empires rise because of the desire for power, which is also their Nemesis. Power gives prestige, status, wealth, security and a sense of invincibility: the opposite of what is feared most. But they cannot hold that power forever, though they try, and eventually they end up getting the war they have always dreaded: utter defeat. But their leaders are deluded, blindly leading their people to annihilation – even nuclear – because power is the one thing they will destroy themselves and everyone else over. The pattern of history is clear.

https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

Agent76 , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:23 pm GMT
Feb 11, 2019 Venezuelans' message to the US: Hands off our country

The Grayzone reports from inside Venezuela, where millions of people waited in long lines to sign an open letter to the US public, strongly rejecting foreign intervention in their country.

15.04.2017 Americans Are No Different Than Germans Were (and Are)

Daniel Goldhagen blamed the Holocaust on "the Germans" (by which he meant the German people), and said that they perpetrated the Holocaust because they positively enjoyed murdering "the Jews".

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/04/15/americans-no-different-than-germans-were-and-are.html

Agent76 , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:35 pm GMT
Feb 18, 2013 Corporatocracy, Globalization, An Empire Expands

A short video clip from the Documentary Zeitgeist: Addendum, in it a Corporatocracy is explained. "A Incredible cozy relationship between Government and Corporations"

Moi , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:38 pm GMT
@niteranger I think this sums up things pretty well:

"All the other stuff, the love, the democracy, the floundering into lust, is a sort of by-play. The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted." D. H. Lawrence.

Miro23 , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:48 pm GMT
@Commentator Mike

Reasonable article but US a fascist country? And I was reading elsewhere that this same US is now a communist country, with those billionaires apparently secret communists. Really!?! How can we have a meaningful debate if we can't agree even on basic definitions of what we're arguing about?

Fascist country, Communist country – a more understandable definition would be a Mafia run state. The US regime uses violence and threats (local and international) to get its way. It corrupts and terrorizes politicians and forces through its projects. It's all about money and power and it rubs traditional Anglo society's face in the mud while its getting looted.

Che Guava , says: February 15, 2019 at 4:12 pm GMT
@Justsaying You have a pointy head, but rubbish conclusions I am also tired of hearing 'sodomy' or 'sodomized' re. Ghaddafi, assaulting the anus and rectum with bayonets is not 'sodomy'.

Hillary Clinton enjoyed it, I world prefer not to repeat her moronic statement, but will because of the many morons are on this site now, 'we came, we saw, he died, (cackle, cackle, cackle'). She liked to pretend that this is her classical education. She clearly has none. But she sure has an ugly pair of cankles.

wayfarer , says: February 15, 2019 at 4:30 pm GMT

Fifth Column: Is any group of people who undermine a larger group from within, usually in favour of an enemy group or nation. The activities of a fifth column can be overt or clandestine. Forces gathered in secret can mobilize openly to assist an external attack. This term is also extended to organised actions by military personnel. Clandestine fifth column activities can involve acts of sabotage, disinformation, or espionage executed within defense lines by secret sympathizers with an external force.

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_column

"Censored 'Israel Lobby' Document Leaks"

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_lobby_in_the_United_States

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: February 15, 2019 at 4:31 pm GMT
Enantiodromia

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

Principle od enantiodromia : one thing pushed to the extreme leads to the opposite .

( Hegel with his thesis-antithesis ideas was just another moronic german philosopher )

jacques sheete , says: February 15, 2019 at 4:42 pm GMT
@niteranger

Trump may be an idiot but he won fair and square.

He's a lying New York idiot Israel firster who demonstrates a new meaning to the concept of winning fair and square and "won" the position as Cuck-in-Chief of the Corporate Fascio-Commie Military Industrial-Intelligence Police State, that's all. He should have saved us all a lot of trouble and just eloped with the Cackling Hyena instead.

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: February 15, 2019 at 4:45 pm GMT
Mrs Ilhan Omar Is the voice from the graves of Millions of Muslims murdered by US Military under leadership of US politicians (purchased for pennies), and ordered by Israel.
Cheburashka , says: February 15, 2019 at 4:46 pm GMT
@exiled off mainstreet Interesting for me it's all known for several years, so I was about to say myself "same old, same old". Then I read your comment and think to myself "well, contrary to my belief, obviously publishing this article does make sense"
Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: February 15, 2019 at 4:47 pm GMT
@Asagirian Most of the european business and population do NOT agree with the yankee sanctions to Russia ( or to Venezuela , or to Iran , Cuba .. ) . Nothing ideological , it is just that the EU has no oil , the EU needs russian , iranian , venezuelan oil and gas , and the EU countries NEED to sell products to any country willing to buy them . The abusive yankee pressure on the EU to santion any country that the US wants will backfire .
Harold Smith , says: February 15, 2019 at 4:55 pm GMT

"This rogue regime has no real legitimacy even as a representative of the American people. It doesn't really represent the American public at all. It is destroying the world and lying through its teeth all the while."

Words seem insufficient to describe the situation, don't they? What we're witnessing, apparently, is the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. The Satanic cult known from the Book of Revelation as the "beast from the sea" is attempting to rise to the top of the world by "giving worth to evil" (i.e. worshiping Satan). To put it another way, the beast rises to the top by bringing everyone and everything else down.

Being relatively small in number, the Satanic cult operates primarily by deception, corruption and manipulation. If the beast cannot get the people to destroy themselves, it resorts to mass murder, but the end result is always destruction.

"Its puppet-rulers on behalf of America's currently 585 billionaires are not in prison from convictions by the International Court of Justice in the Hague."

Money has nothing to do with it (other than being another tool in the Satanists' tool box). They do what they do because they're evil. Evil is both the means and the end. To put it in Biblical terms, the Satanists seek to do to the whole world what Satan did to Eve. Only when whole world is brought down can evil claim victory over good (as per the Satanic agenda set forth in Isaiah 14:13,14).

jacques sheete , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:00 pm GMT
@Commentator Mike

How can we have a meaningful debate if we can't agree even on basic definitions of what we're arguing about?

Excellent question, but the two, fascism and the various forms of big "C" Communism, are not necessarily mutually exclusive even though fascism as often used today was intended as a catch-all smear word by the Marxist cornballs a century ago.

In fact, Marxism, Bolshevism and Stalinism are can all be or become forms of fascism. Likewise, as Orwell saw, there is no essential difference between various iterations of capitalism and the various forms of communism that they oftentimes supported and promoted and still do.

Also, I highly doubt whether a meaningful debate regarding politics is possible whether or not definitions are agreed upon.

[During the war]words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them.

Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal ally; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question, inaptness to act on any.

– Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War, Chap X, ~400 BC

"Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society."

– John Adams, letter to J. H. Tiffany, Mar. 31, 1819.

Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language," 1946

IOW, it's pretty much all bullsh!t. Reader and listener beware.

anonymous [241] Disclaimer , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:04 pm GMT
The gangster laughs in your face: "Whadda going to do about it, kid?". Answer is nothing can be done.

At this point the US government barely even bothers to cover itself with plausible stories but just goes ahead with it's open violence. Who is there to stop it?

The pattern actually goes back 121 years to the Spanish-American war when the US smelled weakness and pounced. It's been on a roll ever since, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly. The barriers to the US having a completely free hand are Russia, China, Iran, countries about which there's much heavy propaganda being thrown about. Their areas are limited though and they can't help the Venezuelans or most of the others. The US has a huge budget for internal spying and security to ensure that the people in charge stay that way so don't get optimistic. This supposed democracy is rigged from start to finish. The US has been very efficient in brainwashing it's residents into thinking it is all legit.

c matt , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:04 pm GMT

Can an international scofflaw simply refuse to recognize the authority of the international court?

Why yes, yes it can. There is no such thing as rule of law. There is only rule by might. Law is mere rationalization.

jacques sheete , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:05 pm GMT
@Liza

It just doesn't matter anymore how any country is described or classified.

I wish I had thought of that! Excellent. Brilliant.

jacques sheete , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:11 pm GMT
@HiHo

What sort of idiot would want to get involved in a three year old war in 1917? What sort of buffoon would want to get involved in a Europe in the 1940s and in the Orient at the same time, if there were not vast profits to be made?

Talk about sweet summaries; yours is masterful!

Anyone who doubts it would do well to read Fish's, Tragic Deception,
FDR and America's involvement in World War II

https://openlibrary.org/books/OL21320930M/Tragic_deception

jacques sheete , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:14 pm GMT
@Stephen Paul Foster This thread is uncommonly full of great comments and yours is another. Excellent.

This question [about the UN] is proof that the author needs psychiatric assistance.

And more than a brief stay in a reprogramming (anti-brainwashing) camp.

The UN was formed by the usual One World (globalist) crowd to serve their ends and theirs only. Anyone who fails to see that needs to be questioned deeply, no matter how correct he or she is about other matters.

jacques sheete , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:20 pm GMT
@Sean

Like any other state America can't call 911 if it gets into trouble so it has to do its own dirty work. Or, of course. America could just surrender to moral imperatives

What moral imperatives are you referring to?

Tsar Bomba for CIA , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:20 pm GMT
This is exactly right. The UN member nations are ready to replace the UN with an organization that can curb criminal regimes like the US. This has been the case since the 80s.

unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0007/000732/073282eo.pdf

Considering the terminal degeneracy of the criminal enterprise that runs the US, it's going to take a war. Classified US policy is to use urban populations as human shields for the CIA COG autocracy. COIN drills like Watertown are dry runs for CIA martial law during war with Russia.

The one hopeful sign is superior SCO missile technology, which allows kinetic warheads to be substituted for nuclear ones. This permits regime decapitation by somewhat less destructive means. Most of you are still going to die, of course. But Russia and China will leave some habitable zones for people they can trust. Make sure you know human rights and humanitarian law,

https://ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/UniversalHumanRightsInstruments.aspx

and you can demonstrate a record of sticking up for them, and the postwar criminal tribunals will let you reconstruct a peaceful and lawful American state.

It's a shame it's going to take a couple hundred million dead, mostly American, to stop the CIA regime, but the world knows it's got to be done. If we're too chicken to storm Langley and hang those criminal scumbags, we're going to have to pay.

jacques sheete , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:25 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat's birthday.

Somehow the poor sap is still a sucker. Good grief.

James Wood , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:25 pm GMT
This continuous harping on international law should be wearing thin even with you, Mr. Zuesse. The US outspends the next 24 nations combined on arms, I understand. For the US might is right. Until you and those who oppose US policy have an army that can break the US military might you have no hope.

You really need to think this through and stop the empty posturing. The bird flipped to the International Court of Justice by John Bolton for the third time apparently should teach you a lesson. Three strikes and you're out. Go home.

Harold Smith , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:25 pm GMT
@niteranger

"Elections are a fraud. You have seen what happened when the person they picked, Hillary didn't win. Trump may be an idiot but he won fair and square."

If elections are a fraud (which they obviously are) how can orange clown be said to have won "fair and square"? It's a contradiction. The evil orange clown had to lie to win the election; he had to completely misrepresent himself. What orange clown did was tantamount to stealing ballots/rigging voting machines. Orange clown is nothing but Satanic low-life scum.

Also, how do you know Clinton was "the person they picked [to win]"? That's very speculative, IMO. A solid argument can be made that orange clown was actually the chosen one.

jacques sheete , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:28 pm GMT
@Miro23

Fascist country, Communist country – a more understandable definition would be a Mafia run state.

Exactly.

jacques sheete , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:30 pm GMT
@nsa Agree. Only one oblique reference to that other mafia state, Israel, in the whole piece.
Harold Smith , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:32 pm GMT
@HiHo

"What sort of idiot would want to get involved in a three year old war in 1917?"

An evil idiot.

"What sort of buffoon would want to get involved in a Europe in the 1940s and in the Orient at the same time, if there were not vast profits to be made?"

An evil buffoon.

"Everything that has happened since 1914 when the Fed came in to existence right up to the attacks on Venezula (sic) today, only make sense if you are Rothschild."

They do what they do because they're evil.

Hank , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:49 pm GMT
@Commentator Mike Fascists, communist, liberal and conservative. Those terms don't have as much meaning as you might think. In fact they are used as tools.
Benjy , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:11 pm GMT
@Harold Smith The Rothschild's are the Kings of the Jews. They have conquered the Bourbon, Habsburgs, the Hohenzollern, the Romanovs. They have merged with the house of Windsor. They have been mercilessly harvesting the entire planet for 200 years. They send Moslems against Christians, Christians agains Moslems, Moslems against Hindu's, Chirstians against Christians, Christians against Chinese, Christians against Hindus, Japanese against Chinese, US Christians against Japanese, Zulu against white, and on and on. Wars are the jews harvest.

They also sent all of these groups to get slaves from each other in raids and wars to provide human material from all the other races, except jewish, to sell on these jewish run slave markets. For centuries.

They extracted blood and organs from the children of the victims for use in the kabalistic rituals.

bookish1 , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:26 pm GMT
America's lying to get us into wars goes farther back than the 1950's to 2000's. The reasons for WW2 against Germany was based on devilish lies. So we claimed Hitler had to be stopped because he planned on taking over the whole world and that he had killed millions of innocent people(which he hadn't) but then turned around and helped the real murderers of millions of people which was the Soviet Union. And it goes on and on and there will be more lies and more wars to follow.
Hank , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:39 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX You can almost tell just how important the issue of private central banking is by the fact that you can't get anyone to really explain it, or even talk about it. Right now I would settle for just knowing exactly who owns it.
jacques sheete , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:43 pm GMT
@Hank

Fascists, communist, liberal and conservative. Those terms don't have as much meaning as you might think. In fact they are used as tools.

Left and right are two more extremely ambiguous and often misleading terms.

It seems that most of us think that language is used in precise ways, but that's probably not the case.

jacques sheete , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:52 pm GMT
@bookish1

America's lying to get us into wars goes farther back than the 1950's to 2000's. The reasons for WW2 against Germany was based on devilish lies

All true.

So we claimed Hitler had to be stopped because he planned on taking over the whole world

When in fact it was a handful of mafiosi financial oligarchs, many based in New Yoik, who desired to control the whole world via co-opted Marxist principles. One of their tools was the "holy" UN which the author seems to think is some sort of Messiah. A Rockefeller "donated" the land for the UN Headquarters building, and the UN was formed under the direction of Commies and their sympathizers associated with FDR. I'm convinced that WW2 was instigated partly to begin imposing globalism on the rest of us, just as the constitution of Uncle Shylock was rammed down our throats. All for the benefit of us lowly proles, peasants and peons, of course.

Reactionary Utopian , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:53 pm GMT
I'm giving about 1.8 cheers for this piece. I agree with much of it, but I surely don't share the author's enthusiasm for this International Court of Justice, not for the workings of the United Nations in general. Give one of these international legal outfits any actual power in America, and "hate crime" laws? You ain't seen nothin' yet. In much of the world, "anti-Semitism" (whatever that's construed to mean) is already a criminal offense. Hell, leave it up to these international bodies, and the Unz Review goes dark -- and quickly, too. No, thanks.
DESERT FOX , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:01 pm GMT
@Hank The owners are the Rothschilds, the Rockerfellers. the Warburgs , the Schiffs, etc., all satanic zionists and they control every central bank in the world including the FED and the Bank of England.
Harold Smith , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:04 pm GMT
@Benjy

"They send Moslems against Christians, Christians agains Moslems, Moslems against Hindu's, Chirstians against Christians, Christians against Chinese, Christians against Hindus, Japanese against Chinese, US Christians against Japanese, Zulu against white, and on and on. Wars are the jews harvest."

The Satanists are small in number and generally cowardly so their general modus operandi is to get their victims to destroy themselves. To put it in Biblical terms, their goal is to do to the whole world what Satan did to Eve; they deceive, corrupt, manipulate and ultimately stand tall over the destruction they've brought about. They're destroyers.

jacques sheete , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:21 pm GMT
Speaking of the UN and war, Douglas Reed provides a lot of great info about the two; too much to summarize here, but I offer a sample for the curious.

The Second War produced a third result, additional to the advance of the [Marxist permanent] revolution into Europe and the establishment by force of the Zionist state: namely, the second attempt to set up the structure of a "world government", on the altar of which Western nationhood was to be sacrificed. This is the final consummation to which the parallel processes of Communism and Zionism are evidently intended to lead; the idea first emerged in the Weishaupt papers, began to take vigorous shape in the 19th Century, and was expounded in full detail in the Protocols of 1905. In the First War it was the master-idea of all the ideas which Mr. House and his associates "oozed into the mind" of President Wilson, and sought to make the president think were "his own". It then took shape, first as "The League to Enforce Peace" and at the war's end as "The League of Nations".

-Douglas Reed, The Controversy of Zion, p.470

https://archive.org/stream/TheControversyOfZion/TheControversyOfZion_djvu.txt

But of course we can write him off as an early kunspiracy theorist, can't we? And them protykalz is fake. Fake, I tell yi!

WorkingClass , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:37 pm GMT
Well yeah. The Anglo/Zionist Empire is an evil empire indeed. I've known that since serving under President Johnson in the mid sixties.

The geniuses over at ZeroHedge will be surprised to learn about imperial aggression against Venezuela. They believe the explanation for Venexuela's troubles is "Socialism doesn't work".

I'm a Nationalist. So I say screw your International Court of Justice. What the U.S. needs is a New Republic complete with a new constitution. Failing that, secession will be the way forward.

[Feb 15, 2019] The Deep Hurt Lessons From American Coups

Notable quotes:
"... American imperialists (and many Americans) truly believe that they are superior and that the world would become a better place if nations submitted to their leadership ..."
"... Early promoters of American intervention were zealous patriots. They proclaimed love of country and loyalty to the flag. Yet they could not imagine that people from non-white countries might feel just as patriotic. ..."
"... Americans have been said to be ignorant about the world. ..."
"... Violent intervention in other countries always produces unintended consequences. ..."
"... Generations of American foreign policy makers have made decisions on three assumptions: the US is the indispensable nation that must lead the world; this leadership requires toughness; and toughness is best demonstrated by the threat or use of force. ..."
"... Most American interventions are not soberly conceived, with realistic goals and clear exit strategies. ..."
"... Foreign intervention has weakened the moral authority that was once the foundation of America's political identity. Today many people around the world see it as a bully, recklessly invading foreign lands. ..."
"... Nations lose their virtue when they repeatedly attack other nations. ..."
"... America is the HIGHLY narcissistic, high functioning, psychopathic garden variety neighbor, highly destructive businessman you work hard to avoid. ..."
"... As Taleb nicely put: Our political leaders have no skin in the game and are completely unaccountable. Best preconditions for disaster! ..."
"... They even call the idea of not mass murdering people 'isolationism'. Hey, well guess what? I don't want to murder other people who never bothered me. ..."
Feb 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Michael Welton via Counterpunch.org,

As the world watches aghast at another US and allies' attempt to engineer a coup in Venezuela, I would like to offer a few insights from Stephen Kinzer' provocative chapter, "The deep hurt," (pp. 227-250) in his book, The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of the American Empire (2017). This remarkable text carries some hope and lessons for all of us. It tells the story of the great conflict around the turn of 20th century about the role that the US might play in either dominating the world or building a cosmopolitan democracy where all people feel secure that they reside in one country, the earth.

Indeed, Kinzer states:

"Anti-imperialists decisively influenced American history by helping to ensure that the first burst of American annexation would be the last" (p. 228).

Even swash-buckling Teddy Roosevelt was influenced, losing his zest for the idea of conquest. When he charged into the White House he held two views simultaneously, intervene to help other people, without oppressing them. Kinzer thinks that this dichotomy "torments our national psyche" (p. 229). In the early parts of the book Kinzer sets out the anti-imperialist (Mark Twain) and pro-imperialist visions (Henry Cabot Lodge). These speeches are worth gathering round for reflection.

During the following hundred years much of what the anti-imperialists predicted has come to pass. The United States has become an "actively interventionist power. It has projected military or covert power into dozens of countries on every continent except Antarctica"(ibid.). George Frisbie Hoar was right, Kinzer points out, when he "warned that intervening in other lands would turn the United States into a 'vulgar, commonplace empire founded upon physical force"" (ibid.).

Anti-imperialists also predicted that an "aggressive foreign policy would have pernicious effects at home" (ibid.). Military budgets have soared to heights unimaginable in the days of fervent expansionism in the 1898 war with the Philippines. The armaments industries wield extraordinary clout. The wealth-soaked elites dominate politics. The invasion and overthrowing of distant regimes resides in the hands of a few decision-makers. And militaristic values and rituals saturate American life and expunge peaceful ones.

To be sure, American intervention brought some material blessings (good schools and orderly systems of justice, etc) and rising American power was perceived as "good for everyone simply because it means strengthening the world's most beneficent nation" (p. 230). The expansionists of 1898 believed that America was "inherently benevolent," and subject nations would rally around the May pole in celebratory dance. "The opposite happened .Carl Schurz was right when he warned that dominating foreigners would ultimately force Americans to 'shoot them down because they stand up for their independence'" (p. 231).

Kinzer states that: " In the face of profound new challenges, Americans are once again debating the role of the United States in the world. Should it intervene violently in other countries? This remains what Senator William V. Allen called it in 1899: 'The greatest question that has ever been presented to the American people'" (p. 231). American culture carries a current of anti-imperialism and commitment to an international legal order. They played a big role in the establishment of the UN and nurturing global governance. They remain the world's only superpower with enormous capacity to move towards building the cosmopolitan world order. What is evident now in this dark moment of history is that the world as it is, is not the way it has to be.

It is difficult, I think, for the United States with its inordinate military might and present delusionary self-understanding to wrench itself free from wanting to intervene for political and economic reasons. Many in the post-WW I world had placed their bet for a better world on the Presbyterian professor Woodrow Wilson. Famously, Wilson triggered immense hopefulness to the disenfranchised in the colonies of European powers. He preached that they should "choose the sovereignty under which the shall live" (p. 232). In office, American troops were dispatched to intervene in Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Russia .Like his predecessors -- and successors -- Wilson insisted that he was doing it for the good of the target countries. Americans would leave them alone, he promised, as soon as they learned 'to elect good men'" (ibid.). Today scholars speak of the "shattered peace" of the post-WW I world. Was the desire to begin building, slowly, carefully, a cosmopolitan world order, as Jan Smuts thought, an "impossible dream"?

Kinzer observes that "this most compassionate of presidents not only invaded countries that defied the United States, but studiously ignored appeals from colonized people outside Europe, notably in Egypt, India, Korea, and Indochina. His hypocrisy set the stage for generations of war and upheaval" (ibid.). Margaret MacMillan's lively and densely detailed book, Paris 1919 (2001) , provides the stories for these outcast colonized countries.

Today, the US has intervened one more time. The difference now may well be that there is little pretence that the US is engaging in the bully politics of "might is right." They don't care two hoots about what the world thinks. They do not give a damn about the self-determination of all countries and peoples. This invasion is stripped of any moral or legal justification. The US has decided to declare the Speaker of the House, Juan Guaido, president. This is unheard of! And Canada has forsaken the best of its liberal and social democratic traditions of adherence to rule of law to hitch its caboose to the US's rampaging imperialist train.

There are several lessons that Kinzer draws from American history of intervention that our worth careful reflection.

1) American imperialists (and many Americans) truly believe that they are superior and that the world would become a better place if nations submitted to their leadership . The United States would be better off, Kinzer says, if it became a learning nation and not a teaching one.

2) Early promoters of American intervention were zealous patriots. They proclaimed love of country and loyalty to the flag. Yet they could not imagine that people from non-white countries might feel just as patriotic. Love of country was a mark of civilization. Lesser peoples, therefore, couldn't grasp it.

3) Americans have been said to be ignorant about the world. They are, says Kinzer, but so are other peoples. The difference is that American leaders, puffed with a sense of mission, acted on ignorance. American leaders see little reason to bother learning about the nations whose affairs they intrude.

4) Violent intervention in other countries always produces unintended consequences. Cuba was turned into a protectorate in 1901. A fine idea? It led ultimately to a bitter anti-American regime. Intervention in the Philippines sparked waves of nationalism across East Asia that contributed to the Communist revolution in China in 1949. Later American interventions also had terrible results planners never anticipated. From Iran and Guatemala to Iraq and Afghanistan, intervention has devastated societies and produced violent anti-American passion.

5) Generations of American foreign policy makers have made decisions on three assumptions: the US is the indispensable nation that must lead the world; this leadership requires toughness; and toughness is best demonstrated by the threat or use of force. Thus: America is inherently righteous; its influence on rest of world always benign.

6) Most American interventions are not soberly conceived, with realistic goals and clear exit strategies. But violent invasions always leave so-called "collateral damage": families killed, destroyed towns, ruined lives, damaged land.

7) The argument that the United States intervenes to defend "freedom" rarely matches facts on the ground. Many (most?) interventions prop up predatory regimes. The goal is simply to increase American power rather than to liberate the suffering.

8) Foreign intervention has weakened the moral authority that was once the foundation of America's political identity. Today many people around the world see it as a bully, recklessly invading foreign lands. The current invasion of Venezuela is such an example. The name "United States" is associated with bombing, invasion, occupation, night raids, covert action, torture, kidnapping, and secret prisons. Who wants to be saved by America? John Bolton recently threatened Maduro with prison in Guantanamo if he doesn't get the hell out of Venezuela.

9) Nations lose their virtue when they repeatedly attack other nations. That loss, as Washington predicted, has cost the United States its felicity. Kinzer says that the US can regain it only by understanding its own national interests more clearly. He thinks it is late for the United States to change its course in the world -- but not too late.


Leguran , 5 hours ago link

America has not become an interventionist power. What has happened is a Coup d'Etat has been staged through Congressional rules that give unconstitutional powers to a tiny group on the basis of their 'seniority' and reconcilliation committee appointment. These few, not the American people want intervention, war, you name it. They spent $5 trillion in the Middle East alone. So, let's not blame the American people.

CatInTheHat , 5 hours ago link

5) Generations of American foreign policy makers have made decisions on three assumptions: the US is the indispensable nation that must lead the world; this leadership requires toughness; and toughness is best demonstrated by the threat or use of force. Thus: America is inherently righteous; its influence on rest of world always benign.

6) Most American interventions are not soberly conceived, with realistic goals and clear exit strategies. But violent invasions always leave so-called "collateral damage": families killed, destroyed towns, ruined lives, damaged land.

7) The argument that the United States intervenes to defend "freedom" rarely matches facts on the ground. Many (most?) interventions prop up predatory regimes. The goal is simply to increase American power rather than to liberate the suffering.

8) Foreign intervention has weakened the moral authority that was once the foundation of America's political identity. Today many people around the world see it as a bully, recklessly invading foreign lands. The current invasion of Venezuela is such an example. The name "United States" is associated with bombing, invasion, occupation, night raids, covert action, torture, kidnapping, and secret prisons. Who wants to be saved by America? John Bolton recently threatened Maduro with prison in Guantanamo if he doesn't get the hell out of Venezuela."

America is the HIGHLY narcissistic, high functioning, psychopathic garden variety neighbor, highly destructive businessman you work hard to avoid. How any American can see the US and it's people as exceptional is beyond me. No yellow vests anti WAR protests have evolved to STOP the US genocidal killing machine.

The US, the white supremacist nation has zero trouble killing maiming and displacing millions of brown Muslims & Christians in 3 world countries. This WILL come home to roost as what the Zionazi empire of psychopaths does to other countries they will do to US

Son of Captain Nemo , 5 hours ago link

9) "Nations lose their virtue when they repeatedly attack other nations. That loss, as Washington predicted, has cost the United States its felicity. Kinzer says that the US can regain it only by understanding its own national interests more clearly. He thinks it is late for the United States to change its course in the world -- but not too late."...

I don't even think Teddy as self righteous and psychopathic as he was at the turn of the 20th Century would have ponied up to cannibalizing his own ( https://wikispooks.com/wiki/9-11/Israel_did_it ) in order to build ever more "pretexts" through the torture and murder of other sovereign nations simply as a means to "control" resources for the good of his $currency and it's banks and not a Country and it's peoples under the rule of law to a parasite/cyst that it is willing to die for ( https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-19/top-us-general-says-american-troops-should-be-ready-die-israel ) before it's own Nation!...

It is not only "too late" Mr. Kinzer... It's epitaph was written large almost 18 years ago when it's people chose not to address that crime of betrayal and treason to it's Constitution and stood idly by as it's government squandered it children's childrens childrens wealth for that lie ( https://www.ae911truth.org/news/506-grand-jury-to-hear-9-11-evidence-an-interview-with-the-lawyers-who-made-it-happen )

Moribundus , 6 hours ago link

Another gr8 lesson about American freedom and democracy is in book: The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. Americans should know that before slaves from Africa white trash from Britain was shipped as slaves. See: They were white and they were slaves.

Nunyadambizness , 6 hours ago link

" Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all. ... In the execution of such a plan nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others should be excluded, and that in place of them just and amicable feelings toward all should be cultivated....

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial, else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other....

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. ... GEORGE WASHINGTON

I wish we had listened.

Smi1ey , 6 hours ago link

Foreign intervention has weakened the moral authority that was once the foundation of A