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Disaster capitalism

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In her groundbreaking book The Shock Doctrine The Rise of Disaster Capitalism  Naomi Klein  has shown how From Chile in 1973 to Iraq today, neoliberals have repeatedly harnessed terrible shocks and violence to implement their radical policies or neoliberalization and debt enslavement of the weaker countries. This concept is closely related to the concepts of Military-Industrial Complex and Predator state. Amazon review of the book states:

Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine advances a truly unnerving argument: historically, while people were reeling from natural disasters, wars and economic upheavals, savvy politicians and industry leaders nefariously implemented policies that would never have passed during less muddled times. As Klein demonstrates, this reprehensible game of bait-and-switch isn't just some relic from the bad old days. It's alive and well in contemporary society, and coming soon to a disaster area near you.

"At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq'' civil war, a new law is unveiled that will allow Shell and BP to claim the country's vast oil reserves… Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly outsources the running of the 'War on Terror' to Halliburton and Blackwater… After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts… New Orleans residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be re-opened." Klein not only kicks butt, she names names, notably economist Milton Friedman and his radical Chicago School of the 1950s and 60s which she notes "produced many of the leading neo-conservative and neo-liberal thinkers whose influence is still profound in Washington today." Stand up and take a bow, Donald Rumsfeld.

There's little doubt Klein's book--which arrived to enormous attention and fanfare thanks to her previous missive, the best-selling No Logo, will stir the ire of the right and corporate America. It's also true that Klein's assertions are coherent, comprehensively researched and footnoted, and she makes a very credible case. Even if the world isn't going to hell in a hand-basket just yet, it's nice to know a sharp customer like Klein is bearing witness to the backroom machinations of government and industry in times of turmoil. --Kim Hughes 

Publishers Weekly review adds to this:

The neo-liberal economic policies—privatization, free trade, slashed social spending—that the Chicago School and the economist Milton Friedman have foisted on the world are catastrophic in two senses, argues this vigorous polemic. Because their results are disastrous—depressions, mass poverty, private corporations looting public wealth, by the author's accounting—their means must be cataclysmic, dependent on political upheavals and natural disasters as coercive pretexts for free-market reforms the public would normally reject. Journalist Klein (No Logo) chronicles decades of such disasters, including the Chicago School makeovers launched by South American coups; the corrupt sale of Russia's state economy to oligarchs following the collapse of the Soviet Union; the privatization of New Orleans's public schools after Katrina; and the seizure of wrecked fishing villages by resort developers after the Asian tsunami. Klein's economic and political analyses are not always meticulous. Likening free-market shock therapies to electroshock torture, she conflates every misdeed of right-wing dictatorships with their economic programs and paints a too simplistic picture of the Iraq conflict as a struggle over American-imposed neo-liberalism. Still, much of her critique hits home, as she demonstrates how free-market ideologues welcome, and provoke, the collapse of other people's economies. The result is a powerful populist indictment of economic orthodoxy. 

Selected Amazon reviews

Steve Koss VINE VOICE on September 25, 2007

A Stunning and Well-Researched Indictment of Friedmanian Neoliberalism
 

Naomi Klein's THE SHOCK DOCTRINE is a stunning indictment of American corporatism and institutionalized globalization, on a par with such groundbreaking works as Harrington's THE OTHER AMERICA and Chomsky's HEGEMONY OR SURVIVAL. Comprehensive in its breadth and remarkable for its well-researched depth, Klein's book is a highly readable but disturbing look at how the neoliberal economic tenets of Milton Friedman have been implemented across the world over the last thirty-plus years.

The author's thesis is simply stated: that neoliberal economic programs have repeatedly been implemented without the consent of the governed by creating and/or taking advantage of various forms of national shock therapy. Ms. Klein asserts that in country after country, Friedman and his Chicago School followers have foisted their tripartite economic prescription - privatization, deregulation, and cutbacks in social welfare spending - on an unsuspecting populace through decidedly non-democratic means. In the early years, the primary vehicle was dictatorial military force and accompanying fear of arrest, torture, disappearance, or death. Over time, new organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank were employed instead, using or creating impossible debt burdens to force governments to accept privatization of state-owned industries and services, complete removal of trade barriers and tariffs, forced acceptance of private foreign investment, and widespread layoffs. In more recent years, terrroism and its response as well as natural disasters like hurricanes and tsunamis have wiped clean enough of the slate to impose these Friedmanite policies on people too shocked and focused on recovering to realize what was happening until it was too late.

According to Ms. Klein's thesis, these revolutionary economic programs were the "medicine" deemed necessary by neoliberal, anti-Keynesian economists to bring underdeveloped countries into the global trading community. Ms. Klein argues her case in convincing detail a long chronological line of historical cases. Each chapter in her book surveys one such situation, from Chile under Pinochet and Argentina under military junta through Nicaragua and Honduras, Bolivia under Goni, post-apartheid South Africa, post-Solidarity Poland, Russia under Yeltsin, China since Tiananmen, reconstruction of Iraq after the U.S. invasion, Sri Lanka after the tsunami, Israel after 9/11, and New Orleans post-Katrina. Along the way, she lets various neoliberal economists and Chicago School practitioners speak for themselves - we hear their "shock therapy" views in their own words. As just one example, this arrogant and self-righteous proclamation from the late Professor Friedman: "Only a crisis - actual or perceived - producs real change...our basic function, to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable."

What the author makes inescapably clear is that the world economic order has been largely remade in Milton Friedman's image in the last few decades by adopting programs that would never have been democratically accepted by the common people. Military coups, violence and force, wars, induced hyperinflation, terrorism, preemptive war, climate disasters - these have been the disruptive vehicles that allowed such drastic economic packages to be imposed. Nearly always, they are developed in secrecy and implemented too rapidly for citizens to respond. The end results, as Ms.Klein again makes clear, are massive (and too often, continuing) unemployment, large price increases for essential goods, closing of factories, enormous increases in people living in poverty, explosive concentration of wealth among a small elite, and extraordinary opportunity for rapacious capitalism from American and European corporations.

Ms. Klein argues that from its humble beginnings as an economic philosophy, the neoliberal program has evolved (or perhaps devolved) into a form of corporatism. Particularly in America, government under mostly Republican adminstrations has hollowed itself out, using private sector contractors for nearly every conceivable task. Companies ranging from Lockheed and Halliburton to ChoicePoint, Blackwater, CH2M Hill, and DynCorp exist almost entirely to secure lucrative government contracts to perform work formerly done by government. They now operate in a world the author describes as "disaster capitalism," waiting and salivating over the profits to be made in the next slate-wiping war or disaster, regardless of the human cost. In an ominous closing discussion, Ms. Klein describes the privatization of government in wealthy Atlanta suburbs, a further step in self-serving and preemptive corporatism guaranteed to hollow out whatever is left of major American cities if it becomes a widespread practice.

THE SHOCK DOCTRINE is truly a head-shaking read. One can only marvel at the imperiousness of past (mostly) American governmental behavior, the grievous callousness of it all, the massive human despair and suffering created for no other reason than economic imperialism, and the nauseating greed of (mostly Republican) politicians, former political operatives, and corporate executives who prey like pack wolves on people's powerlessness and insecurity. Reading this book, one can no longer ask the question, "Why do they hate us?" The answer is obvious, and no amount of hyperventilation from Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs, or Fox News can erase the facts and consequences of behavior that we as a country have implicitly or explicitly endorsed.

THE SHOCK DOCTRINE proves itself as shaming of modern American governmental policy as Dee Brown's epic of 19th Century America, BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE. It is an essential read for intelligent citizens who want to understand the roots of globalization and its blowback effects on our lives.

Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 11, 2007

Format: Hardcover
**FYI** Please note to the best of my knowledge I am NOT related to Naomi Klein.**

If you wonder what happened to the middle class, why poverty is on the rise and what the economies in a democracracy, dictatorship and "communism" have in common, you'll find lots of food for thought in Naomi Klein's THE SHOCK DOCTRINE. Tracing the rise of the "Chicago Boys" laissez-faire economic beliefs, their impact on South America, China, Russia, Poland and South Africa and how it impacted their form of government, Klein makes a compelling argument for the flaws in Milton Friedman's economic science.

Naomi Klein's book looks at the conflict between Milton Friedman's "laissez-faire" approach to business and government where business is largely unregulated running itself and government is little more than a bare bones system. According to Klein, Friedman believed that the economic theories he espoused would be perfect and that any problems with it would be due to outside forces interferring with his free market world. His approach was in complete contrast to Keynes who believed that the prime mission of politicians and economists was to prevent unemployment and avoid a depression or recession by regulating the market place. People like John Kenneth Galbraith (heir to Keynes' mantle)believed part of the purpose of economic regulation was to keep our captalist system fair and prevent a small group of businesses from dominating the market. Galbraith also believed in bills like the Glass-Steagall act which created a firewall between Wall Street and various banking institutions (which former President Clinton helped to eliminate). The net result would be to prevent recreating disasters like the Great Depression and 1929 stock market crash (the current version of which contributed to part of the economic mess we're in today).

It's the conflict between these two economic philosphies that allows our economic world to thrive. You'll have to decide for yourself how accurately she reflects each man's philosphy based on what you know about each respective philosphy but I found, for the most part, that the book gave a pretty accurate summation of the benefits and issues at the core of each, as well as which classes benefit the most.

Klein suggests that "disaster capitalism", i.e., introducing radical changes in terms of economic and government policy when a country is in "shock" (taking advantage of the fact that massed resistence is unlikely to that change), is allowing the rise of unchecked multi-national corporations that take advantage of and damage our society in the process. She suggests that Friedman's beliefs that the market will manage itself and that free market capitalism undermined the Soviet Union is an idealized and naive belief. The impact for good and bad is that a business functions like a plant. If it receives too much sunlight and water, it will overgrow and strangle out everything else in the economic ecosystem. The net result would cause the system to become unbalanced with human suffering and economic disaster as the result if left unchecked. She traces a parallel path between the rise of Friedman's economic philosphy and the rise of human rights violations, rise and fall of various governments throughout the world and the opportunism of the business world to exploit it.

She ties all of this together looking at the economic policies and beliefs that are reshaping American society--for good and bad--into a different society where the gap between the wealthy and the poor continues to expand and one where the free market society is being radically retooled. The result is a society where the rich grow richer and the poor grow poorer. The pressured middle class continues to shrink. This undermines the foundation of our economic growth. This book will probably divide those along the more extreme political lines but has the ring of truth nevertheless.

Klein crafts a fascinating book. Although some of her observations might be a bit of a stretch and her arguments occasionally flawed, she provides compelling evidence to support her thesis and connects the dots of events that might otherwise appear to be unrelated. Whether or not you agree with Klein or are outraged by her evidence, you'll find plenty of food for thought in her book.

Justin M. Feldman on October 27, 2007

An important read with some shortcomings

Naomi Klein has written this book about the rise of what she calls "disaster capitalism": the global imposition/adoption of Chicago School (neoliberal) economics since the early 1970s. This is a particularly important book because, while many have written about the same topic, I have never seen it treated in a form that is both holistic (ie. a global history) and accessible (ie. largely free from the academic jargon of economics and social theory). The book does suffer from some problems however.

Klein's main thesis is problematic. She writes that the idea of economic shock therapy arose out of the same logic as Electric Convulsive Therapy (ECT). This idea is to create or exploit a destructive event in order to create regression, passivity, and a 'blank slate' on which to build a new order. In supporting this thesis, Klein uses all of Part I of her book to write about psychological torture and the CIA's mind control experiments. She attempts to develop a 'poetics of torture' that links the individual violence of ECT to the structural violence that occurs when neoliberalism is imposed as a governing strategy. Klein is no poet however, and the metaphor seems to die pretty early on in the book. She does thankfully offer a more implicit thesis that she invokes more regularly and supports more thoroughly: free markets did not develop through freedom, but through authoritarian or technocratic interventions.

Secondly, Klein treats capitalism as if it were only 35 years old. Her book however is thematically similar to the work of another woman who wrote on the same issues a century before: Rosa Luxemburg. By only going as far back as the rise of Keynsianism and developmentalism, Klein makes it seem as though neoliberalism is a radical historical exception. Yet it seems that, since the industrial revolution, it is Keynsianism that itself was the historical exception.

This book is mostly comprised of what are essentially case studies. Each case study could certainly be expanded into its own 600-page book, so simplification was necessary. I think that it is also necessary for the author to explicitly admit the complexity of any situation beyond just the power of market forces, which act strongly and ubiquitously but never alone. I think she does admit the shortcomings of her case studies for Israel/Palestine, South Africa, and Iraq (her best and most personally-involved ones), but not for the rest.

All in all, this book is worth a read and is a good introduction to one of the most powerful forces of our times. I just hope that it inspires people to read some other books that illuminate more of the complexities in regards to the theory and practice of neoliberalism in our communities, countries, and worlds.

 I particularly recommend David Harvey's A Brief History of Neoliberalism.

ByBrian F. "Nurse Ratched"on April 7, 2015

How shocking! (pun intended)

I have always been a bit of a history buff and have prided myself on knowing a lot of the history involving the US. Recently, I had an enlightening revelation; one which I think I always knew, but had never heard it articulated. Each of us looks at our place in the world in different ways. Some see the world sociologically, some see it economically and some see it politically. Obviously these three "slants" affect our interpretations, and I totally get that there is obvious cross-over. Within each of these areas there is a continuum and people line up (usually) to one side of center or the other. Until I read Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine, I had not realized just where I aligned. Obviously I was aware that my views tend to be colored with the politics of the world in which I find myself. Having studied some sociology I knew and could interpret things with that lens, as well. What I knew about economics, however, had never given me (that I know of) a different vantage point on history. Until now.

I read through a number of the one star reviews, as is my habit. I like to see what folks have to say who may not be a fan of leftist thought. Let's face it: There's thought (so-called "critical thinking") and then there's blind adherence to ideology. This seems to happen on a lot of levels and is a view shared by many with otherwise opposing world-views. Still, when I read the same old, re-hashed, regurgitated and repeated stuff.... maintaining the status quo, I have to cringe. When I read many of the one star "reviews", I saw a lot of this. One individual who offered quotes from founding father John Adams (among others) rightly pointed out that facts are annoying things. When Ms. Klein put words to paper, she obviously knew this might be an issue. She quotes not only people but documents in support of the argument at hand. Those who oppose her expose on idealogical grounds have often (not always) done so without having given the courtesy of reading the book. Of course, this happens all the time here, on Amazon. Those that have read the book seem to conveniently forget the documents and contemporary quotes of the individuals involved. Unfortunate.

So here's my synopsis (working from memory - I read the book a while ago): Free Market economy, imagined and theorized by Milton Friedman of the Chicago school (University of Chicago, school of economics) in the 50s got it's first real opportunity to prove its mettle in 1970 with Pinochet's coup in Chile. Adherents and followers saw "successes" and shortfalls with this first real-world experiment. The entire southern cone of South American nations experienced similar things, all of which Ms. Klein links through personnel involved to Friedman. They got the okay from Kissinger and the ball got rolling. After South America, then Poland, the USSR/Russia, South Africa, China, and a string of other economies fell into the Friedman fold. He was an advisor!

"Shock and Awe" is followed extremely closely by already laid plans being nearly instantly enacted in order to push through laws and edicts which stood no chance of being passed "democratically". Privatization is the mantra. Donald Rumsfeld was a HUGE Chicago school adherent/supporter who took the idea of privatization to the limit while Secretary of Defense under Bush II, cutting public sector jobs from the DOD with abandon. Iraq's "green zone" was a classic example of a nearly completely privatized entity. A country within a country. Katrina was dealt with in nearly the same manner.

I'll never look at history the same way again. My eyes have been opened. For those of you who will decry my review as leftist praise for a leftist writer... if you're in the 2% and are benefitting, financially, from all this privatization... I can understand you defending it. For ANYONE else, if you defend Laissez Faire / Free Market / or "Trickle Down" economics, you have my sympathy because you are supporting the means of your own suppression. Good Luck!

Pocketson February 20, 2015

Be Ready to be Shocked

This book explains how the CIA bankrolled and encouraged the exploitation and political overthrow of many countries around the world in the '60's, 70's and 80's including Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, Iran, Nicaragua and many others. It helps one understand how the Neocons evolved into what their basic philosophy remains today. Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize winning economist, played a major role in this evolution and remained unapologetic about the misery that resulted from his economic model of creating change through shock. This book is very thorough and detailed in its presentation and reads like an exciting novel even though it is a factual reporting of real events.


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[Sep 16, 2019] The attack seemed to have involved not only Houti drones (already build with help from Iran), but also Iranian backed forces in Iraq, AND pro Iranian forces in Saudi Arabia itself. And maybe even other actors.

Sep 16, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

dh-mtl , Sep 15 2019 15:58 utc | 3

b,

The Americans have gotten themselves in a real bind with their maximum pressure campaign on Iran. This latest attack on Saudi Arabia's oil production looks like an escalation of the previous attacks on shipping and the spy drone. It is not evident how the Americans can respond to this latest attack.

As I see it their options are:

1. To let KSA respond to the Houthi attack and continue with their campaign to shut down Iranian oil production, without any direct U.S. response to the attack. However this will achieve nothing, as next month Iran will up pressure again with another attack on Middle-East oil assets, and we'll be back to the same place.

2. To bomb Iran's oil industry, as Pompeo and Graham suggest. However this risks blowing up the whole Middle East, as well as the World's oil market and their own (Western) economies.

3. Forget about Iran and move the fight to maintain U.S. global hegemony to another front: back to Venezuela? Serbia? Hong Kong? Taiwan? However the end result of such a move would more than likely be another humuliating defeat for the U.S.

4. Do as Stephen Wertheim / New York Times suggest and sue for peace. This will end the dream of U.S. World dominance, Globalization and the current western based financial system. The U.S. will become no more than a heavily indebted regional power in a 'Multi-polar World Order' led by China and Russia.

As I see it, the U.S. is out of options to continue their war for global dominance. #4 is the only viable option. But, as one author argued in a recent paper (I don't have the reference), wars continue long after the victor is clear, because the loser can't admit defeat (at heavy additional costs to the loser). I think that this is the position that the U.S. finds itself in now.


DontBelieveEitherPr. , Sep 15 2019 16:21 utc | 4

What the attack on Saudi oil infrastructure shows us, is that now Iran has united her proxys into one united front.

While they were cautious to not leave evidence of their involvment with the Houtis before, they now are putting their support more and more into the open.

The attack seemed to have involved not only Houti drones (already build with help from Iran), but also Iranian backed forces in Iraq, AND pro Iranian forces in Saudi Arabia itself. And maybe even other actors.

This is a major new development. Not only for the war on Yemen, but also in the context of Iran providing a credile detterence against US+Saudi aggression.
They excalated with increasing levels, and one wonders, what could top this last attack off.

And i am pretty sure, we will find out sooner rather than later.

Don Bacon , Sep 15 2019 20:13 utc | 29
@ 27
WaPo: Abqaiq . .damaged on the west-northwest sides
That's it! It was Hezbollah for sure. (not)

Actually there were two targets, the Buqaiq (Abqaiq) oil processing plant and the Khurais oil field, both in the Eastern Province.

These attacks are not the first -- from longwarjournal:

Last month, the Houthis claimed another drone operation against Saudi's Shaybah oil field near the United Arab Emirates. At more than 1,000 miles away from it's Yemen territory, that strike marked one of the Houthis farthest claimed attacks.
The Houthis also claimed a drone strike on the Abu Dhabi airport last year, but that has been denied by Emirati officials.
Additionally, a drone strike on Saudi's East-West oil pipeline near Riyadh earlier this year, which the Houthis claimed responsibility, was allegedly conducted by Iranian-backed Iraqi militants. If accurate, that means the Houthi claim of responsibility acted as a type of diplomatic cover for the Iraqi militants.
Since beginning its drone program last year, the Houthis have launched at least 103 drone strikes in Yemen and Saudi Arabia according to data compiled by FDD's Long War Journal. . . here . . .and more here .
Hercules , Sep 15 2019 21:27 utc | 35
Really appreciated the write up on the Houthis attack.
Sounds like the attack left substantial damage. Another bigger issue underlying all of this, aside from Saudi inability to get what it wants now from it's IPO, is the fact that the US Patriots did not detect this attack.
The Saudis spent billions last year on this defense system. Sounds like the clown Prince better give Russians a call about their S-400.
But the US wouldn't appreciate that much, would they?

[Sep 13, 2019] The War in Eastern Ukraine May be Coming to an End But Do Any Americans Care? by Jeremy Kuzmaro

Ukraine is mainly the result of attempt of the USA to encircle Russia well as EU design for economic Drang nach Osten -- attempt to displace Russia in xUSSR republics.
So they pushed Ukraine into the pat that Baltic republic were already known for.
Notable quotes:
"... Ukraine's newly elected comedian president Volodymyr Zelensky called the prisoner exchange a "first step" in ending the war in Eastern Ukraine, which has killed an estimated 13,000 civilians. ..."
"... In a subsequent referendum, 89% in Donetsk and 96% in Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine voted for independence, which the new government of Petro Poroshenko government did not accept. ..."
"... She told U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in a telephone conversation that was tapped and later leaked that Arseniy Yatsenyuk, neoliberal head of the "Fatherland" Party, should be Prime Minister as he was thought to have the "economic" and "governing experience." ..."
"... Nuland further revealed that the U.S. had invested over $5 billion in "democracy promotion" in Ukraine since 1991 through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which was carrying on the kind of work previously undertaken by the CIA during the Cold War. ..."
"... NED president Carl Gershman called Ukraine "the biggest prize" and an important interim step towards toppling [Russian President Vladimir] Putin who "may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself." ..."
"... To help achieve this end, the Obama administration pledged $1 billion in loan guarantees to the post-coup government in Ukraine, which Putin considered as the "ideological heirs of [Stephen] Bandera, Hitler's accomplice in World War II." ..."
"... Swayed by a slick lobbying campaign backed by supporters of the Afghan mujahidin in the 1980s looking for a new cause and by the Senate's Ukraine Caucus, the Obama administration further provided nearly $600 million in security assistance to the Ukrainian military. ..."
"... American military advisers embedded in the Ukrainian Defense Ministry provided rocket propelled grenades, carried out training exercises and planned military operations including with members of the fascist Azov battalion, which had Nazi-inspired Wolfsangel patches emblazoned on their sleeves. ..."
Sep 13, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

On Saturday September 7, Russia and Ukraine agreed to a prisoner swap which has brought hope of improved relations between the two countries and an end to the 5-year long conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

A peace accord is being planned for later this month in Normandy involving Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany.

Ukraine's newly elected comedian president Volodymyr Zelensky called the prisoner exchange a "first step" in ending the war in Eastern Ukraine, which has killed an estimated 13,000 civilians.

The Ukraine War remains largely unknown to the American public even though the United States has had a great stake in it.

The war started after a coup d'états in Ukraine in February 2014, which overthrew the democratically elected pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovuch.

In a subsequent referendum, 89% in Donetsk and 96% in Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine voted for independence, which the new government of Petro Poroshenko government did not accept.

The United States was a heavy backer of the coup and dirty war that unfolded in the East.

Victoria Nuland, the head of the State Department's European desk, traveled to Ukraine three times during the protests that triggered the coup, handing out cookies to demonstrators.

She told U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in a telephone conversation that was tapped and later leaked that Arseniy Yatsenyuk, neoliberal head of the "Fatherland" Party, should be Prime Minister as he was thought to have the "economic" and "governing experience."

Nuland further revealed that the U.S. had invested over $5 billion in "democracy promotion" in Ukraine since 1991 through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which was carrying on the kind of work previously undertaken by the CIA during the Cold War.

Ukraine has long been considered an important bridge between Eastern and Western Europe and holds lucrative oil and gas deposits.

NED president Carl Gershman called Ukraine "the biggest prize" and an important interim step towards toppling [Russian President Vladimir] Putin who "may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself."

To help achieve this end, the Obama administration pledged $1 billion in loan guarantees to the post-coup government in Ukraine, which Putin considered as the "ideological heirs of [Stephen] Bandera, Hitler's accomplice in World War II."

Swayed by a slick lobbying campaign backed by supporters of the Afghan mujahidin in the 1980s looking for a new cause and by the Senate's Ukraine Caucus, the Obama administration further provided nearly $600 million in security assistance to the Ukrainian military.

It was supplied with counter-artillery radars, anti-tank systems, armored vehicles and drones in a policy expanded upon by Trump.

Before and after the Ukrainian military's campaign began, Secretary of State John Kerry, CIA Director John Brennan, and Vice President Joe Biden visited Kiev, followed by a flow of senior Pentagon officials.

A back-door arms pipeline was set up through the United Arab Emirates and Blackwater mercenaries were allegedly deployed.

American military advisers embedded in the Ukrainian Defense Ministry provided rocket propelled grenades, carried out training exercises and planned military operations including with members of the fascist Azov battalion, which had Nazi-inspired Wolfsangel patches emblazoned on their sleeves.

Obama's National Security adviser, Samantha Power, claimed that the [Ukrainian] governments "response [to alleged provocations by eastern rebels] [was] reasonable, it is proportional, and frankly it is what any of our countries would have done."

The Ukrainian military and allied warlord and neo-Nazi militias were not acting reasonably or proportionally, however, when they carried out artillery and air attacks on cities and struck residential buildings, shopping malls, parks, schools, hospitals and orphanages in Eastern Ukraine, and tortured and executed POWs in what amounted to clear war crimes.

NYU Professor Stephen Cohen notes that even The New York Times , which mainly deleted atrocities from its coverage, described survivors in Slovyansk living "as if in the Middle Ages."

That the American public knows nothing of these events is a sad reflection of the superficiality of our media and decline in the quality of international news coverage.

It is also a testament to the failing of the political left, which has embraced the cause of immigrant and Palestinian rights and fighting climate change, legitimately, but neglected the plight of the Eastern Ukrainian people. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jeremy Kuzmarov

Jeremy Kuzmarov is the author of The Russians are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce (Monthly Review Press, 2018).

[Sep 12, 2019] Saudi jets, armed with US and UK bombs and provided with targeting information by US military intelligence officers stationed in Saudi Arabia,

Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 3, 2019 at 3:52 pm

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/02/yeme-s02.html

"Saudi jets, armed with US and UK bombs and provided with targeting information by US military intelligence officers stationed in Saudi Arabia, have continued to carry out repeated attacks on civilian targets, including schools, hospitals, residential neighborhoods, mosques, funerals and markets. The US had provided coalition jets with mid-air refueling until the end of last year, ensuring maximum carnage."

https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/content/current-members

Like I was saying Too bad the two foremost war criminal terrorist nations sit on the UNSC.

Mark Chapman September 3, 2019 at 4:14 pm
Funny – their position is exactly the opposite; too bad Russia and China are on the UNSC, if it were not for them, so much more could get done.

[Sep 10, 2019] Yemen Another Shameful US Defeat Looms by Finian Cunningham

Notable quotes:
"... A UN report published last week explicitly held the US, Britain and France liable for complicity in massive war crimes from their unstinting supply of warplanes, munitions and logistics to the Saudi and Emirati warplanes that have indiscriminately bombed civilians and public infrastructure. ..."
"... The infernal humanitarian conditions and complicity in war crimes can no longer be concealed by Washington's mendacity about allegedly combating "Iran subversion" in Yemen. The southern Arabian Peninsula country is an unmitigated PR disaster for official American pretensions of being a world leader in democratic and law-abiding virtue. ..."
"... After four years of relentless air strikes, which has become financially ruinous for the Saudi monarchy and its precocious Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who conceived the war, the Houthis still remain in control of the capital Sanaa and large swathes of the country. Barbaric bombardment and siege-starvation imposed on Yemen has not dislodged the rebels. ..."
"... The defeat is further complicated by the open conflict which has broken out over recent weeks between rival militants sponsored by the Saudis and Emiratis in the southern port city of Aden. There are reports of UAE warplanes attacking Saudi-backed militants and of Saudi force build-up. A war of words has erupted between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. There is strong possibility that the rival factions could blow up into a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, supposed coalition allies. ..."
"... When the US starts to talk about "ending the war" with a spin about concern for "mutual peace", then you know the sordid game is finally up. ..."
Sep 09, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

... ... ...

The war was launched by the US-backed Saudi coalition, including the United Arab Emirates, in March 2015, without any provocation from Yemen. The precipitating factor was that the Houthis, a mainly Shia rebel group aligned with Iran, had kicked out a corrupt Saudi-backed dictator at the end of 2014. When he tucked tail and fled to exile in Saudi capital Riyadh, that's when the Saudis launched their aerial bombing campaign on Yemen.

The slaughter in Yemen over the past four years has been nothing short of a calamity for the population of nearly 28 million people. The UN estimates that nearly 80 per cent of the nation is teetering on hunger and disease.

A UN report published last week explicitly held the US, Britain and France liable for complicity in massive war crimes from their unstinting supply of warplanes, munitions and logistics to the Saudi and Emirati warplanes that have indiscriminately bombed civilians and public infrastructure. The UN report also blamed the Houthis for committing atrocities. That may be so, but the preponderance of deaths and destruction in Yemen is due to American, British and French military support to the Saudi-led coalition. Up to 100,ooo civilians may have been killed from the Western-backed blitzkrieg, while the Western media keep quoting a figure of "10,000", which magically never seems to increase over the past four years.

Several factors are pressing the Trump administration to wind down the Yemen war.

The infernal humanitarian conditions and complicity in war crimes can no longer be concealed by Washington's mendacity about allegedly combating "Iran subversion" in Yemen. The southern Arabian Peninsula country is an unmitigated PR disaster for official American pretensions of being a world leader in democratic and law-abiding virtue.

When the American Congress is united in calling for a ban on US arms to Saudi Arabia because of the atrocities in Yemen, then we should know that the PR war has been lost. President Trump over-ruled Congress earlier this year to continue arming the Saudis in Yemen. But even Trump must at last be realizing his government's culpability for aiding and abetting genocide is no longer excusable, even for the most credulous consumers of American propaganda.

After four years of relentless air strikes, which has become financially ruinous for the Saudi monarchy and its precocious Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who conceived the war, the Houthis still remain in control of the capital Sanaa and large swathes of the country. Barbaric bombardment and siege-starvation imposed on Yemen has not dislodged the rebels.

Not only that but the Houthis have begun to take the war into the heart of Saudi Arabia. Over the past year, the rebels have mounted increasingly sophisticated long-range drone and ballistic missile attacks on Saudi military bases and the capital Riyadh. From where the Houthis are receiving their more lethal weaponry is not clear. Maybe from Lebanon's Hezbollah or from Iran. In any case, such supply if confirmed could be argued as legitimate support for a country facing aggression.

No doubt the Houthis striking deep into Saudi territory has given the pampered monarchs in Riyadh serious pause for thought.

When the UAE – the other main coalition partner – announced a month ago that it was scaling back its involvement in Yemen that must have rattled Washington and Riyadh that the war was indeed futile.

The defeat is further complicated by the open conflict which has broken out over recent weeks between rival militants sponsored by the Saudis and Emiratis in the southern port city of Aden. There are reports of UAE warplanes attacking Saudi-backed militants and of Saudi force build-up. A war of words has erupted between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. There is strong possibility that the rival factions could blow up into a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, supposed coalition allies.

Washington has doubtless taken note of the unstoppable disaster in Yemen and how its position is indefensible and infeasible.

Like so many other obscene American wars down through the decades, Washington is facing yet another ignominious defeat in Yemen. When the US starts to talk about "ending the war" with a spin about concern for "mutual peace", then you know the sordid game is finally up.

[Sep 06, 2019] Imagine if America had to answer for its war crimes caucus99percent

Notable quotes:
"... @gulfgal98 ..."
"... It is what all people of knowledge and conscience must prioritize accomplishing over any and all other concerns with the exception of the environment. ..."
"... literal medical necessity ..."
"... @humphrey ..."
"... My own take is that "America" is meaningless; world capital calls the shots. The US functions as a mercenary hiring hall for the owners, ever since Iraq I. You think the owners will let anybody mess with their mercs? ..."
Sep 06, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Imagine if America had to answer for its war crimes


gjohnsit on Thu, 09/05/2019 - 5:25pm Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demonstrated what the term "ugly American" meant the other day when he bragged about his defeat of the International Criminal Court.

"Americanism means taking care of our own," said Pompeo.
"We stopped international courts from prosecuting our service members," Pompeo continued, adding that the potential probe "was an outrage."
...
Pompeo confirmed earlier this year that the administration would revoke or deny visas for ICC personnel who try to investigate or prosecute U.S. officials or key allies for potential war crimes. A month later, in April, the administration followed through and revoked prosecutor Bensouda's visa for entry into the U.S.

Just because you defeated justice doesn't mean the crimes go away.
However, it does mean that there is no incentive to stop committing war crimes.
That brings us to today's news from Yemen .


The UK, US, France and Iran may be complicit in possible war crimes in Yemen over their support for parties to the conflict there, UN experts say.
A new report warns the countries they could be held responsible for aiding or assisting the commission of violations.
The Western powers provide weapons and logistical support to the Saudi-led coalition backing Yemen's government, while Iran backs the Houthi rebels.
...
The UN says the four-year conflict has claimed the lives of at least 7,290 civilians and left 80% of the population - 24 million people - in need of humanitarian assistance or protection, including 10 million who rely on food aid to survive.

Yemen has gotten a significant amount of much needed attention in recent years, but just across the Gulf of Aden another humanitarian disaster of gigantic size is happening in near total silence and obscurity.

"In the absence of humanitarian assistance, up to 2.1 million people across Somalia face severe hunger through December," the UN warned, citing the 2019 Post-Gu report's conclusion that this would bring the total number of Somalis expected to be food insecure, to 6.3 million by year's end.

1 million children are expected to be malnourished in Somalia by year's end.

Much like Yemen, the United States is busy committing war crimes in Somalia as well.

The United States may have committed war crimes as it bombed al-Shabab militants in Somalia, a new report Amnesty International alleges...
They found that the airstrikes killed farmers, women and an eight-year-old girl, whom the group assessed had no ties to al-Shabab.

"Due to the nature of the attacks, the U.S. government is violating international humanitarian law and these violations may amount to war crimes," Hassan said.
While the United States has been bombing Somalia for more than a decade, the Trump administration has accelerated the attacks.

The insurgency there is fueled by Somali rage over now decades-long American interference in their country.
Why Americans cannot bring themselves to care about Somalia is something I will never understand.

Meanwhile in Libya things have gone from bad to worse .

"Unless action is taken in the near term, it is highly likely that the current conflict will escalate into full civil war," Guterres said on Thursday in his latest report on the UN Support Mission in Libya.

AFRICOM says that a civil war would "give existing terrorist elements in Libya oxygen."
The leading instigator of the fighting is General Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar, after the defeat of the Libyan troops he was commanding in 1987, he offered his services to the CIA , which backed him for years as he awaited the opportunity to topple Muammar Gaddafi.
Is it really any surprise that Trump loves him ?


An airstrike by Khalifa Haftar's forces hit a migrant detention center east of Tripoli yesterday and killed at least 44 people and wounded up to 130. Haftar and his forces are mainly backed by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, and this airstrike is part of the assault on the Libyan capital that Trump reportedly endorsed when it began. The Trump administration is now shielding Haftar from condemnation by the Security Council by blocking the statement promoted by the U.K.

The ICC plans to investigate these war crimes, but since the Trump Administration won't even allow a condemnation, and considering how much Washington hates the ICC, i wouldn't count on this investigation going very far.

We need to

Our war crimes go way back and they continue to today.

Unfortunately, the US is the 800 lb gorilla on the world stage and no one is willing or courageous enough to challenge that gorilla.

The Liberal Moonbat on Thu, 09/05/2019 - 7:51pm
We, the American people, need to grab that gorilla by the balls

@gulfgal98 and CRUSH THEM.

The idea that POMPEO is "outraged" is...well, he's a Nazi. So is anybody who thinks that way (lookin' at you, Dubya & Friends).

THEY ARE DETERMINED TO OBLITERATE THE ENTIRE 20TH CENTURY, THE CENTURY THAT MADE AMERICA GREAT PRECISELY BECAUSE, FOR A BRIEF MOMENT IN TIME, IT CAST OFF AND STOOD AGAINST THAT VERY MENTALITY.

Men like him belong in their own torture-camps...or a short distance under them.

I've said it before, I'll say it again:

NUREMBERG II: JUDGMENT DAY.

It is what they most dread.
It is the least they deserve.
It is what the entire world - the American people most of all - NEEDS NOW.
It is what all people of knowledge and conscience must prioritize accomplishing over any and all other concerns with the exception of the environment.

FIAT JUSTICIA, RUUAT CAELUM: "Let there be Justice, though the Heavens may fall".

I believe that Justice (REAL Justice, not just the way it's been redefined by some as "goodies for my clique"), delivered in a timely, precise, and reliable manner, is nothing short of a literal medical necessity - and the truth is, Caelum IS Ruuating PRECISELY BECAUSE there has been no Justicia.

Our war crimes go way back and they continue to today.

Unfortunately, the US is the 800 lb gorilla on the world stage and no one is willing or courageous enough to challenge that gorilla.

humphrey on Thu, 09/05/2019 - 8:42pm
One thing.

There would be a construction boom at The Hague building new prisons to accommodate all the war criminals.

Le Frog on Thu, 09/05/2019 - 10:06pm
Somewhere, a private prison executive's

@humphrey heart beat a little faster in excitement and anticipation at the idea of securing the contracts for this.

There would be a construction boom at The Hague building new prisons to accommodate all the war criminals.

Daenerys on Thu, 09/05/2019 - 10:13pm
"Taking care of our own"

Our own what? Criminals I guess. *snort*

//www.youtube.com/embed/_n5E7feJHw0?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

wendy davis on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 11:23am
this is great, gjonsit;

thank you. i look forward to reading it more carefully later, especially your link on somalia. i remember bill clinton's hypocritical R2P only too well.. which precious Somalian mineral was the hegemon really after?

pindar's revenge on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 4:55pm
Forgive me, a nitpick

In the book The Ugly American, the ugly guy was actually the good guy who understood and respected local culture; he was just ugly and unsmooth. The "pretty" Americans were the villains. IIRC, it's been over 50 years. Might be worth re-reading.

Are we surprised? This is the Pax (or Bellus?) Americana. Since the USSR folded, the UN is toothless and GodGun$Gut$ dominates the world with endless war -- or thinks it does; after all, one in six humans is Chinese.

My own take is that "America" is meaningless; world capital calls the shots. The US functions as a mercenary hiring hall for the owners, ever since Iraq I. You think the owners will let anybody mess with their mercs?

[Sep 04, 2019] Veterans Mattis Spent Career Tending the Status Quo The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... But what happens when those "standards of excellence" lead to 20 years of fighting unwinnable wars on the peripheries of the planet? When do habits and practices turn into mental stagnation? ..."
"... You know when it comes to generals, whether they're Marines, whether they're Army, whether they're Mattis who's supposedly this "warrior monk," these guys talk tactics and then claim it's strategy. What they consider to be strategic thinking really is just tactical thinking on a broad scale . I think the biggest problem with all the four-star generals are they're "how" thinkers not "if" thinkers. ..."
"... This inability of America's elites (including its generals) to grapple with strategic concepts is a result of the United States' post-Cold War unipolar moment. When there's only one superpower, geopolitics and the need for international balancing fall by the wayside. ..."
"... Mattis, like virtually all of his four-star peers, is a reactionary, fighting every day against the forces of change in modern warfare ..."
"... "[W]hen you shave it all down, his problem with being the epitome of establishment Washington is that he sees the alliance as the end, not as a means to an end," says Davis. "The means should be to the end of improving American security and supporting our interests." ..."
"... "By clinging to unsustainable military solutions from the distant past, he has condemned future generations of soldiers and marines to repeat disasters like Pickett's Charge," says Macgregor. ..."
Sep 04, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Last week, The Wall Street Journal published a lengthy op-ed written by former secretary of defense James Mattis, his first public statement since his resignation in December. The article is adopted from his forthcoming book, Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead , out this week.

The former Pentagon chief opens a window into his decision making process, explaining that accepting President Trump's nomination was part of his lifelong devotion to public service: "When the president asks you to do something, you don't play Hamlet on the wall, wringing your hands. So long as you are prepared, you say yes." Mattis's two years at DoD capped off 44 years in the Marine Corps, where he gained a popular following as a tough and scholarly leader.

Mattis received widespread praise from the foreign policy establishment when he resigned in protest over President Trump's directive for a full U.S. military withdrawal from Syria and a partial withdrawal from Afghanistan. "When my concrete solutions and strategic advice, especially keeping faith with our allies, no longer resonated, it was time to resign, despite the limitless joy I felt serving alongside our troops in defense of our Constitution," he writes.

But did Mattis really offer "concrete solutions and strategic advice" regarding America's two decades of endless war? spoke with four military experts, all veterans, who painted a very different picture of the man called "Mad Dog."

"I think over time, in General Mattis's case a little over 40 years, if you spend that many years in an institution, it is extremely hard not to get institutionalized," says Gil Barndollar, military fellow-in-residence at the Catholic University of America's Center for the Study of Statesmanship. Barndollar served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps and deployed twice to Afghanistan. "In my experiences, there are not too many iconoclasts or really outside-the-box people in the higher ranks of the U.S. military."

It's just that sort of institutionalized thinking that makes the political establishment love Mattis. "[A] person with an institutional mind-set has a deep reverence for the organization he has joined and how it was built by those who came before. He understands that institutions pass down certain habits, practices and standards of excellence," wrote David Brooks in a hagiographic New York Times column .

But what happens when those "standards of excellence" lead to 20 years of fighting unwinnable wars on the peripheries of the planet? When do habits and practices turn into mental stagnation?

"The problem is, from at least the one-star the whole way through, for the last two decades, you've seen them do nothing but just repeat the status quo over and over," observes Lieutenant Colonel Daniel L. Davis, a senior fellow at Defense Priorities, who served 21 years in the U.S. Army and deployed four times to Iraq and Afghanistan. "I mean every single general that was in charge of Afghanistan said almost the same boilerplate thing every time they came in (which was nearly one a year). You see the same results, nothing changed."

"And if those guys took someone from a major to a two-star general, we'd probably have a lot of better outcomes," he adds.

Major Danny Sjursen, who served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, agrees:

You know when it comes to generals, whether they're Marines, whether they're Army, whether they're Mattis who's supposedly this "warrior monk," these guys talk tactics and then claim it's strategy. What they consider to be strategic thinking really is just tactical thinking on a broad scale . I think the biggest problem with all the four-star generals are they're "how" thinkers not "if" thinkers.

Barndollar says: "The vast majority of military leaders, up to and including generals at the three-, four-star level, are not operating at the strategic level, in terms of what that word means in military doctrine. They're not operating at the level of massive nation-state resources and alliances and things like that. They're at the operational level or often even at the tactical level."

This inability of America's elites (including its generals) to grapple with strategic concepts is a result of the United States' post-Cold War unipolar moment. When there's only one superpower, geopolitics and the need for international balancing fall by the wayside.

The only component of national security policy Mattis discusses in his op-ed is America's system of alliances, which he believes is the key to our preeminence on the world stage. "Returning to a strategic stance that includes the interests of as many nations as we can make common cause with, we can better deal with this imperfect world we occupy together," he writes.

"Mattis, like virtually all of his four-star peers, is a reactionary, fighting every day against the forces of change in modern warfare," counters Colonel Douglas Macgregor, who served 28 years in the U.S. Army. "He lives in denial of the technological breakthroughs that make the World War II force structure (that he as SecDef insisted on funding) an expensive tribute to the past."

Mattis muses that the Department of Defense "budget [is] larger than the GDPs of all but two dozen countries." Yet having acknowledged that disparity, how can such underpowered foreign nations possibly contribute to American security?

"He has that line in there about bringing as many guns as possible to a gun fight. What are those guns?" asked Barndollar. For example, the British Royal Navy is the United States' most significant allied naval force. But the United Kingdom has only seven vessels stationed in the Persian Gulf and they're "stretched to the absolute limit to do that."

"Our problem has been double-edged," says Davis of America's reliance on others. "On the one hand, we try to bludgeon a lot of our allies to do what we want irrespective of their interests as an asset. And then simultaneously, especially in previous administrations, we've almost gone too far [in] the other direction: 'we'll subordinate our interests for yours.'"

"[W]hen you shave it all down, his problem with being the epitome of establishment Washington is that he sees the alliance as the end, not as a means to an end," says Davis. "The means should be to the end of improving American security and supporting our interests."

Sjursen says:

Mattis's view is the old Einstein adage: "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity." Well that's all he's proposed. He has no new or creative solutions. For him, it's stay the course, more of the same, stay in place, fight the terrorists, maintain the illegitimate and corrupt governments that we back. That's what he's been talking about for 18 years. It's all the same interventionist dogma that's failed us over and over again since September 12, 2001.

"In the two years he was in office, what did he do that changed anything? He was a caretaker of the status quo. That's the bottom line," says Davis, adding, "you need somebody in that job especially that is willing to take some chances and some risk and is willing to honestly look at 18 consecutive years of failure and say, 'We're not doing that anymore. We're going to do something different.' And that just never happened."

Barndollar is more generous in his estimation of Mattis: "He needs to be lauded for standing for his principles, ultimately walking away when he decided he could no longer execute U.S. national security policy. I give him all the credit for that, for doing it I think in a relatively good manner, and for trying to do his best to stay above the fray and refuse to be dragged in at a partisan level to this point."

Mattis ends his Wall Street Journal op-ed by recounting a vignette from the 2010 Battle of Marjah, where he spoke with two soldiers on the front lines and in good cheer. But his story didn't sit well with Sjursen, who says it encapsulates Mattis' inability to ask the bigger questions: "He never talks about how those charming soldiers with the can-do attitude maybe shouldn't have been there at all. Maybe the mission that they were asked to do was ill-informed, ill-advised, and potentially unwinnable."

All this suggests that a fair evaluation of Mattis is as a soldier who is intelligent but unoriginal. A homegrown patriot, but one who'd like to plant the Stars and Stripes in Central Asia forever. A public servant, but one who would rather resign than serve the cause of restraint.

"By clinging to unsustainable military solutions from the distant past, he has condemned future generations of soldiers and marines to repeat disasters like Pickett's Charge," says Macgregor.

Hunter DeRensis is a reporter for The National Interest . Follow him on Twitter @HunterDeRensis .

[Sep 04, 2019] Military Intervention Isn t Humanitarian by Daniel Larison

Libya war was a pure oil grab. Pretexts always can be found.
Notable quotes:
"... Is intervention likely to impel more violence in the long term? Do policymakers actually know enough about the situation on the ground to make the "right" decisions? Is the American public willing to commit itself to years-long reconstruction efforts? Honest answers here may not sit well with idealism. In many instances, the most moral act is not to act at all. ..."
"... The most telling part of Power's career in government was that she served as ambassador to the U.N. at a time when the U.S. was enabling and supporting the Saudi coalition war on Yemen, and as part of the administration she had nothing to say about the crimes being committed against Yemeni civilians by coalition forces with U.S. military assistance and weapons. ..."
"... As Bessner notes, she doesn't have much to say about the abuses of U.S. clients in her book. She has been eager to advocate for using force against hostile or pariah regimes when they commit atrocities, but when client states use American weapons to commit the same atrocities while enjoying full U.S. backing Power didn't so much as utter a protest. After she left government and Trump became president, Power criticized U.S. support for the war, but when she was in a position to challenge a monstrous policy from inside the administration she apparently said nothing. ..."
"... And no one with enough intellectual honesty to mention that she was among the greatest enablers of Yemenis' suffering yet before the said "Tyrant" (who might be a tyrant to anyone but her social class) entered the office. Profiles in cowardice, all of them. ..."
Sep 04, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Daniel Bessner has written a very interesting review of Sar's memoir, The Education of an Idealist . Here he focuses on her narrow thinking about "humanitarian" intervention:

If you accept Power's premises, then humanitarian intervention boils down to a purely philosophical inquiry: Is it right to save lives if one has the capacity to do so? The answer, of course, is yes. The problem, though, is that intervention is not a thought experiment; it takes place in a world of brutal realities. In particular, humanitarian forces confront radical uncertainty. Is intervention likely to impel more violence in the long term? Do policymakers actually know enough about the situation on the ground to make the "right" decisions? Is the American public willing to commit itself to years-long reconstruction efforts? Honest answers here may not sit well with idealism. In many instances, the most moral act is not to act at all.

Can military intervention ever be humanitarian? It may be possible in theory, but as Bessner notes it doesn't work that way in practice. "Humanitarian" interventionists want the wars they support to be judged by their intentions to save lives and not by the results of ensuing chaos, instability, and violence. Taking sides in foreign conflicts inevitably means deciding that our government should end the lives of some people that have done nothing to us because we have concluded that it is the right thing to do. That takes for granted that our government has the right to act as judge and executioner in other people's wars simply because we have the power to affect the outcome. When we think about "humanitarian" intervention this way, we can see that it is driven by the worst kind of arrogant presumption. The first question we should ask is this: what gives us the authority to interfere in another country's internal conflict? We should also ask ourselves what gives us the right to cast aside international law whenever we deem it necessary. Isn't "humanitarian" intervention in practice little more than international armed vigilantism?

The Libyan war is one example of just such a "good" intervention that pretty clearly caused more harm than it prevented. It also violated most of the requirements of the "responsibility to protect" doctrine that was invoked to justify it. Like more than a few other die-hard Libyan war supporters, Power remains convinced that it was the right decision, because she doesn't ask the questions that would force her to confront the harm that the intervention did to Libya and the surrounding region. Bessner comments:

Power never really asked these questions, because ultimately, as the historian Stephen Wertheim has argued, she considers humanitarian intervention a categorical imperative (as long as it doesn't involve U.S. allies, of course).

That last qualification is an important one, and it gets at the heart of what is wrong with "humanitarian" interventionism in the U.S. and the West. If a government is considered to be on "our" side, it can commit war crimes with impunity, devastate whole countries, and starve tens of millions of people, and the most vocal "humanitarian" interventionists will usually have nothing to say about it. I have remarked on several occasions that "humanitarian" interventionists just ignored the catastrophe in Yemen despite the fact that it was the world's worst man-made humanitarian disaster, and it has only been in the last year or two that any of them have spoken up about it now that it is Trump's policy.

The most telling part of Power's career in government was that she served as ambassador to the U.N. at a time when the U.S. was enabling and supporting the Saudi coalition war on Yemen, and as part of the administration she had nothing to say about the crimes being committed against Yemeni civilians by coalition forces with U.S. military assistance and weapons.

As Bessner notes, she doesn't have much to say about the abuses of U.S. clients in her book. She has been eager to advocate for using force against hostile or pariah regimes when they commit atrocities, but when client states use American weapons to commit the same atrocities while enjoying full U.S. backing Power didn't so much as utter a protest. After she left government and Trump became president, Power criticized U.S. support for the war, but when she was in a position to challenge a monstrous policy from inside the administration she apparently said nothing.

Bessner observes that railing against hostile and pariah states while letting clients off the hook makes no sense if the goal is to minimize the harm to civilians:

Her approach does not make much sense from a pragmatic perspective either: U.S. officials have the highest likelihood of ending human rights abuses in countries that depend on us; there is little point in spending political capital in a mostly quixotic attempt to transform antagonists like North Korea.

Of course, it is much safer politically to denounce the states with which our government has no ties or influence, and it is much easier to remain silent about the crimes of client states that have significant clout in Washington. The point here is not just that Power failed her own test when she served in government, but that the impulse to intervene on "humanitarian" grounds amounts to agitating for war against certain governments while giving U.S. clients a free pass to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity with our government's blessing.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) 5 hours ago

There's yet one more reason to why she wasn't saying anything about Yemen when in office beside the one that it were her guys who directed that war then. Perhaps less phony, but, I'd rather say, more tragic. It's much easier to criticize someone for neglecting his duties than not to neglect those duties when you've got them yourself.

I almost see those lemmings on her Twitter chirping: 'Oh, you're so brave, you're standing up to the Terrible Orange Tyrant.' (Not that the "Tyrant" was even aware that she's standing up to him).

And no one with enough intellectual honesty to mention that she was among the greatest enablers of Yemenis' suffering yet before the said "Tyrant" (who might be a tyrant to anyone but her social class) entered the office. Profiles in cowardice, all of them.

[Sep 04, 2019] US army now and then: Today's soldiers aren't too different than the slave legions of ancient Rome

Sep 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

VietnamVet , September 3, 2019 at 11:13 pm

This discussion avoids comparing society in the mid-19th century and today. It really isn't that long ago. I've lived through almost half of it. Except for officers most of the soldiers I served with were conscripted or enlisted because of the draft. In a war your choices are limited. If they were in the march, driving wagons, armed to the teeth, they were soldiers; no matter how they got there.

Today's volunteer Army most of the soldiers and contractors are there because they couldn't get a better job unless they are adrenaline junkies or psychopaths. The current neoliberal economy purposefully exploits people and the environment to make a profit. Today's soldiers aren't too different than the slave legions of ancient Rome. Perhaps, "warriors" isn't that much of a misnomer.

[Sep 02, 2019] Falling From Grace The Decline Of The US Empire

The USA centered global neoliberal empire falls from grace at alarming speed.
Just the discussion of this possibility would be unthinkable in 90th -- the period of triumphal advance of neoliberalism all over the globe. So thinks did change although it is unclear what is that direction of the social change -- neo-fascism or some kind of return to the New Del Capitalism (if so who will replace previous, forged by Great Depression political alignment between trade unions and management against the financial oligarchy, which financial oligarchy managed to broke using neoliberalism as the Trojan horse and bribing CEOs)
Om a was original fascist movements were also a protest against the rule of financial oligarchy. Even anti-Semitism in Germany was a kind of perverted protest against financial oligarchy as well. They were quickly subverted and in Germany anti-Semitism degenerated into irrational hatred and genocide, , but the fact remains. Just looks at NSDAP program of 1920 . Now we have somewhat similar sentiments with Wexner and Meta group in the USA. To say that they do not invoke any sympathy is an understatement.
The problem with empires that they do not only rob the "other people". They rob their own people as well, and rob them hard. The USSR people were really robbed by Soviet military industrial complex and Soviet globalist -- to the far greater extent then the USA people now. People were really as poor as church rats. Epidemic of alcoholism in the USA resembles the epidemic of narcoaddtion in the USA --- both are signs of desire then there is no jobs and now chances.
Like the collapse of the USSR was the result of the collapse of bolshevism, the collapse of the USA can be the result of the collapse of neoliberalism. Whether it will take 10 or 50 years is unclear, but the general tendency is down.
The competitors has grown much strong now and they want their place under then sub. That means squeezing the USA. Trump did agrat job in alientaing the US and that was probably the most important step is dismantling the USA empire that was taken. Add to that trade war with China and we have the situation that is not favorable to the USA politically in two important parts of the globe.
Add to this Brexit and we have clear tendency of states to reassert their sovereignty, which start hurting the USA based multinationals.
The only things that work in favor of the USA is that currently there is no clear alternative to neoliberalism other then some kind of restoration of the New Deal capitalism or neo-fasist dictatorship.
Notable quotes:
"... Self-discipline, self sacrifice and self restraint are the prices which must be paid for a civilization to survive, much less flourish, and Americans are increasingly unwilling to pay up. The America of a generation or two down the road will have the social cohesion of El Salvador. ..."
"... Being that history is always written by the tyrant of the time (which in our case was definitely behind the two last empires and a big player in Rome as and Spain as well) people are also led to believe that empire is a desireable state of cicumstance. It never was. Its the ambitions and conquistador actions of the collective psychopath. They feed on the strength of civilizations and utilize it for megalomaniac ambitions over power of others and power over everything. ..."
"... Those of you hoping for the end of American Empire need to think about what would replace it. ..."
"... You are completely delusional. The world is not better off under American stewardship. We don't need and shouldn't want anything to replace it. We don't need and shouldn't want any empire ruling the world. We would be better off without any state at all, so we could finally be free people. ..."
"... And no it probably wouldn't be better off under the Chinese. Although if the world stopped respecting American IP law, that would be a huge positive step forward. ..."
Sep 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,

Years ago, Doug Casey mentioned in a correspondence to me, "Empires fall from grace with alarming speed."

Every now and then, you receive a comment that, although it may have been stated casually, has a lasting effect, as it offers uncommon insight. For me, this was one of those and it's one that I've kept handy at my desk since that time, as a reminder.

I'm from a British family, one that left the UK just as the British Empire was about to begin its decline. They expatriated to the "New World" to seek promise for the future.

As I've spent most of my life centred in a British colony – the Cayman Islands – I've had the opportunity to observe many British contract professionals who left the UK seeking advancement, which they almost invariably find in Cayman. Curiously, though, most returned to the UK after a contract or two, in the belief that the UK would bounce back from its decline, and they wanted to be on board when Britain "came back."

This, of course, never happened. The US replaced the UK as the world's foremost empire, and although the UK has had its ups and downs over the ensuing decades, it hasn't returned to its former glory.

And it never will.

If we observe the empires of the world that have existed over the millennia, we see a consistent history of collapse without renewal. Whether we're looking at the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Spanish Empire, or any other that's existed at one time, history is remarkably consistent: The decline and fall of any empire never reverses itself; nor does the empire return, once it's fallen.

But of what importance is this to us today?

Well, today, the US is the world's undisputed leading empire and most Americans would agree that, whilst it's going through a bad patch, it will bounce back and might even be better than ever.

Not so, I'm afraid. All empires follow the same cycle. They begin with a population that has a strong work ethic and is self-reliant. Those people organize to form a nation of great strength, based upon high productivity.

This leads to expansion, generally based upon world trade. At some point, this gives rise to leaders who seek, not to work in partnership with other nations, but to dominate them, and of course, this is when a great nation becomes an empire. The US began this stage under the flamboyant and aggressive Teddy Roosevelt.

The twentieth century was the American century and the US went from victory to victory, expanding its power.

But the decline began in the 1960s, when the US started to pursue unwinnable wars, began the destruction of its currency and began to expand its government into an all-powerful body.

Still, this process tends to be protracted and the overall decline often takes decades.

So, how does that square with the quote, "Empires fall from grace with alarming speed"?

Well, the preparation for the fall can often be seen for a generation or more, but the actual fall tends to occur quite rapidly.

What happens is very similar to what happens with a schoolyard bully.

The bully has a slow rise, based upon his strength and aggressive tendency. After a number of successful fights, he becomes first revered, then feared. He then takes on several toadies who lack his abilities but want some of the spoils, so they do his bidding, acting in a threatening manner to other schoolboys.

The bully then becomes hated. No one tells him so, but the other kids secretly dream of his defeat, hopefully in a shameful manner.

Then, at some point, some boy who has a measure of strength and the requisite determination has had enough and takes on the bully.

If he defeats him, a curious thing happens. The toadies suddenly realise that the jig is up and they head for the hills, knowing that their source of power is gone.

Also, once the defeated bully is down, all the anger, fear and hatred that his schoolmates felt for him come out, and they take great pleasure in his defeat.

And this, in a nutshell, is what happens with empires.

A nation that comes to the rescue in times of genuine need (such as the two World Wars) is revered. But once that nation morphs into a bully that uses any excuse to invade countries such as Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria, its allies may continue to bow to it but secretly fear it and wish that it could be taken down a peg.

When the empire then starts looking around for other nations to bully, such as Iran and Venezuela, its allies again say nothing but react with fear when they see the John Boltons and Mike Pompeos beating the war drums and making reckless comments.

At present, the US is focusing primarily on economic warfare, but if this fails to get the world to bend to its dominance, the US has repeatedly warned, regarding possible military aggression, that "no option is off the table."

The US has reached the classic stage when it has become a reckless bully, and its support structure of allies has begun to de-couple as a result.

At the same time that allies begin to pull back and make other plans for their future, those citizens within the empire who tend to be the creators of prosperity also begin to seek greener pastures.

History has seen this happen countless times. The "brain drain" occurs, in which the best and most productive begin to look elsewhere for their future. Just as the most productive Europeans crossed the Pond to colonise the US when it was a new, promising country, their present-day counterparts have begun moving offshore.

The US is presently in a state of suspended animation. It still appears to be a major force, but its buttresses are quietly disappearing. At some point in the near future, it's likely that the US government will overplay its hand and aggress against a foe that either is stronger or has alliances that, collectively, make it stronger.


Basil1931 , 30 minutes ago link

The greatest (so called) threats to America- the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, North Koreans, ISIS, ( fill in the blank for the latest overseas bogeyman-of-the-week ) pale into a wisp beside the ongoing disintegration of American traditional family life. Self-discipline, self sacrifice and self restraint are the prices which must be paid for a civilization to survive, much less flourish, and Americans are increasingly unwilling to pay up. The America of a generation or two down the road will have the social cohesion of El Salvador.

Ms No , 38 minutes ago link

You also cant warn people about the collapse of empire either. People notoriously go into denial about it and it shocks the **** out of everybody. Since empires bluff and bluster at the end its all to easy for people want to believe.

Being that history is always written by the tyrant of the time (which in our case was definitely behind the two last empires and a big player in Rome as and Spain as well) people are also led to believe that empire is a desireable state of cicumstance. It never was. Its the ambitions and conquistador actions of the collective psychopath. They feed on the strength of civilizations and utilize it for megalomaniac ambitions over power of others and power over everything.

ohm , 55 minutes ago link

Those of you hoping for the end of American Empire need to think about what would replace it. if you think that the world would enter the age of Aquarius and peace will rule the planet you are extremely naive and stupid. If you think that the Chinese would be more benign rulers you are mistaken. The only reason China doesn't use its military to dominate other countries is because it is kept in check by the US.

HillaryOdor , 46 minutes ago link

You are completely delusional. The world is not better off under American stewardship. We don't need and shouldn't want anything to replace it. We don't need and shouldn't want any empire ruling the world. We would be better off without any state at all, so we could finally be free people.

And no it probably wouldn't be better off under the Chinese. Although if the world stopped respecting American IP law, that would be a huge positive step forward.

In the real world, Chinese terrorists are just as bad as American terrorists. Despite the most popular hypnosis gripping the American psyche, you can't have liberty or justice as long as either one is in charge. Whether the Chinese would be worse is debatable. It's not like America has some great track record to compete against. Their reign has been a complete disaster for human rights.

ohm , 41 minutes ago link

We don't need any empire ruling the world.

Agreed. But wishing that something isn't going to happen doesn't stop it from happening.

HillaryOdor , 34 minutes ago link

Pretending you are better off under the current arrangement doesn't make it so.

Pretending you have any control over the future of world politics doesn't make it so.

simpson seers , 43 minutes ago link

'Those of you hoping for the end of American Empire need to think about what would replace it '

for starters, peace would replace it, fake phoney ******.......

ohm , 42 minutes ago link

Why? Do you have a historical example?

ohm , 42 minutes ago link

Why? Do you have a historical example?

SHsparx , 37 minutes ago link

Expecting the inevitable and hoping for something are two different things.

Ms No , 29 minutes ago link

If China became the new empire we wouldnt live under it. It would be at least 100 years out. This empire will screw everybody epically first, plus we have decline weather patterns with super solar grand minimum. Also those people's who may see that next empire will deal with whatever circumstances present themselves and they wont give one **** what we think about it.

Basically power has kept moving west. Nobody will forget the depravity of this one. If written about accurately this one will be remembered most for the medical tyranny and intentional damage it did to human beings through injections and modified good supply, as well as moral depravity and proxy sadistic terrorism. Remember empire backed terrorist groups trafficked children and harvested organs. You can miss it if you want, few will.

ultramaroon , 11 minutes ago link

I do not _hope_ for an end of the American Empire, and I dread what is going to replace it. Howsoever, no empire lasts forever, and our empire is near its end. The Chinese are relentlessly cruel, and that's in their genotype. I probably won't live to see them take over the scraps and bits and pieces of our former empire. Those who are alive and in the prime of their lives when that happens will suffer unimaginably while they live, and their blood will cry out from the grave after they die. It makes me so heart-sick I can't bear to think about it for long, but our progeny will be forced to live it without let or hindrance.

Ms No , 8 minutes ago link

Lets find out the whole details of what they have done to our biology and our children's first before we say how cruel China might be. For starters look at what US and British did in Africa compared to China and Russia's involvement there. They are doing deals and not killing anybody, same with Venezuela.

SmallerGovNow2 , 1 hour ago link

Where else you going to go? What nation ISN'T broke? Europe is going to hell. So is South America. Africa has always been hell. Asia? Look what's going down in Hong Kong. China's broke. Make no mistake, the USA is in decline. But so is the rest of the world...

SmallerGovNow2 , 1 hour ago link

I'd say it's a race to the bottom but it's really that everyone is falling off the cliff at the same time...

perikleous , 1 hour ago link

regardless of what is printed China is not falling, they have a plan and have only advanced it. The debt side will not hurt them because they have been poor before and they have a route to success. They do not have resources but the industrial side is needed everywhere in the world. We are talking about a nation that literally prospered off of our garbage and resells it back to us! Think about it we use something up and pay them to take it away, they recycle it and resell it to us again and moved a nation 4x our population forward!

You really think debt will hurt them, especially the way the US determines debt! A huge portion of it is in the infrastructucture in China and along the BRI which will have returns over time, just as if we in the states rebuilt all our infrastructure by living wage employment rather than MIC investment!

Argentumentum , 1 hour ago link

Yes, all are broke. Assisted suicides of countries all over the world. Emphasise on "assisted".

Nations have been demoralized (the US most certainly, check Yuri Bezmenov) we are in destabilization phase already, collapse has to be next, it is unavoidable now. This will not end well, ignore at your own risk!

I am not talking about countries, just some Life Hedge Regions left in the world. People with brains and resources, you don need a Life Hedge Property! Away from Northern Hemisphere, away from Ring of Fire, etc... Get in touch. lifehedge(at) protonmail.com

He–Mene Mox Mox , 1 hour ago link

What got America into trouble was when Americans who thought of themselves as being "exceptional" became exceptionally stupid. The best and the brightest have already left America. Any wonder why we now depend on Russia to send our astronauts up on their rockets into space, or depend on China, South Korea, and Japan for our electronic products, or why better health care is found in other places outside the U.S., why our educational system has become poorer than what it was 60 years ago, etc.,?

perikleous , 1 hour ago link

When we decided to financialize everything and make nothing but investments we crippled our advancement.

When we decided to take the brightest minds in the world and recruit them into the US and then rather than advance the world with true science, we offer them lucrative money to enter financial markets to use their knowledge in that field.

We take the ones with morals and principles that choose to actually remain in science and then corrupt them over time with money/fame to regurgetate whatever their contractor chooses or lose funding for their projects.

We have corrupted every aspect of advancement and now just use our fake printed money to force the desperate to bend to our will.

SmallerGovNow2 , 1 hour ago link

Where do you see this better health care?

And you're saying the best and brightest left the USA for Russia, China, South Korea, and Japan? I don't think so...

Dump , 1 hour ago link

Good read on the subject of empires Sir John Glubb - The fate of empires and Search for survival.

We are probably near the end of the American Empire. And a fascinating by product of the HK protests is that we may well be near the end of Chinese Communism.

The Herdsman , 1 hour ago link

Nothing moves forward in a straight line. They move up and down. Empires are no exception. The Romans had their ups and downs throughout the course of their empire. You never know when a down cycle is the end but people who want it to end will always write articles like this.

American dominance might be drawing to an end....or it might be gearing up to go another 200 years. Nobody knows so it's a waste of time to speculate.

[Sep 02, 2019] Resistance to color revolutions as a cost imposition strategy

Use of FARA type laws is a must for implementation of such a strategy
Sep 02, 2019 | intpolicydigest.org

In general, cost imposition involves making it very expensive – in personnel, equipment and time – for an adversary to achieve a particular goal. This presents the enemy with a serious dilemma : Giving up means certain defeat, of course, but continuing to compete decreases the likelihood of winning.

[Aug 29, 2019] Giuliani Renews Push For Biden Investigation

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has long pushed for Kiev to investigate Vice President Joe Biden's attempt in 2016 to get the country's top prosecutor removed at a crucial moment during an ongoing investigation into Burisma Holdings -- the Ukrainian natural gas company advised at the time by Biden's son Hunter. ..."
"... As the The New York Times reported previously, during the final year of the Obama presidency, Vice President Joe Biden "threatened to withhold $1 billion in United States loan guarantees if Ukraine's leaders did not dismiss the country's top prosecutor" -- Viktor Shokin -- "who had been accused of turning a blind eye to corruption in his own office and among the political elite." ..."
Aug 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

... ... ...

Also interesting is that Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has long pushed for Kiev to investigate Vice President Joe Biden's attempt in 2016 to get the country's top prosecutor removed at a crucial moment during an ongoing investigation into Burisma Holdings -- the Ukrainian natural gas company advised at the time by Biden's son Hunter.

As the The New York Times reported previously, during the final year of the Obama presidency, Vice President Joe Biden "threatened to withhold $1 billion in United States loan guarantees if Ukraine's leaders did not dismiss the country's top prosecutor" -- Viktor Shokin -- "who had been accused of turning a blind eye to corruption in his own office and among the political elite."

Crucially last week Giuliani was reported to have again raised the issue with Ukrainian officials , according to CNN .

As CNN cynically put it in its latest report , this suggests "the former New York mayor is making a renewed push for the country to investigate Trump's political enemies."

But then again maybe it's as simple as the US not actually having a deep national security interest in propping up Ukraine's military at a moment when international missile treaties with Russian are unraveling and the war in Donbass is at a bloody stalemate.

The looming potential for a controversial cut in aid to Ukraine will make Trump's upcoming meeting with still relatively new "political outsider" President Volodymyr Zelenskyy set for next week all the more interesting. A final decision on the military aid is expect after this crucial meeting.


geno-econ , 1 hour ago link

More reason for Pappy Biden to pull out of race. Now he does not stand a chance to defeat Trump because Hunter corruption in Ukraine and China will be center stage during election. Obviously "lock them up " will be the battle cry. With China's latest backpedaling on tariff retaliation, Trump can only be defeated from within Republican party by new impeachable revelations.

CatInTheHat , 1 hour ago link

Ukraine was a Kagan/Nuland obammy/Biden coup special. Another **** adventure.

CatInTheHat , 1 hour ago link

Kolomoisky a ***.

Big surprise There.

CatInTheHat , 1 hour ago link

Yeah, if you only knew that the big beneficiary to the IMF Loan in Argentina was none other than Orange *** oligarch donor Paul Singer.

Same thing happened in Ukraine. Poroshenko was not only the recipient of an IMF loan bailout but lots of US "aid" too.

Something bout them Joos.

CatInTheHat , 2 hours ago link

Wait, so does the US still want to split China and Russia?

At G7 Macron and Trump both were talking up Putin and wanting to allow Russia back into G8.

Then i read another interesting article about Macron inviting Putin to France:

"The dynamics of the New Cold War might undergo a dramatic transformation if the geopolitical game-changer of a “New Detente” between Russia and the West succeeds, which is becoming increasingly possible as proven by recent events.

President Putin’s meeting earlier this week with his French counterpart in Paris saw Macron repeatedly emphasizing Russia’s European identity in a clear sign that this rapprochement is making visible progress. Macron is motivated to play the role of mediator between the US and Russia for two main reasons, namely that he wants to position France as a possible replacement to inevitably post-Merkel Germany as the EU’s leading country and also to reach an accommodation with Moscow in Africa after the completion of the country’s “ African Transversal ” earlier this summer began to threaten Paris’ interests in the continent. Putin responded extremely positively and reminded Macron of their two Great Powers’ decades-long shared desire to forge “a common Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok”, reaffirming that Russia regards itself more as a European country than a “Eurasian” or Asian one, which has important implications for International Relations.

The Neo-NAM

What The US Really Wants From Russia ” is for it to recalibrate its recent “Eurasian” turn towards China in exchange for much-needed sanctions relief that could help it survive its two ongoing systemic transitions in the political ( post-Putin 2024 , or PP24) and economic (“ Great Society “/” National Development Projects “) spheres, which was likely discussed during Pompeo’s trip to Sochi in May and thus enabled the author to “ Predict The Possible Details Of A ‘New Detente’ “. The US doesn’t have any unrealistic expectations about the Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership and is very well aware that Putin announced earlier this year that the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union will work towards integrating with China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), so a repeat of the Old Cold War-era “Sino-Soviet Split” probably isn’t in the cards, but what’s much more feasible is for the US to encourage Russia to become the leader of a new Non-Aligned Movement ( Neo-NAM ) that could “ balance ” between China and the West exactly like Mr.

Oleg Barabanov — a programme director at Russia’s top think tank, the Valdai Club — suggested in his policy paper a few months ago titled “ China’s Road to Global Leadership: Prospects and Challenges for Russia “.

“Politically Inconvenient” Truths

Both the Mainstream and Alternative Medias had hitherto exaggerated the nature of the Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership for their own reasons, with the former wanting to portray it according to the paradigm of the so-called “Russian threat” in order to justify a more muscular American military buildup against them while the latter imagined that the two were “allies” jointly working together without any disagreements whatsoever in order to accelerate the emerging Multipolar World Order that would presumably be “anti-American”. The reality of their relations is a lot less sexy and it’s that Russia was pushed into reorientating its strategic focus as a result of the West’s anti-Russian sanctions following Crimea’s reunification, which served as the catalyst for Moscow’s decision to embrace Beijing. Russia probably wouldn’t have undertaken this move had it not been for American pressure, but it felt compelled to since it didn’t want to remain a “junior partner” in the US’ “New World Order”, instead endeavoring to return to its historical role as a Great Power among equals.

In pursuit of this, it’s much easier for Russia to simply reintegrate into a reformed “New World Order” than to build an entirely new one from scratch alongside China, which is why the possibility of a “New Detente” is so enticing to its leadership, though provided of course that the West is sincere in finally treating Russia as an equal Great Power"

https://www.globalresearch.ca/new-detente-proceeding-apace-china-should-very-concerned/5686937

One doubts The US sincerity and for good reason. This might be why US backing off Ukraine. US has always wanted to split China and Russia.

thereasonableinvestor , 2 hours ago link

#Unequal: Rich Sanders, Biden and Obama Lecture Average Americans on Income Inequality

CatInTheHat , 1 hour ago link

BASTARDS! If i had a DIME for every time Obama EXPLOITED vulnerable Americans for his road and pony show I would be a rich woman.

I'll never forget Obama interview in prison with a few younger African American kids. Talkin to then as if he knew what they were going through. His black *** raised WHITE and who had ZERO clue what it was to live black and supporting the very oppressive system that jailed them in the first place. All that after he bailed out banks and then QE under the Fed for his wealthy CITI, Goldman and *** friends.

Master manipulator.

[Aug 28, 2019] why Magnier isn't using his platform to point out Netanyahu's irresponsible, self-serving actions. Netanyahu will NOT pay a price for his craven machinations - which could mean Israeli dead and injured and/or another war in Lebanon - when even "critics" like Magnier dress them up as heroic acts of patriotism

Notable quotes:
"... etanyahu bet the farm on Trump and Trump failed to deliver. They were countered at every turn by patient and scrupulous opponents who read the board better and didn't respond muscularly to repeated provocations. They let events come to them and waited for the moment of over-commitment. ..."
"... "Iraqi Intelligence: 'The Israeli drones that have been attacking our nation in the past few weeks are operating out of a base in YPG/SDF held areas in Syria and these operations are co-financed by Saudi Arabia. Israeli military personnel are on the ground in Northern Syria.'" ..."
Aug 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Aug 26 2019 20:36 utc | 133

Magnier on Nuttyahoo's escalating provocations encapsulates the most recent series of events, although he doesn't attempt to link the actions to the upcoming elections. Hezbollah threatened direct retaliation against Occupied Palestine; Iraq chose to blame the Outlaw US Empire; Syria remained silent; the G-7 said nothing. The recent proposal by Iran to refurbish one pipeline and build another to Syria's coastline would certainly become a Zionist target. So, for the project to have the proper security, Occupied Palestine needs to be liberated. Nasrallah isn't known as a bluffer, while Nuttyahoo's prone to be too aggressive. Do the Zionists see the current situation as possibly the final time they have some sort of an advantage as Magnier seems to imply and attack since they know the Outlaw US Empire won't?

Sasha , Aug 26 2019 20:53 utc | 136

But, in spite of the whole US paleo-conservative spectre, along with "alt-right", always telling us it is Israel who forces the US to wage war in the ME...now, Israeli politics and experts, say the last attacks on Irak, Syria and Lebanon have been made only as electoral maneuver by Netanyahu and not only, but have stated that it is the US who wants Israel doing their dirty job in the ME...This, reported by Al Manar ....not a Jewish source....
In his speech on August 25, the secretary general of Hezbollah made a double promise: the Resistance will now attack the drones of Israel and attack the Israeli troops not in Shebaa but in Lebanon itself. For those Israeli generals who experienced the 2006 war and the ups and downs of Syria, these are not just warnings. These soldiers even seem to have been sensitive to Nasraláh's warning that Netanyahu's attacks are intended to win votes for the next election and avoid imprisonment. "The current threat to Israel, which is even more serious than terrorism, missiles and Iran, is the collapse of the interior of Israel," warned former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

"By the way, Netanyahu's air operations against Syria, Lebanon and Iraq pursue internal political goals, which is very unfortunate", said Moshe Yaalon, a leader of the Blue and White opposition coalition and former Israeli Minister of Military Affairs, according to the agency Palestinian Maa.

"The threat of the collapse of the interior of Israel is even more serious than the missiles and Iran. The destruction of democracy and corruption within government apparatus will lead us to collapse", said Ehud Barak in a video posted on his Twitter page.

"The attack on Syria was not a preventive action and will harm Israel," Barak told Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot, having apparently understood the warning issued by Nasralá.

Other Israeli experts share this opinion. Yaari Ehud, an Israeli journalist and expert in the Middle East said on Channel 12 of Israeli television that Netanyahu and his security cabinet "perpetrated these attacks on behalf of the US" and run the risk of "exposing Israel." "In fact, the missions that Americans refuse to do, they entrust them to Israel. We have been commissioned to do the dirty work at the risk of jeopardizing our security, "he added before saying", Tel Aviv will pay for it."

Who is lying? The Israelis or the Americans? Or both?

See here Nasrallah more angry than long time ago...

While Israel claims having targetted an Iranian military base in Damascus, it seems that what it targetted were two milennials from Hezbollah, Hassan and Yasser , friends since childhood, who were also Engineering students in Iran...

Jackrabbit , Aug 27 2019 3:03 utc | 148

karlof1 @133: Magniers latest

Mangier writes a follow-up to his post that I criticized @29. I think that his latest post also falls well short of his vaunted reputation.

Magnier's interpretation of events lauds Netanyahu's chess playing. He compares inconsequential attacks with past strategic actions (almost gleefully as he describes those past glories at some length) .

He makes broad, unsupported statements like:

It should be recognized that Israel's assessment of the reaction of Iran's allies in Syria and Iraq is spot on.
And repeats that Israel is hitting "hundreds" of sites FOUR TIMES. Making it seem as though the Israeli campaign is much greater than it really is. AFAICT those attacks have actually been spread out over more than a year.

Yet it's all preliminary to this gem:

Netanyahu forced Hezbollah's leader to threaten Israel ...
Forced? Really? AFAICT the red lines in Lebanon have been clear for a long time. Each side will defend theirs.

Which leaves me scratching my head as to why Magnier isn't using his platform to point out Netanyahu's irresponsible, self-serving actions. Netanyahu will NOT pay a price for his craven machinations - which could mean Israeli dead and injured and/or another war in Lebanon - when even "critics" like Magnier dress them up as heroic acts of patriotism.

somebody , Aug 27 2019 8:53 utc | 160
Will Israel's War Become America's War?
Netanyahu's widening of Israel's war with Iran and its proxies into Lebanon and Iraq -- and perhaps beyond -- and his acknowledgement of that wider war raise questions for both nations.

Israel today has on and near her borders hostile populations in Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, and Iraq. Tens of millions of Muslims see her as an enemy to be expelled from the region.

While there is a cold peace with Egypt and Jordan, the Saudis and Gulf Arabs are temporary allies as long as the foe is Iran.

Is this pervasive enmity sustainable?

As for America, have we ceded to Netanyahu something no nation should ever cede to another, even an ally: the right to take our country into a war of their choosing but not of ours?

bevin , Aug 27 2019 13:03 utc | 167
On a not completely different subject-that of the Empire's demise- there is a Tom Luongo article at Strategic Culture, which is pretty good.
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/08/27/first-many-cauldrons-form-middle-east/
It ends
"So, the cauldron around Israel is forming. With the Saudis in deep trouble, Egypt refusing to go along with any of Trump's plans – Arab NATO, the Kushner Deal of the Century – the game board has fundamentally shifted against them.

"N etanyahu bet the farm on Trump and Trump failed to deliver. They were countered at every turn by patient and scrupulous opponents who read the board better and didn't respond muscularly to repeated provocations. They let events come to them and waited for the moment of over-commitment.

"Now the counter attack will commence, I suspect, with brutal precision"

Uncle Jon , Aug 27 2019 17:05 utc | 177
@bevin 167

Elijah Magnier paints a different picture with Israel having the upper hand and being able to act with impunity.

https://ahtribune.com/world/north-africa-south-west-asia/3421-netanyahu-dares-to-hit-iran-backyard.html

I don't quite agree with his assessment and conclusions. He is grossly underestimating the axis of resistance and their will to push back. Also, Israelis are overestimating the American support, no matter what. Not if it is going to cost them American lives. Hitting a few ammo depots in isolation is one thing, but getting Americans to die for Israeli intransigence is another. Not much stomach for that here in US, no matter how much they push the special relationship.

Israelis are playing backgammon while Iran and axis playing chess, being a grandmaster at that. Check mate will be ugly.


dh , Aug 27 2019 17:17 utc | 179
@177 Israel shouldn't take American support for granted. According to this article some Evangelicals are starting to have second thought...

"Why do we have pro-abortion, pro-LGBTQ values, and we do not have more freedom to protect our faith? We are persecuted now," Yanko says about evangelical Christians like herself. "[Jews] say, 'We've got America. We control America.' That's what I know."

https://www.yahoo.com/news/anti-semitic-beliefs-spreading-among-192155642.html

karlof1 , Aug 27 2019 20:10 utc | 191
If true, big time trouble :

"Iraqi Intelligence: 'The Israeli drones that have been attacking our nation in the past few weeks are operating out of a base in YPG/SDF held areas in Syria and these operations are co-financed by Saudi Arabia. Israeli military personnel are on the ground in Northern Syria.'"

Is it a feint to get SAA to cease Idlib Dawn and drive the Zionists out, or are Zionist drones really being flown from there? Regardless, it's time to end the Kurd's games, drive out the Outlaw US Empire and all other illegal forces and reclaim Syrian sovereignty. Iraq must do the same.

S , Aug 28 2019 1:20 utc | 227 Jackrabbit , Aug 28 2019 2:11 utc | 228
Well, as if we needed any more proof of a Netanyahu's attempt to increase tensions for craven political benefit, there's Michael Snyder (via ZeroHedge): Fighting Escalates Dramatically As Both Sides Prepare For "The Final War" Between Israel And Iran , in which he claims that:
Over the past several days, Israel has attempted to prevent attacks by Iranian forces and their allies by striking targets in Syria, Gaza, Lebanon and Iraq.
Really? AFAIK, Israel hasn't described specific attacks that were thwarted.

Snyder then uses Iraqi and Hezbollah's anger at Israel's acts of war (cause, um ... that's what they are) as examples of pre-crime hatred that justifies Netanyahu's Israel's attacks.

Netanyahu's self-serving deviousness has blown up his face. Hasbara media assets are busy trying to recover the high ground. IMO their attempt to do so will fail miserably as it's transparent and thus digs the hole deeper. Leading to the question: Will Netanyahu accept defeat at the polls or will he continue with the dirty tricks (at the risk of war)?

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

The above should be read in conjunction with my criticism of Magnier @29 and @148.

psychohistorian , Aug 28 2019 3:36 utc | 231
@ Jackrabbit #228 about Netanyahu...thanks

I read in the past 24 hours somewhere that Pence has also been speaking about how the US needs to help Israel protect itself from being attacked......

It is way past time to bring the pimple to a head and deal with it.

[Aug 28, 2019] Bolsonaro is just playing their game to whip up fear of deforestation. As soon as R2P MARK II is fact, he will flipflop and wildfires suddenly stop burning. Then the warmongers have added another tool to their military intervention toolbox, to be used against whichever country will be next.

Aug 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Joost , Aug 27 2019 18:28 utc | 182

@Tom #162
From the Fort Russ article :
So, is Amazon deforestation a neoliberal project, headed by the delivery government itself or the satanic horde behind it, to accelerate a process of environmental catastrophe that, in the name of climate security, would justify a foreign intervention in Brazil? Are we facing a very serious case of international conspiracy to invade Brazil and gain control of Brazilian natural resources by foreign powers?

I think this is not about Brasil, a military intervention in Brasil does not make sense because it already is regime-changed. I think you are correct though, about Responsibility to Protect. Bolsonaro is just playing their game to whip up fear of deforestation. As soon as R2P MARK II is fact, he will flipflop and wildfires suddenly stop burning. Then the warmongers have added another tool to their military intervention toolbox, to be used against whichever country will be next.

[Aug 26, 2019] Neoliberal stooge Macri is out in Argentina a but the damage is done

The IMF loan seems designed to get Macri past the election. It has been used to support capital flight: to support the peso, the Central Bank sells dollars to "importers" that then stash the money abroad. This is illegal according to IMF loan terms but the IMF is looking the other way. It has been granted unprecedented authority to oversee and overrule the Central Bank, so its failure to act is really suspicious, and reeks of political pressure to crush the left in Latin America.
Notable quotes:
"... The government also wasted more than $16 billion in unsuccessful attempts to keep the peso from falling, and greatly increased the more problematic foreign component of the public debt. The result has been near-constant recession and high inflation, enormous interest rates, peso depreciation, financial instability, and the huge run-up in public debt. The debt increase is particularly noteworthy because Mr. Macri inherited a low level of public debt. ..."
"... Ironically, the IMF is well-known in Argentina for promoting similarly unworkable policies during the deep depression of 1998 to 2002 -- comparable to America's Great Depression of the 1930s. Yes, history is repeating itself, although in this case the IMF has a stronger partnership with the government than it had 20 years ago. ..."
"... Millions of Argentines remember the last depression and the role the IMF played. Many also remember the rapid improvement in people's lives over the ensuing decade. This collective memory and consciousness may now determine the outcome of this recurring debate over the economy, and with it, the October election, and possibly much of Argentina's future. ..."
"... The IMF loan seems designed to get Macri past the election. It has been used to support capital flight: to support the peso, the Central Bank sells dollars to "importers" that then stash the money abroad. This is illegal according to IMF loan terms but the IMF is looking the other way. It has been granted unprecedented authority to oversee and overrule the Central Bank, so its failure to act is really suspicious, and reeks of political pressure to crush the left in Latin America. ..."
Aug 26, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , August 23, 2019 at 04:43 PM

http://cepr.net/publications/op-eds-columns/who-is-to-blame-for-argentina-s-economic-crisis

August 19, 2019

Who is to Blame for Argentina's Economic Crisis?
By Mark Weisbrot - New York Times

What are we to make of Argentina's surprise election results on Monday, which jolted pollsters and analysts alike, and roiled the country's financial markets? In the presidential primary for the country's October election, the opposition ticket of Alberto Fernández trounced the incumbent president Mauricio Macri by an unexpected margin of 47.7 to 32.1 percent.

The Fernández coalition attributes their victory to Mr. Macri's failed economic policies, blaming him for the current economic crisis, recession, and high inflation. Mr. Macri, by contrast, blames the fear of a future government of Kirchnerism -- his label for the opposition -- for both the postelection financial turbulence and also the problems of the economy since he took office more than three and a half years ago. He argues that both the markets and the people have everything to fear from such an outcome.

This disagreement is not just an academic argument, nor one specific to Argentina. It is a recurring, almost archetypical debate during economic crises that spill over into political contests. In recent years -- in the UK, Spain, France, Greece, and other countries where failed economic policies faced left-of-center challengers -- Macri's refrain was a frequent line of attack by incumbents.

Financial markets can move for many reasons, which can be unclear or even based on misperceptions of reality. In the case of this week's news, we have electoral losses by a government whose economic policies have clearly failed; and gains by challengers who hail from a period of strong and widely shared economic growth. This is not something that is inherently bad for the economy.

With Kirchnerism, Mr. Macri refers to the policies, followers, and presidential administrations of the Kirchner family, which held office from 2003 to 2015 -- first Néstor Kirchner, and then Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. The latter is running as vice-presidential candidate of Alberto Fernández, and is a prominent leader of the opposition coalition -- although this coalition is much larger and broader than the "kirchnerista" base.

From the point of view of an economist or social scientist, it's not clear why Kirchnerism should inspire fear. Looking at the most important economic and social indicators, the government of the Kirchner presidencies was one of the most successful in the Western Hemisphere during this period.

Independent estimates show a decline of 71 percent in poverty, and an 81 percent decline in extreme poverty. The government instituted one of the biggest conditional cash transfer programs for the poor in Latin America. According to the International Monetary Fund, gross domestic product per person grew by 42 percent, almost three times the rate of Mexico. Unemployment fell by more than half, and inequality also fell considerably.

Although economic growth waned in the last few years, and the government made some mistakes, the result of these two administrations delivered large increases in living standards for the vast majority of Argentines, by any reasonable comparison.

Economic growth waned in the last few years of her presidency and her government was dealt an external economic blow. A 2012 ruling of a federal appeals court in New York, widely regarded dubious and political, took more than 90 percent of Argentina's creditors hostage in order to force payment to a small group of "vulture funds," who refused to join the debt restructuring of the early 2000s. The United States government blocked loans from international lenders such as the Inter-American Development Bank, at a time when the economy needed the foreign exchange.

By comparison, poverty has increased significantly, income per person has fallen, and unemployment has increased during Mr. Macri's term, which began in December 2015. Short-term interest rates, have shot up from 32 percent to 75 percent today; inflation has risen from 18 percent to 56 percent. The public debt has grown from 53 percent of GDP to more than 86 percent last year.

How much of this economic crisis and poor performance is his predecessor's fault?

In 2018 Mr. Macri signed an agreement for a $57 billion loan -- the largest bailout in history. The loan agreement, along with the reviews since, spell out the government's economic goals, strategy, and implementation. There is a lot of information publicly available that details what went wrong.

The main strategy of the program was to restore investor confidence through tighter fiscal and monetary policy. But, as has often happened, these measures slowed the economy and undermined investor confidence. By October, the results were vastly worse than the IMF had projected. The government and IMF doubled down by increasing both fiscal and monetary tightening, but this did not help.

The government also wasted more than $16 billion in unsuccessful attempts to keep the peso from falling, and greatly increased the more problematic foreign component of the public debt. The result has been near-constant recession and high inflation, enormous interest rates, peso depreciation, financial instability, and the huge run-up in public debt. The debt increase is particularly noteworthy because Mr. Macri inherited a low level of public debt.

Ironically, the IMF is well-known in Argentina for promoting similarly unworkable policies during the deep depression of 1998 to 2002 -- comparable to America's Great Depression of the 1930s. Yes, history is repeating itself, although in this case the IMF has a stronger partnership with the government than it had 20 years ago.

The Fernández candidates will have to outline how they would get out of this mess. They can explain how Argentina exited from a much more severe economic crisis, with an unemployment more than twice as high, and millions of previously middle class people having fallen into poverty. They can assure creditors that there is no need for default on the public debt today, as there was then, because it was completely unpayable. But, as in 2003, the economy cannot recover under the conditions agreed upon with the IMF, and these will have to be renegotiated.

Millions of Argentines remember the last depression and the role the IMF played. Many also remember the rapid improvement in people's lives over the ensuing decade. This collective memory and consciousness may now determine the outcome of this recurring debate over the economy, and with it, the October election, and possibly much of Argentina's future.

JohnH -> anne... , August 23, 2019 at 05:11 PM
The IMF has learned nothing since the Washington Consensus started being implemented in the 1980s but at least Argentines are quickly repudiating the neoliberals and their savage policies, until they forget again in a generation.
Julio -> anne... , August 25, 2019 at 09:45 AM
The IMF loan seems designed to get Macri past the election. It has been used to support capital flight: to support the peso, the Central Bank sells dollars to "importers" that then stash the money abroad. This is illegal according to IMF loan terms but the IMF is looking the other way. It has been granted unprecedented authority to oversee and overrule the Central Bank, so its failure to act is really suspicious, and reeks of political pressure to crush the left in Latin America.

Fernandez has already stated that under current terms the loan is unpayable and the terms will have to be renegotiated.

The situation is similar to Greece and shows that, absent capital controls and decreased dependency on imports, having your own currency is not enough protection against bondage to multinational banks.

anne -> Julio ... , August 25, 2019 at 10:40 AM
The situation is similar to Greece and shows that, absent capital controls and decreased dependency on imports, having your own currency is not enough protection against bondage to multinational banks....

[ This was the lesson taught and learned by a few countries in the wake of the Asian currency crises that developed from 1996-1997. These were really Asian, Latin American currency crises, but the lesson was indelibly learned in Asia.

There is a reason China and Japan and Korea increased foreign currency reserves from 1997-1998.

[Aug 26, 2019] Western experts views on Putin actions in Ukraine

The level of "experts" is pretty dismal. While some quotes are apt, the general level is horrible for such an important topic., Not a single one put Putin career in context of ascendance of neoliberalism from 1990 to 2007 and then crash and decline with the USA economics entering the period of secular stagnation. not a single one.
Most of those are neocons or some king of imperialists who believe in God given right for the USA to dominate the globe. That's another problem.
Notable quotes:
"... Henry Kissinger : Starting with American support for the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004, Putin has gradually convinced himself that the U.S. is structurally adversarial. By “structural,” I mean that he may very well believe that America defines its basic interest as weakening Russia, transforming us from a potential ally to another foreign country that he balances with China and others. ( The Atlantic, 11.10.16 ) ..."
"... Thomas Graham and Rajan Menon : In Moscow’s reading, the United States had masterminded the revolution [in Ukraine] to install a pro-Western figure as president over the candidate endorsed by Putin. Putin soon came to view the revolution in Ukraine as a dress rehearsal for regime change in Russia itself. ..."
"... In Putin’s view, the United States, the European Union and NATO have launched an economic and proxy war in Ukraine to weaken Russia and push it into a corner. As Valery Gerasimov, chief of staff of the Russian armed forces, has underscored, this is a hybrid, 21st-century conflict, in which financial sanctions, support for oppositional political movements and propaganda have all been transformed from diplomatic tools to instruments of war. Putin likely believes that any concession or compromise he makes will encourage the West to push further. ( The Washington Post, 02.05.15 ) ..."
Aug 07, 2019 | www.russiamatters.org

Ukraine

[Aug 25, 2019] Think about who gets rich off of the Venezuela regime-change agenda. It's the same people that said we had to invade Iraq in order to prevent nuclear apocalypse. by Kei Pritsker

Notable quotes:
"... The trojan horse for the return of neoliberalism in Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, stated that he's going to borrow money from the IMF to fund his government, which would make all Venezuelans indebted to this predatory institution. Guaidó spends the money, the poor and working people work to pay taxes that pay off the principal and the interest. ..."
"... The IMF was created in New Hampshire in 1945 to internationalize and standardize capitalism and its rules in an increasingly globalized and U.S.-dominated world. ..."
"... Its primary function is acting as an international lender-of-last-resort to indebted countries. IMF member states decide which countries will receive loans, but the member states with the largest say are the ones that own the largest share of the IMF's funds, which have always been the United States and its allies. ..."
"... This is why the IMF's standard "structural adjustment program" is based on the so-called Washington Consensus, a set of 10 economic policies entirely concocted by U.S. think tanks, the IMF, the World Bank and the Treasury Department. The Washington Consensus is as follows: ..."
Apr 15, 2019 | www.mintpressnews.com

Think about who gets rich off of the Venezuela regime-change agenda. It's the same people that said we had to invade Iraq in order to prevent nuclear apocalypse. It's the same people who said the world would stop turning on its axis if we didn't carpet bomb Libya and Syria.

By Kei Pritsker @keipritsker

9 Comments

https://cdn.jwplayer.com/players/ufxBptWt-YuKiCfZc.html

Transcript -- This video was produced as part of a MintPress News and Grayzone collaboration -- Of all the reasons to plot an elaborate and risky coup, there's one reason that always stands out: profit. Money makes the world go around and in far more ways than we might think. Here are the top five special interest groups and institutions that seek to benefit from the U.S. backed coup in Venezuela.

Number 1: The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which wants to saddle the Venezuelan people with enormous debt to the IMF

The trojan horse for the return of neoliberalism in Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, stated that he's going to borrow money from the IMF to fund his government, which would make all Venezuelans indebted to this predatory institution. Guaidó spends the money, the poor and working people work to pay taxes that pay off the principal and the interest.

The IMF was created in New Hampshire in 1945 to internationalize and standardize capitalism and its rules in an increasingly globalized and U.S.-dominated world.

Its primary function is acting as an international lender-of-last-resort to indebted countries. IMF member states decide which countries will receive loans, but the member states with the largest say are the ones that own the largest share of the IMF's funds, which have always been the United States and its allies.

This is why the IMF's standard "structural adjustment program" is based on the so-called Washington Consensus, a set of 10 economic policies entirely concocted by U.S. think tanks, the IMF, the World Bank and the Treasury Department. The Washington Consensus is as follows:

In exchange for a loan, often with a high-interest rate that many would call predatory, the IMF overhauls the protective and redistributive policies of a country for neoliberal policies, making the target country ripe for finance capital investment and profit-making.

Number 2: The Oil Industry, out to control the oil reserves

There's little doubt that the oil industry is pushing the U.S. to overthrow the Maduro government, especially when National Security Advisor John Bolton openly states this on national television.

Bolton was himself once part of the oil industry, serving as the director of Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. in 2007. He's no stranger to advocating for the interests of the fossil-fuel industry.

Venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves by far and Washington won't let that wealth go unexploited, or worse, be shared among its enemies like the Maduro government, Russia, China, or Iran.

And with so many politicians, Republican and Democratic, bought off by industry players -- companies like ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, and Chevron -- it's impossible to imagine anyone in Washington successfully advocating for Venezuela maintaining ownership over its own sovereign natural resources.

Number 3: The Military-Industrial Complex, working to military dominance and arm another U.S. puppet

One of the most bizarre things about America is that we've created one of the world's largest private industries around arms dealing. And like any industry, whether it be JDAM bombs or beef, private businesses often resort to lobbying Congress to squeeze political favors out of the government in the form of subsidies -- or in the case of the military industrial complex, a foreign policy of endless war, one based on elusive ideas like combating terrorism or defending democracy.

You can see that wherever the U.S. goes, expensive construction projects follow. Behind every multi-billion dollar base construction, some private contractor is there reaping the profits.

Once our military presence is firmly established, the weapons sales begin. And we all know no U.S. ally or puppet state is complete without a full fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16s -- then they'll be able to fend off all of those pesky leftist rebels with freedom missiles.

With Venezuela's neighbors, Colombia and Brazil, growing closer to NATO and accepting U.S. military presence in their countries, we can only assume Venezuela is Washington's next target.

As the strategic approach of regime change evolves, new industries arise to meet these needs.

After the massive anti-war protests following the invasion of Iraq, outright invasion and occupation are no longer viable strategies, owing to negative public opinion. So Washington sought to disguise war propaganda using humanitarian rhetoric.

Number 4: "Humanitarian" NGOs to create and implement the alibi

Privately owned NGOs dedicated to human rights and promoting "American style" democracy have played a much larger role in regime-change operations in recent years. They serve as soft-power institutions that attempt to subtly sway a population against its own government through propaganda laced with words like freedom, democracy, and human rights.

These NGOs are given the full blessing of the U.S. government and the two often work in tandem. Don't believe me? Take it from former CIA case officer Phillip Agee.

The US Agency for International Development's (USAID) regime-change arm, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), funded opposition groups in Nicaragua, Venezuela (during the 2002 coup), Haiti, Ukraine, and most recently China and North Korea. And whenever U.S. foreign policy sets its sights on a certain target, private industries usually develop to help meet that goal as well as make a quick buck along the way.

For example, Thor Halvorssen -- the first cousin of Leopoldo Lopez, the founder of Juan Guaidó's party, Popular Will -- calls himself a human-rights activist. He founded the notorious Human Rights Foundation (HRF) and makes a living giving speeches and TV appearances talking about why the governments of Venezuela or North Korea are not legitimate and need to be overthrown.

Unsurprisingly, HRF is funded by the conservative Sarah Scaife Foundation, which is itself funded by think tanks like the top neoconservative think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, as well as the Heritage Foundation. HRF is also funded by the Donors Capital Fund and the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, which are also funded by the American Enterprise Institute. It's one big web of moving money that all leads back to the same cast of characters.

The crisis in Venezuela has been a huge gift for people like Halvorssen, who use the U.S.'s war on Venezuela to promote themselves and their organizations.

Number 5: Think Tanks selling reports that tell the MIC what it wants to hear

Like NGOs, think tanks also play an important role in giving regime change a sense of legitimacy -- in their case, intellectual legitimacy. Think tanks rely on donations to operate and many find willing donors among the capitalist class. These fat cats pay for fancy looking reports meant to justify their desired goal, the delegitimization of socialist governments and the legitimization of coup governments that uphold the Washington Consensus.

The Cato Institute has been deeply involved in overthrowing the Venezuelan government. In 2008, Cato awarded Venezuelan opposition leader, Yon Goicoechea, the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty and $500,000 for his role in disrupting a constitutional referendum in Venezuela. That money was used to finance the political rise of Juan Guaidó, and his clique known as Generation 2007.

These seemingly independent research groups have intimate networks that they leverage to amplify the message their donors have given them. Here's an article in the Washington Post written by a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute saying the U.S.'s failure to intervene in Venezuela has caused the Maduro government to destabilize the region.

Whether it was the bank bailouts following the 2008 crisis, or the lack of action on climate disaster, in America it seems the government always puts the interests of the rich ahead of the poor and working class, and the situation in Venezuela is no exception.

As the U.S. continues to attack the Maduro government, keep these special interests in mind. Think about who gets rich off of the regime-change agenda. It's the same people that said we had to invade Iraq in order to prevent nuclear apocalypse. It's the same people who said the world would stop turning on its axis if we didn't carpet bomb Libya and Syria.

Now they're trying to get us to support war in Venezuela. You won't be any freer or more prosperous after the Maduro government is toppled. It's just war propaganda.

Top photo | A worker counts Venezuelan bolivar notes at a parking lot in Caracas, Venezuela May 29, 2018. Marco Bello | Reuters

Kei Pritsker is a journalist and activist located in Washington DC. Kei focuses on international politics and economics. He previously worked as a producer at RT America.

[Aug 24, 2019] Peace plan for eastern Ukraine As divisive as the causes of the war by Fred Weir

Highly recommended!
The net result on Ukrainian independence was the dramatic rise of political influence of western Ukraine which was suppressed in the USSR. under Yutchenko they came to power and they regained it after Yanukovich demise. And their interests and their desire to colonize Eastern Ukraine do not correlate will with the desires of the Eastern Ukrainian population. So Ukraine remains a divided country with the differences being patched by continuing war in Donbass. So in way continuation of the war is in the best political interests of Western Ukrainian nationalists. Kind of insurance which simplify for them to stay in power. While politically they lost in recent Presidential elections the presence of paramilitary formations ensure that they still have considerable political power including the power of veto.
Whether hardship inflicted on population after EuroMaydan will eventually help to restore the balance and raise political influence of Eastern Ukraine because Western Ukrainian nationalists are now completely politically discredited due to the dramatic drop in the standard of living after EuroMaydan is difficult to say. In any case Ukraine now is a debt slave and vassal of the USA with the USA embassy controlling way to much to consider Ukraine to be an independent country. Few countries manage to dig themselves out of this hole.
For such countries rise of anti-colonial movement is a possibility, but paradoxically Western Ukrainian nationalists side with colonial power representing in a way fifth column (and they did played the role of fifth column during EuroMaydan giving power to rabid neoliberals like Yatsenyuk, who was essentially an agent of the USA, who wanted to privatize everything for cents on the dollar as long as he and his circle get cramps from it, ordinary Ukrainians be damned ). Understanding that the USA is the most dangerous partner to have, in many ways no less dangerous then Russia is still pending for the Ukrainian neoliberal elite, part of which ( Kushma, Victor Pinchuk) clearly are plain-vanilla compradors.
Notable quotes:
"... Three decades of Ukrainian independence have brought little in the way of economic development or other strong reasons to embrace a Ukrainian identity. At the same time, Russia has become a far more prosperous, orderly place that exudes confidence and power since Vladimir Putin came to power. Millions of eastern Ukrainians have gone to Russia as guest workers – and more recently as war refugees . Today, the Ukrainian diaspora in Russia is by far the world's largest. ..."
"... The western regions of Ukraine, on the other hand, were part of European states like Austria-Hungary and Poland until World War II, when they were annexed by the Soviet Union. Now, people overwhelmingly speak Ukrainian as their first language, take a suspicious (and historically grounded) view of Russia, and tend to look west for their inspiration ..."
"... Millions of Ukrainians go to Poland and beyond as guest workers, and their impressions help to fuel the certainty that Ukraine needs to seek a European future. ..."
"... Not coincidentally, the enthusiasm and conviction of western Ukrainians have disproportionately driven two pro-Western revolutions on the Maidan in Kyiv in the past 15 years, with little visible support from populations in the country's east. ..."
"... "People in the western Ukraine are different from us. It's not just language, or anything simple like that. They took power away from a president our votes elected, and they want to rip us out of our ways, abandon our values, and become part of their agenda," says Maxim Tkach, regional head of the Party of Life, the pro-Russian group that was the front-runner in parliamentary elections here in Mariupol. ..."
"... "When they started that Maidan revolution, they said it was about things we could support, like fighting corruption and ending oligarchic rule. But none of that happened. They betrayed every single principle they had shouted about. Instead, they want us to change the names of our streets and schools, honor 'heroes' like Stepan Bandera that our ancestors fought against. These are things we can't accept. ... ..."
"... "If there had been no Maidan, we would still have Crimea. There would have been no war. There would be no pressure on us to change our customs, our language, or our church . It was this aggressive revolution, by just part of the country, that caused these problems," he says. "Russia is Russia. It is acting in its own interests, but why do we need to antagonize it?" ..."
"... But while the two nearby separatist statelets, the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic, may be backed by Russia, they emerged from deep local roots. That is a clear observation from one of the most exhaustive studies of the war to date, Rebels Without a Cause , published last month by the International Crisis Group. ..."
"... The war has done great and possibly irreparable damage to Ukraine's economy , and the longer it continues, the harder it may be to ever reintegrate the former industrial heartland of Donbass with the rest of the country. ..."
"... Mr. Tkach, the regional party head, says the idea of victory is a dangerous chimera, and what most people around here want is peace and restoration of normal relations with Russia. ..."
"... "Of course we need to negotiate directly with" the rebel republics, he says. "These are our people. We understand them. Perhaps we need a step-by-step process, in which they are granted some special status. What would be wrong with that? They have also suffered, had their homes shelled by Ukrainian forces, lost their loved ones. Trust needs to be restored, and that might take some time." ..."
"... But he is adamant that those territories need to be recovered for Ukraine. "The task before us is to bring them back to Ukraine, and Ukraine to them. It must be accomplished through compromise and negotiation, because everyone is tired of war. Once we have done this, and have peace, then we can talk about Crimea." ..."
"... Mr. Tkach says so too. "We wish Zelenskiy well, but we really doubt that he can make peace happen. Our party has the connections and the right approach, and we think it will be necessary to bring us into the process." He's talking about dealing with the Russia that exists just across the Sea of Azov and a few miles down the road ..."
Aug 24, 2019 | www.csmonitor.com

... ... ...

Almost every conversation in Ukraine these days will touch upon the grinding, seemingly endless war in the eastern region of Donbass. People speak of overwhelming feelings of pain and weariness. And they express near-universal hopes that the new president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, will finally do something to end it.

Here in Mariupol, where the front line is a 10-minute drive from downtown, those conversations tend to be intense.

But depending on whom you talk to, the path to peace can look very different.

Much of the population around here speaks Russian, is used to having close relations with nearby Russia, and can't imagine any peace that would impose permanent separation. Many people have family, friends, and former business associates living just a few miles away on the other side of the border. More than half of voters in the Ukrainian-controlled part of Donetsk Region, of which Mariupol is the largest city, expressed those instincts in July 21 parliamentary elections by voting for two "pro-Russian" political parties. Both of them would like to forge a peace on Moscow's terms and return at least this part of Ukraine to its historical place as part of the Russian sphere of influence.

But there are also many who espouse an emerging Ukrainian identity, who see the 2014 Maidan "Revolution of Dignity" as a breaking point that gave Ukraine the chance to escape the grasp of autocratic Russia and embrace a European future. They want nothing to do with Russian-authored peace plans, say there is no alternative to fighting on to victory in the Donbass war, and want to quarantine Ukraine from its giant neighbor – at least until Russia changes its fundamental nature.

Despite the two groups' shared desire for peace, their starkly different visions for what that peace would entail could prove a major obstacle for ending the war in eastern Ukraine.

Looking east, looking west

These divisions are rooted in Ukrainian history. The country's eastern regions have been part of Russian-run states for over 300 years. Three decades of Ukrainian independence have brought little in the way of economic development or other strong reasons to embrace a Ukrainian identity. At the same time, Russia has become a far more prosperous, orderly place that exudes confidence and power since Vladimir Putin came to power. Millions of eastern Ukrainians have gone to Russia as guest workers – and more recently as war refugees . Today, the Ukrainian diaspora in Russia is by far the world's largest.

The western regions of Ukraine, on the other hand, were part of European states like Austria-Hungary and Poland until World War II, when they were annexed by the Soviet Union. Now, people overwhelmingly speak Ukrainian as their first language, take a suspicious (and historically grounded) view of Russia, and tend to look west for their inspiration. In 1990, living standards in Ukraine and Poland were about equal. Since Poland joined the European Union in 2004, its living standards have doubled and it has become a vibrant European state. Millions of Ukrainians go to Poland and beyond as guest workers, and their impressions help to fuel the certainty that Ukraine needs to seek a European future.

The Party of Life, of which local businessman Maxim Tkach is a regional head, argues that peace can be achieved in eastern Ukraine only by following a Russia-favored plan for the region.

Not coincidentally, the enthusiasm and conviction of western Ukrainians have disproportionately driven two pro-Western revolutions on the Maidan in Kyiv in the past 15 years, with little visible support from populations in the country's east.

"People in the western Ukraine are different from us. It's not just language, or anything simple like that. They took power away from a president our votes elected, and they want to rip us out of our ways, abandon our values, and become part of their agenda," says Maxim Tkach, regional head of the Party of Life, the pro-Russian group that was the front-runner in parliamentary elections here in Mariupol.

"When they started that Maidan revolution, they said it was about things we could support, like fighting corruption and ending oligarchic rule. But none of that happened. They betrayed every single principle they had shouted about. Instead, they want us to change the names of our streets and schools, honor 'heroes' like Stepan Bandera that our ancestors fought against. These are things we can't accept. ...

"If there had been no Maidan, we would still have Crimea. There would have been no war. There would be no pressure on us to change our customs, our language, or our church . It was this aggressive revolution, by just part of the country, that caused these problems," he says. "Russia is Russia. It is acting in its own interests, but why do we need to antagonize it?"

"The majority who want to be Ukrainian"

Maria Podibailo, a political scientist at Mariupol State University and head of New Mariupol, a civil society group founded to support the Ukrainian army, offers a completely different narrative. She originally came from Ternopil in western Ukraine and has made Mariupol her home since 1991.

She says there were no separatist feelings in Mariupol, or the Donbass, until after the Maidan revolution when Russian agitators started traveling around eastern Ukraine, spreading lies and stirring up moods that had never existed before. Local pro-Russian oligarchs wielded their economic power to support separatist groups, while passive police and security forces allowed Russian-led separatists to seize public buildings and hold anti-Ukrainian protests in Mariupol. It wasn't until the arrival of the Ukrainian army – first in the form of the volunteer Azov Battalion – that the separatists were driven out and the front line was pushed back from the city limits in 2014, she says.

"That is why we support the army, and only trust the army," she says.

Ms. Podibailo's university-sponsored opinion surveys in 2014, after the rebellion began, found that a three-quarters majority of local people supported a future as part of Ukraine, not Russia. That majority was subdivided into several visions of what kind of Ukraine it should be, but only 12% wanted to join Russia, and 8% wanted Donbass to be an independent republic – a point often overlooked in the simplistic pro-Russian versus pro-Western scheme in which these events are frequently portrayed.

"That's when we knew we were on the right track," she says. "We were not a beleaguered minority at all. We were part of the majority who want to be Ukrainian."

But while the two nearby separatist statelets, the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic, may be backed by Russia, they emerged from deep local roots. That is a clear observation from one of the most exhaustive studies of the war to date, Rebels Without a Cause , published last month by the International Crisis Group.

The war has done great and possibly irreparable damage to Ukraine's economy , and the longer it continues, the harder it may be to ever reintegrate the former industrial heartland of Donbass with the rest of the country.

"We cannot talk to the leaders of these so-called republics. How could we possibly trust them?" says Ms. Podibailo. Her view is that, after victory, the population of the republics should be sorted out into those who collaborated with the enemy and those who were innocent victims, as happened after World War II.

"There is no way for this war to end other than in Ukrainian victory. I have never heard of a war that ends leaving things the same way, or just through some talks. People say it might take a long time, and the threat will last forever because we have such a neighbor.

"But we have the United States behind us, we have the West behind us, and they are attacking Russia from the other side with sanctions. We will win," she says.

"These are our people"

Mr. Tkach, the regional party head, says the idea of victory is a dangerous chimera, and what most people around here want is peace and restoration of normal relations with Russia.

"Of course we need to negotiate directly with" the rebel republics, he says. "These are our people. We understand them. Perhaps we need a step-by-step process, in which they are granted some special status. What would be wrong with that? They have also suffered, had their homes shelled by Ukrainian forces, lost their loved ones. Trust needs to be restored, and that might take some time."

But he is adamant that those territories need to be recovered for Ukraine. "The task before us is to bring them back to Ukraine, and Ukraine to them. It must be accomplished through compromise and negotiation, because everyone is tired of war. Once we have done this, and have peace, then we can talk about Crimea."

One of the leaders of the Party of Life – which came in a distant second in the national parliamentary elections – is Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, who has strong connections to the Kremlin and whose daughter has Mr. Putin as her godfather. Attending the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum along with Mr. Putin this spring, Mr. Medvedchuk was introduced as "a representative of the Ukraine that can make a deal."

Mr. Tkach says so too. "We wish Zelenskiy well, but we really doubt that he can make peace happen. Our party has the connections and the right approach, and we think it will be necessary to bring us into the process." He's talking about dealing with the Russia that exists just across the Sea of Azov and a few miles down the road.

[Aug 20, 2019] The trials of Kosovo body snatchers may be stymied by cover-ups and stonewalling by James Bovard

While the USA run the show, EU was complicit in this war.
Notable quotes:
"... The American Conservative, ..."
"... In 2014, a European Union task force confirmed that the ruthless cabal that Clinton empowered by bombing Serbia committed atrocities that included murdering persons to extract and sell their kidneys, livers, and other body parts ..."
"... Clint Williamson, the chief prosecutor of a special European Union task force, declared in 2014 that senior members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) had engaged in "unlawful killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, illegal detentions in camps in Kosovo and Albania, sexual violence, forced displacements of individuals from their homes and communities, and desecration and destruction of churches and other religious sites." ..."
"... a Council of Europe investigative report tagged Thaci as an accomplice to the body-trafficking operation. ..."
Aug 20, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

In a 2011 review for The American Conservative, I scoffed, "After NATO planes killed hundreds if not thousands of Serb and ethnic Albanian civilians, Bill Clinton could pirouette as a savior. Once the bombing ended, many of the Serbs remaining in Kosovo were slaughtered and their churches burned to the ground. NATO's 'peace' produced a quarter million Serbian, Jewish, and Gypsy refugees."

In 2014, a European Union task force confirmed that the ruthless cabal that Clinton empowered by bombing Serbia committed atrocities that included murdering persons to extract and sell their kidneys, livers, and other body parts .

Clint Williamson, the chief prosecutor of a special European Union task force, declared in 2014 that senior members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) had engaged in "unlawful killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, illegal detentions in camps in Kosovo and Albania, sexual violence, forced displacements of individuals from their homes and communities, and desecration and destruction of churches and other religious sites."

The New York Times reported that the trials of Kosovo body snatchers may be stymied by cover-ups and stonewalling: "Past investigations of reports of organ trafficking in Kosovo have been undermined by witnesses' fears of testifying in a small country where clan ties run deep and former members of the KLA are still feted as heroes. Former leaders of the KLA occupy high posts in the government." American politicians almost entirely ignored the scandal. Vice President Joe Biden hailed former KLA leader and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in 2010 as "the George Washington of Kosovo." A few months later, a Council of Europe investigative report tagged Thaci as an accomplice to the body-trafficking operation.

Clinton's war on Serbia opened a Pandora's box from which the world still suffers. Because politicians and pundits portrayed that war as a moral triumph, it was easier for subsequent presidents to portray U.S. bombing as the self-evident triumph of good over evil. Honest assessments of wrongful killings remain few and far between in media coverage.

James Bovard is the author of Attention Deficit Democracy , The Bush Betrayal , Terrorism and Tyranny , and other books. Bovard is on the USA Today Board of Contributors. He is on Twitter at @jimbovard. His website is at www.jimbovard.com This essay was originally published by Future of Freedom Foundation .

[Aug 20, 2019] Trump's Persian-Gulf Car Crash Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... the Iranian economy is in a free fall with oil exports down as much as 90 percent from mid-2018 levels. As far as Iran is concerned, this means that it's already at war with the United States and has less and less to lose the longer the U.S. embargo goes on. ..."
"... MBS, as he's known, celebrated by launching an air war in neighboring Yemen two months later – and then disappearing on a week-long vacation in the Maldives – and by funneling hundreds of U.S.-made TOWs (anti-tank guided missiles) to Syrian rebels under the command of Al-Nusra, the local Al-Qaeda affiliate, for use in an offensive in that country's northwest province of Idlib. ..."
"... For the Saudis, it was a neo-medieval crusade whose goal was to topple two religio-political allies of Iran, the Alawite-dominated government in Damascus and Yemen's Houthis, who adhere to a non-Iranian form of Shi'ism that is no less anathema to the Sunni Wahhabist theocracy in Riyadh. ..."
"... Just two days after the start of the Saudi air assault in Yemen, Obama meanwhile telephoned Salman to assure him of U.S. support. When asked why America would back a war by one of the Middle East's richest countries against the very poorest, another anonymous U.S. official told The New York Times (April 2, 2015): ..."
"... "If you ask why we're backing this, beyond the fact that the Saudis are allies and have been allies for a long time, the answer you're going to get from most people – if they were being honest – is that we weren't going to be able to stop it." ..."
"... The Obama administration was so anxious to smooth ruffled Saudi feathers and tone down criticism of the impending Iranian accord that it felt it had no choice but say yes to Saudi aggression. ..."
"... The American empire was possibly so over-extended that it was at the mercy of its ostensible clients. Even while making peace with Iran, Obama thus green-lit Saudi wars that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in Syria and another 100,000 or so in Yemen while triggering a surge of international terrorism and the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. While reducing tensions in some respects, the 2015 nuclear negotiations, paradoxically, caused them to explode in others. ..."
"... Announcing his presidential bid in June 2015, he launched into a typical Trumpian rant against China, Japan, Mexico – and Obama's nuclear talks. "Take a look at the deal he's making with Iran," he said. "He makes that deal, Israel maybe won't exist very long." A month later, he tweeted that the agreement, just inked in Vienna, "poses a direct national security threat." Two months after that, he told a Tea Party rally in Washington: ..."
"... Trumpian isolationism was fleeting, if it ever existed at all. Under intense pressure from neoconservatives, the Zionist lobby, and pro-Israel Democrats such as Russiagate attack dog Rep. Adam Schiff demanding stepped-up opposition with Iran , Trump did an about-face. In May 2017, he flew to Riyadh, announced an unprecedented $110-billion arms deal, and proclaimed himself the kingdom's newest BFF – best friend forever. ..."
"... He echoed the Saudis by accusing Iran of funding "terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region" and backed a Saudi blockade of neighboring Qatar. When ISIS launched a bloody assault on central Tehran in early June that killed 12 people and injured 42, the only White House response was to declare that "states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote." ..."
"... It was Democrats who, in a typical attempt to outflank Trump on the right, introduced legislation in June 2017 by forcing him to impose penalties on Russia, North Korea, and Iran as well. But after repudiating the JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the Iran nuclear deal) in May 2018, Trump upped sanctions even more in November – not only against the Iranian government but against some 700 individuals, entities, aircraft, and vessels. After Iran shot down a $130-million U.S. surveillance drone last month, Trump imposed sanctions on "supreme leader" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, his office, and his closest associates. Two weeks ago, he imposed penalties on Mohammad Javad Zarif , Iran's U.S.-educated foreign minister. ..."
"... It was a gesture of contempt for the very idea of diplomacy. So what happens next? The problem is that re-starting negotiations would not be enough. Instead, Iran has demanded that the U.S. remove all sanctions and apologize before agreeing to a new round of talks. Since this would be tantamount to re-authorizing the JCPOA, it's unlikely in the extreme. While Trump is known for changing his mind in a flash, a course correction of this magnitude is hard to imagine. ..."
"... The pro-Israel Lobby owns both Republican and Democrat Russiagate enthusiasts and is the source of near hysterical demands for opposition with Iran. ..."
"... But in June 1914, clearly there were multiple political and military leaders in Europe for whom war was far from inconceivable. War was simply a question of timing and so it would be better to have a war when the circumstances were most propitious. "I consider a war inevitable", declared senior German generals such as Helmuth von Moltke the Younger in 1912. "The sooner the better". ..."
"... such blatant and reprehensible behavior carries risks for everyone but mostly the targets of our barbaric behavior seems never to enter the President, his neocon handlers' and his rabid supporters' minds. ..."
"... "If you ask why we're backing this, beyond the fact that the Saudis are allies and have been allies for a long time, the answer you're going to get from most people – if they were being honest – is that we weren't going to be able to stop it." That is unmitigated nonsense. Why not be honest. We don't want to stop it. ..."
"... To "stop it", Uncle Sam would have to first cease being a part of it. The bombing of Yemen came courtesy of U.S. mid-air refueling efforts, targeting "intelligence", and "made in America" weaponry. The blockade (starvation) of Yemen is also a duel accompaniment. It's supposed to look like a Saudi "thing", but in actuality, it's just more Uncle Sam doing his thing. Obama called it "leading from behind". ..."
Aug 20, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Trump has taken an insane U.S. policy towards Iran and make it even crazier, writes Daniel Lazare.

By Daniel Lazare
Special to Consortium News

T raffic accidents normally take just a second or two. But the coming collision in the Persian Gulf, the equivalent of a hundred-vehicle pile-up on a fog-bound interstate , has been in the works for years. Much of it is President Donald Trump's fault, but not all. His contribution has been to take an insane policy and make it even crazier.

The situation is explosive for two reasons. First, the Iranian economy is in a free fall with oil exports down as much as 90 percent from mid-2018 levels. As far as Iran is concerned, this means that it's already at war with the United States and has less and less to lose the longer the U.S. embargo goes on.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/RmPTycekYJg?feature=oembed

Second, after Trump denounced the 2015 Iranian nuclear accord from the moment he began his presidential run , it's all but impossible at this point for him to back down. The result is a classic collision between the immovable and the unstoppable with no apparent way out.

How did the world bring itself to the brink of war? The answer, ironically, is by bidding for peace.

The process began in early 2015 just as the nuclear talks were entering their final stages. Despite last-minute hand-wringing , it was clear that success was in sight simply because the participants – China, France, Russia, Germany, Britain, the European Union, Iran and the U.S. – all wanted it.

Saudi Proxy War

But other regional players felt differently, Saudi Arabia first and foremost. The kingdom's survival strategy depends on its special relationship with America, its patron since the 1940s. Hence, it was panic-stricken by anything smacking of a U.S. rapprochement with its long-standing arch-enemy Iran. The upshot was a proxy war in which the Saudis set out to roll back Iranian power by striking out at pro-Iranian forces.

The offensive began after a new Saudi monarch ascended the throne in January 2015. King Salman, a doddering 79-year-old reportedly suffering from Alzheimer's , immediately handed over the reins to his favorite son, 29-year-old Muhammad bin Salman, whom he named deputy crown prince and minister of defense. MBS, as he's known, celebrated by launching an air war in neighboring Yemen two months later – and then disappearing on a week-long vacation in the Maldives – and by funneling hundreds of U.S.-made TOWs (anti-tank guided missiles) to Syrian rebels under the command of Al-Nusra, the local Al-Qaeda affiliate, for use in an offensive in that country's northwest province of Idlib.

For the Saudis, it was a neo-medieval crusade whose goal was to topple two religio-political allies of Iran, the Alawite-dominated government in Damascus and Yemen's Houthis, who adhere to a non-Iranian form of Shi'ism that is no less anathema to the Sunni Wahhabist theocracy in Riyadh.

President Barack Obama went along. With regard to Syria, an unidentified "senior administration official" told The Washington Post that while the White House was "concerned that Nusra has taken the lead," all he would say in response to U.S.-made missiles winding up in Al-Qaeda hands was that it was "not something we would refrain from raising with our partners." (See " Climbing into Bed with Al-Qaeda ," May 2, 2015.)

Just two days after the start of the Saudi air assault in Yemen, Obama meanwhile telephoned Salman to assure him of U.S. support. When asked why America would back a war by one of the Middle East's richest countries against the very poorest, another anonymous U.S. official told The New York Times (April 2, 2015):

"If you ask why we're backing this, beyond the fact that the Saudis are allies and have been allies for a long time, the answer you're going to get from most people – if they were being honest – is that we weren't going to be able to stop it." But plainly the nuclear negotations were key. The Obama administration was so anxious to smooth ruffled Saudi feathers and tone down criticism of the impending Iranian accord that it felt it had no choice but say yes to Saudi aggression.

The upshot has been Saudi wars claiming hundreds of thousands of lives in Syria and another 100,000 or so in Yemen while triggering a surge of international terrorism and the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. While reducing tensions in some respects, Obama's efforts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran, paradoxically, caused them to explode in others.

Over-Extended Empire

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with King Salman bin Abdulaziz at Erga Palace in Riyadh, Jan. 27, 2015. (White House/Pete Souza/Flickr)

The American empire was possibly so over-extended that it was at the mercy of its ostensible clients. Even while making peace with Iran, Obama thus green-lit Saudi wars that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in Syria and another 100,000 or so in Yemen while triggering a surge of international terrorism and the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. While reducing tensions in some respects, the 2015 nuclear negotiations, paradoxically, caused them to explode in others.

The results were so devastating in a region torn by war, sectarianism, and economic collapse that Trump could not possibly make them any worse – except that he did.

Announcing his presidential bid in June 2015, he launched into a typical Trumpian rant against China, Japan, Mexico – and Obama's nuclear talks. "Take a look at the deal he's making with Iran," he said. "He makes that deal, Israel maybe won't exist very long." A month later, he tweeted that the agreement, just inked in Vienna, "poses a direct national security threat." Two months after that, he told a Tea Party rally in Washington:

"Never, ever, ever in my life have I seen any transaction so incompetently negotiated as our deal with Iran . They rip us off, they take our money, they make us look like fools, and now they're back to being who they really are. They don't want Israel to survive, they will not let Israel survive, [and] with incompetent leadership like we have right now, Israel will not survive."

Iran's Landmark Concession

It was all nonsense. Rather than threatening the Jewish state, the treaty represented a landmark concession on Iran's part, since Israel, with an estimated 80 to 90 nuclear warheads in its arsenal and enough fissile material for a hundred more, would maintain its nuclear monopoly in the Middle East indefinitely. As for "our money," the $150 billion in various foreign accounts were actually Iranian assets that had been frozen for years – a sum, moreover, that was closer to $56 billion once Iran settled its foreign debts. Once sanctions were lifted, it was hardly unreasonable that such assets be restored.

Still there was hope. While railing against Iran, Trump also taunted the Saudis for their role in 9/11: "Who blew up the World Trade Center?" he told Fox & Friends. "It wasn't the Iraqis, it was Saudi [Arabia]." He repeatedly assailed the 2003 invasion of Iraq – even if he exaggerated his own role in opposing it – and criticized Obama for supporting Saudi-backed jihadis seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"Assad is bad," he said in an October 2015 interview . "Maybe these people could be worse."

Trumpian isolationism was fleeting, if it ever existed at all. Under intense pressure from neoconservatives, the Zionist lobby, and pro-Israel Democrats such as Russiagate attack dog Rep. Adam Schiff demanding stepped-up opposition with Iran , Trump did an about-face. In May 2017, he flew to Riyadh, announced an unprecedented $110-billion arms deal, and proclaimed himself the kingdom's newest BFF – best friend forever.

He echoed the Saudis by accusing Iran of funding "terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region" and backed a Saudi blockade of neighboring Qatar. When ISIS launched a bloody assault on central Tehran in early June that killed 12 people and injured 42, the only White House response was to declare that "states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote."

But back in September 2003, some 60,000 Iranian soccer fans had observed a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the World Trade Center while then-President Mohammad Khatami declared on nationwide TV:

"My deep sympathy goes out to the American nation, particularly those who have suffered from the attacks and also the families of the victims. Terrorism is doomed, and the international community should stem it and take effective measures in a bid to eradicate it."

Yet all the Trump administration could say was that Iran had it coming.

It was Democrats who, in a typical attempt to outflank Trump on the right, introduced legislation in June 2017 by forcing him to impose penalties on Russia, North Korea, and Iran as well. But after repudiating the JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the Iran nuclear deal) in May 2018, Trump upped sanctions even more in November – not only against the Iranian government but against some 700 individuals, entities, aircraft, and vessels. After Iran shot down a $130-million U.S. surveillance drone last month, Trump imposed sanctions on "supreme leader" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, his office, and his closest associates. Two weeks ago, he imposed penalties on Mohammad Javad Zarif , Iran's U.S.-educated foreign minister.

Crowd at Tea Party rally listening to Donald Trump denounce the Iran Nuclear Agreement, Sept. 9, 2015. (YouTube)

It was a gesture of contempt for the very idea of diplomacy. So what happens next? The problem is that re-starting negotiations would not be enough. Instead, Iran has demanded that the U.S. remove all sanctions and apologize before agreeing to a new round of talks. Since this would be tantamount to re-authorizing the JCPOA, it's unlikely in the extreme. While Trump is known for changing his mind in a flash, a course correction of this magnitude is hard to imagine.

Thus, the confrontation is set to continue. Iran may respond by seizing more oil tankers or downing more drones, but the problem is that the U.S. will undoubtedly engage in tit-for-tat escalation in response until, eventually, some kind of line is crossed.

If so, the consequences are unpredictable. U.S. firepower is overwhelming , but Iran is not without resources of its own , among them anti-ship ballistic missiles, mobile short-range rockets that can hit naval targets, plus heavily-armed high-speed boats, mini-subs, and even " ekranoplans ," floating planes designed to skim the waves at 115 miles per hour. Such weaponry could prove highly effective in the 35-mile-wide Strait of Hormuz. Iran also has allies such as Lebanon's Hezbollah, which has an estimated 130,000 missiles and rockets in its own arsenal, Assad's battle-hardened military in Syria, Yemen's Houthis, and pro-Iranian forces in Shi'ite-majority Iraq.

The upshot could be a war drawing in half a dozen countries or more. A confrontation on that scale may seem inconceivable. But, then, war seemed inconceivable in the wake of Archduke Franz Ferdinand's assassination in June 1914.

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


Jeff Davis , August 20, 2019 at 12:42

America is Israel's b*tch.

The American experiment is over. A variety of corporate/neoliberal interests and foreign interests have hollowed it out, and soon, when every last bit of loot has been extracted, the dried up husk of the Empire will collapse. There is no saving it because the looters are still in control. Their control is unbreakable because buying Congress is such a minor and manageable expense for them, and the Congressmen/women are simply incapable of setting aside personal interest and personal ambition for the good of the country. Incapable, because if they ever chose country over their own careers , the "owners" -- ie donors/looters -- would find someone to replace them. There is no way out until it comes crashing down.

Don Bacon , August 20, 2019 at 11:33

Iran whipped the US in Syria, cementing the 'Shia crescent' from Tehran to Beirut, which gives Iran the mantle of ME leadership. Washington had to respond to that fact because it threatens the US and its Carter-Doctrine position as the predominate ME power. So don't blame Israel.

Zhu , August 20, 2019 at 05:44

You forgot to mention pressure from Religious Right Republicans, eager for the Rapture, the Return of Jesus, etv., etc. Christism Zionists in short.

Broompilot , August 20, 2019 at 01:19

I find it interesting that there is no mention of Netanyahu appearing before Congress or the U.N. drawing silly looking pictures of bombs. Or Netanyahu claiming he had jacked some new documents from Iran proving they had a nuclear weapons program. Or Netanyahu disrespecting Obama with his appearance in Congress. Or Bibi's landing in L.A. with a motorcade that screwed up traffic all over town to demonstrate who is really important in this country. Reading this piece you would think this is 95% about Saudis and has very little to do with Israel. There is no doubt that the gulf monarchies do not want successful representative governments breaking out on their borders and giving their citizens ideas, but I doubt they have anything resembling the Israeli lobbies and their influence operating in the U.S. with the power to influence Iran policy.

AnneR , August 20, 2019 at 08:23

True, Broompilot. And I too awaited throughout the article for Mr Lazare to discuss the really existing and marked part that Israel has played and is playing in all of the more recent destruction in neighboring countries, and that illegitimate state's huge influence on this country's politics, military actions (in the MENA countries when those actions might benefit Israel), administration decisions (not to mention the cooperation among US and Israeli secret services *and* electronic-internet companies which anyway themselves both derive from the military and remain closely entwined with it).

Most US presidents – and seemingly all US Congresses – since WWII have aided and abetted Israel and its appalling human rights record which never ends and continues with impunity. But Trump is perhaps more so than most if only because his daughter, a convert to Judaism, is married to an ardent Zionist, and buddy-buddy to Netanyahu. Lazare hints at Trump's pro-Zionism (whatever its basis) but leaves it there.

Marko , August 19, 2019 at 22:50

"Trump's Persian-Gulf Car Crash"

When you view foreign policy as a Demolition Derby competition , as Trump and the neocons do , this is called "Winning !"

Gregory Herr , August 19, 2019 at 20:44

The war of terrorism waged upon the people of Syria didn't come about because the U.S. was "possibly so over-extended that it was at the mercy of its ostensible clients", or because the "Obama administration was so anxious to smooth ruffled Saudi feathers and tone down criticism of the impending Iranian accord that it felt it had no choice but say yes to Saudi aggression."

Washington's Long War on Syria (Stephen Gowans) began well before Obama, Yahoo, Erdogan, and Petraeus set up rat lines of weaponry and training for terrorists in Jordan and Turkey. The current iteration of "topple thru terror" was in the offing, with or without Saudi "impetus".

Syria stands in the way of Greater Israel and Wall Street/central bank dominance.

Obama "went along" alright. But it wasn't the Saudis he was "appeasing".

Obama should have normalised relations with Iran and disavowed all the b.s. rhetoric about them. His "deal" had "made to be broken" written all over it because of his rhetoric. All done in bad faith with the Path to Persia kept open.

Jeff Harrison , August 19, 2019 at 18:30

The big problem is that the US is convinced that it knows what it's doing when, in fact, it is clueless. The US also is perpetually optimistic when it has nothing upon which to base said optimism. It's not as if we've actually defeated anybody in the Middle East. Revoltin' Bolton may think he's scaring people with aircraft carriers and B52s but you'll notice that Iran snatched the British tanker and the Iraqi tanker after the US moved it's carrier and bombers into the Gulf. They also shot down our drone in the same time frame.

We're playing a losing strategy.

Jeff Davis , August 20, 2019 at 12:11

We're playing a losing strategy because America is Israel's bitch.

The American experiment is over. A variety of corporate/neoliberal interests and foreign interests have hollowed it out, and soon, when every last bit of loot has been extracted, the dried up husk of the Empire will collapse. There is no saving it because the looters are still in control. Their control is unbreakable because buying Congress is such a minor and manageable expense for them, and the Congressmen/women are simply incapable of setting aside personal interest and personal ambition for the good of the country. Incapable, because if they ever chose country over their own careers , the "owners" -- ie donors/looters -- would find someone to replace them. There is no way out until it comes crashing down.

Don Bacon , August 19, 2019 at 18:29

"It was all nonsense. Rather than threatening the Jewish state, the treaty represented a landmark concession on Iran's part,. . ."

Calling the Obama agreement a treaty is nonsense, rather it was an agreement involving only the executive branch and not the Senate as required by the Constitution for treaties. Obama needed an achievement for his presidential library, so he waited until his term was almost over to do what he could have done, with Brazil and Turkey, in 2010. Therefore Trump had every right to overturn an agreement made by his hated predecessor, with the knowledge that the Senate never would have approved it since they are all corrupted.

This is another example (Bush-43 on Iraq withdrawal was another) of what the US has come to. This so-called "rules-based democracy" has become a stomping ground for the "commander-in-chief" to display his executive privilege and do any damned thing he takes a mind to, including war, with nary a peep from the so-called "checks and balance" folks who are supposed to be looking after US democracy, but aren't.

robert e williamson jr , August 19, 2019 at 16:18

I found this a Jeff Morely's Deep State Blog https://deepstateblog.org/2019/08/19/iraq-curbs-uk-s-flights-after-reported-israeli-attacks/#comment-1308

These actions by Israel should be expected as well as the Iranian response, which could very easily be war.

All the result of having an idiot at the wheel of the ship of state. Trump and his supporter will own it if it happens.

The Israeli government know no limits or no shame, a very dangerous group for the rest of the world to have to deal with.

Trump needs to be impeached no earlier than one month before the next presidential election and exiled to Israel like the turn coat he is.

Robyn , August 19, 2019 at 19:14

That link didn't work, try this one:

https://deepstateblog.org/2019/08/19/iraq-curbs-u-s-flights-after-reported-israeli-attacks/

Abe , August 19, 2019 at 15:45

"Trumpian isolationism was fleeting, if it ever existed at all."

It never existed.

A clueless Lazare has been repeatedly informed of the fact in the comments of his CN articles.

Now he's feebly wondering "if".

"Under intense pressure from neoconservatives, the Zionist lobby, and pro-Israel Democrats such as Russiagate attack dog Rep. Adam Schiff demanding stepped-up opposition with Iran, Trump did an about-face."

The pro-Israel Lobby owns both Republican and Democrat Russiagate enthusiasts and is the source of near hysterical demands for opposition with Iran.

Trump has never been under "intense pressure" and has not done "an about-face" because he has always been avowedly "1000 percent" pro-Israel.

A worse than clueless Lazare has been repeatedly informed of the fact in the comments of his CN articles.

Lazare apparently finds lots of things "hard to imagine", even "inconceivable".

But in June 1914, clearly there were multiple political and military leaders in Europe for whom war was far from inconceivable. War was simply a question of timing and so it would be better to have a war when the circumstances were most propitious. "I consider a war inevitable", declared senior German generals such as Helmuth von Moltke the Younger in 1912. "The sooner the better".

Current Israeli leadership holds such a view. The Trump administration foreign policy purchased by the pro-Israel Lobby reflects this view.

But for the obviously very well informed but perpetually clueless Lazare, it all somehow remains "inconceivable"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIP6EwqMEoE

Abe , August 19, 2019 at 16:56

Vigorous efforts by the pro-Israel Lobby keep the US committed to a succession of classic blunders:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmT0_hKSUrw

Abe , August 20, 2019 at 00:24

Trump has walked away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and has performed numerous other services, including threatening war on Iran, precisely because the Israelis wanted them done.

Don't confuse Trump's servility to the pro-Israel Lobby for "isolationism".

The arrogant aggression of the Trump-Bolton-Pompeo troika is bought and paid for by Israel.

Herman , August 19, 2019 at 14:39

Depressing. Having defended Trump because attacks were directed at the President of the United States, any president, it is hard to support a man whose every move is a political calculation. That such blatant and reprehensible behavior carries risks for everyone but mostly the targets of our barbaric behavior seems never to enter the President, his neocon handlers' and his rabid supporters' minds.

One comment in this depressing article caught my eye.

"If you ask why we're backing this, beyond the fact that the Saudis are allies and have been allies for a long time, the answer you're going to get from most people – if they were being honest – is that we weren't going to be able to stop it." That is unmitigated nonsense. Why not be honest. We don't want to stop it. The We, of course, being our decision makers and a too large segment of our brainwashed electorate.

Gregory Herr , August 19, 2019 at 19:52

To "stop it", Uncle Sam would have to first cease being a part of it. The bombing of Yemen came courtesy of U.S. mid-air refueling efforts, targeting "intelligence", and "made in America" weaponry. The blockade (starvation) of Yemen is also a duel accompaniment. It's supposed to look like a Saudi "thing", but in actuality, it's just more Uncle Sam doing his thing. Obama called it "leading from behind".

[Aug 19, 2019] War Party Hates Putin Loves al-Qaeda by Justin Raimondo

Late Justin Raimondo was an astute analyst of events in Syria... This is his analysys from 2015. It is still cogent as of August 2019.
Notable quotes:
"... "War on terrorism" turns into cold war against Russia ..."
"... By the way, according to the Pentagon's own testimony before a congressional committee, only sixty "vetted" fighters were sent into Syria to take on both Assad and ISIS. And while they denied, at first, that their pet "moderates" betrayed Washington and handed over most of their weapons and other equipment to al-Qaeda in return for "safe passage," the Pentagon later admitted it . ..."
"... [I]t is hypocritical and irresponsible to make declarations about the threat of terrorism and at the same time turn a blind eye to the channels used to finance and support terrorists, including revenues from drug trafficking, the illegal oil trade and the arms trade ..."
"... It is equally irresponsible to manipulate extremist groups and use them to achieve your political goals, hoping that later you'll find a way to get rid of them or somehow eliminate them. ..."
"... "I'd like to tell those who engage in this: Gentlemen, the people you are dealing with are cruel but they are not dumb. They are as smart as you are. So, it's a big question: who's playing who here? The recent incident where the most 'moderate' opposition group handed over their weapons to terrorists is a vivid example of that. ..."
Oct 02, 2015 | original.antiwar.com

"War on terrorism" turns into cold war against Russia

Posted on August 19, 2019 August 18, 2019 In both Yemen and Syria, the War Party has found an ally that they can get behind, you know, one that really supports our values: al-Qaeda. From time to time they have even managed to get President Trump to go along with this nonsense – presumably due to the baleful influence of John Bolton. (See Ron Paul's recent discussion of recent developments.) It is worth a look back at an earlier high-points in this strange alliance between the West and al-Qaeda against Russia and Syria. Justin's column from four years ago (October 2, 2015) analyzes it in depth.

Originally published October 2, 2015

As Russian fighter jets target al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, the Western media is up in arms – and in denial . They deny the Russians are taking on ISIS – and they are indignant that Putin is targeting al-Qaeda , which is almost never referred to by its actual name, but is instead described as " al-Nusra ," or the more inclusive " Army of Conquest ," which are alternate names for the heirs of Osama bin Laden.

And there are no ideological lines being drawn in this information war: both the left and the right – e.g. the left-liberal Vox and the Fox News network – are utilizing a map put out by the neoconservative "Institute for the Study of War" to "prove" that Putin isn't really attacking ISIS – he's actually only concerned with destroying the "non-ISIS" rebels and propping up the faltering regime of Bashar al-Assad.

The premise behind this kind of propaganda is that there really is some difference between ISIS and the multitude of Islamist groups proliferating like wasps in the region: and that, furthermore, al-Qaeda is "relatively" moderate when compared to the Islamic State. Yes, incredibly, the US and British media are pushing the line that the al-Qaeda fighters in Syria, known as al-Nusra, are really the Good Guys.

Didn't you know that we have always been at war with Eastasia?

There is much whining , this [Thursday] morning, that a supposedly US-"vetted" group known as Tajammu al-Aaza has felt Putin's wrath – but when we get down into the weeds, we discover that this outfit is fighting alongside al-Qaeda:

"Jamil al-Saleh, a defected Syrian army officer who is now the leader of the rebel group Tajammu al-Aaza, told AlSouria.net that the Russian airstrikes targeted his group's base in al-Lataminah, a town in the western Syrian governorate of Hama. That area represents one of the farthest southern points of the rebel advance from the north and is therefore a crucial front line in the war. An alliance of Syrian rebel factions, including both the al Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front and groups considered by Washington to be more moderate, successfully drove Assad regime forces out of the northern governorate of Idlib and are now pushing south into Hama."

By the way, according to the Pentagon's own testimony before a congressional committee, only sixty "vetted" fighters were sent into Syria to take on both Assad and ISIS. And while they denied, at first, that their pet "moderates" betrayed Washington and handed over most of their weapons and other equipment to al-Qaeda in return for "safe passage," the Pentagon later admitted it . Furthermore, we were told that these were the only "vetted" fighters actually in the field, but now we are confronted with "Tajammu al-Aaza," which – it's being reported – is deploying US-supplied missile guidance systems against Syrian government forces.

So a handful of "vetted" fighters suddenly turns into an entire armed force – one which, you'll note, has effectively merged with al-Qaeda.

The lies are coming at us so fast and thick in the first 24 hours of the Russian strikes that we face a veritable blizzard of obfuscation. They range from the egregious – alleged photos of "civilian casualties" that turn out to be fake – to the more subtle: a supposed Free Syrian Army commander is reported killed by a Russian air strike, and yet it appears that very same commander was kidnapped by ISIS last year . We are told that the town of Rastan, the site of Russian strikes, isn't under the control of ISIS – except it was when ISIS was executing gay men there .

The Russians make no bones about their support of Assad: in his speech to the United Nations, Putin stated his position clearly: "We think it's a big mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian authorities and government forces who valiantly fight terrorists on the ground." On the other hand, the objectives of the Western alliance in Syria aren't so clear: on the one hand, Washington claims to be directing the main blow against ISIS, but its claims of success have been greatly exaggerated . Yet we have spent many millions arming and training "vetted" rebels who have been defecting to ISIS and al-Qaeda in droves.

It's almost as if we're keeping ISIS around so as to put pressure on Assad to get out of Dodge. As Putin put it in his UN speech :

" [I]t is hypocritical and irresponsible to make declarations about the threat of terrorism and at the same time turn a blind eye to the channels used to finance and support terrorists, including revenues from drug trafficking, the illegal oil trade and the arms trade .

" It is equally irresponsible to manipulate extremist groups and use them to achieve your political goals, hoping that later you'll find a way to get rid of them or somehow eliminate them.

"I'd like to tell those who engage in this: Gentlemen, the people you are dealing with are cruel but they are not dumb. They are as smart as you are. So, it's a big question: who's playing who here? The recent incident where the most 'moderate' opposition group handed over their weapons to terrorists is a vivid example of that. "

The reality is that there are no "moderates" in Syria, and certainly not among the rebel Islamist groups: they're all jihadists who want to impose Sharia law, drive out Christians, Alawites, and other minority groups, and set up an Islamic dictatorship. These are our noble "allies" – the very same people who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, and against whom our perpetual "war on terrorism" was launched.

[Aug 19, 2019] The Deeper Meaning in a Lost War -- Strategic Culture

Aug 19, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

It's pretty clear. Saudi Arabia has lost, and, notes Bruce Riedel, "the Houthis and Iran are the strategic winners". Saudi proxies in Aden – the seat of Riyadh's Yemeni proto-'government' – have been turfed out by secular, former Marxist, southern secessionists. What can Saudi Arabia do? It cannot go forward. Even tougher would be retreat. Saudi will have to contend with an Houthi war being waged inside the kingdom's south; and a second – quite different – war in Yemen's south. MbS is stuck. The Houthi military leadership are on a roll , and disinterested – for now – in a political settlement. They wish to accumulate more 'cards'. The UAE, which armed and trained the southern secessionists has opted out. MbS is alone, 'carrying the can'. It will be messy.

So, what is the meaning in this? It is that MbS cannot 'deliver' what Trump and Kushner needed, and demanded from him: He cannot any more deliver the Gulf 'world' for their grand projects – let alone garner together the collective Sunni 'world' to enlist in a confrontation with Iran, or for hustling the Palestinians into abject subordination, posing as 'solution'.

What happened? It seems that MbZ must have bought into the Mossad 'line' that Iran was a 'doddle'. Under pressure of global sanctions, Iran would quickly crumble, and would beg for negotiations with Trump. And that the resultant, punishing treaty would see the dismantling of all of Iran's troublesome allies around the region. The Gulf thus would be free to continue shaping a Middle East free from democracy, reformers and (those detested) Islamists.

What made the UAE – eulogised in the US as tough 'little Sparta' – back off? It was not just that the Emirs saw that the Yemen war was unwinnable. That was so; but more significantly, it dawned on them that Iran was going to be no 'doddle'. But rather, the US attempt to strangulate the Iranian economy risked escalating beyond sanctions war, into military confrontation. And in that eventuality, the UAE would be devastated. Iran warned explicitly that a drone or two landed into the 'glass houses' of their financial districts, or onto oil and gas facilities, would set them back twenty years. They believed it.

But there was another factor in the mix. "As the world teeters on the edge of another financial crisis", Esfandyar Batmanghelidj has noted , "few places are being gripped by anxiety like Dubai. Every week a new headline portends the coming crisis in the city of skyscrapers. Dubai villa prices are at their lowest level in a decade, down 24 percent in just one year. A slump in tourism has seen Dubai hotels hit their lowest occupancy rate since the 2008 financial crisis – even as the country gears up to host Expo 2020 next year. As Bloomberg's Zainab Fattah reported in November of last year, Dubai has begun to "lose its shine," its role as a center for global commerce "undermined by a global tariff war -- and in particular by the US drive to shut down commerce with nearby Iran"".

An extraneous Houthi drone landing in Dubai's financial zone would be the 'final nail in the coffin' (the expatriates would be out in a flash) – a prospect far more serious than the crisis of 2009, when Dubai's real estate market collapsed, threatening insolvency for several banks and major development companies, some of them state-linked – and necessitating a $20 billion bailout.

In short, the Gulf realised MbS' confrontation project with Iran was far too risky, especially with the global financial mood darkening so rapidly. Emirati leaders faced off with MbZ, the confrontation ideologue – and the UAE came out of Yemen formally (though leaving in situ its proxies), and initiated outreach to Iran, to take it out of that war, too.

It is now no longer conceivable that MbS can deliver what Trump and Netanyahu desired . Does this then mean that the US confrontation with Iran, and Jared Kushner's Deal of the Century, are over? No. Trump has two key US constituencies: AIPAC and the Christian Evangelical 'Zionists' to 'stroke' electorally in the lead up to the 2020 elections. More 'gifts' to Netanyahu in the lead into the latter's own election campaign are very likely also, as a part of that massaging of domestic constituencies (and donors).

In terms of the US confrontation with Iran, it seems that Trump is turning-down the volume on belligerence toward Iran, hoping that economic sanctions will work their 'magic' of bringing the Islamic Republic to its knees. There is no sign of that however – and no sign of any realistic US plan 'B'. (The Lindsay Graham initiative is not one).

Where does that leave MbS in terms of US and Israeli interests? Well, to be brutal, and despite the family friendships 'expendable', perhaps? The scent of an eventual US disengagement from the region is again hanging in the air.

The deeper meaning in the 'lost Yemen war', ultimately, is an end to Gulf hopes that 'magician' Trump would undo the earlier Gulf panic that the West would normalise with Iran (through the JCPOA), thus leaving Iran as the paramount regional power. The advent of Trump, with all his affinity towards Saudi Arabia, seemed to Gulf States to promise the opportunity again to 'lock in' the US security umbrella over Gulf monarchies, protecting these states from significant change, as well as leaving Iran 'shackled', and unable to assume regional primacy.

A secondary meaning to Yemen is that Trump and Netanyahu's heavy investment in MbS and MbZ has proved to be chimeric. These two, it turned out were 'naked' all along. And now the world knows it. They can't deliver. They have been bested by a ragtag army of tough Houthi tribesmen.

The region now observes that 'war' isn't happening (although only by the merest hair's breadth): Trump is not – of his own volition – going to bomb Iran back to the 1980s. And Gulf States now see that if he did, it is they – the Gulf States – who would pay the highest price. Paradoxically, it has fallen to the UAE, the prime agitator in Washington against Iran, to lead the outreach toward Iran. It represents a salutary lesson in realpolitik for certain Gulf States (and Israel). And now that it has been learned, it is hard to see it being reversed quite so easily.

The strategic shift toward a different security architecture is already underway, with Russia and China proposing an international conference on security in the Persian Gulf: Russia and Iran already have agreed joint naval exercises in in the Indian Ocean and Hormuz, and China is mulling sending its warships there too, to protect its tankers and commercial shipping. Plainly, there will be some competition here, but Iran has the upper hand still in Hormuz. It is a powerful deterrent (though one best threatened, but not used).

Of course, nothing is assured in these changing times. The US President is fickle, and prone to flip-flop. And there are yet powerful interests in the US who do want see Iran comprehensively bombed. But others in DC – more significantly, on the (nationalist) Right – are much more outspoken in challenging the Iran 'hawks'. Maybe the latter have missed their moment? The fact is, Trump drew back (but not for the stated reasons) from military action. America is now entering election season – and it is fixated on its navel. Foreign policy is already a forgotten, non-issue in the fraught partisan atmospherics of today's America.

Trump likely will still 'throw Israel a few bones', but will that change anything? Probably, not much. That is cold comfort – but it might have been a lot worse for the Palestinians. And Greater Israel? A distant, Promethean hope.

[Aug 18, 2019] Can Ukraine gradually put Western Ukrainian nationalists in it proper place

It's very sad that Ukraine is just a pawn in dirty geopolitical games of the USA, the EU and Russia.
Notable quotes:
"... In 3-5 years we could have an interesting scenario in Ukraine with land (its main wealth) owned by foreign investors and a large % of population with Russian or Polish and other EU passports. As always with ideology, the result is the exact opposite of what that ideology claims: the dictatorship of proletariat impoverished and killed proletariat, Nazis dramatically shrunk German lebensraum, liberals obsession with ' liberty and universal brotherhood ' is leading to censorship, suppression and group hostilities. But here we are and the ideological idiocy that Maidan-Ukrainians embraced might not be reversible. This is not good for anybody. ..."
"... For Ukraine these are all irreversible losses, but from Western perspective, these are little victories: Russia was forced to spend more. As the West does not give a hoot about Ukraine, the US and its vassals can freely celebrate these victories. ..."
"... So, it all depends on the point of view. The West never cared about aborigines, so their point of view does not come into its calculations. ..."
"... Currently prevailing mood in Russia is that Ukraine, whoever is the power there, gets nothing, nada, zilch. ..."
"... But Ukrainian authorities worked pretty hard to achieve it, and now Ukraine has to live with this new reality. It won’t be pretty. The US was simply following its standard policy: leave a pile of shit, declare victory, and leave, waiting for someone else to clean up. ..."
"... Now there is only one way Russia would clean up: if the EU pays full price for it. As this is unlikely, the aborigines are going to bear the brunt of the consequences. ..."
Aug 18, 2019 | www.unz.com

Beckow , says: Next New Comment August 18, 2019 at 7:33 pm GMT

@Kiza

miscalculation that the rotten West will help them instead of use them to create a festering sore on Russian border for just a few billion dollars in loans.

A possibly a fatal miscalculation for Ukraine, but there is also an ideology involved. In Maidan-Ukrainians case that ideology is Ukrainian nationalism combined with a servile Western worship of almost cargo-cult level. An odd combination that has led to odd result.

West wanted Zelensky to win, the question is why. Tactically, Zelensky neutralized large Russia-leaning block of voters: the 70% vote would have gone somewhere and they were not going to vote for Poroshenko or Tymoshenko. So that misdirection was successful. But what was the point?

Let's look at what Zelensky is actually doing (not the throw-away comedy and rhetoric): he is trying to allow sale of Ukrainian land to foreign investors. My guess is that he will push it through and that will his main legacy. Buying up Ukrainian arable land has been a wet dream for many in the West since 1991. Zelensky could deliver on it, and then move on.

In 3-5 years we could have an interesting scenario in Ukraine with land (its main wealth) owned by foreign investors and a large % of population with Russian or Polish and other EU passports. As always with ideology, the result is the exact opposite of what that ideology claims: the dictatorship of proletariat impoverished and killed proletariat, Nazis dramatically shrunk German lebensraum, liberals obsession with ' liberty and universal brotherhood ' is leading to censorship, suppression and group hostilities. But here we are and the ideological idiocy that Maidan-Ukrainians embraced might not be reversible. This is not good for anybody.

AnonFromTN , says: Next New Comment August 18, 2019 at 9:39 pm GMT

Why does the Saker think that Ze had any choice? He is a puppet, a stuffed shirt brought to ”power” by Kolomoisky and allied oligarchs. The only goal was to chase Porky and allied thieves from the trough to be able to steal more.

Now, the people of Ukraine had choice. But they blew it again, like many times before: each Ukrainian “president” is worse than his predecessor. As the saying goes, “fool me once, shame on you…” Ukrainians let themselves be fooled six times already, so there is no doubt where the shame goes.

It was said that the nationalism is the last resort of a scoundrel. But it isn’t the only one. Nationalism, stupid unrealistic dreams to feed sheeple, fairy tales about aggression, and the war create perfect smokescreen for blatant thievery. It continues unabated, ever since 1991.

Russia does need to make its choice. But it is complicated by the role of Russian thieves (polite word is oligarchs) in current Russian state. Putin kicked some out. The remaining ones have enough brains to figure that they need a strong state to protect them, lest their loot be stolen by Western thieves. So, they are a step ahead of Ukrainian thieves who did not tumble even to this simple realization. But no more than one step ahead.

The economic reality is that Russian state does not have the resources to restore Ukraine, even if sane forces come to power there. So, Ukraine would likely keep festering, losing millions of working age people (like today), possibly losing chunks of territory (as the joke has it, whoever remains in Ukraine pays off the debt). The problems of that huge Somalia can only be solved by concerted effort of many European countries and Russia. This is not on the cards, at least not until Ukies create yet another Chernobyl. Then the EU might decide to send its US overlords to Hell and pay Russia to take the hand grenade away from the monkey. I don’t think Putin will live long enough to see that happen.

Beckow , says: Next New Comment August 18, 2019 at 11:04 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

…EU might decide to send its US overlords to Hell and pay Russia to take the hand grenade away from the monkey.

How would EU go against its overlord? Even if EU would try, the existential nihilism in Kiev will prevent compromise. Ideologues can’t admit that their ‘idea’ didn’t work, they prefer destroying everything around. West is also at this point incapable of admitting an error – they literally can’t do it, the lying has to go on. That means that even groundwork for any possible compromise can’t be put in place. This is all the way down with fireworks and it won’t be pretty.

There is such a thing as a catastrophic error and the last 5 years in Ukraine comes pretty close to it. That is not really fixable. The monkey night as well use the grenade.

AnonFromTN says: August 18, 2019 at 9:56 pm GMT • 100 Words
@Beckow

Minsk agreement was an incredibly generous deal, if Poroshenko had half a brain he would had jumped on it and today Donbas would be a remote backwater with autonomy.

That would be true if Porky was interested in Ukraine. As it is, his only interest and loyalty was and is his personal loot. To keep stealing, he (and allied thieves) needed the smokescreen of war, fairy tales of “aggression”, and pipe dreams of “greater Ukraine” for the sheeple. He succeeded in his thievery for five years. Now another gang of thieves pushed his gang from the trough. End of story.

annamaria says: August 18, 2019 at 11:47 pm GMT • 100 Words

@Bardon Kaldian

Are you a teenager unaware of the history of the Maidan regime-change “revolution?”
Here are two most influential Ukranian parties-participants in the “revolution:”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svoboda_(political_party)

The Svoboda Party was founded in 1991 as the Social-National Party of Ukraine … It is widely considered a fascist..party….

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

Time has described it [the Right Sector Party] as a “radical right-wing group … a coalition of militant ultra-nationalists” with an ideology that “borders on fascism”.

Die Welt, The New York Times, and Le Monde Diplomatique have described some of Right Sector’s constituent groups as radical right-wing, neofascist, or neo-Nazi…

https://www.globalresearch.ca/conspiring-neo-nazi-parties-washington-eu-role-kiev-coup/5684545

AnonFromTN says: August 19, 2019 at 12:56 am GMT • 300 Words

@Beckow

You are a pessimist (or a fatalist). I agree that EU is shamefully subservient to the US, but when some of their core interests are at stake, even slavish EU can show some teeth. Just think of Nord Stream-2: the US is jumping out of its skin to damage this project, but Germany stands remarkably firm.

From Western point of view, Ukie provocation was not a complete failure (even though it’s a catastrophic failure from Ukrainian point of view): Russia had to spend a lot to develop the production of military things it used to import from Ukraine, like ships, ship engines, helicopter engines, spaceship control systems, etc.

Now that it acquired the capability to produce these things, there will be no going back regardless who rules Ukraine: it’s industries that used to export to Russia are doomed. These include such giants as Nikolaev shipbuilding plant, Motor Sich in Zaparozie, Antonov aircraft building plant in Kiev, etc. The same goes for transit.

It is not just natural gas transit everybody talks about. Russia used to transport ammonia to Odessa, where it was partially exported and partially converted into fertilizers. The plant that used to do that is dead.

Ukraine tried to sell it for $5 billion under Yanuk and got no takers, about a year ago it tried to sell it for 10% of that price, and got no takers again.

There also used to be substantial Russian payments for transport via the railway going across Eastern Ukraine.

Russia built an alternative bypassing Ukraine, so they might as well dismantle the rails on their route.

For Ukraine these are all irreversible losses, but from Western perspective, these are little victories: Russia was forced to spend more. As the West does not give a hoot about Ukraine, the US and its vassals can freely celebrate these victories.

So, it all depends on the point of view. The West never cared about aborigines, so their point of view does not come into its calculations.

AnonFromTN says: August 19, 2019 at 1:13 am GMT • 100 Words

@Andrei Martyanov

That’s true, when it comes to resources, there are always alternatives how to spend them.

Currently prevailing mood in Russia is that Ukraine, whoever is the power there, gets nothing, nada, zilch.

Considering how closely Ukrainians are related to Russians, this feat wasn’t easy.

But Ukrainian authorities worked pretty hard to achieve it, and now Ukraine has to live with this new reality. It won’t be pretty. The US was simply following its standard policy: leave a pile of shit, declare victory, and leave, waiting for someone else to clean up.

Now there is only one way Russia would clean up: if the EU pays full price for it. As this is unlikely, the aborigines are going to bear the brunt of the consequences.

[Aug 18, 2019] Ukie nationalism vs Otto von Bismarck by The Saker

Saker is naive and badly educated. It is stupid to call Ukraine an oligarchy. All countries on Earth are oligarchies. The real question is which group of oligarchs is in power. In case of Ukraine those are privatization sharks, the worst kind of neoliberal financial scum. Often real criminals.
Otto von Bismarck created a powerful German state which exists to this day. While vassal of the USA it is still a state now. And Merkel role in EuroMaidan definitely reminds Drang nach Osten in neoliberal packaging. Neocolonialism in its pure form
Ukraine is just a pawn in a bigger geopolitical game of the USA and EU against Russia. That explains in the current state of Ukrainian economics and the level of Ukrainian population sufferings. Ukrainian nationalist paradoxically served as the fifth column for the neoliberal oligarchy. The phenomenon similar to the US nationalists role under Trump.
At the same time despite dismally low standard of living Ukrainian population is showing great resilience in the current hardships and infrastructure while completely worn out still works. But Ukraine is now completely Latin-Americanized, which was the goal of the USA from the very beginning for all Soviet space. Ukraine now is a debt slave of the West which is completely opposite to any nationalist movement goals.
According to Wikipedia just 5% of population lives of less than $5.50 a day. That's baloney. In reality the percentage is probably two-three times times higher (average monthly pension is typically less then $1500 grivna which is less then $60) so most of pensioners live on less then $2 a day. 8 million of the approximately 12 million of Ukrainian pensioners were receiving the minimum pension of 1312 (around $50) while medium pension amounted to 1886 UAH (Pensions in Ukraine - Wikipedia) And 12 million is 28% of Ukrainian population (around 42-43 million total down from 45.55 before EuroMaydan ). It is declining around 200 persons daily. On average there are 462,052 births and 662,571 deaths in Ukraine per year.
While pensioners are definitely starving the situation at least stabilized with grivna around 25 per dollar (something like 300% after the EuroMaydan). So Nuland advantures cost dearly for average Ukrainian.
Notable quotes:
"... These guys are a minority, a pretty small one even, but they have enough muscle and even firepower to threaten any nominal Ukrainian leader. ..."
Aug 18, 2019 | www.unz.com

As I have indicated in a recent article , the Ukraine is not a democracy but an oligarchy : ever since 1991 the most prosperous Soviet republic was mercilessly plundered by an entire class (in the Marxist sense of the word) of oligarchs whose biggest fear has always been that the same "horror" (from their point of view) which befell Russia with Putin, would eventually arrive at the Ukraine.

Here we need to make something clear: this is NOT, repeat, NOT about nationality or nationalism. The Ukrainian oligarchs are just like any other oligarchs: their loyalty is to their money and nothing else. If you want to characterize these oligarchs, you could think of them as culturally "post-Soviet" meaning that they don't care about nationality, and even though their prime language is Russian, they don't give a damn about Russia or Russians (or anybody else, for that matter!). Since many of them are Jews, they have a network of supporters/accomplices in Israel of course, but also in the West and even in Russia. In truth, these guys are the ultimate "internationalists" in their own, toxic, kind of way.

Some fine specimens of "ochlocrats"

The other significant force in the Ukraine is the West Ukrainian (Galician) Nazi death-squads and mobs. Their power is not a democracy either, but an ochlocracy . These guys are a minority, a pretty small one even, but they have enough muscle and even firepower to threaten any nominal Ukrainian leader.


Korenchkin , says: August 15, 2019 at 7:42 am GMT

Can you stop with the Ukronazi crap, what kind of Nazi Government has a Jewish PM and Jewish President ?
Azov guys dying in Donbass and the street thugs in Kiev are just cannon fodder, they don't run shit

The majority of Ukranians don't want to be in this conflict, I don't see the point in demonizing all of them because of some fascist larpers

Malla , says: August 15, 2019 at 12:44 pm GMT
People need to move on from the past and stop all that hating others for some past deeds. Polish or Western Ukrainian hatred for Russians, Russian hatred for Germans, Chinese & Korean hatred for the Japanese, Indian hatred for the British or the Chinese, Black South African hatred for Afrikaners. All these are counter productive for the people and are emotions which can be whipped up by the elites to have commoners die like cannon fodder at worst or to take away attention towards a past historic enemy to hide their own corruption/ incompetence at best.
People need to see things from the other side as well.

As far as the Satanic Zio elite pigs, they will use any ideology as long as it serves them. Democracy, Communism, anti-Communism, Islamic fundamentalism, anti-Islam, Jingoistic Nationalism, Anti-Nationalism/One Worldism, feminism, Hindutva, Buddhist fundamentalism (Sri Lanka BBS and the secret Zionist hand), Neo-Conservatism, Leftism, Colonialism, anti-Colonialism as long it suits them. They use them and discard them away when needed. But this seems to be the most extreme case ever. For the first time the Zio elites are using National Socialism as an ideology to serve them. The ideology which was probably the greatest enemy and threat to the Zio elites, in human history. Freakin crazy!!!

Mr. Hack , says: August 15, 2019 at 2:39 pm GMT
More grist for Saker's suckers. The Galicians (and Ukro-Nazi Jews) are behind everything. In Saker's simplistic mind the Galicians have infiltrated all of Ukrainian society and run the whole show, when in fact this is just a bunch of nonsense. Well, at least Saker is putting to use his favorite Ukrainian pejorative do I really need to repeat it again, ad nauseum?
Colin Wright , says: Website August 15, 2019 at 4:38 pm GMT
' Russia will always remain the reality check on their delusions. This was as true in the distant 13th century as it is nowadays '

It's nit-picking, but you might want to edit that sentence slightly.

In the thirteenth century, both the Ukrainians and the Russians faced more dire threats than each other.

Colin Wright , says: Website August 15, 2019 at 4:53 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack ' Ukro-Nazi Jews '

You have to admit that's an impressive combination.

Adûnâi , says: August 15, 2019 at 6:17 pm GMT
"The other significant force in the Ukraine is the West Ukrainian (Galician) Nazi death-squads and mobs."

Where are death camps for the Jews? Where are racial laws that expel non-Ukrainians? Where is the propaganda of eugenics and healthy lifestyle? Where are construction projects bringing in jobs, and state-subsidized recreation tours?

Ukraine is a Jew-driven shithole that has nothing to do with National Socialism. They don't even honour the sacrifice of the SS Galizien.

"but what they are genuinely fantasizing about is the territory, and only the territory. As for the 2 million-plus virulently anti-Nazi people currently living on these lands, they simply want them either dead or expelled)."

A lie. Currently, more than a half of those "expelled" have migrated inside Ukraine. A stark contrast to Croatia where the Serbs were driven out of the country, and their land given to Croats.

Again, Ukraine is suicidal and full of civic nationalism, nothing about it is blood-based.

"They and their Polish supporters want Russia to break apart in numerous small state-lets which they (or, in their delusional dreams, the Chinese) could dominate."

Why do you consider this as a negative for the Russian people? The current Russian state is in its death throes as much as the US and France – the ethnic Russians are dying out, fleeing and being replaced. Any alternative might prove out more hopeful.

"In contrast, the LDNR forces seem to be doing pretty well, and their morale appears to be as strong as ever (which is unsurprising since their military ethos is based in 1000 years of Russian military history)."

I have to remind you that the Donbass was colonized far more recently than Ukraine – in the 18-19th centuries. What "ancient" traditions?

"but Novorussia also is a never healing wound in the side of Nazi-occupied Ukraine"

The Donbass has never been part of Novorussia which is to the west, from Dniepropetrovsk to Odessa. Admittedly, Novorussia's colonists were mostly from Ukraine – it is clearly seen on the language maps.

"The problem with this slogan is that there is simply no way the (relatively small) Galician population can ever succeed in permanently defeating their much bigger (and, frankly, much smarter) Jewish, Polish or Russian neighbors."

Khmelnitsky managed to do just that – 100k dead Jews. And he's on the Ukrainian currency. Too bad modern "Nazi" Ukrainians have elected a Jew President. This is not the Khmelnitsky uprising, this is Kiev under the Khazar Khaganate before Oleg came from the North.

AP , says: August 15, 2019 at 10:45 pm GMT
It's a of nonsense as usual. This piece is quickly refuted:

ever since 1991 the most prosperous Soviet republic

People who spread this myth are ignorant or liars. It's a common one, though.

In 1990 Ukraine's per capita GDP was $1570.

Russia's was $3485.
Belarus was $2124.

So in Soviet times, Ukraine was the poorest of the three Slavic Soviet Republics. It still is, the position hasn't changed. It's just fallen further behind.

::::::::

Everything else is just as nonsensical, I won't even bother to detail it, most of the commenters here are as dumb/ignorant/dishonest (take your pick) as the author pretends to be.

Curmudgeon , says: August 15, 2019 at 11:15 pm GMT
I don't know where Saker sources his history. Lenin had nothing to do with the creation of Ukraine.

I live in Western Canada, where Ukrainians come starting in the late 19th century. I'm not referring to the primarily German speaking Mennonites that left South Central Ukraine, in the 1870s, fleeing religious persecution. By WWI, more than 200,000 were in Western Canada from all parts of Ukraine. They considered themselves Ukrainians, not Russians, or Galicians. They were, and to a great extent, still are Ukrainian nationalists. There continues to be friction with Polish and German local populations, although prior to the "rebirth" of Ukraine, it had largely subsided. Recent Russian immigrants are shunned as much as the "Poles" and "Germans". Politically, they are generally left of center, and have been since their arrival, although in recent decades more have become "conservative" (whatever that means these days). A long ago former Russian Jewish co-worker who was a late 60s "escapee" from the USSR, told me that he would never vote for one of our political parties, because there were "too many Ukrainians" in the party. I asked a "Ukrainian" friend, who I had known since grade school, what that meant. His explanation was that there had always been tensions between Jews and Ukrainians, for centuries, because of what Ukrainians believed was exploitation by the Jews. Other "Ukrainians" and "Jews" have confirmed this.

The reality is, that most people in most countries just want to live their lives in peace, with a job good enough to provide a decent home and food for the family. That 70% of Ukrainians want that is not surprising, it's normal. That doesn't mean they aren't nationalists, and it doesn't mean they are Nazis. However screwed up they are in trying to do so, Ukrainians are struggling to retain their identity and culture. IMO, they are up against internationalist forces from all sides, and none are interested in letting that happen.

Beckow , says: August 16, 2019 at 1:22 am GMT
@Curmudgeon The Nazi name-calling is over the top, and not just with regard to Ukraine or Galicia. Historical grievances or revisions are not 'Nazism'. Too many people look at Ukraine and over-interpret the nostalgia for Bandera or simple national self-assertion.

But I think Saker is right about where this is going. Russian side has local dominance and that will not change. The only game in town for the last 5 years has been to see if the Western squeeze of Russia will work faster than the Russian squeeze of Ukraine. By now it is obvious that it won't.

Kiev has made some fatal mistakes. E.g. Minsk agreement was an incredibly generous deal, if Poroshenko had half a brain he would had jumped on it and today Donbas would be a remote backwater with autonomy . So? The state would be intact, taxes would be paid, passports centrally issued, etc The eastern European dynamic is that any population always ends up disliking its immediate rulers – how long before local leaders in Donbas would be challenged by some younger corruption fighters.

The whole Maidan thing was also terribly mismanaged – at its core it was about getting the best potential deal for Ukraine with EU (and Russia). In the middle of the negotiation suddenly Maidanistas decided that symbols are more important than reality and basically folded in front of EU. Consequently Russia walked. Thus Kiev got justa bout the worst possible combination on non-EU and deep hostility with Russia. Smarter guys would had handled it much better, playing both sides against each other – raising the stakes.

And let's not even get started on Crimea, while Ukies ate stale cookies, they lost overnight their most valuable possession – they couldn't anticipate it? Being able to anticipate is a key to intelligence and in playing any game.

So we can talk about what or who is driving modern Ukraine, oligarchs, Galicians, Jews, Kiev thugs, Canadians – it doesn't matter, what matters is that they are incompetent. From Yushenko to Zelensky they are amateurs driven by emotion and greed. There is no state-forming force, there is no true Ukrainian nationalism that would play up Ukraine's strengths and manage its weaknesses. Saker is basically right – they are in a no-win cul-de-sac, at this point any move will make their situation worse. Their best (only?) hope is a collapse of Russia. Now, how likely is that?

bevin , says: August 16, 2019 at 1:33 am GMT
@Korenchkin " what kind of Nazi Government has a Jewish PM and Jewish President ?"
Israel.
Felix Keverich , says: August 16, 2019 at 8:23 am GMT
@peterAUS This is not a real nation. There is no such thing as "genuine Ukrainian nationalists".

AP doesn't count – the dude lives in Canada! So Galician nutters is all you get.

Korenchkin , says: August 16, 2019 at 1:14 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich Autism of this degree does not pop out of nowhere
You had Cossacks and Mercenaries from the Ukraine joining up with the Poles, Swedes, Napoleon, Germans and others. Calling diaspora nationalists stupid is all fine and dandy but the constant bickering between people in current Ukraine and in Russia stinks of divide and conquer (which is what Ukraine vs Russia conflicts always were)

Calling them stupid and calling their ethnicity fake(which they make an actual effort to preserve, such as it is) stinks of hypocrisy when so many Great Russians were willing to tear their country, religion and people apart in 1917 and join up with the Bolsheviks in the rape and pillaging

You'd probably get far more progress calling them a branch of Russian civilization, you can cite Belarus and Siberian Ukraine as examples
It's easy to dogpile on some poor Hohol since they will always be on the defensive, but it's much harder to understand him and admit your own faults while not backing down from your standpoint that you are both one people

Serbs often made the same mistakes with Montenegro, and the result is the modern day shitfest where both it and Ukraine are run by hostile US puppets

peter mcloughlin , says: August 16, 2019 at 3:58 pm GMT
The Saker is correct that reality and pragmatism are essential 'when trying to figure out what is going on and what might happen next.' It is a hard calculation to make in a world increasingly chaotic and dark. The Minsk Accord is probably the only glimmer of light for Ukraine, but then all the lights – across the world – are going out.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/
Andrei Martyanov , says: Website August 16, 2019 at 5:36 pm GMT
@Curmudgeon

However screwed up they are in trying to do so, Ukrainians are struggling to retain their identity and culture. IMO, they are up against internationalist forces from all sides, and none are interested in letting that happen.

What you posted is called a generic "to be against everything bad, for everything good". Living in a world of unicorns and having rainbows as result of bowel movement is, of course, a worthy aspiration but reality with Ukraine is a teeny-weeny bit more complicated than mere attempts to "retain their identity and culture". I'll give you a hint, vast swaths of Ukrainian population (including in the East Ukraine) believe, as an example, that Ukrainian civilization precedes a Sumerian one. Many, very many, also still believe that valiant Ukrainian Armed Forces still fight, for the 5th year in a row, mighty Russian Army in the East. We are talking here about down right mental breakdown on a national level, granted, as I always say, modern Ukraine did happen, that is coalesced, as a political nation.

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website August 16, 2019 at 5:58 pm GMT
@Beckow

There is no state-forming force, there is no true Ukrainian nationalism that would play up Ukraine's strengths and manage its weaknesses

There is one–modern Ukraine is a "anti-Russia" project, that is also a foundation of its state ideology and, I may add, mythology.

mejohnr1 , says: August 16, 2019 at 7:37 pm GMT

In the thirteenth century, both the Ukrainians and the Russians faced more dire threats than each other.

In the 13th century there were no Ukrainians or Ukraine. There was Russia though, Rus'. Imagine a US state becoming independent today, from the rest of the US.. like Ohio.. and people are going to say "the first man on the moon was an Ohioan (Armstrong), not an American. Sorry, doesn't work like that..

Commentator Mike , says: August 18, 2019 at 8:10 am GMT
@Colin Wright

' Ukro-Nazi Jews '

You have to admit that's an impressive combination.

Yes, but it wasn't the Saker who invented it; it does seem to reflect what's going on there. My only criticism is that he has given more prominence to the Nazis than the Jews, unless we consider "oligarchs" as a synonym for Jews.

Bardon Kaldian , says: August 18, 2019 at 8:39 am GMT
When I see words like "Nazis" in relation to Ukrainians, I know that article is sh!t & not worth reading.
Commentator Mike , says: August 18, 2019 at 8:42 am GMT
@peterAUS

why he writes like that/we have such posts here?

Like you have said in the past he is taking the Russian side. I think it's a fairly good analysis of the situation if you go beyond his propagandistic terminology and what he leaves unsaid. Russia really doesn't want to engage directly in the conflict but its best policy would be to bide its time and to encourage more pro-Russian separatism in Odessa and all other regions along the coast so as to eventually cut off Ukraine from access to the sea altogether. That would serve Russian interests best and strengthen its position against NATO, the EU, and the rump Ukraine, for whatever is to follow. It's a shame for any real Ukranian nationalists but then they should have been smarter than to join all those colour revolutions on Maidan organised by the CIA, Soros, Jewish oligarchs, etc.

That's a frozen conflict for now. Let's have another article on UR about the latest from the US sponsored colour revolution in Hong Kong and what are the best measures that PR China can take to quell the riots. And it's about time they took back Formosa, but it won't be as easy as the Russian takeover of Crimea, unless they can send a million Red Army guards there disguised as tourists to stage a silent putsch.

Tom Welsh , says: August 18, 2019 at 10:38 am GMT
"As I have indicated in a recent article, the Ukraine is not a democracy but an oligarchy "

Like the USA, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India

None of those countries have ever been democracies in any sense of the word.

Robjil , says: August 18, 2019 at 11:24 am GMT
@Bardon Kaldian Neonazis is a good term for the people used in the Ukrainian ZUS coup. That is the people that was used to gain control of Ukraine for ZUS.

This coup in Ukraine, woke me up.

V. Nuland's war cry to bless the coup was "F–k The EU"

She used Neonazis to take over Ukraine.

Wait. She is Jewish. I guess the 6 million story must be bogus. She admitted it, since if the 6 million story was real. She would have a great fear of a tidal wave of anti-S'ism overcoming her and her people. She had no fear. Thus, the 6 million story was proved to be false by V. Nuland. Thanks V. Nuland for freeing the world of that nightmarish propaganda that has saddled humanity for seventy odd years.

Secondly, she told the world the reality of J. Supremacism by stating " F..k the EU". The world thought that ZUS loved the EU as its sister in world domination. I guess not. Would V. Nuland ever say "F..k Israel"? I think not.

Thanks V. Nuland. A new Queen Esther or Queen Victoria.

Robjil , says: August 18, 2019 at 11:37 am GMT
@Tom Welsh Yes, ZUS ukraine is being run just like the rest of us in the west.

The little people are considered "deplorable" and treated that way.

At least, ZUS ukraine is not be over run by people fleeing ZUS wars and coups.

I guess since ZUS ukraine is not in good shape for these fleeing people.

ZUS ukraine is in the same shape as the nations that the fleeing people come from.

So there is no reason for them to go to ZUS ukraine.

GMC , says: August 18, 2019 at 12:09 pm GMT
Yep, agree with Saker – I lived there before , during and now after the Maidan and he's spot on with most of everything – he has been, since the beginning. Zelinsky has a dozen or more bosses and he has Zero experience in what he's doing. . Zionist Bankers and their arms dealers, Nato, Banderas gang,Washington, US Navy, Monsanto/Bayer, Royal Dutch {shell oil }, Dupont, Lilly Pharma, Cargill, and the list could go on. He'll be lucky if he isn't in Diapers by the time his term is up, otherwise he will be rich. I see that Poroshanster is being called out for taking 8 billion bucks out of Ukie-Ville. I wonder how much Trump and his family will end up stealing?. Thanks Unz Review.
Kiza , says: August 18, 2019 at 1:10 pm GMT
@Beckow

Thus Kiev got justa bout the worst possible combination on non-EU and deep hostility with Russia. Smarter guys would had handled it much better, playing both sides against each other – raising the stakes.

As usual, you nailed it Beckow.
Also, Saker often misunderstands things but he is right that Ukraine is in a one way street mainly because of the out-of-this-World miscalculation that the rotten West will somehow help them instead of use them to create a festering sore on Russian border for just a few billion dollars in loans. It is the rest of Ukraine, excluding Donbas, that will have to pay off these war loans already stolen by the oligarchs.

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: August 18, 2019 at 1:56 pm GMT

https://www.youtube.com/embed/d2xCLqQnnjs?feature=oembed

Bill Jones , says: August 18, 2019 at 2:23 pm GMT
@Commentator Mike I recall that at the time of the Zionist coup (We do remember Ms Noodleman's : "fuck the EU" don't we?) Ukrainian Nazi's were a leading force in kicking things off.
Skeptikal , says: August 18, 2019 at 2:43 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack "In Saker's simplistic mind the Galicians have infiltrated all of Ukrainian society and run the whole show, "

This was not what I read.
The Saker said that oligarchs and Nazi militia groups have enough power to impose their will and their agenda on the rest of the population.

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website August 18, 2019 at 3:22 pm GMT
@Bardon Kaldian

When I see words like "Nazis" in relation to Ukrainians, I know that article is sh!t & not worth reading.

This is because you don't know what Raguli(stan) is and you cannot possibly know, because there are no "books" written yet which would encapsulate this whole phenomenon. Of course, Ukies have no relation to Fichte and Volkskrieg. Other than that you will find an attentive audience among local ignoramuses.

[Aug 18, 2019] The fundamental problem in politics is not the opposition of wickedness, but the restraint of righteousness. Hillary has always loved to kill people is distant lands

Aug 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

stevek , 18 minutes ago link

Hillary has always loved to kill people. Its in her (evil) blood.

Creative_Destruct , 22 minutes ago link

"This damn Serbian war is a symbol of all that is wrong with the righteous approach to the world and to problems within this nation."

Story of the last several decades (fill in the blank with your pick of the name of a US war or a SJW cause):

This damn _________ war is a symbol of all that is wrong with the righteous approach to the world and to problems within this nation.

Kissinger had many flaws, but he hit the nail on the head when he said:

"The fundamental problem in politics is not the opposition of wickedness, but the restraint of righteousness"

TheDayAfter , 1 hour ago link

We all know the Hypocrisy of that War. Clinton had to distract the masses from MonicaGate and Hillary had to prove to the MIC that she could be beneficial to them.

Result : Those Kosovo Albanians had a state handed to them, and instead of building it(with uncle Sam's and EU help) as prosperous country, they used their weapons and "expertise" in becoming the low level gangsters of Europe. Every Europol analysis points to the direction of Kosovo Albanians as the criminal thugs in prostitution and drug trade and protection rackets. The largest percentage of a single ethnic group in European jails is that of Albanians.

TeaClipper , 1 hour ago link

The most unjust and illegal of wars in the late 20c.

There was only one reason to bomb white Christian brothers in Serbia thereby aiding the Muslim of Kosovo and Albania, and that was Russia, which by that stage had got its act together and dealt with the traitorous oligarchs who had sold their country out to the west.

Hillary and her cronies no doubt lost a lot of money when the Russians shut their rat lines down.

I hope I live long enough to see those fuckers swing, and Tony Blair, Alistair Campnell and Peter Mandelson as well.

PKKA , 3 hours ago link

Again, your Muslims are to blame for everything. Muslims are all different. And it is necessary to separate the faithful Muslims from the bandits who are only covered by Muslim slogans.
NATO and your godless government are to blame!

An Afghan Freedom Fighter in Donbass - ENG SUBTITLE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc2KeSkl5H0

Joe A , 3 hours ago link

It happened at the time of the Lewinsky affair and the possible impeachment of Clinton. They needed a distraction.

Milosevic btw. agreed to all conditions imposed on the FR of Yugoslavia except for one condition that nobody would accept: the full and unhindered access to the territory of FRY by NATO troops. That effectively meant an occupation. Nobody would agree to that. NATO and Albright deliberately came up with that condition for they knew it was unacceptable. Even Kissinger said that condition was over the top. NATO and Albright wanted that war. Serbia btw. saved Albright twice when she was still a little Slovakian Jewish girl whose family found refuge twice in Serbia. Once they escaped the Nazis that way and the second time the communists.

NATO thought they would need 48 hours but they needed 78 days and Milosevic only gave in after NATO switched from hitting military targets to civilian targets: Hospitals, commuter trains, civilian industry, an open market, random houses in random villages. After Milosevic pulled out his troops out of Kosovo, the KLA started killing Serbs and moderate Albanians, not to mention engage in organ trafficking (...). As the article said, well over 200k Serbs, moderate Albanians, Roma and other minorities were ethnically cleansed from Kosovo.

The US also used cluster bombs and DU weapons. Of the 4000 Italian KFOR troops that went into Kosovo after the bombing, 700 are dead from cancer and leukemia with several hundreds more seriously ill. The American KFOR troops wore hazmat suits. The Italians did not have them and were not warned. Today, many people in southern Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo itself are sick and dying.

HoyeruNew , 3 hours ago link

yes just like USA tried to help Vietnam against communists... by killing 2 million Vietnamese. and tried to help Korea by killing 20 % of the population. and by helping Iraq get rid of "bad" Saddam Hussein by killing 2 million Iraqies.

Oh, the Americans are oh so helpfiul!

ItsDanger , 2 hours ago link

Not disagreeing with you but lets remember that communists were killing a lot of people in other areas not long before those wars in SE Asia. May have been a wash in the end.

seryanhoj , 1 hour ago link

13 million gallons of agent orange dropped on Vietnamese forests was our way of saying we love you. The genetic deformities are still widespread.

So glad they kicked the US out of there.

Magnum , 3 hours ago link

That conflict led to hundreds of thousands of BOSNIANS moving to USA. Gotta keep the refugees flowing no matter what....

JoeBattista , 3 hours ago link

Bring back the draft. On the whole Americans have no idea what the carnage of combat produces. Combat vets do. And the ones that aren't natural psychopaths never want to experience it again. This volunteer army we have is over loaded with a them. A military draft will actually bring some sort civilian control.

seryanhoj , 1 hour ago link

They killed the draft so they would no longer be embarrassed by student protests and having to mow them down.

It worked. Today's snowflakes don't care about slaughter , only mini verbal aggressions against perverts.

seryanhoj , 1 hour ago link

Such ********. Do the millions we kill have any human rights? It's been going on for 4000 years. Ruthless pursuit of empire and fabricating phony justifications.

He–Mene Mox Mox , 3 hours ago link

Hillary seems to enjoy killing people. If it wasn't Gaddaffi, it was all the people on her body bag count, and now it's known she encouraged killing people in Serbia. Someone needs to take that old cow out into the center of the town and burn her at the stake.

Red Corvair , 4 hours ago link

Partially true, otherwise as usually excellent Dr. Paul, ... The Pandora's box situation was opened years before Clinton's bombing of Serbia, which was part of a larger scheme started nearly a decade before.

That was when the US armed the religious extremists in Bosnia, in order to bring war, "civil war" and chaos, and disintegration, the way they more recently tried to do with Syria, or "succeeded" in doing in Libya, bringing chaos and open-air slave markets in a country that was one of the most developed on the African continent under Gaddafi (a truth that was so easily erased by propaganda).

And the whole neocon scheme started two decades before, with the Zbigniew Brzezinski doctrine, when the US started arming the mujahedin in Afghanistan, provoking the trap for the Soviet invasion of 1979, which was the real opening of US neocon's Pandora's box we are regrettably so familiar with by now. We've all fallen in that old neocon/military-industrial-congressional-complex trap by now. And there seems to be no end in sight to those eternal wars "for civilization" (the old colonial trope dressed under new fatigues). Unless serious societal and political changes take place in the US to put an end to the US "imperial" death drive.

[Aug 17, 2019] America s Benevolent Bombing of Serbia by James Bovard

By all measures Clinton is a war criminal... Hilary is a female sociopath or worse.
Notable quotes:
"... Hillary Clinton revealed to an interviewer in the summer of 1999, "I urged him to bomb. You cannot let this go on at the end of a century that has seen the major holocaust of our time. What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?" ..."
"... The Kosovo Liberation Army's savage nature was well known before the Clinton administration formally christened them "freedom fighters" in 1999. ..."
"... Sen. Joe Lieberman whooped that the United States and the KLA "stand for the same values and principles. Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values." ..."
"... Clinton administration officials justified killing civilians because, it alleged the Serbs were committing genocide in Kosovo. After the bombing ended, no evidence of genocide was found, but Clinton and Britain's Tony Blair continued boasting as if their war had stopped a new Hitler in his tracks. ..."
Aug 16, 2019 | www.fff.org

Twenty years ago, President Bill Clinton commenced bombing Serbia in the name of human rights, justice, and ethnic tolerance. Approximately 1,500 Serb civilians were killed by NATO bombing in one of the biggest sham morality plays of the modern era. As British professor Philip Hammond recently noted, the 78-day bombing campaign "was not a purely military operation: NATO also destroyed what it called 'dual-use' targets, such as factories, city bridges, and even the main television building in downtown Belgrade, in an attempt to terrorise the country into surrender."

Clinton's unprovoked attack on Serbia, intended to help ethnic Albanians seize control of Kosovo, set a precedent for "humanitarian" warring that was invoked by supporters of George W. Bush's unprovoked attack on Iraq, Barack Oba-ma's bombing of Libya, and Donald Trump's bombing of Syria.

Clinton remains a hero in Kosovo, and there is an 11-foot statue of him standing in the capitol, Pristina, on Bill Clinton Boulevard. A commentator in the United Kingdom's Guardian newspaper noted that the statue showed Clinton "with a left hand raised, a typical gesture of a leader greeting the masses. In his right hand he is holding documents engraved with the date when NATO started the bombardment of Serbia, 24 March 1999." It would have been a more accurate representation if Clinton was shown standing on the corpses of the women, children, and others killed in the U.S. bombing campaign.

Bombing Serbia was a family affair in the Clinton White House. Hillary Clinton revealed to an interviewer in the summer of 1999, "I urged him to bomb. You cannot let this go on at the end of a century that has seen the major holocaust of our time. What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?" A biography of Hillary Clinton, written by Gail Sheehy and published in late 1999, stated that Mrs. Clinton had refused to talk to the president for eight months after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. She resumed talking to her husband only when she phoned him and urged him in the strongest terms to begin bombing Serbia; the president began bombing within 24 hours. Alexander Cockburn observed in the Los Angeles Times,

It's scarcely surprising that Hillary would have urged President Clinton to drop cluster bombs on the Serbs to defend "our way of life." The first lady is a social engineer. She believes in therapeutic policing and the duty of the state to impose such policing. War is more social engineering, "fixitry" via high explosive, social therapy via cruise missile . As a tough therapeutic cop, she does not shy away from the most abrupt expression of the therapy: the death penalty.

I followed the war closely from the start, but selling articles to editors bashing the bombing was as easy as pitching paeans to Scientology. Instead of breaking into newsprint, my venting occurred instead in my journal:

The KLA

The Kosovo Liberation Army's savage nature was well known before the Clinton administration formally christened them "freedom fighters" in 1999. The previous year, the State Department condemned "terrorist action by the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army." The KLA was heavily involved in drug trafficking and had close to ties to Osama bin Laden. Arming the KLA helped Clinton portray himself as a crusader against injustice and shift public attention after his impeachment trial. Clinton was aided by many congressmen eager to portray U.S. bombing as an engine of righteousness. Sen. Joe Lieberman whooped that the United States and the KLA "stand for the same values and principles. Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values."

In early June 1999, the Washington Post reported that "some presidential aides and friends are describing [bombing] Kosovo in Churchillian tones, as Clinton's 'finest hour.'" Clinton administration officials justified killing civilians because, it alleged the Serbs were committing genocide in Kosovo. After the bombing ended, no evidence of genocide was found, but Clinton and Britain's Tony Blair continued boasting as if their war had stopped a new Hitler in his tracks.

In a speech to American troops in a Thanksgiving 1999 visit, Clinton declared that the Kosovar children "love the United States because we gave them their freedom back." Perhaps Clinton saw freedom as nothing more than being tyrannized by people of the same ethnicity. As the Serbs were driven out of Kosovo, Kosovar Albanians became increasingly oppressed by the KLA, which ignored its commitment to disarm. The Los Angeles Times reported on November 20, 1999,

As a postwar power struggle heats up in Kosovo Albanian politics, extremists are trying to silence moderate leaders with a terror campaign of kidnappings, beatings, bombings, and at least one killing. The intensified attacks against members of the moderate Democratic League of Kosovo, or LDK, have raised concerns that radical ethnic Albanians are turning against their own out of fear of losing power in a democratic Kosovo.

American and NATO forces stood by as the KLA resumed its ethnic cleansing, slaughtering Serbian civilians, bombing Serbian churches, and oppressing non-Muslims. Almost a quarter million Serbs, Gypsies, Jews, and other minorities fled Kosovo after Clinton promised to protect them. In March 2000 renewed fighting broke out when the KLA launched attacks into Serbia, trying to seize territory that it claimed historically belonged to ethnic Albanians. UN Human Rights Envoy Jiri Dienstbier reported that "the [NATO] bombing hasn't solved any problems. It only multiplied the existing problems and created new ones. The Yugoslav economy was destroyed. Kosovo is destroyed. There are hundreds of thousands of people unemployed now."

U.S. complicity in atrocities

Prior to the NATO bombing, American citizens had no responsibility for atrocities committed by either Serbs or ethnic Albanians. However, after American planes bombed much of Serbia into rubble to drive the Serbian military out of Kosovo, Clinton effectively made the United States responsible for the safety of the remaining Serbs in Kosovo. That was equivalent to forcibly disarming a group of people, and then standing by, whistling and looking at the ground, while they are slaughtered. Since the United States promised to bring peace to Kosovo, Clinton bears some responsibility for every burnt church, every murdered Serbian grandmother, every new refugee column streaming north out of Kosovo. Despite those problems, Clinton bragged at a December 8, 1999, press conference that he was "very, very proud" of what the United States had done in Kosovo.

I had a chapter on the Serbian bombing campaign titled "Moralizing with Cluster Bombs" in Feeling Your Pain: The Explosion and Abuse of Government Power in the Clinton–Gore Years (St. Martin's Press, 2000), which sufficed to spur at least one or two reviewers to attack the book. Norman Provizer, the director of the Golda Meir Center for Political Leadership, scoffed in the Denver Rocky Mountain News, "Bovard chastises Clinton for an illegal, undeclared war in Kosovo without ever bothering to mention that, during the entire run of American history, there have been but four official declarations of war by Congress."

As the chaotic situation in post-war Kosovo became stark, it was easier to work in jibes against the debacle. In an October 2002 USA Today article ("Moral High Ground Not Won on Battlefield") bashing the Bush administration's push for war against Iraq, I pointed out, "A desire to spread freedom does not automatically confer a license to kill . Operation Allied Force in 1999 bombed Belgrade, Yugoslavia, into submission purportedly to liberate Kosovo. Though Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic raised the white flag, ethnic cleansing continued -- with the minority Serbs being slaughtered and their churches burned to the ground in the same way the Serbs previously oppressed the ethnic Albanians."

In a 2011 review for The American Conservative, I scoffed, "After NATO planes killed hundreds if not thousands of Serb and ethnic Albanian civilians, Bill Clinton could pirouette as a savior. Once the bombing ended, many of the Serbs remaining in Kosovo were slaughtered and their churches burned to the ground. NATO's 'peace' produced a quarter million Serbian, Jewish, and Gypsy refugees."

In 2014, a European Union task force confirmed that the ruthless cabal that Clinton empowered by bombing Serbia committed atrocities that included murdering persons to extract and sell their kidneys, livers, and other body parts. Clint Williamson, the chief prosecutor of a special European Union task force, declared in 2014 that senior members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) had engaged in "unlawful killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, illegal detentions in camps in Kosovo and Albania, sexual violence, forced displacements of individuals from their homes and communities, and desecration and destruction of churches and other religious sites."

The New York Times reported that the trials of Kosovo body snatchers may be stymied by cover-ups and stonewalling: "Past investigations of reports of organ trafficking in Kosovo have been undermined by witnesses' fears of testifying in a small country where clan ties run deep and former members of the KLA are still feted as heroes. Former leaders of the KLA occupy high posts in the government." American politicians almost entirely ignored the scandal. Vice President Joe Biden hailed former KLA leader and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in 2010 as "the George Washington of Kosovo." A few months later, a Council of Europe investigative report tagged Thaci as an accomplice to the body-trafficking operation.

Clinton's war on Serbia opened a Pandora's box from which the world still suffers. Because politicians and pundits portrayed that war as a moral triumph, it was easier for subsequent presidents to portray U.S. bombing as the self-evident triumph of good over evil. Honest assessments of wrongful killings remain few and far between in media coverage.

This article was originally published in the July 2019 edition of Future of Freedom .

Category: Foreign Policy & War

James Bovard is a policy adviser to The Future of Freedom Foundation. He is a USA Today columnist and has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New Republic, Reader's Digest, Playboy, American Spectator, Investors Business Daily, and many other publications. He is the author of Freedom Frauds: Hard Lessons in American Liberty (2017, published by FFF); Public Policy Hooligan (2012); Attention Deficit Democracy (2006); The Bush Betrayal (2004); Terrorism and Tyranny (2003); Feeling Your Pain (2000); Freedom in Chains (1999); Shakedown (1995); Lost Rights (1994); The Fair Trade Fraud (1991); and The Farm Fiasco (1989). He was the 1995 co-recipient of the Thomas Szasz Award for Civil Liberties work, awarded by the Center for Independent Thought, and the recipient of the 1996 Freedom Fund Award from the Firearms Civil Rights Defense Fund of the National Rifle Association. His book Lost Rights received the Mencken Award as Book of the Year from the Free Press Association. His Terrorism and Tyranny won Laissez Faire Book's Lysander Spooner award for the Best Book on Liberty in 2003. Read his blog . Send him email .

[Aug 17, 2019] Long Range Attack On Saudi Oil Field as a good news for Yemen and for oil producing nations in need of an oil price rise.

Notable quotes:
"... The field's distance from rebel-held territory in Yemen demonstrates the range of the Houthis' drones. U.N. investigators say the Houthis' new UAV-X drone, found in recent months during the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen, likely has a range of up to 1,500 kilometers (930 miles). That puts Saudi oil fields, an under-construction Emirati nuclear power plant and Dubai's busy international airport within their range. ..."
"... The outcome was a forgone conclusion. The smash, destroy, and destabilize campaign in the region could have only come from the most powerful lobby in the US. We all know who that is. ..."
Aug 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Today Saudi Arabia finally lost the war on Yemen. It has no defenses against new weapons the Houthis in Yemen acquired. These weapons threaten the Saudis economic lifelines. This today was the decisive attack:

Drones launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels attacked a massive oil and gas field deep inside Saudi Arabia's sprawling desert on Saturday, causing what the kingdom described as a "limited fire" in the second such recent attack on its crucial energy industry.
...
The Saudi acknowledgement of the attack came hours after Yahia Sarie, a military spokesman for the Houthis, issued a video statement claiming the rebels launched 10 bomb-laden drones targeting the field in their "biggest-ever" operation. He threatened more attacks would be coming.
New drones and missiles displayed in July 2019 by Yemen's Houthi-allied armed forces

bigger

Today's attack is a check mate move against the Saudis. Shaybah is some 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) from Houthi-controlled territory. There are many more important economic targets within that range:

The field's distance from rebel-held territory in Yemen demonstrates the range of the Houthis' drones. U.N. investigators say the Houthis' new UAV-X drone, found in recent months during the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen, likely has a range of up to 1,500 kilometers (930 miles). That puts Saudi oil fields, an under-construction Emirati nuclear power plant and Dubai's busy international airport within their range.

Unlike sophisticated drones that use satellites to allow pilots to remotely fly them, analysts believe Houthi drones are likely programmed to strike a specific latitude and longitude and cannot be controlled once out of radio range. The Houthis have used drones, which can be difficult to track by radar, to attack Saudi Patriot missile batteries, as well as enemy troops.

The attack conclusively demonstrates that the most important assets of the Saudis are now under threat. This economic threat comes on top of a seven percent budget deficit the IMF predicts for Saudi Arabia. Further Saudi bombing against the Houthi will now have very significant additional cost that might even endanger the viability of the Saudi state. The Houthi have clown prince Mohammad bin Salman by the balls and can squeeze those at will. There is a lesson to learn from that. But it is doubtful that the borg in Washington DC has the ability to understand it.

The outcome was a forgone conclusion. The smash, destroy, and destabilize campaign in the region could have only come from the most powerful lobby in the US. We all know who that is.


Jen , Aug 17 2019 20:45 utc | 3

I'm afraid the only lesson the Borg in Washington will learn is to continue squandering US resources and manpower on pursuing and inflicting chaos and violence in the Middle East. Clown prince Mohammed bin Salman will not learn anything either other than to bankrupt his own nation in pursuing this war.

Israel has driven itself into its own existential hell by persecuting Palestinians over 70+ years and doing a good job of annihilating itself while denying its own destruction. If Israel can do it, the Christian crusaders dominating the govts of the Five Eyes nations supporting Israel will follow suit in propping up an unsustainable fantasy. Samson option indeed.

Tonymike , Aug 17 2019 20:46 utc | 4
I am sure that the Suads will be looking to their zionist allies to supply them with the Iron Dome system that the US military just wasted millions of tax payer dollars and purchased several days ago. The irony of that system is that is was overwhelmed several times when the Palestinian freedom fighters launched a wave of home made rockets at Occupied Palestine. I hope the Sauds learn a lesson..doubt it though.
donkeytale , Aug 17 2019 20:53 utc | 6
This is good news for Yemen and...for oil producing nations in need of a price rise.
ebolax , Aug 17 2019 21:02 utc | 13
let me throw something out there. Israel has entrenched itself in the US political and media systems. There is no logical path to eliminate or reduce that influence, and thus perhaps the plan that has been hatched is to strengthen Iran to the point that it can confront Israel.
karlof1 , Aug 17 2019 21:07 utc | 14
I anticipated just this sort of event 2+ months ago to go along with the tanker sabotaging to expand on b's thesis about Iran having the upper hand in the current hybrid Gulf War. The timing of this new ability dovetails nicely with the recent Russian collective security proposal, with the Saudis being the footdraggers in agreeing about its viability due to its pragmatic logic. So, as I wrote 2 days ago, we now have an excellent possibility of seeing an end to this and future Persian Gulf Crises along with an idea that can potentially become the template for an entire Southwest Asian security treaty, whose only holdout would be Occupied Palestine. The Outlaw US Empire is effectively shutout of the entire process. And as I also wrote, it's now time for the Saudis to determine where their future lies--with Eurasia or with a dying Empire.
KC , Aug 17 2019 21:11 utc | 15
@Tonymike

So the U.S. bought the Iron Dome stuff from Israel? I guess that means we paid for it twice, eh? Glad to know my tax dollars are hard at work "keeping us safe."

Wonder what they might be planning for with that one?

karlof1 , Aug 17 2019 21:18 utc | 18
Ian Seed | Aug 17 2019 20:55 utc | 7--

The Yemenese military had lots of technological capabilities remaining from the Cold War along with factories, technicians and raw materials. For example, Yemen's aerospace forces allied with the Houthi and are the ones producing and shooting the missiles and drones. One doesn't need to import a complete drone; technical blueprints on a floppy, CD-ROM, DVD, thumb-drive, are all that's required. The humanitarian crisis due to food and medicine shortages played on the minds of people such that an image of a poor, backward, non-industrial capable society was generated that wasn't 100% correct.

Sasha , Aug 17 2019 21:47 utc | 24
What to say? Poetic justice!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGrUz-rdxxM

Ancient cultures are not so easy to erradicate so as to loot their resources.
A lesson the peoples without culture must learn.....

fx , Aug 17 2019 21:59 utc | 25
And of course, this makes the threat by Iran to hit back against military and industrial installations on the other side of the Persian Gulf that much stronger.
Really?? , Aug 17 2019 22:10 utc | 28
13

It would be rich indeed if Iran were to be the entity that ultimately manages to loosen the stranglehold that the Zionists have on the USA Congress, media, president, donors to political parties, etc.

Sasha , Aug 17 2019 22:31 utc | 33
A graphic idea of the distance in the map...

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1162850455954874369

Photos of the Houthis drones and rockets arsenal...published last month...Someone possibly thought it was fake...

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1147940696705392642

jerichocheyenne , Aug 17 2019 22:39 utc | 34
I can imagine the shale oil producers smiling right now...100 a barrel oil will be just what they need! Cost-push inflation leading to a return of bell bottoms and leisure suits. No wonder all these 70's band retreads are touring again :)
karlof1 , Aug 17 2019 23:11 utc | 37
Michael Droy | Aug 17 2019 22:40 utc | 35--

So, poor Yemen wasted via siege warfare waged by NATO since 2015 though its Saudi, UAE and terrorist proxies that came very close to success, finds the initiative to counterattack with what little it has at its disposal--All accusations of Iranian help have never been proven --and thanks to the Outlaw US Empire's threats against Iran force UAE to withdrawal and seek peace with Iran with Saudi soon to follow. And the situation is all Iran's fault?! Note the date above--it precedes Trump's election, his illegal withdrawal from the JCPOA and institution of the illegal sanctions regime against Iran.

Europe is on board with Russia's collective security proposal. Europe had representatives at the meet between Khamenei and the Houthi negotiator. Europe--even the UK--still working to salvage the JCPOA via the non-dollar trade conduit. And you conclude that the Outlaw US Empire "might actually get European support to attack Iran."

eagle eye , Aug 17 2019 23:21 utc | 38
First Afghanistan, then Yemen. Maybe the western media's imaging of these people as towel headed, sandal wearing primatives is just a tad misguided......

[Aug 15, 2019] Ukraine prepares gas facilities for possible transit supply cut, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld

Aug 15, 2019 | economictimes.indiatimes.com

KIEV: Ukraine 's gas transport company Ukrtransgaz has upgraded several gas pumping stations so it can provide gas to eastern and southern regions of the country if there is a disruption in supply from Russia, the company said on Wednesday.

More than a third of Russia's gas exports to the European Union cross Ukraine, providing Kiev with valuable transit income.

Ukraine traditionally uses some of the gas pumped by Russia to European consumers for its own needs in eastern and central regions and then compensates for this by deliveries from gas storage located in the west of the country.

But the Russia-Ukraine gas transit agreement is due to expire in January and Ukrainian energy authorities are worried that Moscow could stop gas supplies through Ukraine, leaving some Ukrainian regions without gas in winter.

"As of today, Ukrtransgaz has implemented all the necessary technical and regulatory solutions to create a reliable reverse scheme and it is ready for regular operation and can be activated immediately if necessary," Uktransgaz said in a statement.

It said Ukraine had already reversed gas flows in 2009 when Russian gas giant Gazprom halted gas supplies to Ukrainian consumers because of a price dispute.

Last month, Russian energy minister and several sources said Russia wanted to strike a short-term deal with Kiev on gas transit to Europe when the current 10-year agreement expires to buy time to complete pipelines that will bypass Ukraine.

But Kiev and its European allies want guarantees that Ukraine will remain a transit route for Russian gas to Europe.

In January, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic floated a proposal for the two countries to agree a new 10-year transit contract, with a guaranteed minimum yearly transit volume of 60 bcm and 30 bcm of additional flexibility.

Ukraine's energy firm Naftogaz said last month Kiev was still counting on Sefcovic's proposal.

The potential for problems with the transit agreement, which brings Kiev around $3 billion revenue per year, prompted Ukraine to increase its winter gas reserves by 18% compared with last year to 20 billion cubic meters (bcm).

Naftogaz said this week Ukraine had stored 16.6 bcm of gas by Aug. 10, up from 13.38 bcm at the same time last year.

Ukraine consumed 32.3 bcm of gas in 2018, 10.6 bcm of which was imported from European markets outside Russia.

Relations between Kiev and Moscow plummeted after Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in 2014.

Ukraine halted its own purchases of Russian gas in 2015.

[Aug 13, 2019] The only area UAE and Saudi Arabia agree is "Yemen must be open to their (Sunni) type Islamist extremists".

Aug 13, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

ilsm , August 13, 2019 at 04:41 AM

Shaky UAE-Saudi Arabia alliance over Yemen:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/08/13/trumps-arab-allies-turn-each-other/?noredirect=on&utm_campaign=EBB%20081319&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Sailthru

The only area they agree is "Yemen must be open to their (Sunni) type Islamist extremists".

US is siding with big oil in the thousand odd year schism.

[Aug 13, 2019] Application of IMF policy in Argentina has brought what is in effect an economic collapse and astonishing poverty. While this was happening over the months, business news writers were applauding Argentinian austerity reforms

Aug 13, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , August 13, 2019 at 07:02 AM

Application of IMF policy in Argentina has brought what is in effect an economic collapse and astonishing poverty. While this was happening over the months, business news writers were applauding Argentinian austerity reforms. The data (as I repeatedly showed on Economist's View) were bad to grim, but business reporting found no problem.

[Aug 13, 2019] To be fair, the US has a fantastic record of f***ing up countries with aerial bombs. The part which the Saudis failed to understand is that the US isn't next to any of these countries...

Aug 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

c1ue , Aug 12 2019 14:53 utc | 98

@JW #40
To be fair, the US has a fantastic record of f***ing up countries with aerial bombs. The part which the Saudis failed to understand is that the US isn't next to any of these countries...

Yemen has a population slightly lower than Texas. Imagine, Washington bombing Texas, only filled with Texans that have more and heavier weapons(?).
The question mark is because I am not entirely certain that Yemenis are more heavily armed than Texans, but certainly they're at least as fierce defending themselves.

[Aug 12, 2019] Argentine president suffers crushing defeat in key primaries ahead of general election

Is this the end of the neoliberal counterrevolution in Argentina ? Moor did its duty moor has to go -- Macri converted Argentina into the Debt slave again and now to get out of this situation is nest to impossible.
Aug 12, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , August 12, 2019 at 05:52 AM

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2019-08-12/Argentine-president-suffers-crushing-defeat-in-key-primaries--J5Ov4caLvi/index.html

August 12, 2019

Argentine president suffers crushing defeat in key primaries ahead of general election

Argentina's President Mauricio Macri suffered a crushing defeat as people voted in party primaries on Sunday ahead of October's general election.

Given that all of the recession-hit South American country's major parties have already chosen their presidential candidates, the primaries effectively served as a nationwide pre-election opinion poll.

Center-left nominee Alberto Fernandez led by around 15 points after partial results were revealed. Center-right Pro-business Macri admitted it had been "a bad election."
The first round of the presidential election will be held on October 27, with a run-off – if needed – set for November 24.

With 87 percent of polling station results counted, Fernandez had polled 47.5 percent with Macri on a little more than 32 percent and centrist former finance minister Roberto Lavagna a distant third on just 8.3 percent.

Macri had been hoping to earn a second mandate, but his chances appear all but over.

If Fernandez was to register the same result in October, he would be president as Argentina's electoral law requires a candidate to gain 45 percent for outright victory, or 40 percent and a lead of at least 10 points over the nearest challenger.

Inflation and poverty

"We've had a bad election and that forces us to redouble our efforts from tomorrow," said Macri, whose popularity has plunged since last year's currency crisis and the much-criticized 56 billion U.S.-dollar bail-out loan he secured from the International Monetary Fund.

"It hurts that we haven't had the support we'd hoped for," he added.

Argentina is currently in a recession and posted 22 percent inflation for the first half of the year – one of the highest rates in the world. Poverty now affects 32 percent of the population.

Backed by the IMF, Macri has initiated an austerity plan that is deeply unpopular among ordinary Argentines, who have seen their spending power plummet.

The peso lost half of its value against the dollar last year. The Buenos Aires stock exchange actually shot up eight percent on Friday amid expectation that Macri would do well in Sunday's vote.

anne -> anne... , August 12, 2019 at 06:22 AM
IMF loan of $56 billion:

Then;

Austerity,

Inflation rate 22% from January to June 2019,

Poverty rate 32%,

Peso lost 50% in value in 2018.

anne -> anne... , August 12, 2019 at 07:03 AM
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=onpw

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Mexico, 1992-2018

(Percent change)


https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=onpx

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Mexico, 1992-2018

(Indexed to 1992)

anne , August 12, 2019 at 04:01 PM
An important task now is to understand why the IMF assistance to Argentina proved damaging to the economy from the beginning; the data showed the damage being done. However, there was almost no mention of the problems that developed outside Argentina and there was surprise when the failure of the economy was reflected in the serious vote against the current president.

Of course, Joseph Stiglitz watched the same sort of problems unfold in Argentina almost 20 years ago and was severely criticized for discussing them. How did the problems recur so readily now? Why is IMF national assistance seemingly so dangerous economically?

[Aug 07, 2019] I suppose eventually Washington will move on to something else, but just like the myth of democracy, color revolution and Gene Sharp recipes of destabilization are so hard to let go.

Aug 07, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman August 1, 2019 at 7:09 pm

Everybody has learned a lot about colour revolutions, especially their likely targets, and Washington is helpful in that it continues to use the template long after an effective countering technique is available. The first time the Gene Sharp model was used, it was devastating, worked beyond the State Department's wildest dreams. The next time it worked pretty well, too, because everyone on the other side said "Wait; they're not using that same technique, are they?" By the time they got around to trying it on Lukashenko, he slammed the ball right back into their court by calling snap elections at the first sign of astroturfing, and steamrollered the fake opposition. I suppose eventually Washington will move on to something else, but just like the myth of democracy, it's so hard to let go.

Check out this 'roadmap for peace' by Doug Bandow. Although he works for the Cato Institute, I've usually found his writing quite reasonable and rational. He is an American, and so that carries with it the annoying presupposition that no major decisions can be made without American input – America is too important to be left out. I have my own feelings on that, and I don't mind sharing that when America gets involved in a multinational project, it usually insists on rules that will turn the whole thing to American advantage, and insists on being the leader. All that notwithstanding, I was amused to note that most of the concessions Bandow's plan would have Moscow yielding are things it is not actually doing, and therefore would be easy to give up.

Washington is not interested in deals where it has to give up something, because everything it does is for a lofty and holy reason

For instance, in exchange for Moscow's promise to not ever again meddle with American elections, Washington would acknowledge its past political meddling and foreswear future interventions in Russian affairs, including funding private organizations involved in political activities. Washington would have to stop funding Russian political NGO's and admit its meddling. Unfortunately, Russia would have to admit to meddling in the 2016 election; something it actually didn't do, and the fact there is no real evidence of it would become irrelevant. But it almost seems a small price to pay. The west would agree to drop sanctions on Russia, but retain the legal authority to re-impose them should it become necessary – that seems quite a bit like legitimizing them, to me. There actually is no legal authority to impose sanctions – and threaten all your allies as to what will happen to them if they don't go along – without ever providing proof of the grounds for establishing them.

On the whole, it's an interesting deal. Not that it will ever happen. Washington is not interested in deals where it has to give up something, because everything it does is for a lofty and holy reason.

yalensis August 2, 2019 at 2:57 am
Deal or No Deal:
If I were in charge in Russia, I would NOT take the deal. (Hint: IT'S A TRAP!)

Especially if it meant "admitting" to something I didn't do (like meddling in the 2016 elections). That is a typical pindos snare, as Gaddafi himself learned, too late.
It's also, by the way, how American cops operate to trick innocent people: "Sign this false confession, and you'll be home for dinner "
20 years later, they are still rotting away in the pokey

Russia should offer counter-deal: You admit to all the meddling you did, and I admit to nothing. You big fat bully

yalensis August 2, 2019 at 2:57 am
Deal or No Deal:
If I were in charge in Russia, I would NOT take the deal. (Hint: IT'S A TRAP!)

Especially if it meant "admitting" to something I didn't do (like meddling in the 2016 elections). That is a typical pindos snare, as Gaddafi himself learned, too late.
It's also, by the way, how American cops operate to trick innocent people: "Sign this false confession, and you'll be home for dinner "
20 years later, they are still rotting away in the pokey

Russia should offer counter-deal: You admit to all the meddling you did, and I admit to nothing. You big fat bully.

[Aug 06, 2019] Half-d>ecent NYT article about Tulsi

I would not call this article decent. At best it is half-decent ;-) This is a typical NYT anti-Tulsi propaganda but it does make several relent observation buried in the sea of anti-Tulsi crapola.
Notable quotes:
"... “We should be coming to other leaders in other countries with respect, building a relationship based on cooperation rather than with, you know, a police baton,” she says. ..."
"... While she is the embodiment of this anti-interventionist message onstage, there is a much larger movement brewing. There is big money in peace. Two billionaire philanthropists from opposite ends of the political spectrum — George Soros and Charles Koch — came together this summer to fund the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a think tank to argue against American intervention abroad. ..."
Aug 06, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star August 3, 2019 at 2:55 am

Decent NYT article about Tulsi:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/02/us/politics/tulsi-gabbard-2020-presidential-race.html?ref=oembed

Aug. 2, 2019

Tulsi Gabbard Thinks We're Doomed by Nellie Bowles

Tulsi Gabbard is running for president of a country that she believes has wrought horror on the world, and she wants its citizens to remember that.

She is from Hawaii, and she spends each morning surfing. But that is not what she talks about in this unlikely campaign. She talks about the horror.

She lists countries: Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Cuba, Vietnam, Iraq. Failure after failure, she says. To drive the point home, she wants to meet on a Sioux tribe reservation in North Dakota, where, she explains, the United States government committed its original atrocity.

“These Indigenous people have been disrespected, mistreated with broken promises and desecrated lands,” Ms. Gabbard says.

... ... ...

But her run, and the unusual cross-section of voters she appeals to — Howard Zinn fans, anti-drug-war libertarians, Russia-gate skeptics, and conservatives suspicious of Big Tech — signifies just how much both parties have shifted, not just on foreign policy. It could end up being a sign that President Trump’s isolationism is not the aberration many believed, but rather a harbinger of a growing national sentiment that America should stand alone.

To Ms. Gabbard, it is the United States that has been the cruel and destabilizing force.

... ... ...

“We should be coming to other leaders in other countries with respect, building a relationship based on cooperation rather than with, you know, a police baton,” she says.

... ... ...

While she is the embodiment of this anti-interventionist message onstage, there is a much larger movement brewing. There is big money in peace. Two billionaire philanthropists from opposite ends of the political spectrum — George Soros and Charles Koch — came together this summer to fund the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a think tank to argue against American intervention abroad.

... ... ...

Ms. Gabbard says she is driven by the feeling that death could come at any moment, which she realized at age 10 but which became more intense in Iraq.

“My first deployment was at the height of the war in 2005. We were 40 miles north of Baghdad. And there was a huge sign by one of the main gates that just read: ‘Is today the day?’” she says. “It was such a stark reminder that my time could come at any moment. That any day could be my last.”

She is not sure who put the sign up or why. But it was this message of potentially imminent doom that she wanted to leave the audience with at the second Democratic debate.

“As we stand here tonight,” she told the crowd. “There are thousands of nuclear missiles pointing right at us, and if we were to get an attack, we would have 30 minutes, 30 minutes, before we were hit.”

Ms. Gabbard continued.

“There is no shelter. This is the warmonger’s hoax. There is no shelter. It’s all a lie.”

>

[Aug 06, 2019] India Might Come To Regret Today's Annexation Of Jammu And Kashmir

Notable quotes:
"... India is allied with America and Israel and shares with these fascist "democracies" a national hatred of Muslims--well, at least those Muslims who are not stupid enough to act as American/Israeli jihadist/terrorist assets around the world like in Libya or Syria. ..."
"... Moreover, India is a Hindu fundamentalist nation that has made common religious cause with the Zionist fundamentalist state of Israel and the Christian fundamentalist state of America. ..."
"... America's Future Is with India and Israel: https://nationalinterest.org/feature/americas-future-india-israel-21629 ..."
Aug 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter , Aug 5 2019 19:59 utc | 50

Imperial divide and conquer strategy. Global strife aids imperialists. Russia, China, Iran unity threatens global Anglo Zionists.

Consequently, the logical progression is to welcome India into Anglo Zionist alliance with more aid to their extremists (Modi) Emboldening extremists is always the way to war.

somebody , Aug 5 2019 21:25 utc | 56

Posted by: fx | Aug 5 2019 20:31 utc | 53

Not really. India supports Baloch nationalists. This destabilizes Pakistan, Iran and the Taliban.

China/Pakistan port of Gwadar is in Balochistan. There seems to be a Saudi, US, Israel, India proxy war against China/Iran/Pakistan/Russia .

It is not that simple as Saudi sells oil to China, and India, Saudi plus Israel are on speaking terms with Russia plus Saudi bankrolls Pakistan and US policies might change completely if Trump loses 2020.

Of course all bets are off should Modi manage to provoke a Hindu-Moslim civil war involving Pakistan.

Hoarsewhisperer , Aug 6 2019 4:48 utc | 79
Since I was at the age of having a political opinion, Jammu and Kashmir were part of a collection of areas under constant conflict.
...
Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Aug 5 2019 18:13 utc | 44

Thanks for the reminder. Your use of the term 'constant conflict' reminded me of a military doctrine I stumbled upon in the early Noughties which was called Constant Conflict. The only thing I could remember about it, today, was that it was written by a psychopath and I did NOT like what the author was proposing.

I went looking for a piece of prose called Constant Conflict and found a reference to the piece I was looking for at...
https://katehon.com/article/ralph-peters-concept-constant-conflict

It's dated 16.04.2016 and names the author as Retired Lieutenant Colonel of United States Army Ralph Peters and summarises the crux of Peters' thesis and and his background/mission statement. It also provides enough info to find the original 1997 article here...
https://ssi.armywarcollege.edu/pubs/parameters/articles/97summer/peters.htm

The article concludes thus and there's a footnote...
...
"The next century will indeed be American, but it will also be troubled. We will find ourselves in constant conflict, much of it violent. The United States Army is going to add a lot of battle streamers to its flag. We will wage information warfare, but we will fight with infantry. And we will always surprise those critics, domestic and foreign, who predict our decline."
---
Major (P) Ralph Peters is assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, where he is responsible for future warfare. Prior to becoming a Foreign Area Officer for Eurasia, he served exclusively at the tactical level. He is a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College and holds a master's degree in international relations. Over the past several years, his professional and personal research travels have taken Major Peters to Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Ossetia, Abkhazia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Pakistan, Turkey, Burma, Laos, Thailand, and Mexico, as well as the countries of the Andean Ridge. He has published widely on military and international concerns. His sixth novel, Twilight of Heroes, was recently released by Avon Books. This is his eighth article for Parameters. The author wishes to acknowledge the importance to this essay of discussions with Lieutenant Colonels Gordon Thompson and Lonnie Henley, both US Army officers.

Reviewed 8 May 1997.

AK74 , Aug 6 2019 5:24 utc | 82
India is allied with America and Israel and shares with these fascist "democracies" a national hatred of Muslims--well, at least those Muslims who are not stupid enough to act as American/Israeli jihadist/terrorist assets around the world like in Libya or Syria.

Moreover, India is a Hindu fundamentalist nation that has made common religious cause with the Zionist fundamentalist state of Israel and the Christian fundamentalist state of America.

So perhaps India should emulate its fellow "democratic" ally of America and adopt the same ethnic cleansing tactics in Kashmir that the Land of the Free has deployed against Native tribes throughout the Indigenous lands that America currently occupies--from the Trail of Tears of the past to the DAPL pipeline protests today.

America's Future Is with India and Israel: https://nationalinterest.org/feature/americas-future-india-israel-21629

somebody , Aug 6 2019 6:26 utc | 83
Posted by: AK74 | Aug 6 2019 5:24 utc | 83

Any colonial knows that patrons play all sides.

[Aug 06, 2019] The Declining Empire Of Chaos Is Going Nuts Over Iran

Notable quotes:
"... Tensions were then focused on Syria , where a mercenary army of at least 200,000 men, armed and trained by the US, UK, Israel, France, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, almost managed to completely topple the country. ..."
"... As the Americans, British, French and Israelis conducted their bombing missions in Syria, the danger of a deliberate attack on Russian positions always remained, something that would have had devastating consequences for the region and beyond. It is no secret that US military planners have repeatedly argued for a direct conflict with Moscow in a contained regional theater. (Clinton called for the downing of Russian jets over Syria, and former US officials claimed that some Russians had to " pay a little price ".) ..."
"... Trump's dramatic U-turn following his historic meeting with Kim Jong-un (a public relations/photo opportunity) began to paint a fairly comical and unreliable picture of US power, revealing to the world the new US president's strategy. The president threatens to nuke a country, but only as a negotiating tactic to bring his opponent to the negotiating table and thereby clinch a deal. He then presents himself to his domestic audience as the "great" deal-maker. ..."
"... With Iran, the recent target of the US administration, the bargaining method is the same, though with decidedly different results. In the cases of Ukraine and North Korea, the two most powerful lobbies in Washington, the Israeli and Saudi lobbies, have had little to say. Of course the neocons and the arms lobbyists are always gunning for war, but these two powerful state-backed lobbies were notably silent with regard to these countries, less towards Syria obviously. As distinguished political scientist John J. Mearsheimer has repeatedly explained , the Israel and Saudi lobbies have unlimited funds for corrupting Democrats and Republicans in order to push their foreign-policy goals. ..."
"... These two lobbies (together with their neocon allies) have for years been pushing to have a few hundred thousand young Americans sent to Iran to sacrifice themselves for the purposes of destroying Iran and her people. Such geopolitical games are played at the cost of US taxpayers, the lives of their children sent to war, and the lives of the people of the Middle East, who have been devastated by decades of conflict. ..."
"... The reasons vary with each case, and I have previously explained extensively why the possibilities for conflict are unthinkable. With Ukraine, a conflict on European soil between Russia and NATO was unthinkable , bringing to mind the type of devastation that was seen during the Second World War. Good sense prevailed, and even NATO somewhat refused to fully arm the Ukrainian army with weapons that would have given them an overwhelming advantage over the Donbass militias. ..."
"... In Syria, any involvement with ground troops would have been collective suicide, given the overwhelming air power deployed in the country by Russia. Recall that since the Second World War, the US has never fought a war in an airspace that was seriously contested (in Vietnam, US air losses were only elevated because of Sino-Soviet help), allowing for ground troops to receive air cover and protection . A ground assault in Syria would have therefore been catastrophic without the requisite control of Syria's skies. ..."
"... Because a war with Iran would be difficult to de-escalate, we can conclude that the possibility of war being waged against the country is unlikely if not impossible. The level of damage the belligerents would inflict on each other would make any diplomatic resolution of the conflict difficult. While the powerful Israeli and Saudi lobbies in the US may be beating the war drums, an indication of what would happen if war followed can be seen in Yemen. Egypt and the UAE were forced to withdraw from the coalition fighting the Houthis after the UAE suffered considerable damage from legitimate retaliatory missile strikes from the Yemen's Army Missile Forces. ..."
"... An open war against Iran continues to be a red line that the ruling financial elites in the US, Israelis and Saudis don't want to cross, having so much at stake. ..."
"... With an election looming, Trump cannot risk triggering a new conflict and betraying one of his most important electoral promises. The Western elite does not seem to have any intention of destroying the petrodollar-based world economy with which it generates its own profits and controls global finance. ..."
"... Even if we consider the possibility of Netanyahu and Bin Salman being mentally unstable, someone within the royal palace in Riyadh or the government in Tel Aviv would have counseled them on the political and personal consequences of an attack on Iran. ..."
Aug 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

In 2014 we were almost at the point of no return in Ukraine following the coup d'etat supported and funded by NATO and involving extremist right-wing Ukrainian nationalists. The conflict in the Donbass risked escalating into a conflict between NATO and the Russian Federation, every day in the summer and autumn of 2014 threatening to be doomsday. Rather than respond to the understandable impulse to send Russian troops into Ukraine to defend the population of Donbass, Putin had the presense of mind to pursue the less direct and more sensible strategy of supporting the material capacity of the residents of Donbass to resist the depredations of the Ukrainian army and their neo-Nazi Banderite thugs. Meanwhile, Europe's inept leaders initially egged on Ukraine's destabilization, only to get cold feet after reflecting on the possibility of having a conflict between Moscow and Washington fought on European soil.

With the resistance in Donbass managing to successfully hold back Ukrainian assaults, the conflict began to freeze, almost to the point of a complete ceasefire, even as Ukrainian provocations continue to this day.

Tensions were then focused on Syria , where a mercenary army of at least 200,000 men, armed and trained by the US, UK, Israel, France, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, almost managed to completely topple the country. Russian intervention in 2015 managed to save the country with no time to spare, destroying large numbers of terrorists and reorganizing the Syrian armed forces and training and equipping them with the necessary means to beat back the jihadi waves. The Russians also ensured control of the skies through their network of Pantsir-S1, Pantsir-S2, S-300 and S-400 air-defence systems, together with their impressive jamming (Krasukha-4), command and control information management system (Strelets C4ISR System) and electronic-warfare technologies (1RL257 Krasukha-4).

As the Americans, British, French and Israelis conducted their bombing missions in Syria, the danger of a deliberate attack on Russian positions always remained, something that would have had devastating consequences for the region and beyond. It is no secret that US military planners have repeatedly argued for a direct conflict with Moscow in a contained regional theater. (Clinton called for the downing of Russian jets over Syria, and former US officials claimed that some Russians had to " pay a little price ".)

Since Trump became president, the rhetoric of war has soared considerably, even as the awareness remains that any new conflict would sink Trump's chances of re-election. Despite this, Trump's bombings in Syria were real and potentially very harmful to the Syrian state. Nevertheless, they were foiled by Russia's electronic-warfare capability, which was able to send veering away from their intended target more than 70% of the latest-generation missiles launched by the British, French, Americans and Israelis.

One of the most terrifying moments for the future of humanity came a few months later when Trump started hurling threats and abuses at Kim Jong-un , threatening to reduce Pyongyang to ashes. Trump, moreover, delivered his fiery threats in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly.

Trump's dramatic U-turn following his historic meeting with Kim Jong-un (a public relations/photo opportunity) began to paint a fairly comical and unreliable picture of US power, revealing to the world the new US president's strategy. The president threatens to nuke a country, but only as a negotiating tactic to bring his opponent to the negotiating table and thereby clinch a deal. He then presents himself to his domestic audience as the "great" deal-maker.

With Iran, the recent target of the US administration, the bargaining method is the same, though with decidedly different results. In the cases of Ukraine and North Korea, the two most powerful lobbies in Washington, the Israeli and Saudi lobbies, have had little to say. Of course the neocons and the arms lobbyists are always gunning for war, but these two powerful state-backed lobbies were notably silent with regard to these countries, less towards Syria obviously. As distinguished political scientist John J. Mearsheimer has repeatedly explained , the Israel and Saudi lobbies have unlimited funds for corrupting Democrats and Republicans in order to push their foreign-policy goals.

The difference between the case of Iran and the aforementioned cases of Ukraine, Syria and North Korea is precisely the direct involvement of these two lobbies in the decision-making process underway in the US.

These two lobbies (together with their neocon allies) have for years been pushing to have a few hundred thousand young Americans sent to Iran to sacrifice themselves for the purposes of destroying Iran and her people. Such geopolitical games are played at the cost of US taxpayers, the lives of their children sent to war, and the lives of the people of the Middle East, who have been devastated by decades of conflict.

What readers can be assured of is that in the cases of Ukraine, Syria, North Korea and Iran, the US is unable to militarily impose its geopolitical or economic will.

The reasons vary with each case, and I have previously explained extensively why the possibilities for conflict are unthinkable. With Ukraine, a conflict on European soil between Russia and NATO was unthinkable , bringing to mind the type of devastation that was seen during the Second World War. Good sense prevailed, and even NATO somewhat refused to fully arm the Ukrainian army with weapons that would have given them an overwhelming advantage over the Donbass militias.

In Syria, any involvement with ground troops would have been collective suicide, given the overwhelming air power deployed in the country by Russia. Recall that since the Second World War, the US has never fought a war in an airspace that was seriously contested (in Vietnam, US air losses were only elevated because of Sino-Soviet help), allowing for ground troops to receive air cover and protection . A ground assault in Syria would have therefore been catastrophic without the requisite control of Syria's skies.

In North Korea, the country's tactical and strategic nuclear and conventional deterrence discourages any missile attack. Any overland attack is out of the question, given the high number of active as well as reserve personnel in the DPRK army. If the US struggled to control a completely defeated Iraq in 2003, how much more difficult would be to deal with a country with a resilient population that is indisposed to bowing to the US? The 2003 Iraq campaign would really be a "cakewalk" in comparison. Another reason why a missile attack on North Korea is impossible is because of the conventional power that Pyongyang possesses in the form of tens of thousands of missiles and artillery pieces that could easily reduce Seoul to rubble in a matter of minutes. This would then lead to a war between the US and the DPRK being fought on the Korean Peninsula. Moon Jae-in, like Merkel and Sarkozy in the case of Ukraine, did everything in his power to prevent such a devastating conflict.

Concerning tensions between the US and Iran and the resulting threats of war, these should be taken as bluster and bluff. America's European allies are heavily involved in Iran and depend on the Middle East for their oil and gas imports. A US war against Iran would have devastating consequences for the world economy, with the Europeans seeing their imports halved or reduced. As Professor Chossudovsky of the strategic think tank Global Research has so ably argued , an attack on Iran is unsustainable, as the oil sectors of the UAE and Saudi Arabia would be hit and shut down. Exports would instantly end after the pipelines going West are bombed by the Houthis and the Strait of Hormuz closed. The economies of these two countries would implode and their ruling class wiped out by internal revolts. The state of Israel as well as US bases in the region would see themselves overwhelmed with missiles coming from Syria, Lebanon, the Golan Heights and Iran. The Tel Aviv government would last a few hours before capitulating under the pressure of its own citizens, who, like the Europeans, are unused to suffering war at home.

Because a war with Iran would be difficult to de-escalate, we can conclude that the possibility of war being waged against the country is unlikely if not impossible. The level of damage the belligerents would inflict on each other would make any diplomatic resolution of the conflict difficult. While the powerful Israeli and Saudi lobbies in the US may be beating the war drums, an indication of what would happen if war followed can be seen in Yemen. Egypt and the UAE were forced to withdraw from the coalition fighting the Houthis after the UAE suffered considerable damage from legitimate retaliatory missile strikes from the Yemen's Army Missile Forces.

An open war against Iran continues to be a red line that the ruling financial elites in the US, Israelis and Saudis don't want to cross, having so much at stake.

With an election looming, Trump cannot risk triggering a new conflict and betraying one of his most important electoral promises. The Western elite does not seem to have any intention of destroying the petrodollar-based world economy with which it generates its own profits and controls global finance. And finally, US military planners do not intend to suffer a humiliating defeat in Iran that would reveal the extent to which US military power is based on propaganda built over the years through Hollywood movies and wars successfully executed against relatively defenceless countries. Even if we consider the possibility of Netanyahu and Bin Salman being mentally unstable, someone within the royal palace in Riyadh or the government in Tel Aviv would have counseled them on the political and personal consequences of an attack on Iran.

It is telling that Washington, London, Tel Aviv and Riyadh have to resort to numerous but ultimately useless provocations against Iran, as they can only rely on hybrid attacks in order to economically isolate it from the rest of the world.

Paradoxically, this strategy has had devastating consequences for the role of the US dollar as a reserve currency together with the SWIFT system. In today's multipolar environment, acting in such an imperious manner leads to the acceleration of de-dollarization as a way of circumventing sanctions and bans imposed by the US.

A reserve currency is used to facilitate transactions. If the disadvantages come to exceed the benefits, it will progressively be used less and less, until it is replaced by a basket of currencies that more closely reflect the multipolar geopolitical reality.

The warmongers in Washington are exasperated by their continuing inability to curb the resilience and resistance of the people in Venezuela, Iran, Syria, North Korea and Donbass, countries and regions understood by the healthy part of the globe as representing the axis of resistance to US Imperialism.


Batman11 , 14 minutes ago link

A multi-polar world became a uni-polar world with the fall of the Berlin Wall and Francis Fukuyama said it was the end of history.

That didn't last long, did it?

The US came up with a great plan for an open, globalised world.

China went from almost nothing to become a global superpower.

It was a great plan for China, which is now the problem for the US.

Batman11 , 24 minutes ago link

The cry of US elites can be heard across the world.

Mummy.

What's gone wrong?

I am used to always getting my own way.

Thought.Adjuster , 55 minutes ago link

If Folks would just accept a unipolar World, we could all live together in peace.

ZeroPorridge , 6 minutes ago link

Monopoly means utter slavery.

Like in a living body, each cells on their own, grouped by function, none really being the boss of the rest.

uhland62 , 1 hour ago link

America must always threaten someone with war. Syria, Iran, Venezuela, China, Russia, so many to choose from.

Conflicts must never be resolved; they must always kept simmering, so a hot war can be triggered quickly. All Presidents are turned in the first three months after sworn in.

Jazzman , 1 hour ago link

Without required air superiority they are what? Say it! Say it loud!

Dude-dude , 49 minutes ago link

It's what happens as empires mature. Governance becomes bloated, corrupt and inept (often leading to wars). Maturity time has become significantly reduced due to the rate of information technology advance. America is five years away from going insolvent according to most models and forecasts. All new debt after 2024 will be used to pay the interest on existing debts and liabilities. There is simply no stopping it. The US already pays close to 500 billion in annual interest on debts and liabilities. Factor in a 600 billion or 700 billion dollar annual military budget, and unrestrained deficit spending clocking in at over a trillion, and, well, it isn't going to work for long. Considering most new well paying jobs are government jobs... The end is either full socialism / fascism (folks still don't get how similar these are), a currency crisis and panic, depression and institutional deterioration. The only good news to libertarians I guess - if you can call it good - is that the blotted government along with the crony corporations will mostly and eventually collapse. Libertarian governance might not be a choice by an electorate, it might simply become fact in the aftermath.

-- ALIEN -- , 3 hours ago link

As the falling EROEI of oil gets worse; countries will collapse... It's all downhill from here

...what few are left.

Lokiban , 3 hours ago link

I guess Trump eventually will understand this lesson in politics that friendship, mutual respect and helping each other accomplishes way way more then threatening countries to be bombed back into the stoneage.
Noone likes to do a cutthroat deal enforced upon them by thuggery. Trump's got to learn that you can't run politics like you do your bussinesses, it's not working unles that was his plan all this time, to destroy America.

NumbersUsa , 3 hours ago link

"The Israel and Saudi lobbies have unlimited funds for corrupting Democrats and Republicans in order to push their foreign-policy goals.

These two lobbies (together with their neocon allies) have for years been pushing to have a few hundred thousand young Americans sent to Iran to sacrifice themselves for the purposes of destroying Iran and her people. Such geopolitical games are played at the cost of US taxpayers, the lives of their children sent to war, and the lives of the people of the Middle East, who have been devastated by decades of conflict."

Excellent and Factual points! Thank You!

Scaliger , 3 hours ago link

https://www.jta.org/2019/07/01/united-states/the-israel-projects-ceo-is-leaving-amid-advocacy-groups-fundraising-difficulties

Minamoto , 3 hours ago link

America is increasingly looking like Ancient Rome towards the end. It is overstretched, nearly insolvent, fewer allies want to be allies, it's population is sick, physically and mentally. Obesity, diabetes, drug use/addiction make it impossible for the Pentagon to meet recruitment goal. Mental illness causes daily mass killing. The education system is so broken/broke that there is little real education being done. Americans are among the most ignorant, least educated and least educate-able people in the developed world.

Militarily, the USA can bomb but that's about it... defeats upon defeats over the past two decades demonstrate the US military is a paper tiger of astonishing incompetence.

Boeing can't make planes anymore. Lockheed is not much better. Parts of the F-35 are made by Chinese subsidiaries. The most recently built aircraft carrier cannot launch fighter jets.

-- ALIEN -- , 3 hours ago link

We gots NASCAR, big trucks, free TV, fast food, and endless ****.

Go 'Merica!

Justin Case , 2 hours ago link

Recent estimates indicate that more than 550,000 people experience homelessness in the US on any given night, with about two-thirds ending up in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs, and one-third finding their way to unsheltered locations like parks, vehicles, and metro stations. According to the Urban Institute, about 25% of homeless people have jobs.

I find that it is difficult for me to wrap my head around pain and suffering on such an immense scale. Americans often think of the homeless as drug-addicted men that don't want to work, but the truth is that about a quarter of the homeless population is made up of children.

foxenburg , 2 hours ago link

Seriously, why would Iran want to hijack a German ship? Iran took the UK one in retaliation for the Brits seizing the one at Gibraltar. Had that not happened, no Brit ships in the Persian Gulf would have been touched. This is all a carefully engineered USA provocation designed to, inter alia, increase tension in the Persian Gulf, put more nails in coffin of JCPOA...and most importantly give UK an excuse, as remaining signatory, to call for the original UN sanctions on Iran to be snapped-back.

terrific , 4 hours ago link

Federico, let me explain it simply: the U.S. is allied with Israel, and Iran hates Israel. Why, I don't know (nor do I care), but that's why the U.S. needs to keep Iran in check.

Grouchy-Bear , 4 hours ago link

You are confused...

Israel hates Iran and it is Israel that needs to be kept in check...

CatInTheHat , 4 hours ago link

Yet CONGRESS just passed the largest defense bill in history. The WAR industry is bankrupting us financially spiritually and morally.

A war is coming. But upon whom this time (or STILL?), because with President Bolton and Vice President Adelson in power, China Iran or Russia or maybe all three, are open options.

Ofelas , 4 hours ago link

Interview with a Russian I saw 2 years ago "USA wants to create local conflicts on foreign shores, ...on our borders, we will not allow that to happen and make the war international" I will translate: Russia will not be pulled in to some stupid small war draining their resources while the US sits comfortable, they will throw their missiles around - no escape from nuclear winter.

libtears , 3 hours ago link

Us pays more in interest than defense spending now. You'll need to factor that into your predictions

UBrexitUPay4it , 3 hours ago link

If spending has reached the limit now, during peacetime....what will happen during a protracted war? Even if it stays conventional, it would appear that a huge war effort, comparable to WWII, just won't be possible. The US seems to be in a pre-war Britain position, but there isn't a friendly giant across the water to bail them out with both cash and resources.

Either things become insane in fairly short order, or wiser heads will prevail and the US will step back from the brink. Do we have any wiser heads at the moment?

I keep seeing John Bolton's moustache, Andi am not filled with confidence.

[Aug 05, 2019] Remembering the Philippine War by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... As Aguinaldo hoped, the Philippine War tapped a rich vein of anti-imperialism. Even the Democratic Party–hardly a radical organization in the age of Jim Crow–could go a little spittle-flecked on this issue. The war was "criminal aggression," the Democratic platform charged in 1900, born of "greedy commercialism" and sure to ruin the country. "No nation can long endure half republic and half empire," it warned. "Imperialism abroad will lead quickly and inevitably to despotism at home." (p. 95) ..."
"... Now, with that spotlight switched off, MacArthur just wanted it over. He issued a new set of orders. Captured insurgents could be killed. Towns supporting them could be destroyed. The preferred method was burning, and since nearly every town in the north of the Philippines was aiding the rebels in some way, every one was potentially kindling. ..."
"... The men needed little encouragement to carry out these orders. As MacArthur well knew, his soldiers regarded Filipinos not at fellow Americans, but as irksome "natives." (p. 96) ..."
Aug 05, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Andrew Bacevich calls for reckoning with the consequences of American colonial empire in the Philippines:

Yet the Philippines represented an altogether different case. By no stretch of the imagination did the archipelago fall within "our backyard." Furthermore, the Filipinos had no desire to trade Spanish rule for American rule and violently resisted occupation by U.S. forces. The notably dirty Philippine-American War that followed from 1899 to 1902 -- a conflict almost entirely expunged from American memory today -- resulted in something like 200,000 Filipino deaths and ended in a U.S. victory not yet memorialized on the National Mall in Washington.

Bacevich is right when he says that the Philippine War has been "almost entirely expunged from American memory today." It is significant that one of the only times in recent years that the Philippine War was remembered was so that it could provide fodder for the counterinsurgency fad among pro-war pundits. Max Boot was one of the chief advocates for counterinsurgency warfare, and he has cited the brutal occupation campaign in the Philippines as an example of how to win such wars. Greg Bankoff counted the costs of the "small war" in the Philippines that Boot praised in his book The Savage Wars of Peace , and he described them in this response to a positive review of the book back in 2002:

Start with the description of the war itself as "small." Granted, the United States suffered only some 7,000 casualties, dead and wounded. But estimates of Filipino mortality range from 200,000 persons upward. This is hardly small, especially considering that the total Filipino population at the time was around seven million. Nor is it accurate to say the war ended in 1902, unless one accepts the terms of President Theodore Roosevelt's November 1902 Brigandage Act, which redefined any band of more than three men as bandits and subjected them to 20 years imprisonment or the death penalty. In fact, guerrilla warfare continued until 1907, waged by popular revolutionary leaders who refused to accept the colonial yoke anew -- men such as Luciano San Miguel (who died on the battlefield of Corral-na-Bato in March 1903), Macario Sakay (who was hanged on September 13, 1907) and Julian Montalan (who was sentenced to life imprisonment and exiled to Palawan until 1921). No, the war did not actually end in 1902, but the U.S. colonial authorities conveniently branded everything subsequent to that as ladronism, simple thievery.

Bankoff warned later in the same piece that "a distorted reconstruction of that past is likely to preview an equally distorted future." Looking back seventeen years later at our multiple protracted wars, all of them enthusiastically supported by Boot and fellow neo-imperialists, we have to conclude that the future was horribly distorted in part by this willingness to lionize and whitewash the Philippine War as a model for U.S. foreign policy. Like that war, our ongoing wars have inflicted horrific losses on the local populations, they are completely divorced from the security of the United States, and the people we are fighting are fighting us because our forces are in their country.

If Boot's distorted history has contributed to the distortion of our foreign policy, we could do worse than to begin by finding better reconstructions of the past. Daniel Immerwahr has done some important work in studying the consequences of our colonial empire on the people in the territories that our government took over in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His book How to Hide an Empire recounts the history of how the U.S. obtained its overseas territories, how it abused them, and how it has created a very different kind of empire over the last seventy years.

Immerwahr recounts some of the opposition to the Philippine War from members of the Anti-Imperialist League:

As Aguinaldo hoped, the Philippine War tapped a rich vein of anti-imperialism. Even the Democratic Party–hardly a radical organization in the age of Jim Crow–could go a little spittle-flecked on this issue. The war was "criminal aggression," the Democratic platform charged in 1900, born of "greedy commercialism" and sure to ruin the country. "No nation can long endure half republic and half empire," it warned. "Imperialism abroad will lead quickly and inevitably to despotism at home." (p. 95)

He also describes the tactics that U.S. forces used in the war:

Now, with that spotlight switched off, MacArthur just wanted it over. He issued a new set of orders. Captured insurgents could be killed. Towns supporting them could be destroyed. The preferred method was burning, and since nearly every town in the north of the Philippines was aiding the rebels in some way, every one was potentially kindling.

The men needed little encouragement to carry out these orders. As MacArthur well knew, his soldiers regarded Filipinos not at fellow Americans, but as irksome "natives." (p. 96)

If we hope to change U.S. foreign policy and repudiate empire, we have to remember first how we acquired it and the Americans that organized to oppose it.

P.S. Another similarity between the Philippine War and the wars of the last two decades is the length of the actual fighting. Immerwahr writes:

Stretching from the outbreak of hostilities in 1899 to the end of military rule in Moroland in 1913, it is, after the war in Afghanistan, the longest war the United States has ever fought. (p. 107)

[Aug 05, 2019] As someone born in Latin America, we never saw the US as anything but a brutal predator, whose honeyed words were belied by their deeds

Aug 05, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The essential facts are these. In April 1898, the United States went to war with Spain. The war's nominal purpose was to liberate Cuba from oppressive colonial rule. The war's subsequent conduct found the United States not only invading and occupying Cuba, but also seizing Puerto Rico, completing a deferred annexation of Hawaii, scarfing up various other small properties in the Pacific, and, not least of all, replacing Spain as colonial masters of the Philippine Archipelago, located across the Pacific.

That the true theme of the war with Spain turned out to be not liberation but expansion should not come as a terrible surprise. From the very founding of the first British colonies in North America, expansion has constituted an enduring theme of the American project. Separation from the British Empire after 1776 only reinforced the urge to grow. Yet prior to 1898, that project had been a continental one. The events of that year signaled the transition from continental to extra-continental expansion. American leaders were no longer content to preside over a republic stretching from sea to shining sea.

In that regard, the decision to annex the Philippines stands out as especially instructive. If you try hard enough -- and some politicians at the time did -- you can talk yourself into believing that U.S. actions in the Caribbean in 1898 represented something other than naked European-style imperialism with all its brute force to keep the natives in line. After all, the United States did refrain from converting Cuba into a formal colony and by 1902 had even granted Cubans a sort of ersatz independence. Moreover, both Cuba and Puerto Rico fell within "our backyard," as did various other Caribbean republics soon to undergo U.S. military occupation. Geographically, all were located within the American orbit.

Yet the Philippines represented an altogether different case. By no stretch of the imagination did the archipelago fall within "our backyard." Furthermore, the Filipinos had no desire to trade Spanish rule for American rule and violently resisted occupation by U.S. forces. The notably dirty Philippine-American War that followed from 1899 to 1902 -- a conflict almost entirely expunged from American memory today -- resulted in something like 200,000 Filipino deaths and ended in a U.S. victory not yet memorialized on the National Mall in Washington.

Why Do We Still Have War Booty From the Philippines? Time to Break Up With the Philippines

So the Philippine Archipelago had become ours. In short order, however, authorities in Washington changed their mind about the wisdom of accepting responsibility for several thousand islands located nearly 7,000 miles from San Francisco.

The sprawling American colony turned out to be the ultimate impulse purchase. And as with most impulse purchases, enthusiasm soon enough gave way to second thoughts and even regret. By 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt was privately referring to the Philippines as America's "Achilles heel." The United States had paid Spain $20 million for an acquisition that didn't turn a profit and couldn't be defended given the limited capabilities of the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. To complicate matters further, from Tokyo's perspective, the Philippines fell within its backyard. So far as Imperial Japan was concerned, imperial America was intruding on its turf.

Thus was the sequence of events leading to the Pacific War of 1941-1945 set in motion. I am not suggesting that Pearl Harbor was an inevitable consequence of the United States annexing the Philippines. I am suggesting that it put two rival imperial powers on a collision course.

One can, of course, find in the ensuing sequence of events matters worth celebrating -- great military victories at places like Midway, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, culminating after 1945 in a period of American dominion. But the legacy of our flirtation with empire in the Western Pacific also includes much that is lamentable -- the wars in Korea and Vietnam, for example, and now an intensifying rivalry with China destined to lead we know not where.

If history could be reduced to a balance sheet, the U.S. purchase of the Philippines would rate as a pretty bad bargain. That first $20 million turned out to be only a down payment.


Eliseo Art Silva Mark Thomason 6 hours ago

No. Absolutely not. We would have been much better off had the US not violently dismantled the first Republic of the Philippines.

The canard that our greatest generation of Filipinos (Generation of 1898) was not fit to govern us was a product of US Assimilation Schools designed to rid the Philippines of Filipinos- by wiring them to automatically think anything non-Filipino will always be better (intenalized racism) and to train the primarily to leave and work abroad and blend -in as Americans (objectification) and never stand out as self-respecting Filipinos who aspire to be the best they can be propelled by the Filipino story.

Our multiple Golden Ages only occurred prior to US invasion and colonization.

YES, the USA owes us. We are every American's 2nd original sin.

Eliseo Art Silva Mark Thomason 5 hours ago
We do not owe US anything. The USA owes us a great big deal, More than any other country on earth.

THEY (USA) owes us:
1) For violently dismantling the first Republic of the Philippines at the cost of over a million martyrs from the greatest generation of Filipinos.

2) For US Assimilation Schools denying us the intensity of our golden ages prior to their invasion as our drivers for PH civilization, turning us into a country that trains its people to leave and assimilate in US culture and become workers for Americans and foreigners abroad. This results in a Philippines WITHOUT Filipinos.

3) For US bombs turning Intramuros into dust- the centerpiece of the Paris of the East, with treasures, publications and art much older that the US- without consent from any Filipino leader. And for dismantling our train system from La Union to Bicol.

4) For the US Rescission Act which denied Filipino veterans due recognition, dignity and honor- vets who fought THEIR war against Japan on our soil.

5) For the canard that Aguinaldo, our 29-year old father and liberator of the Republic of the Philippines, is a villain and a traitor, even inventing the heroism of Andres Bonifacio which ultimately resulted in "Toxic Nationalism" which Rizal warned us about in the persona of Simoun in El Filibusterismo who will drive our nation to self-destruction and turn a paradise into a desert by being automatically wired to think anything non-Filipino will and always be better.

The core of colonial mentality is the misguided belief that we cannot have been a greater country had the US not destroyed the first Republic of the Philippines- a lie that was embedded in our minds by the US discrediting Aguinaldo and the Generation of 1896/1898- the greatest generation of Filipinos.

bob balkas 18 hours ago
It does seem to me that every country which was able and could afford to expand its territory did so. In Europe, exceptions to that a wish were Switzerland, Slovakia, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Slovenia, Ukraine, ?Romania and Chechia.
So, US had company!
Romulus 11 hours ago
President William McKinley defends his decision to support the annexation of the Philippines in the wake of the U.S. war in that country:

"When I next realized that the Philippines had dropped into our laps I confess I did not know what to do with them. . . And one night late it came to me this way. . .1) That we could not give them back to Spain- that would be cowardly and dishonorable; 2) that we could not turn them over to France and Germany-our commercial rivals in the Orient-that would be bad business and discreditable; 3) that we not leave them to themselves-they are unfit for self-government-and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain's wars; and 4) that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God's grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died."

Making Christians of a country that had its first Catholic diocese 9 years before the Spanish Armada sailed for England, with 4 dioceses in place years before the English sailed for Jamestown.

Tommy Matic IV Romulus 6 hours ago
Not to mention a full fledged university older than Harvard.
Michael Brand 7 hours ago • edited
Dan Carlin did an outstanding podcast on the choices America faced after acquiring the Philippines. McKinley was anti-empire, but the industrialists in his administration hungered to thwart the British, French and Dutch empires in the Pacific by establishing a colony all of our own.

Worth a listen

Adriana Pena 7 hours ago
As someone born in Latin America, we never saw the US as anything but a brutal predator, whose honeyed words were belied by their deeds. I wonder if it began with the Philippines. There was the Mexican war first, which wrested a lot of territory from Mexico. And then there was the invasion of Canada to bring the blessings of democracy to Canadians (it ended with the White House in flames). I suspect that the beliefe that you are exceptional and blessed by God can lead to want to straighten up other people "for their own good", and make a profit besides - a LOT of profit.

[Aug 04, 2019] PODCAST The IMF and World Bank Partners In Backwardness, # 407 by Bonnie Faulkner

Notable quotes:
"... Wall Street bankers funded all those 'anti colonial movements' in the first place. They wanted to deal with some corrupt brown black politician over an honest White/Japanese colonial officer. ..."
"... What many people do not know is that the after the damage done by the Great Depression (the total Wall Street take over of the US Economy and the looting of independent of American business with the help of the private 'Federal' reserve ), The British Government put restrictions on trade in between the British Empire and USA to protect the economies of Britain and all of her colonies from the Wall Street pigs. ..."
Aug 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

The IMF and World Bank: Partners In Backwardness, # 407 with Michael Hudson Guns & Butter / Bonnie Faulkner June 22, 2019 9 Comments Reply Listen ॥ ■ ► RSS

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Michael Hudson discusses his seminal work of 1972, Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire, a critique of how the US exploits foreign economies through IMF and World bank debt; difference between the IMF and World Bank; World Bank dysfunctional from the outset; loans made in foreign currency only; policy to provide loans for countries to devote their land to export plantation crops; US food and monetary imperialism; U.S. agricultural protectionism built into the postwar global system; promotion of dependency on the US as food supplier; food blackmail; perpetration of world poverty preferred; no encouragement of land reform; privatization of the public domain; America aided, not foreign economies; exploitation of mineral deposits; bribery; foreign nations politically controlled at the top; veto power for US only.


Malla , says: June 25, 2019 at 5:30 am GMT

This was planned decades ago. That is why Wall Street bankers funded all those 'anti colonial movements' in the first place. They wanted to deal with some corrupt brown black politician over an honest White/Japanese colonial officer.

From the book: The New Unhappy Lords
https://ia800500.us.archive.org/23/items/TheNewUnhappyLords/TheNewUnhappyLords.pdf

"As far as is known "America's" anti-British policy was first given concrete expression in the brief that General Marshall took with him to the Quebec Conference in 1943.
This was to the effect that the greatest single obstacle to the expansion of America's export-capitalism after the war would be not the Soviet Union but the British Empire. What this meant, in practical terms, was that as soon as the enemies in the field had been disposed of would come the turn of the British Empire to be progressively destroyed and that means to this end would be shaped even while hostilities raged. The moment they were over the campaign could begin in real earnest, the signal for which was to be Truman's abrupt dropping of Lend-Lease to an ally whose economy had been so closely geared to war production that many markets for her goods had been systematically referred to U.S producers.
The British Empire was not the only ally marked down for liquidation. The Dutch Empire in the East Indies and the French Empire in Indo-China and Africa were also high on the list "

What many people do not know is that the after the damage done by the Great Depression (the total Wall Street take over of the US Economy and the looting of independent of American business with the help of the private 'Federal' reserve ), The British Government put restrictions on trade in between the British Empire and USA to protect the economies of Britain and all of her colonies from the Wall Street pigs.

In Page 22 of the book we read

"However, as has happened time and again throughout history, the money-lenders had tended to overplay their hand. The six million German unemployed who were the victims of the "Great Depression" resulted in a formidable revolt against the Money Power -- the revolt of Adolf Hitler. There was also a rebellion, although of a much milder kind, in Great Britain and the British nations overseas, whose representatives met in Ottawa in 1932 to hammer out a system of Imperial Preferences calculated to insulate the British world against Wall St. amok-runs. These Preferences, as we shall see, incurred the unrelenting hostility of the New York Money Power and the only reason why a show-down was not forced was the far more serious threat to the international financial system implicit in the econo­mic doctrines of the Third Reich."

In other words, the Wall street greedy pigs after devouring American industry came to the conclusion that they faced a major threat from Third Reich Germany (the barter system used by the regime) as well as to a lesser extent from the British Empire (and other Empires). Hence the war to destroy Third Reich Germany, Japanese Empire and Italy and then after the war the eventual slow destruction of the European Empires, especially the British Empire. And hence we suddenly see 'independence movements' sprouting all over the world and succeeding. Even before the war we had 'independence movements' and 'communist movements' all around the world thanks to their pet 'Soviet Russia's' agents going all around and 'radicalisng the masses', all with the blessings of Wall Street Banker pigs.

J. Gutierrez , says: June 27, 2019 at 9:26 pm GMT
@Malla Hi Malla,

I'm curious do you live in Britain? I would bet you do because of your relentless protection of the British Empire. The British Empire has been working on Economic World Domination since Cecil Rhodes established the Round Table groups. I agree with a comment you made about British citizens not being responsible for their government's tretment of countries in the colonial era. The same can be said about the American citizen if you place all the blame on the political class and Wall Street. But then we have to take into consideration the benefits that the English and American citizen receive from their government's crimminal dealings. As long as they live better than anyone else in the world, they will not protest against the hand that feed them.

This artilce (audio) uncovers the reason why America and Britian along with their Anglo Saxon partners Canada and Australia control other country's economies. Creating poverty in other countries keeps the Anglo Saxon countries ecomomically superiour at the expense of the poor throughout the world. If American and British citizens stopped their government's continued assault on third world countries the immigration crisis would end.

America and England have been dominant over other countries with the help of their Jewish partners for a long time Malla. As you commented to me, they have married into prominent British Society. I'm sorry Malla, but there is a Mexican saying "Tanta culpa tiene el que mata la vaca que el que detiene la pata". Translation: "The person that holds the cows feet is as guilty as the one that kills it". Meaning when you unknowingly participate in a crime you are just as responsible as the one commiting it.

It's hard for decent Americans and British people to see themselves as perpitrators of such horrible injustices because most of them are very warm and loving Christian people I'm sure. But so are the people of the countries their government target. Until people stop looking at the problems we are all facing as a Christian/Muslim – White/Black – High IQ/Low IQ problem, things will only get worse. The real problem as I see it is a Social Class problem as we can see by this article. The Elites have no problem helping Blacks and other races as long as they are the Rich Elites. The lower class people can starve white, black, brown, etc. it doesn't matter just another day in the life of a parasite.

The problem as I see it, can only be solved by the "White" people that are socially below the Elites in power and take it away from them. The reason why I say that is because history tells us that when the Social underclass revolts against the oppressor government as so many have in Latin America, the U.S. send their military to help the crimminal leaders and the people are murdered. The problem needs to be stopped at the source or else nothing can change. We can talk about the Jews till we're bloe in face, but it is clear as to who is responsible

J. Gutierrez , says: June 27, 2019 at 9:42 pm GMT
@Malla I am so surprised there are only 2 comments on this article! This is the most important information on this site I like your comments Malla, you're a very smart Lady me I'm just a Rebel that hates bullies with a passion! Some of my comments are very rough around the edges depending on the level of racism and ignorance the commentator writes. But, always respectful to the opposite sex. Thanks for engaging Have a nice day.
Rita , says: July 3, 2019 at 5:52 pm GMT
Very impressive interview. Indeed, it is shocking when all piracy strategies are put together the brilliante way Professor Hudson does. A lecture for everybody.
Jon Baptist , says: July 6, 2019 at 7:15 pm GMT
@J. Gutierrez

We can talk about the Jews till we're bloe in face, but it is clear as to who is responsible

Who do you think is behind British and American Imperialism? As per Ron Unz's findings, who was behind Bolshevism? Regarding social and political control, there is always a Zionist element. Look at the World Bank, the CFR, the Chabad Lubavitch presence behind Netanyahu, Putin and Trump. Look at media, music and education. What about the Warburgs both in the United States and in Nazi Germany. https://www.onjewishmatters.com/archives/18428

John Ruskin was the mentor of Cecil Rhodes at Oxford University. Cecil Rhodes was a member of the "Society of the Elect" along with Rothschild. ( See pg. 311 http://www.carrollquigley.net/pdf/The_Anglo-American_Establishment.pdf ) Rothschild proud founder of the state of israel. Below are photos of John Ruskin's grave. Why is there a Swastika placed between 1819 and 1900? Also, why is there a Menorah on his headstone? "The seven branch menorah was used in the ancient temple of Jerusalem The menorah is part of the coat of arms of the modern State of Israel." – https://www.judaicawebstore.com/7-branched-menorahs-C918.aspx

[MORE] https://images.findagrave.com/photos/2002/285/6300_1034517077.jpg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIA4EkvpLtc
Malla , says: July 6, 2019 at 9:46 pm GMT
@J. Gutierrez

I'm curious do you live in Britain? I would bet you do because of your relentless protection of the British Empire.

Nope in India. The European Empires had their good sides and bad sides.

Malla , says: July 6, 2019 at 9:53 pm GMT
@J. Gutierrez

Creating poverty in other countries keeps the Anglo Saxon countries ecomomically superiour at the expense of the poor throughout the world. If American and British citizens stopped their government's continued assault on third world countries the immigration crisis would end.

I disagree completely. In most brown black countries, the people themselves exploit each other and cause all the screw ups. Most people here in India (poor or rich) cheat, swindle and ruthlessly exploit others. Of course you have the IMF gang hovering around for their loot but they are not the main factor in many third world countries.

Tsigantes , says: July 9, 2019 at 6:31 pm GMT
Absolutely outstanding!

Thank you Bonnie for asking the perfect questions and thank you Michael for your ever incisive and brilliantly clear answers. Together this interview is the perfect Predatory Economics 101 for ordinary people, i.e. the Bonnie & Michael course

I write this from Athens Greece in 2019, 3 days after our US educated (Harvard & Stanford) oligarchical class has just been voted back into power with a parliamentary majority in bone-headed but fully deserved reaction to Tsipras the fake left traitor. Very sad and very silly since Greece is a 100% captive colony of EU / Washington. The only upside is that with the Trotskyists out Greeks will be able to keep our icons and our Orthodoxy, something we shall need more than ever.

[Jul 30, 2019] Empires in decline tend to behave badly

Notable quotes:
"... Aggressive wars abroad pollute the domestic political discourse and breed hypernationalism, racism and xenophobia. The 18 or so years of war following the 9/11 attacks have seen this ostensible republic sink to new lows of behavior. ..."
Jul 30, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"Empires in decline tend to behave badly. Indeed, whether British, French or Russian, the twilight years of imperialism often brought brutal repression of subjects abroad, the suppression of civil liberties at home and general varieties of brutality toward foreigners, be they refugees or migrants.

Aggressive wars abroad pollute the domestic political discourse and breed hypernationalism, racism and xenophobia. The 18 or so years of war following the 9/11 attacks have seen this ostensible republic sink to new lows of behavior.

Aggressive wars of choice have ushered in rampant torture, atrocities in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, indefinite detention at Guantanamo Bay, extraordinary rendition, drone assassinations, warrantless wiretapping, mass surveillance of the citizenry...

It's all connected. The empire -- all empires -- eventually come home."

Maj. Danny Sjursen, An American Tragedy: Empire at Home and Abroad

[Jul 30, 2019] The New Quincy Institute Seeks Warmongering Monsters to Destroy The American Conservative

Jul 30, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The New Quincy Institute Seeks Warmongering Monsters to Destroy Andrew Bacevich on his new left-right group, which is going hammer and tongs against the establishment on foreign policy. By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos July 30, 2019

Andrew J. Bacevich participates in a panel discussion at the U.S. Naval War College in 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christian S. Eskelund/Released) For the last month, the foreign policy establishment has been abuzz over the new kid on the block: the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft , named for John Quincy Adams. Adams, along with our first president George Washington, warned of foreign entanglements and the urge to go abroad in "search of monsters to destroy," lest America's fundamental policy "insensibly change from liberty to force . She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit ."

Those in the foreign policy Blob have had different reactions to the "upstart" think tank. These are the preeminent organizations that stand imperious in size and square footage, but have lacked greatly in wisdom and clarity over the last 20 years. Quincy will stand apart from them in two significant ways: it is drawing its intellectual and political firepower from both the anti-war Left and the realist and restraint Right. And it is poised to support a new "responsible statecraft," one that challenges the conditions of endless war, including persistent American militarism here and abroad, the military industrial complex, and a doctrine that worships primacy and a liberal world order over peace and the sovereignty of other nations.

Quincy, which is rolling out its statement of principles this week (its official launch will be in the fall), is the brainchild of Trita Parsi, former head of the National Iranian-American Council, who saw an opening to bring together Left and Right academics, activists, and media disenchanted by both sides' pro-war proclivities. Together with Vietnam veteran and former Boston University professor Andrew Bacevich (also a longtime TAC contributor), the Carnegie Endowment's Suzanne DiMaggio, Columbia University's Stephen Wertheim, and investigative journalist Eli Clifton, the group wants to serve as a counterweight to both liberal interventionists like the Brookings Institution and Council on Foreign Relations, and the war hawks and neoconservatives of the Heritage Foundation and Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

They've already taken hits from both sides of the establishment, dismissed brusquely as naive , or worse, isolationist (that swipe from neoconservative Bill Kristol, whose now-defunct Weekly Standard once ran a manifesto headlined "The Case for American Empire" ). The fact that Quincy will be funded by both George Soros on the Left and the Charles Koch Foundation on the Right has brought some rebuke from unfriendlies and even some friendlies. The former hate on one or the other powerful billionaire, while the latter are wary of Soros' intentions (he's has long been a financial supporter of "soft-power" democracy movements overseas, some of which have encouraged revolution and regime change).

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But Quincy's timing couldn't be more perfect. With a president in the White House who has promised to draw down U.S. involvement overseas (with the exception of his Iran policy, he has so far held to much of that pledge), and national conservatives coming around to TAC's long-held worldview on realism and restraint (and an increasing willingness to reach across the aisle to work with like-minded groups and individuals), Quincy appears poised to make some noise in Washington.

According to the group's new statement of principles , "responsible statecraft" 1) serves the public interest, 2) engages the world, 3) builds a peaceful world, 4) abhors war, and 5) is democratic.

Andrew Bacevich and Trita Parsi expanded on this further in a recent Q&A with TAC.

(Full disclosure: the author is on Quincy's steering committee and TAC also receives funding from the Charles Koch Foundation.)

TAC : Quincy's principles -- and thus it's name -- are rooted in the mission of "responsible statecraft." Can you give me a sense of what that means in practical terms, and why you settled on this phrasing for the institute?

AB: With the end of the Cold War, policy elites succumbed to an extraordinary bout of hubris, perhaps best expressed in the claim that history had designated the United States as its "indispensable nation." Hubris bred recklessness and irresponsibility, with the Iraq war of 2003 as Exhibit A. We see "responsible statecraft" as the necessary antidote. Its abiding qualities are realism, restraint, prudence, and vigorous engagement. While the QI is not anti-military, we are wary of war except when all other alternatives have been exhausted. We are acutely conscious of war's tendency to produce unintended consequences and to exact unexpectedly high costs.

TAC : Quincy is a trans-partisan effort that is bringing together Left and Right for common cause. Is it a challenge?

AB: It seems apparent to us that the myriad foreign policy failures and disappointments of the past couple of decades have induced among both progressives and at least some conservatives a growing disenchantment with the trajectory of U.S. policy. Out of that disenchantment comes the potential for a Left-Right coalition to challenge the status quo. The QI hopes to build on that potential.

TAC : Two of the principles take direct aim at the current foreign policy status quo: responsible statecraft abhors war, and responsible statecraft is democratic (calling out a closed system in which Americans have had little input into the wars waged in their names). How much of what Quincy aims to do involves upending conventional norms, particularly those bred and defended by the Washington "Blob"?

AB: In a fundamental sense, the purpose of the QI is to educate the American people and their leaders regarding the Blob's shortcomings, exposing the deficiencies of old ideas and proposing new ones to take their place.

TAC: That said, how much blowback do you anticipate from the Washington establishment, particularly those think tanks and individuals whose careers and very existence depend on the wheels of militarism forever turning?

AB : Plenty. Proponents of the status quo are entrenched and well-funded. Breaking old habits -- for example, the practice of scattering U.S. military bases around the world -- will not come easily.

TAC : There has been much ado about your two primary funders -- Charles Koch and George Soros. What do you say to critics who suggest you will be tied to/limited by their agendas?

AB: Our funding sources are not confined to Koch and Soros and we will continue to broaden our support base. It's not for me to speak for Koch or Soros. But my guess is they decided to support the QI because they support our principles. They too believe in policies based on realism, restraint, prudence, and vigorous engagement.

TAC : Better yet, how did you convince these two men to fund something together?

TP: It is important to recognize that they have collaborated in the past before, for instance on criminal justice reform. This is, however, the first time they've come together to be founding funders of a new entity. I cannot speak for them, but I think they both recognize that there currently is a conceptual deficit in our foreign policy. U.S. elite consensus on foreign policy has collapsed and the void that has been created begs to be filled. But it has to be filled with new ideas, not just a repackaging of old ideas. And those new ideas cannot simply follow the old political alignments. Transpartisan collaboration is necessary in order to create a new consensus. Koch and Soros are showing tremendous leadership in that regard.

TAC : The last refuge of a scorned hawk is to call his critics "isolationist." It would seem as though your statement of principles takes this on directly. How else does Quincy take this often-used invective into account?

AB : We will demonstrate through our own actions that the charge is false.

TAC : Critics (including James Traub, in his own piece on Quincy ) say that Washington leaders, once in office, are "mugged by reality," suggesting that the idea of rolling back military interventions and avoiding others sounds good on paper but presidents like Barack Obama had no choice, that this is all about protecting interests and hard-nosed realism. The alternative is a bit naive. How do you respond?

AB: Choices are available if our leaders have the creativity to recognize them and the gumption to pursue them. Obama's patient and resolute pursuit of the Iran nuclear deal affirms this possibility. The QI will expose the "we have no choice" argument as false. We will identify and promote choice, thereby freeing U.S. policy from outmoded habits and stale routines.

Kelley Beaucar Vlahos is e xecutive editor at . Follow her on Twitter @Vlahos_at_TAC

[Jul 29, 2019] Evidence has emerged that the US State Department is tied to a child trafficking operation involving billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Notable quotes:
"... Evidence has emerged that the U.S. State Department is tied to a child trafficking operation involving Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. shared the tail number of his Bell Long Ranger 206L3 helicopter (tail number N474AW) with a U.S. State Department OV-10D Bronco ..."
"... . Descriptions of sex between adult males and underage females by XXX company employees in Bosnia in the 2000-2002 time frame coincides with descriptions of sex . on .. aircraft and [at] residences in Palm Beach, Florida; New Mexico; and on the island of Little Saint James in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Among the "Jane Does" filing suit against the U.S. government for concluding can anyone get the details of these suits? ..."
"... So so disgusting. First there was the catholic church pedophile scandal. Then there is the Epstein scandal ..."
Jul 23, 2019 | www.unz.com

sally , says: July 23, 2019 at 8:22 am GMT

https://friendsforsyria.com/2019/07/21/u-s-state-department-tied-to-child-trafficking-operation-with-epstein/

according to this article ..the following

Evidence has emerged that the U.S. State Department is tied to a child trafficking operation involving Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. shared the tail number of his Bell Long Ranger 206L3 helicopter (tail number N474AW) with a U.S. State Department OV-10D Bronco. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) registration database. Descriptions of sex between adult males and underage females by XXX company employees in Bosnia in the 2000-2002 time frame coincides with descriptions of sex . on .. aircraft and [at] residences in Palm Beach, Florida; New Mexico; and on the island of Little Saint James in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Among the "Jane Does" filing suit against the U.S. government for concluding can anyone get the details of these suits?

mcohen , says: July 23, 2019 at 9:20 am GMT

So so disgusting. First there was the catholic church pedophile scandal. Then there is the Epstein scandal

... ... ...

Everything is broken.Time to call in the plumbers

[Jul 29, 2019] Peace in Ukraine by Stephen F. Cohen

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... His electorally repudiated predecessor, Petro Poroshenko, backed by supporters in Washington, thwarted almost every preceding opportunity for negotiations both with the Donbass rebels and with Moscow, ..."
"... But the struggle for peace has just begun, with powerful forces arrayed against it in Ukraine, Moscow, and Washington. In Ukraine, well-armed ultra-nationalist -- some would say quasi-fascist -- detachments are terrorizing supporters of Zelensky's initiative, including a Kiev television station that proposed broadcasting a dialogue between Russian and Ukrainian citizens. ..."
"... Which brings us to Washington and in particular to President Donald Trump and his would-be opponent in 2020, former vice president Joseph Biden. Kiev's government, thus now Zelensky, is heavily dependent on billions of dollars of aid from the International Monetary Fund, which Washington largely controls. Former president Barack Obama and Biden, his "point man" for Ukraine, used this financial leverage to exercise semi-colonial influence over Poroshenko, generally making things worse, including the incipient Ukrainian civil war. Their hope was, of course, to sever Ukraine's centuries-long ties to Russia and even bring it eventually into the US-led NATO sphere of influence. ..."
"... Biden, however, has a special problem -- and obligation. As an implementer, and presumably architect, of Obama's disastrous policy in Ukraine, and currently the leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, Biden should be asked about his past and present thinking regarding Ukraine. The much-ballyhooed ongoing "debates" are an opportunity to ask the question -- and of other candidates as well. Presidential debates are supposed to elicit and clarify the views of candidates on domestic and foreign policy. And among the latter, few, if any, are more important than Ukraine, which remains the epicenter of this new and more dangerous Cold War. ..."
Jul 29, 2019 | www.thenation.com

The election of Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, who won decisively throughout most of the country, represents the possibility of peace with Russia, if it -- and he -- are given a chance. His electorally repudiated predecessor, Petro Poroshenko, backed by supporters in Washington, thwarted almost every preceding opportunity for negotiations both with the Donbass rebels and with Moscow, notably provisions associated with the European-sponsored Minsk Accords. Zelensky, on the other hand, has made peace (along with corruption) his top priority and indeed spoke directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, on July 11. The nearly six-year war having become a political, diplomatic, and financial drain on his leadership, Putin welcomed the overture.

But the struggle for peace has just begun, with powerful forces arrayed against it in Ukraine, Moscow, and Washington. In Ukraine, well-armed ultra-nationalist -- some would say quasi-fascist -- detachments are terrorizing supporters of Zelensky's initiative, including a Kiev television station that proposed broadcasting a dialogue between Russian and Ukrainian citizens. (Washington has previously had some shameful episodes of collusion with these Ukrainian neo-Nazis .) As for Putin, who does not fully control the Donbass rebels or its leaders, he "can never be seen at home," as I pointed out more than two years ago , "as 'selling out' Russia's 'brethren' anywhere in southeast Ukraine." Indeed, his own implacable nationalists have made this a litmus test of his leadership.

Which brings us to Washington and in particular to President Donald Trump and his would-be opponent in 2020, former vice president Joseph Biden. Kiev's government, thus now Zelensky, is heavily dependent on billions of dollars of aid from the International Monetary Fund, which Washington largely controls. Former president Barack Obama and Biden, his "point man" for Ukraine, used this financial leverage to exercise semi-colonial influence over Poroshenko, generally making things worse, including the incipient Ukrainian civil war. Their hope was, of course, to sever Ukraine's centuries-long ties to Russia and even bring it eventually into the US-led NATO sphere of influence.

Our hope should be that Trump breaks with that long-standing bipartisan policy, as he did with policy toward North Korea, and puts America squarely on the side of peace in Ukraine. (For now, Zelensky has set aside Moscow's professed irreversible "reunification" with Crimea, as should Washington.) A new US policy must include recognition, previously lacking, that the citizens of war-ravaged Donbass are not primarily "Putin's stooges" but people with their own legitimate interests and preferences, even if they favor Russia. Here too Zelensky is embarking on a new course. Poroshenko waged an "anti-terrorist" war against Donbass: the new president is reaching out to its citizens even though most of them were unable to vote in the election.

Biden, however, has a special problem -- and obligation. As an implementer, and presumably architect, of Obama's disastrous policy in Ukraine, and currently the leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, Biden should be asked about his past and present thinking regarding Ukraine. The much-ballyhooed ongoing "debates" are an opportunity to ask the question -- and of other candidates as well. Presidential debates are supposed to elicit and clarify the views of candidates on domestic and foreign policy. And among the latter, few, if any, are more important than Ukraine, which remains the epicenter of this new and more dangerous Cold War.

This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show . Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com .

[Jul 27, 2019] Hillary and Obama brought slavery back to Libya and ISIS and the largest refugee crisis since WW2 to Syria

Jul 27, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

emma peele , July 25, 2019 at 19:44

uh Hillary Clinton stood with Bush and lied the world into war. Hillary and Obama brought slavery back to Libya and ISIS and the largest refugee crisis since WW2 to Syria .
Dont forget genocide in Yemen ..

Hillary also supported disastrous free trade deals like NAFTA and CAFTA and {TPP that brought back slavery} that harm workers on both sides of the borders

Hillary also toppled a democratically elected president in Honduras with Death Squads and Obama killed 40,000 innocent t people with Sanctions in Venezuela

They are fleeing Hillary and Obama's Terror spree ..and cheer on worse WW3 with Russia

Reporter Quits NBC Citing Network's Support For Endless War

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/01/03/reporter-quits-nbc-citing-networks-support-for-endless-war/

On Venezuela, Tucker Airs Anti-Trump Ideas While Maddow Wants John Bolton To Be More Hawkish

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/05/05/on-venezuela-tucker-airs-anti-trump-ideas-while-maddow-wants-john-bolton-to-be-more-hawkish/

boxerwar , July 25, 2019 at 22:12

c.. Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes, Emma Peele, Without a Doubt – and I absolutely adore your "Avengers" pseudonym !

Hillary's disgusting crimes, however, seem to me to be an attempt to ingratiate herself (and the Democrats) with the Ultra Hawkish Bush Era Republicans.
Who can ever forgive & forget her ghoulish pronouncement, "We came, we saw, He died!!"
(in reference to the ghoulishly brutal public murder of Libya's Qaddafi. {Qaddafi's "Green Book" was a well imagined Socio-Economic plan for for the economic liberation of Africa from the economic and cultural strictures of US, European Absolutist Brutal Dominion.} -- As it was, Libya, under Qaddafi, was a liberal, socialist society with free education, free health care for all citizens, and a nation with it's own currency , free from US/EURO manipulation and control.

-- This Is Why We Killed Him. --
This is US Command and Control World-Wide POLICY ! ! ! --
-- Anglo-Saxon Command and Control of the Whole Wide World and all it's resources Owned and Militarily Controlled by European Bankers

-- - EUROPEAN Bankers, Rothschild Criminal Banker WarMongers/ Wall Street and American Military Power --

These are They which Evilly Rule the World and Disparage or Murder (annihilate) All Others at their pleasure, and Trump is an evil antagonist with the personage of a King Leopold.

Please find "KING LEOPOLD'S GHOST' By Adam Hochschild

[Jul 23, 2019] The American manual for Unconventional Warfare

Jul 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Jul 22 2019 21:29 utc | 24

For newcomers, here is the TC-18-01, the American manual for Unconventional Warfare (published in 2010; leaked in 2012): Training" https://nsnbc.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/special-forces-uw-tc-18-01.pdf" Training Circular No. 18-01: Special Forces Unconventional Warfare, For the color revolution manual, see Gene Sharp's famous book (From Dictatorship to Democracy, 1994).

When used at the same time in the same place, they form what Korybko calls Hybrid Warfare (see his book).

[Jul 21, 2019] Merchants of Death business uber alles" as the new interpretation of "Drain the Swamp" election time slogan by Trump administration

"Drain the swamp" now means good times for Raytheon.
Jul 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

rwe2late , 1 hour ago link

Draining the swamp means hiring the lobbyists

- Orwell

...err, I meant Trump.

War is Peace

- well, now that's Orwell

(and many others in government and elsewhere)

Klassenfeind , 2 hours ago link

The Donald Trump Administration is looking more and more like George W. Bush's Administration: a dumb clueless idiot surrounded by neocons.

Remember Donald Rumsfeld , Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice, John Bolton , George Tenet, Henry Paulson, Paul Wolfowitz , and **** Cheney from the George W Bush Administration?

Tell me Trumptards, what's so "different this time" about Donald Trump hiring Bolton, Pompeo, Mattis/Shanahan/Esper, Haley, Haspel and Mnuchin?

[Jul 06, 2019] The Antiwar Movement No One Can See by Allegra Harpootlian

Notable quotes:
"... "Each successor generation is less likely than the previous to prioritize maintaining superior military power worldwide as a goal of U.S. foreign policy, to see U.S. military superiority as a very effective way of achieving U.S. foreign policy goals, and to support expanding defense spending. At the same time, support for international cooperation and free trade remains high across the generations. In fact, younger Americans are more inclined to support cooperative approaches to U.S. foreign policy and more likely to feel favorably towards trade and globalization." ..."
"... Last year, for the first time since the height of the Iraq war 13 years ago, the Army fell thousands of troops short of its recruiting goals. That trend was emphasized in a 2017 Department of Defense poll that found only 14 percent of respondents ages 16 to 24 said it was likely they'd serve in the military in the coming years. This has the Army so worried that it has been refocusing its recruitment efforts on creating an entirely new strategy aimed specifically at Generation Z. ..."
"... These days, significant numbers of young veterans have been returning disillusioned and ready to lobby Congress against wars they once, however unknowingly, bought into. Look no further than a new left-right alliance between two influential veterans groups, VoteVets and Concerned Veterans for America, to stop those forever wars. Their campaign, aimed specifically at getting Congress to weigh in on issues of war and peace, is emblematic of what may be a diverse potential movement coming together to oppose America's conflicts. Another veterans group, Common Defense, is similarly asking politicians to sign a pledge to end those wars. In just a couple of months, they've gotten on board 10 congressional sponsors, including freshmen heavyweights in the House of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. ..."
"... In February 2018, Sanders also became the first senator to risk introducing a war powers resolution to end American support for the brutal Saudi-led war in Yemen. In April 2019, with the sponsorship of other senators added to his, the bill ultimately passed the House and the Senate in an extremely rare showing of bipartisanship, only to be vetoed by President Trump. That such a bill might pass the House, no less a still-Republican Senate, even if not by a veto-proof majority, would have been unthinkable in 2016. So much has changed since the last election that support for the Yemen resolution has now become what Tara Golshan at Vox termed "a litmus test of the Democratic Party's progressive shift on foreign policy." ..."
"... And for the first time ever, three veterans of America's post-9/11 wars -- Seth Moulton and Tulsi Gabbard of the House of Representatives, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg -- are running for president, bringing their skepticism about American interventionism with them. The very inclusion of such viewpoints in the presidential race is bound to change the conversation, putting a spotlight on America's wars in the months to come. ..."
"... In May, for instance, Omar tweeted , "We have to recognize that foreign policy IS domestic policy. We can't invest in health care, climate resilience, or education if we continue to spend more than half of discretionary spending on endless wars and Pentagon contracts. When I say we need something equivalent to the Green New Deal for foreign policy, it's this." ..."
"... It is little recognized how hard American troops fought from 1965 to 1968. Our air mobile troops in particular made a great slaughter of NVA and VC while also taking heavy casualties. ..."
"... We were having such success that no one in the military thought the enemy could keep up the fight. Then, the Tet offensive with the beaten enemy attacking every city in the South. ..."
"... Perhaps there is no open anti-war movement because the Democratic party is now pro-war. ..."
"... President Obama, the Nobel peace prize winner, started a war with Libya, which had neither attacked nor threatened the US and which, by many accounts, was trying to improve relations with the US. GW Bush unnecessarily attacked Iraq and Clinton destroyed Haiti and bombed Yugoslavia, among other actions. ..."
Jul 02, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Originally from: TomDispatch.com

Peace activism is rising, but that isn't translating into huge street demonstrations, writes Allegra Harpootlian.

W hen Donald Trump entered the Oval Office in January 2017, Americans took to the streets all across the country to protest their instantly endangered rights. Conspicuously absent from the newfound civic engagement, despite more than a decade and a half of this country's fruitless, destructive wars across the Greater Middle East and northern Africa, was antiwar sentiment, much less an actual movement.

Those like me working against America's seemingly endless wars wondered why the subject merited so little discussion, attention, or protest. Was it because the still-spreading war on terror remained shrouded in government secrecy? Was the lack of media coverage about what America was doing overseas to blame? Or was it simply that most Americans didn't care about what was happening past the water's edge? If you had asked me two years ago, I would have chosen "all of the above." Now, I'm not so sure.

After the enormous demonstrations against the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the antiwar movement disappeared almost as suddenly as it began, with some even openly declaring it dead. Critics noted the long-term absence of significant protests against those wars, a lack of political will in Congress to deal with them, and ultimately, apathy on matters of war and peace when compared to issues like health care, gun control, or recently even climate change .

The pessimists have been right to point out that none of the plethora of marches on Washington since Donald Trump was elected have had even a secondary focus on America's fruitless wars. They're certainly right to question why Congress, with the constitutional duty to declare war, has until recently allowed both presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump to wage war as they wished without even consulting them. They're right to feel nervous when a national poll shows that more Americans think we're fighting a war in Iran (we're not) than a war in Somalia ( we are ).

But here's what I've been wondering recently: What if there's an antiwar movement growing right under our noses and we just haven't noticed? What if we don't see it, in part, because it doesn't look like any antiwar movement we've even imagined?

If a movement is only a movement when people fill the streets, then maybe the critics are right. It might also be fair to say, however, that protest marches do not always a movement make. Movements are defined by their ability to challenge the status quo and, right now, that's what might be beginning to happen when it comes to America's wars.

What if it's Parkland students condemning American imperialism or groups fighting the Muslim Ban that are also fighting the war on terror? It's veterans not only trying to take on the wars they fought in, but putting themselves on the front lines of the gun control , climate change , and police brutality debates. It's Congress passing the first War Powers Resolution in almost 50 years. It's Democratic presidential candidates signing a pledge to end America's endless wars.

For the last decade and a half, Americans -- and their elected representatives -- looked at our endless wars and essentially shrugged. In 2019, however, an antiwar movement seems to be brewing. It just doesn't look like the ones that some remember from the Vietnam era and others from the pre-invasion-of-Iraq moment. Instead, it's a movement that's being woven into just about every other issue that Americans are fighting for right now -- which is exactly why it might actually work.

An estimated 100,000 people protested the war in Iraq in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 15, 2007 (Ragesoss, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

A Veteran's Antiwar Movement in the Making?

During the Vietnam War of the 1960s and early 1970s, protests began with religious groups and peace organizations morally opposed to war. As that conflict intensified, however, students began to join the movement, then civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. got involved, then war veterans who had witnessed the horror firsthand stepped in -- until, with a seemingly constant storm of protest in the streets, Washington eventually withdrew from Indochina.

You might look at the lack of public outrage now, or perhaps the exhaustion of having been outraged and nothing changing, and think an antiwar movement doesn't exist. Certainly, there's nothing like the active one that fought against America's involvement in Vietnam for so long and so persistently. Yet it's important to notice that, among some of the very same groups (like veterans, students, and even politicians) that fought against that war, a healthy skepticism about America's 21st century wars, the Pentagon, the military industrial complex, and even the very idea of American exceptionalism is finally on the rise -- or so the polls tell us.

"Arlington West of Santa Monica," a project of Veterans for Peace, puts reminders of the costs of war on the beach in Santa Monica, California. (Lorie Shaull via Flickr)

Right after the midterms last year, an organization named Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness reported mournfully that younger Americans were "turning on the country and forgetting its ideals," with nearly half believing that this country isn't "great" and many eyeing the U.S. flag as "a sign of intolerance and hatred." With millennials and Generation Z rapidly becoming the largest voting bloc in America for the next 20 years, their priorities are taking center stage. When it comes to foreign policy and war, as it happens, they're quite different from the generations that preceded them. According to the Chicago Council of Global Affairs ,

"Each successor generation is less likely than the previous to prioritize maintaining superior military power worldwide as a goal of U.S. foreign policy, to see U.S. military superiority as a very effective way of achieving U.S. foreign policy goals, and to support expanding defense spending. At the same time, support for international cooperation and free trade remains high across the generations. In fact, younger Americans are more inclined to support cooperative approaches to U.S. foreign policy and more likely to feel favorably towards trade and globalization."

Although marches are the most public way to protest, another striking but understated way is simply not to engage with the systems one doesn't agree with. For instance, the vast majority of today's teenagers aren't at all interested in joining the all-volunteer military. Last year, for the first time since the height of the Iraq war 13 years ago, the Army fell thousands of troops short of its recruiting goals. That trend was emphasized in a 2017 Department of Defense poll that found only 14 percent of respondents ages 16 to 24 said it was likely they'd serve in the military in the coming years. This has the Army so worried that it has been refocusing its recruitment efforts on creating an entirely new strategy aimed specifically at Generation Z.

In addition, we're finally seeing what happens when soldiers from America's post-9/11 wars come home infused with a sense of hopelessness in relation to those conflicts. These days, significant numbers of young veterans have been returning disillusioned and ready to lobby Congress against wars they once, however unknowingly, bought into. Look no further than a new left-right alliance between two influential veterans groups, VoteVets and Concerned Veterans for America, to stop those forever wars. Their campaign, aimed specifically at getting Congress to weigh in on issues of war and peace, is emblematic of what may be a diverse potential movement coming together to oppose America's conflicts. Another veterans group, Common Defense, is similarly asking politicians to sign a pledge to end those wars. In just a couple of months, they've gotten on board 10 congressional sponsors, including freshmen heavyweights in the House of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.

And this may just be the tip of a growing antiwar iceberg. A misconception about movement-building is that everyone is there for the same reason, however broadly defined. That's often not the case and sometimes it's possible that you're in a movement and don't even know it. If, for instance, I asked a room full of climate-change activists whether they also considered themselves part of an antiwar movement, I can imagine the denials I'd get. And yet, whether they know it or not, sooner or later fighting climate change will mean taking on the Pentagon's global footprint, too.

Think about it: not only is the U.S. military the world's largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels but, according to a new report from Brown University's Costs of War Project, between 2001 and 2017, it released more than 1.2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (400 million of which were related to the war on terror). That's equivalent to the emissions of 257 million passenger cars, more than double the number currently on the road in the U.S.

A Growing Antiwar Movement in Congress

One way to sense the growth of antiwar sentiment in this country is to look not at the empty streets or even at veterans organizations or recruitment polls, but at Congress. After all, one indicator of a successful movement, however incipient, is its power to influence and change those making the decisions in Washington. Since Donald Trump was elected, the most visible evidence of growing antiwar sentiment is the way America's congressional policymakers have increasingly become engaged with issues of war and peace. Politicians, after all, tend to follow the voters and, right now, growing numbers of them seem to be following rising antiwar sentiment back home into an expanding set of debates about war and peace in the age of Trump.

In campaign season 2016, in an op-ed in The Washington Post , political scientist Elizabeth Saunders wondered whether foreign policy would play a significant role in the presidential election. "Not likely," she concluded. "Voters do not pay much attention to foreign policy." And at the time, she was on to something. For instance, Sen. Bernie Sanders, then competing for the Democratic presidential nomination against Hillary Clinton, didn't even prepare stock answers to basic national security questions, choosing instead, if asked at all, to quickly pivot back to more familiar topics. In a debate with Clinton, for instance, he was asked whether he would keep troops in Afghanistan to deal with the growing success of the Taliban. In his answer, he skipped Afghanistan entirely, while warning only vaguely against a "quagmire" in Iraq and Syria.

Heading for 2020, Sanders is once again competing for the nomination, but instead of shying away from foreign policy, starting in 2017, he became the face of what could be a new American way of thinking when it comes to how we see our role in the world.

In February 2018, Sanders also became the first senator to risk introducing a war powers resolution to end American support for the brutal Saudi-led war in Yemen. In April 2019, with the sponsorship of other senators added to his, the bill ultimately passed the House and the Senate in an extremely rare showing of bipartisanship, only to be vetoed by President Trump. That such a bill might pass the House, no less a still-Republican Senate, even if not by a veto-proof majority, would have been unthinkable in 2016. So much has changed since the last election that support for the Yemen resolution has now become what Tara Golshan at Vox termed "a litmus test of the Democratic Party's progressive shift on foreign policy."

Nor, strikingly enough, is Sanders the only Democratic presidential candidate now running on what is essentially an antiwar platform. One of the main aspects of Elizabeth Warren's foreign policy plan, for instance, is to "seriously review the country's military commitments overseas, and that includes bringing U.S. troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq." Entrepreneur Andrew Yang and former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel have joined Sanders and Warren in signing a pledge to end America's forever wars if elected. Beto O'Rourke has called for the repeal of Congress's 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force that presidents have cited ever since whenever they've sent American forces into battle. Marianne Williamson , one of the many (unlikely) Democratic candidates seeking the nomination, has even proposed a plan to transform America's "wartime economy into a peace-time economy, repurposing the tremendous talents and infrastructure of [America's] military industrial complex to the work of promoting life instead of death."

And for the first time ever, three veterans of America's post-9/11 wars -- Seth Moulton and Tulsi Gabbard of the House of Representatives, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg -- are running for president, bringing their skepticism about American interventionism with them. The very inclusion of such viewpoints in the presidential race is bound to change the conversation, putting a spotlight on America's wars in the months to come.

Get on Board or Get Out of the Way

When trying to create a movement, there are three likely outcomes : you will be accepted by the establishment, or rejected for your efforts, or the establishment will be replaced, in part or in whole, by those who agree with you. That last point is exactly what we've been seeing, at least among Democrats, in the Trump years. While 2020 Democratic candidates for president, some of whom have been in the political arena for decades, are gradually hopping on the end-the-endless-wars bandwagon, the real antiwar momentum in Washington has begun to come from new members of Congress like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Ilhan Omar who are unwilling to accept business as usual when it comes to either the Pentagon or the country's forever wars. In doing so, moreover, they are responding to what their constituents actually want.

As far back as 2014, when a University of Texas-Austin Energy Poll asked people where the U.S. government should spend their tax dollars, only 7 percent of respondents under 35 said it should go toward military and defense spending. Instead, in a "pretty significant political shift" at the time, they overwhelmingly opted for their tax dollars to go toward job creation and education. Such a trend has only become more apparent as those calling for free public college, Medicare-for-all, or a Green New Deal have come to realize that they could pay for such ideas if America would stop pouring trillions of dollars into wars that never should have been launched.

The new members of the House of Representatives, in particular, part of the youngest, most diverse crew to date , have begun to replace the old guard and are increasingly signalling their readiness to throw out policies that don't work for the American people, especially those reinforcing the American war machine. They understand that by ending the wars and beginning to scale back the military-industrial complex, this country could once again have the resources it needs to fix so many other problems.

In May, for instance, Omar tweeted , "We have to recognize that foreign policy IS domestic policy. We can't invest in health care, climate resilience, or education if we continue to spend more than half of discretionary spending on endless wars and Pentagon contracts. When I say we need something equivalent to the Green New Deal for foreign policy, it's this."

Ilhan Omar @IlhanMN

We have to recognize that foreign policy IS domestic policy. We can't invest in health care, climate resilience or education if we continue to spend more than half of discretionary spending on endless wars and Pentagon contracts. http://www. startribune.com/rep-ilhan-omar -with-perspective-of-a-foreigner-sets-ambitious-global-agenda/510489882/?om_rid=3005497801&om_mid=317376969&refresh=true

7,176 3:24 PM - May 28, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy Rep. Ilhan Omar, with 'perspective of a foreigner,' sets ambitious global agenda

From her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and with a growing international reputation, the former refugee is wading into debates over various global hot spots and controversies.

startribune.com

2,228 people are talking about this

A few days before that, at a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing, Ocasio-Cortez confronted executives from military contractor TransDigm about the way they were price-gouging the American taxpayer by selling a $32 "non-vehicular clutch disc" to the Department of Defense for $1,443 per disc. "A pair of jeans can cost $32; imagine paying over $1,000 for that," she said. "Are you aware of how many doses of insulin we could get for that margin? I could've gotten over 1,500 people insulin for the cost of the margin of your price gouging for these vehicular discs alone."

And while such ridiculous waste isn't news to those of us who follow Pentagon spending closely, this was undoubtedly something many of her millions of supporters hadn't thought about before. After the hearing, Teen Vogue created a list of the "5 most ridiculous things the United States military has spent money on," comedian Sarah Silverman tweeted out the AOC hearing clip to her 12.6 million followers, Will and Grace actress Debra Messing publicly expressed her gratitude to AOC, and according to Crowdtangle, a social media analytics tool, the NowThis clip of her in that congressional hearing garnered more than 20 million impressions.

Ocasio-Cortez calling out costs charged by military contractor TransDigm. (YouTube)

Not only are members of Congress beginning to call attention to such undercovered issues, but perhaps they're even starting to accomplish something. Just two weeks after that contentious hearing, TransDigm agreed to return $16.1 million in excess profits to the Department of Defense. "We saved more money today for the American people than our committee's entire budget for the year," said House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings.

Of course, antiwar demonstrators have yet to pour into the streets, even though the wars we're already involved in continue to drag on and a possible new one with Iran looms on the horizon. Still, there seems to be a notable trend in antiwar opinion and activism. Somewhere just under the surface of American life lurks a genuine, diverse antiwar movement that appears to be coalescing around a common goal: getting Washington politicians to believe that antiwar policies are supportable, even potentially popular. Call me an eternal optimist, but someday I can imagine such a movement helping end those disastrous wars.

Allegra Harpootlian is a media associate at ReThink Media , where she works with leading experts and organizations at the intersection of national security, politics, and the media. She principally focuses on U.S. drone policies and related use-of-force issues. She is also a political partner with the Truman National Security Project . Find her on Twitter @ally_harp .

This article is from TomDispatch.com .


Edwin Stamm , July 5, 2019 at 10:40

"How Obama demobilized the antiwar movement"
By Brad Plumer
August 29, 2013
Washington Post

"Reihan Salam points to a 2011 paper by sociologists Michael T. Heaney and Fabio Rojas, who find that antiwar protests shrunk very quickly after Obama took office in 2008 -- mainly because Democrats were less likely to show up:

Drawing upon 5,398 surveys of demonstrators at antiwar protests, interviews with movement leaders, and ethnographic observation, this article argues that the antiwar movement demobilized as Democrats, who had been motivated to participate by anti-Republican sentiments, withdrew from antiwar protests when the Democratic Party achieved electoral success, if not policy success in ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Heaney and Rojas begin by puzzling over a paradox. Obama ran as an antiwar candidate, but his first few years in office were rather different: "As president, Obama maintained the occupation of Iraq and escalated the war in Afghanistan. The antiwar movement should have been furious at Obama's 'betrayal' and reinvigorated its protest activity. Instead, attendance at antiwar rallies declined precipitously and financial resources available to the movement dissipated.""

Rob , July 4, 2019 at 14:20

The author may be too young to realize that the overwhelming driving force in the anti-Vietnam War movement was hundreds of thousands of young men who were at risk of being drafted and sent to fight, die and kill in that godforsaken war. As the movement grew, it gathered in millions of others as well. Absent the military draft today, most of America's youth don't seem to give half a damn about the current crimes of the U.S. military. As the saying goes: They have no skin in the game.

bardamu , July 3, 2019 at 20:21

There has again been some shift in Sanders' public positions, while Tulsi Gabbard occupies a position that was not represented in '16, and HR Clinton was more openly bent on war than anyone currently at the table, though perhaps because that much of her position had become so difficult to deny over the years.

That said, Clinton lost to Obama in '08 because she could not as effectively deny her militarism. There was at the time within the Democratic Party more and clearer movement against the wars than there is now. One might remember the run for candidacy of Dennis Kucinich, for example. The 8 years of the Obama regime were a consistent frustration and disappointment to any antiwar or anticorporate voice within the Democratic Party, but complaints were muted because many would not speak against a Blue or a Black president. More than at any prior time, corporate media spokespersons could endorse radically pro-corporate positions and imply or accuse their opposition of racism.

That leaves it unclear, however, what any antiwar voices have to do with the Democratic Party itself, particularly if we take "the party" to mean the political organization itself as opposed to the people whom it claims to represent. The Party and the DNC were major engines in the rigging of the 2016 Democratic nomination–and also, lest we forget, contributors to the Donald Trump nomination campaign.

It should not escape us, as we search for souls and soulfulness among these remnants of Democratic Parties Past, that any turn of the party against war is surely due to Hillary Clinton's loss to presumed patsy candidate Donald Trump in 2016–the least and second-least popular major presidential contenders in history, clearly, in whichever order one wishes to put them.

There is some value in realism, then. So as much as one hates to criticize a Bernie Sanders in anything like the present field that he runs in, his is not a consistently antiwar position: he has gone back and forth. Tulsi Gabbard is the closest thing to an antiwar candidate within the Party. And under even under the most favorable circumstances, 2020 is at best not her year.

Most big money says war. scorched earth, steep hierarchy, and small constitution. Any who don't like it had best speak up and act up.

Jim Glover , July 3, 2019 at 17:43

I am for Tulsi, a Senator from Hawaii not a rep as this article says. Folk Music was in when the peace movement was strong and building, the same for Folk Rock who songs also had words you could get without Google.

So my way of "hoping" for an Anti-War/Peace Movement is to have a Folk Revival in my mind.

Nathan Mulcahy , July 3, 2019 at 14:11

The answer to the question why anti war movement is dead is so simple and obvious but apparently invisible to most Dems/libs/progressives (excuse my inability to discern the distinctions between labels). The answer points to our onetime "peace" president Obama. As far as foreign interventions go (and domestic spying, among other things) Obama had continued Baby Bush's policy. Even worse, Obama had given a bipartisan seal of approval (and legality) to most of Baby Bush's crimes. In other words, for 8 years, meaning during the "peace" president's reign, the loyal "lefty" sheeple have held their mouth when it came to war and peace.

Obama and the Dems have very effectively killed the ant war movement

P.Brooks , July 3, 2019 at 12:54

No More War

Don Bacon , July 3, 2019 at 12:29

The establishment will always be pro-war because there's so much money in it. Street demonstrations will never change that, as we recently learned with Iraq. The only strategy that has a chance of working is anti-enlistment. If they don't have the troops they can't invade anywhere, and recruitment is already a problem. It needs to be a bigger problem.

Anonymot , July 3, 2019 at 11:51

Sorry, ALL of these Democrat wannabes save one is ignorant of foreign affairs, foreign policy and its destruction of what they blather on about – domestic vote-getting sky pies. Oh yes, free everything: schools, health care, social justices and services. It's as though the MIC has not stolen the money from the public's pockets to get rich by sending cheap fodder out there to get killed and wounded, amputated physically and mentally.

Hillary signed the papers and talked the brainless idiocy that set the entire Middle East on fire, because she couldn't stand the sight of a man with no shirt on and sitting on the Russian equivalent of a Harley. She hates men, because she drew a bad one. Huma was better company. Since she didn't know anything beyond the superficial, she did whatever the "experts" whispered in her ears: War! Obama was in the same boat. The target, via gaining total control of oil from Libya to Syria and Iran was her Putin hate. So her experts set up the Ukraine. The "experts" are the MIC/CIA and our fearless, brainless, corrupt military. They have whispered the same psychotic message since the Gulf of Tonkin. We've lost to everyone with whom we've crossed swords and left them devastated and America diminished save for the few.

So I was a Sanders supporter until he backed the warrior woman and I, like millions of others backed off of her party. It's still her party. Everyone just loves every victim of every kind. They all spout minor variations on the same themes while Trump and his neocons quietly install their right wing empire. Except for one who I spotted when she had the independence to go look for herself in Syria.

Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate to be the candidate who has a balance of well thought through, realistic foreign policy as well as the domestic non-extremist one. She has the hurdle of being a too-pretty woman, of being from the remotest state, and not being a screamer. Even this article, written about peace by a woman fails to talk about her.

Tulsi has the registered voter count and a respectable budget, but the New York Times which is policy-controlled by a few of Hillary's billionaire friends has consistently shut her out, because Tulsi left the corrupt Hillary-owned DNC to back Sanders and Hillary never forgave her.

If you want to know who is against Trump and war, take 5 minutes and listen to what she really said during the 1st debate where the CBS folks gave her little room to talk. It will change your outlook on what really is possible.

https://www.tulsi2020.com/a/first-democratic-debate

P.Brooks , July 3, 2019 at 13:53

Hi Anonymot; I also exited my Sanders support after over 100 cash donations and over a years painful effort. I will never call him Bernie again; now it is Sanders, since Bernie makes him sound cute and cute was not the word that came into my mind as Mr. Sanders missed his world moment at the democratic election and backed Hillary Clinton (I can not vote for EVIL). Sanders then proceeded to give part of my money to the DNC & to EVIL Hillary Clinton.

So then what now? Easy as Pie; NO MORE DEMOCRATS EVER. The DNC & DCCC used Election Fraud & Election Crimes blatantly to beat Bernie Sanders. Right out in the open. The DNC & DCCC are War Mongering more then the Republicans which is saying allot. The mass media and major Internet Plateforms like Goggle & Facebook are all owned by Evil Oligarchs that profit from WAR and blatantly are today suppressing all dissenting opinions (anti Free Speech).

I stopped making cash donation to Tulsi Gabbard upon the realization that the Democrats were not at all a force for Life or Good and instead were a criminal organization. The voting for the lessor of two EVILs is 100% STUPID.

I told Tim Canova I could not support any Democrat ever again as I told Tulsi Gabbard. Tulsi is still running as a criminal democrat. If she would run independent of the DNC then I would start to donate cash to her again. End of my story about Tulsi. I do like her antiwar dialog, but there is no; so called changing, the DNC from the inside. The Oligarchs own the DNC and are not supportive of "We The People" or the Constitution, or the American Republic.

The end of Tim Canova's effort was he was overtly CHEATED AGAIN by the DNC's Election Fraud & Election Crimes in his 2018 run for congress against Hillary Clinton's 100% corrupt campaign manager; who congress seated even over Tim's asking them not to seat her until his law suites on her election crimes against him were assessed. Election crimes and rigged voting machines in Florida are a way of life now and have been for decades and decades.

All elections must be publicly funded. All votes must be on paper ballots and accessible for recounts and that is just the very minimums needed to start changing the 100% corrupted election system we Americans have been railroaded into.

The supreme Court has recently ruled that gerrymandering is OK. The supreme court has proven to be a political organization with their Bush Gore decision and now are just political hacks and as such need to be ELECTED not appointed. Their rulings that Money is Free Speech & that Corporations are People has disenfranchised "We the People". That makes the Supreme Court a tool to be used by the world money elite to overturn the constitution of the United States of America.

No More War. No More War. No More War.

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 16:40

Absolutely spot-on, superb comment, P .Brooks.

DW

Nathan Mulcahy , July 3, 2019 at 18:08

I saw the light (with what the Dems are really about) after Kucinich's candidacy. That made me one of the very few lefties in my circle not to have voted for Obama even the first time around. I hear a lot of talk about trying to reform the party from inside. Utter bu** sh**. "You cannot reform Mafia".

Ever since Kucinich, I have been voting Green. No, this is not a waste of my vote. Besides, I cannot be complicit to war crimes – that's what it makes anyone who votes for either of the two parties.

Steven , July 3, 2019 at 13:56

Wow you said a mouthful. It's worse than that its a cottage industry that includes gun running, drug running and human trafficking netting Trillions to the MIC, CIA and other alphabet agencies you can't fight the mark of the beast.

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:01

I fully back/endorse Gabbard, but

The battering of Bernie is not fair. He is NOT a Democrat, therefore him being able to get "inside" that party to run AS a Dem put him in a tenuous situation. He really had no option other than to support HRC lest his movement, everyone's movement, would get extra hammering by the neocons and status quo powers. He wouldn't be running, again, had he not done this. Yeah, it's a bad taste, I get it, but had he disavowed HRC would the outcome -Trump- been any different? The BLAME goes fully on the DNC and the Clintons. Full stop.

I do not see AOC as a full progressive. She is only doing enough to make it appear so. The Green New Deal is stolen from the Green Party and is watered down. Think of this as "Obama Care" for the planet. As you should know, Gabbard's Off Fossil Fuels Act (OFF) actually has real teeth in it: and is closer to the Green Party's positions.

I support movements and positions. PRIMARY is peace. Gabbard, though not a pacifist, has the right path on all of this: I've been around long enough to understand exactly how she's approaching all of this. She is, however, taking on EVERYONE. As powerful a person as she is (she has more fortitude than the entire lot of combined POTUS candidates put together) going to require MASSIVE support; sadly, -to this point- this article doesn't help by implying that people aren't interested in foreign policy (it perpetuates the blockout of it- people have to be reeducated on its importance- not something that the MIC wants), people aren't yet able to see the connections. The education will occur will it happen in a timely way such that people would elect Gabbard? (things can turn on a dime, history has shown this; she has the makeup that suggests that she's going to have a big role in making history).

I did not support Bernie (and so far have not- he's got ample support; if it comes down to it he WILL get my vote- and I've held off voting for many years because there's been no real "peace" candidate on the plate). Gabbard, however, has my support now, and likely till the day I die: I've been around long enough to know what constitutes a great leader, and not since the late 60s have we had anyone like her. If Bernie gets the nomination it is my prediction that he will have Gabbard high on his staff, if not as VP: a sure fire way to win is to have Gabbard as VP.

I'm going to leave this for folks to contemplate as to whether Gabbard is real or not:

http://www.brasilwire.com/holy-war/

[excerpt:]

In a context in which Rio de Janeiro's evangelical churches have been accused of laundering money for the drug trafficking gangs, all elements of Afro-Brazilian culture including caipoeira, Jango drumming, and participation in Carnaval parades, have been banned by the traffickers in many favelas.

[end excerpt]

"caipoeria," is something that Gabbard has practiced:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw-njAmvZ80

"I trained in different martial arts since I was a kid including Capoeira -- an amazing art created by slaves in Brazil who were training to fight and resist against their slave masters, disguising their training with music, acrobatics, and dance. Yesterday I joined my friends Mestre Kinha and others at Capoeira Besouro Hawai'i for their batizado ceremony and some fun! " – Tulsi Gabbard December 9, 2018

The GOAL is to get her into the upper halls of governing power. If the people cannot see fit to it then I'll support Sanders (in the end) so that he can do it.

Harpootlian claims to see what's going on, but, unfortunately, she's not able to look close enough.

Anonymot, thank you for leading out here with Gabbard and her message.

michael , July 4, 2019 at 08:10

If Gabbard had the MSM coverage Buttigieg has received she probably be leading in the polls. It is surprising(?) that this supposedly anti-war author mentions corporatist Mayor Pete but not Gabbard.

David , July 4, 2019 at 19:55

She DOES (briefly)mention Gabbard, but she missed the fact that Gabbard is the most strongly anti-war candidate. She gets it entirely wrong about Buttigieg, who is strikingly pro-war, and supports getting in to a war with Iran.

Robert Harrow , July 3, 2019 at 15:54

And sadly, Ms. Gabbard is mired at the 1% mark in the polls, even after having performed so well in the debate.
This seems to me an indication of the public's lack of caring about our foreign wars.

antonio Costa , July 3, 2019 at 19:06

The reason she's "mired" is because a number of polls don't include her!! However they include, Marianne Williamson.

How's that for inverse totalitarianism par excellence .

Skip Scott , July 4, 2019 at 07:05

I did see one poll that had her at 2%. And given the reputation of many polling outfits, I take any professed results with a grain of salt. Tulsi's press coverage (what little she gets) has been mostly defamatory to the point of being libelous. If her strong performance continues in the primary debates despite all efforts to sabotage her, I think she could make a strong showing. That said, at some point she will have to renounce the DNC controlled democratic party and run as an Independent if she wants to make the General Election debates for 2020.

Piotr Berman , July 3, 2019 at 21:15

"Hillary signed the papers and talked the brainless idiocy that set the entire Middle East on fire, because she couldn't stand the sight of a man with no shirt on and sitting on the Russian equivalent of a Harley. She hates men "

If I were to psychologize, I would conjecture more un-gendered stereotype, namely that of a good student. He/she diligently learns in all classes from the prescribed textbooks and reading materials, and, alas, American education on foreign affairs is dominated by retirees from CIA and other armchair warriors. Of course, nothing wrong about good students in general, but I mean the type that is obedient, devoid of originality and independent thinking. When admonished, he/she remembers the pain for life and strives hard not to repeat it. E.g. as First Lady, Hillary kissed Arafat's wife to emulate Middle East custom, and NY tabloids had a feast for months.

Concerning Tulsi, no Hillary-related conspiracy is needed to explain the behavior of the mass media. Tulsi is a heretic to the establishment, and their idea is to be arbiters of what and who belongs to the "mainstream", and what is radical, marginal etc. Tulsi richly deserves her treatment. Confronted with taunts like "so you would prefer X to stay in power" (Assad, Maduro etc.) she replies that it should not be up to USA to decide who stays in power, especially if no better scenario is in sight. The gall, the cheek!

Strangely enough, Tulsi gets this treatment in places like The Nation and Counterpunch. As the hitherto "radical left" got a whiff of being admitted to the hallowed mainstream from time to time, they try to be "responsible".

Mary Jones-Giampalo , July 4, 2019 at 00:39

Yes! Thank You I was gritting my teeth reading this article #Tulsi2020

Eddie , July 3, 2019 at 11:42

The end of the anti-war movement expired when the snake-oil pitchman with the toothy smile and dark skin brought his chains we could beleive in to the White House. The so-called progressives simply went to sleep while they never criticized Barack Obama for escalating W. Bush's wars and tax cuts for the rich.

The fake left wing in the US remained silent when Obama dumped trillions of dollars into the vaults of his bankster pals as he stole the very homes from the people who voted him into office. Then along came the next hope and change miracle worker Bernie Sanders. Only instead of working miracles for the working class, Sanders showed his true colors when he fcuked his constituents to support the hated Hillary Clinton.

Let's start facing reality. The two-party dictatorship does not care about you unless you can pony up the big bucks like their masters in the oligarchy and the soulless corporations do. Unless and until workers end to the criminal stranglehold that the big-business parties and the money class have on the government, things will continue to slide into the abyss.

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 11:33

An informed awareness of imperialism must also include an analysis of how "technology" is used and abused, from the use of "superior" weaponry against people who do not have such weapons, from blunderbuss and sailing ships, to B-52s and napalm, up to and including technology that may be "weaponized" against civilian populations WiTHIN a society, be it 24/7 surveillance or robotics and AI that could permit elites to dispense with any "need", on the part of the elites, to tolerate the very existence of a laborung class, or ANY who earn their wealth through actual work, from maids to surgeons, from machine operators to professors.

Any assumption, that any who "work", even lawyers or military officers, can consider their occupation or profession as "safe", is to assume that the scapegoating will stop with those the highly paid regard as "losers", such comfortable assumption may very well prove as illusory and ephemeral as an early morning mist before the hot and merciless Sun rises.

The very notions of unfettered greed and limitless power, resulting in total control, must be recognized as the prime drivers of endless war and shock-doctrine capitalism which, combined, ARE imperialism, unhinged and insane.

michael , July 3, 2019 at 11:06

This article is weak. Anyone who could equate Mayor Pete or the eleven Democrat "ex"-military and CIA analysts who gained seats in Congress in 2018 as anti-war is clueless. Tulsi Gabbard is anti-regime change war, but is in favor of fighting "terrorists" (created mostly by our CIA and Israel with Saudi funding). Mike Gravel is the only true totally anti-war 'candidate' and he supports Gabbard as the only anti-War of the Democrats.
In WWI, 90% of Americans who served were drafted, in WWII over 60% of Americans who served were drafted. The Vietnam War "peace demonstrations" were more about the Draft, and skin-in-the-game, than about War. Nixon and Kissinger abolished the Draft (which stopped most anti-war protests), but continued carpet bombing Vietnam and neighboring countries (Operations Menu, Freedom Deal, Patio, etc), and Vietnamized the War which was already lost, although the killing continued through 1973. The abolition of the Draft largely gutted the anti-war movement. Sporadic protests against Bush/ Cheney over Afghanistan and Iraq essentially disappeared under Obama/ Hillary in Afghanistan and Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan. Since their National Emergency proclamations no longer ever end, we are in a position to attack Venezuela (Obama), Ukraine (Obama), South Sudan (Obama), Iran (Carter, Clinton), Libya (Obama), Somalia (Obama), Yemen (Obama), Nicaragua (Trump) and even Burundi (Obama) and the Central African Republic (Obama). The continuing support of death squads in Honduras and other Latin American countries ("stability is more important than democracy") has contributed to the immigration crises over the last five years.
As Pelosi noted about Democratic progressives "there are like five of them". Obama not only failed to reverse any of the police state and warmongering of Bush/Cheney, he expanded both police state (arresting and prosecuting Chelsea Manning for exposing war crimes, as well as more whistleblowers than anyone in history), and wars in seven Arab Muslim countries. Black Americans, who had always been an anti-War bloc prior to Obama, converted to the new America. The Congressional Democrats joined with Republicans to give more to the military budget than requested by Trump. (Clinton squandered the Peace Dividend when the Soviet Union fell, and Lee Camp has exposed the $21 TRILLION "lost" by the Pentagon.)
The young author see anti-war improvements that are not there. The US is more pro-war in its foreign policies than at any time in its history. When there was a Draft, the public would not tolerate decades of war (lest their young men died). Sanctions are now the first attack (usually by National Emergencies!); the 500,000 Iraqi children killed by Clinton's sanctions (Madeline Albright: "we think it was worth it!") is just sadism and psychopathy at the top, which is necessary for War.

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 11:38

Superb comment, michael, very much agreed with and appreciated.

DW

Anonymot , July 3, 2019 at 12:06

You are absolutely right. Obama and Hillary were the brilliant ideas of the MIC/CIA when they realized that NO ONE the Republicans put up after Bush baby's 2nd round. They chose 2 "victims" black & woman) who would do what they were told to do in order to promote their causes (blacks & get-filthy rich.) The first loser would get the next round. And that's exactly what happened until Hillary proved to be so unacceptable that she was rejected. We traded no new war for an administration leading us into a neo-nazi dictatorship.

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:04

Thank you for this comment!

Mickey , July 3, 2019 at 10:47

Tulsi Gabbard is the only peace candidate in the Democratic Party

Mary Jones-Giampalo , July 4, 2019 at 00:41

Absolutely! #Tulsi2020

peter mcloughlin , July 3, 2019 at 10:43

Many current crises have the potential to escalate into a major confrontation between the nuclear powers, similar to the Cuban missile crisis, though there is no comparable sense of alarm. Then, tensions were at boiling point, when a small military exchange could have led to nuclear annihilation. Today there are many more such flashpoint – Syria, the South China Sea, Iran, Ukraine to name a few. Since the end of the Cold War there has been a gradual movement towards third world war. Condemnation of an attack on Iran must include, foremost, the warning that it could lead the US into a confrontation with a Sino-Russian alliance. The warning from history is states go to war over interests, but ultimately – and blindly – end up getting the very war they need to avoid: even nuclear war, where the current trend is going.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 10:36

Many truly superb, well-informed, and very enlightening comments on this thread.

My very great appreciation to this site, to its authors, and to its exceptionally thoughtful and articulate commenters.

DW

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 10:20

I appreciate this author's perspective, research, and optimism.

Clearly, the young ARE far more open to embracing a future less warlike and hegemonic, while far too many of my generation are wedded to childish myth and fantasy around U$ driven mayhem.

However, I would suggest that vision be broadened beyond opposition to war, which opposition, while important, must be expanded to opposition to the larger issue of imperialism, itself.

Imperialism is not merely war, it includes economic warfare, both sanctions, internationally, and predatory debt loads, domestically, in very many nations of the world, as well as privatization of the commons (which must be understood to include all resources necessary to human existence).

Perpetual war, which profits only the few, is driven by precisely the same aims as pitting workers against each other, worldwide, in a "game" of "race to the bottom", creating "credit" rather than raising wages, thus creating life-long indebtedness of the many, which only benefits monopolized corporate interests, as does corporate ownership of such necessities as water, food production, and most channels of communication, which permits corporations to easily shape public perception toward whatever ends suit corporate purposes while also ensuring that deeper awareness of what is actually occurring is effectively stifled, deplatformed, or smeared as dangerous foreign fake news or as hidden, or even as blatant, racial or religious hatred.

Above all, it is critically important that all these interrelated aspects of deliberate domination, control, and diminishment, ARE talked about, openly, that we all may have better grasp of who really aligns with creating serious systemic change, especially as traditionally assumed "tendencies" are shifting, quickly and even profoundly.

For example, as many here point out, the Democrats are now as much a war party as the Republicans, "traditionally" have been, even as there is clear evidence that the Republican "base" is becoming less willing to go to war than are the Democratic "base", as CNN and MSNBC media outlets strive to incite a new Cold War and champion and applaud aggression in Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

It is the elite Democratic "leadership" and most Democratic Presidential hopefuls who now preach or excuse war and aggression, with few actual exceptions, and none of them, including Tulsi Gabbard, have come anywhere near openly discussing or embracing, the end of U$ imperialism.

Both neoliberal and neocon philosophies are absolutely dedicated to imperialism in all its destructive, even terminal, manifestations.

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:16

Exactly!

Gabbard has spoken out against sanctions. She understands that they're just another form of war.

The younger generations won't be able to financially support imperialist activities. And, they won't be, as the statements to their enlistment numbers suggest, able to "man the guns." I'm thinking that TPTB are aware of this (which is why a lot of drone and other automation of war machinery has been stepped up).

The recent alliance of Soros and Charles Koch, the Quincy Institute, is, I believe, a KEY turning point. Pretty much everything Gabbard is saying/calling for is this institute's mission statement: and people ought to note that Gabbard has been in Charles Koch's circle- might very well be that Gabbard has already influenced things in a positive way.

I also believe that all the great independent journalists, publishers (Assange taking the title here) and whistleblowers (Manning taking the title here) have made a HUGE impact. Bless them all.

O Society , July 3, 2019 at 09:48

The US government consistently uses psychological operations on its own citizens to manufacture consent to kill anyone and everyone. Meaningless propaganda phrases such as "Support Our Troops" and "National Security" and "War on Terror" are thrown around to justify genocides and sieges and distract us from murder. There is no left wing or in American politics and there has not been one since the inauguration of Ronald Reagan. All we have is neoconservatives and neoliberals representing the business party for four decades. Killing is our business and business is good. Men are as monkeys with guns when it comes to politics and religion.

http://osociety.org/2019/07/03/the-science-of-influencing-people-six-ways-to-win-an-argument/

jmg , July 3, 2019 at 13:55

Seen on the street:

Support Our Troops
BRING THEM HOME NOW

https://media.salon.com/2003/03/the_billboard_bush_cant_see.jpg

Bob Van Noy , July 3, 2019 at 08:39

New

Bob Van Noy , July 3, 2019 at 08:42

New and better link here:
https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/_cache/files/7/e/7ebd2b61-aa29-49ac-9991-53a53da6a57f/3163D991E047042C0F52C929A2F60231.israel-syria-letter-5-21.pdf

Gregory Herr , July 3, 2019 at 21:40

One might be hard-pressed to find more outright perversions of reality in a mere two pages of text. Congratulations Congress, you have indeed surpassed yourself.

So it's those dastardly Russians and Iranians who are responsible for the destabilization of the Middle East, "complicating Israel's ability to defend itself from hostile action emanating from Syria." And apparently, it's the "ungoverned space" in Syria that has "allowed" for the rise of terrorist factions in Syria, that (we must be reminded) are ever poised to attack "Western targets, our allies and partners, and the U.S. homeland."

Good grief.

Bob Van Noy , July 3, 2019 at 08:29

Thank you Joe Lauria and Consortiumnews.

There is much wisdom and a good deal of personal experience being expressed on these pages. I especially want to thank IvyMike and Dao Gen. Ivy Mike you're so right about our troops in Vietnam from 1965 to 1968, draftees and volunteers, they fought what was clearly an internal civil war fought valiantly, beyond that point, Vietnam was a political mess for all involved. And Dao Gen all of your points are accurate.

As for our legislators, please read the linked Foreign Affairs press release signed by over 400 leglislators On May 20th., 2019 that address "threats to Syria" including the Russia threat. Clearly it will take action by the People and Peace candidates to end this travesty of a foreign policy.

https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/2019/5/nearly-400-lawmakers-call-on-trump-to-address-threats-in-syria

Is your legislator a signee of this list? All of mine are

James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 10:11

Vietnam a war triggered by the prevention of a mandated election by the USA which Ho Chi Minh was likely to win, who had already recently been Premier of a unified Vietnam.

Sorry, being courageous in a vicious cause is not honorable.

Speaking a true history and responsibility is honorable.

Bob Van Noy , July 3, 2019 at 11:07

No need to be sorry James Clooney. I did not mention honor in my comment, I mentioned valiant (courage and determination). American troupes ultimately fight honorably for each other not necessarily for country. This was the message and evaluation of Captain Hal Moore To General Westmorland And Robert McNamera after the initial engagement of US troops and NVA and can be viewed as a special feature of the largely inaccurate DVD "We Were Soldiers And Young).

Karen , July 3, 2019 at 07:59

The veterans group About Face is doing remarkable work against the imperial militarization that threatens to consume our country and possibly the world. This threat includes militarization of US police, a growing nuclear arms race, and so-called humanitarian wars. About Face is also working to train ordinary people as medics to take these skills into their communities whose members are on the front lines of police brutality.
Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate with a strong, enlightened understanding of the costs of our many imperial wars Costs to ourselves in the US and costs to the people we invade in order to "save" them. I voted for McGovern in 1972. I would vote for Tuldi's Gabbard in 2020 if given the chance.

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:35

Vote for her now by supporting her*! One cannot wait until the DNC (or other party) picks the candidate FOR us. Anyone serious about peace ought to support her, and do it now and far into the future. I have always supported candidates who are champions for peace, no matter their "party" or whatever: I did not, though I wish that I had, support Walter Jones -of Freedom Fries fame- after he did a 180 (Gabbard knew Jones, and respected him); it took a lot of guts for him to do this, but his honest (like Ron Paul proved) was proven and his voters accepted him (and likely shifted their views along with him).

* Yeah, one has to register giving money, but for a lousy $1 She has yet to qualify for the third debate (need 130k unique donations): and yet Yang has! (nothing against him, but come on, he is not "Commander in Chief" material [and at this time it is, as Gabbard repeats, the single most important part of being president]).

Mary Jones-Giampalo , July 4, 2019 at 00:43

Strongly agree Only Tulsi

triekc , July 3, 2019 at 07:14

Not surprising there was little or no antiwar sentiment in the newfound civic engagement after Trump's election, since the majority of those participating were supporters of the war criminals Obama, Clinton, and their corporate, war mongering DEM party. Those same people today, support Obama-chaperone Biden, or one of the other vetted corporate DEMs, including socialist-in-name-only Sanders, who signed the DEM loyalty oath promising to continue austerity for the poor, socialism for rich, deregulation, militarism, and global war hegemony. The only party with an antiwar blank was the Green Party, which captured >2% of the ~130 million votes in the rigged election- even though Stein is as competent as Clinton, certainly more competent than Trump, and the Green platform, unlike Sanders', explained how to pay for social and environmental programs by ending illegal wars in at least 7 countries, closing 1000 military command posts located all over earth, removing air craft carrier task forces from every ocean, cutting defense spending.

James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 10:22

I believe the CIA operation "CARWASH" was under Obama, which gave us Ultra fascism in one of the largest economies in the world, Brazil.

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 12:02

Superb comment, trieke, and I especially appreciate your mention of Jill Stein and the Green Party.

It is unfortunate that the the Green New Deal, championed by AOC is such a pale and intentionally pusillanimous copy of the Green New Deal articulated by Stein, which pointedly made clear that blind and blythe economic expansion must cease, that realistic natural constraints and carrying capacity be accepted and profligate energy squandering come to an end.

That a sane, humane, and sustainable economic system, wholly compatible with ecological responsibility can provide neaningful endeavor, justly compensated, for all, as was coherently addressed and explained to any who cared to examine the substance of that, actual, and realistic, original, GND.

Such a vision must be part of successfully challenging, and ending, U$ imperialism.

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:53

And Trump likely signed a GOP pledge. It's all superficial crap, nothing that is really written in stone.

I LOVE Stein. But for the sake of the planet we have little time to wait on getting the Green Party up to speed (to the clasp the levers of power). Unless Gabbard comes out on top (well, the ultimate, and my favorite, long-shot would be Gravel, but reality is something that I have to accept) it can only really be Sanders. I see a Sanders nomination as being the next best thing (and, really, the last hope as it all falls WAY off the cliff after that). He would most certainly have Gabbard along (if not as VP, which is the best strategy for winning, then as some other high-ranking, and meaningful cabinet member). Also, there are a lot of folks that would be coming in on his coattails. It is THESE people that will make the most difference: although he's got his flaws, Ro Kana would be a good top official. And, there are all the supporters who would help push. Sanders is WAY better than HRC (Obama and, of course, Trump). He isn't my favorite, but he has enough lean in him to allow others to help him push the door open: I'll accept him if that's what it take to get Gabbard into all of this.

Sometimes you DO have to infiltrate. Sanders is an infiltrator (not a Dem), though he treads lightly. Gabbard has already proven her intentions: directly confronted the DNC and the HRC machine (and her direct attack on the MIC is made very clear); and, she is indirectly endorsed by some of the best people out there who have run for POTUS: Jill Stein; Ron Paul; Mike Gravel. We cannot wait for the Dems (and the MIC) to disarm. We need to get inside "the building" and disarm. IF Sanders or Gabbard (and no Gravel) don't get the nomination THEN it is time to open up direct "warfare" and attack from the "outside" (at this time there should be enough big defectors to start swinging the tide).

Eddie S , July 3, 2019 at 23:34

Yes trieke, I voted for Stein in 2016, and I plan on voting Green Party again in 2020. I see too many fellow progressives/liberals/leftists (whatever the hell we want to call ourselves) agonizing about which compromised Democrat to vote-for, trying to weigh their different liabilities, etc. I've come to believe that my duty as a voter is to vote for the POTUS candidate/party whose stances/platform are closest to my views, and that's unequivocally the Green Party. My duty as a voter does NOT entail 'voting for a winner', that's just part of the two-party-con that the Dems & Reps run.

jmg , July 3, 2019 at 07:06

The big difference is that, during the Vietnam years, people could *see* the war. People talked a lot about "photographs that ended the Vietnam war", such as the napalm girl, etc.

The government noticed this. There were enormous pressures on the press, even a ban on returning coffin photos. Now, since the two Iraq wars, people *don't see* the reality of war. The TV and press don't show Afghanistan, don't show Yemen, didn't show the real Iraq excepting for Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange, who are in prison because of this.

And the wars go on:

"The US government and military are preventing the public from seeing photographs that depict the true horror of the Iraq war."

Dan Kennedy: Censorship of graphic Iraq war photographs -- 29 Jul 2008
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/jul/29/iraqandthemedia.usa

jmg , July 3, 2019 at 18:36

For example, we all know that mainstream media is war propaganda now, itself at war on truth and, apart from some convenient false flags to justify attacks, they very rarely let the very people suffering wars be heard to wake viewers up, and don't often even show this uncensored reality of war anymore, not like the true images of this old, powerful video:

Happy Xmas (War Is Over! If You Want It)

So this is Xmas
And what have you done
-- John Lennon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY7gPcDFwQc

Dao Gen , July 3, 2019 at 05:20

mbob -- thank you -- has already put this very well, but it is above all the Dems, especially Obama and the Clintons, who killed the antiwar movement. Obama was a fake, and his foreign policy became even more hawkish after Hillary resigned as SoS. His reduction of Libya, the richest state in Africa, to a feudal chaotic zone in which slavery is once more prominent and his attempt to demonize Syria, which has more semi-democracy and women's rights than any of the Islamic kingdoms the US supports as its allies, and turn Syria into a jihadi terrorist hell, as well as Obama's bombing of other nations and his sanctions on still other nations such as Venezuela, injured and killed at least as many people as did GW Bush's invasion of Iraq. Yet where was the antiwar movement? In the 21st century the US antiwar movement has gained most of its strength from anti-Repub hatred. The current uptick of antiwar feeling is probably due mostly to hatred of Trump. Yet Trump is the first president since Carter not to invade or make a major attack on a foreign country. As a businessman, his policy is to use economic warfare instead of military warfare.

I am not a Trump supporter, and strong sanctions are a war crime, and Trump is also slow to reduce some of Obama's overseas bombing and other campaigns, yet ironically he is surely closer to being a "peace president" than Obama. Moreover, a major reason Trump won in 2016 was that Hillary was regarded as the war and foreign intervention candidate, and in fact if Hillary had won, she probably would have invaded Syria to set up her infamous "no-fly zone" there, and she might have bombed Iran by now. We might even be in a war with Russia now. At the same time, under Trump the Dem leadership and the Dem-leaning MSM have pursued an unabashedly neocon policy of attacking from the right Trumps attempts at detente with Russia and scorning his attempts to negotiate a treaty with N Korea and to withdraw from Syria and Afghanistan. The main reason why Trump chose dangerous neocons like Bolton and Pompeo as advisors was probably to shield himself a little from the incessant and sometimes xenophobic attacks from the Dem leadership and the MSM. The Dem leadership seems motivated not only by hatred of Trump but also, and probably more importantly, by a desire to get donations from the military-industrial complex and a desire to ingratiate itself with the Intel Community and the surveillance state in order to get various favors. Look, for example, at Adam Schiff, cheerleader-in-chief for the IC. The system of massive collusion between the Dem party elite and the US deep state was not as advanced during the Vietnam War era as it is now. 2003 changed a lot of things.

The only Dem presidential candidates who are philosophically and securely antiwar are Gabbard and Gravel. Even Bernie (and even more so, Warren) can't be trusted to stand up to the deep state if elected, and anyway, Bernie's support for the Russiagate hoax by itself disqualifies him as an antiwar politician, while the Yemen bill he sponsored had a fatal loophole in it, as Bernie well knew. I love Bernie, but he is neither antiwar nor anti-empire. As for Seth Moulton, mentioned in the article, he is my Rep, and he makes some mild criticisms of the military, but he is a rabid hawk on Syria and Iran, and he recently voted for a Repub amendment that would have punished Americans who donate to BDS organizations. And as for the younger generation of Dems, they are not as antiwar as the article suggests. For every AOC among the newly elected Dems in 2018, there were almost two new Dems who are military vets or who formerly worked for intel agencies. This does not bode well. As long at the deep state, the Dem elite, and the MSM are tightly intertwined, there will be no major peace movement in the near future, even if a Dem becomes president. In fact, a Dem president might hinder the formation of a true antiwar movement. Perhaps when China becomes more powerful in ten or twenty years, the unipolar US empire and permanent war state will no longer look like a very good idea to a large number of Americans, and the idea of a peace movement will once again become realistic. The media have a major role to play in spreading truthful news about how the current US empire is hurting domestic living standards. Rather than hopey-hope wish lists, no-holds-barred reporting will surely play a big role.

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 12:05

Absolutely superb comment, Dao Gen.

DW

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 15:07

Another fine example of why I think there is hope! (some very sharp commentators!)

A strong leader can make all the difference. The example gets set from the top: not that this is my preference, just that it's the reality we have today. MLK Jr. was such a leader, though it was MANY great people that were in his movement/orbit that were the primary architects. I suppose you could say it's a "rally around the flag" kind of deal. Just as Trump stunned the System, I believe that it can be stunned from the "left" (the ultimate stunning would be from a Gravel win, but I'm thinking that Gabbard would be the one that has what it takes to slip past).

I really wish that people would start asking candidates who they think have been good cabinet members for various positions. This could help give an idea of the most important facet of an administration: who the POTUS selects as key cabinet members tells pretty much everything you need to know. Sadly, Trump had a shot at selecting Gabbard and passed on her: as much as I detest Trump, I gave him room in which to work away from the noecon/neolib death squads (to his credit he's mostly just stalemated them- for a rookie politician you could say that this has been an impressive feat; he's tried to instigate new wars but has, so far, "failed" [by design?]).

geeyp , July 3, 2019 at 01:19

"We saved more money today for the American people ." – Elijah Cummings. Yea? Well then, give it to us!! You owe us a return of our money that you have wasted for years.

mark , July 3, 2019 at 00:17

Same old, same old, same old, same old. Prospective candidates spewing out the same tired old hot air about how, this time, it really, really, really, really will be different. There won't be any more crazy multitrillion wars for Israel.
Honest. Just like Dubya. Just like Obomber. Just like the Orange Baboon. Whilst simultaneously begging for shekels from Adelson, Saban, Singer, Marcus.

And this is the "new anti war movement." Yeah.

Tom Kath , July 3, 2019 at 00:04

Every extreme elicits an extreme response. Our current western pacifist obsession is no exception. By prohibiting argument, disagreement, verbal conflict, and the occasional playground "dust up" on a personal level, you seem to make the seemingly less personal war inevitable.

Life on earth is simply not possible without "a bit of biff".

James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 09:38

An aware person may not react extremely to a extreme. USA slaughtered 5 to 10 million Vietnamese for no apparent reason other than projection of power yet the Vietnamese trade with the USA today.

Who prohibits argument? Certainly not those with little power; it's the militarily and politically powerful that crush dissent, (Tinamen Square , Occupy Wall Street). How much dissent does the military allow? Why is Assange being persecuted?

I believe even the most militant pacifist would welcome a lively debate on murder, death and genocide, as a channel for education and edification.

Antonio Costa , July 2, 2019 at 20:53

Weak essay. AOC hops from cause to cause. She rarely/ever says anything about US regime change wars, and the bombing of children. She's demonstrated no anti-war bona fides.

Only Tulsi Gabbard has forthright called for an end to regime change wars, the warmongers and reduction in our military.

The power is with the powerful. We'll not see an end to war, nor Medicare for All or much of anything regarding student debt. These are deep systemic problems calling for systemic solutions beginning with how we live on the planet(GND is a red herring), the GDP must become null and void if we are to behave as if plundering the planet is part of "progress". It needs to be replaced to some that focuses on quality of life as the key to prosperity. The geopolitics of the world have to simply STOP IT. It's not about coalitions between Russia and China and India to off-set the US imperialists. That's an old game for an empty planet. The planet is full and exceeding it capacity and is on fire. Our geopolitics must end!

Not one of these candidates come close to focusing on the systemic problem(s) except Gabbard's focus on war because it attacks the heart of the American Imperial Empire.

Maxime , July 3, 2019 at 09:24

I agree with you that you americans will probably not see the end of your system and the end of your problems any time soon.

BUT I disagree on that you seems to think it's inevitable. I'm not american, I'm french, and reading you saying you think medicare for all, no student debt and end to endless wars are systemic problems linked to GDP and the current economic system is well, amusing. We have medicare for all, in fact even better than your medicare, we have no student cost for our educating system, and still in both cases often better results than yours, even if we are behind some of our northern neighbors, but they don't pay for these either. And we don't wage endless wars, even if we have ourselves our own big war problems, after all we were in Lybia, we are in Syria, we are in Mali and other parts of Africa.

We also have a big militaro-industrial complex, in fact very alike the american one. But we made clear since much longer than we would not accept as much wars, in part because the lesson we got from WW2 and Cold War was to learn to live together with our hated neighbor. You know, the one the other side of the Rhine. Today France is a diplomatic superpower, often the head of the european spear onthe subject, we got feared elite military, and we are proud of that, but we would not even accept more money (in proportion) given to our military complex.

And you know the best news (for the americans)? we have an history of warmongering going back millenias. We learn to love Caesar and the "Guerre des Gaules", his invasion of Gauls. We learn how Franks invaded their neighbors and built the first post-roman Empire. We learn how crusaders were called Franks, how we built our nation and his pride on ashes of european continental english hopes and german holy empire aspirations. We learn how Napolean nearly achieved to built a new continental Empire, how we never let them passed at Verdun, and how we rose in the face of a tyran in 1944.

All of this is still in our history books, and we're still proud of it. But today, if most of us were to be asked what we were proud about recent wars France got into, it would be how our president vetoed USA when they tried to got UN into Irak and forced them to invade illegally, and without us.
I think my country's revelation was Algeria's independance war. One bloody and largely filled with war crimes and crimes against humanity. We're ashamed of it, and I think we, as a nation, learned from it that stopping wars on our soil wasn't enough. I still don't understand how americans can still wage wars after Vietnam, but I am not american. Still, even the most warmongering nation can learn. Let's hope you will be quicker than us, because we got millennias of bloody history before even the birth of USA.

Eddie S , July 3, 2019 at 23:15

Thanks Maxime for a foreign perspective! I'm often curious what people in foreign countries think of our current politics in the US,especially when I read analysis/commentaries by US writers (even ones I respect) who say "Oh most of our allies think this or that" -- - maybe they're right or maybe they're wrong or somewhere in-between, but it's interesting getting a DIRECT opinion from a fellow left-of-center citizen from a foreign state.

I agree with your points that European countries like France almost all have their own bloody history including an imperial period, but the two big World Wars that killed SO many people and destroyed so many cities in Europe were so tragic and wasteful that I suspect they DO continue to act as a significant deterrent to the saber-rattling that the US war mongers are able to engage-in. For too many US citizens 'war' is just something that's mentioned & sometimes displayed on a screen, just like a movie/TV program/video-game, and there's a non-reality to it because it's so far away and seldom directly affects them. Geography has famously isolated us from the major death & destruction of war and enables too many armchair warriors to talk boldly and vote for politicians who pander to those conceits. In a not-so-subtle way, the US IS the younger offspring of Europe, where Europe has grown-up due to some hard lessons, while the US is going through its own destructive stage of 'lesson-learning'. Hopefully this learning stage will be over soon and won't involve a world war.

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 12:48

Tulsi Gabbard is, indeed,pointing at part of a major organ of imperialism, Antonio Costa, yet habeas corpus, having the whole body of imperialism produced is necessary for the considered judgement of a people long terrorized by fictitious "monsters" and "demons", if they are to understand that shooting warfate is but one part of the heart, while the other is economic warfare. Both brutally destructive, even if the second is hidden from public awareness or dismissed as "a price worth paying". Imperialism pays no price (except "blow-back", which is merely "religious extremism" as explained by a fully complicit MSM).

And the "brain" behind it all?

That is corporate/military/political/deep state/media greed – and their desperate need/ambition for total, and absolute, control.

Only seeing the whole body may reveal the true size of the threat and the vicious nature of the real danger.

Some may argue that it is "too soon", "too early", or "too costly", politically, for Gabbard, even if she, herself, might see imperialism as the real monster and demon, to dare describe the whole beast.

Frankly, this time, Tulsi's candidacy, her "run" for President, is not likely to see her become the Dem nominee, most likely that will be Kamala Harris (who will happily do the bidding of brute power), rather, it is to lay the firm and solid foundation of actual difference, of rational perspective, and thoughtful, diplomatic international behavior.

To expose the whole, especially the role of the MSM, in furthering all the rest of the lumbering body of Zombie imperialism, would be far more effective in creating an substantial "opening" for alternative possibilities, even a new political party, next time.

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 15:31

I'm figuring that Warren and Harris will take one another out. Climbing to the top requires this. But, Gabbard doesn't stop fighting, and if there's a fighter out there it is her: mentally and physically she is the total package.

Sanders' 2016 campaign was ignored, he wasn't supposed to go anywhere, but if not for the DNC's meddling he would be POTUS right now (I have zero doubt over that). So too was Obama's climb from nowhere: of course, Obama was pushed up by the System, the System that is NOT behind Gabbard. And then there's the clown at the helm (Trump). I refuse to ignore this history.

Gababard is by no means out. Let's not speak of such things, especially when her campaign, and message, is just starting to burst out: the MSM is the last to admit the state of things unfavorable to the wealthy, but out on the Internet Gabbard is very much alive. She is the best candidate (with the best platform of visibility) for peace. She has all the pieces. One comment I read out on the internet (someone, I believe, not in the US) was that Gabbard was a gift to the Americans. Yes, I believe this to be the case: if you really look closely you'll see exactly how this is correct. I believe that we cannot afford to treat this gift with other than the utmost appreciation. Her sincerity when she says that she was/is willing to die for her fellow soldiers (in reference to LBGT folks, though ALL apply) is total. She is totally committed to this battle: as a warrior in politics she's proven herself with her support, the loyalty, for Sanders (at risk to her political career- and now look, she's running for POTUS, she continues to come out on top!).

IvyMike , July 2, 2019 at 20:14

I burned my draft card, grew my hair out, and smoked pot and was anti war as heck. But the peace demonstrations (and riots) in the 60's and 70's did not have much effect on how the U.S. Government prosecuted the Vietnam War. It is little recognized how hard American troops fought from 1965 to 1968. Our air mobile troops in particular made a great slaughter of NVA and VC while also taking heavy casualties.

We were having such success that no one in the military thought the enemy could keep up the fight. Then, the Tet offensive with the beaten enemy attacking every city in the South.

Then the politicians and Generals knew, given the super power politics surrounding the war, that we had lost. We had failed to recognize that we had not intervened in a Civil War, in truth Vietnam as a whole was fighting for freedom from Imperialism and we had no friends in the South, just a corrupt puppet government. Instead of getting out, Nixon made the unforgivable choice to slowly wind the war down until he could get out without losing, Peace With Honor the ultimate triumph of ego over humanity. Americans had a chance to choose a peace candidate in 1972, instead Nixon won with a big majority.

The military has never been able to admit they were defeated on the battlefield by North Vietnam, blaming it instead on the Liberal Media and the Anti War movement. Believing that lie they continue to fight unwinnable wars in which we have no national interest at stake. The media and the people no longer fight against war, but it never really made a difference when we did.

Realist , July 3, 2019 at 05:17

I too hoped for a miracle and voted for George. But then I always voted for the loser in whatever state I happened to be living in at the particular time. I think Carter was a rare winning pick by me but only once. I got disgusted with voting and sat out the Clinton campaigns, only returning to vote against the Bush juggernaut. In retrospect, Perot should have won to make a real difference. I sided with the winner in Obama, but the loser turned out to be America getting saddled with that two-faced hypocrite. Nobel Peace Prize winner indeed! (What did he spend the money on?) When you listen to their campaign promises be aware they are telegraphing how they plan to betray you.

triekc , July 3, 2019 at 07:45

American people in mass need to hit reset button. A yellow vest-like movement made up of tens of millions of woke people, who understand the democrats and republicans are the left and right wing of the oligarch party,

US elections have been and continue to be rigged, and the US constitution was written to protect the property (such as slaves) of oligarchs from the people, the founding oligarchs feared real democracy, evident by all the safeguards they built into our government to protect against it, that remain in tact today.

We need a new 21st century constitution. Global capitalism needs to be greatly curtailed, or ended out right, replaced by ecosocialism, conservation, restoration of earth focussed society

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 15:38

And just think that back then there was also Mike Gravel. The CIA did their work in the 60s to kill the anti-war movement: killing all the great social leaders.

Why wars are "lost" is because hardly is there a time when there's an actual "mission statement" on what the end of a given war will look like. Tulsi Gabbard has made it clear that she would NOT engage in any wars unless there was a clear objective, a clear outcome lined out, and, of course, it was authorized by THE PEOPLE (Congress).

All wars are about resources. We cannot, however, admit this: the ruling capitalists won't allow that to be known/understood lest they lose their power.

Realist , July 3, 2019 at 04:59

Ya got all that right, especially the part about the analysts essentially declaring the war lost after Tet. I remember that offered a lot of hope on the campuses that the war would soon end (even though we lost), especially to those of us near graduation and facing loss of that precious 2S deferment. Yet the big fool marched on, getting my generation needlessly slaughtered for four or five more years.

And, yes, the 2 or 3 million dead Vietnamese did matter, to those with a conscience. Such a price to keep Vietnam out of Russia's and China's orbit. Meanwhile they set an independent course after kicking us out of their land and even fought a war with China. We should still be paying reparations for the levels of death and destruction we brought to a country half a world away with absolutely no means or desire to threaten the United States. All our wars of choice, starting with Korea, have been similar crimes against humanity. Turkey shoots against third world societies with no way to do us any harm. But every one of them fought ferociously to the death to defend their land and their people. Inevitably, every occupier is sent packing as their empire crumbles. Obviously, Americans have been too thick to learn this from mere history books. We will only learn from our tragic mistakes. I see a lot of lessons on the upcoming schedule.

James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 08:36

USA did not "intervene" in a civil war. USA paid France to continue it's imperial war and then took over when France fled defeated. USA prevented a mandated election Ho Chi Minh would win and then continued western imperial warfare against the Vietnamese ( even though Vietnamese was/is bulwark against China's territorial expansion).

mauisurfer , July 2, 2019 at 20:12

The Watson study says: "Indeed, the DOD is the world's largest institutional user of petroleum and correspondingly, the single largest producer of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world.4"

This is a gross UNDERcount of emissions. It includes ONLY petroleum burned.
It does NOT count explosions from bombs, missiles, rockets, rifles, etc.

Perhaps someone could provide an estimate of this contribution to greenhouse gases???

triekc , July 3, 2019 at 07:25

US military contribution to ecocide: https://climateandcapitalism.com/2015/02/08/pentagon-pollution-7-military-assault-global-climate/

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 16:35

Don't worry, Elizabeth Warren has a plan to operate the military on renewables! (she can continue to make sure her constituency, which is Raytheon, is well served)

From https://www.mintpressnews.com/shes-hot-and-shes-cold-elizabeth-warren-and-the-military-industrial-complex/253542/

Raytheon, one of the biggest employers in Warren's state, where it's headquartered, "has a positive relationship with Sen. Warren, and we interact with her and her staff regularly," Michael Doble, a spokesman for the company, said.

jo6pac , July 2, 2019 at 20:12

This awful news for the merchants of death and I'm sure they're working overtime to stop silliness;-). I do hope this isn't killed by those that love the endless wars.

Thanks AH

mbob , July 2, 2019 at 20:10

Perhaps there is no open anti-war movement because the Democratic party is now pro-war. Rather than support President Trump's efforts to end the Korean War, to reduce our involvement in the Middle East and to pursue a more peaceful path with Russia, the Democratic party (with very, very few exceptions) is opposed to all these things.

The Democratic party places its hatred for Trump above its professed love of peace.

President Obama, the Nobel peace prize winner, started a war with Libya, which had neither attacked nor threatened the US and which, by many accounts, was trying to improve relations with the US. GW Bush unnecessarily attacked Iraq and Clinton destroyed Haiti and bombed Yugoslavia, among other actions.

From a peace perspective, Trump looks comparatively great (provided he doesn't attack Iraq or invade Venezuela). But, since it's impossible to recognize Trump for anything positive, or to support him in any way, it's now impossible for Democrats to promote peace. Doing so might help Trump. It would, of necessity, require acknowledging Trump's uniqueness among recent US Presidents in not starting new wars.

Realist , July 3, 2019 at 03:28

I agree. mbob makes perfect sense in his analysis.

The Democrats must be brought back to reality with a sound repudiation by the voters, otherwise they are of no use to America and will have no long-term future.

James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 09:56

Obama escalated Afghanistan when he had a popular mandate to withdraw. He facilitated the the Syrian rebellion in conjunction with ISIS funding Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He instigated the Zalaya (primarily Hillary) and the Ukraine rebellion.

Trump supports the Yemeni genocide.

But yes citizens have been directed to hate Trump the man/symptom rather than the enduring Imperial predatory capitalistic system.

James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 10:02

Opps sorry; so many interventions and invasions, under Obama, special forces trained Malian general overthrew the democratically elected president of Mali, result, more war,death and destruction.

Robert , July 3, 2019 at 10:48

You are correct in your analysis. Allegra Harpootlian is searching for the peace lobby among Democrat supporters, where it no longer resides.

As a result of corporate-controlled mainstream media and their support for Democrat elites, Democrat supporters have largely been brainwashed into hatred for Donald Trump and everything he stands for. This hatred blinds them to the far more important issue of peace.

Strangely, there is huge US support to remove troops from the ME, but this support resides with the overwhelming majority of Donald Trump voters. Unfortunately, these are not individuals who typically go to peace demonstrations, but they are sincere in bringing all US troops home from the ME. Donald Trump himself lobbied on this, and with the exceptions of his anti-Iranian / pro-Israel / pro-Saudi Arabia stance and withdrawal from JCPOA, he has not only backed down from military adventurism, but is the first President since Eisenhower to raise the issue of the influence of the military-industrial complex.

In the face of strong opposition, he is the first President ever to enter North Korea and meet with Kim Jong Un to discuss nuclear weapons. Mainstream media continues its war-mongering rhetoric, attacking Trump for his "weakness" in not retaliating against Iran, or in meeting "secretly" with Putin.

Opposition to Trump's peace efforts are not limited to MSM, however, but are entrenched in Democrat and Republican elites, who attack any orders he gives to withdraw from the ME. It was not Trump, but Democrat and Republican elites who invited NATO's Stoltenberg to speak to Congress in an attempt to spite Trump.

In essence, you have President Trump and most of his supporters trying to withdraw from military engagements, with active opposition from Democrats like Adam Schiff, and Republican elites, actively promoting war and military spending.

DJT is like a less-likeable Inspector Clouseau. Sometimes ineptitude is a blessing. You also have a few Republicans, like journalist Tucker Carlson of Fox News, and Democrats, like Tulsi Gabbard, actively pushing the message of peace.

Erelis , July 3, 2019 at 20:45

I think you got it. The author is right in the sense that there is an anti-war movement, but that movement is in many ways hidden. As bizarre as it may seen counter to CW wisdom, and in some way ironically crazy, one of the biggest segments of anti-war sentiment are Trump supporters. After Trump's decision not to attack Iran, I went to various right wing commentators who attacked Trump, and the reaction against these major right wing war mongers was to support Trump. And with right wing commentators who supported Trump, absolute agreement. These is of course based on my objective reading reading and totally subjective. But I believe I am right.

This made me realize there is an untapped anti-war sentiment on the right which is being totally missed. And a lack of imagination and Trump derangment syndrome which blocks many on the anti-war Left to see it and use it for an anti-war movement. There was an article in The Intercept that looked research on the correlation between military deaths and voting preference. Here is the article:

STUDY FINDS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HIGH MILITARY CASUALTIES AND VOTES FOR TRUMP OVER CLINTON
https://theintercept.com/2017/07/10/study-finds-relationship-between-high-military-casualties-and-votes-for-trump-over-clinton/

And the thing is that Trump was in many ways the anti-war candidate. And those areas that had high military death rates voted for Trump. I understand the tribal nature of political affiliation, but it seems what I have read and this article, there may be indeed an untapped anti-war stance with Trump supporters.

And it really just challenges my own beliefs that the major obstacle to the war mongers are Trump supporters.

Helga I. Fellay , July 3, 2019 at 11:09

mbob – I couldn't have said it better myself. Except to add that in addition to destroying Libya, the Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama, ably assisted by Hillary Clinton, also destroyed Honduras and the Ukraine.

Anarcissie , July 3, 2019 at 11:55

Historically, the Democratic Party has been pro-war and pro-imperialism at least since Wilson. The hatred for Trump on their part seems to be based entirely on cultural issues -- he is not subservient enough to their gods.

But as for antiwar demonstrations, it's been proved in the streets that they don't accomplish anything. There were huge demonstrations against the war in Vietnam, but it ground on until conservatives got tired of it. At least half a million people demonstrated against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and no one important cared. Evidently more fundamental issues than the war of the moment are involved and I think that is where a lot of people are turning now. The ruling class will find this a lot harder to deal with because it's decentralized and widely distributed. Hence the panic about Trump and the seething hatred of Sanders.

mbob , July 3, 2019 at 18:15

I attempted to make three points in my post. First, Democrats are now pro-war. Second, solely regarding peace, Trump looks better than all other recent Presidents because he hasn't started any new wars. Third, the inability of Democrats (or the public as a whole) to give Trump the benefit of a doubt, or to support him in any way, is contrary to the cause of peace.

Democrats should, without reservation, support Trump's effort to end the Korean War. They should support Trump's desire to improve relations with Russia. They don't do either of those things. Why? Because it might hurt them politically.

Your comment does not challenge the first two points and reinforces the third.

As for Yemen, yes, Trump is wrong. Democrats rightly oppose him on Yemen -- but remarkably tepidly. Trump is wrong about a lot of things. I don't like him. I didn't vote for him. But I will vote for him if Democrats nominate someone worse than him, which they seem inclined to do. (Gabbard is better than Trump. Sanders probably. Maybe Warren. Of the three, only Warren receives positive press. That makes me skeptical of her.)

Trump stood up to his advisors, Bolton and Pompeo, regarding both Iran and Venezuela. Obama, on the other hand, did not. He followed the advice of his advisors, with disastrous consequences.

Piotr Berman , July 4, 2019 at 07:02

Trump standing up to his nominees:

>>In addition to Tuesday's sanctions, the Treasury Department issued an advisory to maritime shipping companies, warning them off transporting oil to Syria or risking their property and money seized if kept with financial institutions that follow U.S. sanctions law.

"The United States will aggressively seek to impose sanctions against any party involved in shipping oil to Syria, or seeking to evade our sanctions on Iranian oil," said Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, in a release. "Shipping companies, insurers, vessel owners, managers, and operators should all be aware of the grave consequences of engaging in sanctionable conduct involving Iranian oil shipments."<<

Today British marines seized a tanker near Gibraltar for the crime of transporting oil to Syria. And Trumpian peaceful military seized Syrian oil fields. Traditional war is increasingly augmented by piracy, which is less bloody, but trades outright carnage for deprivation of civilians. Giving "measured praise" for that makes me barf.

[Jul 05, 2019] How Christine Lagarde, Clinton and Nuland Funded a Massive Ukrainian Ponzi Scheme

Notable quotes:
"... Kolomoisky is the man who controls the recently elected Jewish president Zelensky -- a comedian. ..."
"... Let's not forget that Theresa May is the one who has worked assiduously on trying to overcome the results of the British referendum. She does not believe in democracy. ..."
"... This man most certainly made a substantial offshore payment to Largarde or her companies or her lawyers. That is how it works everywhere. ..."
Jul 05, 2019 | www.unz.com

Alfred , July 5, 2019 at 7:38 am GMT 200 Words

Christine Lagarde is a convicted criminal

Christine Lagarde: IMF chief convicted over payout

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38369822

She robbed the French taxpayer of some 404 billion Euros. The fact that she is not in prison while protesters are being injured weekly by the French police tells you a lot about why these people are protesting.

Since then, she has continued with her corrupt behaviour by greatly enriching the Ukrainian/Israeli oligarch Kolomoisky -- who robbed his own bank.

How Christine Lagarde, Clinton and Nuland Funded a Massive Ukrainian Ponzi Scheme

https://russia-insider.com/en/how-christine-lagarde-clinton-and-nuland-funded-massive-ukrainian-ponzi-scheme/ri27390

Kolomoisky is the man who controls the recently elected Jewish president Zelensky -- a comedian.

I think the writer pays too much to the attire of May and Lagarde -- The pearls, the tweed and gingham suits -- when their corruption is totally 21st century. Let's not forget that Theresa May is the one who has worked assiduously on trying to overcome the results of the British referendum. She does not believe in democracy. Replies: @Logan , @George F. Held

Paul , says: Next New Comment July 5, 2019 at 10:43 am GMT

@Paul

One of the functions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is imposing austerity measures on the people of poor countries seeking bailouts, so perhaps choosing a corporate lawyer to run it is fitting.

Alfred , says: Next New Comment July 5, 2019 at 3:05 pm GMT
@Logan ness tampering. After a high-profile case against public prosecutor Éric de Montgolfier, he was sentenced in 1995 by the Court of Appeals of Douai to 2 years in prison, including 8 months non-suspended and 3 years of deprivation of his civic rights.

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

This man most certainly made a substantial offshore payment to Largarde or her companies or her lawyers. That is how it works everywhere.

Do you think they cannot close down all the secretive island tax-havens tomorrow if they really wished to do so?

Heavens, they have cut Iran from SWIFT but they have never done anything about the BVI etc.

[Jul 05, 2019] The World Bank and IMF 2019 by Michael Hudson and Bonnie Faulkner

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The purpose of a military conquest is to take control of foreign economies, to take control of their land and impose tribute. The genius of the World Bank was to recognize that it's not necessary to occupy a country in order to impose tribute, or to take over its industry, agriculture and land. Instead of bullets, it uses financial maneuvering. As long as other countries play an artificial economic game that U.S. diplomacy can control, finance is able to achieve today what used to require bombing and loss of life by soldiers ..."
"... It was set up basically by the United States in 1944, along with its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Their purpose was to create an international order like a funnel to make other countries economically dependent on the United States ..."
"... American diplomats insisted on the ability to veto any action by the World Bank or IMF. The aim of this veto power was to make sure that any policy was, in Donald Trump's words, to put America first. "We've got to win and they've got to lose." ..."
"... The World Bank was set up from the outset as a branch of the military, of the Defense Department. John J. McCloy (Assistant Secretary of War, 1941-45), was the first full-time president ..."
"... Many countries had two rates: one for goods and services, which was set normally by the market, and then a different exchange rate that was managed for capital movements. That was because countries were trying to prevent capital flight. They didn't want their wealthy classes or foreign investors to make a run on their own currency – an ever-present threat in Latin America. ..."
"... The IMF and the World Bank backed the cosmopolitan classes, the wealthy. Instead of letting countries control their capital outflows and prevent capital flight, the IMF's job is to protect the richest One Percent and foreign investors from balance-of-payments problems ..."
"... The IMF enables its wealthy constituency to move their money out of the country without taking a foreign-exchange loss ..."
"... Wall Street speculators have sold the local currency short to make a killing, George-Soros style. ..."
"... When the debtor-country currency collapses, the debts that these Latin American countries owe are in dollars, and now have to pay much more in their own currency to carry and pay off these debts. ..."
"... Local currency is thrown onto the foreign-exchange market for dollars, lowering the exchange rate. That increases import prices, raising a price umbrella for domestic products. ..."
"... Instead, the IMF says just the opposite: It acts to prevent any move by other countries to bring the debt volume within the ability to be paid. It uses debt leverage as a way to control the monetary lifeline of financially defeated debtor countries. ..."
"... This control by the U.S. financial system and its diplomacy has been built into the world system by the IMF and the World Bank claiming to be international instead of an expression of specifically U.S. New Cold War nationalism. ..."
"... The same thing happened in Greece a few years ago, when almost all of Greece's foreign debt was owed to Greek millionaires holding their money in Switzerland ..."
"... The IMF could have seized this money to pay off the bondholders. Instead, it made the Greek economy pay. It found that it was worth wrecking the Greek economy, forcing emigration and wiping out Greek industry so that French and German bondholding banks would not have to take a loss. That is what makes the IMF so vicious an institution. ..."
"... America was able to grab all of Iran's foreign exchange just by the banks interfering. The CIA has bragged that it can do the same thing with Russia. If Russia does something that U.S. diplomats don't like, the U.S. can use the SWIFT bank payment system to exclude Russia from it, so the Russian banks and the Russian people and industry won't be able to make payments to each other. ..."
"... You can't create the money, especially if you're running a balance of payments deficit and if U.S. foreign policy forces you into deficit by having someone like George Soros make a run on your currency. Look at the Asia crisis in 1997. Wall Street funds bet against foreign currencies, driving them way down, and then used the money to pick up industry cheap in Korea and other Asian countries. ..."
"... This was also done to Russia's ruble. The only country that avoided this was Malaysia, under Mohamed Mahathir, by using capital controls. Malaysia is an object lesson in how to prevent a currency flight. ..."
"... Client kleptocracies take their money and run, moving it abroad to hard currency areas such as the United States, or at least keeping it in dollars in offshore banking centers instead of reinvesting it to help the country catch up by becoming independent agriculturally, in energy, finance and other sectors. ..."
"... But in shaping the World Trade Organization's rules, the United States said that all countries had to promote free trade and could not have government support, except for countries that already had it. We're the only country that had it. That's what's called "grandfathering". ..."
Jul 05, 2019 | www.unz.com

"The purpose of a military conquest is to take control of foreign economies, to take control of their land and impose tribute. The genius of the World Bank was to recognize that it's not necessary to occupy a country in order to impose tribute, or to take over its industry, agriculture and land. Instead of bullets, it uses financial maneuvering. As long as other countries play an artificial economic game that U.S. diplomacy can control, finance is able to achieve today what used to require bombing and loss of life by soldiers."

I'm Bonnie Faulkner. Today on Guns and Butter: Dr. Michael Hudson. Today's show: The IMF and World Bank: Partners In Backwardness . Dr. Hudson is a financial economist and historian. He is President of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trend, a Wall Street Financial Analyst, and Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

His most recent books include " and Forgive them Their Debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year "; Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy , and J Is for Junk Economics: A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception . He is also author of Trade, Development and Foreign Debt , among many other books.

We return today to a discussion of Dr. Hudson's seminal 1972 book, Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire , a critique of how the United States exploited foreign economies through the IMF and World Bank, with a special emphasis on food imperialism.

... ... ...

Bonnie Faulkner : In your seminal work form 1972, Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire , you write: "The development lending of the World Bank has been dysfunctional from the outset." When was the World Bank set up and by whom?

Michael Hudson : It was set up basically by the United States in 1944, along with its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Their purpose was to create an international order like a funnel to make other countries economically dependent on the United States. To make sure that no other country or group of countries – even all the rest of the world – could not dictate U.S. policy. American diplomats insisted on the ability to veto any action by the World Bank or IMF. The aim of this veto power was to make sure that any policy was, in Donald Trump's words, to put America first. "We've got to win and they've got to lose."

The World Bank was set up from the outset as a branch of the military, of the Defense Department. John J. McCloy (Assistant Secretary of War, 1941-45), was the first full-time president. He later became Chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank (1953-60). McNamara was Secretary of Defense (1961-68), Paul Wolfowitz was Deputy and Under Secretary of Defense (1989-2005), and Robert Zoellick was Deputy Secretary of State. So I think you can look at the World Bank as the soft shoe of American diplomacy.

Bonnie Faulkner : What is the difference between the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the IMF? Is there a difference?

Michael Hudson : Yes, there is. The World Bank was supposed to make loans for what they call international development. "Development" was their euphemism for dependency on U.S. exports and finance. This dependency entailed agricultural backwardness – opposing land reform, family farming to produce domestic food crops, and also monetary backwardness in basing their monetary system on the dollar.

The World Bank was supposed to provide infrastructure loans that other countries would go into debt to pay American engineering firms, to build up their export sectors and their plantation sectors by public investment roads and port development for imports and exports. Essentially, the Bank financed long- investments in the foreign trade sector, in a way that was a natural continuatio