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Neoconservatism Bulletin, 2017

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[Feb 29, 2020] A very interesting and though provoking presentation by Ambassador Chas Freeman "America in Distress: The Challenges of Disadvantageous Change"

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... the American-led takedown of the post-World War II international system has shattered long-standing rules and norms of behavior. ..."
"... The combination of disorder at home and abroad is spawning changes that are increasingly disadvantageous to the United States. With Congress having essentially walked off the job, there is a need for America's universities to provide the information and analysis of international best practices that the political system does not. ..."
Feb 29, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , February 29, 2020 7:38 pm

A very interesting and though provoking presentation by Ambassador Chas Freeman "America in Distress: The Challenges of Disadvantageous Change"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvILLCbOFo4

I think this would be very informative for anybody seriously interested in the USA foreign policy. Listening to him is so sad to realize that instead of person of his caliber we have Pompous Pompeo, who forever is frozen on the level of a tank repair mechanical engineer, as the Secretary of State.

Published on Feb 24, 2020

In the United States and other democracies, political and economic systems still work in theory, but not in practice. Meanwhile, the American-led takedown of the post-World War II international system has shattered long-standing rules and norms of behavior.

The combination of disorder at home and abroad is spawning changes that are increasingly disadvantageous to the United States. With Congress having essentially walked off the job, there is a need for America's universities to provide the information and analysis of international best practices that the political system does not.

Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. is a senior fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, ambassador to Saudi Arabia (during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm), acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and Chargé d'affaires at both Bangkok and Beijing. He began his diplomatic career in India but specialized in Chinese affairs. (He was the principal American interpreter during President Nixon's visit to Beijing in 1972.)

Ambassador Freeman is a much sought-after public speaker (see http://chasfreeman.net ) and the author of several well-received books on statecraft and diplomacy. His most recent book, America's Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East was published in May 2016. Interesting Times: China, America, and the Shifting Balance of Prestige, appeared in March 2013. America's Misadventures in the Middle East came out in 2010, as did the most recent revision of The Diplomat's Dictionary, the companion volume to Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy. He was the editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica entry on "diplomacy."

Chas Freeman studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and in Taiwan, and earned an AB magna cum laude from Yale University as well as a JD from the Harvard Law School.

He chairs Projects International, Inc., a Washington-based firm that for more than three decades has helped its American and foreign clients create ventures across borders, facilitating their establishment of new businesses through the design, negotiation, capitalization, and implementation of greenfield investments, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, franchises, one-off transactions, sales and agencies in other countries.

He is the author of several books including the most recent

Interesting times: China, America, and the shifting balance of prestige (2013)

[Dec 21, 2019] A walk down memory lane

Oct 30, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Patient Observer , October 28, 2017 at 2:29 pm

A walk down memory lane:
http://theduran.com/5-discarded-anniversaries-of-western-led-aggression/
And here is the list:

1 The Korean War ends (1953
2 President Kennedy invades South Vietnam (1962)
3 The US overthrows Allende in Chile (1973)
4 The West installs Iranian dictator the Shah (1953)
5 The US-led Iraq invasion (2003)

Many honorable mentions including:
– NATO bombing of Serbia
– Libya
– Afghanistan
– Syria (support of ISIS and its predecessors and spinoffs)

The US body count is simply staggering – many millions killed, millions more wounded or poisoned (Vietnam – agent orange and other chemical agents) and tens of millions of lives forever damaged.

USA! USA! USA! (its elites that rule us of course!)

Cortes , October 29, 2017 at 6:23 pm
And no mention of

Indonesia.

Just the 1m plus deaths.

[Dec 21, 2019] All The Countries America Has Invaded... In One Map

Notable quotes:
"... Using data compiled by a Geography and Native Studies professor from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, the indy100 team created an interactive map of U.S. military incursions outside its own borders from Argentina in 1890 to Syria in 2014. ..."
"... " Deployment of the military to evacuate American citizens, covert military actions by US intelligence, providing military support to an internal opposition group, providing military support in one side of a conflict, use of the army in drug enforcement actions. ..."
Aug 27, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Tyler Durden Aug 26, 2017 9:15 PM 0 SHARES US has had a military presence across the world , from almost day one of its independence. For those who have ever wanted a clearer picture of the true reach of the United States military - both historically and currently - but shied away due to the sheer volume of research required to find an answer, The Anti Media points out that a crew at the Independent just made things a whole lot simpler.

Using data compiled by a Geography and Native Studies professor from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, the indy100 team created an interactive map of U.S. military incursions outside its own borders from Argentina in 1890 to Syria in 2014.

To avoid confusion, indy100 laid out its prerequisites for what constitutes an invasion:

" Deployment of the military to evacuate American citizens, covert military actions by US intelligence, providing military support to an internal opposition group, providing military support in one side of a conflict, use of the army in drug enforcement actions.

But indy100 didn't stop there. To put all that history into context, using data from the Department of Defense (DOD), the team also put together a map to display all the countries in which nearly 200,000 active members of the U.S. military are now stationed.

For more details, click on the country:

[Dec 21, 2019] War is the health of the state, but death of empires

Notable quotes:
"... As for Washington and the proverbially bombastic, failed futurists across the Beltway, do they even know what is the end game of "investing" in two never-ending wars with no visible benefits? ..."
Aug 25, 2017 | www.unz.com

Sean , August 25, 2017 at 6:42 pm GMT

As for Washington and the proverbially bombastic, failed futurists across the Beltway, do they even know what is the end game of "investing" in two never-ending wars with no visible benefits?

You start by assuming that the absence of war is the ultimate good, but none can say what a world without war would be like, or how long it would last.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/20/wars-john-gray-conflict-peace
Has the world seen moral progress? The answer should not depend on whether one has a sunny or a morose temperament. Everyone agrees that life is better than death, health better than sickness, prosperity better than privation, freedom better than tyranny, peace better than war. All of these can be measured, and the results plotted over time. If they go up, that's progress.

For John Gray, this is a big problem. As a part of his campaign against reason, science and Enlightenment humanism, he insists that the strivings of humanity over the centuries have left us no better off. This dyspepsia was hard enough to sustain when Gray first expressed it in the teeth of obvious counterexamples such as the abolition of human sacrifice, chattel slavery and public torture-executions. But as scholars have increasingly measured human flourishing, they have found that Gray is not just wrong but howlingly, flat-earth, couldn't-be-more-wrong wrong. The numbers show that after millennia of near-universal poverty and despotism, a steadily growing proportion of humankind is surviving infancy and childbirth, going to school, voting in democracies, living free of disease, enjoying the necessities of modern life and surviving to old age.

And more people are living in peace. In the 1980s several military scholars noticed to their astonishment that the most destructive form of armed conflict – wars among great powers and developed states – had effectively ceased to exist. At the time this "long peace" could have been dismissed as a random lull, but it has held firm for an additional three decades.

In my opinion Gray, though wrong that violence is not decreasing, is onto something about the future being bleak because of the rise of meliorist assumptions, because perpetual peace will be humanity's tomb.

While many suggest a danger for our world along the lines of Brian Cox's explanation for the Fermi Paradox (ie intelligent life forms cross grainedly bring on self-annihilation through unlimited war) I take a different view.

Given that Pinker appears substantially correct that serious war (ie wars among great powers and developed states) have effectively ceased to exist, the trend is for peace and cooperation. Martin Nowak in his book The Supercoperators shows cooperation, not fighting, to be the defining human trait (and indeed the most cooperative groups won their wars in history, whereby nation states such the US are the result of not just individuals but familial tribal regional , and virtually continental groupings coming together for mutual advantage and defence .

The future is going to be global integration pursuit of economic objectives, and I think this exponential moral progress bill begat technological advances beyond imagining.. An escape from the war trap is almost complete and the Singularity becomes. The most likely culprit in the paradox is a technological black hole event horizon created by unlimited peace and progress.

Cross-grained though it may be to say that the good war hallows every cause, I think it not so bad in comparison with the alternative.

[Dec 21, 2019] War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror

Aug 22, 2017 | warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

JWalters , August 18, 2017 at 7:02 pm

Well put. These people are like the "nobles" of medieval times. They care not a whit about the "peasants" they trample. They are wealth bigots, compounded by some ethnic bigotry or other, in this case Jewish supremacism. America has an oligarchy problem. At the center of that oligarchy is a Jewish mafia controlling the banks, and thereby the big corporations, and thereby the media and the government. This oligarchy sees America as a big, dumb military machine that it can manipulate to generate war profits.

"War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror" . http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

[Dec 21, 2019] There has been a gradual decline in the rationality of UK military forces thinking

Notable quotes:
"... There has been a gradual decline in the rationality of UK forces thinking. They insisted on UN legal cover cover the invasion of Iraq but were totally on board with pre-emptive action in Libya, happily training effectively ISIS forces before Gaddafi was removed. They are now training Ukrainian Neo-Nazis and training ISIS/whatever in Syria, effectively invading the country. I guess this may reflect the increasing direct Zionist control of Perfidious Albion with attendant levels of hubris. ..."
Aug 10, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Anonymous | Aug 4, 2017 7:00:33 PM | 37

Enrico Malatesta @13

The Russians were there in Yugoslavia but they were not following NATO's script. There was an incident where Russian forces took control of a key airport to the total surprise of NATO. The US overall commander ordered the UK to go in and kick the Russians out. The UK ground commander wisely said he was not prepared to start WW III over Russian control of an airfield.

There has been a gradual decline in the rationality of UK forces thinking. They insisted on UN legal cover cover the invasion of Iraq but were totally on board with pre-emptive action in Libya, happily training effectively ISIS forces before Gaddafi was removed. They are now training Ukrainian Neo-Nazis and training ISIS/whatever in Syria, effectively invading the country. I guess this may reflect the increasing direct Zionist control of Perfidious Albion with attendant levels of hubris.

[Dec 21, 2019] William Astore on War as Art and Advertising – Antiwar.com Blog

Notable quotes:
"... A lot of art depicts war scenes, and why not? War is incredibly exciting, dynamic, destructive, and otherwise captivating, if often in a horrific way. But I want to consider war and art in a different manner, in an impressionistic one. War, by its nature, is often spectacle; it is also often chaotic; complex; beyond comprehension. Perhaps art theory, and art styles, have something to teach us about war. Ways of representing it and capturing its meaning as well as its horrors. But also ways of misrepresenting it; of fracturing its meaning. Of manipulating it. ..."
"... My point (and I think I have one) is that America's wars are in some sense elaborate productions and representations, at least in the ways in which the government constructs and sells them to the American people. To understand these representations -- the ways in which they are both more than real war and less than it -- art theory, as well as advertising, may have a lot to teach us. ..."
"... Afghanistan as the unfinished masterpiece....most people forget that the government is yet to complete it except when a Marine dies, they think about it for a day and then forget all over again. ..."
Jul 12, 2017 | www.antiwar.com

Consider this article a work of speculation; a jumble of ideas thrown at a blank canvas.

A lot of art depicts war scenes, and why not? War is incredibly exciting, dynamic, destructive, and otherwise captivating, if often in a horrific way. But I want to consider war and art in a different manner, in an impressionistic one. War, by its nature, is often spectacle; it is also often chaotic; complex; beyond comprehension. Perhaps art theory, and art styles, have something to teach us about war. Ways of representing it and capturing its meaning as well as its horrors. But also ways of misrepresenting it; of fracturing its meaning. Of manipulating it.

For example, America's overseas wars today are both abstractions and distractions. They're also somewhat surreal to most Americans, living as we do in comparative safety and material luxury (when compared to most other peoples of the world). Abstraction and surrealism: two art styles that may say something vital about America's wars.

If some aspects of America's wars are surreal and others abstract, if reports of those wars are often impressionistic and often blurred beyond recognition, this points to, I think, the highly stylized representations of war that are submitted for our consideration. What we don't get very often is realism. Recall how the Bush/Cheney administration forbade photos of flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Think of all the war reporting you've seen on U.S. TV and Cable networks, and ask how many times you saw severed American limbs and dead bodies on a battlefield. (On occasion, dead bodies of the enemy are shown, usually briefly and abstractly, with no human backstory.)

Of course, there's no "real" way to showcase the brutal reality of war, short of bringing a person to the front and having them face fire in combat -- a level of "participatory" art that sane people would likely seek to avoid. What we get, as spectators (which is what we're told to remain in America), is an impression of combat. Here and there, a surreal report. An abstract news clip. Blown up buildings become exercises in neo-Cubism; melted buildings and weapons become Daliesque displays. Severed limbs (of the enemy) are exercises in the grotesque. For the vast majority of Americans, what's lacking is raw immediacy and gut-wrenching reality.

Again, we are spectators, not participants. And our responses are often as stylized and limited as the representations are. As Rebecca Gordon put it from a different angle at TomDispatch.com , when it comes to America's wars, are we participating in reality or merely watching reality TV? And why are so many so prone to confuse or conflate the two?

Art, of course, isn't the only lens through which we can see and interpret America's wars. Advertising, especially hyperbole, is also quite revealing. Thus the US military has been sold, whether by George W. Bush or Barack Obama, as "the world's finest military in history" or WFMH, an acronym I just made up, and which should perhaps come with a copyright or trademark symbol after it. It's classic advertising hyperbole. It's salesmanship in place of reality.

So, when other peoples beat our WFMH, we should do what Americans do best: sue them for copyright infringement. Our legions of lawyers will most certainly beat their cadres of counsels. After all, under Bush/Cheney, our lawyers tortured logic and the law to support torture itself. Talk about surrealism!

My point (and I think I have one) is that America's wars are in some sense elaborate productions and representations, at least in the ways in which the government constructs and sells them to the American people. To understand these representations -- the ways in which they are both more than real war and less than it -- art theory, as well as advertising, may have a lot to teach us.

As I said, this is me throwing ideas at the canvas of my computer screen. Do they make any sense to you? Feel free to pick up your own brush and compose away in the comments section.

P.S. Danger, Will Robinson. I've never taken an art theory class or studied advertising closely.

William J. Astore is a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF). He taught history for fifteen years at military and civilian schools and blogs at Bracing Views . He can be reached at wastore@pct.edu . Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author's permission.

Jim Savell , 19 hours ago

Afghanistan as the unfinished masterpiece....most people forget that the government is yet to complete it except when a Marine dies, they think about it for a day and then forget all over again.

[Dec 21, 2019] In places like Yemen, Syria and Iraq, the United States is deepening its involvement in wars while diplomacy becomes largely an afterthought

Mar 31, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne , March 30, 2017 at 12:47 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/29/world/middleeast/us-war-footprint-grows-in-middle-east.html

March 29, 2017

U.S. War Footprint Grows, With No Endgame in Sight
By BEN HUBBARD and MICHAEL R. GORDON

In places like Yemen, Syria and Iraq, the United States is deepening its involvement in wars while diplomacy becomes largely an afterthought.

ilsm -> anne... , March 30, 2017 at 01:51 PM
14 years as if US were going strong on Hanoi in '79!

Putin is a Tibetan Buddhist compared to Obama and so forth

mulp -> anne... , March 30, 2017 at 04:30 PM
Well, sending US troops is a US jobs program.

Why would you object to government creating more demand for labor? Over time, wages will rise and higher wages will fund more demand for labor produced goods.

[Dec 21, 2019] The Pentagon s New Map War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Barnett's main thesis in "The Pentagon's New Map" is that the world is composed of two types of states: those that are part of an integrated and connected "Core," which embrace globalization; and states of the "Gap," which are disconnected from the effects of globalization. Barnett proclaims that globalization will move the world into an era of peace and prosperity, but can only do so with the help of an indispensable United States. He writes that America is the lynchpin to the entire process and he believes that the United States should be midwife to a new world that will one day consist of peaceful democratic states and integrated economies. Barnett is proposing no less than a new grand strategy - the historical successor to the Cold War's strategy of containment. His approach to a future world defined by America's "exportation of security" is almost religious in its fervor and messianic in its language. ..."
"... At this point in his book, Barnett also makes bold statements that America is never leaving the Gap and that we are therefore never "bringing our boys home." He believes that there is no exiting the Gap, only shrinking it. These statements have incited some of Barnett's critics to accuse him of fostering and advocating a state of perpetual war. Barnett rebuts these attacks by claiming that, "America's task is not perpetual war, nor the extension of empire. It is merely to serve as globalization's bodyguard wherever and whenever needed throughout the Gap." Barnett claims that the strategy of preemptive war is a "boundable problem," yet his earlier claim that we are never leaving the Gap and that our boys are never coming home does not square with his assertion that there will not be perpetual war. He cannot have it both ways. ..."
"... Barnett therefore undermines his own globalization-based grand strategy by pointing out in detail at least ten things that can go wrong with globalization - the foundation upon which his theory is built. ..."
"... Globalization is likely here to stay, though it may be slowed down or even stopped in some regions of the planet. ..."
"... I would strongly recommend "The Pentagon's New Map" to students who are studying U.S. foreign policy. I would also recommend it to those who are studying the Bush administration as well as the Pentagon. The ideas in the book seem to be popular with the military and many of its ideas can be seen in the current thinking and policy of the Pentagon and State Department. ..."
"... I would only caution the reader that Barnett's theories are heavily dependent upon the continued advancement of globalization, which in turn is dependent upon the continued economic ability of the U.S. to sustain military operations around the world indefinitely. Neither is guaranteed. ..."
"... "Globalization" has turned out to be nothing but the polite PR term to disguise and avoid the truth of using the more accurate name, "Global Empire" --- and there is no doubt that Barnett is more than smart enough to see that this has inexorably happened. ..."
"... Liberty, democracy, justice, and equality Over Violent/'Vichy' Rel 2.0 Empire, ..."
"... We don't MERELY have; a gun/fear problem, or a 'Fiscal Cliff', 'Sequestration', and 'Debt Limit' problem, or an expanding wars problem, or a 'drone assassinations' problem, or a vast income & wealth inequality problem, or a Wall Street 'looting' problem, or a Global Warming and environmental death-spiral problem, or a domestic tyranny NDAA FISA spying problem, or, or, or, or .... ad nauseam --- we have a hidden EMPIRE cancerous tumor which is the prime CAUSE of all these 'symptom problems'. ..."
"... "If your country is treating you like ****, and bombing abroad, look carefully --- because it may not be your country, but a Global Empire only posing as your former country." ..."
Aug 26, 2017 | www.amazon.com

Azblue on July 31, 2006

Global cop

Barnett's main thesis in "The Pentagon's New Map" is that the world is composed of two types of states: those that are part of an integrated and connected "Core," which embrace globalization; and states of the "Gap," which are disconnected from the effects of globalization. Barnett proclaims that globalization will move the world into an era of peace and prosperity, but can only do so with the help of an indispensable United States. He writes that America is the lynchpin to the entire process and he believes that the United States should be midwife to a new world that will one day consist of peaceful democratic states and integrated economies. Barnett is proposing no less than a new grand strategy - the historical successor to the Cold War's strategy of containment. His approach to a future world defined by America's "exportation of security" is almost religious in its fervor and messianic in its language.

The foundation upon which Barnett builds his binary view of the world is heavily dependant upon the continued advancement of globalization - almost exclusively so. However, advancing globalization is not pre-ordained. Barnett himself makes the case that globalization is a fragile undertaking similar to an interconnected chain in which any broken link destroys the whole. Globalization could indeed be like the biblical statue whose feet are made of clay. Globalization, and therefore the integration of the Gap, may even stop or recede - just as the globalization of the early 20th century ended abruptly with the onset of WW I and a global depression. Moreover, Barnett's contention that the United States has an exceptional duty and moral responsibility for "remaking the world in America's image" might be seen by many as misguided and perhaps even dangerous.

The divide between the `Functioning Core' and the `Non-Integrating Gap' differs from the gulf between rich and poor in a subtle yet direct way. State governments make a conscious decision to become connected vs. disconnected to advancing globalization. States and their leaders can provide the infrastructure and the opening of large global markets to their citizens in ways that individuals cannot. An example can serve to illustrate the point: You can be rich and disconnected in Nigeria or poor and disconnected in North Korea. In each case the country you live in has decided to be disconnected. Citizens in this case have a limited likelihood of staying rich and unlimited prospects of staying poor. But by becoming part of the functioning Core, the enlightened state allows all citizens a running start at becoming part of a worldwide economic system and thus provide prospects for a better future because global jobs and markets are opened up to them. A connected economy such as India's, for example, enables citizens who once had no prospects for a better life to find well-paying jobs, such as computer-related employment. Prospects for a better Indian life are directly the result of the Indian government's conscious decision to become connected to the world economy, a.k.a. embracing globalization.

After placing his theory of the Core/Gap and preemptive war strategy firmly into the church of globalization, Barnett next places his theory squarely upon the alter of rule sets. Few would argue that the world is an anarchic place and Barnett tells us that rule sets are needed to define `good' and `evil' behavior of actors in this chaotic international system. An example of such a rule set is the desire of the Core to keep WMDs out of the hands of terrorist organizations. Other examples are the promulgation of human rights and the need to stop genocide. Barnett also uses rule sets to define `system' rules that govern and shape the actions, and even the psychology, of international actors. An example that Barnett gives of a system-wide rule set is the creation of the `rule' defined by the United States during the Cold War called Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). Barnett claims that this rule set effectively ended the possibility of war for all time amongst nuclear-capable great powers. Barnett states that the U.S. now should export a brand new rule set called `preemptive war,' which aims to fight actors in the lawless Gap in order to end international terrorism for all time. Barnett makes it clear that the Core's enemy is neither a religion (Islam) nor a place (Middle East), but a condition (disconnectedness).

Next, Barnett points out that system-wide competition has moved into the economic arena and that military conflict, when it occurs, has moved away from the system-wide (Cold War), to inter-state war, ending up today with primarily state conflict vs. individuals (Core vs. bin Laden, Core vs. Kim, etc.). In other words, "we are moving progressively away from warfare against states or even blocs of states and toward a new era of warfare against individuals." Rephrased, we've moved from confrontations with evil empires, to evil states, to evil leaders. An example of this phenomenon is the fact that China dropped off the radar of many government hawks after 9/11 only to be replaced by terrorist groups and other dangerous NGOs "with global reach."

Barnett also points out that the idea of `connectivity' is central to the success of globalization. Without it, everything else fails. Connectivity is the glue that holds states together and helps prevent war between states. For example, the US is not likely to start a war with `connected' France, but America could more likely instigate a war with `disconnected' North Korea, Syria or Iran.

Barnett then examines the dangers associated with his definition of `disconnectedness.' He cleverly describes globalization as a condition defined by mutually assured dependence (MAD) and advises us that `Big Men', royal families, raw materials, theocracies and just bad luck can conspire to impede connectedness in the world. This is one of few places in his book that Barnett briefly discusses impediments to globalization - however, this short list looks at existing roadblocks to connectedness but not to future, system-wide dangers to globalization.

At this point in his book, Barnett also makes bold statements that America is never leaving the Gap and that we are therefore never "bringing our boys home." He believes that there is no exiting the Gap, only shrinking it. These statements have incited some of Barnett's critics to accuse him of fostering and advocating a state of perpetual war. Barnett rebuts these attacks by claiming that, "America's task is not perpetual war, nor the extension of empire. It is merely to serve as globalization's bodyguard wherever and whenever needed throughout the Gap." Barnett claims that the strategy of preemptive war is a "boundable problem," yet his earlier claim that we are never leaving the Gap and that our boys are never coming home does not square with his assertion that there will not be perpetual war. He cannot have it both ways.

Barnett then takes us on a pilgrimage to the Ten Commandments of globalization. Tellingly, this list is set up to be more like links in a chain than commandments. Each item in the list is connected to the next - meaning that each step is dependent upon its predecessor. If any of the links are broken or incomplete, the whole is destroyed. For example, Barnett warns us that if there is no security in the Gap, there can be no rules in the Gap. Barnett therefore undermines his own globalization-based grand strategy by pointing out in detail at least ten things that can go wrong with globalization - the foundation upon which his theory is built.

What else could kill globalization? Barnett himself tells us: "Labor, energy, money and security all need to flow as freely as possible from those places in the world where they are plentiful to those regions where they are scarce." Here he is implying that an interruption of any or all of these basic necessities can doom globalization. Barnett states clearly: "...(these are) the four massive flows I believe are essential to protect if Globalization III is going to advance." Simply put, any combination of American isolationism or closing of borders to immigration, a global energy crisis, a global financial crisis or rampant global insecurity could adversely affect "connectedness," a.k.a. globalization. These plausible future events, unnerving as they are, leave the inexorable advancement of globalization in doubt and we haven't yet explored other problems with Barnett's reliance on globalization to make the world peaceful, free and safe for democracy.

Barnett goes on to tell us that Operation Iraqi Freedom was an "overt attempt to create a "System Perturbation" centered in the Persian Gulf to trigger a Big Bang." His definition of a Big Bang in the Middle East is the democratization of the many totalitarian states in the region. He also claims that the Big Bang has targeted Iran's "sullen majority."

Barnett claims that our problem with shrinking the Gap is not our "motive or our means, but our inability to describe the enemies worth killing, the battles worth winning, and the future worth creating." Managing the global campaign to democratize the world is no easy task. Barnett admits that in a worst-case scenario we may be stuck in the "mother of all intifadas" in Iraq. Critics claim this is something that we should have planned for - that the insurgency should not have been a surprise, and that it should have been part of the "peacemaking" planning. Barnett blithely states that things will get better "...when America internationalizes the occupation." Barnett should not engage in wishful thinking here, as he also does when he predicted that Iraqis would be put in charge of their own country 18 months after the fall of Baghdad. It would be more accurate if he claimed this would happen 18 months after the cessation of hostilities. Some critics claim that Iraq is an example that we are an "empire in a hurry" (Michael Ignatieff), which then results in: 1) allocating insufficient resources to non-military aspects of the project and 2) attempting economic and political transformation in an unrealistically short time frame.

The final basic premise of Barnett's theory of the Core and the Gap is the concept of what he calls the "global transaction strategy." Barnett explains it best: "America's essential transaction with the outside world is one of our exporting security in return for the world's financing a lifestyle we could far more readily afford without all that defense spending." Barnett claims that America pays the most for global stability because we enjoy it the most. But what about the other 80 countries in the Core?

Why is America, like Atlas, bearing the weight of the world's security and stabilization on its shoulders?

Barnett claims that historical analogies are useless today and point us in the wrong direction. I disagree. James Madison cautioned us not to go abroad to seek monsters to destroy. We can learn from his simple and profound statement that there are simply too many state (and individual) monsters in today's world for the U.S. to destroy unilaterally or preemptively. We must also avoid overstretching our resources and power. Thucydides reminds us that the great democracy of Athens was brought to its knees by the ill-advised Sicilian expedition - which resulted in the destruction of everything the Athenians held dear. Do not ignore history as Barnett councils; heed it.

Globalization is likely here to stay, though it may be slowed down or even stopped in some regions of the planet. Therefore, America needs to stay engaged in the affairs of the world, but Barnett has not offered conclusive evidence that the U.S. needs to become the world's single Leviathan that must extinguish all global hot wars. Barnett also has not proved that America needs to be, as he writes, "the one willing to rush in when everyone else is running away." People like Barnett in academia and leaders in government may proclaim and ordain the U.S. to be a global Leviathan, but it is a conscious choice that should be thoroughly debated by the American people. After all, it is upon the backs of the American people that such a global Leviathan must ride. Where is the debate? The American people, upon reflection, may decide upon other courses of action.

I would strongly recommend "The Pentagon's New Map" to students who are studying U.S. foreign policy. I would also recommend it to those who are studying the Bush administration as well as the Pentagon. The ideas in the book seem to be popular with the military and many of its ideas can be seen in the current thinking and policy of the Pentagon and State Department.

It seems to be well researched - having 35 pages of notes. Many of Barnett's citations come from the Washington Post and the New York Times, which some may see as a liberal bias, but I see the sources as simply newspapers of record.

I would only caution the reader that Barnett's theories are heavily dependent upon the continued advancement of globalization, which in turn is dependent upon the continued economic ability of the U.S. to sustain military operations around the world indefinitely. Neither is guaranteed.

Alan H. Macdonald on April 1, 2013
A misused book waiting for redemption

I don't think poorly of Thomas Barnett himself. He's very bright and, I think, good hearted, BUT his well thought-out, well argued pride and joy (and positive intellectual pursuit) is being badly distorted ---- which happens to all 'tools' that Empire gets its hands on.

For those who like predictions, I would predict that Barnett will wind up going through an epiphany much like Francis Fukuyama (but a decade later) and for much the same reason, that his life's work gets misused and abused so greatly that he works to reverse and correct its misuse. Fukuyama, also brilliant, wrote "The End of History" in 1992 (which was misused by the neocons to engender war), and now he's working just as hard to reverse a misuse that he may feel some guilt of his work supporting, and is writing "The Future of History" as a force for good --- and I suspect (and hope) that Barnett will, in even less time, be counter-thinking and developing the strategy and book to reverse the misuse of his 2004 book before the Global Empire pulls down the curtain.

"Globalization" has turned out to be nothing but the polite PR term to disguise and avoid the truth of using the more accurate name, "Global Empire" --- and there is no doubt that Barnett is more than smart enough to see that this has inexorably happened.

Best luck and love to the fast expanding 'Occupy the Empire' educational and revolutionary movement against this deceitful, guileful, disguised EMPIRE, which can't so easily be identified as wearing Red Coats, Red Stars, nor funny looking Nazi helmets ---- quite yet!

Liberty, democracy, justice, and equality Over Violent/'Vichy' Rel 2.0 Empire,
Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

We don't MERELY have; a gun/fear problem, or a 'Fiscal Cliff', 'Sequestration', and 'Debt Limit' problem, or an expanding wars problem, or a 'drone assassinations' problem, or a vast income & wealth inequality problem, or a Wall Street 'looting' problem, or a Global Warming and environmental death-spiral problem, or a domestic tyranny NDAA FISA spying problem, or, or, or, or .... ad nauseam --- we have a hidden EMPIRE cancerous tumor which is the prime CAUSE of all these 'symptom problems'.

"If your country is treating you like ****, and bombing abroad, look carefully --- because it may not be your country, but a Global Empire only posing as your former country."

[Dec 21, 2019] We are all Palestinians: possible connection between neocons and Pentagon

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Lt. Col. Karen U. Kwiatkowski has written extensively about the purges of the patriots in the Defense Department that happened in Washington during the lead up and after the commencement of the Iraq war in 2003. ..."
"... If anybody thinks what I have written is an exaggeration, research what the late Admiral Thomas Moorer had to say years ago about the total infiltration of the Defense Department by Israeli agents. ..."
Aug 25, 2017 | www.unz.com

schrub , August 25, 2017 at 7:18 pm GMT

People who seem to think that Trump's generals will somehow go along and support his original vision are sadly mistaken.

Since 2003, Israel has had an increasingly strong hand in the vetting who gets promoted to upper positions in the American armed forces. All of the generals Trump has at his side went through a vetting procedure which definitely involved a very close look at their opinions about Israel.

Lt. Col. Karen U. Kwiatkowski has written extensively about the purges of the patriots in the Defense Department that happened in Washington during the lead up and after the commencement of the Iraq war in 2003.

Officers who openly oppose the dictates of the Israel Lobby will see their prospects for advancement simply vanish like a whiff of smoke.. Those who support Israel's machinations are rewarded with promotions, the more fervent the support the more rapid the promotion especially if this knowledge is made known to their congressman or senator..

Generals who support Israel already know that this support will be heavily rewarded after their retirements by being given lucrative six figure positions on company boards of directors or positions in equally lucrative think tanks like the American Enterprise Institution or the Hoover Institute. They will receive hefty speaking fees. as well. They learned early that their retirements could be truly glorious if they only "went" along with The Lobby. They will be able to then live the good life in expensive places like Washington, New York or San Francisco, often invited to glitzy parties with unlimited amount of free prawns "the size of your hand".

On the other hand, upper officers who somehow get then get "bad" reputations for their negative views about Israel ( like Karen U. Kwiatkowski for instance) will end up, once retired, having to depend on just their often scanty pensions This requires getting an often demeaning second jobs to get by in some place where "their dollar goes further". No bright lights in big cities for them. No speaking fees, no college jobs. Once their fate becomes known, their still active duty contemporaries suddenly decide to "go along".

If anybody thinks what I have written is an exaggeration, research what the late Admiral Thomas Moorer had to say years ago about the total infiltration of the Defense Department by Israeli agents.

Face it, we live in a country under occupation by a hostile power that we willingly pay large amounts monetary tribute to. Our government does whatever benefits Israel regardless of how negatively this effects the USA. We are increasing troop strength in Afghanistan because, somehow, this benefits Israel. If our presence in Afghanistan (or the Mideast in general) didn't benefit Israel, our troops would simply not be there.

We are all Palestinians.

[Dec 30, 2017] Denouncing and openly hating Russia has now become a form of virtue-signaling. Since the entire US political elites have endorsed this phobia, it is exceedingly unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. That increases the probably of confrontation by The Saker

Notable quotes:
"... What will not stop is the full-spectrum demonization of Russia, thus the relationship between the two countries will further deteriorate. Putin's Russia is a kind of Mordor which represents all evil and stands behind all evil. Denouncing and openly hating Russia has now become a form of virtue-signaling. Since the entire US political elites have endorsed this phobia, it is exceedingly unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. ..."
Dec 29, 2017 | www.unz.com

Russia option 1 : rumors that the US would disconnect Russia from SWIFT or steal (that is politely called "freeze") Russian assets and funds in the US have been going in for a long time already. And the Russians have been making all sorts of menacing noises about this, but all of them very vague which tells me that Russia might not have any good retaliatory options and that this time around the hot air is blowing from Moscow. Of course, Putin is a unpredictable master strategist and the folks around him are very, very smart. They might hold something up their sleeve which I am not aware of but I strongly suspect that, unlike me, the US intelligence community must be fully aware of what this might be. I am not an economist and there is much I don't know here, I therefore assessed the risk as "unknown" for me.

Russia option 2 : the reaction of Russia to the shooting down by Turkey of a SU-24 in 2015 might well have given the US politicians and commanders a feeling that they could do the same and get away with it. In truth, they might be right. But they might also be wrong. The big difference with the case of the SU-24 is that Russia has formidable air-defenses deployed in Syria which present a major threat for US forces. Furthermore, if a Russian aircraft is under attack and the Russians reply by firing a volley of ground-to-air missiles, what would the US do – attack a Russian S-400 battery?

The US is also in a tricky situation in an air-to-air confrontation. While the F-22 is an excellent air superiority fighter it has one huge weakness: it is designed to engage its adversaries from a long range and to shoot first, before it is detected (I mention only the F-22 here because it is the only US aircraft capable of challenging the Su-30SM/Su-35). But if the rules of engagement say that before firing at a Russian aircraft the F-22 has to issue a clear warning or if the engagement happens at medium to short range distances, then the F-22 is at a big disadvantage, especially against a Su-30SM or Su-35.

Another major weakness of the F-22 is that, unlike the Su-30/Su-35, it does not have a real electronic warfare suite (the F-22's INEWS does not really qualify). In plain English this means that the F-22 was designed to maximize its low radar cross section but at a cost of all other aspects of aerial warfare (radar power, hyper maneuverability, electronic warfare, passive engagement, etc.).

This all gets very technical and complicated very fast, but I think that we can agree that the Neocons are unlikely to be very impressed by the risks posed by Russian forces in Syria and that they will likely feel that they can punch the russkies in the nose and that these russkies will have to take it. Local US commanders might feel otherwise, but that is also entirely irrelevant. Still, I place the risk here at 'medium' even if, potentially, this could lead to a catastrophic thermonuclear war because I don't think that the Neocons believe that the Russians will escalate too much (who starts WWIII over one shot down aircraft anyway, right?!). Think of it: if you were the commander of the Russian task force in Syria, what would you do if the US shot down on of your aircraft (remember, you assume that you are a responsible and intelligent commander, not a flag-waving delusional maniac)?

What will not stop is the full-spectrum demonization of Russia, thus the relationship between the two countries will further deteriorate. Putin's Russia is a kind of Mordor which represents all evil and stands behind all evil. Denouncing and openly hating Russia has now become a form of virtue-signaling. Since the entire US political elites have endorsed this phobia, it is exceedingly unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

Donbass : will the Ukronazis finally attack? Well, they have been for many months already! Not only did they never stop shelling the Donbass, but they have this new "frog-jump" (pseudo) strategy which consists of moving in military forces in the neutral zone, seize an undefended town and then declare a major victory against Russia. They have also been re-arming, re-organizing, re-grouping and otherwise bolstering their forces in the East. As a result, the Urkonazis have at least 3:1 advantage against the Novorussians. However, we should not look at this from the Ukronazi or Novorussian point of view. Instead we should look at it from the Neocon point of view:

Possible outcomes US reactions
Option one: Ukronazis win Russia is defeated, US proves its power
Option two: Novorussians win Russia is accused of invading the Ukraine
Option three: Novorussians lose and Russia openly intervenes A Neocon dream come true: the NATO has a purpose again:decades of Cold War v2 in Europe.

The way I see it, in all three cases the AngloZionist prevail though clearly option #2 is the worst possible outcome and option #3 is the best one. In truth, the AngloZionists have very little to lose in a Ukronazi attack on Novorussia. Not so the Ukrainian people, of course.

Right now the US and several European countries are shipping various types of weapons to the Ukronazis. That is really a non-news since they have been doing that for years already. Furthermore, western made weapons won't make any difference, at least from a military point of view, if only because it will always be much easier for Russia to send more weapons in any category.

The real difference is a political one: shipping "lethal weapons" (as if some weapons were not lethal!) is simply a green light to go on the attack. Let's hope that the Urkonazis will be busy fighting each other and that their previous humiliating defeat will deter them from trying again, but I consider a full-scale Urkonazi attack on the Donbass as quite likely.

[Dec 30, 2017] The recent blather in the "Conservative" Commentariat that Haley is looking like Presidential material. God help us all

Dec 30, 2017 | www.unz.com

The Alarmist , December 29, 2017 at 2:32 pm GMT

"Nikki Haley -- there is the real imbecile!"

And yet there is recent blather in the "Conservative" Commentariat that Haley is looking like Presidential material. God help us all.

[Dec 29, 2017] Will War Cancel Trump's Triumphs by Pat Buchanan

Dec 29, 2017 | www.unz.com

But it is in the realm of foreign policy where the real perils seem to lie. President Trump has been persuaded by his national security team to send Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, for use against the tanks and armor of pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk.

Should Petro Poroshenko's Kiev regime reignite the war in his breakaway provinces bordering Russia, Vladimir Putin is less likely to let him crush the rebels than to intervene with superior forces and rout the Ukrainian army.

Trump's choice then? Accept defeat and humiliation for our "ally" -- or escalate and widen the conflict with Russia.

Putin's interest in the Donbass, a part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union for centuries, is obvious.

What, exactly, is ours -- to justify a showdown with Moscow?

In this city there is also a powerful propaganda push to have this country tear up the nuclear deal John Kerry negotiated with Iran, and confront the Iranians in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Persian Gulf.

... ... ...

The Korean War finished Truman. Vietnam finished LBJ. Reagan said putting Marines into Lebanon was his worst mistake. Iraq cost Bush II both houses of Congress and his party the presidency in 2008.

Should Trump become a war president, he'll likely become a one-term president.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

[Dec 28, 2017] How CrowdStrike placed malware in DNC hacked servers by Alex Christoforou

Highly recommended!
If this is true, then this is definitely a sophisticated false flag operation. Was malware Alperovich people injected specifically designed to implicate Russians? In other words Crowdstrike=Fancy Bear
Images removed. For full content please thee the original source
One interesting corollary of this analysis is that installing Crowdstrike software is like inviting a wolf to guard your chicken. If they are so dishonest you take enormous risks. That might be true for some other heavily advertized "intrusion prevention" toolkits. So those criminals who use mistyped popular addresses or buy Google searches to drive lemmings to their site and then flash the screen that they detected a virus on your computer a, please call provided number and for a small amount of money your virus will be removed get a new more sinister life.
I suspected many of such firms (for example ISS which was bought by IBM in 2006) to be scams long ago.
Notable quotes:
"... Disobedient Media outlines the DNC server cover-up evidenced in CrowdStrike malware infusion ..."
"... In the article, they claim to have just been working on eliminating the last of the hackers from the DNC's network during the past weekend (conveniently coinciding with Assange's statement and being an indirect admission that their Falcon software had failed to achieve it's stated capabilities at that time , assuming their statements were accurate) . ..."
"... To date, CrowdStrike has not been able to show how the malware had relayed any emails or accessed any mailboxes. They have also not responded to inquiries specifically asking for details about this. In fact, things have now been discovered that bring some of their malware discoveries into question. ..."
"... there is a reason to think Fancy Bear didn't start some of its activity until CrowdStrike had arrived at the DNC. CrowdStrike, in the indiciators of compromise they reported, identified three pieces of malware relating to Fancy Bear: ..."
"... They found that generally, in a lot of cases, malware developers didn't care to hide the compile times and that while implausible timestamps are used, it's rare that these use dates in the future. It's possible, but unlikely that one sample would have a postdated timestamp to coincide with their visit by mere chance but seems extremely unlikely to happen with two or more samples. Considering the dates of CrowdStrike's activities at the DNC coincide with the compile dates of two out of the three pieces of malware discovered and attributed to APT-28 (the other compiled approximately 2 weeks prior to their visit), the big question is: Did CrowdStrike plant some (or all) of the APT-28 malware? ..."
"... The IP address, according to those articles, was disabled in June 2015, eleven months before the DNC emails were acquired – meaning those IP addresses, in reality, had no involvement in the alleged hacking of the DNC. ..."
"... The fact that two out of three of the Fancy Bear malware samples identified were compiled on dates within the apparent five day period CrowdStrike were apparently at the DNC seems incredibly unlikely to have occurred by mere chance. ..."
"... That all three malware samples were compiled within ten days either side of their visit – makes it clear just how questionable the Fancy Bear malware discoveries were. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | theduran.com

Of course the DNC did not want to the FBI to investigate its "hacked servers". The plan was well underway to excuse Hillary's pathetic election defeat to Trump, and CrowdStrike would help out by planting evidence to pin on those evil "Russian hackers." Some would call this entire DNC server hack an "insurance policy."

... ... ...

[Dec 27, 2017] Bannon Puts Jared Through the Grinder

Notable quotes:
"... After scorning the Russia collusion theories as fiction, Bannon acknowledged the grisly reality that the Russia investigation poses for his former boss. And he blamed it all on Kushner, for having created the appearance that Putin had helped Trump. Dropping Kushner head first into the grinder, Bannon turned the crank. ..."
"... "[Kushner was] taking meetings with Russians to get additional stuff. This tells you everything about Jared," Bannon told the magazine's Gabriel Sherman. "They were looking for the picture of Hillary Clinton taking the bag of cash from Putin. That's his maturity level." ..."
"... Informing Vanity Fair that Kushner's hunt for political smut led him to over-fraternize with the Russians might not be the best way for Bannon to throw special counsel Robert S. Mueller III off the collusion scent. ..."
"... Sherman's piece reveals the cognitive split that evolved between Bannon and others, specifically Trump, on how to handle the mess that had been created. "Goldman Sachs teaches one thing: don't invent shit. Take something that works and make it better," Bannon told Sherman. He said he consulted with Bill Clinton's former lawyer Lanny Davis about how the Clintons responded to Ken Starr's probe. "We were so disciplined. You guys don't have that," Bannon recalls Davis advising him. "That always haunted me when he said that," Bannon told Sherman. Bannon said the investigation was an attempt by the establishment to undo the election, but he took it seriously and warned Trump he was in danger of being impeached. ..."
"... There's even more hot Bannon on Kushner action. Bannon tells of an Oval Office meeting he attended with Trump, Kushner and Kushner's wife Ivanka Trump in which he called Ivanka "the queen of leaks." "You're a fucking liar!" Ivanka allegedly responded. Hard to know how to score this round, but shattering the public image of Ivanka as poised princess must have been satisfying for a guy who called Javanka "the Democrats." ..."
"... Although "people close to Kushner, who decline to be named" told the Times they don't think the Mueller investigation exposes him to legal jeopardy, the young prince isn't taking chances. The Washington Post reports that his lawyer, Abbe Lowell, has been shopping for a "crisis public relations firm" over the past two weeks. (Senator Robert Menendez, the recent beneficiary of a deadlocked corruption trial, is another Lowell client.) ..."
"... Why hire super flacks now? Does Kushner sense disaster? Another Bannon offensive? The Flynn plea bargain exposed him -- according to the press -- as the "very senior member" of the Trump transition team described in court documents who told former national security adviser Michael Flynn to lobby the Russian ambassador about a U.N. resolution on Israeli settlements. Maybe he's just buying reputation insurance. Or maybe he's taken to heart Chris Christie's scathing comments. Christie was squeezed out of the Trump transition early on, some say by Kushner who is said to hold a grudge against Christie who, when he was federal prosecutor, put Kushner's father in jail . This week Christie said that Kushner "deserves the scrutiny" he's been getting. It was almost as if Christie and Bannon were operating a twin-handled grinder, cranking out an extra helping of Kushner's tainted reputation. ..."
"... President Putin and President Trump occupied the same page about the scandal this week in what was either a matter of collusion or of great minds thinking alike. Speaking at a four-hour media event in Moscow, Putin blamed the scandal on the U.S. "deep state" and said, "This is all made up by people who oppose Trump to make his work look illegitimate." According to CNN , Trump took the opportunity this week to call the Russia investigation "bullshit" in private. In public, he told reporters, "There's absolutely no collusion. I didn't make a phone call to Russia. I have nothing to do with Russia. Everybody knows it." ..."
Dec 27, 2017 | www.politico.com

Former Trump chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon milled his former Oval Office colleague Jared Kushner into a bloody chunk of battle sausage this week and smeared him across the shiny pages of Vanity Fair . You've got to read Bannon's quote three or four times to fully savor the tang of its malice and cruelty. After scorning the Russia collusion theories as fiction, Bannon acknowledged the grisly reality that the Russia investigation poses for his former boss. And he blamed it all on Kushner, for having created the appearance that Putin had helped Trump. Dropping Kushner head first into the grinder, Bannon turned the crank.

"[Kushner was] taking meetings with Russians to get additional stuff. This tells you everything about Jared," Bannon told the magazine's Gabriel Sherman. "They were looking for the picture of Hillary Clinton taking the bag of cash from Putin. That's his maturity level."

Informing Vanity Fair that Kushner's hunt for political smut led him to over-fraternize with the Russians might not be the best way for Bannon to throw special counsel Robert S. Mueller III off the collusion scent. So what was the big man in the Barbour coat up to?

That Bannon and Kushner skirmished during their time together in the White House has been long established. Kushner advocated the sacking FBI Director James B. Comey, for example, and Bannon opposed it. He later told 60 Minutes that the firing was maybe the worst mistake in "modern political history" because it precipitated the hiring of the special counsel and had thereby expanded the investigation.

Sherman's piece reveals the cognitive split that evolved between Bannon and others, specifically Trump, on how to handle the mess that had been created. "Goldman Sachs teaches one thing: don't invent shit. Take something that works and make it better," Bannon told Sherman. He said he consulted with Bill Clinton's former lawyer Lanny Davis about how the Clintons responded to Ken Starr's probe. "We were so disciplined. You guys don't have that," Bannon recalls Davis advising him. "That always haunted me when he said that," Bannon told Sherman. Bannon said the investigation was an attempt by the establishment to undo the election, but he took it seriously and warned Trump he was in danger of being impeached.

Bannon's gripe against Kushner in Vanity Fair continues: He claims that Donald Trump's disparaging tweets about Attorney General Jeff Sessions were designed to provide "cover" for Kushner by steering negative media attention toward Sessions and away from Kushner as he was scheduled to testify before a Senate committee.

There's even more hot Bannon on Kushner action. Bannon tells of an Oval Office meeting he attended with Trump, Kushner and Kushner's wife Ivanka Trump in which he called Ivanka "the queen of leaks." "You're a fucking liar!" Ivanka allegedly responded. Hard to know how to score this round, but shattering the public image of Ivanka as poised princess must have been satisfying for a guy who called Javanka "the Democrats."

Getting mauled by Steve Bannon might not be the worst thing to happen to the president's son-in-law this week. He and Ivanka were sued by a private attorney for failing to disclose assets from 30 investment funds on their federal financial disclosure forms. Perhaps more ominous for Kushner, and according to the New York Times , federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have subpoenaed Deutsche Bank records about Kushner's family's real estate business. "There is no indication that the subpoena is related to the investigation being conducted by Robert S. Mueller III," the Times allowed. Yeah, but wouldn't you want to be there when Mueller's team invites Bannon in to talk to him about the Vanity Fair article, and they ask him, "What did you mean about Jared taking meetings with Russians to get additional stuff? Like, what stuff?"

Although "people close to Kushner, who decline to be named" told the Times they don't think the Mueller investigation exposes him to legal jeopardy, the young prince isn't taking chances. The Washington Post reports that his lawyer, Abbe Lowell, has been shopping for a "crisis public relations firm" over the past two weeks. (Senator Robert Menendez, the recent beneficiary of a deadlocked corruption trial, is another Lowell client.)

Why hire super flacks now? Does Kushner sense disaster? Another Bannon offensive? The Flynn plea bargain exposed him -- according to the press -- as the "very senior member" of the Trump transition team described in court documents who told former national security adviser Michael Flynn to lobby the Russian ambassador about a U.N. resolution on Israeli settlements. Maybe he's just buying reputation insurance. Or maybe he's taken to heart Chris Christie's scathing comments. Christie was squeezed out of the Trump transition early on, some say by Kushner who is said to hold a grudge against Christie who, when he was federal prosecutor, put Kushner's father in jail . This week Christie said that Kushner "deserves the scrutiny" he's been getting. It was almost as if Christie and Bannon were operating a twin-handled grinder, cranking out an extra helping of Kushner's tainted reputation.

President Putin and President Trump occupied the same page about the scandal this week in what was either a matter of collusion or of great minds thinking alike. Speaking at a four-hour media event in Moscow, Putin blamed the scandal on the U.S. "deep state" and said, "This is all made up by people who oppose Trump to make his work look illegitimate." According to CNN , Trump took the opportunity this week to call the Russia investigation "bullshit" in private. In public, he told reporters, "There's absolutely no collusion. I didn't make a phone call to Russia. I have nothing to do with Russia. Everybody knows it."

Everybody, perhaps, except former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Appearing on CNN , Clapper used direct language to bind former KGB officer Putin to Trump tighter than a girdle to a paunch. "[Putin] knows how to handle an asset, and that's what he's doing with the president," Clapper said. "I think some of that experience and instincts of Putin has come into play here in his managing of a pretty important account for him, if I could use that term, with our president."

Writing in Newsweek , Jeff Stein collected other tell-tale signs of Trump's cooptation: He refused to take Russian meddling in the election seriously. He responds favorably to Putin's praise and seems to crave more. He dismisses worries about his circle's connections to Kremlin agents before the election and during the transition -- and he tried to call off the Flynn investigation.

It's enough to make you wonder why Bannon thinks Kushner is the enemy, not Trump.

******

If you've read this far, you're probably disappointed that more didn't happen in the Trump Tower scandal this week. Sue me in small claims court via email to Shafer.Politico@gmail.com . My email alerts never believed in collusion, my Twitter feed is set to cut a plea deal with Mueller, and my RSS feed has several crisis PR firms on retainer.

[Dec 25, 2017] The USA as neocons occupied country

Apr 28, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
XXX, April 28, 2017 at 06:29 PM
Sanjait,

"Hillary Clinton, following a long tradition of mainstream Democrats, had a grab bag of proposals that, if enacted, would collectively make a huge difference in the lives of working people. "

I think you are wrong here.

Hillary was/is a neoliberal, and as such is hostile to the interests of working people and middle class in general. Like most neoliberals she is a Machiavellian elitist. Her election promises are pure demagogy, much like Trump or Obama election promised (immortalized in the slogan "change we can believe in" which now became the synonym of election fraud)

Also she was/is hell-bent of preserving/expanding the US neoliberal empire and the wars for neoliberal dominance (in ME mainly for the benefit of Israel and Saudis). War are pretty costly ventures and they are financed at the expense of working class and lower middle class, never at the expense of "fat cats" from Wall Street.

All-in-all I think the role of POTUS is greatly "misunderestimated" in your line of thinking. As we can see differences between Trump and Hillary in foreign policy are marginal. Why are you assuming that the differences in domestic economic policies would be greater ?

In reality there are other powerful factors in play that diminish the importance of POTUS:

  1. The US Presidential Elections are no longer an instrument for change. They are completely corrupted and are mostly of "bread and circuses" type of events, where two gladiators preselected by financial elite fight for the coveted position, using all kind of dirty tricks for US public entertainment.
  2. While the appearance of democracy remains, in reality the current system represents that rule of "deep state". In the classic form of "National security state". In the National Security State, the US people no longer have the any chances to change the policies.
  3. Political emasculation of US voters has led to frustration, depression and rage. It feeds radical right movement including neo-fascists, which embrace more extreme remedies to the current problems because they correctly feel that the traditional parties no longer represent the will of the people.
  4. Insulated and partially degenerated US elite have grown more obtuse and is essentially a hostage for neocons. They chose to ignore the seething anger that lies just below the surface of brainwashed Us electorate.
  5. The "American Dream" is officially dead. People at a and below lower middle class level see little hope for themselves, their children or the country. The chasm between top 1% (or let's say top 20%) and the rest continues to fuel populist anger.
  6. While Trump proved to be "yet another turncoat" like Barak Obama (who just got his first silver coin in the form of the $400K one hour speech) Trump's election signify a broad rejection of the country's neoliberal elite, including neoliberal MSM, neocon foreign policy as well as neoliberal economic system (and first of all neoliberal globalization).
  7. The country foreign policy remains hijacked by neocons (this time in the form of fiends of Paul Wolfowitz among the military brass appointed by Trump to top positions in his administration) and that might spell major conflict or even WWIII.

The level of subservience to neocon agenda in Trump administration might well be higher then in previous administration. And "make America first" was already transformed into "full spectrum dominance" == "America uber alles". http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/deutschland-uber-alles-and-america-first-in-song

8. We can now talk about the USA as "neocon occupied country" (NOC), because the neocons policies contradict the USA national interests and put heavy burden of taxpayers, especially in lower income categories. Due to neglect in maintaining infrastructure, in some areas the USA already looks like third word country. Still we finance Israel and several other countries to the tune of $40 billion dollars in military aid alone (that that's in case of Israel just the tip of the iceberg; real figure is probably double of that) https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf

Since Bill Clinton POTUS is more or less a marionette of financial oligarchy (which Obama -- as a person without the past (or with a very fuzzy past) - symbolizes all too well).

[Dec 25, 2017] The Israel-gate Side of Russia-gate Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... In this case, what Flynn and Kushner were doing was going directly against US foreign policy, because Obama wanted the resolution to pass; He just didn't want to vote for it because that would cross the Israel lobby in the United States. The US finally ended up abstaining on the resolution and it passed 14-0. ..."
"... But before that happened, Flynn went to the Russians and to Egypt, both members of the Security Council, and tried to get the resolution delayed. But all of Israel's machinations to derail this resolution failed and that is what Mueller was investigating, the intervention and disruption of American foreign policy by private citizens who had no official role. ..."
"... While I think Bibi is an idiot, I also think the Logan Act is overinvoked, overstated, probably of dubious legal value and also of dubious constitutional value. ..."
"... In short, especially because Trump had been elected, though not yet inaugurated, I think he is not at all guilty of a Logan Act violation. This is nothing close to Spiro Agnew calling Anna Chenault from the airplane in August 1968. ..."
"... Probably true, although evidence of extreme collusion with Israel eliminates any case against Russia, with whom we have far more reasons for amity. Bringing out the Israel collusion greatly improves public understanding of political corruption. Perhaps it will awaken some to the Agnew-Chennault betrayal of the people of the US. ..."
"... It's ironic that Russia-gate is turning out to be Israel's effort to distract attention from its complete control over the Democratic party in 2016. From Israeli billionaires behind the scenes to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz at the helm. ..."
"... "Whether we like it or not, the former and current administration view Russia is as an enemy state." So that is how it works, the White House says it is an enemy state and therefore it is. The so called declaration is the hammer used for trying to make contact with Russia a criminal offense. We are not at war with Russia although we see our leaders doing their best to provoke Russia into one. ..."
"... The Israel connection disclosed by the malpracticer hack Mueller in the recent Flynn-flam just made Trump bullet-proof (so to speak). ..."
"... So Mueller caught Kushner and Flynn red-handed, sabotaging the Obama administration? What of it? He can't use that evidence, because it would inculpate the Zionist neocons that are orchestrating his farcical, Stalinist witchhunt. And Mueller, being an efficient terminator bot, knows that his target is Russia, not Israel. ..."
"... So Mueller will just have to continue swamp-fishing for potential perjurers ahem witnesses, for the upcoming show trials (to further inflame public opinion against Russia and Russia sympathizers). And continue he will, because (as we all know from Schwarzenegger's flicks), the only way to stop the terminator is to terminate him/it first. ..."
"... Trump and Kushner have nothing to worry about, even if a smoking gun is found that proves their collusion with Israel. That's because the entire political and media establishment will simply ignore the Israeli connection. ..."
"... Journalists and politicians will even continue to present Mike Flynn's contacts as evidence of collusion with Russia. They'll keep on repeating that "Flynn lied about his phone call to the Russian ambassador". But there will be no mention of the fact that the purpose of this contact was to support Israel and not any alleged Russian interference. ..."
"... I think you have it right Brendan. The MSM, Intelligence Community, and Mueller would never go down any path that popularized undue Israeli influence on US foreign policy. "Nothing to see here folks, move along." ..."
"... The Nice Zionists responsible for the thefts and murders for the past 69 years along with the "Jewish Community" in the rest of the world will resolve the matter so as to be fair to both parties. This is mind-boggling fantasy. ..."
"... FFS, Netanyahu aired a political commercial in Florida for Romney saying vote for this guy (against Obama)! I mean, it doesn't get any more overtly manipulative than that. Period. End of story. ..."
"... God, I hate to go all "Israel controls the media" but there it is. Not even a discussion. Just a fact. ..."
"... I also have to point out that he "fist pumped" Hillary Clinton at Mohammed Ali's eulogy. If he's as astute as he purports to be, he has to know that Hillary would have invaded Syria and killed a few hundred thousand more Syrians for the simple act of defiantly preserving their country. By almost any read of Ali's history, he would have been adamantly ("killing brown people") against that. But there was Silverstein using the platform to promote, arguably, perpetual war. ..."
"... Yeah I found a couple of Silverstein's statements to be closer to neocon propaganda than reality: "Because this is Israel and because we have a conflicted relationship with the Israel lobby . . ." "Instead of going directly to the Obama administration, with which they had terrible relations, they went to Trump instead." My impression was that the whole "terrible relationship between Obama and Netanyahu" was manufactured by the Israel lobby to bully Obama. However these are small blips within an otherwise solid critique of the Israel lobby's influence. ..."
Dec 25, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

The Israel-gate Side of Russia-gate December 23, 2017

While unproven claims of Russian meddling in U.S. politics have whipped Official Washington into a frenzy, much less attention has been paid to real evidence of Israeli interference in U.S. politics, as Dennis J Bernstein describes.

By Dennis J Bernstein

In investigating Russia's alleged meddling in U.S. politics, special prosecutor Robert Mueller uncovered evidence that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pressured the Trump transition team to undermine President Obama's plans to permit the United Nations to censure Israel over its illegal settlement building on the Palestinian West Bank, a discovery referenced in the plea deal with President Trump's first National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel at the United Nations General Assembly (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

At Netanyahu's behest, Flynn and President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly took the lead in the lobbying to derail the U.N. resolution, which Flynn discussed in a phone call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak (in which the Russian diplomat rebuffed Flynn's appeal to block the resolution).

I spoke on Dec, 18 with independent journalist and blogger Richard Silverstein, who writes on national security and other issues for a number of blogs at Tikun Olam .

Dennis Bernstein: A part of Michael Flynn's plea had to do with some actions he took before coming to power regarding Israel and the United Nations. Please explain.

Richard Silverstein:

The Obama administration was negotiating in the [UN] Security Council just before he left office about a resolution that would condemn Israeli settlements. Obviously, the Israeli government did not want this resolution to be passed. Instead of going directly to the Obama administration, with which they had terrible relations, they went to Trump instead. They approached Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner became involved in this. While they were in the transition and before having any official capacity, they negotiated with various members of the Security Council to try to quash the settlement resolution.

One of the issues here which is little known is the Logan Act, which was passed at the foundation of our republic and was designed to prevent private citizens from usurping the foreign policy prerogatives of the executive. It criminalized any private citizen who attempted to negotiate with an enemy country over any foreign policy issue.

In this case, what Flynn and Kushner were doing was going directly against US foreign policy, because Obama wanted the resolution to pass; He just didn't want to vote for it because that would cross the Israel lobby in the United States. The US finally ended up abstaining on the resolution and it passed 14-0.

But before that happened, Flynn went to the Russians and to Egypt, both members of the Security Council, and tried to get the resolution delayed. But all of Israel's machinations to derail this resolution failed and that is what Mueller was investigating, the intervention and disruption of American foreign policy by private citizens who had no official role.

This speaks to the power of the Israel lobby and of Israel itself to disrupt our foreign policy. Very few people have ever been charged with committing an illegal act by advocating on behalf of Israel. That is one of the reasons why this is such an important development. Until now, the lobby has really ruled supreme on the issue of Israel and Palestine in US foreign policy. Now it is possible that a private citizen will actually be made to pay a price for that.

This is an important development because the lobby till now has run roughshod over our foreign policy in this area and this may act as a restraining order against blatant disruption of US foreign policy by people like this.

Bernstein: So this information is a part of Michael Flynn's plea. Anyone studying this would learn something about Michael Flynn and it would be part of the prosecution's investigation.

Silverstein:

That's absolutely right. One thing to note here is that it is reporters who have raised the issue of the Logan Act, not Mueller or Flynn's people or anyone in the Trump administration. But I do think that Logan is a very important part of this plea deal, even if it is not mentioned explicitly.

Bernstein: If the special prosecutor had smoking-gun information that the Trump administration colluded with Russia, in the way they colluded with Israel before coming to power, this would be a huge revelation. But it is definitely collusion when it comes to Israel.

Silverstein: Absolutely. If this were Russia, it would be on the front page of every major newspaper in the United States and the leading story on the TV news. Because this is Israel and because we have a conflicted relationship with the Israel lobby and they have so much influence on US policy concerning Israel, it has managed to stay on the back burner. Only two or three media outlets besides mine have raised this issue of Logan and collusion. Kushner and Flynn may be the first American citizens charged under the Logan Act for interfering on behalf of Israel in our foreign policy. This is a huge issue and it has hardly been raised at all.

Bernstein: As you know, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC has made a career out of investigating the Russia-gate charges. She says that she has read all this material carefully, so she must have read about Flynn and Israel, but I haven't heard her on this issue at all.

Silverstein:

Even progressive journalists, who you'd think would be going after this with a vengeance, are frightened off by the fact the lobby really bites back. So, aside from outlets like the Intercept and the Electronic Intifada, there is a lot of hesitation about going after the Israel lobby. People are afraid because they know that there is a high price to be paid. It goes from being purely journalism to being a personal and political vendetta when they get you in their sights. In fact, one of the reasons I feel my blog is so important is that what I do is challenge Israeli policy and Israeli intervention in places where it doesn't belong.

Bernstein: Jared Kushner is the point man for the Trump administration on Israel. He has talked about having a "vision for peace." Do you think it is a problem that this is someone with a long, close relationship with the prime minister of Israel and, in fact, runs a foundation that invests in the building of illegal Israeli settlements? Might this be problematic?

Silverstein:

It is quite nefarious, actually. When Jared Kushner was a teenager, Netanyahu used to stay at the Kushner family home when he visited the United States. This relationship with one of the most extreme right political figures in Israel goes back decades. And it is not just Kushner himself, but all the administration personnel dealing with these so-called peace negotiations, including Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman, the ambassador. These are all orthodox Jews who tend to have very nationalist views when it comes to Israel. They all support settlements financially through foundations. These are not honest brokers.

We could talk at length about the history of US personnel who have been negotiators for Middle East peace. All of them have been favorable to Israel and answerable to the Israel lobby, including Dennis Ross and Makovsky, who served in the last administration. These people are dyed-in-the-wool ultra-nationalist supporters of [Israeli] settlements. They have no business playing any role in negotiating a peace deal.

My prediction all along has been that these peace negotiations will come to naught, even though they seem to have bought the cooperation of Saudi Arabia, which is something new in the process. The Palestinians can never accept a deal that has been negotiated by Kushner and company because it will be far too favorable to Israel and it will totally neglect the interests of the Palestinians.

Bernstein: It has been revealed that Kushner supports the building of settlements in the West Bank. Most people don't understand the politics of what is going on there, but it appears to be part of an ethnic cleansing.

Silverstein:

The settlements have always been a violation of international law, ever since Israel conquered the West Bank in 1967. The Geneva Conventions direct an occupying power to withdraw from territory that was not its own. In 1967 Israel invaded Arab states and conquered the West Bank and Gaza but this has never been recognized or accepted by any nation until now.

The fact that Kushner and his family are intimately involved in supporting settlements–as are David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt–is completely outrageous. No member of any previous US administration would have been allowed to participate with these kinds of financial investments in support of settlements. Of course, Trump doesn't understand the concept of conflict of interest because he is heavily involved in such conflicts himself. But no party in the Middle East except Israel is going to consider the US an honest broker and acceptable as a mediator.

When they announce this deal next January, no one in the Arab World is going to accept it, with the possible exception of Saudi Arabia because they have other fish to fry in terms of Iran. The next three years are going to be interesting, supposing Trump lasts out his term. My prediction is that the peace plan will fail and that it will lead to greater violence in the Middle East. It will not simply lead to a vacuum, it will lead to a deterioration in conditions there.

Bernstein: The Trump transition team was actually approached directly by the Israeli government to try to intercede at the United Nations.

Silverstein:

I'm assuming it was Netanyahu who went directly to Kushner and Trump. Now, we haven't yet found out that Trump directly knew about this but it is very hard to believe that Trump didn't endorse this. Now that we know that Mueller has access to all of the emails of the transition team, there is little doubt that they have been able to find their smoking gun. Flynn's plea meant that they basically had him dead to rights. It remains to be seen what will happen with Kushner but I would think that this would play some role in either the prosecution of Kushner or some plea deal.

Bernstein: The other big story, of course, is the decision by the Trump administration to move the US embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. Was there any pre-election collusion in that regard and what are the implications?

Silverstein:

Well, it's a terrible decision which goes against forty to fifty years of US foreign policy. It also breaches all international understanding. All of our allies in the European Union and elsewhere are aghast at this development. There is now a campaign in the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution condemning the announcement, which we will veto, but the next step will be to go to the General Assembly, where such a resolution will pass easily.

The question is how much anger, violence and disruption this is going to cause around the world, especially in the Arab and Muslim world. This is a slow-burning fuse. It is not going to explode right now. The issue of Jerusalem is so vital that this is not something that is simply going to go away. This is going to be a festering sore in the Muslim world and among Palestinians. We have already seen attacks on Israeli soldiers and citizens and there will be many more.

As to collusion in all of this, since Trump always said during the campaign that this was what he was going to do, it might be difficult to treat this in the same way as the UN resolution. The UN resolution was never on anybody's radar and nobody knew the role that Trump was playing behind the scenes with that–as opposed to Trump saying right from the get-go that Jerusalem was going to be recognized as the capital of Jerusalem.

By doing that, they have completely abrogated any Palestinian interest in Jerusalem. This is a catastrophic decision that really excludes the United States from being an honest broker here and shows our true colors in terms of how pro-Israel we are.

Dennis J Bernstein is a host of "Flashpoints" on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom . You can access the audio archives at www.flashpoints.net .

Drew Hunkins , December 23, 2017 at 5:37 pm

As most regular readers of CN already know, some dynamite books on the inordinate amount of influence pro-Israel zealots have on Washington:

1.) 'The Host and the Parasite' by Greg Felton
2.) 'Power of Israel in the United States' by James Petras
3.) 'They Dare to Speak Out' by Paul Findley
4.) 'The Israel Lobby' by Mearsheimer and Walt
5.) 'Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of U.S. Power' by James Petras

I suggest that anyone relatively knew to this neglected topic peruse a few of the aforementioned titles. An inevitable backlash by the citizens of the United States is eventually forthcoming against the Zionist Power Configuration. It's crucial that this impending backlash remain democratic, non-violent, eschews anti-Semitism, and travels in a progressive in direction.

Annie , December 23, 2017 at 5:47 pm

Which one would you suggest? I already read "The Israel Lobby."

Sam F , December 23, 2017 at 8:38 pm

Findley and Mearsheimer are certainly worthwhile. I will look for Petras.

Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 6:38 pm

If you haven't already read them, the end/footnotes in "The Israel Lobby" are more illuminating.

SocraticGadfly , December 23, 2017 at 6:10 pm

That influence is also shown, of course, by the fact that Obama waited until the midnight hours of his tenure and after the 2016 election to even start working on this resolution.

SocraticGadfly , December 23, 2017 at 6:05 pm

While I think Bibi is an idiot, I also think the Logan Act is overinvoked, overstated, probably of dubious legal value and also of dubious constitutional value.

In short, especially because Trump had been elected, though not yet inaugurated, I think he is not at all guilty of a Logan Act violation. This is nothing close to Spiro Agnew calling Anna Chenault from the airplane in August 1968.

Sam F , December 23, 2017 at 8:41 pm

Probably true, although evidence of extreme collusion with Israel eliminates any case against Russia, with whom we have far more reasons for amity. Bringing out the Israel collusion greatly improves public understanding of political corruption. Perhaps it will awaken some to the Agnew-Chennault betrayal of the people of the US.

JWalters , December 24, 2017 at 3:32 am

It's ironic that Russia-gate is turning out to be Israel's effort to distract attention from its complete control over the Democratic party in 2016. From Israeli billionaires behind the scenes to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz at the helm.

The leaked emails showed the corruption plainly, and based on the ACTUAL evidence (recorded download time), most likely came from a highly disgruntled insider. The picture was starting to spill into public view. I'd estimate the real huge worry was that if this stuff came out, it could bring out other Israeli secrets, like their involvement in 9/11. That would mean actual jail time. Might be hard to buy your way out of that no matter how much money you have.

Annie , December 23, 2017 at 10:48 pm

The Logan act states that anyone who negotiates with an enemy of the US, and Israel is not defined as an enemy.

Annie , December 23, 2017 at 6:59 pm

The Logan act would not apply here, although I wish it would. I don't think anyone has been convicted based on this act, and they were part of a transition team not to mention the Logan act clearly states a private citizen who attempts to negotiate with an enemy state, and that certainly doesn't apply to Israel. In this administration their bias is so blatant that they can install Kushner as an honest broker in the Israeli-Palestine peace process while his family has a close relationship with Netanyahu, and he runs a foundation that invests in the building of illegal settlements which goes against the Geneva conventions. Hopefully Trump's blatant siding with Israel will receive a lot of backlash as did his plan to make Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

I also found that so called progressive internet sites don't cover this the way they should.

Al Pinto , December 24, 2017 at 9:16 am

@Annie

"The Logan act would not apply here, although I wish it would."

You and me both .

From the point of starting to read this article, it has been in my mind that the Logan act would not apply here. After reading most of the comments, it became clear that not many people viewed this as such. Yes, Joe Tedesky did as well

The UN is the "clearing house" for international politics, where countries freely contact each other's for getting support for their cause behind the scene. The support sought after could be voting for or against the resolution on hand. At times, as Israel did, countries reach out to perceived enemies as well, if they could not secure sufficient support for their cause. This is the normal activity of the UN diplomacy.

Knowing that the outgoing administration would not support its cause, Israel reached out to the incoming administration to delay the vote on the UN resolution. I fail to see anything wrong with Israel's action even in this case; Israel is not an enemy state to the US. As such, there has been no violation of any acts by the incoming administration, even if they tried to secure veto vote for Israel. I do not like it, but no action by Mueller in this case is correct.

People, just like the article in itself, implying that the Logan Act applies in this case are just plain wrong. Not just wrong, but their anti-Israel bias is in plain view.

Whether we like it or not, the former and current administration view Russia is as an enemy state. Even then, Russia contacting the incoming administration is not a violation of the Logan Act. That is just normal diplomacy in the background between countries. What would be a violation is that the contacted official acted on the behalf of Russia and tried to influence the outgoing administration's decision. That is what the Mueller investigation tries to prove hopelessly

Herman , December 24, 2017 at 10:54 am

"Whether we like it or not, the former and current administration view Russia is as an enemy state." So that is how it works, the White House says it is an enemy state and therefore it is. The so called declaration is the hammer used for trying to make contact with Russia a criminal offense. We are not at war with Russia although we see our leaders doing their best to provoke Russia into one.

Annie , December 24, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Thanks for your reply. When I read the article and it referenced the Logan Act, which I am familiar with in that I've read about it before, I was surprised that Bernstein and Silverstein even brought it up because it so obviously does not apply in this case, since Israel is not considered an enemy state. Many have even referenced it as flimsy when it comes to convictions against those in Trump's transition team who had contacts with Russia. No one has ever been convicted under the Logan Act.

Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 6:41 pm

The Logan Act either should apply equally, or not apply at all. This "Russia-gate" hype seems to apply it selectively.

mrtmbrnmn , December 23, 2017 at 7:36 pm

You guys are blinded by the light. The Israel connection disclosed by the malpracticer hack Mueller in the recent Flynn-flam just made Trump bullet-proof (so to speak).

There is no doubt that Trump is Bibi's and the Saudi's ventriloquist dummy and Jared has been an Israel agent of influence since he was 12.

But half the Dementedcrat Sore Loser Brigade will withdraw from the field of battle (not to mention most of the GOP living dead too) if publically and noisily tying Israel to Trump's tail becomes the only route to his removal. Which it would have to be, as there is no there there regarding the yearlong trumped-up PutinPutinPutin waterboarding of Trump.

Immediately (if not sooner) the mighty (pro-Israel) Donor Bank of Singer (Paul), Saban (Haim), Sachs (Goldman) & Adelson (Sheldon), would change their passwords and leave these politicians/beggars with empty begging bowls. End of $ordid $tory.

alley cat , December 23, 2017 at 7:45 pm

So Mueller caught Kushner and Flynn red-handed, sabotaging the Obama administration? What of it? He can't use that evidence, because it would inculpate the Zionist neocons that are orchestrating his farcical, Stalinist witchhunt. And Mueller, being an efficient terminator bot, knows that his target is Russia, not Israel.

Mueller can use that evidence of sabotage and/or obstruction of justice to try to coerce false confessions from Kushner and Flynn. But what are the chances of that, barring short stayovers for them at some CIA black site?

So Mueller will just have to continue swamp-fishing for potential perjurers ahem witnesses, for the upcoming show trials (to further inflame public opinion against Russia and Russia sympathizers). And continue he will, because (as we all know from Schwarzenegger's flicks), the only way to stop the terminator is to terminate him/it first.

Leslie F. , December 23, 2017 at 8:28 pm

He used it, along with other info, to turn flip Flynn and possibly can use it the same way again Kusher. Not all evidence has end up in court to be useful.

JWalters , December 23, 2017 at 8:40 pm

This is an extremely important story, excellently reported. All the main "facts" Americans think they know about Israel are, amazingly, flat-out lies.

1. Israel was NOT victimized by powerful Arab armies. Israel overpowered and victimized a defenseless, civilian Arab population. Military analysts knew the Arab armies were in poor shape and would not be able to resist the zionist army.

2. Muslim "citizens" of Israel do NOT have all the same rights as Jews.

3. Israelis are NOT under threat from the indigineous Palestinians, but Palestinians are under constant threats of theft and death from the Israelis.

4. Israel does NOT share America's most fundamental values, which rest on the principle of equal human rights for all.

Maintaining such a blanket of major lies for decades requires immense power. And this power would have to be exercised "under the radar" to be effective. That requires even more power. Both Congress and the press have to be controlled. How much power does it take to turn "Progressive Rachel" into "Tel Aviv Rachel"? To turn "It Takes a Village" Hillary into "Slaughter a Village" Hillary? It takes immense power AND ruthlessness.

War profiteers have exactly this combination of immense war profits and the ruthlessness to victimize millions of people.
"War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror"
http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

Vast war profits easily afford to buy the mainstream media. And controlling campaign contributions for members of Congress is amazingly cheap in the big picture. Such a squalid sale of souls.

And when simple bribery is not enough, they ruin a person's life through blackmail or false character assassination. And if those don't work they use death threats, including to family members, and finally murder. Their ruthlessness is unrestrained. John Perkins has described these tactics in "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man".

For readers who haven't seen it, here is an excellent riff on the absurdly overwhelming evidence for Israel's influence compared to that of Russia, at a highly professional news and analysis website run by Jewish anti-Zionists.
"Let's talk about Russian influence"
http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/about-russian-influence/

mike k , December 23, 2017 at 8:44 pm

Hitler and Mussolini, Trump and Netanyahoo – matches made in Hell. These characters are so obviously, blatantly evil that it is deeply disturbing that people fail to see that, and instead go to great lengths to find some complicated flaws in these monsters.

mike k , December 23, 2017 at 8:49 pm

Keep it simple folks. No need for complex analyses. Just remember that these characters as simply as evil as it gets, and proceed from there. These asinine shows that portray mobsters as complex human beings are dangerously deluding. If you want to be victimized by these types, this kind of overthinking is just the way to go.

Sam F , December 23, 2017 at 9:00 pm

There is a modern theory of fiction that insists upon the portrayal of inconsistency in characters, both among the good guys and the bad guys. It is useful to show how those who do wrongs have made specific kinds of errors that make them abnormal, and that those who do right are not perfect but nonetheless did the right thing. Instead it is used by commercial writers to argue that the good are really bad, and the bad are really good, which is of course the philosophy of oligarchy-controlled mass publishers.

Sam F , December 23, 2017 at 8:54 pm

A very important article by Dennis Bernstein, and it is very appropriate that non-zionist Jews are active against the extreme zionist corruption of our federal government. I am sure that they are reviled by the zionists for interfering with the false denunciations of racism against the opponents of zionism. Indeed critics face a very nearly totalitarian power of zionism, which in league with MIC/WallSt opportunism has displaced democracy altogether in the US.

backwardsevolution , December 23, 2017 at 9:18 pm

A nice little set-up by the Obama administration. Perhaps it was entrapment? Who set it up? Flynn and Kushner should have known better to fall for it. So at the end of his Presidency, Obama suddenly gets balls and wants to slap down Israel? Yeah, right.

Nice to have leverage over people, though, isn't it? If you're lucky and play your cards right, you might even be lucky enough to land an impeachment.

Of course, I'm just being cynical. No one would want to overturn democracy, would they?

Certainly people like Comey, Brenner, Clinton, Clapper, Mueller, Rosenstein wouldn't want that, would they?

Joe Tedesky , December 23, 2017 at 10:33 pm

I just can't see any special prosecutor investigating Israel-Gate. Between what the Zionist donors donate to these creepy politicians, too what goods they have on these same mischievous politicians, I just can't see any investigation into Israel's collusion with the Trump Administration going anywhere. Netanyahu isn't Putin, and Russia isn't Israel. Plus, Israel is considered a U.S. ally, while Russia is being marked as a Washington rival. Sorry, this news regarding Israel isn't going to be ranted on about for the next 18 months, like the MSM has done with Russia, because our dear old Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, or so they tell us. So, don't get your hopes up.

JWalters , December 24, 2017 at 3:33 am

It's true the Israelis have America's politicians by the ears and the balls. But as this story gets better known, politicians will start getting questions at their town meetings. Increasingly the politicians will gag on what Israel is force-feeding them, until finally they reach a critical mass of vomit in Congress.

Joe Tedesky , December 24, 2017 at 11:12 am

I hope you are right JWalters. Although relying on a Zionist controlled MSM doesn't give hope for the news getting out properly. Again I hope you are right JWalters. Joe

Jeff Blankfort , December 24, 2017 at 12:18 am

Actually, Netanyahu was so desperate to have the resolution pulled and not voted on that he reached out to any country that might help him after the foreign minister of New Zealand, one of its co-sponsors refused to pull the plug after a testy phone exchange with the Israeli PM ending up threatening an Israeli boycott oturnef the KIwis.

He then turned to his buddy, Vladimir Putin, who owed him a favor for having Israel's UN delegate absent himself for the UNGA vote on sanctioning Russia after its annexation of Crimea.

Putin then called Russia's UN Ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, since deceased, and asked him to get the other UNSC ambassadors to postpone the vote until Trump took over the White House but the other ambassadors weren't buying it. Given Russia's historic public position regarding the settlements, Churkin had no choice to vote Yes with the others.

This story was reported in detail in the Israeli press but blacked out in the US which, due to Zionist influence on the media, does not want the American public to know about the close ties between Putin and Netanyahu which has led to the Israeli PM making five state visits there in the last year and a half.

Had Clinton won the White House we can assume that there would have been no US veto. That Netanyahu apparently knew in advance that the US planned to veto the resolution was, I suspect, leaked to the Israelis by US delegate Samantha Power, who was clearly unhappy at having to abstain.

Abe , December 24, 2017 at 12:39 am

The Israeli Prime Minister made five state visits to Russia in the last year and a half to make sure the Russians don't accidentally on purpose blast Israeli warplanes from the sky over Syria (like they oughtta). Putin tries not to snicker when Netanyahu bloviates ad nauseum about the purported "threat" posed by Iran.

argos , December 24, 2017 at 7:00 am

He thinks Putin is a RATS ASS like the yankee government

JWalters , December 24, 2017 at 3:34 am

"This story was reported in detail in the Israeli press but blacked out in the US"

We've just had a whole cluster of big stories involving Israel that have all been essentially blacked out in the US press. e.g.
"Dionne and Shields ignore the Adelson in the room"
http://mondoweiss.net/2017/12/jerusalem-israels-capital

This is not due to chance. There is no doubt that the US mainstream media is wholly controlled by the Israelis.

alley cat , December 24, 2017 at 4:49 am

"He [Netanyahu] then turned to his buddy, Vladimir Putin "

Jeff, that characterization of Putin and Netanyahu's relationship makes no sense, since the Russians have consistently opposed Zionism and Putin has been no exception, having spoiled Zionist plans for the destruction of Syria.

"Had Clinton won the White House we can assume that there would have been no US veto."

Not sure where you're going with that, since the US vote was up to Obama, who wanted to get some payback for all of Bibi's efforts to sabotage Obama's treaty with Iran.

For the record, Zionism has had no more rabid supporter than the Dragon Lady. If we're going to make assumptions, we could start by assuming that if she had won the White House we'd all be dead by now, thanks to her obsession (at the instigation of her Zionist/neocon sponsors) with declaring no-fly zones in Syria.

Brendan , December 24, 2017 at 6:18 am

Trump and Kushner have nothing to worry about, even if a smoking gun is found that proves their collusion with Israel. That's because the entire political and media establishment will simply ignore the Israeli connection.

Journalists and politicians will even continue to present Mike Flynn's contacts as evidence of collusion with Russia. They'll keep on repeating that "Flynn lied about his phone call to the Russian ambassador". But there will be no mention of the fact that the purpose of this contact was to support Israel and not any alleged Russian interference.

Skip Scott , December 24, 2017 at 7:59 am

I think you have it right Brendan. The MSM, Intelligence Community, and Mueller would never go down any path that popularized undue Israeli influence on US foreign policy. "Nothing to see here folks, move along."

argos , December 24, 2017 at 6:57 am

The zionist will stop at nothing to control the middle east with American taxpayers money/military equiptment its a win win for the zionist they control America lock stock and barrel a pity though it is a great country to be led by a jewish entity.

Herman , December 24, 2017 at 10:47 am

What will Israel-Palestine look like twenty years from now? Will it remain an apartheid regime, a regime without any Palestinians, or something different. The Trump decision, which the world rejects, brings the issue of "final" settlement to the fore. In a way we can go back to the thirties and the British Mandate. Jewish were fleeing Europe, many coming to Palestine. The British, on behalf of the Zionists, were delaying declaring Palestine a state with control of its own affairs. Seeing the mass immigration and chafing at British foot dragging, the Arabs rebelled, What happened then was that the British, responding to numerous pressures notably war with Germany, acted by granting independence and granting Palestine control of its borders.

With American pressure and the mass exodus of Jews from Europe, Jews defied the British resulting in Jewish resistance. What followed then was a UN plan to divide the land with a Jerusalem an international city administered by the UN. The Arabs rebelled and lost much of what the UN plan provided and Jerusalem as an international city was scrapped.

Will there be a second serious attempt to settle the issue of the land and the status of Jerusalem? Will there be a serious move toward a single state? How will the matter of Jerusalem be resolved. The two state solution has always been a fantasy and acquiescence of Palestinians to engage in this charade exposes their leaders to charges of posturing for perks. Imagined options could go on and on but will there be serious options placed before the world community or will the boots on the ground Israeli policies continue?

As I have commented before, it will most probably be the Jewish community in Israel and the world that shapes the future and if the matter is to be resolved that is fair to both parties, it will be they that starts the ball rolling.

Zachary Smith , December 24, 2017 at 1:34 pm

As I have commented before, it will most probably be the Jewish community in Israel and the world that shapes the future and if the matter is to be resolved that is fair to both parties, it will be they that starts the ball rolling.

The Nice Zionists responsible for the thefts and murders for the past 69 years along with the "Jewish Community" in the rest of the world will resolve the matter so as to be fair to both parties. This is mind-boggling fantasy.

Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 5:56 pm

Truly mind-boggling. Ahistorical, and as you say, fantasy.

Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 5:48 pm

FFS, Netanyahu aired a political commercial in Florida for Romney saying vote for this guy (against Obama)! I mean, it doesn't get any more overtly manipulative than that. Period. End of story.

$50K of Facebook ads about puppies pales in comparison to that blatant, prima facia, public manipulation. God, I hate to go all "Israel controls the media" but there it is. Not even a discussion. Just a fact.

Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Just for the record, Richard Silverstein blocked me on Twitter because I pointed out that he slammed someone who was suggesting that the Assad government was fighting for its (Syria's) life by fighting terrorists. Actually, more specifically, because of that he read my "Free Palestine" bio on Twitter and called me a Hamas supporter (no Hamas mentioned) and a "moron" for some seeming contradiction.

I also have to point out that he "fist pumped" Hillary Clinton at Mohammed Ali's eulogy. If he's as astute as he purports to be, he has to know that Hillary would have invaded Syria and killed a few hundred thousand more Syrians for the simple act of defiantly preserving their country. By almost any read of Ali's history, he would have been adamantly ("killing brown people") against that. But there was Silverstein using the platform to promote, arguably, perpetual war.

Silverstein is probably not a good (ie. consistent) arbiter of Israeli impact on US politics. Just sayin'.

I wish it were otherwise.

Taras 77 , December 24, 2017 at 6:35 pm

https://www.therussophile.org/virus-found-inside-dnc-server-is-linked-to-a-company-based-in-pakistan.html/

This may be a tad ot but it relates to the alleged hacking of the DNC, the role debbie wasserman schultz plays in the spy ring (awan bros) in house of rep servers: I have long suspected that mossad has their fingers in this entire mess. FWIW

Good site, BTW.

Zachary Smith , December 24, 2017 at 7:35 pm

I can't recall why I removed the Tikun Olam site from my bookmarks – it happened quite a while back. Generally I do that when I feel the blogger crossed some kind of personal red line. Something Mr. Silverstein wrote put him over that line with me.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/us/06leak.html?hp

In the course of a search I found that at the neocon NYT. Mr. Silverstein claims several things I find unbelievable, and from that alone I wonder about his ultimate motives. I may be excessively touchy about this, but that's how it is.

Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Yeah Zachary, "wondering about ultimate motives" is probably a good way to put it/his views. He's obviously conflicted, if not deferential in some aspects of Israeli policy. He really was a hero of mine, but now I just don't get whether what he says is masking something or a true belief. He says some good stuff, but, but, but .

P. Michael Garber , December 24, 2017 at 11:54 pm

Yeah I found a couple of Silverstein's statements to be closer to neocon propaganda than reality: "Because this is Israel and because we have a conflicted relationship with the Israel lobby . . ." "Instead of going directly to the Obama administration, with which they had terrible relations, they went to Trump instead." My impression was that the whole "terrible relationship between Obama and Netanyahu" was manufactured by the Israel lobby to bully Obama. However these are small blips within an otherwise solid critique of the Israel lobby's influence.

[Dec 25, 2017] The Israel-gate Side of Russia-gate Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... In this case, what Flynn and Kushner were doing was going directly against US foreign policy, because Obama wanted the resolution to pass; He just didn't want to vote for it because that would cross the Israel lobby in the United States. The US finally ended up abstaining on the resolution and it passed 14-0. ..."
"... But before that happened, Flynn went to the Russians and to Egypt, both members of the Security Council, and tried to get the resolution delayed. But all of Israel's machinations to derail this resolution failed and that is what Mueller was investigating, the intervention and disruption of American foreign policy by private citizens who had no official role. ..."
"... While I think Bibi is an idiot, I also think the Logan Act is overinvoked, overstated, probably of dubious legal value and also of dubious constitutional value. ..."
"... In short, especially because Trump had been elected, though not yet inaugurated, I think he is not at all guilty of a Logan Act violation. This is nothing close to Spiro Agnew calling Anna Chenault from the airplane in August 1968. ..."
"... Probably true, although evidence of extreme collusion with Israel eliminates any case against Russia, with whom we have far more reasons for amity. Bringing out the Israel collusion greatly improves public understanding of political corruption. Perhaps it will awaken some to the Agnew-Chennault betrayal of the people of the US. ..."
"... It's ironic that Russia-gate is turning out to be Israel's effort to distract attention from its complete control over the Democratic party in 2016. From Israeli billionaires behind the scenes to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz at the helm. ..."
"... "Whether we like it or not, the former and current administration view Russia is as an enemy state." So that is how it works, the White House says it is an enemy state and therefore it is. The so called declaration is the hammer used for trying to make contact with Russia a criminal offense. We are not at war with Russia although we see our leaders doing their best to provoke Russia into one. ..."
"... The Israel connection disclosed by the malpracticer hack Mueller in the recent Flynn-flam just made Trump bullet-proof (so to speak). ..."
"... So Mueller caught Kushner and Flynn red-handed, sabotaging the Obama administration? What of it? He can't use that evidence, because it would inculpate the Zionist neocons that are orchestrating his farcical, Stalinist witchhunt. And Mueller, being an efficient terminator bot, knows that his target is Russia, not Israel. ..."
"... So Mueller will just have to continue swamp-fishing for potential perjurers ahem witnesses, for the upcoming show trials (to further inflame public opinion against Russia and Russia sympathizers). And continue he will, because (as we all know from Schwarzenegger's flicks), the only way to stop the terminator is to terminate him/it first. ..."
"... Trump and Kushner have nothing to worry about, even if a smoking gun is found that proves their collusion with Israel. That's because the entire political and media establishment will simply ignore the Israeli connection. ..."
"... Journalists and politicians will even continue to present Mike Flynn's contacts as evidence of collusion with Russia. They'll keep on repeating that "Flynn lied about his phone call to the Russian ambassador". But there will be no mention of the fact that the purpose of this contact was to support Israel and not any alleged Russian interference. ..."
"... I think you have it right Brendan. The MSM, Intelligence Community, and Mueller would never go down any path that popularized undue Israeli influence on US foreign policy. "Nothing to see here folks, move along." ..."
"... The Nice Zionists responsible for the thefts and murders for the past 69 years along with the "Jewish Community" in the rest of the world will resolve the matter so as to be fair to both parties. This is mind-boggling fantasy. ..."
"... FFS, Netanyahu aired a political commercial in Florida for Romney saying vote for this guy (against Obama)! I mean, it doesn't get any more overtly manipulative than that. Period. End of story. ..."
"... God, I hate to go all "Israel controls the media" but there it is. Not even a discussion. Just a fact. ..."
"... I also have to point out that he "fist pumped" Hillary Clinton at Mohammed Ali's eulogy. If he's as astute as he purports to be, he has to know that Hillary would have invaded Syria and killed a few hundred thousand more Syrians for the simple act of defiantly preserving their country. By almost any read of Ali's history, he would have been adamantly ("killing brown people") against that. But there was Silverstein using the platform to promote, arguably, perpetual war. ..."
"... Yeah I found a couple of Silverstein's statements to be closer to neocon propaganda than reality: "Because this is Israel and because we have a conflicted relationship with the Israel lobby . . ." "Instead of going directly to the Obama administration, with which they had terrible relations, they went to Trump instead." My impression was that the whole "terrible relationship between Obama and Netanyahu" was manufactured by the Israel lobby to bully Obama. However these are small blips within an otherwise solid critique of the Israel lobby's influence. ..."
Dec 25, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

The Israel-gate Side of Russia-gate December 23, 2017

While unproven claims of Russian meddling in U.S. politics have whipped Official Washington into a frenzy, much less attention has been paid to real evidence of Israeli interference in U.S. politics, as Dennis J Bernstein describes.

By Dennis J Bernstein

In investigating Russia's alleged meddling in U.S. politics, special prosecutor Robert Mueller uncovered evidence that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pressured the Trump transition team to undermine President Obama's plans to permit the United Nations to censure Israel over its illegal settlement building on the Palestinian West Bank, a discovery referenced in the plea deal with President Trump's first National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel at the United Nations General Assembly (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

At Netanyahu's behest, Flynn and President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly took the lead in the lobbying to derail the U.N. resolution, which Flynn discussed in a phone call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak (in which the Russian diplomat rebuffed Flynn's appeal to block the resolution).

I spoke on Dec, 18 with independent journalist and blogger Richard Silverstein, who writes on national security and other issues for a number of blogs at Tikun Olam .

Dennis Bernstein: A part of Michael Flynn's plea had to do with some actions he took before coming to power regarding Israel and the United Nations. Please explain.

Richard Silverstein:

The Obama administration was negotiating in the [UN] Security Council just before he left office about a resolution that would condemn Israeli settlements. Obviously, the Israeli government did not want this resolution to be passed. Instead of going directly to the Obama administration, with which they had terrible relations, they went to Trump instead. They approached Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner became involved in this. While they were in the transition and before having any official capacity, they negotiated with various members of the Security Council to try to quash the settlement resolution.

One of the issues here which is little known is the Logan Act, which was passed at the foundation of our republic and was designed to prevent private citizens from usurping the foreign policy prerogatives of the executive. It criminalized any private citizen who attempted to negotiate with an enemy country over any foreign policy issue.

In this case, what Flynn and Kushner were doing was going directly against US foreign policy, because Obama wanted the resolution to pass; He just didn't want to vote for it because that would cross the Israel lobby in the United States. The US finally ended up abstaining on the resolution and it passed 14-0.

But before that happened, Flynn went to the Russians and to Egypt, both members of the Security Council, and tried to get the resolution delayed. But all of Israel's machinations to derail this resolution failed and that is what Mueller was investigating, the intervention and disruption of American foreign policy by private citizens who had no official role.

This speaks to the power of the Israel lobby and of Israel itself to disrupt our foreign policy. Very few people have ever been charged with committing an illegal act by advocating on behalf of Israel. That is one of the reasons why this is such an important development. Until now, the lobby has really ruled supreme on the issue of Israel and Palestine in US foreign policy. Now it is possible that a private citizen will actually be made to pay a price for that.

This is an important development because the lobby till now has run roughshod over our foreign policy in this area and this may act as a restraining order against blatant disruption of US foreign policy by people like this.

Bernstein: So this information is a part of Michael Flynn's plea. Anyone studying this would learn something about Michael Flynn and it would be part of the prosecution's investigation.

Silverstein:

That's absolutely right. One thing to note here is that it is reporters who have raised the issue of the Logan Act, not Mueller or Flynn's people or anyone in the Trump administration. But I do think that Logan is a very important part of this plea deal, even if it is not mentioned explicitly.

Bernstein: If the special prosecutor had smoking-gun information that the Trump administration colluded with Russia, in the way they colluded with Israel before coming to power, this would be a huge revelation. But it is definitely collusion when it comes to Israel.

Silverstein: Absolutely. If this were Russia, it would be on the front page of every major newspaper in the United States and the leading story on the TV news. Because this is Israel and because we have a conflicted relationship with the Israel lobby and they have so much influence on US policy concerning Israel, it has managed to stay on the back burner. Only two or three media outlets besides mine have raised this issue of Logan and collusion. Kushner and Flynn may be the first American citizens charged under the Logan Act for interfering on behalf of Israel in our foreign policy. This is a huge issue and it has hardly been raised at all.

Bernstein: As you know, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC has made a career out of investigating the Russia-gate charges. She says that she has read all this material carefully, so she must have read about Flynn and Israel, but I haven't heard her on this issue at all.

Silverstein:

Even progressive journalists, who you'd think would be going after this with a vengeance, are frightened off by the fact the lobby really bites back. So, aside from outlets like the Intercept and the Electronic Intifada, there is a lot of hesitation about going after the Israel lobby. People are afraid because they know that there is a high price to be paid. It goes from being purely journalism to being a personal and political vendetta when they get you in their sights. In fact, one of the reasons I feel my blog is so important is that what I do is challenge Israeli policy and Israeli intervention in places where it doesn't belong.

Bernstein: Jared Kushner is the point man for the Trump administration on Israel. He has talked about having a "vision for peace." Do you think it is a problem that this is someone with a long, close relationship with the prime minister of Israel and, in fact, runs a foundation that invests in the building of illegal Israeli settlements? Might this be problematic?

Silverstein:

It is quite nefarious, actually. When Jared Kushner was a teenager, Netanyahu used to stay at the Kushner family home when he visited the United States. This relationship with one of the most extreme right political figures in Israel goes back decades. And it is not just Kushner himself, but all the administration personnel dealing with these so-called peace negotiations, including Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman, the ambassador. These are all orthodox Jews who tend to have very nationalist views when it comes to Israel. They all support settlements financially through foundations. These are not honest brokers.

We could talk at length about the history of US personnel who have been negotiators for Middle East peace. All of them have been favorable to Israel and answerable to the Israel lobby, including Dennis Ross and Makovsky, who served in the last administration. These people are dyed-in-the-wool ultra-nationalist supporters of [Israeli] settlements. They have no business playing any role in negotiating a peace deal.

My prediction all along has been that these peace negotiations will come to naught, even though they seem to have bought the cooperation of Saudi Arabia, which is something new in the process. The Palestinians can never accept a deal that has been negotiated by Kushner and company because it will be far too favorable to Israel and it will totally neglect the interests of the Palestinians.

Bernstein: It has been revealed that Kushner supports the building of settlements in the West Bank. Most people don't understand the politics of what is going on there, but it appears to be part of an ethnic cleansing.

Silverstein:

The settlements have always been a violation of international law, ever since Israel conquered the West Bank in 1967. The Geneva Conventions direct an occupying power to withdraw from territory that was not its own. In 1967 Israel invaded Arab states and conquered the West Bank and Gaza but this has never been recognized or accepted by any nation until now.

The fact that Kushner and his family are intimately involved in supporting settlements–as are David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt–is completely outrageous. No member of any previous US administration would have been allowed to participate with these kinds of financial investments in support of settlements. Of course, Trump doesn't understand the concept of conflict of interest because he is heavily involved in such conflicts himself. But no party in the Middle East except Israel is going to consider the US an honest broker and acceptable as a mediator.

When they announce this deal next January, no one in the Arab World is going to accept it, with the possible exception of Saudi Arabia because they have other fish to fry in terms of Iran. The next three years are going to be interesting, supposing Trump lasts out his term. My prediction is that the peace plan will fail and that it will lead to greater violence in the Middle East. It will not simply lead to a vacuum, it will lead to a deterioration in conditions there.

Bernstein: The Trump transition team was actually approached directly by the Israeli government to try to intercede at the United Nations.

Silverstein:

I'm assuming it was Netanyahu who went directly to Kushner and Trump. Now, we haven't yet found out that Trump directly knew about this but it is very hard to believe that Trump didn't endorse this. Now that we know that Mueller has access to all of the emails of the transition team, there is little doubt that they have been able to find their smoking gun. Flynn's plea meant that they basically had him dead to rights. It remains to be seen what will happen with Kushner but I would think that this would play some role in either the prosecution of Kushner or some plea deal.

Bernstein: The other big story, of course, is the decision by the Trump administration to move the US embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. Was there any pre-election collusion in that regard and what are the implications?

Silverstein:

Well, it's a terrible decision which goes against forty to fifty years of US foreign policy. It also breaches all international understanding. All of our allies in the European Union and elsewhere are aghast at this development. There is now a campaign in the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution condemning the announcement, which we will veto, but the next step will be to go to the General Assembly, where such a resolution will pass easily.

The question is how much anger, violence and disruption this is going to cause around the world, especially in the Arab and Muslim world. This is a slow-burning fuse. It is not going to explode right now. The issue of Jerusalem is so vital that this is not something that is simply going to go away. This is going to be a festering sore in the Muslim world and among Palestinians. We have already seen attacks on Israeli soldiers and citizens and there will be many more.

As to collusion in all of this, since Trump always said during the campaign that this was what he was going to do, it might be difficult to treat this in the same way as the UN resolution. The UN resolution was never on anybody's radar and nobody knew the role that Trump was playing behind the scenes with that–as opposed to Trump saying right from the get-go that Jerusalem was going to be recognized as the capital of Jerusalem.

By doing that, they have completely abrogated any Palestinian interest in Jerusalem. This is a catastrophic decision that really excludes the United States from being an honest broker here and shows our true colors in terms of how pro-Israel we are.

Dennis J Bernstein is a host of "Flashpoints" on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom . You can access the audio archives at www.flashpoints.net .

Drew Hunkins , December 23, 2017 at 5:37 pm

As most regular readers of CN already know, some dynamite books on the inordinate amount of influence pro-Israel zealots have on Washington:

1.) 'The Host and the Parasite' by Greg Felton
2.) 'Power of Israel in the United States' by James Petras
3.) 'They Dare to Speak Out' by Paul Findley
4.) 'The Israel Lobby' by Mearsheimer and Walt
5.) 'Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of U.S. Power' by James Petras

I suggest that anyone relatively knew to this neglected topic peruse a few of the aforementioned titles. An inevitable backlash by the citizens of the United States is eventually forthcoming against the Zionist Power Configuration. It's crucial that this impending backlash remain democratic, non-violent, eschews anti-Semitism, and travels in a progressive in direction.

Annie , December 23, 2017 at 5:47 pm

Which one would you suggest? I already read "The Israel Lobby."

Sam F , December 23, 2017 at 8:38 pm

Findley and Mearsheimer are certainly worthwhile. I will look for Petras.

Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 6:38 pm

If you haven't already read them, the end/footnotes in "The Israel Lobby" are more illuminating.

SocraticGadfly , December 23, 2017 at 6:10 pm

That influence is also shown, of course, by the fact that Obama waited until the midnight hours of his tenure and after the 2016 election to even start working on this resolution.

SocraticGadfly , December 23, 2017 at 6:05 pm

While I think Bibi is an idiot, I also think the Logan Act is overinvoked, overstated, probably of dubious legal value and also of dubious constitutional value.

In short, especially because Trump had been elected, though not yet inaugurated, I think he is not at all guilty of a Logan Act violation. This is nothing close to Spiro Agnew calling Anna Chenault from the airplane in August 1968.

Sam F , December 23, 2017 at 8:41 pm

Probably true, although evidence of extreme collusion with Israel eliminates any case against Russia, with whom we have far more reasons for amity. Bringing out the Israel collusion greatly improves public understanding of political corruption. Perhaps it will awaken some to the Agnew-Chennault betrayal of the people of the US.

JWalters , December 24, 2017 at 3:32 am

It's ironic that Russia-gate is turning out to be Israel's effort to distract attention from its complete control over the Democratic party in 2016. From Israeli billionaires behind the scenes to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz at the helm.

The leaked emails showed the corruption plainly, and based on the ACTUAL evidence (recorded download time), most likely came from a highly disgruntled insider. The picture was starting to spill into public view. I'd estimate the real huge worry was that if this stuff came out, it could bring out other Israeli secrets, like their involvement in 9/11. That would mean actual jail time. Might be hard to buy your way out of that no matter how much money you have.

Annie , December 23, 2017 at 10:48 pm

The Logan act states that anyone who negotiates with an enemy of the US, and Israel is not defined as an enemy.

Annie , December 23, 2017 at 6:59 pm

The Logan act would not apply here, although I wish it would. I don't think anyone has been convicted based on this act, and they were part of a transition team not to mention the Logan act clearly states a private citizen who attempts to negotiate with an enemy state, and that certainly doesn't apply to Israel. In this administration their bias is so blatant that they can install Kushner as an honest broker in the Israeli-Palestine peace process while his family has a close relationship with Netanyahu, and he runs a foundation that invests in the building of illegal settlements which goes against the Geneva conventions. Hopefully Trump's blatant siding with Israel will receive a lot of backlash as did his plan to make Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

I also found that so called progressive internet sites don't cover this the way they should.

Al Pinto , December 24, 2017 at 9:16 am

@Annie

"The Logan act would not apply here, although I wish it would."

You and me both .

From the point of starting to read this article, it has been in my mind that the Logan act would not apply here. After reading most of the comments, it became clear that not many people viewed this as such. Yes, Joe Tedesky did as well

The UN is the "clearing house" for international politics, where countries freely contact each other's for getting support for their cause behind the scene. The support sought after could be voting for or against the resolution on hand. At times, as Israel did, countries reach out to perceived enemies as well, if they could not secure sufficient support for their cause. This is the normal activity of the UN diplomacy.

Knowing that the outgoing administration would not support its cause, Israel reached out to the incoming administration to delay the vote on the UN resolution. I fail to see anything wrong with Israel's action even in this case; Israel is not an enemy state to the US. As such, there has been no violation of any acts by the incoming administration, even if they tried to secure veto vote for Israel. I do not like it, but no action by Mueller in this case is correct.

People, just like the article in itself, implying that the Logan Act applies in this case are just plain wrong. Not just wrong, but their anti-Israel bias is in plain view.

Whether we like it or not, the former and current administration view Russia is as an enemy state. Even then, Russia contacting the incoming administration is not a violation of the Logan Act. That is just normal diplomacy in the background between countries. What would be a violation is that the contacted official acted on the behalf of Russia and tried to influence the outgoing administration's decision. That is what the Mueller investigation tries to prove hopelessly

Herman , December 24, 2017 at 10:54 am

"Whether we like it or not, the former and current administration view Russia is as an enemy state." So that is how it works, the White House says it is an enemy state and therefore it is. The so called declaration is the hammer used for trying to make contact with Russia a criminal offense. We are not at war with Russia although we see our leaders doing their best to provoke Russia into one.

Annie , December 24, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Thanks for your reply. When I read the article and it referenced the Logan Act, which I am familiar with in that I've read about it before, I was surprised that Bernstein and Silverstein even brought it up because it so obviously does not apply in this case, since Israel is not considered an enemy state. Many have even referenced it as flimsy when it comes to convictions against those in Trump's transition team who had contacts with Russia. No one has ever been convicted under the Logan Act.

Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 6:41 pm

The Logan Act either should apply equally, or not apply at all. This "Russia-gate" hype seems to apply it selectively.

mrtmbrnmn , December 23, 2017 at 7:36 pm

You guys are blinded by the light. The Israel connection disclosed by the malpracticer hack Mueller in the recent Flynn-flam just made Trump bullet-proof (so to speak).

There is no doubt that Trump is Bibi's and the Saudi's ventriloquist dummy and Jared has been an Israel agent of influence since he was 12.

But half the Dementedcrat Sore Loser Brigade will withdraw from the field of battle (not to mention most of the GOP living dead too) if publically and noisily tying Israel to Trump's tail becomes the only route to his removal. Which it would have to be, as there is no there there regarding the yearlong trumped-up PutinPutinPutin waterboarding of Trump.

Immediately (if not sooner) the mighty (pro-Israel) Donor Bank of Singer (Paul), Saban (Haim), Sachs (Goldman) & Adelson (Sheldon), would change their passwords and leave these politicians/beggars with empty begging bowls. End of $ordid $tory.

alley cat , December 23, 2017 at 7:45 pm

So Mueller caught Kushner and Flynn red-handed, sabotaging the Obama administration? What of it? He can't use that evidence, because it would inculpate the Zionist neocons that are orchestrating his farcical, Stalinist witchhunt. And Mueller, being an efficient terminator bot, knows that his target is Russia, not Israel.

Mueller can use that evidence of sabotage and/or obstruction of justice to try to coerce false confessions from Kushner and Flynn. But what are the chances of that, barring short stayovers for them at some CIA black site?

So Mueller will just have to continue swamp-fishing for potential perjurers ahem witnesses, for the upcoming show trials (to further inflame public opinion against Russia and Russia sympathizers). And continue he will, because (as we all know from Schwarzenegger's flicks), the only way to stop the terminator is to terminate him/it first.

Leslie F. , December 23, 2017 at 8:28 pm

He used it, along with other info, to turn flip Flynn and possibly can use it the same way again Kusher. Not all evidence has end up in court to be useful.

JWalters , December 23, 2017 at 8:40 pm

This is an extremely important story, excellently reported. All the main "facts" Americans think they know about Israel are, amazingly, flat-out lies.

1. Israel was NOT victimized by powerful Arab armies. Israel overpowered and victimized a defenseless, civilian Arab population. Military analysts knew the Arab armies were in poor shape and would not be able to resist the zionist army.

2. Muslim "citizens" of Israel do NOT have all the same rights as Jews.

3. Israelis are NOT under threat from the indigineous Palestinians, but Palestinians are under constant threats of theft and death from the Israelis.

4. Israel does NOT share America's most fundamental values, which rest on the principle of equal human rights for all.

Maintaining such a blanket of major lies for decades requires immense power. And this power would have to be exercised "under the radar" to be effective. That requires even more power. Both Congress and the press have to be controlled. How much power does it take to turn "Progressive Rachel" into "Tel Aviv Rachel"? To turn "It Takes a Village" Hillary into "Slaughter a Village" Hillary? It takes immense power AND ruthlessness.

War profiteers have exactly this combination of immense war profits and the ruthlessness to victimize millions of people.
"War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror"
http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

Vast war profits easily afford to buy the mainstream media. And controlling campaign contributions for members of Congress is amazingly cheap in the big picture. Such a squalid sale of souls.

And when simple bribery is not enough, they ruin a person's life through blackmail or false character assassination. And if those don't work they use death threats, including to family members, and finally murder. Their ruthlessness is unrestrained. John Perkins has described these tactics in "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man".

For readers who haven't seen it, here is an excellent riff on the absurdly overwhelming evidence for Israel's influence compared to that of Russia, at a highly professional news and analysis website run by Jewish anti-Zionists.
"Let's talk about Russian influence"
http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/about-russian-influence/

mike k , December 23, 2017 at 8:44 pm

Hitler and Mussolini, Trump and Netanyahoo – matches made in Hell. These characters are so obviously, blatantly evil that it is deeply disturbing that people fail to see that, and instead go to great lengths to find some complicated flaws in these monsters.

mike k , December 23, 2017 at 8:49 pm

Keep it simple folks. No need for complex analyses. Just remember that these characters as simply as evil as it gets, and proceed from there. These asinine shows that portray mobsters as complex human beings are dangerously deluding. If you want to be victimized by these types, this kind of overthinking is just the way to go.

Sam F , December 23, 2017 at 9:00 pm

There is a modern theory of fiction that insists upon the portrayal of inconsistency in characters, both among the good guys and the bad guys. It is useful to show how those who do wrongs have made specific kinds of errors that make them abnormal, and that those who do right are not perfect but nonetheless did the right thing. Instead it is used by commercial writers to argue that the good are really bad, and the bad are really good, which is of course the philosophy of oligarchy-controlled mass publishers.

Sam F , December 23, 2017 at 8:54 pm

A very important article by Dennis Bernstein, and it is very appropriate that non-zionist Jews are active against the extreme zionist corruption of our federal government. I am sure that they are reviled by the zionists for interfering with the false denunciations of racism against the opponents of zionism. Indeed critics face a very nearly totalitarian power of zionism, which in league with MIC/WallSt opportunism has displaced democracy altogether in the US.

backwardsevolution , December 23, 2017 at 9:18 pm

A nice little set-up by the Obama administration. Perhaps it was entrapment? Who set it up? Flynn and Kushner should have known better to fall for it. So at the end of his Presidency, Obama suddenly gets balls and wants to slap down Israel? Yeah, right.

Nice to have leverage over people, though, isn't it? If you're lucky and play your cards right, you might even be lucky enough to land an impeachment.

Of course, I'm just being cynical. No one would want to overturn democracy, would they?

Certainly people like Comey, Brenner, Clinton, Clapper, Mueller, Rosenstein wouldn't want that, would they?

Joe Tedesky , December 23, 2017 at 10:33 pm

I just can't see any special prosecutor investigating Israel-Gate. Between what the Zionist donors donate to these creepy politicians, too what goods they have on these same mischievous politicians, I just can't see any investigation into Israel's collusion with the Trump Administration going anywhere. Netanyahu isn't Putin, and Russia isn't Israel. Plus, Israel is considered a U.S. ally, while Russia is being marked as a Washington rival. Sorry, this news regarding Israel isn't going to be ranted on about for the next 18 months, like the MSM has done with Russia, because our dear old Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, or so they tell us. So, don't get your hopes up.

JWalters , December 24, 2017 at 3:33 am

It's true the Israelis have America's politicians by the ears and the balls. But as this story gets better known, politicians will start getting questions at their town meetings. Increasingly the politicians will gag on what Israel is force-feeding them, until finally they reach a critical mass of vomit in Congress.

Joe Tedesky , December 24, 2017 at 11:12 am

I hope you are right JWalters. Although relying on a Zionist controlled MSM doesn't give hope for the news getting out properly. Again I hope you are right JWalters. Joe

Jeff Blankfort , December 24, 2017 at 12:18 am

Actually, Netanyahu was so desperate to have the resolution pulled and not voted on that he reached out to any country that might help him after the foreign minister of New Zealand, one of its co-sponsors refused to pull the plug after a testy phone exchange with the Israeli PM ending up threatening an Israeli boycott oturnef the KIwis.

He then turned to his buddy, Vladimir Putin, who owed him a favor for having Israel's UN delegate absent himself for the UNGA vote on sanctioning Russia after its annexation of Crimea.

Putin then called Russia's UN Ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, since deceased, and asked him to get the other UNSC ambassadors to postpone the vote until Trump took over the White House but the other ambassadors weren't buying it. Given Russia's historic public position regarding the settlements, Churkin had no choice to vote Yes with the others.

This story was reported in detail in the Israeli press but blacked out in the US which, due to Zionist influence on the media, does not want the American public to know about the close ties between Putin and Netanyahu which has led to the Israeli PM making five state visits there in the last year and a half.

Had Clinton won the White House we can assume that there would have been no US veto. That Netanyahu apparently knew in advance that the US planned to veto the resolution was, I suspect, leaked to the Israelis by US delegate Samantha Power, who was clearly unhappy at having to abstain.

Abe , December 24, 2017 at 12:39 am

The Israeli Prime Minister made five state visits to Russia in the last year and a half to make sure the Russians don't accidentally on purpose blast Israeli warplanes from the sky over Syria (like they oughtta). Putin tries not to snicker when Netanyahu bloviates ad nauseum about the purported "threat" posed by Iran.

argos , December 24, 2017 at 7:00 am

He thinks Putin is a RATS ASS like the yankee government

JWalters , December 24, 2017 at 3:34 am

"This story was reported in detail in the Israeli press but blacked out in the US"

We've just had a whole cluster of big stories involving Israel that have all been essentially blacked out in the US press. e.g.
"Dionne and Shields ignore the Adelson in the room"
http://mondoweiss.net/2017/12/jerusalem-israels-capital

This is not due to chance. There is no doubt that the US mainstream media is wholly controlled by the Israelis.

alley cat , December 24, 2017 at 4:49 am

"He [Netanyahu] then turned to his buddy, Vladimir Putin "

Jeff, that characterization of Putin and Netanyahu's relationship makes no sense, since the Russians have consistently opposed Zionism and Putin has been no exception, having spoiled Zionist plans for the destruction of Syria.

"Had Clinton won the White House we can assume that there would have been no US veto."

Not sure where you're going with that, since the US vote was up to Obama, who wanted to get some payback for all of Bibi's efforts to sabotage Obama's treaty with Iran.

For the record, Zionism has had no more rabid supporter than the Dragon Lady. If we're going to make assumptions, we could start by assuming that if she had won the White House we'd all be dead by now, thanks to her obsession (at the instigation of her Zionist/neocon sponsors) with declaring no-fly zones in Syria.

Brendan , December 24, 2017 at 6:18 am

Trump and Kushner have nothing to worry about, even if a smoking gun is found that proves their collusion with Israel. That's because the entire political and media establishment will simply ignore the Israeli connection.

Journalists and politicians will even continue to present Mike Flynn's contacts as evidence of collusion with Russia. They'll keep on repeating that "Flynn lied about his phone call to the Russian ambassador". But there will be no mention of the fact that the purpose of this contact was to support Israel and not any alleged Russian interference.

Skip Scott , December 24, 2017 at 7:59 am

I think you have it right Brendan. The MSM, Intelligence Community, and Mueller would never go down any path that popularized undue Israeli influence on US foreign policy. "Nothing to see here folks, move along."

argos , December 24, 2017 at 6:57 am

The zionist will stop at nothing to control the middle east with American taxpayers money/military equiptment its a win win for the zionist they control America lock stock and barrel a pity though it is a great country to be led by a jewish entity.

Herman , December 24, 2017 at 10:47 am

What will Israel-Palestine look like twenty years from now? Will it remain an apartheid regime, a regime without any Palestinians, or something different. The Trump decision, which the world rejects, brings the issue of "final" settlement to the fore. In a way we can go back to the thirties and the British Mandate. Jewish were fleeing Europe, many coming to Palestine. The British, on behalf of the Zionists, were delaying declaring Palestine a state with control of its own affairs. Seeing the mass immigration and chafing at British foot dragging, the Arabs rebelled, What happened then was that the British, responding to numerous pressures notably war with Germany, acted by granting independence and granting Palestine control of its borders.

With American pressure and the mass exodus of Jews from Europe, Jews defied the British resulting in Jewish resistance. What followed then was a UN plan to divide the land with a Jerusalem an international city administered by the UN. The Arabs rebelled and lost much of what the UN plan provided and Jerusalem as an international city was scrapped.

Will there be a second serious attempt to settle the issue of the land and the status of Jerusalem? Will there be a serious move toward a single state? How will the matter of Jerusalem be resolved. The two state solution has always been a fantasy and acquiescence of Palestinians to engage in this charade exposes their leaders to charges of posturing for perks. Imagined options could go on and on but will there be serious options placed before the world community or will the boots on the ground Israeli policies continue?

As I have commented before, it will most probably be the Jewish community in Israel and the world that shapes the future and if the matter is to be resolved that is fair to both parties, it will be they that starts the ball rolling.

Zachary Smith , December 24, 2017 at 1:34 pm

As I have commented before, it will most probably be the Jewish community in Israel and the world that shapes the future and if the matter is to be resolved that is fair to both parties, it will be they that starts the ball rolling.

The Nice Zionists responsible for the thefts and murders for the past 69 years along with the "Jewish Community" in the rest of the world will resolve the matter so as to be fair to both parties. This is mind-boggling fantasy.

Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 5:56 pm

Truly mind-boggling. Ahistorical, and as you say, fantasy.

Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 5:48 pm

FFS, Netanyahu aired a political commercial in Florida for Romney saying vote for this guy (against Obama)! I mean, it doesn't get any more overtly manipulative than that. Period. End of story.

$50K of Facebook ads about puppies pales in comparison to that blatant, prima facia, public manipulation. God, I hate to go all "Israel controls the media" but there it is. Not even a discussion. Just a fact.

Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Just for the record, Richard Silverstein blocked me on Twitter because I pointed out that he slammed someone who was suggesting that the Assad government was fighting for its (Syria's) life by fighting terrorists. Actually, more specifically, because of that he read my "Free Palestine" bio on Twitter and called me a Hamas supporter (no Hamas mentioned) and a "moron" for some seeming contradiction.

I also have to point out that he "fist pumped" Hillary Clinton at Mohammed Ali's eulogy. If he's as astute as he purports to be, he has to know that Hillary would have invaded Syria and killed a few hundred thousand more Syrians for the simple act of defiantly preserving their country. By almost any read of Ali's history, he would have been adamantly ("killing brown people") against that. But there was Silverstein using the platform to promote, arguably, perpetual war.

Silverstein is probably not a good (ie. consistent) arbiter of Israeli impact on US politics. Just sayin'.

I wish it were otherwise.

Taras 77 , December 24, 2017 at 6:35 pm

https://www.therussophile.org/virus-found-inside-dnc-server-is-linked-to-a-company-based-in-pakistan.html/

This may be a tad ot but it relates to the alleged hacking of the DNC, the role debbie wasserman schultz plays in the spy ring (awan bros) in house of rep servers: I have long suspected that mossad has their fingers in this entire mess. FWIW

Good site, BTW.

Zachary Smith , December 24, 2017 at 7:35 pm

I can't recall why I removed the Tikun Olam site from my bookmarks – it happened quite a while back. Generally I do that when I feel the blogger crossed some kind of personal red line. Something Mr. Silverstein wrote put him over that line with me.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/us/06leak.html?hp

In the course of a search I found that at the neocon NYT. Mr. Silverstein claims several things I find unbelievable, and from that alone I wonder about his ultimate motives. I may be excessively touchy about this, but that's how it is.

Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Yeah Zachary, "wondering about ultimate motives" is probably a good way to put it/his views. He's obviously conflicted, if not deferential in some aspects of Israeli policy. He really was a hero of mine, but now I just don't get whether what he says is masking something or a true belief. He says some good stuff, but, but, but .

P. Michael Garber , December 24, 2017 at 11:54 pm

Yeah I found a couple of Silverstein's statements to be closer to neocon propaganda than reality: "Because this is Israel and because we have a conflicted relationship with the Israel lobby . . ." "Instead of going directly to the Obama administration, with which they had terrible relations, they went to Trump instead." My impression was that the whole "terrible relationship between Obama and Netanyahu" was manufactured by the Israel lobby to bully Obama. However these are small blips within an otherwise solid critique of the Israel lobby's influence.

[Dec 24, 2017] Donald Trump Prepares to Escalate Confrontation with Russia over Ukraine by Doug Bandow

Notable quotes:
"... With over 10,000 dead, the conflict in Ukraine is a humanitarian travesty but of minimal security consequence to America and Europe. Indeed, Kiev's status never was key to Europe's status. An integral part of the Soviet Union and before that the Russian Empire, Ukraine turned into an unexpected bonus for the allies by seceding from the Soviet Union, greatly diminishing the latter's population and territory. Russia's seizure of Crimea and battle in the Donbass destabilized an already semi-failed state, but did not materially alter the European balance of power. Or demonstrate anything other than Moscow's brutal yet limited ambitions. ..."
"... At the same time, transferring lethal arms would divide the U.S. from European nations, many of which oppose further confrontation with Russia, especially over Ukraine. Brussels already bridled at Congress' new sanctions legislation, which passed without consulting the Europeans and targeted European firms. If Moscow responds with escalation, Washington may find no one behind it. ..."
"... Also noteworthy is the fragility of the Ukrainian state. Kiev's self-inflicted wounds are a more important cause than Russian pressure. The government is hobbled by divisions between East and West, violent neo-fascist forces, bitter political factionalism, economic failure, and pervasive corruption. The recent specter of former Georgian President and Ukrainian Governor Mikheil Saakashvili clambering across rooftops, escaping arrest, and railing against President Petro Poroshenko epitomized Ukraine's problems. Kiev, to put it mildly, is not a reliable military partner against its nuclear-armed neighbor. ..."
"... Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and a former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is the author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire (Xulon). ..."
Dec 24, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

Most Americans were told Donald Trump won the presidential election last year. But his policy toward Russia looks suspiciously like what a President Hillary Clinton would have pursued. Exhibit A is the apparent decision to arm Ukraine against Russia in the proxy conflict in the Donbass. This dunderheaded move will simply encourage Moscow to retaliate not only in Ukraine but against U.S. interests elsewhere around the globe.

With over 10,000 dead, the conflict in Ukraine is a humanitarian travesty but of minimal security consequence to America and Europe. Indeed, Kiev's status never was key to Europe's status. An integral part of the Soviet Union and before that the Russian Empire, Ukraine turned into an unexpected bonus for the allies by seceding from the Soviet Union, greatly diminishing the latter's population and territory. Russia's seizure of Crimea and battle in the Donbass destabilized an already semi-failed state, but did not materially alter the European balance of power. Or demonstrate anything other than Moscow's brutal yet limited ambitions.

In fact, present allied policy makes continuation of the current conflict almost inevitable. Newly released documents demonstrate that Soviet officials reasonably believed that releasing their Warsaw Pact captives would not lead to NATO's expansion to Russia's border. Well, well. Look what actually happened -- the very dramatic increase in tensions that George F. Kennan predicted would occur. For Russia sees geographical space and buffer states as critical for its security, and none are more important than Ukraine.

Expanding NATO, disregarding Moscow's historic interests in the Balkans, dismantling onetime Slavic ally Serbia, aiding "color revolutions" that brought anti-Russian governments to power along its border, announcing the intention of inducting both Georgia and Ukraine into the alliance created to confront Moscow, and finally ostentatiously backing a street revolution against a corrupt but elected leader friendly to Russia -- going to far as to discuss who should rule after his planned ouster -- could not help but be viewed as hostile in Moscow. One can easily imagine how Washington would react to similar events in Canada or Mexico.

Russia's response was unjustified but efficient and, most important, limited. Moscow grabbed Crimea, the only part of Ukraine with a majority of Russian-speakers (who probably favored joining Russia, though the subsequent referendum occurred in what was occupied Crimea). Moscow further backed separatists in Eastern Ukraine, perhaps in hopes of grabbing territory or merely bleeding Kiev.

Some Western responses were near hysteria, imagining a blitzkrieg attack on Ukraine, conquering the country. The Baltic States saw themselves as the next targets. Poland remembered its twentieth century conflicts with Moscow. At least one observer added Finland to Moscow's potential target list. Others worried about intimidation of allied states, borders being withdrawn, and challenges to the European order. Some afflicted with war fever feared an attempt to reconstitute the Soviet Union and perhaps roll west from there.

None of which happened.

Perhaps President Vladimir Putin secretly was an Adolf Hitler-wannabe but was dissuaded by the U.S. and NATO response. However, economic sanctions and military deployments were modest. Assistance to Ukraine did not include lethal military aid. Most likely, Putin never intended to start World War III.

Instead, he opportunistically took advantage of the opportunity to snatch Crimea, the territory with the closest identification with Moscow, simultaneously safeguarding the latter's major Black Sea base, and create a frozen conflict in the Donbass, effectively preventing Ukraine's entry into NATO. Russia's activity there also gives him an opportunity to create additional trouble for the U.S.

Moscow's policy is unpleasant for America and Europe, but only prevents the allies from doing that which is not in their interest: inducting a security black hole into NATO. Even before 2014, Ukraine was a political and economic mess. While independent it mattered little for Western security, in NATO it would bring along all of its disputes and potential conflicts with Russia, a touchy, nationalistic nuclear power.

What State Department called "enhanced defensive capabilities," which require congressional approval, aren't likely to raise the price of the conflict enough to force Russia to back down. The Putin regime has far more at stake in preserving its gains than the U.S. does in reversing them. Moscow also is better able to escalate and is likely to consistently outbid the West: Putin's advantages include greater interests, geographic closeness, and popular support. For Ukraine more weapons would at most mean more fighting, with little additional advantage.

Indeed, the plan to arm Kiev with weapons, especially if anti-tank missiles are included, as news reports indicate, would risk turning the Donbass conflict from cool to warm--and perhaps more. Ukraine already joins Russia in failing to implement the Minsk Agreement. Kiev would not only be better armed, but might believe that it enjoyed an implicit guarantee from Washington, which in turn would have more at stake and thus be less inclined to abandon its new "investment." Then what if Moscow escalated? In 2014 the Putin government deployed Russian military units to counter Ukrainian gains. Would Washington do likewise in response to Moscow?

At the same time, transferring lethal arms would divide the U.S. from European nations, many of which oppose further confrontation with Russia, especially over Ukraine. Brussels already bridled at Congress' new sanctions legislation, which passed without consulting the Europeans and targeted European firms. If Moscow responds with escalation, Washington may find no one behind it.

Providing lethal weapons would almost certainly encourage the Ukrainians to press for even heavier arms and escalate the fighting, as well as discourage them from negotiating a settlement. U.S. officials refer to the weapons as defensive, but their capabilities are not so easily compartmentalized. Said Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the "ability to stop armored vehicles would be essential for them to protect themselves." True, but the ability to disable tanks is useful on offense as well as defense. There has been little movement in the battle line over the last couple of years. New U.S. weapons aren't necessary to preserve the status quo. Rather, they would most help Ukraine press harder for a military solution.

Does Kiev want to accept a compromise peace or fight on? Obama Pentagon official Michael Carpenter said providing weapons "will be a huge boost of support to Ukraine." Moscow is not concerned about Kiev's military potential. Russia is concerned that the U.S. and Europe say they intend to induct Ukraine into NATO. The closer the military ties grow between America and Ukraine, the greater Moscow's incentive to keep the conflict going. Russia also has opportunities to retaliate against American interests elsewhere. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said: "The United States crossed the line in a sense" and "may lead to new victims in a country that is neighboring us." America, he added, was an "accomplice in fueling war."

That might be just talk, but Russia can provide aid, sell arms, offer political backing, and give economic assistance in ways that hamper U.S. activities. Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela all provide opportunities for Russian mischief. Moscow could refuse to back additional sanctions on Pyongyang or even provide the latter with S-400 anti-aircraft missiles.

Although limited resources constrain Moscow, politics encourages a tough response. Putin is running for reelection but has lost support because of the Russian Federation's economic weakness. Nationalism remains one of his strongest issues; an assault by America on Russian interests would offer him a means to rally public support.

Also noteworthy is the fragility of the Ukrainian state. Kiev's self-inflicted wounds are a more important cause than Russian pressure. The government is hobbled by divisions between East and West, violent neo-fascist forces, bitter political factionalism, economic failure, and pervasive corruption. The recent specter of former Georgian President and Ukrainian Governor Mikheil Saakashvili clambering across rooftops, escaping arrest, and railing against President Petro Poroshenko epitomized Ukraine's problems. Kiev, to put it mildly, is not a reliable military partner against its nuclear-armed neighbor.

A better approach would be to negotiate for Russian de-escalation by offering to take NATO membership for Ukraine (and Georgia) off the table. In fact, expanding the alliance is not in America's interest: the U.S., not, say, Luxembourg, is the country expected to back up NATO's defense promises. And neither Kiev nor Tbilisi warrants the risk of war with a great power, especially one armed with nukes. Eliminating that possibility would reduce Moscow's incentive to maintain a frozen conflict in the Donbass. Backing away also would create the possibility of reversing military build-ups by both sides elsewhere, especially around Poland and the Baltic States.

Washington and Moscow have no core security interests in conflict with each other, especially in Ukraine. Instead of turning a peripheral security issue into a potential military clash with Moscow, Washington should seek to trade military disengagement from Ukraine for Russian acceptance of that nation's territorial integrity. Moscow might not agree, but the Trump administration won't know unless it makes the offer. Right now, it doesn't seem to care to even try. Quite the contrary.

Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and a former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is the author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire (Xulon).

[Dec 23, 2017] Slovenia is among the Coalition of the 128 NOT willing to be punked by USA. Melania better keep a low profile around Trump and Nikki

Dec 23, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Northern Star , , December 21, 2017 at 1:13 pm

Uh Oh Slovenia is among the Coalition of the 128 NOT willing to be punked by USA..

Maybe some panic stricken late night 911 DV calls from the WH??

Melania better keep a low profile around Trump and Nikki !!!!!! LOL!!

Jen , December 21, 2017 at 2:48 pm
India was naughty as well and Nimrata Nikki Randhawa Haley ought to have taken the Indian ambassador's name down as well. Maybe she'll even declare she won't ever set foot in India again. Her relatives there will breathe sighs of relief!
Cortes , December 21, 2017 at 4:27 pm
She's made herself untouchable.
Jen , December 21, 2017 at 8:03 pm
Ha ha!
Moscow Exile , December 21, 2017 at 8:41 pm
She makes me Sikh

[Dec 23, 2017] Neocons and Neoliberals -- Two Masks, One Face by WashingtonsBlog

Notable quotes:
"... Trotsky communism ..."
Nov 10, 2008 | www.washingtonsblog.com

Obama might very well be classified as a "neoliberal". He appears to be appointing leading neoliberals to key positions in his administration .

If you're a liberal, you might think this is great. Instead of the Neoconservatives who have been in power for the last 8 years, we'll now have neoliberals. You may assume that "neoliberals" are new, smarter liberals -- with liberal social policies, but with a stronger, more realistic outlook.

Nope.

In reality, neoliberalism is as dissimilar to true progressive liberal politics as neo-conservatism is to true conservative politics (if you don't know it, most leading neoconservatives are former followers of Trotsky communism -- not very conservative, huh?)

For example, did you know that Ronald Reagan was a leading neoliberal ? In the U.S., of course, he is described as the quintessential conservative. But internationally, people understand that he really pushed neoliberal economic policies.

As former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer Philip Giraldi writes :

Neoconservatives and neoliberals are really quite similar, so it doesn't matter who gets elected in 2008. The American public, weary of preemptive attacks, democracy-promotion, and nation-building, will still get war either way.

And leading neo-conservative strategist Robert Kagan recently said :

Until now the liberal West's strategy has been to try to integrate these two powers into the international liberal order, to tame them and make them safe for liberalism."

So neoconservatives are not really conservative and neoliberals are not really liberal. But neocons and neoliberals are very similar to each other . Neocons are a lot more similar to neoliberals than to true conservatives; neoliberass are more similar to neocons than to real liberals.

Do you get it? Both the Republican and Democratic party are now run by people with identical agendas: make the big corporations richer and expand the American empire.

There is only one party, which simply puts on different faces depending on which "branch" of the party is in power. If its the Democratic branch, there is a slightly liberal social veneer to the mask: a little more funding for social programs, a little more nice guy talk, a little more of a laissez faire attitude towards gays and minorities, and a little more patient push towards military conquest and empire.

If its the Republican branch, there's a little more tough guy talk, quicker moves towards military empire, a little more mention of religion, and a tad more centralization of power in the president.

But there is only a single face behind both masks: the face of raw corporatism, greed and yearning for power and empire.

Until Americans stop getting distracted by the Republican versus Democratic melodrama, America will move steadily forward towards war, empire and -- inevitably as with any country which extends too far -- collapse.

Neoliberalism is neither "new" or liberal. Neoconservativism is neither new or conservative. They are just new labels for a very old agenda: serving the powers-that-be, consolidating power, controlling resources. Whether the iron fist has a velvet glove on it or not, it is still an iron fist.

A true opposition party is needed to counter the never-changing American agenda for military and corporate empire.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/9498954186704486?pubid=ld-6193-3093&pubo=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonsblog.com&width=747

J R Thompson , September 19, 2012 10:33 PM

This article does much to confuse and disinform. NeoCons are essential modern day Fascists. If you don't recall your politics, Fascists are to the right of Conservatives on the political spectrum. They have nothing to do with Communists who are far to the left. During the 1930s Nazis were the NeoCons. They were Fascists, and they also had the overwhelming support of Muslims, who are also Fascists. Today's NeoLiberals are basically Right Wing and hardly middle of the fence. There is virtually no politics to the left of centre and this is the catalyst for massive economic stagnation, economic collapse, rapidly growing global instability, indemic poverty, and an ongoing threat of pandemic disease and general global conflict. Until we have some form of political balance, we're on the brink of catastrophe, and will probably end up with an enormous mess to clean up.

Guest J R Thompson , June 18, 2014 8:12 PM

The Wiki page disagrees with you.

It says that Neo-Conservatives descend from Trotskeyism.

Grey Winters J R Thompson , June 23, 2014 4:28 PM

Fascism is statism and nothing represents the ultimate power of the state then the liberal. No liberal supports our constitution or a smaller government . But it's innately typical of a liberal to project their agenda onto others.

Malcolm Scott J R Thompson , November 4, 2016 9:18 PM

Fascism, Communism are just different faces of Totalitarianism or Statism. Fascism gives "private" owners (oligarchs) the illusion of freedom.

MisterReason J R Thompson , November 8, 2015 6:27 AM

Your communist professor lied to you.

Communism and Fascism are one degree apart. In Fascism, instead of the elite being part of the government, they are part of the private sector. That is the only difference. They are both mainly concerned with consolidation of power and shaping the culture though control of information. Internationally they operate the same as well, expanding their influence through wars of occupation.

Adnihilo , November 11, 2008 7:16 PM

Thank you for this article! As an author you always seem to be one step ahead of me in articles I've been planning to write! I too have been asserting [in comments mostly at OpedNews] that the economic right political 'values' found in NeoLibs, [short for both NeoLibertarians and Neoliberals] NeoCons, and TheoCons are predominantly the same for months now ever since these corporate bailouts started. This author has a firm grasp on political ideologies as evidenced in his other articles correctly identifying the now $2 trillion in US corporate bailouts as the economic policy of Fascism.

The TheoCons-NeoCons-NeoLibs have taken the country so far to the economic right and up in to an authoritarian level since 2000 that most all in the democratic party, excluding a few like Kucinich and Sanders, have moved from a 'centrist' political ideology to an authoritarian right and moderate conservative political ideology.

Like Anna here more fully displays, the overwhelming majority of Americans just do not have a realistic grasp on global political ideologies, much less their own personal political values. Political party indoctrination and mud slinging has the population wrongly convinced democratic politicians are for the most part 'liberals' when they're economic right NeoLiberals and moderate conservatives while republicans calling themselves 'conservative' are instead radically authoritarian and economic right TheoCons and NeoCons.

When Americans don't understand their own political values, much less those of the candidate they vote for, they will continue to make the wrong choices. This would seem to be exactly what the '1' party corporatist system wants so Americans will only continue making the wrong choices from choosing between 'moderate conservative' Democrats like Obama-Biden, and NeoCon/TheoCon republicans like McCain-Palin. Who better to assert this 1 party economic right NeoLiberal reality than one of the most renown liberal authors and intellectuals than Chomsky in his recent article the Anti-Democratic Nature of US Capitalism is Being Exposed.

Chomsky cites America as a "one-party system, the business party, with two factions, Republicans and Democrats" while putting the blame on this economic crisis where it belongs on the very people who created it, America's NeoLiberals. Anna, if you need more proof I suggest you take a trip to the non partisan web site created by a group of doctorate degreed political ideology professors, political experts and sociologists called Political Compass. I guarantee you these experts are far more learned than you are about political ideologies and political values not just in the US, but around the globe. It will surely shock you to learn based on speeches, public statements and most crucially voting records that Obama is firmly in the authoritarian right quadrant as a moderate conservative.

There you'll see their reasons for this based on his voting record and speeches briefly cited in "While Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader are depicted on the extreme left in an American context, they would simply be mainstream social democrats within the wider political landscape of Europe.

Similarly, Obama is popularly perceived as a leftist in the United States while elsewhere in the west his record is that of a moderate conservative. For example, in the case of the death penalty he is not an uncompromising abolitionist, while mainstream conservatives in all other western democracies are deeply opposed to capital punishment. The Democratic party's presidential candidate also reneged on his commitment to oppose the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. He sided with the ultra conservative bloc in the Supreme Court against the Washington DC handgun ban and for capital punishment in child rape cases. He supports President Bush's faith-based initiatives and is reported in Fortune to have said that NAFTA isn't so bad."A way to realistically determine if the candidate you vote for actually represents your own political values is to take the political values test found at political compass here and afterward learn about the inadequacies inherent in the limited age-old traditional left-right economic view of political ideologies.

Then you Anna, along with a host of others, may actually start voting in support of candidates that factually represent your own political values. Or you may find you really aren't this liberal you think you are after all. Regardless, only by learning more about ones' own political values and those of the candidates Americans support will they get the political leaders, type of leadership, and government they actually want....

Alejandro Moreno Adnihilo , July 21, 2016 2:07 PM

Written 8 years ago and yet STILL true, Sanders and Kucinich are still of, by and for the people.

Dave , December 8, 2012 11:06 AM

Libertarian Party. http://www.lp.org

SuperTech86 Dave , November 11, 2015 3:20 AM

Doesn't do anything to stop the advance of corporatism which ultimately leads to tyranny and fascism.

Ian SuperTech86 , September 5, 2016 6:28 PM

Its debatable. Corporations won't be near as interested in a small government that is less willing to do favors for them. What do you suggest as a solution to stop the advancement of corporatism? If your answer is to tax the rich more and grow the government you would just get tyranny. Currently with big government we have both tyranny and fascism.

bosunj , November 10, 2008 5:59 PM

Indeed. One Party. The Corporate party. GOP-DEM are little different than Sunni and Shia! GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!

anon bosunj , November 17, 2013 9:43 PM

This is just ignorance -- the Republicans and Democrats are the same, but Sunni and Shia Islam are not just arbitrary branches of some terrorist collective called Islam. I suggest you read more about Islam, it's extraordinarily misunderstood AND--I might add--misinforming people about Islam is an integral part of the agenda of the corporate GOP-DEM elite. I'm not a Muslim, for the record.

Mike , November 10, 2008 6:31 PM

You are confusing the issue. The work neoliberal applies to an economic philosophy which is also sometimes called the Chicago School or the Washington Consensus. It is related to what we often call globalization, and it has to to with "liberalization" of economies, in other words privatization of publicly held industries etc. Liberal in the American political sense it totally unrelated to neoliberal. Neoconservatism is a political philosophy that espouses vanguardism and militant foreign policy. They are related in that their goals dove tail, kind of like apples and oranges are similar in that they are both edible.

[Dec 23, 2017] Israel lobby in the United States

Dec 23, 2017 | en.wikipedia.org

The formal component of the Israel lobby consists of organized lobby groups , political action committees (PACs), think tanks and media watchdog groups . The Center for Responsive Politics , which tracks all lobbies and PACs, describes the 'background' of those 'Pro-Israel' as, "A nationwide network of local political action committees, generally named after the region their donors come from, supplies much of the pro-Israel money in US politics . Additional funds also come from individuals who bundle contributions to candidates favored by the PACs. The donors' unified goal is to build stronger US-Israel relations and to support Israel in its negotiations and armed conflicts with its Arab neighbors." [24]

According to Mitchell Bard, there are, three key formal lobbying groups:

... ... ...

A summary of pro-Israel campaign donations for the period of 1990–2008 collected by Center for Responsive Politics indicates current totals and a general increase in proportional donations to the US Republican party since 1996. [46] The Center for Responsive Politics' 1990–2006 data shows that "pro-Israel interests have contributed $56.8 million in individual, group and soft money donations to federal candidates and party committees since 1990." [47] In contrast, Arab-Americans and Muslim PACs contributed slightly less than $800,000 during the same (1990–2006) period. [48] In 2006, 60% of the Democratic Party 's fundraising and 25% of that for the Republican Party's fundraising came from Jewish-funded PACs. According to a Washington Post estimate, Democratic presidential candidates depend on Jewish sources for as much as 60% of money raised from private sources. [49]

... ... ...

AIPAC does not give donations directly to candidates, but those who donate to AIPAC are often important political contributors in their own right. In addition, AIPAC helps connect donors with candidates, especially to the network of pro-Israel political action committees. AIPAC president Howard Friedman says "AIPAC meets with every candidate running for Congress. These candidates receive in-depth briefings to help them completely understand the complexities of Israel's predicament and that of the Middle East as a whole. We even ask each candidate to author a 'position paper' on their views of the US-Israel relationship – so it's clear where they stand on the subject."[43]

.... ... ...

Mearsheimer and Walt state that "pro-Israel figures have established a commanding presence at the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for Security Policy, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). These think tanks are all decidedly pro-Israel and include few, if any, critics of US support for the Jewish state."[50]

... ... ...

In 2006 former U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq Scott Ritter published "Target Iran: The Truth About the White House's Plans for Regime Change" ( ISBN 978-1-56025-936-7 ). In his book he stated that certain Israelis and pro-Israel elements in the United States were trying to push the Bush administration into war with Iran. [124] He also accuses the U.S. pro-Israel lobby of dual loyalty and outright espionage (see Lawrence Franklin espionage scandal ). [125]

[Dec 23, 2017] The State Department has approved the delivery to the Ukrainian army of modified 50 calibre Barrett sniper rifles, "Model M107A"

Dec 23, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile , December 21, 2017 at 10:55 am

Oh look at what I just got given me!

https://icdn.lenta.ru/images/2017/12/21/12/20171221122514922/brief_f8fe6380f3186e74c06a46d665607174.jpg

The state Department has approved the delivery to the Ukrainian army of modified 50 calibre Barrett sniper rifles, "Model M107A"

It may be related to the Model 82A1®/M107®, but the M107A1 is far from a simple evolution. Driven by the demands of combat, every component was re-engineered to be lighter yet stronger. Designed to be used with a suppressor, this rifle allows you to combine signature reduction capabilities with the flawless reliability of the original Barrett M107, but with a weight reduction of 5 pounds. Advanced design and manufacturing make the M107A1 more precise than ever.

See: BarrrrettM107A1

[Dec 22, 2017] When Sanity Fails - The Mindset of the Ideological Drone by The Saker

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... North Korea's air defenses are so weak that we had to notify them we were flying B1 bombers near their airspace–they didn't even know our aircraft were coming. This reminds me of the "fearsome" Republican Guard that Saddam had in the Persian Gulf. Turns out we had total air superiority and just bombed the crap out of them and they surrendered in droves. ..."
"... We have already seen what happens when an army has huge amounts of outdated Soviet weaponry versus the most technologically advanced force in the world. It's a slaughter. Also, there has to be weaponry up the USA's sleeve that would be used in the event of an attack. Don't forget our cyber warfare abilities that would undoubtedly be implemented as well. This writer seems to always hype Russia's capabilities and denigrate the US's capabilities. Sure, Russia has the capacity to nuke the US into smithereens, and vice versa. But if its a head to head shooting war, the US and NATO would dominate. FACT. ..."
"... Commander's intent: ..."
"... Decapitate the top leadership and remove retaliatory capability. ..."
"... Massive missile/bombing campaign (including carpet) of top leadership locations, tactical missile locations and DMZ artillery belt. Destruction of surface fleet and air force. ..."
"... Advance into DMZ artillery belt up to a range of 240 mm cannon. Not further (local tactical considerations taken into account of course). ..."
"... Phase three: "break the enemy's will to fight" and destroy the "regime support infrastructure" ..."
"... I guess an American attack on North Korea would consist of preemptive strategic nuking to destroy the entire country before it can do anything. Since North Korea itself contributes essentially nothing to the world economy, no one would lose money. ..."
"... These examples perfectly illustrate the kind of mindset induced by what Professor John Marciano called "Empire as a way of life" [1] which is characterized by a set of basic characteristics: ..."
"... there has to be ..."
"... would undoubtedly ..."
"... the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts ..."
"... A perfect illustration of that is the famous quote " it became necessary to destroy the town to save it ..."
"... I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you, the difference in Iraq and Iran, but I know Jesus and I talk to God ..."
"... this applies to the vast majority of US politicians, decision-makers and elected officials, hence Putin's remark that " It's difficult to talk with people who confuse Austria and Australia ". ..."
"... As a result, there is no more discernible US diplomacy left: all the State Department does is deliver threats, ultimatums and condemnations. Meaningful *negotiations* have basically been removed form the US foreign policy toolkit. ..."
"... That belief is also the standard cop out in any conversation of morality, ethnics, or even the notions of right and wrong. An anti-religious view par excellence . ..."
"... The US policies towards Russia, China and Iran all have the potential of resulting in a disaster of major magnitude. The world is dealing with situation in which a completely delusional regime is threatening everybody with various degrees of confrontation. This is like being in the same room with a monkey playing with a hand grenade. Except for that hand grenade is nuclear. ..."
"... This situation places a special burden of responsibility on all other nations, especially those currently in Uncle Sam's cross-hairs, to act with restraint and utmost restraint. That is not fair, but life rarely is. It is all very well and easy to declare that force must be met by force and that the Empire interprets restraint as weakness until you realize that any miscalculation can result in the death of millions of people. I am therefore very happy that the DPRK is the only country which chose to resort to a policy of hyperbolic threats while Iran, Russia and China acted, and are still acting, with the utmost restraint. ..."
"... they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners ..."
"... If the U.S. attacks North Korea or Iran we will become a pariah among nations (especially once the pictures start pouring in). We will be loathed. Countries may very well decide that we are not worthy of having the world's reserve currency. In that case the dollar will collapse as will our economy. ..."
"... Maybe it's just me, but it seems that NK is just another tyranny in a long list of tyrannies throughout millennia, and like all of them it will just implode on its own. Therefore, the best thing you can do is simply to ignore it (thus denying the tyrant an external threat to rally the populace) and wait for the NK people to say enough is enough. ..."
"... I agree with the logic that as Americans become dumber the ability to have a powerful military also degrades, however an increasingly declining America also makes it more dangerous. As ever more ideologues rule the corridors of power and the generally stupid population that will consent to everything they are told, America will start involving itself in ever more reckless conflicts. This means they despite being a near idiocracy, the nuclear weapons and military bases all over world make America an ever greater threat for the world ..."
Dec 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

My recent analysis of the potential consequences of a US attack on the DPRK has elicited a wide range of reactions. There is one type of reaction which I find particularly interesting and most important and I would like to focus on it today: the ones which entirely dismissed my whole argument. The following is a selection of some of the most telling reactions of this kind:

Example 1:

North Korea's air defenses are so weak that we had to notify them we were flying B1 bombers near their airspace–they didn't even know our aircraft were coming. This reminds me of the "fearsome" Republican Guard that Saddam had in the Persian Gulf. Turns out we had total air superiority and just bombed the crap out of them and they surrendered in droves.

We have already seen what happens when an army has huge amounts of outdated Soviet weaponry versus the most technologically advanced force in the world. It's a slaughter. Also, there has to be weaponry up the USA's sleeve that would be used in the event of an attack. Don't forget our cyber warfare abilities that would undoubtedly be implemented as well. This writer seems to always hype Russia's capabilities and denigrate the US's capabilities. Sure, Russia has the capacity to nuke the US into smithereens, and vice versa. But if its a head to head shooting war, the US and NATO would dominate. FACT.

Example 2:

Commander's intent:

Decapitate the top leadership and remove retaliatory capability.

Execution:

Phase one:

Massive missile/bombing campaign (including carpet) of top leadership locations, tactical missile locations and DMZ artillery belt. Destruction of surface fleet and air force.

Phase two:

Advance into DMZ artillery belt up to a range of 240 mm cannon. Not further (local tactical considerations taken into account of course).

Phase three: "break the enemy's will to fight" and destroy the "regime support infrastructure"

Phase four: Regime change.

There you go .

Example 3:

I guess an American attack on North Korea would consist of preemptive strategic nuking to destroy the entire country before it can do anything. Since North Korea itself contributes essentially nothing to the world economy, no one would lose money.

These examples perfectly illustrate the kind of mindset induced by what Professor John Marciano called "Empire as a way of life" [1] which is characterized by a set of basic characteristics:

First foremost, simple, very simple one-sentence "arguments" . Gone are the days when argument were built in some logical sequence, when facts were established, then evaluated for their accuracy and relevance, then analyzed and then conclusions presented. Where in the past one argument per page or paragraph constituted the norm, we now have tweet-like 140 character statements which are more akin to shouted slogans than to arguments (no wonder that tweeting is something a bird does – hence the expression "bird brain"). You will see that kind of person writing what initially appears to be a paragraph, but when you look closer you realize that the paragraph is really little more than a sequence of independent statements and not really an argument of any type. A quasi-religious belief in one's superiority which is accepted as axiomatic .

Nothing new here: the Communists considered themselves as the superior for class reasons, the Nazis by reason of racial superiority, the US Americans just "because" – no explanation offered (I am not sure that this constitutes of form of progress). In the US case, that superiority is cultural, political, financial and, sometimes but not always, racial. This superiority is also technological, hence the " there has to be " or the " would undoubtedly " in the example #1 above. This is pure faith and not something which can be challenged by fact or logic. Contempt for all others . This really flows from #2 above. Example 3 basically declares all of North Korea (including its people) as worthless. This is where all the expressions like "sand niggers" "hadjis" and other "gooks" come from: the dehumanization of the "others" as a preparation for their for mass slaughter. Notice how in the example #2 the DPRK leaders are assumed to be totally impotent, dull and, above all, passive.

The notion that they might do something unexpected is never even considered (a classical recipe for military disaster, but more about that later). Contempt for rules, norms and laws . This notion is well expressed by the famous US 19th century slogan of " my country, right or wrong " but goes far beyond that as it also includes the belief that the USA has God-given (or equivalent) right to ignore international law, the public opinion of the rest of the planet or even the values underlying the documents which founded the USA. In fact, in the logic of such imperial drone the belief in US superiority actually serves as a premise to the conclusion that the USA has a "mission" or a "responsibility" to rule the world. This is "might makes right" elevated to the rank of dogma and, therefore, never challenged. A very high reliance on doublethink . Doublethink defined by Wikipedia as " the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts ".

A perfect illustration of that is the famous quote " it became necessary to destroy the town to save it ". Most US Americans are aware of the fact that US policies have resulted in them being hated worldwide, even amongst putatively allied or "protected" countries such as South Korea, Israel, Germany or Japan. Yet at the very same time, they continue to think that the USA should "defend" "allies", even if the latter can't wait for Uncle Sam's soldiers to pack and leave. Doublethink is also what makes it possible for ideological drones to be aware of the fact that the US has become a subservient Israeli colony while, at the same time, arguing for the support and financing of Israel.

A glorification of ignorance which is transformed into a sign of manliness and honesty. This is powerfully illustrated in the famous song " Where were you when the world stopped turning " whoso lyrics include the following words " I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you, the difference in Iraq and Iran, but I know Jesus and I talk to God " (notice how the title of the song suggests that New York is the center of the world, when when get hit, the world stops turning; also, no connection is made between watching CNN and not being able to tell two completely different countries apart). If this were limited to singers, then it would not be a problem, but this applies to the vast majority of US politicians, decision-makers and elected officials, hence Putin's remark that " It's difficult to talk with people who confuse Austria and Australia ".

As a result, there is no more discernible US diplomacy left: all the State Department does is deliver threats, ultimatums and condemnations. Meaningful *negotiations* have basically been removed form the US foreign policy toolkit.

A totally uncritical acceptance of ideologically correct narratives even when they are self-evidently nonsensical to an even superficial critical analysis. An great example of this kind of self-evidently stupid stories is all the nonsense about the Russians trying to meddle in US elections or the latest hysteria about relatively small-size military exercises in Russia .

The acceptance of the official 9/11 narrative is a perfect example of that. Something repeated by the "respectable" Ziomedia is accepted as dogma, no matter how self-evidently stupid. A profound belief that everything is measured in dollars . From this flow a number of corollary beliefs such as "US weapons are most expensive, they are therefore superior" or "everybody has his price" [aka "whom we can't kill we will simply buy"]. In my experience folks like these are absolutely unable to even imagine that some people might not motivated by greed or other egoistic interests: ideological drones project their own primitive motives unto everybody else with total confidence.

That belief is also the standard cop out in any conversation of morality, ethnics, or even the notions of right and wrong. An anti-religious view par excellence .

Notice the total absence of any more complex consideration which might require some degree of knowledge or expertise: the imperial mindset is not only ignoramus-compatible, it is ignoramus based . This is what Orwell was referring to in his famous book 1984 with the slogan "Ignorance is Strength". However, it goes way beyond simple ignorance of facts and includes the ability to "think in slogans" (example #2 is a prefect example of this).

There are, of course, many more psychological characteristics for the perfect "ideological drone", but the ones above already paint a pretty decent picture of the kind of person I am sure we all have seen many times over. What is crucial to understand about them is that even though they are far from being a majority, they compensate for that with a tremendous motivational drive. It might be due to a need to repeatedly reassert their certitudes or a way to cope with some deep-seated cognitive dissonance, but in my experience folks like that have energy levels that many sane people would envy. This is absolutely crucial to how the Empire, and any other oppressive regime, works: by repressing those who can understand a complex argument by means of those who cannot. Let me explain:

Unless there are mechanisms set in to prevent that, in a debate/dispute between an educated and intelligent person and an ideological drone the latter will always prevail because of the immense advantage the latter has over the former. Indeed, while the educated and intelligent person will be able to immediately identify numerous factual and logical gaps in his opponent's arguments, he will always need far more "space" to debunk the nonsense spewed by the drone than the drone who will simply dismiss every argument with one or several slogans. This is why I personally never debate or even talk with such people: it is utterly pointless.

As a result, a fact-based and logical argument now gets the same consideration and treatment as a collection of nonsensical slogans (political correctness mercilessly enforces that principle: you can't call an idiot and idiot any more). Falling education standards have resulted in a dramatic degradation of the public debate: to be well-educated, well-read, well-traveled, to speak several languages and feel comfortable in different cultures used to be considered a prerequisite to expressing an opinion, now they are all treated as superfluous and even useless characteristics. Actual, formal, expertise in a topic is now becoming extremely rare. A most interesting kind of illustration of this point can be found in this truly amazing video posted by Peter Schiff:

One could be tempted to conclude that this kind of 'debating' is a Black issue. It is not. The three quotes given at the beginning of this article are a good reminder of this (unless, of course, they were all written by Blacks, which we have no reason to believe).

Twitter might have done to minds what MTV has done to rock music: laid total waste to it.

Consequences:

There are a number of important consequences from the presence of such ideological drones in any society. The first one is that any ideology-based regime will always and easily find numerous spontaneous supporters who willingly collaborate with it. Combined with a completely subservient media, such drones form the rontline force of any ideological debate. For instance, a journalist can always be certain to easily find a done to interview, just as a politician can count on them to support him during a public speech or debate. The truth is that, unfortunately, we live in a society that places much more emphasis on the right to have an opinion than on the actual ability to form one .

By the way, the intellectually challenged always find a natural ally in the coward and the "follower" (as opposed to "leader types") because it is always much easier and safer to follow the herd and support the regime in power than to oppose it. You will always see "stupid drones" backed by "coward drones". As for the politicians , they naturally cater to all types of drones since they always provide a much bigger "bang for the buck" than those inclined to critical thinking whose loyalty to whatever "cause" is always dubious.

The drone-type of mindset also comes with some major weaknesses including a very high degree of predictability, an inability to learn from past mistakes, an inability to imagine somebody operating with a completely different set of motives and many others. One of the most interesting ones for those who actively resist the AngloZionist Empire is that the ideological drone has very little staying power because as soon as the real world, in all its beauty and complexity, comes crashing through the door of the drone's delusional and narrow imagination his cocky arrogance is almost instantaneously replaced by a total sense of panic and despair. I have had the chance to speak Russian officers who were present during the initial interrogation of US POWs in Iraq and they were absolutely amazed at how terrified and broken the US POWs immediately became (even though they were not mistreated in any way). It was as if they had no sense of risk at all, until it was too late and they were captured, at which point they inner strength instantly gave way abject terror. This is one of the reasons that the Empire cannot afford a protracted war: not because of casualty aversion as some suggest, but to keep the imperial delusions/illusions unchallenged by reality . As long as the defeat can be hidden or explained away, the Empire can fight on, but as soon as it becomes impossible to obfuscate the disaster the Empire has to simply declare victory and leave.

Thus we have a paradox here: the US military is superbly skilled at killing people in large numbers, but but not at winning wars . And yet, because this latter fact is easily dismissed on grounds #2 #5 and #7 above (all of them, really), failing to actually win wars does not really affect the US determination to initiate new wars, even potentially very dangerous ones. I would even argue that each defeat even strengthens the Empire's desire to show it power by hoping to finally identify one victim small enough to be convincingly defeated. The perfect example of that was Ronald Reagan's decision to invade Grenada right after the US Marines barracks bombing in Beirut. The fact that the invasion of Grenada was one of the worst military operations in world history did not prevent the US government from handing out more medals for it than the total number of people involved – such is the power of the drone-mindset!

We have another paradox here: history shows that if the US gets entangled in a military conflict it is most likely to end up defeated (if "not winning" is accepted as a euphemism for "losing"). And yet, the United States are also extremely hard to deter. This is not just a case of " Fools rush in where angels fear to tread " but the direct result of a form of conditioning which begins in grade schools. From the point of view of an empire, repeated but successfully concealed defeats are much preferable to the kind of mental paralysis induced in drone populations, at least temporarily, by well-publicized defeats . Likewise, when the loss of face is seen as a calamity much worse than body bags, lessons from the past are learned by academics and specialists, but not by the nation as a whole (there are numerous US academics and officers who have always known all of what I describe above, in fact – they were the ones who first taught me about it!).

If this was only limited to low-IQ drones this would not be as dangerous, but the problem is that words have their own power and that politicians and ideological drones jointly form a self-feeding positive feedback loop when the former lie to the latter only to then be bound by what they said which, in turn, brings them to join the ideological drones in a self-enclosed pseudo-reality of their own.

What all this means for North Korea and the rest of us

I hate to admit it, but I have to concede that there is a good argument to be made that all the over-the-top grandstanding and threatening by the North Koreans does make sense, at least to some degree. While for an educated and intelligent person threatening the continental United States with nuclear strikes might appear as the epitome of irresponsibility, this might well be the only way to warn the ideological drone types of the potential consequences of a US attack on the DPRK. Think of it: if you had to deter somebody with the set of beliefs outlined in #1 through #8 above, would you rather explain that a war on the Korean Peninsula would immediately involve the entire region or simple say "them crazy gook guys might just nuke the shit out of you!"? I think that the North Koreans might be forgiven for thinking that an ideological drone can only be deterred by primitive and vastly exaggerated threats.

Still, my strictly personal conclusion is that ideological drones are pretty much "argument proof" and that they cannot be swayed neither by primitive nor by sophisticated arguments. This is why I personally never directly engage them. But this is hardly an option for a country desperate to avoid a devastating war (the North Koreans have no illusions on that account as they, unlike most US Americans, remember the previous war in Korea).

But here is the worst aspect of it all: this is not only a North Korean problem

The US policies towards Russia, China and Iran all have the potential of resulting in a disaster of major magnitude. The world is dealing with situation in which a completely delusional regime is threatening everybody with various degrees of confrontation. This is like being in the same room with a monkey playing with a hand grenade. Except for that hand grenade is nuclear.

This situation places a special burden of responsibility on all other nations, especially those currently in Uncle Sam's cross-hairs, to act with restraint and utmost restraint. That is not fair, but life rarely is. It is all very well and easy to declare that force must be met by force and that the Empire interprets restraint as weakness until you realize that any miscalculation can result in the death of millions of people. I am therefore very happy that the DPRK is the only country which chose to resort to a policy of hyperbolic threats while Iran, Russia and China acted, and are still acting, with the utmost restraint.

In practical terms, there is no way for the rest of the planet to disarm the monkey. The only option is therefore to incapacitate the monkey itself or, alternatively, to create the conditions in which the monkey will be too busy with something else to pay attention to his grenade. An internal political crisis triggered by an external military defeat remains, I believe, the most likely and desirable scenario (see here if that topic is of interest to you). Still, the future is impossible to predict and, as the Quran says, " they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners ". All we can do is try to mitigate the impact of the ideological drones on our society as much as we can, primarily by *not* engaging them and limiting our interaction with those still capable of critical thought. It is by excluding ideological drones from the debate about the future of our world that we can create a better environment for those truly seeking solutions to our current predicament.

-- -- -

1. If you have not listened to his lectures on this topic, which I highly recommend, you can find them here:

Paul b , December 22, 2017 at 12:28 pm GMT

If the U.S. attacks North Korea or Iran we will become a pariah among nations (especially once the pictures start pouring in). We will be loathed. Countries may very well decide that we are not worthy of having the world's reserve currency. In that case the dollar will collapse as will our economy.
Third world nationalist , December 22, 2017 at 12:36 pm GMT
North Korea is a nationalistic country that traces their race back to antiquity. America on the other hand is a degenerated country that is ruled over by Jews. The flag waving American s may call the Koreans gooks but if we apply the American racial ideology on themselves, the Americans are the the 56percent Untermensch. While the north Koreans are superior for having rejected modern degeneracy.
Andrei Martyanov , Website December 22, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT

that the Empire interprets restraint as weakness

A key point, which signifies a serious cultural degeneration from values of chivalry and honoring the opposite side to a very Asiatic MO which absolutely rules current US establishment. This, and, of course, complete detachment from the realities of the warfare.

Sean , December 22, 2017 at 2:48 pm GMT
It is all talk, because China makes them invulnerable to sanctions and NK has nukes. The US will have to go to China to deal with NK and China will want to continue economically raping the US in exchange. That is why China gave NK an H bomb and ICBM tech ( it's known to have gave those same things to Pakistan). The real action will be in the Middle East. The Saudi are counting on the US giving them CO2 fracking in the future, and Iran being toppled soon. William S. Lind says Iran will be hit by Trump and Israel will use the ensuing chaos to expel the West Bank Palestinians (back to the country whose passports they travel on).
VICB3 , December 22, 2017 at 4:49 pm GMT

Maybe it's just me, but it seems that NK is just another tyranny in a long list of tyrannies throughout millennia, and like all of them it will just implode on its own. Therefore, the best thing you can do is simply to ignore it (thus denying the tyrant an external threat to rally the populace) and wait for the NK people to say enough is enough.

Don't think that would ever happen? Reference 'How Tyrannies Implode' by Richard Fernandez: https://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2016/02/27/how-tyrannies-implode/?print=true&singlepage=true

There's no doubt in my mind that Kim will end up like Nikolae Ceaușescu in Romania, put up against a wall by his own military and shot on TV. All anyone has to do is be patient and not drink the Rah-Rah Kool-Aid.*

Just a thought.

VicB3

*Was talking with a 82nd Major at the Starbucks, and mentioned NK, Ceausecu, sitting tight, etc. (Mentioned we might help things along by blanketing the whole country with netbooks, wi-fi, and even small arms.) Got the careerist ladder- climber standard response of how advanced our weapons are, the people in charge know what they're doing, blah blah blah. Wouldn't even consider an alternative view (and didn't know or understand half of what I was talking about). It was the same response I got from an Air Force Colonel before the U.S. went into Afghanistan and Iraq and I told him the whole thing was/would be insanely stupid.

His party-line team-player response was when I knew for certain that any action in NK would/will fail spectacularly for the U.S., possibly even resulting in and economic collapse and civil war/revolution on this end.

Wish I didn't think that, but I do.

pyrrhus , December 22, 2017 at 5:03 pm GMT
Excellent post. But the US public education "system", while awful, is not the main reason that America is increasingly packed with drones and idiots. IQ is decreasing rapidly, as revealed in the College Board's data on SAT scores over the last 60 years .In addition, Dr. James Thompson has a Dec.15 post on Unz that shows a shocking decline in the ability of UK children to understand basic principles of physics, which are usually acquired on a developmental curve. Mike Judge's movie 'Idiocracy' appears to have been set unrealistically far in the future ..
In short, the current situation can and will get a lot worse in America. On the other hand, America's armed forces will be deteriorating apace, so they are becoming less dangerous to the rest of the world.
anonymous , Disclaimer December 22, 2017 at 6:10 pm GMT
The good thing about democracy is that anyone can express an opinion. The bad thing about democracy is that anyone can express an opinion. I have to laugh at all the internet commandos and wannabe Napoleons that roost on the internet giving us their advice. It's easy to cherrypick opinions that range from uninformed to downright stupid and bizarre. Those people don't actually run anything though, fortunately. Keep in mind that half the population is mentally average or below average and that average is quite mediocre. Throw in a few degrees above mediocre and you've got a majority, a majority that can and is regularly bamboozled. The majority of the population is just there to pay taxes and provide cannon fodder, that's all, like a farmer's herd of cows provides for his support. Ideological drones are desired in this case. It's my suspicion that the educational system is geared towards producing such a product as well as all other aspects of popular culture also induce stupefying effects. Insofar as American policy goes, look at what it actually does rather than what it says, the latter being a form of show biz playing to a domestic audience. I just skip the more obnoxious commenters since they're just annoying and add nothing but confusion to any discussion.
Randal , December 22, 2017 at 6:41 pm GMT
@VICB3

but it seems that NK is just another tyranny in a long list of tyrannies throughout millennia, and like all of them it will just implode on its own
.
There's no doubt in my mind that Kim will end up like Nikolae Ceaușescu in Romania, put up against a wall by his own military and shot on TV.

All things come to an end eventually, and I agree with you that the best course of action for the US over NK would be to leave it alone (and stop poking it), but this idea that "tyrannies always collapse" seems pretty unsupported by reality.

Off the top of my head all of the following autocrats died more or less peacefully in office and handed their "tyranny" on intact to a successor, just in the past few decades: Mao, Castro, Franco, Stalin, Assad senior, two successive Kims (so much for the assumption that the latest Kim will necessarily end up like Ceausescu). In the past, if a tyrant and his tyranny lasted long enough and arranged a good succession, it often came to be remembered as a golden age, as with the Roman, Augustus.

I suspect it might be a matter of you having a rather selective idea of what counts as a tyranny (I wouldn't count Franco in that list, myself, but establishment opinion is against me there, I think). You might be selectively remembering only the tyrannies that came to a bad end.

neutral , December 22, 2017 at 7:24 pm GMT
@pyrrhus

so they are becoming less dangerous to the rest of the world

I agree with the logic that as Americans become dumber the ability to have a powerful military also degrades, however an increasingly declining America also makes it more dangerous. As ever more ideologues rule the corridors of power and the generally stupid population that will consent to everything they are told, America will start involving itself in ever more reckless conflicts. This means they despite being a near idiocracy, the nuclear weapons and military bases all over world make America an ever greater threat for the world.

neutral , December 22, 2017 at 7:35 pm GMT

The good thing about democracy is that anyone can express an opinion.

Not sure if this is a joke or not. In case you are serious, you clearly have not been following the news, from USA to Germany all these so called democracies have been undertaking massive censorship operations. From jailing people to shutting down online conversations to ordering news to not report on things that threaten their power.

Dana Thompson , December 22, 2017 at 9:37 pm GMT
A bizarre posting utterly detached from reality. Don't you understand that if a blustering lunatic presses a megaton-pistol against our collective foreheads and threatens to pull the trigger, it represents a very disquieting situation? And if we contemplate actions that would cause a million utterly harmless and innocent Koreans to be incinerated, to prevent a million of our own brains from being blown out, aren't we allowed to do so without being accused of being vile bigots that think yellow gook lives are worthless? Aren't we entitled to any instinct of self preservation at all?
What the Korean situation obviously entails is a high-stakes experiment in human psychology. All that attention-seeking little freak probably wants is to be treated with respect, and like somebody important. Trump started out in a sensible way, by treating Kim courteously, but for that he was pilloried by the insanely-partisan opposition within his own party – McCain I'm mainly thinking of. That's the true obstacle to a sane resolution of the problem. I say if the twerp would feel good if we gave him a tickertape parade down Fifth Avenue and a day pass to Disneyland, we should do so – it's small enough a concession in view of what's at stake. But if rabid congress-critters obstruct propitiation, then intimidation and even preemptive megadeath may be all that's left.
peterAUS , December 22, 2017 at 10:37 pm GMT
@Dana Thompson

Agree.

I suspect the true conversation about the topic will start when all that becomes really serious. I mean more serious than posting the latest selfie on a Facebook. Hangs around that warhead miniaturization/hardening timetable, IMHO. Maybe too late then.

VICB3 , December 23, 2017 at 12:07 am GMT
@Randal

Just be patient.

Also, one man's tyranny is another mans return to stability. For better or worse, Mao got rid of the Warlords. Franco got rid of the Communists and kept Spain out of WWII. The Assads are Baath Party and both secular and modernizers.

Stalin? Depends on who you talk to, but the Russians do like a strong hand.

Kim? His people only have to look West to China and Russia, or def. to the South, to know that things could be much better. And more and more he can't control the flow of information. That, and the rank and file of his army have roundworms. And guns.

At some point, the light comes on. And that same rank and file with guns tells itself "You know, we could be doing better."

And then it's "Live on TV Time!"

Hope this helps.

Just a thought.

VicB3

Santoculto , December 23, 2017 at 12:27 am GMT
Double think is not just a question of ignorance or self contradiction because often it's important to make people embrace COMPLEXITY instead CONFUSION believing the late it's basically the first

METWO#

Erebus , December 23, 2017 at 12:59 am GMT
@peterAUS

Saker and his legion of fanboys here didn't "attack" the text but the writer.

In the first place, there's nothing in the text to "attack". It's a laundry list of disconnected slogans and so is not a different point of view at all. Released from the confines of the author's gamer world, it evaporates into nothing. I pointed this out to you at some length elsewhere.

In the second, it appears you missed the point of the article. Hint: it's stated in the title. The article's about the mindsets of the authors of such "texts", and not about the texts themselves.

It appears that I am sort of a "dissident" here.

You flatter yourself. To be a dissident requires, at the very least, comprehension of the argument one is disagreeing with. Your "texts" are the equivalent of shouting slogans and waving placards. It may work for a street protest, but is totally out of place on a webzine discussion forum. Hence your screeds here do not constitute real dissension, but trolling.

Simple, really.

[Dec 22, 2017] At one point inhistory Ru>ssians were americanophiles. No longer by Anatoly Karlin

Notable quotes:
"... the numbers of America fans have plummeted, while the percentage of Russians with actively negative views emerged essentially out of nowhere to constitute majority opinion. ..."
"... For their part, Americans would have to acknowledge that Russians do not have a kneejerk hatred of America, and that the "loss of Russia" was largely of their own doing. ..."
"... The arrogant refusal to take into account Russian interests after the Cold War, instead bombing their allies, expanding NATO to Russian borders in contravention of verbal commitments made to the USSR, and for all intents and purposes treating it as a defeated Power, may have made sense when it seemed that the US would be the world's dominant hyperpower for the foreseeable future and Russia was doomed to die anyway – as was conventional wisdom by the late 1990s. ..."
Dec 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

When Russians Were Americanophiles Anatoly Karlin December 18, 2017 700 Words 298 Comments Reply

At the tail end of the Cold War, there was an incredible atmosphere of Americanophilia throughout the USSR, including amongst Russians.

Blue – approve of USA; orange – disapprove.

Around 75%-80% of Russians approved of the United States around 1990, versus <10% disapproval.

By modern standards , this would have put Russia into the top leagues of America fans , such as Poland, Israel, and the United Kingdom. It was also around 10%-15% points higher than contemporary US approval of Russia.

The blogger genby dug up a VCIOM poll from 1990 asking Russians – that is, Russians within the RSFSR, i.e. the territory of the modern day Russian Federation – what they thought about Americans.

The poll was redone in 2015, keeping the same questions, which allows a direct comparison between the two dates.

What in your opinion characterizes the United States? 1990 2015
High criminality and moral degradation 1 15
No warmth in people's relations 1 15
High living standards 35 12
Large gap between rich and poor 5 11
Racial discrimination 1 9
Highly developed science and technology 15 7
Success depends on personal effort 20 7
Free society 13 5
Other . 6
Can't say for sure 10 12

I would wager Russian opinions on America were more positive c.1990 than the opinions of the average American on his own country today!

Is US government friendly or hostile to Russia? 1990 2015
Friendly 35 3
Not very friendly 40 32
Hostile 2 59
Can't say 23 6

These results speak for themselves and hardly need more commentary.

Nowadays, of course, things are rather different. Suffice to say the numbers of America fans have plummeted, while the percentage of Russians with actively negative views emerged essentially out of nowhere to constitute majority opinion.

According to other polls, Russian approval of the US rarely breaks above 30% , and the sentiments are quite mutual . Just 1% (that's one percent) of Russians approved of US leadership by 2016 . Although there were hopes that this trend would turn around after Trump, which seemed plausible in early 2017 and indeed seemed to be happening , this was in the end not to be.

What I think is more significant is that nobody likes to talk about it now, because it reflects badly on pretty much everyone.

Russians would have to acknowledge that they were naive idiots who threw away an empire centuries in the making to end up within the borders of old Muscovy in exchange for jeans and "common human values."

These figures testify to the complete and utter failure of Soviet propaganda, which spent decades spinning tales about American criminality, unemployment, and lynched Negroes only to end up with a society with some of the most Americanophile sentiments in the entire world.

It also makes it much harder to scapegoat Gorbachev, or the mythical saboteurs and CIA agents in power that feature prominently in sovok conspiracy theories, for unraveling the Soviet Union, when ordinary Soviets themselves considered America the next best thing since Lenin and the US government to be their friend.

For their part, Americans would have to acknowledge that Russians do not have a kneejerk hatred of America, and that the "loss of Russia" was largely of their own doing.

The arrogant refusal to take into account Russian interests after the Cold War, instead bombing their allies, expanding NATO to Russian borders in contravention of verbal commitments made to the USSR, and for all intents and purposes treating it as a defeated Power, may have made sense when it seemed that the US would be the world's dominant hyperpower for the foreseeable future and Russia was doomed to die anyway – as was conventional wisdom by the late 1990s. And from a purely Realpolitik perspective, the results have hardly been catastrophic; the US gained a geopolitical foothold in Eastern Europe, tied up further European integration into an Atlantic framework, and closed off the possibility of the "Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok" envisaged by Charles de Gaulle. On the other hand, in a world where China is fast becoming a peer competitor – with the implicit backing of a resentful Russia – this may, in retrospect, not have been the best long-term play.

Anon , Disclaimer December 18, 2017 at 2:10 pm GMT

Well, this Americanophobia plays well for Americans, who afford a new arms race. Yes, you may think that America is deep in debt, but its creditors see it as an investment. When the Exxons of the West will milk the Siberian mineral riches, America will pay everything back. The alternative, a world where they would invest in Rosneft in order to get a share of the plunder of, idk, Gulf of Mexico, is silly. As we saw in the 80′s, the best form of war against Russia is not to bomb and starve Moscow. That won't scare the locals. Let Kremlin do it instead.

If Putin is not careful, if he doesn't go low tech, low cost, the Americans will win the long game.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 2:32 pm GMT
Russians would have to acknowledge that they were naive idiots who threw away an empire centuries in the making to end up within the borders of old Muscovy in exchange for jeans and "common human values."

Your 'empire' fell to pieces as rapidly as the Hapsburgs' in 1918 and you had to expend handsome sums in an attempt just to hold onto Chechenya (populaiton 1.1 million). You have 150 million people as is and can do without having to stomp on recalcitrant minorities and to craft institutions which function in multilingual environments. You never had much of a constituency in Austria for attempting to reassemble the Hapsburg dominions and Hungary's ambitions haven't in the last century gone beyond attempting to capture Magyar exclaves.

Look at the other principals in the 1st world war: overseas dependencies retained by them consist of a portfolio of insular territories which prefer their current status and whose total population hardly exceeds that of Switzerland. The only one which has retained contiguous peripheral provinces predominantly populated by minorities would be Turkey. You're not injured for the loss of an opportunity to replicate the Turkish experience with ethnic cleansing (of Greeks and Armenians) conjoined to abuse (of Kurds). Everyone lost their empire, and they're not generally the worse for it.

You have a large national state. Kvetching that you don't have Azerbaijan or Estonia is inconsistent with good sense.

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 2:37 pm GMT

Russians would have to acknowledge that they were naive idiots who threw away an empire centuries in the making

What's remarkable to me about that graph of opinion over time is how pig-headedly resilient Russian naivety about the US has been. Time after time it appears the scales would fall from Russians' eyes after the US regime disgraced itself particularly egregiously (Kosovo, Iraq, Georgia), and within a few months approval would be back up to 50% or above. It took the interference in the Ukraine in 2014 to finally make the truth stick.

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 2:56 pm GMT
@Art Deco

There are no disgraces incorporated into any of these events

That might be your opinion, but Kosovo and Iraq were openly illegal wars of aggression in which the US shamelessly flouted its own treaty commitments, and supporting Georgia was, like NATO expansion in general and numerous other consistently provocative US foreign policy measures directed against post-Soviet Russia, a literally stupid matter of turning a potential ally against the real rival China into an enemy and ally of said rival.

You are perfectly entitled to endorse mere stupidity on the part of your rulers, but the fact that you so shamelessly approve of waging illegal wars counter to treaty commitments discredits any opinions you might have on such matters.

Verymuchalive , December 18, 2017 at 3:17 pm GMT

Russians would have to acknowledge that they were naive idiots who threw away an empire centuries in the making to end up within the borders of old Muscovy

Actually, present Russian borders are more those of Peter the Great, circa 1717, than Old Muscovy. Russia, unlike nearly all the Great Powers of the C20th, has retained its Empire – Siberia, the Russian Far East, Kamchatka, South Russia and the Crimea ( first acquired as recently as 1783 ).
Once those dim-witted Ukies finally implode the Ukrainian economy, Russia will be able to gobble up the rest of southern and eastern Ukraine – all the way to Odessa.

The places that seceded from the Soviet Union are places that Russians don't want ( Northern Kazakhstan excepted ) and are urgently required to receive all those Central Asian immigrants who will be deported by sensible Russian governments in the near future. ( I exclude Armenians from the last clause )

inertial , December 18, 2017 at 3:26 pm GMT
Yes, US had squandered a lot of good will in exchange for extremely valuable "geopolitical foothold in Eastern Europe."

Incidentally, Soviet propaganda was never anti-American. It was anti-capitalist, an important distinction. Whereas in America, anti-Russian propaganda has always been anti- Russian .

Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm GMT

the US gained a geopolitical foothold in Eastern Europe, tied up further European integration into an Atlantic framework,

Washington could get both by integrating and not alienating americanophile Russia.

closed off the possibility of the "Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok" envisaged by Charles de Gaulle.

It also closed off the possibility of an American-led Global North.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 4:46 pm GMT
@Randal That might be your opinion, but Kosovo and Iraq were openly illegal wars of aggression in which the US shamelessly flouted its own treaty commitments,

We had no treaty commitments with either Serbia or Iraq and both places had it coming.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 5:01 pm GMT
@Art Deco

You have a large national state.

Correction: Russian Federation is not a nation state. It is a rump state . Its Western borders are artificial, drawn by the Communists in the 20th century, they exclude those parts of Russia, which the Communists decided to incorporate into separate republics of Belarus and Ukraine.

I don't know of any Russian nationalist, who wants Azerbaijan back, but reclaiming Belarus and Ukraine is absolutely essential to have a country, we could all proudly call 'home' – an actual Russian nation-state. Again, what really matters here is not the size of the country, it's that all the land that's historically Russian should be fully within the borders of this country.

PS: just because we had trouble holding onto Chechnya doesn't mean that annexing Belarus will be hard. Sure, we can expect blowback in the form of Western sanctions, but I don't anticipate much resistance from inside Belarus.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 5:12 pm GMT
@Art Deco With that kind of thinking I don't see how you can criticise Russia's incursions into the Ukraine. At least Russia has an actual reason to fight a war in the Ukraine. US invaded and destroyed Iraqi state for no reason whatsoever. US interests suffered as a result of its ill-advised aggression, they ended up empowering their avowed enemy – Iran.
Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 5:50 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich With that kind of thinking I don't see how you can criticise Russia's incursions into the Ukraine. At least Russia has an actual reason to fight a war in the Ukraine.

They dissed you. La di dah. My own countrymen have put up with that from an array of Eurotrash and 3d world kleptocrats every time we open the newspaper.

US invaded and destroyed Iraqi state for no reason whatsoever.

No, we did so because that was the best alternative. The other alternative was a sanctions regime which Big Consciences were assuring the world was causing a six-digit population of excess deaths each year or taking the sanctions off and letting Saddam and the other Tikritis to follow their Id. Iraq was a charnel house, and the world is well rid of the Tikriti regime, especially Iraq's Kurdish and Shia provinces, which have been quiet for a decade. You don't take an interest in the ocean of blood for which the Ba'ath Party was responsible, but you're terribly butthurt that politicians in Kiev don't take orders from Moscow. Felix, I can taste teh Crazy.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 5:58 pm GMT
@Art Deco

Your 'rump state' extends over 6.6 million sq miles and has a population of 152 million.

Exactly, and you're missing the point. Re-read my previous comment again:

I don't know of any Russian nationalist, who wants Azerbaijan back, but reclaiming Belarus and Ukraine is absolutely essential to have a country, we could all proudly call 'home' – an actual Russian nation-state. Again, what really matters here is not the size of the country, it's that all the land that's historically Russian should be fully within the borders of this country.

Russians know more about these things than you do. The vast majority of us do not regard Belarus and Ukraine as part of "заграница" – foreign countries. Ukrainians and in particular Belorussians are simply variants of us, just like regional differences exist between the Russians in Siberia and Kuban'.

http://russialist.org/belarusians-want-to-join-eu-rather-than-russia-poll-shows/

I don't care, because this isn't a popularity contest. There were similar polls in Crimea showing majority support for the EU, just before the peninsula voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia. LOL

The question that matters to me is will there be a vast resistance movement inside Belarus following the annexation, and to be honest I don't expect one.

[Dec 22, 2017] When Sanity Fails - The Mindset of the Ideological Drone by The Saker

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... North Korea's air defenses are so weak that we had to notify them we were flying B1 bombers near their airspace–they didn't even know our aircraft were coming. This reminds me of the "fearsome" Republican Guard that Saddam had in the Persian Gulf. Turns out we had total air superiority and just bombed the crap out of them and they surrendered in droves. ..."
"... We have already seen what happens when an army has huge amounts of outdated Soviet weaponry versus the most technologically advanced force in the world. It's a slaughter. Also, there has to be weaponry up the USA's sleeve that would be used in the event of an attack. Don't forget our cyber warfare abilities that would undoubtedly be implemented as well. This writer seems to always hype Russia's capabilities and denigrate the US's capabilities. Sure, Russia has the capacity to nuke the US into smithereens, and vice versa. But if its a head to head shooting war, the US and NATO would dominate. FACT. ..."
"... Commander's intent: ..."
"... Decapitate the top leadership and remove retaliatory capability. ..."
"... Massive missile/bombing campaign (including carpet) of top leadership locations, tactical missile locations and DMZ artillery belt. Destruction of surface fleet and air force. ..."
"... Advance into DMZ artillery belt up to a range of 240 mm cannon. Not further (local tactical considerations taken into account of course). ..."
"... Phase three: "break the enemy's will to fight" and destroy the "regime support infrastructure" ..."
"... I guess an American attack on North Korea would consist of preemptive strategic nuking to destroy the entire country before it can do anything. Since North Korea itself contributes essentially nothing to the world economy, no one would lose money. ..."
"... These examples perfectly illustrate the kind of mindset induced by what Professor John Marciano called "Empire as a way of life" [1] which is characterized by a set of basic characteristics: ..."
"... there has to be ..."
"... would undoubtedly ..."
"... the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts ..."
"... A perfect illustration of that is the famous quote " it became necessary to destroy the town to save it ..."
"... I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you, the difference in Iraq and Iran, but I know Jesus and I talk to God ..."
"... this applies to the vast majority of US politicians, decision-makers and elected officials, hence Putin's remark that " It's difficult to talk with people who confuse Austria and Australia ". ..."
"... As a result, there is no more discernible US diplomacy left: all the State Department does is deliver threats, ultimatums and condemnations. Meaningful *negotiations* have basically been removed form the US foreign policy toolkit. ..."
"... That belief is also the standard cop out in any conversation of morality, ethnics, or even the notions of right and wrong. An anti-religious view par excellence . ..."
"... The US policies towards Russia, China and Iran all have the potential of resulting in a disaster of major magnitude. The world is dealing with situation in which a completely delusional regime is threatening everybody with various degrees of confrontation. This is like being in the same room with a monkey playing with a hand grenade. Except for that hand grenade is nuclear. ..."
"... This situation places a special burden of responsibility on all other nations, especially those currently in Uncle Sam's cross-hairs, to act with restraint and utmost restraint. That is not fair, but life rarely is. It is all very well and easy to declare that force must be met by force and that the Empire interprets restraint as weakness until you realize that any miscalculation can result in the death of millions of people. I am therefore very happy that the DPRK is the only country which chose to resort to a policy of hyperbolic threats while Iran, Russia and China acted, and are still acting, with the utmost restraint. ..."
"... they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners ..."
"... If the U.S. attacks North Korea or Iran we will become a pariah among nations (especially once the pictures start pouring in). We will be loathed. Countries may very well decide that we are not worthy of having the world's reserve currency. In that case the dollar will collapse as will our economy. ..."
"... Maybe it's just me, but it seems that NK is just another tyranny in a long list of tyrannies throughout millennia, and like all of them it will just implode on its own. Therefore, the best thing you can do is simply to ignore it (thus denying the tyrant an external threat to rally the populace) and wait for the NK people to say enough is enough. ..."
"... I agree with the logic that as Americans become dumber the ability to have a powerful military also degrades, however an increasingly declining America also makes it more dangerous. As ever more ideologues rule the corridors of power and the generally stupid population that will consent to everything they are told, America will start involving itself in ever more reckless conflicts. This means they despite being a near idiocracy, the nuclear weapons and military bases all over world make America an ever greater threat for the world ..."
Dec 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

My recent analysis of the potential consequences of a US attack on the DPRK has elicited a wide range of reactions. There is one type of reaction which I find particularly interesting and most important and I would like to focus on it today: the ones which entirely dismissed my whole argument. The following is a selection of some of the most telling reactions of this kind:

Example 1:

North Korea's air defenses are so weak that we had to notify them we were flying B1 bombers near their airspace–they didn't even know our aircraft were coming. This reminds me of the "fearsome" Republican Guard that Saddam had in the Persian Gulf. Turns out we had total air superiority and just bombed the crap out of them and they surrendered in droves.

We have already seen what happens when an army has huge amounts of outdated Soviet weaponry versus the most technologically advanced force in the world. It's a slaughter. Also, there has to be weaponry up the USA's sleeve that would be used in the event of an attack. Don't forget our cyber warfare abilities that would undoubtedly be implemented as well. This writer seems to always hype Russia's capabilities and denigrate the US's capabilities. Sure, Russia has the capacity to nuke the US into smithereens, and vice versa. But if its a head to head shooting war, the US and NATO would dominate. FACT.

Example 2:

Commander's intent:

Decapitate the top leadership and remove retaliatory capability.

Execution:

Phase one:

Massive missile/bombing campaign (including carpet) of top leadership locations, tactical missile locations and DMZ artillery belt. Destruction of surface fleet and air force.

Phase two:

Advance into DMZ artillery belt up to a range of 240 mm cannon. Not further (local tactical considerations taken into account of course).

Phase three: "break the enemy's will to fight" and destroy the "regime support infrastructure"

Phase four: Regime change.

There you go .

Example 3:

I guess an American attack on North Korea would consist of preemptive strategic nuking to destroy the entire country before it can do anything. Since North Korea itself contributes essentially nothing to the world economy, no one would lose money.

These examples perfectly illustrate the kind of mindset induced by what Professor John Marciano called "Empire as a way of life" [1] which is characterized by a set of basic characteristics:

First foremost, simple, very simple one-sentence "arguments" . Gone are the days when argument were built in some logical sequence, when facts were established, then evaluated for their accuracy and relevance, then analyzed and then conclusions presented. Where in the past one argument per page or paragraph constituted the norm, we now have tweet-like 140 character statements which are more akin to shouted slogans than to arguments (no wonder that tweeting is something a bird does – hence the expression "bird brain"). You will see that kind of person writing what initially appears to be a paragraph, but when you look closer you realize that the paragraph is really little more than a sequence of independent statements and not really an argument of any type. A quasi-religious belief in one's superiority which is accepted as axiomatic .

Nothing new here: the Communists considered themselves as the superior for class reasons, the Nazis by reason of racial superiority, the US Americans just "because" – no explanation offered (I am not sure that this constitutes of form of progress). In the US case, that superiority is cultural, political, financial and, sometimes but not always, racial. This superiority is also technological, hence the " there has to be " or the " would undoubtedly " in the example #1 above. This is pure faith and not something which can be challenged by fact or logic. Contempt for all others . This really flows from #2 above. Example 3 basically declares all of North Korea (including its people) as worthless. This is where all the expressions like "sand niggers" "hadjis" and other "gooks" come from: the dehumanization of the "others" as a preparation for their for mass slaughter. Notice how in the example #2 the DPRK leaders are assumed to be totally impotent, dull and, above all, passive.

The notion that they might do something unexpected is never even considered (a classical recipe for military disaster, but more about that later). Contempt for rules, norms and laws . This notion is well expressed by the famous US 19th century slogan of " my country, right or wrong " but goes far beyond that as it also includes the belief that the USA has God-given (or equivalent) right to ignore international law, the public opinion of the rest of the planet or even the values underlying the documents which founded the USA. In fact, in the logic of such imperial drone the belief in US superiority actually serves as a premise to the conclusion that the USA has a "mission" or a "responsibility" to rule the world. This is "might makes right" elevated to the rank of dogma and, therefore, never challenged. A very high reliance on doublethink . Doublethink defined by Wikipedia as " the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts ".

A perfect illustration of that is the famous quote " it became necessary to destroy the town to save it ". Most US Americans are aware of the fact that US policies have resulted in them being hated worldwide, even amongst putatively allied or "protected" countries such as South Korea, Israel, Germany or Japan. Yet at the very same time, they continue to think that the USA should "defend" "allies", even if the latter can't wait for Uncle Sam's soldiers to pack and leave. Doublethink is also what makes it possible for ideological drones to be aware of the fact that the US has become a subservient Israeli colony while, at the same time, arguing for the support and financing of Israel.

A glorification of ignorance which is transformed into a sign of manliness and honesty. This is powerfully illustrated in the famous song " Where were you when the world stopped turning " whoso lyrics include the following words " I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you, the difference in Iraq and Iran, but I know Jesus and I talk to God " (notice how the title of the song suggests that New York is the center of the world, when when get hit, the world stops turning; also, no connection is made between watching CNN and not being able to tell two completely different countries apart). If this were limited to singers, then it would not be a problem, but this applies to the vast majority of US politicians, decision-makers and elected officials, hence Putin's remark that " It's difficult to talk with people who confuse Austria and Australia ".

As a result, there is no more discernible US diplomacy left: all the State Department does is deliver threats, ultimatums and condemnations. Meaningful *negotiations* have basically been removed form the US foreign policy toolkit.

A totally uncritical acceptance of ideologically correct narratives even when they are self-evidently nonsensical to an even superficial critical analysis. An great example of this kind of self-evidently stupid stories is all the nonsense about the Russians trying to meddle in US elections or the latest hysteria about relatively small-size military exercises in Russia .

The acceptance of the official 9/11 narrative is a perfect example of that. Something repeated by the "respectable" Ziomedia is accepted as dogma, no matter how self-evidently stupid. A profound belief that everything is measured in dollars . From this flow a number of corollary beliefs such as "US weapons are most expensive, they are therefore superior" or "everybody has his price" [aka "whom we can't kill we will simply buy"]. In my experience folks like these are absolutely unable to even imagine that some people might not motivated by greed or other egoistic interests: ideological drones project their own primitive motives unto everybody else with total confidence.

That belief is also the standard cop out in any conversation of morality, ethnics, or even the notions of right and wrong. An anti-religious view par excellence .

Notice the total absence of any more complex consideration which might require some degree of knowledge or expertise: the imperial mindset is not only ignoramus-compatible, it is ignoramus based . This is what Orwell was referring to in his famous book 1984 with the slogan "Ignorance is Strength". However, it goes way beyond simple ignorance of facts and includes the ability to "think in slogans" (example #2 is a prefect example of this).

There are, of course, many more psychological characteristics for the perfect "ideological drone", but the ones above already paint a pretty decent picture of the kind of person I am sure we all have seen many times over. What is crucial to understand about them is that even though they are far from being a majority, they compensate for that with a tremendous motivational drive. It might be due to a need to repeatedly reassert their certitudes or a way to cope with some deep-seated cognitive dissonance, but in my experience folks like that have energy levels that many sane people would envy. This is absolutely crucial to how the Empire, and any other oppressive regime, works: by repressing those who can understand a complex argument by means of those who cannot. Let me explain:

Unless there are mechanisms set in to prevent that, in a debate/dispute between an educated and intelligent person and an ideological drone the latter will always prevail because of the immense advantage the latter has over the former. Indeed, while the educated and intelligent person will be able to immediately identify numerous factual and logical gaps in his opponent's arguments, he will always need far more "space" to debunk the nonsense spewed by the drone than the drone who will simply dismiss every argument with one or several slogans. This is why I personally never debate or even talk with such people: it is utterly pointless.

As a result, a fact-based and logical argument now gets the same consideration and treatment as a collection of nonsensical slogans (political correctness mercilessly enforces that principle: you can't call an idiot and idiot any more). Falling education standards have resulted in a dramatic degradation of the public debate: to be well-educated, well-read, well-traveled, to speak several languages and feel comfortable in different cultures used to be considered a prerequisite to expressing an opinion, now they are all treated as superfluous and even useless characteristics. Actual, formal, expertise in a topic is now becoming extremely rare. A most interesting kind of illustration of this point can be found in this truly amazing video posted by Peter Schiff:

One could be tempted to conclude that this kind of 'debating' is a Black issue. It is not. The three quotes given at the beginning of this article are a good reminder of this (unless, of course, they were all written by Blacks, which we have no reason to believe).

Twitter might have done to minds what MTV has done to rock music: laid total waste to it.

Consequences:

There are a number of important consequences from the presence of such ideological drones in any society. The first one is that any ideology-based regime will always and easily find numerous spontaneous supporters who willingly collaborate with it. Combined with a completely subservient media, such drones form the rontline force of any ideological debate. For instance, a journalist can always be certain to easily find a done to interview, just as a politician can count on them to support him during a public speech or debate. The truth is that, unfortunately, we live in a society that places much more emphasis on the right to have an opinion than on the actual ability to form one .

By the way, the intellectually challenged always find a natural ally in the coward and the "follower" (as opposed to "leader types") because it is always much easier and safer to follow the herd and support the regime in power than to oppose it. You will always see "stupid drones" backed by "coward drones". As for the politicians , they naturally cater to all types of drones since they always provide a much bigger "bang for the buck" than those inclined to critical thinking whose loyalty to whatever "cause" is always dubious.

The drone-type of mindset also comes with some major weaknesses including a very high degree of predictability, an inability to learn from past mistakes, an inability to imagine somebody operating with a completely different set of motives and many others. One of the most interesting ones for those who actively resist the AngloZionist Empire is that the ideological drone has very little staying power because as soon as the real world, in all its beauty and complexity, comes crashing through the door of the drone's delusional and narrow imagination his cocky arrogance is almost instantaneously replaced by a total sense of panic and despair. I have had the chance to speak Russian officers who were present during the initial interrogation of US POWs in Iraq and they were absolutely amazed at how terrified and broken the US POWs immediately became (even though they were not mistreated in any way). It was as if they had no sense of risk at all, until it was too late and they were captured, at which point they inner strength instantly gave way abject terror. This is one of the reasons that the Empire cannot afford a protracted war: not because of casualty aversion as some suggest, but to keep the imperial delusions/illusions unchallenged by reality . As long as the defeat can be hidden or explained away, the Empire can fight on, but as soon as it becomes impossible to obfuscate the disaster the Empire has to simply declare victory and leave.

Thus we have a paradox here: the US military is superbly skilled at killing people in large numbers, but but not at winning wars . And yet, because this latter fact is easily dismissed on grounds #2 #5 and #7 above (all of them, really), failing to actually win wars does not really affect the US determination to initiate new wars, even potentially very dangerous ones. I would even argue that each defeat even strengthens the Empire's desire to show it power by hoping to finally identify one victim small enough to be convincingly defeated. The perfect example of that was Ronald Reagan's decision to invade Grenada right after the US Marines barracks bombing in Beirut. The fact that the invasion of Grenada was one of the worst military operations in world history did not prevent the US government from handing out more medals for it than the total number of people involved – such is the power of the drone-mindset!

We have another paradox here: history shows that if the US gets entangled in a military conflict it is most likely to end up defeated (if "not winning" is accepted as a euphemism for "losing"). And yet, the United States are also extremely hard to deter. This is not just a case of " Fools rush in where angels fear to tread " but the direct result of a form of conditioning which begins in grade schools. From the point of view of an empire, repeated but successfully concealed defeats are much preferable to the kind of mental paralysis induced in drone populations, at least temporarily, by well-publicized defeats . Likewise, when the loss of face is seen as a calamity much worse than body bags, lessons from the past are learned by academics and specialists, but not by the nation as a whole (there are numerous US academics and officers who have always known all of what I describe above, in fact – they were the ones who first taught me about it!).

If this was only limited to low-IQ drones this would not be as dangerous, but the problem is that words have their own power and that politicians and ideological drones jointly form a self-feeding positive feedback loop when the former lie to the latter only to then be bound by what they said which, in turn, brings them to join the ideological drones in a self-enclosed pseudo-reality of their own.

What all this means for North Korea and the rest of us

I hate to admit it, but I have to concede that there is a good argument to be made that all the over-the-top grandstanding and threatening by the North Koreans does make sense, at least to some degree. While for an educated and intelligent person threatening the continental United States with nuclear strikes might appear as the epitome of irresponsibility, this might well be the only way to warn the ideological drone types of the potential consequences of a US attack on the DPRK. Think of it: if you had to deter somebody with the set of beliefs outlined in #1 through #8 above, would you rather explain that a war on the Korean Peninsula would immediately involve the entire region or simple say "them crazy gook guys might just nuke the shit out of you!"? I think that the North Koreans might be forgiven for thinking that an ideological drone can only be deterred by primitive and vastly exaggerated threats.

Still, my strictly personal conclusion is that ideological drones are pretty much "argument proof" and that they cannot be swayed neither by primitive nor by sophisticated arguments. This is why I personally never directly engage them. But this is hardly an option for a country desperate to avoid a devastating war (the North Koreans have no illusions on that account as they, unlike most US Americans, remember the previous war in Korea).

But here is the worst aspect of it all: this is not only a North Korean problem

The US policies towards Russia, China and Iran all have the potential of resulting in a disaster of major magnitude. The world is dealing with situation in which a completely delusional regime is threatening everybody with various degrees of confrontation. This is like being in the same room with a monkey playing with a hand grenade. Except for that hand grenade is nuclear.

This situation places a special burden of responsibility on all other nations, especially those currently in Uncle Sam's cross-hairs, to act with restraint and utmost restraint. That is not fair, but life rarely is. It is all very well and easy to declare that force must be met by force and that the Empire interprets restraint as weakness until you realize that any miscalculation can result in the death of millions of people. I am therefore very happy that the DPRK is the only country which chose to resort to a policy of hyperbolic threats while Iran, Russia and China acted, and are still acting, with the utmost restraint.

In practical terms, there is no way for the rest of the planet to disarm the monkey. The only option is therefore to incapacitate the monkey itself or, alternatively, to create the conditions in which the monkey will be too busy with something else to pay attention to his grenade. An internal political crisis triggered by an external military defeat remains, I believe, the most likely and desirable scenario (see here if that topic is of interest to you). Still, the future is impossible to predict and, as the Quran says, " they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners ". All we can do is try to mitigate the impact of the ideological drones on our society as much as we can, primarily by *not* engaging them and limiting our interaction with those still capable of critical thought. It is by excluding ideological drones from the debate about the future of our world that we can create a better environment for those truly seeking solutions to our current predicament.

-- -- -

1. If you have not listened to his lectures on this topic, which I highly recommend, you can find them here:

Paul b , December 22, 2017 at 12:28 pm GMT

If the U.S. attacks North Korea or Iran we will become a pariah among nations (especially once the pictures start pouring in). We will be loathed. Countries may very well decide that we are not worthy of having the world's reserve currency. In that case the dollar will collapse as will our economy.
Third world nationalist , December 22, 2017 at 12:36 pm GMT
North Korea is a nationalistic country that traces their race back to antiquity. America on the other hand is a degenerated country that is ruled over by Jews. The flag waving American s may call the Koreans gooks but if we apply the American racial ideology on themselves, the Americans are the the 56percent Untermensch. While the north Koreans are superior for having rejected modern degeneracy.
Andrei Martyanov , Website December 22, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT

that the Empire interprets restraint as weakness

A key point, which signifies a serious cultural degeneration from values of chivalry and honoring the opposite side to a very Asiatic MO which absolutely rules current US establishment. This, and, of course, complete detachment from the realities of the warfare.

Sean , December 22, 2017 at 2:48 pm GMT
It is all talk, because China makes them invulnerable to sanctions and NK has nukes. The US will have to go to China to deal with NK and China will want to continue economically raping the US in exchange. That is why China gave NK an H bomb and ICBM tech ( it's known to have gave those same things to Pakistan). The real action will be in the Middle East. The Saudi are counting on the US giving them CO2 fracking in the future, and Iran being toppled soon. William S. Lind says Iran will be hit by Trump and Israel will use the ensuing chaos to expel the West Bank Palestinians (back to the country whose passports they travel on).
VICB3 , December 22, 2017 at 4:49 pm GMT

Maybe it's just me, but it seems that NK is just another tyranny in a long list of tyrannies throughout millennia, and like all of them it will just implode on its own. Therefore, the best thing you can do is simply to ignore it (thus denying the tyrant an external threat to rally the populace) and wait for the NK people to say enough is enough.

Don't think that would ever happen? Reference 'How Tyrannies Implode' by Richard Fernandez: https://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2016/02/27/how-tyrannies-implode/?print=true&singlepage=true

There's no doubt in my mind that Kim will end up like Nikolae Ceaușescu in Romania, put up against a wall by his own military and shot on TV. All anyone has to do is be patient and not drink the Rah-Rah Kool-Aid.*

Just a thought.

VicB3

*Was talking with a 82nd Major at the Starbucks, and mentioned NK, Ceausecu, sitting tight, etc. (Mentioned we might help things along by blanketing the whole country with netbooks, wi-fi, and even small arms.) Got the careerist ladder- climber standard response of how advanced our weapons are, the people in charge know what they're doing, blah blah blah. Wouldn't even consider an alternative view (and didn't know or understand half of what I was talking about). It was the same response I got from an Air Force Colonel before the U.S. went into Afghanistan and Iraq and I told him the whole thing was/would be insanely stupid.

His party-line team-player response was when I knew for certain that any action in NK would/will fail spectacularly for the U.S., possibly even resulting in and economic collapse and civil war/revolution on this end.

Wish I didn't think that, but I do.

pyrrhus , December 22, 2017 at 5:03 pm GMT
Excellent post. But the US public education "system", while awful, is not the main reason that America is increasingly packed with drones and idiots. IQ is decreasing rapidly, as revealed in the College Board's data on SAT scores over the last 60 years .In addition, Dr. James Thompson has a Dec.15 post on Unz that shows a shocking decline in the ability of UK children to understand basic principles of physics, which are usually acquired on a developmental curve. Mike Judge's movie 'Idiocracy' appears to have been set unrealistically far in the future ..
In short, the current situation can and will get a lot worse in America. On the other hand, America's armed forces will be deteriorating apace, so they are becoming less dangerous to the rest of the world.
anonymous , Disclaimer December 22, 2017 at 6:10 pm GMT
The good thing about democracy is that anyone can express an opinion. The bad thing about democracy is that anyone can express an opinion. I have to laugh at all the internet commandos and wannabe Napoleons that roost on the internet giving us their advice. It's easy to cherrypick opinions that range from uninformed to downright stupid and bizarre. Those people don't actually run anything though, fortunately. Keep in mind that half the population is mentally average or below average and that average is quite mediocre. Throw in a few degrees above mediocre and you've got a majority, a majority that can and is regularly bamboozled. The majority of the population is just there to pay taxes and provide cannon fodder, that's all, like a farmer's herd of cows provides for his support. Ideological drones are desired in this case. It's my suspicion that the educational system is geared towards producing such a product as well as all other aspects of popular culture also induce stupefying effects. Insofar as American policy goes, look at what it actually does rather than what it says, the latter being a form of show biz playing to a domestic audience. I just skip the more obnoxious commenters since they're just annoying and add nothing but confusion to any discussion.
Randal , December 22, 2017 at 6:41 pm GMT
@VICB3

but it seems that NK is just another tyranny in a long list of tyrannies throughout millennia, and like all of them it will just implode on its own
.
There's no doubt in my mind that Kim will end up like Nikolae Ceaușescu in Romania, put up against a wall by his own military and shot on TV.

All things come to an end eventually, and I agree with you that the best course of action for the US over NK would be to leave it alone (and stop poking it), but this idea that "tyrannies always collapse" seems pretty unsupported by reality.

Off the top of my head all of the following autocrats died more or less peacefully in office and handed their "tyranny" on intact to a successor, just in the past few decades: Mao, Castro, Franco, Stalin, Assad senior, two successive Kims (so much for the assumption that the latest Kim will necessarily end up like Ceausescu). In the past, if a tyrant and his tyranny lasted long enough and arranged a good succession, it often came to be remembered as a golden age, as with the Roman, Augustus.

I suspect it might be a matter of you having a rather selective idea of what counts as a tyranny (I wouldn't count Franco in that list, myself, but establishment opinion is against me there, I think). You might be selectively remembering only the tyrannies that came to a bad end.

neutral , December 22, 2017 at 7:24 pm GMT
@pyrrhus

so they are becoming less dangerous to the rest of the world

I agree with the logic that as Americans become dumber the ability to have a powerful military also degrades, however an increasingly declining America also makes it more dangerous. As ever more ideologues rule the corridors of power and the generally stupid population that will consent to everything they are told, America will start involving itself in ever more reckless conflicts. This means they despite being a near idiocracy, the nuclear weapons and military bases all over world make America an ever greater threat for the world.

neutral , December 22, 2017 at 7:35 pm GMT

The good thing about democracy is that anyone can express an opinion.

Not sure if this is a joke or not. In case you are serious, you clearly have not been following the news, from USA to Germany all these so called democracies have been undertaking massive censorship operations. From jailing people to shutting down online conversations to ordering news to not report on things that threaten their power.

Dana Thompson , December 22, 2017 at 9:37 pm GMT
A bizarre posting utterly detached from reality. Don't you understand that if a blustering lunatic presses a megaton-pistol against our collective foreheads and threatens to pull the trigger, it represents a very disquieting situation? And if we contemplate actions that would cause a million utterly harmless and innocent Koreans to be incinerated, to prevent a million of our own brains from being blown out, aren't we allowed to do so without being accused of being vile bigots that think yellow gook lives are worthless? Aren't we entitled to any instinct of self preservation at all?
What the Korean situation obviously entails is a high-stakes experiment in human psychology. All that attention-seeking little freak probably wants is to be treated with respect, and like somebody important. Trump started out in a sensible way, by treating Kim courteously, but for that he was pilloried by the insanely-partisan opposition within his own party – McCain I'm mainly thinking of. That's the true obstacle to a sane resolution of the problem. I say if the twerp would feel good if we gave him a tickertape parade down Fifth Avenue and a day pass to Disneyland, we should do so – it's small enough a concession in view of what's at stake. But if rabid congress-critters obstruct propitiation, then intimidation and even preemptive megadeath may be all that's left.
peterAUS , December 22, 2017 at 10:37 pm GMT
@Dana Thompson

Agree.

I suspect the true conversation about the topic will start when all that becomes really serious. I mean more serious than posting the latest selfie on a Facebook. Hangs around that warhead miniaturization/hardening timetable, IMHO. Maybe too late then.

VICB3 , December 23, 2017 at 12:07 am GMT
@Randal

Just be patient.

Also, one man's tyranny is another mans return to stability. For better or worse, Mao got rid of the Warlords. Franco got rid of the Communists and kept Spain out of WWII. The Assads are Baath Party and both secular and modernizers.

Stalin? Depends on who you talk to, but the Russians do like a strong hand.

Kim? His people only have to look West to China and Russia, or def. to the South, to know that things could be much better. And more and more he can't control the flow of information. That, and the rank and file of his army have roundworms. And guns.

At some point, the light comes on. And that same rank and file with guns tells itself "You know, we could be doing better."

And then it's "Live on TV Time!"

Hope this helps.

Just a thought.

VicB3

Santoculto , December 23, 2017 at 12:27 am GMT
Double think is not just a question of ignorance or self contradiction because often it's important to make people embrace COMPLEXITY instead CONFUSION believing the late it's basically the first

METWO#

Erebus , December 23, 2017 at 12:59 am GMT
@peterAUS

Saker and his legion of fanboys here didn't "attack" the text but the writer.

In the first place, there's nothing in the text to "attack". It's a laundry list of disconnected slogans and so is not a different point of view at all. Released from the confines of the author's gamer world, it evaporates into nothing. I pointed this out to you at some length elsewhere.

In the second, it appears you missed the point of the article. Hint: it's stated in the title. The article's about the mindsets of the authors of such "texts", and not about the texts themselves.

It appears that I am sort of a "dissident" here.

You flatter yourself. To be a dissident requires, at the very least, comprehension of the argument one is disagreeing with. Your "texts" are the equivalent of shouting slogans and waving placards. It may work for a street protest, but is totally out of place on a webzine discussion forum. Hence your screeds here do not constitute real dissension, but trolling.

Simple, really.

[Dec 22, 2017] If You Are Looking for Consistency, Trump Ain't Your Man by Publius Tacitus

Dec 22, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Christmas came early for Donald Trump. He signed a historic tax cut, kept the Government funded and operating and, to the delight of many in his base, used UN Ambassador Nikki Haley as a mouthpiece to tell the rest of the world to go pound sand. He is feeling groovy. But Donald Trump is still his own worst enemy. And his Presidency will be fatally harmed if he continues with his erratic foreign policy and his empty talk on dealing with the opioid plague.

Let's start with his wildly fluctuating foreign policy. There is no consistency nor is their a theme. When he announced that he was recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, many assumed he was on the Israeli leash and was behaving as any obedient dog would. Perhaps.

How then do you explain yesterday's (Thursday) decision to arm Ukraine as a show of force to Russia :

The Trump administration has approved the largest U.S. commercial sale of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine since 2014. . . . Administration officials confirmed that the State Department this month approved a commercial license authorizing the export of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and associated parts and accessories to Ukraine, a sale valued at $41.5 million. These weapons address a specific vulnerability of Ukrainian forces fighting a Russian-backed separatist movement in two eastern provinces.

The people we are arming in the Ukraine are the actual and intellectual descendants of the Nazi sympathizers who helped the Einsatzgruppen murder more than a million Jews after Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. Scholar Richard Sakwa provides the horrifying details on the pro-Nazi ideological foundation of the key Ukrainian political groups we are backing:

"The Orange revolution, like the later Euromaidan events, was democratic in intent but gave an impetus 'to the revival of the radical versions of [the] Ukrainian national movement that first appeared on the historical scene in the course of World War II and a national discourse focused on fighting against the enemy'.41 " . . . .

"In Dnepropetrovsk, for example, instead of the anticipated 60 street-name changes, 350 were planned. Everywhere 'Lenin Streets' became 'Bandera Avenues' as everything Russian was purged. One set of mass murderers was changed for another. Just as the Soviet regime had changed toponyms to inscribe its power into the physical environment, so now the Euromaidan revolution seeks to remould daily life. In Germany today the names of Nazis and their collaborators are anathema, whereas in Ukraine they are glorified."

Excerpt From: Richard Sakwa. "Frontline Ukraine : Crisis in the Borderlands." from the Afterward

At the very moment we are signaling our support for Israel, the country founded largely because of the horror over the Shoah, we are also giving weapons to political groups whose parents and grand parents helped carry out the Shoah. Oh yeah, in the process of doing this we are providing a tangible threat to Russia. Imagine what our reaction would be if Russia decided to step up its weapons supplies to Cuba.

Then we have Trump's tough talk on the opioid slaughter taking place across America. Let me be clear. He is not responsible for the start of this plague. The Obama Administration carries a heavy burden on that front. CBS 60 Minutes has done a magnificent job in exposing the role that the Obama Justice Department refused to play in going after the major corporate opiate drug pusher--i.e., the McKesson Corporation :

In October, we joined forces with the Washington Post and reported a disturbing story of Washington at its worst - about an act of Congress that crippled the DEA's ability to fight the worst drug crisis in American history - the opioid addiction crisis. Now, a new front of that joint investigation. It is also disturbing. It's the inside story of the biggest case the DEA ever built against a drug company: the McKesson Corporation, the country's largest drug distributor. It's also the story of a company too big to prosecute.

In 2014, after two years of painstaking inquiry by nine DEA field divisions and 12 U.S. Attorneys, investigators built a powerful case against McKesson for the company's role in the opioid crisis.

[According to DEA Agent Schiller] This is the best case we've ever had against a major distributor in the history of the Drug Enforcement Administration. How do we not go after the number one organization? In the height of the epidemic, when people are dying everywhere, doesn't somebody have to be held accountable? McKesson needs to be held accountable.

Holding McKesson accountable meant going after the 5th largest corporation in the country. Headquartered in San Francisco, McKesson has 76,000 employees and earns almost $200 billion a year in revenues, about the same as Exxon Mobil. Since the 1990s, McKesson has made billions from the distribution of addictive opioids.

So what has Donald Trump done? That is the wrong question. What has he failed to do? We are approaching the one year anniversary of his Presidency and Trump has failed to nominate a Director for the Drug Enforcement Administration, a Director for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, a Director for the National Institute of Justice and an Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs . In other words, none of the people who would be on the policy frontline putting the President's tough words into action have been nominated. Not one. And those agencies and departments are drifting like a rudderless ship on stormy seas.

Another problem for Trump is his mixed signals on getting entangled in foreign wars. During the campaign he made a point of ridiculing those candidates who wanted to go to war in Syria. Now that he is in office, Trump, along with several members of his cabinet, are threatening Iran on almost a daily basis. The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity just put out a memo on this very subject (which, I'm happy to note, reflects some of the themes I've written about previously):

Iran has come out ahead in Iraq and, with the 2015 nuclear agreement in place, Iran's commercial and other ties have improved with key NATO allies and the other major world players -- Russia and China in particular.

Official pronouncements on critical national security matters need to be based on facts. Hyperbole in describing Iran's terrorist activities can be counterproductive. For this reason, we call attention to Ambassador Nikki Haley's recent statement that it is hard to find a "terrorist group in the Middle East that does not have Iran's fingerprints all over it." The truth is quite different. The majority of terrorist groups in the region are neither creatures nor puppets of Iran. ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Al-Nusra are three of the more prominent that come to mind.

You have presented yourself as someone willing to speak hard truths in the face of establishment pressure and not to accept the status quo. You spoke out during the campaign against the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq as a historic mistake of epic proportions. You also correctly captured the mood of many Americans fatigued from constant war in far away lands. Yet the torrent of warnings from Washington about the dangers supposedly posed by Iran and the need to confront them are being widely perceived as steps toward reversing your pledge not to get embroiled in new wars.

We encourage you to reflect on the warning we raised with President George W. Bush almost 15 years ago, at a similar historic juncture:

"after watching Secretary Powell today, we are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic."

Finally, there is the recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel. I defer to Colonel Lang on this. He believes that this single decision has planted an odious seed that will sprout into a global anti-U.S. sentiment that will reduce our global influence and tangibly damage our leadership on the world stage. While I suppose there always is a chance for a different kind of outcome, I learned long ago not to bet against the old warrior on matters like this.

Taking all of this together I think we are looking at a 2018 where U.S. foreign policy will continue to careen around the globe devoid of a strategic vision.

catherine , 22 December 2017 at 07:20 PM

'' The people we are arming in the Ukraine are the actual and intellectual descendants of the Nazi sympathizers who helped the Einsatzgruppen murder more than a million Jews after Hitler invaded the Soviet Union''

They are also the descendants of the Ukrainians who were starved to death by the Bolsheviks plundering of their crops first then starved again by Stalin.
That Jews figured large in the Bolsheviks is a fact and noted:..then and later.

A collection of reports on Bolshevism in Russia
by Great Britain. Foreign Office

https://www.archive.org/stream/collectionofrepo00greaiala/collectionofrepo00greaiala_djvu.txt

''..anti-Semitism is growing, probably because the food supply committees are entirely in the hands of Jews and voices can be heard sometimes calling for a " pogrom."

So I am giving Ukraine a pass on their so called threat to the Chosen.

Babak Makkinejad -> mongo... , 22 December 2017 at 07:32 PM
Yup, every one and everything under the sun bears some responsibility except the poor, abused, manipulated, down-trodden users.
Publius Tacitus -> catherine... , 22 December 2017 at 07:32 PM
You make my point. The NAZIS came up with lots of nifty reasons to justify exterminating Jews. Starvation by Stalin, therefore kill the Jews. Yeah, that makes sense (sarcasm fully intended).

[Dec 22, 2017] When Russians Were Americanophiles, by Anatoly Karlin

Notable quotes:
"... And if anything Americans make their own shamelessness worse when they fabricate imaginary pretexts for weaselling out of their country's commitment, such as a wholly imaginary entitlement for them to decide for themselves when there is a "humanitarian" justification for doing so, or make up wholesale fantasy allegations about "weapons of mass destruction" that even if true wouldn't justify war. ..."
"... r Correction. It's the elites that don't want to join Russia. And the reason they don't is because the West gives them goodies for being anti-Russian. This kind of strategy worked pretty well so far (for the West) in Eastern Europe and it will continue to work for some time yet. But not forever, not in Ukraine and Belorussia. ..."
"... They are indeed, but my assumption is that Russia's present elite is, for the most part, corruptible. Putin will be gone before 2024, and his successor will be under immense pressure -- carrot and stick -- to deregulate Russia's media landscape, which will make foreign money pour into Russian media outlets, which will in turn lead to more positive coverage and more positive views of the West. Only a few days ago, we learnt that Washington ruled out signing a non-interference agreement with Moscow since it would preclude Washington from meddling in Russia's internal affairs. What does this tell you about the Western elite's plan for Russia? ..."
"... The 1996 Presidential Election campaign suggests that the Russian public is no less suggestible, and so does Russian (and Ukrainian) opinions on the crisis in the Donbass. ..."
"... Soviets and Soviet Union were always in awe of America. You could see it in "between-the-lines" of the texts of the so-called anti-imperialist, anti-American Soviet propaganda. It was about catching up with American in steel production and TV sets ownership and so on. American was the ultimate goal and people did not think of American as an enemy. ..."
"... Then there is the fact that Bolsheviks and Soviet Union owed a lot to America though this knowledge was not commonly known. Perhaps one should take look at these hidden connections to see what was the real mechanism bending the plug being pulled off the USSR. There might be even an analogy to South Africa but that is another story. ..."
"... Moreover, post-democratic post-Yanukovich Ukraine is clearly inferior to its predecessor. For one thing, under Yanukovich, Sevastopol was still Ukrainian ..."
"... There is no pro-Ukrainian insurgency in Crimea or inside the republics in Donbass, and it's not due to the lack of local football hooligans. ..."
"... Even among Svoboda voters, I suspect only a small minority of them are the militant types. We should be to contain them through the use of local proxies. The armies of Donbass republics currently number some 40-60 thousand men according to Cassad blog, which compares with the size of the entire Ukrainian army. ..."
"... Official Ukrainian propaganda worked overtime, and still works today, to hammer this into people's heads. And it's an attractive vision. An office dweller in Kiev wants to live in a shiny European capital, not in a bleak provincial city of a corrupt Asian empire. The problem is, it's ain't working. For a while Ukraine managed to get Russia to subsidize Ukrainian European dream. Now this is over. The vision is starting to fail even harder. ..."
"... Unfortunately, the Ukraine has been spending 5%* of its GDP on the military since c.2015 (versus close to 1% before 2014). ..."
"... Doesn't really matter if tons of money continues to be stolen, or even the recession – with that kind of raw increase, a major enhancement in capabilities is inevitable. ..."
"... I have read a article mentioned something like Putin said, to annexed whole Ukraine means to share the enormous resource wealth of vast Russia land with them, which make no economic sense. If Russia is worst than Ukraine, then there won't be million of Ukrainian migrating over after the Maidan coup. ..."
"... So are all those Baltic states. Russia don't want these countries as it burden, it is probably only interested in selected strategic areas like the Eastern Ukraine industrial belt and military important Crimea warm water deep seaport, and skilled migrants. Ukraine has one of lowest per capital income now, with extreme corrupted politicians controlled by USNato waging foolish civil war killing own people resulting in collapsing economic and exudes of skilled people. ..."
"... Agreed, and he happens to be in the right here. Russia actually has a good hand in Ukraine, if only she keeps her cool. More military adventurism is foolish for at least three reasons ..."
"... The return of Crimea to Russia alone has been a dramatic improvement in the inherent stability of the region. A proper division of the territory currently forming the Ukraine into a genuine Ukrainian nation in the west and an eastern half returned to Russia would be the ideal long term outcome, but Russia can surely live with a neutralised Ukraine. ..."
"... You realise that Ukraine's GDP declined in dollar terms by a factor of 2-3 times, right? A bigger share of a smaller economy translates into the same paltry sum. It is still under $5 billion. ..."
"... Futhermore an army that's actively deployed and engaged in fighting spends more money than during peacetime. A lot of this money goes to fuel, repairs, providing for soldiers and their wages rather than qualitatively improving capabilities of the army. ..."
"... The bottom-line is Ukraine spent the last 3,5 years preparing to fight a war against the People's Republic of Donetsk. I'll admit Ukrainian army can hold its own against the People's Republic of Donetsk. Yet it remains hopelessly outmatched in a potential clash with Russia. A short, but brutal bombing campaign can whipe out Ukrainian command and control, will make it impossible to mount any kind of effective defence. Ukrainian conscripts have no experience in urban warfare, and their national loyalties are unclear. ..."
"... Most ukrops even admit that Kharkov could easily have gone in 2014, if Russia had wanted it/feasible ..."
Dec 22, 2017 | www.unz.com
Randal , December 18, 2017 at 2:37 pm GMT

Russians would have to acknowledge that they were naive idiots who threw away an empire centuries in the making

What's remarkable to me about that graph of opinion over time is how pig-headedly resilient Russian naivety about the US has been. Time after time it appears the scales would fall from Russians' eyes after the US regime disgraced itself particularly egregiously (Kosovo, Iraq, Georgia), and within a few months approval would be back up to 50% or above. It took the interference in the Ukraine in 2014 to finally make the truth stick.

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 2:56 pm GMT
@Art Deco

There are no disgraces incorporated into any of these events

That might be your opinion, but Kosovo and Iraq were openly illegal wars of aggression in which the US shamelessly flouted its own treaty commitments, and supporting Georgia was, like NATO expansion in general and numerous other consistently provocative US foreign policy measures directed against post-Soviet Russia, a literally stupid matter of turning a potential ally against the real rival China into an enemy and ally of said rival.

You are perfectly entitled to endorse mere stupidity on the part of your rulers, but the fact that you so shamelessly approve of waging illegal wars counter to treaty commitments discredits any opinions you might have on such matters.

Verymuchalive , December 18, 2017 at 3:17 pm GMT

Russians would have to acknowledge that they were naive idiots who threw away an empire centuries in the making to end up within the borders of old Muscovy

Actually, present Russian borders are more those of Peter the Great, circa 1717, than Old Muscovy. Russia, unlike nearly all the Great Powers of the C20th, has retained its Empire – Siberia, the Russian Far East, Kamchatka, South Russia and the Crimea ( first acquired as recently as 1783 ).

Once those dim-witted Ukies finally implode the Ukrainian economy, Russia will be able to gobble up the rest of southern and eastern Ukraine – all the way to Odessa.

The places that seceded from the Soviet Union are places that Russians don't want ( Northern Kazakhstan excepted ) and are urgently required to receive all those Central Asian immigrants who will be deported by sensible Russian governments in the near future. ( I exclude Armenians from the last clause )

inertial , December 18, 2017 at 3:26 pm GMT
Yes, US had squandered a lot of good will in exchange for extremely valuable "geopolitical foothold in Eastern Europe." Incidentally, Soviet propaganda was never anti-American. It was anti-capitalist, an important distinction. Whereas in America, anti-Russian propaganda has always been anti- Russian .
Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm GMT

the US gained a geopolitical foothold in Eastern Europe, tied up further European integration into an Atlantic framework,

Washington could get both by integrating and not alienating americanophile Russia.

closed off the possibility of the "Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok" envisaged by Charles de Gaulle.

It also closed off the possibility of an American-led Global North.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 4:46 pm GMT
@Randal That might be your opinion, but Kosovo and Iraq were openly illegal wars of aggression in which the US shamelessly flouted its own treaty commitments,

We had no treaty commitments with either Serbia or Iraq and both places had it coming.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 5:01 pm GMT
@Art Deco

You have a large national state.

Correction: Russian Federation is not a nation state. It is a rump state . Its Western borders are artificial, drawn by the Communists in the 20th century, they exclude those parts of Russia, which the Communists decided to incorporate into separate republics of Belarus and Ukraine.

I don't know of any Russian nationalist, who wants Azerbaijan back, but reclaiming Belarus and Ukraine is absolutely essential to have a country, we could all proudly call 'home' – an actual Russian nation-state. Again, what really matters here is not the size of the country, it's that all the land that's historically Russian should be fully within the borders of this country.

PS: just because we had trouble holding onto Chechnya doesn't mean that annexing Belarus will be hard. Sure, we can expect blowback in the form of Western sanctions, but I don't anticipate much resistance from inside Belarus.

Swedish Family , December 18, 2017 at 5:06 pm GMT
@Randal

It took the interference in the Ukraine in 2014 to finally make the truth stick.

Another possibility is that the change since 2014 is rather the result of more anti-American reporting in Russia's state-owned media. This would mean, as I suspect, that the pendulum will swing back once the Kremlin loosens its tight grip of the media.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 5:12 pm GMT
@Art Deco With that kind of thinking I don't see how you can criticise Russia's incursions into the Ukraine. At least Russia has an actual reason to fight a war in the Ukraine. US invaded and destroyed Iraqi state for no reason whatsoever. US interests suffered as a result of its ill-advised agression, they ended up empowering their avowed enemy – Iran.
Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 5:18 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

This would mean, as I suspect, that the pendulum will swing back once the Kremlin loosens its tight grip of the media.

How do you see this happening? Why would the Kremlin give up its control of the media? These people are smart enough to understand that whoever controls the media controls public opinion.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 5:42 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich Correction: Russian Federation is not a nation state. It is a rump state.

Your 'rump state' extends over 6.6 million sq miles and has a population of 152 million.

Its Western borders are artificial, drawn by the Communists in the 20th century, they exclude those parts of Russia, which the Communists decided to incorporate into separate republics of Belarus and Ukraine.

It's western borders are no more artificial than that of any other country not bounded by mountains or water.

I don't know of any Russian nationalist, who wants Azerbaijan back, but reclaiming Belarus and Ukraine is absolutely essential to have a country, we could all proudly call 'home' –

'Essential'? You just can't get through the day without Minsk?

As for White Russia, your constituency there has in its dimensions fallen by half in the last 20 years.

http://russialist.org/belarusians-want-to-join-eu-rather-than-russia-poll-shows/

As for the Ukraine, you've no discernable constituency for reunification. The constituency for a Russophile foreign policy weighs in there at about 12% of the public. VP's three-dimensional chess game is going swimmingly.

My own forebears discovered in 1813 that the residue of British North America was quite content with gracious George III, and our boys got their assess handed to them by them Cannucks. We got over it and so can you. Miss Ukraine is just not that into you. Best not to play the stalker.

inertial , December 18, 2017 at 5:46 pm GMT
@Art Deco As for the Ukraine, you've no discernable constituency for reunification.

You don't know much about Ukraine.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 5:50 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich With that kind of thinking I don't see how you can criticise Russia's incursions into the Ukraine. At least Russia has an actual reason to fight a war in the Ukraine.

They dissed you. La di dah. My own countrymen have put up with that from an array of Eurotrash and 3d world kleptocrats every time we open the newspaper.

US invaded and destroyed Iraqi state for no reason whatsoever.

No, we did so because that was the best alternative. The other alternative was a sanctions regime which Big Consciences were assuring the world was causing a six-digit population of excess deaths each year or taking the sanctions off and letting Saddam and the other Tikritis to follow their Id. Iraq was a charnel house, and the world is well rid of the Tikriti regime, especially Iraq's Kurdish and Shia provinces, which have been quiet for a decade. You don't take an interest in the ocean of blood for which the Ba'ath Party was responsible, but you're terribly butthurt that politicians in Kiev don't take orders from Moscow. Felix, I can taste teh Crazy.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 5:58 pm GMT
@Art Deco

Your 'rump state' extends over 6.6 million sq miles and has a population of 152 million.

Exactly, and you're missing the point. Re-read my previous comment again:
I don't know of any Russian nationalist, who wants Azerbaijan back, but reclaiming Belarus and Ukraine is absolutely essential to have a country, we could all proudly call 'home' – an actual Russian nation-state. Again, what really matters here is not the size of the country, it's that all the land that's historically Russian should be fully within the borders of this country.

Russians know more about these things than you do. The vast majority of us do not regard Belarus and Ukraine as part of "заграница" – foreign countries. Ukrainians and in particular Belorussians are simply variants of us, just like regional differences exist between the Russians in Siberia and Kuban'.

http://russialist.org/belarusians-want-to-join-eu-rather-than-russia-poll-shows/

I don't care, because this isn't a popularity contest. There were similar polls in Crimea showing majority support for the EU, just before the peninsula voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia. LOL

The question that matters to me is will there be a vast resistance movement inside Belarus following the annexation, and to be honest I don't expect one.

reiner Tor , December 18, 2017 at 6:06 pm GMT
@Art Deco

We had no treaty commitments with either Serbia or Iraq

Except the UN Charter and the Helsinki Accords. The latter only with Serbia.

reiner Tor , December 18, 2017 at 6:11 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich Neither the Ukrainians nor probably the Byelorussians want to join Russia. Get over it. You still have a big enough country.
Randal , December 18, 2017 at 6:13 pm GMT
@Art Deco

We had no treaty commitments with either Serbia or Iraq

The treaty commitment in question was with almost the entire rest of the world, namely when your country entirely voluntarily signed up to a commitment to "refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state". If your country had retained the slightest trace of integrity and self-respect it would at least have had the decency to withdraw from membership of the the UN when it chose to breach those treaty commitments.

And if anything Americans make their own shamelessness worse when they fabricate imaginary pretexts for weaselling out of their country's commitment, such as a wholly imaginary entitlement for them to decide for themselves when there is a "humanitarian" justification for doing so, or make up wholesale fantasy allegations about "weapons of mass destruction" that even if true wouldn't justify war.

An entire nation state behaving like a lying '60s hippy or a shamelessly dishonest aggressor.

I'm sure you're proud.

and both places had it coming.

A straightforward confession of lawless rogue state behaviour, basically.

Do you actually think somehow you are improving your country's position with such arguments? Better for a real American patriot to just stop digging and keep sheepishly quiet about the past three decades of foreign policy.

inertial , December 18, 2017 at 6:45 pm GMT
@reiner Tor Correction. It's the elites that don't want to join Russia. And the reason they don't is because the West gives them goodies for being anti-Russian. This kind of strategy worked pretty well so far (for the West) in Eastern Europe and it will continue to work for some time yet. But not forever, not in Ukraine and Belorussia.

That's because the population of these places is Russian (no matter what they were taught to call themselves by the Commies.) Their culture is Russian. The rulers of Ukraine and, to a much lesser degree, Belorussia are trying to erect cultural barriers between themselves and Russia. Good luck with that, in the 21st century. It's more likely the culture will further homogenize, as is the trend anywhere in the world. Eventually it will tell.

Now, the question is if Russians will even want Ukraine back. This is not so clear.

Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 6:47 pm GMT
@Mr. XYZ

Would Russia have been interested in joining both the E.U. and NATO?

Integration into West is what Russians wanted. An example

IF RUSSIA HAD THE CHANCE TO BECOME A FULL MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN UNION NOW, WOULD YOU BE FOR OR AGAINST THIS? (N=800)

08/2009:
For: 53%
Against: 21%
Difficult to say: 27%

https://www.levada.ru/en/2016/06/10/russia-s-friends-and-enemies-2/

Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 6:56 pm GMT
@Randal

What needs to be explained is not the sustained low opinion after 2014 but rather the remarkable recoveries after 1999, 2003 and 2008.

Yugoslavia and Iraq were not that close to Russia and Russian elite was still pushing for Integration into West at that time. After 2008, "Reset" and Obama happened.

It seems unlikely the Russian media would have been as sycophantically pro-Obama merely for his blackness and Democrat-ness, though, and of course he wasn't around anyway in 2000 and in 2004.

Keep in mind that Obama's opponent in 2008 was McCain, that McCain. Just like Trump, Obama seemed like the lesser evil and not to blame for previous conflicts.

Darin , December 18, 2017 at 7:53 pm GMT
@inertial

That's because the population of these places is Russian (no matter what they were taught to call themselves by the Commies.) Their culture is Russian.

This is for them to decide, not for you.

It's more likely the culture will further homogenize, as is the trend anywhere in the world.

Yeah, the culture homogenizes around the world, into global Hollywood corporate culture. In the long there, "traditional Russian culture" is as doomed as "traditional Ukrainian culture" and "traditional American culture" if there is anything left of it.

AP , December 18, 2017 at 7:56 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

The fact is neither did Crimeans really want to join Russia (polls didn't show that)

Nonsense, Mr. Clueless-About-Ukraine: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_status_referendum,_2014#Polling

Polling by the Razumkov Centre in 2008 found that 63.8% of Crimeans (76% of Russians, 55% of Ukrainians, and 14% of Crimean Tatars, respectively) would like Crimea to secede from Ukraine and join Russia and 53.8% would like to preserve its current status, but with expanded powers and rights . A poll by the International Republican Institute in May 2013 found that 53% wanted "Autonomy in Ukraine (as today)", 12% were for "Crimean Tatar autonomy within Ukraine", 2% for "Common oblast of Ukraine" and 23% voted for "Crimea should be separated and given to Russia".

The takeaway is that Crimeans were satisfied being part of Ukraine as long as Ukraine had an ethnic Russian, generally pro-Russian president like Yanukovich in charge (2013 poll), but preferred being part of Russia to being part of a Ukrainian state run by Ukrainians (2008 poll, post-Maidan).

AP , December 18, 2017 at 7:59 pm GMT
@inertial

That's because the population of these places is Russian (no matter what they were taught to call themselves by the Commies.) Their culture is Russian.

Believer of Russian nationalist fairytales tells Russian nationalist fairytales. You managed to fit 3 of them into 2 sentences, good job.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 8:07 pm GMT
@AP I was referring specifically to Russian attitudes about Ukrainians. I know that among Ukrainians themselves, there is quite the confusion on this subject.
Randal , December 18, 2017 at 8:15 pm GMT
@Mitleser Fair points, though you seem to concede to the Russian elites a significant degree of competence at managing public opinion, in 2000 and in 2004.

I was under the impression that Putin personally was still quite naïve about the US even after Kosovo, which partly accounts for his rather desperately helpful approach after 9/11, though not so much after Iraq.

But I have been told by Russians who ought to have some knowledge of these things that Putin and the wider regime were not so naïve even back in the late 1990s, so the case can be made both ways.

AP , December 18, 2017 at 8:16 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

reclaiming Belarus and Ukraine is absolutely essential to have a country, we could all proudly call 'home' – an actual Russian nation-state.

In which 25 million or so Ukrainians actively resist you, and another 5 million or so Ukrainians plus a few million Belarusians nonviolently resent your rule. You will reduce the cities or parts of them to something like Aleppo, and rebuild them (perhaps with coerced local labor) while under a sanctions regime. Obviously there will have to be a militarized occupation regime and prison camps and a network of informants. A proud home.

Again, what really matters here is not the size of the country, it's that all the land that's historically Russian should be fully within the borders of this country.

Baltics were Russian longer than Ukraine. Central Poland became Russian at the same time as did half of Ukraine. According to the 1897 census, there were about as many Great Russian speakers in Kiev governate as in Warsaw. Take the Baltics and Warsaw back too?

inertial , December 18, 2017 at 8:20 pm GMT
@Darin This is for them to decide, not for you.

Yes, of course. Just don't assume they will decide the way you think.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 8:21 pm GMT
@AP These polls vary greatly from time to time and depending on the group conducting them. These polls are meaningless : most ordinary people go about their daily lives never thinking about that kind of issues, when suddenly prompted by a pollster they give a meaningless answer.

I'm sure, support for reunification will go up in Belarus, if the Kremlin shows some leadership on this issue. We will find enough people willing to work with us, the rest will just have to accept the new reality and go about their daily lifes as usual.

The situation in Ukraine is different, it differs wildly by region and will require us to modify our approach.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 8:24 pm GMT
@German_reader US started in a demented attempt at reshaping the region according to its own preferences.

It did nothing of the kind. It ejected two governments for reasons of state. One we'd been a state of belligerency with for 12 years, the other was responsible for a gruesome casus belli. Now, having done that, we needed to put in place a new government. There was no better alternative means of so doing than electoral contests.

Swedish Family , December 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

How do you see this happening? Why would the Kremlin give up its control of the media? These people are smart enough to understand that whoever controls the media controls public opinion.

They are indeed, but my assumption is that Russia's present elite is, for the most part, corruptible. Putin will be gone before 2024, and his successor will be under immense pressure -- carrot and stick -- to deregulate Russia's media landscape, which will make foreign money pour into Russian media outlets, which will in turn lead to more positive coverage and more positive views of the West. Only a few days ago, we learnt that Washington ruled out signing a non-interference agreement with Moscow since it would preclude Washington from meddling in Russia's internal affairs. What does this tell you about the Western elite's plan for Russia?

melanf , December 18, 2017 at 8:32 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

Another possibility is that the change since 2014 is rather the result of more anti-American reporting in Russia's state-owned media. This would mean, as I suspect, that the pendulum will swing back once the Kremlin loosens its tight grip of the media.

Definitely no. American propaganda (itself without the help of Putin) were able to convince the Russians that America is the enemy. Propaganda of Putin to this could add almost nothing.

Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 8:42 pm GMT
@Randal

Fair points, though you seem to concede to the Russian elites a significant degree of competence at managing public opinion, in 2000 and in 2004.

I am just taking into account that the early 00s were right after the 1990s when pro-Americanism was at its peak in Russia. Yugoslavia and Iraq were too distant too alienate the majority permanently.

I was under the impression that Putin personally was still quite naïve about the US even after Kosovo, which partly accounts for his rather desperately helpful approach after 9/11, though not so much after Iraq.

Why do you think did he suggest joining NATO as an option? Not because NATO are "good guys", but because it would ensure that Russia has a voice that cannot be ignored. After all, the Kosovo War showed the limits of the UNSC and by extension of Russia's voice in the unipolar world.

melanf , December 18, 2017 at 8:43 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Integration into West is what Russians wanted.
An example
08/2009:

Since then, everything has changed

Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 8:51 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

Putin will be gone before 2024, and his successor will be under immense pressure -- carrot and stick -- to deregulate Russia's media landscape, which will make foreign money pour into Russian media outlets, which will in turn lead to more positive coverage and more positive views of the West.

There is no reason to assume that West will offer the Russian elite enough carrot to deregulate the Russian media order and the stick is just more reason not to do it and to retain control.

What does this tell you about the Western elite's plan for Russia?

And you think that people in Russian elite are not aware of it?

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 8:52 pm GMT
@AP

In which 25 million or so Ukrainians actively resist you, and another 5 million or so Ukrainians plus a few million Belarusians nonviolently resent your rule. You will reduce the cities or parts of them to something like Aleppo, and rebuild them (perhaps with coerced local labor) while under a sanctions regime.

This is a fantasy. Look, the effective size of Ukrainian army right now is around 70.000 – does this look like a strong, united nation willing and able to defend itself?

On the left side of the Dnieper truly crazy svidomy types is a small minority – they stand out from the crowd, can be easily identified and neutralised just like in Donbass. A typical Ukrainian nationalist east of Dnieper is a business owner, university educated white collar professional, a student, a journalist, "human rights activist" – these are not the kind of individuals, who will engage in guerilla warfare, they will just flee (like they already fled from Donbass).

Swedish Family , December 18, 2017 at 8:59 pm GMT
@Randal

In the west, opinion of the US was managed upwards with the Obama presidency because he fitted so well with US sphere establishment antiracist and leftist dogmas that he had almost universally positive (even hagiographic) mainstream media coverage throughout the US sphere, but with Trump opinions of the US are mostly back down where Bush II left them.

I agree with most of this, but you leave out precisely why public opinion shifts. My, rather cynical, view is that media is by far the main driver in shifting public views, and so whoever gives the media marching orders is the Pied Piper here.

An example close to home was the consternation among some of my conservative friends over the events Charlottesville. They knew nothing about the American alt-right, and still less about the context of what happened that day, yet they still spoke of what a disgrace it was for Trump not to distance himself from these deplorables. This was, of course, fully the making of Swedish media.

The 1996 Presidential Election campaign suggests that the Russian public is no less suggestible, and so does Russian (and Ukrainian) opinions on the crisis in the Donbass.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:03 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

ruled out signing a non-interference agreement with Moscow since it would preclude Washington from meddling in Russia's internal affairs. What does this tell you about the Western elite's plan for Russia?

It tells me the reporters are confused or you are. There is no 'agreement' that will prevent 'Russia' from 'meddling' in American political life or the converse. The utility of agreements is that they make understandings between nations more precise and incorporate triggers which provide signals to one party or the other as to when the deal is off.

utu , December 18, 2017 at 9:07 pm GMT
@inertial

Soviets and Soviet Union were always in awe of America. You could see it in "between-the-lines" of the texts of the so-called anti-imperialist, anti-American Soviet propaganda. It was about catching up with American in steel production and TV sets ownership and so on. American was the ultimate goal and people did not think of American as an enemy.

Then there is the fact that Bolsheviks and Soviet Union owed a lot to America though this knowledge was not commonly known. Perhaps one should take look at these hidden connections to see what was the real mechanism bending the plug being pulled off the USSR. There might be even an analogy to South Africa but that is another story.

Sean , December 18, 2017 at 9:12 pm GMT
Two powerful countries beside one another are natural enemies, they can never be friends until one has been relegated by defeat. Britain and France were enemies until France became too weak to present a threat, then Britain's enemy was Germany (it still is, Brexit is another Dunkirk with the UK realizing it cannot compete with Germany on the continent).

Russia cannot be a friend of China against the US until Russia has been relegated in the way France has been. France has irrecoverably given up control of its currency, they are relegated to Germany's sidekick.

China is like Bitcoin. The smart money (Google) is going there. Received wisdom in the US keeps expecting China's economic growth to slow down but it isn't going to happen. When it becomes clear that the US is going to be overtaken, America will try and slow down China's economic growth, that will be Russia's opportunity.

Swedish Family , December 18, 2017 at 9:19 pm GMT
@melanf

American propaganda (itself without the help of Putin) were able to convince the Russians that America is the enemy. Propaganda of Putin to this could add almost nothing.

Being Russian, you would be in a better position than I am to comment on this, but the obvious counter to that line is who channeled this American propaganda to the Russian public and for what purpose? This article might hold the answer:

http://www.unz.com/tsaker/re-visiting-russian-counter-propaganda-methods/

reiner Tor , December 18, 2017 at 9:20 pm GMT
@Art Deco Well, they can now send troops to Syria on land.
Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:25 pm GMT
@German_reader Calling me "Eurotrash"

I didn't have you in particular in mind.

oh well, I get it, US nationalists like you think you're the responsible adults dealing with a dangerous world, while ungrateful European pussies favor appeasement, are free riders on US benevolent hegemony etc. I've heard and read all that a thousand times before, it's all very unoriginal by now.

No, I'm a fat middle aged man who thinks most of what people say on political topics is some species of self-congratulation. And a great deal of it is perverse. The two phenomena are symbiotic. And, of course, I'm unimpressed with kvetching foreigners. Kvetching Europeans might ask where is the evidence that they with their own skills and resources can improve some situation using methods which differ from those we have applied and kvetching Latin Americans can quit sticking the bill for their unhappy histories with Uncle Sam, and kvetching Arabs can at least take responsibility for something rather than projecting it on some wire-pulling other (Jews, Americans, conspiracy x).

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 9:26 pm GMT
@Art Deco

Do they have one more soldier at their command and one more piece of equipment because we had troops in Iraq?

Well, according to the likes of Mattis they certainly do. Have you never heard of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMU), a large faction of which reportedly swear allegiance directly to Khamenei.

Is that "victory" for you?

An of course they now have a direct land route to Hezbollah, to make it easier for them to assist that national defence militia to deter further Israeli attacks. That's something they never could have had when Saddam was in charge of Iraq.

Is that "victory" for you?

And they don't have to worry about their western neighbour invading them with US backing again.

Is that "victory" for you?

AP , December 18, 2017 at 9:28 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

These polls vary greatly from time to time and depending on the group conducting them. These polls are meaningless: most ordinary people go about their daily lives never thinking about that kind of issues, when suddenly prompted by a pollster they give a meaningless answer.

So according to you when hundreds or thousands of people are asked a question they are not prepared for, their collective answer is meaningless and does not indicate their preference?

So it's a total coincidence that when Ukraine was ruled by Ukrainians most Crimeans preferred to join Russia, when Ukraine was ruled by a Russian, Crimeans were satisfied within Ukraine but when Ukrainian nationalists came to power Crimeans again preferred being part of Russia?

Are all political polls also meaningless according to you, or just ones that contradict your idealistic views?

Swedish Family , December 18, 2017 at 9:31 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

This is a fantasy. Look, the effective size of Ukrainian army right now is around 70.000 – does this look like a strong, united nation willing and able to defend itself?

In fairness, the young Ukrainians I have spoken to avoid the "draft" mainly out of fear that they will be underequipped and used as cannon fodder. (I'm not sure "draft" is the word I'm looking for. My understanding is that they are temporarily exempt from military service if they study at university or have good jobs.)

melanf , December 18, 2017 at 9:46 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

but the obvious counter to that line is who channeled this American propaganda to the Russian public and for what purpose?

It is known – the minions of Putin translated into Russian language American (and European) propaganda, and putting it on the website http://inosmi.ru/ .
The Americans also try: there is a special "Radio Liberty" that 24-hour broadcasts (in Russian) hate speech against the Russian.
But it only speeds up the process (which will happen anyway) .

AP , December 18, 2017 at 10:12 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

This is a fantasy. Look, the effective size of Ukrainian army right now is around 70.000 – does this look like a strong, united nation willing and able to defend itself?

It was about 50,000 in 2014, about 200,000-250,000 now.

Polish military has 105,000 personnel. Poland also not united or willing to defend itself?

On the left side of the Dnieper truly crazy svidomy types is a small minority – they stand out from the crowd, can be easily identified and neutralised just like in Donbass

Avakov, Poroshenko's interior minister and sponsor of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion, in 2010 got 48% of the vote in Kharkiv's mayoral race in 2010 when he ran as the "Orange" candidate. In 2012 election about 30% of Kharkiv oblast voters chose nationalist candidates, vs. about 10% in Donetsk oblast. Vkontakte, a good source for judging youth attitudes, was split 50/50 between pro-Maidan and anti-Maidan in Kharkiv (IIRC it was 80/20 anti-Maidan winning in Donetsk). Kharkiv is just like Donbas, right?

A typical Ukrainian nationalist east of Dnieper is a business owner, university educated white collar professional, a student, a journalist, "human rights activist"

Football hooligans in these places are also Ukrainian nationalists. Azov battalion and Right Sector are both based in Eastern Ukraine.

Here is how Azov started:

The Azov Battalion has its roots in a group of Ultras of FC Metalist Kharkiv named "Sect 82″ (1982 is the year of the founding of the group).[18] "Sect 82″ was (at least until September 2013) allied with FC Spartak Moscow Ultras.[18] Late February 2014, during the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine when a separatist movement was active in Kharkiv, "Sect 82″ occupied the Kharkiv Oblast regional administration building in Kharkiv and served as a local "self-defense"-force.[18] Soon, on the basis of "Sect 82″ there was formed a volunteer militia called "Eastern Corps".[18]

Here is Azov battalion commander-turned-Kiev oblast police chief, Kharkiv native Vadim Troyan:

Does he look like an intellectual to you? Before Maidan he was a cop.

these are not the kind of individuals, who will engage in guerilla warfare,

On the contrary, they will probably dig in while seeking cover in urban areas that they know well, where they have some significant support (as Donbas rebels did in Donetsk), forcing the Russian invaders to fight house to house and causing massive damage while fighting native boys such as Azov. About 1/3 of Kharkiv overall and 1/2 of its youth are nationalists. I wouldn't expect mass resistance by the Kharkiv population itself, but passive support for the rebels by many. Russia will then end up rebuilding a large city full of a resentful population that will remember its dead (same problem Kiev will face if it gets Donbas back). This scenario can be repeated for Odessa. Dnipropetrovsk, the home base of Right Sector, is actually much more nationalistic than either Odessa or Kharkiv. And Kiev is a different world again. Bitter urban warfare in a city of 3 million (officially, most likely about 4 million) followed by massive reconstruction and maintenance of a repression regime while under international sanctions.

Russia's government has adequate intelligence services who know better what Ukraine is actually like, than you do. There is a reason why they limited their support to Crimea and Donbas.

Your wishful thinking about Ukraine would be charming and harmless if not for the fact that such wishful thinking often leads to tragic actions that harm both the invader and the invaded. Remember the Iraqis were supposed to welcome the American liberators with flowers after their cakewalk.

AP , December 18, 2017 at 10:22 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

In fairness, the young Ukrainians I have spoken to avoid the "draft" mainly out of fear that they will be underequipped and used as cannon fodder.

Correct. The thinking often was – "the corrupt officers will screw up and get us killed, or sell out our positions to the Russians for money, if the Russians came to our city I'd fight them but I don't wanna go to Donbas.." This is very different from avoiding the draft because one wouldn't mind if Russia annexed Ukraine. Indeed, Dnipropetrovsk in the East has contributed a lot to Ukraine's war effort, primarily because it borders Donbas – ones hears from people there that if they don't fight in Donbas and keep the rebels contained there, they'd have to fight at home.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 10:39 pm GMT
@AP LMAO, Ukrainians are nothing like Arabs. They are soft Eastern-European types. And in Eastern regions like Kharkov most of them will be on our side.

The best thing about Ukrainian neo-Nazis such as Azov battalion is that there is very few of them – no more than 10.000 in the entire country. I assume Russian security services know all of them by name.

To deal with Ukronazi problem, I would first take out their leaders, then target their HQs, arms depots and training camps. I would kill or intimidate their sponsors. Ukronazis would be left decapitated, without resources, undermanned and demoralised, trying to fight an insurgency amongst the population that hates and despises them. It will be a short lived insurgency.

AP , December 18, 2017 at 10:58 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

LMAO, Ukrainians are nothing like Arabs. They are soft Eastern-European types.

And Russians and Poles were also soft when someone invaded their country? Ukrainians are not modern western Euros.

And in Eastern regions like Kharkov most of them will be on our side.

Most pensioners. It will be about 50/50 among young fighting-age people.

The best thing about Ukrainian neo-Nazis such as Azov battalion is that there is very few of them – no more than 10.000 in the entire country

Maybe. Ukrainian government claims 46,000 in volunteer self-defense battalions (including Azov) but this is probably an exaggeration.

OTOH there are a couple 100,000 demobilized young people with combat experience who would be willing to fight if their homeland were attacked, who are not neo-Nazis in Azov. Plus a military of 200,000-250,000 people, many of whom would imitate the Donbas rebels and probably redeploy in places like Kharkiv where they have cover. Good look fighting it out block by block.

trying to fight an insurgency amongst the population that hates and despises them

In 2010, 48% of Kharkiv voters chose a nationalist for their mayor. In 2012 about 30% voted for nationalist parties. Judging by pro vs, anti-Maidan, the youth are evenly split although in 2014 the Ukrainian nationalist youths ended up controlling the streets, not the Russian nationalist ones as in Donbas. This is in the most pro-Russian part of Ukraine.

Suuure, the population of Kharkiv will despise their kids, grandkids, nephews, classmates etc,. but will welcome the invaders from Russia who will be bombing their city. Such idealism and optimism in Russia!

It will be a short lived insurgency.

And Iraq was supposed to be a cakewalk.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 11:15 pm GMT
@AP Again, supporting Maidan doesn't mean you're ready to take up Kalashnikov and go fight. Ukrainian youth is dodging draft en masse. It's a fact.

This is what typical Maidanist Ukrainian youths look like; these people certainly don't look like they have a lot of fight in them: They remind me of Navalny supporters in Russia. These kind of people can throw a tantrum, but they are fundamentally weak people, who are easily crushed.

Cato , December 19, 2017 at 3:43 am GMT
@Felix Keverich Northern Kazakhstan is/was ethnically Russian, since the 1700s. This should have been folded into Russia; the North Caucasus should have been cut loose. My opinion.
AP , December 19, 2017 at 3:53 am GMT
@Felix Keverich Typical Russian mistakes regarding Ukraine: weak student-types in Russia are the main supporters of Ukraine in Russia, thus the same type must be the main pro-Maidan people in Ukraine. Because Ukraine = Russia. This silly dream of Ukraine being just like Russia leads to ridiculous ideas and hopes.

As I already said, the Azov battalion grew out of brawling football ultras in Kharkiv. Maidan itself was a cross-section – of students, yes, but also plenty of Afghan war vets, workers, far right brawlers, professionals, etc. It's wasn't simply "weak" students, nor was it simply far-right fascists (another claim by Russia) but a mass effort of the western half of the country.

Here are Afghan war vets at Maidan:

Look at those weak Maidan people running away from the enemy:

Azov people in their native Kharkiv:

Kharkiv kids:

Ukrainian youth is dodging draft en masse. It's a fact.

Dodging the draft in order to avoid fighting in Donbas, where you are not wanted by the locals, is very different from dodging the draft to avoid fighting when your own town is being invaded.

AP , December 19, 2017 at 4:10 am GMT
@AP Summer camp was in Kiev, but there is another outside Kharkiv.

To be clear, most Ukrainians fighting against Russia are not these unsavory types, though they make for dramatic video. Point is that pro-Maidan types in Ukraine are far from being exclusively liberal student-types.

jimbojones , December 19, 2017 at 8:01 am GMT
A few points:

- The Russians ALWAYS were Americanophiles – ever since the Revolution. Russia has been an American ally most often explicit but occasionally tacit – in EVERY major American conflict, including the War on Terror and excluding Korea and Vietnam (both not major compared to the Civil War or WW2). The only comparable Great Power US ally is France. Russia and the US are natural allies.

- Russians are Americanophiles – they like Hollywood movies, American music, American idealism, American video games, American fashion, American inventions, American support in WW2, American can-do-aittude, American badassery and Americana in general.

- There are two Ukraines. One is essentially a part of Russia, and a chunk of it was repatriated in 2014. The other was historically Polish and Habsburg. It is a strange entity that is not Russian.

- The Maidan was a foreign-backed putsch against a democratically elected government. Yanukovich was certainly a corrupt scoundrel. But he was a democratically elected corrupt scoundrel. To claim Russian intervention in his election is a joke in light of the CIA-backed 2004 and 2014 coups.

Moreover, post-democratic post-Yanukovich Ukraine is clearly inferior to its predecessor. For one thing, under Yanukovich, Sevastopol was still Ukrainian

Anatoly Karlin , Website December 19, 2017 at 1:35 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich I think this poll is the most relevant for assessing the question, since it covered different regions and used the same methodology.

Takeaway:

1. Support for uniting into a single state with Russia at 41% in Crimea at a time when it was becoming quite clear the Yanukovych regime was doomed.

2. Now translates into ~90% support (according to both Russian and international polls) in Crimea. I.e., a more than a standard deviation shift in "Russophile" sentiment on this matter.

3. Assuming a similar shift in other regions, Novorossiya would be quite fine being with Russia post facto . Though there would be significant discontent in Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson (e.g., probably on the scale of Donbass unhappiness with the Ukraine before 2014).

4. Central and West Ukraine would not be, which is why their reintegration would be far more difficult – and probably best left for sometime in the future.

5. What we have instead seen is a one standard deviation shift in "Ukrainophile" sentiment within all those regions that remained in the Ukraine. If this change is "deep," then AP is quite correct that their assimilation into Russia has been made impossible by Putin's vacillations in 2014.

AP , December 19, 2017 at 2:18 pm GMT
@jimbojones

The Maidan was a foreign-backed putsch against a democratically elected government

Typical Russian nationalist half-truth about Ukraine.

To be clear – Yanukovich was democratically elected in 2010, into a position where his powers were limited and where he was faced with a hostile parliament. His post-election accumulation of powers (overthrowing the Opposition parliament, granting himself additional powers, stacking the court with local judges from his hometown) was not democratic. None of these actions enjoyed popular support, none were made through democratic processes such as referendums or popular elections. Had that been the case, he would not have been overthrown in what was a popular mass revolt by half the country.

There are two Ukraines. One is essentially a part of Russia, and a chunk of it was repatriated in 2014. The other was historically Polish and Habsburg. It is a strange entity that is not Russian.

A bit closer to the truth, but much too simplistic in a way that favors Russian idealism. Crimea (60% Russian) was simply not Ukraine, so lumping it in together with a place such as Kharkiv (oblast 70% Ukrainian) and saying that Russia took one part of this uniformly "Russian Ukraine" is not accurate.

You are correct that the western half of the country are a non-Russian Polish-but-not Habsburg central Ukraine/Volynia, and Polish-and-Habsburg Galicia.

But the other half consisted of two parts: ethnic Russian Crimea (60% Russian) and largely ethniuc-Russian urban Donbas (about 45% Russian, 50% Ukrainian), and a heavily Russified but ethnic Ukrainian Kharkiv oblast (70% Ukrainian, 26% Russian), Dnipropetrovsk (80% Ukrainian, 20% Russian), Kherson (82% Ukrainian, 14% Russian), and Odessa oblast (63% Ukrainian, 21% Russian).

The former group (Crimea definitely, and urban Donbas less strongly) like being part of Russia. The latter group, on the other hand, preferred that Ukraine and Russia have friendly ties, preferred Russian as a legal language, preferred economic union with Russia, but did not favor loss of independence. Think of them as pro-NAFTA American-phile Canadians who would nevertheless be opposed to annexation by the USA and would be angered if the USA grabbed a chunk of Canada. In grabbing a chunk of Ukraine and supporting a rebellion in which Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk kids are being shot by Russian-trained fighters using Russian-supplied bullets, Putin has turned these people off the Russian state.

Mr. Hack , December 19, 2017 at 2:35 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

3. Assuming a similar shift in other regions, Novorossiya would be quite fine being with Russia post facto. Though there would be significant discontent in Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson (e.g., probably on the scale of Donbass unhappiness with the Ukraine before 2014).

'Asumptions' like this are what provide Swiss cheese the airy substance that makes it less caloric! Looks like only the retired sovok population in the countryside is up to supporting your mythical 'NovoRosija' while the more populated city dwellers would be opposed, even by your own admission (and even this is questionable). I'm surprised that the dutifully loyal and most astute opposition (AP) has let this blooper pass without any comment?

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 2:41 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin I think when answering this question, most people simple give what they consider to be the socially acceptable answer, especially in contemporary Ukraine, where you will go to prison for displaying Russian flag – who wants to be seen as a "separatist"?

In Crimea it has become more socially acceptable to identify with Russia following the reunification, which is why the number of people who answer this way shot up . The same effect will seen in Belarus and Ukraine – I'm fairly certain of it.

Though there would be significant discontent in Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson

Discontent will be limited to educated, affluent, upwardly mobile circles of society. Demographic profile of Ukrainian nationalist East of Dnieper resembles demographic profile of Navalny supporters in Russia. These people are not fighters. Most of them will react to Russian takeover by self-deporting – they have the money and resources to do it.

AP , December 19, 2017 at 2:51 pm GMT

Demographic profile of Ukrainian nationalist East of Dnieper resembles demographic profile of Navalny supporters in Russia. These people are not fighters.

Repeating your claim over and over again doesn't make it true. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azov_Battalion

The Azov Battalion has its roots in a group of Ultras of FC Metalist Kharkiv named "Sect 82″ (1982 is the year of the founding of the group).[18] "Sect 82″ was (at least until September 2013) allied with FC Spartak Moscow Ultras.[18] Late February 2014, during the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine when a separatist movement was active in Kharkiv, "Sect 82″ occupied the Kharkiv Oblast regional administration building in Kharkiv and served as a local "self-defense"-force.[18] Soon, on the basis of "Sect 82″ there was formed a volunteer militia called "Eastern Corps".[18]

The brawling East Ukrainian nationalists who took the streets of Kharkiv and Odessa were not mostly rich, fey hipsters.

Mr. Hack , December 19, 2017 at 2:53 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

Discontent will be limited to educated, affluent, upwardly mobile circles of society.

So, even by tour own admission, the only folks that would be for unifying with Russia are the uneducated, poor and those with no hopes of ever amounting to much in society. I don't agree with you, but I do see your logic. These are just the type of people that are the most easily manipulated by Russian propoganda – a lot of this went on in the Donbas, and we can see the results of that fiasco to this day.

Andrei Martyanov , Website December 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm GMT
@jimbojones

Russia and the US are natural allies.

While geopolitically and historically it is true:

a)Post-WWII American power elites are both incompetent and arrogant (which is a first derivative of incompetence) to understand that–this is largely the problem with most "Western" elites.

b) Currently the United States doesn't have enough (if any) geopolitical currency and clout to "buy" Russia. In fact, Russia can take what she needs (and she doesn't have "global" appetites) with or without the US. Plus, China is way more interested in Russia's services that the US, which will continue to increasingly find out more about its own severe military-political limitations.

c) The United States foreign policy is not designed and is not being conducted to serve real US national interests. In fact, US can not even define those interests beyond the tiresome platitudes about "global interests" and being "exceptional".

d) Too late

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 3:10 pm GMT
@AP I like how I got you talking about the Ukronazis, it's kinda funny actually, so let me pose as Ukraine's "defender" here:

This neo-Nazi scum is not in any way representative of the population of Eastern Ukraine. These are delinquents, criminals, low-lifes. They are despised, looked down upon by the normal people, pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian alike. A typical Ukrainian nationalist East of Dnieper is a business owner, a journalist, an office worker, a student who dodges draft. It's just the way it is.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 3:24 pm GMT
@AP The way to think about Azov battalion is to treat them like a simple group of delinquents, for whom Ukrainian nationalism has become a path to obtain money, resources, bigger guns and perhaps even political power. Azov is simply a gang. And Russian security services have plenty of experience dealing with gangs, so I don't expect Ukronazis to pose a major challenge.
reiner Tor , December 19, 2017 at 3:35 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich I'm not sure about Ukrainian football hooligans, but football hooligans in Hungary are not necessarily "low -lifes, criminals, delinquents", in fact, the majority of them aren't. Most groups consist mostly of working class (including a lot of security guards and similar) members, but there are some middle class (I know of a school headmaster, though I think he's no longer very active in the group) and working class entrepreneur types (e.g. the car mechanic who ended up owning a car dealership) and similar. I think outright criminal types are a small minority. Since it costs money to attend the matches, outright failures (the permanently unemployed and similar ne'er-do-wells) are rarely found in such groups.
Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 3:50 pm GMT
@reiner Tor LOL I classify all football hooligans as low-lifes simply due to the nature of their pastime. Ukrainian neo-Nazi militias have been involved in actual crimes including murder, kidnapping and racketeering. Their criminal activities go unpunished by the regime, because they are considered "heroes" or something.
AP , December 19, 2017 at 3:57 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

I like how I got you talking about the Ukronazis

I never denied the presence of them.

This neo-Nazi scum is not in any way representative of the population of Eastern Ukraine.

If by "representative" you mean majority, sure. Neither are artsy students, or Afghan war veterans, or schoolteachers, any other group a majority.

Also not all of the street fighters turned militias neo-Nazis, as are Azov. Right Sector are not neo-Nazis, they are more fascists.

These are delinquents, criminals, low-lifes.

As reiner tor correctly pointed out, this movement which grew out of the football ultra community is rather working class but is not lumpens. You fail again.

A typical Ukrainian nationalist East of Dnieper is a business owner, a journalist, an office worker, a student who dodges draft

Are there more business owners, students (many of whom do not dodge the draft), office workers combined than there are ultras/far-right brawlers? Probably. 30% of Kharkiv voted for nationalist parties (mostly Tymoshenko's and Klitschko's moderates) in the 2012 parliamentary elections, under Yanukovich. That represents about 900,000 people in that oblast. There aren't 900,000 brawling far-rightists in Kharkiv. So?

The exteme nationalist Banderist Svoboda party got about 4% of the vote in Kharkiv oblast in 2012. This would make Bandera twice as popular in Kharkiv as the democratic opposition is in Russia.

reiner Tor , December 19, 2017 at 4:00 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

I classify all football hooligans as low-lifes simply due to the nature of their pastime.

They are well integrated into the rest of society, so you can call them low-lifes, but they will still be quite different from ordinary criminals.

Ukrainian neo-Nazi militias have been involved in actual crimes including murder, kidnapping and racketeering.

But that's quite different from being professional criminals. Members of the Waffen-SS also committed unspeakable crimes, but they rarely had professional criminal backgrounds, and were, in fact, quite well integrated into German society.

AP , December 19, 2017 at 4:08 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

The way to think about Azov battalion is to treat them like a simple group of delinquents, for whom Ukrainian nationalism has become a path to obtain money, resources, bigger guns and perhaps even political power

Yes, there are elements of this, but not only. If they were ethnic Russians, as in Donbas, they would have taken a different path, as did the pro-Russian militants in Donbas who are similar to the ethnic Ukrainian Azovites. Young guys who like to brawl and are ethnic Russians or identify s such joined organizations like Oplot and moved to Donbas to fight against Ukraine, similar types who identified as Ukrainians became Azovites or joined similar pro-Ukrainian militias. Also not all of these were delinquents, many were working class, security guards, etc.

Good that you admit that in Eastern Ukraine nationalism is not limited to student activists and businessmen.

And Russian security services have plenty of experience dealing with gangs,

They chose to stay away from Kharkiv and limit Russia's action to Donbas, knowing that there would be too much opposition, and not enough support, to Russian rule in Kharkiv to make the effort worthwhile.

utu , December 19, 2017 at 4:08 pm GMT
@Anon Out of all hypotheses on the JFK assassination the one that Israel was behind it is the strongest. There is no question about it. From the day one when conspiracy theories were floated everything was done to hide how Israel benefited form the assassination.
Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 4:13 pm GMT
@reiner Tor I feel that comparing Azov to SS gives it too much credit.

My point is that this way of life is not something that many people in Ukraine are willing to actively participate in. Most people are not willing to condone it either. AP says that Azov and the like can act like underground insurgency in Eastern cities. But I don't see how this could work – there will a thousand people around them willing to rat them out.

There is no pro-Ukrainian insurgency in Crimea or inside the republics in Donbass, and it's not due to the lack of local football hooligans.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 4:25 pm GMT
@AP

That represents about 900,000 people in that oblast. There aren't 900,000 brawling far-rightists in Kharkiv. So?

This means these people won't pose a big problem. These folks will take care of themselves either through self-deportation or gradually coming to terms with the new reality in Kharkov, just like their compatriots in Crimea did.

Even among Svoboda voters, I suspect only a small minority of them are the militant types. We should be to contain them through the use of local proxies. The armies of Donbass republics currently number some 40-60 thousand men according to Cassad blog, which compares with the size of the entire Ukrainian army. We should be able to recruit more local Ukrainian proxies once we're in Kharkov.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 4:31 pm GMT
@Gerard2 oligarchs, not nationalism are the driving force behind the "Ukrainian" mass crimes against humanity committing --
AP , December 19, 2017 at 4:48 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

AP says that Azov and the like can act like underground insurgency in Eastern cities. But I don't see how this could work – there will a thousand people around them willing to rat them out.

About 1/3 of the population in Eastern Ukrainian regions voted for Ukrainian nationalists in 2012, compared to only 10% in Donbas. Three times as many. Likely after 2014 many of the hardcore pro-Russians left Kharkiv, just as hardcore pro-Ukrainians left Donetsk. Furthermore anti-Russian attitudes have hardened, due to the war, Crimea, etc. So there would be plenty of local support for native insurgents.

Russians say, correctly, that after Kiev has shelled Donetsk how can the people of Donetsk reconcile themselves with Kiev?

The time when Russia could have bloodlessly marched into Kharkiv is over. Ukrainian forces have dug in. How will Kharkiv people feel towards uninvited Russian invaders shelling their city in order to to take it under their control?

There is no pro-Ukrainian insurgency in Crimea or inside the republics in Donbass, and it's not due to the lack of local football hooligans.

Crimea was 60% Russian, Donbas Republics territory about 45% Russian; Kharkiv oblast is only 25% Russian.

With Donbas – there are actually local pro-Ukrainian militants from Donbas, in the Donbas and Aidar battalions.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 4:50 pm GMT
@AP It was a decision that Putin personally made. He wasn't going to move in Crimea either, until Maidanists overthrew his friend

It goes without saying that Putin doesn't share my nationalist approach to Ukraine problem: he does not see the destruction of Ukrainian project as necessary or even desirable. And I'm sure the restraint Putin has shown on Ukraine doesn't come from him being intimidated by Azov militia.

AP , December 19, 2017 at 4:56 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

These folks will take care of themselves either through self-deportation or gradually coming to terms with the new reality in Kharkov, just like their compatriots in Crimea did

The problem with this comparison is that Crimeans were far more in favor of joining Russia that are Kharkivites.

The armies of Donbass republics currently number some 40-60 thousand men according to Cassad blog, which compares with the size of the entire Ukrainian army.

Ukrainian military has 200,000 – 250,000 active members and about 100,000 reserves. Where did you get your information? The end of 2014?

We should be able to recruit more local Ukrainian proxies once we're in Kharkov.

You would be able to recruit some local proxies in Kharkiv. Kiev even did so in Donbas. But given the fact that Ukrainian nationalism was 3 times more popular on Kharkiv than in Donetsk, and that Kharkiv youth were split 50/50 in terms of or versus anti Maidan support (versus 80/20 IIIRC anti-Maidan in Donbas), it would not be so easy. Moreover, by now many of the hardcore anti-Kiev people have already left Kharkiv, while Kharkiv has had some settlement by pro-Ukrainian dissidents from Donbas. So the situation even in 2014 was hard enough that Russia chose to stay away, now it is even worse for the pro-Russians.

AP , December 19, 2017 at 5:00 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

And I'm sure the restraint Putin has shown on Ukraine doesn't come from him being intimidated by Azov militia.

This is rather a symptom of a much wider phenomenon: the population simply doesn't see itself as Russian and doesn't want to be part of Russia. So its hooligan-types go for Ukrainian, not Russian, nationalism as is the case in Russia.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 5:02 pm GMT
@AP

The time when Russia could have bloodlessly marched into Kharkiv is over. Ukrainian forces have dug in. How will Kharkiv people feel towards uninvited Russian invaders shelling their city in order to to take it under their control?

The locals will move to disarm Ukrainian forces, who have taken their city hostage, then welcome Russian liberators with open arms, what else they are going to do? lol

It's just a joke though. In reality there is virtually no Ukrainian forces in city of Kharkov. They don't have the manpower. Ukrainian regime managed to fortify Perekop and the perimeter of the people's republics, but the rest of Ukraine-Russia border remains completely undefended. It's wide open!

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 5:05 pm GMT
@AP Honestly, I doubt that this kind of stuff has much impact on Putin's decisionmaking.
Mr. Hack , December 19, 2017 at 5:09 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

It goes without saying that Putin doesn't share my nationalist approach to Ukraine problem: he does not see the destruction of Ukrainian project as necessary or even desirable.

Well there you have it. Putin is a much smarter guy than you are Felix (BTW, are you Jewish, all of the Felix's that I've known were Jewish?). Good to see that you're nothing more than a blackshirted illusionist.*

*фантазёр

German_reader , December 19, 2017 at 5:20 pm GMT
@for-the-record German and European reliance on US security guarantees is a problem, since it's become pretty clear that the US political system is dysfunctional and US "elites" are dangerous extremists. We need our own security structures to be independent from the US so they can't drag us into their stupid projects or blackmail us anymore why do you think Merkel didn't react much to the revelations about American spying on Germany? Because we're totally dependent on the Americans in security matters.

And while I don't believe Russia or Iran are really serious threats to Europe, it would be foolish to have no credible deterrence.

AP , December 19, 2017 at 5:25 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

"How will Kharkiv people feel towards uninvited Russian invaders shelling their city in order to to take it under their control?"

They will move to disarm ther Ukrainian forces, who have taken their city hostage, then welcome their Russian liberators with open arms, what else they are going to do? lol

While about 1/3 of Kharkiv voted for Ukrainian nationalists, only perhaps 10%-20% of the city would actually like to be part of Russia (and I am being generous to you). So your idea is equivalent to American fantasies of Iraqis greeting their troops with flowers.

It's just a joke though. In reality there is virtually no Ukrainian forces in city of Kharkov. They don't have the manpower. Ukrainian regime managed to fortify Perekop and the perimeter of the people's republics, but the rest of Ukraine-Russia border remains completely undefended.

Are you living in 2014? Russian nationalists always like to think of Ukraine as if it is 2014-2015. It is comforting for them.

Ukraine currently has 200,000-250,000 active troops. About 60,000 of them are around Donbas.

Here is a map of various positions in 2017:

Kharkiv does appear to be lightly defended, though not undefended (it has a motorized infantry brigade and a lot of air defenses). The map does not include national guard units such as Azov, however, which would add a few thousand troops to Kharkiv's defense.

It looks like rather than stationing their military in forward positions vs. a possible Russian attack, Ukraine, has put lot of troops in Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv, Kiev and Odessa.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 5:34 pm GMT
@AP

Ukrainian military has 200,000 – 250,000 active members and about 100,000 reserves. Where did you get your information? The end of 2014?

I read Kassad blog, and he says Ukrainian formations assembled in Donbass number some 50-70 thousands men. The entire Ukrainian army is around 200.000 men, including the navy (LOL), the airforce, but most of it isn't combat ready. Ukraine doesn't just suffer from a lack of manpower, they don't have the resources to feed and clothe their soldiers, which limits their ability field an army.

By contrast the armies of people's republics have 40-60 thousand men – that's impressive level of mobilisation, and they achieved this without implementing draft.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 5:54 pm GMT
@AP So your idea is equivalent to American fantasies of Iraqis greeting their troops with flowers.

The local populations in Iraq were congenial to begin with, at least outside some Sunni centers. It was never an object of American policy to stay in Iraq indefinitely.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 5:55 pm GMT
@AP

Kharkiv does appear to be lightly defended, though not undefended (it has a motorized infantry brigade and a lot of air defenses).

How many people does this "motorized infantry brigade" have? And more importantly what is its level of combat readiness? Couldn't we just smash this brigade with a termobaric bomb while they are sleeping?

Ukraine is full of shit. They had 20.000 troops in Crimea, "a lot of air defenses" and it didn't make a iota of difference. Somehow you expect me to believe Ukraine has a completely different army now. Why should I? They don't have the resources to afford a better army, so it is logical to assume that Ukrainian army is still crap.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 6:01 pm GMT
Russian nationalists always like to think of Ukraine as if it is 2014-2015. It is comforting for them.

Betwixt and between all the trash talking, they've forgotten that the last occasion on which one country attempted to conquer an absorb another country with a population anywhere near 30% of its own was during the 2d World War. Didn't work out so well for Germany and Japan.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 6:03 pm GMT
@for-the-record Austria, on the other hand, has survived for more than 60 years without the US "umbrella" to protect it (and with a military strength rated below that of Angola and Chile), so why couldn't Germany?

Austria hasn't been absorbed by Germany or Italy therefore Germany doesn't have a use for security guarantees or an armed force. Do I render your argument correctly?

German_reader , December 19, 2017 at 6:32 pm GMT
@for-the-record

Germany has willingly supported the US

Not completely true, Germany didn't participate in the Iraq war and in the bombing of Libya.
I'm hardly an expert on military matters, but it would seem just common sense to me that a state needs sufficient armed forces to protect its own territory if you don't have that, you risk becoming a passive object whose fate is decided by other powers. Doesn't mean Germany should have a monstrously bloated military budget like the US, just sufficient forces to protect its own territory and that of neighbouring allies (which is what the German army should be for instead of participating in futile counter-insurgency projects in places like Afghanistan). Potential for conflict in Europe is obviously greatest regarding Russia it's still quite low imo, and I want good relations with Russia and disagree vehemently with such insanely provocative ideas as NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia, but it would be stupid not to have credible deterrence (whose point it is to prevent hostilities after all). I don't think that's an anti-Russian position, it's just realistic.
Apart from that Germany doesn't probably need much in the way of military capabilities maybe some naval forces for participation in international anti-piracy missions.
Regarding nuclear weapons, that's obviously something Germany can't or shouldn't do on its own (probably wouldn't be tolerated anyway given 20th century history), so it would have to be in some form of common European project. Hard to tell now if something like this could eventually become possible or necessary.

Mr. Hack , December 19, 2017 at 6:46 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich Sorry to prickle your little fantasy world once again tovarishch, but according to current CIA statistics Ukraine has 182,000 active personnel, and 1,000,000 reservists! For a complete rundown of Ukraine's military strength, read this and weep:

https://www.globalfirepower.com/country-military-strength-detail.asp?country_id=ukraine

inertial , December 19, 2017 at 8:18 pm GMT
@Art Deco They've had ample opportunity over a period of 26 years to make the decision you favor. It hasn't happened, and there's no reason to fancy they'll be more amenable a decade from now.

Yes, these people had been sold a vision. If only they leave behind the backward, Asiatic, mongoloid Russia, they will instantly Join Europe. They will have all of the good stuff: European level of prosperity, rule of law, international approval, and so on; and none of the bad stuff that they associated with Russia, like poverty, corruption, and civil strife.

Official Ukrainian propaganda worked overtime, and still works today, to hammer this into people's heads. And it's an attractive vision. An office dweller in Kiev wants to live in a shiny European capital, not in a bleak provincial city of a corrupt Asian empire. The problem is, it's ain't working. For a while Ukraine managed to get Russia to subsidize Ukrainian European dream. Now this is over. The vision is starting to fail even harder.

The experience of Communism shows that it may take decades but eventually people notice that the state ideology is a lie. Once they do, they change their mind about things rather quickly.

Swedish Family , December 19, 2017 at 8:26 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

It goes without saying that Putin doesn't share my nationalist approach to Ukraine problem: he does not see the destruction of Ukrainian project as necessary or even desirable.

Agreed, and he happens to be in the right here. Russia actually has a good hand in Ukraine, if only she keeps her cool . More military adventurism is foolish for at least three reasons:

(1) All the civilian deaths in the Donbass, somewhat perversely, play to Russia's advantage in that they take some of the sting out of the "Ukraine is the victim" narrative. Common people know full well that the Ukrainian troops are hated in the Donbass (I once watched a Ukrainian soldier shock the audience by saying this on Shuster Live), and they know also that Kiev has a blame in all those dead women and children. These are promising conditions for future reconciliation, and they would be squandered overnight if Russian troops moved further westward.

(2) The geopolitical repercussions would be enormous. As I and others have already written, the present situation is just about what people in elite Western circles can stomach. Any Russian escalation would seriously jeopardize European trade with Russia, among other things.

(3) There is a good chance that Crimea will eventually be internationally recognized as part of the RF (a British parliamentary report on this matter in 2015, I think it was, made this quite clear). The same might also be true of the Donbass. These "acquisitions," too, would be jeopardized by more military action.

Swedish Family , December 19, 2017 at 9:56 pm GMT
@Art Deco

You mean Putin mercs kill more Ukrainian civilians and we 'take some of the sting out of the 'Ukraine is a victim narrative'? Sounds like a plan.

No, I wrote that those civilians are already gone and that both sides had a hand in their deaths, which will help the peace process since no side can claim sole victimhood.

And your assumption that the separatists are mercenaries is groundless speculation. Estimations are that well over half of the separatists are born and bred in Ukraine, and there is no evidence to suggest that they are fighting for the love of money.

Did you cc the folks in Ramallah and Jerusalem about that?

Risible comparison. Theirs is a conflict involving three major religions and the survival of the Israeli state at stake. On the Crimean question, we have already heard influential Westerners voice the possibility that it might one day be accepted as Russian, and if you read between the lines, many Ukrainians are of a similiar mind.

Anatoly Karlin , Website December 20, 2017 at 12:19 am GMT
@Felix Keverich Unfortunately, the Ukraine has been spending 5%* of its GDP on the military since c.2015 (versus close to 1% before 2014).

Doesn't really matter if tons of money continues to be stolen, or even the recession – with that kind of raw increase, a major enhancement in capabilities is inevitable.

As I was already writing in 2016 :

Like it or not, but outright war with Maidanist Ukraine has been ruled out from the beginning, as the more perceptive analysts like Rostislav Ischenko have long recognized. If there was a time and a place for it, it was either in April 2014, or August 2014 at the very latest. Since then, the Ukrainian Army has gotten much stronger. It has been purged of its "Russophile" elements, and even though it has lost a substantial percentage of its remnant Soviet-era military capital in the war of attrition with the LDNR, it has more than made up for it with wartime XP gain and the banal fact of a quintupling in military spending as a percentage of GDP from 1% to 5%.

This translates to an effective quadrupling in absolute military spending, even when accounting for Ukraine's post-Maidan economic collapse.

Russia can still crush Ukraine in a full-scale conventional conflict, and that will remain the case for the foreseeable future, but it will no longer be the happy cruise to the Dnepr that it would have been two years earlier.

* There's a report that says actual Ukrainian military spending remained rather more modest at 2.5% of GDP ( https://www.osw.waw.pl/sites/default/files/prace_66_ang_best_army_ukraine_net.pdf ); even so, that still translates to huge improvements over 2014.

AP , December 20, 2017 at 12:26 am GMT
@Felix Keverich

The entire Ukrainian army is around 200.000 men, including the navy (LOL), the airforce, but most of it isn't combat ready.

250,000. Combat readiness is very different from 2014.

Ukraine doesn't just suffer from a lack of manpower, they don't have the resources to feed and clothe their soldiers, which limits their ability field an army.

Again, it isn't 2014 anymore. Military budget has increased significantly, from 3.2 billion in 2015 to 5.17 billion in 2017. In spite of theft, much more is getting through.

By contrast the armies of people's republics have 40-60 thousand men – that's impressive level of mobilisation, and they achieved this without implementing draft

It's one of the only ways to make any money in the Republics, so draft is unnecessaary.

AP , December 20, 2017 at 12:35 am GMT
@Swedish Family

Estimations are that well over half of the separatists are born and bred in Ukraine, and there is no evidence to suggest that they are fighting for the love of money.

80% are natives. Perhaps as much as 90%. However, often it a way to make a meager salary in those territories, so there is a mercenary aspect to it. Lots of unemployed workers go into the Republic military.

Anatoly Karlin , Website December 20, 2017 at 12:35 am GMT
@Swedish Family

Estimations are that well over half of the separatists are born and bred in Ukraine, and there is no evidence to suggest that they are fighting for the love of money.

80% in 2014-15, to be precise; another 10% from the Kuban; 10% from Russia, the Russian world, and the world at large.

NAF salaries are good by post-2014 Donbass standards, but a massive cut for Russians – no Russian went there to get rich.

That said, I strongly doubt there will ever be international recognition of Crimea, let alone Donbass. Israel has by far the world's most influential ethnic lobby. Even NATO member Turkey hasn't gotten Northern Cyprus internationally recognized, so what exactly are the chances of the international community (read: The West) recognizing the claims of Russia, which is fast becoming established in Western minds as the arch-enemy of civilization?

AP , December 20, 2017 at 12:56 am GMT
@Anatoly Karlin Fascinating link. The numbers for the military budget are a lot lower than reported elsewhere.

Mobilization percentages by region:

"Among the leaders of the fourth and fifth wave of partial mobilisation were the Khmelnitsky, Dnipropetrovsk, Vinnytsia, Kirovohrad and Zaporizhia regions, as well as the city of Kyiv, whose mobilisation plan was fulfilled 80-100% (the record was Vinnytsia oblast, which achieved 100% mobilisation). At the opposite extreme are the Kharkiv, Chernivtsi, Donetsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lugansk, Sumy, Ternopil and Transcarpathian regions, where the results of the mobilisation varied from 25 to 60%."

Summary:

2014:

The true face of the Ukrainian armed forces was revealed by the Russian annexation of Crimea and the first weeks of the war in the Donbas – they were nothing more than a fossilised structure, unfit for any effective function upon even a minimum engagement with the enemy, during which a significant part of the troops only realised whom they were representing in the course of the conflict and more than once, from the perspective of service in one of the post-Soviet military districts, they chose to serve in the Russian army

2017:

The war in the Donbas shaped the Ukrainian army. It gave awareness and motivation to the soldiers, and forced the leadership of the Defence Ministry and the government of the state to adapt the army's structure – for the first time since its creation – to real operational needs, and also to bear the costs of halting the collapses in the fields of training and equipment, at least to such an extent which would allow the army to fight a close battle with the pro-Russian separatists. Despite all these problems, the Ukrainian armed forces of the year 2017 now number 200,000, most of whom have come under fire, and are seasoned in battle. They have a trained reserve ready for mobilisation in the event of a larger conflict*; their weapons are not the latest or the most modern, but the vast majority of them now work properly; and they are ready for the defence of the vital interests of the state (even if some of the personnel still care primarily about their own vested interests). They have no chance of winning a potential military clash with Russia, but they have a reason to fight. The Ukrainian armed forces of the year 2014, in a situation where their home territory was occupied by foreign troops, were incapable of mounting an adequate response. The changes since the Donbas war started mean that Ukraine now has the best army it has ever had in its history.

* The Ukrainian armed forces have an operational reserve of 130,000 men, relatively well trained and with real combat experience, who since 2016 have been moulded out of veterans of the Donbas (as well as from formations subordinate to the Interior Ministry). It must be stressed, however, that those counted in the reserve represent only half of the veterans of the anti-terrorist operation (by October 2016, 280,000 Ukrainians had served in the Donbas in all formations subordinate to the government in Kyiv, with 266,000 reservists gaining combat status; at the beginning of February 2017, 193,400 reservists were in the armed forces). Thanks to that, at least in terms of the human factor, it should be possible in a relatively short period of time to increase the Ukrainian army's degree of combat readiness, as well as to fight a relatively close battle with a comparable opponent, something the Ukrainian armed forces were not capable of doing at the beginning of 2014.

AP , December 20, 2017 at 1:21 am GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

NAF salaries are good by post-2014 Donbass standards, but a massive cut for Russians – no Russian went there to get rich.

Which further points to the critical role played by Russians. Many of the local volunteers are participating because doing so offers a salary, which is very important in a wrecked, sanctioned Donbas. The Russian 10%-20% are motivated, often Chechen combat vets. They are more important than their % indicates.

Gerard2 , December 20, 2017 at 2:33 am GMT
@Gerard2 ..and lets not forget the failure in mobilisation from the Ukrainian military

That and having to hire loads of Georgians, Chechens, Poles and other mercenaries. Pretty much tallys perfectly with the failed shithole Ukraine government structure full of everyone else .but Ukrainians

melanf , December 20, 2017 at 5:16 am GMT
Amazing – almost any discussion in this section turns to хохлосрач (ukrohitstorm)
neutral , December 20, 2017 at 8:39 am GMT
@melanf What is almost incomprehensible for me in these endless Russia vs Ukraine arguments is how they (yes both sides) always ignore the real issues and instead keep on raising relatively petty points while thinking that mass non white immigration and things like the EU commissioner of immigration stating openly that Europe needs endless immigration, are not important.

It's like white South Africans who still debate the Boer war or the Irish debate the northern Ireland question, and are completely oblivious to the fact that these things don't matter anymore if you have an entirely new people ruling your land (ok in South Africa they were not new, but you know what I mean).

melanf , December 20, 2017 at 10:54 am GMT
@Swedish Family

Estimations are that well over half of the separatists are born and bred in Ukraine

much more than half. Donbass rebels: soldiers of the detachment of "Sparta". Data published by Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine:

https://imgur.com/a/Gh8zx

TT , December 20, 2017 at 12:05 pm GMT
I have read a article mentioned something like Putin said, to annexed whole Ukraine means to share the enormous resource wealth of vast Russia land with them, which make no economic sense. If Russia is worst than Ukraine, then there won't be million of Ukrainian migrating over after the Maidan coup.

So are all those Baltic states. Russia don't want these countries as it burden, it is probably only interested in selected strategic areas like the Eastern Ukraine industrial belt and military important Crimea warm water deep seaport, and skilled migrants. Ukraine has one of lowest per capital income now, with extreme corrupted politicians controlled by USNato waging foolish civil war killing own people resulting in collapsing economic and exudes of skilled people.

What it got to lose to unify with Russia to have peace, prosperity and been a nation of a great country instead of poor war torn? Plus a bonus of free Russia market access, unlimited cheap natural gas and pipeline toll to tax instead of buying LNG from US at double price.

Sorry this s just my opinion based on mostly fake news we are fed, only the Ukrainian know the best and able to decde themselves.

Randal , December 20, 2017 at 12:59 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

Agreed, and he happens to be in the right here. Russia actually has a good hand in Ukraine, if only she keeps her cool. More military adventurism is foolish for at least three reasons:

Yes, this is my view also. I think Russia was never in a position to do much more than it has, and those who talk about more vigorous military interference are just naïve, or engaging in wishful thinking, about the consequences. I think Putin played a very bad hand as well as could reasonably be expected in Ukraine and Crimea. No doubt mistakes were made, and perhaps more support at the key moment for the separatists (assassinations of some of the key oligarchs who chose the Ukrainian side and employed thugs to suppress the separatists in eastern cities, perhaps) could have resulted in a better situation now with much more of the eastern part of Ukraine separated, but if Russians want someone to blame for the situation in Ukraine apart from their enemies, they should look at Yanukovich, not Putin.

In the long run, it seems likely the appeal of NATO and the EU (assuming both still even exist in their current forms in a few years time) is probably peaking, but strategic patience and only limited covert and economic interference is advisable.

The return of Crimea to Russia alone has been a dramatic improvement in the inherent stability of the region. A proper division of the territory currently forming the Ukraine into a genuine Ukrainian nation in the west and an eastern half returned to Russia would be the ideal long term outcome, but Russia can surely live with a neutralised Ukraine.

Felix Keverich , December 20, 2017 at 1:18 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

There's a report that says actual Ukrainian military spending remained rather more modest at 2.5% of GDP ( https://www.osw.waw.pl/sites/default/files/prace_66_ang_best_army_ukraine_net.pdf ); even so, that still translates to huge improvements over 2014.

You realise that Ukraine's GDP declined in dollar terms by a factor of 2-3 times, right? A bigger share of a smaller economy translates into the same paltry sum. It is still under $5 billion.

Futhermore an army that's actively deployed and engaged in fighting spends more money than during peacetime. A lot of this money goes to fuel, repairs, providing for soldiers and their wages rather than qualitatively improving capabilities of the army.

The bottom-line is Ukraine spent the last 3,5 years preparing to fight a war against the People's Republic of Donetsk. I'll admit Ukrainian army can hold its own against the People's Republic of Donetsk. Yet it remains hopelessly outmatched in a potential clash with Russia. A short, but brutal bombing campaign can whipe out Ukrainian command and control, will make it impossible to mount any kind of effective defence. Ukrainian conscripts have no experience in urban warfare, and their national loyalties are unclear.

AP predicts that the cities of Kharkov, Dniepropetrovsk will be reduced to something akin to Aleppo. But it has taken 3 years of constant shelling to cause the damage in Aleppo. A more likely outcome is that Ukrainian soldiers will promptly ditch their uniforms, once they realise the Russian are coming and their command is gone.

Anatoly Karlin , Website December 20, 2017 at 1:32 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich Nominal GDP collapsed, but real GDP only fell by around 20%. This matters more, since the vast majority of Ukrainian military spending occurs in grivnas.

By various calculations, Ukrainian military spending went up from 1% of GDP, to 2.5%-5%. Minus 20%, that translates to a doubling to quadrupling.

What it does mean is that they are even less capable of paying for advanced weapons from the West than before, but those were never going to make a cardinal difference anyway.

AP is certainly exaggerating wrt Kharkov looking like Aleppo and I certainly didn't agree with him on that. In reality Russia will still be able to smash the Ukraine, assuming no large-scale American intervention, but it will no longer be the trivial task it would have been in 2014, and will likely involve thousands as opposed to hundreds (or even dozens) of Russian military deaths in the event of an offensive up to the Dnieper.

Felix Keverich , December 20, 2017 at 1:50 pm GMT
@AP

It's one of the only ways to make any money in the Republics, so draft is unnecessaary.

It's not like the regime-controlled parts of the country are doing much better! LOL

My point is that this bodes well for our ability to recruit proxies in Ukraine, don't you think? We could easily assemble another 50.000-strong local army, once we're in Kharkov. That's the approach I would use in Ukraine: strip away parts of it piece by piece, create local proxies, use them to maintain control and absorb casualties in the fighting on the ground.

Mr. Hack , December 20, 2017 at 1:52 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

In reality Russia will still be able to smash the Ukraine, assuming no large-scale American intervention, but it will no longer be the trivial task it would have been in 2014, and will likely involve thousands as opposed to hundreds (or even dozens) of Russian military deaths in the event of an offensive up to the Dnieper.

Fortunately, we'll not be seeing a replay of the sacking and destruction of Novgorod as was done in the 15th century by Ivan III, and all of its ugly repercussions in Ukraine. Besides, since the 15th century, we've seen the emergence of three separate nationalities out of the loose amalgamation of principalities known a Rus. Trying to recreate something (one Rus nation) out of something that never in effect existed, now in the 21st century is a ridiculous concept at best.

AP , December 20, 2017 at 1:58 pm GMT

"It's one of the only ways to make any money in the Republics, so draft is unnecessaary."

It's not like the regime-controlled parts of the country are doing much better! LOL

Well, they are, at least in the center and west. Kievans don't volunteer to fight because they have no other way of making money. But you probably believe the fairytale that Ukraine is in total collapse, back to the 90s.

We could easily assemble another 50.000-strong local army, once we're in Kharkov.

If in the process of taking Kharkiv the local economy goes into ruin due to wrecked factories and sanctions so that picking up a gun is the only way to feed one's family for some people, sure. But again, keep in mind that Kharkiv is much less pro-Russian than Donbas so this could be more complicated.

Art Deco , December 20, 2017 at 2:01 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin How so? Poland and France (together around equal to Germany's population) worked out perfectly for Nazi Germany.

You're forgetting a few things. In the United States, about 1/3 of the country's productive capacity was devoted to the war effort during the period running from 1940 to 1946. I'll wager you it was higher than that in Britain and continental Europe. That's what Germany was drawing on to attempt to sustain its holdings for just the 4-5 year period in which they occupied France and Poland. (Russia currently devotes 4% of its productive capacity to the military). Germany had to be exceedingly coercive as well. They were facing escalating partisan resistance that whole time (especially in the Balkans).

Someone whose decisions matter is going to ask the question of whether it's really worth the candle.

AP , December 20, 2017 at 2:07 pm GMT
@Art Deco Thanks for the correction. This suggests that transforming Iraq into a solidly pro-Western stable democracy would have been much harder than doing so for Japan. This I think would have been the only legitimate reason to invade in Iraq in 2003 (WMDs weren't there, and in 2003 the regime was not genocidal as it had been decades earlier when IMO an invasion would have been justified)

Again, much of Iraq is quiet and has been for a decade. What's not would be the provinces where Sunnis form a critical mass. Their political vanguards are fouling their own nest and imposing costs on others in the vicinity, such as the country's Christian population and the Kurds living in mixed provinces like Kirkuk.

Correct, but most of this have been the case had the Baathists remained in power?

You've seen severe internal disorders in the Arab world over 60 years in Algeria, Libya, the Sudan, the Yemen, the Dhofar region of Oman, Lebanon, Syria, and central Iraq.

Which is why one ought to either not invade a country and remove a regime that maintains stability and peace, or if one does so – take on the responsibility of investing massive effort and treasure in order to prevent the inevitable chaos and violence that would erupt as a result of one's invasion.

Felix Keverich , December 20, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin To be honest, I don't think it'll be necessary to sacrifice so many lives of Russian military personnel. Use LDNR army: transport them to Belgorod and with Russians they could move to take Kharkov, while facing minimal opposition. Then move futher to the West and South until the entire Ukrainian army in Donbass becomes encircled at which point they will likely surrender.

After supressing Ukrainian air-defence, our airforce should be able to destroy command and control, artillery, armoured formations, airfields, bridges over Dnieper, other infrustructure. Use the proxies to absord casualties in the fighting on the ground.

Andrei Martyanov , Website December 20, 2017 at 2:13 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

but it will no longer be the happy cruise to the Dnepr that it would have been two years earlier.

Anatoly, please, don't write on things you have no qualification on writing. You can not even grasp the generational (that is qualitative) abyss which separates two armed forces. The question will not be in this:

but it will no longer be the happy cruise to the Dnepr that it would have been two years earlier.

By the time the "cruising" would commence there will be no Ukrainian Army as an organized formation or even units left–anything larger than platoon will be hunted down and annihilated. It is really painful to read this, honestly. The question is not in Russian "ambition" or rah-rah but in the fact that Ukraine's armed forces do not posses ANY C4ISR capability which is crucial for a dynamics of a modern war. None. Mopping up in the East would still be much easier than it would be in Central, let alone, Western Ukraine but Russia has no business there anyway. More complex issues were under consideration than merely probable losses of Russian Army when it was decided (rightly so) not to invade.

I will open some "secret"–nations DO bear collective responsibility and always were subjected to collective punishment -- latest example being Germany in both WWs -- the bacillus of Ukrainian "nationalism" is more effectively addressed by letting those moyahataskainikam experience all "privileges" of it. In the end, Russia's resources were used way better than paying for mentally ill country. 2019 is approaching fast.

P.S. In all of your military "analysis" on Ukraine one thing is missing leaving a gaping hole–Russian Armed Forces themselves which since 2014 were increasing combat potential exponentially. Ukies? Not so much–some patches here and there. Russian Armed Forces of 2018 are not those of 2013. Just for shits and giggles check how many Ratnik sets have been delivered to Russian Army since 2011. That may explain to you why timing in war and politics is everything.

AP , December 20, 2017 at 2:23 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

Nominal GDP collapsed, but real GDP only fell by around 20%.

About 16% from 2013 to 2015 when Ukraine hit bottom:

https://www.worldeconomics.com/GrossDomesticProduct/Ukraine.gdp

AP is certainly exaggerating wrt Kharkov looking like Aleppo and I certainly didn't agree with him on that.

I wrote that parts of the city would look like that. I don't think there would be enough massive resistance that the entire city would be destroyed. But rooting out a couple thousand armed, experienced militiamen or soldiers in the urban area would cause a lot of expensive damage and, as is the case when civilians died in Kiev's efforts to secure Donbas, would probably not endear the invaders to the locals who after all do not want Russia to invade them.

And Kharkiv would be the easiest to take. Dnipropetrovsk would be much more Aleppo-like, and Kiev Felix was proposing for Russia to take all these areas.

Andrei Martyanov , Website December 20, 2017 at 2:31 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

To be honest, I don't think it'll be necessary to sacrifice so many lives of Russian military personnel.

The question is not in losses, per se. Russians CAN accept losses if the deal becomes hot in Ukraine–it is obvious. The question is in geopolitical dynamics and the way said Russian Armed Forces were being honed since 2013, when Shoigu came on-board and the General Staff got its mojo returned to it. All Command and Control circuit of Ukie army will be destroyed with minimal losses if need be, and only then cavalry will be let in. How many Russian or LDNR lives? I don't know, I am sure GOU has estimates by now. Once you control escalation (Russia DOES control escalation today since can respond to any contingency) you get way more flexibility (geo)politcally. Today, namely December 2017, situation is such that Russia controls escalation completely. If Ukies want to attack, as they are inevitably forced to do so, we all know what will happen. Ukraine has about a year left to do something. Meanwhile considering EU intentions to sanction Poland, well, we are witnessing the start of a major shitstorm.

Mr. Hack , December 20, 2017 at 2:45 pm GMT

Most ukrops even admit that Kharkov could easily have gone in 2014, if Russia had wanted it/feasible

Really? So why didn't Russia take Kharkiv then? Why wan't it 'feasible', Mr.Know it All?

Gerard2 , December 20, 2017 at 2:48 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

Trying to recreate something (one Rus nation) out of something that never in effect existed, now in the 21st century is a ridiculous concept at best.

A stupid comment for an adult. Ukraine, in effect never existed before Russia/Stalin/Lenin created it. Kiev is a historical Russian city, and 5 of the 7 most populated areas in Ukraine are Russian/Soviet created cities, Russian language is favourite spoken by most Ukrainians ( see even Saakashvili in court, speaking only in Russian even though he speaks fluent Ukrainian now and all the judges and lawyers speaking in Russian too), the millions of Ukrainians living happily in Russia and of course, the topic of what exactly is a Ukrainian is obsolete because pretty much every Ukrainian has a close Russian relative the level of intermarriage was at the level of one culturally identical people.

AK: Improvement! The first paragraph was acceptable, hence not hidden.

Gerard2 , December 20, 2017 at 2:52 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack economics, hope that the west and their puppets in Kiev would act like sane and decent people, threat of sanctions and so on.

As is obvious, if the west had remained neutral ( an absurd hypothetical because the west were the ringmasters of the farce in this failed state) ..and not supported the coup and then the evil war brought on the Donbass people, then a whole different situation works out in Ukraine ( for the better)

AP , December 20, 2017 at 3:17 pm GMT
@Gerard2

Kharkov always was and will be as pro-Russian as Donbass

Kharkiv oblast: 71% Ukrainian, 26% Russian
Donetsk oblast: 57% Ukrainian, 38% Russian (skews more Russian in the Donbas Republic parts)

Self-declared native language Kharkiv oblast: 54% Ukrainian, 44% Russian
Self-declared native language Donetsk oblast: 24% Ukrainian, 75% Russian

(not the same thing as language actually spoken, but a decent reflection of national self-identity)

2012 parliamentary election results (rounding to nearest %):

Kharkiv oblast: 62% "Blue", 32% "Orange" – including 4% Svoboda
Donetsk oblast – 84% "Blue", 11% "Orange" – including 1% Svoboda

A good illustration of Russian wishful thinking fairytales compared to reality on the ground.

S3 , December 20, 2017 at 3:23 pm GMT
@S3 Nietzsche famously foresaw the rise and fall of communism and the destruction of Germany in the two world wars. He also liked to think of himself as a Polish nobleman. Maybe this is what he meant.
Gerard2 , December 20, 2017 at 7:25 pm GMT
@AP Kharkiv oblast: 71% Ukrainian, 26% Russian
Donetsk oblast: 57% Ukrainian, 38% Russian (skews more Russian in the Donbas Republic parts)
gT , December 21, 2017 at 7:34 am GMT
Its very amusing reading all the comments so far. But reality is that Russia should take back all the lands conquered by the Tsars, and that includes Finland.

Look at America. Currently the US has troops stationed in other countries all over the world. And most of those "independent" countries can't take virtually no decision without America's approval. This is definitely the case with Germany and Japan, where their "presidents" have to take an oath of loyalty to the US on assuming office. Now America has even moved into Eastern Europe, and has troops and radars and nuclear capable missile batteries stationed there. So America is just expanding and expanding its grasp while Russia must contract its territories even further and further. Yippee.

So Russia must take back all the territories conquered by the Tsars so as to not lose this game of monopoly. Those in those territories not too happy about such matters can move to America or deal with the Red Army. This is not a matter of cost benefits analysis but a matter of Russia's national security, as in the case of Chechnya.

The territories to Russia's East are especially necessary for Russia's security; when the chips are down, when all the satellites have been blown out of space, all the aircraft blown out of the air, all the ground hardware blown to smithereens; when the battle is reduced to eye to eye rat like warfare, then those assorted Mongol mongrels from Russia's East come into their element. Genghis Khan was the biggest mass murderer in history, he made Hitler look like a school boy, his genes live on in those to Russia's East. So if America were to get involved in Ukraine Russia would have no issues losing a million troops in a matter of days while the US has never even lost a million troops in its civil war and WW2 combined.

Lets face it, those Mongol mongrels make much better fighters than the effete Sunni Arabs any day, so Russia should get them on her side. In Syria those ISIS idiots would never have got as far as they did were it not for those few Chechens in their midst's.

But alas, Russia has to eat humble pie at the moment, internationally and at the Olympics. But humble pie tastes good when its washed down with bottles of vodka, and its only momentarily after all.

Art Deco , December 21, 2017 at 10:50 am GMT
@gT Look at America. Currently the US has troops stationed in other countries all over the world.

Since 1945, between 70% and 87% of American military manpower has been stationed in the United States and its possession. The vast bulk of the remainder is generally to be found in about a half-dozen countries. (In recent years, that would be Germany, Japan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait). Andrew Bacevich once went on a whinge about the stupidity of having a 'Southern Command' without bothering to tell his readers that the Southern Command had 2,000 billets at that time, that nearly half were stationed at Guantanamo Bay (an American possession since 1902), that no country had more than 200 American soldiers resident, and that the primary activity of the Southern Command was drug interdiction. On the entire African continent, there were 5,000 billets at that time.

And most of those "independent" countries can't take virtually no decision without America's approval. This is definitely the case with Germany and Japan, where their "presidents" have to take an oath of loyalty to the US on assuming office.

This is a fantasy.

Art Deco , December 21, 2017 at 10:52 am GMT
@gT Why not post sober?
gT , December 21, 2017 at 4:05 pm GMT
@Art Deco Fantasy?

Read here about Merkel obeying her real masters

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/editorial-merkel-has-left-germans-high-and-dry-a-911425.html

and read here about "BERLIN IS WASHINGTON'S VASSAL UNTIL 2099″

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-183232

I especially like the bit about "Though most of the German officers were not originally inclined against America, a lot of them being educated in the United States, they are now experiencing disappointment and even disgust with Washington's policies."

Seems its not only the Russians who are getting increasingly pissed off with the US when at first they actually liked the US. No wonder the Germans are just letting their submarines and tanks rot away.

Also https://www.veteranstodayarchives.com/2011/06/05/germany-still-under-the-control-of-foreign-powers/
(damn South Africans popping up everywhere)

[Dec 17, 2017] Dr. Stephen Cohen on Tucker Carlson: Empty Accusations of Russian Meddling Have Become Grave National Security Threat

Notable quotes:
"... Cohen, who has been quite vocal against the Russophobic witch hunt gripping the nation , believes that this falsified 35 page report is part of an "endgame" to mortally wound Trump before he even sets foot in the White House, by grasping at straws to paint him as a puppet of the Kremlin. The purpose of these overt attempts to cripple Trump, which have relied on ham-handed intelligence reports that, according to Cohen "even the New York Times referred to as lacking any evidence whatsoever," is to stop any kind of dιtente or cooperation with Russia. ..."
Dec 17, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

With eyebrows suspiciously furrowed, Tucker Carlson sat down tonight with NYU Professor of Russian Studies and contributor to The Nation , Stephen Cohen, to discuss the 35 page #FakeNews dossier which has gripped the nation with nightmares of golden showers and other perverted conduct which was to be used by Russia to keep Trump on a leash.

The left leaning Cohen, who holds a Ph.D. in government and Russian studies from Columbia, taught at Princeton for 30 years before moving to NYU. He has spent a lifetime deeply immersed in US-Russian relations, having been both a long standing friend of Mikhail Gorbachev and an advisor to President George H.W. Bush. His wife is also the editor of uber liberal " The Nation," so it's safe to assume he's not shilling for Trump - and Tucker was right to go in with eyebrows guarded against such a heavyweight.

Cohen, who has been quite vocal against the Russophobic witch hunt gripping the nation , believes that this falsified 35 page report is part of an "endgame" to mortally wound Trump before he even sets foot in the White House, by grasping at straws to paint him as a puppet of the Kremlin. The purpose of these overt attempts to cripple Trump, which have relied on ham-handed intelligence reports that, according to Cohen "even the New York Times referred to as lacking any evidence whatsoever," is to stop any kind of dιtente or cooperation with Russia.

Cohen believes that these dangerous accusations attempting to brand a US President as a puppet of a foreign government constitute a "grave American national security threat."

At the very end of the interview, Tucker's very un-furrowed eyebrows agreed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtwFEA4dM18

Content originally generated at iBankCoin.com

[Dec 16, 2017] Canada takes initiative among NATO countries in deciding to provide heavy weapons to Ukraine

Dec 16, 2017 | www.newcoldwar.org

Canada has taken a lead among NATO countries in approving heavy weapons sales to the government and armed forces of Ukraine. The Liberal Party government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision on December 13.

The U.S. government is poised to make a similar decision .

The decision by Washington's junior partner in Ottawa is a blow to human rights organizations and others in the U.S. and internationally who argue that increasing the arms flow to the regime in Kyiv will only escalate Ukraine's violence against the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine was compelled to sign the 'Minsk-2' ceasefire and peace agreement on Feb 12, 2015. Germany and France endorsed the agreement and have pretended to stand by it. But Ukraine has violated Minsk-2 ( text here ) ever since its signing, with impunity from Kyiv's allies in western Europe and North America.

Minsk-2 was endorsed by the UN Security Council on Feb 17, 2015. That shows the regard which NATO members such as the U.S. and Canada attach to the world body -- the UN it is a useful tool when it can be manipulated to serve their interests, otherwise it is an annoyance to be ignored. Witness their boycotting of the UN General Assembly discussion (and eventual adoption) on July 7, 2017 of the Treaty on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons .

[Dec 12, 2017] Saakashvii troubles: the reliability of Western support for him in under question

Notable quotes:
"... straight from the lips of Pavlo Munchkin. The west will not react to Saakashvili's detention , and considers it to be an internal Ukrainian matter. So Kiev can make up whatever wild charges it wants, and Uncle Sam will not ride to the rescue. Saakashvili has apparently outlived his usefulness. ..."
"... Well, indeed, it looks like the collective West decided to just say to poor, ageing, clumsy Mishiko "I know thee not, old man!". The ritualistic spitting and trampling of Saakasvhili effigy in the Freest Press in the World (Western one) will commence soon enough. But before that – a quick reminder of what they were saying, before re-alignment of the winds, blowing from Washington's ObCom. ..."
"... "AFTER the Maidan revolution and the start of the Russian war against Ukraine in 2014, Western policy had two aims: to halt and punish Russian aggression and to help Ukraine become a democratic state governed by the rule of law. America imposed sanctions on Russia, ordered the president, Petro Poroshenko, to establish an anti-corruption force and sent Joe Biden, then vice-president, on repeated visits to insist on fighting graft. The EU imposed sanctions on Russia, and made support for civil-society and the rule of law a linchpin of the association agreement it signed with Ukraine in 2014. ..."
"... In that light, the news out of Ukraine over the past few weeks has been dire. The country's prosecutor-general has disrupted investigations by its National Anti-corruption Bureau, with the apparent consent of Mr Poroshenko. The interior minister has intervened to protect his son from similar scrutiny. Officers in the security service, the SBU, have tried to arrest Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president turned Ukrainian corruption-fighter, only to be driven back by protesters. Prosecutors are targeting anti-corruption activists; the army, interior-ministry troops and private militias work at cross-purposes, answering to different politicians or oligarchs . Mr Poroshenko's government has been seriously weakened. ..."
"... "To some Europeans and Americans, this picture suggests that their efforts to persuade Ukraine to turn over a new leaf were always doomed to fail. That is a misreading. In fact, the recent chaos in Ukraine comes in part because in the past year, especially since the inauguration of President Donald Trump, Europe and America have eased the pressure. If they do not restore their commitment to defending anti-corruption reforms, Ukraine risks sinking back into the morass from which it tried to extricate itself with Maidan. ..."
"... Ukraine's grubby politicians and oligarchs have tried to frustrate Western aims without openly defying them (see article ). Partly as a result, policy under Mr Trump has lost its focus on fighting graft. Kurt Volker, the American envoy to Ukraine, works on external security; America may soon sell the country lethal weapons for the first time. But when the State Department complains about corruption, it is ignored -- because (unlike Mr Biden) the White House offers it no support. As for the EU, few believe it would jeopardise its association agreement with Ukraine for the sake of the rule of law. So, the country's elite no longer fears attacking investigators and activists." ..."
"... "Lay off the pay-offs ..."
"... If they succeed in ending the attempts to fight graft, it will be a disaster for Ukraine -- and a step back for Europe and America, too. The country is the focal point of the West's conflict with Russia. Weak and divided, it is vulnerable to Russian encroachment, especially if Vladimir Putin decides he needs to fire up patriotic Russian voters. Chaos would also buttress Mr Putin's claim that the West's aims in Ukraine are purely anti-Russian and have nothing to do with democracy or the rule of law. All this would undermine the rules-based global order, with consequences in the South China Sea and elsewhere. ..."
"... Now that Ukraine is defying complaints by America's State Department and the EU's foreign-policy arm, it is vital that America and Europe use every tool at their disposal to support corruption-fighters in Kiev. The EU should make plain that the benefits of the association pact depend on progress against graft; America should attach the same conditions to arms sales. Prosecutors in Western capitals should investigate the laundering of ill-gotten Ukrainian wealth. Support for Ukraine's territorial integrity should not involve tolerance for the lack of integrity among its politicians." ..."
Dec 12, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Warren , December 10, 2017 at 8:26 pm

Al Jazeera English
Published on 9 Dec 2017
SUBSCRIBE 1.7M
He was the president of Georgia, then a governor in Ukraine, and now he's in jail on hunger strike.

The arrest, and re-arrest, of Mikhail Saakashvii in Kiev has stirred protests which evoke memories of the Ukrainian revolution three years ago.

Saakashvili's supporters say his detention is based on lies and they want him let go. They already freed him once earlier this week – from a police van.

Tuesday's dramatic scenes saw a former president being dragged across a roof. Police arrested him for allegedly conspiring with Russia against the Ukrainian state. Saakashvili then escaped custody, before police tracked him down again on Friday. The former Georgian leader says his arrest is politically motivated.

But is it really?

Presenter: Sami Zeidan

Guests:

Alexander Korman – Former Head of the Public Council and First Deputy Chairman of Public Council to the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Ukraine.
Sergey Markov – Former Russian MP & spokesman for President Vladimir Putin.
Lilit Gevorgyan – IHS Global Insigh tanalyst and principal economist covering Russia & Ukraine.

marknesop , December 9, 2017 at 9:34 pm
Aaaaand there you have it, folks, straight from the lips of Pavlo Munchkin. The west will not react to Saakashvili's detention , and considers it to be an internal Ukrainian matter. So Kiev can make up whatever wild charges it wants, and Uncle Sam will not ride to the rescue. Saakashvili has apparently outlived his usefulness.

I don't really feel sorry for him, because I've always thought he was a twat and his preening over being the golden child of Washington was sickening. In fact, he probably deserves whatever happens to him, although I expect the west will make some kind of private deal to get him out on the promise that he will stay out of Ukraine. Where he will go then is anyone's guess, since he is a stateless person with no citizenship. But it is significant to note how much weight Ukraine still swings with the west, even though Europe is getting impatient about its hamfisted anti-corruption charade. Kiev just said "Stay out of it", and the west retired smartly.

I think you will agree that is hardly a climate in which Poroshenko will feel moved to do anything much about corruption beyond making a lot of noise and promises.

Lyttenburgh , December 10, 2017 at 12:36 am
Well, indeed, it looks like the collective West decided to just say to poor, ageing, clumsy Mishiko "I know thee not, old man!". The ritualistic spitting and trampling of Saakasvhili effigy in the Freest Press in the World (Western one) will commence soon enough. But before that – a quick reminder of what they were saying, before re-alignment of the winds, blowing from Washington's ObCom.

The Economist (Editorial): Ukraine is a mess; the West should press it harder to fight graft – Lay off the pay-offs
Drama in the streets is a sign of worsening corruption. Ukraine must notbe allowed to fail

Ukraine is a mess? Nooooo waaaaaay! Are you sure? Tell me more!

"AFTER the Maidan revolution and the start of the Russian war against Ukraine in 2014, Western policy had two aims: to halt and punish Russian aggression and to help Ukraine become a democratic state governed by the rule of law. America imposed sanctions on Russia, ordered the president, Petro Poroshenko, to establish an anti-corruption force and sent Joe Biden, then vice-president, on repeated visits to insist on fighting graft. The EU imposed sanctions on Russia, and made support for civil-society and the rule of law a linchpin of the association agreement it signed with Ukraine in 2014.

In that light, the news out of Ukraine over the past few weeks has been dire. The country's prosecutor-general has disrupted investigations by its National Anti-corruption Bureau, with the apparent consent of Mr Poroshenko. The interior minister has intervened to protect his son from similar scrutiny. Officers in the security service, the SBU, have tried to arrest Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president turned Ukrainian corruption-fighter, only to be driven back by protesters. Prosecutors are targeting anti-corruption activists; the army, interior-ministry troops and private militias work at cross-purposes, answering to different politicians or oligarchs . Mr Poroshenko's government has been seriously weakened. "

That's important part – keep it mind. But here comes the "meat" of the article! Good flunkies of Ed Lukas has found the answer to the eternal question "Whom to blame?" as pertains to the Ukraine and its current woes! Are you ready? Here it is:

"To some Europeans and Americans, this picture suggests that their efforts to persuade Ukraine to turn over a new leaf were always doomed to fail. That is a misreading. In fact, the recent chaos in Ukraine comes in part because in the past year, especially since the inauguration of President Donald Trump, Europe and America have eased the pressure. If they do not restore their commitment to defending anti-corruption reforms, Ukraine risks sinking back into the morass from which it tried to extricate itself with Maidan.

Ukraine's grubby politicians and oligarchs have tried to frustrate Western aims without openly defying them (see article ). Partly as a result, policy under Mr Trump has lost its focus on fighting graft. Kurt Volker, the American envoy to Ukraine, works on external security; America may soon sell the country lethal weapons for the first time. But when the State Department complains about corruption, it is ignored -- because (unlike Mr Biden) the White House offers it no support. As for the EU, few believe it would jeopardise its association agreement with Ukraine for the sake of the rule of law. So, the country's elite no longer fears attacking investigators and activists."

Trump! It is all Trump's fault! Because – surely! – under the watch of the President of Peace B. Obama and gramps Biden no dodgy things ever happened in the Ukraine, noooope! Biden (and his son) gonna defend this PO like lions! This also welcomes nasty question – aren't Mr. Poroshenko himself an oligarch, whose personal wealth skyrocketed since his election? And maybe – I'm not insisting, no-no – having lots of cash stashed in "Panama Papers Fund" precludes him from actually fighting corruption – and not, you know, the election of Trump? Heresy, I know!

But the articles goes from strength to strength, boldly skipping to the "What to do?" section. The solution is as brilliant and though-over as everything else in there:

"Lay off the pay-offs

If they succeed in ending the attempts to fight graft, it will be a disaster for Ukraine -- and a step back for Europe and America, too. The country is the focal point of the West's conflict with Russia. Weak and divided, it is vulnerable to Russian encroachment, especially if Vladimir Putin decides he needs to fire up patriotic Russian voters. Chaos would also buttress Mr Putin's claim that the West's aims in Ukraine are purely anti-Russian and have nothing to do with democracy or the rule of law. All this would undermine the rules-based global order, with consequences in the South China Sea and elsewhere.

Now that Ukraine is defying complaints by America's State Department and the EU's foreign-policy arm, it is vital that America and Europe use every tool at their disposal to support corruption-fighters in Kiev. The EU should make plain that the benefits of the association pact depend on progress against graft; America should attach the same conditions to arms sales. Prosecutors in Western capitals should investigate the laundering of ill-gotten Ukrainian wealth. Support for Ukraine's territorial integrity should not involve tolerance for the lack of integrity among its politicians."

Hahahahahhahahahhahahhahhahahahahaohmysidesarehurtinghahhahhahahahmakeitstophahahha

Nope. Your Russophobia is high (and you yourself dear Western elites are also high most of the time when it comes to Russia) that you will allow this unholy corrupt mess to persist. Because, really, you are not interested in "democracy" and "open society". Not at the prize of people electing someone, whose strings you cannot pull.

At the same time – this is "big: and "respectable" The Economist we are talking about. They smell the fire from the yet unlit tires of new Maidan. They are afraid . They know, that their "Operation: SHOWCASE" of turning Ukraine into a "democratic alternative to Russia" failed. They are in denial.

Oh, how sweet!

Cortes , December 10, 2017 at 2:08 am
The obligatory "rules-based global order" makes a tardy but welcome cameo appearance like an aging well-loved Thespian milking the audience for a final burst of applause before retirement. Great stuff!
Moscow Exile , December 10, 2017 at 6:25 am
Украинцы проголосовали за возвращение "преступного режима" Януковича

Ukrainians voted for a return of the "criminal regime" of Yanukovich
01:24 – 10.12.2017

Ninety-two percent of the audience of the Ukrainian TV channel "NewsOne" voted for the return of the regime of former President Viktor Yanukovych, reports the news portal "Politnavigator".

In Saturday's broadcast, viewers were asked to choose one of two options to answer the question "For whom would you vote: for the last criminal power or the current one?". Out of 46,686 people only eight per cent supported the policy of the current president, Petro Poroshenko.

On 23 October, the Centre for social studies "Sofia" published the results of a poll in which 79 percent of the population in varying degrees did not approve of Poroshenko being head of state: the answer "fully approve of the President" was chosen by only 1.6 percent.

On October 17, the Prosecutor General of the Ukraine, Yuriy Lutsenko, accused former president Viktor Yanukovich of embezzling assets worth $40 billion. According to the head of the supervisory authority, this was comparable with the annual budget of the country.

Yanukovych was President of the Ukraine from 2010 to 2014. After a violent regime change by means of the Euromaidan mass protests in Kiev and other cities, he left the country.

In the Ukraine, there have been initiated several criminal cases made against the former head of state and his property on the territory of the country has been seized.

marknesop , December 10, 2017 at 3:46 pm
There's a useful lesson there for someone: more than 90% – arguably; we have no way to know how scientific or representative this poll was – of the population does not support the current government, in a country that has considerable and recent practical experience of revolution. Yet the current government prevails with complete impunity, and even flaunts its contempt for accountability. How can these two realities coexist? Is it possible the violent nationalist element wields disproportionate influence, despite all the quacking about its low support in the polls and Russian exaggeration of its extremist beliefs?
Patient Observer , December 10, 2017 at 8:39 am
Can't vouch for the entire web site but this was interesting:

Baiting is the act of deliberately annoying or provoking someone to extreme emotion. When a person baits another, they are deliberately taunting in order to provoke a response from the offender's attack.

If you are a fisherman, it might be fun but if you're the fish -- or worse a worm squirming on a hook, being used to entice a predator to amuse? It's simply not as much fun for people who are the victims of any form of bait and switch attack.

Truly believing the world as they know it revolves around them, they tend to symptomatically behave in ways that are compulsively self-promoting, grandiose, illogical, irrational, egocentric, and grandiose.

Every social interaction is seen as a competition of sorts, with the Narcissist behaving as if their distorted, self-deluded version of any fact, story, or reality is somehow rooted in divine truth (rather than being recognized as a symptom of psychiatric dysfunction and outright gaslighting tales and lies).

The condition -- a personality TYPE classification, rather than an actual diagnosis of illness (per se) -- tends to be rooted in cultural nurturing, for the most part.

http://flyingmonkeysdenied.com/definition/baiting/

Warren , December 10, 2017 at 10:44 am
Can Neoliberalism Ever Go Away?

People all over the world are protesting against globalisation, inequality and selfishness. Democratic liberalism is supposed to solve these problems, but liberalism and its big brother neoliberalism are actually the cause of these problems. Furthermore, once a country has adopted neoliberalist policies it is very hard for it ever to reject them.

https://sputniknews.com/radio_brave_new_world/201707281055961487-can-neoliberalism-ever-go-away/

[Dec 09, 2017] What World Leaders Think of Jerusalem as Israel's Capital - YouTube

Dec 09, 2017 | www.youtube.com

dulsen20113 days ago

Here is a list of officials in the US Government who hold Dual Citizenship, as well as just how much influence Israel had and still have on our government..

1. Attorney General - Michael Mukasey
2. Head of Homeland Security - Michael Chertoff
3. Chairman Pentagon's Defense Policy Board - Richard Perle
4. Deputy Defense Secretary (Former) - Paul Wolfowitz
5. Under Secretary of Defense - Douglas Feith
6. National Security Council Advisor - Elliott Abrams
7. Vice President #$%$ Cheney's Chief of Staff (Former) - "Scooter" Libby
8. White House Deputy Chief of Staff - Joshua Bolten
9. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs - Marc Grossman
10. Director of Policy Planning at the State Department - Richard Haass
11. U.S. Trade Representative (Cabinet-level Position) - Robert Zoellick
12. Pentagon's Defense Policy Board - James Schlesinger
13. UN Representative (Former) - John Bolton
14. Under Secretary for Arms Control - David Wurmser
15. Pentagon's Defense Policy Board - Eliot Cohen
16. Senior Advisor to the President - Steve Goldsmith
17. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary - Christopher Gersten
18. Assistant Secretary of State - Lincoln Bloomfield
19. Deputy Assistant to the President - Jay Lefkowitz
20. White House Political Director - Ken Melman
21. National Security Study Group - Edward Luttwak
22. Pentagon's Defense Policy Board - Kenneth Adelman
23. Defense Intelligence Agency Analyst (Former) - Lawrence (Larry) Franklin
24. National Security Council Advisor - Robert Satloff
25. President Export-Import Bank U.S. - Mel Sembler
26. Deputy Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families - Christopher Gersten
27. Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Public Affairs - Mark Weinberger
28. White House Speechwriter - David Frum
29. White House Spokesman (Former) - Ari Fleischer
30. Pentagon's Defense Policy Board - Henry Kissinger
31. Deputy Secretary of Commerce - Samuel Bodman
32. Under Secretary of State for Management - Bonnie Cohen
33. Director of Foreign Service Institute - Ruth Davis

Senate:

Senator Dianne Feinstein (California)
Senator Barbara Boxer (California)
Senator Benjamin Cardin (Maryland)
Senator Russ Feingold (Wisconsin)
Senator Al Franken (Minnesota)
Senator Herb Kohl (Wisconsin)
Senator Frank Lautenberg (New Jersey)
Senator Joe Lieberman (Connecticut) (Independent)
Senator Carl Levin (Michigan)
Senator Bernard Sanders (Vermont) (Independent)
Senator Charles Schumer (New York)
Senator Ron Wyden (Oregon)

House of Representatives:

Representative Howard Berman (California)
Representative Susan Davis (California)
Representative Bob Filner (California)
Representative Jane Harman (California)
Representative Adam Schiff (California)
Representative Henry Waxman (California)
Representative Brad Sherman (California)
Representative Gary Ackerman (New York)
Representative John H. Adler (New Jersey)
Representative Shelley Berkley (Nevada)
Representative Steve Cohen (Tennessee)
Representative Eliot Engel (New York)
Representative Barney Frank (Massachusetts)
Representative Gabrielle Giffords (Arizona)
Representative Alan Grayson (Florida)
Representative Paul Hodes (New Hampshire)
Representative Steve Israel (New York)
Representative Steve Kagen (Wisconsin)
Representative Ronald Klein (Florida)
Representative Sander Levin (Michigan)
Representative Nita Lowey (New York)
Representative Jerry Nadler (New York)
Representative Jared Polis (Colorado)
Representative Steve Rothman (New Jersey)
Representative Jan Schakowsky (Illinois)
Representative Allyson Schwartz (Pennsylvania)
Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Florida)
Representative Anthony Weiner (New York)
Representative John Yarmuth (Kentucky)

Last and not the least influential Zionist lobby in America is the Christian Zionists Movement backed by American senators and politicians, bragging a million plus members

America is the only country in the world that has this many citizens of another country in its congress??? 

And 4 billions every year to israel ?? Why ?? 

No wonder israel AIPAC is running a muck


[Dec 09, 2017] Criticism of Ukraine's language law justified rights body by Alessandra Prentice

Paradoxically it was language question which by-and-large fueled Crimea secession and Donbass uprising. Now they decide to step on the same rake again.
If Ukraine strive to be like Canada and the part of EU why do not adopt English as an official language, to defuse the tensions relegating Ukrainian and Russian to the role of regional languages (which both of them now actually are). That will instantly diminish the influence of Russia and thus fulfill the main goal of Western Ukrainian nationalists who are in power after Maydan (at least partially). English is a great, cultural and scientifically dominant language now and countries like Canada enjoy full benefits of this situation. Because cultural and political influence of Russia is what Ukrainian nationalists are most afraid of. English is politically acceptable to them. That also will save money of textbooks and like, especially university level textbooks.
They now actually gave a powerful tool for Russia to further limit economic ties claiming discrimination of Russian speaking population. Not that Ukrainian nationalist care much about Russian reaction.
But Western Ukrainian nationalists have a penchant for making disastrous for the Ukrainian economy moves to feed their ambitions and stereotypes. Which led to the situation when Ukraine is just debt slave nation with limited sovereignty and huge problems due to impoverishment of population and decay of Soviet era infrastructure. Neoliberalism is not a friend of such countries as Ukraine, despite all population expectations after Maydan. They want to milk Ukraine, not to help. and they are very skillful in that as Ukraine probably leaned during 90th. This is what neoliberal " disaster capitalism " is about. In other words Ukraine which previously somehow managed to balance between West and East milking both, moved itself in the zugzwang position.
As for adoption of Ukrainian (which is a beautiful language, BTW), think what would happen if Canadian French nationalists managed to force French upon the county as official language while bordering with the USA (actually like in Ukraine where in western part of the country there are few people who do not speak Russian, there are few people in Canada who neither speak nor understand English)
It is critical now that the population can speak English because the markets for Ukraine now are in the West. Ukraine by and large lost Russian market. Probably for a long time.
Notable quotes:
"... "The less favorable treatment of these (non-EU) languages is difficult to justify and therefore raises issues of discrimination," it said. Language is a sensitive issue in Ukraine. ..."
"... After the pro-European Maidan uprising in 2014, the decision to scrap a law allowing some regions to use Russian as an official second language fueled anti-Ukrainian unrest in the east that escalated into a Russia-backed separatist insurgency. ..."
Dec 09, 2017 | www.reuters.com

Kiev has submitted the law for review by the Venice Commission, a body which rules on rights and democracy disputes in Europe and whose decisions member states, which include Ukraine, commit to respecting.

In an opinion adopted formally on Friday, the commission said it was legitimate for Ukraine to address inequalities by helping citizens gain fluency in the state language, Ukrainian.

"However, the strong domestic and international criticism drawn especially by the provisions reducing the scope of education in minority languages seems justified," it said in a statement.

It said the ambiguous wording of parts of the 'Article 7' legislation raised questions about how the shift to all-Ukrainian secondary education would be implemented while safeguarding the rights of ethnic minorities.

As of 2015, Ukraine had 621 schools that taught in Russian, 78 in Romanian, 68 in Hungarian and five in Polish, according to education ministry data. The commission said a provision in the new law to allow some subjects to be taught in official EU languages, such as Hungarian, Romanian and Polish, appeared to discriminate against speakers of Russian, the most widely used non-state language.

"The less favorable treatment of these (non-EU) languages is difficult to justify and therefore raises issues of discrimination," it said. Language is a sensitive issue in Ukraine.

After the pro-European Maidan uprising in 2014, the decision to scrap a law allowing some regions to use Russian as an official second language fueled anti-Ukrainian unrest in the east that escalated into a Russia-backed separatist insurgency.

[Dec 09, 2017] The West Backed the Wrong Man in Ukraine by Leonid Bershidsky

Poor Ukraine. It is now just a prey of major powers and other neoliberal predators, including transnational corporations. Each wants a fat piece. Looks after Poroshenko "revolt" against anti-corruption bureau prompted Washington to "switch horses during crossing the river" (which is very Tramp-style decision). A new favorite most probably is Timoshenko (about whom they have a lot of compromising material, so she will always be on the hook). When a neoliberals poodle like Aslund tweets " "President Poroshenko appears to have abandoned the fight against corruption, any ambition for economic growth, EU or IMF funding," you can be sure that Washington priorities now definitely changed. Such a brave man telling people the hard truth ;-) This guy would praise Poroshenko to skies, if that wouldn't be case. .. The message from Bershidsky handlers who ordered this "hit piece" is that same -- "The moor has done his duty, moor has to go". Such a hatchet job in MSM like Bloomberg, NYT or Wapo is usually done only under direct order from powers that be.
Re-appearance of Saakashvili with this farce of illegal crossing of the border (imagine this !) on the political scene is probably also orchestrated from Washington.
Formally Poroshenko is accused that he is trying to undermine the work of anti-corruption bureau controlled by FBI. The real situation might be that gradually Poroshenko probably understood that blind following of Washington political line is the road to nowhere and leads to further impoverishing of population. Also "independent" status of anti-corruption buro to a certain extent makes Ukrain a colony with colonial administration. Specifically it give FBI the possibility to persecute any Ukrainian politician. On the other hand Poroshenko also have far right nationalists sitting behind his back and they are probably not too exited by neoliberal reforms Poroshenko pursue. Standard of living in Ukraine dropped to the level when it corresponds to standard of living of some Central African countries -- less then $2 a day. It became a "sex shop" for Western Europeans, especially French. Most of prostitutes in Western Europe are Ukrainian woman. In other words both Ukraine and Poroshenko are now is zugzwang situation.
So in desperation Poroshenko probably started making some "unapproved" moves interfering with work of FBI controlled anti-corruption buro (which actually did not jail a single US citizen for corruption). Probably following Polish example of ' disobedience " to neoliberal dictate. A reaction followed.
Charges of corruption is such a classic tool of "color revolutions" that now it can be viewed as just a symbol of renewed attempt to interfere into Ukraine political life. A Washington Obcom dictate, if you wish. Actually corruption a little bit complicates looting of the country which if done by financial mechanisms as it means that in contracts Western companies have some disadvantage and need a local "roof" which negatively affects the profits.
Notable quotes:
"... He and his first prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, knew what the U.S. State Department and Vice President Joe Biden, who acted as the Obama administration's point man on Ukraine, wanted to hear. ..."
Dec 05, 2017 | www.bloomberg.com

President Petro Poroshenko is sacrificing Westernization to a personal political agenda.

It's become increasingly clear that Obama-era U.S. politicians backed the wrong people in Ukraine. President Petro Poroshenko's moves to consolidate his power now include sidelining the anti-corruption institutions he was forced to set up by Ukraine's Western allies.

Poroshenko, who had briefly served as Ukraine's foreign minister, looked worldlier than his predecessor, the deposed Viktor Yanukovych, and spoke passable English. He and his first prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, knew what the U.S. State Department and Vice President Joe Biden, who acted as the Obama administration's point man on Ukraine, wanted to hear. So, as Ukraine emerged from the revolutionary chaos of January and February 2014, the U.S., and with it the EU, backed Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk as Ukraine's next leaders. Armed with this support, not least with promises of major technical aid and International Monetary Fund loans, they won elections, posing as Westernizers who would lead Ukraine into Europe. But their agendas turned out to be more self-serving.

... ... ...

After a failed attempt to kick Saakashvili, an anti-corruption firebrand, out of Ukraine for allegedly obtaining its citizenship under false pretences, Poroshenko's law enforcement apparatus has harassed and deported the Georgian-born politician's allies. Finance Minister Oleksandr Danilyuk, who helped Saakashvili set up a think tank in Kiev -- which is now under investigation for suspected financial violations -- has accused law-enforcement agencies of "putting pressure on business, on those who want to change the country." Danilyuk himself is being investigated for tax evasion.

... ... ...

"President Poroshenko appears to have abandoned the fight against corruption, any ambition for economic growth, EU or IMF funding," economist Anders Aslund, who has long been optimistic about Ukrainian reforms, tweeted recently.

... ... ...

Poroshenko, however, would have gotten nowhere -- and wouldn't be defending Ukraine's opaque, corrupt, backward political system today -- without Western support. No amount of friendly pressure is going to change him. If Ukrainians shake up their apathy to do to him what they did to Yanukovych -- or when he comes up for reelection in 2019 -- this mistake shouldn't be repeated. It's not easy to find younger, more principled, genuinely European-oriented politicians in Ukraine, but they exist. Otherwise, Western politicians and analysts will have to keep acting shocked that another representative of the old elite is suddenly looking a lot like Yanukovych.

[Dec 09, 2017] The Loose Cannon the Neocons Wanted in NATO by Patrick J. Buchanan

In no way Mr. Saakashvili is an independent political player, he is just a pawn of some complex gambit against Poroshenko. Who is behind him? Timoshenko, the far right nationalists (that would be very strange), the USA is completely unclear. But in no way he of his own can command loyalty of the crowd in Kiev, this crowd most probably consist of Timoshenko supporters, who were communicated the the "wish" of their leader that "we need to support Mr. Saakashvili, he is one of us". In any case those events are a huge surprise to most observers, who assumes that the USA firmly backs Poroshenko.
Notable quotes:
"... "With a Ukrainian flag draped across his shoulders and a pair of handcuffs still attached to one of his wrists, Mr. Saakashvili then led hundreds of supporters in a march across Kiev toward Parliament. Speaking through a bullhorn he called for 'peaceful protests' to remove Mr. Poroshenko from office, just as protests had toppled the former President, Victor F. Yanukovych, in February 2014." ..."
"... And there was broad support for bringing Georgia into NATO. This would have given Saakashvili an ability to ignite a confrontation with Russia, which could have forced U.S. intervention.Consider Ukraine. Three years ago, McCain was declaring, in support of the overthrow of the elected pro-Russian government in Kiev, "We are all Ukrainians now." Following that coup, U.S. elites were urging us to confront Putin in Crimea, bring Ukraine, as well as Georgia, into NATO, and send Kiev the lethal weapons needed to defeat Russian-backed rebels in the East. This could have led straight to a Ukraine-Russia war, precipitated by our sending of U.S. arms. ..."
"... Alliances, after all, are the transmission belts of war. ..."
"... These all purpose internationalist revolutionaries who keep turning up here and there like the proverbial bad penny usually have deep state connections. ..."
"... Neocons are a scourge on the planet. Somehow they always manage to stay in control of things even when they make so many war mongering blunders. They must have supernatural help, but not the good kind. ..."
"... "These all purpose internationalist revolutionaries who keep turning up here and there like the proverbial bad penny ' Saakashvili as a latter day Che Guevara? Ha, ha, ha. "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." K. Marx. ..."
"... Expanding NATO was a damn fool thing to do. The Romans couldn't hang onto Mesopotamia; overextension is real. Let's hope we get a leader who will retrench. Oh, and bring back Giraldi. Yes, Veruschka, there is an Israel Lobby. ..."
Dec 08, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Even interventionists are regretting some of the wars into which they helped plunge the United States in this century. Among those wars are Afghanistan and Iraq, the longest in our history; Libya, which was left without a stable government; Syria's civil war, a six-year human rights disaster we helped kick off by arming rebels to overthrow Bashar Assad; and Yemen, where a U.S.-backed Saudi bombing campaign and starvation blockade is causing a humanitarian catastrophe. Yet, twice this century, the War Party was beaten back when seeking a clash with Putin's Russia. And the "neo-isolationists" who won those arguments served America well.

What triggered this observation was an item on Page 1 of Wednesday's New York Times that read in its entirety: "Mikheil Saakashvili, former president of Georgia, led marchers through Kiev after threatening to jump from a five-story building to evade arrest. Page A4"

Who is Saakashvili? The wunderkind elected in 2004 in Tbilisi after a "Rose Revolution" we backed during George W. Bush's crusade for global democracy. During the Beijing Olympics in August 2008, Saakashvili sent his army crashing into the tiny enclave of South Ossetia, which had broken free of Georgia when Georgia broke free of Russia. In overrunning the enclave, however, Saakashvili's troops killed Russian peacekeepers. Big mistake. Within 24 hours, Putin's tanks and troops were pouring through Roki Tunnel, running Saakashvili's army out of South Ossetia, and occupying parts of Georgia itself. As defeat loomed for the neocon hero, U.S. foreign policy elites were alive with denunciations of "Russian aggression" and calls to send in the 82nd Airborne, bring Georgia into NATO, and station U.S. forces in the Caucasus.

"We are all Georgians!" thundered John McCain. Not quite. When an outcry arose against getting into a collision with Russia, Bush, reading the nation right, decided to confine U.S. protests to the nonviolent. A wise call. And Saakashvili? He held power until 2013, and then saw his party defeated, was charged with corruption, and fled to Ukraine. There, President Boris Poroshenko, beneficiary of the Kiev coup the U.S. had backed in 2014, put him in charge of Odessa, one of the most corrupt provinces in a country rife with corruption.

In 2016, an exasperated Saakashvili quit, charged his patron Poroshenko with corruption, and fled Ukraine. In September, with a band of supporters, he made a forced entry back across the border.

Here is the Times' Andrew Higgins on his latest antics:

"On Tuesday Saakashvili, onetime darling of the West, took his high-wire political career to bizarre new heights when he climbed onto the roof of his five-story apartment building in the center of Kiev... As hundreds of supporters gathered below, he shouted insults at Ukraine's leaders and threatened to jump if security agents tried to grab him. Dragged from the roof after denouncing Mr. Poroshenko as a traitor and a thief, the former Georgian leader was detained but then freed by his supporters, who blocked a security service van before it could take Mr. Saakashvili to a Kiev detention center and allowed him to escape.

"With a Ukrainian flag draped across his shoulders and a pair of handcuffs still attached to one of his wrists, Mr. Saakashvili then led hundreds of supporters in a march across Kiev toward Parliament. Speaking through a bullhorn he called for 'peaceful protests' to remove Mr. Poroshenko from office, just as protests had toppled the former President, Victor F. Yanukovych, in February 2014."

This reads like a script for a Peter Sellers movie in the '60s. Yet this clown was president of Georgia, for whose cause in South Ossetia some in our foreign policy elite thought we should go to the brink of war with Russia.

And there was broad support for bringing Georgia into NATO. This would have given Saakashvili an ability to ignite a confrontation with Russia, which could have forced U.S. intervention.Consider Ukraine. Three years ago, McCain was declaring, in support of the overthrow of the elected pro-Russian government in Kiev, "We are all Ukrainians now." Following that coup, U.S. elites were urging us to confront Putin in Crimea, bring Ukraine, as well as Georgia, into NATO, and send Kiev the lethal weapons needed to defeat Russian-backed rebels in the East. This could have led straight to a Ukraine-Russia war, precipitated by our sending of U.S. arms.

Do we really want to cede to folks of the temperament of Mikhail Saakashvili an ability to instigate a war with a nuclear-armed Russia, which every Cold War president was resolved to avoid, even if it meant accepting Moscow's hegemony in Eastern Europe all the way to the Elbe?

Watching Saakashvili losing it in the streets of Kiev like some blitzed college student should cause us to reassess the stability of all these allies to whom we have ceded a capacity to drag us into war. Alliances, after all, are the transmission belts of war.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.

Kirt Higdon , says: December 8, 2017 at 12:15 am
I'd bet that Saak is a CIA asset who is probably moon-lighting for other intelligence services as well. Israel? Russia? Iran? Turkey? Who knows? These all purpose internationalist revolutionaries who keep turning up here and there like the proverbial bad penny usually have deep state connections.
Mary Myers , says: December 8, 2017 at 12:58 am
Neocons are a scourge on the planet. Somehow they always manage to stay in control of things even when they make so many war mongering blunders. They must have supernatural help, but not the good kind.
cka2nd , says: December 8, 2017 at 6:19 am
Maybe its time conservatives acknowledged that the Rosenbergs did a good thing by helping the Soviet Union get the A-bomb. It's obvious that the only thing stopping our bloodthirsty, mad dog foreign policy establishment from attacking Russia or North Korea is their nukes, just as the threat of Soviet nukes is what kept U.S. presidents from dropping ours on North Korea and North Vietnam. If the so-called "foreign policy realists" – whose forebears have copious amounts of Latin American, African and Asian blood on their hands – ever get back into Foggy Bottom and the West Wing, maybe they could prevail on the President to issue a posthumous pardon for the Rosenbergs and all of the other American Communists who greased the wheels for the Red Bomb.
Michael Kenny , says: December 8, 2017 at 10:39 am
Mr Buchanan's standard line. Vladimir Putin must be allowed to inflict a humiliating defeat on the evil United States. What Mr Buchanan sidesteps is the inherent contradiction in his argument. As anyone who has read his articles over the years will know, his enemy is the EU, which he wants to destroy at all costs, probably because he sees it as a challenge to US global hegemony. In the original neocon scam, Putin was a "useful idiot" to serve as a battering ram to break up the EU and a bogeyman to frighten the resulting plethora of weak statelets to submit to US hegemony in return for such protection as the US vouchsafed to give them. In return for his services, the US would give Putin such part of the European cake as it vouchsafed to give him. Putin, at that point, would, of course, have been an American stooge, logical in the context of US global hegemony. However, by grabbing Ukrainian territory by military force, Putin challenged US global hegemony and as long as he is allowed to occupy Ukrainian territory, US global hegemony is worthless. That, in its turn, will probably provoke a Soviet-style implosion of the whole American house of cards. Thus, in order to maintain US global hegemony by destroying the EU, Mr Buchanan has to destroy US global hegemony by backing Putin!
darko , says: December 8, 2017 at 10:42 am
"These all purpose internationalist revolutionaries who keep turning up here and there like the proverbial bad penny ' Saakashvili as a latter day Che Guevara? Ha, ha, ha. "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." K. Marx.
Grumpy Old Man , says: December 8, 2017 at 11:03 am
Expanding NATO was a damn fool thing to do. The Romans couldn't hang onto Mesopotamia; overextension is real. Let's hope we get a leader who will retrench. Oh, and bring back Giraldi. Yes, Veruschka, there is an Israel Lobby.
ukm1 , says: December 8, 2017 at 11:31 am
Mr. Buchanan wrote: "We are all Georgians!" thundered John McCain.

Will American Senators claim this time around that "We are all South Koreans!" or "We are all Japanese!" or "We are all Taiwanese!"?

LINK: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/12/06/chinese-state-media-tells-citizens-prepare-north-korea-nuclear-war/

Mary Myers , says: December 8, 2017 at 1:17 pm
Michael Kenney suffers from PDS –Putin Derangement Syndrome.
One Guy , says: December 8, 2017 at 1:23 pm
I'm having trouble understanding why I should care about the Ukraine, or NATO, or this Saakashvili person. Someone please tell me how they affect me personally.
PR Doucette , says: December 8, 2017 at 2:59 pm
That Saakashvili has always been a few bricks short of a full load is not in dispute but to argue that this means the US and Europe should back away from making it clear to Putin that parts of Eastern Europe are not going to be ceded to Russian domination again makes no sense.

Like Premier Xi of China who in now trying to argue that Chinese domination of Asia is justified by some prior period in Chinese history, Putin would like us to believe that Russian domination of large parts of Eastern Europe is perfectly natural because of past Russian history or even on religious grounds. We forget at our peril that Putin was a former communist and atheist and a part of an organization that not only believed the West was decadent and deserved to be defeated but also worked to suppress and eradicate religion. Putin now cravenly uses religiously based arguments to justify Russian actions and would like us to believe he is defending Christianity from Western decadence. We might as well put the proverbial fox in charge of the hen house if we allow ourselves to accept that Putin really has any interest in defending Christianity or doesn't lust for the restoration of Russian domination of Eastern Europe.

Russia may no longer be the "Evil Empire" that it was called when it was the USSR but it would be pure folly to not push back against Putin's dreams of Russian hegemony any more than it would make sense for the US to assume that Russian and China are not going to push back against what they perceive as US hegemony. Conversely we need to guard against assuming that just because a country declares itself to be a democracy that the actions of any new democratic leaders automatically deserves our support and protection. In fairness to Georgia, the Soviets weren't known for allowing deep pools of democracy supporting leaders to develop which unfortunately means that people like Saakashvili will float to the top.

peter , says: December 8, 2017 at 3:33 pm
Excellent article.
Yes TAC – please bring back Mr. Giraldi – his articles about the hidden aspects of international events are refreshing.

Mr. Michael Kenny – there you go again ranting against Putin!
You remind me of the "Bewitched" mother-in-law.

Senator McCain – do the country a favor and retire.

Ken Zaretzke , says: December 8, 2017 at 4:12 pm
"Three years ago, McCain was declaring, in support of the overthrow of the elected pro-Russian government in Kiev, "We are all Ukrainians now."

The neocons probably won't be saying "We're all Kazkhstans now" in a few years when the long-serving president of Kazakhstan dies without a clear successor and Russia moves in to the north and east of Kazakhstan to crush the ensuing acts of Islamic terrorism and incidentally help protect China's crucial border state of Xinjiang from ISIS, giving Russia the balance of power in Central Asia and thus restoring it to superpower status.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) , says: December 8, 2017 at 4:37 pm
Contemplating the behavior of this gentleman really makes one think that in some cases college student is a state of mind. On the other hand, if wanted to threaten someone with his suicide, he could have swallowed a non-lethal quantity of belladonna berries instead of a dull standing on a roof. Politically the outcome would have likely been the same, but knowing the mental impact of tropane alkaloids, with a hell lot of fun along the way.

Setting this walking curiosity aside for a moment there, I also join those wishing the return of Mr. Giraldi.

[Dec 07, 2017] Is trying to make this artificial entity strong, not only will end up badly anyway, but simply is not even in the US national interest?

Dec 07, 2017 | www.unz.com

renfro , December 7, 2017 at 2:37 am GMT

@CanSpeccy

It would surely be in the US interest if fewer Jews felt the need to put the interests of Israel before those of their own country, the USA. Moreover, if Israel were truly independent and secure, or as secure as is possible for any small country to be, would that not encourage America's Israel Firsters to go and live in Israel, thus loosening the grip that the Israeli lobby has on the US Government

Afraid not.

First and foremost Israel has to have enough Jews in the US to talk it up to politicians as a voting block for them.

Another First is that Israel is not self supporting and never will be –they don't the land water or resources to be self sufficient -- hence the stealing of Palestine and the constant money grubbing from other states.

Second..They also have to have Jews here to ensure the politicians keep giving Israel billions of our tax money every year. And Israel really has to have the Uber Jews in the US stay here to fund and sway both parties and elections, threaten politicians, form their lobby and keep an eye on their Israel voting.

Also important, Israel must have all the 100s of US Jewish agencies, clubs, org and etc to propagandize and to use Congress to get special grants and favors for hundreds of Jewish charities.

Jews also make 100 phone calls for Israel and Jewish programs to their congresspeople for every one call a non Jew makes to their rep on some issue.
Another point, Israel must have enough Jews in the US to get a lot of them educated -- the average IQ of Jews in Israel is 85, Jews have only succeeded and excelled when exposed to non Jewish education.

If there were no Jews in the US it is unlikely US tech giants and others would set up plants in Israel when they could find cheaper and just as skilled and more educated workers in Asia and elsewhere or that Israel would get special trade favors from the US.

If there were no Jews in the US Israel wouldn't be able to sell a billion dollars worth of bonds to US unions and pension funds every year.

If there were no Jews in the US, Jews couldn't send 2 billion of money made in the US to Israel every year -- that money would have been in non Jewish pockets and stayed and circulated in the US economy.

If there were no Jews in the US then the 90% of Dept of Homeland Security funds might go to improving school security and preventing school shootings in the US instead of to Jewish temples and office buildings for Jewish security.

If there were no Jews in the US then they couldn't clog up American courts to sue every other country and corporation in the world for more money for the Jews.

If there were no Jews in the US our constitutional free speech rights wouldn't be under assault by the uber Jews.

If there were no Jews in the US congress wouldn't even think of trying to criminalize citizens rights to boycott whoever he wishes.

If there were no Jews there wouldn't be Jews who go into small towns around the country looking for some town or county that opens their business meetings with a Christian prayer so they can sue them under separation of church and state because it hurts their feeling and saying Jesus makes them uncomfortable- -yea they did that in my state and took it all the way to the supreme court –and lost thankfully.

Last but not least if there were no Jews in the US Israel probably would never have existed or would have failed shortly after it started because there would have been no diaspora Jews to lobby the countries they lived in to help Israel .

I getting tired but will list more sometime
Meanwhile -- If you go to the presidential libraries starting with Truman, in all their papers and discussions on Israel you will see the phase .. "domestic political considerations " ..over and over and over by every president meaning the pressure and money that the tribe exerts for or against a politician according to their Israel policy.

[Dec 05, 2017] Further sabotage of the Iran deal would not bring success -- only embarrassment

This is two years old article. Not much changed... Comments sound as written yesterday. Check it out !
The key incentive to Iran deal is using Iran as a Trojan horse against Russia in oil market -- the force which helps to keep oil prices low, benefitting the USA and other G7 members and hurting Russia and other oil-producing nations. Iran might also serve as a replacement market for EU goods as Russian market is partially lost. Due to sanctions EU now lost (and probably irrevocably) Russian market for food, and have difficulties in maintaining their share in other sectors (cars, machinery) as Asian tigers come in.
Notable quotes:
"... The waning clout stems from the lobby siding with the revanchist Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, whose Iran strategy since the 2012 US presidential campaign has been to unabashedly side with Republican hawks. AIPAC's alignment with the position effectively caused the group to marginalize itself; the GOP is now the only place where AIPAC can today find lockstep support. The tens of millions AIPAC spent lobbying against the deal were unable to obscure this dynamic. ..."
"... Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina took to the floor during the debate and pulled out an old trick from the run-up to the Iraq war: blaming Iran for 9/11 and saying a failure to act would result in a worse attack – is any indication, even Democrats like the pro-Israel hawk Chuck Schumer will find it untenable to sidle up to AIPAC and the Republicans. ..."
"... The problem with the right in the USA is that they offer no alternatives, nothing, nada and zilch they have become the opposition party of opposition. They rely on talking point memes and fear, and it has become the party of extremism and simplicity offering low hanging fruit and red meat this was on perfect display at their anti Iran deal rally, palin, trump, beck and phil robinson who commands ducks apparently. ..."
"... Is it any wonder the Iranians don't trust the US. After the US's spying exploits during the Iraqi WMD inspections, why are you surprised that Iran asks for 24 days notice of inspection (enough time to clear out conventional weapons development but not enough to remove evidence of nuclear weapons development). ..."
"... Most Americans don't know the CIA overthrew the Iranian government in 1953 and installed the Shaw. Most Republicans know that most Americans will believe what Fox news tells them. Republicans live in an alternate universe where there is no climate change, mammon is worshiped and wisdom is rejected hatred is accepted negotiation is replaced by perpetual warfare. Now most Americans are tired of stupid leadership and the Republicans are in big trouble. ..."
"... AIPAC - Eventually everything is seen for what is truly is. ..."
"... Israel is opposed because they wish to maintain their nuclear weapons monopoly in the region ..."
"... With the threat you describe from Israel it seems only sensible for Iran to develop nuclear weapons - if my was country (Scotland) was in Iran's place and what you said is true i would only support politicians who promised fast and large scale production of atomic weapons to counter the clear threat to my nation. ..."
"... Netanyahu loves to play the victim, but he is the primary cause that Jews worldwide, but especially in the United States, are rethinking the idea of "Israel." I know very few people who willingly identify with a strident right wing government comprised of rabid nationalists, religious fundamentalists, and a violent, almost apocalyptic settler community. ..."
"... The Israeli electorate has indicated which path it wishes to travel, but that does not obligate Jews throughout the world to support a government whose policies they find odious. ..."
"... As part of this deal the US and allies should guarantee Iran protection against Israeli aggression. Otherwise, considering Israel's threats, Iran is well justified in seeking a nuclear deterrent. ..."
"... AIPAC's defeat shows that their grip on the testicles of congress has been broken. ..."
"... Their primary goal was to keep Iran isolated and economically weak. They knew full well that the Iranians hadn't had a nuclear program since 2003, but Netanhayu needed an existential threat to Israel in order to justify his grip on power. All of this charade has bee at the instigation of and directed by Israel. And they lost They were beaten by that hated schwartze and the liberals that Israel normally counts on for unthinking support. ..."
"... No doubt Netanyahu will raise the level of his anger; he just can't accept that a United States president would do anything on which Israel hadn't stamped its imprimatur. It gets tiresome listening to him. ..."
"... It is this deal that feeds the military industrial complex. We've already heard Kerry give Israel and Saudi Arabia assurances of more weapons. And that $150 billion released to Iran? A healthy portion will be spent for arms..American, Russian, Chinese. Most of the commenters have this completely backwards. This deal means a bonanza for the arms industry. ..."
"... The Iran nuclear agreement accomplishes the US policy goal of preventing the creation of the fissionable material required for an Iranian nuclear weapons program. What the agreement does not do is eliminate Iran as a regional military and economic power, as the Israelis and Saudis -- who have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to lobby American politicians and brainwash American TV viewers -- would prefer. ..."
"... Rejection equals war. It's not surprising that the same crowd most stridently demanding rejection of the agreement advocated the disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq. These homicidal fools never learn, or don't care as long as it's not their lives at risk. ..."
"... And how did the Republicans' foreign policy work out? Reagan created and financed Al Qaeda. Then Bush II invades Iraq with promises the Iraqis will welcome us with flowers (!), the war will be over in a few weeks and pay for itself, and the middle east will have a nascent democracy (Iraq) that will be a grateful US ally. ..."
"... I've seen Iranian statements playing internal politics, but I have never seen any actual Iranian threats. I've seen plenty about Israel assassinating people in other countries, using incendiaries and chemical weapons against civilians in other countries, conducting illegal kidnappings overseas, using terrorism as a weapon of war, developing nuclear weapons illegally, ethnically cleansing illegally occupied territories, that sort of thing. ..."
"... Iran is not a made-up country like Iraq it is as old as Greece. If the Iraq war was sold as pushover and failed miserably then an Iran war would be unthinkable. War can be started in an instant diplomacy take time. UK, France, Germany & EU all agree its an acceptable alternative to war. So as these countries hardly ever agree it is clear the deal is a good one. ..."
"... Rank and file Americans don't even know what the Iran deal is. And can't be bothered to actually find out. They just listen to sound bites from politicians the loudest of whom have been the wildly partisan republicans claiming that it gives Iran a green light to a nuclear weapon. Not to mention those "less safe" polls are completely loaded. Certain buzz words will always produce negative results. If you associate something positive "feeling safe" or "in favor of" anything that Iran signs off on it comes across as indirectly supporting Iran and skews the results of the poll. "Iran" has been so strongly associated with evil and negative all you have to do is insert it into a sentence to make people feel negatively about the entire sentence. In order to get true data on the deal you would have to poll people on the individual clauses the deal. ..."
"... American Jews are facing one of the most interesting choices of recent US history. The Republican Party, which is pissing into a stiff wind of unfavorable demographics, seems to have decided it can even the playing field by peeling Jews away from the Democrats with promises to do whatever Israel wants. So we have the very strange (but quite real) prospect of Jews increasingly throwing in their lot with the party of Christian extremists whose ranks also include violent antiSemites. ..."
"... The American Warmonger Establishment (that now fully entrenched "Military Industrial Complex" against which no more keen observer than President Dwight Eisenhower warned us), is rip-shit over the Iran Agreement. WHAT? We can't Do More War? That will be terrible for further increasing our obscene 1-percent wealth. Let's side with Israeli wingnut Netanyahu, who cynically leverages "an eye for an eye for an eye for an eye" to hold his "Power." ..."
"... AIPAC is a dangerous anti-american organization, and a real and extant threat to the sovereignty of the U.S. Any elected official acting in concert with AIPAC is colluding with a foreign government to harm the U.S. and should be considered treasonous and an enemy of the American people. ..."
Sep 14, 2015 | The Guardian

The waning clout stems from the lobby siding with the revanchist Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, whose Iran strategy since the 2012 US presidential campaign has been to unabashedly side with Republican hawks. AIPAC's alignment with the position effectively caused the group to marginalize itself; the GOP is now the only place where AIPAC can today find lockstep support. The tens of millions AIPAC spent lobbying against the deal were unable to obscure this dynamic.

We may not look back at this as a sea change – some Senate Democrats who held firm against opposition to the deal are working with AIPAC to pass subsequent legislation that contains poison pills designed to kill it – but rather as a rising tide eroding the once sturdy bipartisan pro-Israeli government consensus on Capitol Hill. Some relationships have been frayed; previously stalwart allies of the Israel's interests, such as Vice President Joe Biden, have reportedly said the Iran deal fight soured them on AIPAC.

Even with the boundaries of its abilities on display, however, AIPAC will continue its efforts. "We urge those who have blocked a vote today to reconsider," the group said in a spin-heavy statement casting a pretty objective defeat as victory with the headline, "Bipartisan Senate Majority Rejects Iran Nuclear Deal." The group's allies in the Senate Republican Party have already promised to rehash the procedural vote next week, and its lobbyists are still rallying for support in the House. But the Senate's refusal to halt US support for the deal means that Senate Democrats are unlikely to reconsider, especially after witnessing Thursday's Republican hijinx in the House. These ploys look like little more than efforts to embarrass Obama into needing to cast a veto.

If Republicans' rhetoric leading up to to their flop in the Senate – Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina took to the floor during the debate and pulled out an old trick from the run-up to the Iraq war: blaming Iran for 9/11 and saying a failure to act would result in a worse attack – is any indication, even Democrats like the pro-Israel hawk Chuck Schumer will find it untenable to sidle up to AIPAC and the Republicans.

Opponents of the deal want to say the Democrats played politics instead of evaluating the deal honestly. That charge is ironic, to say the least, since most experts agree the nuclear deal is sound and the best agreement diplomacy could achieve. But there were politics at play: rather than siding with Obama, Congressional Democrats lined up against the Republican/Netanyahu alliance. The adamance of AIPAC ended up working against its stated interests.

Groups like AIPAC will go on touting their bipartisan bona fides without considering that their adoption of Netanyahu's own partisanship doomed them to a partisan result. Meanwhile, the ensuing fight, which will no doubt bring more of the legislative chaos we saw this week, won't be a cakewalk, so to speak, but will put the lie to AIPAC's claims it has a bipartisan consensus behind it. Despite their best efforts, Obama won't be the one embarrassed by the scrambling on the horizon.

TiredOldDog 13 Sep 2015 21:47

a foreign country whose still hell bent on committing war crimes

I guess this may mean Israel. If it does, how about we compare Assad's Syria, Iran and Israel. How many war crimes per day in the last 4 years and, maybe, some forecasts. Otherwise it's the usual gratuitous use of bad words at Israel. It has a purpose. To denigrate and dehumanize Israel or, at least, Zionism.

ID7612455 13 Sep 2015 18:04

The problem with the right in the USA is that they offer no alternatives, nothing, nada and zilch they have become the opposition party of opposition. They rely on talking point memes and fear, and it has become the party of extremism and simplicity offering low hanging fruit and red meat this was on perfect display at their anti Iran deal rally, palin, trump, beck and phil robinson who commands ducks apparently.

winemaster2 13 Sep 2015 17:01

Put a Brush Mustache on the control freak, greed creed, Nentanhayu the SOB not only looks like but has the same mentality as Hitler and his Nazism crap.

Martin Hutton -> mantishrimp 12 Sep 2015 23:50

I wondered when someone was going to bring up that "forgotten" fact. Is it any wonder the Iranians don't trust the US. After the US's spying exploits during the Iraqi WMD inspections, why are you surprised that Iran asks for 24 days notice of inspection (enough time to clear out conventional weapons development but not enough to remove evidence of nuclear weapons development).

mantishrimp 12 Sep 2015 20:51

Most Americans don't know the CIA overthrew the Iranian government in 1953 and installed the Shaw. Most Republicans know that most Americans will believe what Fox news tells them. Republicans live in an alternate universe where there is no climate change, mammon is worshiped and wisdom is rejected hatred is accepted negotiation is replaced by perpetual warfare. Now most Americans are tired of stupid leadership and the Republicans are in big trouble.

ByThePeople -> Sieggy 12 Sep 2015 20:27

Is pitiful how for months and months, certain individuals blathered on and on and on when it was fairly clear from the get go that this was a done deal and no one was about cater to the war criminal. I suppose it was good for them, sucking every last dime they could out of the AICPA & Co. while they acted like there was 'a chance'. Nope, only chance is that at the end of the day, a politician is a politician and he'll suck you dry as long as you let 'em.

What a pleasure it is to see the United States Congress finally not pimp themselves out completely to a foreign country whose still hell bent on committing war crimes. A once off I suppose, but it's one small step for Americans.

ByThePeople 12 Sep 2015 20:15

AIPAC - Eventually everything is seen for what is truly is.

ambushinthenight -> Greg Zeglen 12 Sep 2015 18:18

Seems that it makes a lot of sense to most everyone else in the world, it is now at the point where it really makes no difference whether the U.S. ratifies the deal or not. Israel is opposed because they wish to maintain their nuclear weapons monopoly in the region. Politicians here object for one of two reasons. They are Israeli first and foremost not American or for political expediency and a chance to try undo another of this President's achievements. Been a futile effort so far I'd say.

hello1678 -> BrianGriffin 12 Sep 2015 16:42

With the threat you describe from Israel it seems only sensible for Iran to develop nuclear weapons - if my was country (Scotland) was in Iran's place and what you said is true i would only support politicians who promised fast and large scale production of atomic weapons to counter the clear threat to my nation.

nardone -> Bruce Bahmani 12 Sep 2015 14:12

Netanyahu loves to play the victim, but he is the primary cause that Jews worldwide, but especially in the United States, are rethinking the idea of "Israel." I know very few people who willingly identify with a strident right wing government comprised of rabid nationalists, religious fundamentalists, and a violent, almost apocalyptic settler community.

The Israeli electorate has indicated which path it wishes to travel, but that does not obligate Jews throughout the world to support a government whose policies they find odious.

Greg Zeglen -> Glenn Gang 12 Sep 2015 13:51

good point which is found almost nowhere else...it is still necessary to understand that the whole line of diplomacy regarding the west on the part of Iran has been for generations one of deceit...and people are intensely jealous of what they hold dear - especially safety and liberty with in their country....

EarthyByNature -> Bruce Bahmani 12 Sep 2015 13:45

I do trust your on salary with a decent benefits package with the Israeli government or one of it's slavish US lobbyists. Let's face it, got to be hard work pouring out such hateful drivel.

BrianGriffin -> imipak 12 Sep 2015 12:53

The USA took about six years to build a bomb from scratch. The UK took almost six years to build a bomb. Russia was able to build a bomb in only four years (1945-1949). France took four years to build a bomb. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction

The Chinese only took four years. http://www.china.org.cn/english/congress/228244.htm

steelhead 12 Sep 2015 12:48

As part of this deal the US and allies should guarantee Iran protection against Israeli aggression. Otherwise, considering Israel's threats, Iran is well justified in seeking a nuclear deterrent.

BrianGriffin -> HauptmannGurski 12 Sep 2015 12:35

"Europe needs business desperately."

Sieggy 12 Sep 2015 12:32

In other words, once again, Obama out-played and out-thought both the GOP and AIPAC. He was playing multidimensional chess while they were playing checkers. The democrats kept their party discipline while the republicans ran around like a schoolyard full of sugared-up children. This is what happens when you have grownups competing with adolescents. The republican party, to put it very bluntly, can't get it together long enough to whistle 'Yankee Doodle Dandy' in unison.

They lost. Again. And worse than being losers, they're sore, whining, sniveling, blubbering losers. Even when they've been spanked - hard - they swear it's not over and they're gonna get even, just you wait and see! Get over it. They lost - badly - and the simple fact that their party is coming apart at the seams before our very eyes means they're going to be losing a lot more, too.

AIPAC's defeat shows that their grip on the testicles of congress has been broken. All the way around, a glorious victory for Obama, and an ignominious defeat for the republicans. And most especially, Israel. Their primary goal was to keep Iran isolated and economically weak. They knew full well that the Iranians hadn't had a nuclear program since 2003, but Netanhayu needed an existential threat to Israel in order to justify his grip on power. All of this charade has bee at the instigation of and directed by Israel. And they lost They were beaten by that hated schwartze and the liberals that Israel normally counts on for unthinking support.

Their worst loss, however, was losing the support of the American jews. Older, orthodox jews are Israel-firsters. The younger, less observant jews are Americans first. Netanhayu's behavior has driven a wedge between the US and Israel that is only going to deepen over time. And on top of that, Iran is re-entering the community of nations, and soon their economy will dominate the region. Bibi overplayed his hand very, very stupidly, and the real price that Israel will pay for his bungling will unfold over the next few decades.

BrianGriffin -> TiredOldDog 12 Sep 2015 12:18

"The Constitution provides that the president 'shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur'"

http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/Treaties.htm

Hardly a done deal. If Obama releases funds to Iran he probably would be committing an impeachable crime under US law. Even many Democrats would vote to impeach Obama for providing billions to a sworn enemy of Israel.

Glenn Gang -> Bruce Bahmani 12 Sep 2015 12:07

"...institutionally Iranclad(sic) HATRED towards the west..." Since you like all-caps so much, try this: "B.S."

The American propel(sic) actually figured out something else---that hardline haters like yourself are desperate to keep the cycle of Islamophobic mistrust and suspicion alive, and blind themselves to the fact that the rest of us have left you behind.

FACT: More than half of the population of Iran today was NOT EVEN BORN when radical students captured the U.S. Embassy in Teheran in 1979.

People like you, Bruce, conveniently ignore the fact that Ahmedinejad and his hardline followers were voted out of power in 2013, and that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei further marginalized them by allowing the election of new President Hassan Rouhani to stand, though he was and is an outspoken reformer advocating rapprochement with the west. While his outward rhetoric still has stern warnings about anticipated treachery by the 'Great Satan', Khamenei has allowed the Vienna agreement to go forward, and shows no sign of interfering with its implementation.

He is an old man, but he is neither stupid nor senile, and has clearly seen the crippling effects the international sanctions have had on his country and his people. Haters like you, Bruce, will insist that he ALWAYS has evil motives, just as Iranian hardliners (like Ahmedinejad) will ALWAYS believe that the U.S. has sinister motives and cannot EVER be trusted to uphold our end of any agreement. You ascribe HATRED in all caps to Iran, the whole country, while not acknowledging your own simmering hatred.

People like you will always find a 'boogeyman,' someone else to blame for your problems, real or imagined. You should get some help.

beenheretoolong 12 Sep 2015 10:57

No doubt Netanyahu will raise the level of his anger; he just can't accept that a United States president would do anything on which Israel hadn't stamped its imprimatur. It gets tiresome listening to him.

geneob 12 Sep 2015 10:12

It is this deal that feeds the military industrial complex. We've already heard Kerry give Israel and Saudi Arabia assurances of more weapons. And that $150 billion released to Iran? A healthy portion will be spent for arms..American, Russian, Chinese. Most of the commenters have this completely backwards. This deal means a bonanza for the arms industry.

Jack Hughes 12 Sep 2015 08:38

The Iran nuclear agreement accomplishes the US policy goal of preventing the creation of the fissionable material required for an Iranian nuclear weapons program.

What the agreement does not do is eliminate Iran as a regional military and economic power, as the Israelis and Saudis -- who have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to lobby American politicians and brainwash American TV viewers -- would prefer.

To reject the agreement is to accept the status quo, which is unacceptable, leaving an immediate and unprovoked American-led bombing campaign as the only other option.

Rejection equals war. It's not surprising that the same crowd most stridently demanding rejection of the agreement advocated the disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq. These homicidal fools never learn, or don't care as long as it's not their lives at risk.

American politicians opposed to the agreement are serving their short-term partisan political interests and, under America's system of legalized bribery, their Israeli and Saudi paymasters -- not America's long-term policy interests.

ID293404 -> Jeremiah2000 12 Sep 2015 05:01

And how did the Republicans' foreign policy work out? Reagan created and financed Al Qaeda. Then Bush II invades Iraq with promises the Iraqis will welcome us with flowers (!), the war will be over in a few weeks and pay for itself, and the middle east will have a nascent democracy (Iraq) that will be a grateful US ally.

He then has pictures taken of himself in a jet pilot's uniform on a US aircraft carrier with a huge sign saying Mission Accomplished. He attacks Afghanistan to capture Osama, lets him get away, and then attacks Iraq instead, which had nothing to do with 9/11 and no ties with Al Qaeda.

So then we have two interminable wars going on, thanks to brilliant Republican foreign policy, and spend gazillions of dollars while creating a mess that may never be straightened out. Never mind all the friends we won in the middle east and the enhanced reputation of our country through torture, the use of mercenaries, and the deaths and displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians. Yeah, we really need those bright Republicans running the show over in the Middle East!

HauptmannGurski -> lazman 12 Sep 2015 02:31

That is a very difficult point to understand, just look at this sentence "not understanding the fact in international affairs that to disrespect an American president is to disrespect Americans" ... too much emperor thinking for me. We have this conversation with regard to Putin everywhere now, so we disrespect all 143 million Russians? There's not a lot of disrespect around for Japanese PM Abe and Chinese Xi - does this now mean we respect them and all Japanese and Chinese? Election campaigns create such enormous personality cults that people seem to lose perspective.

On the Iran deal, if the US had dropped out of it it would have caused quite a rift because many countries would have just done what they wanted anyway. The international Atomic Energy Organisation or what it is would have done their inspections. Siemens would have sold medical machines. Countries would grow up as it were. But as cooperation is always better than confrontation it is nice the US have stayed in the agreement that was apparently 10 years in the making. It couldn't have gone on like that. With Europe needing gazillions to finance Greece, Ukraine, and millions of refugees (the next waves will roll on with the next spring and summer from April), Europe needs business desparately. Israel was happy to buy oil through Marc Rich under sanctions, now it's Europe's turn to snatch some business.

imipak -> BrianGriffin 11 Sep 2015 21:56

Iran lacks weapons-grade uranium and the means to produce it. Iran has made no efforts towards nuclear weapons technology for over a decade. Iran is a signatory of the NPT and is entitled to the rights enshrined therein. If Israel launches a nuclear war against Iran over Iran having a medical reactor (needed to produce isotopes for medicine, isotopes America can barely produce enough of for itself) that poses no security threat to anyone, then Israel will have transgressed so many international laws that if it survives the radioactive fallout (unlikely), it won't survive the political fallout.

It is a crime of the highest order to use weapons of mass destruction (although that didn't stop the Israelis using them against Palestinian civilians) and pre-emtive self-defence is why most believe Bush and Blair should be on trial at the ICJ, or (given the severity of their crimes) Nuremberg.

Israel's right to self-defense is questionable, I'm not sure any such right exists for anyone, but even allowing for it, Israel has no right to wage unprovoked war on another nation on the grounds of a potential threat discovered through divination using tea leaves.

imipak -> Jeremiah2000 11 Sep 2015 21:43

Iran's sponsorship of terrorism is of no concern. Such acts do not determine its competency to handle nuclear material at the 5% level (which you can find naturally). There are only three questions that matter - can Iran produce the 90-95% purity needed to build a bomb (no), can Iran produce such purity clandestinely (no), and can Iran use its nuclear technology to threaten Israel (no).

Israel also supports international terrorism, has used chemical weapons against civilians, has directly indulged in terrorism, actually has nuclear weapons and is paranoid enough that it may use them against other nations without cause.

I respect Israel's right to exist and the intelligence of most Israelis. But I neither respect nor tolerate unreasoned fear nor delusions of Godhood.

imipak -> commish 11 Sep 2015 21:33

I've seen Iranian statements playing internal politics, but I have never seen any actual Iranian threats. I've seen plenty about Israel assassinating people in other countries, using incendiaries and chemical weapons against civilians in other countries, conducting illegal kidnappings overseas, using terrorism as a weapon of war, developing nuclear weapons illegally, ethnically cleansing illegally occupied territories, that sort of thing.

Until such time as Israel implements the Oslo Accords, withdraws to its internationally recognized boundary and provides the International Court of Justice a full accounting of state-enacted and state-sponsored terrorism, it gets no claims on sainthood and gets no free rides.

Iran has its own crimes to answer, but directly threatening Israel in words or deeds has not been one of them within this past decade. Its actual crimes are substantial and cannot be ignored, but it is guilty only of those and not fictional works claimed by psychotic paranoid ultra-nationalists.

imipak -> moishe 11 Sep 2015 21:18

Domestic politics. Of no real consequence, it's just a way of controlling a populace through fear and a never-ending pseudo-war. It's how Iran actually feels that is important.

For the last decade, they've backed off any nuclear weapons research and you can't make a bomb with centrifuges that can only manage 20% enriched uranium. You need something like 90% enrichment, which requires centrifuges many, many times more advanced. It'd be hard to smuggle something like that in and the Iranians lack the skills, technology and science to make them.

Iran's conventional forces are busy fighting ISIS. What they do afterwards is a concern, but Israel has a sizable military presence on the Golan Heights. The most likely outcome is for Iran to install puppet regimes (or directly control) Syria and ISIS' caliphate.

I could see those two regions plus Iraq being fully absorbed into Iran, that would make some sense given the new geopolitical situation. But that would tie up Iran for decades. Which would not be a bad thing and America would be better off encouraging it rather than sabre-rattling.

(These are areas that contribute a lot to global warming and political instability elsewhere. Merging the lot and encouraging nuclear energy will do a lot for the planet. The inherent instability of large empires will reduce mischief-making elsewhere to more acceptable levels - they'll be too busy. It's idle hands that you need to be scared of.)

Israelis worry too much. If they spent less time fretting and more time developing, they'd be impervious to any natural or unnatural threat by now. Their teaching of Roman history needs work, but basically Israel has a combined intellect vastly superior to that of any nearby nation.

That matters. If you throw away fear and focus only on problems, you can stop and even defeat armies and empires vastly greater than your own. History is replete with examples, so is the mythologicized history of the Israeli people. Israel's fear is Israel's only threat.

mostfree 11 Sep 2015 21:10

Warmongers on all sides would had loved another round of fear and hysteria. Those dark military industrial complexes on all sides are dissipating in the face of the high rising light of peace for now . Please let it shine.

bishoppeter4 11 Sep 2015 20:09

The rabid Republicans working for a foreign power against the interest of the United States -- US citizens will know just what to do.

Jeremiah2000 -> Carolyn Walas Libbey 11 Sep 2015 19:21

"Netanyahu has no right to dictate what the US does."

But he has every right to point out how Obama is a weak fool. How's Obama's red line working in Syria? How is his toppling of Qadaffi in Libya working? How about his completely inept dealings with Egypt, throwing support behind the Muslim Brotherhood leaders? The leftists cheer Obama's weakening of American influence abroad. But they don't talk much about its replacement with Russian and Chinese influence. Russian build-up in Syria part of secret deal with Iran's Quds Force leader. Obama and Kerry are sending a strongly worded message.

Susan Dechancey -> whateverworks4u 11 Sep 2015 19:05

Incredible to see someone prefer war to diplomacy - guess you are an armchair General not a real one.

Susan Dechancey -> commish 11 Sep 2015 19:04

Except all its neighbours ... not only threatened but entered military conflict and stole land ... murdered Iranian Scientists but apart from that just a kitten

Susan Dechancey -> moishe 11 Sep 2015 19:00

Israel has nukes so why are they afraid ?? Iran will never use nukes against Israel and even Mossad told nuttyyahoo sabre rattling

Susan Dechancey 11 Sep 2015 18:57

Iran is not a made-up country like Iraq it is as old as Greece. If the Iraq war was sold as pushover and failed miserably then an Iran war would be unthinkable. War can be started in an instant diplomacy take time. UK, France, Germany & EU all agree its an acceptable alternative to war. So as these countries hardly ever agree it is clear the deal is a good one.

To be honest the USA can do what it likes now .. UK has set up an embassy - trade missions are landing Tehran from Europe. So if Israel and US congress want war - they will be alone and maybe if US keeps up the Nuttyahoo rhetoric European firms can win contracts to help us pay for the last US regime change Iraq / Isis / Refugees...

lswingly -> commish 11 Sep 2015 16:58

Rank and file Americans don't even know what the Iran deal is. And can't be bothered to actually find out. They just listen to sound bites from politicians the loudest of whom have been the wildly partisan republicans claiming that it gives Iran a green light to a nuclear weapon. Not to mention those "less safe" polls are completely loaded. Certain buzz words will always produce negative results. If you associate something positive "feeling safe" or "in favor of" anything that Iran signs off on it comes across as indirectly supporting Iran and skews the results of the poll. "Iran" has been so strongly associated with evil and negative all you have to do is insert it into a sentence to make people feel negatively about the entire sentence. In order to get true data on the deal you would have to poll people on the individual clauses the deal.

It's no different from how when you run a poll on who's in favor "Obamacare" the results will be majority negative. But if you poll on whether you are in favor of "The Affordable Care Act" most people are in favor of it and if you break it down and poll on the individual planks of "Obamacare" people overwhelming approve of the things that "Obamacare does". The disapproval is based on the fact that Republican's have successfully turned "Obamacare" into a pejorative and has almost no reflection of people feelings on actual policy.

To illustrate how meaningless those poll numbers are a Jewish poll (supposedly the people who have the most to lose if this deal is bad) found that a narrow majority of Jews approve of the deal. You're numbers are essentially meaningless.

The alternative to this plan is essentially war if not now, in the very near future, according to almost all non-partisan policy wonks. Go run a poll on whether we should go to war with Iran and see how that turns out. Last time we destabilized the region we removed a secular dictator who was enemies with Al Queda and created a power vacuum that led to increased religious extremism and the rise of Isis. You want to double down on that strategy?

MadManMark -> whateverworks4u 11 Sep 2015 16:34

You need to reread this article. It's exactly this attitude of yours (and AIPAC and Netanyahu) that this deal is not 100% perfect, but then subsequently failed to suggest ANY way to get something better -- other than war, which I'm sorry most people don't want another Republican "preemptive" war -- caused a lot people originally uncertain about this deal (like me) to conclude there may not be a better alternative. Again, read the article: What you think about me, I now think about deal critics like you ("It seems people will endorse anything to justify their political views.)

USfan 11 Sep 2015 15:34

American Jews are facing one of the most interesting choices of recent US history. The Republican Party, which is pissing into a stiff wind of unfavorable demographics, seems to have decided it can even the playing field by peeling Jews away from the Democrats with promises to do whatever Israel wants. So we have the very strange (but quite real) prospect of Jews increasingly throwing in their lot with the party of Christian extremists whose ranks also include violent antiSemites.

Interesting times. We'll see how this plays out. My family is Jewish and I have not been shy in telling them that alliances with the GOP for short-term gains for Israel is not a wise policy. The GOP establishment are not antiSemtic but the base often is, and if Trump's candidacy shows anything it's that the base is in control of the Republicans.

But we'll see.

niyiakinlabu 11 Sep 2015 15:29

Central question: how come nobody talks about Israel's nukes?

hello1678 -> BrianGriffin 11 Sep 2015 14:02

Iran will not accept being forced into dependence on outside powers. We may dislike their government but they have as much right as anyone else to enrich their own fuel.

JackHep 11 Sep 2015 13:30

Netanyahu is an example of all that is bad about the Israeli political, hence military industrial, establishment. Why Cameron's government allowed him on British soil is beyond belief. Surely the PM's treatment of other "hate preachers" would not have been lost on Netanyahu? Sadly our PM seems to miss the point with Israel.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/10692563/David-Cameron-tells-Israelis-about-his-Jewish-ancestors.html

talenttruth 11 Sep 2015 13:12

The American Warmonger Establishment (that now fully entrenched "Military Industrial Complex" against which no more keen observer than President Dwight Eisenhower warned us), is rip-shit over the Iran Agreement. WHAT? We can't Do More War? That will be terrible for further increasing our obscene 1-percent wealth. Let's side with Israeli wingnut Netanyahu, who cynically leverages "an eye for an eye for an eye for an eye" to hold his "Power."

And let's be treasonous against the United States by trying to undermine U.S. Foreign Policy FOR OUR OWN PROFIT. We are LONG overdue for serious jail time for these sociopaths, who already have our country "brainwashed" into 53% of our budget going to the War Profiteers and to pretending to be a 19th century Neo-Colonial Power -- in an Endless State of Eternal War. These people are INSANE. Time to simply say so.

Boredwiththeusa 11 Sep 2015 12:58

At the rally to end the Iran deal in the Capitol on Wednesday, one of the AIPAC worshipping attendees had this to say to Jim Newell of Slate:

""Obama is a black, Jew-hating, jihadist putting America and Israel and the rest of the planet in grave danger," said Bob Kunst of Miami. Kunst-pairing a Hillary Clinton rubber mask with a blue T-shirt reading "INFIDEL"-was holding one sign that accused Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry of "Fulfilling Hitler's Dreams" and another that queried, "DIDN'T WE LEARN ANYTHING FROM 1938?"

His only reassurance was that, when Iran launches its attack on the mainland, it'll be stopped quickly by America's heavily armed citizenry."

That is indicative of the mindset of those opposed to the agreement.

Boredwiththeusa 11 Sep 2015 12:47

AIPAC is a dangerous anti-american organization, and a real and extant threat to the sovereignty of the U.S. Any elected official acting in concert with AIPAC is colluding with a foreign government to harm the U.S. and should be considered treasonous and an enemy of the American people.

tunejunky 11 Sep 2015 12:47

AIPAC, its constituent republicans, and the government of Israel all made the same mistake in a common episode of hubris. by not understanding the American public, war, and without the deference shown from a proxy to its hegemon, Israel's right wing has flown the Israeli cause into a wall. not understanding the fact in international affairs that to disrespect an American president is to disrespect Americans, the Israeli government acted as a spoiled first-born - while to American eyes it was a greedy, ungrateful ward foisted upon barely willing hands. it presumed far too much and is receiving the much deserved rebuke.

impartial12 11 Sep 2015 12:37

This deal is the best thing that happened in the region in a while. We tried war and death. It didn't work out. Why not try this?

[Dec 05, 2017] Ukraine: draft dodgers face jail as Kiev struggles to find new fighter by Shaun Walker

This article is two years old, but still sounds current. The only difference now is that the conflict between Western nationalists and neoliberal central government of President Poroshenko became more acute. Nationalists do not understand that "The Moor has done his duty, Moor can go" and neoliberal government of Poroshenko do not need (and actually is afraid of) them.
Vr13vr: "Even in Kiev they view Western Ukrainians as strangers" Historically Kiev was a Russian speaking city. Western Ukrainians typically were called "zapadentsi".
Notable quotes:
"... Even in Kiev they view Western Ukrainians as strangers. ..."
"... So they didn't have any hate back towards the West Ukrainians. Besides, West Ukraine was sufficiently far from Donbass for Russians there not to feel threatened. ..."
"... So the Western [Ukrainians] hate towards Russians vs. Russian neutral attitude towards Ukrainians has existed for decades. ..."
"... "criminalizes the denial or justification of Russia's aggression against Ukraine" with a fine equivalent to 22 to 44,000 USD for the first offense and up to three years in prison for repeat offenders. ..."
"... But isn't it wrong that the faith of those people will depend on what EU or US will allow them to do rather than on their natural desire? How does it co-exist with all those democratic ideas. ..."
"... They key thing in all of this is to stop being naive. Learn it, remember it. Our media will only care for the "right" journalists and will throw campaigns only for them and there will be rallies only over the death of "right" people, while we won't pay attention to thousands of deaths of the "wrong" people. ..."
"... The US actively encouraged the overthrow of the democratically elected president of Ukraine, a void filled by right wing nationalists and an act that led directly to the current conflict ..."
"... In turn, the maidan coup d'etat de facto disenfranchised the culturally russian majority in SE-ukr. ..."
"... the NW-ukr neonazi bands fighting in SE-ukr are de facto foreign in SE-ukr, both culturally and geo-politically, and are there to give this majority a lesson. ..."
"... In Zakarpattia Oblast, only 410 out of 1,110 people who received draft notices came to mobilization centers, Oleg Lysenko, a representative of General Staff said recently.(kyiv news) ..."
"... For some reason that isn't quite clear to me, discussion among Western experts has overwhelmingly centered not on the imminent economic apocalypse facing Kiev, but on whether or not the United States should supply it with advanced weapons systems to beat back the Russians. ..."
"... It might be inconvenient to note, but Russia is positively crucial to Ukraine's economy not merely as a source of raw materials and energy but as a destination for industrial production that would otherwise be unable to find willing customers. According to Ukrainian government data, Russia accounted for roughly a quarter of the country's total foreign trade. The equivalent figure from the Russian side? Somewhere between 6 and 7%. Given that reality, Russia's leverage over Ukraine is obviously much greater that Ukraine's leverage over Russia. ..."
"... During the Vietnam War, the draft was a huge issue with many thousands of young men going to Canada, thousand who were in the military receiving less than honorable discharges and still others doing jail time. The war was view as an unjust war by the better educated and those who didn't have to enlist for food and shelter ("three hots and a cot"). ..."
"... The rebellion against the draft in Ukraine tells us that the war against the people in the Eastern area is an unjust war. People don't need a degree in history to understand when they are being use in ways that is not in their interest. We find only the fascist battalion who are hungry for this war. The US and EU should keep out of this internal civil struggle in Ukraine. ..."
Feb 10, 2015 | The Guardian

vr13vr -> jezzam 10 Feb 2015 18:35

The distrust between the West and the rest of Ukraine is not 14 months old. It has always existed. Since the War at the very list. Even in Kiev they view Western Ukrainians as strangers. Western Ukrainians would call everyone a moscovite, and in the East and the South, the Russians were neutral because their lives were much closer to Russia than to all this Ukrainian bullshit. So they didn't have any hate back towards the West Ukrainians. Besides, West Ukraine was sufficiently far from Donbass for Russians there not to feel threatened.

So the Western [Ukrainians] hate towards Russians vs. Russian neutral attitude towards Ukrainians has existed for decades.

Systematic

A new law to likely be approved by the Rada "criminalizes the denial or justification of Russia's aggression against Ukraine" with a fine equivalent to 22 to 44,000 USD for the first offense and up to three years in prison for repeat offenders.

Meanwhile, while the law is not approved,

In February 8 in Mariupol a rally was planned against mobilization. On the eve the adviser of Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko said that everyone who comes there will be arrested, "Everyone who comes to the rally tomorrow against mobilization, will be delayed for several hours for identification and after fingerprinting and photographing until released. Let me remind you that I and my fellow lawmaker Boris Filatov has filed a bill to impose criminal liability for public calls for the failure of mobilization "- he wrote on his page on Facebook. As a result, the action did not take place.

http://www.gazeta.ru/politics/2015/02/10_a_6407945.shtml

vr13vr -> SallyWa 10 Feb 2015 18:25

With all the hot headed claims of how the Soviet Union just grabbed the piece of land from Poland, Ukraine has a good chance to correct those misdeeds. Give West Ukraine to Poland, Transkarpathia - to Hungary, and the South West - to Romania. That would be restoring historical injustice.

vr13vr -> SallyWa 10 Feb 2015 18:18

But isn't it wrong that the faith of those people will depend on what EU or US will allow them to do rather than on their natural desire? How does it co-exist with all those democratic ideas.

Besides, federalization may or may not protect them. Kiev may or may not adhere to rules in the future, there will be a tax issue, there will be cultural issues as Kiev will try to Ukrainize those areas subtly - you know those programs that are not anti-Russian per se but that increase Ukrainian presence, thus diluting the original population. Remaining under the same roof with Kiev and L'vov isn't really the best solution for Donbass if they want to preserve their independence and identity.

SallyWa -> VladimirM 10 Feb 2015 18:16

They key thing in all of this is to stop being naive. Learn it, remember it. Our media will only care for the "right" journalists and will throw campaigns only for them and there will be rallies only over the death of "right" people, while we won't pay attention to thousands of deaths of the "wrong" people.

theeskimo -> ridibundus 10 Feb 2015 18:02

The US actively encouraged the overthrow of the democratically elected president of Ukraine, a void filled by right wing nationalists and an act that led directly to the current conflict. Now they want to arm a leadership with no national mandate who have ceded responsibility for prosecuting their war in the east to an ultra nationalist bunch of thugs.

I think it's you who should keep up with what's happening. By the time this is over, Ukraine will be no more.

newsflashUK 10 Feb 2015 18:01

Scraping the barrel for cannon fodder by pro-NATO puppet Poroshenko regime: "The draft officers have been tapping men from 20 to 60 years old and women of 20 to 50 years old with relevant military service experience and training. The age limit for senior officers that could be mobilized is 65 years. Vladyslav Seleznev, spokesman of General Staff, said" (Kyiv news).

theeskimo -> ridibundus 10 Feb 2015 18:02

The US actively encouraged the overthrow of the democratically elected president of Ukraine, a void filled by right wing nationalists and an act that led directly to the current conflict. Now they want to arm a leadership with no national mandate who have ceded responsibility for prosecuting their war in the east to an ultra nationalist bunch of thugs.

I think it's you who should keep up with what's happening. By the time this is over, Ukraine will be no more.

newsflashUK 10 Feb 2015 18:01

Scraping the barrel for cannon fodder by pro-NATO puppet Poroshenko regime: "The draft officers have been tapping men from 20 to 60 years old and women of 20 to 50 years old with relevant military service experience and training. The age limit for senior officers that could be mobilized is 65 years. Vladyslav Seleznev, spokesman of General Staff, said" (Kyiv news).

erpiu 10 Feb 2015 17:59

The focus on Putin and geopolitics forces the actual ukr people out of the picture and blurrs understanding.

The maidan was a genuinely popular NW-ukr rebellion after NW-ukr had lost all recent pre-2014 elections to the culturally Russian majority of voters mainly in SE-ukr.

In turn, the maidan coup d'etat de facto disenfranchised the culturally russian majority in SE-ukr.

the NW-ukr neonazi bands fighting in SE-ukr are de facto foreign in SE-ukr, both culturally and geo-politically, and are there to give this majority a lesson.

USA+EU weapons would only help the punitive "pacification" of SE ukr, the place that was deciding UKR elections until the coup.

The real festering conflict is the incompatibility of the anti-Russian feelings in NW ukr (little else is shared by the various maidan factions) with the cccp/russian heritage of most people in SE ukr... that incompatibility is the main problem that needs to be "solved".

Neither the maidan coup nor yanukovich&the pre-coup electoral dominance of SE ukr voters were ever stable solutions.

newsflashUK 10 Feb 2015 17:57

In Zakarpattia Oblast, only 410 out of 1,110 people who received draft notices came to mobilization centers, Oleg Lysenko, a representative of General Staff said recently.(kyiv news)

SallyWa 10 Feb 2015 17:51

Ukraine's Economy Is Collapsing And The West Doesn't Seem To Care

For some reason that isn't quite clear to me, discussion among Western experts has overwhelmingly centered not on the imminent economic apocalypse facing Kiev, but on whether or not the United States should supply it with advanced weapons systems to beat back the Russians.

It might be inconvenient to note, but Russia is positively crucial to Ukraine's economy not merely as a source of raw materials and energy but as a destination for industrial production that would otherwise be unable to find willing customers. According to Ukrainian government data, Russia accounted for roughly a quarter of the country's total foreign trade. The equivalent figure from the Russian side? Somewhere between 6 and 7%. Given that reality, Russia's leverage over Ukraine is obviously much greater that Ukraine's leverage over Russia.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/markadomanis/2015/02/09/ukraines-economy-is-collapsing-and-the-west-doesnt-seem-to-care/

TET68HUE 10 Feb 2015 17:35

During WW 2 Draft dodging was almost unheard of. The war was perceived as "just", a righteous cause. Thus, men correctly saw it as their duty to take up arms against fascism.

During the Vietnam War, the draft was a huge issue with many thousands of young men going to Canada, thousand who were in the military receiving less than honorable discharges and still others doing jail time. The war was view as an unjust war by the better educated and those who didn't have to enlist for food and shelter ("three hots and a cot").

The rebellion against the draft in Ukraine tells us that the war against the people in the Eastern area is an unjust war. People don't need a degree in history to understand when they are being use in ways that is not in their interest. We find only the fascist battalion who are hungry for this war. The US and EU should keep out of this internal civil struggle in Ukraine.

[Dec 05, 2017] AFP Calling Americans A Great People Is Anti-American

In reality Ukraine is run by neoliberals. Still this is an interesting propaganda twist. Actually "antisemitism" bait works perfectly well in most cases.
moonofalabama.org

This, by AFP, is one of the most misleading propaganda efforts I have ever seen.

The headline:

Ukraine run by 'miserable' Jews: rebel chief

80% of the readers will not read more than that headline.

The first paragraph:

Donetsk (Ukraine) (AFP) - Ukraine's pro-Russian rebel chief on Monday branded the country's leaders "miserable" Jews in an apparent anti-Semitic jibe.

Of those 20% of the readers who will read the first paragraph only one forth will also read the second one. The "anti-semitic" accusation has thereby been planted in 95% of the readership. Now here is the second paragraph:

Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, claimed that Kiev's pro-Western leaders were "miserable representatives of the great Jewish people".

Saying that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were "miserable representatives of the great American people" would be "anti-American"? What is anti-semitic in calling "the Jewish people" "great"?

The AFP reporter and editor who put that up deserve an Orwellian reward. It is one of the most misleading quotations I have ever seen. Accusing Zakharchenko of anti-semitism when he is actually lauding Jews.

Now I do not agree with Zakharchenko. There is no such thing as "the Jewish people" in the sense of a racial or national determination. There are people of various nationalities and racial heritages who assert that they follow, or their ancestors followed, religious Jewish believes. Some of them may have been or are "great".

But that does not make them "the Jewish people" just like followers of Scientology do not make "the Scientologish people".

Posted by b at 06:51 AM | Comments (76)

jfl | Feb 3, 2015 8:27:41 AM | 4

@1

Saker has a link to the youtube, the audio in Russian with English subtitles. It begins at about 12:30.

@3

When Sarkozy came in AFP really hit the skids. Like the NYTimes and Bush XLIII.

Lysander | Feb 3, 2015 12:02:09 PM | 13
What Zacharchenko did that was unforgivable is to draw attention to the fact that Kiev's current leadership is largely Jewish. From Yats to Petro (Waltzman) Poroshenko To Igor Kolomoiski. No matter how gracefully Zach would put it, it is the content that they hate.

Not saying there is anything wrong with that, but I guess there are some who would rather you not notice.

Lone Wolf | Feb 3, 2015 2:01:47 PM | 20

Right-wing nazi-rag KyivPost has a miserable coverage of same piece. "Agence France-Presse: Russia's guy says Ukraine run by 'miserable Jews'" Zhakharchenko is "Russia's guy," his picture under the headline with a totally unrelated caption, subtitled by the first paragraph of the AFP fake "news" (sic!)"Ukraine's pro-Russian rebel chief on Monday branded the country's leaders "miserable" Jews in an apparent anti-Semitic jibe.", and a link to Yahoo news reproducing the AFP piece in full.

https://tinyurl.com/nes4o9g

Zionazi thieves stole the word "semitic" to mean "Jews," when in fact it comprehends many other languages and peoples. Zhakharchenko's AFP phony "anti-Semitic jibe" would be insulting to all these many peoples.

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

"...Semitic peoples and their languages, in ancient historic times (between the 30th and 20th centuries BC), covered a broad area which encompassed what are today the modern states and regions of Iraq, Syria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinian territories, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and the Sinai Peninsula and Malta..."

...The word "Semite" and most uses of the word "Semitic" relate to any people whose native tongue is, or was historically, a member of the associated language family.[35][36] The term "anti-Semite", however, came by a circuitous route to refer most commonly to one hostile or discriminatory towards Jews in particular...[37]

Yet another historical theft by the so-called "chosen" crooks.

[Nov 22, 2017] Here is an analysis of how much Israel spent to influence USA elections

Nov 22, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

outthere , 22 November 2017 at 03:24 PM

Here is an analysis of how much Israel spent to influence USA elections
Washington - Which Nation is Really Interfering in the Electoral Process?
http://viableopposition.blogspot.ru/2017/07/washington-which-nation-is-really.html

[Nov 22, 2017] Here is an analysis of how much Israel spent to influence USA elections

Nov 22, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

outthere , 22 November 2017 at 03:24 PM

Here is an analysis of how much Israel spent to influence USA elections
Washington - Which Nation is Really Interfering in the Electoral Process?
http://viableopposition.blogspot.ru/2017/07/washington-which-nation-is-really.html

[Nov 10, 2017] Saudi Arabia's Desperate Gamble

More wars... more victims... More destruction...
Nov 10, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Abe , November 10, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Israel's next desperate gamble is direct military attack on Lebanon and Syria.

On 5 November, the ever more delusional Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complained to the BBC about an "Iranian takeover" of Lebanon.

On 9 November, the equally delusional Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz complained to the Associated Press that "Lebanon is Hezbollah and Hezbollah is Iran".

Israel is by no means content to merely "contemplate" a war.

With the rollback of ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorist proxy forces in Syria, and the failure of Kurdish separatist efforts in Iraq, Israel plans to launch military attacks against southern Lebanon and Syria.

War against Lebanon and Syria is the next stage of the Israeli-Saudi-US Axis "project".

Saudi Arabia and the United States are very much available to "assist" the upcoming Israeli military adventure.

South Front has presented a cogent and fairly detailed analysis of Israel's upcoming war in southern Lebanon.

Conspicuously absent from the South Front analysis is any discussion of the Israeli planned assault on Syria, or possible responses to the conflict from the United States or Russia.

Israeli propaganda preparations for attack are already in high gear. Unfortunately, sober heads are in perilously short supply in Israel and the U.S., so the prognosis can hardly be optimistic.

"Scenarios for the Third Lebanon War

Over time, IDF's military effectiveness had declined. [ ] In the Second Lebanon War of 2006 due to the overwhelming numerical superiority in men and equipment the IDF managed to occupy key strong points but failed to inflict a decisive defeat on Hezbollah. The frequency of attacks in Israeli territory was not reduced; the units of the IDF became bogged down in the fighting in the settlements and suffered significant losses. There now exists considerable political pressure to reassert IDF's lost military dominance and, despite the complexity and unpredictability of the situation we may assume the future conflict will feature only two sides, IDF and Hezbollah. Based on the bellicose statements of the leadership of the Jewish state, the fighting will be initiated by Israel.

"The operation will begin with a massive evacuation of residents from the settlements in the north and centre of Israel. Since Hezbollah has agents within the IDF, it will not be possible to keep secret the concentration of troops on the border and a mass evacuation of civilians. Hezbollah units will will be ordered to occupy a prepared defensive position and simultaneously open fire on places were IDF units are concentrated. The civilian population of southern Lebanon will most likely be evacuated. IDF will launch massive bombing causing great damage to the social infrastructure and some damage to Hezbollah's military infrastructure, but without destroying the carefully protected and camouflaged rocket launchers and launch sites.

"Hezbollah control and communications systems have elements of redundancy. Consequently, regardless of the use of specialized precision-guided munitions, the command posts and electronic warfare systems will not be paralysed, maintaining communications including through the use of fibre-optic communications means. IDF discovered that the movement has such equipment during the 2006 war. Smaller units will operate independently, working with open communication channels, using the pre-defined call signs and codes.

"Israeli troops will then cross the border of Lebanon, despite the presence of the UN peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon, beginning a ground operation with the involvement of a greater number of units than in the 2006 war. The IDF troops will occupy commanding heights and begin to prepare for assaults on settlements and actions in the tunnels. The Israelis do not score a quick victory as they suffer heavy losses in built-up areas. The need to secure occupied territory with patrols and checkpoints will cause further losses.

"The fact that Israel itself started the war and caused damage to the civilian infrastructure, allows the leadership of the movement to use its missile arsenal on Israeli cities. While Israel's missile defence systems can successfully intercept the launched missiles, there are not enough of them to blunt the bombardment. The civilian evacuation paralyzes life in the country. As soon IDF's Iron Dome and other medium-range systems are spent on short-range Hezbollah rockets, the bombardment of Israel with long-range missiles may commence. Hezbollah's Iranian solid-fuel rockets do not require much time to prepare for launch and may target the entire territory of Israel, causing further losses.

"It is difficult to assess the duration of actions of this war. One thing that seems certain is that Israel shouldn't count on its rapid conclusion, similar to last September's exercises. Hezbollah units are stronger and more capable than during the 2006 war, despite the fact that they are fighting in Syria and suffered losses there.

"Conclusions

"The combination of large-scale exercises and bellicose rhetoric is intended to muster Israeli public support for the aggression against Hezbollah by convincing the public the victory would be swift and bloodless. Instead of restraint based on a sober assessment of relative capabilities, Israeli leaders appear to be in a state of blood lust. In contrast, the Hezbollah has thus far demonstrated restraint and diplomacy.

"Underestimating the adversary is always the first step towards a defeat. Such mistakes are paid for with soldiers' blood and commanders' careers. The latest IDF exercises suggest Israeli leaders underestimate the opponent and, more importantly, consider them to be quite dumb. In reality, Hezbollah units will not cross the border. There is no need to provoke the already too nervous neighbor and to suffer losses solely to plant a flag and photograph it for their leader. For Hezbollah, it is easier and safer when the Israeli soldiers come to them. According to the IDF soldiers who served in Gaza and southern Lebanon, it is easier to operate on the plains of Gaza than the mountainous terrain of southern Lebanon. This is a problem for armoured vehicles fighting for control of heights, tunnels, and settlements, where they are exposed to anti-armor weapons.

"While the Israeli establishment is in a state of patriotic frenzy, it would be a good time for them to turn to the wisdom of their ancestors. After all, as the old Jewish proverb says: 'War is a big swamp, easy to go into but hard to get out'."

Israeli Defense Forces: Military Capabilities, Scenarios for the Third Lebanon War
https://southfront.org/israeli-defense-forces-military-capabilities-scenarios-for-the-third-lebanon-war/

Sally Snyder , November 10, 2017 at 10:05 pm

Here are some cables that Wikileaks released showing us how the Saudi royal family tries to control the world's media:

http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2016/01/how-saudi-arabia-controls-its-own-media.html

The Saudi Royal Family has bottomless pockets when it comes to controlling negative press coverage.

Zachary Smith , November 10, 2017 at 10:28 pm

And in the shadows, at the back of the gaming room, stands Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. The idea of going to the casino was his, in the first place. If the hero lands on black, he will share in the joy, but if it is red never mind: Bibi's home is not forfeit.

At first glance it looks to me as if Netanyahu wins any coin flip, whether it is "heads" or "tails". No matter what happens, Saudi Arabia is going to be severely shaken up, and chaos in surrounding Muslim nations is almost always a "plus" for Israel.

But at second glance I imagine I can also see a downside. The Arabian Peninsula has a hefty population, and if the Kingdom here does shatter, there is a possibility that an Arabic Napoleon could emerge. During the time of Muhammad there was an outward-moving crusade, and might it not happen again? Saudi Arabia may not have much of an army at the moment, but that could change quickly. A glance at a world globe shows Israel to be very close by. This sort of thing would cause me to lose sleep if I were an Israeli strategist.

At the moment the KSA is being taken over by a young numbskull, if all the accounts I've read are even remotely true. Perhaps Israel is providing the brains. The Moon of Alabama blogger has a low opinion of the young man.

Saudi Arabia – This "Liberal Reformer" Is An Impulsive Tyrant

h**p://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/11/saudi-arabia-the-liberal-reformer-reveals-himself-as-an-impulsive-tyrant-.html

David G , November 10, 2017 at 10:59 pm

The singular fact that the planned next royal succession from Salman to MbS will be the first from father to son since the death of Abdulaziz seems to me to add a whole other level of uncertainty to what is already a difficult time for the kingdom.

[Nov 10, 2017] Saudi Arabia's Desperate Gamble

More wars... more victims... More destruction...
Nov 10, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Abe , November 10, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Israel's next desperate gamble is direct military attack on Lebanon and Syria.

On 5 November, the ever more delusional Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complained to the BBC about an "Iranian takeover" of Lebanon.

On 9 November, the equally delusional Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz complained to the Associated Press that "Lebanon is Hezbollah and Hezbollah is Iran".

Israel is by no means content to merely "contemplate" a war.

With the rollback of ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorist proxy forces in Syria, and the failure of Kurdish separatist efforts in Iraq, Israel plans to launch military attacks against southern Lebanon and Syria.

War against Lebanon and Syria is the next stage of the Israeli-Saudi-US Axis "project".

Saudi Arabia and the United States are very much available to "assist" the upcoming Israeli military adventure.

South Front has presented a cogent and fairly detailed analysis of Israel's upcoming war in southern Lebanon.

Conspicuously absent from the South Front analysis is any discussion of the Israeli planned assault on Syria, or possible responses to the conflict from the United States or Russia.

Israeli propaganda preparations for attack are already in high gear. Unfortunately, sober heads are in perilously short supply in Israel and the U.S., so the prognosis can hardly be optimistic.

"Scenarios for the Third Lebanon War

Over time, IDF's military effectiveness had declined. [ ] In the Second Lebanon War of 2006 due to the overwhelming numerical superiority in men and equipment the IDF managed to occupy key strong points but failed to inflict a decisive defeat on Hezbollah. The frequency of attacks in Israeli territory was not reduced; the units of the IDF became bogged down in the fighting in the settlements and suffered significant losses. There now exists considerable political pressure to reassert IDF's lost military dominance and, despite the complexity and unpredictability of the situation we may assume the future conflict will feature only two sides, IDF and Hezbollah. Based on the bellicose statements of the leadership of the Jewish state, the fighting will be initiated by Israel.

"The operation will begin with a massive evacuation of residents from the settlements in the north and centre of Israel. Since Hezbollah has agents within the IDF, it will not be possible to keep secret the concentration of troops on the border and a mass evacuation of civilians. Hezbollah units will will be ordered to occupy a prepared defensive position and simultaneously open fire on places were IDF units are concentrated. The civilian population of southern Lebanon will most likely be evacuated. IDF will launch massive bombing causing great damage to the social infrastructure and some damage to Hezbollah's military infrastructure, but without destroying the carefully protected and camouflaged rocket launchers and launch sites.

"Hezbollah control and communications systems have elements of redundancy. Consequently, regardless of the use of specialized precision-guided munitions, the command posts and electronic warfare systems will not be paralysed, maintaining communications including through the use of fibre-optic communications means. IDF discovered that the movement has such equipment during the 2006 war. Smaller units will operate independently, working with open communication channels, using the pre-defined call signs and codes.

"Israeli troops will then cross the border of Lebanon, despite the presence of the UN peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon, beginning a ground operation with the involvement of a greater number of units than in the 2006 war. The IDF troops will occupy commanding heights and begin to prepare for assaults on settlements and actions in the tunnels. The Israelis do not score a quick victory as they suffer heavy losses in built-up areas. The need to secure occupied territory with patrols and checkpoints will cause further losses.

"The fact that Israel itself started the war and caused damage to the civilian infrastructure, allows the leadership of the movement to use its missile arsenal on Israeli cities. While Israel's missile defence systems can successfully intercept the launched missiles, there are not enough of them to blunt the bombardment. The civilian evacuation paralyzes life in the country. As soon IDF's Iron Dome and other medium-range systems are spent on short-range Hezbollah rockets, the bombardment of Israel with long-range missiles may commence. Hezbollah's Iranian solid-fuel rockets do not require much time to prepare for launch and may target the entire territory of Israel, causing further losses.

"It is difficult to assess the duration of actions of this war. One thing that seems certain is that Israel shouldn't count on its rapid conclusion, similar to last September's exercises. Hezbollah units are stronger and more capable than during the 2006 war, despite the fact that they are fighting in Syria and suffered losses there.

"Conclusions

"The combination of large-scale exercises and bellicose rhetoric is intended to muster Israeli public support for the aggression against Hezbollah by convincing the public the victory would be swift and bloodless. Instead of restraint based on a sober assessment of relative capabilities, Israeli leaders appear to be in a state of blood lust. In contrast, the Hezbollah has thus far demonstrated restraint and diplomacy.

"Underestimating the adversary is always the first step towards a defeat. Such mistakes are paid for with soldiers' blood and commanders' careers. The latest IDF exercises suggest Israeli leaders underestimate the opponent and, more importantly, consider them to be quite dumb. In reality, Hezbollah units will not cross the border. There is no need to provoke the already too nervous neighbor and to suffer losses solely to plant a flag and photograph it for their leader. For Hezbollah, it is easier and safer when the Israeli soldiers come to them. According to the IDF soldiers who served in Gaza and southern Lebanon, it is easier to operate on the plains of Gaza than the mountainous terrain of southern Lebanon. This is a problem for armoured vehicles fighting for control of heights, tunnels, and settlements, where they are exposed to anti-armor weapons.

"While the Israeli establishment is in a state of patriotic frenzy, it would be a good time for them to turn to the wisdom of their ancestors. After all, as the old Jewish proverb says: 'War is a big swamp, easy to go into but hard to get out'."

Israeli Defense Forces: Military Capabilities, Scenarios for the Third Lebanon War
https://southfront.org/israeli-defense-forces-military-capabilities-scenarios-for-the-third-lebanon-war/

Sally Snyder , November 10, 2017 at 10:05 pm

Here are some cables that Wikileaks released showing us how the Saudi royal family tries to control the world's media:

http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2016/01/how-saudi-arabia-controls-its-own-media.html

The Saudi Royal Family has bottomless pockets when it comes to controlling negative press coverage.

Zachary Smith , November 10, 2017 at 10:28 pm

And in the shadows, at the back of the gaming room, stands Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. The idea of going to the casino was his, in the first place. If the hero lands on black, he will share in the joy, but if it is red never mind: Bibi's home is not forfeit.

At first glance it looks to me as if Netanyahu wins any coin flip, whether it is "heads" or "tails". No matter what happens, Saudi Arabia is going to be severely shaken up, and chaos in surrounding Muslim nations is almost always a "plus" for Israel.

But at second glance I imagine I can also see a downside. The Arabian Peninsula has a hefty population, and if the Kingdom here does shatter, there is a possibility that an Arabic Napoleon could emerge. During the time of Muhammad there was an outward-moving crusade, and might it not happen again? Saudi Arabia may not have much of an army at the moment, but that could change quickly. A glance at a world globe shows Israel to be very close by. This sort of thing would cause me to lose sleep if I were an Israeli strategist.

At the moment the KSA is being taken over by a young numbskull, if all the accounts I've read are even remotely true. Perhaps Israel is providing the brains. The Moon of Alabama blogger has a low opinion of the young man.

Saudi Arabia – This "Liberal Reformer" Is An Impulsive Tyrant

h**p://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/11/saudi-arabia-the-liberal-reformer-reveals-himself-as-an-impulsive-tyrant-.html

David G , November 10, 2017 at 10:59 pm

The singular fact that the planned next royal succession from Salman to MbS will be the first from father to son since the death of Abdulaziz seems to me to add a whole other level of uncertainty to what is already a difficult time for the kingdom.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The story Farkas tells goes like this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

nikbez

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

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

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

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

[Nov 08, 2017] The Trump Administration's Contempt for Diplomacy

Nov 08, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

SteveM , says: November 8, 2017 at 11:21 am

When you have a Global Cop War Machine hammer and surround yourself with a Pentagon/Security State steering committee advising you to use it, everything else is a nail. I have to admit, Trump is even a much smaller man than I imagined him to be at his worst.

Belligerent global power projection is currently unaffordable and quickly becoming obsolete. While China is eating America's lunch with it's productive foreign aid and investments that do not involve killing, destroying and intimidation.

Neither of which Trump comprehends. And of his in-house Neocon minions ("my generals"), it goes without saying

SDS , says: November 8, 2017 at 11:53 am
"and the American diplomatic core is down to Nikki Haley screaming into a phone in some basement office of the Pentagon"

That would be hilarious if it weren't so prophetic

rayray , says: November 8, 2017 at 1:13 pm
Every time a diplomat works to reduce tensions, build relationships, avoid conflict, this is literally taking money and opportunity out of the pockets of the Military/Industrial complex.

Trump, being ironically a terrible negotiator and, as @SDS notes above, has never had the temperament, intelligence, or empathy to be much more than a bully, is the perfect tool for the military/industrial complex.

[Oct 30, 2017] Nick Turse A Red Scare in the Gray Zone by Tom Engelhardt

Notable quotes:
"... Memo to Senator John McCain: ..."
Oct 29, 2017 | www.unz.com

Memo to Senator John McCain: Senator, the other day I noticed that, as chairman of the Armed Services Committee, you threatened to subpoena the Trump administration for information about the recent attack in Niger that killed four American soldiers. "There's a mindset over there that they're a unicameral government," you said. "It was easier under Obama We are coequal branches of government; we should be informed at all times. We're just not getting the information in the timely fashion that we need."

How true! But let me make one small suggestion. If you really want to know what led to those deaths in Niger, the first place you might consider looking -- no subpoena needed -- is this very website, TomDispatch . Or, to be more specific, Nick Turse's coverage of the way U.S. Africa Command and American Special Operations forces have, with a certain stealth but also without significant coverage in the mainstream media, extended the war on terror deep into Africa. He alone has covered this story and the secret bases , widespread " training missions " (like the one in Niger), and barely noticed wars being fought there since at least 2012, when I was already writing this of his work:

"So here's another question: Who decided in 2007 that a U.S. Africa Command should be set up to begin a process of turning that continent into a web of U.S. bases and other operations? Who decided that every Islamist rebel group in Africa, no matter how local or locally focused, was a threat to the U.S., calling for a military response? Certainly not the American people, who know nothing about this, who were never asked if expanding the U.S. global military mission to Africa was something they favored, who never heard the slightest debate, or even a single peep from Washington on the subject."

By 2013, in a passage that sounds eerily up to date as we read of ISIS-allied militants on the lawless Niger-Mali border, he was already reporting that

"while correlation doesn't equal causation, there is ample evidence to suggest the United States has facilitated a terror diaspora, imperiling nations and endangering peoples across Africa. In the wake of 9/11, Pentagon officials were hard-pressed to show evidence of a major African terror threat. Today, the continent is thick with militant groups that are increasingly crossing borders, sowing insecurity, and throwing the limits of U.S. power into broad relief. After 10 years of U.S. operations to promote stability by military means, the results have been the opposite. Africa has become blowback central."

Four years later, when the Niger events occurred, nothing had changed, except that the U.S. military had moved, again with little attention (except from Turse), even deeper into the heart of Africa, setting up a remarkable array of bases and outposts of every sort (including two drone bases in Niger).

[Oct 30, 2017] Nick Turse A Red Scare in the Gray Zone by Tom Engelhardt

Notable quotes:
"... Memo to Senator John McCain: ..."
Oct 29, 2017 | www.unz.com

Memo to Senator John McCain: Senator, the other day I noticed that, as chairman of the Armed Services Committee, you threatened to subpoena the Trump administration for information about the recent attack in Niger that killed four American soldiers. "There's a mindset over there that they're a unicameral government," you said. "It was easier under Obama We are coequal branches of government; we should be informed at all times. We're just not getting the information in the timely fashion that we need."

How true! But let me make one small suggestion. If you really want to know what led to those deaths in Niger, the first place you might consider looking -- no subpoena needed -- is this very website, TomDispatch . Or, to be more specific, Nick Turse's coverage of the way U.S. Africa Command and American Special Operations forces have, with a certain stealth but also without significant coverage in the mainstream media, extended the war on terror deep into Africa. He alone has covered this story and the secret bases , widespread " training missions " (like the one in Niger), and barely noticed wars being fought there since at least 2012, when I was already writing this of his work:

"So here's another question: Who decided in 2007 that a U.S. Africa Command should be set up to begin a process of turning that continent into a web of U.S. bases and other operations? Who decided that every Islamist rebel group in Africa, no matter how local or locally focused, was a threat to the U.S., calling for a military response? Certainly not the American people, who know nothing about this, who were never asked if expanding the U.S. global military mission to Africa was something they favored, who never heard the slightest debate, or even a single peep from Washington on the subject."

By 2013, in a passage that sounds eerily up to date as we read of ISIS-allied militants on the lawless Niger-Mali border, he was already reporting that

"while correlation doesn't equal causation, there is ample evidence to suggest the United States has facilitated a terror diaspora, imperiling nations and endangering peoples across Africa. In the wake of 9/11, Pentagon officials were hard-pressed to show evidence of a major African terror threat. Today, the continent is thick with militant groups that are increasingly crossing borders, sowing insecurity, and throwing the limits of U.S. power into broad relief. After 10 years of U.S. operations to promote stability by military means, the results have been the opposite. Africa has become blowback central."

Four years later, when the Niger events occurred, nothing had changed, except that the U.S. military had moved, again with little attention (except from Turse), even deeper into the heart of Africa, setting up a remarkable array of bases and outposts of every sort (including two drone bases in Niger).

[Oct 30, 2017] The Crooks, the Clowns and the Nazis by Saker

Questionable analysis by Saker (omitted for brevity). Some good comments in the discussion. The situation with the standard of living in Ukraine is really bad and it is unclear how it can improve. If you get 4000 grivna monthly salary and pay for the apartment around 2000 (heating with gas at winter often is over 1000 grivna) you can barely survive on the remaining money (2000 grivna is around 66 grivna a day) . Even food is a problem, unless you adhere to basic diet of bread, milk, eggs and potatoes. You simply can't. They are in a trap. This war in Donbass just make the bad situation even worse. But it sill continue, because there are powerful forces interesting in escalation of this war.
Notable quotes:
"... Just because one thinks American moves are not "strategic" only means you don't fully grasp what is going on. Remember, the narrative which is being presented here is that the United States has caused both conflicts. A coup in Ukraine and supporting regime-change in Syria. That necessitates that Russia is reacting – not calling the shots. ..."
"... Ask yourself a simple question: would Washington be better off with the status quo ante, would they be happy to go back to 2012? Of course they would – Crimea would be in Ukraine and in play, Russia would be subsidising Ukraine (not EU or IMF). But most importantly Russia would be sweating what 'might happen' with Crimea. Once West made its move and lost that threat was gone. It was just stupid. ..."
"... My take is that people there, based on a long experience, simply recognize that they are caught between two oligarchies, and unwilling to choose between them. That lethargy (for a lack of better word) is interesting. They don't buy US/West vision anymore. The thing is, they don't buy Russian either. They just don't care. Maybe that's worse than fighting for either side. ..."
"... The United States does not care about Poland or Estonia or Crimea or Ukraine or Syria or Georgia or even whether the other NATO members spend enough money. It cares about the bigger long-term picture. ..."
"... All this stuff like the coup in Ukraine, sanctions over Crimea – it's just probing moves, games. The US has Putin boxed in. He's got to scrape and claw over nothing. ..."
"... I guess it's kinda true in the sense that the US specifically (not necessarily the West as such, it seems) needs to have the uninterrupted chain of wars and cartoonish all-powerful super-evil adversaries threatening its very existence. I suppose it's needed for economic (mic) reasons, to maintain the internal unity/morale/discipline, and to run the usual protection racket abroad. Sorta like Oceania in Orwell's 1984. ..."
"... Russia is boxed in by its geography, and so is China. There is nothing new there. Enemies have been pressing on Russia's extensive borders forever. It is not likely that anyone would actually try to cross that border given this one reality: nuclear weapons. Unless the constant prodding has an answer to that reality, what is it all about? What's the point? ..."
"... Wars happen even if nobody 'wants' them. There are situations when wars happen almost on their own and nobody ever claims ownership. And if there is a war, there will be fighting in Poland – it is literally ground zero (as so often before), and no amount of NY Times editorials will make any damn difference. The country is too small, so it would be annihilated. Poland is storing missiles and 'defensive' divisions for its allies across the Atlantic with an open admission that they are targeting Russia. What do you think would happen in a real crisis or a war? Do you think US would look kindly at Russian missiles in Canada or Mexico? That is the true madness, and Poland is kind of in a heart of it. As so often before. ..."
"... At the end, I suspect, when/if it comes to renewal of hostilities, it will be: First and foremost artillery exchanges. Nothing changes. Then, small unit raids. Nothing changes. Then, tactical incursions by Ukrainian best. After initial success they'll be met by Donbas best.Because either side don't have many of those nothing changes too. A lot of talk from Washington and Moscow. Some dead/mutilated mercenaries. And while those "games" go the rest of peoples there just keep what they've been doing so far. Oceania vs Eurasia .. ..."
"... The single best way to assure that there isn't a 'regime change' is by constant probing of Russia's borders, by constant attacks, etc So I don't buy that, the experts in Washington are not that stupid. They understand fully well that placing missiles, coups, border harassment are by far the most reliable way to make sure that nothing changes in Moscow. ..."
"... The Ukraine situation will not be decided by fighting in Donbass, or in Moscow. It will be decided in Kiev (and Odessa, Lviv, Charkov) by the currently passive masses. Unless a miracle happens, or most people emigrate, this is not a sustainable situation. They are living worse than in 2013, and they already had it very bad in 2013. Marshall Plan isn't coming, membership in EU isn't coming either. Once that sinks in – it might take 5-10 years – things will change. ..."
"... That seems to be Russia's strategy. I agree that by far the best thing Moscow could do is to improve quality of life in Russia. Nato strategy is to delay it by any means: sanctions, energy, new arms race, whatever they can think off, lately mostly media campaigns. ..."
"... In Ukraine the EU-West infatuation will take a long time to dissipate. Getting hurt will eventually lead to making things better in the head , but it will take at least a generation. And things don't stay quiet for that long, other events will intervene. A circle cannot be squared: Kiev has attempted a great leap into its imagined future – Europe!!! – they bet everything on it, cut off all else, and there is no realistic way the leap will land Ukraine happily and soon enough in EU. EU will not agree to absorb 40 million poor people who mostly just want to live immediately like Germans, or move there. This is a mad dream, reality will intervene. ..."
"... I am sorry but I have to say this. How has led by Kissinger and Nixon strategy of opening China worked out? Is creating major geopolitical foe where there was none considered a sign of deep strategically long term thinking? ..."
"... The Ukrainian nationalists think that based on their accomplishments as a nation (there are none) they rightfully deserve to be geographically located somewhere between Germany and France. For this state of affairs they again blame the Russians. You see, because Russia is so big, and definitely in Eastern Europe, that they have the gravitational force that keeps Ukraine in Eastern Europe. If it wasn't for the Russians, Ukraine would have long ago catapulted into Western Europe – probably even geographically. It's only Russia that prevents them from acquiring their rightful place in the heart of Europe. ..."
"... In Ukrainians' defence, they have a bad location: wide-open, unprotected, with few geographic features and at the same time very high-quality earth. On second thought, if Ukraine, as is, was located in Western Europe 'somewhere between Germany and France' , I would be willing to bet that not a single Ukrainian would exist today. The Western Europeans know their genocide and know how to pacify populations. They almost got to them during WWII, Ukraine was the lebensraum that Nazis dreamt about. ..."
"... the assassination attempt on Mosiychuk [the former deputy commander of the infamous neo-Nazi Azov Battalio] is the initial phase of an escalation of the conflict between the Nazis and Jewish oligarchs headed by President Poroshenko, an escalation which is transitioning from a political to a "hot", or armed phase. ..."
"... Btw, Kolomoysky is an Israeli citizen. Speaking about Holocaust deniers – is it kosher to support neo-Nazi and work on the resurrection of Nazism in Ukraine and to remain an honorable Israeli citizen? It seems that Kolomoysky is such case. Next time the Israel-firsters attempt to squeal about any critics of "Holocaust story" they should be presented with the story of Jewish oligarch Kolomoysky. ..."
"... Your usage of the imbecilic word 'regime' betrays bias. What the f k is a'regime'? Is EU a 'regime', or the Saudi king, or China? If not, why not? Stick with term government and use it for all and you won't sound like a bitter dead-ender unable to see things rationally. ..."
"... Decent article, although some generalizations which is understandable. Couple points about Poland. Yes its allied with neocons atm (the bad). The government has some forces somewhat supporting Ukraine (Basically as long as the blame is focused on Russia). The government knows there are "neonazi" elements, as has mentioned Ukraine will not join EU until they stop that. As for the people Poland is divided like crazy on the Ukraine issue. ..."
"... Pax Americana's wave broke and is now rolling back out to sea, creating undertows as it goes. ..."
"... The ramifications of that sea change will take years, maybe decades, to play themselves out, but my assessment is that there will be no active "roll back (of the) '90s" or that said roll back is desirable/possible. The Ukraine and Serbia/Kosovo will wind up having to fit themselves into whatever new paradigm the world will be living under at the time. That paradigm won't be American led, or of American design. ..."
"... I don't see much of a future for Ukraine. Neither the West nor Russia is willing to underwrite the massive investment that would be required to rebuild the economy. Sure it makes sense to split the country. However, both sides are more than willing to live with an impoverished buffer between NATO and Russia. If the country is split, there is no longer any territorial disputes and the new West Ukraine ultimately becomes a NATO member and NATO weapons move hundreds of miles closer to the Russian border. Not to mention the fact that Russia would find it expensive to subsidize the new government. Same with the EU. ..."
"... The Black Sea may be important to Russia's regional aspirations, but for the US, what could be better than have as many Russian naval vessels as possible parked there? ..."
Oct 30, 2017 | www.unz.com

Johnny Rico , October 26, 2017 at 2:16 pm GMT

Russian activity in Syria and Ukraine are moves of desperation from a position of weakness. The United States has Russia boxed in. The United States forced Putin to take these actions. He would be removed from power otherwise. He had no choice. He is not in control.

In Russia you are either strong and in total control or they murder you. At least that has been the case for the last thousand years.

There was no "huge effort not to intervene." If there was, I'd like to know who made it and when.

This is not Iraq or Afghanistan. Comparisons to American involvement in these two places have limited utility.

Just because one thinks American moves are not "strategic" only means you don't fully grasp what is going on. Remember, the narrative which is being presented here is that the United States has caused both conflicts. A coup in Ukraine and supporting regime-change in Syria. That necessitates that Russia is reacting – not calling the shots.

The United States is not in "control" either, but it has the initiative and has Putin off-balance.

Priss Factor , Website October 26, 2017 at 3:49 pm GMT
To better understand what is going on, all three groups -- crooks, clowns, and nazis -- fall into the schnook category. They are being duped and used by the Globalist Empire that also controls the US. US is the Jewel in the Crown of the Globalist Empire but still a subject than a sovereign nation. It's like India was the Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire but not a free independent nation.

... ... ...

Beckow , October 26, 2017 at 4:17 pm GMT
@Johnny Rico

Assigning emotional labels is not helpful. You are right that Ukraine is nothing like Iraq or Afghanistan, it is hard to understand why Saker would use such a facile analogy.

You are also right that US-West have the initiative. But that is not necessarily a sustainable advantage. Hitler had the initiative too, and so did Napoleon, they had all the initiative until they didn't. (I know poor analogy, but tempting).

The prize in Ukraine was Crimea and the Russian Naval base. That was the prize, not who gets to grow potatoes in Lviv or scoop up coal in Donbass. Crimea is gone, and I think all rational people would agree that for now that is irreversible. So what is the fight about? Torch marching in Kiev, Nato relevancy, or who gets to subsidise 40 million very poor people? To control Ukraine (Kiev really) is now a hot potato that nobody particularly wants. It is like fighting over who has the control of Bihar in India, or eastern Nigeria, or any number of poor, non-strategic backwaters full of people who mostly want to emigrate.

Washington (with Poland and a few other fire-eating nut-cases in EU) made a strong move in 2013-14 trying to get their hands on Crimea and to replace the very strategic Russian Navy base in Sebastopol with a Nato base. They invested a lot in it, and they had the initiative. But the locals screwed up, they were too slow, too unfocused and too distracted by nationalism. So Russia won Crimea and all else are just provincial consequences of little long-term interest.

Ask yourself a simple question: would Washington be better off with the status quo ante, would they be happy to go back to 2012? Of course they would – Crimea would be in Ukraine and in play, Russia would be subsidising Ukraine (not EU or IMF). But most importantly Russia would be sweating what 'might happen' with Crimea. Once West made its move and lost that threat was gone. It was just stupid.

peterAUS , October 26, 2017 at 5:32 pm GMT
@Johnny Rico

A coup in Ukraine and supporting regime-change in Syria. That necessitates that Russia is reacting – not calling the shots.

The United States is not in "control" either, but it has the initiative and has Putin off-balance.

Well, I'd say:
A coup in Ukraine and supporting regime-change in Syria. That necessitates that Russia was reacting – not calling the shots.

The United States is not in "control" either, but it has the initiative and had Putin off-balance.

What has been interesting to me is something Martyanov hinted to here:

no part of the Novorossia, with the exception of Lugansk and Donetsk, matched even one tenth of scale and effort required to get back to Russia, or, at least, get away from Kiev. I don't blame them but it is what it is and this couldn't be ignored and it is not being ignored, thankfully.

My take is that people there, based on a long experience, simply recognize that they are caught between two oligarchies, and unwilling to choose between them. That lethargy (for a lack of better word) is interesting. They don't buy US/West vision anymore. The thing is, they don't buy Russian either. They just don't care. Maybe that's worse than fighting for either side.

When you are, effectively, in a state of constant conflict between states and most of population doesn't care, that looks as people there got their spirit crushed. And, oligarchies do like people with crushed spirit. Just a pliable mass doing what's told. Just a thought.

Beckow , October 26, 2017 at 6:39 pm GMT
@Mao Cheng Ji

Initiative means that US-West are the ones starting conflicts. It is neither good nor bad and initiatives that fail are worse than if they had done nothing. That is true about Iraq, Syria, Libya and Ukraine; in each case the status quo before the 'initiative' was better. Russia and China don't show anywhere as much 'initiative', they mostly react, they don't set the agenda.

People with too much initiative get stuck in muck of their own creation and eventually lose even what they safely controlled before. But the Washington-Brussels elites cannot help it, they must start things because they are not fully serious, they have had it too good, they believe in their own mythologized narratives, and their careers are based on it. So they will keep it going. The insurgencies within the domestic domain are still very minor, this has years to go, maybe decades.

Johnny Rico , October 26, 2017 at 6:43 pm GMT
@Beckow

I agree with much of what you say.

My feeling is that The Saker is always talking about the superiority of Russian "strategy" in retrospect while speculating about the minutiae of tactical deployments.

Americans rarely talk strategy and there is always an ongoing discussion in the higher levels of foreign policy academia and journals about what exactly the policy or strategy is or whether we even need one.

That was the title of Kissinger's 2002 book :

Does America Need a Foreign Policy? : Toward a Diplomacy for the 21st Century

This, however, does not mean there is no strategy.

The United States does not care about Poland or Estonia or Crimea or Ukraine or Syria or Georgia or even whether the other NATO members spend enough money. It cares about the bigger long-term picture.

We are not fighting insurgencies (as Mao Cheng Ji contends). That ended in Iraq in about 2010 and Afghanistan in about 2012.

Since 1980, Russia and the Soviet Union have lost FAR more troops (especially as a proportion of total population) in combat than the United States.

Everywhere US elite light infantry troops are stationed now they basically sit on their asses safe in bases. Occasionally they go out and call in airstrikes for local allies or conduct a raid on a "high-value target." Occasionally they die or get suicide-bombed by a local infiltrator.

All the guys I've ever met that are in these units LIVE to do what they are doing. I even know a couple dozen guys who have been either kicked out of the military or been wounded in Afghanistan or Iraq and they still say that the best time of their lives was walking around over there with a rifle.

They would be quite surprised by the notion that they are being forced to do what they do by the "ZioMedia" – whatever that is. This is not 1968 in Vietnam.

Syria has no oil. Ukraine is a basket-case economy with too many people. Georgia has 4 million people. That's more than Albania and less than Massachusetts. Most Americans couldn't find the state of Georgia on a map – nevermind the country.

Now in 2008 Russia launched an assault on Georgia that it had been planning for at least a decade after provoking what it wanted. It didn't go well technically but it went okay tactically, but because of the size mismatch it couldn't not be a success for the Russians. But it was quick because the Georgians are stupid but not that stupid. So it could be called an operational and strategic win. The United States tailored its response. But here you will always see it portrayed as some great Russian victory over a NATO-trained military and an attempted genocide of the South Ossetians. The Russians it appears used it successfully as a learning experience and got their act together militarily.

All along the periphery of the Russian Empire/former Soviet Union the US and the Russians play games. It's a big game.

Saker's last article was about whose propaganda is better. It's a big game. It keeps people employed in the respective defense industries.

The latest thing I read is that the US is spending $8 Billion on a rapid response division or something in Eastern Europe. There was a Toyota ad I think for an armor brigade in Poland during the Super Bowl. Ridiculous. A single division.

Nobody wants a war. There isn't going to be any fighting in Poland. If Russians and Ukrainians want to kill themselves over Kharkov, Americans don't care. I think the Russians and Germans fought three times over Kharkov. I guess it had a railroad track or something. Americans don't care.

All this stuff like the coup in Ukraine, sanctions over Crimea – it's just probing moves, games. The US has Putin boxed in. He's got to scrape and claw over nothing.

The Saker always talks about Russia having a "defensive" strategy. Change the perspective for a second. Knowing that all the planet's real estate is "owned"- where the US Empire stands now – trade routes, bases everywhere around the remaining oilfields in the Middle East. AND, here is the kicker – what if you consider that the US has the defensive strategy now? That is some serious flexible depth.

And Russia is still boxed in.

Mao Cheng Ji , October 26, 2017 at 7:24 pm GMT
@Beckow

Initiative means that US-West are the ones starting conflicts.

I guess it's kinda true in the sense that the US specifically (not necessarily the West as such, it seems) needs to have the uninterrupted chain of wars and cartoonish all-powerful super-evil adversaries threatening its very existence. I suppose it's needed for economic (mic) reasons, to maintain the internal unity/morale/discipline, and to run the usual protection racket abroad. Sorta like Oceania in Orwell's 1984.

But I don't think this amounts to 'initiative' in any flattering sense. By the same token a rabid dog shows 'initiative'.

Beckow , October 26, 2017 at 7:34 pm GMT
@Johnny Rico

Change the perspective for a second. Knowing that all the planet's real estate is "owned"- where the US Empire stands now – trade routes, bases everywhere around the remaining oilfields in the Middle East. AND, here is the kicker – what if you consider that the US has the defensive strategy now? That is some serious flexible depth.

You can call it 'depth', or you can also call it being exposed with too long supply lines. I don't think there is an automatic benefit to being everywhere, it could be a liability in a multi-site crisis. Hitler controlled almost all of continental Europe (and so did Napoleon), all it did was that when he was forced on a defensive (in the east), all of those territories became potential liabilities with allied landings, rebellions, countries switching sides, etc

Another problem is that US is trying to do it on the cheap with bombing, technology and allies – but with minimal casualties. The inability to take casualties is a weakness, you cannot in the long-run control all this geography and also protect every GI's life.

And Russia is still boxed in.

Russia is boxed in by its geography, and so is China. There is nothing new there. Enemies have been pressing on Russia's extensive borders forever. It is not likely that anyone would actually try to cross that border given this one reality: nuclear weapons. Unless the constant prodding has an answer to that reality, what is it all about? What's the point?

Nobody wants a war. There isn't going to be any fighting in Poland.

Wars happen even if nobody 'wants' them. There are situations when wars happen almost on their own and nobody ever claims ownership. And if there is a war, there will be fighting in Poland – it is literally ground zero (as so often before), and no amount of NY Times editorials will make any damn difference. The country is too small, so it would be annihilated. Poland is storing missiles and 'defensive' divisions for its allies across the Atlantic with an open admission that they are targeting Russia. What do you think would happen in a real crisis or a war? Do you think US would look kindly at Russian missiles in Canada or Mexico? That is the true madness, and Poland is kind of in a heart of it. As so often before.

I don't think either Russia or West have better or worse 'strategy'. They play with what they have. Lately Russia has been prevailing, maybe because West pushed too far and is on thin ice in most of these far-away places.

By the way, your description of the Georgia conflict in 2008 omitted the key event: as the Beijing Olympics were starting, Georgia attacked S Ossetia with massive bombardment (100+ civilians killed). You say that somehow Russia 'anticipated' it and took advantage. Isn't it their job to 'anticipate'? Wouldn't any country? But the key point is that without the extremely stupid, almost suicidial attack by Georgia, none of that would happened. Who the hell told Saakasvilli that this would be a good idea? Some 'strategist' who likes to 'poke the Russian borders' to keep them in a 'box'? This is abstract thinking at its worst. Get real.

peterAUS , October 26, 2017 at 7:37 pm GMT
Speaking of crooks and thieves. True, those Ukrainian elites are that. Can't argue that most of US/Western elite aren't. But, Russian (current) regime elite? How about this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_of_crooks_and_thieves

So, I guess that an average Ukrainian ponders a simple question: For which crook I am supposed to lose my life and limb? And risking the same for people I care for? Tough decision. If if doubt do nothing feels as the best option. Keep your head down, keep your mouth shut and try to scrap a living there. Or, if you can, emigrate somewhere. If you can that is.

peterAUS , October 26, 2017 at 9:13 pm GMT
@Beckow

what is it all about? What's the point?

That rhetorical question? Regime change in Moscow->incorporating Russia into Empire at vassal level. Or back to happy Yeltsin era. Happy for some I mean. With vengeance.

As for this:

There are situations when wars happen almost on their own and nobody ever claims ownership

Couldn't agree more. That's the real worry at present. Combination of who are people in power and means of warfare.

People on the ground in Ukraine at "West" side incompetent and weak crooks. People on the ground in Ukraine at "East" side are also incompetent crooks. Not so sure how weak they are, though. They must be weak enough to obey Moscow but hard enough to keep .ahm..pruning own ranks from those unpopular with Moscow. Besides, they got into power by armed insurrection so usually those types can be hard.

I, personally, don't see much fuss about all this. Could be wrong, of course. The real question would be how, really, good Ukrainian armed forces are.
Have they used the time well to get good enough to create a serious problem for Donbass. My feeling .(haven't spent much time researching it) is they have not. Now, not so sure, whatever Saker is saying here, how good Donbass military is. In reality. I concede that they got better organized and equipped. Doesn't mean much , IMHO. The more important is how WILLING they would be to face an attack.

I .suspect .that the will when it was all started isn't there anymore. Could be wrong. Still think I am not. Or, better .feel that way. Those assassinations, plus overall quality of life there, plus unclear future (not what Moscow is saying, people on the ground don't buy that) aren't good for combat morale.

At the end, I suspect, when/if it comes to renewal of hostilities, it will be: First and foremost artillery exchanges. Nothing changes.
Then, small unit raids. Nothing changes. Then, tactical incursions by Ukrainian best. After initial success they'll be met by Donbas best.Because either side don't have many of those nothing changes too. A lot of talk from Washington and Moscow. Some dead/mutilated mercenaries. And while those "games" go the rest of peoples there just keep what they've been doing so far. Oceania vs Eurasia ..

Issac , October 26, 2017 at 9:44 pm GMT
@Priss Factor

Saker writing a Philip Giraldi level expose from that angle would probably have him out of a job. The Russian ruling class is not interested in making an enemy of Israel or vice versa.

Beckow , October 27, 2017 at 12:53 am GMT
@peterAUS

"Regime change in Moscow"

The single best way to assure that there isn't a 'regime change' is by constant probing of Russia's borders, by constant attacks, etc So I don't buy that, the experts in Washington are not that stupid. They understand fully well that placing missiles, coups, border harassment are by far the most reliable way to make sure that nothing changes in Moscow.

The Ukraine situation will not be decided by fighting in Donbass, or in Moscow. It will be decided in Kiev (and Odessa, Lviv, Charkov) by the currently passive masses. Unless a miracle happens, or most people emigrate, this is not a sustainable situation. They are living worse than in 2013, and they already had it very bad in 2013. Marshall Plan isn't coming, membership in EU isn't coming either. Once that sinks in – it might take 5-10 years – things will change.

peterAUS , October 27, 2017 at 2:08 am GMT

They understand fully well that placing missiles, coups, border harassment are by far the most reliable way to make sure that nothing changes in Moscow.

That's one way to look at it. Another is that they believe that's exactly what's needed. Worked rather well since '91 I think. US soldier couldn't get pass Germany (West/East) border. Now

It will be decided in Kiev (and Odessa, Lviv, Charkov) by the currently passive masses.

Sounds reasonable. In meantime

Beckow , October 29, 2017 at 8:27 am GMT
@Mr. Hack

"'Novorussian' fighting forces have from the very beginning just been a rag tag collection of Chechen and Russian mercenaries ,with a few local alcoholic yahoos , all directed by imported Russian degenerates, supported all along with Russian national troops and armaments"

All soldiers today get paid, thus you can call all of them 'mercenaries'. All soldiers drink. Their ethnicities are hard to establish and generalize. Words like 'rag tag', 'yahoos', 'degenerates' mean literally nothing in this context, you just add them to make yourself feel better.

If you take what your wrote and strip out the unnecessary poetry you might be closer to the truth: Novorussian forces are a combination of local separatists and volunteers who joined them mostly from Russia; Russia has provided most of their modern arms. Russia also acts as a backstop in case of another Kiev offensive to make sure that they cannot be defeated.

See, I fixed it for you. Now drop the poetic abuse and tell us what can be done about it. And take into account interests of all parties and their relative strength. All people are equal, applying emotional adjectives to your enemies changes nothing.

Avery , October 29, 2017 at 9:21 am GMT
@Beckow

Well said. Regarding: { . a rag tag collection of Chechen and Russian mercenaries,with a few local alcoholic yahoos, all directed by imported Russian degenerates }

If that is true, then it means Ukrainian military is even more incompetent than it is, being soundly defeated by a 'rag tag collection of mercenaries, alcoholic yahoos, and degenerates'. Being defeated by a professional opposing force is bad enough, but being defeated and chased out of Novorussia by 'degenerates'? How embarrassing for the Kiev junta.

Beckow , October 29, 2017 at 9:26 am GMT
@Sergey Krieger

That seems to be Russia's strategy. I agree that by far the best thing Moscow could do is to improve quality of life in Russia. Nato strategy is to delay it by any means: sanctions, energy, new arms race, whatever they can think off, lately mostly media campaigns. With Russia's resources, favourable demographics and global economic realities (China), it will not work. And then what? Once the quality of life is comparable to the average EU country, the gig will be up. Today Russia is slightly worse off than Poland and Lithuania, but better off than Romania or Bulgaria. But it is dramatically worse off than Germany, Czech R or Austria. Between 2000-2014 Germany and Russia were feeding off each other's growth, now they both suffer. We will see how that plays out, but there was a natural synergy that was artificially curtailed. More than anything else the Atlantic neo-cons fear more prosperity in Russia, so they will do almost anything to prevent it.

In Ukraine the EU-West infatuation will take a long time to dissipate. Getting hurt will eventually lead to making things better in the head , but it will take at least a generation. And things don't stay quiet for that long, other events will intervene. A circle cannot be squared: Kiev has attempted a great leap into its imagined future – Europe!!! – they bet everything on it, cut off all else, and there is no realistic way the leap will land Ukraine happily and soon enough in EU. EU will not agree to absorb 40 million poor people who mostly just want to live immediately like Germans, or move there. This is a mad dream, reality will intervene.

Those still hoping for a happy ending have not been paying attention.

Sergey Krieger , October 29, 2017 at 10:51 am GMT
@Johnny Rico

I am sorry but I have to say this. How has led by Kissinger and Nixon strategy of opening China worked out? Is creating major geopolitical foe where there was none considered a sign of deep strategically long term thinking?

Cyrano , October 29, 2017 at 11:04 am GMT
@Beckow

One often hears about "historical injustices" being committed against this nation or that ethnic group. Ukraine is probably a unique (basket) case because they think (the stupid ones) that beside historical injustices, they have also suffered geographical injustice.

The Ukrainian nationalists think that based on their accomplishments as a nation (there are none) they rightfully deserve to be geographically located somewhere between Germany and France. For this state of affairs they again blame the Russians. You see, because Russia is so big, and definitely in Eastern Europe, that they have the gravitational force that keeps Ukraine in Eastern Europe. If it wasn't for the Russians, Ukraine would have long ago catapulted into Western Europe – probably even geographically. It's only Russia that prevents them from acquiring their rightful place in the heart of Europe.

Beckow , October 29, 2017 at 11:32 am GMT
@Cyrano

"they have also suffered geographical injustice"

And so a solution is to have a war against geography. That usually goes very well, check with the Georgians :)

In Ukrainians' defence, they have a bad location: wide-open, unprotected, with few geographic features and at the same time very high-quality earth. On second thought, if Ukraine, as is, was located in Western Europe 'somewhere between Germany and France' , I would be willing to bet that not a single Ukrainian would exist today. The Western Europeans know their genocide and know how to pacify populations. They almost got to them during WWII, Ukraine was the lebensraum that Nazis dreamt about.

My estimate would be that if Russia had not sacrificed 20 million people to defeat Germany, today there would be no Poles, no Ukrainians, and no Czechs. A few smaller nations, like Croats, Slovaks, Slovenians, would exist as tiny folklor-only curiosity, regularly brutally culled for potential dissenters. Those 'damn Russkies', how dare they stop this? No wonder the sneaky Westerners will never forgive them. But one wonders why some of the designated victims, Poles, Ukrainians, Czechs, are also angry that the lebensraum genocide Nazi plan was not allowed to take place. But we are leaving geography and getting into psychiatry

Anon , Disclaimer October 29, 2017 at 11:37 am GMT
@Johnny Rico

A repost from consortiumnews.com: "The Kaganzation of Ukraine, which started on Clinton watch, is moving to a next, neo-Nazi phase: http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/10/mosiychuk-assassination-attempt.html

" the assassination attempt on Mosiychuk [the former deputy commander of the infamous neo-Nazi Azov Battalio] is the initial phase of an escalation of the conflict between the Nazis and Jewish oligarchs headed by President Poroshenko, an escalation which is transitioning from a political to a "hot", or armed phase.

Ironically enough, it is the Jewish oligarch Kolomoysky who is financing the operations of such Nazi revolutionaries. Indeed, all of the "Ukrainian revolutions," as is well known, have been done with Jewish money and through the hands of Ukrainian Nazis. By all accounts, Mosiychuk himself is one of the key figures behind preparing a Nazi coup d'etat."

Any reaction from the diligent ADL? Any peep from AIPAC? Kolomoysky is an Israeli citizen and a pillar of the Jewish community of Ukraine. He has been financing the Ukrainian neo-Nazis for several years already; Kolomoysky is also implicated in the downing of MH17. Still no interest from the Israel-occupied US Congress? Amazing. In the US, the "victims of Holocaust" from the Kagans' clan have been plotting and implementing the collaborative projects with Ukrainian neo-Nazis. Interesting times.

Just to reiterate –– "all of the "Ukrainian revolutions" have been done with Jewish money and through the hands of Ukrainian Nazis." And the Jewish vigilantes are busy fighting against BDS " https://consortiumnews.com/2017/10/28/hillary-clinton-keeps-pointing-fingers/#comment-293951

Btw, Kolomoysky is an Israeli citizen. Speaking about Holocaust deniers – is it kosher to support neo-Nazi and work on the resurrection of Nazism in Ukraine and to remain an honorable Israeli citizen? It seems that Kolomoysky is such case. Next time the Israel-firsters attempt to squeal about any critics of "Holocaust story" they should be presented with the story of Jewish oligarch Kolomoysky.

Beckow , October 29, 2017 at 12:17 pm GMT
@peterAUS

You use language very loosely: 'total control, 'fully integrated', 'force's skeleton', all those terms are both unprovable and meaningless in Donbass context. There are millions of Russians in Donbass, they have always lived there. They are willing to oppose post-coup Kiev government on their own. All else is vague verbiage that means nothing.

"the regime in Moscow decide to abandon the project it could dissolve that force in 12 hours tops and leave Novorussia ripe for takeover by the regime in Kiev"

Your usage of the imbecilic word 'regime' betrays bias. What the f k is a'regime'? Is EU a 'regime', or the Saudi king, or China? If not, why not? Stick with term government and use it for all and you won't sound like a bitter dead-ender unable to see things rationally.

Russia cannot abandon Donbass because the Kiev government would massacre many Russians living in Donbass. Or they would let their nationalist allies do it. In any case, millions would either be expelled, imprisoned or killed. That would mean the end of Putin's government. The fact that Brussels and Mme Merkel would look the other way and that Western media would pretend that not much was happening would not help either. So that's not going to happen, Russia is committed, it cannot 'abandon the project'. Kiev will either negotiate seriously now, or in the future. And time is definitely not on their side, longer this goes on, worse deal will be on the table for Kiev.

Anon , Disclaimer October 29, 2017 at 7:03 pm GMT
@Beckow

" it might take 5-10 years – things will change." It is already on the go: http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/10/mosiychuk-assassination-attempt.html
" another Maidan to be held under openly Nazi slogans and leading to the overthrow of the Jewish oligarchs led by Petro Poroshenko who seized power in Ukraine. Ukrainian Nazis are the most consistent and terrifying enemies of the Poroshenko regime, which they call an "internal occupation regime." We are now seeing a rehearsal for such a Nazi Maidan. Apparently, Poroshenko is taking a serious turn, and now terrorist methods are being used against the regime's mortal enemies."

polskijoe , October 29, 2017 at 7:42 pm GMT
Decent article, although some generalizations which is understandable. Couple points about Poland. Yes its allied with neocons atm (the bad).
The government has some forces somewhat supporting Ukraine (Basically as long as the blame is focused on Russia). The government knows there are "neonazi" elements, as has mentioned Ukraine will not join EU until they stop that. As for the people Poland is divided like crazy on the Ukraine issue.
Sergey Krieger , October 29, 2017 at 8:04 pm GMT
@Mao Cheng Ji

Lots of people changed from Russians into Ukrainians. I see many guys with Russian surnames there from news who are rabidly antirussians. Give some time. When Russia rises and life in Russia will be good there will be suddenly 90% of Ukrainian population Russians.

Erebus , October 29, 2017 at 8:10 pm GMT
Alas, you've yet again missed the salient point you're commenting on. The sea change I talk about is "a sea change in both capability and prospects" . And yes, a sea change in the sense that the high water mark of the USA's capabilities and prospects is now plainly visible. Its role has been reduced from world leader to that of spoiler in Syriaq, Philippines, MENA, ECS & SCS, in Africa, and in Europe itself. A spoiler's role is a very far cry from the world leader at "the end of history" it proclaimed itself to be in the early '90s. Pax Americana's wave broke and is now rolling back out to sea, creating undertows as it goes.

The ramifications of that sea change will take years, maybe decades, to play themselves out, but my assessment is that there will be no active "roll back (of the) '90s" or that said roll back is desirable/possible. The Ukraine and Serbia/Kosovo will wind up having to fit themselves into whatever new paradigm the world will be living under at the time. That paradigm won't be American led, or of American design.

polskijoe , October 29, 2017 at 8:34 pm GMT
@Dan Hayes

Prof Cohen, he is smart on Russian affairs, for a Jewish guy suprising he speaks favorably of the Russians. I dont know his political views. Certainly a change from the Neocon bs.

anon , Disclaimer October 29, 2017 at 11:52 pm GMT
I don't see much of a future for Ukraine. Neither the West nor Russia is willing to underwrite the massive investment that would be required to rebuild the economy. Sure it makes sense to split the country. However, both sides are more than willing to live with an impoverished buffer between NATO and Russia. If the country is split, there is no longer any territorial disputes and the new West Ukraine ultimately becomes a NATO member and NATO weapons move hundreds of miles closer to the Russian border. Not to mention the fact that Russia would find it expensive to subsidize the new government. Same with the EU.

The obsession with theoretical military engagements ignore the reality that 'winning' is simply taking a nation that is still a paying customer for natural gas and turning them into an expense.

As far as the value of Ukraine as an agricultural power -- Russia no longer cares. Russia (thanks to the US sanctions, among other things) is now the world's largest grain exporter.

The Black Sea may be important to Russia's regional aspirations, but for the US, what could be better than have as many Russian naval vessels as possible parked there?

Anatoly Karlin , Website October 30, 2017 at 12:05 am GMT
@Mr. Hack

The Saker does indeed peddle a lot of BS, but you are hardly one to talk.

1. The Chechens were briefly involved in 2014, have long since left.

2. The vast majority of the NAF (80%) are Ukrainian citizens , as confirmed by multiple sources including a list of names leaked by your ideological comrades at the Peacekeeper website. About another 10% are Russians from the Kuban, which is ethnically and culturally close to the Donbass, while the last 10% are Russians and other adventurers from the wider world.

So yes, it is indeed very homegrown, though it is true that the NAF would not have survived in its embryonic stages without the more competent and experienced Russian volunteers like Strelkov, as well as Russian logistical and artillery support.

3. NAF volunteers are indeed probably lower than average on the socio-economic scale, but I would be exceedingly surprised if it was otherwise for the UAF and the independent batallions. Certainly the chronic drunkeness , accidents, etc. in the Ukrainian Army that are constantly being written about indicates that doesn't harvest the cream of Ukraine's crop. (And that makes sense – apart from a hard core of patriots and nationalists, any Ukrainian would pay to avoid conscription, if he has the means).

[Oct 27, 2017] False Flag Bombings, Murder Plots, Bizarre Phone Calls The Stunning Revelations In The JFK Assassination Files Zero Hedge

Oct 27, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Following last night's release of the latest set of JFK Assassination Files, the public has been busy combing through the several thousand documents. Among the more notable discoveries so far are the following: the CIA contemplated mafia hits on Cuban President Fidel Castro, involving the "false flag" staging of bombings in Miami; Someone calling the FBI threatening to kill Lee Harvey Oswald a day before Oswald's murder; the US examined sabotaging airplane parts heading to Cuba. As a reminder, following a deadline 25 years in the making, last night the National Archives released an abridged dump of JFK Assassination files. While president Trump blocked the release of some, arguably the most controversial, documents citing national security concerns, the release still left researchers and conspiracy theorists with 52 previously unreleased full documents and thousands in part to sift through.

Here are the key highlights from the trove so far, courtesy of CBS and AP :

[Oct 24, 2017] Did the USA cool to Poroshenko? Mishiko just said: What stands between us and that future? A tiny clique of oligarchs and speculators: The President and his entourage

Notable quotes:
"... "Everyone knows that five-billion contracts are not signed by the defense minister or by his deputy, or even by any head of the Defense Ministry department. All politicians know who signs five-billion contracts. And this is the president of Ukraine," Tymoshenko said, while commenting on the scandal with the detention by the NABU of Deputy Defense Minister Ihor Pavlovsky and director of the public procurement department at the Defense Ministry Volodymyr Hulevych. ..."
Oct 24, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

yalensis , October 22, 2017 at 6:25 am

Only just got some time to start following Mishiko's "Mikho-Maidan" (English-language hashtag is #Mikhomaidan .

Apparently Saakashvili came up with a humdinger this morning: He promised his followers from the stump that the Ukraine will become a superpower dictating conditions to Europe and the world.


"Там где есть сила, там будет Украинская сверхдержава, которая будет диктовать условия в Европе и всем другим, и где люди будут жить достойно Что стоит между нами и этим будущим? Это маленькая кучка олигархов, барыг – президент и его окружение", -- сказал он, заверив, что сменить нынешнюю власть при желании населения можно "очень быстро и очень безболезненно".

"Кто-то говорит – "вот, этот гастролер, зачем он тут?" Все очень просто. Нет будущего ни у Грузии, ни у Молдовы, ни у Белоруссии, ни у кого в регионе, если не будет Украины", -- подчеркнул Саакашвили.

TRANSLATION:
"If people shall unite as a force, then there will be a Ukrainian superpower which will dictate conditions in Europe and to all the others; and people [here] will be able to live their lives with dignity. What stands between us and that future? A tiny clique of oligarchs and speculators: The President and his entourage," he said, assuring people that it would be a very quick and painless matter to overturn the existing government, given the desire of the people.
"Some people say, oh, here is that travelling showman, why is he here? It's very simple: There can be no future, neither for Gruzia, nor Moldavia, nor Belorussia, not for anyone in this region, if a Ukraine doesn't exist," Saakashvili underscored.

Pavlo Svolochenko , October 22, 2017 at 7:43 am
Does he even have any legal right to be in the country?
yalensis , October 22, 2017 at 11:56 am
No.
Jen , October 22, 2017 at 7:14 pm
Mishiko doesn't have the legal right to be in any country. He's stateless.
yalensis , October 23, 2017 at 3:08 am
He is just like Philip Nolan, "The Man Without A Country".

http://files.constantcontact.com/766c6672201/17c86a4a-16a5-412a-bffe-da50a5251b12.png?a=1127596639173

Patient Observer , October 22, 2017 at 7:56 am
Some people say, oh, here is that travelling showman, why is he here?

A good question yet to be answered by Mr. Saakashvili. The answer probably includes money, food, cocaine, public attention, food, sex and did I mention food?

marknesop , October 22, 2017 at 11:20 am
Mmmmm ..that sounds suspiciously like his oratory while President of Georgia, when he predicted that within X years of his modernizations like the Glass Bridge in Tbilisi (between 3 and 5, I forget now and the source was assimilated into the government's propaganda-pablum machine), there would be more tourists in Georgia than there were Georgians. Or like the time he told the US Senate that Georgia was so honest a place that people did not even lock their doors, the same year the US Government's State Department released a travel warning for Georgia that warned against pickpockets and various forms of thieving, including stopping your car on the road and robbing you or making you get out and taking the car. Crimes carried out by Georgian and Ukrainian organized criminals are often blamed on the Russian mafia.
yalensis , October 22, 2017 at 11:58 am
Also don't forget when Mishka bragged that Gruzia didn't need no stinking Russian wine market – they could always sell their best stuff to Western Europe!
'cause, see, the French and Germans and Italians don't produce any good wines
marknesop , October 22, 2017 at 12:48 pm
Yes, that's right! And then when the Russian market opened up again, it was greeted with great relief by the Georgian winemakers, and impartial sources remarked that there was not much of an appetite in Europe for Georgia's sweet and somewhat heavy wines, while Russians were very fond of them. Ukraine is learning the same bitter lesson now, and there would be nobody like Mishka to teach them. For the west's part, they would probably be quite willing to give Mishka another project, to keep him busy and keep Ukraine from slipping back into the Russian orbit.

Don't forget that Poroshenko is not likely to be going anywhere, since Ukraine is making him richer and richer, and he is likely to dabble in politics even after he is evicted in the next election. But having Mishka there to split the vote could easily result in a Tymoshenko victory. And that would be just perfect, with all her histrionic squalling about getting a machine gun and going to kill some Katsaps. She did say 'we'. Go ahead, Yooooolia. Let's see you bring it.

Speaking of Yoooolia, she now says that Poroshenko is using the army's fuel contracts to launder money .

"Everyone knows that five-billion contracts are not signed by the defense minister or by his deputy, or even by any head of the Defense Ministry department. All politicians know who signs five-billion contracts. And this is the president of Ukraine," Tymoshenko said, while commenting on the scandal with the detention by the NABU of Deputy Defense Minister Ihor Pavlovsky and director of the public procurement department at the Defense Ministry Volodymyr Hulevych.

Ponder for a moment the irony of Tymoshenko – who browbeat the director of Naftogaz into signing the take-or-pay contract with Russia which caused Ukraine such grief and then flew to Russia herself to wrap it up, after being specifically told by the Rada cabinet not to do it – pointing the accusing finger at corruption in the energy business.

[Oct 23, 2017] If granny had become POTUS there might have been a lot more radiation around the world because of her "charm".

Oct 23, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile , October 21, 2017 at 4:19 am

The re-modelling of Killary? Why does nobody mention that Hillary Clinton is perfectly nice? Hillary Clinton on The Graham Norton Show: no Paxman-style grilling, but the Democrat radiated grandmotherly charm

Who the fuck is this Norton bloke, anyway?

Moscow Exile , October 21, 2017 at 4:21 am
If granny had become POTUS there might have been a lot more radiation around the world because of her "charm".

[Oct 21, 2017] Washington Funds Foreign Think Tanks That Blacklist Opponents of Neocon Foreign Policy by Ron Paul

I admired Ron Paul foright policy views for a along time. and this time he also did not disappointed his reader.
Soviet labeled anybody who dissented from communist propaganda line or did not believe in Communist dogma as "agents of imperialism". Neocons similarly bland and-war activists and people who question this war mongering as peddlers of "Russian propaganda". This is what often happen with victors in wars: they acquired worst features of their defeated enemies. for example to defeat the USSR the USA create powerful network of intelligence agencies. Which promptly went out of civil control in 1963, much like KGB in the USSR and became state within the state. In a way now it in now now unfeasible that the Soviet Union posthumously have won the Cold War, as it is more and more difficult to distinguish Soviet propaganda and the US government propaganda.
So the fact that the US government allocate large sums of money for the propaganda against another neoliberal state -- Russia, which represent regional threat to the US hegemonic ambitions -- tells a lot about neoliberalism as a social system. Hostilities among neoliberal states, much like hostilities between communist states are not only possible, they are the reality.
Notable quotes:
"... So what is the "European Values" think tank? A bunch of kooks? Well perhaps, but they are well-funded kooks. In fact they are funded by American taxpayers to defame other Americans who appear on media outlets that are out of favor with Washington's elites. Among the top donors to the "European Values" think tank is the United States Embassy in Prague. Other top funders include George Soros' "Open Society Foundation," the European Commission, and the European Parliament. They are also funded by other US government funded think tanks such as the Prague-based "League of Human Rights." ..."
"... How ironic that such a Soviet-style attack on political dissent in the United States was launched from Prague, which for decades suffered under the Štátna bezpečnosť -- ..."
"... "I am not here to defend RT," I said on the program tonight. I am here to defend the marketplace of ideas that is critical to a free society. I am here to defend the right of US citizens to dissent from the foreign policy of their government without being attacked by their own government -- or by foreign think tanks funded by their government. ..."
"... This should infuriate us: The US government defines anyone who dissents from its foreign policy of endless wars and a global military empire as peddlers of "Russian propaganda" and then Congress appropriates tens of million dollars to "counter Russian propaganda." ..."
"... That means the US Congress is appropriating tens of millions of our dollars to silence our objection to Washington's trillion dollar global military empire. What a scam! How anti-American! Is that not a declaration of war on the rest of us? Is that not an act of tyranny? ..."
Oct 21, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Dear Friends of the Ron Paul Institute:

I just finished an interview on RT.

Someday soon, perhaps, anyone writing the above sentence will land in some sort of gulag, as once did East Europeans found to have appeared on a foreign broadcast questioning the historical inevitability of the worldwide communist revolution.

In my case, I was asked to comment on a new report (see above pic) from a Czech " think tank " exposing 2,327 American "useful idiots" who dared appear on the Russian government-funded RT television network.

Among the "Kremlin stooges" listed in the report of the "European Values" think tank? Alongside critics of US foreign policy like Ron Paul, the Czech "European Values" think tank listed Sen. Lindsay Graham, Joe Lieberman, Dick Cheney, US Rep. Adam Schiff, former acting CIA director Michael Morrell, former CIA director Michael Hayden, and hundreds more prominent Americans who have been notably hostile to Russia and its government.

I said: "Wow! this conspiracy is even deeper than we thought! Even the virulently anti-Russian neocons and Russia-hating CIA bigwigs are in fact Putin's poodles!"

It's funny but it's not. This is when the neo-McCarthyism lately in fashion across the ideological divide descends into the absurd. This is when the mask slips from the witch trials, when the naked emperor can no longer expect to not be noticed.

So what is the "European Values" think tank? A bunch of kooks? Well perhaps, but they are well-funded kooks. In fact they are funded by American taxpayers to defame other Americans who appear on media outlets that are out of favor with Washington's elites. Among the top donors to the "European Values" think tank is the United States Embassy in Prague. Other top funders include George Soros' "Open Society Foundation," the European Commission, and the European Parliament. They are also funded by other US government funded think tanks such as the Prague-based "League of Human Rights."

Since when did "European values" come to be defined as government-funded lists of political "enemies" who dare question US foreign policy on television networks despised by neocons and Washington interventionists? How ironic that such a Soviet-style attack on political dissent in the United States was launched from Prague, which for decades suffered under the Štátna bezpečnosť -- the communist secret police -- that took exactly the same view of those who deviated from the Soviet party line as does the modern Czech "European Values" think tank.

Anyone questioning our one trillion dollar global military empire is automatically considered to be in the pay of hostile foreign governments. How patriotic is that?

"I am not here to defend RT," I said on the program tonight. I am here to defend the marketplace of ideas that is critical to a free society. I am here to defend the right of US citizens to dissent from the foreign policy of their government without being attacked by their own government -- or by foreign think tanks funded by their government.

This should infuriate us: The US government defines anyone who dissents from its foreign policy of endless wars and a global military empire as peddlers of "Russian propaganda" and then Congress appropriates tens of million dollars to "counter Russian propaganda."

That means the US Congress is appropriating tens of millions of our dollars to silence our objection to Washington's trillion dollar global military empire. What a scam! How anti-American! Is that not a declaration of war on the rest of us? Is that not an act of tyranny?

The noose is tightening around us. Yet we must continue to fight for what we believe in! We must continue to fight for the prosperity that comes from a peaceful foreign policy. Your generous support for the Ron Paul Institute helps us continue to be your voice in the fight for free expression and a peaceful foreign policy.

[Oct 17, 2017] The Lobby British Style by Philip M. Giraldi

Maybe, instead of Russia-Gate, we have is Israel-Gate. This time Netanyahu discreetly interfering in US Presidential Election ..Chilling thought though!
Notable quotes:
"... casus belli ..."
"... To be sure, my observations are neither new nor unique. Former Congressmen Paul Findley indicted the careful crafting of a pro-Israel narrative by American Jews in his seminal book They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby , written in 1989. Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's groundbreaking book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy said much the same thing nine years ago and discussions of Jewish power do emerge occasionally, even in the mainstream media. In the Jewish media Jewish power is openly discussed and is generally applauded as a well-deserved reward bestowed both by God and by mankind due to the significant accomplishments attributed to Jews throughout history. ..."
"... That many groups and well-positioned individuals work hand-in-hand with the Israeli government to advance Israeli interests should not be in dispute after all these years of watching it in action. Several high level Jewish officials, including Richard Perle , associated with the George W. Bush Pentagon, had questionable relationships with Israeli Embassy officials and were only able to receive security clearances after political pressure was applied to "godfather" approvals for them. Former Congressman Tom Lantos and Senator Frank Lautenberg were, respectively, referred to as Israel's Congressman and Senator, while current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has described himself as Israel's "shomer" or guardian in the U.S. Senate. ..."
"... The documentary reveals that local Jewish groups, particularly at universities and within the political parties, do indeed work closely with the Israeli Embassy to promote policies supported by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ..."
"... That's the money shot, Phil. I'm okay with Jews, okay with the existence of Israel, all that, but I think we were massively had by Iraq II. When Valerie Plame spoke in my area, she talked disgustedly about a plan to establish American military power throughout the Middle East. She used the euphemism "neocons" for the plan's authors, and seemed about to burst with anger. ..."
"... I recall the basic idea was for the U. S. to do Israel's dirty work at U. S. expense and without a U. S. benefit, and I think there was the usual "God talk" cover in it about "democratization", "development", blah-blah. ..."
"... I'd also add Adlai E. Stevenson III and John Glenn. Stevenson was crucial in getting compensation -- paltry sum though it was– payed to "Liberty" families for their loss. The Israelis had been holding out. Something for which the Il Senator was never forgiven (especially by The Lobby). ..."
"... Netanyahu should not have been allowed to address the joint session. No foreign leader should be speaking in opposition to any sitting President (in this case Obama). It only showed the power of "The Lobby." Netanyahu who knew that Iran didn't have the weapons the Bush Adm. had claimed, was treated like a trusted ally. He shouldn't have been. ..."
"... Maybe, instead of Russia-Gate, we have is Israel-Gate. This time Netanyahu discreetly interfering in US Presidential Election ..Chilling thought though! ..."
"... And Israeli interference in U.S. government and elections is also a given. Endorsement of Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election by the Netanyahu government was more-or-less carried out in the open. ..."
"... All embassies try to further their national interest through political machinations and all people in politics tend to use hyperbolic language to describe what they are doing. I don't know if your shock is just for show or you are just a bit dim. The same applies to Buzzfeed's 'expose' of Bannon and the gasps the article let out at his use of terms like #War. ..."
"... The British government attitude was that everything was fine because the Israeli government "apologised" and the "rogue individual" responsible was taken out of the country, and the British media mostly ignored the story after an initial brief scandal. Indeed the main substantive response was the Ofcom fishing expedition against Al Jazeera looking for ways to use the disclosure of these uncomfortable truths as a pretext for shutting that company's operations down. ..."
"... The supreme irony behind all this is that Trump has been prevented by his own personal and family/adviser bias from using the one certain way of removing all the laughably vague "Russian influence" nonsense that has been used against him so persistently. All he had to do was to, at every opportunity, tie criticism and investigation of Russian "influence" to criticism and investigation of Israel Lobby influence under the general rubric of "foreign influence", and almost all of the high level backing for the charges would in due course have quietly evaporated. ..."
"... WASP culture has always been philo-Semitic. That cannot be stated too much. WASP culture is inherently philo-Semtic. WASP culture was born of Anglo-Saxon Puritanism, which was a Judaizing heresy. ..."
"... You cannot solve 'the Jewish problem' unless you also solve 'the WASP problem.' ..."
"... The Israeli lobby is more powerful throughout the Anglosphere than the Saudi/Arabic lobby, but the Saudi lobby is equally detestable and probably even a more grave threat to the very existence of Western man. ..."
"... That the intelligence services of many countries engage in such conduct is not really news. Indeed, you could say that it's part of their normal job. They usually don't get caught and when accused of anything they shout "no evidence!" (now, where have I heard that recently?) Of course, if the Israelis engage in such conduct, then, logically, other countries' services do so too. ..."
"... Not surprising that the Jewish public gets gamed by Israeli political elites, just as the American public keeps getting gamed by our own cabal of bought politicians. Trying to fool enough of the people, enough of the time, contra Lincoln (who was not exactly a friend of critical dissent against war either .) ..."
Oct 17, 2017 | www.unz.com

One month ago, I initiated here at Unz.com a discussion of the role of American Jews in the crafting of United States foreign policy. I observed that a politically powerful and well-funded cabal consisting of both Jewish individuals and organizations has been effective at engaging the U.S. in a series of wars in the Middle East and North Africa that benefit only Israel and are, in fact, damaging to actual American interests. This misdirection of policy has not taken place because of some misguided belief that Israeli and U.S. national security interests are identical, which is a canard that is frequently floated in the mainstream media. It is instead a deliberate program that studiously misrepresents facts-on-the ground relating to Israel and its neighbors and creates casus belli involving the United States even when no threat to American vital interests exists. It punishes critics by damaging both their careers and reputations while its cynical manipulation of the media and gross corruption of the national political process has already produced the disastrous war against Iraq, the destruction of Libya and the ongoing chaos in Syria. It now threatens to initiate a catastrophic war with Iran.

To be sure, my observations are neither new nor unique. Former Congressmen Paul Findley indicted the careful crafting of a pro-Israel narrative by American Jews in his seminal book They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby , written in 1989. Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's groundbreaking book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy said much the same thing nine years ago and discussions of Jewish power do emerge occasionally, even in the mainstream media. In the Jewish media Jewish power is openly discussed and is generally applauded as a well-deserved reward bestowed both by God and by mankind due to the significant accomplishments attributed to Jews throughout history.

There is undeniably a complicated web of relationships and networks that define Israel's friends. The expression "Israel Lobby" itself has considerable currency, so much so that the expression "The Lobby" is widely used and understood to represent the most powerful foreign policy advocacy group in Washington without needing to include the "Israel" part. That the monstrous Benjamin Netanyahu receives 26 standing ovations from Congress and a wealthy Israel has a guaranteed income from the U.S. Treasury derives directly from the power and money of an easily identifiable cluster of groups and oligarchs – Paul Singer, Sheldon Adelson, Bernard Marcus, Haim Saban – who in turn fund a plethora of foundations and institutes whose principal function is to keep the cash and political support flowing in Israel's direction. No American national interest, apart from the completely phony contention that Israel is some kind of valuable ally, would justify the taxpayers' largesse. In reality, Israel is a liability to the United States and always has been.

And I do understand at the same time that a clear majority of American Jews, leaning strongly towards the liberal side of the political spectrum, are supportive of the nuclear agreement with Iran and do not favor a new Middle Eastern war involving that country. I also believe that many American Jews are likely appalled by Israeli behavior, but, unfortunately, there is a tendency on their part to look the other way and neither protest such actions nor support groups like Jewish Voice for Peace that are themselves openly critical of Israel. This de facto gives Israel a free pass and validates its assertion that it represents all Jews since no one important in the diaspora community apart from minority groups which can safely be ignored is pushing back against that claim.

That many groups and well-positioned individuals work hand-in-hand with the Israeli government to advance Israeli interests should not be in dispute after all these years of watching it in action. Several high level Jewish officials, including Richard Perle , associated with the George W. Bush Pentagon, had questionable relationships with Israeli Embassy officials and were only able to receive security clearances after political pressure was applied to "godfather" approvals for them. Former Congressman Tom Lantos and Senator Frank Lautenberg were, respectively, referred to as Israel's Congressman and Senator, while current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has described himself as Israel's "shomer" or guardian in the U.S. Senate.

A recent regulatory decision from the United Kingdom relates to a bit of investigative journalism that sought to reveal precisely how the promotion of Israel by some local diaspora Jews operates, to include how critics are targeted and criticized as well as what is done to destroy their careers and reputations.

Last year, al-Jazeera Media Network used an undercover reporter to infiltrate some U.K. pro-Israel groups that were working closely with the Israeli Embassy to counter criticisms coming from British citizens regarding the treatment of the Palestinians. In particular, the Embassy and its friends were seeking to counter the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), which has become increasingly effective in Europe. The four-part documentary released late in 2016 that al-Jazeera produced is well worth watching as it consists mostly of secretly filmed meetings and discussions.

The documentary reveals that local Jewish groups, particularly at universities and within the political parties, do indeed work closely with the Israeli Embassy to promote policies supported by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It also confirms that tagging someone as an anti-Semite has become the principal offensive weapon used to stifle any discussion, particularly in a country like Britain which embraces concepts like the criminalization of "hate speech." At one point, two British Jews discussed whether "being made to feel uncomfortable" by people asking what Israel intends to do with the Palestinians is anti-Semitic. They agreed that it might be.

The documentary also describes how the Embassy and local groups working together targeted government officials who were not considered to be friendly to Israel to "be taken down," removed from office or otherwise discredited. One government official in particular who was to be attacked was Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan.

Britain, unlike the U.S., has a powerful regulatory agency that oversees communications, to include the media. It is referred to as Ofcom. When the al-Jazeera documentary was broadcast, Israeli Embassy political officer Shai Masot, who reportedly was a Ministry of Strategic Affairs official working under cover, was forced to resign and the Israeli Ambassador offered an apology. Masot was filmed discussing British politicians who might be "taken down" before speaking with a government official who plotted a "a little scandal" to bring about the downfall of Duncan. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is the first head of a political party in Britain to express pro-Palestinian views, had called for an investigation of Masot after the recording of the "take down" demand relating to Duncan was revealed. Several Jewish groups (the Jewish Labour Movement, the Union of Jewish Students and We Believe in Israel) then counterattacked with a complaint that the documentary had violated British broadcast regulations, including the specific charge that the undercover investigation was anti-Semitic in nature.

On October 9 th , Ofcom ruled in favor of al-Jazeera, stating that its investigation had done nothing improper, but it should be noted that the media outlet had to jump through numerous hoops to arrive at the successful conclusion. It had to turn over all its raw footage and communications to the investigators, undergoing what one source described as an "editorial colonoscopy," to prove that its documentary was "factually accurate" and that it had not "unfairly edited" or "with bias" prepared its story. One of plaintiffs, who had called for critics of Israel to "die in a hole" and had personally offered to "take down" a Labour Party official, responded bitterly. She said that the Ofcom judgment would serve as a "precedent for the infringement of privacy of any Jewish person involved in public life."

The United States does not yet have a government agency to regulate news stories, though that may be coming, but the British tale has an interesting post script. Al-Jazeera also had a second undercover reporter inserted in the Israel Lobby in the United States, apparently a British intern named James Anthony Kleinfeld, who had volunteered his services to The Israel Project, which is involved in promoting Israel's global image. He also had contact with at least ten other Jewish organizations and with officials at the Israeli Embassy,

Now that the British account of "The Lobby" has cleared a regulatory hurdle the American version will reportedly soon be released. Al-Jazeera's head of investigative reporting Clayton Swisher commented "With this U.K. verdict and vindication past us, we can soon reveal how the Israel lobby in America works through the eyes of an undercover reporter. I hear the U.S. is having problems with foreign interference these days, so I see no reason why the U.S. establishment won't take our findings in America as seriously as the British did, unless of course Israel is somehow off limits from that debate."

Americans who follow such matters already know that groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) swarm over Capitol Hill and have accomplices in nearly every media outlet. Back in 2005-6 AIPAC Officials Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman were actually tried under the Espionage Act of 1918 in a case involving obtaining classified intelligence from government official Lawrence Franklin to pass on to the Israeli Embassy. Rosen had once boasted that, representing AIPAC and Israel, he could get the signatures of 70 senators on a napkin agreeing to anything if he sought to do so. The charges against the two men were, unfortunately, eventually dropped "because court rulings had made the case unwinnable and the trial would disclose classified information."

And Israeli interference in U.S. government and elections is also a given. Endorsement of Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election by the Netanyahu government was more-or-less carried out in the open. And ask Congressmen like Paul Findley, Pete McCloskey, William Fulbright, Charles Percy and, most recently, Cynthia McKinney, what happens to your career when you appear to be critical of Israel. And the point is that while Israel calls the shots in terms of what it wants, it is a cabal of diaspora American Jews who actually pull the trigger. With that in mind, it will be very interesting to watch the al-Jazeera documentary on The Lobby in America.

Rurik , October 17, 2017 at 4:29 am GMT

Philip Giraldi is a rare American treasure. A voice of integrity and character in a sea of moral cowardice and corruption. If there is any hope for this nation, it will be due specifically to the integrity of men like Mr. Giraldi to keep speaking truth to power.
googlecensors , October 17, 2017 at 5:00 am GMT
One is unable to open the documentary – all 4 parts – on YouTube suggesting that google/YouTube are censoring it and have caved into the Jewish Lobby
Malla , October 17, 2017 at 5:03 am GMT
When the Jewish Messiah comes, all of us goyim (Black, White, Yellow, brown or Red) will be living like today's Palestinians. Our slave descendant will be scurrying around in their ghettos afraid of the Greater Israeli Army military andriod drones in the sky.

But if I was a Westerner, I would support Israel any day. Because if the Israeli state were to be ever dismantled, all of them Israelis would go to the West. Why would you want that?

Frankie P , October 17, 2017 at 5:42 am GMT
@Rurik

He has been set free by the truth, proving the old maxim.

wayfarer , October 17, 2017 at 5:43 am GMT
Understand a Spoiled Child, and You Will Understand Israel. source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoiled_child

Discipline the Spoiled Child, and Boycott Israel. source: https://bdsmovement.net/

Israel Anti-Boycott Act – An Attack on Free Speech?

Dan Hayes , October 17, 2017 at 5:48 am GMT
Philip,

My admittedly subjective impression is that your UR reports are becoming more open/unbounded after your release from the constraints of the American Conservative . In other word, you're now being enabled to let it all hang out. In my book that's all to the good.

Of course your work and those of the other UR writers are enabled by the beneficence of its patron, Ron!

Uebersetzer , October 17, 2017 at 6:14 am GMT
There may be limits to their power in Britain. Jeremy Corbyn is hated by them, and stories are regularly run in the MSM, in Britain and also (of course!) in the New York Times claiming that under Corbyn Labour is a haven of anti-Semitism. Corbyn actually gained millions of votes in the last election. Perhaps they will nail him somewhere down the road but they have failed so far.
JackOH , October 17, 2017 at 6:59 am GMT
" . . . [W]ars in the Middle East and North Africa that benefit only Israel and are, in fact, damaging to actual American interests (emphases mine).

That's the money shot, Phil. I'm okay with Jews, okay with the existence of Israel, all that, but I think we were massively had by Iraq II. When Valerie Plame spoke in my area, she talked disgustedly about a plan to establish American military power throughout the Middle East. She used the euphemism "neocons" for the plan's authors, and seemed about to burst with anger. I looked up the plan, but don't recall the catch phrase for it.

I recall the basic idea was for the U. S. to do Israel's dirty work at U. S. expense and without a U. S. benefit, and I think there was the usual "God talk" cover in it about "democratization", "development", blah-blah.

Cloak And Dagger , October 17, 2017 at 7:43 am GMT
I remain skeptical that the Al-Jazeera undercover story in the US will be able to be viewed. I anticipate a hoard of Israel-firster congress critters to crawl out from under their respective rocks and deem Al-Jazeera to be antisemitic and call for it being banned as a foreign propaganda apparatus, much as is being done with RT and Sputnik.

I fear that we are long past the point of being redeemed as a nation. We can only watch with sorrow as this great nation crumbles under the might of Jewish power – impotent in our ability to arrest its fall.

Mark James , October 17, 2017 at 9:32 am GMT
ask Congressmen like Paul Findley, Pete McCloskey, William Fulbright, Charles Percy

I'd also add Adlai E. Stevenson III and John Glenn. Stevenson was crucial in getting compensation -- paltry sum though it was– payed to "Liberty" families for their loss. The Israelis had been holding out. Something for which the Il Senator was never forgiven (especially by The Lobby).

Netanyahu should not have been allowed to address the joint session. No foreign leader should be speaking in opposition to any sitting President (in this case Obama). It only showed the power of "The Lobby." Netanyahu who knew that Iran didn't have the weapons the Bush Adm. had claimed, was treated like a trusted ally. He shouldn't have been.

Kevin , October 17, 2017 at 9:37 am GMT
And the point is that while Israel calls the shots in terms of what it wants, it is a cabal of diaspora American Jews who actually pull the trigger. With that in mind, it will be very interesting to watch the al-Jazeera documentary on The Lobby in America.

Maybe, instead of Russia-Gate, we have is Israel-Gate. This time Netanyahu discreetly interfering in US Presidential Election ..Chilling thought though!

Tyrion , October 17, 2017 at 9:53 am GMT

And Israeli interference in U.S. government and elections is also a given. Endorsement of Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election by the Netanyahu government was more-or-less carried out in the open.

London's Mayor, Sadiq Khan, actually went to America to campaign for Hillary. Numerous European leaders endorsed her, while practically all denounced Trump. Exactly the same can be said of the Muslim world, only more so.

The problem with criticism of Israel is not that it lacks basis in truth. It is that it is removed from the context of the rest of the world. Israel's actions do not make Israel an outlier. Israel fits very much within the norm. Even with the recording this is the case.

All embassies try to further their national interest through political machinations and all people in politics tend to use hyperbolic language to describe what they are doing. I don't know if your shock is just for show or you are just a bit dim. The same applies to Buzzfeed's 'expose' of Bannon and the gasps the article let out at his use of terms like #War.

Unfortunately, contemporary idiots of all stripes seem to specialise in removing context so that they can further their specious arguments.

Randal , October 17, 2017 at 9:58 am GMT

"so I see no reason why the U.S. establishment won't take our findings in America as seriously as the British did"

Sadly, Clayton Swisher is probably correct that the US establishment will take their findings in America just as "seriously" as the British media and political establishment, and government, did.

The British government attitude was that everything was fine because the Israeli government "apologised" and the "rogue individual" responsible was taken out of the country, and the British media mostly ignored the story after an initial brief scandal. Indeed the main substantive response was the Ofcom fishing expedition against Al Jazeera looking for ways to use the disclosure of these uncomfortable truths as a pretext for shutting that company's operations down.

But there's no "undue influence" or bias involved, and if you say there might be then you are an anti-Semite and a hater.

The supreme irony behind all this is that Trump has been prevented by his own personal and family/adviser bias from using the one certain way of removing all the laughably vague "Russian influence" nonsense that has been used against him so persistently. All he had to do was to, at every opportunity, tie criticism and investigation of Russian "influence" to criticism and investigation of Israel Lobby influence under the general rubric of "foreign influence", and almost all of the high level backing for the charges would in due course have quietly evaporated.

geokat62 , October 17, 2017 at 9:59 am GMT
@Rurik

Philip Giraldi is a rare American treasure.

Rare, indeed, Rurik.

And in this rare company I would place former congressman, Ron Paul.

Here's an excerpt from his latest article, President Trump Beats War Drums for Iran :

Let's be clear here: President Trump did not just announce that he was "de-certifying" Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal. He announced that Iran was from now on going to be in the bullseye of the US military. Will Americans allow themselves to be lied into another Middle East war?

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/october/16/president-trump-beats-war-drums-for-iran/

animalogic , October 17, 2017 at 10:54 am GMT
This state of affairs, where the Zionist tail wags -- thrashes -- the US dog is bizarre to the point of laughter. Absent familiarity with the facts, who could believe it all? Is there a historical parallel ? I can't think of one that approaches the sheer profundity of the toxic embrace the Zionists have cover the US & west generally.
The Alarmist , October 17, 2017 at 11:01 am GMT
So how is using money we give them as foreign aid (it's fungible by any definition of the US Treasury and Justice Department) to lobby our legislators not a form of money laundering? Somebody ought to tell Mnuchin to get FINCEN on this yeah, I know, it sounded naive as I typed it. FINCEN is only there to harass little people like you and me.
Bardon Kaldian , October 17, 2017 at 11:05 am GMT
@googlecensors

Not true.

jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:15 am GMT
@Malla

Abby Martin is amazingly sharp. Many of the things she says can be confirmed by Uri Avnery, both his books and articles.

Here's a link to his weekly columns.

http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery

Incredible stuff there; thanks for posting it.

jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:21 am GMT
@Malla

Our slave descendant will be scurrying around in their ghettos afraid of the Greater Israeli Army military andriod drones in the sky.

According to the first vid, those drones will be built by the goyim.

Maybe there's a message there for us.

jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:32 am GMT
@Cloak And Dagger

I fear that we are long past the point of being redeemed as a nation. We can only watch with sorrow as this great nation crumbles

We are long past that point.

I myself am watching with joy, because this supposedly "great nation" was corrupt to the core from its inception.

For evidence, all one has to do is read the arguments of the anti-federalists who opposed the ratification of the constitution* such as Patrick Henry, Robert Yates and Luther Martin. Their predictions about the results have come true. Even the labels, "federalist" and "anti-federalist" are misleading and no doubt intentionally so.

Those who spoke out against the formation of the federal reserve bank* scheme were also correct.

The only thing great about the US in a moral sense are the high sounding pretenses upon which it was built. As a nation we have never adhered to them.

*Please note that I intentionally refrain from capitalizing those words since I refuse to show even that much deference to those instruments of corruption.

ISmellBagels , October 17, 2017 at 11:45 am GMT
Philip, glad to see you undaunted after the recent attacks on you. We can maybe take solace in the fact that their desire for MORE will finally pass a critical point, and dumbass Americans will finally wake up.
jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:47 am GMT

"She said that the Ofcom judgment would serve as a "precedent for the infringement of privacy of any Jewish person involved in public life."

I have news for that twister of words.

In my opinion, if you choose to put yourself in the limelight, you have no private life. That is especially true for those who think they're entitled to a position of power.

In other words, if you think you're special, then you get judged by stricter standards than the rest of us.

It's called accountability.

BTW, speaking of Netanyahu, why do we hear so little about the scandal involving the theft of nuclear triggers from the US?

"The Israeli press is picking up Grant Smith's revelation from FBI documents that Benjamin Netanyahu was part of an Israeli smuggling ring that spirited nuclear triggers out of the U.S. in the 80s and 90s."

http://mondoweiss.net/2012/07/netanyahu-implicated-in-nuclear-smuggling-from-u-s-big-story-in-israel.html

jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:58 am GMT
Thank you Mr Giraldi. You covered an amazing number of issues in such a well written and compact article.

Thanks also to Mr Unz for publishing these sorts of things.

ISmellBagels , October 17, 2017 at 12:30 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

What she really meant by that was HOLOCAUST ALERT HOLOCAUST ALERT!!

Anon , Disclaimer October 17, 2017 at 12:42 pm GMT
@Malla

When you listen to Abby Martin describe her experience regarding this brutal apartheid system in Israel and the genocide of the Palestinian people, remember, Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic , was a prison guard in the Israeli Defense Forces guarding the West Bank death camp. And David Brooks, political and cultural commentator for The New York Times and former op-ed editor for The Wall Street Journal , has a son in the Israel Defense Forces helping to perpetuate this holocaust of the Palestinian people. I hope I live to see the day when some Palestinian Simon Wiesenthal hunts these monsters down and brings them to trial in The Hague.

iffen , October 17, 2017 at 12:47 pm GMT
NPR Morning Edition 10/17/17

Rachel Martin talks to Vahil Ali, the communications director for the Kurdish president.

In which she tries to steer him into calling for armed American intervention in Kurdistan to resist the Iranian sponsored militia.

LondonBob , October 17, 2017 at 12:58 pm GMT
The lobby is not as powerful in Britain as it is the US, we can talk about it and someone like Peter Oborne is still a prominent journalist, but I don't see that it makes that much difference. We seem to end up in the same places the US does.
Sherman , October 17, 2017 at 1:15 pm GMT
I had my meeting with the Rothschilds, Goldman Sachs and the Israeli Department of Hasbara last week and we discussed how our plan to suppress both the US and British governments is progressing.

Apparently we are meeting our targets and everything is going according to plan.

Thanks for update Phil!

ChuckOrloski , October 17, 2017 at 1:25 pm GMT
@geokat62

Hey geokat62,

Speaking about how greatly rare a treasure are the P.G.'s words, below is linked a deliberately rare letter written by Congressman Donald Rumsfeld on behalf of the AZC.

http://www.israellobby.org/azcdoj/congress/defaultZAC .

Also, re, "Will Americans allow themselves to be lied into another M.E. war?"

(Sigh)

History shows that, in order for ZUSA to start M.E. wars, Americans are routinely fed Executive Branch / Corporate Media-sauteed lies. Such deceit is par-for-the-course.

At present, it would be foolish for me to not realize there is a False Flag Pentagon plan "on the table" & ready for a war with Iran.

Jake , October 17, 2017 at 1:27 pm GMT
What is playing out in the UK, and is in early stages in America, is the fight between the two side of Victorian WASP pro-Semtiism.

WASP culture has always been philo-Semitic. That cannot be stated too much. WASP culture is inherently philo-Semtic. WASP culture was born of Anglo-Saxon Puritanism, which was a Judaizing heresy. Judaizing heresy naturally and inevitably produces pro-Jewish culture. No less than Oliver Cromwell made the deal to get Jewish money so he could wage culture war to destroy British Isles natives were not WASPs.

WASP culture has always been allied with Jews to destroy white Christians who are not WASPs. You cannot solve 'the Jewish problem' unless you also solve 'the WASP problem.'

By the beginning of the Victorian era, virtually all WASP Elites in the Empire – who then had a truly globalist perspective – were divided into two pro-Semitic camps. The larger one was pro-Jewish. It would give the world the Balfour Declaration and the state of Israel.

The smaller and growing one was pro-Arabic and pro-Islamic. It would give the world the people who backed Lawrence of Arabia and came to prop up the House of Saud.

Each of these philo-Semitic WASP Elites groups was more than happy to keep the foot on the pedal to destroy non-WASP European cultures while spending fortunes propping up its favorite group of Semites.

And while each of those camps was thrilled to ally to keep up the war against historic Christendom and the peoples who naturally would gravitate to any hope of a revival of Christendom, they also squabbled endlessly. Each wished, and always will wish, to be the A-#1 pro-Semitic son of daddy WASP. Each will play any dirty trick, make any deal with the Devil himself, to get what he wants.

The Israeli lobby is more powerful throughout the Anglosphere than the Saudi/Arabic lobby, but the Saudi lobby is equally detestable and probably even a more grave threat to the very existence of Western man.

It is impossible to take care of a serious problem without knowing its source and acting to sanitize and/or cauterize and/or cut out that source. The source of this problem is WASP culture.

Michael Kenny , October 17, 2017 at 1:31 pm GMT
That the intelligence services of many countries engage in such conduct is not really news. Indeed, you could say that it's part of their normal job. They usually don't get caught and when accused of anything they shout "no evidence!" (now, where have I heard that recently?) Of course, if the Israelis engage in such conduct, then, logically, other countries' services do so too.

Thus, Mr Giraldi's argument lends credibility to the claims that Russia interfered in the US election and to the proposition that US intelligence agents are seeking to undermine the EU.

Since those two operations are part of the same transaction, i.e. maintain US global hegemony by breaking the EU up into its constituent Member States or even into the regional components of the larger Member States, using Putin as a battering ram and a bogeyman to frighten the resulting plethora of small and largely defenseless statelets back under cold war-era American protection, could it be that US and Russian intelligence services collaborated to manipulate Trump into the White House? If that were true, it would be quite a scandal! Overthrowing foreign governments is one thing, collaborating with a foreign power to manipulate your own country's politics is quite another! But of course, there's "no evidence"

Fran Macadam , Website October 17, 2017 at 1:32 pm GMT
Not surprising that the Jewish public gets gamed by Israeli political elites, just as the American public keeps getting gamed by our own cabal of bought politicians. Trying to fool enough of the people, enough of the time, contra Lincoln (who was not exactly a friend of critical dissent against war either .)
Anon , Disclaimer October 17, 2017 at 1:53 pm GMT
@wayfarer

Daphne Caruana Galizia exposed both local thieves and the CIA-Azerbaijan cooperation in supplying ISIS with arms:

https://www.rt.com/news/406963-assange-reward-caruana-galizia-death/ https://www.newsbud.com/2017/10/16/breaking-gladio-b-assassinates-journalist-with-car-bomb/

"Azerbaijan considers Malta to be "one of its provinces": https://daphnecaruanagalizia.com/2017/09/azerbaijan-considers-malta-one-provinces/
The Middle Eastern wars have repercussion .

[Oct 17, 2017] Ukrainian foreign trade deficit in January-August has grown to over three billion dollars

Slightly edited Google translation from Ukrainian
Please note that grivna generally kept its value and fluctuated in the band of 26-27 grivna per dollar for the same period. The general impression from 2015 to 2017 is slight growth of economic activity, especially in home building. Standard of living did not change much for this period and remains low. Food prices were more or less stable, which communal services costs especially house/apartment heating skyrocketed and even for one bedroom apartment now at winter can well exceed average pension.
Some percentage of foreign trade deficit might well be due to additional costs of import of coal (with some coming from the USA now) and gas (which is bought not directly but from Eastern European countries which has extra volumes at low prices from Russia). The continuing war at Donbass although at very low level still also attracts a lot funds.
Notable quotes:
"... Ukrainian foreign trade deficit in January-August has grown to 3.279 billion dollars, which is 2.3 times higher than the deficit for the same period last year - 1.448 billion dollars. ..."
"... The export coverage ratio was 0.89, while in January-August 2016 it was 0.94. ..."
"... For the whole 2016, Ukraine enjoyed a small surplus of foreign trade balance amounted to 337.3 million dollars. ..."
www.pravda.com.ua/

Ukrainian foreign trade deficit in January-August has grown to 3.279 billion dollars, which is 2.3 times higher than the deficit for the same period last year - 1.448 billion dollars.

Those data were reported by the Ukrainian National State Statistics Service.

Exports of goods from Ukraine over the period in comparison with the same period in 2016 increased by 21,1% - to 27,512 billion dollars, import - by 27,4%, to 30,791 billion dollars.

The export coverage ratio was 0.89, while in January-August 2016 it was 0.94. Foreign trade operations were conducted with partners from 219 countries of the world. For the whole 2016, Ukraine enjoyed a small surplus of foreign trade balance amounted to 337.3 million dollars.

[Oct 17, 2017] Kiev Should Give Up on the Donbass by Alexander J. Motyl

The article was written before April, 2017 and as such has only historical interest.
foreignpolicy.com

It didn't take long for things in Ukraine to go south in the Trump era.

Before last fall's U.S. election, Ukraine had finally appeared to be stabilizing after several tumultuous years. The country was receiving generally good grades and assistance from the International Monetary Fund; it enjoyed the political, diplomatic, and financial -- if not quite military -- support of the West; and it was making headway on internal reforms in the legal, economic, social, educational, health, and energy sectors. Finally, its armed forces had successfully transformed themselves from the 6,000 combat-ready troops available in mid-2014 to a powerful, battle-hardened army that managed to fight Russia and its proxies to a standstill in the east.

... ... ...

Kiev couldn't turn down such an offer, because it has continually insisted that the Donbass must, and will, be brought back into the Ukrainian fold. But the consequences of this gift would be ugly. Kiev would likely face an all-out war with the abandoned separatists, one that it would probably win, but then have to follow with enormous investments to fix the devastated region and try to win the hearts and minds of its anti-Kiev population. Estimates of how much it would cost to undo the damage done by Russia start at $20 billion, according to economist Anders Aslund; Ukraine's entire budget amounts to about $26 billion.

No less debilitating for Ukraine would be the political consequences of reintegrating the occupied Donbass. Several million anti-Western voters would be brought into the fold, to vote against Ukraine's pro-Western reforms. The pro-Russian political forces that ruled and still rule the region would get a second life. And the oligarchs and thieves who mismanaged the Donbass for decades would return to power. The Donbass would then play the same retrograde role it has played in Ukrainian politics since independence in 1991. Political tensions would increase, East-West polarization would return, Kiev would be rendered politically and economically impotent, and Putin would have achieved what he wanted all along -- a thoroughly unstable Ukraine, minus the cost of funding a low-level conflict in an economically doomed enclave.

Of course, it's impossible to say just which of these scenarios -- ranging from all-out war to dumping the Donbass to some other intermediate move -- will happen. The point is that, with Trump's unpredictability, radicalism, and pro-Russian sympathies, all of them are now possible or far more possible than they were before Trump's election.

The point is that, with Trump's unpredictability, radicalism, and pro-Russian sympathies, all of them are now possible or far more possible than they were before Trump's election.

Since the status quo that has held for the past two years is unlikely to do so for long, Ukraine needs to develop a realistic strategy toward the occupied Donbass -- one attuned to the new geopolitical circumstances -- and prepare for all of Trump and Putin's possible faits accomplis.

The good news is that Ukraine is prepared for all-out war with Russia; it is also prepared for and could cope with aid cutoffs from Washington and the end of sanctions. The bad news is that Kiev is thoroughly unprepared for the one scenario that could destroy Ukraine at little cost to Putin: Russia's return of the Donbass.

Whatever Kiev decides to do, Ukrainians must first decide what they believe is more important: independence or territorial integrity. The Minsk accords enabled Ukraine to enjoy the first and aspire to the second. This state of affairs could not have lasted forever, but Trump and Putin have brought it to a premature end.

Before Trump, Ukrainians could avoid making too many tough decisions about their strategic priorities. After Trump, they cannot.

[Oct 17, 2017] Empire's Workshop Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism (American Empire Project) Greg Grandi

There is a danger for Ukraine to become "European El Salvador" or, worse, "European Iraq"
Notable quotes:
"... After an opening chapter that makes the case for Latin America's role in the formation of the U.S. empire, the rest of this hook explores the importance of the region to the consolidation of what could be called a new, revolutionary imperialism. ..."
May 01, 2007 | www.amazon.com

After an opening chapter that makes the case for Latin America's role in the formation of the U.S. empire, the rest of this hook explores the importance of the region to the consolidation of what could be called a new, revolutionary imperialism.

Taken each on their own, the ideas, tactics, politics, and economics that have driven Bush's global policy are not original. An interventionist military posture, belief that America has a special role to play in world history, cynical realpolitik, vengeful nationalism, and free-market capitalism have all driven U.S.
diplomacy in one form or another for nearly two centuries. But whatis new is how potent these elements have become and how tightly they are bound to the ambitions of America's domestic ruling conservative coalition -- a coalition that despite its power and influence paints itself as persecuted, at odds not just with much of the world but with modern life itself. 6

The book goes on to explore the intellectual re-orientation or American diplomacy in the wake if Vietnam and the increasing willingness of militarists to champion human rights, nation building, and democratic reform. The third chapter considers how the rehabilitation of unconventional warfare doctrine in LI Salvador and Nicaragua by militarists in and around the Reagan White House laid the groundwork for today's offensive military posture. Here, the human costs of this resurgence of militarism will be addressed. In the many tributes that followed Reagan's death, pundits enjoyed repeating Margaret Thatcher's comment that Reagan won the Cold War "without firing a shot." The crescendo of carnage that overw helmed Central America in the 1980s not only gives the lie to such a legacy but highlights the inescapable violence of empire. The fourth chapter turns to the imperial home front, examining how r the Reagan administration first confronted and then began to solve the domestic crisis of authority generated by Vietnam and Watergate. It also argues that Reagan's Central American policy served as a crucible that forged the coalition that today stands behind George W. Bush. Chanter 5 is con cerned with the economics of empire, how the financial contraction of the 1970s provided an opportunity for the avatars of free-market orthodoxy -- the true core of the Bush Doctrine -- to join with other constituencies of the ascendant New Right, inaugurating first in Chile and then throughout Latin America a new, brutally competitive global economy.

The last chapter tallies the score of the new imperialism in Latin America. Celebrated by Bill Clinton, and now Bush, as a model of what the United States hopes to accomplish in the rest of the world, Latin America continues to be gripped by unrelenting poverty and periodic political instability, as the promise of living under a benevolent American imperialism has failed to materialize. As a result, new political movements and antagonists have emerged to contest the terms of
United States-promoted corporate globalization, calling for increased regional integration to offset the power of the United States and more social spending to alleviate Latin American inequality. With little to offer the region in terms of development except the increasingly hollow promises of free trade, Washington is responding to these and similar challenges by once again militarizing hemispheric relations, with all dissent now set in the crosshairs of the "global war on terror."

... ... ...

Over the last year, Washington has had some success in preventing leftists and nationalists from coming to power, in Peru, for instance, and in Mexico. But notwithstanding the outcome of specific votes, and despite the very real conflicts of interest among Latin American nations, the centrifugal forces pushing the region out of the U.S.'s orbit will continue.

What, then, will be Washington's long-term response to this independence movement? One could hope that the Democrats would seize the moment to assert their commitment to nonintervention and to work with economic nationalists to promote a fair and sustainable economic policy. Depending on the country, such a policy would include land reform, government regulation of foreign investment and currency speculation, more equitable contracts with multinationals, debt relief, increased spending on welfare, education, health care, and public works, and, in the U.S., a just immigration policy.

Don't count on it. Unlike after WWII, when a confident corporate class threw its backing behind New Deal political liberalism at home and at least some reform capitalism abroad, the financiers of today's Democratic Party are too deeply invested in war production and speculative capital and too intensely committed to keeping the third world open. They will not brook any sustained attempt to restructure the global economy in a more equitable direction. At the same time, the party's leadership -- unlike Republicans who are organically linked to their base -- is terrified of the antimilitarism of its rank-and-file. Thirty percent of the U.S. population opposed the war in Iraq even when it looked like a cakewalk, even as Dick Cheney and his cronies held a cocktail party to celebrate the PR-orchestrated toppling of Saddam's statue in Baghdad -- a significant minority that is much larger than anything the Goldwater insurgency and the Reagan Revolution started with.

But rather than building on this thirty percent, Democrats run away from it, with one after the other tripping over themselves to prove they are better equipped to fight the "war on terror'' than the Republicans. We may hope that the Democratic nominee in the 2008 election will challenge the ideology and the interests that
have capitalized on the problem of terrorism to launch a war for civilization. It's more likely we'll see him or her criticizing the way the "war" has been executed and demanding more of a say in how it is waged.

If there is change in American diplomacy, it will come from the citizens who mobilized to oppose the occupation of Iraq and who in 2006 gave back the Congress to the Democratic Party. But to truly break up the New Right, and not just temporarily slow it down, the reactive antimilitarism that so drives the neocons crazy will have to be converted into a forward-looking agenda, as cohesive and coherent as the one that led to the catastrophic war in Iraq. In this task, Latin America, long the workshop of U.S. elites, can provide a different kind of instruction.

Across the continent, political movements have emerged from decades of unrelenting state terror underwritten by imperial patronage to creatively and effectively oppose first corporate-driven neoliberalism and then a renewed U.S. militarism. Through exemplary courage, perseverance, and organizational skill, Latin American activists have provided a beacon of hope on an otherwise bleak global landscape. They have multiple agendas and objectives, yet they share a common set of values: human dignity, local autonomy, a vision of individual freedom rooted in collective solidarity, and a notion of democracy defined not simply by proceduralism or individual rights but by economic equity. It is they who are the world's true "democracy promoters" and who are fighting the real war on terror, and offering lessons to us all.

New York
December 2006

PABG, Somewhere in the world, on August 1, 2011

Unbelievable book

Have you ever wonder why the rest of America despises or doesn't trust the USA? Yes I wrote America so the people living in the USA will finally comprehend that America is a continent not a country, people please check your map!!! Well let me tell you why, is because the USA always interfere or sticks her big nose in the business of her American neighbors, just to name a few examples/ Guatemala 1954 and Chile 1973, and also a big part of the real problem is that the USA is not governed by the President, he or she is just a pawn or an employee of the big corporations, and the person in the Oval Office will do anything in his or her power to keep the big CEO's happy.

You want proof of this? Think about these recent events, 9\11, the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, the tax payer's money given to big corporations to cover the losses caused by their satanic greed and Guantanamo. Also I'm tired of hearing that illegal immigration has ruined the USA, let me tell you that if you keep your nose to your own business and leave the rest of America alone, you won't have a big immigration problem and just to keep in mind that the USA was built by immigrant hands. Please the USA has enough problems, public education, public health, a failed economic system and social disintegration just to mention a few, for the United States' Government to start thinking about building a global empire.

FYI I'm not a leftist or a USA hater, I like the USA and its people very much but I don't have affection for the neoconservatives and the capitalist pigs th