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Nuremberg Trials - World War II
HISTORY.comThere were many legal and procedural difficulties to overcome in setting up the Nuremberg trials. First, there was no precedent for an international trial of war criminals. There were earlier instances of prosecution for war crimes, such as the execution of Confederate army officer Henry Wirz (1823-65) for his maltreatment of Union prisoners of war during the American Civil War (1861-65); and the courts-martial held by Turkey in 1919-20 to punish those responsible for the Armenian genocide of 1915-16. However, these were trials conducted according to the laws of a single nation rather than, as in the case of the Nuremberg trials, a group of four powers (France, Britain, the Soviet Union and the U.S.) with different legal traditions and practices.
The Allies eventually established the laws and procedures for the Nuremberg trials with the London Charter of the International Military Tribunal (IMT), issued on August 8, 1945. Among other things, the charter defined three categories of crimes: crimes against peace (including planning, preparing, starting or waging wars of aggression or wars in violation of international agreements), war crimes (including violations of customs or laws of war, including improper treatment of civilians and prisoners of war) and crimes against humanity (including murder, enslavement or deportation of civilians or persecution on political, religious or racial grounds). It was determined that civilian officials as well as military officers could be accused of war crimes.
Dec 21, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Pavel , December 21, 2018 at 10:47 am
The Grauniad just quoted a tweet from a predictably OUTRAGED @HillaryClinton:
Actions have consequences, and whether we're in Syria or not, the people who want to harm us are there & at war. Isolationism is weakness. Empowering ISIS is dangerous. Playing into Russia & Iran's hands is foolish. This President is putting our national security at grave risk.
This from the woman who almost singlehandedly (i.e. along with David Cameron and Sarkovy) destroyed Libya and allowed -- if not encouraged -- the flow of US weapons to go into the hands of ISIS allies in the US-Saudi-Israeli obsession with toppling Assad regardless of the consequences. As Justin Raimondo wrote in Antiwar.com in 2015:
The policy of the Obama administration, and particularly Hillary Clinton's State Department, was – and still is – regime change in Syria. This overrode all other considerations. We armed, trained, and "vetted" the Syrian rebels, even as we looked the other way while the Saudis and the Gulf sheikdoms funded groups like al-Nusra and al-Qaeda affiliates who wouldn't pass muster. And our "moderates" quickly passed into the ranks of the outfront terrorists, complete with the weapons we'd provided.
This crazy policy was an extension of our regime change operation in Libya, a.k.a. "Hillary's War," where the US – "leading from behind" – and a coalition of our Western allies and the Gulf protectorates overthrew Muammar Qaddafi. There, too, we empowered radical Islamists with links to al-Qaeda affiliates – and then used them to ship weapons to their Syrian brothers, as another document uncovered by Judicial Watch shows.
After HRC's multiple foreign policy fiascos she is the last person who should be commenting on this matter.
a different chris, December 21, 2018 at 11:50 am
> the people who want to harm us are there & at war
Sounds like then they are too busy to harm us? She is truly an idiot. Thanks again, Ivy League.
Feb 20, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca
Hillary Clinton: "If I'm President, We Will Attack Iran We Would be Able to Totally Obliterate Them." By Stephen Lendman Global Research, February 19, 2018 Global Research 5 July 2015 Region: Middle East & North Africa , USA Theme: Militarization and WMD , US NATO War Agenda In-depth Report: IRAN: THE NEXT WAR?
Among Global Research's most popular articles in 2016.
Hillary is Dangerous. She Means What She says? Or Does She? (M. C. GR. Editor)
* * *
On July 3, 2015, presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton addressed a hand-picked audience at a Dartmouth College campaign event. She lied calling Iran an "existential threat to Israel I hope we are able to get a deal next week that puts a lid on (its) nuclear weapons program."
Even if we do get such a deal, we will still have major problems from Iran. They are the world's chief sponsor of terrorism.
They use proxies like Hezbollah to sow discord and create insurgencies to destabilize governments. They are taking more and more control of a number of nations in the region and they pose an existential threat to Israel.
We have to turn our attention to working with our partners to try to reign in and prevent this continuing Iranian aggressiveness.
Fact: US and Israeli intelligence both say Iran's nuclear program has no military component. No evidence whatever suggests Tehran wants one. Plenty indicates otherwise.
As a 2008 presidential aspirant, she addressed AIPAC's annual convention saying:
The United States stands with Israel now and forever. We have shared interests .shared ideals .common values. I have a bedrock commitment to Israel's security.
(O)ur two nations are fighting a shared threat" against Islamic extremism. I strongly support Israel's right to self-defense (and) believe America should aid in that defense.
I am committed to making sure that Israel maintains a military edge to meet increasing threats. I am deeply concerned about the growing threat in Gaza (and) Hamas' campaign of terror.
No such campaign exists. The only threats Israel faces are ones it invents.
Clinton repeated tired old lies saying Hamas' charter "calls for the destruction of Israel. Iran threatens to destroy Israel."
"I support calling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard what it is: a terrorist organization. It is imperative that we get both tough and smart about dealing with Iran before it is too late."
She backs "massive retaliation" if Iran attacks Israel, saying at the time:
" I want the Iranians to know that if I'm president, we will attack Iran. In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."
She endorses using cluster bombs, toxic agents and nuclear weapons in US war theaters. She calls them deterrents that "keep the peace." She was one of only six Democrat senators opposed to blocking deployment of untested missile defense systems – first-strike weapons entirely for offense.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Feb 21, 2017 | www.zerohedge.comSubmitted via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,
General Flynn's tenure in the White House was only slightly longer than that of President-elect William Henry Harrison in 1841. Actually, with just 24 days in the White House, General Flynn's tenure fell a tad short of old "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too". General Harrison actually lasted 31 days before getting felled by pneumonia.
And the circumstances were considerably more benign. It seems that General Harrison had a fondness for the same "firewater" that agitated the native Americans he slaughtered at the famous battle memorialized in his campaign slogan. In fact, during the campaign a leading Democrat newspaper skewered the old general, who at 68 was the oldest US President prior to Ronald Reagan, saying:
Give him a barrel of hard [alcoholic] cider, and a pension of two thousand [dollars] a year and he will sit the remainder of his days in his log cabin.
That might have been a good idea back then (or even now), but to prove he wasn't infirm, Harrison gave the longest inaugural address in US history (2 hours) in the midst of seriously inclement weather wearing neither hat nor coat.
That's how he got pneumonia! Call it foolhardy, but that was nothing compared to that exhibited by Donald Trump's former national security advisor.
General Flynn got the equivalent of political pneumonia by talking for hours during the transition to international leaders, including Russia's ambassador to the US, on phone lines which were bugged by the CIA Or more accurately, making calls which were "intercepted" by the very same NSA/FBI spy machinery that monitors every single phone call made in America.
Ironically, we learned what Flynn should have known about the Deep State's plenary surveillance from Edward Snowden. Alas, Flynn and Trump wanted the latter to be hung in the public square as a "traitor", but if that's the solution to intelligence community leaks, the Donald is now going to need his own rope factory to deal with the flood of traitorous disclosures directed against him.
In any event, it was "intercepts" leaked from deep in the bowels of the CIA to the Washington Post and then amplified in a 24/7 campaign by the War Channel (CNN) that brought General Flynn down.
But here's the thing. They were aiming at Donald J. Trump. And for all of his puffed up bluster about being the savviest negotiator on the planet, the Donald walked right into their trap, as we shall amplify momentarily.
But let's first make the essence of the matter absolutely clear. The whole Flynn imbroglio is not about a violation of the Logan Act owing to the fact that the general engaged in diplomacy as a private citizen.
It's about re-litigating the 2016 election based on the hideous lie that Trump stole it with the help of Vladimir Putin. In fact, Nancy Pelosi was quick to say just that:
'The American people deserve to know the full extent of Russia's financial, personal and political grip on President Trump and what that means for our national security,' House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a press release.
Yet, we should rephrase. The re-litigation aspect reaches back to the Republican primaries, too. The Senate GOP clowns who want a war with practically everybody, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, are already launching their own investigation from the Senate Armed Services committee.
And Senator Graham, the member of the boobsey twins who ran for President in 2016 while getting a GOP primary vote from virtually nobody, made clear that General Flynn's real sin was a potential peace overture to the Russians:
Sen. Lindsey Graham also said he wants an investigation into Flynn's conversations with a Russian ambassador about sanctions: "I think Congress needs to be informed of what actually Gen. Flynn said to the Russian ambassador about lifting sanctions," the South Carolina Republican told CNN's Kate Bolduan on "At This Hour. And I want to know, did Gen. Flynn do this by himself or was he directed by somebody to do it?"
We say good riddance to Flynn, of course, because he was a shrill anti-Iranian warmonger. But let's also not be fooled by the clinical term at the heart of the story. That is, "intercepts" mean that the Deep State taps the phone calls of the President's own closest advisors as a matter of course.
This is the real scandal as Trump himself has rightly asserted. The very idea that the already announced #1 national security advisor to a President-elect should be subject to old-fashion "bugging," albeit with modern day technology, overwhelmingly trumps the utterly specious Logan Act charge at the center of the case.
As one writer for LawNewz noted regarding acting Attorney General Sally Yates' voyeuristic pre-occupation with Flynn's intercepted conversations, Nixon should be rolling in his grave with envy:
Now, information leaks that Sally Yates knew about surveillance being conducted against potential members of the Trump administration, and disclosed that information to others. Even Richard Nixon didn't use the government agencies themselves to do his black bag surveillance operations. Sally Yates involvement with this surveillance on American political opponents, and possibly the leaking related thereto, smacks of a return to Hoover-style tactics. As writers at Bloomberg and The Week both noted, it wreaks of 'police-state' style tactics. But knowing dear Sally as I do, it comes as no surprise.
Yes, that's the same career apparatchik of the permanent government that Obama left behind to continue the 2016 election by other means. And it's working. The Donald is being rapidly emasculated by the powers that be in the Imperial City due to what can only be described as an audacious and self-evident attack on Trump's Presidency by the Deep State.
Indeed, it seems that the layers of intrigue have gotten so deep and convoluted that the nominal leadership of the permanent government machinery has lost track of who is spying on whom. Thus, we have the following curious utterance by none other than the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes:
'I expect for the FBI to tell me what is going on, and they better have a good answer,' he told The Washington Post. 'The big problem I see here is that you have an American citizen who had his phone calls recorded.'
Well, yes. That makes 324 million of us, Congressman.
But for crying out loud, surely the oh so self-important chairman of the House intelligence committee knows that everybody is bugged. But when it reaches the point that the spy state is essentially using its unconstitutional tools to engage in what amounts to "opposition research" with the aim of election nullification, then the Imperial City has become a clear and present danger to American democracy and the liberties of the American people.
As Robert Barnes of LawNewz further explained, Sally Yates, former CIA director John Brennan and a large slice of the Never Trumper intelligence community were systematically engaged in "opposition research" during the campaign and the transition:
According to published reports, someone was eavesdropping, and recording, the conversations of Michael Flynn, while Sally Yates was at the Department of Justice. Sally Yates knew about this eavesdropping, listened in herself (Pellicano-style for those who remember the infamous LA cases), and reported what she heard to others. For Yates to have such access means she herself must have been involved in authorizing its disclosure to political appointees, since she herself is such a political appointee. What justification was there for an Obama appointee to be spying on the conversations of a future Trump appointee?
Consider this little tidbit in The Washington Post . The paper, which once broke Watergate, is now propagating the benefits of Watergate-style surveillance in ways that do make Watergate look like a third-rate effort. (With the) FBI 'routinely' monitoring conversations of Americans...... Yates listened to 'the intercepted call,' even though Yates knew there was 'little chance' of any credible case being made for prosecution under a law 'that has never been used in a prosecution.'
And well it hasn't been. After all, the Logan Act was signed by President John Adams in 1799 in order to punish one of Thomas Jefferson's supporters for having peace discussions with the French government in Paris. That is, it amounted to pre-litigating the Presidential campaign of 1800 based on sheer political motivation.
According to the Washington Post itself, that is exactly what Yates and the Obama holdovers did day and night during the interregnum:
Indeed, the paper details an apparent effort by Yates to misuse her office to launch a full-scale secret investigation of her political opponents, including 'intercepting calls' of her political adversaries.
So all of the feigned outrage emanating from Democrats and the Washington establishment about Team Trump's trafficking with the Russians is a cover story. Surely anyone even vaguely familiar with recent history would have known there was absolutely nothing illegal or even untoward about Flynn's post-Christmas conversations with the Russian Ambassador.
Indeed, we recall from personal experience the thrilling moment on inauguration day in January 1981 when word came of the release of the American hostages in Tehran. Let us assure you, that did not happen by immaculate diplomatic conception -- nor was it a parting gift to the Gipper by the outgoing Carter Administration.
To the contrary, it was the fruit of secret negotiations with the Iranian government during the transition by private American citizens. As the history books would have it because it's true, the leader of that negotiation, in fact, was Ronald Reagan's national security council director-designate, Dick Allen.
As the real Washington Post later reported, under the by-line of a real reporter, Bob Woodward:
Reagan campaign aides met in a Washington DC hotel in early October, 1980, with a self-described 'Iranian exile' who offered, on behalf of the Iranian government, to release the hostages to Reagan, not Carter, in order to ensure Carter's defeat in the November 4, 1980 election.
The American participants were Richard Allen, subsequently Reagan's first national security adviser, Allen aide Laurence Silberman, and Robert McFarlane, another future national security adviser who in 1980 was on the staff of Senator John Tower (R-TX).
To this day we have not had occasion to visit our old friend Dick Allen in the US penitentiary because he's not there; the Logan Act was never invoked in what is surely the most blatant case ever of citizen diplomacy.
So let's get to the heart of the matter and be done with it. The Obama White House conducted a sour grapes campaign to delegitimize the election beginning November 9th and it was led by then CIA Director John Brennan.
That treacherous assault on the core constitutional matter of the election process culminated in the ridiculous Russian meddling report of the Obama White House in December. The latter, of course, was issued by serial liar James Clapper, as national intelligence director, and the clueless Democrat lawyer and bag-man, Jeh Johnson, who had been appointed head of the Homeland Security Department.
Yet on the basis of the report's absolutely zero evidence and endless surmise, innuendo and "assessments", the Obama White House imposed another round of its silly school-boy sanctions on a handful of Putin's cronies.
Of course, Flynn should have been telling the Russian Ambassador that this nonsense would be soon reversed!
But here is the ultimate folly. The mainstream media talking heads are harrumphing loudly about the fact that the very day following Flynn's call -- Vladimir Putin announced that he would not retaliate against the new Obama sanctions as expected; and shortly thereafter, the Donald tweeted that Putin had shown admirable wisdom.
That's right. Two reasonably adult statesman undertook what might be called the Christmas Truce of 2016. But like its namesake of 1914 on the bloody no man's land of the western front, the War Party has determined that the truce-makers shall not survive.
The Donald has been warned.
xythras , Feb 20, 2017 10:02 PMDarktarra -> xythras , Feb 20, 2017 10:11 PM
Assange is about to face censorship from one LENIN Moreno (next Ecuadorian president)
Assange must Reduce "Meddling" in US Policies While in Ecuadorian Embassy
How ironicwanglee -> Darktarra , Feb 20, 2017 10:18 PM
We haven't had deep state (successfully) take out a President since JFK. I am sure they will literally be gunning for Donald Trump! His election screwed up the elite's world order plans ... poor Soros ... time for him to take a dirt knap!
Be careful Trump! They will try and kill you! The United States government is COMPLETELY corrupt. Draining the swamp means its either you or they die!Chris Dakota -> wanglee , Feb 20, 2017 10:59 PM
Let us help Trump's presidency to make America (not globalist) great again.
Not only democrats rigged Primary to elect Clinton as presidential candidate last year even though she has poor judgement (violating government cyber security policy) and is incompetent (her email server was not secured) when she was the Secretary of State, and was revealed to be corrupt by Bernie Sanders during the Primary, but also democrats encourage illegal immigration, discourage work, and "conned" young voters with free college/food/housing/health care/Obama phone. Democratic government employees/politicians also committed crimes to leak classified information which caused former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn losing his job and undermined Trump's presidency.
However middle/working class used their common senses voting against Clinton last November. Although I am not a republican and didn't vote in primary but I voted for Trump and those Republicans who supported Trump in last November since I am not impressed with the "integrity" and "judgement" of democrats, Anti-Trump protesters, Anti-Trump republicans, and those media who endorsed Clinton during presidential election and they'll work for globalists, the super rich, who moved jobs/investment overseas for cheap labor/tax and demanded middle/working class to pay tax to support welfare of illegal aliens and refugees who will become globalist's illegal voters and anti-Trump protesters.
To prevent/detect voter fraud, "voter ID" and "no mailing ballots" must be enforced to reduce possible "voter frauds on a massive scale" committed by democratic/republic/independent party operatives. All the sanctuary counties need to be recounted and voided county votes if recount fails since the only county which was found to count one vote many times is the only "Sanctuary" county, Wayne county, in recount states (Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin) last year. The integrity of voting equipment and voting system need to be tested, protected and audited. There were no voting equipment stuck to Trump. Yet, many voting equipment were found to switch votes to Clinton last November. Voter databases need to be kept current. Encourage reporting of "voter fraud on a massive scale" committed by political party operatives with large reward.
Cashing in: Illegal immigrants get $1,261 more welfare than American families, $5,692 vs. $4,431 ( http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/cashing-in-illegal-immigrants-get-1261... ) DEA Report Shows Infiltration of Mexican Drug Cartels in Sanctuary Cities ( http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2015/09/08/dea-report-shows-infiltration-... ) Welfare Discourages Work( http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/04/27/the-science-is-settle... ) Hillary Clinton Says Bernie Sanders's "Free College" Tuition Plan Is All a Lie ( http://www.teenvogue.com/story/clinton-says-sanders-free-tuition-wont-wo... UC Berkeley Chancellor: Hillary Clinton 'Free' College Tuition Plan Won't Happen ( http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/09/30/uc-berkeley-chancello... ) Bill Clinton Impeachment Chief Investigator: I'm 'Terrified' of Hillary because we know that there were "People" who "Disappeared" ( http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/10/30/exclusive-bil... ) Former FBI Asst. Director Accuses Clintons Of Being A "Crime Family" ( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-30/former-fbi-asst-director-accuse... ) FBI boss Comey's 7 most damning lines on Clinton ( http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/05/politics/fbi-clinton-email-server-comey-da... ). Aides claiming she "could not use a computer," and didn't know her email password– New FBI docs ( https://www.rt.com/usa/360528-obama-implicated-clinton-email/ ). 23 Shocking Revelations From The FBI's Clinton Email Report ( http://dailycaller.com/2016/09/02/23-shocking-revelations-from-the-fbis-... ) DOJ grants immunity to ex-Clinton staffer who set up her email server ( http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/02/politics/hillary-clinton-email-server-just... ) Former House Intelligence Chairman: I'm '100 Percent' Sure Hillary's Server Was Hacked ( http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/11/06/former-house-... ) Exclusive - Gen. Mike Flynn: Hillary Clinton's Email Setup Was 'Unbelievable Active Criminal Behavior' ( http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/11/06/exclusive-gen... ) Clinton directed her maid to print out classified materials ( http://nypost.com/2016/11/06/clinton-directed-her-maid-to-print-out-clas... ) Obama lied to the American people about his secret communications with Clinton( http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/president-barack-obama-hillary-email-... ) Former U.S. Attorney General, John Ashcroft: FBI didn't 'clear' Clinton ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFYQ3Cdp0zQ ) When the Clintons Loved Russia Enough to Sell Them Our Uranium ( http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/07/25/flashback-cli... ) Wikileaks: Clinton Foundation Chatter with State Dept on Uranium Deal with Russia ( http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/10/08/wikileaks-putting-on-... ) Russian officials donated $$$ to Clinton Foundation for Russian military research ( http://www.breitbart.com/radio/2016/12/16/schweizer-insecure-left-wants-... ) Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal ( https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-... ) HILLARY CAMPAIGN CHIEF LINKED TO MONEY-LAUNDERING IN RUSSIA ( HTTP://WWW.WND.COM/2016/10/HILLARY-CAMPAIGN-CHIEF-LINKED-TO-MONEY-LAUNDE... ) The largest source of Trump campaign funds is small donors giving under $200 ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-self-fund_us_57fd4556e4... ) How mega-donors helped raise $1 billion for Hillary Clinton ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-mega-donors-helped-raise-1-b... ) Final newspaper endorsement count: Clinton 57, Trump 2 ( http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/304606-final-news... ) Journalists shower Hillary Clinton with campaign cash ( https://www.publicintegrity.org/2016/10/17/20330/journalists-shower-hill... ) Judicial Watch Planning to Sue FBI, NSA, CIA for Flynn Records ( http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/02/16/judicial-watch-planni... )
President Trump Vowed to Investigate Voter Fraud. Then Lawmakers Voted to "Eliminate" Election Commission Charged with Helping States Improve their Voting Systems ( http://time.com/4663250/house-committee-eliminates-election-commission-v... ) California's Recipe for Voter Fraud on a Massive Scale( http://www.breitbart.com/california/2017/01/27/voter-fraud/ ) California Republican Party Official Alleges Voter Fraud In California, a "Sanctuary" state ( http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/11/28/trump-among-those-saying-vot... ) BREAKING: Massive Voter Fraud Discovered In Mailing Ballots In Pennsylvania! See Huge Twist In Results! ( http://www.usapoliticstoday.com/massive-voter-fraud-pennsylvania/ ) "Voting Fraud" revealed during "Recount": Scanners were used to count one vote many times to favor Clinton in Wayne County, a "Sanctuary" county including Detroit and surrounding areas.( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-06/michigan-republicans-file-emerg... ) Illegal Voters Tipping Election Scales ( http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/243947/illegal-voters-tipping-election-s... ) Voter Fraud: We've Got Proof It's Easy ( http://www.nationalreview.com/article/368234/voter-fraud-weve-got-proof-... ) Voter Fraud Is Real. Here's The Proof ( http://thefederalist.com/2016/10/13/voter-fraud-real-heres-proof/ ) Here's Why State Election Officials Think Voter Fraud Is a Serious Problem ( http://dailysignal.com/2017/02/17/heres-why-state-election-officials-thi... ) Documented Voter Fraud in US ( http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/ViewSubCategory.asp?id=2216 ) No, voter fraud isn't a myth: 10 cases where it's all too real ( http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/17/no-voter-fraud-isnt-myth... ) Non-US citizen gets eight years for voter fraud in Texas after "Sucessfully Illegally Voted for at least Five Times" in Dallas county, a "Sanctuary" county( http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/02/09/non-us-citizen-gets-eight-years-... ) Democratic party operatives tell us how to successfully commit voter fraud on a massive scale ( http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/10/james-okeefe-rigging-elections-d... ) Texas Rigged? Reports Of Voting Machines Switching Votes To Hillary In Texas( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-25/texas-rigged-first-reports-voti... ) Voting Machine "Irregularities" Reported in Utah, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, & North Carolina ( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-08/voting-machine-irregularities-r... ) Video: Machine Refuses to Allow Vote For Trump in Pennsylvania ( http://www.infowars.com/video-machine-refuses-to-allow-vote-for-trump-in... ) Electoral fraud ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_fraud ) Voter fraud ( https://ballotpedia.org/Voter_fraud ) Sanctuary Cities Continue to Obstruct Enforcement, Threaten Public Safety( http://cis.org/Sanctuary-Cities-Map ) List of Sanctuary cities( http://www.apsanlaw.com/law-246.List-of-Sanctuary-cities.html ) Map Shows Sanctuary City Islands of Blue In Sea of Red ( http://www.infowars.com/map-shows-sanctuary-city-islands-of-blue-in-sea-... )CheapBastard -> Darktarra , Feb 20, 2017 10:19 PM
I hit some long click bait about famous people IQ
Barack Obama 140
Donald Trump 156
Trump knows whats coming. Rush Limbaugh said "I've known Trump for a long time, he is a winner and I am sure none of this phases him at all. The media didn't create him, the media can't destroy him."Chupacabra-322 -> CheapBastard , Feb 20, 2017 10:54 PM
Flynn has been there for several years. If he was such a threat why did they not take action sooner since Soweeto appointed him in 2012? It must be that Soweto Obama is his spy buddy then, both of them in league with the Russians since Obama has been with Flynn for a much longer time he had to know if something was up.
The entire Russian spy story is a complete Fake news rouse.
I am wondering what they'll say tomorrow to draw attention awya form the muslim riots in Sweden. If the news of Muslim riots in Sweden, then Trump will be even more vindicated and the MSM will look even more stupid and Fake.oncefired -> CheapBastard , Feb 20, 2017 11:07 PM
The Deep State has accentually lost control of the Intelligence Community via its Agents / Operatives & Presstitute Media vehicle's to Gas Light the Masses.
So what Criminals at large Obama, Clapper & Lynch have done 17 days prior to former CEO Criminal Obama leaving office was to Decentralize & weaken the NSA. As a result, Intel gathering was then regulated to the other 16 Intel Agencies.
Thus, taking Centuries Old Intelligence based on a vey stringent Centralized British Model, De Centralized it, filling the remaining 16 Intel Agenices with potential Spies and a Shadow Deep State Mirror Government.
All controlled from two blocks away at Pure Evil Criminal War Criminal Treasonous at large, former CEO Obama's Compound / Lair.
It's High Treason being conducted "Hidden In Plain View" by the Deep State.
It's the most Bizzare Transition of Power I've ever witnessed. Unprecedented.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-18/jay-sekulow-obama-should-be-hel ...Duc888 -> CheapBastard , Feb 20, 2017 11:11 PM
Flynn did not tell Pence that Pence's best friend was front and center on the Pizzagate list. That's what cost Flynn his job...it had fuck all do do with the elections.
Sep 22, 2005 | www.washingtonpost.comThat no one yet claims actually exists, has begun. Once again we seem to be heading down a highway marked "counterproliferation war." What makes this bizarre is that the Middle East today, for all its catastrophic problems, is actually a nuclear-free zone except for one country, Israel, which has a staggeringly outsized, semi-secret nuclear arsenal.
As Los Angeles Times reporter Douglas Frantz wrote at one point, "Though Israel is a democracy, debating the nuclear program is taboo A military censor guards Israel's nuclear secrets." And this "taboo" has largely extended to American reporting on the subject. Imagine, to offer a very partial analogy, if we all had had to consider the Cold War nuclear issue with the Soviet, but almost never the American nuclear arsenal, in the news. Of course, that would have been absurd and yet it's the case in the Middle East today, making most strategic discussions of the region exercises in absurdity.
I wrote about this subject under the title, Nuclear Israel , back in October 2003, because of a brief break, thanks to Frantz, in the media blackout on the subject. I began then, "Nuclear North Korea, nuclear Iraq, nuclear Iran - of these our media has been full for the last year or more, though they either don't exist or hardly yet exist. North Korea now probably has a couple of crude nuclear weapons, which it may still be incapable of delivering. But nuclear Israel, little endangered Israel? It's hard even to get your head around the concept, though that country has either the fifth or sixth largest nuclear arsenal in the world." And not much has changed since. I recommend as well a piece written even earlier by Ira Chernus on a graphic about the Israeli nuclear arsenal tucked away at the MSNBC website (and still viewable ).
Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and one of the founders of the group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, considers the Iranian and Israeli bombs, and Bush administration policy in relation to both below in a piece that, he writes, emerged from "an informal colloquium which has sprung up in the Washington, DC area involving people with experience at senior policy levels of government, others who examine foreign policy and defense issues primarily out of a faith perspective, and still others with a foot in each camp. We are trying to deal directly with the moral -- as well as the practical -- implications of various policy alternatives. One of our group recently was invited to talk with senior staffers in the House of Representatives about Iran, its nuclear plans, its support for terrorists, and U.S. military options. Toward the end of that conversation, a House staffer was emboldened to ask, 'What would be a moral solution?' This question gave new energy to our colloquium, generating a number of informal papers, including this one. I am grateful to my colloquium colleagues for their insights and suggestions." Now, read on. ~ Tom
Attacking Iran: I Know It Sounds Crazy, But...By Ray McGovern
"'This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous.'
"'And having said that, all options are on the table.'
"Even the White House stenographers felt obliged to note the result: '(Laughter).'"
( The Washington Post's Dan Froomkin on George Bush's February 22 press conference)
For a host of good reasons -- the huge and draining commitment of U.S. forces to Iraq and Iran's ability to stir the Iraqi pot to boiling, for starters -- the notion that the Bush administration would mount a "preemptive" air attack on Iran seems insane. And still more insane if the objective includes overthrowing Iran's government again, as in 1953 -- this time under the rubric of "regime change."
But Bush administration policy toward the Middle East is being run by men -- yes, only men -- who were routinely referred to in high circles in Washington during the 1980s as "the crazies." I can attest to that personally, but one need not take my word for it.
According to James Naughtie, author of The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency , former Secretary of State Colin Powell added an old soldier's adjective to the "crazies" sobriquet in referring to the same officials. Powell, who was military aide to Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger in the early eighties, was overheard calling them "the f---ing crazies" during a phone call with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw before the war in Iraq. At the time, Powell was reportedly deeply concerned over their determination to attack -- with or without UN approval. Small wonder that they got rid of Powell after the election, as soon as they had no more use for him.
If further proof of insanity were needed, one could simply look at the unnecessary carnage in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003. That unprovoked attack was, in my view, the most fateful foreign policy blunder in our nation's history...so far.
It Can Get Worse
"The crazies" are not finished. And we do well not to let their ultimate folly obscure their current ambition, and the further trouble that ambition is bound to bring in the four years ahead. In an immediate sense, with U.S. military power unrivaled, they can be seen as "crazy like a fox," with a value system in which "might makes right." Operating out of that value system, and now sporting the more respectable misnomer/moniker "neoconservative," they are convinced that they know exactly what they are doing. They have a clear ideology and a geopolitical strategy, which leap from papers they put out at the Project for the New American Century over recent years.
The very same men who, acting out of that paradigm, brought us the war in Iraq are now focusing on Iran, which they view as the only remaining obstacle to American domination of the entire oil-rich Middle East. They calculate that, with a docile, corporate-owned press, a co-opted mainstream church, and a still-trusting populace, the United States and/or the Israelis can launch a successful air offensive to disrupt any Iranian nuclear weapons programs -- with the added bonus of possibly causing the regime in power in Iran to crumble.
But why now? After all, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency has just told Congress that Iran is not likely to have a nuclear weapon until "early in the next decade?" The answer, according to some defense experts, is that several of the Iranian facilities are still under construction and there is only a narrow "window of opportunity" to destroy them without causing huge environmental problems. That window, they say, will begin to close this year.
Other analysts attribute the sense of urgency to worry in Washington that the Iranians may have secretly gained access to technology that would facilitate a leap forward into the nuclear club much sooner than now anticipated. And it is, of course, neoconservative doctrine that it is best to nip -- the word in current fashion is "preempt" -- any conceivable threats in the bud. One reason the Israelis are pressing hard for early action may simply be out of a desire to ensure that George W. Bush will have a few more years as president after an attack on Iran, so that they will have him to stand with Israel when bedlam breaks out in the Middle East.
What about post-attack "Day Two?" Not to worry. Well-briefed pundits are telling us about a wellspring of Western-oriented I find myself thinking: Right; just like all those Iraqis who welcomed invading American and British troops with open arms and cut flowers. For me, this evokes a painful flashback to the early eighties when "intelligence," pointing to "moderates" within the Iranian leadership, was conjured up to help justify the imaginative but illegal arms-for-hostages-and-proceeds-to-Nicaraguan-Contras caper. The fact that the conjurer-in-chief of that spurious "evidence" on Iranian "moderates," former chief CIA analyst, later director Robert Gates, was recently offered the newly created position of director of national intelligence makes the flashback more eerie -- and alarming.
George H. W. Bush Saw Through "The Crazies"
During his term in office, George H. W. Bush, with the practical advice of his national security adviser Gen. Brent Scowcroft and Secretary of State James Baker, was able to keep "the crazies" at arms length, preventing them from getting the country into serious trouble. They were kept well below the level of "principal" -- that is, below the level of secretary of state or defense.
Even so, heady in the afterglow of victory in the Gulf War of 1990, "the crazies" stirred up considerable controversy when they articulated their radical views. Their vision, for instance, became the centerpiece of the draft "Defense Planning Guidance" that Paul Wolfowitz, de facto dean of the neoconservatives, prepared in 1992 for then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney. It dismissed deterrence as an outdated relic of the Cold War and argued that the United States must maintain military strength beyond conceivable challenge -- and use it in preemptive ways in dealing with those who might acquire "weapons of mass destruction." Sound familiar?
Aghast at this radical imperial strategy for the post-Cold War world, someone with access to the draft leaked it to the New York Times , forcing President George H. W. Bush either to endorse or disavow it. Disavow it he did -- and quickly, on the cooler-head recommendations of Scowcroft and Baker, who proved themselves a bulwark against the hubris and megalomania of "the crazies." Unfortunately, their vision did not die. No less unfortunately, there is method to their madness -- even if it threatens to spell eventual disaster for our country. Empires always overreach and fall.
The Return of the Neocons
In 2001, the new President Bush brought the neocons back and put them in top policymaking positions. Even former Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams, convicted in October 1991 of lying to Congress and then pardoned by George H. W. Bush, was called back and put in charge of Middle East policy in the White House. In January, he was promoted to the influential post (once occupied by Robert Gates) of deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs. From that senior position Abrams will once again be dealing closely with John Negroponte, an old colleague from rogue-elephant Contra War days, who has now been picked to be the first director of national intelligence.
Those of us who -- like Colin Powell -- had front-row seats during the 1980s are far too concerned to dismiss the re-emergence of the neocons as a simple case of déjà vu . They are much more dangerous now. Unlike in the eighties, they are the ones crafting the adventurous policies our sons and daughters are being called on to implement.
Why dwell on this? Because it is second in importance only to the portentous reality that the earth is running out of readily accessible oil – something of which they are all too aware. Not surprisingly then, disguised beneath the weapons-of-mass-destruction smokescreen they laid down as they prepared to invade Iraq lay an unspoken but bedrock reason for the war -- oil. In any case, the neocons seem to believe that, in the wake of the November election, they now have a carte-blanche "mandate." And with the president's new "capital to spend," they appear determined to spend it, sooner rather than later.
Next Stop, Iran
When a Special Forces platoon leader just back from Iraq matter-of-factly tells a close friend of mine, as happened last week, that he and his unit are now training their sights (literally) on Iran, we need to take that seriously. It provides us with a glimpse of reality as seen at ground level. For me, it brought to mind an unsolicited email I received from the father of a young soldier training at Fort Benning in the spring of 2002, soon after I wrote an op-ed discussing the timing of George W. Bush's decision to make war on Iraq. The father informed me that, during the spring of 2002, his son kept writing home saying his unit was training to go into Iraq. No, said the father; you mean Afghanistan... that's where the war is, not Iraq. In his next email, the son said, "No, Dad, they keep saying Iraq. I asked them and that's what they mean."
Now, apparently, they keep saying Iran ; and that appears to be what they mean.
Anecdotal evidence like this is hardly conclusive. Put it together with administration rhetoric and a preponderance of other "dots," though, and everything points in the direction of an air attack on Iran, possibly also involving some ground forces. Indeed, from the New Yorker reports of Seymour Hersh to Washington Post articles , accounts of small-scale American intrusions on the ground as well as into Iranian airspace are appearing with increasing frequency. In a speech given on February 18, former UN arms inspector and Marine officer Scott Ritter (who was totally on target before the Iraq War on that country's lack of weapons of mass destruction) claimed that the president has already "signed off" on plans to bomb Iran in June in order to destroy its alleged nuclear weapons program and eventually bring about "regime change." This does not necessarily mean an automatic green light for a large attack in June, but it may signal the president's seriousness about this option.
So, again, against the background of what we have witnessed over the past four years, and the troubling fact that the circle of second-term presidential advisers has become even tighter, we do well to inject a strong note of urgency into any discussion of the "Iranian option."
Why Would Iran Want Nukes?
So why would Iran think it has to acquire nuclear weapons? Sen. Richard Lugar, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was asked this on a Sunday talk show a few months ago. Apparently having a senior moment, he failed to give the normal answer. Instead, he replied, "Well, you know, Israel has..." At that point, he caught himself and abruptly stopped.
Recovering quickly and realizing that he could not just leave the word "Israel" hanging there, Lugar began again: "Well, Israel is alleged to have a nuclear capability."
Is alleged to have ? Lugar is chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and yet he doesn't know that Israel has, by most estimates, a major nuclear arsenal, consisting of several hundred nuclear weapons? (Mainstream newspapers are allergic to dwelling on this topic, but it is mentioned every now and then, usually buried in obscurity on an inside page.)
Just imagine how the Iranians and Syrians would react to Lugar's disingenuousness. Small wonder our highest officials and lawmakers -- and Lugar, remember, is one of the most decent among them -- are widely seen abroad as hypocritical. Our media, of course, ignore the hypocrisy. This is standard operating procedure when the word "Israel" is spoken in this or other unflattering contexts. And the objections of those appealing for a more balanced approach are quashed.
If the truth be told, Iran fears Israel at least as much as Israel fears the internal security threat posed by the thugs supported by Tehran. Iran's apprehension is partly fear that Israel (with at least tacit support from the Bush administration) will send its aircraft to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, just as American-built Israeli bombers destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981. As part of the current war of nerves, recent statements by the president and vice president can be read as giving a green light to Israel to do just that; while Israeli Air Force commander Major General Eliezer Shakedi told reporters on February 21 that Israel must be prepared for an air strike on Iran "in light of its nuclear activity."
The Iranians also remember how Israel was able to acquire and keep its nuclear technology. Much of it was stolen from the United States by spies for Israel. As early as the late-1950s, Washington knew Israel was building the bomb and could have aborted the project. Instead, American officials decided to turn a blind eye and let the Israelis go ahead. Now Israel's nuclear capability is truly formidable. Still, it is a fact of strategic life that a formidable nuclear arsenal can be deterred by a far more modest one, if an adversary has the means to deliver it. (Look at North Korea's success with, at best, a few nuclear weapons and questionable means of delivery in deterring the "sole remaining superpower in the world.") And Iran already has missiles with the range to hit Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Sharon has for some time appeared eager to enlist Washington's support for an early "pre-emptive" strike on Iran. Indeed, American defense officials have told reporters that visiting Israeli officials have been pressing the issue for the past year and a half. And the Israelis are now claiming publicly that Iran could have a nuclear weapon within six months -- years earlier than the Defense Intelligence Agency estimate mentioned above.
In the past, President Bush has chosen to dismiss unwelcome intelligence estimates as "guesses" -- especially when they threatened to complicate decisions to implement the neoconservative agenda. It is worth noting that several of the leading neocons – Richard Perle, chair of the Defense Policy Board (2001-03); Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; and David Wurmser, Middle East adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney -- actually wrote policy papers for the Israeli government during the 1990s. They have consistently had great difficulty distinguishing between the strategic interests of Israel and those of the US -- at least as they imagine them.
As for President Bush, over the past four years he has amply demonstrated his preference for the counsel of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who, as Gen. Scowcroft said publicly , has the president "wrapped around his little finger." (As Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board until he was unceremoniously removed at the turn of the year, Scowcroft was in a position to know.) If Scowcroft is correct in also saying that the president has been "mesmerized" by Sharon, it seems possible that the Israelis already have successfully argued for an attack on Iran.
When "Regime Change" Meant Overthrow For Oil
To remember why the United States is no favorite in Tehran, one needs to go back at least to 1953 when the U.S. and Great Britain overthrew Iran's democratically elected Premier Mohammad Mossadeq as part of a plan to insure access to Iranian oil. They then emplaced the young Shah in power who, with his notorious secret police, proved second to none in cruelty. The Shah ruled from 1953 to 1979. Much resentment can build up over a whole generation. His regime fell like a house of cards, when supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini rose up to do some regime change of their own.
Iranians also remember Washington's strong support for Saddam Hussein's Iraq after it decided to make war on Iran in 1980. U.S. support for Iraq (which included crucial intelligence support for the war and an implicit condoning of Saddam's use of chemical weapons) was perhaps the crucial factor in staving off an Iranian victory. Imagine then, the threat Iranians see, should the Bush administration succeed in establishing up to 14 permanent military bases in neighboring Iraq. Any Iranian can look at a map of the Middle East (including occupied Iraq) and conclude that this administration might indeed be willing to pay the necessary price in blood and treasure to influence what happens to the black gold under Iranian as well as Iraqi sands. And with four more years to play with, a lot can be done along those lines. The obvious question is: How to deter it? Well, once again, Iran can hardly be blind to the fact that a small nation like North Korea has so far deterred U.S. action by producing, or at least claiming to have produced, nuclear weapons.
Nuclear Is the Nub
The nuclear issue is indeed paramount, and we would do well to imagine and craft fresh approaches to the nub of the problem. As a start, I'll bet if you made a survey, only 20% of Americans would answer "yes" to the question, "Does Israel have nuclear weapons?" That is key, it seems to me, because at their core Americans are still fair-minded people.
On the other hand, I'll bet that 95% of the Iranian population would answer, "Of course Israel has nuclear weapons; that's why we Iranians need them" -- which was, of course, the unmentionable calculation that Senator Lugar almost conceded. "And we also need them," many Iranians would probably say, "in order to deter 'the crazies' in Washington. It seems to be working for the North Koreans, who, after all, are the other remaining point on President Bush's 'axis of evil.'"
The ideal approach would, of course, be to destroy all nuclear weapons in the world and ban them for the future, with a very intrusive global inspection regime to verify compliance. A total ban is worth holding up as an ideal, and I think we must. But this approach seems unlikely to bear fruit over the next four years. So what then?
A Nuclear-Free Middle East
How about a nuclear-free Middle East? Could the US make that happen? We could if we had moral clarity -- the underpinning necessary to bring it about. Each time this proposal is raised, the Syrians, for example, clap their hands in feigned joyful anticipation, saying, "Of course such a pact would include Israel, right?" The issue is then dropped from all discussion by U.S. policymakers. Required: not only moral clarity but also what Thomas Aquinas labeled the precondition for all virtue, courage. In this context, courage would include a refusal to be intimidated by inevitable charges of anti-Semitism.
The reality is that, except for Israel, the Middle East is nuclear free. But the discussion cannot stop there. It is not difficult to understand why the first leaders of Israel, with the Holocaust experience written indelibly on their hearts and minds, and feeling surrounded by perceived threats to the fledgling state's existence, wanted the bomb. And so, before the Syrians or Iranians, for example, get carried away with self-serving applause for the nuclear-free Middle East proposal, they will have to understand that for any such negotiation to succeed it must have as a concomitant aim the guarantee of an Israel able to live in peace and protect itself behind secure borders. That guarantee has got to be part of the deal.
That the obstacles to any such agreement are formidable is no excuse not trying. But the approach would have to be new and everything would have to be on the table. Persisting in a state of denial about Israel's nuclear weapons is dangerously shortsighted; it does nothing but aggravate fears among the Arabs and create further incentive for them to acquire nuclear weapons of their own.
A sensible approach would also have to include a willingness to engage the Iranians directly, attempt to understand their perspective, and discern what the United States and Israel could do to alleviate their concerns.
Preaching to Iran and others about not acquiring nuclear weapons is, indeed, like the village drunk preaching sobriety -- the more so as our government keeps developing new genres of nuclear weapons and keeps looking the other way as Israel enhances its own nuclear arsenal. Not a pretty moral picture, that. Indeed, it reminds me of the Scripture passage about taking the plank out of your own eye before insisting that the speck be removed from another's.
Lessons from the Past...Like Mutual Deterrence
Has everyone forgotten that deterrence worked for some 40 years, while for most of those years the U.S. and the USSR had not by any means lost their lust for ever-enhanced nuclear weapons? The point is simply that, while engaging the Iranians bilaterally and searching for more imaginative nuclear-free proposals, the U.S. might adopt a more patient interim attitude regarding the striving of other nation states to acquire nuclear weapons -- bearing in mind that the Bush administration's policies of "preemption" and "regime change" themselves create powerful incentives for exactly such striving. As was the case with Iraq two years ago, there is no imminent Iranian strategic threat to Americans -- or, in reality, to anyone. Even if Iran acquired a nuclear capability, there is no reason to believe that it would risk a suicidal first strike on Israel. That, after all, is what mutual deterrence is all about; it works both ways.
It is nonetheless clear that the Israelis' sense of insecurity -- however exaggerated it may seem to those of us thousands of miles away -- is not synthetic but real. The Sharon government appears to regard its nuclear monopoly in the region as the only effective "deterrence insurance" it can buy. It is determined to prevent its neighbors from acquiring the kind of capability that could infringe on the freedom it now enjoys to carry out military and other actions in the area. Government officials have said that Israel will not let Iran acquire a nuclear weapon; it would be folly to dismiss this as bravado. The Israelis have laid down a marker and mean to follow through -- unless the Bush administration assumes the attitude that "preemption" is an acceptable course for the United States but not for Israel. It seems unlikely that the neoconservatives would take that line. Rather
"Israel Is Our Ally."
Or so said our president before the cameras on February 17, 2005. But I didn't think we had a treaty of alliance with Israel; I don't remember the Senate approving one. Did I miss something?
Clearly, the longstanding U.S.-Israeli friendship and the ideals we share dictate continuing support for Israel's defense and security. It is quite another thing, though, to suggest the existence of formal treaty obligations that our country does not have. To all intents and purposes, our policymakers -- from the president on down -- seem to speak and behave on the assumption that we do have such obligations toward Israel. A former colleague CIA analyst, Michael Scheuer, author of Imperial Hubris , has put it this way: "The Israelis have succeeded in lacing tight the ropes binding the American Gulliver to Israel and its policies."
An earlier American warned:"A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation facilitates the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, infuses into one the enmities of the other, and betrays the former into participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.... It also gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens, who devote themselves to the favorite nation, facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country." ( George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796 )
In my view, our first president's words apply only too aptly to this administration's lash-up with the Sharon government. As responsible citizens we need to overcome our timidity about addressing this issue, lest our fellow Americans continue to be denied important information neglected or distorted in our domesticated media.
Ray McGovern served as a CIA analyst for 27 years -- from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. During the early 1980s, he was one of the writers/editors of the President's Daily Brief and briefed it one-on-one to the president's most senior advisers. He also chaired National Intelligence Estimates. In January 2003, he and four former colleagues founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
Copyright 2005 Ray McGovern
Nov 08, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.comBy Daniel Larison James Traub gamely tries to convince us (and himself) that Clinton's foreign policy won't be as aggressive and meddlesome as she says it will be, but he undermines his argument when he says this:
As a senator and later secretary of state, she rarely departed from the counsel of senior military officials. She was far more persuaded of the merits of Gen. David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal's counterinsurgency plan for Afghanistan, which would have sent an additional 40,000 troops there, than Obama was and maybe even more than then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates was. She rarely departed from Gates on any significant issue. Of course, the one time she did so was on Libya, where she advocated intervention and he did not [bold mine-DL]. On Syria, Clinton may have to choose between her own expressed commitments and a Pentagon that is far more cautious and more inclined to see mishap than are civilian interventionists. I wonder how Kagan-esque she will be in the White House. Less so, perhaps, than she was as secretary of state.
In other words, when military officers recommended a larger escalation, she agreed with them, and when Gates didn't support intervention she didn't agree. Clinton was fine with advice from the military when it meant supporting deeper involvement, but she broke with Gates when he didn't want to take sides in a foreign war. That isn't a picture of someone who consistently heeds military advice, but rather someone who always opts for the more aggressive option available at the time. It doesn't make much sense that Clinton as president would be less "Kagan-esque" than she was as a member of Obama's Cabinet. As president, she will have considerable leeway to do as she sees fit, Congress will be pathetically quiescent as usual, and most of the foreign policy establishment will be encouraging her to do more in Syria and elsewhere. Clinton will be predisposed to agree with what they urge her to do, and in the last twenty years she has never seen a military intervention that she thought was unnecessary or too risky. Why is that suddenly going to change when she has the power of the presidency? In virtually every modern case, a new president ends up behaving more hawkishly than expected based on campaign rhetoric. All of the pressures and incentives in Washington push a president towards do-somethingism, and Clinton has typically been among the least resistant to the demand to "do something" in response to crises and conflicts, so why would we think she would become more cautious once she is in office? I can understand why many of her supporters wish that to be the case, but it flies in the face of all the available evidence, including most of what we know about how Washington works.
Traub makes a number of predictions at the end of his article:
She will not make dumb mistakes. She will reassure every ally who needs reassurance. She will try to mute China's adventurism in the South China Sea without provoking a storm of nationalism. She'll probably disappoint the neocons. She won't go out on any limbs. She won't shake the policymaking consensus.
I don't know where this confidence in Clinton's good judgment comes from, but it seems misplaced. I suppose it depends on what you think smart foreign policy looks like, but there is a fair amount of evidence from Clinton's own record that she is quite capable of making dumb mistakes.
That doesn't just apply to her vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq and her backing for intervention in Libya, but could also refer to her support for sending weapons to Ukraine, her endorsement of "no-fly" and safe zones in Syria, her preference for more sanctions on Iran while negotiations were still taking place, and her belief that the U.S. has to bomb another country to retain its "credibility." All of these are mistakes, and some are quite dumb.
It isn't at all reassuring to know that Clinton will "reassure every ally who needs reassurance," because in practice that means indulging bad behavior from reckless clients and rewarding them with more aid and weapons. Earlier in the article, Traub seems to understand that enabling the Saudis is a bad idea:
This last policy, which for Clinton will come under the heading of "alliance management," would only deepen the violence and sectarian strife rending the region. She would be better advised to tell the Saudis that the United States will reduce its support of their war effort unless they make serious efforts toward a lasting cease-fire.
That would certainly be wiser than offering uncritical backing of their intervention, but what is the evidence that Clinton thinks U.S. support for the war on Yemen needs to be curtailed? Yemen has been devastated in no small part because of Obama's willingness to "reassure" the Saudis and their allies. What other countries will be made to suffer so Clinton can keep them happy? Clinton may disappoint neocons, but then they are disappointed by anything short of preventive war. Even if Clinton's foreign policy isn't aggressive enough to satisfy them, it is likely to be far more aggressive than necessary.
Nov 08, 2016 | www.unz.com
The American people don't know very much about war even if Washington has been fighting on multiple fronts since 9/11. The continental United States has not experienced the presence a hostile military force for more than 100 years and war for the current generation of Americans consists largely of the insights provided by video games and movies. The Pentagon's invention of embedded journalists, which limits any independent media insight into what is going on overseas, has contributed to the rendering of war as some kind of abstraction. Gone forever is anything like the press coverage of Vietnam, with nightly news and other media presentations showing prisoners being executed and young girls screaming while racing down the street in flames.
Given all of that, it is perhaps no surprise that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, neither of whom has served in uniform, should regard violence inflicted on people overseas with a considerable level of detachment. Hillary is notorious for her assessment of the brutal killing of Libya's Moammar Gaddafi, saying "We came, we saw, he died." They both share to an extent the dominant New York-Washington policy consensus view that dealing with foreigners can sometimes get a bit bloody, but that is a price that someone in power has to be prepared to pay. One of Hillary's top advisers, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, famously declared that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to U.S. led sanctions were "worth it."
In the election campaign there has, in fact, been little discussion of the issue of war and peace or even of America's place in the world, though Trump did at one point note correctly that implementation of Hillary's suggested foreign policy could escalate into World War III. It has been my contention that the issue of war should be more front and center in the minds of Americans when they cast their ballots as the prospect of an armed conflict in which little is actually at stake escalating and going nuclear could conceivably end life on this planet as we know it.
With that in mind, it is useful to consider what the two candidates have been promising. First, Hillary, who might reasonably be designated the Establishment's war candidate though she carefully wraps it in humanitarian "liberal interventionism." As Senator and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has always viewed a foreign crisis as an opportunity to use aggressive measures to seek a resolution. She can always be relied upon to "do something," a reflection of the neocon driven Washington foreign policy consensus.
Hillary Clinton and her advisors, who believe strongly in Washington's leadership role globally and embrace their own definition of American exceptionalism, have been explicit in terms of what they would do to employ our military power.
She would be an extremely proactive president in foreign policy, with a particular animus directed against Russia. And, unfortunately, there would be little or no pushback against the exercise of her admittedly poor instincts regarding what to do, as was demonstrated regarding Libya and also with Benghazi. She would find little opposition in Congress and the media for an extremely risky foreign policy, and would benefit from the Washington groupthink that prevails over the alleged threats emanating from Russia, Iran, and China.
Hillary has received support from foreign policy hawks, including a large number of formerly Republican neocons, to include Robert Kagan, Michael Chertoff, Michael Hayden, Eliot Cohen and Eric Edelman. James Stavridis, a retired admiral who was once vetted by Clinton as a possible vice president, recently warned of "the need to use deadly force against the Iranians. I think it's coming. It's going to be maritime confrontation and if it doesn't happen immediately, I'll bet you a dollar it's going to be happening after the presidential election, whoever is elected."
Hillary believes that Syria's president Bashar al-Assad is the root cause of the turmoil in that country and must be removed as the first priority. . It is a foolish policy as al-Assad in no way threatens the United States while his enemy ISIS does and regime change would create a power vacuum that will benefit the latter. She has also called for a no-fly zone in Syria to protect the local population as well as the insurgent groups that the U.S. supports, some of which had been labeled as terrorists before they were renamed by current Secretary of State John Kerry. Such a zone would dramatically raise the prospect of armed conflict with Russia and it puts Washington in an odd position vis-à-vis what is occurring in Syria. The U.S. is not at war with the Syrian government, which, like it or not, is under international law sovereign within its own recognized borders. Damascus has invited the Russians in to help against the rebels and objects to any other foreign presence on Syrian territory. In spite of all that, Washington is asserting some kind of authority to intervene and to confront the Russians as both a humanitarian mission and as an "inherent right of self-defense."
Hillary has not recommended doing anything about Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, all of which have at one time or another for various reasons supported ISIS, but she is clearly no friend of Iran, which has been fighting ISIS. As a Senator, she threatened to "totally obliterate" Iran but she has more recently reluctantly supported the recent nuclear agreement with that country negotiated by President Barack Obama. But she has nevertheless warned that she will monitor the situation closely for possible violations and will otherwise pushback against activity by the Islamic Republic. As one of her key financial supporters is Israeli Haim Saban, who has said he is a one issue guy and that issue is Israel, she is likely to pursue aggressive policies in the Persian Gulf. She has also promised to move America's relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a "new level" and has repeatedly declared that her support for Israel is unconditional.
One of Hillary's advisors, former CIA acting Director Michael Morell, has called for new sanctions on Tehran and has also recently recommended that the U.S. begin intercepting Iranian ships presumed to be carrying arms to the Houthis in Yemen. Washington is not at war with either Iran or Yemen and the Houthis are not on the State Department terrorist list but our good friends the Saudis have been assiduously bombing them for reasons that seem obscure. Stopping ships in international waters without any legal pretext would be considered by many an act of piracy. Morell has also called for covertly assassinating Iranians and Russians to express our displeasure with the foreign policies of their respective governments.
Hillary's dislike for Russia's Vladimir Putin is notorious. Syria aside, she has advocated arming Ukraine with game changing offensive weapons and also bringing Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, which would force a sharp Russian reaction. One suspects that she might be sympathetic to the views expressed recently by Carl Gershman in a Washington Post op-ed that received curiously little additional coverage in the media. Gershman is the head of the taxpayer funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which means that he is a powerful figure in Washington's foreign-policy establishment. NED has plausibly been described as doing the sorts of things that the CIA used to do.
After making a number of bumper-sticker claims about Russia and Putin that are either partially true, unproven or even ridiculous, Gershman concluded that "the United States has the power to contain and defeat this danger. The issue is whether we can summon the will to do so." It is basically a call for the next administration to remove Putin from power-as foolish a suggestion as has ever been seen in a leading newspaper, as it implies that the risk of nuclear war is completely acceptable to bring about regime change in a country whose very popular, democratically elected leadership we disapprove of. But it is nevertheless symptomatic of the kind of thinking that goes on inside the beltway and is quite possibly a position that Hillary Clinton will embrace. She also benefits from having the perfect implementer of such a policy in Robert Kagan's wife Victoria Nuland, her extremely dangerous protégé who is currently Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and who might wind up as Secretary of State in a Clinton Administration.
Shifting to East Asia, Hillary sees the admittedly genuine threat from North Korea but her response is focused more on China. She would increase U.S. military presence in the South China Sea to deter any further attempts by Beijing to develop disputed islands and would also "ring China with defensive missiles," ostensibly as "protection" against Pyongyang but also to convince China to pressure North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. One wonders what Beijing might think about being surrounded by made-in-America missiles.
Trump's foreign policy is admittedly quite sketchy and he has not always been consistent. He has been appropriately enough slammed for being simple minded in saying that he would "bomb the crap out of ISIS," but he has also taken on the Republican establishment by specifically condemning the George W. Bush invasion of Iraq and has more than once indicated that he is not interested in either being the world's policeman or in new wars in the Middle East. He has repeatedly stated that he supports NATO but it should not be construed as hostile to Russia. He would work with Putin to address concerns over Syria and Eastern Europe. He would demand that NATO countries spend more for their own defense and also help pay for the maintenance of U.S. bases.
Trump's controversial call to stop all Muslim immigration has been rightly condemned but it contains a kernel of truth in that the current process for vetting new arrivals in this country is far from transparent and apparently not very effective. The Obama Administration has not been very forthcoming on what might be done to fix the entire immigration process but Trump is promising to shake things up, which is overdue, though what exactly a Trump Administration would try to accomplish is far from clear.
Continuing on the negative side, Trump, who is largely ignorant of the world and its leaders, has relied on a mixed bag of advisors. Former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency General Michael Flynn appears to be the most prominent. Flynn is associated with arch neocon Michael Ledeen and both are rabid about Iran, with Flynn suggesting that nearly all the unrest in the Middle East should be laid at Tehran's door. Ledeen is, of course, a prominent Israel-firster who has long had Iran in his sights. The advice of Ledeen and Flynn may have been instrumental in Trump's vehement denunciation of the Iran nuclear agreement, which he has called a "disgrace," which he has said he would "tear up." It is vintage dumb-think. The agreement cannot be canceled because there are five other signatories to it and the denial of a nuclear weapons program to Tehran benefits everyone in the region, including Israel. It is far better to have the agreement than to scrap it, if that were even possible.
Trump has said that he would be an even-handed negotiator between Israel and the Palestinians but he has also declared that he is strongly pro-Israel and would move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, which is a bad idea, not in America's interest, even if Netanyahu would like it. It would produce serious blowback from the Arab world and would inspire a new wave of terrorism directed against the U.S.
Regarding the rest of the Middle East, Trump would prefer strong leaders, i.e. autocrats, who are friendly rather than chaotic reformers. He rejects arming rebels as in Syria because we know little about whom we are dealing with and find that we cannot control what develops. He is against foreign aid in principle, particularly to countries like Pakistan where the U.S. is strongly disliked.
In East Asia, Trump would encourage Japan and South Korea to develop their own nuclear arsenals to deter North Korea. It is a very bad idea, a proliferation nightmare. Like Hillary, he would prefer that China intervene in North Korea and make Kim Jong Un "step down." He would put pressure on China to devalue its currency because it is "bilking us of billions of dollars" and would also increase U.S. military presence in the region to limit Beijing's expansion in the South China Sea.
So there you have it as you enter the voting booth. President Obama is going around warning that "the fate of the world is teetering" over the electoral verdict, which he intends to be a ringing endorsement of Hillary even though the choice is not nearly that clear cut. Part of the problem with Trump is that he has some very bad ideas mixed in with a few good ones and no one knows what he would actually do if he were president. Unfortunately, it is all too clear what Hillary would do.
Nov 07, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.comBy Michael T. Klare, a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and the author, most recently, of The Race for What's Left . A documentary movie version of his book Blood and Oil is available from the Media Education Foundation . Follow him on Twitter at @mklare1. Originally published at TomDispatch
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With passions running high on both sides in this year's election and rising fears about Donald Trump's impulsive nature and Hillary Clinton's hawkish one, it's hardly surprising that the "nuclear button" question has surfaced repeatedly throughout the campaign. In one of the more pointed exchanges of the first presidential debate, Hillary Clinton declared that Donald Trump lacked the mental composure for the job. "A man who can be provoked by a tweet," she commented , "should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes." Donald Trump has reciprocated by charging that Clinton is too prone to intervene abroad. "You're going to end up in World War III over Syria," he told reporters in Florida last month.
For most election observers, however, the matter of personal character and temperament has dominated discussions of the nuclear issue, with partisans on each side insisting that the other candidate is temperamentally unfit to exercise control over the nuclear codes. There is, however, a more important reason to worry about whose finger will be on that button this time around: at this very moment, for a variety of reasons, the "nuclear threshold" - the point at which some party to a "conventional" (non-nuclear) conflict chooses to employ atomic weapons - seems to be moving dangerously lower.
Not so long ago, it was implausible that a major nuclear power - the United States, Russia, or China - would consider using atomic weapons in any imaginable conflict scenario. No longer. Worse yet, this is likely to be our reality for years to come, which means that the next president will face a world in which a nuclear decision-making point might arrive far sooner than anyone would have thought possible just a year or two ago - with potentially catastrophic consequences for us all.
No less worrisome, the major nuclear powers (and some smaller ones) are all in the process of acquiring new nuclear arms, which could, in theory, push that threshold lower still. These include a variety of cruise missiles and other delivery systems capable of being used in "limited" nuclear wars - atomic conflicts that, in theory at least, could be confined to just a single country or one area of the world (say, Eastern Europe) and so might be even easier for decision-makers to initiate. The next president will have to decide whether the U.S. should actually produce weapons of this type and also what measures should be taken in response to similar decisions by Washington's likely adversaries.
Lowering the Nuclear Threshold
During the dark days of the Cold War, nuclear strategists in the United States and the Soviet Union conjured up elaborate conflict scenarios in which military actions by the two superpowers and their allies might lead from, say, minor skirmishing along the Iron Curtain to full-scale tank combat to, in the end, the use of "battlefield" nuclear weapons, and then city-busting versions of the same to avert defeat. In some of these scenarios, strategists hypothesized about wielding "tactical" or battlefield weaponry - nukes powerful enough to wipe out a major tank formation, but not Paris or Moscow - and claimed that it would be possible to contain atomic warfare at such a devastating but still sub-apocalyptic level. (Henry Kissinger, for instance, made his reputation by preaching this lunatic doctrine in his first book, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy .) Eventually, leaders on both sides concluded that the only feasible role for their atomic arsenals was to act as deterrents to the use of such weaponry by the other side. This was, of course, the concept of " mutually assured destruction ," or - in one of the most classically apt acronyms of all times: MAD. It would, in the end, form the basis for all subsequent arms control agreements between the two superpowers.
Anxiety over the escalatory potential of tactical nuclear weapons peaked in the 1970s when the Soviet Union began deploying the SS-20 intermediate-range ballistic missile (capable of striking cities in Europe, but not the U.S.) and Washington responded with plans to deploy nuclear-armed, ground-launched cruise missiles and the Pershing-II ballistic missile in Europe. The announcement of such plans provoked massive antinuclear demonstrations across Europe and the United States. On December 8, 1987, at a time when worries had been growing about how a nuclear conflagration in Europe might trigger an all-out nuclear exchange between the superpowers, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
That historic agreement - the first to eliminate an entire class of nuclear delivery systems - banned the deployment of ground-based cruise or ballistic missiles with a range of 500 and 5,500 kilometers and required the destruction of all those then in existence. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation inherited the USSR's treaty obligations and pledged to uphold the INF along with other U.S.-Soviet arms control agreements. In the view of most observers, the prospect of a nuclear war between the two countries practically vanished as both sides made deep cuts in their atomic stockpiles in accordance with already existing accords and then signed others, including the New START , the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty of 2010.
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To put this in perspective, Russian leaders ardently believe that they are the victims of a U.S.-led drive by NATO to encircle their country and diminish its international influence. They point, in particular, to the build-up of NATO forces in the Baltic countries, involving the semi-permanent deployment of combat battalions in what was once the territory of the Soviet Union, and in apparent violation of promises made to Gorbachev in 1990 that NATO would not do so. As a result, Russia has been bolstering its defenses in areas bordering Ukraine and the Baltic states, and training its troops for a possible clash with the NATO forces stationed there.
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On the American side, the weapon of immediate concern is a new version of the AGM-86B air-launched cruise missile, usually carried by B-52 bombers. Also known as the Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO), it is, like the Iskander-M, expected to be deployed in both nuclear and conventional versions, leaving those on the potential receiving end unsure what might be heading their way.
In other words, as with the Iskander-M, the intended target might assume the worst in a crisis, leading to the early use of nuclear weapons. Put another way, such missiles make for twitchy trigger fingers and are likely to lead to a heightened risk of nuclear war, which, once started, might in turn take Washington and Moscow right up the escalatory ladder to a planetary holocaust.
No wonder former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry called on President Obama to cancel the ALCM program in a recent Washington Post op-ed piece. "Because they… come in both nuclear and conventional variants," he wrote, "cruise missiles are a uniquely destabilizing type of weapon." And this issue is going to fall directly into the lap of the next president.pretzelattack November 7, 2016 at 1:46 amLambert Strether November 7, 2016 at 2:29 am
scanning it, it keeps referring to the obama administration's beliefs about russia, and claims by american officials. given the hysteria about putin allegedly hacking the us election, and the propaganda surrounding the war on terror, i'm reluctant to rely on this kind of evidence.integer November 7, 2016 at 2:50 am
But Hillary Clinton, for all her experience as secretary of state, is likely to have a hard time grappling with the pressures and dangers that are likely to arise in the years ahead, especially given that her inclination is to toughen U.S. policy toward Russia.
"Even" is a little rich, given that the Clinton campaign has systematically - I hate to use the word, but - demonized* Putin. One can regard the political class as cynically able to turn on a dime when the election is done, but Clinton has also induced her base of "NPR tote baggers" to buy in, and the more massive base is harder to turn. And then of course the neo-cons have gone over to her, and they certainly know which side their bread has blood on.
So, if Clinton wins, the dominant faction of the Democrat Party is - from the leadership through the nomenklatura to the base - committed to a "muscular" foreign policy, including a "No Fly Zone" in Syria, where shooting down a Russian plane would be an act of war, so far as Russia is concerned. (In the last debate, Clinton pointedly didn't answer what she would do in that eventuality.)
It is what it is. We are where we are.
NOTE * I mean, come on. Trump and Comey as Putin's agents of influence? Beyond bizarre.
UPDATE One of the salient features of the bureaucratic infighters who brought about World War I is their utter mediocrity; see this review of The Sleepwalkers , a diplomatic history of how World War I came out. If you want to see real mediocrity in today's terms, read the Podesta emails.timotheus November 7, 2016 at 5:35 am
And contrast that quote with:
Whoever is elected on November 8th, we are evidently all headed into a world in which Trumpian-style itchy trigger fingers could be the norm.
So even Hillary Clinton might not be able to handle a world full of Trumpian-style itchy trigger fingers. That's a bit hard to swallow imo.hemeantwell November 7, 2016 at 8:44 am
"Muscular" policy towards Russia: [echo "muscular policy! muscular policy!" slow fade]. And we think Putin is a clownish macho.
Joins "innovation", economic "liftoff" and "headwinds", "fight for", etc.Massinissa November 7, 2016 at 2:38 am
Agreed. Klare's order of presentation creates a questionable sense of causality by talking first about Russian tech and strategy and then about what appear to be US responses. For example, my understanding of recent developments of low yield nuclear weapons - I'm thinking of the "dial a bomb" - has the US once again opening up a new strategic front the Russians feel compelled to duplicate. His discussion of the Iskander M similarly elides the question of how the Russians think about the B52-based cruise missiles the US has had for years.
He also seems to lose track of a point he introduces by referring to Kissinger's advocacy of the use of low yield nukes. Kissinger's book came out in 1957, and afair only the US had battlefield nuclear missile delivery systems back in early 60s. After Kissinger gained power in the Nixon administration, they both thought that it was useful to look rationally irrational, to set out a logic for dangerous policies in order to make opponents fearful of a catastrophic reaction. The Russians are likely doing the same thing. I'm sure, too, that talking of a low first use threshold is a way to split Europe from the US.Roland November 7, 2016 at 3:10 am
I like the article, but it seems like its putting too much of the fault on Russia.integer November 7, 2016 at 5:20 am
This article on nuclear strategy makes no mention of the single most destabilizing thing that happened in nuclear affairs in this century: the USA's unilateral abrogation of the ABM Treaty.
How could the author make such an omission?
The biggest nuclear problem we face is that there are "serious" military and political leaders in the USA who think that their new ABM systems will allow them to burst the shackles of assured-destruction, and thus to actively employ escalation dominance as a foreign policy tool..charles 2 November 7, 2016 at 5:06 am
political leaders in the USA who think that their new ABM systems will allow them to burst the shackles of assured-destruction
"Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand."
― Archibald Puttfajensen November 7, 2016 at 6:13 am
The author puts too much emphasis on anti-cities warfare at a pre-strategic level. A strike will be more likely to be an EMP anti-infrastructure strike. In modern societies, one doesn't need to kill people to break their resolve. Disrupting the provision of electricity, mobile, cable and internet connection is amply enough to eliminate the appetite for overseas military adventures.Disturbed Voter November 7, 2016 at 6:31 am
The nukes run on a dead-man switch. If one EMP's "everything", the periodic "please do not launch today, sir"-signal will not reach the silos/submarines and missiles will launch automatically.
We can be pretty sure that the last missiles launched will be salted with some "well, fuck you too!"-concoction to create massive fallout and maybe even some bio-weapons on top for all those weakened immune systems (from the gamma radiation). The USSR did a lot of very high quality research on biological weapons, obviously, everyone else has whatever they had in the 1980's. People who ingest radioactive dust are goners sooner or later. Sooner with bio-weapons on top of the radiation poisoning.
People, especially people "on top" who should be informed and know better, yet still think ABM systems work effectively for any other purpose than moving billions of USD to into the pockets of defense industry cronies, are simply deluded. Even with cooked tests, where the speed and trajectory of the opposition missile is known to the missile defence in advance, the odds of an intercept are low.fajensen November 7, 2016 at 8:04 am
The only way to win is not play – War-games
Why would the elites not want to win, compared to the first 70 years of the nuclear age?Jim A November 7, 2016 at 9:01 am
Why would the elites not want to win, compared to the first 70 years of the nuclear age?
They are like 70-80 years old, geriatrics already, soon diaper-cases. All thes powerful people are in a desparate race with time to "set things right", before they lose all of their faculties (or start smelling of poo so no-one invites them anymore).
Even more troubling, Russia has adopted a military doctrine that favors the early use of nuclear weapons if it faces defeat in a conventional war, and NATO is considering comparable measures in response. The nuclear threshold, in other words, is dropping rapidly.
Of course this is the exact mirror image of the US policy during the Cold War. We relied on the threat of "theater nuclear war" to deter the huge Soviet conventional forces that NATO had little chance of stopping with conventional forces. Of course the Germans joked that the definition of a "theater" nuclear weapon was one that went off in Germany.
John Pilger: The Saudis, the Qataris, the Moroccans, the Bahrainis, particularly the first two, are giving all this money to the Clinton Foundation, while Hillary Clinton is secretary of state, and the State Department is approving massive arms sales, particularly Saudi Arabia.
Julian Assange: Under Hillary Clinton – and the Clinton emails reveal a significant discussion of it – the biggest-ever arms deal in the world was made with Saudi Arabia: more than $80 billion. During her tenure, the total arms exports from the US doubled in dollar value.
JP: Of course, the consequence of that is that this notorious jihadist group, called ISIL or ISIS, is created largely with money from people who are giving money to the Clinton Foundation?
Nov 03, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.orgblack and brown women and children to bomb.
Erelis | Nov 3, 2016 7:02:05 PM | 37And yes, about the only thing "liberal" about Clinton involves identity politics. But if she is elected, all of her supporters who used identity politics based attacks to smear Bernie Sanders and his supporters (along with a good dose of that against Trump also) are going to be in for a very rude awakening. How easily in particular the gay and black communities forget the administration of Bill Clinton and what he and Hillary did.
Just as a start, Clinton ignored the identity crowd by picking somebody for VP that the identity crowd spent the previous year smearing the Sanders campaign over: Kaine is your prototypical straight privileged white male who has failed upwards. And not a peep from the identity crowd especially black leaders who more than any other group put Clinton over the top (forgetting the cheating for a moment). One of the early Wikileak revelations was a memo to Congressional candidates how to marginalize BLM if they were ever confronted.
If BLM acts up and damages her politically, a President Hillary will smash the leaders and movement in the same Obama violently smashed OWS .
She will honor her "feminist" supporters by appointing the most violent and virulent warmongering women into positions of power so they too can like the men can decide which black and brown women and children to bomb. She will stab in the back such early supporters as SEIU by refusing to support min. wage increases. And women are disproportionately the base of min. wage workers. She supports Simpson-Bowles as revealed by Wikileaks and the Cat Food Commission recommended cutting social security. Guess which groups that will really hurt? Maybe the next groveling task for John Lewis will be to attack people who are against Hillary cutting social security.
Nov 03, 2016 | www.voltairenet.org
From time to time, it is in the interests of the Western media and political establishment to do a bit of "political cleansing".
Thus the West pulls out some skeleton from the closet. A British Parliamentary Committee has criticized David Cameron for authorizing the use of force in Libya when he was Prime Minister in 2011. However the basis for criticism was not the war of aggression per se (even though it erased from the map a sovereign state) but rather the fact that war was entered into without an adequate "intelligence" foundation and also because there was no plan for "reconstruction" [ 1 ].
The same mistake was made by President Obama: thus he declared last April that Libya was his "biggest regret", not because he used US-led Nato forces to reduce it to smithereens but because he had failed to plan for "the day after". At the same time, Obama has confirmed his support for Hillary Clinton who is now running for president. When Hillary was Secretary of State, she convinced Obama to authorize a covert operation in Libya (which included sending in special forces and arming terrorist groups) in preparation for a US/Nato aeronaval attack.
Clinton's emails that subsequently came to light, prove what the real motive for war might be: blocking Gaddafi's plan to harness Libya's sovereign funds to establish independent financial organizations, located within the African Union and an African currency that could serve as an alternative to the dollar and the CFA franc.
Immediately after razing the State of Libya, the US and Nato brought in the Gulf Monarchies and set about a covert operation to destroy the State of Syria by infiltrating it with special forces and terrorist groups that gave birth to Isis.
An e mail from Clinton, one of the many the Department of State was compelled to de-classify following the uproar triggered by the disclosures on Wikileaks, proves what one of the key objectives of the operation still underway. In an e mail dated 31 December 2012, declassified as "case no: F – 2014 – 20439, Doc No. CO5794998", Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, wrote [ 2 ]:
"It is Iran's strategic relationship with the Bashar Assad regime that allows Iran to threaten Israel's security – not through a direct attack but through its allies in Lebanon such as the Hezbollah."
She then emphasizes that:
"the best way to help Israel is to help the rebellion in Syria that has now lasted for more than a year" (i.e. from 2011). How? By mounting the case that the use of force is a sina qua non to make Basshar Assad fold, so as to endanger his life and that of his family".
And Clinton concludes:
"wrecking Assad would not only be a huge advantage for the security of the State of Israel, but would also go a long way to reducing Israel's justifiable fear that it will lose its nuclear monopoly".
So, the former Secretary of State admits what officially is not said. That Israel is the only country in the Middle East to possess nuclear weapons [ 3 ].
The support given by the Obama Administration to Israel over and above some disagreements (more formal than substantive) is confirmed by the agreement signed on 14 September at Washington under which the United States agrees to supply Israel over a ten year period with weapons of the latest design for a value of 38 billion dollars through an annual financing of 3.3 billion dollars plus half a million for "missile defense".
In the meantime, after the Russian intervention scuppered the plan to engage in war to demolish Syria from within, the US obtains a "truce" (which it immediately violated), launching at the same time a fresh attack in Libya, in the sheepskin of humanitarian operations that Italy participates in with its "para-medics".
Meanwhile Israel, lurking in the background, strengthens its nuclear monopoly so precious to Clinton.
Nov 03, 2016 | www.theguardian.comlibertate 5h ago
My my, the times they are interesting.
The stench of desperation and corruption is surrounding the Dems like the piles of rotting corpses Obama and Clinton have stacked up in Libya and Syria.
Let's hope that Mr. Assange is saving the best for last, and delivers the coup de grace to the warmongering sociopathic harpy and she melts down like the wicked witch of the west.
Either way, methinks that a great mass of unwashed deplorables may just rise up and sweep the authoritarian orange barbarian into power.
Which is why I'm stocking up on ribeyes, scotch, and ammo for next week. Should Trump prevail, I give better than even odds that the leftist chimps will, literally, go berserk .
Nov 02, 2016 | query.nytimes.com
anne said in reply to anne... http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9906E2DF1E39F932A25752C1A9659C8B63
Avoid War Crimes
To the Editor:
In ''A Burden Too Heavy to Put Down,'' * David Brooks writes, ''Inevitably, there will be atrocities'' committed by our forces in Iraq. Did he forget to add that they must be prosecuted?
War crimes are indeed more likely if influential commentators foreshadow impunity for perpetrators of the ''brutal measures our own troops will have to adopt.''
The choice is not between committing war crimes and retreating ''into the paradise of our own innocence.'' A third option is for the United States to strive to avoid complicity.
It is untrue that ''we have to take morally hazardous action.'' Those who choose it, or urge others to, cannot evade or distribute responsibility by asserting that ''we live in a fallen world.''
New Haven, Nov. 4, 2003
The writer is director of the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University.
Nov 01, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.comAnonymous November 1, 2016 at 7:39 pm
If HRC wins, we have war with Russia, including possibly WW3. That makes environmental issues moot.
Separately, HRC will not even agree to a carbon tax, she lobbied for two giant polluting coal plants in South Africa, and she promotes fracking worldwide.
Nov 01, 2016 | www.unz.com
The attack on Iraq, the attack on Libya, the attack on Syria happened because the leader in each of these countries was not a puppet of the West. The human rights record of a Saddam or a Gaddafi was irrelevant. They did not obey orders and surrender control of their country.The same fate awaited Slobodan Milosevic once he had refused to sign an "agreement" that demanded the occupation of Serbia and its conversion to a market economy. His people were bombed, and he was prosecuted in The Hague. Independence of this kind is intolerable.
As WikLeaks has revealed, it was only when the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad in 2009 rejected an oil pipeline, running through his country from Qatar to Europe, that he was attacked.
From that moment, the CIA planned to destroy the government of Syria with jihadist fanatics – the same fanatics currently holding the people of Mosul and eastern Aleppo hostage.
Why is this not news? The former British Foreign Office official Carne Ross, who was responsible for operating sanctions against Iraq, told me: "We would feed journalists factoids of sanitised intelligence, or we would freeze them out. That is how it worked."
The West's medieval client, Saudi Arabia – to which the US and Britain sell billions of dollars' worth of arms – is at present destroying Yemen, a country so poor that in the best of times, half the children are malnourished.
therealnews.com... ... .. ...
HEDGES: Well what feeds the hatred toward the west has nothing to do with Donald Trump. It has to do with the one-thousand-pound iron fragmentation bombs and cruise missiles and 155 artillery shells that are being dropped all over areas that ISIS controls.
That is a far more potent engine of rage than anything Trump says and I think sometimes we forget what we' re doing and the state terror that is delivered day in and day out on Muslims in areas that have been opened up by these failed states because of our military adventurism in countries like Libya and Iraq.
PERIES: So connect those two for us. Give us some examples of how the war on terror in the Middle East, Syria in particular, is causing this kind of islamophobia here and our hesitancy about doing humanitarian work by accepting refugees that are fleeing these wars and how it manifests itself in the form of islamophobia here.
HEDGES: Well, islamophobia here is a doctrine that plays quite conveniently into the goals of the corporate state in the same way that anti-communism once played into the goals of our capitalist democracy. So the caricature of threats from the Muslim world independent of the actual possibility of those threats has especially since 9/11, one of the corner stones of the argument that has been used by the security and surveillance state to strip us of basic civil liberties, including for instance, under the Obama administration, misinterpreting the 2001 authorization to use military force act as giving the executive branch to right to assassinate American citizens. Of course I'm talking about Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son.
So the rise of islamophobia has been largely independent of anything Muslims have done other than perhaps initially the attacks of 9/11. The continued over 15 years of indiscriminate violence, industrial violence, delivered on whole swaps of the Muslim world has stirred up the kind of hornet' s nest that we' re seeing enraged not only among Muslims in the Muslim world but Muslims in Europe and many other parts of the globe who despite Clinton' s rhetoric see this as a war against Muslims. I think that although she speaks in kind of a softer and more tolerate tone, Clinton has been one of the main architects of the attacks for instance in Libya that have given or empowered or given rise to groups like ISIS. While Clinton' s rhetoric is certainly more palatable, she has been an enthusiastic supporter that we are going to bomb our way into peace in the Muslim world.
PERIES: Chris give us a sense of the climate created by what both candidates eluded to that Muslims in this country has to help us in terms of identifying potential terrorists and any kind of activities in the community that might feed terrorists attacks here. What does this do to a society?
HEDGES: Well it turns us into a society of informers. I think we have to acknowledge how pervasive the harassment is of Muslim Americans when they go through the airport, intrusive invasions of their privacy by Homeland Security, the FBI, and others. We have to acknowledge that almost all of the homegrown terrorist attacks that the FBI have broken have been orchestrated by the FBI usually with people of marginal means and sometimes marginal intelligence being prodded and often provided supposed equipment to carry out terrorist attacks. The racial profiling that has gone on coupled with the rhetoric and this is very dangerous because if you take already an alienated youth and subject it to this kind of unrelenting harassment, then you provide a recipe for homegrown radicalism.
So yes it' s once again an effort in this case on part of the Trump rhetoric to blame the Muslims for not only their own victimhood but for terrorist attacks that are being driven by jihadist whom the vast majority, 99 plus percent of the Muslim world has no contact with and probably very little empathy for, I mean there' s 4 to 5 million Muslims, I think I have that right, in the United States. Most of them have integrated quite successfully into American. Unlike in Britain because Muslim immigrants in the United States whereas in Europe, France, they came over as laborers, we largely absorbed Muslim professional classes, doctors, engineers, and others and the Muslim community in the United States is pretty solidly middle class and professional.
... ... ...
PERIES: Chris the recently released WikiLeaks indicate that Hillary Clinton is involved in conspiring in maintaining Israels nuclear dominance in the region and containing Irans nuclear development program. Your comments on those WikiLeaks.
HEDGES: Yea, I mean shes quite upfront. I have to give her credit on that in terms of her militantly pro-Israel stance. She of course has courted quite successfully wealthy pro-Israeli donors attacking the Boycott Divestment Sanctions Movement. And she has and will continue what are considered Israeli interests in the region which are not our interest. Israel pushed very heavily for an invasion of Iraq as a way to destroy a powerful state within the region. That did not serve our interests at all. In fact, it elevated to the dominant position within the region, Iran and out of these vacuums gave birth to these jihadist groups and got us embroiled in wars that we can never win.
So one of the dangers of Clinton and shes called for a no fly zone over Syria. Well, people forget that when you institute a no fly zone, that is patrolled and that requires very heavy presence of US forces. Not just air forces but ground stations, radar stations, anti-aircraft missile batteries. Shes quite openly calling for a further escalation for American involvement in the Syrian quagmire which of course again we did so much to create by along with our allies, the Saudis and Qataris and others pumping so many arms in them. I think we gave a billion dollars worth of arms to Syrian rebels as if you can control where those arms go, just in the last year.
Sep 28, 2001 | guardian.co.uk
"Who says we share common values with the Europeans? They don't even go to church!" Will the atrocities of September 11 push America further to the right or open a new debate on foreign policy and the need for alliances? In this exclusive online essay from the London Review of Books, Anatol Lieven considers how the cold war legacy may affect the war on terrorism
Not long after the Bush Administration took power in January, I was invited to lunch at a glamorous restaurant in New York by a group of editors and writers from an influential American right-wing broadsheet. The food and wine were extremely expensive, the decor luxurious but discreet, the clientele beautifully dressed, and much of the conversation more than mildly insane. With regard to the greater part of the world outside America, my hosts' attitude was a combination of loathing, contempt, distrust and fear: not only towards Arabs, Russians, Chinese, French and others, but towards 'European socialist governments', whatever that was supposed to mean. This went with a strong desire - in theory at least - to take military action against a broad range of countries across the world.
Two things were particularly striking here: a tendency to divide the world into friends and enemies, and a difficulty verging on autism when it came to international opinions that didn't coincide with their own - a combination more appropriate to the inhabitants of an ethnic slum in the Balkans than to people who were, at that point, on top of the world.
Today Americans of all classes and opinions have reason to worry, and someone real to fear and hate, while prolonged US military action overseas is thought to be inevitable. The building where we had lunch is now rubble. Several of our fellow diners probably died last week, along with more than six thousand other New Yorkers from every walk of life. Not only has the terrorist attack claimed far more victims than any previous such attack anywhere in the world, but it has delivered a far more damaging economic blow. Equally important, it has destroyed Americans' belief in their country's invulnerability, on which so many other American attitudes and policies finally rested.
This shattering blow was delivered by a handful of anonymous agents hidden in the wider population, working as part of a tightly-knit secret international conspiracy inspired by a fanatical and (to the West) deeply 'alien' and 'exotic' religious ideology. Its members are ruthless; they have remarkable organisational skills, a tremendous capacity for self-sacrifice and self-discipline, and a deep hatred of the United States and the Western way of life. As Richard Hofstader and others have argued, for more than two hundred years this kind of combination has always acted as a prompt for paranoid and reactionary conspiracy theories, most of them groundless.
Now the threat is real; and for the foreseeable future we will have to live with and seek to reduce two closely interlinked dangers: the direct and potentially apocalyptic threat posed by terrorists, mainly (though by no means exclusively) based in the Muslim world, and the potential strengthening of those terrorists' resolve by misguided US actions.
The latter danger has been greatly increased by the attacks. The terrorists have raised to white heat certain smouldering tendencies among the American Right, while simultaneously - as is usually the case at the start of wars - pushing American politics and most of its population in a sharply rightward direction; all of which has taken place under an unexpectedly right-wing Administration. If this leads to a crude military response, then the terrorists will have achieved part of their purpose, which was to provoke the other side to indiscriminate retaliation, and thereby increase their own support.
It is too early to say for sure how US strategies and attitudes will develop. At the time of writing Afghanistan is the focus, but whatever happens there, it isn't clear whether the US Administration will go on to launch a more general campaign of military pressure against other states which have supported terrorist groups, and if so, what states and what kind of military pressure? US policy is already pulled in two predictable but contradictory directions, amply illustrated in the op-ed pages of US newspapers and in debates within the Government.
The most unilateralist Administration in modern American history has been forced to recognise, in principle at least, the country's pressing need for allies. There are the beginnings, too, of a real public debate on how US policy needs to be changed and shaped to fight the new 'war'. All this is reminiscent of US attitudes and behaviour at the start of the Cold War, when Communism was identified as the central menace to the US and to Western capitalism and democracy in general.
On the other hand, the public desire for revenge has strengthened certain attitudes - especially in the Republican Party and media, as well as parts of the Administration - which, if they prevail, will not only be dangerous in themselves, but will make the search for real allies difficult. And real allies are essential, above all in the Arab and Muslim worlds. In the longer run, only the full co-operation of Arab regimes - along with reform and economic development - can prevent the recruitment, funding and operations of Arab-based terrorist groups.
As for Europe, British military support may be unconditional, but most European countries - Russia among them - are likely to restrict their help to intelligence and policing. Apart from the fact that most European armies are useless when it comes to serious warfare, they are already showing great unwillingness to give the US a blank cheque for whatever military action the Bush Administration chooses to take.
Yet a blank cheque is precisely what the Administration, and the greater part of US public opinion, are asking for. This is Jim Hoagland, veteran establishment foreign correspondent and commentator, in the generally liberal Washington Post:
"Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and many of the other Arab states Powell hopes to recruit for the bin Laden posse have long been part of the problem, not part of the solution to international terrorism. These states cannot be given free passes for going through the motions of helping the United States. And European allies cannot be allowed to order an appetiser of bin Laden and not share in the costs of the rest of a meal cooked in hell."
If this is the Post, then the sentiments in the right-wing press and the tabloids can well be imagined. Here is Tod Lindberg, the editor of Policy Review, writing in the Washington Times:
"The United States is now energetically in the business of making governments pick a side: either with us and against the terrorists, or against us and with them... Against the category of enemy stands the category of 'friend'. Friends stand with us. Friends do whatever they can to help. Friends don't, for example, engage in commerce with enemies, otherwise they aren't friends."
A strong sense of righteousness has always been present in the American tradition; but until 11 September, an acute sense of victimhood and persecution by the outside world was usually the preserve of the paranoid Right. Now it has spread and, for the moment at least, some rather important ideas have almost vanished from the public debate: among them, that other states have their own national interests, and that in the end nothing compels them to help the US; that they, too, have been the victims of terrorism - in the case of Britain, largely funded from groups in the United States - but have not insisted on a right of unilateral military retaliation (this point was made by Niall Ferguson in the New York Times, but not as yet in any op-ed by an American that I have seen); and that in some cases these states may actually know more about their own part of the world than US intelligence does.
Beyond the immediate and unforeseeable events in Afghanistan - and their sombre implications for Pakistan - lies the bigger question of US policy in the Arab world. Here, too, Administration policy may well be a good deal more cautious than the opinions of the right-wing media would suggest - which again is fortunate, because much opinion on this subject is more than rabid. Here is AM Rosenthal in the Washington Times arguing that an amazing range of states should be given ultimatums to surrender not only alleged terrorists but also their own senior officials accused by the US of complicity:
"The ultimatum should go to the governments of Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan and any other devoted to the elimination of the United States or the constant incitement of hatred against it... In the three days the terrorists consider the American ultimatum, the residents of the countries would be urged 24 hours a day by the United States to flee the capital and major cities, because they would be bombed to the ground beginning the fourth."
Rosenthal isn't a figure from the lunatic fringe ranting on a backwoods radio show, but the former executive editor of the New York Times, writing in a paper with great influence in the Republican Party, especially under the present Administration.
No Administration is going to do anything remotely like this. But if the Secretary of State, Colin Powell, has emerged as the voice of moderation, with a proper commitment to multilateralism, other voices are audible, too. Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defence, has spoken of "ending states which support terrorism", and in the case of Iraq, there are those who would now like to complete the work of the Gulf War and finish off Saddam Hussein.
Here, too, the mood of contempt for allies contributes to the ambition. Thus Kim Holmes, vice-president of the right-wing Heritage Foundation, argued that only deference to America's Arab allies prevented the US from destroying the Iraqi regime in 1991 (the profound unwillingness of Bush Senior to occupy Iraq and take responsibility for the place also played its part in the decision): "To show that this war is not with Islam per se, the US could be tempted to restrain itself militarily and accommodate the complex and contradictory political agendas of Islamic states. This in turn could make the campaign ineffectual, prolonging the problem of terrorism."
Getting rid of Saddam Hussein is not in itself a bad idea. His is a pernicious regime, a menace to his own people and his neighbours, as well as to the West. And if the Iraqi threat to the Gulf States could be eliminated, US troops might be withdrawn from Saudi Arabia: it was their permanent stationing on the holy soil of Islam that turned Osama bin Laden from an anti-Soviet mujahid into an anti-American terrorist.
But only if it were to take place in the context of an entirely new policy towards Palestine would the US be able to mount such a campaign without provoking massive unrest across the Arab world; and given what became of promises made during the Gulf War, there would first of all have to be firm evidence of a US change of heart. The only borders between Israel and Palestine which would have any chance of satisfying a majority of Palestinians and Arabs - and conforming to UN resolutions, for what they are worth - would be those of 1967, possibly qualified by an internationalisation of Jerusalem under UN control. This would entail the removal of the existing Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories, and would be absolutely unacceptable to any imaginable Israeli Government. To win Israeli agreement would require not just US pressure, but the threat of a complete breach of relations and the ending of aid.
There may be those in the Administration who would favour adopting such an approach at a later stage. Bush Sr's was the most anti-Israeli Administration of the past two generations, and was disliked accordingly by the Jewish and other ethnic lobbies. His son's is less beholden to those lobbies than Clinton's was. And it may be that even pro-Israeli US politicians will at some point realise that Israel's survival as such is not an issue: that it is absurd to increase the risk to Washington and New York for the sake of 267 extremist settlers in Hebron and their comrades elsewhere.
Still, in the short term, a radical shift is unlikely, and an offensive against Iraq would therefore be dangerous. The attacks on New York and the Pentagon and the celebrations in parts of the Arab world have increased popular hostility to the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular, a hostility assiduously stoked by Israeli propaganda. But when it comes to denouncing hate crimes against Muslims - or those taken to be Muslims - within the US, the Administration has behaved decently, perhaps because they have a rather sobering precedent in mind, one which has led to genuine shame: the treatment of Japanese Americans during world war two.
This shame is the result of an applied historical intelligence that does not extend to the Arab world. Americans tend - and perhaps need - to confuse the symptoms and the causes of Arab anger. Since a key pro-Israel position in the US has been that fundamental Palestinian and Arab grievances must not be allowed legitimacy or even discussed, the only explanation of Arab hostility to the US and its ally must be sought in innate features of Arab society, whether a contemporary culture of anti-semitism (and anti-Americanism) sanctioned by Arab leaderships, or ancient 'Muslim' traditions of hostility to the West.
All of which may contain some truth: but the central issue, the role of Israeli policies in providing a focus for such hatred, is overwhelmingly ignored. As a result, it is extremely difficult, and mostly impossible, to hold any frank discussion of the most important issue affecting the position of the US in the Middle East or the open sympathy for terrorism in the region. A passionately held nationalism usually has the effect of corrupting or silencing those liberal intellectuals who espouse it. This is the case of Israeli nationalism in the US. It is especially distressing that it should afflict the Jewish liberal intelligentsia, that old bedrock of sanity and tolerance.
An Administration which wanted a radical change of policy towards Israel would have to generate a new public debate almost from scratch - which would not be possible until some kind of tectonic shift had taken place in American society. Too many outside observers who blame US Administrations forget that on a wide range of issues, it is essentially Congress and not the White House or State Department which determines foreign policy; this is above all true of US aid. An inability or unwillingness to try to work on Congress, as opposed to going through normal diplomatic channels, has been a minor contributory factor to Britain's inability to get any purchase on US policy in recent years.
The role of Congress brings out what might be called the Wilhelmine aspects of US foreign and security policy. By that I do not mean extreme militarism or a love of silly hats, or even a shared tendency to autism when it comes to understanding the perceptions of other countries, but rather certain structural features in both the Wilhemine and the US system tending to produce over-ambition, and above all a chronic incapacity to choose between diametrically opposite goals. Like Wilhelmine Germany, the US has a legislature with very limited constitutional powers in the field of foreign policy, even though it wields considerable de facto power and is not linked either institutionally or by party discipline to the executive. The resulting lack of any responsibility for actual consequences is a standing invitation to rhetorical grandstanding, and the pursuit of sectional interests at the expense of overall policy.
Meanwhile, the executive, while in theory supremely powerful in this field, has in fact continually to woo the legislature without ever being able to command its support. This, too, encourages dependence on interest groups, as well as a tendency to overcome differences and gain support by making appeals in terms of overheated patriotism rather than policy. Finally, in both systems, though for completely different reasons, supreme executive power had or has a tendency to fall into the hands of people totally unsuited for any but the ceremonial aspects of the job, and endlessly open to manipulation by advisers, ministers and cliques.
In the US, this did not matter so much during the Cold War, when a range of Communist threats - real, imagined or fabricated - held the system together in the pursuit of more or less common aims. With the disappearance of the unifying threat, however, there has been a tendency, again very Wilhelmine, to produce ambitious and aggressive policies in several directions simultaneously, often with little reference at all to real US interests or any kind of principle.
The new 'war against terrorism' in Administration and Congressional rhetoric has been cast as just such a principle, unifying the country and the political establishment behind a common goal and affecting or determining a great range of other policies. The language has been reminiscent of the global struggle against Communism, and confronting Islamist radicalism in the Muslim world does, it's true, pose some of the same challenges, on a less global scale, though possibly with even greater dangers for the world.
The likelihood that US strategy in the 'war against terrorism' will resemble that of the Cold War is greatly increased by the way Cold War structures and attitudes have continued to dominate the US foreign policy and security elites. Charles Tilly and others have written of the difficulty states have in 'ratcheting down' wartime institutions and especially wartime spending. In the 1990s, this failure on the part of the US to escape its Cold War legacy was a curse, ensuring unnecessarily high military spending in the wrong fields, thoroughly negative attitudes to Russia, 'zero-sum' perceptions of international security issues in general, and perceptions of danger which wholly failed, as we now see, to meet the real threats to security and lives.
The idea of a National Missile Defense is predicated on a limited revival of the Cold War, with China cast in the role of the Soviet Union and the Chinese nuclear deterrent as the force to be nullified. Bush's foreign and security team is almost entirely a product of Cold War structures and circumscribed by Cold War attitudes (which is not true of the President himself, who was never interested enough in foreign policy; if he can get his mind round the rest of the world, he could well be more of a free-thinker than many of his staff).
The collapse of the Communist alternative to Western-dominated modernisation and the integration (however imperfect) of Russia and China into the world capitalist order have been a morally and socially ambiguous process, to put it mildly; but in the early 1990s they seemed to promise the suspension of hostility between the world's larger powers. The failure of the US to make use of this opportunity, thanks to an utter confusion between an ideological victory and crudely-defined US geopolitical interests, was a great misfortune which the 'war against terrorism' could in part rectify. Since 11 September, the rhetoric in America has proposed a gulf between the 'civilised' states of the present world system, and movements of 'barbaric', violent protest from outside and below - without much deference to the ambiguities of 'civilisation', or the justifications of resistance to it, remarked on since Tacitus at least.
How is the Cold War legacy likely to determine the 'war against terrorism'? Despite the general conviction in the Republican Party that it was simply Reagan's military spending and the superiority of the US system which destroyed Soviet Communism, more serious Cold War analysts were always aware that it involved not just military force, or the threat of it, but ideological and political struggle, socio-economic measures, and state-building. The latter in particular is an idea for which the Bush team on their arrival in office had a deep dislike (if only to distance themselves from Clinton's policies), but which they may now rediscover. Foreign aid - so shamefully reduced in the 1990s - was also a key part of the Cold War, and if much of it was poured into kleptocratic regimes like Mobutu's, or wasted on misguided projects, some at least helped produce flourishing economies in Europe and East Asia.
The Republican Party is not only the party of Goldwater and Reagan, but of Eisenhower, Nixon and Kissinger. Eisenhower is now almost forgotten by the party. 'Eisenhower Republicans', as they refer to themselves, are usually far closer to Tony Blair (or perhaps more accurately, Helmut Schmidt) than anyone the Republican Party has seen in recent years, and I'd wager that the majority of educated Americans have forgotten that the original warning about the influence of the 'military industrial complex' came from Eisenhower.
Kissinger is still very much alive, however, and his history is a reminder that one aspect of the American capacity for extreme ruthlessness was also a capacity for radical changes of policy, for reconciliation with states hitherto regarded as bitter enemies, and for cold-blooded abandonment of close allies and clients whose usefulness was at an end. It would not altogether surprise me if we were now to see a radical shift towards real co-operation with Russia, and even Iran.
In general, however, the Cold War legacies and parallels are discouraging and dangerous. To judge by the language used in the days since 11 September, ignorance, demonisation and the drowning out of nuanced debate indicate that much of the US establishment can no more tell the difference between Iran and Afghanistan than they could between China and the Soviet Union in the early 1960s - the inexcusable error which led to the American war in Vietnam. The preference for militarised solutions continues (the 'War on Drugs', which will now have to be scaled back, is an example). Most worryingly, the direct attack on American soil and American civilians - far worse than anything done to the US in the Cold War - means that there is a real danger of a return to Cold War ruthlessness: not just in terms of military tactics and covert operations, but in terms of the repulsive and endangered regimes co-opted as local American clients.
The stakes are, if anything, a good deal higher than they were during the Cold War. Given what we now know of Soviet policymaking, it is by no means clear that the Kremlin ever seriously contemplated a nuclear strike against America. By contrast, it seems likely that bin Laden et al would in the end use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons if they could deliver them.
There is also the question of the impact of US strategies (or, in the case of Israel, lack of them) on the unity of the West - assuming that this is of some importance for the wellbeing of humanity. However great the exasperation of many European states with US policy throughout the Cold War, the Europeans were bound into the transatlantic alliance by an obvious Soviet threat - more immediate to them than it was to the US. For the critical first decade of the Cold War, the economies of Europe were hopelessly inferior to that of the US. Today, if European Governments feel that the US is dragging them into unnecessary danger thanks to policies of which they disapprove, they will protest bitterly - as many did during the Cold War - and then begin to distance themselves, which they could not afford to do fifty years ago.
This is all the more likely if, as seems overwhelmingly probable, the US withdraws from the Balkans - as it has already done in Macedonia - leaving Europeans with no good reason to require a US military presence on their continent. At the same time, the cultural gap between Europeans and Republican America (which does not mean a majority of Americans, but the dominant strain of policy) will continue to widen. 'Who says we share common values with the Europeans?' a senior US politician remarked recently. 'They don't even go to church!' Among other harmful effects, the destruction of this relationship could signal the collapse of whatever hope still exists for a common Western approach to global environmental issues - which would, in the end, pose a greater danger to humanity than that of terrorism.
· Anatol Lieven is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington DC.
Oct 20, 2005 | LRB
The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War by Andrew Bacevich
Oxford, 270 pp, £16.99, August 2005, ISBN 0 19 517338 4
A key justification of the Bush administration's purported strategy of 'democratising' the Middle East is the argument that democracies are pacific, and that Muslim democracies will therefore eventually settle down peacefully under the benign hegemony of the US. Yet, as Andrew Bacevich points out in one of the most acute analyses of America to have appeared in recent years, the United States itself is in many ways a militaristic country, and becoming more so:The president's title of 'commander-in-chief' is used by administration propagandists to suggest, in a way reminiscent of German militarists before 1914 attempting to defend their half-witted Kaiser, that any criticism of his record in external affairs comes close to a betrayal of the military and the country. Compared to German and other past militarisms, however, the contemporary American variant is extremely complex, and the forces that have generated it have very diverse origins and widely differing motives:
at the end of the Cold War, Americans said yes to military power. The skepticism about arms and armies that informed the original Wilsonian vision, indeed, that pervaded the American experiment from its founding, vanished. Political leaders, liberals and conservatives alike, became enamoured with military might.
The ensuing affair had, and continues to have, a heedless, Gatsby-like aspect, a passion pursued in utter disregard of any consequences that might ensue.
The new American militarism is the handiwork of several disparate groups that shared little in common apart from being intent on undoing the purportedly nefarious effects of the 1960s. Military officers intent on rehabilitating their profession; intellectuals fearing that the loss of confidence at home was paving the way for the triumph of totalitarianism abroad; religious leaders dismayed by the collapse of traditional moral standards; strategists wrestling with the implications of a humiliating defeat that had undermined their credibility; politicians on the make; purveyors of pop culture looking to make a buck: as early as 1980, each saw military power as the apparent answer to any number of problems.
Two other factors have also been critical: the dependence on imported oil is seen as requiring American hegemony over the Middle East; and the Israel lobby has worked assiduously and with extraordinary success to make sure that Israel's enemies are seen by Americans as also being those of the US.
And let's not forget the role played by the entrenched interests of the military itself and what Dwight Eisenhower once denounced as the 'military-industrial-academic complex'.
The security elites are obviously interested in the maintenance and expansion of US global military power, if only because their own jobs and profits depend on it. Jobs and patronage also ensure the support of much of the Congress, which often authorizes defense spending on weapons systems the Pentagon doesn't want and hasn't asked for, in order to help some group of senators and congressmen in whose home states these systems are manufactured. To achieve wider support in the media and among the public, it is also necessary to keep up the illusion that certain foreign nations constitute a threat to the US, and to maintain a permanent level of international tension.
That's not the same, however, as having an actual desire for war, least of all for a major conflict which might ruin the international economy. US ground forces have bitter memories of Vietnam, and no wish to wage an aggressive war: Rumsfeld and his political appointees had to override the objections of the senior generals, in particular those of the army chief of staff, General Eric Shinseki, before the attack on Iraq. The navy and air force do not have to fight insurgents in hell-holes like Fallujah, and so naturally have a more relaxed attitude.
To understand how the Bush administration was able to manipulate the public into supporting the Iraq war one has to look for deeper explanations. They would include the element of messianism embodied in American civic nationalism, with its quasi-religious belief in the universal and timeless validity of its own democratic system, and in its right and duty to spread that system to the rest of the world. This leads to a genuine belief that American soldiers can do no real wrong because they are spreading 'freedom'. Also of great importance – at least until the Iraqi insurgency rubbed American noses in the horrors of war – has been the development of an aesthetic that sees war as waged by the US as technological, clean and antiseptic; and thanks to its supremacy in weaponry, painlessly victorious. Victory over the Iraqi army in 2003 led to a new flowering of megalomania in militarist quarters. The amazing Max Boot of the Wall Street Journal – an armchair commentator, not a frontline journalist – declared that the US victory had made 'fabled generals such as Erwin Rommel and Heinz Guderian seem positively incompetent by comparison'. Nor was this kind of talk restricted to Republicans. More than two years into the Iraq quagmire, strategic thinkers from the Democratic establishment were still declaring that 'American military power in today's world is practically unlimited.'
Important sections of contemporary US popular culture are suffused with the language of militarism. Take Bacevich on the popular novelist Tom Clancy:
In any Clancy novel, the international order is a dangerous and threatening place, awash with heavily armed and implacably determined enemies who threaten the United States. That Americans have managed to avoid Armageddon is attributable to a single fact: the men and women of America's uniformed military and its intelligence services have thus far managed to avert those threats. The typical Clancy novel is an unabashed tribute to the skill, honor, extraordinary technological aptitude and sheer decency of the nation's defenders. To read Red Storm Rising is to enter a world of 'virtuous men and perfect weapons', as one reviewer noted. 'All the Americans are paragons of courage, endurance and devotion to service and country. Their officers are uniformly competent and occasionally inspired. Men of all ranks are faithful husbands and devoted fathers.' Indeed, in the contract that he signed for the filming of Red October, Clancy stipulated that nothing in the film show the navy in a bad light.
Such attitudes go beyond simply glorying in violence, military might and technological prowess. They reflect a belief – genuine or assumed – in what the Germans used to call Soldatentum: the pre-eminent value of the military virtues of courage, discipline and sacrifice, and explicitly or implicitly the superiority of these virtues to those of a hedonistic, contemptible and untrustworthy civilian society and political class. In the words of Thomas Friedman, the ostensibly liberal foreign affairs commentator of the ostensibly liberal New York Times, 'we do not deserve these people. They are so much better than the country they are fighting for.' Such sentiments have a sinister pedigree in modern history.
In the run-up to the last election, even a general as undistinguished as Wesley Clark could see his past generalship alone as qualifying him for the presidency – and gain the support of leading liberal intellectuals. Not that this was new: the first president was a general and throughout the 19th and 20th centuries both generals and more junior officers ran for the presidency on the strength of their military records. And yet, as Bacevich points out, this does not mean that the uniformed military have real power over policy-making, even in matters of war. General Tommy Franks may have regarded Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense, as 'the stupidest fucking guy on the planet', but he took Feith's orders, and those of the civilians standing behind him: Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the president himself. Their combination of militarism and contempt for military advice recalls Clemenceau and Churchill – or Hitler and Stalin.
Indeed, a portrait of US militarism today could be built around a set of such apparently glaring contradictions: the contradiction, for example, between the military coercion of other nations and the belief in the spreading of 'freedom' and 'democracy'. Among most non-Americans, and among many American realists and progressives, the collocation seems inherently ludicrous. But, as Bacevich brings out, it has deep roots in American history. Indeed, the combination is historically coterminous with Western imperialism. Historians of the future will perhaps see preaching 'freedom' at the point of an American rifle as no less morally and intellectually absurd than 'voluntary' conversion to Christianity at the point of a Spanish arquebus.
Its symbols may be often childish and its methods brutish, but American belief in 'freedom' is a real and living force. This cuts two ways. On the one hand, the adherence of many leading intellectuals in the Democratic Party to a belief in muscular democratization has had a disastrous effect on the party's ability to put up a strong resistance to the policies of the administration. Bush's messianic language of 'freedom' – supported by the specifically Israeli agenda of Natan Sharansky and his allies in the US – has been all too successful in winning over much of the opposition. On the other hand, the fact that a belief in freedom and democracy lies at the heart of civic nationalism places certain limits on American imperialism – weak no doubt, but nonetheless real. It is not possible for the US, unlike previous empires, to pursue a strategy of absolutely unconstrained Machtpolitik. This has been demonstrated recently in the breach between the Bush administration and the Karimov tyranny in Uzbekistan.
The most important contradiction, however, is between the near worship of the military in much of American culture and the equally widespread unwillingness of most Americans – elites and masses alike – to serve in the armed forces. If people like Friedman accompanied their stated admiration for the military with a real desire to abandon their contemptible civilian lives and join the armed services, then American power in the world really might be practically unlimited. But as Bacevich notes,
having thus made plain his personal disdain for crass vulgarity and support for moral rectitude, Friedman in the course of a single paragraph drops the military and moves on to other pursuits. His many readers, meanwhile, having availed themselves of the opportunity to indulge, ever so briefly, in self-loathing, put down their newspapers and themselves move on to other things. Nothing has changed, but columnist and readers alike feel better for the cathartic effect of this oblique, reassuring encounter with an alien world.
Today, having dissolved any connection between claims to citizenship and obligation to serve, Americans entrust their security to a class of military professionals who see themselves in many respects as culturally and politically set apart from the rest of society.
This combination of a theoretical adulation with a profound desire not to serve is not of course new. It characterized most of British society in the 19th century, when, just as with the US today, the overwhelming rejection of conscription – until 1916 – meant that, appearances to the contrary, British power was far from unlimited. The British Empire could use its technological superiority, small numbers of professional troops and local auxiliaries to conquer backward and impoverished countries in Asia and Africa, but it would not have dreamed of intervening unilaterally in Europe or North America.
Despite spending more on the military than the rest of the world combined, and despite enjoying overwhelming technological superiority, American military power is actually quite limited. As Iraq – and to a lesser extent Afghanistan – has demonstrated, the US can knock over states, but it cannot suppress the resulting insurgencies, even one based in such a comparatively small population as the Sunni Arabs of Iraq. As for invading and occupying a country the size of Iran, this is coming to seem as unlikely as an invasion of mainland China.
In other words, when it comes to actually applying military power the US is pretty much where it has been for several decades. Another war of occupation like Iraq would necessitate the restoration of conscription: an idea which, with Vietnam in mind, the military detests, and which politicians are well aware would probably make them unelectable. It is just possible that another terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11 might lead to a new draft, but that would bring the end of the US military empire several steps closer. Recognizing this, the army is beginning to imitate ancient Rome in offering citizenship to foreign mercenaries in return for military service – something that the amazing Boot approves, on the grounds that while it helped destroy the Roman Empire, it took four hundred years to do so.
Facing these dangers squarely, Bacevich proposes refocusing American strategy away from empire and towards genuine national security. It is a measure of the degree to which imperial thinking now dominates US politics that these moderate and commonsensical proposals would seem nothing short of revolutionary to the average member of the Washington establishment.
They include a renunciation of messianic dreams of improving the world through military force, except where a solid international consensus exists in support of US action; a recovery by Congress of its power over peace and war, as laid down in the constitution but shamefully surrendered in recent years; the adoption of a strategic doctrine explicitly making war a matter of last resort; and a decision that the military should focus on the defense of the nation, not the projection of US power. As a means of keeping military expenditure in some relationship to actual needs, Bacevich suggests pegging it to the combined annual expenditure of the next ten countries, just as in the 19th century the size of the British navy was pegged to that of the next two largest fleets – it is an index of the budgetary elephantiasis of recent years that this would lead to very considerable spending reductions.
This book is important not only for the acuteness of its perceptions, but also for the identity of its author. Colonel Bacevich's views on the military, on US strategy and on world affairs were profoundly shaped by his service in Vietnam. His year there 'fell in the conflict's bleak latter stages long after an odor of failure had begun to envelop the entire enterprise'. The book is dedicated to his brother-in-law, 'a casualty of a misbegotten war'.
Just as Vietnam shaped his view of how the US and the US military should not intervene in the outside world, so the Cold War in Europe helped define his beliefs about the proper role of the military. For Bacevich and his fellow officers in Europe in the 1970s and 1980s, defending the West from possible Soviet aggression, 'not conquest, regime change, preventive war or imperial policing', was 'the American soldier's true and honorable calling'.
In terms of cultural and political background, this former soldier remains a self-described Catholic conservative, and intensely patriotic. During the 1990s Bacevich wrote for right-wing journals, and still situates himself culturally on the right:
As long as we shared in the common cause of denouncing the foolishness and hypocrisies of the Clinton years, my relationship with modern American conservatism remained a mutually agreeable one But my disenchantment with what passes for mainstream conservatism, embodied in the Bush administration and its groupies, is just about absolute. Fiscal irresponsibility, a buccaneering foreign policy, a disregard for the constitution, the barest lip service as a response to profound moral controversies: these do not qualify as authentically conservative values.
On this score my views have come to coincide with the critique long offered by the radical left: it is the mainstream itself, the professional liberals as well as the professional conservatives, who define the problem The Republican and Democratic Parties may not be identical, but they produce nearly identical results.
Bacevich, in other words, is skeptical of the naive belief that replacing the present administration with a Democrat one would lead to serious changes in the US approach to the world. Formal party allegiances are becoming increasingly irrelevant as far as thinking about foreign and security policy is concerned.
Bacevich also makes plain the private anger of much of the US uniformed military at the way in which it has been sacrificed, and its institutions damaged, by chickenhawk civilian chauvinists who have taken good care never to see action themselves; and the deep private concern of senior officers that they might be ordered into further wars that would wreck the army altogether. Now, as never before, American progressives have the chance to overcome the knee-jerk hostility to the uniformed military that has characterized the left since Vietnam, and to reach out not only to the soldiers in uniform but also to the social, cultural and regional worlds from which they are drawn. For if the American left is once again to become an effective political force, it must return to some of its own military traditions, founded on the distinguished service of men like George McGovern, on the old idea of the citizen soldier, and on a real identification with that soldier's interests and values. With this in mind, Bacevich calls for moves to bind the military more closely into American society, including compulsory education for all officers at a civilian university, not only at the start of their careers but at intervals throughout them.
Or to put it another way, the left must fight imperialism in the name of patriotism. Barring a revolutionary and highly unlikely transformation of American mass culture, any political party that wishes to win majority support will have to demonstrate its commitment to the defense of the country. The Bush administration has used the accusation of weakness in security policy to undermine its opponents, and then used this advantage to pursue reckless strategies that have themselves drastically weakened the US. The left needs to heed Bacevich and draw up a tough, realistic and convincing alternative. It will also have to demonstrate its identification with the respectable aspects of military culture. The Bush administration and the US establishment in general may have grossly mismanaged the threats facing us, but the threats are real, and some at least may well need at some stage to be addressed by military force. And any effective military force also requires the backing of a distinctive military ethic embracing loyalty, discipline and a capacity for both sacrifice and ruthlessness.
In the terrible story of the Bush administration and the Iraq war, one of the most morally disgusting moments took place at a Senate Committee hearing on 29 April 2004, when Paul Wolfowitz – another warmonger who has never served himself – mistook, by a margin of hundreds, how many US soldiers had died in a war for which he was largely responsible. If an official in a Democratic administration had made a public mistake like that, the Republican opposition would have exploited it ruthlessly, unceasingly, to win the next election. The fact that the Democrats completely failed to do this says a great deal about their lack of political will, leadership and capacity to employ a focused strategy.
Because they are the ones who pay the price for reckless warmongering and geopolitical megalomania, soldiers and veterans of the army and marine corps could become valuable allies in the struggle to curb American imperialism, and return America's relationship with its military to the old limited, rational form. For this to happen, however, the soldiers have to believe that campaigns against the Iraq war, and against current US strategy, are anti-militarist, but not anti-military. We have needed the military desperately on occasions in the past; we will definitely need them again.
Vol. 27 No. 20 · 20 October 2005 " Anatol Lieven " We do not deserve these people
pages 11-12 | 3337 words
Oct 29, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.comlibertarians (such as Ron Paul) and paleoconservatives.
likbez -> Fred C. Dobbs... October 28, 2016 at 04:37 PM , 2016 at 04:37 PM>"Plus, she's very nasty towards Vlad Putin."
What I do not get is how one can call himself/herself a democrat and be jingoistic monster. That's the problem with Democratic Party and its supporters. Such people for me are DINO ("Democrats only in name"). Closet neocons, if you wish. The level of militarism in the current US society and MSM is really staggering. anti-war forces are completely destroyed (with the abandonment of draft) and are limited for libertarians (such as Ron Paul) and paleoconservatives. There is almost completely empty space on the left. Dennis Kucinich is one of the few exceptions
(see http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2016/10/27/must-read-of-the-day-dennis-kucinich-issues-extraordinary-warning-on-d-c-s-think-tank-warmongers/ )
I think that people like Robert Kagan, Victoria Nuland and Dick Cheney can now proudly join Democratic Party and feel themselves quite at home.
BTW Hillary is actually very pleasant with people of the same level. It's only subordinates, close relatives and Security Service agents, who are on the receiving end of her wrath. A typical "kiss up, kick down personality".
The right word probably would not "nasty", but "duplicitous".
Or "treacherous" as this involves breaking of previous agreements (with a smile) as the USA diplomacy essentially involves positioning the country above the international law. As in "I am the law".
Obama is not that different. I think he even more sleazy then Hillary and as such is more difficult to deal with. He also is at his prime, while she is definitely past hers:
== quote ==
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday it was hard for him to work with the current U.S. administration because it did not stick to any agreements, including on Syria.
Putin said he was ready to engage with a new president however, whoever the American people chose, and to discuss any problem.
== end of quote ==
Syria is an "Obama-approved" adventure, is not it ? The same is true for Libya. So formally he is no less jingoistic then Hillary, Nobel Peace price notwithstanding.
Other things equal, it might be easier for Putin to deal with Hillary then Obama, as she has so many skeletons in the closet and might soon be impeached by House.
Oct 29, 2016 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr'There was a ceasefire, which was very hard-won, and that ceasefire was destroyed by the action of the Americans bombing, apparently by mistake, although some people say not by mistake, but it was our bombing of the Syrian troops that destroyed that ceasefire'
via globinfo freexchange
After our call to independent media for a 'counter-debate' with the US third parties , the independent news network Democracy Now! made a first revolutionary step to break the US bipartisan debate monopoly.
Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! explains again the process, in this second presidential debate: " We spend the rest of today's show airing excerpts of the Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton debate and give Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein a chance to respond to the same questions posed to the major-party candidates. Again, Dr. Stein and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson were excluded from the debate under stringent rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties. We invited both Stein and Johnson to join us on the program; only Stein took us up on the offer. "
In this last part of the second debate, Jill Stein, again, was the only presidential candidate that told the whole truth to the American people without hesitation.
Concerning the Syrian mess and the Russian intervention, Hillary Clinton showed again why she is the most dangerous to be the next US president. She avoided again to admit the huge responsibility of the US intervention and their allies in Libya and the Middle East which created absolute chaos. She blamed again the Russians, although - as Jill Stein stated very correctly - it was the US that destroyed the hard-won ceasefire in Syria. Hillary showed again her absolute devotion to the neocon/neoliberal agenda, therefore, start a war with Russia. She showed again how dangerous she is.
On the contrary, Jill Stein stated very clearly that war with Russia is out of question.
She [Hillary Clinton] has concurrently this Clinton Foundation business, where she is granting special favors, special partnerships, special government contracts, weapons deals, etc., to Clinton Foundation donors. So, there's just a lot here that represents how the economic and political elite are very much represented, I think, by both of these candidates, and underscores why it's really important for us to exercise our power in a democracy . We have a right to know who we can vote for, as well as a right to vote.
Syria is a disaster, and it's a very complicated disaster. It is a civil war. It is a proxy war among many nations. It is a pipeline war also between Russia and the Gulf states, who are competing to run their pipelines with fracked gas into Europe across Syria. So, this is a very complicated situation, and there is a hornets' nest, a real circular firing squad of alliances here that's, you know, extremely, extremely complicated.
To present a no-fly zone here as a solution is extremely dangerous. A no-fly zone means we are going to war with Russia, because it means we will be shooting down planes in the sky in order to create this no-fly zone, which is where Russia has a commitment to defending the Assad government. So, remember, there was a ceasefire, which was very hard-won, and that ceasefire was destroyed by the action of the Americans bombing, apparently by mistake, although some people say not by mistake, but it was our bombing of the Syrian troops that destroyed that ceasefire .
We need to redouble our efforts here. And we need to acknowledge that war with Russia is not an option. There are 2,000 nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert. And who was it that dropped out of the nuclear arms control? That was George Bush. That was our part, the U.S., in allowing the nuclear arms race to re-engage . Mikhail Gorbachev, the former premier of the Soviet Union, said last week that we are now at a more dangerous period regarding nuclear war than we have ever been. So, it's really important for the warmongers in the Democratic and Republican parties to be cooling their jets now and for us to be moving forward towards a weapons embargo and a freeze on the funding of those countries that are continuing to fund terrorist enterprises .
Hillary Clinton's Strange Behavior: WHAT IS GOING ON?
I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)
Oct 28, 2016 | www.reuters.comRussian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday it was hard for him to work with the current U.S. administration because it did not stick to any agreements, including on Syria.
Putin said he was ready to engage with a new president however, whoever the American people chose, and to discuss any problem.
Oct 28, 2016 | www.globalresearch.caTrump claims that Clinton's policy on Syria would lead to World War 3.
Let's fact check …
The Washington Post points out that a vote for Clinton is a vote for escalating military confrontation in Syria and elsewhere:
In the rarefied world of the Washington foreign policy establishment, President Obama's departure from the White House - and the possible return of a more conventional and hawkish Hillary Clinton - is being met with quiet relief.
The Republicans and Democrats who make up the foreign policy elite are laying the groundwork for a more assertive American foreign policy, via a flurry of reports shaped by officials who are likely to play senior roles in a potential Clinton White House .
The studies, which reflect Clinton's stated views, break most forcefully with Obama on Syria …. call[ing] for stepped-up military action to deter President Bashar al-Assad's regime and Russian forces in Syria.
Most of the studies propose limited American airstrikes with cruise missiles to punish Assad ….
Last year, Obama dismissed calls for a no-fly zone in northwestern Syria - a position advocated by Clinton - as " half-baked ."
Even pinprick cruise-missile strikes designed to hobble the Syrian air force or punish Assad would risk a direct confrontation with Russian forces, which are scattered throughout the key Syrian military bases that would be targeted.
"You can't pretend you can go to war against Assad and not go to war against the Russians," said a senior administration official who is involved in Middle East policy and was granted anonymity to discuss internal White House deliberations.
The most liberal presidential candidate still running – Green Party candidate Jill Stein – says:
She explains :
Hillary Clinton wants to start an air war with Russia. Let's be clear: That's what a no-fly zone means. It is tantamount to a declaration of war against Russia.
Clearly the Democrats are incredibly embarrassed about the nature of these revelations, and they've created a smokescreen here to try and distract from that. But that smokescreen is pushing us to the brink of warfare with Russia now, where you have the U.S. head of defense, Ashton Carter, talking about nuclear war. We just did a dry run dropping fake nuclear bombs over Nevada. This is really dangerous stuff; this is not pretend. So we need to take a deep breath here, we need to step back and stop beating the war drums. In this context, Hillary Clinton is talking about starting an air war with Russia. Which could slide-you know, we're on the verge of nuclear war right now.
The most likely nuclear threat right now is with Russia. There's no doubt about that. When you have Mikhail Gorbachev, who was the prime minister of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, saying that the threat of nuclear war is hotter now than it has ever been in all of history, you've got to take that pretty seriously. And when you have Hillary Clinton then beating the war drums against Russia, and essentially saying that if she's elected that we will declare war on Russia-because that's what a no-fly zone over Syria amounts to. Shooting down Russian warplanes.
Hillary Clinton is a disastrous nuclear threat right now in a context where we're already off-the-charts in the risk of nuclear war. She has stated in this context that she's essentially opening up a battlefront with Russia. So to my mind, this emerges as the clearest and most present danger.
Prominent liberal economist Jeffrey Sachs writes in the Huffington Post, in an essay bannered " Hillary Is the Candidate of the War Machine ":
It is often believed that the Republicans are the neocons and the Democrats act as restraints on the warmongering. This is not correct. Both parties are divided between neocon hawks and cautious realists who don't want the US in unending war. Hillary is a staunch neocon whose record of favoring American war adventures explains much of our current security danger.
Just as the last Clinton presidency set the stage for financial collapse, it also set the stage for unending war. On October 31, 1998 President Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act that made it official US policy to support "regime change" in Iraq.
It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.
Thus were laid the foundations for the Iraq War in 2003.
Of course, by 2003, Hillary was a Senator and a staunch supporter of the Iraq War, which has cost the US trillions of dollars, thousands of lives, and done more to create ISIS and Middle East instability than any other single decision of modern foreign policy. In defending her vote, Hillary parroted the phony propaganda of the CIA:
"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members… "
After the Iraq Liberation Act came the 1999 Kosovo War, in which Bill Clinton called in NATO to bomb Belgrade, in the heart of Europe, and unleashing another decade of unrest in the Balkans. Hillary, traveling in Africa, called Bill: "I urged him to bomb," she told reporter Lucinda Frank.
Hillary's record as Secretary of State is among the most militaristic, and disastrous, of modern US history . Some experience. Hilary was a staunch defender of the military-industrial-intelligence complex at every turn, helping to spread the Iraq mayhem over a swath of violence that now stretches from Mali to Afghanistan. Two disasters loom largest: Libya and Syria.
Hillary has been much attacked for the deaths of US diplomats in Benghazi, but her tireless promotion of the overthrow Muammar Qaddafi by NATO bombing is the far graver disaster. Hillary strongly promoted NATO-led regime change in Libya, not only in violation of international law but counter to the most basic good judgment. After the NATO bombing, Libya descended into civil war while the paramilitaries and unsecured arms stashes in Libya quickly spread west across the African Sahel and east to Syria. The Libyan disaster has spawned war in Mali, fed weapons to Boko Haram in Nigeria, and fueled ISIS in Syria and Iraq. In the meantime, Hillary found it hilarious to declare of Qaddafi: "We came, we saw, he died."
Perhaps the crowning disaster of this long list of disasters has been Hillary's relentless promotion of CIA-led regime change in Syria . Once again Hillary bought into the CIA propaganda that regime change to remove Bashir al-Assad would be quick, costless, and surely successful. In August 2011, Hillary led the US into disaster with her declaration Assad must "get out of the way," backed by secret CIA operations.
Five years later, no place on the planet is more ravaged by unending war, and no place poses a great threat to US security. More than 10 million Syrians are displaced, and the refugees are drowning in the Mediterranean or undermining the political stability of Greece, Turkey, and the European Union. Into the chaos created by the secret CIA-Saudi operations to overthrow Assad, ISIS has filled the vacuum, and has used Syria as the base for worldwide terrorist attacks.
The list of her incompetence and warmongering goes on. Hillary's support at every turn for NATO expansion, including even into Ukraine and Georgia against all common sense, was a trip wire that violated the post-Cold War settlement in Europe in 1991 and that led to Russia's violent counter-reactions in both Georgia and Ukraine. As Senator in 2008, Hilary co-sponsored 2008-SR439 , to include Ukraine and Georgia in NATO. As Secretary of State, she then presided over the restart of the Cold War with Russia.
It is hard to know the roots of this record of disaster. Is it chronically bad judgment? Is it her preternatural faith in the lying machine of the CIA? Is it a repeated attempt to show that as a Democrat she would be more hawkish than the Republicans? Is it to satisfy her hardline campaign financiers? Who knows? Maybe it's all of the above. But whatever the reasons, hers is a record of disaster. Perhaps more than any other person, Hillary can lay claim to having stoked the violence that stretches from West Africa to Central Asia and that threatens US security .
Jakob Augstein notes in Der Spiegel:
Trump would probably be the better choice in the question of war and peace than Clinton.
Clinton has expressly expressed the wish to establish a flight ban on Syria, or parts of it. *** In truth, it would be an act of war. The risks are unpredictable. Above all, the risk of a military conflict with Russia.
The highest soldier of the United States of America, General Joseph Dunford, President of the United States General Staff of the United States Forces, is certain. To control the entire airspace over Syria would mean war with Syria and Russia. Dunford's predecessor in office estimated a few years ago that an effective flight bomb over Syria would involve the use of 70,000 soldiers and a monthly cost of $ 1 billion.
But the bottom line is Clinton's proven historical track record … she's at least partly responsible for war after catastrophic war and coup after disastrous coup in Libya, Syria, Kosovo, Haiti, Honduras and other countries around the world.
And it's interesting, indeed, that the Neocons who got us into the Iraq war have endorsed Clinton instead of Trump .
Trump might speak in a crude, knee-jerk manner … but Clinton is probably more likely to actually get us into war .
Oct 28, 2016 | www.breitbart.comHillary has suggested on several occasions publicly that Trump cannot be trusted with the 'Nuclear Codes' because he is erratic and unstable. Now that most people agree that no matter where they came from the Wikileaks is telling the truth we can see how Hillary's own people are scared of her 'mood swings' and her health problems....
She is the one who should not have access to the Nuclear Codes much less be running for President because she also is a Criminal and belongs in Federal Prison.RobL_v2 • 2 hours ago Her mood??Lion 3 WhiteSplainItToYou • 42 minutes ago
This is coded speech microaggression. They are discriminating against her because she is a woman, implying she is 'moody' you know 'hysterical'... hysterectomy... its sexist, its misogynist its harassment, its abuse, its hate speech.
Come on Liberal media, where are you ... call it out... this is your bread and butter... Hillary's own campaign team is waging a war on women.
They did it to Sarah Palin and Barbara Bachman... You know they'd do it if Trump said Hillary was 'moody'.
The American media, nothing but despicable State Sycophant Propaganda Ministry runt traitors!
Whether Russia is behind it or not is irrelevant. Its not like the USA is an innocent player in hacking other countries. What's of importance is the contents of the emails. Whoever hacked them - if any at all (they were most likely provided by disgruntled DNC insiders) did not alter them (as proven by security checks). HRC, the DNC and her campaign team are deeply corrupt, hence she is unqualified to lead the USA.
DoruSlinger✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ • an hour ago
Wikileaks needs to get this out (I have not verified the info sent to me last night):
So here's the REAL story. Amb. Stevens was sent to Benghazi post haste in order to retrieve US made Stinger missiles supplied to Ansar al Sharia without Congressional oversight or permission. Hillary brokered the deal through Stevens and a private arms dealer named Marc Turi. Then some of the shoulder fired missiles ended up in Afghanistan used against our own military. It was July 25th, 2012 when a Chinook helicopter was taken down by one of our own Stingers, but the idiot Taliban didn't arm the missile and the Chinook didn't explode, but had to land anyway. An ordnance team recovered the serial number off the missile which led back to a cache of Stingers being kept in Qatar by the CIA Obama and Hillary were now in full panic mode and Stevens was sent in to retrieve the rest of the Stingers. This was a "do-or-die" mission, which explains the stand down orders given to multiple commando teams.
It was the State Dept, not the CIA that supplied them to our sworn enemies, because Petraeus wouldn't supply these deadly weapons due to their potential use on commercial aircraft. Then, Obama threw Gen. Petraeus under the bus after he refused to testify that he OK'd the BS talking points about a spontaneous uprising due to a Youtube video.
Obama and Hillary committed treason...and THIS is what the investigation is all about, why she had a private server, (in order to delete the digital evidence), and why Obama, two weeks after the attack, told the UN that the attack was because of a Youtube video, even though everyone knew it was not. Further...the Taliban knew that this administration aided and abetted the enemy without Congressional approval when Boehner created the Select Cmte, and the Taliban began pushing the Obama Administration for the release of 5 Taliban Generals. Bowe Bergdahl was just a pawn...everyone KNEW he was a traitor.
So we have a traitor as POTUS that is not only corrupt, but compromised...and a woman that is a serial liar, perjured herself multiple times at the Hearing whom is running for POTUS. Only the Dems, with their hands out, palms up, will support her. Perhaps this is why no military aircraft was called in…because the administration knew our enemies had Stingers.
Suelark DoruSlinger✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ • 42 minutes agoRegular Guy • an hour ago
Please repost this here and elsewhere. If true it would make sense of much of what has happened.Tim Kaine: "I don't think we can dignify documents dumped by WikiLeaks and just assume that they're all accurate and true,"DeplorableCarlo • an hour ago
They were confirmed true when John Podesta's Twitter password was distributed in one of the WikiLeaks email releases and his Twitter account was hijacked the same day by a troll saying, "Trump 2016! Hi pol". Checkmate b!tch. see more DNC Russian Hacker Pepe Regular Guy • 12 minutes ago The way they parse words, the Kaine statement still doesn't state the documents are not accurate. He makes an editorial statement to mislead the listener into thinking there is some reason to question the facts.Sounds pretty much like poor temperament to me when you have mood problems. Can we please put national security on hold for now, we have to check her mood ring. It is imperative for the best outcome that we check her head space. WOW! That's a real dumb explanation. Maybe if we use the word mood instead of temperament that will be better than telling people she has health problems in her head.
Oct 27, 2016 | www.zerohedge.comSubmitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
WAR is a racket. It always has been.
It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.
– From Major General Smedley Butler's War is a Racket
Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich has just penned an extremely powerful warning about the warmongers in Washington D.C. Who funds them, what their motives are, and why it is imperative for the American people to stop them.
The piece was published at The Nation and is titled: Why Is the Foreign Policy Establishment Spoiling for More War? Look at Their Donors .
Read it and share it with everyone you know.
Washington, DC, may be the only place in the world where people openly flaunt their pseudo-intellectuality by banding together, declaring themselves "think tanks," and raising money from external interests, including foreign governments, to compile reports that advance policies inimical to the real-life concerns of the American people.
As a former member of the House of Representatives, I remember 16 years of congressional hearings where pedigreed experts came to advocate wars in testimony based on circular, rococo thinking devoid of depth, reality, and truth. I remember other hearings where the Pentagon was unable to reconcile over $1 trillion in accounts, lost track of $12 billion in cash sent to Iraq, and rigged a missile-defense test so that an interceptor could easily home in on a target. War is first and foremost a profitable racket.
How else to explain that in the past 15 years this city's so called bipartisan foreign policy elite has promoted wars in Iraq and Libya, and interventions in Syria and Yemen, which have opened Pandora's box to a trusting world, to the tune of trillions of dollars, a windfall for military contractors. DC's think "tanks" should rightly be included in the taxonomy of armored war vehicles and not as gathering places for refugees from academia.
According to the front page of this past Friday's Washington Post, the bipartisan foreign-policy elite recommends the next president show less restraint than President Obama. Acting at the urging of "liberal" hawks brandishing humanitarian intervention, read war, the Obama administration attacked Libya along with allied powers working through NATO.
Indeed, I warned about this in last week's piece: U.S. Foreign Policy 'Elite' Eagerly Await an Expansion of Overseas Wars Under Hillary Clinton .
The think tankers fell in line with the Iraq invasion. Not being in the tank, I did my own analysis of the call for war in October of 2002, based on readily accessible information, and easily concluded that there was no justification for war. I distributed it widely in Congress and led 125 Democrats in voting against the Iraq war resolution. There was no money to be made from a conclusion that war was uncalled for, so, against millions protesting in the United States and worldwide, our government launched into an abyss, with a lot of armchair generals waving combat pennants. The marching band and chowder society of DC think tanks learned nothing from the Iraq and Libya experience.
The only winners were arms dealers, oil companies, and jihadists. Immediately after the fall of Libya, the black flag of Al Qaeda was raised over a municipal building in Benghazi, Gadhafi's murder was soon to follow, with Secretary Clinton quipping with a laugh, "We came, we saw, he died." President Obama apparently learned from this misadventure, but not the Washington policy establishment, which is spoiling for more war.
The self-identified liberal Center for American Progress (CAP) is now calling for Syria to be bombed, and estimates America's current military adventures will be tidied up by 2025, a tardy twist on "mission accomplished." CAP, according to a report in The Nation, has received funding from war contractors Lockheed Martin and Boeing, who make the bombers that CAP wants to rain hellfire on Syria.
The Brookings Institute has taken tens of millions from foreign governments , notably Qatar, a key player in the military campaign to oust Assad. Retired four-star Marine general John Allen is now a Brookings senior fellow . Charles Lister is a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute , which has received funding from Saudi Arabia , the major financial force providing billions in arms to upend Assad and install a Sunni caliphate stretching across Iraq and Syria. Foreign-government money is driving our foreign policy.
As the drumbeat for an expanded war gets louder, Allen and Lister jointly signed an op-ed in the Sunday Washington Post, calling for an attack on Syria. The Brookings Institute, in a report to Congress , admitted it received $250,000 from the US Central Command, Centcom, where General Allen shared leadership duties with General David Petraeus. Pentagon money to think tanks that endorse war? This is academic integrity, DC-style.
And why is Central Command, as well as the Food and Drug Administration, the US Department of transportation, and the US Department of Health and Human Services giving money to Brookings?
Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, who famously told Colin Powell , "What's the point of having this superb military you're always talking about if we can't use it," predictably says of this current moment , "We do think there needs to be more American action." A former Bush administration top adviser is also calling for the United States to launch a cruise missile attack on Syria.
The American people are fed up with war, but a concerted effort is being made through fearmongering, propaganda, and lies to prepare our country for a dangerous confrontation, with Russia in Syria.
The demonization of Russia is a calculated plan to resurrect a raison d'être for stone-cold warriors trying to escape from the dustbin of history by evoking the specter of Russian world domination.
It's infectious. Earlier this year the BBC broadcast a fictional show that contemplated WWIII, beginning with a Russian invasion of Latvia (where 26 percent of the population is ethnic Russian and 34 percent of Latvians speak Russian at home).
The imaginary WWIII scenario conjures Russia's targeting London for a nuclear strike. No wonder that by the summer of 2016 a poll showed two-thirds of UK citizens approved the new British PM's launching a nuclear strike in retaliation. So much for learning the lessons detailed in the Chilcot report.
As this year's presidential election comes to a conclusion, the Washington ideologues are regurgitating the same bipartisan consensus that has kept America at war since 9/11 and made the world a decidedly more dangerous place.
The DC think tanks provide cover for the political establishment, a political safety net, with a fictive analytical framework providing a moral rationale for intervention, capitol casuistry. I'm fed up with the DC policy elite who cash in on war while presenting themselves as experts, at the cost of other people's lives, our national fortune, and the sacred honor of our country.
Any report advocating war that comes from any alleged think tank ought to be accompanied by a list of the think tank's sponsors and donors and a statement of the lobbying connections of the report's authors.
It is our patriotic duty to expose why the DC foreign-policy establishment and its sponsors have not learned from their failures and instead are repeating them, with the acquiescence of the political class and sleepwalkers with press passes.
It is also time for a new peace movement in America, one that includes progressives and libertarians alike, both in and out of Congress, to organize on campuses, in cities, and towns across America, to serve as an effective counterbalance to the Demuplican war party, its think tanks, and its media cheerleaders. The work begins now, not after the Inauguration. We must not accept war as inevitable, and those leaders who would lead us in that direction, whether in Congress or the White House, must face visible opposition.
Thank you Mr. Kucinich, I couldn't agree more.
RogerMud Oct 27, 2016 7:33 PM ,we should have elected him in 2008. missed opportunity.LetThemEatRand -> RogerMud Oct 27, 2016 7:41 PM ,Just like Ron Paul (with whom he agrees on matters of foreign policy and the Fed), he was painted by MSM as a kook. I wonder why. While I understand that many here would never vote for him because he believes in things like social programs, so do all of the Republicans in Congress. He would have made a far better president than zero or McCain.nmewn Oct 27, 2016 7:37 PM ,So I guess the War on Poverty is over...so who won? ;-)Ignatius Oct 27, 2016 7:43 PM ,Off Topic: Oregon Standoff -- Not Guilty of Conspiracy
The comment section is filled with weeping bolsheviks, apparently.
Oct 25, 2016 | crookedtimber.org
stevenjohnson 10.25.16 at 1:00 pmSix reasons for pessimism?
1. An ABC news poll says that Clinton has 50% of somebody (the electorate, likely voters?) supporting her rabidly reactionary rhetoric. She demonizes Putin, imputes treason to a major party candidate in a way hitherto seen only in Birch Society attacks on Eisenhower, shrieks that it is utterly impossible to even hint that the current electoral system has no real legitimacy.
The only real criticisms acceptable in the face of her reactionary screeds are hints that she is a traitor for Clinton Foundation cash and that she is lax on security . (The claim that Clinton is pro-war are regressions to the Obama primary campaign in 2008. Since he promptly proved the irrelevance of an anti-war rhetoric, the observations that Clinton has none are equally irrelevant.)
2. The high levels of indecision suggest that a Trump defeat may well leave the Republican establishment more or less as it was. Depending on turnout, which even at this late date is highly uncertain, it is entirely possible the Republicans will maintain control of the Senate. At this point it is probable they will keep the House. In any event, Clinton has openly committed to a bipartisan a campaign against the Trump hijacking of the Republican party.
3. Consider the longevity of reactionary leaderships in the major parties. The Democratic Leadership Council approach has dominated its party for decades. The Republican party projects like ALEC, the Federalist Society, the Mighty Wurlitzer, the designated superstar talk personality (no, shifting from Limbaugh to Beck is not a sea change,) everywhere you look behind the scenes you see the same faces. What new faces appear turn out (like Obama) to be employees of the same old political establishments. Alleged exceptions like Sanders and Warren are notable primarily for their lack of commitment.
4. There are bold thinkers willing to imagine the conservative future. Think Jason Brennan and his book Against Democracy. Even worse, the real strength of the conservatives lies in the bottom line, not in polemics. Tragically, it's when the bottom line is written in read that it shrieks the loudest, with the most conviction and the most urgent desire for the masters to unite against the rest of us.
5. California politics has set the pace once again, demonstrating the absolute irrelevance of a "Left" defined as a spiritual posture. The annihilation of an ugly materialist Left by "McCarthyism" has purified the souls of the righetous, leaving socialism/communism unthinkable. California leftism is entirely safe for capitalism, imperialism and a free market of ideas where the refined consumers of ideas can have their gated neighborhoods of ideas.
6. The majority support for a more tolerant society makes no difference in policy. Being nicer is not politics.
There is a fundamental reason for despair, the failures of the right to win the Holy Grail of a functional capitalist society. Despite their successes in destroying organized labor (with the help of counter-revolutionary "leftists" to be sure,) in limiting women's rights, in blunting the real world effects of desegregation, the short-run prospects of capital are…disquieting. And the long run prospects, insofar as these people can see past the quarterly statement, are even more frightening. Urged by their fears, the system will be ever more destabilized by desperate adventures. The replacement of Social Security of course will be high on the agenda. The absolutely vital need for ever more control over the world, including regime change in Russia and China, has driven foreign policy in direct support of the dollar and banking since at least Bush 41.
But in the end, it is not the madness of the owners that is the cause for despair, but the absolute indifference of the spiritual leftists who have joined in the rabidly reactionary campaign against Clinton from the right. (You would have thought it rather difficult to criticize Clinton from the right, but never underestimate the exigencies of struggle against totalitarianism.) Win or lose, this campaign has endorsed reaction, top to bottom. On the upside, the likelihood of a Clinton impeachment offers much value for your entertainment dollar.
likbez 10.26.16 at 1:10 am
This is a very good analyses. But I am less pessimistic: the blowback against neoliberal globalization is real and it is difficult to swipe it under the carpet.
There are some signs of the "revolutionary situation" in the USA in a sense that the neoliberal elite lost control and their propaganda loss effectiveness, despite dusting off the "Red scare" trick with "Reds in each computer" instead of "Reds under each bed". With Putin as a very convenient bogeyman.
As somebody here said Trump might be a reaction to secular stagnation, kind of trump card put into play by some part of the elite, because with continued secular stagnation, the social stability in the USA is under a real threat.
But it looks like newly formed shadow "Committee for Saving [neo]Liberal Order" (with participation of three latter agencies, just read the recent "Red scare" memorandum ( https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/215-press-releases-2016/1423-joint-dhs-odni-election-security-statement ) want Hillary to be the POTUS.
But the problem is that Hillary with her failing health is our of her prime and with a bunch of neocons in key positions in her administration, she really represents a huge threat to world peace. She might not last long as the level of stress inherent in POTUS job make it a killing ground for anybody with advanced stage of Parkinson or similar degenerative neurological disease. But that might kale her more impulsive and more aggressive (and she always tried to outdo her male politicians in jingoism, real John McCain is the red pantsuit).
All-in-all it looks like she in not a solution of neoliberal elite problems, she is a part of the problem
Adventurism of the US neoliberal elite, and especially possible aggressive moves in Syria by Hillary regime ("no fly zone"), makes military alliance of Russia and China very likely (with Pakistan, Iran and India as possible future members). So Hillary might really work like a powerful China lobbyist, because the alliance with Russia will be on China terms.
Regime change via color revolution in either country requires at dense network of subservient to the Western interests and financed via shadow channels MSM (including TV channels), NGO and ability to distribute cash to selection members of fifth column of neoliberalism. All those condition were made more difficult in Russia and impossible in mainland China. In Russia the US adventurism in Ukraine and the regime change of February 2014 (creation of neo-fascist regime nicknamed by some "Kaganat of Nuland" (Asia times http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-01-100315.html ) essentially killed the neoliberal fifth column in Russia and IMHO it no longer represent a viable political force.
Also Russians probably learned well lesson of unsuccessful attempt of regime change by interfering into Russian Presidential election process attempted by Hillary and Obama in 2011-2012. I would like to see the US MSM reaction if Russian ambassador invited Sanders and Trump into the embassy and promised full and unconditional support for their effort to remove criminal Obama regime, mired in corruption and subservient to Wall Street interest, the regime that produced misery for so many American workers, lower middle class and older Americans ;-)
Ambassador McFaul soon left the country, NED was banned and screws were tightened enough to make next attempt exceedingly difficult. Although everything can happen I would discount the possibility of the next "While Revolution" in Russia. So called "Putin regime" survived the period of low oil prices and with oil prices over $60 in 2017 Russian economy might be able to grow several percent a year. At the same time the US "post-Obama" regime might well face the winds of returning higher oil prices and their negative influence of economy growth and unemployment.
In China recent troubles in Hong Cong were also a perfect training ground for "anti color revolution" measures and the next attempt would much more difficult, unless China experience economic destabilization due to some bubble burst.
that means that excessive military adventurism inherent in the future Hillary regime might speed up loss by the USA military dominance and re-alignment of some states beyond Philippines. Angela Merkel regime also might not survive the next election and change "pro-Atlantic" balance in Europe.
Although the list in definitely not complete, we can see that there are distinct setbacks for attempts of further neoliberalization - Brexit and TPP troubles.
So there are some countervailing forces in action and my impression that the Triumphal march of neoliberalism with the USA as a hegemon of the new neoliberal order is either over or soon will be over. In certain regions of the globe the USA foreign policy is in trouble (Syria, Ukraine) and while you can do anything using bayonets, you can't sit on them.
So while still there is no viable alternative to neoliberalism as social system, the ideology itself is discredited and like communism after 1945 lost its hold of hearts and minds of the USA population. I would say that in the USA neoliberalism entered Zombie stage.
My hope is that reasonable voices in foreign policy prevail, and the disgust of unions members toward DemoRats (Neoliberal Democrats) could play the decisive role in coming elections. As bad as Trump is for domestic policy, it represent some hope as for foreign policy unless co-opted by Republican establishment.
Oct 24, 2016 | The National Interest Blog
There are a variety of potential threats around the world today: tensions in the South China Seas, a nuclear North Korea, conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and civil wars in the Middle East are just a few. In order to better think about these challenges and how they relate to U.S. national security, the Center for the National Interest partnered with the Charles Koch Institute to host a foreign policy roundtable which addressed the question: What is the most pressing issue for America's foreign policy? Watch the rest of the videos in the "Grand Strategy" series.
John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago doesn't shy away from a bold answer: The most pressing issue is that the United States has a "fundamentally misguided foreign policy." Mearsheimer argues that there are two dimensions to U.S. foreign policy that get the United States into "big trouble." First, he says, "We believe that we can dominate the globe, that we can control what happens in every nook and cranny of the world." The problem with this is that "the world is simply too big and nationalism is much too powerful of a force to make it possible for us to come close to doing that."
Mearsheimer argues that the second problematic dimension of U.S. foreign policy is that the United States is "heavily into transformation." By "transformation," Mearsheimer means that "We believe that what we should do in the process of running the world is topple governments that are not liberal democracies and transform them into [neo]liberal democracies."
The United States has engaged in numerous international military interventions over the past fifteen years, primarily in the Middle East. Proponents of these interventions argue that they are necessary in order to build stable democracies in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. However, according to Mearsheimer, the United States is pursuing "a hopeless cause; there is a huge literature that makes it clear that promoting democracy around the world is extremely difficult to do, and doing it at the end of a rifle barrel is almost impossible."
So why has the United States continued to pursue policies and strategies that fail to convert U.S. military might into political ends?
Eugene Gholz of the University of Texas at Austin suggests that the root of the issue could be American hubris. The United States has made the mistake of "thinking we can control things we can't control." Mearsheimer agrees with Gholz, although he finds the situation perplexing: "It's remarkably difficult to understand why we still continue to think we can dominate the world and pursue the same foreign policy we've been pursuing at least since 2001, when it has led to abject failure after abject failure."
Several other scholars chime in to offer their own thoughts on this thorny issue. Boston University's Andrew Bacevich opines that the United States needs to "come to some understanding of who we are and why we do these things – a critical understanding of the American identity." Notre Dame's Michael Desch agrees: "That cuts to the core of American political culture. I think the root of the hubris is deep in the software that animates how we think about ourselves, and how we think about the world."
Harvard University's Stephen Walt offers yet another possibility. Walt asks if the U.S. commitment to its current misguided and damaging foreign policy is due to "deep culture" or if it is result of "the national security apparatus we built after World War II." Walt thinks it is the latter: the United States "was not a highly interventionist country until after the Second World War." After World War II, "we built a large national security state, we had bases everywhere, and then we discovered that we can't let go of any of that, even though the original reason for building it is gone."
Did the other panelists agree with Walt? Did anyone suggest a different problem as a candidate for the most pressing issue? Watch the full video above to see and be sure to check out the other videos of CNI and CKI's panel of nationally acclaimed foreign policy scholars addressing additional questions.
Oct 24, 2016 | www.washingtonexaminer.com
Hillary Clinton can change her views in an instant on trade, guns, gay marriage, and all sorts of issues, but she's consistent in this: she wants war.
The Democratic nominee in the final debate reiterated her bellicose stance towards Syria. Combined with her 2003 vote for war in Iraq, and her central role in getting the U.S. into the 2011 war in Libya, Clinton could become the most hawkish candidate elected president in most Americans' lifetimes.
"I am going to continue to push for a no-fly zone and safe havens within Syria," Clinton said Wednesday night. Totally separate from the fight against ISIS, Clinton's "no-fly zones and safe havens" are U.S. military intervention in the bloody and many-sided conflict between Syria's brutal government, terrorist groups, and rebel groups.
Enforcing a no-fly zone is "basically an act of war," Michael Knights, a no-fly-zone expert at the Washington Institute told me in the run up to the Libyan war. Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before the Senate that a no-fly zone created "the potential of a direct conflict with the Syrian integrated air defense system or Syrian forces or, by corollary, a confrontation with the Russians."
Defense Secretary Ash Carter testified in the same hearing that "safe zones" would require significant U.S. boots on the ground.
So while Hillary says she doesn't want war with Russia or Syria, or boots on the ground in Syria, she pushes policies that the Pentagon says risk war and require boots on the ground.
Hillary showed that same cavalier attitude toward war earlier this decade, laughingly declaring "we came, we saw, he died." This was her version of George W. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" moment, and Libya was her smaller - and less legal - version of Bush's Iraq War.
"Hillary's War," was the Washington Post's headline for a flattering feature on the Secretary of State's central role in driving the U.S. to intervene in Libya's civil war in 2011.
Clinton staff, published emails have shown, worked hard to get Clinton credit for the war. Clinton's confidante at the State Department Jake Sullivan drafted a memo on her "leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country's Libya policy from start to finish."
Sullivan listed, point-by-point, how Clinton helped bring about and shape the war. Before Obama's attack on Moammar Gadhafi, "she [was] a leading voice for strong UNSC action and a NATO civilian B5 protection mission," the memo explained.
Hillary's war was illegal-because the administration never obtained congressional authorization for it-and it was also disastrous. "Libya is in a state of meltdown," John Lee Anderson wrote in the Atlantic last summer.
ISIS has spread, no stable government has arisen, and the chaos has led to refugee and terrorism crises.
Clinton nevertheless calls her war "smart power at its best," declaring during the primary season, "I think President Obama made the right decision at the time."
Yet somehow, through three general election debates, she never got a single question on Libya. Consider that: a former Secretary of State touted a war as a central achievement of hers, is running on her foreign-policy chops, and she is escaping accountability for that disastrous war.
Clinton, of course, also voted for the Iraq War in 2003. She says now she thinks that war was a mistake because it destabilized region. But somehow she doesn't apply that supposed lesson to Libya or to Syria.
The pattern is clear: Hillary Clinton is consistently and maybe blindly pro-war. She is now the clear frontrunner to become our next president. The antiwar movement that flourished under President George W. Bush has disappeared under President Obama . Will it revive under Hillary? Will Republicans have the power or the desire to check her ambitious interventionism.
If Hillary wins big and sweeps in a Senate majority with her, we could be in for four more years of even more war.
Timothy P. Carney, the Washington Examiner's senior political columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org . His column appears Tuesday and Thursday nights on washingtonexaminer.com.
Oct 24, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne : https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/790154851682545665
Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald
Exploiting Cold War rhetoric & tactics has helped her win the election. I guess the idea is: deal with the aftermath and fallout later.
Katrina vandenHeuvel @KatrinaNation
How does new Cold War-- which ends space for dissent, hurts women & children, may lead to nuclear war--help what Clinton claims she is for?
EMichael -> anne... , October 23, 2016 at 05:28 AMI would submit that there are very few voters that will vote from Clinton because of this "cold war rhetoric" schtick.ilsm -> EMichael... , October 23, 2016 at 06:18 AM
Greenwald keeps falling and cannot get up.Few "will [move the] vote from Clinton because of this "cold war rhetoric" schtick.JohnH -> EMichael... , October 23, 2016 at 08:03 AM
Those "few" were awake during the 80's and see the nuclear/neocon dystopian horror behind Clinton.
While Trump mentioned using nukes, Hillary's nuke policy is 'well' laid out by Robert Kagan and the hegemon interests.
Recall Mao said "go ahead......'
Nukes are just another form of the pointless body count strategy.LOL! "Very few voters that will vote from Clinton because of this "cold war rhetoric" schtick."EMichael -> JohnH... , October 23, 2016 at 08:12 AM
Putin/Russia were by far the most mentioned topics at the debates...yet EMichael has the naivety to assert that cold war tactics don't matter. What a rube!Really? How many minutes were spent on Putin(not Russia, Putin)?pgl -> EMichael... , October 23, 2016 at 09:19 AM
How many minutes were spent on Trump's misogyny?
No way to measure it, but when I find a person who votes for Clinton because of her attacks on Putin(not Russia, Putin), I'll let you know.
Don't hold your breath.Trump does seem to admire Putin. Maybe he wants to date Russian babes.ilsm -> pgl... , October 23, 2016 at 11:28 AMCan't imagine Trump needs to go that far from home!pgl -> ilsm... , October 23, 2016 at 11:40 AM
Trump is not smart enough to listen to the Kagans....
Like a smart neoliberal.
If the Russians are releasing knowledge that embarrasses Klinton they are doing a service.Yes ilsm. He goes down to Brighton Beach regularly. Shh - don't tell Melanie.JohnH -> JohnH... , October 23, 2016 at 11:14 AMAs usual, EMichael is as uninformed as ever. For his information, Russia/Putin were mentioned 178 times in the 3 debates, topping the list of topics covered.JohnH -> JohnH... , October 23, 2016 at 11:14 AM
By comparison, climate change got four mentions, poverty 10, and US economic performance--hold onto your hats!--didn't make the list. NSA snooping didn't get mentioned either.
So, EMichael, if Russia/Putin don't matter to voters, why did candidates talk so much about it? Oh, I know, to distract attention from more serious issues that their paymasters didn't want them to talk about!Link: http://fair.org/home/medias-debate-agenda-push-russia-isis-taxes-downplay-climate-poverty-campaign-finance/ilsm -> JohnH... , October 23, 2016 at 11:29 AM
[read it and weep.]Emike and pgl are adept at fallacies of argument.EMichael -> JohnH... , October 23, 2016 at 11:56 AM
I hope they are more adept at reasoning in the real world.Also, the question is about what people are voting for, not how many times Putin was mentioned.Dan Kervick -> EMichael... , October 23, 2016 at 11:45 AMClinton had attracted a lot of centrist Republicans to her campaign, and I think the hawkish and old school foreign policy stance has something to do with it.pgl -> Dan Kervick... , October 23, 2016 at 12:19 PMCentrists are supporting her simply because Trump is batshit insane.anne -> anne... , -1https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/790154851682545665
Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald
Exploiting Cold War rhetoric & tactics has helped her win the election. I guess the idea is: deal with the aftermath and fallout later.
Katrina vandenHeuvel @KatrinaNation
How does new Cold War-- which ends space for dissent, hurts women & children, may lead to nuclear war--help what Clinton claims she is for?
4:36 AM - 23 Oct 2016
[ Absolutely perfect. ]
rg the lg | Oct 22, 2016 8:25:27 PM | 33http://empireexposed.blogspot.com/
Long ago (1968) after returning from Vietnam with a bullet hole in my leg (my 90 wonder, post-ROTC officer shot me when he panicked) I wondered off to a down-at-the-heel cow college. There I took a class and C Wright Mills 'The Power Elite' was required reading.
I had just finished 'War is a fraud' and read an article by Paul Ehrlich an then 'The Population Bomb' shortly thereafter. The three books created an interesting fusion in my mind:
- More or less after the year 2000 the world would be plagued by resource wars;
- The primary role of the military is to enforce what capitalists want; and
- Behind the alleged scenes of our form of government hovered oligarchs who would demand more and more.
I recently found a paper I had written long ago. It wasn't very well written, but even then the handwriting was on the wall: oligarchic greed; a military dedicated to protecting the wealth of oligarchs; and, wars over resources. Granted Bill Clinton began the current charade about 'humanitarian wars' but it was Bush II and Obama who turned our focus into resource wars and the hegemons (Malignant Overlords) who decided it was time to take it all.
I guess the point of all of this is (except for the details) Ehrlich, Mills and Butler warned us. As did Huxley and Orwell ... we were just too damned dumb (or distracted) to see it.
Maybe with the Queen of Chaos, the above will result in either annihilation or in a severe reduction in the numbers of people ... (hopefully including all of the oligarchic class) and the chance to start over?
Nah ... we'll just fuck it up again ... as a species we refuse to learn. Sigh ...
Oct 23, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org
"As president, I will make it clear that the United States will treat cyberattacks just like any other attack," the Democratic presidential nominee said. "We will be ready with serious political, economic and military responses. "
We need to tell everyone that for the sake of the word. do not vote for this dangerous woman!
Posted by: Tom Murphy | Oct 22, 2016 7:33:32 PM | 28
Oct 23, 2016 | angrybearblog.comlikbez October 22, 2016 11:20 pmBeverly Mann October 23, 2016 12:00 pm
The key problems with Democratic Party and Hillary is that they lost working class and middle class voters, becoming another party of highly paid professionals and Wall Street speculators (let's say top 10%, not just 1%), the party of neoliberal elite.
It will be interesting to see if yet another attempt to "bait and switch" working class and lower middle class works this time. I think it will not. Even upper middle class is very resentful of Democrats and Hillary. So many votes will be not "for" but "against". This is the scenario Democratic strategists fear the most, but they can do nothing about it.
She overplayed "identity politics" card. Her "identity politics" and her fake feminism are completely insincere. She is completely numb to human suffering and interests of females and minorities. Looks like she has a total lack of empathy for other people.
Here is one interesting quote ( http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/10/how-trump-and-clinton-gave-bad-answers-on-us-nuclear-policy-and-why-you-should-be-worried.html#comment-2680036 ):
"What scares me is my knowledge of her career-long investment in trying to convince the generals and the admirals that she is a 'tough bitch', ala Margaret Thatcher, who will not hesitate to pull the trigger. An illuminating article in the NY Times ( http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/24/magazine/how-hillary-clinton-became-a-hawk.html ) revealed that she always advocates the most muscular and reckless dispositions of U.S. military forces whenever her opinion is solicited. "
Usually people are resentful about Party which betrayed them so many times. It would be interesting to see how this will play this time.beene October 23, 2016 10:31 am
It will be interesting to see if yet another attempt to "bait and switch" working class and lower middle class works this time?
Yup. The Republicans definitely have the interests of the working class and lower middle class at heart when they give, and propose, ever deeper tax cuts for the wealthy, the repeal of the estate tax that by now applies only to estates of more than $5 million, complete deregulation of the finance industry, industry capture of every federal regulatory agency and cabinet department and commission or board, from the SEC, to the EPA, to the Interior Dept. (in order to hand over to the oil, gas and timber industries vast parts of federal lands), the FDA, the FTC, the FCC, the NLRB, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Justice Dept. (including the Antitrust Division)-to name only some.
And OF COURSE it's to serve the interests of the working class and lower middle class that they concertedly appoint Supreme Court justices and lower federal court judges that are unabashed proxies of big business.
And then there's the incessant push to privatize Social Security and Medicare. It ain't the Dems that are pushing that.
You're drinking wayyy too much Kool Aid, likbez. Or maybe just reading too much Ayn Rand, at Paul Ryan's recommendation.likbez October 23, 2016 12:56 pm
I would suggest despite most of the elite in both parties supporting Hillary, and saying she has the election in the bag is premature. In my opinion the fact that Trump rallies still has large attendance; where Hillary's rallies would have trouble filling up a large room is a better indication that Trump will win.
Even democrats are not voting democratic this time to be ignored till election again.
=== quote ===
Yup. The Republicans definitely have the interests of the working class and lower middle class at heart when they give, and propose, ever deeper tax cuts for the wealthy, the repeal of the estate tax that by now applies only to estates of more than $5 million, complete deregulation of the finance industry, industry capture of every federal regulatory agency and cabinet department and commission or board, from the SEC, to the EPA, to the Interior Dept. (in order to hand over to the oil, gas and timber industries vast parts of federal lands), the FDA, the FTC, the FCC, the NLRB, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Justice Dept. (including the Antitrust Division) -- to name only some.
And OF COURSE it's to serve the interests of the working class and lower middle class that they concertedly appoint Supreme Court justices and lower federal court judges that are unabashed proxies of big business.
=== end of quote ===
This is all true. But Trump essentially running not as a Republican but as an independent on (mostly) populist platform (with elements of nativism). That's why a large part of Republican brass explicitly abandoned him. That does not exclude that he easily will be co-opted after the election, if he wins.
And I would not be surprised one bit if Dick Cheney, Victoria Nuland, Paul Wolfowitz and Perle vote for Hillary. Robert Kagan and papa Bush already declared such an intention. She is a neocon. A wolf in sheep clothing, if we are talking about real anti-war democrats, not the USA brand of DemoRats. She is crazy warmonger, no question about it, trying to compensate a complete lack of diplomatic skills with jingoism and saber rattling.
The problem here might be that you implicitly idealize Hillary and demonize Trump.
I would agree that Trump is horrible candidate. The candidate who (like Hillary) suggests complete degeneration of the US neoliberal elite.
But the problem is that Hillary is even worse. Much worse and more dangerous because in addition to being a closet Republican she is also a warmonger. In foreign policy area she is John McCain in pantsuit. And if you believe that after one hour in White House she does not abandon all her election promises and start behaving like a far-right republican in foreign policy and a moderate republican in domestic policy, it's you who drunk too much Cool Aid.
That's what classic neoliberal DemoRats "bait and switch" maneuver (previously executed by Obama two times) means. And that's why working class now abandoned Democratic Party. Even unions members of unions which endorses Clinton are expected to vote 3:1 against her. Serial betrayal of interests of working class (and lower middle class) after 25 years gets on nerve. Not that their choice is wise, but they made a choice. This is "What's the matter with Kansas" all over again.
It reminds me the situation when Stalin was asked whether right revisionism of Marxism (social democrats) or left (Trotskyites with their dream of World revolution) is better. He answered "both are worse" :-).
In other words, the USA [workers and middle class] now is in the political position that in chess is called Zugzwang: we face a choice between the compulsive liar, unrepentant, extremely dangerous and unstable warmonger with failing health vs. a bombastic, completely unprepared to governance of such a huge country crook.
Of course, we need also remember about existence of "deep state" which make each of them mostly a figurehead, but still the power of "deep state" is not absolute and this is a very sad situation.
Beverly Mann, October 23, 2016 1:57 pm
Two points: First, you apparently are unaware of Trump's proposed tax plan, written by Heritage Foundation economists and political-think-tank types. It's literally more regressively extreme evn than Paul Ryan's. It gives tax cuts to the wealthy that are exponentially more generous percentage-wise than G.W. Bush's two tax cuts together were, it eliminates the estate tax, and it gives massive tax cuts to corporations, including yuge ones.
Two billionaire Hamptons-based hedge funders, Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, have been funding a super PAC for Trump and since late spring have met with Trump and handed him policy proposals and suggestions for administrative agency heads and judicial appointments. Other yuge funders are members of the Ricketts family, including Thomas Ricketts, CEO of TD Ameritrade and a son of its founder.
Two other billionaires funding Trump: Forrest Lucas, founder of Lucas Oil and reportedly Trump's choice for Interior Secretary if you and the working class and lower middle class folks whose interests Trump has at heart get their way.
And then there's Texas oil billionaire Harold Hamm, Trump's very first billionaire mega-donor.
One of my recurring pet peeves about Clinton and her campaign is her failure to tell the public that these billionaires are contributing mega-bucks to help fund Trump's campaign, and to tell the public who exactly they are. As well as her failure to make a concerted effort to educate the public about the the specifics of Trump's fiscal and deregulatory agenda as he has published it.
As for your belief that I idealize Clinton, you obviously are very new to Angry Bear. I was a virulent Sanders supporter throughout the primaries, to the very end. In 2008 I originally supported John Edwards during the primaries and then, when it became clear that it was a two-candidate race, supported Obama. My reason? I really, really, REALLY did not want to see another triangulation Democratic administration. That's largely what we got during Obama's first term, though, and I was not happy about it.
Bottom line: I'm not the gullible one here. You are.
likbez, October 23, 2016 2:37 pm
You demonstrate complete inability to weight the gravity of two dismal, but unequal in their gravity options.
All your arguments about Supreme Court justices, taxes, inheritance and other similar things make sense if and only if the country continues to exist.
Which is not given due to the craziness and the level of degeneration of neoliberal elite and specifically Hillary ("no fly zone in Syria" is one example of her craziness). Playing chickens with a nuclear power for the sake of proving imperial dominance in Middle East is a crazy policy.
Neocons rule the roost in both parties, which essentially became a single War Party with two wings. Trump looks like the only chance somewhat to limit their influence and reach some détente with Russia.
Looks like you organically unable to understand that your choice in this particular case is between the decimation of the last remnants of the New Deal and a real chance of WWIII.
This is not "pick your poison" situation. Those are two events of completely difference magnitude: one is reversible (and please note that Trump is bound by very controversial obligations to his electorate and faces hostile Congress), the other is not.
We all should do our best to prevent the unleashing WWIII even if that means temporary decimation of the remnants of New Deal.
Neoliberalism after 2008 entered zombie state, so while it is still strong, aggressive and bloodthirsty it might not last for long. And in such case the defeat of democratic forces on domestic front is temporary.
That means vote against Hillary.
Oct 23, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org
"As president, I will make it clear that the United States will treat cyberattacks just like any other attack," the Democratic presidential nominee said. "We will be ready with serious political, economic and military responses. "
We need to tell everyone that for the sake of the word. do not vote for this dangerous woman!
Posted by: Tom Murphy | Oct 22, 2016 7:33:32 PM | 28
Oct 23, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
Fred C. Dobbs : October 23, 2016 at 02:46 PMThe Dangers of Hillary Clinton
NYT - Ross Douthat - Oct 23
A vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, the Clinton campaign has suggested in broad ways and subtle ones, isn't just a vote for a Democrat over a Republican: It's a vote for safety over risk, steady competence over boastful recklessness, psychological stability in the White House over ungovernable passions.
This theme has been a winning one for Hillary, in her debates and in the wider campaign, and for good reason. The perils of a Trump presidency are as distinctive as the candidate himself, and a vote for Trump makes a long list of worst cases - the Western alliance system's unraveling, a cycle of domestic radicalization, an accidental economic meltdown, a civilian-military crisis - more likely than with any normal administration.
Indeed, Trump and his supporters almost admit as much. "We've tried sane, now let's try crazy," is basically his campaign's working motto. The promise to be a bull in a china shop is part of his demagogue's appeal. Some of his more eloquent supporters have analogized a vote for Trump to storming the cockpit of a hijacked plane, with the likelihood of a plane crash entirely factored in.
But passing on the plane-crash candidate doesn't mean ignoring the dangers of his rival.
The dangers of a Hillary Clinton presidency are more familiar than Trump's authoritarian unknowns, because we live with them in our politics already. They're the dangers of elite groupthink, of Beltway power worship, of a cult of presidential action in the service of dubious ideals. They're the dangers of a recklessness and radicalism that doesn't recognize itself as either, because it's convinced that if an idea is mainstream and commonplace among the great and good then it cannot possibly be folly.
Almost every crisis that has come upon the West in the last 15 years has its roots in this establishmentarian type of folly. The Iraq War, which liberals prefer to remember as a conflict conjured by a neoconservative cabal, was actually the work of a bipartisan interventionist consensus, pushed hard by George W. Bush but embraced as well by a large slice of center-left opinion that included Tony Blair and more than half of Senate Democrats.
Likewise the financial crisis: Whether you blame financial-services deregulation or happy-go-lucky housing policy (or both), the policies that helped inflate and pop the bubble were embraced by both wings of the political establishment. ...
(Crises happen. How are these two linked? The first came about because we were in the throes of 9/11. The 2nd arguably because we were in the delayed throes of a dot.com bubble collapse. And with a president who was out of his depth.)
likbez -> Fred C. Dobbs...== quote ===
The dangers of a Hillary Clinton presidency are more familiar than Trump's authoritarian unknowns, because we live with them in our politics already. They're the dangers of elite groupthink, of Beltway power worship, of a cult of presidential action in the service of dubious ideals. They're the dangers of a recklessness and radicalism that doesn't recognize itself as either, because it's convinced that if an idea is mainstream and commonplace among the great and good then it cannot possibly be folly.
=== end of quote ===
That looks like indirect attack on neocons which is atypical for NYT.
IMHO the main danger of Hillary presidency is the danger of WWIII due to her own jingoism and recklessness as well as outsize neocons influence in her administration (she is the person who promoted Cheney's associate Victoria Nuland, who got us into Ukrainian mess).
As such outweighs all possible dangers of Trump presidency by a wide margin.
Voting for Hillary is like voting for John McCain in a pantsuit in order to prevent decimation of the remnants of the New Deal inherent in Trump administration.
Trump at least gives us some chance of détente with Russia.
Just look how mainstream Republicans are bashing Trump http://www.usnews.com/opinion/op-ed/articles/2016-10-20/third-debate-highlights-why-hillary-clinton-must-win-donald-trump-must-not
Also he faces hostile Congress and "deep state", while Hillary is a creature of "deep state", a marionette, if you wish, which will continue the current disastrous interventionist foreign policy.
Of course Trump can be co-opted by "deep state" too. That's also a danger.
There is a nice cartoon, probably from Times, that I found at
US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization
Oct 22, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The American ConservativeThere was another part of the Post article I cited in my last post that I wanted to address:
"The dynamic is totally different from what I saw a decade ago" when Democratic and Republican elites were feuding over the invasion of Iraq, said Brian Katulis, a senior Middle East analyst at the Center for American Progress. Today, the focus among the foreign policy elite is on rebuilding a more muscular and more "centrist internationalism," he said [bold mine-DL].
Every term used in that last sentence is either misleading or flat-out wrong. A more aggressive policy in Syria or anywhere else shouldn't be described as "muscular" for a few reasons. For one thing, committing the U.S. to short-sighted and ill-conceived military interventions does nothing to enhance the strength or security of the country. Such a policy doesn't build strength–it wastes it. Calling an aggressive policy "muscular" betrays a bias that aggressive measures are the ones that demonstrate strength, when they usually just demonstrate policymakers' crude and clumsy approach to foreign problems. One might just as easily describe these policies as meat-headed instead.
"Centrist" is one of the most overused and abused words in our politics. The term is often used to refer to positions that are supposedly moderate, pragmatic, and relatively free of ideological bias, but here we can see that it refers to something very different. Many people that are considered to be "centrists" on the normal left-right political spectrum are frequently in favor of a much more aggressive foreign policy than the one we have now, but that doesn't make their foreign policy a moderate or pragmatic one. In fact, this "centrism" is not really a position in between the two partisan extremes, both of which would be satisfied with a less activist and interventionist foreign policy than we have today, but represents an extreme all its own.
Besides, there's nothing moderate or pragmatic about being determined to entangle the U.S. deeper in foreign wars, and that is what this so-called "centrist" foreign policy aims to do.
Likewise, it is fairly misleading to call what is being proposed here internationalist. It shows no respect for international law. Hawkish proposals to attack Syria or carve out "safe zones" by force simply ignore that the U.S. has no right or authority to do either of these things. There appears to be scant interest in pursuing international cooperation, except insofar as it is aimed at escalating existing conflicts. One would also look in vain for working through international institutions. The only thing that is international about this "centrist internationalism" seems to be that it seeks to inflict death and destruction on people in other countries.
Oct 22, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Procopius October 22, 2016 at 10:06 am
I keep trying to imagine what special interest is so invested in the no-fly zone that they can force Hillary to keep proposing it, even though it is obviously no longer feasible. Is it just inertia? She is so used to pushing the idea that she brings it up without thinking, and then has to dodge out of the way? But the whole situation has passed out of the realm of rational thought. It reminds me of Vietnam.
The idea the South and North Vietnam were separate countries was never true, but John Foster Dulles insisted on repeating the lie at every opportunity and after a while the Village all started to believe it.
None of the stated goals in Syria make any sense any longer (if the ever did), but we keep pursuing them. Scary.
Oct 21, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
likbez -> Fred C. Dobbs... October 21, 2016 at 02:12 PMPlease note that Hillary's path to the top was marked by proved beyond reasonable doubt DNC fraud. With information contained in recent email leaks some DNC honchos probably might go to jail for violation of elections laws. So for them this is a death match and people usually fight well when they are against the wall. The same in true about Obama and his entourage.Jay : October 21, 2016 at 01:36 PM , 2016 at 01:36 PM
And while this Nobel Peace Price winner managed to bomb just eight countries, Hillary might improve this peace effort, which was definitely insufficient from the point of view of many diplomats in State Department. Also the number of humanitarian bombs could be much greater. Here Hillary election can really help.
From the other point of view this might well be a sign of the crisis of legitimacy of the US ruling neoliberal elite (aka financial oligarchy).
After approximately 50 years in power the level of degeneration of the US neoliberal elite reached the level when the quality of candidates reminds me the quality of candidates from the USSR Politburo after Brezhnev death. Health-wise Hillary really bear some resemblance to Andropov and Chernenko. And inability of the elite to replace either of them with a more viable candidate speaks volumes.
The other factor that will not go away is that Obama effectively pardoned Hillary for emailgate (after gentle encouragement from Bill via Loretta Lynch). Otherwise instead of candidate to POTUS, she would be a viable candidate for orange suit too. Sure, the rule of law is not applicable to neoliberal elite, so why Hilary should be an exception? But some naive schmucks might think that this is highly improper. And be way too much upset with the fruits of neoliberal globalization. Not that Brexit is easily repeatable in the USA, but vote against neoliberal globalization (protest vote) might play a role.
Another interesting thing to observe is when (and if) the impeachment process starts, if she is elected. With some FBI materials in hands of the Congress Republicans she in on the hook. A simple majority of those present and voting is required for each article of impeachment, or the resolution as a whole, to pass.
All-in-all her win might well be a Pyrrhic victory. And the unknown neurological disease that she has (Parkinson?) makes her even more vulnerable after the election, then before. The role of POTUS involves a lot of stress and requires substantial physical stamina as POTUS is the center of intersection of all important government conflicts, conversations and communications. That's a killing environment for anyone with Parkinson. And remember she was not able to survive the pressure of the role of the Secretary of State when she was in much better health and has an earlier stage of the disease.
POTUS essentially does not belong to himself/herself for the term of the office (although Obama managed to slack in this role; was he on drugs the night of Benghazi killings ? http://www.redflagnews.com/headlines/plausible-theory-was-president-obama-high-on-coke-while-benghazi-burned-video)
Another interesting question, if the leaks continue after the election. That also can contribute to the level of stress. Just anticipation is highly stressful. I do not buy the theory about "evil Russians." This hypothesis does not survive Occam razor test. I think that there some anti-Hillary forces within the USA ruling elite, possibly within the NSA or some other three letter agency that has access to email boxes of major Web mail providers via NSA.
If this is a plausible hypothesis, that makes it more probable that the leaks continue. To say nothing about possible damaging revelations about Bill (especially related to Clinton Foundation), who really enjoyed his retirement way too much.
Those who vote for Hillary for the sake of stability need to be reminded that according to the Minsky Theory stability sometimes can be very destabilizing
When Krugman is appointed to a top government post by Hillary Clinton we will be able to FOIA his pay and attach a value to all the columns "electioneering" Krugman has written.likbez -> anne...Anne,
"An intolerably destructive essay that should never have been posted, and I assume no such essay will be posted again on this blog. Shameful, shameful essay."
You mean that voting for the female warmonger with some psychopathic tendencies ("We came, we saw, he died") is not shameful ?
An interesting approach I would say.
I am not fun of Trump, but he, at least, does not have the blood of innocent women and children on his hands. And less likely to start WWIII unlike this completely out of control warmonger.
With the number of victims of wars of neoliberal empire expansion in Iraq, Libya and Syria, you should be ashamed of yourself as a women.
Please think about your current position Anne. You really should be ashamed.
Oct 20, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.comAdamski -> Peter K.... , October 20, 2016 at 07:35 AMTrump is winning with people in their 50s and they have a higher chance of voting than millennials do. That plus voter suppression may hand this to Trump yet. There was an LA Times poll this month that showed a small Trump lead. An outlier, sure, but the same poll was right about Obama in 2012 when other polls were wrong. Just sayinglikbez -> Adamski... , -1> "Trump is winning with people in their 50s and they have a higher chance of voting than millennials do."
Yes. Thank you for making this point.
Also people over 50 have more chances to understand and reject all the neoliberal bullshit MSM are pouring on Americans.
As well as a simple fact (that escapes many participants of this forum, connected to TBTF) the that Hillary is an unrepentant neocon, a warmonger that might well bring another war, possibly even WWIII.
One of the systemic dangers of psychopathic females in high political positions is that remaining as reckless as they are, they try to outdo men in hawkishness.
Enthusiasm of people in this forum for Hillary is mainly enthusiasm for the ability of TBTF to rip people another four years.
Not that Trump is better, but on warmongering side he is the lesser evil, for sure.
The level of passive social protest against neoliberal elite (aka "populism" in neoliberal media terms) scared the hell of Washington establishment. Look at neoliberal shills like Summers, who is now ready to abandon a large part of his Washington consensus dogma in order for neoliberalism to survive.
And while open revolt in national security state has no chances, Trump with all his warts is a very dangerous development for "status quo" supporters, that might not go away after the elections.
That's why they supposedly pump Hillary with drugs each debate :-).
Oct 16, 2016 | crookedtimber.orgbruce wilder 10.15.16 at 7:35 amkidneystones 10.15.16 at 8:06 amintervene in a civil war on the side of the rebels
I apologize if anyone feels I am harping on this too much, but there are many more than two sides in Syria's civil war. First of all the civil war is not limited to Syria. ISIL, Hezbollah, and arguably Kurdish Rojava are belligerents not particularly invested in the borders of long defunct Mandate Syria.
The rebel forces arrayed against or for Assad in any particular area are various in their motivations and political identities and they never divide neatly into two opposed camps.@ 190 There aren't many times you're this wrong, Bruce. There are only two sides. The side that holds a UN seat; votes or abstains on UN resolutions; borrows or does not borrow from the World Bank; has the authority to sign, or abrogate international treaties along, for example, the Golan heights – and the forces not aligned with the government.
The CT community evidently wants to 'confuse itself' and the issues. You are either in favor of the US using US military power to unilaterally intercede in a civil war against the Assad government, which as you and Peter T note, is inextricably linked to Iraq and other regional disputes, or you oppose the unilateral use of US military power to topple governments in the ME.
In short, you either support US violent regime change in the ME, or you do not.
All who are voting for Hillary Clinton are voting for US violent regime change in Syria. That's been the stated policy of the Obama administration for some years, Hillary was played a key role in formulating that policy as Secretary of State. Now, as candidate for President she has explicitly promised more US violent regime change in Iraq.
Violent regime change in Syria is the stated policy of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate most US members of the CT community plan to vote for in November.
Oct 11, 2016 | www.zerohedge.comSubmitted by Darius Shahtahmasebi via TheAntiMedia.org,
Renowned journalist Glenn Greenwald recently tweeted the three rules of American exceptionalism :
3 rules of US Exceptionalism: 1) Our killing is better than theirs; 2) Nothing we do can be "terrorism"; 3) Only enemies are "war criminals"
- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 6, 2016
Greenwald's astute observations were presumably made in response to Secretary of State John Kerry's recent remarks that both Russia and Syria should face war crimes investigations for their recent attacks on Syrian civilians.
"Russia and the regime owe the world more than an explanation about why they keep hitting hospitals, and medical facilities, and women and children," Mr. Kerry said in Washington, where he spoke alongside French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, as reported by the Independent .
Unsurprisingly, Russia responded by urging caution regarding allegations of war crimes considering the United States has been waging wars in a number of countries since the end of World War II. It has picked up a number of allegations of war crimes in the process.
Kerry's continuous accusations that Russia bombed hospital infrastructure are particularly hypocritical in light of the fact the United States has bombed hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan on more than one occasion over past decade.
Further, former congressman Ron Paul's Institute for Peace and Prosperity hit back at Kerry, accusing him of completely fabricating the most recent alleged hospital attack. As the Institute noted :
" In a press event yesterday, before talks with the French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault about a new UN resolution, he said ( vid @1:00) about Syria:
"'Last night, the regime attacked yet another hospital, and 20 people were killed and 100 people were wounded. And Russia and the regime owe the world more than an explanation about why they keep hitting hospitals and medical facilities and children and women. These are acts that beg for an appropriate investigation of war crimes. And those who commit these would and should be held accountable for these actions.'
" No opposition group has claimed that such an extremely grave event happened. None. No press agency has a record of it. The MI-6 disinformation outlet SOHR in Britain, which quite reliably notes every claimed casualty and is frequently cited in 'western media,' has not said anything about such an event anywhere in Syria. "
However, the most disturbing aspect of Kerry's allegation is that the accusations against Russia run in tandem with Saudi Arabia's brutal assault on Yemen. Saudi Arabia, with the aid of a few regional players - and with ongoing American and British assistance (not to mention billion dollar arms sales ) - has been bombing Yemen back into the Stone Age without any legal basis whatsoever. Often, the Saudi-led coalition has completely decimated civilian infrastructure, which has led a number of groups to accuse the coalition of committing war crimes in the process.
Civilians and civilian infrastructure have been struck so routinely that the world has become increasingly concerned the actual targets of the coalition strikes are civilians (what could be a greater recruitment tool for al-Qaeda and ISIS in Yemen?) As noted by Foreign Policy :
"The Houthis and their allies - armed groups loyal to Saleh - are the declared targets of the coalition's 1-year-old air campaign. In reality, however, it is the civilians, such as Basrallah and Rubaid, and their children, who are predominantly the victims of this protracted war. Hundreds of civilians have been killed in airstrikes while asleep in their homes, when going about their daily activities, or in the very places where they had sought refuge from the conflict. The United States, Britain, and others, meanwhile, have continued to supply a steady stream of weaponry and logistical support to Saudi Arabia and its coalition."
Yemen is the poorest , most impoverished nation in the Arab world . The Saudi-led coalition has been striking refugee camps , schools , wedding parties and well over 100 hospitals to date . The coalition has been strongly suspected of using banned munitions such as cluster bombs. The country now has more than half a million children at serious risk of malnutrition . More than 21 million out of the total population of 25 million are in serious need of basic humanitarian assistance .
Just take one example of the cruel and disproportionate use of force that Saudi Arabia has used in Yemen (using American-made and supplied aircraft and weapons) - against Judge Yahya Rubaid and his family. As Foreign Policy reported in March of this year:
"According to family members, Rubaid was a judge on a case against Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, for treason in absentia. It is unclear whether his house was attacked for this reason. What is clear, however, is that there was no legally valid basis for bombing his home, as he and his family were civilians and under international law should not have been deliberately targeted."
At the time this article's publication, over 140 Yemenis had been killed and another 500 injured in a Saudi-coalition aerial attack on a funeral over the weekend. The civilian death toll continues to rise in Yemen, completely unchallenged by any major players at the U.N. When the U.N. does attempt to quell Saudi actions , the Saudis threaten severe economic retaliation.
How Kerry can accuse Russia of committing war crimes in Syria with a straight face is unclear, as reports of atrocious crimes committed in Yemen continue to surface.
This is not to say Russia and Syria should not be investigated for war crimes – but maybe, just maybe, we could live in a world where everyone responsible for committing these gross acts could be held accountable, instead of just those who pose an economic threat to the West . Mango327 38BWD22 Oct 11, 2016 3:47 PMIf Russia Acted Like The USA...SidSays 38BWD22 Oct 11, 2016 3:50 PM
http://youtu.be/uhqZFWDeaB4All wars are, well...Katos 38BWD22 Oct 11, 2016 4:35 PM
All wars are banker's wars .Madeline Albright, "Yes, I think the death of 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of 5 years old by US sanctions, was a good price that had to be paid so we could get to Sadam Hussein "??? This bitch along with Kissinger, Soros, Rice, Clinton, Obama, Kerry, and all the news organizations who have been cheerleaders for the slaughter of innocents should all be charged with Crimes against humanity and SHOT!PrayingMantis Oct 11, 2016 3:39 PM
... US: "Who you gonna believe, us or your own eyes" ~ Groucho Marx
Ignatius PrayingMantis Oct 11, 2016 3:58 PM"Who wants to be the last man to die for a mistake?" -- John Kerry, 197xcrazybob369 Oct 11, 2016 3:45 PM
That was the supposed anti-war Kerry speaking of the Vietnam War, who rode such comments into a congressional seat. We didn't know then that he was Skull and Bones or what it might mean. Now we know it in spades.
Now it's clear he's just a lying sack of war mongering, deep state shit.To quote Goebbels:Chupacabra-322 crazybob369 Oct 11, 2016 4:44 PM
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie."Goebbels used "Gas Lighting" as a form of Psychological manipulation on a population on a mass scale. Operation Mocking Bird. It continues on today. 365 days a year, 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. The Psyche Warefare / PsyOp War does not closFelix da Kat Oct 11, 2016 4:03 PMThere is an assumption that Russia would never go to war with the US over the Syrian dispute. But yet, Russia is preparing for war. It has both first-strike and counter-strike capability in the event the west (US State Dept.) continues with its bullying tactics and further escalates its hostility. Russia is a sovereign nation; it has both the right and the power to do what is in the best interests of its citizenry and its allies (Assad).Kyddyl Oct 11, 2016 4:07 PM
The US used to be that way until it was over-run in a silent, but effective liberal-coup that has taken full control and stupidly re-newed the cold war with Russia.
And now America has been left more vulnerable that it ever has been. A simple shut-down of the electric grid for several months, will, by itself, cut the population in half.
Ultra-liberalism is ultra self-destructive... we're about to see just how destructive that really is.Well this is a refreshing start, but only a start. Russia certainly had nothing to do with the gunships that bombed the hospitals in Afghanistan into powder, killing patients including children, doctors, nurses and other personell.. . . _ _ _ . . . Oct 11, 2016 4:16 PM
I for one would like to know who it was who flew those planes and have them explain to all of us why they did not refuse orders? What sort of morals have Americans got to behave ths way? The hospitals bombed in Syria, ditto. The Saudis are the beasts they are and somebody needs to bomb them into oblivion. (Perhaps take out some other smug financial centers too!) But Yemen is a very poor sandy country to begin with and Saudi must think there's oil or something there. If some of the weapons used there weren't tactical nukes they sure looked like them. Gee. Wonder where they got them?Chomsky's been saying it for decades, "If they do it, they're terrorists; if we do it, we're freedom fighters."taketheredpill Oct 11, 2016 4:26 PM
My take is that if you are the head of a government, you are a psychopath and any categorization beyond this is moot.
Clinton / Trump, Obama / Putin, Assad / Erdogan, UN / Nationalism, whoever it may be, they're all playing the same game, and we're not even allowed to watch, much less comment.
The only thing trickling-down (through a historical perspective) should be blood.
A cynical person might suggest that the volume of US War Drums is inversely proportional to the strength of the US economy.
It's as if the boys at the top
1) know the economy is already in the toilet
2) know that the next financial meltdown is going to be a real hum-dinger
3) know that the unwashed masses will need a really big distraction when the next meltdown hits
Oct 10, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.comDavid Carl Grimes October 10, 2016 at 6:38 pmOpenThePodBayDoorsHAL October 10, 2016 at 6:57 pm
Why is the electorate seemingly more concerned with someone who is antagonistic towards certain women than someone whose policies are antagonistic to whole nations and regions. Why aren't the Wikileaks email revelations getting more traction or generating more outrage?pretzelattack October 10, 2016 at 7:04 pm
Um do you think the fact that
PravdaCNN is extolling the virtues of the One Party Candidate nonstop has anything to do with it?OIFVet October 10, 2016 at 7:28 pm
oh i thought the post was pravda and the nyt izvestia. but then there's the guardian and cnn and the rest of the sad industry.ProNewerDeal October 10, 2016 at 7:31 pm
That's capitalism for ya :)sleepy October 10, 2016 at 7:02 pm
True. BigMedia is barely covering the Wikileaks story. My summary is that HClinton has a fake "public position" & a genuine private position, that is pro-Grand Ripoff SS & MC cuts, & pro-TPP. It should be a huge story, in that it calls as questionable any of HClinton's stated policies, & given that Sanders repeatedly made the Wall $treet transcripts a major issue in the Primaries.
It takes a USian with intellectual curiosity, some free time, & enough critical thinking to go to one of the few internet sources like nakedcapitalism or SecularTalk that actually will cover the Wikileaks story honestly. IMHO sadly this is a small minority of the US eligible voter population.
BTW for Sanders to maintain my respect, he needs to "make news" in BigMedia by saying something like "my support of HClinton is contingent on her 'public position' the approves the 2016 D party platform, which is anti-TPP & anti-SS & MC cuts. If HClinton is elected & signs the TPP or SS/MC cuts, she will be strongly primary challenged in 2020, & I will not support her if the Rs ever impeach her"Susan C October 10, 2016 at 8:12 pm
If nothing else, the I'm-with-her whole hog approach of the media to this election should put the lie to the notion that we have anything resembling a functioning press.
Just one example–I listened to some Clinton operative on msnbc radio today who was giving his weaselly spin on Hillary's private position v. public position statement and who said that it was only a few sentences out of an entire speech and needed to be viewed in context. Chuck Todd, I think it was, never made note of the fact that there is no context to those statements since the speeches have not and will not be released. There is no available context and Chuck just muttered uh huh and let it pass.
Additionally, the blind adherence by the press to Hillary's spin that Trump would put her in jail amounts to a dictatorship ignores the fact that previous to that statement Trump had said he would push for a special prosecutor. IOW, a completely legalized, judicially approved criminal investigation.
I agree about the press becoming so bought over by Hillary. Watched some speech Trump was giving a month or so ago and he talked about Iraq as I recall and the press totally spun it into some different meaning altogether. Funny thing was the next day Trump was giving another speech which I also happened to see and made mention of what he said the day before and what the press turned his comment into – from that point on I became very leery of believing anything they tell me. I too was amazed that almost immediately last night the press began reporting that Trump was talking to a dictatorship by saying he wanted her in jail when in fact that was completely taken out of context as well (as you mentioned above).
I think the press has become very scary with all the power it has to twist the truth or what has been said as easily and quickly as they do. They must be very frightened by Trump.
... ... ...It's shameful that this country hasn't rejected the first use of nuclear weapons. It's also shameful that instead of working to eliminate nuclear weapons, the U.S. is actually planning to spend nearly a trillion dollars over the next 30 years to upgrade that arsenal. For what possible strategic purpose, one must ask? America's current nuclear deterrent is the most powerful and survivable in the world. No other country comes close. There's no rational reason to invest more money in nuclear weapons, unless you count the jobs and money related to building new nuclear submarines, weaponry, bombs, and all the other infrastructure related to America's nuclear triad of Trident submarines, land-based bombers, and fixed missile silos.
Neither Trump nor Hillary addressed this issue. Trump was simply ignorant. Hillary was simply disingenuous. Which candidate was worse? When you're talking about nuclear genocidal death, it surely does matter. Ignorance is not bliss, nor is a lack of forthrightness and honesty.
Next time, Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton, let's have some rigor, some honesty, and some wisdom on the issue of nuclear weapons. Not only America deserves it – the world does.
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 email@example.com. Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author's permission.
Feb 18, 2016 | The Boston Globe
Coverage of the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press. Reporting about carnage in the ancient city of Aleppo is the latest reason why.
For three years, violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of repression. They posted notices warning residents: "Don't send your children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get the coffin." Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it.
This month, people in Aleppo have finally seen glimmers of hope. The Syrian army and its allies have been pushing militants out of the city. Last week they reclaimed the main power plant. Regular electricity may soon be restored. The militants' hold on the city could be ending.
Militants, true to form, are wreaking havoc as they are pushed out of the city by Russian and Syrian Army forces. "Turkish-Saudi backed 'moderate rebels' showered the residential neighborhoods of Aleppo with unguided rockets and gas jars," one Aleppo resident wrote on social media. The Beirut-based analyst Marwa Osma asked, "The Syrian Arab Army, which is led by President Bashar Assad, is the only force on the ground, along with their allies, who are fighting ISIS - so you want to weaken the only system that is fighting ISIS?"
This does not fit with Washington's narrative. As a result, much of the American press is reporting the opposite of what is actually happening. Many news reports suggest that Aleppo has been a "liberated zone" for three years but is now being pulled back into misery.
Americans are being told that the virtuous course in Syria is to fight the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian partners. We are supposed to hope that a righteous coalition of Americans, Turks, Saudis, Kurds, and the "moderate opposition" will win. This is convoluted nonsense, but Americans cannot be blamed for believing it. We have almost no real information about the combatants, their goals, or their tactics. Much blame for this lies with our media.
Under intense financial pressure, most American newspapers, magazines, and broadcast networks have drastically reduced their corps of foreign correspondents. Much important news about the world now comes from reporters based in Washington. In that environment, access and credibility depend on acceptance of official paradigms. Reporters who cover Syria check with the Pentagon, the State Department, the White House, and think tank "experts." After a spin on that soiled carousel, they feel they have covered all sides of the story. This form of stenography produces the pabulum that passes for news about Syria.
Astonishingly brave correspondents in the war zone, including Americans, seek to counteract Washington-based reporting. At great risk to their own safety, these reporters are pushing to find the truth about the Syrian war. Their reporting often illuminates the darkness of groupthink. Yet for many consumers of news, their voices are lost in the cacophony. Reporting from the ground is often overwhelmed by the Washington consensus.
Washington-based reporters tell us that one potent force in Syria, al-Nusra, is made up of "rebels" or "moderates," not that it is the local al-Qaeda franchise. Saudi Arabia is portrayed as aiding freedom fighters when in fact it is a prime sponsor of ISIS. Turkey has for years been running a "rat line" for foreign fighters wanting to join terror groups in Syria, but because the United States wants to stay on Turkey's good side, we hear little about it. Nor are we often reminded that although we want to support the secular and battle-hardened Kurds, Turkey wants to kill them. Everything Russia and Iran do in Syria is described as negative and destabilizing, simply because it is they who are doing it - and because that is the official line in Washington.
Inevitably, this kind of disinformation has bled into the American presidential campaign. At the recent debate in Milwaukee, Hillary Clinton claimed that United Nations peace efforts in Syria were based on "an agreement I negotiated in June of 2012 in Geneva." The precise opposite is true. In 2012 Secretary of State Clinton joined Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel in a successful effort to kill Kofi Annan's UN peace plan because it would have accommodated Iran and kept Assad in power, at least temporarily. No one on the Milwaukee stage knew enough to challenge her.
Politicians may be forgiven for distorting their past actions. Governments may also be excused for promoting whatever narrative they believe best suits them. Journalism, however, is supposed to remain apart from the power elite and its inbred mendacity. In this crisis it has failed miserably.
Americans are said to be ignorant of the world. We are, but so are people in other countries. If people in Bhutan or Bolivia misunderstand Syria, however, that has no real effect. Our ignorance is more dangerous, because we act on it. The United States has the power to decree the death of nations. It can do so with popular support because many Americans - and many journalists - are content with the official story. In Syria, it is: "Fight Assad, Russia, and Iran! Join with our Turkish, Saudi, and Kurdish friends to support peace!" This is appallingly distant from reality. It is also likely to prolong the war and condemn more Syrians to suffering and death.Stephen Kinzer is a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. Follow him on Twitter @stephenkinzer.
kaisy 02/18/16 03:38 PM
The truth is that Kinzer is right. We have no idea what is going on in Syria. For the elites in Washington and their press lackeys to report that one side is moderate and the other is not is ludicrous.
When the uprising against Assad began three years ago, initially we were on the side of the angels, that is until we found out that they were mostly Al Queda. Fast forward and now we have ISIS, the sworn enemy of the US and anybody else that disagrees with them. So now, remarkably, some are looking at Assad as the voice of moderation. This is so akin to Afghanistan and, decades ago, Vietnam. When you don't understand the players and their ulterior motives, best to not get involved. Me, I'd leave this to the Saudis and Iran to fight over. Cruz talks about carpet bombing Syria until the sand glows (btw, real Christianlike there). I say defer to those over there. Eventually they'll run out of people to do the fighting (happening already with ISIS), then, and only then, we can go in and pick up the pieces.
jkupie02/19/16 07:16 AM
"Washington-based reporters tell us that one potent force in Syria, al-Nusra, is made up of "rebels" or "moderates," not that it is the local al-Qaeda franchise."
I don't know enough about the area to confirm or disprove most of Mr. Kinzer's points but I DO KNOW that this claim is false.
tyfox"n" 02/19/16 07:40 PM
jkupiue I absolutley agree. I have never read or heard al-Nusra described as anything but an al-Qaeda group, and it is stated every time al-Nusra is mentioned.
pegnva 02/19/16 07:58 AM
Hard to know the truth...but it is interesting Kinzer was able to QUOTE former Sec'ty of State, now presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the recent Milwaukee debate for falsely taking credit, some might say lying to the Am public.
kaisy 02/19/16 11:24 AM
Hillary is on the wrong side of this. She wants a no fly zone in Syria, just the Repubs. She doesn't speak to the consequences of the policy. Unfortunately Bernie has not challenged her on this. He really needs to.
NH-Repub 02/19/16 09:22 AM
Leftout is right and Hillary is the Queen of Doublespeak. Obama and his minions would like nothing better than to mislead the masses and keep them in the dark about everything. That way they control the media and by proxy - us!
Oct 04, 2016 | crookedtimber.org
kidneystones 10.01.16 at 10:48 pm 284@ 278 There's nothing quite so amusing as advocates of free speech 'commanding' the comments section of somebody else's blog and then issuing permissions to comment, or instructions to how and what to post. (fn, rich, colin, TM in one form, or another)kidneystones 10.01.16 at 10:54 pm 286
Merian is quite right that in the artificially and arbitrarily limited universe of a one-time choice between just two options, everything written can be seen as pro/con against one or the other if everything that is written has only one meaning and will be read and understood by all as having the same meaning.
The fact is that a great many people inside the US and outside the US may well lack any/much understanding of the decision-making processes that led up to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria, not to mention America's long history with Iran, and America's support of Evil Axis bad guy number 1 Saddam Hussein. The dynamics are complex even for those familiar with the basic topography.
The rhetorical parallels leading up to the Iraq invasions and the presidential elections are striking and easy to identify. Facts don't matter, the urgency and severity of the threat demands uniform action, and the enemy is a once in an eon threat of epic proportion to the physical and moral existence of the known universe.
The potential threats both candidates pose are real. Those advocating Hillary as the better, safer choice cannot offer any reliable assurances that she will be able, or willing, to pursue policies that increase the well-being and security of any but the already affluent and secure.
Hillary's long and unhappy history of war-mongering has not, imho, received anything like the media scrutiny it deserves, and won't until she's correctly identified in the minds of most as an advocate of 'liberal interventionism'/violent regime change and on an equal footing of imbecility and irresponsibility in the minds of the public as Bush, Cheney, and Blair.
When the busts of Hillary, Bush, Blair, and Cheney form a Mt. Rushmore of savage stupidity for all to see and all school children studying the early 21st-century American-UK wars recognize the monument as such, that task of 'highlighting' her role in this enormously costly and damaging humanitarian and political disaster will be at least part way done.For Merian and others: a timely post from Matt Welch at Reason on Gary Johnson via the o'l perfessor who sees the coverage of Hillary and Trump as you.kidneystones 10.02.16 at 3:22 am
https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/245272/@ 300 "Assad Must Go" http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34385354kidneystones 10.02.16 at 3:58 am
- 28 September 2015 "Obama tells the UN Assad must go."
- 18 August 2011 "Assad Must Go Obama Says" (Wapo) (no links to follow to avoid moderation)
- 1 August 2012 "Obama Authorizes Secret US Support for Syrian Rebels" (Reuters)
Obama, as Stevenjohnson notes, has not entirely surrendered his dream of forcing 'democracy' on Syria. There is abundant evidence, however, the US and a number of other nations have been arming Syrian rebels (ISIL and Al Quaida) since 2011, at least.
The result of Obama and Hillary's love of violent regime change has been an increase in the suffering of millions in North Africa and the Middle East, the collapse of basic services such as fresh water and hospitals, and a new flood of refugees seeking to escape the beneficence of Hillary Clinton and her boss.
All this after the 'lessons' of Iraq and Afghanistan.
If you are supporting Hillary you are supporting violent regime change in the Middle East and the love of violence of Bush and Cheney, not too mention drone strikes, the surveillance state. That's who you are.ZM@ 303. The linked dialogue above explores the role Hillary and Obama, in particular, played in providing the arms and support to a rebellion that Assad, like Gaddafi, could have ended years ago.kidneystones 10.02.16 at 4:05 am
Like Gaddafi, Assad is not being attacked by moderate democrats keen to legalize gay marriage, but rather Sunni militias deeply sympathetic to ISIL and Al Quaida, or those forces operating in Syria and western Iraq.
You're right to point out that the only result of US support of ISIL related Sunnis has been the prolonging of the civil war and the promulgation of the delusion that violent-regime change brings peace and security. Yes, five years of US arms, threats, and intimidation has destroyed Syria, in much the same was as the Hillary promoted war in Libya destroyed that regime.
The pro-Hillary-Obama media is extremely reluctant in the run-up to the election to point out explicitly what a spectacular FP failure the US has created for itself right now, with Russian jets flying over Aleppo and Assad about to finally humiliate the insurgents and all those like Hillary and Obama who encouraged the bloodshed.
The Obama-Hillary policy has been a five-year bloodbath and there's no sign Hillary wants to do anything but press for a no-fly zone over Syria in order for the US to continue to funnel more death and destruction into the already devastated moonscape.
It ain't like anyone she knows is dying over there. Syrians can't vote in November.
The attitude of her supporters seems be: fuck it – Syria is on the other side of the world, so what's the big deal?
Mitt Romney tied the family dog to the roof of his car. What about that ?@ 305 Hi Merian.Omega Centauri 10.02.16 at 4:40 am 314
Go tell your students that you're supporting the candidate who voted for the Iraq invasion (biggest mistake in modern US history), persuaded plenty of other Democrats and ordinary Americans to suspend their judgment and do the same. And who also played an instrumental role in destroying Libya, promotes violent regime-change in Syria and enjoys the support of all the same neocon warmongers who've made the US into a pariah state. Play the 'We came, we saw, he died – ha-ha-ha" Hillary CBS video for them.
Then explain to them that Hillary is the better candidate.
See what happens.I don't see HRC as a prime mover in either Iraq or Libya. In the first case Iraq was a neocon/Bush project, and they were threatening to extract a terrible price from anyone who used their position to block their ambitions. Libya was primarily a Arab-league cum French-British project. Not supporting it could have potentially damaged our relationship with key allies France and Britain. Of course Libya was a slippery slope, once started it soon became obvious there was no solution where Qaddafi survived and the Libyan people wouldn't end up paying dearly. Not that her acquiescence in either case demonstrated either good long term judgement or courage, but it also doesn't demonstrate that she was a principle architect of either project.kidneystones 10.02.16 at 5:15 am 316314@ "I don't see HRC as a prime mover in either Iraq, or Libya."
That's probably a great comfort to the grifters keen to see her elected. The facts, however, suggest otherwise. Dealing first with Libya and Syria, Hillary Clinton served as the US Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, which makes her at least one of the prime architects of US foreign policy, and certainly the most important administration official after Obama responsible for foreign policy. Facts which place the burden of proof regarding her involvement in US foreign policy formation and execution squarely on you.
HRC's involvement in Iraq is less well-understood, and that's likely no accident either, given the mileage democrats have generated out of pinning the entire bi-partisan debacle on Bush and Cheney. From the linked dialogue above featuring Robert Wright and Max Abrahms (Northeastern) http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/43967?in=01:10&out=12:21bruce wilder 10.02.16 at 7:49 pmAnarcissie @ 239: We basically have a whole class of people, at the top of the social order, who seem devoid of a moral sense - a problem which the upcoming election isn't going to touch, much less solve. I don't blame Clinton for this . . .kidneystones 10.02.16 at 9:24 pm
JimV @ 317: I am sorry if I mischaracterized BW as implying that HRC is evil, . . .
Peter T @ 320: Whatever the merits of their individual stances, there is no reason to suppose that either Obama or Hillary can exert more than loose control over this mess [the multi-sided regional civil war engulfing Syria and northern Iraq]
stevenjohnson @ 324: The recent leak that Clinton is against nuclear armed cruise missiles and isn't committed to Obama's trillion dollar nuclear weapons upgrade appears to suggest she's not quite on board with plans for general war.
LFC @ 330: I disagree w the notion that the pt of nuclear 'modernization' is to make plausible the threat of "imminent general nuclear war." If U.S. military planners took hallucinogenic drugs and went nuts, they could "plausibly" threaten "imminent general nuclear war" right now with the US nuclear arsenal as currently configured. They don't need to upgrade the weapons to do that. The program is prob more the result of rigid, unimaginative thinking at top levels of Pentagon and influence of outside companies (e.g. Boeing etc) that work on the upgrades.
I don't know if that seems like a somewhat random collection of precursors to assemble as preface to a comment. I was thinking of picking out a few upthread references to climate change and the response to it (or inadequacy thereof) as well.
I am a little disturbed by the idea of leaving the impression that I think Hillary Clinton is "evil". What I think is that American politics in general is not generating realistic, adaptive governance.
I am using that bloodless phrase, "realistic, adaptive governance", deliberately, to emphasize wanting to step outside the passions of the Presidential election. I think the Manichean narrative where Trump is The Most Horrible Candidate Evah and Everyone Must Line Up Behind Clinton as an Ethical Imperative of a High Order is part of the process of propaganda and manipulation that distorts popular discussion and understanding and helps to create a politics that cannot govern realistically and adaptively. This is not about me thinking Trump is anything but a horrible mess of a candidate who ought to be kept far from power.
I see Clinton as someone who is trapped inside the dynamics of this seriously deranged politics qua political process. I don't see her as entirely blameless. Politicians like Obama and either Clinton, at the top of the political order, are masters (keeping in mind that there are many masters working to some extent in opposition to one another as rivals, allies, enemies and so on) of the process and create the process by the exercise of their mastery, as much as they are mastered by it. I see them as trapped by the process they have helped (more than a little opportunistically) to create, but trapped as Dr Frankenstein is by his Creature.
Clinton must struggle with the ethical contradictions of governance at the highest levels of leadership: she must, in the exercise of power in office and out, practice the political art of the possible in relation to crafting policy that will be "good" in the sense of passably effective and efficient - this may involve a high degree of foresightful wonkery or a lethally ruthless statesmanship, depending upon circumstances. Beside this business of making the great machinery of the state lumber forward, she must strive to appear "good", like Machiavelli's Prince, even while playing an amoral game of real politick, gathering and shepherding a complex coalition of allies, supporters, donors and cooperative enemies.
Machiavelli, when he was considering the Princely business of appearing "good", was contending with the hypocrisies and impossible idealism of authoritarian Catholic morality. He barely connected with anything that we would recognize as democratic Public Opinion and could scarcely conceive of what Ivy Lee or Edward Bernays, let alone Fox News, Vox and the world wide web might do to politics.
We are trapped, just as Clinton is trapped, in the vast communication nightmare of surrealistic news and opinion washing in upon us in a tide that never ebbs. We are trapped by the politics of media "gotchas" and Kinsley Gaffes (A Kinsley gaffe occurs when a political gaffe reveals some truth that a politician did not intend to admit.)
I don't think Clinton lacks a moral sense. What I think is that Clinton's moral sense is exhausted calculating what to say or do within the parameters of media-synthesized conventional wisdom policed by people who are themselves exhausted trying to manage it. Matt Lauer's interview with Clinton was notorious for the relentless and clueless questioning about the email server, although I, personally, was shocked when he asked her a question that seemed premised on the idea that veterans should be offended by admitting the Iraq War was a mistake.
I would think it is easy to see that the media circus is out of control, especially when a clown like Trump graduates from The Apprentice to the Republican nomination. YMMV, but I think this is a serious problem that goes beyond vividly imagined sepia-toned parodies of Trump's candidacy as the second coming of Mussolini.
While we're getting ourselves agitated over Trump's racism or threats to bar Muslims from entry, apparently the Military-Industrial Complex, left on autopilot, is re-designing the nation's nuclear arsenal to make the outbreak of nuclear war far more likely. And, the closest Clinton gets to a comment, campaign commitment or public discussion, let alone an exercise of power, is a PR "leak"!!!
The chaotic civil war in Syria and Iraq seems like another example where the U.S. is having a hard time "thinking" things thru realistically. Clinton offered up a sound-bite last year, saying that she favored imposing a "no-fly" zone, which was exposed as kind of crazy idea, given that the Russians as well as Assad's government are the ones flying, not to mention the recent experience with a no-fly zone in Libya. One interpretation is she's stupid and vicious as a badge of class honor, blissfully consistent with the bloodthirsty record of Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger. Unfortunately, that might be true, though I think if it is true, it is more likely a product of being caught up in the amoral bubble of political and media process that has enveloped the whole foreign policy establishment than any personal psychopathy. What's most alarming to me is that we cannot count on personal character to put the brakes on that process, which is now the process of governance. I am writing now of the process of governance by public relations that was has been exposed a bit in profiles of the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes.
In Syria, it has become almost comical, if you can overlook the bodies piling up, as the U.S. has sought a the mythical unicorn of Syrian Moderate Democrats whom the Pentagon or the CIA can advise, train and arm. This is foreign policy by PR narrative and it is insanely unrealistic. But, our politics is trapped in it, and, worse, policy is trapped in it. Layer after layer of b.s. have piled up obscuring U.S. interests and practical options. Recently, U.S. forces supporting the Turks have come dangerously close to blowing up U.S. forces supporting the Kurds. When you find yourself on opposing sides of a civil war like Charles I you may be in the process of losing your head. Some of the worst elements opposing Assad have been engaged in a transparent re-branding exercise aimed at garnering U.S. aid. And, U.S. diplomats and media face the high challenge of explaining why the U.S. supports Saudi Arabia in Yemen.
But, hey, Clinton will get Robert Kagan's vote and a better tomorrow is only a Friedman unit away, so it is all good.@328 stevenjohnson and Peter T cover the details. As an outsider supportive of negotiated settlements in all cases, rather than unilateral military action and violent regime change, I'm interested principally in ensuring that partisan political preferences do not obscure the historical record. Bluntly put, dictators routinely abuse bomb their own civilians as the 'need' arises. Nor is the US the only state actor keen to profit in the broadest sense of the term from political division.bruce wilder 10.02.16 at 9:54 pm
The UN was formed, in large part, to provide a forum/mechanism for peaceful conflict resolution. Each time state actors such as Russia, China, the US, France, and the UK either bypass the UN, or use the UN to sanction attacks by larger states on smaller states, the entire edifice becomes a little weaker.
Hillary is not the only individual with Libyan and Syrian blood on her hands. She's simply the only individual directly involved in Iraq, Libya, and Syria running to the 45th president of the US.Rich Puchalsky @ 334
People are in information overload most of the time, and where politics are concerned, they really just want to know who to root for. They ask, "who is the good guy? who is the bad guy?" "Whose right?" "What should be done?" And, people like the opinions they have, whatever those opinions may be; they use their political opinions to feed their sense of self-esteem and social belonging, for better and for worse.
I have some friends, who are really into a particular sport as fans, not participants. One guy knows everything about baseball. It is fun to watch a game with him, because he knows when someone is about to try to steal a base and stuff like that and he can explain the manager's strategy and has gossip about the players careers and personal lives. And, apparently, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball history - appears to, anyway: what dramatic thing happened in game 3 of the 1967 World Series and so on and exactly why everyone hated Ty Cobb.
No one like that shows up at CT to talk politics. Maybe it is just as well. Sports guys can wield that knowledge and remain affable, but political guys tend to be arrogant and off-putting. But, I do think we could use more of that spirit sometimes.
I was thinking about what a brilliant innovation the Clinton Foundation is, how well it is designed to solve the problems of Machiavelli's Prince. But, we would struggle to discuss it in those terms; the partisan contest means that the CF is either horribly corrupt or prosaically innocent. The pressure to evaluate it is so high, that seeing the functional details is hard. I've seen some articles that attempt to understand the CF as a means to the political ambitions of the Clintons, but they seldom grasp the awesome accomplishment it is in ways that also fully understand why enemies of the Clintons are keen to attack it and why it so reliably produces the neoliberal pablum that Thomas Franks despises. If we could imagine a Marx tackling the CF as a vehicle of class interest, that would be pretty interesting.
Oct 30, 2015 | The Guardian
willpodmore 1 Nov 2015 10:30
NATO and its allies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria .... they make a desert and call it peace.
ID7582903 1 Nov 2015 06:19
"Credibility"? Beware and be aware folks. This isn't a monopoly game being played here; it's for real.
2015 Valdai conference is Societies Between War and Peace: Overcoming the Logic of Conflict in Tomorrow's World. In the period between October 19 and 22, experts from 30 countries have been considering various aspects of the perception of war and peace both in the public consciousness and in international relations, religion and economic interaction between states. Videos w live translations and english transcripts (a keeper imho)
30 Oct, 2015 - The day US announces Ground troops into Syria, and the day before the downing/crash of the Russian Airbus 321 in the Sinai, this happened: Russia has conducted a major test of its strategic missile forces, firing numerous ballistic and cruise missiles from various training areas across the country, videos uploaded by the Ministry of Defense have shown.
A routine exercise, possibly the largest of its kind this year, was intended to test the command system of transmitting orders among departments and involved launches from military ranges on the ground, at sea and in the air, the ministry said Friday.
30.10.2015 Since the beginning of its operation in Syria on September 30, Russian Aerospace Forces have carried out 1,391 sorties in Syria, destroying a total of 1,623 terrorist targets, the Russian General Staff said Friday.
In particular, Russian warplanes destroyed 249 Islamic State command posts, 51 training camps, and 131 depots, Andrey Kartapolov, head of the Russian General Staff Main Operations Directorate said.
"In Hanshih, a suburb of Damascus, 17 militants of the Al-Ghuraba group were executed in public after they tried to leave the combat area and flee to Jordan," he specified. "The whole scene was filmed in order to disseminate the footage among the other groups operating in the vicinity of Damascus and other areas", the General Staff spokesman said. In the central regions of the country, the Syrian Army managed to liberate 12 cities in the Hama province, Kartapolov said. "The Syrian armed forces continue their advance to the north," the general added.
fairviewplz 1 Nov 2015 04:47
Yemen is another war the US is involved in thanks to the "peace" Pres. Obama. He has tried to keep this war hidden from the public. His few mentions of this war have been limited to shallow statements about his concern of the civilian casualty. What an insult to our intelligence! We are well aware that the US provides the logistical and technical support, and refuelling of warplanes to the Saudi coalition illegal war in Yemen. Moreover, by selling the Saudis cluster bombs and other arms being used on civilians, Obama has enabled the Saudis in the last 8 moths to kill and destruct in Yemen more than WW2, as evidence shows. According to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the US is complicit in international war crimes in Yemen.
After Obama's election, he went to Cairo to make a peace speech to the Arab world aiming to diffuse the deep hatred towards the US created during the Bush era. Yet since then, Obama's foolish alliances with despotic Arab rulers infesting ISIS and Al-Qaeda in the region, his drone warfare, and warped war policies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, have only expanded and strengthened ISIS and Al-Qaeda, and increased Arab citizens anger and hatred towards the US. This is Obama's legacy!
Barmaidfromhell -> WSCrips 1 Nov 2015 03:52
I always think there are similarities in Clinton and Obama s upbringing that created the anormic sociopathic shape shifting personalities they demonstrate. Obviously carefully selected to follow any line given them and amiable even charismatic enough to sell it to a stupid audience.
Why do we maintain the myth that the Obama brand is in anyway his personal contribution. Anymore than Bush or Clinton. The only difference is the republicans are ideologues where's as the puppets offered by the democrats are just psychotic shape shifters. In either way on a clear day you can see the strings hanging from their wrists like ribbons.
Michael Imanual Christos -> Pete Piper 1 Nov 2015 00:28
The US is Allied with Saudi Arabia and Israel, that makes Saudi Arabia's and Israel's enemies US enemies.
... ... ...
midnightschild10 31 Oct 2015 21:35
When Obama denounced Russia's actions in Syria, and blamed them for massive loss of civilian lives, Russia responded by asking them to show their proof. The Administration spokesperson said they got their information from social media. No one in the Administration seems to realize how utterly stupid that sounds. Marie Harf is happily developing the Administration's foreign policy via Twitter. As the CIA and NSA read Facebook for their daily planning, Obama reads the comments section of newspapers to prepare for his speech to the American public in regard to putting boots on the ground in Syria, and adding to the boots in Iraq. If it didn't result in putting soldiers lives in jeopardy, it would be considered silly. Putin makes his move and watches as the Obama Administration makes the only move they know, after minimal success in bombing, Obama does send in the troops. Putin is the one running the game. Obama's response is so predictable. No wonder the Russians are laughing. In his quest to outdo Cheyney, Obama has added to the number of wars the US is currently involved in. His original claim to fame was to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which then resulted in starting Iraq and Afghanistan Wars 2.0. Since helping to depose the existing governments in the Middle East, leading not only to the resurgence of AlQuaeda, and giving birth to ISIS, and leaving chaos and destruction in his wake, he decided to take down the last standing ruler, hoping that if he does the same thing over and over, he will get a different result. Obama's foreign policy legacy had been considered impotent at best, now its considered ridiculous.
SomersetApples 31 Oct 2015 20:03
We bombed them, we sent armies of terrorist in to kill them, we destroyed their hospitals and power plants and cities, we put sanctions on them and we did everything in our power to cut off their trading with the outside world, and yet they are still standing.
The only thing left to do, lets send in some special military operatives.
This is so out of character, or our perceived character of Obama. It must be that deranged idiot John McCain pulling the strings.
Rafiqac01 31 Oct 2015 16:58
The notion that Obama makes his own decisions is laughable except it aint funny....having just watched CNNs Long Road to Hell in Iraq....and the idiots advising Bush and Blair you have to wonder the extent to which these are almighty balls ups or very sophisticated planning followed up by post disaster rationalisation....
whatever the conclusion it proves that the intervention or non interventions prove their is little the USA has done that has added any good value to the situation...indeed it is an unmitigated disaster strewn around the world! Trump is the next generation frothing at the mouth ready to show what a big John Wayne he is!!
DavidFCanada 31 Oct 2015 13:56
There is no 'Obama legacy' in the ME. It is a US legacy of blown attempts to control unwilling countries and populations by coercion, and by military and economic warfare. That US legacy will forever remain, burnt into skins and bodies of the living and dead, together with a virtually unanimous recognition in the ME of the laughable US pretexts of supporting democracy, the rule of law, religious freedom and, best of all, peace. Obama is merely the chief functionary of a nation of lies.
Informed17 -> WSCrips 31 Oct 2015 13:47
Are you saying that there was no illegal invasion of Iraq? No vial of laundry detergent was presented at the UN as "proof" that Iraq has WMDs? No hue and cry from "independent" media supported that deception campaign? Were you in a deep coma at the time?
Informed17 -> somethingbrite 31 Oct 2015 13:36
No. But the US trampled on the international law for quite a while now, starting with totally illegal interference in Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
WSCrips 31 Oct 2015 13:18
Hey Guardian Editors.....and all those who worshipped Obama....In America, there were folks from the older generation that warned us that this Community Organizer was not ready for the Job of President of the United States....it had nothing to do with his color, he just was not ready.....he was a young, inexperienced Senator, who never, ever had a real job, never had a street fight growing up pampered in Hawaii, was given a pass to great universities because his parents had money, and was the dream Affirmative Action poster boy for the liberal left. Obama has not disappointed anyone who tried to warn us......and now we will reap what he has sowed:
1. 8 Trillion to our debt
2. Nightmare in the Middleast (how is that Arab Spring)
3. Polarized America....Dems and Republicans hate each other....hate each other like the Irish and English...10 x over.
4. War on Cops
5. War with China
6. Invasion from Central America
I see a great depression and World War IV on the horizon....and I am being positive!
SaveRMiddle 31 Oct 2015 12:47
Nothing Obama says has any value. We've watched the man lie with a grin and a chuckle.
Forever Gone is all trust.
His continued abuse of Red Line threats spoke volumes about the lawyer who Reactively micromanages that which required and deserved an expert Proactive plan.
Let History reflect the horrific death CIA meddling Regime Change/Divide and Conquer creates.
HeadInSand2013 31 Oct 2015 12:45
Liberal activists were in little doubt that Obama has failed to live up to his commitment to avoid getting dragged directly into the war.
With all due respects to M. Obama, this is another clear indication that the US President is just a figure head. He is a front for the corporations that run the US behind the scene - the so-called US military-industrial complex.
Liberal activists are stupid enough to think that M. Obama is actually in charge of the US military or the US foreign policy. Just go back and count how many times during the last 6 years M. Obama has made a declaration and then - sometimes the next day - US military has over-ruled him.
Mediaking 31 Oct 2015 10:00
Perhaps you intentionally miss out the fact that it is the west that has Israel and the Saudis as their best allies, considering their actions ( one with the largest/longest time concentration camp in history, the other the exporter of the horror show of ISIL , both an abomination of their respective religions . The west attempt to seek the moral high ground is more than a farce ... all the world can see and know the game being played, but the mass media wishes to assume everyone has half a brain... they are allergic to the truth , like the vampires to the light.
USA forces coming to the aid of their 5 individuals... yes 1,2,3,4,5 ( stated by US command- there are only that amount of FSA fighters left - the rest have gone over to ISIL with their equipment -- ) the local population all speak of ISIL/Daesh being American/Israeli ,they say if this is a civil war how come all the opposition are foreigners -- I think perhaps it's like the Ukraine affair... a bunch of CIA paid Nazi thugs instigating a coup ... or like Venezuela agents on roof tops shooting at both sides in demonstrations to get things going. The usual business of CIA/Mossad stuff in tune with the mass media with their engineered narratives -- Followed by the trolls on cyber space... no doubt we shall see them here too.
All note that an Intervention in Syria would be "ILLEGAL" by Int. law and sooner than later will be sued in billions for it...on top of the billions spent on having a 5 person strong force of FSA...spent from the American tax payers money . Syria has a government and is considered a state at the UN . Iran and Russia are there at the request and permission of Syria .
Russia and Iran have been methodically wiping out Washington's mercenaries on the ground while recapturing large swathes of land that had been lost to the terrorists. Now that the terrorists are getting wiped out the west and the Saudis are are screaming blue murder !
I for one would have Assad stay , as he himself suggests , till his country is completely free of terrorists, then have free elections . I would add , to have the Saudis and the ones in the west/Turkey/Jordan charged for crimes against humanity for supplying and creating Daesh/ISIS . This element cannot be ignored . Also Kurdistan can form their new country in the regions they occupy as of this moment and Mosul to come. Iran,Russia,Iraq, Syria and the new Kurdistan will sign up to this deal . Millions of Syrian refugees can then come back home and rebuild their broken lives with Iranian help and cash damages from the mentioned instigators $400 billion . The cash must be paid into the Syrian central bank before any elections take place ... Solved...
My consultancy fee - 200ml pounds sterling... I know ... you wish I ruled the world (who knows !) - no scams please or else -- ( the else would be an Apocalypse upon the western equity markets via the Illuminati i.e a 49% crash )... a week to pay , no worries since better to pay for a just solution than to have million descend upon EU as refugees . It is either this or God's revenge with no mercy .
amacd2 31 Oct 2015 09:52
Obama, being more honest but also more dangerous than Flip Wilson says, "The Empire made me do it",
Bernie, having "reservations" about what Obama has done, says nothing against Empire, but continues to pretend, against all evidence, that this is a democracy.
Hillary, delighting in more war, says "We came, we bombed, they all died, but the Empire won."
Talk about 'The Issue' to debate for the candidates in 2016?
"What's your position on the Empire?"
"Oh, what Empire, you ask?"
"The friggin Empire that you are auditioning to pose as the president of --- you lying tools of both the neocon 'R' Vichy party and you smoother lying neoliberal-cons of the 'D' Vichy party!"
lightstroke -> Pete Piper 31 Oct 2015 09:41
Nukes are not on the table. Mutually Assured Destruction.
The stick I'm talking about is the total capacity of the US, military and economic, to have things its way or make the opposition very unhappy.
It's not necessary to win wars to exercise that power. All they have to do is start them and keep them going until the arms industry makes as much dough from them as possible. That's the only win they care about.
What has it gotten us? Nothing good. What has it gotten the top 1 percent? All the money we don't have.
Taku2 31 Oct 2015 09:26
Obama is being an absolute idiot in sending special forces to fight with rebels who are fighting the legitimate government of Syria. This is stupidity of the highest order. What will he do when any of these special forces operatives are captured by IS or killed by Russian or Syrian airstrikes?
How stupid can a President get?
Obama does need to pull back on this one, even though it will make his stupid and erroneous policy towards the Syrian tragedy seem completely headless. If this stupid and brainless policy is meant to be symbolic, its potential for future catastrophic consequences is immeasurable.
phillharmonic -> nishville 31 Oct 2015 08:56
That is a valid point: Syria is a sovereign nation recognized by the U.N., and any foreign troops within without permission would be considered invaders. Of course, the U.S. ignores international law all the time.
nishville 31 Oct 2015 08:35
Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State
And who are those then? Do they exist, do we have any reliable source confirming they are really simultaneously fighting IS and Syrian Army or is it yet another US fairy tale?
Anyway, foreign troops in Syria who are there without an invitation by Syrian government or authorisation by UNSC are there illegally and can be tried for war crimes if captured. Why is Obama putting his soldiers in this situation?
phillharmonic 31 Oct 2015 08:33
The U.S. strategy in Syria is in tatters as Obama lamely tries to patch it up. The U.S. was determined to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria in service of the Saudis, Turkey, and Israel, while pretending to go after ISIS, who the Saudis and Turks were covertly funding. The U.S. were arming jihadists to oust Assad. That game is up, thanks to the Russians. Putin decided he wasn't going to stand by while the U.S. and its proxies created another Libya jihadist disaster in Syria. The forceful Russian intervention in going after ISIS showed the U.S. to be a faker, and caused a sea-change in U.S. policy. Now the U.S. can't pretend to go after ISIS while really trying to oust Assad. The Emporer has no clothes.
amacd2 -> Woody Treasure 31 Oct 2015 08:31
Woody, did you mean "Obama is a foil (for the Disguised Global Crony-Capitalist Empire--- which he certainly is), or did you mean to say "fool" (which he certainly is not, both because he is a well paid puppet/poodle for this Global Empire merely HQed in, and 'posing' as, America --- as Blair and Camron are for the same singular Global Empire --- and because Obama didn't end his role as Faux/Emperor-president like JFK), eh?
Nena Cassol -> TonyBlunt 31 Oct 2015 06:48
Assad's father seized power with a military coup and ruled the country for 30 years, before dying he appointed his son, who immediately established marshal law, prompting discontent even among his father's die-hard loyalists ...this is plain history, is this what you call a legitimate leader?
Cycles 31 Oct 2015 06:41
Forced to go in otherwise the Russians and Iranians get full control. Welcome to the divided Syria a la Germany after WW2.
TonyBlunt -> Nena Cassol 31 Oct 2015 06:36
"It does not take much research to find out that Assad is not legitimate at all"
Please share your source with us Nena. But remember Langley Publications don't count.
TonyBlunt -> oldholbornian 31 Oct 2015 06:29
The Americans do not recognise international law. They do not sign up to any of it and proclaim the right to break it with their "exceptionalism".
Katrin3 -> herrmaya 31 Oct 2015 05:27
The Russians, US, Iran etc are all meeting right now in Vienna. The Russians and the US military do communicate with each other, to avoid attacking each other by mistake.
The Russians are in the West and N.West of Syria. The US is going into the N. East, near IS headquarters in Raqqa, to support the Kurdish YPG, who are only a few kilometers from the city.
Katrin3 -> ID6693806 31 Oct 2015 05:15
Israel is an ally of KSA who is funding IS, Al Nusra, Al-Qaida and Al-Shabab. They are also partners with KSA in trying to prevent Iran's reintegration into global society following the nuclear deal, and the lifting of sanctions.
I suspect that Israel wants to annex the Syrian Golan Heights permanently, and to extend their illegal settlements into the area. That can only happen if Assad is defeated.
centerline ChristineH 31 Oct 2015 04:48
The Kurds are the fabled moderate opposition who are willing to negotiate, and who have also fought with the Syrian government against US backed ISIS and al Nusra so called moderate opposition.
Pete Piper -> Verbum 31 Oct 2015 04:47
Wow, you make a lot of sense. I always thought the US military heavy foreign policy became insane because of Reagan. Maybe it was the loss of the USSR?
Everyone here grew up being taught that the US is the champion of all that is good (sounds corny today). When the USSR dissolved, everyone imagined huge military cuts with the savings being invested in social benefits. If someone had predicted that, instead, we would grow our military, throw our civil rights away, embrace empire, assasinate US citizens without a trial, create total surveillance, create secret one sided star-chamber FISA courts that control a third of our economy, and choose a Dept. name heard previously only in Nazi movies (Homeland Security) --- we'd have laughed and dismissed the warning as delusion.
gabriel90 -> confettifoot 31 Oct 2015 04:46
ISiS is destroying Syria thanks to the US and Saudi Arabia; its an instrument to spread chaos in the Middle East and attack Iran and Russia...
ChristineH 31 Oct 2015 04:21
So, on the day peace talks open, the US unilaterally announces advice boots on the ground to support one of the many sides in the Syrian War, who will undoubtedly want self determination, right on Turkey's border, as they always have, and as has always been opposed by the majority of the Syrian population. What part of that isn't completely mad?
Great sympathy for the situation of the Kurds in Syria under Assad, but their nationalism issue and inability to work together with the Sunni rebels, was a major factor in the non formation of a functioning opposition in Syria, and will be a block to peace, not its cause. It's also part of a larger plan to have parts of Turkey and Iraq under Kurdish control to create a contingent kingdom. Whatever the merits of that, the US deciding to support them at this stage is completely irrational, and with Russia and Iran supporting Assad will lengthen the war, not shorten it.
MissSarajevo 31 Oct 2015 04:21
Just a couple of things here. How does the US know who the moderates are?!? Is this another occasion that the US is going to use International law as toilet paper? The US will enter (as if they weren't already there, illegally. They were not invited in by the legitimate leader of Syria.
gabriel90 31 Oct 2015 04:19
Warbama is just trying to save his saudi/qatari/turk/emirati dogs of war... they will be wiped out by Russia and the axis of resistance...
Pete Piper -> Michael Imanual Christos 31 Oct 2015 04:08
Does anyone see anything rational in US foreign policy? When I hear attempts to explain, they vary around .. "it's about oil". But no one ever shows evidence continuous wars produced more oil for anyone. So, are we deliberately creating chaos and misery? Why? To make new enemies we can use to justify more war? We've now classified the number of countries we are bombing. Why? The countries being bombed surely know.
Pete Piper -> oldholbornian 31 Oct 2015 03:50
You are correct. Obama is breaking UN international law, the US has no right to invade Syria. Russia, though, has been asked by the Syrian government for help, a government fully recognized by the UN. Russia has full UN sanctioned rights to help Syria. US news media will never explain this to the public, sadly.
Only the US routinely violates other nations' sovergnity. Since Korea, the only nation that has ever used military force against a nation not on its border is the US.
Can anyone find rationality in US foreign policy? We are supposed to be fighting ISIL, but Saudi Arabia and Israel appear to be helping ISIL to force Syrian regime change. And the US is supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia that are routed to ISIL. Supposedly because eliminating President Asad is more important than fighting ISIL? The US public is being misled into thinking we are NOW fighting ISIL. After Asad is killed, then we will genuinely fight ISIL? Russia, Iran, and more(?) will fight to keep Asad in power and then fight ISIL? THIS IS OBVIOUS BS, AND ALSO FUBAR.
By all means, get everyone together for some diplomacy.
oldholbornian -> lesmandalasdeniki 31 Oct 2015 03:36
Well lets look at Germany the centre of christian culture and the EU
CAPLAN -> Lunora 31 Oct 2015 03:33
reminds me of emporer franz josef in europe about 100 years ago .. meant well but led to ruination ..i dont think that there has been an american president involved in more wars than obama
obama by his cairo speech kicked of the arab spring ..shows that words can kill
however.. the experience he now has gained may lead to an avoidance of a greater sunni shia war in syria if the present vienna talks can offer something tangible and preserve honour to the sunnis .. in the mid east honour and macho are key elements in negotiations
iran however is a shia caliphate based regime and unless it has learnt the lesson from yemen on the limitations of force may push for further success via army and diplomacy and control in syria and iraq
oldholbornian 31 Oct 2015 02:42
But Obama's latest broken promise to avoid an "open-ended action" in Syria could lead to a full-blown war with Russia considering that Russian military has been operating in Syria for weeks.
" For the first time ever, the American strategists have developed an illusion that they may defeat a nuclear power in a non-nuclear war," Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin told AP. "It's nonsense, and it will never happen."
Any US / terrorist engagement with the Syrian security forces will include engaging with its allies Russia
Once the firing starts Russia will include the US as terrorists with no rights to be in Syrian and under the UN RULES have the right to defend themselves against the US
HollyOldDog -> foolisholdman 31 Oct 2015 02:32
Hmm Foreign snipers on rooftops ( not in the control of the government) how many times is this scenario going to be played out before the 'press' twigs it than something is not making sense.
HollyOldDog -> foolisholdman 31 Oct 2015 02:29
Though in one demonstration there was snipers on rooftops shooting both deconstratirs and the police - far more police were killed than demonstrators - what does this reming you of? Was these actions seemingly out of the control of the government a preliminary to what happened in Kiev during the maidan - practices get the technics right I suppose. - outside forces were obviously at work ' stirring the pot.
Anna Eriksson 31 Oct 2015 02:24
Let's hope that the US will help out with taking in some refugees as well! In Germany, and Sweden locals are becoming so frustrated and angry that they set refugee shelters on fire. This is a trend in both Sweden and Germany, as shown in the maps in the links. There have almost been 90 arsons in Germany so far this year, almost 30 in Sweden.
Map of Sweden fire incidents: http://bit.ly/1MiaMX9
Map of Germany arson incidents: http://bit.ly/1LZzEUh
betrynol 31 Oct 2015 01:56
Nobody tells the American people and nobody else really cares, but these 40-something guys being sent to Syria are possibly there as:
- cannon fodder: to deter the Russians from bombing and Iranians from attacking on the ground the American friendly anti-Assad militant groups;
- to collect and report more accurate intel from the front line (again about the Russian/Iranian troops deployment/movement).
The Russian and Iranian troops on the ground will soon engage and sweep anti-Assad forces in key regions in Western Syria. This will be slightly impeded if Americans are among them. But accidents do happen, hence the term "cannon fodder".
The Russians and Iranians will likely take a step back militarily though for the duration of talks, so the American plan to protect Saudi backed fighters is likely to work.
I never involved or mentioned ISIS because this is NOT about fighting ISIS. It's about counteracting the Russian/Irania sweep in the area, and ultimately keeping the Americans in the game (sorry, war).
petervietnam 31 Oct 2015 01:13
The world's policeman or the world's trouble maker?
Austin Young -> Will D 31 Oct 2015 00:34
But he's the "change we can believe in" guy! Oh right... Dem or republican, they spew anything and everything their voters want to hear but when it comes time to walk the walk the only voice in their head is Cash Money.
lesmandalasdeniki -> Bardhyl Cenolli 30 Oct 2015 23:34
It frustrates me, anyone who will be the problem-solver will be labeled as dangerous by the Western political and business leaders if the said person or group of people can not be totally controlled for their agenda.
This will be the first time I will be speaking about the Indonesian forest fires that started from June this year until now. During the period I was not on-line, I watched the local news and all channels were featuring the same problem every day during the last two-weeks.
US is also silent about it during Obama - Jokowi meeting, even praising Jokowi being on the right track. After Jokowi came back, his PR spin is in the force again, he went directly to Palembang, he held office and trying to put up an image of a President that cared for his people. He couldn't solve the Indonesian forest fires from June - October, is it probably because Jusuf Kalla has investment in it?
My point is, US and the Feds, World Bank and IMF are appointing their puppets on each country they have put up an investment on terms of sovereign debt and corporate debt/bonds.
And Obama is their puppet.
Will D 30 Oct 2015 23:30
Obama's presidency lost its credibility a long time ago. He made so many rash promises and statements which one by one he has broken, that no free thinking person believes anything he says anymore.
He has turned out to be a massive disappointment to all those who had such high hopes that he really would make the world a better place. His failure and his abysmal track record will cause him to be remembered as the Nobel Peace prize wining president who did exactly the opposite of what he promised, and failed to further the cause of peace.
Greg_Samsa -> Greenacres2002 30 Oct 2015 23:07
Consistency is at the heart of logic, all mathematics, and hard sciences.
Even the legal systems strive to be free of contradictions.
I'd rather live in world with consistency of thought and action as represented by the Russian Federation, then be mired in shit created by the US who have shed all the hobgoblins pestering the consistency of their thoughts and actions.
Never truly understood the value of this stupid quote really...
Phil Atkinson -> PaulF77 30 Oct 2015 22:28
There's a world of difference between Russia taking steps to protect its immediate geographic and political interests (which were largely the wishes of the resident populations - something critics tend to overlook) and the USA invading Iraq (2003) in a blatant act of war, based on bullshit and then aiding and abetting mercenary terrorists in Syria in defiance of any declaration of war, UN resolution or invitation from the Syrian government to intervene.
You might have also noticed that Syria is a long, long way from the USA. Rhetorically, WTF is the US doing in the Middle East? Propping up Saudi or Israel? Or both?
MainstreamMedia Propaganda 30 Oct 2015 22:03
ISIS == Mercenaries sponsored by the US, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Does a strategy against our own mercenaries make sense???
2012 DIA Document (R050839Z) - Defense Intelligence Agency
Public Affairs Office: 202-231-5554 or DIA-PAO@dodiis.mil
DarrenPartridge 30 Oct 2015 22:03
I think blatant policy changes like this show just how ineffectual the US president actually is. The hand over between Bush and Obama has been seamless. Gitmo still going, patriot act renewed, Libya a smoldering ruin (4 years down the line), no progress on gun control, troops in Afganistan and Iraq... it goes on...
HowSicklySeemAll 30 Oct 2015 21:58
"It's really hard to see how this tiny number of troops embedded on the ground is going to turn the tide in any way."
Or the U.S. could carry out air strikes against Hezbollah which has been fighting ISIS for a while now. They could also supply weapons to ISIS (who are dubbed 'moderates') to counter Russian airstrikes and Iranian man power.
Think about, when's the last time Saudi Arabia did anything progressive or humane in its foreign policy? Now remember this very same country is on the same side as the Americans. This is the country that invaded Bahrain and Yemen and labelled the civil rights movements in those countries as 'Iranian interference.' The Saudis who have been seeking to turn civil rights movements with rather nationalistic demands into religious and sectarian conflicts by playing different groups against each other are allied with the U.S. and sitting at the table in Vienna talking about peace in Syria. Nonsense upon stilts!
Phil Atkinson -> Harry Bhai 30 Oct 2015 21:57
Fuck the al-Sauds and their oil. If the US wants their oil (and there's plenty of other oil sellers in the world) then just take it. Why not be consistent?
templeforjerusalem 30 Oct 2015 21:51
IS has shown itself to be deeply hateful of anything that conflicts with their narrow religious interpretations. Destroying Palmyra, murdering indiscriminately, without any clear international agenda other than the formation of a new Sunni Sharia State, makes them essentially enemies of everybody. Although I do agree that belligerent secular Netanyahu's Israel sets a bad example in the area, Israel does not tend to murder over the same primitive values that IS uses, although there's not much difference in reality.
IS uses extermination tactics, Israel used forced land clearance and concentration camp bombing (Gaza et al), while the US in Iraq used brutal force. None of this is good but nothing justifies the shear barbarism of IS. Is there hope in any of this? No. Is Russian and US involvement a major escalation? Yes.
Ultimately, this is about religious identities refusing to share and demand peace. Sunni vs Shia, Judeo/Catholic/Protestant West vs Russian Orthodox, secular vs orthodox Israel. No wonder people are saying Armageddon.
HowSicklySeemAll 30 Oct 2015 21:50
ISIS poses no threat to the Americans and vice versa. The Americans therefore do not have an interest in making sure that ISIS is wiped out. On the contrary they want regional foes to suffer. The only countries and groups that have been successfully fighting ISIS - Assad's forces, Iranians, Hezbollah, Russians, and Kurds are in fact enemies of either the U.S., Saudis, Israelis, or Turks. Isn't that strange? The countries and peoples that have suffered the most and that have actually fought against ISIS effectively are seen as the enemy. Do the powers that be really want to wipe out ISIS at all costs? No, especially if it involves the Iranians and Russians.
VengefulRevenant 30 Oct 2015 21:44
"You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th-century fashion by invading another country on [a] completely trumped up pretext. It's an incredible act of aggression. It is really a stunning, wilful choice by [President Obama] to invade another country. [The US] is in violation of the sovereignty of [Syria. The US] is in violation of its international obligations."
Verbum -> pegasusrose2011 30 Oct 2015 21:41
How are Russian boots on the ground - of which there have been many for some time - ok and American boots bad?
The difference is that of a poison and the antidotum. The American/NATO meddling in Iraq, Libya and Syria created a truly sick situation which needs to be fixed. That's what the Russians are doing. Obviously, they have their own objectives and motives for that and are protecting their own interests, but nevertheless this is the surest way to re-establish semblance of stability in the Middle East, rebuilt Syria and Iraq, stop the exodus of the refugees, and mend relations in the region.
The American attempt at negotiating peace in Syria without Syrian representation is nothing short of ridiculous and best illustrates the convoluted state of American foreign policy. America lost any claim to 'leadership' by now.
I feel sorry for Mr Obama, and indeed America, because he is a decent person, yet most of us are unaware what forces he has to reckon with behind the scenes. It is clear by now that interests of corporations and rich individuals, as well as a couple of seemingly insignificant foreign states, beat the national interest of America all time, anytime. It is astonishing how a powerful, hard working and talented nation can become beholden to such forces, to its own detriment.
In the end, I do not think the situation is uniquely American. Russia or China given a chance of total hegemony would behave the same. That's why we need a field of powers/superpowers to keep one another in check and negotiate rather than enforce solutions.
ID9309755 -> pegasusrose2011 30 Oct 2015 21:02
Unfortunately American policy and that eu have at time added fuel to the fire. Yes, the me has its own problems, including rival versions of Islam and fundamentalism as well as truly megalomaniac leaders. But in instances (Libya for example) they did truly contribute to the country's destruction (and I am not excusing Gaddafi, but for the people there sometimes having these leaders and waiting for generational transformations may be a better solution than instant democracy pills.)
ID7582903 -> pegasusrose2011 30 Oct 2015 21:00
Russian Iranian and hezbollah boots are invited boots by the legitimate government according to the UN Charter they are all acting legally and according to the Geneva Conventions etc.
The US led coalition in bombing Syria were not, and the admitted introduction of troops into Syria is a an ACT OF WAR by the USA, and it is the AGRESSOR here, not doubt about it. It's a War Crime by every standard
Obama and the "regime" that rules the United Snakes of America have all gone over the edge into insanity writ large.
ID9309755 -> pegasusrose2011 30 Oct 2015 20:55
To clarify, I meant that all these groups are funded by these Arabic sheikhdoms and it increasingly appears that th us of a is not as serious in eradicating all of them in the illusion that the so called softer ones will over through Assad and then it will be democracy, the much misused and fetishised term. Meanwhile we can carve up the country, Turkey gets a bite and our naughty bloated allies in Arabia will be happy with their influence. Only if it happened that way...
There is much more than this short and simplified scenario, and yes Russia played its hand rather well taking the west off guard. And I am not trying to portray Putin as some liberation prophet either. So perhaps you could say that yes, maybe I have looked into it deep...
BlooperMario -> RedEyedOverlord 30 Oct 2015 20:52
China and Russia are only responding to NY World Bank and IMF cheats and also standing up to an evil empire that has ruined the middle east.
Time you had a rethink old chap and stopped worshipping Blair; Bush; Rumsfeld etc as your heros.
See the NATO creep into Eastern Europe against all agreements made with USSR.
Silly Sailors provoking Chinese Lighthouse keepers.
RoyRoger 30 Oct 2015 19:30
Their Plan B is fucked !!
But their real agenda is to carve up Syria. In the deep recesses of their, the Corporate corrupt White House's, mind ISIS is not their immediate problem. ISIS is a means to an end - carve up Syria a sovereign country.
Remember, only months ago, Kerry and Tory William Hague, was handing out cash to Syrian rebels who later turned out to be ISIS rebels. We must never forget, Syria, right or wrong, is a sovereign country.
The real battle/plan for the Corporate corrupt White House is to try and get a foothold in Syria and establish a military dictator after a coup d'etat'. As we know it's what they, the West, do best.
Look at the mess they made in, Ukraine, with their friends a bunch of, Kiev, murdering neo-Nazi's.
In the interest of right is right; Good Luck Mr Putin !! I'm with you all the way.
weematt 30 Oct 2015 19:25
War (and poverty too) a consequence, concomitant, of competing for markets, raw materials and trade routes or areas of geo-political dominance, come to be seen as 'natural' outcomes of society, but are merely concomitants of a changeable social system.
... ... ...
Greg_Samsa 30 Oct 2015 19:21
Just out of curiosity...how will the US keep the DoD and CIA from duking it out at the opposite fronts on the Syrian soil?
This gives a whole new dimension to the term 'blue-on-blue'.
Kevin Donegan 30 Oct 2015 18:59
Washington has clearly chosen to break International Law.
"Westphalian sovereignty is the principle of international law that each nation state has sovereignty over its territory and domestic affairs, to the exclusion of all external powers, on the principle of non-interference in another country's domestic affairs, and that each state (no matter how large or small) is equal in international law. The doctrine is named after the Peace of Westphalia, signed in 1648, which ended the Thirty Years' War, in which the major continental European states – the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, France, Sweden and the Dutch Republic – agreed to respect one another's territorial integrity. As European influence spread across the globe, the Westphalian principles, especially the concept of sovereign states, became central to international law and to the prevailing world order."
foolisholdman 30 Oct 2015 18:41
As the administration in Washington is firmly in the grasp of special interest groups such as Big Pharma, The Banksters, Big Agrobusiness, Big oil, the MIC and Israel there is no chance of getting good policy decisions out of there until there is a regime change.
If ever there was a government hat had lost its legitimacy the present US government is it.
foolisholdman -> Johnny Kent 30 Oct 2015 18:31
The slight question of legality in placing troops in a sovereign country without permission or UN approval is obviously of no importance to the US...and yet they criticise Russia for 'annexing Crimea...
Yes, but you see: the two cases are not comparable because the USA is exceptional.
You might think that having criticized Assad for shooting demonstrators who demonstrated against the corruption and inefficiency of his regime, and having said that as a result his regime had lost its legitimacy, they would apply the same yardstick to President Poroshenko when he shot up two provinces of his country for asking for federation, killing thousands in the process, but on the contrary they sent "advisers" to train his military and his Fascist helpers to use their weapons better, to shoot them up more effectively.
However, one cannot really expect people who are exceptional to behave like ordinary (unexceptional) human beings.
WalterCronkiteBot 30 Oct 2015 17:11
What is the official US line on the legality of these deployments in terms of international law?
Noone seems to even raise it as an issue, its all about congressional approval. Just like the UK drone strikes.
The Democrats' Athena only differs from Bush on the details.
Hillary's newfound centrism isn't completely insincere. Her bellicose interventionism has a history: it was Hillary, you'll recall, who berated her husband for not bombing Belgrade soon enough and hard enough. As Gail Sheehy relates in Hillary's Choice:
Hillary expressed her views by phone to the President: 'I urged him to bomb.' The Clintons argued the issue over the next few days. [The president expressed] what-ifs: What if bombing promoted more executions? What if it took apart the NATO alliance? Hillary responded, 'You cannot let this go on at the end of a century that has seen the major holocaust of our time. What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?' The next day the President declared that force was necessary.
Together with Madeleine Albright-who famously complained to Colin Powell, "What good is it having this superb military you're always talking about if we can't use it?"-Hillary constituted the Amazonian wing of the Democratic Party during the years of her husband's presidency. Her effort to outflank the Republicans on the right when it comes to the Iran issue is a logical extension of her natural bellicosity.
Hillary is nothing if not consistent: in her floor speech to the Senate during the debate over the resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq, she declared, "the facts that have brought us to this fateful vote are not in doubt"-a statement she has never acknowledged regretting. Particularly endearing to the War Party, she framed her "aye" vote in terms of the classic neoconservative myth of Bush I's betrayal:
The first President Bush assembled a global coalition, including many Arab states, and threw Saddam out after forty-three days of bombing and a hundred hours of ground operations. The U.S.-led coalition then withdrew, leaving the Kurds and the Shiites, who had risen against Saddam Hussein at our urging, to Saddam's revenge.
Hillary would have occupied Iraq a decade earlier, riding into Baghdad at the head of her troops like Pallas Athena descending on the Trojans, striding boldly into what Gen. William E. Odom has described as "the greatest strategic disaster in our history."
Hillary hails the 1998 bombing of Iraq, ordered by her husband, which killed thousands of Iraqi civilians, and recounts the official mythology promulgated by the Bush administration: "[T]he so-called presidential palaces in reality were huge compounds well suited to hold weapons labs, stocks, and records which Saddam Hussein was required by UN resolution to turn over. When Saddam blocked the inspection process, the inspectors left." As we now know, there was nothing even approaching WMD in those palaces, and Iraq had been effectively disarmed at that point. In late February or early March, Scott Ritter, then a UN arms inspector, met with then-U.S. ambassador to the UN Bill Richardson. Ritter was told to provoke an incident so the U.S. could finish bombing by the start of the Islamic New Year holiday.
Hillary, however, didn't let any inconvenient facts get in her way. She boasted that it was under a Democratic administration that the U.S. "changed its underlying policy toward Iraq from containment to regime change" and took credit for the bright idea of putting Ahmad Chalabi, convicted embezzler and known liar, on the U.S. payroll. Her speech reads like a Weekly Standard editorial, reiterating each of the War Party's talking points-the bio-weapons fantasy, the links to al-Qaeda gambit, the phantom nuclear arsenal: "This much," she maintaind, "is undisputed."
What is undisputed these days is that the entire rationale for war was based on trumped-up evidence of Iraq's alleged transgressions, but Hillary is unrepentant: "No, I don't regret giving the president authority because at the time it was in the context of weapons of mass destruction, grave threats to the United States, and clearly, Saddam Hussein had been a real problem for the international community for more than a decade."
But there was no threat to the U.S. and Hillary knows it. What's more, her hardcore constituency knows it, and they are becoming increasingly alienated from-even actively hostile to-their putative presidential frontrunner over this issue. Their anger is stoked by evidence that Hillary has imbibed the same neocon Kool-Aid that has intoxicated the Bush administration and blinded it to the failure of its policies in Iraq.
On a trip to Iraq during which 55 people-including one American soldier -were killed by suicide bombers, Hillary was merrily chirping that the occupation was "functioning quite well" and that the surge of suicide attacks indicated that the insurgency was failing. Security was so bad that the road to the airport was impassable, and the Senate delegation had to be transported to the Green Zone by military helicopter. They dared not venture out into the streets of Baghdad.
The disconnect between rhetoric and reality, between the antiwar views of Hillary's left-wing base and the militant interventionism of Wittmann and the DLC crowd, finally forced her to come to grips with the contradiction-or at least to appear to do so. This occurred not in a public speech but in an e-mail sent to her supporters in which the trouble she is in is acknowledged in the first sentence: "The war in Iraq is on the minds of many of you who have written or who have called my office asking questions and expressing frustration." Chances are, these callers were expressing frustration not only with the policies of the Bush administration but with her own complicity with Bush's Middle Eastern agenda of seemingly endless aggression.
She falls back on the old "there are no quick and easy answers" ploy to give an aura of thoughtfulness to a dishonest and constantly shifting position on the war. While insisting that we should not "allow this to be an open-ended commitment without limits or end," she reassures the War Party by distancing herself from John Murtha and others who want an orderly withdrawal in a relatively short time: "Nor do I believe that we can or should pull out of Iraq immediately." She hails the elections as the signal that we can start the withdrawal process sometime "in the coming year," but not completely: we must leave behind "a smaller contingent in safer areas with greater intelligence and quick strike capabilities"-a tripwire, in short, in the form of permanent bases.
... ... ...
What does Hillary want? A smarter, smoother, better-planned interventionism, one that our allies find more amenable and yet is, in many ways, more militant than the Republican version-one that "levels with the American people" about the costs of empire and yet doesn't dispute the alleged necessity of American hegemony. As she finds her voice as a would-be commander in chief, it isn't one the traditional Left in this country will recognize.
... ... ...
If the Democratic establishment's stance on the war is at odds with the party's antiwar activist base, then their outright warmongering on the Iranian issue puts the two factions on a collision course. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi-who effectively quashed fellow California Democrat Lynn Woolsey's resolution calling for a withdrawal timetable -has followed the Hillary-Emanuel-DLC party line, while managing somehow to assuage her constituents with plenty of pork and partisan rhetoric. When it comes to Iran, however, she is just as belligerent as the next neocon: Pelosi co-sponsored legislation imposing draconian economic sanctions on Iran and stops just short of calling another war.
Aug 21, 2016 | Defend Democracy Press
U.S. "think tanks" rile up the American public against an ever-shifting roster of foreign "enemies" to justify wars which line the pockets of military contractors who kick back some profits to the "think tanks," explains retired JAG Major Todd E. Pierce.
The New York Times took notice recently of the role that so-called "think tanks" play in corrupting U.S. government policy. Their review of think tanks "identified dozens of examples of scholars conducting research at think tanks while corporations were paying them to help shape government policy."
Unfortunately, and perhaps predictably, while the Times investigation demonstrates well that the U.S. is even more corrupt – albeit the corruption is better disguised – than the many foreign countries which we routinely accuse of corruption, the Times failed to identify the most egregious form of corruption in our system. That is, those think tanks are constantly engaged in the sort of activities which the Defense Department identifies as "Information War" when conducted by foreign countries that are designated by the U.S. as an enemy at any given moment.
Information warfare uses disinformation and propaganda to condition a population to hate a foreign nation or population with the intent to foment a war, which is the routine "business" of the best known U.S. think tanks.
There are two levels to this information war. The first level is by the primary provocateur, such as the Rand Corporation, the American Enterprise Institute and the smaller war instigators found wherever a Kagan family member lurks. They use psychological "suggestiveness" to create a false narrative of danger from some foreign entity with the objective being to create paranoia within the U.S. population that it is under imminent threat of attack or takeover.
Once that fear and paranoia is instilled in much of the population, it can then be manipulated to foment a readiness or eagerness for war, in the manner that Joseph Goebbels understood well.
The measure of success from such a disinformation and propaganda effort can be seen when the narrative is adopted by secondary communicators who are perhaps the most important target audience. That is because they are "key communicators" in PsyOp terms, who in turn become provocateurs in propagating the false narrative even more broadly and to its own audiences, and becoming "combat multipliers" in military terms.
It is readily apparent now that Russia has taken its place as the primary target within U.S. sights. One doesn't have to see the U.S. military buildup on Russia's borders to understand that but only see the propaganda themes of our "think tanks."
The Role of Rand
A prime example of an act of waging information war to incite actual military attack is the Rand Corporation, which, incidentally, published a guide to information war and the need to condition the U.S. population for war back in the 1990s.A scene from "Dr. Strangelove," in which the bomber pilot (played by actor Slim Pickens) rides a nuclear bomb to its target in the Soviet Union.
Rand was founded by, among others, the war enthusiast, Air Force General Curtis LeMay, who was the model for the character of Gen. Buck Turgidson in the movie "Dr. Strangelove." LeMay once stated that he would not be afraid to start a nuclear war with Russia and that spirit would seem to be alive and well at Rand today as they project on to Vladimir Putin our own eagerness for inciting a war.
The particular act of information warfare by Rand is shown in a recent Rand article: "How to Counter Putin's Subversive War on the West." The title suggests by its presupposition that Putin is acting in the offensive form of war rather than the defensive form of war. But it is plain to see he is in the defensive form of war when one looks at the numerous provocations and acts of aggression carried out by American officials, such as Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and General Philip Breedlove, and the U.S. and NATO military buildup on Russia's borders.
Within this Rand article however can be found no better example of psychological projection than this propagandistic pablum that too many commentators, some witless, some not, will predictably repeat:
"Moscow's provocative active measures cause foreign investors and international lenders to see higher risks in doing business with Russia. Iran is learning a similar, painful lesson as it persists with harsh anti-Western policies even as nuclear-related sanctions fade. Russia will decide its own priorities. But it should not be surprised if disregard for others' interests diminishes the international regard it seeks as an influential great power."
In fact, an objective, dispassionate observation of U.S./Russian policies would show it has been the U.S. carrying out these "provocative active measures" as the instigator, not Russia.
Nevertheless, showing the success that our primary war provocateurs have had in fomenting hostility and possibly war is that less militaristic and bellicose Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), ostensibly working for "peace," have adopted this false propaganda theme uncritically.
The Carnegie Moscow Center Foundation, which includes Russians on its staff, is a prime example. Lately, it has routinely echoed the more provocative and facially false accusations made against Russia by the outright militaristic and war instigating U.S. think tanks. An example is in a recent article of Carnegie, entitled: "Russia and NATO Must Communicate Better."
It begins: "The risk of outright conflict in Europe is higher than it has been for years and the confrontation between Russia and the West shows no sign of ending. To prevent misunderstandings and dangerous incidents, the two sides must improve their methods of communication."
Unfortunately, that is now true. But the article's author suggests throughout that each party, Russia and the U.S./NATO, had an equal hand in the deterioration of relations. He wrote: "The West needs to acknowledge that the standoff with Russia is not merely the result of Russia turning authoritarian, nationalistic, and assertive," as if Western officials don't already know that that accusation was only a propaganda theme for their own populations to cover up the West's aggressiveness.
So Americans, such as myself, must acknowledge and confront that the standoff with Russia is not only not "merely the result of Russia turning authoritarian, nationalistic, and assertive," but it is rather, that the U.S. is "turning authoritarian, nationalistic," and even more "assertive," i.e., aggressive, toward the world.
Suz Tzu wrote that a "sovereign" must know oneself and the enemy. In the case of the U.S. sovereign, the people and their elected, so-called representatives, there is probably no "sovereign" in human history more lacking in self-awareness of their own nation's behavior toward other nations.
So fanatics like the U.S. Generals whom we've seen at the recent political conventions and even worse, General Breedlove, are encouraged to be ever more threatening to the world's populations.
When that then generates a response from some nation with a tin-pot military relative to our own, with ours paid for by the privileged financial position we've put ourselves into post-WWII, our politicians urgently call for even more military spending from the American people to support even more aggression, all in the guise of "national defense."
Recognizing that must then be coupled with recognition of a U.S. law passed in 2012 providing for military detention of journalists and social activists as the Justice Department conceded in Hedges v. Obama. Add to that what the ACLU recently compelled the U.S. government to reveal in the "Presidential Policy Guidance" and it is plain to see which nation has become most "authoritarian, nationalistic, and assertive." It is the United States.
The Presidential Policy Guidance "establishes the standard operating procedures for when the United States takes direct action, which refers to lethal and non-lethal uses of force, including capture operations against terrorist targets outside the United States and areas of active hostilities."
What other nation, besides Israel probably, has a governmental "Regulation" providing for assassinations outside "areas of active hostilities?"
It should readily be evident that it is the U.S. now carrying out the vast majority of provocative active measures and has the disregard for others complained of here. At least for the moment, however, the U.S. can still hide much of its aggression using the vast financial resources provided by the American people to the Defense Department to produce sophisticated propaganda and to bribe foreign officials with foreign aid to look the other way from U.S. provocations.
It is ironic that today, one can learn more about the U.S. military and foreign policy from the Rand Corporation only by reading at least one of its historical documents, "The Operational Code of the Politburo." This is described as "part of a major effort at RAND to provide insight into the political leadership and foreign policy in the Soviet Union and other communist states; the development of Soviet military strategy and doctrine."
As this was when the Politburo was allegedly at its height in subverting and subjugating foreign countries as foreign policy, it should be exactly on point in describing current U.S. foreign policy.
That U.S. think tanks, such as Rand and the American Enterprise Institute, put so much effort into promoting war should not come as a surprise when it is considered their funding is provided by the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) which President Eisenhower warned us about. That this U.S. MIC would turn against its own people, the American public, by waging perpetual information war against this domestic target just to enrich their investors, might have been even more than Eisenhower could imagine however.
Todd E. Pierce retired as a Major in the US Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps in November 2012. His most recent assignment was defense counsel in the Office of Chief Defense Counsel, Office of Military Commissions. [This article first appeared at http://original.antiwar.com/Todd_Pierce/2016/08/14/inciting-wars-american-way/]
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Aug 25, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
Comments from the discussion in Economist's ViewSandwichman :"who has broken with many of the GOP's traditional positions on economic policy"pgl -> Sandwichman, Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 10:31 AM
Not seeing much to like in "the GOP's traditional positions" where does this leave me? The truth is all 45 surviving former members of the CEA can be wrong without making Trump right.Tax cuts for rich people as their "solution" to poverty. And balancing the budget with magic asterisks.ilsm -> SandwichmanIndeed, see how far the US has "progressed" with these guys' advising since Nixon!Decision OverloadWhen the deeply established insider "advisers" are against him, you can bet that he is an angry outsider same as the rest of us. Look!Peter K., Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 09:29 AM
The most inefficient thing in our taxation system is the taxing of poor folks. Do you recognize what that accomplishes? Poor folk taxation takes money away from the poor person's landlord, his power company, his telephone company and more much more -- just slows down the economy plus administrative overhead that is the cost of slamming on the brakes.
The Donald has proposed a $25,000 standard deduction which will protect the low-rollers who have no deductions from tax-shelters. $50,000 for married couples! What a savings! What a relief from the churning that has evolved from smoke and mirror politics.
it --"Harvard University economist Gregory Mankiw, who chaired the council under George W. Bush and has been mentioned as a possible future Fed chairman, said recently on his blog that he would not support Mr. Trump.Vic Twente -> Peter K
"I have Republican friends who think that things couldn't be worse than doubling down on Obama policies under Hillary Clinton. And, like them, I am no fan of the left's agenda of large government and high taxes," Mr. Mankiw wrote. "But they are wrong: Things could be worse. And I fear they would be under Mr. Trump.""
Mankiw and Krugman mini-me Pro Growth Liberal agree on something.And Mankiw was the economic adviser to Mitt Romney, the elitist Nazi who said 47% of the American people were his enemies and who was in favour of economic policies that would stripmine the country to put all its wealth in the offshore bank accounts of the kleptocrats.Vic Twente -> Peter K
Which btw makes you wonder how anyone can call Mankiw an "economist". The guy's a Republican buttboy and that's all he is.Mankiw didn't enable the Republicans alone. Every two-bit intro macro prof who teaches from Mankiw has aided him.pgl :
I laugh when I imagine undergrad econ ten years from now: the textbooks will be full of Murray Rothbard and Ayn Rand, and undergrad sessional lecturers will be drowning in cognitive dissonance as they try to remain straight-faced while lecturing on the benefits of the gold standard and eliminating the Federal Reserve.Stiglitz supports Clinton over Trump. No surprise but this is:ilsm :
"I have known personally every Republican president since Richard Nixon," said Harvard University economist Martin Feldstein, who chaired the council under President Ronald Reagan. "They all showed a real understanding of economics and international affairs".
OK - Reagan did get a degree in economics but Krugman - who worked for Feldstein a the CEA - tells a different story about this White House when it comes to macroeconomics, the role of monetary policy, and in particular what was happening with the international aspects of our economy during Reagan's first term. Volcker - once he was done with his damaging tight monetary policy - tried to make a deal where he would lower interest rates in exchange for a reversal of that 1981 tax cut. The Reagan White House had no clue what the FED chair was even proposing even though it would have been a very good idea.Real Time whatever at wsj are looking for reasons to keep the GOPster/free trade type progress going! A reason to oppose Trump and vote for Hillary?likbez :
Dowd is right! The best thuglican is a democrat.Hillary Clinton is dyed-in-wool neoliberal. So all she can do is to kick the can down the road. All her elections promises are not worth the cost of the electrical energy that is used to depict them on our screens.ilsm -> likbez... , Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 01:03 PM
Trump is a very controversial figure, but he can be viewed as a disruptive politician and might put some pressure on neoliberal, and especially neocons, before they coopt him. Think of him as a proponent of Brexit II. Making the elections essentially a referendum on neoliberal globalization.
If he wins, a lot of Washington neocon parasites might lose jobs (the cash for the neocons comes mostly from defense contractors), that's why they crossed the party lines and that's why neoliberal propaganda campaign against him is so vicious. Khan gambit was a nasty attempt to speedboat him. It failed.
While Hillary gets a free pass from neoliberal press (ABC, CBS and NBC). Neoliberal presstitutes (like George Stephanopoulos ) are especially vicious, behave like rabid dogs. Just listen to his interview of Trump about Khan gambit at Democratic convention.
There is another view on Trump that deserves attention:
=== quote ===
Lupita 08.04.16 at 4:23 am 167
I think Trump is afraid the imperial global order presided by the US is about to crash and thinks he will be able to steer the country into a soft landing by accepting that other world powers have interests, by disengaging from costly and humiliating military interventions, by re-negotiating trade deals, and by stopping the mass immigration of poor people. Plus a few well-placed bombs .
Much has been written about the internet revolution, about the impact of people having access to much more information than before. The elite does not recognize this and is still organizing political and media campaigns as if it were 1990, relying on elder statesmen like Blair, Bush, Mitterrand, Clinton, and Obama to influence public opinion. They are failing miserably, to the point of being counterproductive.
I don't think something as parochial as racism is sustaining Trump, but rather the fear of the loss of empire by a population with several orders of magnitude more information and communication than in 2008, even 2012.
=== end of quote ===
But it is the deep state that dictates the course of the US, both in foreign policy and domestically, probably from 1963, so the president now is more of a ceremonial figure that adds legitimacy to the actual rule of deep state.
In any case discussion Hillary vs. Trump and questions of economics (neoliberalism vs. some retrenchment in the direction of the New Deal) we should not miss the key, defining this election fact that Hillary is a war criminal (crimes against peace are war crimes). See http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/nuremberg-trials
From this point of view voting for Hillary is highly undesirable as this is an implicit cooperation with the war criminal. That does not mean that people should vote for Trump. Who has his own set of warts.It has been suggested the appropriators owned by the war profiteers won't allocate money to fuel the transports that take America's Soldiers and Marines home.ilsm -> likbez... , Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 01:08 PM
The lesser evil killed no one with a vote believing in fake WMD's. The lesser evil is not experienced in keeping the neocons happy.
The lesser evil may decide body bags forever is not strategy.
Trump is the lesser evil.
Imagine what happens if the commander in chief says: stand down and steam for Pearl Harbor, San Diego and Alameda.
What would all those US retirees do if the commander in chief shuttered those brigades in Germany?If the crooked DNC cared about families of US' slain.....
The Khan con angered 5990 Gold Star families who are not Muslim and whose star are the result of Hillary voting for AUMF righteously and acting out since 2003.
As well as veterans!
Gold star families why not pick 1/5999 rather than 1/14 Muslims?
BreitbartThe latest ad from Hillary Clinton's campaign suggests that, if elected, Donald Trump might launch nuclear weapons because he lacks the experience and temperament to be president.
"In times of crisis, America depends on steady leadership, clear thinking, and calm judgement," the narrator says. "Because all it takes is one wrong move."
... ... ...
The strategy from the Clinton campaign is familiar. During the 2008 Democratic primary fight with President Obama, Clinton released an ad questioning whether the young senator would have the experience necessary to keep the country safe when the phone rang at 3 a.m.
www.counterpunch.orgYou haven't heard much from the Democrats lately about foreign policy or global agendas – indeed virtually nothing at the Philadelphia convention and little worthy of mention along the campaign trail. Hillary Clinton's many liberal (and sadly, progressive) supporters routinely steer away from anything related to foreign policy, talk, talk, talking instead about the candidate's "experience", with obligatory nods toward her enlightened social programs. There is only the ritual demonization of that fearsome dictator, Vladimir Putin, reputedly on the verge of invading some hapless European country. Even Bernie Sanders' sorry endorsement of his erstwhile enemy, not long ago denounced as a tool of Wall Street, had nothing to say about global issues. But no one should be fooled: a Clinton presidency, which seems more likely by the day, can be expected to stoke a resurgent U.S. imperialism, bringing new cycles of militarism and war. The silence is illusory: Clintonites, now as before, are truly obsessed with international politics.
A triumphant Hillary, more "rational" and "savvy" than the looney and unpredictable Donald Trump, could well have a freer path to emboldened superpower moves not only in Europe but the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Pacific. While the candidate has not revealed much lately, she is on record as vowing to "stand up" to Russia and China, face off against Russian "aggression", escalate the war on terror, and militarily annihilate Iran the moment it steps out of line (or is determined by "U.S. intelligence" to have stepped out of line) in its nuclear agreement with global powers. Under Clinton, the Democrats might well be better positioned to recharge their historical legacy as War Party. One of the great political myths (and there are many) is that American liberals are inclined toward a less belligerent foreign policy than Republicans, are less militaristic and more favorable toward "diplomacy". References to Woodrow Wilson in World War I and Mexico, Harry Truman in Korea, JFK and LBJ in Indochina, Bill Clinton in the Balkans, and of course Barack Obama in Afghanistan (eight years of futile warfare), Libya (also "Hillary's War"), and scattered operations across the Middle East and North Africa should be enough to dispel such nonsense. (As for FDR and World War II, I have written extensively that the Pearl Harbor attacks were deliberately provoked by U.S. actions in the Pacific – but that is a more complicated story.)
... ... ...
A new Clinton presidency can be expected to further boost the U.S./NATO drive to strangle and isolate Russia, which means aggravated "crises" in Ukraine and worrisome encounters with a rival military power in a region saturated with (tactical, "usable") nuclear weapons. Regime change in Syria? Hillary has indeed strongly pushed for that self-defeating act of war, combined with an illegal and provocative no-fly zone - having learned nothing from the extreme chaos and violence she did so much to unleash in Libya as Secretary of State. There are currently no visible signs she would exit the protracted and criminal war in Afghanistan, a rich source of blowback (alongside Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Israel). Increased aerial bombardments against ISIS in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and elsewhere? More deployments of American troops on the ground? Such ventures, with potentially others on the horizon, amount to elaborate recipes for more blowback, followed by more anti-terror hysteria, followed by more interventions. Uncompromising economic, diplomatic, and military support of Israeli atrocities in Palestine? Aggressive pursuit of the seriously mistaken "Asian Pivot", strategy, a revitalized effort to subvert Chinese economic and military power – one of Clinton's own special crusades? No wonder the Paul Wolfowitzes and Robert Kagans are delighted to join the Hillary camp.
No wonder, too, that billionaire super-hawk Haim Saban has pledged to spend whatever is needed to get the Clintons back into the White House, convinced her presidency will do anything to maintain Palestinian colonial subjugation. Meeting with Saban in July, Hillary again promised to "oppose any effort to delegitimate Israel, including at the United Nations or through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement." She backs legislative efforts begun in several states to silence and blacklist people working on behalf of Palestinian rights. For this her celebrated "pragmatism" could work quite effectively.
Democratic elites say little publicly about these and other imperial priorities, preferring familiar homilies such as "bringing jobs back" (not going to happen) and "healing the country" (not going to happen). Silence appears to function exquisitely in a political culture where open and vigorous debate on foreign-policy is largely taboo and elite discourse rarely surpasses the level of banal platitudes. And Hillary's worshipful liberal and progressive backers routinely follow the script (or non-script) while fear-mongering about how a Trump presidency will destroy the country (now that the Sanders threat has vanished).
Amidst the turmoil Trump has oddly surfaced to the left of Clinton on several key global issues: cooperating instead of fighting with the Russians, keeping alive a sharp criticism of the Iraq war and the sustained regional chaos and blowback it generated, ramping down enthusiasm for more wars in the Middle East, junking "free trade" agreements, willingness to rethink the outmoded NATO alliance. If Trump, however haphazardly, manages to grasp the historical dynamics of blowback, the Clinton camp remains either indifferent or clueless, still ready for new armed ventures – cynically marketed, as in the Balkans, Iraq, and Libya, on the moral imperative of defeating some unspeakable evil, usually a "new Hitler" waging a "new genocide". Who needs to be reminded that Hillary's domestic promises, such as they are, will become null and void once urgent global "crises" take precedence? The Pentagon, after all, always comes first.
... ... ...
...At the other extreme, Clinton emerges in the media as the most "rational" and "even-tempered" of candidates, ideally suited to carry out the necessary imperial agendas. A tiresome mainstream narrative is that Hillary is "one of the best prepared and most knowledgeable candidates ever to seek the presidency." And she is smart, very smart – whatever her flaws. All the better to follow in the long history of Democrats proficient at showing the world who is boss. The media, for its part, adores these Democrats, another reason Trump appears to have diminished chances of winning. Further, the well-funded and tightly-organized Clinton machine can count on somewhat large majorities of women, blacks, and Hispanics, not only for the march to the White House but, more ominously, to go along with the War Party's imperial spectacle of the day. Most anything – war, regime change, bombing raids, drone strikes, treaty violations, JFK-style "standoffs" – can escape political scrutiny if carried out by "humanitarian", peace-loving Democrats. Bill Clinton's war to fight "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing" in the Balkans, cover for just another U.S./NATO geopolitical maneuver, constitutes the perfect template here.
There is a special logic to the Clintonites' explosive mixture of neoliberalism and militarism. They, like all corporate Democrats, are fully aligned with some of the most powerful interests in the world: Wall Street, the war economy, fossil fuels, Big Pharma, the Israel Lobby. They also have intimate ties to reactionary global forces – the neofascist regime in Ukraine, Israel, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf states.
... In March 121 members of the Republican "national security community", including the warmongers Wolfowitz, Robert Kagan, and Brent Scowcroft, signed a public letter condemning Trump for not being sufficiently dedicated to American (also Israeli?) interests. Trump compounded his predicament by stubbornly refusing to pay homage to the "experts" – the same foreign-policy geniuses who helped orchestrate the Iraq debacle. A more recent (and more urgent) letter with roughly the same message has made its way into the public sphere. Predictably, Trump's "unreliability" to oversee American global objectives has been an ongoing motif at CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.
Returning to the political carneval that was the Democratic convention, amidst all the non-stop flag-waving and shouts of "USA!" Hillary made what she thought would be an inspiring reference to Jackie Kennedy, speaking on the eve of her husband's (1961) ascent to the White House. Jackie was reported as saying "that what worried President Kennedy during that very dangerous time was that a war might be started – not by men with self-control and restraint, but by little men, the ones moved by fear and pride."
We can surmise that JFK was one of those "big men" governed by "restraint". History shows, however, that Jackie's esteemed husband was architect of probably the worst episode of international barbarism in U.S. history – the Vietnam War, with its unfathomable death and destruction – coming at a time of the Big Man's botched CIA-led invasion of Cuba and followed closely by the Cuban Missile Crisis, where the Big Man's "restraint" brought the world frighteningly close to nuclear catastrophe. As for "fear" and "pride" – nothing permeates JFK's biography of that period more than those two psychological obsessions.
Could it be that Hillary Clinton, however unwittingly, was at this epic moment – her breakthrough nomination – revealing nothing so much as her own deeply-imperialist mind-set?
Carl Boggs is the author of The Hollywood War Machine, with Tom Pollard (second edition, forthcoming), and Drugs, Power, and Politics, both published by Paradigm.
Aug 19, 2016 | theintercept.comOn Monday, a hacking group calling itself the "ShadowBrokers" announced an auction for what it claimed were "cyber weapons" made by the NSA. Based on never-before-published documents provided by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, The Intercept can confirm that the arsenal contains authentic NSA software, part of a powerful constellation of tools used to covertly infect computers worldwide.
The provenance of the code has been a matter of heated debate this week among cybersecurity experts, and while it remains unclear how the software leaked, one thing is now beyond speculation: The malware is covered with the NSA's virtual fingerprints and clearly originates from the agency.
The evidence that ties the ShadowBrokers dump to the NSA comes in an agency manual for implanting malware, classified top secret, provided by Snowden, and not previously available to the public. The draft manual instructs NSA operators to track their use of one malware program using a specific 16-character string, "ace02468bdf13579." That exact same string appears throughout the ShadowBrokers leak in code associated with the same program, SECONDDATE.
SECONDDATE plays a specialized role inside a complex global system built by the U.S. government to infect and monitor what one document estimated to be millions of computers around the world. Its release by ShadowBrokers, alongside dozens of other malicious tools, marks the first time any full copies of the NSA's offensive software have been available to the public, providing a glimpse at how an elaborate system outlined in the Snowden documents looks when deployed in the real world, as well as concrete evidence that NSA hackers don't always have the last word when it comes to computer exploitation.
But malicious software of this sophistication doesn't just pose a threat to foreign governments, Johns Hopkins University cryptographer Matthew Green told The Intercept:
The danger of these exploits is that they can be used to target anyone who is using a vulnerable router. This is the equivalent of leaving lockpicking tools lying around a high school cafeteria. It's worse, in fact, because many of these exploits are not available through any other means, so they're just now coming to the attention of the firewall and router manufacturers that need to fix them, as well as the customers that are vulnerable.
So the risk is twofold: first, that the person or persons who stole this information might have used them against us. If this is indeed Russia, then one assumes that they probably have their own exploits, but there's no need to give them any more. And now that the exploits have been released, we run the risk that ordinary criminals will use them against corporate targets.
The NSA did not respond to questions concerning ShadowBrokers, the Snowden documents, or its malware.
A Memorable SECONDDATE
The offensive tools released by ShadowBrokers are organized under a litany of code names such as POLARSNEEZE and ELIGIBLE BOMBSHELL, and their exact purpose is still being assessed. But we do know more about one of the weapons: SECONDDATE.
SECONDDATE is a tool designed to intercept web requests and redirect browsers on target computers to an NSA web server. That server, in turn, is designed to infect them with malware. SECONDDATE's existence was first reported by The Intercept in 2014, as part of a look at a global computer exploitation effort code-named TURBINE. The malware server, known as FOXACID, has also been described in previously released Snowden documents.
Other documents released by The Intercept today not only tie SECONDDATE to the ShadowBrokers leak but also provide new detail on how it fits into the NSA's broader surveillance and infection network. They also show how SECONDDATE has been used, including to spy on Pakistan and a computer system in Lebanon.
The top-secret manual that authenticates the SECONDDATE found in the wild as the same one used within the NSA is a 31-page document titled "FOXACID SOP for Operational Management" and marked as a draft. It dates to no earlier than 2010. A section within the manual describes administrative tools for tracking how victims are funneled into FOXACID, including a set of tags used to catalogue servers. When such a tag is created in relation to a SECONDDATE-related infection, the document says, a certain distinctive identifier must be used:
The same SECONDDATE MSGID string appears in 14 different files throughout the ShadowBrokers leak, including in a file titled SecondDate-3021.exe. Viewed through a code-editing program (screenshot below), the NSA's secret number can be found hiding in plain sight:
All told, throughout many of the folders contained in the ShadowBrokers' package (screenshot below), there are 47 files with SECONDDATE-related names, including different versions of the raw code required to execute a SECONDDATE attack, instructions for how to use it, and other related files.
After viewing the code, Green told The Intercept the MSGID string's occurrence in both an NSA training document and this week's leak is "unlikely to be a coincidence." Computer security researcher Matt Suiche, founder of UAE-based cybersecurity startup Comae Technologies, who has been particularly vocal in his analysis of the ShadowBrokers this week, told The Intercept "there is no way" the MSGID string's appearance in both places is a coincidence.
Where SECONDDATE Fits In
This overview jibes with previously unpublished classified files provided by Snowden that illustrate how SECONDDATE is a component of BADDECISION, a broader NSA infiltration tool. SECONDDATE helps the NSA pull off a "man in the middle" attack against users on a wireless network, tricking them into thinking they're talking to a safe website when in reality they've been sent a malicious payload from an NSA server.
According to one December 2010 PowerPoint presentation titled "Introduction to BADDECISION," that tool is also designed to send users of a wireless network, sometimes referred to as an 802.11 network, to FOXACID malware servers. Or, as the presentation puts it, BADDECISION is an "802.11 CNE [computer network exploitation] tool that uses a true man-in-the-middle attack and a frame injection technique to redirect a target client to a FOXACID server." As another top-secret slide puts it, the attack homes in on "the greatest vulnerability to your computer: your web browser."
One slide points out that the attack works on users with an encrypted wireless connection to the internet.
That trick, it seems, often involves BADDECISION and SECONDDATE, with the latter described as a "component" for the former. A series of diagrams in the "Introduction to BADDECISION" presentation show how an NSA operator "uses SECONDDATE to inject a redirection payload at [a] Target Client," invisibly hijacking a user's web browser as the user attempts to visit a benign website (in the example given, it's CNN.com). Executed correctly, the file explains, a "Target Client continues normal webpage browsing, completely unaware," lands on a malware-filled NSA server, and becomes infected with as much of that malware as possible - or as the presentation puts it, the user will be left "WHACKED!" In the other top-secret presentations, it's put plainly: "How do we redirect the target to the FOXACID server without being noticed"? Simple: "Use NIGHTSTAND or BADDECISION."
The sheer number of interlocking tools available to crack a computer is dizzying. In the FOXACID manual, government hackers are told an NSA hacker ought to be familiar with using SECONDDATE along with similar man-in-the-middle wi-fi attacks code-named MAGIC SQUIRREL and MAGICBEAN. A top-secret presentation on FOXACID lists further ways to redirect targets to the malware server system.
To position themselves within range of a vulnerable wireless network, NSA operators can use a mobile antenna system running software code-named BLINDDATE, depicted in the field in what appears to be Kabul. The software can even be attached to a drone. BLINDDATE in turn can run BADDECISION, which allows for a SECONDDATE attack:
Elsewhere in these files, there are at least two documented cases of SECONDDATE being used to successfully infect computers overseas: An April 2013 presentation boasts of successful attacks against computer systems in both Pakistan and Lebanon. In the first, NSA hackers used SECONDDATE to breach "targets in Pakistan's National Telecommunications Corporation's (NTC) VIP Division," which contained documents pertaining to "the backbone of Pakistan's Green Line communications network" used by "civilian and military leadership."
In the latter, the NSA used SECONDDATE to pull off a man-in-the-middle attack in Lebanon "for the first time ever," infecting a Lebanese ISP to extract "100+ MB of Hizballah Unit 1800 data," a special subset of the terrorist group dedicated to aiding Palestinian militants.
SECONDDATE is just one method that the NSA uses to get its target's browser pointed at a FOXACID server. Other methods include sending spam that attempts to exploit bugs in popular web-based email providers or entices targets to click on malicious links that lead to a FOXACID server. One document, a newsletter for the NSA's Special Source Operations division, describes how NSA software other than SECONDDATE was used to repeatedly direct targets in Pakistan to FOXACID malware web servers, eventually infecting the targets' computers.
A Potentially Mundane Hack
Snowden, who worked for NSA contractors Dell and Booz Allen Hamilton, has offered some context and a relatively mundane possible explanation for the leak: that the NSA headquarters was not hacked, but rather one of the computers the agency uses to plan and execute attacks was compromised. In a series of tweets, he pointed out that the NSA often lurks on systems that are supposed to be controlled by others, and it's possible someone at the agency took control of a server and failed to clean up after themselves. A regime, hacker group, or intelligence agency could have seized the files and the opportunity to embarrass the agency.
Documents published with this story:
- NSA Central Security Service: FOXACID SOP for Operational Management of FOXACID Infrastructure (Draft)
- Wireless LAN / CNE Tool Training Course and Evaluation
- NSA: Expeditionary Access Operations: NSA's Close Access Network Exploitation Program ("CNO Course – EAO")
- NSA Remote Operations Center: FOXACID Overall Briefing
- NSA SIGINT Development (SIGDEV): SIGINT Development Support II Program Management Review, 24 April 2013 (select slides)
Rich Puchalsky 08.13.16 at 9:12 pm 800BW: "People, who argue Trump might start a nuclear war out of personal pique because he insults people on teevee might want to examine Clinton's bellicose foreign policy record and positions on, say, Israel, Iran, Ukraine, NATO expansion or the South China Sea."
Or, as Ian Welsh points out, her position on Syria. She seems to have advocated for a no-fly zone in Syria after Russia came in, which would presumably put us in the position of shooting down Russian warplanes or having a good chance of doing so. Maybe if she does take on Kissinger as an advisor he'll tell her that superpower conflicts have to be done through proxies or they're too dangerous.
For the larger question of whether these comment threads are a good place to campaign or advocate, I sort of come down in a different place than you do. If these comment threads were about good-faith argument, then sure this kind of advocacy might be bad, but I don't think that most people here are capable of good-faith argument even if they were attempting it (most of the time they aren't attempting it). In that case the comment threads serve an alternate purpose of seeing what kinds of beliefs are out there, at least among the limited group of people likely to comment on CT threads. Of course people can be kicked out if they habitually make the threads too difficult to moderate (or really, for whatever other reason an OP decides on), but the well has long since been poisoned and one more drop isn't really going to do much more damage.
stevenjohnson 08.14.16 at 6:13 am 833Gen. Wesley Clark standing off against Russians at Belgrade and the missile attack on the Chinese embassy and the bombing of Bulgaria.
Under Obama, support for fascists in Ukraine, near war over chemical weapons in Syria, gunboat diplomacy in South China Sea, shift to preemptive war plans against North Korea, ground troops in Libya and other parts of Africa, and last but not least, blind support for the psychotic Saudi attack on Yemen.
None of which was unilaterally determined by Clinton who was nothing but Secretary of State, who does not determine foreign policy anyhow, or took place after her tenure. Renovation of the nuclear weapons stockpile isn't her doing either.
Democrat or Republican, it is the US system of government which is militarist and adventurist. It will not change if either Clinton or Trump is elected, the delusions of Putin et al. notwithstanding. It wouldn't change if Bernie or the rational libertarian of the month was elected either because they do not, didn't and never will stand for real change. Criticizing Clinton and Trump from the right will make sure there is not even a chance of political realignment. At this point, the question is whether that's the point?
Mark Lasser (CO): "Perhaps the most surreal point of the night is when a military leader speaks to how much butt we're going to kick once Hillary is elected, the Sanders delegates start the chant, "Peace, Not War", and the rest of the arena drowns this out with chants of 'U.S.A.'"
Carole Levers (CA): " I was harassed by five Hillary delegates who got in my face while I was sitting in my seat. They told me that we needed to quit chanting, go home, and that we did not belong there. They added that by chanting "No More Wars" we were disrespecting the veterans. I replied that none of us were disrespecting the veterans. We were honoring them by NOT WANTING ANY MORE DEAD VETERANS, killed in illegal wars for the profits of the wealthy. I reiterated that we were exercising our first amendment rights to which one replied that WE (Bernie delegates) had no rights. I was later shoved by a Hillary delegate into the metal frame of the seats."
Carol Cizauskas (NV): "We heard other Bernie delegates chanting "No more war" and then the "opposing team" of Hillary delegates thundering over those chants with "USA." It was darkly eerie. We discussed how it felt Orwellian, like the two minutes of hate in 1984. "Having chants of 'No More War' attempted to be drowned out by chants of 'USA' was baffling," Alan Doucette, Bernie delegate from Las Vegas, said. "To me, USA is a symbol of justice and equality and not warmongering and looking for excuses to go to war. That's what I want it to be and what it should be."
#SlayTheSmaugs (NY): "The most dislocating experience was General Allen's speech, with so many military brass on display, and the 'fight' between No More War and USA. That was chilling. Note, No More War is not: War Criminal! Or similarly 'disrespectful' stuff; it's simply a demand not to make our present worse with more 'hawkish' 'interventionist' 'regime change' wars and war-actions."
Lauren Steiner (CA): "[Clinton supporters] decided to chant with us when we chanted 'Black Lives Matter.' But for some reason, they found 'No More War' to be offensive and shouted "USA" right after. At first, I was puzzled by the fact that they were shouting exactly what Trump supporters shout at his rallies. Then, after all the bellicose speeches and the fact that they had so many Republicans endorsing Clinton, it hit me that perhaps it was because they were courting Republicans now. They didn't care about our support anymore."
Ike, August 18, 2016 at 1:02 pm
I am reading Primary Colors by Anonymous. It is entertaining as well as reaffirming a suspected baseline of conduct.
Lambert Strether, August 18, 2016 at 1:11 pm
Primary Colors (by Joke Line (Joe Klein)) is terrific. The movie is good too. I am so happy and amazed that I live in a world where John Travolta plays Bill Clinton in a movie.
Jeremy Grimm, August 18, 2016 at 1:31 pm
The harassment and dirty tricks pulled against the Sanders people - as described in these collected reports - leaves me wondering whether Sanders actually won the nomination. It would have been much more politic for the Hillary people to let the Sanders delegates blow off steam and wait until the nomination and end of the convention to circle the wagons in "unity". If Hillary clearly won the nomination then the stupidity and arrogance in team Hillary's treatment of the Sanders people speaks to a new level of disdain for the 99%. The business about the $700 hotels and the misinformation and lack of information provided from team Sanders raises other questions.
trent, August 18, 2016 at 2:17 pm
Wow, all those testimonials from the democrat convention are an eye opener, for some. Hillary's soft Nazism on full display for any of the still true believers. Yet the press calls trump the Nazi. Trump is crazy, but its almost an honest craziness compared to Hillary. She's nuts, but manipulates everything she can to hide it. I'll take out in the open crazy, easier to plan for.
EoinW, August 19, 2016 at 8:51 amPatricia
I haven't voted in years. In Canada, however, we've never been given a choice on anything. Doesn't matter if the election is federal, provincial or municipal, no issues just personalities.
The US 2016 election is different. You actually have a huge choice to make. Do you vote(or not vote) to support the Washington establishment, which is clearly pushing for war with Russia, or do you vote Trump who doesn't want such a war? Your choice.
But why would you even contemplate gambling that we can survive 4 years of Clinton without a nuclear war? Speculating on global warming or third party movements kind of lose their significance during a nuclear winter.
This young woman turned it into a tale, "The Bullshittery of the DNC":
Aug 18, 2016 | nationalinterest.orgOne especially disturbing trend in global affairs is the marked deterioration in relations between the United States and Russia. Much will depend on the outcome of the upcoming U.S. presidential election. Donald Trump has staked out a reasonably conciliatory policy toward Moscow. And in the highly improbable event that Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson emerged victorious, the United States would certainly pursue a less interventionist, confrontational foreign policy toward Russia as well as other countries.
But Trump and a handful of other dissenters have triggered the wrath of the foreign-policy establishment by daring to suggest that Washington's Russia policy may be unwise and that the two countries have important mutual interests. Most anti-Russian hawks are backing Hillary Clinton, and the implications of a Clinton victory are extremely ominous. When Russia annexed Crimea, Clinton compared Russian president Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler-a comparison so extreme that it drew dissents even from some usual supporters. Yet there is no doubt that she would take a very hard line toward Moscow. Among other things, Clinton recommended that the United States impose a no-fly zone in Syria despite the risk that it could mean shooting down Russian military aircraft that were operating at the request of the Syrian government. Anyone who is that reckless is not likely to retreat from confrontations in eastern Europe or other arenas. Indeed, she has already called for not only more financial assistance but more military aid to Ukraine.... ... ...
Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at the National Interest, is the author of 10 books and more than 600 articles on international affairs.
Informed • 2 days ago
Congrats! The author discovered the obvious: Hillary is a warmongering neocon willing to pursue totally suicidal policy with Russia. She is not called "Mrs. WWIII" for nothing. If we are to survive, this monster should be nowhere near the White House.
Anthony Informed • 2 days ago
It's not her it's George Soros he's funding her and Merkel two of the most pathetic politicians I've seen especially dopey Merkel. Soros is also funding blm and a Arab version in israel look at the leaked emails. If you don't know sata... I mean soros then you should just type his name into Google he sold his own people out to Hitler and said it was the best thing he ever did enough said
Informed Anthony • 2 days ago
You might be right. Soros looks like he had died already, but he is as greedy as ever. Looks like he plans to bribe God almighty: otherwise why would he need so much money so late in his life? Soros or CIA must have something really damning on Merkel: she is consistently working against her own country for more than two years now. Hillary just follows the money, preferring the consensus between AIPAC and Saudis. The buyers and the goods they buy are all disgusting.
donnasaggia • 7 hours ago
We need to shift the analysis somewhat. While Russia (and this author) may (correctly) believe that fighting terrorism is a common interest of Russia and the US, the fact is, the US has no interest in fighting terrorism. Long ago Bush openly declared that he is not concerned about Osama bin Laden, and Obama continues to arm the so-called moderates, who are really a faction of al Qaeda. These neocon regime change wars are not about terrorism -- except in the sense that the US uses terrorist factions to attempt to overthrow legitimate leaders like Assad and Gaddafi. Rather than fighting terrorism, the US uses it as a weapon. The Russians are playing by one set of rules, but the US is using another.
Frank Blangeard • a day agoThere will be no 'second Cold War' because the United States never ended the first Cold War.alan Frank Blangeard • a day agoAmen, brother!alan • a day agoNo other country on earth, save Israel, has legitimate interests or security concerns other than the United States. No spheres other than the western hemispheric one under the control of the US are ever to be considered acceptable. This arrogant hegemon is headed for a fall. Preferably, since I am an American I hope it will be a long slow peaceful one. Athens was as arrogant as the American empire. Athens was defeated by a coalition led by Sparta.Joe Stevens alan • a day agoPride always comes before the fall. In this case, it will be a big fall!ApqIA • 2 days agoA needed countermeasure, a difficult one, even unlikely -- but it would stand a chance of deterring the US' insane ambitions.
A full military alliance between Russia and China, with integrated conventional and nuclear forces, that would consider an attack on one an attack on both, and a two-nation nuclear retaliation for any nuclear attack. The alliance could also offer membership to other threatened nations, such as Iran.
Would include technology transfers between the two partners, which among other things would assure China of adequate engines for its aircraft. Perhaps joint business ventures would ease Russian unease at losing business: they can sell armaments together.
The US points nuclear warheads at both nations, so the US constitutes a credible existential threat to both nations.
Its depraved, aggressive idea of global "leadership" is a threat to all humanity, and any and all measures to deter it are worth the effort.
Want evidence? Here's its OWN map of the world, divided into American military provinces.
This development would confront Washington with something like Hitchcock's "Birds" scenario -- how many "fronts" can the US fight in at once? scenario. The Eurasian land mass is a vast, impregnable fortress and US military planners already despair at Russian mobile nukes.
Unfortunately, only even greater insanity can really hope to deter the American lunatics and self-absordbed interventionists like Hillary.
ApqIA -> Duane • a day ago
Georgia was a US-sponsored comic opera.
Syria was an attempt to use terrorists to get rid of Assad. Failing.
Ukraine was an attempt to get Ukraine in NATO, taking Crimea was a step to avoid a NATO base in the Black Sea.
Since before Pearl Harbor, the US has employed the tactic of creating a situation where an opponent has to choose an unacceptable outcome or use force.
What's the rate for a US-salaried troll?
Bilguun Khurelbaatar -> ApqIA • 12 hours ago
Actually I believe that all those who call others as "Russian troll" are mostly Ukrainian trolls. It's easy to find them, they call everyone, even neutral minded people as putin troll, and all they demand is to arm Ukraine, nuke Russia etc...
Robert Willis • 18 hours ago
Excellent article. Hillary Clinton was instrumental in pushing for the Invasion of Iraq, which turned what was essentially a functional state into an ISIS hellhole. As Secretary of State, she was THE personality behind the destruction of Libya, now another Islamist breeding machine with a ruined economy & brutalized population. She has done everything in her power to destabilize Syria & has succeeded beyond her wildest dreams. Now millions of economic migrants are flooding into Europe, which will likely become a Caliphate under Sharia law within 100 years. Clinton's hands are soaked in blood of tens of thousands of men, women, & children. Her thirst for more is unquenchable. She is as much of a war criminal as her hero & good friend Henry Kissinger. All the media can do is scream endless unfounded accusations of Trump being a racist, yet they never mention a whisper of what Clinton has done & intends to do.
deliaruhe • 19 hours ago
"Unfortunately, given the growing probability of a Clinton victory in November, U.S.-Russian relations, already in bad shape, are likely to deteriorate further."
Hillary isn't exactly known for her wisdom and judgement (especially in her choice of role models and mentors--i.e., Albright and Kissinger), and she's very good at shooting herself in the foot on a regular basis (e.g., her Putin-as-Hitler hyperbole). She will soon become the imperial president of an empire in decline, and empires in decline are at their most dangerous.
I think this will end up being the saddest American election ever.
(Excellent article, by the way.)
Dank Lastname • 2 days ago
If Hillary dragged NATO into a war with Russia her incompetent leadership would see the collapse of the US and the Russian occupation of Eastern Europe.
Mikhailovich • 15 hours ago
When the money is your god and financial elite employs politicians to run the country, what else we can expect? It looks the American militarism can be tamed by efficient nuclear deterrent or other major power and there are no other way to avoid big war.
alan -> JPH • a day ago
That's the tragedy of the situation. Trump has shown he is not a captive to the foreign policy consensus of the economic, social, and political elite of the New York-Wash DC beltway. He does not believe in intervention anywhere and everywhere. That I heartily endorse. On all other points he is totally unqualified and unacceptable. We are left with a war-mongering Neo-Con thug. When She takes office, begin the countdown---war is coming, a very big war
crookedtimber.orgAh, it's official: Clinton is actively seeking Henry Kissinger's endorsement. The man who helped scuttle the peace talks in 1968, prolonging the Vietnam War by seven years, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives. Who was at the heart of the secret bombing of Cambodia and Laos-personally selecting targets for bomber runs-which led to the destabilization of Cambodia and ultimately the Khmer Rouge and the Cambodian genocide. Who firmly backed the Pakistani military in its genocidal slaughter in Bangladesh. As Greg Grandin, whose book about Kissinger is must-reading, wrote not so long ago, "The full tally hasn't been done, but a back-of-the-envelope count would attribute 3, maybe 4 million deaths to Kissinger's actions, but that number probably undercounts his victims in southern Africa."
This is the man whose support Hillary wants. Because Kissinger sways so many votes in Ohio or Georgia? No, because he's prudential, realistic, respectable, unlike that irresponsible reckless madman Donald Trump.
I'm actually beginning to welcome the "we've never had someone as bad as Trump before" meme. I can't think of a greater (and deliciously unintentional) indictment of the United States than that claim. http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/clinton-republican-elder-statesmen-kissinger-226680#ixzz4GklOFXfV 441
Corey Robin 08.09.16 at 5:02 pmGreg's actually just written an excellent piece on the abomination that is Henry Kissinger and Clinton's attempt to secure his endorsement.LFC 08.09.16 at 5:07 pm 442
https://www.thenation.com/article/henry-kissinger-hillary-clintons-tutor-in-war-and-peace/A glance at the Politico piece reveals it's a bit vague on the details, saying that, according to an unnamed source, the Clinton campaign has "sent out feelers" to Kissinger, Baker, Schultz, and Rice. But yeah, that's a mistake. Her campaign doesn't need them, and why HRC does not do everything to keep her distance from Kissinger - I mean as a political matter (if they want to be on friendly terms in private life, I guess that's their business) - is mystifying. Maybe Bill Clinton, who attended anti-Vietnam War protests in London while a student at Oxford, shd have a long talk w/ HRC about the period. Since, though she lived through it, it apparently did not make that much of an impact. Anyway, I'd be surprised if Kissinger ends up publicly endorsing her.
The Temporary Name 08.09.16 at 5:09 pm
This is the man whose support Hillary wants. Because Kissinger sways so many votes in Ohio or Georgia? No, because he's prudential, realistic, respectable, unlike that irresponsible reckless madman Donald Trump.
Hillary Clinton's respect for Kissinger has been noted before I think, and it's awful. Even if she were free of that shithead, though, her current goal is to demolish Trump. Voices on the GOP side really are important to erode his support not just among voters but within the party and the donor base. This could be a historic walloping. If monsters can help the effort to flip the senate, court the monsters.
Corey Robin 08.09.16 at 5:13 pm 445It's really not mystifying. Clinton has long courted that imprimatur of foreign policy mainstream respectability, and while the origins of that courting may have been instrumental and strategic, pure political calculation, it has since become a part of her political identity. I don't this is cynicism anymore; she believes it.
Meanwhile, the poll numbers keep climbing for her. Virtually every mainstream journalist now recognizes what some of us have been saying for months. Absent a "miracle," as Rothenberg says here, Trump will be squashed.
Aug 13, 2016 | Antiwar.com
As for Morell's claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin is somehow controlling Donald Trump, well, even Charlie Rose had stomach problems with that and with Morell's "explanation." In the Times op-ed, Morell wrote: "In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."
Let the bizarreness of that claim sink in, since it is professionally impossible to recruit an agent who is unwitting of being an agent, since an agent is someone who follows instructions from a control officer.
However, since Morell apparently has no evidence that Trump was "recruited," which would make the Republican presidential nominee essentially a traitor, he throws in the caveat "unwitting." Such an ugly charge is on par with Trump's recent hyperbolic claim that President Obama was the "founder" of ISIS.
Looking back at Morell's record, it was not hard to see all this coming, as Morell rose higher and higher in a system that rewards deserving sycophants. I addressed this five years ago in an article titled "Rise of Another CIA Yes Man." That piece elicited many interesting comments from senior intelligence officers who knew Morell personally; some of those comments are tucked into the end of the article.Read more by Ray McGovern
- Will Hillary Clinton Get Favored Treatment? – June 6th, 2016
- Clinton's Imperious Brush-Off of Email Rules – May 26th, 2016
- Price for Witnessing Against War – May 8th, 2016
- A Need To Clear Up Clinton Questions – May 5th, 2016
- Hillary Clinton's Damning Emails – May 1st, 2016
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He is a 30-year veteran of the CIA and Army intelligence and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern served for considerable periods in all four of CIA's main directorates.
Dec 15, 2015 | counterpunch.org
There is, on the other hand, something wonderfully refreshing about Donald Trump's gleeful deployment of the S-word.
"She is the one that caused all this problem with her stupid policies," Trump said, referring to Hillary Clinton. "You look at what she did with Libya, what she did with Syria. Look at Egypt, what happened with Egypt, a total mess. She was truly - if not the - one of the worst secretaries of state in the history of the country. She talks about me being dangerous. She's killed hundreds of thousands of people with her stupidity."
Trump is absolutely right. Hillary voted for the invasion of Iraq, which killed a million people. As I've pointed out, it wasn't just an immoral decision - it was a stupid one, since anyone with a half a brain could see at the time that Saddam probably didn't have WMDs, and that Bush's war would be a disaster.
As secretary of state, Clinton never met a war she didn't love. Under her watch and following her counsel, the United States armed radical jihadis who are now terrorists, helped topple Moammar Gaddafi, expanded a civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands of Libyans and reduced one of the most advanced nations in Africa into a failed state. Then she turned around and did the same exact thing to Syria.
Let Hillary's supporters take offense. How is unfair, wrong or intemperate to call out a foreign policy record that fits the dictionary definition of "stupid" - doing the same thing over and over, even though it never works? Stupid is as stupid does. Hillary is stupid, especially on foreign policy, and Trump is right to say so.
Winner or loser, Trump has done political debate in America a huge favor by freeing "stupid" from the rhetorical prison of words and phrases polite people aren't allowed to use.
Interestingly, stupid people aren't all losers and losers aren't always stupid in Trumpworld. Hillary Clinton has one hell of a resume, which she has parlayed into a big pile of cash. She is, by Trump standards, a winner (albeit a stupid one). If I met Trump, I'd ask him if a smart person can be a loser (possible example: he called the obviously smart Russell Brand a loser, but also a "dummy").
Pre-Trump, American politics and culture suffered from a lack of stupid-calling. I am serious.
"There has been a long tradition of anti-intellectualism in America, unlike most other Western countries," Ray Williams wrote last year in Psychology Today. Insults reflect a society's values. Americans value macho masculinity, good looks and youth, so our top slurs accuse their victims of being effeminate, weak, ugly, fat, old and outdated. In France, where the life of the mind is prized so much that one of the nation's top-rated TV shows featured philosophers and auteurs discussing politics and culture over cigarettes, there are few things worse than being called stupid and having it stick. A society that ranks "stupid" as of its worst insults lets it be known that being smart is at least as important as being tough or hot or buff.
So, Donald Trump, thanks for dropping those S-bombs.
Ted Rall, syndicated writer and the cartoonist for ANewDomain.net, is the author of the book "Snowden," the biography of the NSA whistleblower.
Katehon think tank
The new evidence of the US participation in the coup attempt in Turkey emerged. Greek press published a photo made a day before the coup. It shows the US ambassador in Turkey John Basse together with the Turkish senior officer, who looks like one of the leaders of the coup Col. Ali Yazıcı (former military adviser to President Erdogan). They had a private meeting in Cengelkoy café the day before the coup.
F. William Engdahl - historian, economic researcher, writer comments this:
The US right now is on a defensive. Erdogan has openly challenged leading NATO generals. There is investigation of evidences of the US involvement in the coup. I personally have suggested investigating the person of the US Ambassador in Ankara John Bass, who was Ambassador in Republic of Georgia in 2008 and who was involved in dirty business in Iraq, and also seems to be involved in "Color revolution" in Kiev. There are very few "traditional" diplomats in a state department.
"Democrats' Tactic of Accusing Critics of Kremlin Allegiance Has Long, Ugly History in U.S." [The Intercept].
The party left me
"The larger conclusion from the data is that the Trump campaign - both through the support Trump generates among working-class whites and the opposition he generates among better educated, more affluent voters - has accelerated the ongoing transformation of the Democratic Party.
Once a class-based coalition, the party has become an alliance between upscale well-educated whites and, importantly, ethnic and racial minorities, many of them low income"
[Thomas Edsall, New York Times]. Citing this tweet:
Aug 4, 2016 | ReutersNational attention is focused on Russian eavesdroppers' possible targeting of U.S. presidential candidates and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Yet, leaked top-secret National Security Agency documents show that the Obama administration has long been involved in major bugging operations against the election campaigns -- and the presidents -- of even its closest allies.
The United States is, by far, the world's most aggressive nation when it comes to cyberspying and cyberwarfare. The National Security Agency has been eavesdropping on foreign cities, politicians, elections and entire countries since it first turned on its receivers in 1952. Just as other countries, including Russia, attempt to do to the United States. What is new is a country leaking the intercepts back to the public of the target nation through a middleperson.
There is a strange irony in this. Russia, if it is actually involved in the hacking of the computers of the Democratic National Committee, could be attempting to influence a U.S. election by leaking to the American public the falsehoods of its leaders. This is a tactic Washington used against the Soviet Union and other countries during the Cold War.
In the 1950s, for example, President Harry S Truman created the Campaign of Truth to reveal to the Russian people the "Big Lies" of their government. Washington had often discovered these lies through eavesdropping and other espionage.
Today, the United States has morphed from a Cold War, and in some cases a hot war, into a cyberwar, with computer coding replacing bullets and bombs. Yet the American public manages to be "shocked, shocked" that a foreign country would attempt to conduct cyberespionage on the United States.
NSA operations have, for example, recently delved into elections in Mexico, targeting its last presidential campaign. According to a top-secret PowerPoint presentation leaked by former NSA contract employee Edward Snowden, the operation involved a "surge effort against one of Mexico's leading presidential candidates, Enrique Peña Nieto, and nine of his close associates." Peña won that election and is now Mexico's president.
The NSA identified Peña's cellphone and those of his associates using advanced software that can filter out specific phones from the swarm around the candidate. These lines were then targeted. The technology, one NSA analyst noted, "might find a needle in a haystack." The analyst described it as "a repeatable and efficient" process.
The eavesdroppers also succeeded in intercepting 85,489 text messages, a Der Spiegel article noted.
Another NSA operation, begun in May 2010 and codenamed FLATLIQUID, targeted Pena's predecessor, President Felipe Calderon. The NSA, the documents revealed, was able "to gain first-ever access to President Felipe Calderon's public email account."
At the same time, members of a highly secret joint NSA/CIA organization, called the Special Collection Service, are based in the U.S. embassy in Mexico City and other U.S. embassies around the world. It targets local government communications, as well as foreign embassies nearby. For Mexico, additional eavesdropping, and much of the analysis, is conducted by NSA Texas, a large listening post in San Antonio that focuses on the Caribbean, Central America and South America.
Unlike the Defense Department's Pentagon, the headquarters of the cyberspies fills an entire secret city. Located in Fort Meade, Maryland, halfway between Washington and Baltimore, Maryland, NSA's headquarters consists of scores of heavily guarded buildings. The site even boasts its own police force and post office.
And it is about to grow considerably bigger, now that the NSA cyberspies have merged with the cyberwarriors of U.S. Cyber Command, which controls its own Cyber Army, Cyber Navy, Cyber Air Force and Cyber Marine Corps, all armed with state-of-the-art cyberweapons. In charge of it all is a four-star admiral, Michael S. Rogers.
Now under construction inside NSA's secret city, Cyber Command's new $3.2- billion headquarters is to include 14 buildings, 11 parking garages and an enormous cyberbrain - a 600,000-square-foot, $896.5-million supercomputer facility that will eat up an enormous amount of power, about 60 megawatts. This is enough electricity to power a city of more than 40,000 homes.
In 2014, for a cover story in Wired and a PBS documentary, I spent three days in Moscow with Snowden, whose last NSA job was as a contract cyberwarrior. I was also granted rare access to his archive of documents. "Cyber Command itself has always been branded in a sort of misleading way from its very inception," Snowden told me. "It's an attack agency. … It's all about computer-network attack and computer-network exploitation at Cyber Command."
The idea is to turn the Internet from a worldwide web of information into a global battlefield for war. "The next major conflict will start in cyberspace," says one of the secret NSA documents. One key phrase within Cyber Command documents is "Information Dominance."
The Cyber Navy, for example, calls itself the Information Dominance Corps. The Cyber Army is providing frontline troops with the option of requesting "cyberfire support" from Cyber Command, in much the same way it requests air and artillery support. And the Cyber Air Force is pledged to "dominate cyberspace" just as "today we dominate air and space."
Among the tools at their disposal is one called Passionatepolka, designed to "remotely brick network cards." "Bricking" a computer means destroying it – turning it into a brick.
One such situation took place in war-torn Syria in 2012, according to Snowden, when the NSA attempted to remotely and secretly install an "exploit," or bug, into the computer system of a major Internet provider. This was expected to provide access to email and other Internet traffic across much of Syria. But something went wrong. Instead, the computers were bricked. It took down the Internet across the country for a period of time.
While Cyber Command executes attacks, the National Security Agency seems more interested in tracking virtually everyone connected to the Internet, according to the documents.
One top-secret operation, code-named TreasureMap, is designed to have a "capability for building a near real-time interactive map of the global Internet. … Any device, anywhere, all the time." Another operation, codenamed Turbine, involves secretly placing "millions of implants" - malware - in computer systems worldwide for either spying or cyberattacks.
Yet, even as the U.S. government continues building robust eavesdropping and attack systems, it looks like there has been far less focus on security at home. One benefit of the cyber-theft of the Democratic National Committee emails might be that it helps open a public dialogue about the dangerous potential of cyberwarfare. This is long overdue. The possible security problems for the U.S. presidential election in November are already being discussed.
Yet there can never be a useful discussion on the topic if the Obama administration continues to point fingers at other countries without admitting that Washington is engaged heavily in cyberspying and cyberwarfare.
In fact, the United States is the only country ever to launch an actual cyberwar -- when the Obama administration used a cyberattack to destroy thousands of centrifuges, used for nuclear enrichment, in Iran. This was an illegal act of war, according to the Defense Department's own definition.
Given the news reports that many more DNC emails are waiting to be leaked as the presidential election draws closer, there will likely be many more reminders of the need for a public dialogue on cybersecurity and cyberwarfare before November.
(James Bamford is the author of The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA From 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America. He is a columnist for Foreign Policy magazine.)
Aug 04, 2016 | theantimedia.org
(ANTIMEDIA) As the United States continues to develop and upgrade their nuclear weapons capabilities at an alarming rate, America's ruling class refuses to heed warnings from President Vladimir Putin that Russia will respond as necessary.
In his most recent attempt to warn his Western counterparts about the impending danger of a new nuclear arms race, Putin told the heads of large foreign companies and business associations that Russia is aware of the United States' plans for nuclear hegemony. He was speaking at the 20th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
"We know year by year what will happen, and they know that we know," he said.
Putin argued that the rationale the U.S. previously gave for maintaining and developing its nuclear weapons system is directed at the so-called "Iranian threat." But that threat has been drastically reduced since the U.S. proved instrumental in reaching an agreement with Iran that should put to rest any possible Iranian nuclear potential.
The Russian president also highlighted the fact that although the United States missile system is referred to as an "anti-missile defense system," the systems are just as offensive as they are defensive:
"They say [the missile systems] are part of their defense capability, and are not offensive, that these systems are aimed at protecting them from aggression. It's not true the strategic ballistic missile defense is part of an offensive strategic capability, [and] functions in conjunction with an aggressive missile strike system."
This missile system has been launched throughout Europe, and despite American promises at the end of the Cold War that NATO's expansion would not move "as much as a thumb's width further to the East," the missile system has been implemented in many of Russia's neighboring countries, most recently in Romania.
Russia views this as a direct attack on their security.
"How do we know what's inside those launchers? All one needs to do is reprogram [the system], which is an absolutely inconspicuous task,"
Putin stated.Putin further explained the implications of this missile defense system's implementation without any response from Russia. The ability of the missile defense system to render Russia's nuclear capabilities useless would cause an upset in what Putin refers to as the "strategic balance" of the world. Without this balance of power, the U.S. would be free to pursue their policies throughout the world without any tangible threat from Russia. Therefore, this "strategic balance," according to Putin, is what has kept the world safe from large-scale wars and military conflicts.
Following George W. Bush's 2001 decision to unilaterally withdraw the U.S. from the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty, Russia was, according to Putin, left with no choice but to upgrade their capabilities in response.
"Today Russia has reached significant achievements in this field. We have modernized our missile systems and successfully developed new generations. Not to mention missile defense systems We must provide security not only for ourselves. It's important to provide strategic balance in the world, which guarantees peace on the planet.
Under the guise of following an anti-nuclear weapons policy, the Obama administration has announced plans for a $1 trillion nuclear weapons plan, which - let's face it - is targeted at Russia.
Neutralizing Russia's nuclear potential will undo, according to Putin, "the mutual threat that has provided [mankind] with global security for decades."
There is no winner in a nuclear war between Russia and the United States. This has been not only confirmed but repeatedly warned about by atomic scientists who - if we are being honest - are the people whose opinion on this topic should matter the most.
It should, therefore, come as no surprise that NASA scientists want to colonize the moon by 2022 - we may have to if we don't drastically alter the path we are on. As Albert Einstein famously stated:
"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
This article (Vladimir Putin Just Issued a Chilling Warning to the United States) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Darius Shahtahmasebi and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11 pm Eastern/8 pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, please email the error and name of the article to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Conservative
Bacevich's latest book, America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History, is a bookend of sorts to American Empire. The earlier work was heavy on theory and institutional development, the groundwork for the wars of the early 21st century. The new book covers the history itself-and argues persuasively that the Afghanistan, Iraq, and other, smaller wars since 9/11 are parts of a larger conflict that began much earlier, back in the Carter administration.
Whatever the character of America's involvement in the Middle East before 1980, when Bacevich's account begins, it was not a war, at least not in terms of American casualties. "From the end of World War II to 1980, virtually no American soldiers were killed in action while serving in that region," he notes. "Within a decade," however, "a great shift occurred. Since 1990, virtually no American soldiers have been killed in action anywhere except in the Greater Middle East."
Operation Eagle Claw, Carter's ill-fated mission to rescue Americans held hostage in Iran, was the first combat engagement in the war. Iran would continue to tempt Washington to military action throughout the next 36 years-though paradoxically, attempts to contain Iran more often brought the U.S. into war with the Islamic Republic's hostile neighbor, Iraq.
The sequence of events, lucidly related by Bacevich, would be a dark absurdist comedy if it weren't tragically real. To check Iran, the U.S. supported Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War of 1980–88, whose final phase, the so-called "Tanker War," involved direct U.S. military engagement with Iranian naval forces. (Bacevich calls this the real first Persian Gulf War.)
Weakened and indebted by that war, and thinking the U.S. tolerant of his ambitions, Saddam then invaded Kuwait, leading to full-scale U.S. military intervention against him: Operation Desert Storm in 1991. (By Bacevich's count, the second Gulf War.) President George H.W. Bush stopped American forces from pushing on to Baghdad after liberating Kuwait, however, because-among other things-toppling Saddam would have created a dangerous vacuum that Iran might fill.
A decade of sanctions, no-fly zones, and intermittent bombing then ensued, as Washington, under Bush and Clinton, would neither depose Saddam Hussein nor permit him to reassert himself. Finally, George W. Bush decided to risk what his father had dared not: invading Iraq with the objective of "regime change," he launched a third Gulf War in 2003. The notion his neoconservative advisers put into Bush's head was that, with only a little help from American occupation and reconstruction, the void left by Saddam Hussein's removal would be filled by a model democracy. This would set a precedent for America to democratize every trouble-making state in the region, including Iran.
Yet the first Bush had been right: Iran, as well as ISIS, reaped the rewards of regime change in Baghdad. And so America is now being drawn into a fourth Gulf War, reintroducing troops-styled as advisors-into Iraq to counter the effects of the previous Gulf War, which was itself an answer to the unfinished business of the wars of 1991 and the late 1980s. Our military interventions in the Persian Gulf have been a self-perpetuating chain reaction for over three decades.
Iran released its American hostages the day Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president: January 20, 1981. So what accounts for another 35 years of conflict with Iran and Iraq? The answer begins with oil.
Bacevich takes us back to the Carter years. "By June 1979, a just-completed study by a then-obscure Defense Department official named Paul Wolfowitz was attracting notice throughout the national security bureaucracy." This "Limited Contingency Study" described America's "vital and growing stake in the Persian Gulf," arising from "our need for Persian-Gulf oil and because events in the Persian Gulf affect the Arab-Israeli conflict."
"Wolfowitz adhered to an expansive definition of the Persian Gulf," notes Bacevich, which in that young defense intellectual's words extended from "the region between Pakistan and Iran in the northeast to the Yemens in the southwest." Wolfowitz identified two prospective menaces to U.S. interests in the region: the Soviet Union-this was still the Cold War era, after all-and "the emerging Iraqi threat"; to counter these Wolfowitz called for "advisors and counterinsurgency specialists, token combat forces, or a major commitment" of U.S. forces to the Middle East.
(Bacevich is fair to Wolfowitz, acknowledging that Saddam Hussein was indeed an expansionist, as the Iraqi dictator would demonstrate by invading Iran in 1980 and seizing Kuwait a decade later. Whether this meant that Iraq was ever a threat to U.S. interests is, of course, a different question-as is whether the Soviet Union could really have cut America off from Gulf oil.)
Wolfowitz was not alone in calling for the U.S. to become the guarantor of Middle East security-and Saudi Arabia's security in particular-and President Carter heeded the advice. In March 1980 he created the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF), predecessor to what we now know as the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), which has military oversight for the region. The RDJTF's second head, Lt. Gen. Robert Kingston, described its mission, in admirably frank language, as simply "to ensure the unimpeded flow of oil from the Arabian Gulf."
Iraq and Iran both posed dangers to the flow of oil and its control by Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies-to use the term loosely-of the United States. And just as the U.S. was drawn into wars with Iran and Iraq when it tried to play one against the other, America's defense of Saudi Arabia would have grave unintended consequences-such as the creation of al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden was outraged when, in 1990, Saudi Arabia's King Fahd declined his offer to wage holy war against Saddam Hussein and instead turned to American protection, even permitting the stationing of American military personnel in Islam's sacred lands. "To liberate Kuwait," writes Bacevich, bin Laden had "offered to raise an army of mujahedin. Rejecting his offer and his protest, Saudi authorities sought to silence the impertinent bin Laden. Not long thereafter, he fled into exile, determined to lead a holy war that would overthrow the corrupt Saudi royals." The instrument bin Laden forged to accomplish that task, al-Qaeda, would target Americans as well, seeking to push the U.S. out of Muslim lands.
Bin Laden had reason to hope for success: in the 1980s he had helped mujahedin defeat another superpower, the Soviet Union, in Afghanistan. That struggle, of course, was supported by the U.S., through the CIA's "Operation Cyclone," which funneled arms and money to the Soviets' Muslim opponents. Bacevich offers a verdict on this program:
Operation Cyclone illustrates one of the central ironies of America's War for the Greater Middle East-the unwitting tendency, while intently focusing on solving one problem, to exacerbate a second and plant the seeds of a third. In Afghanistan, this meant fostering the rise of Islamic radicalism and underwriting Pakistan's transformation into a nuclear-armed quasi-rogue state while attempting to subvert the Soviet Union.
America's support for the mujahedin succeeded in inflicting defeat on the USSR-but left Afghanistan a haven and magnet for Islamist radicals, including bin Laden.
Another irony of Bacevich's tale is the way in which the end of the Cold War made escalation of the War for the Greater Middle East possible. The Carter and Reagan administrations never considered the Middle East the centerpiece of their foreign policy: Western Europe and the Cold War took precedence. Carter and Reagan were unsystematic about their engagement with the Middle East and, even as they expanded America's military presence, remained wary of strategic overcommitment. Operation Eagle Claw, Reagan's deployment of troops to Lebanon in 1983 and bombing of Libya in 1986, and even the meddling in Iran and Iraq were all small-scale projects compared to what would be unleashed after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The military bureaucracy took advantage of the removal of one enemy from the map-Soviet Communism-to redirect resources toward a new region and new threats. As Bacevich observes, "What some at the time were calling a 'peace dividend' offered CENTCOM a way of expanding its portfolio of assets." Operation Desert Storm, and all that came afterward, became possible.
The Greater Middle East of Bacevich's title centers strategically, if not geographically, upon Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran. But its strategic implications and cultural reach are wide, encompassing Libya, Somalia, and other African states with significant Muslim populations; Afghanistan and Pakistan (or "AfPak," in the Obama administration's parlance); and even, on the periphery, the Balkans, where the U.S. intervened militarily in support of Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s. That Clinton-era intervention is examined in detail by Bacevich: "Today, years after NATO came to their rescue," he writes, "a steady stream of Bosnians and Kosovars leave their homeland and head off toward Syria and Iraq, where they enlist as fighters in the ongoing anti-American, anti-Western jihad."
Much as George W. Bush believed that liberal democracy would spring up in Saddam Hussein's wake, the humanitarian interventionists who demanded that Bill Clinton send peacekeepers to Bosnia and bomb Serbia on behalf of the Kosovars thought that they were making the world safe for their own liberal, multicultural values. But as Bacevich notes, the Balkan Muslims joining ISIS today are "waging war on behalf of an entirely different set of universal values."
Bacevich's many books confront readers with painful but necessary truths. The final lesson of this one is simple: "Perpetuating the War for the Greater Middle East is not enhancing American freedom, abundance, and security. If anything, it is having the opposite effect."
Daniel McCarthy is the editor of The American Conservative.
original.antiwar.comAugust 03, 2016 | Antiwar.com
Washington is preparing to increase US aid to Israel by billions of dollars, with a ten-year ironclad agreement that couldn't be altered by President Obama's successor. But that isn't good enough for Bibi Netanyahu. He wants more. Much more.
Unlike the case with other countries, the US engages in protracted and often difficult negotiations with Israel over how much free stuff they're going to get come budget time. This year, the talks are taking on a particularly urgent tone because of … you guessed it, Donald Trump. While Trump is fervently pro-Israel, he has said that the Israelis, like our NATO allies, are going to have to start paying for their own defense (although with him, you never know what his position is from one day to the next ). This uncertainty has the two parties racing to sign an agreement before President Obama's term is up in January. And it also has inspired the inclusion of a novel clause: a ten-year guarantee that aid will remain at the agreed level, with no possibility that the new President – whoever that may be – will lower it.
The Israelis currently receive over half the foreign aid doled out by Uncle Sam annually, most of it in military assistance with an extra added dollop for "refugee resettlement." That combined with loan guarantees comes to roughly $3.5 billion per year – with all the money handed to them up front, in the first weeks of the fiscal year, instead of being released over time like other countries.
So how much is this increase going to amount to? With negotiations still ongoing, the US isn't releasing any solid figures, although Bibi, we are told, is demanding $5 billion annually. The New York Times is reporting the final sum could "top $40 billion." What we do know is that the administration told Congress in a letter that they are prepared to offer Tel Aviv an aid package "that would constitute the largest pledge of military assistance to any country in US history." In addition, it would guarantee US aid for Israel's missile defense, taking it out of the annual appropriations song-and-dance, and immunizing it from any cuts.
Aside from the "haggling" – as the Times put it – over the amount, there is another issue: the Israeli exception to a rule that applies to all other recipients of American aid. Other countries must spend their welfare check in dollars – that is, they must buy American. Not the Israelis. They're allowed to spend up to 25% of their aid package at home: which means that US taxpayers have been subsidizing the Israeli military-industrial complex to the tune of multi-billions since the 1980s, when this special arrangement was legislated. However, in an era where "America First" is now a popular political slogan – popularized by You Know Who – the Obama administration is trying to end this exception to the rules. Naturally, the Israelis are resisting, but, according to Ha'aretz :
"The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth said the White House was prepared to let Israel keep the arrangement for the first five years of the new MOU but it would be gradually phased out in the second five years, except for joint U.S.-Israeli military projects."
If the rabidly pro-Israel Hillary Clinton takes the White House, you can expect that this concession will be re-negotiated: in any case, the Israel lobby will wield its considerable resources to get Congress to pressure the White House.
In their letter to Congress, national security honcho Susan Rice and OMB chief Shaun Donovan evoke the Iran deal as justification for this new and sweeter aid package. Yet this argument undermines the administration's contention that the agreement with Iran doesn't endanger Israel – because if it doesn't, then why do the Israelis need billions more in aid in the first place?
What the letter tiptoes around is the fact that this aid package is extortion, pure and simple. It's a purely political attempt by the Obama White House to appease the Israelis, and mobilize the Israel lobby behind the Democrats in a crucial election year. It's important to keep Haim Saban happy.
As Glenn Greenwald points out in The Intercept , the Israelis have cradle-to-grave health care. Their life-expectancy is nearly a decade longer than ours. Their infant mortality rate is lower. By any meaningful measure, their standard of living is higher. They should be sending us aid: instead, the opposite is occurring.
What in the heck is going on here?
We made possible the Israeli Sparta : a state armed to the teeth which thrives on the misery and enslavement of its dispossessed Palestinian helots. Furthermore, our policy of unconditional support for Israel has encouraged the growth and development of a polity that is rapidly going fascist. And I don't use the "f"-word lightly. I've been chronicling Israel's slide toward a repulsive ethno-nationalism for years , and today – with the rise of ultra-rightist parties that openly call for the expulsio n of Arabs and the expansion of the Israeli state to its Biblically-ordained borders – my predictions are coming true.
The "special relationship" is a parasitic relationship: the Israelis have been feeding off US taxpayers since the Reagan era. This in spite of the numerous insults , slights, and outright sabotage they have directed our way. It's high time to put an end to it. To borrow a phrase from You Know Who: it's time to put America first.
What this means in practice is: 1) End aid to Israel, 2) Call out the Israelis for their shameful apartheid policies, and 3) end the power of the Israel lobby by enforcing the Foreign Agents Registration Act and compelling AIPAC and its allied organizations to register as foreign agents. Because that's just what they are.
The Unz Review
The mass migration of apparently hundreds of nominally GOP neocon apparatchiks to the Hillary Clinton camp has moved Democratic Party foreign policy farther to the right, not that the presidential nominee herself needed much persuading. The Democratic convention platform is a template of the hardline foreign policy positions espoused by Clinton and the convention itself concluded with a prolonged bout of Russian bashing that could have been orchestrated by Hillary protégé Victoria Nuland.
The inside the beltway crowd has realized that when in doubt it is always a safe bet to blame Vladimir Putin based on the assumption that Russia is and always will be an enemy of the United States. Wikileaks recently published some thousands of emails that painted the Democratic National Committee, then headed by Hillary loyalist Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in a very bad light. Needing a scapegoat, Russia was blamed for the original hack that obtained the information, even though there is no hard evidence that Moscow had anything to do with it.
Those in the media and around Hillary who were baying the loudest about how outraged they were over the hack curiously appear to have no knowledge of the existence of the National Security Agency, located at Fort Meade Maryland, which routinely breaks into the government computers of friends and foes alike worldwide. Apparently what is fair game for American codebreakers is no longer seen so positively when there is any suggestion that the tables might have been turned.
Republican nominee Donald Trump noted that if the Russians were in truth behind the hack he would like them to search for the 30,000 emails that Hillary Clinton reportedly deleted from her home server. The comment, which to my mind was sarcastically making a point about Clinton's mendacity, brought down the wrath of the media, with the New York Times reporting that "foreign policy experts," also sometimes known as "carefully selected 'Trump haters,'" were shocked by The Donald. The paper quoted one William Inboden, allegedly a University of Texas professor who served on President George W. Bush's National Security Council. Inboden complained that the comments were "an assault on the Constitution" and "tantamount to treason." Now I have never heard of Inboden, which might be sheer ignorance on my part, but he really should refresh himself on what the Constitution actually says about treason, tantamount or otherwise. According to Article III of the Constitution of the United States one can only commit treason if there is a declared war going on and one is actively aiding an enemy, which as far as I know is not currently the case as applied to the U.S. relationship with Russia.
Another interesting aspect of the Russian scandal is the widespread assertion that Moscow is attempting to interfere in U.S. politics and is both clandestinely and openly supporting Donald Trump. This is presumably a bad thing, if true, because Putin would, according to the pundits, be able to steamroll "Manchurian Candidate" President Trump and subvert U.S. foreign policy in Russia's favor. Alternatively, as the narrative continues, the stalwart Hillary would presumably defend American values and the right to intervene militarily anywhere in the world at any time against all comers including Putin and those rascals in China and North Korea. Professor Inboden might no doubt be able to provide a reference to the part of the Constitution that grants Washington that right as he and his former boss George W. Bush were also partial to that interpretation.
And the alleged Russian involvement leads inevitably to some thoughts about interference by other governments in our electoral system. Israel and its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did so in a rather heavy handed fashion in 2012 on behalf of candidate Mitt Romney but I don't recall even a squeak coming out of Hillary and her friends when that took place. That just might be due to the fact that Netanyahu owns Bill and Hillary, which leads inevitably to consideration of the other big winner now that the two conventions are concluded. The team that one sees doing the victory lap is the state of Israel, which dodged a bigtime bullet when it managed to exploit its bought and paid for friends to eliminate any criticism of its military occupation and settlements policies. Indeed, Israel emerged from the two party platforms as America's best friend and number one ally, a position it has occupied since its Lobby took control of the Congress, White House and the mainstream media around thirty years ago.
Donald Trump, who has perversely promised to be an honest broker in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, has also described himself as the best friend in the White House that Tel Aviv is ever likely to have. In addition to Trump speaking for himself, Israel was mentioned fourteen times in GOP convention speeches, always being described as the greatest ally and friend to the U.S., never as the pain in the ass and drain on the treasury that it actually represents.
No other foreign country was mentioned as often as Israel apart from Iran, which was regularly cited as an enemy of both the U.S. and – you guessed it – Israel. Indeed, the constant thumping of Iran is a reflection of the overweening affection for Netanyahu and his right wing government. Regarding Iran, the GOP foreign policy platform states "We consider the Administration's deal with Iran, to lift international sanctions and make hundreds of billions of dollars available to the Mullahs, a personal agreement between the President and his negotiating partners and non-binding on the next president. Without a two-thirds endorsement by the Senate, it does not have treaty status. Because of it, the defiant and emboldened regime in Tehran continues to sponsor terrorism across the region, develop a nuclear weapon, test-fire ballistic missiles inscribed with 'Death to Israel,' and abuse the basic human rights of its citizens."
The final written Republican platform for 2016 as relating to the Middle East, drawn up with the input of two Trump advisors Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman, rather supports the suggestion that Trump would be pro-Israel rather than the claim of impartiality. The plank entitled "Our Unequivocal Support of Israel and Jerusalem," promises to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, praises Israel in five different sections, eulogizing it as a "beacon of democracy and humanity" brimming over with freedom of speech and religion while concluding that "support for Israel is an expression of Americanism." It pledges "no daylight" between the two countries, denies that Israel is an "occupier," and slams the peaceful Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS), which it describes as anti-Semitic and seeking to destroy Israel. It calls for legal action to "thwart" BDS. There is no mention of a Palestinian state or of any Palestinian rights to anything at all.
The Democratic plank on the Middle East gives lip service to a two state solution for Israel-Palestine but is mostly notable for what it chose to address. Two Bernie Sanders supporters on the platform drafting committee James Zogby and Cornel West wanted to remove any illegal under international law affirmation that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel and also sought to eliminated any condemnation of BDS. They failed on both issues and then tried to have included mild language criticizing Israel's occupation of the West Bank and its settlement building. They were outvoted by Hillary supporters on all the issues they considered important. Indeed, there is no language at all critical in any way of Israel, instead asserting that "a strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States because we share overarching strategic interests and the common values of democracy, equality, tolerance, and pluralism." That none of that was or is true apparently bothered no one in the Hillary camp.
The Democratic platform document explicitly condemns any support for BDS. Hillary Clinton, who has promised to take the relationship with Israel to a whole new level, has reportedly agreed to an anti-BDS pledge to appease her principal financial supporter Haim Saban, an Israeli-American film producer. Clinton also directly and personally intervened through her surrogate on the committee Wendy Sherman to make sure that the party platform would remain pro-Israel.
But many Democrats on the floor of the convention hall have, to their credit, promoted a somewhat different perspective, displaying signs and stickers while calling for support of Palestinian rights. One demonstrator outside the convention center burned an Israeli flag, producing a sharp response from Hillary's spokeswoman for Jewish outreach Sarah Bard, "Hillary Clinton has always stood against efforts to marginalize Israel and incitement, and she strongly condemns this kind of hatred. Burning the Israeli flag is a reckless act that undermines peace and our values." Bill meanwhile was seen in the hall wearing a Hillary button written in Hebrew. It was a full court press pander and one has to wonder how Hillary would have felt about someone burning a Russian flag or seeing Bill sport a button in Cyrillic.
Team Hillary also ignored chants from the convention floor demanding "No More War" and there are separate reports suggesting that one of her first priorities as president will be to initiate a "full review" of the "murderous" al-Assad regime in Syria with the intention of taking care of him once and for all. "No More War" coming from the Democratic base somehow became "More War Please" for the elites that run the party.
The Democratic platform also beats down on Iran, declaring only tepid support for the nuclear deal while focusing more on draconian enforcement, asserting that they would "not hesitate to take military action if Iran violates the agreement." It also cited Iran as "the leading state sponsor of terrorism" and claimed that Tehran "has its fingerprints on almost every conflict in the Middle East." For what it's worth, neither assertion about Iran's regional role is true and Tehran reportedly has complied completely with the multilateral nuclear agreement. It is the U.S. government that is failing to live up to its commitments by refusing to allow Iranian access to financial markets while the Congress has even blocked an Iranian bid to buy Made-in-the-U.S.A. civilian jetliners.
So those of us who had hoped for at least a partial abandonment of the hitherto dominant foreign policy consensus have to be disappointed as they in the pro-war crowd in their various guises as liberal interventionists or global supremacy warriors continue to control much of the discourse from left to right. Russia continues to be a popular target to vent Administration frustration over its inept posturing overseas, though there is some hope that Donald Trump might actually reverse that tendency. Iran serves as a useful punchline whenever a politician on the make runs out of other things to vilify. And then there is always Israel, ever the victim, perpetually the greatest ally and friend. And invariably needing some extra cash, a warplane or two or a little political protection in venues like the United Nations.
If you read through the two party platforms on foreign policy, admittedly a brutal and thankless task, you will rarely find any explanation of actual American interests at play in terms of the involvement of the U.S. in what are essentially other people's quarrels. That is as it should be as our political class has almost nothing to do with reality but instead is consumed with delusions linked solely to acquisition of power and money. That realization on the part of the public has driven both the Trump and Sanders movements and, even if they predictably flame out, there is always the hope that the dissidents will grow stronger with rejection and something might actually happen in 2020.
James DonaldCharles Price
The problem wit this comment is why it was made at all. You do not announce forthcoming explosive information for several reasons: 1. You may be assassinated. 2. You may be blackmailed. 3. You allow the people time to respond 4. The information may be stolen. Think about it. When has an individual promised ahead of time a release of blockbuster info, and then delivered. Perhaps Assange is waiting to be paid off not to release the information.The NWO is the only benefiting entity of war. Who owns the companies that manufactures and sells all armament to both side? the same ones that supplied WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the American Civil war, and revolutions all over the world for the last two-hundred years... need I go on. They have made trillions on weapons, armament, and armored vehicles to lock down America and take everything. The biggest land grab in history. Who always comes out on top in every Wall Street crash? They keep pushing for war because its the only means for unending power and profit. Know one wants a war because no one sees a need. We are all saner than the NWO thugs. You realize, there are 7.5 billion of us in the world, all manipulated, killed, and blamed for all those thugs do. They are only a drop in the toilet. WE don't comply, their reality vaporizes over night. Know where they are right now? under ground. Their scared to death because they've been discovered and tracked. They should be. Don't believe the network media. Rely on your own best judgement. Nothing can fall that we can't rebuild stronger and better. Who needs them? Is humanity better off without the Devil? There's only one answer.
I randomly found this video and realized that you made one of my favorite documentaries!!!! I try to get everyone I know to watch it....The Money Masters! It's one of the best/horrifyingly true documentaries I've ever watched. Thank you sir! You have just earned another subscriber
Question: why do entrenched entities hate dissemination of information? As reference....see North Korea......or DNC.
BTW....unlikely Russia is behind the leaks. Putin is a much better chess player the Obama, Clinton and probably Trump as well. Don't he surprised if it's DNC insiders behind this.
How can anyone trust someone that lied, cheated and conned to get the nomination, just because they now say they won't lie, cheat and con anymore now that they got what they wanted by lying, cheating and conning & got caught w/evidence proving it, otherwise they would still be denying it. All I hear and see now is how Hillary and the DNC can spin what they got caught & proven doing to get votes from the very people they lied to, cheated and conned. I would no longer trust anything Hillary or the DNC said or promised unless someone like Bernie cleaned it up of corrupt people. Why isn't the FBI investigating/attacking/prosecuting this coup??? The email leaks, college & research analysis of elections and results did a lot of their job already.
If a con, lied, cheated and conned you out of your life savings, would you trust them a few days later w/your kids life savings just because they say: sure that guy exposed our personal communications that proved we lied, cheated & conned you out of your life saving but were different now and you can trust us w/your kids life savings, now that we got what we wanted. (note to self): make sure no one can get a hold of our personal communications in the future so no one can prove anything we do, this way we can blame anything &/or anyone else for the loss of their kids life savings. "take Hillary's lead, delete and scrub the memories so nothing is retrievable and all released info has to go through our lawyers. We can tell them our lawyers are looking out for their best interest not ours". Once a con, always a con. This is an attempted theft of a country or a coup.
I would not only feel a traitor to my Country, kids & future generations if I just accepted this and joined the coup: I WOULD BE A TRAITOR. If this coup fails and Trump gets elected, it's on you, the collaborators and coup member, not anyone else. Look what the leaders or the head person of other countries do to the people that attempt a coup in their country. We pretend it's not happening. And if this coup succeeds, we all live under false pretenses and have allowed our country to betray what it's supposed to stand for "again", the spiral down from there will be easy. I've never been so ashamed of my country & worried about the future of this planet as I am now.
SIMKINETICS 23 hours agoChuck Todd, Establishment Gatekeeper and Chief Presstitute. He proves that the Fourth Estate needs a total overhaul, and that the MSM needs to be broken-up like the banks & other institutions need to be in order to become truly competitive rather than in name only. The tightening grip of oligarchs must be pried apart! Assange is doing his part to expose the powers that oppress us, and should be commended for his work!
This interviewer is obviously a democrat , trying to blame the Russians for the content of the emails , so sad the democratic corruption in this country runs so deep
According to the leaked emails, he, Chuck Todd, is part of the rigging process.
Chuck Todd isn't a journalist, just another government PR person. Corporate media is a joke.
Their Motive is to tell the truth. Clearly that why they released the information before the convention and delegates still went forward with corruption. That defies the DNC, case closed.
Now do the constituents of that party still have faith in staying with that party? That's totally up to the ppl. Whether of not it was domestic or foreign info isn't important, due to the fact that the information was authentic and proven true by our own officials who investigated the digital encryption of the files.
Because we've never interfered in another government or anything right? what a joke!
So what if the Russian government was the source? I have gratitude to WHOEVER provided the leak. Now we know the truth about the DNC's crimes and corruption. I hope they burn.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US presidential candidate Hilary Clinton's statements on Russia's alleged involvement in the Democratic Party hacking scandal are "absurd" and based on emotions, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.
"Such statement by Mrs. Clinton are part of the pre-election rhetoric and do not include any specifics, because, of course, accusing Russian hackers of certain actions is not the same thing as accusing Russia's leadership or government. Statements that Russia is behind the actions of certain hackers are quite absurd as well, because Russia is a country," Peskov said.
"Accordingly, there are no specifics in her accusations. Therefore we believe that they are of an emotional character. Of course, Russian government agencies are not, have not and will never be involved in cyberterrorism," he underlined.