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Relentless militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite

As large part of the US GDP (financial services part) is fake,
 the current level of military expenses can bankrupt the country

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War . . . the lie, about war, about ourselves, is imploding our democracy

By Chris Hedges
Online Journal Guest Writer

It is impossible to understand the current wave of the US militarism without understanding neoliberalism and, especially, Neoconservatism -- the dominant force in the US foreign policy since Reagan.

From Wikipedia

Militarism - Wikipedia

Militarism is the belief or the desire of a fascist government or a people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests; examples of militarist states include North Korea, the United States of America, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union, as well as most Imperial states, such as the Roman Empire.[1]

It may also imply the glorification of the military and of the ideals of a professional military class and the "predominance of the armed forces in the administration or policy of the state"[2] (see also: stratocracy and military junta).

Militarism has been a significant element of the imperialist or expansionist ideologies of several nations throughout history.

Jingoism - Wikipedia

Jingoism is nationalism in the form of aggressive foreign policy.[1] Jingoism also refers to a country's advocacy for the use of threats or actual force, as opposed to peaceful relations, in efforts to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests. Colloquially, it refers to excessive bias in judging one's own country as superior to others—an extreme type of nationalism.

June 17, 2005  | DemocracyRising.US

The vanquished know war. They see through the empty jingoism of those who use the abstract words of glory, honor, and patriotism to mask the cries of the wounded, the senseless killing, war profiteering, and chest-pounding grief. They know the lies the victors often do not acknowledge, the lies covered up in stately war memorials and mythic war narratives, filled with words of courage and comradeship. They know the lies that permeate the thick, self-important memoirs by amoral statesmen who make wars but do not know war.

The vanquished know the essence of war—death. They grasp that war is necrophilia. They see that war is a state of almost pure sin with its goals of hatred and destruction. They know how war fosters alienation, leads inevitably to nihilism, and is a turning away from the sanctity and preservation of life. All other narratives about war too easily fall prey to the allure and seductiveness of violence, as well as the attraction of the godlike power that comes with the license to kill with impunity.

But the words of the vanquished come later, sometimes long after the war, when grown men and women unpack the suffering they endured as children, what it was like to see their mother or father killed or taken away, or what it was like to lose their homes, their community, their security, and be discarded as human refuse. But by then few listen. The truth about war comes out, but usually too late. We are assured by the war-makers that these stories have no bearing on the glorious violent enterprise the nation is about to inaugurate. And, lapping up the myth of war and its sense of empowerment, we prefer not to look.

We see the war in Iraq only through the distorted lens of the occupiers. The embedded reporters, dependent on the military for food and transportation as well as security, have a natural and understandable tendency, one I have myself felt, to protect those who are protecting them. They are not allowed to report outside of the unit and are, in effect, captives. They have no relationships with the occupied, essential to all balanced reporting of conflicts, but only with the Marines and soldiers who drive through desolate mud-walled towns and pump grenades and machine-gun bullets into houses, leaving scores of nameless dead and wounded in their wake. The reporters admire and laud these fighters for their physical courage. They feel protected as well by the jet fighters and heavy artillery and throaty rattle of machine guns. And the reporting, even among those who struggle to keep some distance, usually descends into a shameful cheerleading.

There is no more candor in Iraq or Afghanistan than there was in Vietnam, but in the age of live satellite feeds the military has perfected the appearance of candor. What we are fed is the myth of war. For the myth of war, the myth of glory and honor sells newspapers and boosts ratings, real war reporting does not. Ask the grieving parents of Pat Tillman. Nearly every embedded war correspondent sees his or her mission as sustaining civilian and army morale. This is what passes for coverage on FOX, MSNBC or CNN. In wartime, as Senator Hiram Johnson reminded us in 1917, "truth is the first casualty."

All our knowledge of the war in Iraq has to be viewed as lacking the sweep and depth that will come one day, perhaps years from now, when a small Iraqi boy or girl reaches adulthood and unfolds for us the sad and tragic story of the invasion and bloody occupation of their nation.

I have spent most of my adult life in war. I began two decades ago covering wars in Central America, where I spent five years, then the Middle East, where I spent seven, and the Balkans where I covered the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo. My life has been marred, let me say deformed, by the organized industrial violence that year after year was an intimate part of my existence. I have watched young men bleed to death on lonely Central American dirt roads and cobblestone squares in Sarajevo. I have looked into the eyes of mothers, kneeling over the lifeless and mutilated bodies of their children. I have stood in warehouses with rows of corpses, including children, and breathed death into my lungs. I carry within me the ghosts of those I worked with, my comrades, now gone.

I have felt the attraction of violence. I know its seductiveness, excitement and the powerful addictive narcotic it can become. The young soldiers, trained well enough to be disciplined but encouraged to maintain their naive adolescent belief in invulnerability, have in wartime more power at their fingertips than they will ever have again. They catapult from being minimum wage employees at places like Burger King, facing a life of dead-end jobs with little hope of health insurance and adequate benefits, to being part of, in the words of the Marines, "the greatest fighting force on the face of the earth." The disparity between what they were and what they have become is breathtaking and intoxicating. This intoxication is only heightened in wartime when all taboos are broken. Murder goes unpunished and often rewarded. The thrill of destruction fills their days with wild adrenaline highs, strange grotesque landscapes that are hallucinogenic, all accompanied by a sense of purpose and comradeship, overpowers the alienation many left behind. They become accustomed to killing, carrying out acts of slaughter with no more forethought than they take to relieve themselves. And the abuses committed against the helpless prisoners in Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo are not aberrations but the real face of war. In wartime all human beings become objects, objects either to gratify or destroy or both. And almost no one is immune. The contagion of the crowd sees to that.

"Force," Simon Weil wrote, "is as pitiless to the man who possess it, or thinks he does, as it is to his victim. The second it crushes; the first it intoxicates."

This myth, the lie, about war, about ourselves, is imploding our democracy. We shun introspection and self-criticism. We ignore truth, to embrace the strange, disquieting certitude and hubris offered by the radical Christian Right. These radical Christians draw almost exclusively from the book of Revelation, the only time in the Gospels where Jesus sanctions violence, peddling a vision of Christ as the head of a great and murderous army of heavenly avengers. They rarely speak about Christ's message of love, forgiveness and compassion. They relish the cataclysmic destruction that will befall unbelievers, including those such as myself, whom they dismiss as "nominal Christians." They divide the world between good and evil, between those anointed to act as agents of God and those who act as agents of Satan. The cult of masculinity and esthetic of violence pervades their ideology. Feminism and homosexuality are forces, believers are told, that have rendered the American male physically and spiritually impotent. Jesus, for the Christian Right, is a man of action, casting out demons, battling the Anti-Christ, attacking hypocrites and castigating the corrupt. The language is one not only of exclusion, hatred and fear, but a call for apocalyptic violence, in short the language of war.

As the war grinds forward, as we sink into a morass of our own creation, as our press and political opposition, and yes even our great research universities, remain complacent and passive, as we refuse to confront the forces that have crippled us outside our gates and are working to cripple us within, the ideology of the Christian Right, so intertwined with intolerance and force, will become the way we speak not only to others but among ourselves.

In war, we always deform ourselves, our essence. We give up individual conscience—maybe even consciousness—for contagion of the crowd, the rush of patriotism, the belief that we must stand together as nation in moments of extremity. To make a moral choice, to defy war's enticement, to find moral courage, can be self-destructive.

The attacks on the World Trade Center illustrate that those who oppose us, rather than coming from another moral universe, have been schooled well in modern warfare. The dramatic explosions, the fireballs, the victims plummeting to their deaths, the collapse of the towers in Manhattan, were straight out of Hollywood. Where else, but from the industrialized world, did the suicide bombers learn that huge explosions and death above a city skyline are a peculiar and effective form of communication? They have mastered the language we have taught them. They understand that the use of indiscriminate violence against innocents is a way to make a statement. We leave the same calling cards. We delivered such incendiary messages in Vietnam, Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq. It was Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara who in the summer of 1965 defined the bombing raids that would kill hundreds of thousands of civilians north of Saigon as a means of communication to the Communist regime in Hanoi.

The most powerful anti-war testaments, of war and what war does to us, are those that eschew images of combat. It is the suffering of the veteran whose body and mind are changed forever because he or she served a nation that sacrificed them, the suffering of families and children caught up in the unforgiving maw of war, which begin to tell the story of war. But we are not allowed to see dead bodies, at least of our own soldiers, nor do we see the wounds that forever mark a life, the wounds that leave faces and bodies horribly disfigured by burns or shrapnel. We never watch the agony of the dying. War is made palatable. It is sanitized. We are allowed to taste war's perverse thrill, but spared from seeing war's consequences. The wounded and the dead are swiftly carted offstage. And for this I blame the press, which willingly hides from us the effects of bullets, roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenades, which sat at the feet of those who lied to make this war possible and dutifully reported these lies and called it journalism.

War is always about this betrayal. It is about the betrayal of the young by the old, idealists by cynics and finally soldiers by politicians. Those who pay the price, those who are maimed forever by war, however, are crumpled up and thrown away. We do not see them. We do not hear them. They are doomed, like wandering spirits, to float around the edges of our consciousness, ignored, even reviled. The message they bring is too painful for us to hear. We prefer the myth of war, the myth of glory, honor, patriotism and heroism, words that in the terror and brutality of combat are empty, meaningless and obscene.

We are losing the war in Iraq. We are an isolated and reviled nation. We are pitiless to others weaker than ourselves. We have lost sight of our democratic ideals. Thucydides wrote of Athens expanding empire and how this empire led it to become a tyrant abroad and then a tyrant at home. The tyranny Athens imposed on others it finally imposed on itself. If we do not confront the lies and hubris told to justify the killing and mask the destruction carried out in our name in Iraq, if we do not grasp the moral corrosiveness of empire and occupation, if we continue to allow force and violence to be our primary form of communication, if we do not remove from power our flag-waving, cross-bearing versions of the Taliban, we will not so much defeat dictators such as Saddam Hussein as become them.

Chris Hedges has been a war reporter for 15 years most recently for the New York Times. He is author of "What Every person Should Know About War," a book that offers a critical lesson in the dangerous realities of war. He's also author of "War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning."

War as a natural state of the USA since 1945


"...These rules have pushed the United States to a state of perpetual war. With enemies supposedly everywhere, the pursuit of security has become open-ended. "
"...One is reminded of John Winthrop, who, in 1630, told the future residents of Massachusetts Bay Colony: "We shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us." Over subsequent decades, Winthrop's sermon became the American mission, fired by self-righteousness and fueled by self-confidence. From that mission emerged the idea of Manifest Destiny -- American ideals should spread across the continent and around the globe. Along the way, Americans lost sight of what Winthrop actually meant. His words were both inspiration and warning: Aspire to greatness, but remain honorable. Power lies in virtue. Winthrop envisaged a shining beacon, worthy of emulation. He saw no need to come down from the hill and ram ideals down the throats of the recalcitrant. "
"...Back in 1963, the Kennedy administration was faced with a steadily disintegrating situation in Vietnam. At a turbulent cabinet meeting, Attorney General Robert Kennedy asked: If the situation is so dire, why not withdraw? Arthur Schlesinger, present at the meeting, noted how "the question hovered for a moment, then died away." It was "a hopelessly alien thought in a field of unexplored assumptions and entrenched convictions." The Washington rules kept the United States on a steady course toward disaster. "
"...Barack Obama once promised that change was coming, but then quickly adhered to the old rules by escalating an unwinnable and certainly unaffordable war in Afghanistan. Failures, as Steffens hoped, have been illuminating, but after each flash of light, darkness has prevailed. "

[Neocons] advocate permanent war for permanent peace

Professor Basevich

 

The foreign policy of the USA since the dissolution of the USSR was and is "open militarism". Recently  John Quiggin  tried to define militarism is came to the following definition (crookedtimber.org):

100 years after the Battle of the Somme, it's hard to see that much has been learned from the catastrophe of the Great War and the decades of slaughter that followed it. Rather than get bogged down (yet again) in specifics that invariably decline into arguments about who know more of the historical detail, I'm going to try a different approach, looking at the militarist ideology that gave us the War, and trying to articulate an anti-militarist alternative. Wikipedia offers a definition of militarism which, with the deletion of a single weasel word, seems to be entirely satisfactory and also seems to describe the dominant view of the political class, and much of the population in nearly every country in the world.

Militarism is the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively[^1] to defend or promote national interests

This phenomenon of  New American Militarism was well analyzed by Professor Bacevich (who is a former colonel of the US army). Bacevich's book  Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War  describe the "sacred trinity" of:

 Professor Bacevich shows that neocons dominate the US foreign policy regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats are in power. They profess that the US in the only country uniquely qualified to take on the worldwide foes of peace and democracy, forgetting, revising, or ignoring the painful lessons of World War II, Vietnam, and beyond that might have taken the USA into periods of unprecedented peace, instead of numerous conflicts.

Bacevich scores a direct hit on the foundations of the American national security state with this scathing critique, and demolishes the unspoken assumptions that he believes have led the United States into a senseless, wasteful, and counter-productive posture of nearly perpetual war. These assumptions take the form of the "credo" -- which holds that the United States has the unique responsibility to intervene wherever it wants, for whatever purpose it wants, by whatever means it wants -- and the supporting "trinity" of requirements for the U.S. to maintain a global military presence, to configure its military forces for global power projection, and to counter threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism.

In other words they advocate permanent war for permanent peace. Lessons that the author shows President Obama is clearly in the midst of learning, using a modified sacred trinity. Written in engaging prose, his book Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War is an excellent peace of research with sections that some may find very troubling. Here is the summary:

UFPPC (www.ufppc.org) Digging Deeper CXXXVII: September 27, 2010, 7:00 p.m. 

Andrew J. Bacevich, Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War (New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, August 2010).

Thesis

The Washington consensus on national security policy that constitutes convention wisdom in American foreign policy began with the Cold War and survived, remarkably, the Vietnam War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, no longer serves American interests, but the failure of the Obama administration to alter it shows that change can only come from the American people.

Introduction: Slow Learner

The author's faith in orthodoxy began to crumble when visiting the BrandenburgGate in Berlin in the winter of 1990-1991(1-4). In October 1990 a visit to Jenarevealed the backwardness of EastGermany (4-6). During his years in the Army, Bacevich had kept down doubts; after the end of the Cold War he retired, and his loss of status freed him to educate himself (6-10).

"George W.Bush's decision to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 pushed me fully into opposition" (10). "This book aims to take stock of conventional wisdom" (11). The past 60 years of American history shows continuity: a symbiotic "credo" (formulated by Henry Luce in 1941 as the "American Century") and a "sacred trinity" ("the minimum essentials of international peace and order require the United States to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of  global interventionism") together define "the rules to which Washington adheres" (11-15).

In this book, "Washington" refers to the upper echelons of the three branches of government, the main agencies of the national security state, select think tanks and interest groups, "big banks and other financial institutions, defense contractors and major corporations, television networks and elite publications like the New York Times, even quasi-academic entities like the Council on Foreign Relations and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government" (15).

This book aspires to

  1. trace the history of the Washington rules;
  2. show who wins, who loses, and who pays under them;
  3. explain how itis perpetuated;
  4. show that the rules have lost what utility they might once have had;
  5. re-legitimate "disreputable (or 'radical') views to our national security debates" (16).

The American Century is ending, and it "has become essential" to devise an "alternative to the reining national security paradigm" (16-18).

Ch. 1: The Advent of Semiwar.

As president, Barack Obama's efforts to change the U.S.'s exercise of power "have seldom risen above the cosmetic"(20). He made clear he subscribes to the "catechism of American statecraft," viz. that 1) the world must be organized, 2)only the U.S. can do it, 3) this includes dictating principles, and 4) not to accept this is to be a rogue or a recalcitrant (20-21).

It follows that the U.S. need not conform to the norms it sets for others and that it should maintain a worldwide network of bases (22-23).

Imagine if China acted in a comparable manner (23-25). The extraordinary American military posture in the world (25-27). To call this into question puts one beyond the pale(27). James Forrestal called this a permanent condition of semiwar, requiring high levels of military spending(27-28).

American citizens are not supposed to concern themselves with it (29-30). As to how this came about, the "standard story line" presents as the result of the decisions of a "succession of presidential administrations," though this conceals as much as it reveals (30-32).

Eisenhower's 1961 Farewell Address on the "military-industrial complex" was a rare exception (32-34). More important than presidents were Allen Dulles [1893-1969] and Curtis Lemay [1906-1990] (34-36).

Bacevich attributes the vision for an American-dominated post-World War II world with the CIA playing an active role to the patrician Dulles (36-43). The development of the U.S. military into a force capable of dominating the world, especially in the area of strategic weapons, he attributes to the hard-bitten Curtis LeMay, organizer of the StrategicAir Command (SAC) (43-52). Dulles and LeMay shared devotion to country, ruthlessness, a certain recklessness (52-55). They exploited American anxieties and insecurities in yin (Dulles's CIA) yang(LeMay's SAC) fashion, leaving the mainstay of American military power, the U.S. Army, in a relatively weak position(55-58).

Ch. 2: Illusions of Flexibility and Control

Kennedy kept Dulles and LeMay to signal continuity, but there was a behind-the-scenes struggle led by Gen. Maxwell Taylor to reassert the role of the U.S. Army by expanding and modernizing conventional forces that was "simultaneously masked by, and captured in, the phrase flexible response " (60; 59-63).

This agenda purported to aim at "resisting aggression" but really created new options for limited aggressive warfare by the U.S. (63-66).

McNamara engaged in a struggle with LeMay to control U.S. policy on nuclear weapons, but he embraced the need for redundancy based on a land-sea-air attack "triad" and LeMay et al. "got most of what they wanted" (66-72).

In the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy instituted the morally and legally "indefensible" Operation Mongoose," in effect, a program of state-sponsored terrorism" against Cuba (80; 72-82 [but Bacevich is silent on its wilder elements, like Operation Northwoods]).

U.S. recklessness caused the Cuban Missile Crisis, and to his credit Kennedy acknowledged this (albeit privately) and "suspended the tradition" in defusing the crisis (82-87).

Bacevich rejects as a romantic delusion the view that in the aftermath of this crisis Kennedy turned against the military-industrial complex and the incipient Vietnam war and shows no interest in Kennedy's assassination itself (87-92).

He sees a parallel between escalation in Vietnam and post-9/11 aggression as "fought to sustain the Washington consensus" (107; 92-107).

Ch. 3: The Credo Restored.

William Fulbright's The Arrogance of Power (1966) urged a rethinking of the Washington rules (109-15). A radicalized David Shoup, a Medal of Honor winner and former commandant of the MarineCorps, argued in "The New American Militarism" (Atlantic, April 1969) that the U.S. had become "a militaristic and aggressive nation" (120; 115-21). The 1960s Zeitgeist shift made LeMay "an embarrassment, mocked and vilified rather than venerated," which showed that the Washington rules had incurred serious damage in Vietnam; the Army was in dire shape (122; 121-27).

Yet astonishingly, in the subsequent decade the "sacred trinity" (cf. 11-15) was "fully restored" (127). As in post-1918 Germany, élites looked for scapegoats and worked to reverse "the war's apparent verdict" (128). The Council on Foreign Relations 1976 volume entitled The Vietnam Legacy: The War, American Society, and the Future of American Foreign Policy is an expression of élite consensus that the Vietnam war was insignificant, an anomaly (129-34).

By 1980, Democrats and Republicans were again on the same page (134-36).Reagan's election "sealed the triumph of Vietnam revisionism" (136; 136-38). Andthe end of the Cold War posed no challenge to the Washington rules, as Madeleine Albright's pretentious arrogance exemplifies (138-45).

Ch. 4: Reconstituting the Trinity

 The period from 1980 to 2000 saw "not retrenchment but reconfiguration" (147). The 

Except from Macmillan

Introduction: Slow Learner Worldly ambition inhibits true learning. Ask me. I know. A young man in a hurry is nearly uneducable: He knows what he wants and where he's headed; when it comes to looking back or entertaining heretical thoughts, he has neither the time nor the inclination. All that counts is that he is going somewhere. Only as ambition wanes does education become a possibility.

My own education did not commence until I had reached middle age. I can fix its start date with precision: For me, education began in Berlin, on a winter's evening, at the Brandenburg Gate, not long after the Berlin Wall had fallen. As an officer in the U.S. Army I had spent considerable time in Germany. Until that moment, however, my family and I had never had occasion to visit this most famous of German cities, still littered with artifacts of a deeply repellent history. At the end of a long day of exploration, we found ourselves in what had, until just months before, been the communist East. It was late and we were hungry, but I insisted on walking the length of the Unter den Linden, from the River Spree to the gate itself. A cold rain was falling and the pavement glistened. The buildings lining the avenue, dating from the era of Prussian kings, were dark, dirty, and pitted. Few people were about. It was hardly a night for sightseeing. For as long as I could remember, the Brandenburg Gate had been the preeminent symbol of the age and Berlin the epicenter of contemporary history. 

Yet by the time I made it to the once and future German capital, history was already moving on. The Cold War had abruptly ended. A divided city and a divided nation had re united. For Americans who had known Berlin only from a distance, the city existed primarily as a metaphor. Pick a date— 1933, 1942, 1945, 1948, 1961, 1989—and Berlin becomes an instructive symbol of power, depravity, tragedy, defiance, endurance, or vindication. For those inclined to view the past as a chronicle of parables, the modern history of Berlin offered an abundance of material. The greatest of those parables emerged from the events of 1933 to 1945, an epic tale of evil ascendant, belatedly confronted, then heroically overthrown.

A second narrative, woven from events during the intense period immediately following World War II, saw hopes for peace dashed, yielding bitter antagonism but also great resolve. The ensuing stand-off—the "long twilight struggle," in John Kennedy's memorable phrase— formed the centerpiece of the third parable, its central theme stubborn courage in the face of looming peril. Finally came the exhilarating events of 1989, with freedom ultimately prevailing, not only in Berlin, but throughout Eastern Europe.

.... ... ...

Although commonly depicted as the most advanced and successful component of the Soviet Empire, East Germany more closely resembled part of the undeveloped world.

... ... ...

Briquettes of soft coal used for home heating made the air all but unbreathable and coated everything with soot. In the German cities we knew, pastels predominated—houses and apartment blocks painted pale green, muted salmon, and soft yellow. Here everything was brown and gray

... ... ...

Bit by bit, my worldview started to crumble. That worldview had derived from this conviction: that American power manifested a commitment to global leadership, and that both together expressed and affirmed the nation's enduring devotion to its founding ideals. That American power, policies, and purpose were bound together in a neat, internally consistent package, each element drawing strength from and reinforcing the others, was something I took as a given. That, during my adult life, a penchant for interventionism had become a signature of U.S. policy did not—to me, at least—in any way contradict America's aspirations for peace. Instead, a willingness to expend lives and treasure in distant places testified to the seriousness of those aspirations. That, during this same period, the United States had amassed an arsenal of over thirty-one thousand nuclear weapons, some small number of them assigned to units in which I had served, was not at odds with our belief in the inalienable right to life and liberty; rather, threats to life and liberty had compelled the United States to acquire such an arsenal and maintain it in readiness for instant use.2 I was not so naive as to believe that the American record had been without flaws. Yet I assured myself that any errors or misjudgments had been committed in good faith. Furthermore, circumstances permitted little real choice. In Southeast Asia as in Western Europe, in the Persian Gulf as in the Western Hemisphere, the United States had simply done what needed doing. Viable alternatives did not exist. To consent to any dilution of American power would be to forfeit global leadership, thereby putting at risk safety, prosperity, and freedom, not only our own but also that of our friends and allies.

The choices seemed clear enough. On one side was the status quo: the commitments, customs, and habits that defined American globalism, implemented by the national security apparatus within which I functioned as a small cog. On the other side was the prospect of appeasement, isolationism, and catastrophe. The only responsible course was the one to which every president since Harry Truman had adhered. For me, the Cold War had played a crucial role in sustaining that worldview.

Given my age, upbringing, and professional background, it could hardly have been otherwise. Although the great rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union had contained moments of considerable anxiety — I remember my father, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, stocking our basement with water and canned goods — it served primarily to clarify, not to frighten.

The Cold War provided a framework that organized and made sense of contemporary history. It offered a lineup and a scorecard. That there existed bad Germans and good Germans, their Germans and our Germans, totalitarian Germans and Germans who, like Americans, passionately loved freedom was, for example, a proposition I accepted as dogma. Seeing the Cold War as a struggle between good and evil answered many questions, consigned others to the periphery, and rendered still others irrelevant.

Back in the 1960s, during the Vietnam War, more than a few members of my generation had rejected the conception of the Cold War as a Manichean struggle. Here too, I was admittedly a slow learner. Yet having kept the faith long after others had lost theirs, the doubts that eventually assailed me were all the more disorienting. Granted, occasional suspicions had appeared long before Jena and Berlin

My own Vietnam experience had generated its share, which I had done my best to suppress. I was, after all, a serving soldier. Except in the narrowest of terms, the military profession, in those days at least, did not look kindly on nonconformity. Climbing the ladder of career success required curbing maverick tendencies. To get ahead, you needed to be a team player. Later, when studying the history of U.S. foreign relations in graduate school, I was pelted with challenges to orthodoxy, which I vigorously deflected. When it came to education, graduate school proved a complete waste of time — a period of intense study devoted to the further accumulation of facts, while I exerted myself to ensuring that they remained inert.

Now, however, my personal circumstances were changing. Shortly after the passing of the Cold War, my military career ended. Education thereby became not only a possibility, but also a necessity. In measured doses, mortification cleanses the soul. It's the perfect antidote for excessive self-regard. After twenty-three years spent inside the U.S. Army seemingly going somewhere, I now found myself on the outside going nowhere in particular. In the self-contained and cloistered universe of regimental life, I had briefly risen to the status of minor spear carrier. The instant I took off my uniform, that status vanished. I soon came to a proper appreciation of my own insignificance, a salutary lesson that I ought to have absorbed many years earlier. As I set out on what eventually became a crablike journey toward a new calling as a teacher and writer—a pilgrimage of sorts—ambition in the commonly accepted meaning of the term ebbed. This did not happen all at once. Yet gradually, trying to grab one of life's shiny brass rings ceased being a major preoccupation.

Wealth, power, and celebrity became not aspirations but subjects for critical analysis.

History—especially the familiar narrative of the Cold War—no longer offered answers; instead, it posed perplexing riddles. Easily the most nagging was this one: How could I have so profoundly misjudged the reality of what lay on the far side of the Iron Curtain? Had I been insufficiently attentive? Or was it possible that I had been snookered all along? Contemplating such questions, while simultaneously witnessing the unfolding of the "long 1990s"— the period bookended by two wars with Iraq when American vainglory reached impressive new heights—prompted the realization that I had grossly misinterpreted the threat posed by America's adversaries. Yet that was the lesser half of the problem. Far worse than misperceiving "them" was the fact that I had misperceived "us." What I thought I knew best I actually understood least. Here, the need for education appeared especially acute.

George W. Bush's decision to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 pushed me fully into opposition. Claims that once seemed elementary—above all, claims relating to the essentially benign purposes of American power— now appeared preposterous. The contradictions that found an ostensibly peace-loving nation committing itself to a doctrine of preventive war became too great to ignore. The folly and hubris of the policy makers who heedlessly thrust the nation into an ill-defined and open-ended "global war on terror" without the foggiest notion of what victory would look like, how it would be won, and what it might cost approached standards hitherto achieved only by slightly mad German warlords. During the era of containment, the United States had at least maintained the pretense of a principled strategy; now, the last vestiges of principle gave way to fantasy and opportunism. With that, the worldview to which I had adhered as a young adult and carried into middle age dissolved completely. *

What should stand in the place of such discarded convictions? Simply inverting the conventional wisdom, substituting a new Manichean paradigm for the old discredited version—the United States taking the place of the Soviet Union as the source of the world's evil—would not suffice. Yet arriving at even an approximation of truth would entail subjecting conventional wisdom, both present and past, to sustained and searching scrutiny. Cautiously at first but with growing confidence, this I vowed to do. Doing so meant shedding habits of conformity acquired over decades. All of my adult life I had been a company man, only dimly aware of the extent to which institutional loyalties induce myopia. Asserting independence required first recognizing the extent to which I had been socialized to accept certain things as unimpeachable. Here then were the preliminary steps essential to making education accessible. Over a period of years, a considerable store of debris had piled up. Now, it all had to go. Belatedly, I learned that more often than not what passes for conventional wisdom is simply wrong. Adopting fashionable attitudes to demonstrate one's trustworthiness—the world of politics is flush with such people hoping thereby to qualify for inclusion in some inner circle—is akin to engaging in prostitution in exchange for promissory notes. It's not only demeaning but downright foolhardy. This book aims to take stock of conventional wisdom in its most influential and enduring form, namely the package of assumptions, habits, and precepts that have defined the tradition of statecraft to which the United States has adhered since the end of World War II— the era of global dominance now drawing to a close. This postwar tradition combines two components, each one so deeply embedded in the American collective consciousness as to have all but disappeared from view.

The first component specifies norms according to which the international order ought to work and charges the United States with responsibility for enforcing those norms. Call this the American credo. In the simplest terms, the credo summons the United States—and the United States alone—to lead, save, liberate, and ultimately transform the world. In a celebrated manifesto issued at the dawn of what he termed "The American Century," Henry R. Luce made the case for this spacious conception of global leadership. Writing in Life magazine in early 1941, the influential publisher exhorted his fellow citizens to "accept wholeheartedly our duty to exert upon the world the full impact of our influence for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit." Luce thereby captured what remains even today the credo's essence.3 Luce's concept of an American Century, an age of unquestioned American global primacy, resonated, especially in Washington. His evocative phrase found a permanent place in the lexicon of national politics. (Recall that the neoconservatives who, in the 1990s, lobbied for more militant U.S. policies named their enterprise the Project for a New American Century.) So, too, did Luce's expansive claim of prerogatives to be exercised by the United States.

Even today, whenever public figures allude to America's responsibility to lead, they signal their fidelity to this creed. Along with respectful allusions to God and "the troops," adherence to Luce's credo has become a de facto prerequisite for high office. Question its claims and your prospects of being heard in the hubbub of national politics become nil. Note, however, that the duty Luce ascribed to Americans has two components. It is not only up to Americans, he wrote, to choose the purposes for which they would bring their influence to bear, but to choose the means as well. Here we confront the second component of the postwar tradition of American statecraft. With regard to means, that tradition has emphasized activism over example, hard power over soft, and coercion (often styled "negotiating from a position of strength") over suasion. Above all, the exercise of global leadership as prescribed by the credo obliges the United States to maintain military capabilities staggeringly in excess of those required for self-defense. Prior to World War II, Americans by and large viewed military power and institutions with skepticism, if not outright hostility. In the wake of World War II, that changed. An affinity for military might emerged as central to the American identity. By the midpoint of the twentieth century, "the Pentagon" had ceased to be merely a gigantic five-sided building.

Like "Wall Street" at the end of the nineteenth century, it had become Leviathan, its actions veiled in secrecy, its reach extending around the world. Yet while the concentration of power in Wall Street had once evoked deep fear and suspicion, Americans by and large saw the concentration of power in the Pentagon as benign. Most found it reassuring. A people who had long seen standing armies as a threat to liberty now came to believe that the preservation of liberty required them to lavish resources on the armed forces. During the Cold War, Americans worried ceaselessly about falling behind the Russians, even though the Pentagon consistently maintained a position of overall primacy. Once the Soviet threat disappeared, mere primacy no longer sufficed. With barely a whisper of national debate, unambiguous and perpetual global military supremacy emerged as an essential predicate to global leadership. Every great military power has its distinctive signature. For Napoleonic France, it was the levée en masse— the people in arms animated by the ideals of the Revolution. For Great Britain in the heyday of empire, it was command of the seas, sustained by a dominant fleet and a network of far-flung outposts from Gibraltar and the Cape of Good Hope to Singapore and Hong Kong. Germany from the 1860s to the 1940s (and Israel from 1948 to 1973) took another approach, relying on a potent blend of tactical flexibility and operational audacity to achieve battlefield superiority.

The abiding signature of American military power since World War II has been of a different order altogether. The United States has not specialized in any particular type of war. It has not adhered to a fixed tactical style. No single service or weapon has enjoyed consistent favor. At times, the armed forces have relied on citizen-soldiers to fill their ranks; at other times, long-service professionals. Yet an examination of the past sixty years of U.S. military policy and practice does reveal important elements of continuity. Call them the sacred trinity: an abiding conviction that the minimum essentials of international peace and order require the United States to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism. Together, credo and trinity—the one defining purpose, the other practice—constitute the essence of the way that Washington has attempted to govern and police the American Century. The relationship between the two is symbiotic. The trinity lends plausibility to the credo's vast claims. For its part, the credo justifies the trinity's vast requirements and exertions.

Together they provide the basis for an enduring consensus that imparts a consistency to U.S. policy regardless of which political party may hold the upper hand or who may be occupying the White House. From the era of Harry Truman to the age of Barack Obama, that consensus has remained intact. It defines the rules to which Washington adheres; it determines the precepts by which Washington rules. As used here, Washington is less a geographic expression than a set of interlocking institutions headed by people who, whether acting officially or unofficially, are able to put a thumb on the helm of state. Washington, in this sense, includes the upper echelons of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government. It encompasses the principal components of the national security state— the departments of Defense, State, and, more recently, Homeland Security, along with various agencies comprising the intelligence and federal law enforcement communities. Its ranks extend to select think tanks and interest groups. Lawyers, lobbyists, fixers, former officials, and retired military officers who still enjoy access are members in good standing. Yet Washington also reaches beyond the Beltway to include big banks and other financial institutions, defense contractors and major corporations, television networks and elite publications like the New York Times, even quasi-academic entities like the Council on Foreign Relations and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

With rare exceptions, acceptance of the Washington rules forms a prerequisite for entry into this world. My purpose in writing this book is fivefold: first, to trace the origins and evolution of the Washington rules—both the credo that inspires consensus and the trinity in which it finds expression; second, to subject the resulting consensus to critical inspection, showing who wins and who loses and also who foots the bill; third, to explain how the Washington rules are perpetuated, with certain views privileged while others are declared disreputable; fourth, to demonstrate that the rules themselves have lost whatever utility they may once have possessed, with their implications increasingly pernicious and their costs increasingly unaffordable; and finally, to argue for readmitting disreputable (or "radical") views to our national security debate, in effect legitimating alternatives to the status quo. In effect, my aim is to invite readers to share in the process of education on which I embarked two decades ago in Berlin. The Washington rules were forged at a moment when American influence and power were approaching their acme. That moment has now passed. The United States has drawn down the stores of authority and goodwill it had acquired by 1945. Words uttered in Washington command less respect than once was the case. Americans can ill afford to indulge any longer in dreams of saving the world, much less remaking it in our own image. The curtain is now falling on the American Century. Similarly, the United States no longer possesses sufficient wherewithal to sustain a national security strategy that relies on global military presence and global power projection to underwrite a policy of global interventionism. Touted as essential to peace, adherence to that strategy has propelled the United States into a condition approximating perpetual war, as the military misadventures of the past decade have demonstrated.

To anyone with eyes to see, the shortcomings inherent in the Washington rules have become plainly evident. Although those most deeply invested in perpetuating its conventions will insist otherwise, the tradition to which Washington remains devoted has begun to unravel. Attempting to prolong its existence might serve Washington's interests, but it will not serve the interests of the American people.

Devising an alternative to the reigning national security paradigm will pose a daunting challenge—especially if Americans look to "Washington" for fresh thinking. Yet doing so has become essential. In one sense, the national security policies to which Washington so insistently adheres express what has long been the preferred American approach to engaging the world beyond our borders. That approach plays to America's presumed strong suit—since World War II, and especially since the end of the Cold War, thought to be military power. In another sense, this reliance on military might creates excuses for the United States to avoid serious engagement: Confidence in American arms has made it unnecessary to attend to what others might think or to consider how their aspirations might differ from our own.

In this way, the Washington rules reinforce American provincialism—a national trait for which the United States continues to pay dearly. The persistence of these rules has also provided an excuse to avoid serious self-engagement. From this perspective, confidence that the credo and the trinity will oblige others to accommodate themselves to America's needs or desires — whether for cheap oil, cheap credit, or cheap consumer goods—has allowed Washington to postpone or ignore problems demanding attention here at home.

Fixing Iraq or Afghanistan ends up taking precedence over fixing Cleveland and Detroit. Purporting to support the troops in their crusade to free the world obviates any obligation to assess the implications of how Americans themselves choose to exercise freedom. When Americans demonstrate a willingness to engage seriously with others, combined with the courage to engage seriously with themselves, then real education just might begin.

In their article ‘The American Century’ Has Plunged the World Into Crisis. What Happens Now?" Conn Hallinan and Leon Wofsy outlined important reasons  of the inevitability of the dominance of chicken hawks and jingoistic foreign policy in the USA political establishment:

June 22, 2015 | fpif.org

U.S. foreign policy is dangerous, undemocratic, and deeply out of sync with real global challenges. Is continuous war inevitable, or can we change course?

There’s something fundamentally wrong with U.S. foreign policy.

Despite glimmers of hope — a tentative nuclear agreement with Iran, for one, and a long-overdue thaw with Cuba — we’re locked into seemingly irresolvable conflicts in most regions of the world. They range from tensions with nuclear-armed powers like Russia and China to actual combat operations in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa.

Why? Has a state of perpetual warfare and conflict become inescapable? Or are we in a self-replicating cycle that reflects an inability — or unwillingness — to see the world as it actually is?

The United States is undergoing a historic transition in our relationship to the rest of the world, but this is neither acknowledged nor reflected in U.S. foreign policy. We still act as if our enormous military power, imperial alliances, and self-perceived moral superiority empower us to set the terms of “world order.”

While this illusion goes back to the end of World War II, it was the end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union that signaled the beginning of a self-proclaimed “American Century.” The idea that the United States had “won” the Cold War and now — as the world’s lone superpower — had the right or responsibility to order the world’s affairs led to a series of military adventures. It started with President Bill Clinton’s intervention in the Yugoslav civil war, continued on with George W. Bush’s disastrous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and can still be seen in the Obama administration’s own misadventures in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and beyond.

In each case, Washington chose war as the answer to enormously complex issues, ignoring the profound consequences for both foreign and domestic policy. Yet the world is very different from the assumptions that drive this impulsive interventionism.

It’s this disconnect that defines the current crisis.

Acknowledging New Realities

So what is it about the world that requires a change in our outlook? A few observations come to mind.

First, our preoccupation with conflicts in the Middle East — and to a significant extent, our tensions with Russia in Eastern Europe and with China in East Asia — distract us from the most compelling crises that threaten the future of humanity. Climate change and environmental perils have to be dealt with now and demand an unprecedented level of international collective action. That also holds for the resurgent danger of nuclear war.

Second, superpower military interventionism and far-flung acts of war have only intensified conflict, terror, and human suffering. There’s no short-term solution — especially by force — to the deep-seated problems that cause chaos, violence, and misery through much of the world.

Third, while any hope of curbing violence and mitigating the most urgent problems depends on international cooperation, old and disastrous intrigues over spheres of influence dominate the behavior of the major powers. Our own relentless pursuit of military advantage on every continent, including through alliances and proxies like NATO, divides the world into “friend” and “foe” according to our perceived interests. That inevitably inflames aggressive imperial rivalries and overrides common interests in the 21st century.

Fourth, while the United States remains a great economic power, economic and political influence is shifting and giving rise to national and regional centers no longer controlled by U.S.-dominated global financial structures. Away from Washington, London, and Berlin, alternative centers of economic power are taking hold in Beijing, New Delhi, Cape Town, and Brasilia. Independent formations and alliances are springing up: organizations like the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa); the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (representing 2.8 billion people); the Union of South American Nations; the Latin American trade bloc, Mercosur; and others.

Beyond the problems our delusions of grandeur have caused in the wider world, there are enormous domestic consequences of prolonged war and interventionism. We shell out over $1 trillion a year in military-related expenses even as our social safety net frays and our infrastructure crumbles. Democracy itself has become virtually dysfunctional.

Short Memories and Persistent Delusions

But instead of letting these changing circumstances and our repeated military failures give us pause, our government continues to act as if the United States has the power to dominate and dictate to the rest of the world.

The responsibility of those who set us on this course fades into background. Indeed, in light of the ongoing meltdown in the Middle East, leading presidential candidates are tapping neoconservatives like John Bolton and Paul Wolfowitz — who still think the answer to any foreign policy quandary is military power — for advice. Our leaders seem to forget that following this lot’s advice was exactly what caused the meltdown in the first place. War still excites them, risks and consequences be damned.

While the Obama administration has sought, with limited success, to end the major wars it inherited, our government makes wide use of killer drones in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, and has put troops back into Iraq to confront the religious fanaticism and brutality of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) — itself a direct consequence of the last U.S. invasion of Iraq. Reluctant to find common ground in the fight against ISIS with designated “foes” like Iran and Syria, Washington clings to allies like Saudi Arabia, whose leaders are fueling the crisis of religious fanaticism and internecine barbarity. Elsewhere, the U.S. also continues to give massive support to the Israeli government, despite its expanding occupation of the West Bank and its horrific recurring assaults on Gaza.

A “war first” policy in places like Iran and Syria is being strongly pushed by neoconservatives like former Vice President Dick Cheney and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain. Though it’s attempted to distance itself from the neocons, the Obama administration adds to tensions with planned military realignments like the “Asia pivot” aimed at building up U.S. military forces in Asia to confront China. It’s also taken a more aggressive position than even other NATO partners in fostering a new cold war with Russia.

We seem to have missed the point: There is no such thing as an “American Century.” International order cannot be enforced by a superpower alone. But never mind centuries — if we don’t learn to take our common interests more seriously than those that divide nations and breed the chronic danger of war, there may well be no tomorrows.

Unexceptionalism

There’s a powerful ideological delusion that any movement seeking to change U.S. foreign policy must confront: that U.S. culture is superior to anything else on the planet. Generally going by the name of “American exceptionalism,” it’s the deeply held belief that American politics (and medicine, technology, education, and so on) are better than those in other countries. Implicit in the belief is an evangelical urge to impose American ways of doing things on the rest of the world.

Americans, for instance, believe they have the best education system in the world, when in fact they’ve dropped from 1st place to 14th place in the number of college graduates. We’ve made students of higher education the most indebted section of our population, while falling to 17th place in international education ratings. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation, the average American pays more than twice as much for his or her education than those in the rest of the world.

Health care is an equally compelling example. In the World Health Organization’s ranking of health care systems in 2000, the United States was ranked 37th. In a more recent Institute of Medicine report in 2013, the U.S. was ranked the lowest among 17 developed nations studied.

The old anti-war slogan, “It will be a good day when schools get all the money they need and the Navy has to hold a bake sale to buy an aircraft carrier” is as appropriate today as it was in the 1960s. We prioritize corporate subsidies, tax cuts for the wealthy, and massive military budgets over education. The result is that Americans are no longer among the most educated in the world.

But challenging the “exceptionalism” myth courts the danger of being labeled “unpatriotic” and “un-American,” two powerful ideological sanctions that can effectively silence critical or questioning voices.

The fact that Americans consider their culture or ideology “superior” is hardly unique. But no other country in the world has the same level of economic and military power to enforce its worldview on others.

The United States did not simply support Kosovo’s independence, for example. It bombed Serbia into de facto acceptance. When the U.S. decided to remove the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Gaddafi from power, it just did so. No other country is capable of projecting that kind of force in regions thousands of miles from its borders.

The U.S. currently accounts for anywhere from 45 to 50 percent of the world’s military spending. It has hundreds of overseas bases, ranging from huge sprawling affairs like Camp Bond Steel in Kosovo and unsinkable aircraft carriers around the islands of Okinawa, Wake, Diego Garcia, and Guam to tiny bases called “lily pads” of pre-positioned military supplies. The late political scientist Chalmers Johnson estimated that the U.S. has some 800 bases worldwide, about the same as the British Empire had at its height in 1895.

The United States has long relied on a military arrow in its diplomatic quiver, and Americans have been at war almost continuously since the end of World War II. Some of these wars were major undertakings: Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq (twice), Libya. Some were quick “smash and grabs” like Panama and Grenada. Others are “shadow wars” waged by Special Forces, armed drones, and local proxies. If one defines the term “war” as the application of organized violence, the U.S. has engaged in close to 80 wars since 1945.

The Home Front

The coin of empire comes dear, as the old expression goes.

According Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, the final butcher bill for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars — including the long-term health problems of veterans — will cost U.S. taxpayers around $6 trillion. One can add to that the over $1 trillion the U.S. spends each year on defense-related items. The “official” defense budget of some half a trillion dollars doesn’t include such items as nuclear weapons, veterans’ benefits or retirement, the CIA and Homeland Security, nor the billions a year in interest we’ll be paying on the debt from the Afghan-Iraq wars. By 2013 the U.S. had already paid out $316 billion in interest.

The domestic collateral damage from that set of priorities is numbing.

We spend more on our “official” military budget than we do on Medicare, Medicaid, Health and Human Services, Education, and Housing and Urban Development combined. Since 9/11, we’ve spent $70 million an hour on “security” compared to $62 million an hour on all domestic programs.

As military expenditures dwarf funding for deteriorating social programs, they drive economic inequality. The poor and working millions are left further and further behind. Meanwhile the chronic problems highlighted at Ferguson, and reflected nationwide, are a horrific reminder of how deeply racism — the unequal economic and social divide and systemic abuse of black and Latino youth — continues to plague our homeland.

The state of ceaseless war has deeply damaged our democracy, bringing our surveillance and security state to levels that many dictators would envy. The Senate torture report, most of it still classified, shatters the trust we are asked to place in the secret, unaccountable apparatus that runs the most extensive Big Brother spy system ever devised.

Bombs and Business

President Calvin Coolidge was said to have remarked that “the business of America is business.” Unsurprisingly, U.S. corporate interests play a major role in American foreign policy.

Out of the top 10 international arms producers, eight are American. The arms industry spends millions lobbying Congress and state legislatures, and it defends its turf with an efficiency and vigor that its products don’t always emulate on the battlefield. The F-35 fighter-bomber, for example — the most expensive weapons system in U.S. history — will cost $1.5 trillion and doesn’t work. It’s over budget, dangerous to fly, and riddled with defects. And yet few lawmakers dare challenge the powerful corporations who have shoved this lemon down our throats.

Corporate interests are woven into the fabric of long-term U.S. strategic interests and goals. Both combine to try to control energy supplies, command strategic choke points through which oil and gas supplies transit, and ensure access to markets.

Many of these goals can be achieved with standard diplomacy or economic pressure, but the U.S. always reserves the right to use military force. The 1979 “Carter Doctrine” — a document that mirrors the 1823 Monroe Doctrine about American interests in Latin America — put that strategy in blunt terms vis-à-vis the Middle East:

 “An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”

It’s no less true in East Asia. The U.S. will certainly engage in peaceful economic competition with China. But if push comes to shove, the Third, Fifth, and Seventh fleets will back up the interests of Washington and its allies — Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Australia.

Trying to change the course of American foreign policy is not only essential for reducing international tensions. It’s critically important to shift the enormous wealth we expend in war and weapons toward alleviating growing inequality and social crises at home.

As long as competition for markets and accumulation of capital characterize modern society, nations will vie for spheres of influence, and antagonistic interests will be a fundamental feature of international relations. Chauvinist reaction to incursions real or imagined — and the impulse to respond by military means — is characteristic to some degree of every significant nation-state. Yet the more that some governments, including our own, become subordinate to oligarchic control, the greater is the peril.

Finding the Common Interest

These, however, are not the only factors that will shape the future.

There is nothing inevitable that rules out a significant change of direction, even if the demise or transformation of a capitalistic system of greed and exploitation is not at hand. The potential for change, especially in U.S. foreign policy, resides in how social movements here and abroad respond to the undeniable reality of: 1) the chronic failure, massive costs, and danger inherent in “American Century” exceptionalism; and 2) the urgency of international efforts to respond to climate change.

There is, as well, the necessity to respond to health and natural disasters aggravated by poverty, to rising messianic violence, and above all, to prevent a descent into war. This includes not only the danger of a clash between the major nuclear powers, but between regional powers. A nuclear exchange between Pakistan and India, for example, would affect the whole world.

Without underestimating the self-interest of forces that thrive on gambling with the future of humanity, historic experience and current reality elevate a powerful common interest in peace and survival. The need to change course is not something that can be recognized on only one side of an ideological divide. Nor does that recognition depend on national, ethnic, or religious identity. Rather, it demands acknowledging the enormous cost of plunging ahead as everything falls apart around us.

After the latest U.S. midterm elections, the political outlook is certainly bleak. But experience shows that elections, important as they are, are not necessarily indicators of when and how significant change can come about in matters of policy. On issues of civil rights and social equality, advances have occurred because a dedicated and persistent minority movement helped change public opinion in a way the political establishment could not defy.

The Vietnam War, for example, came to an end, despite the stubbornness of Democratic and Republican administrations, when a stalemate on the battlefield and growing international and domestic opposition could no longer be denied. Significant changes can come about even as the basic character of society is retained. Massive resistance and rejection of colonialism caused the British Empire and other colonial powers to adjust to a new reality after World War II. McCarthyism was eventually defeated in the United States. President Nixon was forced to resign. The use of landmines and cluster bombs has been greatly restricted because of the opposition of a small band of activists whose initial efforts were labeled “quixotic.”

There are diverse and growing political currents in our country that see the folly and danger of the course we’re on. Many Republicans, Democrats, independents, and libertarians — and much of the public — are beginning to say “enough” to war and military intervention all over the globe, and the folly of basing foreign policy on dividing countries into “friend or foe.”

This is not to be Pollyannaish about anti-war sentiment, or how quickly people can be stampeded into supporting the use of force. In early 2014, some 57 percent of Americans agreed that “over-reliance on military force creates more hatred leading to increased terrorism.” Only 37 percent believed military force was the way to go. But once the hysteria around the Islamic State began, those numbers shifted to pretty much an even split: 47 percent supported the use of military force, 46 percent opposed it.

It will always be necessary in each new crisis to counter those who mislead and browbeat the public into acceptance of another military intervention. But in spite of the current hysterics about ISIS, disillusionment in war as an answer is probably greater now among Americans and worldwide than it has ever been. That sentiment may prove strong enough to produce a shift away from perpetual war, a shift toward some modesty and common-sense realism in U.S. foreign policy.

Making Space for the Unexpected

Given that there is a need for a new approach, how can American foreign policy be changed?

Foremost, there is the need for a real debate on the thrust of a U.S. foreign policy that chooses negotiation, diplomacy, and international cooperation over the use of force.

However, as we approach another presidential election, there is as yet no strong voice among the candidates to challenge U.S. foreign policy. Fear and questionable political calculation keep even most progressive politicians from daring to dissent as the crisis of foreign policy lurches further into perpetual militarism and war. That silence of political acquiescence has to be broken.

Nor is it a matter of concern only on the left. There are many Americans — right, left, or neither — who sense the futility of the course we’re on. These voices have to be represented or the election process will be even more of a sham than we’ve recently experienced.

One can’t predict just what initiatives may take hold, but the recent U.S.-China climate agreement suggests that necessity can override significant obstacles. That accord is an important step forward, although a limited bilateral pact cannot substitute for an essential international climate treaty. There is a glimmer of hope also in the U.S.-Russian joint action that removed chemical weapons from Syria, and in negotiations with Iran, which continue despite fierce opposition from U.S. hawks and the Israeli government. More recently, there is Obama’s bold move — long overdue — to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. Despite shifts in political fortunes, the unexpected can happen if there is a need and strong enough pressure to create an opportunity.

We do not claim to have ready-made solutions to the worsening crisis in international relations. We are certain that there is much we’ve missed or underestimated. But if readers agree that U.S. foreign policy has a national and global impact, and that it is not carried out in the interests of the majority of the world’s people, including our own, then we ask you to join this conversation.

If we are to expand the ability of the people to influence foreign policy, we need to defend democracy, and encourage dissent and alternative ideas. The threats to the world and to ourselves are so great that finding common ground trumps any particular interest. We also know that we won’t all agree with each other, and we believe that is as it should be. There are multiple paths to the future. No coalition around changing foreign policy will be successful if it tells people to conform to any one pattern of political action.

So how does the call for changing course translate to something politically viable, and how do we consider the problem of power?

The power to make significant changes in policy ranges from the persistence of peace activists to the potential influence of the general public. In some circumstances, it becomes possible — as well as necessary — to make significant changes in the power structure itself.

Greece comes to mind. Greek left organizations came together to form Syriza, the political party that was successfully elected to power on a platform of ending austerity. Spain’s anti-austerity Podemos Party — now the number-two party in the country — came out of massive demonstrations in 2011 and was organized from the grassroots up. We do not argue one approach over the over, but the experiences in both countries demonstrate that there are multiple paths to generating change.

Certainly progressives and leftists grapple with the problems of power. But progress on issues, particularly in matters like war and peace and climate change, shouldn’t be conceived of as dependent on first achieving general solutions to the problems of society, however desirable.

... ... ...

Conn Hallinan is a journalist and a columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus. His writings appear online at Dispatches From the Edge. Leon Wofsy is a retired biology professor and long-time political activist. His comments on current affairs appear online at Leon’s OpEd.


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[Jun 15, 2019] WATCH US economist urges covert violence to provoke war with Iran

Notable quotes:
"... The appeasers would include the US who fully supported Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran, who provided him with chemical weapons and logistical help in using those weapons, which killed around 50,000 Iranian troops and Kurdish civilians. The same appeasers armed and funded the Taliban (Mujahideen) against the Soviets. The US are the single largest force for terrorism the World has ever seen. ..."
Jun 14, 2019 | off-guardian.org

WATCH: US economist urges covert violence to provoke war with Iran "I mean look people, Iranian submarines periodically go down – someday one of them might not come up." Admin

https://www.youtube.com/embed/TzSjPDaSNMQ

Many believe war with the Islamic Republic of Iran has been the dream of some hardcore neocons in Washington since at least 2001. Back in 2012 former employee of the IMF and current economist for the World Bank, Patrick Clawson , provided fuel for this belief when he was videoed obliquely advocating using covert violence so that the US president "can get to war with Iran."

In a startlingly frank speech, Clawson makes it clear he believes (and apparently approves) that the US has a history of seeking war for profit, and of using provocations to goad its perceived enemies into starting such wars. Clawson highlights in particular the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in 1861 , which, he says, was deliberately engineered by president Lincoln in pursuit of an excuse to launch a war on the Southern secessionist states.

In light of the recent alleged attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, timed to coincide with the visit of the Japanese prime minister to Iran, and in light of Secretary of State Capone Pompeo's precipitate and predictable claim the attacks were likely perpetrated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, this is an apposite time to recall this telling little incident.

Below see the transcript of Mr Clawson's remarks

Transcript

"I frankly think that crisis initiation is really tough and it's very hard for me to see how the United States president can get us to war with Iran which leads me to conclude that if in fact compromise is not coming that the traditional way of America gets to war is what would be best for US interests

Some people might think that mr. Roosevelt wanted to get us in to the World War two as David mentioned. You may recall we had to wait for Pearl Harbor.

Some people might think mr. Wilson wanted to get us into World War One. You may recall he had to wait for the Lusitania episode

Some people might think that mr. Johnson wanted to send troops to Vietnam. You may recall they had to wait for the Gulf of Tonkin episode.

We didn't go to war with Spain until the USS Maine exploded, and may I point out that mr. Lincoln did not feel he could call off the federal army until Fort Sumter was attacked which is why he ordered the commander at Fort Sumter to do exactly that thing which the South Carolinians had said would cause an attack.

So if in fact the Iranians aren't going to compromise it would be best if somebody else started the war

But I would just like to suggest that one can combine other means of pressure with sanctions. I mentioned that explosion on August 17th. We could step up the pressure. I mean look people, Iranian submarines periodically go down – someday one of them
might not come up.

Who would know why?

We can do a variety of things if we wish to increase the pressure. I'm not advocating that but I'm just suggesting that a it's this is not a either-or proposition of, you know, it's just sanctions has to be has to succeed or other things.


DunGroanin

Always follow the money they made lots instantly from the firework display, it aint rocket science!

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-14/senators-switched-key-votes-bill-gulf-arms-ban-hours-after-tanker-attacks

mark
What do you expect from a Zionist Front like WINEP? They've been inciting wars for Israel for decades. "Getting the stupid goys to fight Israel's wars for decades."
Jen
If Patrick Clawson is typical of the kind of economist employed at the IMF and then promoted to a leading position at the World Bank, I dread to think of the calibre of people who also applied for his job in the past and were rejected. His speech is so garbled and full of unconscious slip-ups.
andyoldlabour
The US has convinced itself of its own so called "exceptionalism", where they can say anything out in the open, reveal their greatest desires, their unholy plans. There must be some "good" Americans who can stop this madness, or have they all become inflicted/infected with some hate virus?
Milton
Interesting that this Israeli-First traitor Clawson mentions Lincoln and Ft. Sumter. He finally admits what genuine historians of the Civil War long knew: Lincoln was a warmonger and tyrant, not an emancipator. The Civil war was fought to eliminate true freedom and equality in this country and it has been downhill ever since. The working class and soldier-class in America today are slaves in every sense of the word. Slaves to Zion. No wonder the certified warmonger and racist Lincoln is worshiped equally by Left and Right today, whilst genuine American patriots like Robert E. Lee have their legacy torn down. Lincoln was the proto-Neocon. Tom Dilorenzo summed up the real Lincoln when he wrote in Lincoln Unmasked:

"Imagine that California seceded from the union and an American president responded with the carpet bombing of Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco that destroyed 90 percent of those cities. Such was the case with General Sherman's bombardment of Atlanta; a naval blockade; a blocking off of virtually all trade; the eviction of thousands of residents from their homes (as occurred in Atlanta in 1864); the destruction of most industries and farms; massive looting of private property by a marauding army; and the killing of one out of four males of military age while maiming for life more than double that number. Would such an American president be considered a 'great statesman' or a war criminal? The answer is obvious.

A statesman would have recognized the state's right to secede, as enshrined in the Tenth Amendment, among other places, and then worked diligently to persuade the seceded state that a reunion was in its best interest. Agreat statesman, or even a modest one, would not have impulsively plunged the entire nation into a bloody war.

Lincoln's warmongering belligerence and his invasion of all the Southern states in response to Fort Sumter (where no one was harmed or killed) caused the upper South -- Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas -- to secede after originally voting to remain in the Union. He refused to meet with Confederate commissioners to discuss peace and even declined a meeting with Napoleon III of France, who offered to broker a peace agreement. No genuine statesman would have behaved in such a way.

After Fort Sumter, Lincoln thanked naval commander Gustavus Fox for assisting him in manipulating the South Carolinians into firing at Fort Sumter. A great statesman does not manipulate his own people into starting one of the bloodiest wars in human history."

mathias alexand
Here's a man who holds a press conference to announce a secret plan. Only in America.
Gezzah Potts
False flags here, false flags there, false flags everywhere. All too further the aims of the 'masters of the universe'. We know who was responsible for the tanker attacks. Who are the 3 countries absolutely desperate to take Iran down and install a completely pliant puppet regime answerable to Washington, Tel Aviv and to a lesser extent Riyadh. And creatures like Clawson, and all the other vermin can only see $$$$. Thats all they care about. Opening up more markets to further enrich themselves. I echo the other commenters also. The evil men stoop to for greed, power and control. Psychopaths.
harry law
The Foreign Office issued a statement saying: "It is almost certain that a branch of the Iranian military – the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – attacked the two tankers on 13 June. No other state or non-state actor could plausibly have been responsible."
Unbelievable, The UK vassal will use this to as one more reason to evade their responsibilities in implementing the JCPOA.
William HBonney
A Riyadh/Tel Aviv conspiracy. Genius!
Gezzah Potts
Er . just a rough guess Bill going on the belligerent foaming at the mouth by people in those places along with the likes of Bolton and Pompeo. In fact, you can probably go all the way back to about 1980 or so.
mark
I think the real giveaway was when all three rogue states openly stated their intention of doing this 1,000 times over the past 10 years. That was the crucial clue Sherlock Holmes was looking for.
Wilmers31
And who funds the Washington Institute? Last time I looked the International Crisis Group existed thanks to Soros and is usually treated like a serious organisation.

Many Europeans are not in love with the idea of war with Iran, just to achieve obedience to the US. 90 million people is bigger than Germany.

wardropper
These are the shysters, the spivs and the con men of bygone times. They are the ones who lurked at street corners, waiting for someone to come along who was gullible enough to buy the Moon from them.
But, for some reason, they are all in politics today.
Now how could that be?

Only because there are people whom it currently suits to use shysters, spivs and con men in order to create enough chaos for us to want to give up and just let those people have their way.

I agree with Rhys below. There is no more disgusting example of sub-humanity to be found on earth than these warmongers.
To deal with them, however, we will have to realize that their "philosophy", if you can call it that, runs very deep. It didn't just enter their heads last week.
They are reared and trained in it.

It will be a tough battle.

wardropper
I should add that, in bygone times, the police and the law were usually able to deal with the shysters, spivs and con men, since their lack of conscience often gave them away.
The modern version, however, which has moved into politics, was shrewd enough to use a few decades of bribery and threats in order to build around itself a nice little shell, through which the law simply cannot penetrate, except on special occasions, mainly for show.
Rhys Jaggar
There is a big cabal of warmongers who stoke the fuel but never see action. I find those people more disgusting than anyone on earth.

Draft dodgers, academics, 'historians' etc etc.

Ball-less pricks is what I call them .

mark
All fully paid up members of the Bill Clinton Light Infantry.
andyoldlabour
The appeasers would include the US who fully supported Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran, who provided him with chemical weapons and logistical help in using those weapons, which killed around 50,000 Iranian troops and Kurdish civilians.
The same appeasers armed and funded the Taliban (Mujahideen) against the Soviets.
The US are the single largest force for terrorism the World has ever seen.
William HBonney
The easiest, and perhaps best metric by which to judge a country, is 'do people aspire to live there? '.

I see you admire the Soviet Union, but at its dissolution, people were queuing to leave. And yet the US, and the UK, according to you, iniquitous places of tyranny, are oversubscribed. Could it be, that for all your implied erudition, you are merely a bellend?

BigB
Well, even as a pacifist: if that is his sentiment – I hope he has sons or daughters in the military stationed in CENTCOM in Qatar. I bet he hasn't, though.
Rhisiart Gwilym
He should be right there on the frontline himself. That would straighten the disgusting creep's ideas out about the 'usefulness' of deliberately provoking war

[Jun 15, 2019] When Oman Means Tonkin by Robert Fantina

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's National Security Advisor is the equally unhinged John Bolton. It is no secret that Bolton is itching for war with Iran, something even Trump has been hesitant to do. But what if a ship of the sacred United States, in an area of the world where it has no legitimate business to be, were to be attacked? Then, of course, U.S. retaliation would be swift and harsh. ..."
Jun 14, 2019 | ahtribune.com

The world awoke today to the alleged 'news' that U.S. authorities were investigating attacks on two ships in the Gulf of Oman. For anyone paying attention, this is déjà vu all over again. Let's put this in the context of current world politics as directed through the skewed lens of that self-proclaimed stable genius, United States President Donald Trump. The man who so considers himself, and has commented in the past on his own good looks, has stated that, regardless of what his advisors tell him, he rules by his 'gut' feelings. In 2017, against the advice of all allies except Israel, and also against the advice of his closest advisors, he withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

This was an international agreement by which sanctions against Iran would be withdrawn, in exchange for Iran making adjustments to its nuclear program. By so violating this agreement, and threatening sanctions against the other signatories if they continued to abide by it, the U.S. basically nullified it, yet expected Iran to comply. Iran has done so for over a year, with the hope, if not the expectation, that the other parties to the agreement would figure out a way to bypass U.S. threats. This has not happened.

The U.S. wants Iran to return to the bargaining table; why on earth it would is beyond the comprehension of any reasonable person. If Iran signed another agreement with the U.S., Trump could decide in a month, or a week, or even a day, that that, too, was 'the worst deal ever'.

Trump's National Security Advisor is the equally unhinged John Bolton. It is no secret that Bolton is itching for war with Iran, something even Trump has been hesitant to do. But what if a ship of the sacred United States, in an area of the world where it has no legitimate business to be, were to be attacked? Then, of course, U.S. retaliation would be swift and harsh. MORE...

Recently, there was alleged sabotage against U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf. Nothing came of that smoke screen. But today, a new violation of U.S. sanctity is alleged. While time alone can tell how this will play out, it is not without deadly and devastating precedence. On August 4, 1964, a U.S. ship, the Maddox, was in the Gulf of Tonkin, off the coast of China and northern Vietnam. That night, instruments on the Maddox indicated that the ship was either under attack or had been attacked. The Maddox and another U.S. vessel, the C. Turner Joy, fired into the darkness with support from U.S. warplanes. The Navy notified Washington that naval vessels in the Gulf of Tonkin were being attacked. Washington launched Operation Pierce Arrow (where oh where do these stupid names originate?): sixty-four sorties from nearby aircraft carriers pounded North Vietnam that evening. When the so-called retaliatory attack concluded, President Lyndon Johnson appeared on American television to announce that "gunboats and certain supporting facilities in North Vietnam" had been attacked by American aircraft. Had U.S. ships actually been attacked? Personnel on both vessels soon " decided they had been shooting at 'ghost images' on their radar; the preponderance of available evidence indicates that there was no attack." [1] But this was just what Congress wanted, so its members could prove their anti-Communist credentials, as important than as anti-terrorism hubris is today; it was the perfect ploy to escalate the war. Yet like the personnel on the ships, U.S. government officials knew very quickly that there had been no attack. Just a few days later, Johnson, upon learning the truth said this: "Hell, those dumb, stupid sailors were just shooting at flying fish." [2] The truth did nothing to stop violent U.S. escalation. By the end of the following year, the number of U.S. soldiers invading Vietnam increased from 23,000 to 184,300. Eleven years later, with over 55,000 U.S. soldiers dead, hundreds of thousands wounded, and, by conservative estimates, 2,000,000 Vietnamese dead, the U.S. fled Vietnam in defeat. Fast forward fifty-four years, an eternity in terms of U.S. governance. An independent nation (Iran) is minding its own business, protecting its borders and assisting its allies (including Syria), but it refuses to kowtow to U.S. demands. The mighty U.S., whose actions are not to be questioned by any nation that wants to survive, must determine some reason to invade it that will fly with the U.S. public. In 1964, its desire to invade Vietnam was given legitimacy by the lies of the Gulf of Tonkin non-incident. In 2019, will its desire to invade Iran gain U.S. support because of the Gulf of Oman non-incident? If so, one can only hope that, unlike the devastation that the U.S. wrought on Vietnam before that country was victorious over the U.S., Iran will be able to defeat the U.S. more quickly, and with fewer Iranian casualties. There really isn't much that the United States needs to do to diffuse the tension between it and Iran. Simply abide by its own international agreement, the JCPOA. But in for this to happen, Trump would have to find some reason to say that the sanctions were successful; he will never admit to making a mistake. But the workings of his brain are a conundrum; it's possible he could invent and believe such a scenario. For the sake of the U.S., Iran, and much of the world that could easily be dragged into a major war should the U.S. invade Iran, it is to be hoped that Trump does, indeed, invent such a reason. Endnotes [1] Chambers, (John Whiteclay II. ED. 1999. The Oxford Companion to American Military History . New York: Oxford UP). Jian, Chen. China's Road to the Korean War: The Making of the Sino-American Confrontation, P. 151. [2] Donald E. Schmidt, The Folly of War: American Foreign Policy, 1898-2005 (New York: Algora, 2005), 265. Gulf of Oman Incident

peter mcloughlina day ago ,

Where Oman differs from Tonkin is today we are facing a far more dangerous scenario. We could all 'be dragged into a major war should the US invade Iran'. Vietnam did not lead to nuclear Armageddon, nor did any other confrontation of the Cold War. There is much talk of a new Cold War. But the Cold War was the peace, a post-world war environment: we now live in a pre-world war environment. Humanity has experienced long periods of peace (or relative peace) throughout history. The Thirty Years Peace between the two Peloponnesian Wars, Pax Romana, Europe in the 19th century after the Congress of Vienna, to name a few. The Congress System finally collapsed in 1914 with the start of World War One. That conflict was followed by the League of Nations. It did not stop World War Two. That was followed by the United Nations and other post-war institutions. But all the indications are they will not prevent a third world war.
https://www.ghostsofhistory...

Blakea day ago ,

From Craig Murray:

I really cannot begin to fathom how stupid you would have to be to believe that Iran would attack a Japanese oil tanker at the very moment that the Japanese Prime Minister was sitting down to friendly, US-disapproved talks in Tehran on economic cooperation that can help Iran survive the effects of US economic sanctions.

The Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous was holed above the water line. That rules out a torpedo attack, which is the explanation being touted by the neo-cons.

The second vessel, the Front Altair, is Norwegian owned and 50% Russian crewed (the others being Filipinos). It is owned by Frontline, a massive tanker leasing company that also has a specific record of being helpful to Iran in continuing to ship oil despite sanctions.

It was Iran that rescued the crews and helped bring the damaged vessels under control. That Iran would target a Japanese ship and a friendly Russian crewed ship is a ludicrous

[Jun 15, 2019] The Bully Who Cried "Iran!" by Daniel Larison

Jun 13, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Ali Vaez rebuts Mike Pompeo's terse, evidence-free statement accusing Iran of responsibility for the two tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman:

Pompeo delivered his remarks without providing any evidence to support his accusations, and then walked off the stage without taking any questions. The Secretary of State's credibility has already been shot to pieces by his frequent lies and misleading statements on a range of issues touching on everything from North Korea to Yemen to Iran, so he needed to clear an even higher bar than usual to back up his accusations. He didn't come close. Aside from misleading the public and Congress about important issues, Pompeo's serial fabrications have a real cost in that no one believes a word he says about anything. It might be the case that Pompeo is telling the truth for once, but if so it would be extremely unusual for him. I made that point earlier today:

I have previously discussed Pompeo's complete lack of credibility , and it is worth revisiting part of that post now:

Pompeo is the chief representative of the United States abroad besides the president, so his habit of making things up out of thin air and telling easily refuted lies can only harm our reputation, undermine trust, and cause even our allies to doubt our government's claims.

Pompeo is the bully who cried "Iran!" so many times that we have no reason to trust his anti-Iranian claims now. The fact that he and the National Security Advisor are so clearly slavering at the possibility of increased tensions with Iran gives us another reason to be skeptical. We assume that they are trying to turn even the smallest incident into an excuse for escalation, and so we naturally look at their claims of Iranian responsibility with great suspicion. Vaez's thread goes through Pompeo's statement very carefully and points out the serious flaws and falsehoods, of which there are quite a few.

Once again, we see Pompeo's tendency to pin the blame for anything and everything that happens in the region on Iran, and many of these are no more than unfounded assertions or deliberate distortions. For example, the Houthi attacks on Saudi pipelines and airports are a result of the ongoing war on Yemen and the Saudi coalition bombing of Yemeni cities and towns. All indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets and infrastructure are wrong and should be condemned, but we also need to remember that these attacks are the direct consequence of belligerent and destructive policies of Saudi Arabia and the UAE backed by the United States. If the Saudis and Emiratis stopped bombing Yemen tomorrow, the missile attacks on Saudi targets would almost certainly cease thereafter. Just as Pompeo won't acknowledge the administration's role in goading and provoking Iran, he refuses to acknowledge the role of the Saudi coalition's war in provoking Yemeni retaliation. He desperately tries to make Iran the culprit of every crime, but instead of proving Iran's guilt it only calls into question Pompeo's judgment and honesty.

Probably the most galling part of Pompeo's statement was his declaration that "Iran should answer diplomacy with diplomacy." What diplomacy would Iran be responding to? Does Pompeo think his list of preposterous demands delivered as a diktat last year counts as diplomacy? Does he think that waging relentless economic war on a country of eighty million people qualifies as diplomatic? The Trump administration has chosen the path of provocation and confrontation for at least the last thirteen months, and then they have the gall to fault Iran for its lack of diplomacy. If the administration had not trashed the most important diplomatic agreement that our government had with Iran and proceeded to penalize them for keeping up their end of the bargain, our two countries would not be as dangerously close to war as they are now. The administration bears responsibility for creating the heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran, and it is their obnoxious and destructive policy of collective punishment that has brought us to this point.


JR, says: June 14, 2019 at 2:24 am

Pompeo proudly stated "We lie, we cheat " and even thought funny too. Guess that's one of the rare moments his statement contained some truth at least.
JEinCA , says: June 14, 2019 at 4:09 am
This is fundamentally an internal Chinese dispute therefore it is none of our business just as our internal disputes are none of theirs.
Ken_L , June 14, 2019 at 4:49 am
You do have to admit, the blurred 30 second video of a boat next to the hull of a ship was absolutely DAMNING! It proved conclusively that the Iranians launched unprovoked attacks on helpless civilian oil tankers.

Innocent sailors would have left the limpet mines in place, so they could blow up and damage the tanker some more.

Christian J Chuba , says: June 14, 2019 at 8:26 am
It could have been Iran, I don't know. This would be an understandable response for a country under blockade. I would feel differently if people died.

People in Iran have died because of our illegal sanctions hindering flood relief and medical care while Pompeo and others laughs at them. This does not include the suffering imposed on the civilian population. I do not expect Iran to curl up into a ball and accept their punishment.

If this was an Iranian operation it demonstrates their competency as opposed to use wasting Jet fuel having F35's circling around.

This might be a shot over the bow, who knows?

Gary Williams , says: June 14, 2019 at 10:05 am
Iran means virtually nothing to the United States. They have nothing to do with our national interest. As far as the tankers being mined; I have to say my first thought is that we (i.e. the United States) did it so we could start a war. Very similar to the Gulf of Tonkin incident in the Viet Nam war.
Sid Finster , says: June 14, 2019 at 10:29 am
Deepfakes, hasn't there been a lot of talk about those lately?

And lies used to justify wars, haven't we heard those from the neocon crew before?

[Jun 14, 2019] Corrupt "good guys," Tax Justice Network kills podcast on Browder

Jun 14, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al June 7, 2019 at 1:42 am

I followed the 'J'accuse News' tweet in response to Barnes's mea post culpa and came across this:

Corrupt "good guys," Tax Justice Network kills podcast on Browder
https://www.thekomisarscoop.com/2019/05/corrupt-good-guys-tax-justice-network-kills-podcast-on-browder/

By Lucy Komisar
May 11, 2019

The Tax Justice Network, organized in 2003 to fight offshore tax evasion and corruption, has censored a podcast its founding director recorded when I spoke at the Offshore Alert Conference in November in London. I didn't write about this before now, because I though the TJN leaders might change their minds. But it turns out they are either cowardly or corrupt.
####

Browder's tentacles run far, but only as far as his backers allow him, which leads me to ask 'what would it take for them to drop him'? Browder has a shelf-life and at some point he will be surplus to requirement .

Mark Chapman June 7, 2019 at 3:19 pm
That's a very sad story. You can really only take on someone like Browder when you have nothing to lose – it seems that as soon as you attract interest at an organizational level, it turns out that organization is afraid of losing its funding, and bows to the power which threatens to take it away. Note that he was not able to intimidate Nekrasov into not making his film, but he was able to browbeat theatres into not showing it.

Sooner or later it will all come crashing down for Browder. But The USA will protect him until they have something to replace the Magnitsky Act so they can continue to legally discriminate against Russia. If Browder goes down, the act he worked so hard to get on the books will be revealed as partisan bullshit, and nobody in the west wants that.

[Jun 14, 2019] From Russian oil to rock'n'roll: the rise of Len Blavatnik

Jun 14, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al June 7, 2019 at 3:28 pm

Financial Crimes: From Russian oil to rock'n'roll: the rise of Len Blavatnik
https://www.ft.com/content/c1889f48-871a-11e9-a028-86cea8523dc2

He made a fortune in the chaotic world of 1990s Russian capitalism, then took a place at the heart of the British establishment

Striding the halls of an English stately home, dressed in full costume as Victorian prime minister Benjamin Disraeli, Len Blavatnik was celebrating his 60th birthday. Grammy-winner Bruno Mars sang. Guests -- some in frock coats, others dressed as Leo Tolstoy, Rasputin or Chinese emissaries -- mixed with rock stars, celebrities and business tycoons.

Themed as an imaginary conference chaired by Disraeli, the June 2017 party was emblematic of Blavatnik's extraordinary rise from his birth in Soviet Ukraine to one of the UK's richest people
####

A lot more at the link.

So why did Abramovic get the bum rush? He's kept his head down, not made waves, behaved himself and spent a lot of money in the UK (Chelsea FC) which the above FT article sniffs at as unworthy (snobs), but the Brit government still stiffed his visa and he hasn't been back to the UK even though he now also has I-sraeli citizenship that affords him visa-free entry to the UK. Is it because the UK and others need some oligarchs on the side just in case their dream comes true and they need to parachute in some reliable Russians? That wouldn't surprise me. Government in waiting. Maybe Abramovic said "No." Wrong answer.

moscowexile June 8, 2019 at 11:57 pm
Parachute in some reliable Russians ???

You mean "Sir" Leonard Blavatnik?

Леонид Валентинович Блаватник (Сэр Леонард Блаватник; англ. Sir Leonard Blavatnik или Len Blavatnik; род. 14 июня 1957, Одесса -- американский и британский предприниматель и промышленник еврейского происхождения. В 2015 году возглавил список богатейших людей Великобритании Russian Wiki

Leonid Valentinovich Blavatnik (Sir Leonard Blavatnik or Len Blavatnik); born 14 June 1957, Odessa – American and British entrepreneur and industrialist of Jewish ancestry. In 2015, headed a list of the richest people in Great Britain

[Jun 14, 2019] Our old acquaintance Crowdstrike has gone public, and in its IPO debut, the stock surged to a market cap of over $12 Billion

Notable quotes:
"... Surprisingly, Crowdstrike's CEO – George Kurtz – does not have a background in the national intelligence services, or none that is immediately apparent. He seems to have worked mostly in private security, having gotten into it fairly early on, and is an accountant by trade; he seems to be the public face of the firm, and to be mostly involved in marketing. ..."
"... However, their president of services, Shawn Henry, is a former executive assistant director of the FBI, and I imagine its employees include quite a few former government spooks and ideologues. ..."
"... The other co-founder, though, is Dmitry Alperovitch. ..."
"... He's a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank, a direct adviser to the US Department of Defense, connected to Hillary Clinton and runs a new corporation whose startup cash came from Google. There's something even bigger than Google – corporations now seem more and more to be merging into what are essentially mini-states within the state itself – and it is called Alphabet Capital, Google's parent company. The Chairman of Alphabet Capital is Eric Schmidt, and he was actively working for Hillary Clinton during the last election when she spectacularly failed to make the cut. ..."
"... Google, allegedly, is becoming more and more an arm of the Democratic Party in the USA. ..."
"... Wheels within wheels, and connections seen and unseen. Several security professionals and software developers have alluded to Crowdstrike's reports on international hacking as being full of shit – but the American enforcement and intelligence services seem content to outsource their cyber work more or less exclusively to Crowdstrike. And the results of its IPO suggest high confidence on the part of investors that it is going to become ever-more-closely allied to the US government, font of government grants and funding which can be hard to trace. ..."
"... For what it's worth, the Crowdstrike story that Russian cyber-meddling had knocked out 80% of Ukrainian artillery systems was deemed bogus by several other sources, including the Ukrainian Army. At its most basic, artillery systems are large ballistic rifles that drop artillery shells on a predetermined position by looking the reference up on a gridded map and inputting corrections for elevation and azimuth; there is nothing computer-connected about them. Somewhere near the nearest elevated position in relation to the target there is a spotter, who notes the fall of shot and calls the corrections; "left two, up fifty", or "in line, on for range; fire for effect". The latter would be followed by a barrage on what the spotter had identified as a direct hit by the spotting rounds. ..."
Jun 14, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman June 12, 2019 at 10:31 am

Well, well; look at that. Our old acquaintance Crowdstrike has gone public, and in its IPO debut, the stock surged to a market cap of over $12 Billion – worth nearly as much as Symantec, which has been around for nearly 40 years. Up 83% in a single day. Gee; I wonder who's buying in? I guess we can look forward to more whispering about Russian cybercrime and internet invasion in the days to come. Stealing elections, even, maybe, hmmm?

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/12/crowdstrike-ipo-stock-starts-trading-on-the-nasdaq.html

Surprisingly, Crowdstrike's CEO – George Kurtz – does not have a background in the national intelligence services, or none that is immediately apparent. He seems to have worked mostly in private security, having gotten into it fairly early on, and is an accountant by trade; he seems to be the public face of the firm, and to be mostly involved in marketing.

However, their president of services, Shawn Henry, is a former executive assistant director of the FBI, and I imagine its employees include quite a few former government spooks and ideologues.

https://www.crowdstrike.com/about-crowdstrike/executive-team/george-kurtz/

The other co-founder, though, is Dmitry Alperovitch.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2017/01/06/dnc-russian-hacking-conclusion-comes-google-linked-firm/

He's a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank, a direct adviser to the US Department of Defense, connected to Hillary Clinton and runs a new corporation whose startup cash came from Google. There's something even bigger than Google – corporations now seem more and more to be merging into what are essentially mini-states within the state itself – and it is called Alphabet Capital, Google's parent company. The Chairman of Alphabet Capital is Eric Schmidt, and he was actively working for Hillary Clinton during the last election when she spectacularly failed to make the cut.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-24/what-crowdstrike-firm-hired-dnc-has-ties-hillary-clinton-ukrainian-billionaire-and-g

Google, allegedly, is becoming more and more an arm of the Democratic Party in the USA.

There is also another gap in play: The shrinking distance between Google and the Democratic Party. Former Google executive Stephanie Hannon is the Clinton campaign's chief technology officer, and a host of ex-Googlers are currently employed as high-ranking technical staff at the Obama White House. Schmidt, for his part, is one of the most powerful donors in the Democratic Party -- and his influence does not stem only from his wealth, estimated by Forbes at more than $10 billion.

Wheels within wheels, and connections seen and unseen. Several security professionals and software developers have alluded to Crowdstrike's reports on international hacking as being full of shit – but the American enforcement and intelligence services seem content to outsource their cyber work more or less exclusively to Crowdstrike. And the results of its IPO suggest high confidence on the part of investors that it is going to become ever-more-closely allied to the US government, font of government grants and funding which can be hard to trace.

Mark Chapman June 12, 2019 at 4:25 pm
Here's a colorful account of Crowdstrike's exploits and their alleged track record of coming up with convenient narratives on demand.

https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-russian-collusion-delusion-in-a-nutshell/

For what it's worth, the Crowdstrike story that Russian cyber-meddling had knocked out 80% of Ukrainian artillery systems was deemed bogus by several other sources, including the Ukrainian Army. At its most basic, artillery systems are large ballistic rifles that drop artillery shells on a predetermined position by looking the reference up on a gridded map and inputting corrections for elevation and azimuth; there is nothing computer-connected about them. Somewhere near the nearest elevated position in relation to the target there is a spotter, who notes the fall of shot and calls the corrections; "left two, up fifty", or "in line, on for range; fire for effect". The latter would be followed by a barrage on what the spotter had identified as a direct hit by the spotting rounds.

Kaspersky Labs also took Crowdstrike apart,

https://therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/kasperskys-war-on-crowdstrike-evangelist-dmitri-alperovitch/

and mention of Kaspersky reminded me the US government had used 'advice' from its security experts to determine Kaspersky products constituted a threat to US national security just like Huawei, a connection I have not seen made yet elsewhere.

Mmmm .I wonder if Crowdstrike is not being set up specifically to provide the US government with substantiation for banning technical products which have the potential to achieve dominant market share, but cannot be manipulated by Washington because they are owned by non-aligned countries?

[Jun 14, 2019] MI5 'unlawfully' handled bulk surveillance data, lawsuit reveals

Jun 14, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al June 11, 2019 at 8:05 am

SkyNudes: MI5 'unlawfully' handled bulk surveillance data, lawsuit reveals
https://news.sky.com/story/mi5-unlawfully-handled-bulk-surveillance-data-lawsuit-reveals-11739729

The security service is accused of breaking the law and documents state the "the task [of complying with it] was too large".

"The documents show extraordinary and persistent illegality in MI5's operations, apparently for many years," said civil liberties organisation Liberty, which is bringing the case.

"The existence of what MI5 itself calls 'ungoverned spaces' in which it holds and uses large volumes of private data is a serious failure of governance and oversight, especially when mass collection of data of innocent citizens is concerned."
####

Incompetent? No. Don't give a shit? Yes.

It won't make a blind bit of difference as the security service have broad brush surveillance powers and the 'National Security' exception behind them. At least they are not handing over that data to their terrorist sponsoring Gulf brothers Oh, hang on, can't rule anything out!

[Jun 14, 2019] By this stage I wonder if all Skripals neighbours aren't all "ex" spooks

Jun 14, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Cortes June 9, 2019 at 11:24 pm

A real shame that Dr David Kelly took his own life. I'm sure he'd have been able to shed light on the latest news from Wiltshire:

https://www.rt.com/uk/461463-novichok-bb-skripal-house/

By this stage I wonder if all the neighbours aren't all "ex" spooks from hither and yon. Who else would tolerate the nonsense they've been subjected to without reaching out to their learned friends? Good luck with putting a house on the market with that circus going on.

Moscow Exile June 10, 2019 at 3:29 am
Such stringent measures would surely not be taken by HM govt and British security if they had no evidence that those evil Russians had attempted to kill the Skripals with Novichok.

Stands ter reason, don't it?

Mark Chapman June 10, 2019 at 8:15 am
The whole premise just becomes more and more ridiculous – the house is now completely shrouded in tarpaulins, the roof has been removed, it has undergone extensive 'decontamination' – all, all of it obviously for show, for the yokels, because for weeks afterward police personnel guarded the residence while standing just feet away from the door handle which was supposedly the locus of infection. No chemical-warfare protection whatsoever was apparent; they didn't even wear gloves unless it was cold.

They might at least have made up some story that the Deadly Door Handle had been replaced, or even the entire door. Because everyone who went in or out of that house, and there must have been many, touched that door handle, at least some of them with their bare hand. And what ever became of the intrepid detective, Nick what's-his-name? Wasn't the state going to buy his home as well, even though he had scarcely been in it and had gone more or less straight to the hospital after being 'infected'? Only to make a miraculous and complete recovery in days, and then drop off the public radar?

Stupidity abounds. Yet the press just can't let it go, and let it mercifully drop out of sight. It would just be too embarrassing to tacitly admit the British government made it up from start to finish, the entire operation. If the Skripals actually were poisoned with something, and not just acting a role for the British government, then that part must have been HM-government-supplied as well, because nobody who has any experience with police procedure is going to believe they had a culprit and a complete history of the crime in only a couple of hours after its discovery, and a foreign state was responsible.

Murdock June 11, 2019 at 8:14 am
I don't want to be an alarmist but if I had to guess I would say our good friend Officer Nick is probably partying it up with Sergei, Yulia, and their pets in Hades.
Mark Chapman June 11, 2019 at 8:43 am
You never know. He sort of dropped out of the public eye, and of all of them he seemed to be the one whose story would be picked apart first, although all of them were improbable. And I'm sure many, many were interested in interviewing him and questioning him further.

He was released from hospital with no apparent ill effects more than a year ago, on March 23rd, 2018. According to the Telegraph , here,

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/15/police-officer-nick-bailey-returns-active-duty-10-months-salisbury/

he returned to active duty the beginning of 2019, but the story has his Chief confirming this, it is not Bailey himself. That same story remembers that Dawn Sturgess "fell ill in Amesbury months after the incident and died in hospital in July after coming into contact with a perfume bottle believed to have been used in the attack on the Skripals and then discarded." But the perfume bottle described as having been 'used in the attack on the Skripals' was brand-new and still in its store packaging, not to any appearance unusual except for that weird plastic aerator fastened to the bottle. Which, now that I think of it, was supposed to have been not attached to the bottle at all; Charlie Rowley's tale was that he broke the bottle trying to get the applicator on it, which is how he was exposed. But he still gave it to his paramour as a gift, and she was still apparently able to use it to spray herself.

Anyway, so far as I can make out, DS Nick Bailey returned to duty with his former police department last winter, and since then not a peep has been heard from him. The Skripals are still incognito, and Sergei has never been seen again since going into hospital.

Bailey's parents apparently threw a wobbler when the Beeb decided to run a two-part television drama on the attacks, which would doubtless reinforce and reconfirm the government line although it is meant to showcase the quiet courage and resourcefulness of 'ordinary heroes'.

https://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/17673661.parents-of-ds-nick-bailey-hit-out-at-bbc-over-novichok-drama/

No statement from Bailey himself. Meanwhile, he is scheduled to lead off a charity walk for the local hospital on July 7th. So we will see.

https://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/17697751.detective-sergeant-nick-bailey-to-start-stars-appeal-walk-for-wards/

[Jun 14, 2019] Molly McKew, the information-warfare goddess

Jun 14, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

The Mueller Report, recently released, tried its best to imply that there was collusion even as it stated baldly that the investigation had yielded no evidence of collusion. But what struck me with the most force was the manner in which the Democrats – and the entire crowd which has so much invested in having had an illegitimate president foisted upon them by the Godless Russians – simply shook its head, took a deep breath and went right on blathering the same lunatic narrative. The Russians interfered with our democracy. Nothing is safe. Russia is the enemy of democracy, and will not suffer a democracy to live. Get the kids and pack up enough food for traveling, Mabel; we're headed for the mountains – it's "Red Dawn", babycakes.

Amazing as it will sound, America has learned nothing.

Part of it, of course, is America's belief in its own omnipotence; if something came out differently from the way it was planned to come out, then America was tricked. Hoodwinked, by unscrupulous actors. It cannot be that America is subject to the same vagaries and pressures and caprices as the rest of the world; America decides, and so it shall be. Part of it is the diligent pick-and-shovel work that America's political forces do to preserve that illusion; that America is an unstoppable force, so much more than just a big rich country.

So, the premise endures. Russian trolls, acting on the personal orders of Vladimir Putin, generated a storm of hateful social-media messages on race relations in America, in a coordinated strike which included Russian release of Hillary Clinton's personal emails, and America faltered. It scratched its head in doubt, and Donald Trump slipped past the worthy – and oh, so wronged – Mrs. Clinton to seize the presidency with his soiled hands.

Matt Taibbi did some excellent work on the subject , which I admit grudgingly, as I hoped to get something out on America's inability to learn from its mistakes before the heavyweights. Taibbi's writing will make you wonder whether you should laugh or cry, as you wonder how an influential country could survive the embarrassment of the past couple of years, encapsulated by a journalistic mantra which holds that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Russia is guilty as sin, and you can take that to the bank, so the very fact that Mueller will not leak any proof to us must mean that his findings are so devastating, so jaw-dropping, so "shut up !!" that they would break the media. The one possibility which was not considered a possibility at all was that there was nothing, and that the accusations had been fabrication and desperate damage control from the first.

But the frustrated narrative of Russian collusion is the only component which has been discredited to the point that Democrats and Russophobes of all political persuasions must admit there is no happy ending to the promise that Donald Trump was going to be fired so high he would need to go on oxygen. Mueller – probably deliberately – continued to hint that Russia had 'meddled' in the 2016 election, and that the effect had been important enough that democracy is under attack. No longer listening to anyone outside the party-faithful echo chamber, the Democrats now insist that US Attorney-General William Barr resign , for 'misleading the American people about collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia".

"Barr's news conference ultimately did nothing to help Trump, because the public has eyes. Americans could read the damning evidence of obstruction of justice and communications with Russians for themselves and make their own judgements."

Democrats continue to try to make up in volume and intensity for the fact that there is no evidence at all of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, nor of obstruction of justice by Trump. The Republicans shout that the Democrats are on a senseless witch hunt, that the report makes clear there was no collusion between Trump and the Russians but are perfectly happy to agree that Russia meddled in the election. For his part, Mueller is happy to drop hints that both obstruction and collusion probably took place – he just couldn't find any proof.

All are loony. Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election at all, at least no further than Europe did. A lengthy list of European political leaders and former leaders publicly expressed their support for Mrs. Clinton's election to the office of President of the United States. In 2008, just one is recorded as having done so ; Mona Sahlin, leader of Sweden's Social Democrats. Interestingly, in the same list of endorsements of Mrs. Clinton in 2008 – right after "Adult Entertainment Artists" – is this one: under "Well-Known Individuals", "Businessman and television personality, Future Presidential Candidate & Rival for the United States presidential election 2016, future President of the United States Donald Trump" .

There's gratitude for you.

The Presidents of Taiwan, Chile, France and Ukraine, the former Presidents of Mexico, France, Kosovo and Ecuador, the Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, France, Italy, New Zealand and Sweden and former Prime Ministers of Sweden, the UK, Canada, Australia and France all openly expressed their hope that Mrs. Clinton would be elected President of the United States. None of this was considered meddling. I don't recall any official endorsement from Russia, although the international English-speaking media helpfully informed us that Putin hoped Trump would win, because he felt Trump would be more approachable for concessions and because he disliked Mrs. Clinton. When Trump did win, despite wrong guesses by just about every political analyst on the planet, it was considered 'additional evidence' that meddling had taken place, instigated by you-know-who.

Perhaps, in highlighting just how stupid America is making itself look with this painfully stubborn insistence that Russia rolled it in 2016, it would be useful to take another look at what American partisans claimed to already know, and could prove as easily as demonstrating that if you put your hand on a hot stove, you will burn it.

One of my favourite American partisans is the Duchess of Displacement, the Baroness of Bulk, Molly McKew . We took a look at her work a long time ago , on the old blog – just before Trump commenced his term, in fact – or perhaps I should say his first term, since the barking madness of the political landscape in today's America makes it entirely possible he will serve a second, unbelievable as that may sound. In that article, we closed out like this; "Look, we're getting close to the end of this, and it's time for plain speaking. Americans are confused and don't know fact from fiction because their own government feeds them bullshit with a side of spin day in, day out, and you're part of it. There was no Russian interference in the American elections, and you know it." My take on what happened has not changed a bit.

McKew is still regarded – highly, I should imagine, by her feeble-minded peers – as an 'information-warfare expert'. Hardly amazing that she sees information-warfare attacks everywhere. Here's what she claimed to know about Russian election interference and general friggin' in the riggin', a little over a year ago. She bases her conclusions on Mueller's Grand Jury indictment, which was issued more than a year in advance of his report – an indictment in which Mueller claimed the Defendants (a variety of Russian advertising and research agencies operating both in Russia and the United States) " knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other (and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury) to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016."

You know the old quote about how easy it is to get a Grand Jury to indict someone or something.

Something McKew claims is now – meaning as of early 2018 – "undeniable" is that Russia had, and has "a broad, sophisticated system that can influence American opinion, which cost tens of millions of dollars spent over several years to build." She must be talking about RT , although I suggest her cost estimate is a little low. RT, which the west considers a 'propaganda network', cost $30 million to set up, in 2005. Its operating costs now are in the hundreds of millions annually, although 80% of the costs are incurred outside Russia, paying for partner networks who distribute its channels.

We kind of have to give her that one, because it is true that RT's coverage is often at odds with the bullshit du jour that CNN and NBC and FOX are spreading. Bullshit, for example, like CNN's non-stop yammering about the collusion that Mueller could find no evidence ever occurred, and said so. Bullshit like NBC News anchor Brian Williams' recollections about his helicopter being shot down in Iraq – echoes of Hillary 'sniper fire' Clinton – , which never happened . Williams is not a nobody; he was the nation's longest-serving and top-rated news anchor.

I submit, however, that the American people are not subjected to RT's 'propaganda and disinformation' about American propaganda and disinformation against their will; there is a button on the remote called "On/Off" that will free the American enslaved from malign Kremlin influence. Alternatively, they can switch to another channel. I would just point out, though, that if they switch to a popular US news channel, they are very likely to be listening to a broadcast which has been curated by its corporate owners, and who " are unlikely to report news that is broadly hostile to corporate capitalism and the American elite ." That's according to a report entitled "Corporate Control of the Media" (in the USA), printed in 2009.

Warming to her subject, McKew goes on to claim "The Russian efforts described in the indictment focused on establishing deep, authenticated, long-term identities for individuals and groups within specific communities. This was underlaid by the establishment of servers and VPNs based in the US to mask the location of the individuals involved. US-based email accounts linked to fake or stolen US identity documents (driver licenses, social security numbers, and more) were used to back the online identities. These identities were also used to launder payments through PayPal and cryptocurrency accounts. All of this deception was designed to make it appear that these activities were being carried out by Americans."

This might be a good point at which to suggest there is every reason to believe 'these activities' were carried out by Americans. Americans working for national intelligence agencies.

In March 2017, The Washington Post's Ellen Nakashima had an article published which was entitled "WikiLeaks' latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations." It detailed, among other things, a cyber tool called "Marble Framework" . This could be used, it was claimed, to re-assign attribution of material posted on the internet so that it appeared, for forensic purposes, to have originated from a different source. Test samples, it was reported, were included in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi.

The report which encouraged President Trump to ask his CIA Director – Mike Pompeo, at the time, who is currently the National Security Advisor – what he knew about this was co-authored by Skip Folden, who for 25 years was the IT Program Manager for IBM. I think it is safe to say he has some credibility in the field of cyber-forensics. The authors of the report contended that the 'hack' of the DNC's server was not actually a hack at all, but the at-source copying of data directly from the server using a storage device, probably a thumb drive. The data transfer rate, the authors claimed, was far too rapid to have occurred over the internet.

Since then I have seen a couple of 'rebuttals' which claimed that under certain conditions – like if nobody else was using the internet during that time – such copying from a remote source was possible. I never saw anything like proof. Like someone demonstrating how it could be done. Much like the old 'clean pee swap' the completely-discredited McLaren Report claimed the Russians performed on athletes' urine samples; he claimed to know how it was done, but never demonstrated it, and appeared to be unable to do so, as it would have strongly supported his allegations.

Having taken us such an eye-blurring distance on the blarney rollercoaster, Molly at last falls apart. "So anyone trying to tell you there was little impact on political views from the tools the Russians used doesn't know. Because none of us knows. No one has looked . Social media companies don't want us to know, and they obfuscate and drag their feet rather than disclosing information. The analytical tools to quantify the impact don't readily exist. But we know what we see, and what we heard -- and the narratives pushed by the Russian information operation made it to all of our ears and eyes" , she tells us.

So if you saw advertising by Black Lives Matter, or perhaps some other civil-rights organization, pushing a false narrative that blacks are second-class citizens in their own country, then you were exposed to Kremlin propaganda. And it affected how you voted, if you're an American. How much? Nobody knows. What everybody does know, or should, is that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, although not the determinate vote in the electoral college – quite a trick for the Russians to manage.

Let's summarize. Americans were supposedly pushed into voting for Donald Trump by the misuse of stolen data which was all true. The DNC did conspire to rig the primary so that Clinton was the Democratic candidate rather than Bernie Sanders; the Chair of the DNC resigned in disgrace because of the revelations which came to light. Her replacement, Donna Brazile, admitted to having fed the primary debate questions to Clinton in advance , giving her an advantage over Sanders, who was unaware of them as he should have been. At its very core, the Democratic party is as corrupt as the Nigerian prince who keeps e-mailing me to help him hide his ill-gotten fortune. American intelligence and technical professionals with no discernible benefit in making their country look bad insist that no hacking of the DNC's server took place, and that the stolen information which kicked the Democrats' feet out from under them on the eve of the election was not hacked, but stolen by direct physical transfer from the server using a portable storage device. Wikileaks insisted the information it released did not come from the Russians. The serving American intelligence services at the time of the 2016 election had a secret program which was capable of mimicking the origin of posted information on social media so that forensic investigation would find traces of Russian authorship, or other non-American authorship. The CIA has vigorously denied any involvement whatsoever in various international events at the time they occurred, only to admit much later – when it would be pointless to punish it – that they did in fact play an influential role. Data from 2014 established that at that time, 27% of black Americans lived below the poverty line , compared with 11% of all Americans; 38% of black children lived in poverty compared with 22% of all American children. I have seen no compelling evidence that this situation has improved. According to the perfidious Kremlin mouthpiece RT, citing American sources, American blacks are incarcerated at a rate six times as high as the national average .

Molly McKew, the information-warfare goddess, tells us that it is 'undeniable' that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, by making Americans doubt the integrity of their political candidates. In the case of the Democrats – which is by no means intended to spare the Republicans – they were demonstrated by their own repeatedly-verified and admitted shenanigans to understand 'integrity' about as well as the average crab fisherman understands how to calculate the mass of the sun. Everything they were accused of doing, they did. Candidate Hillary Clinton unambiguously lied – as she has done on other occasions – about the security classification of her 'private' emails and completely fabricated consent of the State Department for her to maintain a private email server for the sending and receiving of official message traffic. America does have an uneven scale of justice, law enforcement and standard of living based on race. There is no proof at all which has so far been made public that any of those situations were reported, compelled, exacerbated or invented by Russia, or by anyone from Russia. According to persistent revelations from Kiev, the American Democratic party energetically sought dirt on candidate Trump from Ukrainian sources , not Russian. McKew closes her soliloquy on election interference by maintaining that while it is undeniable that Russian interference occurred, nobody knows the extent to which it influenced the vote, which resulted in a popular win for the candidate who lost the election.

Let me posit another reality. Russia played no part at all in the outcome of the 2016 election, although it certainly was a surprise to most. There is no proof even offered that there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials of any description, and no proof which could not have been fabricated that any coherent social-media campaign originating with Russian operatives took place, or that any such imaginary social-media campaign had anything to do with Trump's victory. The Democrats, by sticking to their ridiculous and incredible narrative of Russian masterminds warping American democracy, are setting themselves up for having their headlights sucked out again by the passing Trump juggernaut in the next election, when they will be totally out of excuses if they do not wake up and do some serious retrenching.

But we are probably going to have to wait for history to teach that lesson to Americans.

[Jun 13, 2019] For those who still look in occasionally on what is happening with Nord Stream II, the Americans are still blustering about killing it with new sanctions targeted against pipelaying vessels and those who finance them, insure them, and so on. Its typical dog-in-the-manger pressure is applied with a view to supplying Europe itself, with 'freedom gas'.

Jun 13, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman June 11, 2019 at 7:20 pm

For those who still look in occasionally on what is happening with Nord Stream II, the Americans are still blustering about killing it with new sanctions targeted against pipelaying vessels and those who finance them, insure them, and so on. Its typical dog-in-the-manger pressure is applied with a view to supplying Europe itself, with 'freedom gas'. That, of course, is not using energy as a weapon – just so we're clear. It's trying to force Europe to buy higher-priced American gas by using economics as a weapon.

Anyway, Germany is getting pretty fed up with it. Mutti Merkel has let the Americans know that they are not going to be able to stop the project. She has let it be known that the project already has European approval 'in principle', and that she is aware this is all about Ukraine and forcing Russia to continue gas transit through it and supplement its budget with transit fees. Germany's Ambassador to the United States, Emily Haber, has allegedly been even more pointed than that.

"In particular, according to Bild, the German Ambassador to the United States, Emily Haber, has sent a letter to the US Congress urging them to stop threatening Russian companies PJSC NOVATEK and PJSC Gazprom, operating in Germany, with new sanctions. In her words, such actions jeopardize the energy security of Germany and of the entire European Union.

In her letter, Emily Haber points out that since countries of the European Union have adopted amendments to the Gas Directive, the issue of blocking the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline is closed for Europe: "All countries that criticized the Nord Stream-2 approved this document " . Given the situation, the German diplomat described any further steps that Washington might take in order to hinder the development of the project as counterproductive and potentially threatening the energy security of the EU."

https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2019/05/26/us-strives-to-supply-europe-with-its-own-gas/

Gosh; that reminds me – Chinese tariffs on American LNG more than doubled a couple of weeks ago. As of June 1st, the tariff went from 10% to 25%. Not having much of an effect, though – Chinese imports of American LNG have only dropped from 1.4 million tons during the first 4 months of last year to .3 million tons over the same period this year. The unclaimed LNG must be sold on the open market, and that drives the price down. Price has a direct effect on American production, and if it goes too low production must be reined in.

You're doing a great job, Mr. Trump – keep it up! Make America great again!

[Jun 13, 2019] A recent RAND Corporation research paper which delivers a detailed road map as to how the United States can destabilize Russia

Jun 13, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Warren June 13, 2019 at 9:02 am

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_nCBxfsNADo?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Mark Chapman June 13, 2019 at 10:17 am
Astoundingly arrogant, not to mention immature. If Russia produced a study on how to destroy America, there would be screams of rage at the unmitigated evil which must motivate a national effort to wreck the economy of another, and cause misery and social collapse for millions of people who were completely innocent. But only the Exceptional Nation can discuss it impassively, as if the study were nothing more than a coffee-table book. Because, you know, it is destined to rule and to triumph over all. So many parallels to Rome, yes, yes.

Americans were blessed with a wonderful, rich and bountiful country. Instead of being content with it, the repellent US government has set its sights on world domination so as to draw upon global wealth to increase American personal wealth and influence. It really sees itself as sitting at the pinnacle of a global empire in which all other countries are either vassals or resources. And the American people, while you could not really call them complicit, are mostly sold on the notion that this is their birthright as Americans, and that anyone who tries to forestall its unfolding in this fashion is trying to upset the natural order of things. Americans cannot be content with simply having America – they have to own and control it all. Oddly enough, the very ambition which was attributed to the Communists.

Northern Star June 13, 2019 at 4:10 pm
Take a look at some of the most notable RAND members:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAND_Corporation#Notable_participants

I think that fairly well explains it

[Jun 13, 2019] The D-Day invasion came out of a protracted struggle between the US and Britain over the course of the war and the opening of a "second front," which the Soviet Union had called for over at least the previous two years

Jun 13, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star June 7, 2019 at 12:12 pm

@ME in particular:

Appears that wsws anticipated the concerns of you and others:

"The D-Day invasion came out of a protracted struggle between the US and Britain over the course of the war and the opening of a "second front," which the Soviet Union had called for over at least the previous two years.

One of the most striking features of the D-Day anniversary commemorations, in both the UK and France, was the deliberate exclusion of Russia from the events. Whatever the undoubtable role played by the Normandy invasion in the defeat of the Third Reich in World War II, the overwhelming sacrifices and impact of the Red Army, which was responsible for 80 percent of the casualties inflicted upon German forces is undeniable. While the combat deaths of nearly 300,000 US military personnel was staggering, their numbers pale in comparison to the unfathomable toll of 26 million Soviet dead, military and civilian.

It was the victories of the Red Army -- and behind it the antifascist resistance of the Soviet masses -- fighting along a front that extended over 1,000 miles, that pushed the US and Britain to carry out the D-Day invasion and finally open up the second front demanded by Moscow."

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/06/07/pers-j07.html

Moscow Exile June 7, 2019 at 12:46 pm
The largest offensive launched during WWII and which ended in a Soviet victory was Operation Bagration, 23 June to 19 August 1944., in which the Soviet Union deployed 1,670,300 combat and support personnel, approximately 32,718 artillery pieces and mortars, 5,818 tanks and assault guns and 7,799 aircraft against the Nazis and, by doing so, inflicted the biggest defeat in German military history in that the Red Army destroyed 28 out of 34 divisions of Army Group Centre and completely shattered the German front line, thereby liberating Belorussia and Polish territory from the invader.

Compare and contrast:


D Day landings, 6 june, 1944

5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers participated in the landings. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on D-Day,with 875,000 men disembarking by the end of June.

By July 21, Caen, a major objective for the allies, had still not fallen.

If Bagration had not taken place or had not ended in a decisive victory, the Germans would have wiped the floor with the allies in Normandy.

The German army never recovered from the crushing defeat that resulted from Bagration. The materiel and manpower losses sustained during Bagration amounted to almost 25% of German Eastern Front manpower, exceeding even the percentage of loss at Stalingrad.

These Nazi losses included many experienced soldiers, NCOs and commissioned officers, which at this stage of the war the Wehrmacht could not replace. An indication of the completeness of the Soviet victory is that 31 of the 47 German divisional or corps commanders involved were killed or captured.

In short: a Soviet defeat in the east would have meant either no allied invasion from the west or, if such an invasion had taken place without the Red Army being victorious in the east, the Nazis would have made short work of any western allied landings.

Moscow Exile June 7, 2019 at 12:50 pm
Where's Bagration gone above?

Try again!

Moscow Exile June 7, 2019 at 9:43 pm
The BBc on D-Day and Putin:

D-Day anniversary: Putin says lack of invitation 'not a problem'
6 June 2019

With this comment by Rosenberg, the BBC man in Moscow:

Why does Russia see D-Day differently to the West?
Analysis by Steve Rosenberg, BBC News, Moscow

When countries argue about the present, they often disagree about the past, too. Take D-Day – British Prime Minister Theresa May called it the day that "determined the fate of generations to come". But Russia's Foreign Ministry sees things rather differently.

"The Normandy landings did not have a decisive impact on the outcome of World War Two," said its spokesperson Maria Zakharova this week. "It was inevitable after the Red Army victories at Stalingrad and Kursk."

Moscow Exile June 7, 2019 at 9:48 pm
Zakharova is not correct in saying that the allies were defeated in the Ardennes, though they suffered a temporary reverse there. There was no way, however, that the Ardennes offensive, the last in the West undertaken by the Nazis, would have resulted in victory for the Hitlerites.

The allies were defeated at Arnhem though.

A total cock up resulting through poor intelligence work.

Northern Star June 8, 2019 at 10:54 am
"Zakharova is not correct in saying that the allies were defeated in the Ardennes, "

Ahhhh ME..ya' beat me to it. I was just now upon reading her comment going to point that out!!
General Weather-Blue Skies-enabled the Allies to get their Fighter bombers up and able to wreak havoc on the SS panzer formations and supply vehicles some of which were stalled on the roads having run out of petrol.
https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/daily/wwii/clear-skies-over-bastogne-pattons-prayers-answered/

Mark Chapman June 8, 2019 at 9:36 am
That implication that Russia might see things differently if it had not been insulted by Putin's not being invited was unworthy even of such a cheap-shot vehicle as the state-sponsored BBC. Western re-jigging of historical events to its own benefit and to assuming unto itself the role of modest hero relies on its readership being unable or unwilling to comprehend cause and effect. Naturally every citizen everywhere wants to believe his or her country was brave and resolute, and soldiers of the Allied nations indeed did fight bravely against the Nazis; it's brave just to show up and keep pressing forward when you know it is entirely possible and even likely that you will be killed. But there are plenty of western historical stipulations to the fact that the Soviet Union took the brunt of the Nazi attack, and was still taking it when the Normandy landings took place; during all that time, whilst the Allies were dithering and some were making their own pacts with Hitler, the Russians were getting pounded. Instead, the west and most offensively the British portray the German campaign against the Soviet Union as a falling-out among thieves, and squeak about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact until you can't hear anything else. Wartime leaders among the allies acknowledged the indispensable nature of the Soviet defense and counterattacks to the eventual victory. But we have seen a slow airbrushing-out of the entire Soviet role in the conflict. Which is cheap and unworthy. Once again, and mark my words, if it goers on it will result in a smug certainty among western leaders that the inheritors of the Soviet mantle are not really fighters, more sulkers, and would be a pushover in war. A cakewalk, you might say; everyone will be home in time for supper, done and dusted. And the world will learn to its grief, if it even survives such a cataclysm, where listening to bullshit led it.
Cortes June 7, 2019 at 2:16 pm
The incredible power of General Winter.

I just had another brief look at the Conclusions in David Glantz's "August Storm" in which General Winter again played a decisive role in Manchuria. Who can withstand the General's icy grasp?

Patient Observer June 7, 2019 at 3:17 pm
I had to look. There is a General Winter, Ormonde de l'Épée Winter.

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

Mark Chapman June 8, 2019 at 8:59 am
Ormonde "the sword" Winter. Sounds kind of like a child destined to be a soldier. Or a letter-opener.
Jen June 8, 2019 at 2:23 pm
At least as a letter opener he'd be pushing the envelope. 🙂
Mark Chapman June 8, 2019 at 10:27 pm
Ha, ha!!!
Patient Observer June 7, 2019 at 3:13 pm
Quite a bit of research has confirmed British resistance to opening a second front for the purpose of keeping Nazi pressure on the Soviet Union if not its outright defeat. Eisenhower was, in particular, disgusted by the British describing their effort as a betrayal to the allied war effort. The examples of British treachery are endless.

Top US military leadership to me seemed generally competent in WW II. Their abhorrence of the nuclear attack on Japan reflected well on their morality and character.

Cortes June 7, 2019 at 4:55 pm
The War Diaries of Allanbrooke (CIGS) are a good read.

The assessment of Stalin by Allanbrooke is worth wading through a load of nonsense about Mme Chiang Kai Shek &c. And his recollection of Wavell making a poem about "No Second Front in '43" aboard the flight back from Moscow.

Northern Star June 8, 2019 at 11:05 am
"Their abhorrence of the nuclear attack on Japan reflected well on their morality and character."

Now THAT.. I didn't know but appears as if you are spot on corrrect:

"Truman was advised not to use the atomic bombs by such figures as Adm. William D. Leahy, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. We know from Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson's diaries and other documents that the rush to use atomic bombs quickly, rather than follow other available courses, was intimately connected with the desire to end the conflict before the Soviet Union entered it on Aug. 15, 1945, and with the hope that the bomb would help in disputed European negotiations.
.But the central point was probably best put in General Eisenhower's blunt formulation: "It wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing." GAR ALPEROVITZ Washington, Oct. 4, 1988 The writer is author of "Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam."

https://www.nytimes.com/svc/oembed/html/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F1988%2F10%2F29%2Fopinion%2Fl-a-bombing-of-japan-was-unnecessary-393488.html

Jen June 8, 2019 at 2:41 pm
There have been theories and rumours over the decades that the US exploded the atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a warning to the Soviet Union, and had little or nothing to do with Japanese refusal to surrender (itself a lie – the Japanese had been offering surrender to the US over previous months before August 1945, if they could keep Emperor Hirohito, and the US flat-out rejected these surrender offers because it would only accept surrender on the condition that Japan accept a total US makeover of its government including the abolition of the monarchy which would effectively turn Japan into a US colony) or the talk about a US invasion of Japan which might result in the deaths of several million US servicemen.

At the time the Soviets had just declared war on Japan and were busy driving the Japanese out of Manchuria. The Japanese Army collapsed before the Soviet forces (the Soviets had better tank technology and Japan mainly relied on its navy rather than its army as its major attacking and defence force) and it was this that led Japan to formally surrender.

Patient Observer June 8, 2019 at 4:23 pm
My take on the nuclear attack in the order of importance:
– Message to the Soviet Union
– Opportunity for a "medical" experiment
– Revenge/racism
Patient Observer June 9, 2019 at 9:05 am
Updated – My take on the nuclear attack in the order of importance:
– Message to the Soviet Union
– Induce Japan to surrender to the US rather than to the Soviet Union
– Opportunity for a "medical" experiment
– Revenge/racism
Patient Observer June 8, 2019 at 4:20 pm
That isn't even half of it. These military leaders expected that the nuclear attacks would be considers as among the most barbaric war crimes of WW II. The NYT, however, was one of the bigger cheerleaders on the attack. I wonder if the NYT will apologize for its 60 years of support of a horrific war crime. Wait, what was I thinking? Of course not.
davidt June 8, 2019 at 4:51 pm
Interestingly, Freeman Dyson claims that it was not the use of the bomb that forced the surrender of Japan. Instead, he claims that it was the Soviets' declaration of war on Japan that decided the matter. He discusses this about 10 minutes into this lecture.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zq4p2qbE684?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Warren June 7, 2019 at 1:32 pm

[Jun 13, 2019] Yet another false flag: Today's Attacks On Ships In The Gulf Of Oman Are Not In Iran's Interest - Or Are They

Jun 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Dolores P Candyarse , Jun 13, 2019 6:02:02 AM | 2

Bolton's big moment 'the gulf of oman incident' will not work. It is a transperant attempt to stitch up Iran by insinuating that the Houtis did this to stop any deal between Iran and trump which Abe is trying to put together.
They cannot implicate Iran so they will fit up Yemen and then say "Iran encouraged them Mommy".

Abe will be pissed because Japan needs continuing access to Iran's hydrocarbons and Bolton isn't smart enough to gain their complicity beforehand.

librul , Jun 13, 2019 6:05:10 AM | 3

OZ @1

I was just about to post the same "One word" and then spotted your post.

At first I had simply typed a one word post: Israel
but then thought, "what about Saudi Arabia?",
then thought, "Saudi Arabia is known for their incompetence and some-one else would have to step up",
then thought, "but Israel would get some-one else to do their dirty work".

The One we know for sure didn't do it is: Iran
The One group we have been witnessing attacking multiple countries will have their media shout in unison: Iran.

Ghost Ship , Jun 13, 2019 6:15:56 AM | 5
The Guardian goes for the guilt by association shit :
Iran and the Yemeni rebels both follow branches of the Shia sect of Islam but Tehran has always denied providing more than moral support to the rebels.

That's like saying that Northern Irish Catholics and Protestants both follow Christianity.

Meanwhile OT - all that stands between Julian Assange and the wrath of Washington are British and European judges :

The home secretary, Sajid Javid, has revealed he has signed a request for Julian Assange to be extradited to the US where he faces charges of computer hacking.

Speaking on the Today Programme on Thursday, Javid said: "He's rightly behind bars. There's an extradition request from the US that is before the courts tomorrow but yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it and that will be going in front of the courts tomorrow."

I always thought that Tory ministers were a bunch of sniveling little shits, and they've just proved me right. Don't think it was just Sajid David who made this decision, it was the entire cabinet including Theresa May .

The next time someone farts on about how oppressed the media is in Russia just remember the different outcomes (so far) for Ivan Golunov and Julian Assange. The Russians don't need disinformation operations to discredit western government and institutions, they only have to stand aside and let those western governments and institutions do it themselves.

Michael Droy , Jun 13, 2019 6:33:12 AM | 8
This report: Zerohedge
claims that one of the ships is Japanese owned.
The manager of one of the tankers, the Panama-flagged, Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, which had been carrying a cargo of methanol from Saudi Arabia to Singapore, said the vessel had been damaged as the result of "a suspected attack," though the manager added that the ship's cargo was secure.

"The hull has been breached above the water line on the starboard side," Bernhard Schulte GmbH & Co KG said in a statement on its website.

Ironic - it makes direct Iranian involvement pretty unlikely

Ghost Ship , Jun 13, 2019 6:36:30 AM | 9
>>>> librul | Jun 13, 2019 6:05:10 AM | 3
"Saudi Arabia is known for their incompetence and some-one else would have to step up"

Pulease. Every now and then I get the urge to edit the internet and today is one of those days. Hope you don't mind.

"Saudi Arabia and Israel are both known for their incompetence and some-one else would have to step up"

Israel depends for its continued existence on a couple of hundred highly capable pilots some of whom might be American contractors, the rest of the IDF and Mossad are worth less than jack shit.

The UAE is slightly less incompetent than Saudi Arabia or Israel, so why not them. The UAE is part of the anti-Iran coalition of the morons and does have frontage on the Gulf of Oman, so that gives them motive and opportunity. As for means, there are reports the more severely damaged one was hit by a torpedo, and the UAE does have a navy with helicopters.

The Q , Jun 13, 2019 6:44:53 AM | 11
This has dual US/Israeli citizen John Bolton's fingerprints all over it, especially with the rumors of his potential ouster soon forcing him to ramp up his push for an attack on Iran. False flag attempt for sure. The real question is whether the world sees through it.
Yeah, Right , Jun 13, 2019 6:52:20 AM | 15
@3 "then thought, 'Saudi Arabia is known for their incompetence and some-one else would have to step up',"

Well, heck, there are signs of incompetence here.

One of the ships caught fire and will, in all likelihood, sink.
The other, apparently, has not caught fire.

That second ship is therefore going to be studied verrrrrry carefully.

If it took a torpedo hit then the damage will be below the waterline and the hull plates will be bent inwards.

If it is sabotage then the damage is more likely to be above the waterline and the hull plates will be bent outwards.

It is unlikely to be Iran if the damage indicates the latter rather than the former.

Yeah, Right , Jun 13, 2019 7:11:55 AM | 17
@11 The Q "This has dual US/Israeli citizen John Bolton's fingerprints all over it,"

I have two comments on that.

1) Is Bolton an Israeli citizen? I've heard it repeated many times, without ever once having it confirmed by anything other than the rumour-mill. He is the wrong religion, for one thing.

2) According to the NYTimes (aka the paper of record) "On a visit to the U.A.E. about two weeks ago, John Bolton, President Trump's national security adviser, said"....

I don't really give a s**t what Bolton has to say, since it is almost certain to be a falsehood.

But he was chin-wagging with UAE officials "about" two weeks ago, which is more than enough time to gin up a false-flag operation.

Yeah, Right , Jun 13, 2019 7:32:36 AM | 20
From the zerohedge article: "Another tanker, Norwegian-owned and Marshall Islands-flagged Front Altair, sent a distress signal to the UAE port of Fujairah. It had loaded an oil shipment in Abu Dhabi not long before the incident. The ship was reportedly hit with three explosions. Officials said it appeared the ships had been attacked with torpedoes."

Bullllllllls**t.

This is what happens when a ship with a 12-inch armoured belt and anti-torpedo bulges is hit by three torpedoes:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HMS_Barham_explodes.jpg

Yet zerohedge expects us to accept that a fully-laden supertanker can be hit by three torpedoes and the result is this:
https://www.moonofalabama.org/images8/frontaltair3.jpg

Yeah, Right , Jun 13, 2019 7:47:32 AM | 23
@18 b The key will be where the damage is: above the waterline, or below the waterline.

If Iran specifically targeted those two ships then we can rule out mines, unless it is limpet-mines attached while the ships were in harbour. But these ships were underway, which tends to make that unlikely, and were from different harbours, which makes it even more unlikely.

Torpedoes from a midget-submarine are still a possibility, but by definition the damage would be below the waterline. And the Iranian midget-subs have only two torpedoes, which means some mighty fine shootin'

Any indication of damage above the waterline would tend to rule out Iranian involvement. Certainly would rule out anti-ship missiles or shelling. And Iranian sabotage would mean they circumvented security in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which is doubly-difficult.

But a false-flag?

That's another matter, as the UAE and the Saudis can both be in on it.

Damage below the waterline could be Iran, or a competent false-flag.
Damage above the waterline suggests an incompetent false-flag.

ken , Jun 13, 2019 8:02:28 AM | 25
This is classic USA Gulf of Tonkin, Remember the Maine, WMD, Yellow Cake stuff....

If in fact Iran is the culprit then they have been forced into it and the blame again rests upon the USA.

Another war,,, just what we (USA) need. sigh.........

Harry Law , Jun 13, 2019 8:20:21 AM | 30
The US threat to bring Iranian oil sales to zero is a act of war, if they were successful,[unlikely] Iran's population would starve and die in their millions, just as in Yemen. In those circumstances Iran does have the right to say 'if we can't sell oil, our putative enemies Saudi Arabia, UAE et al will not be allowed to either. In those circumstances the Iranians should quietly arm any group wishing the Saudis harm, the Saudis are a bunch of US ass licking scumbags who deserve everything coming to them.
Ian Jonhson , Jun 13, 2019 8:27:21 AM | 33
I copied and pasted this very interesting comment below which was found on the Iranian News site 'Press TV'.

"The 'Rumours from the Dark Web team' (a Russian based group recently shut down on youtube and delisted on google) are reporting that prior to this incident they have heard chatter that there was more 'UUV activity in area than usual' (a UUV is an unmanned underwater vehicle / drone which can be used for exploration, spying, or for combat).
The team also mentioned that UUV's from various nations (including arms and drug smugglers) had been regularly entering and leaving the area under cover of hiding beneath tankers or sometimes actually attached to tankers.
Chatter suggests that a UUV or weaponised drone or smugglers drone of some description exploded or was taken out by another UUV or drone outside the Persian Gulf.
The team stressed that 'this incident occurred outside of the Persian Gulf for a specific reason' (not given).
The team also reminded people that several tankers had previously been armed with ATGM's of soviet era type for potential use in a planned false flag attack against a US warship, but they had already been taken out of service to prevent this (is this the previous tanker incident involving mines?).
The team suggested that it was possible that these tankers were again pre-emptively hit by a state actor to prevent another false flag involving them, or to simply destroy advanced Iranian or Saudi missiles and arms on route to Yemen or Syria.
The full report is not out yet but there is no mention on the Dark Web of Iran being responsible for this yet."

naiverealist , Jun 13, 2019 8:28:40 AM | 34
Don't rule out the MEK assistance in something like this. The MEK was formerly ruled a terrorist organization by the US. As soon as the US started using Jihadists (i. e. al-quada branches) to continue its battle against the government of Assad, the MEK were reclassified as a non-terrorist organization. I remember hearing reports about members of MEK trying to buy the sae fast boats used by the IRG.

This whole thing stinks.

Walter , Jun 13, 2019 8:39:30 AM | 36
"Naphtha" can be of various levels of volatility - from lighter fluid to more or less raw gasoline. Withal it is lighter than water, more or less. Methanol (CH3OH) is the simplest alcohol. It too is lighter than water.

It does not seem that tanker with either fluid can sink. They can burn quite well, however.

Insurance rates are going up...

Walter , Jun 13, 2019 9:02:36 AM | 38
Tankers are notoriously difficult to sink. Modern tankers are double bottom double hull, generally speaking. Yes indeed, a supertanker (these just now are small tankers not supertankers, but the facts are similar), can probably "take" three torpedoes and not sink, especially if loaded with fluid lighter than seawater.

The attacks seem to have been by flying objects, not torps.

The result is going to be something like escorts and vastly high insurance costs...jus'fer starters...

Walter , Jun 13, 2019 9:02:36 AM | 38 Walter , Jun 13, 2019 9:09:40 AM | 39
Assumption about plates bending in or out due to torps is not valid. Torps can detonate under ship, or inside it, or on contact. The under ship detonation breaks the ship in half. This was a big deal in 1940...

Again, flying object, not torp.

Circe , Jun 13, 2019 9:17:37 AM | 40
Thank-you for helping Trump with his dirty work! Honestly, do you think your article helps Iran in any way???

Do you have concrete proof? NO. Iran threatened many things in the past it never followed through on. Why don't you just apply for a job with Trump Ministry of Propaganda digging for dubious dirt Trump can tweet and act on?

Why didn't you just write that Iran has a right to defend itself? Why do you put statements in bold? How about putting up a billboard instead?

Speaking of billboard: The keyword here is "petrochemical". In quotes too!

Followed by your smoking torpedo:

Now we can apply the keyword Khamenei used today to these sentences:

What lying-ass Trump is doing is an ACT OF WAR. He is trying to destroy a sovereign nation!

U.S. President Trump tries to move Iran towards negotiations with him.

REALLY? You call an ACT OF WAR ne go tia tions ? Is cutting off a critical industry negotiation or mafia strongarm???

Then you follow up with: Even while Iran rejects negotiations with the U.S.

Good Trump wants to negotiate--baaad Iran doesn't.

Yeah-yeah you couched this hit-job in a couple of understated phrases like someone else might have initiated it and Iran has no interest in disturbing current diplomacy . But boy, you sure went out of your way to try to disprove it!

If Trump cut off Russia's oil industry, would you be so quick to provide him with unsubstantiated proof in bold of acts that could be JUSTIFIED even though TOTALLY UNPROVEN who committed them? Never mind, Russia wouldn't bother picking up the crew of whatever vessels it would blow sky high in retaliation AND NEITHER WOULD TRUMP, Commander-in-crime!

Yeah, you allude that it could be a false flag after you torpedo'd it in bold lettering!

Wow! Still carrying Emperor Trump's water here, I see. There is NOTHING redeeming in this tool expose, or the update that is merely a twist of the knife. Neocon Bolton is grinning all his yellow teeth under his bushy mustache: he couldn't have laid it out better himself! Hired!

So, what's next: yellow cake and aluminum tubes?

Such a gift at the service of Trump deception and destruction for total domination. I'm appalled. All this misguided effort to whitewash Trump that could be directed at Sanders who is trying to expose the Regime Change that Zionists had a hand in in Brazil.

Not a bad word about Trump in all this. Trump tries to negotiate...Is that what you call what he's doing? I call what he's doing casus belli, on second thought, this piece might be the casus belli Trump needs to carry out his plan for Iran in the next 4-year installment of high crimes. Ugh.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 13, 2019 9:21:53 AM | 41
This is my favourite part of the story...

"The Iranian Search and Rescue ship Naji picked up the 44 crews members of both ships and brought them to Bandar-E Jash."

Therefore, the potential witnesses are in Iranian custody, and can be interrogated at Iran's leisure. One wonders if Iran's accusers will tone down the rhetoric whilst the crew remain in Skripal-type custody, and whether Iran will delay their release until Iranian authorities and medical experts are confidant that their health is A-OK?

Jackrabbit , Jun 13, 2019 9:27:38 AM | 42
b: Iran might have this motive

b's argument for suspecting Iran involvement makes some sense because USA can just sit back and let sanctions take their toll, strangling Iran's economy and destabilizing the country.

Recall the oil sanctions against Japan in the 1040's. Ultimately, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

HOWEVER , USA+allies have a very real and pressing reason to ramp up tensions in the region: Idlib .

The war in Syria is NOT over. The Idlib occupation is strategic, not tactical (as are the other occupations in Syria). And a US response to the tanker attack might well be to show its strength elsewhere: Idlib.

If I'm right we will see some dramatic developments in Syria in the coming days.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 13, 2019 9:31:35 AM | 43
It's interesting that Iran was more concerned with the welfare of the crew of both ships than the perpetrators of the attacks...
Lysander , Jun 13, 2019 9:40:57 AM | 44
I'm not ready to say Iran did it, but will say that,

1) Iran has every right to hinder as much as possible the exports of KSA and UAE, since they are the second biggest instigators (after Israel) of hostility towards Iran.

2) If Abe is acting as Trump's pawn and not an honest mediator, then to hell with him. And it wouldn't be crazy for Iran to let him know they are completely unimpressed with his false mediation.

3) It would really be ironic if the world has suffered so much false flag fatigue that the very few times something isn't a false flag, the intended audience assumes that it is.

That said, I do not believe Iran did this. I do think it is a false flag and the authors of it are too tone deaf to realize people don't trust them anymore.

Jackrabbit , Jun 13, 2019 9:48:18 AM | 45
Circe

I agree that USA/Trump is not really interested in negotiation but only in the appearance of seeking peace.

b's belief that "... Trump tries to move Iran towards negotiations with him" doesn't adequately express the reality: USA/Trump offers to negotiate with 'no preconditions' after previously establishing the conditions required to force Iran's surrender (the oil embargo). Naturally, Iran's most important "pre-condition" for talks is for USA to release it's hostage (the Iranian economy).

Lysander , Jun 13, 2019 9:48:55 AM | 46
Forgot to add to my comment in 50, that it would be extremely easy for UAE and KSA to sabotage their own ships, since they would only have to pass through their own security, not penetrate someone else's. And they are exactly the types who would want to implicate Iran and also the ones to dumb to realize false flags aren't automatically believed anymore.
Michael Droy , Jun 13, 2019 9:58:12 AM | 47
Oil prices have barely moved - they have not even recovered yesterday's fall.Still well below levels of Mon/Tues
That is weird.
Don Wiscacho , Jun 13, 2019 10:00:05 AM | 48
Japan's PM is in Tehran for talks. This is by itself unusual. Then two tankers ultimately owned by Japan are attacked in the Gulf. Very unusual.
Bad timing wouldn't begin to describe this if Iran was to blame. They normally are quite cautious with international relations, especially with countries they are trying to woo away from ther US.
Just this would point to a false flag in my book.
But what else hit the news cycle in the last 24 hours? Britain relishes in its poodle status as it signs extradition order for Assange. Should be big news, but who cares about press freedom when we've got "a new Middle eastern war?"
What else? Turkish observation posts in Idlib come under attack and they reportedly call the coordinates in to the Russians to bomb them. Again, should be tectonic news, but "war war war!".
There is simply a snowball's chance in Trump's asscrack that Iran attacked those tankers.
somebody , Jun 13, 2019 10:02:56 AM | 49
It is the art of the deal :-))

Trump/Bolton/whatever_moron has now created a situation where US proxies (plus anybody depending on oil from the Strait of Hormuz) urgently need an agreement with Iran, whilst an isolationist US do not need this.

US proxies will now have to bribe Trump to have him step down from the brink or jump the fence.

In other news Houthis have taken positions in Saudi's Najran and bombed a Saudi airport.

Jackrabbit , Jun 13, 2019 10:36:34 AM | 53
I agree with those that have pointed out that attacking Japanese vessels while talking with the Japanese PM is nonsensical. Any country that does such a thing is acting against their own interest.

If Iran wants to "send a message", it's likely that they can do so without shooting themselves in the foot.

The attack pressures Iran, but IMO it ALSO offers an excuse for USA to stall/stop the SAA+Russia attack on Idlib by claiming to confront Iranian proxies.

Jackrabbit , Jun 13, 2019 10:41:34 AM | 54
CardD @52

Yeah. The first attacks seemed too minor to be a "message" but are a great backdrop (for propaganda purposes) to the attacks today which nonsensically occur while meeting with the Japanese PM.

[Jun 13, 2019] Zelenskiy is Poroshenko Lite

Jun 13, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman, June 12, 2019 at 9:49 am

There appears to be no sense in further discussion of a possible softening of relations between Russia and Ukraine; it is evident from recent developments that Zelenskiy is only Poroshenko Lite, and while he might not have such a penchant for thieving and running businesses on the side – and might even make an honest effort to tackle domestic issues like corruption – when it comes to international affairs he is in lockstep with the US State Department.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/ukraine-panel-jurisdiction-hear-russia-case-63625398

Kuh-yiv is once again trying to drag international arbitrators into the situation, and to get a ruling that Russia is encroaching upon Ukrainian mineral resources and fishing rights in the Black Sea and 'other waters'. It is a pretty obvious attempt to get an international ruling on the legality of Russia's claim to territorial waters off Crimea and in the Kerch Strait. Ukraine and its western backers know very well Russia would not recognize any such ruling if it were made, but then the United States would get its rule-of-law feathers all a-ruffle, and we would take another step closer to war.

Zelenskiy has also appointed former Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius to the supervisory board of the state defence conglomerate Ukroboronprom. So that's the Lithuanians back in government in Ukraine – can we look forward to Madame Jaresko making a reprise?

https://www.nytimes.com/svc/oembed/html/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2Freuters%2F2019%2F06%2F12%2Fworld%2Feurope%2F12reuters-ukraine-president-defence.html

amb
Mark Chapman June 13, 2019 at 1:25 pm

I don't know that Zelenskiy is pursuing a 'Jewish agenda", and I saw no sign of it when he was just a performer; he did do that skit in leather pants and high heels, but it was pretty funny and I wouldn't say his public experiences with gender themes constituted a position on gay rights. Trudeau is obsessed with gay rights and human rights in general, to the extent that he outsources foreign policy to Chrystia Freeland, and I think we will notice pretty quickly if Zelenskiy starts acting too much like Trudeau.

I would agree, though, that Zelenskiy shows increasing comfort with being western-advised and directed. Consequently, I don't expect there will be any change in the enmity between Ukraine and Russia, although the nationalists seem to be quieter than they were under Poroshenko. Russia is certainly not going to give back Crimea and step aside while the eastern republics are forcibly re-integrated, and Zelenskiy claims he will accept nothing less.

The curious part is, Putin already stipulated that Moscow would not object to Ukraine joining the European Union. Oh, it was a different world then, and Ukraine was not a violent enemy embroiled in a civil war, of course. This was before the west's full-bore propaganda onslaught against Russia, when the possibility still existed that the EU and Eurasian Union could co-exist, trade and do business with one another, to mutual benefit and profit. That Portuguese prick Barosso shot that possibility dead, and now he has gone on to his earthly reward as non-executive Chairman of Goldman-Sachs International – another way of saying he has a job where he can do the crossword puzzle all day and still take home a paycheck that makes him wonder if he is dreaming. Who says crime doesn't pay? People who are afraid to try crime; that's who.

Anyway, Putin was cautious, but his words were not ambiguous – if the people of Ukraine genuinely want to join the EU, Russia, I think, would welcome this. And look where we are now: thousands of people dead, millions displaced, the Ukrainian economy in the toilet and new sanctions flying around every day, disrupting global supply chains and shutting off markets forever. Europe keeps signing on to another extension of sanctions, and Russia could not care less. Anything it has not already started up a domestic producer for, it has sourced elsewhere, and those markets are gone – European farmers are hopeful that sanctions will be lifted, but it will not make any real difference now if they are. European fruit growers and produce farmers are going to have to get used to the idea that the USA has pissed in their well, and those markets are not coming back.

Patient Observer June 13, 2019 at 1:48 pm
I disagree. The Anglo rulers employ the Zionist tribe as needed. Both are equally evil but not equally influential.

The new kid on the block is Asia; largely untainted by the Anglo world outside of Japan. The Anglos are a wily bunch and are plotting how to spread their cancer to Asia now that they have largely destroyed their current hosts. However, as I said before, China may have figured out how to tame money so the Anglos will have a tough time ahead. Moreover, Russia is finding new strength in its old values.

Warren June 13, 2019 at 4:11 pm

https://www.youtube.com/embed/7Luol5YNt9k?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Northern Star June 13, 2019 at 4:26 pm
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/06/12/mali-j12.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=sharpspring&sslid=MzM0MzIyNzE2NTUyBgA&sseid=M7SwtDA0MLYwNAQA&jobid=e12274cb-2208-4d70-b35e-ae32fe203a61

"The origins of the conflict must be sought most immediately in the 2011 NATO war in Libya, which, with the support of right-wing fundamentalist Islamist proxy forces, destroyed the government of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. The outcome of this war was the complete destruction of Libyan society. The country is now run by rival militia groups tied to the imperialist powers, who have kept the country in a state of civil war for nearly a decade since the NATO intervention.

Following the destruction of the Gaddafi regime, thousands of fighters poured out of Libya and across the Sahara, traveling to the Sahel region, including Mali. Various rival militias declared an independent or Islamic state in northern Mali.

Paris reacted in 2013 by launching a new war to occupy its former colony, one of the poorest countries in the world, to save the Bamako regime and destroy the northern Mali militias. For six years now, Paris has sunk deeper into a quagmire in Mali. President Emmanuel Macron has continued the war, codenamed Operation Barkhane, initiated by Socialist Party (PS) President François Hollande, involving an occupation force of 4,500 French troops and troops from five former French colonies in the Sahel: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

As it rapidly moves to re-militarize its foreign policy, Berlin also approved military operations in support of the French only two months after the initial French invasion. Last month, the German parliament voted overwhelmingly to extend the military occupation of the country with 1,100 soldiers until 2020, at a yearly cost of 400 million euros.

These operations have nothing to do with protecting the local population from Islamist militias, which were armed and funded by US and European intelligence agencies in Libya. They are aimed at propping up the puppet government in Bamako, suppressing the resistance of the impoverished rural population and workers to the government, and maintaining their control over the resource-rich region.

The imperialist intervention in Mali led directly to the growth of ethnic tensions between the predominantly Muslim Fulani community and the Dogons. There are widespread suspicions of state involvement in the ethnic conflicts that are now erupting. The Malian government has utilized the Dogon militia in the French-led war against Islamist militias, which have recruited disproportionately among the Fulani."

Sounds as if what's needed is a galvanizing 21st Century 'Mahdi' around whom black Africans could unify to bring about a replay of Dien Bien Phu for the French in Africa.
The victory celebration festivities could conclude with a 'Gordon in Khartoum' reenactment using one of the (volunteer) captured French command officers as the General.

[Jun 13, 2019] Congress Investigates the Iran Hawks' Creepy Smear Campaign by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... The department should also review its relationship with the contractor responsible for the smear campaign, because paying someone to do little more than harass political opponents because they are insufficiently hard-line is a waste of the public's money and serves no legitimate public interest: ..."
"... could it be the smear campaign is a feature and not a bug? And if so could it be a reflection of Pompeo's character and disposition. ..."
"... Take a look at previous secretaries of state - leading American foreign policy - Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton where the U.S. was lead into awful, nation destroying policies and mass deaths. The only recent person at that post that sincerely tried to actually do something for the sake of peace and the actual use of diplomacy was John Kerry, with the deal among the European nations and America and Iran. ..."
"... Terrible human beings they are and foe them it was all fun and games. Obama was too much of a weakling to take firm stands, except of course with the work of Kerry on the Iran deal. Ask yourself: do any of the three, Rice, Hillary or Albright give a damn about human life, including American troops dying? Ah no ..."
"... "Pompeo's State Department used government money, taxpayer money, to disinform the American public and smear American citizens. " ..."
"... It's worse than that. Our "America First" president's State Department hired foreigners to do this, foreigners who belong to a "former" terror gang that used to kill Americans. Hiring foreigners to lie to and smear Americans? There must be laws against it. Laws with serious consequences. ..."
Jun 13, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Negar Mortazavi and Borzou Daragahi report on the response in Congress to the scandal over State Department funding for the so-called Iran Disinformation Project:

United States officials say they are outraged by a government-funded troll campaign that has targeted American citizens critical of the administration's hardline Iran policy and accused critics of being loyal to the Tehran regime.

State Department officials admitted to Congressional staff in a closed-door meeting on Monday that a project they had funded to counter Iranian propaganda had gone off the rails. Critics in Washington have gone further, saying that the programme resembled the type of troll farms used by autocratic regimes abroad.

"It's completely unacceptable that American taxpayer dollars supported a project that attacked Americans and others who are critical of the Trump administration's policy of escalation and conflict with Iran," a senior Congressional aide told The Independent, on condition of anonymity.

The State Department's Global Engagement Center erred from the beginning by entrusting the effort to counter Iranian regime propaganda to an outside contractor with such hard-line views. There was clearly a failure to supervise what the contractor was doing with the funding provided by the department, and the result was outsourcing the department's work to self-serving ideologues. Had it not been for the public outcry and investigations by several of the people being targeted by this department-funded operation, the department might not have realized what was being done with its own resources until much later and it might not have acknowledged the error at all.

The department should also review its relationship with the contractor responsible for the smear campaign, because paying someone to do little more than harass political opponents because they are insufficiently hard-line is a waste of the public's money and serves no legitimate public interest:

E-Collaborative for Civic Education, co-founded by Iranian American activist Mariam Memarsadeghi, is a long-time State Department contractor.

It purports to promote democratic political life and empower civil society inside Iran, but it appears to have no presence inside the country and instead confines itself to engaging with Iranians in the Diaspora.

In this case, the engagement with Iranians in the diaspora amounted to shouting abuse at many of them and harassing those that didn't toe a certain ideological line. As the scandal proves, hard-line regime changers have a very warped idea of what qualifies as pro-regime rhetoric and who can be considered a regime supporter, and so it should come as no surprise that this operation turned its ire on the many Iranian-American professionals that didn't get with the hawkish program. This calls into question whether the department is capable of countering disinformation from foreign governments without indulging the worst and most hawkish people that want to use such efforts to settle scores against their fellow Americans. It is good that Congress is looking into how this particular scandal happened, but there have to be changes made to how the department runs the Global Engagement Center so that something like this can't happen again.

One of the absurdities of this smear campaign is that it has targeted the very journalists and analysts that have been far more effective in countering the Iranian government's false claims through their reporting and analysis. The Iran Disinformation Project went after these journalists and analysts because they refused to recite arguments in favor of regime change and war. They were targeted because they were independent and credible observers and critics of Iran and U.S. Iran policy, and that meant that they used their expertise and understanding of the country to question the wisdom and efficacy of sanctions and spoke out against the folly of military intervention. Iran hawks desperately need to discredit and smear people like this because they pose a major threat to the promotion of the hawks' agenda. Fortunately, their smear tactics aren't working very well these days.


Christian J Chuba , says: June 11, 2019 at 6:00 pm

How long before these Congressman are denounced as traitors by the likes of Tom Cotton. 'No one can challenge me, I was in Iraq, how dare they shoot at me, it's my country not theirs.'
Oleg Gark , says: June 11, 2019 at 6:22 pm
I think American citizens should engage their own State Department with lawsuits and criminal indictments. The legal discovery process should air the place out quite nicely.
Tourmaloony , says: June 11, 2019 at 7:20 pm
It's kind of odd that this is something that's being highlighted and looked into, considering the total lack of interest in charging Bolton, Dean, Giuliani, Ridge, and others for their material support to terrorists when they were promoting MEK when it was still on the FTO list.

Sorry, that was a long sentence.

Thanks for your efforts, Larison.

WorkingClass , says: June 11, 2019 at 9:08 pm
" .the department might not have realized what was being done with its own resources until much later and it might not have acknowledged the error at all."

Oh well. We all make mistakes. Or could it be the smear campaign is a feature and not a bug? And if so could it be a reflection of Pompeo's character and disposition.

Fayez Abedaziz , says: June 12, 2019 at 2:06 am
Take a look at previous secretaries of state - leading American foreign policy - Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton where the U.S. was lead into awful, nation destroying policies and mass deaths. The only recent person at that post that sincerely tried to actually do something for the sake of peace and the actual use of diplomacy was John Kerry, with the deal among the European nations and America and Iran.

The above three were truly terrible people to have representing the U.S. They bullied and gloated about the deaths in other nations: see Albright defending the deaths of children in Iraq due to sanctions and Hillary laughing at the deaths and mayhem in Libya.

Terrible human beings they are and foe them it was all fun and games. Obama was too much of a weakling to take firm stands, except of course with the work of Kerry on the Iran deal. Ask yourself: do any of the three, Rice, Hillary or Albright give a damn about human life, including American troops dying? Ah no

rayray , says: June 12, 2019 at 2:19 pm
To your point, what I enjoyed about John Kerry was his full throated effort to bring back the ideal of what the State Department is supposed to be doing that is, using the mechanisms of diplomacy to make peace and increase communication.

All the other Sec States felt like they wished they were part of the military.

Burn Bag , says: June 12, 2019 at 4:47 pm
Don't give me this "Global Engagement Center" crap. Pompeo? "Global Engagement"?

It's simple. Pompeo's State Department used government money, taxpayer money, to disinform the American public and smear American citizens. The next step is obvious. Find who did it and throw them in prison.

Loadbearing , says: June 12, 2019 at 8:52 pm
@Burn Bag says

"Pompeo's State Department used government money, taxpayer money, to disinform the American public and smear American citizens. "

It's worse than that. Our "America First" president's State Department hired foreigners to do this, foreigners who belong to a "former" terror gang that used to kill Americans. Hiring foreigners to lie to and smear Americans? There must be laws against it. Laws with serious consequences.

[Jun 12, 2019] Flynn Hires Sidney Powell - Mueller s Pit Bull Meets His Match, Again

Notable quotes:
"... Comey said in an interview that he used tactics he would not ordinarily use because the then fledgling Trump administration was unorganized at the beginning. Basically, he and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe discouraged Flynn from asking White House general counsel to sit in on the interview. Flynn, according to several source with knowledge, had no idea he was being targeted by the FBI for an investigation. ..."
"... Weissmann served as Mueller's second in command for the special counsel investigation into the Trump campaign, despite the fact that his tactics have been highly criticized by both judges and colleagues. He was called unscrupulous and has had several significant issues raised about how he operated during the Mueller inquiry into Trump campaign officials, including Flynn. ..."
"... Powell has openly stated in columns and on cable networks that Weissmann's dirty tactics of withholding exculpatory evidence and threatening witnesses to garner prosecutions should have had him disbarred long ago. ..."
"... Flynn plead guilty after Mueller [ Weissmann ] threatened Flynn's family, including his son Michael Jr. According to sources close to Flynn family, Mueller threatened Flynn on multiple occasions that if he did not plead guilty to lying to the FBI, Mueller would investigate other Flynn family members, including his son. ..."
"... I sent them. Something we've, I probably wouldn't have done or maybe gotten away with in a more organized administration," Comey said. Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe made a similar statement regarding Flynn, which was uncovered by congressional investigators. ..."
"... Five Ways "Dirty Cop Mueller" Played Americans For Complete Fools . . . https://youtu.be/-YYmSIoCp50 ..."
"... The world's greatest liars and scum prosecuting someone for telling a lie. Seth Rich https://consortiumnews.com/2019/06/12/why-didnt-mueller-investigate-seth-rich/ ..."
"... Mark Meadows destroys The Mueller Coverup . . . https://youtu.be/iPgPgev7Yd4 ..."
"... Sidney Powell Rips Into Mueller https://youtu.be/udRqsEa2N9E ..."
Jun 12, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via SaraCarter.com,

Embattled Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn has hired well known defense attorney Sidney Powell to represent him before his sentencing hearing in Washington D.C.'s federal court . Flynn, who fired his attorney's last week, will still fully cooperate with the government in all cases pending, Powell told SaraACarter.com.

Flynn's former legal counsel Robert Kelner and Stephen Anthony offered no explanation for their abrupt dismissal telling SaraACarter.com they "decline to comment."

"He is and will continue to cooperate with the government in all aspects," Powell told SaraACarter.com.

"He and his family truly appreciate all the cards and letters of support from countless people and the contributions to the defense fund which are even more important now."

Powell noted that Flynn's case file, "is massive" and "it will take me at least 90 days to review it."

Kelner and Anthony submitted a two-page motion last week to the federal judge. Flynn's sentencing will be based on his 2017 guilty plea to special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors for one count of lying to the FBI.

The guilty plea has been a source of contention in news reports, after evidence and testimony surfaced that the FBI special agents that interviewed Flynn in January, 2017 didn't believe he was lying. Both former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka interviewed Flynn about his phone conversation with then Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. The interview was conducted just as Flynn began his then role as National Security Advisor for Trump.

Former FBI Director James Comey joked about the bureau's interview with Flynn.

Comey said in an interview that he used tactics he would not ordinarily use because the then fledgling Trump administration was unorganized at the beginning. Basically, he and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe discouraged Flynn from asking White House general counsel to sit in on the interview. Flynn, according to several source with knowledge, had no idea he was being targeted by the FBI for an investigation.

"I sent them. Something we've, I probably wouldn't have done or maybe gotten away with in a more organized administration," Comey said. Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe made a similar statement regarding Flynn, which was uncovered by congressional investigators.

Flynn's attorneys said in the filing that they had been notified "he is terminating Covington & Burling LLP as his counsel and has already retained new counsel for this matter."

Powell is the author of the New York Times best seller and tell-all book Licensed To Lie, which exposed the corruption within the justice system. The book is based on the case Powell won against prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, when he was deputy and later director of the Enron Task Force.

Weissmann served as Mueller's second in command for the special counsel investigation into the Trump campaign, despite the fact that his tactics have been highly criticized by both judges and colleagues. He was called unscrupulous and has had several significant issues raised about how he operated during the Mueller inquiry into Trump campaign officials, including Flynn.

He prosecuted the accounting firm Arthur Andersen LLP, which ended in the collapse of the firm and 85,000 jobs lost world wide. Maureen Mahoney took the case to the Supreme Court, and Powell consulted. Mahoney overturned Weissmann's conviction and the decision was reversed unanimously by the court.

Powell has openly stated in columns and on cable networks that Weissmann's dirty tactics of withholding exculpatory evidence and threatening witnesses to garner prosecutions should have had him disbarred long ago.

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Right Wing-Nut , 8 minutes ago link

Powell has openly stated in columns and on cable networks that Weissmann's dirty tactics of withholding exculpatory evidence and threatening witnesses to garner prosecutions should have had him disbarred long ago.

Flynn plead guilty after Mueller [ Weissmann ] threatened Flynn's family, including his son Michael Jr. According to sources close to Flynn family, Mueller threatened Flynn on multiple occasions that if he did not plead guilty to lying to the FBI, Mueller would investigate other Flynn family members, including his son.

Illegal , 44 minutes ago link

Weissmann is your typical pos attorney that is allowed to lie if it involves a goy.

frankthecrank , 2 minutes ago link

they are all allowed to lie with regard to anyone or anything.

Clycntct , 1 hour ago link

Wanted to come back and post this YouTube video of interview with pal by Mark Levin which is excellent primer on her background and intelligence.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-HFElf4H0t8

Silverado91 , 1 hour ago link

She's got more and bigger balls then a lot of the men participating in the Flynn hoax. He chose well...

quietdude , 1 hour ago link

What mental glitch would make ANYONE talk to law enforcement nowadays? Did this fool think he was Hillary or something?

Collectivism Killz , 47 minutes ago link

Good people tend to talk to law enforcement because they naively believe that people in government and LE have good intentions and follow the rule of law. A lot of people get screwed trying to legitimately help, sad as that is.

FreedomWriter , 1 hour ago link

I sent them. Something we've, I probably wouldn't have done or maybe gotten away with in a more organized administration," Comey said. Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe made a similar statement regarding Flynn, which was uncovered by congressional investigators.

Well Comeboy, we will keep that in mind when you are brought before a jury of your peers. Make sure you have a good lawyer.

What a piece of ****.

CAPT DRAKE , 1 hour ago link

******* incredible. Why on earth is our government so filled with sociopaths. What have we done to deserve this level of treatment? I hope the whole cabal ends up in jail.

TGDavis , 1 hour ago link

If you don't think treason matters, Weissman's games with Alaskan senator Ted Stevens caused a Democrat to get elected in a red state and was the 60th vote needed for Obama care.

The Goy Wonder , 1 hour ago link

Although I wasn't enamored with the amount of military personnel Trump initially chose for his cabinet, Flynn didn't feel like the same type as McMaster and Kelly. I hope he can get his name cleared

Goodsport 1945 , 2 hours ago link

Unless we drain the swamp, decent people will be discouraged from entering public service. They've dragged this man through the mud while conflicted high level bureaucrats, corrupt FBI types, the DNC, the Clintons, and all the other pieces of swamp crap are still basking in the sunshine.

Lanka , 2 hours ago link

Hiring Sidney Powell is 2 years too late.

LEEPERMAX , 3 hours ago link

Five Ways "Dirty Cop Mueller" Played Americans For Complete Fools . . . https://youtu.be/-YYmSIoCp50

whatamaroon , 3 hours ago link

She is a revered commentater on the Conservative Treehouse blog.

Cheap Chinese Crap , 3 hours ago link

Let's not forget the rabidly over-the-top military assaults on elderly people in the middle of the night. Although I doubt he ever tried that on some mafia guy. Just solid citizens.

thinkmoretalkless , 3 hours ago link

She now has the opportunity to knock him out.

commiebastid , 3 hours ago link

The world's greatest liars and scum prosecuting someone for telling a lie. Seth Rich https://consortiumnews.com/2019/06/12/why-didnt-mueller-investigate-seth-rich/

messystateofaffairs , 41 minutes ago link

I don't mind, I live in a house. Wouldn't you be happy if food got cheaper?

Occams_Razor_Trader_Part_Deux , 3 hours ago link

The Cover Up Begins: Sorry "Q"

The Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Justice says that the department declined to prosecute a deputy assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who made an illegal leak to the media.

In announcing that DOJ had declined to prosecuted this unnamed high-ranking FBI official, the inspector general also said that the case in question had been referenced in the IG's earlier report on the FBI's activities leading up to the 2016 election.

"The OIG investigation," said a summary released by the OIG , "concluded that the DAD engaged in misconduct when the DAD: (1) disclosed to the media the existence of information that had been filed under seal in federal court, in violation of 18 USC 401, Contempt of Court; (2) provided without authorization FBI law enforcement sensitive information to reporters on multiple occasions; and (3) had dozens of official contacts with the media without authorization, in violation of FBI policy."

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/cnsnewscom-staff/ig-doj-declined-prosecute-deputy-assistant-director-fbi-who-made

Occams_Razor_Trader_Part_Deux , 3 hours ago link

The delusion of fairness?

The delusion that our Government knows right from wrong?

The delusion that people who break laws should be punished?

The delusion of equality in prosecution?

Which delusion?

The Persistent Vegetable , 3 hours ago link

The delusion that trump is going to be the man who fixes any of those things you mention. He IS the swamp.

SHADEWELL , 3 hours ago link

What the **** are you talking about?

I get that the DOJ punted, but Barr is going to fry his ***, so unlike the presentation you depict, they are still going after this ****

Nice attempt at deception

Occams_Razor_Trader_Part_Deux , 54 minutes ago link

"In announcing that DOJ had declined to prosecuted this unnamed high-ranking FBI official"

That's Barr's DOJ that decided to not prosecute an unnamed deputy assistant director of the FBI that was found to have leaked information which is misconduct! Unless that person is cooperating with the investigation- THAT'S ********!

LEEPERMAX , 4 hours ago link

Mark Meadows destroys The Mueller Coverup . . . https://youtu.be/iPgPgev7Yd4

Scipio Africanuz , 4 hours ago link

This is beautiful! A lot of legal luminaries will have the opportunity to bring their brilliant minds to the table, to help repair the laws of the Republic.. Let them tackle issues such as privacy, spying on citizens, the Patriot Act, unreasonable seizures and searches, police brutality, home/office invasions etc.

If such a battlefield is provided (legal battlefields), perhaps we might contrive a delay in "cessation" of dissemination.

Let Comey and the others lawyer up too, the hammer is gonna drop, and let the executive lawyer up as well, we're gonna restore the foundation of the Republic!

What took you so long Sidney Powell? Life is good, battle beckons!

Let's have at it, restoration of Law, that is, cheers...

LEEPERMAX , 4 hours ago link

Just in . . . Sidney Powell Rips Into Mueller https://youtu.be/udRqsEa2N9E

wolf pup , 4 hours ago link

I enjoy listening to Sidney Powell speak on this matter.

She's got guts, and with the smarts required to win against these criminals running everything. I hope she has good security. She's someone I'd not want to go up against in a courtroom.

Groundround , 4 hours ago link

How they treated Flynn was a disgrace. Just think of how law enforcement treats the average citizen with no power and no publicity to shine light on their cases. I hope they slam these guys. I would say that the judges in cases like these should be throwing cases like this out. The courts have become politicized and a lot of judges need to be shown the door as well.

Secret Weapon , 2 hours ago link

How they treated Flynn is how they will treat you and I. They deserve no mercy.

[Jun 11, 2019] Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism by Quinn Slobodian

The author is a very fuzzy way comes to the idea that neoliberalism is in essence a Trotskyism for the rich and that neoliberals want to use strong state to enforce the type of markets they want from above. That included free movement of capital goods and people across national borders. All this talk about "small government" is just a smoke screen for naive fools.
Similar to 1930th contemporary right-wing populism in Germany and Austria emerged from within neoliberalism, not in opposition to it. They essentially convert neoliberalism in "national liberalism": Yes to free trade by only on bilateral basis with a strict control of trade deficits. No to free migration, multilateralism
Notable quotes:
"... The second explanation was that neoliberal globalization made a small number of people very rich, and it was in the interest of those people to promote a self-serving ideology using their substantial means by funding think tanks and academic departments, lobbying congress, fighting what the Heritage Foundation calls "the war of ideas." Neoliberalism, then, was a restoration of class power after the odd, anomalous interval of the mid-century welfare state. ..."
"... Neoliberal globalism can be thought of in its own terms as a negative theology, contending that the world economy is sublime and ineffable with a small number of people having special insight and ability to craft institutions that will, as I put it, encase the sublime world economy. ..."
"... One of the big goals of my book is to show neoliberalism is one form of regulation among many rather than the big Other of regulation as such. ..."
"... I build here on the work of other historians and show how the demands in the United Nations by African, Asian, and Latin American nations for things like the Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources, i.e. the right to nationalize foreign-owned companies, often dismissed as merely rhetorical, were actually existentially frightening to global businesspeople. ..."
"... They drafted neoliberal intellectuals to do things like craft agreements that gave foreign corporations more rights than domestic actors and tried to figure out how to lock in what I call the "human right of capital flight" into binding international codes. I show how we can see the development of the WTO as largely a response to the fear of a planned -- and equal -- planet that many saw in the aspirations of the decolonizing world. ..."
"... The neoliberal insight of the 1930s was that the market would not take care of itself: what Wilhelm Röpke called a market police was an ongoing need in a world where people, whether out of atavistic drives or admirable humanitarian motives, kept trying to make the earth a more equal and just place. ..."
"... The culmination of these processes by the 1990s is a world economy that is less like a laissez-faire marketplace and more like a fortress, as ever more of the world's resources and ideas are regulated through transnational legal instruments. ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.amazon.com

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Harvard University Press (March 16, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0674979524
ISBN-13: 978-0674979529

From introduction

...The second explanation was that neoliberal globalization made a small number of people very rich, and it was in the interest of those people to promote a self-serving ideology using their substantial means by funding think tanks and academic departments, lobbying congress, fighting what the Heritage Foundation calls "the war of ideas." Neoliberalism, then, was a restoration of class power after the odd, anomalous interval of the mid-century welfare state.

There is truth to both of these explanations. Both presuppose a kind of materialist explanation of history with which I have no problem. In my book, though, I take another approach. What I found is that we could not understand the inner logic of something like the WTO without considering the whole history of the twentieth century. What I also discovered is that some of the members of the neoliberal movement from the 1930s onward, including Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, did not use either of the explanations I just mentioned. They actually didn't say that economic growth excuses everything. One of the peculiar things about Hayek, in particular, is that he didn't believe in using aggregates like GDP -- the very measurements that we need to even say what growth is.

What I found is that neoliberalism as a philosophy is less a doctrine of economics than a doctrine of ordering -- of creating the institutions that provide for the reproduction of the totality [of financial elite control of the state]. At the core of the strain I describe is not the idea that we can quantify, count, price, buy and sell every last aspect of human existence. Actually, here it gets quite mystical. The Austrian and German School of neoliberals in particular believe in a kind of invisible world economy that cannot be captured in numbers and figures but always escapes human comprehension.

After all, if you can see something, you can plan it. Because of the very limits to our knowledge, we have to default to ironclad rules and not try to pursue something as radical as social justice, redistribution, or collective transformation. In a globalized world, we must give ourselves over to the forces of the market, or the whole thing will stop working.

So this is quite a different version of neoliberal thought than the one we usually have, premised on the abstract of individual liberty or the freedom to choose. Here one is free to choose but only within a limited range of options left after responding to the global forces of the market.

One of the core arguments of my book is that we can only understand the internal coherence of neoliberalism if we see it as a doctrine as concerned with the whole as the individual. Neoliberal globalism can be thought of in its own terms as a negative theology, contending that the world economy is sublime and ineffable with a small number of people having special insight and ability to craft institutions that will, as I put it, encase the sublime world economy.

To me, the metaphor of encasement makes much more sense than the usual idea of markets set free, liberated or unfettered. How can it be that in an era of proliferating third party arbitration courts, international investment law, trade treaties and regulation that we talk about "unfettered markets"? One of the big goals of my book is to show neoliberalism is one form of regulation among many rather than the big Other of regulation as such.

What I explore in Globalists is how we can think of the WTO as the latest in a long series of institutional fixes proposed for the problem of emergent nationalism and what neoliberals see as the confusion between sovereignty -- ruling a country -- and ownership -- owning the property within it.

I build here on the work of other historians and show how the demands in the United Nations by African, Asian, and Latin American nations for things like the Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources, i.e. the right to nationalize foreign-owned companies, often dismissed as merely rhetorical, were actually existentially frightening to global businesspeople.

They drafted neoliberal intellectuals to do things like craft agreements that gave foreign corporations more rights than domestic actors and tried to figure out how to lock in what I call the "human right of capital flight" into binding international codes. I show how we can see the development of the WTO as largely a response to the fear of a planned -- and equal -- planet that many saw in the aspirations of the decolonizing world.

Perhaps the lasting image of globalization that the book leaves is that world capitalism has produced a doubled world -- a world of imperium (the world of states) and a world of dominium (the world of property). The best way to understand neoliberal globalism as a project is that it sees its task as the never-ending maintenance of this division. The neoliberal insight of the 1930s was that the market would not take care of itself: what Wilhelm Röpke called a market police was an ongoing need in a world where people, whether out of atavistic drives or admirable humanitarian motives, kept trying to make the earth a more equal and just place.

The culmination of these processes by the 1990s is a world economy that is less like a laissez-faire marketplace and more like a fortress, as ever more of the world's resources and ideas are regulated through transnational legal instruments. The book acts as a kind of field guide to these institutions and, in the process, hopefully recasts the 20th century that produced them.


Mark bennett

One half of a decent book

3.0 out of 5 stars One half of a decent book May 14, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase This is a rather interesting look at the political and economic ideas of a circle of important economists, including Hayek and von Mises, over the course of the last century. He shows rather convincingly that conventional narratives concerning their idea are wrong. That they didn't believe in a weak state, didn't believe in the laissez-faire capitalism or believe in the power of the market. That they saw mass democracy as a threat to vested economic interests.

The core beliefs of these people was in a world where money, labor and products could flow across borders without any limit. Their vision was to remove these subjects (tariffs, immigration and controls on the movement of money) from the control of the democracy-based nation-state and instead vesting them in international organizations. International organizations which were by their nature undemocratic and beyond the influence of democracy. That rather than rejecting government power, what they rejected was national government power. They wanted weak national governments but at the same time strong undemocratic international organizations which would gain the powers taken from the state.

The other thing that characterized many of these people was a rather general rejection of economics. While some of them are (at least in theory) economists, they rejected the basic ideas of economic analysis and economic policy. The economy, to them, was a mystical thing beyond any human understanding or ability to influence in a positive way. Their only real belief was in "bigness". The larger the market for labor and goods, the more economically prosperous everyone would become. A unregulated "global" market with specialization across borders and free migration of labor being the ultimate system.

The author shows how, over a period extending from the 1920s to the 1990s, these ideas evolved from marginal academic ideas to being dominant ideas internationally. Ideas that are reflected today in the structure of the European Union, the WTO (World Trade Organization) and the policies of most national governments. These ideas, which the author calls "neoliberalism", have today become almost assumptions beyond challenge. And even more strangely, the dominating ideas of the political left in most of the west.

The author makes the point, though in a weak way, that the "fathers" of neoliberalism saw themselves as "restoring" a lost golden age. That golden age being (roughly) the age of the original industrial revolution (the second half of the 1800s). And to the extent that they have been successful they have done that. But at the same time, they have brought back all the political and economic questions of that era as well.

In reading it, I started to wonder about the differences between modern neoliberalism and the liberal political movement during the industrial revolution. I really began to wonder about the actual motives of "reform" liberals in that era. Were they genuinely interested in reforms during that era or were all the reforms just cynical politics designed to enhance business power at the expense of other vested interests. Was, in particular, the liberal interest in political reform and franchise expansion a genuine move toward political democracy or simply a temporary ploy to increase their political power. If one assumes that the true principles of classic liberalism were always free trade, free migration of labor and removing the power to governments to impact business, perhaps its collapse around the time of the first world war is easier to understand.

He also makes a good point about the EEC and the organizations that came before the EU. Those organizations were as much about protecting trade between Europe and former European colonial possessions as they were anything to do with trade within Europe.

To me at least, the analysis of the author was rather original. In particular, he did an excellent job of showing how the ideas of Hayek and von Mises have been distorted and misunderstood in the mainstream. He was able to show what their ideas were and how they relate to contemporary problems of government and democracy.

But there are some strong negatives in the book. The author offers up a complete virtue signaling chapter to prove how the neoliberals are racists. He brings up things, like the John Birch Society, that have nothing to do with the book. He unleashes a whole lot of venom directed at American conservatives and republicans mostly set against a 1960s backdrop. He does all this in a bad purpose: to claim that the Kennedy Administration was somehow a continuation of the new deal rather than a step toward neoliberalism. His blindness and modern political partisanship extended backward into history does substantial damage to his argument in the book. He also spends an inordinate amount of time on the political issues of South Africa which also adds nothing to the argument of the book. His whole chapter on racism is an elaborate strawman all held together by Ropke. He also spends a large amount of time grinding some sort of Ax with regard to the National Review and William F. Buckley.

He keeps resorting to the simple formula of finding something racist said or written by Ropke....and then inferring that anyone who quoted or had anything to do with Ropke shared his ideas and was also a racist. The whole point of the exercise seems to be to avoid any analysis of how the democratic party (and the political left) drifted over the decades from the politics of the New Deal to neoliberal Clintonism.

Then after that, he diverts further off the path by spending many pages on the greatness of the "global south", the G77 and the New International Economic Order (NIEO) promoted by the UN in the 1970s. And whatever many faults of neoliberalism, Quinn Slobodian ends up standing for a worse set of ideas: International Price controls, economic "reparations", nationalization, international trade subsidies and a five-year plan for the world (socialist style economic planning at a global level). In attaching himself to these particular ideas, he kills his own book. The premise of the book and his argument was very strong at first. But by around p. 220, its become a throwback political tract in favor of the garbage economic and political ideas of the so-called third world circa 1974 complete with 70's style extensive quotations from "Senegalese jurists"

Once the political agenda comes out, he just can't help himself. He opens the conclusion to the book taking another cheap shot for no clear reason at William F. Buckley. He spends alot of time on the Seattle anti-WTO protests from the 1990s. But he has NOTHING to say about BIll Clinton or Tony Blair or EU expansion or Obama or even the 2008 economic crisis for that matter. Inexplicably for a book written in 2018, the content of the book seems to end in the year 2000.

I'm giving it three stars for the first 150 pages which was decent work. The second half rates zero stars. Though it could have been far better if he had written his history of neoliberalism in the context of the counter-narrative of Keynesian economics and its decline. It would have been better yet if the author had the courage to talk about the transformation of the parties of the left and their complicity in the rise of neoliberalism. The author also tends to waste lots of pages repeating himself or worse telling you what he is going to say next. One would have expected a better standard of editing by the Harvard Press. Read less 69 people found this helpful Helpful Comment Report abuse

Jesper Doepping
A concise definition of neoliberalism and its historical influence

5.0 out of 5 stars A concise definition of neoliberalism and its historical influence November 14, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase Anybody interested in global trade, business, human rights or democracy today should read this book.

The book follow the Austrians from the beginning in the Habsburgischer empire to the beginning rebellion against the WTO. However, most importantly it follows the thinking and the thoughts behind the building of a global empire of capitalism with free trade, capital and rights. All the way to the new "human right" to trade. It narrows down what neoliberal thought really consist of and indirectly make a differentiation to the neoclassical economic tradition.

What I found most interesting is the turn from economics to law - and the conceptual distinctions between the genes, tradition, reason, which are translated into a quest for a rational and reason based protection of dominium (the rule of property) against the overreach of imperium (the rule of states/people). This distinction speaks directly to the issues that EU is currently facing.

Jackal
A historian with an agenda

3.0 out of 5 stars A historian with an agenda October 22, 2018 Format: Hardcover Author is covering Mises, Hayek, Machlup in Vienna. How to produce order once the Habsburg empire had been broken after 1918? They pioneered data gathering about the economy. However, such data came to be used by the left as well. This forced the people mentioned to become intellectual thinkers as opposed to something else(??). I like how the author is situating the people in a specific era, but he is reading history backwards. The book moves on, but stays in Central Europe. Ordocapitalism followed after Hitler. It was a German attempt to have a both strong state and strong by market, which given Europe's fragmentation required international treaties. This was seen as a way to avoid another Hitler. Later, international organisations like IMF and TWO became the new institutions that embedded the global markets. The book ends in the 90s. So in reading history backwards, the author finds quotations of Mises and Hayek that "prove" that they were aiming to create intellectual cover for the global financial elite of the 2010s.

Nevertheless, the book is interesting if you like the history of ideas. He frames the questions intelligently in the historical context at the time. However a huge question-mark for objectivity. The book is full of lefty dog whistles: the war making state, regulation of capitalism, reproducing the power of elites, the problem [singular] of capitalism. In a podcast the author states point blank "I wanted the left to see what the enemy was up too". I find it pathetic that authors are so blatantly partisan. How can we know whether he is objective when he doesn't even try? He dismissively claims that the neoliberal thinkers gave cover to what has become the globalist world order. So why should we not consider the current book as intellectual cover for some "new left" that is about to materialise? Maybe the book is just intellectual cover for the globalist elite being educated in left-wing private colleges.

[Jun 10, 2019] America Falls Out of Love With Mitt Romney's Foreign Policy

Notable quotes:
"... One of the major gripes from Democrats and many Republicans in Washington is that Trump doesn't care much for alliances. He treats friends like foes and foes like friends. This is a slogan tailor-made for a bumper sticker, but it's also what a significant swath of the establishment believes. ..."
"... Trump may deliver a speech in London and mouth nice words about the "special relationship" between the United States and the United Kingdom, but deep down he looks at everything as a transaction. He isn't the first commander-in-chief to fulminate in private about the stingy Europeans who don't provide their citizens with national defense capabilities befitting a Western power. But he is the first to openly, strongly, and repeatedly condemn them for it. ..."
"... The 45th president views trade predominantly as a balance sheet. South Korea, Mexico, Japan, the European Union -- it doesn't matter how long a country has been a friend to the United States. If the U.S. is running a trade deficit, then it must get tougher and demand fairer terms. ..."
"... Mitt Romney, Commander of the Fake Internationalists Robert Kagan's Jungle Book of Forever War ..."
"... The Washington establishment can't stand this approach. The president's critics and even some of his supporters regard it as overly simplistic, deliberately antagonistic, and plain rude. Romney is one of those people, and he said it outright on the Senate floor on June 4. ..."
"... Therein lies the Republican foreign policy dichotomy today. On one side are the Romneys, Marco Rubios, and Bret Stephenses of the world who continue to peddle stereotypical phrases like "U.S.-led liberal international order," and label any finger-wagging at U.S. allies as disrespectful, childish, and ultimately counterproductive. And then you have Trump, a far more nationalist figure who thinks the U.S. is being exploited by countries that should be thanking us for our help. ..."
"... Both sides, though, are also right in part. Mitt Romney correctly underscores that America's alliance system is one of our nation's greatest strengths. But Donald Trump is right that maintaining alliances for their own sake -- and without expecting anything tangible in return -- shouldn't be the objective, and may in fact perpetuate an unsustainable status quo. ..."
Jun 10, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Maria Dryfhout / Shutterstock.com When Mitt Romney lost to Barack Obama in a presidential election that most Republicans believed was winnable, the former Massachusetts governor was quickly dismissed as an also-ran -- the GOP version of Michael Dukakis. He was no longer the handsome, older, savvy businessman who would turn the economy around, but a bumbling, privileged stiff who couldn't dislodge a vulnerable incumbent.

The stink of the 2012 defeat stuck to Romney during the 2016 GOP presidential primary, when then-candidate Donald Trump excoriated him for choking like a dog.

The tables have now turned slightly. Many Republicans now look at Romney not as a defeated nominee, but as a statesman of sorts. No doubt Never Trumpers like Bill Kristol and Rick Wilson are praying that Romney challenges the president in 2020 and brings the Republican Party back to the time when Trump was just another reality television star.

Romney, of course, already decided that a third presidential run wasn't worth it. Being a U.S. senator, however, was another story. So he ran for a seat in Utah and won overwhelmingly in 2018. Six months later, there he was on the Senate floor, giving his maiden address, subtly poking Trump in the ribs without saying his name.

He talked about everything you would expect him to talk about: morality, civility, decency, freedom, unity, free trade and alliances.

One of the major gripes from Democrats and many Republicans in Washington is that Trump doesn't care much for alliances. He treats friends like foes and foes like friends. This is a slogan tailor-made for a bumper sticker, but it's also what a significant swath of the establishment believes.

Trump may deliver a speech in London and mouth nice words about the "special relationship" between the United States and the United Kingdom, but deep down he looks at everything as a transaction. He isn't the first commander-in-chief to fulminate in private about the stingy Europeans who don't provide their citizens with national defense capabilities befitting a Western power. But he is the first to openly, strongly, and repeatedly condemn them for it.

The 45th president views trade predominantly as a balance sheet. South Korea, Mexico, Japan, the European Union -- it doesn't matter how long a country has been a friend to the United States. If the U.S. is running a trade deficit, then it must get tougher and demand fairer terms.

Mitt Romney, Commander of the Fake Internationalists Robert Kagan's Jungle Book of Forever War

The Washington establishment can't stand this approach. The president's critics and even some of his supporters regard it as overly simplistic, deliberately antagonistic, and plain rude. Romney is one of those people, and he said it outright on the Senate floor on June 4.

"It is in the United States' most vital interest to see a strong NATO, a strong Europe, stronger ties with the free nations of Asia and the subcontinent, and with every free country," the junior senator from Utah remarked . "We need to hold our friends closer, not neglect them or drive them away."

Therein lies the Republican foreign policy dichotomy today. On one side are the Romneys, Marco Rubios, and Bret Stephenses of the world who continue to peddle stereotypical phrases like "U.S.-led liberal international order," and label any finger-wagging at U.S. allies as disrespectful, childish, and ultimately counterproductive. And then you have Trump, a far more nationalist figure who thinks the U.S. is being exploited by countries that should be thanking us for our help.

Both sides have their faults. Trump's worldview is steeped in his decades-long career in real estate, marketing, and show business -- industries that prize the bottom lines of profit and ratings. This is reflected in his admiration for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a walking, talking diplomatic disaster if there ever was one. But outwardly, Salman exudes power and decisiveness -- and is more than happy to purchase tens of billions of dollars in U.S. military weapon systems with which to bomb his enemies.

Both sides, though, are also right in part. Mitt Romney correctly underscores that America's alliance system is one of our nation's greatest strengths. But Donald Trump is right that maintaining alliances for their own sake -- and without expecting anything tangible in return -- shouldn't be the objective, and may in fact perpetuate an unsustainable status quo.

There are few Republicans who have truly sought a happy medium between the Romney and Trump approaches on foreign policy. Most foreign policy on Capitol Hill is reflexive, hewing to shopworn internationalist talking points or hawkish posturing. In terms of what the American people want, however, Trump's preference for a greater degree of restraint and putting democracy promotion and regime change in the rear-view mirror appears to be winning out.

In the words of a February 2019 Eurasia Group Foundation report authored by New York University's Mark Hannah, the "desire for a more focused foreign policy is at odds with the more expansive role generally favored by foreign policy experts." The liberal hegemony Mitt Romney continues to preach like gospel on the Senate floor is fast becoming unpopular among the broader electorate.

It is clear now that there has never been a period in the modern era when the establishment Mitt Romney represents has lost so much of its appeal. It will be interesting to see whether Republican lawmakers, elected to represent their constituencies at home, begin to fall in line with the rest of America.

Daniel R. DePetris is a foreign policy analyst, a columnist at Reuters , and a frequent contributor to .

Kent June 7, 2019 at 9:42 am

"It will be interesting to see whether Republican lawmakers, elected to represent their constituencies at home, begin to fall in line with the rest of America."

As someone deeply involved in Republican politics at the local level, I can tell you that this is far more difficult than the average person imagines. Running for Congress is vastly different than running for President. Here's how it works.

Suppose I'm Congressman Smith. A loyal vote for interventionist foreign policy, tax cuts, and globalism. I've been in Congress for 20 years and can summon unlimited amounts of campaign contributions from Lockheed, Raytheon, Goldman-Sachs and every private equity and hedge fund in the country. I also have a great relationship with the owners of my local newspaper and television stations, and key religious leaders in the region. They've all made a lot of money from me.

You want to run against me to help represent President Trump's views in Congress, which you strongly feel reflects the views of the community you desire to serve.

I am going to run unlimited advertising lying about my own views. I'm going to talk about how I strongly support Trump's views and highlight the few times I actually voted with him. You won't have the money to counter that. I'm also going to lie about your positions in every mass media outlet I can find, and you're not going to have the money to counter that either. Finally, I'm going to find a friend who is younger and better looking than you to run on YOUR platform. His sole purpose will be to split the vote for your platform, leaving me with a healthy plurality for a win.

In the one chance in a million you do win, all those powerful interests are going to make it far and away in your best interests to vote just like I did. Your unemployed brother is going to get a loan to take a big stake in a subcontractor to the F-35, where he will be given a vice-presidency for a million dollars a year. Your wife, the life-long homemaker, will suddenly become a very desirable and expensive asset to K-Street lobbyists. You'll be given a loan for that mansion on the beach, with the mortgage payments mysteriously being taken care of.

This is how our electoral system actually works. It's why you always seem stuck voting for the lesser evil. It's why nothing ever seems to change regardless of who you vote for. And the beauty of American style democracy is that you will play along with it every time.

Rossbach , , June 7, 2019 at 10:01 am
"But Donald Trump is right that maintaining alliances for their own sake -- and without expecting anything tangible in return -- shouldn't be the objective, and may in fact perpetuate an unsustainable status quo."

So, when is President Trump going to start acting as though he actually believes that? His foreign policy is almost as big a disaster as his immigration policy -- all talk and no action.

Dan Phillips , , June 7, 2019 at 12:49 pm
America's alliance system is not one of our greatest strengths. It is entirely a post-WWII contrivance. Prior to WWII, we had had only one formal treaty alliance, with France in the War for Independence. We don't need a happy medium between Romney and Trump. We need full throated nonintervention.

[Jun 09, 2019] Trump's Venezuela Hallucination The American Conservative

Jun 09, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Trump was eager to boast about Moscow's withdrawal of its troops from Venezuela, but it turned out that he or someone else in the administration just made it up:

The Kremlin said on Tuesday it didn't know where U.S. President Donald Trump had got the idea Moscow had removed most of its military specialists from Venezuela, who it said continued to work there.

Trump tweeted on Monday that Russia had told the United States it had removed "most of their people" from Venezuela, where Moscow has maintained close military and economic ties with socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Trump's Venezuela policy is a shambles, and Russia previously brushed off his ultimatum to remove their forces from the country. It isn't surprising that he would try to spin any development in his favor, but in this case it seems that he just invented something out of thin air so that his Venezuela policy wouldn't look quite so feckless. He has no genuine successes that he can talk about, so he has to have pretend victories instead. The original tweet is still up:

Claiming that "Russia informed" him of this thing that didn't happen makes it even sillier, because it immediately prompted the Russian government to announce that they couldn't have informed Trump about something that hadn't occurred. Now that Russia has corrected the record, the president looks even more ridiculous than usual.

This episode isn't that important by itself, but it shows how easily Trump can be convinced of the reality of things that haven't happened and how readily he will accept any story, no matter how unfounded it may be, if it flatters him and bolsters his agenda. That makes him unusually easy to manipulate and provoke, and it makes him an exceptionally easy mark for misinformation. That puts the president's decision-making completely at the mercy of the advisers that control what he sees and hears.


Collin, says: June 4, 2019 at 3:30 pm

that his Venezuela policy wouldn't look quite so feckless.

Not a Trump fan, but is Trump's Venezuela policy feckless? Or just Trump somehow understands that it is not our problem and/or military intervention is just a bad investment. For the life of me, I don't understand why Russia desires to part of the Venezuelan mess, but most of their interference is minimal in nature and really has little impact on the situation. I get the Bay Of Bolton was half assed coup that probably did more damage to Guaido chances for new elections. (Guaido is being painted as the Trump Imperialism candidate which is not popular.)

The big question is why this is not China's problem? At this point, Venezuela is completely with them.

EliteCommInc. , says: June 4, 2019 at 3:42 pm
"That puts the president's decision-making completely at the mercy of the advisers that control what he sees and hears."

Hmmmm . . . hard to challenge that.

rayray , says: June 4, 2019 at 3:51 pm
White House staff may have just taken Putin's name off the ship to make Trump feel better.
SteveM , says: June 4, 2019 at 4:01 pm
Re: "Trump's Venezuela policy is a shambles, and Russia previously brushed off his ultimatum to remove their forces from the country."

Agree. But the larger subtext is that the U.S. now has zero credibility with anything . The assumption by every country on the planet has to be that the U.S. word is not worth squat.

Fat Pompeo with his big mouth, "We lie, cheat and steal" mind-dump says it all. The Russians are anything but saints, but they knew that the U.S. planned on having Russia ejected from its Crimean Naval Base in Sevastopol after the coup that Nitwit Nuland and her barrel of CIA monkeys engineered.

Similarly, the Russians know that if/when the U.S. puts sock puppet Guaido in power, they will ensure he stiffs the Russians out of all of their claims and assets in Venezuela.

The Russians don't want to wrestle with the Gorilla, but they have no other choice.

Myron K Hudson , says: June 4, 2019 at 6:14 pm
This new normal is frightening. The man has a tenuous grip on reality at best. Those profiting by it maintain that the Emperor has clothes.
Clyde Schechter , says: June 4, 2019 at 7:11 pm
Given the way the dealings with North Korea have gone, I expect that Trump will soon be announcing that Kim Jong-Un has destroyed all his nuclear weapons and pledged not to build any more. Needless to say, it will not have happened.

But, as they say, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice shame on me. The question really becomes why so many of Trump's followers continue to believe everything he says when he lies so blatantly so often.

Carnie Barquer , says: June 4, 2019 at 8:10 pm
"That puts the president's decision-making completely at the mercy of the advisers that control what he sees and hears. "

And what a bunch those "advisers" are! Wackjobs, liars, convicted criminals, foreign agents and some are more than one of those things!

Mark Thomason , says: June 5, 2019 at 8:25 am
My guess is that Bolton lied to Trump, in order to make himself look better to Trump when pressed on his failures.

By the time that is known, events will have moved on so far even Trump doesn't care.

Kent , says: June 5, 2019 at 8:25 am
@Clyde Schechter,

"The question really becomes why so many of Trump's followers continue to believe everything he says when he lies so blatantly so often."

I don't know that they do. I tend to think that they just hate what has happened to the country since Reagan and Clinton so much that they just want Trump to keep bashing Congress over the head, even with stupidity.

Not to mention that humans have an innate exploitable weakness: the desire to transfer someone else's perceived greatness on to themselves. Hence the inclination of sports fans and adoration of the military.

So "Team America" is great, therefore I am great, and Trump represents us, therefore Trump is great.

Bannerman , says: June 5, 2019 at 1:45 pm
One should not wish ill on any other human being, even though i have contemplated several slapstick scenarios involving certain politicians, however

Donald Trump is in the process of discovering that one cannot ignore Reality, since it Bites, that live is not a reality TV show (the most unreal thing on television), and that chickens do indeed come home to roost.

Unfortunately, it's been a difficult learning curve, and pathetic boasts to the contrary, he has managed to turn both the Conservative Movement and the Republican Party into a pile of smoking rubble.

It conservatism can be rebuilt in a score of years, it would be a miracle. More like, a generation.

Kevin Zeese , says: June 7, 2019 at 11:04 am
Trump's Venezuelan policy is a series of hallucination's. This article just describes the most recent. It begins with the hallucination that Maduro is a dictator, when in reality he won an election in May 2018 with 67% of the vote in an election that more than 150 international election observers unanimously agreed met all international standards for democratic elections. It follows with the hallucination that the Venezuelan military would join the US in rising up against their elected president rather than support the constitutional government. It continues with the hallucination that the people of Venezuela would join a US-inspired coup against the president they had just re-elected rather than join a 2 million person plus civilian militia to defend against a US attack. And, it continues with the hallucination that Juan Guaido is the interim president when his self-appointment violated the Venezuelan Constitution and the United Nations and Venezuelan law recognize Nicolas Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela.

The antidote of these ongoing hallucinatory experiences is for Trump to no longer trust his advisors and end the US coup attempt, which has already failed multiple times in Venezuela. John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and Elliot Abrams have made Trump see hallucinations that are complete falsehoods. They have led the president into an embarrassing trap that he now needs to get out of. They have made Trump look like a fool.

It is time for Trump to take steps to normalize relations with Venezuela. That begins with a mutual Protecting Power Agreement between the US and Venezuela for Switzerland to be a Protecting Power of the US Embassy in Caracas and Turkey to be a Protecting of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, DC. Following from that the US and Venezuela should negotiate the sale of Venezuelan resources, primarily oil, in return for the end of the illegal unilateral coercive measures (inaccurately called sanctions) against Venezuela. Negotiating with Venezuela will be less expensive than a war that will become a quagmire that will end in failure after costing more than $1 trillion and causing chaos in the region. Then, Trump and Maduro should meet to chart a course that begins with mutual respect for the independence and sovereignty of each nation and then determines where the two nations interests are consistent with each other. It is time to leave the hallucinations behind and come back to reality.

delia ruhe , says: June 7, 2019 at 11:49 am
The ease with which Trump is manipulated and provoked can be added to the explanation of why Bibi is now in possession of Jerusalem and war against Iran is a high probability. That should terrify Americans.

[Jun 09, 2019] Romney Has Learned Nothing

Notable quotes:
"... Romney has learned that Trump came and Trump will go, but the neocons will still be there, firmly in control of Team R and Team D. Omnibelligerence they want, and omnibelligerence they shall have. ..."
"... Unfortunately, anti-Russian hysteria is now an article of faith among most Democrats as well. ..."
Jun 09, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

It is strange that Romney chose foreign policy as the focus of his first floor speech as a senator. As a presidential candidate, Romney repeatedly humiliated himself by making ridiculous and brain-dead foreign policy arguments. His criticism of New START was breathtaking in how ill-informed it was, and his foreign policy was fairly described as "omni-directional belligerence" for a reason. He has not significantly improved since then. All of the reports on Romney's speech describe him as "subtly" attacking Trump, which suggests that his attacks were not all that subtle if they were obvious to everyone. Then again, no one should expect subtlety from the man who wanted to attack Obama for the former president's supposed "apology tour" and titled his campaign book No Apology .

Romney asserted during the presidential campaign that Russia was our "number one geopolitical foe." This wasn't true when he said it in the 2012 campaign, and it still isn't today. Romney chose that line of attack because he saw Obama's policy of engagement with Russia as a vulnerability to exploit. If it was a vulnerability, Romney completely failed to take advantage of it, because he had absolutely nothing better to offer. The senator still can't bring himself to acknowledge that he was wrong about Russia, but now he wants to warn us that China may take their place:

Romney, who argued that China is poised to become America's "No. 1 geopolitical adversary," urged American leaders to fortify the U.S. against future Chinese expansion and to take steps to slow China's rising power.

The senator's eagerness to attack Obama for being soft on Russia led him into serious error. I don't see how trying to do the same thing on China will produce better results. Even if one agrees that China is America's foremost adversary, it doesn't follow that the best course is to pursue an openly confrontational policy towards them. Romney is still stuck reciting hawkish platitudes and congratulating himself for his wisdom. The junior senator from Utah has learned nothing after all these years, and there is no reason to expect that he ever will.

Most of Romney's new remarks are little more than boilerplate. What the senator doesn't and maybe can't acknowledge in his speech is how similar Trump's foreign policy is to his own. Both wrongly faulted Obama for neglecting "allies" (read Middle Eastern clients), both embraced the deranged idea of maintaining "no daylight" with those same clients, and since becoming a senator Romney has been a reliable vote for the worst of Trump's policies abroad. When the time came earlier this year to vote on S.J.Res. 7 to demand an end to U.S. involvement in the war on Yemen, Romney voted in lockstep with most of the other Senate Republicans. Even though his fellow Utah Republican was one of the co-sponsors, Romney predictably sided with the morally bankrupt hawks. One of the biggest attacks on our allies has come in the form of Trump's Iran policy with the decision to renege on the JCPOA, but of course Romney has no problem with that policy or the damage that it is doing to our relations with Germany, Britain, and France. His past statements about the nuclear deal are cringe-inducing in their ignorance. Here is one from May 2018:

Brief as it is, Romney's statement is riddled with errors. Iran had no "nuclear weapon program" last year or at any point for the last 16 years, so there was and is nothing to eliminate. Just as he did with New START, Romney dismissed the JCPOA as a "bad deal" not because of the content of the agreement but only because it was an agreement negotiated and completed under Obama. Romney is smarter, more polished, and more urbane than Trump, but his foreign policy judgment is just as appalling as the president's. When we cut through the senator's unimaginative endorsements of alliances and trade, we will remember why most American voters chose someone else when Romney was the Republican nominee for president


Sid Finster, says: June 7, 2019 at 10:27 am

Romney has learned that Trump came and Trump will go, but the neocons will still be there, firmly in control of Team R and Team D. Omnibelligerence they want, and omnibelligerence they shall have.

To be fair, Romney probably knew this before 2012 as well.

Donald , says: June 7, 2019 at 11:37 am
Unfortunately, anti-Russian hysteria is now an article of faith among most Democrats as well.
liberal , says: June 7, 2019 at 12:15 pm
By "elimination of Iran's nuclear weapon program", a reasonable reading (given that Iran has no actual nuclear weapon program) is the elimination of Iran's nuclear industry .

IIRC this would be a complete violation of the NNPT. Quoting from Wikipedia on the "bargain" in the NNPT

the NPT non-nuclear-weapon states agree never to acquire nuclear weapons and the NPT nuclear-weapon states in exchange agree to share the benefits of peaceful nuclear technology and to pursue nuclear disarmament aimed at the ultimate elimination of their nuclear arsenals

[emphasis added]

Of course it's quite reasonable to argue that the US is in violation of the NNPT (apart from the Iran issue) because of that last part.

Taras 77 , says: June 8, 2019 at 12:21 am
The crux of the matter is not what romney believes or learned (or has not learned). It is what his neo con handlers want and will pursue. Romney is just a puppet, mouthpiece.

His 2012 campaign was controlled by the neo cons, as inept as it was. He played a large role in rapidly staffing trump admin with neo cons (see John Hay Initiative, founded by Brian Hook, pompeo's #2 currently).

Now, he is simply mouthing the neo con globalist line as directed.

swamp gas , says: June 9, 2019 at 9:04 am
There's really hardly anything left of the old GOP. It's now the party of Wall Street, Israel, permanent war, whopping deficits, outsourcing, cheap foreign labor, and executive branch bootlickers masquerading as congressmen. That's Romney to a t, the perfect profile for leading the GOP to final collapse, adding to the number of establishment conservative party wipeouts around the world.

[Jun 09, 2019] The looming 100-year US-China conflict by Martin Wolf

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Across-the-board rivalry with China is becoming an organising principle of US economic, foreign and security policies. ..."
"... An effort to halt China's economic and technological rise is almost certain to fail. Worse, it will foment deep hostility in the Chinese people. In the long run, the demands of an increasingly prosperous and well-educated people for control over their lives might still win out. But that is far less likely if China's natural rise is threatened. ..."
"... The tragedy in what is now happening is that the administration is simultaneously launching a conflict between the two powers, attacking its allies and destroying the institutions of the postwar US-led order. ..."
Jun 04, 2019 | archive.fo
The disappearance of the Soviet Union left a big hole. The "war on terror" was an inadequate replacement. But China ticks all boxes. For the US, it can be the ideological, military and economic enemy many need. Here at last is a worthwhile opponent. That was the main conclusion I drew from this year's Bilderberg meetings.

Across-the-board rivalry with China is becoming an organising principle of US economic, foreign and security policies.

Whether it is Donald Trump's organizing principle is less important. The US president has the gut instincts of a nationalist and protectionist. Others provide both framework and details. The aim is US domination. The means is control over China, or separation from China.

Anybody who believes a rules-based multilateral order, our globalised economy, or even harmonious international relations, are likely to survive this conflict is deluded. The astonishing white paper on the trade conflict , published on Sunday by China, is proof. The -- to me, depressing -- fact is that on many points Chinese positions are right.

The US focus on bilateral imbalances is economically illiterate. The view that theft of intellectual property has caused huge damage to the US is questionable . The proposition that China has grossly violated its commitments under its 2001 accession agreement to the World Trade Organization is hugely exaggerated.

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

Accusing China of cheating is hypocritical when almost all trade policy actions taken by the Trump administration are in breach of WTO rules, a fact implicitly conceded by its determination to destroy the dispute settlement system .

The US negotiating position vis-à-vis China is that "might makes right". This is particularly true of insisting that the Chinese accept the US role as judge, jury and executioner of the agreement .

A dispute over the terms of market opening or protection of intellectual property might be settled with careful negotiation. Such a settlement might even help China, since it would lighten the heavy hand of the state and promote market-oriented reform.

But the issues are now too vexed for such a resolution. This is partly because of the bitter breakdown in negotiation. It is still more because the US debate is increasingly over whether integration with China's state-led economy is desirable. The fear over Huawei focuses on national security and technological autonomy.

[Neo]liberal commerce is increasingly seen as "trading with the enemy".

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

A framing of relations with China as one of zero-sum conflict is emerging. Recent remarks by Kiron Skinner, the US state department's policy planning director (a job once held by cold war strategist George Kennan) are revealing. Rivalry with Beijing, she suggested at a forum organised by New America , is "a fight with a really different civilisation and a different ideology, and the United States hasn't had that before".

She added that this would be "the first time that we will have a great power competitor that is not Caucasian". The war with Japan is forgotten.

But the big point is her framing of this as a civilizational and racial war and so as an insoluble conflict. This cannot be accidental. She is also still in her job. Others present the conflict as one over ideology and power.

Those emphasising the former point to President Xi Jinping's Marxist rhetoric and the reinforced role of the Communist party . Those emphasising the latter point to China's rising economic might. Both perspectives suggest perpetual conflict.

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

This is the most important geopolitical development of our era. Not least, it will increasingly force everybody else to take sides or fight hard for neutrality. But it is not only important. It is dangerous. It risks turning a manageable, albeit vexed, relationship into all-embracing conflict, for no good reason. China's ideology is not a threat to liberal democracy in the way the Soviet Union's was. Rightwing demagogues are far more dangerous.

An effort to halt China's economic and technological rise is almost certain to fail. Worse, it will foment deep hostility in the Chinese people. In the long run, the demands of an increasingly prosperous and well-educated people for control over their lives might still win out. But that is far less likely if China's natural rise is threatened.

Moreover, the rise of China is not an important cause of western malaise. That reflects far more the indifference and incompetence of domestic elites. What is seen as theft of intellectual property reflects, in large part, the inevitable attempt of a rising economy to master the technologies of the day. Above all, an attempt to preserve the domination of 4 per cent of humanity over the rest is illegitimate.

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

This certainly does not mean accepting everything China does or says. On the contrary, the best way for the west to deal with China is to insist on the abiding values of freedom, democracy, rules-based multilateralism and global co-operation. These ideas made many around the globe supporters of the US in the past.

They still captivate many Chinese people today. It is quite possible to uphold these ideas, indeed insist upon them far more strongly, while co-operating with a rising China where that is essential, as over protecting the natural environment, commerce and peace.

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

A blend of competition with co-operation is the right way forward. Such an approach to managing China's rise must include co-operating closely with like-minded allies and treating China with respect.

The tragedy in what is now happening is that the administration is simultaneously launching a conflict between the two powers, attacking its allies and destroying the institutions of the postwar US-led order.

Today's attack on China is the wrong war, fought in the wrong way, on the wrong terrain. Alas, this is where we now are.

martin.wolf@ft.com

[Jun 08, 2019] Sanders burns Bill Kristol over 'foolish' pushing for Iraq war, asks where his apology is

May 28, 2019 | www.rt.com
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders took a swipe at neoconservative Bill Kristol for his "foolish advocacy of the Iraq war," and questioned whether he had apologized to the country for it yet. Sanders was responding to a tweet Kristol sent that said, "#Never Sanders," and linked to a New York Times article about the longtime Vermont senator's opposition to war.

"Have you apologized to the nation for your foolish advocacy of the Iraq war?" Sanders tweeted , adding he makes "no apologies for opposing it."

Sanders' record of opposing wars like Vietnam and Iraq, and US meddling in Nicaragua, has recently been highlighted by the media as the 2020 presidential primaries approach.

pic.twitter.com/yZj2fC8xRB

-- #WithTheseHands 🙌🏻🙌🏼🙌🏽🙌🏾 Eowyn (@WestCoastGadfly) May 26, 2019

Has Biden apologized for his support of that war and so many others? Please answer my poll: https://t.co/Xxsa70K56o

-- (𝕊𝕠𝕔𝕚𝕒𝕝) 𝔻𝕖𝕞𝕠𝕔𝕣𝕒𝕔𝕪 ℕ𝕠𝕨! 🇺🇸 (@IStandWithIlhan) May 25, 2019

Feel the Bern, Bill. pic.twitter.com/LcouTg1XdG

-- Meghan McCain's Tears™ (@Smedley_Butler) May 25, 2019

NBC's Meet the Press came under fire last week for tweeting , "Sanders said he won't apologize for supporting anti-Vietnam War efforts and voting against the war in Iraq," which sparked ridicule among social media users and inspired Sanders to release a video in which he stood by his anti-war stance and promised to do everything to prevent a war with Iran.

I was right about Vietnam.

I was right about Iraq.

I will do everything in my power to prevent a war with Iran.

I apologize to no one. pic.twitter.com/Lna3oBZMKB

-- Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 24, 2019

Kristol tweeted his 'never Sanders' diss after the former Burlington mayor introduced a petition to prevent "military action against Iran without congressional approval," something that likely upset Kristol, who has been calling for regime change in Iran for over 13 years.

Kristol refused to apologize over his comments, instead calling on Sanders to engage in a "real debate on US foreign policy."

Nope. I dislike quasi-Stalinist demands for apologies. I've defended and will defend my views on Iraq, and Syria, and Milosevic, and the Soviet Union, and more, as you defend yours. How about a real debate on U.S. foreign policy--I'll ask for no apologies!--on a campus this fall? https://t.co/AdC0CelINz

-- Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) May 26, 2019

A co-founder of the neoconservative think tank the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), Kristol called for regime change in Iraq in 1998 in a series of articles and a letter to then-President Bill Clinton. Following 9/11, PNAC encouraged the George W. Bush administration to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Kristol ardently supported the war in Iraq, which he claimed would be a "two-month war" and repeatedly argued for sending more troops there to rectify the failing invasion.

During the 2006 Lebanon war, Kristol suggested the US take the opportunity to strike Iran's nuclear facilities, asking, "Why wait?"

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[Jun 08, 2019] Judging by the comment thread, US Navy propaganda crew is hard at work

US navy plays dangerous games. Sooner or later Russia or China or Iran maybe, or any hot spot in the world - encounters the situation wherein the US both must and can be slapped.
Notable quotes:
"... Apparently the US had an ASW capable chopper in the air which was a treat to the UUV so the Russians gently reminded the US that they should back off. ..."
"... This happens with all sides regularly without too much of a fuss. The Russians have decades of history of warning off the US and UK in this way, and it never involves anyone getting hurt or even weapons getting pointed. It is just a firm but non-violent way of getting the other side to back off. ..."
"... Rarely is a fuss kicked up and the crews on both sides often use these encounters as a photo op, so why the Americans have decided to make an issue out this one is anyones guess. ..."
"... I call bullshit on the "recovering an helicopter" excuse. The vision shown is from a helicopter positioned well ahead of the intersection of the two tracks. Helicopters are recovered at the rear deck, not the front. Clearly the helo was not trying to land at the time of the incident ..."
"... If the yankees were on a recovery maneuver exercise they should have detected a hazard approaching and in range of being serious and simply deferred the exercise until it could be conducted free of distraction. They had ample time to display appropriate flags. The yankees have a serious blind spot as evidenced by two previous collisions referenced in posts above. ..."
"... "The ship should display the signals required by Rules 27(b)(i) and (ii) of the IMO International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS). Alternatively, International Code Flag 'D' may be flown." ..."
"... In my experience US Navy Public Affairs Officers are ignorant of what they are commenting on by design. They can't give up too much if they know nothing beyond the party line and enough jargon to dazzle the journalists. ..."
"... There's a checklist for going to flight ops. Part of the checklist is to tell the signalmen to fly the "H" flag and to raise the restricted in ability to maneuver day shapes (ball-diamond-ball). ..."
Jun 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Peter AU 1 , Jun 7, 2019 5:09:13 PM | 66
Judging by the comment thread, these boys are hard at work.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_communication_specialist
"Mass Communication Specialist (abbreviated as MC) is a United States Navy occupational rating. MCs practice human-centered design to develop creative communication solutions and align communication strategies and tactics to leadership's intent; conduct research and develop audience profiles; prepare, process, and print publications and media products; create sketches, storyboards, and graphics; design publications; produce still imagery, and written, audio, video, and multimedia information products; collect, analyze, and report media project and communication plan feedback and performance information; create media project plans; conduct community outreach, news media operations, leadership communication operations, and organizational communication operations; plan and direct communication campaigns and events and serve as communication advisors to commanders; and develop content strategies, create data stories, and ensure communication products and experiences are designed to enhance understanding and discoverability. MCs serve aboard ships, in expeditionary units and at shore commands in the United States and overseas.[1]"

Peter AU 1 , Jun 7, 2019 5:56:41 PM | 72
My guess is the Russian anti submarine ship was on a parallel course to keep track of the US attack submarines with the carrier group. US ship was sent out to push it away. As you say, the helicopter may have been sent out to capture some video or stills that could be used to back up the 'US is innocent' propaganda already planned.

One thought on this - If the Russian ship did not change course, with the US ship slowing under reverse thrust, the Russian ship most likely would have hit it somewhere near the center. A great video of a Russian ship aggressively ramming a 'peaceful and innocent' US ship.

Yonatan , Jun 7, 2019 6:03:30 PM | 74
A 1:49 video filmed from the US vessel. The cameraman was taking leisurely close in shots of the Russian vessel's comms systems. The two vessels were sailing close to parallel for all this time and there is a view of the infamous Russian sunbathers on the helicopter landing platform.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5SDldfZ3dE

Abe Jonson , Jun 7, 2019 6:24:16 PM | 76
There was something on Press TV about the US ship getting too close to a Russian UUV undergoing trials / on a covert op which caused the Russian escort ship to intercept the US ship.

Apparently the US had an ASW capable chopper in the air which was a treat to the UUV so the Russians gently reminded the US that they should back off.

This happens with all sides regularly without too much of a fuss. The Russians have decades of history of warning off the US and UK in this way, and it never involves anyone getting hurt or even weapons getting pointed. It is just a firm but non-violent way of getting the other side to back off.

Rarely is a fuss kicked up and the crews on both sides often use these encounters as a photo op, so why the Americans have decided to make an issue out this one is anyones guess.

Krollchem , Jun 7, 2019 8:31:15 PM | 86
Robert@78

Apparently you didn't read "b" post and know nothing about Russian vs US ship construction:

"The crew of the Chancellorsville should call itself lucky. Russian ships are build with a strong bow to travel in icy waters. Had the Admiral Vinogradov not made the emergency turn to its right, its bow would have cut their ship in half."

There are a lot of other idiotic comments at the US Navy site: https://twitter.com/USNavy/status/1136978500185919488

eagle eye , Jun 7, 2019 8:43:30 PM | 87
I call bullshit on the "recovering an helicopter" excuse. The vision shown is from a helicopter positioned well ahead of the intersection of the two tracks. Helicopters are recovered at the rear deck, not the front. Clearly the helo was not trying to land at the time of the incident

82 sums it up nicely. The Yanks f..ked up, yet again.

uncle tungsten , Jun 7, 2019 9:13:20 PM | 90
Posted by: Robert | Jun 7, 2019 5:41:03 PM | 70

My sympathies are with the crew too. The reckless heroics of the bridge gang are deplorable. These encounters do not happen at high speed. Minutes go by. Both vessels should have been aware of their potential for close encounter.

If the yankees were on a recovery maneuver exercise they should have detected a hazard approaching and in range of being serious and simply deferred the exercise until it could be conducted free of distraction. They had ample time to display appropriate flags. The yankees have a serious blind spot as evidenced by two previous collisions referenced in posts above.

The Russians could easily have adjusted course to pass behind the yankee vessel. All these ships have more than adequate electronics and personnel to calculate converging course and time of encounter. That they chose to come so close could indicate a FU attitude or perhaps they were on a 'collision stations' maneuver in real time. It is also probable they were monitoring US communications systems that are limited in range and only detected up close. Understanding those systems enables one to build a jamming device. The crew on that vessel would have been mighty anxious too.

Hyped egos, poor training and warships are a very stupid mix. See the Forrestal debacle where the ships fire crew were wiped out in the first response and untrained sailors sprayed the deck with water rather than foam thus washing fuel below decks and setting the stern ablaze.

karlof1 , Jun 7, 2019 9:42:39 PM | 92
Here we have manual : Helicopter-Ship-Operations . From page 37, Section 5.4.1:

"The ship should display the signals required by Rules 27(b)(i) and (ii) of the IMO International
Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS). Alternatively, International Code Flag 'D' may be flown."

"D" translates as "Keep clear of me." From COLREGS, "Day shapes" mentioned above would be "1 ball+1 diamond+1 ball" organized vertically, which translates as "Restricted in ability to maneuver" ( here ).

But none of what the Regs require is visible--none! Russia wins its case, and it was all too easy!

Carl Nyberg , Jun 7, 2019 10:14:19 PM | 94
In my experience US Navy Public Affairs Officers are ignorant of what they are commenting on by design. They can't give up too much if they know nothing beyond the party line and enough jargon to dazzle the journalists.

The failure to mention USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) had the appropriate day shapes flying is simply too in the weeds for the PAOs and admiral's staff who wrote the press release/story.

There's a checklist for going to flight ops. Part of the checklist is to tell the signalmen to fly the "H" flag and to raise the restricted in ability to maneuver day shapes (ball-diamond-ball).

Even if the officer of the deck & the helicopter control officer did fail to tell the signalman to do those things, the vast majority of signalmen would have reminded the OOD. Signalmen have relatively few things to pay attention to, so they are pretty self directed.

[Jun 08, 2019] Title 10, Paragraph 1161. Bad news for Mike Flynn - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Jun 08, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Harlan Easley ,

It is a political prosecution. When he was head of DIA and called out the Obama Administration for arming the Salafists in Syria his fate was probably sealed.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/08/10/former_dia_chief_michael_flynn_says_rise_of_isis_was_willful_decision_of_us_government.html

Mueller Investigation threaten his son with prosecution so he took a plea in order to save his son.

https://www.cnn.com/2017/11/08/politics/michael-flynn-son-special-counsel-russia-investigation/index.html

JamesT ,
On a related note, when I heard that Paul Manafort was facing mortage fraud charges I immediately thought of the scene in The Wire in which Lester Freaman explains the "head shot". Explanation here (I suggest you skip the video): https://jackbaruth.com/?p=8652
akaPatience ,
Is it even probable that Flynn will serve time in jail? Would a sentence of a mere 9 days (ala Papadopoulos) jeopardize his status with the military?

IMO "protecting" him would have little effect on the luster of Trump's brand. If anything's tarnished it it's the familiarity people all over the world now have with his tendency to shoot from the lip.

Still, it's that pugnacious behavior that endears him to millions of voters. I used to hate it, and while I still occasionally wish he'd just ST*U, I nevertheless appreciate it at times. For instance, I happen to agree with him that "Nervous Nancy" is a mess.

I say protect Flynn and be done with it. It sounds like the guy was the victim of overzealous prosecution anyway.

edding , 08 June 2019 at 10:03 AM
From your post I'm assuming a presidential pardon prior to sentencing (if Trump himself has the guts to follow through) would preserve Flynn's benefits. The irony is that Flynn's alleged spurious contact with Kislyak was for precisely those interests to which the Administration (and the Dems and Repubs) are beholden.
robt willmann , 08 June 2019 at 11:50 AM
The situation with Gen. Flynn has seemed very strange from the beginning. When he was removed as National Security Advisor for allegedly making a misleading statement to vice president Pence, it was a muddy situation itself. How Pence was "mislead" has been unclear to me, although perhaps I missed a thorough explanation. Then came the Mueller investigation which turned into a criminal investigation.

Around a month or so ago, I heard on the radio part of an interview with a lawyer who was involved with representing the White House or Trump in the Mueller investigation. He said something astonishing about Flynn's situation before Flynn made the plea bargain with the Mueller group. I do not know if I can find a recording of it, but the idea was that some evidence had been produced that showed Flynn's likely innocence.

joanna said in reply to robt willmann... , 08 June 2019 at 02:16 PM
How Pence was "mislead" has been unclear to me

games people play?

Pat said something interesting at one point, I seem to remember, it was a bit naive of Flynn to accept the RT gala dinner invitation. He wouldn't have... But then, I may be dreaming. On the other hand easy dot connectors in the services surely may have thought otherwise. Meaning not naive but evil.

Keith Harbaugh -> robt willmann... , 08 June 2019 at 02:59 PM
Perhaps it had something to do with this:
"Exculpatory Russia evidence about Mike Flynn that US intel kept secret" , by John Solomon, The Hill , 2019-01-02
See also
"John Solomon Drops a Tick-Tock Bombshell – DIA Holds Documents That Can Exonerate" Flynn " , by sundance, 2018-12-14
turcopolier , 08 June 2019 at 12:08 PM
Dogrotter - Mueller was in USMC for a couple of years. How many years was Flynn on active duty?
The Twisted Genius , 08 June 2019 at 12:08 PM
Flynn's plea deal required him to plead guilty only for lying to the FBI. The government recommended no jail time. The judge made comments during his last hearing indicating he was still considering jail time. Flynn panicked at that point. I don't blame him. His recent change of lawyers is still puzzling to me. Is he attempting to play hardball at this stage in the game?

The perjury charge is small stuff compared to his hidden status as an agent for Turkish interests. Why risk reopening that can of worms? That has the potential of setting him up as Manafort's bunkmate at Rikers.

[Jun 08, 2019] McMaster and 'Nuclear Blackmail' The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... Even more depressing, McMaster is author of the excellent book, "Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam". Now he's retailing lies of his own in pursuit of another war. ..."
"... The "Foundation for the Defense of Democracies" subsists on donations intended to advance the foreign policy agendas of countries like Israel and Saudi Arabia. Those are the kind of "democracies" they want America to "defend" ..."
Jun 08, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Daniel DePetris follows up on McMaster's crazy North Korea comments :

McMaster then proceeds to mount a hypothetical -- nuclear blackmail. "This regime could say [if U.S. forces] don't go off the Korean Peninsula, we're going to threaten the use of nuclear weapons," the retired general explained. And yet this, too, is riddled with nonsense, the biggest objection being that making such an ultimatum would court the very military confrontation with the United States he wants to avoid.

When McMaster was in the Trump administration, he floated many of the same arguments about why attacking North Korea should be an option. Those arguments didn't make any sense when he made them as National Security Advisor, and they haven't improved now that he has migrated to the inaccurately named Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). McMaster's latest statements confirm that his preventive war talk wasn't just empty rhetoric on his part when he worked for Trump. He was apparently deadly serious about entertaining a U.S. attack on North Korea, and he continues to talk about it as though it were a reasonable and legitimate policy option. The reporting that he and others in the administration had a "messianic fervor" about this seems to have been right.

It can't be stressed enough that launching an attack on North Korea would an outrageous act of aggression. It would put the U.S. in clear violation of the U.N. Charter and make our government an illegal aggressor just like North Korea was in 1950. McMaster was and still is promoting the idea that the U.S. should be willing to commit a massive crime against another country. Unfortunately, talk of preventive war against certain states is not just tolerated in Washington, but it is actively encouraged and embraced by many other hard-liners, including the current National Security Advisor, who is also in favor of launching an attack on North Korea. These hard-liners dismiss the possibility of deterring these states so that they can have an excuse to attack, but invariably the behavior they cite as evidence that a state can't be deterred is proof that they desire self-preservation and regime security above all else.

Hard-liners also like to warn about "nuclear blackmail" from other states, but they can't ever produce an example of a nuclear weapons state that has successfully engaged in such blackmail to extract concessions from others. It makes even less sense when we consider what would happen to the blackmailing state if it followed through on the threat. Threatening to launch a nuclear first strike to gain concessions from other governments wouldn't get that government what it wants, and carrying out the threat would result in the state's certain annihilation. There is no upside to engaging in "nuclear blackmail" and a huge downside. If "nuclear blackmail" worked, there would likely have been a lot more blackmail attempts by nuclear weapons state over the last seventy-four years, and more states would want to acquire nuclear weapons for this purpose. In reality, just about the only use that nuclear weapons have is to deter attacks from others, and that is pretty clearly why North Korea built their nuclear arsenal. Threatening them with attack just confirms them in their view that they have to retain them, and actually attacking them would be the only thing that is likely to prompt them to use them.


Corwin , says: June 5, 2019 at 2:05 pm

There's a scene in the movie Dr. Strangelove where all the powerful men were sitting in the war room discussing the possible state of the world after the nuclear attack. They start by lamenting the deaths of tens of millions of Americans, and that they might be the only leaders left to rebuild America. They then worked their way to moving to a bunker to make sure they were safe, then bringing in women who could help repopulate the country, and then making sure the women were beautiful and that there would be enough to get started on having lots of children right away. So in less than 2 minutes, they go from the end of civilization to having a harem for each of them. When powerful people can see a disaster as a chance to gain even more power, they will take it regardless of the consequences to anyone else. That's who they are.
Fran Macadam , says: June 5, 2019 at 3:30 pm
I must have missed when our own official policy renounced nuclear first strike. As far as I know, it's still "one of the options on the table." And now with the latest "low yield nuke" deployments in the pipeline, it gives the illusion that nuclear war can be a winning option to defend the heartland or expand the empire's overseas power.
Alan Vanneman , says: June 5, 2019 at 3:58 pm
Even more depressing, McMaster is author of the excellent book, "Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam". Now he's retailing lies of his own in pursuit of another war.
Basic Training , says: June 5, 2019 at 4:50 pm
"the inaccurately named Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD)"

That name is a sick joke. The "Foundation for the Defense of Democracies" subsists on donations intended to advance the foreign policy agendas of countries like Israel and Saudi Arabia. Those are the kind of "democracies" they want America to "defend".

Taras 77 , says: June 5, 2019 at 5:07 pm
McMaster has literally gone off the edge since he was named as the head of a group over at the FDD group of warmongers -- they literally on a daily basis call for more war, attacks on Iran, and NK -- more tragically, they have access and influence with Bolton and Pompeo.
Sick beyond belief but that is where their money comes into play.

https://spectator.us/mcmaster-disaster/

Tony , says: June 6, 2019 at 8:38 am
The 'nuclear blackmail' argument is totally bogus. The United States had some 32,000 nuclear weapons when it was defeated in Indochina.

The Soviet Union also had many nuclear weapons when it left Afghanistan.

rayray , says: June 6, 2019 at 11:33 am
@Corwin

Loved that. Kubrick, George, and Southern just nailed it. I'm waiting for a writer brilliant and angry enough to do the same for today.

[Jun 08, 2019] JFK went against the flow of the good old boys and their networks

Jun 08, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Originally from: CIA admits to spying on Senate staffers Page 5 of 11 Discussion The Guardian

cashedupbogan -> fringe_perception , 31 Jul 2014 19:15

Scandal?
JFK went against the flow of the good old boys and their networks.
'Bay of Pigs' was a disaster but did JFK really have that much input into the planning of that mess?
He stopped it, eventually, probably because he thought it might escalate into a full blown war with Russia.
He did some amazing stuff during the Cuban crises.
He kept his rabid war hawks at bay until a resolution was worked out with Russia.
Khrushchev did should be thanked too by keeping his military maniacs leashed too.
What's with the tea baggers redefining history?
You guys have started burning books over there yet? and

[Jun 07, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard Pushes No War Agenda – and the Media Is out to Kill Her Chances by Philip Giraldi

Trump betrayed anti-war votes. So he will not get the same voting blocks that he got in 2016.
Notable quotes:
"... Tulsi's own military experience notwithstanding, she gives every indication of being honestly anti-war. In the speech announcing her candidacy she pledged "focus on the issue of war and peace" to "end the regime-change wars that have taken far too many lives and undermined our security by strengthening terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda." She referred to the danger posed by blundering into a possible nuclear war and indicated her dismay over what appears to be a re-emergence of the Cold War. ..."
"... In a recent interview with Fox News's Tucker Carlson, Gabbard doubled down on her anti-war credentials, telling the host that war with Iran would be "devastating, " adding that "I know where this path leads us and I'm concerned because the American people don't seem to be prepared for how devastating and costly such a war would be So, what we are facing is, essentially, a war that has no frontlines, total chaos, engulfs the whole region, is not contained within Iran or Iraq but would extend to Syria and Lebanon and Israel across the region, setting us up in a situation where, in Iraq, we lost over 4,000 of my brothers and sisters in uniform. A war with Iran would take far more American lives, it would cost more civilian lives across the region Not to speak of the fact that this would cost trillions of taxpayer dollars coming out of our pockets to go and pay for this endless war that begs the question as a soldier, what are we fighting for? What does victory look like? What is the mission?" ..."
"... Gabbard, and also Carlson, did not hesitate to name names among those pushing for war, one of which begins with B-O-L-T-O-N. She then asked "How does a war with Iran serve the best interest of the American people of the United States? And the fact is it does not," Gabbard said. "It better serves the interest of people like [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Bibi Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia who are trying to push us into this war with Iran." ..."
"... In 2015, Gabbard supported President Barack Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran and in 2016 she backed Bernie Sanders' antiwar candidacy. More recently, she has criticized President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Last May, she criticized Israel for shooting "unarmed protesters" in Gaza, a very bold step indeed given the power of the Israel Lobby. ..."
"... Tulsi Gabbard could well be the only genuine antiwar candidate that might truly be electable in the past fifty years, and that is why the war party is out to get her. Two weeks ago, the Daily Beast displayed a headline : "Tulsi Gabbard's Campaign Is Being Boosted by Putin Apologists." The article also had a sub-headline: "The Hawaii congresswoman is quickly becoming the top candidate for Democrats who think the Russian leader is misunderstood." ..."
"... Tulsi responded "Stephanopoulos shamelessly implied that because I oppose going to war with Russia, I'm not a loyal American, but a Putin puppet. It just shows what absurd lengths warmongers in the media will go, to try to destroy the reputation of anyone who dares oppose their warmongering." ..."
"... ASD was set up in 2017 by the usual neocon crowd with funding from The Atlanticist and anti-Russian German Marshall Fund. It is loaded with a full complement of Zionists and interventionists/globalists, to include Michael Chertoff, Michael McFaul, Michael Morell, Kori Schake and Bill Kristol. It claims, innocently, to be a bipartisan transatlantic national security advocacy group that seeks to identify and counter efforts by Russia to undermine democracies in the United States and Europe but it is actually itself a major source of disinformation. ..."
"... for the moment, she seems to be the "real thing," a genuine anti-war candidate who is determined to run on that platform. It might just resonate with the majority of Americans who have grown tired of perpetual warfare to "spread democracy" and other related frauds perpetrated by the band of oligarchs and traitors that run the United States ..."
Jun 06, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

Voters looking ahead to 2020 are being bombarded with soundbites from the twenty plus Democratic would-be candidates. That Joe Biden is apparently leading the pack according to opinion polls should come as no surprise as he stands for nothing apart from being the Establishment favorite who will tirelessly work to support the status quo.

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

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

In a recent interview with Fox News's Tucker Carlson, Gabbard doubled down on her anti-war credentials, telling the host that war with Iran would be "devastating, " adding that "I know where this path leads us and I'm concerned because the American people don't seem to be prepared for how devastating and costly such a war would be So, what we are facing is, essentially, a war that has no frontlines, total chaos, engulfs the whole region, is not contained within Iran or Iraq but would extend to Syria and Lebanon and Israel across the region, setting us up in a situation where, in Iraq, we lost over 4,000 of my brothers and sisters in uniform. A war with Iran would take far more American lives, it would cost more civilian lives across the region Not to speak of the fact that this would cost trillions of taxpayer dollars coming out of our pockets to go and pay for this endless war that begs the question as a soldier, what are we fighting for? What does victory look like? What is the mission?"

Gabbard, and also Carlson, did not hesitate to name names among those pushing for war, one of which begins with B-O-L-T-O-N. She then asked "How does a war with Iran serve the best interest of the American people of the United States? And the fact is it does not," Gabbard said. "It better serves the interest of people like [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Bibi Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia who are trying to push us into this war with Iran."

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

In 2015, Gabbard supported President Barack Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran and in 2016 she backed Bernie Sanders' antiwar candidacy. More recently, she has criticized President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Last May, she criticized Israel for shooting "unarmed protesters" in Gaza, a very bold step indeed given the power of the Israel Lobby.

Tulsi Gabbard could well be the only genuine antiwar candidate that might truly be electable in the past fifty years, and that is why the war party is out to get her. Two weeks ago, the Daily Beast displayed a headline : "Tulsi Gabbard's Campaign Is Being Boosted by Putin Apologists." The article also had a sub-headline: "The Hawaii congresswoman is quickly becoming the top candidate for Democrats who think the Russian leader is misunderstood."

The obvious smear job was picked by ABC's George Stephanopoulos, television's best known Hillary Clinton clone, who brought it up in an interview with Gabbard shortly thereafter. He asked whether Gabbard was "softer" on Putin than were some of the other candidates. Gabbard answered: "It's unfortunate that you're citing that article, George, because it's a whole lot of fake news." Politico the reported the exchange and wrote: "'Fake news' is a favorite phrase of President Donald Trump ," putting the ball back in Tulsi's court rather than criticizing Stephanopoulos's pointless question. Soon thereafter CNN produced its own version of Tulsi the Russophile , observing that Gabbard was using a Trump expression to "attack the credibility of negative coverage."

Tulsi responded "Stephanopoulos shamelessly implied that because I oppose going to war with Russia, I'm not a loyal American, but a Putin puppet. It just shows what absurd lengths warmongers in the media will go, to try to destroy the reputation of anyone who dares oppose their warmongering."

Tulsi Gabbard had attracted other enemies prior to the Stephanopoulos attack. Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept described how NBC news published a widely distributed story on February 1 st , claiming that "experts who track websites and social media linked to Russia have seen stirrings of a possible campaign of support for Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard."

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

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

No doubt stories headlined "Tulsi Gabbard Communist Stooge" are in the works somewhere in the mainstream media. The Establishment politicians and their media component have difficulty in understanding just how much they are despised for their mendacity and unwillingness to support policies that would truly benefit the American people but they are well able to dominate press coverage.

Given the flood of contrived negativity towards her campaign, it is not clear if Tulsi Gabbard will ever be able to get her message across.

But, for the moment, she seems to be the "real thing," a genuine anti-war candidate who is determined to run on that platform. It might just resonate with the majority of Americans who have grown tired of perpetual warfare to "spread democracy" and other related frauds perpetrated by the band of oligarchs and traitors that run the United States

[Jun 05, 2019] Trumpies should bear in mind that Gallagher's own fellow Seals testified against him that's how depraved this guy Trump is pardoning is.

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's eunuchs are still guarding and serving their master I see. And their master is a psychopath who is getting ready to pardon the tough guy kind of psychopath he admires. Of course the Orange psychopath doesn't consider the fact that this kind of thing , just like the Iraqi prison tortures , incentivizes the commission of war crimes by our opponents and allies, and in doing so puts US service members at greater risk. ..."
May 21, 2019 | www.unz.com

renfro, says: May 20, 2019 at 7:02 am GMT

@Peter Akuleyev

Trump's eunuchs are still guarding and serving their master I see. And their master is a psychopath who is getting ready to pardon the tough guy kind of psychopath he admires. Of course the Orange psychopath doesn't consider the fact that this kind of thing , just like the Iraqi prison tortures , incentivizes the commission of war crimes by our opponents and allies, and in doing so puts US service members at greater risk.

Here's Trump's hero ..

"One day, from his sniper nest, Chief Gallagher shot a girl in a flower-print hijab who was walking w/ other girls on the riverbank. She dropped, clutching her stomach, & the other girls dragged her away."

A mass murderer according to Senior Seals: "Would order needless risks, to fire rockets at houses for no apparent reason. He routinely parked an armored truck on a Tigris River bridge & emptied the truck's heavy machine gun into neighborhoods on twith no discernible targets."

"Platoon members said he spent much of his time in a hidden perch with a sniper rifle, firing three or four times as often as other platoon snipers. They said he boasted about the number of people he had killed, including women."

Two other snipers said, the chief shot an unarmed man in a white robe with a wispy white beard. They said the man fell, a red blotch spreading on his back."

Gallagher ordered a hatchet & a hunting knife" before 2017 deployment. He texted the man who made them (a Navy Seal veteran) shortly after arriving in Iraq: "I'll try and dig that knife or hatchet on someone's skull!"

May 2017, a SEAL medic was treating a wounded 15 y/o Islamic State fighter. "He's mine," Gallagher said. "Gallagher walked up without a word and stabbed the wounded teenager several times in the neck and once in the chest with his hunting knife, killing him."

He didn't even try to hide the murder of the 15 y/o. He brought other seals around minutes later & took a photo over the body. Later, he texted the photo to a fellow SEAL in California: "Good story behind this, got him with my hunting knife."
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/23/us/navy-seals-crimes-of-war.html

Now Trumpies bear in mind that Gallagher's own fellow Seals testified against him that's how depraved this guy Trump is pardoning is.

Here's Gallagher if you live in a stand your ground state and run into him shoot the bastard, he'll have his hunting knife on him so you can claim self defense.

. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D64_hykW4AEqObU.jpg

[Jun 03, 2019] Bolton Brazenly Lies About Iran Again by DANIEL LARISON

Notable quotes:
"... From what I have read, including excerpts of JCPOA, it seems that Iran's move to restart some low level enrichment is captured in the agreement as something that Iran could do if the other party(ies) are in breach of the agreement. And at this time, the US is not a party any longer and the EU is in breach by stopping any economic intercourse with Iran. ..."
"... This should be reiterated again and again, because just mentioning that Iran unilaterally is starting enrichment puts a target on their back especially in the United States of Amnesia, while they are still just doing only what is prescribed by the JCPOA. ..."
"... Bolton's lying goes with his broad contempt for the American people. He treats us like contemptible sheep, he lies to us, and then he tries to manipulate Trump into sending our sons and daughters to fight wars for his foreign buddies. ..."
"... It is indeed remarkable in a very bad way that Bolton has any credibility to speak on issues. He has a very long track record of lie after lie after lie, going back to the build up for Iraq war. Indeed, he has never acknowledged that Iraq war a monumental tragedy. ..."
May 29, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

John Bolton repeats one of the Trump administration's biggest and most important lies:

Donald Trump's national security adviser said Wednesday there was "no reason" for Iran to back out of its nuclear deal with world powers other than to seek atomic weapons, a year after the U.S. president unilaterally withdrew America from the accord.

Bolton and other administration officials have promoted the lie that Iran seeks nuclear weapons for months. Unfortunately, members of Congress and the press have largely failed to call out these lies for what they are. There is no evidence to support the administration's claims, and there is overwhelming evidence that they are wrong, but if they can get away with saying these things without being challenged they may not need evidence to get the crisis that Bolton and others like him want.

In this case, the AP story just relays Bolton's false and misleading statements as if they should be taken seriously, and their headline trumpets Bolton's dishonest insinuations as if they were credible. This is an unfortunate case of choosing the sensationalist, eye-catching headline that misinforms the public on a very important issue. Bolton's latest remarks are especially pernicious because they use Iran's modest reactions to Trump administration sanctions as evidence of Iran's imaginary intent to acquire weapons. The U.S. has been trying to push Iran to abandon the deal for more than a year, and at the first sign that Iran begins to reduce its compliance in order to push back against the administration's outrageous economic warfare Bolton tries to misrepresent it as proof that they seek nuclear weapons. Don't fall for it, and don't trust anything Bolton says. Not only does he have a record of distorting and manipulating intelligence to suit his purposes, but his longstanding desire for regime change and his ties to the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) make him an exceptionally unreliable person when it comes to any and all claims about the Iranian government.

The story provides some context, but still fails to challenge Bolton's assertions:

Bolton said that without more nuclear power plants, it made no sense for Iran to stockpile more low-enriched uranium as it now plans to do. But the U.S. also earlier cut off Iran's ability to sell its uranium to Russia in exchange for unprocessed yellow-cake uranium [bold mine-DK].

Iran has set a July 7 deadline for Europe to offer better terms to the unraveling nuclear deal, otherwise it will resume enrichment closer to weapons level. Bolton declined to say what the U.S. would do in response to that.

"There's no reason for them to do (higher enrichment) unless it is to reduce the breakout time to nuclear weapons," Bolton said.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration ended the sanctions waivers that enabled Iran to ship its excess low-enriched uranium out of the country. They made it practically impossible for Iran to do what they have been reliably doing for years, and now Bolton blames Iran for the consequences of administration actions. The administration has deliberately put Iran in a bind so that they either give up the enrichment that they are entitled to do under the JCPOA or exceed the restrictions on their stockpile so that the U.S. can then accuse them of a violation. Left out in all of this is that the U.S. is no longer a party to the deal and violated all of its commitments more than a year ago. Iran has patiently remained in compliance while the only party to breach the agreement desperately hunts for a pretext to accuse them of some minor infraction.

Iran's record of full compliance with the JCPOA for more than three years hasn't mattered to Bolton and his allies in the slightest, and they have had no problem reneging on U.S. commitments, but now the same ideologues that have wanted to destroy the deal from the start insist on treating the deal's restrictions as sacrosanct. These same people have worked to engineer a situation in which Iran may end up stockpiling more low-enriched uranium than they are supposed to have, and then seize on the situation they created to spread lies about Iran's desire for nukes. It's all so obviously being done in bad faith, but then that is what we have come to expect from Iran hawks and opponents of the nuclear deal. Don't let them get away with it.

The reason that Iran is threatening to enrich its uranium to a higher level is that the U.S. has been relentlessly sanctioning them despite their total compliance with the terms of the JCPOA. The Trump administration has done all it could to deny Iran the benefits of the deal, and then Bolton has the gall to say that they have no other reason to reduce their compliance. Of course Iran does have another reason, and that is to put pressure on the other remaining parties to the deal to find a way to get Iran the benefits it was promised. It is a small step taken in response to the administration's own destructive policy, and it is not evidence of anything else. Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons, and it is grossly irresponsible to treat unfounded administration claims about this as anything other than propaganda and lies.


Kouros, says: May 29, 2019 at 10:58 am

From what I have read, including excerpts of JCPOA, it seems that Iran's move to restart some low level enrichment is captured in the agreement as something that Iran could do if the other party(ies) are in breach of the agreement. And at this time, the US is not a party any longer and the EU is in breach by stopping any economic intercourse with Iran.

This should be reiterated again and again, because just mentioning that Iran unilaterally is starting enrichment puts a target on their back especially in the United States of Amnesia, while they are still just doing only what is prescribed by the JCPOA.

Braced , says: May 29, 2019 at 3:24 pm

Bolton's lying goes with his broad contempt for the American people. He treats us like contemptible sheep, he lies to us, and then he tries to manipulate Trump into sending our sons and daughters to fight wars for his foreign buddies.

Taras 77 , says: May 29, 2019 at 3:56 pm

It is indeed remarkable in a very bad way that Bolton has any credibility to speak on issues. He has a very long track record of lie after lie after lie, going back to the build up for Iraq war. Indeed, he has never acknowledged that Iraq war a monumental tragedy.

I think NK has it right to assert that Bolton is a defective human product.

But there he is stacking intell in trump's ear.

[May 31, 2019] US energy department rebrands fossil fuels as 'molecules of freedom'...and this is in The Guardian and not The Onion

Highly recommended!
This is similar to renaming "French fries" to "freedom fries" after 9/11. You can't overestimate stupidity of government bureaucrats. They now exceeded the USSR level.
May 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Victor , May 30, 2019 3:12:19 PM | 10

US energy department rebrands fossil fuels as 'molecules of freedom'...and this is in The Guardian and not The Onion:

https://tinyurl.com/y5uyb28ghttps://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/05/open-thread-2019-30.html?cid=6a00d8341c640e53ef0240a48ab852200d#c6a00d8341c640e53ef0240a48ab852200d

[May 30, 2019] Everyone here at moa is saying much the same: the CIA is running the usa at this point.. Mueller is ex CIA... So, basically the mueller investigation a cover up and BS for the lemmings... It seems to have worked to a limited degree..

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... IMO it also became more apparent when the Deep State f*cked up by no bringing Russia on-side after the end of the Cold War while continuing to assist China's "peaceful rise". That caused the dislocation known as Trump. There's gonna be some turbulence when you turn a massive entity like USA. ..."
May 30, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Full Spectrum Domino , May 29, 2019 5:38:15 PM | 2

Mueller plays his criminal hand of innuendo until the end. Were he ever to submit to questions in a Congressional setting, Mueller would be out-Giancana-ing Sam on taking the Fifth. The Special Counsel format is at this stage a superseded footnote. The ball's now in Barr/Durham's court now and the theme is Hunt for Red Predicates.


Breaking news. The Russia Collusion time-zero may in fact lead to Rome as all roads are wont to do. Italy is not a Five Eyes member. However that did not prevent Obama and Brennan from treating it like one. Both spent a lot of time there at opportune moments.

As it turns out the oft-cited, oft-profaned Steele Dossier was the barest of predicates that was always meant to be hopped over anyway. The Mother of all Predicates was a a failed effort on the the part of Italian intelligence and the FBI to frame Trump in a stolen (Clinton) email scandal. How did the Italians get hold of these emails and who thwarted the frame-up attempt? Hmm.

Just when you think the transnational plot is thick enough, it gets thickerer, and if Obama's Milan itinerary's any indication, it may well reach the tippy-top.

Nine Days in May (2017) is where 90% of the action is.

brian , May 29, 2019 6:00:26 PM | 3

notice no US president or advisor has ever been sent to prison over war crimes..the impeachment circus is not going anywhere
james , May 29, 2019 6:07:34 PM | 5
@29 bruce... everyone here at moa is saying much the same which is why some of us are saying the cia is running the usa at this point.. that and a confluence of other interests... mueller - ex cia... so, basically the mueller investigation was more cover up and b.s. for the masses... it seems to have worked to a limited degree..
Jackrabbit , May 29, 2019 6:34:42 PM | 6
james @36 cia is running the usa"

Some think the CIA has been running the show since the Kennedy assassination. But with the rise of the neocons and the end of the Cold War, it became more apparent.

IMO it also became more apparent when the Deep State f*cked up by no bringing Russia on-side after the end of the Cold War while continuing to assist China's "peaceful rise". That caused the dislocation known as Trump. There's gonna be some turbulence when you turn a massive entity like USA.

Last thing that as become 'apparent' is this: the vast majority of people in the West (including many smart people in alt-media) can't dislodge their thinking from the MSM narratives. Despite being skeptical of MSM and USA, they just can't bring themselves to see the degree of manipulation that leads to the logical conclusion: "cia is running the usa".

Jackrabbit , May 29, 2019 6:35:30 PM | 7
james @36: cia is running the usa

Some think the CIA has been running the show since the Kennedy assassination. But with the rise of the neocons and the end of the Cold War, it became more apparent.

IMO it also became more apparent when the Deep State f*cked up by no bringing Russia on-side after the end of the Cold War while continuing to assist China's "peaceful rise". That caused the dislocation known as Trump. There's gonna be some turbulence when you turn a massive entity like USA.

Last thing that as become 'apparent' is this: the vast majority of people in the West (including many smart people in alt-media) can't dislodge their thinking from the MSM narratives. Despite being skeptical of MSM and USA, they just can't bring themselves to see the degree of manipulation that leads to the logical conclusion: "cia is running the usa" .

[May 29, 2019] The Power Principle -- Video Documentary>

Notable quotes:
"... A gripping, deeply informative account of the plunder, hypocrisy, and mass violence of plutocracy and empire; insightful, historically grounded and highly relevant to the events of today. ..."
"... This documentary is about the foreign policy of the United States. It demonstrates the importance of the political economy, the Mafia principle, propaganda , ideology, violence and force. ..."
May 25, 2012 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

The Power Principle: Video Documentary

https://www.youtube.com/embed/r5If2YaLtX4?rel=0

"Simply brilliant." - "This is probably the best film ever made about American foreign policy." - Spartacus - ICH Comment

A gripping, deeply informative account of the plunder, hypocrisy, and mass violence of plutocracy and empire; insightful, historically grounded and highly relevant to the events of today.

This documentary is about the foreign policy of the United States. It demonstrates the importance of the political economy, the Mafia principle, propaganda , ideology, violence and force.

It documents and explains how the policy is based on the interest of major corporations and a tiny elite to increase profits and the United States governments own interests in maintaining and expanding it's imperialistic influence.

Inside the United States this has been made possible with a propaganda of fear for the horrible enemies like the Soviet Union, Communists and so on and a love for "free markets", "democracy", "freedom" and so on.

Externally (and increasingly internally) this has caused massive poverty and suffering, genocide, war, coups, crushed unions and popular movements and environmental destruction.

Posted May 25, 2012

[May 28, 2019] Iran Won't Reward Trump's Aggression by DANIEL LARISON

Trump is sign of degeneration of the US political elite. Much like Pompeo and Bolton.
But his hostility to Iran is just desire to please people who control him and finance his re-election bid .
Notable quotes:
"... ran sees no prospect of negotiations with the United States, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday ..."
"... Iranian officials have repeatedly stated that there won't be any talks with the U.S. until our government rejoins the JCPOA. ..."
"... I don't see how Iranians could view Trump as anything other than a menace when one of his first acts as president was to declare all of them to be potential security threats with the unnecessary and cruel travel ban. His hostility to and contempt for Iran and its people have been intense and consistent for more than two years. ..."
"... When the president veers between "genocidal tweets" and disingenuous offers to talk, this doesn't come across as the work of a master negotiator but rather the impulsive babbling of a leader who can be easily enraged by the smallest and most inconsequential things that he happens to see on television ..."
"... Trump is not talking to Iran but his lackies in the U.S. MSM. They are seeing Iran as being fanatic and unreasonable in refusing to talk. This will be one of the justifications for war and permanent hostilities. ..."
"... I think you're wrong here. Trump doesn't hate or have contempt for Iranians. He's supremely indifferent to them. The hostility and contempt he has shown Iran and Iranians is meant to keep his major Israel and Saudi Arabia donors happy. That's been true from the beginning. Scores of millions in campaign contributions are riding on it. ..."
"... Increasingly, Donaldius Iohannes Trumpius reminds me of some latter day Roman emperor like Caligula or Nero. Absolute power, depravity, insatiable appetites for everything from power to money and women, a pathological lack of empathy, fawning courtiers – it's all there. ..."
May 28, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

In case there was any doubt, the Iranian government made clear that they were not interested in talking to Trump:

I ran sees no prospect of negotiations with the United States, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday , a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said a deal with Tehran on its nuclear program was possible.

Iranian officials have repeatedly stated that there won't be any talks with the U.S. until our government rejoins the JCPOA. That definitely won't happen under the current administration, so there has never been a realistic chance of starting up U.S.-Iranian negotiations in the near term. Everyone understands that, and that makes the president's random "offers" to talk all the more ridiculous. Iran has already been burned by Trump's decision to renege on the nuclear deal and wage economic war on the entire country, so there would have to be a major effort on the U.S. side to regain Iranian trust. The Trump administration would have to reverse course and undo every anti-Iranian thing that it has done over the last two years, and even then that would barely get the U.S. and Iran back to where they had been in 2017. Trump wouldn't ever do that because it would require him to admit being completely wrong.

Najmeh Bozorgmehr reports on how Iranians are adapting to life under U.S. economic warfare against them:

Iranian analysts tell me the US made one big mistake this time. It used almost all its non-military leverage against Iran over the wrong issue, because the country was not violating the 2015 nuclear accord. Iranians may despise their rulers but they are aware that the US is not righteous, either. How can they see Mr Trump as a saviour when he calls Iran "a nation of terror" and promises "the official end of Iran"?

I don't see how Iranians could view Trump as anything other than a menace when one of his first acts as president was to declare all of them to be potential security threats with the unnecessary and cruel travel ban. His hostility to and contempt for Iran and its people have been intense and consistent for more than two years. The complete lack of respect that Trump has shown to Iranian leaders and the Iranian people alike stands in sharp contrast to his fawning praise for the North Korean leader, and they cannot help but take that as an insult. It also isn't lost on the people being strangled by Trump's sanctions that they are being punished for abiding by an international agreement backed by the world's major powers while North Korea is celebrated after successfully defying the rest of the world by building up their nuclear arsenal and long-range missiles. Iran is being penalized because they trusted the U.S., and Trump has proven to them that this was a foolish thing for them to do. Why would they reward Trump's aggression and make the same mistake twice?

When the president veers between "genocidal tweets" and disingenuous offers to talk, this doesn't come across as the work of a master negotiator but rather the impulsive babbling of a leader who can be easily enraged by the smallest and most inconsequential things that he happens to see on television . As the North Koreans have also learned, no one can successfully negotiate with a person as unreliable and moody as Trump. No one in Iran's government is going to go out on a limb and take the political risk of engaging with the U.S. again after the last effort blew up in their faces, and Trump's mercurial instability guarantees that it would be a waste of everyone's time.


Sid Finster, says: May 28, 2019 at 12:00 pm

Why should Iran, when the United States will not abide by its agreements?

Christian J Chuba , says: May 28, 2019 at 1:20 pm

Trump is not talking to Iran but his lackies in the U.S. MSM. They are seeing Iran as being fanatic and unreasonable in refusing to talk. This will be one of the justifications for war and permanent hostilities.

Our own acts of aggression are completely ignored.

Horn City , says: May 28, 2019 at 1:57 pm

"His hostility to and contempt for Iran and its people have been intense and consistent for more than two years. "

I think you're wrong here. Trump doesn't hate or have contempt for Iranians. He's supremely indifferent to them. The hostility and contempt he has shown Iran and Iranians is meant to keep his major Israel and Saudi Arabia donors happy. That's been true from the beginning. Scores of millions in campaign contributions are riding on it.

Janwaar Bibi , says: May 28, 2019 at 2:18 pm

Increasingly, Donaldius Iohannes Trumpius reminds me of some latter day Roman emperor like Caligula or Nero. Absolute power, depravity, insatiable appetites for everything from power to money and women, a pathological lack of empathy, fawning courtiers – it's all there.

[May 28, 2019] Any time you read an article (or a comment) on Russia, substitute the word Jew for Russian and International Jewry for Russia and re-read.

Highly recommended!
May 28, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Sid Finster says: May 23, 2019 at 11:06 am

Any time you read an article (or a comment) on Russia, substitute the word "Jew" for "Russian" and "International Jewry" for "Russia" and re-read.

If the revised article would not look out of place in Der Stuermer, that should tell you something.

[May 28, 2019] Pompeo redefined Trumpism as Neoconservatism hijacking Made America great again slogan for the push for regime change in other countries> by William S. Smith

Notable quotes:
"... Brissot's dilemma when facing the French nationalists of his time was precisely the dilemma of contemporary neoconservatives when Donald Trump was elected president. Trump's criticism of the Iraq war and his nationalistic America First rhetoric was a direct repudiation of the central tenet of neoconservatism, the need to spread universal ideals with American military power. Or, as George W. Bush speechified, to seek "the expansion of freedom in all the world." ..."
"... In reaction to Trump's criticisms, some of the less-savvy neoconservatives, such as Max Boot and Bill Kristol, simply went out into the public square and lit themselves on fire in protest. These self-immolating Never Trumpers will likely never wield power again. ..."
"... continue to treat all non-democratic regimes with belligerence, continue to disparage the traditions of all other nations and cultures by asserting American moral superiority -- but adopt and co-opt the language of Trumpian nationalism. ..."
"... Cotton and Pompeo are, after all, good Straussians, admirers of the late political theorist Leo Strauss. They understand that the masses live in dark ignorance and that smart philosophers can manipulate them into supporting universal ideals through the use of cant phrases like "Make America Great Again." ..."
"... Like Brissot, Pompeo accomplished this bait and switch by rewriting history. He argued that the framers of the American Constitution were not skeptical of entangling alliances, standing armies and global commitments; they were actually warlike neoconservative crusaders. ..."
"... Pompeo argued, as forever war: "Conflict is the normative experience for nations." ..."
"... Adams's admonition was to respect other nations. Pompeo turned this upside down by warning other nations to respect us -- or else. ..."
"... He then, like Brissot, laid out the threats and conspiracies that erode "America's power." The only solution to this challenge was to "proudly" associate with "nations that share our principles and are willing to defend them." How about George Washington's warning against permanent alliances? ..."
"... There is here not even a faint resemblance to what Washington actually believed, but Pompeo's ideological hucksterism drew a warm reception from the Claremont audience, composed in part by people considering themselves scholars of 18th-century America. ..."
"... Toward the end of the speech, Pompeo proceeded to redefine the meaning of "America First" to make it agree with a neoconservative agenda. "Here is what this really means," he said. While Trump has expressed no desire to spread the American model, "America is exceptional -- a place and history apart from normal human experience " (emphasis mine) and "among political ideas, there is none better than the American idea." As compared with this metaphysical American Exceptionalism, the cultures, traditions, and political histories of all other nations shrink into illegitimacy and nothingness. ..."
May 28, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Given contemporary events, one of the most interesting figures of the 18th-century French revolutionary period was Jacques-Pierre Brissot, a leader of the Girondins, the neoconservatives of revolutionary France.

Brissot believed that the animating universal ideals of the Revolution had made France, as one of his allies put it, "the foremost people of the universe," not just better than all earthlings, better even than Martians. Yet, despite France's position as the exceptional nation, the Girondins worried that universal ideals were under siege by a complex array of conspiracies hatched by the absolutist powers surrounding France.

The only way to confront these foreign conspiracies, he believed, was preemptive war. Robespierre, who hated Brissot, was skeptical. Robespierre believed that war would strengthen the monarchy, which was wobbly but still intact in 1791, and that foreign adversaries would be formidable military opponents. Robespierre famously quipped: "No one loves armed missionaries." In true neoconservative fashion, Brissot countered that the people of many nations who were longing for liberty, especially the Dutch and Flemish, would welcome France's revolutionary army with open arms. Sound familiar?

But, Brissot had a problem. When he rose to prominence in the Assembly in 1791, the monarchists and other traditionalists still held significant sway, and Louis XVI was still on the throne. How to persuade these traditional French nationalists to launch crusading wars to spread universal ideals when these retrogrades understood the only sound French foreign policy to be one that advanced France's interests, its raison d'état?

Brissot's solution was pure genius: mask wars for French national glory as the ideological crusade for universal liberty. As one scholar put it, Brissot argued that, "patriotic virtue would emanate out of these cosmopolitan ideals and their diffusion, thus allowing France to once again become a 'great nation.'" Brissot co-opted the language of traditional French nationalism paving the way for the Assembly and Louis XVI to embrace war with Austria and Prussia.

Brissot's dilemma when facing the French nationalists of his time was precisely the dilemma of contemporary neoconservatives when Donald Trump was elected president. Trump's criticism of the Iraq war and his nationalistic America First rhetoric was a direct repudiation of the central tenet of neoconservatism, the need to spread universal ideals with American military power. Or, as George W. Bush speechified, to seek "the expansion of freedom in all the world."

In reaction to Trump's criticisms, some of the less-savvy neoconservatives, such as Max Boot and Bill Kristol, simply went out into the public square and lit themselves on fire in protest. These self-immolating Never Trumpers will likely never wield power again.

But the clever neoconservatives, such as Tom Cotton and Mike Pompeo, adopted the Brissot strategy. Continue the military crusade for universal ideals, continue to treat all non-democratic regimes with belligerence, continue to disparage the traditions of all other nations and cultures by asserting American moral superiority -- but adopt and co-opt the language of Trumpian nationalism.

Cotton and Pompeo are, after all, good Straussians, admirers of the late political theorist Leo Strauss. They understand that the masses live in dark ignorance and that smart philosophers can manipulate them into supporting universal ideals through the use of cant phrases like "Make America Great Again."

In Pompeo's May 11 speech at the Claremont Institute, the bastion of the West Coast Straussians, the Brissot strategy was on full display and, understandably, was met with raucous cheering by the neoconservatives in the audience who understood that Pompeo and John Bolton had succeeded in hijacking Trump's foreign policy for neoconservatives, a significant accomplishment. While Trump's rhetoric is still the husk of American foreign policy, when it comes to core principles and political practice, "America First" is out, the " Freedom Agenda " is in. "Getting along" with other nations is out; regime change and belligerence is in.

Like Brissot, Pompeo accomplished this bait and switch by rewriting history. He argued that the framers of the American Constitution were not skeptical of entangling alliances, standing armies and global commitments; they were actually warlike neoconservative crusaders.

He argued that the "foreign policy of the early republic" could be characterized by three words: "realism, restraint, and respect." This is fine as far as it goes, but he then proceeded to define these terms in ways that would have made them unrecognizable to the Framers. Alexander Hamilton defined realism, Pompeo argued, as forever war: "Conflict is the normative experience for nations." Quoting Thomas Jefferson, he defined "restraint" as the willingness to go to war, because "the temper and folly of our enemies may not leave this in our choice." Finally, without a hint of irony as the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier battle group was steaming to the Persian Gulf in search of monsters to destroy, Pompeo quoted John Quincy Adams on the need for respect in international relations. Adams's admonition was to respect other nations. Pompeo turned this upside down by warning other nations to respect us -- or else.

He then, like Brissot, laid out the threats and conspiracies that erode "America's power." The only solution to this challenge was to "proudly" associate with "nations that share our principles and are willing to defend them." How about George Washington's warning against permanent alliances? What Washington really meant in his Farewell Address, Pompeo said, is to have many, many alliances "based on 'policy, humanity and interest.'" If he were president today, Washington would welcome America's alliances with Israel, Australia, India, Japan, and South Korea in order to make certain, for example, that "each Indo-Pacific nation can protect its sovereignty from coercion." Washington was really a neoconservative, you see.

There is here not even a faint resemblance to what Washington actually believed, but Pompeo's ideological hucksterism drew a warm reception from the Claremont audience, composed in part by people considering themselves scholars of 18th-century America.

Pompeo's rhetoric represents the transvaluation of the Framers' foreign policy restraint into those of neoconservatism. It is hard to know if Trump is aware that his foreign policy principles have been hijacked, but given his apparent disdain of intellectual pursuits, the answer is probably in the negative.

Toward the end of the speech, Pompeo proceeded to redefine the meaning of "America First" to make it agree with a neoconservative agenda. "Here is what this really means," he said. While Trump has expressed no desire to spread the American model, "America is exceptional -- a place and history apart from normal human experience " (emphasis mine) and "among political ideas, there is none better than the American idea." As compared with this metaphysical American Exceptionalism, the cultures, traditions, and political histories of all other nations shrink into illegitimacy and nothingness.

George Washington's view of Pompeo's puffed up triumphalism would be that a nation that hubristically pounds its chest and claims exceptional moral purity and righteousness may just be a nation that has lost its virtue. The American Framers were well aware that the great republican experiments in ancient Greece and Rome ended with prideful imperial overreach.

In 1792, when Louis XVI read, "in a flat, faltering voice," the war proclamation against Austria he understood it to be a death sentence for the French monarchy. We should know that if neoconservatives are able actually to carry out the wars that their ideology and will to power suggest, it would be a death sentence for the American republic.

William S. Smith is Research Fellow and Managing Director of the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at The Catholic University of America

[May 27, 2019] Bolton is the distillation of the pathology of the pro-Israel Lobby, which recruits American power diplomatically and militarily to "secure the realm" for Israel

May 27, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Abe , May 23, 2019 at 15:44

Bolton is the distillation of the pathology of the pro-Israel Lobby, which recruits American power diplomatically and militarily to "secure the realm" for Israel.

Bolton may be unique only in the purity of this pathology, but the Trump's administration is positively seething with creatures of the pro-Israel Lobby.

The pro-Israel Lobby must be stopped before it gets its next war.

It is indeed beyond troubling that the man we have to count on to do it is "1000 percent" Israel-firster Donald Trump.

At a 2015 gala hosted by the Algemeiner Journal, Trump declared "We love Israel. We will fight for Israel 100 percent, 1000 percent." His bid for the presidency was announced soon after. Trump's whole "insurgent" campaign, his purported break with GOP orthodoxy, questioning of Israel's commitment to peace, calls for even treatment in Israeli-Palestinian deal-making, and refusal to call for Jerusalem to be Israel's undivided capital, were an elaborate propaganda scam engineered by the Israel Lobby from the very beginning.

Trump's efforts on behalf of Israel began immediately after the election, prior to his taking the oath of office.

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser on Middle East/Israel issues, gave his first on-the-record appearance at the Saban Forum at the Brookings Institution on 3 December 2017. Saban praised Kushner for attempting to derail a vote at the United Nations Security Council about Israeli settlements during the Obama administration.

Kushner reportedly dispatched former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to make secret contact with the Russian ambassador in December 2016 in an effort to undermine or delay the resolution, which condemned Israel for settlement construction. Saban told Kushner that "this crowd and myself want to thank you for making that effort, so thank you very much." Kushner thanked the audience at Brookings, a leading pro-Israel Lobby think tank, "It's really an honor to be able to talk about this topic with so many people who I respect so much, who have given so much to this issue."

During the keynote conversation, Kushner and Saban framed Middle East peace as a "real estate issue". Kushner acknowledged that "We've solicited a lot of ideas from a lot of places." Trump's understanding of "regional dynamics" in the Middle East clearly manifests "a lot of ideas" from pro-Israel war hawks from the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution.

It is clear that the pro-Israel Lobby pathology has thoroughly infected both major political parties in the US. In fact, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and all their rivals from the 2016 presidential campaign, are deep in the pockets of the pro-Israel Lobby. Trump's current policies are not significantly at variance from Clinton's equally pro-Israel foreign policy agenda.

The fracture between the Trump and Clinton contingents of the pro-Israel Lobby is rooted in the personal predilections of their major American oligarch donors. Billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban are the Koch Brothers of the pro-Israel Lobby, and both are obsessed about starting war with Iran.

When Adelson and Saban shared the stage at the Israeli American Council's inaugural conference in Washington, D.C. in 2014, Saban quipped, "There's no right or left when it comes to Israel". Despite their shared pro-Israel Lobby objectives, Adelson and Saban had a fracas in 2015 over political tactics. The Republican Party and Democratic Party campaign platforms in 2016 reflected right and left pro-Israel Lobby orientations. Even the Sanders sheepdog campaign was a far-left pro-Israel Lobby iteration.

It's all too easy to focus on the "unique" pathology of Bolton or Mike Pompeo, or congressional creatures like Lindsey Graham, not to mention faux "insurgent" President Trump, while ignoring the wider extent of pro-Israel Lobby pathology in the US government.

It is also extremely dangerous to refer to these figures generically as mere "neoconservatives" or "warhawks". They are unquestionably pro-Israel warhawks, and regardless of "liberal" or "conservative" leanings, all are paid to advance a pro-Israel Lobby agenda for US foreign policy.

In a video discussion based on his March 22, 2016 Consortium News article, Consortium News founding editor Robert Parry addressed pro-Israel Lobby influence during the 2016 presidential election:

Robert Parry on the Clinton/Trump AIPAC 'Pander-Off'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OktOl4MaKRE

[May 27, 2019] The Pathology of John Bolton by Joe Lauria

In short Bolton is a neofascist.
Notable quotes:
"... Most diplomats, officials, and journalists were shocked that Bolton (evading confirmation with a recess appointment) had actually become the U.S. representative, given his long, public disdain for the UN ..."
"... It's been the strategy of Republican administrations to appoint the fiercest critic to head an agency or institution in order to weaken it, perhaps even fatally. ..."
"... Bolton possesses an abiding self-righteousness rooted in what seems a sincere belief in the myth of American greatness, mixed with deep personal failings hidden from public view. ..."
"... It is more than an ideology. It's fanaticism. Bolton believes America is exceptional and indispensible and superior to all other nations and isn't afraid to say so. ..."
"... Bolton's all too willing to make his bullying personal on behalf of the state. He implicitly threatened the children of José Bustani, who Vice President Dick Cheney wanted out of his job as head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons because Bustani had gotten Iraq to agree to join the chemical weapons protocol, thereby making it harder for the U.S. to invade Iraq. ..."
"... We saw a pattern of Mr. Bolton trying to manipulate intelligence to justify his views. If it had happened once, maybe. But it came up multiple times, and always it was the same underlying issue: he would stake out a position, and then, if the intelligence didn't support it, he would try to exaggerate the intelligence and marginalize the officials who had produced it." ..."
"... Bolton is no fan of democracy if things don't go his way. He is a vociferous instigator of the so-far failed U.S. coup in Venezuela and of course Bolton organized the "Brooks Brothers riot" that disrupted the recounting of votes in Florida in the disputed 2000 presidential election ..."
"... This is a common ruling class tactic in the U.S. to portray disobedient leaders ripe for overthrow as Hitler. Saddam was Hitler, Milosevic was Hitler, Noriega was Hitler and Hillary Clinton called Putin Hitler. It is a false revival of U.S. glory from World War II to paint foreign adventures as moral crusades, rather than naked aggression in pursuit of profits and power. ..."
"... Bolton is the distillation of the pathology of American power. He is unique only in the purity of this pathology. ..."
"... Two months after Bolton was appointed national security adviser, in June 2018, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the six-nation deal that has seen Tehran curtail its nuclear enrichment program in exchange for relaxation of U.S. and international sanctions. ..."
"... Both Israel and Saudi Arabia, lacking the military firepower of the United States, have long tried to get the U.S. to fight its wars, and one no more important than against its common enemy. ..."
"... It is the typical provocation of a bully: threaten someone with a cruise missile and the moment they pick up a knife in self-defense you attack, conveniently leaving the initial threat out of the story. It then becomes: "Iran picked up a knife. We have to blow them away with cruise missiles." ..."
"... The New York Times that day reported : "Privately, several European officials described Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo as pushing an unsuspecting Mr. Trump through a series of steps that could put the United States on a course to war before the president realizes it." ..."
"... Pompeo told a radio interviewer after the briefing that the U.S. had still not determined who attacked two Saudi, a Norwegian and an Emirati oil tanker in the Gulf last week, which bore the hallmarks of a provocation. Pompeo said "it seems like it's quite possible that Iran was behind" the attacks. ..."
"... But also last Sunday he told Fox News that the "military-industrial complex" is real and "they do like war" and they "went nuts" when he said he wanted to withdraw troops from Syria. Trump said he didn't want war with Iran, here possibly reflecting Israel's views. ..."
"... Joe, nice piece of work covering the psycho-pathology of America's leading nazi! ..."
"... To correct one of your statements: Trump DID NOT appoint him National Security Adviser, but Adelson and Mercer did. Trump is a brain-dead, blackmailed puppet who fancies himself as POTUS ..."
"... Everybody I know who is following the Washington Beltway histrionics of Trump et al know full-well that a certain intelligence agency of a small Middle East domiciled country have THE definitive dossier on Trump and have been building it for the last five decades. ..."
"... The Bolton-Pompeo-Pence presidency is destined to go down in history as one of infamy and treason. Trump? dead-man walking, more than likely by a stroke-heart attack when he's popping out one of his idiotic and manic tweets! ..."
"... John Bolton is a psychopath, He should be dismissed immediately, but I think that he should be institutionalized. ..."
"... Yeah Joe, it wasn't just you and other reporters who were stunned by Bolton's recess appt to the UN by W -- - many of us were staggered by the jaw-dropping inappropriateness of it, ..."
"... But, as you accurately mentioned, the Republicans had long-ago (I recall first hearing about it during Nixon's reign, with Earl Butz) used that gambit to effectively sabotage regulatory agencies & depts. Rather than try to dissolve an agency that most people want, they can neutralize it by appointing some hack or lobbyist for the entity being regulated so that nothing meaningful gets done, AND it has the 'beneficial' effect of discrediting the agency involved, and government in general, which is what many libertarian-inclined Republicans like. ..."
"... Israel doesnt want the US to attack Iran Well that is BS! Israel and its Fifth Column in the US have agitated for the US to attack Iran for years .we've all seen and heard it .and now they want to try to wipe our memories of their war mongering with their typical hasbara in the NYT and Netanyahu claiming .'oh we have nothing to do with it." ..."
"... Bolton is a psychopath but he is Sheldon Adelson's errand boy .who Bolton met with in Las Vegas the week before Trump appointed him and Adelson is the Orange carnival barker's 100 million dollar donor. ..."
"... Trump's incoherent mixture of neoconservative & isolationism almost make him a Bush! ..."
"... I assume Trump knows what a 'neocon' but is so indebted to Israel and intoxicated by Islamophobic rhetoric that he cannot free himself from his addiction to surrounding himself with more neo-cons ..."
"... The progression from Flynn to McMaster to Bolton was just selecting between neocon flavors for his National Security Advisers. What a joke of a nation! ..."
"... I appreciate the article, but it doesn't mention Israel, which is the fountainhead of the agenda to take out Iran, Iraq, and Syria. ..."
"... "Overall, 28 sitting senators have received sizable contributions from John Bolton PAC during the election cycle, as have nine representatives on the House defense, foreign affairs, and homeland security subcommittees." ..."
"... Don't forget who told Donald Trump to hire John Bolton. It was Steve Bannon and Roger Ailes. ..."
"... They like Bolton because he is "incapable of empathy and good on Israel." ..."
"... The NYT has indeed supported wars but it is not alone nor is this a recent trend. There is a very old trend of the commercial news establishments becoming war hawks and regurtitators of official propaganda whenever the USA wants to pick a fight. It goes back to the period after the establishment of the nation when expansionism set its roots down and what grew out of that is pretty much the same kind of nationalistic propaganda we see today. ..."
May 23, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Special to Consortium News 129 Comments

John Bolton has been saying for years he wants the Iranian government overthrown, and now he's made his move. But this time he may have gone too far, writes Joe Lauria.

I knew John Bolton and interacted with him on a nearly daily basis with my colleagues in the press corps at United Nations headquarters in New York when Bolton was the United States ambassador there from August 2005 to December 2006.

Most diplomats, officials, and journalists were shocked that Bolton (evading confirmation with a recess appointment) had actually become the U.S. representative, given his long, public disdain for the UN. But that turned out to be the point. It's been the strategy of Republican administrations to appoint the fiercest critic to head an agency or institution in order to weaken it, perhaps even fatally.

Bolton's most infamous quote about the UN followed him into the building. In 1994 he had said : "The Secretariat building in New York has 38 stories. If it lost ten stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference."

But a more telling comment in that same 1994 conference was when he said that no matter what the UN decides the U.S. will do whatever it wants:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/VOINBs8eOdk?feature=oembed

Bolton sees such frank admissions as signs of strength, not alarm.

He is a humorless man, who at the UN at least, seemed to always think he was the smartest person in the room. He once gave a lecture in 2006 at the U.S. mission to UN correspondents, replete with a chalk board, on how nuclear enrichment worked. His aim, of course, was to convince us that Iran was close to a bomb, even though a 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate being prepared at the time said Tehran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2003.

I thought I'd challenge him one day at the press stakeout outside the Security Council chamber, where Bolton often stopped to lecture journalists on what they should write. "If the United States and Britain had not overthrown a democratically elected government in Iran in 1953 would the United States be today faced with a revolutionary government enriching uranium?' I asked him.

"That's an interesting question," he told me, "but for another time and another place." It was a time and a place, of course, that never came.

More Than an Ideology

Bolton possesses an abiding self-righteousness rooted in what seems a sincere belief in the myth of American greatness, mixed with deep personal failings hidden from public view.

He seemed perpetually angry and it wasn't clear whether it was over some personal or diplomatic feud. He seems to take personally nations standing up to America, binding his sense of personal power with that of the United States.

It is more than an ideology. It's fanaticism. Bolton believes America is exceptional and indispensible and superior to all other nations and isn't afraid to say so. He'd have been better off perhaps in the McKinley administration, before the days of PR-sugarcoating of imperial aggression. He's not your typical passive-aggressive government official. He's aggressive-aggressive.

And now Bolton is ordering 120,000 troops to get ready and an aircraft carrier to steam towards Iran.

Bolton's all too willing to make his bullying personal on behalf of the state. He implicitly threatened the children of José Bustani, who Vice President Dick Cheney wanted out of his job as head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons because Bustani had gotten Iraq to agree to join the chemical weapons protocol, thereby making it harder for the U.S. to invade Iraq.

After Bolton's failed 2005 confirmation hearings, Tony Blinken, the then staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told The New Yorker 's Dexter Filkins:

"We saw a pattern of Mr. Bolton trying to manipulate intelligence to justify his views. If it had happened once, maybe. But it came up multiple times, and always it was the same underlying issue: he would stake out a position, and then, if the intelligence didn't support it, he would try to exaggerate the intelligence and marginalize the officials who had produced it."

Bolton is no fan of democracy if things don't go his way. He is a vociferous instigator of the so-far failed U.S. coup in Venezuela and of course Bolton organized the "Brooks Brothers riot" that disrupted the recounting of votes in Florida in the disputed 2000 presidential election.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/MbVtROU9J_E?feature=oembed

What is alarming about the above video is not so much that he justifies lying, but the example he gives: lying to cover up military plans like the invasion of Normandy. This is a common ruling class tactic in the U.S. to portray disobedient leaders ripe for overthrow as Hitler. Saddam was Hitler, Milosevic was Hitler, Noriega was Hitler and Hillary Clinton called Putin Hitler. It is a false revival of U.S. glory from World War II to paint foreign adventures as moral crusades, rather than naked aggression in pursuit of profits and power.

Bolton is the distillation of the pathology of American power. He is unique only in the purity of this pathology.

Regime Change for Iran

The U.S. national security adviser has been saying for years he wants the Iranian government overthrown, and now he's made his move. But this time John Bolton may have flown too high.

He was chosen for his post by a president with limited understanding of international affairs -- if real estate is not involved -- and one who loves to be sucked up to. Trump is Bolton's perfect cover.

But hubris may have finally bested Bolton. He had never before maneuvered himself into such a position of power, though he'd left a trail of chaos at lower levels of government. Sitting opposite the Resolute desk on a daily basis has presented a chance to implement his plans.

At the top of that agenda has been Bolton's stated aim for years: to bomb and topple the Iranian government.

Thus Bolton was the driving force to get a carrier strike force sent to the Persian Gulf and, according to The New York Times, on May 14 , it was he who "ordered" a Pentagon plan to prepare 120,000 U.S. troops for the Gulf. These were to be deployed "if Iran attacked American forces or accelerated its work on nuclear weapons."

Two months after Bolton was appointed national security adviser, in June 2018, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the six-nation deal that has seen Tehran curtail its nuclear enrichment program in exchange for relaxation of U.S. and international sanctions.

At the time of Bolton's appointment in April 2018, Tom Countryman, who had been undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, as had Bolton, predicted to The Intercept that if Iran resumed enrichment after the U.S. left the deal, it "would be the kind of excuse that a person like Bolton would look to to create a military provocation or direct attack on Iran."

In response to ever tightening sanctions, Iran said on May 5 (May 6 in Tehran) that it would indeed restart partial nuclear enrichment. On the same day, Bolton announced the carrier strike group was headed to the Gulf.

Bolton Faces Resistance

If this were a normally functioning White House, in which imperial moves are normally made, a president would order military action, and not a national security adviser.

"I don't think Trump is smart enough to realize what Bolton and [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo are doing to him,"

former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel told RT's Afshin Rattansi this week.

"They have manipulated him. When you get the national security adviser who claims that he ordered an aircraft carrier flotilla to go into the Persian Gulf, we've never seen that. In the days of Henry Kissinger, who really brought sway, he never ordered this, and if it was ordered it was done behind closed doors."

Bolton claimed he acted on intelligence that Iran was poised to attack U.S. interests close to Iran.

Both Israel and Saudi Arabia, lacking the military firepower of the United States, have long tried to get the U.S. to fight its wars, and one no more important than against its common enemy. An editorial on May 16 in the Saudi English-language news outlet, Arab News , called for a U.S. "surgical strike" on Iran. But The New York Times reported on the same day that though Israel was behind Bolton's "intelligence" about an Iranian threat, Israel does not want the U.S. to attack Iran causing a full-scale war.

The intelligence alleged Iran was fitting missiles on fishing boats in the Gulf. Imagine a government targeted by the most powerful military force in history wanting to defend itself in its own waters.

Bolton also said Iran was threatening Western interests in Iraq, which led eventually to non-essential U.S. diplomatic staff leaving Baghdad and Erbil.

It is the typical provocation of a bully: threaten someone with a cruise missile and the moment they pick up a knife in self-defense you attack, conveniently leaving the initial threat out of the story. It then becomes: "Iran picked up a knife. We have to blow them away with cruise missiles."

But this time the bully is being challenged. Federica Mogherini, the EU's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, resisted the U.S. on Iran when she met Pompeo in Brussels on May 13.

"It's always better to talk, rather than not to, and especially when tensions arise Mike Pompeo heard that very clearly today from us," said Mogherini. "We are living in a crucial, delicate moment where the most relevant attitude to take – the most responsible attitude to take – is and we believe should be, that of maximum restraint and avoiding any escalation on the military side."

The New York Times that day reported : "Privately, several European officials described Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo as pushing an unsuspecting Mr. Trump through a series of steps that could put the United States on a course to war before the president realizes it."

Ghika: No new threat from Iran. (YouTube)

British Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika then said on May 14: "There has been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq or Syria." Ghika was rebuked by U.S. Central Command, whose spokesman said, "Recent comments from OIR's Deputy Commander run counter to the identified credible threats available to intelligence from U.S. and allies regarding Iranian-backed forces in the region."

A day later it was Trump himself, however, who was said to be resisting Bolton. On May 15 The Washington Post reported:

"President Trump is frustrated with some of his top advisers, who he thinks could rush the United States into a military confrontation with Iran and shatter his long-standing pledge to withdraw from costly foreign wars, according to several U.S. officials. Trump prefers a diplomatic approach to resolving tensions and wants to speak directly with Iran's leaders."

The Times reported the next day:

"President Trump has told his acting defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, that he does not want to go to war with Iran, according to several administration officials, in a message to his hawkish aides that an intensifying American pressure campaign against the clerical-led government in Tehran must not escalate into open conflict."

Then it was the Democrats who stood up to Bolton. On Tuesday Pompeo and Shanahan briefed senators and representatives behind closed doors on Capitol Hill regarding the administration's case for confronting Iran.

"Are they (Iran) reacting to us, or are we doing these things in reaction to them? That is a major question I have, that I still have," Sen. Angus King told reporters after the briefing. "What we view as defensive, they view as provocative. Or vice versa."

Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego told reporters after the briefing: "I believe there is a certain level of escalation of both sides that could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The feedback loop tells us they're escalating for war, but they could just be escalating because we're escalating."

Pompeo told a radio interviewer after the briefing that the U.S. had still not determined who attacked two Saudi, a Norwegian and an Emirati oil tanker in the Gulf last week, which bore the hallmarks of a provocation. Pompeo said "it seems like it's quite possible that Iran was behind" the attacks.

Bolton was conspicuously absent from the closed-door briefing.

It's Up to Trump

Trump has pinballed all over the place on Iran. He called the Times and Post stories about him resisting Bolton "fake news."

"The Fake News Media is hurting our Country with its fraudulent and highly inaccurate coverage of Iran. It is scattershot, poorly sourced (made up), and DANGEROUS. At least Iran doesn't know what to think, which at this point may very well be a good thing!" Trump tweeted on May 17.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

The Fake News Media is hurting our Country with its fraudulent and highly inaccurate coverage of Iran. It is scattershot, poorly sourced (made up), and DANGEROUS. At least Iran doesn't know what to think, which at this point may very well be a good thing!

77.7K 9:44 AM - May 17, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy
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Then he threatened what could be construed as genocide against Iran. "If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!" he tweeted on Sunday.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!

239K 4:25 PM - May 19, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy
128K people are talking about this

But also last Sunday he told Fox News that the "military-industrial complex" is real and "they do like war" and they "went nuts" when he said he wanted to withdraw troops from Syria. Trump said he didn't want war with Iran, here possibly reflecting Israel's views.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/vc4vYWJfJnE?feature=oembed

On Monday he implied that the crisis has been drummed up to get Iran to negotiate.

"The Fake News put out a typically false statement, without any knowledge that the United States was trying to set up a negotiation with Iran. This is a false report ."

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

The Fake News put out a typically false statement, without any knowledge that the United States was trying to set up a negotiation with Iran. This is a false report....

80.8K 1:30 PM - May 20, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy
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John Bolton must be stopped before he gets his war. It is beyond troubling that the man we have to count on to do it is Donald Trump.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for T he Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe , Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .


Jym Allyn , May 26, 2019 at 19:27

Or as Pogo said, "We have met the enemy and he is US." As in the lies that created the Vietnam war and the waste of 58,000 American soldiers and thousand of Vietnamese. Or the lie that Iran is our enemy when we funded and encouraged Saddam to attack them and destroyed their attempt to have a secular government.

Or the lie of the WMD's and the 9/11 attack which was funded by Saudi Arabia, and run by Saudis and NOT Iraq.

Or the lies of Afghanistan which was economically and culturally better off when it was controlled by the USSR...

John Hawk , May 26, 2019 at 16:56

Joe, nice piece of work covering the psycho-pathology of America's leading nazi!

To correct one of your statements: Trump DID NOT appoint him National Security Adviser, but Adelson and Mercer did. Trump is a brain-dead, blackmailed puppet who fancies himself as POTUS.

It can't get any more delusional than this. Everybody I know who is following the Washington Beltway histrionics of Trump et al know full-well that a certain intelligence agency of a small Middle East domiciled country have THE definitive dossier on Trump and have been building it for the last five decades.

After all, deception is their game and they use it liberally, like feeding their agenda to Bolton as 'intelligence' info of the highest order. The Bolton-Pompeo-Pence presidency is destined to go down in history as one of infamy and treason. Trump? dead-man walking, more than likely by a stroke-heart attack when he's popping out one of his idiotic and manic tweets!

Zhu , May 26, 2019 at 03:20

If Bolton were struck by lightning tomorrow morning, would anything change much? I doubt it. We Americans are as warlike as the ancient Assyrian. We've been slaughtering Indians, Koreans, SE Asians, Central Americans, and multiple Middle Eastern people for a looong time. It is flattering to blame this individual or th t country, but no. We, as a community, are all responsible to some degree. Even me, on the far side of the world.

Alex , May 25, 2019 at 21:50

Bolton's choosing destroyed IRAN but staying friends with Saudi Arabia it's so contradicting, and so obvious that he is influenced to behave this way is because Israelies influence. Saudy Kingdom using Bolton to get IRAN so Saudy will be only country promote Extreme version of Wahhabi Islam which is didn't existed In Islam's history.

So Bolton's obsession with destruction of Iran is ignorance as its best. September 11th suspects were most of them Saudy nationals, yet nobody wanted to talk about it, because there is irony that, George W Bush was and probably still doing business with Saudy. So how can you explain that to American people? No you can not.

Perhaps collectively hypnotism !

OlyaPola , May 26, 2019 at 02:58

" So how can you explain that to American people?"

Given that useful fools are useful, why would you want to?

" No you can not."

An illustration of the benefits of dumbing down do not accrue solely to those actively engaged in dumbing down, facilitating the minimising of blowback during implementation of strategies based on "How to drown a drowning man with the minimum of blowback", given that many believe that critical mass is a function of linear notions of 50% +1 and above; a further conflation of quantity with quality to which the opponents are prone.

William , May 25, 2019 at 19:06

John Bolton is a psychopath, He should be dismissed immediately, but I think that he should be institutionalized. Put him in a strait jacket and keep him in a padded cell. He poses a threat to millions of people.

Eddie S , May 25, 2019 at 11:26

Yeah Joe, it wasn't just you and other reporters who were stunned by Bolton's recess appt to the UN by W -- - many of us were staggered by the jaw-dropping inappropriateness of it, IF it was assessed from a pro-peace perspective.

But, as you accurately mentioned, the Republicans had long-ago (I recall first hearing about it during Nixon's reign, with Earl Butz) used that gambit to effectively sabotage regulatory agencies & depts. Rather than try to dissolve an agency that most people want, they can neutralize it by appointing some hack or lobbyist for the entity being regulated so that nothing meaningful gets done, AND it has the 'beneficial' effect of discrediting the agency involved, and government in general, which is what many libertarian-inclined Republicans like.

Good article about a reprehensible politician.

renfro , May 25, 2019 at 11:18

"But The New York Times reported on the same day that though Israel was behind Bolton's "intelligence" about an Iranian threat, Israel does not want the U.S. to attack Iran causing a full-scale war. "
________________________________

Israel doesnt want the US to attack Iran Well that is BS!
Israel and its Fifth Column in the US have agitated for the US to attack Iran for years .we've all seen and heard it .and now they want to try to wipe our memories of their war mongering with their typical hasbara in the NYT and Netanyahu claiming .'oh we have nothing to do with it."

Bolton is a psychopath but he is Sheldon Adelson's errand boy .who Bolton met with in Las Vegas the week before Trump appointed him and Adelson is the Orange carnival barker's 100 million dollar donor.

Seriously, how stupid do they think we are? If we attack Iran it will be for the Zionist and Saudis and we all know it.

Luther Bliss , May 25, 2019 at 10:57

Trump's incoherent mixture of neoconservative & isolationism almost make him a Bush!

Remember it wasn't until Bush JR's second term that he asked his father, "What's A Neocon?" to which Pappy Bush replied, "Israel."

I assume Trump knows what a 'neocon' but is so indebted to Israel and intoxicated by Islamophobic rhetoric that he cannot free himself from his addiction to surrounding himself with more neo-cons.

The progression from Flynn to McMaster to Bolton was just selecting between neocon flavors for his National Security Advisers. What a joke of a nation!

Mark , May 25, 2019 at 02:30

I appreciate the article, but it doesn't mention Israel, which is the fountainhead of the agenda to take out Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Bolton stands out for his extremity among extremists, but he's a means rather than the end. The agenda is something into which he bought, passionately by all indications, but which a paucity of other people created strictly to advance their own, tiny, exclusive clan, not for the benefit of the United States.

Hank , May 25, 2019 at 09:43

To think that this administration campaigned on a promise to restrict future wasteful and needless interventions and then hired this dinosaur of a warmonger makes my blood curl! Everyone with half a brain knows what Bolton's agenda is yet here he is leading the USA into a war at the behest of a foreign nation led by a felon and terrorist! The American people who want peace and their tax dollars invested into improving the USA have once again been stabbed in the back by a conniving administration. Will this cycle of non-democracy ever end? Until it does, future administrations will continue on just like previous ones- kowtowing to special interests, in particular the military/industrial mafia and the apartheid criminal state of Israel! All this massive business of holding "elections" in the USA, all the talk about "Russian collusion" and the REAL collusion is right there in front of us all- the US administration has once again COLLUDED to go back on a campaign promise and once again open the money trough for the military/industrialist pigs!

Mark , May 26, 2019 at 05:31

I get the idea, but it's necessary to look 'behind' back-stabbing, conniving, colluding administrations, and Bolton, and the military/industrial complex, and to bring Israel and some barely known U.S. history, at least back to World War I, explicitly to the fore for public scrutiny. That's a monumental task, to say the least, owing to American attention spans and the contrary interests of the powers that be.

Taras77 , May 24, 2019 at 20:24

Bolton has his own well funded PAC, from which he is free to "contribute" (bribe) sychophant congress individuals. What a situation for the fix for war.

https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2019/05/interests-pushing-for-hard-line-against-iran/

"Overall, 28 sitting senators have received sizable contributions from John Bolton PAC during the election cycle, as have nine representatives on the House defense, foreign affairs, and homeland security subcommittees."

ricardo2000 , May 24, 2019 at 17:29

By far the most productive, and most verifiable, way to eliminate weapons is at a negotiating table. The easiest way to start a war is with ignorant blather.

O Society , May 24, 2019 at 16:09

Don't forget who told Donald Trump to hire John Bolton. It was Steve Bannon and Roger Ailes.

They like Bolton because he is "incapable of empathy and good on Israel."

Trump initially declined on Bolton because "he doesn't like Bolton's moustache."

Kool Aid drinkers and idiots. We're being lead by a cult of morons who worship the bombs, money, and a white separatist state.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/01/michael-wolff-fire-and-fury-book-donald-trump.html?gtm=bottom

Truth First , May 24, 2019 at 11:40

They don't call him, 'Bonkers' Bolton for nothin'.

Pedro Masculino Ghirotti , May 24, 2019 at 10:53

Nice piece Joe, but you just forgot to mention who Bolton actually works for, the Israelis.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , May 24, 2019 at 07:11

"Pathology." That's exactly the right word. But I think it has a wider application. See:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2019/05/11/john-chuckman-comment-why-trump-doesnt-rein-in-bolton-dismal-bolton-pompeo-and-abrams-are-part-of-the-price-trump-paid-for-political-support-against-threats-he-felt-and-getting-a-big-pile-of-ca/

old geezer , May 26, 2019 at 13:08

an accurate, concise review.

i doubt the iranians will test a nuke until after djt is out of office. after that you might wake up one morning and everything you knew before becomes quite obsolete.

my guess is israel has stealth cruise missiles with h bombs. it would be very foolish of them to not have them. those descendants of egyptian slaves are anything but foolish.

Sam , May 27, 2019 at 00:33

@ CitizenOne: Thank you for your long comment. I agree with much of what you wrote, but would like to know why you claimed, "Iran is surely guilty of vowing the destruction of Israel " . According to what I've read, Iran has not initiated hostilities with any nation for over a century – a clear, peaceful contrast to the rogue states of Israel & the U.S. Are you referring to the long-ago-debunked claim that Iran claimed to 'wipe Israel off the map'?
(See https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/jun/14/post155 ? "So there we have it. Starting with Juan Cole, and going via the New York Times' experts through MEMRI to the BBC's monitors, the consensus is that Ahmadinejad did not talk about any maps. He was, as I insisted in my original piece, offering a vague wish for the future.

"A very last point. The fact that he compared his desired option – the elimination of "the regime occupying Jerusalem" – with the fall of the Shah's regime in Iran makes it crystal clear that he is talking about regime change, not the end of Israel. ")

Or perhaps you're referring to Revolutionary Guard deputy leader Hossein Salami's warning that if Israel starts an aggressive war against Iran, it 'will end with {Israel's} elimination from the global political map'? IMHO, warning an extremely aggressive, self-obsessed, Apartheid-practicing rogue state against trying to attack your nation is wise ;-) .

I look forward to your response. Thanks very much.

Sam F , May 27, 2019 at 06:12

Sam: please use an identifier initial as I do, to prevent confusion.
I have asked you twice before; perhaps not the same person.
It is unfair to expect others to make the clarification, and easy to prevent.

O Society , May 23, 2019 at 21:15

Neoconservative war pigs riding the bomb and the belligerence of Empire

http://opensociet.org/2019/05/23/the-belligerence-of-empire/

mike k , May 23, 2019 at 18:55

How is it that crazies like Bolton can end up high in our government hierarchy? It is because the whole damned government is crazy through and through

Joe , May 23, 2019 at 20:48

His Dad probably made a huge donation to Yale just like Bush's Dad. That's what happens when the system is gamed.

Art Thomas , May 25, 2019 at 09:22

Yes, in my opinion. The state stripped of patriotic rhetoric and other obfuscations that keep us devoted to it is nothing more than a criminal gang that hides behind the law.

Some basic examples. 1. The law: taxation, the crime: theft. 2. The law: monetary credit expansion, i.e. debt financing, the crime: counterfeiting, i.e. creating money out of thin air. 3. The invasion of countries not a threat to the invading state. Etc. etc.

Tiu , May 23, 2019 at 18:30

If the US "political establishment" was working for America's benefit, things would look very different.
They are instead working on the "globalist" agenda, which will, if successful, destroy all nations as we know them today and what remains will be ruled over by a bunch of sociopaths who are the same group that has inflicted John Bolton on the world.
Bolton's a tool, a bit like a hammer, to get their project done. The Democrats have equivalent tools e.g. H R Clinton.

Mark Thomason , May 23, 2019 at 18:04

The problem is if he hasn't gone too far. If he gets his war.

Vonu , May 23, 2019 at 16:53

John Bolton should get to ride the missile in the remake of Dr. Strangelove.

evelync , May 23, 2019 at 19:53

hah hah hah

I loved that movie :)

and yes Bolton is a perfect caricature of Slim Pickens AKA Dr Strangelove.

I also refer to him as Yosemite Sam

one difference for our current real life war monger is that the movie character was simply insane and didn't justify his craziness with explanations.

Bolton, OTOH, blames "national Security" and "the national interests" of this country .say what????

if we look at the horrific human costs and the enormous financial costs of the wars that were fought for U.S. "national interests" one would want to ask, once the rubble had cleared, what "interests" were actually served and whose "security" did they actually improve?
The answers always take us back to Eisenhower's MIC and Ray McGovern's MICIMATT (maybe I got a couple of these letters wrong?).
Whoever profited from the mayhem don't represent either our "national interest' or our "national security" IMO and yet those two phrases are used to shut down any discussion or criticism in the lead up .

whew

Mork D , May 25, 2019 at 01:20

Strictly about the movie – Slim Pickens plays the ranking officer on the B-52 (I think?) which is actually dropping the bomb. Dr Strangelove is a totally different character, one of a few played by Peter Sellers in that movie, and is a (mostly!) wheelchair-bound German scientist.

Jym Allyn , May 26, 2019 at 19:17

And the wheelchair bound psychopathic scientist of Dr. Strangelove was inspired by Kubrick meeting Henry Kissinger at a cocktail party and recognizing that Kissinger was the most evil person on this planet because he looked and sounded so responsible and rational.
Now that Saddam, bin Laden, Pol Pot, Stalin, and Hitler are dead, Kissinger holds the record of the person still alive who has needlessly killed more people, both Americans and non-Americans, than any other person on this planet.
Hillary's idea of destabilizing Libya and creating a political vacuum there was from her training when working for Kissinger.

Abe , May 23, 2019 at 16:51

The Pathology:

John Bolton
Senior fellow at American Enterprise Institute (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
Chairman of Gatestone Institute (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
Former board member of Project for the New American Century (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
Former Adviser to Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
https://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/john-bolton/

Richard Goldberg – Aide to John Bolton at NSC (2019 – )
Former Senior Adviser at Foundation for Defense of Democracies (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
https://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/richard-goldberg/

Frederick Fleitz – Bolton's Former Chief of Staff at NSC (2018)
CEO of Center for Security Policy ( (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
https://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/frederick-fleitz/

Abe , May 23, 2019 at 19:32

The Pathology, Part Duh:

Mike Pompeo
Christian Zionist: "We will continue to fight these battles, it is a never ending struggle until the Rapture."
Associate of Center for Security Policy (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
Sponsor of ACT! for America (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
https://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/mike-pompeo/

Sam , May 27, 2019 at 00:38

@ Abe: Thanks for the info!

Litchfield , May 23, 2019 at 16:42

John Bolton is obviously a very sick puppy.
This is patently obvious to any observer with the least desgree of psyhological sophistication and insight.
If he lived on your block and made such statements about his neighbors, or a woman living nearby, he would be looking at restraining orders.
He is an out-of-control abusive pig who belongs in an institution where a course of shock therapy might actually help him. I reckon any basic psychological test would find that he has a least borderline personality and at worst is actually insane and incapable of taking responsibility for the consequences of his action.
Bolton has permanent termporary insanity.
Letting this tortured, psychopathic individual run the military is itself an enormous crime, one of murderous negligence, one for which Trump truly should and could be impeached. Congress must take all possible steps to get this man out of the Executive Branch.

Threaten Trump with impeachment if he doesn't fire Bolton.
His appointment of Bolton is reckless negligence and endangers this country.

James , May 23, 2019 at 19:09

I wonder how good American politicians of the past, if there were any, would react to the appointment of this psychopath as what he is now. Whom should be blamed for it? Donald Trump? The pro-Israeli lobbies? Or the American nation? A glance at the man's face is enough to realize that he is deeply sick. To me, he doesn't look like a human being at all! He looks like a monkey out of a stuffy room. Why don't psychotherapists do anything about him? Shouldn't he be hospitalized for the safety/security of the world population? By the way, I wonder where Netanyahu, the psychopath's provoker, is. He has been very quiet for about a month or so. Maybe he is waiting for the war to ignite without getting himself directly involved in it. Let Americans and Iranians kill one another while he waits to pick up the fruit in the end.

Mork D , May 25, 2019 at 01:27

Where does the blame lie? Who hired him? Who's the chief of the executive branch? Who's a person who could actually fire him (as he's so famous for doing on reality TV shows) instead of wringing his hands on friendly TV networks declaring he doesn't want to actually go to war, but if he's 'forced' to, he'll erase Iran from the map?

Druid , May 26, 2019 at 03:16

He would have to get permission from Adelson and the Mercers first.

CitizenOne , May 24, 2019 at 20:52

Bolton and Pompeo are the only things keeping him from impeachment. As long as Trump satisfies the bloodthirsty war mongers and the insatiable appetite of the MIC and the Pro Israel lobby and the Oil Lobby or Koch Industries he cannot lose. So far Trump is bangin on all cylinders. I really think he knows what he needs to do to survive. All this impeachment talk is just fantasy by the left dreaming about getting him out of office "somehow".

bjd , May 23, 2019 at 16:13

That the mono-maniacal psychopath Bolton is a walking exhibit of the Dunning–Kruger effect is no surprise to me. It is extra frightening though.

Realist , May 23, 2019 at 16:00

What was Bolton's day job before he started mucking around in politics and foreign policy? Master waterboarder or testicular electrificator in extraordinary renditions for the CIA? He seems the sort to have spent much time at Abu Ghraib, and not just to take notes. Honestly, his major goals seem to be the eradication of entire cultures and societies, which will somehow redound to the magnificence of the United States of America. Clearly a sociopathic personality. A lot in common with Cheney.

Jimmy G , May 23, 2019 at 15:57

Again the panic is stirred by .. The NYT! (The source of such good info regarding Russia gate) .
The statement regarding Bolton " ordering" anything is just one more example of the media and the intel bureaucrats trying to put the President in a jam politically . (Remember how a month ago we were invading Venezuela?)

Bolton is doing nothing more than getting enough rope to hang himself, and the military intelligence service, congressional and media Trumpophobes are willing to stir this to the very edge, and we all know Congress could (if it could act in good Constitutional faith, rather than pretending to be the judicial branch) unite for the good of this country and Trump would be amenable to whatever they came up with. Trump is far less of a warmonger than any POTUS we've had in a very long time.

Realist , May 23, 2019 at 16:18

If Congress is the only branch of government with the constitutional power to declare a war, surely it has the power to FORBID the executive branch from fomenting such a war against their judgement.

In fact, wasn't the Boland Amendment such a legislative act passed with the intent of preventing the Reagan administration from pursuing military action in Central America, most notably Nicaragua and El Salvador?

What's to prevent the Congress, if it were so inclined (which I doubt it is) to instruct the president (especially if he seems trigger-happy) to refrain from initiating any unprovoked attacks upon Iran, Venezuela, North Korea or any other country, for that matter?

Vonu , May 23, 2019 at 16:56

Ollie North worked for Reagan, didn't he?

RnM , May 25, 2019 at 17:27

Trump is very aware that 'Stache Bolton and Mike "Mumbles" Pompeo are significant threats to his re-election. Would not be surprised to see them removed before January.

CitizenOne , May 25, 2019 at 21:02

The NYT has indeed supported wars but it is not alone nor is this a recent trend. There is a very old trend of the commercial news establishments becoming war hawks and regurtitators of official propaganda whenever the USA wants to pick a fight. It goes back to the period after the establishment of the nation when expansionism set its roots down and what grew out of that is pretty much the same kind of nationalistic propaganda we see today.

I agree with your statement that Trump is far less vulnerable based on his history but I am sure that the war planners are always concocting special information diets that are carefully prepared to appeal to the particular tastes of the leader of the day. Whatever Trumps opinion is he will be surrounded by the hand picked lunatics of the day who will entice and enjoin him to agree with plans for war based on their carefully prepared menu of propaganda specifically designed to be appealing to the palate of whoever is in charge.

It is less certain that Trump's long history of opposing military action will have real staying power as he is served up courses of a sumptuous meal prepared specially for his palate designed to engage him in support for military action all over the World.

Trump is particularly susceptible to flattery and appeals to his greatness and his very stable genius. He wants to be the great leader and for that he needs a plan to deal with the geopolitical situation in many countries.

Trump is a man who knows what to do too.

He advised Germany that it was a puppet of Russia until he didn't
He advised Teresa May how to do Brexit the right way until he didn't
He announced to the World he had forged deep connections with North Korea until he didn't
He had high hopes for an alliance with Russia until he didn't.
He specified the right type of fire fighting to be used to fight the Notre Dame Cathedral fire until he didn't
He wanted to walk away from the fight in Syria until he didn't
He wanted to walk away from the war in Syria again until he didn't
He wanted to cut the military budget until he didn't

Ordinarily if we were in the middle of a democratic presidency the press would be raising the "flip flopper" argument every second of their available airtime.

Democrats are the flip floppers but never a republican even when he is. It all depends on the way the flips and the flops land. If they land on conservative positions then a flop or a flip never occurred. With republicans, flip flopping is just a corrective action to realign the president on the correct course. If it is a democrat then their hypocrisy and flip flopping are broadcast 24/7 and are portrayed a fundamentally disqualifying events which demonstrate a fundamental lack of principles and weakness of character deserving of condemnation. When errant republicans flip flop over to the "correct" vision they are welcomed with open arms into the fold.

Trump wants to be accepted so badly that the democrats hounding him are in fact herding him into the fold of the conservatives who will shelter him and support him at all costs and the media will never ever ever never call this flip flopping.

In short, if a political candidate shifts to the left his integrity will be destroyed as his character will be portrayed as weak and built on shifting sands. He will be deemed not to be trusted like some loose cannon.

On the other hand, if a political candidate shifts to the right he will be greeted as a prodigal son returning to the fold and will be welcomed with open arms.

So I am not as sure as you that Trump's background will be any indicator of his future ideas about how to succeed in the environment he is in where both democrats by their antagonism and republicans by their defense of him both push him over to the right.

He may once have been far less of a war hawk but politicians on both sides of the aisle are pushing him further to the right every day.

Consortium News editor Joe Lauria may wish to contribute a follow up series of articles detailing the purity of pro-Israel Lobby pathology exemplified by Bolton, Pompeo, and the beyond troubling Trump preferably before the next war.

Litchfield , May 23, 2019 at 19:33

"the wider extent of pro-Israel Lobby pathology in the US government. "

That's it in a nutshell.

KiwiAntz , May 24, 2019 at 18:46

Thanks Joe for the great article. Bolton (aka the moustache) truly is a humourless, warmongering, depraved psycho? This is a cowardly man who dodged the Vietnam draft as he didn't want to die in some foreign patty field! But this lunatic has no qualms to send other peoples sons & daughters into a Iranian war zone as cannon fodder to satisfy his deluded & perverted bloodlust to destroy Iran? If "the moustache" wants a War with Iran he should be forced to fight on the frontlines with his troops along with POTUS Bonespurs Trump, another cowardly draft dodger? Let the moustache & the Dotard make a stand, like Jon Snow in the Battle of the bastards, sword in hand, facing down the so called Iranian, bogeyman enemy, but this would never happen as cowards & bastards like Bolton & Trump don't personally fight in the battles they start, they hide in safety in a Washington situation room, as far away from any War zone as possible! If Bolton gets his War with Iran, Trump will pay the price for this suicide mission because he would be blamed for the fallout of any Military defeat! America's already sorry record of Military humiliation & defeat in Regime change operations around the Globe would reach a crescendo if they ever dared to try to attack & overthrow Iran as it would be the endgame of the US Empire!

mark , May 23, 2019 at 22:28

Trump is just Israel's bitch.

incontinent reader , May 24, 2019 at 01:08

Good comment, Abe. We've missed you. Keep posting more of the same.

Zhu , May 25, 2019 at 01:37

We Americans were bloodthirsty long before Israel existed.

anon , May 25, 2019 at 06:35

What an absurd zionist troll post. Try it with someone dumb, Zhu.

Michael Steger , May 23, 2019 at 15:17

First Joe, McKinley did not implement American submission to British Imperialism, though it began with the end of Grant's administration as with the twice elected Groucher Cleveland, but it's confirmation as US policy began with Teddy Roosevelt. The Roosevelt Corollary destroyed JQA's Community of Principle in the Americas which should be known as the true Monroe Doctrine, contrary to popular opinion today which has incorrectly replaced the Monroe Doctrine with the Roosevelt Corollary (as Bolton is especially want to do). TR signalled the end of the Lincoln Era of American industrial development and global cooperation, which was best represented by Grant, the most overlooked of great Presidents (and perhaps we see similarities of Grant to Trump today). Bolton indeed is Captain Kangaroo, presiding over his Court as the Queen of No Hearts would in Alice's confrontation with British rule once she penetrates behind the facade of British Lockean empiricism. With insight only equalled to Lincoln's, who said "We can't fight two wars at once, so first the Confederacy and then the British," Trump has identified the fascist nexus within our government as that same British foe, a nexus led by Brennan, Rice, Clapper, Jarrett, et al, which works on behalf of what Eisenhower (another overlooked great President and General) called the Military Industrial Complex. The MIC is a British Intelligence deployment to fundamentally undermine our Constitution and put the US into a state of perpetual war and police surveillance. It is now over 70 years in the making, and is enforcing a new Cold War and attempted coup of our elected Government, and yet, it may have finally found its match, not just in Trump, but in Trump's intended cooperation with Putin of Russia and Xi of China. These three nations, along with Modi of India (just reelected) are a true threat to this rotten British system, from Fabian liberals to Bolton chickenhawks, the true enemy is this British System. If we move on that effectively, we may just have a chance to win this revolutionary moment now unfolding throughout the trans-Atlantic world. Let us return to JQA's community of principle for the entire world. Let us work with Trump to end this fascist British nexus. Let us celebrate our true heritage as Americans!

Litchfield , May 23, 2019 at 16:51

Your comments read with interesting and well taken.
BUT: The bottom line is that Trump hired Bolton (and Pompeo) and has wound him up and set him loose goosewalking across the globe.
Why?
The buck for Bolton's suicidal buffonery stops with Trump.
So, I can't see him as a genuine foe of the Deep State-MIC as you describe.

Michael Steger , May 23, 2019 at 18:10

Bolton is loyal to Trump, even though he is a failed chickenhawk. Look at McMaster, at the leaking, and outright betrayal of the President. Same with Tillerson, betrayal. Pompeo and Bolton have ridiculous views and bloated war rhetoric, but they're personally loyal, perhaps opportunistically, and even temporarily, but nonetheless right now they are, and when they're not, I bet they're gone. But Trump does control the policy. Look at North Korea, any war? Media said there would be, then worked to undermine a deal. Venezuela, war? They're talking in Norway now, how'd that happen? Syria, troops out? MIC, Dems and Media opposed, and Trump called them out for the first time since Eisenhower! Pompeo to Sochi to see Putin, progress. How'd that happen? Trump is fighting the MIC and too many good Americans are spinning so fast from the propaganda machine they can't see straight.

anon4d2 , May 24, 2019 at 18:40

Interesting, but it is easy for a president to fight the MIC: simply fire and arrest anyone who acts against efforts to control them. He could send any federal enforcement agency, FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, reserves, national guard, or even the Coast Guard, Secret Service, DC police, or private guards to arrest them and prosecute any resisters as traitors. It is not one man against the MIC.

And they cannot assassinate him once he has announced that intention, without exposing their hand and unleashing a generation of purges and strict controls. If he is surrounded by traitors, he has only to say that and fire the lot of them. He could leak that anonymously to Wikileaks or tweet it and they would be terrified.

Mork D , May 25, 2019 at 01:48

Bolton has been working DC bureaucracy like a pro for decades. He's using Trump like a marionette while he runs circles around the amateur. He was helping orchestrate foreign wars of choice back when Trump was still playing a pretend boss on TV. Bolton has no loyalty except as a facade for those he needs to suck up to.

Your examples of non-wars are terrific. Trump is amazing! – because he's running the government so badly that the State Dept doesn't know what the Pentagon is doing doesn't know and vice versa. He chose to ignore the Iran nuclear deal, which had prevented Iran from developing nuclear weapons. So now, the Iranians declare (out of self defense) that they're now going to pursue nuclear weapons. Trump then says that he doesn't want to attack Iran, but they must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. This is a circular argument exactly of the type the MIC uses to engage in war. Pompeo then indicates that laughable, ineffectual attempts at sabotage are most likely Iranian. This grave threat to our nation can't even do enough damage to an oil tanker to make it take on water.

Just because someone fails to do something doesn't mean that they were against it the whole time. Maybe they're just awful at it. Sure, Trump says some things that are heartening to the anti-war and anti-interventionist crowd. But the next day he'll say something heartening to rabid neocons. He needs to grow a spine, but it's far too late. He's a dandy, a spoiled rich kid fop who's never had to answer for his mishaps, because why, when you have inherited money and a stout legal team?

anon4d2 , May 24, 2019 at 19:06

The idea that "the MIC is a British Intelligence deployment" is fantastical, as the US MIC is several times the size of UK's entire MIC, and such a secret could never be kept. The US MIC has engaged UK secret agencies to subvert the US Constitution by serving as agents to pass intercepted US communications back to the US to pretend that the MIC didn't do it, or that it was foreign intel. But that is a long way from UK controlling the US MIC.

There are certainly confluences of interests between the US and UK oligarchies, but I see no basis for the contention that "American submission to British Imperialism began with the end of Grant's administration" when the US prosecuted Britain for building the Alabama etc. to break the Union blockade, and was outraged that Britain considered recognition of the Confederacy until it lost at Gettysburg. The US under TR was not submitting to anyone when it sent the Great White Fleet on tour, or when it seized Cuba and the Philippines. Nor under Wilson when it stayed out of WWI until very late in the war, despite the Lusitania loss. Nor under FDR when it stayed out of WWII until attacked, despite the passionate pleas of Churchill.

Some detailed argument with credible references would be needed to support those assertions.

Zhu , May 25, 2019 at 01:44

Scapegoating is real popular with lefties & rughties alike. American Exceptionalism forbids we ever accept respobility for what we've done.

Zhu , May 25, 2019 at 01:45

No, the rest of humanity is not any better.

anon4d2 , May 25, 2019 at 06:48

The commenter was searching for causes, and some UK conspiracy is simply too far from any available evidence. In fact it much appears to be a wild attempt to distract from the obvious causes including zionism, which you pretend is "scapegoating." No, zionism is a principle corrupting factor in US politics, especially foreign policy.

If you don't see that, you must start learning the evidence, rather than relying on the presumption that it is mere scapegoating. Otherwise you are serving their wrongful and racist tribal purposes, and others will presume that you know that.

Oscar Shank , May 26, 2019 at 07:24

Zhu knows it.

Vera Gottlieb , May 23, 2019 at 14:56

How much more peaceful the life on our entire planet would be if the Americans weren't around.

Vonu , May 23, 2019 at 16:58

Extend that to all humans, and the head of PETA would support the project.

David G. Horsman , May 23, 2019 at 17:16

I doubt that. Nature hates a void.

Bethany , May 24, 2019 at 17:50

Exactly. Very well put.

Abe , May 23, 2019 at 14:19

Brazilian diplomat Jose Bustani, the first director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), only served about one year of his second term.

Bustani was forced out by the U.S. government in April 2002 because he wanted international chemical weapons monitors inside Iraq and thus was seen as impeding the US push for war against Iraq. The US accused Bustani of "advocacy of inappropriate roles for the OPCW".

Since 2011, the United Nations has stood by a US-Saudi-Israeli Axis financed and armed the mercenary terrorist forces attacked Syria. In addition to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, major support for terrorist mercenaries has provided via NATO-member state Turkey, as well as Jordan. Israel has launched repeated air attacks and provided direct support for terrorist forces in Syria.

From July 2010 to 2018, the Director-General of the OPCW was Turkish career diplomat Ahmet Uzumcu. Uzumcu served ambassador to Israel from 1999 to 2002, and as the Permanent Representative of Turkey to NATO between 2002 and 2004.

Turkey has been the primary channel for mercenary terrorist forces assaulting the Syrian state. The remaining terrorist forces in the Idlib Governorate continue to be supplied through Syria.

Since Uzumcu announced the creation of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria on 29 April 2014, not a single OPCW report has acknowledged these basic facts concerning the conflict in Syria.

Following a consensus recommendation by the OPCW Executive Council in October 2017. Spanish career diplomat Fernando Arias was appointed to replace Uzumcu as Director-General of the OPCW. Previously, Arias served as Ambassador of Spain to the Netherlands and the Permanent Representative of Spain to the OPCW. He also has served as Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations in New York.

Uzumcu, and now Bustani, obviously understand that the appropriate role of the OPCW is to provide propaganda support for "regime change" operations, and to say nothing contrary to the "narrative" endorsed by the US-Saudi-Israeli Axis.

David G. Horsman , May 23, 2019 at 17:52

The OPCW has certainly disgraced themselves in Syria. What a sham.

Randal Marlin , May 23, 2019 at 13:48

John Bolton's questioner in the second clip should have made the distinction between deception used to lead the country into war, and deception used to pursue a war already constitutionally declared and already underway.
In the first case there is a violation of democratic principle. When the people are the ultimate sovereign, they need to be properly informed. They can agree to deception, like where and when D-Day will occur, during war; but not in the case of leading the people into war. Lying to Congress is always unacceptable, and those who do lie to Congress should be made to suffer serious penalties.

zhenry , May 24, 2019 at 02:13

I read a report that the aircraft carrier strike force and preparation of 120,000 US troops, to Persian Gulf was ordered sometime ago and that Bolton took advantage of that fact to make it look that 'Bolton ordered it'?

vinnieoh , May 24, 2019 at 10:54

What I'd read is that the carrier strike force and bomber detachment were previously scheduled: there had been a previous drawdown and this deployment represents a return to a level similar to the end of the Iraq war, and that does sound like Bolton/Pompeo opportunism. The 120,000 troops plan sounds like something Bolton prodded pentagon scribes to produce. How to interpret when Bolton says that then Trump denies it, and then a new troop deployment (1% of the previous) is announced/suggested/leaked? I see it as Trump taking his dogs out for a walk to snarl at the neighbors.

David G , May 23, 2019 at 13:07

"Thus Bolton was the driving force to get a carrier strike force sent to the Persian Gulf and, according to The New York Times, on May 14, it was he who 'ordered' a Pentagon plan to prepare 120,000 U.S. troops for the Gulf."

That the National Security Advisor, irrespective of whether the job is currently held by a lunatic like Bolton, may be giving such orders should in and of itself be a subject of serious inquiry by Congress and the media.

The National Security Advisor is, as the title states, merely an advisor – not confirmed by the Senate, and therefore not, in constitutional terms, an "officer of the United States" with the authority to carry out the policy of the government. Other than his assistant fetching him lunch, nobody in government should be following Bolton's orders at all while he holds this job.

But this is nothing new. I had the same concern, on an even larger scale, during the first Bush Jr. administration when Cheney was running around reshaping the government in his own warped image. Despite the Vice President's elected status, he has no executive power under the Constitution – no power at all, in fact, except when sitting as President of the Senate. There was a time when everyone knew that.

With all the perennial crowing we see about the greatness of the Constitution, and the mewling about how Trump is degrading it, it would be nice if Congress and the media could spare a moment to care about whether the people giving orders to the world's largest military and covert/intelligence apparatus are legally empowered to do so.

Ash , May 23, 2019 at 17:17

> That the National Security Advisor, irrespective of whether the job is currently held by a lunatic like Bolton,
> may be giving such orders should in and of itself be a subject of serious inquiry by Congress and the media.

It does kind of have an Alexander Haig flavor to it, doesn't it?

David G , May 23, 2019 at 22:08

When Bolton gets up and says "I'm in control here", I'm definitely finding a rock to hide under.

Zenobia van Dongen , May 23, 2019 at 13:06

The question that Joe Lauria asked of John Bolton, i.e. "If the United States and Britain had not overthrown a democratically elected government in Iran in 1953 would the United States be today faced with a revolutionary government enriching uranium?" seems to imply that Iran seeks revenge against the US for the CIA's 1953 coup d'état against prime minister Mohammed Mossadeq.
However the current leaders of Iran are not entitled to consider themselves the heirs of Mossadeq, nor are they morally justified in avenging him, since the CIA coup relied largely on support from the very same clerical establishment that now rules Iran. As a matter of fact in the 1950s and 60s Shia clerics in Iran were routinely considered CIA agents. Consequently the Iranian elite's pretense of carrying on Mossadeq's anti-imperialist struggle is profoundly hypocritical. I grant that the current reactionary clique that governs Iran defends Iran's sovereignty against US imperialism as Mossadeq did. But the underlying concept of the Iranian nation is profoundly different. The present régime has no respect for the principles of democracy and popular sovereignty that pervaded Iran's anti-imperialist struggle in the 1950s and was derived from the democratic ideals of the Persian constitutionalist revolution of 1909.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_Constitutional_Revolution
Indeed, Iran has no hesitation in crushing underfoot the aspirations to independence of other nations. It ruthlessly conducts ethnic cleansing in Syria, commits assassinations in South America, and in general behaves with imperialist ruthlessness that is moreover unmitigated by any concern for human rights or international law.

vinnieoh , May 23, 2019 at 14:27

As to your last paragraph please provide proof for your allegations. As to your second paragraph you assume to know the meaning behind the question Mr. Lauria asked. Could it be possible (this I believe is more likely) that what Mr. Lauria meant or realizes that absent the '53 coup would there now be an Islamic theocracy ruling Iran?

Again making the disclaimer that I'm no expert on the region or Iran particularly I have followed many leads of reading and investigation to understand the ramifications of that seminal event (the '53 coup.) What I believe I've understood is that Iran prior to and until the '53 coup was on its own unique trajectory of reclaiming its sovereignty and rejecting its status as a (UK) colonial vassal. There seemed to be a somewhat fluid acceptance of the rising democratic movement of Mosaddeq et. al., a fading nod to the former royal house, and an acceptance of Shiite religiosity of some considerable social legitimacy.

So, three centers of power and influence working its unique way to an unique Iranian future.

With the US/UK engineered coup the imperialists destroyed the legitimate democratic evolution happening there. With the re-installation of the Shah Reza Pahlavi as the puppet ruler of the US, that traditional center of power and legitimacy was likewise forever delegitimized in the eyes of most Iranians. That sentiment was cemented with the creation of SAVAK by the US, UK, and Israel to be the iron fist of the Shah and his new imperial master.

That left only one center of power or authority which retained legitimacy in the eyes of Iranians – the Shiite theocrats, and that is why when Iranians kicked the US out it was the Islamic theocracy doing the booting. You are correct that there was at least one Shiite cleric (I've forgotten his name,) jealous and fearful of the rising influence of democratic governance, who is a known and recorded collaborator with the US/UK machinations of the coup. Without the help of the US/UK his part in the affair would probably have been inconsequential.

It is not Iran that is funding and establishing Islamic madrasses in Pakistan, India, China, Indonesia, Africa and elsewhere. It is the Wahhabist Sunnis and they preach intolerance and violent jihad. Furthermore, of the total global population of adherents of Islam, 75% are Sunni affiliated, and 25% are Shiite affiliated. Those percentages hold true in the immediate region of the ME as well. The repeated claims of Iranian desires of empire are a shibboleth emanating from KSA and UAE.

Nick , May 23, 2019 at 15:36

The leaders of the Islamic Revolution used Mossadegh's image to help get people on board against the Shah, The National Front was allowed to be a party again for a short time, and a Street in Tehran was renamed post-revolution for Mohammad Mossadegh. This was a cynical ploy by the Mullahs to get people on board with their revolution and make people believe that they were indeed the true heirs of Mossadegh and committed to democracy. It was all a sham. The National Front was made illegal again at some point in the 80s, and the street named for Mossadegh was renamed around the same time. These people are the heirs of the Shah whether they like it or not.

anon4d2 , May 23, 2019 at 16:59

Joe's question points out that, had the US not overthrown Mossadegh, there would have been a secular democratic government. That is true throughout the Mideast, where in the 1950s-70s the US supported radical Islamic movements that suppressed secular movements and overthrew secular governments, pretending that the USSR was moving in. There was no evidence of USSR interest there, as it was preoccupied with such factions in its central Asian republics, and apparently only some arms from the USSR in Egypt were ever found as "evidence."

Similar US actions have continued to date, almost 30 years after the collapse of the USSR, the US always supporting fanatics against moderates like Assad and Ghaddafi, and pretending to support "democracy."

Compare the US support of Saudi Arabia, a fanatical fundamentalist monarchy engaged in terrorism throughout the region, including against their only neighbor that defends minority rights, Syria. Again falsely claiming the need to protect oil supply, which it can buy anywhere without bombing anyone, like any other oil buyer. Again falsely claiming to support democracy which it overthrows everywhere at the pleasure of its own oligarchy, always to "protect Israel" or attack socialism, which is always to get political bribes.

There is no evidence of any "ethnic cleansing" by Iran in Syria or elsewhere. Where do you get that idea? Iran is majority Shiah, defending the majority Sunni population of Syria from Sunni fundamentalists. You certainly have no evidence that Iran "commits assassinations in South America" or opposes "aspirations to independence of other nations" and made that up to deceive others. Your comments on this site have been knowingly false.

zhenry , May 24, 2019 at 03:44

The above, re the current Iranian religious govt, very informative, thankyou.
Re Joe's article I cannot take seriously that Trump is against war and the Deep State.
If Trumps rhetoric during his electioneering, supporting the middle class (deeply deprived after the US corporations abandoned them for low paid Chinese labour) was in any way honest he would not have chosen the cabinet he did (and keeps on choosing).
Trump has not chosen one cabinet member that would support that supposed sympathy for the middle class.
Reporting that assumes Trump is fighting for moderation (against his own cabinet) and to establish policies in the direction of that sympathy, is without evidence, it seems to me, regardless of what he might suggest to Fox News.

Vonu , May 23, 2019 at 17:00

"The present régime has no respect for the principles of democracy and popular sovereignty that pervaded Iran's anti-imperialist struggle in the 1950s and was derived from the democratic ideals of the Persian constitutionalist revolution of 1909."
And the American government has equal respect for the Constitution.

David , May 23, 2019 at 12:56

Bolton didn't order a carrier group to the Persian Gulf. He doesn't have the authority. The carrier group left because of the deployment was already planned. Bolton does not have the power that has been ascribed to him. He is a grandiose clown who knows how to play the press. I don't think he will have his job six months from now.

David G , May 23, 2019 at 12:16

"At the time of Bolton's appointment in April 2018, Tom Countryman predicted to The Intercept that if Iran resumed enrichment after the U.S. left the deal, it 'would be the kind of excuse that a person like Bolton would look to to create a military provocation or direct attack on Iran.' In response to ever tightening sanctions, Iran said that it would indeed restart partial nuclear enrichment."

Two problems with this part of the article:

• The link in the main text here goes to an Intercept article about Bolton, but it has no mention of Tom Countryman, or even of Iran.

• It isn't accurate to say that Iran may now, or is saying it will, "resume" or "restart" nuclear enrichment, since it never ceased, nor did it ever commit to cease, such activity. The JCPOA merely imposed strict *limits* and monitoring on nuclear enrichment and stockpiling, some of which Iran is saying it will now depart from.

I also disagree with the imputation elsewhere in the article that Donald Trump has a good understanding of real estate. His disastrous, decades-long record in that business suggests otherwise. But I suppose some people will always believe what they see on TV.

lou e , May 23, 2019 at 12:06

Creeping fascism works like fishing with a rod and reel. You hook the fish and it runs off 100 ft of line . You reel in 50 ft and the fish takes 30 feet back. Do the Math! Some times burning down the village IS the only way to get rid of the infestation. Bit hard on the USSA, but as Ben Franklin put it you have a democratic republic IF ypu can Keep It.

Herman , May 23, 2019 at 11:56

Remember at an earlier time with Bolton, someone described him as a kiss up kick down kind of guy, i.e., a real jerk. I defended Trump against Russiagate because it was a threat to the office of the president. Unless, he gets his head straight, his "political" moves in the Middle East and Southwest Asia can spin out of control. He is not negotiating a new deal with some city to build another hotel, and his rhetoric makes him sound like that is the way he thinks he should act with other countries.

One can defend him by saying maybe it will work, but then maybe not and it is not a matter of your target taking his papers and leaving the room.

Great article, Mr. Lauria. Have you posted your resume on your site? Interested in your confrontation with Bolton.

Trump wants to be reelected more that being the President but in his defense we know what he will face if he decides to enter into honest negotiations. He's going to have a heck of a time finding people to cover his back. He can count on one presidential aspirant, Tulsi Gabbard but she's on the other side.

Jeff Harrison , May 23, 2019 at 11:42

If we have to rely on Thump for anything other than social controls, we're screwed.

David G , May 23, 2019 at 11:40

These personal reminiscences of Bolton at the U.N. by Joe Lauria unfortunately only confirm the man's very public record. The fact that such a creature has been accepted for so long in the heart of U.S. foreign "policy" is yet more evidence that the country's crisis of political culture started long before Trump came on the scene.

I don't quite accept the slight comfort implied in the formulations here that this time Bolton has "gone too far", or "flown too high", since to me they imply that there is some moral or rational bedrock that he has struck beneath which the establishment is not willing to go.

I don't think that's true, as a general proposition. For example, the U.S. continues less noisily but inexorably on its long-term collision course with China, which will be even more catastrophic than war with Iran, not to mention the ultimate one with the planet's environmental limits.

For me it's enough that, for a number of contingent reasons, Bolton's (and MBS's and Netanyahu's) lunge at Iran has fallen flat with both U.S. and European policy and media elites – for now, and I hope forever.

jessika , May 23, 2019 at 11:26

I just called WH 202-456-1111 to tell President Trump that Bolton should be fired; had to wait 8 min to talk. Trump certainly has lots of problems, but he'll have plenty more if he starts a war! Pox Americana!

Litchfield , May 23, 2019 at 16:58

Great idea.
I'll do the same.

vinnieoh , May 23, 2019 at 11:04

Thank you Mr. Lauria. I'm tending to believe that not only has Bolton flown too high, but Trump's predictable method of trying to get what he wants was completely miscalculated wrt Iran. There is no better treaty or deal to be had concerning keeping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. The failures of the JCPOA that Trump is probably griping about all have to do with matters of Iran's necessary and legitimate right to security and self-defense. No sane nation would willingly give in to this bullying. Thanks again.

vinnieoh , May 23, 2019 at 11:44

Also, wrt Trump's predictable patterns, note that little if anything has changed regarding the US and the DPRK, so if he is a crafty and effective negotiator I'm having a hard time seeing it.

David G. Horsman , May 23, 2019 at 18:22

Good example Vinnieoh. NK and SK are reaching out and (more importantly) shoving out the US. More winning.

I love Trump. He is useful. Fascism, NAFTA, generic racism you name it, he really shines a light on issues.

Here again. (Currently) SA, GAZA, Israel, Syria and of course Iran. Hell, the entire region. What a train wreck he is.

What about the dollar? The EU? Yikes.

By gosh this man could single handedly take down an empire! MAGA!

O Society , May 23, 2019 at 10:47

Well done, Joe Lauria. Of course our dilemma is Donald Trump says one thing and contradicts himself 5 minutes later. You could say he "changes his mind" but I do not think his mind is stable to begin with. He's far too nuts to put any faith in for "doing the right thing,"

Bolton and his neoconservative pox on the world serve the interests of the war machine and fossil fuel corporations. When will be rid of them? When We the People grow a set of testicles and throw them all into prison. Trump isn't going to save us, but he might let Bolton get us all killed.

Time for the people to rise.

http://opensociet.org/2019/05/19/the-interlocking-crises-of-war-climate-chaos

Piotr Berman , May 23, 2019 at 11:31

Seems that Trump is so small minded that what we observe cannot be explained mechanistically, we need quantum mechanics. Rather that a particular state of mind we have a stochastic distribution, wave patterns and spin.

Marc R Hapke , May 23, 2019 at 14:34

Great analogy

O Society , May 23, 2019 at 12:39

The expert says what's going on in Trump's mind is solipsism and I agree with him:

https://opensociet.org/2018/07/07/assault-on-reality-solipsism-whats-wrong-with-donald-trump-part-1/

Sam F , May 23, 2019 at 13:12

Yes, Joe Lauria has presented the problem very well.

A major factor is certainly the persuasiveness of the NSC and other MIC entities which surround the president, and comprise much of official DC. Try persuading anyone in the MIC that war is ever inappropriate: they are all full of extreme scorn and false accusations, and have endless "evidence" of threats behind every tree, and rationales to attack this or at least that, just to make "statements" and "warnings" to invisible foreign monsters. The MIC is a completely and permanently logic-proof subculture of bullying, which bullies every member of its own tribe to line up behind tyrants like Bolton and a million other puerile bullies devoid of humanity.

No doubt you know that this was all well understood by the founders of the US, who restricted federal military powers to repelling invasions and knew that any standing military was a threat to democracy. The Federalist Papers should be required reading in the US. All of those understandings were gradually lost after the War of 1812 and the 1820s, as the founders died off. As the US became confident that it could repel any invasion, it lost the sense of the necessity of unity and cooperation of regions, and Congress degenerated into a battle of intransigent factions leading to the completely unnecessary Civil War. With the ebullient emergence of the middle class, no effort was made to correct the defects of the Constitution in failing to protect the institutions of democracy from the rising power of economic concentrations. With WWI and WWII, the power of oligarchy over mass media was consolidated, and by WWII the oligarchy and MIC effectively controlled elections, mass media, and the judiciary, the tools of democracy. Democracy has been a facade ever since.

The US has zero security problems that the MIC has not created, and could at any time re-purpose 80% of the MIC to developing infrastructure in the poorest nations with positive effects upon its security. Had it done so since WWII, we would have rescued the poorest half of humanity from poverty, ignorance, malnutrition, and disease, and would have had a true American Century. Instead we have killed over 20 million innocents and mortgaged the lives of our children to serve the infantile psychopaths of the MIC.

The solution is not only to eliminate the 2000-member NSC, cut the military by at least 80 percent, prohibit acts of war or surveillance by the executive branch, tax the rich so that no one has income above upper middle class, and demand amendments to the Constitution restricting funding of the mass media and elections to limited and registered individual donations. We also desperately need a fourth branch of federal government, which I am calling the College of Policy Debate, to conduct moderated textual debates of policy issues in all regions, protecting and representing every viewpoint, in which all views are challenged and must respond, and all parties must come to common terms. The CPD should produce commented debate summaries available to the public with mini-quizzes and discussion groups. Without that rational analysis and access to the core debates, we do not have a democracy at all, we are all no more than the fools and pawns of these oligarchy scammers, who must be actively excluded from all government capacities.

Sorry for the lecture.

Linda Wood , May 24, 2019 at 01:59

Please don't apologize, Sam F. Your brilliant and humane words give me hope at a time in which I am in shock at the blatancy of fascism in our government.

Doggrotter , May 23, 2019 at 10:33

Where is a drone strike when you need one?

OlyaPola , May 23, 2019 at 10:23

" seemed to always think he was the smartest person in the room."

Useful fools are often most useful when they are believers that they are not fools.

Once upon a time there was a discussion of which of the opponents' should be proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize – the list being relatively long.

After extensive analysis and discussion the short-list consisted of two opponents in alphabetical order Mr. John Bolton and Mr. Karl Rove.

However in light of the notion "Do you think your opponents are as stupid as you are? " the proposal question was left in abeyance, not only as a function of decorum but also through understanding that "Useful fools are often most useful when they are believers that they are not fools." and that even small dogs can seem tall when you are lying on your stomach.

OlyaPola , May 24, 2019 at 17:33

Since omniscience can't exist perhaps Mr. Bolton was/is subject to misrepresentation and misunderstanding?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6l6vqPUM_FE&list=RDXIOSOlqMaj8&index=17

bobzz , May 23, 2019 at 10:12

"Pompeo told a radio interviewer after the briefing that the U.S. had still not determined who attacked two Saudi, a Norwegian and an Emirati oil tanker in the Gulf last week, which bore the hallmarks of a provocation. Pompeo said "it seems like it's quite possible that Iran was behind" the attacks."

What possible advantage could accrue to Iran from putting a few dents in the ships? Smells of another false flag.

Piotr Berman , May 23, 2019 at 11:46

I would not be so sure. A delicate signal that Iran has more capabilities concerning stopping in-out-Gulf traffic than naive people like Bolton realize has a sobering potential. By the way of contrast, what kind of black flag it is if it is instantly put in doubt, "we do not know" etc. When there were "chemical incidents" in Syria, no one in Washington claimed the need for more facts, uncertainty etc.

Instead, UAE initially denied that it happened at all, subsequently, together with KSA, they did not have any "certain knowledge". Somehow no government appears to promote the incident. Even USA.

BTW, the allegation that Iran is placing missiles on fishing boats staggers the mind. First of all, "missile boats" of which Iran has plenty are small ships, BUT NOT VERY small, ca. 500-800 tons, which are fast, 40 kt, but not as fast as their predecessors, torpedo boats (200-300 tons, 50-60 kt). They are still faster than any of the larger naval vessels, can trail them, and attack from small distance in the case of start of hostilities. That Iran places missiles on such boats can be learned from videos proudly provided by PressTV.ir.

Using "fishing boats" for that purpose is dubious, and the largest question mark would be: WHY? The reason that missile boats are larger and heavier than torpedo boats is that you need more stability to launch missiles than torpedoes. Then you need a radar etc. Placing missiles on fishing boats would be a waste of missiles. Hardly an escalation.

OlyaPola , May 23, 2019 at 12:47

"Hardly an escalation."

Perhaps you are being deflected by framing?

One of the escalations is the escalation of belief in, requirement of, and resort to, the dumbed-downess of the "target audience".

One of the salient questions being deflected is why, and as ever investigation requires some knowledge of Mr. Heisenberg and his principles.

mark , May 23, 2019 at 22:34

Perhaps the Iranians are putting missiles on fishing boats to stun the fish and catch them that way. Fishing boats aren't exactly very fast.

Thomas , May 23, 2019 at 12:21

Anyone who actually believes the oil tanker incidents were carried by Iran should seek an immediate consultation with their doctor. These blatant false flags clearly are the work of fools and Iranians are not fools.

Brian , May 23, 2019 at 17:22

Exactly. According navel personnel, Iran has been using fishing boats to transfer rockets from land to it's vessels for years, supposedly because the gulf is too shallow. I don't have hydrographic maps of the area, anyone know if this is true?

Piotr Berman , May 23, 2019 at 23:33

Clearly, Persian Gulf has routes for the largest ships on Earth, but the supply bases for missiles may be away from ports, and it would make sense to place them so they are not easily accessible to a big ship navy, and in general, to disperse them.

Tim , May 26, 2019 at 06:43

"Thomas"

> These blatant false flags clearly are the work of fools

Since neither you nor I know who did it, and there are a whole slew of plausible suspects, we don't know why they did it, either. So it is silly to claim they are fools.

Since the Saudis and UAE are in the midst of waging war on Yemen, the most obvious suspects are their enemies there, al-Ansara.

(And by the way, contrary to what another commentator claimed, it was not a "few dents", but a gaping hole in the hull just below the waterline. And since the local authorities spoke of an impact by an unidentified object, these were presumably torpedo strikes.)

OlyaPola , May 26, 2019 at 07:58

"What possible advantage could accrue to Iran from putting a few dents in the ships?"

Quite a few including but not limited to further data on the opponents' perception of what constitutes plausible belief for the opponents' target audience, and the opponents' increasing resort to, amplitude, scope and velocity of "misrepresentations".

As is the case with the benefits of dumbing down not accruing solely to those actively engaged in dumbing down, the benefits of creation and implementation of "false flags" do not accrue solely to those engaged in "false flags", and are enhanced when the creators and implementers of "false flags" are immersed in amalga of projection and notions of sole/prime agency, facilitating potential benefits to many others not restricted to Iran.

[May 25, 2019] The Belligerence Of Empire by Kenn Orphan

Highly recommended!
Note Firefox does not pickup the user name in Zero hedge anymore. So user names in comments were omitted... BTW comments from Zerohedge reflect very well the level of frustration and confusion of common Americans with the neoliberal social system. Neoliberal elites clearly lost most of the legitimacy in 2016.
While this is pretty poignant critique of American empire it does not ask and answer the key question: "What's next?" The crisis of neoliberalism and the end of cheap oil probably will eventually crush the US led global empire and dollar as the reserve currency. Although it probably will be much slower and longer process then many expect.
Are we talking about 20, 40 or 80 years here?
But what is the alternative to the neoliberal and the US dominated global neolinberal empire established after dissolution of the USSR in 1991? That's the question.
Notable quotes:
"... Empire understands nothing except ruthless expansion. It has no other raison d'etre. In the past this meant the violent acquisition of lands and territories by a militarized system where [miliraty] caste was very apparent and visible. But today the dealings of empire are far more duplicitous. The ruling order of this age expands empire via the acquisition of capital while using the military industrial complex to police its exploits. But there is an insidious social conditioning at work which has led the general public to where it is today, a state of "inverted totalitarianism" as political philosopher Sheldon Wolin explained. Indeed, capitalism has morphed into the unassailable religion of the age even among the working class. Its tenets are still viewed as sacrosanct. ..."
"... There is mass compliance to the dictates of the ruling class and this occurs most often without any prompting or debate whatsoever. In this dictatorship of money the poor are looked at with ridicule and contempt, and are often punished legally for their imposed poverty. ..."
"... Most Americans still believe they live in the greatest country on the planet. They believe the American military to be noble and that they always reluctantly go into or are forced into war. Indeed, both the Democrats and Republicans possess an uncanny ability to bridge their ideological distances when it comes to defending US militarism, the Pentagon and the war machine of imperialism. But this is tied to the defense of capitalism, the ruling class, and the ultimate reason for war: the protection of that class's global capital investments. ..."
"... Today Iran and Venezuela are once again in the crosshairs of the American Empire's belligerence. Their defiance to the dominant [neoliberal] socioeconomic order will simply not be tolerated by the global ruling caste, represented as the unquestioned "interests" of the United States. ..."
"... To be sure the American Empire, which has seldom seen a year without pillage of another nation or region, is now facing its greatest nemesis. Unheeded lessons of the past have made it thoroughly inoculated to its own demise. In short, it is drunk on its hubris and unable to grapple with its inevitable descent. ..."
"... The American Empire, one of the shortest lived in human history, has become the biggest threat to humanity ..."
"... But like all empires it will eventually fall. Its endless and costly wars on behalf of capital investments and profiteering are contributing to that demise ..."
"... The US Republic has come and gone - the Empire is failing rapidly despite massive spending to support it. Cecil Rhodes and his heirs dreamed of restoring Anglo American domination of the world yet despite all of the technology employed the US is losing grip. By sheer numbers (and a far more efficient dictatorship) China is moving to a dominant role. ..."
"... In the end, the elite has no problem to rebrand themselves any color it needs to take to rule again, and become totalitarian state. As it becomes in the Soviet Union and China. ..."
"... Another blame America article that fails to mention the International Banksters. They have the finger-pointing thingy down to an art form. ..."
"... How do you begin to change that? Most Americans have been brainwashed and zombified by Hollywood and MSM into revering and lionizing the military without question. The sheer amount of waste in the MIC is not only negligent, but criminal. By the time the sheep awaken, the empire will have run out of their money to pillage. The beast of empire requires new victims to feed off in order to sustain - it devours entire nations, pilfers resources and murders people. Is this really what the founding fathers wanted? ..."
"... Precisely right. It's as if we've painted ourselves into the proverbial corner ..."
May 23, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

" Capitalism's gratuitous wars and sanctioned greed have jeopardized the planet and filled it with refugees. Much of the blame for this rests squarely on the shoulders of the government of the United States. Seventeen years after invading Afghanistan, after bombing it into the 'stone age' with the sole aim of toppling the Taliban, the US government is back in talks with the very same Taliban. In the interim it has destroyed Iraq, Libya and Syria. Hundreds of thousands have lost their lives to war and sanctions, a whole region has descended into chaos, ancient cities -- pounded into dust."

– Arundhati Roy

"As naturally as the ruled always took the morality imposed upon them more seriously than did the rulers themselves, the deceived masses are today captivated by the myth of success even more than the successful are. Immovably, they insist on the very ideology which enslaves them. The misplaced love of the common people for the wrong which is done to them is a greater force than the cunning of the authorities. "

― Theodor Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments

"I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism ."

― Smedley Butler, War is a Racket

"It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence. And the alternative to disarmament, the alternative to a greater suspension of nuclear tests, the alternative to strengthening the United Nations and thereby disarming the whole world, may well be a civilization plunged into the abyss of annihilation, and our earthly habitat would be transformed into an inferno that even the mind of Dante could not imagine."

-- Martin Luther King, Jr., Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution, 31 March 1968

Empire understands nothing except ruthless expansion. It has no other raison d'etre. In the past this meant the violent acquisition of lands and territories by a militarized system where [miliraty] caste was very apparent and visible. But today the dealings of empire are far more duplicitous. The ruling order of this age expands empire via the acquisition of capital while using the military industrial complex to police its exploits. But there is an insidious social conditioning at work which has led the general public to where it is today, a state of "inverted totalitarianism" as political philosopher Sheldon Wolin explained. Indeed, capitalism has morphed into the unassailable religion of the age even among the working class. Its tenets are still viewed as sacrosanct.

Violence is the sole language of empire. It is this only currency it uses to enforce its precepts and edicts, both at home and abroad. Eventually this language becomes internalized within the psyche of the subjects. Social and cultural conditioning maintained through constant subtle messaging via mass media begins to mold the public will toward that of authoritarian conformity. The American Empire is emblematic of this process. There is mass compliance to the dictates of the ruling class and this occurs most often without any prompting or debate whatsoever. In this dictatorship of money the poor are looked at with ridicule and contempt, and are often punished legally for their imposed poverty.

But the social conditioning of the American public has led toward a bizarre allegiance to its ruling class oppressors. Propaganda still works here and most are still besotted with the notion of America being a bastion of "freedom and democracy." The growing gap between the ultra-wealthy and the poor and the gutting of civil liberties are ignored. And blind devotion is especially so when it comes to US foreign policy.

Most Americans still believe they live in the greatest country on the planet. They believe the American military to be noble and that they always reluctantly go into or are forced into war. Indeed, both the Democrats and Republicans possess an uncanny ability to bridge their ideological distances when it comes to defending US militarism, the Pentagon and the war machine of imperialism. But this is tied to the defense of capitalism, the ruling class, and the ultimate reason for war: the protection of that class's global capital investments.

The persecution of Chelsea Manning, much like the case of Julian Assange, is demonstrative of this. It is a crusade against truth tellers that has been applauded from both sides of the American establishment, liberal and conservative alike. It does not matter that she helped to expose American war crimes. On the contrary, this is seen as heresy to the Empire itself. Manning's crime was exposing the underbelly of the beast. A war machine which targeted and killed civilians and journalists by soldiers behind a glowing screen thousands of miles away, as if they were playing a video game.

Indeed, those deadened souls pulling the virtual trigger probably thought they were playing a video game since this is how the military seduced them to serve in their ranks in the first place. A kind of hypnotic, addictive, algorithmic tyranny of sorts. It is a form of escapism that so many young Americans are enticed by given their sad prospects in a society that has denuded the commons as well as their future. That it was a war based on lies against an impoverished nation already deeply weakened from decades of American led sanctions is inconsequential....

... ... ...

Today Iran and Venezuela are once again in the crosshairs of the American Empire's belligerence. Their defiance to the dominant [neoliberal] socioeconomic order will simply not be tolerated by the global ruling caste, represented as the unquestioned "interests" of the United States. The imposed suffering on these nations has been twisted as proof that they are now in need of American salvation in the form of even more crippling sanctions, coups, neoliberal austerity and military intervention. As the corporate vultures lie in wait for the next carcass of a society to feed upon, the hawks are busy building the case for the continuation and expansion of capitalist wars of conquest.

Bolton and Pompeo are now the equivalent of the generals who carved up Numidia for the wealthy families of ancient Rome, with Trump, the half-witted, narcissistic and cruel emperor, presiding over the whole in extremis farce. Indeed, the bloated orange Emperor issued the latest of his decrees in his usual banal fashion, via tweet:

"If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!"

One can query when Iran, or any other nation has ever "threatened" the United States, but that question will never be asked by the corporate press who are also in service to Empire. They are, in fact, its mouthpiece and advocate. The US has at least 900 military bases and colonial outposts scattered around the planet, yet this is never looked at as imperialistic in the least by the establishment, including its media. Scores of nations lie in ruins or are besieged with chaos and misery thanks to American bellicosity , from Libya to Iraq and beyond. But the US never looks back in regret at any of its multiple forays, not even a few years back.

To be sure the American Empire, which has seldom seen a year without pillage of another nation or region, is now facing its greatest nemesis. Unheeded lessons of the past have made it thoroughly inoculated to its own demise. In short, it is drunk on its hubris and unable to grapple with its inevitable descent.

... ... ...

American Empire knows no other language sans brutality, deceit and belligerence...

... ... ...

The American Empire, one of the shortest lived in human history, has become the biggest threat to humanity ...

But like all empires it will eventually fall. Its endless and costly wars on behalf of capital investments and profiteering are contributing to that demise . After all, billions of dollars are spent to keep the bloated military industrial complex afloat in service to the ruling class while social and economic safety nets are torn to shreds...

Comments from The Belligerence Of Empire Zero Hedge

9 hours ago

Nowadays the US has a massive military and little else. And "when the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail" - Wesley Clark, Former US General.

14 hours ago

Twaddle. Capitalism has lifted out of poverty more people around the globe than all other "successful" systems combined; and in a fraction of the time. Education. Health. Wealth. Not to mention Arts and Sciences.

Go demand a refund for your liberal education. And stop spreading lies.

11 hours ago (Edited)

Poppycock! Capitalism has traded real sovereign wealth for fiat debt backed funny money at the barrel of a gun! You assholes have been forcing otherwise healthy communities into poverty for decades so you could steal their resources and molest their children! Why? Because children are the only people impressed by your tiny d!cks!

The white male gaze that drives child sex tourism Feelings of disempowerment lead to vulnerable families, children

The organization described the average sex tourist as a middle-aged white male from either Europe or North America who often goes online to find the " best deals. " One particular Web site promised "nights of sex with two young Thai girls for the price of a tank of gas."

Sowmia Nair, a Department of Justice agent, said the Thai government often "turns a blind eye" to child sex tourism because of the country's economic reliance on the tourist trade in general . He also said police officers are often corrupt.

" Police have been known to guard brothels and even procure children for prostitution," Nair said. "Some police directly exploit the children themselves."

A report from the International Bureau for Children's Rights said the majority of child prostitutes come from poor families in northern Thailand, referred to as the "hill tribes." With limited economic opportunities and bleak financial circumstances, these families, out of desperation, give their children to "recruiters," who promise them jobs in the city and then force the children into prostitution.

Sometimes families themselves even prostitute their children or sell them into the sex trade for a minuscule sum of money.

This is not by accident! This is by design!

14 hours ago

Capitalism has nothing to do with this. For the average American the empire is a losing proposition.

13 hours ago (Edited)

Empire good. Emperor bad. Kingdom good. King bad. Country good. President bad. Village good. Idiot bad.

13 hours ago (Edited)

Empire is cancer. Especially the present one that leaves a trail of failed states and antangonism in its wake.

16 hours ago

We are part of a scientific dictatorship - the 'Ultimate Revolution' Huxley spoke of in 1962 where the oppressed willingly submit to their enslavement. Social conditioning - promoted by continuous propaganda stressing that the state is their protector, reinforced by endless 'terrorist threats' to keep the masses fearful is but one part of the system.

The state no longer has to use threats and fear of punishment to keep the masses under control - the masses have been convinced that they are better off as slaves and serfs than they were as free men.

The US Republic has come and gone - the Empire is failing rapidly despite massive spending to support it. Cecil Rhodes and his heirs dreamed of restoring Anglo American domination of the world yet despite all of the technology employed the US is losing grip. By sheer numbers (and a far more efficient dictatorship) China is moving to a dominant role.

18 hours ago

Capitalism and corporatism are not the same. When corporate interests effectively wield gov power, you have corporatism, not Capitalism.

14 hours ago

Corporatism=Fascism.

18 hours ago 'Muricanism is the gee-gaw of the chattering classes.

18 hours ago (Edited)

The US is its own worst enemy. They have no idea what they are doing. 2008 – "Oh dear, the global economy just blew up" Its experts investigate and conclude it was a black swan.

https://cdn.opendemocracy.net/neweconomics/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/04/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13.52.41.png

It is a black swan if you don't consider debt. They use neoclassical economics that doesn't consider debt.

They can't work out why inflation isn't coming back and the real economy isn't recovering faster.

Look at the debt over-hang that's still left after 2008 in the graph above, that's the problem. The repayment on debt to banks destroy money pushing the economy towards debt deflation.

QE can't enter the real economy as so many people are still loaded up with debt and there are too few borrowers.

QE can get into the markets inflating them and the US stock market is now at 1929 levels. They have created another asset price bubble that is ready to collapse leading to another financial crisis.

We need a new scientific economics for globalisation, got any ideas?

What if we just stick some complex maths on top of 1920s neoclassical economics?

No one will notice.

They didn't either, but it's still got all its old problems.

The 1920s roared with debt based consumption and speculation until it all tipped over into the debt deflation of the Great Depression. No one realised the problems that were building up in the economy as they used an economics that doesn't look at private debt, neoclassical economics.

What's the problem?

  1. The belief in the markets gets everyone thinking you are creating real wealth by inflating asset prices.
  2. Bank credit pours into inflating asset prices rather than creating real wealth (as measured by GDP) as no one is looking at the debt building up

1929 and 2008 look so similar because they are; it's the same economics and thinking.

https://cdn.opendemocracy.net/neweconomics/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/04/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13.52.41.png

What was just a problem in the 1920s in the US is now global.

At 25.30 mins you can see the super imposed private debt-to-GDP ratios.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAStZJCKmbU&list=PLmtuEaMvhDZZQLxg24CAiFgZYldtoCR-R&index=6

The 1920s problem in the US is now everywhere, UK, US, Euro-zone, Japan and China.

20 hours ago (Edited)

Capitalism is based on darwinian economic competition driven by a desire to accumulate material wealth. When a capitalist becomes sufficiently rich, he can (and does) buy politicians and armies to do his bidding. Ironically, although capitalism is based on the assumption of competition, capitalists actually hate competition and harbor the urge to put competitors out of business. The true goal of a capitalists is monopoly-- as long as it is them.

Imperialism is a logical (and historically predictable) expansion of capitalism.

18 hours ago

Capitalism may not be the path to peace, but just about every other ism, including socialism and communism delivered worse.

Attacking capitalism for common failings is off base.

15 hours ago

Socialism and ultimately communism appear when capitalism goes rampant, and it is normal for the socium to embrace socialism when the inequality becomes too large.

In the end, the elite has no problem to rebrand themselves any color it needs to take to rule again, and become totalitarian state. As it becomes in the Soviet Union and China.

So don't mistake the people's desire for equal world with totalitarian capitalism masked as socialism.

14 hours ago

the real issue is NO GROUP OF HUMANS can be trusted will any form of power. ever. period.

so it goes that no "xyz"ism" will ever work out for the whole. yet humans are social animals and seek to be in groups governed by the very people that strive to lead that exhibit sociopathic tendencies, which are the worst possible leaders. how fuked up is that?

so how can that work? it does for a while. then we end up in the same spot every time, turmoil, the forth turning.

the luck of life is the period of time you live during, where and what stage of human turmoil the society is in...

21 hours ago (Edited)

" Capitalism's gratuitous wars and sanctioned greed have jeopardized the planet and filled it with refugees".

Capitalism did all that huh? It had nothing to do with corrupt politicians in bed with corporations and banks. Now they even have the military singing the same stupidity. Governments make these messes, not capitalism. Someone who risked their life for a corrupt government giving the pieces of **** that put him there a free pass by blaming it on capitalism. What a moron. When politicians hear this stupidity, it's like music to their ears. They know they've successfully shifted the blame to a simple ISM. Governments want to blame the very thing that will fix all of this, for the sake of self-preservation.

18 hours ago

Every system acts to centralise power, even anarchism. So you say it was wealth that enabled what was to follow but it was really power.. something every -ism will centralise and enable.

22 hours ago

Another blame America article that fails to mention the International Banksters. They have the finger-pointing thingy down to an art form.

16 hours ago

Really! Did you miss the Smedley Butler quote?

22 hours ago

Could you please distinguish between capitalism and political, monetary, fiscal, press, and legal aberrations that can occur in capitalist systems because of government sloth and malfeasance? Media monopoly, mass illegal immigration, and offshoring are not the essence of capitalism. And socialist systems can see hideous abuses.

Please read something more than **** and Jane adventures.

23 hours ago

"... is still the owner of the world's biggest nuclear arsenal."

===

Here is the list of all nine countries with nuclear weapons in descending order, starting with the country that has the most nuclear weapons at hand and ending with the country that has the least amount of nuclear weapons

http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/countries-with-nuclear-weapons/

23 hours ago

It is now building a $100 million dollar drone base in Africa...

====

China 'negotiates military base' in Djibouti | News | Al Jazeera

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2015/05/150509084913175.html

China is negotiating a military base in a strategic port of Djibouti, the president said, according to the AFP news agency. The move raises the prospect of US and Chinese bases side-by-side in the ...

China May Consider These Countries For Its Next Overseas ...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphjennings/2017/10/10/china-is-most-likely-to-open-future-military-bases-in-these-3-countries/

Oct 10, 2017 · China and the small African nation of Djibouti reached an agreement in July to let the People's Liberation Army establish up its first overseas military base there. The base on Africa's east ...

China is building its first military base in Africa . America ...

https://www.theweek.com/articles/598367/china-building-first-military-base-africa-america-should-nervous

China is building its first military base in Africa . America should be very nervous. ... In Africa , China has found not just a market for money but for jobs and land -- crucial components of ...

23 hours ago (Edited)

Oh noes! 1 base in Africa.....meanwhile the empire has 800 outposts around the world and despite that, like a snowflake, is bitching about China's one.

Isn't it fascinating how the Chinese do not find it necessary to resort to retarded regime change projects and stoopid kikery to "win" influence? Easy peasy. Methinks the Anglo-Zionists can learn a trick or two from China.

23 hours ago

The empire of 800 outposts is puny compared to the 1960's and 1970's. I can provide the information if you'd like. Almost all the 800 have company sized or smaller contingents. Still, I'd like to see much of it dismantled. No world Policeman.

23 hours ago

The entire world is in favor of a more peaceful planet Earth, except the military-industrial complex. Ron Paul

War puts money in their pockets. Lots of money. It's in the trillions of dollars.

23 hours ago (Edited)

How do you begin to change that? Most Americans have been brainwashed and zombified by Hollywood and MSM into revering and lionizing the military without question. The sheer amount of waste in the MIC is not only negligent, but criminal. By the time the sheep awaken, the empire will have run out of their money to pillage. The beast of empire requires new victims to feed off in order to sustain - it devours entire nations, pilfers resources and murders people. Is this really what the founding fathers wanted?

Now you know why wars happen. If "we the people" can't stop this beast, another nation's military will.

21 hours ago

@BH II

Precisely right. It's as if we've painted ourselves into the proverbial corner. The only way out of the morass is to find men of very high character to correctly lead the way out. America needs a Socrates.

[May 24, 2019] The Geography of War No Iraq No iIran! by Brett Redmayne

Notable quotes:
"... No other country in the Middle East is as important in countering America's rush to provide Israel with another war than Iraq. Fortunately for Iran, the winds of change in Iraq and the many other local countries under similar threat, thus, make up an unbroken chain of border to border support. This support is only in part due to sympathy for Iran and its plight against the latest bluster by the Zio-American bully. ..."
"... For the Russo/Sino pact nations, or those leaning in their direction, the definition of national foreign interest is no longer military, it is economic. Those with resources and therefore bright futures within the expanding philosophy and economic offerings of the Russo/Sino pact have little use any longer for the "Sorrows of Empire." These nation's leaders, if nothing more than to line their own pockets, have had a very natural epiphany: War is not, for them, profitable. ..."
"... Lebanon and Syria also take away the chance of a ground-based attack, leaving the US Marines and Army to stare longingly across the Persian Gulf open waters from Saudi Arabia or one of its too few and militarily insignificant allies in the southern Gulf region. ..."
"... As shown in a previous article, "The Return of the Madness of M.A.D," Iran like Russia and China, after forty years of US/Israeli threats, has developed new weapons and military capabilities, that combined with tactics will make any direct aggression towards it by American forces a fair fight. ..."
"... When Trump's limited political intelligence wakes up to the facts that his Zio masters want a war with Iran more than they want him as president, and that these forces can easily replace him with a Biden, Harris, Bernie or Warren political prostitute instead, even America's marmalade Messiah, will lose the flavor of his master's blood lust for war. ..."
"... I do particularly agree that elimination of Sadam was the greatest mistake US committed in Middle East. Devastating mistake for US policy. In the final evaluation it did create the most powerful Shi_ite crescent that now rules the Levant. Organizing failing uprising in Turkey against Erdogan was probably mistake of the same magnitude. Everything is lost for US now in the ME. ..."
"... The article evaluating the situation in ME is outstanding and perfect. Every move of US is a vanity. There is no more any opportunity to achieve any benefit for US. Who is responsible for all those screw ups ? US or Israel? ..."
"... However, the other side of the military coin is economic -- specifically sanctions on Iran (& China). Here ( I suspect) the US has prospects. Iran has said it has a "PhD" in sanctions busting. I hope that optimism is not misplaced. That US sanctions amount to a declaration of war on Iran is widely agreed. Sadly, it seems the EU in its usual spineless way will offer Iran more or less empty promises. ..."
"... I don't know if Russia and China have been showing restraint or still don't feel up to taking Uncle on very publicly or even covertly. The author assumes they might be willing to step up now for Iran, but the action in places like Syria suggests they might not. ..."
"... "War is a Racket" by Gen Smedley Butler (USMC – recipient of two Medals of Honor – no rear echelon pogue) is a must read. As true today as it was back when he wrote it. ..."
"... "The Axis of Sanity" – I like it, I like it! Probably quite closely related to the "reality-based community". ..."
"... "Karim al-Mohammadawi told the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website that the US wants to turn Ain al-Assad airbase which is a regional base for operations and command into a central airbase for its fighter jets. ..."
"... He added that a large number of forces and military equipment have been sent to Ain al-Assad without any permission from the Iraqi government, noting that the number of American forces in Iraq has surpassed 50,000. ..."
"... Sea assault? Amphibious troop deployment? Are you serious? This is not WWII Normandy, Dorothy. That would be an unmitigated massacre. Weapons have improved a bit in the last 70 years if you have not noticed. ..."
"... first is a conspiracy of Israeli owned, Wall Street financed, war profiteering privatizing-pirate corporations These corporations enter, invade or control the war defeated place and privatize all of its infrastructure construction contracts from the defeated place or state (reason for massive destruction by bombing) and garner control over all the citizen services: retail oil and gas distribution, food supplies, electric power, communications, garbage and waste collection and disposal, street cleaning, water provisioning. traffic control systems, security, and so on.. Most of these corporations are privately owned public stock companies, controlled by the same wealthy Oligarchs that control "who gets elected and what the elected must do while in sitting in one of the seats of power at the 527 person USA. ..."
"... This article by Mr. Titley is the most hopeful article I've yet read demonstrating the coming death of US hegemony, with most of the rest of the civilized world apparently having turned against the world's worst Outlaw Nation. ..."
"... Netanyahu and the Ziocons better think twice about their longed for dream of the destruction of Iran. The Jews always push things too far. Karma can be a bitch. ..."
May 23, 2019 | www.unz.com

No other country in the Middle East is as important in countering America's rush to provide Israel with another war than Iraq. Fortunately for Iran, the winds of change in Iraq and the many other local countries under similar threat, thus, make up an unbroken chain of border to border support. This support is only in part due to sympathy for Iran and its plight against the latest bluster by the Zio-American bully.

In the politics of the Middle East, however, money is at the heart of all matters. As such, this ring of defensive nations is collectively and quickly shifting towards the new Russo/Sino sphere of economic influence. These countries now form a geo-political defensive perimeter that, with Iraq entering the fold, make a US ground war virtually impossible and an air war very restricted in opportunity.

If Iraq holds, there will be no war in Iran.

In the last two months, Iraq parliamentarians have been exceptionally vocal in their calls for all foreign military forces- particularly US forces- to leave immediately. Politicians from both blocs of Iraq's divided parliament called for a vote to expel US troops and promised to schedule an extraordinary session to debate the matter ."Parliament must clearly and urgently express its view about the ongoing American violations of Iraqi sovereignty," said Salam al-Shimiri, a lawmaker loyal to the populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr .

Iraq's ambassador to Moscow, Haidar Mansour Hadi, went further saying that Iraq "does not want a new devastating war in the region." He t old a press conference in Moscow this past week, "Iraq is a sovereign nation. We will not let [the US] use our territory," he said. Other comments by Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi agreed. Other MPs called for a timetable for complete US troop withdrawal.

Then a motion was introduced demanding war reparations from the US and Israel for using internationally banned weapons while destroying Iraq for seventeen years and somehow failing to find those "weapons of mass destruction."

As Iraq/Iran economic ties continue to strengthen, with Iraq recently signing on for billions of cubic meters of Iranian natural gas, the shift towards Russian influence- an influence that prefers peace- was certified as Iraq sent a delegation to Moscow to negotiate the purchase of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system.

To this massive show of pending democracy and rapidly rising Iraqi nationalism, US Army spokesman, Colonel Ryan Dillon, provided the kind of delusion only the Zio-American military is known for, saying,

"Our continued presence in Iraq will be conditions-based, proportional to need, in coordination with and by the approval of the Iraqi government."

Good luck with that.

US influence in Iraq came to a possible conclusion this past Saturday, May 18, 2019, when it was reported that the Iraqi parliament would vote on a bill compelling the invaders to leave . Speaking about the vote on the draft bill, Karim Alivi, a member of the Iraqi parliament's national security and defense committee, said on Thursday that the country's two biggest parliamentary factions -- the Sairoon bloc, led by Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, and the Fatah alliance, headed by secretary general of the Badr Organization, Hadi al-Ameri -- supported the bill. Strangely, Saturday's result has not made it to the media as yet, and American meddling would be a safe guess as to the delay, but the fact that this bill would certainly have passed strongly shows that Iraq well understands the weakness of the American bully: Iraq's own US militarily imposed democracy.

Iraq shares a common border with Iran that the US must have for any ground war. Both countries also share a similar religious demographic where Shia is predominant and the plurality of cultures substantially similar and previously living in harmony. Both also share a very deep seeded and deserved hatred of Zio- America. Muqtada al-Sadr, who, after coming out first in the 2018 Iraqi elections, is similar to Hizbullah's Hassan Nasrallah in his religious and military influence within the well trained and various Shia militias. He is firmly aligned with Iran as is Fattah Alliance. Both detest Zio- America.

A ground invasion needs a common and safe border. Without Iraq, this strategic problem for US forces becomes complete. The other countries also with borders with Iran are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan. All have several good reasons that they will not, or cannot, be used for ground forces.

With former Armenian President Robert Kocharian under arrest in the aftermath of the massive anti-government 2018 protests, Bolton can check that one off the list first. Azerbaijan is mere months behind the example next door in Armenia, with protests increasing and indicating a change towards eastern winds. Regardless, Azerbaijan, like Turkmenistan, is an oil producing nation and as such is firmly aligned economically with Russia. Political allegiance seems obvious since US influence is limited in all three countries to blindly ignoring the massive additional corruption and human rights violations by Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow .

However, Russian economic influence pays in cash. Oil under Russian control is the lifeblood of both of these countries. Recent developments and new international contracts with Russia clearly show whom these leaders are actually listening to.

Turkey would appear to be firmly shifting into Russian influence. A NATO member in name only. Ever since he shot down his first- and last – Russian fighter jet, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has thumbed his nose at the Americans. Recently he refused to succumb to pressure and will receive Iranian oil and, in July, the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft/missile system. This is important since there is zero chance Putin will relinquish command and control or see them missiles used against Russian armaments. Now, Erdogan is considering replacing his purchase of thirty US F-35s with the far superior Russian SU- 57 and a few S-500s for good measure.

Economically, America did all it could to stop the Turk Stream gas pipeline installed by Russia's Gazprom, that runs through Turkey to eastern Europe and will provide $billions to Erdogan and Turkey . It will commence operation this year. Erdogan continues to purchase Iranian oil and to call for Arab nations to come together against US invasion in Iran. This week, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar renewed Turkey's resolve, saying his country is preparing for potential American sanctions as a deadline reportedly set by the US for Ankara to cancel the S-400 arms deal with Russia or face penalties draws near.

So, Turkey is out for both a ground war and an air war since the effectiveness of all those S-400's might be put to good use if America was to launch from naval positions in the Mediterranean. Attacking from the Black Sea is out since it is ringed by countries under Russo/Sino influence and any attack on Iran will have to illegally cross national airspace aligned with countries preferring the Russo/Sino alliance that favours peace. An unprovoked attack would leave the US fleet surrounded with the only safe harbours in Romania and Ukraine. Ships move much slower than missiles.

Afghanistan is out, as the Taliban are winning. Considering recent peace talks from which they walked out and next slaughtered a police station near the western border with Iran, they have already won. Add the difficult terrain near the Iranian border and a ground invasion is very unlikely

Although new Pakistani President Amir Khan has all the power and authority of a primary school crossing guard, the real power within the Pakistani military, the ISI, is more than tired of American influence . ISI has propagated the Taliban for years and often gave refuge to Afghan anti-US forces allowing them to use their common border for cover. Although in the past ISI has been utterly mercenary in its very duplicitous- at least- foreign allegiances, after a decade of US drone strikes on innocent Pakistanis, the chance of ground-based forces being allowed is very doubtful. Like Afghanistan terrain also increases this unlikelihood.

Considerations as to terrain and location for a ground war and the resulting failure of not doing so was shown to Israel previously when, in 2006 Hizbullah virtually obliterated its ground attack, heavy armour and battle tanks in the hills of southern Lebanon. In further cautionary detail, this failure cost PM Ehud Olmert his job.

For the Russo/Sino pact nations, or those leaning in their direction, the definition of national foreign interest is no longer military, it is economic. Those with resources and therefore bright futures within the expanding philosophy and economic offerings of the Russo/Sino pact have little use any longer for the "Sorrows of Empire." These nation's leaders, if nothing more than to line their own pockets, have had a very natural epiphany: War is not, for them, profitable.

For Iran, the geographic, economic and therefore geo-political ring of defensive nations is made complete by Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. Syria, like Iraq, has every reason to despise the Americans and similar reasons to embrace Iran, Russia, China and border neighbour Lebanon. Syria now has its own Russian S-300 system which is already bringing down Israeli missiles. It is surprising that Lebanon has not requested a few S-300s of their own. No one knows what Hizbullah has up its sleeve, but it has been enough to keep the Israelis at bay. Combined with a currently more prepared Lebanese army, Lebanon under the direction of Nasrallah is a formidable nation for its size. Ask Israel.

Lebanon and Syria also take away the chance of a ground-based attack, leaving the US Marines and Army to stare longingly across the Persian Gulf open waters from Saudi Arabia or one of its too few and militarily insignificant allies in the southern Gulf region.

Friendly airspace will also be vastly limited, so also gone will be the tactical element of surprise of any incoming attack. The reality of this defensive ring of nations means that US military options will be severely limited. The lack of a ground invasion threat and the element of surprise will allow Iranian defences to prioritize and therefore be dramatically more effective. As shown in a previous article, "The Return of the Madness of M.A.D," Iran like Russia and China, after forty years of US/Israeli threats, has developed new weapons and military capabilities, that combined with tactics will make any direct aggression towards it by American forces a fair fight.

If the US launches a war it will go it alone except for the few remaining US lapdogs like the UK, France, Germany and Australia, but with anti-US emotions running as wild across the EU as in the southern Caspian nations, the support of these Zionist influenced EU leaders is not necessarily guaranteed.

Regardless, a lengthy public ramp-up to stage military assets for an attack by the US will be seen by the vast majority of the world- and Iran- as an unprovoked act of war. Certainly at absolute minimum Iran will close the Straits of Hormuz, throwing the price of oil skyrocketing and world economies into very shaky waters. World capitalist leaders will not be happy. Without a friendly landing point for ground troops, the US will either have to abandon this strategy in favour of an air war or see piles of body bags of US servicemen sacrificed to Israeli inspired hegemony come home by the thousands just months before the '20 primary season. If this is not military and economic suicide, it is certainly political.

Air war will likely see a similar disaster. With avenues of attack severely restricted, obvious targets such as Iran's non-military nuclear program and major infrastructure will be thus more easily defended and the likelihood of the deaths of US airmen similarly increased.

In terms of Naval power, Bolton would have only the Mediterranean as a launch pad, since using the Black Sea to initiate war will see the US fleet virtually surrounded by nations aligned with the Russo/Sino pact. Naval forces, it should be recalled, are, due to modern anti-ship technologies and weapons, now the sitting ducks of blusterous diplomacy. A hot naval war in the Persian Gulf, like a ground war, will leave a US death toll far worse than the American public has witnessed in their lifetimes and the US navy in tatters.

Trump is already reportedly seething that his machismo has been tarnished by Bolton and Pompeo's false assurances of an easy overthrow of Maduro in Venezuela. With too many top generals getting jumpy about him initiating a hot war with Iraq, Bolton's stock in trade-war is waning. Trump basks in being the American bully personified, but he and his ego will not stand for being exposed as weak. Remaining as president is necessary to stoke his shallow character. When Trump's limited political intelligence wakes up to the facts that his Zio masters want a war with Iran more than they want him as president, and that these forces can easily replace him with a Biden, Harris, Bernie or Warren political prostitute instead, even America's marmalade Messiah, will lose the flavor of his master's blood lust for war.

In two excellent articles in Asia times by Pepe Escobar, he details the plethora of projects, agreements, and cooperation that are taking place from Asia to the Mid-East to the Baltics . Lead by Russia and China this very quickly developing Russo/Sino pact of economic opportunity and its intentions of "soft power" collectively spell doom for Zio-America's only remaining tactics of influence: military intervention. States, Escobar:

"We should know by now that the heart of the 21 st Century Great Game is the myriad layers of the battle between the United States and the partnership of Russia and China. The long game indicates Russia and China will break down language and cultural barriers to lead Eurasian integration against American economic hegemony backed by military might."

The remaining civilized world, that which understands the expanding world threat of Zio-America, can rest easy. Under the direction of this new Russo/Sino influence, without Iraq, the US will not launch a war on Iran.

This growing Axis of Sanity surrounds Iran geographically and empathetically, but more importantly, economically. This economy, as clearly stated by both Putin and Xi, does not benefit from any further wars of American aggression. In this new allegiance to future riches, it is Russian and China that will call the shots and a shooting war involving their new client nations will not be sanctioned from the top.

However, to Putin, Xi and this Axis of Sanity: If American wishes to continue to bankrupt itself by ineffective military adventures of Israel's making, rather than fix its own nation that is in societal decline and desiccated after decades of increasing Zionist control, well

That just good for business!

About the Author: Brett Redmayne-Titley has published over 170 in-depth articles over the past eight years for news agencies worldwide. Many have been translated and republished. On-scene reporting from important current events has been an emphasis that has led to his many multi-part exposes on such topics as the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, NATO summit, Keystone XL Pipeline, Porter Ranch Methane blow-out, Hizbullah in Lebanon, Erdogan's Turkey and many more. He can be reached at: live-on-scene ((at)) gmx.com. Prior articles can be viewed at his archive: www.watchingromeburn.uk


RealAmerican , says: May 23, 2019 at 11:40 pm GMT

When Trump's limited political intelligence wakes up to the facts that his Zio masters want a war with Iran more than they want him as president, and that these forces can easily replace him with a Biden, Harris, Bernie or Warren political prostitute instead, even America's marmalade Messiah, will lose the flavor of his master's blood lust for war.

I believe you are far too generous in your estimation of his ability to distinguish between flavors of any type. Otherwise, your analysis is insightful and thorough.

Jim Christian , says: May 24, 2019 at 3:45 am GMT
The U.S. is in the same position today that we were aboard Nimitz back in 1980. Too far from Tehran to start a war or even to find our people. We are perhaps in even a far worse position in that today, Iran holds no hostages. There's nothing so 'noble' as 44 hostages to inspire war today. This here is merely at the behest of Israel and the deep state profit centers for mere fun and games and cash and prizes. Iran, overall, is nothing. Obama put Iran away for what, a billion-five? And Jared, Bolton and Pompeo dredged it all back up again? Care to guess the first-night expense of a shock and awe on Tehran? It's unthinkable.

I used to like Israel. The Haifa-Tel Av-iv-Jerusalem-Galili loop was pretty cool. The PLO hadn't quite started their game, we could move freely about the country. It's where the whole thing started. And, unlike Italy and Spain, they treated us Americans ok. They were somewhat war torn. But now? They're a destructive monolith, they're good at hiding it and further, they make disastrous miscalculations. Eliminating Saddam was huge. Turns out, Saddam was the only sane one. The last vestiges of Saddam's nuclear program went up in the attacks on the Osirak reactor that Israel bombed in 1981. Why did they push for the elimination of Saddam afterwards? Why the lies? Miscalculation.

This here with Iran won't travel further than threats and horseshit. I hope. Lots of bleating and farting. Someone agrees. Oil dropped three or four bucks today.

Alfred , says: May 24, 2019 at 4:56 am GMT
"the resulting failure of not doing so was shown to Israel previously when, in 2016 Hezbollah virtually obliterated its ground attack, heavy amour and battle tanks in the hills of southern Lebanon."

2006 please!

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: May 24, 2019 at 5:22 am GMT
I do particularly agree that elimination of Sadam was the greatest mistake US committed in Middle East. Devastating mistake for US policy. In the final evaluation it did create the most powerful Shi_ite crescent that now rules the Levant. Organizing failing uprising in Turkey against Erdogan was probably mistake of the same magnitude. Everything is lost for US now in the ME.

Threatening Iran is now simply grotesque.

Concerning the article. The article evaluating the situation in ME is outstanding and perfect. Every move of US is a vanity. There is no more any opportunity to achieve any benefit for US. Who is responsible for all those screw ups ? US or Israel?

animalogic , says: May 24, 2019 at 7:10 am GMT
Great article, cheered me up enormously.

However, the other side of the military coin is economic -- specifically sanctions on Iran (& China). Here ( I suspect) the US has prospects. Iran has said it has a "PhD" in sanctions busting. I hope that optimism is not misplaced. That US sanctions amount to a declaration of war on Iran is widely agreed. Sadly, it seems the EU in its usual spineless way will offer Iran more or less empty promises.

Apex Predator , says: May 24, 2019 at 7:37 am GMT
Is the author unaware of the nation of Saudi Arabia and the fact that they are new BFFs with Israel. They have come out quite openly they'd like to see Iran attacked. That whole Sunni Wahabism vs. Shia thing is a heck of alot older than this current skirmish.

Being that SA has a border w/ the Persian Gulf and that Kuwait who is even CLOSER may be agreeable to be a staging area, why the hand wringing about this nation & that nation, etc. The US would be welcome to stage an air and sea assault using Saudi bases followed up by amphibious troop deployment if need be. But given the proximity they could probably strong arm Kuwait to act as a land bridge, in a pinch.

So will we expect the follow up article discussing this glaring omission, or am I missing some great development re: S.Arabia's disposition and temperament regarding all this.

peter mcloughlin , says: May 24, 2019 at 8:21 am GMT
The transformed relationship between Russia and Turkey illustrates perfectly the shifting sands of strategic alliances as we cross the desert towards destiny. https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/
The Alarmist , says: May 24, 2019 at 8:24 am GMT
I don't know if Russia and China have been showing restraint or still don't feel up to taking Uncle on very publicly or even covertly. The author assumes they might be willing to step up now for Iran, but the action in places like Syria suggests they might not.

As for the costs of taking on Iran, while one cannot underestimate the cocksuredness of Uncle to take on Iran with a 2003 "Iraq will be a cakewalk" attitude, the resulting air war will likely not be as costly to Uncle as the author believes, but the thought of flag-draped coffins in the thousands will certainly deter a land invasion. If there is any action at all, it will be air interdiction and missile attack.

It is curious that Uncle has not already resorted to his favorite tactic of declaring a No-Fly zone already but instead merely hinted that airliner safety cannot be guaranteed; this is likely just another form of sanction since Iran receives money for each airliner that transits its airspace, and a couple of Uncle's putative allies supply Iran with ATC equipment and services.

Uncle's Navy has already demonstrated a willingness to shoot down an airliner in Iranian airspace, so it is no idle threat, kind of like the mobster looking at a picture of your family and saying, "Nice family you have there; it would be a shame if anything happened to them."

joeshittheragman , says: May 24, 2019 at 9:47 am GMT
"War is a Racket" by Gen Smedley Butler (USMC – recipient of two Medals of Honor – no rear echelon pogue) is a must read. As true today as it was back when he wrote it.
Tom Welsh , says: May 24, 2019 at 11:18 am GMT
"The Axis of Sanity" – I like it, I like it! Probably quite closely related to the "reality-based community".
Amerimutt Golems , says: May 24, 2019 at 11:29 am GMT

If the US launches a war it will go it alone except for the few remaining US lapdogs like the UK, France, Germany and Australia, but with anti-US emotions running as wild across the EU as in the southern Caspian nations, the support of these Zionist influenced EU leaders is not necessarily guaranteed.

Stasi " Merkel muss weg " (Merkel must go) is too weak to even think about taking Germanstan into such a foolish adventure.

Maybe the Kosher Kingdom of simpletons, especially under American-born Turkish "Englishman" (((Boris Kemal Bey))), another psycho like (((Baron Levy's))) Scottish warmonger Blair.

Walter , says: May 24, 2019 at 11:46 am GMT
built-up in Iraq geewhiz!

Iraqi MP: US after Turning Ain Al-Assad into Central Airbase in Iraq

FARSNEWS

"Karim al-Mohammadawi told the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website that the US wants to turn Ain al-Assad airbase which is a regional base for operations and command into a central airbase for its fighter jets.

He added that a large number of forces and military equipment have been sent to Ain al-Assad without any permission from the Iraqi government, noting that the number of American forces in Iraq has surpassed 50,000.

Al-Mohammadawi said that Washington does not care about Iraq's opposition to using the country's soil to target the neighboring states.

In a relevant development on Saturday, media reports said that Washington has plans to set up military bases and increasing its troops in Iraq, adding the US is currently engaged in expanding its Ain al-Assad military base in al-Anbar province."

sarz , says: May 24, 2019 at 11:51 am GMT
The prime minister of Pakistan is IMRAN Khan, not AMIR Khan. Makes you wonder about all the other assertions.
The scalpel , says: Website May 24, 2019 at 12:03 pm GMT
@Apex Predator

The US would be welcome to stage an air and sea assault using Saudi bases followed up by amphibious troop deployment if need be. But given the proximity they could probably strong arm Kuwait to act as a land bridge, in a pinch.

Sea assault? Amphibious troop deployment? Are you serious? This is not WWII Normandy, Dorothy. That would be an unmitigated massacre. Weapons have improved a bit in the last 70 years if you have not noticed.

Also minor point, LOL, but Kuwait is a "landbridge" between Saudi Arabia and Iraq Unless you are proposing the US attacks Iraq (again!) which it would have to do to achieve a "landbridge" to Iran. Another good reason Iraq is acquiring the S-400.

More minor points: 1. South Iraq is ALL shiite. 2. Kuwait is SMALL i.e. a BIG target for thousands of missiles

sally , says: May 24, 2019 at 12:25 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova your question of responsibility is very intuitive.. two general answers.. both need deep analysis..

first is a conspiracy of Israeli owned, Wall Street financed, war profiteering privatizing-pirate corporations These corporations enter, invade or control the war defeated place and privatize all of its infrastructure construction contracts from the defeated place or state (reason for massive destruction by bombing) and garner control over all the citizen services: retail oil and gas distribution, food supplies, electric power, communications, garbage and waste collection and disposal, street cleaning, water provisioning. traffic control systems, security, and so on.. Most of these corporations are privately owned public stock companies, controlled by the same wealthy Oligarchs that control "who gets elected and what the elected must do while in sitting in one of the seats of power at the 527 person USA.

2nd is the impact of the laws that deny competition in a nation sworn to a method of economics (capitalism) that depends on competition for its success. Another group of massive in size mostly global corporations again owned from Jerusalem, NYC, City of London, etc. financed at wall street, use rule of law to impose on Americans and many of the people of the world, a blanket of economic and anti competitive laws and monopoly powers. These monopolist companies benefit from the copyright and patent laws, which create monopolies from hot thin air. These laws of monopolies coupled to the USA everything is a secret government have devastated competitive capitalism in America and rendered American Universities high school level teaching but not learning bureaucracies.

Monopolies and state secrets between insider contractors were suppose to deny most of the world from competing; but without competition ingenuity is lost. Monopoly lordships and state secrets were supposed to make it easy for the monopoly powered corporations to overpower and deny any and all would be competition; hence they would be the only ones getting rich.. But China's Huawei will be Linux based and Tin not Aluminium in design, far superior technology to anything these monopoly powered retards have yet developed especially in the high energy communications technologies (like 5G, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics). In other words copyrights, patents and the US military were suppose to keep the world, and the great ingenuity that once existed in the person of every American, from competing, but the only people actually forced out of the technology competition were the ingenious, for they were denied by copyright and patents to compete. Now those in power at the USA will make Americans pay again as the corporations that run things try to figure out how to catch up to the Chinese and Russian led Eastern world. Modi's election in India is quite interesting as both China and Russia supported it, yet, Modi says he is going to switch to the USA for copyrighted and patented stuff?

on the issue of continued USA presence in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, ..

"Our continued presence in Iraq will be conditions-based, proportional to need, in coordination with and by the approval of the Iraqi government." <that's a joke, first off, I never desired to be in Iraq, and I do not desire USA military or American presence in Iraq, do You? <blatant disregard for the needs of America.. IMO. Bring the troops home. If the USA would only leave Iraq to the Iraqis and get to work making America competitive again they would once again enjoy a great place in the world. But one thing i can tell you big giant wall street funded corporations, and reliance on degree credentials instead of job performance, will never be the reason America is great.

follyofwar , says: May 24, 2019 at 12:28 pm GMT
This article by Mr. Titley is the most hopeful article I've yet read demonstrating the coming death of US hegemony, with most of the rest of the civilized world apparently having turned against the world's worst Outlaw Nation.

Trump has allowed madmen Bolton and Pompeo to get this country into an awful mess – all for the sake of Israel and the Zionists.

He needs to find a face-saving way to get out before Washington gets its long needed comeuppance. But how can Trump accomplish this as long as Bolton, in particular, continues to be the man who most has his ear? If Titley is correct, then Trump had better start listening to his military leaders instead.

Netanyahu and the Ziocons better think twice about their longed for dream of the destruction of Iran. The Jews always push things too far. Karma can be a bitch.

[May 23, 2019] Remember Iraq .with visions of WMDs, yellow cake and dancing Israelis in your head

Notable quotes:
"... Newsweek unearthed another clue as to the provenance of the claims. The magazine said that it learned from one Pentagon official that the satellite imagery of loading missiles into fishing dhows was not produced by U.S. intelligence but rather had been provided by Israel. ..."
"... Ravid's Israeli sources acknowledged that it wasn't hard intelligence or even an intelligence assessment based on evidence. Instead, as one Israeli official acknowledged, Mossad "drew several scenarios for what Iran might be planning." Ravid's sources ultimately admitted that Israel's Mossad doesn't really know "what the Iranians are trying to do." ..."
"... That April 15 meeting was only the most recent one between top U.S. and Israeli national security officials over the past year, according to Ravid. These meetings were conducted under a still-secret U.S.-Israeli agreement on a joint plan of action against Iran reached after two days of unannounced meetings at the White House between Ben Shabbat and then-national security advisor H.R. McMaster on December 12, 2017. ..."
"... It also creates a new incentive for the Israelis and Saudis to provoke military responses by Hamas in Gaza or the Houthis in Yemen. ..."
May 23, 2019 | www.unz.com

renfro , says: May 22, 2019 at 11:47 pm GMT

@renfro Remember Iraq .with visions of WMDs, yellow cake and dancing Israelis in your head.

"In meetings in Washington and Tel Aviv in the past few weeks," the paper's Jerusalem correspondent wrote, "Israeli intelligence warned" U.S. officials that "Iran or its proxies were planning to strike American targets in Iraq." The report cited a "senior Middle Eastern intelligence official" -- the term traditionally used to describe an Israeli intelligence official–as the source.

Newsweek unearthed another clue as to the provenance of the claims. The magazine said that it learned from one Pentagon official that the satellite imagery of loading missiles into fishing dhows was not produced by U.S. intelligence but rather had been provided by Israel.

Reporting by the leading Israeli diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid, now of Channel 13 but also filing for Axios, provides more detailed evidence that Israel was the original source of all three alleged Iranian threats. Ravid's story reports that an Israeli delegation, led by national advisor Meir Ben Shabbat, met with Bolton and other U.S. national security officials in the White House on April 15 and passed on to them "information about possible Iranian plots against the U.S. or its allies in the Gulf," according to "senior Israeli officials."
Bolton confirmed the meeting with Ben Shabbat in a tweet after it happened, but revealed nothing about what was discussed.

Ravid's Israeli sources acknowledged that it wasn't hard intelligence or even an intelligence assessment based on evidence. Instead, as one Israeli official acknowledged, Mossad "drew several scenarios for what Iran might be planning." Ravid's sources ultimately admitted that Israel's Mossad doesn't really know "what the Iranians are trying to do."

This is the obvious explanation for why U.S. officials were so unwilling to reveal the provenance of what has loosely been called "intelligence." It also tallies with one Pentagon official's revelation to Newsweek that the satellite imagery cited as evidence of missiles in fishing boats had been "provided to U.S. officials by Israel ."

That April 15 meeting was only the most recent one between top U.S. and Israeli national security officials over the past year, according to Ravid. These meetings were conducted under a still-secret U.S.-Israeli agreement on a joint plan of action against Iran reached after two days of unannounced meetings at the White House between Ben Shabbat and then-national security advisor H.R. McMaster on December 12, 2017. Ravid reported the details of that agreement in late December based on information from a "senior U.S. official" and confirmation from senior Israeli officials.

Ravid's story provided details on the four working groups that were formed under the agreement, including one on "Joint U.S.-Israeli preparation for different escalation scenarios in the region, concerning Iran, Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza." The Mossad "scenarios" apparently provided the central ideas with which to justify the Trump administration's subsequent escalatory moves against Iran, including ostentatiously moving an aircraft carrier and a B-52 bomber group into the region.

Bolton's May 5 statement warning of "unrelenting force" against Iran in response to any attack by either Iranian or "proxy" forces added a very significant new element to America's retaliatory threats. It referred to an attack "on United States interests or on those of our allies." That broadening of the range of scenarios that could be cited to justify a U.S. strike against Iran, which has so far been studiously ignored by major news media, represents a major concession to the Israelis and Saudi Arabia.

It also creates a new incentive for the Israelis and Saudis to provoke military responses by Hamas in Gaza or the Houthis in Yemen. And it poses the problem of incidents that could be blamed on Iran or a "proxy" but for which actual responsibility is ambiguous, such as the apparent "limpet mine" attack on oil tankers on May 12 -- or the rocket fired into Baghdad's Green Zone within a mile of the U.S. embassy there Sunday night.

These deceptions are part of a dangerous game being run by Bolton in which Israel is apparently playing a crucial role. That should prompt some serious questioning as to Bolton's claims and the role of the alleged secret U.S.-Israeli understandings.

There are already signs of resistance within the Pentagon in response to this move towards war with Iran, as reported by Newsweek late last week. "Be on the lookout for Iraq 2.0 justifications," said one military official. "Think about the intel indicators prior to the Iraq invasion. Compare. Then get really uneasy."
https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/do-iranian-threats-signal-organized-u-s-israel-subterfuge/

[May 23, 2019] Why Trump s Huawei Ban Is Unlikely To Persist

Notable quotes:
"... However, nothing in the actual piece talks about security concerns. (I point this out because I perceive a trend towards such misleading summaries and headlines which contradict what the actual reporting says.) ..."
"... These companies do not have security concerns over Huawei. But the casual reader, who does not dive down into the actual piece, is left with a false impression that such concerns are valid and shared. ..."
"... South China Morning Post ..."
"... This move by Google-USG is mostly a propaganda warfare move. Huawei doesn't depend on smartphone sales to survive. It's American market was already small, while China's domestic market is huge. China is not Japan. ..."
"... Trump's heavy handed move against Huawei will backfire. The optic is unsettling; the US looks to be destroying a foreign competitor because it is winning. ..."
"... Until the reserve currency issue favoring the "exceptional" nation changes, the economic terrorism will continue.. ..."
"... What is funny in all these stories, is that there is little to no Huawei equipment (not the end-user smart phone, home router and stuff, but backbone routers, access equipment,..) anywhere in the US -- they are forbidden to compete. Most telcos are quite happy to sell in the US, as the absence of these Chinese competitors allows for healthy margins, which is no longer true in other markets. ..."
"... The US is trying desperately to quash tech success / innovation introduced by others who are not controlled by (or in partnership with) the US, via economic war, for now just politely called a trade war - China no 1 adversary. ..."
"... Attacking / dissing / scotching trade between one Co. (e.g. Huawei) and the world is disruptive of the usual, conventional, accepted, exchange functioning, and throws a pesky spanner in the works of the system. Revanchard motives, petty targetting, random pot-shots, lead to what? ..."
"... The war against Huawei is only one small aspect within the overall Trade War, which is based on the false premise of US economic strength. Most of the world wants to purchase material things, not financial services which is the Outlaw US Empire's forte and most of the world can easily forego. Trump's Trade War isn't going as planned which will cause him to double-down in a move that will destroy his 2020 hopes. ..."
May 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

However, nothing in the actual piece talks about security concerns. (I point this out because I perceive a trend towards such misleading summaries and headlines which contradict what the actual reporting says.)

The British processor company ARM, which licenses its design to Huawei, cites U.S. export controls as the reason to stop cooperation with Huawei:

The conflict is putting companies and governments around the world in a tough spot, forcing them to choose between alienating the United States or China .

Arm Holdings issued its statement after the BBC reported the firm had told staff to suspend dealings with Huawei.

An Arm spokesman said some of the company's intellectual property is designed in the United States and is therefore " subject to U.S. export controls ."

Additionally two British telecom providers quote U.S. restrictions as reason for no longer buying Huawei smartphones:

BT Group's EE division, which is preparing to launch 5G service in six British cities later this month, said Wednesday it would no longer offer a new Huawei smartphone as part of that service. Vodafone also said it would drop a Huawei smartphone from its lineup. Both companies appeared to tie that decision to Google's move to withhold licenses for its Android operating software from future Huawei phones.

These companies do not have security concerns over Huawei. But the casual reader, who does not dive down into the actual piece, is left with a false impression that such concerns are valid and shared.

That the Trump administration says it has security reasons for its Huawei ban does not mean that the claim is true. Huawei equipment is as good or bad as any other telecommunication equipment, be it from Cisco or Apple. The National Security Agency and other secret services will try to infiltrate all types of such equipment.

After the sudden ban on U.S. entities to export to Huawei, chipmakers like Qualcomm temporarily stopped their relations with Huawei. Google said that it would no longer allow access to the Google Play store for new Huawei smartphones. That will diminish their utility for many users.

The public reaction in China to this move was quite negative. There were many calls for counter boycotts of Apple's i-phones on social media and a general anti-American sentiment.

The founder and CEO of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, tried to counter that. He gave a two hour interview (vid, 3 min excerpt with subtitles) directed at the Chinese public. Ren sounds very conciliatory and relaxed. The Global Times and the South China Morning Post only have short excerpts of what he said. They empathize that Huawei is well prepared and can master the challenge:


Andreas , May 23, 2019 10:00:52 AM | 1

It's really huge, that Huawei may no longer use ARM processors.

Huawei is thus forced to develop it's own processor design and push it into the market.

p , May 23, 2019 10:04:34 AM | 2

@1

I do not believe this is precisely what will happen. Huawei already has its licenses purchased. In addition they could decide to disrespect the IP if this was the case.

Arioch , May 23, 2019 10:05:39 AM | 3
Huaweis's suppliers in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan (ROC), and Britain are examining if they can continue to make business with Huawei, while some have already declared a suspension in cooperation.

The issue is that these non-American companies nonetheless use some American components of technology, and if they proceed they will be sanctioned by the US themselves.

It is the same reason why Russia's Sukhoi did not in the end sell its SSJ-100 airliners to Iran -- East Asian tech companies can hardly be expected to be more gung-ho on defying the US than Russia's leading defense plant......

http://www.checkpointasia.net/big-blow-for-huawei-as-japanese-korean-british-firms-reconsider-or-suspend-cooperation-as-well/

Arioch , May 23, 2019 10:10:32 AM | 4
> the Trump administration has created discord where unity is urgently needed

IOW Trump keeps sabotaging USA global integration and keeps steering it into isolation as he long said it should be

Arioch , May 23, 2019 10:14:28 AM | 5
@p #2 - Huawei surely has their processors *as of now*.

That - if USA would not ban Huawei (HiSilicon) processors, because of using that ARM technology. Thing is, Huawei would be isolated from next-generation ARM processors. They are locked now in their current generation.

Even Qualcomm today, for what I know, bases their processors on ARM's "default" schemes, instead of doing their development "from scratch", in a totally independent way. It would push for slow but steady decline as "top" smartphone vendor into "el cheapo" niche.

Arioch , May 23, 2019 10:16:54 AM | 6
At the same time Qualcomm would probably be forced to slash prices down for their non-Huawei customers. https://www.zdnet.com/article/qualcomms-licensing-practices-violated-us-antitrust-laws-judge-rules/
Red Ryder , May 23, 2019 10:17:21 AM | 7
Boeing is the counter-part in the contest to destroy Huawei. China has great leverage over Boeing's future. It is the nation with the biggest market now and downstream for 10-20 years. China need planes, thousands of them.

As for Huawei's chief doubting the prowess of the Chinese students, he only needs to look at the rapidity of the conversion of his nations' economy to a 98% digital economy. All that conversion was done by local, entrepreneurial innovators in the software and hardware tech sector. It happened only in China and completely by Chinese young people who had phones and saw the future and made it happen.

It has been Chinese minds building Chinese AI on Chinese Big Data.

Yes, they need Russian technologists and scientists. Those Russian minds in Russia, in Israel, in South Korea are proven difference makers.

The need China now has will meet the solution rapidly. For five years, the Double Helix of Russia-China has been coming closer in education and R&D institutes in both nations. China investors and Chinese sci-tech personnel are in the sci-tech parks of Russia, and Russians are in similar facilities in China. More will happen now that the Economic War against China threatens.

Huawei will have solutions to replace all US components by the end of the year. It will lose some markets. but it will gain hugely in the BRI markets yet to be developed.

In the long run, the US makers will rue the day Trump and his gang of Sinophobes and hegemonists took aim at Huawei and China's tech sector.

oglalla , May 23, 2019 10:40:03 AM | 8
Let's all boycott Most Violent, Biggest Brother tech. Don't buy shit.
vk , May 23, 2019 10:46:37 AM | 9
This move by Google-USG is mostly a propaganda warfare move. Huawei doesn't depend on smartphone sales to survive. It's American market was already small, while China's domestic market is huge. China is not Japan.

Besides, it's not like Europe is prospering either. Those post-war days are long gone.

And there's no contradiction between what the CEO said and the Government line: both are approaching the same problem from different points of view, attacking it from different fronts at the same time. "Patriotism" is needed insofar as the Chinese people must be prepared to suffer some hardships without giving up long term prosperity. "Nationalism" ("politics") is toxic insofar as, as a teleological tool, it is a dead end (see Bannon's insane antics): the Chinese, after all, are communists, and communists, by nature, are internationalists and think beyond the artificial division of humanity in Nation-States.

Ptb , May 23, 2019 11:09:35 AM | 0

Ren Zhengfei's attitude is remarkable, considering his daughter ia currently held hostage.
ken , May 23, 2019 11:15:25 AM | 1
Talking Digital and security in the same sentence is laughable.... NOTHING Digital is 'secure',,, never has,,, never will.

Digital destroys everything it touches. At present, excepting for now the low wage States, it is destroying economies ever so slowly one sector at a time. This has nothing to do with security and everything to do with the dying West, especially the USA which is trying desperately to save what's left of its production whether it be 5G, Steel plants or Nord Stream. The West created China when it happily allowed and assisted Western corporations to move the production there in order to hide the inflation that was being created for wars and welfare and now has to deal with the fallout which eventually will be their undoing.

Jackrabbit , May 23, 2019 11:22:20 AM | 2
A full-blown trade war was probably inevitable, driven by geopolitical concerns as much or more than economics.

One wonders what each of China and US has been doing to prepare. It seems like the answer is "very little" but since it's USA that is driving this bus, I would think that USA would've done more to prepare (than China has).

PS It's not just Boeing. China also supplies the vast majority of rare earth minerals.

Red Ryder , May 23, 2019 11:24:39 AM | 3
@10,

Her captivity and probable imprisonment in the US explain his attitude. She is a high profile pawn. The US must convict her in order to justify what they have done to her so far. She may not serve time, in the US prisons, but she will be branded a guilty person, guilty of violating the Empire's rules (laws).

Imagine Ivanka in the same situation. Her daughter singing in Mandarin would be little help. The Trump Family will be a number one target for equal treatment long after "45" leaves office.

The US Empire is wild with Power. All of that Power is destructive. And all the globe is the battlefield, except USA. But History teaches that this in-equilibrium will not last long.

Jackrabbit , May 23, 2019 11:26:33 AM | 4
We've seen how Europe caved to US pressure to stop trading with Iran. Now Japan and others are caving to pressure to stop trading with China. There is already pressure and negotiation to stop Nordstream. And all of the above leads to questions about Erdogan's resolve.
alaric , May 23, 2019 11:38:11 AM | 5
Trump's heavy handed move against Huawei will backfire. The optic is unsettling; the US looks to be destroying a foreign competitor because it is winning. </