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War . . . the lie, about war, about ourselves, is imploding our democracy
Online Journal Guest Writer
Militarism - WikipediaMilitarism 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.
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" (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. 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."
"...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
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).
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
- trace the history of the Washington rules;
- show who wins, who loses, and who pays under them;
- explain how itis perpetuated;
- show that the rules have lost what utility they might once have had;
- 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.
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.
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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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Sep 08, 2020 | orientalreview.org
The U.S. 2020 presidential campaign pits two radically different visions of the United States: empire or nation?
On the one hand, Washington's claim to dominate the world by "containment" – a strategy articulated by George Kennan in 1946 and followed by all presidents until 2016 – and on the other hand, the rejection of imperialism and the desire to facilitate the fortunes of Americans in general – a strategy articulated by President Andrew Jackson (1829-37) and taken up only by President Donald Trump (2017-20).
Each of these two camps wields rhetoric that masks its true practice. Democrats and Republicans pose as heralds of the "free world" in the face of "dictatorships", as defenders of racial, gender and sexual orientation discrimination, and as champions of the fight against "global warming". The Jacksonians, for their part, take turns denouncing the corruption, perversity and ultimately hypocrisy of their predecessors while calling to fight for their nation and not for the empire.
The two camps have in common only the same cult of force; whether it is at the service of the empire (Democrats and Republicans) or the nation (Jacksonians).
The fact that the Jacksonians unexpectedly became a majority in the country and took control of the Republican Party adds to the confusion, but should not confuse Trumpism with what the Republican ideology has been since World War II.
In reality, Democrats and Republicans tend to be well-to-do people or professionals in new technologies, while Jacksonians – like the "yellow vests" in France – are rather poor and professionally tied to the land from which they cannot escape.
... ... ...The Jacksonian agenda
As soon as he took office, Donald Trump questioned the Rumsfeld/Cebrowsky strategy of annihilating the state structures of all the countries of the "Broader Middle East" without exception and announced his wish to bring home the troops lost in the "war without end". This goal remains at the top of his priorities in 2020 ("Stop Endless Wars and Bring Our Troops Home").
As a result, he excluded the Director of the CIA and the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee from regular meetings of the National Security Council. In so doing, he deprived the supporters of imperialism of their main tool of conquest.
" Presidential Memorandum: Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council ", by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network , 28 January 2017. And " Donald Trump winds up "the" organization of US imperialism ", by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Voltaire Network , 31 January 2017.
There followed a battle for the presidency of this council with the indictment of General Michael T. Flynn, then his replacement by General H. R. McMaster, the exceptionalist John R. Bolton, and finally Robert C. O'Brien.
In May 2017, Donald Trump called on U.S. allies to immediately cease their support for jihadists charged with implementing the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy. This was the Riyadh speech to the Sunni heads of state and then to NATO heads of state and government. President Trump had declared NATO obsolete before changing his mind. However, he obtained not the abandonment of Russia's policy of containment, but the halving of the credits used for this purpose and the allocation of the funds thus preserved to the fight against jihadism. In doing so, it partially stopped making NATO an instrument of imperialism and turned it into a defensive alliance. It has therefore demanded that its members contribute to its budget. Support for jihadism, however, was pursued by the supporters of imperialism with private means, notably the KKR Fund.
" Presidential Memorandum: Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ", by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network , 28 January 2017.
" Donald Trump's Speech to the Arab Islamic American Summit ", by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network , 21 May 2017.
" Remarks by Donald Trump at NATO Unveiling of the Article 5 and Berlin Wall Memorials ", by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network, 25 May 2017.
Hence his watchwords: "Wipe Out Global Terrorists Who Threaten to Harm Americans" and "Get Allies to Pay their Fair Share.
Like the Democrats and Republicans, the Jacksonian Donald Trump is committed to restoring the capabilities of his armies ("Maintain and Expand America's Unrivaled Military Strength"). Unlike his predecessors, he did not seek to transform the Pentagon's delusional management by privatizing one department at a time, but rather developed a plan to recruit researchers to compete technologically once again with the Russian and Chinese armies.
" National Security Strategy of the United States of America ", December 2017. And " Donald Trump's National Security Strategy ", by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network , 26 December 2017.
Only Donald Trump's desire to regain primacy in missile matters is supported by Democrats and Republicans, although they do not agree on how to achieve it ("Build a Great Cybersecurity Defense System and Missile Defense System") : the tenant of the White House wants the USA to equip itself alone with these weapons that it can eventually deploy on the territory of its allies, while its opponents want to involve the allies in order to maintain their hold on them. From the point of view of the Democrats and Republicans, the problem is obviously not withdrawing from the Cold War disarmament treaties to build a new arsenal, but the loss of means of diplomatic pressure on Russia.
A professional politician, Joe Biden hopes to restore the imperial status of the former First World Power.The program of Democrats and non-party Republicans
Joe Biden proposes to focus on three objectives: (1) reinvigorate democracy (2) train the middle class to cope with globalization (3) regain global leadership.
Reinvigorate democracy : in his words, this means basing public action on the "informed consent" of Americans. In doing so, he used Walter Lipmann's 1922 terminology, according to which democracy presupposes "manufacturing consent". This theory was discussed at length by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky in 1988. It obviously has nothing to do with the definition formulated by President Abraham Lincoln: "Democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people".
Joe Biden believes he is achieving his goal by restoring the morality of public action through the practice of "political correctness". For example, he condemns "the horrible practice [of President Trump] of separating families and placing the children of immigrants in private prisons," without saying that President Trump was merely applying a democratic law to show its futility. Or he announces that he wants to reaffirm the condemnation of torture that President Trump justified, without saying that the latter, like President Obama, has already banned the practice while maintaining life imprisonment without trial in Guantánamo.
He announced his intention to convene a Summit for Democracy to fight against corruption, to defend the "Free World" against authoritarian regimes, and to advance human rights. In view of his definition of democracy, it is a question of uniting allied states by denouncing scapegoats for what is wrong (the "corrupt") and promoting human rights in the Anglo-Saxon sense and especially not in the French sense. That is to say, to stop police violence and not to help citizens to participate in decision-making. This summit will launch an appeal to the private sector so that new technologies cannot be used by authoritarian states to monitor their citizens (but the USA and its NSA can always use them in the interest of the "Free World").
Finally, Joe Biden concludes this chapter by highlighting his role in the Transatlantic Commission for Electoral Integrity alongside his friends, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who overthrew the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, and Michael Chertoff, former US Secretary of Homeland Security, who put all US citizens under surveillance. Not forgetting John Negroponte who organized the Contras in Nicaragua and Daesh in Iraq.
Educating the middle class to cope with globalization . Joe Biden believes that the politics that have been pursued since the dissolution of the USSR have led to the rapid disappearance of the middle class, and that training the remaining middle class in the use of new technologies will prevent the relocation of their jobs.
Renewing U.S. leadership . In the name of democracy, this means stopping the rise of "populists, nationalists and demagogues. This formulation helps us understand that democracy, according to Joe Biden, is not only the fabrication of consent, but also the eradication of the popular will. If demagogues pervert democratic institutions, populists serve the popular will and nationalists serve the community.
Joe Biden then specifies that he will stop wars "forever"; a formulation that seems to support the same goal as the Jacksonians, but differs in terminology. It is in fact a question of validating the current adaptation of the system to the limits imposed by President Trump: why make US soldiers die abroad when one can pursue the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy with jihadists at a lower cost? All the more so since when he was only an opposition senator, Joe Biden gave his name to the plan to partition Iraq that the Pentagon was trying to impose.
A verse follows on the enlargement of NATO to include Latin American, African and Pacific allies. Far from being obsolete, the Alliance will once again become the heart of U.S. imperialism.
Finally, Joe Biden pleads for the renewal of the 5+1 agreement with Iran and disarmament treaties with Russia. The agreement with President Hassan Rohani aims to classically divide Muslim countries into Sunni and Shia, while the disarmament treaties aim to confirm that the Biden administration would not envisage a global confrontation, but the continued containment of its competitor.
The program of the Democratic Party candidate and non-party Republicans concludes with the assurance of joining the Paris Accord and taking leadership in the fight against global warming. Joe Biden specifies that he will not give gifts to China, which is relocating its most polluting industries along the Silk Road. On the other hand, he omits to say that his friend, Barack Obama, before entering politics, was the drafter of the statutes of the Chicago Carbon Emissions Trading Exchange. The fight against global warming is not so much an ecological issue as a matter for bankers.Conclusion
It must be said that everything is opposed to a clarification. Four years of upheavals by President Trump have only succeeded in replacing the "endless wars" with a low-intensity private war. There are certainly far fewer deaths, but it is still war.
The elites who enjoy imperialism are not ready to give up their privileges.
So it is to be feared that the U.S. will be forced to go through an internal conflict, a civil war, and break up like the Soviet Union once did.
Sep 10, 2020 | www.blacklistednews.com
SOURCE: CHRIS MENAHAN, INFORMATION LIBERATION
Former defense secretary Jim Mattis appears to have been plotting a coup with then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats after growing furious with President Trump for banning transgenders from the military and moving to pull out of Afghanistan and Syria.
From The Washington Post :Mattis quietly went to Washington National Cathedral [in May 2019] to pray about his concern for the nation's fate under Trump's command and, according to Woodward, told Coats, "There may come a time when we have to take collective action" since Trump is "dangerous. He's unfit."
Translation: we may have to stage a coup to get him out of power. Plenty of Democrats and former and current intelligence officials are working on a Color Revolution come November as we speak .In a separate conversation recounted by Woodward, Mattis told Coats, "The president has no moral compass," to which the director of national intelligence replied: "True. To him, a lie is not a lie. It's just what he thinks. He doesn't know the difference between the truth and a lie."
Mattis doesn't know the difference between a male and a female. Trump reportedly accurately said his generals were a "bunch of pussies.""Not to mention my f**king generals are a bunch of pussies. They care more about their alliances than they do about trade deals," Trump told White House trade adviser Peter Navarro at one point, according to Woodward.
No lie detected!
Ann Coulter, who has repeatedly tried to tell Trump today's generals have nothing in common with those of the past like Trump-favorite Gen. George Patton, responded to the news on Wednesday by saying Trump has won her back!
And he wins me back! https://t.co/7nhtSuC4k9-- Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) September 10, 2020
Sep 22, 2020 | gilbertdoctorow.com
On Friday, 18 September, professor Steve Cohen passed away in New York City and we, the "dissident" community of Americans standing for peace with Russia – and for peace with the world at large – lost a towering intellectual and skillful defender of our cause who enjoyed an audience of millions by his weekly broadcasts on the John Batchelor Show, WABC Radio.
A year ago, I reviewed his latest book, War With Russia? which drew upon the material of those programs and took this scholar turned journalist into a new and highly accessible genre of oral readings in print. The narrative style may have been more relaxed, with simplified syntax, but the reasoning remained razor sharp. I urge those who are today paying tribute to Steve, to buy and read the book, which is his best legacy.
From start to finish, Stephen F. Cohen was among America's best historians of his generation, putting aside the specific subject matter that he treated: Nikolai Bukharin, his dissertation topic and the material of his first and best known book; or, to put it more broadly, the history of Russia (USSR) in the 20 th century. He was one of the very rare cases of an historian deeply attentive to historiography, to causality and to logic. I understood this when I read a book of his from the mid-1980s in which he explained why Russian (Soviet) history was no longer attracting young students of quality: because there were no unanswered questions, because we smugly assumed that we knew about that country all that there was to know. That was when our expert community told us with one voice that the USSR was entrapped in totalitarianism without any prospect for the overthrow of its oppressive regime.
But my recollections of Steve also have a personal dimension going back six years or so when a casual email correspondence between us flowered into a joint project that became the launch of the American Committee for East West Accord (ACEWA). This was a revival of a pro-détente association of academics and business people that existed from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s, when, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the removal of the Communist Party from power, the future of Russia in the family of nations we call the 'international community' seemed assured and there appeared to be no further need for such an association as ACEWA.
I hasten to add that in the original ACEWA Steve and I were two ships that passed in the night. With his base in Princeton, he was a protégé of the dean of diplomats then in residence there, George Kennan, who was the leading light on the academic side of the ACEWA. I was on the business side of the association, which was led by Don Kendall, chairman of Pepsico and also for much of the 1970s chairman of the US-USSR Trade and Economic Council of which I was also a member. I published pro-détente articles in their newsletter and published a lengthy piece on cooperation with the Soviet Union in agricultural and food processing domains, my specialty at that time, in their collection of essays by leaders in the U.S. business community entitled Common Sense in U.S.-Soviet Trade .
The academic contingent had, as one might assume, a 'progressive' coloration, while the business contingent had a Nixon Republican coloration. Indeed, in the mid-1980s these two sides split in their approach to the growing peace movement in the U.S. that was fed by opposition in the 'thinking community' on university campuses to Ronald Reagan's Star Wars agenda. Kendall shut the door at ACEWA to rabble rousing and the association did not rise to the occasion, so that its disbanding in the early '90s went unnoticed.
In the re-incorporated American Committee, I helped out by assuming the formal obligations of Treasurer and Secretary, and also became the group's European Coordinator from my base in Brussels. At this point my communications with Steve were almost daily and emotionally quite intense. This was a time when America's expert community on Russian affairs once again felt certain that it knew everything there was to know about the country, and most particularly about the nefarious "Putin regime." But whereas in the 1970s and 1980s, polite debate about the USSR/Russia was entirely possible both behind closed doors and in public space, from the start of the Information Wars against Russia during the George W. Bush administration following Putin's speech at the Munich Security Conference in February 2007, no voice questioning the official propaganda line in America was tolerated. Steve Cohen, who in the 1990s had been a welcome guest on U.S. national television and a widely cited expert in print media suddenly found himself blacklisted and subjected to the worst of McCarthyite style, ad hominem attacks.
From my correspondence and several meetings with Steve at this time both in his New York apartment and here in Brussels, when he and Katrina van der Heuvel came to participate in a Round Table dedicated to relations with Russia at the Brussels Press Club that I arranged, I knew that Steve was deeply hurt by these vitriolic attacks. He was at the time waging a difficult campaign to establish a fellowship in support of graduate studies in Russian affairs. It was touch and go, because of vicious opposition from some stalwarts of the profession to any fellowship that bore Steve's name. Allow me to put the 'i' on this dispute: the opposition to Steve was led by experts in the Ukrainian and other minority peoples sub-categories of the profession who were militantly opposed not just to him personally but to any purely objective, not to mention sympathetic treatment of Russian leadership in the territorial expanse of Eurasia. In the end, Steve and Katrina prevailed. The fellowships exist and, hopefully, will provide sustenance to future studies when American attitudes towards Russia become less politicized.
At all times and on all occasions, Steve Cohen was a voice of reason above all. The problem of our age is that we are now not only living in a post-factual world, but in a post-logic world. The public reads day after day the most outrageous and illogical assertions about alleged Russian misdeeds posted by our most respected mainstream media including The New York Times and The Washington Post . Almost no one dares to raise a hand and suggest that this reporting is propaganda and that the public is being brainwashed. Steve did exactly that in War With Russia? in a brilliant and restrained text.
Regrettably today we have no peace movement to speak of. Youth and our 'progressive' elites are totally concerned over the fate of humanity in 30 or 40 years' time as a consequence of Global Warming and rising seas. That is the essence of the Green Movement. Almost no one outside our 'dissident' community is concerned about the possibility of Armageddon in say two years' time due to miscalculations and bad luck in our pursuing economic, informational and military confrontation with Russia and China.
I fear it will take only some force majeure development such as we had in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis to awaken the broad public to the risks to our very survival that we are incurring by ignoring the issues that Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Princeton and New York University was bringing to the airwaves week after week on his radio program.
In terms of action, the new ACEWA was even less effective than its predecessor, which had avoided linking up with the peace movement of the 1980s and sought to exert influence on policy through armchair talks with Senators and other statesmen in Washington behind closed doors of (essentially) men's clubs.
However, the importance of the new ACEWA, and the national importance of Stephen Cohen lay elsewhere.
This question of appraising Stephen Cohen's national importance is all the more timely given that on the day of his death, 18 September, the nation also lost Supreme Justice Ruth Ginsburg, about whose national importance no Americans, whether her fans or her opponents, had any doubt.
My point in this discussion is that in the last decade of his life Stephen Cohen became one of the nation's most fearless and persistent defenders of the right to Free Speech. It was not a role that he sought. It was thrust upon him by the expert community of international affairs, including the Council on Foreign Relations, from which he reluctantly resigned over this matter.
It was forced upon him by The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major media who pilloried him or blacklisted him over his unorthodox, unsanctioned, nonconformist views on the "Putin regime." It was forced upon him by university colleagues who sought to deny his right to establish graduate school fellowships in Russian affairs bearing his name and that of his mentor at Indiana University, Professor Tucker.
In the face of vicious personal attacks from these McCarthyite forces, in the face of hate mail and even threats to his life, Steve decided to set up The American Committee and to recruit to its governing board famous, patriotic Americans and the descendants of the most revered families in the country. In this he succeeded, and it is to his credit that a moral counter force to the stampeding bulls of repression was erected and has survived to this day.
©Gilbert Doctorow, 2020
[If you found value in this article, you should be interested to read my latest collection of essays entitled A Belgian Perspective on International Affairs, published in November 2019 and available in e-book, paperback and hardbound formats from amazon, barnes & noble, bol.com, fnac, Waterstones and other online retailers. Use the "View Inside" tab on the book's webpages to browse.]
Sep 21, 2020 | www.rt.com
"If at any time the United States believes Iran has failed to meet its commitments, no other state can block our ability to snap back those multilateral sanctions," Pompeo declared in a statement posted on his official Twitter account on Sunday evening.
The top US diplomat was referring to the avalanche of sanctions Washington has been hellbent on slapping on Tehran after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) overwhelmingly rejected the US resolution to extend a 13-year arms embargo against the Islamic Republic past October earlier this week.
The humiliating defeat , which saw only one member of the 15-nation body (the Dominican Republic) siding with the US, while China and Russia opposed the resolution, and all other nations, including France and the UK, abstained, did not discourage Washington, which doubled down on its threat to hit Iran with biting sanctions.
... ... ...
"Of course other states can block America's ability to impose multilateral sanctions. The US can impose sanctions by itself, but can't force others to do it," Nicholas Grossman, teaching assistant professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Illinois, tweeted.
"That's what 'multilateral' means. Is our SecState really this dumb?" Grossman asked.
Daniel Larison, senior editor at the American Conservative, suggested that Pompeo might be having a hard time grasping the meaning of the word 'multilateral'.
Some argued that Pompeo could not be unaware of the contradictory nature of his statement. Dan Murphy, former Middle East and South Asia correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, called it "one of the most diplomatically illiterate sentences of all time."
"I guess the end game here is [to] alienate the rest of the world even further to feed his persecution complex?" Murphy wrote.
John Twomey, 16 August, 2020
Explanation. What Pompeo understands and what many others can't grasp is that the US decides if their sanctions are "multilateral" because the USA speaks for all other countries whether they like it or not.
My Opinion, 17 August, 2020
Reminiscing of his shady past as a new CIA recruit he said. "We lied, we cheated and we stole". Apparently, Mikey didn't do all too well in his literature classes, either and that's why the most suitable candidate from zionists perspective.
Sep 21, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Gerry Cooney , 3 years ago (edited)Playthell Benjamin , 3 years ago
Speaking as an Independent, I say that our country, the USA, has engineered past confilcts and wars in order to feed the military industrial complex. Not so much that it results in a nuke-shooting war, but in a regular non-nuke shooting war. The solution? Send the sons and daughters of the politicians into direct combat, every time they approve another war. That should keep things a bit more peaceful.Stratus Blue , 4 years ago
Professor Cohen is this nation's most objective and therefore most valuable thinker on Russia! The charge that his views are "not patriotic" is a compliment rather than the insult they intended. A scholar's views are only valuable to the public and, more importantly, policy makers, if they are OBJECTIVE!!! Which is to say that he follows the FACTS wherever they lead!Maria Schick , 4 years ago
Any "discussion" with no mention of the supranational central bank cartel is intentional deceptive omission. The "brass ring" is forced use of petro-dollars. The central bank stock holders and bankers loaning all dollars into existence as national debt, do not care who owns land. They care who pays off national debts and interest on debt. Civil war is their racket. There are no sovereign nations. No genuine nations that create their medium of exchange publicly. No national people. Just participants in an extortion or its victims. The "Elite" collect on money they created as loans in their central banking accounts. All others are only human numbers assigned billing addresses.Madaleine , 9 months ago
Welcome to the New World Order ....where Multinational corporations rule & their profits are what are most important..... NOT nation states it's the 99.9% against the .01% and they use MSM propaganda & fear to control the DUMB masses thinkingkeepinitreal , 2 years ago
Global mafia in the background! Shut down funding cia ET AlSJ R , 4 years ago
So infuriating that videos that carry the truth have 57k views, while nasty lying propaganda has millions!Santos D , 4 years ago (edited)
I just discovered John Batchelor Show on which Cohen has a guest spot- I just was drawn to this man's thinking, probably because I had made up my mind about Russia during the Ukraine crises. Seeing the US has ruin every country we have gone into- I'm on Russia's side, especially where Russia and Ukraine has a history, on that side of the world.Cezanne Monet , 11 hours ago
38:49 - Apologies for the somewhat Utopian question here. I agree with everything Cohen has said, but regarding cause of jihadist terrorism ( ie implosion of the economies in the region), does it make sense to discuss primarily this game of terrorist whack a mole (bombing, invading and crushing Jihadist insurgencies)? Is there any point in talking about a pro active policy of recreating sustainable, stable economies in the region? What would that even look like?No Names , 4 years ago (edited)
Brilliant scholar. RIP Prof Cohen. Watch if you want to understand today's geopolitical situation. The whole situation.Chris Bowers , 4 years ago
Not very many average Americans would be able to easily access and watch this. Average Americans still consume mainly mainstream media. Too bad, because this lecture would have opened their eyes and have blown up their brain-contaminated minds by the CNN, the New York Times and alike.M Ch , 4 years ago
I agree wholeheartedly Loane. Have always been extremely impressed with and appreciative of Cohen's carefully & thoughtfully considered contribution. We in the US have gone a bit off the deep end when it comes to this deeply embedded belief in exceptionalism and superiority, and have been extremely rude to much of the rest of the world in the process. It amazes me how patient Russia has been with us, waiting for us to come around to a more sober understanding of the world we live in today. I have to conclude that what we are experiencing here in the US is a perennial phenomenon that comes with the end of all empires throughout history, the mission creep of over-extending resources and the big one, seemingly blind hubris.Raf Zam , 3 years ago (edited)
There is no chance of mending relations and even less of achieving some security partnership between US and Russia. The rift will only keep on widening as US political and financial elites are growing increasingly desperate (and thus even more aggressive) while Russia abandons its attempts to please the haters and moves its focus on to its future prospective partners who have genuine interest in cooperating with Russia and achieving common goals.... including opposing the common enemy if you like! Well at least I hope so: the only reason why US wish to get closer to Russia would be to stab it in the back... one more time!Donald Watts , 4 years ago
NATO'S reason to exist ended when the Warsaw Pact was demolished. It was created to confront the socialist Warsaw Pact but today ALL of the members of the pact are part of NATO, except Russia. So why is it still operating? Who are they confronting? They are a bunch of bureaucrats looking for a reason to stay employed in an organization that lost its excuse to be. However, their behavior has gone from increasing security to actually becoming a menace to trigger a nuclear war to destroy life on earth.William Carr , 3 years ago
It will take a Republican President to turn our relationships with hostile nations around. For some irrational reasoning, the current administration refuses negotiation with it's enemies. Somehow this is going to create understanding. and a less dangerous world. I don't see a continuation of this Administrations policy anything but reckless . I am assuming this policy has been one determined through Clinton, and will remain so. Clinton has said on a number of occasions, it is the Obama Administration's policies that will be hers as well. As an ex cold warrior, who has spent a lot of time chasing Soviet boomers in the North Atlantic, I am not willing to gamble my children and grand children's lives . It is a dangerous and ego driven pissing match. Let us start talking , This administration and families can climb into their luxury nuclear bomb proof bunkers...... My family and most Americans don't have that luxury.
Dr. Cohen, so Putin gave the Northern Alliance to the USA after 911 to bludgeon Afghanistan for hiding Bin Laden? Paul Craig Robert, David Ray Griffin and a growing list of Americans believe 911 was a total bamboozle. If that is true which it looks increasingly like it was, does that mean Putin was playing along with the our Reichstag fire? What does that make Putin? NATO should have been totally remade after 1986, but it wasn't and we simply missed a huge opportunity not for worldwide U.S. hegemony, but for a new umbrella of security by super powers in alliance. Obviously, the proliferation of ethno-religious groups was in Putin's mind when he welcomed us into Afghanistan, but damn it man, tell people EXACTLY why we and the Russians want to be in the Golden Crescent besides the extraction of minerals.
Jun 23, 2017 | www.youtube.com
Stephen Cohen at the American Jewish Committee Forum 2017, about Russia and Terrorism. Full debate
alo1, 3 years agoDrew Hunkins, 3 years ago
And again, Cohen smashed these government employers singlehandedly.mitrovdan, 3 years ago
This incessant Russophobia constantly being trumpeted by the Washington militarist imperialists must stop. It's putting the world on the brink of nuclear war.
Stephen Cohen's a godsend along with a handful of the other intellectuals out there speaking and writing the truth that penetrates the miasma of disinformation, half-truths and exaggerations emanating from the state-corporate nexus in the American mass media.
Cohen, along with John Pilger, James Petras, Robert Parry, Michael Parenti, John Pilger, Eva Bartlett, Diana Johnstone and Paul Craig Roberts must be read widely in order for folks to get a grasp of where the Washington imperialist ruling class is driving the world.MrWebster, 3 years ago
at 25:40 he just destroys her totally. what a point he made, amazing!! "thank you professor" the guy on the left wants to end Cohen's carnage of the so called experts. Cohen made minced meat out of em. Fact after fact...stonewalled em both. Listen to her, ISIS doesn't have nuke's, she obviously doesn't have a clue.DSCdaP, 3 years ago
Cohen is always cogent and convincing. One area I wish some historian would look into is how "Russia-gate" is not echoing Cold War themes, but echoing themes from the German Nazis in particular their belief about a great Jewish conspiracy against Europe.
Even Putin recently remarked on all these accusations: "It reminds me of anti-Semitism, A dumb man who can't do anything would blame the Jews for everything." Look at how Putin is drawn and pictured on major outlets. The NYTimes blamed resistance to TPP on Putin.
The Russians like the Jews are behind every social problem. Popular culture shows and speaks of Russia in the same way Nazi propagandists wrote about Russia.
Undermining Western liberal democracies, Jews were compared to spiders catching people in the webs. Same with Putin. Pick up Hitler's speech after the invasion of the Soviet Union justifying it., Echos? Accidental rhetoric of conspiracies ?MrRondonmon , 1 day ago
"to look past a long list of transgressions and abuses..." this is what I absolutely hate about America, they are all so stupid and ignorant to their own countries misdeeds it is unbelievable, infuriating beyond belief. The US is currently fighting 7 wars simultaneously, which it all started itself under false pretences and hid the real reason beneath a thick layer of BS propaganda and misinformation.
The secession of Crimea is the least egregious event of the entire conflicts history. The EU and US have pumped billions of dollars into the coup which took place weeks before the Crimean referendum, on the 20th of February 2014, 2 weeks prior to that, an intercepted phone conversation between Victoria Nuland (Assistant Secretary of State of the United States to Europe) and Geoffrey Pyatt (US Ambassador to the Ukraine) was leaked on February 4th, 2014. In this phone conversation, they describe key positions within the Ukrainian government being filled by Klitshko and Yatz... fast forward a few weeks, who do we see? Klitsh and Yatz! It was the most obvious sponsored coup in history.
Putin snatched the Crimean peninsula from NATO, who wanted to seize Russias military harbour in Sevastopol (which the Russians have used to supply Syria, this was one and a half years before they entered the conflict directly, apart from being a very important strategic harbour in general), by suggesting a referendum to the local government and they accepted.
Why? Because they were ethnic Russians and knew who gained power in Kiev, the neo-Nazi, Bandera-worshipping OUN, which the US has nourished, supported and developed for the last 100 years within the Ukrainian territory. These Nazis hate Russians, they have a deep seeded hatred of all things Russian which has been indoctrinated and drilled into them by the CIA for decades, the first thing they did after seizing power was to demote the Russian language from the official list of languages of the Ukraine.
They have since honoured Ukrainian Nazi-collaborators from WWII by erecting statues, renaming streets, creating new holidays etc. This is just one example of US misinformation and propaganda, nothing they say accurately describes the truth, nothing, not one thing has it's bases in reality. Be it about Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and what have you, it's all lies and propaganda to mask their intentions.
North Korea is another example. North Korea is a hornets nest they kick once in a while to scare the Japanese and South Koreans into tolerating US occupation longer. Everything North Korea does is a direct response to threats and intimidations by the US. They staged a drill off the coast of North Korea which they called "Decapitation" for F's sake.
They have ratcheted up the tension again these past few months to sneak in their THAAD weapons stations, before the new President was chosen. And these THAAD systems have absolutely nothing to do with North Korea, it's against China and Russia, North Korea is a pretext.
The still active war, which has merely been under a seize fire for decades, against North Korea, could have been ended before there was colour television, but the US needs North Korea to exist in order to justify their occupation of S.Korea and Japan.Patty Rogers , 3 years ago
And by the way, the CrowdStrike guy testified in 2017 that there was ZERO PROOF that the Russians hacked the DNC, but Schiff hid that for 2 years until John Ratcliff threatened to declassify it, then Schiff's sorry ass released the interviews. So, this man was 100 percent right, there is ZERO PROOF the Russians or anyone hacked the DNC. Its a damned lie, and it was always a lie.beija flor , 2 years ago (edited)
As usual, the journalists and leftist have nothing to offer- no facts, no forensic evidence, no truth. Only speculation hyperbole and hysteria. I don't believe Russia are the good guys but give me a break in all this crap!Beth Lemmon, 2 years ago (edited)
why did cohen tell everyone even potential 'terrorists' that there is too much of exactly what 'terrorists' wish to get their hands on in the former soviet states?!!? if he is 'so afraid' of 'terrorism...' WHY did he say THAT?!!? not very bright... or perhaps he is FOS. idk?! wth?! SMH. maybe e is trying to inform people who r not 'terrorists,' so that people know n can figure out how to address the issues...?
Yet, for any terrorists who wanted to know how to get materials he spoke of, now they may know a region where they could potentially go to attain the materials... maybe in 'terrorists' circles they all know this already? it just seems concerning, is all...
Love Stephen Cohen, he is spot on and right about most if not all points, he's fair, wicked smart and sober minded. However he isn't right about POTUS Trump. If anyone has been watching this type of discourse about world geopolitics it looks like the NWO wants wars to depopulate the earth, set up a OWG and a utopia. It's so blatantly obvious to those who are honest and not ideologically possessed.
They recruit their stupid Antifa army and zombie possessed minions to do their dirty work in the streets. They want send our amazing military to do the fighting wars that are just to feed the MIC, and does nothing for America's good.
Sep 19, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org
Stephen F Cohen, the renowned American scholar on Russia and leading authority on US-Russian relations, has died of lung cancer at the age of 81.
As one of the precious few western voices of sanity on the subject of Russia while everyone else has been frantically flushing their brains down the toilet, this is a real loss. I myself have cited Cohen's expert analysis many times in my own work, and his perspective has played a formative role in my understanding of what's really going on with the monolithic cross-partisan manufacturing of consent for increased western aggressions against Moscow.
In a world that is increasingly confusing and awash with propaganda, Cohen's death is a blow to humanity's desperate quest for clarity and understanding.
I don't know how long Cohen had cancer. I don't know how long he was aware that he might not have much time left on this earth. What I do know is he spent much of his energy in his final years urgently trying to warn the world about the rapidly escalating danger of nuclear war, which in our strange new reality he saw as in many ways completely unprecedented.
The last of the many books Cohen authored was 2019's War with Russia? , detailing his ideas on how the complex multi-front nature of the post-2016 cold war escalations against Moscow combines with Russiagate and other factors to make it in some ways more dangerous even than the most dangerous point of the previous cold war.
"You know it's easy to joke about this, except that we're at maybe the most dangerous moment in US-Russian relations in my lifetime, and maybe ever," Cohen told The Young Turks in 2017. "And the reason is that we're in a new cold war, by whatever name. We have three cold war fronts that are fraught with the possibility of hot war, in the Baltic region where NATO is carrying out an unprecedented military buildup on Russia's border, in Ukraine where there is a civil and proxy war between Russia and the west, and of course in Syria, where Russian aircraft and American warplanes are flying in the same territory. Anything could happen."
Cohen repeatedly points to the most likely cause of a future nuclear war: not one that is planned but one which erupts in tense, complex situations where "anything could happen" in the chaos and confusion as a result of misfire, miscommunication or technical malfunction, as nearly happened many times during the last cold war.
"I think this is the most dangerous moment in American-Russian relations, at least since the Cuban missile crisis," Cohen told Democracy Now in 2017. "And arguably, it's more dangerous, because it's more complex. Therefore, we -- and then, meanwhile, we have in Washington these -- and, in my judgment, factless accusations that Trump has somehow been compromised by the Kremlin. So, at this worst moment in American-Russian relations, we have an American president who's being politically crippled by the worst imaginable -- it's unprecedented. Let's stop and think. No American president has ever been accused, essentially, of treason. This is what we're talking about here, or that his associates have committed treason."
"Imagine, for example, John Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis," Cohen added. "Imagine if Kennedy had been accused of being a secret Soviet Kremlin agent. He would have been crippled. And the only way he could have proved he wasn't was to have launched a war against the Soviet Union. And at that time, the option was nuclear war."
"A recurring theme of my recently published book War with Russia? is that the new Cold War is more dangerous, more fraught with hot war, than the one we survived," Cohen wrote last year . "Histories of the 40-year US-Soviet Cold War tell us that both sides came to understand their mutual responsibility for the conflict, a recognition that created political space for the constant peace-keeping negotiations, including nuclear arms control agreements, often known as détente. But as I also chronicle in the book, today's American Cold Warriors blame only Russia, specifically 'Putin's Russia,' leaving no room or incentive for rethinking any US policy toward post-Soviet Russia since 1991."
"Finally, there continues to be no effective, organized American opposition to the new Cold War," Cohen added. "This too is a major theme of my book and another reason why this Cold War is more dangerous than was its predecessor. In the 1970s and 1980s, advocates of détente were well-organized, well-funded, and well-represented, from grassroots politics and universities to think tanks, mainstream media, Congress, the State Department, and even the White House. Today there is no such opposition anywhere."
"A major factor is, of course, 'Russiagate'," Cohen continued. "As evidenced in the sources I cite above, much of the extreme American Cold War advocacy we witness today is a mindless response to President Trump's pledge to find ways to 'cooperate with Russia' and to the still-unproven allegations generated by it. Certainly, the Democratic Party is not an opposition party in regard to the new Cold War."
"Détente with Russia has always been a fiercely opposed, crisis-ridden policy pursuit, but one manifestly in the interests of the United States and the world," Cohen wrote in another essay last year. "No American president can achieve it without substantial bipartisan support at home, which Trump manifestly lacks. What kind of catastrophe will it take -- in Ukraine, the Baltic region, Syria, or somewhere on Russia's electric grid -- to shock US Democrats and others out of what has been called, not unreasonably, their Trump Derangement Syndrome, particularly in the realm of American national security? Meanwhile, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has recently reset its Doomsday Clock to two minutes before midnight."
And now Stephen Cohen is dead, and that clock is inching ever closer to midnight. The Russiagate psyop that he predicted would pressure Trump to advance dangerous cold war escalations with no opposition from the supposed opposition party has indeed done exactly that with nary a peep of criticism from either partisan faction of the political/media class. Cohen has for years been correctly predicting this chilling scenario which now threatens the life of every organism on earth, even while his own life was nearing its end.
And now the complex cold war escalations he kept urgently warning us about have become even more complex with the addition of nuclear-armed China to the multiple fronts the US-centralized empire has been plate-spinning its brinkmanship upon, and it is clear from the ramping up of anti-China propaganda since last year that we are being prepped for those aggressions to continue to increase.
We should heed the dire warnings that Cohen spent his last breaths issuing. We should demand a walk-back of these insane imperialist aggressions which benefit nobody and call for détente with Russia and China. We should begin creating an opposition to this world-threatening flirtation with armageddon before it is too late. Every life on this planet may well depend on our doing so.
Stephen Cohen is dead, and we are marching toward the death of everything. God help us all.
novictim , 55 minutes agoPerilouseTimes , 48 minutes ago
People are just now starting to realize that possible alternate path. But the Demoncrats in the USA must first be put down, politically euthanized, along with their neocon never-Trump Republican partners. And that cleaning up is on the way. Trump's second term will be the advancement of the USA-Russia initiative that is so long overdue.awesomepic4u , 1 hour ago
Putin won't let western billionaires rape Russia's enormous natural resources and on top of that Putin is against child molesters, that is what this Russia bashing is all about.Clint Liquor , 44 minutes ago
Sad to hear this.
What a good man. It is a real shame that we dont have others to stand up to this crazy pr that is going on right now. Making peace with the world at this point is important. We dont need or want another war and i am sure that both Europe and Russia dont want it on their turf but it seems we keep sticking our finger in their eye. If there is another war it will be the last war. As Einstein said, after the 3rd World War we will be using sticks and stones to fight it.thunderchief , 41 minutes ago
Cohen truly was an island of reason in a sea of insanity. Ironic that those panicked over climate change are unconcerned about the increasing threat of Nuclear War.Eastern Whale , 55 minutes ago
One of the very few level headed people on Russia.
All thats left are anti Russia-phobic nut jobs.
Send in the clowns.
Stephen Cohen isn't around to call them what they are anymore.fucking truth , 3 minutes ago
cooperate with Russia
Has the US ever cooperated with anyone?Mustafa Kemal , 49 minutes ago
That is the crux. All or nothing.Normal , 1 hour ago
Ive read several of his books. They are essential, imo, if you want to understand modern russian history.evoila , 19 minutes ago
The bankers created the new CCP cold war.thebigunit , 17 minutes ago
Max Boot is an effing idiot. Tucker wiped him clean too. It was an insult to Stephen to even put them on the same panel.
Gary Sick is the equivalent to Stephen, except for Iran. He too is of an era of competence which is and will be missed as their voices are drowned out by neocon warmongersBoogity , 9 minutes ago
I heard Stephen Cohen a number of time in John Bachelor's podcasts.
He seemed very lucid and made a lot of sense.
He made it very clear that he thought the Democrat's "Trump - Russia collusion schtick" was a bunch of crap.
He didn't sound like a leftie, but I'm sure he never told me the stuff he discussed with his wife who was editor of the left wing "The Nation" magazine.
Cohen was a traditional old school anti-war Liberal. They're essentially extinct now with the exception of a few such as Tulsi Gabbard and Dennis Kucinich who have both been ostracized from the Democrat Party and the political system.
Sep 18, 2020 | original.antiwar.com
September 14, 2001: The Day America Became Israel
by Maj. Danny Sjursen, USA (ret.) Posted on September 18, 2020
This article is dedicated to the memory of an activist, inspiration, and recent friend: Kevin Zeese. Its scope, sweep, and ambition are meant to match that of Kevin's outsized influence. At that, it must inevitably fail – and its shortfalls are mine alone. That said, the piece's attempt at a holistic critique of 19 years worth of war and cultural militarization would, I hope, earn an approving nod from Kevin – if only at the attempt. He will be missed by so many; I count myself lucky to have gotten to know him. – Danny Sjursen
The rubble was still smoldering at Ground Zero when the U.S. House of Representatives voted to essentially transform itself into the Israeli Knesset , or parliament. It was 19 years ago, 11:17pm Washington D.C. time on September 14, 2001 when the People's Chamber approved House Joint Resolution 64, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) "against those responsible for the recent attacks." Naturally, that was before the precise identities, and full scope, of "those responsible" were yet known – so the resolution's rubber-stamp was obscenely open-ended by necessity, but also by design.
The Senate had passed their own version by roll call vote about 12 hours earlier. The combined congressional tally was 518 to one. Only Representative Barbara Lee of California cast a dissenting vote , and even delivered a brief, prescient speech on the House floor. It's almost hard to watch and listen all these years later as her voice cracks with emotion amidst all that truth-telling :
I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism against the United States. This is a very complex and complicated matter
However difficult this vote may be, some of us must urge the use of restraint. Our country is in a state of mourning. Some of us must say, let's step back for a moment and think through the implications of our actions today, so that this does not spiral out of control
Now I have agonized over this vote. But I came to grips with opposing this resolution during the very painful, yet very beautiful memorial service. As a member of the clergy so eloquently said, "As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore."
For her lone stance – itself courageous, even had she not since been vindicated – Rep. Lee suffered insults and death threats so intense that she needed around-the-clock bodyguards for a time. It's hard to be right in a room full of the wrong – especially angry, scared, and jingoistic ones. Yet the tragedy is America has become many of the things we purport to deplore: the US now boasts a one-trick-pony foreign policy and a militarized society to boot.
Endless imperial interventions and perennial policing at home and abroad, counterproductive military adventurism, governance by permanent "emergency" fiat, and an ever more martial-society? We've seen this movie before; in fact it's still playing – in Israel. Without implying that Israel, as an entity, is somehow "evil," theirs was simply not a path the US need or ought to have gone down.
"A Republic, If You Can Keep It"
In the nearly two decades since its passing, the AUMF has been cited at least 41 times in some 17 countries and on the high seas . The specified nations-states included Afghanistan, Cuba (Guantanamo Bay), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Philippines, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Turkey, Niger, Cameroon, and the broader African "Sahel Region" – which presumably also covers the unnamed, but real, US troop presence in Nigeria, Chad and Mali. That's a lot of unnecessary digressions – missions that haven't, and couldn't, have been won. All of that aggression abroad predictably boomeranged back home , in the guise of freedoms constrained, privacy surveilled, plus cops and culture militarized.
Inevitably, just a few days ago, every publication, big and small, carried obligatory and ubiquitous 9/11 commemoration pieces. Far fewer will even note the AUMF anniversary. Yet it was the US government's response – not the attacks themselves – which most altered American strategy and society. For in dutifully deciding on immediate military retaliation, a "global war," even, on a tactic ("terror") and a concept ("evil") at that, this republic fell prey to the Founders' great obsession . Unable to agree on much else, they shared fears that the nascent American experiment would suffer Rome's " ancestral curse " of ambition – and its subsequent path to empire. Hence, Benjamin Franklin's supposed retort to a crowd question upon exiting the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, on just what they'd just framed: "A republic, if you can keep it!"
Yet perhaps a modern allegory is the more appropriate one: by signing on to an endless cycle of tit-for-tat terror retaliation on 9/14, We the People's representatives chose the Israeli path. Here was a state forged by the sword that it's consequently lived by ever since, and may well die by – though the cause of death, no doubt, would likely be self-inflicted. The first statutory step towards Washington transforming into Tel Aviv was that AUMF sanction 19 years ago tonight.
No doubt, some militarist fantasies came far closer on the heels of the September 11th suicide strikes: According to notes taken by aides, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld waited a whole five hours after Flight 77 impacted his Pentagon to instruct subordinates to gather the "best info fast. Judge whether good enough to hit [Saddam Hussein] at same time Not only [Osama Bin Laden]." As for the responsive strike plans, "Go massive," the notes quote Rumsfeld as saying. "Sweep it all up. Things related and not."
Nonetheless, it was Congress' dutiful AUMF-acquiescence that made America's Israeli-metamorphosis official. The endgame that ain't even ended yet has been dreadful. It's almost impossible to fathom, in retrospect, but remember that as of September 14, 2001, 7,052 American troops and, very conservatively, at least 800,000 foreigners (335,000 of them civilians) hadn't yet – and need not have – died in the ensuing AUMF-sanctioned worldwide wars.
Now, US forces didn't directly kill all of them, but that's about 112 September 11ths-worth of dead civilians by the very lowest estimates – perishing in wars of (American) choice. That's worth reckoning with; and needn't imply a dismissive attitude to our 9/11 fallen. I, for one, certainly take that date rather seriously.
There are more than a dozen t-shirts hanging in my closet right now that are each emblazoned with the phrase "Annual Marty Egan 5K Memorial Run/Walk." This event is held back in the old neighborhood, honoring a very close family friend – a New York City fire captain killed in the towers' collapse. As my Uncle Steve's best bud, he was in and out of my grandparents' seemingly communal Midland Beach, Staten Island bungalow – before Hurricane Sandy washed many of them away – throughout my childhood. When I was a teenager, just before leaving for West Point, Marty would tease me for being "too skinny for a soldier" in the local YMCA weight-room and broke-balls about my vague fear of heights as I shakily climbed a ladder in Steve's backyard just weeks before I left for cadet basic training. Always delivered with a smile, of course.
Marty was doing some in-service training on September 11th, and didn't have to head towards the flames, but he hopped on a passing truck and rode to his death anyway. I doubt anyone who knew him would've expected anything less. Mercifully, Marty's body was one of the first – and at the time, only – recovered , just two days after Congress chose war in his, and 2,976 others' name. He was found wearing borrowed gear from engine company he'd jumped in with.
I was a freshman cadet at West Point when I heard all of this news – left feeling so very distant from home, family, neighborhood, though I was just a 90 minute drive north. Frankly, I couldn't wait to get in the fights that followed. It's no excuse, really: but I was at that moment exactly 18 years and 41 days old. And indeed, I'd spend the next 18 training, prepping, and fighting the wars I then wanted – and, ( Apocalypse Now- style ) "for my sins" – "they gave me."
Anyway, Marty's family – and more so his memory – along with the general 9/11 fallout back home, have swirled in and out of my life ever since. In the immediate term, after the attacks my mother turned into a sort of wake&funeral-hopper, attending literally dozens over that first year. As soon as Marty had a headstone in Moravian Cemetery – where my Uncle Steve once dug graves – I draped a pair of my new dog tags over it on a weekend trip home. It was probably a silly and indulgent gesture, but it felt profound at the time. Then, soon enough, the local street signs started changing to honor fallen first responders – including the intersection outside my church, renamed "Martin J. Egan Jr. Corner." (Marty used to joke , after all, that he'd graduated from UCLA – that is, the University, corner of Lincoln Avenue, in the neighborhood.)
Five years later, while I was fighting a war in a country (Iraq) that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, Marty's mother Pat still worked at the post office from which my own mom shipped me countless care packages. They'd chat; have a few nostalgic laughs; then Pat would wish me well and pass on her regards. When some of my soldiers started getting killed, I remember my mother telling me it was sometimes hard to look Pat in the eye on the post office trips – perhaps she feared an impending kinship of lost sons. But it didn't go that way.
So, suffice it to say, I don't take the 9/11 attacks, or the victims, lightly. That doesn't mean the US responses, and their results, were felicitous or forgivable. They might even dishonor the dead. I don't pretend to precisely know, or speak for, the Egan family's feelings. Still, my own sense is that few among the lost or their loved ones left behind would've imagined or desired their deaths be used to justify all of the madness, futility, and liberties-suppression blowback that's ensued.
Nevertheless, my nineteen Septembers 11th have been experienced in oft-discomfiting ways, and my assessment of the annual commemorations, rather quickly began to change. By the tenth anniversary, a Reuters reporter spent a couple of days on the base I commanded in Afghanistan. At the time the outpost sported a flag gifted by my uncle, which had previously flown above a New York Fire Department house. I suppose headquarters sent the journalist my way because I was the only combat officer from New York City – but the brass got more than they'd bargained for. By then, amidst my second futile war "surge," and three more of the lives and several more of the limbs of my soldiers lost on this deployment, I wasn't feeling particularly sentimental. Besides, I'd already turned – ethically and intellectually – against what seemed to me demonstrably hopeless and counterproductive military exercises.
Much to the chagrin of my career-climbing lieutenant colonel, I waxed a bit (un)poetic on the war I was then fighting – "against farm boys with guns," I not-so-subtly styled it – and my hometown's late suffering that ostensibly justified it. "When I see this place, I don't see the towers," I said, sitting inside my sandbagged operations center near the Taliban's very birthplace in Kandahar province. Then added: "My family sees it more than I do. They see it dead-on, direct. I'm a professional soldier. It's not about writing the firehouse number on the bullet. I'm not one for gimmicks." It was coarse and a bit petulant, sure, but what I meant – what I felt – was that these wars, even this " good " Afghan one (per President Obama), no longer, and may never have, had much to do with 9/11, Marty, or all the other dead.
The global war on terrorism (GWOT, as it was once fashionable to say) was but a reflex for a sick society pre-disposed to violence, symptomatic of a militarist system led by a government absent other ideas or inclinations. Still, I flew that FDNY flag – even skeptical soldiers can be a paradoxical lot.
Origin Myths: Big Lies and Long Cons
Although the final approved AUMF declared that "such acts [as terrorism] continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States," that wasn't then, and isn't now, even true . The toppled towers, pummeled Pentagon, and flying suicide machines of 9/11 were no doubt an absolute horror; and such visions understandably clouded collective judgment. Still, more sober statistics demonstrate, and sensible strategy demands, the prudence of perspective.
From 1995 to 2016, a total of 3,277 Americans have been killed in terrorist acts on US soil. If we subtract the 9/11 anomaly, that's just 300 domestic deaths – or 14 per year. Which raises the impolite question: why don't policymakers talk about terrorism the same way they do shark attacks or lightning strikes? The latter, incidentally, kill an average of 49 Americans annually. Odd, then, that the US hasn't expended $6.4 trillion, or more than 15,000 soldier and contractor lives , responding to bolts from the blue. Nor has it kicked off or catalyzed global wars that have directly killed – by that conservative estimate – 335,000 civilians.
See, that's the thing: for Americans, like the Israelis, some lives matter more than others. We can just about calculate the macabre life-value ratios in each society. Take Israel's 2014 onslaught on the Gaza Strip. In its fifty-day onslaught of Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) killed 2,131 Palestinians – of whom 1,473 were identified as civilians, including 501 children. As for the wildly inaccurate and desperate Hamas rocket strikes that the IDF "edge" ostensibly "protected" against: those killed a whopping four civilians. To review: apparently one Israeli non-combatant is worth 368 Palestinian versions. Now, seeing as everything – including death-dealing is "bigger in Texas" – consider the macro American application. To wit, 3,277 US civilians versus 335,000 foreign innocents equals a cool 102-to-1 quotient of the macabre.
Such formulas become banal realities when one believes the big lies undergirding the entire enterprise. Here, Israel and America share origin myths that frame the long con of forever wars. That is, that acts of terror with stateless origins are best responded to with reflexive and aggressive military force. In my first ever published article – timed for Independence Day 2014 – I argued that America's post-9/11 "original sin" was framing its response as a war in the first place. As a result, I – then a serving US Army captain – concluded, "In place of sound strategy, we've been handed our own set of martyrs: more than 6,500 dead soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines." More than 500 American troopers have died since, along with who knows how many foreign civilians. It's staggering how rare such discussions remain in mainstream discourse.
Within that mainstream, often the conjoined Israeli-American twins even share the same cruelty cheerleaders. Take the man that author Belen Fernandez not inaccurately dubs "Harvard Law School's resident psychopath:" Alan Dershowitz. During Israel's brutal 2006 assault on Lebanon, this armchair-murderer took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal with a column titled " Arithmetic of Pain ."
Dershowitz argued for a collective "reassessment of the laws of war" in light of increasingly blurred distinctions between combatants and civilians. Thus, offering official "scholarly" sanction for the which-lives-matter calculus, he unveiled the concept of a "continuum of 'civilianality." Consider some of his cold and callous language:
Near the most civilian end of this continuum are the pure innocents – babies, hostages at the more combatant end are civilians who willingly harbor terrorists, provide material resources and serve as human shields; in the middle are those who support the terrorists politically, or spiritually.
Got that? Leaving aside Dershowitz's absurd assumption that there are loads of Palestinians just itching to volunteer as "human shields," it's clear that when conflicts are thus framed – all manner of cruelties become permissible.
In Israel, it begins with stated policies of internationally- prohibited collective punishment. For example, during the 2006 Lebanon War that killed exponentially more innocent Lebanese than Israelis, the IDF chief of staff's announced intent was to deliver "a clear message to both greater Beirut and Lebanon that they've swallowed a cancer [Hezbollah] and have to vomit it up, because if they don't their country will pay a very high price." It ends with Tel Aviv's imposition of an abusive calorie-calculus on Palestinians.
In 2008, Israeli authorities actually drew up a document computing the minimum caloric intake necessary for Gaza's residents to suffer (until they yield), but avoid outright starvation. Two years earlier, that wonderful wordsmith Dov Weisglass, senior advisor to then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, explained that Israeli policy was designed "to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger."
Lest that sound beyond the pale for we Americans, recall that it was the first female secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, who ten years earlier said of 500,000 Iraqi children's deaths under crippling U.S. sanctions: "we think, the price is worth it." Furthermore, it's unclear how the Trump administration's current sanctions- clampdown on Syrians unlucky enough to live in President Bashar al Assad-controlled territory is altogether different from the "Palestinian diet."
After all, even one of the Middle East Institute's resident regime-change-enthusiasts, Charles Lister, recently admitted that America's criminally-euphemized "Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act" may induce a "famine." In other words, according to two humanitarian experts writing on the national security website War on the Rocks , "hurting the very civilians it aims to protect while largely failing to affect the Syrian government itself."
It is, and has long been, thus: Israeli prime ministers and American presidents, Bibi and The Donald, Tel Aviv and Washington – are peas in a punishing pod.
Emergencies as Existences
In both Israel and America, frightened populations finagled by their uber-hawkish governments acquiesce to militarized states of "emergencies" as a way of life. In seemingly no time at all, the latest U.S. threshold got so low that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo matter-of-factly declared one to override a congressional-freeze and permit the $8.1 billion sale of munitions to Gulf Arab militaries. When some frustrated lawmakers asked the State Department's inspector general to investigate, the resultant report found that the agency failed to limit [Yemeni] civilian deaths from the sales – most bombed by the Saudi's subsequent arsenal of largesse. (As for the inspector general himself? He was " bullied ," then fired, by Machiavelli Mike).
Per the standard, Israel is the more surface-overt partner. As the IDF-veteran author Haim Bresheeth-Zabner writes in his new book , An Army Like No Other: How the Israel Defense Forces Made a Nation , Israel is the "only country in which Emergency Regulations have been in force for every minute of its existence."
Perhaps more worryingly, such emergency existences boomerang back to militarized Minneapolis and Jerusalem streets alike. It's worth nothing that just five days after the killing of George Floyd, an Israeli police officer gunned down an unarmed, autistic, Palestinian man on his way to a school for the disabled. Even the 19-year-old killer's 21-year-old commander (instructive, that) admitted the cornered victim wasn't a threat. But here's the rub: when the scared and confused Palestinian man ran from approaching police at 6 a.m. , initial officers instinctually reported a potential "terrorist" on the loose.
Talk about global terror coming home to roost on local streets. And why not here in the States? It wasn't but two months back that President Trump labeled peaceful demonstrators in D.C., and nationwide protesters tearing down Confederate statues, as "terrorists." That's more than a tad troubling, since, as noted, almost anything is permissible against terrorists, thus tagged.
In other words, the Israeli-American, post-9/11 (or -9/14) militarized connections go beyond the cosmetic and past sloganeering. Then again, the latter can be instructive. In the wake of the latest Jerusalem police shooting, protesters in Israel's Occupied Territories held up placards declaring solidarity with Black Lives Matter (BLM). One read: "Palestinians support the black intifada." Yet the roots of shared systemic injustices run far deeper.
Though it remains impolitic to say so here in the US, both "BLM and the Palestinian rights movement are [by their own accounts] fighting settler-colonial states and structures of domination and supremacy that value, respectively, white and Jewish lives over black and Palestinian ones." They're hardly wrong. All-but-official apartheid reigns in Occupied Palestine, and a de-facto two-tier system favoring Jewish citizens, prevails within Israel itself. Similarly, the US grapples with chattel slavery's legacy, lingering effects institutional Jim Crow-apartheid, and its persistent system of gross, if unofficial, socio-economic racial disparity.
Though there are hopeful rumblings in post-Floyd America, neither society has much grappled with the immediacy and intransigency of their established and routine devaluation of (internal and external) Arab and African lives. Instead, in another gross similarity, Israelis and Americans prefer to laud any ruling elites who even pretend towards mildly reformist rhetoric (rather than action) as brave peacemakers.
In fact, two have won the Nobel Peace Prize. In America, there was the untested Obama: he the king of drones and free-press-suppression – whose main qualification for the award was not being named George W. Bush. In Israel, the prize went to late Prime Minister Shimon Peres. According to Bresheeth-Zabner, Peres was the "mind behind the military-industrial complex" in Israel, and also architect of the infamous 1996 massacre of 106 people sheltering at a United Nations compound in South Lebanon. In such societies as ours and Israel's, and amidst interminable wars, too often politeness passes for principle.
Predictably, social and cultural rot – and strategic delusions – first manifest in a nation's military. Neither Israel's nor America's has a particularly impressive record of late. The IDF won a few important wars in its first 25 years of existence, then came back from a near catastrophic defeat to prevail in the 1973 Yom Kippur War; but since then, it's at best muddled through near-permanent lower-intensity conflicts after invading Southern Lebanon in 1978. In fact, its 22-year continuous counter-guerilla campaign there – against Palestinian resistance groups and then Lebanese Hezbollah – slowly bled the IDF dry in a quagmire often called " Israel's Vietnam ." It was, in fact, proportionally more deadly for its troops than America's Southeast Asian debacle – and ended (in 2000) with an embarrassing unilateral withdrawal.
Additionally, Tel Aviv's perma-military-occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip hasn't just flagrantly violated International law and several UN resolutions – but blown up in the IDF's face. Ever since vast numbers of exasperated and largely abandoned (by Arab armies) Palestinians rose up in the 1987 Intifada – initially peaceful protests – and largely due to the IDF's counterproductively vicious suppression, Israel has been trapped in endless imperial policing and low-to-mid-level counterinsurgency.
None of its major named military operations in the West Bank and/or Gaza Strip – Operations Defensive Shield (2002), Days of Penitence (2004), Summer Rains (2006), Cast Lead (2008-09), Pillar of Defense (2012), Protective Edge (2014), among others – has defeated or removed Hamas, nor have they halted the launch of inaccurate but persistent Katyusha rockets.
In fact, the wildly disproportionate toll on Palestinian civilians in each and every operation, and the intransigence of Israel's ironclad occupation has only earned Tel Aviv increased international condemnation and fresh generations of resistors to combat. The IDF counts minor tactical successes and suffers broader strategic failure. As even a fairly sympathetic Rand report on the Gaza operations noted, "Israel's grand strategy became 'mowing the grass' – accepting its inability to permanently solve the problem and instead repeatedly targeting leadership of Palestinian militant organizations to keep violence manageable."
The American experience has grown increasingly similar over the last three-quarters of a century. Unless one counts modern trumped-up Banana Wars like those in Grenada (1983) and Panama (1989), or the lopsided 100-hour First Persian Gulf ground campaign (1991), the US military, too, hasn't won a meaningful victory since 1945. Korea (1950-53) was a grinding and costly draw; Vietnam (1965-72) a quixotic quagmire; Lebanon (1982-84) an unnecessary and muddled mess ; Somalia (1992-94) a mission-creeping fiasco; Bosnia/Kosovo (1992-) an over-hyped and unsatisfying diversion. Yet matters deteriorated considerably, and the Israeli-parallels grew considerably, after Congress chose endless war on September 14, 2001.
America's longest ever war, in Afghanistan, started as a seeming slam dunk but has turned out to be an intractable operational defeat. That lost cause has been a dead war walking for over a decade. Operations Iraqi Freedom (2003-11) and Inherent Resolve (2014-) may prove, respectively, America's most counterproductive and aimless missions ever. Operation Odyssey Dawn, the 2011 air campaign in pursuit of Libyan regime change, was a debacle – the entire region still grapples with its detritus of jihadi profusion, refugee dispersion, and ongoing proxy war.
US support for the Saudi-led terror war on Yemen hasn't made an iota of strategic sense, but has left America criminally complicit in immense civilian-suffering. Despite the hype, the relatively young US Africa Command (AFRICOM) was never really "about Africans," and its dozen years worth of far-flung campaigns have only further militarized a long-suffering continent and generated more terrorists. Like Israel's post-1973 operations, America's post-2001 combat missions have simply been needless, hopeless, and counterproductive.
Consider a few other regrettable U.S.-Israeli military connections over these last two decades:
- Both have set their loudly proclaimed principles aside and made devil's bargains with the venal Saudis (many of whom really do hate our values), as well as with the cynical military coup-artists in Egypt.
- Both have increasingly engaged in " wars of choice " and grown reliant on the snake oil of "magical" air power to [not] win them. In fact, during the 2006 war there, the IDF's first-ever air force officer to serve as chief of staff declared his intent to use such sky power to "turn back the clock in Lebanon by 20 years." How's that for the head of a force that still styles itself "the most moral army in the world." It's hard to see much moral difference between that and America's ever-secretive drone program (perhaps 14,000 total strikes) and the US government's constant and purposeful underreporting of the thousands of civilians they've killed.
- Both vaunted militaries broke their supposedly unbreakable backs in ill-advised invasions built on false pretenses. The Israeli historian Martin van Creveld has famously called Israel's 1982 Lebanon War – and the quagmire that resulted – his country's "greatest folly." The mainstream US national security analyst Tom Ricks – hardly a dove himself – went a step further: the 2003 "American military adventure in Iraq" was nothing short of a Fiasco .
- Both armies have seen their conventional war competence and ethical standards measurably deteriorate amidst lengthy militarized-policing campaigns. As van Creveld said of the IDF during the 1982 Lebanon invasion (after it enabled the vicious massacre of Palestinian refugees by Christian militiamen: it was reduced from the superb fighting force of a "small but brave people" into a "high-tech, but soft, bloated, strife-ridden, responsibility-shy and dishonest army."
The wear and tear from the South Lebanon occupation and from decades of beating up on downtrodden and trapped Palestinians damaged Israel's vaunted military. According to an after-action review, these operations"weakened the IDF's operational capabilities." Thus, when Israel's nose was more than a bit bloodied in the 2006 war with Hezbollah, IDF analysts and retired officers were quick – and not exactly incorrect – to blame the decaying effect of endless low-intensity warfare.
At the time, two general staff members, Major Generals Yishai Bar and Yiftach Ron-Tal, "warned that as a result of the preoccupation with missions in the territories, the IDF had lost its maneuverability and capability to fight in mountainous terrain." Van Creveld added that: "Among the commanders, the great majority can barely remember when they trained for and engaged in anything more dangerous than police-type operations."
Similar voices have sounded the alarm about the post-9/11 American military. Perhaps the loudest has been my fellow West Point History faculty alum, retired Colonel Gian Gentile. This former tank battalion commander and Iraq War vet described "America's deadly embrace of counterinsurgency" as a Wrong Turn . Specifically, he's argued that "counterinsurgency has perverted [the way of] American war," pushed the "defense establishment into fanciful thinking," and thus "atrophying [its] core fighting competencies."
Instructively, Gentile cited "The Israeli Defense Forces' recent  experience in Lebanon There were many reasons for its failure, but one of them, is that its army had done almost nothing but [counterinsurgency] in the Palestinian territories, and its ability to fight against a strident enemy had atrophied." Maybe more salient was Gentile's other rejoinder that, historically, "nation-building operations conducted at gunpoint don't turn out well" and tend to be as (or more) bloody and brutal as other wars.
- Finally, and related to Gentile's last point, both militaries fell prey to the brutality and cruelty so common in prolonged counterinsurgency and counter-guerilla combat. Consider the resurrected utility of that infamous adage of absurdity mouthed by a US Army major in Vietnam: "it became necessary to destroy the town to save it." He supposedly meant the February 1968 decision to bomb and shell the city of Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta, regardless of the risk to civilians therein.
Fast forward a decade, and B?n Tre's ghost was born again in the matter-of-fact admission of the IDF's then chief of staff, General Mordecai Gur. Asked if, during its 1978 invasion of South Lebanon, Israel had bombed civilians "without discrimination," he fired back : "Since when has the population of South Lebanon been so sacred? They know very well what the terrorists were doing. . . . I had four villages in South Lebanon bombarded without discrimination." When pressed to confirm that he believed "the civilian population should be punished," Gur's retort was "And how!" Should it surprise us then, that 33 years later the concept was rebooted to flatten presumably (though this has been contested) booby-trapped villages in my old stomping grounds of Kandahar, Afghanistan?
In sum, Israel and America are senseless strategy-simpatico. It's a demonstrably disastrous two-way relationship. Our main exports have been guns – $142.3 billion worth since 1949 (significantly more than any other recipient) – and twin umbrellas of air defense and bottomless diplomatic top-cover for Israel's abuses. As to the top-cover export, it's not for nothing that after the U.S. House rubber-stamped – by a vote of 410-8 – a 2006 resolution (written by the Israel Lobby) justifying IDF attacks on Lebanese civilians, the "maverick" Republican Patrick Buchanan labeled the legislative body as " our Knesset ."
Naturally, Tel Aviv responds in kind by shipping America a how-to-guide for societal militarization, a built-in foreign policy script to their benefit, and the unending ire of most people in the Greater Middle East. It's a timeless and treasured trade – but it benefits neither party in the long run.
"Armies With Countries"
It was once said that Frederick the Great's 18th century Prussia, was "not a country with an army, but an army with a country." Israel has long been thus. It's probably still truer of them than us. The Israelis do, after all, have an immersive system of military conscription – whereas Americans leave the fighting, killing, and dying to a microscopic and unrepresentative Praetorian Guard of professionals. Nevertheless, since 9/11 – or, more accurately, 9/14/2001 – US politics, society, and culture have wildly militarized. To say the least, the outcomes have been unsatisfying: American troops haven't "won" a significant war 75 years. Now, the US has set appearances aside once and for all and " jumped the shark " towards the gimmick of full-throated imperialism.
There are, of course, real differences in scale and substance between America and Israel. The latter is the size of Massachusetts, with the population of New York City. Its "Defense Force" requires most of its of-age population to wage its offensive wars and perennial policing of illegally occupied Palestinians. Israeli society is more plainly " prussianized ." Yet in broader and bigger – if less blatant – ways, so is the post-AUMF United States. America-the-exceptional leads the world in legalized gunrunning and overseas military basing . Rather than the globe's self-styled " Arsenal of Democracy ," the US has become little more than the arsenal of arsenals. So, given the sway of the behemoth military-industrial-complex and recent Israelification of its political culture, perhaps it's more accurate to say America is a defense industry with a country – and not the other way around.
As for 17 year-old me, I didn't think I'd signed up for the Israeli Defense Force on that sunny West Point morning of July 2, 2001. And, for the first two months and 12 days of my military career – maybe I hadn't. I sure did serve in its farcical facsimile, though: fighting its wars for an ensuing 17 more years.
Yet everyone who entered the US military after September 14, 2001 signed up for just that. Which is a true tragedy.
This originally appeared at Popular Resistance .
Danny Sjursen is a retired US Army officer and contributing editor at Antiwar.com His work has appeared in the NY Times, LA Times, The Nation, Huff Post, The Hill, Salon, Popular Resistance, and Tom Dispatch, among other publications. He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge . His forthcoming book, Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War is now available for pre-order . Sjursen was recently selected as a 2019-20 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellow . Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet . Visit his professional website for contact info, to schedule speeches or media appearances, and access to his past work.
Copyright 2020 Danny Sjursen
Sep 18, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
turcopolier , 16 September 2020 at 08:52 AMeakens , 16 September 2020 at 10:03 AM
It is clear that the heat has gone away in the fabled "Arab Street" over the issue of Israel. If that were not so, the rulers would not have dared to do this. That being so ... It will be very interesting to see how many people from these two countries go to Israel to visit holy sites like the al-Aqsa Mosque. There have not been many religious tourists from Egypt and Jordan. This is what the Israelis call pilgrims. Trump thinks that he can bring Saudi Arabia into such a deal? Good! Let's see it. He thinks that Iran can be brought into such a deal? Wonderful! Let's see it.
He thinks the Palestinians will accept permanent helot status? Maybe so... But is that something we should relish?
And what of Syria? What of Syria? Evidently Trump considered murdering President Assad two years ago. Is he going to abandon regime change now? is he going to abandon the policy of Pompeo and Jeffries?
I suggest that security should be very tight on airline flights from Bahrein and the UAE.nbsp; tjfxh , 16 September 2020 at 11:17 AM
I suspect this has less to do with peace and more to do with lining up a coalition against Iran. He's signing peace deals at the white house the same day he not only threatens Iran for a make believe assassination plot against our South African Ambassador, but admits he wanted to assassinate Assad.
He's making a big mistake though if he thinks Iranians will behave and respond similarly to the Arabs, and they are certainly not North Koreans.
He's being frog marched into a war with Iran while his ego is being stroked under the guise of a Nobel peace prize.A.I.S. , 16 September 2020 at 11:49 AM
What say about Alastair Crooke's "Maintaining Pretence Over Reality: 'Simply Put, the Iranians Outfoxed the U.S. Defence Systems'" at Strategic Culture Foundation?
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/09/14/maintaining-pretence-over-reality-simply-put-iranians-outfoxed-us-defence-systems/Leith , 16 September 2020 at 12:01 PM
My guess is that the acceptability for Helot status of Palestinians will depend on how much worse it is compared to the status of Palestinian equivalents elsewhere. Syria and Lebanon certainly look far less attractive. The other issue is the degree with which Arab elites can "reroute" Anti Israeli into Anti Iranian sentiments on the Arab street.
Also, from my admittedly limited experience, Palestinians aren't exactly homogenous, Gaza =! West Bank.
If the Israelis are smart (and I think they are), they will continue to exploit Palestinian disunity by not having one helot status but several, with privileges to repress and boss around the lesser helots (perhaps even some less desirable Israelis) awarded to the higher helots.
I think this will be fairly hard though. Various Historical, religion and cultural issues specific to the situation make it quite hard for Arabs to actually assimilate into Israeli society. There is also a lack of a unifying foe to unite against. If you look at relatively successful integration/assimilations in history, jointly overcoming something that was threatening to both typically ranked pretty highly as a cause.Jack , 16 September 2020 at 02:12 PM
"I suggest that security should be very tight on airline flights from Bahrein and the UAE."
Bingo! I won't be flying on Gulf Air or FlyDubai.Jack , 16 September 2020 at 02:44 PM
The neocons have been firmly ensconced in ME policy since Reagan. At least Trump made a little bit of lemonade. Nothing earth shattering IMO but moved the ball forward 10 yds and away from own goals under the so-called experts & strategists of the past decades.
The TDS afflicted media couldn't bear that some lemonade was made. Wolf Blitzer interviewing Jared Kushner was all about pandemic nothing about the implications or process to having couple gulf sheikhs recognize Israel. The fact is that these gulf sheikhs only paid lip service to the plight of the Palestinians in any case. This formalizes what was reality. The "Arab Street" have always been a manifestation of whatever were powerful manipulations. The manipulators have been coopted in the current lemonade making. In any case Bibi must be very pleased. He didn't have to give up anything in his difficult domestic political predicament.Serge , 16 September 2020 at 05:18 PM
Support for Israel and its maximalist dreams has always been bipartisan.Yeah, Right , 16 September 2020 at 06:03 PM
The arabs simply do not care anymore, from Morocco to Oman. Their spirit totally broken by the "Arab spring", youth disillusioned and jobless. The only dream left for most is to ape the western lifestyle. The others are fighting in wars.
I can see one of two futures, a Clean Break: Securing the Realm-style one in which all of the arabs live life as helots under the thumb of a Greater Israel. This would bring relative economic prosperity to most of the helots.Polish Janitor , 16 September 2020 at 06:14 PM
I think I see the flaw in this article: ..."If that turns out to be the case and this maneuver succeeds in ultimately bringing about a two state solution for Israel and the Palestinians,"...
Surely you don't believe that these maneuvers are intended to bring about a Palestinian state?
The colonel has a much more realistic take on this: the intention is to co-opt the Arab states into forcing the Palestinians to accept permanent helot status. Not quite slaves but closes to it.
There would be many ways to describe that, but I suspect "peace plan" would rank amongst the less accurate ones.John Merryman , 16 September 2020 at 10:17 PM
One running theme that I have been seeing from the former so-called neocon critics and ME wars opponents (Michael Scheuer comes to mind) is their uncontrollable exhilaration for any terrible so-called F.P. 'success' that the Trump admin achieves in the ME.
I also remember when the Trump admin killed the Gen. Suleimani late last year the same people also touted it a national security success. This is shameful pattern.
Just because Jared Kushner, Berkowitz (Kushner's mini-me), David Friedman and the Zionist anti-American paid shills of Christians United For Israel et.al put Israel's interest first does not make it a success for American interests abroad. Trump does not know two things about the ME. He just obeys orders from this outside 'advisors' when it comes to ME policy.
It it exactly what it is. Israel normalized relations with the most notorious dictatorships and wants to implement Pegasus spying program and wide-scale surveillance (among other nefarious things) in UAE and Bahrain. How is that a success for America? America should stay out of these Israeli-first trouble making schemes and stay neutral or out of there.
Let me tell you what a F.P. success is, OK? It would have been a huge success if America was able to lure Iran into its orbit to fend of the Chinese communists out of the region and out of our lives and have a stronger alliance with regards to its upcoming Cold War with China.
It would have been successful for America to balance China out with Iran, India, Turkey and Afghanistan, and not let China to invest billions in Haifa port (close to U.S. military forces there) a major hub of its Belt and Road initiative and a huge blow to U.S. new Cold war effort against China.
Think about it.
Allow me to raise a few points: first of all , every single one of these brutal backward Arab dictatorships has had low key but crucial relations with Israel since the Cold War and they just made it open, Big deal! Second, this joyfulness for a hostile anti-american country is quite sad for two reasons:
1. that Larry touts it as a success for America, which is anything but a success for America. It is a success for Bibi and Trump's evangelical/zionist sugar daddies to cough up some Benjamins for Trump's campaign and his GOP/Likudniks. I guess nowadays our judgement is so clouded and inverted that MAGA and MIGA are considered inseparable.
2. The delusion that dems are bitterly angry and anti-Israel (because they are anti-Trump) and therefore it automatically becomes an issue of partisan support for Trump and whatever he does. This idea is so absurd that I won't get into it. Dems were the first to congratulate Israel.
I would like Larry to tell me what he thinks of H.R. 1697 Israel Anti-Boycot Act which punishes American citizens for practicing their god-given 2nd Amendment rights. or the 3.8 billion of aid, or the the gifting of Golan heights to Bibi? Are these big foreign policy success too?
What the Arab-Israeli normalization means:
*The U.S. wants out of the ME to focus on China, a wet dream that Israel favors especially post Cold War. It does not want secular, (semi) democratic sovereign states around it, and if anyone pays attention close enough they do whatever they can to prevent any kind of political reform and change of government to occur among Arab nations. Israelis are staunch supporters of Saudi, Bahraini, UAE, Jordanian, and Egyptian dictatorships in the MENA region.
Israel will now be better positioned to roll-back any kind of grassroots reform in the ME with the help of their now openly pro-Israeli Arab rulers by directing policies to these backward rulers to divest from human development and political reform and instead invest more in security, tech, surveillance.
This trend also explains Israeli constant opposition to the Iran Deal, which would have had further ramifications for political reform and accelerated weakening of Hardliners in Tehran and a better position for America to pivot to China with the help of a moderated Iran. Israel does not want a powerful democratic nation near its borders, and especially not in Iran. Just take a look at Israel's neighbors and tell me how many of them are democratic and friendly with Israel and how does Israel behave when there are secular Arab democratic states around it?
- There is a developing coalition of powerful states as a reaction to the Arab-Israeli normalization that observers call "the rejectionists". They are, Turkey, Qatar, Pakistan (impending), Malaysia (impending), Iran, and EU (impending).
- It is true that Iran has now a target on its back and if it were smart, it would try its best to develop some kind of alliance with the secular democratic humanists in EU to try to remove itself from isolation, save what is left of the Iran Deal, and try to isolate and condemn Israelis, Arab dictators and their cohorts internationally and through diplomacy back portraying them as illiberal and anti-democratic or similar things. Although I am not too hopeful that Iran is be able to do this for a number of obvious reasons.
- This Arab-Israeli normalization is a MIGA (Make Israel Great Again) vision of very tightly controlled development for the MENA region and extremely' special' attention has been given to the cyber tech development (call it surveillance) to control the 'Arab Street' from social revolt and the prevention of next rounds of Arab Springs, which again goes back to Israel's long-standing regional doctrine of propping pro-U.S. and now pro-Israeli Arab dictatorships in the region.different clue , 17 September 2020 at 02:42 AM
In the end, it's all just tribal superstition. Logically a spiritual absolute would be the essence of sentience, from which we rise, not an ideal of wisdom and judgement, from which we fell. The fact we are aware, than the myriad details of which we are aware.
One of the reasons we can't have a live and let live world is because everyone thinks their own vision should be universal, rather than unique. So the fundamentalists rule.
The reason nature is so diverse and dense is because it isn't a monoculture. Irrespective of our technology, we are still fairly primitive, in the grand scheme of things.Mathias Alexander , 17 September 2020 at 04:53 AM
When I read that " If you look at relatively successful integration/assimilations in history, jointly overcoming something that was threatening to both typically ranked pretty highly as a cause." I think that The Islamic Republic of Iran is what is being offered or used as that cause.
If this all ends up in the longest run leading to today's and tomorrow's Israelis accepting the lesser Israel that Rabin ended up deciding would be necessary for a lesser-but-still-real Palestine to emerge as a real country resigned with both resigned enough to that outcome that they would tolerate eachother's separate independence over the long term, then this will go somewhere good.
But if the present and future Israelis believe this means that the total advantage is totally theirs to press, then present and future Palestinians will continue searching for ways to make their unhappiness felt. But that outcome would not be Trump's fault. That outcome would be the majority-likudnic Israelis' choice.Matthew , 17 September 2020 at 09:26 AM
To have a two state solution Israel will have to leave enough of Palestine without Jewish settlement for there to be room for another state. Their actions show that they have no intention of doing that.BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 17 September 2020 at 09:55 AM
Larry: the problem with "outside in" strategy is that implies that if conditions are bad enough for the Palestinians, they will agree to any deal Trump can force down their throats. Instead, Palestinians have been offered terrible deals since 2000 (ie., a state that is never going to be a real state with permanent Israeli control over its borders, air space, and water tables)
The smarter plan is to acknowledge that the Zionists killed the Two-State Solution, and Palestinians might as well push this into an anti-Apartheid struggle. The gerontocracy that rules the PA will soon pass away. The younger generation of Palestinians are much more sophisticated.
As a trial lawyer, I see this type of behavior all the time. If you offer someone essentially nothing, they lose nothing by rejecting it. The Arab dictators will not be around forever. And before Camp David, the Palestinians have suffered far worse than they are suffering now.Artemesia , 17 September 2020 at 10:35 AM
For any kind of Peace in Palestine, Jerusalem must revert back to Muslim Sovereignty.
It is all about who calls the shots there; just as it was 800 years ago.turcopolier , 17 September 2020 at 10:58 AM
Matthew: Your description of Trump's strategy is no different from Vladimir Jabotinsky's 1923 Iron Wall doctrine
In short: "We Jews know that Arabs (Palestinians) will never, ever voluntarily give up hope of resisting Jewish demands, and Jews will never stop with Jewish demands: that all of Palestine become Jewish.
Since 'voluntary' will not work, only force -- an Iron Wall -- will suffice.
Jabotinsky defines "Iron Wall" as the enforcement capacity of an outside power:"we cannot promise anything to the Arabs of the Land of Israel or the Arab countries. Their voluntary agreement is out of the question. Hence those who hold that an agreement with the natives is an essential condition for Zionism can now say "no" and depart from Zionism. Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy.
Not only must this be so, it is so whether we admit it or not. What does the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate mean for us? It is the fact that a disinterested power committed itself to create such security conditions that the local population would be deterred from interfering with our efforts."
Be aware that Benjamin Netanyahu's father, Benzion, was Jabotinsky's administrative assistant, then replacement, in New York; that Bibi is very much heir to the ideological fervor of Jabotinsky & of Benzion; and that Benzion and Benjamin laid out the blueprint for the GWOT at the Jerusalem Conference July 4, 1979
Trump plays only a walk-on role in this carefully scripted 150 year old zionist drama.turcopolier , 17 September 2020 at 11:30 AM
To "Muslim Sovereignty?" No. It should be an international city.
"there isn't a lot of difference between KSA and these fiefdoms of uae and bahrain.." A total crock. you obviously have never been to either of these places.
BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 17 September 2020 at 11:46 AMArtemesia , 17 September 2020 at 12:00 PM
Who or what Legitimate Authority would administer such an International City?
None has ever existed.
Jews can have Jerusalem if they return Washington, DC to full USA sovereignty.
Sep 18, 2020 | www.rt.com
By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz ...Amid all the pedantic squabbling over when it is and is not legal under US law for a journalist to expose evidence of US war crimes, we must never lose sight of the fact that (A) it should always be legal to expose war crimes, (B) it should always be illegal for governments to hide evidence of their war crimes, (C) war crimes should always be punished, (D) people who start criminal wars should always be punished, (E) governments should not be permitted to have a level of secrecy that allows them to start criminal wars, and (F) power and secrecy should always have an inverse relationship to one another.
The Assange case needs to be fought tooth and claw, but we must keep in mind that it is so very, very many clicks back from where we need to be as a civilization. In an ideal situation, governments should be too afraid of the public to keep secrets from them; instead, here we are begging the most powerful government in the world to please not imprison a journalist because he arguably did not break the rules that that government made for itself.
Do you see how far that point is from where we need to be?
It's important to remember this. It's important to remember that the amount of evil deeds power structures will commit is directly proportional to the amount of information they are permitted to hide from the public. We will not have a healthy world until power and secrecy have an inverse relationship to each other: privacy for rank-and-file individuals, and transparency for governments and their officials.
"But what about military secrets?" one might object. Yes, what about military secrets? What about the fact that virtually all military violence perpetrated by the world's largest power structures is initiated based on lies ? What about the utterly indisputable fact that the more secrecy we allow the war machine, the more wars it deceives the public into allowing it to initiate?
In a healthy world, the most powerful government on Earth wouldn't be trying to squint at its own laws in such a way that permits the prosecution of a journalist for telling the truth.
In a healthy world, the most powerful government on Earth wouldn't prosecute anyone for telling the truth at all.
In a healthy world, governments would prosecute their own war crimes, instead of those who expose them.
In a healthy world, governments wouldn't commit war crimes at all.
In a healthy world, governments wouldn't start wars at all.
In a healthy world, governments would see truth as something to be desired and actively sought, not something to be repressed and punished.
In a healthy world, governments wouldn't keep secrets from the public, and wouldn't have any cause to want to.
In a healthy world, if governments existed at all, they would exist solely as tools for the people to serve themselves, with full transparency and accountability to those people.
We are obviously a very, very far cry from the kind of healthy world we would all like to one day find ourselves in. But we should always keep in mind what a healthy world will look like, and hold it as our true north for the direction that we are pushing in.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Reality007 3 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 10:07 AMUnfortunately, no criminals that have committed or covered up war crimes, decades ago to present, will ever be indicted. They are all above the law while all innocents that revealed the truths must pay highly. We can only pray and hope for the best for Julian Assange.Fred Dozer Reality007 1 hour ago 18 Sep, 2020 12:16 PMI see nothing wrong with robbing banks in criminal controlled countries. These governments, murder, cheat, lie, & steal.T. Agee Kaye 2 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 11:10 AMThe right of a people to know what their government is doing, and the potential consequences of those actions on the people, nation, and society, is inalienable. The exposure of war crimes and any corruption is not illegal and cannot be made illegal. The trial of Assange is not about the legality of Assange's actions. It is a display of the influence that criminal interests have over the government and judiciary. It is an attempt to create legitimacy by creating precedent. Murder has plenty of precedent. It will never be legitimate.Jewel Gyn 3 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 10:21 AMAgreed but having said that, we are not living in a perfect world. Bully with big fists exist and the lesser countries just stood by frustrated and sucking their thumbs, silent lest they be targeted for voicing out. And you can see clearly why US is walking away from any form of organised voice eg UN.Odinsson 2 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 10:51 AMWhat we need in the case of Julian Assange is factual reporting. While the motivation to prosecute Assange is most likely political, there would be no ability to prosecute him were it not for his active support of PFC Manning's hacking of a DOD information system. It is not unlawful to publish classified information which was provided to you, so long as you are not involved in the criminal acts leading to the exfiltration of the data. Had Assange not aided PFC Manning by looking up hash codes in spreadsheets of known password to hash code translations then the grand jury would not have indicted him. FWIW, it is my opinion that the statute of limitations expired long ago and this should be grounds for dismissal of all charges against him.jholf 1 hour ago 18 Sep, 2020 12:04 PMThese world leaders, claim to be Christians, ... their God 'commands', "Thou shalt not kill." Yet, for more than 6 decades, that is exactly what each of these Christian Commanders in Chief, have done for no reason, other than to fill the pockets of the elite. A man is known by his deeds, Assange gave us truth, while these world leaders gave us war and destructi
Sep 16, 2020 | www.rt.com
... ... ...
It is Trump's tortured relationship with the military that stands out the most, especially as told through the eyes of former Secretary of Defense Jim 'Mad Dog' Mattis, a retired marine general. It is clear that Bob Woodward spent hours speaking with Mattis -- the insights, emotions and internal voice captured in the book show a level of intimacy that could only be reached through in-depth interviews, and Woodward has a well-earned reputation for getting people to speak to him.
The book makes it clear that Mattis viewed Trump as a threat to the US' standing as the defender of a rules-based order -- built on the back of decades-old alliances -- that had been in place since the end of the Second World War.
It also makes it clear that Mattis and the military officers he oversaw placed defending this order above implementing the will of the American people, as expressed through the free and fair election that elevated Donald Trump to the position of commander-in-chief. In short, Mattis and his coterie of generals knew best, and when the president dared issue an order or instruction that conflicted with their vision of how the world should work, they would do their best to undermine this order, all the while confirming to the president that it was being followed.
This trend was on display in Woodward's telling of Trump's efforts to forge better relations with North Korea. At every turn, Mattis and his military commanders sought to isolate the president from the reality on the ground, briefing him only on what they thought he needed to know, and keeping him in the dark about what was really going on.
In a telling passage, Woodward takes us into the mind of Jim Mattis as he contemplates the horrors of a nuclear war with North Korea, and the responsibility he believed he shouldered when it came to making the hard decision as to whether nuclear weapons should be used or not. Constitutionally, the decision was the president's alone to make, something Mattis begrudgingly acknowledges. But in Mattis' world, he, as secretary of defense, would be the one who influenced that decision.
Mattis, along with the other general officers described by Woodward, is clearly gripped with what can only be described as the 'Military Messiah Syndrome'.
What defines this 'syndrome' is perhaps best captured in the words of Emma Sky, the female peace activist-turned adviser to General Ray Odierno, the one-time commander of US forces in Iraq. In a frank give-and-take captured by Ms. Sky in her book 'The Unravelling', Odierno spoke of the value he placed on the military's willingness to defend "freedom" anywhere in the world. " There is, " he said, " no one who understands more the importance of liberty and freedom in all its forms than those who travel the world to defend it ."
Ms. Sky responded in typically direct fashion: " One day, I will have you admit that the [Iraq] war was a bad idea, that the administration was led by a radical neocon program, that the US's standing in the world has gone down greatly, and that we are far less safe than we were before 9/11. "
Odierno would have nothing of it. " It will never happen while I'm the commander of soldiers in Iraq ."
" To lead soldiers in battle ," Ms. Sky noted, " a commander had to believe in the cause. " Left unsaid was the obvious: even if the cause was morally and intellectually unsound.
his, more than anything, is the most dangerous thing about the 'Military Messiah Syndrome' as captured by Bob Woodward -- the fact that the military is trapped in an inherited reality divorced from the present, driven by precepts which have nothing to with what is, but rather by what the military commanders believe should be. The unyielding notion that the US military is a force for good becomes little more than meaningless drivel when juxtaposed with the reality that the mission being executed is inherently wrong.
The 'Military Messiah Syndrome' lends itself to dishonesty and, worse, to self-delusion. It is one thing to lie; it is another altogether to believe the lie as truth.No single general had the courage to tell Trump allegations against Syria were a hoax
The cruise missile attack on Syria in early April 2017 stands out as a case in point. The attack was ordered in response to allegations that Syria had dropped a bomb containing the sarin nerve agent on a town -- Khan Shaykhun -- that was controlled by Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic militants.
Trump was led to believe that the 59 cruise missiles launched against Shayrat Airbase -- where the Su-22 aircraft alleged to have dropped the bombs were based -- destroyed Syria's capability to carry out a similar attack in the future. When shown post-strike imagery in which the runways were clearly untouched, Trump was outraged, lashing out at Secretary of Defense Mattis in a conference call. " I can't believe you didn't destroy the runway !", Woodward reports the president shouting.
" Mr. President ," Mattis responds in the text, " they would rebuild the runway in 24 hours, and it would have little effect on their ability to deploy weapons. We destroyed the capability to deploy weapons " for months, Mattis said.
" That was the mission the president had approved, " Woodward writes, clearly channeling Mattis, " and they had succeeded ."
The problem with this passage is that it is a lie. There is no doubt that Bob Woodward has the audio tape of Jim Mattis saying these things. But none of it is true. Mattis knew it when he spoke to Woodward, and Woodward knew it when he wrote the book.
There was no confirmed use of chemical weapons by Syria at Khan Shaykhun. Indeed, the forensic evidence available about the attack points to the incident being a false flag effort -- a successful one, it turns out -- on the part of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamists to provoke a US military strike against Syria. No targets related to either the production, storage or handling of chemical weapons were hit by the US cruise missiles, if for no other reason than no such targets could exist if Syria did not possess and/or use a chemical weapon against Khan Shaykhun.
Moreover, the US failed to produce a narrative of causality which provided some underlying logic to the targets that were struck at Khan Shaykhun -- "Here is where the chemical weapons were stored, here is where the chemical weapons were filled, here is where the chemical weapons were loaded onto the aircraft." Instead, 59 cruise missiles struck empty aircraft hangars, destroying derelict aircraft, and killing at least four Syrian soldiers and up to nine civilians.
The next morning, the same Su-22 aircraft that were alleged to have bombed Khan Shaykhun were once again taking off from Shayrat Air Base -- less than 24 hours after the US cruise missiles struck that facility. President Trump had every reason to be outraged by the results.
But the President should have been outraged by the processes behind the attack, where military commanders, fully afflicted by 'Military Messiah Syndrome', offered up solutions that solved nothing for problems that did not exist. Not a single general (or admiral) had the courage to tell the president that the allegations against Syria were a hoax, and that a military response was not only not needed, but would be singularly counterproductive.
But that's not how generals and admirals -- or colonels and lieutenant colonels -- are wired. That kind of introspective honesty cannot happen while they are in command.
Bob Woodward knows this truth, but he chose not to give it a voice in his book, because to do so would disrupt the pre-scripted narrative that he had constructed, around which he bent and twisted the words of those he interviewed -- including the president and Jim Mattis. As such, 'Rage' is, in effect, a lie built on a lie. It is one thing for politicians and those in power to manipulate the truth to their advantage. It's something altogether different for journalists to report something as true that they know to be a lie.
On the back cover of 'Rage', the Pulitzer prize-winning historian Robert Caro is quoted from a speech he gave about Bob Woodward. " Bob Woodward ," Caro notes, " a great reporter. What is a great reporter? Someone who never stops trying to get as close to the truth as possible ."
After reading 'Rage', one cannot help but conclude the opposite -- that Bob Woodward has written a volume which pointedly ignores the truth. Instead, he gives voice to a lie of his own construct, predicated on the flawed accounts of sources inflicted with 'Military Messiah Syndrome', whose words embrace a fantasy world populated by military members fulfilling missions far removed from the common good of their fellow citizens -- and often at conflict with the stated intent and instruction of the civilian leadership they ostensibly serve. In doing so, Woodward is as complicit as the generals and former generals he quotes in misleading the American public about issues of fundamental importance.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!Scott Ritter
is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of ' SCORPION KING : America's Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.' He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter
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Jewel Gyn 21 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 12:23 AMWhichever construct you want to believe, the fact remains that US has continued to sow instability around the world in the name of defending the liberty and freedom. Which brings to the question how the world can continue to allow a superpower to dictate what's good or bad for a sovereign country.Johan le Roux Jewel Gyn 18 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 03:42 AMThe answer you seek is not in the US's proclaimed vision of 'democracy' ot 'rescuing populations from the clutches of vile dictators.' They just say that to validate their actions which in reality is using their military as a mercenary force to secure and steal the resources of countries.Joaquin Montano 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 04:57 PMBob Woodward was enshrined as a great, heroic like journalist by the Hollywood propaganda machine, but reality is he is a US Security agent pretending to be a well informed/connected journalist. And indeed, he is well informed/connected, since he was a Naval intelligence man, part responsible of the demise of the Nixon administration when it fell out of grace with the powerful elites, and the Washington Post being well connected with the CIA, the rest is history. And as they say, once a CIA man, always a CIA man.DukeLeo Joaquin Montano 22 hours ago 16 Sep, 2020 11:36 PMThat is correct. Woodward is a Naval intelligence man. The elite in the US was not happy about Nixon's foreign policy and his detante with the Soviet Union. Watergate was invented, and Nixon had nothing to do with it. However, it brought him down, thank's to Woodward.NoJustice Joaquin Montano 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:48 PMBut he also exposed Trump's lies about Covid-19.lectrodectus 17 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 04:45 AMAnother first class article by ....Scott .. The book makes it clear that Mattis viewed Trump as a threat to the Us' standing as the defender of a " rules -based order -built on the back of decades -old alliances-that had been in place since the end of the second World War". It also makes it clear that " Mattis and the Military officials he oversaw placed defending this order above the implementing the will of the American People " These old Military Dinosaurs simply can't let go of the past, unfortunately for the American people / the World I can't see anything ever changing, it will be business as usual ie, war after War after War.Jonny247364 lectrodectus 5 minutes ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:53 PMJust because donny signs a dictact it does not equate to the will of the americian people. The americian people did not ask donny to murder Assad.neeon9 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:56 PM"a threat to the US’ standing as the defender of a rules-based order –" Who made that a thing? who voted for the US to be the policeman of the planet? and who said their "rules" are right? I sure didn't, nor did anyone I know, even my american friends don't know whose idea it was!fezzie035fezzm 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:29 PMIt's interesting to note that every president since J.F.K. has got America into a military conflict, or has turned a minor conflict into a major one. Trump is the exception. Trump inherited conflicts (Afghanistan, Syria etc) but has not started a new one, and he has spent his three years ending or winding down the conflicts he had inherited.NoJustice fezzie035fezzm 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:34 PMTrump increased military deployment to the Middle East. He increased military spending. He had a foreign general assassinated. He had missiles fired into Syria. He vetoed a bill that would limit his authority to wage war. Trump is not an exception.T. Agee Kaye 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:59 PMGood op ed. 'Rage is built on a lie' applies to many things.E_Kaos T. Agee Kaye 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:46 PMTrue, the beginning of a new narrative and the continuation of an old narrative.PYCb988 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 07:25 PMSomething's amiss here. Mattis was openly telling the press that there was no evidence against Assad. Just Google: Mattis Newsweek Assad.erniedouglas 12 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:14 AMWhat was Watergate? Even bet says there were tapes of a private relationship between Nixon and BB Rebozo.allan Kaplan 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:03 PMContinuation of a highly organized and tightly controlled disinformation campaign to do one singularly the most significant and historically one of the most illegal act of American betrayal... overthrow American elections at any and all costs to install one of the most deranged, demoralized sold out brain dead Biden and his equally brown nosing Harris only to unseat a legally and democratically elected US president according to our Constitution! Will their evil acts against America work? I doubt it! But at a price that America has never before seen. Let's sit back and watch this Rose Bowl parade of America's dirtiest of the dirty politics!E_Kaos allan Kaplan 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:49 PM"brown nosing harris", how apropos with the play on words.Bill Spence allan Kaplan 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:29 PMBoth parties and their politicians are totally corrupt. Why would anyone support one side over the other? Is that because you believe the promises and lies?custos125 17 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 04:35 AMIs there any evidence that both Mattis and Woodward knew that the allegations of a Syrian use of chemical weapons by plane were not true, a false flag? On the assumption of this use, the capacity to fly such attack and deploy such weapons was destroyed for some time. I recommend reading of Rage, it is quite interesting, even if some people will not like it and try to keep people away from the book.E_Kaos custos125 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:58 PMMy observations were: 1 - where were the bomb fragments 2 - why use rusted gas cylinders 3 - how do you attach a rusted gas cylinder to a plane 4 - were the rusted gas cylinders tossed out of a plane 5 - how did the rusted gas cylinders land so close to each other My conclusion - False Flag Incidentneeon9 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:58 PMThe is only one threat to peace in the world, and it's the US/Israeli M.I.C.. War mongering children, who actually believe, against all reason, that they are the most worthy and entitled race on earth! they are not. The US has been responsible for more misery in the world than any other state, which isn't surprising given how many Nazi's were resettled there by the Jews. They are also the only Ppl on the planet who think a nuclear war is winnable! How strange is that!NoJustice 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:22 PMSo everything is a lie because Woodward didn't mention that there was no evidence found that linked the Syrian government to the chemical attack?Strongbo50 6 minutes ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:58 PMThe left is firing up the Russian Interference narrative again, how Russia is trying to take the election. The real truth is in plain sight, The main stream media is trying to deliver Biden a win, along with google yahoo msn facebook and twitter. I say, come on Russia, if you can help stem that tide of lies please Mr Putin help. That's a joke but the media is real. And Woodward in his old age wants one more trophy on his mantle.CuttySark 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:41 PMTrump has become the great white whale. Seems like there are Ahab's everywhere willing to shoot their hearts upon the beast to bring it down whatever the cost. I think it was this kind of rage and attitude that got Adolf off to a good start.NoJustice CuttySark 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:44 PMHe's an easy target because he keeps screwing up.Gryphon_ 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:59 PMThe Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. Never in my life have I seen a newspaper that lies as much as the post. Bob Woodward works for the post.
Sep 09, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The international order is no longer bipolar, despite the elites' insistence otherwise. Fortunately there is hope for change.
Despite its many failings and high human, social, and economic costs, American foreign policy since the end of the Second World War has shown a remarkable degree of continuity and inflexibility. This rather curious phenomenon is not limited to America alone. The North Atlantic foreign policy establishment from Washington D.C. to London, which some have aptly dubbed the "blob," has doggedly championed the grand strategic framework of "primacy" and armed hegemony, often coated with more docile language such as "global leadership," "American indispensability," and "strengthening the Western alliance."
In America, this unfortunate status quo in support of primacy persists even in the Trumpian Age and within debates around the eccentric and unconventional presidency of Donald Trump. In fact, despite all the talk of political polarization in the United States, it appears that when it comes to naming new threats and enemies to "contain," "deter," and deem "existential," bipartisan consensus is found swiftly and quite readily.
On the Left, and in the wake of President Trump's election, the Democratic establishment began fixating its wrath on Russia–adopting a confrontational stance toward Moscow and fueling fears of a renewed Cold War. On the Right, the realigning GOP has increasingly, if at times inconsistently, singled out China as the greatest threat to U.S. national security, a hostile attitude further exacerbated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alarmingly, Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, has recently joined the hawkish bandwagon toward China, even attempting to outflank Trump on this issue and attacking the president's China policy as too weak and accommodating of China's rise.
In a recent speech delivered in Europe, the U.S. defense secretary and former corporate lobbyist for Raytheon, Mark Esper, unified these two faces of the Janus that embodies the North Atlantic foreign policy establishment. Esper referred to both China and Russia as disruptive forces working to unravel the international order, which "we have created together," and called on the international community to preserve that order by countering both powers. As it stands, we are on the path to a series of cold wars throughout this century, if not a hot conflict between rival great powers that could spiral into World War III. Despite increased calls for realism and restraint in foreign policy, primacy is alive and well.
Indeed, the dominant tendency among many foreign policy observers is to overprivilege the threat of rising superpowers and to insist on strong containment measures to limit the spheres of influence of the so-called revisionist powers. Such an approach, coupled with the prospect of ascendant powers actively resisting and confronting the United States as the ruling global hegemon, has one eminent International Relations scholar warning of the Thucydides Trap.
There are others, however, who insist that the structural shifts undermining the liberal international order mark the end of U.S. hegemony and its "unipolar moment." In realist terms, what Secretary Esper really means to protect, they would argue, is a conception of "rules-based" global order that was a structural by-product of the Second World War and the ensuing Cold War and whose very rules and institutions were underwritten by U.S. hegemony. This would be an exercise in folly -- not corresponding to the reality of systemic change and the return of great power competition and civilizational contestation.
What's more, the sanctimony of this "liberal" hegemonic order and the logic of democratic peace were both presumably vindicated by the collapse of the Soviet Union and its totalitarian system, a black swan event that for many had heralded the "end of history" and promised the advent of the American century. A great deal of lives, capital, resources, and goodwill were sacrificed by America and her allies toward that crusade for liberty and universality, which was only the most recent iteration of a radically utopian element in American political thought going back to Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. Alas, as it had eluded earlier generations of idealists, that century never truly arrived, and neither did the empire of liberty and prosperity that it loftily aimed to establish.
Today, the emerging reality of a multipolar world and alternate worldviews championed by the different cultural blocs led by China and Russia appears to have finally burst the bubble of American Triumphalism, proving that the ideas behind it are "not simply obsolete but absurd." This failure should have been expected since the very project the idealists had espoused was built on a pathological "savior complex" and a false truism that reflected the West's own absolutist and distorted sense of ideological and moral superiority. Samuel Huntington might have been right all along to cast doubt on the long-term salience of using ideology and doctrinal universalism as the dividing principle for international relations. His call to focus, instead, on civilizational distinction, the permanent power of culture on human action, and the need to find common ground rings especially true today. Indeed, fostering a spirit of coexistence and open dialogue among the world's great civilizational complexes is a fundamental tenet of a cultural realism.
And yet, despite such permanent shifts in the global order away from universalist dichotomies and global hegemony and toward culturalism and multi-polarity, there exists a profound disjunction between the structural realities of the international system and the often business-as-usual attitude of the North Atlantic foreign policy elites. How could one explain the astonishing levels of rigidity and continuity on the part of the "blob" and the military-industrial-congressional complex regularly pushing for more adventurism and interventionism abroad? Why would the bipartisan primacist establishment, which their allies in the mainstream media endeavor still to mask, justify such illiberal acts of aggression and attempts at empire by weaponizing the moralistic language of human rights, individual liberty, and democracy in a world increasingly awakened to arbitrary ideological framing?
There are, of course, systemic reasons behind the power and perpetuation of the blob and the endurance of primacy. The vast economic incentives of war and its instruments, institutional routinization and intransigence, stupefaction and groupthink of government bureaucracy, and the significant influence of lobbying efforts by foreign governments and other vested interest groups could each partly explain the remarkable continuity of the North Atlantic foreign policy establishment. The endless stream of funding from the defense industry, neoliberal and neoconservative foundations, as well as the government itself keeps the "blob" alive, while the general penchant for bipartisanship around preserving the status quo allows it to thrive. What is more, elite schools produce highly analytic yet narrowly focused and conventional minds that are tamed to be agreeable so as to not undermine elite consensus. This conveyor belt feeds the "blob," supplying it with the army of specialists, experts, and wonks it requires to function as a mind melding hive, while in practice safeguarding employment for the career bureaucrats for decades to come.
There is, however, a more significant psychosociological reason for the blob's remarkable persistence. When it comes to foreign policy, Western policymakers today suffer from a Manichean worldview, a caustic mindset crystalized during a decades-running Cold War with the Soviet Union. The world might have changed fundamentally with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the bipolar structure of the international system might have ended irreversibly, but the personnel -- the Baby Boomer Generation elites conducting foreign policy in the North Atlantic -- did not leave office or retire with the collapse of the USSR. They largely remain in power to this day.
Every generation is forged through a formative crisis, its experiences seen through the prism that all-encompassing ordeal. For the incumbent elites, that generational crisis was the Cold War and the omnipresent threat of nuclear annihilation. The dualistic paradigm of the international system during the U.S.-Soviet rivalry bred an entire generation to see the world through a black-and-white binary. It should come as no surprise that this era elevated the idealist strain of thought and the crusading, neo-Jacobin impulse of U.S. foreign policy (personified by Thomas Jefferson and Woodrow Wilson) to new, ever-expanding heights. Idealism prizes a nemesis and thus revels in a bipolar order.
Frozen in this Cold War mindset, the Atlanticist blob has internalized the bipolar moment that followed the Second World War, treating it as a permanent fixture and the normal state of the international system. In fact, the bipolar and unipolar periods we have undergone over the past 75 years are nothing but aberrations and historical anomalies. In truth, the reality of the international system tends toward multi-polarity -- and at long last it appears that the system is self-correcting. The North Atlantic establishment came of age during that time of exception, forming its (liberal) identity through the process of "alterity" and in a nemetic opposition to communism.
Not surprisingly then, the North Atlantic elites continue to seek adversaries to demonize and "monsters to destroy" in order to justify their moral universalism and presumed ideological superiority, doing so under the garb of a totalizing and absolutist idea of exceptionalism. After all, a nemetic zeitgeist during which ideology reigned supreme and realism was routinely discounted was tailor-made for dogmatic absolutism and moral universalism. In such a zero-sum strategic environment, it was only natural to demand totality and frame the ongoing geopolitical struggle in terms of an existential opposition over Good and Evil that would quite literally split the world in two.
Today, that same kind of Manichean thinking continues to handicap paradigmatic change in foreign policy. A false consciousness, it underpins and promotes belief in the double myths of indispensability and absolute exceptionality, suggesting that the North Atlantic bloc holds a certain monopoly on all that is good and true. It is not by chance that such pathological renderings of "exceptionalism" and "leadership" have been wielded as convenient rationale and intellectual placeholders for the ideology of empire across the North Atlantic. This sense of ingrained moral self-righteousness, coupled with an attitude that celebrates activism, utopianism, and interventionism in foreign policy, has created and reinforced a culture of strategic overextension and imperial overreach.
It is this very culture -- personified and dominated by the Baby Boomers and the blob they birthed -- that has made hawkishness ubiquitous, avoids any real reckoning as to the limits of power, and habitually belittles calls for restraint and moderation as isolationism. In truth, however, what has been the exceptional part in the delusion of absolute exceptionalism is Pax Americana, liberal hegemony, and the hubris that animates them having gone uncontested and unchecked for so long. That confrontation could begin in earnest by directly challenging the Boomer blob itself -- and by propagating a counter-elite offering a starkly different worldview.
Achieving such a genuine paradigm shift demands a generational sea-change, to retire the old blob and make a better one in its place. It is about time for the old establishment to forgo its reign, allowing a new younger cohort from among the Millennial and post-Millennial generations to advance into leadership roles. The Millennials, especially, are now the largest generation of eligible voters (overtaking the Baby Boomers) as well as the first generation not habituated by the Cold War; in fact, many of them grew up during the "unipolar moment" of American hegemony. Hence, their generational identity is not built around a dualistic alterity. Free from obsessive fixation on ideological supremacy, most among them reject total global dominance as both unattainable and undesirable.
Instead, their worldview is shaped by an entirely different set of experiences and disappointments. Their generational crisis was brought on by a series of catastrophic interventions and endless wars around the world -- chief among them the debacles in Afghanistan and Iraq and the toppling of Libya's Gaddafi -- punctuated by repeated onslaughts of financial recessions and domestic strife. The atmosphere of uncertainty, instability, and general chaos has bred discontent, turning many Millennials into pragmatic realists who are disenchanted with the system, critical of the pontificating establishment, and naturally skeptical of lofty ideals and utopian doctrines.
In short, this is not an absolutist and complacent generation of idealists, but one steeped in realism and a certain perspectivism that has internalized the inherent relativity of both power and truth. Most witnessed the dangers of overreach, hubris, and a moralized foreign policy, so they are actively self-reflective, circumspect, and restrained. As a generation, they appear to be less the moralist and the global activist and more prudent, level-headed, and temperamentally conservative -- developing a keen appreciation for realpolitik, sovereignty, and national interest. Their preference for a non-ideological approach in foreign policy suggests that once in power, they will be less antagonistic and more tolerant of rival powers and accepting of pluralism in the international system. That openness to civilizational distinction and global cultural pluralism also implies that future Millennial statesmen will subscribe to a more humble, less grandiose, and narrower definition of interest that focuses on securing core objectives -- i.e., preserving national security and recognizing spheres of influence.
Reforming and rehabilitating the U.S. foreign policy establishment will require more than policy prescriptions and comprehensive reports: it needs generational change. To transform and finally "rein in" North Atlantic foreign policy, our task today must be to facilitate and expedite this shift. Once that occurs, the incoming Millennials should be better positioned to discard the deep-seated and routinized ideology of empire, supplanting it with a greater emphasis on partnership that is driven by mutual interests and a general commitment to sharing the globe with the world's other great cultures.
This new approach calls for America to lead by the power of its example, exhibiting the benefits of liberty and a constitutional republic at home, without forcibly imposing those values abroad. Such an outlook means abandoning the coercive regime change agendas and the corrosive projects of nation-building and democracy promotion. In this new multipolar world, America would be an able, dynamic, and equal participant in ensuring sustainable peace side-by-side the world's other great powers, acting as "a normal country in a normal time." Reflecting the spirit of republican governance authentically is far more pertinent now and salutary for the future of the North Atlantic peoples than is promulgating the utopian image of a shining city on a hill.
Arta Moeini is research director at the Institute for Peace and Diplomacy and a postdoc fellow at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship. Dr. Moeini's latest project advances a theory of cultural realism as a cornerstone to a new understanding of foreign policy.
The Institute for Peace and Diplomacy will be co-sponsoring "The Future of Grand Strategy in the Post-COVID World," with TAC, tonight at 6 p.m. ET. Register for free here .
Sep 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Every few days U.S. 'intelligence' and 'officials' produce fake claims about this or that 'hostile' country. U.S. media continue to reproduce those claims even if they bare any logic and do not make any sense.
On June 27 the New York Times and the Washington Post published fake news about alleged Russian payments to the Taliban for killing U.S. troops.
The stories ran on the outlets' front pages.
Two week later the story was shown to have no basis :
[T]hat the story was obviously bullshit did not prevent Democrats in Congress, including 'Russiagate' swindler Adam Schiff, to bluster about it and to call for immediate briefings and new sanctions on Russia .
Just a day after it was published the main accusation, that Trump was briefed on the 'intelligence' died. The Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Advisor and the CIA publicly rejected the claim. Then the rest of the story started to crumble. On June 2, just one week after it was launched, the story was declared dead .
The NYT buried the above quoted dead corpse of the original story page A-19.
Despite that the Democrats continued to use the fake story for attacks on Donald Trump.
Yesterday the commander of the U.S. forces in the Middle East drove a stake though the heart of the dead corpse of the original story:Two months after top Pentagon officials vowed to get to the bottom of whether the Russian government bribed the Taliban to kill American service members , the commander of troops in the region says a detailed review of all available intelligence has not been able to corroborate the existence of such a program.
"It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me," Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, told NBC News. McKenzie oversees U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
But as one fake news zombie finally dies others get resurrected. Politico's 'intelligence' stenographer Natasha Bertrand produced this nonsensical claim :The Iranian government is weighing an assassination attempt against the American ambassador to South Africa, U.S. intelligence reports say, according to a U.S. government official familiar with the issue and another official who has seen the intelligence.
News of the plot comes as Iran continues to seek ways to retaliate for President Donald Trump's decision to kill a powerful Iranian general earlier this year, the officials said. If carried out, it could dramatically ratchet up already serious tensions between the U.S. and Iran and create enormous pressure on Trump to strike back -- possibly in the middle of a tense election season.
U.S. officials have been aware of a general threat against the ambassador, Lana Marks, since the spring, the officials said. But the intelligence about the threat to the ambassador has become more specific in recent weeks. The Iranian Embassy in Pretoria is involved in the plot, the U.S. government official said.
Ambassador Lana Marks is known for selling overpriced handbags and for her donations to Trump's campaign. To Iran she has zero political or symbolic value. There is no way Iran would ever think about an attack on such a target. Accordingly the South African intelligence services do not believe that there is such a threat:South African Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo said the matter was "receiving the necessary attention" and that the State Security Agency (SSA) was "interacting with all relevant partners both in the country and abroad, to ensure that no harm will be suffered by the US Ambassador, including any other Diplomatic Officials inside the borders of our country."
However, an informed intelligence source told Daily Maverick that although the "matter has been taken seriously as we approach all such threats, specifically, there appears to be, from our perspective, no discernible threat. Least of all from the source that it purports to emanate from.
There was "no evidence or indicator", the source said, so the plot was "not likely to be real". The "associations made are not sustainable on any level but all precautions will be put in place".
The source suggested this was an instance of the "tail wagging the dog", of the Trump administration wielding a "weapon of mass distraction" to divert attention from its failures in the election campaign running up to President Donald Trump's re-election bid on November 3.
The spokesperson for the Iranian ministry of foreign affairs, Saeed Khatibzadeh, strongly denied the allegation in the Politico report which he called "hackneyed and worn-out anti-Iran propaganda".
In January the U.S. assassinated the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad. Soleimani led the external campaigns of the Iranian Quds Forces. He was the one who orchestrated the campaign that defeated the Islamic State. His mythic-symbolic position for Iran and the resistance in the Middle East is beyond that of any U.S. figure.
There is simply no one in the U.S. military or political hierarchy who could be seen as his equal. Iran has therefore announced that it will take other ways to revenge the assassination of Soleimani.
As an immediate response to the assassination of Soleimani Iran had launched a precise missile attack against two U.S. bases in Iraq. It has also announced that it will make sure that the U.S. military will have to leave the Middle East. That program is in full swing now as U.S. bases in Iraq are again coming under daily missile attacks :More than eight months after a barrage of rockets killed an American contractor and wounded four American service members in Kirkuk, Iraq, militia groups continue to target U.S. military bases in that country, and the frequency of those attacks has increased.
"We have had more indirect fire attacks around and against our bases the first half of this year than we did the first half of last year," Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of the U.S. Central Command, said. "Those attacks have been higher."
McKenzie's comments came just hours after he announced the United States would be cutting its footprint in Iraq by almost half by the end of September, with about 2,200 troops leaving the country .
Just hours agon two Katyusha rockets were fired against the U.S. embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone. Two British/U.S.convoys also came under attack . U.S. air defense took the missiles down but its anti-missile fire is only further disgruntling the Iraqi population.
These attacks are still limited and designed to not cause any significant casualties. But they will continue to increase over time until the last U.S. soldier is withdrawn from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other Middle East countries. That, and only that, is the punishment Iran promised as revenge for Soleimani's death.
The alleged Iranian thread against the U.S. ambassador to South Africa is just another fake news propaganda story. It is useful only for lame blustering:Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 3:04 UTC · Sep 15, 2020
According to press reports, Iran may be planning an assassination, or other attack, against the United States in retaliation for the killing of terrorist leader Soleimani, which was carried out for his planning a future attack, murdering U.S. Troops, and the death & suffering...
...caused over so many years. Any attack by Iran, in any form, against the United States will be met with an attack on Iran that will be 1,000 times greater in magnitude!
The danger of such fake stories about Russia or Iran is that they might be used to justify a response in the case of a false flag attack on the alleged targets.
Should something inconvenient happen to Ambassador Lana Marks the Trump administration could use the fake story as an excuse to respond with a limited attack on Iran.
It is well known by now that U.S. President Donald Trump is lying about every time he opens his mouth. Why do U.S. journalists presume that the agencies and anonymous officials who work under him are more truthful in their utterings than the man himself is hard to understand. Why do they swallow their bullshit?
Posted by b on September 15, 2020 at 11:50 UTC | Permalink
jo6pac , Sep 15 2020 12:01 utc | 1Amerikas propaganda machine never sleeps and sadly to many people believe the BSSunny Runny Burger , Sep 15 2020 12:27 utc | 2US and European journalists are also lying constantly, that's why. Even when they make embarrassing attempts at "being unbiased" or "factual". Do they understand it? Many might not, but some do, perhaps fewer than anyone would think reasonable.Christian J. Chuba , Sep 15 2020 12:44 utc | 3
Btw a lot of these "journalists" in Europe in particular openly self-identify to "the left" or even as socialists and communists or "greens". So much for ideology as some kind of solution: entirely worthless and superficial.But CNN has and will continue to repeat the allegations as fact, so it's mission accomplished for the deep state. As another poster said on this board about manufacturing consent: "It is important to discuss the story, not its credibility, the more the discussion, the more the reaction and the more it reinforces the narrative."vk , Sep 15 2020 12:54 utc | 4
Just for laughs, I looked at the reviews of Gordon Chang's book, 'The Coming Economic Collapse of China' to see if I could figure out the reasoning and one of the reviewers said that China weakens because they lack a free press to hold their govt accountable. I had a good laugh at that one.There's an objective explanation for that.Nathan Mulcahy , Sep 15 2020 12:56 utc | 5
In the 1920s (or 30s), far-rightist Karl Popper coined the concept of systematic manipulation of "public opinion". This would become a hallmark of Western Civilization in the post-war. The public opinion theory states that the masses don't have an opinion for themselves or, if they have, it is sculpting/flexible. The dominant classes can, therefore, guide the masses like a shepherd, to its will.
Friedrich von Hayek - a colleague of Popper and father of British neoliberalism (the man behind Thatcher) - then developed on the issue, by proposing the institutionalization of public opinion. He proposed a system of three or four tiers of intellectuals which a capitalist society should have. The first tier is the capitalist class itself, who would govern the entire world anonymously, through secret meetings. These meetings would produce secret reports, whose ideas would be spread to the second tier. The second tier is the academia and the more prominent politicians and other political leaderships. The third tier is the basic education teachers, who would indoctrinate the children. The fourth tier is the MSM, whose job is to transform the ideas and opinions of the first tier into "common sense" ("public opinion").
Therefore, it's not a case where the Western journalists are being fooled. Their job was never to inform the public. When they publish a lie about, say, Iran trying to kill an American ambassador in South Africa, they are not telling a lie in their eyes: they are telling an underlying truth through one thousand lies. The objective here is to convince ("teach") the American masses it is good for the USA if Iran was invaded and destroyed (which is a truth). They are like the modern Christian God, who teach its subjects the Truth through "mysterious ways".It is an insult to the noble profession, to call what the mainstream media in the west, especially in the USA do, journalism. In my opinion what they do is propaganda and stenography on behalf of those who are in power. I am not sure who coined the term but "presstitution" is not a bad attempt at describing their profession.Gerhard , Sep 15 2020 13:07 utc | 6
Unfortunately they have been amazingly successful in brainwashing people. One current example, from numerous ones that could be cited, is the public's opinion on Julian Assange. .
While the western corporate media lie on a continuous basis - and that has the predictable effect - what is more insidious is not these acts of commissions ( meaning lies), but their acts of omission (meaning excluding or deemphasizing important contextual information) leading people to make the wrong conclusions. NPR in the US is an excellent example of such presstitution.
What I am saying is nothing new to the bar flies here. But I am extremely distressed when I see how poorly informed (propagandized, brainwashed) the vast majority of the people I know are. Let's say a decade ago, ideological polarization was the main reason why it was so difficult to have an open discussion on important issues the US. Today it has become even more difficult because, thanks to the success of the presstitutes, people also have different sets of "facts". And most alarmingly, after successfully creating a readership who believe in alternative "facts", the mainstream presstitutes are moving on to creating a logic-free narrative. Examples include Assad supposedly gassing his people when he was winning (even though that was guaranteed to produce western intervention against him). A more recent example is the Navalny affair. Sadly, very sadly, way too many people are affected.Hi, thanks, and sorry, but: why does nobody look behind the curtain?DG , Sep 15 2020 13:30 utc | 7
Why are the US promoting conflict with China, with Russia? Why are they beating Europe, maybe with the intention to destroy it? Why is a new civil war in the US promoted?
Are these random developments of history? Are laws of history behind that?
NO!! Surely not!
Normal (geopolitically interested) people would think: against China it is better to come together and unite, at least US & Europe, but eventually Russia included. For instance take the population of these three together: far less than China's.
If something is going against the common sense, then there should be a reason behind. This reason I recommend You, with due respect, to find - and to uncover the plan.
Journalism in the US is so superficial, it is a drop above the uppermost wavy comb. Not worth to pay attention to it.
The actual demand is to understand and to show the forces playing deep underwater.
And to preview where these forces are determined to strike against.
Kind regards, GerhardThey are all Judith Miller now.morongobill , Sep 15 2020 13:39 utc | 8Like the famed slogan of septic tank pumpers, the Gray Lady's masthead should read, "Your shit is our bread and butter!"ptb , Sep 15 2020 13:53 utc | 9Yep. We're into some pretty overt 1984 territory now... It's really a shame.Richard Steven Hack , Sep 15 2020 14:37 utc | 10Gareth Porter's latest on "Russian hacking"...Hoarsewhisperer , Sep 15 2020 14:52 utc | 11
Dark Web Voter Database Report Casts New Doubts on Russian Election Hack Narrative
A new report showing that US state-level voter databases were publicly available calls into question the narrative that Russian intelligence "targeted" US state election-related websites in 2016.
The problem with these sorts of accusations about "state-sponsored" hacking is they assume that because a target has some connection to a state or some political activity that it means the hackers are "nation-state". In reality, personal identification information (PII) is a commodity on the black market, along with intellectual property - and *any* hacker will target *any* such source of PII. So the mere fact that it is an election year, and that voting organizations are loaded with PII, makes them an obvious target for any and every hacker.
"Oregon's chief information security officer, Lisa Vasa, told the Washington Post in September 2017 that her team blocks 'upwards of 14 million attempts to access our network every day."'
This is the usual ridiculous claim from almost every organization. They treat every Internet packet that hits their firewall as being an "attempt to access" the network (or worse, a "breach" - which it is not.) Which is technically true, but would only be relevant if they had *no* firewall - a setup which no organization runs these days. By definition, 99.99999% of those attempts are random mass scans of a block of IP addresses by either a hacker or some malware on someone else's machine - or even a computer security researcher attempting to find out how many sites are vulnerable.Sakineh Bagoom , Sep 15 2020 14:54 utc | 12"It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me," Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, told NBC News. McKenzie oversees U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Barflies should write Gen Frank McKenzie inside the back cover of their diaries, and count the days until we hear of/from him again. I've a feeling he's crossed a line and knows precisely what he's doing and why. Imo, the Swamp has just been put on notice.Posted by: vk | Sep 15 2020 12:54 utc | 4juliania , Sep 15 2020 15:12 utc | 13
In the 1920s (or 30s), far-rightist Karl Popper coined the concept of "public opinion".
vk, I can't find anything regarding this coinage. Could you please provide a link.
Wiki is specially devoid of it and it goes back to 16 century.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_opinion The term public opinion was derived from the French opinion publique which was first used in 1588 by Michel de Montaigne in the second edition of his EssaysThank you, b. In this world of illusion that mainstream press provides it is forgivable that we cannot even convince members of our own families that are dear to us of the underlying truths behind what these masters of deception continue to print. Surely they only do so because livelihoods are threatened, and the public perceptions are reaching a critical point where belief in what they write, read by the diminishing numbers of faithful few, reaches a pinnacle of perception and spills chaotically down into a watershed of realization.vk , Sep 15 2020 15:13 utc | 14
I remember when we were told what happens on the top floor of the New York Times. It opened my eyes. And perhaps here also, b is providing a chink through which we may glimpse what is happening in military circles in fields of operation where facts collide with fiction:"We have had more indirect fire attacks around and against our bases the first half of this year than we did the first half of last year," Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of the U.S. Central Command, said. "Those attacks have been higher."
McKenzie's comments came just hours after he announced the United States would be cutting its footprint in Iraq by almost half by the end of September, with about 2,200 troops leaving the country.@ Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Sep 15 2020 14:54 utc | 12Kooshy , Sep 15 2020 15:36 utc | 18
On Hayek's "tiering", google "IHS model" ("pyramid of social change") and his book "The Intellectuals and Socialism".
On Popper's conception of "public opinion", see "The Open Society and Its Enemies" (1945). Yes, the term itself is not Popper's invention - he never claimed to have done so. But he gave it a "twist", and we can say nowadays every Western journalist's conception of "public opinion" is essentially Popper's.Why do swallow their bullshit?Sakineh Bagoom , Sep 15 2020 15:50 utc | 20
because on matters related to Iran, China and Russia, they are not independent, there is no real difference between the two camps in US, Biden' foreign policy which is endorsed and supported by NYT and WP is not that different than Trump's, if not more radical. There is no free press in US, as matter of fact, as long as this United Oligarchy of America exist there will be no free press.OK, I admit it. I read this rag, just because Paul Pillar posts there. And yes, there is an "Iran derangement" syndrome in US, where people go to sleep and dream Iran. They wake up from wet dream of bloody Iranian babies, asking, have we sanctioned Iran today? https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2020/09/14/when-it-comes-to-iran-how-many-failures-is-enough-for-pompeo/jayc , Sep 15 2020 16:01 utc | 22
As well, this fake news propaganda barrage continues in the context of determined censorship of alternative media and social media - a campaign which has been largely promoted by the liberal intelligentsia in the US, in the name of reducing "fake news." Having to live within an ever-widening swamp of utter BS is wearying and mind-numbing - also to the point, one may assume.Kooshy , Sep 15 2020 16:19 utc | 23Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Sep 15 2020 12:56 utc | 5Noirette , Sep 15 2020 16:59 utc | 31
Yes, I agree, IMO/observation, the US Government, the political parties and their supportive media are rapidly ideologically polarizing their constituencies to two hard entrenched ideological camps (which as you say has become hard shelled impenetrable). Except on one common ideological point, which almost all the population has been and is being brain washed as young as first grade, this common used term, which shield you from needing to investigate or form any other opinion is: US has always been, is and will be a "force for good" by its constitution, no matter what she has done or will do. This sentence when fully believed and carved in one' mind from childhood is very difficult to erase and crack. These two ideologically opposing camps about 70% of the population will not want to hear any fact or not, other than what they are told and believed all their life.Re. K. Popper and topic above:Biswapriya Purkayast , Sep 15 2020 17:16 utc | 33
"Unlike utopian engineering, piecemeal social engineering must be "small scale," Popper said, meaning that social reform should focus on changing one institution at a time. Also, whereas utopian engineering aims for lofty and abstract goals (for example, perfect justice, true equality, a higher kind of happiness), piecemeal social engineering seeks to address concrete social problems (for example, poverty, violence, unemployment, environmental degradation, income inequality). It does so through the creation of new social institutions or the redesign of existing ones. These new or reconfigured institutions are then tested through implementation and altered accordingly and continually in light of their effects. Institutions thus may undergo gradual improvement overtime and social ills gradually reduced. Popper compared piecemeal social engineering to physical engineering. Just as physical engineers refine machines through a series of small adjustments to existing models, social engineers gradually improve social institutions through "piecemeal tinkering." In this way, "[t]he piecemeal method permits repeated experiments and continuous readjustments" (Open Society Vol 1., 163).
Only such social experiments, Popper said, can yield reliable feedback for social planners. In contrast, as discussed above, social reform that is wide ranging, highly complex and involves multiple institutions will produce social experiments in which it is too difficult to untangle causes..."
So Top-Down with a vengeance, but softly, softly, hunting for 'good results', for what and how these are defined is left out entirely, and who exactly runs the process...? (Btw China sorta follows this approach with 'social experiments' gathering data that is analysed etc. to improve governance.)Don't forget that the only time the Amerikastani Empire's warmongering imperialist media called Trump "presidential" was when he launched missiles at Syria on false pretences in support of al Qaeda.David G , Sep 15 2020 17:16 utc | 34The statement by praetor McKenzie probably won't do much to remove the "Russian bounties" tale from the received Beltway belief structure, where it lodged immediately upon publication, any more than earlier refutations, or its inherent implausibility, did. I see the bounties regularly referred to by Dems and Dem-adjacent media as established fact.conspiracy-theorist , Sep 15 2020 18:04 utc | 37
In the same light, it's worthwhile to read the Politico article on the alleged Iranian designs on the purse princess and try to spot other fictions included as supposedly factual background, some qualified as being American assertions, but others presented as undisputed fact, such as:
- Trump's version of the almost-happened retaliation after Iran downed a U.S. drone
- that the attack that killed a U.S. "contractor" in Iraq that started last winter's U.S./Iran tit-for-tat was "by an Iranian-allied militia"
- Soleimani was responsible for the death of numerous U.S. troops
- Soleimani plotted to hire a Mexican drug cartel to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington (remember that one? a blast from the past)
This new one about the plot to get the ambassador in Pretoria may be too trivial to get sustained attention, but it will show up as background in some future Politico article or the like, joining the rest in the Beltway's version of reality, which at this point is made almost entirely of these falsehoods encrusting on each other, decade after decade, creating the phony geopolitical mindscape these people live in.
Mere factual refutation – even from otherwise establishment-approved sources – won't remove these barnacles. For instance, in February the NY Times itself published a debunking of the initial account that it was an Iran-backed Shia militia, as opposed to Salafist I.S.-affiliated forces, that killed that U.S. contractor last December. But the good (if delayed) reporting is forgotten; the lie persists. The same fate awaits McKenzie's dismissal of the Russian bounties nonsense.The thoughtful reader would at this point stop and ponder. "Fake News About Iran, Russia, China Is U.S. Journalism's Daily Bread". I agree with this statement. But not just U.S. Journalism. Minimally U.K. Journalism is on-board, if not tutoring the Yanks in the art of Journalism. And then there is Europe herself, she too has armies of Journalists and many Journals. They too mostly fake around in general.vinnieoh , Sep 15 2020 18:24 utc | 40
Now then, that leave Journalism in "Iran, Russia, China". It is fine trait to root for underdogs but Journalism in these states is also subject to a highly controlled and managed environment. It is disingenuous to ignore these facts.
Given this congregation of "fakers", worldwide, it is very reasonable to question the very "fight" that these "fakers" keep telling us is on between the "adversaries".Good to see so many being able to name the operation of the official narrative. It serves also another purpose, witnessed by one of the most consequential actions of all, the wanton abandonment of international law and accountability - the GWOT and the launching of same in Afghanistan and Iraq. That other purpose is to create cover for those, elected in our name, to avoid responsibility.karlof1 , Sep 15 2020 18:34 utc | 41
"Who knew?" asked the soulless Rumsfeld. And the refrain returned from the hollowed out halls of the Greatest Democracy On Earth (tm) - "We were misled!", "Look it says so right there in the official narrative, REMEMBER?" But the misleaders are never rounded up and never face any consequences, cause truth be told all that voted for the AUMF belong in the pokey. And the congressional class of '02-'03 would do the same thing all over again, 'cause the narrative's got their back.Despite the future grimness predicted by 1984 , the ability and effectiveness of Media Structures to openly lie and thus herd the public to embrace the preferred Narrative hasn't turned out quite the way Orwell thought it might. Former authoritarian blocs learned the hard way that it's better to tell their citizens the truth and actively engage them in governance, while the Anglo-Imperial powers have gone in the opposite direction, thus the question why? IMO, the longstanding Narrative related to the mythical Dream has greatly eroded in the face of Reality, while at the same time the Rentier Class and the Duopoly it controls needs to try and obfuscate what it's doing. And thus we've seen the rise of BigLie Media to be used for the purpose of Divide and Rule. There're numerous works detailing how and why; two of the more important are Manufacturing of Consent and J is for Junk Economics . Part of the overall process of dumbing-down populations is the deliberate destruction of the educational process, particularly in the areas of philosophy and political-economy/history, which are essentially connected as one when considering the History of Ideas or a sub-area like the Philosophy of Science.Steve , Sep 15 2020 18:59 utc | 43
Such a dumbing-down of a nation's populous can be measured, the USSR and its Warsaw Bloc being the most evident, but also The Inquisition and its affect on the advancement of science within the regions it ruled, and the inward turning of China during the Ming Dynasty which allowed for its subjugation by Western forces beginning in the 16th Century. Most recently, this is evident in China's passing the Outlaw US Empire in terms of geoeconomics and thus overall geopolitical power. An explanation for India's inability to match China's development can be found in its refusal to do away with its semi-feudal caste system and not educate its masses so they can become a similar collective dynamo as in China. At the beginning of his brief tenure, JFK noted the Knowledge Gap that existed between a USSR that was nearing its intellectual heights (although that wasn't known then) and the USA whose educational system effectively excluded @60% of students from having the opportunity to advance. There would never have been a Dot.Com economy without JFK's initiative to improve educational outcomes. There seems to be a notion within the Outlaw US Empire's elite that an well educated populace presents a danger to their rule and they can get by using AI and Robotics to further their future plans. Here I'd refer such thinkers to the lessons provided by the failure of Asimov's Galactic Empire in his Foundation series of books--particular their reliance on AI, robotics, dumbing-down the populace to the point where no one recalls how atomics functioned. The sort of balance sheet being constructed by the Fed cannot repair or replace crumbling infrastructure or train the engineers needed to perform the work.
So, what continual BigLie Media lies tell us is the continued downward spiral of the West's intellectual abilities will continue while an East that values the Truth and Discovery moves on to eclipse it, mainly because the West has stopped trying, thinking it's found a better way based on the continual amassing of Debt, which is seen as wealth on their balance sheets. Ultimately, the West thinks the one person holding all the assets as the winner of its Zero-sum Monopoly Game is a better outcome than having millions of people sharing the winnings of a Win-Win system that promotes the wellbeing of all. I can tell you now which philosophy will triumph, but you all ought to be capable of reasoning that outcome.After a sound and an in-depth analysis, b sometimes confounds me with his credulity. Take this sentence for example: "Why do U.S. journalist presume that the agencies and anonymous officials who work under him are more truthful in their uttering than the man himself is hard to understand. Why do swallow their bullshit?" Of course there is no daylight between the US, and indeed the whole Western governments, and its Press. Other than few independent blog site such as this, every media outlet is in the service of its home government or foreign sponsors. Only born-suckers take the corporate media at face value. Modern journalism is nothing but an aggressive propaganda racket.
Mark2 , Sep 15 2020 19:13 utc | 45You only have to look at who owns the media and who their close friends are, to understand why the media says what it says or lies what it lies ! It's an industry promoting the elites self-interest, creating fictioous enemy countries to feed the arms industry and create US domestic mass paranoia. The Israeli lobby groups are at the wheel of the whole dam clown car.chet380 , Sep 15 2020 19:45 utc | 46Even more admiration for coining 'Vichy Press'.uncle tungsten , Sep 15 2020 20:39 utc | 49Biden is outed in his coup machinations by Fort Russ a tale told with a bit of media spin.Josh , Sep 15 2020 20:40 utc | 50Using lies (bearing false witness) to cause murder and theft are not exactly a new phenomenon. These 'groups of individuals', which are employing these fabricated deceptions, are doing nothing less than trying to commit murder and theft.Josh , Sep 15 2020 20:41 utc | 51These acts happen to constitute real crimes, or at least attempted criminal acts, in reality.Yeah, Right , Sep 15 2020 22:07 utc | 53No doubt the two propaganda streams will merge until we will be told that the CIA now believes that Iran will attempt plausible deniability by funnelling the money through Putin, who will offer it to the Taliban by way of a bounty on the Ambassador's head.spindoctor , Sep 15 2020 23:18 utc | 56
The CIA's wet dream: the Taliban does it, Putin arranged it, but it was all Iran's fault, leading to:
A) infinite occupation of the poppy fie.... sorry, Afghanistan
B) even more sanctions on Russia
C) war with Iran
What's not to like?Posted by: vk | Sep 15 2020 12:54 utc | 4spindoctor , Sep 15 2020 23:25 utc | 57
In the 1920s (or 30s), far-rightist Karl Popper coined the concept of "public opinion".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystallizing_Public_Opinion published 1923.Posted by: vk | Sep 15 2020 12:54 utc | 4vk , Sep 16 2020 1:12 utc | 58
From the link just cited:
'"Public opinion", according to Bernays, is an amorphous group of judgments which are not well elaborated even in the head of a single average individual. He extracts a quotation from Wilfred Trotter, which states that this average man has many strong convictions whose origin he can't explain (Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War, p. 36). People's minds have "logic-proof compartments" which must be approached by means beyond the rational. (pp. 61–68).'@ Posted by: spindoctor | Sep 15 2020 23:18 utc | 56ptb , Sep 16 2020 1:35 utc | 59
Yes, I forgot to mention this very important book. If I'm not mistaken (and I may be), Popper got the term from Bernays.
Popper, von Hayek... these guys are the fathers of neoliberalism. I'm not mentioning backyard intellectuals here. They shaped the West as we know it today and, if you're a Westerner and wants to understand the civilization you live in, you have to know what they formulated.
Just to clear that off: I don't agree with Popper's (or Bernays, for that matter) conception on "public opinion". The Marxist conception of ideology is much more complete and precise scientifically.@karlof1 41uncle tungsten , Sep 16 2020 4:34 utc | 61
Speaking of education (although of science/tach, rather than critical thinking)...
Add in the migration of top-level educated individuals. In the US, an underdeveloped primary/secondary school system creates room at the university/grad level to absorb talent from the rest of the world. For many years, this was a source of competitive advantage -- imported human capital is better than home grown, because if you import, you take it away from someone else. Clever!
It was not that big a deal for the US if social mobility of native born lower and middle classes was stifled somewhat. (and I would say it still would not be a big deal if the resources of the country were not so grossly mismanaged/wasted/stolen).
But in the current century, or certainly the decade now ending, China alone can fill every US grad school science/tech program and still have people to spare for itself. Other parts of the world are right up there as well.
And then you have computers. Sometime between 2000 and 2010, computers became pretty much cheap enough that you could give one to a every kid, even in families of limited means. Provided the primary/secondary education system is there to support it, a country could develop as much tech talent as they had population. The first generation of kids whose childhood took place under this condition is now coming out of university - I would think vastly greater in numbers than any amount the US (or Euro) higher educational system can absorb. Should be a pretty serious shifting of gears in how human capital is distributed worldwide.
But none of this is about critical thinking. Few systems of organizing society actually promote that ... it tends to happen in spite of the organizing principles, rather than because of them. Nor are the most educated (regardless of country of origin) any less susceptible to the propaganda - if anything they are more so, due to the design of the message, because it is more important that they receive it. You want a book recommendation that talks about that, check out 'Disciplined Minds' by Jeff Schmidt (though perhaps with an overly pessimistic outlook -- people can recognize the reality he describes and deal with it... it is only the more naive/idealistic types who fall extra hard for the mythology and then find themselves in a conflict they can't handle). There are lots of other avenues to take too... about the psychology of self-discovery, discovery of self-vs-social-organism etc....Conspiracy-theorist #37Greg L , Sep 16 2020 6:12 utc | 62
Exactly that and yet we are constantly fed a diet from the bottom of the barrel. NYT? WAPO? They are rags. Gutter press peddling drivel. Surely there are more erudite and critical publications in this world than these USA drivel sheets. I am aware of good journalism in Switzerland and elsewhere but currently separted from a device adequate to translate and quote.
Thank you Conspiracy-theorist it I way past time we escaped the neverending story of BS + HATE.And this tidbit? Deep state is as deep state does... Trump Claims He Wanted To Assassinate Syrian President Assad, But Mattis Opposed Itvato , Sep 16 2020 7:49 utc | 63A propos fake news, John Helmer reports on the Navalny saga and was lately on the Gorilla radio podcast with Chris Cook to discuss the newest events. It's a one-hour-talk but very enjoyable listening to Helmer. You can also follow his reports on his blog Dances With Bears .vinnieoh , Sep 16 2020 12:55 utc | 64karlof1 | Sep 15 2020 18:34 utc | 41Edward , Sep 16 2020 13:05 utc | 65
Try this on for size. This is a conclusion I arrived at several decades ago, wrote about several times, but not recently.
Everything that was accomplished (albeit incompletely or moderately) through the New Deal and then the abortive Great Society absolutely spooked the oligarchy. Lifting much of the working class out of absolute wage slavery to the point where the next rung on Maslow's ladder was at least visible. And when it all culminated in the late 60's and early 70's with the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, the Surface Mining act, and various labor protection measures, the wealthy owner class decided the proles had gained too much power to influence "their" captive government.
The princes and barons of industry and finance were very open about their complaints. The advance of regulation on their ability to pollute and to exploit must stop or they would take their bundles of riches and go elsewhere. It is what Saint Ronny was ALL about. And so all that got fat and filthy rich during the real American Century took their wealth where regulation and labor fairness and justice didn't exist to continue their exorbitant profit taking.
And then they imported those cheap products here to wreak what was left of our industrial base and to impress on all of us that they remain the boss, the real power. Drive down wages, destroy pensions and safety nets and put US proles back into wage slavery. Remember the 80's and 90's when Wal-Mart basically told established and storied US manufacturers "either you produce the goods we want for what our Asian suppliers can make them for, or you're finished." And that is exactly what happened. Wal-Mart was just the vanguard, it is now ubiquitous. Another aspect of this assault was forcing us proles into the stock market through our pensions and retirement funds so as to make us all sympathetic to de-regulation - so as not to hurt OUR bottom line. Many labor unions became just a sick symbiosis with the industries they "served."
Incomplete and observational, I am not erudite or lettered, but I think it is an accurate narrative.There is a curious schizophrenia where the U.S. press will treat presidential claims about foreign affairs as a sacred truth but treat claims denying adultery, such as in the Lewinski affair, as dismissible.Geoff , Sep 16 2020 13:20 utc | 66Living in the USA (Steve Miller classic) has always seemed to me about dealing with falsehood and deception. US highschool seemed like he time for me when the formidable pressure to conform became completely nonsensical, perhaps because it was so utterly cruel, but also because it seemed untruthful. You basically were required to accept modes if behavior and thought that seemed alien to human behavior, but were presented as the sine quo non of how to be. How to succeed, how to live. It seems to me that if you were attempting to retain truthfulness, this conformity was rife with logical fallacies of every sort which if you tried to deal with them, or confront them, you were ostracized or at worst outcast.Old and Grumpy , Sep 16 2020 13:31 utc | 67
In the many years since, it seems like everything else, once a person adopts untruthful behavior, it is next to impossible to change course, so you deal with all kinds of people who have doubled down on their personal deceptions. Marriages based on financial success come to mind, and are like any deception, the cause of incredible dis ease and misey.
There is a philosophical concept I came upon called parrhesia that Foucault gives a fantastic series of lectures on which can be found by searching the web, that investigates the perils implicit in telling truth to falsehood, and the many disasters and tragedies that have befallen human kind in the attempts to do so.
I've come to think that humans by nature are basically incapable of avoiding whatever it is that is "truth." Because over and over life seems to present situations that are the unswervingly the same to everyone. Youth and aging, for example, and the end result never varies, like illness, death, and dying. And everyone has their own similar story navigating the human predicaments and facing an inalterable "truth," which might be in this example, death.
My wonder as I observe life as I age, is what is the damage done to those not only who try their honest best to remain truthful, but what is the damage done to those who cannot escape an adopted untruth and refuse to let go of it. I suppose in this moment of history, you need only look at pandemic, wildfires, and conflicts to see how far human beings have digressed from an Eden. But there must be a purpose to it all? Like, trying to cling to any kind of integrity.You think international fake news is just a Trump thing? Just off the top of my head we have thins like Tonkin Bay, Kuwait babies being massacred by Iraqi troops, my personal favorite Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and a multiple of mean Assads killing their people with poison. That is just a bipartisan few. We have one political party, who serves the deep state. The deep state serves the interests of Wall Street and more importantly the Rothschild world banking system. Give the spooks a lot of credit they let us have two "choices" while controlling both. Think of it as a neo fascism kinda thing that ironically finances the anti fascists. The press is just a means to an end. Assume everything is an agenda, and read the independents for some actual thought. I may not agree with you all the time, but I do love you MoA. Thank you for all your work.ptb , Sep 16 2020 14:02 utc | 68@64 vinnieohWilliam Gruff , Sep 16 2020 14:12 utc | 69
'spooked oligarchy...reforms..culminated in ..70s'
Yep. When committed Dem's go off on Trump, it's deeply felt but kindof a ritual rant. Bring Ralph Nader into the conversation, just mention him in passing, and the response becomes live! Betrayal, danger of being shown up again!Old and Grumpy @67 has a good point. Anyone suggesting that fake news is in any way related to Trump being President are big parts of the problem for why fake news persists in the first place. Suggesting that it is because of Trump, and thus implying that the fake news will go away when Trump does, is either profoundly ignorant, or profoundly deceitful, though probably both. Trump ranting about fake news exposed the problem and forced it into the public discourse. Those rants did not create the problem.ptb , Sep 16 2020 14:36 utc | 70Re: @Geoff 66William Gruff , Sep 16 2020 15:33 utc | 71
"You basically were required to accept modes if behavior and thought that seemed alien to human behavior ... ... forced to double down"
I had short but deeply influential conversation right out of college with a recruiter/HR manager from Raytheon, of all places. He talked about exactly what you said. He spoke, in a hypothetical third person, about a mid-career guy with a mortgage and family who finds themselves questioning the defense industry. How that isn't the best place to be in, mentally. I changed my career plans that day, forever thankful for the encounter.
However, regarding people being able to avoid unpleasant realities, he was of the opinion that for most people, it is possible to do so. Even beneficial. (Except of course for the recipients of his company's products. I didn't say that but I think he figured out that I was thinking it). The issue, from the point of view of running an effective organization, is what happens if the doubters and believers start to mix? Part of his assigned task was to simply keep out people curious enough to ask too many questions. That's one of the "benefits" of really polarizing politics too.Geoff @66:J Swift , Sep 16 2020 16:12 utc | 74
"My wonder as I observe life as I age, is what is the damage done to those not only who try their honest best to remain truthful, but what is the damage done to those who cannot escape an adopted untruth and refuse to let go of it."
That's what modern pharmaceuticals are for, and why one in six Americans (officially) are prescribed them. If we include the numbers of Americans who self-medicate with alcohol and/or grey/black market pharmaceuticals, then the proportion would be a bit (quite a bit) larger. People who succeed at being truthful (mostly to themselves) are not confronted with cognitive dissonance mind-quakes; however, such individuals are confronted with experiencing the retch reflex when consuming mass media.
Is being truthful vs embracing the lies then half-dozen of one and six of the other? I find satisfactory peace of mind from being truthful and simply avoiding the primary vector of deception; the mass media. Noble individuals like our host and some of the posters here will slog through that vile cesspool of lies and fish out the little nuggets of truth that leak out. It is selfish of me to leave such dirty work to others, but at least I am not hermetically isolated on a mountain somewhere.Kooshy @ 23Noirette , Sep 16 2020 16:32 utc | 75
An interesting thought. I have long had the feeling that a large part of the obviously orchestrated drive to almost define both of the two US parties with really incredibly unimportant issues like bathroom preferences were designed to split the voters as equally as possible, so that to swing elections one had only to control the votes of a very small number of tie breakers. I still think this is likely true, but I do think you make an important point that a lot can be learned about what is truly important to the PTB by reflecting on the topics that aren't being argued over.
Compare the "two" US political parties, and you will note that while they seem to be getting ever more extreme and irreconcilable and quasi-religious in their differences, these differences are always on the periphery. Both parties are being indoctrinated with certain common beliefs they will take for granted because they are never talked about -- because these points are not allowed to be in contention. So while even something like climate change can be a big divider (no worries, there's money to be made on both sides of that issue, and means of control); but you will never hear debate about
1. America is the greatest ever!
2. America is always and unquestionably a force for good, and even it's proven bad things (kidnapping, rendition, and torture programs) are done "for the greater good."
3. Unbridled capitalism is the only way, and the privatization and unwinding of any vestiges of social programs, like education, social security, and even utilities and infrastructure, is always a good thing deserving of priority.
4. Individualism is the best, if not only, way. To be a hero you must strike alone against the bad guys/the system/the government; someone who rallies others, causes forces to be gathered and united, unionized, whatever are discouraged or ignored.
5. "Leadership" in the affairs of others around the world is American right, responsibility, and destiny. Having the largest, almost entirely offensively oriented military on earth is essential; and having it, we must use it to get our money's worth.
6. Omnipresent "intelligence" services equal safety and are absolutely required for life to be normal. I'm sure there are other examples of "universally agreed" doctrines in the US, but these are some that leap out.These crazy MSM lies Anecdote. Last Sat (Geneva, Switz.) I spoke to 20 ppl whom I know somewhat, all know I like to discuss news etc. I said, weird news this week, making no mention of Navalny. 18/20 believed Putin poisoned Navalny and brought it up spontaneously! There is something so appealing and narratively 'seductive' about spies and 'opponents' (Skripal ) and mysterious poisons used by evil doers etc. that fiction just flows smoothly into fact or whatever is 'real.'karlof1 , Sep 16 2020 17:02 utc | 78
I had to mention Assange myself to most, but there the reaction was very mixed, most thought Assange was being persecuted, or it was 'not right', and took this story seriously in one way or another - 4 ppl claimed not to know the latest news. Here, NGOs, Leftists and Others have made demands for him to be offered asylum in Switz, so he has been front page.
Besides that (I'm always interested in from-the-ground view-points, experiences, so post some myself) what is going on is monopoly consolidation:
Mega MSM in cahoots with the MIC, Big Pharma, Big Agri, Finance, and so on. Corporations joining up their positions bit by bit while also competing in some ways, bribing and owning the Pols. who are front-men and women tasked with providing a lot of drama, manufactured agitation, etc., which in turn is fodder for the MSM, etc.
Overall, the most important sector to watch is the GAFAM, 1, the reign of the middle men is close at hand (control information, both the channels and the content, and commerce up to a point.) All this leaves out energy considerations, another vital topic left aside.
1. google apple facebook amazon microsoftptb @59--jared , Sep 16 2020 17:16 utc | 79
Thanks for your reply! I've touched on the topic of human capital and its development occasionally here, positing it's the #1 asset of all nations. Those nations who neglect to develop their own human capital are bound to become deficient when it comes to basic comparative advantages with other nations, particularly as political-economy shifts from being materialistic to knowledge-based; thus Pepe Escobar agreeing wholeheartedly with my comment about India. (He added this article to his FB timeline and I posted my comment there.)
From 1999-2003, I was involved in developing distance learning platforms for the rapidly advancing ability to learn outside of a school's four walls. The other educators I worked with and myself had great hopes for the virtual classroom and what it might do to aide both teachers and students. At the time we thought this development would provide a great opportunity for the third member of the educational team--parents--to play a greater role in the process since active parental involvement was proven to generate better student outcomes. But for that to be properly implemented, equitable funding for all school districts became an even greater issue than it was already. This issue highlighted the huge problems related to financing education at a moment when BushCo Privatizers began to seriously threaten what was already in place. And that problem has only worsened, the vast disparities being very evident thanks to COVID-forced distance learning. The primary reason good teachers can't be retained is the entire system's a massive Clusterfuck. And computers aren't substitutes for even poor teachers. And parents are even more aloof from becoming involved in the process than ever before.
The dumbing-down I mention is now entering its third generation. The educational structure needs to be completely refitted nationally, but I wouldn't give that task to any of the fuckwits employed by the past three administrations--Yes, I'm arguing education needs to be a completely federal program instead of the 53 different school systems in states and territories; and yes, I'm aware of the pitfalls and potential corruption that poses, which is a microcosm of all the problems at the federal level of government. This problem is yet another very basic reason why the Duopoly and its backers need to be ousted from government and kept as far away as possible as the structure is torn down and rebuilt--The USA will never be great again until that is done.@ J Swift | Sep 16 2020 16:12 utc | 74karlof1 , Sep 16 2020 17:40 utc | 80
I suggest that the reason that the media focus on the ridiculous is to convince the public that there is nothing important happening - except where the MSM wants the participation of the public as in with anti-Russia, anti_China, anti-Socialism, etc. Good to get the public participation directed at harmless targets.
They've got to fill the papers with something. The public must be kept warm, comfortable, semi-comatose, watching cat videos...
Last thing anybody wants is the involvement of the public, they will only screw everything-up or try anyway.vinnieoh @64--robin , Sep 16 2020 17:56 utc | 81
Thanks for your reply! Your explanation sadly is correct, but it was put into motion prior to Reagan becoming POTUS. The tools used to undo the New Deal were put into place before FDR became POTUS. And FDR's unwillingness to prosecute those who attempted to overthrow his government provided that faction to infiltrate government and eventually attempt to undo the good that was done prior to WW2. When looked at closely, American society was generally quite Liberal in the positive aspects of that term and during the Depression was becoming ever more Collectivist with the war advancing that even further. At the war's end, it was paramount for the forces taking control of the nation to push the public to the right and away from its collectivist proclivities. Where we find ourselves today thus is not an accident of history but an engineered outcome. You may recall voices on the Right accusing Liberals and their organizations of engaging in Social Engineering. Those accusations were projections since it was actually forces on the Right that were maneuvering society to the Right while assiduously applying the principle of Divide and Rule to create a condition where they would be immune from political challenge, which is where we are now.
A few understand this ugly truth and how we arrived here. What's missing is scholarship that links the changes that began in the 1870s with today's situation. Yes, there're good examinations of various pieces of the overall puzzle. But it appears that only Hudson and those in his small circle have figured it out; yet, they haven't produced a complete history that encapsulates it all. And for us to have a realistic chance to undo what's been done, we need to know how it all transpired.Antonym @ 60Curmudgeon , Sep 16 2020 18:13 utc | 82
"There are big differences between Trump and Biden regarding their foreign policies: Trump is hard on Xi-China and soft on Putin Russia, while Biden is the reverse."
I don't share your view. The current administration's foreign policy is very much aligned with that of past administrations and the diplomatic circus surrounding the Skripal affair alone is evidence that nobody is soft on Russia.
What differs, however, is the presentation. Trump is criticized (not praised) for being allegedly soft on Russia and Biden criticized for being allegedly soft on China. This clever trick ensures that just about everybody is onboard the bash-China-and-Russia train.
In a violently polarized society, with red-blue antagonism reaching ridiculous heights, people tend to act exclusively in contradiction to the cult figure they hate so much.
If a Trump hater hears the criticism that the president is too soft on Russia, he will readily grab the bash-Russia stick hoping to score a few hits on Trump. The same person's reaction to a criticism on Biden will be either indifference or angry denial. In either case, he will not be opposed to the bash-Russia nor the bash-China movement.
The dem hater's reaction is similar. Indifference to the soft-on-Russia claim (ie. no opposition to the bash-Russia movement) and active support for the China-bashing.The article and subsequent discussion brings to mind Dawkins discussion of Memes and Memetics. Not those pesky internet memes. The propaganda war is fierce, and almost without exception the people here are poking and prodding perhaps without being able to put the finger on the "EZ button". This is war, baby, so one thinks the following link may be useful:J Swift , Sep 16 2020 20:34 utc | 85
Wherein: " Ideally the virus of the mind being targeted will be overwritten with a higher fidelity, fecundity, and longevity memeplex in order to assure long term sustainability. When this is not practical, it is still possible to displace a dangerous memeplex, by creating a more contagious benign meme utilizing certain packaging, replication, and propagation tricks."
The lie is irrelevant, whether true or false, it must be believable, and it must successfully replicate.karlof1 @ 80lulu , Sep 16 2020 20:58 utc | 86
You are right, the early FDR days were, in hindsight, one of the most important in setting the course of the US for the next century, and unfortunately Big Business won, taking us on a long, ugly road to the right. I agree this would be a most fascinating history book if some of those respected, genuinely knowledgeable people you often cite could collaborate on an opus.
Yes, most people do not know that the wide ranging labor laws implemented at that time were actually not meant to empower organized labor, but to limit it. Perhaps FDR thought it was the best he could do for the working class, but I tend to think it was more a case of him thinking that by outlawing general strikes, wildcat strikes, strikes in support of other unions, and setting up an NLRB with a lot of political control by business, the powers who had so recently let it be known they were ready to actively try to overthrow the government might be mollified. I think he feared the US was at the cusp of a revolution, and perhaps it was. Whether or not if would have been better had that been allowed to proceed is the big question.Anti-China activists funded by NED & Co make up all sorts of horrid stories online, which are then picked up by MSM and political NGOs to spoon feed world audiences/viewers. Viola, you have "fact-based" anti-China news!CitizenX , Sep 16 2020 21:11 utc | 87
Here is an example how an Uyghur activist in Canadian continue to her make-up-to-believe "1 million Uyghurs in concentration camp" is caught on Twitter red handed .
This is literally what these overseas Uyghur activists do all day. Putting a random caption on a video they ripped down from a medical worker's tiktok in China. And people believe it. They'd even believe if the follow up rebuttal is that this is a forced labour doctor.
Another one: There's a guy (Arslan Hidayat, Aussie Uighur) on Twitter who takes footage of ordinary people doing ordinary things, sets them in China and invents a fantastical and sinister scenario.
His twitter functions as the aggregator of fake anti-China propaganda from the past few years.Ed Bernays (Freuds Nephew)karlof1 , Sep 16 2020 21:34 utc | 88
Glad to see his name mentioned here. I've been saying for years here to watch the documentary - Century of the Self. If you want to learn about and understand America, its all here. Government, Corporations, Consumerism, Militarism, Deep State, Psychology, Individual selfishness and mental illness.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ3RzGoQC4sj Swift @85--
Thanks for your reply! JK Galbraith in his American Capitalism: The Concept of Countervailing Power lamented what you recap in your 2nd paragraph and that there was thus no power capable of offsetting Big Business although one was sorely needed. As I wrote, some very sharp minds have written about small segments of the overall movement toward totalitarianism since the 1870s, Galbraith's 1952 book being one that's still worth reading.
Sep 14, 2020 | geopolitics.co
SEPTEMBER 12, 2020 GEOPOLITICS101 1 COMMENT
Imagine for a moment that there is a foreign government that receives billions of dollars a year in "aid" and other benefits from the United States taxpayer. Consider beyond that, the possibility that that government might take part of the money it receives and secretly recycle it to groups of American citizens in the United States that exist to maintain and increase that money flow while also otherwise serving other interests of the recipient country.
That would mean that the United States is itself subsidizing the lobbies and groups that are inevitably working against its own interests. And it also means that U.S. citizens are acting as foreign agents, covertly giving priority to their attachment to a foreign country instead of to the nation in which they live.
Sep 14, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
The Plot Against Libya: An Obama-Biden-Clinton Criminal Conspiracy
by Tyler Durden Fri, 09/11/2020 - 23:40 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print
Authored by Eric Draitser via Counterpunch.org,
The scorching desert sun streams through narrow slats in the tiny window. A mouse scurries across the cracked concrete floor, the scuttling of its tiny feet drowned out by the sound of distant voices speaking in Arabic. Their chatter is in a western Libyan dialect distinctive from the eastern dialect favored in Benghazi. Somewhere off in the distance, beyond the shimmering desert horizon, is Tripoli, the jewel of Africa now reduced to perpetual war.
But here, in this cell in a dank old warehouse in Bani Walid, there are no smugglers, no rapists, no thieves or murderers. There are simply Africans captured by traffickers as they made their way from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Eritrea, or other disparate parts of the continent seeking a life free of war and poverty, the rotten fruit of Anglo-American and European colonialism. The cattle brands on their faces tell a story more tragic than anything produced by Hollywood.
These are slaves: human beings bought and sold for their labor. Some are bound for construction sites while others for the fields. All face the certainty of forced servitude, a waking nightmare that has become their daily reality.
This is Libya, the real Libya. The Libya that has been constructed from the ashes of the US-NATO war that deposed Muammar Gaddafi and the government of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. The Libya now fractured into warring factions, each backed by a variety of international actors whose interest in the country is anything but humanitarian.
But this Libya was built not by Donald Trump and his gang of degenerate fascist ghouls. No, it was the great humanitarian Barack Obama, along with Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Susan Rice, Samantha Power and their harmonious peace circle of liberal interventionists who wrought this devastation. With bright-eyed speeches about freedom and self-determination, the First Black President, along with his NATO comrades in France and Britain, unleashed the dogs of war on an African nation seen by much of the world as a paragon of economic and social development.
But this is no mere journalistic exercise to document just one of the innumerable crimes carried out in the name of the American people. No, this is us, the antiwar left in the United States, peering through the cracks in the imperial artifice – crumbling as it is from internal rot and political decay – to shine a light through the gloom named Trump and directly into the heart of darkness.
There are truths that must be made plain lest they be buried like so many bodies in the desert sand.The War on Libya: A Criminal Conspiracy
To understand the depth of criminality involved in the US-NATO war on Libya, we must unravel a complex story involving actors from both the US and Europe who quite literally conspired to bring about this war, while simultaneously exposing the unconstitutional, imperial presidency as embodied by Mr. Hope and Change himself.
In doing so, a picture emerges that is strikingly at odds with the dominant narrative about good intentions and bad dictators. For although Gaddafi was presented as the villain par excellence in this story told by the Empire's scribes in corporate media, it is in fact Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, former French President Nicholas Sarkozy, French philosopher-cum-neocolonial adventurist Bernard Henri-Levy, and former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who are the real malevolent forces. It was they, not Gaddafi, who waged a blatantly illegal war on false pretenses and for their own aggrandizement. It was they, not Gaddafi, who conspired to plunge Libya into chaos and civil war from which it is yet to emerge. It was they who beat the war drums while proclaiming peace on earth and good will to men.
The US-NATO war on Libya represents perhaps one of the most egregious examples of US military aggression and lawlessness in recent memory. Of course, the US didn't act alone as a wide cast of characters played a role as the French and British were keen to involve themselves in the reassertion of control over a once lucrative African asset torn from European control by the evil Gaddafi. And this, only a few years after former UK Prime Minister and Iraq war criminal Tony Blair met with Gaddafi to usher in a new era of openness and partnership.
The story begins with Bernard Henri-Lévy, the French philosopher, journalist, and amateur foreign service officer who fancied himself an international spy. Having failed to arrive in Egypt in time to buttress his ego by capitalizing on the uprising against former dictator Hosni Mubarak, he quickly shifted his attention to Libya, where an uprising in the anti-Gaddafi hotbed of Benghazi was underway. As Le Figaro chronicled , Henri-Levy managed to talk his way into a meeting with then head of the National Transition Council (TNC) Mustapha Abdeljalil, a former Gaddafi official who became head of the anti-Gaddafi TNC. But Henri-Levy wasn't there just for an interview to be published in his French paper, he was there to help overthrow Gaddafi and, in so doing, make himself into an international star.
Henri-Levy quickly pressed his contacts and got on the phone with French President Nicholas Sarkozy to ask him, rather bluntly, if he'd agree to meet with Abdeljalil and the leadership of the TNC. Just a few days later, Henri-Levy and his colleagues arrived at the Élysée Palace with TNC leadership at their side. To the utter shock of the Libyans present, Sarkozy tells them that he plans to recognize the TNC as the legitimate government of Libya. Henri-Levy and Sarkozy have now, at least in theory, deposed the Gaddafi government.
But the little problem of Gaddafi's military victories and the very real possibility that he might emerge victorious from the conflict complicated matters as the French public had become aware of the scheme and was rightly lambasting Sarkozy. Henri-Levy, ever the opportunist, stoked the patriotic fervor by announcing that without French intervention, the tricolor flag flying over five-star hotels in Benghazi would be stained with blood. The PR campaign worked as Sarkozy quickly came around to the idea of military intervention.
However, Henri-Levy had a still more critical role to play: bringing the US military juggernaut into the plot. Henri-Levy organized the first of what would be several high-level talks between US officials from the Obama Administration and the Libyans of the TNC. Most importantly, Henri-Levy set up the meeting between Abdeljalil and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. While Clinton was skeptical at the time of the meeting, it would be a matter of months before she and Joe Biden, along with the likes of Susan Rice, Samantha Power, and others would be planning the political, diplomatic, and military route to regime change in Libya.The Americans Enter the Fray
There would have been no war in Libya were it not for the US political, diplomatic, and military machine. In this sense, despite the relatively meager US military involvement, the war in Libya was an American war. That is to say, it was a war that could not have happened were it not for the active collaboration of the Obama Administration with its French and British counterparts.
As Jo Becker of the NY Times explained in 2016, Hillary Clinton met with Mahmoud Jibril, a prominent Libyan politician who would go on to become the new Prime Minister of post-Gaddafi Libya, and his associates, in order to assess the faction now garnering US support . Clinton's job, according to Becker, was "to take measure of the rebels we supported" – a fancy way of saying that Clinton attended the meeting to determine whether this group of politicians speaking on behalf of a diverse group of anti-Gaddafi voices (ranging from pro-democracy activists to outright terrorists affiliated with global terror networks) should be supported with US money and covert arms.
The answer, ultimately, was a resounding yes.
But of course, as with all America's warmongering misadventures, there was no consensus on military intervention. As Becker reported, some in the Obama Administration were skeptical of the easy victory and post-conflict political calculus. One prominent voice of dissent, at least according to Becker, was former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Himself no dove, Gates was concerned that Clinton and Biden's hawkish attitude toward Libya would ultimately lead to an Iraq-style political nightmare that would undoubtedly end with the US having created and then abandoned a failed state – exactly what happened.
It is important to note that Clinton and Biden were two of the principal voices for aggression and war. Both were supportive of the No-Fly Zone from early on, and both advocated for military intervention. Indeed, the two have been simpatico in nearly every war crime committed by the US in the last 30 years, including perhaps most egregiously in support of Bush's crime against humanity that we call the second Iraq War.
As former Clinton lackey (Deputy Director of Secretary of State Clinton's Policy Planning staff) Derek Chollet explained, "[Libya] seemed like an easy case." Chollet, a principal participant in the American conspiracy to make war on Libya who later went on to serve directly under Obama and at the National Security Council, inadvertently illustrates in stark relief the imperial arrogance of the Obama-Clinton-Biden liberal interventionist camp. In calling Libya an "easy case" he of course means that Libya was a perfect candidate for a regime change operation whose primary benefit would be to boost politically those who supported it.
Chollet, like many strategic planners at the time, saw Libya as a slam dunk opportunity to turn the demonstrations and uprisings of 2010-2011, which quickly became known as the Arab Spring, into political capital from the Democratic camp of the US ruling class. This rapidly became Clinton's position. And soon, the consensus of the entire Obama Administration.Obama's War Off the Books
One of the more pernicious myths of the US war on Libya was the notion – propagated dutifully by the defense lobbyists-cum-journalists at major corporate media outlets – that the war was a cheap little war that cost the US almost nothing. There were no American lives lost in the war itself (Benghazi is another mythology to be unraveled later), and very little cost in terms of "treasure", to use that despicable imperialist phrase.
But while the total cost of the war paled in comparison to the monumental-scale crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, the means by which it was funded has cost the US far more than dollars; the war on Libya was a criminal and unconstitutional endeavor that has further laid the groundwork for the imperial presidency and unconstrained executive power. As the Washington Post reported at the time:
Noting that Obama had said the mission could be paid for with money already appropriated to the Pentagon, [former House Speaker] Boehner pressed the president on whether supplemental funding would be requested from Congress.
Unforeseen military operations that require expenditures such as those being made for the Libyan effort normally require supplemental appropriations since they are outside the core Pentagon budget. That is why funds for Afghanistan and Iraq are separate from the regular Defense Department budget. The added costs for some of the operations in Libya are minimal But the expenditures for weapons, fuel and lost equipment are something else.
Because the Obama Administration did not seek congressional appropriations to fund the war, there is very little in the way of paper trail to do a proper accounting of the costs of the war. As the cost of each bomb, fighter jet, and logistical support vehicle disappeared into the abyss of Pentagon accounting oblivion, so too did any semblance of constitutional legality. In essence, Obama helped establish a lawless presidency that not only has little respect for constitutionally mandated checks and balances, but completely ignores the rule of law. Indeed, some of the crimes that Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr are guilty of have their direct corollary in the Obama Administration's prosecution of the Libya war.
So where did the money come from and where did it go? It's anybody's guess really, unless you're one of those rubes who likes taking the Pentagon's word for it. As a Pentagon spokesperson told CNN in 2011, "The price tag for U.S. Defense Department operations in Libya as of September 30 [was] $1.1 billion. This included daily military operations, munitions, the drawdown of supplies and humanitarian assistance." However, to illustrate the downright Orwellian impossibility of discerning the truth, Vice President Joe Biden doubled that number when speaking on CNN, suggesting that "NATO alliance worked like it was designed to do, burden-sharing. In total, it cost us $2 billion, no American lives lost."
As is painfully evident, there is no clear way to know how much was spent other than to take the word of those who prosecuted the war. With no congressional oversight, and no clear documentary record, the war on Libya disappears down the memory hole, and with it the idea that there is a separation of powers, Congressional authority to make war, or a functioning Constitution.America's Dirty War in Libya
While the enduring memory of Libya for most Americans is the political theater that resulted from the attack on the US facility in Benghazi that killed several Americans, including US Ambassador Stevens, it is not nearly the most consequential. Rather, America's use of terrorist groups (and the insurgents who emerged from them) as military proxies may perhaps be the real legacy from a strategic perspective. For while the corporate media presented the narrative of spontaneous protests and uprisings to overthrow Gaddafi, it was in fact a loose network of terror groups that did the dirty work.
While much of this recent history has been buried by bad reporting, establishment mythmaking, and conspiracist muddying of the truth, it was surprisingly well reported at the time. For example, as the New York Times wrote of one of the primary US-backed forces on the ground during the war in 2011:
"The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group was formed in 1995 with the goal of ousting Colonel Qaddafi. Driven into the mountains or exile by Libyan security forces, the group's members were among the first to join the fight against Qaddafi security forces Officially the fighting group does not exist any longer, but the former members are fighting largely under the leadership of Abu Abdullah Sadik [aka Abdelhakim Belhadj]."
Even at the time, there was considerable unease among Washington's strategic planners that the Obama Adminstration's embrace of a terror group with known links to al-Qaeda could prove to be a major blunder. "American, European and Arab intelligence services acknowledge that they are worried about the influence that the former group's members might exert over Libya after Colonel Qaddafi is gone, and they are trying to assess their influence and any lingering links to Al Qaeda," the Times noted.
Of course, those in the know at the various US intelligence agencies already had a pretty good sense of who they were backing, or at least the elements likely to be involved in any US operation. Specifically, the US knew that the areas from which it was drawing anti-Gaddafi opposition forces was a hotbed of criminal and terrorist activity.
In a 2007 study entitled "Al-Qa'ida's Foreign Fighters in Iraq: A First Look at the Sinjar Records" which examined the origins of various criminal and terrorist groups active in Iraq, the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy at West Point concluded that:
"Almost 19 percent of the fighters in the Sinjar Records came from Libya alone. Furthermore, Libya contributed far more fighters per capita than any other nationality in the Sinjar Records, including Saudi Arabia The apparent surge in Libyan recruits traveling to Iraq may be linked with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group's (LIFG) increasingly cooperative relationship with al-Qa'ida which culminated in the LIFG officially joining al-Qa'ida on November 3, 2007 The most common cities that the fighters called home were Darnah [Derna], Libya and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with 52 and 51 fighters respectively. Darnah [Derna] with a population just over 80,000 compared to Riyadh's 4.3 million, has far and away the largest per capita number of fighters in the Sinjar records."
It was known at the time that the majority of the anti-Gaddafi forces hailed from the region including Derna, Benghazi, and Tobruk – the "Eastern Libya" so often referred to as anti-Gaddafi – and that the likelihood that al-Qaeda and other terror groups were among the ranks of the US recruits was very high. Nevertheless, they persisted.
Take the case of the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, charged by the US with guarding the CIA facility in Benghazi at which Ambassador Stevens was murdered. As the Los Angeles Times reported in 2012:
"Over the last year, while assigned by their militia to help protect the U.S. mission in Benghazi, the pair had been drilled by American security personnel in using their weapons, securing entrances, climbing walls and waging hand-to-hand combat The militiamen flatly deny supporting the assailants but acknowledge that their large, government-allied force, known as the Feb. 17 Martyrs Brigade, could include anti-American elements The Feb. 17 brigade is regarded as one of the more capable militias in eastern Libya."
But it wasn't just LIFG and al-Qaeda affiliated criminal groups entering the fray thanks to Washington rolling out the blood-stained red carpet.NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST
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A longtime asset of the US, General Khalifa Hifter and his so-called Libyan National Army have been on the ground in Libya since 2011, and have emerged as one of the primary forces vying for power in post-war Libya. Hifter has a long and sordid history working for the CIA in its attempts to overthrow Gaddafi in the 1980s before being resettled conveniently near Langley, Virginia. As the New York Times reported in 1991:
The secret paramilitary operation, set in motion in the final months of the Reagan Administration, provided military aid and training to about 600 Libyan soldiers who were among those captured during border fighting between Libya and Chad in 1988 They were trained by American intelligence officials in sabotage and other guerrilla skills, officials said, at a base near Ndjamena, the Chadian capital. The plan to use the exiles fit neatly into the Reagan Administration's eagerness to topple Colonel Qaddafi.
Hifter, leader of these failed efforts, became known as the CIA's "Libya point man," having taken part in numerous regime change efforts, including the aborted attempt to overthrow Gaddafi in 1996. So, his arrival in 2011 at the height of the uprising signaled an escalation of the conflict from an armed uprising to an international operation. Whether Hifter was directly working with US intelligence or simply complimenting US efforts by continuing his decades-long personal war against Gaddafi is somewhat irrelevant. What matters is that Hifter and the Libyan National Army, like LIFG and other groups, became part of the broader destabilization effort which successfully toppled Gaddafi and created the chaotic hellscape that is modern Libya.
Such is the legacy of the US dirty war on Libya.The Past is Prologue
It is September 2020. Americans are focused on an election between an Orange Fascist criminal and an old-school right-wing Democrat war criminal. Where Donald Trump projects chaos and disorder, Biden projects stability, order, and a return to normalcy. If Trump is the virus, then surely Biden is the cure.
It is September 2020. Libya prepares to enter its eighth year of civil war. Slave markets like the one in Bani Walid are as common as youth literacy centers were in Gaddafi's Libya. Armed gangs and militias wield power even in areas nominally under government control. A warlord regroups in the East as he looks to Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates for support.
It is September 2020 and the US-NATO war on Libya has faded to a distant memory as other issues like Black Lives Matter and police murder of Black youth have captured the public imagination and discourse.
But these issues are, in fact, united by the bond of white supremacy and anti-Blackness. The Libya once known as the "Jewel of Africa," a country that provided refuge for many sub-Saharan African migrant workers while maintaining independence from the US and the former colonial powers of Europe, is no more. In its place is a failed state that now reflects the kind of vicious anti-Black racism forcefully suppressed by the Gaddafi government.
Libya as the global exemplar of the exploitation and disposability of the black body.
Squint a little and you can see President Joe Biden getting the old band back together. Hillary Clinton welcomed into the Oval Office as an influential voice, someone to give words to the demented thoughts of the living corpse serving as Commander-in-Chief. Derek Chollet and Ben Rhodes laughing together as they buy another round at their favorite DC hangout, toasting to the re-establishment of order in Washington. Barack Obama as the éminence grise behind the political resurgence of the liberal-conservative dominant structure.
But in Libya, there is no going back, no fixing the past to escape the present.
Perhaps the same might be true of the United States.AVmaster , 13 hours agofucking truth , 12 hours ago
Number of wars the boy king and his minions started: 6, that we know of: Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.
(Not withstanding the proxy wars during the "muslim spring" like in egypt)
Number of wars Trump has started: 0
This is NOT including the ongoing wars that trump inherited but has dialed back somewhat, like reduced troop presence in iraq/afghan.GreatUncle , 3 hours ago
Trump hasn't started any but he still feeds the beast, hopefully his next four will see a correction to this behaviour,one can only hope.ay_arrow 2Bollixed , 2 hours ago
Has no choice.
The economic reality is the MIC is a big part of the US domestic economy.
Shut that down and you would go into a full blown depression.
If you build bullets, missile, bombs, F35's etc. they have to be used or you have to start scrapping them.
The issue though is not the MIC as such but the lack of any moral integrity and disregard for human life by those mentioned in the article. Once the country was put into this position by them it is much more difficult to extract.
Now I think those in the article should be prosecuted for not going to Congress to declare a war and fund it correctly as this is supposed to be the check and balance of a rogue president.play_arrowDeepStateThrombosis , 3 hours ago
Regarding the MIC, many of those companies consist of manufacturing entities comprised of engineers, factory infrastructure and logistics infrastructure funded by government spending that could realistically be 'retooled' to produce things that could benefit society instead of piss money away on the tools of destruction. America is in need of a massive infrastructure overhaul from our electric grid to our transportation modes to name just two. Nothing is preventing those MIC giants from refocusing their efforts toward a better America versus the current focus they are paid to undertake. It's a matter of priorities and right now I find their priorities misplaced and vulgar.
The money is available at their current funding rates, the manpower and brain power is there, what is lacking is the will to turn the ship around and start putting humans before profits. There is no need to go into a full blown depression as with the shut down of that capacity if those entities are given a mandate to redirect their output for the good of society and create things of lasting value. In other words, take the retooling mindset that turned refrigerator factories into weapons factories like they did in WW2 and take the weapons factories and turn them into entities for the betterment of society. And then wean them off of the government teat.DaiRR , 1 hour ago
Unused funds from the Pentagon can be redirected to the Wall and other Defense protections not known to the public at this time.ay_arrowmuggeridge , 11 hours ago
DemoRats and NeoCons will try every way possible to keep the wars going.
The USA is incredibly blessed to have Donald J. Trump in the White House.play_arrow 1GreatUncle , 3 hours ago
To think Americans demonstrated in the millions to stop the Vietnam war exposed as a fraud by Daniel Ellsberg in the PENTAGON PAPERS. Obama did admit that the removal of Ghadaffy was his biggest foreign policy mistake. Clinton also in trouble over Tunisia while Secretary of State with US ambassador killed in 2012. She took responsibility but was found not to have acted improperly by US Congress. However her part in this tragedy remains an open question. Today the only Middle Eastern country still standing IRAN supported by China. Syria supported by Russia. Cold Wars never go away?
play_arrow 2scaleindependent , 10 hours ago
Cold war is an inevitable consequence of a MIC that must continually produce and expend munitions to keep its part of the economy going.
2 play_arrowmuggeridge , 10 hours ago
Final Jeopardy, genius!
What is Syria and Iran?
HIS acts against those countries ARE acts of war.CheapBastard , 7 hours ago
Regime Change as our modus operandi to serve the cause of military superiority as if pre-set by computer.
How everything became war and the military became everything by Rosa Brooks Tales of the Pentagon.
Something funny happened on the way to the forum; Broadway musical. Hail Caesar?play_arrowGreatUncle , 3 hours ago
Hey, military contractors have to put food on the table also, even if it means murdering millions of innocent people in Yugoslavia (like Clinton did) or in the middle east (like Bush and Obama did).play_arrowSoilMyselfRotten , 3 hours ago
Yep some people don't get it.
With all the military contractors now moved into peaceful protests maybe we actually need more war to keep them gainfully employed.
Get the picture?
2 play_arrowNo1uNo , 9 hours ago
HIS acts against those countries ARE acts of war
Don't forget also blockading Venezuela
sauldaddy , 11 hours ago
No Libya story is complete without mentioning David Shayler- the MI6 agent turned whistleblower who was tasked with blowing up Gaddafi in his car - but refused to do so when he was accompanied by his wife and children. (under the Tony Blair govt). -yep.
Shayler later went into a bizarre series of personas -which is understood by many as self preservation tactic - (testimony of mentally unstable is not recognised in court - so no threat).
Then there's the covert ratlines of gathering the ex-Libyan army weapons & shipping them to ISIS Syria via Turkey and White Helmets (see James Corbett) organised by HRC via Benghazi -so no rescue for US Ambassador & team (RIP) HRC prefer'd keep op covert. Carrier 50 miles off coast -HRC killed US Diplomats & support team. -Biden knew.
Also check out the courageous Dilyana Gaytandzhieva who runs armswatch .com and some SM in her name. for laypersons overview of extent of games-within-games & wheels-within-wheels in arms trade/ chem weapons "research". She's currently researching the Beirut bombings - which will be another revelation when it hits.. . . _ _ _ . . . , 13 hours ago
That awkward moment when you find out the first Black President brought slavery BACK to Africa .....Q- That awkward moment when you find out the first Black President brought slavery BACK to Africa_arrowMs No , 13 hours ago
Qaddafi kept African migrants out of the Mediterranean and away from Europe's shores.
Sarkozy couldn't allow that knowing what was in store for Europe.
He predicted what would happen to Europe were he to be deposed. He was right. Macron's (and Merkel's) policies are proof.
That and the gold dinar was his undoing.
P.S. Don't tell the leftists, but Libya was the only case of a successful socialist state. On second thought, it might be funny to see them publicly defending Qaddafi.not dead yet , 12 hours ago
That may work for a while when you pull black gold out of the ground, for a while. Oil declines and free **** armies breed faster. Then you are Saudi Arabia and we are about to see how that ends up.play_arrowNo1uNo , 9 hours ago
Libyan youth unemployment was over 30% because these spoiled kids with their families getting oil checks in the mail every month refused to do menial jobs. Qaddafi kept the black Africans out of the boats by letting them do the work the kids and other Libyans thought was beneath them. A lot of the money the Africans made they sent home which was spent in the local economies which increased jobs there. Libya also invested heavily in Africa which created lots of jobs. These actions kept the number of Africans headed to Europe a trickle. Once Qaddafi was gone so were all the jobs in Libya and the money that flowed into Africa dried up and jobs were lost. A lot of businesses the Libyans created in Africa were confiscated by the local governments and no doubt given to cronies who ran them into the ground.. . . _ _ _ . . . , 6 hours ago
Gaddafi thought wrongly that job description would save him. Also suggested trading oil for €uro's over dollar$, which blew the lid on powder keg. In the end they say it was the oil, though my thinking was DC think tanks didn't want a monied "Mexico" on south coast of Euroland - could make Europe too financially powerful & too difficult to control.play_arrowNo1uNo , 6 hours ago
I had heard about selling oil for Euros in relation to Saddam, but not to Qaddafi. Qaddafi was about the gold Dinar.
??Steverino , 13 hours ago
Yep, it's what can happen if I'm not careful when I post and try to watch a documentary at the same time.
Thanks for your vigilance.
In case anyone's interested: ex-mossad agent - 57minsplay_arrow
https://archive.org/details/victor-ostrovsky-1995quanttech , 13 hours ago
Find the Libyan gold that dissapeard.... and one likely finds the source of the overthrow....Bill300 , 12 hours ago
try the french treasury...Justapleb , 12 hours ago
Look no further than Hillary's brother. General Gage, a former Special Forces Colonel, had been hired by Hillary, et al, to assemble a merc army to secure Qaddafi's gold amidst the fog of war and transport it to Haiti to be laundered thru Hugh Rodham's little gold mine. Does anyone really think Obama sold enough books to buy a $12M seaside mansion in Massachusetts and the Washington DC home?
These people are so evil.dark pools of soros , 4 hours ago
That's certainly titillating. Do you have a source that puts these things together?
I tried some Google searches, but I already know those searches are censored so it is not an easy thing to findDaCrustyDad , 13 hours ago
you gotta get your hands dirty if you want to know whats in the soilquanttech , 12 hours ago
Imagine if some country invaded us and slaughtered about 23.5 million (apples for apples based on the 500k civilians killed out of 7,000,000)? Obama and the Clinton's should be playing basketball at Pelican Bay the rest of their lives at best.Arch_Stanton , 9 hours ago
It's mind boggling.
Trump dropped 7400 bombs on Afghanistan in 2019. That would be like 60,000 bombs dropping on the US one year.Shifter_X , 9 hours ago
Libya was a modern, secular Arab state. A model for the rest of Islam. Who the f@@k decided it was appropriate to reduce Libya to a 19th century sh1thole?Constitution101 , 6 hours ago
Hillary ******* ClintonBest Satan in Town , 6 hours ago
on instruction from the cabalist banksters who never permit a rival currency system.
Qaddafi's gold-backed dinar throughout Nth Africa would have exposed and displace their petrodollar scam in which they infinitely print their cronies untold trillion$.
end the fed, and all central banks.desertboy , 10 hours ago
That's the story in a nutsh-ellNo1uNo , 8 hours ago
The petrodollar centrality gets monotonously overplayed. For anyone who cares to look, the geopolitics of the West/NATO are the geopolitics of all its central bank owners as an interlinked group, who are keeping all their options open.
Destroying Libya went beyond the petrodollar to the fight for influence in Africa's future, where France's history in Africa has made it the designated hitter. Note the new CFR-type buzz on a "resurgent France" due to this role.No1uNo , 9 hours ago
I maintained elsewhere on this thread, was advice of DC think tanks he was taken out. Because a well funded, well educated, low cost, labor factory resource state on south coast of eurozone makes europe too competitive to DC tank's interests. (and open Africa's growing economy to cheap - outside eurozone - euro profiting business interests).
Gaddafi was never a threat to Europe, but europe buying his oil and building his economy......different story.not dead yet , 11 hours ago
get your case of beer for that one!Constitution101 , 6 hours ago
Qaddafi would have not met with death if he only wanted to sell oil in the Gold Dinar. Instead he wanted the Gold Dinar as the currency for all of Africa. The system was being set up along with 4 central banks to manage African economic and monetary affairs when Libya was attacked. Libya also invested heavily in Africa creating lots of jobs and enhancing communications. Unlike the IMF and World Bank with their draconian edicts attached to their loans, like no loans for fossil fueled power plants and other eco garbage, almost guaranteeing default the Libyan Development Fund attached no such garbage to their loans making success possible. Europe was charging Africa $500 million a year for use of their satellites. Qaddafi ponied up $300 million of the $400 million needed to put up Africa's first satellite screwing Europe out of $500 million a year. Qaddafi was also the driving force for Africa for Africans and which kept US African command and it's troops out of Africa. Now the US has troops all over Africa. Qaddafi really was bad. Bad for Western exploitation of Africa.
At the time of Qaddafi's demise the Libyan Development Fund had $32 billion in banks around the world. Western governments and media tried to claim it was money stolen by Qaddafi. Last I knew the Libyan's, the rightful owners of that money, haven't seen a penny.dark pools of soros , 4 hours ago
got a good concise source?SmokeyBlonde , 12 hours ago
you have to dig deep to get little nuggets of truth about Libya since so many sides want to tarnish and twist to push their agenda and greed on its richesReflectoMatic , 11 hours ago
America, as a country, deserves whatever happens just for electing and re-electing Obama.
Far too many grifters, Bolsheviks, pedocrats, and sub-moron IQ feral ghetto rats oh-so-pleased with themselves for being so enlightened and bringing chaos to the whole F'n world.Shifter_X , 8 hours ago
The Democrats are working with the globalist at the United Nations & World Economic Forum. The program being run is the destruction of the United States and elimination of humans, per instructions from "The Cult of Rasur", which is located in the jungle at Mount Rasur in Costa Rica but now renamed as the United Nations University For Peace. The university teaches occult and meditation and only graduates 20 students per year, those students then take positions of influence within the UN. The cult was founded by Maurice Strong & Dr Muller, Strong also created the Agenda 21 & World Economic Forum, plus in 1982, the more exclusive secret group of 300 called just "World Forum" which met in Vail Colorado near his hippie commune at the Baca Grande in the San Luis Valley.
The GAIA Theory which was converted into GAIA Religion at the Maurice Strong Hippie Commune in Colorado. David Perkins was there, apparently one of the first hippies to arrive at the commune around 1978. In this podcast we get a rare look into the mindset of the globalist and the creation of Agenda 21.
It's not clear if David Perkins & his partner, Chris O'Brian, are aware of Maurice Strong & Klaus Schwab conducting the special and secret World Forum of 300 at Vail in 1982. At that 1982 event the concepts David Perkins describes, combined with concepts gotten by paranormal activities at Mount Rasur in Costa Rica, were passed down to the 300 and thus began the creation that has brought the world to a standstill.
Chris O'Brian has an interesting podcast also, describing the Maurice Strong hippie commune, in this he describes meeting Lawrence Rockefeller at the commune.
I saw it posted here that Amschel Rothschild Said Rothschilds Have Met with Satan met the Devil in Colorado , now we know where in Colorado.
And finally, who the heck is this guy, the one in the middle? MJ-12 captured this photo of him in Hollywood in 1972, he was then usually seen in company of Curtis LeMay, grandson of the General who founded JPL NASA MJ-12, then in 1982 he was at that World Forum in Vail and in charge of covertly poisoning them all with LSD. He was born in Berkley or Alameda in 1951 while his mother was at theater watching "Day The Earth Stood Still". Seems there is a message which needs to be understood.
David Champaign, night manager at the Christie Lodge in Avon Colorado, can give further description and verification that the ultra-secret World Forum did occur.
If you listened to that podcast, there was mention of the "group of psychics" at the Baca hippie commune. The guy in the photo, the link just above, the photo was taken in the presence of Allen J Funk MJ-12, Funk's only friend took the photo, Bob Custer. Bob shared hotel rooms with the Stones & Monkeys while on concert tour as official photographer. The guy in the photo and Bob were taken one night, in Allen's white Cadillac convertible, to a house in the hills east of JPL Pasadena. There he met Bob's ex, Val, and Val's work associates, the work Val and associates did was some secret psychic project in Central America and perhaps in Colorado, usually Val just came over to Bob's house to visit when Val was not off at those remote locations. Secret about it they were.bobroonie , 13 hours ago
These are self-loathing humans. Imagine wanting to destroy the human race.
SMHnot dead yet , 12 hours ago
Obama bombed Libya in defense of Islamic terrorists he sold weapons to. 600 requests for more security from Ambassador Stevens unanswered.. But when defense contractor Osprey Global's Sidney Blumenthal called Clinton gave him special treatment. Lots of money to be made for a defense contractor and the Secretary of State that starts the war.quanttech , 12 hours ago
At the time Stevens died, he was not murdered he died of smoke inhalation as the invaders set the place on fire and the safe room wasn't air tight, Benghazi was the most dangerous place on earth for diplomats. Attempted murders and kidnappings of diplomats were so rife that most governments closed their missions and evacuated their people. Stevens was well aware of this and he went to Benghazi, the US Embassy is in Tripoli, anyway with his last meeting running guns with the Turks. By doing so he signed his death warrant. According to many at the time Stevens was begging for more security shortly before he left for Benghazi he was offered a military security detachment that was already in Tripoli and Stevens refused. Seems Stevens and Hillary didn't want the military to know what they were up to.David2923 , 5 hours ago
the ambassador got what was coming to him. he was a terrorist, plain and simple.
the rest of the Americans were rescued ... by Qadaffi loyalists. the Americans are shy to admit this.Vivekwhu , 5 hours ago
Facts you probably do not know about Libya under Muammar Gaddafi:
• There are no electricity bills in Libya; electricity is free for all its citizens.
• There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at 0% interest by law.
• If a Libyan is unable to find employment after graduation, the state pays the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.
• Should Libyans want to take up a farming career, they receive farm land, a house, equipment, seed and livestock to kick start their farms – all for free.
• Gaddafi carried out the world's largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.
• A home considered a human right in Libya. (In Qaddafi's Green Book it states: "The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others.")
• All newlyweds in Libya receive 60,000 Dinar (US$ 50,000 ) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start a family.
• A portion of Libyan oil sales is credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
• A mother who gives birth to a child receives US $5,000.
• When a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidizes 50% of the price.
• The price of petrol in Libya is $0.14 per liter.
• For $ 0.15, a Libyan local can purchase 40 loaves of bread.
• Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Libya can boast one of the finest health care systems in the Arab and African World. All people have access to doctors, hospitals, clinics and medicines, completely free of charge.
• If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need in Libya, the government funds them to go abroad for it – not only free but they get US $2,300/month accommodation and car allowance.
• 25% of Libyans have a university degree. Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans were literate. Today the figure is 87%.
• Libya has no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion – though much of this is now frozen globally.
Here is photo of the man who helped kill the Col shaking hands with the Col. https://news.antiwar.com/2011/03/03/un-postpones-praising-gadhafis-human-rights-record/dark pools of soros , 5 hours ago
You have explained why Libya was perfectly ripe for looting by the US Evil Empire and its slave states.Lokiban , 11 hours ago
Yes I've been shining a light on this for years. The true history of Libya should red pill EVERYONE that can still think for themselves.
We are destroying George Washington statues while worshiping a black african american president who destroyed the one rare prosperous socialist African nation.. which now has slave trading!!!! all because it didn't share it's water to french/italian bottlers. And of course the Gold Dinar becoming the African currency.NuYawkFrankie , 12 hours ago
Gadhaffi's two mistakes leading to this war.
Threaten to sell his sweet oil in gold dinars
Threaten French president Sarkozy to pull out all of his money out of France and reveal to the public the donations he made to the French presidential campaign of Sarkozy, which we know is illegal because foreigners can't donate money.
That sealed his fate. America needed to stop this gold for oil scheme just like it did in Iraq and French president Sarkozy's presidency was ont he line.Apeon , 11 hours ago
Slick Willy --> War Criminal
Chimp --> War Criminal
Obongo --> War Criminal
Hillarity --> War Criminal
Groper Joe --> War Criminal
Etc... etc... etc...
Are you at least BEGINNING to see a pattern here???
If not, you soon will do as 'the chickens come home to roost' and ZOG focusses it's attention on YOUR a$$!NuYawkFrankie , 8 hours ago
Apparently you are not old enough to remember JohnsonNAV , 2 hours ago
I'm holding "Johnson" as we speak... and the most I can accuse him of is being a naughty - sometimes a VERY naughty- boy. Looks like he's due for another spanking!NAV , 2 hours ago
But in Libya, there is no going back, no fixing the past to escape the present.
Perhaps the same might be true of the United States.
Obama left this country and Libya in rags, what else is there to say.
Yet Obama lives, while Gaddafi is dead, a man who had the good of his people in mind and already was using primary water from which eventually all of Africa could be watered and developed into a paradise for his people, a people who live on a continent rich with more natural resources than any other.
But this could not be allowed by the Devil's Globalists who want to own all the world's resources in order to make beggars of all mankind. Obama was their man. He not only betrayed Africa but all men for a $40,000,000 pot of silver proffered by the world enemy of liberty - the DEEPSTATE.you know it makes sense , 5 hours ago
But in Libya, there is no going back, no fixing the past to escape the present.
Perhaps the same might be true of the United States.
Obama left this country and Libya in rags, what else is there to say.
Yet Obama lives, while Gaddafi is dead, a man who had the good of his people in mind and already was using primary water from which eventually all of Africa could be watered and developed into a paradise for his people, a people who live on a continent rich with more natural resources than any other.
But this could not be allowed by the Devil's Globalists who want to own all the world's resources in order to make beggars of all mankind. Obama was their man. He not only betrayed Africa but all men for a $40,000,000 pot of silver proffered by the world enemy of liberty - the DEEPSTATE.taglady , 7 hours ago
Who writes this crap and who believes a word of it ?.
No mention that Gaddafi planned to set up a new gold backed African money to sell his oil rather than the euro or the dollar. 143+ tons of gold and 140 tons of silver went missing.
It was because of this lie and NATO's involvement in the destruction of Libya that both Russia and China vowed never again to allow this to happen to another countrytaglady , 7 hours ago
Trump: "lock her up" became "she's been through enough." What has she been through exactly? "Make America great again" became we need to bail out Boeing and the rest because of an "invisible enemy." It's invisible alright, because it doesn't exist. The only invisible enemy are the parasites shoveling our money into their own very deep pockets in every conceivable way. Like Biden and his entire family and the Clintons and the Obamas and many others have been doing for many years. Like Bush and Cheney made out so well after 911. That's how Gates and the pharmaceutical industry became so bloated while real Americans have struggled to make ends meet.Iconoclast27 , 1 hour ago
Interesting coalition between finance, government and media. Like when Bush announced the necessary, unconstitutional war and changes to our society after 911. We didn't get to vote on these changes. No referendum ever happened. Just an announcement in the media and media spin on public opinion, then preplanned actions by corrupt officials. This alliance was never more obvious than during the cv response. We are censored and silenced while liars and thieves are given the bully pulpit to beat us over the head with their idiocracy to enrich very few parasites, again. Then the public is blamed for the rogue actions of government/ business/media. America is bad. We just keep voting for these dummies. Except our voting system is run by the same corrupt dummies who keep getting re-elected. Hmmm. Just like they did to Kadafi and many others. Suddenly Libya is poor. What happened to all of Kadafi's gold? Probably the same thing that happened to the Pentagon trillions and SS "surplus" and public pensions across America. Taxation without representation leaves us broke, without a voice and broken. What are we going to do about it?John C Durham , 1 hour ago
The problem is you believe imperialism and colonialism has ended in the African continent when that clearly isn't the case, this Libyan regime change op being the latest example of interference you are claiming no longer exists.LEEPERMAX , 5 hours ago
Actually the end of colonialism that FDR ("Winston, Colonialism is the Cause of this War. This war is going to end all Colonialism".) wished for is hardly over. We got Democratic Party's Truman, not the great Henry Wallace, remember?
Libya only proves this true.QABubba , 5 hours ago
America's "BOTCHED CIA OPERATION OF THE CENTURY" as they funneled GADDAFI WEAPONS from the PORT OF BENGHAZI into SYRIA as OBAMA & CO. completed their agenda to DESTABILIZE THE MIDDLE EAST and eventually ALL OF EUROPE.
NO MORE . . . NO LESSVivekwhu , 6 hours ago
This is the very reason I sat out the 2016 election. They say citizens don't vote foreign policy but I did. The "We came, we saw, he died" statement illustrated that our leaders didn't have a clue as to the geopolitical damage we had done. The US supported a "no fly zone" in the UN Security Council. Russia supported it. Gaddafi declared his own, stating that none of his air force would fly. The US and their allies quickly "redefined" it to mean they could destroy his air force on the ground, and once destroyed, any of his antiaircraft guns, and once destroyed, any of his tanks and artillery (which don't fly), and his troop convoys.
Gaddafi's, Russia's, perhaps North Korea's big mistake was believing the US would stand by their agreement in the UN Security Council. This and the Eastward creep of Nato may very well be the deciding factor's in Putin's view that he has no responsible actors in the West to deal with. North Korea was watching. Any dream of getting a denuclearized North Korea just receded by about 50 years.
And of course, our presstitute media had a starring role as always. The average American thinks this was a just war, and knows nothing of the slave markets, and nothing about the flood of African immigrants, who are majority muslim, and have no plans whatsoever to assimilate, into Europe. The leaders of France and supposedly Great Britain have stabbed their citizens in the back, as they will now have to watch European culture destroyed.lastugro , 10 hours ago
Many thanks are due to Draitser for this excellent report on the vile activities of the US Evil Empire in Libya. The power motives have been laid bare, but the massive greed of the US/EU imperial elites have not been detailed. The greed for Libyan oil by France and Italy is well known but the US also looted Libyan gold, just as they looted Ukrainian gold after the 2014 Maidan coup.
By removing Gaddaffi (and who can forget Clinton's evil words "We came, we saw, he died") and looting the gold they scuppered the plans to create a gold-backed dinar for all of Africa, that would have challenged the use of USD, French-controlled "Franc" and other fiat currencies.
That would have been shocking for the US/EU imperial elite that regards Africa as their private fiefdom to loot at will.
Combined with a lust for power, the US/EU imperial elites have an insatiable greed. After all, what use is an empire if the elites can't gorge themselves at will?Michael Norton , 11 hours ago
... and Medvedev led Russia abstained (did not veto the vote) at the UNSC session where the intervention was approved. Russia bears a tacit responsibility.dogfish , 9 hours ago
Obama supplied ISIS with leftover weapons from the Libya operation to take out Bashar Assad in Syria. That didn't work out for him too well, did it? Got an ambassador and some CIA spooks killed in Benghazi.Maghreb2 , 5 hours ago
And Trump steals the oil, the oil that is desperately needed by the suffering Syrians. Trump is a real humanitarian.Maghreb2 , 5 hours ago
Obama believed every word he was fed about the R2P Right to Protect fantasy concocted at the U.N. At the same time if you knew how dangerous the man was with his Green Revolution and Desert sorcery you would have had him killed.
The first step of his plan was the Libyan African Gold Dinar which would have been a commodity backed gold cuerrency. This would have broken Rothschild and most of the colonial banking systems. On its own it was a just move but not even the Chinese could have an African Bloc form that fast with that much growth. Imploding the CFA system would have destroyed France as we know it and made it poorer than Poland.
Second factor was his ruthless plans to deal with his Islamic Nationalist and Monarchist "Brothers". Gaddafis Green revolution could have spread across the desert wastes and easily overthrown the Al Sauds and trapped Arab natioanlists in their citites. Not a powerful fighter but understood desert warfare. It was the cost of Soviet equipment and the French adapted technicals that made him weaker. The Wars of the Sahara desert like those of Polisario Front and Libyan Chad War were decided by mobility.
Finally there were reports amongst the occultists that the man was obsessed with the Occult and the Djinn. Giving a warlord his own banking system and access to African black Magic was enough even for the Jesuits to view the man as a threat to global peace. Rumours the djinns warned him of advance of air strikes and gave strength to his soldiers in the deserts made him a force to be reckoned with in his borders. The association with Abu Nidal is rumoured to have revealed things about the nature of these desert beings. If he had the innate gift for it his tribe probably would have joined us at some point. Reports he had fallen out with the real Green a man a sage and advisor to the Islamic leaders point to a major rupture with the Islamic creed.
Only God can really judge whether his plan to emancipate Africa was his own power grab to free the continent or another mad man trying to join the global elite by enslaving them.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hwiCkU73NASmokeyBlonde , 4 hours ago
The Moroccans learnt a lot from that mess. Islamic world lacks something like the Jesuits to keep these things under wraps.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USJCcZGbb7wMaghreb2 , 2 hours ago
It would appear, at this point in time, that regardless of motive of his plan, the US-backed alternative has turned out far worse. The only positive result is more money in the pockets of the MIC and the opportunity to play war games in the desert.freedommusic , 5 hours ago
Like I said he was a dangerous man. It takes one to rock the boat like he did. End of the day the system could have been put in place for the African Gold Standard to start to expand into areas that were tired of the Central African Franc system but it would have destroyed Rothschild and led to hundreds of million of Black Muslims having resources to throw at Israel.
Making Chad, Senegal and Mali into something like Yugoslavia with Chinese and Russian Weaponry was beyond the imaginings of Africom. Would have lowered the birth rates with the development and solved the migration and economic crisis. Having these countries like Sweden would have also created living space for white liberals who were highly educated. Instead all the money vanished with the Kleptokrats. Its only insane Facists who want dead Africans on their doorsteps in Berlin and on the television that agree with this madness.
Euafrica, Eurabia could be avoided by making sure the Africans slow their birth rates through development and saving wealth rather than following it to Europe when the big men run with gold and dollars.
At the same time he was known as a devil to the Arabs and the dissidents. Sort of like Rockefeller with the company towns and corporate face. You ask the bastards to resign and why all these people has vanished and gives you statistics on how many electrical appliances have been handed out and says he was never in charge and you don't know how the system works.
Hard to say but he played the game. Robbed Bunker Hunt which was enough for us. Bunker C%nt as we called him when he tried to bring down the Morgue in Texas. Stuff like that is why the Illuminati are feared. Its hard for anyone to gauge what is going on and what the domino effects are. He was trained by the Americans and British and supplied with Socialist apparatus. Gianni Agnelli the suavest yid since Joseph kept NATO off his back. He had ties to the U.S deep State as well but that goes back to Wheelus.
Like we said about the Occult everyone has a backer but that man had demons watching over him. According to some. Thin line between a Djinn and Shaytan when politics and murder get involved.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcgNqHnjLK8voting machine , 6 hours ago
Failed nation states make a perfect platform for a profitable global criminal enterprise.Jackprong , 7 hours ago
Allen Dulles couldn't have scripted this operation any better.
This is right out of the CIA hand book. Regime change 101bshirley1968 , 3 hours ago
As is painfully evident, there is no clear way to know how much was spent other than to take the word of those who prosecuted the war. With no congressional oversight, and no clear documentary record, the war on Libya disappears down the memory hole, and with it the idea that there is a separation of powers, Congressional authority to make war, or a functioning Constitution.
Got an answer for this: CUTBACKS!you_do , 6 hours ago
" The story begins with Bernard Henri-Lévy, the French philosopher, journalist, and amateur foreign service officer who fancied himself an international spy. "
"Lévy was born in 1948 in Béni Saf , French Algeria , to an affluent Algerian Jewish family. "JeanTrejean , 6 hours ago
The war against Libya is a crime .
The arguments for it are mostly fake .
The real reason is the threat against the `dollar`.Vivekwhu , 6 hours ago
It's the Frenchmen Sarkozy and B.H. Levy who are responsible for this agression.
The USA and NATO (outside Europe) were just "dumb followers".Joiningupthedots , 21 minutes ago
Nothing dumb about Obomber: why did he loot and murder in Libya (or Yemen, Ukraine, Syria etc)? Because he CAN!!!OTBorder@CA , 1 hour ago
Everything The West touches turns to rat ****.
Mercifully Russia recognised its mistake with Libya and stepped in to save Syria from the same fate.
Every country, its military bandits politicians involved in the unprovoked attack and subsequent destruction of Libya can be considered........WAR CRIMINALS.
Hopefully one day they will be stupid enough to attack Russia or China and be completely destroyed for their stupidity.csc61 , 1 hour ago
First of all, Gadhafi gave an unconditional surrender that was brokered by international diplomatic channels over a month before our invasion. Obama & his minions ignored it. We knew many pilots that flew "missions" over Libya during this war & were involved in a massive bombing campaign. Don't forget the Wikileaks where France signed onto the war on the condition they got a % of Libya's gold. My wish is that someday history will tell the truth about the bastard Obama. Read the Lost Arab Spring by, Walid Phares to see all of the other Countries Obama tried to overthrow & have radical Islamic Terrorists replace the peaceful governments.Mentaliusanything , 7 hours ago
The author gives these idiots far too much credit. People must come to the understanding that presidents and politicians (on all sides) simply do as they're told. It is the hidden hand, the international financiers, who are ruining the world. Politicians are mere pawns ... minions willing to sell their souls for a few short years of presumed power, only to scurry off afterward to play the role of elder statesmen. Politicians are nothing more than privileged degenerates who proved early in their political lives they could be easily corrupted and compromised. It is not them who do the damage directly - these things would happen no matter who's in charge. No, they're simply the ones pushed out front to sign documents and take blame for the world's ruination ... a small price they are willing to pay to feed their narcissistic appetites.Scipio Africanuz , 8 hours ago
I would caption that image as "Who is going first to the platform and rope... Biden thinks he has won a Prize and is excited , The Kenyan says you first Bro (loser) and the white Privileged woman is laughing as she says , You have nothing on Me... Bitches, I bury mine deep and dead, I do not swing
Now that we've completed stage 1 of the harvest, perhaps we ought boost the Republic of Liberty, and hopefully, temper the anxious wrath of folks..
Libya was a catastrophic mistake, borne of hubris, vanity, intellectual rigidity, vainglory, and confusion. Hubris on the part of some, Sarkozy comes to mind, vanity on the part of some, Hillary Clinton comes to mind, confusion on the part of some, Obama comes to mind, and Ideological rigidity on the part of some, Biden comes to mind, and vainglorious pride on the part of some, the security establishment and their directors come to mind..
Having cleared that, it's no use crying over spilt milk, what's necessary, if the humility to acknowledge errors is available, is contributing rationally, and pernitently, to fixing the errors, and not by the same thinking that led to the errors, but fresh thinking that ought now understand that..
What's sown, is what's reaped, but MERCY it is, mitigates the harvests of depravity, via the provision of energy to restitute, and make amends..
The caveat however, is that mercy is NEVER deployed without REPENTANCE and RECALIBRATION,
which are the foundational pillars that make MERCY provide the energy to effect RESTITUTION..
Having clarified that, it's pertinent to inform, that Providence is NOT interested, in any way, shape, or form, in the damnation of anyone and why?
Well, which loving father is interested in the damnation of his children, no matter how depraved?
Still, patience ought not be mistaken for coddling and why?
With one, patience, the intent is to provide time for change..
With the other, coddling, the gambit is the turning of blind eyes to depravity..
But seeing as God, the Almighty Father is CONSISTENTLY Just, we can conclude then, that patience is the prerequisite for either Mercy or Damnation and how so?
Because if patience is deployed, and the depraved utilize it to change, then their salvation is self directed..
And if not, utilized that is, then their damnation as well, is self obtained..
And thus is the Justice and Honor of Divine Providence satisfied..
It's that simple..
And on that note VP Biden, we'll no longer refer to you as that, but as Joseph..
That ought awaken in you the grave responsibility on your shoulders, like that of the Biblical Joseph, whose father made for him, a "Coat of MANY colors.."
And if you be perceptive Joseph, you're now about to wear E Pluribus Unum (Coat of many colors..), created as a singular garment (ONE NATION..), for a reason (the glorification of Provident Divinity..
And the glorification?
That E Pluribus Unum (coat of many colors created as a singular garment..), ought demonstrate to all who see it worn, the goodness, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, and LOVE of the Provider of the Coat..
And considering Joseph, that in service of the Republic, you've not withheld the fruit of your loins, it's appropriate then, that you ought now demonstrate that love for the Republic, by putting it first, just as you'd put the fruits of your loins first, except above Divine Providence, known to you, as God Almighty..
So then Joseph, as we begin the next stage of the harvest, remember your oath that "you keep your promises..", you'll be judged by that oath..
And Joseph, "a promise is a debt..", it MUST be paid..
And to boost you energetically, here's Parton the Sweet Voiced Nightingale..
Good luck and God speed...
Sep 11, 2020 | www.rt.com
MSM's attempts to spin Trump's attacks on senseless wars as disrespect for military at large are a dismal distortion of reality 11 Sep, 2020 12:06 Get short URL
Sep 11, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
DoD Confirms $10-$20 Billion COVID Bailout For Contractors After Trump Blasted Military-Industrial Complex by Tyler Durden Fri, 09/11/2020 - 09:45 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print
This is surely the last thing the American people want to hear, but it does confirm President Trump's recent statements saying that top Pentagon brass essentially seeks out constant wars to keep defense contractors "happy": the Department of Defense plans to cut major military contractors a $10 billion to $20 billion COVID bailout check .
Defense One reports : "With lawmakers and the White House unable to come to an agreement on a new coronavirus stimulus package, it's unlikely that money requested to reimburse defense contractors for pandemic-related expenses will reach these companies until at least the second quarter of 2021, according to the Pentagon's top weapons buyer."
Defense undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, Ellen Lord, in recent statements has indicated the private defense firm stimulus would cover the period from March 15 to Sept. 15 and is estimated at "between $10 and $20 billion."President Trump at Andrews Air Force Base, via AP.
"Then we want to look at all of the proposals at once," Lord said at a press briefing Wednesday. "It isn't going to be a first in, first out, and we have to rationalize using the rules we've put in place what would be reimbursable and what's not."
And strongly suggesting that it won't be the last of such stimulus for defense firms who have already profited immensely off post 9/11 'wars of choice' launched under Bush and Obama, Lord said , "I would contend that most of the effects of COVID haven't yet been seen."
To recall, here's what Trump said at the start of this week :
"I'm not saying the military's in love with me," Trump added , as he advocated for the removal of U.S. troops from "endless wars" and lambasted NATO allies that he says rip off the U.S. "The soldiers are."
"The top people in the Pentagon probably aren't because they want to do nothing but fight wars so all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy," he added.
"Some people don't like to come home, some people like to continue to spend money," the president said. "One cold-hearted globalist betrayal after another, that's what it was."
The "outrage" that followed included reporters claiming that Trump's words were "unprecedented".
But that's far from the truth, as Glen Greenwald reminded his fellow journalists:
https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=true&id=1303109722468429824&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fafter-trump-lambasted-endless-wars-enriching-defense-firms-dod-confirms-10-20-billion&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST
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Well over a half-century ago, Eisenhower warned, "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex . The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."
And further: "We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."
Sep 11, 2020 | www.rt.com
Will the alleged Alexey Navalny poisoning sink the Nord Stream 2 pipeline? It might, but it shouldn't 11 Sep, 2020 17:39 / Updated 4 hours ago Get short URL © REUTERS/Stine Jacobsen/File Photo; © AFP/Vasily MAXIMOV 11 Follow RT on
By Dr. Karin Kneissl , who works as an energy analyst and book author. She served as the Austrian minister of foreign affairs from 2017-2019. In June, she published her book on diplomacy 'Diplomatie Macht Geschichte' in Germany through Olms, and in early September her book 'Die Mobilitätswende', or 'Mobility in Transition', was released in Vienna by Braumüller. The cacophony of noise generated in the wake of the attack on the Russian opposition figure is drowning out the reality. As Angela Merkel has always maintained, the German-Russian gas deal is purely a commercial project.
Nord Stream has always had the ingredients to drive sober-minded Germans emotional. I remember energy conferences in Germany back in 2006 when already the idea of such a gas pipeline as a direct connection from Russia to Germany provoked deep political rows, not just in Berlin but across the EU.
Conservatives disliked it for the simple reason that it was a "Schröder thing," the legacy of social democrat Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who lost the election of September 2005 to Angela Merkel. Schröder had negotiated the project with his good friend, President Vladimir Putin, and then chaired the company in charge of implementing it.READ MORE Nord Stream 2 must be completed: Don't politicize Russian energy project over Navalny situation – Merkel Party politics and pipelines
Around that time, I was invited to an energy conference in Munich by the conservative think tank, the Hanns Seidel Foundation, managed by the Bavarian party CSU, the traditional junior partner of the ruling CDU in the government. The bottom-line of the debate on Nord Stream was negative, with the consensus being that the German-Russian pipeline would lead to the implosion of a European common foreign policy and damage the EU's energy ambitions.
I attended many other such events across Germany, from parliament to universities, and listened carefully to all the arguments. The feelings towards Nord Stream were much more benign at meetings held under the auspices of the SPD.
But over the years, the rift between different political parties evaporated, and a consensus emerged which supported enhanced energy cooperation between Berlin and Moscow. Politicians of all shades defended the first pipeline, Nord Stream 1, after it went operational in 2011, bringing Russian gas directly to Germany under the Baltic Sea.
They also enthusiastically supported the creation of the second, Nord Stream 2, better known by its acronym NS2. This $11bn (£8.4bn) 1,200km pipeline is almost finished and was due to go online next year.
But now, in the very final stage of construction, everything has been thrown in limbo thanks to the alleged poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny.
NS2 has always been controversial. Critics, such as the US and Poland, have argued that it makes Germany too reliant on energy from a politically unreliable partner. President Trump last year signed a law imposing sanctions on any firm that helps Russia's state-owned gas company, Gazprom, finish it. The White House fears NS2 will tighten Russia's grip over Europe's energy supply and reduce its own share of the lucrative European market for American liquefied natural gas.
These sanctions have caused delays to the project. A special ship owned by a Swiss company menaced with sanctions had to be replaced. And prior to that, various legal provisions were brought up by the European Commission that had to be fulfilled by the companies in retrospect.
Now the case of Navalny, currently being treated at a Berlin clinic after being awoken from a medically induced coma, has thrown everything up in the air again. It has triggered a political cacophony that threatens relations between Germany, the EU, Russia, and Washington. And at the center is the pipeline.READ MORE 'Fraught with consequences for Russian-German relations': Moscow furious with Berlin over lack of cooperation on Navalny
Various German sources, among them laboratories of the armed forces, have alleged that Navalny had been poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) stated in an interview published on Sunday by Bild: " I hope the Russians don't force us to change our stance on Nord Stream 2 – we have high expectations of the Russian government that it will solve this serious crime ." He claimed to have seen " a lot of evidence " that the Russian state was behind the attack. " The deadly chemical weapon with which Navalny was poisoned was in the past in the possession of Russian authorities ," he insisted.
He conceded that stopping the almost-completed pipeline would harm German and broader European business interests, pointing out that the gas pipeline's construction involves "over 100 companies from 12 European countries, and about half of them come from Germany." Maas also threatened the Kremlin with broader EU sanctions if it did not help clarify what happened "in the coming days." Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov responded by labeling the accusations "groundless" and Moscow has staunchly denied any involvement in the affair.
The whole matter is complicated by domestic political considerations in Germany. CDU politician Norbert Röttgen, who heads up foreign affairs within the ruling party and has demanded that the pipeline should be stopped, is among those conservatives vying to lead the CDU in the run-up to Chancellor Angela Merkel's retirement next year. Meanwhile, Merkel is still trying to strike a balance between the country's legal commitments, her well-known mantra that NS2 is a " purely commercial project, " and what is now a major foreign policy crisis.
The chancellor had always focused on the business dimension. But most large energy projects also have a geopolitical dimension, and that certainly holds true with Nord Stream.
When I was Austria's foreign minister, I saw first-hand the recurring and very harsh criticism of the project by US politicians and officials. I remember the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, in a speech at the margins of the UN General Assembly in September 2018 that focused solely on NS2. I replied by pointing out to him that pipelines are not built to annoy others, but because there is demand. One thing was certain – the US opposition to Nord Stream would not wane and now the Navalny case has given it new impetus. What we are witnessing is a tremendous politicization of the pipeline with a wide range of people all shouting very loudly.ALSO ON RT.COM Craig Murray: Opposition figure Navalny may possibly have been targeted by Russian state, but Western narrative doesn't add up Diplomatic confrontation instead of solution
So here we are, in a very poisoned atmosphere where it might be difficult to revise positions without losing face. The social democrat Maas, just like the conservative Röttgen and many others, have taken to the media for different reasons. In my observation, it might have to do with their respective desires to take a strong position in order to also mark their upcoming emancipation from the political giant Merkel (she is due to step down next year).
Due to her professional and empathetic handling of the pandemic, she is today much more popular than before the crisis. That makes it difficult for a junior partner, represented by Foreign Minister Maas, and for all those who wish to challenge her inside the party.
What is needed is to get the topic out of the media and out of the to-and-fro of daily petty politics. Noisy statements might serve some, but not the overall interests involved. And there are many at stake. It is not only about energy security in times of transition, namely moving away from nuclear, but much wider matters.
As a legal scholar, I deem the loss of trust in contracts. Vertragstreue, as we call it in German – loyalty to the contract – will be the biggest collateral damage if the pipeline is abandoned for political reasons. This fundamental principle of every civilization was coined as pacta sunt servanda by the Romans – agreements must be kept. Our legal system is based on this. Who would still conclude contracts of such volumes with German companies if politics can change the terms of trade overnight?ALSO ON RT.COM German FM links Nord Stream 2 to Navalny, threatens sanctions as Moscow accuses Berlin of dragging feet on alleged poisoning probe Remember South Stream
In June 2014, construction sites on the coasts of the Black sea, both in Russia and Bulgaria, were ready for starting the gas pipeline South Stream. After pressure from the European Commission, the work never started. The political reason was the dispute on Ukraine – in particular, the annexation of the Crimea. However, the legal argument was that the tenders for the contracts were in contradiction with EU regulations on competition. Tens of thousands of work permits, which had been issued from Bulgaria to Serbia etc., were withdrawn. The economic consequence was the rise of China's influence in the region. South Stream was redirected to Turkey.
So here we are in the midst of a diplomatic standoff. It is a genuine dilemma, but it could also turn into a watershed. Will contracts be respected or will we move into a further cycle of uncertainty on all levels? Germany is built on contracts, norms (probably much too many) and not on arbitrariness.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.silvermoon 5 hours ago
All these weeks have passed and Germany has still not shown shared actual evidence of their Navalny tests with Russia though. That is the same as saying we found the gun with your finger prints on it but never showing it.
Count_Cash silvermoon 3 hours ago
Correct, Germany has only since 10th September (if confirmed) shared any 'evidence'. That is sufficient intervening time to concoct any test result and associated materials that they want - another Diesel scandal. Indeed people will ask why when you had the patient on 22nd of august, it took you so long to send samples to the OPCW, despite almost immediately yelling Poison!
gainwmn silvermoon 5 hours ago
U stupid sheep: Germany did show it to the OPCW, i.e. the organization RF is the member of, and therefore the latter gets the full access to all the data provided by Germany, as well as any other of 192 members. Kremlin lies and demands in this regard is more than ridiculous, they completely destroy any shred of trust left to all RF governmental structures and regime itself.
Teodor Nitu gainwmn 3 hours ago
Riiight!...Those Russians...not only their chemical weapons are no longer working, but they are no longer capable to choose the proper time to use them, or so the story goes. Think about it; they 'used' novichok to kill the Skripals and they are still alive and well (supposedly), now they (Russians) 'used' novichok again to kill Navalny and he is alive and getting better.
Besides, they chose the absolutely wrong time to do it. With Skripals it was just before the opening of the World Cup in Russia and now, just before the finishing of the North Stream 2 pipeline.
It sounds that they are sabotaging their own interests, aren't they? Are they (Russians) that stup!d? Some 'smart' posters here seem to believe it. But lets get real, one has to be able to see beyond the length of his nose, in order to understand what is really going on.
silvermoon Teodor Nitu 2 hours ago
Russia had all their chemical weapons legally destroyed. Along with hundreds of countries. The US, UK and Israel never did. Navalny the innocent anti Putin. Can't win one way try another.
Pro_RussiaPole gainwmn 2 hours ago
So why is Russia still asking for it? Clearly, something is being withheld. As for the OPCW, their credibility has been shot for years with all their fake Syrian chem weapon attack reports.
seawolf 6 hours ago
Even if there was not Navalny's story, they could invent another to stop the project.
Abraxas79 seawolf 4 hours ago
Exactly. I hope Russia is the one that abandons it. Let Germany be the one that decides to cancel it and go along with it. Concentrate on supplying China and other Asian nations and internal consumption. Forget about Europe. You don't have to turn off the current supply, just charge more for it when the market allows. Looks like the next German leader according to this article is quite the Russophobe, which means relations will only get worse.
Pro_RussiaPole Abraxas79 2 hours ago
If this navalny farce does end up cancelling the NS2 project, Russia should stop all gas transit to western Europe through Poland and Ukraine by spring of next year. Tell those countries that will be cut off that Russia can either sell them LNG, or that they will have to connect to other sources of gas. Because if certain countries are so against Russian gas, then why are they not doing anything against Russian gas going through Poland and Ukraine, and why isn't Trump threatening sanctions on these countries for doing so?
Blue8ball713 RTjackanory 3 hours ago
Its a far longer list and it have the fingerprints of GB secret services all over it.
Reply Gabriel Delpino seawolf 46 seconds ago It is not in the interest of Germany to stop de project. Reply
magicmirror 6 hours ago
Europe should have nothing to do with the USA ....... proved time and time again they cannot be trusted. All they want is markets, resources and consumers. They lie, they cheat, they steal...... (quoting mr Pompeo, I think). A big opportunity to win Europe's independence.
SmellLaRata 5 hours ago
All due respect for Mr. Navalny but since when does an individual fate of one person dictates the fate for millions ? And c' mon Germany. Your hypocrisy is so utterly laughable. You ignore the Assange and Snowden cases, the slaughter of Kashoggi, the brutal beating of yellow vests, the brutal actions against the Catalans ... but Navalni. Not even a hint of a proof of government involvemen. But it fits the agenda, does it? The agenda which is dictated by the deep state agitators who so much flourished under Obama.
gainwmn SmellLaRata 4 hours ago
Even being not a fan (to say the least) of the US foreign and some of the domestic policy, I have to point out that tried by U analogy is largely out of balance: first, the issue in Navalny (as well as in Scripals' and others cases acted on with poisons) case is not so much the assassination attempt on a person's life, as the banned use of chemical weapons, the ban RF's signature has been under since 1993. And that conclusion (Russia's guilt) has not been made by the UK or Germany or any other country alone, but the OPCW - the organization not only RF is the member of, but also 191(!) other countries, out of which not a single country (except RF) rejected that conclusion!; second, the US did not made attempt on either Snowden's or Assange's life, with any kind of weapon, not already mentioning the weapons banned by the international agreements American government(s) signed. This is a large - I would say - decisive difference! As far as Kashoggi's case or other cases sited by U, RF did not react with sanctions against the respective perpetrators either, thus demonstrating the same disregard for the law and order as the US did... therefore making all lies about innocent RF and evil US, foolish, at the least.
Pro_RussiaPole gainwmn 2 hours ago
The US and its lackeys are killing Assange. They are doing it slowly. And many voices going along with a lie does not make the lie true. Because these poisoning allegations are lies. The accused were never allowed to see the evidence or challenge it. And there is the whole issue of politicized reports coming out of the OPCW that contradicted evidence and reality.
Nathi Sibbs 4 hours ago
After completing the pipe and it start running Russia must turn off all Ukraine pipes. No more gas for free from Russia, Ukraine must start importing LNG from thier reliable partner USA. I think imports from USA will be good for Ukrainian Nazi people
Abraxas79 Nathi Sibbs 4 hours ago
How are they going to pay for it? Ukraine's only exports these days are its women to various brothels across Europe and North America.
Hilarous 5 hours ago
The German leaders know very well that the case of Navalny will never be resolved and exists for no other reason than to seize a pretext to demonize Russia and to end Nord Stream 2 in exchange for US freedom gas
magicmirror Hilarous 4 hours ago
freedom gas and handsome presents .....
SandythePole 3 hours ago
This is an excellent account by Dr Karin Kneissl. It is a genuine dilemma for 'occupied' Europe. Its occupying master does NOT want NS2 and will do anything to stop it. Russia suffers sanctions upon sanctions, but still gallantly tries to maintain friendly and honourable business relations with its implacable neighbours. For how much longer is this to continue? Surely there must be some limit to the endless provocations of occupied Europe and its Western master. Perhaps it is time to shut off the oil and gas and leave Germany to sail under its own wind.
dunkie56 3 hours ago
Perhaps Russia should disengage with Germany/EU totally and forge ahead in partnership with China and India and whoever wants to do business. let the EU tie it's ship to the sinking US ship and drown along with it's protection racket partner! Then Russia should build a new iron curtain between itself and all countries who want to align with the EU..in the long run Russia has tried to forge a partnership with the West but it just has not born any fruit and even as pragmatic as Russia is they must be coming to the conclusion they are flogging a dead horse!
Blue8ball713 dunkie56 2 hours ago With 146 million citizen Russia is too small to be a real partner to anyone like China or India. Best fit is the EU, but the EU is controlled or better said occupied by the USA. Its part of their hegemonial system. So Russia is left out in the rain..
micktaketo 5 hours ago
I am not sure if it is the right thing to do but I think Russia should sue the German authorities if this deal is withdrawn and if it is have nothing to do with Germany again along with other corrupt countries that cannot prove or at the least bring forth their evidence to be seen, to be transparent to all even Russia the first, because Russia is the one being accused. These countries must think we the people are all completely stupid and Russia more so. This corruption stinks to high heaven and is obvious to all sane people who love fairness. You cannot trust an entity that believes in getting what they want by hook or by crook. Russia learn your lesson ! So you countries that love whats good for you and your people do not cheat them for they voted for you to help them. Germany do not kick yourself, it will hurt your people. Saying, There is more than one way to skin a cat, they say.
Mutlu Ozer 3 hours ago
There is a simple concept to investigate a crime to find the criminals: Just look at whose benefit the crime is? EU politicians are certainly smart people to know this basic concept of criminal investigation. However, now they are playing a new strategy about how to domesticate(!) not only Russia China as well... Germans are the main actors in the stage of the WW-I and WW-II. I surely claim that Germans would be the main architect of the last war, WW-III.
Sep 09, 2020 | www.unz.com
Hypocrisy Thy Name Is Zion Jewish groups support BLM while ignoring Palestinian genocide PHILIP GIRALDI SEPTEMBER 8, 2020 1,500 WORDS 155 COMMENTS REPLY Tweet Reddit 3 Share Share 3 Email Print More 6 SHARES RSS
There is a tendency on the part of major Jewish groups in the United States and in Europe to discover what they describe as anti-Semitism wherever one turns. Last month, a statue of the well-known and highly respected 18 th century French writer and political philosopher Voltaire was removed from outside the Académie Française in Paris. Voltaire was a major figure in the "Enlightenment," during which what we now call science and applied rationalism challenged the authority of the church and the King.
The statue had recently been vandalized by the French version of Black Lives Matter (BLM) because Voltaire had reportedly invested in the French East India Company, which engaged in the triangular trade between Europe, Africa and the New World. The commodities included Africans who were destined to become slaves in the European colonies. Beyond that Voltaire, a man of his times, believed blacks to have "little or no intelligence" and also considered Jews to be born "with raging fanaticism in their hearts."
Voltaire was reportedly much admired by Hitler, so perhaps it would not be off base to suggest that in France, where the Jewish community is extremely powerful while Africans are not, it was Voltaire cast as the anti-Semite that consigned his statue to a government warehouse never to be seen again. By that reasoning, one expects that the world will soon have a ban on the music of Richard Wagner and Ludwig van Beethoven as they too were admired by Hitler.
The idea that someone can change history by ignoring aspects of it means that school textbooks are being rewritten at a furious pace to make sure that there is overwhelming coverage of the holocaust and black achievement. Also, the erasing of monuments is being pursued with singular intensity in the United States, where the Founding Fathers and other dead white males are being one by one consigned to the trash heap. Doing so, unfortunately, also destroys the learning experience that can be derived from using the monuments as visual mechanisms for confronting and understanding the mistakes made in the past. A commission set up by the mayor of the District of Columbia has, for example, compiled a hit list of monuments and commemorations that must be either removed, renamed or placed into "context." It includes the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument. The name "Columbia" is, of course, certain to be changed.
Interestingly, Jewish groups in the United States have been in the forefront in supporting BLM's apparent mission to upend what used to pass for America's European-derived culture. Ironically, that culture includes free speech, democracy and mercantilism, all of which have greatly benefited Jews. The narrative is, of course, being wrapped around the common cause of blacks and Jews together fighting against the alleged white nationalists who are being blamed by the media for much of the violence taking place even when videos taken at the scenes of the rioting definitely show nearly all black mobs doing the arson and looting.
And blacks who are skeptical of the Jewish role are quickly put in their place, as was Rodney Muhammad of Philadelphia, who was removed from his executive position with the NAACP after expressing skepticism about all the Jewish friends that blacks suddenly appeared to be acquiring, quoting an observation often attributed to the now disgraced Voltaire on a Facebook entry, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."
The lead organization in shaping the acceptable narrative is the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which promotes itself as "Fighting Hate for Good." In other words, anyone on the other side of the narrative is by definition a "hater." ADL apparently advertised an online discussion topic for August 28 th , shortly after the shooting incident in Kenosha Wisconsin that killed two white men and injured a third. The headline reads "Why all white American middle schoolers must publicly condemn the Anti-Semitic murders by white supremacist Kyle Rittenhouse."
If the ad is indeed genuine, one notes immediately that the killings are being framed as anti-Semitism without any actual evidence to suggest that anything like that was involved or that the shooter knew the religion of those who were confronting him. All three of the "victims" are described as BLM supporters, which they apparently were, but it ignores the fact that they were also Antifa activists and all three had criminal records involving violence . One of them, Joseph Rosenbaum, is, to be sure Jewish, and also a pedophile , and the other two might also be Jews if ADL is correct, but that does not seem to have been material in what took place. Credible accounts of the shooting suggest that Rittenhouse was attacked by the three, one of whom, Grosskreutz, had a gun, and was being beaten on his head with Huber's sidewalk surfboard. He responded in self-defense.
And ADL is not alone in its defense of BLM. More than six hundred Jewish groups have signed on to a full page newspaper ad supporting the movement. The ad says "We speak with one voice when we say, unequivocally: Black Lives Matter" and then goes on to assert "There are politicians and political movements in this country who build power by deliberately manufacturing fear to divide us against each other. All too often, anti-Semitism is at the center of these manufactured divisions."
So, once again, it is all about the perpetual victimhood of Jews. That Jews constitute the wealthiest and best educated demographic in the United States would seem to suggest that they are especially favored, which they are, rather than targeted by raging mobs of hillbillies. More than 90% of discretionary Department of Homeland Security funds goes to protect Jewish facilities and the Department of Education and Congress are always prepared to create new rules protecting Jews from feeling "uncomfortable" in their occasional interactions with critics of Israel.
Jews largely think and vote progressive, which is part of the reason for aligning with blacks even though rioting and looting is likely to affect them more than other demographics as many of them might still have businesses in the cities that are most likely to be hit. But there is also a much bigger reason to do so. Many blacks in BLM as well as progressive white supporters were beginning to suggest that the movement should broaden its agenda and recognize inter alia the suffering of others, to include the Palestinian people. A strong show of support from Jewish groups, backed up by what one might presume to be a flow of contributions to the cause, would presumably be a way of nipping that sentiment in the bud just as Jewish donors to the Democratic Party were able to block any language in the party platform sympathetic to the Palestinians.
It is of course the ultimate irony that Jewish groups are very sensitive to the suffering of blacks in the United State while at the same time largely ignoring the war crimes and other devastation going on in Israel and Palestine at the hands of their co-religionists. The beating and shooting of unarmed and unresisting Palestinians, to include children, the destruction of the livelihoods of farmers, and the demolition of homes to make way for Jewish settlers is beyond belief and is largely invisible as the Jewish influenced U.S. media does not report it. It is, simply put, genocide. And on top of that, Israel has been bombing defenseless civilians in Gaza nearly daily of late, attacking and destabilizing Lebanon and Syria, and also conniving with American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to go to war with Iran.
It should not be surprising if black groups would be suspicious of the motives of the Jewish organizations that suddenly seem to want to be friendly. When Rodney Muhammad was removed from his position with the NAACP in Philadelphia, Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of ADL, tweeted "Credit to Executive Committee of Philly NAACP & National NAACP for taking action here. We hope this will enable new opportunities for collaboration as the local Black & Jewish communities can do more to fight against hate & push for dignity of all people."
Greenblatt has been a leader in the fight to criminalize both criticism of Israel and also the free speech being exercised by supporters of the non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). For him, "dignity of all people" clearly does not include Palestinians or even anyone who peacefully supports their cause.
Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is email@example.com .
Sep 06, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
... ... ...
And in the nation's capital - Play it again, Sam.
Oh, look, no masks! And you thought that got covered up by the investigation done by the Mueller team? Let's go over this one more time:
The document declassified by DNI Grenell shows that there were 14 unique days when the NSA received requests to "unmask"--the first was on 30 November 2016 by UN Ambassador Samantha Power and the last came on 12 January from Joe Biden. There were two separate requests on the 14th of December by Samantha Power, which indicates two separate NSA reports. Samantha Power would not have to submit two requests for the same document.
Sep 02, 2020 | angrybearblog.com
- Sullivan will sustain the motion after some kind of hearing is what I would expect now.
Likbez , September 2, 2020 10:41 am
He should suffer a little bit first.
I agree. I am not fan of Flynn and I will be the first to observe that for the former chief of DIA he proved to be amazingly inept. Add to this his lunatic views on Iran. Flynn has long been obsessed with finding a causus belli to justify an attack on Tehran. In this sense keeping him in check was essential and firing him from the position of national security advisor weakened Iran hawks in Trump administration. Aalthough Mattis was even worse) . As Mark Perry observed:
"Mattis' 33-Year Grudge Against Iran is so intense" that it led President Obama to dismiss him as Centcom commander. "Mattis' Iran antagonism also concerns many of the Pentagon's most senior officers, who disagree with his assessment and openly worry whether his Iran views are based on a sober analysis or whether he's simply reflecting a 30-plus-year-old hatred of the Islamic Republic that is unique to his service"
If such weaklings like Strzok can deceive and entrap him, what about real hard core professionals? How such a person could raise to the the top in DIA? Do we need such a gullible person as a national security advisor?
But, at the same time, the key event here is different, and in this sense his talks with the Russian ambassador does not matter much (both sides understood that they are recorded)
What FBI did to him is abhorrable, and puts a long dark shadow on Obama administration: this is really not about Flynn but about the politicization of FBI in the manner that remind me NKVD practices (which was famous for eliminating Stalin political opponents by declaring them to be British spies and torturing out the confessions), no matter what is our position on the political spectrum.
Aug 31, 2020 | www.rt.com
A full-bench US federal appeals court has reversed an earlier decision to dismiss the 'Russiagate' case against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, returning it to the judge who refused to let the charges be dropped.
In a 8-2 ruling on Monday, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Judge Emmet Sullivan, and sent the case back to him for review. Sullivan had been ordered by a three-judge panel in June to drop the case against Flynn immediately, but hired an attorney and asked for an en banc hearing instead.
Flynn's attorney Sidney Powell said the split was "as expected" based on the tone of the oral arguments, pointing to a partisan divide on the bench, and added it was a "disturbing blow to the rule of law."
The former top lawyer for the Barack Obama administration, Neal Katyal, hailed the decision as "an important step in defending the rule of law" and argued the case should not be dismissed because Flynn had pleaded guilty.
Flynn had indeed pleaded guilty to one charge of lying to the FBI, but Powell moved to dismiss the charges due to the failure of his previous attorneys – a law firm with ties to the Democrats – and the government to disclose evidence that could set him free. After producing documents revealing that the FBI set out to entrap Flynn, had no valid cause to interview him in the first place, and the prosecutors improperly extorted him into a plea by threatening to charge his son, the Justice Department moved to drop all charges.ALSO ON RT.COM End of Russiagate? DOJ drops case against Trump adviser Flynn that started 'witch hunt'
Sullivan had other ideas, however. In a highly unusual move, he appointed a retired judge – who had just written a diatribe about the case in the Washington Post – to be amicus curiae and argue the case should not be dropped. It was at this point that Powell took the case to the appeals court, citing Fokker, a recent Supreme Court precedent that Sullivan was violating.
Ignoring the fact that Sullivan had appointed the amicus and sought to prolong the case after the DOJ and the appeals court both told him to drop it, the en banc panel argued the proper procedure means he needs to make the decision before it can be appealed.
One of the judges, Thomas Griffith, actually argued in a concurring opinion that it would be "highly unusual" for Sullivan not to dismiss the charges, given the executive branch's constitutional prerogatives and his "limited discretion" when it came to the relevant federal procedure, but said that an order to drop the case is not "appropriate in this case at this time" because it's up to Sullivan to make the call first.ALSO ON RT.COM 'Russiagate' case against ex-Trump adviser Michael Flynn effectively OVER, as DC appeals court orders to close it
The court likewise rejected Powell's motion to reassign a case to a different judge.
Conservatives frustrated by the neverending legal saga have blasted the appeals court's decision as disgraceful. "The Mike Flynn case is an embarrassing stain on this country and its 'judges'," tweeted TV commentator Dan Bongino. "We don't have judges anymore, only corrupted politicians in black robes."
While Flynn was not the first Trump adviser to be charged by special counsel Robert Mueller's 'Russiagate' probe, he was the first White House official pressured to resign over it, less than two weeks into the job.
With Mueller failing to find any evidence of "collusion" between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia, Democrats have latched onto Flynn's case as proof of their 'Russiagate' conspiracy theory. The latest argument is that the effort to drop the charges against Flynn is politically motivated and proof of Attorney General Bill Barr's "corruption."
Barr is currently overseeing a probe by US attorney John Durham into the FBI's handling of the investigation against Trump during and after the 2016 election, with the evidence disclosed during the Flynn proceedings strongly implicating not just the senior FBI leadership but senior Obama administration figures as well.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
Aug 27, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Among the most notable highlights at last night's Republican National Convention, Senator Rand Paul delivered a blistering take down of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's foreign policy, which Paul linked to multiple wars under Democrat administrations spanning decades (going back to Clinton's bombing of Serbia).
"I fear Biden will choose war again," Paul asserted . "He supported war in Serbia, Syria, Libya. Joe Biden will continue to spill our blood and treasure. President Trump will bring our heroes home."
"If you hate war like I hate war, if you want us to quit sending $50 billion every year to Afghanistan to build their roads and bridges instead of building them here at home , you need to support President Trump for another term," said Paul, who has long been a fierce critic of former President Obama's foreign policy, including overt intervention in Libya, and covert action toward destabilizing Syria.
He slammed Biden as a hawk who has "consistently called for more war" and with no signs anything would be different.
Interestingly, Sen. Paul has also in the recent past led foreign policy push back against President Trump - especially over the two times Trump has bombed Syria following alleged Assad chemical attacks, which Paul along with other anti-interventionists across the aisle like Tulsi Gabbard questioned to begin with.
But it appears Paul is firmly supportive of Trump's newly released 50-point agenda for his second term outlining the Commander-in-Chief will "stop endless war" and ultimately bring US troops "home." The plan still emphasized, however, the administration will "maintain" US military strength abroad while 'wiping' out global terrorism.
"President Trump is the first president in a generation to seek to end war rather than start one. He intends to end the war in Afghanistan. He is bringing our men and women home. Compare President Trump with the disastrous record of Joe Biden, who has consistently called for more war ," Paul said further.
Back during the primaries in 2016, Paul and Trump sparred intensely over national security questions:
He also highlighted Biden's unrepentant yes vote to go to war in Iraq .
"I'm supporting President Trump because he believes as I do that a strong America cannot fight endless wars. We must not continue to leave our blood and treasure in Middle East quagmires," Paul concluded.
Elsewhere in the approximately four-minute speech, Paul said Trump will fight "socialists poisoning our schools and burning our cities."
Cluster_Frak , 7 hours agoDavidduke2000 , 7 hours ago
Obama was a warmonger and so is Biden. They love war and doing everything possible for the next war to be on the home ground.Izzy Dunne , 2 hours ago
Obama had skeletons in his closet, he did what the neocons want, Trump gave them the embassy and other shenanigans.Weihan , 7 hours ago
And so is Trump. They are all warmongers, because war is what the US does...JUICE E SMALL IT EMPIRE , 7 hours ago
Paul is right.
Biden knows who butters his bread. At least candidate Trump - in principle - stood for opposition to the deep state's monstrous agenda.
Biden, Clinton, Bush, Obama are despicable warmongers. Their administrations were responsible for the slaughter of tens of thousands in Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and the list would have gone on and on had it not been for Trump.
Remember Biden's 1992 Wall Street Journal article titled:
"How I Learned to Love the New World Order."kulkarniravi , 8/26/2020, 2:33:07 PM
Rand was the only guy I watched last night and he was on point. I did not disagree with anything he said.d_7878 , 6 hours ago
You can diss Obama all you want, but he signed a peace accord with Iran and Trump reneged on it. Iran is not the villain, at least not when compared to the likes of Saudi Arabia. And what's the deal with Cuba?mike_1010 , 7 hours ago
Rand on Trump:
"Are we going to fix the country through bombast and empty blather?
"Unless someone points out the emperor has no clothes, they will continue to strut about, and then we'll end up with a reality TV star as our nominee."
"Donald Trump is a delusional narcissist and an orange-faced windbag"
"Have you ever had a speck of dirt fly into your eye?""[It is] annoying, irritating and might even make you cry.
"If the dirt doesn't go away, it will keep scratching your cornea until eventually it blinds you with all its filth. A speck of dirt is way more qualified to be president."
Trump is a "fake conservative."Airstrip1 , 6 hours ago
Trump might be talking peace, but he has increased US military spending significantly more than previous presidents. He also tore up the US peace agreement with Iran and nearly triggered a US war with Iran by assassinating one of their top generals.
If any president is going to start a war with Iran, then it's Trump. And such a war would dwarf any recent wars USA has fought. Because Iran is three times bigger than Iraq in terms of their population, and they've been preparing for a possible US attack for decades.
Perhaps Biden might start a small war here or there. But Trump goes big on anything he does. If he starts a war, then it's going to be either with China or Iran.
So, neither Biden nor Trump is to be trusted, when it comes to war. But I'd say that Trump is the bigger danger compared to Biden. Because if Trump starts a war, then it might end up being a nuclear war.chopsuey , 7 hours ago
Rand Paul needs to ask himself if the pot is blacker than the kettle.
How can he expect people to believe this disingenuous claptrap ?
The USA is an Empire-building Crime Cartel.
Dims or Reps are just frontmen managers for the Mob.Dragonlord , 7 hours ago
Ron and Rand. The dog and pony show. The alternative. They say what you want to hear.
Phuck OFF Ron and Rand. You had many many years to do something (anything) about the endless "wars" and in reality, they are not really wars. They are ruthless invasions of vulnerable countries whereupon natural resources are contained, the culture and its symbolic treasures are destroyed/stolen and thousands to millions are killed in the name of USA. These unwarranted invasions are justified with lies and fraud and deceit.
Washington DC is the military capital of the world doing the dirty work of the elite. And its soldier are your kids and grandkids.
Wake the Phuck UP people. It will not end until they have achieved their objectives. You are fodder for their cannon.ConanTheContrarian1 , 7 hours ago
Biden voted for war in Iraq and supported Obama aggression in Libya, Syria, etc and he is disappointed that Trump did not help Kurd to wage war against Turks for their independence.takefive , 7 hours ago
Not sure. Trump has to play ball with established Deep State interests while he tries (I hope) to set things right. So, yes, questions will abound for some time.Ex-Oligarch , 3 hours ago
whatever the reason, he is now part of the swamp. and that's why he's in a tough re-election battle with a stiff.LaugherNYC , 3 hours ago
You have it exactly wrong. If Trump were really part of the swamp, they wouldn't be fighting so desperately to prevent his re-election. They wouldn't have spent three years on the Russiagate failed coup, they wouldn't have gone through the ridiculous partisan impeachment exercise, they wouldn't have torpedoed the economy over coronavirus, and we wouldn't have organized race riots in all the democrat strongholds.DaVinciCode , 7 hours ago
Rand Paul is just about the only grown-up in American politics.
How much bettter off would the USA be with a Paul/Gabbard ticket?
But ANYTHING is better than Joe Biden. Literally ANYTHING.
Well...assuming Hillary were dead or incapacitated,captain noob , 7 hours ago
It's happening. Yugoslavian girl give dire warning to Americans.
This all happened in her country the same way.
PLEASE LISTEN - it is coming to the USA and the West
(copied from a fellow :-) thanks)synthetically derived , 5 hours ago
Nowick7 , 7 hours ago
I agree with the Yugoslav girl's premise that the powers that be have been deceptively employing a divide-and-conquer strategy to get the American people to fight among themselves rather than confront their own corrupt government, but I do not buy into the conclusion drawn that the solution lies in trusting the head of the government (in this case Trump) to do right by the people.
As George Carlin famously said, "it's a big club, and you ain't in it!" The American people are not going to be able to fix the problems now confronting them by voting for one uniparty politician over another any more than the Yugoslav people wereyojimbo , 7 hours ago
The Democrats will get their regime change war no matter what. If Biden is elected they'll continue the Syrian war that has cost 800,000 innocent lives so far. If Trump is elected they'll try to have one here to take him down.yesnomaybe , 7 hours ago
Afghani GDP - $20bn. US military spending - $50bn.
They must have the best services in the world!Maghreb2 , 7 hours ago
That video clip from the 2016 GOP debate is classic... as Paul questions Trump attacking personal appearances, Trump flat out denies it, and then proceeds to do just that in his next breath.
In all seriousness, Rand is a stand up guy and would make a great president.DEDA CVETKO , 5 hours ago
Ru Paul has as much chance of stopping this war as Rand Paul. If he was a threat to the people starting it he would be getting the **** bashed out of him or shot dead by a mad man. Don't see many people talking about auditing the Fed outside of Texas anymore.
He's got a point. Biden's son is in Ukraine milking it high on crack cocaine like a senators son should in the new Roman Emperor. Ukrainian color revolution and CIA long war strategy means he has set up shop there permanently like a little princeling. Same as princess Kushners wonderful tour of the Middle Eastern courts to meet his boyfriends. Old days they would both have be poisoned to death or strangled as children for disrespecting the senate.
Real rules of Eastern European politics are Nationalist winding up dead in dust bins behind the American Embassy and Russians threatening to switch of the gas and freeze everyone to death every winter. Footage of hard man dictator Lukashenko showing up at opposition protests with an assault rifle is broadcast to school children. I'd like to see Hunter Biden and Jared Kushner show up to something like that.
Truth is Trump is a ******* liar. the Moment they started to shut down Rammenstein airbase they moved forces close to the Belarus border to pull another color revolution right in front of Putin. Trump and the Republicans are just stooges for the Zionist mafia. They are playing war scare but its too piss take for anyone now. Polish and Baltic States are NATO and have their own prerogative. They just push people closer to war.
Rand Paul should worry about the Civil War that should come after the election.
Aint no senators sons for that game....Scipio Africanuz , 5 hours ago
Thank you, Rand, for remembering the little Serbia -- twice (in both World Wars) America's fiercest and most loyal ally, and now a roadkill of the Clinton Foundation and Madeleine Albright, the new owner of Kosovo.
The nations that sadistically massacre and dismember their friends and allies do not have a future, nor the right to claim any.Anthraxed , 4 hours ago
Again Senator Paul, we don't do self deception..
In almost four years, how many legions have been repatriated home, or how many of the existing wars have been ended?
All we've observed, is an escalation of hybrid wars, reducing in some, kinetism, and increasing death tolls via other means, and in some, increased covert kinetism..
Your candidate brazenly murdered a top general of a nation not at war with the US..
Imagine Senator Paul, if Iran had murdered Petraeus, would the US not have declared war?
That the Iranians didn't significantly escalate, was NOT due to fear, but back channel advocacy and energetic remonstrations by adult folks..
If you believe Biden is worse than your candidate who's done worse, in terms of brazen law abrogation, then why aren't you a candidate, or is it that you'd prefer partisanship to patriotism?
Look within your party for corollary and accomplice warmongers, and leave Biden alone after all, you do have a rabid warmongering Lindsey Graham and Tom Cotton as party colleagues, no?
Senator Paul, there's principle, character, and integrity and then there's opportunism, partisanship, and betrayal..
Anyhow, you're sovereign and thus, fully entitled to your choices, we simply point out inconsistencies between what you espouse, and what you support..
Character, Senator Paul, is destiny..
Cheers...quanttech , 4 hours ago
Trump has dropped more bombs than Obama at the same time in his term.
You're in complete denial if you think Trump has stopped any of the wars. And yes, he is expanding the wars to a much larger country.
Trump's first veto was a bill that would have stopped the Yemen war.
Reality is like Cryptonite for Trumptards.Dull Care , 3 hours ago
lol, 10 minutes ago I was being accused of being Antifa, and now I'm a Trumptard. Definitely doing something right.
Yes, Trump is a war criminal extraordinaire. He dropped a MOAB. He removed controls on civilian casualties. He dropped 7400+ bombs on Afghanistan in 2019.... 60% of the casualties were civilians, mostly children.
He also stupidly listened to his generals when they told him to kill Sulemani. BUT... when the Iranians retaliated (and they DID retaliate, injuring dozens of US soldiers) Trump de-escalated. Similarly, when the Iranians downed a drone, the generals wanted to retaliate - Trump asked how many Iranians would die. The generals said 150. Trump said it didn't make sense to kill 150 people for downing a drone.
Trump is a moron who is completely out of it most of the time. But when he pays attention for a moment, he's against a a war with Iran.
Now, if I'm a Trumptard, then you're a Hillaryhead. My question to you is... where would we be if Hillary was president? Answer: at war with Iran. Another question: where will we be if Biden is president?quanttech , 1 hour ago
How much authority do you think Trump has over the foreign policy? Not a rhetorical question but I have yet to see an American president run for office advocating a more interventionist foreign policy yet it doesn't change greatly no matter who is in office. Trump often carries a big stick but he's nowhere near as reckless as his predecessors.
The one thing we know is Trump is hostile to the Chinese government and hasn't turned around relations with Russia.Observer 2020 , 5 hours ago
"... I have this feeling that whoever's elected president when you win, you go into this smoky room with the twelve industrialists capitalists scum-***** who got you in there. And a big guy with a cigar goes: 'Roll the film.' And it's a shot of the Kennedy Assassination from an angle you've never seen before - It looks suspiciously off the grassy knoll. Then the screen comes up, and they go to the new president: 'Any questions?'"
- Bill Hicks, Rant in E-Minor (1993)12Doberman , 5 hours ago
The spiritual, moral, ethical, philosophical, intellectual and cultural bankruptcy of Biden and his fellow death cult reprobates is depthless. One need know nothing more about them that they have become so detached from reality as to regard abortion, partial birth abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, generational genocide, genocide, of the white race, unremitting sociocultural warfare and the balkanization of this nation as being virtues.
Anyone who would even begin to contemplate supporting Biden or any of his fellow Fifth Columnists should be regarded as being too demented or otherwise Bidenesque to be competent to vote.Musum , 5 hours ago
Biden has a record showing him to be a Neocon...and that's why we see the neverTrumpers supporting him.chinoslims , 5 hours ago
And Pompeous is 10X worse than Biden. And he serves as Trump's Sec. of State.Musum , 5 hours ago
Hey Trump is self professed king of Israel
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/08/donald-trump-king-of-israelted41776 , 8 hours ago
Of course, he's just a viceroy serving on behalf of the kosher people.conraddobler , 8 hours ago
it's not what the president chooses
it's what chooses the presidentinvention13 , 1 hour ago
This has lost all it's entertainment value.
Hollywood and the Postman was a more realistic view, in that movie I believe the warlord was a former copier either salesman or technician, can't remember but it's more likely a guy like that would have leadership capabilities than these clowns would.mrjinx007 , 1 hour ago
It saddens me that people can just go about their business in this country without giving a thought about the men and women who are getting injured and coming home stressed out and addicted to painkillers. Also that the real motive for continued military involvement in the ME is that some people are making tons of money off it. We need our own version of Smedley Butler these days.
It is all decadent beyond belief.gm_general , 2 hours ago
That MF no good SOB war mongering no good neocon SOB Shawn did everything he could to get RP to agree with him that we need to continue with the policy of regime change.
Rand just basically told him to shut the f up and stop blowing the Neo-cons' erections. It was precious. You know how people like this ******* Hannity get their funding from. Deep state, MIC, and all the f'king Rino's like Tommy Cotton.
Thanks to Hillary and Obama, Libya is a complete mess and black people are being sold as slaves there. Let that sink in.
Aug 25, 2020 | www.antiwar.com
Tom Couser Posted on August 20, 2020
I met Strobe Talbott in 1968 when he and I were graduate students at Magdalen College, Oxford. I liked him and respected him, and after we lost touch as friends, I followed his career at Time , the State Department, and the Brookings Institution with admiration. In recent years, however, I've become disillusioned with the foreign policy he advocated with regard to Russia and was disturbed to learn of his involvement in the genesis of the Russiagate narrative.
August 3, 2020
It has been a long time – a very long time – since we've been in touch, but I assume you remember me from 1968, when we met at Magdalen College, Oxford. Having just graduated from Yale, you were there on a Rhodes Scholarship; I was on a Reynold Scholarship granted by my alma mater, Dartmouth. Despite your three-barreled WASP name (Nelson Strobridge Talbott) and your distinguished pedigree (son of a Yale football captain, Hotchkiss alum, etc.) you were unpretentious, and we made friends quickly.
Despite assurances from my draft board that I would not be drafted that year, I got an induction notice on Nixon's inauguration day. You were the first person I consulted. Safe from the draft, like most Rhodes Scholars, you listened sympathetically. We were together in our opposition to the War if not in our vulnerability to the draft.
You and I played the occasional game of squash. And when my Dartmouth fraternity brother and Rhodes Scholar John Isaacson injured your eye with his racket, I visited you in the Radcliffe Infirmary during your convalescence. I was reading Tristram Shandy as part of my program, and one day I read some bits to you. You seemed to share my amusement; I can still see you smiling in your hospital bed with a big patch on one eye. When your father came from Ohio to visit you, he invited me, along with your Yale classmate Rob Johnson out to dinner at the Bear.
You had majored in Russian at Yale and were writing a thesis on some topic in Russian literature, Mayakovsky, perhaps? At any rate, you seemed committed to Russian studies. (Little did I know.) When I chose to take a student tour behind the Iron Curtain during the spring vac, you gave me some reading suggestions and advised me to dress warmly. Having packed for England's relatively mild climate, I lacked a warm enough coat; you generously loaned me your insulated car coat, which served me well in Russia's raw spring cold.
You likely debriefed me after my travels; I must have passed on to you my sense of the Soviet Union as a very drab place with a demoralized, often drunk, population, and a general sense of repression. Which is not to say that I didn't enjoy my trip – just that I was struck by the stark differences at the time between the West and the East. How lucky I was to have been born in the "free world."
The tour returned from Moscow and St. Petersburg via Ukraine and Czechoslovakia. In Prague, just after the brutal suppression of Prague Spring, we were acutely aware of how hated the Russians were. This just reinforced my distaste for what Ronald Reagan later termed the Evil empire – perhaps the only thing he said I ever agreed with. So, like you, I was staunchly anti-Communist at the time.
The next year, you got a gig polishing the text of Nikita Krushchev's memoirs, which had been smuggled out of Russia. The publisher put you up in an "undisclosed location," which you let on was the Commodore Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts; we met for coffee in Harvard Square with friends of yours, possibly including Brooke Shearer whom you later married, and one of her brothers, Cody or Derek. It may have been then that I drove you to the school where I was teaching on a deferment, Kimball Union Academy in central New Hampshire; you stayed overnight before returning to civilization.
Your second year, you moved into a house with Bill Clinton and two other Rhodes Scholars.
During the next few years – the early 70s – you and I exchanged occasional letters. After that, the rest is history: your illustrious career – as a journalist at Time , then as a Russia hand and Deputy Secretary of State Department in the Clinton administration, and then as president of the Brookings Institution – was easy to follow in the media.
Eventually our paths diverged, I lost touch with you, with one exception.
In the mid-1990s, while you were serving at State, a close friend asked me to ask you to do her a favor. I hate asking for favors, even for myself, and resent those who use connections to advance themselves. But all my friend needed was for a senior State official to sign off on a job application of some sort. I phoned your office from mine. I got a frosty reception from your administrative assistant, who was justifiably protective of your time, but she put me through. You recognized my voice, sounded glad to be in touch, and granted the favor. It never came to anything, but I remember how pleased I was even to have such a brief task-oriented phone encounter with you after a lapse of two decades.
In any case, over the next several decades I followed your career with interest and was pleased with your success.
As I was by that of another member of the Oxford cohort, Bob Reich, another fraternity brother of mine. We were not close, and I saw him less often in Oxford than I saw you. But you and he both wound up in the Clinton administration – the Oxford troika, I like to call you. You and Bob were doing what Rhodes Scholars were supposed to do: go into professions, network, and perform public service. The Rhodes to success. Never a whiff of scandal about either of you. You, Strobe, were very much what we Dartmouth men referred to as a straight arrow.
So why am I writing you now, after all these years? And why a public letter?
In part, because I have become progressively more critical of the foreign policy that you have advocated. Early on you were advocating disarmament. Good. And closer relations with the Soviet Union. Also good. Indeed, you were regarded as something of a Russophile (never a compliment). But while you initially resisted the expansion of NATO, you eventually went along with it. Like George Kennan, I consider that decision to be a serious mistake (and a breach of a promise not to expand NATO "one inch" to the east after Germany was reunited).
When the Cold War ended, the Warsaw Pact dissolved. NATO did not; instead, it expanded eastward to include former Warsaw Pact members and SSRs until today it borders Russia. Russia resistance to this is inevitably denounced in the West as "Russian aggression." Hence the tension in Ukraine today. You're not personally responsible for all of this of course. But you are deeply implicated in what seems to me a gratuitously provocative, indeed imperialistic, foreign policy.
Two old friends could amicably agree disagree on that, as I disagree with virtually all my liberal friends.
But your loyalty to the Clintons has apparently extended to involvement in generating the Russiagate narrative, which has exacerbated tensions between Russia and the USA and spread paranoia in the Democratic establishment and mainstream media. I am always disturbed by the hypocrisy of Americans who complain about foreign meddling in our elections, when the USA is the undisputed champ in that event. Indeed, we go beyond meddling (Yeltsin's reelection in 1996) to actual coups, not to mention regime-change wars.
My concern about this has come to a head with the recent revelation of your complicity in the dissemination of the Steele dossier, whose subsource, Igor Danchenko, was a Russian national employed by Brookings.
I don't know which is worse: that you and your colleagues at Brookings believed the dossier's unfounded claims, or that you didn't but found it politically useful in the attempt to subvert the Trump campaign and delegitimize his election. I suspect the latter. But doesn't this implicate you in the creation of a powerful Russophobic narrative in contemporary American politics that has demonized Putin and needlessly ramped up tension between two nuclear powers?
A lifelong Democrat who voted for Bill twice and Hillary once, I am no fan of Trump or of Putin. But Russiagate has served as a distraction from Hillary's responsibility for her catastrophic defeat and from the real weaknesses of the neoliberal Democratic Party, with its welfare "reform," crime bill, and abandonment of its traditional working-class base.
Moreover, in and of itself, the Russiagate story represents what Matt Taibbi has called this generation's WMD media scandal. The narrative, challenged from the beginning by a few intrepid independent journalists like Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, and Aaron Maté, and the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, is now being further undermined by the declassification of documents by the Senate. If, as I have recently read, you were active in disseminating the Steele dossier, you have contributed to the mainstream media's gas-lighting of the American public – liberals, at least (like most of my friends). Ironically, then, you have given credence to Trump's often, but not always, false charge: "Fake News." Once described as a Russophile, you now seem complicit in the creation of a nation-wide paranoid and hysterical Russophobia and neo-McCarthyism.
Say it ain't so, Strobe!
So long, old friend,
Aug 22, 2020 | www.unz.com
Realist , says: August 21, 2020 at 12:17 pm GMT
It took balls for Carlson to have Anya Parampil on his show last night. He has had her on before, so he knows what she is like she tells it like it is. He will get shit for that.
I don't think he agrees with everything she said but agrees with some of it.
Aug 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
psychohistorian , Aug 21 2020 17:03 utc | 1
I hope that the U.S. will follow through on this. The more it sanctions left and right for totally irrational reasons the more incentives will other countries have to build mechanisms that make U.S. sanctions ineffective and useless. Russia has already done that and China to some extend. The Europeans should have done this long ago but are only now considering it seriously.
There are also counter measures that could and should be considered. A European tax on digital products would seriously hurt Google, Facebook, Ebay and other U.S. companies. When their profits and stocks drop the Trump administration might learn that wreaking balls have the tendency to swing back.
We are seeing desperate measures taken to keep empire from crashing further and faster. We may be at the point where things where going slowly and then speed up all of a sudden.
I agree that Trump tactics have been like those of a wrecking ball and I don't think he/his handlers care about any coincidental damage.....this game continues to be for control of all the marbles and empire is losing, hence more delusional bullying.
The facets of the civilization war humanity is in will visit and touch every country. The bonds of financial slavery will be broken by this war.
Bemildred , Aug 21 2020 17:16 utc | 4jared , Aug 21 2020 17:16 utc | 5
It seems to me Trump/Pompass are hoist on their own petard here, in that: had they stayed in the JCPOA, they would now be in a better position to induce "snapback". Hmmm. Priceless.vk , Aug 21 2020 17:39 utc | 10
It's almost as if the U.S. state is a mindless, merciless, soulless entity which evil, selfish people serve for own self-interest. Fortunately it would appear this monstrous creature is discrediting and destroying itself. Perhaps with help from occasional provocation. It flails like a blinded cyclops, momentarily very dangerous.
Any group still collaborating with the US deserves no sympathy for what happens.annie , Aug 21 2020 17:48 utc | 13There are also counter measures that could and should be considered. A European tax on digital products would seriously hurt Google, Facebook, Ebay and other U.S. companies. When their profits and stocks drop the Trump administration might learn that wreaking balls have the tendency to swing back.
I don't think the EU can do that (unless it's just a symbolic tax, "to the delight of the masses"). At this point in history, those big American companies are probably very well fused and entrenched with the European government and governments of its members.
Besides, to do that would (that is, even if it could) automatically mean having to go back to China as an inferior part, and we already know at least Germany and France don't want that (they want a new European imperialism, as Merkel has already made clear many times over the years of her endless reign).dh , Aug 21 2020 17:54 utc | 15
The U.S. hopes to pressure Iran until it formally declares the deal dead. That could then give pretext for launching a larger conflict against the country.
israel/neocons want war with iran before trump leaves office bc while they don't think biden/harris would necessarily start it they'd have no choice but to continue if war was already started, hence the (30 day) timeline.@11 Higher oil prices and a meltdown on Wall Street won't help Trump at all. Nor would a lot of US troops with bad headaches.d dan , Aug 21 2020 18:25 utc | 16If the sanctions are really imposed, it is likely the poodles (UK, France, Germany) will chicken out rather than fighting against US. That will give Russian and China companies and arms sellers a field day - bigger profits, less competitions - won't they?Oui , Aug 21 2020 20:13 utc | 21
So, who says Trump is not an agent of Russia / China? /sarcPeter AU1 , Aug 21 2020 20:34 utc | 23
The world's largest producer and arms trader, sponsor of terror ...
"It is an enormous mistake not to extend this arms embargo. It's nuts!" Pompeo told reporters at the United Nations.
In the meantime, Iran announced a new ballistic missile with a range of approximately 870 miles and is named after Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani. A new cruise missile boasting a range more than 620 miles was named after Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Interview Pompeo at a friendly CNBC broadcast today.
https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/08/21/us-prepared-to-enforce-sweeping-un-sanctions-on-iran-pompeo-says.htmlClueless Joe , Aug 21 2020 20:52 utc | 25
EU falling out with US is over Iran and China as much as Trump. Going by Belarus though, the EU is still fully aboard US/Brit anti Russia moves.
Under Biden, I can't see US policy towards Iran and China changing at all as that is bipartisan.What the useless morons leading Europe should realize is that the only way forward is to isolate the US and work with everyone else, China and Russia to begin with, to fully blockade the country economically. Basically do to them what they'll end up doing sooner or later to any other country. That EU countries can't see that they'll share Iran or Russia fate in the future is painful - one wonders how world leaders can be so dumb.Hoyeru , Aug 21 2020 21:05 utc | 26to CLueless Joe:psychohistorian , Aug 21 2020 21:14 utc | 27
all those European "allies" have simply been bought with money. Money talks and BS walks, right? But they are finally understanding that US will trample them over as much as it would trample Iran. the North Stream 2 project gave them a big clue.
The US has been stomping on the Euro for decades now, in fear it will become more powerful than US dollar.
It just takes time. 50 million jobless in USA, dollar's purchasing power collapsing, while the Americans argue over Antifa and BLM and the rights of transgenders as their country is imploding all around them. Soon very soon indeed. The only problem is US might start a war to divert the attention of the average American moron. War is always the final card they use.Piotr Berman , Aug 21 2020 21:18 utc | 28
Below is a quote from the latest Reuters posting
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States was further isolated on Friday over its bid to reimpose international sanctions on Iran with 13 countries on the 15-member U.N. Security Council expressing their opposition, arguing that Washington's move is void given it is using a process agreed under a nuclear deal that it quit two years ago.
Something is puzzling to me. What countries will be intimidated by the "snapback" sanctions of weapon trade with Iran? It is quite possible that Chinese and Russian have some shipments ready or getting ready for the Fall delivery. But Iran is not about to engage in some huge shopping spree.
Jun 07, 2020 | www.rt.com
7 Jun, 2020The editor-in-chief of a major Chinese tabloid slammed Mike Pompeo for comparing his country to Nazi Germany, likening his words to those of Hitler's propaganda chief and reminding the secretary of state of America's endless wars.
Hu Xijin took to Twitter on Sunday venting his anger about Mike Pompeo's remarks.
"You are inciting radical hostility and ripping the world apart. You aren't like a top diplomat, instead, you talk like Goebbels of Nazi Germany. I'm worried that world peace will eventually be destroyed by extreme politicians like you," he wrote.
Aug 21, 2020 | www.unz.com
... ... ...
In Chicago the looting that centered on the high-end Miracle Mile Michigan Avenue shopping area was so bad that that part of the city had to be closed off by raising the city's bridges. Twelve policemen were injured and more than a hundred looters were arrested. U-Haul trucks were even brought in by the rioters and stolen cars were used to smash open shop windows. It was the second major trashing of the area in the past three months.
Illinois Retail Merchants Association president Rob Karr released a statement on the following day which included: "There's a limit to how many times retailers are willing to be kicked. It will be difficult after retailers who have invested millions in reopening to have to do it again. There has to be a lot of confidence that they can be protected and, so far, that confidence is lacking."
Chicago's flagship Macy's outlet on the avenue has already indicated that it is considering closing due to the shoplifting, looting and general lack of security. In short, many American cities are no longer able to make even an effort to protect the persons and property of their citizens and taxpayers. Was the Chicago story important enough to report by the New York Times ? Yes, but only late in the day on a back page.
Chicago is reportedly responding to the crisis by creating a special task force on looting , but the follow-up coverage in the national media was predictably pretty toothless. On the day after Michigan Avenue was laid waste, Black Lives Matter (BLM) held a rally outside the police station where some of the arrested rioters were being held. Fox News alone among national media covered the story, reporting how one BLM organizer Ariel Atkins described the estimated $60 million dollars-worth of looting as really just "reparations." She said "I don't care if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy's or a Nike store, because that makes sure that person eats That is reparations. Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance." Presumably the rioters, who did not on this occasion loot supermarkets for food and instead chose to steal luxury items will be able to eat their Gucci loafers.
In a similar vein, the New York Times did have something to say about businesses shutting down or leaving Manhattan. A long article entitled "Retail Chains Abandon Manhattan: 'It's Unsustainable'" described how many restaurants and shops, including major chains and department stores, are closing due to unaffordable high rents that can no longer be paid due to a lack of tourists and office workers' business as a result of the pandemonium. The article does not mention a lack of security due to the city government's permissive attitude towards demonstrations that sometimes turn violent, a curious omission as friends of mine who live in Manhattan have observed the results of random looting and arson in many parts of the city, leading to boarded-up shops and sharply diminishing retail activity. Some long-time residents describe it as a "return to the '70s" when the city became unlivable for many.
America's newspaper of record the Washington Post promotes its product with a phrase "Democracy dies in darkness." In reality, the darkness is created by the media itself, which no longer reports what is taking place in an objective fashion. What does appear in the papers, online and on television and radio, no matter what the political orientation, is a product that is engineered to send a certain message. That message is itself disinformation, not substantially different than what takes place in the controlled media put out by so-called totalitarian regimes. In fact, news sources like Russia Today are likely to be much more reliable than CNN or FOX on many issues.
Opinion polls suggest that the American public has largely figured things out and reveal that few trust the media to do its job in an objective fashion. In that light, articles like the recent Politico piece have appeared that have questioned how it can be that the Trump White House is optimistic over the prospects for the November election when opinion polls suggest a large margin of victory for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. If journalists were doing their jobs and were actually getting out on the streets and talking to people, they would discover that people are really worried about the future of the country and what it all will mean for their children and grandchildren. And many of them blame the unrest on the Democratic Party coddling of radical groups that are actively fomenting ethnic and racial divisions for political gain, not on the Republicans. Trump's playing on those fears might well have a great impact when it comes time to vote. Someone who responded to an opinion poll the week before saying he or she would vote for a safe choice Biden might well go into the voters' booth and instead pull the lever for Trump.
Philip Giraldi, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest .
Aug 21, 2020 | www.unz.com
He [Bezos] and people like him are more concerned with maintaining the Dollar as reserve currency in order to facilitate the continued sell-out of Americans for cheap foreign manufactured goods, technology sells to China, and their own personal enrichment.
"The theory that refuses to die is that the US, as the country with "the" global reserve currency, "must have" a large trade deficit with the rest of the world."
In both cases, the "beef" with Trump is that he's rocking the boat -- both in terms of his criticism of the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama wars for Israel and the Petrodollar, and in terms of the America First noises he's made. While he's proven to be a fairly reliable Zionist stooge (although he hasn't started any new wars in the Mideast, and been more of a placeholder), he's edging a little too close to America First (with his domestic rhetoric and some of his policies) for comfort.
Aug 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Jacob Hornberger via The Future of Freedom Foundation,
Former Congressman Ron Paul and his colleague Dan McAdams recently conducted a fascinating interview with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., which focused in part on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who was Kennedy Jr.'s uncle. The interview took place on their program the Ron Paul Liberty Report.
Owing to the many federal records that have been released over the years relating to the Kennedy assassination, especially through the efforts of the Assassination Records Review Board in the 1990s, many Americans are now aware of the war that was being waged between President Kennedy and the CIA throughout his presidency . The details of this war are set forth in FFF's book JFK's War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne.
In the interview, Robert Kennedy Jr. revealed a fascinating aspect of this war with which I was unfamiliar. He stated that the deep animosity that the CIA had for the Kennedy family actually stretched back to something the family patriarch, Joseph P. Kennedy, did in the 1950s that incurred the wrath of Allen Dulles, the head of the CIA.
Kennedy Jr. stated that his grandfather, Joseph P. Kennedy, had served on a commission that was charged with examining and analyzing CIA covert activities, or "dirty tricks" as Kennedy Jr. put them. As part of that commission, Kennedy Jr stated, Joseph Kennedy (John Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy's father) had determined that the CIA had done bad things with its regime-change operations that were destroying democracies, such as in Iran and Guatemala.
Consequently, Joseph Kennedy recommended that the CIA's power to engage in covert activities be terminated and that the CIA be strictly limited to collecting intelligence and empowered to do nothing else.
According to Kennedy Jr.,
"Allen Dulles never forgave him -- never forgave my family -- for that."
I wasn't aware of that fact.
I assumed that the war between President Kennedy and the CIA had begun with the CIA's invasion at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. The additional information added by Kennedy Jr. places things in a much more fascinating and revealing context.
Upon doing a bit of research on the Internet, I found that the commission that Kennedy Jr. must have been referring to was the President's Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities, which President Eisenhower had established in 1956 through Executive Order 10656 . Eisenhower appointed Joseph Kennedy to serve on that commission.
That year was three years after the CIA's 1953 regime change operation in Iran which destroyed that country's democratic system. It was two years after the CIA's regime-change operation in Guatemala that destroyed that country's democratic system.
Keep in mind that the ostensible reason that the CIA engaged in these regime-change operations was to protect "national security," which over time has become the most important term in the American political lexicon. Although no one has ever come up with an objective definition for the term, the CIA's power to address threats to "national security," including through coups and assassinations, became omnipotent.
Yet, here was Joseph P. Kennedy declaring that the CIA's power to exercise such powers should be terminated and recommending that the CIA's power be strictly limited to intelligence gathering.
It is not difficult to imagine how livid CIA Director Dulles and his cohorts must have been at Kennedy. No bureaucrat likes to have his power limited. More important, for Dulles and his cohorts, it would have been clear that if Kennedy got his way, "national security" would be gravely threatened given the Cold War that the United States was engaged in with the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, North Korea, and other communist nations.
Now consider what happened with the Bay of Pigs. The CIA's plan for a regime-change invasion of Cuba, was conceived under President Eisenhower. Believing that Vice President Nixon would be elected president in 1960, the CIA was quite surprised that Kennedy was elected instead. To ensure that the invasion would go forth anyway, the CIA assured Kennedy that the invasion would succeed without U.S. air support. It was a lie. The CIA assumed that once the invasion was going to go down in defeat at the hands of the communists, Kennedy would have to provide the air support in order to "save face."
But Kennedy refused to be played by the CIA. When the CIA's army of Cuban exiles was going down in defeat, the CIA requested the air support, convinced that their plan to manipulate the new president would work. It didn't. Kennedy refused to provide the air support and the CIA's invasion went down in defeat.NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST
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Now consider what happened after the Bay of Pigs: Knowing that the CIA had played him and double-crossed him, John Kennedy fired Allen Dulles as CIA director, along with his chief deputy, Charles Cabell. He then put his younger brother Bobby Kennedy in charge of monitoring the CIA, which infuriated the CIA.
Now jump ahead to the Cuban Missile Crisis, which Kennedy resolved by promising that the United States would not invade Cuba for a regime-change operation. That necessarily would leave a permanent communist regime in Cuba, something that the CIA steadfastly maintained was a grave threat to "national security" -- a much bigger threat, in fact, than the threats supposedly posed by the regimes in Iran in 1953 and Guatemala in 1954.
And then Kennedy did the unforgivable, at least insofar as the CIA was concerned . In his famous Peace Speech at American University in June 1963, he declared an end to the entire Cold War and announced that the United States was going to establish friendly and peaceful relations with the communist world.
Kennedy had thrown the gauntlet down in front of the CIA. It was either going to be his way or the CIA's way. There was no room for compromise, and both sides knew it.
In the minds of former CIA Director Allen Dulles and the people still at the CIA, what Kennedy was doing was anathema and, even worse, the gravest threat to "national security" the United States had ever faced, a much bigger threat than even that posed by the democratic regimes in Iran and Guatemala. At that point, the CIA's animosity toward President Kennedy far exceeded the animosity it had borne toward his father, Joseph P. Kennedy, several years before.
Joe A , 2 hours agoUSGrant , 2 hours ago
And Allen Dulles, the CIA director that Kennedy fired, was on the Warren Commission that concluded that Kennedy was killed by a lone assassin who was a poor marksman using a crappy rifle.Joe A , 1 hour ago
The Warren Commission exhibits show that the Carcano after the scope was shimmed to make it usable, shot about 10 inches to the right and high at 25 yards with terrible accuracy. Presumably this was one of the carbines whose barrel was cut down from rifle length taking much of the progressive rifling with it. The cartridges placed on the 6th floor were clearly reloads not the supposed new Western cartridges of circa 1953. As reloads then the question arises where were .267 bullets to be obtained since only .264 were manufactured at the time which would make accuracy suffer.USGrant , 1 hour ago
Yes, but these bullets were magic bullets according to the Warren Commission. There was one bullet that entered Kennedy's throat and left it, then traversed through air, changing course, hanged suspended in mid air for about a second or so and then continued to hit the governor that was sitting in front to the left of Kennedy. That bullet traversed 15 layers of clothing, seven layers of skin, and approximately 15 inches of muscle tissue, struck a necktie knot, removed 4 inches of rib, and shattered a radius bone and was found virtually intact. Some bullet!WingedMessenger , 19 minutes ago
And the found bullet changed from a spitzer according to the first hospital worker who was alerted to it, to a round nose.ThirteenthFloor , 1 hour ago
You have missed several TV episodes that have successfully recreated the magic bullet scenario, including Myth Busters. The bullet is not magic, the actual seating geometry and sight line of the shooter all contribute to the bullet path being actually very straight. The 6.5mm 150-160 grain bullets have a very high sectional density that gives them a lot of penetration. In one test the spent bullet was found resting on the leg of the second ("John Connally") dummy just like it did in real life.
They used the same Cacarno rifle for the tests. The shot is not difficult. The car is moving directly away from the shooter at the time of this shot, so no real lead is required. The range is less than a 100 yards so you just aim dead on and shoot. Hunters do it all the time.USGrant , 1 hour ago
When Allen Dulles passed away, the CIA sent someone to Dulles' Georgetown home to get 'missing' and incriminating JFK autopsy photos from his safe and destroy them. That person was James Jesus Angleton, who admitted late in his life. Read last chapter in "Devils Chessboard" - David Talbot.cornflakesdisease , 10 minutes ago
If I recall, he was the one found searching in her studio for Mary Pinchot Meyer's diary after she was killed . (Cord Meyer's ex-wife)Bay of Pigs , 2 hours ago
He also had a huge hand in the political beginings of the UN.MontCar , 1 hour ago
Allen Dulles, LBJ and the CIA murdered JFK. It's that fu#king simple.USGrant , 1 hour ago
LBJ likely abetted the cover up. Placing Allen Dulles, recently fired from the CIA directorship by JFK, on the since disgraced Warren Commission. Mossad may have partnered with CIA in the assassination. JFK evidently opposed Israel's nuclear weapons acquisition efforts - an existential issue for Israel. Clear motive.Angular Momentum , 1 hour ago
Allan Dulles then danced on JFK's grave.Yen Cross , 1 hour ago
Kennedy also supported the right of return for the Palestinians refugees who left Israel for Jordan. Also an existential issue for Israel. I think in Ben Gurian's mind either Kennedy lived or Israel survived as a Jewish state. It was one or the other. I have no doubt the CIA covered for Israel because they had their own beef with Kennedy.WingedMessenger , 5 minutes ago
It wasn't some flunkie Soviet reject from the bell tower.
There's no way Oswald could bounce a high velocity round of lead off a light post, in front of the Limousine, still carrying enough muzzle velocity to cave in the back side of POTUS cranium.
There were other players, at the very least.NewDarwin , 3 hours ago
I have been to the 6th floor museum in Dallas several times and reviewed the various theories on where other shooters might have been located. All of the them are worse than the 6th floor of the Book Depository. Some are down right stupid, like the one supposed in the sewer by the curb. It would be impossible to shoot a rifle in there at the angle needed to hit above the wheel well of the limo, much less be able to see the limo before it was right on you. You could not even see Kennedy from there, You would have to shoot through the bottom of a door or the floor boards just to hit him in the leg or foot.
The 6th floor is the only location that allows the shooter to see the limos coming before they arrive in the target zone and allow him to prepare to shoot. All the other locations give only a tiny window to ID the target and loose off a round before the limo disappears out of view. A competent assassin would have chosen the 6th floor window. If Oswald was not the best shot, there is always the possibility that he just got lucky on some easy shots, or maybe someone else was in the 6th floor window. We don't have any evidence for either case.sj warrior , 2 hours ago
The CIA has it in for anyone who tries to dismantle the deep state...Pandelis , 26 minutes ago
jfk tried to stop izzy from getting nuclear bombs
rfk tried to force the forerunner to aipac to register as foreign agent, thus subject to gov monitoring
both of these stances failed after the assassinationsPandelis , 23 minutes ago
plus the Secret Societies speech ... that was a biggie showing he was into them (cia was just one of octopus arms)....
https://www.jfklibrary.org/archives/other-resources/john-f-kennedy-speeches/american-newspaper-publishers-association-19610427desertboy , 2 hours ago
and the executive order issued by Kennedy on using silver as currency ... that was really going after the owners ... in all fairness, not sure he knew what he was up against ... his son was killed without giving him a chance to shine yet ...eatapeach , 2 hours ago
The CIA is the direct product of, and works directly for, the same parties that own the Fed (the primary shareholders of its shareholders).
The CIA is even typically headed by bankers.
This is simply the history.Dzerzhhinsky , 2 hours ago
Nope, Trump is an insider. Should be pretty obvious given his behavior toward Syria, Iran, and Israel. He's no different than all those in the long line since after Kennedy.revjimbeam , 2 hours ago
The CIA Versus The Kennedys
We all know who won that fight. Not a single American President has dared to disobey the CIA since.Gospel According To Me , 2 hours ago
Nixon ended Viet nam and opened China- liddy(FBI) and hunt(CIA) set the administration up by breaking into the watergate then finished him of with anonymous leaks to the Washington post by felt (deepthroat) the no.2 at fbi....sound familar?
Impeachment doesn't leave agency fingerprints and is less messy than Dallas Memphis and LAeatapeach , 2 hours ago
Interesting theory and very plausible.
That is why to this day the Deep State poses such a grave danger to our democracy. They want Trump out of their way, period. If Trump pardons Snowden he better head for his WH bomb shelter. They will really go after him with everything they have. And they still have plenty of sick like-minded people in place in every agency. They spy on Trump and work to sabotage every good idea he has to Make America Great Again. Pray he prevails and the USA survives.2hangmen , 2 hours ago
Please. Snowden is a feeble US analog of Baryshnikov et al and Russia knows it. Moreover, the contrived Trump v. Deep State narrative reads like a Hardy Boys novel, soft and weak. If 'deep state' wants someone gone, they don't dilly dally. What are you, 13 years old?ComradePuff , 22 minutes ago
Well, that explains the CIA involvement with the Deep State in trying to take down candidate Trump, then President Trump. Whether someone can bring them into line will determine if we keep our nation as founded.FlKeysFisherman , 2 hours ago
Kennedy didn't even make one full term, let alone stand for re-election. In the meantime, the CIA has only gotten stronger and spun off into a dozen other agencies. You're deluding yourself.Earth Ling , 2 hours ago
WTF, I like a Kennedy now!!!ComradePuff , 13 minutes ago
Then you'll love this!
RFK JR's org Children's Health Defense is suing Zuckerberg and Facebook:
CHD Holds Press Conference with Legal Team and Plaintiff in Lawsuit Against Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and Three of Facebook's So-Called "Fact-Checkers"Eastern Whale , 2 hours ago
I fear for RFK Jr, to be perfectly honest. It's amazing he can even walk with balls that big.presterjohn1198 , 2 hours ago
shows that politicians are all rotten to the core even in a "democratically" elected government
communism in 20th century is a joke, Oligarch from Russia is buying soccer teams in UK, Chinese is lined up at Chanel and LV in every city. communism is just a concept and name now.
anyhow, all politicians should be at the bottom of the oceanArising , 1 hour ago
The cia has always been the shadow government of the USSA. Those clever Ivy League boys think that they always knew better about screwing up world affairs than our elected government. Pretty much the same kind of club as the legacy media, whom the cia frequently collaborates with.
Fools!buckboy , 1 hour ago
... the CIA's 1953 regime change operation in Iran which destroyed that country's democratic system.
There's one for all the Republican fan boys that hate Iran because their leaders tell them to.USGrant , 2 hours ago
Pres. Trump are well aware of these facts. Main reason why he has his own private security. Amazing he is getting this far. This man knows how to win than anyone else.
He made Brennan, Clapper, Comey Clintons like real clowns instead.
Call it conspiracy, the terrorism, blm antifa racism and non sense chaos are supported by the cia. CIA is the main and most dangerous enemy of the world. To control is the main objective.
Like the JFK family and now Trump, if you are against them, they'll discredit you through the history.USGrant , 2 hours ago
Listen to Douglas Horne's interview of Dino Brugioni and how the Zupruder film was doctored to make it seem that the head shot came from the back. No surprise with the head movement-it came from the front.Wild Bill Steamcock , 1 hour ago
Those frames were cut out which not only exaggerated the head movement but it made it impossible for 3 shots to come from the crappy Carcano in the shortened time as gauged from the film. So there is only one frame of the head shot but Dino remembered several as he was the one charged with making the briefing board on Saturday night prior to the film being altered on Sunday at the Kodak Hawkeye Works.Wild Bill Steamcock , 1 hour ago
Richard Dolan has a nice set of interviews with Phillip Lavelle (a walking JFK encyclopedia) on the topic at his youtube channel. ...fucking truth , 1 hour ago
And Tracey too, being that smart and good looking is almost unfairWild Bill Steamcock , 1 hour ago
And yet trump promised and reneged on releasing all the Kennedy docs, it's a big swamp and i think Trump's in it, ribbit.mcmich , 1 hour ago
It's like trying to drain an ocean. Eventually you fall inSoloamber , 38 minutes ago
The people in power now is the people behind JFK's murder..DEDA CVETKO , 1 hour ago
So does everyone else . Jackie Kennedy knew too . She said they finally got him . Johnson told his mistress the same day .A_Huxley , 3 hours ago
The only worthwhile human beings in the entire Kennedy clan were JFK and Jr. (notwithstanding Jackie, whom I count as Onassis). The rest - particularly Bobby Kennedy - were scum of the earth and sycophants of the Matrix, the lowliest kind of elitist wire-carrying police informants and apron-wearers. To this day I don't understand how anyone in the right mind could venerate Bobby Kennedy. The man was three tiers below even his fuhrer-sucking daddy.
Would United States have been better off had Kennedy survived? Probably, but not by much and only in the short term. We might have avoided Vietnam (highly questionable - JFK had already sent our troops there and the whole thing was already on the verge of dangerous escalation). But as soon as his second term ended, the Deep State would have installed a more desirable and obedient puppet (most likely Nixon, possibly LBJ) in the White House and we would have continued where LBJ left off in January 1969.
BTW, it may have been CIA that backstabbed JFK on the Bay of Pigs fiasco, but it was his own baby brother who twisted the knife .TahoeBilly2012 , 3 hours ago
Look back over the National Intelligence Estimates.
NIE 53-63 Prospects In South Vietnam.
National Security Action Memorandum 28.Soloamber , 41 minutes ago
Y Cult, Cult of Osiris.....going down!!!!
If they could do the same to Trump they would .
The only thing they have left is massive ballot fraud
which they have every intent of doing .
Aug 19, 2020 | ronpaulinstitute.org
< Older Washington's Supposed Gift to President Putin written by brian cloughley tuesday august 18, 2020
One of the comments made following Trump's decision to relocate some 12,000 troops from Germany was made by retired Admiral James ('Zorba') Stavridis, who in 2009-2013 was US Supreme Allied Commander Europe (the military commander of Nato). He declared that the action, among other things, "hurts NATO solidarity and is a gift to Putin." This was a most serious pronouncement, which was echoed by Republican Senator Mitt Romney, a rich Republican and Mormon cleric, who said the redeployment was a "gift to Russia." These sentiments were well-reported and endorsed by US media outlets which continue to be relentlessly anti-Russia.
Stavridis is the man who wrote that the seven-month bombing and rocketing of Libya by the US-Nato military grouping in 2011 "has rightly been hailed as a model intervention. The alliance responded rapidly to a deteriorating situation that threatened hundreds of thousands of civilians rebelling against an oppressive regime. It succeeded in protecting those civilians and, ultimately, in providing the time and space necessary for local forces to overthrow Muammar al-Gaddafi."
On June 22 Human Rights Watch noted that "over the past years" in Libya their investigators have "documented systematic and gross human rights and humanitarian law violations by armed groups on all sides, including torture and ill-treatment, rape and other acts of sexual violence, arbitrary arrests and detention, forced displacement, unlawful killings and enforced disappearances ." Amnesty International's current Report also details the chaos in the shattered country where Nato conducted its "model intervention."
The Libya catastrophe illustrates the desperation of Nato in its continuing search for international situations in which it might be able to intervene, to try to provide some sort of justification for its existence. And the calibre of its leadership can be judged from the pronouncements of such as Stavridis, who was unsurprisingly considered a possibility for the post of Secretary of State by Donald Trump.
It is not explained how relocation of US troops from Germany could hurt Nato's "solidarity" but Defence Secretary Esper was more revealing about the situation as he sees it, when interviewed by balanced and objective Fox News on August 9. He declared "we basically are moving troops further east, closer to Russia's border to deter them. Most of the allies I've either spoken to, heard from or my staff has spoken to, see this as a good move. It will accomplish all of those objectives that have been laid out. And frankly, look, we still have 24,000 plus troops in Germany, so it will still be the largest recipient of US troops. The bottom line is the border has shifted as the alliance has grown." (It is intriguing that this important policy statement was not covered by US mainstream media and cannot be found on the Pentagon's Newsroom website -- the "one-stop shop for Defense Department news and information.")
No matter the spin from the Pentagon and what is now appearing in the US media, Trump's July 29 decision to move troops from Germany had no basis in strategy. It was not the result of a reappraisal of the regional or wider international situation. And it was not discussed with any of Washington's allies, causing Nato Secretary General Stoltenberg to say plaintively that it was "not yet decided how and when this decision will be implemented."
The BBC reported that "President Donald Trump said the move was a response to Germany failing to meet Nato targets on defence spending." Trump was quoted as telling reporters that "We don't want to be the suckers anymore. We're reducing the force because they're not paying their bills; it's very simple." It could not have been made clearer than that. The whole charade is the result of Trumpian petulance and has nothing to do with military strategy, no matter what is belatedly claimed by the Pentagon's Esper.
The German government was not consulted before Trump's contemptuous announcement, and defence minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer criticised Washington, saying "Nato is not a trade organisation, and security is not a commodity." But so far as Trump is concerned, security is indeed a commodity that can be traded as he sees fit, irrespective of relevance to national policy or anything other than his ego.
In trying to pick up the pieces following Trump's candid explanation of his orders to "reduce the force" in Germany, the Pentagon has conjured up a jumbled but confrontational plan intended to convince those who are interested (who do not include the German public), that it is all part of a grand scheme to extend the power of the US-Nato alliance. To this end, Esper announced he is "confident that the alliance will be all the better and stronger for it," because the redeployment involves reinforcement of the US military in Poland. He is moving 200 staff of the army's 5 corps to Krakow where, as reported by Military.com on August 5, "In a ceremony Army Chief of Staff General James McConville promoted John Kolasheski, the Army's V Corps commander, to the rank of lieutenant general and officially unfurled the headquarters' flag for the first time on Polish soil."
In addition to Washington's move of the advance HQ of V Corps to Krakow, there is a agreement that Poland will engage in what the Military Times reports as "a host of construction projects designed to support more US troops in that country" and Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Tom Campbell said that the Warsaw government "has agreed to fund infrastructure and logistical support to US forces," which should please the White House.
These initiatives are part of the US-Poland Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement completed on August 3, which Esper stated "will enhance deterrence against Russia, strengthen NATO, reassure our Allies, and our forward presence in Poland on NATO's eastern flank will improve our strategic and operational flexibility." Then on August 15 Secretary of State Pompeo visited Poland to formally ink the accord which was warmly welcomed by Polish President Duda who recently visited Trump in Washington.
Duda's declaration that "our soldiers are going to stand arm-in-arm" is consistent with the existing situation in Poland, where the Pentagon has other elements already deployed, including in Redzikowo, where a base is being built for Aegis Ballistic Missile Defence systems, and the Air Force's 52nd Fighter Wing detachments at Polish Air Force bases at Lask and Miroslawiec, where there is a unit operating MQ-9 attack drones.
Defence Secretary Esper has emphasised that "the border has shifted as the alliance has grown" -- and the border to which he refers is that of US-Nato as it moves more menacingly eastwards. That's the gift that Trump has given Russia.
Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation .
Aug 19, 2020 | www.unz.com
Managing the Narrative Corporations and government use internet to control information PHILIP GIRALDI AUGUST 18, 2020 1,400 WORDS 78 COMMENTS REPLY Tweet Reddit Share Share Email Print More
Some Americans continue to believe that when they go to the internet they will get a free flow of useful information that will guide them in making decisions or coming to conclusions about the state of the world. That conceit might have been true to an extent twenty years ago, but the growth and consolidation of corporate information management firms has instead limited access to material that it does not approve of, thereby successfully shaping the political and economic environment to conform with their own interests. Facebook, Google and other news and social networking sites now all have advisory panels that are authorized to ban content and limit access by members. This de facto censorship is particularly evident when using the internet information "search" sites themselves, a "service" that is dominated by Google. Ron Unz has observed how when the CEO of Google Sundar Pichai faced congressional scrutiny on July 29 th together with other high-tech executives, the questioning was hardly rigorous and no one even asked how the sites are regulated to promote certain information that is approved of while suppressing views or sources that are considered to be undesirable.
The "information" sites generally get a free pass from government scrutiny because they are useful to those who run the country from Washington and Wall Street. That the internet is a national security issue was clearly demonstrated when the Barack Obama Administration sought to develop a switch that could be used to "kill it" in the event of a national crisis. No politician or corporate chief executive wants to get on the bad side of Big Tech and find his or her name largely eliminated from online searches, or, alternatively, coming up all too frequently with negative connotations.
Google, for example, ranks the information that it displays so it can favor certain points of view and dismiss others. Generally speaking, progressive sites are favored and conservative sites are relegated to the bottom of the search with the expectation that they will not be visited. In late July, investigative journalists noted that Google was apparently testing its technical ability to blacklist conservative media on its search engine which processes more than 3.5 billion online searches every day, comprising 94 percent of internet searching. Sites targeted and made to effectively disappear from results included NewsBusters, the Washington Free Beacon, The Blaze, Townhall, The Daily Wire, PragerU, LifeNews, Project Veritas, Judicial Watch, The Resurgent, Breitbart, Drudge, Unz, the Media Research Center and CNSNews. All the sites affected are considered to be politically conservative and no progressive or liberal sites were included.
One has to suspect that the tech companies like Google are working hand-in-hand with some regulators within the Trump administration to "purge" the internet, primarily by removing foreign competition both in hardware and software from countries like China. This will give the ostensibly U.S. companies monopoly status and will also allow the government to have sufficient leverage to control the message. If this process continues, the internet itself will become nationally or regionally controlled and will inevitably cease to be a vehicle for free exchange of views. Recent steps taken by the U.S. to block Huawei 5G technology and also force the sale of sites like TikTok have been explained as "national security" issues, but they are more likely designed to control aspects of the internet.
Washington is also again beating the familiar drum that Russia is interfering in American politics, with an eye on the upcoming election. Last week saw the released of a 77 page report produced by the State Department's Global Engagement Center (GEC) on Russian internet based news and opinion sources that allegedly are guilty of spreading disinformation and propaganda on behalf of the Kremlin. It is entitled "Understanding Russia's Disinformation and Propaganda Ecosystem" and has a lead paragraph asserting that "Russia's disinformation and propaganda ecosystem is the collection of official, proxy, and unattributed communication channels and platforms that Russia uses to create and amplify false narratives."
Perhaps not surprisingly, The New York Times is hot on the trail of Russian malfeasance, describing the report and its conclusions in a lengthy article "State Dept. Traces Russian Disinformation Links" that appeared on August 5 th .
The government report identifies a number of online sites that it claims are actively involved in the "disinformation" effort. The Times article focuses on one site in particular, describing how "The report states that the Strategic Culture Foundation [website] is directed by Russia's foreign intelligence service, the S.V.R., and stands as 'a prime example of longstanding Russian tactics to conceal direct state involvement in disinformation and propaganda outlets.' The organization publishes a wide variety of fringe voices and conspiracy theories in English, while trying to obscure its Russian government sponsorship." It also quotes Lea Gabrielle, the GEC Director, who explained that "The Kremlin bears direct responsibility for cultivating these tactics and platforms as part of its approach of using information and disinformation as a weapon."
As Russia has been falsely accused of supporting the election of Donald Trump in 2016 and the existence of alternative news sites funded wholly or in part by a foreign government is not ipso facto an act of war, it is interesting to note the "evidence" that The Times provides based on its own investigation to suggest that Moscow is about to disrupt the upcoming election. It is: "Absent from the report is any mention of how one of the writers for the Strategic Culture Foundation weighed in this spring on a Democratic primary race in New York. The writer, Michael Averko, published articles on the foundation's website and in a local publication in Westchester County, N.Y., attacking Evelyn N. Farkas, a former Obama administration official who was running for Congress. In recent weeks, the F.B.I. questioned Mr. Averko about the Strategic Culture Foundation and its ties to Russia. While those attacks did not have a decisive effect on the election, they showed Moscow's continuing efforts to influence votes in the United States "
Excuse me, but someone writing for an alternative website with relatively low readership criticizing a candidate for congress does not equate to the Kremlin's interfering in an American election. Also, the claim that the Strategic Culture Foundation is a disinformation mechanism is overwrought. Yes, the site is located in Moscow and it may have some government support but it features numerous American and European contributors in addition to Russians. I have been writing for the site for nearly three years and I know many of the other Americans who also do so. We are generally speaking antiwar and often critical of U.S. foreign policy but the contributors include conservatives like myself, libertarians and progressives and we write on all kinds of subjects.
And here is the interesting part: not one of us has ever been told what to write. Not one of us has ever even had a suggestion coming from Moscow on a good topic for an article. Not one of us has ever had an article or headline changed or altered by an editor. Putting on my ex-intelligence officer hat for a moment, that is no way to run an influencing or disinformation operation intended to subvert an election. Sure, Russia has a point of view on the upcoming election and its managed media outlets will reflect that bias but the sweeping allegations are nonsense, particularly in an election that will include billions of dollars in real disinformation coming from the Democratic and Republican parties.
Putting together what you no longer can find when you search the internet with government attempts to suppress alternative news sites one has to conclude that we Americans are in the middle of an information war. Who controls the narrative controls the people, or so it seems. It is a dangerous development, particularly at a time when no one knows whom to trust and what to believe. How it will play out between now and the November election is anyone's guess.
Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is firstname.lastname@example.org .
geokat62 , says: August 18, 2020 at 4:34 am GMTmijj13 , says: August 18, 2020 at 5:13 am GMT
One has to suspect that the tech companies like Google are working hand-in-hand with some regulators within the Trump administration to "purge" the internet
Direct quote from Donald Trump EXPOSED – Israel, Zionism
DJT: And we have kids that are watching the internet and they want to be masterminds. And then you wonder why do we lose all these kids. They go over there. They're young and they're impressionable. They go over there. They want to join ISIS. We're losing a lot of people because of the internet. And we have to do something. We have to go see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what's happening. We have to talk to them maybe in certain areas closing that internet up in some way . Somebody will say "oh, freedom of speech, freedom of speech" These are foolish people. We have a lot of foolish people. We have a lot of foolish people. We've gotta maybe do something with the internet , because they are recruiting by the thousands .it's the stupidity stupid. , says: August 18, 2020 at 5:51 am GMT
It's true. Knowledge of evidence based reality is a threat to US National Security.
Those who value US National Security are right to fear general access to evidence based reality.
Their suggestion that Russia is the sole source of knowledge of evidence based reality, though flattering to Russia, merely illustrates an entertaining cartoon mindset.Anonymous  Disclaimer , says: August 18, 2020 at 6:08 am GMT
no one knows whom to trust and what to believe
russia-gate etc. has been a criminal conspiracy from the beginning. who didn't know this? the US is led by psychopaths, evil people. not ignorant, misguided, etc. evil! why are people so reluctant to use that word?
business, media, government, education, military, etc. it doesn't matter. the top brass are monsters.
if you want a picture of the future winston, imagine psychopaths commanding armies of autists.
eventually what will happen is something like "the troubles". and this will not be stopped by government action. there will have to be something like the good friday accords, a second constituional convention, and partition.
There we go again! Mr Giraldi along with his friend Larry Romanoff, reframing the narrative into China vs US, to deflect attention away from the Deep State common to both.
Aug 19, 2020 | www.unz.com
If 'liberal' dogs can't bark at Jews and Deep State, they bark at Russia.
The Origins of Mass Manipulation of the Public Mind
Many years ago, the American political commentator Walter Lippmann realised that political ideology could be completely fabricated, using the media to control both presentation and conceptualisation, not only to create deeply-ingrained false beliefs in a population, but also to entirely erase undesirable political ideas from the public mind. This was the beginning of not only the American hysteria for freedom, democracy and patriotism, but of all manufactured political opinion, a process that has been operative ever since. Lippmann created these theories of mass persuasion of the public, using totally fabricated "facts" deeply insinuated into the minds of a gullible public, but there is much more to this story. An Austrian Jew named Edward Louis Bernays who was the nephew of Sigmund Freud, was one of Lippmann's most precocious students and it was he who put Lippmann's theories into practice. Bernays is widely known in America as the father of Public Relations, but he would be much more accurately described as the father of American war marketing as well as the father of mass manipulation of the public mind.
Bernays claimed "If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind" it will be possible "to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it". He called this scientific technique of opinion-molding the 'engineering of consent', and to accomplish it he merged theories of crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle Sigmund Freud.   Bernays regarded society as irrational and dangerous, with a "herd instinct", and that if the multi-party electoral system (which evidence indicates was created by a group of European elites as a population control mechanism) were to survive and continue to serve those elites, massive manipulation of the public mind was necessary. These elites, "invisible people", would have, through their influence on government and their control of the media, a monopoly on the power to shape thoughts, values, and responses of the citizenry. His conviction was that this group should flood the public with misinformation and emotionally-loaded propaganda to "engineer" the acquiescence of the masses and thereby rule over them. According to Bernays, this manufactured consent of the masses, creating conformity of opinion molded by the tool of false propaganda, would be vital for the survival of "democracy". Bernays wrote:
"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. People are governed, their minds molded, their tastes formed, their ideas suggested, largely by men they have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner . In almost every act of our daily lives we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind." 
In his main work titled 'Propaganda',  which he wrote in 1928, Bernays argued that the manipulation of public opinion was a necessary part of democracy because individuals were inherently dangerous (to the control and looting of the elites) but could be harnessed and channeled by these same elites for their economic benefit. He clearly believed that virtually total control of a population was possible, and perhaps easy to accomplish. He wrote further that:
"No serious sociologist any longer believes that the voice of the people expresses any wise idea. The voice of the people expresses the mind of the people, and that mind is made up for it by those persons who understand the manipulation of public opinion. It is composed of inherited prejudices and symbols and clichés and verbal formulas supplied to them by the leaders. Fortunately, the politician is able, by the instrument of propaganda, to mold and form the will of the people. So vast are the numbers of minds which can be regimented, and so tenacious are they when regimented, that [they produce] an irresistible pressure before which legislators, editors, and teachers are helpless. "
And it wasn't only the public masses that were 'inherently dangerous', but a nation's leaders fit this description as well, therefore also requiring manipulation and control. Bernays realised that if you can influence the leaders of a nation, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you can control the government and the country, and that is precisely where he set his sights. Bernays again:
"In some departments of our daily life, in which we imagine ourselves free agents, we are ruled by dictators exercising great power. There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes. Nor, what is still more important, the extent to which our thoughts and habits are modified by authorities. The invisible government tends to be concentrated in the hands of the few because of the expense of manipulating the social machinery which controls the opinions and habits of the masses."
And in this case, the "few" are the wealthy industrial elites, their even wealthier banker friends, and their brethren who control the media, publishing and entertainment industries.
Until the First World War, these theories of creating an entirely false public opinion based on misinformation, then manipulating this for population control, were still only theories, but the astounding success of propaganda by Bernays and his group during the war laid bare the possibilities of perpetually controlling the public mind on all matters. The "shrewd" designers of Bernays' "invisible government" developed a standard technique for what was essentially propaganda and mind control, or at least opinion control, and infiltrated it throughout the US government, its departments and agencies, and its leaders and politicians. Coincident with this, they practiced infecting the leaders of every identifiable group – fraternal, religious, commercial, patriotic, social – and encouraging these men to likewise infect their supporters.
Many have noted the black and white mentality that pervades America. Much of the blame must be laid on Bernays' propaganda methods. Bernays himself asserted that propaganda could produce rapid and strong emotional responses in the public, but that the range of these responses was limited because the emotional loading inherent in his propaganda would create a kind of binary mentality, eventually forcing the population into a programmed black and white world – which is precisely what we see in the US today. This isn't difficult to understand. When Bernays flooded the public with fabricated tales of Germans shiskababbing babies, the range of potential responses was entirely emotional and would be limited to either abhorrence or perhaps a blocking of the information. In a sense, our emotional switch will be forced into either an 'on' or 'off' position , with no other reasonable choices.
The elite few, as Bernays called them, realised early on the potential for control of governments, and in every subsequent US administration the president and his White House staff, the politicians, the leaders of the military and intelligence agencies, all fell prey to this same disease of shrewd manipulation. Roosevelt's "intense desire for war" in 1939    was the result of this same infection process and, once infected, he of course approved of the infection of the entire American population. Walter Lippmann and Edward Bernays succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.
Bernays – Marketing War
In the discovery of propaganda as a tool of public mind control and in its use for war marketing, it is worthwhile to take a quick look at the historical background of Bernays' war effort. At the time, the European Zionists had made an agreement with England to bring the US into the war against Germany, on the side of England, a favor for which England would grant them the possession of Palestine as a location for a new homeland.  Palestine did not 'belong' to England, it was not England's to give, and England had no legal or moral right to make such an agreement, but it was made nevertheless.
US President Wilson was desperate to fulfill his obligations to his handlers by putting the US into the First World War as they wished, but the American population had no interest in the European war and public sentiment was entirely against participating. To facilitate the desired result, Wilson created the Committee on Public Information (The Creel Commission),  to propagandise the war by the mass brainwashing of America, but Creel was merely the 'front' of a group that consisted of specially hand-picked men from the media, advertising, the movie industry, and academia, as well as specialists in psychology. The two most important members were Walter Lippman, whom Wilson described as "the most brilliant man of his age", and Bernays who was the group's top mind-control expert, both Jews and both aware of the stakes in this game. Bernays planned to combine his uncle Freud's psychiatric insights with mass psychology blended with modern advertising techniques, and apply them to the task of mass mind control. It was Bernays' vast propaganda schemes and his influence in promoting the patently false idea that US entry to the war was primarily aimed at "bringing democracy to all of Europe", that proved so successful in altering public opinion about the war. Thanks to Edward Bernays, American war marketing was born and would never die.
Note to Readers: Some portion of the immediately following content which details the specifics of the propaganda of Lippman and Bernays for World War I is not my own work. It was extracted some years ago from a longer document for which I cannot now locate the original source. If a reader is able to identify this source, I would be grateful to receive that information so I can properly credit the author for his extensive research.
"Wilson's creation of the CPI was a turning point in world history, the first truly scientific attempt to form, manipulate and control the perceptions and beliefs of an entire population." With Wilson's authority, these men were given almost unlimited scope to work their magic, and in order to ensure the success of their program and guarantee the eventual possession of Palestine, these men and their committee carried out "a program of psychological warfare against the American people on a scale unprecedented in human history and with a degree of success that most propagandists could only dream about".
Having received permission and broad authority from the US President and the White House to "lead the public mind into war"  and, with their success threatened by widespread anti-war sentiment among the public, these men determined to engineer what Lippman called "the manufacture of consent" . The committee assumed the task to "examine the different ways that information flowed to the population and to flood these channels with pro-war material". Their effort was unparalleled in its scale and sophistication, since the Committee had the power not only to officially censor news and withhold information from the public, but to manufacture false news and distribute it nationally through all channels. In a very short time, Lippman and Bernays were well enough organised to begin flooding the US with anti-German propaganda consisting of hate literature, movies, songs, media articles and much more.
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Everything we have read above about the marketing of war during preparation for the two World Wars, is from a template created by Lippman and Bernays exclusively to support the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine and to promote the agenda of Zionism. That template has been in constant use by the US government (as the Bankers' Private Army) since the Second World War, 'engineering consent and ignorance' in the American and Western populations to mask almost seven decades of atrocities, demonising innocent countries and peoples in preparation for 60 or 70 politically-inspired color revolutions or 'wars of liberation' fought exclusively for the financial and political benefit of a handful of European bankers using the US military as a private army for this purpose, resulting in the deaths and miseries of hundreds of millions of innocent civilians.
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We can easily think of George W. Bush's demonisation of Iraq, the sordid tales of mass slaughters, the gassing of hundreds of thousands and burial in mass graves, the nuclear weapons ready to launch within 15 minutes, the responsibility for 9-11, the babies tossed out of incubators, Saddam using wood shredders to eliminate political opponents and dissidents. We can think of the tales of Libyan Viagra, all proven to have been groundless fabrications – typical atrocity propaganda. Vietnam, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran and dozens of other wars and invasions followed this same template to get the public mind onside for an unjustified war launched only for political and commercial objectives.
Fast Forward to 2020
We are at the same place today, with the same people conducting the same "anger campaign" against China in preparation for World War III. John Pilger agrees with me , evidenced in his recent article "Another Hiroshima is coming – unless we stop it now."  And so does Gordon Duff .  The signs now are everywhere, and the campaign is successful. It is necessary to point out the need for an 'anger campaign' as opposed to a 'hate campaign'. We are not moved to action from hate, but from anger. I may thoroughly despise you, but that in itself will do nothing. It is only if I am moved to anger that I want to punch your lights out. And this, as Lippman and Bernays so clearly noted, requires emotionally-charged atrocity propaganda of the kind used so well against Germany and being so well used against China today. Since we need atrocity propaganda to start a war, there seems to be no shortage.
... ... ...
Then, Mr. Pompeo tells us, "The truth is that our policies . . . resurrected China's failing economy, only to see Beijing bite the international hands that were feeding it."  Further, that (due to COVID-19) China "caused an enormous amount of pain, loss of life," and the "Chinese Communist Party will pay a price".  Of course, we all know that "China" stole the COVID-19 virus from a lab in Winnipeg, Canada, then released it onto the world – and Pompeo has proof  , and even "A Chinese virologist has proof" that "China" engaged in a massive cover-up while contaminating the world  and then "fleeing Hong Kong" because "I know how they treat whistle-blowers."  And of course, "China needs to be held accountable for Covid-19's destruction"  which is why everyone in the US wants to sue "China". "Australia" demands an international criminal investigation of China's role in COVID-19.  What a surprise.
And of course we have an almost unlimited number of serious provocations , from Hong Kong, Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwan, the South China Seas, to Chinese consulates, media reporters, students, researchers, visa restrictions, spying, Huawei, the trade war, all done in the hope of making the Chinese leaders panic and over-react, the easiest way to justify a new war.
The list could continue for several hundred pages. Never in my life have I seen such a continuous, unabating flood of hate propaganda against one nation, surely equivalent to what was done against Germany as described above to prepare for US entry into the First World War. And it's working, doing what it is intended to do. Canada, Australia, the UK, Germany, India, Brazil, are buying into the war-mongering and turning against China. More will follow. The Global Times reported "Mutual trust between Australia and China at all-time low". 
"Boycott China" T-shirts and caps are flooding India, Huawei is being increasingly banned from Western nations, Chinese social media APPs like Tik-Tok are being banned, and Bryan Adams recently slammed all Chinese as "Bat-eating, wet-market-animal-selling, virus-making, greedy bastards".   In a recent poll (taken because we need to measure the success of our handiwork in the same way Bernays and the Tavistock Institute did as noted earlier), half of all ethnic Chinese in Canada have been threatened and harassed over COVID-19.
About 45% of Chinese in Canada said they had been " threatened or intimidated in some way", fully 50% said they had recently been insulted in public, 30% said they had experienced . . . "some kind of physical altercation", and 60% said the abuse was so bad "they had to reorganise their daily routine to avoid it". One woman in her 60s said a man told her and her daughter "Every day I pray that you people die". 
... ... ...
Several years ago, CNN was sued by one of their news anchors for being ordered to lie in the newscasts. CNN won the case. They did not deny ordering the news anchor to lie. Their defense was based simply on the position that American news media have "no obligation to tell the truth". And RT recently reported that nearly 9 out of 10 Americans see a "medium or high" bias in all media coverage,  yet, as we can see, most of those same people, and a very large portion of the population of many nations still succumb to the same hate propaganda.
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Aug 18, 2020 | www.rt.com
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has voiced his opposition to a proposed Russian rule that would require labeling of propaganda content, saying it would burden "independent" information work by outlets such as Voice of America.
"This decree will impose new burdensome requirements that will further inhibit RFE/RL's and VOA's ability to operate within Russia," Pompeo said Monday, commenting on the draft rule published by the media regulator Roskomnadzor.
Pompeo called VOA and its sister outlet Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty "vital sources of independent news and information for the people of Russia" for "more than 70 years."
Far from independent, however, they were both established as US propaganda outlets at the dawn of the Cold War. They are fully funded by the government, and the charter of their parent organization – now known as US Agency for Global Media (USAGM) – mandates that they "be consistent with the broad foreign policy objectives of the United States" and "provide a surge capacity to support United States foreign policy objectives during crises abroad."
The 1948 law that established these outlets outright prohibited their content from being broadcast in the US itself, until the Obama administration amended it in 2013.
The proposed rule would require all content produced by designated "foreign agents" in the Russian Federation to be clearly labeled. When the draft of it was made public last month, acting RFE/RL president Daisy Sindelar protested that its purpose was to "intimidate" her audience and make them "feel like criminals, or believe that they are in danger when they watch or read our materials."
Yet the Russian regulation is the mirror image of the requirement imposed under the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) on RT, Sputnik and China Global Television Network (CTGN) since 2017, which only a handful of groups such as the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemned as an attack on free speech. The USAGM remained conspicuously silent even as the designated outlets were denied credentials to access government press conferences.
US-based social media companies have also bowed to political pressure and labeled Russian- and Chinese-based outlets as "state-affiliated," while refraining from using that descriptor for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), German outlet Deutsche Welle, the French AFP, Turkish TRT, or any of the USAGM outlets, once again showcasing the double standard.
jangosimba 10 August, 2020He cheats, he lies, he murders, he steals.Zogg jangosimba 11 August, 2020That's a small part of CIA job description.Harbin
William Johnson 1 hour agoMike reminds me that character from "Godfather" series, the old , dumb henchman ready to follow any order...
Aug 13, 2020 | www.antiwar.com
With Elliott Abrams at the helm, the president found a way to make his Tehran policy even worseDaniel Larison Posted on August 7, 2020 From The American Conservative :
The New York Times reports on the resignation of Brian Hook, who will be replaced by none other than Elliott Abrams:
Mr. Hook will be succeeded by Elliott Abrams, a conservative foreign policy veteran and Iran hard-liner who is currently the State Department's special representative for Venezuela.
As the administration's special envoy, Hook had no success in gaining support from other governments for the "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran. His brief stint as a negotiator with our European allies yielded nothing, and when he was trying to negotiate with them Trump famously had no idea who he was . He mostly served as one of the administration's leading propagandists .
He was responsible for lies about Yemen, cringe-inducing video messages , promoting the administration's weird fixation with Cyrus the Great , and embarrassing historical revisionism about the 1953 coup. When he wasn't trying to bribe ships' captains to steal Iranian cargo, he was insulting our intelligence with phony claims of wanting to normalize relations with Tehran.
Last year he came under fire from the State Department's Inspector General for his role in the mistreatment of Sahar Nowrouzzadeh , who was the target of political retaliation at the department on account of her support for the JCPOA and at least partly because of her Iranian heritage.
Hook is described in the Times ' report as a "survivor," but they neglect to mention that the reason he has survived so long in the Trump administration is his cowardice .
Perhaps the most bizarre thing about the coverage of Hook·s resignation is that it is framed as somehow undermining the chances of diplomacy with Iran.
Aug 13, 2020 | nationalinterest.org
America's actions have already caused Beijing and Moscow to put aside historic enmity and increase its partnership on economic issues and increasingly frequent joint military drills . China and Iran recently completed the basics of an energy and military cooperation agreement. Moreover, President Xi Jinping has become increasingly effective at deepening ties with European, African, and Latin American states.
Today, Washington is saturated with China hawks. Unfortunately, andy voices that champion keeping America strong by avoiding conflict with China are reflexively smeared as "appeasement." I fear America may one day find out to its harm that rejecting sober diplomatic engagement, which could have extended its security and prosperity well into the future, was dismissed in favor of an unnecessary military-first tactic of coercing China.
Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army who retired in 2015 after twenty-one years, including four combat deployments. Follow him @DanielLDavis1.
Aug 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgNo Evidence Of Foreign Interference In U.S. Elections, U.S. Intelligence Says
Yesterday the mislabeled U.S. 'Intelligence' Agencies trotted out more nonsense claims about foreign interferences in U.S. elections.
The New York Times sensationally headlines:
Russia Continues Interfering in Election to Try to Help Trump, U.S. Intelligence Says
But a new assessment says China would prefer to see the president defeated, though it is not clear Beijing is doing much to meddle in the 2020 campaign to help Joseph R. Biden Jr.
But when one reads the piece itself one finds no fact that would support the 'Russia Continues Interfering' statement:Russia is using a range of techniques to denigrate Joseph R. Biden Jr., American intelligence officials said Friday in their first public assessment that Moscow continues to try to interfere in the 2020 campaign to help President Trump.
At the same time, the officials said China preferred that Mr. Trump be defeated in November and was weighing whether to take more aggressive action in the election.
But officials briefed on the intelligence said that Russia was the far graver, and more immediate, threat. While China seeks to gain influence in American politics, its leaders have not yet decided to wade directly into the presidential contest, however much they may dislike Mr. Trump, the officials said.
The assessment, included in a statement released by William R. Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, suggested the intelligence community was treading carefully, reflecting the political heat generated by previous findings.
The authors emphasize the scaremongering hearsay from "officials briefed on the intelligence" - i.e. Democratic congress members - about Russia but have nothing to back it up.
When one reads the statement by Evanina one finds nothing in it about Russian attempts to interfere in the U.S. elections. Here is the only 'evidence' that is noted:For example, pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading claims about corruption – including through publicizing leaked phone calls – to undermine former Vice President Biden's candidacy and the Democratic Party. Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump's candidacy on social media and Russian television.
After a request from Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, a Ukrainian parliamentarian published Ukrainian evidence of Biden's very real interference in the Ukraine. Also: Some guest of a Russian TV show had an opinion. How is either of those two items 'evidence' of Russian interference in U.S. elections?
The statement then claims: "Ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, foreign states will continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway U.S. voters' preferences and perspectives, shift U.S. policies, increase discord in the United States, and undermine the American people's confidence in our democratic process."
But how do the 'intelligence' agencies know that foreign states want to "sway preferences", "increase discord" or "undermine confidence" in elections?
As a recent piece in Foreign Affairs noted :The mainstream view in the U.S. media and government holds that the Kremlin is waging a long-haul campaign to undermine and destabilize American democracy. Putin wants to see the United States burn, and contentious elections offer a ready-made opportunity to fan the flames.
But ascribing motive and intent is a tricky business, because perceived impact is often mistaken for true intent. [...] Where is the evidence that Russia actually wants to bring down the liberal world order and watch the United States burn?
Well there is none. And that is why the 'intelligence' agencies do not present any evidence.
Even the NYT writers have to admit that there is nothing there:The release on Friday was short on specifics, ...
andIntelligence agencies focus their work on the intentions of foreign governments, and steer clear of assessing if those efforts have had an effect on American voters.
How do 'intelligence' agencies know Russian, Chinese or Iranian 'intentions'. Is there a secret policy paper by the Russian government that says it should "increase discord" in the United States? Is there some Chinese think tank report which says that undermining U.S. people's confidence in their democratic process would be good for China?
If the 'intelligence' people have copies of those papers why not publish them?
Let me guess. The 'intelligence' agencies have nothing, zero, nada. They are just making wild-ass guesses about 'intentions' of perceived enemies to impress the people who sign off their budget.
Nowadays that seems to be their main purpose.
Posted by b on August 8, 2020 at 18:08 UTC | Permalink
Aug 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
"No Difference Between John Bolton, Brian Hook Or Elliott Abrams": Iran FM
by Tyler Durden Fri, 08/07/2020 - 22:45 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print
"There's no difference between John Bolton, Brian Hook or Elliott Abrams," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a tweet with the hashtag #BankruptUSPolicy on Friday.
"When U.S. policy concerns Iran, American officials have been biting off more than they can chew. This applies to Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump and their successors," Mousavi added.
Indeed in perhaps one of the greatest symbols or representations of the contradictions and absurdity inherent in US foreign policy of the past few decades, and a supreme irony that can't be emphasized enough: the new US envoy to Iran who will oversee Pompeo's 'maximum pressure' campaign remains the most publicly visible face of the 1980's Iran-Contra affair .
Elliott Abrams has been named to the position after Brian Hook stepping down. This means the man who will continue to push for the extension of a UN arms embargo against Iran once himself was deeply involved in illegally selling weapons to Iran and covering it up .
Most famously, or we should say infamously, Abrams pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 1991 following years of the Iran-Contra scandal engulfing the Reagan administration; however, he was also pardoned by outgoing president George H.W. Bush at around the same time.
"Pardoned by George H.W. Bush in 1992, Abrams was a pivotal figure in the foreign-policy scandal that shook the Reagan administration, lying to Congress about his knowledge of the plot to covertly sell weapons to the Khomeini government and use the proceeds to illegally fund the right-wing Contras rebel group in Nicaragua ," NY Mag reviews.
Some are noting this heightens the chances that Washington could get dragged into a war involving Israel and Iran.
Recall too that Abrams has been Trump's point man for ousting Maduro from Venezuela, and it appears he'll remain in the post of special envoy for Venezuela as well.
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The Grayzone journalist, Anya Parampil, who has frequently reported from Venezuela, alleged this week that Abrams will "try and destroy Venezuela and Iran at the same time".
Wild Bill Steamcock , 14 hours agoKinskian , 15 hours ago
Abrams is a disgrace. This Administration should be dying in it's own shame bringing this swine back into government.
He's a leach. He's about lining his own pockets. He can't even own a .22 single shot, yet he's shaping international policy.
This country is dead. And the fact Trump has democrat and zionist Kushner as advisor, bringing in guys like Bolton and Abrams, Reince Priebus, H.R. McMaster and that Ukranian pet goblin of his, in not firing Comey et. al day 1 means he's not the answer. Face it.
And to be fair, it doesn't matter anymore who is POTUS. It hasn't really mattered in quite some time. The Plan rolls along.PT , 14 hours ago
Trump is a clumsy and transparent Zionist stooge.Dank fur Kopf , 14 hours ago
Gotta admit, if you're going to have a Zionist stooge then you are better off having a clumsy and transparent one.Dank fur Kopf , 14 hours ago
Elliott Abrams is a moron. He's been running the exact same stupid coup strategy for decades, and can't conceive of a world where the enemy has worked out how to defeat that.
Venezuela was set to be US foreign policies most embarrassing failure--but maybe Iran will be worse.
Let's predict what Abrams will attempt:
Running out of the US/UK embassies, Abrams will attempt to identify a potential alternative leader who is corrupt and controllable. They'll throw political support behind this false leader, and try and find enough military to support him. Then, protests in the streets, and the small faction of the military--supported by foreign forces--will attempt to establish control.
Counter: China and Russia will import anti-coup specialists. Individuals in the Iranian military will pretend to be on board claiming to have thousands at call, and when the false leader gives the call, they won't answer. All the conspirators will be caught out on the street, and have to flee to embassies for political asylum. Like what happened in Venezuela recently, and Turkey in 2016. This will allow Iran to do a purge of all the real threats (remembering that Iran has the death penalty for sedition), and give them enough justification to end diplomatic missions in the country that are being used as launch pads.
Aug 04, 2020 | www.unz.com
Truth be told, most Russian politicians (with the notable exception of the official Kremlin court jester, Zhirinovskii) and analysts never saw Trump as a potential ally or friend. The Kremlin was especially cautious, which leads me to believe that the Russian intelligence analysts did a very good job evaluating Trump's psyche and they quickly figured out that he was no better than any other US politician.
Right now, I know of no Russian analyst who would predict that relations between the US and Russia will improve in the foreseeable future. If anything, most are clearly saying that "guys, we better get used to this" (accusations, sanctions, accusations, sanctions, etc. etc. etc.).
Furthermore, it is pretty obvious to the Russians that while Crimea and MH17 were the pretexts for western sanctions against Russia, they were not the real cause. The real cause of the West's hatred for Russia is as simple as it is old: Russia cannot be conquered, subdued, subverted or destroyed. They've been at it for close to 1,000 years and they still are at it. In fact, each time they fail to crush Russia, their russophobia increases to even higher levels (phobia both in the sense of "fear" and in the sense of "hatred").
Simply put -- there is nothing which Russia can expect from the upcoming election. Nothing at all. Still, that does not mean that things are not better than 4 or 8 years ago. Let's look at what changed.
I would argue that since at least Russia and the AngloZionist Empire have been at war since at least 2013, when Russia foiled the US plan to attack Syria under the pretext that it was "highly likely" that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians (in reality, a textbook case of a false flag organized by the Brits), This means that Russia and the Empire have been at [Cold] war since at least 2013, for no less than seven years (something which Russian 6th columnists and Neo-Marxists try very hard to ignore).
True, at least until now, this was has been 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic, but this is a real existential war of survival for both sides: only one side will walk away from this struggle. The other one will simply disappear (not as a nation or a people, but as a polity; a regime). The Kremlin fully understood that and it embarked on a huge reform and modernization of the Russian armed forces in three distinct ways:A "general" reform of the Russian armed forces which had to be modernized by about 80%. This part of the reform is now practically complete. A specific reform to prepare the western and southern military districts for a major conventional war against the united West (as always in Russian history) which would involve the First Guards Tank Army and the Russian Airborne Forces. The development of bleeding-edge weapons systems with no equivalent in the West and which cannot be countered or defeated; these weapons have had an especially dramatic impact upon First Strike Stability and upon naval operations.
While some US politicians understood what was going on (I think of Ron Paul, see here ), most did not. They were so brainwashed by the US propaganda that they were sure that no matter what, "USA! USA! USA!". Alas for them, the reality was quite different.
Russian officials, by the way, have confirmed that Russia was preparing for war . Heck, the reforms were so profound and far reaching, that it would have been impossible for the Russians to hide what they were doing (see here for details; also please see Andrei Martyanov's excellent primer on the new Russian Navy here ).
While no country is ever truly prepared for war, I would argue that by 2020 the Russians had reached their goals and that now Russia is fully prepared to handle any conflict the West might throw at her, ranging from a small border incident somewhere in Central Asia to a full-scaled war against the US/NATO in Europe .
Folks in the West are now slowly waking up to this new reality (I mentioned some of that here ), but it is too late. In purely military terms, Russia has now created such a qualitative gap with the West that the still existing quantitative gap is not sufficient to guarantee a US/NATO victory. Now some western politicians are starting to seriously freak out (see this lady , for example), but most Europeans are coming to terms with two truly horrible realities:Russia is much stronger than Europe and, even much worse, Russia will never attack first (which is a major cause of frustration for western russophobes)
As for the obvious solution to this problem, having friendly relations with Russia is simply unthinkable for those who made their entire careers peddling the Soviet (and now Russian) threat to the world.
But Russia is changing, albeit maybe too slowly (at least for my taste). As I mentioned last week, a number of Polish, Ukrainian and Baltic politicians have declared that the Zapad2020 military maneuvers which are supposed to take place in southern Russia and the Caucasus could be used to prepare an attack on the West (see here for a rather typical example of this nonsense). In the past, the Kremlin would only have made a public statement ridiculing this nonsense, but this time around Putin did something different. Right after he saw the reaction of these politicians, Putin ordered a major and UNSCHEDULED military readiness exercise which involved no less than 150,000 troops, 400 aircraft & 100 ships ! The message here was clear:Yes, we are much more powerful than you are and No, we are not apologizing for our strength anymore
And, just to make sure that the message is clear, the Russians also tested the readiness of the Russian Airborne Forces units near the city of Riazan, see for yourself:
This response is, I think, the correct one. Frankly, nobody in the West is listening to what the Kremlin has to say, so what is the point of making more statements which in the future will be ignored equally as they have been in the past.
If anything, the slow realization that Russia is more powerful than NATO would be most helpful in gently prodding EU politicians to change their tune and return back to reality. Check out this recent video of Sarah Wagenknecht, a leading politician of the German Left and see for yourself:
The example of Sahra Wagenknecht is interesting, because she is from Germany, one of the countries of northern Europe; traditionally, northern European powers have been much more anti-Russian than southern Europeans, so it is encouraging to see that the anti-Putin and anti-Russia hysteria is not always being endorsed by everybody.
But if things are very slowly getting better in the EU, in the bad old US of A things are only getting worse. Even the Republicans are now fully on board the Russia-hating float (right behind a "gay pride" one I suppose) and they are now contributing their own insanity to the cause, as this article entitled " Congressional Republicans: Russia should be designated state sponsor of terror " shows (designating Russia as a terrorist state is an old idea of the Dems, by the way).
Russian options for the Fall
In truth, Russia does not have any particularly good options towards the US. Both parties are now fully united in their rabid hatred of Russia (and China too, of course). Furthermore, while there are many well-funded and virulently anti-Russian organizations in the US (Neo-cons, Papists, Poles, Masons, Ukrainians, Balts, Ashkenazi Jews, etc.), Russian organizations in the US like this one , have very little influence or even relevance.Banderites marching in the US
However, as the chaos continues to worsen inside the US and as US politicians continue to alienate pretty much the entire planet, Russia does have a perfect opportunity to weaken the US grip on Europe. The beauty in the current dynamic is that Russia does not have to do anything at all (nevermind anything covert or illegal) to help the anti-EU and anti-US forces in Europe: All she needs to do is to continuously hammer in the following simple message: "the US is sinking -- do you really want to go down with it?".
There are many opportunities to deliver that message. The current US/Polish efforts to prevent the EU from enjoying cheap Russian gas might well be the best example of what we could call "European suicide politics", but there are many, many more.
Truth be told, neither the US nor the EU are a top priority for Russia, at least not in economic terms. The moral credibility of the West in general can certainly be described as dead and long gone. As for the West military might, it is only a concern to the degree that western politicians might be tempted to believe their own propaganda about their military forces being the best in the history of the galaxy. This is why Russia regularly engages in large surprise exercises: to prove to the West that the Russian military is fully ready for anything the West might try. As for the constant move of more and more US/NATO forces closer to the borders of Russia, they are offensive in political terms, but in military terms, getting closer to Russia only means that Russia will have more options to destroy you. "Forward deployment" is really a thing of the past, at least against Russia.
With time, however, and as the US federal center loses even more of its control of the country, the Kremlin might be well-advised to try to open some venues for "popular diplomacy", especially with less hostile US states. The weakening of the Executive Branch has already resulted in US governors playing an increasingly important international role and while this is not, strictly speaking, legal (only the federal government has the right to engage in foreign policy), the fact is that this has been going on for years already. Another possible partner inside the US for Russian firms would be US corporations (especially now that they are hurting badly). Finally, I think that the Kremlin ought to try to open channels of communication with the various small political forces in the US which are clearly not buying into the official propaganda: libertarians, (true) liberals and progressives, paleo-conservatives.
What we are witnessing before our eyes is the collapse of the US federal center. This is a dangerous and highly unstable moment in our history. But from this crisis opportunities will arise. The best thing Russia can do now is to simply remain very careful and vigilant and wait for new forces to appear on the US political scene.
Twilight Patriot , says: • Website July 29, 2020 at 12:26 am GMT
I really agree with you that the “blame Russia” and “blame China” thing has gotten out of hand in US politics. Whether it will turn into a shooting war seems doubtful to me, as the government is still full of people who are looking out for their own interests and know that a full-sized war with Russia, China, Iran or whoever will not advance their interests.
But who would have guessed, a few years ago, that “Russian asset” would become the all-purpose insult for Democrats to use, not just against Republicans, but against other Democrats?
With Republicans I think that “blame China” is stronger. China makes a good scapegoat for the economic situation in the United States. But convincing the working class that China is the source of their problems (and that Mr. MAGA is going to solve those problems by standing up to China) requires ignorance of the crucial facts about the trade relationship between those two countries.
Namely, that the trade deficit exists only because the Federal Reserve chooses to create huge amounts of new dollars each year for export to other countries, and it’s only possible for US exports to fall behind imports so badly (and thus put so many American laborers out of work) because the Fed is making up the difference by exporting dollars. Granted, it isn’t a policy that the US can change without harming the interests of its own upper classes; at the same time, it isn’t a policy that China could force on the US without the people in charge of the United States wanting it.
This is a topic I’ve dealt with a few times on my own blog.
Why I Don’t Fear Chinese Hegemony: https://www.twilightpatriot.com/2020/05/why-i-dont-fear-chinese-hegemony.html
Nobody Will Win The Trade War: https://www.twilightpatriot.com/2019/09/nobody-will-win-trade-war.html
Aug 03, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
How The Billionaires Control American Elections
by Tyler Durden Sun, 08/02/2020 - 23:40 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print
Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
The great investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald gave an hour-long lecture on how America's billionaires control the U.S. Government, and here is an edited summary of its opening twenty minutes, with key quotations and assertions from its opening -- and then its broader context will be discussed briefly:
"How Congress Maintains Endless War – System Update with Glenn Greenwald" - The Intercept, 9 July 2020
2:45 : There is "this huge cleavage between how members of Congress present themselves, their imagery and rhetoric and branding, what they present to the voters, on the one hand, and the reality of what they do in the bowels of Congress and the underbelly of Congressional proceedings, on the other. Most of the constituents back in their home districts have no idea what it is that the people they've voted for have been doing, and this gap between belief and reality is enormous."
Four crucial military-budget amendments were debated in the House just now, as follows:
to block Trump from withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.
to block Trump from withdrawing 10,000 troops from Germany
to limit U.S. assistance to the Sauds' bombing of Yemen
to require Trump to explain why he wants to withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty
On all four issues, the pro-imperialist position prevailed in nearly unanimous votes - overwhelming in both Parties. Dick Cheney's daughter, Republican Liz Cheney, dominated the debates, though the House of Representatives is now led by Democrats, not Republicans.
Greenwald (citing other investigators) documents that the U.S. news-media are in the business of deceiving the voters to believe that there are fundamental differences between the Parties. "The extent to which they clash is wildly exaggerated" by the press (in order to pump up the percentages of Americans who vote, so as to maintain, both domestically and internationally, the lie that America is a democracy -- actually represents the interests of the voters).
16:00 : The Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee -- which writes the nearly $750B annual Pentagon budget -- is the veteran (23 years) House Democrat Adam Smith of Boeing's Washington State.
"The majority of his district are people of color." He's "clearly a pro-war hawk" a consistent neoconservative, voted to invade Iraq and all the rest.
"This is whom Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats have chosen to head the House Armed Services Committee -- someone with this record."
He is "the single most influential member of Congress when it comes to shaping military spending."
He was primaried by a progressive Democrat, and the "defense industry opened up their coffers" and enabled Adam Smith to defeat the challenger.
That's the opening.
Greenwald went on, after that, to discuss other key appointees by Nancy Pelosi who are almost as important as Adam Smith is, in shaping the Government's military budget. They're all corrupt. And then he went, at further length, to describe the methods of deceiving the voters, such as how these very same Democrats who are actually agents of the billionaires who own the 'defense' contractors and the 'news' media etc., campaign for Democrats' votes by emphasizing how evil the Republican Party is on the issues that Democratic Party voters care far more about than they do about America's destructions of Iraq and Syria and Libya and Honduras and Ukraine, and imposing crushing economic blockades (sanctions) against the residents in Iran, Venezuela and many other lands. Democratic Party voters care lots about the injustices and the sufferings of American Blacks and other minorities, and of poor American women, etc., but are satisfied to vote for Senators and Representatives who actually represent 'defense' contractors and other profoundly corrupt corporations, instead of represent their own voters. This is how the most corrupt people in politics become re-elected, time and again -- by deceived voters. And -- as those nearly unanimous committee votes display -- almost every member of the U.S. Congress is profoundly corrupt.
Furthermore: Adam Smith's opponent in the 2018 Democratic Party primary was Sarah Smith (no relation) and she tried to argue against Adam Smith's neoconservative voting-record, but the press-coverage she received in her congressional district ignored that, in order to keep those voters in the dark about the key reality. Whereas Sarah Smith received some coverage from Greenwald and other reporters at The Intercept who mentioned that "Sarah Smith mounted her challenge largely in opposition to what she cast as his hawkish foreign policy approach," and that she "routinely brought up his hawkish foreign policy views and campaign donations from defense contractors as central issues in the campaign," only very few of the voters in that district followed such national news-media, far less knew that Adam Smith was in the pocket of 'defense' billionaires. And, so, the Pentagon's big weapons-making firms defeated a progressive who would, if elected, have helped to re-orient federal spending away from selling bombs to be used by the Sauds to destroy Yemen, and instead toward providing better education and employment-prospects to Black, brown and other people, and to the poor, and everybody, in that congressional district, and all others. Moreover, since Adam Smith had a fairly good voting-record on the types of issues that Blacks and other minorities consider more important and more relevant than such things as his having voted for Bush to invade Iraq, Sarah Smith really had no other practical option than to criticize him regarding his hawkish voting-record, which that district's voters barely even cared about. The billionaires actually had Sarah Smith trapped (just like, on a national level, they had Bernie Sanders trapped).
Of course, Greenwald's audience is clearly Democratic Party voters, in order to inform them of how deceitful their Party is. However, the Republican Party operates in exactly the same way, though using different deceptions, because Republican Party voters have very different priorities than Democratic Party voters do, and so they ignore other types of deceptions and atrocities.
Numerous polls (for examples, this and this ) show that American voters, except for the minority of them that are Republican, want "bipartisan" government; but the reality in America is that this country actually already does have that: the U.S. Government is actually bipartisanly corrupt, and bipartisan evil. In fact, it's almost unanimous, it is so bipartisan, in reality.
That's the way America's Government actually functions, especially in the congressional votes that the 'news'-media don't publicize. However, since it lies so much, and its media (controlled also by its billionaires) do likewise, and since they cover-up instead of expose the deepest rot, the public don't even know this. They don't know the reality. They don't know how corrupt and evil their Government actually is. They just vote and pay taxes. That's the extent to which they actually 'participate' in 'their' Government. They tragically don't know the reality. It's hidden from them. It is censored-out, by the editors, producers, and other management, of the billionaires' 'news'-media. These are the truths that can't pass through those executives' filters. These are the truths that get filtered-out, instead of reported. No democracy can function this way -- and, of course, none does.Patmos , 8 hours agoAlice-the-dog , 2 hours ago
Eisenhower originally called it the Military Industrial Congressional Complex.
Was probably still when Congress maybe had a few slivers of integrity though.
As McCain's wife said, they all knew about Epstein.Question_Mark , 1 hour ago
And now we suffer the Medical Industrial Complex on top of it.EngageTheRage , 9 hours ago
Klaus Schwab, UN/World Economic Forum - power plant "cyberattack" (advance video to 6:42 to skip intro):
please watch video at least from minute 6:42 at least for a few minutes to get context, consider its contents, and comment:
source for UN/WEF partnership:
https://www.weforum.org/press/2019/06/world-economic-forum-and-un-sign-strategic-partnership-framework/NewDarwin , 9 hours ago
How jewish billionaires control America.EndOfDayExit , 7 hours ago
Vot3 for trump but don't waste too much energy on the elections. All Trump can do is buy us time.
Their plan has been in the works for over a century.
1) financial collapse with central banking.
2) social collapse with cultural marxism
3) government collapse with corrupt pedophile politicians.JGResearch , 8 hours ago
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." -Thomas Jefferson
Humans are just not wired for eternal vigilance. Sheeple want to graze and don't want to think.KuriousKat , 8 hours ago
Money is just the tool, it goes much deeper:The Truth, when you finally chase it down, is almost always far
worse than your darkest visions and fears.'
– Hunter S. Thompson, Kingdom of Fear'The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes' *
- Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
This information helps understand the shift to the bias we are witnessing at The PBS Newshour and the MSM. PBS has always taken their marching orders from the Council on Foreign Relations.
Some of the mebers of the CFR:
Joe Biden (47th Vice President of the United States )
Judy Woodruff, and Jim Lehrer (journalist, former anchor for PBS ) is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. John McCain (United States Republican Senator from Arizona , 2008 Republican Party nominee for the Presidency), William F. Buckley, Jr (commentator, publisher, founder of the National Review ), Jeffery E Epstein (financier)
The Council on Foreign Relations has historical control both the Democratic establishment and the Republican establishment until President Trump came along.
Until then they did not care who won the presidency because they control both parties at the top.
FYI: Hardly one person in 1000 ever heard of the Council on Foreign Relations ( CFR ). Until Trump both Republicans and Democrats control by the Eastern Establishment.There operational front was the Council on Foreign Relations. Historically they did not care who one the election since they controlled both parties from the top.
The CFR has only 3000 members yet they control over three-quarters of the nation's wealth. The CFR runs the State Department and the CIA. The CFR has placed 100 CFR members in every Presidential Administration and cabinet since Woodrow Wilson. They work together to misinform the President to act in the best interest of the CFR not the best interest of the American People.
At least five Presidents (Eisenhower, Ford, Carter, Bush, and Clinton) have been members of the CFR. The CFR has packed every Supreme court with CFR insiders.
Three CFR members (Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Sandra Day O'Connor) sit on the supreme court. The CFR's British Counterpart is the Royal Institute of International Affairs. The members of these groups profit by creating tension and hate. Their targets include British and American citizens.
The CFR/RIIA method of operation is simple -- they control public opinion. They keep the identity of their group secret. They learn the likes and dislikes of influential people. They surround and manipulate them into acting in the best interest of the CFR/RIIA.jmNZ , 3 hours ago
there are 550 of them in the US..just boggles the mind they have us at each others throat instead of theirs.x_Maurizio , 2 hours ago
This is why America's only hope is to vote for Ron Paul.Voice-of-Reason , 6 hours ago
Let me understand how a system, which is already proven being disfunctional, should suddenly produce a positive result. That's craziness: to repeate the same action, with the conviction it will give a different result.
If you would say: "The only hope is NOT TO TAKE PART TO THE FARCE" (so not to vote) I'd understand.
But vot for that, instead of this.... what didn't you understand?Eastern Whale , 8 hours ago
The very fact that we have billionaires who amass so much wealth that they can own our Republic is the problem.MartinG , 5 hours ago
all the names mentioned in this article is rotten to the coreXena fobe , 4 hours ago
Tell me again how democracy is the greatest form of government. What other profession lets clueless idiots decide who runs the business.quikwit , 3 hours ago
It isn't the fault of democracy. It's more the fault of voters._triplesix_ , 8 hours ago
I'd pick the "clueless idiots" over an iron-fisted evil genius every time.BTCtroll , 7 hours ago
Am I the only one who noticed that Eric Zuesse capitalized the word "black" every time he used it?
F**k you, Eric, you Marxist trash.freedommusic , 4 hours ago
Confirmed. Blacks are apparently a proper noun despite being referred to as simply a color. In reality, no one cares. Ask anyone, they don't care expert black lies matter.
The very word secrecy is repugnant in a free and open society , and we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings .
And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.
Our way of life is under attack.
But we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding it's fear of influence, on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections , on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific, and political operations. It's preparations are concealed, not published. It's mistakes are buried, not headlined. It's dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned. No rumor is printed. No secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War in short with a wartime discipline, no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.
...I am asking the members of the newspaper profession and the industry in this country to re-examine their own responsibilities, to consider the degree and the nature of the present danger, and to heed the duty of self restraint, which that danger imposes upon us all.
It is the unprecedented nature of this challenge that also gives rise to your second obligation and obligation which I share, and that is our obligation to inform and alert the American people, to make certain that they possess all the facts that they need and understand them as well, the perils, the prospects, the purposes of our program, and the choices that we face.
I am not asking your newspapers to support an administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people, for I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens, whenever they are fully informed.
... that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment. The only business in America specifically protected by the constitution, not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply give the public what it wants, but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises, and our choices, to lead, mold, educate, and sometimes even anger, public opinion.
Jul 23, 2020 | www.politico.com
Defund the Pentagon: The Liberal Case
Cutting the defense budget by a modest 10 percent could provide billions to combat the pandemic, provide health care and take care of neglected communities.
Jul 23, 2020 | news.antiwar.com
Amendment to make across-the-board reductions overwhelmingly defeated by members of both parties
Eric Garris Posted on July 21, 2020 Categories News
By a vote of 324-93 , the House of Representatives soundly defeated an amendment to reduce Pentagon authorized spending levels by 10%. The amendment does not specify what to cut, only that Congress make across-the-board reductions. The amendment to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was offered by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI). No Republicans voted for the amendment. Libertarian Justin Amash supported the amendment.
Earlier, the House defeated an amendment to stop the Pentagon's submission of an unfunded priorities list. Each year, after the Pentagon's budget request is submitted to Congress, the military services send a separate "wish list," termed "unfunded priorities." This list includes requests for programs that the military would like Congress to fund, in case they decide to add more money to the Pentagon's proposed budget.
This article was written while observing the voting on CSPAN. The House Clerk has not yet posted the roll-call vote. Additional information will be added to the article when available.
Jul 06, 2020 | thegrayzone.com
US claim of 'Russian Bounty' plot in Afghanistan is dubious and dangerousMax Blumenthal breaks down the "Russian bounty" story's flaws and how it aims to prolong the war in Afghanistan -- and uses Russiagate tactics to continue pushing the Democratic Party to the right
Multiple US media outlets, citing anonymous intelligence officials, are claiming that Russia offered bounties to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan, and that President Trump has taken no action.
Others are contesting that claim. "Officials said there was disagreement among intelligence officials about the strength of the evidence about the suspected Russian plot," the New York Times reports. "Notably, the National Security Agency, which specializes in hacking and electronic surveillance, has been more skeptical."
"The constant flow of Russiagate disinformation into the bloodstream of the Democratic Party and its base is moving that party constantly to the right, while pushing the US deeper into this Cold War," Blumenthal says.
Guest: Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone and author of several books, including his latest "The Management of Savagery."TRANSCRIPT
AARON MATÉ: Welcome to Pushback, I'm Aaron Maté. There is a new supposed Trump-Russia bombshell. The New York Times and other outlets reporting that Russia has been paying bounties to Afghan militants to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan. Trump and the White House were allegedly briefed on this information but have taken no action.
Now, the story has obvious holes, like many other Russiagate bombshells. It is sourced to anonymous intelligence officials. The New York Times says that the claim comes from Afghan detainees. And it also has some logical holes. The Taliban have been fighting the US and Afghanistan for nearly two decades and never needed Russian payments before to kill the Americans that they were fighting; [this] amongst other questions are raised about this story. But that has not stopped the usual chorus from whipping up a frenzy.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Vladimir Putin is offering bounties for the scalps of American soldiers in Afghanistan. Not only offering, offering money [to] the people who kill Americans, but some of the bounties that Putin has offered have been collected, meaning the Russians at least believe that their offering cash to kill Americans has actually worked to get some Americans killed.
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin. He had has [sic] this information according to The Times, and yet he offered to host Putin in the United States and sought to invite Russia to rejoin the G7. He's in his entire presidency has been a gift to Putin, but this is beyond the pale.
CHUCK TODD, NBC: Let me ask you this. Do you think that part of the that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?
SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER: I was not briefed on the Russian military intelligence, but it shows that we need in this coming defense bill, which we're debating this week, tough sanctions against Russia, which thus far Mitch McConnell has resisted.
Joining me now is Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone, author of The Management of Savagery . Max, welcome to Pushback. What is your reaction to this story?
MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, it just feels like so many other episodes that we've witnessed over the past three or four years, where American intelligence officials basically plant a story in one outlet, The New York Times , which functions as the media wing of the Central Intelligence Agency. Then no reporting takes place whatsoever, but six reporters, or three to six reporters are assigned to the piece to make it look like it was some last-minute scramble to confirm this bombshell story. And then the story is confirmed again by The Washington Post because their reporters, their three to six reporters in, you know, capitals around the world with different beats spoke to the same intelligence officials, or they were furnished different officials who fed them the same story. And, of course, the story advances a narrative that the United States is under siege by Russia and that we have to escalate against Russia just ahead of another peace summit or some kind of international dialogue.
This has sort of been the general framework for these Russiagate bombshells, and of course they can there's always an anti-Trump angle. And because, you know, liberal pundits and the, you know, Democratic Party operatives see this as a means to undermine Trump as the election heats up. They don't care if it's true or not. They don't care what the consequences are. They're just gonna completely roll with it. And it's really changed, I think, not just US foreign policy, but it's changed the Democratic Party in an almost irreversible way, to have these constant "quote-unquote" bombshells that are really generated by the Central Intelligence Agency and by other US intelligence operations in order to turn up the heat to crank up the Cold War, to use these different media organs which no longer believe in reporting, which see Operation Mockingbird as a kind of blueprint for how to do journalism, to turn them into keys on the CIA's Mighty Wurlitzer. That's what happened here.
AARON MATÉ: What do you make of the logic of this story? This idea that the Taliban would need Russian money to kill Americans when the Taliban's been fighting the US for nearly two decades now. And the sourcing for the story, the same old playbook: anonymous intelligence officials who are citing vague claims about apparently what was said by Afghan detainees.
MAX BLUMENTHAL: This story has, as I said, it relies on zero reporting. The only source is anonymous American intelligence officials. And I tweeted out a clip of a former CIA operations officer who managed the CIA's operation in Angola, when the US was actually fighting on the side of apartheid South Africa against a Marxist government that was backed up by Cuban troops. His name was John Stockwell. And Stockwell talked about how one-third of his covert operations staff were propagandists, and that they would feed imaginary stories about Cuban barbarism that were completely false to reporters who were either CIA assets directly or who were just unwitting dupes who would hang on a line waiting for American intelligence officials to feed them stories. And one out of every five stories was completely false, as Stockwell said. We could play some of that clip now; it's pretty remarkable to watch it in light of this latest fake bombshell.
JOHN STOCKWELL: Another thing is to disseminate propaganda to influence people's minds, and this is a major function of the CIA. And unfortunately, of course, it overlaps into the gathering of information. You, you have contact with a journalist, you will give him true stories, you'll get information from him, you'll also give him false stories.
OFF-CAMERA REPORTER: Can you do this with responsible reporters?
JOHN STOCKWELL: Yes, the Church Committee brought it out in 1975. And then Woodward and Bernstein put an article in Rolling Stone a couple of years later. Four hundred journalists cooperating with the CIA, including some of the biggest names in the business.
MAX BLUMENTHAL: So, basically, I mean, you get the flavor of what someone who was in the CIA at the height of the Cold War I mean, he did the same thing in Vietnam. And the playbook is absolutely the same today. These this story was dumped on Friday in The New York Times by "quote-unquote" American intelligence officials, as a breakthrough had been made in Afghan peace talks and a conference was finally set for Doha, Qatar, that would involve the Taliban, which had been seizing massive amounts of territory.
Now, it's my understanding, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the Taliban had been fighting one of the most epic examples of an occupying army in modern history, just absolutely chewing away at one of the most powerful militaries in human history in their country for the last 19 years, without bounties from Vladimir Putin or private-hotdog-salesman-and-Saint-Petersburg-troll-farm-owner Yevgeny Prigozhin , who always comes up in these stories. It's always the hotdog guy who's doing everything bad from, like, you know, fake Facebook ads to poisoning Sergei Skripal or whatever.
But I just don't see where the Taliban needs encouragement from Putin to do that. It's their country. They want the US out and they have succeeded in seizing large amounts of territory. Donald Trump has come into office with a pledge to remove US troops from Afghanistan and ink this deal. And along comes this story as the peace process begins to advance.
And what is the end-result? We haven't gotten into the domestic politics yet, but the end-result is you have supposedly progressive senators like Chris Murphy of Connecticut attacking Trump for not fighting Russia in Afghanistan. I mean, they want a straight-up proxy war for not escalating. You have Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, someone who's aligned with the Democratic Party, who supported the war in Iraq and, you know, supports just endless war, demanding that the US turn up the heat not just in Afghanistan but in Syria. So, you know, the escalatory rhetoric is at a fever pitch right now, and it's obviously going to impact that peace conference.
Let's remember that three days before Trump's summit with Putin was when Mueller chose to release the indictment of the GRU agents for supposedly hacking the DNC servers. Let's remember that a day before the UN the United Nations Geneva peace talks opened on Syria in 2014 was when US intelligence chose to feed these shady Caesar photos, supposedly showing industrial slaughter of Syrian prisoners, to The New York Times in an investigation that had been funded by Qatar. Like, so many shady intelligence dumps have taken place ahead of peace summits to disrupt them, because the US doesn't feel like it has enough skin in the game or it just simply doesn't want peace in these areas.
So, that's what happened here. That's really, I think, the essential backdrop for the timing of this story. It really reveals how completely decayed mainstream media is as an institution, that none of these reporters protested the story, didn't see fit to do any independent investigation into it. At best they would print a Russian denial which counts for nothing in the US, or a Taliban denial which counts for nothing in the US. And then and this gets into the domestic political angle because so much of Russiagate, while it's been crafted by former or current intelligence officials, depends on the Democratic Party and it punditocracy, MSNBC and mainstream media as a projection megaphone, as its Mighty Wurlitzer.
That took place in this case because, according to this story, Donald Trump had been briefed on Putin paying bounties to the Taliban and he chose to do nothing. Which, of course Trump denies, but that counts for nothing as well. But, again, there's been no independent confirmation of any of this. And now we get into the domestic part, which is that this new Republican anti-Trump operation, The Lincoln Project, had a flashy ad ready to go almost minutes after the story dropped.
THE LINCOLN PROJECT AD: Now we know Vladimir Putin pays a bounty for the murder of American soldiers. Donald Trump knows, too, and does nothing. Putin pays the Taliban cash to slaughter our men and women in uniform and Trump is silent, weak, controlled. Instead of condemnation he insis